It was a fine day for an okton. The sun was bright. There was a light breeze to challenge the participants as they threw their spears, but the air felt pleasant on Damen’s skin as he waited for the event to start. The wind carried a rush of the sounds from the stands and the stables over the field.
Next to Damen, Laurent’s horse was fractious, and whinnied under him. Laurent settled her. Damen adjusted his grip again on one of the red spears he had been assigned.
“You seem quite confident,” said Laurent. “Even given the last okton we rode together.”
“I am undefeated,” said Damen. Some of his pleasure in the sports and celebrations of the day was evident in the tone of his voice.
“So am I,” Laurent countered. “Care to place a wager?”
Damen had been watching as Makedon did a final inspection of the course, but he turned his head to look at Laurent. “What kind of wager do you propose?” Laurent hefted one of his own blue spears.
Nikandros, who had learned the hard way the challenges of wagering with Laurent, looked over from his starting position next to Damen. His spears were green.
Laurent held his reins elegantly with one hand while he tested the balance of the spear in his other hand. “Winner fucks loser,” Laurent suggested.
Damen smiled, and bent his head for a moment. When he lifted his head, he was still smiling. “I’ll fuck you whether we have a wager or not,” he offered. “And if you want to fuck me--”
“So you are less confident than you seemed,” Laurent said, amused and sounding arch.
Damen laughed silently. “I accept.”
“What if I win?” said Nikandros, interrupting them in Akielon. He was often annoyed when Damen and Laurent spoke Veretian together and not all of the Akielons could understand what they were saying.
Damen glanced his direction. “You can try.”
Laurent smirked. And then the horn sounded, and Laurent was off.
After the okton, Damen laughed again when he saw Laurent. “It was a fine throw,” Damen said. “Just poor luck that Aktis’s spear hit yours like that.”
Laurent, who was not actually known for his sportsmanship, looked like he was attempting to closely control his expression. He looked as though he had bitten into a sour citrus fruit from Isthima. “Congratulations,” he said. It was one of the least sincere things Damen had ever heard him say.
Damen grinned. “Thank you.” He leaned in closer to Laurent to give his next remark a semblance of privacy. “I will be happy to fulfill our bet and fuck you later.”
Laurent’s eyes narrowed. “Not alone, though.”
Damen made a quizzical expression. “You did not win. Your third throw--”
“You didn’t win either. It was a tie.” Nikandros and Damen had both finished with a perfect game.
“And so?” said Damen.
“So, the winners fuck the loser.” Laurent emphasized the plural.
“Do you mean--” Laurent couldn’t mean that.
Laurent raised an eyebrow. “Do I?” A squire came up to take pieces of Damen’s armor, and when he glanced back Laurent had escaped across the field.
Laurent retired from the celebrations early; Damen and Nikandros stayed to be toasted repeatedly as the winners. There was a performance of poetry, and Nikandros ducked from the hall into a side corridor between stanzas. Damen envied him. It was impossible to make a subtle escape as the king.
After the performance, he congratulated the poet and the performer, and was finally able to retire himself.
When he entered the king’s chambers, he came upon Nikandros. Nikandros was still dressed as he had been in the hall, wearing a fine linen peplos in the style of Delpha, pinned with a golden fibula Damen had gifted to him several years prior. As was typical with the Delphan style, his thigh peaked through the slit on the side when he walked. When he turned upon Damen’s entrance, the fabric swirled slightly, exposing his legs and then falling again. He had freshly trimmed his hair and his beard for the celebration, but he’d removed the laurel leaves he’d been awarded as the okton victor.
“Nikandros,” Damen said, making his friend’s name a question. “Why are you here?”
Nikandros frowned. “You sent for me.”
Damen creased his forehead. “No.” He removed his own laurel wreath from his head and placed them on a side table. “Did you come to collect your prize?” He said it as a joke, referring back to Laurent’s wager.
Nikandros plucked a lingering laurel leaf from Damen’s hair and let it drop to the ground. Nikandros made a dismissive gesture regarding Damen’s joke. “He certainly didn’t mean it.” Nikandros gestured toward the door. “I came because the servant said that you had sent for me.”
Damen began to shake his head.
