Dominic Ashen

Secrets & Spires

Art by jabberox

Secrets & Spires

Chapter 2

“Dammit, should I have brought my bag?” I hold in a sigh when Nathaniel speaks aloud again.

“I don’t know, I don’t care, but I told you that if you were going to come with us then you had to be quiet,” Elisabeth hisses at her...lover? I am not entirely sure I understand their relationship.

Excuse me. Sorry.” There does not seem to be much affection.

We have finished traveling for the day, finding a good spot not far from the road to set up camp. The sun is starting to set, which means larger animals will be preparing for sleep while smaller creatures will just be waking up: a perfect time for hunting. Before I left, I extended an open invitation to anyone who wanted to join me, eager to pass along my skills to anyone willing, just as with my cooking.

David and Elisabeth I expected, but Nathaniel I did not, and I am starting to regret the invitation being so open. Adam and Corrine are working to gather wood to start the campfire before we return; perhaps Nathaniel would be better suited assisting there. In fact, I am willing to bet that he is only tagging along to get out of helping to set up camp at all, which I truly do not care about, so long as he remains quiet.

Pushing the frustration from my mind, I focus my senses on the forest, listening for potential prey. We are only a day out from Pákannon, so I would prefer smaller game. I do not have room in my satchel to transport anything too large and would rather not see it go to waste. With my eyes closed, I try to filter through the sounds. There. West by northwest, I hear something headed in our direction.

“Follow me,” I whisper, leading our group closer, an area with good cover but still far enough away that we won’t be noticed. The three humans are silent as we move, crouching in the brush and waiting. I have my bow out, as do David and Elisabeth, and while I doubt this is his intention, I suppose Nathaniel could technically use his magic.

We are waiting for a few minutes and thankfully no one has had any questions or complaints. I can still hear the animal moving closer, though it seems to be larger than I first thought. Still, may as well see what we are dealing with. It is not until I catch a glint of reflected light in the distance that I realize what the creature is.

“Is that another—” David starts as male deer with crystalline antlers, a crystal hart, passes into view.

Cervus crystallus,” Nathaniel cuts him off in a breathless whisper, causing all three of us to turn to look at him. Is that its taxonomic name? “What?”

“You know what that is?” Elisabeth asks, voice still low.

“Yeah. I’ve studied all kinds of magical creatures.” He turns back to the unsuspecting animal. “Never thought I’d see one of these up close, though. I should be taking notes. I knew I should have brought my bag.”

“Wait, you actually know something useful?” David snarks, and I’m tempted to add another five to his demerit tally.

“I know it’s considered bad luck to kill them, so maybe put down the bow, Robin Hood,” Nathaniel says with a roll of his eyes. These two are incorrigible.

I clear my throat loudly, turning all heads in my direction and spooking the deer enough to send it jumping into the woods, nicking one of its antlers on the side of a tree.

“If you two are finished, we still need to find dinner,” I say at a normal volume, standing up straight.

“Aww, you scared it away.” Nathaniel pouts.

“You just got done saying we weren’t supposed to eat it.” Elisabeth is ever the pragmatist.

“Hey look,” David calls out, already moving ahead of us. He bends down, picking up a piece of antler that must have been chipped off when the deer scraped the tree.

“Two sightings and a souvenir?” I comment, staring at the prism in his palm. “That is a lot of good luck.”

“Yeah, considering everything that happened after we saw the last one, I’m not so sure I believe that.” He frowns slightly.

“I would say at least a few things worked out pretty well.” I smile and tip his chin up, getting him to do the same.

It is Elisabeth's turn to clear her throat. “If you two are done making googly-eyes at each other, I believe we were looking for dinner?”

I chuckle while David blushes, then start listening for our next target.

“This way.” I can hear what I think are rabbits just north of us.

“You know, seeing as you can’t actually use magic, there’s not really any point in you keeping that antler piece,” Nathaniel tries convincing David to part with his prize.

“Well that sucks for you, spell-boy.” David pockets the crystal gleefully. “Finders keepers.”

