The man from the north crosses the Rhine twice a year, to buy what he calls “promising” goat kids. Finally, over a jug of mead shared over business well concluded, Nasir asks, “Promising how?”
Ragnar grins, fingering his beard. “Company?”
Agron leans forward. “What have you been doing with our damn goats?”
Ragnar’s grin only widens. He is quite drunk. “They take you as you are, goats do. Not like women.”
As Nasir and Agron exchange alarmed glances, he waves. “Not that. I have my monk for that. But goats…” He shrugs. “I just like them.”
“Fucking Norsemen,” Agron mutters.
Ragnar stays the night – in the goat shed, predictably. Nasir goes to bring him a blanket and finds him face down in the hay.
“Ragnar?” At a touch on his shoulder, the Norseman rolls around and captures Nasir’s wrist, snake-swift. Nasir reacts instinctively, his knife against Ragnar’s neck before he knows it.
The blue eyes narrow, then crinkle as Ragnar laughs. “Fierce and pretty. I like it.” His grip turns into a caress; his voice drops to a murmur. “Your man and you. Do you lack for company? Diversion?”
A goat bleats in its sleep. Nasir draws a deep breath.
“Mhmm?” Agron startles awake to the sight of them, naked and questioning.
He uncurls slowly, staring. Neither of them says anything, but they don’t need to: not when Nasir’s gaze is dark intent fire, and Ragnar sways slowly on his feet as if to distant music, powerful and seductive.
Agron reaches out. It’s all he has to do.
It’s beautiful: a dance, a dare, a battle. Agron grasps at their hair, black and pale yellow mingling in his hands, and thinks he hears the music too: a throb of honeyed crooning voices, finding a perfect echo in the flesh.