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From Your Mouth

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It was clear that the Inn was ill-accustomed to accommodating such high-ranking figures. It was in the lack of proper stables, the way their best table was just a lone alcove with a good view of the door and eight mismatching chairs. They had nothing to drink save for the ales and meads of the local region and the fare was plain.

It was also clear that the owner, one balding middle-aged man by the name of Obelius, with a sunny countenance and all the airs and graces of a man who had never seen beyond his immediate home town, knew his Kings by name.

It was apparent to everyone in the retinue within a matter of moments after they dismounted in the ramshackle courtyard where there was an ill-kept outhouse, a tumble-down well, and not much else. Laurent felt Nikandros’ side eye and heard Vannes’ snort of amusement the moment Obelius made the mistake of referring to Damianos as Damen.

Obelius stumbled over it, near dropping the pale of water in his hands as he stuttered to correct himself and made an obscenely low obeisance to overcompensate. If it had not been apparent enough from that one moment then his wife Evadne immediately launching into a tale about one of her children regarding a magic trick gone wrong certainly was. Evadne led them to their usual table and Berenger didn’t bother to hide his amusement, flicking a wry smile at Laurent as he sat. His pet beside him didn’t react beyond a derisive glance at the woman’s drab clothes.

“Okay,” Nikandros said as they took their seats around the table and ordered ale and food, Evadne assuring them it would be out right away.

“Okay?” Damen questioned; amusement barely held in-check as he settled beside Laurent with his arm thrown over the back of his chair.

“Okay, you don’t sneak out of the Palace,” Nikandros said flicking his eyes up to Damen with a martyred sigh.

It was amusing because they all knew they did; Nikandros knew he just couldn’t prove it. Laurent would be lying if he said part of the fun of sneaking out wasn’t evading Nikandros’ detection. And Herode. That man knew everything that went on in the palace. When Nikandros and Herode were together they were exactly alike; two grumpy old men, only one of them so before their time, tasked with the impossible undertaking of keeping their Kings confined to their actual roles. Neither of them were much good at it. Nikandros had fared somewhat better when Damen was the Crown Prince.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Damen deadpanned beside him and when Nikandros only huffed and Vannes only snorted, he flashed them a rueful smile full of charm and sweetness.

If Laurent didn’t know better it was exactly the type of expression he would believe. It came in very handy; having a face exactly as beautiful and earnest as Damen’s. Laurent feared he may have been a bad influence though because his outright lie sounded credible. Nikandros knew it too and cut his whiplash eyes to Laurent as though he were to blame; like Damen’s principles were an endless tug of war between them. Like either of them could ever really stop him from doing whatever he damn well wanted.

Laurent let a half smirk curl at one corner of his mouth, tipping it just enough to make Nikandros turn his eyes away again. The man would never be fond of him and Laurent would be lying if he said he cared. In fact, he quite enjoyed it. It was refreshing almost; having someone around who didn’t either want to fuck him or murder him or want much of anything from him at all.

His whole life he had been surrounded by people who wanted to take from him or get something out of him. His father had been demanding, his Uncle had been a monster, the court were leeches and every day, now he was crowned, sycophants and chancers surrounded him. The only thing Nikandros really wanted of him was his promise to love Damen.

A promise he had readily given him. And one he would not break.

The annoyance absolutely was not for show though; they would never see eye to eye on anything but Damen’s wellbeing. And it was endlessly amusing. To Damen most of all. In his words: Nikandros had it coming.

“I’m sure you don’t,” Nikandros sighed, fingers tracing the very obvious knife marks on the table top, common enough in Inns, from games of daring or fights.

“What luck you knew where this Inn was at all,” Vannes commented, playing along as she accepted the wooden tankard as it was set down before her by Evadne and a serving girl brought plates of food.

“It would be remiss not to know the area surrounding the new palace,” Laurent replied, turning his head to look directly at Vannes beside him “the region will grow, these villages will become towns, these people will be important to the infrastructure of such an endeavour,” he said “and the Akielon maps of the region are very detailed, are they not Berenger?”

“Oh terribly,” he agreed, without looking up from his plate, managing not to sound annoyed; reminded of his current task.

Ancel beside him groaned “I, for one, have had quite enough of his maps and building charts,” he said flicking his hair over his shoulder and leaning into Berenger’s side “detailed does not mean interesting,”

Without skipping a beat Berenger turned toward him, hand extending to his mouth to feed him and probably in no small part to shut him up. On Berenger’s other side, Nikandros shifted uncomfortably and Laurent did not miss the glance he exchanged with Damen.

Some things were very much ingrained in the Akielon’s and a master feeding their pet was absurd to them. In Akielos it had been, and still was, the other way around. Slavery might no longer exist but the Pet system, slowly infiltrating the Akielon side of the court, was still relatively novel and lots of its practices had tipped on its axis.

Submission in Akielos was still far too precious and revered not to favour demure, pretty pets; or at least those who knew how to act like it. The Akielon’s were generous too, like they had seen the dripping wealth of the Veretians as a personal challenge. The Veretians liked to see it, liked to see the exotic ideas of wealth that manifested in unusual fascinating ways. They much less enjoyed it when a Kyros had brought his female pet to court though; their eyes had bugged clean out of their heads and the gossip for weeks had been endlessly amusing. Some things were not going to change overnight no matter how much they all tried.

Feeling a little wicked and a little daring he tipped into Damen, and was gratified when Damen’s arm moved with him, going from the back of his seat to around his shoulder as Laurent leant into his side. He knew what Damen liked. He knew equally how much it would irk just about everyone at the table. The sole exception being Ancel who had zero sensibilities and as much sense to boot.

Damen had their gazes meeting in silent question instantly. In response Laurent let his eyes fall to the plate for a long, pointed moment, licking his bottom lip as he met Damen’s gaze again.

Damen’s eyes trailed over his face, slow and possessive, and a little amused.

He reached for the bread without even really looking, dipping it in olive oil before bringing the morsel up to Laurent’s mouth. Their gazes held; their amusement barely kept at bay as Laurent leant forward to accept it.

The tips of Damen’s fingers brushed his lips and Laurent let his tongue lap out, gaze avid on the quickening of interest in Damen’s features. Damen’s own mouth parted as though to mimic him, watching as Laurent lingered, aware of an errant drop of oil from Damen’s dripping fingers sliding down his chin.

Laurent pulled back, chewing delicately, leaving the trail of oil. Damen reached back toward him, thumb catching the bead and soaking it up, in, pressing against Laurent’s already occupied mouth.

He didn’t hesitate or falter, let Damen’s thumb past the barrier of his lips and got caught on the bob of Damen’s throat as he did so.

From somewhere that could have been miles away there was a stiff clear of someone’s throat. Damen didn’t immediately withdraw, even as his eyes flickered in acknowledgement. He hovered, lingering, fingers brushing against Laurent’s jaw for a long moment that made Laurent’s blinks feel slow and his thoughts loose.

When Damen sat back he did so as though nothing had happened, going back to his food, arm still curled around Laurent who had let himself go pliant against Damen’s side. He flicked his gaze around the table, challenging as he met Vannes’ scandalised and wildly amused grin, Berenger’s slightly pink cheeks and the curious cant of Ancel’s head. Nikandros looked ready to combust with annoyance but Damen looked quietly pleased so Laurent let himself feel privately victorious. If he shifted his chair a little closer before turning back to his own food, he didn’t think he could be blamed.

