This story features Dalin & Thoros from Trained but can be read as a standalone. Content warning: features corset piercing (needle play) and predicament bondage
Thoros was bored. He stifled a yawn as he surveyed the gilt-edged room, theoretically on alert but not really giving a damn. It was Princess Atalanta’s birthday, and everyone had been invited to celebrate it with her—to mingle with royalty and be seen in their best finery. Ladies flitted from group to group, sipping their fruity drinks and dropping phony trills of laughter into the din of dull conversation. Noblemen jockeyed for position, puffing themselves up to their lessers and bowing to their betters. Everyone behaving with the utmost of propriety.
Fortunately, Thoros didn’t have to pretend to be entertained by it. The everyone who’d been invited didn’t include him. He was there as a member of the royal guard, dressed in the leather chest harness and skirt of his uniform rather than a tunic and carrying his spear, prepared to keep the royal family and their esteemed guests safe from the possible intrusion of… people like him. As if anyone with an ounce of life in them would want to be here. He knew Atalanta didn’t.
She looked the part though—her hair entwined with pearls and her eyes shadowed with kohl. She wore a diaphanous gown, so sheer it would raise eyebrows if worn by anyone other than a princess. Then again, if the nobility knew half of what Thoros knew about Atalanta, more than eyebrows would be raised.
Her true birthday celebration was scheduled for later. Much later. And that one Thoros was both invited to and looking forward to. It would be a smaller gathering, restricted to people like themselves. Because despite the difference in their ranks, Thoros and the princess had something in common: they both got off on beating men. Beating them, humiliating them, binding them, and dominating them.
The thought had Thoros scanning the room, searching for his lover. Dalin stood strategically centered in an archway, his spear held rigidly straight but his attention scattered. Before Dalin had won the king’s contest—the contest in which Thoros had unexpectedly won Dalin—he’d been a house servant for a family that was landed but hardly rich enough to throw a party on this scale. For him, the clothes and jewels and sumptuous buffet were exciting and new, but the only thing in the room that interested Thoros was Dalin.
He was a sight. Far better presented than any of the ladies peacocking around the crowded room. Thoros had made sure the straps crossing his chest were tight—that they highlighted the swells of his pecs—and that the leather tails of his skirt were a few inches shorter than regulation demanded. Dalin had fussed about it, because Dalin always fussed before allowing Thoros to do exactly as he pleased. Dalin standing tall and proud and strong and his in a skirt that was a little too skimpy definitely pleased him.
Thoros widened his stance, giving his cock room to grow under his own skirt. Dalin didn’t know that whoever brought the best gift to Atlanta’s secret celebration would win a sack of gold, and he especially didn’t know how Thoros intended to win it. Thoros didn’t really need a sack of gold. The last purse he’d won had been well-spent on a bed big enough for Dalin to share with him—though he was still inclined to send Dalin to sleep on the floor from time to time—and with both of them bringing in salaries as royal guards, they didn’t lack anything. But Thoros liked to win. And he especially liked the strategy he’d come up with for doing it.
He caught Dalin’s eye and grinned, putting enough menace into his smile to have Dalin looking apprehensive. Good. Dalin ought to be apprehensive. Tonight was going to be fun. As soon as Atalanta got rid of these straight-laced ass-lickers, the real party could begin.
“Why am I in the cart?” Dalin didn’t ask why he was on his knees. He was on his knees because Thoros had put him there, and he was too excited about the party to be resistant. Besides, he liked kneeling for Thoros, not that he would ever say so. But the cart? He didn’t understand why they were outside the palace when the party was inside, he didn’t understand why they’d dragged their two-wheeled cart they normally fixed to the back of their mule all the way here by hand, and he especially didn’t understand why he was in it.
“Did I put you in charge?” Thoros asked. The question was clearly rhetorical, but Dalin answered it anyway.
“If I were in charge, I wouldn’t have all this gunk on my face.”
He made a discontented sound because he both loved and hated it when Thoros called him that. It was one of those nights when Thoros had insisted on bathing him and prepping him—doing his hair and rouging up his cheeks, darkening his eyes and lips. Making him “pretty.” Usually those nights started with a bath and ended with a sweeter than usual post-fuck cuddle, but tonight they were at the palace where Dalin was, for some reason, kneeling in a cart. Naked.
