Actions

Work Header

Merlin's Night Off

Chapter Text

Merlin woke on Beltane morning to the sweet scent of meadow flowers and amber. His skin prickled with a queer but familiar pleasure as he stretched, until the cool breeze from the window dispersed the warmer smell. Gaius was brewing Arthur’s potion again.

He hopped out of bed with a bit more pep than usual, pulling on his clothes with the happy anticipation of taking them off again later in more exciting circumstances than usual. It might not be the mysterious and exclusive drinking rituals that Arthur got up to with his knights, but Merlin got the better deal, in his opinion.

“Happy Beltane!” he called as he burst out his door and clattered down the short flight of steps into Gaius’s workroom.

Gaius looked up from the small pot he was stirring. “And a blessed Beltane to you, Merlin.”

Merlin grabbed the heel of bread and wedge of cheese that Gaius had left out for him with considerably more relish than he ever mustered for their usual porridge. “I love Beltane,” he mumbled as he stuffed as much of the bread into his mouth as he could.

“Pace yourself, Merlin. This is not a good day for your usual brand of recklessness.”

“Can’t think of a better day for it.” Merlin grinned, cheeks still bulging with bread, but Gaius did not smile back. “What? There’s a feast tonight, and then I get the night off for once. What could be bad about that?”

Gaius pressed his mouth into a thin, flat line that made Merlin think of leech tanks and lectures. “Because you aren’t having the night off, Merlin. Arthur requires you tonight.”

“What?” A surge of indignation straightened Merlin’s back. “My one night off the entire year and he’s taking it back?”

“Merlin—“

“Probably can’t get anyone else to serve him anymore. He runs through a different Beltane servant every year; like anyone but me could ever put up with the prat for more than one night.”

“Merlin!” Gaius was rubbing the spot between his eyes as though the ongoing battle between his eyebrows had left collateral damage. “I should have known. I should have known that he wouldn’t have spoken to you.”

“Gaius... honestly, it’s not a big deal. I don’t mind. That much.” Merlin wasn’t used to Gaius taking his whinging seriously. It was kind of disturbing, as it turned out.

“You don’t even know what you’re saying,” Gaius snapped; then he relented with a sigh at Merlin’s continued confusion. “Have you never talked with anyone who has served Arthur and his men on Beltane night?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“And what did they tell you?”

Merlin shrugged. “Not much. I’m sure it was pretty boring. But they all seemed happy enough, since it’s supposed to be some big honor. Well, except for when Gwen did it last year. I think she feels awkward serving Arthur in front of the knights.”

“Yes, I imagine she would,” Gaius returned, drier than Merlin thought warranted. It wasn’t like Merlin loved Arthur any less than Gwen did, and he managed to serve him just fine. “And have you never thought to wonder,” Gaius continued, ”why Arthur and his men sequester themselves on Beltane night instead of joining the festivities in the castle or town like the rest of us?”

“Because they’re snobs,” Merlin returned promptly. Not that the knights ever eschewed the common tavern the rest of the year, but they did love their special little traditions that made sure everyone knew how special they were to be knights of Camelot.

Gaius stared at him for a long moment. “That...is surprisingly perceptive while also completely missing the point.”

“Just tell me what’s going on, Gaius. Why are you in such a twist about this?”

A long, awkward pause followed, until Gaius let out a loud breath and gave Merlin a stilted smile. “Go see to your prince, Merlin, and while you’re there, ask him to explain the Beltane customs to you. I have suddenly realized that I am much too old to have this conversation.”

“You’re acting very strangely, Gaius.” Merlin checked over the table to make sure he hadn’t missed any crumbs. “Very strangely,” he emphasized as he headed out the door.

He had been planning to show up as usual after the feast tonight with the flagon of special Beltane hangover cure that Gaius always sent up to Arthur. After that, he usually left and headed out to find himself a bonfire, some drink of his own, and hopefully some pleasant companionship. Now Arthur had put an end to his hopes for most of that.

There didn’t seem to be more to the situation that Merlin could see, but Gaius’s odd remarks made him suspect he had better make sure he wasn’t missing something. Obviously, actually asking Arthur was out of the question. He wasn’t giving Arthur any more ammunition to be a pillock when Arthur had already reneged on his traditional night of liberty.

“Merlin!” A heavy pile of Gwaine fell on Merlin’s back, propelling him forward. His stumble was arrested only by the solid wall of Percival that appeared in front of him. “The man of the day.”

“Arthur told us we get to keep you with us tonight.” Percival grinned and gripped Merlin’s shoulders, eyes bright. “We’re very excited.”

“Very excited.” Gwaine pressed along Merlin’s back and hello, Merlin could feel just how excited he was.

Merlin didn’t take it personally -– Gwaine could get aroused by a good roast pig –- but he did like it. He wouldn’t mind finding a bonfire with him, if Gwaine wasn’t permanently stuck by Arthur’s hearth as a knight.

He also wouldn’t mind stepping closer up to Percival to be completely enveloped by knightly muscle and heat. But he brushed away the fleeting fantasy as he always did. Not much point in dwelling on more things he couldn’t have.

“Yeah, I’m excited, too,” he said and Gwaine whooped in his ear.

“Yeah, I bet you are. It’s not everyone who gets this privilege, you know.”

Merlin was about to casually ask what exactly they were all excited about, but Gwaine’s words made him catch his tongue. It was a privilege because he was still a servant – their servant as much as Arthur’s most of the time. He didn’t need them to start ribbing him for his ignorance, either.

“Right, well, lots to do before the festivities begin.” Reluctantly, Merlin extricated himself from his muscle-bound confinement.

“Save your strength for us,” Gwaine called after him, which was an odd thing to say since pouring wine didn’t really take that much energy, though you’d never know it from the way Arthur refused to pick up a pitcher for himself.

But he just smiled and waved back at them over his shoulder on his way across the courtyard. Then a flash of lavender caught his eye and he broke into a jog. “Gwen!”

His friend stopped just on the edge of the shade of the colonnade. She turned and smiled as she waited for him. “Hello, Merlin. Happy Beltane.”

“Happy Beltane, Gwen.” He hopped to a stop in front of her with a grin of relief. Gwen knew exactly what was going on, since she had served last year. And Gwen was a good person. She hardly ever made fun of him.

“Exciting Beltane plans?” She shifted the load of linens in her arms as she turned to fall into step with him. “The usual merriment, I assume?”

“Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” Merlin relieved her of half the stack of linens to have an excuse to walk with her. “You served Arthur and his knights last Beltane, right?”

Gwen tripped and clutched the linens to her chest to keep from dropping them. “What? I mean, yes, it’s no secret, but – why are you asking about that?”

“Because Arthur’s making me do it tonight.”

This time she stopped dead and stared at him. “He’s making you? Merlin, that’s – he wouldn’t – I mean, have you talked to him about it?”

“Of course not. You know Arthur. He’d just roll his eyes and tell me to get my lazy arse to work.” Merlin rolled his own eyes in what he thought was a very good imitation.

She made a strange sound of distress. “Oh, no, Merlin, he couldn’t –he wouldn’t – it’s supposed to be an honor, not a...a duty.”

“Well, sure, but it’s supposed to be an honor every time I fill Arthur’s cup. Why is it so special if I have to do it this one night of the year? Which, as I mentioned, I’m supposed to have off.” He looked at her expectantly, pleased with his guile in steering the conversation to exactly what he needed to know.

And there must be something he needed to know, since Gwen was staring at him with the same disbelief Gaius had turned on him not half an hour before.

“Merlin. Are you telling me... do you mean that you don’t know?”

“I never asked, since it was never my job.” Merlin gave a casual lift of one shoulder to indicate that such questions had always been beneath his notice, but he would allow her to tell him if she really wanted. “Gaius seemed upset about it this morning, but he wouldn’t say why. It didn’t seem like such a big deal to me.”

“Well...maybe it’s not. Gaius does like to treat you like an innocent young boy sometimes; I’ve noticed it.” She clutched her stack of bedding a little closer and glanced at him sidelong. “But Merlin, do you really mean that you don’t know? What we do for them on Beltane? Really?”

Instantly he scoffed as much as he knew how to scoff. “Please. What could Arthur or any of them possibly need that I haven’t done before?”

“Possibly nothing, but—oh, Merlin.” Gwen bit her lip and looked around before pulling on his arm to draw him along with her. “Come with me. We really shouldn’t be talking about it out here.”

Merlin didn’t see anyone paying them any mind, but with his luck, Arthur would happen along and berate him for lollygagging. He didn’t want to lose next Beltane, too. So he followed Gwen without protest.

When they stopped in front of the door to Morgana’s old chambers, Gwen hesitated, embarrassment showing in the dip of her head, before she pushed the door open. “It’s a good place to talk. No one would ever come in here.”

“No one but you.” Merlin looked down at the linens he still carried, fine and soft with a delicate lace trim.

He heard her faint sigh before she marched over to the bed and shook out a clean sheet over the bare mattress. “I like to keep it fresh. In case...in case the madness ever leaves her and she wants to come home.”

Merlin didn’t reply; instead he went around to the other side of the bed and caught the corners of the sheet as they fluttered down. He doubted Morgana would ever need this room again, but he shared in the comfort of the ritual as they tugged and tucked and fluffed everything into place.

When they were done, he circled back behind Gwen and squeezed her shoulders. “Love you,” he mumbled against the waves of her hair.

She sighed again and leaned back against him, drawing his arm around her waist. “Love you, too,” she said, and he knew without doubt that she meant it. It was Gwen’s strength and her curse that once she gave her love, she could never withdraw it.

He rubbed her arm with his free hand and drew her mind back to the present. “So what could possibly be so bad that Gaius doesn’t want to tell me?”

“Oh, Merlin.” She gave his arm a playful pinch, but didn’t let him move away. “I’m starting to think Gaius could be right about you being such an innocent, even if I do know better. Don’t you know where Imbolc babies come from?”

“Beltane fires.” The response came by reflex. “As if Arthur would ever go fertilize the fields like the rest of us commoners.”

Gwen tilted her head back onto his shoulder. He could see her exasperation even upside down. “That’s exactly the point. How could you miss it?”

“I get the point,” he protested, feeling somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t anything more to it after all. “Arthur and his noble friends aren’t supposed to dilute their noble bloodlines with Beltane bastards, so they all stay cooped up drinking together instead—even though most of them aren’t even nobles now and Uther isn’t in any condition to notice what they do.”

He felt sorry for them, actually, though that never stopped him from escaping before Arthur could imprison him as well. Not that he minded spending time with Arthur and his knights, even just pouring them wine, but on the one night of the year that he was guaranteed to get laid, he was certainly not – why was Gwen giggling so hard?

“I’m starting to see why Gaius didn’t want to talk about this with you.” She shook with laughter against him. “Do you really think all those noblemen just sit celibate on Beltane night, sipping wine by Arthur’s fire?”

Something in the way Gwen arched up on her toes, her back sliding against his front, made his breath and his brain finally catch. “Wait. Are you saying--?”

“It started in old Vortigern’s day, from what I’ve heard. He hated the idea of noble blood mixing with common, but he was proud of the virility of his men. Short of sullying the virtue of the noble ladies or restricting the knights to sodomy, he decided the only way to keep the common girls from making paternity claims every Beltane was to provide for the knights elsewhere.”

“Provide a servant.” Understanding, belated and powerful, flooded through him.

“One servant for all the knights to share. Man or woman, whatever suited their mood. It didn’t matter. No danger if it’s a man, and if a woman got with child, she’d never be able to prove who sired it.”

Stark images followed bringing stark arousal. All of the knights—Lancelot, Gwaine, Elyan, Percival, Leon—all focused on pleasure, all focused on the same person—on Gwen.

On Merlin.

And Arthur. Oh God, Arthur.

His arm tightened around Gwen until she laughed, a strained and breathless sound. “You finally get it, don’t you? I can feel that you do.”

It had been a long time since they had last kissed and touched each other in friendly play. Out of respect, Merlin had quietly faded back when Gwen and Arthur began to turn to each other.

Now he touched his lips to the curve of her neck, and then kissed harder when she sighed and pressed her arse back against his stiffening cock. “Tell me. How does it happen? What... what should I expect?”

Her eyelashes fluttered against his temple when he pressed his hot cheek to hers. “I went...I went to Arthur’s rooms after the feast. All the knights were already there. You weren’t, and I remember being grateful you were already gone.”

