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A Good Knight Sharon Maria Bidwell

All rights reserved. Copyright 2010 Sharon Maria Bidwell ISBN: 978-1-60521-390-3 Formats Available: HTML, Adobe PDF, MobiPocket, Microsoft Reader Publisher: Changeling Press LLC PO Box 1046 Martinsburg, WV 25402-1046 www.ChangelingPress.com Editor: Vicki S. Burklund Cover Artist: Rene George

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A Good Knight Sharon Maria Bidwell


Licinius is an adamite-knave, an ancient but largely dishonourable profession. He doesnt expect much from life and silently bemoans his existence, yet he does what he does to take care of his family. He certainly never expects to have his wish -- to spend one good night with one good knight -- fulfilled in the arresting form but strange and confusing personality of Crassius de Chartres. Overcome with lust (and love) at first sight, Licinius is willing and eager, especially when the knight insists, Your pleasure is my pleasure. Licinius is about to experience an incredible knight, one that is going to leave him a quivering wreck come morning, caged in a way he never expected, and possibly vagrant. He must be mistaken because Crassius wouldnt do anything to hurt him, would he? Will he finally understand the true meaning of the knights motto and share his idea of pleasure? One good night with one good knight: is that really too much to ask?

Authors Note
I take full responsibility for messing with history. Ive taken the names used in this story from Marcus Licinius Crassius, one of the triumvirate of Rome and one of the wealthiest, although I hope my characters have much gentler natures than their namesakes. There is no such thing as an adamite-knave. Adamite is an ancient lower class term meaning nudist usually in reference to a poor person, beggar, or hermit. Its also a mineral but thats not going to interest you, Dear Reader, as it has nothing to do with the following story. A knave was a boy working as a lowly servant. There were such things as pardoners, men who sold absolutions for perceived sins, but they had no connection to a choosing house. Indeed, as far as Im aware no such thing ever existed unless one wants to call it by the more generic term of brothel. The motto on Crassiuss shield does indeed exist as a Latin phrase but it is not a knights crest. I quote poetic license in order to create a story the way I wanted, that I hope you will enjoy.

Chapter One
Wishes did come true. At least if this was Crassius, one particular wish had. Licinius stared at the tall, muscular dark-haired knight who stood dripping in the doorway of his tent and could only gape. From the medium-length dark wavy hair to the dark eyes, those broad shoulders and the flash of manly chest in the open neckline of the linen tunic, he could see nothing but gorgeousness. His mind flashed back to earlier events. Hed seen Crassius de Chartres at the choosing house, but never had he suspected he could ever be so lucky. Things like this just didnt happen to him. Like always, hed begun the day wondering whom it would be tonight. Hed gazed out from the door of the choosing house at the approaching cavalcade, the long procession of knights-errant in search of war. Well, they had found one and won. They rode into town weary but exultant, the lesser injured attending to those who needed urgent attention. Physicians and surgeons rushed forward as did leeches, those monks so named after the creatures they used to cure the sick. Licinius wasnt paying mind to the injured or dying or those who would try to heal them; he couldnt help, would only get in the way, and had no say in who lived or died. He was looking at the knights who had fared better, some of them mercenaries. They were in the mood to celebrate; that meant good business and that was where young men such as he came in. Why torture yourself? one of the other young men had asked coming up behind him and staring out from his side where Licinius stood, arms folded by the open inviting entryway. Licinius had cast his questioner a glance. You always look so

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anxious. What does it matter the type of man? Close your eyes. If you get a fat one, lie back and think of Licinius tuned the rest out until the other lad had his say and turned away. Hed heard it all before. So what if he was always a little anxious? Mayhap he had sold his body to this life, did that mean he had to sell his soul? It wasnt a fat knight he feared. Fat was fat and by their very nature, most of these men were fit; they had to be if they wanted to survive for long. Their armour alone weighed more than most men could carry. That didnt mean all of them washed and some came to him with spilled wine or food in their beards or worse. What they wanted to do with him was never as rough as their manner. What wouldnt he give for one evening spent with a clean, freshly shaved man? The saying went be careful what you wished for, but how could he not wish for that which his heart most desired? A good night with one good knight: was that truly too much to ask? Apparently not. Careful, the knight said, never taking his gaze from Liciniuss face though directing the word at two men who ducked into the tent. Carefully placing the knights belongings on the ground, they left as swiftly as they had entered. The knight wasnt wearing his armour. While this wasnt unusual in itself being that hed come here for physical pleasure, some knights demanded attention the moment they returned from the field of battle. One knight had forced Licinius to his knees, insisting he only remove the most essential pieces necessary for the performance of his task. The moment said knight climaxed in Liciniuss mouth, hed shouted for his squire to put his battle gear to rights, and then he was off again to find the next conflict. This one looked as if he was well prepared to settle down for the night, and from what Licinius saw, maybe that wasnt a bad thing. The man was handsome and clean. Hed bathed, hence the dripping. That was what shocked Licinius to silence; that and the fact Chartres had saved the kings life this day. The rumour was the king intended to honour him with property and land.

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Water pooled off his free-flowing hair even as the knight stood there, moisture soaking into the simple linen undershirt he wore. Glancing down, Licinius took in a glimpse of underpants with hose. Even now, the knight began to remove his gambeson, the quilted jacket knights wore to keep their armour from chafing. His helmet, chainmail, surcoat, shield, and some weaponry lay where the men had left it, set out in an orderly fashion to one side of the tent. Even at a glance, Licinius could tell the chainmail was of fine quality, and that this knight had wealth; indeed, was soon to have more, though that hardly mattered. As long as the knight had paid the required price, they had no argument. The fact that he was here said he had. No one deceived the choosing house. Realising he still gaped, Licinius closed his mouth. To think hed not wanted the knight to catch him waiting at the entrance to his tent and to appear eager. Now look at him. The knight was sure to have noticed his reaction. A while ago, hed torn his gaze from the sunset he knew so well, forsaking the sight for the sanctuary of canvas. In these parts, each evening blue morphed into yellow and then pink, finally to mauve before tones of grey edged the evening sky to black. His tent, which was his home and place of business, gradually became just another curious shape in a sea of such shapes. This very evening, knights walking by had cast interested looks his way, but they had already chosen and he was not theirs for the taking upon a whim. Even so, one had stopped to ask his name and Licinius had given it. The knight had looked him up and down. I may be in the mood for a blond tomorrow. Mayhap I will seek you out. Licinius had inclined his head. If the knight so wished, he would have to put his name on the register at the choosing house, make his mark by terms agreed. Licinius would then know to expect him. The house would hold the payment and hand Licinius his share after the deed. No knight dared deceive the choosing house, not if he wanted salvation for his soul. The house had a resident pardoner, a licensed man who could sell indulgences and offer absolution for the right price. They often took back some of what they paid out to their adamite-knaves -their fancy word for male prostitutes -- in exchange for celestial pardons.

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Licinius asked no forgiveness. His profession was hardly one he would have chosen given a better option, but he felt no remorse for the path his life had taken. He saw no sin in wanting another man, simply in that this was what the world had forced him to in order to have that need fulfilled without fear of torture or death. That was the worlds sin, not his. He asked for no pardon. He certainly wouldnt pay for one. Besides, that wasnt the only reason he was here. Tonight as every other night hed tried to calm his beating heart and had sat waiting to see who had paid for his services. Time had ticked by. The knight was late, probably because of his taking the time to bathe, Licinius realised now. He wished hed known; he always found the waiting the worst part. His imagination ran wild. What would the knight look like? Would he smell of horse and sweat as most of them did? What desires would he demand satisfied? When finally the tent flap had jerked back, startling him, Licinius was barely on his feet when the knight entered. Both had stopped and stared at each other. They continued to stare even now. Crassius. He didnt know why but the name given him had made him expect an older, more rugged man, heavyset and ogreish. Hed seen Crassius earlier without knowing his name, without entertaining the idea that such a magnificent specimen of a man would choose him. His eyes had been so striking. Never had Licinius believed that such dark eyes could sparkle. Of the knights body, hed had to use his imagination, though he could guess his build from the finely formed and close-fitting armour. The knight had been wearing his full body armour, having only removed the visor. A knights armour was complex, consisting of many individual pieces, each designed to cover the most vulnerable parts of the body, to turn the man within into a living stronghold. Judging by the quality of the chainmail alone, he would have guessed the man possessed a full suit of body armour even if he hadnt seen him in one. Even with the knights body shielded, Licinius had experienced desire, lust if not love at first sight. No doubt the mans squire was cleaning the body armour even now. To

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think of the irony: where the squires job would be to polish the knights armour, it was Liciniuss job to polish the mans knob. No refreshments? The mild chiding served to make Licinius feel as if he shrunk before the knights gaze. Beside such a man, he felt inadequate. His clothes, the tent hardly deserving of the word pavilion, the poor attempt hed made to make it appear inviting suddenly struck him as undeniably shabby. A wooden table and two chairs stood to the left. On this, hed laid out a few refreshments, which he hurried to pour even now. Hed provided a bowl and jug of water on a stand, not that many chose to use it. To his knowledge, certainly none had ever washed beforehand. His bed lay to the right -- the paltry mattress of fresh hay and blankets on the ground -- and was lice free, as was Licinius. Some knights appreciated this and paid him extra. The accommodations were poor, but the soft candlelight and richly coloured cloths Licinius had used to adorn the interior gave the tent a warm, romantic glow that contradicted what went on inside. His hands shook as he attempted to tip the heavy jug containing a wine he knew this knight would find sour. A small gasp escaped his lips as the knights hands came down over his. Taking the jug, the knight sniffed at it and winced, then set it aside. Here, he said, rifling through his belongings and pulling free a wineskin. I think we will both find this more palatable. For some peculiar reason, the comment set Liciniuss heart pounding. The knight was palatable indeed. His throat was suddenly unbearably dry. The wine was rich, bursting with fruit, heavy on the palate yet smooth. Licinius tried not to gulp it down, and yet he was so nervous after the first taste, he took too large a glug and almost choked. The wine hit the back of his throat and exploded with the ripe taste of red berries mingled with anxiety. Spluttering, he was next aware of someone slapping him on the back while holding his wine cup for him. By all that was merciful, what must the knight think of him?

