Spending time at his private island with his boys has Cedrik thinking back to some of the formative experiences in his long life and the men he shared them with. Meanwhile, his boys experience firsthand the things those men taught Cedrik—things that will put them through their paces.

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The journey was one Alantin had taken before, on perhaps a handful of occasions, and yet each time the dazzling coastal waters around Cedrik’s remote island sanctuary never failed to amaze him.

Cedrik had gone to his island a day earlier to get things ready for Grim and Alantin but he’d made arrangements for their transportation. A submarine had met them at the Moraby Drydocks, already set up to take them across the sea to where Cedrik was waiting for them.

Alantin looked out the nearby porthole and smiled. The waters were teeming with the ocean’s bounty, stunningly vibrant in these bright, clear coastal waters. It was a testament to Cedrik’s stewardship and the care, attention, and respect that he gave his surrounds.

The islands in this area were blessed with natural treasures but this one couldn’t have flourished the way it did without Cedrik. The reef was stunning in its vibrancy and it was nothing if not breathtaking to see the colorful schools of fish swimming amongst the corals.

Alantin glanced over his shoulder. Grim was sitting on the other side of the vessel, curled up in a nook next to one of the portholes with his onyx carbuncle on his lap.

It was a curious thing that onyx carbuncle. It was very different from all the other kinds of carbuncles Alantin had seen in his time. He’d have liked to ask how it had come to be the way it was but perhaps such a conversation was a matter for another time.

“Are you excited?” he said as he turned away from the porthole.

“Mm?” said Grim. He squinted up at Alantin as if taking a moment to process the question he’d been asked. “Oh! Yes. Of course!” he said after a moment, cracking a little grin at Alantin.

It was difficult not to be. Alantin himself had been anticipating the outing for some time. It was a rare thing for the three of them to have the opportunity to get away for a while, and now that they did, it only made sense to indulge.

“What were you so busy thinking of?” said Alantin, a little knowing smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

A faint pink tinge crept into Grim’s cheeks. “We’ll be here a fortnight! And this is where Cedrik does some of his more…unsavory…research, right?”

It was Alantin’s turn to blush. A number of the handful of times he’d been to the island had been for such research. “Y-yes, it is.”

“Well, I might have no objections to a fortnight of peace and relaxation away from civilization, it can’t all be fun and games, right?” said Grim, a peculiar glint in his eye that Alantin had come to understand often meant trouble.

Alantin scratched his cheek, a twinge between his legs as he recalled the different ‘experiments’ that Cedrik had had him assist in. “W-well, research and fun don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive,” he said.

Grim thought about it for a moment before nodding. “Hm. You’re right,” he said, turning his attention out through the porthole as the dock came into view. “Either way, I’m looking forward to what Cedrik has planned—and what discoveries he might have to share with us.”

Alantin chuckled, clutching his seat as he felt the vessel’s deceleration. “Of that, I have no doubt…” He licked his lips. “Whatever might be in store, I’m certain it will be pleasurable.”

Grim smiled deviously as he swung his legs off the side of his seat to stand up. “And not necessarily in the same way each time,” he said with a little grin.

Alantin knew that first-hand, though he was certain Grim did too. Pain could lead to pleasure too, if applied in the right way and the right context.

Once the vessel had surfaced, one of the crew mammets popped the hatch open and climbed out. Alantin followed suit, taking in the smell of fresh ocean air as he stood on top of the submersible.

He waited for Grim to do the same and took the opportunity to watch as the mammet tossed a mooring line over to one of Cedrik’s servitor golems. Grim came up just in time for the vessel to be moored and had to stand back as a plank was set down for them to cross over.

A faint crackle in the air announced Cedrik’s arrival just as Alantin and Grim were stepping onto the dock. Ixion crested over a nearby rise and carried Cedrik onto the flagstones with remarkable speed.

Cedrik grinned down at the two of them from Ixion’s back and quirked an eyebrow. “The two of you seem awfully overdressed,” he said.

Alantin knew the routine by now—and he had meant to strip off right away—but Cedrik had arrived faster than he anticipated. “I-I’ll correct that right away, Master,” he said.

It was no difficult task to strip down. He hadn’t worn much to start with. A loose tunic, shorts, and sandals were enough for modesty while out in public and were easy to lose when the situation called for it.

Alantin stripped his top off first, letting it fall by the side before hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his shorts to slide them down his legs. He hadn’t worn any underwear to the island, knowing he’d lose it as soon as he stepped foot on the dock, so when he straightened up, his arousal was made plain to see.

Once he’d stepped out of his sandals, the only thing that remained on him was the collar wrapped around his throat. He lightly touched it, a small smile tugging on his lips before he turned his attention back to Cedrik.

Grim had undressed too, his own arousal not so difficult to spot. The air around him shimmered with heat—a sign of his own excitement that was mirrored in the flicking of Alantin’s tail.

Cedrik chuckled. “Good boys,” he said as he dismounted from Ixion to approach them. “Now come along. I’m certain you’ll enjoy what comes next.”

It was only a short way to the hut they would be using but Cedrik nevertheless took the opportunity for a little self-indulgence. Such was the occasion, after all, and it would have been a crying shame to not take advantage of having two pretty boys at his fingertips.

A smile tugged at the corners of his lips as he watched the two climb the rise ahead of him. They were a sight to behold in the early afternoon sun, a view to rouse the blood and set the heart a-pumping.

Restraint was a matter for civilized company. Here, today, there was no need for such pretensions. If he wanted, none could stop him from more direct observation—not that either of the two would object.

Cedrik caught up to the pair’s slow amble with just a few strides. He was light on his feet, not trying to hide but making no effort to announce his approach either.

Alantin was the first to notice, turning to look over his shoulder at Cedrik just in time for Cedrik to palm one of his supple ass cheeks.

The reaction was delectable and exactly what Cedrik had hoped for. Alantin’s pupils dilated, his lips parting with a soft gasp. A visible tremor preceded the flush of faint pink that blossomed across those cheeks and the quiet moan that followed when Cedrik’s finger wandered into the cleft of Alantin’s ass.

Of course, Grim didn’t escape his attention either. Casting a smirk at Alantin, Cedrik turned his gaze to the miqo’te walking abreast of the Raen. He cupped the small of Grim’s back, enjoying the little start that he earned for his efforts.

As Grim looked at him, Cedrik’s fingers wandered lower, brushing lightly over the sensitive spots around the base of Grim’s tail. Predictably, Grim’s skin was hot against his fingertips, and only hotter where he touched.

Cedrik loosely looped his fingers around Grim’s tail, his thumb rubbing at the spot where it met his spine.

The air around Grim grew appreciably hotter as a low moan spilled from his lips. “C-Cedrik…” he half-whined.

“Shh… Pace yourself. We’ve a full day ahead of us yet,” said Cedrik—not that he had any intention to make it easy on either of his boys.

It wasn’t much longer before they reached their destination, a decently sized hut with open sides and a sizable bed in the middle. It offered little privacy, but there was hardly any point to privacy when no one came or went from the island without Cedrik’s permission.

The hut was purpose-built for pleasure, however. It had all of the amenities he could need to play with his boys. There was even a dungeon below—just in case such a thing was warranted.

“Alantin, go sit on the bed,” said Cedrik, moving his hand up to the small of the au ra’s back to give him a gentle push.

“Yes, Master,” said Alantin. Once he’d gone to obey the command, Cedrik turned his attention to Grim.

With a flick of his wrist, Cedrik pulled a chair toward him. It was solid in its construction and rather masterfully made. The wood was quite dense and heavy, judging by the sound it made as it slid across the floor.

With a little smirk, Cedrik caught the chair by its backrest and placed it just behind Grim. “As for you…” he said as he walked around to stand in front of Grim, placing his hand on the miqo’te’s chest, “…sit.

Grim sat down as Cedrik applied gentle pressure on the middle of his chest. He met Cedrik’s gaze, eyes gleaming with anticipation.

Cedrik chuckled and pulled away. He walked toward the wall where all sorts of toys—tawses and whips, paddles and floggers—were hung up and made a show of brushing his fingers over them.

He knew exactly what he wanted and could have easily retrieved it with magic without leaving Grim’s side but there was a thrill in the uncertainty—the anticipation—and he wanted to make sure both his boys had the full experience.

Dangling from a hook on the wall was a loop of rope. A small smile touched his lips as the sight of it brought a memory from a lifetime ago, to the surface.

Cedrik had been younger, then. Maybe not dumber, but certainly more naïve. It seemed another life, now, and it might as well have been. He’d had a different name, then, and he could still hear the voice of the Wood—speak to it, even.

Cool water was a blessing on a hot day such as this one. Cedrik murmured a brief word of thanks under his breath and the brook burbled gently in response.