“Oh, thanks.” Merlin huffed playfully in her ear.

She reached up and smacked his shoulder. “I was embarrassed. I knew you never stayed for it, but I thought you’d know what I was there for. It was bad enough that Arthur....”

Blood surged into Merlin’s prick, and knowing that she could feel it just made him harder. “Arthur. He was there already as well?”

He tried to make the question sound casual, though they both knew it was anything but. Their shared feelings for Arthur had long given them an additional intimate, occasionally uncomfortable connection.

“He was on his bed, fully dressed, but barefoot. Just lounging there as though he’d been reading a book and we were interrupting him.” She laughed a little, high pitched with lack of air and lessening control. “I thought they would take me to the bed, but they didn’t.”

Merlin rubbed his palm over her hip and across her belly, not trying to soothe. His hand slid down, skimming past the juncture of her legs to grip the muscle of her thigh through her skirts as she continued.

“There was a couch set before the fire, covered in silks. I didn’t know where to look or what to say, so I started walking towards it. But then Gwaine stopped me.”

“It would be Gwaine.” Merlin chuckled in her ear as his hand slid back up her body to curve around her breast. “Whenever he’s around you, he can’t take his eyes off this. Or this one, either.”

Gwen shivered as Merlin cupped her other breast, thumb grazing her nipple through the fabric of her bodice. “Yes, I’d noticed. He flirted with me like he always does, but with more intent, touching my face, caressing my neck. Then he started unlacing me, very slowly, while he asked me if I was willing, if I’d do them the honor of lying with them.”

Merlin had been on the receiving end of Gwaine’s charm more than once himself. He remembered the heat and weight of Gwaine against his back mere minutes before. Gwaine must have been thinking about it then, anticipating how he would lie with Merlin tonight.

“I was still nervous, but I was more excited. I said yes, and I felt his fingers on my breasts, and then the chill as he exposed them to the room.”

His fingers had been plucking at the laces of her bodice as she spoke, alternately imagining himself either Gwaine or Gwen. She paused until he had her free and the soft flesh of her breast filled his hand.

“He was bending his head to my chest when Arthur snapped his name from across the room. My heart jumped. I’ve never pledged anything to him, and that night was sacred—but—“

His thumb circled her nipple, distracting her from the remembered distress. The dark nub tightened; he pressed down on it and held it down while he massaged her breast, gentle in a lulling rhythm.

“Did you want him to watch you? With the other men?” he asked when she was panting softly in his arms.

She guided his other hand back to her thigh and waited until it was moving before she answered. “Yes. He’d never touched me, never more than a kiss. I’d have waited a hundred years for him, but I wanted him to see me like that. I wanted him to desire me like they did.”

“Oh, he does.” He lifted his hand from her breast to tilt her head until he could kiss her softly. “So did he stop them? Did he send them away and take you for himself?”

“No.” She turned in his arms to face him until his hands fell to her arse and her arms wound around his neck. “He was holding up the potion. Gwaine was so eager that he’d forgotten all about it. No surprise there.”

“The potion?” He’d forgotten about the potion, the very potion he’d left Gaius brewing. A hangover remedy... or not, from the way Gwen was smirking up at him.

“You bring it to Arthur every year, and you never figured out what it was?”

He remembered how the scent of it wakened his body every Beltane morning, how good it made him feel. It was the same way her body was making him feel now, with her bare breasts and hard nipples pressed to him through the thin fabric of his shirt. He knew he wouldn’t be surprised by what she said next.

“It makes you hot—and keeps you hot and wanting. Over and over, so that you can take all the knights’ pleasure and still want more. Arthur poured some into a goblet—“

“Oh, so he does know how.”

“—and Lancelot brought it to me.” Gwen drew in a deep breath; her head was tucked down so he could no longer see her face.

Merlin stroked her hair once, hesitantly. He knew how she felt about Lancelot, but no one ever mentioned it, not anymore.

“He asked me again if I was sure. And if anyone else had asked me, I would have been.”

Merlin remembered Lancelot last year, the day after Beltane. He had been so quiet, even more than usual, and there had been something in his eyes Merlin couldn’t read, which was something Merlin wasn’t used to.

“He looked at me, and his eyes were burning and he was so hard and not even trying to hide it. He’s never let himself look so uncontrolled, and I knew it wasn’t because of Beltane. It was because of me, and God forgive me, I didn’t care what Arthur thought then. I took the cup and drank as deep as I could. I only remember drinking a few swallows. The next thing I knew, I was spread out on the couch and Gwaine’s mouth was between my thighs.”

His prick got harder, abruptly, against her belly, and she snicker-snorted against his shoulder. “I knew you’d like that. And so did I. I think I blurted out that he was even better than he liked to say he was. He still likes to remind me about that, though now I remind him that I was so needy at the time, anything would have felt good.”

A surge of jealousy went through him that for a year now she’d shared these private, intimate jests with their friends, and he’d known nothing of it. But the jealousy just strengthened his arousal and he dug his fingers into her arse as she talked.

“The rest of them were kissing me and stroking me. At some point my dress came off, but I don’t remember it. I just remember that I was naked when I came the first time. I was jerking up off the couch, and my thighs clamped so hard around Gwaine’s head that his ears were bright red after.”

She reached up and tweaked one of his ears, and he grinned. “You could pull my ears all you wanted.”

“I wouldn’t be able to help myself. They’re made for it,” she answered and used them to pull him down to her mouth.

It had been years since they’d kissed in the cool quiet of her little hut, stealing a few moments of play while her father worked the forge next door and Arthur and Morgana were occupied elsewhere. Merlin hadn’t thought to ever kiss her again, but telling her story had made her body tighten, on tiptoes to press against his. He was happy to indulge in her lush lips and the soft touches of her tongue until they were both shivery with kisses and imagination.

“So who took you first?” he asked against her lips. He wasn’t sure he was ready to stop kissing her yet, but he couldn’t wait to hear the rest of it. “Was it Leon? I bet it was Leon.”

“Of course it was Leon. He’s the senior knight in Arthur’s personal guard, and you know how sensitive he is about his status.” She drew back to roll her eyes fondly. “But I didn’t care who had me as long as somebody did. Coming the first time was amazing, but it wasn’t nearly enough.”

“Does he fuck like he fights?”

“With purpose, very serious, bent on getting the job done? Yes. Which was fine, because it was just what I needed, something steady and hard, no teasing. By the time he finished, I was calmer, settling into it, and I was ready for the rest of them.”

“I’m guessing Gwaine couldn’t wait much longer.”

“He was already naked. Once Leon moved off me, he sat down on the couch and pulled me right onto his cock. He made some stupid remark about paying him back for the ride he’d given me before. It kind of annoyed me, so I wouldn’t let him thrust up into me. He had to wait while I enjoyed myself as slow as I pleased.”

Merlin groaned at the thought. He wanted that. He wanted all of it.

“Eventually I let him come, of course. He was still in the middle of it when I felt Percival’s hands caressing me from behind. I also felt his cock brushing along my spine; he was massive and hard to bursting. He’d been so patient, waiting until I was slippery wet and stretched out before he tried to take me. Have you seen his cock?’

“Not like you did. But I got the general idea, yeah.” He’d kill to see Percival in an erect state. A shiver of excitement went through him when he remembered that he would that very night.

“I wasn’t sure I could take it, even as helplessly aroused as I was. He was so cute about it -- apologetic, almost, but so proud as well. He suggested it would be easier for me if he entered me from behind.”

“Oh, God, Gwen.” Merlin tried to crush her hips against his to relieve even the tiniest bit of his arousal, but she wiggled around in his arms until her back was to his chest again, demonstrating how she’d presented herself to Percival.

“So I slid off Gwaine’s cock and tilted my arse back until I felt his hands on my hips, positioning me the rest of the way. Gwaine was still trapped under me when Percival started pressing into me, but he was grinning like a loon and didn’t seem to mind.”

“Who would?” Merlin asked, logically and rhetorically.

“It took a while to get Percival all the way inside me. He kept stopping so I could shift myself around him and adjust. His cock felt amazing as he stuffed more and more of it into me, but being that stretched and full was almost too good. I started feeling a little overwhelmed, almost crazed, like I wanted to move but had no idea how.”

Merlin groaned, lost in the imagery and in the feeling of her body under his hands as he gave up finesse and caressed her mindlessly.

“So Gwaine started kissing me again and stroking my breasts and my back to soothe me. His beard was still wet with me from when he’d pleasured me before. He used his fingers to rub my clit until every movement Percival made was nothing but pleasure.”

His hands moved restlessly over her stomach and thighs, but unlike Gwaine, Merlin’s fingers were hampered by the heavy folds of her skirts that kept him from the folds he really wanted to explore.

“We had to stop kissing when Percival finally started fucking me properly. Every thrust drove the breath out of me so that I gasped and gasped. Gwaine says that I squeaked every time, but I’m sure he’s lying.”

Merlin made a distracted hum of agreement. His fingers pulled at her skirts, bunching them up and up, and she gave a little moan as her legs were exposed to the cool air.

“But he didn’t stop rubbing me, even after I’d come twice on Percival’s cock. Percival could go for hours, and maybe he did. I was dizzy with lack of breath and Gwaine’s fingers. Oh. Oh, Merlin.”

His fingers finally reached her inner thigh, already damp, and his knuckles brushed the heat of her nether lips. His other hand kept her skirts bunched up at her waist and held her tight against him while he started stroking a single finger over the soft heat of her.

“Don’t mind me.” His voice had gotten rougher. “Keep talking. Percival must have come eventually.”

“He did. And did and did and did. It was dripping down my legs by the time he pulled out. I felt ridiculously empty without him, and I think I whimpered. So embarrassing.”

He toyed gently with her outer folds, pulling them open to touch lightly at the slick flesh within. She had washed that morning, he could tell; the scent of fresh, wet quim teased his nose. “Trust me, no one else would have thought so.”

“Percival’s seed was dripping out of me, down onto Gwaine’s cock. Gwaine was hard again, and he seized me around my waist and pulled me back down onto him. It was rather rude, since the others hadn’t had a turn yet, but it felt so good to have something back inside me, I couldn’t bring myself to protest.”

Sliding his fingertip through her slickness, he brought it up to circle around her clit in a light touch, dampening the curly hair around it. He thought about which knights were left unsatisfied. Lancelot would wait a thousand years for her, and she’d made no mention of Arthur since the beginning.

“Your brother? He was there, wasn’t he?”

“Yes. I thought he wouldn’t be, and I thought I’d hate it if he was, but I was glad he was there. He was always near me, and he stopped Percival from thrusting more than I could take. When Gwaine finally spent his second load inside me, Elyan sat next to us on the couch and caught me as I slid off Gwaine, feeling limp and wrung out. He held me in his arms and kissed me and stroked my hair while I caught my breath.”

“Did he fuck you?” Merlin finally pressed down on the hard nub of her clit, making her squirm.

“No,” she gasped.

“Did he want to?”

“He was hard, of course, if that’s what you mean. His breeches were open and I could see just how hard he was. And at that moment, I wanted him to fuck me. He’s so much a part of me, it seemed wrong not to join my body to his, when all these other men had that privilege. But there are some things you can’t risk, even on Beltane. Luckily, he kept a clearer head even when so many of my inhibitions were gone.”

No one had a cooler head than Elyan, but Merlin could imagine his frustration, his need to fuck where he couldn’t allow himself entry. He could imagine it because he shared it, cock straining at his breeches to get to Gwen’s flesh.

“But he kissed me deeply for a long time, and that was almost enough. He gentled me, and someone else helped me lie down, stretched out along the couch with my head in Elyan’s lap. His cock was so close to my lips, all I had to do was nod my head a little to kiss it. So I did.”

Her voice trailed off as Merlin rubbed harder between her legs, caught up in the story. He stopped and brought two fingers to tease over her folds again until she started talking again.

“I kissed his cock, feeling dreamy and happy at how it twitched under my lips. My limbs felt heavy, so I didn’t want to move except to raise my head enough to catch the tip of him in my mouth. And then I sucked him while he petted my hair, his hands trembling, until finally he cried out and spilled his seed safely down my throat. I felt so satisfied at having him that way, and I dozed on his lap until he got up and left me stretched out, alone for the first time.”

“Not for long, I reckon.” This time when he parted her lips, a small gush of fluid wet his fingers. It seemed the perfect time to push them inside her, so he did.