He enjoyed these displays. He enjoyed them far, far more than he had ever considered he would. But he was finding, now that he could be free and open with his affection, he never stopped wanting to give it. To Damen. To have it in return, so readily given and honestly felt, was more than he could comprehend most days.

He liked hearing what the court said about him nowadays: about them. The Veretians had known Laurent a long time and six years was a long time to cultivate a reputation as cold and as frigid as his had been. Laurent’s behaviour with Damen was endlessly fascinating to them and for once he liked to give them what they wanted. See, he wanted to say. I am not what you thought. You just weren’t him.

“So, wedding preparations?” Vannes said breaking the silence and making Laurent smile as she did so.

The table disintegrated into the usual debate on the subject and therefore a brief argument between Nikandros and Vannes about the ceremony, which was the standard on any given day between them. Though they both seemed to readily enjoy it. Providing the disagreement wasn’t about some historical point of contention. On those occasions it was all but war between them. Again, much to Nikandros’ distress, Damen really seemed to like watching Nikandros have his arse verbally handed to him. If Laurent didn’t know better, he would think Damen had a little bit of a thing for it. That, or he had vastly underestimated just how trying to Damen’s patience Nikandros had been all these years.

Which sounded more likely.

When Ancel got involved Damen’s amusement ratcheted up and Nikandros’ death glare was whiplike. Damen though, because he was a bit of a shit, just winked at him and sat back in his seat, shifting his arm from around him and instead letting his hand fall to Laurent’s knee beneath the table.

Laurent was instantly aware of it, of the heavy familiar weight of it teasing at the edges of his chiton. He let his eyes flash down, caught on the contrast of Damen’s sun darkened skin against the stark white of Laurent’s chiton and the pinkish tinge of his thigh.

He did not tan. He had, on several occasions, gone bright red only to go pale again some days after the burn had faded. Beneath Damen’s palm his thigh looked pure as fresh snow; begging for prints.

The conversation carried on, Damen interjecting to ask about the impending arrival of the delegation from Kempt, and whether it was prudent to at least pretend to have the wedding further along than it was. Given Kempt’s nervous displeasure at the match and the offer to Damen of one of Laurent’s own cousins.

Laurent was going to be on his very worst behaviour when the delegation arrived, in protest of the disrespect they had shown when they sent a fucking betrothal proposal to Damen at their joint court. And there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do to stop him. They were sending the ambassador with a party consisting of the King’s youngest brother and the Princess Danika for a reason after all. Laurent did not like it.

Logically he knew it made sense, things were still very fresh, he’d been King for barely a matter of months, the court’s permanency at Marlas was very new and the new Palace was only just beginning. They weren’t yet married and most of the surrounding Kingdoms had only conjecture and hearsay to base assumptions upon. If they thought it solely political, or fanciful rumour, then they were very welcome to come to Marlas and see for themselves how very little politics had to do with their relationship.

Laurent didn’t consider himself much of a performer the way that Pets were, but he’d climb in Damen’s lap and ride him on the fucking throne for all to see if it meant the questions and prodding from other Kingdoms would just fuck off.

On the other hand, politically, it said the continent was nervous. As they should be, Akielos was already a feared military force, having Veretian diplomacy behind them was no small thing. Not to mention the potential of their combined economic policies. The scramble was in understanding just who would remain priority in terms of alliances, given that Vere and Akielos kept wildly different friends.

Laurent was quite caught up in his own mind, lost to the conversation around him until his awareness was refocused and centred entirely by the flex of Damen’s palm.

Damen slid inward, inched higher, his familiar fingers against suddenly warm skin. Laurent was helpless against the way his thighs twitched as though to spread. He swallowed, blinking and trying to concentrate. He was listening now, new coat of arms and crests for the unification. Right. He was listening. Except Damen always made it so hard to think. So easy not to want to think.

Damen squeezed, fingers digging into the meat of Laurent’s thighs, little finger stroking up in a feather light caress that always felt like lightning to him. Damen knew what the fuck he was doing. Laurent held himself taut, fighting the way his body wanted to unspool completely. Did Damen have his body so thoroughly under his spell that such a simple touch could unravel him?

Yes. He fucking did and he fucking knew it.

Laurent had prided himself for a long time on the mastery of his body. Of himself. And everything around him. Except his mastery of his body was eroding, piece by piece, not vanished, not gone, simply exchanged, given in. Given over. To Damen.

For a long time he had made himself a statue and at one touch from Damen he found himself crumbling. Like ice melting against the sheer overwhelming force of his heat.

In bed, more and more, he let himself go. He let Damen take the reins, and he found he was never left disappointed. Damen knew his body better than Laurent did. Knew what Laurent wanted or needed without him having to articulate it. Though he did like for Laurent to say it. Or to try, if he could get the words out. Sometimes he couldn’t, was too overcome to say much of anything and then Damen would lean closer, mouth hot and damp against his ear and voice a dark chuckle.

Where’s that silver tongue now love?

It sent an instant sharp spike of arousal careening through him just thinking about it and he shifted, fidgeting in his seat. In response, like he could hear Laurent’s thoughts, Damen’s hand clamped down, hard, fingers making indents in his skin. Laurent held his breath, aware of the tightening of Damen’s fingers from his own pounding heartbeats and the steady throb of five pinch points.

When Damen let go and slid his hand further up his knuckles brushed the stirrings of his arousal. Laurent clenched his hand into a fist and cleared his throat to curtail the waiting gasp.

And still his thighs twitched apart. Spreading like the command had been spoken out loud.

Damen’s answering smile was satisfied, aimed at Berenger who was explaining something, talking and articulating with his hands. So it was probably about some interesting building concept he wanted to implement.

Laurent could feel his heart pounding two separate rhythms in his chest and in his lower belly as heat started to surface there. Damen didn’t pause, didn’t stutter, just stroked his knuckles against him, nudging and caressing in light barely-there touches that made Laurent’s breath come quicker.

His swallow was dry as a nervous flicker of anticipatory tension licked up his spine. This was new. Damen had certainly groped him in public before, though usually with the distance of their thrones or a banquet table to hide it. This was no distance at all. Vannes was so close on his other side that he could practically feel her shifting. Berenger across from him had a perfect view of any changes on his face.

Admittedly if this ever happened in public it was usually Laurent finding ways to touch Damen, just to watch him get flustered. He loved it. He loved seeing how far he could push, how much Damen would tolerate before he wrapped a wide firm palm around his wrist and made their excuses. Unless Laurent got away quick enough, sauntered off through a throng of people and made Damen chase. It was exhilarating because the more he ran, the longer he made Damen follow, the harder Damen would grab him when he was caught.

But Damen rarely did it in reverse and Laurent had always assumed it was because he was much too Akielon for that. He was rethinking now.

It was because Damen knew, with all the surety of a master strategist, that any attack he gave would be devastating.

Damen, he well knew, was a master of seduction; of letting the anticipation build. He knew how to make Laurent feel intoxicated on glances and his skin on fire with wanting. He knew how to make him crave it, with a bone deep need as his body screamed yes with restless desire. Sometimes it started in the hall surrounded by people in glances and smiles, sometimes it was the slow precise aching way Damen would take him apart in their bed until all he could do was beg and quake and anticipate. He made desire feel like a chase, a breathless sprint through dark gardens, drunk and giddy and alive. There was no better feeling to Laurent than knowing his own consuming want did not go unanswered; that Damen wanted him as strongly. 

