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pitch a tent

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Viren hated the close trenches of the war, the way advisors would gather around Harrow, muttering around him different words to sacrifice their soldiers. Viren knew his knowledge of magic that could save lives, save the hollow terrified eyes of soldiers and knights. So often advisors would glare at him, cautioning against the use of dark magic. Always Viren could catch Harrow’s eye, as if the two were sharing a joke over the advisors’ bowed heads.

Harrow had a tent, soft white linen with scented myrrh. The tent was large, open, and lit with the firelight as surely the prince went on to face the words of the council. Not as spacious as the bed back at the palace nor as discrete, the tent was filled with Harrow. Often, Viren leaned against the ash poles on the outside of a conversation, pushed to the corner of the tent.

Viren scoffed at the thought of the council. His magic brought their commands to the border, but their condescension that undermined his influence on the war. Opeli and her ilk never saw the horrible desecration of the dragon’s fire, burned out in heart and flesh. Only crows brought their letters, still smelling of the pampered castle air.

But Harrow was always soft and kind, speaking gentle words to the council about the needs of the humans, unable to defend themselves against the horrors of the Thunder nexus. The soon-to-be King was always able to convince the dedication of the soldiers, each promised the salvation of their country Katolis. Now Harrow would whisper gentle words to him inside the tent, soft words of kindness and affection.

Viren pulled aside the tent flap and stepped inside. He pinned the linen walls so they wouldn’t be disturbed. The wooden stake felt like a splinter in his hand: borrowed time.

“My prince, your mage reports to serve,” Viren said. He ducked closer, hoping to catch sight of the many maps and pins on the table.

Harrow’s boisterous laughter filled the tent, trickling out the linen. He lifted his steel cup in greeting from where he sat by the low table.

“My darling friend, how goes the magic effort?” Harrow asked, more quietly once Viren was closer. Everything felt close and private in the tent, despite the noises of horses and camp outside.

“Katolis is well prepared, and my belly is full of magic from bitter insects,” Viren answered.

The two knelt beside the tent fire, stoked and banked by Viren’s magic, each sigil a breath on Harrow’s temple. Harrow shuddered, totally open to Viren’s breath on his neck, the soft trailing kisses that licked against his temple. The heat was stoked in both of them, burning bright and wild in their guts. The tent flared fever-warm.

Slowly, Viren peeled off his layers. Each layer of silk was imbued with spells, worms, and fibers of magic that helped him on the battlefield. Viren might not have the traditional metal armor, but he felt open and weak in Harrow’s tent. Unraveled and open in the Sun-magic-borne fire, he shrugged out of his overcoat. Embarrassed, he undid the belt his coat was caught on, blushing brightly. Maybe the heat would hide it.

“So strong, so proud,” Harrow said, his fingers trailing over Viren’s chest, the final layer of silk and wool between them. “Always over-eager for battle, my mage.”

Harrow’s fingers, brown and calloused, were quick over Viren’s belt, sliding each piece of metal out and tugging the leather away from his waist.

Viren ducked his head to rest on Harrow’s shoulder, “Eager to serve you.”

Harrow’s fingers caught on his waist, pulled him closer. Viren felt strange sitting astride his king, able to look down on him. Harrow looked soft against the embroidered pillows, cast in umber from the firelight. With the armor peeled away what remained was a man, beloved of the people. Beloved of Viren.

“Perhaps you should be full of other things,” Harrow slid his leg higher between Viren’s.

Viren groaned, shamelessly rutting against Harrow’s leg.

“So vicious and hungry,” Harrow said. His voice was deeper than when he spoke to the council; maybe it was the late hour or the spiraling tension between them.

Harrow’s hands rested on his back. Viren felt the warmth seeping through his tunic, the rough slide of fingers as Harrow pulled him closer. The smoke heavy air was panted breaths between them.

“My mage for the kingdom.”

Viren ground down again. He was hard, and each brush against his prince’s thick leg made him gasp. Viren pressed his lips against Harrow’s throat, eager kisses to the join of his neck.

“No marks, remember?” Harrow teased, grabbing his warlock, pulling Viren back by his hair. Viren felt another roll of precome at the harsh tug, wet inside his pants. Harrow cradled the nape of his neck, grip firm in the chestnut hair.

“Yes, Harrow,” Viren hissed, pulling against the hold.

“You’ll leave marks on the dragon, won’t you, mage?”

“Yes, yes,” Viren hissed. Finally, Harrow allowed him to drop his head. Viren rolled his hips again. He ground down against his prince, feeling the arch of his own back as he rutted against the crimson fabric.

“You’ll bring me his horns,” Harrow’s hands groped his ass. Thick fingers pressed against the rough fabric, feeling at the cleft of him. Viren would do anything for him, open his belly and spill out magic for him.

Viren was close, close to Harrow and the precipice. Still clothed in his pants and tunic, disheveled and overwhelmed, he rocked forward.

“Your words will shake him from the sky, Lord Viren,” Harrow growled, “Strike down the elves for me, my mage.”

“For you, my words for you,” Viren gasped into his shoulder. “My king.”

Viren felt the silk of his tunic against his nipples, the warm air against his belly as Harrow lifted his shirt. The hard planes of his king’s abs under his fingers heaved with breath. The glint of gold in Harrow’s eyes, proud, caught Viren’s attention. Too much--

“Not so pent up before battle, hm?” Harrow smiled up at Viren.

“I’ll have to catch my breath before morning,” Viren panted.

Harrow pushed Viren’s sweaty hair off his forehead. “There’s still time for that.”