The prompt and photo I picked:
"I've seen the way you look at him. Would that the King knew what I knew about you, your life would be forfeit. Your head would be on a pike for the crows to pluck out your eyes. Tell me, is he worth it? Are you willing to damn him as well as yourself?"
Sexy knights? Yes please. I came up with the following story. Please enjoy!
by Ravon Silvius
He had dreamed of him again.
Kent woke in a sweat, panting, trying to ignore the insistent throbbing between his legs. Another damn dream.
He looked over at the other side of the tent at his sleeping comrade, who lay oblivious to Kent’s desires, his form outlined in the dawn sun that streamed through the thin walls of their tent. Kent put his head in his hands, struggling to keep himself from grasping his painfully hard member. No matter how much he wanted it, he knew he could never have Seth. The details of the dream came back to him, torturing him with their promise of pleasure.
“Damnit!” Kent threw off his blankets and turned over. Guilt and self-disgust washed over him, and he curled up into a ball underneath his covers, his erection waning. He had been newly knighted upon turning twenty, sworn to the service of the Lord. His duty was to his King and to God, no one else.
But there was Seth. Seth, the beautiful, cheerful man, with mop-like brown hair and an ever present smile.
Seth had absolutely intoxicated him, his spring-green eyes always full of laughter and allure. Kent knew it was foolish and that nothing could come of it, but he couldn’t help it. The older knight was gorgeous, strong, and had taken an interest in training with him, showing him techniques and abilities Kent had not imagined.
They had become fast friends despite Kent’s reticence, probably because Seth had noticed that Kent couldn’t keep himself away.
Of course, Kent could never let the dark-haired man know of his desire for him.
He turned over once more under the covers, anxiety gnawing at him. Every day was a challenge, and nights brought no real relief.
“Kent, are you asleep?” Seth’s groggy voice snapped Kent out of his thoughts, and he shoved away his misgivings and frustrations. Seth was his friend. Nothing more.
“I was…. What is it?” He made his voice gruff as if he just woken.
Seth yawned and rubbed his eyes. “You think we’ll find their hideout today? I’m so tired of traveling…” His eyes brightened. “There’s supposed to be a lake near here, near the village of Chiep. The village will have pretty girls, I’m sure, and we can bathe.”
Kent snorted. “Sure, I’m sure Commander Rake will be happy to stop just so you can take a bath in a lake. In fact, I’m sure the bandit leader will stop robbing the populace just so you can take a day off.”
Seth sighed, rolling his eyes to the ceiling of the tent. “Awfully serious, for someone just out of his squire’s gear.” He got up and threw on his dingy traveling clothes then stepped outside the tent, noting the dawn. “I’m going to bug the cook for breakfast. When you get over your morning grumpiness, feel free to join me.” With a wide grin, he walked off.
Kent just sighed and threw on his clothes, packing up his bag and throwing his armor into it. He seriously doubted there would be a battle today, just another dust filled trek across the countryside looking for signs of the mercenary band. Bandit band, really, but they had begun as mercenaries, which according to Commander Rake made them more dangerous.
He noticed that his clothes felt a little gamey as he pulled them on and had to admit that what Seth had said about bathing made some sense. It just made him feel worse for being so rude to him.
He emerged from the tent into the open air. Almost everyone was awake and crowded around the cooking fires waiting for the food.
Kent wandered over to where Seth was standing next to a very annoyed looking cook. “We’re getting eggs,” Seth said with a smile, looking over his shoulder. Kent smiled back, hoping Seth did not hold his rudeness from that morning against him. Lust flared as his gaze left Seth’s face and traveled up and down his body, lightning quick.
Lyle, the camp’s priest, caught Kent’s eye then. The blond man looked at him with one eyebrow raised, the cross around his neck shining in the sun. Kent wiped the smile from his features and stared ahead at nothing, heart suddenly pounding.
“Everyone, listen!” Kent looked up at Commander Rake’s voice, and the chatter around the camp stopped. “There have been no signs of the mercenaries for some time, and I think it’d be best if we took one day to rest and recuperate. There is a village nearby, and I am sending a few of the enlisted men for supplies. Tend to your horses, wash yourselves in the nearby lake—”
“Maybe we’ll stop scaring the village ladies away if we do,” one of the enlisted men joked. Seth laughed in agreement, and annoyance washed through Kent. He did not like to think about the number of whores Seth had visited through the years—always after a victory. Kent never let himself dwell on it, or witness it. He didn’t know what he’d do if he did.
Commander Rake glared. “Rest up, but stay alert, and be ready to travel hard tomorrow!” The whole camp had brightened at his words. Apparently Seth wasn’t the only one who wanted a bath and some rest.
“C’mon, Kent! The water is great!” Kent stared at a naked Seth, who floated lazily in the side of the lake. He was grinning happily as he bathed and periodically splashed one of the enlisted men in an ongoing war the two were having.
Kent was fully dressed, thankfully, for if he wasn’t Seth may have noticed how aroused he was. He couldn’t tear his gaze away from Seth’s body.
“Um, I think I’ll wash my clothes…somewhere else.” Kent swallowed, but Seth didn’t notice his discomfiture.
“Of course. Don’t go far. We’re supposed to stay alert, remember?” Undermining his words, Seth gleefully dunked the enlisted man he had just splashed, who came up spluttering. Seth laughed, but Kent didn’t stick around to reprimand him, practically running to find a place where he could be in private.
He found it quickly, a small water filled cave that no one would notice if they weren’t looking for it. It was far enough from everyone else, and Kent took off his clothes, sighing in relief when his pants were removed. He lounged in the water, hoping the cold would be enough to take the edge off his arousal.
He groaned; the lapping water was only making it worse. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and moved to the back of the cave in case anyone came looking. He brought up the details of his dream the night before, which had been agonizing him all morning.
Seth lay naked in their tent, sighing as Kent rubbed his body with his own. Their erections rubbed against each other, throbbing with pleasure that mounted with every movement. Seth’s mouth was hot against Kent’s as he kissed him, their tongues dueling, hot and slick.
Kent wrapped his hand tightly around his hard shaft, pumping it slowly at first. He bit his lip to keep from moaning.
Seth finally stopped kissing him and brought Kent’s hand to his member, thrusting up against it. Kent took the hint and moved on top of the dark-haired man, spreading Seth’s legs and fingering the other man’s entrance delicately.
Kent increased the pace, fisting himself so hard that it was almost painful. He hadn’t done this for a while, and he panted, short of breath already.
Kent entered Seth slowly at first, eventually burying himself as far as he could. Seth writhed underneath him. He began to thrust gently, and Seth moved in unison.
“Harder, Kent, please!” Kent obeyed, thrusting himself to the hilt every time into Seth’s tight opening, and the man underneath him moaned loudly as Kent wrapped his hand around his erection, pumping him in time—
Kent threw back his head and groaned, viscous liquid shooting into the water. He sagged against the cave wall as he came down from his orgasm, catching his breath. He closed his eyes, temporarily immobile.
The guilt came upon him as the pleasure left. If Seth knew what he was doing…Kent didn’t even want to think about that. He was clean, but he suddenly felt unimaginably dirty.
On somewhat shaky legs, Kent got out of the water and grabbed his clothes, walking to the other end of the cave to wash them. He frowned as he dipped his clothes into the water, wondering why he had let himself give into his urges. It was disgusting, weak, and against the knight’s code.
His clothes clean and his lust extinguished for now, he walked back to camp. He couldn’t face Seth at the moment. He was a knight; he had to act like one.
He put on his armor, the burnished copper plate glinting in the midday sun. The armor was worn from long use and didn’t look as nice as the dress armor he had worn in the joust when he first became a knight, but it was also far lighter and had saved him more than once. He forwent his helmet, heading out into the fields by the camp, sword in hand. He would give his horse a rest today, but he did not relish inactivity.