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All he saw on the mans face when he finally glanced up was merriment. It is a heavy wine, the knight said, laughter in his tone. I suggest you sip. Licinius did just that, more to allow him time to recover than because he wanted to drink. Even so, the intoxicating effects began to assault him immediately so that by the time the knight once more removed the wine cup from his hand and turned him around, it took Licinius a moment to realise what was happening. Hands took a gentle hold of his chin, lifted his head. Examined, Licinius stood in the bright light of the knights twinkling gaze. He was ready but ill prepared when the knight dipped his head. A kiss. Not all the knights kissed and none kissed like this, fingers and thumbs, such a delicate encapsulation, holding him in place by desire rather than force. Crassiuss lips were nothing more than a gentle pursed pressure bestowing warmth and a lingering connection. The connection broke. Licinius swayed, dazed. His eyelids fluttered open, and he caught another flash of Crassiuss dark gaze before the mans face came back down to his. Once more, he felt that lingering, gentle pressure, only this time it slowly grew harder, became more insistent at the end. The third time and Crassiuss lips worked against his, demanding a response, some movement. A coil of desire took Licinius in shock just before Crassiuss tongue forced his lips apart and snaked in. That hungry demand sought out a swirling response, and for a time the kiss was all that existed. He was aware of his body, of the desire that simmered barely contained under the confining layer of skin, but it was a vague thing. His focus was this mans mouth on his, tongues entwining, and sharing breath, sharing life. Crassius kissed him as if he was something delectable, and for the first time in his life, Licinius forgot he was a man who liked other men. He forgot he was little better than a slave to the local authorities, looked upon with little more favour than the women who sold themselves on the streets. He knew only this. He knew only a sweet connection with someone who felt the same way he did, who understood his desires, his needs, and gave as much as he took.

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The next time Crassius broke the kiss, Licinius would have stumbled back if the knight hadnt kept hold of him. Stunned, he looked up into the other mans face. That dancing gaze stared back. There now, Crassius said, as if the kiss had set everything in the world to rights. The way Licinius felt -- clean, refreshed, guiltless -- maybe it had. So, to bed, he added, after some indeterminate time passed.

Chapter Two
Bed? Licinius blinked. How could he have forgotten? As much as he hungered for what was to come, he longed more for whatever spell it was the knight had weaved around him. This man had paid for him. He shouldnt forget that but it had been bliss to forget, if only for a few minutes. Tucking Licinius tightly against him beneath one arm, Crassius carried the wineskin in the other hand. Licinius turned his face into mans body as the knight escorted him to bed. He smelled dampness, something herbal, and beneath this a warm musk that was entirely male. For precious seconds, he was free of thought, completely swayed by scent alone. Crassius went down first, setting the wine aside. Feeling strangely cold, although the interior of the tent was quite warm, Licinius watched, more than a little amused despite feeling slightly mournful. His sorrow was that they had not met in another way at another time. Crassius bounced gently on the bed, as if testing it. Comfortable and clean, he announced, dark gaze flicking up to Liciniuss face. Youve made an effort. So had the knight, but Licinius didnt say so. Although he didnt want to bask in such dubious praise, Licinius couldnt help the small shiver of pleasure that sped through him, owing either to the words or the expression on the knights face. He couldnt help wondering if the knight had gone out of his way to wash just for him. He doubted it, but it was a nice daydream to think so. Come to me, Crassius said.

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Knowing an order when he heard one, Licinius went down on one bended knee. He hesitated, uncertain if the knight wanted him to remove his nightshirt, it being the only thing he wore. Long and free flowing, many knights liked to grasp and grope him through the garment as if they wished to learn that which they would so soon set eyes upon by touch alone. Here, Crassius said, reaching for him with open arms. Licinius was surprised to find himself pulled down, pressed hard against that solid form, head tilted up even as his ear pushed against the mans linen tunic. He heard the knights heart beating and then their bodies rolled, tilted, turned, and embraced. Crassiuss lips found his, and to his amazement, Licinius became once more captivated. This time the kiss was even more demanding. Crassius fed, his lips drawing desire up from depths Licinius hadnt even known he possessed. By the time the knight pulled backwards, Licinius was on his back, breathing heavily. A finger blazed a trail along his jawbone. Cat stolen your tongue? Crassius asked, smiling. Only then did Licinius realise hed not said a word since the knights arrival. That Crassius would note this though surprised him. Your name is Licinius? He nodded, then realising that the knight was trying to get him to speak, he said, Yes. Im Licinius. He spoke his name at a loss for anything else to say. Im Crassius. I know. Of course, and now that introductions are out of the way, we can save the talking for later. Talking? Later? He didnt have time to question the idea of talking after sex, or during it. Usually he said very little even prior. Many knights never required him to speak at all. Hands at once grabbed his sides, but instead of moving over him and roughly kneading, Crassius just held him there, gripping his hips, staring down into his face.

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Small drips of water fell from the knights hair to sprinkle Liciniuss face, but he didnt even flinch. The drops were tepid. A few that fell close to his mouth he licked away with a snaking tongue, aware that Crassius watched him as he did. He hadnt done it with any sexual intent, but it probably looked that way. He tried to concentrate on the knights face. The dark eyes held a knowing warmth as well as experience. People aged not just in years but also by what they had done and what they had seen. He could see pain in the lines around the knights eyes and mouth but also a certain humour that battle hadnt yet defeated. Something told Licinius that nothing would. It would take a great deal to conquer this mans heart. As well as bathing, hed shaved. There was still a shadow of growth on his chin, but the lines, the stubble, a scar here and there lent interest to the mans face. The knights hair was drying, turning wavy, falling about his shoulders. Licinius knew all about hair that had a tendency to curl as it wanted. His locks were shorter, as befitting his class, but he could tame his curls no more than he believed Crassius could tame his. Licinius longed for the knights hair to dry completely. He wanted to bury his face in those dark locks, ensnare his fingers. Almost as if he heard his wish, Crassius sat back on his heels. Lifting the tunic over his head, he used the linen to wipe more moisture from his hair before he cast it aside, revealing a broad expanse of chest crested with a dark smattering of curls. Licinius gazed at that hard plane of flesh and swallowed. You like? the knight asked, grinning. The man was teasing him but he also liked being desired. Licinius couldnt blame him. He couldnt help wondering what had made the knight choose him over another. That such a man as this would always find admirers was understandable. It surprised Licinius to have such a man choose him. Licinius was small, his limbs rather delicate when compared to such brawn. Some of the other adamite-knaves told him that was part of his appeal, that along with his blue eyes and blond hair. Hed never thought about it before, but this knight seemed happy to be examined so Licinius compared.

