Merlin was sore. His head was sore. His eyes were sore. His back was sore. His throat was sore. His ass was sore. He mentally checked and rechecked the list of aches and pains until forced to one single, overwhelming, terrifying, unbelievable, horrifying, embarrassing, pretty great conclusion. The bed was softer than either the cot in the antechamber or his room at Gaius’s, and when he cracked his eye open, he saw Arthur and Lancelot sharing breakfast at the table, eating in silence, both of them only half-dressed. He quickly shut it again, hoping that Arthur hadn’t noticed.
Of course, Arthur had noticed because he had eyes like a bloody hawk. Ideally, Merlin would have roused himself before either of the other man and snuck out of the room, so when they saw him again he could be freshly scrubbed and bright eyed. It would be easier to pretend the night never happened. Not that he regretted what he could remember of it—those parts were pretty good actually—but he wasn’t sure how he could possibly face Arthur. Because after his performance, there were really only two conclusions to draw; Arthur would realize the depth of Merlin’s infatuation, or he would think that Merlin had loose, crude morals. Either way, he would never hear the end of it.
Merlin kept his eyes closed. Maybe they would be gracious enough to leave him in his humiliation. Arthur was going to have a whole litany of chores for him, Merlin was sure of it. Because Arthur didn’t have a kind bone in his beautiful body and probably didn’t even care that Merlin wanted nothing more than a hot bath and an hour to himself.
“Merlin, I know you’re awake.” The prince said, and he was already exasperated. Merlin tacked another five tasks to his chore list and vowed that Arthur would pay for this. He wasn’t sure how yet, but he would have plenty of time to think about it while he was mucking out the horses and mending clothes and sweeping floors.
He forced his eyes open again and found he couldn’t meet Arthur’s. Even though Arthur was across the room and really, Merlin had nothing to be ashamed of. He had been really drunk and they started kissing each other first. In fact, Merlin was pretty sure that he’d been content to sit on the floor until Arthur got lazy and demanded his help. What did he do when a servant wasn’t around to be a second pair of hands? Arthur had just merrily used Merlin like he didn’t care what it might do to him. He probably thought it was an honor. Which was utterly infuriating, even if it was a little bit right, and why did Arthur have to be such a prat, anyway?
“How are you feeling this morning?” Arthur asked pleasantly, almost as if he cared about the answer.
“Great, sire. Never better.”
Merlin paused. It might have been a trick question. It usually was. “Yes. Very well, sire.”
“So that means you’re well rested?”
Merlin nodded, hoping there weren’t any wrong answers in this unexpected quiz.
“Good. We have an hour before we’re expected on the field.” Arthur paused, giving him a meaningful look that Merlin couldn’t begin to decipher.
“And you want me to…” Merlin quickly cast around for a guess. They had already called up their breakfast, and they were only partially dressed, but it wouldn’t take a full hour to dress them, even if Merlin had to help both of them. He liked helping Lancelot dress. The other man was so sensitive, as though nobody had ever touched him at all. Maybe nobody ever had. That was a terribly depressing thought, and Merlin immediately felt a wave of sympathy for Lancelot. “Draw a bath?”
Arthur’s face twisted into his regular Merlin-you-are-such-an-idiot face. “Merlin, you are such an idiot. Honestly. Draw a bath? If that’s what I wanted you for, I wouldn’t have let you sleep in an extra hour.”
Merlin smiled at that and stretched. “I could sleep for another six in this bed.”
“That’s not the point.”
“What is the point?”
“You made a promise to Lancelot. And no servant of mine is going to go back on his word.”
“Promise?” This was sounding vaguely familiar, though Merlin couldn’t be sure just what Arthur meant. He was known to make a lot of promises--a lot--when he was half naked and completely erect.
“You said you would make it up to Lancelot once you forced me to shift my attention to you.”
“Forced? Now look, I may not remember much of last night, but I’m quite certain that nobody forced anybody to do anything. I was merely trying to help.”
“By refusing a direct order and then practically begging me to tup you?”
Merlin blinked. “That’s not what happened.”
Arthur waved his hand dismissively. “Close enough. Besides, didn’t you just say you can’t remember much of last night?”
“I would remember that,” Merlin retorted. “You offered.” And said offer would always be burned into his brain, so Merlin was confident of that, at least.
