Corrupted Co-Dependence pt. 17

Having made up for their days apart, Vayne once again leaves Edric with the promise that he won’t be gone as long this time. He sets his sights on the Knights Protector of Fort Radiance, the Order’s first line of defense against external forces, and certainly the first to be trampled by the hellborn when Vayne’s plan comes to fruition.

As it turned out, Vayne and Edric had quite a lot to catch up on. The former awoke to stark sunlight streaming through the open window, firmly ensconced in the embrace of his softly dozing squire.

Would that Vayne could have said he was waking from a good night’s slumber. Alas, it was more akin to regaining consciousness a few hours after passing out while Edric plundered him for a treasure that was deep within.

Not that he had the heart to complain. He enjoyed the squire’s affections. And he would have been lying if he said he didn’t appreciate the casual degradation that Edric put him through on occasion.

Vayne was of a mind to slip out of bed but Edric’s arms around his waist held him fast. Besides, he could feel the boy’s stiffness still buried firmly inside him. It shifted, rubbing against his inner walls as Edric mumbled in his sleep.

It took a fair bit of willpower to stifle the noise that threatened to spill out of Vayne. The morning had brought with it fresh energy—and fresh arousal. As Edric leisurely humped him from behind, he couldn’t help but clench, his walls bearing down on the younger man’s considerable endowment.

Vayne’s eyes widened when Edric’s arm pulled tight around his waist. He bit back a curse as Edric’s hand wandered from his middle down the front of his body, fingers splaying as they drifted over his pubic mound to brush at the base of his cock.

For a moment, he wondered if Edric might not be asleep at all, but then the big oaf mumbled. "Mmph.. Your pussy… It grips me so well… My lovely wife…"

Vayne blinked. After everything they’d been through, he never would have imagined Edric to have any latent heterosexual desires. It was peculiar, to say the least—entirely out of character based on what he knew about his squire. Could Edric’s corruption have enkindled an interest in women?

The notion made Vayne uneasy. To add to that, he felt a pang of envy. A small part of him wanted Edric’s attention all to himself. He’d done so much for the Order, after all. He could hardly be blamed for being greedy.

Besides that, Vayne needed to make sure his corruption of the Order wasn’t leading to undesirable effects. He was going to offer these men to his Master. It wouldn’t do if he inadvertently turned them heterosexual.

Edric bit Vayne, distracting him from his thoughts. The pain was brief but sharp, the squire’s teeth clamping down at the junction between his neck and shoulder nearly hard enough to break skin. A dull ache remained when Edric pulled away, soon soothed by the warm wetness of Edric’s tongue licking the teeth marks better.

Vayne muttered profanity under his breath as Edric’s fingers wrapped around the shaft of his stiff cock. Edric didn’t stop there. He slid his fingers along the length of Vayne’s cock. He seemed to have no interest in going quickly, instead taking his time to explore every inch of Vayne’s quivering manhood.

"And Light preserve… I love… The way your cock jumps… When I touch it…" Edric mumbled, pressing kisses to the nape of Vayne’s neck. "You’re… the best wife… a man could ask for… Vayne…"

It was ridiculous. It was outlandish. Vayne had no idea where the outrage came from, but the notion Edric had just uttered was so patently absurd it ground Vayne’s mind to a halt. Any relief he might have felt at the realization that Edric hadn’t suddenly awakened heterosexual interests was entirely overcome by his disbelief.

No self-respecting Mirellian church would ever countenance a marriage between two men, much less one as young as Edric and a man many years his senior. Then again, Vayne supposed the Church in Edric’s dreams would have no reason to have such restrictions.

Maybe it was silly, maybe it was a dreg of the programming the Order had instilled in Vayne as he was growing up, but he balked at the thought of being the wife. If anything, as the senior partner in Edric’s dream marriage, he should have been the husband and Edric should have been the wife.

Vayne’s irritation was rather quickly delayed as Edric’s hand moved faster along the length of his erection.

"My wife…" Edric whispered as he pressed his lips to Vayne’s shoulder. "My lovely, lovely wife…"

The squire’s shallow grinding began to ramp up, too. The way his cock head brushed against Vayne’s prostate dispelled any remaining annoyance, bringing instead a moan to Vayne’s lips.

