sweet secrets and other delights, s. gojou
iii. those pretty ladies and their pretty things | masterlist
i | ii | iii | …
synopsis, How odd is it that Satoru Gojou, the most sought out bachelor of the century, has not married? Perhaps it has something to do with you, his personal maid?
includes, fem!maid!reader, angst, smut, fluff, mutual pining, childhood friends, historical au/regency era
MDNI 18+, thank you | wc, 4.3k
a/n — i am sosoososososo sorry for such a late update!! i am struggling with writer’s block :( i will try my best to upload the next chapter earlier as an apology! pls mind the grammatical errors here. this is not thoroughly edited
Seventeen Years Ago
A knock on a door in the middle of the night was never a good sign. And the dreary, rainy weather outside made it all the more eerie and unnerving.
It was much like the beginning of a scary story and truthfully, that night might as well have been one.
Your father's gasp had reached your ears and the sudden slam of the door woke you fully. You watched your father hurriedly slip on a robe over his night clothes with a pensive look.
“Father, what’s happened?” You questioned.
His words that came after were words you did not expect to hear so soon.
“Lord Gojou has passed.”
And admittedly, shamefully, there was someone who you thought more of. Someone who immediately came to mind and that someone was not the recent man who passed.
You asked your father while you slipped on your small slippers, “where is Satoru?”
Satoru never had a regular childhood—never had the chance to be a child. For at the age of twelve, merely days after the death of his father, Satoru was anointed as the head of the Gojou household.
Instead of playing with his dear friends or doing whatever children do, he was expected to run all of the Gojou estates and to handle all family relations at such a young age. He was to learn finances and to learn how to uphold his title so suddenly that he never had the chance to revel in his youth.
While others his age played in the gardens, he was in his study learning how to manage his family’s expenses and his numerous servants.
He did not have anyone to aid him in these responsibilities either, as his uncle had ran off minutes after the reading of his father’s will.
And most of all, Satoru Gojou never had a chance to grieve.
In consequence, for a while, Satoru was exactly like he looked—he was winter: cold and resentful and unrelenting. Like the trees in the countryside, he was dead; stripped from life until nothing of his past self remained.
But there was always you, of course, because with every story there is a you.
A you who is spring and who helped him become alive again, who grew back the dead trees from winter. You, whose pores seemingly seeped the rays of the sun and granted him the warmth he lacked.
You, who reminded him that life was not so bitter—that it was okay for him to be a child because after all, that’s what he still was.
“We could run away.”
Maybe that’s why Satoru has always been one for childish propositions.
“[Name], let us run away.” Satoru repeats more urgently as he shakes your shoulder. Your breathy laugh makes his eyebrows draw together. “What? You think I jest?”
“No… It is just that you have said that before, when we were younger.” You turn your attention toward the ceilings, a soft smile playing at your lips and your gaze blurring as if you are reliving the memory. “Do you remember?”
Yes, he remembers. Satoru remembers every moment with you, in fact. Even the moment when he first met you (which he wishes had occurred differently for he still feels terrible for the things he had said).
And with that being said, he knows the memory you speak of very, very well.
It had been a night like this one, tender and loving and a tangle of naked limbs. You had been eighteen and he had been nearing twenty, at the time. That night, when you had first given him all of you and he had given you all of him, that night was when he also suggested the childish scheme.
“Yes, I remember. And I am just as serious now, than I was then.”
There’s a brief moment of silence that follows until you reply. “Satoru, you would be a duke . This opportunity is—”
Satoru scoffs. “Frankly, my dear, I do not care for this ‘opportunity’.”
“Then what? You give the title to your uncle?” Your voice rises and you glare at him when he does not answer right away. “Satoru, you can’t! He would ruin the lives of the tenants, all of them! He would evict them all off the land, leaving them homeless. You know he will and surely you do not want that.”
He runs a hand through his hair and sighs. “No, I do not.”
Though truth be told, he had thought about it at first—only a second! But he knew you would resent him for it. And if you hated him, well. He would never be able to live with himself. Which is why it was important you did not find out what he knew, for it was far too late to tell you now.
