A/N: So I'm procrastinating from writing the next chapter of my larger in-progress fic...which means you all get an Urzai one-shot. There are adult themes. And some light smut. Shameless, shameless smut. Which means this is rated 'M' for a reason...consider yourself warned. Also, I love food in fanfiction.
A New Addiction
The afternoon was a warm one, as all afternoons are wont to be in the Fire Nation come the dead of Summer. Even for a people who were accustomed to the hot and humid climate, however, this one was especially merciless. The sounds of locusts buzzing in the sopping air was all that reached my ears; echoing down the alleyways and smothering the soft scuff of my shoes against the cobblestones. Naked children sat in the shadows of whitewashed houses and played marbles or simply lay panting in the heat, their mothers stripped down to their lightest garments or even their underwrappings as they watched from their windows. I had already rid myself of my outer robe and not for the first time that day was weighing the consequences of peeling off my light dress right in the middle of the street. It was hardly modesty that stopped me. Alas, I was no child, and to bare the curves of a young woman here in Caldera City was to invite unwanted attention...and my task required discretion.
My lips turned down in a frown as I passed a group of young men who were gathered around a fruit vendor's stand. They all stood about in nothing but short cropped pants or less; hair bound up in topknots and sweat beading on their chests and arms. I heaved a breath of frustration, shifting my shoulders as I felt my own perspiration run in rivulets down my back, my thighs, and between my breasts. The thin silk of my chemise stuck uncomfortably to my slick skin, and in that moment I hated those men for their freedom to conduct their business in such a state of undress without reprisal. One dared to smile at me as I walked by, and I glared all my hatred at him for good measure. He quickly lowered his gaze.
I had been walking for nearly an hour, and my long dark hair hung in sweat soaked clumps behind me. The air was thick as soup and even breathing required more effort than usual, but as I rounded the corner onto the main thoroughfare I quickened my pace anyway. My destination was in sight, at last, and the sooner my business was done the faster I would be able to return to my father's estate on the other side of town and dive naked into our swimming pond. The mere thought of cool relief was enough to coax a wistful sigh from my throat. As a young girl my grandmother told me tales of the days before the war when waterbenders came to work in the Fire Nation during the Summer months. They would turn water to ice and sell it to those who could pay for their services. On that day, I would have given my last gold piece for a shard of ice to run along my neck.
"Ah! My Lady..." The fat man feigned delicate surprise as he looked down on the street from the window of a fine row house. "I was beginning to fear today's delivery would not come. Please, do come inside." He smiled at me, a loathsome gesture of yellowed teeth and pockmarked cheeks, and nodded down at the entryway.
I cleared my throat, pushing the strands of damp hair from my face and adjusting the small parcel in my hands. "I'm afraid I haven't the time to visit, Good Sir." I lied, "Come outside and let us be hasty."
"Oh, but you are a busy girl these days, aren't you?" He grinned, flashing his horrid teeth once more and it was all I could do to quell the instinct to cringe and wrinkle my nose. "Very well. I'll be down presently."
His fat face disappeared from the window and I sneered, rolling my eyes. Were this creature not my father's most valuable customer, I would have chucked the parcel over his entry gate and been done with it. As it was I found my present role as a lowly courier demeaning enough, but I would not subject myself to the Fat One's advancements no matter how much of my father's illegal trade he funded. When the doorway swung open and he emerged in all his massive glory I quickly stepped forward and proffered up the small bundle.
"So very kind of you to brave this awful heat for my sake, Lady Ursa." he crooned.
I glowered down at him—for I stood nearly a full head taller—and forced a polite half smile. In the relentless humidity he was already beginning to perspire heavily. "Father sends his regards. Do use it sparingly. It's the last of the good crop until next Spring." His face fell and it secretly made me happy for his disappointment.
"I see." He murmured. "That is a shame. I have arrangements to meet with a buyer of some substantial means this evening and it was my expectation that there would be enough in this delivery to meet his requirements."
"I'm sorry." I told him simply, though my interest was piqued. The forbidden trade had become increasingly less lucrative since Fire Lord Azulon decided to crack down on the substance's use within the Imperial military. Some nonsense about overindulgence negatively impacting physical readiness amongst the troops was fed to the masses, talk of imprisonment or worse, and demand had quickly dropped. My father would want to know of a potential customer from the upper echelons. "Perhaps if his means are as vast as you suggest he should be speaking with my father."