“You didn’t explain about the cart,” he protested as Thoros pulled his hair up and back to secure it with ribbons. More of that pampering that made him all wiggly inside.
“Because when I’m done with you, you’re not going to be able to walk. And I don’t think I can carry you all the way to Atalanta’s quarters, even if you are just a little thing.”
“Fuck you. I’m not little.” He was taller than most men, with well-sculpted muscles that happened to run leaner than Thoros’s bulkier ones, that was all.
“You’re too big to carry anyway,” Thoros said, leaving Dalin to ponder what Thoros was going to do that would render him incapable of walking. Bondage was the obvious answer, but there wasn’t a rope in sight. Just a pile of ribbons, dark red by the flickering light of the torch. Was Thoros going to beat him so badly he wouldn’t be able to move? Dalin shivered, more than a little turned on by the idea. His cock, which had been half-heartedly reacting to the pampering, perked up a bit more.
“There you go,” Thoros said. “I’m going to need you hard, though I expect you’ll be hard enough in a minute.”
“Why? What are you going to do to me?”
Thoros was behind him in the cart, crouched down on his haunches. Dalin looked over his shoulder, trying to follow what Thoros was up to with his hands. He had a shard of bone in one—a long, pointy thing he used to mend the clothes he constantly destroyed. The bone was sturdy enough to push through the leather of their uniforms, and Thoros was sharpening it by scuffing it across a hank of whetstone.
“There’s a game tonight,” Thoros said as he tested the point of the needle against his own finger.
“There’s always a game.” That was how they’d met, after all—at one of Atalanta’s games. “What is it this time?”
“Everyone is supposed to bring her a present. Best present wins.”
Dalin surveyed the contents of the cart. If they’d brought a present, he didn’t see it. “What did you get her?”
Thoros looked up from the drop of blood he’d drawn. “You. I’m going to wrap you up like the best thing anyone’s ever opened.” He held the needle in the flame of the torch, and together they watched the tip become as fiery red as the ribbon threaded through its eye. “Turn round.” Thoros gestured with his free hand for Dalin to face forward.
“Um.” He looked at the needle. He considered the order. “Thoros?”
“Not afraid of it, are you?”
“No.” Though he wasn’t entirely sure what it was. Thoros wouldn’t really—
He screamed as fire burned through him. A sharp point of pain flashed on the left side of his spine, followed by a second spot an inch or so over. And then an unexplainable slither, like nothing he’d ever felt before, sensation where sensation shouldn’t—couldn’t—be as Thoros drew the ribbon through the holes he’d made.
“You’re sewing me?”
“I’m lacing you.” Thoros held the needle to the flame again. Red ribbon stretched between it and Dalin’s back. “I’m making a sort of corset. A corset made of you.” Thoros removed the needle from the fire and plunged it into the right side of Dalin’s rib cage. There was a piercing—like stepping on a particularly sharp thorn—and then a burning as the heated tip seared the flesh it pierced, followed by that slither of ribbon running along the underside of his skin where nothing had ever touched before. Then a tug, a pull, the sense that his shoulder blades were moving closer together as Thoros snugged the corset made of flesh tighter.
Dalin dropped his head in surrender to the sensation. His gaze fell on the length of his cock, which bobbed gently before him. Thoros had been right about how hard this would get him, but fuck. He could feel each of the holes as a separate spark of pain, as if hot embers had landed on his back and continued to burn there. The ribbon pulled at the wounds, strumming a deeper, more enduring pain.
Thoros held the needle to the fire again.
“Why does it have to be hot?” Wasn’t it enough that he was being pierced and laced? Did he have to be burned too?
“The heat cauterizes the wound so you don’t bleed all over the ribbons.”
“They’re already red,” he pointed out just as Thoros pierced him again. The final syllable left his lips with a scream.
“Because I figured you were bound to bleed a little regardless, and I need you fit for a princess, pretty thing.” Thoros pressed a kiss between his shoulder blades, right below the ribbon that strung them together. “Ready for the next one?” He didn’t wait for Dalin to say yes, just methodically worked his way lower, taking a bite out of Dalin’s left side, then a bite out of his right, then drawing the two sides together. Tighter and tighter until Dalin’s abs tightened too.