“Unh. Yes. No, two, Merlin. Yes, like that, oh. No, I wasn’t alone. I was never alone, because Lancelot was there,” she said, and Merlin knew how far into pleasure she was that she would speak so freely of him like that. “I opened my eyes and smiled when I saw him bending over me. He needed me so badly, but he could see that the potion had finally subsided, letting me cool down.”

Merlin had no intention of letting her cool down now. His fingers slid deeper inside her while his thumb found her clit again. He worked her without mercy.

“He said my name—not Gwen. Guinevere, he said. Do you need more? he asked, and I saw that he had the flagon of potion in his hand. I started to reach for it, but he stopped me. Do you want more? he asked, running his hand down my body like I was something precious."

Which she always would be to Lancelot. It must have killed him to ask her that and take the risk that she might say no. Merlin could imagine his agony, waiting for her to deny him what the others had taken with such abandon.

Gwen's head lolled back onto his shoulder. Her eyes were closed, lost in the memory. "I drank the potion," she murmured and didn't seem to notice that she had trailed off into soft cries and choked breaths, a moan for every wet sound Merlin's fingers made in her cunt.

Finally she let out a long, trembling moan and went heavy in his arms. She fell forward, bracing her hands on the edge of the mattress as she caught her breath.

The motion pressed her arse harder against Merlin's groin. The new angle presented her body for coupling, an unbearable tease when his prick was so hard and the smell of sex so strong in the air. His hands were already on her hips; he wondered if she'd mind if he just ground himself to completion against her bottom.

But instead, he helped her up onto the bed, laying her back against Morgana's pillows with a gentle stroke over her hair. Then he stepped back and ripped open his breeches because he couldn't take another fucking second without wanking.

"Merlin. Don't be silly. Come here."

He looked up blankly, cock in his hand and most of his brain already there as well.

She was smiling at him, and as she smiled, she pulled her skirts up around her waist and spread her thighs until he could see the glistening wet folds he had just learned by touch.

"Gwen, do you mean it?" Even when they'd spent time together before, he had never imagined going so far as that. Well, not outside his own head, anyway, and he saved those imaginings until later, when he was alone.

A shadow fell behind her eyes, but she still smiled. "If the combined knights of Camelot couldn't impregnate me, I rather doubt that you can. No offense."

A surge of magic went through his cock, enough to make him choke, and he knew instantly that she was wrong. But this wasn't the time to contemplate that, not with Gwen spread invitingly before him with her breasts still bare and her legs spread. He tamped the magic down and hastened to accept her invitation.

She slid her hand around the back of his neck and lifted herself up to kiss him as he climbed over her. "Besides," she said, lying back down as he positioned himself between her legs, "don't you want to hear about Arthur?"

That was stronger than magic. He froze with the head of his cock nudging into her damp curls. "Arthur?" he croaked. His arousal had overwhelmed him enough that he'd forgotten that of course the story wasn't finished while the prince of Camelot remained unsatisfied.

"Lancelot and I made love three times before he fell asleep and I couldn't rouse him again. I wanted to sleep as well, but the potion was still strong in my blood. I hadn't noticed, but Leon and Elyan had left, and Gwaine and Percival were snoring over their wine cups."

"But Arthur was still awake." Merlin's voice was faint and hoarse, though it seemed loud in his ears. He still held himself poised between her legs, just short of entry; she smiled against his cheek.

"He was looking away from me, but he was tense and even keeping his knee bent couldn't conceal how excited his body was from watching us. Me. I thought it was fate, bringing us together at last."

The head of his cock pressed into the wet folds of her cunt and slowly, he started to penetrate. He pushed into the warm space where Arthur's prick must have been encased; a year ago, but feeling so much closer.

"I felt so bold climbing onto his bed, and naked, no less, but I liked how it made me feel. He still wouldn't look at me. For a moment I was afraid he was angry at me, though I'd done nothing wrong. But his cock was bulging out of his breeches. He couldn't deny he wanted to fuck me just as the others had done."

Merlin groaned and buried himself to the root. He pulled back and pushed in again. He couldn't speak, overcome by the heat, the pressure, and the staggering thought of Arthur aroused and fucking.

"I put my hand on his chest and he caught my wrist. He finally met my eyes, and the look he gave me made me throb so deep between my legs."

Deep where Merlin was now probing, trying to keep his thrusts slow. He wanted to last just a little longer, just until the end of the story.

"It's time for us, I told him. But he shook his head and said no, it wasn't. Not yet. And to my humiliation, I started to cry."

Merlin forced himself to still. "Wait. He didn't--what?" he gasped.

"I pressed myself to his body, so shameless. I think I probably begged. He wrapped his arms around me and tried to soothe me, but I couldn't be soothed. I needed relief. I think I meant to reach for him, but my hand ended up between my own legs instead."

She demonstrated with a firm flick of her fingers between their bodies, right at the point of their joining. He shivered and let himself thrust again -- and again, until he was pumping into her steadily with no hope of stopping again.

Her words broke with each thrust. "He kissed me twice. Hard. Then his arms tightened around me until I could barely draw breath. I didn't want to breathe. I just wanted to come. I was jerking against his arms, and then I was coming so hard I couldn't see--like now, ah--"

She arched beneath him, fingers working harder, face scrunching and then smoothing. And just as she relaxed, Merlin tensed and spilled his seed into her in a long, satisfying pulse.

Then he went limp on top of her. Their chests pressed together as they caught their breath.

"So," Gwen said, nose brushing his. "Did that answer your question?"

They both burst out laughing. Merlin disengaged and tumbled to her side, dizzy. Then he kissed her again and helped her out of her crumpled dress. They were both owed some time off, after all.

Chapter Text

Once Merlin finally got around to his duties, he didn't see Arthur for the rest of the day. The prince seemed to have mysteriously learned how to find his own food and clothing and also how to vanish from any room just before Merlin entered it.

Merlin wasn't sure whether he should be relieved or worried by that. Did Arthur already regret calling for his service tonight? Did he plan to fend Merlin off like he had Gwen? Or would he fuck Merlin like any other servant?

And which one did Merlin want to happen?

By the time the knights strode into the Great Hall for the Beltane feast that night, Merlin had given up worrying about it. Sex would happen, with someone. That pretty much cleared up any objections he had to working on a holiday.

Every one of his prospective lovers immediately zeroed in on Merlin with looks of anticipation as they found their seats. Even Leon gave him a little grin.

Only Lancelot looked more concerned than salacious and detoured over to Merlin's station near Arthur's empty chair at the high table. "Merlin?"

"Hello, Lancelot," Merlin greeted cheerfully. Beautiful, delicious Lancelot. "Happy Beltane."

"And to you as well, my friend." Lancelot hesitated. "I understand you're joining us tonight for one of Camelot's more unique Beltane traditions?"

"Oh, yes. Now that you mention it, I think I heard something about that." Merlin let his excitement show in his wide grin until the look of concern faded from Lancelot's eyes. A smoldering anticipation replaced it.

"I am very much looking forward to it," he said with a light touch to Merlin's waist.

A loud throat clearing brought both back to the noisy hall. Arthur had arrived and was standing by his seat, shooting them a pointed look.

Lancelot muffled a cough and hurried back to the knights table to stand with them until their prince sat down in his chair next to Uther’s ever-empty throne. Merlin met Arthur's irritated gaze with the same grin he'd offered Lancelot, until Arthur's eyes went wide and startled. He hastily broke the contact and took his seat.

Although the Beltane feast always got rowdy and dissolute, Merlin had never been manhandled so much in a single meal. The knights constantly called for wine, so much wine that he suspected them of pouring out their cups into the rushes. And every time he approached their table, a hand would find his arm, his thigh, his bum -- sometimes multiple hands at the same time. Even Lancelot rested a warm hand on his lower back, softly rubbing as Merlin bent to retrieve his goblet from the table.

Merlin was hard as a rock before the second course came out. He wondered if this sort of behavior had been going on every year with the chosen servant, and if so, how had he never noticed?

Only Arthur didn't call for him. Gwen refilled Arthur's cup, and he caught her wry look from where he was being discreetly fondled by her eager brother.

When the feast devolved into the traditional closing food fight, Arthur finally looked Merlin's way. It was a heavy look, and Merlin knew it was time to get ready.

He slipped out of the Great Hall unobserved by anyone but Arthur. When he got home to his own quarters, Gaius was nowhere to be found, but a familiar stoppered flagon waited on the work bench.

Merlin picked it up, thinking of all the times he'd rushed to deliver it to Arthur's chambers, eager to have this one last duty done, without any idea of its true purpose. And now it was for him.

On the way out the door, he detoured to grab the bottle of slippery salve he had intended to bring with him bonfire hopping tonight, just in case. He hadn't taken anything up for Gwen last year, but then, girls were much handier at self-slicking.

He hurried up to Arthur's chambers. When he opened the door, he found that someone had moved the furniture, adding enough chairs to seat all the men and laying refreshments out on the table. A fire was crackling in the hearth, driving off the late spring chill. Before it was not a couch as Gwen had gotten, but a bed of furs and pelts spread over the hearth rug.

"There's a kill from each of us. The men wanted to... offer you something special."

Merlin turned to see Arthur standing near the wall, waiting for him, alone. "Yes, well, dead animals are always the key to my heart, you know," he answered in the hopes that flippancy would conceal the fact that his heart was pounding in his throat. The idea of the knights hunting with such a purpose appealed in an abruptly visceral way.

Arthur smiled, just a little. "They really care," he blurted and seemed to regret it the next instant. "I mean...they asked for you. Very specifically. And at length."

"Flattery, on the other hand, gets to my heart much faster." Merlin couldn't restrain his grin. He'd already gathered that they were as pleased by this opportunity as he was, but hearing that they had engineered it sent a happy hum through his gut. And he hadn’t missed that Arthur had included himself in the hunting; he was not as removed from desire as he was trying to pretend.

"What I'm trying to say is that I'd never intended to ask this of you, Merlin." Arthur took a breath and looked somewhere to the left of Merlin's actual face. "This isn't part of your job. If you don't want to do this--"

"First of all, you probably should have asked me that before I wound up standing here, listening to randy knights coming down the corridor," Merlin said because that was definitely Gwaine's voice growing louder as he hollered a very bawdy Beltane tune.

Then Merlin stopped, because Arthur looked stricken and the last thing he wanted was for Arthur to think that Merlin didn't want to be there. So he unstoppered the flagon, threw his head back, and chugged down the sweet liquid until it hit his belly and sent him reeling.

"Merlin!" Arthur grabbed the flagon from his hand and tried to steady him. "You idiot, not so much."

Merlin just grinned at him recklessly, and then just as the door rattled and burst open, he pressed forward and kissed Arthur, hard and sloppy. When he pulled back, the shock in Arthur's eyes was an entirely different kind. Brilliant. Let Arthur watch, and wait, and want.

Merlin was still grinning when the knights grabbed him and dragged him away from Arthur. He found himself tumbled back into the furs spread before the fire.

“Do you like what we got for you?” Leon called.

He dug his fingers into the soft fur, sleek and sensual. “Do I get to keep them?”

His question ended in an “oof” as Gwaine tumbled down on top of him. “You get to keep us,” Gwaine chortled, then sobered, looking down at Merlin with a soft smile. “Happy Beltane, Merlin. You’ve no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this.”

Then he pressed against the length of Merlin’s body as he found Merlin’s mouth. Merlin gave up the furs in favor of tangling his fingers in Gwaine’s hair as they kissed. The scratch of Gwaine’s beard sent pleasant shivers into Merlin’s body, making him push up into Gwaine. He needed sex badly.

A booted toe nudged Gwaine in the side, none too gently. “Hey now. Don’t forget your place in the order of things.”

Gwaine broke off their kiss long enough to send a glare over his shoulder. “You’re not senior to me, Elyan.”

“No, but I am, and we all agreed Elyan deserved first go, since he didn’t get much out of last year.”

Merlin couldn’t see Leon past Gwaine’s head and Elyan’s legs, but his words slipped warm into Merlin’s belly. They had discussed how to go about fucking him.

He didn’t want to stop kissing Gwaine, but Elyan’s mouth was a fine trade when he lay down beside Merlin and kissed him hello. “Sorry to be pushy,” he said. “Is this all right?”

More than all right, and Merlin reassured him with another kiss. “Yeah. Gwen told me about last year.”

