Colum's Viking Captivity, part 1 - a series of well-researched gay erotic short stories - NSFW!

in fiction •  2 years ago

I know they didn't have horns on their helmets; but...stock photos, what can you do?

This is a work of fiction, based on actual events. These stories involved considerable research, so my thanks to http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/, which is the veritable Encyclopedia Vikingia,  http://www.middle-ages.org.uk, Robert Ferguson’s Vikings, Tre Tryckare’s The Viking, John Marsden’s The Fury of the Northmen, Gwyn Jones’ A History of the Vikings,  and many more sources.   This series is also indebted to Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales” of Uhtred the Viking, especially for the stranger theological disputes of the era.


THE ISLAND OF IONA – 806 A.D.

What little light there had been today was fading.  The normally gray skies were black now as a storm moved onto the coast.  The cold drafts that crept through the cracks in the wood and stone kept attacking the candles, and the flickering light strained Colum’s eyes as he tried to focus on the page.  

Brother Fedelmid would be here soon to check on him.  Again.  His gaze lingered on the pages he’d been assigned to scrub clean, committing the words to memory first so he could recreate them later.  There was no time, no time.  Brother Fedelmid would expect a huge pile of clean parchment, stripped of pagan thoughts and ready for the word of God.  Fedelmid, Colum thought ruefully, had a very light tread for such a well-fed man, and had surprised him more than once.  

Suddenly Fedelmid was behind him, but his heavy breathing had given him away.  Colum had already started scrubbing the pages with milk and oat bran, forever removing the wrongheaded thoughts of the damned from human eyes.  

“It’s time, Brother Colum,” Fedelmid panted, his heavy breathing attributable to more than just exertion, Colum knew.

Colum followed him to the Misericord, and took off his robe.  Fedelmid’s breathing got even faster at the sight of Colum’s smooth, firm body, hardened and muscled from a childhood of farm labor, then made leaner and tauter at his last monastery.  The admirable results of the combat training that had been a part of the routine at Clonmacnoise had not yet faded, even here in his more sedentary life.

Column assumed the submissive, penitent position on the floor – on his knees, head down, hands clasped.

“Do you know why we are here at Iona?” Brother Fedelmid asked, as he asked every morning.  

“To preserve learning,” Colum said defiantly, his kneecaps already throbbing and aching from the cold, damp stone floor.  It was the answer that would get him yet another day on the floor of the Misericord, another day of corporal punishment, but he didn’t care.  It was worth it if he could save one more page from oblivion.

WHAP! went the leather strap across his bare shoulders.  Colum squeezed his eyes shut but willed himself not to show any more reaction than that.  The pain was a price to be paid.  Marcus Aurelius kept him company on the floor, his words burned in Colum’s mind.  “Pain that lasts a long time is tolerable; the mind stays tranquil by retiring into itself.  Let those parts which are harmed by pain give their opinion of it if they can.”

“NO.  We are here to praise the word of God.  What is your job?”

To preserve learning! Colum wanted to shout.  But he was learning how things were done here.  So different from Clonmacnoise…

“To praise the word of God.”  There was only so far he could push Fedelmid.  This was a game, a preposterous game, but he had to play it.

“And in what role have you been most blessedly assigned in our duty to praise the word of God?”

“Whatever God wills I do each day.”  Whatever you will, you fat bastard, Colum thought.  He had been sent here by the new abbot of Clonmacnoise, a monk who had always hated him, and who had taken Abbot Ioseph’s death as his opportunity to send Colum away.  Sent here, hell, banished here – and Brother Fedelmid knew it.  When Abbot Ioseph had died, so had all Colum’s hopes and dreams.

Fedelmid’s breathing was hot and heavy.  Colum couldn’t help but shiver, not only at the cold to which his near-naked body was exposed, but at the knowledge of what was going through Fedelmid’s head.  Colum knew what he wanted, knew his eyes were on Colum’s rear end, tight and meaty from better days, happy days…no corpulent monks like Fedelmid at Clonmacnoise.

WHAP! The strap landed on his lower back, pushing his loincloth down over his tailbone.  So you want to see my firm young ass, Colum smirked.  Colum twitched and let it fall a little further to reveal his ass crack.  Come and see the Valley of Temptation!  I dare you to touch it, he thought, full of most unkind and uncharitable thoughts.  You won’t, you daren’t, your fear of Hell is greater even than your lust.  Other monks desired these things, too, but at least they whipped themselves for it and not others.  But no, Fedelmid would punish Colum for his strength, his beauty, his defiance…

“Theophrastus believed that offences committed through desire are worse than those committed through anger. The offence which is committed with pleasure is worse than that committed with pain.”  Oh yes, great Emperor, you are right, and with what pleasure did Fedelmid commit his offenses…

Fedelmid would hit his back, his legs, his rump…never his hands, though.  Or his face, for fear of injuring his eyes.  They were too valuable to Iona.  

Colum knew his punishment couldn’t last many more days.  His hand was too steady, too precise, and the abbey made too much money on its marvelous illuminated manuscripts, to keep him away from the paper and the pen for long.  

Now the strap landed lower, a searing line of pain across his rump.  But even so, as Fedelmid wheezed with excitement at the rapidly reddening welts, Colum smiled.  They had “punished” him by leaving him alone with a pile of abominations, left him to scrub and scrape the words off the paper so it could be reused for learned theological disquisitions.  And in doing so, they’d given him more to read than he’d ever had, and more time to read it.  Normally he only stripped his own parchments, before copying the sun-baked ramblings of some fanatic hermit.  That had meant he could only commit one or two precious pages to memory each day.  Now he felt as if his mind was stuffed to bursting with knowledge.  

He smiled.  The physical pain was a small price to pay for a few more days of “punishment” alone with the old books.  Every slap of Fedelmid’s strap meant more works saved, rescued, transcribed in his marvelous memory until the day they could be reborn on paper.  

But some of the works he had literally saved, squirreling them away in secret hiding places – he couldn’t memorize everything that needed rescue.  He was a scholar, certainly, and a librarian, but a librarian who needed the judgment of Solomon to decide which pagans would live and which would die.  He gave a tender thought to poor Emperor Claudius, whose “Art of Playing Dice” had been flensed from the page, sacrificed to save Julius Caesar’s love poems.  

One of those flashed through his mind, unbidden.  How shocked the others would have been to read Great Caesar’s ode to a Greek youth’s ass.  Colum had been shocked himself at the loving detail which had been given to every curve, the golden shine of the upturned flesh in the lamplight, “the sweet-honeyed tightness,” written in such a way you could think he meant the physical condition of the large muscles, or the tightness of the…place.  “Your buttocks like two harvest moons, the double vision of a drunken man, looking at the sky from the ground, for so have you intoxicated me, so have I been struck down.”

Why did I save that one? Colum asked himself as his own milk-white ass went red with Fedelmid’s increasing frenzy.  You can’t look down at an ass and up at the moon at the same time – it was a silly poem when you thought about it.  Surely Cstebius’ “On Pneumatics” was more worthy of rescue… 

“Oh! Ohhhh!” Fedelmid cried, the agony of his ecstasy overwhelming him.  One hand was on the strap, which he brought down again and again now, but Colum knew where the other hand was as he gritted his teeth and took the final assault.  For days Fedelmid been building up to this.  Now he’d get what he wanted and that would be the end of it.

He clenched his buttocks tighter, defensively, as Fedelmid aimed the strap at Colum’s asshole, as if trying to beat back whatever devil was peeking out there, luring him in.  But he couldn’t defend it completely, as the blows landed closer and closer, the agony ever greater.  Colum bit his lower lip to keep from crying out, from giving Fedelmid the satisfaction.  “When in pain remember that it brings no dishonor, does not weaken the governing intelligence. Pain is neither everlasting nor intolerable...”