"You’re as pretty… As you were… In front of the altar…" Edric whispered as he rained kisses along the curve of Vayne’s shoulder. "And your pussy… Is as tight… As when I first took you… On our wedding night…"

Light confound. Vayne had to bite down on his knuckles to stifle a louder moan. Edric’s words were compelling an image in his mind, of him at the altar, being wed to his squire.

Edric looked handsome and gallant in his groom’s raiment. In this fantasy, he had graduated from a squire to a full Brother of the Radiant Order, which was equivalent to a rank of middling noble status.

He looked divine in his neat white tunic and breeches embroidered with gold scrollwork. He fit them particularly well after his most recent growth spurt. He practically glowed in the light streaming through the tall windows.

Vayne, for his part, was less comfortable. He stood opposite Edric in front of the altar, the blushing bride in his resplendent gown. As he was the scion of a noble house of renown, custom dictated that he wore a richly adorned gown. It was white as the driven snow, embroidered with the likeness of lilies—the flower of purity—lovingly captured in gold thread.

He was strapped down in a corset, the laces tied so tightly to enhance his figure. It was a good look, but the consequence was that he could hardly breathe.

The gown itself was made from layers of rich silk that shone in the light. The fabric was heavy, draping over his body in a way that hid the finer details of his masculine physique. And while the gown was made of silk, the layering made it stifling even on what was a mildly warm day.

Worse still, the gown was meant to preserve Vayne’s modesty. Not even his neck could be visible, his throat concealed behind a brocade choker. The skirt reached the floor as, of course, the mere sight of ankles would have been far too scandalous.

The sleeves reached all the way past his wrists. And just so there could be no accidental flashes of skin, he was wearing silk gloves that extended all the way to the crook of his elbow. About the only part of Vayne that wasn’t smothered in fabric was his face, but even that was hidden behind a double veil.

The final piece of the ensemble, unseen by any who were present, but known to be there by every last one, was the metal belt cinched around Vayne’s most private parts. It had been locked months ahead of the wedding to preserve his chastity and the singular key to open it would be given only to his soon-to-be husband.

Heat rose to Vayne’s face. He could not comprehend why the notion of himself in a customary wedding gown would arouse him so. And yet the evidence was there, pulsing and leaking in Edric’s curled fingers. Damnable, traitorous thing.

This was Edric’s fault. Light. Vayne hadn’t expected that the squire would awaken something new in him with just a few words, but here he was.

Try as he might, he couldn’t deter his thoughts as they wandered to the matter of the wedding night. A union had to be consummated, of course, and if customs were to be followed, it meant Edric carrying his bride through the threshold.

The prospect of being manhandled was one that never failed to arouse Vayne. The scenario playing out in his mind was no exception.

Edric tossed Vayne into their marital bed, as was the custom. It wasn’t a pretty sight or graceful sight. There was so much fabric in the gown that Vayne landed in a heap, practically drowning in silk. Not that it deterred his now-husband.

The bedframe shook as Edric clambered onto the mattress like a man possessed. Vayne had somehow managed to disentangle himself from all the fabric, ending up on his hands and knees.

Edric took his place behind Vayne, tossing the skirt of the gown over Vayne’s back. It exposed his stocking-clad rear to the cool night air, a merciful relief from the stifling heat Vayne had had to endure throughout the day.

"Such perfection," Edric murmured as he leaned forward to press a kiss to one of Vayne’s ass cheeks. When he was finished, he grabbed the sheer fabric of the stockings and tore a hole into the rear of them.

The belt that Vayne had had to endure for months, released only under strict supervision so that his chastity might be preserved, was still firmly cinched around his waist. A thin metal strip ran up the cleft of Vayne’s ass. Attached to it was a thick blunt rod that was inserted into Vayne’s entrance to help keep the belt in place.

Edric undid the lock in the rear of the belt. It freed the metal strip and allowed him to remove the rod that was plugging Vayne’s hole. The front part of the belt, however, remained in place, restricting Vayne’s cock.

