He'd finally fallen asleep in my arms. I held him close and fought back a fear that chilled my blood, the fear that I'd lose him. Avery had told us a story that went back past recorded history or at least far enough back that only secret sources remained. I wanted to think that it was all a hoax, an elaborate leg-pull of the gullible Americans. But beyond logic, beyond reason, I did believe him. Somehow, we'd been drawn back here in answer to a call from the darkness.
My ancestors had come from England and it seemed that Celtic blood bred true, Ned's as well. I was determined to run a background check on Sir Thomas at once. Easing Ned onto his back, I kissed him gently then slid out of bed. Moving silently to the outer room of our suite, I got out my address book and looked for the home number of a private inquiry agent that I'd used before.
Ian McKinsey had always come through for me. It was only ten so he should still be up, I decided. Putting the call through, I waited impatiently for him to answer. At the first sound of his Scottish burr, I began to relax a little. Making my request, I told him the bare minimum using investments as a shield. I stressed the need for speed, mentioning the 30th as a deadline.
He agreed cheerfully and told me that he'd get back to me the next day. I heaved a sigh of relief when I hung up. It felt like I was doing something other than worry. Walking back to the bedroom, I watched Ned's sprawl and thought back over the last few months. We'd been together more than apart and that had felt so blissful that I'd reveled in it. I fell asleep and woke up in his arms every night and day.
I would not lose him, especially not to a family that appeared to sacrifice their young for profit and power. Easing back into bed, I picked up the book that Avery had loaned us about ancient Celtic customs. He'd put in a bookmark at the chapter that described the worship of Lugh, the god of light. July 31st was also called Lammas Eve and the first was just Lammas.
In ages past, the divine priest-king was sacrificed willingly in the fields that the harvest might be abundant and the people might survive through the often harsh winters. Christianity assumed the festival but changed it into a harvest blessing with a 'loaf-mass', which was later corrupted into Lammas.
I kept reading and found it surprisingly interesting. There were even suggestions for a modern day festival of games, dancing and 'sacrifice' of a corn doll to the bonfire. My eyes were getting tired so I put the book aside and clicked off the light by the bed. Scooting down, I breathed deeply of Ned's scent and placed a hand on his back while I slowly fell asleep.
It had been a good year and I watched my people celebrate with feasting and dancing. Walking among them, I made sure that the couples I'd just married were still satisfied with their bargains. Two clans, the Barbars and the Claeys, who'd been at knife's edge were slowly but surely getting to know each other while their eldest children sat and talked quietly.
Stopping by their fire, I spoke with young Pers and sweet Janys. They'd married for the good of the clans but already I could see a bond forming between them that bode well for my matchmaking. Leaving them, I completed my circuit of the celebrations and ended back with High Priest Garlock near the bonfire from which all the other fires had been lit.
"King Davas." Garlock nodded to me and appraised my mood. "It goes well."
"Yes, it does." I returned his nod and accepted a goblet of honeyed mead. It flowed down my throat and softened the hoarseness that had crept in from all my speaking.
"There is yet one more sacrifice to be made tonight, King Davas." He knew that I was opposed to this but the Druid High Council had decreed one more ritual to ensure the harvest would be a good one. "The acolyte chosen has given his consent gladly."
"There is no need to spill blood this night." I hated the thought of hurting some young soul who had had no chance to truly live.
"The Council has foreseen a time of great despair unless this sacrifice is made. Better the blood of one than many. He awaits you at the altar. My brothers will ring the sacred circle to absorb the power raised." He lifted an eyebrow at me and I drained the cup to keep from saying something that I would regret.
A slight bitterness remained and I frowned at Garlock. "What was in that?"
"A small potion to aid the ritual." He stood and raised me to my feet. "Walk with me."
I could feel my blood begin to burn in my veins and I silently cursed the wily old man who'd left nothing to chance. Already, I felt heat flush my limbs and tighten my groin. The air began to haze about me and my gaze focused on the tall standing stones that had been a part of the Plains since before I was born. There was no fire here, no rushes to light the darkness.