Finally the old lecher erupted under his robe, barely bothering to conceal what he’d done.  Finally the beating was done.  A few more gasps, a few weak cries, the strap flapping now like a wet hen’s wings against Colum’s body.  Then it was over.

“I hope you’ve learned something important today,” Fedelmid said, gathering himself.

“I have indeed,” Colum said darkly, pulling his loincloth back up.  Fedelmid was silent with horror and shame, the tone of Colum’s voice striking fear into his heart.

“We won’t speak of this,” Fedelmid muttered.  “Go back to the scriptorium.  Be back on your pen tomorrow.” And he was gone.


Colum did not go back to work.  Fedelmid wouldn’t dare punish him for what he was about to do, not after…that.  

He walked through the scriptorium, the monks shivering as they worked by the broad open windows onto the cloister walk.  The windows gave them what light was to be had this stormy day, but took the warmth from their bones.  

Colum’s own talents had bought him a solitary chamber.  He wished it hadn’t; the days were long and lonely in there by himself.  Well, at least it was warm in there, or not as cold, anyway.  His hands were less chapped and cramped and red than those of the others, his nose less runny, his feet not as numb.

He walked past Niall, cocking his head slightly towards the door.  Niall was dark-haired and dark-eyed like Colum, but slimmer, fairer-skinned, like a younger brother to Colum, the same but different.  Niall knew Fedelmid wasn’t nearby, but a year of well-instilled fear made him look anyway towards the big desk by the door.  You didn’t know real silence, Colum smiled, until you heard the sound of two dozen monks’ pens stop scratching.  Shocked at the violation of the rules, they could only stare open-mouthed as Niall left his desk and followed Colum out the door.

Colum was learning how to survive here.  He could do as he pleased, within reason, as long as he accepted the punishment, the penances.  He could have been expelled had the abbot known of his many transgressions, but of course it pleased Fedelmid to keep them to himself.  Who knew what Fedelmid would expect next…but he willed himself not to think of that.

They left the grounds, heading for a field on the other side of the hill.  The wind and the first trickles of rain were invigorating to both young men, and they began to run as they got further away from the walls of their home, sometimes more like a prison than a home.  The storm picked up and they whooped with joy, watching the lightning play over the water.  

An old carter rode past, hell bent for leather.  “Take shelter, young fools!  The devil’s afoot!”

They laughed at him and he shook his head, riding on.  They rambled out into the field.  

“Come on then,” Niall said, ready to wrestle and taking the defensive stance Colum had taught him.  “Let’s see what you’ve got left after Fedelmid’s done with you.”

“You’ll see, all right,” Colum said, and jumped.  They fell to the ground, grappling, bodies rolling in the mud.  Niall was a good student, a fast learner.  He might even beat Colum some day, but not today.  

Niall had him on his back, his surprisingly strong legs wrapped around Colum’s, his hands working furiously to pin the other man’s, but he had scholar’s hands, thin and bony – not like Colum’s, thick and meaty from farm labor and combat training.  Colum wriggled free and used Niall’s robe to throw him.  

Niall responded by pulling his robe off over his head and tossing it away.  “There!” he cried triumphantly.  Niall’s body was hard and strong now from their practice sessions, Colum thought.  When they’d met, his friend’s wiry frame had gone soft from sitting at a desk all day.  Niall was proud of his body now, proud in a way that would have mortified the abbot.

Clonmacnoise!  How Colum missed it.  How he missed the raucous, violent town and the battles between the monasteries.  Wrestling, stave fighting, punching…those had been as much a part of a monk’s day there as writing and praying and farming and gardening.  Abbot Ioseph had known how to handle young men – you didn’t stick them in a cubbyhole and make them sit there all day!  You made them study, indeed, but then you took them out and wore them out so they slept the sleep of the dead, and then they were ready the next day to work, knowing all that pent-up energy would be released in the yard again.

But here, Abbot Cellach disdained the active life.  “Have not a care for the body!” he lectured them with a quaking hand and an accusing finger.  “In the life to come you will have no need of it!  Begin to think of that life and let not the material world and its desires drag you down!”  How many of the monks had flushed red at that speech, Colum thought, their own material desires all too apparent when they looked at him and Niall and the other young bucks.  And for a man who had not a care for the body, Colum thought, Abbot Cellach certainly had a healthy appetite at dinner time.

Colum threw off his own robe, relishing the cold storm as its power increased.  Niall gasped.  “Your back!”  The red welts were growing angrier now, only aggravated by his scratchy robe.

“You should see my ass,” Colum laughed, and attacked again.  Now their grasps were slick with rain and mud and sweat.  Colum was on his back in the mud now, and he let Niall pin him to give him the practice…and froze in shock.  

Niall’s erection pressed up against his own crotch, like a log, Colum thought.  So big!  Niall’s body suddenly felt different to him, their grasp on each other no longer the struggle of opponents.  Niall looked him in the eyes from above him, a question, a fear, a…  Colum wanted to reach out, embrace him, pull him in closer, deeper.  It was such a lonely life…

No, Colum thought.  It’s only the excitement.  Young men’s humours raging.  He thrust himself up and threw Niall off.  Then he had the other man pinned beneath him, pretending Niall’s hard stave wasn’t there.  He laughed.  “You’re not the master yet.”

Niall smiled.  “Someday, Colum.”  

Colum willed himself not to think of that day.


When they headed back, Colum knew something was wrong.  The bell was ringing, and monks were scrambling across the fields, heading for the monastery gate.  

“What’s going on?” Colum shouted at one of the brothers.

“Raiders!”

Colum’s blood went cold.  Vikings…they had been here before, he knew, pillaging and plundering, but four years had passed since the last time, and complacency had set in.  Now, as if to make up for it, hysteria took its place.

Abbot Cellach was standing on a barrel, the monks on their knees around him in the courtyard, crying and praying.  “The day of judgment is here!  The Lord has willed this to be our last day in this vale of tears!  Prepare to meet your Maker!”

Rage rose up in Colum.  Black clouds blacker than the sky filled his mind.  Without thinking, he picked up a stave and stormed to the front of the kneeling crowd, facing the lambs so ready for slaughter.

“Close the gates.  Arm yourselves.  Nobody is dying today.”

“God wills it!” The abbot shouted.  Colum whirled with the stave and took his legs out from under him.  The others watched, horrified, as the abbot fell to the ground.  

“Who’s with me?” Colum said.

“I am,” Niall shouted, looking around him. “Do you really want to die today?”

“No!” Brother Diarmait said, getting to his feet.  “No!” shouted the others, rising too.

“Come on then.”


The walls of the monastery kept away the outside world, but only symbolically.  They were low, with no parapets, no defensive positions.  Colum shook his head.  Even after ten years of Viking raids, it was unthinkable, unfathomable, that something be done to make it harder for them to kill everyone and steal everything.

He had the monks collect all the ladders and threw them up against the wall.  Barrels were stacked in pyramids to create makeshift towers.  Colum stood atop one barrel, Niall to his right, as they watched the Viking ship run aground on the beach, its twin prows making it easy for them to take off again in the opposite direction.

“You told me Vikings land at dawn,” Niall said.  “For surprise.”

Colum nodded.  He had made a study of them, absorbing every letter and tale he could get his hands on.  One day he would write a chronicle of the Viking raids, he knew.  And now, he thought with a flush of excitement, it would be a first hand chronicle!  The thought that he might not survive this one did not occur to him.

“Usually.  But the storm is forcing their hand today.”