Breathing slow and deep, he moved through the exercises he had learned as a squire, his sword glinting in the sun. Practice always distracted him from unwanted thoughts. By the hundredth set of swings, sweat dripped down his neck, but he somehow felt cleaner than he had before.
Kent stopped mid-swing, regarding Seth as expressionlessly as he could. “Yes?”
“Always so serious.” Seth smiled, his brown hair, still wet from the lake, shining in the sun. He wore half of his armor, the chain mail shirt and leg braces. “C’mon, if you’re just going to get sweaty again, why not practice with me?” Seth tossed him a practice sword.
“Fair enough.” Kent squared off immediately, sheathing his metal sword and holding the wooden one at the ready.
The two men launched into a sparring match, the only sound their heavy breathing and the clacking of wood. As much as he loved Seth’s personality and physical beauty, Kent relished the time they practiced together.
Seth moved with lithe grace, like a dancer. So many knights focused on mounted combat or simple bashing with their blades, but not Seth. His sword whirled and twisted in his hands, seeking out weak points, and Kent was hard pressed to keep up.
His heart began to race, keeping his gaze focused on Seth’s body rather than the sword. He knew Seth’s movements, even out of combat—the tension in the muscled thighs that he had memorized, the sound of his quick panting breath as he swung the sword, even the miniscule shifting of his weight when he tried for a harder blow. In his dreams, he knew those movements would be transformed into a very different kind of dance.
Some of the enlisted men began to watch them, and even other knights joined the crowd of spectators. “Get him, Seth!” one called, and “His hand, his hand!”
The cries did little. The two men continued sparring, their sweat dripping onto the ground beneath them, Kent’s hand numbed with the repeated parries and strokes. If he couldn't have Seth the way he wanted…this was a fitting substitute.
“Beautiful, Kent,” Seth laughed, retreating with a quick series of steps before lunging like a duelist. Kent disdainfully parried the strike, his heart flipping at Seth’s words. “You truly are the best partner.”
“You as well,” he managed to say, stepping closer and trying to get inside Seth’s guard as the other man pulled back from the lunge. He brought his sword behind Seth’s head but aborted the swing at the last moment. Seth parried, his arm twisting around Kent’s, pulling him close. Kent’s heart pounded so loud he was sure Seth would hear it, and blood heated his face as he stared into Seth’s shining green eyes. God, the man was gorgeous.
“You lose,” Seth said with a grin, poking Kent in the stomach lightly with a practice dagger he had pulled from his belt.
Kent took a shuddering breath, gently disentangling himself from Seth’s arms. “A worthy lesson.”
Seth tossed the knife in the air and caught it with a smile. Then he froze.
A very different sound rose out over the cheers and cries of the men who watched them.
“Weapons!” Kent shouted. “To your weapons!”
A few of the men stopped and stared, uncertain. Then commander Rake’s voice boomed. “We are under attack!”
Seth and Kent exchanged glances; then both ran for their tent.
Kent was faster, already wearing his armor and sword. He grabbed his horse’s reins, the dependable animal staying still and true despite the men around him rushing to their supplies. Kent grabbed his lance, heart pounding in his throat as he mounted. Only one other knight made his saddle at the same time. They were not prepared.
The bandit troupe came into site, dust pluming from their horses. They rode in a loose formation—these were no rabble that would be routed with one charge.
Mercenaries turned bandits. The worst kind.
Kent stayed still, praying for the enlisted men to prepare. Against mounted men, their phalanx would prove invaluable, as long as they did not break.
Commander Rake’s voice boomed, ordering the men to do just that. Chaz, the only other knight who was prepared, pulled his horse’s reins sharply. The bandits grew louder, the beating of their horses’ hooves on the ground like thunder.
There were too many of them, Kent thought, and they were so organized. Not like bandits at all. He swallowed hard. He had never faced men like these.
Before he could finish the thought, Seth appeared next to him, his chestnut-colored horse whinnying as Seth reined him in. “Kent, are you prepared?”
“Of course.” He breathed hard already, his nerves thrumming. With Seth, he could do it. He wished he hadn’t practiced beforehand, but the excitement of battle would correct any exhaustion.
Other knights began to mount up, and finally the commander shouted. “Knights, charge then break! Drive them toward the phalanx! GO!”
Kent didn’t need to be told twice, his training kicking in. He drove his heels into his horse’s flanks, leveling the lance as they charged.
He could not see Seth next to him, but he sensed him, the man racing a mere foot away to his left. They had been together like this, charging side by side, since Kent had first met him. It always happened that way.
With Seth by his side, he felt invincible.
Kent spurred his horse harder, driving toward the enemy. He held his lance at point, aiming at the chest of one of the enemy horses.
Then a shrill whistle pierced the air. Kent lifted his lance, guiding his horse with his legs as he drew his sword in the other hand. He dashed to the left, driving toward the side of the charging bandits, slashing with his sword. Seth rode just behind him, finishing those whom Kent missed.
Their weapons bit through leather and horseflesh, the bandits’ charge faltering where he swung. They couldn’t turn away from their course, the knights on either side boxing them in. They were driven forward.
Forward, into the waiting spears of the enlisted men. Horses screamed as they were pierced in the chest, their charge stopped short. Some of the horses stopped running entirely, turning tight and fleeing with their riders.
“That wasn’t right,” Seth said, sword still outstretched. “They were so many of them, and not well-trained. It was stupid to attack us when they knew we had knights. Keep alert. Something’s up.”
The answer came in the blast of a horn. Seth paled, and Kent spurred his horse, wheeling it around.
A dark cloud gathered overhead. Kent threw up his shield, screaming. “Arrows!”
Without a shield, Seth rolled off his horse, diving behind Kent. The arrows thudded to the ground well short of the two men, the points driving deep into the dirt. Longbows. Deadly to knights.
“The first wave was untrained, new recruits, probably.” Seth cursed. “Mercenaries. Loyalless scum, but smart. Now the real fight starts.” He sheathed his sword, pulling out his lance. “Are you ready, my friend?”
Kent mimicked Seth, staring into his eyes a beat longer than he knew was proper. “Always.”
They fought harder than they had ever anticipated. Tactics like the one they had used against the untrained bandits would not work. The only tactic now was to charge into the enemy and prevent them from using their bows. Seth and Kent rode side by side, the knights in their camp spreading out in groups of two or three.
Kent swung around him with his lance, not letting anyone get close enough to use their swords. The one advantage they had was their superior weaponry and armor, and more than once, a blow that would have been lethal clanged off Kent’s armor, threatening little more than bruises.
Memories of fighting in jousting tournaments came back to Kent, but this was different. Men were wounded in those tournaments, yes, but none like this. Bodies littered the field, and Kent resolutely kept fighting.
A man to his left slashed at his horse’s legs, the swordsman quick on his feet, and Seth pulled a dagger from his belt and threw it at the man, the knife burying itself in his chest. Kent intercepted a pike thrust from a mounted man who tried to stab Seth, pulling the enemy from his saddle and poking the horse in the rear so that it fled, no other man able to mount it.
No thank yous needed to be exchanged. This was a battle, a dance of death and protection that they both had done before. Kent would always fight confidently with Seth by his side, the thrill of battle beating through him like a drum.
The fighting around them subsided all at once like a rainstorm breaking, men who remained beginning to flee. Kent spun his horse in circles, lance poised, but met with no challenges. “They’re gone,” he said, the thrill of battle beginning to leave him. “We’ve won.”
“No. We have to keep moving,” Seth said, his gaze sharp as some of the enlisted men began to run after the fleeing bandits. “The archers are still out there. That’s where there strength lies.”
“They’re running,” Kent countered.