I was right about the rabbits, which were perfect in size for eating but also much harder to catch, especially when one of your hunting partners is suddenly too reluctant to hurt the “fuzzy little bunnies.” David did not strike me as an animal lover, but I suppose I have not yet seen him around very many. Elisabeth and I told him and Nathaniel to wait back while we took care of things, returning with two large rabbits as our prizes.

It was requested that I take care of the cleaning and butchering just outside of the camp, so that, to quote Elisabeth, I do not “scar Corrine with a bloody rabbit corpse.” I do not mind; I brought my tools to do just such a thing. I just need to remember to clean these when we reach the city tomorrow. By the time I reenter camp, it is with a pot full of unrecognizable meat that I set on the fire.

“You’re just jealous because I’m a better hunter than you.” I come upon Elisabeth and David in a decidedly un-heated argument while setting up the tents.

“And you’re just jealous cause I’m the one who gets to share a tent with a himbo,” David retorts with a word I am unfamiliar with.

“What is a ‘himbo?’” My question makes David jump and Elisabeth laugh.

“Oh, hey Khazak.” David turns around sheepishly. “It’s… uh…”

“Yeah, David, what’s a ‘himbo?’” Elisabeth taunts, crossing her arms.

“Am I not going to like this?” What is he saying about me?

“No! It just means a guy who’s really strong, and nice...” Okay, sounds good so far. “...and kinda dumb.”

Dumb?” I raise an eyebrow as Elisabeth laughs louder in the background.

“Nono! Not like, dumb dumb!” He tries to backtrack. “I just mean that their intelligence isn’t the first thing you think of.”

My eyebrow goes even higher, and Elisabeth laughs even louder.

“Nope, wait, that’s not what I mean either, because we both know you are way smarter than me.” At least now he is trying to suck up. “I just mean someone who’s not studying all the time, or doing experiments, or talking about math and junk.”

“Who sits around talking about math?” Nathaniel chimes in.

“Shut up! You know what I’m trying to say!” He turns back to me. “It just means that you’re not a nerd. Like...” He quickly looks around the camp before pointing at our blonde team leader setting up his own tent. “Adam. Adam’s a himbo.”

“I heard that,” the blonde replies, his back to us, “and thank you.”

“See? It’s a compliment.” I am not entirely convinced, but I do not think he is lying to me.

“So, strong, kind, and dumb... Would that not make you a himbo?” I cannot help the smirk when I ask, my question making Elisabeth laugh the loudest.

David glares at her before answering my question. “I think I’m a little too grumpy and opinionated to qualify.”

“I see. Well, you are my himbo.” I lean in to give him a kiss before whispering low enough that no one else can hear. “But I am still adding twenty for insulting my intelligence. See? Plenty of people talk about math.”

When I pull away, David’s face is a mixture of shocked and amused. I do love when I can turn his words around on him like that. Doubly so when I know I will get to spank him later for them.

Dinner is rabbit stew with some bread that has not yet gone stale thanks to my satchel. I am starting to feel a little like a walking icebox. I suppose I asked for it as I did offer to do additional hunting and cooking when I requested to join the group. That was partially to ingratiate me with David’s friends but also because of differing nutritional needs: both mine and David’s. Orcs requires more protein and iron than most other species, leading to a largely meat-based diet. Combined with my size, that means extra hunting is needed.

David’s diet is still that of a human; his issue is more with quantity. He is only about a head shorter than me, but I weigh a good eighty pounds more than he does. Despite our size difference, he eats almost as much as I do, which is nearly twice that of his companions. Given that he was rather scrawny when I met him, it was surprising. What has been more surprising is how quickly he has put the weight back on. He has not reached the muscled heights of Adam or Elisabeth, but to grow so much in only two months seems almost unnatural. But I am willing to do whatever is needed to keep my pup healthy.

After dinner we have a couple of hours before bed: the perfect time to take care of someone’s spanking demerits. I come up with a flimsy excuse for David to follow me into the woods—that I saw something strange on the perimeter when I was cleaning the rabbits—and he does his best not to stammer when he agrees to come with me. We are fooling absolutely no one, but I am not going to tell him that.