“Get down from there!” Fedelmid shouted.  “We must run!”

“Shut up,” Colum said.  “Fetch me those stakes that were cut yesterday for the garden.”

“I will do no such…” Fedelmid’s protests fell away when he saw the look in Colum’s eyes.  The tables were turned now, he realized.  It would be Colum doing the punishing if he didn’t obey.  He scuttled away to get them.

“Will they…” Niall said hesitantly.  “Will they kill us?”

“Generally.  They enslave the younger ones and kill the old ones, for the most part.”

Niall swallowed.  “Slaves?  Do they…with men as well…?”

“Yes,” Colum said.  “They do.”

The abbot had heard him.  “God forbid such sin befall you!  I will pray for your death instead, and a fast trip to heaven!”

“If you’re going to do that,” Colum said sharply, “do it in the chapel, and stay out of the way.”

He watched the Vikings as they made their way up from the sea, clambering over the rocky coastline with ease.  

“They’re so big,” Niall whispered.  Colum nodded, the first tendrils of fear wrapping themselves around his guts at the sight.  He knew the raiders were big men, generally a foot taller than the average man, but to see them for himself…he suddenly felt smaller, weaker.

He shook it off.  “Get as many men’s heads poking above the fence line as you can.”  Niall scrambled down to direct the others to make an impression on the rapidly advancing men. Sixty-eight brothers could give even a Viking pause, or so he hoped.

They were close now.  They were in their standard V formation, and the man at the front of the wedge would be the one he’d have to deal with.  

Colum’s eyes met those of the leader.  He was taller, and leaner, than the rest, well over six feet.  His dark beard was short, not the great barbarian bush that Colum had imagined, and it accented his sharp jawline.  His eyes were blue, steel blue, sky blue…they locked on Colum’s dark eyes and held him fast.  

Something other than fear grew inside Colum now.  The man’s eyes possessed him, owned him, told him what was coming without a doubt.  Not death.  Something else.

Colum blinked.  He took one of the pointed stakes and threw it like a javelin.  His aim was true, and it landed short of the leader, but not by much. 

“Halt!” he said in what little broken Norse he had.  To his surprise, they did.  “Turn back now and save yourselves!”  

The leader heard him. He looked over his shoulder and repeated it to the others, who burst into raucous laughter.  

“We never turn back, Christian.  Not empty-handed,” their leader said in Gaelic, startling Colum.  They had been raiding Ireland for ten years, though, so it shouldn’t have startled him that one of them had picked up the language.

“This is a place of learning.  You’ll find little treasure here,” he lied.  The monastery was the recipient of innumerable rich gifts, and also the place of safe-keeping for even more treasure – it was the bank in places like this, far from real civilization.

An arched eyebrow was the response.  A subtle man, Colum realized, who’d have thought?

“Then we will make up for it by taking handsome young captives.”  He thrust his hips forward and grabbed his crotch for emphasis – so much for subtlety.  The others knew what that meant – the gesture had been meant for them, and they roared their approval, banging their swords on their shields.  If there were no women to be ravished, Colum knew, handsome young men would do just as well.

Colum felt a twinge in his insides, some cold feeling that wasn’t fear.  Excitement…

Colum played his last card.  In Norse, he said, “Your god Odin has a thirst for knowledge.  What would he think of you, watching you destroy knowledge?”

They froze.  The leader looked at him more intently now, seeing prey but something more, too.

Colum went on in Norse.  “Odin says learning must be fought for.  Well then, we will fight for it.”

There was a pause as the Viking considered this.  “Your accent is terrible,” he said at last in his own tongue.

“As is yours,” Colum said defiantly, though it wasn’t true.  “I am Colum mac Fáeláin, a scholar.  Who are you?”

“I am Viggo Haraldsson.  A prince and a warrior.”

Colum looked down at the other monks.  They were quaking with fear.  He thought of the great historians’ words about the barbarians of old, how they had broken the lines of seasoned veterans solely with their bellowing, their insanity, their fearsome recklessness, their eagerness to die – so unlike orderly warfare with traditional armies.  And what chance would these poor bastards have against what was out there?

He made a decision.  What was here was worth saving.  Those who were here…well, other than Fedelmid…were worth saving.

He held his stave over his head.  “Viggo Haraldsson, I challenge you to single combat.  Winner take all.”

Colum saw Viggo’s eyes change as a strange-looking character stepped up next to him and whispered in his ear.  Their priest, or what passed for one with them.  He showed Viggo a few stones – runes, Colum knew, probably being used now for fortune-telling.  Viggo was being told whether the gods intended him to win or lose.  

What was in Viggo’s eyes as he looked back at Colum gave the monk a surge of confidence.  Surprise, for the first time.  If his gods thought he would lose, all the better.

“I accept your challenge,” Viggo said.  


Colum wasted no more words.  He jumped down from barrel to barrel as the others watched silently.  Suddenly the foolishness of his challenge occurred to him.  I have no sword.  No helmet.  No shield.

Then, with a wicked grin, it occurred to him.  Good thing I’m half pagan myself, he thought, picking up a hatchet from the chopping block and heading for the church.  The hatchet itself was too small, its reach too short, to serve as an effective weapon in combat.

Inside, he headed for the large silver crucifix on the altar.  To the gasps of the others, he picked it up.  It was heavy, but not too bad, if you could get the base off.  He laid it on the floor and raised the hatchet.

“Blasphemy!” Fedelmid shouted.

“Shut up,” Niall said.  

Colum severed the base from the cross.  He picked it up by what was now the hilt.  Silver made a poor sword, but it was better than none, and at least the end was sharp where it parted from the base.  Then it was the turn of the large Communion goblet, the one too big to actually use, donated by some guilt-ridden merchant.  Again the hatchet fell and the stem was parted from the cup.  

Colum put the jeweled cup on his head.  It looked ridiculous, he was sure, but it fit, and so it was a helmet.  He headed out for the gate.

“What about a shield?” Niall asked.

“What about it?”  He’d thought about that, but what on earth did they have that would work?  There was no time to think about it.  “Open the gate.”

He walked out alone, feeling foolish.  One of the warriors started to laugh at his preposterous appearance, but Viggo raised a hand.  He too broke from the crowd, walking out to meet Colum.

“Do you think your god will protect you?”

“No,” Colum said.  “I think a helmet will, though.”

Viggo smiled.  “You don’t sound like much of a believer.  What are you doing here, then?”

“I’m a scholar,” Colum said, surprising himself by saying out loud what he’d thought all his young life.  “If I want to be a scholar, there is nowhere else for me to go.”

“So let us kill these Christians, and join us.”

It was Colum’s turn to raise an eyebrow.  “Join the league of Viking scholars?”

Viggo laughed.  “You could be the first.  At least you wouldn’t spend your life arguing over exactly what day of the year your god rose from the dead.”

Colum was shocked.  He knew about the endless theological dispute over the exact date of Easter…as if records were so precise eight hundred years ago that anyone could ever know.  

“I’m not here to defend God.  I’m here to defend…my friends.  My home.”

Viggo’s eyes darkened.  “Do you know why we raid monasteries?”

“Because that’s where the money’s at?”

“You know what the Franks have done to our people.”  

Colum knew of Charlemagne’s homicidal mania, his burning desire to vaporize paganism, and pagans, from the face of the earth.  “They destroyed Irminsul,” Colum said.  “Your holy tree.  They conquer your people, baptize them, then kill them anyway.  Those who aren’t put to death are converted, and then put to death if they break any church rule, even if they only eat meat during Lent.  The Franks wish to exterminate you rather than see you live as unbelievers.  To you, killing Christians in turn is only fair.  Especially if they have treasure.”

