A Little Mistletoe Goes a Long Way
“What is the meaning of this?” bellowed King Uther as he stalked impatiently into Arthur’s bedroom. “What has happened?”
A groan of deep pain issued from the bed where Arthur lay, prone and shirtless after Gaius’ examination. “Father,” he began, his voice already shaking with agony as he attempted to push himself upright. He didn’t get more than an inch off the bed before he dimly felt both Gaius and Merlin’s hands pressing him back down.
Instead, Gaius nodded to Merlin to explain. Facing Uther with his head down respectfully, he said, “It was after training, Sire. I was helping him off with his armor. He complained that his back felt tense and then suddenly his legs gave out and he was gasping for air. He was carried here by some of the knights and I sent for Gaius immediately.”
Uther looked to Gaius expectantly.
“Arthur is suffering from spasms of the back, Sire.”
“And that can be treated?”
“Yes, Sire. But Arthur must remain on full bed rest for a period of three days, and the treatment must be administered every four hours in order for a lasting recovery to be made.”
Uther turned his head back toward Merlin. “You. You will stay here with the Prince and tend to his needs until he is well, is that understood?”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
“Feel better soon, Arthur,” Uther said, his voice just a hair softer and warmer, before turning and walking out.
“Now, Merlin…” Gaius began, handing his ward a small bottle of potion, “This is Tincture of Mistletoe. It is safe only in very specific doses, so you must give Arthur exactly one spoonful every four hours. It helps stimulate bloodflow and relaxes the muscles. It works quite well. It is even possible that Arthur may fall asleep after you administer it.”
Merlin nodded his understanding, so Gaius continued, motioning to a crucible set up over a burning candle. “This is ginger root oil. It can be used cool, but it works better when it is warm. Wait about a half hour after giving Arthur the mistletoe to allow the medicine to take effect. Then you will use the ginger root oil and massage it into his skin from shoulders to waist. It will also help to soothe away his aches and pains.”
It was only after Gaius had reached his chambers that he realized he’d forgotten to mention to Merlin another possible side effect of the tincture, one that the Druids often spoke of…
Shaking his head, Gaius dispelled the thought as an old wives’ tale and sat down to his dinner.
As if through a haze, Arthur heard Gaius and Merlin’s voices drone on in the background, but he was too distracted by the pain to understand what they were saying. He’d been injured during training or on the battlefield many a time, but never had he felt anything as excruciating as this brutal pressure compressing his chest, making it hard for him to breathe, let alone move. Arthur closed his eyes.
And then, all was quiet. A moment later, he felt a soothing hand brush across his forehead, pushing damp hair out of his eyes. Merlin.
“Don’t worry, Arthur. It’ll be all right. We’ll have you fixed up in no time.” Merlin’s hand slid lower and cradled Arthur’s jaw gently. “Okay, I’m going to lift your head up now…just enough for you to take the medicine.” As he felt his head being moved, Arthur opened his eyes blearily and was momentarily startled by how close Merlin’s face was to his…and, wow, his eyes were really blue! And since when did he have such long eyelashes?
Arthur felt something being nudged against his closed lips. “Come on, open up, Arthur…” Dazed, he watched Merlin’s lips move, but his words didn’t register. Instead, Arthur was fascinated by how plump and pink and soft they looked…He wondered idly if the pain had addled his brain.
Another, less polite, prod against his lips garnered the expected response, and Merlin pushed the spoon inside. Arthur closed his mouth around it and swallowed automatically, too weary to even shiver at the foul tasting concoction.
His head was carefully lowered back to the pillow. “Good. Gaius said it might make you sleepy.” Long fingers threaded through Arthur’s hair and it felt like heaven.
As his eyes slipped closed, Arthur mumbled on a sigh, “I’m glad you’re here, Merlin…”
Arthur didn’t have to look to know that Merlin had smiled in response.
A dip of the mattress next to Arthur’s left hip jostled him awake…or at least he thought he was awake. He felt warm all over and so, so relaxed that it almost felt like a dream. It was as if all his bones had melted and he could finally breathe—wait, he could breathe!
Arthur sucked in a deep breath and let out a blissful sigh, just as he felt the mattress dip just to the right of him also. “Arthur? I didn’t mean to wake you…” Merlin’s voice drifted down from above.
“S’ok…” Arthur mumbled, “What’re you doing?”
Then Arthur heard Merlin rubbing his hands together, but it didn’t sound right…they sounded too…wet to be normal. “I have to rub your back with the ginger root oil. Let me know if I’m hurting you, okay?”
Something about the timbre of Merlin’s voice made Arthur’s heart stutter-step in his chest. And then the weight of Merlin’s buttocks settled onto the backs of Arthur’s thighs, pressing his lower half deeper into the mattress. Arthur could not explain why, but there was just something that felt so…sensual about it, even though it was obviously quite innocent.