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The sleeves of his nightshirt had fallen back so that, as he reached up toward Crassius, it was easy to see the difference in their forms. Olive-toned, heavy, hard, ropey muscle was definitely a contrast against pale, smooth, long lean limbs. Licinius gasped when Crassius took hold of his questing hand, clasped it in his warm grasp, and then stroked and examined first his hand and then the arm belonging to it. The knight gazed at each finger running a fingertip along each length, up one side, over the nail, down the other side into the small dip of webbing between each digit. The touch was such a light tickling caress that it shouldnt have aroused him. It shouldnt have felt as intimate as it did, yet Crassius had only reached the middle finger when Licinius squirmed. Crassius glanced at him, a sharp flash of his gaze, before continuing. Licinius fell back trying to remain still, not to pull his hand away. He couldnt believe he hadnt realised how sensitive his fingers were, not just for touching but being touched. Fingertips were sensitive, but hed never noticed the subtle difference in sensation between the back of his fingers, the tips, the sides and underneath culminating in the sensitivity of his palm where Crassius now wove small circles that amazingly drove Licinius wild. He closed his eyes, turning away his head, all the time trying not to pull back his hand. The touch was tickling to the point of torment. He wanted to writhe, but even as he resisted he became aware of how this semi-pleasant, semi-hideous torture made him aware of his body. He grew hard even as he gasped, tightening his shoulder, preparing to pull his arm free despite his resolve to keep still. Crassiuss touch changed on the instant. One hand held his wrist while the other slid up his arm in a slow glide. You keep your skin soft, Crassius said. Licinius didnt know what to say to that. He took care of his body because he could charge more, not much more but a little. Most of the other young men didnt bother or they were too work-hardened by the time they came here that their skin was already rough. He didnt think that was something Crassius wanted to hear. The knight sounded surprised as well as thoughtful, maybe even a little peeved. Licinius couldnt understand why. He reacted by reaching out with his free hand, running his fingertips

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in turn over the knights skin where he could reach the mans hands and arms. He was pleasantly surprised. Crassiuss skin was a little tougher than his was, and there were rough patches and scars, but those blemishes drew attention to the knights masculinity. He became aware of that dark gaze staring down at him, studying his movements. They looked at one another, hands clasped. Are you soft all over? Crassius asked. Licinius nodded, heat rising to his face. Crassius sighed. I really wish youd speak. I dont know what to say, Licinius answered truthfully. Will you answer questions? If I can. Are you pleased? It took Licinius a moment to work out what Crassius meant. He blinked. Coming from any other knight, he would have thought the question one of vanity but not from this man. His skin grew even hotter. He flushed. Yes, he finally managed to say. Yes, he was very pleased to have Crassius in his bed. Good. Crassius rocked his hips rubbing against Licinius through the shift. The knight was obviously aware of his erection. Licinius was certain his blush deepened. Crassius bent over him, so they were eye to eye. You may be used to lying back and thinking of your country, but it is not going to be that way with me. No? Licinius couldnt help his mind flashing back to this morning when another young man had advised him to do just that. Of course, he hadnt known what to expect then. Even so, the comment surprised him. Surely his expression gave away his confusion. Crassius stroked his brow. Your pleasure is my pleasure, little one. As I wish my pleasure to be yours. Are you all right with that arrangement? Licinius nodded, once more speechless. Even before the knight moved to undress him, he was lost.

Chapter Three
Your pleasure is my pleasure. The heat of Crassiuss mouth scorched his skin. The knight leaned over him, refusing to let their bodies touch even though Licinius wanted to reach up and drag the mans body down over his. They were both naked now. Why werent they embracing? Every time he reached up, Crassius caught his wandering hands and placed them back down on the bed. Crassius wanted to take things slowly it seemed, slowly to the point of painful. Hed spent several minutes just kissing and licking Liciniuss neck, seeking out sensitive spots until he reached a delicate place behind his ears that made Licinius quietly squeal. He concentrated there until Liciniuss chest heaved with his ragged breaths. Then hed moved back around and now latched his teeth against the lump in Liciniuss throat, biting gently as if he were an animal and at any moment might rip out his Adams apple. Licinius was well aware he lay submissive beneath the much larger man. I wish my pleasure to be yours. That the knight took pleasure in this, Licinius had no doubt. He just wasnt sure he could stand it. As his hands took to wandering again, Crassius laughed and moved back enough so they could look at each other. Do you always disobey your patrons in quite this way? The slight hesitation didnt go amiss but Licinius ignored it. What could he say? Crassius had actually chosen a delicate word and besides, the knight was here for the

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same thing as any other man, wasnt he? That made Crassius a customer. The knight didnt exactly have the entitlement to be self-righteous. I dont usually want my patrons in quite this way. Licinius opted for truth, meeting the knights gaze. What was the point in lying? He laid there, the sum of his parts. His mouth yearned for attention, as did his nipples. He was oddly aware of his stomach leading down to the aching, jutting need between his legs. His testicles throbbed. We have time, Crassius whispered, grinning at him. Did they not tell you I planned to be here all night? They had, but even those men that spent the night usually fell asleep after one or two rough couplings. I want all night, Licinius admitted, wondering when hed developed such an honest tongue. I just He didnt know how to explain what he wanted. He arched, tilting his hips, then lowering them and lifting his head, every movement involuntary. Crassius allowed their lips to brush and then he was taking hold, pressing Licinius back into the bed, gentling him. You need something to take the edge off? Yes. Crassius shook his head, all the while staring down at him. Savour this. Sshh. Hush. Dont rush this. Savour that need. Make it yours. If you think I dont burn for you, and here he took Liciniuss hand down to his cock, and indeed the knights rigid length was hot, as well as hard, to the touch, then youre very much mistaken. Crassius pulled Liciniuss hand away again. That gaze held his. Before Im finished with you, youll beg and be very happy to do so. When you come, youll cry, and Ill share every tear with you, sob at your side. Oh, sweet heaven. As much as Licinius already pulsed with need, the knights pledge rolled around in his mind and coated his tongue with anticipation. Crassius took hold of his hand, sat there looking thoughtful. Licinius couldnt help it. He glanced down the knights body, longing to see the focus of his desire. As he spied the knights hard member, his eyes widened. Crassiuss cock lounged against the

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mans thigh as if it were a creature apart, relaxed and as confident as its owner was. Licinius had never seen such a hard protuberance hang so heavy. Even as Crassius shifted, that cock failed to do more than twitch; it certainly didnt rise. Was it so heavy it failed to jut from the mans body? Looking up, Licinius started to see Crassius staring at him. The knights eyes positively flashed with humour. Still nothing to say? You um have a magnificent weapon. Licinius risked opting for a joke and breathed a sigh of relief when Crassius bellowed in laughter. Delighted or frightened? It took a moment for the question to filter through to his mind, let alone make sense. Licking his lips, Licinius accepted only truth would do. A little of both. A hand stroked down over his chest. I wont hurt you. The reassurance and warmth in such a short sentence was anything but simple. Struggling not to blink, afraid it would make him shed the tears currently prickling the back of his eyes, Licinius concentrated on Crassius, taking hold of and lifting his hands to press them against his chest. You may touch me, Crassius said when Licinius just lay there stunned, his hands spread against the heat of the mans skin. The knights chest lifted and fell with each breath. Beneath his right palm, he could feel the knights heart beating. As his hands lay extended on Crassiuss chest, so Crassius spread his hands against Licinius. The connection complete, Licinius bit his lower lip, drawing it into his mouth between his teeth. He was afraid hed cry out otherwise and make a fool of himself. He was afraid he might cry out in any case. As the knights hands made a gentle exploring caress down his body to his ribs and then up again, he knew, just knew the other man was taking the time to experience the moment. Every touch, every sound, every demand would be something this man relished. That another being could take such delight in being with him spoke to emotions Licinius had never acknowledged. He tried to tell himself he couldnt afford to feel such things, but as the knights fingers swept upwards, thumbs brushing over his already

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hard nipples, Licinius lost the battle. He arched, eyes closed, head pressing back into bed, body slamming back down. A moan escaped between his lips and then he gasped for breath. When he could breathe again his hands still pressed against that splendid chest and he wanted to appreciate this mans body as much as Crassius clearly appreciated his. Burying all thoughts of what had come before or what would come after for either of them, Licinius thanked creation for the gift of this man and this night, and then set out to enjoy every inch of him. The man was perfect. He was a demigod. Licinius couldnt get enough of him. He didnt know what he wanted more: to touch or be touched. He was used to men handling him but not like this. This was being discovered. While discovered, he went on his own exploration. He never got to touch his customers, not like this. Oh, they urged him to grip them where they so desired, but Crassius navigated the dips, swirls, curves and planes of his body. Licinius copied whatever kiss, lick, nip, and caress Crassius bestowed, wanting to know how each movement felt to give, as well as to receive. He eagerly ran his tongue over the knights sweet skin for he was clean and any sweat that sprung out was fresh, not old and sour. By the time Crassius made any indication he was ready to move on to more intimate areas, Licinius quivered. He was sure one stroke of his cock and he would explode, and yet still Crassius seemed in no hurry. Pulling Licinius onto his lap, he wove his fingers into his pale locks. The knights gaze and concentration seemed centred on his hair so that for a few moments Crassius appeared fascinated. Then his fingers fisted, pulling Liciniuss head back, forcing his body into a bow. In a way, it was a form of dominance Licinius understood. At the same time, it wasnt. In the last -- how long had it been? -- hour hed come to understand that as lost in what they were doing as Crassius appeared to be, he was also very much aware of every reaction. He checked Liciniuss face often, kissed him, caressed him. In some ways, he was gentling him as one would an animal, but there was enough concern in the knights gaze to silence any protest he might have at such treatment.