“I know once you said that you could not stand to be my secret any longer…” He pauses to chew on his lip. “But please, hold on for a bit longer… To be honest, I quite like having a sweet secret to myself.”
“I am afraid, I cannot hold on for long.” You pout. “For I am graced with weak arms.”
He laughs and turns to his side to face you. With a thumb, he traces your cheek gingerly. “Trust that I will figure out something—where I can marry you and take my title. Then soon, it will just be the two of us.”
Perplexed you respond, “you cannot take your title unless you marry—”
“Unless I marry you —”
“Marry a high lady who has a respectable family.”
“Why, your father is quite respectable.”
He laughs when you glare at him once more. He always found gratification in teasing you like this.
Truth be told, Satoru could and would not give a damn about his damned title. He did not care for it truly and if he had his way, he would have given it to someone else.
“Trust in me, [Name].” He says. “We’ll be together one way or another.” He will make sure of it.
You glance at him from the corner of your eye. “... In the countryside?”
Satoru nods and his smile turns more into a wide grin as he cups your cheek. He knows this little game of yours—he knows how you like to pretend.
He knows it very well and he likes to indulge with you in these fantasies. Though, he’d rather not call them fantasies, no… As Satoru genuinely believes that they will come to fruition.
“Wherever you like, my lady.”
Your tongue darts out to lick your bottom lip and in an instance, Satoru's gaze falls there. “I would like to live in the countryside.”
“Then in the countryside we will reside.” He leans into you and quickly pecks your mouth. “Tell me, would you prefer a cottage or an estate… Or a castle?”
“Oh, a cottage, most definitely,” You sigh longingly and run a hand through his soft hair. “A cottage in the countryside. Where the grass is high and the wildflowers are rampant and where it is far, far from the city.”
“Hm…” Satoru hums as he adjusts himself to lay on top of you. He inspects your face, admires it prolongedly as if he is seeing you for the first time. “Would we raise farm animals?”
Your eyebrows scrunch together and your lips curl, making an expression of disgust. He cannot help but laugh. “Oh, no . I do not think I can handle raising cows or chickens. Think of the smell!”
“I do not want to think of the smell, [Name]… Certainly not now .” He mumbles while he begins to kiss your jaw, only to travel downwards.
Saroru feels your throat bob against his lips when you swallow. Your hands aimlessly caress his bare back and your voice wavers, telling him that you are very much trying to act as if he is not currently ravishing you with his mouth. “E-exactly! So, no farm animals then.” You clear your throat. “But wait, what of my father?”
“He is welcome to live with us, obviously. He always is.”
He feels you nod while his fingertips gently rub around your nipple, making you yelp and making your nipple taut.
Both of you had already done it numerous times tonight, but it is important to note that Satoru was insatiable when it comes to you. No matter how many times you have given yourself to him, he always is left wanting more of you.
“ Ah … We could start our own restaurant.”
And despite your feigning of disregard, he knows full well that you like it.
“Mmm, we would be a success. You are a well renowned chef, after all.” Satoru nibbles on your collarbone, letting his tongue lightly meet your skin every once in a while—tasting you and savoring your sweetness in his mouth. He presses the softest of kisses on your breasts and he whispers, “aren’t you?”
“Yes. Yes I… I am..” You respond breathily. “A-and the mochi I make is good.”
“The mochi you make is very good… Though truthfully, I would like for you to make it only for me .” His teeth graze your hard nipple and he feels you shiver underneath him.
“Then make it only for you, I-I shall!”
You yelp when he bites down on your breast and when you come to scold him, he pushes off you and exclaims loudly, “then it is settled! We shall live together in a cottage in the countryside. No farm animals and a bakery and lots of wildflowers and grass and with your father.”
Satoru, who lives for your pleasure, interrupts you with a drawn out kiss.
As he works your mouth with his, he reminisces of the life he will have with you in the future, and that certain word lingers in his mouth and in the air like it always does.
Satoru loves you. Ardently, sincerely, endlessly. He loves you with his heart and his soul and sometimes he struggles to contain it.
And yet, he has yet to tell you. But that is merely because he is saving those three intimate words when he bends the knee.
Which he plans to do soon. He has said it before, however, he doubts you remember or heard, for that matter.