“And we must chase them all the way back to their encampment,” Seth said. “Now—”
Something snapped in the distance, Kent turning too slow. He raised his shield, hefting it in front of his friend, but the bolt was too fast.
Not archers. Crossbows.
It tore into Seth’s shoulder, his eyes glazing over and arm going slack as his lance thudded to the ground. His body followed soon after, toppling from his horse, his body jarring as it hit.
Kent’s heart stopped. Nothing moved for too long, other than the slow trickle of blood from his friend. The man he loved.
Another snap, the sound of a crossbow firing. Kent threw himself down, off his horse, next to Seth’s prone form.
“Seth, wake up!” He shook the fallen man, praying to God that Seth would open his eyes. “Seth, please!” Blood soaked his hands as he put pressure on the wound. The fight was forgotten, the sounds of battle and screaming men around him muted. Nothing mattered other than saving Seth’s life. Every touch brought more blood, and what little he knew of field medicine—pressure on wounds—only seemed to bring it welling faster.
“Please, God, save him.” Even as he spoke the words, guilt flashed through him. What if this was his punishment? A punishment for loving another man—an abomination in the eyes of God.
“Please, Lord, I’ll never look at him again if you save him. I’ll never think impurely of him again. Just let him live.” He tenderly touched Seth’s face, stroked his hair, unshed tears burning at his eyes. “Please.”
“You. Get off him. He’s hurt, yes?” Kent snapped his head up to meet the steely gray eyes of Lyle, his priest robes flapping around his ankles like the wings of a crow. “Get back to the fight. The bandits are fleeing. Leave him to me.”
Kent took a shuddering breath, too weak with fear to move. “Can you save him?”
“If you give me access to the wound, perhaps!” Lyle snapped, his greasy hair falling over his face as he knelt down. “Clean shot. Unconscious due to shock, most likely.” He reached into his bag, pulling out a bottle of clear liquid, which he uncorked and poured over Seth’s wound. “If you’re not going to pursue the fleeing bastards, help me get him back to camp. The wound needs dressing.”
“Yes… yes, I will.” Kent’s stomach flipped as he touched Seth. This was not the way he had wanted to touch him, with his friend clammy and motionless under his fingers.
“Hurry up now!” Lyle growled. “To my tent.”
The battle was won, knights trickling back to camp after routing the enemy. Kent didn’t notice, pacing back and forth outside the medical tent, his thoughts chasing themselves in circles.
Going inside would be foolish. He would only get in the way, endangering Seth and possibly any other injured men who needed treatment. But he wanted—no, needed—to know that Seth was okay.
He was a knight. He had his duty to his lord and to God. But at the moment, that didn’t matter. Nothing did, except Seth’s life.
“Are you going to stay out there all day?” Lyle stepped through the tent flap, peering at him with sharp eyes. “Come in then.”
Heart soaring with sickening hope, Kent stepped through. The interior wasn’t lit, and it took him a moment to make out Seth’s form lying on a makeshift pallet near the back. No other person occupied the tent—Seth had suffered the most serious wound.
Kent hurried to his side, kneeling down in the darkness. His friend smelled of blood and of alcohol. “Seth? Seth, can you hear me?”
“I’ve drugged him,” Lyle said as he came inside. “He’ll be out for a while.”
Kent nodded, his throat tight. He leaned closer, running his hands through the other man’s hair. “But he’ll be alright?”
“He will. Many stitches and a scar, but he’ll live.”
Relief flooded through Kent like a nauseous wave, and he almost swayed. His prayers had been answered.
“You love him, don’t you?” Lyle’s voice went through Kent like a sword strike. It wasn’t a question.
Kent swallowed hard, taking hands that suddenly trembled away from his friend. His heart began to pound. He had to say something, anything, to keep Lyle from knowing.
But the words wouldn't come. Denying it… It pained him to think of it. It was a truth that was intertwined with who he was, with his idea of knighthood.
“He is my friend,” he managed to say, cursing his wavering voice.
“That’s not what I said,” Lyle stood over Seth, looming over the kneeling Kent. “I can see it in the way you look at him—this morning and now. It’s more than the love a knight shares with a comrade. You burn for him, don’t you?” The priest’s voice hissed.
Kent’s face heated, the memories of his dreams and sleepless nights, body shaking with lust, flashing through his mind. He opened his mouth to speak then shut it again.
“Does he share your lust?” Lyle pressed, kneeling down so that he faced Kent over Seth’s sleeping form. “Does he share your bed?” Kent looked away to the far wall of the tent.
“He doesn’t, does he? He doesn’t know of it.” Anger washed through Kent.
“You have no proof,” Kent snapped, turning his gaze back to the priest. “What is the point of this?”
“I heard your prayers to God as your friend here lay on the ground,” Lyle said, and the blood drained from Kent’s face. “He is saved. So you must forget your lusts, forget your feelings for him, as you promised our Lord.”
Kent nodded, his gaze traveling to the cross that dangled from Lyle’s neck. “It is for the good of your soul as well as his,” Lyle continued. “He need not fight impure desires. You would not want that for him, right?”
Kent nodded again, his stomach twisting. It felt wrong to agree.
“Go. Make new friends. Leave this one alone. He is better off without you, and you will find the strength to overcome your impurities without him. Do not damn him and yourself. The commander and our Lords—both of them—will not abide it. Death will find you swiftly if you do not suppress your sinful desires.”
Kent wanted to say goodbye to Seth, to touch him one last time. But he couldn’t look away from Lyle’s judging eyes, the threat hanging over him like a cloud.
He felt them on his back even as he left the tent.
A week later, Kent winced as the sun beat down on his shoulders. They walked through the village, the knights around him dirty but victorious. Men and women shouted their gratitude, some of the women brazenly approaching the enlisted men and other, more demure ones, throwing kerchiefs at the armored knights. A few of the knights made great shows of catching them, much to Commander Rake’s annoyance.
A week of meaningless, robotic combat, without Seth by his side. Without even seeing Seth, the man still recuperating, forbidden to fight. Kent had never once visited, secluding himself in his tent. He couldn’t fall prey to the temptation.
It had been easy to fight, and not think. But now, with the combat over, everything was beginning to return.
A woman with fire-red hair winked at Kent shyly, throwing him a lace ribbon that danced in midair. His horse flicked its ears as it tangled in his mane, and Kent picked it out carefully, suppressing a sigh.
He could suppress his thoughts. He could do his best to ignore his dreams. But he couldn’t summon up excitement for anyone but Seth, and the woman’s flirtations didn’t stir him at all.
“We’ve done it!” Chaz, one of the other knights, clapped him on the back, prompting Kent to turn and give him a small smile. “I do hope our injured comrades do well, now. Staying in a real hospital will do them a world of good.”
Hope lifted in Kent’s heart. Seth was well, but he wanted him fully recovered, able to spar once more. He would be weak after resting for so long. Kent could help train him…
No. He had to keep away. For both their sakes.
“Why the long face?” Chaz asked. “Still worried about Seth? You haven’t visited him at all.”
“I… I want him to recover, of course.” Kent twisted his horse’s reins in his hand. “I want them all too.”
“They will. The only ones we lost were enlisted men; no knights fell to those curs. For all their mercenary prowess, they weren’t much of a challenge.” Chaz smiled as a passing village girl blew him a kiss then darted away behind a building. Chaz was pretty attractive, Kent thought dully. The woman had good taste.
“Welcome!” The village’s largest merchant, a man who owned most of the inns in town, waved to Commander Rake.
“And now we’re getting our own rooms at the inn!” Chaz cheered. “I wonder if we’ll be able to get any of the local girls to share our rooms.”
Kent shook his head. Such things were against the knightly code, but who was he to judge Chaz?
Their horses were stabled, and Kent decided to stay with Chaz, sharing a room with the garrulous blond knight. Once they packed up their belongings in the small room, Chaz headed out immediately. Presumably to find a girl or two, Kent thought bitterly.