He got caught on that now with his mouth clamped shut and his stomach tensing with the effort of staying still as Damen finally unfurled his hand. He let one clever finger trace the hardening length of him and that a touch so light should make Laurent feel so much was maddening.

He wanted to slouch, cant his hips up, feel Damen where he really wanted him, where he was clenching down hard around air and feeling the empty space inside him like an accusation. A throb. He hadn’t known his body could throb like this; from the inside out. Lately it felt like all he did was throb; endlessly wanting.

Wanton.

Damen teased, fingers wicked and soft and feather-light as they traced him in careful measured caresses. Along his thighs, up and down in sensual sweeps, into the sensitive areas on his groin that made heat threaten his mask of cool indifference. Every time Damen got bolder, getting closer, teasing at the possibility and Laurent was alive with it. The dual desperation of not making a sound and the way he wanted to beg for Damen to just touch his cock propely. He was hard. Fighting not to fidget, locking his body up tight even as his thighs were shaking with the strain and the want to spread for him. Here. In front of everyone.

 It sent shivers down his spine, made his stomach throb and his hole clench around damning air as he fought the urge to flex his hips.

The easy curl of his hand around Laurent’s cock had him shifting again, breath coming a little quicker as the yes died in his throat and came out as a quiet cough, a quick clearing that had Damen smirking even as he stroked his fingers around the head of Laurent’s cock, toying with his foreskin and circling the head in maddening little sweeps and circles. Laurent could barely think. Barely breathe through the rapid pounding of his heart. He tried desperately not to tip his head down to look at his lap; at the way Damen was stroking him beneath his chiton. In front of everyone. Right where they could all see. If they cared enough to inspect.

Laurent reached out, clamping his fingers down on Damen’s thigh, digging in as hard as he could; a plea not a warning.

Damen responded, leaning closer in the pretence of saying something directed at Ancel that had the pet erupting, beginning a loud boisterous story that drew all eyes for a moment. Whilst the table watched Ancel, Damen leant closer.

“You like that don’t you? Course you do,” Damen said, voice a hot breath against his ear that made goosebumps erupt on his arms and down his neck.

He felt the heat rush his face and the burn in his lungs from locking down the harsh breaths that wanted to leave him. He did like that. He really liked that.

He turned his head, finding Damen’s gaze for a long moment, let him look his fill, drink him in the way Laurent was him, until he was tipping his mouth up, asking for his ear. Damen gave it readily, turning into him and Laurent wasn’t sure what he was going to say.

“Please,”

He felt what that word did to him. Given here, like this. With barely a prompt. It was Damen’s turn to suck in a breath but then he was nodding, eyes flickering behind Laurent and he understood what he meant.

He didn’t wait because waiting meant prolonging the sweet agony of Damen’s fingers at his thighs when Laurent’s entire body was pulsing for them elsewhere. He rose, didn’t turn to offer an explanation just threw a stiff as you were over his shoulder.

Chitons hid nothing and he was painfully -horrendously- aware of it as he shifted through the room. He caught Evadne’s eye from her place behind the bar and he turned his head pointedly to the door that Laurent knew led to the kitchens and their living area.

It would not be the first time they’d ended up back there though admittedly usually, it was so Laurent could say hello to their children. Or when Damen got drawn into some long winded conversation about armour from some old war that Laurent didn’t know or care about but Damen wanted to see.

It felt like he was imposing as he shoved the creaking little door open and he’d taken all of three steps into the dimly lit corridor before the door swung open again behind him. he didn’t need to look to know it was Damen. He hadn’t waited. Hadn’t even tried not to make this seem like exactly what it was.

Not that he would have done so even if Laurent had asked him to at least pretend. He had never been able to control Damen, he would not bend unless he wanted to. Neither would Laurent though he supposed. He just happened to want to bend.

Like right now. He picked a door behind which he knew there was very little save for a rickety old table and a few broken chairs. He’d asked once, what it was meant for, and Damen had been the one to inject and tell him it was for private meetings. Business. Trades.

They certainly qualified though he wasn’t sure how private it would be given that the walls didn’t look particularly thick.

They didn’t waste time. The door slammed closed behind them and Laurent span around. Damen was already there, hands framing his waist as his mouth came down hard and harsh. Laurent groaned into his kiss, arms going around his neck, losing himself in Damen’s tongue and Damen’s taste.

He wasn’t surprised when his back hit the wall, he wasn’t surprised by the three practiced tugs Damen gave his clothes until Laurent’s chiton was fluttering to the floor, the sound of the falling pins lost in the panting breaths they swapped in the slither of space between them. Laurent’s hands were shaking, feverish already as Damen dropped to his knees, mouth already open and hands already reaching for him.

He was sucked into the familiar wet warmth of Damen’s mouth and his head hit the wall with a painful thud. It was heady. He was naked, in nothing but his sandals whilst Damen, fully clothed, knelt before him and looked up at him with dark eyes that shone like warnings.

Laurent wasn’t the only one already there. He’d had no idea how starving he was for it, for him, until Damen’s tongue was curling around the head of him in a sensation still so new to him.

He fisted in his hands in dark curls, tugging, scratching at his scalp, smile curling at his mouth as Damen opened wider, flattened his tongue and sucked as Laurent thrust into his throat. The choking gag was loud, erupting in the room and Laurent thrilled to it, to the way Damen stared back at him and let his hand wander up Laurent’s chest; letting Laurent fuck his mouth. There was a flush sitting at Laurent’s clavicle already, working up his neck and glowing in his cheeks no doubt. Desire-bright and wanting.

When Damen rose back up he tugged at his clothes, letting them fall and Laurent turned on instinct as Damen crowded him against the wall, mouth a damp pant at his neck.

“You still wet for me sweetheart? Going to be good and let me right back in?”

Laurent trembled despite himself, clenching down desperately. He would. Still pliant, always pliant lately. For Damen. Because of Damen. He felt loose, still messy. Damen had used too much oil that morning, far too much, and they hadn’t had time to bathe. But even if he wasn’t wet enough, he wouldn’t let it stop them. He could take him. He wouldn’t mind the aching friction, the almost pain.

It made it more real. The pleasure sharper.

Two thick fingers probing at his hole had Laurent canting his hips back, exhaling heavily as he turned his forehead against the wall and went up on his tip toes, trying to get them inside.

The sudden sharp thrust of Damen’s fingers made Laurent spread his legs wider, eyes slamming closed as he focused on the breach, on his body stretching around him. Damen pushed them in and up, curled them instantly and twisted until he was right at the heart of him, drawing out a sharp hissed inhale. Too soon he was gone and Laurent locked his lips around the needy noise waiting in his throat.

He listened as Damen spat, the sound alone enough to make his body brace and he found himself holding his breath again as Damen angled his cock against him. He always felt so big against Laurent like this, covering him, caging him in and Laurent revelled in it, the close press of his body as his mouth hovered at his neck; words a shivering breath.

“Tell me you want it,”

“I want-“

His words trailed off, tangled on his tongue and lost in a cry as Damen bit down on his neck and pushed up inside him in one swift thrust.

Damen didn’t give him time to adjust, he pulled out, holding Laurent’s body open around the head of his cock, keeping him on the precipice; both hands at Laurent’s hips to still him as he tried desperately to get Damen back where he wanted him.

