It Takes More Than Family Interference to Keep Apart People Who Were Meant to Be
“We could swim in there,” Owen muttered, looking a little wistfully down into the moat.
“There are spikes at the bottom,” Gavin said, leaning in and putting his head on Owen’s shoulder.
“I don’t think you know what a moat is for.”
Owen didn’t care what a moat was for. “It’s so hot.”
“Take off your shirt.”
“And be stabbed by all the guards?”
Gavin chuckled. “I’m sure they understand the concept of heat.”
“You first.” Owen wasn’t risking it. Even the fact that they were together right now, dipping bare feet in the castle moat, was probably arousing suspicion. Gavin had apparently decided to just totally ignore any orders he was under to stay away from Owen.
Not that Owen was complaining.
“Fine.” Gavin leaned away, reached down and took off his shirt, set it aside. “Happy?”
“I’m always happy when you wear less clothes,” Owen told him, bumping shoulders before taking off his own shirt. It didn’t help much. “Now we’re just going to get sunburnt.”
“We should probably go inside soon.” Gavin nodded. “Not that it’s any cooler in there.” A long sigh. “If we were still out adventuring, we could just strip off and jump in the nearest river.”
“That would be awesome.”
“Do you miss it?” Gavin asked. “Being out there, I mean? Good deeds and monster hunting and all that?”
Owen glanced at Gavin, wondering where that was coming from. “Yeah,” he admitted. “But if I were out there doing that without you, I’d miss you a lot more. I’m happy wherever you are.”
“Me too. I just feel like I dragged you here where you don’t want to be. If you wanted, you could go without me and…”
“Gavin,” Owen said, hand on Gavin’s thigh. “I want to be where you are.” Gavin suggesting he leave was just silly and they both knew it.
“Me too.” Gavin smiled, shook his head clear. “Sorry. We’ll get out there again someday. You’ve got a lot more adventuring to do if you’re going to make that name for yourself.”
“And I’ll need you to help me,” Owen reminded him.
“Damn right you will.” Gavin punched Owen’s shoulder. “Just got to convince my parents that we’re adults who can make our own decisions and then we can get out there. I’m sure there are dragons or evil wizards or something out there, just waiting for you stick your sword in them.” He grinned, reached down at grabbed Owen between the legs. “Not this one. You’re only allowed to stick this one in me.”
Owen flinched, tried to squirm away. But not that hard, because it wasn’t like he wanted Gavin to stop touching him. “I’ll try to remember that. Little sword goes in dragon, big sword goes in Gavin.”
“You got it backwards there, love.”
“No.” It was Owen’s turn to grin. “I don’t.”
“I’ve seen both up close and personal,” Gavin reminded him.
“You’re the one who wanted to top the first time because you were intimidated by how big I was.”
“‘Intimidated’ isn’t the word I’d use.”
“I read between the lines.”
Gavin gave him a long look, and then a smirk. And he gave Owen a hard squeeze, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek. “You’re right, Owen. You’re just too big. I’m intimidated by your overwhelming girth. Alas, I can never allow it to penetrate my noble flesh again, lest I be torn asunder.”
“You know you’re outside where people can hear you, right?”
Owen looked over his shoulder at a woman’s voice. A very pretty blonde lady with a face framed by curls was looking down at them, hands on her hips. She looked a little like Gavin.
“Gloria,” Gavin said, hand moving to Owen’s thigh but no farther. “Where have you been hiding all this time?” He turned to Owen. “My cousin.”
Owen nodded. Gavin had mentioned one to him. “Nice to meet you.”
“You too.” She sat down, moving in a way that made Owen certain she was dangerous. “Since Gavin’s a shit cousin and can’t find the time to introduce us, I figured I’d come over here myself.” She smirked. “Maybe I should have waited five more minutes, see how much of a show you two were about to put on.”
“We weren’t,” Gavin lied, badly. “Sorry, I’ve been a bit distracted.”
“Yes, so I hear. They’re not budging on the issue of you sleeping with a sellsword. No offense, Owen.”
“It’s fine.” It wasn’t like Owen didn’t know about this.
“No, but he’s been sleeping in my bed the last while and they haven’t stopped us.” Owen nodded as Gavin said that. The king and queen definitely knew, or at least he assumed they did—servants walked in on them nearly every morning and there was no way they didn’t gossip. “I think we have an unspoken compromise. At least for now.”
