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Title: My Only Love
Fandom: Versailles
Rating: Explicit
Genre: Drama
Word Count: 1003
Chapters: 1/?
Characters/pairing: Fabien Marchal/Sophie de Clermont.
Warnings: Torture, rough sex
Summary: Estranged from Fabien, Sophie returns to Versailles, continuing her work as his spy. When Fabien decides to play a long game with Sophie as pawn, the hopes of them finding each other again, gets dangerously close to be permanently shattered. A sequel to Falling.

My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy./William Shakespeare

Sophie returned to Versailles heartbroken, and at first felt almost overwhelmed by the size and splendour of the palace. But within days she had started to re-build friendships, ordering a new gown, and learned what fashions in hair and clothes were the current rage. She looked for Mariette, and lured her back into her service with the promise of a better wage, and set her maid to make her wardrobe fashionable again. Somewhat to her surprise she slid back into her former life with ease and found she still loved it. To her relief her long absence had not given rise to any harmful gossip. One thing Fabien had taught her was to keep lies as close to the truth as possible. When she had lived with Madame Marchal, she had maintained she had a position at Versailles, albeit not as elevated as it truly was, which was why she needed to leave her child under the care of others. And to her friends at court she had left because her mother had fallen gravely ill. Now she returned with a story of Beatrice’s death, and it felt like a relief for Sophie to not have to pretend she was still alive anymore. She also made up a cousin who had had a baby, which made it possible to talk about Henriette as a young relative, on occasion. To a small extent it helped when the longing for her daughter grew too big.

It was an oddly dual existence; Sophie enjoyed her life at Versailles at the same time she wished she could live with Henriette and Madame Marchal. It was a strange feeling to enjoy a ball, but then return to her room and be overwhelmed with the desire to be with her daughter. At least she was not alone in this situation. No one raised children at Versailles, the air around the palace deemed far too dangerous for immature lungs. Though she could not talk openly about Henriette, Sophie often listened to the married woman at court when they talked about their children. She frequently wrote to Madame Marchal, pouring out all her longing in them, and Madame Marchal wrote back with reports of Henriette’s progress. The letter were always sent and received through Fabien and she knew he must read them, but he never mentioned the content. It hurt Sophie he seemed to have no interest in Henriette, but she said nothing. He had made sure their child was safe and cared for, and Sophie could not demand more.

Along with her daily life at court, her secret life as a spy continued. Sophie was determined to do the tasks Fabien gave her as well as possible, giving him no cause to complain. She knew he would not forbid her to visiting Henriette out of spite, but he could do it if he felt she didn’t did do her best. Their relationship did not improve on her return. He spoke little to her, only the words needed when she reported to him. There were no more book to read, and no more interesting discussion. He had closed her out, and Sophie was too proud to try to make amends. She still missed what they had had, and she missed him in her bed. Sometimes she wondered if he missed her too, or if he had found someone else. To her annoyance she felt jealousy at the thought, but she could see no signs of another woman. Fabien had returned to his solitary existence, and Sophie tried to convince herself it was better for her like this. But at night, when her body ached for his company, her reasons for thinking so, abandoned her.

When she had been back for a few weeks, Fabien asked her if she knew who Nicolas de Varade was.

Sophie mind's eye conjured up a tall lean man around thirty-five, neither handsome nor ugly. Not a man she had viewed with any interest.

“Yes, he is one of Monsieur Colbert’s secretaries. I don’t know him; he came here when I was away.”

“Indeed. He is a hard-working man who doesn’t gamble, doesn’t drink, or chase women.”

“Sounds like you,” Sophie couldn’t help saying, but Fabien didn’t raise to the bait.

He is also a pious man, and is generally praised for his loyalty. I want you to become on intimate terms with him.”

Sophie felt a sour taste in her mouth, and a knot of unease formed in her stomach. The implication of using her body to gain information had always been there, but until now Fabien had never asked her to to do so.

“You want me to seduce him?”

“No”, Fabien said quickly. “I want him to fall in love with you. I want you to make him think you are perfect, beyond reproach in all things. Even if he asks for your favours, you are to withhold them.”

It was suddenly easier to breathe again.

“What is it you want me to find out?”

“Nothing. He might decide to confide in you, but if it happens, you will not try to press him to divulge more. Listen and tell me what he says, that is all. Information is not the reason to why I want you to be close to him.”

“Then what is the reason?”

“The less you know about it, the better.”

Sophie frowned. She didn’t quite like the sound of this, but hopefully Fabien would tell her more eventually.

“I’m not sure I can make someone fall in love with me. Especially not such a dour person as Monsieur de Varade.”

“Of course you can.”

For the first time this evening Fabien looked straight at her. Sophie could feel a blush rise on her cheeks even before he continued; she had almost forgotten how intense his gaze could be. A heat spread through her body, and for a moment she could see desire in Fabien’s eyes, before he looked away.

“You are the most desirable woman in Versailles, after all.”
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