“Yeah?” Thoros never gave him what he wished for, only used it against him, but he said it anyway.
“I wish I could see it.”
“Because you like being pretty. And believe me, you are. Just one more piece to add.” Thoros tapped on Dalin’s thighs to urge them wider, then passed his hands between them to catch his balls.
Uh oh. So far, there was no reason he couldn’t walk. The pain and the arousal had him dizzy, but that was nothing new, nothing he couldn’t push through. But when Thoros wrapped the trailing end of the ribbon around the top of his balls, making multiple loops until his balls were hard and angry and too far away from his cock, then drew the ribbon back between his legs again, Dalin understood. The double lines of pain running down his back were now connected to the burning agony in his balls. The slightest shift in any direction sent worse pain screaming through him.
“That’s the back done then.” Thoros gave Dalin’s right ass cheek a smack. “Now for the front.”
“What are you going to do to my front?”
“You’re about to find out.” Thoros moved around to plunk himself down in front of him. The tip of the needle glowed a rosy red in the torchlight as he raised it to Dalin’s nipple.
“Oh, yes.” It was all the warning he got before the needle pierced him.
Thoros often pinched his nipples. Clamped them. Even chewed on them. He’d drawn blood with his teeth and with various abrasive materials. But he’d never run one straight through before. Dalin held his breath as he sighted down his chest to the sharpened piece of bone embedded in him. On one side of his nipple, the needle’s heat-rosy tip emerged. From the other, a bright red streak of ribbon trailed. It was unreal. He could see it, he could feel it, but he couldn’t believe it.
He didn’t have time to ponder it though, because Thoros pulled the needle through, threading the ribbon right through one nipple before piercing the other so that a slash of red ran between those two bright points of pain, like a symbol of his suffering—a scarlet as bright as his ache.
“Thoros.” He’d never felt so completely owned as he did at this moment, bearing Thoros’s stamp on his body in such a visible way. Thoros tugged, pulling his nipples toward each other to a degree that shouldn’t be possible, and the sparks of pain flared brighter. The ribbon was taut and crisp now, painting a decorative line across his chest.
Thoros returned the tip of the needle to the flame. Dalin shook his head. He knew where it would pierce him next.
“Do you think it will make you come?” Thoros’s free hand stroked Dalin’s cock, working it harder, as if it could get harder. He peeled back the foreskin, exposing the sensitive head to the evening air, tugging it down so far that Dalin hurt there too. “You’re so ready to come.” He rubbed his thumb over the spot at the base of the head where the skin was overly sensitive. It felt good and bad and unbearable all at once.
Dalin swayed with the sensation. Pain was everywhere, pleasure maddeningly distant. He wanted to come, but even more he wanted Thoros to touch him, to burrow right under his skin the way the ribbon did, to fuck him through all those new holes.
“Do we have to go to the party?”
“Of course we do. There’s a prize to be won. Deep breath now.”
It could’ve been worse, perhaps. Thoros could’ve run the needle right through the fleshiest part of his cock, made a tunnel all the way through the head. Instead it was only a bit of skin he pierced. But it was the most sensitive bit of skin—that spot he’d bared when he’d peeled back his foreskin. Dalin had taken a deep breath as ordered, and he let it out now in a shriek that Atalanta and her guests must surely have heard. It was an angry, ecstatic shriek, conveying all the muddle of emotions he was feeling—the pain and the pleasure and the ownership.
“You didn’t come,” Thoros observed as he pulled the ribbon through, “but I almost did. Wow.” He cinched the ribbon tight, making a bow that tied together nipples and cock the way he’d connected back and balls. “There. Done. Now you know why you won’t be walking.”
Dalin used what was left of his consciousness to nod. His legs were unbound. His arms lay loose at his sides. But he’d never been more helpless. Thoros had reduced him to an object. A pretty thing meant for a princess.
Thoros was proud he’d managed to wheel Dalin into the party by himself—hefting the cart’s handles to play the role of mule—because it took two of her strongest slaves to lift him out of the cart and onto the dais where her gifts were being displayed. The waist-high stone was made of white marble and held an array of be-jeweled weapons, exotic foods, headdresses made of ostrich feathers or gold or ivory, and one very pretty man, his sun-browned skin laced with red ribbon. A perfect dark pearl in a gleaming white shell.