He knelt by the bank of the stream and dipped his hands in the water, cupping it to his face for a drink. The shade might have offered comfort if the problem was a blistering sun but today it was the air that was hot and there was no escaping that.

Cedrik drank his fill from the brook, sighing softly as the cool water wended its way through him. Heat aside, the day was a good one. Overhead, the canopy rustled joyfully as a warm breeze blew lazily by, accompanied by the high notes of lilting birdsong.

He would have been happy to enjoy the tranquility but the faint noise of a twig snapping underfoot quickly put him on alert. His ears twitched as he listened; the birds had gone silent.

A viera’s hearing was one of his most useful tools to avoid ambush, but it was also what made their kind so skilled at hunting. Cedrik could not let his guard down—not until he knew there was no imminent danger.

A shadow darted through the trees, briefly drawing his attention. It was a potential threat but in an entirely different direction from the earlier noise.

Cedrik decided to trust his ears. They hadn’t led him astray before. He looked in the direction of the sound and placed a hand on the pommel of the hunting knife strapped to his waist, body tense and ready to burst into action at the slightest provocation.

His ears twitched.

Instinct moved him before his mind could catch up. He ducked just in time as a bola screamed past overhead.

Cedrik heard the crunch of splintering bark as the bola slammed into a tree behind him. He looked up and caught a glimpse of his pursuer—a tall Rava male with wild green eyes and a feral grin to match.

A chill ran down his spine. The men of his kind lived solitary lives but that did not mean they never met each other. And it wasn’t unheard of for some of them to engage in hunting games as a means of honing their skills.

It took Cedrik but a moment to analyze his situation. That he hadn’t seen the Rava sooner meant that the man was better skilled at stalking—and likely hunting—than him. Judging from the difference in stature, he had doubts he could prevail in a direct confrontation.

All of which left a single avenue: escape. It was impossible to tell who would be faster between the two of them but Cedrik had to try. He was certainly smaller, and consequently likely to be nimbler. Not to mention, he knew this part of the Wood like it was the back of his hand and there was a good chance he could use his knowledge of the local topography to his advantage.

He cast a single glance toward the Rava, took a deep breath, and bolted. His legs flew, carrying him across the forest floor and kicking up leaf litter in his wake.

He didn’t bother to cover his tracks. His pursuer was likely skilled enough as a hunter to find him even if he tried, which meant even making the attempt would be a waste of time.

Behind him, Cedrik heard an elated whoop. Hearing it made his heart pound as the chase began in earnest.

He focused first on building his advantage. He had a healthy lead and if he used his knowledge of the surrounds well, there was every chance he could expand it.

Cedrik had never run so desperately in his life but it was exhilarating. Although he was clearly the quarry, he nevertheless felt the thrill of the chase.

Peril was far from his mind. The viera were few enough that he didn’t have to fear serious injury from his pursuer but it was nevertheless a matter of pride and principle that he escaped his would-be-captor.

A whoop and a shrill whistle cut through the steady rhythm of Cedrik’s pulse in his ears and the pounding of his feet on the forest floor. He couldn’t help but grin.

“You’ll never catch me at this rate!” he called out. If it were a true pursuit between foes, it would have been a terrible idea to needlessly give away his position but what was a little taunting between hunters?

A shrill hoot came in response—closer than Cedrik anticipated. His blood burned in his veins at the realization that his pursuer was gaining on him.

He mustered his strength and sprinted with all his might. “You may be fast, but I’m faster!” he yelled with a grin as he vaulted over an unearthed root.

Cedrik felt alive. He could hardly contain a laugh as he cut away at the worst of the vegetation ahead of him, his hunting knife flashing in the light that shone down through the canopy.

This hunt was a game and he had every intention to win. The route he planned out in his head was a long and winding way, full of twists and turns meant to confuse his pursuer.

It was to no avail.

Cedrik nearly stumbled over an exposed root, his heart skipping a beat, when he heard a whoop from even closer than before. He glanced over his shoulder just in time to watch the Rava burst through a particularly thick patch of vegetation with a wild look and a feral grin.

The Rava had none of the gracile predatory lope that Cedrik might have expected of a fellow hunter. His gracile physique belied an explosive strength that the Rava clearly knew how best to exploit. He didn’t so much run in pursuit of Cedrik as he flung himself through the forest.

“Unbelievable,” Cedrik said under his breath as he put what strength he had left into making a break for a very sharp turn up ahead. “You’ll have to try harder than that!” he called out over his shoulder.

He barely managed to dodge out of the way, throwing himself to the side as a bola screamed past. There was a crash and a bang as the cord wrapped around a nearby tree.

“You’re mine,” said the Rava in a low, growly voice that sent a thrill through Cedrik.

“Too late!” said Cedrik, his fingertips dragging across coarse bark as he used a tree to redirect his momentum down the sharp turn he’d been aiming for. It did not work. Instead, his momentum pitched him straight into the dirt, knocking his knife out of his hands.

“Got you. Spry little thing, aren’t you?” said the Rava, his footsteps practically silent as he approached.

How the man could transition so quickly from pounding down the forest floor to catch him to being quieter than a whisper of wind, Cedrik didn’t know. But he didn’t quite intend to give up just yet.

Cedrik snatched the knife out of the leaf litter—it had mercifully landed nearby—and rolled over onto his back. “I’m not done yet,” he said with a little grin before reaching for the cord of the bola wrapped around his ankles.

The Rava chuckled. He grabbed Cedrik by the wrists before Cedrik could react. “Yes, you are,” said the Rava with a little smirk as he disarmed Cedrik with relative ease.

“Now, I caught you fair and square so why don’t you let me do this the easy way?” said the Rava, grasping both of Cedrik’s wrists in one surprisingly strong grip as he retrieved a loop of rope from his waist. “Then again, feel free to resist…It’s always fun to wrestle down a struggling buck.”

With inches between them, Cedrik couldn’t help but notice that the Rava was handsome. His little lopsided grin made his intense green eyes glimmer in the light.

Cedrik considered his options. He was exhausted from the chase. His only weapon was lying in the leaf litter out of reach. And even if he could somehow overcome the Rava’s strength, he was already at a considerable disadvantage with his ankles bound together.

“Fine, you win,” he said almost petulantly.

“Good,” said the Rava as he bound Cedrik’s wrists together. Though the rope was wound tight, there wasn’t as much discomfort as Cedrik would have imagined.

With a grunt, the Rava heaved Cedrik onto his shoulder as one would freshly killed game. It left Cedrik feeling vulnerable but also made something inside him stir.

The Rava chuckled as Cedrik squirmed on his shoulder. “You understand what that means, yes? You’re mine for as long as I want you.”

The first Cedrik saw of the Rava’s demesne was after being dropped unceremoniously at the foot of a tree. The Rava had carried him over his shoulder for what had felt like miles before they stopped—a testament to the man’s strength and endurance that Cedrik had to grudgingly admire.

Between Cedrik and the hut at the edge of the clearing was a firepit. Nearby were two benches facing into the fire, hand-carved out of a pair of felled logs by the look of them.

It was fancier than the stump he had by his firepit. Indeed, the hut and the whole clearing, this entire space was decidedly less utilitarian than his own. The area bore the hallmarks of life—of memories—and Cedrik felt a peculiar determination to make a similar space of his own.

The Rava—who’d left as soon as he dropped Cedrik off—returned minutes later with the carcass of a small deer slung over his shoulder. It had been killed cleanly.

There was a thump as the Rava laid the carcass on a table at the edge of the clearing. He then turned and walked toward Cedrik, twirling Cedrik’s knife in his hand.

He severed the leather cords that bound Cedrik’s ankles together but made no move to do the same for the rope tied around Cedrik’s wrists. He walked away, tossing a woven basket Cedrik’s way as he passed by it. “Make yourself useful and gather some branches for a fire, prize.”

“Ahh,” said the Rava as he held a spoon to Cedrik’s lips.

Cedrik gave the man a withering look and said, “I am not a child.”

The Rava grinned. “But you do not want to go hungry.”

It was true. Cedrik begrudgingly opened his mouth, gulping down the spoonful of warm stew. “This would be easier if you freed me,” he said, raising his lashed-together wrists.

The Rava chuckled. There was that glint in his eyes again as he took the end of the rope into his hand and tugged. “Ah, but this is meant to teach you to be free,” he said.

“That makes no sense,” said Cedrik.

“Come.” The Rava stood, tugging on the rope binding Cedrik’s wrists together.

Cedrik followed the man into the hut. Once they were inside, the Rava pushed his back against a wall—not gently, but not roughly either.

When the Rava spoke, his tone was low, smoky like glowing embers. “This rope… It makes you feel restrained?”

Cedrik nodded, a peculiar heat welling inside him as he looked into the Rava’s intense gaze. “I am restrained,” he said.

The Rava grinned. “Only because you let yourself be. Sit.”

