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Duty Bound

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Magnus only listened to his stepmother’s words with half an ear while eating breakfast. His brother Jace, the golden, perfect son, was to be married. The chosen commodity was a prince of one of the countless eastern kingdoms. Magnus chuckled to himself and envisioned pretty boy Jace bound in eternity to a fat hairy easterner. He looked up and saw his father’s disapproving eyebrow. His father had very talkative eyebrows and right now they were not happy.

 

He walked outside, reveling in the warm sunshine. Across the yard he caught a glimpse of a stable-boy and grinned, casually walking in that direction. Two of them were at it like rabbits in an empty stall, like he expected. They were pretty and dark haired with filthy mouths. When they saw him, they didn’t even blush, just rolled on their backs, legs opening teasingly. One of them, the sauciest, whom Magnus knew very well said,

“Think you can manage two, oh my Prince?” Magnus loosened his belt and unbuttoned his front,

“Oh, I should say so…”

 

Alec sat and looked out the window at the kingdom he soon would have to leave forever. If he had been a girl, he would probably be brushing his hair hectically, but instead he just sulked, ignoring his sister who yelled at him outside the locked door. Isabelle, being the heir, had never known the word no and had decided not to accept that her brother was to be herded away to be wed to some fat golden-haired southerner. Alec, being the more placid of the two siblings, simply endured. This was his destiny, his lot in life, no matter how much he hated the thought of being sold.

He lay down on his bed and pulled his clothes off. Naked, he spread his legs, wishing, wishing…He looked at the oozing candle next to his bed and sighed, giving in to his cravings. His nimble fingers put out the flame and then remove it from its thick holster. He found the oil under his bed and stroked it all over the thick bodied candle. Then he laid back, closing out the world, feeling the sleek candle enter him, inch by inch. When it was all inside, he grabbed his erect cock with his right hand while moving the candle inside him with his left. His mouth opened, and he panted out,

“Yes …”

 

In the spring the Royal Family of Idris traveled to the kingdom of Bane. Much of their court traveled with them. Alec was beloved by all, and the King of Bane had five sons so many noble families had hopes of securing a match for their daughters. Isabelle had been listening at doors when their parents were discussing the marriage and filled him in on all the gossip about his new family, drop by drop.

Bane was a wild and luscious kingdom in the warm south, and the king of the country, Valentine, was equally fertile. He had gone through three wives. The first, Lady Céline, was fair and frail. She gave him the golden-haired heir prince Jace but died in childbirth. They said she wasn’t made for the heat of the south. The king married again, and this time chose a noble lady from the hot and steamy southern isles of Sia, where people were known to be healthy and beauiful. She gave him three more boys, all said to have inherited her beauty; Magnus, Jonathan and Max, but soon she too perished. It was whispered that she took her own life, and the king almost lost his mind from grief. It was years later the king married for the third time. The lady of Fray was levelheaded, red haired and instantly took a maternal liking to the king’s four motherless sons. A widower, she brought a toddler girl into the marriage, Clarice, whom the king doted upon. With the lady Jocelyn he had a fifth son, Simon, who grew up close to Clarice.

The spring weather was treacherous, and soon a snowstorm forced the royal caravan to seek shelter at the nearest crowded inn. Though rooms were spare, it would do the innkeeper the greatest honor if he was allowed to provide them with beds for the night, and Queen Maryse, greatly flattered, decided on staying though King Robert mumbled disapprovingly behind her back. Because of the size of their entourage, most had to sleep two or three in the same room. Poor Izzy even had to bed with her cousins, whom she hated, but the Queen insisted that Alec was given a private room by himself, so he could contemplate the holy union of marriage in solitude.

 

Late at night another party arrived, mud stained and wet to the skin. The soldiers were given beds in front of the fire in the great hall, but when the innkeeper recognized his own prince Magnus among them, he would not rest but fussed and bowed until he had him separated from his men and standing in front of Alec’s door. The innkeeper then popped in and bowed when he saw Alec sitting on the bed only dressed in pants,

“So sorry, My Lord of Idris, it's most humiliating that I must interrupt, but a p…a noble man as yourself has just appeared, and my soft heart cannot bear to have him sleep with the ruffians in the common room.”

“I don’t mind, really,” Magnus laughed. Then he noticed Alec’s slender frame on the bed, his ruffled dark hair and sleepy eyes and sucked in his breath. Alec just shrugged,

“I don’t mind either. We all must share in a pinch,” and the innkeeper bowed,

“That’s most noble of you, my Lord.” The innkeeper turned to Magnus who still stared at Alec, “Well come in there, p…my Lord. Don’t stand there gaping.” He stopped scolding and blushed, “I mean…will you require food, my Lord?”

“No, no. Wine will be sufficient.” Magnus eyed a bottle on the table, and Alec rose from the bed,

“Let’s share mine.”

The innkeeper bowed again and hurried out before they could change their minds. They could hear him shout at his servant boy all the way down to the hall. Magnus laughed while eying Alec’s muscular torso,

“He’s is worse than my sheepdogs.”

Alec smiled politely and poured wine in two goblets,

“He seems very…energetic?”

Magnus shrugged,

“He has known me since I was a little boy. He was a soldier once guarding the p…my ancestral home, and I don’t think he ever realized I grew up.” He took the goblet from Alec and said softly, looking in his eyes, “Thank you.”

Alec blushed and suddenly felt naked,

“You may take the bed, and I the floor. You seem to have traveled far.”

“Nonsense,” Magnus said, “Its big enough for two. Far? Oh, no, just on a hunting trip, but we got caught in the storm.” He drank and tasted the red liquid, “Oh, a fine full-bodied wine. The inn's quite full which is unusual, but a wedding always draws many people to the capital.”

“There’s a wedding?” Alec asked innocently.

“There will be. One of the many princes marrying one of the many foreign princes…” he looked at the fire, “Would you feel uncomfortable if I undressed? Here in Bane we are quite used to nudity, but I wouldn’t want to offend?” He touched his soaked clothes. “It’s just that I’m all wet and would like to dry my clothes.”

“Oh no,” Alec said and tried not to blush. “It's fine. I’m fine. I know nudity. Doesn’t bother me.” He looked away, but as Magnus peeled off garments, he turned and looked, first hidden at his naked body and then more openly as Magnus didn’t seem to mind. "Gods," he whispered and emptied his wine goblet. Then he poured some more in both goblets. Magnus had long muscular legs and a firm behind. With clothes on he had seemed lithe and willowy, but naked he seemed so much more muscular and powerful. Alec looked down and realized he had emptied his goblet again. That was probably why his heart was racing.

Magnus finished hanging his clothes to dry in front of the fire and turned to grab his wine goblet again. Alec swallowed and had a glimpse of his front before he looked away. His… Magnus looked at his averted gaze,

“I do embarrass you. I apologize.”

“Oh no!” Alec said and blushed violently again. “It’s just…” he reached for a lie, any lie that could explain away his awkwardness, “I am to be sworn to the…priesthood and  will be chaste for life. I merely avert my eyes to avoid temptation.”

