Here you'll find
Festive ficlet for Moonriddler Mim and Alice Montrose, a little side-story to Ravens, Owls and a Nightingale, of course taking place at the turn of a year in Castle Deleon.
Happy New Year!
"Happy New Year!"
Dozens of tankards were raised yet again in a boisterous toast, and the foam splashing over their rims added its white frosting on the remains of the evening's feast, served to celebrate the end of one year and the coming of another. Nobody paid any attention to such minor mishaps, though; they were too busy pouring some more beer down their throats. The drinking vessels were briskly drained at a rate that was truly astonishing, considering how many gallons had already been consumed that night, but naturally they had to be empty for the next toast.
Count Daynar sipped a mouthful and savored the taste, careful not to put his tankard down on the table. Doing that was nothing but an invitation to have it once more filled to the brim, and according to his own standards he'd had quite enough to drink already; he knew it from the slight lethargy he could feel all over his body, and from the fullness of his bladder.
He wasn't the only one who'd enjoyed his fill tonight, but unlike others, he was still aware of the situation. The draught in his tankard was the most potent peer Deleon Castle had to offer, which was potent indeed, and it had already got the better of several people in whose company the Count had begun the feast. Some had retired by now, including Lord Rhodan, who to his great dismay had not got rid of his stubborn, lingering cold in time and thus wasn't nearly up to his usual feats at the table. Some had been hauled away by other, still at least marginally more sober revellers. Yet some others were determined to go on as long as they could still hold a tankard, but that was a challenge Daynar preferred to decline. He was going to find his way to bed pretty soon.
No, make that right now... the Count noticed movement at the end of his table, and his eyebrows twitched. Captain Brendel had fallen asleep in his seat some time earlier but was now stirring and peering around with bleary eyes. Daynar knew from experience that after nodding off like that, the man was soon likely to be ready to go on with renewed vigor. He also knew that Brendel would probably be as insistent on company as only a drunk man could be. He'd better act quickly, while the man was still too sleepy to properly realize what was going on around him.
Daynar gulped down the rest his beer and deliberately stood up, excused himself and headed for the toilets.
Once back in the corridor, he stopped for a moment and frowned. He felt naked, and for a good reason: Sorel wasn't trailing after him, for once. His blond bodyguard had been persuaded by the rest of Daynar's troops to join them and revel outside within the bailey, amid bonfires, roasting beef, and barrels of beer, and that's where he'd gone. For once he'd left his commander's side, and instead of following Daynar to the Lord's banquet hall he was now somewhere in the milling, noisy crowd.
Briefly the Count considered going to look for him, then shook his head. For one thing, he'd have a hell of a job trying to find one person in the throng of the bailey, and besides, he'd be facing and politely declining so many invitations to join the party that he couldn't hope to reach his room before morning. Count Daynar was no party animal if only he had a choice, and right now he much rather wanted to enjoy the comfort and quiet of his own room. Hopefully the servants hadn't been too engrossed in the preparations of the New Year's feast to heat it, though.
Steps echoed from the stone walls as Daynar walked to the heavy door of his room and pushed it open. Warm air rolled over him and an approving smile played on his lips as he began to open the clasps of his thick velvet doublet.
"Ah, at last."
Daynar's hand stopped halfway down his chest and he turned slowly around.
"Well well," he murmured, the corner of his mouth twitching. "What's this?"
"Isn't it customary among the Revnashi to give presents at New Year?" Sorel asked from the bed. "Or have I got it all wrong?"
Daynar grinned, gaze raking slowly along the fluid lines of Sorel's relaxed body.
"No," he said, "you're quite right about that. But usually the presents aren't given until the first morning of the year."
Sorel, his blond head cradled in the crook of a folded arm, shrugged a little.
"It's well past midnight," he pointed out. "Not exactly morning, I know, but anyway."
"Besides, it seems that someone has already unwrapped my present," Daynar mused, fingers finding their way once more to the clasps and buckles although his eyes never wavered.
"Oh, I thought you wouldn't be so particular about that," Sorel retorted lightly. "After all, it's not as if your present was anything new or surprising. I thought it's best to let you see what it is, so you can make up your mind whether you want it or not."
Daynar smirked, shaking his head a little. "Whether I want it... Sorel, Sorel!"
Sorel rolled onto his stomach, then grimaced a little and bucked his hips up to settle more comfortably on the bed. Daynar inhaled sharply at the sight, nostrils flaring, then almost tore open the still remaining fastenings of the doublet as his hands suddenly got too clumsy for his liking. Sorel clacked his tongue.
"Oh my – so impatient, Sir? About the same old stuff?"
