"Very good, Merlin." Lord Wellington watched the images of the French Colonel handing over a piece of paper to a young messenger. "We know they are definitely planning something. Now we just need to find out what it is."
He turned towards the open front of the tent and looked out over the encampment.
"If you would be so kind as to locate Major Grant for me. I know he has just returned from a difficult mission but I dare say he would relish the prospect of retrieving that message."
"Of course, my lord." Strange drew a finger over the water in his bowl. "Ah, there he is. He appears to be in the woods, my lord, down by the river, with Colonel De Lan…. Oh!"
This exclamation caught Wellington’s attention and he turned back to the table, peering over Strange’s shoulder to try and catch a glimpse of the vision in the water.
"Something wrong, Merlin?"
"N… no," Strange stammered, quickly tapping the surface to dissipate the image, "nothing at all, my lord."
Wellington frowned as he regarded the magician’s face, which appeared somewhat more flushed than was appropriate for the exertion involved in performing such a simple spell.
"Very well. In that case, I fancy I will go over there and give him the order in person. It will do me good to get out of the camp."
Strange made an odd strangled noise. "My lord, I do not think …."
Wellington raised a questioning eyebrow.
"…that is…" Strange could feel the blood rushing to his face at the thought of trying to explain to his lordship why it was not a good idea and by the time he had managed to compose himself Wellington had already left.
He emptied out the bowl, gathered up his papers and walked back to his own tent as fast as he could without drawing undue attention, muttering to himself under his breath as he went.
Damn it, Jonathan, whatever possessed you to go invading the man’s privacy so soon after his return?
At first, it had looked like nothing more than a convivial conversation between friends, with Grant resting against a tree and laughing as De Lancey leaned towards him and whispered something in his ear.
However, when he had focused in to try and make out what they were saying, he had realised that De Lancey was in fact kissing Grant’s neck and nibbling his earlobe, and as his vision had been irresistibly drawn downwards he had barely managed to suppress a gasp at the sight of the Colonel’s long fingers wrapped around the Major’s swollen cock.
Strange realised that he was not entirely surprised. Of course he knew that physical relations between the men serving in the Peninsula were not uncommon, after all a man has needs and with few women around to satisfy those needs they took what they could, so why should his friends be any different. But as he thought about it, he realised it was more than that: The uncharacteristically gloomy moods that came over De Lancey whenever Grant was sent out on another mission, the relief in his eyes every time the Major returned safely from the field, the way in which Grant casually draped an arm around De Lancey’s shoulders when they had been drinking and received no rebuke for his action from his superior officer all spoke of a bond much deeper than a convenient wartime arrangement.
What had surprised him was the surge of longing he felt in the pit of his stomach as he watched them. He had never considered the possibility that he would take pleasure in the body of another man but the thought of Grant and De Lancey kissing and touching each other made him tremble with excitement and he wanted to see more.
He wished he still had the books he had brought with him from London - he was sure there was something in Pevensey about using the bowl for more than just visions and he desperately needed to find a way of warning them that Wellington was heading in their direction.
Well, he thought, I will just have to improvise.
Refilling the bowl from a pitcher by his bed, he cursed Grant and De Lancey for giving into their desires in a place where they might be so easily discovered and took a deep breath, preparing himself for what he might see now that several minutes had passed since the last vision.
De Lancey was on his knees, stroking and licking Grant’s cock with a reverence that verged on worship, eliciting moans of pleasure from the Major, who was leaning against the tree with his head thrown back, eyes closed and lips slightly parted, his fingers tangled in the younger man’s auburn hair.
Strange realised he had been staring into the bowl for several minutes and was dangerously close to forgetting why he was doing this in the first place, but concentrating on the magic was becoming more and more difficult as he watched De Lancey look up with hungry eyes, lick his lips and slowly take the full length Grant’s cock into his mouth – a feat which, if he was honest, Strange would not have thought possible.
He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head to clear his mind. Perhaps if he tried to project his thoughts he could at least cause a vague sense of uneasiness that would make them stop and consider what they were doing….
Grant opened his eyes and looked around as if he had heard a gunshot.
He tightened his grip on De Lancey’s hair until it hurt. "Did you feel that?"
"Ow!" De Lancey reluctantly removed his lips from Grant’s cock, pouting like a child who has had his favourite toy taken away. "What are you on about?"
"I had the strangest feeling we were being watched."
A smile played round the corners of De Lancey’s mouth as he glanced over his shoulder. "There is nobody there. Either you are still tense from the mission," he grinned as an alternative explanation occurred to him, "or your mind is playing tricks on you because you like the idea of someone watching." Pushing himself to his feet, he leant in to close the gap between them, thrusting his hips forward to let Grant know exactly how he felt about that particular idea.