Magnus sat down on the bed and dried his hair, and Alec drank some more wine. It slowly dawned on him that he had just admitted being attracted to a naked man. How did that happen?

“You find me a temptation, my lad?” Magnus then asked quietly. Their eyes met. “My name is Magnus. What is yours?” he said softly.

“Alexander,” Alec said, equally soft.

“Alexander.” It sounded like a caress. “And you will pledge yourself never to be touched, Alexander? In such a young age? What a cruel fate to a man of Bane…”

“You don’t have chastity in Bane?” Alec asked. He realized he was flirting, but he told himself: the wine, just the wine

“Not that I know of,” Magnus flirted back and emptied his goblet. He reached out and took Alec’s hand in his. “In Bane we worship fertility with our souls and bodies. Once or twice a man is born more holy than physical. We then pity him because we believe we need both. After all, the gods come to us during lovemaking.” His long slender fingers slid up Alec’s arm. Alec looked towards the open window to clear his head. It led out to a small terrace and beyond that the snow fell massively. But in the room the fire warmed them both.

“Aren’t your gods angry when they see all that fornication?” he asked a little coyly, fighting the urge to scoot closer to Magnus, feeling his nipples harden as the touch of Magnus’ fingers suddenly made him imagine what else they could be handling.

“Oh no, Alexander,” Magnus whispered and drew him closer. “They see it as a sacrifice in their honor.”

“Are they watching now?” Alec said dreamlike, feeling Magnus’ lips brush against his cheek, his fingers brush feather-light against his tender nipples.

“Watching, waiting. Approving what we do,” Magnus said and let his hands slide down, his fingers open Alec’s pants, pulling them off slowly, freeing his hard cock, and Alec moaned.

“You will be bound to the gods after all,” Magnus whispered, taking Alec’s cock in his hand. “As a priest you will be servant of the gods. Let them watch their servant be pleasured…”

“But I’m not their servant now,” Alec moaned as Magnus bent down and kissed his cock. “Not tonight. Tonight, I’m still free.” He closed his eyes and thought: Give me this one night alone… It burned strangely between his legs. He felt hot and aching as though he needed something to touch him there, to fill him up. Magnus then weighed him down, his body teasing Alec’s fever hot skin, his muscles hard but his skin soft as silk. He reached out and grabbed the saddle oil from Alec’s bag,

“Tonight, you are mine,” he said. “Like a stable boy taken by a squire.” He poured golden oil into his palm, let Alec watch as he greased his hard cock thoroughly, caressing it. Alec parted his lips, felt…he closed his eyes, opened them, breathed with difficulty, torn between guilt and lust. He then felt Magnus hesitate and say,

“I’ll can walk away if you want. I’ll go downstairs and sleep with my men and tomorrow you will wake chaste in your bed? Just say the words.”

Alec looked at his hard cock, felt Magnus watch him, their breathing and the flickering of flames in the fireplace the only sounds in the room.

“I want…” Alec lay back and felt his legs open, felt the burning intensify when he gave in, “I want to feel you in me.” He looked up and let his hand caress his stomach, touch his cock. “Magnus…”

Magnus gave out a muffled moan and lay down between his legs. They kissed hungrily, then Magnus hesitated once more,

“Sometimes some…men in Bane experience a color change in their eyes. I tell you this, so you won’t be afraid if it should happen.”

“What causes the change?” Alec said, his voice thick with need.

“Immense pleasure,” he looked at Alec’s flushed face. The swollen kissed lips, his dark shining eyes. “Have you…ever…before?”

Alec blushed,

“Not with anyone. But I have… done things, though.” He moaned a little when he felt Magnus touch his hole and his legs opened more, “Yes…”

“Things?” Magnus' voice was strained, out of breath. “What things exactly, Alexander?”

Alec bit his lips,

“Never mind…” He groaned out as Magnus' fingers massaged thhe opening and he raised his pelvis, “Yes there, gods…”

“Tell me,” Magnus ordered, laughing, breathlessly. “I need to know I won’t hurt you.”

“Candles,” Alec panted, caressing his nipples, and moaned as an oiled-up finger slipped inside. “First slim ones, then…then…”

“Bigger?” Magnus whispered. His finger moved around, and Alec moved his head feverishly from side to side,

“It…yes, bigger, much bigger…ahh,” he cried out when another finger slipped in. Then Magnus said,

“You are gorgeous, Alexander.” He moved his fingers back and forth, and Alec panted, feeling a new strange warmth rival anything he ever felt alone in bed.

“Never like his!” he moaned, “Magnus, more!”

Magnus pulled out his fingers and grabbed hold of Alec’s thighs. He opened them wider and slowly moved into him. Alec raised his leg to give room. Sweat was streaming down his chest, and he thought vaguely of the opened window and his own moans, but forgot about it as Magnus settled deep inside him. He opened his eyes and met his beautiful dark eyes. They looked at each other, then Magnus pulled out a little and then pressed forward. Alec gasped out,

“Gods!”

Magnus pulled out again, his eyes shining and then he moved back in. Alec groaned as he was filled up again. He felt it burn, an amazing heat that flickered its flames up through his body. He thrust up the next time Magnus pulled out, wanting him to stay, and saw Magnus smile as he said,

“Yes…” He moved into him again, faster this time. Alec took him all and then pushed forward as he pulled out again, coaxing Magnus to come back to take him anew. He said it and didn’t feel ashamed,

“Take me, Magnus. Harder…”

Magnus fell on him, taking him deeper, faster, making him sob out in ecstasy as he felt Magnus kiss his neck. He felt his own cock slide ignored between their stomachs, then cried out as Magnus’ deft fingers found it and closed around it. The feeling of two onslaughts overpowered him. Alec exploded without warning, shuddering out his seed between them, but still felt the burn as Magnus continued to take him. He wanted him to come too, panted it out even, gasping words only tarts used, wanton and lust filled, and his voice and the snugness of him made Magnus come in him, yelling out his name so it echoed in the room.

When they fell back on the bed, Magnus opened his eyes. They shone greenish and catlike, and Alec whispered,

“Gods, you’re beautiful.”

 

The next morning Magnus woke to an empty, cold room. The party had gone early, and the innkeeper had decided to let him sleep in since, after all, he was a prince of Bane. Magnus knotted his fists and looked out where the hoof prints in the muddy road were being erased by the rain. Roads lead in four directions, and no one could say which way the soon to be priest had taken.

 

They reached the palace three days later. By then it was a warm and luscious summer, and everyone’s mood had lifted. Everyone but Alec. He told himself it was shame becaus e he had broken his wow of chastity. Luckily the surroundings as they rode near the huge city of Caddr distracted Izzy so much she forgot to talk about the odd sounds she claimed to have heard in the night. Everything was opulent and colorful, so unlike their own cooler buildings. There were palm trees and bazaars, and Izzy squealed the first time she saw a monkey. When the monkey made the exact same sound back even Queen Maryse, their serious mother, couldn’t help laughing. Thus, tired but merry they rode up to the palace where the royal family of Bane was waiting.

