Title: A Price Worth Paying
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Pairing: Zedd/Salindra
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: none
Spoilers: Up to 2x05: Wizard
Word Count: 850
Author's Notes: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] legendland Rare Pairings challenge. Beta'd by Aithine.

Salindra is a beauty, and beauty always comes at a price; Zeddicus is under no illusions about that.

And Zeddicus is a master of illusion, if the witch Shota is to be believed.

But it will take more than an illusion to win Salindra; more than the coin he can conjure between his fingers or a castle he can conjure out of air. Salindra is used to being paid in coin, to being courted with gifts, even if they cannot compare with the riches that Zeddicus can offer. He knows that he will win her body for only as long as he can pay for it, and her loyalty for only as long as he can hold it before it slips through his fingers like gossamer thread, but Zeddicus will not be satisfied with an easy victory or with spoils as temporary.

He wants to win her heart. And for that no coin or castle will suffice.

There is only one currency for this purpose, a coin that may not ever have crossed Salindra's palm.

Pleasure.

The moans she lets out as Zeddicus's fingers skim across her milk white skin are expected - polished and practiced - and he swallows down a smile, his healthy ego not yet satisfied. It's a game, he knows - he teases and she sighs, artful and coy, her eyelashes fluttering to hide a gaze that is calculating and guarded. She sighs again when he kisses her neck, his clever fingers - the ones that can do magic of all sorts - tracing slow circles over her breasts, closer and closer to her nipples.

She shivers, and that's real - as real as anything can be between them.

He doesn't bother to swallow the smile this time. He is still smiling as he kisses his way down her body, as his mouth moves over the skin his fingers have mapped. The skin around her nipples has puckered, and the nubs themselves are standing to attention, waiting for his attention. It would not do to keep a lady waiting; he slides his tongue over them, around them, sucking each one in turn into his mouth and listening to the way that her breath hitches in her throat.

When he meets her eyes now, her look is still calculating, but curious, too.

He moves his mouth lower, pressing chaste kisses against her skin as he holds her gaze, not letting her look away. The gasp she lets out as he parts her thighs with gentle, insistent fingers might be real, too; he doubts that any man she's taken to her bed for coin or boredom has tasted the sweet flesh between her legs, only interested in ploughing that furrow like a dumb ox, focused solely on their own pleasure.

And Salindra, his Salindra, deserves so much more.

She has bathed recently, luxuriating in her ability to do so in a castle that is hers as much as his, and she tastes less gamey than he was anticipating. Her taste is tart instead, salty on his tongue as he explores her folds, and her hips move restlessly under his palms, reserve lost in the wind as he works her into a frenzy.

He presses her down onto the bed, catching the hitch in her breath again as his tongue slides more deeply into her, as he finds the small bud he was seeking and teases it, willing to be patient if it gets him what he wants.

Her skin is flushed, her muscles twitching under his fingertips, and that, he thinks, she cannot be faking. The way that she moves, the sounds she lets out, is less artifice now than art, and he embraced it. He will paint her body with his tongue, sculpt her pleasure into a peak with his fingertips, show her what power there truly is in this magician's touch.

When he feels that she is close, he slides his hands underneath her buttocks, pushing her hips up so that she is pressed against his mouth, rocking on her heels into each lick, each circle and thrust of his tongue, seeking what he offers with a desperation that is as new to her, he thinks, as the pleasure he brings. The sounds she makes now are not studied - grunts and groans instead of sighs and moans - and each one feeds into the hardness pressing against the seam of his breeches.

He slides his fingers into her, curling his fingers just so as he sucks that small bud into his mouth, as merciless in this as he is in his spell casting.

It works; the fire he has been patiently stoking finally consumes her body, leaving her twitching and flushed, her eyes glazed and her mouth open as she pants helplessly, sweat glistening on her skin.

She is beautiful when studied and calculating; she is even more beautiful when coming, wanton and wanting in a way he knows she has seldom been.

It is merely a down payment, the first one of many, he knows, acknowledging it even as he frees himself from his breeches and finally slides into her slick and welcoming body, feeling her hips rock up to meet his thrusts. Her eyes are still glazed, but a practiced look settles on her face, her hands moving over his body as she coos and coaxes, back to coquette. He has not bought her yet, not with a single rush of pleasure, or a single, simple fuck. It will take more, much more than that.

But Zeddicus is a patient man, and for this he has money to spare.
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