A really annoying thing about living in Camelot, Merlin decided, was all the damn people. Not that he didn't have enough on his plate already what with The Big Magical Secret, His Destiny and magical attack of the week that for some reason he was the only one able to do anything about. On top of all this, Merlin felt it couldn't be too much to ask for just a little privacy every once in a while for some thorough stress relief. Even though he had a room to himself, he could never be sure he wouldn't be disturbed since, first of all, the door had no lock and second, Merlin clearly wasn't the only person in Camelot who had serious difficulty with the concept of knocking.
Consequently, he was feeling very stressed and tense. He hadn't had time for anything more than a frenzied rubbing off once or twice before sunrise the whole week, and he was a healthy young man who was used to having a whole lonely forest in Ealdor nearby to get lost in whenever he was feeling his urges. In the end, even Arthur had noticed that Merlin was snappish and grouchy and casually remarked that maybe he was just a little overworked. This gross understatement made Merlin laugh until he cried, which made Arthur send him to the stocks again.
Arthur did actually mean what he said, though, and Merlin's gratitude was very heartfelt when the prince decided that he needed a day off and told him so over breakfast the next day. If Arthur hadn't made it clear that such expressions of manly affection were beneath him, Merlin would have hugged him. Instead, he simply beamed with his biggest grin and took off at top speed before Arthur could change his mind.
Within the hour he was on his way to the woods at a brisk pace. All he needed was a good, secluded spot, somewhere off the road and some way away from the settlements surrounding the castle. The weather was warm and it was a nice day, so it couldn't have been more perfect. After about an hour of walking, he came across a small dear path leading off the main road. He followed it for some minutes before ending up in a small clearing, maybe large enough to hold a man and a horse, but no more. There was an old stump, perfect for leaning against, so Merlin settled down with a happy sigh and allowed his mind to wander to where it wanted. And when he was like this, it more often than not wandered off to impure places, and he was so relieved that he could finally allow it.
He thought it was just because he was so tense at first, when he noticed that a tree right in front of him looked a lot like a naked woman, but after a bit of staring, he decided that it didn't take all that much imagination for the rippled bark to take the shape of rounded thighs and a full bosom, complete with fungus nipples and knot belly button. And he apparently wasn't the only one to see it, because some wonderfully perverted soul had scratched the bark up, so it even looked like there was a healthy thatch of hair between her legs.
Merlin grinned while undoing his trousers and took himself in hand, imagining that the lovely lady was dancing for him and showing off her attributes. Predictably, his magic flared up and for a moment, the woman was indeed dancing right off the bark, winking at him and licking her lips, before he caught himself and decided that it would be a really bad idea letting that go on. Not to mention that Gaius would no doubt see right through him when he got back and give him the Evil Eyebrow for using magic for something that frivolous.
Instead, he let himself think back to Ealdor and the lazy summer days when he had first begun exploring the joys of self-loving. Back then, it had been so easy. After his chores were done for the day, he would just go to his favorite spot in the woods and take his best friend in hand. No, not Will, although he had joined him there a few times. As interesting as that had been, Merlin had preferred to keep those moments private. Mostly because it quickly became embarrassingly clear that while Merlin and Will shared many things, sexual fantasies weren't one of them.
They had been going on nicely, telling each other of what meager material they had to form their fantasies from. A flash of a breast here, a quick glimpse of lovers in the bushes there and so on. Sadly, Will had been less than impressed when Merlin had described in loving detail how excited he had been that one time he went skinny dipping with Garm and his friends. As it turned out, Will lost all enthusiasm at the thought of Garm (or any male) naked and things were very awkward between them for a while.
So, after that, Merlin had kept those times to himself and was much happier for it. His mind would not, and in his own opinion, should not be restricted. It wasn't healthy, he had decided. The day with Garm had been one of his favorite fantasies back then. The actual event had really been quite unexciting, but in Merlin's mind it quickly became a lot more interesting. So he went back to what worked, just to take the top off his need at first.