King Valentine gallantly helped Maryse off her horse as though she weighed nothing, which pleased her, and Izzy raised her eyebrows when she saw the group of young beautiful princes behind their father. Queen Jocelyn greeted the guests warmly, and the king proudly showed off Clarice who wasn’t a toddler anymore but a beautiful young maiden with red hair. She took Izzy’s hand and dragged her away into the palace, giggling, and Alec was left with his father and mother to meet the gaze of five princes. He counted them. No, just four. The gangling pale boy was Simon, and the two dark and rather handsome boys were presented as Jonathan and Max…

”and Magnus is away hunting…and this is Jace, my heir.” King Valentine proudly presented his son, and Alec, who seconds before had felt a thought of something, something important he really should remember and act upon, looked into the blue eyes of Jace and thought: Oh, well. It could be so much worse… because Jace was beautiful and well-mannered and seemed very happy to meet him. Alec felt his hand on his and noticed he kept it a little longer than he needed. He only removed it when king Valentine looked at him, and then they were parted when the royal guests were taken to their own wing of the castle. They were escorted by smiling servants, and Alec turned in the door and noticed that Jace stood where he had left him, staring after him. He smiled hugely when he noticed Alec’s eyes on him and only turned away when king Valentine marched over and forcefully pulled him with him.

 

Getting ready for the feast, Alec’s rooms were invaded by Izzy and Clarice, who insisted she was called Clary. None of the girls reacted when he asked them to leave, instead they piled their clothes on his bed, insisting he had the best mirror, got chocolate on everything and gossiped about boys. He went out on the balcony to escape. It was filled with flowers and green hanging things that kept getting into his face. He swathed it impatiently aside and wondered why he was in a bad mood. He should be as happy as Izzy. His betrothed wasn’t an ogre but something of a god, and he really should be fantasizing about their married life together instead of …

He thought back at the night before and closed his eyes as his body instantly reacted. The sight of the cat eyes had filled him with awe. Later, Magnus had told him once more how it only happened when he was very much…aroused and the feeling that Alec had been able to arouse him, felt…well, arousing. Magnus had noticed his reaction, and they ended up making love again.

Alec moved away from the door, far away to the darkest part of the balcony. He rested his back against the cool castle wall, opened his loose linen tunic, invisible as he was in a cocoon of the creeping green plants. Aroused. He felt his body harden and demand touch. It was so inappropriate. He thought of Jace, of his muscular body, his beautiful pouting mouth. He had worn a uniform just now, blue as his eyes and long black riding booths. Unfortunately, that brought up the memory of Magnus removing his clothes, revealing his body clad only in boots. He opened his tunic and caressed his hard nipples, remembering Magnus’ mouth teasing them. From inside the room he heard Clary and Izzy run out and slam the door. He was alone and thus succumbed.

He sat down on the cold marble bench in the green lush surrounding him and pulled out his hard cock, tilting his head back against the wall. He just needed to be released so he could be presentable once again. He would fantasize of Jace wearing nothing but those booths. That would make it less wrong. Yes. Jace taking him on that huge bed…but it was another image that filled his head, and he spread his legs without knowing it. The second time that night. Him on his hands and knees, his back swaying, in front of the fire, the newfound feeling of submitting that felt intoxicating. Magnus deep in him, both of them moving with each other. For once he had dared to be himself, dared to say things that now made him blush. He started moving his hand faster, dared whisper,

“Magnus, Magnus, and came with a gasp, spilling into the lush greenness. Afterwards he felt ashamed. Again. He wasn’t free, not anymore. He belonged to someone now, a beautiful man who should be all he desired. This was better left in the past.

 

They had been sitting for an hour at the first of many welcome feasts when a herald announced,

“Prince of Bane, the Lord Magnus.”

Alec sat between his sister and Jace, listening to the latter when Magnus stepped in, utterly ignoring the whispering threats from his father to go and clean up. Alec looked up startled and dropped his fork. The noise made a terrible echo in the quiet room, and Magnus turned. Alec swallowed but couldn’t look away as surprise turned to joy on Magnus’ face, and then as he quickly worked out Alec’s position next to Jace, a certain horrible coolness showed in his eyes. Alec cast down his eyes, couldn’t meet his gaze. Then Magnus spoke softly to the guests, asking his forgiveness for being late to the party. He was eloquent, funny even, but Alec didn't hear a word until Izzy leaned into him and whispered in his ear,

“I’m sure I heard his voice before…”

Then he blushed.

 

After the dinner Alec walked out onto the terrace to escape, but Magnus followed him. First, he just stared at him, then he said,

“You come into my life for a night, break my heart and then you expect me to watch you marry my brother?”

Alec avoided his eyes,

“I hardly broke your heart, my prince. And I’m duty bound to marry whoever my father chooses.”

“So am I,” Magnus said, “in theory. But no one could make me marry someone I didn’t love.”

Alec looked up and met his eyes as he said stubbornly,

“How do you know I don’t love your brother?”

Magnus crossed the terrace floor, slowly, and Alec took a step back when he came too near. He leaned in and touched Alec’s cheek with the tips of his fingers, brushing them slowly over his skin, creating a warm current that flushed to his lips, making them feel hot and in need of touch.

“I don’t…” he said. He would have said more but then people were heard laughing in the room behind them.

“My betrothed, where are you?” they heard Jace call loudly. Alec tore himself away from Magnus and moved over to stand at the stone railing. The cool stones under his grasping hot hands felt like a cold shower, effectively waking him.

“Alexander,” Jace said softly, standing in the open doors to the ballroom. Alec turned and looked at him, noticing Magnus had moved into the shadows, completely hidden. He looked back at Jace. Tall and muscular, blond and statuesque he was everything he had ever wished for in his tortured teenage fantasies. All light and goodness. He looked at the outline of Magnus again, realized he was the opposite. All darkness and desires.

“You’ll get cold out here, my love,” Jace said and stepped closer. “Especially wearing a thin shirt like that…” His blue gaze burned hotly through the thin fabric, and Alec suddenly stuttered,

“I…I…forgive me, your grace. I was told yours was a warm country.”

“It is,” Jace said and took off his jacket and placed it tenderly over Alec’s shoulders. “And it’s Jace. You don’t need ceremony when addressing me. But the evenings get quite chilly this time of year. We can’t have you catching cold this close to our union.” He saw Alec pull the jacket close around him with a smile. “You’re perfect,” he then said. “Like an angel. How lucky I am.” He moved a little closer, “I…I saw you once, years ago. When we had a royal visit in Idris.”

“I wasn’t allowed to attend, then,” Alec said surprised. “I was only sixteen.”

