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Author: Regret
Rating: 15
Story: Radial: Unravel AU
Challenge: Blueberry Yoghurt #27 - A Misunderstanding; Fudge Ripple #6 - Betrayal
Topping: Chopped Nuts
Word Count: 2,636
Summary: Alex prepares himself and Milos for bed, but neither is prepared for the other's reactions...

Alex’s room, upstairs and in the far corner of the building, wasn’t large but it was perfectly suited to him. At least, that was what he’d thought before. Now the realities of his situation were beginning to settle in: the room suited one man. Two were going to make life more complicated.

Leaving the elf to stand in the middle of the room watching his new master’s every move, Alex pulled on the bell rope beside the door and waited with his back pointedly turned towards his slave for a servant to arrive. If he was going to try anything then surely it’d be now, while it was just the two of them.

Nothing. He could feel the weight of his gaze on him but the lack of any sound other than the elf’s slow, even breathing told him he wasn’t even shifting to look around the room. Disconcerting, and enough to put the knight on alert. It didn’t matter that he’d proved useless at combat, Alex had no doubt that if he thought he could succeed, he’d try to kill him without hesitation.

He was trying to work out what the elf thought he’d achieve with the murder of a high-born knight when a knock jarred him back into the real world. Behind the door, a castle servant glanced from Alex to the dark elf behind him and although he wore no expression of curiosity, Alex had no doubt that within the hour half the staff would be aware of Milos. “Can I help, sir?”

“Arrange for a bath,” he said, forcing his gaze to remain impassive, “and food.”

“For one, sir?”

Alex grit his teeth at the implication. “For two. Why would it be anything else?”

The servant nodded once and turned, but not before Alex caught the beginnings of a smirk on the man’s lips. Gods damn the staff and their gossip—and their apparently short memories, had they forgotten he’d tipped cold soup over the last insolent man’s head? Just because he was the youngest son and a family embarrassment...

He wondered what his reputation among his siblings would be once Sura informed them of their meeting. For a politician, his eldest brother was remarkably impolitic.

That was a headache for tomorrow, if he was lucky. For now, he only had to address the one standing in the middle of the room: “take your clothes off.”

“What?” The elf started, eyes wide, then licked his lips nervously. “No.”

“Take them off,” Alex said calmly, moving over to pull open the top drawer of the narrow chest at the foot of his bed, “or I’ll cut them off you, do you understand me?” He turned to show the elf the long, slender bladed knife and smiled.

Milos’s face paled. Without further complaint he dragged the shirt over his head, dropping it onto the floor at his feet, then slid from his trousers without bothering to undo the belt and pushed them with one bare foot to lay beside the shirt. Almost completely naked aside from his collar he seemed even more slight than he had in the slave yard, his aggressive bravado deserting him in the close confines of Alex’s room. “So you’re going to do it now?” He asked, bitterness lacing the words.

Alex snorted. “If you mean am I going to have sex with you, then no. I’m not.” He picked at a fingernail with the tip of the blade as he examined the skinny excuse for a man standing in front of him, his long-fingered hands twitching with the urge to preserve his modesty without quite daring to move and risk punishment. “Aside from the fact I’m not interested in you in the slightest,” he watched the elf’s mouth twist into something approaching a smile and tried to forget their earlier clash, “there isn’t enough of you and you’d only break if I tried.”

He’d expected Milos to be relieved at his words; instead his expression darkened and he opened his mouth, but before he could speak the door opened and two servants clattered into the room with an enormous tin bath. One stoked the fire as the other struggled to manoeuvre the bath into position in front of it and neither made any secret of their stares in the elf’s direction, even when he turned his back to them. Alex put the knife back on the drawer top and bent to pick up the clothes Milos had left on the floor, ostensibly to move them out the way, but also out of curiosity.

He almost immediately wished he hadn’t. The fabric was gossamer-thin with wear with only the caked dirt giving them colour and holding them together. They’d have to be burned, they were an embarrassment to all concerned.

Only when the servants left to fetch hot water, each one casting long parting glances at the naked elf’s back, did Alex speak again. “You can earn your keep. Help me take this armour off.”

