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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Mad About You
The house was dark and the air stale from the windows being shut and doors closed. Few torches were lit and throughout the home there was the deafening dullness of silence. The house had once been light and loud with the sound of footsteps and voice, rustling and jingles and bangs coming from the kitchen and garden and all around. No more.
Marc Antony had allowed Servilia to stay in her home but in turn he had turned it into a prison.
Octavia nodded to the soldier on guard outside of Servilia's bedroom, watching as he looked behind her before finally nodding back at her and moving away from the door and down the hall. The guard was more of an insult than a necessary precaution, Servilia wasn't going to make a run for it, Antony just wanted her to know that while she still lived in the house it was no longer hers.
Octavia lifted her hands to her head as the guards footsteps faded into the distance pushing off the hood of her cloak before staring at the large doors in front of her. She had passed through them so many times, the room beyond and all that surrounded had become like a second home to her. She knew that above the door handles the wood was scared where Brutus had slashed it with a sword as a child playing soldier as boys did. She knew that the blemish could have been fixed but that Servilia ordered it to remain and would often run her fingers over it fondly as they entered the room.
She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath. It wasn't the time to lose herself in memories. Straightening her posture and schooling her face Octavia reached for door and pulled it open quickly stepping beyond the threshold.
Servilia did not turn around at the sound of the door opening or closing or as Octavia took a few small steps towards where she was seated at her dressing table, the flickering light of a single candle perched near the edge of the table providing the only light in the room.
It was only when moments went by with nothing being said that Servilia turned to face the intruder and gasped.
"Octavia," Servilia whispered surprise evident in her voice though she quickly wiped any trace of it off of her face.
"Servilia," Octavia returned fighting the urge to fidget under the older woman's gaze now that her piercing grey eyes had finally settled upon her.
"You'll have to excuse the lack of hospitality," Servilia replied rising to her feet gracefully. "My household isn't what it used to be," she continued, a small smile touching her lips before she reached for the candle beside her. "I'll get the lights," she went on moving into the darkness, the candle in her hand illuminating little more than her body.
Octavia remained silent as Servilia moved throughout the room lighting candles. She wished that she had something smart and stinging to say in response to Servilia's words, but she was not her mother, or her brother for that matter and an insult or cutting remark did not come to her, so she waited in silence.
"Have you come for your pound of flesh?" Servilia asked finally as she finished with the candles, placing the one she had been holding back on the dressing table before moving over to her bed and seating herself on the edge of it. "You should take what you can now. When your mother is finished with me, she's promised there won't be much left."
"I'm not entirely certain there was much worth taking to begin with," Octavia responded acerbically, her back straightening and her lips thinning when Servilia smiled in response to her taunt.
"Why are you here?" Servilia asked brushing Octavia's statement aside, her question asked in the same genteel tone of voice she used to talk about the weather or to offer visitors water.
"I wanted I needed to talk to you before " Octavia began cutting herself off and looking away awkwardly.
"Yes, before," Servilia responded smiling again though it was strained this time as she acknowledged that her continued existence was in jeopardy the longer her incarceration continued. "About what did you wish to talk?"
Octavia returned her gaze to Servilia studying her for a long moment. Her hair was loose and free, falling around her face which was gaunter though no less beautiful than the last time she had seen her. It was rare to see a woman of nobility without her hair carefully styled, but Octavia had seen Servilia's like this quite often before they made love, and in the morning on those rare occasions that she was able to spend the night. Servilia had drawn her legs up onto the mattress and was supporting her on her arm, her features serene and impassive as she gazed at Octavia with mild curiosity.
"Do you feel? Anything?" Octavia whispered harshly, blinking rapidly to stave off the tears that had formed in her eyes in the face of Servilia's indifference. "I loved you," she continued practically hissing the words as she moved towards Servilia. "I loved you so much how could you? How could you did you care, even a little to use me so," she went on, losing the battle against her tears, feeling them wet her cheeks as she stopped just in front of Servilia staring down.