Viggo looked down at him from his great height, at least a head and a half taller than Colum, with those startlingly cool blue eyes, the whites so clear from a life of physical exertion, with none of the red, watery look of the heavy drinker.  They seemed to pierce Colum’s soul more deeply than his sword ever could.  Colum was scared – terrified – but even so, what was in those eyes made him want to never look away.  

Finally Viggo broke the eye contact, and nodded.  “You are indeed a scholar.  But I will kill you nonetheless if you stand in our way.”

Colum nodded and raised his makeshift sword, rain dripping off his makeshift helmet into his eyes.  “Here I stand.”

A murmur of approval went through the Vikings.  They didn’t understand the words, but there was no need.  One of them stepped forward – the seer, the man with the runes.  He handed his shield to Colum.

Colum thought Viggo would stop him, but he knew that a Viking leader was not an autocrat.  And perhaps he approved of the gesture himself.

Viggo unbuckled his sword, took a club from one of the others.  At least it would be a fairer fight, Colum thought.

Until Viggo attacked, with unbridled ferocity.  Only Colum’s shield, and his own firm frame, kept Viggo’s assault from succeeding instantly.  But he knew he had one advantage, and that would be Viggo’s presumption – that a monk would have no fighting skills, no experience.  

He would have only one chance to surprise Viggo.  As he went to his knees under the assault, one arm singing with the shocks of the club’s pummeling of the shield, he swung his cross low, aiming for Viggo’s knee.  

His aim was true.  He heard the sharp sound as Viggo’s knee buckled.  Viggo’s eyes widened as he fell to the ground.  Then, with a look of pure anger that finally put true fear in Colum, he rose back to his feet, and with one blow and a great shout he smashed Colum’s shield to pieces.

Colum looked up at his death.  Viggo’s face was that of the avenging angel whose advent had been so often promised…beautiful and deadly…

Then the club came down on his head.


It was the smell of burning that finally woke him, the instinct to flee a fire forcing its way through the desire to sleep forever.  He bolted upright, then fell over on the beach.  His hands and feet were bound, and he was alone.  He could hear shouts, and screams, from the direction of the pillar of smoke – the monastery, in flames.  He shivered, his robe little protection against the cold wind screaming off the sea.

Niall, he thought, and his heart sank.  The books were a loss, but the best of them were in his head, perfect, ready to be transcribed and live again.  But his friend…all of them, the poor bastards, dead…

The Vikings were taking their revenge – if they could not defeat the Frankish monsters who’d killed their people over who prayed how, they would strike back at their religion where they could.  And, Colum thought grimly, profit in the process.

The Vikings came over the horizon, bags of loot slung over their shoulders.  There was Viggo, in the fore.  He saved me, Colum thought.  Dragged me away to safety before they…  Why?  Why me?

Then he gasped.  Driven before them were the monastery’s livestock, and Niall, hands bound in front of him, prodded along by a big brute of a man, dark face and shaggy dark beard even blacker now with soot from the flames.  Alive!  Relief flooded Colum, along with guilt, too – Niall was the only other captive. 

His captor shoved Niall to the ground next to Colum.  Colum could see in Niall’s face what had happened.  “Did they…?”

Niall nodded.  “We’re the only ones left alive.”

Colum watched the Vikings as they made camp, as calm and casual after the slaughter as if they’d just come in from the fields after a hard day’s labor.  They built a fire, drank the monastery’s ale and wine, slaughtered a sheep for roasting.  For the most part, they sat on boulders or on the ground, but Viggo had a small folding seat which Colum recognized as the Abbott’s.   

The big brute came up and cut Niall’s bonds, grabbing him by the hair to raise him to his feet.  He threw him back to the ground and gave him a kick, just to show him who was in charge.  He growled something in his language. 

Niall looked at him, uncomprehending.  Colum translated.  “I am Einar, and you are my slave.”

Einar glared angrily at Colum.  He raised a hand to smack him for his presumption at speaking when something behind Colum caught his eye and arrested his motion.  Colum turned around to see Viggo, standing there, arms crossed, waiting.  I’m not your property to defile, Einar, Colum thought.  I’m his… The idea made him queasy in the strangest way.

“Tell him he’s to serve my dinner,” Einar said, stalking away.  

Colum translated and Neil frowned.  “How do I do that?” he asked.  “Where…what…?”

Viggo spoke in Gaelic.  His voice was so deep, so calm.  Colum could hardly believe he’d just finished murdering so many innocents.  “You will fetch a plate from his rucksack.  Someone else will cut the mutton for you, as thralls do not handle knives.  You will keep his mug full.  And you will do anything else he requires.”

Colum shivered and looked at Niall, whose eyes grew wide as what “anything” meant dawned on him.  Then Colum felt Viggo’s strong grasp on his shoulder, so much stronger than his wiry frame would lead you to expect (unless that frame had just pummeled you in a fight), and his own bonds were cut.  Viggo thrust him face down in the sand.  He threw his own plate on Colum’s back, as if he were a table.

“And you will do the same for me.”

Colum and Niall brought mead and mutton to their respective masters.  Viggo eyed him as he sharpened his knife, and Colum found himself unable to tear his eyes from Viggo’s sapphire eyes as he handed him his plate.

“When you serve me,” Viggo said, “you will go to your knees.  And you will look down.  It is not your place to look at me as an equal.”

Colum obeyed, assuming a submissive position on his knees, handing the plate up to Viggo.  Given no further orders, he stayed there.  The sand was far more comfortable than the hard stone of the Misericord, he thought, before feeling a pang of guilt.  They are all dead, and here I am, alive.  No need to ask why any longer; I know now what I’ve been kept alive for...

“Oh my Lord,” he heard Niall whisper, and Colum dared to turn around.  Einar the giant had set aside his empty plate, risen to his feet and dropped his britches.  His legs were like tree trunks, and so was his manhood.  He belched loudly, grabbed Niall by the hair with one hand, and grasped his root with the other, then began to piss in his face.  Niall spluttered, gasped, but was held fast, unable to escape the torrent.  

Finally Einar finished…but finishing his stream was only the beginning.  His other massive hand let go of Niall’s hair and seized his jaw, and he thrust his engorging rod into Niall’s mouth.  Niall choked, tried instinctively to back away.  Einar pulled out and smacked his face, the crack of the blow loud and sharp.  Then he shoved his cock back in Niall’s mouth, his hands now engulfing Niall’s skull, obliterating his face from Colum’s sight.

Around the camp, the others seemed to barely notice.  Just another slave being used, so what?  

Then Colum saw something that truly shocked him.  Niall’s hands went up from his sides, slowly, tentatively, touching Einar’s meaty thighs…caressing them, reaching around…pushing them forward, forcing Einar deeper down his throat.   Einar grunted his satisfaction, let Niall’s hands help him, until they reached up towards his ass.  But it was not to be borne for a real man to be touched there – Einar gave Niall another shove, another smack of his big hand across Niall’s face.

A face lit with pleasure, Colum realized with disbelief.  Niall was delirious with it, the slap like a blessing not a curse.  Einar threw a piece of mutton fat off his plate in Niall’s face.  It landed in the sand and Niall picked it up, stripped the grains off, smeared it on his hand, and with a smile reached around behind himself and…

Sodomite!  The word rang out in Colum’s head like a tocsin.  His own penis shriveled at the thought.  Not because the church called it the road to Hell, but because it meant a man was…unmanned, disowned, cast out…ruined.  Every other man’s inferior from that day on.  That day…this day, in the fields, it seemed a million years ago, Niall’s erection pressed against him, it hadn’t been high spirits, but something else, something Niall had wanted…

Einar grabbed a length of rope and retied Niall’s hands behind his back.  Then he mounted him like a donkey, using his weight to press Niall’s head into the sand with one hand while the other guided his spear into Niall’s greasy hole.