“The servant probably said that the king had sent for you,” said Laurent, emerging from the dressing room. He had dispensed with his riding jacket and trousers and was only wearing his linen shirt. His legs were bare. He was barefoot. He was wearing more clothes than most of the athletes had all day. He was wearing more clothes than Nikandros. He still appeared scandalously disarrayed and undressed. Nikandros seemed to think the same, and lowered his eyes to the floor.
“Yes, that the king--oh,” Nikandros said. “Why did you send for me?”
Damen was having a moment of realization. Nikandros in the bedroom, Laurent’s tone--all of the pieces were assembling into a whole. His shock was probably evident on his face, but Laurent’s eyes were on Nikandros.
“I did mean it. There is,” Laurent said, in a tone of false sweetness, “a wager to be settled.”
Nikandros had learned through experience to be wary of Laurent’s wagers. Laurent had repeatedly invited Nikandros to join him and Damen together, and yet he seemed to require the construct of some sort of game to permit it, and he drew clear lines for Nikandros about what types of touching were and were not permitted. Nikandros seemed torn between wanting to keep his eyes on Laurent in the fashion one would watch an enemy in the field, and wanting to lower his eyes out of respect for Laurent’s state of undress.
Laurent pulled his shirt off and let it drop on the floor next to where he was standing. Nikandros’s eyes widened. “So--” Laurent turned. He placed a hand on Damen’s chest and pushed him backward toward the bed, walking them across the room. When Damen’s knees hit the back of the bed and he sat down, hard, Laurent turned to look at Nikandros again over his shoulder. “Are you joining us?”
Nikandros looked to Damen, a question in his eyes. Damen stretched out a hand toward his friend in welcome.
Laurent was occupying himself with Damen’s clothing while muttering something in Veretian about sports and sportsmanship. His comment was not flattering. Damen’s ceremonial chiton was pulled off, the fabric brushed aside and dropped to the floor.
Damen smiled at Nikandros, who was standing hesitantly next to the bed now.
“Nikandros is still dressed,” Damen said.
Laurent sat up on the bed to reach for Nikandros. Nikandros was not quite close enough for him to touch. He beckoned Nikandros closer with a lazy gesture of his hand. Nikandros took a step closer.
Laurent was less familiar with the peplos than he was with the Akielon styles that Damen favored, but it was nowhere as complicated as even simple Veretian clothing. It took Laurent only a few moments to determine he must deal with Nikandros’s fine leather belt and fibula before he could pull the fabric off.
After pulling at Nikandros’s garment for a moment, Laurent hesitated. “Is the slit so that you do not even have to remove this for engaging in bedplay?”
This was a traditional tease that even other Akielons often leveled at the Delphan fashion, so Damen laughed. Nikandros leveled an even look their direction.
“It reminds me of the Vaskian loincloth,” Laurent murmured, his voice warm, and Damen flushed at the remembrance of the small tent and their night together. Laurent pulled off Nikandros’s belt.
“The last time that we wagered,” Nikandros said. “I had to suck Damianos’s cock.”
“Had to,” said Laurent, echoing. “Yes, and such a hardship that was for you, Nikandros.”
“This will not be a hardship either,” said Nikandros. Both Nikandros and Laurent had a habit of talking slightly too much when they were nervous.
Laurent set Nikandros’s fibula on the bedside table and reached up to stretch a hand around Nikandros’s neck. He tugged Nikandros down, and their lips met.
Damen had watched them kiss before, but the sight still sent a thrill of arousal through his body. There was something pleasurable about having his closest friend and his lover together in front of him. He liked seeing Nikandros warm to Laurent as more of Laurent’s humor and sweetness was revealed. He liked seeing Laurent react to pleasure even when Damen was not the one bringing it to him.
Laurent crept backward on the bed on his knees, pulling Nikandros down to the sheets with him. Damen scooted to the side to make more space, and they settled with Laurent in the middle of the bed and Damen and Nikandros on either side.
Damen leaned over Laurent to kiss Nikandros also, a light and welcoming brush of lips that did not even dare any tongue. He bestowed the same type of kiss on Laurent in between them as he returned to his side of the bed.
Laurent seemed pleased. “I have two champions of the okton,” he said, as though that were no less than what he deserved.
Nikandros leaned in to kiss Laurent again. Damen edged himself close enough on the bed to hold Laurent and press his hips against Laurent and then propped himself up on one elbow to watch.
