Chapter 1: Seducing Jonathan

 

“THAT IS one fine hunk of man,” Kit Webster commented, plopping down beside his costar, Devon Aldridge, on the grass of the Camelot set. “Too bad he’s as straight as they come.”

“Aye,” Devon agreed, watching Jonathan Braedon, the American actor who played King Arthur, practicing sword moves, the heavy leather of the costume doing nothing to hide the hard planes of his body. “Though ’twould be a pure pleasure to introduce him to what he’s missing.”

“And I suppose you think you’re the one to do it,” Kit said. “You think you could convince him that he’s been playing the wrong side of the field for, what, twenty years now?” Even as he scoffed, he had to admit the idea was tempting. Oh, the things he would do to Jonathan if only he were given permission!

Devon looked at Kit appraisingly. “Why not?” he drawled. Given the dearth of recent relationships Jonathan had confessed to him as they’d become friends, seducing him to the world of men might not be as difficult as it sounded. “He already likes me,” he added, waggling his eyebrows. “And I can be very… persuasive.”

“Hey!” Kit protested. “I saw him first. That’s not fair!” Granted, he hadn’t said anything about his attraction, but the moment he’d first seen Jonathan, he’d fallen in lust. In the intervening weeks, that lust had been joined by another, purer emotion as he’d discovered everything he could about the object of his fascination. Jonathan wasn’t just an actor, although he was a damn fine one. He was an amateur photographer who would make a lot of professionals jealous, and an incredibly talented pianist and guitarist who wrote his own lyrics and melodies. Just yesterday, Kit had found out he also painted when he had spare time, although he hadn’t seen any examples of it yet. Niall Clifton, the director of the BBC miniseries on King Arthur’s court, had chosen well when he cast Jonathan as the once and future king. Despite the issue of his accent, the other actor had stepped into Arthur’s shoes as if born to wear them.

“Well, what do you think would be fair?” Devon retorted. “Wrestle for him? Draw straws?” Any outcome that involved Kit being with Jonathan without him was completely unacceptable. Looking at Kit again, he was struck by a delicious idea. “We could always share him.”

Share him…. That idea hadn’t crossed Kit’s mind. He left off staring at Jonathan long enough to look at Devon, trying to decide if his passion for the American could expand to include his fellow Englishman. He let his gaze wander over Devon’s long, lean form, another picture of masculine perfection. He was pretty sure Devon and Jonathan were of an age, into their thirties but not pushing forty yet. He preferred his lovers that way, a good ten to fifteen years older than he was. All that glorious self-assurance and experience…. Every inch of Devon’s body, at least the bits Kit had caught glimpses of as they changed into and out of costume in the trailer they shared, was hard muscle. A blond beard framed a square face, though Kit had seen enough publicity pictures of Devon out of character over the years to suspect the beard was an affectation for Lancelot’s character. Either way, it drew attention to the line of his jaw and his high cheekbones and highlighted full lips Kit wouldn’t say no to kissing. Yes, he could develop an interest in Devon too. “How do we do this?” Kit asked. “He’s never shown the slightest sign of being interested in men.”

Devon hid a smile at the smoldering look Kit gave him, letting his gaze return instead to Jonathan, who had stopped to lean on his sword and push the shaggy hair back from his eyes. Oh, this will be a pleasure indeed, he thought, already imagining removing the sweat-stained garments and running his hands over…. Reining in his thoughts with difficulty, he considered the best way to proceed.

“We’re going for drinks once he’s done. Why don’t you join us?” Devon suggested. He was willing to play it by ear and see where the night would lead.

Kit nodded. “Where are you meeting?” If they were going to seduce Jonathan, he wanted to change clothes. He had just the outfit in mind: tight jeans, too-small T-shirt. If Jonathan was the least bit interested, it would definitely catch his eye.

“Going to tart yourself up?” Devon grinned. Kit was a bit younger than Devon’s usual taste, but his slender frame and long limbs were certainly no hardship to look at, especially in the skintight and skin-baring outfits he favored when out of costume. “Nothing up to your usual standards, just our regular pub in town.”

Kit scowled at Devon, both for the comment and for the boring choice of location. Then he reconsidered. The three of them snuggled into a booth…. There was potential in that situation. “Leave my clothing choices up to me,” he suggested. “Shall I meet you there or at the trailer?”

Devon considered for a moment. “The trailer,” he decided. “We can take one car, make it easier for all of us to wind up in the same place at the end of the evening.” He winked at Kit. “And then we’ll see just how… flexible… our king is.”

“Shit, Devon,” Kit said. “You keep it up with images like that and I’m not going to survive until the end of the evening. I’ll be at the trailer in half an hour. Is that soon enough?”