“Ahh!” Niall screamed, the pain of the savage entry breaking his silence at last.  Einar seemed to relish Niall’s pain, grunting as he thrust harder, harder, his weight behind, then over, then on top of Niall, slamming him down into the beach as if trying to bury him with his cock.  

“More wine,” Viggo said behind him.  Colum barely heard him, his gaze frozen on the scene of Niall’s submission, humiliation, ravishing...  Then he felt the cuff of Viggo’s hand knocking on the back of his head.  “Pay attention.”

“Sorry.”  He moved to get up and Viggo’s foot landed in the small of his back, knocking him flat.  The sand was cool and clean on his face and he wanted to stay there.

“Sorry what?”

“Sorry, my lord,” Colum gasped.  He got up and fetched the wine as Niall’s voice changed behind him, from sharp cries lost in the shrieks of the seagulls, into whimpers lost in the mutterings of the oblivious warriors, into…something else, deeper, now more in tune with the deep sighs of the waves against the coast…groans of pleasure as Einar’s thrusts slowed now.  The big beast took his savage pleasure in nearly pulling out each time, before stabbing Niall’s guts with his weapon with killing stroke after killing stroke, only time enough for the shock wave to travel through Niall’s body, for a sharp breath to be taken, before the next, and the next.  

Only it was as if each stab was giving and not taking life, Colum thought, returning with the wine, avoiding Viggo’s eyes but not the scene before him.  Niall’s now ecstatic gasps were like…a woman’s cries at the height of pleasure, Colum thought, no stranger to that sound from his life before taking the cowl.  How could that be?  How could another man inside you give you…that?  

Einar grunted, then shouted, bellowing his triumph as his cum blasted out of him inside Niall – the conqueror’s mark, his seed planted in foreign soil.  He panted, still inside and on top of Niall.

“Fetch a basin and water,” Viggo commanded Colum.

“Yes, my lord,” Colum said, never a slow learner.  He filled the basin from a freshwater barrel the raiders had brought out from the monastery, and returned to his position before Viggo.

“My britches,” Viggo said, and even with Colum’s eyes downcast, he could feel Viggo’s gemlike eyes cutting into him like the sharpest of blades.  “Undo them.”

Colum felt as if his organs had been removed, or were threatening to fall out, so tumultuous was the feeling in his stomach.  He lifted Viggo’s tunic and Viggo shifted on his seat to let him, spreading his legs as he did.  Colum’s forearms brushed Viggo’s inner thighs as he reached for the ties of the trousers.  The fabric was soft, well worn, and beneath it Viggo’s flesh was like steel.  So much strength in him…

Viggo shifted again to lift his hips and allow Colum to pull his trousers down.  Colum could see the outline of his weapon, bulging and curving beneath the pale fabric.  As big as Einar’s to be sure, and all the larger-looking on such a trim frame.  Sure enough, when the trousers were lowered, Viggo sported a great sword, and amazingly large and swollen balls.  His genitals filled Colum’s eyes, and there would be no command to look away from this…

Just below his knees, Viggo’s trousers were hooked to his stockings, and would go no further.  Colum’s eyes widened at the purple swelling of the knee he’d hit with the crucifix.

“Yes, a fine hit,” Viggo said.  “Very well done.”

“Thank you, my lord.”  Not well done enough, he thought.

Viggo tossed him a cloth.  “Soak it.”

Colum obeyed, his hands trembling and not just from the cold water.  He knew what to do – he folded the wet cloth in four and gently placed it on the battered knee.

“You’re lucky,” Viggo said as Niall’s cries renewed in vigor.  Einar, it seemed, had caught his breath and was ready for another round.  

“Yes, my lord,” Colum said, not daring to ask a question.

Viggo tilted his head towards Niall and Einar.  “If you hadn’t done this to my leg, that would be you right now.  As it is,” he said, undoing his loincloth, “I’ll have to make you do the work.”

His cock was fully erect, a tower of flesh that filled Colum’s field of vision as Viggo massaged it, tested its firmness.  The head of it was like a ram’s head, Colum thought absurdly, the curve of the flesh down and away from the pisshole like the horns of that beast.  Then Viggo’s hand was on the back of his head, slowly but firmly pushing Colin towards it.

Knowing that his new slave’s instinct would be to keep his mouth closed, Viggo stuck his other hand between Colum’s teeth and pried his mouth open.  Then his cock was in Colum’s mouth, filling it, smashing his tongue down, triggering his gag reflex as if he’d tried to gobble a turkey leg without chewing it, all at once.

Viggo was ready for that; he had both hands on Colum’s head now, refusing to let him back off.  Colum had no idea his throat could open that wide as it engulfed the full breadth and length of Viggo’s battering ram.  He choked and choked to no avail, panicking, flailing as if drowning, his hands pushing, pushing back at Viggo’s legs.  

Viggo let him go, his penis bouncing back against his flat belly as Colum gasped for air.  “Breathe deeply,” he commanded unnecessarily.  “And keep your lips over your teeth.”

As Colum caught his breath and calmed down, Viggo said, “Take a deep breath.  Hold it.  Let it go.  Again.”  Colum did as he was told.  “Another.  Another.  Now hold it.”  And with his lungs full, Colum felt his head go down again onto the impaling stake, his throat forced open more easily this time.  Viggo’s hips were motionless, his hands doing the work, milking his cock with Colum’s head.  This time it was ten seconds before Colum gagged, five more before Viggo let him go.

“Good,” Viggo said.  “Very good.  Again.  In, out, big breaths.  Deep breaths.  Hold it.”

This time, once he was fully embedded inside Colum’s head, he put a hand on Colum’s nostrils, squeezing them shut, cutting off any chance of air.  Colum felt how much it excited Viggo, as his hips began to move now, the pain it caused his knee clearly worth it, Viggo’s own breathing coming faster, harder.  

Colum thought back to the dunking games at Clonmacnoise, drunk monks challenging drunk townsmen to see who could stand to have their head held down longest in the water of the horse trough.  I used to win that game, Colum thought.  I could hold my breath forever.  He remembered how he used to trick the others by going limp, frightening them into thinking he was dead.  Then when they let him go, he’d burst up, shaking his head, water flying everywhere, laughing, shouting…

I can do this, he thought.  Viggo wasn’t letting him go, was lost in his own pleasure.  Colum dared to look up to see his master’s eyes closed, his head tilted back.  His motions were slow now, his huge cock caressing Colum’s throat, his tongue, his lips…

Then he looked down to see Colum’s eyes on him.  He pulled out and as Colum took a huge breath, Viggo slapped him, hard.  The whole left side of his face burned with it.  “Don’t…look at me when I’m fucking you.”

“Sorry, my lo…”  Colum couldn’t finish the word before Viggo thrust back into him, his hands twisting Colum’s ears like jug handles as he fucked his skull furiously now, hard, fast, his breath coming in hisses, his body twitching, erratic motions now, and then…

Colum could feel the staff come alive in his throat, Viggo’s seed a cataract plunging down his throat, his rampaging thrusts filling Colum’s mouth with his slick, salty cum, tangy like fresh sea oysters.  Not at all as awful as he’d imagined…  When Viggo’s cock left his mouth some part of him reached out for it, craved the feeling of it in his mouth again…

He’d liked it!  As soon as Viggo let him go, he fell retching to the ground, gagging, spitting out the semen as if he could expel the feeling, the…desire…

Einar had finally had his fill of Niall, rolling off him and up to his feet in a fluid motion surprising in a man of his bulk.  He tied his trousers, walked away and began picking his teeth with his knife as Niall gasped for breath.

