(1310-10-01) The Birthday Gift
Summary: Following a night in each other's company, Olivia presents Matthieu with a belated birthday gift.
RL Date: October 1st, 2019
Related: Inadvisable Need and Breaking Barriers
matthieu olivia 

Olivia's Chambers

Liquid satisfaction and exhaustion has driven Matthieu de Rocaille in the deepest sleep he has ever had in years.

He hadn't stopped taking her throughout the night - brief bits of sleep before urges would reassert themselves and he's kissing her again. The cycle had repeated through the darkest hours amidst the dim light of her room and the sound of pouring rain outside, until bodies are simply unable to continue and he's left entangled with her smaller, softer frame and sinking into dreams that were, for once, not flooded with the horrific images of the last three years. A man could easily get used to it, especially one who has endured what he has.

Normally one who rises at dawn, he is still surprisingly quiet and unconscious the moment the first rays of the Autumn sun spill from the far-flung horizon, glistening off beads of water left by the evening before's rain. It leaves Olivia's bedroom somewhat chilly, the ambient temperature somewhat alleviated by the press of his warm body against hers, entangled in sheets left in disarray from last night's persistent bonfire of wants and needs. They've lost their clothes sometime during the night, a bare, heavy arm draped over her and his chest pressed against her back, his face buried in the luxurious tangle of wheat-gold hair left in haphazard swirls over her pillows.

Fall birds start to chirp outside of her windows, shafts of pale light filtering through her drapes. To Matthieu's credit, he doesn't snore, but he does breathe, every deep inhalation drawing in the scent of her skin and hair, lingering traces of sweat and the faint musk of sex.

Olivia should wake. The thought nudges at the back of her skull as the slant of the sun through the drapes catches the edge of one foot where it's left uncovered by the tangle of bedclothes. But she can't. To wake would be to break the spell, and she's enjoying what lingers of it whilst she still can. Somewhere deep in her waking thoughts she feels the press of Matthieu's chest to her back, the steady rise and fall of it that tells of a person in the deepest of slumbers. A breath in. A breath out. She fits almost entirely within the framework that arms, torso and his legs make around her, and the smallest of stretches to ease the muscles that are languid and tired pushes the curve of her back into the curve of his belly. She pulls an arm free of the swathe of covers in order to drag a handful of them across her stomach. As much as she wants to remain committed to the peace that sleep has brought with it, a wakefulness starts to claim her, and inch by slow inch she comes alive to the fit of their bodies; where they touch, and how they touch, and inch by slow inch she remembers all the places that they'd touched through the night.

Eyes lid with the warmth of colour that finds it's way to her cheeks, and feigning sleep she turns, rolling over and into his weight, her head tucking to his chest as one leg pushes between his to anchor herself into his frame.

Every man who has ever slept with another person is an expert at moving when prompted, despite the lack of consciousness. At her gentle nudging, he turns over without opening his eyes, the drape of his arm following her when she tilts on her axis until the side of her head rests against the side of his chest. It leaves him on his back, his other arm stretched out on the other side of the bed, silver-gold hair falling over his brow. It isn't to say that he is angelic when he sleeps, as shattered fragments of sunlight find the side of his sun-darkened face, but while peacefully sleeping, he seems less severe, somehow. In the depths of it, he looks younger than his thirty years.

But the shift in positions prompts him to stir eventually, eyes the color of pale ice look all the more so under the influence of the day, the silver storms within them reflecting them. But they shut again, stubborn as ever, turning his face until his nose and mouth find her golden hair and breathes in. The arm curled around her drapes its hand over the gentle dip of her waist, fingers loosely splaying in a five-point array, finding skin as soft and smooth as silk.

"I can't again yet," Matthieu mutters against her scalp. "Give me another half hour."

It might be a joke. That might be the shape of an faint smile pressed against her follicles.

But it might not.