“Well, Thoros. There’s no doubt you’ve won again.” Atalanta fingered the bow that connected Dalin’s cock to his nipples, all three points as hard as when Thoros had pierced him.
Dalin was tranquil but not silent, though Thoros wasn’t sure he knew he was making those desperate moans of pleasure and little gasps of pain. He’d gone somewhere, lost in a haze of pain and lust, so that he wasn’t aware of the people who came to admire Thoros’s ingenuity. There would be a dozen slaves sewn up at the next gathering, but none would ever match Dalin—the first and the best.
Thoros stood next to him, proud and protective, not minding when people gaped but stopping them if they reached out to touch. Only he was allowed that privilege. He stroked a hand over Dalin’s ass, letting it slide down the curve of his flesh into his cleft. He couldn’t wait to fuck him.
“I’m so looking forward to playing with my new toy.”
What? What had Atalanta said? Thoros looked up from his obsessive admiration of his lover’s perfect form. “Play with him?”
“This gift you’ve given me is so delightful.” She clapped her smooth white hands together. “Will he bleed when I unwrap him?”
“I’m… not sure.” It wasn’t supposed to be Atalanta who unwrapped him. She definitely wasn’t supposed to be playing with him. Or keeping him. Thoros’s gift was the presentation, not Dalin himself. He stroked through the ribbons that ran down Dalin’s back, strumming them like a lute. Dalin moaned out a melody to accompany his action, seemingly too deep under to worry about what Atalanta had just said. But Thoros worried.
Atalanta had sailed off to make a tour of the room, stopping to take in a scene or even participate in one, raising her jewel-handled whip to add some stripes to the back of another master’s slave. The other masters let her do it too, not one of them protesting that their property was off limits, but Thoros didn’t think he could be so generous.
He crossed the room to intercept her as she made her way between spectacles. “Princess,” he said, with a short bow. “I find I’m not able to accept your purse, after all.” Reluctantly, he untied the bag of gold from his belt and returned it to her. Losing money was painful, but not as painful as losing Dalin would be. “I gave you that which is not mine to give.”
“The man isn’t yours?”
“He is, but he’s also no one’s. He entered your contest because he didn’t want to be a bond slave anymore, and in winning, he won his freedom. He submits to me, but his submission comes from his own free will.”
“But perhaps he’d like to submit to me.”
“With all due respect, Princess, I don’t believe he would.” If Dalin wanted Atalanta, he would be a prince now—at her side in royal finery, not tied up into a bow.
“Let’s ask the man directly, shall we?” She strode with graceful steps to the dais where Dalin knelt, a perfectly suffering statue. “Daaaaay-lin,” she cooed. “Don’t you want to be my birthday present?”
Dalin raised his head. His pupils were giant pools of darkness, behind which very little consciousness lurked. He licked his lips, his gaze flickering haphazardly around until he found Thoros. “Master,” he said, the word half moaned. “Need…”
“You need whatever I give you,” Thoros said roughly, even as his heartrate doubled from a combination of lust and fear. Dalin had allowed him to truss him up like this because he trusted him, and Thoros couldn’t betray that trust, whatever the cost. “Dalin’s mine. He’s made that clear.” He reached for the short sword at his belt.
Around them, guards bristled, but Atalanta only laughed, the sound sharp but sweet. “Look at you. You’d fight my entire guard for him, wouldn’t you? It’s delightful to see you so entranced. No one would have believed it possible.” She went up on her toes to press a kiss against his cheek. “I never intended to play with your poppet, silly man. And though you’ve made him into a very pretty picture, you know he’s too sturdy to be my type. I’ll string up my own boy. Come.” She snapped her fingers at a more slender man dressed in nothing except an array of bells. “Mistress Atalanta is going to make you pretty like Dalin.”
She was looking at the boy as she walked away, not at Thoros, but her words drifted back to him. “I’ll always be grateful for what the two of you did for me. Now give your man what he needs.”
Thoros had never moved so fast. He was going to fuck Dalin. Right here, right now. With everyone watching. Because Dalin was his. He yanked on the bow that connected nipples to cock, letting the ribbon unfurl until the two points separated. One end of the ribbon dripped from Dalin’s right nipple to tease at the top of his cock, which still pointed straight up despite having been released.
