Mutually Beneficial

written and illustrated by juou no zan (女王のザン)

The wedding was lovely. It was the first time the bride and groom had met, but that didn’t stop their parents from going all out. It wasn’t like it was about them anyway; it was an alliance for their families and an excuse to show off to each other and the world how well-off they were and how well-off this match made them.

Zodwa was pleasantly surprised to find her new husband, Kabelo, attractive. It wasn’t like their parents would let either of them back out, so it was nice that at least they had that going for them.

It was an evening ceremony, so while the reception continued to cement both their families’ places as influential and important, they attempted to slip out. It failed, of course, and they left to a chorus of hoots and explicit encouragement that everyone would politely ignore the next day, both of them blushing.

While they were busy, someone had arranged for all their things to be moved into their new, permanent, shared rooms. The curtains were drawn and the lanterns were lit, and there was a little tray on the bed with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Kabelo locked the door behind them, threw the bolt, and let out a sigh. Zodwa quite knew how he felt.

Kabelo unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, then moved down to his vest buttons. As he shucked his vest, he asked, “Do you need help getting out of anything?”

“Oh, not really,” Zodwa said. Her dressmaker made everything so she could get out of it herself, since she was so leery of letting a maid attend her. “I don’t really have layers to strip down to. It’s just this and then my underwear.”

“Well,” he said, his shoulders drawing up a bit, “isn’t that the idea?”

He was right, of course, it was their wedding night. But her underthings weren’t exactly a practical shift she could sit around and talk in. They were more decorative and less modest than any other undergarments she owned.

“Unless you’re stripping all the way down right now,” Zodwa said, “I think I’ll wait.” She did sit down on the vanity stool to pull her shoes off, though.

Kabelo stopped undressing once he was in only his shirt and trousers, so Zodwa kept her dress on. He was thinner than he had looked fully dressed. He crossed to the bed and ran his fingers along the rim of the tray holding the wine. Perhaps she was imagining it, but she thought she saw his hand shake a little. He looked over at her. “Would you like a glass of wine, Lady Mutema?”

“God, yes,” she said, and he laughed.

Once they both had a glass of expensive wine in hand, it seemed less awkward to sit next to each other on the bed. Sitting, she was just barely taller than him; she supposed his height was in his legs. Honestly, Zodwa was just glad she didn’t tower over him; she was just a little tall and he was just a little short, so they were altogether about the same height. Not that being a less aesthetically pleasing couple would have stopped their parents from arranging this match; they were both the only viable options for each other.

Faintly, they heard a fanfare. “Well, I feel celebrated,” Kabelo said, and she laughed. 

“At least no one can gossip about us anymore,” Zodwa said.

“Mm.” He said in a nasally false voice,”‘Why is an eligible son of a family like yours still single?'”

In a similar mocking voice, she said, “‘Don’t you care about future generations of magic?'” She clinked her glass against his. He looked at her, and took a deep breath.

“May I kiss you?” he asked.

Zodwa laughed, and set her glass on the tray. “I’m your wife,” she said. “Technically, you can do anything you want to me.”

“Well since I’m not a fiend,” he said, “I think I’ll ask.” He set his glass next to hers, and leaned in to kiss her.

Kissing was nice. It was messy and undignified, but it was nice. Kabelo laid a hand on her cheek, which was sweet, and put his tongue in her mouth, which was less gross than she expected.

When they drew apart, panting, Zodwa immediately grabbed the tray with their glasses and the bottle on it and shoved it over onto the vanity. Kabelo, flushed, said, “Eager, are you?”

“You aren’t?” she asked, in lieu of the more obvious and crass comment about how he could tell. “I don’t know how old you are, but I would have been married years ago if my parents thought anyone was trustworthy.”

“It’s not that I don’t find you attractive,” Kabelo said. “But, well.” He rubbed one of his thumbs with the fingers of his other hand. “We did just meet. I mean, no one’s going to be checking the sheets for blood in our case.”

“Oh,” she said. “You’re worried it’s going to hurt.”

