Erik took a disliking to the Lady Moira MacTaggert at once.
To her—and she said this to his face within three days of their meeting—he was a loose cannon, the frost queen's rogue general, who'd escaped justice only because he'd somehow found sanctuary here, in the heart of the dominion of the one lord she dared not openly confront.
To him, on the other hand, she was not only a liaison to the crown, but clearly a spy. ("Of course she's a spy," Lord Charles had said, when Erik pointed this out to him. "She can be our spy or she can be the queen's spy. I know which I would prefer. Try and play nice, would you?") She didn't even try to hide it, consistently being found in rooms she had no business being in and otherwise disrupting what had been a perfectly good household before she had come to stay in it. ("'Perfectly good'...you do realize you never described it in terms half so glowing before she arrived?") She'd even let that dragon of hers roost at the top of the southernmost tower. ("Haven't you been pressing me for years to get you a dragon? So our enemies will fear to cross us, et cetera?")
The children adored her, their teachers weren't much better, and even Lord Charles was utterly besotted. It was maddening. Erik had never been more impotently enraged by a person he wasn't allowed to execute, which, since he'd had a run-in with her clawed predecessor at least twice a day for the past five years, was really saying something.
The worst thing about her, though, was the way Erik and she always ended up in the same place: glaring at one another in some out-of-the-way corridor, Erik on his knees before her, his head between her thighs, she with one leg over his shoulder and her hands twisting in his hair. Afterward, he'd fuck her against the same wall, her leg around his waist this time, her nails digging into his shoulders.
Every time he walked away, still fuming, he'd tell himself it wouldn't happen again. Yet somehow, it always did.
The fifth or so time it happened, it occurred to him that this most likely counted as being unfaithful to Lord Charles. Not that they were wed, yet. Not that they were necessarily going to be, though there wasn't anyone who didn't know he slept in Charles' chambers.
After the seventh time, Erik decided to come clean. Charles would be enraged; surely, he'd order Erik to stop. Perhaps that would be the push he needed.
After the ninth time, it occurred to him that Charles might be so enraged as to be done with Erik, completely—and so it wasn't until the thirteenth time that he finally girded his loins and came out with it.
When he'd finished with his confession, Lord Charles, instead of being enraged, simply blinked. "How did I miss that?"
"You've been distracted of late. I took advantage," said Erik, bracing for it, the moment when Lord Charles would have at him.
"Well, how was it? Go on, I want all the details. Here, kiss me."
Confused, Erik kissed him. It was a much more enthusiastic kiss on Charles' end than he'd expected under the circumstances.
"Pity," Charles said, when they were done. "I hoped you might still taste like her."
As if Erik hadn't taken very great care to brush his mouth after every incident, especially considering how often he'd knelt before Lady Moira in one hour and had Charles' cock in his mouth the next. "...What?"
There came an itching sensation inside his skull: Charles catching up, as he so often did when he felt Erik wasn't being entirely clear about something that should have been obvious to an infant.
"Ah. I'm supposed to threaten to banish you? Is that for forever, or just a few years? Say, what, seven or so?"
Somewhat relieved to be back on topic, Erik said, "Please don't, my lord. I'll do anything."
"Oh, good. Trying to convince you of things is so tiresome. Here's what you're going to do for me."
Erik felt very much as if he'd missed something, somewhere.
Well, he'd never been all that obedient anyway. He'd put an end to this before it even began.
The next time he and Lady Moira were pressed up against a wall, nearly to the point of him dropping to his knees, he whispered something into her ear that he never would have if he'd known either of two things:
1. Although Lady Moira had publicly and loudly turned Lord Charles down at a variety of functions since her arrival, she'd privately decided to fuck his brains out the moment he could go a fortnight without trying to seduce her.
1.5. For that matter, it had originally been a month, and would soon have been lowered to a single week.
2. She was a bit of an exhibitionist.
"Lord Charles is in my head right now," Erik hissed, "and he wants to watch."
Instead of recoiling or shoving him away, as he'd expected, Lady Moira took a sharp breath, then grinned at him wickedly. "All right."
With his face between Lady Moira's thighs and two fingers in her cunt, Erik wondered crossly how it had come to this.
Oh, don't sulk, Lord Charles said. This is lovely.
Thanks to Charles' telepathy, Erik knew exactly where he was and what he was doing, while Erik's knees grew cold against the rough stone floor: he was lying in the bed in his chambers, pinching his nipples between his fingers as he siphoned off arousal from both of them (but more of it from Lady Moira than from himself, Erik was certain; he didn't really want to be here, and obviously never had).
Not long after that, Lady Moira came—a wave of pleasure that Charles chose, for some reason, to share with Erik. For a moment, he was looking down at his own face, with his own fingers inside his cunt as his inner muscles clenched, thinking that even if he was an idiot, at least he was a remarkably attractive one, with a rather nimble tongue; for a moment, he was Charles, too, writhing in his bed, experiencing the strange, above-the-waist way that Charles came most of the time; and he was himself, his hips jerking forward of their own accord.
Afterward, Lady Moira's legs were shaking. Erik took her arm to steady her, and smirked. She looked down at the stain in his trousers, and raised an eyebrow.
In response, Erik stormed off, thankful that that much, at least, was done with.
He continued thinking so until he came into Lord Charles' chambers the following evening to discover Lady Moira was already astride said lord. That was the first time it occurred to him that this particular arrangement might go on for quite some time.
If he'd known how many years it was going to be, he'd definitely have fed himself to the dragon.