The Fat One shook his head. "No, I don't think he would like that. It is best not to displease him." When he glanced up at me there was a look in his eyes I hadn't expected to see—fear. "I'll just have to explain that what you've brought is all there is. He will not be happy...he is quite fond of it." He took a deep breath and mopped an ocean of sweat from his brow.
"What if I talk to him?" I blurted without thinking, and regretted it almost immediately. Though my father encouraged my involvement in the family business, he was very particular about which customers I was permitted to meet.
"You, Lady Ursa?" He asked with no small touch of incredulity. "I'm not certain..."
"Nonsense! I shall speak with him...and...I'll guarantee you a fifteen percent cut of his future purchases as a finder's fee." The heat must have melted my brain. I knew, even as the words flew from my mouth, that I was making a horrible mistake and that if my father so much as got wind of it my relative autonomy would be strictly revoked. But there was something about the allure of independence...of this mysterious buyer and all his riches, and perhaps the desire to prove myself capable of conducting business on such a scale that spurred me onward. "Do we have a deal?"
Two blubbery lips pursed together like bloated caterpillars as the Fat One considered my proposal. "Twenty five percent?"
"A deal, then." His chubby hand extended, fingers clammy and shining in the afternoon sun like five fat sausages.
"Ursa, you idiot, what were you thinking?" I whispered to myself softly as made my way down the street toward the meeting place the Fat One had arranged. I gathered my long hair into a pile atop my head, momentarily enjoying the split second of cool relief that ghosted over my skin as the air hit the back of my neck. In this weather, though, it was short lived. Letting the dark locks drop back into place, I tugged at the front of my dress in a fruitless attempt to stir some air against my hidden skin. The sun was going to set very soon, yet the onset of evening had done little to cool the air.
My legs were beginning to ache from all of the walking I had done already that day, but I knew that stopping for a rest would make me late and I was not about to start off on a bad foot where this deal was concerned. Glancing around at my surroundings I noticed many well manicured villas and gardens, and when I looked down a few of the side streets I could actually see the outer wall of the Fire Palace. A wealthy part of town, most assuredly. A few moments more brought me to the location where I was to meet the prospective buyer. It appeared to be a storehouse of some sort. When I drew nearer to the entrance the fragrant aroma of dried tea leaves was apparent. My suspicion was confirmed as I stood before the door looking up at the characters painted on a small sign above the entryway. The storehouse belonged to the palace; likely used for warehousing liquor and tea served to the Fire Lord himself. I turned the knob and pushed the door open, and it struck me that this buyer must be affluent, indeed.
"Finally..." a masculine voice growled from the dimly lit interior, and with a flick of his wrist the brazier in the center of the storehouse's single large room danced to life. In that quick flash of light I could see that his back was turned to me, but what struck me most oddly was that he was bedecked in heavy red robes from head to toe. "I've been waiting in this heat too bloody long...Shut the door and get inside before you're seen, you fat imbecile..." His words tapered off as he turned to face the entrance and realized that I was not who he had been expecting. The buyer was a young man, hardly older than me! His long dark hair was tied up in a neat topknot, but his long robes—fine as they were—showed dark spots of moisture and sweat beaded across his handsome face. Rather, it would have been a handsome face, if not for the expression of complete confoundedness upon it.
I covered my mouth with my hand, shoulders quaking with laughter and my own discomfort from the temperature temporarily forgotten. "It's alright," I attempted to assure him through my snickers, "I'm here on behalf of our mutual associate..." But it was too much. I burst into laughter. "Are you daft? Why are you wearing such heavy clothing on a day like this?"
His jaw dropped open as if he was about to say something, or launch into some tirade...but before words came to him his eyebrows knit together and he simply stared at me like I had grown two heads. It struck me that a man of his supposed station was likely unaccustomed to being spoken to in such a manner. He didn't know how to react to me. And I liked it.
"As I said, I am here because there's something that you want, that I have." I leaned back against the closed door for a moment as I studied him. His cheeks were flushed from the heat and his pale skin seemed almost luminescent in the firelight under the sheen of sweat that covered ever visible part of him. "My name is Ursa. What shall I call you?"
"I...you...I'm...but...Is this some sort of jest? Did my brother put you up to this?" He seemed genuinely flustered.
"Oh, no." I assured him, stepping toward him and reaching down the front of my dress to pull a small satchel from my breast bindings. The little bag was damp with sweat, but I pulled the drawstrings open and dumped the waxed paper wrapped contents into my palm and held it out to him. "This, my overdressed friend, is serious business."