Cedrik obeyed. The Rava’s tone brooked no objection. He slid down the wall, stretching his legs out in front of him.

“I can’t slip out. I’ve tried,” he said. The knotwork was impeccable, and he’d enjoyed trying to work out its flaws while picking sticks.

The Rava chuckled. “You don’t see what you need. I will help,” he said. He flashed his teeth, a wild look in his eyes. “I will make you see.”

The expression on the Rava’s face promised danger but what Cedrik felt was an odd sort of anticipation. Heat flushed through his body as a familiar fullness stirred between spread legs.

With one hand, the Rava pinned Cedrik’s wrists above his head and against the wall. His strength was such that Cedrik couldn’t resist in any meaningful way.

“There is freedom in being bound,” said the Rava. His free hand went to his waist, thumb hooking into the top of his breeches.

“How?” said Cedrik, his gaze drawn down to the Rava’s hand. “That seems paradoxical.”

The Rava smiled. “When the body is bound, the mind can be free,” he said as he slowly worked his breeches down his legs.

Cedrik’s heart skipped a beat as the Rava’s flaccid cock was revealed to him. Arousal stirred—a familiar ache by now.

He could guess what the Rava wanted. He strained forward, tugging against his bonds. But the Rava held his wrists pinned fast against the wall.

“You fight still. You resist.” There was amusement in the Rava’s voice. “Relax. You are safe here. No harm will come to you. Surrender to your bindings and you will see.”

It ran contrary to instinct but Cedrik had to admit—his curiosity had been piqued. He relaxed, resisting the urge to pull against his bindings.

“Good,” said the Rava. He took a step forward, a smirk on his lips. “Internalize your bondage. Accept that you have no power to change your circumstances.”

Cedrik shivered. The Rava’s words were like ice water down his spine. All at once he ached with desire.

“Your mind becomes unburdened. Concerns for tomorrow… Vigilance against threats… Let go.”

Cedrik took a deep breath and was surprised at the coolness of the air and the sudden sharpness of the scents—the smells of the forest and the faint musk of the Rava.

“Senses heightened. Focused on the present. One with the moment.” The Rava stroked the side of Cedrik’s cheek with his thumb. He stepped forward, close enough now that the scent of him was unmistakable. He brushed his thumb over Cedrik’s lips. “Suck.”

Heat. That was the first thing Cedrik noticed as he parted his lips for the Rava’s thumb. It slipped into his mouth, the pad scraping over his teeth.

He closed his lips around the Rava’s thumb and sucked it deeper. His tongue curled around the underside and the taste took him by surprise.

The taste of flesh was forward, but that was hardly noteworthy. Underneath were layers he never would have expected. A hint of sweat. A subtle earthiness. The faint flavor of salted meat from the stew and char from the fire.

It was hardly the taste of ambrosia and yet he wanted more. Arousal stirred inside him as he suckled gently on the proffered thumb.

Cedrik could think of no reason why such would be the case. But he found that on this occasion he had no desire to puzzle one out.

He’d never been made to feel such a way before and his curiosity had been piqued. He swept his eyes up to meet the Rava’s gaze.

Cedrik held the eye contact as he swirled his tongue around the tip of the older viera’s thumb. He waited for what else was to come, but it was strange. Though he felt anticipation, there was no urgency to it. For once, he was satisfied to exist in the moment.

The corner of the Rava’s mouth quirked in a little smirk. “Good. Good. You are beginning to see,” he said in a voice tinged with fond amusement.

Cedrik flushed. Such tepid praise had no reason to feel so good and yet the satisfaction that washed over him made him shiver involuntarily. He didn’t know why, though he didn’t think he cared to.

“It is good to question, but there is wisdom too in acceptance,” said the Rava. “And hard work is to be rewarded.”

The Rava tugged his thumb free of Cedrik’s mouth and a plaintive whine followed it on its way out. “Shh,” he said. “You will receive your prize in due time.”

Fresh arousal coiled in Cedrik’s loins as the Rava took a step forward. The heat of his breath mingled with the musk of the older man. The mix was intoxicating.

The Rava’s cock was barely an inch now from Cedrik’s face. He could feel the warmth it exuded. Could see the Rava’s pulse running through it.

Taking himself between his thumb and forefinger, the Rava brushed the head of his cock over Cedrik’s lips. They tingled where it touched them and before long had parted so that his breath might meet the older viera’s manhood.

The Rava smiled. “Suck,” he said.

Scarcely had the word met the air than had Cedrik taken the head of the viera’s cock into his mouth. It had only seemed natural, by then.

The taste of it defied description. It tasted like flesh but slightly salty with a hint of earthiness and musk. There was also something else, something he had no word for. But it was not unpleasant. And as he swirled his tongue around the sensitive tip, teasing under the foreskin, he found it more and more appealing.

Blood rushed into the Rava’s member. Cedrik felt it swell, pulsing with lifeblood on his tongue as it filled his mouth. Ere long his tongue was pinned to his lower palate, with scarcely any room to move, but he found he didn’t care so long as he could wriggle it along the underside.

His own erection strained in his loincloth. And yet it was paid no heed. Bound as he was, he was powerless to take his pleasure into his own hands, and yet, somehow, that only seemed to intensify his arousal.

The denial and the bite of the rope on his wrists forced his attention elsewhere. Even had he wanted to, the heat of the Rava’s cock on his tongue and the way that the girth of it wedged his jaw open was difficult to ignore.

The Rava casually rocked his hips. The head of his cock slid back and forth over Cedrik’s tongue, leaving a trail of salty sweetness for him to savor.

Little by little, the Rava worked his considerable endowment into Cedrik’s mouth. He placed his hand on Cedrik’s head, the tips of his fingers brushing against the base of Cedrik’s ears.

The Rava touched the back of Cedrik’s throat. He gagged and the fingers threaded through his hair tightened their grip. Not to the point of pain, but their presence was grounding.

“Breathe… Calm…” said the Rava, unrelenting as he bore down with his cock in Cedrik’s mouth. “Accept that you are powerless. Embrace your helplessness.”

Tears pricked at the corners of Cedrik’s eyes but he took a deep breath as he was told. Heat flushed through his body as the Rava’s scent filled his lungs.

He relaxed and an ilm of cock slipped into his throat before he understood what was happening. He moaned around it, feeling it jump at the vibration of his voice.

“Good…” said the Rava as he pressed on. Ilm by hot, pulsing ilm he slipped into the heat of Cedrik’s throat and Cedrik accepted him.

The noises of the Wood fell away. The crackling of the fire faded. The world seemed to shrink until only Cedrik, the Rava, and the passing moments were all that remained.

When finally Cedrik had swallowed the Rava to the last, it could have well been dusk the next day. Time had blurred to a streak, the moments marked only by the shared thrum of his and the Rava’s lifeblood.

Understanding dawned. Whatever else he was, in this place, at this moment, he was a sheathe. A receptacle. A vessel for pleasure.

Cedrik’s glazed eyes met the Rava’s gaze and saw the twinkle of something wild in them.

“At last you see,” said the Rava as the corner of his mouth pulled into a little smirk. “Hunter. Guardian. Student. Teacher. Predator. Prey. It matters not. In this moment, you are my cock-warmer.”

Cedrik shivered as the Rava’s thumb rubbed gently against the base of his ear. He didn’t know how long they stayed like that, the tip of his nose pressed against the Rava’s crotch. But he heard every word that was said to him.

“There is freedom in bondage,” said the Rava. “Strength in surrender. Power in obedience. Remember these things, little one, and you will be invincible.”

Cedrik smiled. While he didn’t necessarily think it had made him invincible, exactly, he yet carried those lessons of his distant youth in his heart.

He removed the rope from its place on the wall. The coarse length felt familiar and comforting in his hand as he traced his fingers along the braided fibers.

It would have been all too easy to use rope that had been spelled to prevent injury. A magical rope that would have had all the bite and burn of a mundane length, all the ability to leave a mark to remember it by, but enchanted to come loose upon becoming too tight.

The rope Cedrik held was none of those things. It was bereft of enchantment bar one that strengthened it against destruction.

He smiled as he approached Grim. To know how to bind a submissive loosely enough to avoid harm but tightly enough to prevent escape was the responsibility of a dominant. It was an art. A craft. And he was proud of his skill in that regard.

“In the time that we have spent together, you have made considerable progress,” said Cedrik as he walked around Grim. He could feel both boys’ eyes following him as he walked around. “But self-control is honed over a lifetime.”

Cedrik quickly moved his hands in opposite directions. The loop of rope snapped taut in his grip. A smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth as he traced his gaze along the length of the rope and said, “What better way to teach restraint?”

The shiver that coursed through Grim did not escape Cedrik’s attention. He grinned. “Eager, are we?” he said as he ran his fingers through the loop of rope to find the end.

