The first time it happened was entirely accidental. As a matter of fact as far as Merlin was concerned it
would not have happened at all if it wasn´t for Arthur. The Prince had assigned him too many chores: mucking out the stables, cleaning and polishing the weapons and the armour, cleaning Arthur´s chambers and his clothes, mending and folding and putting clothes away for future use, fetching meals, waiting on him at feasts and so on. The night before he had been forced to wait at the high table till it was almost morning. Merlin could have sworn he saw the red light of dawn on his way back to his room and bunk for too few hours of sleep, and he definitely heard the bird song. And then there was Gaius´ chores as well.
No wonder he felt exhausted that morning. And he only meant to rest for a moment when he sat down on Arthur´s bed after he had made it. The mattress was soft, softer than anything Merlin had ever experienced bed-wise before, stuffed with horse hair, not the ordinary kind filled with prickly hay, and he sunk comfortably down into its softness. For a moment he felt daring, or maybe it was just fatigue talking, and he let himself fall backwards, legs dangling over the edge of the bed, head, back and shoulders sinking comfortably into the covers. He could have fallen asleep, he would have, if there had not been something unexpected, hard and angular poking into his back. What the …? He had just made the damn bed. There had been nothing out of order. The sheets had lain smooth when he pulled the covers up.
He slowly got up and tore the covers back down. Empty! Nothing but even stretched sheets, not a single pebble or crumb. If there had been, it could mean his head on a plate for the royal supper, or at least a day in the stocks. He had learnt that lesson the hard way. It must be something underneath the mattress then. Merlin knelt by the side of the bed and shoved his arm under it. Still nothing! But there had to be. He had felt it clearly. Arthur had hidden something under there, and the very thought of Arthur having something to hide triggered his curiosity. What was so special the Prince had to hide it from the world? Reaching further in he fumbled for something, anything … Suddenly his fingers nudged a hard, sleek surface and with the help of his shoulder holding the mattress up a bit, he reached even further and closed his fingers around the object. Already before he could see it, he knew it was a book.
He never meant to read anything, he only wanted to know what it was that had disturbed his illicit slumber in the Prince´s bed. But he recognized the little book. The leather binding was exquisite; smooth, lean surface, dyed in rusty red and in the front foreign letters, or at least Merlin assumed they were letters, in gold. How did it end up here? Hadn´t he put it back? He nervously stroked the cover. The castle could not possibly hold more than one example of a book as expensive as this one and Merlin was sure he had put it back on the shelf in the library three nights ago. One thing was for certain though, he would never have brought it with him to Arthur´s chambers, nor would he ever have told Arthur about it, considering its delicate content. But here it was, well hidden. He reached for the mattress with the intension of putting it back when he was startled by the sound of approaching footsteps outside in the corridor and dropped it on the floor. The sound came closer, passed, then faded away, while Merlin held his breath, and when it was gone he reached for the book. It lay open.
Merlin glanced at the pages when he took it up, but startled at the sight and dropped it again. The book ended up with its pages facing the roof. With a better grip he held it in his hands and wandered over by the window and Arthur´s desk where he put the book down. The pages kept unfolding themselves, revealing the same pages over and over. Merlin remembered reading that very same poem several times himself, in fact it had been his favourite from this book, but he had made sure to leave no marks of wear. So the books condition now must be someone else´s doing. Arthur´s? It was a beautiful text though and he leant over the table surface to read his favourite parts again.
“I die of love for him, perfect in every way,
Lost in the strains of wafting music.
My eyes are fixed upon his delightful body
And I do not wonder at his beauty.
His waist is a sapling, his face a moon,
And loveliness rolls off his rosy cheek.”
Maybe it wasn´t the same copy Merlin had read after all. Surely Arthur, first knight of Camelot, would have no interest in reading soppy love poetry, especially not the kind revolving around men. He almost panicked when he heard Arthur´s loud voice outside the door. When the door knob half turned Merlin froze for a moment, but then another man´s voice answered Arthur back and they seemed to have some sort of conversation. He rushed over by the bed and forced the book back under the mattress. He had just risen and adjusted his tunic when the door was actually flung open.
“Merlin? Why are you still here? “ Arthur let his gaze wander over the chambers and back to Merlin and the unmade bed. “Really, Merlin, what have you been doing? Sleeping?”