“Even so, you did make him a promise. And sucking him off once is not fair compensation for what he missed out on.”
Merlin looked over to Lancelot, whose dark eyes were dancing, and his normally somber face was relaxed into an amused grin. There were bite marks on his neck, some fresher than others, and Merlin was suddenly certain of just what Lancelot and Arthur were up to for the past hour. Maybe right on the table where they were currently eating their breakfast. It was on the tip of his tongue to demand to know why they didn’t wake him sooner, but he bit it back. Making demands of Arthur was rarely a good idea, and anyway, he wasn’t about to complain about an extra hour of sleep.
“What would you have me do?”
Arthur shrugged, perfectly cultivating an air of indifference. “Don’t ask me. I’m not the one you made a promise to.”
This was true. Merlin glanced at the door, considered the possibility of escaping the situation with some pride, and concluded he was very much stuck. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to make good on his promise to Lancelot. It had been very sincerely offered, and Merlin had already spent a healthy number of hours thinking about everything he could do to and with Lancelot. But as soon as Lancelot crawled into bed with him, it would be clear that Merlin really had loose, crude morals. And if Arthur crawled into bed after him, it would be obvious even to somebody as dense as Arthur that Merlin was utterly infatuated with him.
“What would you have me do, Sir Lancelot?”
Lancelot actually flushed at the way his name rolled off Merlin’s tongue. Merlin stifled his smirk and waited with wide, eager eyes. They were the sort of eyes he made at Arthur when he really wanted to wheedle at the prince, but for Lancelot, they were completely sincere. He resisted the impulse to check and see if Arthur noticed.
“I’m sorry, sire, but I think you’ve given Merlin the wrong impression,” Lancelot finally said.
“I don’t want him to believe there was anything wrong with last night. Last night was very…very satisfactory.”
“So what you’re saying is that he’s actually good at something?”
“Hey! I’m good at a good many things. I didn’t hear you complaining last night.”
Arthur pursed his lips and shot Merlin a Who asked you? look. “Lancelot?”
“Oh, yes, sire.”
“Would you recommend him?” Arthur asked conversationally, as though he was asking about a dish at dinner. That’s quite an interesting meat pie you’ve got there. Would you recommend it?
Merlin opened his mouth to protest again, but Lancelot looked over his shoulder to meet Merlin’s eyes. His brown eyes were warm and his smile was very genuine, and Merlin forgot he was supposed to be indignant. “Yes, I would, sire. Very much so.”
“Let’s find out.”
Arthur stood, and Lancelot waited until he walked by before rising as well. Arthur pulled his shift overhead and discarded it, Lancelot followed suit. Merlin, faced with his certain doom, was both rock-hard and terrified. He was certain if he said no and ran for the door, they would let him go. Arthur wouldn’t chase him through the castle and pounce on him like a scared rabbit. Or maybe he would. Maybe all of his predatory instincts would be awakened by the sight of fleeing prey. Also, Merlin would pretty much want to get caught, thus defeating the purpose of the whole exercise.
Merlin relaxed against his pillow, licking his lips nervously, his attention never leaving Arthur. Who stopped and smirked down at Merlin. “Quit with the scared maiden routine, will you? It’s not as though we’re going to ravish you.”
“It’s not a routine. And that’s exactly what you’re going to do. I can see it on your face.”
“Well, okay, but you’re not a maiden. You might be a big girl, but you’re not a maiden. At least, not after last night,” Arthur added smugly.
Merlin took him by the wrist, yanked him down, and kissed him hard to keep from laughing at him. Arthur did not like to be openly laughed at, and Merlin did not like sleeping in the dungeon, so compromises had to be made. He shoved his tongue into Arthur’s mouth, kissing him like he had wanted to do every single morning for the past month. Arthur resisted at first, no doubt annoyed that Merlin had acted without explicit instruction from him, but then his pride finally took a back seat to his libido, and he relaxed into the kiss, allow Merlin to control it for a full ten seconds before taking over.
Lancelot crawled onto the other side of the bed, and his touch was light, his fingers inquisitive. Merlin tensed, surprised and a little unsure. He had felt much more comfortable the night before when they were ignoring him and letting him do what he wanted without comment. He didn’t really want to be on the receiving end of their full attention, especially since Arthur’s full attention could be a scary and dangerous thing, and Lancelot could be very single-minded. But Merlin’s misgivings pretty much evaporated when Arthur rested his hand against Merlin’s throat and Lancelot fisted his shaft.
