He pulled off his mask, laughing at something his sparring partner had said, tucking his épée under his arm as he ran his fingers through his matted, sweaty hair. I tore my eyes away from him, resolutely assuming the stance my instructor was demonstrating and pretending that I hadn’t been watching him. I focused for the rest of the lesson. I never let my eyes stray from my instructor and watched my opponents like a hawk.
We were all beginners, so we were all clumsy and slow, slow enough for the instructor to bark reminders at us about stance, posture, and footwork at us as we sparred, but before long, the lesson was over and we were all sweating as we saluted the coach with our foils and headed toward the locker room. I tugged my mask off my head, shaking my head irritably to get rid of the headache it still gave me even now. Feliciano was nowhere to be seen, so I ducked into the girl’s locker room to change clothes, pulling my gear off as fast as I could and shoving it into my bag so I wouldn’t have to smell it. I toweled myself off briefly after taking a moment to determine that I could just go home to shower tonight rather than showering here. I slung my blue duffel bag over my shoulder after I got dressed and headed out. Feliciano was waiting at the door, leaning casually against the wall in a black, collared shirt and blue jeans, his hair wet from the shower. His eyes crinkled with affection as I paused in front of him.
“How was the lesson, bella?” he asked, opening the door for me. I went through it, Feli close on my heels as I made my way to his little sedan and waited for him to open the trunk.
“Hard,” I muttered, glowering at him, “I don’t know how I let you talk me into this. I look like a hippopotamus next to you. Clumsy and stupid.” He chuckled as he opened the trunk and slung our bags in before shutting it.
“I’ve been doing this for years, bella,” he said, “You’ve only been taking lessons for a month. And clumsy, maybe, but never stupid.”
“I still want to beat your ass with my sword,” I mumbled as I got in the car. He heard and laughed at me again.
“Which one?” he asked, “Your little foil or my épée?” He turned the key and the engine hummed to life, purring as he put the car in reverse and backed out of the spot.
“Whatever’s going to hurt more,” I grumbled, fiddling with the air conditioner and getting hit in the face with a blast of blessedly cool air as compensation for my efforts.
“Well, the foil will sting, but if you really want to beat me, my épée might be a better choice,” he said, chuckling again. “Will that help you keep your weapons straight?” I made a frustrated noise and threw my hands up.
“Do not turn my misery here into a way for me to keep my swords straight,” I growled, “I could care less about the stupid things at the moment.”
“Bella, you wound me,” Feli pouted, turning big-brown puppy dog eyes on me so I would have a guilt-trip, but my irritation only increased.
“Don’t look at me like that,” I snapped, “I know what you’re doing. Keep your eyes on the road.” Feli smirked, tossing chestnut hair out of his olive-skinned face.
“Tell me, then, what am I doing?” he asked lightly, and I scowled at him.
“You’re trying to make me feel guilty for insulting your sport,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest and staring at the road, looking longingly at a sports car passing us with a snarl of its engine. The windows were tinted so dark that I couldn’t even see the driver, but the sleek lines of the car were enough to make me jealous.
“You see right through me!” Feli exclaimed, raising his eyebrows as he caught my attention again, “You are very perceptive!” I couldn’t help laughing at his cheerful grin at being caught trying to manipulate me again. Thank heavens Feli was good-natured, because otherwise he would have manipulated the world into chaos and ruin. It was hard to know sometimes when he was being genuine and when he was simply acting to get what he wanted. He was a sneaky bastard, but if you knew him well enough, it was easier to see when he was being real and when he was manipulating you. Or at least it was sometimes.
“Yeah, I know you, Feli,” I said, poking him in the arm as he pulled into the parking lot for our apartment complex, navigating his way around the twisting road to the correct building. “I know how you do these things, get me to give in and just agree with you.”
“Ah, but I always want you to agree with me,” he said, smiling, but his honey brown eyes were scrutinizing me. He was being real this time, and I leaned over to kiss him on the cheek as a reward for being honest.
“Very sweet,” I said, “But you’ll have to do better than that.” I got out of the car, Feli hurrying around to the trunk and grabbing the bags as I skipped up the stairs, picking through my keys.
“You better not try to lock me out again,” Feli called from the bottom, trying to get up the staircase faster, but hampered by the two bags he carried as he turned the corner and got caught on the break in the bannister. I shoved the key in the lock and turned it gleefully.
“Of course not!” I sang back, shutting the door behind me and turning the deadbolt. I heard the tri-fold thump as Feli ran into the door and I laughed, leaning against it and looking through the peephole at Feli’s indignant face.
“You are in so much trouble!” he exclaimed through the door, “But if you open the door now, I won’t punish you too much. But no pasta for you tonight!”
“Can I negotiate?” I asked immediately since one of my favorite things in the world was Feli’s fresh linguine alfredo.
“Not unless you open the door,” Feli answered, and I flipped the bolt back and opened the door, stepping back so that he had enough room to squeeze past me with the bags and into the hall.
“I want linguine alfredo,” I demanded immediately, closing the door and locking it. He dropped the bags and turned to regard me shrewdly.