“No, no, I was just …” He had no idea what to say. Instead he quickly pulled the covers back up and smoothed the cloth with his hands. “Just finished here, Sire. Anything else you need before I go?” He tried to smile, but thought his shifty gaze must be giving him away and he could feel Arthur´s scrutinizing look directed towards him.
“Don´t forget to muck out the stables. And remember I want hot water for my bath this evening, and clean clothes for tonight´s supper, and when I say clean, I mean clean as in no fat stains or moth holes.” Merlin fled towards the door and the comparative liberty waiting outside of the Prince´s chambers.
When Merlin reached the library he slung the door open and strode past Geoffrey at the desk without as much as a greeting. The old man looked up after him and frowned. There seemed to be a steady stream of visitors to his precious library these days, and quite a few of them apparently had errands in the remotest parts of his sanctuary. It was disturbing to say the least. On a couple of occasions he had caught glimpses of the Prince turning around the corner of those remote bookshelves, and this was the second, or maybe third, time he saw young Merlin heading that same way. The books in those parts were kept there for a reason, they were all rare, delicate and unimaginably expensive. In his youth he had travelled the world, and seen places no one else in Camelot had ever seen, and he had brought some very special books back with him, very special indeed. Some of them only existed in the one single copy kept safe by the librarian and historian of Camelot.
Merlin however took no notice of old, scruffy Geoffrey and slipped between two extremely dusty bookshelves. Running his long fingers along the backs of the books, he inspected them all. Most of them were as dusty as the shelves, but some had clearly been taken out, opened and read and it wasn´t all Merlin´s doing. He had looked at half a dozen at most, maybe even fewer. And the little red leather bound wasn´t there!
The second time it happened was definitely intentional, not that Merlin would ever admit it though.
The little red leather bound book had reappeared on the shelf two days later. By then Merlin had visited the library five times with different excuses presented to Geoffrey of Monmouth on each occasion. And Geoffrey had snorted and looked askance at him each time. Even Merlin felt his excuses about herbal dictionaries for Gaius and manuals covering various magical creatures now supposedly haunting the town were a bit too ridiculous for anyone above the age of three to actually believe in, but he had to keep the pretence up if only for himself in order to preserve the little bit of pride he still held on to.
Now however, he knelt down by the side of Arthur´s bed, curious to find out whether the former book was replaced by a new one. He snaked his arm under the mattress and soon found what he was looking for. This one was even smaller, and less elaborate, than the little red. He turned the fragile pages carefully, glancing over the writing, every right page in a language he didn´t know or recognize and every left page in English. It was another poetry book. Who would have thought Arthur a reader of love poetry? The only books Merlin had ever seen him with were either on the subject of military strategies or state politics, preferably by some Roman general or politician, which Merlin found utterly boring. He settled in the chair by Arthur´s desk with the book, and started reading at the passage marked with a black silk ribbon.
“Other people too have friends that they love;
But ours was a love such as few friends have known.
You were all my sustenance; it mattered more
To see you daily than to get my morning food.
And if there was a single day when we did not meet
I would sit listless, my mind in a tangle of gloom.”
A friend´s declaration of love. It could have been Merlin writing that. What did it mean that Arthur read this kind of poetry? Merlin swallowed hard, feeling heat burning in his chest. Maybe it meant nothing at all! But if it did …? His mind boggled at the idea of that.
He was just about to put the poetry book back in its hiding place when he noticed the other book. It was huge. How could he have missed it before? It was right there in front of him on the desk. It was enormous for a book, probably the biggest one Merlin had ever laid his eyes on. It was about the size of a common window in Ealdor, and as thick as the measure of his full hand from middle fingertip to wrist. The cover was dark leather with a single ornament, a relief in the centre in the shape of a cross. Merlin caressed the amazing book, awestruck. It was lucky his magic book didn´t look like that, he would never be able to bring it with him anywhere. But it was a beautiful book in its simplicity. The leather covers were smooth and cold under his touch, and when he leant forward he saw a strip of cloth peeking out from between pages. Arthur was obviously a creature of habit in his way of keeping track of his reading. All he could feel was the sudden urge to find out what it was Arthur was up to. This sudden interest in books and reading was not normal for Arthur, so there had to be a reason.
With a light touch he opened the front cover and let it fall onto the desk surface with a thump. Neo Vulgate the title page said with rounded letters and he turned the next piece of high quality vellum and took a closer look at the index of theVulgate. There must be a thousand pages in this book, and each side presented two columns of regular, clear script in Latin, obviously written by someone who knew the art well. He leafed through to the pages where Arthur had put his mark: First Book of Samuel: and began reading.