"I'll show you old!" Daynar snarled, barely finding time enough to kick off his boots before kneeling on the bed and crawling on all fours towards the blond man. Sorel just watched him from underneath a shock of curly golden bangs, but when Daynar got close enough he rolled swiftly around and grabbed the front of the Count's shirt tightly with both hands.
"Sir, maybe I get to unwrap you instead?"
"Go right ahead."
Hard hands wiggled their way under the shirt and began to undo the front of Daynar's trousers. He clamped his lips in the bend of Sorel's neck, to taste the skin and to feel the sinew and pulse underneath, and laughed under his breath.
"Gods, but I do like presents!" He kissed Sorel ravenously and the younger man returned the favor, sucked his lower lip between his front teeth and gnawed it gently.
"Even if they're not new?"
"Hah, new or old – this was a really nice surprise, and besides, you know so well what I like..."
His breath caught, then escaped with a hiss when Sorel's long fingers managed to pry his trousers open and closed around his cock, firm and knowledgeable. Sorel squirmed a little underneath him, he felt the touch of the man's hardness snuggling against his own, and when the hand engulfing both their erections squeezed encouragingly, the hiss turned into a groan.
"How would you like to enjoy your present?" Sorel murmured into his ear. Daynar growled, letting go just long enough to lose his breeches and shirt, then straddled the man and grinned expectantly.
"Let me show you, Angel," he whispered. "Now... not a sound."
Daynar loved exploring Sorel's wiry body with his lips, tasting it, mapping every ridge of muscle, every knot of bone, every scar, every bend, and he knew Sorel enjoyed it as well. The blond man had somehow found time to use the bathhouse, Daynar could still detect the faint breath of smoke, and the thoughtfulness of the gesture made him smile. He'd held the man in a cold tent after a battle, fucked him against a tree, kissed him in a makeshift bed in a haystack, it didn't really matter as long as it was Sorel in his arms, but still... oh yes, a New Year's present indeed, the best he could hope for: a warm, comfortable bed, a peaceful room and Sorel, all groomed and scrubbed clean and oh so ready.
The Count closed his eyes and focused on other sensations. Sorel kept himself admirably in check under the onslaught and even managed to stay mostly quiet. The only noises he made were a few mostly swallowed groans, a lapse that Daynar graciously overlooked; hadn't he been attacking Sorel's most sensitive areas when they had escaped?
Taut stomach muscles rippled under his teasing tongue. Daynar blew gently on the erect cock, and chuckled at the resulting gasp.
"My, but that looks promising," he murmured, not quite touching the prize. "I think you're getting rather ready?"
The only reply was a muffled curse, and the Count grinned. Just as he'd thought, Sorel wasn't quite ready yet to let go of his pride. He licked his lips, hands gliding up and down the man's bronzed thighs and carefully avoiding what was waiting between them, then slowly pushed them open.
"Just plain old me," Daynar husked and breathed in his lover's musky heat. Still not touching the cock, he nuzzled Sorel's balls and slowly sucked them in his mouth.
This was the surest way to make Sorel go wild, Daynar knew it, and he let his tongue poke and twirl at will until fingers dug into his scalp and grabbed a good handful of hair to hold on to.
"Daynar," Sorel panted, voice raw with need, "Daynar... Dayn... please!"
With a triumphant smile the Count at last crawled on top of the blond man, breath hitching when those long, muscled legs clasped around his waist and hips and pulled him close. Sorel's hand trembled as it guided him to the right spot and then he was already pushing in, as slowly as he could, except that Sorel hooked a leg on his shoulder and swore in Belter and pushed up to welcome him in, blue eyes almost feverishly bright.
The heat of that lean body was familiar and every time as intoxicating, Daynar growled somewhere deep in his throat as he thrust in over and over again, eyes never turning from Sorel's sweaty, tight, ecstatic face. And when they finally came, they came together, kissing and biting each other until the heavy waves subsided and they could once more breathe without moaning in passion.
"Wet," Daynar complained as he rolled on his back and extricated his half-dead arm from underneath Sorel.
"We could go under the blankets," Sorel suggested. "They aren't wet through. I brought us some water, too."
"You think of everything," Daynar sighed, pushed himself up with shaky arms and grabbed a washcloth from a half-full bucket placed not far from the bed.
"Doing my best, Sir – owww!"
"Try again," Daynar husked, hand still threateningly close to the blond man's crotch. Sorel grinned.
"Doing my best, Daynar."
The wet cloth felt heavenly, and moments later two very satisfied and relatively clean men crawled once more into the bed, this time indeed under the blankets.
"How was your present?"
"Probably the best I've ever had," Daynar said, smiling mischievously at the darkening room. "Well, maybe after the horse I got from my first Lord when I was sixteen."
Sorel heaved an exaggerated sigh. "A very good New Year to you, Daynar."
The Count kissed his lover, long and profoundly. "Happy New Year to you, Angel."