But in the heat of this moment, when his lips are merging with yours and your hearts begin to beat simultaneously, he nearly says it to you.
“I—“ he stops himself. He breathes heavily against you, skin on skin as if you are one of the same. Satoru traces the outline of your face, he has done it so many times before but he never gets tired of doing it.
“You are my life,” he tells you instead.
In vain, you struggle. You could not do much but watch as he flirts and dances with high ladies—high ladies adorn in the most expensive of jewelry and gowns. They are all dressed elegantly and unique, no debutante the same. Their diamonds and jewels glimmer from the chandelier and their dresses flow elegantly as they dance.
You look at your own attire—your typical, old maid uniform and your bamboo shoes.
Oh, how jealous you are of those pretty ladies and their pretty things.
Though jewels and fine dresses are not the things you envy most. No. Rather it is one thing they have that you do not, that you find yourself envying most of all.
And that is the chance to marry Satoru— honorably . It is the chance to court and flirt with him publicly, to show everyone in the ton just how much you adore one another.
It is not having to be his sweet secret.
You cannot bring yourself to be mad at Satoru for it is his duty to keep up appearances. To keep the ton at bay and not be suspicious of him— of you two .
But something seems to be different today. What, you don’t know. Because while you watch as he flaunts himself to other women, like you have watched time and time before, you feel your throat tighten and your eyes well up.
Perhaps it was because you finally let reality settle in.
You excuse yourself to no one in particular (you’ve just gotten used to it) and you make your way through the long, exquisite halls of the estate.
You find yourself in an empty room, embellished with a single large mirror. It was unlikely for anyone to find you here. Perhaps even Satoru.
“Have you come to ask if I am jealous, Sat—“ You tense. “My lord.”
When you turn you expect to find Satoru there, as he usually has a way of finding you. But, no.
He shuts the door when he fully enters the room. He grins and his steps, slow and menacing, echo in the room while he makes his way towards you. If the devil were real, you would be staring right at him.
“It has been quite a while, has it not [Name]?” Kurayami asks.
He looks just as he did last time you had seen him: evil and ugly. Sometimes you wonder how he shares the same blood as Satoshi and Satoru Gojou because while those two were handsome, Kurayami was not. You like to insult him in your head by telling yourself that he is illegitimate.
You swallow hard before you answer. “I will take my leave.”
But as you make your way past him, his hand grips your arm with force. He seethes and drags you closer to him. “A servant does not get to decide what they do.”
He pulls you towards a large mirror across the room and adjusts you by your shoulders so you face it. His hands on you make you want to disintegrate into nothingness.
“Should I remind you of your place? Hm?” He asks. “Look at yourself. Look, I said!” Kurayami’s hand grasps onto your chin harshly, and with force he makes you look at your reflection in the large mirror.
“Ugly and poor and a mere maid —that is what you are and that is what you will always be .” He snares his teeth. “The bottom of the barrel. The shit on the bottom of a horse’s hoof, as you are not worthy enough to be on the bottom of a shoe .” His grasp on you tightens. “ The lowly whore maid .”
“You are wrong,” you manage to croak out from your tightened throat, as you are holding yourself back from crying.“Satoru loves me. We are—”
“Satoru’s head is merely clouded with lust. He only loves fucking you, that is all.” He scoffs.
You know his words are not true. You know, you know, you know .
“Tell me—has he even told you he loves you?”
… Do you know?
You betray yourself. Tears spill down your cheeks, hot and never ending. They pool at the crevice where Kurayami’s hand holds your chin and they drip on the wooden floor. He clicks his tongue in disgust because of this.
Two unfamiliar voices from outside the room reach your ears and so you have no choice but to hold in your cries and suffer from Kurayami’s wrath.
“How odd is it that Lord Gojou is just now seeking marriage? Last I heard, he was not interested in marriage… For whatever reason.” It is an older woman who speaks, that much you know.
A lighter voice responds, one that sounds much more younger than the first. “Well, mother, he is a rake after all. He was probably much too busy entertaining the ladies at a gentlemen's club.” They scoff. “Honestly, I pity whoever marries him—he would be an unfaithful husband.”