The tale had a bit of a slow start and it took a lot of concentration to keep all the different characters apart but then it got to him and he lived and felt the lives of the people in the book. It was set in a country far away with climate, customs and wildlife so different from what he knew from Ealdor and Camelot, or even bordering kingdoms like Mercia he could only use his imagination to picture it. And it spoke of people Merlin had never before heard of, Philistines and Israelites. The latter fought the former but had no success until David, the son of Jesse the shepherd, struck the giant Philistine warrior Goliath dead with his sling and a small stone. When the king, Saul, heard about the heroic deed, he summoned David to court and there it was love at first sight between David and Jonathan, the King´s son. “… the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. […] Then Jonathan made a covenant with David. Because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.” 3 Merlin easily identified with David, after all he had arrived to Camelot only to be brought to King Uther´s attention when saving his son (not his kingdom, but anyway it was a heroic deed). Then of course there had been no love at first sight, not from Arthur´s point of view at least, but Merlin allowed himself to dream a little of it now and then. And of course David had become a well-rewarded warrior for King Saul, whereas Merlin had only become the no-good manservant to Uther´s son. But it was fiction, and it was a great tale none the less.
It was also a tale of destiny, what with David´s and Jonathan´s souls bound together just as the dragon claimed he and Arthur shared their destiny. And, as in any tale worth telling, dangers threatened to destroy the young love. “… Saul´s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of you mother´s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kin shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 4Instead of doing as his father wished Jonathan warned David of Saul´s intensions and helped him flee. Merlin was forced to wonder whether Arthur would do that for him, if Uther ever found out about his magic. Probably not, he concluded.
Merlin was so absorbed by the fascinating tale he completely forgot about his chores and lost track of time. The light coming through the window behind him shifted without him noticing and it must have been past noon when he was reading about the boys´ meeting at David´s hide out. “David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his knees to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with another, David weeping the most.” 5 And that was when Arthur stood in the doorway.
“Merlin, what are you doing?” He gazed at the unmade bed and frowned when he saw the breakfast tray and the remains of the morning meal still on the main table, and Merlin sitting at his desk, reading his book.
“Nothing, I´m doing nothing!”
“I´m not stupid, Merlin. I can see what you´re doing. You are snooping around. Poking your nose where it doesn´t belong!”
“No! I´m not. I was dusting and it was in my way. I had to move it.” Merlin had not risen from the chair, too afraid his wobbling knees would give him away. For a moment he wondered if magic-ing something hard to hit Arthur´s head would solve his predicament, but it was probably too late for that now.
“Don´t lie to me! You couldn´t lift that book even if you tried to.” Arthur had advanced into the room while talking and he loomed over the desk, hands resting at the desk surface, facing Merlin. With the book still open, it was apparent he had been reading it, and then Arthur saw the small poetry book and flushed with anger. “Have you read that one too?”
Merlin shook his head, as if that would help, and shoved the little book towards the edge of the table, wishing for it to vanish into thin air.
“Yes, you have. You have no respect what-so-ever for other people´s privacy. You are an ignorant, stupid, lazy idiot. I don´t understand why I put up with you. You have no right to dig out secret books from underneath my mattress. If they are under my mattress it´s because I don´t want anyone to see them, and that includes you. You, you … argh!”
The silence was more deafening than the shouting had been, and Arthur slumped in the chair opposite Merlin. They glared at each other.
“Why do you have to hide it?” Merlin eventually asked and Arthur looked away, blushing furiously again.
“You´ve read it, haven´t you?” Merlin nodded. “Well, then it´s no secret anymore. You know.”
“But it´s a beautiful book, and the poetry is wonderful, strong, well-written and heartbreaking. I liked it … a lot.” Now it was Merlin´s turn to redden a little. Arthur’s eyes had widened and he leant forward over the desk and the huge book, which he glanced at before catching Merlin´s gaze with serious intent.
“What did you think of that?” He touched the script lightly.
“I haven´t finished it yet, but so far,” he grinned, “it´s amazing!”
Arthur looked disbelieving.
“It´s a great tale, Arthur. It has everything a great story requires: battle between good and evil, everlasting friendship and love, war and destiny. David and Jonathan truly care for one another.” Like I do for you, he wanted to add.