Servilia stood as Octavia's words ceased, watching the girl for a moment before reaching out with her hands to cup her face stroking the tracks of tears that marked her cheeks away with her thumbs before drawing Octavia into her body, holding her firmly as the girl struggled against her and then tighter still when Octavia sagged against her sobbing.
Servilia's eyes closed as Octavia's body shuddered in her arms, her own eyes becoming misty in the face of the girl's pain. She couldn't fathom how Atia had spawned such a tender soul. She didn't want to think about what it said about her that she was able to so callously abuse and manipulate the innocent in her arms.
Octavia, so young and trusting and beautiful. So pure and light.
"Octavia," Servilia said softly as the girls sobs came to a stop and she began to pull away from her body. "Octavia," she repeated, cupping the girl's face in her hands once more before leaning in and pressing her lips against Octavia's tasting the salt of her tears.
Servilia blinked, stumbling back as Octavia shoved her away.
"You have no right," Octavia growled pointing a finger at her, her jaw clenched with rage though she licked her lips after speaking, "after what you've done."
"What I've done?" Servilia repeated her voice cooling and her eyes narrowing. She did what she had to, what justice and honor demanded. "Your uncle "
"Is dead!" Octavia injected. "Thanks to you and me. What you made me party to," she continued her hand falling to her side though she continued to stare daggers into Servilia.
"Isn't the issue," Octavia interrupted once again, her voice chilled with anger though her eyes blazed. "You are! What you did! By the gods, what I did for you! Do you understand? Can you comprehend the wreckage left in the wake of your revenge? You said you loved me, but that was not love! Vile things blood on my hands, my blood, family blood, Caesar's blood. Dirty things my own brother, my brother! And for what? For your love," Octavia laughed darkly, her voice high and hysterical, "for the love of a woman with no heart! For two years I loved you with all that I was and was it all about him? Was I just a piece on your Latrunculi board? Did I "
"No," Servilia said softly closing her eyes against the onslaught of Octavia's words. "Octavia," she continued her voice barely a whisper as she forced her eyes open once more. "You were, are, so precious to me," Servilia began reaching out for Octavia's hands, hurt when the girl pulled away from her but not surprised. "I was numb when your mother first sent you to see me. I took no pleasure in food, or drink, I simply was though for what purpose I no longer knew. I thought that my heart should never flutter again nor my body shiver in anticipation, until I felt your lips upon mine," she went on, her fingers drifting up to her lips, her fingertips ghosting over the soft flesh before she moved her hand away and focused her gaze on Octavia once more.
"Such pretty words," Octavia murmured as Servilia's eyes focused on her once more. There was an entreating almost beseeching look on Servilia's face and her eyes shimmered with tears she seemed to be on the verge of shedding, yet her voice remained steady. "You always have such pretty words to share, especially when they're lies," Octavia pressed on, feeling herself begin to fall for Servilia's words as she had in the past but fighting with all that she had to resist the older woman's pull. "I was wrong when I said you had no heart. You have a politician's."
"You doubt my words," Servilia responded seeing a steal in Octavia's eyes that had not been there months before, and she felt a stab of pain at the knowledge that she played a large part in putting it there.
"Deeds, not words," Octavia said before shifting her gaze to the side. It weakened her to look at Servilia and see the concerned, benevolent expression that she had fallen in love with so many years ago. Servilia wasn't the woman she had thought she was, and she was no longer the blind, idiot girl it took so long to realize that she laid with a Viper not a flower.
"Then let us speak of all my actions, not only the ones at end," Servilia replied taking a step towards Octavia once more. "Did I not take you into my arms when you needed comforting? Did I not make my home open to you when your mother made yours unbearable? Did I not take you and place gentle kisses upon your face, and worship your body with my hands? Did I not place my mouth upon your breast and gladly milk pleasure from you? Did I not bath you, and hold you and speak to you of my life, my thoughts and my dreams? Did I not lay myself bare before you to do as you would, to touch me," she went on her fingers drifting to her lips once again as she remembered the sight of Octavia's head between her spread thighs, "in ways not even my husband had," she continued reaching for Octavia's hands once more, allowed to grasp them this time and hold them in her own. "Let us speak of these deeds as well."