Their bodies were beautiful together. Laurent had his lips slightly parted and his eyes were half closed. Nikandros tangled one of his hands in Laurent’s hair to hold his face in position. Their lips moved slowly against each other, lazy. Damen ran one of his hands down Laurent’s side and then over his stomach, pressing gently on the warm muscle, and then, when Laurent made a noise of appreciation, scratching the trail of hair that led down the center. Nikandros was close enough that his cock brushed the back of Damen’s hand, and Damen gave it an affectionate stroke also.
Their kissing was so lovely that Damen couldn’t resist leaning in to join. He balanced himself on his hand between the two of them and leaned in again, sloppily fitting a third mouth to where theirs were already joined.
Laurent pushed him away after a moment, and then wiped off his face with the back of his hand.
“Here,” said Laurent, taking Damen’s hand, and he directed Damen’s hand to where he wished Damen’s attention, sliding it backwards behind his own hip until Damen understood his intent. Laurent leaned in to Nikandros again.
Damen circled his finger where he thought Laurent wanted it. “Are you sure?” he said, checking.
Laurent made a sound that was muffled by Nikandros’s mouth.
Damen leaned over again. “What?”
Laurent tilted his head back. “Yes,” he said, sounding slightly annoyed. “Get on with it.” Nikandros appeared on the verge of laughter, but composed his expression.
Damen slid his forefinger within Laurent’s body. He was surprised, suddenly. “Were you?” He pressed the finger in a bit deeper, testing.
“Were you fingering yourself before we came back?”
This caused Nikandros to open his eyes from their lazy kissing and to pull back slightly, intrigued. Laurent turned very slightly pink, met Damen’s eyes defiantly, and deliberately did not answer Damen’s question.
Damen added a second finger, finding Laurent already oiled and stretched, as though he had already been fucked. “You planned this,” said Damen.
“Did I?” said Laurent.
Damen pressed his mouth to Laurent’s shoulder, all of his attention focused on his fingers.
Nikandros and Laurent leaned in and their lips met again. The energy had changed. It was not the languorous attitude they had had earlier, but more aggressive now. Damen could see Nikandros nipping at Laurent’s lower lip, and if the small sound of pleasure that Laurent made was an indication, he liked that very much.
Damen scissored his fingers gently. He leaned in to Laurent’s ear. “Are you okay?” he said. “Should I add another finger?”
“Yes,” Laurent said, breathless between kisses. “You don’t have to keep asking.”
Damen added a third finger, slowly. He watched Laurent’s face for any reaction, and as Laurent seemed fine, Damen twisted them gently, pressing and searching for Laurent’s place of pleasure. Laurent was not usually even this patient with preparations, sneering at any implication that he was fragile and beginning to insult Damen if he thought he was being coddled. Damen could get away with affection and tenderness in other forms, such as lingering kisses after they had already exhausted themselves once, or taking his time with his mouth if he bent over Laurent in the bed, which Laurent was typically willing to indulge. But Laurent was not patient with extended preparation for fucking.
Damen removed all three fingers, rolled slightly, and reached for a pot of oil on the other bedside table. He dipped his fingers in it, and then returned to Laurent’s side, inserting the three once again and then adding a fourth. He paused, then. “Is that okay?”
Laurent made an irritated noise. Damen started to remove the fingers.
“It is fine,” Laurent said. “Keep going.”
Nikandros laughed, as though the interactions of Damen and Laurent were some comedy at the theater.
Laurent moved, suddenly, and Damen let his hand come out of Laurent and fall to the bed. Laurent rolled toward Damen and then climbed on top of him, placing one knee on either side of Damen’s waist and bending over Damen to claim his lips. “I will have to distract you from such tedious questions,” said Laurent, and Damen recognized something of Nikandros in how he kissed just then, something of the nipping and energy.
Nikandros moved across the bed to kneel behind where Laurent was positioned. His eyes were on Laurent’s pale back and buttocks, and his gaze was wistful. He had one of his hands caressing Laurent and the other spreading him.
“Damen,” Nikandros said, with something of the formality and hesitation that Nikandros sometimes had when he said, “Exalted,” even though he was using Damen’s little name.
It was Damen’s turn to make an incoherent noise, his voice muffled by Laurent’s mouth.
“Can I fuck him?” Nikandros asked.