Elyan’s eyes went hot and wide. From behind him, Merlin heard scattered groans that told him the knights were just as turned on by the thought of being talked about in that way as Merlin was.

A scuffle was going on behind him; Gwaine and Percival, he knew without looking. "Hey, it's not my fault he didn't want to fuck his sister!"

"Would you want to fuck your sister?"

"You haven't seen my sister or you wouldn't even ask me that."

Elyan winced and from his expression, Merlin could tell his face must be burning. But Merlin felt that if anyone got to be embarrassed right now, it was the person who was high on an aphrodisiac and about to get fucked by most of his closest friends.

So he kissed Elyan again, demanding his attention. He liked being forward with his alleged superiors, but he liked it just as much when Elyan pushed him back onto the furs and took command.

Elyan took his time undressing Merlin and then himself. By the time Merlin sprawled naked over the furs, watching Elyan strip off his tunic, he was hard and dripping, flushed with need and sporting at least two bright new love bites along his neck.

He’d thought it would be a little strange to lie here naked and aroused with these men he knew so well. But he loved this; he loved them, and looking up at their smiles and down at the furs under his bum, he knew he was loved in return. What the hell had taken them so long?

A bottle landed next to his head with a soft whump. He turned his head to blink at it. Right. The lubricant. He didn’t even remember putting it down when he’d arrived, but he really wanted some now.

“Slick up, my friend.” Already naked and half hard, Leon settled cross-legged on the furs by Merlin’s head.

Elyan paused in the middle of stripping off his breeches. “And what are you doing?”

“Don’t mind me.” Leon’s fingers brushed fondly through Merlin’s hair. “I’m just here to make sure you do a good job for our friend. And to make sure the rest of these wankers don’t get any ideas about stealing my turn.”

“Ah, that sounds more like the truth.” At Lancelot’s voice, Merlin craned his head to find him leaning against Arthur’s table, idly palming the arousal beginning to bulge in his breeches.

Elyan shrugged and reached for the bottle. He was naked now as well, firelight gleaming off the curve of muscles hard won by forge and sword.

Merlin helpfully spread his legs. Then he hissed as Elyan rubbed a wet finger over his entrance. Elyan circled it, slicking it, but he didn’t waste much time before sliding right in with a finger.

And oh, there was nothing in the world like the sword-calloused hands of a knight. Merlin’s arse was relaxed and ready even while the rest of his body thrummed with tension. He gave an experimental moan and let Leon’s fingers trace his lips and face while Elyan prepared him below.

One finger wasn't enough; neither were two, and Merlin had his doubts about three. He bucked his hips until Elyan left him empty long enough to slick up his big, gorgeous cock.

This time Elyan settled his whole body between Merlin’s legs. They arranged themselves and each other until the position was right, and then Elyan’s eyes shut as he pressed forward into Merlin.

“Oh, brilliant.” Merlin moaned at the long, satisfying slide of cock into his body.

“Thanks,” Elyan gasped. “Fuck, you feel good.”

And it kept feeling good. Elyan was in no hurry to finish fucking Merlin, interspersing his thrusts with plentiful kisses and caresses. Leon waited patiently, still stroking Merlin’s hair and face and occasionally reaching out to caress Elyan as well.

As much as Merlin wanted to come, he found he was happy as long as he was in the act of sex. In keeping with the holy day, Elyan worshipped at Merlin’s body. The room fell tense and quiet, focused intently on the act occurring and the acts to come. Mingling with the sounds of their fucking, he could hear the others grunting and exchanging the occasional appreciative murmur.

When orgasm finally swept through Merlin, he groaned his enjoyment. As it faded, he understood what Gwen had meant about the potion. Although his climax had been intense and satisfying, it hadn’t lessened his need for sex at all.

Elyan kept rocking into him, steady but harder now. Leon touched Elyan’s shoulder, and Elyan’s eyes focused enough to notice the streaks of come on Merlin’s belly. He groaned as if the sight was more than he could take.

He started fucking faster, until his cock sent warm spurts into Merlin’s body. Elyan shuddered and fell onto his elbows, panting, on top of Merlin. He grinned and kissed Merlin tenderly. “Now that was worth waiting for,” he said as he withdrew and rolled to the side.

“And now Leon finally has to take the sloppy seconds,” Percival intoned solemnly.

“Hardly,” Leon said and swung himself around so he was straddling Merlin’s chest.

Merlin understood instantly. It would be hard not to with Leon’s cockhead brushing over his lips. No wonder Leon had been so interested in touching his lips, his cheeks, his jaw.

Merlin obliged him, lifting his head and sucking the tip of Leon’s prick into his mouth. His cock was long and red, just as Leon’s face was slowly reddening to outdo his hair.

“Fuck, those lips. You were made by the gods to suck cock, Merlin.” Leon stroked Merlin’s bottom lip with his thumb before shifting his hips to slide his cock deeper into Merlin’s mouth.

The angle only allowed a little depth, but it gave Merlin time to explore the best part of Leon’s cock. He toyed with the foreskin, tongued the slit, and then sucked the whole head into a tight, wet stricture.

When his neck started to hurt, he pushed on Leon’s thighs with both hands until he could slide out from under them. Then he shoved Leon onto his back and got his cock back in his mouth before Leon could protest.

“Oh, fuck, Merlin.” Leon’s head fell back as Merlin’s started to bob up and down. “Suck me, suck me. Take it, that’s it.”

He kept babbling, more words in a row than Merlin had ever heard out of him before outside of the council chamber. Merlin diverted to his balls, rolling them in his mouth just enough to make Leon arch his back before going back to sucking his cock. He loved the weight of cock on his tongue and the ache in his jaw that meant he was doing good work.

He ached between his legs as well. When he started to reach down to jack himself, Leon’s fingers clamped around his wrist. His other hand gripped the back of Merlin’s head, commanding his full attention.

Merlin’s full attention brought Leon to climax not long after. He swallowed down the bitter seed and soothed the tender cock with his tongue until it slipped out of his mouth, limp.

Leon’s grip relaxed a moment after. Merlin sat up on his knees and looked over at the other knights, who were, except for Arthur himself, sprawled around Arthur’s table, drinking and watching in various states of arousal and undress. Arthur himself remained hidden in the shadowy recess of his bed, and Merlin was just as glad not to be able to look at him now.

“I've got to come,” he said. “Who’s going to fuck me?”

Percival looked over at Gwaine. “You want to share?”

“No,” Gwaine stated flatly.

But it didn’t matter, because Lancelot was already kneeling down onto the furs. He smiled as he took Merlin in his arms. “I think I can help you with that.”

They kissed. “I want it to last a long time,” Merlin said against his lips.

“My dear friend.” Lancelot kissed him deeper. “Of course it will.”

Lancelot was always a man of his word. By the time Lancelot was ready to enter him, Merlin was shaking: raw with kisses, hole spasming from the deep probe of Lancelot’s fingers, another load of Merlin’s come spattered over both their chests.

He turned onto his side to let Lancelot press up tight to his back. “Merlin,” Lancelot breathed against his ear as he rocked into him.

Merlin hadn’t realized how badly he needed this until the head of Lancelot’s cock breached him. There was no one he trusted more than Lancelot, and Lancelot had never disappointed him. Sex with Elyan and Leon had pleased him very much, but it couldn’t compare with how intimate it felt to have Lancelot inside him.

“Should have slept with you years ago,” he groaned and bent his leg, twisting to get Lancelot deeper.

“You’ll have no argument from me.” Lancelot stroked his trembling thigh and pressed kisses along his neck. “Easy. I’m going to give you what you need and plenty of it.”

Merlin had already had plenty while Lancelot proved his skills with mouth and hands. He wanted it to last, but he also wanted to get pounded.

Then a giggle burst out of him as a snort. This was Lancelot. There was no reason Merlin couldn’t have it all.

Lancelot gave a contented hum into the juncture between Merlin’s neck and shoulder as Merlin reached back to lay a hand on his thigh. He pumped easily into Merlin, content in his shallow rhythm – never noticing the steady flow of magic leaching into his skin.

Merlin could feel it, golden and sensual, binding them together. “You’re right, Lancelot,” he said loudly. “There’s no hurry at all.”

“Excuse me?” Percival yelped from across the room.

Lancelot laughed; then he groaned, and Merlin closed his eyes and smiled against his outstretched arm. He’d take that pounding now, thank you.

“Merlin?” Lancelot jabbed into him, seeming surprised by his own force. “Merlin, what--?”

Merlin shushed him and squeezed the hard muscle of his thigh. The magic flared through them both and Lancelot finally caught on.

“You sneaky—“ He rolled Merlin onto his stomach. The motion sheathed him deeper, and he laughed. “If that’s how you want it.”

“Yeah—“ Merlin’s agreement got choked off when Lancelot drove into him, but his brain kept babbling assent. Yes, yes, this was it, now he could really feel Lancelot’s cock inside him. Now he felt truly joined to his friend.

Lancelot’s weight pressed him down into the furs and rubbed Merlin’s cock and balls into the soft pelt beneath his hips. Merlin moaned as the pleasure built quickly in his tightening sack. It spilled out of him without his leave, silky and sneaky.

His brain cleared from its sex fog just long enough to resign himself to finding a spell to get all the come out of the furs.

Then his prick demanded his attention again. He squirmed and strained to get his elbows and knees under him, until Lancelot took the hint and helped him change their position.

Yes, that was even better. Now Lancelot was buried even deeper than before, as deep as he could get with every slam against Merlin’s hips. His cock dragged over the sweet spot inside Merlin’s arse, building his pleasure back into a fever.

“Yes, yes, oh fuck, just keep fucking me.” Merlin clutched at the furs to steady himself, too far gone for embarrassment even when a pair of boots stepped into his field of vision and carefully maneuvered around his head.

At this point, he didn’t care if all the rest of them wanted to join in at once. He’d suck all their pricks at the same time as long as Lancelot kept fucking him.

But no pricks presented themselves to be sucked, so Merlin sank back into his obsession with the one embedded in his backside. He could still see the boots less than an arm’s length away; being observed so closely made him harder.

Lancelot noticed the boots as well. He growled.

Then he shifted his weight, seized Merlin by the waist and shoulders, and dragged him upright. Merlin found himself on his knees, still impaled on Lancelot’s hard flesh, staring up into Arthur’s eyes.

“Is it not enough, sire?” Lancelot growled, voice dark and rough like Merlin had never heard it before.

Arthur had seated himself in his chair on the edge of Merlin’s bed of furs. Merlin dropped his gaze and found himself at eye level with the bulge at Arthur’s groin.

“Are you discontent with all that you have? Would you take this as well?” Lancelot, wild with Merlin’s magic, pulled his cock free long enough to walk Merlin forward on his knees. When Lancelot’s prick pierced him again, Merlin cried out and fell onto Arthur’s legs.

He looked up helplessly at Arthur, who stared down at him with wide eyes and parted lips. More than anything, he wanted to free Arthur’s cock and suck it. He could do it, just by reaching out.

But the fucking in his arse intensified until all he could do was cry out and bury his burning face in the space between Arthur’s thighs, just below the hard ridge at their juncture. He clutched at Arthur’s trousers, nails scraping at the outside of his knees.

Arthur’s hand dug into Merlin’s hair and stilled there: a hot, heavy weight on his head.

The pressure between his legs surged with every thrust that pushed Merlin against Arthur’s knees, within and without, without mercy. His hand shook as he dragged it down Arthur’s calf and then between his own legs.

His fingers brushed the side of his cock; the tip of his finger grazed the head. And then his whole groin clenched with the sudden, sharp pleasure.

With mild mortification—and no little glee—he realized that he had just come all over Arthur’s boots.

He lifted his head and grinned up at Arthur. Merlin’s vision had gone hazy, but he could see Arthur’s stunned expression clearly enough. “I’ll clean that up later,” he slurred.

Then he wheezed as Lancelot jerked Merlin back against him, arm locked around his middle like an iron band.

“You. Will. Not.” Lancelot drove into him hard, teeth latching into his shoulder. All Merlin could do was give in to the pounding he had ached for and instigated. His head lay back on Lancelot’s shoulder while his body jerked in Lancelot’s arms with the force of his thrusts.

Lancelot gave a pained cry, and then it was his body jerking as he came. Merlin grinned up at the ceiling, still feeling dopey and drugged—and feeling every pulse of Lancelot’s cock as it shot into him.