“What do I get?” he retorted, “You locked me out. You don’t get to make demands!”
“What do you want?” I asked, putting my hands on my hips and staring him down. A smile curled his lips, one that did not bode well for me. It was hungry, wolfish even, and his eyes gleamed with the pleasure of seeing a plan well carried out.
“I want you to play a game with me,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest.
“No,” I said immediately, and his face crumpled and fell.
“But why?” he pouted.
“Not with that face!” I said, pointing at him accusingly, “That face you just had on told me that I’m about the get the short end of the stick.” A strange expression crossed his face, and then the wolfish smile was back.
“More like the long end,” he said, his voice dropping an octave. A shiver raced up my spine and my finger wavered. I backed away from him.
“Is that what you had in mind?” I asked, my voice squeaking, “No!” He pouted again, drifting closer and reaching for me, hooking his fingers in the belt loops of my jeans to pull me against him.
“But why not, bella?” he repeated himself, his Italian accent becoming more noticeable. I bit my lip. It just wasn’t fair that he was not only attractive, but had amazing manipulation skills and that damned accent. If anyone could get whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, it was Feli, and I certainly wasn’t immune to his charm.
“It’s not as if you won’t like this game,” he cajoled, dropping his face down to mine so that his breath ghosted over and warmed my lips. His breath smelled of coffee and I leaned into him, inhaling.
“I’m hungry,” I mumbled, trying to concentrate, but knowing it was a poor excuse.
“I’ll make you pasta later,” he said smugly, knowing he was probably going to get his way, “Fettuccine alfredo. With chicken caesar salad and there’s cannolis in the freezer for dessert.” I shifted nervously from foot to foot.
“Uhm, I need a shower…” I said, trailing off and wincing as I thought about how I probably smelled.
“Not right now, you don’t,” Feli murmured, kissing me to keep me from talking, his hands shifting from my jeans to the small of my back. It really wasn’t a bad deal: food and sex with Feli made it a win-win situation for me, but I did try to resist because Feli needed to know that he couldn’t always have his way. Clearly, today was not the day he was going to learn that lesson.
“Bedroom,” he commanded, turning me around abruptly and slapping me smartly on the ass so that I leaped nearly three feet down the hall with the surprise of it. I recovered with a stuttering step before scrambling into the bedroom we shared with him right behind me.
“So what’s this game?” I asked, turning and having him nearly run into me with the abruptness of my stop. He tucked hair behind my ear with a winning smile.
“It’s pretty simple,” he said, “I will tell you what I want and you will give it to me.”
“Anything?” I asked nervously, and he kissed my forehead softly to reassure me.
“Nothing we haven’t done before, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he murmured.
“Okay,” I whispered, and then I backed away from him, ready for his first command. He leaped lithely onto the bed, landing on all fours and then turning to face me, leaning back on his elbows and making himself comfortable.
“Come here and kiss me,” he murmured. I made my way to the end of the bed, climbing on it and slinking toward him on my hands and knees. His eyes went wide, and then narrowed as he watched me, his lips pursed as he considered my apparent enthusiasm for his game. I crawled over him, straddling his hips with my knees as I pressed my lips to his. I pulled away after a moment and waited for his next command.
“Kiss me properly,” he complained, realizing his game was starting to backfire on him. I smirked, but did as he asked because that was the rule: he asked and I gave. I slipped my tongue past his lips to dance with his. He tipped his head back, breaking our kiss to breathe.
“Take the shirt off,” he murmured, having had a moment to regain his self-control. I reared up on my knees and pulled my shirt over my head.
“Get rid of the bra too,” he said, and I reached behind my back to unhook the clasp, tossing both on the floor. I waited.
“I want to touch your breasts,” he said softly, pausing to sit up and then he took one in each palm, wrapping his fingers around the flesh and squeezing gently and stroking them with his fingers. I squirmed a little; suddenly unsure if I could win the game, but I was still willing to try.
“I want to touch your nipples,” he whispered, stroking the tips of my breasts with his fingers, pinching, squeezing, and twisting. I shivered, bracing myself on his shoulders as he stared up at me with heavy lidded eyes. He was smirking again and I gritted my teeth as another shudder raced up my body.
“I want you to lose the pants and panties,” he said with an anticipatory grin. I winked at him as I got off of him, wriggling out of my jeans and underwear and dropping them over the side of the bed. In the meantime, Feli scooted back on the bed to lean against the headboard, his knees drawn up. I moved to kneel between his knees, resting my cheek against one as I regarded him fondly to cover my nervousness.
“Turn around and sit on my lap,” he ordered with a lazy smile, and I did so. His arms came around me to roll the tip of one nipple idly as he added, “Put your legs over mine.” I hesitated, but lifted my legs so that his drawn up knees spread my thighs wide. I was starting to see where he was going with this.
“Hands behind my head, bella,” he purred in my ear, and I twined my fingers at the back of his neck. In this position, he had full and ready access to my body, and I wasn’t sure that I liked that. I felt exposed. I flushed with embarrassment.