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Lying across the other mans lap, Licinius could feel that marvellous hard-on pressing against the curve of his buttocks. He was suddenly very aware of how part of him yearned to be plundered. He moaned more in complaint than pleasure, and it had nothing to do with how Crassius currently held him still, body laid back for his use, playing with every part of him except for the most vital parts as if he were an instrument. Crassius at once looked to his face. Licinius gazed up at him from beneath heavy lids with the angle of his head awkward. He could only do as the knight had proclaimed he would, and beg. Oh Lord, please, he whispered, and he couldnt be sure if he meant Lord Knight or Lord in Heaven. Crassius tightened the grip on his hair until the roots screamed. With his other hand, he used his index finger to circle one of Liciniuss nipples. Perversely the different sensations caused Licinius to buck in pleasure. Its difficult to find someone with such patience or stamina. Hed take that as a compliment, but seriously how long was any man able to maintain an erection? It felt as if they had been here all night. They couldnt have been. His cock would have turned gangrenous by now if they had. Ive yet to find someone to match me let alone outlast me, Crassius said. Uncertain if he was stating the obvious or declaring his obvious disappointment, Licinius had nothing to say to that. All he could do was writhe and groan, display his body. Crassius chuckled. From demure to pure abandonment in the span of an hour. Ill have you completely ravished and without inhibition by morning. Yes, I think youre just ready for the next level of torture. Next level? Shock, dread, longing and hope all kicked Liciniuss emotions into a higher gear. Tears flooded his eyes but failed to spill as Crassius pinched each nipple. This time Licinius moaned in objection. That was meant to hurt, Crassius told him, still forcing Licinius to tip his head back at an awkward angle. Tell me you want up and Ill let go of you.

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It shocked Licinius to realise he didnt want to be released. He very much wanted Crassius to continue. Even so, defiance rose up inside him. He was used to men exploiting him, but this was a different type of use. He wanted to be defiant just because. Unfortunately, his body beckoned. Crassius chuckled. Of course, even I have only so much stamina, he murmured, and these, he reached down and cupped the ripe orbs between Liciniuss thighs with his free hand, have been begging for my touch for some time. They werent the only things begging. His cock leapt but Crassius ignored it, as Licinius had just known he would for now. For now, the knight fondled him, weighing his testicles as if he were examining fruit for purchase. He rolled the two balls together as much as the surrounding skin would allow. That touch, the heat of the mans hand, felt so good even though the ache spread outwards, radiated into his guts and then increased. Licinius whimpered. Crassius changed his grip, his fingers encircling, creating a vice between testicles and body. With a tight grip, he pulled down on them as if he intended to separate the balls from the knaves form. That pull was slow and steady but relentless. It hurt. It was meant to hurt. Licinius understood that. Just as Crassius intended the hard pinch to his nipples to hurt. He clearly wanted Licinius to experience this other type of pain. There was pleasure underlying it but it was a delicate balance, one about to tip over the precipice into agony when Crassius stopped. Surely now, that hand would move to his yearning, weeping cock? It didnt. Licinius moaned, a sob escaping him even as Crassius gathered him up for yet another kiss. This kiss was not searing as the others had been. This kiss was to calm him. As much as Licinius resented it, he welcomed the knights embrace. His balls ached, his cock burned. As for the rest of him, he was a mess. His heart raced. His limbs felt shaky. I know just what you need, Crassius said, and despite hating him for saying it, Licinius believed him. Trust me youll get what you long for and more. Was that threat or promise? As for trust, Licinius trusted Crassius spoke the truth. He would get

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what he longed for and more. That was partly what he feared. First, I want you to do something for me.

Chapter Four
On his knees, Licinius looked up the long line of the knights body. From this angle, he had a marvellous view of the mans muscular thighs, the strong hips, the rippling stomach muscles, topped by a broad chest and weighty, dependable arms. He could also see the mans cock straining out from his body. Hed been right in his earlier assessment. That phallus didnt jut so much as struggle to rear its heavy head. Despite the dubious pain of pleasure prolonged, he had to admire the mans endurance. Crassius seemed able to take all the time in the world, but he was more aroused than he let on. He was a champion of controlling his need and even concealing it, but that heated gaze and the dark purpling of such a noble crown gave him away. Do you know irrumatio? Crassius asked. It took Licinius a moment to nod. Had he paled? He swallowed, for the first time tonight more than a little afraid. Irrumatio was something the soldiers did to some slaves. Some didnt care if their slaves choked to death. Crassius had clearly seen the fear in his eyes because he said, Dont be afraid. Im not going to hurt you. I just want you to do the best you can. The best he could? Licinius almost laughed. Despite preparing for some discomfort, he doubted Crassius wished to damage him. No, what bothered him most was the underlying meaning behind the act. Some made a joke, referring to irrumatio as a means of silencing someone. Others considered it an act of debasement. Even among the adamite-knaves who were used to using their mouths as a way to bring forth pleasure, they understood that for most it was an act of dominance.

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Once more, as if he knew what Licinius was thinking, Crassius spoke up. Im not suggesting this as a way to defile you or even as a show of power. Fingers rifled through Liciniuss hair. I want you to enjoy this as much as I will. If I didnt know better Id wonder if you can read my mind. Mayhap it wasnt a good idea to let the knight know that hed guessed his thoughts correctly, but with Crassius, there appeared to be no hiding such things. Not your mind. Just your expression. That surprised him. Did he always give so much away on his face? Was Crassius the first to notice, or was it just that others didnt care? So, Crassius caressed his scalp, yes or no? Licinius blinked, aware that his expression surely exposed his shock. Crassius grinned. I did say it was a suggestion. You mean I can refuse? Of course you can but if you give permission then I want you to give yourself over to this, to me. Crassiuss expression was a mixture of reassurance, passion, and something darker that Licinius couldnt put a name to. He wasnt even sure he dared, yet at the same time the look in the other mans eyes sent shivers of excitement through him. He nodded his acceptance even as his heart and cock pulsed in unison. Remember, Crassius instructed, no matter how aggressive this may be, there is no violence behind my intention. No violence or violation. Although there was no reason for Licinius to believe the knight, he felt no doubt and remained on his knees. Crassius took his member in hand, causing the hefty girth of his cock to jut out, the bulbous head, smooth and shiny, glowing purple, to point directly at Licinius. Even as Licinius adjusted his position to bring his mouth in line with that offering of flesh and to tilt back his head to allow as free an access as he could manage, Crassius pumped, his hand wrapped tightly around his dick, his hand and hips working to draw the skin back and forth. Droplets of excitement seeped from the slit. Its a game, Crassius said. I mean none of it.

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Licinius knew that for a lie even before Crassius wove the fingers of his free hand once more into the pale locks of hair on his head. The roots strained once more. The pain helped, though Licinius knew not why. He tried to remember his place, hang on to what he had always known of his life here, but even as Crassius held his head in place and presented his erection to Liciniuss lips, he couldnt cling to anything hed known before this night. Glancing up, he was able to catch sight of Crassiuss face. The knight was enjoying this. He loved what he was doing, but loved it on a level beyond Liciniuss understanding. Even so, he experienced an echo of the knights feelings and he suddenly wanted to give himself over. He had said yes when hed had the power to say no. Which one of them stood truly dominant instantly blurred on that one bright thread of understanding. Grabbed by the hair, head pulled painfully into position, he closed his eyes as Crassius wiped dew drops of desire against his lips. The touch went away. A pause ensued. Licinius opened his mouth, took a deep breath. A moment later thick hot meat filled his mouth. Crassiuss hips moved gently in comparison to what he had expected, pumping easy, allowing him to breathe. Wanting to suck, Licinius closed his mouth, forming a perfect O with his lips, dragging his tongue along the underside of that solid length. He would have slavered the head but the rhythm wouldnt allow for it. Crassius drove deeper, faster. Gagging, Licinius had no choice but to open his mouth. As Crassius withdrew, he desperately sucked in air before the thrust forward cut off his breathing once again. A gag reflect ended in an abrasive cough and even that cut off as in response, Crassius let go of his cock and pushed in deeper. Rather than fight, Licinius tried to accommodate all that he could. Some perverse part of him wanted to do so. He even twisted his head a little, seeking a better angle. Used to less-forceful fellatio, Licinius began to experience a certain pride in meeting each of the knights thrusts with equal compliance. True, at first he had to fight the urge to gag, but as aggressive as Crassiuss movements were, he was not as violent as to make Licinius fear he would vomit or

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choke on saliva. When things got too much, Crassius even let Licinius wrap one hand around the base of his penis to help control the thrust and depth. When hed breathed enough to give his heaving lungs a rest, Licinius once again gave over control to Crassius. For true irrumatio, he should have done nothing but kneel there passively and allowed the knight to use his mouth, accepting each thrust, letting Crassius do all the work. Mouth and throat fucked, Licinius concentrated on resisting the natural convulsions that threatened at such an intrusion. He made a monumental effort to hold his breath, and relax his throat. His reward came when the grip on his head relaxed then left him completely. He became aware of the smooth push and pull of the other mans hips. Despite the harsh noise issuing from his abused throat, Licinius could hear the hissing breaths Crassius drew in and expelled out through gritted teeth. Breathe. His body screamed but breathing was impossible. Pressure built up in his chest as if there was a weight upon it. His head buzzed. He would soon pass out. Enough! Crassius pulled away, his chest heaving, his breathing ragged. Licinius swayed, hands forward, finally pressing down against the floor as his body gave itself over to the brutal gasps for air he so desperately required. He was elated as well as feeling disappointment. Hed fully expected Crassius to spill down his throat. Even as his senses began to clear, he couldnt help the small pleasure it gave him to see Crassius stumble. Which of them did the knight now perceive as dominant? He tried to keep the pleased smile off his face and knew he failed. If his expression bothered Crassius, the knight wasnt about to let him know or simply dismissed it. Chest heaving as much as the knaves, Crassius gasped out, Now for what you need. On the bed. Bend over, hands and knees. Orders. Although he felt closer to the knight than any other man who had ever come to his bed, Licinius couldnt help the rebellion that once more rose up inside him. He didnt know what expression he had on his face, but Crassius certainly saw