The strength seemed to drain out of Lancelot along with his come. His arms went slack and Merlin pitched forward again.

At some point between Merlin’s climax and Lancelot’s, Arthur had retreated. Merlin slumped heavily onto the empty chair, wood still warm from Arthur’s bottom. He rested his cheek on the seat and looked over at the bed.

Arthur had resumed his seat there—after taking off his boots. He couldn’t tell if Arthur was still watching him, but he thought he must be. He hoped he was.

The others certainly were. Everyone had shed their clothes by now, down to the last stitch. Percival sat in a chair with his legs spread out, eyes trained on Merlin as he slowly fisted his massive cock. Perched bare-arsed on the table next to him, Gwaine watched Merlin like a starving man. On the other side of the table, Leon and Elyan were sprawled in chairs, drinking and laughing.

Lancelot’s prick slid out of Merlin abruptly as the knight fell backwards. Lancelot himself hit the floor with a confused oof. Merlin glanced over his shoulder with a smile. Lancelot lay boneless on his back, looking like a sleepy puppy, all that sexual ferocity gone. Still, the sight of him stirred Merlin’s loins yet again.

He still wanted sex, but the drive of the potion had mellowed into a lower key arousal. As Leon and Elyan laughingly came over to help Lancelot to his feet, Merlin was content to rest his head on his arms and enjoy the hum in his body. Someone would come stoke him back into a blaze soon enough.

If his cock wasn’t still hard against his thigh, he might have dozed off by the time gentle fingers trailed down his back and into the cleft of his arse. He opened his eyes to see Gwaine watching him with an unusual hesitance in his smile.

“I have no idea how to follow that,” he said.

“Not a competition,” Merlin mumbled, though honestly, if they wanted to get competitive over who could best satisfy Merlin sexually, he’d be a fool to discourage them.

He pushed himself up from the chair until he could tilt his head back to kiss Gwaine. Merlin loved Gwaine, though their relationship had changed when Gwaine became a knight. Not because Gwaine had been elevated above him in rank: Gwaine had already been above him, albeit incognito, and the gods knew Gwaine did his best not to behave in accordance with his station, then or now.

Perhaps that was why Merlin sometimes felt impatient with him. Gwaine hadn’t changed at all, even after achieving a position that men like Lancelot strove for and held so precious. He still hid his true nature from everyone when there was no need for it.

Merlin, who sometimes felt like it would literally kill him to keep his own secrets for one more minute, found it baffling, frustrating, aggravating--which often described the entire experience of Gwaine as a person. Or maybe it just hit too close to home.

He turned himself around on his knees and looked at Gwaine, who looked back at him with a hopeful smile, still brushing his fingers over Merlin’s cleft. “I’ve wanted to do this for as long as I’ve known you,” Gwaine said.

“You need to learn to ask for what you really want,” Merlin told him and kissed him again.

Gwaine grinned against his mouth. “Then this is what I want.”

He pushed Merlin back down to the furs, turning him to lie down on his stomach. His hands gripped Merlin’s cheeks and spread him wide. Merlin relaxed, happily anticipating more warm fingers and cool lube at the entrance to his arse.

Instead, he jolted at the touch of a hot tongue taking a first delicate lap at his crease, right over the sensitive place where he’d just been fucked—and fucked, and fucked.

“Gwaine!” he yelped. Not that he—he’d always wanted someone to—but—“You know I’m filthy down there now.”

Gwaine took a deeper lick, tongue swiping right over Merlin’s twitching hole. He hummed with approval as though the taste of oil and other men’s seed was finer than any delicacy he’d had at the king’s table. “How many times do I have to tell you lot? Filthy is what I like.”

He stopped talking after that, his mouth busy in an intimate relationship with Merlin’s bottom. Arthur might have called the silence a minor miracle—in fact, Merlin heard a few similar comments from around the room.

Merlin wanted to look over and find Arthur’s face, but he didn’t dare. For the first time, he thought to wonder what Arthur really thought about watching Merlin like this.

This felt different, more intimate even than his time with Lancelot. For the first time, he was the one being serviced, not just prepared. He was the one receiving pleasure—not that Gwaine wasn’t taking audible satisfaction in his work. His happy moans vibrated right into Merlin’s flesh.

It left Merlin feeling exposed. He should stop this now before someone complained that he wasn’t doing his job. He should make Gwaine fuck him properly, or he should go see to poor, long-suffering Percival.

But trying to push himself up only pushed his arse harder into Gwaine’s face.

“That’s it, Merlin!” Elyan called. “Make him clean you out.”

Merlin would have enjoyed the affirmation, but he barely heard it. Gwaine’s tongue, that long, clever tongue, was probing deep and wet. It flicked inside him. It pushed and scraped and laved until he was sopping with it. The pleasure spread through his arse like he hadn’t ever thought could happen from just a tongue.

He tried one more time to rise, but sank back down to his elbows with a groan, arse still in the air, as Gwaine’s tongue sent another ripple of bliss up into him. Merlin wasn’t going anywhere.

His entrance should have been swollen and sore by now, especially with Gwaine’s facial hair scratching all round it. The potion prevented that, making every sensation as good as the first. Gwaine’s lips and tongue and beard kept him teetering on the edge, then pulling back every time he withdrew his tongue from Merlin’s depths and lapped softly around his rim.

Merlin was panting and moaning and making sounds he was terribly afraid would be called whimpers when Percival fell heavily to his knees beside them.

“I can’t,” he said as if continuing a conversation. “Come on. Please.”

Gwaine pulled his face from between Merlin’s cheeks, smacking his lips. “Merlin, I think Percival wants to fuck you.”

“No,” Percival said quickly. “I wouldn’t ask—could you just suck me?”

Merlin got obediently onto his hands and knees. He had just been getting used to being pleasured at his leisure, but he was happy to have something to do.

“Think you can stay on your feet, Percival?” Gwaine pulled Merlin up off his hands to kneel in front of Percival, apparently willing to share after all. It figured that the one thing Gwaine could be serious about organizing would be a threesome.

Percival staggered to his feet in answer. He was simply a huge man—in every aspect. The head of his cock bounced against Merlin’s face as he moved in front of him, leaving a thick streak of precome across his cheekbone.

Merlin knelt at his feet and Gwaine knelt behind Merlin, squelching as he slicked himself up. Merlin didn’t wait. The sight of Percival’s prick made him drool just wondering what it would feel like to have that much meat in his mouth.

Wonderful, he decided as his mouth closed over the thick head. Not only was Percival long and thick, but he was stiff, the kind of stiff that bounced off Merlin’s tongue, or would have if the girth of it had left any room in his mouth.

He scraped his tongue over the tight skin and steadied their connection with one hand wrapped around the base. His other hand fingered the tight clench of Percival’s sack, balls drawn up and ready to burst.

Percival let out a strangled moan when Merlin touched him there. Yeah, ready to burst, all right. Merlin wanted to put his mouth on those tight, furry balls, see how much of them he could get wet at once.

But one big hand was already in his hair to hold Merlin in place—and Gwaine had a good grip on his hips now, meaning more cock was coming.

Percival eased a little more of himself into Merlin’s mouth. Merlin happily let himself be fed and made sure to hum his contentment for Percival’s pleasure.

Then Gwaine began easing into him from behind. Merlin didn’t pause in his sucking. He trusted Gwaine to go easy and find a rhythm that wouldn’t choke Merlin—or threaten Percival’s manhood.

And Gwaine did. Once he seated himself in Merlin, he started pumping in a very satisfying counterpoint to the movement of Percival in his mouth.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be at this end?” Gwaine called up to Percival.

Percival grunted what sounded like a denial, so Merlin kept sucking. His free hand dug into the muscle of Percival’s thigh to brace himself as he was rocked above and below.

“Shame. You’d love it.” Gwaine pulled out to the very tip and then filled Merlin back up, inch by inch with a luxurious groan.

That made Merlin groan around his mouthful of cock, which made Percival hiss and fist his hair harder. “Go on, keep talking, Gwaine,” Percival said. “For once, I’m liking the results.”

“All right.” Gwaine sounded agreeable. Too much so, if one knew Gwaine as well as Merlin did. “I was just thinking that with a prick like that, it’s quite a shame that our Percival has never fucked a man in the arse before. Isn’t that a shame, Merlin?”

“Gwaine!” Percival squawked. “No, no, don’t stop, Merlin, please.”

Merlin’s jaw had gone slack as he stared up at Percival. He knew Percival liked men just fine. In fact, he’d just been envying the men who must have been crammed full of the swollen flesh Merlin was sucking.

"Tried to shag a lad once, but couldn't even get the tip in before the boy ran away. But you wouldn't have any problems with our Merlin, I promise you, big man."

Merlin pulled his mouth free despite Percival’s protests. “Do you want to fuck me?”

“Hey.” Gwaine smacked Merlin’s arse in mock chastisement. “I’m the one fucking you now.”

“So move your dick, Gwaine, and let Percival have a go,” Leon called.

“What say you, Merlin?” Elyan said. “Do you want to take Percival’s virginity?”

“I’m not a virgin,” Percival protested. He cupped Merlin’s jaw, bumped his cock against Merlin’s lips. “See? Can’t a man get his cock sucked in peace around here?”

Gwaine had never stopped his steady fuck into Merlin’s arse. “Forget everything you’ve heard about sloppy seconds. He’d fit you like a glove.”

Percival groaned and his cock hit the back of Merlin’s throat as he thrust forward mindlessly. Merlin’s jaw ached and saliva was starting to trail down over his chin and jaw, but he kept sucking and working Percival as hard as he could. He suddenly felt in conspiracy with Gwaine to make Percival come like a charging boar.

“You could just slide right up into him, deep as you like, and he’d just melt around you. All that cock, all the way in to the root, and he’d love it. Wouldn’t you, Merlin?”

Merlin certainly would, and he groaned his approval around Percival’s flesh.

“Just. Like. This.” Gwaine slammed into Merlin with each word and then gave a gasp in Merlin’s ear, as though his orgasm had caught him by surprise. In quick pulses, his come added itself to the mess inside Merlin’s gut.

That wasn’t the only surprise. Percival’s breath hitched, and that was the only warning Merlin had before Percival’s cock began unloading down Merlin’s throat. At least some of it went down his throat; stuffed so full of cockmeat, Merlin couldn’t really swallow properly. The rest of it dribbled out of the corners of his mouth, or down his chin when Percival’s cock exited his mouth abruptly. Percival stumbled backwards until he hit the wall and slid down it.

Gwaine pulled out with more care and flopped onto his back. He grinned up at Merlin, pleased with himself, and Merlin returned the grin as he flopped down next to him, equally pleased.

And he had been pleased—sometime in the midst of the two knights coming inside him, he had come himself. It had been a gentle release, more a relaxation than a climax. And for the first time that night, Merlin felt spent. His prick softened and he felt content to lie there next to Gwaine and contemplate a nap.

He was just about to give in to the urge to close his eyes when Leon knelt beside him and laid a gentle hand on his chest. “Merlin? Are you weary?”

“Little bit,” Merlin mumbled.

“Do you want to stop now?” Leon nodded and might have let Merlin sleep, but his cock was standing erect between his thighs and Merlin believed that a good hard cock should never go to waste.

“No,” Merlin answered quickly. He still wanted to have sex, as much as possible, whether his cock was up to the task or not.

He pushed himself up on his elbow and looked down at Leon’s sturdy red shaft, which was certainly up to any task. “You should fuck me.”

Leon swallowed audibly. “I’m going to have to do that. If you’re certain.”

Behind Merlin, Gwaine sighed and sat up, chest to Merlin’s back and hand cupping Merlin’s spent cock with gentle warmth. “Why don’t you just bring him more of the potion and solve everybody’s problems?”

“There’s more potion?” Merlin said, and then nearly smacked himself. Of course there was more potion; he had only drunk a third of the flagon before it had overwhelmed him, and he was the only one who needed it. “Yeah, I’ll have some more of that.”

“More potion!” Elyan crowed and the others joined in, huzzahing the potion and Merlin until Merlin almost split his face grinning.

Gwaine got up and decanted a measure of the potion into a goblet. He brought it to Merlin with an air of ceremony.

Merlin could get used to being served like this, he thought. He took the goblet and drank; the potion was as sweet and powerful as before. Within moments, Merlin moaned and let the goblet tumble onto the floor as he tumbled back into Leon’s waiting arms.

