Arthur, having been raised by a father who didn't hug him enough and then dedicating his considerable focus to rapaciously accumulating as much filthy lucre as possible, seems to think that he gets to order people around just because he's a billionaire or a CEO or something similarly foolish like that. He barks orders all day at his long-suffering assistants — Merlin sends them gifts once a month, and a week-long spa vacation each year for their birthdays — and his accountants and his coterie of lawyers and his board of directors and one time, at the independent auditors who had mucked up his apparently unimpeachable filing system. It's horrible. Insufferable. Really.
And one day very soon Merlin is going to put a stop to it.
"Merlin," Arthur says, barely looking up from the stack of documents on his desk, "come here, please."
The 'please' is entirely reflexive, without an ounce of genuine request, Merlin thinks, but he goes anyway, because he's tragic, and an idiot, and Arthur is wearing those glasses Merlin forced him to get the last time Merlin forced him to go for check-ups.
"We're going to be late for our reservations," Merlin tells him, suiting actions to words not at all by stripping off the dark, soft coat Arthur had draped over his shoulders last year, affectionate, and abandoning his messenger bag on the floor by a gleaming leather wingback chair. There's also a fireplace, crackling away merrily. It's basically a mancave with Excel documents, Merlin recognizes with some resignation.
Arthur glances at him over the frames of the glasses. "I said come here," he repeats.
Fuck, Merlin should have chosen uglier glasses. He pouts, but he goes, and Arthur pushes away from his desk just enough to let Merlin lean up against it, the heavy wood cool against the backs of his thighs.
"What?" he asks.
Arthur just leans back in his seat, hands closing around the armrests, and gives Merlin an appraising look. He lets his thighs go loose and open, knees sagging open, the exquisite wool of his slacks making a soft noise against the Herman Miller chair.
"On your knees," he says, mild.
Merlin gapes at him, jaw dropping.
Arthur smiles at him, filthy. "Oh, good initiative," he says, casual. "But first — on your knees, Merlin."
Arthur's gaze is very steady and very sure and a very dark blue, and there's no question anywhere in his eyes. Merlin can feel himself gripping the edge of Arthur's desk, and underneath his tongue there are all sorts of flustered protests, because he enjoys accusing Arthur of being bossy (and occasionally telling strangers at garden parties Arthur beats him) but there is the way Arthur snaps commands and whatever this is — this all-encompassing entitlement he's wearing like a leather glove.
"Merlin," Arthur repeats, once more, not an inch of give in his voice, and it still isn't a question when he says, "On your knees."
Merlin goes, the way he went to Arthur's desk and agreed to meet Arthur for coffee when they'd met at uni and how he'd gone to the hospital to hold Arthur's hand at Uther's bedside and how he made reservations for dinner that Arthur now wants them to break.
And he's going to break Arthur of this nasty character trait one day, but right now, he's going to tip his chin so he can keep staring right into Arthur's eyes as he crouches down. He's going to put his palms flat on Arthur's knees, slide them down the pleat in Arthur's trousers, down the tailored cloth, until his palms hit the carpeting, palms sinking into the loops of wool when his knees hit the ground with soft thud. And from this vantage point Merlin can see the way Arthur's tie — a steel blue silk Merlin had chosen for him that morning, admired against the white of Arthur's shirt, against the paleness of his throat — is loosened, just a bit, that the top button of his shirt is undone.
Merlin doesn't know what Arthur sees, beyond Merlin awkward and on his knees between Arthur's legs, a blush flaring out over Merlin's cheeks, dark hair a wreck from the windstorm outside, but Arthur must like it.
"Open for me," Arthur tells him now, smiling — lazy.
Merlin feels himself pulling back a bit, hesitating, and Arthur only makes a hushing noise, lifts one hand and cups Merlin's chin, tilting his chin up and drawing his thumb over the corner of Merlin's mouth, and then it's easy for Merlin just to shiver, to let his mouth gap open just a bit more.
Arthur looks pleased, and Merlin hates the zing of triumph at that, when sees the look in Arthur's eyes, and Arthur says, "Unzip me."
The first time Merlin had tried, he'd been 21 and absolutely shattered-drunk. He ended up chipping a tooth and Arthur had nearly imploded from mortification when he'd been forced to take Merlin to A&E, and Merlin had sworn over and over again it wasn't sexy and it was terrible and Arthur was a horrid man and that never again would he try that nonsense just because Arthur had seen one too many pornos in his life.