"I remember all that you spoke of," Octavia said softly, her eyes returning to Servilia, tracing her planes of her face, and down her neck, over the cleavage hinted at by her dressing gown and over the soft curves of her body. "I'm haunted by it," she continued closing her eyes, as she remembered the feel of Servilia's lips on her neck, and her thighs tangled with her own, the ecstasy of her fingers and sound of her laugh, her whimpers and her cries. "Your smile, your touch were the world to me. You were the one good thing that I had, that I had gotten for myself. But it was nothing, to you. It had to be or else you couldn't have betrayed me so," Octavia went on pulling her hands out of Servilia's and stepping back from her once again. "And I'm here, and I don't know what I want you to tell me, that you loved me, that you didn't? Would it hurt less to know that I was a plaything or that love really is fleeting and conditional, that deep down we are all Narcissus? I don't know," Octavia said her voice lowering to a whisper as her hand moved up to cover her face. "I don't know."
Servilia rubbed her thumb against her forefinger thoughtfully as Octavia spoke. The girl had pulled her arms out of her hands, but before she had, as Servilia's thumbs had stroked at the soft skin of her arm soothingly, her fingers had run over scars that had not been there before.
Servilia turned her back to Octavia, moving slowly towards her dressing table, coming to a stop beside the edge of it, her fingers running over the wooden the edge as the candle she had forgotten there earlier shrouded half of her in an orange glow.
"I loved you," Servilia began slowly. "But I hated him more," she sighed. "It was like a sickness of the mind, a feverish and unrelenting thing. I do not mean to claim that I did not know what I was doing, only to say that I could not stop myself from doing it even though I was aware of the extremity of my emotions and deeds," Servilia continued softly sighing. "I held you dear, I held you and made love to you and meant it, was honest with every kiss and touch, but I used you and betrayed you. I hurt you but that was not my intent, you brought me so much joy. I have no explanation or reason that can satisfactorily answer how I could do these things to you, to you or to myself."
Servilia turned around slowly her head lowered before finally forcing her eyes up to the girl opposite her. "All I can say is that I did them, I cherished you, and I am sorry."
Octavia stared at Servilia for a long moment after she finished speaking and then sighed deeply before moving over to Servilia's bed and sitting on the edge of it wearily, barely glancing over at the older woman as she moved to sit beside her.
Servilia placed her hand on Octavia's shoulder squeezing gently as the girl buried her head in her hands, moving it further down her back to make circular comforting emotions as Octavia kept her face buried and breathed deeply.
Octavia looked up as Servilia's hand continued to make comforting motions on her back, her head turning to gaze at the older woman. Gods help her, she still loved the other woman. She longed to kiss those deceitful lips, and feel the warm, soft curves of her body pressed up against her own. She missed those pretty words, and the feeling of being wrapped in someone's arms. She hated her and loved her in the same breath. It was mad, mad to love Servilia, mad to desire her, mad to seek refuge in her, and so Octavia determined she was mad because she ached for the older woman even more acutely than she had the first time her desire made itself known and she had rushed home to writhe and moan on her bed with her fingers inside of herself and Servilia in her mind.
Servilia gasped and then sighed as she felt Octavia's lips on her own, her hands coming to cover the ones Octavia held her face with as the younger woman devoured her lips. The position they were in was very similar to the first time they had kissed, but the kiss itself couldn't have been more different. Where the first one had been sweet and tentative, this was punishing and desperate. Octavia's hands had shaken that first time, but they held her firmly now, with an almost bruising intensity. Before she had taken Octavia's hand into her own and kissed her palm gently as Octavia smiled at her with relief and longing. Now Octavia raised herself onto her knees above Servilia and brought the older woman's hand up to her lips, biting at her fingertips before taking them into her mouth sucking on them hastily, wetting them before guiding Servilia's hand under her dress.