Milos twisted to look over his shoulder at Alex, his expression neutral, and for one moment the knight thought he’d have to go over and force him to comply. Instead the elf turned and padded towards him, surprisingly graceful despite his angular form, and without a word began to work at the awkward catches and buckles of Alex’s leather breastplate.

Obedience again; it put him on edge. He sat on the bed, the elf moving with him as he did so, and began to undo the belts at the side of his boots as he felt the restrictive pressure of his armour begin to loosen. First one side, then after Milos moved around, the other, until the two halves came apart and he could move freely once more.

He sensed the movement before his brain was fully aware of it; twisting sideways and up, he backhanded the lunging elf across the face, knocking him onto the floor beside the bed. The knife skittered across the stone floor, spinning to a stop a few feet from Alex. “You ungrateful little—”

“Fuck you, bastard knight,” Milos snarled up at him.

Alex grabbed his throat, his hand fitting neatly in the shadow left by another, and squeezed. Beneath him, staring up at the far larger man, the elf whimpered and tried to slide away. Alex’s grip and body held him easily in place. “If you try to do that again,” he growled into the dark elf’s face, “I won’t return you. I won’t kill you. I’ll make you suffer very slowly. Understand me?”

He was gratified to see an expression of terror pass over Milos’s face, only briefly, but enough to warm his heart. Attempting to swallow against the hand, he nodded slowly, every muscle taut.

Releasing him finger by finger, Alex slowly moved away and toward the blade, just in case Milos developed any funny new ideas, and backed straight into a pair of legs.

“Is everything alright, sir?” A voice came from above his head. “Or would you prefer us to leave you to it?”

He turned as he rose, knife in hand, and came face to smirking face with the servant who’d first answered his summons. Damn and damn again King Nazarian’s refusal to allow him another servant, because this irritating little swine would have been a prime candidate for that ill-fated role. Alex would have thrown him to the wolves himself. “Yes,” he snapped, spinning the weapon pointedly in one hand, “everything is fine. Do you have a problem with that?”

The man shook his head and left the room again, the bucket hanging loosely from one hand. The other servant, carrying a fresh, steaming bucket of boiling water, gave the two men little more than a cursory glance before dumping the contents in the bath and leaving again.

In the time that took, the elf hadn’t moved. He remained where Alex had left him, legs tucked up, eyes firmly locked on his owner. It would almost be pitiable if it wasn’t a surprising relief: Alex had almost expected that he’d have bolted through the door at the first opportunity. But where would he go? Alex grinned to himself; like it or not, the stupid elf was stuck with him now. “Get up and finish helping me undress. I’ll be damned if I’m bathing after you.”

* * *

Milos helped his new master divest the rest of his clothing without further incident, gritting his teeth all the while. To have to help him, to know that there was nothing he could do about it—well, not until he slept, anyway. Once he was asleep, it was a whole new story.

But damn it all, he’d never considered that one day he’d be allowed to climb into a bath that big, even if it was with second-hand water. It almost made up for being stared at by the servants as they filled it up. They paid no attention to this ridiculous knight, not even when all his clothes were piled beside his bed and his armour laid out on the sheets, but Milos with his visible ribs and midnight skin? Apparently he was fair game.

They did have one advantage: their constant appearances meant he was never completely alone with this knight who’d been so keen to find out his name but had only revealed his own when his brother had called him. And now they were gone and he had to help this man, this Alex, into the bath. He was half-tempted to hold him under and see how he liked it.

At least the bastard knight was already mostly clean, and it was hardly the first time he’d bathed an owner. He could do it by rote: pour water over the shoulders with the stupidly ornate jug solely there for bathing purposes—waste of money—then wipe with the cloth. Pour water over the back, wipe with cloth. Pour water over the head—

He was on the floor before he knew what had happened, pinned to the cold stone by a hand hard around his neck, a knife pressed to the tender skin just below his jaw. The knight was over him, dripping and furious. “Just what in all hells’ names are you doing?!”

The words were hissed inches from his mouth. He didn’t dare move, didn’t even dare part his lips unless he breathed the same air. The hand tightened; the blade pressed more firmly against him, until he was forced to speak no matter how much it hurt. “I— I washed your hair—”

For far too long those awful dark eyes bored into his own, then slowly, reluctantly, the hand eased up the pressure. Breath flooded his lungs again. “Don’t ever do that again. Ever.”