Once we are far enough away from human ears (at least for David’s normal sex-volume), I find us a sturdy tree with a thick trunk—large enough for two bodies to somewhat hide behind. Then I put the tree between us and the camp and turn to David.

“Time for your punishment, puppy.” I point to the tree. “Assume the position.”

“Yes, Sir.” He moves without complaint, hands already moving to unbutton his pants. 

He’s frowning, but there’s a hint of a smile. He likes being corrected like this as much as I like correcting him, at least when it comes to minor infractions like today’s. He braces both his forearms against the tree of the trunk, pushing his butt out toward me. I step up behind his bent over form, running my hands over his jock-clad rump. This green one is easily my favorite. With a quick squeeze to both cheeks, I step back, ready to begin.

“How many did you earn today?” I always keep track, but he knows that if he lies to me, I will double it.

“Twenty, Sir.” He sighs.

“Correct. I am also adding ten for the way you snapped at me this morning when I tried to discuss your nightmares.” 

“What!? I did not snap at—” He cuts himself off when he looks back at my face, seeing there is no room for argument. “...Yessir.”

“You do not need to count.” I rub his back soothingly.

He gives a stiff nod, wanting to make as little noise as possible. And then we begin. I watch his left cheek shake after delivering the first strike. He already had a nice ass when we first met, but the recent weight gain has really done him some favors back here. There are days where I think about adding to his tally just so I have a reason to spank him.

I keep count in my head, alternating sides as I go. We make it to ten before the whimpering starts. If this were something more serious, I would be giving him a lecture right now. The nightmare issue would normally qualify, but I do not think he would respond well to that at the moment. So for now, I will keep this a simple spanking, and wait for a better opportunity to talk about the rest. Hopefully in Pákannon.

I take a break at the halfway point, allowing David a few moments to breathe and prepare for the remaining fifteen. Rubbing my hands lightly over his ass, I feel the heat rising from his inflamed skin. I reach up to clasp him gently on the back of his neck, stroking my thumb just under his ear and feeling him relax into my touch. He is beautiful when he submits. Alright, time to finish.

 David’s breath hitches when I resume the spanking, quickly delivering four alternating strikes. He fights against the urge to pull away, and I watch his flesh ripple with each blow. A small grunt accompanies each strike past twenty, and by the time we reach thirty, his fists are clenched tightly above his head. His shoulders rise and fall in time with his breath, and a small sheen of sweat has broken out on his lower back.

I stroke my hands up and down David’s sides as he composes himself. When he is ready, he pushes himself off of the tree to stand. I take the opportunity to wrap my arms around him, pulling him back against my chest. He whines as his sore rump comes into contact with my pants but voices no complaints when I grind my erection against him, turning his head to the side so that my mouth can capture his in a hungry kiss. We both know we came out here for more than just a spanking.

I reach into my pocket to retrieve one of the items I brought out for this portion of the evening. It is a small, flat, round stone. Granite, I believe. It appears perfectly innocuous, but it is enchanted with a spell that aids in, well, anal intercourse. I hold the stone against David’s lower stomach, which activates as we continue to kiss. The spell cast cleans out the lower end of his gastrointestinal tract, while also adding some lubricant. Overall, a very handy charm, and one whose usage I had not been keeping track of until the day after leaving, when I realized we had no idea how many charges it still held. I am hoping to find a location in Pákannon that may be able to recharge it if not sell us a new one, lest we be forced to wait even longer. Most healers should be capable but finding one who knows the spell and is willing may be difficult. Hopefully there are enough charges to last before we become desperate. I think David might have an aneurysm if I tried to ask Corrine.

Back to the matter at hand, I replace the charm in my pocket. Pausing for just a moment, I grab David’s ass in both hands, squeezing roughly and pulling whimpers from my pup’s throat. Removing only one hand, I retrieve the other item I brought with me: a vial of olive oil. As useful as the charm is, you really cannot ever use enough lubricant. It is another resource we will need to conserve, and one that will be up to me to look for when we stop, as David will be far too shy.