"Apologize," Octavia whispered harshly, her eyes unfocused as she stared down at Servilia, her hand falling away from the older woman's leaving her free to do what she had done so many times in the past and so well.
Servilia cupped Octavia in her hand, her eyes closing momentarily as she felt the girl's warmth and her wetness, and then pressed the heel of her hand firmly against Octavia's cunt causing her to moan and press down against Servilia's hand.
Servilia reached up with her free hand, stroking Octavia's cheek before running her thumb over the girl's lips, Octavia quickly sucking the digit into her mouth, sucking and nipping at it as Servilia's hand pushed against her and she ground herself into it.
Removing her thumb from Octavia's mouth, Servilia drew her hand around Octavia's neck and pulled, tugging her face down until their lips met, moving against each other feverishly, Octavia attacking her mouth when she parted her lips, the girl moaning in protest as Servilia drew the hand under her dress away, only to groan in satisfaction a moment later as Servilia slipped two fingers inside of her.
"I hate you," Octavia whispered as her hands moved to Servilia's shoulders, steadying herself and pushing against Servilia as her movements quickened. "I loath you," she continued, her eyes fluttering shut as Servilia was forced to lie back against the mattress, as Octavia remained on top of her riding her fingers. "Bitch! Cunt!" She cursed, her head tipping backwards as she swiveled her hips and pushed down. "I'll see you dead! I despise you," she hissed breathlessly. "I love you," she whimpered. "I'll never forgive you," she gasped, her head falling forward. "I " and then her breath hitched and her lips parted as her hips frantically bucked against Servilia's hand, her inner muscles clenching at Servilia's fingers pulling them further inside of her as her orgasm ripped through her.
Octavia remained on top of the older woman for a few moments as she struggled to catch her breath before rolling off of Servilia and flopping down onto the mattress beside her, her eyes closed as she tried to regain her breath.
"I think many people would have been much happier if I had stayed in your arms. Including myself," Servilia whispered softly, propping herself on her arm so that she could stare down at Octavia's momentarily serene features. So beautiful, she was so very young and beautiful and never more than at moments like that.
"And I," Octavia responded when she felt able to speak once more, opening her eyes to look at Servilia as she spoke, her hand drifting up to stroke the Domina's cheek before urging Servilia's head down so that she could kiss her.
"I should go," Octavia said sitting up after lingering a Servilia's mouth for a moment, her hand remaining on Servilia's cheek for a moment before she moved off of the bed. "If I'm away much longer mother will miss me, and if Antony tells her where I am it will not be pleasant," she continued running her hands over her dress, wishing that she had time to clean up but knowing that she didn't. Her mother had an uncanny ability to tell whenever anyone had had sex, and while Atia would likely assume that she had been to one of the brothels that catered to women of the their class, she would rather not have that conversation with her mother.
Servilia was quiet as Octavia moved over to her dressing table and checked her hair.
"Will I see you again?" Servilia asked finally as Octavia neared the doors to her room, moving off of the bed and over to the table Octavia had just been standing by.
"I don't know," Octavia responded keeping her back to Servilia as she spoke. She did know. She would.
"Gods be with you," Servilia replied picking up the almost spent candle and moving over towards the door to see Octavia off.
"And with you," Octavia replied softly as Servilia came to stand beside her, her eyes moving over to study the older woman in the flickering orange light.
Octavia reached for the handle swinging the large wooden door open a moment later, her eyes scanning the empty hallway beyond the door, Servilia's breathing and the sound of the flickering candle the only noise that her ears could detect.
She turned back to Servilia one last time and leaned forward and pressing her lips to the older woman's before softly saying, "Goodbye."
Servilia watched as Octavia moved through the doorway and down the hall her figure fading into the darkness of the house, leaving her alone in the shimmering dark.
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