Disclaimer: I do not own THE EAGLE.

The winters of Briton were long and brutal, the northern winds chill enough to send a man in search of warmth and a willing bed-partner to wait out the season. He might have done to, save for this; he had Esca. His body like a furnace where he slept beside.

Esca was instable in their bed-play, and Marcus would have it no other way; he took his pleasures from the tilt of Esca's smile as much as in the heat of his body. And so now he slept peaceably; head angled away tucked in the crook of his tattooed arm. Marcus shivered a little and hunched his shoulders further beneath the bed-coverings - a bear fur Esca had wordlessly presented to him on his birth-date. How he'd known and from where he'd procured the bequest he couldn't fathom, but had not asked; it was a gift. And odd thing between master and slave, perhaps, but Esca had ever made for an unusual slave, and theirs was not a usual relation.

"Do you never sleep still, Centurion?" were Esca's words spoken sharp and low-toned as he roused from sleep, buried beneath was the threading of bemusement that came so often, so easily, to him.

"I would, if Mithras would but take back this accursed chill." Esca, needing no further prodding, adjusted himself accordingly by sliding an arm across Marcus' chest letting it rest above the beat of his heart in an imitation of embrace. Marcus wrapped up in the Britons heat once more heard Esca murmur - as he descended back into to dreams - "you need only have said."

Lulled by this warmth and the steady thrum of the slaves' breaths, warm like a constant caress on his neck, he to fell back into dreams. Esca had again chased away the chill.

When next he woke, an hours time before the cockcrow, it was to a questing hand sliding along his body, calloused hands ranging from shoulder to groin in steady strokes that roused him fully. He wanted with such fervor it was shameful. But found it beyond him to care.

He growled tangling the bed-covers as he indulged in closer contact - skin on skin - flush against the Briton who smiled; a dark slash of white in the otherwise dark of pre-dawn.

"You wonton," Marcus grumbled even as he reveled. That he could rouse Esca so was a heady intoxication of its own. The Briton arched his backs sliding his own hardness against Marcus.' Marcus drank in the sight even as he enjoyed it, laying hands and kisses everywhere his hands touched.

Fingers dig into his back as he searched out the hollow of Esca's throat, nipping playful as a pup. The man groaned into his shoulder, raw and primal as he lay hands on Marcus in turn stroking, touching, his hands quick and deft as he brought Marcus across the edge of pleasure. Seeking a change of pace the Briton twisted them about, he atop, they'd grappled until Marcus surrendered with a curious ease. Staring down at him with eyes full of desire Esca shifted their bodies that he came to rest between Marcus' thighs, questions spoken with his eyes Esca waited.

"Oil" Marcus said in answer, the man grinned procuring a vial from beneath the bed. This had been planned out, he realized, not sure weather to be flattered or insulted.

Esca used it liberally slicking his fingers as he went about preparing Marcus who sometimes blushed and sometimes groaned lines of pleasure creasing at the corner of his mouth. "Enough" he commanded, spreading himself wider that his thighs might cradle Esca's body. The Briton hesitated but he would not have it, "I am ready."

Esca joined with him fully, inch by inch, and there was some pain but he dismissed it; the pleasure was all the sweeter for it. Blinding and sweet-sharp like opiates as Esca moved within him, his thrusts slow and deep as he groaned out words in his native tongue hands fisting the sheets, Marcus interlocked them with his own, his body thrumming with roiling desires that only Esca could awaken, he released one hand to weave through his hair, firmly pulling him down for a kiss. Just a press of lips to the corner of his mouth, almost chaste of its own.

Esca grunted his breath fastening he turned his head fully crashing their lips together fiercely, a grumble of nonsense words spilling as he unwound. "My name, say it" the Roman gasped feeling how Esca tightened above him, "Marcus" he gasped out his voice breathy, colored warm with fond desire, "Marcus" he said again, as his body went bone-limp.

Riding the edge of ecstasy the Briton reached between their sweat slicked bodies and stroked him into a fulfillment that came in a blind of white-hot pleasure that curled his toes and warmed his blood. He came undone beneath Esca's hand, Esca's name heavy on his lips. For a time there was no sound but their intermingled breaths as they lay companionably, grinning like fools.

The winters of Briton remained long and brutal, and the northern winds still chilled him to the marrow; but he here, at least on the coldest of them, he had Esca.