He nodded, forcing down the sudden urge to start trembling. Any minute now, any second

The knight stood up again, giving him a distrustful look as he grabbed one of the thick, folded cloths from the floor beside the tub. “You get in now.”

Shakily, he complied. The water was still warm and soothed the aches and pains in his muscles, and he washed himself with the cloth and soap carefully lest the knight behind him suddenly order him out or, worse, go back on his word and slit his throat while he sat there. It was fascinating to see the dirt come free from his body, changing the water from almost clear to a murky brown. He ducked his head beneath the surface hastily, just in case a hand should press against his skull and force him to remain, then scrubbed his fingers through his hair. It’d have to do. He couldn’t remember the last time it was properly clean anyway.

The knight watched him from the bed all the time he bathed, having dressed himself in loose pants and a soft shirt. When Milos climbed from the metal tub, a broad cloth turned the world briefly dark. “Dry yourself, I’ve found some clothes for you.”

He nodded, swallowing. That he’d spend the night naked was at the forefront of his mind. It was a relief that wouldn’t be the case. He dressed quickly and devoured the food indicated to him by the knight, a simple meal that was still easily the most filling one he’d had in months.

“Done?” The word interrupted his thoughts, such as they were; he looked at Alex and nodded again, not trusting himself to speak. If he wasn’t careful, he might actually thank the bastard. “Good. You can warm the bed for me while I read.”

Milos nearly choked on the remains of his food. “No.”

“You dare say no to me now?” Alex raised an eyebrow, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “Do you want me to give you another battering?”

He grit his teeth hard enough he thought he’d break his jaw and gripped the edge of the table. “I’m not warming your bed just to sleep on the floor afterwards. Warm your own gods-damned bed with your own gods-damned body.”

It was inevitable, he knew, but bracing himself didn’t seem to help as a hand sank into his hair and dragged him the short distance from table to bed, throwing him onto the hard mattress. “If you won’t choose to do it, I’ll just have to make you.”

He thrashed and struggled, but the man was stronger than he was and he could do nothing as hands wrapped around his wrists, pinning them to the bed. “Let go of me!”

“Servant!” Alex shouted, loudly enough to make Milos’s ears ring. “I know you’re out there.” The door creaked open and the man who’d taken such an interest in Milos earlier reappeared in his peripheral vision, a broad grin on his face. “Damp down the fire and blow out the candles, and be sure to lock the door when you leave,” Alex instructed, never once loosening his grip on Milos’s arms.

“Yes sir.” He did as ordered, his gaze flitting back to the two men on the bed as he went. He even had the nerve to draw the sheets over Alex’s body before he left and closed the door, engulfing the room in darkness. The sound of the key turning in the lock was deafening in the cramped room.

Milos tried to still his too-rapid heart. He failed. The pressure of the man on top of him made him want to retch. “I can’t take my trousers off if you don’t let me go...”

“For the last gods-damned time,” the knight snapped into his ear, “I am not going to fuck you!”

The words came more easily in the darkness than they did in the light, when he could see the man’s expression of disgust. “Then why are you hard?”

“You keep rubbing against me. That’s all. Hold still.”

“And when your bed’s warm, you’ll kick me out again?” He could hope...

The snort tickled his skin and made him cringe. “Why would I? You’re warmer than my bed. I’m going to make you stay here all night.” Alex shifted his weight, moving downwards to rest his head on Milos’s shoulder like he was nothing more than an oversized pillow.

There was nothing he could say, no words that would make the heavier man let him go again. He groaned, turning his head away. He could feel the erection rubbing against his thigh and even as Alex’s breathing levelled out into quiet snores he still kept gently humping against the elf until, with a soft grunt, Milos could feel a damp heat spread through the cloth. So much for his lack of interest.

He wanted to be sick, to escape; he was trapped with no way out until morning. One thing was for sure: he’d make the gods-damned lying bastard knight pay for this somehow.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
SO what's with the hair washing thing then? That does seem a little weird. Alex seems a little confused right now, like he doesn't really know what he's got himself in for. Poor boy :-p
Apr. 22nd, 2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
Let's just say some things travel across universes. ;)

I think that's possibly the first time the phrase 'poor boy' has been used about Alex. :p
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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