The night before Merlin had the free-flowing wine to blame for his behavior, but that morning all he had was the combined pressure of Arthur’s palm and Lancelot’s long fingers. Arthur moaned into his mouth and he turned to jelly. At that moment, Merlin knew he would do anything Arthur asked of him, anything he commanded. And he’d do it with a smile for the promise of hearing that moan again.
The tips of Lancelot’s blunt fingers brushed over his well-fucked hole and Merlin had to break away from Arthur’s mouth to catch his breath.
“Still sore?” Lancelot asked.
“A bit,” Merlin admitted without thinking. Arthur huffed with satisfaction. Merlin swiped his thumb over the head of Arthur’s cock, distracting him with firm pressure sliding over sensitive flesh. Arthur bucked his hips and Merlin forgot he was annoyed with him.
He felt Lancelot’s hands under each thigh, then he was pushing his legs up and out, leaving him completely open and vulnerable to Lancelot. He broke from Arthur’s mouth long enough to catch a glimpse of the dark head bowed between his thighs. The sight transfixed Merlin, who was positive that Lancelot couldn’t intend to do that thing he clearly was about to do. Merlin tensed in anticipation of it seconds before Lancelot dragged his tongue over Merlin’s hole.
“Oh…oh…oh…” Merlin had more to say about that, but Arthur cut him off with another deep kiss. He vaguely recalled the long minutes Arthur had spent kissing Lancelot the night before, and something smoldered inside of Merlin when he realized that not only was his prince good at kissing, he was also a big fan of it. Merlin was a big fan of it, too. So that was one thing they had in common.
Lancelot licked him eagerly, his tongue smooth and wet and too hot. Merlin jerked his hips, grinding against Lancelot’s mouth until he finally, finally, pushed his tongue into Merlin’s ass, gently working past the tender muscle. Merlin moaned into Arthur’s kiss, pushing himself off the bed to more readily meet Lancelot’s mouth. If this was all, if this was it for the morning, Merlin would be happy. It was already more than he could have ever expected, and he knew before Arthur slid his palm over the crown of his cock that he was dripping pre-come. The heat was extraordinary, winding its way up Merlin’s spine until he thought his brain would melt out of his ears.
And then Lancelot began to move. Merlin gripped Arthur’s arm to keep him grounded, certain that he would spin out of control, literally float right off the bed, as Lancelot slowly, so slowly, fucked him. He held Merlin’s cheeks apart and thrust his tongue in slow, unhurried strokes. This is it. I’m going to die Merlin thought with each tantalizing thrust, but he didn’t die. Arthur kept breathing air into his lungs, kept demanding Merlin’s attention when he just wanted to thrash around on the mattress and beg for more.
“Do you like that?” Arthur asked, somehow speaking and licking at Merlin’s mouth at the same time, his voice low and raspy. Merlin’s stomach tied itself into hard knots and all he could do was moan. “Tell him so.”
Couldn’t Arthur turn off the bossiness? Or did he need to be in control of every little thing, at every moment?
Fuck. “Love it…love it Lancelot…please…please don’t stop…”
Arthur slid his hand down Merlin’s cock to wrap his fingers around the base. He was throbbing like he hadn’t had sex in months, like he’d never been touched before in his life. Lancelot’s tongue was relentless and perfect, pushing deeper, teasing him with the promise of so much more. Once Merlin started talking, he found he couldn’t stop. Not until Arthur claimed his mouth again, cutting off the pleas. Somehow, and Merlin couldn’t even begin to imagine how, Arthur’s tongue moved with the same deliberate speed, and he fucked Merlin’s mouth in time with Lancelot.
Just the night before, he’d both their cocks buried inside of him, using him, wringing him out until he was nothing but a bag of bones and weak flesh. But this was so much more and so much different and so new. Neither one of them took anything from Merlin, they demanded nothing. They teased his body, explored his heat, marked him and made him all twisted up and breathless. He didn’t want to finish too quickly. He never, ever wanted this to end. He wanted Arthur to announce that this was his new job, that he had no task in Camelot except to writhe beneath the kingdom’s two best knights, pleasing them and being pleased by them until the day he died.