“Go get me some more ale,” Viggo said. “And slave…”

“Yes, my lord?”

“Look at me.”

Colum met his eyes.  How was it possible that things so blue could burn so hot?  He felt scorched by the still unslaked desire in Viggo, a desire this episode had only inflamed, not quenched.

“You did well.”

“Thank you, my lord.”

He brought Viggo his ale, taking a knee and handing it up to him.  Viggo drank deeply, wiped his mouth with his hand, then wiped his hand on Colum’s head.  “Now go see to your friend.  And get both of you something to eat.”

It was the kindness that shocked Colum more than anything.   “Thank…thank you, my lord.”  Not the cruelest master Colum had ever known, after all.


Colum dreamed.  His eyes were closed, or was he blind?  No matter, all his other senses were alive.  He could hear the thunder of hooves, those of dozens of horses at least, so he knew the ground was dry, firm, beneath their galloping legs.  Which he would have known anyway, because he could taste the dust, red and chalky.  The sweat of the horses smelled strong, clean, healthy.  And he knew Viggo was by his side.  Could feel him there, no need to see to know.

And then his eyes opened.  He saw the sword in his hand, saw the nosepiece of a helmet just breaking the field of his vision.  He and Viggo, leading the charge against a Frankish line.  He could see their eyes, yes, the enemy’s eyes – half of them inflamed with righteous rage, but the other half…wide with terror as the wild beasts came screaming down upon them.   

He turned to look at Viggo, who nodded.  He had seen it, too…there was no need to speak, so deep, so perfect was their understanding of each other…  Suddenly what looked like a mad barbarian charge veered to the right, away from the well-seasoned vanguard and into, through, over the new recruits, trampling them, Colum slashing madly with his broadsword, helmets crushed into flesh and bone, armor parting at the mere touch of his blade…He looked at Viggo and Viggo grinned at him, brother to brother… Colum screamed with bloodlust, with the taste of victory already on his lips…

…and bolted up, wide awake on the cold ground, his arm numb from having served as his only pillow.  Niall was beside him, twitching in his own dream, a dream of pleasure as well, Colum could see, but of another kind.  He willed himself not to think about what must be going through Niall’s mind right now.

He rolled over onto something hard.  A scroll.  How on earth had that got here?  He opened it and read the Latin.

“On the appearance of the enemy the country people fled into the City as best they could. The weak places in the defenses were occupied by military posts; elsewhere the walls and the Tiber were deemed sufficient protection. The enemy would have forced their way over the Sublician bridge had it not been for one man, Horatius Cocles. The good fortune of Rome provided him as her bulwark on that memorable day.”

Colum gasped.  This was not a work from Iona’s library.  It was Livy!  The History of Rome!  Where on earth…

It dawned on him.  Viggo had placed it here, a piece of loot from another monastery, another raid.  Had he known its value?  Was it just some random scroll he’d picked out of a pile?  Why had he given it to Colum?

A cuff on the side of his head broke his trance.  “Up, slaves,” a warrior growled.  Colum looked up at the man, a great ugly beast.  His lips were permanently curled in what would have been a sneer on a thinner man, but on him made his mouth a gargoyle-like maw.  Unlike the other Vikings, more careful of their cleanliness, his beard and hair were filthy and matted, and he stank of stale sweat and grease.  But it was his eyes that disturbed Colum the most – in them was rage, and hate, and lust.  Colum looked down quickly, before his gaze was taken for defiance.

“Niall, get up,” Colum said.  Niall groaned, his mouth slack.  Colum shook him.  “Get up!”

“Whaa..?  Oh…oh.” He rubbed his eyes.  “I was dreaming.”

“I know,” Colum said, and Niall flushed.

Colum knew what needed doing – “women’s work,” making the campfire, boiling the water, whatever was asked of them.  

“Colum,” Niall said hesitantly as they scrubbed bowls by the shore, using the sand and seawater to clean.  

“Yes?”

“Do you…do you think God will forgive me?”

For what, Colum thought with a wildly absurd humor that astonished him – for sucking cock or for liking it?

“I don’t know.  What do you think?”

“Do…do you forgive me?”  

“Of course I do.  You’re my friend.”

Niall blushed.  “When Viggo made you…did…did you like it?”

“NO!” Colum shouted, jumping to his feet.  “No.  No.”  His denial rang hollow in his own ears, and he knew from the look on Niall’s that he had failed to convince either of them.


They went back to the camp.  From his camp stool, Viggo signaled him with a twitch of his finger, Colum having already learned to keep half an eye on his master at all times, ready to serve.  

“Get hot water in a bowl.”  Colum went to the kettle over the campfire and ladled hot water into a wide, deep bowl, carefully walking it back.  He kneeled in front of Viggo, bowl upraised.  Viggo pulled his tunic off to reveal his naked torso.  Colum marveled at his taut frame, fatless, sculpted, the flesh pale and glowing like marble, glowing with rude good health.  Colum tried to count the battle scars, some small and thick, others long and thin, some angry red and new, others long faded.  Their ugliness only accented, contrasted, the perfection of the smooth perfect skin around them.

“Hold it there.”  Viggo leaned over and his long hair swept over his face as he dipped it in the water, splashing it over his head, letting the water stream back into the bowl.  Colum’s arms began to ache as he held the heavy bowl, flinching as the water spattered his face, ran into his mouth, water in which he could taste Viggo’s sweat.

When Viggo was done, he pulled out a comb and handed it to Colum.  He’d read of this, how peculiar the Vikings were about their grooming – well, most of them.  Every one of them had a comb, its teeth carefully carved out of bone.  Colum set the bowl down, got up and stood behind Viggo, and began to work on his dark, shiny hair.

Moving too fast, he hit a snag.  Viggo’s hand flew up and slapped Colum’s hand away from his head.  “Carefully.  Slow down.  Separate that by hand.”

Colum set the comb down and began to unravel the snag, strand by strand.  Viggo’s hair was drying quickly, even in the wet cold sea air.  He was so warm, Colum marveled, feeling the heat off his flesh, the skin of his neck golden tan from long days in the sun, on the sea.  Colum had had a neck like that, once.

He looked up at the sound of clashing.  The great ugly one was practicing his swordsmanship with another man.  Colum watched, knew Viggo was watching too.  He let Viggo’s hair flow through his fingers, so soft and lustrous, but with one eye always on the beast.  

Colum evaluated his fighting technique harshly, thinking of Brother Armadal back at Clonmacnoise, a former knight who’d taken holy orders.  How he had drilled us, schooled us, beaten the knowledge of combat into us!  All at Abbott Ioseph’s insistence, that firm but kindly old man who well knew what young men needed…who prided himself on his monks, who found such vigorous outlets for their energy that no taint of scandal ever stuck to Clonmacnoise, no villagers could ever whisper about…the kind of things that went in other establishments.  The kind of things Viggo had made him do.

He leaves his inside open when he slashes overhead, Colum realized.  It took training to raise one hand and bring it down, hard and fast, without the other one trying to compensate, mirror it, or balance it.  The beast’s shield twitched out and to the left as his right arm readied for the blow.

“Did you get my gift?” Viggo asked him.

“Yes, my lord.  Thank you.  May I ask…”

“You may.”

Ask what?  Colum feared to ask anything that might offend.  Do you even know what it is?  How many monks did you kill to get it?  Finally he settled on the only question to which he could reasonably expect an answer.

“Why?  Why give a slave a gift?”

