“Casimir,” Aria squeaked, her hand jumping back from the door handle.
He pushed inside, his hands grasping her hips; the length of their bodies met an instant before his lips found hers. As if by instinct, Aria lifted a leg to hook at his waist, and he cupped her bottom, tempting her into his arms. He growled when she jumped, and bit her bottom lip when she settled into place.
“I need you,” he said between kisses. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“We said it was over,” she protested breathily.
“We were fools. We’re never over, Ari.”
She melted at the nickname, every centimeter of her skin warming. Casimir tossed her down on the bed before ripping off his tunic to throw aside like trash; she yanked the straps of her dress from her shoulders.
Casimir groaned, his expression full of lust. “By the gods, Ari, it’s not fair that you look like that.”
“Is that why you can’t stay away?”
“I can’t stay away because you’re married to Weston. My primal instinct is to take from him.”
She pulled her dress up and spread her legs. “Then take.”
“You harlot,” he said, his voice full of adoration. “You absolute slut of a queen.”
“For you. No one else.”
“Better not be.”
Casimir dove onto the bed, burying his face between her legs and pinning her hips down when she screamed with laughter. He licked her slowly, sensually, and increased his rhythm at all the right times. Aria arched into him, yipping against her forearm; he would have cast something to muffle their reunion, but the spell wouldn’t last forever.
“You want to come for me?” Casimir asked, rocking her hips in the absence of his tongue.
“Yes,” she begged. “Casimir, please.”
“Mmm,” he said, flicking his tongue against her clitoris.
Despite the careful, quieted moans of a few seconds prior, Aria screamed. Casimir held her down through the waves of her orgasm, making noises of pleasure when she shifted to weak groans.
“There she is,” he said, kissing the insides of her thighs. “That’s my girl.”
She propped herself up on her elbows as he pushed away from the bed, crawling towards her. Their lips met, and she braced her hands at both sides of his rib cage.
“Finish in me,” she whispered.
“I will, my love.”
“Sometimes you refuse.”
He kissed her tenderly. “I can’t stand to give you contraception.”
She nipped his lip. “You want me to carry your child?”
He guided himself between her thighs. “So desperately. It’s ridiculous, I know.”
“Ever since you started bleeding again. There are whispers of war between mages and fire priests, and yet I’m still here, desperate for you, any chance I can get you alone.”
Aria spread her legs a little wider. “Silly boy.”
She gasped when he shoved himself inside her. Casimir moved one arm beneath her lower back, pulling her tighter to him as he thrust; she clawed at his chest, wrapping her calves behind his back, her muscles limp and pliable. Barely a minute in, Casimir hissed.
“You’re so fucking tight. It’s been too long.”
“Go,” she breathed.
Another thrust, and they finished simultaneously; Aria held him close, her lips grazing his neck as he filled her with his seed. She tightened and released around him; Casimir nibbled at her jaw.
“Oh, my love,” Aria said.
“Aria…” Casimir murmured.
“Don’t take the contraception.”
She furrowed her brow, meeting his eyes—and again, his beauty struck her, the stunning, icy blue irises like shattered glass. “Cas…are you sure?”
“Aria, I know what will happen if you bear me a child. I’m not an idiot. But I can’t stand this any longer.”
“What do you think will happen?”
“Weston will lose his mind with jealousy, and you’ll banish me from my position.”
“Weston hasn’t looked at me in years. And he’s had the same mistress in Ascona for over a year.”
“But when you’re together, here, he’s so possessive. He hurts you when he can’t see you, but he grasps harder when you’re near him.”
“I loved him,” she said softly. “When we married. And then…”
“I know. I know what he’s done.”
“You always watched and waited.”
“I fell in love with you the day I met you, Ari. I won’t apologize for taking advantage of his mistakes.”
She nudged him with her nose. “Would it be worth it? A child?”
He caressed her chin. “For me? Without question. But the decision lies with you.”
They curled up together on the bed, Aria safely tucked into him, his fingers grazing her skin. Casimir nipped her earlobe with his teeth at random intervals.
“Would you see your child?” she asked. “If there were some way. If I acknowledged it.”
“As much as you’d allow me. But Ari, you should know, even though it’s Weston—some will say you were wrong.”
“Regressives. The same who would say a mistress is his right as king.”
“Would you hide our child from the world, then, who might shun her?”
Casimir smirked; she felt it against her cheek, alongside a surge of longing at his most familiar expression.
“You want a little girl?” he asked.
“Whatever I’ve got in there. But a girl of ours sounds lovely.”
He breathed a laugh just before kissing her cheek. “Whatever child we have, I would do everything you desired of me, my darling girl. And I might have two darling girls, if you get your wish.”
Aria rotated her shoulders so she could touch his face. A nascent beard shadowed his jaw. “I love you.”
The edge of his mouth twitched up. “Will you roll the dice with me, my love?”
Aria blushed, a slow grin splitting her face. Casimir smiled, too, handsome and joyous.
“Cuckold Weston?” she said. “Is that all you truly want?”
He kissed her, still grinning. “Oh, darling. It’s just a happy side note. All I truly want is you.”
She closed her eyes, wrapping her fingers in the light hair on his chest. “How did we get here, Cas?”
“You were lonelier than you ever deserved to be, and I adored you with ferocity.”
“When I came home, I thought I would get everything I wanted. Above board.”
“Those stories are rare, sweetheart.”
“People are all flawed, yes.”
“But it’s not flawed to want to be happy.”
“Yes,” she said, knowing he would understand the question she answered. “For a chance at happiness I haven’t felt since I took my throne—yes, I will.”
Casimir brushed her hair away from her face before he kissed her passionately. “You’ve made me the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ll protect a child of ours as fiercely as I love you.”
“You can break the news to Weston when he sees it but won’t ask.”
He grinned wolfishly. “Mmm.”