Timestamp: Three years down the line
Charles sighed into his pillow, relishing the heat of Erik's hands as they worked his strained muscles.
"How about Royal Master of Wellbeing?" Charles asked, continuing their ongoing argument. And by ongoing, it meant going on for almost as long as they had known each other.
Erik had returned after finishing his studies and Charles had courted him ever since. If only the stubborn man would give in. Their physical relationship was amazing, but it just wasn't enough. Not for Charles and, Charles more than suspected, not for Erik either.
No answer came from Erik, who only put more pressure on Charles' shoulder. With Edie having retired the year before, he was the one who took care of whatever ails Charles might have.
Charles sighed. "There's always consort, you know."
As always this managed to goad Erik into answering, even if it wasn' the answer that Charles wanted.
"And hear your advisors harp on about the need for you siring an heir?" Erik's unspoken passion never failed to feel like lightning through the mental connection that was always there when they were touching.
If I have you, I have all of you and no one else will ever touch you.
Charles heard it, but didn't comment. It had, unfortunately, become a silent argument they were never having. "I wish you'd consider it."
"And have Madame Frost make my life more difficult than she already is?" Erik asked, moving his hands expertly down over the tightness of Charles' lower back.
Charles winced, both from the pain and the truth in Erik's words. One of his most trusted advisors, Emma Frost, had made it clear from the start to Charles, that taking a lover was all good and well, but a male lover would get him nowhere, no heir, and a commoner would gain him no leverage in politics. A commoner, which she never mentioned, like Erik.
There were days where Charles felt as if he was alone in what he wanted, when even his beloved sister, who would side with him more often than not, had sided with Frost on this issue.
"In here," Charles said quietly, his breath swallowed by the pillow under his head. "In here, can I at least dream for a little while?"
Erik sighed deeply, but didn't answer and Charles closed his eyes.
"I know that it's foolish, Erik, but-" Charles faltered. "I have to find a way to make it happen, because it's what I want. Not because it's what's best for Westchester."
Erik stopped moving his hands, pressure almost unbearable on Charles' lower back. Then he slid them slowly along the tense muscles. "I keep telling myself that I shoulden' aspire so high." He worked on a particularly hard knot of muscle tissue for a little while, making Charles' eyes water.
"I keep telling myself not to be foolish," Erik finally continued. "I keep thinking; I'm only setting myself up for a horrible fall." He leaned down and pressed a dry kiss between Charles' shoulder blades, causing him to shiver. "Yet here I am; I can no more turn away from you than a fish can survive without water, or you and I without air."
Charles's breath stuttered out and he blinked rapidly. And Erik always told him that he had no heart nor soul for poetry, yet he was so very eloquently in his description of their current situation.
"I gave this country my all in order to save it from a dangerous ruler," Charles said quietly. "I love this country, don't get me wrong, Erik, but even I have my limits - if ruling the country means-"
"Don't say it," Erik said, sounding remarkably breathless. "Don't' say it out loud, someone will hear, someone will use it against you, against us-"
'I want to shout it from the highest mountain, not whisper it in deserted hallways,' Charles pressed into his mind. 'I want to walk through the rest of my life, hand in hand with you, I want to grow old with you, I want-'
Charles found himself blinking at the sudden light hitting his eyes as Erik rolled him over, sliding down to cover Charles' body with his own. His clothes were rough against Charles' skin, but not unwelcome.
"You can't say such things," Erik said, sounding like he'd run a mile. "You can't just say such things and expect me not to react to them." He arched, pressing his erection against Charles' thigh, pushing his own knee in between Charles' thighs.
"I can and I will," Charles replied, trying to strip Erik of his clothes while simultaneously not letting go of him. "My advisors will have to learn that there are other ways to do things than the ways we've done for centuries."
Erik pulled his own shirt off and then apparently decided that shutting Charles up would be easier if he could occupy his mouth. There was no finesse to their coupling, but Charles didn't care. What he did care about was the desperation and the knowledge that he'd let it go on for too long. That he wasn't being fair to Erik, or to himself for that matter.
Charles wasn't sure if they had ever gone from docile to spent as fast as tonight. Erik rutted against him and Charles hung on, scratching his fingernails lightly down Erik's back, feeling his body shudder with each touch and each roll of Erik's hips.
Charles wasn't above enjoying the rawness of physically arching and rubbing himself off against Erik's thigh, but the added layer of Erik's mind was rapidly spinning him towards completion and dragging Erik along. The absolute devotion in Erik, the bottomless love for Charles, the man, not the ruler, set his whole being on fire. His skin felt oversensitized to any touch, to Erik's mouth, to the breath ghosting over it. His hearing caught every little hitch in Erik's breathing, every little whimper and all of it drove Charles towards his release.
Erik broke their kiss and buried his face against Charles' neck, gasping as his release rolled through his body. The fireworks this set off in Charles' mind was the last he needed to let go and shuddering he came with Erik's weight pinning him to the mattress.
"Hush," Charles cut him off, cupping the back of Erik's head to keep him in place. "Trust me, my friend, please?"
Erik was quiet for a moment, then he seemed to relax from one heartbeat to the next. "Always."
One word, and with more conviction than Charles had ever heard from a loyal subject. And because this was Erik, it drove the breath from his chest. If he had decided before he would do anything for this man, it had only just been cemented as fact.