The sun dipped below the horizon, and darkness swallowed the shadows that stretched across the square. Arthur sighed and ruffled Merlin’s hair. “I have to go—the banquet in honor of Lord Mark’s visit will be starting soon.”
“Right,” Merlin said, shifting and trying to see Arthur’s face. The hard wood of the stocks bit into his neck as he twisted. He had been in here since early in the afternoon, and the king had sentenced him to spend the entire night there as well. Arthur had protested, said it was too cold out, but the king had refused to change his mind. All because Merlin had stumbled and tripped as he passed the king in the corridor, the bowl of water he was carrying splashing over Uther’s boots.
Arthur sighed again. “Don’t be so clumsy next time, Merlin, all right?” He briefly clasped Merlin’s cold fingers. “I’ll see you’re let out as soon as the sun comes up.” And then Arthur walked away, disappearing into the castle.
Silence settled over the square, and Merlin tried to ignore the pain in his neck and back, the shivers that began tearing through him. He started reciting the long lists of herbs and their various uses that Gaius was making him memorize to take his mind off it. It helped a little, but the words froze on Merlin’s lips when he heard booted feet walking towards him.
They stopped a few feet away, and Merlin tried to see who it was, but couldn’t turn far enough.
“I saw Arthur out here with you,” the person said, and Merlin realized it was the king. Uther stepped closer. “He shows you a great deal of affection. Why is that, I wonder?” The king’s voice dropped to a low whisper, and Merlin tensed at the sound.
Uther moved so that he was standing in front of Merlin. He pulled off one of his gloves, letting it drop to the ground. Then his bare hand settled on Merlin’s head, twisting into his hair. “Are you warming his bed?” Uther asked in a rough voice. “Do you service him, when he desires it?”
“No—” Merlin cried out as Uther tugged painfully at his hair. “No, sire.”
“I don’t believe you,” Uther said, and his fingers traveled down Merlin’s cheek. Merlin jerked, trying to get away, stopped by the stocks locked around him. Uther gripped his chin, forcing Merlin to look at him. “Why else would he keep you around?”
The words stung, burned against that place in Merlin that always wondered if Arthur would ever really trust him, if he could ever tell Arthur about his magic. He squeezed his eyes shut, refusing to look at the king.
Uther casually backhanded him across the face. “You’ll show the proper respect to your king,” he growled. Merlin’s breath was wheezing in sharp gasps, and he wanted to cry out for help, but who would come? And if someone did, they would obey Uther, not Merlin.
Uther studied Merlin’s face. “You care for him—for Arthur, don’t you?” Another slap when Merlin didn’t answer him.
“Yes,” Merlin said shakily. “Yes, sire.”
“I could send you away if I wanted to,” Uther went on. “Cast you out of the city. Or execute you. I’m sure you understand by now that my word is law.”
Merlin was trembling, mouth dry with fear. It was true—Uther could do whatever he wanted. And Arthur—Merlin could hardly breathe. He couldn’t leave Arthur. Arthur needed him.
“I tell you these things so that you understand your position,” Uther said, his voice almost gentle. “You are a servant—you follow the commands of your betters—especially your king. Don’t you want to please your king? Like a loyal subject?”
Merlin knew what he had to answer. “Yes, my lord,” he whispered.
“Good.” Uther petted Merlin’s hair approvingly, and Merlin shuddered. “Right now, I require your services. I require you to pleasure me, like you do my son.”
“What about—what about the banquet?” Merlin asked, jerking futilely against the stocks again.
Uther chuckled. “I sent word that I was indisposed for the evening.” He hit Merlin again. “And you will always address me properly.”
“Yes, sire.” Merlin tried to blink back the tears that threatened to fall.
Uther rubbed a considering thumb across Merlin’s mouth. “Perhaps you aren’t lying to me. Perhaps you never have done this before.” The king’s breathing quickened.
“Quiet.” Uther pushed two fingers into Merlin’s mouth. “Suck,” he ordered.
Merlin did as he was told, bathing the king’s fingers with his tongue, sucking gently. He shut his eyes again.
“That’s good. A very good servant,” Uther said, and Merlin was only thankful that Uther didn’t use his name.
