Authors: Alix Bekins
Lord of Misrule
crowd surrounding the battlefield broke into applause as Edric Bearsbane defeated his opponent with a crashing blow. Konrad the Bohemian fell and the marshal raised his stave into the air, signaling the end of the bout as the herald announced the winner. Edric pulled off his helmet, ran a hand through his sweat-drenched hair, and waved a triumphant arm at Keegan Arey, who was standing at the sidelines. Edric’s face split into a triumphant grin, and Keegan grinned back as Edric strode toward the royal pavilion.
“Your Excellency, the champion,” announced the herald.
Edric knelt and bowed his head. He was glad of the shade, a welcome respite from the heat of sun and battle, and the green scent of the oak trees surrounding the glade was invigorating.
Duchess Alicia di Fiorenza smiled as she rose and took the wreath from the lady-in-waiting at her side. “For your prowess on the field of battle and for your service to the crown these many years, I hereby award you, Edric Bearsbane, the duties of Lady’s Champion until next autumn’s tournament. Well done.” She settled the circlet of flowers on Edric’s head and offered him her hand to kiss as the crowd cheered again.
“I accept with gratitude and vow to uphold my duties and your honor, and the honor of any persons you choose me to represent on the field,” he replied.
She nodded, and her attention shifted from him back to the field. He could hear the next pair of combatants entering the ring, preparing for battle, and the crowd’s attention turned to them instead. Edric rose slowly, assisted by one of the marshals, while the herald announced the new fighters, and he paused to watch as they saluted first their patrons and then each other. He leaned more of his weight than he liked on the aide’s shoulder, wincing but trying not to show that he was favoring his left leg as they headed to the red-bannered chirurgeon’s tent. His desire to haul his heavy armor over his head and plunge his face into a bucket of water eclipsed the feeling of triumph from a moment ago. After that, he would see what the physician had to say about his knee.
Keegan was waiting outside the tent, his brow furrowed as he took in the pained lines of Edric’s face and the stiffness of his gait. “Thank you, Marshal, I will assist him from here,” he said, wrapping a strong arm around Edric’s waist and helping him inside to a bench.
“Where’s my kiss?” demanded Edric, twisting sideways to claim his prize before it could be given freely.
Keegan submitted for a moment and then pushed him away. “What did you do to your knee, you enormous oaf? Did you leave your brace at home again?”
Edric shrugged. “I remembered it about halfway here, but it was too late to go back and get it. I’m sure it’s fine, I have my kneepads. If you’ll help me get my gear off, you can see for yourself.”
“And I’m sure you have no other reason for me to get you undressed,” Keegan said with a snort but obligingly began pulling off Edric’s boots, unbuckling his armor, and unlacing his thickly padded gambeson, until the big man was left in nothing but the sweat-drenched hose that clung to his body. “Shall I disrobe as well, my lord, so I may assist you in the bath?” Keegan teased.
“While I wish for nothing more,” Edric answered, a gleam in his eyes and a bulge forming in his pants, “I fear we lack enough privacy.”
“Damned right you do,” said a voice outside the tent. “Wash off some of that sweat, Edric, and let me know when it’s safe to come in and check you out. You two can cavort in your own tent after the feast tonight. I hope to God you’ve set it up far away from the rest of us.”
“Doubtlessly not far enough,” Edric answered the physician. “I wonder if there is some way to soundproof a pavilion. I fear everyone has heard me ravishing my Keegan.”
There was a noise of amused disgust. “Indeed, my lord. And he ravishing you as well, if the pitch of your moans are any indication. We’ve all begun a drinking game, in fact, to accompany the sounds of your not-so-private merrymaking.”
Keegan laughed as Edric groaned with embarrassment. “What can we say, physician? The strength of our ardor has not worn off despite the seasons passing, and the heat of battle stirs our blood,” Keegan answered.
“And what can
say but that those who keep the camp awake with the sounds of their pleasure shall be ribbed mercilessly and made to assist in the kitchens,” the doctor replied. “Now, wash up and let me attend to your injuries so I may be available for the next victims.”