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something, for he reacted. Those large hands gripped Licinius about the head, cupping his chin, lifting him straight up on his knees, and then to his feet as hed moved to obey. Tilting his head, Crassius stared down into his eyes. I promised you, before I was through with you, you would beg. Youve done that and were happy to do so. The knight made the last part of that sentence a question. Licinius nodded as much as the knights grip would allow. Yes, he had and yes, he had been happy to do so at the time. Now comes the part where you cry. Licinius blinked. He remembered exactly what the knight had said. When you come, youll cry, and Ill share every tear with you, sob at your side. Crassiuss lips pressed hard against his. The kiss was demanding, devouring, devastating. By the time it ended, Licinius went to his knees too shaken to do anything else. He braced his body on all fours and waited, expecting a hard, crude pummelling. What he got was a gentle kiss on the back of his neck, hands stroking over his shoulders, blazing a trail with touch, teeth and tongue down his spine. A tongue dipped into the valley and Licinius gasped. Crassius couldnt mean to Oh, but he did! Licinius had taken orders to do this, but hed never known how it felt, this saucy kiss. Hed worried if the knight who would come to him would be clean. Now Licinius did a mental check, although he already knew how well hed prepared his body and mind for this evening. He was as clean as any person could be. Even so, to feel Crassius move up behind him, then fingers delving, separating and finally Oh merciful He lost the thought, as tiny tickling licks fluttered over his buttocks moving swiftly in toward that most intimate cleft. At times, hed enjoyed giving this kiss if he was attracted to the knight in question. The reaction of the one receiving was usually so wild, the recipient swiftly lost in bliss. Hed never understood why, but now oh sweet Licinius gasped, cried out. He snarled great wads of cloth into his hard fast grip, bunching the blanket into a twisted representation of such sweet torment. Hed never felt something so incredible. The quivers of sensation shot up into him, profoundly through him. He was going to explode in an instant just from that feeling.

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He said something, some incoherent mumble, to indicate how close he was to orgasm just from that sensation, and then the licks turned to sucks as well as licks, the knights tongue prying his body open. Licinius was sure that secret opening fluttered in response. He surely gaped in longing even as Crassius used his tongue as a diminutive cock, in and out, back and forth. Licinius was only too aware of his body tightening, drawing toward a detonation. Behind him, Crassius pulled back long enough to say Not yet. Licinius wasnt sure either of them was certain he could obey the order. That evil tongue took to flicking and plunging. As embarrassed as he was, Licinius felt too aroused to care. Nothing else mattered except that this feeling continued. The moment burned in his mind all the more poignant because it was this man, this knight, that set his hole on fire and seared him deeper than just from igniting his desire, that small orifice acting as a fuse and the knights tongue a burning taper. I cant, Licinius gasped out. His body was open, ready for pillaging. You can, he insisted and reaching forward he squeezed Liciniuss cock in such a way that the need eased even as the agony of waiting increased. Crassius then went down, licked at those swollen balls, tongue flickering as a flame, slowly working his way back up to that craving orifice. Licinius couldnt believe it was happening and yet once again, it came, that rebellious kiss, detailed and precise, dainty tracings mapping out a delicate torture. Wicked that tongue, attentive, intelligent with knowledge. The teasing round the rim pressed in, hot and slick. Only then did Licinius realise he was once again mumbling, offering up a rambling entreaty for release. He was turning into water, soon to melt as though he was a man made of ice, though there was nothing frigid in the exchange. Pl-please, he stammered, barely able to complete one whole word. Short of blubbering, he didnt know how to beg for relief. The pressure back there increased, and only then did Licinius realise the kiss had ended. The knight was cursing though the swear words had nothing to do with anger. Now another hot solid heat began to ease into him. It hurt, maybe more than it should

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owing to his experience, and less than it might have done otherwise. His body was too busy opening, begging, swallowing the knights cock in the only other way it could. Buried deep, Crassius stopped both their movements. Licinius felt that tight ring deep inside him pulse around the knights rigid length. He moaned even as the knight swore. There was no time for thrusting. His body too long tortured took him over the precipice. His devastation fed itself to the knight. A curse accompanied every sweet pulse as the knight emptied into him, all the while holding him fast, gripping his shuddering body. Then all Licinius knew were Crassiuss strong arms enveloping him, easing him down even as he sunk toward oblivion. The last he felt was a gentle sweep of the knights thumb brushing over his eyelids. His final thought before he passed out was that his eyes were wet from crying.

Chapter Five
What brought you to this life? What type of question was that? Licinius blinked trying to rouse his weary head. His body replete, sated, felt drugged. Circumstance, he mumbled. Such as? He didnt see why he should answer the knights questions, but then really, what did it matter? A thousand adamite-knaves would have similar stories. My father died. My mother and sisters find work where they can. I send money home to them. It was only the truth. He sent home part of his earnings to sustain his family, feed his ailing mother, and to keep his sisters from doing the very things he was contemplating even now. Unlike him, they wouldnt be so eager. That didnt mean the experience was always pleasant; hed never met a man like Crassius before tonight and would henceforth compare every man to him. Meeting Crassius had made this life so much harder. In truth, hed had enough of this existence, but he couldnt leave, not until hed earned enough to satisfy the choosing house. So far, hed only paid back half of his agreed bond. That was how young men came to work for the choosing house. They sold their bodies for a loan and then spent their nights trying to earn enough to pay off the initial advance as well as an income. And you couldnt find more honest employment? Angry now, Licinius found it easy to fight off sleep. And you cant find a lover you dont need to pay for? He rose up, lifting his head to glare at the knight-errant. To his surprise the knight was silently laughing, his mouth split wide, his gaze sparkling.

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Easy now. I make no accusations. Ill rephrase. Can you find no other way to make money? Not so much so quickly. The knight seemed to consider this. Granted, he said at last. So do you like men at all or do you simply grin and bear it? What could he say to that? Yes and no. Licinius glanced shyly at the knights eyes. You know I enjoyed you. Crassiuss arms pulled him back down into his embrace. As I intended. And I mean no harm with my questions. I just wondered The knights voice trailed off. Yes? Licinius prompted, surprised at his own audacity. I wondered if you had taken to it, this way of life. If you could not stand to leave it. Some like it well enough and never want to do anything else. They enjoy experiencing a new man almost nightly. That was true enough. Even among the adamite-knaves, there were those who earned their reputations as whores. Licinius wasnt one of them. Indeed, many thought him too proud. Crassius wasnt finished. Do you dream of a new life, little one? Do you dream of not having to sell your body? Why do you ask? What matters it to you? Once more Licinius moved to gaze down at the other man. A hand reached up to graze his face. Because I feel you are deserving and capable of so much more than this. You know nothing about me. Not so. Crassius glanced around the tent. You keep yourself and your bed clean. Its a poor attempt, but youve done what you can to make this space not only inhabitable but also inviting. You choose to hang brightly coloured drapes that look warm and seductive, so you understand emotion and romance. You responded to my touch without reservation. I suspect you long to share pleasure on a deeper level than most of your patrons are interested in. Therefore, perhaps you long to one day share

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love? The lilt of the knights voice made it a question but Licinius could only stare. Crassius continued, You are bright. You can read when many of your class cannot. Licinius shook his head. Youre mistaken. On everything or the reading part? Crassiuss gaze searched his. That gaze seemed too bright, all knowing. You read my family motto from my shield this morning. I saw your lips murmur it and you frowned and looked lost in contemplation. Licinius blinked unable to hide his surprise. Yes, he had done that. A knights shield bore his coat of arms, his family crest or motto. He had read Crassiuss motto, made out its significance and then wondered if it meant something more meaningful. Amor Sceleratus Habendi meant Accursed love of possessing. Most took it as a vow against material wealth, but that didnt seem to apply to Crassius. From what he had seen and heard of the knight, he never rejected the accumulation of assets, yet the man was so confident, so calm, so relaxed he appeared rich in other ways; ways that Licinius longed to understand. Maybe I did read it. So what? Oh, you read it but didnt understand it, Crassius replied, chuckling. Not the true meaning of it. Dont worry. No one does. The point is the fact that you could read was partly what made you catch my eye. Really and what else caught your eye? The fact that you took time to think over what you read and to search for the truth of the motto. The truth as known by only you. Naturally. And these curls of course, Crassius ran his fingers through Liciniuss golden locks, and the bright, quick intelligence in your eyes. No one had ever called him intelligent before. Lowering his gaze was the wrong thing to do, but Licinius couldnt disguise his reaction. He was of a higher intelligence than most of the other adamite-knaves, and the thought of spending another four years in this service made his soul quail.