“Yes. But I saw you walking in the garden, dressed all in white. Cool and distant. A beautiful chaste boy god and from that time…” He reached down and took his hand. “It was very much my wish for the house of Herondale to join  with the noble house of Lightwood.” He brought his hand up to his lips and pressed a kiss there. The feel of his mouth made Alec shudder. “Unfortunately, we have to adhere certain rules when we're not yet wed. We cannot even be alone in private before then. I’m breaking the rules now, my love, to tell you this. But I will be counting the hours.” He kissed his hand again, this time the palm, and Alec gasped when he felt his warm lips.

“Jace?” A male voice called from inside, sounding like the king, and he pulled away, his eyes heavy-lidded, his face flushed. Alec drew his breath in and realized he had forgotten to breathe. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Jace said softly. “Sleep well.” Then he turned abruptly and fled. Alec sank back against the stones, feeling dizzy and heard Magnus say from the shadows,

“My brother, the romantic.”

“Shut up,” Alec said. “You don’t understand.” He looked up when the tall dark-haired man emerged,

“Oh, but I do Alexander. More than you know. My brother always falls for people he cannot touch. Married women, promised maidens, chaste boys. Every virginal school boy has a crush on him. He's built like a god, but so honorable he will never touch you before you are wed. And so chaste you will be spending your married life begging him to fuck you, which he will, in the end, making you feel dirty because he’s a pious man and you defiled him.”

“Nothing wrong with being pious,” Alec mumbled.

“For some, no, but you are not built for piety!” Magnus suddenly said forcefully. “You are warm, flesh and blood! You need to be loved, to be touched! My brother will put you on a pedestal and worship you chastely on his knees.” He stopped, breathed in, “I’ll go to my knees too, but it won’t be chaste - “

“Stop it!” Alec snarled. “Maybe that’s exactly what I want. Piety. Ever considered that?” He didn’t realize that Magnus had moved closer until he felt him press against his body, all of him, warm and hard. “Magnus…” he moaned.

“Don’t say my name like that,” Magnus whispered. “I lose control. You know what happens.” He turned away, hid his face, but Alec turned it around to gaze into the beautiful shining eyes. “Magnus…” he whispered again and then his mouth covered his. Their tongues met, and Alec moaned into his mouth. His arms closed around Magnus’ back, and his fingers clutched him closer, seeking out his warm body.

Chapter Text

Magnus’ hands slid round to rest against his back, then slid further down, caressing his behind. Then Alec came to his senses and pulled away. Magnus, too, seemed to wake from the wave of desire that had taken control of them.

“We can’t do this,” Alec whispered. He looked at Magnus who turned away to stare out into the darkness. Cat eyes, Alec thought. He can probably see in the dark.

“I know,” Magnus said. Alec looked at his turned back.

“It’s just passion. It will die out…” he didn’t sound like he believed it himself, and Magnus didn’t answer. Alec knew he should go, should flee but something kept him here.

“I think you better go,” Magnus whispered. Alec sighed and turned away.

“Goodnight…” he said, but no answer came.

 

He came home to rooms blazing with candles and loud girl talk. Izzy and Clary were very excited, arguing over some boy they had spotted at the dinner and both liked. But their argument consisted of telling the other she was far better looking, and thus would win him. Izzy said,

“Alec, tell her she’s gorgeous. I always wanted red hair!”

“Don’t tease me, Lady Lightwood,” Clary pouted. “Boys want a girl they can look in the eye, not fall over. I know I’m far too small to attract anyone. “ She sighed and looked down at her small hands, and Isabelle gasped,

“I’m colossal compared to you, and I never met a boy who wanted to look me in the eye.” She stared at Alec as though he represented every perverted adolescent boy she knew. “No boy wants to stare up at me. It’s enough I outrank him. He wants a dainty little doll to make him feel masculine. Like you, Clary. Tell her Alec.”

Alec let out a groan,

This boy wants his rooms back. Without any girls in them. Thank you, goodbye...”

Izzy ignored him,

“Uh, by the way. Have you seen that Jace’s manservant came with presents for you?”

Clary instantly woke from her size depression and clapped her hands,

“Oh, open them, open them! I love watching people open presents!”

Alec reluctantly went over and unwrapped parcel after parcel. One was a box of delicious chocolates he generously shared with Izzy and Clary, which earned him their undying affection. The other was a book of ancient courtly love poetry. He read out a few sentences: I beseech you, Beloved, come walk with me. The cool garden is empty, waiting for thee...

“That’s tradition,” Clary said with her mouth full of soothing chocolate. She lay on his bed on her stomach, swinging her legs. “The groom always courts the bride or other groom with come hither-poetry.” She giggled at Alec's facial expression.

“What’s that?” Izzy said and pointed at a small parcel. Unlike the others that were wrapped in pink silk, this was draped in black.

“I don’t care,” Alec said tiredly. He took a piece of chocolate and winced. Too sweet. Like the poems. Izzy took it up and sniffed it.

“Smells musky and masculine. Intriguing.” She opened it, “Ew. Just another book. Oh!” She read aloud: Sensual Poems from a Lover to his True Desire. "Not so ew after all, perhaps? Sensual means smutty, doesn't it?”

“Didn’t think Jace would do that,” Clary said. “How ... sensual are they?”

Izzy paged through the book and gasped,

“Oh my, more than a little naughty,” she giggled. “And the drawings. Jace, I declare!”

Clary picked up a dropped card,

“Oh. That explains it. This one’s from Magnus. It's just a gag gift then. He has such a wicked sense of humor.” She leaned in over Isabelle to read and cried out, “You can do that?”

 

“Hey, where have you been?” Jonathan's voice was just like him, Magnus thought. Annoying and ridiculously commanding.

“Anywhere you weren’t,” Magnus said haughtily. “Can anyone blame me?” He stood on top of the stairs looking down into his brother’s pale eyes. Jonathan looked angry, standing at the lowest step,

“Out chasing stable boys again?”

“Well, some of us do need sex. We can’t all be monks.”

“I’m not a monk!” Jonathan snarled. “Just because I keep myself to one woman I - “

“Oh yes, how is Clarabelle these days?”

“Her name, as you well know, is Elizabeth!” Jonathan snarled.

“There you go,” Magnus laughed and shrugged. ”Bessie! I knew it reminded me of a cow.”

Jonathan went pale,

“How…dare you make jest of that? After what you did to her? The hours it took me changing her back!”

“Haven’t you heard,” Magnus said lightly and turned to leave, “I’m rotten to the core.”

 

The girls had finally left his room, but relief lasted only a few minutes when his mother popped her head in. Alec closed his eyes, still lying on the bed.

“Are you well, my darling?” Maryse said and settled on his bed, looking at him maternally.

“If people wouldn’t interrupt me all the time,” he said testily with his eyes closed. Maryse sighed, not taking the hint,

“People are so insensitive. I want to talk to you about sex!”

Alec opened his eyes,

“No, you don’t.”

“Darling, I know you have led quite a sheltered life,” she looked adoringly down at him. “You and Isabelle are complete innocents, and I don’t want you to be shocked in any way on your wedding night.”

“Mother, please stop talking,” he managed to say.