Grant put a hand on his arse and pulled him even closer as he started unbuttoning the collar of his coat. "Perhaps you are right." he brushed his thumb over De Lancey’s swollen lips and leant in to kiss him hard. "But just because you can’t see anyone does not mean there is nobody there."
Strange staggered back from the bowl, his heart racing and his breath coming in shallow gasps. He had been connected to Grant for no more than a few seconds but he could have sworn he had felt De Lancey’s mouth around his own cock, his tongue rolling sensuously around the shaft as he slowly enveloped the length with those full, moist lips.
Gripping the edge of the bed to keep his hands from doing what they really wanted to, he reached out with his mind again until he could feel Grant’s heartbeat almost as strongly as his own. The magic seemed to feed on the connection, extending its reach so that he could sense the pleasure De Lancey was getting from his lover’s touch and the rush of excitement he felt as Grant pushed his coat off his shoulders, lifted the shirt over his head and pulled him to the ground.
The waves of passion coming from the two men were so intense that Strange almost lost control and was on the verge of giving in to the need that was coursing through his veins when he suddenly sensed another presence. He looked into the bowl and his blood ran cold at the sight of Wellington approaching the clearing through the trees.
Strange held his breath, fearing the worst as Wellington caught sight of Grant and De Lancey, but rather than announcing himself and confronting them, the General came to a halt behind a large bush, gazing through the foliage at the scene in front of him as if he was hypnotized. Strange saw him move his lips and though he could not hear the words he knew exactly what they were: "Oh! My beautiful boys!"
He felt Wellington’s heartbeat quickening as the connection expanded to include all four of them and could no longer resist, giving himself over to the moment as he freed his throbbing cock from his breeches and took it in his hand.
He did not need to look in the bowl to know that Wellington was doing the same or that Grant and De Lancey were now lying side by side on the ground, bodies entwined, thrusting hard against each other with an unrelenting urgency that came from being apart for too long.
A low gasp escaped Grant’s lips and Strange could tell he was close to finishing. He could sense the buildup as if it were his own and felt the very moment the dam broke and Grant’s whole body tensed as he spent long and hard, burying his face in De Lancey’s shoulder to stifle the animalistic cry that rose from the depths of his soul.
Strange’s perspective shifted and now he was with De Lancey, arching his back and moaning in ecstasy as Grant’s climax echoed back along the connection and resonated with every fibre of his being, pushing him over the edge into a state of sheer euphoria as waves of heat surged through his body and his pulsing cock spilled its load over Grant’s trembling thighs.
Another shift, and he was experiencing Wellington’s release a moment later, more controlled but no less powerful as he revelled in the sight and sound of his officers losing themselves in their need for each other.
No longer able to tell where the others ended and he began, Strange did not even have time to draw breath before he was completely overcome, losing all sense of place and time as his body and mind reached a state of bliss beyond anything he had experienced before and only returning to himself when he knocked the bowl over and the connection was broken.
Grant and De Lancey lay on the sun-bleached grass, breathing heavily and staring at each other with wonder.
"God, Grant." De Lancey shuddered with pleasure as an intense aftershock ran through his body. "What the…?"
Grant grinned and raised an eyebrow. "Do you still think we were not being watched?"
"What..?" De Lancey’s eyes widened as he realised what Grant was saying. "You mean … Merlin … but why would he…?"
Grant pulled him close for a long, deep kiss. "I have no idea, but if that wasn’t magic I don’t know what is."
It was a couple of hours before Strange was able to stand without feeling like his legs were going to give way beneath him and even longer before he felt he had regained enough control to leave his tent and face other people.
He saw Grant and De Lancey sitting round a fire with the other officers and felt the heat rise in his cheeks as he turned to walk the other way but it was too late to escape.
"Merlin!" De Lancey beckoned him over. "We are celebrating another successful mission. Will you not join us?"
Strange looked down at Grant, who was leaning back against the barrel De Lancey was sitting on with a broad grin on his face, and swallowed hard.
"Did Lord Wellington not find you?" He tried desperately to banish the images that were flooding into his head. "I thought he intended to send Major Grant out again this very evening."
Grant gave him a knowing look. "Really? I saw him not half an hour ago and he made no mention of it, although he did seem somewhat distracted. Perhaps you are mistaken."
Strange nodded and took a gulp of wine to steady his nerves, almost choking on it when De Lancey leant forward with a hand on Grant’s shoulder, his eyes wide and innocent as he asked, "So what have you been up to today, Merlin? See anything interesting in that bowl of yours?"