“But you haven´t read the end yet and it´s awful. Jonathan dies in battle and David mourns him terribly, something like this: ´I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.´ 6 I don´t know if I could ever get over the loss of my life´s love.” He finished with an audible swallow.
Merlin felt dizzy from Arthur´s intense gaze and the unexpected gush of emotions. When Arthur unconsciously licked his lower lip Merlin had to stifle an unintentional pant. Anticipation and excitement simmered low in his stomach.
“David and Jonathan kissed. Have you ever,” he pouted with his lips in gesture, “Merlin?”
“Yes!” he blurted out, the indignation in his voice clear. “Yes, she was lovely. It was nice.”
“I meant a man, Merlin! Have you ever kissed a man?”
Maybe licking his lips had been more intentional than Merlin had thought, and now he licked his own, shaking his head, breathing hard. All he could see was Arthur´s pink mouth and his thoughts focused on of how it would feel to have it pressed against his own, maybe parting, light nipping, a gentle lick along the lower lip and a wet lap into that hot, dark cavern. Gods, he was hardening at the very idea of it.
Lost in his own mind he hadn´t noticed Arthur taking hold of his hand, slowly caressing the back of it with his calloused thumb. When he did notice, Arthur had already leant forward and joined their lips. It was even softer than he had imagined, dry and tender and warm and when he parted his own, so did Arthur. Wet and quite a bit shaky against each other, they tilted their heads for better access, noses nudged together, then they opened up a little more and Merlin daringly darted his tongue out and licked along Arthur´s upper lip for a brief moment. One or maybe both of them, moaned into the kiss, and they broke apart, flushed and panting. Luckily the desk hid the embarrassing evidence of his arousal and Arthur crouched over in his seat avoiding any further eye contact.
“Sorry, I …,” Arthur began, stubbornly staring at the desk surface. “It won´t happen again.”
Why? Merlin wanted to shout at him. Why had he bothered at all if it wouldn´t happen again? Because it had been nothing but a dare? But it had felt genuine enough as far as Merlin could tell. Or because Merlin wasn´t skilled enough? He had but one kissing experience whereas Arthur must have had plenty of opportunities to practice his. When he rose he was careful to turn his back to Arthur. He couldn´t even start to imagine the utter embarrassment it would mean to him if Arthur found out how the kiss had affected him.
“The stables, I have to muck out the stables,” he whispered by the door, deliberately staring at the door knob. And Arthur didn´t even mention the unmade bed or the mess from the morning meal on the table.
The castle lay dark and silent when Merlin opened the door to the library later that day. A single candle in his hand led the way as he hurried along. It was not likely anyone would catch him at this late hour and he was half way through the main passage lined with bookshelves reaching from floor to ceiling, all crammed with leather bound books and scrolls, when he heard the rasping voice of Geoffrey and the next moment he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around.
“Oh, Gaius´ boy! What are you doing here at this late hour?” The old man looked drowsy as if he had been sleeping over his desk, but he obviously hadn´t because then Merlin would have passed him on his way in.
“I´m here to fetch a book for Gaius, “ Merlin said, too late realizing he had used that excuse too many times in the last couple of days already, and to cover up for his mistake he continued: “Gaius needs that old Greek book about cataract, the one by Aelius Galenus.”
“Does he?” The drowsiness had disappeared and been replaced with a frown. “At this hour?”
Merlin nodded ardently. “He said he needed it tonight in order to help a patient first thing tomorrow morning.” He moved restlessly backwards and glanced at the shelves, then said: “I know where to find it, thanks!” : as if Geoffrey had offered to help, but the old man, though still frowning, nodded and headed somewhat reluctantly towards his desk by the entrance.
Merlin silently slipped between the furthermost bookshelves, slowly passing the rows of books to see what treasures this place held. He also wanted to see if something was missing from last night. When nothing seemed to be, he began taking books down. He accidentally knocked two books to the floor while he was pulling a third and when he reached up to put them back he saw more books behind the front line. He stood on tiptoes, fishing with his fingers for the hidden books.
Wow! That was … not what he had expected, and nothing he had ever seen before, not even something remotely similar. Resting the book on the small table between the bookshelves, he shook his head in disbelief, and held the candle over the pages as close as he dared for a better view. There were pictures, almost nothing but pictures, one side after the other and almost no text. A group of men surrounded a younger man and made advances of a kind Merlin had only heard of, one man cradling the youth´s face while at the same time touching his cock, and from behind another man was pinching, or at least nudging his arse. Merlin wondered how he would feel about that kind of attention, blushing when he realized he probably would like it a great deal if made by the right person. The next page showed a couple, and this time Merlin even recognized their identities,Zephyr and Hyacinth, he even knew the story. They were making love, Zephyr with his hands holding on to his beloved´s thighs while grinding his cock between them. Merlin pressed his free hand to his crotch, going straight from half-hard to rock-hard in no time for the second time this day.