“These southern countries are so much more carnal in their appetites. I mean, have you seen the paintings hanging in the palace. I’m aghast!”

“Mother…”

“Especially one in our bedroom. Your father and I were discussing last night whatever it depicted, when suddenly the lurid truth leap - “

“Mar-yse,” his father sang, mercifully interrupted them. He looked into the room, cradling a bottle of wine,

“There you are. Oh hello Alec. My dear, I thought we, ahem, were going to retire early. To study that…most interesting painting?” He stroked his beard caressingly, and Alec thought: Just kill me now.

“I was preparing Alec for his wedding night, my dear,” Maryse said and blushed. “But perhaps you, as his father, would be better?”

“No!” Alec said.

“Oh,” Robert looked down at his blushing son. “All you need to know is: drink a lot, bite a pillow, and think of your country.”

“Robert!” Maryse said crossly. “That’s so rude.”

“Well, what do I know? That’s what my grandfather said to my grandmother. Or was it the other way around? Good advice for anyone.” He grabbed her hand, winked at Alec and eagerly dragged her  out of the room, “See you tomorrow, son.”

 

It became a very sleepless night. Alec tossed and turned, falling asleep for a few minutes only to wake up, suddenly. It was early morning when he finally stopped trying to sleep. The glittering dew lay on the ground when he went out on the balcony and looked down on the grounds below. A man stood there, just a shadow, dark in the morning mist, but his heart leapt in his chest.

“Magnus,” he mumbled. The man looked up as though he had heard him. The light from the torches burning on the castle walls fell on his face. It was Magnus and his face revealed such longing Alec reached out his hand. Then steps were heard from downstairs, and Alec moved back, hiding behind a pillar. Jace appeared, laughing, and said something to Magnus who answered. Whatever he said, made Jace laugh again. He wrapped his arm around Magnus’ shoulders, and they walked away. Alec breathed out and closed his eyes. For one insane second, he had been tempted to ask Magnus to climb up to him.

He walked slowly into his bedroom and stripped naked in the warm night. Alec then opened the naughty book of poems and breathed out. Isabelle was right. The poems were wicked but also quite alluring, and the sparse drawings uncomfortably detailed. He lay down on his side and leafed through more pages. Magnus had chosen this book, had been reading the same pages, had imagined what they would do to him...the thought flushed his body, and he dropped the book on the bed.

Lying down on his back, he took himself in hand and used his fingers to fill himself. He conjured up the feel of Magnus against his body, dwelling in the fantasy of him climbing up and taking him on the dark balcony. He closed his eyes, imagining the stone floor against his back, or kneeling with Magnus behind him. Alec groaned, rolling around, lying on his stomach. Spreading his legs, he moved against his own hand, eyes closed, moaning quietly,

“Magnus…”

 

Another long day of receptions followed. They were all dressed in their finest clothes as guests arrived from the noble houses in Bane. The gifts they received were lavish, and Jace and Alec stood side by side, both dressed in white and gold, shaking hands, receiving blessings and kind words. Everyone was delighted; with Jace, with him, with the weather and the prospect of many more feasts. Alec soon felt exhausted from lack of sleep and the sense that Magnus’ stare followed his every move.

 

That afternoon their duties were done, and Alec was free to ride out alone, in a violent trot, to get away from his desire. He stopped his horse eventually and sat on a small hill, enjoying the fresh breeze while the horse grazed below. Images and fantasies rushed through him, but he crushed them and lay down instead, soon falling asleep.

 

He returned in the evening in time for yet another long state dinner. Izzy and Clary changed in his room again, but Izzy looked at him slightly worried,

“You okay? You seem…tense?”

He sighed,

“Yes. Just a little frustrated with my life at the moment.” He bit his lip. His sleep unfortunately had been a confusing mixture of Magnus riding a unicorn while holding a pillow, and his parents chasing each other naked around a huge wine bottle. He was happy to wake up. Clary giggled and held up a peacock patterned dress for Isabelle to approve,

“So is Jace, apparently. I heard the guards caught him near your balcony, last night. Father is livid.”

Izzy smirked and threw back her long black hair,

“My brother, the siren. Sends out signals that have men panting.” She winked at him, and Alec placed his pillow over his face. Isabelle then said,

“But, Jace won’t frustrate you tonight. I get the pleasure of his company due to policy. You are seated with the elusive poetry-loving brother, Magnus.” She looked at Clary, “How is he?”

“Oh,” she laughed. “Magnus...Magnus? Quirky and so naughty. Father is beside himself sometimes over the things he is up to. But I do love Magnus. Next to Simon he’s my favorite brother. He’s so sweet when you get past the mischief.”She looked at Alec, "Don't worry. I'm sure you'll get along!"

Alec looked at Clary’s wide innocent eyes and smiled weakly.

 

Dinner was very delicious, but being close to Magnus made him too awkward to enjoy it. Alec knocked a spoon on the ground at some point, and they both bent down for it. Their hands touched, Magnus’ hand was warm, and the feel of his skin made Alec gasp. Magnus mumbled apologies handing over the spoon and let his lowered gaze rest a second too long on Alec’s mouth.

Alec excused himself abruptly and wandered into a small room to calm down, but soon the others found him.

“Let’s dance,” Isabelle decided as music reached them from the ballroom, and Clary squealed, but none of the boys wanted to move voluntarily so the girls danced with each other, arguing over who should be the girl. Simon was finally forced out on the dance floor to dance with Clary and then, blushing, suffered through a very risky dance with Isabelle. Jace watched Izzy move enticingly around Simon and turned to Alec, holding out his hand,

“Do you wish to dance?”

It was very romantic but still utterly appropriate. Alec was blushing on the rare occasions more than their hands touched, and Jace was attentive and dark eyed. When they finished, everyone applauded. Magnus then suddenly stood next to them. He gave a deep mock-bow, and Jace laughed,

“I guess I can’t say no to you.”

Jonathan, at that point, danced with Isabelle who had an intrigued look on her face. Alec took Magnus’ hand and felt his heart react instantly when he put his arm around him. Just being near him, touching him, made him feel warm and flustered. Unlike dinner, this wasn't awkward at all as though their bodies took over, adjusting to each other. But the music stopped far too soon, and Magnus smiled a little sad smile before he let him go. He turned and walked out of the opened doors, and Alec just stood there, lost without the feel of his arms. Only the sound of Izzy laughing, dancing with Jonathan, made him wake up and go back to the others.

 

Later, Izzy stood brushing Clary’s long hair in Alec’s room while talking about Jonathan,

“He’s dark that one. His soul I mean. I can feel it. Like dancing with a volcano.” She looked at Clary in the mirror. “I’m sorry, I know he is your brother…”

Clary nodded,

“Yes. And I love him, but…well, he has his faults and he's not my favorite, by far.” She suddenly smiled. “Talking about favorites. Seems Jace has finally thawed up, Alec?

Reluctantly, he pulled out of his obsessive daydream of Magnus and looked at them confused,

“What do you mean?”