The sound of the drums was continuous now. Their beat was synchronized with my heart and the steady pulse burned through me like a firebrand. I was sweating as if with the fever and Garlock pulled my cape off then two other priests finished undressing me. The new moon above lit my way between the Saracen plinths to the large flat stone and the young man who lay quietly there.
I drew close to him and feasted my eyes on his beauty. His eyes slowly opened and I wondered what he thought of the man who stood before him.
"Lad, tell me truly. Do you freely give yourself for our people?" I stroked his arm and felt him shiver.
"Y-y-yes, Sire. Lord Garlock explained what would happen and I freely give myself to you." He stuttered. "I m-m-mean to our people."
His body had been oiled with the sacred olive and I ran a gentle hand over the pale firm flesh before me. "You're so beautiful and so young to give yourself to an old man like me."
He sat up gracefully and caught my hand in his. "Not old, Sire, you're not old at all. I used to watch you when you came to the Grove to speak with Lord Garlock. The others teased me when they realized why I always crept close and jumped to run any errands that were needed. You patted my head once and thanked me for the wine I brought."
"Naris?" I remembered the tow-headed young lad who always seemed to appear when I was summoned to the Sacred Grove of Astarte. "You're barely more than a child."
"I became a man last year, Sire. And truly, I do wish this." He knelt up and awkwardly kissed me.
The potion in my blood had been potent but his scent and taste fired my senses until I barely retained enough control to lay him back onto the stone and cover him with my own body. Taking control of the kiss, I taught him to open his lips to me, to suck on my tongue and to let me sweep his mouth clean of the spices from the same honeyed mead that I'd drunk.
Small noises told me that he was enjoying my caresses and I stroked his young cock until it burst in my hand. He quivered in my arms like a small bird and I soothed his tears of release before kissing him again. He almost didn't notice when I slid a slick finger inside his small hole. But two fingers made him squirm and hold onto me while he panted in my ear.
I kissed my way down his throat and suckled on a pert nipple. He held me there while his hands combed through my long brown hair. "Sire, why am I so hot?"
Chuckling, I kissed my way back up to those sweet lips. "It's partly potion and partly passion. I must ask once more. Do you give yourself freely?"
"Yes. Please yes. Just put out the fire inside of me, Sire." He flexed around my fingers.
Pulling them out, I pushed his legs up to his chest and positioned myself at the small hole that was to be truly opened tonight. "Breathe in then let it out slowly."
He shivered but did as I bade him. With his exhale, I thrust inside the virginal place where no man had been before. His cry was wounded and I held myself still within him, kissing the tears away from the beautiful green eyes and trying to keep my full weight off his tender body.
"Breathe, Naris, relax and the pain will lessen." I kissed every bit of skin I could reach and felt him finally loosen the inner muscles that held me so securely. Thrusting gently, I stroked over the sweet spot that all men have and felt him quiver around me. "Better now?"
"Oh, yes. You feel so ... so wonderful." Those dazed eyes were open again and their sparkle gave an extra sizzle to my already fevered state. "More, King Davas, please more."
"As you wish, sweet Naris." I kept my thrusts gentle for I knew there was still some pain. But he opened to me completely, his legs wrapped around my waist and his arms holding me to him. My knees were going to regret this come morning but at the moment I could have cared less. The heat was rising all around us and we were on fire both inside and out.
He was panting in short gasps and the moment he burst for the second time I came hard deep inside of him. His cry was lost in my mouth and I barely had enough sense to roll us to our sides instead of crushing him into the granite stone that had been our nuptial bed. He clung to me, his heart pounding in his chest, the beat matching mine exactly. The drums were still beating but slower now, once again mimicking our hearts.
My cock was slowly slipping from him and I knew he had to be in pain but his murmur was a contented one and he nursed on my nipple as if it would give him milk. I held him close and cursed Garlock at the same time I blessed him. The old man had known all along that I was lonely and in need of a companion. And he must have known of young Naris' innocent feelings for me, too.
But had we had to consummate our love on a cold hard stone?
I slipped out completely and he moaned while holding me with suddenly shaking hands. "It's all right, little love. We'll get you some healing salve back home."
He tensed, sitting up awkwardly when I did. "You mean back in the Grove, Sire."
