(1310-09-08) Inadvisable Need
Summary: Things escalate quickly when an angry and worried Olivia descends upon Matthieu after the Grand Melee.
RL Date: September 12, 2018
Related: Marsilikos Tournament: La Grande Melee
matthieu olivia 

Healer's Tent - Tournament Field

It's right on the tin.

The cacophonous hubbub of the tournament grounds are slightly muffled by thick canvas and ropes. The scent of dust, sweat and foodstuffs peddled by the stands give way to more herbal and floral notes, the unmisakable strains of poultices, blood and potions. Gabriel's strong, wiry arm saves Olivia from the trouble of pushing through the healer's tent temporarily housing her quarry, though whatever she sees within, hopefully, will put whatever worries that plague her at rest, because Matthieu de Rocaille, in spite of the devastating blow that would have felled a lesser man in the Grand Melee, seems fine.

Or as fine as anyone with his pre-existing injuries could be anyway. He is stripped of his armor and shirt, a wide swath of bandages layered over the breadth of his chest. It seems that the healer has just finished attending to him because he's hunched over on the small cot, elbows and forearm draped against his knees, his spine stooped in a hard curve above clean linens. There's another bandage around one corded bicep but otherwise, he doesn't appear too hurt. Sweat forces locks of white-gold hair to plaster against his forehead, darkened by the damp, and he's busily rolling a shoulder to test its mobility. She's seen him in such a state before, but that had been weeks ago, fresh from his trials and woefully diminished physically. Now, it is apparent that the following long weeks have reaped for him the strength he had lost in those three years, nearly back in his full lean, athletic trim.

The years imprint an indelible truth upon his frame, muscles and marrow: He was meant to withstand hurricanes of all kinds.

Matthieu lifts his head upon their entrance, the fight and everything that rushes through his veins causing those ice-and-silver eyes to blaze, dwarfed only by something exceedingly rare and unexpected from the usually reticent ducal heir: His grin is implacable and boyish, slanted over his features and cutting through his sun-bronzed expression like a scythe, as brilliant as a star's cradle. It is the smile of the dutiful, but content boy that they remember, no matter how heavily burdened by his destiny and one that Gabriel, at least, was unsure he would ever see again.

The look on the man's face causes even his Cassiline, the person in this world who knows him best, to pause. It's followed by a loud sigh and a scrub of weary fingers through his dark-haired head, though his trickster's smile returns in short order.

"How is it," Gabriel begins. "That even when you've utterly lost, you can still look like you've won?"

Incredibly, Matthieu's grin broadens still.

"What can I say, Gabe? I'm a talented man."

Olivia ducks into the dimmed interior of the healers' tent with Gabriel, her head still reeling from her last view of Matthieu. What she'd not expected to see is what she sees now. Her eyes fall on him where he sits on the edge of his cot, a smile on his lips as he jokes, grins, and revels with Gabe in the moments just passed. There's a sudden dryness to her mouth, and cheeks that had lost all colour beneath the weight of her veils, darken. Adrenaline is a terrible thing, and whilst it might be useful in moments of danger, those times when fight or flight is required, when it has nowhere to go, it leaves pure anger in its wake. The relief in her face at knowing that all is well, is chased quickly away by that rush of emotions which the adrenaline bestows. She swallows, though she's nothing in her mouth to swallow except for her words. Gabriel where he stands with her arm still tucked through his will feel the anxiety that percolates through her body, tightening the set of her shoulders and the line of her back.

"Stop it. Just… stop it! After everything…"

Her arm pulls free of Gabriel's where it's been looped until now, and her hands ball at her side as in a whirl of white silks and distress she crosses the distance between herself and Matthieu, her eyes ablaze with unshed tears. "You might have so very little care for yourself, Matthieu, but I care. I care!" In the blink of an eye, the masks that Olivia wears are banished, and the shy layers of modesty behind which she hides herself are gone. Her hand strikes him in a punch to his uninjured arm, just as a sob breaks from her lips.