“He was always like an iced over river. Lots of emotions kept in check by a cool surface, but now it seems someone broke the ice. That dance!” She and Izzy giggled. “I just hope my future husband looks at me like that.”

Alec sighed.

“And Magnus. Turns out to be the best dancer of the brothers. But who is he interested in?” Isabelle asked Clary. “He seems so mysterious, coming and going…”

“Who isn’t Magnus interested in?” Clary laughed, and Alec couldn’t stop himself from listening just then.

“What?” Izzy said, eyebrows raised at the whiff of gossip.

“My brother hit puberty with a bang,” Clarys said and blushed. “And according to Father has been celebrating it ever since with every stable boy, noble man and soldier. He has no limits, what so ever, and Father is appalled, of course. Fertility is good, but he thinks you can overdo things.”

“And does Magnus in your opinion?” Izzy smiled. “Over do things?”

Clary giggled,

“I shouldn’t be telling you this…”

“Of course, you should!” Isabelle declared dramatically. “We come from the boring oppressed east. Nothing indecent ever happens there. No one has sex, or if they do, they are so shameful about it.” She threw herself down and stretched out on the bed, “I like it here. The warmth, the clothes, the lack of morals…” She looked at Alec as she spoke, and he frowned. What did she know? But instead she said,

“I always thought I was the lucky one being born first but…damn it. I’m bound to our chaste county until I die.”

Clary beamed,

“You just have to come often for state visits and very long vacations.”

Izzy laughed,

“Yes. And sample the stable lads. I’ve seen a few nice ones after we came. Magnus has very good taste.”

Clary chuckled,

“I think father really only wants Jace to marry, so he can force Magnus next. That’s the rule, the oldest must marry first.”

Izzy made a face,

“Well, I'm happy we don’t have that custom.”

Clary shrugged,

“And I’m number five after Jace, Magnus, Jonathan and Max so I’ll never marry. Magnus won’t just to annoy Father, Jonathan is in love with a girl Father thinks is inappropriate, and we’ll never get Max married off.” She looked at herself in the mirror as Isabelle was busy piling her hair up. “But Magnus…it’s strange. Ever since you arrived, he seems so different. All moody and withdrawn. Doesn’t even flirt with the staff anymore.”

“Perhaps he’s in love?” Isabelle said, and Alec closed his eyes again.

 

Night came and went, again without much sleep. He walked out to the balcony again, but there was no sign of Magnus. Instead an idea kept gnawing at his mind. The place where they danced kept beckoning him.

 

He finally went through the castle to the small ballroom and saw that the terrace doors still were open. Magnus stood there, just like yesterday, hands on the banister and his head bent, as though he was fighting something. Alec stepped out on the stone floor, and Magnus said without turning,

“I could feel you coming. All the way through the palace.”

Alec walked up to Magnus and wrapped his arms around him from behind, leaning his forehead against his back,

“I don’t know what to do. I can’t…resist you.”

Magnus turned, still in his arms and caressed his lips with his fingertips,

“I love you.”

Alec heard the words and felt how impossible it was to say something like that when they only met days earlier. Then he realized he felt the same. It came as a shock that made him pull away before Magnus discovered the truth, but when they looked at each other he already knew.

“No,” Alec said and went a few steps backwards. “Don’t…”

“I don’t want to hurt my brother. Or my family. But this…this craving. We need it under control.” Magnus kept standing there, his hands balled into fists. He suddenly seemed ancient.

“How?” Alec said softly.

“There is a cure,” Magnus said. “By magic. To destroy love.” He looked at him. “It might make us just kin, as we should be. Affectionate but chaste.”

“Might?” Alec said. “Don’t you know?”

Magnus looked down,

“It’s rarely done. There are risks. You might end up hating me, me loathing you.”

“I could never hate you, Magnus,” Alec said quietly.

“It’s magic,” Magnus said. “Dark magic. We wouldn’t be in control.”

“Then no,” Alec said firmly. “Never. There must be another way.”

Magnus looked at him with dark eyes,

“You’ll risk your own happiness just so you won’t hate me?”

Alec answered by slipping into his arms again. Magnus’ hands were caressing his back as he kissed his cheek, his ear, his hair, breathing in the smell of him, mumbling,

“Finally.“

Eventually, their caresses became exploring, and their breathing rose. Magnus’ hands searched down and cupped his behind. Alec groaned and pressed against him, sliding both arms around his neck. He wanted this. He wanted him. He must have said it because Magnus answered with a growl into his mouth. His hands pressed him harder against his body, and Alec gasped out,

“Magnus, someone will see.”

“Not now,” Magnus moaned, pressing him closer. “The castle sleeps. Alexander, I need you. Now.”

Chapter Text

The words made Alec gasp. Magnus pulled away and then took his hand. In the pre-dawn light they were almost hidden as they walked hand in hand away from the castle, into the darkness. Alec felt embarrassed and aroused at the same time being led by Magnus.

They came to a stone building at the beginning of the forest that seemed to be half in ruins. Magnus opened the door and let Alec walk in first.

“What is this?” Alec whispered. “A temple?”

“It’s not used anymore,” Magnus said from behind him. “The temple of the Morning Gods. My father worships younger gods.” His breath felt warm against Alec’s neck.

“It’s…different here,” Alec said, feeling dizzy. “Lighter somehow. Easier to breathe.”

“You feel it too?” Magnus said. “Good. I hoped you would.” His hands slid down his arms, creating goose-pimples on Alec’s skin. “I used to come here as an adolescent, praying I had inherited my mother’s magic.” He kissed his neck slowly, reverently. “I could sense it in me, but I couldn’t reach it.” He led him closer inside. There were stone benches arranged in a circle and in the middle, a low stone table, the length and width of two men. Alec suddenly felt the need to slip out of his clothes, as though the fabric covering his skin somehow was an affront here.

“Did you ever get your magic?” he asked in a low voice, slowly pulling his tunic off and dropping his pants.

“I did,” Magnus said. Alec turned and saw he had removed his jacket and tunic and was opening his belt. “I fell asleep here and had a dream. About a being.”

“A being?” Alec repeated, mesmerized by Magnus’ slow removal of clothes.

“In the shape of a young man, but he, or it, belonged to the wild, to nature and trees and water. This is a place where those who worship all wild things gather, so such dreams are common.”

Alec looked at him. Magnus did look rather wild just then. Untamed, like a hawk. His pants dropped, and Alec stared at his naked body, feeling almost intoxicated.

“He would set my magic free…for a price…” He touched Alec’s shoulders, caressing his skin. “My body as a homage to his gods here for a night.” His fingers lingered at Alec’s nipples. He stroked them, teased them, then leaned in and sucked one, and Alec closed his eyes, swaying against his mouth.

“And did you? In the dream?” he whispered. Magnus took his hand and lead him between the stone benches.

“Oh yes.” Looking into Alec’s eyes he said, “It was a long and pleasurable dream, and we paid homage to all his gods.” He smiled.