He came quickly, though Leon fucked him slowly. The others gave up keeping their distance and soon Merlin was surrounded by long limbs and hard muscle. None of them would dare interfere with the coupling, but their caresses and their murmurs of praise and encouragement spread heat through Merlin’s belly.

Elyan was reclining on one elbow near Merlin’s head. Merlin caught the back of his neck and pulled him down to his mouth. Though Lancelot and Gwaine had given him the most tender kisses, Elyan’s were still the most sensual.

Merlin groaned as his lips parted under Elyan’s, pressing up for more. Elyan obliged him with his tongue. The slick pressure in his mouth combined with the steady thumping pressure in his arse sent him swift and sure into bliss once more.

He was more than halfway to orgasm again when Leon stilled and came with a happy groan. Leon pulled out and someone else was rubbing Merlin’s belly hopefully. But Merlin was already reaching out for the rest of Elyan and dragging him onto his body.

Elyan bent Merlin almost double so they could keep kissing while they fucked again. Merlin strained his neck until someone—Gwaine, he thought—lifted up Merlin’s shoulders to support him on strong thighs, his head resting against a flat belly, a hard cock tapping his ear.

He relaxed into the comfort of the position even as another load of his come spurted over his chest so hard it hit his throat and chin.

“I swear, Merlin, I’ve never seen anything as hot as you,” Gwaine murmured into a kiss on the top of his head.

Elyan must have agreed, because he let out a tremulous cry into Merlin’s mouth and started to come. It took him a while to finish. Waiting out Elyan's pulses, Merlin took a few more kisses from his slackening lips.

They stayed locked together until Elyan was thoroughly spent. Elyan finally heaved himself off Merlin with a groan, letting Merlin’s legs flop onto the furs in an inviting splay.

Merlin expected someone to lift them again and move between them. Instead, Gwaine levered him into a sitting position. Merlin went along with it, pulling in his legs in preparation for a new position, to be turned over or invited for a ride.

But then Gwaine hauled him backwards into his lap. He got a grip around Merlin enough to get him up and onto Gwaine's cock. Merlin let out a laughing gasp as he sank down onto the stiff flesh. His legs flailed out in front of him as he tried alternately to lift them or dig his feet into the furs.

Lancelot came to his rescue. He caught Merlin’s feet and pushed them up. Merlin laughed again, feeling weightless, suspended between the two knights with only Gwaine’s cock to ground him.

Gwaine wrapped his arms tighter around Merlin in support, and Lancelot spread Merlin’s legs wide. He leaned in between them to kiss Merlin. “I’m sorry. For before.”

“That’s the most ridiculous thing,” Merlin gasped as Gwaine started to bounce him on his cock, “I’ve ever heard.”

Lancelot kissed him again. “Nonetheless. I wanted you too badly. I still want you badly.”

Gwaine made a strange sound in Merlin’s ear. He gave a good push up into Merlin’s arse and stilled for a moment.

Lancelot glanced over Merlin’s shoulder, exchanging a look with Gwaine that Merlin couldn’t read. Then carefully, he shifted one of Merlin’s legs onto his shoulder. When he let go, Merlin instinctively hooked his knee around Lancelot’s neck.

Gwaine started fucking again with a slow, rolling rhythm, rocking Merlin between them. Lancelot sucked thoughtfully on the first two fingers of his free hand for a moment, and then it disappeared from Merlin’s view.

Merlin took a sharp breath when he felt Lancelot’s fingers rubbing over the point where he and Gwaine were joined, suddenly alert that something new was happening.

“Can he take more, do you think?” Lancelot’s question seemed casual, except for the way his finger began to push against the meat of Gwaine's cock. Another push and the rim of Merlin's hole gave way to Lancelot's fingertip.

Lancelot smiled slowly at Gwaine. When he turned his gaze back to Merlin, he still smiled as he pressed his finger deeper. Merlin let out a wavering cry and came hard.

As the orgasm pounded through Merlin's cock, Lancelot withdrew his hand and held it out until someone poured oil over his fingers. By the time Merlin’s climax faded, they were all slippery with it.

“I’m going to take that as a yes to my question.” Lancelot kissed Merlin’s cheek and stroked both their cocks with his slick hand. He moved up close against Merlin’s body. “Tell me if it’s too much.”

Merlin fumbled his pleasure-numb limbs until his arms and legs could wrap around Lancelot’s body, pulling him even closer. He had barely stopped coming, but the thought of what Lancelot was about to do to him did more than the potion to keep him burning. “It won’t be too much,” he promised, almost feverish with the anticipation.

“Nothing’s ever too much for you, is it, Merlin?” Gwaine kissed his shoulder, hand smoothing over his chest. He stopped his grinding into Merlin’s arse, stilling both of them with an arm around Merlin’s waist.

Lancelot flicked another smile at Gwaine just before he kissed Merlin again. Then the head of his cock pressed against the edge of Merlin’s entrance, already stuffed full of Gwaine.

By no means was Gwaine a small man to begin with, and for a moment as Lancelot pushed, insistent on entry, it almost was too much. Merlin held his breath, trying to relax his lower body, willing his flesh to give way to Lancelot and let him in. He focused on the growing pressure and how good it would be when Lancelot was seated.

Then it happened. Lancelot breached him, the head pushing in all at once. They all groaned and tightened their embrace of each other.

Gwaine pushed forward and up, shifting Merlin’s weight to help Lancelot slide deeper. Their groans rumbled into Merlin’s chest; he couldn’t breathe enough to groan himself, not until Lancelot’s full length was embedded inside him, snug against Gwaine’s shaft.

He gripped Lancelot’s shoulder in a signal to give him a moment. Lancelot obeyed, stilling except for the restless, distracted kisses he kept dropping over Merlin’s face. Merlin closed his eyes, so wrapped up in Gwaine and Lancelot that he could feel his partners trembling with overstimulation.

His body did not know what to do with two cocks in the same place; then suddenly it seemed to figure it out. His lower body relaxed and let both his men sink in to the root.

Gwaine choked. “Fuck. So tight. Merlin, fuck.”

“Yeah, get on with it, then.” Merlin reached back to caress as much flank and thigh as he could reach. His other hand still gripped Lancelot’s shoulder, but not to stop him this time.

Lancelot eased back the slightest bit, then pressed back up into Merlin. Gwaine responded in kind. Together they rocked Merlin between them, fucking him in gentle increments. For his part, Merlin tried not to embarrass himself by wailing at the tremendous stimulation the tiny movements created – or coming from it.

He lost both battles fast. The sheer physical pleasure of having so much pressure on that beautiful place inside him connected right to his cock, that alone would have done for him in the state he was in. Combined with the intimacy of their hard bodies pressing him between them, and the overwhelming knowledge that he had both their pricks in his arse—well, he wasn’t sure he would ever stop coming.

His cock was still jerking against his belly when Gwaine gave a harder thrust, pulling out a little more before slotting back in against Lancelot.

Lancelot, ever the team player, responded with exactly the same range of motion. It was still only a tiny movement, but it felt huge to Merlin. A mild vertigo swept over him from the sense of two cocks moving inside him, shifting him off balance.

Two cocks. He could feel them now, not just a mass of stiff flesh, but two distinct members moving inside him.

“Stop. Fuck. Stop.” Gwaine groaned into Merlin’s neck, shuddering around him. “Too close.”

Lancelot sheathed himself and stopped. Merlin squirmed in their still, sweaty embrace while Gwaine panted and grappled for self-control. Their pricks throbbed in counterpoint inside him.

Gwaine’s breathing eased just a moment before Merlin would undoubtedly have gone mad from having so much cock inside him and none of it moving. “Please,” Merlin gritted from between his teeth. His lower body felt immobilized; he couldn’t even clench around the pressure of their flesh.

Lancelot shushed him with a kiss. Gwaine wrapped a warm hand around Merlin’s prick, thumbing the head gently. And they resumed the gentle rocking with which they had begun.

“Do you need anything, sweetheart?” Gwaine pushed his thumb into the slit, sending a spike of painful bliss through Merlin’s cock. “Water? More lube?”

Tears trickled down his cheeks, which he didn’t realize until Gwaine kissed them away. “Shut up,” Merlin choked out out.

Lancelot gave a hysterical giggle against his lips. “Need to come,” he muttered in explanation.

“You need to come?” Outrage made him writhe. He dug his fingers into their skin to lift himself up. An inch felt like the length of the world, all he could manage before grinding himself back down.

They caught him tight to keep him still. Merlin allowed it because they started thrusting into him harder again, fucking him like they were finally taking this seriously. He rocked between them, caught on a current of tension that built and built from the base of his cock to the tips of his toes until it finally broke him open.

He came hard, spilling over Gwaine’s fist. Gwaine gave a stuttering cry, but Lancelot let go of Merlin to grip Gwaine’s arm. “Wait. I’m almost with you. Just—“

“Hurry.” Gwaine fucked in short, deep pumps, too fast for control.

Merlin felt them shift their attention and grip to each other, communicating with the tension and flex of fingers and bodies. They reached the pinnacle together with overlapping moans as they started to shoot into Merlin’s body.

Clamped between their bodies and around their spasming cocks, Merlin felt surrounded by their orgasm. Relaxation came swiftly to his knights after the final spurt; less so to Merlin, still buoyed by the potion.

But he tumbled down with them when they crumpled onto the furs, caught between their heaving chests. He lay in the center of their tangle of limbs as their breathing slowed and their cocks began to soften within his passage.

Their breathing slowed all the way into sleep after a minute, Lancelot tucked against his shoulder and Gwaine warming his back. The warmth brought contentment; he thought he might sleep a bit as well, even with the arousal still heavy in his groin.

A heavy hand fell on his shoulder before he could drift off. Merlin opened his eyes to find Percival crouching over him. His muscles bulged everywhere, but none could compete with the flesh swollen almost purple between his thighs.

“Now?” His brow creased plaintively. “Please?”

He shifted his weight; his stiff cock brushed over Merlin’s thigh, and then left a hot streak of precome across his arse. The sensation made Merlin’s cock jerk with a new surge of blood.

“Yes,” he moaned and reached up to grip the back of Percival’s neck.

With trembling hands, Percival helped detach Merlin from his previous lovers, until his arms and legs wrapped around Percival’s body instead. His arse ached with empty space.

Percival’s hands lost their gentleness, seizing Merlin’s hips to hold him steady as he rose effortlessly with Merlin in his arms. He pulled Merlin hard against him again, making it clear Merlin wouldn’t stay empty for long.

Percival took two long strides before Merlin’s back hit the wall, onto one of the winter wall hangings that Merlin hadn’t gotten around to putting away for the year. The embroidery scraped over his skin as he slid down more firmly onto Percival’s hips.

"I'm going to fuck you, Merlin." Percival's voice went hoarse as he mouthed wetly at Merlin's neck. His prick pressed into the crease between Merlin's buttocks.

"I'll take it," Merlin promised, gripping Percival's head and kissing the top of it. "I want it."

He let go of Percival's head and pressed down on his shoulders. Percival took the hint fast. He got one arm under Merlin's bum and lifted him up until the wall hanging wrinkled under Merlin's back. With his other hand, Percival steadied his cock until the blunt head pressed into Merlin’s hole.

Even as stretched as he was by the insane amount of use he’d been put to that night, Merlin had to work the head into himself carefully, then work himself down the shaft a fingerbreadth at a time. He could feel Percival’s mouth slacken against his neck as Merlin took him in. “Fuck, Merlin. You’re magnificent.”

“Me?” Merlin huffed a laugh that sweetened into a moan as the thick head of Percival’s cock pushed over the spot that made his cock harder.

The wash of pleasure made him arch his back. The inadvertent change of angle made him sink deeper onto Percival. His head tipped back against the wall and then lolled to the side.

He bottomed out on the root of Percival’s cock. He lifted his head and opened his eyes.

Arthur was staring right at him.

It was the first moment he had been able to see Arthur since Merlin had knelt at his feet. Arthur’s eyes shone huge with the glaze of arousal. His hand rested between his legs, squeezing the bulge there.

They watched each other; Merlin felt caught as hopelessly as Arthur looked. A deep shudder ran through Merlin’s whole body, from his head against the wall to his feet curling against Percival’s arse. He didn’t know if it came from the heat of Arthur’s gaze or the conquest of Percival’s full length embedded in him.