I smiled at him and eased off the stone before leaning in to sweep him up into my arms, leaving behind the bloody discharge of his virginal offering. "I mean back home, Naris. Garlock and the others will just have to do without you from now on. I want you with me every night and day for the rest of our years. What do you want?"
He slid his arms around my neck and held on tight, his eyes sparkling with tears. "You, my lord, I've always wanted you."
Laughing, I held him close and strode through the stones to where the High Priest was waiting with our cloaks. "Garlock, you are a scheming old man and you have my deepest thanks."
Sliding the cloak around my shoulders, he smiled. "Davas, the power raised today will keep our people safe for many a long year. I sent Naris' things to your home. And some healing salve to help soothe the pain. Thank you, little one, for your part in this. Be good for the king and give him all the love he needs."
Naris was blushing beet-red but he managed a nod before I left the Druids to their singing of the power we'd raised. The potion no longer burned through my blood but my heart was light as the moon at the wonderful feel of the young man in my arms. His head was tucked into my shoulder and his tongue was tracing intricate patterns on my throat. Today was a day of great rejoicing and I planned to spend it and all the rest of my days with my new love.
I started away with a jolt and looked about the room as if I'd never seen it before. Ned wasn't beside me and I looked around only to hear the toilet flush. I ran a shaking hand through my hair and thought about the dream I'd just had. It had felt so real that I could still feel the stone beneath my knees, taste the sweet kisses, see the slim body I'd plundered. He'd been little more than a boy and I'd been . . . I somehow knew that I'd been almost thirty.
But it was just a dream. Wasn't it?
"Carson, what's wrong? You look like you've just seen a ghost." Ned slid back under the covers and I laid back down, drawing him into my arms.
"I had the strangest dream, love. Those stories that Avery told must have been more potent than I realized. It was so real though." I stroked his slightly chilled skin and pulled him closer until he blanketed me completely. Then I told him the dream while he listened carefully with soft kisses when my voice faltered.
When I was finished, he thought for a long moment. "It felt very real, didn't it?" I nodded and he sighed. "Something is going on, Carson but we'll figure it out."
"We'd better. The sacrifice of Naris was just his virginity but that skeleton that you seemed to know lost his life. That won't happen to you. I won't let it." I held him fiercely and he murmured my name before kissing me.
I came alive the way I always did when he kissed me like that. His legs were clasped to my hips and our cocks dueled for space between us. He wiggled a little and my hands stroked over those downy cheeks while he shivered with wanton fervor. When he pulled away from my lips, his whole face wrinkled into a teasing smile.
"Well, King Davas, you've been out overseeing our people and now that you're back, I have a welcome home surprise for you." He licked his way down my throat and sucked lightly at the hollow.
"Really, Naris, I thought I'd get caught up on some of the scrolls that are sure to be piled on my desk while I was away." One hand slid under the pillow for our lube while the other gloved Ned's cock.
"Oh no, Sire, I've been left all alone here for weeks and weeks. Why I almost feel like that shy boy that waited for you among the stones so long ago. I think you need to make sure that I haven't become a virgin again." He took the lube from my hands and squeezed some onto his.
"Really, do you think that you could have become that sweet young man who'd never been kissed again?" I felt the tender touch of his fingers smoothing the cool lubricant over my heated flesh and for a moment, I did feel like the king again.
"Perhaps, Sire, all lovers become virgins again after a long absence." He sat up and guided me into the tight hot depths that felt like home to me. We both sighed when I was firmly seated. "Yes, that feels like the first time all over again, love."
"I think you might be right, my dearest love." I waited for him to ride me and he soon rose and fell on my cock, using his strong thigh muscles to lift himself before letting gravity take its course.
All too soon, I felt my skin tighten and heard the pants that told me he was close. With a flex of my muscles, I flipped him onto his back so I could give him the fast, hard thrusts that we both loved. He moaned so sweetly that I had to smile but he also clenched around me so hard that he pulled my climax from me with his own.
"Carson." He sighed my name and I collapsed on his panting body while his arms came up around me. The need had been satiated for the moment.
The end for now