“You have interesting dreams…” Alec said and then looked around the  room. “You sure no one else comes here?”

Magnus pulled him closer and kissed him, snaking an arm around his waist,

“Most think it’s haunted and is afraid to go near it.” His hand closed on Alec’s behind, and Alec once more felt the heat wake that craved to be extinguished. Magnus embraced him, kissing him deeper this time. A few days earlier Alec had never kissed anyone, but now it was hard being close to Magnus without wanting to press his lips against his. He wanted him, in every possible way, and pulled him down to sit on the flat stone table. He saw it was covered in thick soft moss the color of the stone. Then he lay back, feeling Magnus’ eyes on him as he knelt between his legs.

Magnus bent down and pressed a kiss against the inside of one thigh, then moved up and kissed again and then further upwards. Alec moaned out his name, breathlessly, as Magnus licked his way up, leaving a wet trail on the soft skin. Then a sound was heard; a hunting horn. Alec sat up abruptly and pushed Magnus’ head away,

“What is that?”

“Just a dawn hunt,” Magnus said; his eyes glistening. “Hunting meat for tonight’s feast. It’s far away by now.” He pressed a kiss against his mouth, and Alec cradled his jaw with his hand, kissing him back. Reluctantly Magnus broke the kiss and sat down next to him, letting a hand caress his neck.

“I don’t…I need to know that you want this as much as I do? Especially here.”

“Here? Whats so special about here?” Alec sad dreamily.

“It's not a place of ... seduction,” Magnus said. “But a place where two individuals willingly give themselves to each other. Are you truly willing?”

Alec kissed his mouth again as answer, then his neck and then softly pressed him down to lie,

“Tell me. Did you do this in your dream, too?”

Magnus smiled and lay back, as Alec tasted his skin,

“I did.” He buried his hand in soft black hair when Alec licked around a nipple. “Ah, well, yes, for each deed I felt my magic unlocking, so I was very eager. It wasn’t until my first time I realized lovemaking actually felt just as good awake.”

Alec chuckled, letting his fingertips brush over both nipples, making Magnus squirm,

“Who showed you love the first time?”

Magnus’ face softened, and he smiled a little dreamily,

“Tran. Our enemy’s son.”

“Hm,” Alec said, feeling an irrational hatred of anyone making Magnus smile like that. “Where is he now?”

Magnus weaved his fingers into his thick hair,

“Home, with his horrible father. But they are invited to the wedding, so you’ll get to meet him.”

“I can’t wait,” Alec lied. He moved down and used his tongue to trail an almost invisible scar, “Who gave you this scar? Tran, too?”

“No, that was Jonathan,” Magnus said. “Usual sibling rivalry. He tried to kill me, but the punishment my father gave him hurt him much more.”

Alec mumbled,

“You are such an odd family…” and searched lower with his mouth. Enjoying Magnus' sudden gasping reaction, he said, “I wish we could stay here forever.” He hardly spoke the words before the walls of the temple shuddered. He looked up,

“What was that?” but Magnus remained on his back, grinning,

“The temple approves of your words and is a little enamored with you.” He smiled. “Just like me.”

“Only a little?” Alec purred and Magnus pushed forward and kissed him again, softly, to prove him wrong and then pulled back,

“Er...in the old times we would now give the tribute.”

“What tribute?” Alec said.

“Whenever you are in a temple of nature, you must make a sacrifice. Of things you have plenty of. Corn, grapes, oil, salt…or pleasure.”

“Pleasure?” Alec said dark eyed.

“Yes,” Magnus smiled, but his eyes seemed very serious. Alec wondered a short moment why he seemed nervous. Then he said,

“By all means, let us give pleasure.” He moved closer to Magnus who sat up,

“Then move on your stomach,” he said, his breathing becoming even more strained. “Now.”

Alec obeyed and spread his legs. Magnus moved over him, his body pressed against his. He kissed his ear and neck and then whispered,

“Tell me to stop if it gets too much.”

Alec moved under him, gasping,

“Never…” He felt the warmth smolder between his legs; a growing need to be taken. He felt the soft grey moss against his stomach and then Magnus’ slicked up fingers push into him. Alec gasped and moments later Magnus’ cock replaced his fingers. Alec raised himself on his knees and elbows while Magnus slowly took him, moaning as every thrust brought him closer. Magnus reached around him, holding him in his hand, while he whispered,

“I want you, I need you. Say I’m the only one …”

Alec leaned his head back, answering each claim with a repeated,

“Yes, yes, yes,” because at that moment there was no one else for him, no Jace, no family - just Magnus needing him, wanting him, the only one. He turned his head, and they kissed; a deep kiss. Then Alec whispered,

“Magnus, Magnus…” pleadingly and heard him answer,

“Alexander…“

They moved together now as though they were one body. Alec then cried out,

"Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Magnus I’m…" He shuddered and came with Magnus following seconds after.

 

“We were never raised together as siblings,” Magnus revealed later, caressing him. “Unfortunately. When Jace was born, his mother died. My father was devastated so he sent him to her family. They kept him until he was 10 and by then father had married the lovely Jocelyn.” He kissed Alec’s lips. They were naked and in each other’s arms, both very much relaxed.

“Clary and Simon then? Seem very much like siblings?” Alec mumbled.

“Oh yes. Funny, the only ones not related are most like sister and brother…but I see them both as my siblings, too. The three of us always lived at home. Max was raised with my father’s family; a custom of ours. He only returned home a few years ago. And Jonathan…” he paused and made a face, “Was sent to a former enemy of our land. In return we raised his son Tran, and he and I grew up together.” His voice changed, and Alec looked at him,

“Please don’t tell me you and Tran were like brothers? Considering.”

Magnus smiled, and his eyes seemed distant,

“Not exactly like brothers, no.”

Alec suddenly felt annoyed, and Magnus noticed,

“Are you jealous, my prince?”

“Yes,” Alec said. “I heard about all your conquests from Clary.”

Magnus chuckled and nuzzled closer,

“Don’t be. You’re the only one for me.”

Alec moved closer and they kissed again, drowsily, slowly. Then he lay his head against Magnus’ chest.

“Don’t let me fall asleep,” he mumbled. “I need to go back before everyone is up.”

“Of course not,” Magnus said, with his arms around him, and closed his eyes for a second.

 

They woke to the sound of a hunting horn. Alec gasped when someone clasped a hand over his mouth, but relaxed when he heard Magnus whisper in his ear,

“Lie still, don’t move.”

The temple door was kicked open, and the morning light streamed in. They lay presented as a hunting sacrifice on the altar when Jace walked in. He looked around the dusty room, and Alec almost cried out against Magnus’ hand, but then he heard Jace say,

“No. No one’s here?”

Behind them a voice said,

“I would have sworn my tracking runes followed him here.” A figure came into view. Jonathan, the brother Alec liked the least. Jace shrugged,

“Why did I listen to you? Why should my fiancée be in this place? And with Magnus of all people?” He turned, shoving Jonathan out of the way and left. Jonathan looked frustrated around the empty room.