Percival let out a long, grateful moan. He rolled his hips, trying to jam his cock even tighter up into Merlin’s gut. “God, Merlin. I need to fuck you so bad.”

He couldn’t answer. He couldn’t break away from Arthur. His hands tightened on Percival’s shoulders in silent permission to start fucking.

A second later he gripped harder as Percival began fucking him with short, shallow jabs. His heavy balls bounced softly against Merlin’s arse.

Merlin jerked against the wall as his body shifted around its impalement. The depth and mass of it made it hard to breathe, though the small movements made it feel like an almost gentle screwing.

The pleasure started to roll through Merlin until it began to overcome him. He watched the changes in Arthur’s face as Merlin’s body started to undulate, his hips meeting Percival’s thrusts. Arthur’s cheeks glowed pink in the firelight and his mouth gradually fell open to accommodate his quickening breaths.

A surge of pleasure drove a moan out from behind Merlin’s clenched teeth. His eyes fluttered shut, certain he was about to come and incapable of thinking of anything else. Not when he could feel all that cock all the way through the center of his body.

Ecstasy receded, just short of climax. He got his eyes open, confused at the lack of orgasm. Blinking slowly to clear the haze, he looked back at Arthur.

But Arthur was no longer looking at Merlin’s face. His gaze had dropped to Merlin’s midsection, where Merlin’s cockhead tapped with every jerk of his body. Arthur wore a dazed and fascinated expression, like he had never seen a cock before, like he hadn’t been watching Merlin getting fucked all night.

Without meaning to, Merlin followed Arthur’s gaze and looked down at himself. His cock bounced with Percival’s backstroke, red with use and blood needing release.

Percival caught him looking. He grinned a kiss against Merlin’s temple before delivering a thrust that jolted Merlin back up the wall.

Even as Merlin choked for breath, he saw it. Percival held him still and drove deeper so that he could see it better: the distention of his belly that was Percival’s cockhead probing from the inside.

The rounded protrusion moved up and down like a caress. Then it pushed his abdominal wall out further as Percival ground up into him in short, desperate bursts. Merlin’s hand drifted down to his stomach, feeling the bump move under his palm.

He rubbed it. Across the room, Arthur choked in echo of Percival’s gasp. Merlin pressed down on his stomach and closed his eyes against the throb that went through him, Percival’s cock and his own in sympathy.

It was too much, too intimate. Suddenly he couldn’t stand to have Arthur watching him like this, with another man’s cock probing his belly like it owned him.

“Wait. Stop.” One hand still covering the bulge in his stomach, he pounded on Percival’s shoulder with the other.

“Stop?” Percival echoed, somewhere between a whimper and a wail.

“Stop.”

Percival did stop, pressing Merlin into the wall with the full mass of his body to keep him steady. “Am I--?” Percival glanced down between them at the now-fainter outline of his cock in Merlin’s skin. “Does it hurt you?”

“No.” In fact, it all felt amazing, like he was crumbling apart, held together only by Percival’s cock in his arse, his belly, his hand. “But can we lie down?”

“Yeah, yeah.” Percival panted against his cheek between absent, open-mouthed kisses. “Want you comfy. Want you happy.”

He’d give in to happiness once Arthur’s eyes weren’t stripping him past flesh and bone, down to the very nerves that carried his pleasure. Then he could come, and make Percival come, without his ancient yearning for his prince distracting him from the completion of his duty.

Getting off Percival’s cock and back on the group took some care. It gave Merlin time to think, while they worked together to ease Percival out of him, about how he wanted to finish.

As Percival lowered him down, onto his feet but still in Percival’s arms, Merlin eyed the dresser to their left. He could make Percival bend him over it, let Percival take him from behind. Let Arthur watch the flex of Percival’s arse as he drove deep into Merlin’s belly, until he drove all of them into orgasm.

The thought made his breath catch. His toes curled as they touched the floor; his cock twitched over the muscle of Percival’s thigh.

But he didn’t want to make Arthur come like that. Merlin’s heart and body were full of loving generosity tonight, but that just didn’t seem fair. He wanted to be touching him when it happened.

Instead he took Percival’s hand and brought him back to the furs in front of the fire. Gwaine and Lancelot still lay in their fucked-out tangle, but there was enough room for Percival to stretch out next to them.

Merlin guided him down. Percival’s feet hung off the furs onto the stone floor, but he didn’t seem to notice as Merlin straddled his hips and reached for the slick oil. The bed curtains blocked Arthur from Merlin’s view. If he chose to continue watching them, Merlin at least wouldn’t have to know.

Percival had to help Merlin lift high enough to get the tip of his prick centered at Merlin’s entrance. He kept hold of Merlin’s hips as Merlin sank down on him, sheathing him in the space Percival had already created for himself in Merlin. His thumbs stroked over Merlin’s hipbones until his hands moved up Merlin’s sides; then they stroked over his nipples.

Pleasure came easier with Merlin in control and free to move. He shared a groan with Percival as he experimented with the depth and force. It wasn’t easy to clench around that much cock, but it was worth the effort when Percival pushed up helplessly into the friction.

When they had a steady, thumping rhythm going, Merlin slowly began adjusting his position. He leaned until he felt the angle slip into place, until he rubbed his hand across his stomach and felt Percival there.

He took his hand away to let Percival watch the bulge he was creating in Merlin’s belly. When Percival’s eyes fixed on it, Merlin felt more naked than he had all night, exposed and locked in a powerful intimacy.

Percival’s moans faded as he stared at Merlin’s body. Silence fell over them, broken only by Lancelot’s snuffling snores and the wet sounds of Merlin’s arse working around Percival’s cock.

The silence made the union more intense. Merlin’s breath started to stutter when Percival began fucking up into him with little hitches of his hips. The slap of their skin sounded too light for the impact of Percival’s cock pounding pleasure into him.

Finally Percival’s head thudded back onto the furs. His hips hitched up into Merlin again, and then Merlin felt the heavy pulse of his climax.

Many men had come inside Merlin, but he had never felt the spurts so strong or so deep in his gut. A tremor went through his body, starting in that deep spot where Percival was soaking him. It became a high, keening note of pleasure, taking him into a strange, shuddering climax.

It took Percival some time to deflate enough for Merlin to comfortably detach. Merlin waited, swaying with woozy satiety. Percival looked equally dopey as he caressed Merlin and grinned up at him.

“Come to my rooms tomorrow," he slurred through the onset of sleep. "Ride me again."

"I will," Merlin promised, grinning back as Percival's eyelids fluttered shut before his cock had even softened.

Merlin took his time working himself free. Percival felt good inside him even only half hard, and Merlin's brain still buzzed with thought-free bliss. Come dripped down his thigh when Merlin finally levered himself up onto wobbly legs. For the first time that night, it felt good to be empty in body and mind, readjusting back to normality.

He looked around. His three most recent lovers all lay snoring at his feet--and incidentally taking up all the space on the furs. Leon and Elyan had retreated to the table, but even they had succumbed: Elyan curled around his goblet and Leon face down in a plate of cheese.

Merlin drew in a deep breath and blew it out slowly. He swayed for a moment before moving automatically toward the table.

He rescued Elyan's cup and was reaching to life Leon's head out of the cheese when Arthur's voice snapped his fuzzy mind back into focus. "Merlin. You should rest."

Slowly, Merlin turned and finally faced Arthur head on. His prince had lain back against his pillows as though waiting for him, but Arthur made no gesture to summon him. He had pulled his tunic down to cover his groin; Merlin didn't have to look at the carefully bunched fabric to know it concealed Arthur's arousal, not the relief of it.

"Am I dismissed, then?" He kept his voice low so as not to disturb the hush of the room--and the sleeping knights. Merlin was done with them for now.

Arthur hesitated, visibly struggling with his own will. Merlin did nothing to break the tension that spun out in the pause. He liked it, the way it ran between them, taut as a bowstring ready to fire.

"You were always free to go when you wanted," Arthur answered at last. "But you can stay here, if you wish."

Merlin let out another long breath as the last weight lifted from his shoulders. As he stepped forward, he felt light, giddier even than when he had first walked in and kissed Arthur to prove his willingness. "All right, then. I'll stay."

Gwen had felt bold when she climbed into Arthur's bed. Merlin only felt comfortable as he flopped face down into the cool linens and warm furs next to Arthur. He belonged here. Even Arthur's body, thrumming with unrelieved tension, felt comfortable beside him.

"I didn't mean stay in my bed." The irritation in Arthur's voice sounded sharp but empty to Merlin's practiced ear. He knew panic when he heard it; it made him smile into the sheets by Arthur's hip.

"My other spot's taken," he mumbled. When Arthur heaved a put-upon (and put-on) sigh, Merlin turned his head to peer up at Arthur through slitted eyes. "And I belong beside you."

Arthur hesitated again; this time the pause held no tension, but a silent agreement of what they both already knew. "Just go to sleep."

Merlin tried to resist the temptation to obey. If he slept now, it might be too late when he woke. Merlin had become accustomed to letting what he wanted slip past him, chased off by duty or circumspection. Tonight he had done his duty with joy and love, but the fact of it would become intolerable if he had nothing from Arthur.

But he made the mistake of letting himself sink down into warmth of the bed. It embraced him with undemanding comfort and dragged him to sleep.

When he woke, the room was dim and quiet except for the rasp of Arthur's breath beside him. Merlin opened his eyes. If Arthur had also slept, he was awake again now, body no more relaxed for the interval. His hand clenched against his thigh when he noticed Merlin had woken.

Merlin shifted onto his side and pushed himself up on one elbow. Ignoring Arthur's questioning look, he surveyed Arthur's body. Arthur remained still, except for one harsh inhalation when Merlin's gaze raked over his groin. But he made no move to stop him when Merlin lifted his tunic up, exposing him up to his navel.

The tip of Arthur's prick peeked over the waistband of his breeches, damp and rosy. Merlin couldn't resist leaning over to give it a soft hello kiss, dampening his lips with Arthur's precome.

The rest of his cock formed a long ridge under the tight fabric. Merlin kissed that as well, mouthing down the shaft until Arthur's cock was molded in the wet cloth.

Arthur's hand fell heavy on the back of his neck. "Merlin. Don't."

He lifted his head to the faint frown on Arthur's face. "Why not? Look at you."

"I don't need you to relieve me. That's not why you're here."

"Just a party favor for your men, am I?" Merlin goaded. The thought would have hurt if he'd believed it; if Arthur hadn't hardened even more since Merlin had got into bed with him.

"No! That's not--I meant here."

The quiet refuge of the bed; the heat of Arthur's side against Merlin's chest. "Oh."

Arthur offered a faint smile and his fingers tightened in Merlin's hair. Then he turned his head toward the window. "It doesn't matter anymore. Beltane is over. Look."

Merlin followed his gaze to the brightening sky outside the window, seeping a cool grey into the firelit room. "Good. I'm glad."

Arthur's gaze snapped back to Merlin, drawn with surprise and faint hurt. "Are you, now?"

"Yeah." Merlin put his hand on Arthur's thigh and rubbed up and down until he felt Arthur's body tighten in response. "What I want from you has nothing to do with Beltane."

A delicate globe of precome had welled up at the tip of Arthur's cock. Merlin caught it with a swipe of his tongue. When he drew back, he breathed in Arthur's scent and flavor. He'd thought he knew every aspect of Arthur, but the delicious stink of his arousal, the hot flush of his skin, all of it rapidly breaking down the final barriers between them.

Arthur's hand cupped the back of his head again; this time, his thumb stroked behind Merlin's ear, cautious but tender. "You went all night and only slept a little while. You think I can't see that you're done?"

Merlin grimaced. Arthur was inflaming his mind so brightly that he hadn't bothered to care whether his tired body was heating as well.

"It's all right, Merlin." Arthur's hand swept over the crown of Merlin's head; his other hand pulled his tunic back down to hide his swollen prick. "We'll... find another time."

He always knew when Arthur was lying, even when Arthur didn't know himself. If he let Arthur sidestep him now, the chance would slip away, leaving Merlin always a step behind, watching Arthur and Gwen share an incomplete happiness.

"Is that really your only objection?" He lifted his head up higher to look at Arthur--and past him at the bedside table where the flagon stood, holding whatever dregs were left of Gaius's potion. "That you think I can't get it up again?"

"I'm not just going to use your body." Arthur looked down with an affectionate and incredibly condescending look. "God knows you fall asleep even in the middle of normal tasks during the day."