There's nothing like the sight of an angry woman with tears in her eyes when it comes to snuffing out the camaraderie between two men so thoroughly.

Gabriel's jaw hangs open when that diminutive hurricane of silks sweeps past him in a storm of its own, staring at Olivia's back as she crosses the distance between herself and Matthieu. Cassiline survival instincts being what they are, his earlier smile wiped from his features entirely, he simply puts his hands to the back of his head and purses his lips in a silent whistle as he attempts to step out of the tent, thus abandoning his best friend to his fate. It may be his duty to protect Matthieu against all threats to his person, but he has enough experience with the tempers of women to know that this is definitely not part of his job description.

Matthieu, meanwhile, can see his friend attempting to slip out of the tent, his grin vanishing as his other childhood friend stalks him and before he knows it, Olivia - elegant, demure, shy Olivia - is punching him on the arm. His eyes go wide, and momentarily he, too, is staring at her with a slightly parted mouth, as if she had struck him across the face instead. Her words follow in short order - to stop, the implication of how reckless he was just now, followed by an unmistakable sob that rustles her veils.

Her irritation, he anticipated. But to be so angry to the point that she's actually crying? It is enough to tow down the battle high singing in his veins, brows furrowing as a strong hand clasps his fingers around her wrist in a gentle, but secure grip, before she attempts to give him another punch. And what follows after is…

…it may just be the adrenaline. It wouldn't be the first time he's made the mistake of touching her while seized by heightened emotion. But unless she protests, she'll find herself pulled towards the unyielding wall wrought by his broad shoulders and chest, arms and their whipcord musculature enveloping her in an embrace. A hand lifts, spanning the back of her be-veiled head, face turning into her hair….or it would have been, were it not for the protection of her veils. And protect them both, they do; Elua only knows what would happen if he gets a taste of those golden blonde tresses in the state he's in.

"I know," he tells her, his voice dropping to keep this conversation private, his breath stirring at the pins holding her silks in place. "I know you do. But it had to be done, Liv, I can't have the country thinking I'm crippled forever. That'll damage me more than any physical blow."

Olivia's strength abandons her, and her breath is as hot as her tears against Matthieu's chest as he gathers her in. "You scared me." Gabriel's abandonment of them isn't noticed since she's her back to where she'd left him, and she anchors herself to Matthieu with the aid of one arm that curls about his waist. Where he has regained much of his former strength and build, she's never been anything but as she is now; a slender and willowy slip of a thing. She fits easily into the protective framework of his arms and his torso as he seeks to keep their exchange private, her silks and veils doing much to aid the situation. "I hate you." She doesn't. Oh she so very much doesn't if her reaction is any measure of her feelings, and lashes that are spiked with tears blink hard against his chest. A kiss, or perhaps it's just the facsimile of one, that press of her mouth to flesh that's separated only by the sheerest of silks as she struggles to find further words to vent to her feelings.

"You're not crippled." Her voice is strained when she eventually speaks, and her head twists where it's caught beneath the edge of his jaw and his chin. She must have used lily-of-the-valley in her toilette today, for its gentle perfume stirs where caught in the mesh of her veils, weaving the delicacy of its scent about the pair of them as she catches his eyes with her own. "You are stubborn, Matthieu de Rocaille. You always were. Too stubborn and too proud, even if it hurt you to be so. You didn't listen when we were children, and I know you won't listen now. What am I to do with you?"

You scared me.

His sigh leaves him in a gust, his tone low but apologetic, despite not speaking the words themselves: "I know that, too."

I hate you.

Said even as she bands one arm around his waist and her tears seep through her veils, to scald his skin and stain his bandages. But the words only cause his arms to tighten around her, as if to prevent her from leaving - just in case she actually means it.