Other knights didn’t hold to the codes. Why should he?
He sat down on his bed, head in his hands. He knew why. His feelings for Seth were a far worse violation than some dalliance with a woman. Lyle’s words had crystallized the suspicions he had held for a long time now.
He made a fist, slamming it down on his knee. He had to do something, anything, to distract himself. If he sat here alone, he would only fall prey to his desires.
He kept his armor on—a knight should never go without it—and headed into the village.
Laughing women and drunken men, both enlisted men and knights, caroused around him as he walked. The afternoon had given way to dusk, and the growing dark pulled the judging light of day away. For many, it seemed chivalry had been forgotten.
Kent strode past other inns, where music spilled into the night air and laughing voices echoed. He stopped at the slate gray building, a wrought iron fence in front. Chiep hospital.
Seth was probably there. He may even be well. If he went inside and asked, he could know. He could…
“Hello there,” a husky voice said, and someone touched his shoulder. He turned to find a dark-haired young woman staring at him appreciatively. Her lips were painted red. “Are you lost?”
Kent’s face heated, and he took a few steps away from the woman. “No, M’lady, I am not.”
She regarded him silently, eyes narrowed. “A knight who keeps to the codes? How unusual.” Her mouth turned up, and she moved away. “If you change your mind…” She let her hips finish the sentence as she disappeared down the dark alley.
Kent sighed. Temptations. He had promised God he wouldn’t fall prey to them. He shouldn’t be here.
“Oh, my lady, what a pretty one you are.” His ears perked, his heart racing. Seth’s voice.
“What happened to you?” the woman’s voice answered, dripping with feigned concern. “You’re hurt.”
“I was hurt,” Seth corrected. “They tried to stuff me in the hospital, but I’m well now. I refuse to drink any more concoctions. I want to celebrate.”
The woman squealed, and Kent’s stomach turned.
This wasn’t any of his business. Seth had earned the right to enjoy himself. He had been hurt in the first battle, left alone for a week…. It shouldn't matter. This tightening in Kent’s throat—the swirling anger at the whore who was taking Seth—was foolish. Leave them alone.
His boots thudded on the marbled road, red tingeing his vision. He would not fall to temptation.
But if he wouldn’t, then neither should Seth. His jaw tight and pained, teeth grinding, he stomped toward the voices.
He found them, a twined pair; Seth’s brown bangs illuminated by a torch as he leaned down, kissing the woman’s neck. His hands cupped her waist, and anger flared in Kent’s gut.
Along with the anger came another sort of passion. Seth, defined jaw slightly open, eyes shut, the muscles in his shoulders bunched as he leaned to kiss the woman. The image seared into Kent’s mind, immediately stirring him. This was Seth in passion, and part of him was desperate to watch.
Kent’s hands tightened into fists, once, twice. “Seth!” he yelled, and Seth jumped, the pair breaking apart.
“Oh, are you lost after all?” the woman asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Seth, this is not proper behavior for a knight,” Kent snapped, trying to ignore the blush spreading across his face. “If… if the commander saw you…”
“Kent?” Seth moved away from the wall, facing his friend. “C’mon, don’t worry about it. It’s harmless.”
“She’s a whore,” Kent ducked his head from the woman’s gaze. “She could have diseases.”
The woman huffed, rolling her eyes. “I don’t. Why don’t you let your friend make these decisions for himself?”
“Yeah, Kent,” Seth said. He pushed the woman against the wall once again, letting out a small moan as he molded himself against her body. The sound and the sight sent blood rushing to Kent’s loins. “It’s not as if you cared to see me before this. I’ve been alone for a week, and I missed the battles. I need some fun.” He kissed her again, turning his back to Kent.
“Seth…” The woman tilted her head up, capturing Seth’s lips, and he responded by pressing against her further, opening his mouth.
How dare she use his name! Red fuzzed in his vision, Kent taking two strides and ripping his friend off of the whore.
“You are a knight!” Kent shouted as Seth stumbled. “You, get out of here!” he shouted at the whore, his voice echoing down the alley. The woman fled.
Seth’s eyes burned in the light from the torches. “Kent, what in the name of God are you doing?”
Kent stepped back, running a hand through his hair. What was he doing?
Seth had lost weight, his clothes hanging loosely from his frame. He still stood proudly. The swagger of a knight was evident in the way he held himself, his green eyes flashing like chips of emerald. “I’ve visited whores before; you know I have,” Seth said. “And you obviously don’t care about me, considering you didn’t visit me at all while they insisted on leeching me till I could barely stay awake, so why the concern now?” Bitterness dripped from his voice.
Kent took a step back, his arousal fading. Seth…
He should go. He should allow the bitterness to fester, and end their friendship now. It was the perfect way. He could keep his promise to God, avoid the healer’s threats, and save both his and Seth’s souls.
But something stopped him from just walking away. Maybe it was the look of betrayal on Seth’s face or the torchlight glinting alluringly on his unarmored body. Maybe it was the memory of how Seth had looked in the passionate embrace with the woman. Or maybe… maybe it was just love. He couldn’t hurt Seth, not ever.
“I’m sorry,” Kent managed. Seth tilted his head, a smirk crossing his features.
“Of course you are. Busy stealing all the glory for yourself, right? How many women have you had since it ended?”
“None,” Kent snapped. “I’m not like you.”
Seth bristled. “As long as a knight can fight, it doesn’t matter what he does off the battlefield.”
“Enlisted men can fight like knights. A knight’s honor is what makes him a knight!”
“You’re not my commander!” Seth shouted. “Curse it, Kent, I know you value honor, but don’t force your rules on me. I don't need to restrain myself for some foolish concept of honor.”
Kent ground his teeth. Force rules? He was forced to hide his feelings every day! “You have no idea what true restraint means!” Kent’s voice boomed. “You have no idea how much I’ve suffered!”
Seth stared, and Kent cursed his loose tongue. “I’m going,” Kent said finally. “Enjoy your filthy prostitutes.”
His heart squeezed in his chest as he turned away, the darkness of the alley swallowing him up. This was for the best, for both of them. He would go back to the inn, forget about Seth, and sleep.
Sleep wouldn’t come.
His body burned with lust as he lay in bed at the inn, desire and frustration mixed. He was alone in the dark, the knight who shared the room with him out carousing, and there were no distractions.
Seth’s words and his anger swirled in his mind, replaying the scene over and over. His mind fixed again and again on the image of Seth, mouth open, tilting his head to kiss the woman.
In his mind, there was no woman. Seth kissed him, and he could feel the heat of his breath, the soft bow of his lips.
No. Kent gripped the sheets with his hands, body tense, trying to ignore the swell of his erection, the sensation of his foreskin pulling back. This was wrong. He had promised not to do this.
He turned over, lying on his stomach, his erection hot and hard underneath him. Damn the man. He didn’t know how Kent suffered, what his friendship and closeness meant. He had no idea.
Seth’s gasping moan replayed in his mind’s eye, and Ken’s self-control began to fray. Maybe, if he didn’t use his hands…. He began moving his hips, grinding his erection into the bedspread, pleasure shooting through him. In his fantasies, Seth kissed him, his hard, muscular body crouched over Kent, his hand firm around Kent’s shaft. Seth’s penis would be hard, thicker and longer than Kent’s, and Kent opened his mouth, imagining what it would be like to take Seth into his mouth. Saliva dripped onto his pillow.
The bed shook with each thrust, Kent rubbing himself again and again, the wicker frame rattling. His fantasies grew disconnected, illogical—Seth nude, the sensations of his mouth on Seth’s erection, the sensations of Seth taking him into his hot, wet mouth. Or more…even more, Seth letting Kent inside him, tight heat enveloping him completely while Seth screamed his name.