“Because,” Viggo said, his eyes locked on the beast’s motions, watching him, “you earned it.  As you will earn other gifts, in time.”

Colum swallowed, thinking of Niall, pierced, plundered… “Thank you, my lord.”

“The monastery didn’t have any Livy, did it?”

So he did know!  How was that possible?  How could a barbarian…Viggo was more than he appeared to be, Colum realized.  

“No, my lord.  Only Eusebius’ summary.”

“Which I assume you had in Jerome’s Latin translation.”

Colum’s eyes widened, his hands frozen for just a moment.  Then he got hold of himself and began to work again.  “Yes, my lord.”  He wanted to ask Viggo where the rest of the monastery’s books were – up in flames?  In boxes?  Or only in Colum’s head?

“Go and fetch some mutton fat,” Viggo said.  

Colum’s stomach dropped, thinking of Niall, eagerly reaching around to smear the grease on his ass, grease that was still not enough to ease the plundering progress of Einar through his gates.

The beast had been watching them.  Sick with terror, Colum walked back from the fire, mutton fat in hand.  That was when the beast broke off from his practice partner and strode hard and fast towards him.  

He grabbed Colum by the arm.  “You’ll need more than that to take me up your ass.”

“Is there something I can help you with, Ljótr?” Viggo asked.  Colum could hear the steel in his voice, cold and hard.

Ljótr threw Colum to the ground in front of Viggo and spat at his feet.  “I want the slave.”

“And?” Viggo said with perfect calm.

“Do you really intend to fight me for him?”

“Do you challenge me, Ljótr?”

“I do, Prince.”  The last word was spat on the ground like a joke.  “Prince of nothing and nowhere, now.  A sea-king, that’s all.”

More was at stake, Colum knew, than the worth of a slave.   This was a challenge to more than just Viggo’s ownership of him.  Ljótr was contending for the leadership of the raiders.

“So be it.”  

The others rose to their feet, the boredom of camp days suddenly broken.  As they took sides and laid bets, Viggo said to Colum, “Do you know any medical arts?”

“Some.  A little.”

“There is a chest over there with my things.”  Colum saw it, recognized it from the monastery.  It was full of salves and herbs.  “I need something for my knee.”

Colum went to the chest and rummaged around, pulling out a balm he knew would cool the aching, throbbing pain that Viggo must be feeling in his swollen purple knee, a severe liability in a fight.  The irony of it, he thought – the action that saved my life for a moment may well turn out to be the action that makes my enslavement even worse.

There were some strips of linen in there as well.  He applied the salve and wrapped the linen around the knee, to keep the salve from rubbing off on Viggo’s trousers.  Viggo’s eyes were on Ljótr now, and Ljótr’s on him.  

“My lord, he has a weakness.  When he raises his arm to strike…”

“He opens himself up.  I know.”

Colum flushed.  Of course Viggo had seen it too.  

Then, to his shock, Viggo’s hand gently cupped his chin and raised it, his flashing blue sky eyes locked on Colum’s. 

“Do you know what the runes said about you?”

“No, my lord.”

“That you will share my bed, like a woman.  And that you will ride by my side, like a warrior.  I will make you my woman.  But you are already a warrior.  It only remains now to make a Viking out of you.”

Colum’s eyes filled with tears.  He felt…something so deep welling up inside him, something he could not describe, not name.  Something he had already felt, in his dream.  Surely not love.

Viggo stood up.  “My sword.”  

Colum belted it around his waist, feeling the hard cut V at Viggo’s hips.  He was so much lighter than Ljótr, how could he possibly win… He banished that thought.  Viggo had to win.  Had to.  

On his own initiative, he bound Viggo’s hair into a topknot.  Surprised, Viggo reached up and felt it, then nodded.  Colum flushed with pride.  

 “Do you love your slave so much,” Ljótr taunted him as they faced off, the crowd closing around them.  Colum was only a thrall and in no position to see what was going on.  “Are you so argr that you won’t part with him?”  

Argr – Colum recognized the word as the great Viking insult.  It declared that Viggo was weak, feminine, the one taking it in the ass.  It was fine for him to give it in the ass, but to imply the opposite… If it hadn’t been before, it would be a fight to the death now.

Niall grabbed his arm.  “Over here.”  They clambered up onto a boulder that gave them a view of the action.

“He is my property,” Viggo said.  “My spoils of war.  Do you really think I would be so argr as to surrender my property without a fight?”

“Surrender it or die for it, all the same to me,” Ljótr said, and attacked.

He was a savage fighter, bigger and more powerful than Viggo by half.  Viggo let him lead the fight, blocking his blows carefully with his shield, making sure the impact was distributed, never letting a blow fall that would shatter it as Colum had foolishly, helplessly done.  Ljótr was like one of the berserkers Colum had read about, who loaded up on ale and magic mushrooms and fought like maniacs till everyone else was dead, or they were.

Viggo retreated, retreated, and the betting changed, money flipping sides.  

“He’s losing!” Niall cried.

“No, he’s not,” Colum said, surprising himself with his calm.  “He’s letting the big one wear himself out.”

He could hear Brother Armadal’s voice in his head, the training ground at Clonmacnoise coming back to him.  “A battle is about strength.  But there is the strength in your arms, and then there is the strength in your legs.  The man whose legs give out first, is the man who dies.”

Viggo’s legs were dancing, his defending arm sacrificed to blow after blow.  How it would ache later, Colum remembered from his own battles.  If he survived.  

But now Ljótr was starting to slow down, huffing and puffing as his great frame ran out of fuel, more energy spent now on breathing hard.   

“It sounds like you’ve been rassragr yourself, Ljótr.  Has some great cock up your ass worn you out today?”

“RRRAAARRRGGGHHH!” The tactic of baiting his adversary worked; Ljótr gave into battle frenzy and attacked again, harder.

“This is it,” Colum said, eyes feverish with excitement.  Niall looked at him as if he were mad.

And so it was.  A few dozen blows later and Ljótr was spent.  That was when Viggo attacked.  Now he led the dance, around and around Ljótr, landing blows like Colum had never seen.  A sword thrust, parried with a shield, but then a sideswipe with his own shield into Ljótr’s sword arm, cracking the bone.  Then Ljótr raised his arm over his head to strike back.

His shield side opened up.

“Now,” Colum whispered.

The thrust was true.  Into Ljótr’s side, across his insides, and yanked out quickly.  Black blood spewed from the wound – liver blood, a killing stroke.

Ljótr toppled.  The crowd was silent.  Viggo was barely out of breath.  He looked at Colum, who instantly jumped off the boulder.

The crowd parted for the thrall, who dashed to his master with a cloth to wipe his sword.  Viggo sheathed it and tore off his bloody tunic.  “Go and wash this, and mend it.”  There was a small cut on his shining sweaty chest, where Ljótr’s sword had sliced the fabric.  He was unharmed otherwise.

Colum walked away, finally shaking like a leaf, the terror he had suppressed in the heat of the moment taking over at last.  He held Viggo’s tunic to his chest like a blanket, smelling him on it, his sweat sharp but clean, like lemons and oranges.  

On his knees at the shoreline, he washed the blood and sweat off the tunic.  His own robe, filthy now, was getting sodden with sea water.  He tore it off and threw it up onto the dry ground, clad now only in his loincloth.

“Do you know why I let you live?” Viggo said, his approach masked by the roaring of the sea.

Colum turned.  His master stood there above him, shirtless, glowing.

“Because the runes…”

“Because I have raided and pillaged up and down these coasts, and you are the first man who hasn’t run in terror at the sight of me.  You knew you didn’t have a chance against me.  And yet you met me in battle anyway.”  