He closes his teeth over the tab of the zip, and he stares straight up, through his lashes, his chin rubbing down the already hard-hot length of Arthur, just beneath the wool of his trousers, as each of the zipper teeth unlock.
Arthur's skin is hot and close and heady, it smells like sweat from when he comes back from fucking rugby with his stupid friends with his jersey sticking to his back and the inside of his wrist, the curve of his neck, and when the zip is all the way down, Merlin just wants to lean in — press his nose to the joint of Arthur's hip, to nip away at the black boxer-briefs over Arthur's balls, pull them aside with his teeth.
"On your heels," Arthur tells him instead, a tremor in his voice at least, and Merlin lets that console himself when he draws back on his haunches to resume his pout, since Arthur hasn't ever said anything about it other than that Merlin does it extremely well. Only this time instead of saying that — wry, faintly amused and very fond — Arthur says, "Lick your mouth — get it wet."
Merlin does, because at this point it doesn't seem like there's much point in fighting it, and he realizes — running his tongue over the corner of his mouth — that he's clutching at the carpet, tearing at it, hoping it holds him in place.
"Open," Arthur repeats, easy, and Merlin does, because he's too busy watching where Arthur is pulling his dick out of his pants, the way his cock is flushed and the underside thick with dark veins and the head soft and and gleaming already, a pearl of cum at the slit. He only has a minute to admire before Arthur's running the cockhead over Merlin's bottom lip, getting his chin sticky, a smear of white against the pink of Merlin's mouth, he thinks, and then he's moaning when Arthur pushes his dick in, then Merlin's curling his lips over his teeth, easy, and swallowing Arthur down.
Arthur keeps his thumb on Merlin's mouth as he slides his cock in, easy, undemanding, just so fucking entitled to this that all of Merlin's fury goes through an alchemical reaction somewhere between his brain and his throat and turns into a deep, hungry moan, managed around the smooth heat of Arthur in his mouth.
Merlin loves sucking Arthur off, loves holding his hips down — on their bed, on the floor, against the wall — and licking from the base to the tip, trace the darkest of the veins with the tip of his tongue, flick at the crown of Arthur's dick. So he does, his mouth getting wet and slick and sore, humming around the cock in his mouth, heavy on his tongue, pressing the head into the roof of his mouth and taking a deep breath, fighting his gag reflex and taking Arthur deeper and deeper.
He loves it, that moment of triumph, when he manages to bury his nose in the wiry gold hair at the base of Arthur's dick, when he's gagging on cock, and he feels Arthur's hand slide around to cup the base of his skull — still easy — and just tease his hair, and.
And then Arthur says, "Breathe," and starts casually, oh-so-casually, fucking Merlin's mouth, barely pulling out before he's pressing back in, his balls wet and sticky with Merlin's saliva and his own precome, soft against Merlin's chin.
Arthur isn't demanding and he never really asks and he isn't exerting any force, just rocking his hips into Merlin's face, pushing his cock deeper and deeper down Merlin's throat, making a satisfied, humming noise as he does. He hasn't touched Merlin with any real intent yet, none of his usual tricks, but Merlin thinks he could come just from this, just from having Arthur fuck his mouth slow and unhurried and languorous.
"Get me as wet as you can," Arthur tells him, and this time he's carding his fingers through Merlin's hair, affectionate. "It's the only slick you'll get."
Merlin tries to say "fuck," but it comes out in a choked-off moan instead, and he feels his fingers tighten where he's closed his hands over Arthur's thighs — feels the muscles flex as Arthur fucks his face twice, fast, jerks his cock into Merlin's mouth.
"When I stop fucking your mouth, you're going to bend over my desk," Arthur informs him, voice hitching a little, and Merlin's chin is filthy now, dripping and slick and gleaming. "You're going to unbutton your trousers, drag them down just enough so I can fuck your arse instead."