"No, you don't." To Matthieu's credit, it doesn't sound even remotely humored, an objective rebuttal and calling the truth as he sees it, without anything so condescending as a smile when he replies. It's strange, how he can manage to gird himself against the words she utters, no matter how staunchly it reflects the opposite, when he finds his insides twisting and tightening so painfully at the touch of her lips against his sternum. How is it that she always ends up here when their circumstances are at their most dangerous? She was a courtesan, trained to respond to every nuance her presence inflicts on another. Is she not aware of the dangers of approaching someone like him when freshly bloodied from war, no matter how it pretends to be the real thing?

Her quiet voice reaches him again; his head eases back at the twist of her own, northern glaciers meeting the deeper blues of the Eastern Sea. It's almost an unconscious gesture, when one of his hands lift, pushing under the veils that cover her face. All he wants to do is wipe away the tears he finds, thumbing them away. It's what he has always done, when they were children, these clumsy attempts to rid her of her sadness, from a boy who, at the time, didn't know what to do with a girl. But his palm finds the silken curve of her cheek, instead, radiating warmth and lulled by the lilies she wears upon her very air.

She calls him stubborn. She calls him proud. She is right on both counts, but he acts as if he's not listening, eyes half-lid by their proximity and thumbing away trails of moisture hidden by her veils. Calluses move over ivory and cream and despite himself, his head lowers further until their foreheads touch. And yet…

What am I to do with you?

"Forgive me," he suggests, quietly and seriously, that stroking thumb finding the corner of her mouth, delicate and pink and the shape of it thankfully hidden however partially by her veils. Every exhalation he makes mingles with her own, the rise and fall of his chest a labored thing in every stubborn attempt to grasp at the remains of his crumbling resolve and felt against her gentler form. "And my propensity to risk myself in order to protect what's mine." His face tilts the other way, the edge of his nose brushing hers. "Frightening you was the last thing I wanted."

Olivia shivers at the touch of Matthieu's hand beneath her veils, a thousand million synapses exploding at the intimacy of his thumb to her cheek, to her jaw, to the corner of her lips. Her eyes close when their foreheads touch, his still wearing the tracery of blood and sweat earned on in melee, her's virginal and pure, pale to his sun-worn. "Forgive you?" Her arm slides from where it'd been engaged about his waist, and her hand lifts to slip the edge of her veils from where hooked to its headpiece. It slides free and falls in a drift of white upon her collarbones, forgotten and abandoned as the hand that had struck him in anger, now gentles about the angle of his jaw and chin. Forehead to forehead, her chin lifts and the tip of her nose traces the side of his, the pad of her thumb finding the crease of his mouth before with and exhale of her breath, her lips replace it…

How could she be so responsive with just a single touch? Was it her? Was it her training? He doesn't know, but the cloud of white noise cottons his brain when she does absolutely nothing to alleviate their situation. It's been long enough since those flashfire days of his much younger self, where he would abandon himself to the transitory affections of the flowers of the Night Court - he barely remembers the rules. But every tremble she makes against his hand only heightens every biological impulse in him keyed to the act of taking. Claiming. Hunting those little vulnerabilities like a lion scenting blood on the grass.

He needs to pull away. But then he feels her shift and the veils are gone and…

Matthieu swears. It's low, utterly profane, and hoarse with want that threatens to split him from skull to groin. He's already moving the moment the softness of those delicate digits finds his jaw, traces the contours of him; the hand cupping her cheek tilts her head back and his lips seal over hers. The urge to be gentle is brief, but his blood runs white-hot from the fighting, still, and it isn't long before he's slanting his mouth hungrily into what she offers. He fills her with the taste of him, while she drowns him with her fragility and scent….everything about her as the restless dragons within him stir. One palm slides down her spine, fingers fanning out into the natural dip at the small of her back and pulls her closer still. Close enough for those silks to envelope him as completely as those lilies do. Close enough that it starts to become difficult to determine as to where his body ends and hers begins.

He breaks off after a moment, but not to end it. His face turns in a different angle, testing her defenses before his mouth finds hers again, drinking even more deeply than the first.

