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Merry Christmas

Originally posted by rowenasudbury at Merry Christmas


My Christmas present to you...a small story of Dafydd and Christopher at Yuletide.

Yuletide

This is a very short companion piece to The King's Tale. If you have read that story you know of troubles that occurred with King Warin. Once he tendered his threat the Kingdom of Lysnowydh needed to be cautious any time they ventured near the border with Strasnedh. After he carried out his threat Dafydd would not leave the castle keep. I have set this little short prior to that, and because this is just a little Christmas Present I am omitting Marged from the story entirely.

'TWAS rare for Dafydd to awake before Christopher. Most mornings Christopher woke before the sun crested the horizon and crept from the bed he shared with Dafydd back to his own chamber where Alain awaited to help him dress and prepare for the day. Thus, when he woke and found himself bereft of Dafydd's warmth he was puzzled.

"Dafydd?" he called as he rose to sit up in bed.




The bed curtains were parted, and through the gap he could see that Dafydd had fed the fire as it blazed merrily in the hearth, but he was nowhere to be seen. Christopher slid from the bed and pulled his bedrobe tight around his body. He peeked into the still room, but found it also empty. He paused in the bathing chamber to relieve himself in the chamber pot set there, then continued into his own chamber. Alain waited with candles lit, and a mug of steaming grog.

"My thanks," Christopher said as he took the mug. "Have you seen Dafydd?"

Alain took the mug, then reached to remove Christopher's bedrobe. He laid it aside as he handed him fur-lined chausses.

"Aye your majesty," Alain said, reaching for a woolen shirt. "He left the keep an hour ago. The stump of last year's Yule log was loaded into the fireplace in the main hall last eve, 'twas his intention to go and bring forth a new log for this year's feast."

Christopher made a sound of irritation as he reached for the mug again. After he had drunk his fill he set it down and stretched his arms out for the furred jerkin Alain held.

"Surely the new woodsman would have been able to bring the new log, 'tis hardly Dafydd's need to trudge out through the snow." He frowned as Alain belted the jerkin around Christopher's slim hips. "Did he go alone?"

Alain waited until Christopher sat in his chair, the mug of grog in his hands again before he bent down on his knees to lace the king's boots.

"'Tis my belief your majesty that he did indeed go alone." He looked up, and his long association with the king allowed him the familiarity of a wink. "I was told he said he did not wish to share all his secrets about where to find the choicest Yule log."

Christopher sighed, yet a smile played on his lips. "'Tis like him, keeping secrets." He tipped the mug and finished the last of the grog. When he stood Alain helped him into his cloak. "I believe I will go and watch for him on the battlements that I might be in the bailey to greet him upon his return."

"Aye," Alain said, "'tis well."

++++

'Twas cold in the deep of the forest, yet Dafydd hardly noticed. Since his arrival in Lysnowydh some years earlier he had provided the Yule log, always taking especial care to find the most impressive specimen he could. In earlier years it had been his aim to impress the heir to the throne Sir Christopher. Then when the king had died unexpectedly and the heir had become king, 'twas Dafydd's goal to build on their budding relationship.

As the sun crested the horizon he found the perfect log. Covered in hoary frost, and big enough around that 'twas all he could do to heave it uptight long enough to twist a rope around it. His breath frosted the air with his exertion, and his horse danced when he felt the weight. 'Twas good.

A shower of snow fell from the branch above him as he remounted his horse. The sun was full in the sky, yet it was far too cold to stay in quiet contemplation. He longed for the warmth of the keep, and more, the warmth of the king.

He clicked his tongue and his horse labored forward with the mighty log dragging along behind.

++++

Dafydd heard the shout from the wall above the portcullis as he broke from the line of trees. Glancing upward he spotted the sun shining off Christopher's golden hair, and he knew all had awaited his return. The bubble of longing inside him popped and filled him with warmth. Though he had longed to surprise the kingdom with the mighty Yule log he was pleased that Christopher had waited in the cold, and watched for his return.

The ancient portcullis groaned upward, and his horse, anxious for the warmth of the stable, found the extra energy needed to haul the mammoth log over the bridge and into the keep.

Christopher appeared from the door and waited a moment on the top of the steps.

"Hail Sir Dafydd," he roared, and the milling people stopped and raised a cheer. Christopher raised his voice to be heard yet again, "Lysnowydh gives thanks, yon treasure will warm us through the Yuletide festivities."

Dafydd dismounted, and knew there was more the king wished to say; yet he knew that Christopher would say the words directly into his ear. As he gave his mount over to the stable boys he cast his eyes toward the stairs and found that indeed Christopher made his way through the throng.

Once at Dafydd's side Christopher grabbed him into a bear hug, then stepped back. His cheeks were ruddy with cold, and a deeper emotion that Dafydd sensed in his bones.

"Ah Cariad," Christopher said softly, "I would reward you for your labors this morn."

Dafydd tipped his head to the side; "The smile upon your face is the only reward I need my king."

"Nay," Christopher said, and he bent his head close that he might whisper in Dafydd's ear yet not touch him, "there is more you would wish."

With that Christopher turned, and bent to the task of overseeing the log hauled up into the keep. As was custom, the butt of the previous year's log was lit to fuel the new log. The festivities that surrounded the lighting of the new log seemed to fill the king with impatience, yet none save Dafydd noticed.

Once the log was blazing merrily, and those that fit inside the hall raised their mugs of grog, Christopher stole closer to Dafydd and took his hand. Silently they communicated with their eyes, and before any could notice they eased away from the throng and mounted the stairs to Dafydd's chamber.

Before the blazing fire Christopher opened his arms and allowed Dafydd to step close. Raising his chin, Christopher eased Dafydd down for a deep kiss, and murmured against his parted lips, "I love you cariad, be it the Yule or any other day. You please me, you warm me, art mine for all time."

Dafydd shivered, though not from the cold. He felt the power in the king's words, and though he had resided in the kingdom for most of a year he still felt humbled to be the recipient of the king's fervor.

"Art cold," Christopher murmured.

"Nay," Dafydd whispered, "I am warm with you love Christopher."

Christopher stepped back, and keeping hold of Dafydd's hand he backed toward the bed. "'Tis early and like as not there is work to be done, and yet I must needs taste you. You left the bed before I had the chance this morn."

Dafydd followed, pulled along as if joined to the king by an invisible string. "I am yours my king, when 'ere you desire."

They shed their clothes hastily and tumbled in amongst the warm furs. Legs twined together as lips joined. Christopher's warm hands roamed over Dafydd's flesh, and Dafydd rolled upon his back eager to feel more than a heated touch.

The joining was swift, and sweet with the emotions that simmered between them. Dafydd looked up to see Christopher's face etched in firelight and drawn in lines of release. He reached up to tangle his hands through Christopher's hair and draw him down so that he might roar his release into his mouth.

Once they settled, still tingling with the force of their love, Dafydd murmured against Christopher's chest, "As the Yule log blazes below in the hearth of the kingdom, so my love for you blazes above in this bed."

"Aye," Christopher said, "and though we must soon stir below stairs I would stay awhile and soak up the warmth here."

"'Tis my desire too," Dafydd murmured.

And so they drowsed until the evening, when the Yule festivities would begin in earnest.