Disclaimer: Alias and the characters of Alias are property of ABC and Touchstone, and are the creation of JJ Abrams and Bad Robot. These stories are purely for entertainment purposes, no copyright infringement is intended, I am not making money from this at all.

Rating: R

Feedback: Is lovingly cherished. And I mean it.

Thank you: Alyxstarr, for a quick, generous and lovely beta
Auburn, for yet another insightful beta

Dedication: For voleuse and corngirl_jo

Summary: Games are pleasurable. As long as you play by the rules.



She was gentle tonight. For the very first time. Gentle in everything she did.

This encounter had begun like so many before, but something in the air had changed, he noticed. There was a determination in her he hadn’t seen before.

The darkness around them was silky and warm, her bedroom non-existent for sight, only for smell. It held her scent and her perfume. That scent was here even when she wasn’t.

And though he didn’t want tenderness tonight, he complied, playing his part of their game for her sake.

She was quiet. In the darkness, there was only the sound of the wind outside and her low breathing. She fanned his cheeks with her warm breath, and allowed her hands to travel over his face, fingertips searching out his closed eyes, trailing down his cheeks and stopping at his mouth. She had an obsession with his mouth; he had noticed that before. Tonight she paid deliberate attention to it. Her cool fingertips whispered over his lips, a mere ghost of a touch. He was tempted to flick his tongue against the teasing finger, but held himself in check.

She was caressing him, but without the dominance, without the usual game of who was stronger. This was just her, a side that had been hidden from him until tonight. He wasn’t sure he liked it.

This was almost personal. Her fingers on his face, the nearly reverent way of touching him, like he meant something to her, more than she admitted.

Her lips followed her fingers, breathing tiny kisses over his face and neck. She threaded her fingers into his hair, but instead of tightening and pulling, she let it glide through her hands, touched his scalp. It made goosebumps skitter over his skin.

The need was there, but dormant. This wasn’t what he had come here for, this wasn’t their usual game. Between them, sex was always hard and fast and gratifying, but never like this, never with feelings attached. It disconcerted him; he could feel the frown puckering his brow.

"Sydney, what - -"

One of her fingers descended to his lips again, silencing him effectively. "Let me."

And because he never said no to one of her games, he agreed. Allowed the tension to seep from his body and gave himself into her hands, no matter how wrong it seemed.

She slid her cool hands under his shirt, caressing his skin, drawing languid little circles on his abdomen and moving up to his chest. He assisted her in pulling off his shirt but otherwise stayed immobile, waiting, trying not to anticipate anything.

Normally, when they had sex, his mind was blissfully blank, one of the few times he felt truly relaxed and carefree. But tonight, his thoughts were swirling behind his eyes damaging the comfortable oblivion.

He had the curious sensation of being treated like glass. Yet that was what she did. She was careful, so very careful. Her kisses were light, never pressing. She didn’t bite down on his nipples tonight, but circled them with her warm tongue, drawing a shuddering breath out of him before he could stop himself.

He had the urge to switch on some light, to see her face. Instead, he lifted his hands and buried them in her hair. She didn’t fight him like she usually did, only made it clear that it was her turn, her game.

There was no urgency when she undressed him completely, and then herself. No rush when she slid over him, just lying there, covering his body with hers. Breathing. Caressing his face. Kissing him as though it suddenly had a meaning. Moving just enough to set his whole body on fire but not hurt him.

When she finally raised her hips to welcome him into her body, he could feel the change more evidently than ever before. He could feel her eyes boring into him even in the darkness. Her body language spoke to him, tried to make him understand. Even her movements sent him a message. Her hips were gyrating, setting a slow, torturous rhythm, not allowing him the pleasure of a quick and clean orgasm.

She gathered him up, showering his face with kisses, breathing in his scent as though she couldn’t get enough of it, burying her forehead in his shoulder. His hands found her back without meaning to, guiding her, stroking, fingertips only, over the smooth expanse of warm skin.

He could hear whispered words under her breath, low and enticing. Promises, pleas.

He didn’t want any of it, but found himself unable to let go of the pleasure her body gave him, no matter how loud his brain protested.

Usually, sex was pure and freeing and meaningless. Two bodies meeting, sharing pleasure. It was what he wanted. But this ... there were emotions involved tonight, real emotions, and suddenly, he felt dirty, and constricted, his mind heavy with prospects and the meaning of words unspoken.

He didn’t want all that. He didn’t want emotions.

He wanted to either let go of her or fuck her senseless - his way. To get back what they had had before.

But her body started to clench around him, her inner muscles sending him shooting over the edge he hadn’t meant to go over after this realisation, too late to go through with his other plan. He groaned deeply. His traitorous body had become much too adapted to hers and followed her easily. He silenced the little voice in the back of his mind that told him he enjoyed it, every second of it.

The orgasm was unpleasant, searing pain shooting through him, making his eyes water. His moan was strangled and low. The release was no release at all, even though he felt himself going limp inside her.

He sank back against the pillows, staring into the darkness, still buried deep within her but not experiencing the usual calm.

Her breathing was musical, her hands still gentle, stroking his hair when she rolled off him. "I knew it." She kissed him, once, twice. Affectionately. Tenderly. Found his moist eyes and smiled against his temple. "You’re not as cold as you want everyone to believe."

Her hands drew lazy patterns on his sweat-slicked chest again, her cool fingertips a strange contrast to his hot, taut skin.

"Tell me now." Her voice was triumphant. "Tell me you felt nothing."

He choked on the response, breathed hard. She touched her fingers to his damp lashes. A pause, then: "I know you can’t."

Bloody hell. He had been right. It was hard not to forcefully push her away.

He untangled himself from her, slid out of the white cotton sheets and felt the cool air touch his body. Slipped into boxers and a shirt before switching on the bedside-lamp and answering. "If you’re trying to convert me, Sydney, it’s not going to work."

It was not the reaction she had imagined. Denial was evident on her features. Her eyes started to glisten moist in the warm light of the lamp.

"I am not a fallen angel. I don’t need saving. And if you wanted to go and celebrate your success in taming the beast, I’m really sorry to spoil that for you, sweetheart. If you want that kind of sentimental rubbish, maybe you should go back to your pretty CIA handler." He ignored what he read in her eyes and went on to pull on his trousers. "Either you accept me the way I am, or we’ll call this little liaison off. I’m not a puppy dog you can shape to your will." His eyes bore into hers, mercilessly. "I don’t need another teacher. And I don’t need you to save my soul."

There was no protest from her; her eyes weren’t spitting fire as he had expected. She sat in her bed, knees drawn up to her chest, suddenly looking small and vulnerable, the sheets around her body and her dark hair spilling over her bare shoulders. Her eyes were wide, her lower lip trembled.

Christ, she was beautiful. He didn’t want to stop their affair. Hurting her this way was necessary, but held no satisfaction. He was glad that she had enough grace not to let the tears glistening in her eyes fall. Yet this other situation was not an option. He couldn’t afford emotional ties. Neither could she.

He finished dressing. Her scent still clung to his entire body.

When she spoke, it was barely more than a whisper. "Didn’t you feel anything at all?"

"Ask yourself if you could handle the answer, Sydney."

He opened the French doors and slipped into the night.




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