I uncork the vial, dribbling a small amount onto my fingers and pressing them into the cleft of his ass. He moans into my mouth as they seek their target, pushing back when they rub over his hole. I press them inside, as quickly and gently as I can. I would not say we are in a rush, but the longer we are away from camp, the longer David has to panic about someone knowing what we are doing. Even though they already do.

It takes only a moment for David’s body to accept my fingers. We have not actually done this since my first night with the group, but as we have been fucking regularly for two months now, I do not have to work very hard to open him up. I work my fingers in past the second knuckle, spreading and twisting gently to stretch him. He finally breaks our kiss, biting back a moan when he leans forward again to brace himself against the tree. I slowly pump them in and out as he presses back against me for more.

 I use a little more lubricant to slick myself up before returning it to my pocket. With my dry hand on David’s hip, I grip myself and move into position. When he feels my wet cockhead brushing against his ass, he pushes back, legs spreading even wider to help me find my target. I slip between his cheeks, teasing his hole for just a moment before pressing inside.

David goes still as I enter him, focused on adjusting to the stretch while I enjoy the feeling of his inner heat enveloping me. Even after all this time, despite how easily his body accepts me, he is still so tight. I am not trying to brag about the size of my endowment (a respectable 24 centimeters), but in the past, I have run into issues with men who are unable to adjust to my size in a way that makes the experience as pleasurable as intended. I have even met some who, without extensive preparation, I am unable to enter altogether. For someone who was a virgin when I met him, David has become accustomed to getting fucked like he has been doing it for years.

I relish the feeling of his warmth wrapped around me for a few more moments before we really begin. With both hands on his hips, I hold David in place while I pull the out first few centimeters of my cock. I watch him carefully for any signs of discomfort, pleased when all I notice is a muffled moan as I slide back into place. Holding him more confidently, I work my length in and out as his hole works to grip me tightly.

Before long, David’s back drops down even lower as he holds himself up with only one hand, bringing the other to his mouth in an attempt to bite back more noises. His muffled groans join the soft slapping of our flesh meeting in the forest air around us. Each time I pull back, the tight ring of his hole drags along my cock, driving me to slam it back in and repeat the process. Then, once we have set a steady rhythm, I feel his hole start to spasm, a tell-tale sign of an oncoming orgasm.

Words cannot express just how awe-inspiring it is to see someone adapt to sex like this so quickly. Some people try for years to experience an anal orgasm, and David had his first within fifteen minutes of losing his virginity. And to be the person to cause that? My cock grows harder just thinking about it. If I did not have such a personal penchant for topping and dominating, I might even be jealous. As it is, I get to enjoy the feeling of his muscles squeezing me each time he has one.

David’s hole continues to tremble as I spear it steadily, pressure building until it finally crescendos. His body goes still as it washes over him, his hole bearing down as if trying to expel an intruder. That is another reason the charm is so useful, as your typical anal orgasm leaves your body with no choice but to try and push everything out. If I did not know what was going on, I might be insulted. Instead, I fuck him through it, his ass no match for my rock-hard length. Each tremble of his muscles only pushes me closer to my own orgasm, and this is only the first of many.

Unlike a regular orgasm, an anal orgasm comes with zero refractory period. This is because there us typically no actual ejaculation accompanying one. Many people cannot even retain an erection while getting fucked, let alone cum from it. I have been known to require partners with a lot of stamina in order to keep up with me, so David’s propensity for being on the receiving end of things suits our purposes perfectly. The fact that I get to take him apart over and over again during it only serves to turn me on more.

As tonight will not be one of our longer sessions, I use that to my advantage. I close my eyes, savoring the feeling of his warm, wet hole squeezing me as I fuck into him. I use my hands to feel along his muscles and ass, listen to the sounds of his breath and cut-off moans, even smell the musk from the sweat he has worked up. When I feel him starting to cum again, I know I will not be far behind.

“You know, you guys really gotta move farther away from camp for this, or you’re gonna start making some of us jealous.” Adam’s voice nearly makes me jump right out of David.

We freeze, both of us completely thrown by his sudden appearance. I cannot actually see him, but I can hear him coming from the other side of the tree, several meters away. David looks back at me over his shoulder, half-terrified and seeking guidance for something I do not have experience with. It is not something I am particularly worried about, nor do I think David should be; we have done this in front of entire crowds of strangers before. While this might be a little embarrassing, sex is nothing his friend is not familiar with.