Behind him Damen hummed, nudging back and forth in maddening bumps, a suggestion of what he wanted. Laurent’s body was too well conditioned, he was aching with expectation, with the desperate desire to be full of him, stuffed ready to burst, to have Damen in him and deep, the spark of pressure and pleasure. He moaned, more need than anything else as his world condensed to the place where they were barely joined; his awareness stolen by the insistent thrum of his body that demanded and begged for it. For more. For-

“Damen,”

An urgent groan, a demand, a plea; and with a soft grunt Damen gave in and fucked back in, inch by inch until he was pressed flush against him. Laurent’s body jolted beneath the onslaught like a nerve prodded. Raw. Alive.

“Sweetheart,”

Damen’s voice was a warm rumble against his ear and Laurent couldn’t hold back the whimper. He could listen to him talk all day. Like this. That tone. He was almost certain Damen could get him off on words alone. They’d have to test that theory.

“Always take me so well,”

Laurent’s entire body reacted to the praise, lighting him up inside even as he found himself going docile, something unwinding. The appreciation in Damen’s tone had him shivering and made something unfurl in his chest like a knot tugged loose. An angry snarl of his vices and doubts smoothed and soothed by Damen’s voice. His words.

Damen didn’t make him wait, pulled back, pushed back in, steady and constant and Laurent breathed out like he’d been punched. He fucked back against the snap of Damen’s hips, urging him on; demanding without words.

“Let me hear you, let them all hear you,” Damen said against his ear “I know how you like that,” Damen groaned, flattening one hand over Laurent’s against the wall “and I do too, the way you sound- fuck,” Damen’s other hand went to his belly, pressing him back tighter “I love the noises you make when I’m in you, how fucking needy you sound when you’re on my cock like this and I know you can’t think straight, when you’re all desperate,

Laurent let his head hang forward, nodding as Damen’s words were tipped like the sweetest wine against his ear, flowing in him, over him, dripping down his spine and into his limbs, making everything hot and needy. Damen didn’t relent, fucking him unerringly, exactly the way he knew Laurent liked it: just a fraction too deep and hard, so he would feel him for days, which meant he could always feel him. A constant echo of his cock or the space he left behind. Like if Damen fucked him hard enough and deep enough Laurent’s body could be his home. Laurent loved it, the sparks of pleasure, the way his body sought it unconsciously, moving with him, in tandem. Unbridled and raw.

“Fuck I can’t get enough of you,”

Damen punctuated it by shifting, fucking up into him, a slow grind, deep as he could go until Laurent was sure he could feel him in his belly. It took Laurent a moment to realise the high whine that was slamming against his ears was him. It was a desperate sound. Pleading. He knew people could hear it. Knew lots of people could hear it; hear him being fucked senseless by the King of Akielos.

“Fuck, you know they can hear you,” Damen said echoing Laurent’s thoughts and spreading his palm up Laurent’s belly, sliding against flushed skin to his sternum “they’re in the next room right now, listening to you take it like a whore,” Damen groaned “my whore,”

Laurent moaned, exactly like he said, loud and ringing as his whole body jerked “yours,” he gasped out, lips curling up when Damen’s rhythm faltered upon hearing it “your whore, just-ah- yours,”

Damen’s answering growl made Laurent’s knees want to buckle as he fucked him harder, his grip at his hips enough to bruise as he panted at his neck.

“That’s it sweetheart, so fucking good, give it to me Laurent, all of it, let me hear,”

Whether it was a command or just permission Laurent didn’t know but every time he had it, he was powerless to stop the reaction. It was like a damn breaking, some door opening in his head, flung wide by Damen’s voice alone and Laurent let loose his appreciation and his pleasure and let it drip from his tongue.

“Beautiful,” Damen said against his neck, teeth scraping against his skin and Laurent felt the way the anchor was prised loose from the harsh depths of his brain; letting him float in the moment and in Damen’s arms.

It felt so good to let go. To let himself be vulnerable for Damen, to render himself for inspection under his exacting standards and not be found wanting. Damen was never more honest than when he was like this, when he couldn’t lie, when his desire and his wants and his thoughts came out without pause or motive.

Laurent wanted it, wanted the words, the reassurance, the warmth of his voice and the disbelief in his tone that made him feel like he was safe; like this was the centre of the world and all Damen saw was him. All he’d ever wanted was to impress him, to have Damen look at him and see someone worthy and like this Laurent didn’t just hear him; he believed him. Always.

It was in his voice, in his body as he covered him, in the hard pleasure of his cock as it fucked into him over and over; his love and his desire and the way their bodies could come together as viscerally as it felt everything they possessed had.

With a groan Damen’s hands slid from his hips, encouraging Laurent’s thighs closed and Laurent moved on his command. He slid his legs closed, clenching his body around the heavy pressure of Damen inside him, arcing his back, fingers pressed against the wall, eyes squeezing closed at the way it made Damen feel deeper and his body tighter.

“Always feel so fucking good Laurent, like your body was made for mine,” Damen breathed roughly, and Laurent shivered in answer, fucking back on Damen’s cock, riding it, undulating back and forth as Damen met him thrust for thrust.

He was. He was made for Damen. For this. It made his cock twitch, the acknowledgement, made his already hazy mind turn as if in a dream, folding away from everything and everyone until there was nothing but this feeling; how good it felt to have Damen love him like this. To be his. To be special.

He was yanked back by his hips, stance widening unconsciously, scrambling for purchase on the rough stone wall as Damen took him hard and fast. It was rougher, longer, his thrusts angled with pinpoint precision to make Laurent’s body quake and his eyelids flicker.

Damen kept him in place with one firm hand at his hip, the other he slid down his skin, not stopping until he was digging his fingers into the meat of him and spreading him open with one hand, no doubt watching his cock impale Laurent over and over.

Laurent could only close his eyes, letting Damen do as he pleased. As they both pleased. Dictating Laurent’s rhythm, trapping him between the stone wall and the unrelenting press of Damen’s hard body; his cock mercilessly deep inside him.

When Damen stopped Laurent whined, trying to fuck back on him but Damen chuckled again, levering Laurent up, back against his chest, held tight to his body.

Damen turned them, walking Laurent forward on shaky legs, Damen’s cock still impaling him as they shuffled, bodies sticking together with summer heat and exertion until he could press Laurent down against the rickety old table.

Damen pulled out as soon as Laurent was bent over and flush.

“Spread yourself open for me,” Damen said and Laurent’s breath hitched, the twin tendrils of arousal and shame blending together and winding through him; making his cock twitch and a groan build in his throat. He turned his head against the table and reached back, fingers hard as he spread himself apart to Damen’s gaze.

Exposed. Obscene. Raw.

“Fuck you should see yourself, look at you struggling to close,” Damen groaned, thumbing idly at his rim in a way that had Laurent squeezing his muscles, trying to suck him back in. Laurent could imagine what he looked like; fucked out, red raw, slick with spit and pulsing as he clenched down like his body was begging. It was.

“I wish you could see how perfect you look when my cock has split you apart like this, when you’re open wide for me,”

Laurent moaned, fingers clenching hard into his cheeks, pulling further, bracing himself as best as he could as he felt the new sensation, the stretch of his rim, the hiss of cool air on his open hole. He felt more than heard when Damen spat, saliva dribbling over his fucked out hole as Damen toyed with him; catching the head of his cock in the mess of his spit and tapping; the sound a wet slap. A tease.