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Indisputably, the knight saw this in his face. See. You are more fitted for another life. What use it is to tell me things I have the knowing of and yet can do nothing to change? Licinius allowed his anger to show in his voice. Mayhap this knight had a point and even understood his suffering, but it didnt stand to reason that he should have to put up with his abuse. How much of your term have you served? He didnt want to answer but he suspected the knight already knew. Two years. A bond was for four years or that was the lie given. The truth was after four years the local authorities could put an adamite-knave out on the streets with little more than he had arrived with save his share of his earnings if he hadnt squandered it, sent it all home, or had it stolen. During that term the church -- although officially the church did not condone or have anything to do with such goings-on -- had to take care of any knaves who fell ill. Once the four years were up, they had no such obligation. One could remain in service for longer, but with no guarantees of treatment or protection. One could remain if ones body was still presentable enough to provide service, if ones features were desirable. Two years served, Licinius had another two years to term in order to pay back his bond, but that wasnt quite the truth, something Crassius voiced now. You know they set a higher interest on your bond after the first two years? I know. There was no point in lying. In just a few days, he could expect a smaller share, and if he didnt stop sending money home -- which he couldnt do -- in order to save to pay off his original bond, it would likely take him another four years instead of two before he was free. Some who spent too much on wine and other vices never managed officially to clear their debt, were not free until the authorities rejected them. Free. What then? The future of a tainted man was dubious. Those who tried to sell themselves on the streets, the authorities burned alive for the very thing they condoned when they were able to partake of the wages. He could only hope to keep his

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looks well enough for employment in the house of a licentious man who liked to grope him in every darkened corner. Crassius said that very thing now. What future have you except as a rich mans whore? Fuck you! Licinius tried to pull away only to have the knights amazing strength bear down upon him. Tears threatened and he fought them valiantly, but soon they spilled. Fuck you, he repeated struggling beneath that weight and bulk that even now made his body pulse with longing, his heart throb in agony. Hush. I dont mean to hurt you. As much as he believed him, although he knew not why, Licinius had to ask. Why then? Why ask questions to which you already know the answer? Why torment me with a glimpse into my worthless future? Hush, hush. The knight tried to calm him but Licinius still fought. He didnt want to. The way the knight held him, the tone of his voice, all of this made him want to give in, to fall into the knights embrace, to accept his comfort. Why? It was all he could ask. To make you see possibilities should they present themselves. I dont understand. I know. I Crassius hesitated. Once more Licinius experienced the strangest feeling that the knight was thinking. This time it felt as if Crassius struggled with some decision. Fingers played gently over his face. Those dark eyes gazed at him, studying. Youll be my downfall. What did the knight mean? Why say such a thing? Why gaze at him as if he saw something beautiful? Licinius stopped struggling. In Crassiuss gaze, he lay as an insect pinned, unable to fly free. Amor Sceleratus Habendi. What? My motto. You read it. Accursed love of possessing. It applies to you. Maybe more to you than any other who has suffered my attentions.

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Despite his mixed emotions, Licinius laughed though the sound was somewhat rueful. You know for all my apparent intelligence, I dont understand you. Crassius stroked his face. Only because Ive not allowed it. Ive given you only glimpses into who I am. Would that we had more time. The knight sounded so plaintive, as if he meant it, that Licinius swallowed, wishing that very thing. Crassius smiled down at him. I see you wish the same. Wish? What use were wishes? See what they got him: longing for something that could never be, and wanting to understand a man who talked in riddles. Rest easy, Crassius instructed. When we wake well share pleasure once again. As much as that sounded wonderful and certain parts of his anatomy quivered or leapt for joy, Licinius almost wished it was within his power to refuse. Every moment spent with this knight only showed him what he was soon to lose.

***
Wake up, sleepyhead. Licinius opened one eye but even before he did so he became aware of a finger prying at his hole, circling. He gasped as it slid inside. The shock of the violation made his body fight the intrusion even as his desire soared. He was open and wet, and so a second finger swiftly followed without resistance. Slick and hot, Crassius murmured. I think another finger. At once, another digit forced his entrance to widen. Um hmm, was all the sounds he could manage. Still not talking? Crassius chided. Licinius couldnt think of anything to say that his body wasnt speaking of already. He chose to ignore his earlier reluctance; those distant thoughts of what he was to lose and ideas of refusing. He pushed back, driving the intrusion deeper. In reply, Crassius widened the spread of his fingers until Licinius moaned in abandonment. There, thats better, Crassius said, and like the first time, Licinius was lost fully to understand the knights meaning. He didnt care. He only cared for this. Something

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larger pushed into him. With a steady pressure, Crassius filled him up. The entry was slow but easy. Even before it crossed his mind to wonder what his patron might want of him, Licinius was backing up. A strong arm caught him around the waist, forced him back, his crack tight against the knights groin. The fucking was slow, nice, teasing with Crassius pulling out just enough to rim the entrance with his smooth cockhead before plunging in slow and deep. The withdrawal was just as slow, ending in another tease. Licinius couldnt tell which he liked more, the steady pull out or the push homeward. Every push in pulled a moan from him. Every pull out drew breath between his teeth in a hiss. His cock was hot and throbbing, and yet, just like last time, Crassius didnt touch him there. Licinius could hardly complain when the knight had done such intimate things with his tongue. Even so, Licinius wanted to know. Why wont you touch me? Crassius chuckled, pulling Licinius up onto his knees so that his back pressed against the knights chest. Despite the difference in their size, or maybe because of it, Crassius managed to keep them in place even as the position forced his cock in deep. Even though he was stretched and needy, a small spur of pain shot through Licinius. To his horror, it did nothing to lessen the moment. Unlike Crassiuss heavy tool, his cock jutted out, long and slender, rising up pointing like an arrow so that when the knight used a finger to press that organ downwards it bounced back to smack against Liciniuss stomach. You mean this, I take it? Licinius nodded, unable to speak. I have plans for this, Crassius whispered in his ear. Close your eyes. Giving himself over to darkness, there was only feeling. Licinius gasped to feel Crassius withdraw and then slap at his testicles a few times. Even the mild pain that ensued chased back his erection. Eyes closed, Crassius commanded when Licinius tried to look. That somniferous voice danced with notes of delight. Without sight, Licinius could only turn to his other senses. He heard Crassiuss breathing turn up a notch. Whatever the knight

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was about to do, he clearly found it arousing. If it aroused Crassius, then Licinius was pleased to do it. That surprised him but it was the truth. He gasped once more when he felt something slip over his cock and click into place. This will keep you from enjoying yourself too much until Im finished with you. Crassius moved around behind him, and although he hadnt given permission, Licinius opened his eyes and looked. His cock lay encapsulated in a cage formed from metal and leather. Hed seen such things before but they were rare. They were usually used to make young men such as him work extra hard, to concentrate their efforts on those who had hired their services. It didnt feel as if that was the reason here. He feared that if he grew hard while wearing such a contraption it might prove impossible to get it off but he quickly saw this wasnt the case here. The design meant that the cage would fall apart into two halves and if all else failed one could loosen or cut the leather strips to divide the sections. Fingers threaded through his hair. Little slave, the knight murmured but despite the feeling that he should feel insulted over the use of such words, Licinius only felt excitement. That exhilaration amplified when Crassius stroked his hair and asked, Do you mind that, little one, little slave? Do you mind being my little slave? The emphasis was on the my and breathed into his ear, shivering down into his mind, alighting in his heart, firing up his body and filling his soul. My slave, me, your master. Now he couldnt tell if Crassius was asking how he felt about that idea, whether the man sounded wistful, or if he made a statement. As much as the choosing house owned him for now, hed never felt as if he was a slave. A slave to Crassius or to Crassiuss desires: now that was something worth contemplating. He felt wanted, the focus of this mans attention, and not just an object. The feeling was enhanced when Crassius whispered, You look so beautiful in your suffering. Now, as Crassius thrust in and out of him, he backed up the pummelling with small slaps. Instead of keeping Licinius from hardening, the slaps made him grow hard at once, his cock filling the confines of the cage. His cock was soon straining. That strain swiftly built into an ache. Gazing down the length of his body, he could only stare at his

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cock, at how it rose despite the weight of cage, how it struggled to rise further to brush against his body, flexing, pulsing with need. Now to give you what you need. Licinius closed his eyes. Needing this was something he had never imagined, and yet he instinctively knew that tonight was merely a glimpse into the pleasures such a man could and would share with him. If only they had time His cock demanded urgent, immediate attention. It was not to be, but this was not the same as his couplings with men who chose to ignore his cock or give it a hasty fumble. That Crassius controlled his desire, could grant release or withhold it, surprisingly excited him. I knew you would respond like this, Crassius said, nuzzling him, lips to his ears, breath puffing against his face. I knew your appetite matched mine. Licinius understood nothing of what the knight said, and yet, in other ways, he did. He twisted in the knights embrace. Who are you? He wasnt asking for a name, a family crest. He was asking for something deeper, some fundamental understanding. Maybe Im your master. He spoke in a low tone laced with promise. Licinius barked out a laugh that died in an instant. A hand encircled his throat as though it were a noose. Prepared to hang by such a touch that promised so much more, Licinius moaned. Little slave. This time the whisper brought forth no anger. Slave yes, to the right master. Slave for a night to awakening desires he could put no name to but feel throughout his entire being. Where had this man come from? How had he found him? Had they sought out one another? Worse, a cold thought lanced throughout his being turning his anguish into a shout of sound: how could he go back to living the life hed lived before tonight? The pain of loss made the ache in his cock pale by comparison. I spear ye, Crassius whispered teasingly, and if he hadnt backed up his words with an impaling thrust of his cock, incoming, spiking into Liciniuss body in one stroke, the little slavemight have laughed. As it was, he gave himself over to pleasure