There was a creak of wood as the young man lowered himself to sit upon a crate of bottled fire-brandy behind him. He swallowed visibly, a large trickle of moisture running down his temple and dripping off the tip of his chin. "That's it?"
"It's a taste of things to come. If you're willing to put the funding up front, I can guarantee a much greater quantity after the next growing season." I padded closer, my nose filled with the bouquet of dried tea leaves and the smoke of oaken barrels as they hung in the stagnant air of the room. "The best crop in the world grows on my family's land holdings, and we process it with only the most carefully selected ingredients...you'll find no finer product anywhere else in the Fire Nation. Here, see for yourself..." Standing before him, I once again held the paper wrapped item in my palm and gestured for him to take it. When he made no motion to reach for the package, I breathed a soft sigh. With my other hand I peeled the wax paper away and dipped my fingertip into the substance. "Try it?" I asked, but before he could answer I pressed my finger to his lips.
His eyes met mine, brilliant as molten gold in the firelight, and I felt his hand close around my wrist. Our gazes did not part as he wrapped his lips around my fingertip and tasted of the offered sample. There was an instant change in his expression, and in that moment I felt my heart begin to race. The realization that I was a young woman, alone, in a dark and secluded place with man whose reputation I did not know, and who was looking at me as if he might like to try me next was washing over me, stealing the fire from the streak of independence that had lured me here. "What did you say your name was, again?"
"I didn't." he responded evenly, and I felt his grip on my wrist tighten.
"Then what shall I call you?" I asked for the second time, blinking away a droplet of sweat and stinging salt as it dripped from my brow into my eye.
"If there's more where that came from, then you can call me your new best customer."
"You'll fund the operation, then?"
"Yes. In full."
A smile sprung unbidden onto my face, and I could not suppress an elated giggle. My father would faint of shock to hear of the bargain I had just struck, on my own, with no direction from him or his lackeys whatsoever. Surely it would be proof that I was capable of conducting myself as a far more than a lowly courier. My excitement was enough to dispel the trepidation that had surrounded me only seconds before, and in my instant of private celebration I snatched my hands away from him; clenching them to my bosom with a squeal of delight...and accidentally crushing the contents of the opened paper parcel against my chest. Its contents smeared upon my fair skin, slick with sweat and warm from the heat, and dripped in molten rivulets down the collar of my dress and into the front of my breast bindings. My jaw dropped.
So did his. We were frozen momentarily by our mutual shock, and it seemed that the only movement in the room were our blinking eyes and heaving chests.
"I...I'm sorry...I can't believe I could be so clumsy..." I began to sputter, looking down at the expensive mess that covered my chest. I clasped my hand over my mouth to quell my trembling bottom lip, but realized only too late that my palm had been smeared with the dark substance and I had only succeeded in rubbing it on my cheek. "Oh, Agni..."
The young man looked as if he were somewhere between laughter and tears—or perhaps one had led to the other. He stood up, wiping the sweat from his brow with his long sleeve, and raised a hand to point at me before stating the obvious as if it were some great discovery. "You're...covered in chocolate."
"Yes. Yes, I am." I muttered. It is hard to say who started to chortle first, but as we stood there staring at one another we both erupted into a fit of hysterics. At some point I attempted to regain my composure, but there was something about the self satisfied smirk on his face that made me grin and wipe a glob of the confection from my chest only to reach out and deposit it right on the tip of his chin. "Oh...oh, my. It looks like you've got a bit on you, as well."
That shut him up. He touched a finger to the little smudge and then brought it to his mouth, and the thought crossed my mind that it was such a terrible shame to waste so much of the fine product. From the look he was giving me, I deduced that he was entertaining a similar notion.
I stepped forward, moving close against him and forcing him back against a stack of crates. Before he could react my lips were on his jaw, tongue darting out to taste the sweet chocolate and clean it away. When I pulled back I could see that his pale cheeks were flushed a deep scarlet, and I knew that it had nothing to do with the heat. "There. Waste not."
His gaze upon mine went from incredulity to understanding, and the beginnings of a smile began to spread across his handsome face. "Indeed." He said simply, and I felt one of his hands snake up to cradle the back of my head while the other lay upon my clean cheek, gently turning my soiled one toward him. Slowly he inched closer, his breath hot on my skin, and I felt the slick drag of his tongue as he licked away the chocolate that I had smeared on my face. Butterfly-hampsters stirred to life in my belly, and I closed my eyes as I melted against him. When they opened once more, expecting to meet his, I saw that his attention was focused no longer upon my face, but rather on the chocolate-coated swath of my visible flesh just above the neckline of my dress. He made no immediate move, however, and I suspected that it was my permission he awaited.