Garm was in the water, his friends nowhere to be seen. Water was rippling off his broad back as he stood up and slowly turned, giving Merlin a wonderful view of his chest and belly. Coming closer, heading towards the shore and shallower water, his lower body was slowly revealed to Merlin's hungry gaze and he felt his breath quicken. He leaned back and was well on his way to his first climax of what he expected to be many, when there was suddenly a crunching sound very close to him and he jumped in terror when a voice cried: “MERLIN?!” in obvious outrage.
Merlin squeaked and covered his groin with his shirt as Arthur stomped into the small clearing, thunder in his face.
“What the hell are you doing here, Merlin?!”
“What does it look like I'm doing, you prat?! Honestly, how can a bloke get any privacy at all in Camelot?!” Merlin shouted in equal outrage.
“I don't know, Merlin - you tell me, since you managed to find one of the few places where I can actually find some!”
That shut Merlin up and he met Arthur's thundering eyes with astonishment. After a while it dawned on him that he was still rather indecent and he tried to casually tuck himself back in, without revealing too much. Apparently, this made Arthur realize that he was looking and he turned his back with a huff. Merlin started babbling just to break the tension.
“So you come here, too? I swear I didn't know, Arthur. I just needed some privacy and...”
Arthur shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. “It's all right, Merlin. You couldn't have known. And I shouldn't have shouted at you. I just got upset when I saw you doing exactly what I had been planning to do.”
Merlin stopped fumbling with the laces of his trousers to gape at Arthur in amazement. “Really? I mean... don't you... in your room? Or... with ladies?”
Arthur turned around with a grimace. “When would I do that, Merlin? I'm surrounded by servants and nobles all hours of the day and night, and frankly, I don't want to know what my father would do to me if he discovered I had been acting inappropriately at all before marriage.”
They fell silent, both studying the forest floor for a while, before Merlin cleared his throat awkwardly.
“Erm... if you want to... I mean... you don't have to... but we could... you know... both... together. I mean, we both need it and nobody would know.”
Arthur cast him a glance and gnawed his lip, considering, while Merlin hurriedly continued.
“I mean, it's private, there's a pretty naked tree lady and I swear I'll never tell anyone.”
This made Arthur grin. “So, you see her too? It's just not me being a pervert?”
Merlin grinned back. “Oh no. She's very lovely. Perfect for this sort of activity.”
Arthur shuffled his feet, clearly battling himself for a few moments more, before sitting down and elbowing Merlin in the ribs. “Move over then, this is my spot.”
Despite the sharp elbow, Merlin couldn't help but snicker. “Oh, right, of course, your highness. Because this whole forest is technically yours and therefore also this particular spot I've just been warming for you.”
“Exactly, Merlin. I'm glad to see you've finally learned something,” Arthur quipped.
Merlin scooted around in his new spot to get more comfortable, while still bantering. “Actually, this all belongs to Uther, so I really don't know why I let you push me around.”
Arthur cringed. “Merlin, if you ever mention my father again when I'm about to... well, let's just say, the stocks will seem like a holiday.”
Snickering one last time and offering a not very repentant, “Yes, Sire,” Merlin settled down and for a while they just sat looking at the three lady in silence. Eventually, though, Merlin got restless. He was still very much needy and wanted to get to the good stuff as soon as possible.
“Erm... would you mind if I... you know... I was sort of in the middle of something when you barged in...”
Arthur jumped like he forgot Merlin was there. “Oh! No, not at all, go ahead.”
Deciding that he was far too tense to worry about being shy, Merlin pulled out his half hard cock again, and immediately got on with it. He could always banter on with Arthur when he was a little less tense. He glanced at Arthur and caught him looking, which made the prince turn away, blushing. “Sorry...”
Merlin smiled slyly. “Don't be. As long as I can look too.” The very idea made Merlin's cock jump in his hand. To watch Arthur doing... that. Arthur looked doubtful, but finally nodded and slowly started undoing his trousers. Merlin suddenly couldn't look after all. He was too close. So he just leaned his head back and let go with a gasp, catching his come with his shirt.
When he looked up again, Arthur was staring at him with surprise. “Wow... you really needed some time off...” Looking down, Merlin realized that his shirt was splattered all the way from his neck to his groin. No wonder. It had been way too long. Grinning, he let himself look at Arthur, who was slowly stroking himself, apparently still not quite at ease with having an audience.