“Relax,” he said, running his tongue along the shell of my ear, “You’re tense. And shaking. I want you to relax, bella, no need to be nervous. I just want to touch you.” His voice was a low, soothing croon, and his hands were on me just as soon as the words had escaped his lips. He weighed my breasts briefly, and then ran his hands down the front of my torso, stroking the flesh over my ribs and the curve of my belly, pausing just above my pubic bone.
“I want you to tell me where you want me to touch you,” he hummed in my ear, and I could just hear the smirk in his voice.
“A little lower,” I mumbled, twisting my fingers together. His fingertips danced perhaps an inch downward, their touch light and maddening, leaving tingles of something that wasn’t quite fire and wasn’t quite electricity in their wake. I pressed my hips up, trying to move his hand lower, but he was stubborn and wanted to win this game, so he used his other hand, which had been resting on my thigh, to hold my hips against him. I could feel him now, the length of him, covered by his clothing, pressed along the cleft of my ass and I writhed against it, knowing that it would make him uncomfortable instead of me. He growled, a deep, guttural, animal sound that made me bite my lip to contain my whimper. I would have given nearly anything for him to just lose the clothes and take me, but that was not the game we were playing.
“Are you going to tell me where you really want me to touch you?” he asked.
“Between my legs,” I breathed, “Please.”
“Good girl,” he said, his fingers sliding down to separate my labia and circle my vagina. I stiffened, my back arching as I pressed into his hand. His fingers slid into me unexpectedly and I bit back a moan, trying to breathe. He had such talented hands, and to have them working inside of me was a kind of paradise, though nothing compared to the heaven of his tongue.
“I want you to tell me how it feels, bella,” he said.
“Amazing,” I whimpered, my voice faint, “It feels so good, Feli. Please don’t stop!” His free hand left my hip and he slipped the fingers of that hand into me as he withdrew the others, using the slickness on his fingers to stroke my clit. I cried out, my hips rising and falling with the rhythm of his hands, only vaguely aware of my motion as I tried to get more and more contact with his fingers. I wanted him harder, deeper, faster, but all I could do, according to the rules of this stupid game, was give him what he wanted. He hadn’t said he wanted to take me yet, but I was desperately hoping he would get bored and get to the main event.
“Tell me how close you are,” he murmured, and the pressure was so close to bursting that I couldn’t answer for a moment.
“Just a little more,” I hissed, gritting my teeth, and then all of my awareness rushed to the juncture between my thighs where Feli’s fingers were buried in me. I made a strangled noise as I shook and trembled in his arms and he whispered Italian words I didn’t understand in my ear. I heard a shaky cry and realized that it was my voice, and then Feli had easily lifted me off his lap and laid me down on the bed in front of him on my stomach. He unbuckled his belt and undid his jeans, shoving them down just far enough to expose the length of him and then he was on my back, sliding into me from behind. I mewled, lifting my buttocks into him so that he went deeper and he groaned softly, shivering against my back. I could feel the buttons of his shirt against my skin, and the smooth softness of the fabric. The rough material of the denim bunched around his thighs chafed the back of my legs a little as he rolled his hips against me, his breath coming in shaky gasps.
“You are so hot, bella,” he growled, “All that squirming against me, I thought I was going to lose it in my pants.”
“Can’t have that,” I panted, and he laughed half-heartedly, too distracted by finally being inside of me. He pressed his open mouth against my shoulder blade, laving it with his tongue in a way that felt positively lascivious. I wriggled impatiently, crying out when it changed the angle and Feli pushed himself up, pressing me down in the mattress by my shoulders as he drove into me savagely, hard and fast, holding that angle with his usual finesse. Every exhale came out of my mouth as a cry for more, and I spread my knees across the bed, pressing higher so that he could go deeper. I writhed under him, unable to control my thrashing as he pushed me toward a second orgasm that I teetered on the edge of dangerously before plunging into the oblivion of heat and sensation, feeling like the only thing keeping me from flying up and into the ceiling was Feli’s weight on me. He lunged into me with a grunt, holding himself there as he trembled over me, and then he let himself down on my back slowly, gently. Still, I whined as the motion shifted him inside me, and he nuzzled the side of my neck in response, pulling out quickly and shushing me when I attempted to protest.
“You didn’t ask for permission to fuck me,” I mumbled as he rolled off of me. He chuckled as he kicked off his jeans and underwear, and then stripped his shirt over his head before flopping back onto the bed.
“I didn’t think I needed permission for that,” he teased me. I curled against his side and he cradled me against him. “Besides the game was for me to tell you want I wanted from you.”
“You didn’t tell me you wanted to fuck me,” I insisted, slurring my words a little.
“Bella, I’m making you pasta tonight, isn’t that payment enough for breaking the rules a little?” he coaxed, tipping my chin up so that he could reach my lips for a kiss.
“A little?” I grumbled, “That was the only rule as far as I knew.”
“True, but you didn’t exactly mind, did you?” he said smugly.
I had no argument for that, but he did keep his promise make me fettuccine alfredo later while I was in the shower. And though we never really discussed it, it was safe to assume we had both won the game.