He flushed a color so deep, Zodwa fancied she could feel the heat of it on her own face. “Well,” he said, “doesn’t it?”

“It doesn’t have to,” she said. Zodwa had done more research on what vaginas actually needed, and what they didn’t, and how to take proper care of them, than anyone else she knew. Well, maybe not the midwife she’d talked to, but everyone else. It wasn’t even necessarily that she wanted one, though obviously her life would have been simpler if she had one. It was just the one part of womanhood she couldn’t experience firsthand, even with magical assistance; it felt like the least she could do was know as much as she could.

“But we don’t have to do that right away,” Zodwa said. “We could do other things.”

“I guess I should have known you’d understand,” he said, still flushed.

She smiled at him and put her hand on his leg. “We are in this together,” she said. “Not just literally.”

Kabelo swallowed and put one of his hands on hers. “You won’t think I’m a terrible cocktease if I don’t put out tonight, then?” he said, like it was a joke but with what Zodwa could tell was still real worry behind it.

“Lord Mutema, if you wouldn’t think badly of me for needing to wait, I won’t think badly of you,” she said. “But I would like to–to do something. If you want.”

Kabelo bit his lip and moved his hand over to her leg. “Well, I could probably manage something,” he said. He kissed her again, and let his hand creep up her leg to the tent in her skirt. Even though she could tell it was coming, she twitched and moaned. It felt so good to have someone else touch her.

When her underthings became somewhat damp and constraining, she suggested they take off their remaining clothes. Kabelo helped her slide off her dress, which left her in her skimpy lace camisole and panties, while he was still in his shirt and trousers. It was terribly embarrassing, but also, for some reason, even more arousing than if he had been just as unclothed. Zodwa sat back down on the bed to watch him undress. He made short work of his shirt and trousers, but underneath that he had a tightly laced vest as well as drawers. She realized his outer vest must have been padded to even out his figure, and that was why he looked thinner without them. Of course, she never wore heels if she could help it and wouldn’t have been caught dead in any puffy or padded-shoulder top, no matter how fashionable, so she understood. Being in a prominent family was at least half about appearances, and neither of them wanted to give anyone a reason to question theirs.

He unlaced the vest and squirmed somewhat less than gracefully out of it. His face was flushed again, but Zodwa didn’t say anything and so, wordlessly, Kabelo pushed her back onto the bed and climbed atop her.

They both moaned when their groins met. He was so hot and soft against her–Kabelo’s drawers were at least as damp as hers–and he jerked his hips against her, so Zodwa could feel her cock sliding against him. “Well,” he said, rather choked. “That feels good.” She laughed and nodded. He rolled his hips again and they both shuddered. “I think I see what you mean,” he said. “We could both be quite satisfied with this.”

He shifted his weight to one side and dragged one of his hands down from her shoulder to her breast. Zodwa moaned and bucked her hips without meaning to, and Kabelo said, “Oh!” He squeezed, gently, and said, “I didn’t realize how much nicer someone else’s tits would be.”

Zodwa laughed and said, “I’m rather fond of them.” Kabelo rubbed at her nipple through the soft lace, and she twitched beneath him again.

“Well this is wonderful,” he said, as his every slightest movement drew more noises and twitches from Zodwa. He pushed himself up so he was straddling her, and she wanted to protest him leaving her breasts alone, but the movement pressed and rubbed against her cock. Kabelo jerked his hips a bit as he settled, even, so Zodwa knew her length nestled against him still felt good for him as well. Then, with both hands free as he sat, pinning her cock between him and her abdomen, Kabelo slid his hands up her waist to cup both of her breasts at once.

She squirmed and gasped at his touch, and when he swiped his thumbs over her nipples, she said, “Oh goodness, Kabelo.” He grinned, and they spent a thoroughly enjoyable eternity like that. He ground his hips down against her cock while he fondled her breasts through the thin fabric of her camisole. It grew almost torturous as it went on, as Zodwa could tell she wasn’t able to come like that, and she doubted he was, but neither did she want him to stop.