A kiss is pressed to Matthieu's chest, Olivia's lips finding the subtlety of that curved dip between muscles that separate pectorals from ribs. He'll feel the filtering of a breath that's warmed by her mouth as she traces that line with the tip of her nose, her eyes finally opening, as with an uptilt of her head, her chin marks the spot that she'd kissed. "Really?" Doubt and delight both, show in her voice, and her leg hooks further across his as she hitches herself even closer. Hair a halo of gold tumbles to frame a face that's so very few have seen without her veils, and the hand not trapped between her weight and the mattress reaches to drag the bedclothes to cover the nakedness of her limbs. Eyes languid with memories of the hours that they'd lost show humor when met with by his. "I'm expecting with every moment to hear Gabriel knock. He'll be worrying when he realises you didn't return home." A shift of her weight as her leg hitches higher. "He'll have questions, so I hope that you're prepared." That Gabriel might already have returned to Rose Sauvage is a fact that inescapable, though there's no evidence of such as yet. She grows more sober, and fingers release the sheet that she's drawn, finding a home instead in a splay across his chest. A beat. "Regrets?"


"If you're not careful, fifteen minutes," Matthieu rumbles, his languid syllables lost in her hair. Every shift of her body pushes him further to the land of the living and wakeful, and the hand that isn't touching her moves to splay over the knee she's hiked up against him, somewhere near the defined ridges of his abdomen. Fingers close over the delicate hinge, thumb rolling absently on the tender hollow at the side of the cap. It proves difficult to resist a higher caress, the breadth of his palm smoothing over the outside of her thigh, memorizing the shape of her there by feel. Only a few minutes awake and he doesn't even bother to resist availing himself to the sensation of having her warm and living underneath his touch.

His eyes finally crack open, his silvered stare meeting the deep ocean blues of hers. "He knows I'm with you and he probably spent the night across the street," he tells her. "But yes, I'm certain the questions will be many, though he knows me better than I know myself, I doubt he thinks I'll be less than discreet."

He doesn't move when she attempts to arrange the blanket higher up their naked bodies; deep down, he wonders what the use of that would be when he intends to do what he promises, and the covers will be left in further disarray than they had been the evening before. But the questing hand over her thigh moves away in favor of the hand splayed over his chest, curling fingers around her palm and drawing it to his mouth. He leaves a languid, absent kiss on her thumb, and proceeds to do the same, unhurried, on all the pads of her digits.


"My only regret is that I couldn't go on for one more hour," he tells her. He gives her a sidelong glance, before he shifts, to turn her over until she's on her back, his hand releasing her own so he could cup her face, his thumb tracing her cheek as he looks down at her, his weight on his side.

"But at that point, your eyes were heavy and blank after everything I've done to you," he continues, voice low.

Once again, Matthieu's teasing is Olivia's undoing. Her eyes lid as his hand cups her face, and another blush rises to claim its place in her cheeks. Tousled and tumbled, she's replete and warm beneath him as one arm snakes around his back. What thoughts are being spun behind those eyes where they rest in his? What memories are being made? Memories perhaps that will be brought out and examined over and over in the days that are to come. But the sex? The sex will have a more immediate permanence. It'll stay with her long after he himself has left. It's soaked into her skin, and will float in her dreams. It'll smolder with delicious remembrance for hours after he's risen from her bed and returned to his own, and leave her craving his touch for days…

A languid finger traces down his back, her touch sensitive to the scars, the nicks and the cuts that mark it so deeply. Lazy circles are trailed around the welts and the weals, as she makes of them a delicate artwork all of her own. The ruination of his back has been added to in the depths of their passion, just as he's similarly left his own marks of possession on he; Bruises lifted with teeth and lips on the virgin canvas of her skin.

"I have something for you." she whispers, her arms curling tighter about his waist as with the smallest lift of her head from the pillow, she touches the tip of her nose to the side of his. "But you have to close your eyes."

