Genre: History Rewritten, Humour, m/m non-traditional Romance, Novella, (R-18)
Spend a good night with ‘A Good Knight’…
Licinius is an adamite-knave, an ancient but largely dishonourable profession. He doesn’t expect much from life and silently bemoans his existence yet he does what he does to take care of his family. He certainly never expects to have his wish — to spend one good night with one good knight — fulfilled in the arresting form but strange and confusing personality of Crassius de Chartres. Overcome with lust (and love) at first sight, Licinius is willing and eager especially when the knight insists, “Your pleasure is my pleasure.”
Licinius is about to experience an incredible knight, one that is going to leave him a quivering wreck come morning, caged in a way he never expected, and possibly vagrant. He must be mistaken because Crassius wouldn’t do anything to hurt him, would he? Will he finally understand the true meaning of the knight’s motto and share his idea of pleasure?
One good night with one good knight: is that really too much to ask?
Available from Changeling Press.
Read an Excerpt…
“Cat stolen your tongue?” Crassius asked, smiling. Only then did Licinius realise he’d not said a word since the knight’s arrival. That Crassius would note this though surprised him. “Your name is Licinius?”
He nodded, then realising that the knight was trying to get him to speak, he said, “Yes. I’m Licinius.” He spoke his name at a loss for anything else to say.
“Of course, and now that introductions are out of the way, we can save the talking for later.”
Talking? Later? He didn’t have time to question the idea of talking after sex, or during it. Usually he said very little even prior. Many knights never required him to speak at all.
Hands at once grabbed his sides, but instead of moving over him and roughly kneading, Crassius just held him there, gripping his hips, staring down into his face. Small drips of water fell from the knight’s hair to sprinkle Licinius’s face, but he didn’t even flinch. The drops were tepid. A few that fell close to his mouth he licked away with a snaking tongue, aware that Crassius watched him as he did. He hadn’t done it with any sexual intent, but it probably looked that way.
He tried to concentrate on the knight’s face. The dark eyes held a knowing warmth as well as experience. People aged not just in years but also by what they had done and what they had seen. He could see pain in the lines around the knight’s eyes and mouth but also a certain humour that battle hadn’t yet defeated. Something told Licinius that nothing would. It would take a great deal to conquer this man’s heart.
As well as bathing, he’d shaved. There was still a shadow of growth on his chin, but the lines, the stubble, a scar here and there lent interest to the man’s face. The knight’s hair was drying, turning wavy, falling about his shoulders. Licinius knew all about hair that had a tendency to curl as it wanted. His locks were shorter, as befitting his class, but he could tame his curls no more than he believed Crassius could tame his. Licinius longed for the knight’s hair to dry completely. He wanted to bury his face in those dark locks, ensnare his fingers.
Almost as if he heard his wish, Crassius sat back on his heels. Lifting the tunic over his head, he used the linen to wipe more moisture from his hair before he cast it aside, revealing a broad expanse of chest crested with a dark smattering of curls. Licinius gazed at that hard plane of flesh and swallowed.
“You like?” the knight asked, grinning.
The man was teasing him, but he also liked being desired. Licinius couldn’t blame him. He couldn’t help wondering what had made the knight choose him over another. That such a man as this would always find admirers was understandable. It surprised Licinius to have such a man choose him. Licinius was small, his limbs rather delicate when compared to such brawn. Some of the other adamite-knaves told him that was part of his appeal, that along with his blue eyes and blond hair. He’d never thought about it before, but this knight seemed happy to be examined so Licinius compared.
The sleeves of his nightshirt had fallen back so that, as he reached up toward Crassius, it was easy to see the difference in their forms. Olive-toned, heavy, hard, ropey muscle was definitely a contrast against pale, smooth, long lean limbs.
Licinius gasped when Crassius took hold of his questing hand, clasped it in his warm grasp, and then stroked and examined first his hand and then the arm belonging to it. The knight gazed at each finger running a fingertip along each length, up one side, over the nail, down the other side into the small dip of webbing between each digit. The touch was such a light tickling caress that it shouldn’t have aroused him. It shouldn’t have felt as intimate as it did, yet Crassius had only reached the middle finger when Licinius squirmed. Crassius glanced at him, a sharp flash of his gaze, before continuing.
Licinius fell back trying to remain still, not to pull his hand away. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t realised how sensitive his fingers were, not just for touching but being touched. Fingertips were sensitive, but he’d never noticed the subtle difference in sensation between the back of his fingers, the tips, the sides and underneath culminating in the sensitivity of his palm where Crassius now wove small circles that amazingly drove Licinius wild.
He closed his eyes, turning away his head, all the time trying not to pull back his hand. The touch was tickling to the point of torment. He wanted to writhe, but even as he resisted he became aware of how this semi-pleasant, semi-hideous torture made him aware of his body. He grew hard even as he gasped, tightening his shoulder, preparing to pull his arm free despite his resolve to keep still.
Crassius’s touch changed on the instant. One hand held his wrist while the other slid up his arm in a slow glide. “You keep your skin soft,” Crassius said.
Licinius didn’t know what to say to that. He took care of his body because he could charge more, not much more but a little. Most of the other young men didn’t bother, or they were too work-hardened by the time they came here that their skin was already rough. He didn’t think that was something Crassius wanted to hear. The knight sounded surprised as well as thoughtful, maybe even a little peeved. Licinius couldn’t understand why. He reacted by reaching out with his free hand, running his fingertips in turn over the knight’s skin where he could reach the man’s hands and arms. He was pleasantly surprised. Crassius’s skin was a little tougher than his was, and there were rough patches and scars, but those blemishes drew attention to the knight’s masculinity.
He became aware of that dark gaze staring down at him, studying his movements. They looked at one another, hands clasped.
“Are you soft all over?” Crassius asked. Licinius nodded, heat rising to his face. Crassius sighed. “I really wish you’d speak.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Licinius answered truthfully.
“Will you answer questions?”
“If I can.”
“Are you pleased?”
It took Licinius a moment to work out what Crassius meant. He blinked. Coming from any other knight, he would have thought the question one of vanity but not from this man. His skin grew even hotter. He flushed. “Yes,” he finally managed to say. Yes, he was very pleased to have Crassius in his bed.
“Good.” Crassius rocked his hips rubbing against Licinius through the shift. The knight was obviously aware of his erection. Licinius was certain his blush deepened. Crassius bent over him, so they were eye to eye. “You may be used to lying back and thinking of your country, but it is not going to be that way with me.”
No? Licinius couldn’t help his mind flashing back to this morning when another young man had advised him to do just that. Of course, he hadn’t known what to expect… then. Even so, the comment surprised him. Surely his expression gave away his confusion.
Crassius stroked his brow. “Your pleasure is my pleasure, little one. As I wish my pleasure to be yours. Are you all right with that arrangement?”
Licinius nodded, once more speechless. Even before the knight moved to undress him, he was lost.
© Sharon Maria Bidwell, all rights reserved.