What Rome Cannot Take (Syphax x MC)

Summary: Syphax and MC (Flavia) share a secret, intimate moment.

Notes: I just couldn’t get this little scene out of my head and had to write it down. I have more plans for Syphax though, so stay tuned!

Syphax jolted out of sleep, momentarily disoriented. This room looked too luxurious to be his own, and yet it was familiar . . . and then he remembered. He looked to his left and saw Flavia sleeping beside him, her blonde hair spread across her bare back like silk in the slice of moonlight from her window. Syphax sat up, carefully so as not to wake her, and rubbed a hand across his eyes. He knew he shouldn’t have come to Flavia’s room, no matter how beguiling she was. In doing so, he’d betrayed Lena’s trust and overstepped his position again and again and again. And yet he’d be unable–or unwilling–to resist.

He slowly swung his feet over the side of the bed and stood up, stretching his limbs in the darkness. Flavia turned in the bed, reaching for him, only to find empty sheets.

“My love?” she murmured, her voice thick with sleep.

Syphax felt his heart twist at her words and he knelt beside the bed, taking her hand. “I’m here.” He paused, swallowing hard. “But you can’t say things like that.”

“Rome has taken everything from me except my heart and my tongue,” Flavia said defiantly, sleep receding from her voice. “I’ll use them as I please.”

Syphax sighed and climbed back into bed beside her, pulling her into his arms. She nestled against him, bare skin pressed against his.

“What we’re doing is dangerous,” Syphax said. “If we’re not careful, they could take your heart and tongue.”

“So we’ll be careful.”

“Flavia . . .”

“Syphax.” Flavia pulled back a little and tilted his face down towards hers, holding his gaze in the pale moonlight. “Please.”

It was a familiar discussion, one they’d had dozens of times before on nights exactly like this one, and they both knew how it would end. Syphax traced her delicate jawline with his fingers, studying her face. The responsible part of him knew he should walk away, should end this affair before he was in too deep, but in the back of his mind he knew it was already too late. May the gods have mercy on him, but he loved her too much to let her go. He kissed her, fingers twining in her golden hair. Her lips parted against his, drawing him closer as she hooked her leg over his bare hip. Sometimes he felt like she was trying to consume him, to take him into herself and fuse them together to compensate for when they had to part.

He didn’t mind, because she was right. Rome may have taken almost everything from him, but he could still love whomever he wanted. And he chose her.

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