This fic is in response to Baranduin's challenge to the Mary Renault LJ community. She gave me a sentence from The Persian Boy to inspire a fic in any of Renault's universes. Since I love The Charioteer, this was the result.

Many thanks to Oleander999 for beta reading duties. R-rated; spoilers for the book.


He liked to be talked to after the act of love; there was still something in him that rebuked desire as weakness.

by Laura Mason

His muscles strained, as did mine, sweat slicking the rub of flesh. The sheets were soaked -- how long had we been in this bed, re-exploring familiar territory? How long had I been so aroused that every brush of his fingers sent fire coursing through me?

There was no time here -- I might as well have asked how long I've loved him. Only a moment. All eternity.

"Yes. Yes! Ahh--" A long moan as our cocks rubbed together perfectly, sensation sparking. I kissed him, devouring his lips and chasing his tongue, blocking any further sounds. He thrust up, his hands clamping on my upper arms so fiercely that I gasped, freeing his mouth.

"Please," he breathed, and I rolled off him, turning us both. I reached to find the lotion atop the nightstand, and while I was stretched out, Laurie's questing tongue found a nipple. My moan echoed off the walls. I imagined I could hear five years of passionate cries in the air around us.

When I brought my hands back to caress his arousal, Laurie's head dropped back, and I had to mark his neck once again. He is mine, and every bruise and love-bite is my proof. Then I gave him what he wanted, pulled our cocks together in my hands, and watched him fall apart with pleasure. Laurie was lost to all but sensation. His hands fell away from my body, his head lolled against the linen, and he gasped and pleaded for more.

I controlled our pace as slippery hardnesses kissed and stroked each other in my slick grasp. Tight, then loose, then a quick kiss dropped on his stomach, and I laughed breathlessly at his gasp of surprise.

When I could no longer play him like an instrument, when my body demanded I cease my worship of him and drove my movements to a frantic pace, we both peaked.

Laurie cried "Ralph!" as I wordlessly bellowed my completion.

I stumbled off the bed to retrieve a wash cloth and towel, but he didn't turn to face me until I said "That was amazing, Laurie." He liked to be talked to after the act of love; there was still something in him that rebuked desire as weakness. And I found it comforting, too, cleaning him off and watching the glaze of mindless lust leave his eyes.

"You're more beautiful with every passing year," I told him, and he touched my face and smiled. :"How do you feel?" I asked.

"Relaxed. Wonderful." He paused, made a face. "Hot. Do we need this blanket?"

I laughed and moved the offensive cloth to the foot of the bed. "You'll want it soon enough, even if it is June. I think we'll have a fire tonight."

"I suppose you're right." He shifted a little, making a face that told me we hadn't been careful enough with his knee.

"Shall I find the linament?"

"No, no need. It's just the rain." But he rubbed at his knee fretfully.

"Ah, rain and damp and cold. But you see, I've been reading an article about the North African desert, comparing what we know about Roman battles in the region with Rommel's actions. So this typically English rain seems very welcome in my dry, sandy thoughts."

Laurie was staring at the window, watching the slide of drops down the pane, his mouth turned in a half-smile. "Romans and Rommel? Not your usual magazines, then."

"The author sent me a copy. Dickie Henson, a friend from the war."

"I never met him."

"No," I agreed, then climbed next to him on the bed, stretching out beside him to wrap my arms around him and tuck my head under his chin. I held my breath until his arms closed around me and his lips brushed my hair.

"Getting a bit shaggy, love."

"It's the new fashion, isn't it?" I said. He just laughed at the idea of me following fashion, and shortly his arms grew heavy and his regular breathing was tickling my ear.

Yes, he needed conversation after sex, and so did I, to fight off melancholy.

I don't know if Laurie was like this before D-day. I've never asked. I didn't get back from France for nearly a year, put to work in the convalescent hospitals once ambulance work was finished. I like to think Laurie waited for me, that he somehow knew I would grow up and be ready to acknowledge our love. But I've never asked him about that, either.

Lanyon was supposed to be a Navy "observer" that day at Juno. But the sight of the troops getting cut down before they could move out of their landing craft -- well, from what I've heard about Lanyon, anyone would expect what happened. He took command of a supply transport and drove it aground, to give them cover. Even got the damn thing unloaded, under fire. Alec kept the posthumous commendation.

I moved my head down, just enough to escape the tickling and allow me to hear Laurie's heartbeat. When I looked up, I could see the purpling mark on his neck.

It doesn't matter whose name Laurie calls. He's mine.


The end


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