The other end tickled at Dalin’s balls, which were wrapped in another ribbon connected to his back. Thoros used his knife to sever the connection, and Dalin shuddered when his balls swung forward. His movement tweaked the lace work on his back, and a fresh drop of blood oozed from one of the eyelets. Thoros touched his tongue to it. The taste of blood burst full over his tongue as Dalin let out a moan.
With Dalin’s legs free to move separately from his torso, Thoros unwound him, spreading him out across the dais. Jeweled trinkets crashed to the floor as he wriggled Dalin to the edge and got him bent over it with his chest pressed to the cold marble, his toes brushing the floor, and his back with its symmetrical lacing turned up for everyone to see.
“My cock,” Dalin groaned as he bucked his hips into the marble. “Gods in heaven, my nipples.
Thoros couldn’t figure out if Dalin was trying to escape the hard press of stone against his pierced flesh or to rub himself off on it, but it was all the same. Whether Dalin was hurting or horny, Thoros ate it up. He fished beneath the skirt of his uniform to find his cock, as hard now as it’d been while he’d been lacing Dalin up. One of Atalanta’s servants appeared at his side with a pot, and he took a dab of grease from it to enjoy the sensation of his hand slicking up and down his shaft before he plunged himself into Dalin’s ass.
Dalin screamed, but his hips shifted back even as his chest ground down, maximizing the spots where Thoros claimed him while Thoros did it. This—his cock in Dalin’s ass, Dalin’s screams, the bold beauty of Dalin’s back, whether adorned or bare—this was his gift. Thoros came with an explosive roar, barely conscious of the admiring, envying eyes watching them. He worked a hand under Dalin’s body to find his cock, but it was already pulsing and damp. Now that was a warrior. By all the gods in heaven, Thoros was a lucky man.
He ached. Everywhere.
Now that he wasn’t aroused any longer, his mind couldn’t run from it, couldn’t make pain flip into pleasure. He fisted his hands as Thoros painstakingly, almost gently, pulled the ribbon from his back and tended to the wounds he’d left behind. The potion he was using stung in a way Dalin didn’t find at all sexy, but he bore it in stoic silence. Thoros might be able to pull whimpers from him when they were fucking, but this kind of pain he refused to give voice to.
“Shame we have to take this one out,” Thoros said as he came around to examine Dalin’s cock. They were home now—the cottage they called home together. Dalin was perched on top of their table, his bare ass on the wood planks and his legs dangling over the end, while Thoros did what needed to be done. “Seems like it would be handy.” Thoros swirled the dangling ribbon around his soft shaft.
“I can’t walk around with a hank of silk in my dick,” he complained. It would get wet every time he took a piss, for one thing.
“I wonder if we could fashion something more permanent though. I’ll talk to Bog.” Bog was a blacksmith and a kinky fucker, which meant he was probably going to end up with a metal ring through his dick.
“All right,” he agreed. Not that Thoros had asked. Thoros didn’t ask. There was a way he could refuse—a simple uttering of the word please—but he’d never done it. For a moment there tonight, though… He’d almost thought…
“What was going on with Princess Atalanta?” There’d been something—something she and Thoros had been saying to each other—that had niggled at the edges of his consciousness. Something important he hadn’t been able to focus on with his mind so deep inside his body.
“Nothing, as it turned out. Just a joke. I never would’ve let her do it, you know.”
Whatever it was, it must have been bad if Thoros wouldn’t let Atalanta do it. Thoros had sewn him up like he was made out of muslin, for fuck’s sake. He was watching him now with eyes that were inexplicably serious, but when Dalin tilted his head in question, still not sure what had happened with Atalanta, Thoros shook the mood loose.
“Let’s go, pretty thing.” He plucked Dalin off the table and threw him over his shoulder.
“Oh, now he can carry me,” Dalin teased, though it was a short trip to their bed. Thoros dropped him on it, then loomed over him—a hulking gladiator with self-satisfied eyes and a cock hard enough to distend the leather tails of his skirt.
Looked like they weren’t through celebrating Atalanta’s birthday yet.