“Did you find it?” Geoffrey´s voice reverberated throughout the library, and Merlin closed the picture book with shaking hands, before shoving it back behind the others in the first row and covering the gap. He barely made it out in the passage before the librarian found him.
“Well, it´s not back here. Surely you´ve been here enough times by now to know your way around. The Greek and Roman medical books are down here.” Geoffrey led the way, and before Merlin had time to recover he slipped a plain looking book in his hand. “Be careful with it, it´s the only now known copy. And good night to you, young Merlin!”
With those words he was dismissed, the door closed behind him and he rested with his back against the cool castle wall. Those pictures had been outstanding. It was incredible even to imagine there were people bold enough to make pictures like that, and actually put them in a book for others to see. Did Arthur know about the hidden books? And if he did, what did he think about them or more specifically what did he think of the pictures? His still half-hard cock began stirring once again, although whether it was because of the pictures or thoughts of Arthur he couldn´t tell. He really needed some relief. If he made it to his bunk without disruption he would reward himself with a well-earned wank.
The third time it happened was the most embarrassing as well as the most rewarding.
Merlin fled Gaius´ quarters as soon as he had the chance the next afternoon and almost ran to the library. He was filled with desire for the books he had discovered and was determined to make a proper investigation of their contents. This time he was certain to avoid Geoffrey of Monmouth, as the old man always took a nap in his private chambers this time of the day, and Arthur would be with his knights practicing or whatever it was they did when they ruffle up their feathers like cockerels eager to show off to one another.
He was so caught up in his own mind he never saw the person coming, in an equally hurried pace, from the other direction of the corridor, and they literally bumped into each other outside the library door. “Ow!” Merlin looked up.
“Merlin! What are you doing here?” Arthur scowled and took a step back.
“I could say the same to you!” Sometimes attack was the best form of defence, he decided, scowling back.
Arthur crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I asked first, and - you are my servant.”
“Well, if you must know, I´m here to get a book on herbal treatment for Gaius. Satisfied?” he snapped and Arthur glared and nodded pointedly.
“With your work bag? Really?”
He had brought the bag to have something to hide the naughty books in while smuggling them to his room. “I need it when I collect herbs for Gaius, which I will do right after I´m done here.”
Inside the library Geoffrey´s desk was empty as expected and they quickly parted ways. Merlin slipped between the bookshelves containing books about herbal treatments in order not to arouse Arthur´s suspicion, but then he tried to steal his way over to what he now thought of as the erotic books´ section. After all the first book he had found there had been Ovid´s Ars Amatoria. Too ashamed to let anyone see, he had hidden it under his tunic on his way from the library and read it late at night in his bunk when he was certain Gaius was asleep. It had almost solely focused on the relationship between a man and a woman, but it had contributed a few useful tips on courtship, not that he actually would need it any time soon, or ever.
He quickly emptied the front row of books, the love poetry and the Greek myths. When the second row was exposed he stood back and admired his work. There were a dozen works: everything from leather bound books with expensive vellum pages to even more expensive eastern books with pages of paper as well as exotic scrolls. Merlin laid the book from yesterday on the small table as he had last night, only this time he didn´t need the candle. A window located high up the wall provided a good amount of light, allowing a better inspection of the pictures than last night´s candle. He let his fingers graze against the two men, followed the contours of their drawn bodies. So beautiful! Last night he had thought about them, and Arthur, Arthur kissing him like he had yesterday. And he had imagined him as Zephyr and himself as Hyacinth while touching himself and it had felt so good.
“So this is where Geoffrey keeps the herbal books?”
Merlin´s head jerked up. “Gods, you scared me Arthur!” He made a half-hearted attempt to cover the pictures in the book with his arm, but knew it was useless. Arthur was already pushing him away so he could see for himself. He inhaled loudly when he took in the scene, and the next moment his fingers lay next to Merlin´s, nudging the couple depicted. When he raised his head and locked gaze with Merlin he was a bit flushed.
“You know, there are others! Have you seen them?” There was a challenge in that question somewhere and Merlin expected to see one of Arthur´s significant smirks, but it never showed.