Still chuckling quietly and giving each other chagrined smiles, Keegan managed to get Edric bathed. He let the physician in and went to fetch his beloved’s everyday garb from their tent, then returned with an icepack, a tankard of Gatorade, and the spare knee brace he had tucked into his own baggage before they’d left home.
grinned hungrily as he walked Taj backward into their tent. The door flap fell shut behind them, sealing off their own private little world. Their tent was small and cozy, modern rather than one of those that had been constructed to look like a medieval pavilion, but tonight, nestled among the oaks a bit apart from the others, he was glad of its shelter. Taj’s eyes danced with mischief as he deftly hooked a foot around Dan’s uninjured leg, twisting their bodies so the larger man fell down onto the pallet that was their bed, Taj on top. He gave Dan a triumphant smirk.
“Playing swishy-pokey always gets you riled up,” Dan commented, sliding his hands under Taj’s tunic and onto his ass.
Taj shifted forward, pressing the hard length of his cock into Dan’s, sighing at the sweet pressure, and began unlacing Dan’s shirt. He paused briefly for Dan to pull his tunic up over his head. “Indeed it does, although I have a different sort of swordplay in mind right now. I’ll do the swishing; you do the poking,” he suggested, leaning over to grab the lubricant from his pack beside the bed.
“Are you comparing my mighty sword to your flimsy rapier?”
Taj raised an eyebrow. “Watch what you say about my rapier, or I may start comparing your lovemaking to the crude bash-and-whack style you display on the field.”
“Oh, will you now?” Dan grinned, rolling them over so he was on top, and tickled his lover, using his weight to pin Taj down.
Taj laughed and wrapped his legs around Dan’s waist, pressing their bodies together, clinging as they kissed. He smelled like fresh, honest sweat, dust, and campfire smoke—delicious. Pulling away a little, Taj stretched his legs up and demanded, “Help me off with my boots, Champion,” as he fluttered his eyelashes like a swooning maiden.
“Are you my damsel in distress, then? Will I be fighting on your behalf every time someone annoys you while I’m the Duchess’s Champion?” Dan asked, quirking an eyebrow.
“Absolutely. Every excuse I can think of to get you dressed up and armed. Whenever someone makes me wait for the privy, when someone takes the last cookie that I wanted, that girl three tents down who makes the squeaky noises during sex. I shall send you off to avenge every wrong, real and imagined!”
“You would too, wouldn’t you?”
“Be glad I am not your liege,” Taj agreed.
Dan chuckled. “I outrank you quite a bit now, you know,” he pointed out. Taj frowned, and Dan leaned down to cover his lips with a kiss. “You’ll do better next time. You just started a few months ago. Give yourself some credit.” He trailed a path of kisses down Taj’s body, placing soft lips on each of the bruises his lover had acquired in the afternoon’s fencing tourney. Dan distracted himself with the small dusky nipples and enticing navel, tracing them with his tongue while Taj shivered and moaned. He moved back long enough to remove Taj’s boots and, while he was there, Taj’s leggings as well.
“Yours too,” said Taj. “May as well get them out of the way now.”
“Always so practical.”
Taj nodded seriously. “Yes, it has nothing to do with getting you naked faster.”
“Two of my favorite things about you: logical but horny.”
“And here I thought it was the way I swish.”
Dan caressed the firm muscles of Taj’s thighs before scooping his hands around to grab his lover’s tight ass. “I have to say, all of that lunging and thrusting has done marvelous things to your ass.”
Taj hummed in agreement, running his hands over Dan’s broad shoulders and biceps appreciatively. “And I’m willing to admit that despite you heavy fighters lacking any sense of style or panache, all of that flinging around of your swords has given you fantastic arms.”
They grinned at each other for a moment, Taj’s eyes crinkling at the corners as his expression softened. Dan ran a gentle finger down the side of Taj’s face, echoing the emotion.
“Now that we’re done admiring each other, perhaps we could get on to the fucking?” Taj suggested, shifting his hips to press their erections together again.