Eventually though, he did stop, and climbed off of her, which she assumed had something to do with how his underwear had soaked through to hers as well. She felt this was confirmed when Kabelo immediately rolled his drawers down and tossed them off the bed. She started to roll onto her side, to face him, but he stopped her with a hand on her belly. He tugged at the hem of her camisole. “You should take this off,” he said. Zodwa sat up to do that, and only got halfway through before he reached up and tweaked one of her nipples. She squeaked, and he laughed as she struggled to finish taking off her top. By the time Zodwa got her top off, Kabelo had hooked his fingers in the waistband of her panties and was tugging them down, so she squirmed enough to free them from under her hips and he helped her roll them down her legs. He tossed them away from the bed the same way he’d tossed his drawers. Then he pushed her back onto the bed and climbed atop her again.

The difference removing their underwear made was enormous. Kabelo was hot, and wet, and without their underwear in the way, Zodwa’s cock slid between his labia and against his clit deliciously. He groaned and rubbed against her, again and again, until she was worried she might slip inside him on accident. She had to force herself to say, “Stop.”

Kabelo stopped at once, though he was flushed and breathing heavily. “What?” he asked. “Is something wrong?”

Zodwa laughed and said, “God, no.”

He rolled his hips again, slowly, sliding along her shaft. He slid far enough that the head of her cock brushed against his opening, and he stopped. “Oh,” he said. He looked down at her. “Did I understand correctly that you wouldn’t mind…going all the way?”

“You should probably start with something smaller than my cock,” Zodwa said. “Since you were worried it would hurt.” Granted, he was certainly turned on enough that she doubted that would be a factor in whether it felt good for him, but the research she’d done was all over the place in how much, and for how long, a first penetration hurt. It only seemed like common sense that gradually stretching whatever hymen Kabelo had would hurt less than immediately stretching it all the way.

“Oh,” he said. He wriggled on top of her, and goodness gracious, she didn’t want him to stop. “I suppose that makes sense,” he said. Kabelo ran his hands up Zodwa’s stomach to her breasts and cupped them. “It is difficult to think of being reasonable when you look like this beneath me,” he said. Between his wet heat against her cock and his hands on her breasts, Zodwa didn’t exactly want to be reasonable. But they needed to have children for this marriage to be successful in their families’ eyes, and she doubted a painful first time would make that easier for him.

Kabelo climbed off her again, and the air felt cool against the slick skin where his juices lay on her. He laid on his side next to her, and Zodwa rolled over to face him. His nipples were peaked. Looking embarrassed, he asked, “Would you do the honors, Lady Mutema?”

Zodwa smiled. “Of course,” she said, feeling much less confident than she sounded. She had never done this, after all. But Kabelo was already nervous, and he was the one who risked pain, so the least Zodwa could do was pretend she was confident. She cupped the mound between his legs with one hand. Thus far, all she’d done was grind against him, and thrust up into his grasp. This felt not more intimate, exactly, but differently intimate. Letting her husband touch her and lay atop her were things any new bride might do, but putting her fingers on those wet curls and slipping them between his legs was so direct. It felt almost like doing something she oughtn’t, though of course they were married and he had asked her to, so it must be fine.

The nub of his clitoris was smaller than she’d expected. He jerked under her touch, though, so she knew it was still plenty sensitive. She slid her fingers further, between his lips. For a wild second, Zodwa wondered how she would even know when she touched the right place, but there was a definite dip, and Kabelo said, “There.”

Zodwa pressed in with her longest finger. It slid in easily, the way slippery with Kabelo’s arousal. She had to press her hand further between his legs in order to keep sliding her finger deeper. “How does it feel?” she asked.

“Strange,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt, but I can certainly see how it might. Keep going.” She withdrew her finger most of the way, then slid it back in. “Oh,” he said.

“Better?” she asked. Kabelo nodded. Zodwa worked her finger in and out of him a few more times, and she could see his enjoyment grow. It was almost a shame to add another finger, especially when he grimaced. She stopped her hand immediately.