And if they kept this up for long, that day would come very, very quickly. His heart couldn’t take it. It would explode out of his chest. Or he would suffocate because Arthur wasn’t letting him breathe. He was too concerned with sliding his tongue against Merlin’s and sweeping through the corners of his mouth. And if ever did lift his head, Merlin couldn’t take advantage of that brief opportunity because his lungs simply stopped working. It was like the part of his brain that regulated his breathing had already melted and Merlin was helpless and lost and growing more light-headed by the moment.
Arthur must have noticed Merlin’s predicament, because when finally—finally—broke the kiss, he whispered another command. “Breathe.”
Merlin shuddered as he sucked air into his lungs, and it burned past his sore throat. Arthur fisted his cock, stroking him almost absently, like he had all the time in the world. Merlin jerked forward, slamming into Lancelot’s face, and the knight replied with a low, encouraging moan. The moan traveled off the tip of his tongue and vibrated through Merlin’s flesh, shaking him, pushing him closer to the edge. Arthur’s other hand left his throat and slid down his chest to his abdomen. His palm was large and rough, and when he gently pushed, Merlin had no choice but to relax against the bed.
Until Lancelot buried his tongue inside him again. Then his body forgot that it existed only to serve Arthur, and he arched off the bed with a sharp cry. “Please…please…oh fuck…please…”
“What is it, Merlin?” Arthur sounded amused. Like Merlin’s suffering was funny. This wasn’t funny. This was the least funny thing Merlin had ever experienced in his life. “Please what?”
Merlin whimpered, unable to form the proper words. The whimper sounded pathetic, even to Merlin’s ears, and he felt Arthur smile against his mouth before he licked a path down the side of Merlin’s neck. Where was he going? What was he doing? Merlin couldn’t even begin to guess. Everything was so far beyond Merlin’s experience that his brain simply failed to anticipate would could possibly come next. Merlin had experienced some pretty amazing moments in his life—especially the night before—but this wasn’t even the same league. When Arthur’s teeth scraped across his sweat-slick skin, the pain spiked through him, sharpening the slow wave of pleasures traveling up his spine and lighting every nerve-ending on fire.
“What?” Arthur prompted and then bit Merlin’s shoulder. His hand was still pumping Merlin’s cock at a leisurely pace. The friction was delicious and horrible all at once. He needed more if he was going to come, but he didn’t want to come just yet, and he needed to right that second, and Arthur the prat would never let him and Merlin loved him all the more for it.
“Fuck me,” Merlin finally sobbed. “Oh fuck me. Fuck me, please.”
Lancelot’s amazing tongue disappeared and was immediately replaced with what felt like two fingers. Merlin did thrash then, and damned near hit Arthur in the face with his flailing arms. Arthur easily caught his wrists and forced his hands above his head, holding him in place. Lancelot pinned Merlin’s leg down, holding it against the mattress with his own leg, and Merlin realized he was caught. Completely, totally, undeniably trapped. When he dared to lift his gaze to study Arthur’s face, he expected to see another smirk. But Arthur was watching him with heavy-lidded eyes and there wasn’t a hint of amusement on his face. His fingers flexed, squeezing Merlin’s thin wrists just enough to hurt before he relaxed again.
“I’ve long wondered just how much you can take, Merlin.”
Merlin was suddenly eager to show Arthur that it was probably far more than he expected. He rocked against Lancelot’s hand, mewing for more, and Lancelot looked to his prince.
“Give him what he wants.” Arthur looked back down to Merlin. “Though this sort of insubordinate behavior shouldn’t be rewarded.”
Merlin could only smile at him. He was beginning to suspect Arthur loved to reward insubordinate behavior.
Lancelot slid his hands under Merlin’s ass, lifting and pulling him closer. He tensed at the first brush of Lancelot’s cock against his ass and bit his tongue to keep himself from begging again. There was no need to resort to desperate pleas when Lancelot was so close to giving him what he wanted. For a moment, Merlin forgot Arthur was even in the room with them. His full attention was locked on Lancelot’s exquisite body, tracking the lines of his muscles, following the dark ribbon of hair that trailed down his stomach, watching the way his thighs flexed and his skin rippled.