"Go on." I whispered.
His fingers splayed wide in my hair and grasped it, pulling down and forcing my face upward. My breath hitched in my throat as I felt his mouth on my collarbone, his tongue against my skin. Despite the stifling heat, the unmistakable sensation of goosebumps rising across my flesh rippled over me and I relished the cacophony of sensations as he went about his task. When he stopped, a little moan of frustration escaped my throat.
"It's too fucking hot in here..." He growled, and I could not help but sympathize with him. I, too, was tiring of the suffocating heat and the perspiration it evoked.
"Well..." I smirked sweetly, and gave his high collar a little tug. "It might be more bearable without all of this..."
He didn't need to be told twice. The heavy robes and mantle dropped to the wooden floor with a thud, stirring up a low cloud of dust and dried tea leaves. He stood before me wearing nothing more than a short pair of breeches and a grin. My eyes drunk in the sight of his bared chest, toned and muscled and slick with a thin sheen of sweat, and I felt that stirring in my belly again; only it was moving lower with each passing second. One perfectly sculpted arm shot out and grabbed the sleeve of my dress, tugging it down over my shoulder as he pulled me against him once again.
I knew what he wanted next, and seeing the relief that disrobing had brought to him I was fairly certain I wanted it, too. But I was also a practical woman, wiser than my years might suggest, and I knew where our actions would lead if left unchecked. I was no novice, but this man was a complete stranger to me; I didn't even know his name. Still...there was something about what we were doing that titillated my sense of adventure and spurred me onward. There was something about him. My mind decided, I tugged my other sleeve down over my shoulder and let my sweat soaked chemise fall to the floor at my feet. "You missed a spot." I purred in what I hoped was my most alluring voice; pushing my chest out so that there was no mistaking my invitation.
He was on me in a flash, fingers hurriedly running over the edges of my breast wrappings as he attempted in vain to find some way to rid me of them. He was so close, I could smell the sweat and the ash on this skin, and when my my thigh brushed against his there was no mistaking his desire. His distraction provided me with an excellent opportunity to take in his appearance at my leisure. Flawless face, piercing eyes, strong jaw, and a body that Agni himself would envy...perhaps all of this was only my imagination running wild in some daydream.
Despite his best efforts my bindings were still snugly in place, and his teeth clenched in frustration. I heard him curse under his breath, and wondered to myself how a man as beautiful as him could be so woefully inefficient at removing a woman's undergarments. I took pity upon him and reached a finger into their gathering point at my ribs, pulling a single strand loose and allowing the long white cloth to slide off my body and flutter to the ground in a damp tangle.
His gratitude came in the form of a toothy grin as he swung me around, pushing my bare back against the wall of crates as he dipped his head and slid his tongue along the valley between my breasts, lapping at the molten chocolate in a surprisingly efficient fashion. I crooned my approval. His left hand found my right breast, and as I felt his lips drift over my skin toward my left one and gently take my nipple into his mouth I drew in a shallow breath, my own hands fisting in his newly touseled hair. My fingers tugged at the thin black ribbon that bound his topknot, and the long dark locks fell in a silken cascade over his shoulders. He paused his ministrations just then to glance up at me, and I pushed the errant strands from his face.
When his lips touched mine it felt as though some shock of lightning shot through me, igniting my senses and jolting me into a new level of desire. His kiss was passionate, gentle at first, but aggressive—no, ambitious—as he pressed onward. He moved deeper, and I could taste the decadent sweetness of the chocolate on his tongue. Our bare chests slid against one another, bellies still slick with sweat, and I felt him grind his hips against my own, his hands gliding down my back and grasping my rear and the backs of my thighs through my underclothes.
"Speak now and I will stop, but if you do not then so help me Agni I shall have you right here..." he murmured against my ear, thumbs hooking over the top of the thin white garment that was all the clothing between him and my nether regions. Perhaps the aphrodisiac properties of chocolate was not an exaggeration.
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." I quipped, my own hands finding the strings that held his breeches over his hips and tugging them loose. Warm air hit the skin on my backside as he peeled my underclothes off and slid them down my thighs, letting them drop to my feet. A moment later his own pants joined them, and at last we were no more than two naked teenagers in a firelit room. It was exhilarating.
