The one sentence that had sparked it all. All the bucking and writhing and sweating, Agron determined to leave his mark, to claim his mate. Nasir’s attitude had been expected—flippant at best, with a faint smile and a roll of eyes. And usually Agron would be complacent. After all, they were afforded such little peace in the world it was easy to let things go during quiet moments. But he couldn’t, not this time. Not with this fire burning inside of his chest, life breathed into it every time he so much as thought of Caius in relation to Nasir.
It was been innocent enough, to the point was Agron could convince himself that he had mistaken intentions. One of the new recruits had taken to Nasir, and the dark man had only been showing him the ropes. Teaching as he had been taught. After all, there was only one Spartacus, and he was occupied more often than not. Agron had other duties to attend to, other men to train and certain rebel leaders to bring back to the world they actually lived in. So the first time he saw it—it, Caius’ hand casually resting on the back of Nasir’s neck—he paid no mind.
The second and third time were completely different affairs.
There was no secret as to what he and Nasir were involved in. It was a special sort of reprieve. A moment for Agron to be weak, to be tender, and for Nasir to be strong and warm Agron with gentle words and action. A heart of gold, Agron knew. As did Caius. Lessons became more personal. Meals were shared in Agron’s absence. It was maddening to think that he had let things go so far, and right under his own nose.
Situation was easily remedied with violence, though. He was a gladiator, and talking such things out would be nonsense. So when he took note of the hand Caius casually placed upon Nasir’s hip while they spoke (the hips Agron held on to, kissed, gripped when he fucked him), he did not give Nasir chance to react to the advance before punching Caius square in the face.
The confrontation ended there. Agron did not need to follow up with more abuse. A few men flocked to Caius to offer assistance, and none were so stupid as to question Agron. Nasir didn’t look too surprised, just a strange mix of exasperated and bemused.
“I did not care for Caius’ hands placed upon you,” Agron growled out, bent low to meet Nasir’s eyes, to show him the fire within.
The kiss that followed was best described as hungry. Animalistic, like the beasts the Romans thought they were. Nasir’s slight frame was a blessing, hoisting the man up with his legs around waist in order to carry him to their little nook. Knees were made weak as soon as they were able to, bringing both of them down onto their bedroll. He wanted to consume Nasir, to claim and mark. To have him know nothing but Agron, all of him, as it should be.
Clothes were ripped away carelessly, little snarls from Agron that only seemed to amuse Nasir more. Agron was intent, though, teeth sinking into the meat of neck and shoulder, sucking hard kisses to leave bruises on the beautiful skin. Still warm from the sun, forever pliant for Agron’s eager hands. There was little doubt as to their state of arousal, little time for such tender preparations that would be needed in order to fuck Nasir. So Agron rutted like a dog against the leg of his master, Nasir’s legs wrapped tight around his waist to guide him in a fierce rhythm.
“Mine,” was all Agron could think to say, licking and biting at that deliciously vulnerable neck when Nasir presented it to him. The fingers in his hair were just gripping, not directing. Nasir knew, Agron assumed, that he just wanted to claim. He didn’t think to censor himself, wasn’t capable of it. To claim a freed slave, to make him a possession once more. He couldn’t stop, though, couldn’t prevent himself from murmuring, “Mine, mine mine,” over and over again.
“Yours,” Nasir agreed, breathy and deep. That one simple word and Agron was coming, a broken little cry gasped out. He was in presence of mind enough to reach between as he bucked and shook to take Nasir into his hand, only to find that he had already finished.
To say Agron was in love would be a gross understatement.
Breath escaped him, unable to do much else than just lay himself upon Nasir’s chest. Their breathing synced in a matter of moments, Agron’s ear resting over Nasir’s heart and listening to the soothing beat. If it was uncomfortable, Nasir didn’t complain. He just carded his fingers through Agron’s hair, down over the sweaty skin of the nape of his neck and spine.
It was a long time before Agron could formulate proper thought, but as soon as he could, he was sighing out. “Words passed through lips without filter of mind,” Agron murmured, eyes fluttering shut with a slow breath. “I did not mean to claim ownership. You are not to be possessed, like the title you once bore. You are free.”
Nasir’s hum was thoughtful enough, fingers stilling in Agron’s hair for only a moment. Hands went to under Agron’s jaw, tilting his face up enough so that their eyes could meet.
“I am free,” Nasir agreed, his thumb tracing the damp curve of Agron’s lip. The kiss he placed there was nothing less than tender. “And I am free to give myself to you, if I so choose.”
Agron narrowed his eyes in a searching look. He rested his forearms on the bedroll, pushing himself up until he could press their foreheads together. Eye to eye, pressed against one another from head to toe, it was hard to hide away.
“And do you?” he asked, voice a barely there whisper against Nasir’s lips.
Nasir had his moments of being guarded, of concealing emotion. It was natural for a slave, especially one that had been held at such a high position. But like this, Agron could see everything through his eyes. He didn’t need a verbal answer—he already knew.
“I do,” Nasir confirmed with a warm smile, nodding his head and nuzzling their noses together in a tender manner.
It was almost simultaneous, the way they melted into breathless laughter together. Together.