Damen,” Plaintive. A plea.

Damen hummed, pinning his hip with one hand, the other covering Laurent’s hand, pinching into his skin, spreading him further so that Laurent had to readjust his stance; spread wider. Then Damen was hooking his thumbs inside him and for a moment he just rubbed; the skin there soft and puffy and so sensitive Laurent could only pant against the old wood. When Damen started to tug Laurent’s knees nearly buckled again even when he was nodding; unsure what he was even asking for.

Behind him he felt Damen readjust, felt two fingers sliding in, then two more, still tugging but pressing deeper and Laurent could do nothing but take it, still keeping himself spread wide for him.

“Sometimes I think about what you’d look like with my whole hand in you,”

Laurent whimpered, losing it and letting go, letting his hands smack against the solid surface beneath his head as he pushed back. Desperate. He would let him. Even here. He would.

“Fuck me,” he managed, more breath than words.

Damen chuckled, dark and low “I am fucking you,” he said and twisted his fingers as though to prove it, pressing down, rubbing mercilessly and Laurent could only gasp as he tipped his hips up, up on his tip toes, trying to slam his hips down as Damen gave him the friction inside that he wanted. Needed. Fucking loved.

He was close, trembling with it, one thigh gone completely, quivering with the strain, with the unbearable almost, his cock was leaking a stream of clear fluid and his body was beginning to clench, coiling tighter and tighter and tighter.

When Damen pulled out Laurent heaved something like a sob and slammed his fist down, both annoyed at -and wildly turned on by- the chuckle Damen gave behind him as he grabbed at Laurent’s waist and flipped him like he weighed nothing.

The world span and he found himself on his back on the table, arse held up only by Damen’s hands as he shifted between his wide spread thighs. He watched through dark eyes as Damen folded himself down over him, smirking as he pressed Laurent’s legs up and back; in half.

Without pause he was back at Laurent’s waiting hole, spearing into him in one long delicious stroke that had Laurent keening, head thrown back, exposing the column of his throat to Damen’s eager mouth.

“Do you like that?”

Laurent couldn’t respond, could only pant, aware of the steady gasping ah-ah-ahs that fell out of his mouth that had Damen smiling down at him.

“I fucking love that you get dumb when you want it this badly Laurent, can’t even speak can you? Fuck you’re perfect,”

If his entire body didn’t already feel like liquid then he would surely have melted at that.

His gaze was as tangled in Damen as the rest of him was; bouncing and unsettled as Damen fucked him; relentless in his pace. He took in the dark desire in his eyes, the prominent veins in his forearms that always seem begging for a tongue, the wide smooth expanse of his chest and then further, craning his head down to see Damen’s cock disappearing into him, glistening just a little with spit and Damen and whatever oil there was still left in him from that morning.

Damen noticed his stare.

“See how well you’re taking me, so fucking perfect Laurent, you like that? Like to see me filling you up like this?”

He could only nod, clench around him and let him have the noises he wanted, kept his mouth open the way he’d been asked, fed Damen’s passion back at him in the blistering heat between them, a tangible thread. Damen’s words. Laurent’s moans. The creak of the table and the slick intimate sound of skin meeting skin.

His favourite sounds.

“So fucking beautiful when you get needy for me,” Damen said around a moan, voice rougher and strained and he was close too. Laurent knew. He could feel it in his rhythm, hear it in the heave of his breath. Practically fucking taste it.

“Give it to me Laurent,” Damen gasped, fucking him hard and fast, the slam of the table a jarring counterpoint to the soft breathless sounds coming out of Damen, and the loud punched-out shameless moans spilling from Laurent’s mouth like he was being paid for it.

“Come for me, let me have it, show me you’re mine,” Damen groaned and the pound of his body was almost too much, sharp and agonising as he rode it out, the long hard ram of his cock right where Laurent couldn’t resist him.

If he said Damen’s name when he came he must have shouted it, or it was lost in an unintelligible rumble of noise that ripped out of him as he came untouched; body going docile, heart pounding, head thrown back and white noise gathering in his ears as Damen pressed against him harder, buried himself deep and groaned Laurent’s name into his neck as he spilled inside him.

Laurent was gulping in great lungful’s of air, heart rabbit fast in his chest as his thighs quaked anew when Damen stayed over him for a long calming moment. He unfolded himself, going docile, boneless, legs limply hanging off the table and one arm around Damen to trap him where Laurent always wanted to keep him. He liked to feel him soften inside him.

Before Laurent was really ready to let him go Damen pulled away, pulled out, and Laurent tried not to wince at the empty gaping ache he left behind; the wet warmth that followed him.

He didn’t go far. Damen sank down to his knees, graceful and sinuous and Laurent expected the palm that wrapped around the back of his knee, was already lifting his leg as he pushed up onto his elbows and blinked slowly down at him.

His very favourite view in the world was the view he was granted when he looked down the length of his body and saw Damen’s dark, hungry eyes staring back at him from between the frame of his thighs. Even when, maybe especially when, Damen stayed there overlong and his generosity turned to tantalising demands, and he coaxed and coaxed until Laurent’s body gave him what he wanted in spent shivers and shudders.

He expected his tongue, the soft teasing cleanse of him. What he got instead was a wicked smirk and a sharp sucking bite to his thigh that sparked at the last embers of pleasure still glowing in his belly. Damen bit down harder, sucked harder, using his tongue as Laurent tipped his head back and ran his fingers through the tangle of Damen’s curls.

When Damen rose back up the smug look on his face let Laurent know without checking that this bite would be hovering at the very edges of his chiton when he put it back on. It would be visible when he walked. He already knew.

Not one to be outdone he tugged Damen in and set his mouth right at his neck where it would be most visible and completely without hiding.

“Yes, show them I’m yours,”

Damen groaned, hand going to the back of Laurent’s head, holding him in place as he worked at Damen’s skin with his mouth. It was a feral kind of pleasure when he pulled back; seeing the evidence of himself on his lover’s skin. Where everyone would see it.

Mine.

“I hope the Kyroi appreciate it as much as you do,” Laurent said and his voice was hoarse and rough and dark. Sex drenched.

Damen chuckled, arms going around Laurent “oh I’m sure they will look at you askance for leading me astray,” he said flashing an almost shy grin as he made his eyes go round with faux-innocence and he was right.

“Well, I have no problem confirming that for them,” he said with the kind of tone that made Damen narrow his eyes even as he was smiling; likely wondering what Laurent was plotting for the next meeting.

He was right to wonder. Laurent had ideas now.

“You’re a menace,” Damen said, chuckling even as he tightened his arms around him.

Laurent hummed, closing his eyes and enjoying the embrace, the peace and the comfort even if he was too warm now.

“Says the brute who couldn’t keep his hands to himself,” he mumbled against Damen’s chest, smile stretching when Damen tutted in response.

“I won’t apologise, if that’s what you’re waiting for,”

Laurent laughed, tipping his head back “the day I don’t want your hands on me is a day I shall have no part in,”

Damen scrunched his nose up, adorable and endeared as he pressed a kiss to Laurent’s temple and stepped back, disentangling and moving away. Laurent let him go, enjoying the frisson of pain that spiked when he shifted his perch on the table. He watched Damen dress himself, appreciating the view, and when he could find the strength to push away from the table entirely, he did so with his arms stretched out.

