In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
Shemin was almost gone, Seregil realised, as he shivered his way back from the pond. Spring was history, summer was well underway, and what did he have to show for the past few months? The new stable, some contraptions that Micum swore helped a little with his leg, and last but certainly not least, one enormous display of self-pity and stupidity.
He'd earned his keep, if not the care his hosts had shown him. Or Alec's love, truly.
"You have," Alec swore to him. "As if you needed to." He pulled away from Seregil's embrace all the same. "But it's early in the day, and there's work to be done."
It was true, but that didn't make him feel any better.
Seregil occupied himself in the far pasture, away from the too-bright chatter of the kitchen and yard. The pines were whispering above, sign of a rising wind that could strike out here any time of year, and there were fences that needed mending before it rose further.
"I brought you tea," Alec said softly, and the gold in his hair gleamed more brightly than ever in the afternoon sun. The bowl he held was almost full, but the tea could hardly still be hot after walking all this way. Alec's lips were sun-warmed though, and the hay welcomed them easily, a comfortable if prickly bed.
"Not here," Alec breathed, with Seregil's fingers wrapped around his prick at last. His eyes were wide, bluer than the sky, his skin pinking where it was bared under Seregil's gaze.
"Just this," Seregil promised, though he knew it would take little to persuade his talimenios to do more. He kept his strokes gentle, teasing. "Nobody can see us here, and you're so hard, talí. I can't leave you like this."
"I suppose... it is your fault." Alec said, sly and smiling, want and innocence tangled together, and Seregil could feel himself falling once more, 'till he was caught somewhere between what Alec was, and what he had made of him.
Seregil swallowed Alec's groans as heat spilled across his hand. "It certainly is," he whispered.
The food was always good and plentiful at Watermead, but Seregil wasn't the only one struggling to get through it that evening. If he was distracted by Alec, by the way the boy blushed every time Seregil's hand reached over the table, then his talimenios seemed even more so.
"Early start tomorrow," Alec said, when everyone else was in bed. Seregil paused, though he accepted a tankard from Micum the way he did most evenings. "I think I'll--" Alec didn't finish the sentence, but his stroll towards the door was too casual.
"Go," Micum grinned, and Seregil put the tankard down carefully. "Take what the gods send, isn't that what you always say?"
Alec may well have been sent by the gods, Seregil thought. His shirt unfastened, chest glowing in the candlelight, he was perched on the edge of the bed. Waiting, or so Seregil hoped.
Seregil touched a hand to Alec's hair, slid it down to cup his face. Alec's cheek was warm under his skin; too warm.
Alec turned his face into Seregil's touch. "I don't know what to do," he mumbled, lips moving against Seregil's palm. "And I don't know if I can--" He didn't say, but Seregil could guess. Alec had heard enough bawdy songs by now, not that anyone ever learnt much but laughter from them. "Maybe we should wait?"
"There are no rules," Seregil said, and nuzzled Alec's ear. "We don't need to do anything you don't want." He considered. "Not ever," he said, and was surprised to find that was true. Whatever he and Alec decided on would be consummation enough, whether hands, or mouths, or more.
"What you did for me," Alec said, and his fingers were determined if not sure on Seregil's breeches. "Can I--?" He fumbled for the laces, but his fingers were awkward as they never were with his usual tricks, and Seregil folded them in his own.
"Later," he said, taking any offence away with his smile, but Alec still deflated a little. "All you need to do for now is relax."
Looking at Alec's hunched shoulders, that was going to be easier said than done. Seregil considered, then brought his fingers up to unlace his tunic, slip his shirt off to the floor. It was hardly the first time Alec had seen him undress, but this time his eyes followed Seregil's every move. His breath hitched when Seregil stepped closer, between his knees, and his hands smoothed the shirt from Alec's shoulders.
"It's just me, talí," Seregil reminded him, rubbing gently at Alec's tensed muscles, sliding his hands down his back. "You trust me to make you feel good, don't you?"
"You know I do." Alec didn't hesitate, and that made Seregil smile into his hair, nuzzle his way down to his cheek, his lips. Alec's mouth was as sweet as ever, a familiar taste already although he had so far had little opportunity to learn it, and more intoxicating than the mead he had left downstairs. Alec was not the only one short of breath when Seregil broke the kiss, and it was more years than Seregil cared to remember since simply kissing had affected him so much.
"What you do to me, talí," Seregil said, kissing his way down Alec's chest until he knelt in front of him. Alec's stomach fluttered under the press of lips, an instinctive response to something new, and he moaned, a choked-off helpless sound, even before Seregil had finished unlacing his breeches and continued his kisses to newly-bared skin.
"What--what I do to you?" Alec stammered out, and Seregil laughed against the soft, damp head of his prick. He had already decided he could never tire of the feel of it in his hand, of its musky scent tickling his nose, but those paled beside the taste of his beloved, and the soft, desperate sounds he made when Seregil sucked gently on the tip.
"You'll see," Seregil whispered, and slid his lips down further over Alec's shaft, the skin silky-smooth and warm against his tongue. He held Alec's hips firmly, allowing him to buck just a little, but not enough to risk catching Seregil's teeth, and guided him to rub along the roof of his mouth.
"By the Light," Alec groaned, and Seregil could feel him struggling to keep still under his hands. "I think you're trying to kill me."
Seregil chuckled around him, and took advantage of Alec's surprise at the vibration to slide Alec down as far as he could, the cry and sudden gush of warmth down his throat far from unexpected.
"Up," he said softly, when Alec looked up, dazed, and he offered his hand. Alec's legs buckled and he leaned into Seregil, but he helped push both their breeches off, and he was the one who pushed a sweat-damp thigh between Seregil's legs, Seregil was gratified to note.