Dan groaned at the sudden jolt of pleasure and bent to kiss Taj again, their tongues tangling as they rutted against each other, wrestling a little before Dan heaved and used his weight to force Taj to back down again, glaring him into compliance. Only when he was assured Taj would stay put did Dan break away and take the lube from his hand. “I do like the way you think,” he said breathlessly.
“I like the way you fuck.”
With a snort of laughter, Dan began to prepare him, their mouths meeting again and again in minor battles for dominance where both combatants delightfully won. Their lovemaking was more hurried than prolonged after a day of flirting and teasing. They rolled, shifting urgently, needing to be closer, deeper, now—Taj’s hands squeezing Dan’s shoulders as he drove in deep. They came together in an ecstatic union of growled shouts to various deities and each other’s names.
To Dan’s chagrin, their climaxes were immediately followed by the cheers of their friends around the nearest campfire outside.
Taj laughed at him weakly, still gasping for breath. “Don’t be so embarrassed. I’d give you a round of applause too, if I could move.”
“They’ll be merciless in the morning,” Dan moaned, burying his face in Taj’s neck.
Trailing his fingers over the defined muscles of Dan’s chest, Taj promised, “And we will be smug in the knowledge that we had far more amazing sex than they.”
“Definitely,” Dan agreed, bringing their lips together for a tender kiss.
Dan shrugged as he turned the car onto the interstate, heading toward their home now that the Society for Creative Anachronism’s weekend “war” was over. “I think they pick the lowest-ranked man and woman who they think won’t fuck it up. Traditionally, it was a role-reversal holiday, where the servants were the masters and the masters were mere servants. You’re pretty new, so you haven’t won a rank yet, and you’re kind of a mother hen, so they know you’ll do a good job. It’s mostly organizational; Twelfth Night is the time for the Arts and Sciences folks to shine. No fighting,” he said in a slightly disappointed tone.
“Yeah, I suppose so. Also, don’t think you won’t be smacked later for that ‘mother hen’ comment, jerkface.”
“I’m quaking in my boots, little man,” Dan teased.
“Call me that again and I’ll feel compelled to show you how not little I am.” Taj bared his teeth in a fierce smile.
Dan growled. “I am eager for the demonstration, then. Have I earned a spanking? Although I’m not sure that’ll be the punishment you’re hoping for.”
“Really?” Taj glanced over at him. “I mean, I know you like a little rough and tumble—God knows I do—but I didn’t know you wanted to be, uh, spanked.”
“I don’t mind shaking things up a little,” Dan said with a shrug. “I love what we do, don’t get me wrong, but I want you to get what you need too.”
“I do.” Taj frowned, trying to get the words exactly right. “You know that I
bottoming, right? It’s not some horrible sacrifice I’m making or because I couldn’t possibly top a big burly man like you all the time.”
There was a silence for a few moments. “Where the hell did that come from?” Taj asked, bemused.
Dan shrugged. “Nowhere. Just… making sure, I guess.” He paused, then answered carefully. “When we’re at SCA stuff, I outrank you quite a lot, since you just joined and I’ve been doing it off and on since college. And when we’re at home, you’re sometimes a little… submissive. Wait!” he interrupted, waving a hand at Taj, who had opened his mouth. “I don’t mean that in a bad way at all! You’re a little shorter and a little younger and a whole lot leaner, and I’m not saying you’re weak or passive or subservient or anything like that. Just that I’m bigger, and I tend to sort of bowl you over and do the fucking without always making sure that that’s what you want. You know I don’t have a problem with the reverse. I guess I just wanted to spell that out, since the role-playing sort of would maybe indicate otherwise.”
Taj made a thoughtful noise, then was silent for a few moments. Dan gave him some time to think as they drove.
“I like the role-playing,” Taj said after a while. “Not always or forever, but when we’re at events, I think it’s fun to be ‘under’ you. Literally, even,” he said with a grin. “I like that you’re big and solid and strong, and I like that I can fight dirty and come out on top. And that you don’t mind bottoming sometimes, and you’re nearly always up for sex. I like how things are between us. If you do too, what’s the problem?”