“Cedrik.” Grim swallowed. “Sir.”

Cedrik chuckled. “Yes?” he said. He caught the end of the rope and tugged it free. The loop in his hands was deceptively small for the length that it hid. There was certainly more than enough to bind Grim fast against the chair he sat upon.

Grim’s voice was coarse and thick with need as he said, “Please!”

A smile tugged at the corner of Cedrik’s mouth. “Please what?” he said.

Grim fidgeted in his seat. His cock strained, pre-cum leaking profusely from the tip. He gulped, the lump in his throat bobbing up and down. Sweat trickled down the side of his face. “Please tie me up and have your way with me!”

Cedrik flashed his teeth in a feral little grin. Grim begged so sweetly it was difficult to hold back. But if restraint was the lesson, it was one he’d well and truly mastered. “All in due time,” he said. “Arms behind the chair.”

Grim obeyed without a moment’s hesitation. “Good boy,” Cedrik cooed, leaning in to whisper his praise into Grim’s ear as he stepped behind the chair once more.

Once Grim’s arms were in position, Cedrik bound him by the wrists to the backrest of the chair. He pulled the knots tight, tight enough that Grim wouldn’t forget he was tied up.

Grim’s wrists were held fast, but Cedrik was far from finished. He bound Grim’s elbows next. Then Grim’s upper arms, just below the armpits. Three attachment points might have seemed excessive, but near-total immobilization was his goal.

The rope went around Grim’s chest. Then, around his waist. Grim grunted as the rope cinched around his hips, binding his torso tightly against the backrest.

“Comfortable?” said Cedrik with a devious grin playing on his lips. He traced the end of the rope along the inside of the miqo’te’s thigh, teasing but never quite touching the straining arousal between Grim’s legs.

“I-it’s tight. But yes,” said Grim, the air around him shimmering from the heat of his arousal.

Cedrik chuckled. “Good,” he said.

As he lashed Grim’s legs into place—at the knees, halfway down the shins, and finally around the ankles—he could feel the intensity of Alantin’s gaze on him. “Enjoying the view, I hope?” he said.

Alantin nodded, licking his lips. His arousal was plain to see. “Yes, Master!” he said. The tip of his tail flicked from side to side, if his bobbing erection weren’t sufficient to betray his excitement.

Cedrik chuckled. He was fortunate to have such eager boys. He’d get to Alantin soon enough. For now, his attention was Grim’s to enjoy.

He bent forward, lowering himself to Grim’s eye level. He smirked, his fingers curling loosely around—but never touching—Grim’s leaking erection. “What was it you begged me so sweetly to do to you?” he said.

Grim licked his lips. Pink bloomed across his cheeks. “I asked you to have your way with me,” he said. “P-please. I’m at your mercy. Use me as your heart desires!”

Cedrik quirked an eyebrow. The corner of his mouth curled into a devilish smirk. “As my heart desires?”

Grim nodded his affirmation.

Cedrik straightened himself, a glint in his eye. “My heart desires to do… nothing to you,” he said, reveling in the way that Grim’s eyes widened. “Nothing but to make you watch, helplessly, as I have my way with Alantin.”

“S-Sir, please!” Grim uttered in shock. His cock throbbed, adding to the mess pooling between his legs. He pulled against his bindings but they held fast.

“Oh, I’ll get to you later,” said Cedrik. “But for now, you will have to stay put and watch.

Cedrik turned to Alantin, a small smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. “As for you…” He made his way over to where Alantin was sitting on the bed. He cupped a hand around the nape of Alantin’s neck and leaned in, catching the au ra’s lips in his own.

The kiss did not last long but it was a possessive one. He nibbled gently on Alantin’s lower lip, slid his tongue into the other’s mouth, and took ownership.

Alantin’s eyes were lidded by the end of it, the flush on his cheeks coloring the sides of his neck and even his collarbones. “Master…” he breathed softly.

“Shh…” Cedrik murmured, pressing his index finger against Alantin’s lips. His hand then slid down the front of Alantin’s body, fingers brushing lightly over the cleft of his chest, and then the cobbles of his stomach.

A light push was all it took; Alantin reclined, bracing his elbows against the mattress. The corner of Cedrik’s mouth curled in a little smirk. “Perfect,” he breathed. Alantin’s eagerness to submit never failed to impress.

Without removing his hand from Alantin’s body, Cedrik leaned over and swiped a small stone jar from the nightstand. The script etched into the lid glowed faintly in response to his touch, making his fingers tingle.

It brought back memories of a different time—a different place. It seemed almost a lifetime ago, now. An unlikely island of tranquility in an otherwise turbulent period of his life.

Cedrik was ill at ease in his new accommodations. Not that he was complaining about a reprieve from ‘roughing it,’ as had been necessary during his time at the front. It was rather that the estate he’d been sent to to recuperate was quite lavish in its appointment.

He appreciated the need for recovery. He’d pushed himself hard at the front, fought until he couldn’t any longer. But he found himself antsy at being so far from the action. Even if he exerted every ounce of his power, he wouldn’t be able to make it to the front in time if any major shift in the fighting occurred.

More to the point, this far from the frontlines, life mostly kept on as before. There was a certain tension in the air, an anxiety about the war, but everyday worries still took priority. It was so unlike life at the front, where every waking moment, every thought, was bent toward the war effort.

Cedrik tugged the silk robe around himself and went in search of the master of the house: Rezmis. The man was a talented alchemist, an arcanist of modest ability, and, as it turned out, a highly capable merchant.

Rezmis had fought alongside Cedrik at the front for a few months. They’d made fast friends with their common interests. But as the war wore on and the need for skilled alchemists grew, Rezmis was pulled from the battlefield and sent back home to help the war effort in another way.

It took a few minutes and a query to one of the household servants before Cedrik found his erstwhile friend. He should have expected that Rezmis would be at his home workshop.

The space was not nearly as well-appointed as the rest of the estate. The equipment was state-of-the-art and well cared for, no doubt, but the chamber was laid out with less consideration for aesthetics, and more of a mind for practicality and ease-of-access.

Rezmis was at the rear of the workshop, standing by a collection of plants housed in individual glass bells. He was barefoot and shirtless—hardly appropriate dress if he were working on his alchemy—the knotted muscles of his broad back covered in a thin sheen of sweat that shimmered in the sunlight streaming through a nearby window.

“Ah. Cedrik. I was hoping you might come to find me,” said Rezmis, the smooth baritone of his voice cutting through the morning quiet. “You’ll forgive me for not receiving you last night. I was held up at the main workshop. You wouldn’t believe how hard they’ve been pushing us.”

Cedrik chuckled and shook his head. “Try me. You might be surprised at what I would believe,” he said.

The situation had been fraught when he left the frontlines; he could only imagine how much worse things had gotten since. Supplies were stretched as it was, and he’d never heard of a battlefield where potions and medicines weren’t always in high demand.

Rezmis laughed. “I suppose you would know, wouldn’t you?” he said. “Did you sleep well? I hope you’re finding the accommodations adequate.”

Cedrik smiled. “More than adequate,” he said as he looked through Rezmis’ equipment. Some pieces were unfamiliar but easy enough to discern the purpose of, a handful were entirely alien. Every last one, however, was of higher quality and in better condition than the workshops near the front.

Rezmis turned to Cedrik and beamed. He was a handsome man with a masculine set to his jaw, blond hair, and deep blue eyes. “Recalling the utter devastation you wrought on the battlefield, I almost forgot you were an alchemist too.”

“I dabble,” Cedrik teased. “More seriously… Your setup here is quite impressive.”

Rezmis perked up. “You think so?” he said.

Cedrik nodded. “A far cry from what we had to work with at the front.”

“I’d imagine.” Rezmis chuckled. After a moment, he said, “Apologies. I don’t often host so I hope you’ll forgive me. I realized I hadn’t even offered you a drink.”

Rezmis flicked his wrist. From a table in the corner, a pair of goblets and a carafe of wine drifted over. The drinks poured themselves, and one of the goblets glided toward Cedrik.

Cedrik plucked the goblet from the air and glanced at the red of the wine within. “Is this truly alright?” he mused.

“Hm?” said Rezmis.

“To luxuriate. At this time. When so much hangs in the balance.”

Rezmis gave Cedrik a small smile. “You may have left the front but it seems the front has yet to leave you. Give it time.” He paused a moment. “As for your question, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be. No one can bear the burden of a war for survival with their every waking moment and remain unscathed.”

The wine was smooth on Cedrik’s tongue. It was sweet but not cloyingly so, fragrant in just the right way, and had notes that reminded him of a cool spring day. “I suppose that’s true,” he murmured.

Rezmis walked over and draped an arm around Cedrik’s shoulders. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life. You’ll serve the war effort better if you allow yourself this brief reprieve”

“Perhaps you’re right…” Cedrik murmured as he took a wistful sip of his wine.