Kent moaned, hips moving frantically, and gasped. Too quick, too quick. He rolled onto his side, covering himself with his hand as he erupted, shuddering his orgasm into his palm and through his fingers. He couldn’t help it, grabbing his shaft and milking the rest, extra shocks of pleasure running through him as he did. Cum dripped onto the bed and the floor, his thighs quaking.
His breathing sounded loud in the dark room, the moonlight and torchlight shining through the window illuminating the dripping liquid. Guilt choked him, the pleasure fading fast.
Less than a week, and he had broken his promise to God. Seth was safe, but Kent was too weak to suppress his desires.
It was because he had seen him. Kent rolled onto his back, his heart beginning to slow. Staying away from Seth had been the correct idea.
He would have to keep avoiding him.
A combination of his roommate’s loud snoring and the sun shining in the window woke him. Chaz lay still clothed, not having bothered to get under the covers, and Kent rolled his eyes.
He pulled on his armor. It was certain that nothing would happen today, but he had made a habit of practicing every day during peacetime, and now that the enemy was routed that tradition would continue. The door creaked as he opened it.
“Where are you going?” Chaz mumbled.
“Out,” Kent answered, stifling a sigh as Chaz winced in pain at the shaft of sunlight hitting his bed.
“Close the curtains, please?”
Kent obliged. “Late night?”
“Not late enough. Damn women here are grateful, but not grateful enough, and the whores are too expensive.”
“You’re a knight, you know,” Kent said with a sigh. “We are to keep to the codes.” Chaz just mumbled again.
The sun warmed his shoulders as he stepped outside, but the morning chill still bit the air. Kent breathed deeply, wrinkling his nose at the pungent scents of village life. He preferred the clean air of camping outdoors.
He strode to the edge of the village, near where their horses were stabled, and moved through the familiar motions. Memories of his time practicing with Seth flashed in his mind, but he pushed them away. Pivot. Slice. Pivot. Slice. Stab. He had to work, to clean himself of the filth of his actions of the night before. He had to forget Seth.
A few passersby stopped to watch, but he ignored them, sweat beginning to run down his neck as the morning wore on. Hundreds of repetitive movements, sword strikes, and he took up his spear to practice with when the sword wasn’t enough.
“Kent?” He froze, breathing hard, sweat pouring off him, the spear absurdly heavy in his hand. Momentum interrupted, he leaned against it, placing the butt against the ground. His muscles quaked.
“What has you training so hard?” Seth asked. “I would have liked to train with you to build my strength back up, but you look worn out now.”
Kent clenched his teeth. “Train with someone else then,” he said in a monotone.
Seth blinked, eyes widening. “I suppose I could.”
Kent’s stomach flipped as Seth walked away, but the sensation was driven into nothing but pain as he lifted his spear once more. Pivot. Stab. Pivot. Stab.
“Come, sir knights, enjoy the fruit of the fields you have protected!” The innkeeper spread his arms wide, ushering Kent to his seat at the table. Chaz sat next to him, his eyes red and drooping, but with a pleased smile on his face. Seth turned questioning eyes to Kent, and Kent looked away.
Commander Rake stood from his seat at the end of the table. “I commend you all once again for your efforts in liberating the village, and I do hope you have all enjoyed yourselves.” A few of the knights nodded and cheered, raising glasses or forks in small salutes.
“But your task is not over. The bandits are fleeing, disorganized, but are far from eradicated. You must hunt them down, deal them the Lord’s judgment, or if you cannot, drive them from the King’s lands.”
Chaz met Kent’s eyes, giving a slow nod.
“Smaller teams of horsed knights will have an easier time tracking the enemy through the brush. You will work in pairs. Sir Fleur and Sir Raven!”
Kent licked his lips, a sensation of dread worming in his gut. “Sir Leopold and Sir Chaz!” Chaz tossed his head toward a red-haired knight who sat across the table.
“Sir Kent and Sir Seth!” Kent’s food turned to ashes in his mouth.
Alone with Seth, for who knew how long. He stared up the ceiling, anything to keep from meeting Seth’s eyes. Why did God have to test him so?
The commander continued calling names, Kent staring miserably at his food, pushing it around his plate. “What’s wrong?” Chaz elbowed him. “I thought you quite liked Sir Seth. He is a skilled knight.”
“He was injured,” Kent said, too quickly. “He will be weaker now. A liability. He has only just recovered.”
Chaz’s eyebrows hit his hairline. “You are quick to judge.”
Kent’s gaze swept past Seth, who stared back at him with narrowed eyes. It was obvious he had heard.
Kent swallowed the apology. It was better this way.
The rest of the meal passed in silence for Kent, Chaz talking over him to his new partner. Chatter rose around him, about the bandits, about how simple their task would be, and about plans on how to find the fleeing enemy.
“Perhaps capture would be better than immediately passing judgment, especially if we found their leader. Imagine the honor we would earn!”
“It’s better to run them out. I have no desire to kill if I don’t have to.”
“They killed enough of us. Traitorous scum. The King would have their heads.”
None of the fiery talk raised Kent’s excitement. It was work, a job, that’s all. He would do his best for his King.
Chaz got up, discussing plans in low tones with Sir Leopold, and in moments, Lyle took his place. Kent’s stomach flipped, and he shoved his food away.
“Remember, Sir Kent,” Lyle hissed as Kent began to stand, the man’s voice stopping him cold. “The penalty for your sinful desires will be far worse than anything done to the traitors. Trust in God. Do not dishonor the King, yourself, or Seth.”
A flash of anger heated Kent—many knights had already dishonored themselves just last night with the village prostitutes—but fear quickly quenched it as he met Lyle’s eyes. He nodded, his steps shaky as he headed to the stables.
He would not fall prey to temptation. He would pass this test.
“Are you ready? Got all your gear? I don’t anticipate actually finding anyone, of course.” Seth peered at his helmet, the sun shining brightly off of the metal.
Kent nodded, his helmet tucked under one arm. After a week of fighting and unacceptable distractions the night before, he hadn’t had a chance to clean it. He wouldn’t wear it if he could avoid it.
Although it would be a good way to avoid meeting Seth’s gaze. “I won’t slow you down,” Seth smiled, eyes sparkling, Kent unsure if the tinge of bitterness he heard was real or not. “C’mon, let’s race to the tree line!” Seth’s horse reared without him kicking it, a curious bit of training that Seth had never passed on to anyone else. In moments, he was off, mud flying from under the horse’s hooves.
Kent spurred his horse, adrenaline beginning to buzz in his blood as he set off after him.
Excitement. Camaraderie. Friendship. That was all Seth could mean to him. And even those could be traps, were traps, if Kent couldn’t control himself. He pulled the reins, Seth darting ahead.
“What’s wrong?” Seth dropped back, eyebrows furrowed. “I thought I was the weak one.” He gave a halfhearted smirk.
“Nothing. Let’s just…take our time. Avoid tiring the horses.” Kent stared at his saddle. “And let’s go quietly. Our task is to find stragglers, not gallivant around.”
Seth shook his head but fell beside Kent. “If that’s what you want to do.”
The sun beat down on them both, Kent’s armor growing stifling. Seth wiped glittering drops of sweat from his forehead. Even as they rode under the cover of the trees, the air lay humid and dead around them.
“I would remove my armor, but after getting shot, I think I won’t,” Seth sighed. “I don’t want to experience that again.”
Kent flinched at the reminder of how he had ignored his friend’s suffering. He did not like to think of Seth in pain. “Was it… was it bad?”
“A crossbow bolt went through my chest. What do you think?” Seth jibed, and Kent looked away.
“Sorry. But yes, it was bad. When I woke…” He shuddered in the saddle. “I hate that Lyle. Priest or not…” He shuddered again.
