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Oct 01, 2020 2:09 PM
Bruce gets dropped in Gallia and is confused
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"Come with me." It's an order in a voice that does not tolerate disagreement.

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"Okay." Oh no, what does she want. He hopes he finds out before he manages to annoy her any more than he already has, he thinks as he follows her to wherever she turns out to be going.

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Apparently she wants to take him to her carriage. 

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Oh crap, if they leave for too long then Maturin is going to want to go home and not be able to find him. And then how is Bruce going to get home afterwards. How did they handle this sort of thing before telephones? The dom whose name Bruce really wishes he knew does not look like she wants him to ask questions and he cannot scrape up the nerve to do so. Maturin is going to be so justifiably pissed at him later.

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"Home," she says to her horsewoman, and then she presses Bruce against the seat of the carriage and kisses him. 

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?!?!????

Bruce responds in the manner of a brick wall and internally reevaluates everything from the last several minutes as having actually been flirting the whole time. He really had not expected his first time flirting with someone to be totally unintentional or to lead to a kiss and definitely not both, and while he would have expected to be terrified he would also have expected to enjoy it more.

Maturin warned him about this, he remembers. He's supposed to go along with it and not make a fuss. He hopes being completely frozen counts as doing that.

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"I'm going to have fun with you," Harriet says, tracing his cheek. "I like it when they're scared."

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Gulp. Deer-in-headlights face. Is that better or worse than her disliking him being scared? That's a dumb question but it's better than thinking about what's about to happen.

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"Do you like sex, Banner? Or are you one of the ones who... tolerates it?" She keeps tracing little circles along his cheek.

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"I don't know."

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"Let's find out," she says, and slaps him.

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He flinches back and inhales sharply, and fights the urge to flinch prematurely from the expectation that she's about to do it again.

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"Well, don't you have a lovely face." Slap.

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His lizard brain is going "I knew it I knew it" but that doesn't actually make him flinch less or have any more idea how to respond.

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"What do you think," she says conversationally, "should I leave a bruise? Should I mark up Clarissa's little toy?"

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Bruce has never really known what to say to rhetorical questions even when they aren't being asked that maliciously. He knows he ought to give up on speech as communication and say whatever is most placating but he doesn't know what this sort of person finds placating so the truth is really all he's got.

"I'd rather you didn't but I know I can't stop you."

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"Good boy," Harriet says approvingly, and slaps him again.

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Yay truth, apparently? He's just going to sit here and listen to his heart pound. The fear and the accumulating pain in his face are making it hard to wander off into his own head they way he normally would when waiting for something unpleasant to be over. But that's probably a good thing, in an awful way; it's not safe to stop being aware of his surroundings even if he doesn't know what to do with that awareness.

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And they arrive at Harriet's house!

She clearly expects him to follow her. 

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He does that, with serious trepidation both about what's going to happen to him and about what the Maturins are going to think of him for it.

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She leads him into the bedroom, closes the door, and then throws him onto the bed.

"Men are so inconvenient."

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"Um? Sorry?" He's never been thrown somewhere before; her strength would be impressive if it wasn't terrifying.

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"The problem with nondynamic men," she says, "is that if I terrify them their pricks won't stand up and I won't get my pleasure."

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Bruce has not the first idea what to do with this statement. Even if he sincerely wanted to get an erection right now he's not sure he could pull it off, and all he sincerely wants is to be somewhere else.

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Harriet smiles and kisses him firmly. 

She's a very good kisser.

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