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Dimitte nobis debita nostra

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“Why are you leaving me here with your children? You don’t even trust me.”

Athelstan stares balefully at Ragnar. His eyes are wide and there’s a stubborn set to his mouth. Ah, there is fire in this one, Ragnar thinks. It is buried deep down and doused by their dead god, but it is there.

Something to be explored.

“I don’t trust you,” he acquiesces with a grin. “But I trust that fear of the consequences that will await you if you fail will help you mind your duty.”

They are sitting by the fire, taking an early evening meal. Lagertha and the children are gone to attend an offering to Frigg, so their choosing is simple, roasted meat and greased bread.

Ragnar sloshes more mead into the monk’s cup and watches him gulp it clumsily.

Athelstan is already halfway drunk, not used to any kind of strong spirits, only the watery wine at the monastery that tastes like piss. He’s like a child, made weak by the vows of Christianity. Ragnar cannot understand Athelstan’s faith in a god that demands abstinence and celibacy, rules that would weaken a man’s spirit and endanger the continuity of his family.

“Don’t waste it,” Ragnar says, tipping the cup to Athelstan’s lips like he would do to aid Bjorn when he was still a child, so the mead goes into the priest’s belly instead of dribbling down his chin and going to waste. “What did Lagertha say to you?”

“That she would tear out my lungs through my body if any harm comes to your children,” Athelstan replies sullenly. He peers into his cup like it holds the answer to all his woes, shuddering visibly at the memory of Lagertha’s threat.

Ragnar chuckles. Stronger men have had their balls shrivel in fear at the mere thought of evoking her wrath. If he were to be honest, the feeling is not completely unknown to himself.

“See? You would not want that, so you will do everything to protect my children and my land. I did not lie when I said you are a responsible person.”

“Your wife, Lagertha– she does not like me. Why?” Athelstan enquires, holding his cup out for more mead. Poor thing, already giving in and breaking the first of his vows after two cups. It is not the only vow Ragnar intends for him to break tonight.

“You refused to lie with us,” Ragnar replies darkly. He takes a bite of the meat on his plate and chews forcefully. “Many men would kill for the privilege to bed her, and yet you refused her. Women do not take kindly to rejection.”

“And warriors? Are you angry with me as well? Is being left behind here my punishment?” Athelstan’s fists clench next to his plate with barely touched food, something like defiance twisting his pretty mouth.

The hunter in Ragnar responds to it eagerly. Victory will be so much sweeter if the chase proves challenging.

Ragnar lets a smile spread over his face while his eyes travel freely over the length of Athelstan’s body, not hiding his intentions. The monk may claim to know nothing about pleasures of the flesh, but his body reacts beautifully on its own. A blush stains his cheeks and he bites his lips almost coyly.

“If I remember correctly, you did not reject me. Was it not that you cannot touch a woman? What about a man?”

Ragnar stands and slowly rounds the table. He enjoys the way Athelstan’s eyes widen as he approaches, almost comically so when Ragnar crouches down in front of him.

“So tell me, priest, does your god allow you to touch a man? Did you not say that he is kind and just? Surely he cannot be so cruel to deny you that if you are to abstain from women.” Ragnar lightly drags a finger over the coarse cloth of Athelstan’s cowl where he thinks his cock must be. He finds him not hard, but not entirely soft either.

“Stop it, please,” Athelstan pleads, batting at Ragnar’s questing fingers only to have his hand caught easily in Ragnar’s much larger hand.

“So, what about touching a man,” Ragnar insists. He tightens his hand in warning when Athelstan tries to pry it loose with his free hand and is met with instant obedience. Athelstan’s struggles are weak and clumsy to begin with, wits muddled by too much mead. Ragnar likes him like this. His eyes are bright with something Ragnar cannot read, but it is not fear. Curiosity maybe, he hopes. Ragnar may not be a kind man, but he has no taste to fuck the unwilling.

“There is no rule against it because none would even think of such a thing. Sodomy… ” Athelstan whispers. His voice is shaking. “But it would still be a sin. My vow of celibacy means I cannot touch anybody for carnal pleasure.”

“Not even yourself?” Ragnar strokes a little harder, pleased to find his hidden prize harden at the touch. “You’re still a man, aren’t you. What does a monk do when he finds himself hard and wanting?”

“We wait until it goes away,” Athelstan replies slowly, like he has to try hard to remember, his tongue heavy with mead. His body seems to have forgotten already, though, slowly arching into Ragnar’s touch with a surprisingly sensuous roll of his hips. Color blooms high on his cheeks, highlighted by the flicker of the fire, and like this he is truly beautiful.

“What a terrible waste that is,” Ragnar murmurs. He imagines lonely nights in the the dark and austere rooms he’s seen in the monastery, and again he does not understand a god who would ask for such a thing.

Athelstan’s skin is soft under his palm when he slides his hand under the heavy cowl, not so different from Lagertha’s except for the bristle of hair. Only the rustle of cloth and the priest’s heavy breathing can be heard in the small room, and when Ragnar looks up he finds lust and weariness warring on Athelstan’s face.

“See, nothing happens. Your god must be looking the other way,” Ragnar teases, smiling at the stricken look that crosses Athelstan face when he closes his hand around his cock. Such innocence. It will be a pleasure to spoil it.

Ragnar strokes slowly, gathering the wetness he finds at the tip and spreading it over the smooth shaft to aid his motion. Athelstan’s cock is long and slender in his hand, much like the man himself. Ragnar wants to look at it, to see the delicate skin move under his fingers, but he is also unwilling to spoil Athelstan’s inebrious lassitude by baring him.