Seth’s eyes widened at the anger in Kent’s voice, but he obliged. “I’ll admit he knows something of caring for wounds, but his attitudes…” Seth’s eyes flashed. “And he knows nothing of helping those injured recuperate. He asked me to pray for my soul and for my health, and yet he gives me nothing to help except leeches. Horrid things. You know you can feel them pulling the blood out of you, right? He called it washing out the filth, but it’s horrible. I already lost blood, I needn’t have lost more. That is the only reason I would be weak.”
Kent nodded. “We should practice. Later on. To build your strength.”
“A good idea. Funny, I had the same one earlier.” He smiled, but it quickly faded when Kent didn’t smile back.
Practice, as they always had. Lyle’s words echoed in Kent’s mind. If he couldn’t control himself and allowed Seth to become infected with his desires, leeches would be the least of his worries.
Seth grew quiet, and the day wore on toward evening. There was no sign of any enemy, nor even any tracks. Seth began striking at the bushes as they passed, swinging the butt of his spear like a child swinging a wooden sword. All that he accomplished was scaring off a few flocks of birds.
“We’d best stop for dinner, don’t you think?” Seth asked with an edge of annoyance as another cawing group of crows flew from the trees they rode under. “I don’t think we’re going to find anyone even if we travel to the edge of the King’s lands.”
Kent looked up, the sky through the trees darkening to purple. The light would fade fast in the forest. “Agreed. Let’s set up camp.”
“Excellent!” Seth broke into a wide grin, sliding off the side of his horse and taking up the reins. “I saw a cave not too far back; we can set up a fire at the mouth and have warmth and shelter.”
Kent found it impossible not to smile back. “Lead on, then.”
This shouldn’t be awkward. It shouldn’t be so difficult to hide his feelings, his frustrations, the swirling fear in his stomach of what would happen if Seth noticed Kent’s caring for him. He had always acted close, laughing and joking with Seth, training with him without ever refusing, and sharing food and bedding far more than other knights did. But Lyle’s words—his knowledge—hammered home how obvious Kent had been. He couldn’t keep doing it.
So when Seth stretched out by the fire and offered Kent a bit of his rations after they had set up their camp, Kent refused. “Eat it yourself. You need to build up strength.”
Seth sighed, cramming the bread into his mouth. “Suit yourself.”
They ate in silence, the air heavy. “So, uh, Kent, what did you end up doing last night?” Seth asked, a grin stealing over his face. “Let me guess—praying and practicing? No fun for you, eh?”
Kent’s face heated, and he stood up. “I’m going to keep watch. Get some sleep.”
“What?” Seth stood up too, reaching for Kent’s shoulder. “What did I say? C’mon, Kent, what’s been bothering you all day?”
Kent stepped out of reach of Seth’s questing hand, grabbing his sword. “You need rest. Don’t worry about me.”
Seth’s face fell, and Kent left the cave, the bland rations not sitting well in his stomach. The dark, cool air washed over him as he stepped outside, the horses perking their ears as he passed. He hung his head in his hands, sitting a few feet away from the horses.
It was for the best. He was saving Seth from certain death. Even if Seth didn’t suspect his feelings, if someone like Lyle saw them being too friendly and assumed Seth did…they’d both hang. And both burn, if what the priests said was true.
His time with Seth was over. He had to make that clear.
But damnit, it hurt. The stars winked overhead, shining and cold, the night around him silent. He was alone, and without Seth, that would be so much worse.
He shut his eyes. They had trained so well together, Seth fast and agile. He always had a trick up his sleeve, like daggers in a sword fight or even silly pranks, like dumping water on Kent’s head whenever he decided Kent needed a bath. In every village, he bought Kent drinks and accepted them in turn, the two men laughing and discussing trivialities in the warm common room. The only times they weren’t together was when Seth went off with a lady of the evening.
Kent grimaced. He always hated that. But Seth never talked about it; it was just something he did. Something normal men did. Kent wondered if Seth assumed he did the same. Probably not, if he thought Kent had prayed last night.
A twig snapped behind him, and awareness flooded through him, lightning quick. He had let his guard down.
The birds were quiet. The horses both stared at something, Seth’s horse setting a hoof down. A shadow loomed over Kent, and he turned as a flash of metal swung down. Too late.
Then the man screamed, a bloodied sword shoving through his torso. Seth shoved the body aside, his fierce eyes staring down at Kent. “Get up and fight! They’re trying to steal the horses!”
Cursing, Kent leapt to his feet. A man shouted, the voice harsh and unfamiliar, and Kent drew his sword as Seth raced into the darkness.
“Hyah!” Seth leapt into the saddle of Kent’s horse, not bothering to grab his reins, twirling his spear at the dark shapes that were attempting to grab the horse. Kent raced toward them, stabbing the men whom Seth was not holding off with his spear from horseback.
Seth whistled, and his own horse reared, the bandits falling back in fear from the flailing hooves. Kent took his chance and swung, his sword slicing through one man, then another.
A man shouted a hoarse scream, and suddenly the night was once again still, the rustling brush the only thing that betrayed their fleeing foes.
Kent took a few deep breaths, not bothering to sheath his sword. Seth panted from his position on the horse and swayed as he dismounted.
“I really do need that training,” he sighed. “Damn that Lyle. Check the bodies.”
There were none, which confused Kent until he saw the signs that the others had dragged them away. “So they do have some honor,” Kent said.
“Thieves honor.” Seth spat. “Honor only to themselves and their desires.”
Kent shrugged his soldiers. “I’ll continue keeping watch.”
“Really? You did a pretty lousy job. I thought I was the weak one.” Kent’s face heated.
“I was…distracted. I won’t be this time.”
“Don’t bother. I doubt they’ll be back.” Seth patted his horse, pulling out the stake and leading him further toward the cave. “If all they’re after is the horses, they won’t risk attacking knights again.”
Kent followed suit, his skin prickling with the knowledge of his failure. His distraction could have gotten them both killed.
“C’mon,” Seth waved him over once both horses were secure. “We can both share the cave now, at least.”
A desire to refuse flashed through him, but it wouldn’t make sense. Kent followed his friend—his onetime friend—into the warmth of the cave.
“Now I’m too awake to get to sleep anytime soon,” Seth poked the fire with a stick. “I’ll stay up if you’d like to sleep. Maybe you’re tired? Did you actually decide to have fun last night?”
“No,” Kent prepared his sleeping roll, taking off his armor. “I was just…distracted.”
“That’s unlike you.” Kent looked up at Seth’s tone. “What’s going on, Kent? You’ve been acting oddly.”
“Nothing,” Kent snapped, too harsh.
“I don’t believe you,” Seth replied, infuriatingly calm. “You were far too upset when I was with that prostitute, and ever since, you’ve been treating me like an invalid. Are you truly concerned for me or for my honor? You act like Lyle.”
“I would never act like him!” Kent’s eyes flashed. “Nothing is wrong!”
“You’re my closest friend, Kent.” Seth pointed at him. “I can tell when something is wrong. You’ve always been quiet, honorable, a private man, but you act as if something has scared you. Did something happen while I was ill?”
Kent opened and shut his mouth. Lying was against the code of knighthood also, and now he was forced to do it. To protect Seth. “Please, just don’t pry.”
“So something did happen.” Seth’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t like not being told what it was. Am I not your friend?”
Kent’s mouth went dry. No, you’re not. All he had to do was say it. “You are,” Kent stomach sank as he spoke. “So please…respect my wishes to keep it to myself.”
The fire cracked and popped as Seth threw another log onto it. “Kent, please. Don't be cruel. You can tell me whatever it is. I care about you.”
No you don’t. Not the way I need you to. Seth’s eyes glittered in the firelight, shining emeralds. Kent felt like a worthless lump compared to the gorgeous man. He practiced for hours to perform feats Seth did effortlessly, he insulted Seth for no reason other than to chase him away, and then he failed to keep watch, endangering them both.
