The Kept Woman

by nostalgia [Reviews - 6]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Het

Author's Notes:
This is kind of twisted. I am sorry. I just needed it out of my head.


Reinette has been trained since childhood to follow the guidance and wishes of men. Books of manners and hours of tutoring have moulded her into courtesan rather than woman, and years of her own efforts have built on implanted ambition until she is, indeed, the perfect match for a man who thinks he is unassailable.

It should not be so attractive.

It should be repellant. He should find her adopted agreements and willing nods repulsive, should long to break the force of her habits and turn her confident submission into free will and free thought. He has met, known, loved women who would detest him for treating Reinette as she expects to be treated. Once he would have detested himself, but now it merely unsettles and does nothing to stop him.

It is impossible that she merely happens to agree with his every opinion unless he is looking for argument. He can see her adapting when they hit each new topic, the way she holds back on forthright statements until she has assessed him and his words. He would like to pretend that this is because Reinette understands him, rather than because she is used to being someone's mistress.

If he did not know better (or at least hope), he would think that she has a gift so well developed that she could see him clearly even when she was so much younger. Perhaps it was not her own urges that backed him against that wall. Perhaps she could see how much he wanted someone to kiss him.

--

On her first night he helps her from her dress, reasoning that Rose would not know how this ridiculous garment should be removed.

"We'll find you something sensible tommorrow," he says, fumbling with pins that hold her gown together. "Something without all this scaffolding."

She stands still and calm as he undresses her. "What should I wear?"

He works on the feat of engineering that gave her dress its shape. "I don't know. Just as long as it's something you can get yourself in and out of without falling over."

"Like the clothes Rose wears?" she asks.

"You could ask her? I don't really know about fashion. I've got terrible taste. People used to ask me if I was colour-blind." He realises that he is rambling and that she is stripped to her underwear. "Blimey, this like unwrapping a Christmas present." His fingers pause on the strings of her corset. "Not that... You'd think this thing would at least fasten up the front so you could do it yourself." He unfastens her deftly, noticing the change to her breathing as the garment loosens its unnatural hold. "This thing," he adds, "has probably done things to your internal organs that I don't even want to think about. Best off without it."

When she is down to shift and stockings she turns to him and he takes a step away from her.

"Well then, I'm sure you can handle the rest on your own."

She closes the space between them. "What about you? Will you need any help with those strange clothes of yours?"

He knows that smile, and it's so, so tempting. It is one practised and perfected and repsonding would only play into her conditioning. She is more than this smile, held back by the power it has over people.

Or maybe it's just a smile. Her eyes and her skin and her scent declare her interest even if the smile is suspect. It's what she wants, and there is ample time to make up for it if he gives in just this once. So he does.

Just this once, though.


--

It is a breach of his own ethics to sleep with her, and yet he does. A brief respite from loneliness becomes a habit until she has learned his moods and offers sex and conversation almost before the thoughts have crossed his mind.

She waits patiently when he is distracted, indulges him far too often when he betrays his other interests. Once she appears before him with her hair tied back and dressed in the closest the wardrobe has something Rose might wear (Sam's jeans, he is certain, and a top that looked bright on Anji and would drown Rose's complexion as it drowns Reinette's).

"I thought you'd like it," she says, confident and coy.

He sends her away that time, but does not protest when she returns in a less obvious fashion.

--

In certain moods he simply goes to her, because she is slick and hot and he does not need to think when he is inside her. She has learned the meaning of each silence, meets this one with nails and teeth and shifts her hips to take him deeper.

He tastes her mouth for the sake of sensation, reduces infinity to bodies and a bed. Such a basic distraction to listen to her moans and lick sweat from her skin. Some small accomplishment to please her, easing out shudders and so many sounds. She emerges from orgasm and kisses him as he drives into her to find his own.

She is wonderful, and he does not need to think.

--

She would change if he allowed her to. She would tire of being someone's mistress and would leave him to pursue her own interests. He does not want to act as a catalyst for his own abandonment, so he doesn't. It is a pattern he has fallen into with Rose, although only now does he realise how calculating he has been to show her the universe and not demand that she question it.

The things that he loves merely illustrate the many ways in which his own universe is wrong. Perhaps it's the war. Almost anything can be blamed on the war.

He wonders if Reinette caught a glimpse of his mind when she was a child and he was trying to save her. If he imprinted somehow or if frightening away monsters would have been enough on its own. Either way she saw enough later on, became a part of him as surely as he became part of her. He should not have brushed aside all the reasons that sort of connection is something to be avoided. Loneliness was not enough of an excuse, and it remains a poor one now.

How easy it would be to let this woman change, if only she were not such comfort. If only she were not so well trained.

If only he were not so repulsive.