“If I can convince the man of steel over there to call it a day,” Devon agreed. “He’ll need to shower, but that won’t take him long.” He clapped Kit on the shoulder, then pushed to his feet and headed over to where Jonathan showed every sign of being ready to continue for another few hours. Devon smiled to himself. He had high hopes of enjoying Jonathan’s stamina in other, more pleasurable activities soon.

Kit stood as well, hurrying in the opposite direction. He would leave it to Devon to get Jonathan to the trailer and ready to go to the pub. He had his own preparations to make.

Movement in his peripheral vision made Jonathan turn in time to see Devon and Kit separating, Devon coming toward him and Kit disappearing to some unknown destination. With a sigh, Jonathan lowered the sword and waited to see what Devon had to say. As his friend walked closer, he felt an uncomfortable stirring in his lower body. Damn, he realized, it’s been so long, I’m even starting to find Devon attractive. He looked up at Kit’s retreating back. He wasn’t even going there. Kit was too young for him. Period.

As he walked toward Jonathan, Devon watched a bead of sweat roll down the side of Jonathan’s face, trickle through the scruffy beard, and continue down the tanned throat. A wave of desire rolled through him, mixed with something deeper. He’d felt an instant connection with Jonathan when they met, but until now he’d been convinced it was only friendship based on shared experiences that ranged from similar roles both on stage and in film to Jonathan’s commiserating over Devon’s ongoing divorce. Suddenly he was looking forward to sharing much more.

“Hey, Devon,” Jonathan called in greeting. “Come to remind me of our date tonight?” As soon as the joking words were out of his mouth, he regretted them. He didn’t want to put ideas in Devon’s head. He was perfectly comfortable with them being friends. And the fluttering in his stomach was just something he’d eaten at lunch that hadn’t agreed with him. Yes. Exactly.

“About ready to call it a day, mate?” Devon replied, clasping Jonathan’s shoulder. “You’ve worn me out just watching you! Let’s get ready to head to the pub—I convinced Percival to join us for once. Be good for him to hang with the real men for a change instead of always hanging out with the Orkney brothers.”

Jonathan gulped. Drinks with Devon and Kit. Not a good idea in his current state. Oh well, nothing he could do about it now. “Sounds great,” he said with forced joviality. “I’m ready to relax, that’s for sure. Bert’s sword exercises have about worn me out today.”

“Well, get yourself cleaned up and we’ll see what we can do about helping you relax,” Devon promised, steering them back toward the trailer. The feel of the sweaty body next to him had already started the heat building in his groin. Waiting in the trailer while Jonathan showered, imagining the cool water flowing over his naked body, was going to make Devon horny as hell.

Jonathan let Devon guide him back to the trailer, wondering a little at Devon’s sudden closeness. He wondered even more when he realized the effect it was having on him. He was going to have to get himself under control or he’d never survive an evening with both Devon and Kit, particularly if Kit was being his usual touchy-feely self.

“Kit’s going to meet us back here in half an hour.” Devon let his hand drop as they reached the door of the trailer. He stayed close enough to Jonathan that their bodies brushed together as they entered. With an innocent grin, he plopped onto the ragged couch and tried to will his growing arousal under control.

“I guess that means I need to shower,” Jonathan said, relieved to have an excuse for a moment away from Devon’s suddenly looming presence. He was tempted to use the cover of the water to jack off so he’d be rid of his nagging erection, but he wasn’t sure the walls of the trailer were thick enough to block the noise, even with the water running. “I’ll be back out in a few minutes.”

Sharing a trailer with Jonathan meant Devon had plenty of opportunities to see the other man in various stages of dress and undress. While he’d always appreciated Jonathan’s striking looks, he never thought he’d be able to appreciate them more personally—until now. Devon watched until the door to the shower closed behind Jonathan, now finding it hard to think of anything else.

In the shower, Jonathan rested his head against the cool tiles. He had no idea what had come over him today. Yes, he was horny, but that was his normal state. At home he had an impressionable young boy watching his every move. Here, when he left the set, he was a “movie star,” but he refused to capitalize on that just to get laid. On set, the scarcity of women was overwhelming, leaving him with few choices there either. Maybe that was why he found himself eyeing his male costars more than usual. They were all he saw, day in and day out. This was ridiculous, though. He couldn’t just go and proposition one of them. They needed to work together, for Christ’s sake! He had never let himself act on an attraction to a costar. Especially when they were male.

As Devon knew it would, hearing Jonathan moving around in the shower led to a series of mental images that soon had his jeans uncomfortably tight. Closing his eyes for a moment, he stroked the growing hardness, imagining joining Jonathan in the cramped cubicle, their wet bodies sliding against each other…. He drew a deep breath and stood abruptly, pacing about as he brought himself under control. He didn’t want to frighten Jonathan away, and it wouldn’t be fair to Kit to start without him.