“Attend me,” he said lazily, eyes slitted as he watched Damen’s smile curl at one corner of his mouth. He already had Laurent’s clothes in his hands.

“Of course,”

Damen dressed him with much greater care than he had taken when divesting him of those same clothes. His fingers were gentle, soothing at his skin and lingering so he could press kisses to his neck as he wrapped it properly and secured the pins. Laurent kept his eyes closed, warm and content and floating in his satisfaction and lethargy as Damen ran his fingers through Laurent’s hair. It wasn’t likely to tame it entirely but his fingers felt nice at his scalp and he liked the way he could feel Damen’s gaze on his face.

When he peeled his eyes open Damen was indeed looking at him intently and Laurent felt his cheeks heat up at the adoration shining in his features. It was ridiculous, Damen had practically been in his belly mere moments ago but now Laurent blushed from the open affection shining in his eyes.

“Beautiful,” Damen hummed

Laurent reached up, touched his finger to his cheek where a dimple was hiding “no,” he said “that’s all you,”

Damen caught his hand, turned it over to press a lingering kiss to his palm before carefully tipping Laurent’s face up to lay a second kiss, as gentle as the first, to his mouth.

“We’ll have to agree to disagree,” he said against his mouth

“No,” Laurent said again, breathing against him, enjoying the huff of amusement that came from Damen in response.

“Contrary,” Damen mumbled as he stepped back, dusting off his cape where it had crumbled on the floor and shaking it out for Laurent. The blue looked solid in his hands, tangible, and Laurent had a moment to appreciate the absurdity of all that they were and all that they’d done. That’s what it came down to: a Veretian blue Akielon cape, a Lion pin attached to the front of the Veretian King’s clothes, and the starburst badge on the chest of the Akielon King. It was always the little things that threatened to make him emotional, the little things that shone brightest when Laurent was tired and his body was still floating on waves of pleasure that had once been entirely unknowable to him.

“I love you,” he said as Damen attached the cape at Laurent’s shoulders.

“And I love you,” Damen said without missing a beat, kissing his forehead “our friends will be less inclined to agree with that sentiment though,”

Laurent laughed, shrugging “and I’ll ask them each individually if they think I care for their opinion,”

A few more lazy kisses, a few more whispered words and Damen had decided they couldn’t delay anymore. With a regretful sigh Damen nudged him toward the door and Laurent went. Almost.

“Oh, wait,” he said turning around before Damen could question him.

Laurent pulled his hand back and let it fly. His palm connected with a gratifying sting to Damen’s cheek, hard, his weight behind it. Damen’s head snapped to the side, an incredulous splutter working up his throat as his hand went to his cheek and he turned surprised curious eyes on him. He wasn’t even a little bit angry. He didn’t look hurt. He looked, if anything, a little amused.  

“And that was for…?”

Laurent smirked, shrugging one shoulder as he reached up to draw Damen’s hand away to see the red mark he’d left “if we’re making a spectacle of ourselves,” he said smoothing his chiton down in the hopes of making it look somewhat more respectable “we might as well court as many scandalous rumours as possible,”

Damen groaned, but the aborted laugh that came out of him gave him away.

Now the Kyroi will have something to say,”

“Oh, I am counting on it,”

Damen nodded, canting his head, eyes scanning Laurent for a long moment as he pushed his hair behind his ear. When he caught Laurent’s face gently between two wide palms and fastened their gazes Laurent was instantly breathless.

“I’ll have something to say about it too, when I get you home,” Damen said and his gentle words were a caress, but his sharp smile and intense gaze promised far more than a slap.

Laurent’s throat went dry again. He had to lick his lips as he felt his body twitch forward with want to press himself back up against Damen.

“I’m counting on that too,” he said, a little breathless just at the thought and Damen smirked.

“I’ll remind you then, later, that you asked for it,” he swore against Laurent’s neck as he reached around him to pull the door open, keeping himself pressed close.

Laurent could only bite his lip, trying to tame his smile. It still surprised him sometimes, how well Damen met him; understood him. It was like he’d lived his entire life as half of who he should be until he found him.

He was barely more than four paces into the corridor when Laurent realised he could barely walk and he had to call on years of iron-clad reserves of willpower not to let it show. His thighs were still shaking and his lower back and ass ached and there was something unmoored and entirely too sated in his chest that wanted to curl himself around Damen and purr his contentment; his sudden tiredness.

Damen, as usual, looked like he’d taken a pleasant stroll and could charge head long into battle; or go another few rounds without stopping. He was a marvel; a warhorse of a man. Laurent did so like horses. He loved riding.

There was however a glowing bite mark at his neck, finger marks on his biceps and a blooming pink print on his cheek. If Laurent could have coerced him to wear some kind of plaque with Laurent’s name on it then he certainly would. Perhaps he could convince Damen to give the leash another go to match the cuff. He might like it.

Quietly, a voice in the back of his head told him that if there was ever a leash making a reappearance between them it probably wouldn’t be him holding the end of it.

He turned it over in his head; the image Damen had made subverted. Laurent with a collar of gold and a delicate chain leading to Damen’s wrist. Bare to the waist with clamps on his nipples. With a jolt that made him nearly miss a step he realised he didn’t hate it. It was a revelation certainly and one to be explored. He doubted Damen would take much convincing.

Out in the Inn there was a careful lull of noise, silence held in check only by the patrons unwillingness to outright stare as they reappeared. It was quite plain they had all heard.

Laurent’s eyes went straight to the table they had occupied and found it empty. Vannes alone stood against the wall, cat like smirk on her face as they paused before her.

She eyed Damen for a long moment, eyes roving appreciatively as her gaze lingered on the blooming mark on Damen’s face before she flicked her gaze to Laurent pointedly. Understanding, Damen made a show of rolling his eyes but breezed on and out of the Inn entirely. No doubt where Nikandros would be waiting a respectable distance away to berate him and choke on his own spit at the hand print.

Vannes only grinned wide when Laurent met her eyes.

“So, exalted likes it rough,” she said.

Laurent, still unused to the notion of having a friend, felt himself shy away from her question before he stamped it down. Made himself relax at the uncontrived warmth in her eyes.

“I’ve yet to discover a way he doesn’t like it,” he said

“And a way you don’t like it, I gather,” she grinned “was it as good as it sounded?” she asked, expression conspiratorial.

“And then some,” he said after a beat.

That was what he had come to appreciate about Vannes; she never rushed him or questioned his pauses or misgivings. She seemed to understand. Maybe women spoke differently to men; maybe their world was coloured differently or maybe it was just Vannes. Either way, he had to come to realise he felt as safe in her presence as he did alone. Almost. It was close enough.

“Well, it certainly had every woman out here dripping and a great many of the men too no doubt,”

Laurent let himself snort, watched her smile again at his amusement “I should hope so,” he smirked and appreciated the loud rumble of her unabashed laughter.

He offered her his arm and easily she took it, walking back out of the Inn with him like they were strolling through the palace gardens.

“You absolutely reek of sex, exalted,” she said and if her volume had gotten a little louder and if her eyes had slid to some of their guards hovering nearby he recognised the teasing lilt of her tone.

It was a game they played. Vannes seemed to think Laurent didn’t like such scrutiny. Perhaps remembering his reputation in Vere not even a year ago: cold, withdrawn, private. He didn’t like to correct her; he greatly enjoyed her expression when he countered.