Merlin thinks that yes, he will, and licks and licks and moans over Arthur's dick, greedy and drooling until every time Arthur pulls his dick out a little, it's shiny with Merlin's spit. His hands tighten and he thinks about how he'll move — fast or slow? Arthur hadn't said — and where he'll put his hands? Arthur hates having his papers out of order, and —
"Up," Arthur tells him, and pulls Merlin off of his dick abruptly, fisting his hand in Merlin's hair and tugging, just barely, and Merlin doesn't manage to hold back a whimper at that, as he goes to his feet and then turns round, swaying like he's drunk. His throat hurts and his mouth hurts and he feels hungry and empty until Arthur shoves him down over the desk, pushes him a bit flatter over his blotter, over the mock-up of this year's third-quarter filing.
"Off," Arthur reminds him, tart, and nips at the back of Merlin's neck, warning, as Merlin's fingers scrabble at his trousers, jerk the denim down over his bony hips and shoves down his briefs along with them.
Arthur is hot against him, the weight of him warm against Merlin's back, and he arranges Merlin's hands on either side of the blotter, lavishing kisses behind Merlin's right ear, biting bruises along the curve of Merlin's neck — the white skin beneath the opened collar of the shirt, too big on him, of course, but perfect on Arthur, that still smelled like him, because Merlin had selected it off the floor of their bedroom for that exact reason earlier that day.
Arthur plucks at the jumper Merlin's wearing over the looted shirt, slides it up enough so he can slide a hand — Merlin loves Arthur's hands: they're huge and warm and calloused, and help Merlin's mother pot hyacinths and sign documents and cradle Merlin's head when they kiss — over the line of Merlin's spine as he pushes three fingers into Merlin's mouth, saying, "Suck."
Merlin does, desperate, and it gives him something to do and try to think about while Arthur nudges his dick along the crack of Merlin's arse, as he dips the head of it in and pushes — slow, horrible tease, horrible — and then shifts his weight so he's pressing in steady and unrelenting, splitting Merlin right open.
He's glad for Arthur's fingers in his mouth, sucks on them harder, since it keeps him from wailing, but he can't help the way he rocks back, into the cradle of Arthur's hips — feels the fine wool of Arthur's trousers against his arse cheeks and the backs of his thighs. Merlin feels fucked wide open, Arthur's cock rough, shoving into him — he's balanced on that knife edge between pain and something shivery-good, and Arthur just keeps pushing, riding him, stuffing him up.
"Tighten up for me, Merlin," Arthur says to him, whispers it close and into the shell of Merlin's ear, and he's beginning to sound wrecked, the elegant thread of his voice unravelling. Arthur's free hand — fuck, fuck, fuck fuck — goes between Merlin's thighs, sweeps the muscle and palms the joint and brushes, accidental, over the base of Merlin's dick, his drawn-tight balls, and his fingers slip behind. "Tight — clutch at me, Merlin," Arthur repeats, and curls a finger, rubbing the back of it behind Merlin's sack — over the pink, burning hot-skin there.
This time Merlin sobs out loud, feeling Arthur's cockhead rubbing his prostate from inside and Arthur's thick finger rubbing him from the outside and Arthur's dick — fat and wet and the skin catching, filling him deep and relentless — and he tries to, squeezes hard around Arthur's cock until it feels massive inside of him, until Merlin feels cleaved.
"You can come any time, Merlin," Arthur lets him know, mutters it into the back of Merlin's neck. He takes his fingers out of Merlin's mouth, leaving a wet, trail as he slides his hand down Merlin's chest, over the cashmere of Merlin's jumper. He slides his palm down, down, presses it hot and heavy over Merlin's belly and starts to fuck in harder, a little more vicious, his dick and Merlin's ass and both of them slicker with sweat and precome and Jesus, Jesus. Arthur says, "But I'm just going to keep going — use you as long as I like."
Merlin swallows hard, thickly, gasping for oxygen. He tries not to come, he wants to feel this as long as he can, balance here, spitted on Arthur's cock and nails digging marks into Arthur's revoltingly expensive desk and watching London go from faint blue-and-pink to a dark velvety blue outside the windows.
He searches around for words, he'd like to ask, "how long?" but then Arthur's hand comes back up, pulls Merlin up until his arms are fully extended, holding him up off of the desk — he's leaving papers wrinkled everywhere — and then Arthur's palm closes over Merlin's throat, tight, just a little tight.