Tension passed through Laurent’s body, and Damen, positioned underneath him, felt it pass over him like a wave hitting the sand on the beach, rising, cresting, washing across the sand, and then subsiding.
Damen tipped Laurent’s head up with one hand, and looked him in the eyes. “Is that okay?” he said. Laurent had not permitted Nikandros to fuck him in their past encounters.
Laurent gazed at him for a long moment. The wave of tension had returned to sea, and Laurent’s body was relaxed. Laurent didn’t answer Damen. Laurent turned his head over his own shoulder, and looked back at Nikandros. Nikandros leaned in to kiss him again, sloppily.
“Yes,” said Laurent. “Do it.”
Laurent turned back to Damen as Nikandros positioned himself, and then Damen watched as Laurent’s eyes widened slightly as Nikandros pushed the head inside.
Laurent shuddered. “Deeper,” he instructed. Nikandros moved obediently.
Laurent was moving against Damen with the echoes of the manner in which Nikandros was fucking into him, and Damen closed his eyes and appreciated the pleasure of it for a moment, close to being overcome.
Nikandros found a steady pace with a hand on Laurent’s back. Damen wondered suddenly if Laurent could feel the difference between them, if Nikandros felt different inside of him than Damen did himself, and narrowly avoided annoying Laurent and insulting Nikandros with the question.
Damen slid a hand down Laurent’s flank and felt down to the space where Nikandros was inside him. He spread his fingers and placed them around Nikandros, so that his cock slid through Damen’s fingers on its way into Laurent, and then out between them with each stroke.
Laurent had lowered his face to Damen’s shoulder.
“Are you okay?” Damen asked, kissing his ear.
“If you keep asking that--” Laurent’s threat trailed off without a specified consequence.
Damen took the bite to his shoulder as an affirmative. He signalled to Nikandros in the manner he gave commands on the field with his hands, and gave him the sign to hold. Nikandros paused deep inside Laurent, looking expectantly at Damen.
Damen moved his fingers slightly, and then gently probed one of them along the side of Nikandros’s cock at the rim of Laurent’s body.
“Tell me if you want me to stop,” he said to Laurent.
Laurent bit his shoulder again, and then gave a breath of air as Damen slid his finger inside.
He could feel the stretch of Laurent’s body to accommodate both Nikandros and one of Damen’s fingers. Another of the waves of tension crested in Laurent, and Damen waited it out, until Laurent gave another breath of air and relaxed slightly in his arms.
His other hand was tangled in Laurent’s hair, and he tightened it gently on Laurent’s head in affection.
“Is the finger okay?” said Damen.
“Are we going to play the rabbit hole?” said Nikandros suddenly, his eyes wide.
Damen moved his finger slightly, feeling out the space.
“Laurent?” he said, checking again. “Should I add another finger?”
Laurent turned his head. His eyes were closed and his mouth was open. “Yes,” he said.
Nikandros continued to hold still. Damen pushed a second finger in alongside Nikandros’s cock. He could feel his fingers pressed between his friend’s skin and the warmth of the inside of Laurent’s body, Laurent’s weight was on top of him and relaxed in his arms, and yet part of him did not really believe that any of this could actually be happening.
Damen moved his hand from Laurent’s hair and signalled Nikandros again. Move.
Nikandros resumed thrusting, more cautiously than he had been, moving carefully so as not to dislodge Damen’s fingers.
Damen placed his hand in between himself and Laurent and reached for Laurent’s cock. He did not stroke it, but cupped it loosely, letting Nikandros’s motion carry forward into strokes for Laurent against his hand and his abdomen.
Damen could feel Laurent’s tension building again, for a different reason now. His stomach fluttered as he came close to release and then pressed that further away in the manner he sometimes did.
Damen removed his hand from Laurent’s cock, flexed the fingers that he still had within Laurent, and Laurent whined a little bit.
“Can you take us both?” said Damen.
Laurent nodded against his shoulder. Damen could see Nikandros’s excitement in his face. Damen used his hand to signal Nikandros again, feeling silly. Somehow it was easier to use hand signals to cue him to retreat and then attack again after Damen led the first charge than to attempt to explain what he was thinking aloud, which would surely lead to blushing and probably to Laurent mocking him.
Nikandros nodded his understanding. Damen gently removed his fingers from inside Laurent, and then Nikandros’s cock brushed Damen’s hand as Nikandros pulled out after. Laurent shifted slightly. Damen envied Nikandros his momentary view of Laurent’s gaping hole.