“I am right,” said Rezmis. “Better that you return to the battlefield well-fed and rested than half-recuperated. That way you can be a storm of destruction for our enemies, not just a stiff breeze of grievous injury.”

“A stiff breeze of grievous injury?” Cedrik repeated with a cocked eyebrow.

“Couldn’t think of a better metaphor,” Rezmis conceded. “Now, come. I think I have something that might interest you.”

“Lead the way,” said Cedrik. He was enjoying the wine more than he thought he would. Perhaps he could inquire after the vintage. He wouldn’t mind having a bottle of his own. His only worry was that considering the luxury Rezmis lived in, the price might make his eyes water.

With a gentle push in the small of Cedrik’s back, Rezmis guided him over to the plants in the rear of the workshop. Cedrik recognized some of the specimens. Each one was a rare specimen, prized for its potent alchemical properties.

In the place of honor on the terraced shelf, however, closest to the sun, in the largest pot, and the cleanest glass bell was a peculiar plant. It displayed near-perfect lateral symmetry head-on, the left side of the stem mirroring the right in meticulous detail.

“You might have seen its like before,” said Rezmis as he released Cedrik and came up to the plant to remove its glass bell. “It’s not exactly a rare plant. But a specimen like this…”

The realization struck Cedrik momentarily speechless. “Mirrorbloom,” he whispered after the moment passed.That was why it had seemed so familiar. It was a common enough flower in Dalmasca. But every last one he’d seen in the wild had only borne a superficial symmetry, one that evaporated upon closer examination. This one stood up to scrutiny; indeed, it seemed only to more perfectly mirror across its line of symmetry when Cedrik peered closer.

“You weren’t the only one who picked up a few new tricks from the time we spent together on the battlefield,” Rezmis said with a wink. “This gorgeous little one is the cornerstone of a… personal project of mine.”

“Well”—Cedrik raised his gaze from the plant to the self-satisfied expression on Rezmis’ face—“I’m intrigued.”

Rezmis chuckled. “This is your fault, you know,” he said.

Cedrik quirked an eyebrow. “My fault?”

“Mm.” Rezmis nodded. “Let’s just say I was inspired, hearing you talk about magic. Shortly after my return from the front, I began to research something that might be of interest to you…”

Cedrik said nothing, opting instead to watch as Rezmis took a clipper to the plant and cut away a pair of perfectly mirrored flowers. Each was a deep crimson color, with a glimmering orange-red interior and golden stamen.

“My inquiry led me to the work of an Amdapori mage. A naïve idealist, I daresay. They developed a potent empathy spell. I think they hoped to dissuade the mages of Mhach by letting them experience the pain and suffering their rampant black magic caused.”

Rezmis beckoned for Cedrik to follow him as he headed to one of the stations in the workshop. He carried the flowers carefully in one hand, snatching small bottles and phials of reagents with the other as he walked past.

“The records were… fragmented,” said Rezmis as he delicately set the flowers down by a mortar and pestle.

“As one would expect,” said Cedrik. “But I take it there was enough to build upon?”

The corner of Rezmis’ mouth curled in a little smirk. “Barely. But I could extrapolate,” he said. “So I did. And as I toiled away, I realized there could be another application for such a spell. A much more… enjoyable sort of application.”

Shimmering dust rose in little puffs as Rezmis pulverized a bunch of dry and crystalline reagents. He added a thimble of water and a few drops of other liquid reagents, grinding the contents of the mortar into a fine paste. The flowers were the last to go on.

“What sort of application?” said Cedrik. Though he’d asked the question, he had a good guess. The suggestive tone in Rezmis’ voice had all but betrayed the answer already.

Rezmis chuckled. He allowed the pestle to rest against the rim of the mortar and turned to look at Cedrik. He slipped a hand under Cedrik’s robe, his fingertips brushing over the viera’s flat stomach.

A frisson of arousal wound through Cedrik’s body as Rezmis leaned in. And he couldn’t help but shiver as the man murmured, right in his ear, “I’m sure you know… Just as sure as I am that you would appreciate a… practical demonstration.”

“I bathed last night, you know,” said Cedrik as he drew a hand across the surface of the hot water bath. Curlicues of steam wafted in the wake of his fingers.

Last night’s ablutions had been fairly luxurious, he had to admit, but not nearly as extravagant as this. Rezmis’ private bath was a pool set into the floor. The tiles were marble, the columns masterfully carved and gilded.

The basin of the pool was fed steaming hot water from the jar held by a sculpture of a very handsome, very muscular man by the edge of the bath. It hadn’t stopped flowing once in the half hour they’d already spent there.

Flower petals drifted along the surface of the water, steam curling around them. Rezmis leaned over and grabbed one of the conveniently nearby pots and ladled some of the salts within into the bathwater. “Yes, but the magick is a work in progress. It is not as stable as I would like it to be. So it is imperative that we are thoroughly cleansed before we use it.”

It made sense enough. But Cedrik couldn’t help gently ribbing his friend. “Are you certain it wasn’t simply an excuse to get me naked?” he said.

Rezmis chuckled. “I don’t need an excuse for that,” he said.

It turned out that the long bath wasn’t just for a thorough cleaning. The concoction Rezmis made to serve as a medium for the magick needed at least an hour to “cure.” After their bath, which had admittedly included some heavy petting toward the end, it was ready.

Cedrik reclined in bed, the robe slipping off his shoulders to reveal his slender, naked body. His half-hardness was on display, a faint excitement buzzing under his skin.

He couldn’t help but wonder at how potent this empathy spell of Rezmis’ would be. It had come from Amdapori roots so it was likely to be powerful. And he doubted Rezmis would be so excited if all the magick amounted to was a parlor trick.

Rezmis was as naked as Cedrik was but he was as hard as Cedrik had ever seen him be. He held up the stone jar he’d poured the mirrorbloom paste into. He touched the lid, the script carved into the stone glowing faintly as he sent aether into the vessel.

Cedrik sat up as the lid was twisted off the jar. It came away with a faint puff of glittering red powder. “How will you use that?” he said.

Rezmis chuckled. “I’ll show you,” he said. “Lean back.”

Cedrik’s lips twitched into a little smile. He reclined, propping himself up by the elbows against the mattress.

Rezmis set the red paste by Cedrik’s side for a moment. He placed his other hand on Cedrik’s cock. He curled his fingers loosely around the shaft, gently pulling back the foreskin with his thumb. he leaned forward, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth, as he pressed a quick kiss against the tip. “This will need to be more cooperative,” he said playfully.

Cedrik chuckled as he looked down at Rezmis. This wasn’t an unfamiliar position for him. They’d blown off some steam together during the few reprieves they had at the front. “I’m sure you know how to do that by now,” he said.

Rezmis grinned. “Don’t I ever?” he murmured against the side of Cedrik’s cock as he gently tugged on it. He pressed his lips to Cedrik’s shaft, mouthing up and down the length of it.

Cedrik groaned. Rezmis was as talented with his mouth as ever. It didn’t take long to get him to full arousal. But even when he was straining and already starting to leak, Rezmis continued to tease him for a minute or so.

A disappointed noise spilled unbidden from Cedrik’s lips when Rezmis finally pulled away. It earned him a light laugh, and a gentle, “Believe you me, it will get better soon.”

Satisfied that Cedrik was at full arousal, Rezmis retrieved the jar of red paste. He dipped two fingers into the mixture. They came away stained. “For a fresh batch, this stuff is at its most potent after curing for an hour.”

Rezmis placed his two fingers on the underside of Cedrik’s cock, the paste leaving a smear of red as he drew them down toward Cedrik’s balls. “In my experience, that potency declines over the next few hours, and then begins to climb again the longer that it is aged.”

Cedrik didn’t miss the devilish glint behind Rezmis’ hooded eyes. The feeling of the paste on his shaft made his cock tingle and brought a groan to his lips. He couldn’t tell if it was an effect of the concoction or merely a construct of his mind. Either way, it was a good sensation and he had little to complain about.

“That just means we’ll have to try this again in a few days, no?” said Cedrik coyly as Rezmis deftly drew an intricate pattern on his cock, balls, and the surrounding skin.

Rezmis nodded. “We must. It would be unscientific to do otherwise,” he said. Once he’d finished with Cedrik, he took a step back. He looked down at himself, past his taut stomach to the stiff pillar of flesh that rose from between his legs. “Now, the hard part.”

“I could help,” Cedrik proffered as he sat up.

Rezmis shook his head. “The caster must make the markings. The spell doesn’t work properly otherwise,” he said.

Cedrik chuckled as he leaned back into his reclined position from earlier. “Alright,” he said, keeping his eyes on Rezmis to see the markings for himself. They were similar to the ones that had been drawn on his body, only subtly different.

He’d have to suss out the significance of those differences another time. For now, he was satisfied watching Rezmis struggle.