His eyes roamed over my body, and though there was lust and hunger in them I was sure I saw something else, as well. Reverence. I knew that I was attractive, but none of the other men I had been with had ever looked upon me like I was something worthy of worship. The realization brought a newfound flush of scarlet to my cheeks. It quickly deepened as I remembered that he was on display for me, as well. I was not disappointed with the view. He moved toward me once again, pulling me into another passionate kiss, and this time I could clearly feel the hard length of him pressed hot against my belly.
I kissed him back roughly, nipping at his bottom lip and pulling him closer. "What's your name?" I moaned, spreading my thighs as I felt his fingers comb over my mound and push into the slit between my legs. I was slick with desire and gasped aloud when the pad of his thumb rubbed against that most sensitive part of me.
"Ozai." He answered softly and without further explanation. I ground against his hand and he rewarded me with another kiss.
"Good. Now I shall know what name to call out." My coy smile accompanied the proclamation, and he chuckled. Perhaps there is something to be said for the impatience of youth, because I was not in the mood to take things slowly and neither, I suspected, was he. "Take me now, Ozai." I grinned at him nymphishly...yet even as I spoke the words there was something in the back of my mind that had begun to bother me.
"As you wish, my Lady." He replied obligingly, and I found myself lifted easily off the ground by rough hands on the backs of my thighs. He pushed me back against the wall of tea crates, his hips settling in between my legs as he spread them wider. I felt the touch of his manhood against my opening, and heard his soft hum of pleasure as he slowly eased himself inside of me.
One of my arms draped loosely around his neck, my other hand found itself running through his soft hair, and I closed my eyes as he began to thrust into me. It was only a moment before he found his rhythm, and I submitted to the euphoria that was beginning to build deep inside my core. The feeling of our bodies pressed together in that most intimate way was incredible; yet still I could not shake the feeling that something was amiss. My breasts bounced against his chest with his every upward motion, and I murmured his name against the shell of his ear as I bit gently on his lobe. My heart was pounding, and my breathing became labored; but when I felt him begin to plunge harder and deeper, his hot skin growing ever warmer, I knew he was about to send me over the edge. "Ozai..." I said again, louder, more desperately.
His own breath was hitching in his throat, and he was stifling a gruff moan against my neck when I felt the hot rush inside of me, and it was enough to make the ecstasy boil over.
"Ozai!" I cried out, throwing my head back and riding a wave of pleasure, my insides clenching deliciously and sending a shock of intoxicating sensation all the way to my toes. "Ozai..." I whispered again as I came down, my wearied muscles gone useless as I draped myself limply against him. "Ozai..." I nuzzled my cheek against his hair, breathing in his scent. And then it struck me like a bolt of lightning. "Oz...OZAI?!"
"Mm?" He groaned exhaustedly, his face still buried against me.
He looked up, then, eyes still hooded with the aftereffects of his pleasure. "Yes..."
"...Oh." I breathed; sobered and suddenly weighed down with confusion. Two minutes ago I thought I believed in fate; in love at first sight; in the invincibility of youth and the fantasy of passion. I'd met my perfect match, and I let myself believe it might have been possible. Two minutes ago, I was fucking the Prince of the Fire Nation; making a harlot of myself to a man who could have any woman in the world. Only a fool of the highest order could be so stupid. Tears sprung to my eyes, and I turned away. I was overcome with shame, and it hurt to look at him.
"What are you doing?" He demanded, the slightest undertone of panic evident in his voice. "Don't do that...Don't cry..."
"You could have told me!" I cried, suddenly angry as hot tears began to pour down my face, mixing with salt and sweat...and perhaps a bit of residual chocolate.
"I'm sorry!" He backed away like I was a tin of flash powder about to catch fire. His brow furrowed and he looked lost, unsure how to handle a furious naked crying woman. "Does this mean you don't want to see me again?" he ventured, and there was no mistaking the distress in his tone.
"Of course I want to see you again!" I snapped back, crossing my arms over my breasts and scowling at him. "After what we just did, you had better plan to see me again!"
"So...tomorrow night?" Ozai asked hopefully.
"Don't you dare be late." I fixed him with a harsh look, wiping at my eyes with the backs of my hands.
"You're better than chocolate."
It was only then that I allowed myself to believe that—perhaps—we really might have been meant for one another.
A/N: I just...I don't even know. My headcanons are weird.