It’s barely even a duel between the two of them: she’s already forgotten any pretext of the quarrel they were supposedly having. But the activity feels nice, and is sating an itch she’s been trying to fight since arriving in King’s Stoke, that something is coming and she needs to practice, prepare.

It’s scratching another itch she’s been distracted from, the physical itch of craving conflict just for the sheer pleasure of the coming together afterwards. She’s never really fought against Frederick, knows so little about how he moves with a blade to hand, how he steps and dodges, fleet of foot and quick-wristed. If this is all she can have for now, she’ll relish it and dive into it and HA! He didn’t expect her to use her scarf to block his knife and that time she got close enough to smell his scent and feel the warmth left in the air by his body.

It’s flirting and it’s foreplay, and she’s enjoying the teasing playfulness. In lieu of a bar fight, in lieu of everything else she wants, she’ll take a blow to give one, though it stings, and when it’s over they collapse against each other a little and she can lean into the warmth of his torso as he leans on her.

She wills the stinging pain to last a little longer. She nestles a little closer.

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