Uther’s fingers were removed, and Merlin heard the sound of cloth rustling. And then something firm and hot was nudging against his lips. “Open your mouth,” Uther commanded, voice rough.
Merlin did, and the king slid his cock inside. Merlin choked, trying to suck, moving his tongue as best he could. Uther laughed. “Very well, I believe you now. No one has taken you before. How appropriate,” he added, “that your king is the first to use you.” Uther gripped Merlin’s hair again and started thrusting.
Merlin tried to breathe, tried not to gag. Thankfully, Uther pulled out quickly, leaving Merlin’s head hanging down as he gasped for breath.
Uther moved around Merlin, and then hands were pushing up Merlin’s tunic, running up Merlin’s back. Merlin bit back a whimper as Uther shoved down his breeches. And then he cried out as Uther’s hand grasped his soft cock.
“You will be silent,” Uther hissed, but his hand moved gently, stroking Merlin. There was a pause, and Uther’s fingers moved away for a moment, but then they returned, this time coated with oil. It felt good—and Merlin didn’t want it to feel good, didn’t want to feel himself getting hard. But he couldn’t help it, couldn’t stop his hips from jerking forward, wanting more.
“That’s it,” Uther murmured. “A good king ensures his subjects’ happiness as well,” he added before pushing Merlin’s legs apart. His hand left Merlin’s cock and soon the king was rubbing his hands over Merlin’s hips and arse, spreading Merlin’s cheeks apart. When the king pushed a finger into him, Merlin bit his lip to stop a cry from escaping.
The king fingered him, his other hand stroking Merlin’s hip. The pressure was almost too much, painful yet arousing at the same time. Merlin couldn’t stop the moans that forced their way past his clenched lips, but the king didn’t reprimand him. Uther was breathing heavily, and he bent down to press a trail of light kisses along Merlin’s spine.
Then the fingers pulled out, and the king’s cock took their place. That was too much, too painful, and Merlin struggled, but Uther gripped his hips and kept pushing. At last he stopped, buried in Merlin. For long moments he stayed like that. “Relax,” he told Merlin, and Merlin tried to do as he was told, fingers grasping pitifully at the air, neck burning from being rubbed against the wooden stocks.
When Uther started moving again, started pulling out and thrusting in, it wasn’t quite as bad. Merlin’s cock, which had grown soft again, began hardening. He couldn’t move with Uther, couldn’t do anything except take it and let the king pound into him. Uther was grunting, gasping with pleasure, and then he froze, thrust forward once more, and came with a pleased sigh.
He stayed in Merlin, petting Merlin’s back. “That was excellent,” Uther said in an approving tone. “You serviced your king well.”
Merlin was hard still, cock throbbing between his legs, but Uther made no move to touch him. Instead he pulled out, his come dripping out of Merlin. Uther slid his finger into Merlin’s hole again, fucking him a bit more, and Merlin moaned, gritting his teeth.
“You like that.” Uther added a second finger. “You like being held, helpless, while your king commands you, pleasures you.” The fingers of his other hand dug cruelly into Merlin’s hip. “Don’t you?”
“Yes—yes, my lord,” Merlin gasped, and Uther moved his fingers faster, laughing quietly at the sounds Merlin was making.
“I do find you quite appealing like this,” Uther mused. Stopping abruptly, he reached for Merlin’s cock again, pumping him.
“I want you to come now,” Uther said. “You have my permission.” And Merlin came, seed spilling over the king’s fingers.
Uther straightened, walked back around, and surveyed Merlin’s flushed face. Merlin dropped his eyes to the ground.
“At last, the proper show of respect,” Uther murmured. He pushed his fingers, stained with Merlin’s come, against Merlin’s lips. “Lick them clean,” he ordered, and Merlin obediently lapped at them with his tongue. “That’s good, very good.”
Uther pulled up Merlin’s trousers and retied them. “You understand your place now, don’t you?” he asked Merlin, one hand against Merlin’s back.
“Yes, sire,” Merlin managed to say in a hoarse whisper.
“And you will service me again, when I require it?”
When, not if. “Yes, sire.”
Uther didn’t bother to reply, but walked away, booted feet loud against the cobbles, leaving Merlin slumped and shaken in the stocks.