I try to convey this to David with my eyes, but the look I get back only changes from scared to annoyed. I am unsure as to who that is directed at, but seeing as I do not know what he expects me to do, it had better be Adam. While this happens, I hear the sound of the blonde relieving himself against a tree (likely his reason for coming out here), and I realize that the silent conversation we are having has gone on far too long. Sensing what I am about to do, David frantically shakes his head no.

“Apologies, Adam,” I call out, causing David to freeze once more.

The man laughs in response. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.” I hear his stream slow to a trickle, and the rustle of clothes shifting as he puts himself away. “I’ll see you guys back at camp. Tell David to stop freaking out.”

I chuckle as David turns to silently glare at me, his body red as a berry. I listen for Adam’s footsteps to leave before letting myself laugh again, bending forward to wrap both arms around David’s chest. I nuzzle his neck, the absurdity of what just occurred making me smile, though I can sense that he may not share my feelings.

“I cannot believe you did that,” he grumbles while I kiss his shoulders.

“What was I supposed to do?” I nibble on his skin, waiting for an answer.

“I don’t know, but ‘talk to him while you’re still inside of me’ was not on the list!” he hisses, still whispering.

“He already caught us. Should I have pretended we were exercising?” I make a point to pump my still half-hard erection in his ass. “Do you want to stop?”

“...No,” he mumbles into my forearm.

“Good.” I take his face in my hand and turn him to claim his mouth again.

I love kissing him. Swiping my tongue along his, I slowly stretch his walls as my cock expands once more. David whines when he feels me growing inside of him, and I release him to brace against the tree. I am no longer looking to take my time; we have already been out here longer than I originally anticipated. As he relaxes and I begin to pump my hips, I cannot help but think more about our interaction with Adam.

While he had a perfectly normal reason to be out here, he also could have picked any other direction from camp to go besides the one the two of us very obviously took to have sex. Combined with what he told David about his attraction to men, it makes me suspect that his coming upon us like that was no accident. I do not get the sense that Adam thinks of David as anything more than a friend, but I do think the many months of traveling with only his hand for companionship makes this more than just a case of morbid curiosity. And gives me more ideas for later.

I am not a man who gets jealous easily. Which is a good thing because I suspect David’s feelings for Adam may extend a little further than friendship. Nothing more than a schoolyard crush, one I am not sure David is even aware he has. There is something about the way he looks at the blonde man, seeks his approval, that feels familiar. I actually find it rather endearing; as I said, I do not get jealous easily. Despite our shaky start, I am more than confident in my relationship with David and his feelings for me. And it is not as though I have never seen him have sex with anyone else.

I snap my hips faster at the memory. Several of them. Where I come from, people have fairly liberal ideas when it comes to sex, and sharing your partner or bringing another into your bed is not uncommon. It is something David and I engaged in when we were still there, and just as when he submits, he is beautiful in action. I look down as I fuck him, watching the way his hole swallows me over and over, pink skin dragging over green. The way he moans, the way his body shivers—it almost seems selfish not to share that.

No matter what happens, at the end of the day he is still mine. He still wears my collar, still calls me his owner, still cries out my name when he is being fucked out of his mind. The wave of possession surges through me, my hands gripping him almost bruisingly tight as I pound into his ass. Any concerns about keeping the noise down are gone, the sound of our skin slapping together audible to anyone close enough to hear. Even David seems to have stopped caring, barely remembering to stifle a groan as he cums again.

That is all it takes to finally push me over my own edge. I crush us together, growling low as let loose the first shot of cum deep within my pup’s hole. I continue to hump forward in small, jerky movements with each volley that follows, still holding my groin tightly to his ass. When I finish, I exhale with a happy sigh, pulling David up and holding him to my chest while still remaining firmly lodged inside of him.

After we have both settled, I carefully pull out, taking in the sight of David’s wet and pink hole. Unfortunately, there is not much to be done for cleaning up, so I tuck myself away as best I can and help David with his pants. There are some rags in my bag for just this sort of thing, and we should be passing near a river tomorrow morning where we can take the opportunity for a more thorough washing.