Merlin narrowed his eyes into the expected glare. Arthur smirked, and then winced when Merlin took his hand off Arthur's thigh with a casual brush against the balls trapped inside Arthur's breeches.

But it was the wisp of regret in the downcurl of Arthur's mouth that propelled Merlin up and over Arthur's torso. His fingers tangled in Arthur's tunic, pushing himself up and holding Arthur down as he snatched up the flagon and upended it into his mouth.

"Merlin!" Arthur hissed in disbelief.

Merlin fell back onto the bed, sputtering. There had been more potion left than he'd thought, and even while the last remnant trickled down the corner of his mouth, the rest was hitting his blood hard.

"Merlin?" The low rumble of Arthur's voice made Merlin's back arch up off the bed.

He moaned as his cock stiffened fast, trying to keep quiet enough to preserve their solitude. His head tossed on the pillow. He took the moment to turn his head away from Arthur to hide the golden flash of his eyes. He'd already decided he wanted Arthur to fuck him, and he couldn't stand the idea of Arthur sliding into the mess left by his men. Merlin wanted Arthur to find him clean and tight, warm and opened just for him.

"Fuck, Merlin," Arthur breathed. His fingers brushed down Merlin's cock, so light that Merlin might barely have felt it if his flesh weren’t so sensitive.

“That’s going to be a necessity in a minute.” Merlin arched up into the faint touch because his shame was considerably less than the ache in his prick. “If you don’t think you can handle the job, I could try to wake up Lance—“

He had never, in all the years of their companionship, heard Arthur actually growl. The sudden weight of Arthur’s body on top of him made pleasure crackle under his skin. Arthur’s clothing, soft as it was, scraped over his body, and his trapped cock pressed hard into the crease of Merlin’s thigh.

“What am I going to do with you?” Arthur’s wide, pained eyes dominated Merlin’s vision; the gust of his sigh mingled with Merlin’s breath. “What the hell am I going to do with you?”

Merlin wrapped one hand around the back of Arthur's neck, gripping his arm with the other. "I've an idea for where to start."

Then he reached up to catch Arthur's bottom lip between both of his. When his head fell back to the pillow, Arthur pursued. He licked the drops of potion from the corner of Merlin's lips and shivered at the mere taste. His tongue pressed in deeper, cautious until Merlin met him in an eager tangle.

As their kisses deepened, Merlin's body turned liquid. Arthur moved restless against him, and every place he pressed against Merlin sent a ripple through him.

Merlin bent one knee to let Arthur settle more securely between his thighs. One of his hands shoved its way between them to undo Arthur's breeches. When he had them loose enough, he pulled at them until Arthur lifted his hips to let Merlin drag them down around his thighs.

When he settled back onto Merlin, his bare cock rubbed against Merlin's skin. Arthur groaned and grabbed Merlin's thigh to force his bent leg up farther. Merlin helped, leaving Arthur's hand free to slip under him and give an inquisitive stroke over his entrance.

Arthur grunted when his finger pressed against the tight, dry furl. "God, Merlin, you're so--"

"You'll need to slick me and open me up again," Merlin interrupted and kissed him again to distract him from wondering when Merlin had found time to clean up so thoroughly. "You have something, don't you? In your cabinet?"

Arthur pulled back to deliver a glare. "And why would you assume that?"

"Well, you must use something when you pump the little prince." Merlin found Arthur's shocked gape and glowing cheeks unbearably charming given their situation. "You know. When you beat the royal meat? Choke the crowned chicken?"

Arthur let out a strangled noise. Merlin rolled his eyes with a sigh. He would enjoy Arthur's embarrassment more, except that he'd rather enjoy Arthur's cock.

"You think we've never noticed how fast the lot of you go through the chamomile salve?" Merlin pinched Arthur's bare hip and started to haul himself out from under him. "Your armor doesn't chafe that much. I make sure of that."

Wisely, Arthur shut up and busied himself squirming the rest of the way out of his breeches while Merlin rummaged through Arthur's private cabinet next to the bed. When Merlin rolled back to him with the jar he'd known was there because he dusted the bloody thing twice a week, Arthur lay naked on his side.

He was a study in Pendragon colors, all golden limbs and dark red prick straining up to his belly. His eyes burned into Merlin, straight down into his cock; silently, he held out his arm.

Merlin dropped the jar where Arthur could reach it. He wrapped himself as much as he could around Arthur, hiking his leg up over Arthur's hip to better expose himself.

He let Arthur finish adjusting them until Arthur could hold him, kiss him, and finger him all at the same time. The first daub of the cool salve over his hole made Merlin groan into Arthur's neck. Relief was in sight.

"Are you all right?" Arthur circled his rim with one finger, spreading the salve. "Do you-- do you need me to hurry?"

Merlin shook his head with a small negative noise. He ached for sex again as he had all night, but as long as he was being touched and loved, the ache only enhanced the rest of the sensations.

Arthur's cock rested heavy and rigid on Merlin's thigh. As Arthur began to work him open, Merlin's awareness narrowed to his arse and Arthur's cock and how soon one would be inside the other.

Arthur had two fingers inside him now, and he had found the good spot that had made so many new friends tonight. He massaged in a firm, steady rub, stretching and stimulating until climax overtook Merlin in a sweet, shuddering rush.

Merlin could still feel it when he looked down at the white streaks he had just left over Arthur's skin. He grinned at Arthur as his arse slowly relaxed around Arthur's fingers. "I think I'm ready."

Arthur nodded and his throat bobbed. He moved Merlin onto his back and then Merlin watched as Arthur slicked his cock.

When Arthur was ready, Merlin lifted up his legs. Arthur grabbed his own pillow and crammed it under Merlin's hips to support him. Then he grabbed Merlin's ankles and lifted them onto his own shoulders as he moved between Merlin's legs.

Merlin watched down the length of his body as Arthur took his cock in his hand and guided it to Merlin's hole. He got the head steadied and then shifted his hips to push himself in.

The head penetrated with just enough resistance to feel good. The shaft slid in easily after it until Arthur's balls rested snug against Merlin's arse.

They looked at each other with mutual awe. Little whimpers of joy burbled up in Merlin's throat. Arthur was inside him.

And although Arthur had a big, beautiful cock, it shouldn't have felt substantially different from all the other big, beautiful cocks that had been paying court to Merlin's arse all night. But this was the man to whom Merlin had devoted everything he was. The union of their flesh was the final act to seal their long-united lives.

He lifted his hand towards Arthur until Arthur caught it and twined their fingers. His other hand gripped Merlin's knee as he began to fuck him. The way Arthur leaned into him, Merlin felt each thrust through his arm and legs as much as his arse.

From the second thrust it was clear Arthur couldn't last long. Each of the knights had come at least twice and Merlin many more time than that, but he knew without asking that Arthur had not done anything to give himself relief. It was, in Arthur's peculiar nobility, the greatest proof of love Merlin could ask.

He held out longer than Merlin expected, but eventually Arthur sheathed himself to the hilt and stilled. Arthur clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut in his struggle, but Merlin felt the jerk in his hips that meant he had already lost.

Arthur's face relaxed. His grip on Merlin's hand and knee slackened, though their hips stayed locked tight. Merlin's eyelids fluttered, torn between his desire to watch Arthur's face in his bliss and his urge to concentrate on the warm spurts of Arthur's bliss inside him.

He split his attention the best he could until Arthur's weight slumped fully onto Merlin's legs, bending them back almost to Merlin's chest. Arthur's head fell forward, limp between his shoulders; he panted and swayed, charmingly undone.

Then he lifted his head and grinned at Merlin. All hesitance and doubt had gone. His beaming smile was sunny, open, playful, and not a little smug.

Merlin met his grin with his own pure happiness despite his unrelieved erection. He needed one last climax, but he could wait, take care of it himself. A small price for sharing this moment with Arthur.

Arthur straightened up and looked down at their joined bodies. They wouldn't be joined for much longer; Arthur was softening inside him, contracting away from Merlin bit by bit. Merlin could wish for a few more drops of the potion, just to put them back on the same page.

After another moment, Arthur's prick slipped free. Merlin felt it go with a sigh of regret. He'd let Arthur pass out and then get himself off on his own - which he was quite good at, even though he hadn't needed to worry about it tonight.

Arthur lowered Merlin's legs from his shoulders, but seemed in no hurry to move from between them. He looked down at Merlin's stiff cock again before shooting Merlin another grin. "I don't say this often, Merlin, so enjoy it. It looks like I was wrong."

Merlin blinked up at him. "You were wrong?"

"Hard to believe, I know." Arthur's palm cradled Merlin's balls, lifting them and stroking under them. "But I have to admit, it's quite clear that you're not done at all."

"Right, well--" Merlin had an excellent retort to that, but it faded from his lips and his brain right when Arthur's damp hand closed around his prick.

Arthur stroked him until the pleasure grew so distracting that Merlin's eyes had to close. He felt Arthur shifting; his grip changed as Arthur settled down deeper between Merlin's legs.

Then Arthur's mouth engulfed him. Merlin's eyes flew open as his body jerked with the thrill of the sensation.

"Arthur," he stuttered, not quite comprehending the sight of Arthur's head bent over his cock. "What are--? You don't--"

Arthur gave him another suck before pulling off with a smack of his lips. "I'd be smug about reducing you to incoherence so quickly if it weren't so difficult to get any coherence out of you in the first place."

"You make it sound like there's a minute of the day when you're not smug." Merlin's voice stayed almost steady; he was proud."

"True enough. Now shut up and let me work." Arthur gripped Merlin's shaft to move the head back to his lips. Merlin felt Arthur's breath before he felt the tongue teasing his foreskin, licking deep into the slit. "And don't wake our guests. This is my private feast now."

Arthur's mouth tightened with suction, hot and wet; a little clumsy, but so eager to lavish love on Merlin's cock. After a few minutes, Merlin had to bite down on his forearm to keep from vocalizing the pleasure of Arthur's mouth.

His other hand anchored in Arthur's hair. His fingers gripped until Arthur flinched, then petted him in apology, over and over until Arthur pulled off his cock to duck down and spend some time with Merlin's balls. He sucked them, spread Merlin's thighs wider until he could get each one into his mouth to roll over his tongue.

As Arthur went down on him again, Merlin had to shut his eyes. He couldn't watch Arthur in the act of servicing him, not if he wanted to enjoy any more of it.

But it was already too late for that. His final orgasm was already melting through him without warning. All he could do was clench his fingers in Arthur's hair as he spent in languid waves into Arthur's mouth, gasping as quietly as he could.

The knot of arousal in his belly finally dissolved, leaving him limp and leaden. Arthur crawled back up the bed and manhandled Merlin's heavy limbs back into his arms. Arthur tasted a bit spunky when he kissed him, but since it was Merlin's own spunk in Arthur's mouth, he supposed he couldn't complain.

They kissed for a while longer, soft but intent on each other. Finally Arthur sighed and wrapped himself around Merlin, settling them on their sides for sleep. "Let's not move until dinner," he muttered in Merlin's ear and Merlin mumbled his agreement.

Cuddling with Arthur felt something like cuddling with a bear trap, but his iron grasp relaxed as he fell asleep. Merlin had just slung his leg more comfortably across Arthur's thigh when he heard rustling and the slap of bare feet on the floor.

"Come on, you big lug," he heard Gwaine hiss. "Let's leave them to their privacy while we have the chance."

Percival gave a sleepy grunt, but rose. Merlin listened to all of them sneaking around to gather their clothes and dress. His face burned with embarrassment and excitement at the realization that the knights had borne witness to at least some part of their lovemaking.

The door creaked open. Merlin cracked his eyes in a tiny slit to watch them file out, disheveled and haphazardly garbed.

Lancelot followed last, and as he passed the bed, he paused and Merlin caught his glance of regret, almost bitter. Merlin felt the beginnings of an answering pang, but just then Arthur snuffled into his shoulder, distracting him with a new surge of tenderness until after the door had thunked shut again.

A drowsy flick of his fingers pulled the drapes to block out the morning light. Outside, he could hear a band of revelers stumbling home through the dawn, filling the courtyard with one last rowdy paean. The water pump squeaked as a servant started the day's chores.

Merlin closed his eyes and finally let himself sink into contentment. He'd got everything he could ever want--and he'd get his day off as well, if Arthur knew what was good for him.