He imprints this expression of hers in his memories; tangled in sheets, naked underneath, how golden swirls of her hair cloud around her face, her eyes heavy and lidded by the first minutes' foray into wakefulness, the glow on her cheeks left by his teasing and how her lips part to form every word she utters. He wasn't aware that he has left so many motes of his presence from the last night, eyes that miss nothing sweeping over the bruises left on her pallor. He tries to find the guilt that ought to be there, for being ungentle in his attempts to not just take her, but consume her and everything she offered him, but finds none of it in the end. If she was unhappy, she would have told him by now.

And by the way she looks at him, Matthieu can ascertain, at least, that she is anything but.

His scars will fade in time, but they remain stark reminders of everything he has endured. There's no pain when she traces the rough roadmap of his life so indelibly slashed onto his skin. She doesn't seem to mind that either, and there's a part of him that is relieved that she doesn't - he wasn't beautiful by d'Angeline standards, handsome but in a severe sort of way that can't be further from angelic, and neither was he perfect in character or appearance.

I have something for you.

Her soft whisper pulls him out of his very attentive scrutiny of how she looks waking after a night of…were there any words to describe what they did? How he was? His taking had bordered on obsessive, single-minded in his every attempt to touch, kiss, and have every inch of her. Even her inner wrist has a small bruise, just underneath where Felipe's token hangs. He had wondered whether she would wake up with fear in her eyes after all of it; it wouldn't be the first, there have been lovers in his past who considered his intensity a monstrous thing.

But she is all softness and affection. Especially in this state, Matthieu is unable to resist her, the touch of her nose drawing him closer to part her mouth with his and kiss her, fingers threading into those gilded tresses. Did he say fifteen minutes?

"In a minute," he mutters against her mouth. A pause. "….two minutes."

More than. He tilts his face in an angle, drinking deeply from the softness of her. He doesn't know whether he's managed to stop after two, or if he continued for longer. Kissing Olivia has always left him with the impression that it was simultaneously endless, and yet not long enough.

But finally, he pulls away from her, his thumb tracing the shape of her bottom lip. "Alright, closing my eyes." And he does. He doesn't even ask why, and while he can be so difficult to read emotionally, he clearly trusts her.

Is there anything more lovely than a woman who's lips are flushed and swollen after being thoroughly kissed after a long endless night? A smile melts on those freshly kissed lips, and Olivia lingers until Matthieu's eyes are closed, her hands lifting to settle on his shoulders, to gently push at his weight as she manoeuvres herself out from beneath him. She leaves the warmth of her body in the bed when she rises; the scent of her perfume and the musk of their sex impregnated deeply in the threads of the sheets and the pillows.

Unbound and ungathered, her hair falls in loose waves to a point midway between the angles that the blades of her shoulders make with her spine, as on silent feet she pads to a pale-painted armoire of five-drawers' height, and pulls the uppermost of those drawers open. Something is claimed from amongst the silks and personal treasures that it contains; a plainly wrapped box that's tied with a ribbon. White, of course. Long limbs rearrange themselves back on the bed, the mattress sinking beneath her weight as she takes a moment to draw the sheet up and over the cross of her legs.

"Okay, you can open them now." Matthieu will find her looking at him intently when he does, the package held within one hand which dangles upon the apex of her knee. "I meant to give this to you on the twenty-sixth but , you know. Things happened." A smiled kiss to his cheek. "Happy birthday Matthieu, and I'm sorry it's late."

He follows her silent directive, gentle hands pushing him away and he releases her, albeit with subtle reluctance, to drop back on the mattress and rest there, arms spread to his sides. Now that he's becoming more awake, he can feel the welts she has left on his back, fresh ones to add to the tapestry of his life etched upon it, and the dull aches and pains on his legs and arms, the base of his abdomen - he is used to pain, but the ghosts of these fresh exertions are more pleasant than anything he has endured in a long time. It is akin to the pleasant fatigue one gets after rigorous exercise.