Attempting to make Arthur more comfortable, Merlin began stroking himself again, just to give Arthur somewhere to look as well, even though he usually preferred a little break between rounds. But it was still nice in an over-sensitive kind of way, and knowing that Arthur was watching sent wonderful shivers sparking up and down Merlin's spine.
Looking at Arthur's hand keeping a steady rhythm, Merlin quickly decided that Arthur was superior to Garm in practically every way. He already knew that Arthur had a nice body, but he hadn't really allowed himself to connect that thought to anything sexual before now. If he did, he would have an awfully hard time helping the prince dress and bathe and generally being his servant. But now that they seemed to have come to an understanding of sorts, he felt that he could let his mind go there.
Combining what he had already seen with the long, slim cock with dark blonde hair curling at the base, the mental image of a naked Arthur was so close to perfection that Merlin was pretty sure he would have a new favorite fantasy from now on. Especially considering it was the first hard cock besides his own he had ever seen. Garm's cock had been nice, but the water had been cold, so Merlin strongly suspected it was the novelty of it more than anything that had made it so exciting back then.
Lost in his fantasies, Merlin was startled when Arthur suddenly let go of his cock, giving him a very nice, unobstructed view, and pulled his tunic over his head in one, smooth move, exposing his muscled chest. Meeting his eyes, Arthur shrugged. “I don't clean my own shirts...”
Feeling that fair was only fair, Merlin shed his shirt too to Arthur's wide eyed amazement. “You know... just to be even.” Nodding dazedly, Arthur let his eyes roam, apparently all shyness forgotten, as his hand sped up its rhythm and his stomach muscles tensed. Merlin was really getting back into it and matched Arthur stroke for stroke, while his eyes devoured everything next to him.
Suddenly feeling bold, Merlin decided to gamble. Maybe it was just his lower head talking, but if he was allowed he was probably going to have fodder for fantasies for the rest of his life.
“Arthur?” Meeting Merlin's eyes with a snap, Arthur's hand stilled, clearly worried that he had overstepped some sort of boundary. Smiling to soothe Arthur's worries, Merlin asked quietly: “Can I try something? I mean... can I touch...you?”
Arthur froze completely and Merlin was half convinced that he had ruined it, when Arthur nodded slowly and edged just a little closer. Gasping with barely contained excitement, Merlin let go of himself to reach out his right hand, carefully laying it on Arthur's clothed thigh. When Arthur relaxed a little, he let the hand wander cautiously higher, until it met Arthur's hand, still clenched firmly around his now leaking cock. At the first touch, Arthur pulled his hand away as if burned, but he didn't move when Merlin's hand closed around him instead.
Merlin almost laughed when they both groaned in unison, but the stark reality of it all was so powerful that he was soon completely absorbed in the silky feel of another man's hardness in his hand. And Arthur's no less. Gods, this man was gorgeous. The moment he moved his hand, Arthur's eyes slid closed and his breathing quickened instantly. Merlin's own cock jumped at the sight and feel of Arthur like this and he happily continued, marvelling at the erotic experience of making someone else feel that good.
Surprisingly, Arthur suddenly reached out and took Merlin in hand too, mimicking the movements used on himself. Merlin felt like a small explosion take place somewhere deep in his belly and he moaned loudly, not caring anymore how it looked. This was without a doubt the most amazing thing that had ever happened to him. He always imagined that it would be like magic when someone else would finally touch him like this, but to his surprise, it was completely different. More raw and intense. Where magic rolled in gentle waves against and around him, Arthur's hand was a completely unknown entity, moving in unexpected patterns, surprising at every turn. And it was absolutely glorious.
In what felt like no time at all, Arthur suddenly tensed and came in sharp spurts over Merlin's hand and his own belly. Merlin couldn't help but moan again as he stroked until Arthur was spent. That had to be the sexiest thing he had ever seen. Predictably, it fuelled his own fire enough to push him over the edge again, and with Arthur's hand gently soothing him as he twitched through his climax, he let himself fall back against the stump and bumping shoulders with Arthur, while catching his breath.
“That was... was...” Arthur breathed.
“Yeah... it was,” Merlin agreed.
Life at Camelot suddenly got a lot less stressful, and the tree lady got a lot more lonely.