It will have to wait, but it will be worth it. Athelstan’s cock will look even more beautiful sheathed between the softness of Lagertha’s lips.

For now Ragnar contents himself with watching the lewd and unmistakable movement of his hand under the cowl and the shadows of Athelstan’s lashes against his cheeks as his eyes flutter closed, helpless against the demands of his body.

“Is this not better than waiting,” Ragnar asks, his voice strained with his own neglected arousal. His patience is wearing thin and he cannot ignore his own need any longer. He deftly unlaces his breeches with his free hand and bares his cock, hissing at the pleasure of his own touch.

“Look, priest,” he demands. “Look at what you do to me. How can such pleasure be a sin?”

Athelstan keens and shakes his head fiercely, sending his curls flying except for the sweaty strands that cling to his flushed skin. His breath comes harsh fast and he screws his eyes shut in refusal, a vivid picture of reluctant prurience. Maybe he hopes if he will not admit to his own wantonness his god will not notice his sin.

But he does nothing to stop the hand on his cock, not even when Ragnar strokes lower into the sweaty crease between his cheeks. A small moan escapes him when Ragnar strokes over the furl of his entrance. The unconscious wantonness of it finally snaps the thin tether of Ragnar’s patience.

Ragnar stands with the fluid grace of a warrior and hauls Athelstan from his seat, bending him over the table with a heavy hand on his back before Athelstan can regain his wits enough to react.

A shiver of hot want slams into his belly at the sight of what lies hidden under the cowl and the white linen beneath it. He pushes the cloth up to Athelstan’s back and palms his arse, spreading the soft white cheeks to reveal the pinkness of his entrance.

Athelstan gasps and tries to pull away, but with Ragnar’s heavy touch on him he only succeeds in presenting his entrance even more enticingly. Ragnar growls at lewdness of it. His cock demands he slam inside, but somewhere in the red haze of arousal and mead that clouds his mind so heavily that it must be Loki’s doing he finds enough wit to remember that it will not do to inflict that kind of damage. Lagertha will not have it.

He scoops up some grease from their forgotten meal and slips two fingers inside, pressing steadily against the resistance until he sinks in slowly to the knuckles.

Athelstan goes still beneath him, his palms and cheek pressed flat against the table. “What are you doing?” he whispers, pressing the words into the beaten wood like one of his Latin prayers.

Ragnar laughs harshly. “What am I doing? It is called fucking, my little priest. Surely you have heard of it, since you asked so nicely for it.”

He keeps his eyes locked on where he fucks Athelstan steadily, the way the rim of Athelstan’s entrance clings to his fingers until his muscles finally give way and he slides in more easily.

“I did not ask for this,” Athelstan hisses, his mind still struggling against the intrusion his body has already decided to accept.

“Your body did,” Ragnar tells him, unable to keep the amusement from his voice. “You, my little priest, are a wanton thing. Do not think I didn’t notice the way you looked at us. You said it would be a sin to join us, but you did not say that you did not want to.” Ragnar presses deeper, ruthlessly ignoring the pained groan it draws from Athelstan. He will be grateful for the stretch in a moment.

“It changes nothing, I am still a priest,” Athelstan croaks, burying his face in the crook of his arm as if hiding his face would lessen his shame.

“So you do not deny it any longer. You want this.”

Ragnar smirks at the way Athelstan’s hips seem to follow when he withdraws his fingers. Vows or not, Ragnar is not the only one who wants this. “At least telling lies will not be one of your sins.” He spreads more grease over his cock, and then he presses in.

“I still serve–”

“Me,” Ragnar growls, working the head of his cock past the tight muscle. He almost spills himself, having forgotten the exquisite pleasure of taking a virgin. “I’m the only one you serve now.”

It seems to be the absolution Athelstan needs.

His body goes pliant under Ragnar, accepting Ragnar’s cock with a sigh that is more pleasure than pain. Ragnar rides him hard, stroking deep until his world is filled with only the sounds of skin against skin and Athelstan’s low moans.

Athelstan starts to work his hips against Ragnar in a clumsy rhythm, almost timidly so. He asks for something he doesn’t know, and when Ragnar reaches for him he finds him only half hard. It takes only a few rough twists of his wrist to stroke him back to hardness, more proof that his touch is welcome.

God, please, there,” Athelstan cries out at a particularly hard thrust, arse clenching around Ragnar’s cock so tight it almost hurts. Ragnar does it again, eager to draw more of those shameless sounds from Athelstan. It takes Ragnar a moment to understand him over the rush of blood in his ears.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis

Ragnar growls and presses deeper, swiping a rough thumb over the head of Athelstan’s cock. He does not care to what kind of wretched god the monk prays, but here in his house, with his cock up his arse, Ragnar’s name will be the only prayer he knows.

Athelstan spills over Ragnar’s hand with a sob of dimitte nobis– oh, oh, more, please– debita nostra spilling from his lips. But when Ragnar strokes into him roughly and spends himself deep inside with a roar, it is Ragnar’s name that Athelstan cries out.

Ragnar withdraws and rights himself with a grunt. The sight of his own wetness leaking from Athelstan stirs another tightening in his gut, but for now he is sated.

“Don’t bathe,” he murmurs, stroking the sweaty curls back from Athelstan’s face and pressing a small kiss to the corner of his mouth, pleased when Athelstan doesn’t turn away from him.

Athelstan blinks owlishly at him from where he is still sprawled across the table, and Ragnar cannot help but smile.

“Lagertha will be back soon. Maybe you will join us this time.”