The kiss though, that was unexpected. Not for the kiss itself, but for the way Alec licked at his mouth, as if searching for something, and a jolt of pure lust shot through Seregil when he realised what Alec was doing.
"Here," he murmured, and guided Alec's tongue into his mouth, helped him seek out the taste of himself.
"Tingles," Alec said, putting a finger to his lip, and Seregil supposed it did, though he had never thought about it that way. "So, do you want to--" He stopped, and there was that look again, shy but full of need, even though his release was still fresh on their tongues.
"There's no rush." Seregil hushed him with another kiss, and the tension that had crept back into his talimenios seemed to dissipate under his touch. "There are things we can do that will lead there, if that's where you want to go." Alec shivered against him, just the lightest tremble, and Seregil pulled him closer. "But they're enjoyable enough either way," he said, by way of reassurance.
Alec nodded, and let Seregil guide him back to the bed, lay him face down and spread his thighs with barely a murmur.
"Good boy," Seregil said, and ran his hands up the back of Alec's thighs. The skin was soft and pale, delicate when he pressed kisses against it, and Alec's trust in him never more strongly demonstrated than when he parted Alec's cheeks to press another against the wrinkle of skin hidden between them.
"Oh," Alec breathed, but he didn't pull away, didn't even flinch. Seregil's hands soothed the boy's sides, enjoying the suppleness under his fingers, the feel of him relaxing into the soft bed. When Seregil returned to his goal and touched the tip of his tongue to Alec's crease, Alec simply let out a sigh of contentment and Seregil couldn't help but marvel at how easily his tongue gained entrance.
It was tight, of course, but without Alec's complete trust even Seregil's practised tongue would have had to work harder at the muscles to relax them. He pushed a little, pulled out to lap at the edge of Alec's balls, the sensitive crease of his thigh, and back to pushing a little further. It didn't take long before he realised Alec was pushing back against his tongue; more than that, he was squirming against the bed.
"Like that, did you?" Seregil grinned, when he pulled away and Alec rolled over to find out where he'd gone.
"Do that some more," Alec panted, and the flush across his cheeks was more pronounced than ever. His prick was stiffening against his stomach, glistening in the candlelight and so tempting that Seregil had to reach out for it.
"Impatient," Seregil laughed, but Alec thrust up eagerly into his hand, and his thighs, if anything, opened wider in invitation. Seregil sucked on the fingers of his other hand and rubbed lightly over Alec's wet hole, pressing one in as he stroked and teased Alec to full hardness once more.
"I don't--" Alec said, but that was as far as he got. Seregil wriggled his finger in up to the knuckle and crooked it, and Alec throbbed in Seregil's hand, once, twice, and came across his stomach in short, gasping bursts.
"Good timing," Seregil said, and swirled a finger in the mess. "If this is uncomfortable I have some ointment we can use, but for now..." He pressed two fingers into Alec this time, and Alec was so relaxed he just sighed into it, showing not the slightest sign of discomfort.
"I want you to," Alec mumbled, and Seregil didn't need to ask what he meant.
"All in good time," he said, though he throbbed all the way down to his balls at the plea. He scooped up more slick liquid from Alec's belly and pushed it inside him, twisting his fingers gently, carefully. Alec was never going to be more relaxed for a first try, but he wanted to wait until--and there, right on cue, the first twitch of life from Alec's recently-spent prick. "But since you asked so nicely..." Seregil lifted Alec's legs to his shoulders, leaned down low over him, kissed his lips, the mouth that murmured indistinct endearments.
"Now?" Alec asked, and Seregil could see nothing but black in those dark blue eyes. The pupils were blown wide with pleasure, and it had never looked better on any lover he'd taken.
"Now," Seregil whispered against his lips, and slid his prick alongside his fingers, let the head rub against the slickness they'd put there. "Tell me if it hurts, but it will stretch a little, maybe burn."
Alec nodded, and Seregil watched a bead of sweat drip down his forehead as he pushed inside slowly. Alec turned his head, restless on the pillow, and it trickled down, tickling until Alec rubbed it away, and Seregil smiled. There was no sign of pain on Alec's face, just a gasp when Seregil stopped or started moving, and though he was softening again Seregil wasn't too worried about that.
"You're inside me," Alec said, when Seregil was pressed up tight against the back of his thighs. "Inside me."
Seregil could feel his eyes prickle, and though he hardly dared breathe for fear the perfect heat and tightness would bring this to an end before they'd truly started, he picked up Alec's hand and wrapped his lips around his fingers.
Alec laughed, and Seregil knew he'd got it. "You're in me, and I'm in you." Seregil grinned, though he thought his heart might burst, and pulled out slowly, just a little. He pushed in again carefully, watching Alec's face, and after a few thrusts he could almost feel Alec's pleasure building, until he cried out and his balls made a last, feeble attempt to coat them both in Alec's fluid. Seregil felt his control give way and his own seed release deep inside Alec not long after.
"Alec," Seregil murmured as he pulled out. "Talí, beloved."
"Talí," Alec echoed, and the wind sighed along with them both.
The wind whistled through the pines, around the chimneys, and rattled the shutters on the window briefly. Seregil was wondering if his fence repairs would hold when the candle guttered and flickered, but didn't blow out. Seregil decide to take that for an answer.
"Summer won't last forever," Alec mumbled into Seregil's side.
"No, talí," Seregil said, stroking his hair as they drifted off to sleep. "It never does."
But Seregil was sure that as long as he had Alec by his side, there would always be summer to find somewhere.