In the time it took Rezmis to finish marking himself, the paste had dried on Cedrik. Though he hadn’t touched himself once throughout the process, Cedrik’s cock remained at full mast—the effect of the paste, perhaps, or merely a consequence of his anticipation for what was to come.

“There,” said Rezmis once he’d applied the final touches to the intricate markings he’d drawn on his own cock. “All that’s left is the spell.” He met Cedrik’s gaze with an impish glint in his eye.

Cedrik’s skin tingled as Rezmis murmured the incantation. His cock throbbed. A heartbeat later he became aware of another sensation, another insistent need like his own. At first, it was distant and indistinct, but as the spell progressed, it drew closer, grew stronger.

A low moan came to Cedrik’s lips. His cock throbbed. Or perhaps it was Rezmis’ cock that throbbed. It was difficult to tell, and harder by the moment. It was as if the line had blurred, the sensations no longer distinct but blended together—their cock instead of his and Rezmis’.

As he finished, Rezmis licked his lips. The look in his eyes was intense, his gaze smoldering as he took in the sight of Cedrik sprawled on the bed, the faintest glimmer of something mischievous behind their amber. He lightly traced the tip of his middle finger along the underside of his cock.

Cedrik sucked in a sharp breath. He’d expected to share sensations—it was an empathy spell, after all—but he hadn’t anticipated that it would be this way.

He felt as if Rezmis had touched him. It wasn’t a phantom sensation wrought through the spell. It genuinely felt as if Rezmis had touched not himself, but Cedrik.

“I suppose it worked, then,” said Rezmis. His voice was low and sultry, with a touch of eager anticipation.

Cedrik licked his lips and nodded. “I suppose it did,” he murmured. He couldn’t help but groan. The spell was magnificent. The sensations were incredible. His cock had never throbbed so insistently before. He curled his fingers around his girth and tugged. As he did, he intently watched for Rezmis’ reaction.

Rezmis chuckled. “One-way connection,” he said as peeled back his foreskin to rub his thumb in the pre-cum beading at his tip. “We’ll have to do the two-way connection another time.”

Cedrik groaned as he felt Rezmis idly playing with his frenulum. “Plenty of opportunity,” he breathed. “I won’t be back to the front for a while.”

Rezmis curled his fingers around his cock. He tugged lightly, long strokes that went from the base to the tip. He flashed a grin at Cedrik. “Plenty of time for me to educate you in how to enjoy the finer things in life, I think,” he murmured.

The sensation defied description. Cedrik could only arch his back, spreading his legs as his hips thrust into the air on their own. The effort was in vain, of course. There was nothing but air before him. And no amount of thrusting would change the glacial, torturous pace of Rezmis’ stroking hand.

“What’s the rush?” said Rezmis, a lopsided smirk on his lips. He rolled his hips, slowly sliding his cock through his fingers. “This isn’t the battlefield. We have plenty of time.”

Light preserve. This was going to drive Cedrik mad. He could scarcely remember when last he had the time to simply enjoy the pleasures his body could give. Clearly, it had been far too long.

A low moan spilled from Cedrik’s lips as Rezmis summoned a plush chair with a flick of his wrist. “Y-you’re a tease, you know?” he muttered as he watched Rezmis sit down and drape a leg over one of the armrests.

Rezmis chuckled. It was a dark, rich sound that sent a shimmer of arousal across Cedrik’s skin. “Oh, sweetness… You don’t even know the half of it,” he said as he reclined, hand gliding languidly over the length of his arousal.

Cedrik tilted his head back and groaned. “I’m starting to get an idea,” he said.

Minutes passed. The torment of it was exquisite. A pleasure unlike anything Cedrik had quite experienced before. He’d thought that Rezmis might pick up the pace after some time, but that didn’t happen.

He was throbbing and leaking, his erection straining with need between his legs. And still, Rezmis kept at the same torturous pace, fingers gliding back and forth along his length. It felt good. It felt amazing. But it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t near enough.

Cedrik’s tolerance was waning. His fingers itched. The temptation to take matters into his own hand—so to speak—was building. Perhaps most maddening of all was that cocky half-smirk on Rezmis’ face, the knowing look in those eyes.

His white-knuckled grip on the sheets of the bed loosened. He couldn’t resist. Not after so long. But he’d hardly raised his hand from the mattress when Rezmis stood from his chair and crossed the distance between them.

Rezmis clicked his tongue. “Patience, sweetness. We’ve hours of fun ahead,” he said in that low, sensual baritone of his. Just the tone of his voice was enough to make Cedrik’s arousal tremble with anticipation.

Cedrik shivered as Rezmis leaned down to whisper in his ear. “And if you could, keep your hands off…” Rezmis trailed off. Cedrik could almost hear the smirk when Rezmis finished the thought after a short while. “…or would you like some help with that?”

The challenge in those words was evident. Cedrik would have loved to meet it but he knew his limits. He didn’t know if he could resist. And if there was one thing he didn’t want to do, it was to spoil Rezmis’ fun.

“I think I just might…” Cedrik groaned.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” said Rezmis with a grin. He reached over and retrieved a narrow silk sash. It was a deep burgundy, the fabric shimmering in the light. “Lay back.”

Cedrik did as he was told, reclining until his back was against the mattress.

“Hands over your head.”

Once Cedrik had complied, Rezmis leaned over him. He paused to smirk down at Cedrik before grabbing the viera’s arms by the wrists. He tied Cedrik’s wrists together with the silk sash, just tightly enough that it would take some effort to slip out.

Cedrik’s cock twitched. This was a familiar feeling. Being at Rezmis’ mercy only added to his arousal. And from the look in Rezmis’ eye, Rezmis was well aware.

A low groan came to Cedrik’s lips as Rezmis clambered onto the bed. Rezmis asserted himself into the space between Cedrik’s legs, using his knees to spread them wider as he wrapped his fingers loosely around his shaft.

Even that light grip was enough to make Cedrik squirm. The last few minutes of teasing had made him quite sensitive. Even more when Rezmis resumed his stroking, directly over Cedrik’s cock.

It was one small difference and yet somehow it made the sensations all the more intense. It took a considerable amount of willpower not to writhe as the spell mirrored—and surely, magnified—the feeling of Rezmis’ fingers on his cock.

Cedrik whimpered, thrusting his hips up against Rezmis. Rezmis’ knuckles brushed the underside of his cock, bringing a strangled moan to his lips.

He was straining. He was squirming. He was leaking. And he was so, so close. All it would take was a little push, just a few more strokes and he’d spill all over himself.

But Rezmis knew. The devilish glint in his eye all but betrayed that he was up to no good. Just as Cedrik was on the brink, he released his cock and kept his hand well away.

Cedrik groaned. His load churned in his balls, ready to surge out of him. But the imminent orgasm slipped away. And Rezmis’ hand pinned his arms over his head before he could even try to wriggle out of the silk sash that tied his wrists together.

“Ah-ah,” said Rezmis as he planted his other hand against the mattress right next to Cedrik’s head. “Tonight is about taking our time, sweetness. Savoring this moment. These sensations. These pleasures.

“Please…” Cedrik murmured, his cock twitching helplessly as pre-cum pooled on his belly.

Rezmis stroked the side of Cedrik’s face. “All in due time, sweetness,” he said.

A new sensation registered with Cedrik. He sucked in a sharp breath, his back arching off the bed as he felt Rezmis’ cock slide against his.

The pleasure was electric. Cedrik’s hips moved on their own. He thrust his cock against Rezmis’ and the bigger man reciprocated. They ground against one another, bucking and thrusting.

Cedrik squirmed. The restraints and the spell intensified the feeling beyond what was natural. He felt as if he were going mad. If this kept up for much longer, he was pretty sure he would lose his mind.

He was in for a long night.

Cedrik turned back to Alantin, a smile on his lips. It was a memory of days gone, but one that he recalled with great fondness. Rezmis had teased him through the night, giving him scarcely a moment of reprieve as the hours passed.

“Scoot back. I want all of you on the bed,” he said firmly. It was well and good to remember where he’d come from, but more important was the here and now.

As Alantin shuffled back from the edge, pulling his legs up onto the mattress, Cedrik followed. Cedrik straddled Alantin’s thighs, a mischievous glint in his eyes. He leaned in and brushed his thumb over Alantin’s cheek. “You have no idea how much I’ve been looking forward to this,” he said.

Cedrik twisted the lid of the jar to reveal the contents. The substance within was a paste, looser than the one Rezmis had used on him that day long ago, but much more potent.

Alantin leaned back. He spread his legs, easing his whole body into a submissive posture for Cedrik. “I’m yours to do with as you please, Master,” he murmured.

Cedrik chuckled. “That, I know. Now, hold still. This will tingle, but don’t make any sudden motions.” He dipped two fingers into the paste and swirled them around. They came away with a dollop of ruby-red cream that shimmered as it caught the sunlight.