“What can I say? The King is vigorous,” he said, louder still than she had been and let his arm slide from hers as her expression shifted from glee to surprise to amusement in the span of blinks.

Her laugh was loud behind him as he ignored the pangs in his body and inserted himself back at Damen’s side where he was listening intently to Lazar.

Lazar’s eyes flickered over him when he appeared, head to toe in a familiar wave before they returned to Damen and a smirk lit his face up.

“We had better be leaving, some of the locals seem to think a storm is rolling in and we don’t want to get caught in it,” Lazar said before letting the same look that he’d just delivered upon Laurent slide down Damen’s body “although rain wouldn’t be all bad exalted, if you know what I mean,” he said adding a wink for good measure.

Damen, predictably, smiled bashfully like he didn’t look like a walking demi-god and hadn’t fucked Laurent to within an inch of his life not fifteen minutes ago for all the Inn to hear. His hand went to the back of his neck, even as he was smiling fondly at Lazar’s brazen disregard for protocol.

When questioned Lazar would simply tell him he’d forgotten because Damianos was always Damen to him. Which was not a problem any of the other old Prince’s guard seemed to share. But Lazar was amusing and charming and for the most part neither of them minded.

Laurent might have minded a little more than Damen did.

“I’d be more concerned with your own clothes in that instance Lazar,” Damen said, gaze encompassing Lazar in his chiton that always looked so wildly foreign on him even though he insisted on wearing one because of the heat.

Lazar laughed, patting the white material at his chest “I don’t know what you mean exalted, I’m very fetching when I’m wet,”

“Oh, I’m sure,” Damen said, tone neutral and smile still in place and the sarcasm was very nearly lost on Lazar. Damen waited a beat before turning away to mount his horse so that Lazar could only huff a laugh at his retreating back.

When Damen was out of hearing range Lazar turned toward him fully.

“Nice handy work,” Lazar grinned, waving his hand unnecessarily at him.

“I thought so, yes,” Laurent agreed “nice flirting,” he added and arced a pointed eyebrow

Most other men who knew him would shrink back from the look Laurent was currently favouring Lazar with. Lazar just grinned wider, much like Vannes.

“I know, I know,” Lazar said all but rolling his eyes the way Damen had at Vannes: fond “exalted,” he nodded before dismissing himself, still grinning.

He did know. They had had words before. It was strange and entirely new. He’d never been jealous before. Possessive. It would be a problem if Damen didn’t feel it too.

He turned away too, going toward his horse and almost freezing when he realised mounting was going to be a problem. It wasn’t going to feel pleasant and worse; the movement would undoubtedly spark a pull inside him. He was suddenly aware of himself, of his body, of all the places he could still feel Damen. Like brands. Claims. Visceral evidence of what they’d done and what they were. Reminders. Tokens.

Laurent was usually so good at hiding the markers. Of cleaning up. But not now. He knew there was absolutely no hiding the state of him. Of them both. There would be no disguising the thick scent of sex that seemed to cling to his skin as he felt Damen’s come or saliva dampening his thighs, meeting no resistance. It was going to make a mess of the chiton, and the saddle too no doubt.

Laurent would never tell him but he liked it. He liked feeling it there, liked knowing he was marked by Damen this way. He liked knowing Damen would know it was there too. He liked not cleaning up.

He was going to leave it there. All day. He was going to let the sticky mess on his belly stay there too if he could. It would dry, flake, itch. It would make his skin feel tight and uncomfortable. But Damen would know, later. When he undressed Laurent and found the evidence still on Laurent’ skin. When he spread Laurent’s thighs and found his own come, still marking him, even as Laurent’s hole would be barely twitching closed, still loose enough to take him again.

They had barely left the bed yesterday. Damen had had him every which way. On his belly, against the wall, on his back with Damen’s hands cradling his face like he was the most precious thing he’d ever touched. On his knees above Damen’s head, hips angled down as Damen relaxed his throat and let him do as he pleased, Damen on all fours with his knees spread wide; the day lost to endless hours of wandering hands and mouths and laughter and talk.

And that morning in the very early hours well before dawn, still half asleep when Damen mounted him, straddling his arse and using his feet to spread Laurent’s ankles apart. Laurent had come awake all at once with a moan of his name as Damen sank into him, too wet with too much oil, disoriented and still in the throes of a dream but Laurent’s body knew him well enough not to panic at the swift intrusion. He’d asked for it; liked it. Wanted it.

Damen had fucked him like that, slow and heavy as his body covered Laurent’s, keeping his legs kicked apart with his ankles. The noise had been sloppy, slick and wet as Damen fucked him deep, oil spilling over Laurent’s thighs and into the bedding and dribbling down his balls. All Laurent could do was mewl and whimper and try to push his hips up, begging without words for Damen to get in him as deep as he could. Lay claim.

Is there any part of you that can’t feel me sweetheart?

Laurent came with a strangled moan at the soft breathless words against his ear, mouth open soundlessly as his fingers clenched white in ruined bedding. It only made Damen hotter, harder, had him adjusting his grip until he had a possessive hand at the back of Laurent’s neck and one clenched tight against his hip.

When Damen came it was the kind of shuddering gasping orgasm that seemed to go on for a long time, a false end, a second shiver, a damp pant at the back of Laurent’s neck followed by a hot wet lick of his tongue all the way down Laurent’s spine.

Laurent had moved as if on command, following the promise of the hot tongue that slid down over every vertebra, body rolling up, hips rising when Damen’s tongue flicked at the dimples at the bottom of his spine, knees coming up and in until Laurent was folded over his own knees with his head and shoulders on the pillows, hair in disarray, ass spread open by familiar reverent hands.

Folded as he had been, knees tucked under him, he had felt gaping, exposed, could feel the cooling slick slide of Damen’s come leaking out of him, could feel it against his balls, still tight, cock twitching and still mostly hard when Damen ghosted a breath over his hole. Laurent, clenching around air, had only had more come leaking out of him when he whined.

Damen’s rough sex-sated Akielon had been velvet against Laurent’s skin as he spoke, his mouth when it came was hot, rough, his lips around the rim of him, sucking his own taste from Laurent’s body, face pressed tight and flush between his cheeks until he was suffocating himself on Laurent and moaning for it all the whilst.

Damen had been ravenous and Laurent a mess; mouth open so much and around so many sounds that his own chin felt like a spit of pleas. Damen fucked him with his tongue until Laurent was rocking back, thighs shaking, hole rhythmically clenching, begging for something bigger.

And bigger he got. Two thick fingers. Slick with just a gather of what was already there; spit and come and excess oil. Pressing in and down, seeking and searching until he felt what he was looking for and honed in with all the precision Laurent had come to expect. Damen had made him greedy.

And Damen talked. Endlessly. A stream of soft filth roughened by sex and sleep and spoken against Laurent’s upturned ass where he watched up close as his fingers sank in deep.

You’re so lovely like this, sleepy, needy, I love watching you lose it for me Laurent.

Words Laurent could barely manage with his brain still drenched in the fog of his sleep and his awareness stolen by the twofold pleasure of Damen’s body and Damen’s voice.

Always so careful. So controlled. So put together. I love taking you apart sweetheart, love knowing that you love it too. That this is only for me, isn’t it? This is mine.

Yours had reverberated in his head like a drum, beating out of Laurent’s mouth in punches.

Fuck yourself on my fingers, let me see you take it.