“It’s fine,” he said, before Zodwa could even open her mouth. “It’s just a little uncomfortable. Keep going.” Kabelo had his leg propped up now, spreading his thighs, and her fingers moved a little more easily inside him. She watched her fingers when they pulled out of him, but she saw no blood. It was obviously growing more enjoyable for Kabelo again, for he rocked a bit with her movements. Even as it became easier to thrust her fingers in and out of him, it never felt any less tight inside him. His walls pressed against her fingers and dragged with her movement, and Zodwa couldn’t begin to imagine what that would feel like on her cock.

She was so focused on what she was doing that she jumped when she felt a hand on her cock. She looked up at Kabelo’s face, and he grinned. “Just making sure you’re still ready to go,” he said.

She withdrew her hand and rolled onto her back again. Kabelo laid on top of her again, trapping her cock between them, and kissed her. She’d never imagined kissing would feel so good. How could people do this in public without embarrassing themselves?

Kabelo pulled away from her mouth and sat up to straddle her. The tip of her cock poked out from between his labia. He rocked his hips, sliding up and down her cock, and Zodwa groaned. He grinned, and said, “You’re very pretty like this, Lady Mutema.”

She couldn’t think of anything to say, apart from the inane and potentially offensive, “You too,” so she just covered her face with the back of her hand. It was still wet with his juices, though, and smelled so intensely of sex that it only embarrassed her more.

“Zodwa,” he murmured, and gently pulled her hand away from her face. “Look at me while we do this.” He leaned down and kissed her again, briefly enough, compared to what they had been doing, but long enough to ease her embarrassment.

Then he sat up again, and rocked his hips atop her, and her cock slid right into him. Kabelo stopped, with her not entirely inside him. “Oh,” he said. “God, I thought your fingers were good,” he said, and rocked again, this time taking Zodwa’s entire cock into himself. He groaned, and his eyelids fluttered shut.

Zodwa was relieved they seemed to have avoided this being painful for him, but it was exceedingly difficult for her to lie still, with the heat and slickness and tightness of Kabelo’s body around her cock. It was so incredibly different from her hand, or even his hand, and Zodwa wanted desperately to rock up into him, to feel the slide of his flesh around her. She knew she should let him adjust. She knew this intellectually, but her cock did not seem to be listening to her intellect at the moment. She rocked her hips a little, just a little, unable to help herself, and Kabelo groaned again.

“I take it this is good for you,” he said, grinding down on her.

“Oh yes,” she said.

“Good,” he said, and started moving.

Zodwa had hardly known what to expect of sex with her husband. Obviously their roles were at least somewhat reversed from the usual arrangement, given that he was the one who was going to have to carry the baby their families wanted them to have, but she had been worried it would feel uncomfortably masculine, to have the kind of sex that could result in a child. Yet, despite the wetness and warmth of his body around her cock, she didn’t feel at all mannish. After all, there was surely nothing more traditionally bride-like than being underneath her new husband while he moved atop her and enjoyed her body.

Kabelo reached down to cup her breasts again, and Zodwa arched her back to press them into his hands. He ground down against her hips, and she put her hands on his thighs, wanting to pull him closer, although that was hardly possible with her cock buried to the hilt already. He rocked back a bit, and she slid just the tiniest way out of him. Goodness, even the smallest movement lit all her nerves up.

Kabelo grabbed one of Zodwa’s hands and pulled it from his thigh to between their bodies, where his clit protruded a little more than it had when she first touched him. She pressed her thumb against it, and he shivered, something she could feel inside him as well as outside.

He began to ride her in earnest, and very shortly, she could not believe she had thought that first slide inside him was the best she had ever felt. This was so much–more, and better, in every way; she’d never felt a tenth this good touching herself, even when she had what she thought was a very nice time. How could Zodwa have ever thought she would be content with a husband who didn’t want to touch her cock, much less take it inside himself? All the old philosophers who wrote about men and women being halves of one flesh had been on to something, even if Zodwa hadn’t understood for so long how it could include her; Zodwa was surely made as she was precisely so she could fit inside Kabelo just this way, and make him pant and rock against her hand as he took her inside himself again and again.