But that was nothing compared to the jolt of raw heat that shot straight to Arthur’s groin the moment Merlin’s oil-slicked fingers touched his bare back and started rubbing.
Arthur could not have stopped the gasping moan issuing from his throat even if Camelot had depended on it.
Instantly, the hands on his back stilled. “Are you all right, Arthur?” Merlin’s voice was coloured with worry. “Do you want me to stop?”
Oh, Gods… please don’t stop! Arthur begged in his head. For Merlin, he shook his head no against the pillows and pursed his lips together, afraid of what might pop out next if he allowed them free reign.
“Okay, if you’re sure…” Merlin said doubtfully, but started moving his hands once more, kneading his fingers into the knotted muscles at Arthur’s shoulders.
It was like every nerve ending was hypersensitive, thought Arthur, as he bit his lip to hold in another groan. Merlin had leaned forward in order to put weight behind his hands and therefore Arthur could feel Merlin’s lap pressing up against his buttocks…and his breath tickling the hairs at the nape of his neck…and those hands! Gods, those blessed hands! Every time they slid along his skin, finding a new place to prod and knead, it felt like a lover’s caress.
Arthur brought one arm up to rest under his head so that he could turn his face into the pillow without suffocating. His other hand fisted in the blankets next to him as wave after wave of powerful desire buffeted his body. Arthur’s cock was so fully engorged that he could feel his pulse point throbbing where its length was pressed against the mattress. He buried his face into the pillow and let out a long, low keening moan.
Again, the hands stilled, splayed along either side of Arthur’s ribcage. “Arthur?”
Arthur hissed in a breath and then gritted out between clenched teeth, “Merlin, so help me gods…if you stop again before you’re finished…I’m going to put you in the stocks for a week! Do you understand me?”
“Yes…” Merlin breathed.
Was it Arthur’s imagination, or did Merlin sound…affected, too?
That thought sent Arthur’s mind into a tailspin of yearning as Merlin’s magical fingers slid down the length of Arthur’s spine, grazing each knob like a touchstone until he reached Arthur’s hips, just above his trousers. Then, with thumbs splayed, Merlin began to knead the tense muscles beneath his hands.
Another moan punched out of Arthur’s lungs and this time his hips bucked involuntarily, and once the movement started, there was no stopping it. There was no way that Merlin could mistake his reactions anymore; no way this could be construed as anything other than Arthur dry-humping the bed in time to his rubbing…But Merlin’s touch just felt so incredibly arousing, he simply couldn’t help it.
Yet, even knowing what he was doing to him, Arthur noticed that Merlin did not stop. If anything, his motions became softer, more deliberate…almost determined to please. His fingers trailed lightly along his sides, lingered along the waistline of his trousers as if tempted to dip underneath the material to tease the skin beneath. And even though Arthur was half-mad with desire, he could not miss the hardness now pressing against his buttocks, nor the jagged, uneven breaths ghosting across his naked back.
Later, neither of them could remember just how it happened, but one moment Merlin was seated on a face-down Arthur; the next, Merlin found himself flat on his back with Arthur’s body slanted over him, his hands pinned above his head by one of the prince’s.
There was one pregnant moment when they stared at one another, chests heaving, cocks brushing…and then Arthur’s mouth was on Merlin’s, plundering it unabashedly as he used his other hand to tug impatiently at the loop of Merlin’s belt. Moments later, it gave under the pressure and Arthur pushed it out of the way, sliding his hand underneath the scratchy wool to tweak at Merlin’s taut nipple, making him gasp underneath the onslaught of lips and tongue.
Wasting no time, Arthur fumbled for the drawstring of Merlin’s trousers, shoving flap and smallclothes aside to grasp his cock, tugging at it, greedily lapping at Merlin’s mouth as his head fell back with a gasp.
“Gods, Arthur…” Merlin keened, yanking one of his hands free from Arthur’s grasp, freeing his master’s cock from its confines and fisting around it with his still oil-slicked hand, pumping furiously in response to the rhythm Arthur had set.
Seconds later, both men were coming, hot white streaks coating each other’s hands and stomachs as they pulled each other through the shuddering ecstasy, each other’s names tumbling from their lips.
And as one set of their hands finally stilled, Merlin slipped his other hand from Arthur’s slack grasp to softly thread their fingers together. Arthur tipped his head forward to rest his forehead against Merlin’s, and peacefully they lay, just reveling in sharing each other’s breath and savoring the moment of combined bliss.
Postscript ~ The medicines I used in this story were real ancient remedies. Ginger Root oil is really used as a massage oil for lower back pain or arthritic pain. And the European Mistletoe increases bloodflow, is a sort of muscle relaxant (especially for cramps and such), and calms stress....and the ancient Druids also used Mistletoe as an aphrodisiac... *winks*