After finishing his shower, Jonathan dried off quickly and wrapped the towel around his waist, cursing inwardly at having left his clothes in the main part of the trailer. Now he had no choice but to walk back out to where Devon sat, with nothing more than a loose towel to hide his body’s antics. Hoping Devon would be absorbed in something, he took a deep breath and made a beeline for his clothes.

Before Jonathan could even grab his boxers, the door to the trailer bounced open loudly and Kit breezed in, looking sinful in the tightest jeans and T-shirt Jonathan had seen him wear to date. “I’m here,” he announced. “Let the fun begin!” Jonathan gulped, wondering just what kind of fun Kit had in mind.

Devon tried not to goggle at Kit’s outfit—the lad’s clothes were so tight they looked painted on. He thought regretfully that he could have changed into something nicer than his current jeans and sweater, but dressing up would only arouse Jonathan’s suspicions, and that wasn’t what he wanted to arouse.

Winking at Kit, he turned back to Jonathan and grinned. “Unless you’re planning to go to the pub like that, mate, you’d better get dressed.”

Devon’s comment only served to underscore Jonathan’s feeling of vulnerability at his near-nakedness. He grabbed his boxers and pulled them on under the towel, knowing it was ridiculous but unwilling to do otherwise. Turning his back on his friends, he pulled on jeans and a flannel shirt, comfortably safe clothes. They would give him the illusion that all was normal, even if his body was still going haywire at Kit’s attire and Devon’s raspy voice.

Kit smirked when Jonathan turned his back, taking a moment to ogle Jonathan’s arse as he bent over to pull on his jeans before turning to meet Devon’s eyes. Something had spooked Jonathan, that was for sure. Kit bounced across the trailer and threw his arm around Jonathan’s shoulders. “Let’s go. I’m thirsty.”

“I’ll drive,” Devon offered, pushing at Jonathan’s backside to urge them out the door, letting his hand linger just a bit longer than he normally would.

Jonathan coughed in surprise when he felt Devon’s hand on his butt. They touched each other all the time, but it felt different somehow, just as Kit’s clinging felt different. Telling himself to quit imagining things, he walked toward Devon’s car.

Kit let Jonathan get in the front seat next to Devon, climbing in behind him on the passenger side. Forgoing his seat belt, he leaned forward and draped his arm over the back of the seat, trailing his hand down Jonathan’s chest as he chattered happily about his day.

Devon watched Jonathan from the corner of his eye as he drove the short distance to the pub. Kit was never shy about hanging all over his friends, but tonight the attention seemed to be making Jonathan a bit uncomfortable. Hoping they were beginning to get to him, he let his arm brush casually against Jonathan’s thigh as he shifted into Reverse to park the car.

It might have been an accident, a simple brush of arm against leg, but somehow it seemed… more to Jonathan. Almost deliberate. If Devon had been a woman, Jonathan would have said she was coming on to him, but Devon was his friend, not a potential lover. Wasn’t he? And then there was Kit. Kit was always touchy-feely. It was part of his charm, but his hand was hanging perilously close to Jonathan’s nipple. It couldn’t be intentional. Could it?

Devon threw the gearshift into Park, repeating his contact with Jonathan’s leg. Their king was looking decidedly unsettled. In for a penny, in for a pound, Devon thought, leaning over to unlock the passenger door and pressing against Jonathan as he did, his weight pushing Kit’s arm firmly against Jonathan’s chest. “Let’s go. I need a drink in the worst way.”

“You’re not the only one,” Jonathan muttered, scrambling out of the car, away from the disconcerting touches.

When they got inside, Kit offered to get the first round. That way, when he came to the booth, he would have a choice of where to sit—preferably as close to Jonathan as possible. “What are you having?”

“Black and tan,” Devon requested, draping his arm around Jonathan’s shoulders to steer him to a booth. He and Jonathan normally sat across from each other, but tonight he intended to sit as close as possible to his friend—soon, he hoped, his lover.

“Jameson,” Jonathan croaked out as Devon’s arm went around his shoulders.

Kit nodded and headed to the bar to get the drinks.

Devon slid next to Jonathan on the cracked leather banquette, sitting just a bit closer than he normally would. “You looked good today, Jon,” he murmured huskily, pausing to let his gaze rake over Jonathan’s lightly flushed features. “You’re getting damn good with your sword.”

Devon’s presence at his side surprised Jonathan almost as much as his words. Not the compliment. That wasn’t so unusual, but this particular one seemed double-edged to him, implying more than was said aloud. Again, Jonathan was left with the odd impression that Devon was coming on to him. He dismissed the thought. Devon had left the other side of the booth for Kit since everyone knew their Percival needed plenty of space to move in, and the comment was just a comment. It was only Jonathan’s sex-starved brain that was adding depth to the words. “Thanks,” he said simply, hoping Kit would hurry with the drinks so he’d have something to do with his hands.