He reached forward, fingers tracing scarlet lines across Alantin’s body. The fair Raen’s skin flushed where his fingers went, the au ra’s lips parting in a quiet groan.

Though it had been some time since he did this, Cedrik remembered the process quite vividly. The markings, though intricate, flowed across Alantin’s skin without pause.

In the years since the spell’s development, Cedrik and Rezmis had iterated over it many times. It was much improved, now, and even this—the most tedious part of the process—had its own pleasures.

The flush of Alantin’s arousal spread across his body. Cedrik worked away in relative silence, cooing every so often, but mostly just satisfied to listen to and savor the little noises that spilled from Alantin’s lips.

Between the warm sunlight and the brisk breeze blowing through the island, the task was almost meditative. It would have been so easy to immerse himself in drawing the markings, but he didn’t. He paid close attention to Alantin’s every move, enjoyed every quiet moan and suppressed groan.

Cedrik started with Alantin’s nipples, enjoying the firm meat of his au ra pet’s chest as he drew red lines across the muscular pecs. Then his fingers drifted down dipping in and out of the ridges of Alantin’s cobbled stomach.

Further down still and the fun part began. Alantin couldn’t hold back the moan that came to him when Cedrik’s fingers drew the markings around the base of his cock—and especially when those markings climbed up the sides of his erection.

“Turn over.” The command was sharp, the compliance, immediate. Cedrik slid down Alantin’s legs until he could get a good angle on the au ra’s ass, and when he was satisfied, he drew the final set of necessary markings and pulled back with a grin. “There. Perfect.

“Master…” Alantin whined as he twisted slightly to the side. His stiff cock brushed against the sheets, leaving a wet trail along the fabric. “Please…”

Cedrik patted Alantin on the butt and chuckled. “All in good time,” he said. “For now, stay.” With that, he got down from the bed and turned to Grim.

“I hope you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you,” he said as the corner of his mouth curled in a little smirk. He made his way over to where Grim was tied, jar of ointment in hand.

“What is that?” said Grim. Though his arousal was still apparent—what with the shimmer in the air around him—there was an inquisitive look in his eyes.

Cedrik couldn’t help but chuckle. The markings weren’t exactly esoteric. With Grim’s education, he must have figured out enough about the markings to know that Cedrik was about to perform some sort of magick.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” said Cedrik as he dipped his fingers into the stone jar once more. One of the refinements he’d made to the magick was simplifying the necessary markings on the “receiver” of the empathy spell’s sensations. A single sigil was all that was required, now, though a mark here and there could be used to focus the sensations on particular parts of the body.

He ignored the twitching of Grim’s cock as he placed his fingers against the miqo’te’s stomach. With deft hands, he drew out the primary sigil. It must have felt good because Grim’s skin was noticeably warmer by the end of it.

Cedrik drew a few more marks on Grim’s body. He left lines around Grim’s nipples, on Grim’s cock, and in the space just under Grim’s tail. He looked forward to giving the miqo’te the full experience eventually, but with the spell being as potent as it was, this would be more than enough for what he’d planned for today.

Grim, for his part, had the look of a boy who’d earned a new toy. He was looking down at the sigil Cedrik had drawn on his stomach, no doubt trying to puzzle out the mechanism for the magic. But unless he knew how to determine the ingredients for an alchemical concoction at a glance, the best he could hope for was a half-answer.

The disappointment, if any, was likely to be short-lived. Cedrik had every intention to give his boys a thorough education about the magick. There might even be a test at the end—the more practical sort.

Cedrik’s cock twitched with anticipation. But that was a pleasure to pursue at another time. For now, he owed his boys a session they weren’t likely to soon forget.

As he was already hard, that made the next step quite easy. With a flick of the wrist, he summoned a mirror. Using it, he drew an elaborate sigil on his cock with the same red paste. He was very much looking forward to how Alantin and Grim might react to what he was about to show them.

With the preparations finished, Cedrik clambered onto the bed. He sat by the pillows, his legs spread wide enough to accommodate his eager au ra. He patted the mattress in front of him, body flush with anticipation. “Come. Sit here.”

Alantin, naturally, wasted little time. He did as he was told. He wrapped his tail loosely around Cedrik’s waist and scooted back until he felt the tip of Cedrik’s erection poking at the base of his tail.

Cedrik couldn’t help but chuckle as his field of view was swallowed up by Alantin’s back. The au ra was quite a bit larger than he was, and with him sitting so close, it was pretty difficult to see around him.

Fortunately, Cedrik had situated Grim just off to the side of the bed. He wouldn’t have to strain to see him past Alantin’s torso. He could just turn his head, which he did, a small smirk playing on his lips before he murmured the incantation to activate the spell.

The twin gasps that issued from the two boys were nothing short of music to Cedrik’s ears. That initial rush of sensation was intoxicating. He’d only used this magick a few times over the years, and every time was as incredible as the last.

Cedrik himself could only barely suppress the groan as the magick took hold. Even though he wasn’t receiving the sensations of the two, the spell nevertheless magnified his own sensitivity.

“How does it feel?” said Cedrik as he reached forward to place his hands on Alantin’s waist. Out of the corner of his vision, he saw Grim stiffen, eyes widening in shock and then, understanding.

“I-incredible, Master!” Alantin moaned.

Cedrik grinned. “Good. Hands behind your head.”

Alantin, as ever, obeyed promptly. The pose highlighted the muscles of his shoulders, which had been developed through years of dedicated archery. Were his hands otherwise free, Cedrik might have taken the time to explore them.

He slid his hands up along Alantin’s flanks. He stopped just as he reached Alantin’s chest, fingers reaching out to gently brush against the au ra’s nipples.

The effect was immediate. A low groan spilled from Alantin’s lips. His tail tightened around Cedrik’s waist.

But Cedrik wasn’t finished. He looked at Grim and watched closely as miqo’te squirmed in his bindings. He traced slow circles around Alantin’s nipples with both hands, teasing the au ra with a feather-light touch.

Cedrik turned his attention back to Alantin. He pinched the Raen’s nipples, earning him a low groan. And then he bore down harder, squeezing his thumbs and index fingers tighter together until even Grim joined in.

With a satisfied, he gave Alantin a reprieve. He spent a few seconds just rubbing the au ra’s sure-to-be-sore nipples in soothing circles.

Cedrik slid one hand down the front of Alantin’s body. He splayed his fingers, exploring the taut cobbles of Alantin’s stomach with his touch.

He continued playing with Alantin’s nipple using one hand. He tweaked and pinched and yanked at the nub, reveling in all the little ways that Alantin’s body reacted to the stimulation.

Cedrik’s other hand wandered further down. When his fingertips brushed against the base of the au ra’s hardness, they elicited a sharp intake of breath. He could have stopped there, moved his hand elsewhere, and teased Alantin with the torturous anticipation of being played with, but he didn’t.

Alantin and Grim both groaned when Cedrik curled his fingers around Alantin’s cock. And again when he moved his hand. He kept his touch light, just enough to be felt, just enough to feel good, but not nearly enough to satisfy.

He kept it up until he heard the desperation in both his boys’ little noises. And then he went a few minutes longer. He wanted them panting. Pleading. Begging for more.

Alantin broke first. As expected. “M-Master! Please!” he whined. Unlike Grim, who was bound fast to his chair with Cedrik’s expert ropework, Alantin was free to move. He bucked his hips, likely unable to resist any longer, thrusting his cock into the loose ring of Cedrik’s fingers.

Cedrik didn’t do anything to discourage Alantin. He simply kept his hand in place, his fingers curled only loosely around Alantin’s shaft. Try as Alantin might, he wouldn’t get much of anywhere just pumping his cock into Cedrik’s hand.

It didn’t take long before Alantin’s desperate humping dragged Grim down with him. “More…” Grim croaked, the air around him shimmering with heat as his own cock strained and leaked onto the seat under him. “Please… Sir. More!”

Cedrik chuckled. “Well, since you asked so nicely…” He could have well kept the two on the edge for much longer, but it would have hardly been sporting. Besides, he was eager for more, himself, and hearing their sweet supplication was the perfect excuse.

Placing a hand between Alantin’s shoulders, Cedrik gently pushed. “Hands and knees,” he said.

There was a quiet groan as Alantin complied. His tail unwound from Cedrik’s waist as he leaned forward. When he was on his hands and knees, he arched his back and pushed his ass into the air. He raised his tail high, his pretty little hole practically begging to be taken.

Cedrik licked his lips and summoned forth a pot of oil. He warmed it with some fire aether and dipped two fingers inside. He wouldn’t need to do much to prepare Alantin for him—he knew exactly how easily his fingers would sink into the au ra’s eager heat—but he would have his fun while making sure Alantin was slick and ready to take him.