Colum met his eyes now.  There would be no punishment for it, or at least no punishment he was not willing to pay.  Marcus Aurelius would steady him as he had so many dreary days at Iona, even, especially here, now, at the end.

“‘If you are not afraid to die, but rather afraid never to have lived...’”

Viggo finished the sentence.  “‘Then you will be a man worthy of the universe that made you.’” 

Colum made a decision then.  He reached for his robe, felt inside the sleeve.  It was still there.  Eyes on Viggo, he pulled his hand out, slick with mutton fat. 

He undid his loincloth, and reached around and felt his ass, tight as a drum.  But the fat let him put a finger up there, the sensation strange, inverted, the feeling of his own insides… His eyes grew dim, looking inward now, self-examination taking on a whole new meaning.

Viggo was fully erect, his great staff reaching across his hip, tenting his breeches.  “There is no need for this.  You have done enough today,” he said, startling Colum.

“I want to do one more thing,” Colum said.  “My lord,” he added, a new meaning to the words in his tone.

Viggo nodded.  “Let me help you.”  He came around behind Colum, and dropped to his knees as well.  His hand reached around and took the fat from Colum’s hand.

With his shield hand firmly gripped on Colum’s shoulder, his sword hand probed Colum’s ass.  Viggo’s fingers felt so different from his own, which had gone soft and smooth from too much time away from the practice yard.  Viggo’s scarred and callused fingers were strong, rough at first, but the slick fat eased their way – yes, their way, as he sent two up there now.  

“Your ass is virgin,” Viggo said and Colum could hear him smile.  “You and the other monks never…”

“No.  Some did.”

“You never wanted to?”

“No.”

“But you do now.”  It wasn’t a question, but Colum answered it.

“Yes.”  And saying it, admitting it, was like a great cage had opened and a thousand white birds flew out, never to return.  His body, his ass, relaxed.  Viggo felt it, moved in closer, the heat of his body warming Colum as his legs spread Colum’s wider.  The fingers slid out and Viggo wrapped his arms around Colum’s chest, the oar of his manhood stroking along Colum’s slippery ass crack, teasing it, testing it.

To Colum’s shock, Viggo reached around to his own cock.  For the first time, he realized he was hard, too.  The feeling of Viggo’s greasy hand on his shaft was like the first time Colum had felt a bolt of silk, the first time he’d tasted fine wine, only a thousand times more shockingly pleasurable.

Lightly, so lightly, Viggo nuzzled his neck and bit it.  Colum’s breath hissed out at the sensation of pleasure it gave him, thinking of animals in the field who clamped their jaws on their mates as they mounted them.  Then Viggo bit it again, harder, sure to leave a mark, and Colum gasped aloud.

“Yes,” Viggo said.  “Mine.”  He bit again, surely drawing blood.  “Marked as mine for all to see.”  

“Yes,” Colum whispered, the pain somehow transformed to pleasure, as Viggo’s grasp became less tender, more tense.  He put his hands on Colum’s shoulders and pushed him down onto his half-dry robe, spread out beneath them as if Colum had known just how to lay it out.  The rough fabric scratched at his manhood as Viggo’s weight pressed down on top of him.

“Let me in,” Viggo commanded him.  

Colum surrendered.  He was Viggo’s, inside and out.  His animal, his slave, his property.  His ass opened up and Viggo’s fat cock slid in all the way.

The pain was searing.  A finger was nothing compared to this.  Viggo didn’t move, other than to wrap his arms around Colum like a lover, like a snake, squeezing, waiting for Colum’s surrender as he’d waited for Ljótr’s.  

His ass contracted, trying to push the invader out, which only made the…no, something more than pain, the contractions emphasizing Viggo’s hugeness, his own sense of…fullness.  Completeness.  As if something had been absent inside him that had now been put back into place.

Viggo could tell.  He began to move his hips, and new sensations rose up singing in Colum.  Then there was a new, more piercing sensation as Viggo pushed in even deeper, the pressure of his head meeting some unknown organ inside Colum that was obviously connected to his cock and balls, because the tension he felt inside himself was like that just before orgasm – oh yes, Colum had once known a woman’s touch, had touched himself more than once, and shamelessly, he knew that tension well.  Only this…it was like that moment just before eruption, only it didn’t end with a spray and a gasp…instead it was like that sweetly painful climactic moment lasted forever, happened over and over again as Viggo danced inside him.  Even now Viggo’s legs had not tired, the battle with Ljótr only a warmup for this.

Colum cried out like a woman in the throes as the place was touched again and again, gently, then harder.  It was like Brother Armadal’s practices, the strokes of his stave coming this way, then that, varying the dance so that Colum never knew which blow would come next.  

Only these blows were good, so good.  He thought of Niall’s face, lit up like a bonfire, and knew his own would match it right now.  

Viggo changed his position, unwrapped his arms from around Colum and braced himself on his hands, pinning Colum’s wrists to the ground above his head.  “Are you ready to truly take me now?”

That was only the beginning, Colum realized.  Now would come something stranger, more powerful…frightening.  Now, the dance completed, as he had with Ljótr, his attack would truly begin.

“Yes,” Colum said.  “Yes.”

This time the first thrust nearly split him in two.  Viggo had pulled himself nearly all the way out, and then rammed himself back in, his whole weight, his whole might, behind the motion.  Colum screamed at the indescribable sensation inside him, and felt the juices leaking out of his own cock, pushed out from the inside.

Viggo was heedless of his cries.  He hammered Colum’s ass like a blacksmith would hammer a sword on an anvil, each stroke only making the metal harder, stronger…each stroke felt worse, and better, than the last.  Colum’s mind was gone, nothing in it but pain, ecstasy, joy…love.

And as he realized that, a shudder went through his body, his groin pulsing, gouts of fluid flowing out of him, slicking his dick, the spasms tightening his asshole over and over, squeezing Viggo’s erection hard.

Viggo cried out then, a warrior’s bellow, as his attack reached its crescendo.  Colum’s own orgasm didn’t stop, couldn’t stop, as long as Viggo’s hammer beat on his insides, forcing another, and another and another.

Finally Viggo collapsed on top of him, spent inside him, out of breath at last, both of them panting, gasping for air.  

The sea licked at their feet, the tide rising, cooling their overheated bodies.  I will never put that robe on again, Colum thought.  I am no longer a monk.  I am…something else now.  A slave in name, but not really, or if so, a willing one.

“Mine,” Viggo whispered in his ear.

“Yours,” Colum agreed.


 He and Niall loaded the boat with the spoils of the monastery, and the tools of the Viking’s trade.  He had been less than surprised to find a great box of manuscripts.  Not all of Iona’s library to be sure, but some.  Would there be time on the sea voyage to examine them, he wondered, time to see what had survived?  Had the monks given their lives for nothing, or had something of value been rescued, saved for posterity?

“Did Viggo…” Niall asked him.

“Yes,” Colum said.

“I’m sorry,” Niall said.  “I know you’re…not like me.”

Colum put a hand on his friend’s shoulder.  “Maybe I am.”

Niall looked up, surprised.  But said no more.

When the boat was loaded, they stood on the shore.  Neither of them looked back at the ruins of the monastery.

“Where do you think we’re going?” Niall asked.

Colum looked out to sea.  “To our new home.  Wherever that is.”  

Viggo was heading towards them, a faint smile on his face.  Colum didn’t know where they were going.  But he knew where his home was.


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I have not finished reading this yet but I must say you are a very talented writer and have a keen understanding of the dynamics of Master/slave relationships.

I am looking forward to how this develops and am eager to read your other writings.
@daddymastee