“The poetry and the myths?”
Arthur shook his head. “Others, with pictures. Do you want me to show you?”
Merlin´s mouth was so dry he couldn´t produce a sensible answer, but Arthur brought down several volumes and spread them over the table surface, directing one specifically towards him. Even though he felt embarrassed, sweating and blushing, he took the offered scroll. To his relief Arthur leant over another allowing him to explore the pictures alone and unsupervised.
The material of the scroll was as exquisite as the pictures it presented: men in colourful robes with long hair tied up high on their sculls, resting in each other´s company, men kissing and cuddling, and several pictures showed young men lying down on their stomachs with other men pressed along their backs. And then there was fucking in earnest. The small amount of naked skin and bodies covered by clothes in varying degree tickled Merlin´s imagination more than the fully naked pictures had before. It was easy to imagine a hand sneaking up under ones tunic, caressing the soft skin of one´s lower abdomen or someone pressing up against you from behind, revealing his hard length to your thigh and arse.
When Merlin looked up from the scroll he met Arthur´s darkened, glossy eyes only inches from his own and realized he had been breathing hard enough for Arthur to hear. The small space suddenly felt too limited. They were close, much closer than normal. Merlin could smell the sweat from Arthur´s warm body and he could distinguish the specific scent of soap he used. Their elbows almost touched and he followed the line of Arthur´s arm all the way to where the hand forcefully held on to the table surface, knuckles going white, and then he saw what Arthur had been looking at. He let out a gasp of shock. An orgy, at least Merlin thought it was an orgy, he had only heard about them in myths and burlesque tales. This showed a dozen or more men involved in different acts of sodomy: standing, lying down, face to face and from behind. Arthur had been watching the lewdest of pictures standing right next to Merlin, apparently wanting to show it to him. What did he want?
One of the images showed three men together with one of them taking his beloved in his mouth. Merlin had not even heard about such an act. Did people really do that to one another? Would it not be disgusting? The smell of dust, parchment and dry paper mixed with the scent of Arthur. A quick glance revealed the dampness covering Arthur´s upper lip and how his tongue darted out to wet his dry lips over and over again. The slow pooling heat that had possessed Merlin up till this moment caught fire. For a moment he desperately wanted to touch himself, and then that urge became a desire to touch Arthur instead.
Tentatively he loosened Arthur´s cramped fingers and released his hand from the edge of the table. He lifted it and pressed it to his half-open mouth, letting hot, damp air ghost over its back. Arthur looked at him, all wide eyes and open mouth.
“Merlin, you don´t know what you are doing!” Arthur´s voice was nothing but trembling whisper.
Merlin answered back with a soft kiss to the corner of Arthur´s mouth, then traced both lower and upper lip with the tip of his tongue before pushing in, repeatedly licking into that wet, slick place that tasted so much of Arthur. When he pulled away, Arthur shoved him into the shelves and mouthed him, sucking deep and hungrily and groaned in a needy way Merlin had never heard from him before. The books poked his back and he didn´t even notice. For now all he felt were big, strong hands working their way under his tunic and somewhere along the way he had lost his tunic-belt. Arthur was everywhere: stroking Merlin´s stomach, his chest, the small of his back and shoulder blades, callouses scratching his skin lightly: and he squirmed into the touches.
“I want you, Merlin. Let me … please.”
When Merlin gave a shaky nod, he untied the string holding Merlin´s breeches up and cupped him through the fabric. Merlin bucked up into the pressure, breathing fast and heavily, while fondling Arthur´s slim waist and broad chest. The open-mouthed kisses he pressed to Merlin´s jaw and neck were given with complete abandon, and when Merlin felt his tongue tracing a wet path over his collarbone he moaned. Then he reached for Merlin´s breeches and Merlin tried to recoil.
“No?” Arthur was on his knees, looking up, expectantly but ready to stop his advances as if Merlin´s opinion was important to him.