He set the pot aside. Using his two fingers, he dripped a strand of warm oil into the cleft of Alantin’s ass, eliciting a low groan.

With his free hand, Cedrik smacked one of Alantin’s ass cheeks. The sound was crisp, the impact sharp. Alantin lurched forward, his cock twitching. Grim jumped, too, a muffled moan on his lips.

Chuckling to himself, Cedrik slipped his fingers down the cleft of Alantin’s ass. He rubbed circles around the au ra’s trembling entrance, leaving a sheen of oil in his fingers’ wake.

The way Alantin’s thighs trembled at Cedrik’s teasing was quite satisfying. So was the way that Grim squirmed in his bindings.

As expected, Cedrik’s fingers slipped into Alantin with relative ease. He pushed forward with both fingers, Alantin’s velvet heat yielding to him as a low groan spilled from the au ra.

There was no need to wait for Alantin to adjust to him. He sawed his fingers back and forth, twisting his wrist as he did so. He plunged them in and out of his eager Raen, savoring the way that Alantin desperately opened up for him.

Cedrik pushed his fingers into Alantin as deep as they could go. He curled them, fingertips brushing against the spot he knew quite well by now.

Alantin’s whole body locked up, a long, low moan spilling uncontrollably from his lips. Grim, for his part, went wide-eyed. He moaned, too, unable to resist as Cedrik massaged Alantin’s prostate and the sensations were shared with him.

After a minute or so, when Alantin’s thighs were shaking and he was blubbering incoherent pleas, tail raised as high as it could go, Cedrik finally relented. He slid his fingers out of Alantin’s hole and reached between the desperate au ra’s legs. He grabbed Alantin’s stiff cock and gave it a few quick tugs, teasing globs of pre-cum out of him.

Cedrik chuckled. “You’re being so good for me,” he said as he tucked his legs under him and knelt up behind Alantin. He palmed the Raen’s ass, squeezing and kneading those firm, supple cheeks. “Both of you are,” he added, casting a wicked grin over to Grim.

He licked his lips as he grabbed his cock by the base. He tapped it against Alantin’s ass, leaving a smear of pre-cum. “Now, it’s time for your reward,” he said.

Alantin’s back arched as Cedrik placed his cock at the au ra’s entrance. There was no reason to take things slowly when the Raen was so eager for him, so desperate to take his cock. He grabbed Alantin by the hips and slammed his cock home with enough force that there was a sharp smack as his pelvis rammed into Alantin’s.

The mewling that followed was nothing short of exquisite. Not that he didn’t appreciate the sight of Alantin under him, but Cedrik kept his gaze on Grim. The miqo’te would be feeling the brunt of the spell, after all. He was not disappointed.

The faintest hint of flames licked at Grim’s skin. His face was flushed, his ears pinned back. If there were enough slack in the ropes binding him to the chair, he would have been leaning forward, clutching the edge of his seat, tail raised and legs trembling just like Alantin.

Cedrik pulled back, ilm after ilm of his cock slipping out of Alantin. The au ra fought to keep him inside, inner walls squeezing around his length, hole gripping his shaft. It was quite the sight.

He left just the head of his cock inside Alantin. He stayed in that position for a moment, using his thumb to rub the stretched-out rim of Alantin’s hole as it trembled around his girth. Then he snapped his hips forward again.

“S-Sir!” came the hoarse cry from Grim. His eyes were wide. His pupils were blown. He was panting openly, a quiet whine spilling from him.

Cedrik chuckled. He felt a rather impish pride at Grim’s reaction. Not only was Grim feeling Cedrik’s cock buried inside him thanks to Alantin, but he was also feeling Alantin’s velvet heat wrapped around his length. In effect, Grim was experiencing what it would be like if he were in between Alantin and Cedrik.

“More?” said Cedrik, a small smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.

“Please…” Grim groaned.

Cedrik cracked a grin. It would be remiss of him not to indulge his boys when they’d been so good. His hips snapped forward. And again. And again. Each thrust was harder than the last. Faster.

Smack! Smack! Smack! He shed his usual restraint, quickly building up into a full rut. He hunched over Alantin’s back, his hips bucking as he thrust his cock into Alantin over and over and over again.

Alantin fell forward, first bracing himself against the mattress with his elbows, and then just outright planting his face and chest into the sheets. He moaned with every thrust, his fingers clutching at the bedding with white-knuckled grips.

Grim’s voice joined Alantin’s, his full-throated moans so sweet to Cedrik’s ear. With the crumbling of his restraint, the flames on his skin burned even hotter. But the chair and the ropes binding him weren’t bothered in the least.

Cedrik threw himself into the pleasure. He fucked Alantin with abandon, obliging every last babbled “Please!” and “More!” and “Oh, Master!”

He leaned over Alantin, taking advantage of the Raen’s position to look for better leverage—and a better angle of attack. The effort was rewarded almost instantly.

The twin gasps were delicious. Alantin’s ass shook, his thighs trembling. Grim, on the other hand, was open-mouthed panting, drool dripping off the tip of his tongue.

Both boys were close, Cedrik could tell. He was, too. Tension coiled in his gut, his balls pulling up against his body.

He leaned further forward, wrapping Alantin’s tail around his forearm and grasping it tightly as he reached with his other hand and grabbed the au ra by the hair. Yanking back with both hands, he pushed himself as hard as he could, drilling Alantin’s sweet tightness with rapid, powerful thrusts.

Cedrik managed to maintain his pace and rhythm for the better part of a minute, but even his endurance ran out eventually. As both boys’ moaning reached a fever pitch, Cedrik’s rhythmic pumping began to falter.

His cock throbbed and pulsed and swelled, drawing fresh moans from both boys. His legs tensed. His toes curled. He was so, so close. He gave Alantin a few last ragged thrusts and then, pouring every ounce of strength he had left, slammed his cock as deep into the au ra as he could.

It was enough to send Alantin over the edge. And as if they were tied together at the waist with rope, teetering on the precipice of a cliff, Cedrik and Grim followed soon after.

For Cedrik, it was the sensation of Alantin’s walls fluttering along his length. That heat, tightening and pulsing around his cock, was nothing short of incredible. He could scarcely resist, knuckles turning white as his grip tightened around Alantin’s hips and his own shoved his hardness as deep into his eager au ra as possible.

He felt himself swell and throb, every pulse bringing pleasure surging through his body. His toes curled as he came, shot after shot pumping into Alantin. The Raen made something of a mess while he did, spraying hot, sticky cum all over the sheets under him.

A wave of shimmering heat washed over Cedrik from the side. Though more in control than in the past, intense orgasms like this one still stoked Grim’s inner fire. He was alight like an afrit, his cum likely molten hot as it rocketed out of him in long ropes that arced into the air.

Their simultaneous orgasms lasted for the better part of a minute, and not a one was spared from panting in the wake of it. The experience had been intense—more intense than even Cedrik might have expected. “Mm… I’m so proud of you two,” he said. “You were so good for me.”

With a flick of his wrist in Grim’s direction, Cedrik unraveled the ropes that tied the miqo’te to his chair. With a little bit more aether, he was able to summon Grim to the bed as he scooped Alantin up in his arms.

Both boys now in reach, he leaned back and lay his head against the pillows. He gathered both into his arms, a smile playing on his lips. “Did you enjoy?” he said.

Alantin nodded, nuzzling against the side of Cedrik’s chest. Grim did the same, tail swishing from side to side.

“That was incredible, Sir,” said Grim. Then, those eyes locked with Cedrik’s, the spark of curiosity and intrigue bright in them. “You have to teach me how to do that.”

Cedrik had expected the response and chuckled. “Don’t worry, we have plenty of time to get you acquainted with this magick,” he said. “And do you know what the best way to do that is?”

Grim’s brow furrowed for a moment. Then, he shook his head. “What’s the best way to do that, Sir?” he said, resting his hand on the middle of Cedrik’s chest.

Cedrik cracked a grin. “Why, practical experience, of course,” he said.

Alantin moaned softly against the side of Cedrik’s chest. Had Cedrik not known better, and were the au ra’s arousal not evident against his leg, it might have sounded like a noise of disappointment. Such couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I-I look forward to it, Master,” Alantin murmured, the tip of his tail flicking from side to side, betraying his eagerness for more. Luckily for him, Cedrik certainly had the stamina to keep up.

Cedrik laughed and stroked the Raen’s hair. He did the same for Grim and said, “As well you should. As well you should.”

A small smile came to his lips as he savored the warmth of his boys in his arms. There wasn’t anywhere he would rather be. And when it came time for the seasons to turn, he was sure he would look back on today with the same fondness that he remembered those days long gone—those men who had helped shape him into who he was today.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This story was written as a paid commission. If you are interested in commissioning your own story from me, please see the [Commissions] page for more information!

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