A sound like a sob wrenched out of her as she came, and it was then that Zodwa realized she was crying. “Oh,” Kabelo said. “Oh, God.” He grabbed her wrist and pressed her hand against him more firmly, as he ground down onto her once more, moving his hips in a circle as if he was trying to press her cock against every place inside him in turn.

A moment later, he said, “Oh God,” in a much less rapturous tone, and stopped moving. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” Zodwa said. “I’m good, even.” She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. He still looked worried, so she added, “It’s good crying.”

Kabelo let out a breath and relaxed. He started the process of extricating himself from her, and climbed off her to one side before laying down. Zodwa rolled over to face him, and he smiled. She leaned in as he took her face in his hands and kissed her.

“If that was any indication,” he said when they broke apart, “I think this will work out well.”

Zodwa had known her entire life her marriage would not be a love match. When it became clear her parents were not going to have any other children, she started to worry her marriage wouldn’t even be advantageous or practical. She had feared, for a while, her parents might take back their support and have her take a bride, which would have been–unpleasant, to say the least. She had scarcely dared hope she would find her husband charming and attractive, and that he would feel the same about her. Yet now, holding each other on their wedding night, Zodwa had to agree with her new husband. She didn’t think it would be at all difficult to fall in love with him.

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9 thoughts on “Mutually Beneficial

  1. Short and very sweet, and very very hot. I have a soft spot for stories with lots of sex and characterization built into it, and this one really delivered! My t4t heart is full and warm. I really enjoyed this!!

  2. This was lovely! I enjoyed reading about these two and their communication/exploration together, it was very sweet!

    Also, fantastic illustration–there’s so much nice little details in the clothes and accessories!

  3. Agree with other readers that I really appreciate the communication and desire to make sure each other feel safe and comfortable to take things to the next level :) Lovely final illustration of the happy couple :D

  4. yay, so sweet!! everything everyone has already said is absolutely true: the considerate communication here is so warm and lovely. I particularly liked the way you handled Zodwa’s move from practicality to desire to getting happily overwhelmed at the end – it embodied what’s so appealing about arranged marriage stories, so well and so efficiently. And the family portrait is adorable :) love the patterns!

  5. That’s definitely one of the more positive arranged-marriage situations I’ve seen in a while! The two of them look so happy with their new baby in the final picture, and everything from their clothes to their facial features to all those wonderful fabric folds is clearly the result of a lot of love and care (and many, many hours in the ol’ art mines). I also appreciated that they’re not in love forever and ever by the end of the story, just in a place that looks like a promising foundation for a more lasting and healthy relationship, and for a story with bloodline-related magic in it that feels like a very realistic touch. Given that they’ve very likely barely spent any time together before this I’m glad they finally got a little privacy, and based on your liner notes and the picture of their future child it sounds like they won’t have any trouble getting around that. Mazel tov to the happy couple!

  6. Okay, as much as I love the usual arranged marriage tropes, it’s really cool to see something closer to a lot of IRL arranged marriages, and the “we’re in this together, let’s make it positive” spirit. Doubly so here, with both parties being trans! I really appreciated the careful communication and making sure everyone was having a good time. Cheers to Zodwa for doing her research! There’s something really romantic about that for me — going in learning as much as you can to make sure you’re a good spouse. :)

    I’m glad you changed your mind from the initial Regency pitch — the “family photo” and the end is SO pretty and I love all the vibrant colors. And the SMILE on Zodwa’s face!! She’s absolutely beaming, motherhood 1000% suits her.

  7. oh this was so pure and innocent! i love when everything just falls into place. the picture is fantastic too! well done on the pattern details in the clothing, and their expressions are so content and happy. thanks for this!

  8. Oooo what a nice arranged marriage night <3 I love how they agreed not to go too fast but got all caught up in it and escalated anyway. Hot!!

  9. They got carried away so openly and positively. The picture at the end makes a really nice epilogue. Some of the family negotiations in the background were probably interesting.

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