“You think it’ll last?”
Gavin shrugged. “Owen has a way of winning people over.”
“He doesn’t look like much,” Gloria said, looking at Owen now. “I mean, he’s easy to look at, but…”
“I’m sitting right here.”
“Are you?” Gloria smiled. “I didn’t notice.”
“Mine.” Gavin’s hand tightened on Owen’s thigh. “Don’t.”
“Fine.” Gloria put her hands up, still smiling. “I’m not poaching him.”
“I’m not poachable,” Owen interrupted.
“Good. Gavin’s too nice to castrate you if you wander, but I’d do it for him.”
Owen looked at Gavin, wondering what part of him was too nice to castrate someone. Gavin gave him a little smile.
“Besides, I’m an engaged woman now. I can hardly go stealing someone else’s partner when I’m soon to have my own—that’d be greedy.”
The look on Gavin’s face was enough to tell Owen he hadn’t known that. Gavin looked at Gloria, confused. “When did that happen?”
“Just recently. I was approached by House Feestings and given an offer that made a lot of political sense.”
“You’re marrying Turner?” Owen didn’t know who that was, but obviously it was someone Gavin knew.
“Weird, isn’t it?” Gloria leaned back. “I’d always assumed it would be some guy I don’t know. Oh well. Turner’s pretty enough. And he’s not an asshole, so what more do I want? Speaking of which, your friends are all annoyed that you haven’t made time for them yet. Come spend time with everyone. Bring Owen. They all want to meet him.”
“I’m sure they do,” Gavin muttered with a sigh. Owen was suddenly a little unsure. Did he really want to meet all of Gavin’s noble friends? They were probably going to eat him. “Fine, fine.”
“Bit silly that you made time to go shooting with Franz but not to eat lunch with us.”
Gavin nodded, looking at Gloria. “What do you think of him?”
Gloria smiled. “He’s a bit of an idiot, but he’s also not an asshole. He’s prettier than Owen, so Gabi’s got you beat there.”
“No.” Gavin leaned in and kissed Owen on the cheek. “She doesn’t.”
“Love you too,” Owen said, smiling like a fool.
“Aw, it’s so sweet I could die.” Gloria rolled her eyes, got up. “I’ll leave you two alone. Just wanted to say hi, glad you didn’t get eaten by a sexually frustrated lizard.”
“Thanks, Gloria. I had a sexually frustrated warrior to come save me from him.”
“Lucky you,” Gloria said, while Owen felt himself overheating a little. Gavin wasn’t supposed to tell that part of the story to people.
Gloria got up, leaned down and gave Gavin a hug. “See you around.” And she was off, heading towards the castle.
“So that was my cousin,” Gavin said, after she’d gone.
“She seems nice.”
“She’s not wrong—you shouldn’t be ignoring your friends.”
“I guess. I wonder what the hell is going on with that engagement.” Gavin sighed. “They’re going to eat you.”
“I can take it.” Owen really wasn’t sure if he could, but if he could fight a dragon, he could probably handle a few kids with fancy last names.
“I know you can, big guy.” Gavin’s hand moved back to where it had been before.
“Though you’re the only one who’s allowed to eat me.”
“Damn right. Speaking of which, you haven’t taken advantage of any of your free blowjob days yet. You losing your edge?”
Gavin could feel pretty clearly in Owen’s pants that he wasn’t losing his edge at all. “Just waiting for a day when we’re not going to have to spent the most of it apart.” He ran a finger up Gavin’s arm, then brushed his lips with a thumb. “Wouldn’t want to waste it.”
“Very thoughtful of you.” Gavin palmed Owen harder through the pants that Owen increasingly wished he wasn’t wearing. “I think I can arrange a day where I don’t have any duties to see to. Probably on a day you don’t have to be at the fortress.”
“That’d be nice,” Owen told him, squirming a little where he sat. “Though I seem to remember you saying I’d never penetrate your noble self again.”
“That doesn’t sound like me.”
“You’re right.” Owen was glad they were back to talking like sane people. “If you can manage to get us the time, there’s a specific wake-up call I’d like to have.”
Gavin grinned, and suddenly Owen’s pants were unlaced. “I have a feeling that can be arranged. Think I might be out of practice. Maybe I’ll do a dry run now.”
“Trust me, it won’t be dry.”