Over the past months, Merlin had had plenty opportunity to study Arthur’s body. He did so as subtly as he could, stealing glances and quickly committing the tiny details to his memory for later perusal. Arthur’s body had been painstakingly carved over the years, his flesh chiseled into perfection by some of the greatest warriors Camelot had ever seen. He had been carefully made in their image, built to fight and move to perfection. There was a great deal to admire when it came to Arthur’s body and Merlin did not miss a chance to do just that.
But Lancelot was beautiful, too. He bore more scars than Arthur, a testament to his lack of good armor and formal training. His body moved with a preternatural grace that couldn’t be taught by anybody. His skin held a deep tan that faded from golden to white at the top of his thighs and over his hips. Merlin could easily imagine him swimming in icy lakes, hiking through lonely, dark forests, fighting not for his kingdom but for his right to exist. Merlin closed his eyes as Lancelot carefully pushed into his ass, afraid of what Lancelot might see reflected there. It was far better for the two of the to suspect Merlin’s crude morals rather than know the truth.
That was Merlin’s last coherent thought for a very long time. Lancelot took it slow at first, his thick cock pumping in and out of Merlin had a steady, careful pace. It hurt, despite Lancelot’s best efforts to minimize the pain, but that was fine with Merlin. The slow burn of each hard, long thrust was exquisite, and even as Lancelot overwhelmed him, it reminded Merlin of the night before and the way Arthur pounded into him. He wanted more. He wanted so much more of that. So much more than that.
“Harder,” Merlin choked out. “Please. Harder.”
Lancelot immediately responded, giving Merlin exactly what he begged for. For endless moments, there was no sound except Lancelot’s hard grunts, Merlin’s pleading whimpers, and the sharp slap of flesh hitting flesh. Lancelot snapped his hips smartly, Merlin pushing up to meet each one, and sharp bliss stung him. Twisted him. Made him yearn for more and more and more.
“My turn,” Arthur said, except it didn’t sound like Arthur at all. He always spoke with a certain cadence, a certain amount of dignity behind every word. Now he sounded like he could barely speak of all.
Lancelot, always the willing and faithful servant, didn’t protest, but Merlin did. He whimpered with frustration as Lancelot slid from his body, reaching for him to pull him back where he belonged. Lancelot easily escaped his fingers, and Arthur took him by the wrists, forcing Merlin to focus on him instead of the other knight. Their eyes clashed, and a thrill of pleasure ricocheted from his groin to his heart. He was still staring fixedly at Arthur’s face when the prince pushed into him, his way eased by the oil.
Huge explosions went off behind Merlin’s eyes as soon as Arthur thrust into place, and he was back to begging and moaning and pleading for more.
“You’re such a little slut,” Arthur said between his own gasps.
“I am. Please.” There was no sense in denying it. Not when he felt like he could let Arthur and Lancelot fuck him for the rest of the day.
Arthur was never really careful with his strength. Either he wasn’t aware of just how strong he was, or he simply didn’t care. Now he slammed into Merlin hard enough to make his teeth rattle. He clenched his teeth tightly so he didn’t bite his own tongue and pushed against each hard snap of his hips. He could never keep up with Arthur on the battlefield, but he wasn’t going to give Arthur the satisfaction of beating him here. He’d match him thrust for thrust, even if that resulted in bruises places where bruises should never be.
Arthur shifted angles, and Merlin didn’t know what he did or how he did it, but everything changed. It might have been magic. Some sort of crazy sex magic that Merlin had never heard of. Some sort of crazy Pendragon sex magic. All Merlin knew was that he lost the ability to speak. The second time Arthur’s cock slammed against that spot, he couldn’t breathe. He could only stare at Arthur open-mouthed, wide-eyed, red-cheeked as the purest pleasure-pain rolled through him like hot oil.
Something sticky and thick splashed on his stomach, and Merlin looked down his body with dazed eyes, shocked to see that it was his own come. His cock was still fully erect, but now it was shooting white ribbons of fluid all over him. Lancelot gripped him by the base and bent his head, his long hair obscuring his face as he wrapped his mouth around Merlin’s head, catching each stream that Arthur forced from him. Merlin didn’t understand it. It just didn’t stop and his body was twisting and aching for more and he was soclose but not close enough.
It couldn’t have worked better if they’d planned it. (Or maybe they had? Suddenly, Merlin couldn’t be sure this wasn’t some sort of strategy. Arthur had strategies for everything). Lance swallowed Merlin down to the root, and Arthur thrust forward, hitting that spot at the very instant Lancelot’s throat constricted around his cock. Merlin shouted something, nothing, everything, and then the pleasure overtook him. Arthur echoed him, his thick cock pumping Merlin full of his come.