A pair of fingers brushed over Vayne’s gaped hole. They lightly traced the rim of his entrance, which had been so accustomed to stretching open around the rod that came with the belt that it refused to close entirely.

"I truly am the luckiest man in the world," Edric muttered as he shuffled forward on his knees. He grabbed Vayne by the hips and lined up with Vayne’s twitching hole. Without warning or preamble, he plunged inside, his cock slipping into Vayne as if Vayne’s channel had been made to take him.

Vayne was jolted out of the fantasy by a sharp thrust from Edric. A low moan came to his lips and spilled forth, his cock twitching in the squire’s grip as he felt the splatter of hot jism against his inner walls.

He was teetering at the edge of an orgasm of his own. The fluttering of his hole around the considerable girth of Edric’s cock was bringing him closer and closer to the brink of release. All it would have taken was a few more strokes but Light if the universe didn’t have a twisted sense of humor.

"That’s one way to wake up in the morning," Edric grunted. The hand he’d wrapped around Vayne’s cock released its throbbing prisoner as he used it to rub the sleep from his eyes. He kissed the nape of Vayne’s neck and murmured, "Certainly preferable to waking alone in the novice quarters."

A frustrated grunt was the only response that Vayne could muster. It seemed he’d have to take matters into his own hands—so to speak—since Edric was showing no interest in finishing him off.

It would have been a simple matter. Just a few strokes and he’d spew the load churning in his sack. But before he could so much as graze his cock with the tips of his fingers, Edric had already caught his wrists.

"What do you think you’re doing, sir?" said Edric. He spoke the words right into Vayne’s ear, a devilish lilt in his voice.

Vayne half-heartedly tried to wrest his arms free of Edric’s grip. "I simply wish to finish what you started in your sleep," he grunted.

"What I started?" said Edric. He placed his chin on Vayne’s shoulder and peered over.

Out of the corner of his eye, Vayne saw the small smirk that tugged on Edric’s lips.

"I see." Edric chuckled. He pressed his lips against the space behind Vayne’s ear and, after a moment, said, "Do you recall the duty of a squire, sir?"

Vayne hadn’t the faintest idea where Edric was going with this. He just wanted to come. But unless he wanted to fight his own squire, he had to play along in the hope that Edric would release him before the imminent orgasm faded altogether.

"Serve your knight. Learn from your knight. Perform all appropriate tasks such as serving meals, maintaining arms and armor, and fulfilling non-critical paperwork, among others, as necessary to facilitate the fulfillment of your knight’s duties. Learn and grow together to become more faithful, loyal, and dutiful members of the Church." Vayne had been a squire himself, long ago. As many years as it had been, he could still recite the teachings perfectly.

"I’m sure you’re aware, sir, but self-pleasure is strictly forbidden by the Scriptures," said Edric. There was that devilish edge in his voice again. It frustrated and aroused Vayne in equal measure. "It would be remiss of me were I to permit you to indulge the pleasures of the flesh when the Scriptures teach us that they are to be eschewed."

"Edric, please…" Vayne whined. It was an all too common thing these days, his begging his squire for permission instead of the other way around. But his wrists were firmly in Edric’s grasp and his peak was rapidly slipping away.

"It’s alright, sir," said Edric, his grip only tightening around Vayne’s wrists. "I understand that the temptation is powerful. I shall help you overcome it. If you focus on my cock buried in your heat, my cum coating your insides, it won’t be long at all before the temptation passes."

Vayne could do little more than whimper.

It was fascinating how easily things could slip back into the places they were supposed to be. Were anyone to peer into Vayne’s quarters, there would be no sign that just a scant few minutes ago, he and his squire had been naked in bed together.

Vayne was at his desk, having his breakfast. Second, breakfast, technically, as Edric had already fed him what he needed while they were in bed together.

Edric was standing just off to the side, paying attention but not staring at what Vayne was doing. It was where he was supposed to be, as a squire. It was how he was supposed to act.

The only thing ostensibly improper was the fact that Vayne was eating breakfast so late. Even then, such a thing wasn’t unprecedented. It was frowned upon, but hardly worth particular remark.