Your heart aches for your secret lover and your blood boils from the words exchanged. Satoru is far from their beliefs and you know this more than anyone. You have been with him for so long, after all. He was faithful as one could be and despite Kurayami’s words, you know he loves you…
You do know. It does not need to be exchanged between you both as it always lingered in the air when you two were together. It is always there—in the air, in his actions, in his words.
Their footsteps grow quieter as they walk farther away from the door.
“Do you hear what they say about your lord?” Kurayami whispers near your ear. “That is all because of you . You have tainted his reputation, have made him look like a fool. You are his downfall.”
Your jaw tightens, but your heart sinks because you know his words hold truth. “Let go of me or I will—“
“Will , what? ” He laughs. “Yell? Tell someone? Hah ! Stupid girl. Think for once. Who will the majority believe, hm? A lord? Or a maid?”
He shoves you back from your chin, making you stumble on your feet and fall on your behind. He steps closer to you, towers over you and looks down at you, his eyes cold and hard and filled with resentment.
He squares his shoulders and he sneers, only to spit on you.
You flinch from it, as it lands on your cheek, but his actions do not stop you from insulting him. “You are no lord.”
“No… No, but I will be.” He whispers. “I have done so much to get here—Satomi’s death was not in vain and I have rid everything that could possibly stand in my way and I will continue to do so.”
Your expression contorts into confusion however before you could question him, he steps towards the door.
Kurayami stares at you like you are grime on the floor. “Clean yourself up. You look disgusting.”
You must give yourself credit where credit is due. You do a fine job in cleaning yourself up as if nothing happened. Perhaps it was due to your thorough maid lessons growing up, or perhaps it is due to the fact that you have done this too many times to count.
The sudden opening of the door startles you, however, seeing Satoru eases your nerves. “Sa—My lord—?“
“[Name],” Satoru’s grins widely as soon as he spots you in the dark room. His eyes light up even in the darkness. “I lost sight of you in the ballroom, so I left to come look for you.”
“I apologize. I was feeling ill.”
“ Oh ?” He smirks and hugs you from behind. “Or were you jealous ?”
He always asked this whenever he would attend balls. It was not uncommon and you know he does it because he loves to tease you. And whenever he did ask you would always reply, ‘no’ or some other snarky form of no to incite him.
… But tonight something seems to be different after all.
You answer truthfully with a heavy heart. “I was jealous.”
The sincerity in your answer makes Satoru’s gaze soften. He steps towards you, grazing his knuckles over the smooth expanse of your cheek. “There is no need to be. After all, you were and always will be the only lady I have my sights on. Even if I am talking to some forgettable debutante, my focus is always on you. No matter where I am in a room, I always manage to find you.”
When you do not answer, Satoru grows worried. He grabs ahold of your arms, caressing your skin in reassurance. “[Name]. You must know I do not mean anything I do or say with debutantes. It is merely for show—just to please the ton.”
“Yes. I know.”
Satoru smiles before he leans close to you, his mouth ghosting over yours. As his bottom lip grazes yours, you back away from him. His eyebrows draw in confusion and his smile falters.
The words of Kurayami creep into mind. They fill every crevice and every space of your head until it is all you think about—all you can hear. Like the strident sound of thunder, it is hard to ignore.
“Tell me—has he even told you he loves you?”
You put a hand towards his chest. “We should stop,” you whisper.
“We should stop.” You repeat, stepping back. “Not tonight, my lord. You have a ball to host and… And an eligible wife to look for.”
“ [Name] —“
“Please.” Your voice betrays you as it comes out strained and wavering. You turn from him, not wanting for him to see the oncoming tears fall. “Please, just… Just not tonight. Leave me be, I am begging you.”
You hear his hesitant step towards you and then you hear him back away. An uncomfortable silence overtakes the room.
“As you wish.”
And even after the door shuts and his footsteps become further away, you do not dare to turn back.
“That maid is ruining you.” The voice reaches his ears once he enters his study.
Satoru was done with the ball and told his other maids to dismiss everyone. He did not care if that seemed to be rude, that he himself did not dismiss them, as that was the least of his problems.
Your sudden and odd change of demeanor he found you in…
Had he done something wrong?