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous, but when the kiss breaks and, Olivia finds her voice. "I had to do that. At least once…." She pulls herself closer into Matthieu, her body fusing seamlessly with his wherever they touch. Is it a merely her training that makes her react in this manner? Or something more. Something deeper. Something that exists on a much more personal and baser level between herself and him. There's the span of a breath that's drawn in the wake of her words, and she takes this moment to recenter herself, the dip in her back deepening further as his hand slides the length of her spine to settle within the small of her back.

The decision to kiss for the first time is crucial. It changes the relationship of two people more than anything else that might follow, more than any eventual surrender; because a first kiss already has within it that surrender. Currents of desire and excitement. Things unspoken. Unbidden. It is as if quicksilver runs in her veins when he kisses her again, and as if something that had been buried was not quite dead. "Kiss me until I forget how terrified I am of everything in my life." When did she speak those words? On the cusp of the moment before they kissed again, when they drew apart with the taste of each other on their lips? Or did he merely imagine the words that were running through her thoughts when she lost herself within him.

Kiss me until…

Does she even know what she's asking? Desire and war ignite every synapse at the words, impulses spiderwebbing through his internal network and setting every part of him on fire. Chances are even if she didn't utter a word, Matthieu would continue kissing her anyway - but to hear her say it, to confess her own passions, renders him almost lightheaded with how excited that gets him. Not just because of how she's so different from how she usually is in this state, but also because it lets him know, indubitably, that she isn't being the Alyssums' Second. Whatever artifice she has employed on others is completely lost here in the cage he makes around her.

This much need - and that is no exaggeration - stands a very real risk of causing something to break, and there are parts of Matthieu that have already been broken off him, perhaps lost forever in the bloody path he has been dragged upon in the last three years. It leaves his normally crystal-sharp mind in a muddle, all sense and reason flying away and leaving nothing but a tortured framework of repressed passions and unfettered instincts, ironclad discipline fraying to the thinnest thread as he kisses her, and kisses her, and kisses her. His mouth is ruthless in its plunder of the silken confines of her own, his tongue a heated and demanding conqueror, seeking to drain her of breath while he shortens his own. The palm against the small of her back applies pressure again until the inevitable happens when he hauls her up into his lap until her knees frame either sides of him, silks flowing after and pooling around him.

His hands start to wander, because he can't help it. Increasingly deepening kisses are punctuated by the pass of his hand over the line of her leg, the five-point array his digits make against the small of her back kneading before slipping upwards. Both span over gentle hips, her narrow waist, one seeking the higher edge of her ribcage until his thumb finds the underside of her bosom's gentle swell. He bites back another curse, smothered on her lips, his mouth disengaging as it continues to hunt for more of her softness - tracing the line of her jaw, dripping hot, open-mouthed presses down her throat.

"Liv…" he whispers, breathless. He sounds like he's run a mile. He sounds like she's stabbed him. She'd be rewarded by the knowledge that she isn't the only one affected; tremors ripple down his muscled back at the effort to keep that single, frayed thread intact. His head tilts, to deposit the following words directly into her ear. "If you don't forget sometime soon, I'm going to end up taking you here."

Everywhere Matthieu touches Olivia is fire, her whole body burning up, the two of them becoming twin points of the same, bright white flame. Intoxicating. Exhilarating.


"Matthieu…" Her voice cracks somewhere deep in her chest with what he says to her, and her other hand lifts to cup the other cheek so his face is cradled within both hands. Her mouth is so terribly soft beneath his, her teeth catching to his lower lip as his breath becomes hers. Hers his. When had her knees bracketed to his hips in this manner? She settles heavily into his lap, no flush of embarrassment to be found in her face at the evidence found to support what he says. Her spine is a slow undulation as she forgets herself and presses herself closer, the world beyond the canvas walls of tent being pushed from conscious thought with the sudden need to demean and destroy her fabricated self.