It was all due to Lyle, and his threats. What if… What if Lyle was wrong? Everything had been going wrong since Kent had tried to follow what Lyle said was right.
But the consequences of Lyle being right were too severe to ignore. Kent’s gut twisted, and he took a shaky breath. He just wanted to be a knight, an honorable knight who would serve his King and God, live and die for his country and his faith.
But he also wanted Seth with a passion. It was more than admiration, more than just lust. It was love that eclipsed any other goal, any other loyalty Kent felt.
“Kent, you’re nearly shaking. Please, what’s wrong?” Kent’s skin tingled when Seth touched him, the dark-haired man’s touch feather light as he put his hand on Kent’s shoulder.
“I— Please, don’t.” His hands trembled harder as he pushed Seth’s hand away, cursing the gooseflesh that run up and down his neck. His gaze stayed riveted to Seth, to his green eyes and soft pink lips, slightly open in an unspoken question.
“I think I see the problem.” One side of Seth’s mouth turned up, his eyes suddenly half lidded. “You repress yourself. You’re angry with me for going to the whore because you wanted her. You were probably pleasuring yourself outside, weren’t you? That’s why they surprised you so easily.” Seth leaned back, smiling in appalling victory.
Kent felt his face go hot even as his stomach flipped, his heart suddenly pounding. Anger waged war with fear. “I wouldn’t do that on a mission,” he growled.
“Oh really? I have.” Seth grinned as the blood drained from Kent’s face. “It’s not something to be ashamed of.”
“Please, this conversation…. It’s wrong.” And damnit, it was starting to affect him. The thought of Seth stroking himself, his green eyes shut as he lay back and moaned to his own touch…. Kent shifted uncomfortably, praying Seth wouldn’t notice.
“You seem to enjoy it for something that’s so wrong.” Seth laughed. “I can see—”
“Enough!” Kent stood, cursing his lusts and his erection, his hands in fists at his side. “Stop torturing me, please!” His voice broke as he shouted, fear and anger and pain combining to throttle the plea.
Seth fell silent, the smile wiped from his face. The fire snapped, and Kent strode away to the mouth of the cave, breathing deep. “Just leave me be.”
The wind whistled outside, the cold air brushing his skin, and Kent debated leaving. He couldn't look at Seth, not now.
“No.” Kent jumped, whirling. Seth stood close, facing him. “I’m not going to leave you alone about this. I’m sorry.”
Anger and frustration curled Kent’s lip. “Seth,”
Seth grabbed him, hugged him, molding his body against Kent’s. Kent gasped, the scent and warmth and sensation of his friend sending sparks of a wholly different fire shooting through his body. “I was stupid not to see it before.”
“Don’t,” Kent shoved Seth away, but the other man resisted, his hands hot on Kent’s chest.
“It’s alright,” he whispered. “Kent, it’s fine.” He leaned forward, his breath hot on Kent’s neck.
“No!” Kent shouted, shoving hard. Seth stumbled, eyes flashing in frustration.
Kent’s body burned, and he could no longer hide his bulging erection. But he couldn’t… he couldn’t damn Seth this way. “This is wrong!”
“You want it,” Seth stated, his eyes fixed low. “I can tell you want it. This is what’s been bothering you, hasn’t it? You… you want me.” He met Kent’s eyes, licking his lips. “Not some whore. Me.”
“I can’t,” Kent growled, his hands in tight fists at his side, the cave wall hard and uncomfortable at his back. “Lyle…he knows. He knows what I feel. He’ll damn us both, and God…”
“That’s what all this is about? Lyle?” Seth raised his voice, Kent flinching. “You listened to that worm? That’s why you abandoned me for a week?”
Kent breathed hard, heart pounding so quickly he felt ill. “This is my fault. I’ve corrupted you by even discussing this. If you’d just leave me alone, if…”
“Your fault?” Seth actually grinned, derision dripping from his words. “You think my feelings for you are your fault?”
Kent froze. “Your feelings?”
“Honorable but stupid, like a lot of knights, aren’t you?” Seth took a step closer, Kent flinching once again. “You’re my closest friend. You’re also…rather handsome.” He smiled. “I admire both male and female beauty, Kent, much like the ancient Greeks. That’s how I learned of my strange inclinations, actually—by admiring old sculptures. If you’re the same…what’s the harm in both of us enjoying ourselves with each other?”
Kent shoved himself further against the wall of the cave, the jagged rocks scraping him. This had to be a trap. “I… I don’t like women. At all. It’s wrong, Seth. It’s against God. I promised I wouldn’t—”
Seth put a finger to Kent’s lips, running his hand through Kent’s hair. “It’s natural. Like this cave or the trees. It happens. God wouldn’t punish you for loving another person even if he was a man.”
“I don’t want to hear that cursed priest’s name again,” Seth growled, pinning Kent against the cave wall, both hands flat against the rock. His green eyes shone into Kent’s. “You should know better than to believe everything you hear.”
Kent began to shake. “I— a knight’s honor…”
“You hold yourself to an ideal that doesn’t exist, Kent,” Seth said gently. “True honor is not about following the rules of chivalry without thought. It is not about forcing yourself to suffer. It is serving your lord and God by helping your fellow man and helping those who are weaker than you. Saving the village, that was chivalrous. Torturing yourself by inhibiting even speaking about your desires until you cannot focus on a task, that is not chivalrous.”
Seth’s fingers trailed on Kent’s chin, turning his head up. Kent shuddered, lust blazing through his body. “How… how could I speak of them? The punishment…you know as well as I do the consequences if we are caught.”
“Not everything about our King or his beliefs is right. I follow the spirit of the code, not the letter.” His soft lips met Kent’s, all too briefly, his treasonous words failing to elicit the disbelief they should. “I love you, young knight. I’d like to show you that following your desires is not something to be feared.”
Anxiety and lust shook Kent’s muscles. “I… I want you. I’ve wanted you since I met you.”
“I’m sorry for not noticing before this,” Seth whispered, kissing Kent’s neck. “I’m sorry for using whores when I should have been with you.” Goosebumps trailed down Kent’s neck as Seth nipped him lightly, and he let out a moan. “I didn't know you shared my desires.”
“S-Seth…I can’t. I…” Kent moaned helplessly as Seth kissed him again, his lips soft and hot against his chin.
“Kent, just let me show you.” Seth’s hands moved to Kent’s shoulders, massaging. Kent didn’t need much more convincing. He closed his eyes and met his lips with Seth’s, chaste at first, then more urgently, fire arcing through his body. He pushed his tongue into his partner’s mouth, tasting Seth’s warm saliva, Seth responding with his own tongue against the roof of Kent’s mouth. They dueled this way for some time before Kent tried to meld his body against Seth’s, pushing his erection firmly against the other man.
“Shh…” Seth pushed him away, just enough to break the contact. “Slowly.”
“I want it… I want you, please.”
Seth just smiled. He began to kiss Kent again, harder this time, as if seeking something in Kent’s mouth. Kent let himself be dominated, allowing Seth to lead him with his mouth. His erection became painful, straining against his confining pants, and he groaned during the kiss, thrusting his hips.
Seth stepped back, looking down with a grin at the bulge in Kent’s trousers. He smiled impishly and started to disrobe, revealing his perfectly toned upper body, his muscular thighs…
“Seth….god, Seth…” Kent couldn’t help himself, palming his erection through his pants, unable to take his eyes off the other man. This was a dream, it had to be, but it was the best one he’d ever had.
Seth stepped forward, taking Kent’s hand away firmly and untying the strings to Kent’s pants. He freed the swollen shaft, precum dripping to the ground. Kent moaned in relief, pressing himself against Seth, the other man’s skin hot and torturous against his unclothed arousal.