He saw Arthur leaning back a little before lowering his breeches. Arthur gaze wandered between the new view presented to him and Merlin´s eyes, his mouth opened and closed as if he wanted to say something but couldn´t find the words. Then he carefully stroked Merlin´s thighs, first the outsides and then the more delicate and softer skin on the inner sides, letting his fingers glide all the way up nudging his buttocks and tight sac. “I want to try something. Ever since I saw those scrolls, I´ve wanted to do this … to you.” He had been looking up at Merlin but now he lowered his head and rested it against Merlin´s stomach. Arthur´s face was less than an inch from his slightly twitching cock. Every breath Arthur took ghosted over him, sending sparks of pleasure that threatened to take him over the edge. When Arthur did place a fumbling kiss to him and smeared his lips with pre-come, inhaling loudly as if to see what he thought of the taste and smell, Merlin desperately had to focus on not coming. Because how would he live it down if he came all over Arthur´s face? Arthur tightened his grip to Merlin´s hips and continued with open-mouthed kisses. The soft moans that earlier had escaped Merlin´s mouth turned into deep groans when hot, red lips encircled him. The pace was irregular at best, there was occasional scrapes of teeth, and the sounds were obscenely wet. And yet it was brilliant!
The tightening of his balls and the burning tension in his lower parts came over him so fast he almost panicked. “Arthur! Arthur, stop! Stop!” The smiling face Arthur raised towards him presented dark red swollen lips and chin and cheeks glistening with saliva.
“Yeah!” he panted and smiled reassuringly.
“So you don´t mind if we try something else then?”
Arthur´s smile definitely hid one of those familiar smirks and it felt as if he should say no, but he couldn´t. He was curious about what Arthur had in mind, and if it was what he thought, what it would be like. And he was horny, oh so horny, he might have done just about anything Arthur asked of him at that moment.
Merlin pulled Arthur up and presented a few sloppy kisses at his mouth and jaw. He let his trembling hand slip down into his breeches, and Arthur assisted by untying the string holding them in place and letting them fall to the floor. He had never touched another man´s cock, but he knew he liked it when his fingers brushed along that silk soft skin, and wanted more.
He squeezed and Arthur pushed into his hand, panting erratically with dark eyes and slack jaw.
“Oh, you have magic fingers, Merlin … But we can´t …”
Merlin froze for a moment, if Arthur was about to say something along the lines of what he had said yesterday he wouldn´t know what to do with himself, because he really wanted this to happen and he honestly thought Arthur wanted it as well. But then Arthur continued: ”… if you go on I won´t last. Please.”
And instead of ending anything, he manhandled Merlin over the little table. Before Merlin had a chance to object he felt slick fingers sliding along his arse. He wondered what Arthur saw, all white skin and a dark crevice, and when the wet fingers circled his most secret place he froze again. “Arthur? Arthur, what are you doing?” He had to raise his voice to get a reaction, and tried to look over his shoulder. When Arthur responded his voice was low and husky.
“I need you, Merlin, yeah?”
The pictures in the books and scrolls had shown men fucking with what looked like great pleasure, but the thought of actually letting Arthur do that … made his chest tighten and his cock throb and the burning heat increased tenfold. He grunted something incoherent in answer as Arthur already had a finger up where he thought no fingers would ever go, slipping it back and forth and wiggling it at the same time. When the second finger accompanied the first it stretched, but it didn´t hurt as he had thought it would. If he had not been so wanton for this, he quivered and whimpered, he would surely have died of shame. Instead he spread his legs further and rocked his hips into that movement. The fingers pulled out and Arthur fumbled, one shaky hand at his hip, the other … yes, that must be … much bigger than a couple of fingers … and now he pushed.
“Ow!” Merlin flinched, suppressing the urge to cover his arse with his hands. “You prat! You have to slick me up first!”
“I have … hrm, slicked you up!”
“Spit won´t do, clotpole. In my bag, there´s a jar of hand salve … “ He gestured at the bag on the floor and Arthur obliged.
“Really, Merlin? Hand salve? What are you - a girl?”
Merlin sighed, more with frustration than anything else. “Well, one would think you knew by now! Come on!”
The salve was of the thick, white-ich, strange smelling kind that sort of melted at contact with a warm body. “I´m slicking up now.” Arthur leant over Merlin´s back and teasingly whispered into his ear. “And you …” Merlin felt the familiar pressure of fingers and then the more intense pressure of something hotter and bigger as Arthur slowly, slowly pressed his way in a half-inch at a time with tiny, tiny rocking motions. It burnt, but in a good way, and the dull kind of pain he felt was easily ignored for the benefit of the increasing heat that was rapidly building.