Damen used his hands to spread Laurent’s cheeks. He pushed Laurent slightly down his chest for positioning, and then nodded at Nikandros. “Can you?”
Nikandros had grabbed the pot of oil, and stroked Damen with an oil-covered hand before helpfully positioning him. Damen’s cock, which had been feeling a bit neglected by the earlier action, sunk deep into Laurent.
Laurent huffed out a breath of air. “Damianos,” he said.
Damen couldn’t resist bucking his hips a few times to fuck in to Laurent briefly. He needed the motion, the connection. He forced himself to settle, and looked at Nikandros.
Nikandros had dipped his hand in the oil again, and it was Damen’s turn to hold perfectly still as Nikandros slid a finger in alongside his cock. Laurent was on the edge, he could tell, and he used his grip on Laurent’s buttocks to hold Laurent still as well.
“Are you ready?” he asked Laurent.
“If I say yes are you going to actually listen to me?” said Laurent. “Or will you ask a dozen more times.”
“Is that a yes?” said Damen.
“Yes,” said Laurent. Nikandros leaned in from his own position kneeling with one leg behind each of Laurent’s. “Yes,” Laurent continued. “Yes--” and his final syllable trailed off into a hiss as Nikandros fit the head of his cock in alongside Damen’s.
Nikandros held still. Damen held Laurent still. He could feel Laurent tightening around them, pulsing, and then he felt warmth against his stomach and he realized that Laurent had orgasmed from the feel of Nikandros entering him.
It was unusual for Laurent to orgasm first unless Damen was paying particular attention to his pleasure, and Damen was taken by surprise. He murmured wordless affection in Laurent’s ear, waiting another moment.
Nikandros looked uncertain now that Laurent had finished. “Should I pull out?”
“Keep going,” said Laurent, reaching a hand back as though he were going to hold Nikandros in place. Pleasure-drunk, he missed and groped awkwardly at Damen’s thigh.
Nikandros began to move, gently. Damen held his own hips still and kept Laurent’s hips in place, and Nikandros set the pace for both of them. Nikandros had one hand on Laurent’s shoulder and the other on Laurent’s hip, just above Damen’s. Laurent pressed his face against Damen’s shoulder. “It’s good,” he said.
Damen started to feel close to the edge, pleasure tightening in his stomach. He reached a hand to Nikandros’s forearm. “Hold,” he said, and Nikandros stilled his motion for a moment, and Damen thrust up twice, three times, before he crested over the edge and spilled inside Laurent.
“I can feel you coming,” said Nikandros, a note of wonder in his voice.
Damen groaned, and once the aftershocks had faded for a moment, he pulled out gently. Nikandros, still hard, stayed inside Laurent. Damen shifted his hands to cradle Laurent on top of him. “Are you okay?” Damen asked again, and Laurent just nodded again without even bothering to open his eyes. Damen threaded a hand through Laurent’s hair, and then Nikandros began thrusting again, less gently now that Laurent was not quite as stretched as before, and Damen rearranged his hands to help brace Laurent on top of him against his friend’s thrusts as he pursued his own completion.
Nikandros finished with a cry to the ceiling and his face twisted in pleasure. He collapsed forward slightly, and Damen let out a noise under the weight of both of them on top of him.
Nikandros removed himself from Laurent and collapsed next to the two of them on the bed. Laurent stayed on top of Damen, the mess still sticky between them. Damen did not want him to move.
After a moment, Laurent did move. He retreated away from the bed and off toward his dressing room. Damen watched him go. There was come trailing down his leg as he left. Damen’s cock pulsed again helplessly at the sight. Laurent must have taken advantage of his retreat to clean up, because there was not when he returned.
Laurent returned with a damp cloth and wiped Damen’s stomach off. He pushed Damen a bit to move over and make room for him in the bed.
Nikandros looked as though he felt a bit awkward, uncertain now that the wager had been settled.
Laurent settled to the bed and Damen saw the moment when Laurent saw Nikandros’s face. Laurent extended a hand. “Stay,” he said.
“For the night?” said Nikandros.
Laurent nodded, closing his eyes between them. Laurent gave a small happy sigh. “What if I require further service from the okton champions before morning.”