Kit arrived with the drinks, taking in the picture they presented, the two handsome men squeezed into one side of the booth. He pouted a little at not being the one snuggled up to Jonathan’s side, but he hadn’t expected Jonathan to let Devon so close so quickly. Otherwise, Kit would have made Devon get the drinks so he could be the one next to Jonathan. That was all right. Devon would have to buy the next round, and that meant getting up. Kit would make his move then. He was surprised when Jonathan grabbed the whiskey and tossed it down. Usually he was a little more temperate. “Thirsty?” he asked teasingly, meeting Devon’s gaze. Something had clearly happened while he was gone.

Devon hid a grin at Kit’s thinly veiled displeasure at being denied the prime spot at Jonathan’s side. Age before beauty, lad, he thought, even as he admired the lithe grace with which Kit slid into the opposite side of the booth. Jonathan isn’t the only attraction in this challenge. He took a deep draught of his beer to cool his sudden flush of desire.

Kit settled into the booth, sprawling lazily to take up the entire space. He watched Devon’s throat work as he swallowed his beer and then turned to meet Jonathan’s eyes, even as he spoke to Devon. “You’re looking a little flushed there, mate. Sitting too close to our king?”

“It is a knight’s duty to serve at his monarch’s pleasure,” Devon answered, eyes twinkling.

“Well, Jonathan, how about it?” Kit challenged with a grin. “What’s your pleasure?”

Jonathan gulped. This was getting way too deep for his comfort. “Another Jameson,” he rasped.

“Your wish is my command,” Devon promised, reaching up to squeeze Jonathan’s shoulder. He left his hand there as he pushed up from the seat, knowing Kit would steal his spot as soon as he rose. “In all things, my king.” He winked at Kit and headed toward the bar.

As soon as Devon vacated his spot, Kit bounced around the table and slid in next to Jonathan, pressing his hip and leg firmly against the other man’s. “How does it feel having someone like Devon Aldridge at your beck and call?” he asked, laying his arm along the back of the bench so that he almost embraced Jonathan. “You know you’re the envy of every woman under the age of forty on the British Isles, and probably a good number of the men too.”

Jonathan’s head was spinning. There was no way Kit’s comment could be misunderstood. Kit was suggesting that Devon was interested in him. A denial sprang to his lips automatically but didn’t see the light of day. An hour ago he would have said it was impossible, but now he was beginning to wonder.

“What, no glib answer?” Kit leaned forward so his body was almost flush with Jonathan’s. “I thought you were the master of words.”

Devon wasn’t surprised to see Kit draped all over Jonathan when he returned to the booth. “Thought Percival was supposed to be chaste, mate?” He set their drinks on the table while sliding into the opposite bench, being sure to brush his legs against the other men’s as he did so. “I didn’t know you played both sides of the field, Jon. Or are you taking Niall’s hints about some of Arthur’s knights being more interested in each other than the ladies literally?”

Jonathan turned his head to meet Devon’s emerald gaze. Again the words held so many levels. He closed his eyes for a second as he imagined the picture he and Kit must present, and he could see why Devon might draw that conclusion. He’d never played the other side of the field, as Devon put it, but it had always been out of caution, not out of disinterest. “No, I….” He looked helplessly back and forth between the two men.

Taking pity on Jonathan, Kit backed off just a little. “Nah, I was just taking the piss,” he told Devon.

Still struggling with the situation and the feelings swirling inside him, Jonathan gulped his second shot of whiskey.

“You’re drinking hard tonight, Jon,” Devon observed, his gaze flickering lower for an instant before returning to his friend’s face. Their actions were obviously having an effect on Jonathan, but he didn’t want to make their next move in the noisy, crowded pub. “Why don’t we take this back to my place? I have a great scotch I’d love you to try, and that way I can indulge m’self too.”

“That sounds great,” Kit chimed in. “You have room for both of us if we end up crashing. Say you’ll come, Jon.”

Overwhelmed and completely off-kilter, Jonathan nodded numbly. His mind was racing, reading sexual innuendos in everything his friends were saying. He had to be imagining it! If nothing else, maybe he could ask some questions at Devon’s house that he couldn’t ask in public. They’d laugh if he was wrong, but they all teased each other constantly—he could handle that. He knew they wouldn’t carry tales.

“Let’s do it, then.” Devon drained his beer and rose to his feet. “C’mon, Percival, give the man room to get up.” Watching Jonathan’s face as Kit bounced out of the booth, he stretched out his hand and unwrapped Jonathan’s from its grip on his empty glass. “C’mon, mate,” he urged, dropping the teasing from his voice for a moment. “You’ll enjoy it, I promise you.”