Arthur cradled him from behind while pulling out and pushing in. “Is it any good? Is it okay, Merlin? I´m not hurting you, am I?” If he hadn´t known Arthur better, he would easily have thought the questions whispered into his ear a sign of love, or at least genuine consideration, now he chose to ignore them, shifted his arms trying to avoid tearing or creasing the pages of the books underneath. The fumbling thrusts changed into more confident ones, pace increasing. At one moment Arthur pulled out too fast and too far and slipped out with a sloppy sound: “Sorry, sorry … didn´t mean to”: and pushed back in, while caressing Merlin´s hip and covering his neck and nape with more kisses. After that it went smoother and whenever Arthur hit that special spot inside he wanted to scream with pleasure, it felt so intense, tingling, burning, hot. He needed more and as if Arthur had known he folded his fingers around him. “Merlin, Merlin, Merlin, “ he grunted. “You make me feel so good. I love this, Merlin.”
They were both panting, groaning, and thrusting into each other faster and harder each time, and the little table wobbled and squeaked in pace with them. Arthur arched over Merlin, chanting his name over and over, tickling his ear with his tongue. The grip on him tightened, almost too hard and too fast and then the grip on him loosened some, the jerks came erratically and Arthur collapsed over him with a deep groan. Merlin kept thrusting into that loosened grip till he spilled all over the table and the books and Arthur´s hand, biting his lip to keep from crying out. For a moment he thought he heard Arthur mumbling against his shoulder: “I want to be your Jonathan.” But it must have been the wishful imagination of his post-coital haze playing him tricks. And then they heard it.
From another part of the library came the muffled sounds of footsteps. They weren´t alone, and considering how little they had cared about the noise they were making, how much had the other person heard of them? The sound of footsteps came closer.
Geoffrey! They flew apart, reached for their breeches and tried to tie the strings with trembling hands to hold them in place. The books and scrolls were a disaster. Merlin used his arm to wipe the sticky pages clean, while Arthur shoved the scrolls and books back into the shelves. It looked neither neat nor proper when Geoffrey turned around the corner but they were covered up even though their tunics were askew and Merlin hadn´t found his belt, and their hair was completely dishevelled.
“You again!” Geoffrey exclaimed when he saw Merlin. “And … oh, Sire, Prince Arthur.” And if he found anything out of the ordinary he took no notice in the Prince´s presence. “Anything I can do for you?”
“No, I think we are all done here.” Arthur turned towards Merlin and smirked. “I got what I came for.” He looked pointedly towards Merlin´s bag. “My manservant will carry my books for me. Make sure you bring them straight to my chambers, Merlin, I´m eager to continue my studies as soon as possible.”
Then Arthur strode out of the library. Merlin grabbed his bag, recognizing the shape of a book when patting it, and shuffled after him. If they were to continue these so called studies, it better be Arthur´s turn to bottom, because no matter how good it had been, his arse would not appreciate another go this close to the first one. But then again his cock seemed to disagree with an ominous twitch.
Geoffrey sighed a little at the mess the two boys left behind. Obviously they had taken out all the books from the erotic books´ section, as he liked to think of it, and just look at them now, all maltreated. Young people had no respect of the treasures his library kept. With careful hands he pulled them out, piled them on the little table before checking all the titles, flattening all creased pages and drying all damp spots. He shook his head in disbelief, the Prince and his manservant fucking in the library really was too much for an old man. It had been hard enough to handle that time some twenty years ago when he almost walked in on the King and Queen Igraine, and they had not been as sloppy as this latest couple. There were no limits to what erotica did to people and their libidos. And of course the pillow book with the delicious illustrations from the brothel was missing - again!
1. Abu Nuwas (b. 756), “I die of Love for Him”, http://www.gay-art-history.org/gay-history/gay-literature/gay-mythology-folktales/arab-gay-folktales/abu-nuwas-gay/abu-nuwas-gay-biography.html
2. Yuan Zhen to Bo Juyi (816), http://rictornorton.co.uk/bojuyi.htm
3. 1 Sam. 18:1-18:3
4. 1 Sam 20:30-20:31
5. 1 Sam. 20:41
6. 2 Sam. 1:26
If you´re like me, maybe you would like to know more about erotica. While I was reading up on medieval gay litterature I came across
, which contains quite a lot of interesting reading material. I found the essays on erotica/pornographic litterture as well as the one about what (gay) sexual acts were performed in different times really interesting and well worth reading.
I would also recommend a visit to
for its online "artmuseum" and "library" presenting mythology and folktales with gay context. The art is amazing. If I had the money, I´d be a collector of erotic art! (I guess my kids are eternally grateful I don´t have that kind of money.)