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mixed with pain, pain mingled with so much pleasure he could no longer tell which part of his body ached or burned. Was it truly his body or his mind that smouldered? He wanted to tell the knight that he was almost mindless. So much for intelligence when your body was one aching, pulsing need. As in everything, the knight seemed to know. Inside, motionless, Liciniuss body had to do the work. Against his consent, his body fluttered, pulsed, contracted, tightened as though it would happily squeeze every drop of desire out of Crassiuss cock. Meanwhile, Crassius turned his attention to playing Licinius with his hands, decisive sweeps of his fingers followed by scratches and ending in digs. When Crassius tilted him back to lean against him without any other direction, Licinius turned his head for a kiss. Despite the awkward angle, their mouths met, the knights lips and teeth working as did his hands, soft curling swirls culminating in small bites short of painful. Theyd hardly begun yet may as well have been nearing the end. Licinius already bathed in the afterglow of Crassiuss strange kind of love. His cock aching, his backside burning, still Licinius did nothing to plea for an end to this. Mayhap his body would explode from the torture before he couldnt bring himself to call for cease. Part of him was frantic. Another part of him hung outside of time, suspended, experiencing utter contentment, and utter peace. Having rushed toward his imprisoned cock, his blood congealed there, trapped, no more to flow within his veins. Why was he letting the knight do these things to him? It certainly wasnt because he had paid. This was nothing as simple as someone tying him. This man was asking to torture him with pleasure and with pleasure too long withheld. He was asking. May I? Licinius couldnt imagine why he would refuse. He should have been afraid but he wasnt. You like? Crassius asked, and this time he wasnt asking whether Licinius found him desirable. He was asking whether Licinius liked the things he was doing to him. He did. That was what he instinctively felt he should fear. He should be afraid to hand his will over to another, but if one was willing to do so, was that person truly out of control?

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The thought was too much to contemplate and too distracting. He went unharmed. He wanted to feel good. Odd that discomfort and such vibrant aching need should make him feel good, yet part of him had gone beyond the mere experience of pain. He existed within his skin and yet as something separate from flesh, essentially trapped in skin and flesh with an unearthly need. Hed never felt so achingly, painfully aroused and yet they werent doing anything. They knelt, pressed together, his hole full, so full, his cock denied. A small fear broke through the storm. If he grew any harder, would the cage cut into him? His body fought the constriction but could only lose. His cock deprived, it felt as if every other part of his body swelled. Even so, the ache refused to ease. As tight as the cage on his cock, Crassiuss arms surrounded him, binding, as solid as the metal of the knights armour. Youre smiling, Crassius breathed into his ear. Was he? Quite possibly. Smiling as you cry. Fingers took up his tears. A flickering tongue drank them down. He was crying but he knew not why. Maybe with need. Maybe with knowledge of what the dawn would bring. Maybe he cried knowing that this was only a promise of what pleasure the knight could wring from his body if they only had the time. His body snapped, and he would have fallen face first into the bed if not for Crassiuss arm around his waist. The knight finally began to move. The burn inside him eased as the knights cock left him completely. He was bereft for a moment only, for then that velvet-head pushed in again, lingering at first as though that small opening in the knights cock bestowed the larger entrance with a kiss. Crassius set his lips against Liciniuss neck and sucked in flesh even as he entered. Moving his mouth along a little, he repeated the exercise as he pulled out. If he went on like this, Licinius mused as how he would bare a necklace of marks come morning. He didnt care. The knights movements were so slow they were antagonizing. Please fuck me, Licinius begged and against his neck, Crassiuss chuckle vibrated.

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When the knight made no move to speed up the process, Licinius lost his mind. His body, no longer able to function independent of his need, betrayed him more than his words had. He bucked up against the knight even as Crassius pushed forward, pushing him deeper than even his starving body was quite prepared for. He yelped yet still arched, shuddering. Now, Crassius said loudly and pushed home, this time the movement even deeper yet slick. Licinius cried out as though injured, yet for all he knew it could have been a cry of ecstasy or despair. He rode the knights staff, each stroke cutting him, slicing into his mind, dissecting his heart. When he felt the knight spasm, cling onto him, fill his willing body with hot seed, it wasnt enough. He lingered on a precipice, fearing the strength of his longing might undo his mind, and yet his cock remained as caged as his thoughts. He didnt understand and yet he did. If only there was time for Crassius to fully teach him and free his mind. The only thing Crassius could free was Liciniuss cock. The little slave shook, clawing his way back to the surface to find Crassius had toppled him over, rolled him onto his back. Dragged to the edge of the mattress, knees bent, heels pressed back toward his buttocks, his groin was an open v in which his cock hung free, burning, aching with need. Even as he frowned in question, Crassius curled his body, lowered his face. What? No! Oh! Devoured! In his head, he screamed, unable to voice the shock of sensation. He was stunned that Crassius happily suckled, wrapping his tongue around Liciniuss aching helmet. No knight did this. Just like the saucy kiss, Crassius gave Licinius another new experience this night. He shouldnt allow a mighty knight to lick a lowly adamite-knaves cock, yet his body wasnt listening. His hips lifted, demanding. Crassius chuckled and the vibration went through his flesh like an earth tremor. The chuckle cut off as Crassius angled his throat and took Licinius in deep. Despite his desperate need, he was afraid to orgasm. It would be so explosive he would feel pain. Yet he had to climax. There was simply no option.

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Please, please, please. The litany fell from his mouth like pre-cum. Crassiuss throat worked like a greedy mans, pulling, swallowing so that Licinius cried out, almost screamed. His hips jerked, his testicles swelled, his cock throbbed as though something unspeakable was trying to work out from within, something far more destructive than semen. He couldnt believe the knight went down on him. Your pleasure is my pleasure. So it seemed. Would it never end? He wanted it to and yet he never wanted it to stop. A few seconds more and he would go insane. He was sure of it and yet seconds passed and he was still here, still writhing, and still begging with every little twitch and turn of his body. He was mindless in a sense, only a few bright sparks of thought concentrating entirely on his lust, his need for release. He moaned through the ivory gritted bars of his teeth for fear that he might bite through his tongue by accident if he opened his mouth. The sounds that issued from his lips now were one long howling groan. The salt of his sweat ran down his face as he stared down the length of his body, watching Crassiuss head bob up and down between his legs. He blinked, trying to clear his eyes of the sting, but that wasnt the reason his vision blurred. His sweat even snaked over his lips and past his teeth until he tasted salt. As if he needed to taste salt of another kind, Crassius turned up the suctioning, sucking that burning cock into tight, moist heat. Now Liciniuss cock pounded along with his hearts rhythm. Beyond desperate, Licinius would have dragged his cock from his lovers mouth and finished it off by hand if he hadnt known he would wail to pull away from such a sinful, knowing tongue and throat. Crassius swallowed, closing his throat around that erection as if he didnt need to breath. Squeeze. It was too much. It wasnt a climax so much as giving birth to himself over and over, each sweet pulse tearing something out of him, making him less as well as more. Even as his cry turned into sobs, Crassius milked him with his throat, another squeeze, another lick, another suck, drawing out the last drops and Liciniuss agony with it. Keeping that softening member in his mouth, holding it, easing it with his spittle and gently stroking tongue, Crassius eased him down though Licinius knew not

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how. His whole body throbbed now; his heart beat a shuttering, drumming melody in his chest. As soon as Crassius released him, he dreamt. He was free, the knights lover, at his side always. As he had learned, dreams were sweeter than reality. Licinius turned to dreams.