Merlin realized in a very distant way that Arthur was moving away from him and he didn’t want Arthur to go. But before he could protest, Lancelot had his large hands on Merlin’s body, and he was turning him over to face the bed.
“I can’t,” Merlin gasped.
“You can,” Arthur assured him.
“Too…too sensitive. Please. I can’t.”
“You’ll be fine.”
“Oh my god…oh my god…oh my-“ Merlin lost his voice in a startled shout as Lancelot thrust into his slick, stretched heat.
Lancelot was saying something about how amazing he felt, how hot he was, and Arthur was murmuring in agreement and Merlin thought he was going to shake apart, fall apart, be torn apart. He wasn’t fine, despite what Arthur had said, and he’d never been better and Lancelot was fucking him as hard as Arthur had and Arthur’s hands were on him and it wasn’t possible to come again so quickly but he was already hard. Already so hard, and Lancelot’s blunt fingernails were scratching down his back, along his spine, and over his ribs.
Lancelot looped an arm beneath Merlin and pull him to his knees, pressing his chest against Merlin’s back. Merlin dropped his head back to rest on Lancelot’s shoulder, gasping for breath and wondering how the other man could possibly withstand this. Maybe he was magic, too. Merlin didn’t have the strength to open his eyes until he felt bare skin against his chest. He lifted his head to look directly into Arthur’s heavy blue eyes. Arthur tilted his head, like he was looking for something and Merlin wasn’t the least bit surprised when Arthur claimed his mouth. He rocked with Merlin, like he was the one setting the rhythm, and he wrapped his arms around both Merlin and Lancelot, his muscles flexing almost possessively.
Trapped in the cage of bodies, Merlin’s overtaxed system could take no more. He stiffened, another orgasm overwhelming him, blasting across his nerves. He couldn’t even shout with that one. His throat was too sore, his muscles too unresponsive. He might have made a noise, but all he really knew was that he was slumping against Arthur’s body and Lancelot was bent over his back and each breath took so much effort.
The two knights lowered Merlin to the bed, and one of them began wiping him clean. It must have been Lancelot. Merlin couldn’t imagine Arthur carefully cleaning a servant’s body, but he couldn’t open his eyes to confirm his suspicions. He could barely even move. Every bit of strength had been sapped and he realized walking would be an impossibility. He hoped Arthur wouldn’t make him get up. He would need a few hours, at least, to recover.
“I suppose you think I’m just going to let you laze around in my bed all day,” Arthur said.
Merlin nodded. “Mmm.”
“What of your duties?”
Merlin tried to shrug. What did he care of his duties? Besides, it seemed a lot like he had new, more important duties. Staying in bed, seeing to Arthur’s and Lancelot’s needs, sounded a lot better than anything else Merlin was doing with his life. Arthur could always find another manservant to be his slave. Of course, that meant being forced to watch another servant dress Arthur and polish his armor and serve his food. Merlin didn’t like the thought of that at all.
“One hour,” Arthur said firmly. “Then I’m dragging you out of bed.”
“Yes, sire.” Merlin cracked an eye open, took Arthur by the hand, dragged him down. Arthur allowed it and Merlin couldn’t suppress his smile before he kissed his prince. “You and Lancelot are taking an hour, too, right?”
“We’re not worthless, lazy servants,” Arthur said with a just a little too much affection. “We have our own duties to see to.”
“Everybody will wait for you,” Merlin pointed out, congratulating himself on making such an excellent point so coherently.
“I can’t believe you want to cuddle.”
“Lancelot does too,” Merlin muttered.
He heard Lancelot’s deep chuckle and then felt him settle down on the mattress. Merlin immediately shifted, seeking Lancelot’s warmth, spooning against his muscled body. He studied Arthur from beneath his lashes, more than a little satisfied at the combination of irritation and jealousy plainly visible on Arthur’s face. But he really had no choice and Arthur stretched out beside them. Merlin skimmed his palm down Arthur’s ribs, not stopping until his hand was at rest on Arthur’s hip. It felt strange and wonderful to be able to touch Arthur this way, and he threaded the fingers of his other hand through Lancelot’s.