Well, perhaps the conversation Vayne and Edric were having over breakfast bordered on the improper, too.

"You will send word, this time, sir?" said Edric. It was phrased as a question but came across as more of a command.

"If I get so delayed, I will," said Vayne. His tone was terse, on the surface, but there was certainly a deferential undercurrent in his voice. "But I won’t. I promise. Today’s tasks are a single day’s work."

Edric nodded. "As you say, Sir Vayne. I know you to be a man of your word. I will ensure that all is in order when you return at the end of the day."

It was a polite response. A perfect response. To any unwelcome ears listening in, it was an unassailable reply. And yet Vayne heard the implied threat loud and clear. "See that you do," he said.

"Before sunset, Sir Vayne?"

It was one thing to abide by the curfew set by the Order. It was another entirely to have one imposed upon him by his squire. Not that Vayne minded. The taboo nature of their relationship was titillating.

"No later than an hour after," said Vayne. He didn’t anticipate much trouble, but there was always the chance that he would have to take his time. He wanted to give himself some leeway.

Edric pursed his lips. "I will see that everything is in place by an hour after sunset at the latest, sir," he said. His voice was deferential on the surface, but it bore an edge that said he would brook no further negotiation on the matter.

Vayne stood from his desk. "Very well." He looked out his window and licked his lips. Part of him was curious as to what Edric would get up to in his absence but there would be time enough to indulge his whim. "You may attend to your other duties."

Edric set about clearing away Vayne’s breakfast. He hefted the tray into his arms and nodded. "Of course… sir," he said, the final word sibilant on his lips as he showed himself out of Vayne’s chambers.

The gates of Fort Radiance were imposing. Reaching many times higher into the air than Vayne was tall, they were wrought from enchanted wood and reinforced with rune-carved bands of consecrated steel. Nothing short of the most destructive of magics could so much as leave a scratch on them.

Though the Scriptures counseled against unnecessary frivolity, it had become something of a custom for newly invested Brothers of the Order to make a game of trying to open the gates with nothing but their own strength and whatever magic they could muster to aid them.

The gates were so thick and so dense that it usually took two teams of four men to properly open them. Two men on each side to operate the chain pulleys and another two men on each side to push the gates open. Needless to say, most Brothers failed to even budge the gates when they tried.

Today, Vayne was visiting one of the only Brothers that had managed some semblance of success: Brother Galad, Knight-Captain of the Knights Protector.

"Success" was a relative thing. Galad hadn’t managed to truly open the gates. Had he done so, he would have been a legend, within and without the Order.

Galad’s status in the Order would have been such that he would never have been satisfied with being Knight-Captain of the Knights Protector. Alas, though he’d managed better than most before him, he only managed to open the gates a crack.

It was an impressive feat, Vayne conceded. But it was one that Galad had held over his head for years until he became a Knight-Captain himself. If he was being honest, he didn’t much like the man, which made him all the more excited for today’s visit.

The guardhouse framed the enormous gate, two large structures on either side connected by the walkway on top of the wall. Vayne knew very well which one he was visiting today, and gave a perfunctory nod to the guards standing outside the right half of the guardhouse.

As there were no major occasions that would bring visitors to the Fort, there was no reason to expect that Galad would be anywhere but his office. Vayne’s assumption was proved true when he came to the door and announced his presence. "Brother Galad. I’ve come to pay you a visit. Might I have a word?"

When there wasn’t a prompt response, Vayne stood back from the door and clasped his hands behind his back. A small smile tugged at his lips. He might not have been able to hear what was going on behind the closed doors of Galad’s study but he could scent the faintly-sweet aroma of arousal that was seeping through the cracks in the door.

After a minute or so, the door to Galad’s office opened to admit Vayne. Standing behind it was Galad’s squire, a common-born lad named Marlin if Vayne remembered correctly.

The scent of arousal was strong within the chamber. It didn’t smell of cum, nor the faint musk of sex, however. Vayne must have interrupted the pair before they could do anything.