"You two done fighting yet?" Gabe's voice drifts through the parting of the entrance.

Deep down, some part of him is hoping that her more demure self would assert its dominance over her once again, to be scared off, somehow, by the brutally honest words he says to her. And just when he thinks he can predict what she would do, Matthieu finds himself once again turned over his head when her negligible weight doesn't just settle into his lap, but also press full flush against the very persistent evidence of everything he wants to do to her, incidentally also the things he is desperately trying not to inflict upon her. But she is never one to make it easy, is she?

And when her body lowers and her hips dip, her elegant frame hiking higher up against him and aggravating every nerve screaming to tear her apart, he can't help but crush his mouth back into hers, following the insistent cling of her teeth against it. It leaves his fingers raking at her hips through silk, drawing her down further while he twists upwards, so she could become fully, sharply aware as to what she's doing to him - the kind of monster she's on the verge of unleashing.

You two done fighting yet?

Gabriel. The words are like a lighting strike. Matthieu's head lifts to stare at the front of the tent, eyes incandescent with frustration and no small measure of relief. His hands remain on her hips…but he can't bring himself to stop. Not yet. His eyes return to Olivia's as he keeps her drawn tightly against him. The look within those irises is indescribable, dark and hungry as they eagerly drink in the sight of her heightened color, how she looks at him…how she feels while she burns with his every touch and movement.

"In a minute." His voice manages, miraculously, to sound level once raised, though he's still looking at her in a way that suggests that he might still do what he threatens. "She's still composing herself."

…but with that said, he takes a breath, and starts to loosen his hold on her.

Bucket. Water. Cold. Olivia cannot hold back the fiery blush that rises to her cheeks. ""Ne sois pas desole, car je ne suis pas. You made me feel alive again, if only for a moment." Matthieu will feel the lift of her weight from his lap as she slides from it, and her own breath comes as hard as his. She looks all too much like a angel when she looks down at him, their passions have loosened her veils from her head, and the wheaten blonde that he'll recall from the aftermath of the lake, softens once more the edges of her face. "I wish there were something I could say that would keep you safe, Matthieu." A bite to her lip. "Something that would make you promise that you will not so needlessly put yourself in danger again as you did today, but I know that you would break your promise, no matter how much you might try to abide by it. It's who you are, and I understand. So though I will not attempt to extract such a promise, I hold my hands over the ears of my heart, so that I will not hate you for simply being you." A beat. "We should go, before Gabe comes to check for himself I've not killed you."

What can he say to that litany she delivers the moment she slides off his lap? Matthieu stares at her incredulously from where he sits. "It wasn't…" Needless, he intends to say. He would explain, but at the fiery blush on her features and the honest way she pours the contents of her heart upon the lap the warmth of her just left behind, he can't help but groan with exasperation…and no small measure of frustration that has absolutely nothing to do with her own reticence to listen to him. The man buries his face in one hand, instead of finishing the thought, raking fingers through his sweat-dampened hair. "You're impossible," he grouses. Despite the words, however, there is an unmistakable undercurrent of affection that she will not be able to miss.

Finally, and with some discomfort, he rises from the cot, his shadow dwarfing her own when he looks down at her and those glowing cheeks, the way her teeth clip into her lower lip and forces blood to push up and heighten its color. It's a sight that batters at his will, the urge to do all of it all over again, and more, nearly suffocating him. His hands lift, to draw her veils over her face once again.

"You leave yourself too vulnerable to me," he tells her quietly. It's an observation…and a warning. But once she's safely ensconced within her silks, his hand drops, lifting up her own, if she allows him, and presses a kiss on the tender space between her knuckles. His eyes do not leave her own through the gesture.

And with that, he turns on his heel, dragging his shirt and jacket off the post of the cot, to shrug both over his shoulders as he vacates the tent. He doesn't dare look back, not trusting the integrity of his recovering self-control.

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