Chapter Six
When Licinius woke, he immediately saw the knight was gone. Sitting up, he noted he lay naked beneath the blanket. He shivered in the morning air, aware that the temperature outside would be less temperate. He cast a glance at the other side of the bed. The bedding was still ruffled and the blanket -- yes, Licinius lifted it to his face and sniffed -- still smelled of the knights musk. The mans scent as well as the sex theyd shared permeated the tent. He at once mourned Crassiuss leaving but it was the way it had to be. It might have been nice if the good knight had waited until he awakened or shook him from sleep to say goodbye, but maybe things were easier this way. He was fooling himself. The longing in his heart sat like a rock in his chest. The yearning in his cock and arse intensified it. That wasnt the only ache of which he became aware. He needed to pee. Throwing back the blanket, Licinius discovered he once again wore the cock cage. What the Licinius tore his gaze from the confinement to take in his surroundings. He wasnt mistaken. He was alone and both the knight and the knights belonging had gone. Looking once more down to his lap, Licinius blinked. He was flaccid. After the sex hed had last night, he doubted he would be able to get an erection for the rest of the day, and yet even as he thought it, his cock flexed like a traitorous bastard. No. Not now. No way. Dont you dare! He sent the unspoken command down to his dick. He moved to his knees and stared around wildly. He needed to remove this thing, but examining it gingerly -- even the lightest touch caused his cock to lurch and swell a

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little -- he could see no way to get rid of it. Hed been so flaccid upon waking it was a wonder the thing stayed on, but this time the knight had fastened it around his balls as well as his cock. He was sure he could remove it, but doing it himself and all the time his cock hardening, it wouldnt be easy. If he needed to seek out one of the other adamite-knaves to help, the tale would be around the town by nightfall. Hed never live it down. He couldnt believe Crassius had done this to him. Oh yes he could! This was just the sort of thing Crassius would do, and perversely as much as the idea bewildered him, he found the notion arousing. Thoughts flashed into his mind of his body bound, left waiting Someone pulled back the flap of his tent, and Licinius only had just enough presence of mind to flick the blanket over his lap to hide his predicament. The commanding officer from the choosing house glanced into the tent. I would have thought you packed and out of here by now. Licinius blinked. He had no idea what the officer meant. This tent has been passed to another for use, seeing as youve paid your bond. Paid? He shook his head confused. The officer didnt take the cue. Stop dallying. Wake up. You have until I return, and then Ill drag you out of here by your hair and flogged out of town into the bargain. He paused once, glancing back. I dont know what you did to persuade such a man to pay your bond but more fool you. Bet you didnt think what was to become of you now. His bond paid? No! Oh no! Forgetting that his cock lay imprisoned in a cage, Licinius scrambled to his feet as soon as the tent flap fell back into place. He dressed with haste and then collected what few possessions were his including his coin stash. He couldnt afford to leave them here while he went to the choosing house to argue his case. By the time he returned, the officer would have been back and there would be nothing left. He would find everything confiscated. He could only hope they believed he had nothing to do with the payment of his bond and would retain his services. Otherwise, how was he supposed to keep sending money back home? How was he to keep the landlord from forcing his family on to the

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streets? What manner of employment could he possibly hope to find and what would become of him? He couldnt believe that Crassius had realised what he was doing. He couldnt yet he did. Hadnt they discussed it only last night while the man held him in his arms? To think soon after hed knelt with the mans cock stuffed up his arse, his cock in the very cage in which it lay in now, and the knight had still done this, treated him so abysmally. That reminded him. His erection was not currently a problem, and he still had to remove the cage. When he hadnt been walking during the last hour, hed been at the choosing house arguing. They would not hear his plea and it was only when they threatened him with the stocks and a public flogging did he give up contending his case. He knew what would follow as well as they did. Without protection, the church could order his execution. The choosing house viewed anyone paying off their bond early as ungrateful and held no qualms playing the hypocrite. They would rather kill him than take him back into service even if they believed hed had nothing to do with the payment. Better to hold him up as an example against ingratitude. Having inadvertently made things even worse for himself in his desperation, Licinius had subsequently lost no time heading out of town. The more distance he could put between him and those who would happily hang him as fuck him was fine by Licinius. That didnt stop his needing to pee. When he could ignore the urge no longer, Licinius glanced up and down the road and, seeing it clear, headed off the path behind a tree. He managed with the cage in place -- he could not wait even to try to remove it before relieving himself -- but it was difficult. Right, to get you off, he said to the cage and set about trying to figure out the best way to do that, bending over, turning his head. He quickly saw he could cut through the straps as long as he remained flaccid but he needed to push his balls through the tightly formed loop to remove it completely. Even as he made his first attempt, his hairs caught and he flinched. Worse, his body reacted in surprising ways to the pain.

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Swearing softly, he paused, taking a few deep breaths before trying again, conceding he might have to lose a few hairs in haste. While he plucked up his courage, he became aware of another sound. Horses on the road and the sound of something else; a carriage approached. He wanted rid of the cage but maybe he could cadge a ride. Tucking his member back in his breeches, Licinius peered out from behind the tree. What he saw made his jaw drop, and he was stepping out onto the road before he thought about it. The driver of the carriage spied him immediately and pulled back on the reins, easing the two horses in front to a stop. Another more magnificent animal brought up the rear, tied by its reins to walk in tow. Such fine stock was too good to pull a carriage. Its black skin gleamed dark like the hair on its owners head. The horses eyes appeared to twinkle with equal amusement. You! Licinius snapped, ignoring the young lad sitting at the knights side who was his squire no doubt. How dare you you you Oh, he was lost for words! He stood at the side of the road, glowering, glowing almost, with rage. Crassiuss only response was to raise an eyebrow. Youve ruined my life! Licinius screamed. Only four years before it would have been ruined anyway, if it wasnt ruined already. How dare you! Licinius couldnt believe what he was hearing. You come to me, to my bed, use me for your own pleasure, and then dare to criticise the way I live? You werent living. That was not life. You can glare at me all you like, but your eyes lit up when you saw me. Theres more life in you now, in your anger, than there was when I first stepped into your tent. There was more light in your eyes by the time Id finished using you for my pleasure than when I first set eyes on you. Was that true? As angry as he was, the knights word dampened his temper. He swallowed, fighting the despair that welled up inside him. Even if thats true, what use does it serve to pay off my bond, leave me nothing but a vagabond? Are you saying you cant go home?

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Licinius shook his head. No, I dont mean that. My mother and sisters will welcome me but Well thats good -- Theyll welcome me, Licinius interrupted, but unless I can find some other type of work that pays half so well, theyll soon be out on the road with me. I did what I did to pay their rent. As youve already told me. Crassius glanced at his squire and then handed the reins to him. Licinius was shocked to see the young lad was grinning. Was the squire making fun of him? Once more, his indignation flared but before it could fully blaze, the knight continued speaking. If you had let me finish, I was trying to tell you that its a good thing your family will welcome you as that will make it all the more simple to pick them up on the way. Way? What on Earth was the knight talking about? Crassius stepped down from the carriage. Did you think I changed your life on a whim? Did you think I had no sense of responsibility, or that I would pay out such an exorbitant fee for nothing? I dont Crassius came up to him. Licinius looked to his face, bewildered, not understanding. The knight raised his hand and brushed his fingers along Liciniuss face. Did they not tell you to wait for me? Licinius shook his head. No one had said a thing. Ah. I should have expected as much. The officer in charge was rather annoyed. I left note that you were to wait for me by my carriage, but when I got there, you were nowhere in sight. Then by the time I went looking for you, I heard youd already headed out of town. I was further delayed finding which road youd taken. You meant to take me with you? You sound shocked. Why does that surprise you?

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I Licinius swallowed. Crassius had paid his bond and meant to take him with him. That sounded fine but why and exactly in what manner? You paid for me. You own me? Licinius made it into a question. Little slave, Crassius purred. Licinius slapped his hand away and paced off a few steps before turning back. Mayhap you own me, but what makes you think you can own my family into the bargain? What do you want with them? Only to help. I know youve heard of my good fortune with the king. I now own a large estate. Im not just any knight. Quite the nobleman, the young squire piped up. Be silent, Marcus, Crassius ordered, but there was no malice in his voice. You and your family need gainful employment, and I have a home and gardens to run. I think we can settle things nicely. I have fought my last battle and will take to jousting when Im not playing the landowner. You can travel with us. Us? Me and my squire, Crassius boomed out, turning his head to smile at the young lad still holding the reins, still grinning. And I? What will I be to you? Crassius once more touched his face and this time Licinius let him. He didnt have the strength to push the knight away. Crassius stepped in closer, his body a line of heat that beckoned. Accursed love of possessing, he whispered. I never spoke of what I longed to possess. Master and slave, yet who is the master and which the slave? Licinius stared at him, his face tightening in a frown. Master and slave? The last time Crassius had said that No. It couldnt be. Crassius couldnt mean We suit each other, little slave, my little knave. You and I will share each others pleasure. For how long? Ever and ever. Those dark eyes twinkled. How does that sound to you?

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Too good to be true. Its as true as you requiring help to get out of that cock cage without damaging yourself. Heat rose to his face even as Crassius laughed, but he took the good knights hand when offered. Come into the carriage, Licinius. Marcus can see us on the way while I take care of you.

Sharon Maria Bidwell


Sharon is a writer from the U.K. who, when not fretting over her latest story, frets over the fish, frogs and newts that live in the pond she never wanted that came with the house that she otherwise longed for. A garden has always been her oasis even though it requires almost as much work as she puts into her stories. Her work often crosses genres, thus crime, horror, fantasy, action, adventure, fairy tales, gothic, erotica, romance, and slipstream, are themes she uses in any combination. She gave her website the title of Aonia for in Greek myth that is where the muses lived and with numerous small publishing credits, praise for her novels, and several books now available, the muses have definitely found a home at Aonia.