Laurent had gone up on his elbows, frowning in concentration as he followed Damen’s instruction. Ride them. Three, thick, deep, curling just enough so that every shift and fuck of his hips had Damen’s digits sliding just right. Damen shifted with him, drawing Laurent up against his solid chest with a hand held at his throat until Laurent could do nothing except tip his head back, keep fucking himself, reach up to squeeze Damen’s forearm, fingers slipping over metal warmed by body heat as Damen lapped at his neck and breathed encouragements and adorations.

As soon as the first plea was out of Laurent’s mouth Damen’s hand had slid from his throat, catching sweat on his clavicle, scraping past the barely-there hair on his chest and down past his heaving stomach, leaving a trail of fire in his wake.

He hadn’t given Laurent his whole hand, just two delicate fingers around the dripping head of his cock. It was enough. Laurent came again with a cry, thighs shaking and cock dribbling like his body had nothing left to give. Except he wanted to. Everything he had he’d give, more, always. He wanted Damen to have it.

Laurent had gone down on the bed, sprawled, panting, shaking. A mess. He was rolled over by careful reverential hands and his thighs fell open as his eyes fluttered closed and Damen’s warm familiar body pressed up between his legs, kissing him carefully, tenderly, breathing words against his skin that had a sated smile curving at Laurent’s lips. That’s it love, so good for me, did so well.

It always filled him fit to bursting to hear it. To see Damen’s eyes and see nothing but honesty in them. He was wanted. He was loved. Damen meant it.

When Damen flattened himself but a little, he had felt the renewed desire, throbbing against his belly and he’d hummed, canting his hips back up. Damen tried to protest, Laurent would be too sensitive, still shaking. Laurent insisted, grabbing hold of his cock and guiding it back to his lax hole. An easy push, a deep wet slide and Laurent was too sated and too relaxed to do much more than let his mouth fall open, body going pleasantly docile even when he felt undone and unmoored and the only thing holding him in his body was Damen. His cock plugging him up and holding him down.

He was quick about it, careful, and Laurent thrilled beneath the aftershocks as his body tried and failed to absorb anymore. All he could do was ride it out, on a wave of pleasure that was so sharp it edged the border of pain. Coasted. But didn’t cross. He’d drifted back to sleep with Damen wrapped around him and he’d slept deeply until they were woken by a loud intrusive knocking at the door reminding them they had a building site to visit.

He was aching now, several hours, one long horse ride and one hard fuck later. He could feel he was puffy, no doubt bruised. Red raw. Damen never said it but he liked him like that, liked knowing he’d been the one to do it. The only one Laurent would ever, and had ever, let wreck him like that.

It was going to be a very uncomfortable ride home. And he loved it.

Damen wasn’t done though; Laurent could tell from the way his eyes followed him. He tracked his movements hungrily, possessively. Laurent thrilled under that too. It wasn’t a claiming kind of possession, just an aching kind of honesty about how much he wanted. A testament to his desire.

Laurent always let him have his claim, gave it right back, a victory itself.

He didn’t try to hide his grimace as he got up in the saddle, and there was nothing he could do about the red bruise going purple on his thigh and he knew the second Damen saw it. He sucked in a breath beside him and Laurent could only flick his gaze toward him, one eyebrow raised knowingly. Damen didn’t answer but his expression went a little lax again and there it was. Damen definitely wasn’t done.

Laurent was going to make him wait though, drag it out, hours of endless foreplay in glances and words and shifts. In insinuation. In the terrible almost of wanting but not being able to have. He could provoke him a few more times. Do something outrageous that Damen would indulge and weather and lock away until they were in their bedroom later.

He wanted Damen at his feral best, wound up and tightly strung and gagging for him. He would make him wait until tonight. Or until he broke and figured out a way to get Laurent where he wanted him. Whichever came first. And he would find Laurent with all the markers of their earlier fuck still on him and he’d lose it.

And when Damen lost it like that it meant spectacular things for Laurent and for his body.

He would spend hours on Laurent when he got like that. Fuck him all night if he wanted. Laurent did want. Except he wasn’t sure his arse could take it. Damen probably wouldn’t be easily compelled to fuck him again today at least. Not that he minded, Damen was endlessly creative and was more than eager to get on his belly himself.

Laurent couldn’t afford to think about that for long though; not without wanting. Getting hard.

It was new this feeling; this wild abandon. They were -they had been assured by multiple people- like teenagers just figuring out how to use their cocks for the first time. Which is exactly how Vannes had put it some weeks ago when they’d been drinking alone in Laurent’s rooms. Not a single person protested his being alone with a woman anymore.

She didn’t know how right she was for one of them at least. But Laurent had never been sure he even could feel like this so to feel it now was its own kind of reward. And he was fucking well going to celebrate it as often as possible. Likely tonight.

One look at Damen had him recalculating; no, they weren’t going to make it until night time after all.

Okay. He could work with that. He wasn’t in the mood for patience anyway.

Laurent smiled privately, one corner of his mouth twitching up and when they set off side by side he was careful to let his hiss carry to Damen. He made himself fidget. Made his fingers go to the edge of his chiton which absolutely did not cover the bite and he wondered, with one flick of his eyes, if he could make Damen pull the entire retinue over to have him again; somewhere inopportune, somewhere inappropriate where they would all but see them. When it started raining perhaps. Lazar wasn’t wrong in that regard; Damen dripping wet and still clothed was a fucking delicious sight to behold.

Or maybe he could find a way to get himself on Damen’s horse, see if he could get him to sneak a hand beneath his chiton; get him off in front of everyone without anyone noticing. Laurent was good at being quiet once. He could try to do that. Or maybe he would flip the script, pull everyone over himself instead of waiting for Damen to come to him. It’s not really what they did, Laurent teased, Damen acted. Except today had already proven that Damen was more than happy to reverse it himself.

Laurent could ambush Damen the way Damen so often did him, drag him away. He quite liked that idea, but not as much as he liked the thought of baiting Damen into doing something that could be considered inappropriate. Get a reaction. Make it dark and hot and desperate between them.

Those Akielon sensibilities were crumbling; much to the dismay of the Kyroi who made veiled unimpressed comments about the way they pawed at each other during meals, or sat too close in meetings, or sprawled across each other’s laps when there were foreign dignitaries present. More and more Damen didn’t even notice it; like the people around them were becoming invisible to him. Laurent thrilled to it.

He had discovered it was no small thing to make Damen forget himself. The more time that passed the more he realised that Damen had separated parts of himself, Damen the man and Damianos the prince: the two had had very clear distinctions and expectations in his head. It was, perhaps, how he had found it so easy not to lose himself when he was in chains and why he’d let his mouth run away from him when in said chains. It was why Laurent had struggled to figure him out; for the contradiction he had presented.

The Crown Prince Damianos had been the perfect Prince and he had followed his fathers and the courts expectations to the letter. In public. In private Damen had always been a very different person. That Laurent could make Damen forget himself enough not to remember the Akielon protocol when they were surrounded by people was a heady feeling indeed.

It made him feel powerful, to command Damen’s attention that way. To have all of him, all of his focus, even in a crowded room, was quite possibly the single most gratifying feeling he had ever experienced. He wasn’t above admitting it. He liked it. Just like he liked this. The chase, the looks, the insinuation and the flirting.

It was a tease. And Damen wouldn’t last long. Not if Laurent had anything to say about it.

Laurent liked games and this was by far his favourite.