And that's it, that's enough, that tiny hint of tension, and Merlin is choking off a shout — God, Arthur's fucking secretaries are right outside the door — and shaking, his whole body throbbing. He hears papers rip and he can feel himself coming, shooting over spreadsheets and teak, leaving white streaks and dripping down onto the carpet, and behind him Arthur just makes a smug, pleased noise, presses his forehead against the top of Merlin's spine and shoves into him, one more time hard.
Merlin can feel it when Arthur comes inside of him, the feel of Arthur's cock jerking inside of him, the way all of Arthur's muscles go taut, the sudden heat, and then the wet, soft noises of Arthur rocking in and out of him, lazy, pushing his cum deeper inside, drawing it out, leaving them both a sticky mess. He loves that feeling, when his arse is slick and wet and fucked-loose, Arthur shoving into him easy and slow, after, rubbing semen into their skin, into the pink-raw rim of his hole.
And they're quiet for a long, long time, before Arthur pulls out — the sound it makes when he pulls away is fucking obscene — and asks, sounding destroyed, "Well?"
Merlin blinks twice. "Um?" he asks, shaky, because it feels like it's been a hundred years since he's used his own voice and his arse is sore and he's still buzzing with that numb-sweet rush of adrenaline that comes from running and fucking.
Arthur turns him round, and then Merlin's somehow straddling Arthur's lap in his massive ergonomic desk chair, looking at Arthur's sweaty face and cat-in-the-cream smirk and trying to resist the urge to press adoring kisses all over his chin.
"I think I ought to get extra points for not cracking up at any point during that," Arthur tells him, and winds his arms around Merlin's sides, lacing his fingers together loosely at the small of Merlin's back. He's probably leaving an awkward white stain from where he's sitting on Arthur's thigh right now, but Merlin's not entirely convinced that by the end of the conversation, he won't think Arthur deserves it. He narrows his eyes.
"What are you," he starts to ask, and then all the blood drains out of his face. "You didn't."
Arthur leers at him. "You write softcore porn for a living," he says.
"They're romance novels," Merlin snaps, flushing.
"They're smut with adjectives packed in the spaces," Arthur contradicts, flip and leering. "I just went through and picked out all the stuff that seemed like your favorite bits."
Merlin lets himself fall forward, hide his face in Arthur's shoulder. "Oh my God," he mutters. "I hate you. I hate you so much."
"Happy anniversary," Arthur replies, smug. "I'm your dream shag."
Merlin's grinning too stupidly and is similarly too stupidly in love to be truly angry, and he has the most terrible (amazing) image of Arthur hiding in their downstairs toilet with paperback copies of Merlin's best sellers annotating his deviant sexual cravings in the margins in multicolored highlighter and pens.
"Whatever," he manages, because he's saving up all his 'love you's for somewhere where no one else can hear. Arthur drinks exquisite port and wears beautifully tailored clothes and spends money like its water, but all the best things, his favorite things — his collection of old cartography books, his tatty old jumper, the glasses Merlin made him buy — he likes to keep behind locked and closed doors. Merlin doesn't pretend to understand all of Arthur, but he knows him, and so he smiles and says, "Thanks."
Arthur dips his head, obliging, and then pulls Merlin a little closer, grinning and bright-eyed, expectant.
"Well?" he asks. "What'd you get me?"
Merlin tenses. "Nothing," he lies, because he did not lock himself into the downstairs toilet with books and highlighters and then fuck Arthur's brains out in his office, and Arthur looks like he is dangerously close to a pout or worse — a series of logical protestations about how that must be a lie, so Merlin swoops in, kisses him sweet and expansive and lush, to distract him.
It backfires, because he ends up sex-drunk and then about two hours later actually drunk from what Arthur claims is a brilliant bottle of chianti and they fuck again, lazy and languid in their bedroom — Merlin still wet from earlier and Arthur moaning all his moans and begging desperately into the wings of Merlin's collarbone, all of it he held back earlier.
And when Merlin wakes up the next morning there's a note on the kitchen table in Arthur's crisp, copperplate handwriting:
You're a bloody awful liar and also you have been tormenting me with clues about my present for weeks. Found it in 10 flat. It's perfect. Extra points for something my employees will find terrifying. — AP
"Oh, no," Merlin laughs, dropping down onto one of the kitchen stools, because there aren't enough fruit and chocolate baskets or spa weekends in the universe to make up for him Merlin giving Arthur an umbrella shaped like a bloody sword.