“I know you’re in here, Magnus!” he then hissed before he walked out and slammed the door behind him. Magnus removed his hand over Alec’s mouth, and they sat up disheveled and sleepy.

“It must stop now,” Alec then said. In the distance he heard hooves gallop away.

“Yes,” Magnus said and stretched his arms pleasantly. Alec realized he was naked and draped himself in his tunic,

“It was madness before Jonathan expected anything. Now, it’s…it’s…”

“He’s just tracing me,” Magnus said lazily and lay down. “As usual. He knows nothing. About us, I mean.” His eyes took in his semi naked form. “About you. You probably just popped up in his search for me.”

“How can you be so relaxed!” Alec snarled, turning to watch him. “Don’t you feel shame?”

Magnus smiled,

“No, no shame…when I’m looking at you.” His hand touched his knee, fingers caressing his skin, and his smile turned teasingly. Alec, against his will, felt warmth rise in his body.

“Stop it,” he said with a smile on his lips. “It would be so wrong. Especially now.”

“Yes, I agree,” Magnus teased. “So wrong.” He took hold of Alec’s tunic and pulled at it slowly, still smiling.

“I just saw you do something, so Jace couldn’t see us. Don’t tell me you can’t perform magic?” Alec said and lost his grip of the tunic. The fight had embarrassingly enough made him visible aroused; a fact Magnus was quick to notice.

“Oh that,” Magnus said. “Yes, I can. But not on you. Never on you. You seem…tense, though. Can I help ease you?”

“We shouldn’t be doing this,” Alec said, feeling his resolve crumple under Magnus' far too warm gaze. “Not now…Jace - “

“I love Jace,” Magnus said softly. “But I love you more.”

Alec leaned over him and looked into his face,

“You’re too charming for your own good…” His eyes dropped to Magnus’ mouth. It was like a magnet, pulling him in. They kissed, and Alec felt Magnus’ arms around him, pushing him down to lie. Both, by then, felt an aching need as though the near escape had inflamed them instead of dampened their desires. Alec lay on his back on the moss and felt Magnus kiss and lick his way down his stomach. He finally let his mouth rest between his legs, his tongue swirl against his hole, and Alec went weak. He cried out, clawing at the moss with both hands and then groaned disappointed when the tongue disappeared. Then he felt slick fingers enter him, he cried out again and parted his legs, moving against Magnus' hand, wanting more.

“Magnus, I need you,” he whispered with closed eyes, moving his head from side to side. Every thought of Jace was gone. The only reality was Magnus and what he did to his body. Magnus removed his fingers and kissed Alec’s stomach, then raised his legs to rest on his shoulders before he slid into him, rhythmically, making Alec moan until he was all inside of him. He moaned more as Magnus closed his one hand around his cock, stroking him, then started taking him faster, gasping out,

“You’re mine … mine,” and Alec panted,

"I can't… Oh, I…yes, yes, yours, just yours…" He gasped as he felt his climax surprise him, felt it boil up and surge, and cried out as he came, calling out Magnus' name. Magnus moaned,

“Alexander...” into his neck, taking him still, and Alec then wrapped his arms around him and whispered,

“Come, come…come in me!” in his ear. Magnus answered hoarsely, desperately; Alec’s plea making him come deep inside him.

 

They dressed in silence and then, as agreed, Magnus left first. Alec stayed, sitting on one of the stone benches feeling ashamed and satisfied at the same time. He was just about to leave when he felt a sudden wind blow through the room. He looked at the door, but it was locked. Then a voice sounded out, like part of the wind,

“A satisfying ending to a pleasurable ceremony. Your union is blessed.” He turned and looked at the altar with its torn up and disturbed moss. The morning light filled it, and particles of dust danced in the golden sunlight. It seemed someone was sitting there; a figure.

“What?” he said. “Who are you?” Then he heard laughter, like wind-chimes, and the words were repeated,

“Your union is blessed.”

 

He walked back, pondering the meaning of what he had heard, when he bumped into Izzy and Clary.

“There you are! Jace been searching everywhere for you!” Izzy said, and Clary continued,

“And father has been searching for him. Where were you?”

“Oh,” Alec shrugged. “Just went for a walk. I saw a rundown building near the woods…looked like a temple?”

“Ohhh,” Clary made a complicated sign, and they stared at her.

“What was that?” Isabelle said and imitated her hand movements.

“It wards against evil,” Clary said with huge eyes. “Rumors say that it is used by nature spirits to, you know, do stuff in.”

“Stuff? What stuff?” Izzy laughed and stuck her arm under Clary’s. “You lot down here are so superstitious.”

“Wicked stuff,” Clary mock-whispered. She looked over at Alec, “You didn’t go in, I hope?”

“Er,” he said.

“Wicked as in sexual stuff?” Izzy said, and Clary nodded.

“I thought anything was allowed here?”

“Yes and no. It must be done right. That place is old magic, belonging to the Gods of Morning, and it is dangerous. Our lovemaking,” Clary blushed deeply, “are done in beds.”

“So, no hanky-panky with stable boys in haystacks?” Isabelle said. “How disappointing…” and Clary blushed even more,

“I didn’t say that…” interrupted by Isabelle’s laughter. But Clary then said,

“I wouldn’t go there again, Alec.”

“Because it’s haunted?” Alec said.

“No, well that too, but it’s an old commitment place. Say the wrong thing there if your boyfriend is with you, and you’re promised to each other.”

Izzy squealed out her phobia of commitments, and they both laughed and hurried along. Alec stood still, staring after them. Then he turned. In the distance he could see the temple rise as a solitary homage to the rising sun.

 

That evening he saw Magnus again at dinner. He sat to his right, dressed in a golden waistcoat with peacocks embroidered on. They were only separated by a Lady Hornemoth, who gave Magnus' attire many displeased looks. She was ancient and very regal, but quickly started yawning and retired long before dessert. Then Alec looked at Magnus with a serious face,

“What happened at the temple?”

Magnus smiled warmly at him and leaned in,

“What exactly do you mean? We did a number of things...”

Alec didn’t return his smile,

“At that place. It wasn’t just about sex, was it?”

Magnus turned pale, and he straightened up, touching his wine goblet,

“Who told you?”

“No one. Clary told me it was a place people once made commitments, and I’m not so stupid I can’t put two and two together.” He read the answer on his face. “So, it’s true. You…did something that tied us together and - “

“What happened was…” Magnus interrupted him. “You are mine now.” He looked away. “We both said that at several occasions during the ceremony.”

Alec felt cold,

“What you mean? Yours?

Magnus took a deep breath,

“This morning wasn’t a commitment, as Clary thinks. It was more. An ancient marriage ritual. I had to do it.”

Alec looked at him, as his words slowly began to make sense,

“You did what?

Magnus finally looked at him, and his eyes were dark and desperate,

“I had to. I couldn’t let you marry Jace.”