He looked Marlin up and down as he walked past. The boy was made up well, but the fine details did not escape Vayne’s attention. There was a flush on Marlin’s face, signs his tunic had been hastily smoothed down. Most damning was the bulge in his breeches that he was making a poor attempt at hiding.

"You’ll forgive me for not standing to greet you, Brother," said Galad. He gestured at the array of parchments on the desk before him. "I am certain you know all too well the burdensome nature of…"—he shuddered—"paperwork."

Vayne quirked an eyebrow and chuckled. Galad was a better actor than he would have ever given the big brute credit for. The familiar arrogant edge in his voice was almost flawless. But Vayne’s time in Hell had changed him. He was tuned to detect the faintest signs of arousal. The subtle strain underlying Galad’s voice did not escape his notice.

"Then you’ll not blame me for inviting myself to take a seat, Brother," said Vayne with a little smirk.

"Please," said Galad. He cast a furtive glance toward Marlin and then turned his gaze back onto Vayne with a small smile. He gestured at one of the chairs in front of his desk and repeated himself. "Please."

Vayne took his time to cross the short distance between the door and the proffered seat. He was enjoying the tension in the air. It wasn’t until he’d finally sat down that he heard the door being closed behind him.

He glanced over the documents that were before Galad. Reports and requisitions. They might have been a convenient cover-up for whatever sorry state Galad was in, but Vayne didn’t envy the man’s position. The Knights Protector were responsible for the defense of the Fort, and that included all matters related to the maintenance of the defenses besides the magical wards.

"You should allow your squire to do this work," said Vayne. He gestured vaguely over the documents strewn across Galad’s desktop. "Though he might not succeed you in your position, it would still be good for him to become familiar with the documentation."

Galad glanced again at Marlin. His eyes lingered perhaps a breath longer than was strictly necessary before he turned his attention back to Vayne. "This work is too important to leave in the hands of an inexperienced squire, Brother," he said. "He is permitted—and indeed, encouraged to observe closely while I conduct my business, but at stake is the defense of the Order and I cannot, in good conscience, leave that in the hands of a greenhorn."

Vayne pursed his hips and hummed. He folded his hands on his lap as he turned his gaze to Marlin. "A fair point, I suppose," he said with a little smirk.

"You know I take these matters seriously, Brother," said Galad. He seemed displeased that Vayne’s attention was on his squire, but the look didn’t stay long on his face. When he spoke again, after the awkward silence had dragged on a moment too long, his voice was somewhat terse. "I imagine you are not here on a simple social visit, Brother. So I shall ask: to what do I owe the pleasure?"

Vayne chuckled. The subtle hint of bitter jealousy was coming off of Galad in waves. Why was easy to speculate. The man coveted his squire, though the reasons therefor were not quite as clear. "Is it so improper to pay respects to an old friend?" he said.

Galad scoffed, his attitude quickly turning standoffish as Vayne kept his gaze on Marlin. "An old rival, perhaps," he said.

"Hah." Vayne shook his head. He didn’t know what it was that he and Arthur had done, but from the moment that they entered the order together as novices, Galad had had in his mind that the three of them were rivals of some description.

Vayne hadn’t understood it then, and he still didn’t understand it, but that competitive nature had been a credit to Galad as a member of the Order so he could hardly fault him. "You always did seem to think you were running a race against Brother Arthur and me."

He leaned forward and gave Galad a small smile. "We’ve known each other so long, Brother. Is it truly so unbelievable that I would consider you a friend?"

Galad eyed Vayne with thinly veiled suspicion. "Very well, Brother. I will concede that there may have developed some form of friendship between us all these long years… But that does not explain your presence before me today."

Vayne chuckled. "Would you believe me if I said that it has been weighing on me that I haven’t yet paid you a visit since I returned?" he said. It wasn’t a lie. It had been weighing on him. But not for the reasons that Galad was likely to assume.

Galad waved his hand. "I simply did my duty," he said. "A Brother needed rescue. I lent whatever strength I could in service of that goal. It would not have done to leave one of our best and brightest in the clutches of the enemy."

"I appreciate it nevertheless, Brother," said Vayne with a little smile.