“Ready to head back?” I finish, straightening out the rest of my clothes and turning to him.

“...Do we have to?” He frowns, looking in the direction of camp.

“David, even if Adam did say something to the rest of the group—which I am sure he did not—what are you worried about?” I tip his chin up at me. “Everyone with maybe the exception of Corrine is well-versed on the subject of sexual relations. I have even overheard Elisabeth and Nathaniel in their tent together, more than once.” Having above-average hearing is not always a blessing.

“Yeah, but that’s different. That’s...” He frowns and looks down as he frowns. “You know.”

“What?” I squeeze his shoulder.

“Normal!” he snaps, body turning red again. “Not two men.”

Ah, there is the rub. When we first met, to say that David struggled with his sexuality would be an understatement. But over time, he has been able to relax and come to terms with his feelings, things he had pushed down or locked away and refused to think about. Being in a place where no one knew him, or had any way of contacting people who did, he grew more comfortable with that side of himself, almost as though he was able to live a second life. But now that we are with his friends, people he has history with, he is falling back into old habits, concerned about appearances. Even though he struggles, he still tries with small gestures like holding my hand or kissing me in front of others. Hell, even the “himbo” discussion earlier counts in my book. Things get a little easier each day, and I just hope this event has not set us back.

“There is nothing abnormal about what we do together.” At least not the two men part of it.

“You know what I mean.” Stubborn as always.

“They know who we are to each other, puppy.” I am trying to appeal to logic but that does not always work with him. “They know we are together, and they know what people who are together do at night. They are also your friends—

“Except Nate.”

“Except Nate.” I roll my eyes with a chuckle at his interruption. “But even he, like the rest of them, has not used this as a weapon against either of us. Perhaps it is only because I am intimidating them into silence, but rest assured that if anyone did, they will be dealt with.”

David cracks a smile at that. “My protector, huh?”

“That is what I signed up for.” I crowd into his space, reaching into his shirt to pull out the collar he wears around his neck. I swipe my thumb over the lock, its face engraved with the same image as my tattoo, the symbol of Clan Ironstorm. I hold the key on a silver chain around my own neck, not that I have any plans to remove it.

“Okay. I’m ready, Sir,” he says after a big sigh.

We start the walk back hand in hand, David reluctantly letting go once we are close. We re-enter camp to find everyone around the fire, almost ready to turn in. I silently nod to Adam as I take my seat while David cannot seem to look away from the fire to meet anyone’s eyes. No one seems to particularly notice, but it is not until Nathaniel begins to tell the group random facts about the crystal hart we saw earlier that he finally relaxes.

Much later, when everyone is asleep and I am on watch duty by the campfire, I contemplate what has happened over the past week. I fell in love with a man I met barely two months ago, and after nearly trying to kill me, he instead wound up as my property. Then he was killed and brought back to life through an unknown, ancient ritual, and I decided to leave behind everyone and everything I know to follow him and his friends on a journey to hopefully discover the truth behind his resurrection.

When I think of it all together like that, I wonder if I might be going insane.

Sounds behind me have me turning to see our tent flap opening, a bleary-eyed David stumbling out. Seeing me by the fire, he sits down next to me, and I throw my arm over his shoulder to pull him closer. He unleashes a massive yawn as he leans against me, head on my shoulder.

“Is everything alright?” Even for David, this is early, and his watch shift is not for another forty minutes.

“ ’s weird sleeping without you,” he mumbles, nuzzling closer.

“Did you have another nightmare?” I suspect that may be the reason for his early waking.

“...Maybe a small one,” he whispers.

Small is good; small hopefully means they are becoming less severe. I smile, kissing the top of his head while he cuddles into me, already starting to nod off again. I will be sure to wake him in time for his shift, but for now I am content to hold him by the fire. I know that if I chose not to chase after him, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. Whatever awaits us in the future, we will face it together.

But first, we are going to work on getting him more comfortable with sex because I am really getting tired of all the standing up when we have a perfectly fine bedroll right there in our tent.

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