“That maid has a name. Use it.” Satoru spits out as he goes to undo his tie.
“Ohoh!“ Kurayami laughs. “Spoken like a true man with a high title! Why do you not speak to that maid like that?”
Instead of replying, Satoru fills a glass cup with whiskey to the brim. He brings it up to his lips and tips his head back, letting the sting of alcohol run through his throat slowly—reminding him that he is, infact, alive.
“Frankly, I do not care for her name, Satoru.” Kurayami yawns and continues. “I do not even need to know it for she will have to leave after you take on a suitable wife.”
He slams his cup down once he has finished it. “I am not marrying anyone unless it is Lady [Name].”
“Lady [Name]? Lady ? Oh, please.” He scoffs. “Do not humor me. That woman has no title… Do you always use honorifics when addressing your other personal prostitutes?”
Satoru has always been quite quick. His hand turns into a fist and his fist reaches the cheek of his uncle all too quickly. And before the older man can fall to the ground with a pained groan, Satoru pulls him up by the collar, his knuckles turning white from the tension.
“Have you come to anger me more? Is that it? ” His eyes, wide and unnerving, stare right through Kurayami. “Do not speak of her that way. Ever. In fact, do not even have her name spill from your lips again because you do not deserve to say it.”
The man merely smiles, angering Satoru even more. “Let me go, Satoru. I only jest, swear it.”
Satoru laughs sarcastically, but nonetheless, he obliges. Though, he does so for his own sake rather than Kurayami’s.
He coughs and adjusts himself while he feels the area where he was punched. “Satoru—”
“Do not think I am stupid, uncle. Your sudden appearance and the odd discovery of a will that was ‘hidden by my father’ is no coincidence.” Satoru eyes narrow, they grow cold like winter, and if Kurayami was a smart man—which he is not—he would know not to incite him anylonger. “Whatever you are planning, be cautious. For I will be here waiting to end you once I have a reason—no. A chance to.”
“What?” He chuckles. “You would kill your last relative? Hah , you—!”
“If I must, I will. Quite frankly, uncle, I do not care for you enough to spare your life. And I will do anything to get what I want… Even if that means murder.” His expression darkens. “Perhaps we are similar in that regard.”
Kurayami blinks rapidly in shock while he soaks in his words. His jaw ticks and his fists clench beside him. “You do not get to speak to me like that!”
“Whyever not?” Satoru raises a brow and tips his chin. “I alone am your lord. And you? You are nothing but someone below me.”
He steps on his shoe unapologetically when he goes to leave his study, which has now been defiled with the distasteful presence of Kurayami.
But before Satoru leaves, he looks back at his grumbling uncle.
“Learn your place.”
Twelve Years Ago
You had read a book on lovemaking once before. Though you are quite certain now, words would never encapsulate the true essence of lovemaking. For you have just experienced it for the first time and it is…
It is ethereal, otherworldly, to have someone you hold dear to your heart so close, skin on skin. To have them share pleasure with you. To have them, all of them, in the most intimate way possible. Two souls merging as one, a puzzle piece finding its match.
In a room far from any others, with tangled limbs and a stuffy atmosphere and a bed that is far from salvageable, is where you and Satoru lay.
You rest on top of him with your heart still beating rapidly from minutes before and his chest heaving against you. His hot breath fans your cheek and the sweat the two of you produced have mixed together.
His arms wrap around you securely and tightly, as if you would leave him. But how could you?
“We should run away.”
You look up at him to find his eyes closed. Sweat glides down his forehead and you watch as it races down his nose. “Where would we go?”
“Far away. Where it is just us and only us. No titles nor the prying ton.”
“But my father… He would not approve of us running away together.”
Satoru sighs dramatically and casts his other arm over his eyes, a hint of a smile forming on his lips. “Perhaps he will approve when I marry you.”
You laugh, for you are much too tired from your prior activities to reply. Even then, you found his claims humorous, unrealistic.
“[Name].” He mumbles.
You exhale through your nose lightly as you struggle to keep your eyes open. “Hm?”
“Thank you. For giving yourself to me.”
Satoru mumbles something else, but you have already fallen asleep.
“I love you.”
@angelmitsuri @karakento @rando-fando-fernando