For so long, he had fantasized about this, the feel of Seth’s hard body against his, the sensation of another person—another man—stroking him to completion. Lyle’s words vanished, guilt vanished, as Seth slowly began to stroke his body, trailing his hands around Kent’s shoulders and back, dipping low to his abdomen. Kent couldn’t move, thought erased, his arousal painfully hard and dripping.
“Get unclothed and come to the fire,” Seth whispered in Kent’s ear. He moved away, Kent’s gaze riveted as Seth took off his clothes, revealing his own engorged erection. It was long, thicker than Kent’s; Seth’s balls swung heavy as he slowly walked to the fire pit. Kent licked his lips, using everything he had to avoid touching himself and coming right there at the very sight.
Seth turned, smiling and looking over his shoulder, the firelight making his green eyes shine. “Aren’t you coming?”
Kent moved stiffly, removing the rest of his clothing as he neared the warmth of the fire. He stood naked, hard, and panting, drinking in the sight of Seth.
Seth embraced him, his arms curling around Kent’s back, pulling him close. The kiss was different than before—passionate, deeper, with a taste of fulfillment as well as promise. Their lips melded together, Seth’s hands massaging, drawing Kent closer and pulling him down to sit in Seth’s lap.
Kent fervently kissed him back, saliva running down his chin as he licked and slid his tongue around Seth’s, stopping only to draw quick breaths. His hands trailed over Seth’s body, tracing every muscle, every contour, memorizing with touch, trails of heat traveling from his fingertips to his body as he explored the other man.
Seth broke the kiss with a groan as Kent moved his hands downward and threw back his head and panted when Kent touched his thick shaft. With a hand on his back, Seth guided Kent toward a horizontal position. The cold ground was gritty against his back, but it didn’t matter. Kent sighed, tilting his head up and kissing Seth’s neck eagerly as the other man leaned over him, Seth’s hands always moving. The muscles in Kent’s thighs tensed over and over with shocks of pleasure as Seth’s fingers drew closer. His erection throbbed, nearly painful, and he thrust against Seth’s hand and gasped.
Seth grinned, green eyes flickering in the firelight, and lust flared in Kent as the other knight slowly stroked his own shaft. The image would be burnt into Kent’s brain forever.
Seth leaned down, his tongue leaving wet trails on Kent’s nipples and stomach. Kent couldn’t help it; the ground pulled at his back as he writhed under the other man, precum dripping onto his stomach. “Seth, please…”
Seth’s hot lips met his again, Kent allowing the thick tongue to plunder his mouth. Seth’s breathing quickened, a rhythmic rushing in Kent’s ears that mixed with his own, and warmth suffused him as the other man’s body melded against his, his friend’s—no, his lover’s—shaft hot against his own. Kent moaned, helpless at the sensations, the scent of arousal and sweat spicing his nose. For a time, the only sounds that filled the cave were of two men groaning and of skin against skin.
Kent shuddered, the tightness building, and began to gasp.
Seth stopped then, pulling his body away, the head of his erection pink with arousal, his eyes lidded and his hair matted with sweat. “You know how it’s done?”
Kent breathed deep, swallowing down his disappointment at the sudden lack of contact. He had been so close. “I can imagine,” he replied and with a smooth movement pulled Seth down on top of him again, desperately craving what he had been terrified of only a day ago. He growled in annoyance as Seth got off of him again, disentangling himself with a laugh and beginning to rifle through their bags.
Kent sat up with a growl. “What are you...oh.” Seth smiled, his face an alluring red as he held up a small bottle of the oil that they usually used to polish their armor.
“I’m going to show you how it’s really done between two men,” Seth said, panting hard. His heavy breathing matched Kent’s, who nodded.
“Look here then.” Seth put a dollop of it into his palm, rubbing it onto his own erection and onto his fingers, creating a slick sound. Kent swallowed hard at the sight of Seth touching himself. Another image that he would never forget. It was so much better than the dreams.
Seth’s cock and hands gleamed with the lubricant as he pulled a blanket from the pack, laying it down behind Kent. “Lie down,” he whispered, his hands warm and slippery as he guided Kent onto his back. The blanket smelled of Seth, and Kent breathed deeply, anxiety mixing with lust.
“Relax,” Seth whispered, looming over him once more, nipping Kent’s neck lightly. Kent groaned at the sensations, the heat and wetness of Seth’s mouth, and then gasped as Seth’s hand trailed down to his crease, spreading him. “Relax.”
Kent gasped, something thin and slippery entering him, and Seth caught the gasp, kissing him deeply. “One finger, Kent, it’s alright,” he panted, his body moving rhythmically as he thrust with his finger. “Like this, okay?”
Kent nodded, breathing hard, his erection dripping, and then threw his head back and moaned louder than before as Seth touched something inside him, lightning racing and spreading through his body, his cock suddenly so hard it almost hurt. “Seth!”
“I know, Kent.” Seth panted, smiling again, and the pressure inside increased, the blanket rumpling underneath Kent as he moved his hips, the pressure increasing again, Seth’s fingers hitting the same spot over and over. Lightning arced through his cock, the tip red and weeping precum, and Kent’s breathing came loud in his own ears, mingling with the pounding of his heart. “Seth, please… Please. I want you.”
“Yes, Kent.” Seth took out his fingers, moving on top of Kent. His erection jutted proudly, Seth’s chest moving fast with his breathing, and then his body molded against Kent’s. Seth shut his eyes, his jaw set, and he moved.
Pressure increased faster than before, and Kent was filled with something thicker and longer, biting his lip. Pain bloomed as he stretched, and he grabbed at Seth’s back.
“It’s alright. It will feel like before, I promise.” Seth moved, slightly, exploring, and Kent shuddered. The pressure was too much, it was…
There. “Oh,” Kent gasped, shaking as the pleasure exploded once again, his erection renewing with painful intensity.
“Yes, that’s it.” Seth sighed and began moving, hips snapping slowly. The pressure no longer mattered; the pain was gone. It was only heat and pleasure that filled Kent now, washing over him in ever condensing waves.
He struggled to keep his eyes open, to watch Seth above him. Green shone through slits, Seth biting his lip as he thrust, abdomen tensing again and again, his body’s shudders sending more pleasure pooling in Kent’s groin. Sweat gleamed on his forehead, his bangs plastered down. “Kent, you’re so tight…”
He thrust faster, the waves of pleasure coming closer together, both their breathing quickening to gasps, then pants. Seth wrapped his hand around Kent’s rigid erection, stroking in time with his thrusts, his eyes glazing over.
“Seth, Seth, Seth,” Kent could barely manage the name, his mind filled with nothing except the image of the man above him and the sensations arcing through his body. They grew more and more intense, his balls tightening, and suddenly his mind cleared.
His whole body convulsed as he released, cum erupting into Seth’s hands and onto his stomach, pulsing thickly. He yelled as he came, the orgasm powerful and white-hot, ribbons of cum gilding his neck and chest and not stopping. The pounding pressure intensified, then he felt an answering pulse deep inside, Seth shuddering and moaning above him.
The orgasm forced Kent’s eyes shut, his body shaking as cum dripped onto the blanket beneath him, more of it leaking as the waves began to subside. “Kent…Oh, Kent,” Seth moaned, his body jolting above Kent’s as he finished, hot liquid bathing Kent inside.
The world stopped, the glow of their orgasms the only thing in Kent’s existence. Seth lay on top of Kent, the scent of sweat and semen strong, and Kent pulled him closer, sensing Seth’s heart pounding along with his own.
“I believe you,” Kent said, pulling Seth closer. His fears were forgotten. The anxieties of a new knight that knew nothing of real chivalry, and nothing of love, were faded and gone.
With Seth, everything suddenly felt right.