"Enough with the misdirection, Brother," said Galad. He had always been more overt with his emotions. His frustration was palpable. "Please. The reason for your visit, if you would."

Any other might have been sympathetic but Vayne was enjoying Galad’s distress. He kept his gaze on Marlin, casting only a glance in Galad’s direction before he said, "It is a sensitive matter, Brother."

Out of the corner of his eye, Vayne saw Galad scowl. The discontent was quickly schooled out of his expression before he motioned for Marlin to leave.

The squire didn’t look all too pleased to be asked to leave the chamber, either. But he did as was expected of him and quietly slipped out.

"We are in privacy now, Brother Vayne," said Galad. "What sensitive matter has brought you here?"

Vayne fought the urge to smirk. "I am concerned that the wards may have been compromised," he said simply as he met Galad’s gaze.

"Compromised?!" said Galad, his eyes growing wide. "What evidence do you have? Brother Vayne, this is a grave allegation. I will not countenance baseless speculation!"

Vayne chuckled. "I know very well the gravity of my words, Brother. I would not have spoken without good reason. I’m afraid I have heard reports of… unusual behavior from all around the Fort."

Galad frowned. "Elaborate, Brother," he said.

"I have heard that several Brothers have been experiencing dreams of a… carnal nature of late," said Vayne.

The bravado in Galad’s posture faltered for a moment. His eyes shook, uncertainty visible in them before he managed to compose himself. "H-hardly concrete evidence," he said.

Vayne smiled. "I thought so, myself," he said. "But I know for certain that some few Brothers and squires have been seen engaging in sinful behavior."

A pink tinge crept into Galad’s cheeks. "W-what sorts of sinful behavior?" he said.

"Showing more skin than appropriate," said Vayne, the corner of his mouth twitching as he watched Galad’s reaction closely. "Lusting after their fellows. Self-pleasuring. Men bedding men."

Galad’s flush deepened. "A-and you are certain of this, Brother?" he said.

Vayne nodded, giving Galad a grave and somber look. "I am afraid so, Brother. I have been speaking with individuals who can corroborate these facts. I’m afraid they are more than mere rumors."

Galad rubbed his face and looked off to the side. "What are we to do about this, Brother?"

"Before we proceed… It has been quite the tiresome task to pursue this matter over the past couple of days… I hope you will permit me to make myself comfortable and rest my aching legs, Brother."

Galad nodded. His thoughts were clearly elsewhere.

Vayne took advantage of the other man’s distraction. He smirked to himself as he slipped off his boots. He put his feet up on the edge of Galad’s desk, which Galad didn’t seem to pay much attention to until he started to peel his socks off.

"W-what are you doing, Brother?!" said Galad. Alarmed though as he sounded, Galad’s eyes never made it to meet Vayne’s gaze. He stared at Vayne’s feet, his pupils wide, the air thick with the scent of his arousal.

"Forgive me, Brother, these few days of exertion have made my feet ache," said Vayne. "On the matter of what we are to do about this situation, the first task must be to ascertain how far-reaching the effects are."

Galad continued to fixate on Vayne’s feet. "Of course, of course, Brother," he said.

Vayne didn’t bother to hide his smirk, this time. He flexed his toes, amused by the way that Galad’s eyes followed the movement. "Do you have anything to report, Brother?"

Galad was silent.

"Have you noticed any out-of-the-ordinary behavior from your subordinates?" Vayne pressed on. "Have you seen anything suspicious?"

Galad shook his head. "No, no, not at all, Brother…" he muttered. Perhaps he wasn’t entirely aware, but he was leaning forward in his chair, gaze still affixed on Vayne’s feet.

"Have you experienced anything out of the ordinary, Brother?" said Vayne. "Dreams of a carnal nature, perhaps?"

Galad shook his head.

"How about… unnatural desires?" Vayne shifted his right foot closer to Galad’s face.

Galad gulped.

Vayne grinned. He had him.

"I-I don’t… H-how do you m… W-what kind of unnatural desires?" Galad stammered.

Vayne wriggled his toes in front of Galad’s face. "You tell me, Brother."

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