Matthieu keeps his eyes closed, depriving himself of the sight of her naked and moving with the airy grace reminiscent of fantastic wind spirts that he read about when he was young. He has already earned her displeasure by being stubborn and set in his ways, he doesn't intend to cheat her, this time, of the novelty of doing what she tells him, for once in his life. It's only when she tells him to open his eyes that he does, sitting up on the bed once she comes close, the hard-cut definition of his athletic frame pushed to sharp relief as his spine curls inward, legs drawing up slightly by the knees. He takes the box, though he gives her intent look a curious glance. But without another word, he unravels the ribbons and unwraps the gifts.

Her favor has somehow found his wrist by the end of last evening, braided and pulled around his left.

"Liv, you didn't have to get me anything," he tells her after a pause. "I confess I'd have forgotten…I was just…" He hesitates, rare enough, that, never one to admit to the contents of his heart so readily. "…I was just relieved to be home," he finishes quietly.

There's a certain reverence when he picks up the compass rose, tilting it in his hand and inspects it with all the curious and studious assessment of a scion of Shemhazai. "It's surprisingly intricate," he decides, turning the lid up to examine the details within. "It almost looks like a blossom."

A beat, before he leans back against the pillows, shoulders against the wall. His arm lifts in invitation, so she could tuck back against his side if she wants. One hand maintains that careful cradle around the gift. "Tell me about it?" he asks.

Olivia happily reclaims her position, tucking herself into the warmth of the hollow formed in the span of Matthieu's arm and the curve of his side. "I often spend time in the Explorer's Club on the upper levels of Monsieur Raziel's shop, looking at the maps on the walls and the books that he keeps." she tells him, drawing her knees up and angling them over his legs. "We got talking, he and I, and he suggested this. Do you like it?" Matthieu will feel the shift of Olivia's weight as she makes herself more comfortable against him, her head tilting into his shoulder as she directs her attention towards the compass. With a solemn voice she instructs him in her gift. "Around the edges of the dial are the names of the winds that a sailor would know. The Greco from the northeast, the Mastro from the northwest. Ostro from the south, and so on…" She recites the names as she reads them out, the touch of her finger light open the highly polished brass within which the compass sits. "And here," she slips the edge of one nail beneath the intricate arm of the sundial, "the manner with which to discern your direction. Monsieur Raziel tells me that the way in which the face is divided has earned it the name of a compass rose. I'm not so sure that it looks like a rose, but it looks like a flower…"

Her head tips up, and a kiss is pressed to his chest on her way to finding his eyes with hers. Achingly blue they meet with his, and the smile on her face loses a little of itself as with a bite of her lip, she continues more seriously. "It's so you don't get lost again, Matthieu. So that you will always have the means with which to find your way home."

He listens in silence to Olivia's explanations - a man who tries to keep both feet on the ground or on a horse at all times, the practical applications of seafaring are lost to him. He knows what a compass is, but the mechanisms within the gift are unfamiliar and alien and as always, when confronted by a curious thing, he must delve into its mysteries. So when his childhood friend takes up the task of instructing him, he is an attentive listener, his interest a genuine thing. She would know, for his brows draw down thoughtfully as he examines the gift again, watches where she points.

"It does look like a flower," he agrees in the end, committing the other facts to memory - not just of the item, but how it came to her possession…and the intention behind it. A thumb quietly strokes over the details with a light touch and once she resettles against him close enough to kiss his chest and meets his eyes, he is silent for long moments. There are storms in his eyes - they tend to be their most turbulent when he allows himself to feel. He may not describe what they are, but that doesn't mean that he is incapable of acknowledging their existence. He does. More often, Gabriel would say, than he would like.

Finally, quietly: "You know me so well."

It is not an easy feat - Olivia has the advantage of years of acquaintanceship, but for a man like Matthieu de Rocaille, they do not necessarily help with his tendency to keep himself guarded and buttressed against any invader. It's then that he turns his face to find her hair again, closing his eyes.

So does he like it?

"I do, if not just for the fact that it reflects a part of you." And because of the intention behind it: "I'll keep it with me always."

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