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Sleep's Enough of a Pleasure

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When the courtesan shoved open the sliding door, hair strands loose and face stoic as a wall, Kageie knew he would like her.

When she saw him, though, she immediately softened into a much coyer woman, her smile embarrassed as she gushed apologies and platitudes at the “handsome lord” who had “honored her with his generous visit.”

Kageie decided she was worth getting up off the floor for and looked for the hairs looping over the nape of her neck, the shadows under her eyes, the flaws underneath her makeup. He decided those things were good. They made her human. He found himself able to give her a small smile.

Despite the suspicious twitch in her brow, the courtesan’s tone was sweet. “Well, what is Milord’s pleasure? If I knew his desires, his displeasures, I am sure I could give him the best-feeling night he could ever fantasize--”

“You tired?” he interrupted.

She laughed, but it was fake. Designed to serve her customers. “Never too tired to lavish you, Milord.” She tried to progress by stepping against him and wrapping her arms around his neck, but he gently grabbed her wrists and slid his hands into hers. Kageie liked the way her eyes widened and shoulders softened when he gave her a tiny smile.

“We don’t have to do it. Just let me borrow your lap?”

“Huh?”

Kageie decided to do more work than he normally ever did for the occasion of his favorite activity. He pulled the room’s bedding next to the wall. Then took her hand, led her to it, and gently pressed her shoulders until she sat down against it. Then for his favorite part: he promptly laid his head against her soft legs and closed his eyes.

“I-is there not anything else I can do for you, Milord? Anything you like?”

“I like this,” he said. She was warm and Kageie felt somehow comforted by the human scent of sweat and sex underneath the luxurious perfume she’d tried to hide it with.

“Not even a kiss or anything?” she asked again. Her voice got warmer the more she spoke to him.

“If you want,” Kageie said. He didn’t move.

“My job is to please you,” she laughed.

“Mmmm. Maybe a goodnight kiss then.”

“All right, if that’s all...”

Kageie felt his pillow shift slightly as the courtesan leaned down above him. He could feel her close, her gentle breath on his cheek. But he did not open his eyes.

“Where would you like it?” she asked.

“Wherever you feel like,” he mumbled.

She snorted. He loved how normal and unrefined it was.

He felt her hand hold his cheek, felt her shift closer. He concentrated on remaining as still as possible.

Her gentle lips chose to plant themselves in the center of his forehead with a soft sound. It was a shame when she lifted her head again; the cool air made the traces of her kiss cold.

He could feel that she was still above him. Her thumbs followed the arc of his lips. And then...those warm, soft lips of hers lingered on his own. He decided he was happy to let her do as she pleased. He mustered just enough energy to kiss her back right before she pulled back again with that cute, wet sound again.

He felt her gentle laugh vibrate through her leg. “So do you want to do anything or not?”

“Hnnn…” he groaned with a goofy grin. “Next time. Too tired.”

She sighed and leaned back against the wall.

“Did you come to the pleasure quarters just to sleep?” she asked, amused.

“Sure,” he mumbled. He nestled his face in her stomach. “Actually...I made my friend come here when he lost a bet. His head’s always in the gutter anyway, so I thought it was about time he got laid…” Normally he wouldn’t speak so much to a stranger. But she was nice and fun. And he liked how her arms had settled around him, brushing his hair. “Anyway, I just happened to be here.”

“You did, huh,” her voice was quiet, still amused.

“You need sleep too.” He said it like the fact it was.

The sigh in her stomach was so emphatic, it pushed his head. That made him smile again.

“It’s been a long day,” she admitted. It was so honest and unguarded, nothing like the politely flirtatious courtesan she had been just minutes before. With all of her formalities stripped away, she even sounded just like a normal girl from town. She felt reachable, Kageie thought.

“Lousy customers?” Kageie put in the effort to ask.

“Well…”

“Hm. Sucks.”

“It’s really not that bad. I’m just...tired…” She had the cutest yawn. He heard her head touch the wall behind her. Her hands stopped brushing his hair. Well, that was fast.

Kageie, for his part, breathed softly against her stomach as he let his consciousness slip. Wrapped in the warmth and softness of a human who welcomed him despite neither of them knowing who the other was...There was no simpler peace. “‘S nice…” he mumbled against her. He didn’t know if she realized how nice she was. Maybe if they ever ran into each other again…

Sleep came to visit before he could finish his dream of a thought.