The hunting trip started like any other. So far Adam had felled the largest deer, fox and quail. It wasn't due to his ability, he knew. He was the prince of Dosser. No one dared kill a larger animal than he did, too afraid they would be hanged if they bested him. This idea of theirs wasn't planted by Adam, but rather, his father, King Eber. The King liked to cultivate fear in the minds of his subjects. He believed it would lead to their obedience. Adam vowed that when he was king, he would be much more kind.
Adam quickly grew bored of hunting the stag his party was after. He wanted a real hunt without the men making it easier for him, so he turned his horse and galloped off into the woods by himself. No one noticed he had left. He spotted some tracks in the dirt and decided to follow them. They led him to a clearing, where they suddenly stopped. Adam had just enough time to realize he had been led into a bandit's trap before he was struck from behind. He fell off of his horse and saw a masked man standing over him before blacking out.
* * *
Adam came to on a bed. He tried to rise, but his left hand was chained to the bedpost. He reached his free hand up to the back of his throbbing head and felt an egg-sized lump where the Masked Man had hit him. He glanced out the window and saw that night had fallen. That meant he had been unconscious for a long time. No doubt the hunting party was already out looking for him. He looked around and saw he was in a one room hunting cabin. There was the bed he lay on, a table, some chairs, and an ice box for food. Missing was the Masked Man. Maybe if he could figure out a way to get free from the chain, he could escape before his kidnapper returned.
He had no luck, however, for as soon as he began tugging at the chains, the door to the cabin flew open. The Masked Man walked in with a handful of logs for the fireplace in the corner. “We can't have you freezing to death, now can we?”
“Who the hell are you? Where am I? Do you know who I am?” Adam burst in outrage.
The Masked Man chuckled. “Well, I'm your kidnapper. You're in an abandoned cabin I found in the woods. And I do know who you are, Prince Adam.”
“Then you know my father will have your head for this!” Adam rattled the chain in warning.
“We're at the base of Spirit Shade. No one will look for us here.”
Adam groaned. Spirit Shade was the largest mountain in Dosser. There were rumors that the spirits of the damned haunted the mountain. No one was brave enough to venture deep into the woods to the base. The stranger was right. They would never be found.
After starting a fire, the Masked Man headed out into the night. “I'll be back in the morning,” he said as words of parting. “I wouldn't try to get free. That chain is the strongest I could find. You should save your energy and get some rest. Tomorrow you can help me write your ransom note.”
“Wait!” Adam exclaimed. The Masked Man stopped and turned to look at him. “Why are you doing this to me?”
The Masked Man looked down to the floor and muttered, “You wouldn't understand,” before leaving and closing the door behind him.
Adam, of course, was never one to follow orders. One time when he was little, his nurse told him that he was never allowed to leave the castle. There were scary people out there, she had said. But Adam didn't listen and went wandering anyway. He liked to disobey. He had managed to make it all the way to the gates of the courtyard before he was spotted. The spanking he had gotten from his father that night was not enough to deter him. Each time he snuck out again, he managed to get farther and farther.
That's why, instead of resting, he spent the entire night pulling at the chains. He figured if he couldn't get the chain loose, then he would pull the entire bedpost off. He pulled and heaved and rammed the post until his entire body felt like one giant bruise. It was all to no avail. It seemed that not only had the Masked Man acquired a strong chain, he had also managed to find a strong bed. He gave up as dawn lit up the sky.
* * *
The Masked Man returned to the cabin not long after Adam stopped attempting to break free. “How are you this morning,” his kidnapper asked cheerily.
Adam just yawned loudly at him.
“See, I told you trying to break free would be of no use. Now you're going to be tired all day.” The Masked Man sat down at the table and set the supplies he had been carrying on top of it. “Time for your ransom note!” He took out a quill, an ink well, and some parchment. “This stuff was expensive, so we've only got one chance to get this right.”
“Why do you keep saying 'we'?” Adam asked as he fought for his eyes to stay open.
“Because you're going to help me out, of course.” The Masked Man rolled his eyes. “Not all of us are rich enough to go to school. I've been helping my dad out since I was old enough to work. You don't need an education to make a living.” He looked down at the paper and muttered, “Not that it's much of a living anyway.”
“Is that why you kidnapped me?” Adam asked. “Because you need money? Just say what you want and I'll get it for you. Just let me go.”
The Masked Man jumped up angrily. “You know I can't do that! If I let you go now without getting far away from here first, you'll send your guards after me. I'll be hanging by sunset!”
Adam sighed. The man wasn't wrong. Even if Adam didn't want to see him hanging for kidnapping him, his father most certainly would hang him anyway. “Bring me the paper. The sooner I can get out of here, the better.” The Masked Man slid the table over to the bed so Adam could sit up to write. Luckily, it was his left hand that was bound, as he was right handed. “What do you want me to say?” he asked as he picked up the quill and dipped it into the ink.
“I...I don't know,” the Masked Man admitted. “I hadn't really thought ahead that far. Kidnapping you was a spur of the moment thing. I was just going to take your money at first.”
“But you realized you could get much more by stealing my parents' money.”
“I need as much as I can get.”
“Very well, how about we start with, 'Your Royal Highnesses'?”
The Masked Man nodded his head enthusiastically. “Sounds good to me.” He slid his chair a little bit closer to Adam. “I've never written a thing in my life,” he said, amazed as he watched the fluidity of Adam's hands making marks on the page. “When did you learn how?”
“They taught me how to read first. Then they taught me how to form the letters. I've had to write at least a paragraph every week since I was six. What do you want next?”
“Maybe something about me kidnapping you?”
“All right.” Adam began writing again.
“What else have you learned?” the Masked Man asked.
Adam looked up into his eyes and saw genuine curiosity. Something he hadn't expected from a kidnapper. “I learned the history of the kingdom, of course. They focused the most on that. If I am to rule someday, I have to know all about the place I'm ruling over. I also learned mathematics, philosophy, religion, geography, and I know five different languages.” Adam sat up straight, proud of his accomplishments.
“Oh my!” exclaimed the Masked Man. “What languages do you know?”
Adam beamed. No one had ever gotten this excited over his abilities before. His father always emphasized war and hunting as the important things. He didn't care about the frivolous studies usually reserved for monks. But Adam did care. He found joy in writing, studying great philosophers like Socrates and Plato, and reading anything he could get his hands on. “Dossarian is my first language of course. I also know Latin, English, German, and Russian.”
“Can you say something in them?” The Masked Man asked like an excited school boy.
“What do you want me to say?”
“Hmm,” the man thought to himself before replying. “Say 'I love you'. That way I can say it to my family.”
“Alright. In Latin, it's 'Amo te.' In English, it's 'I love you'. In German, it's 'Ich liebe dich'. And in Russian, it's 'Ya lyublyu tebya.'”
“Ya lyublyu tebya,” the Masked Man repeated. “That's beautiful.” He sighed dreamily.
“Yeah.” Adam stopped writing and watched the Masked Man. He hadn't noticed how pretty his eyes were before. They were a deep chocolate brown that sparked with life. The man seemed to be exactly his type. Adam didn't like girls like his brother and friends. They would go around talking about this girl's breasts or that girl's lips. Adam would always excuse himself from those conversations. He preferred hard over soft. Sturdy over delicate. The gentle curves of a woman could not satisfy him like the rigid lines of a man. And this man in front of him was perfect. He was short and thin. The lower half of his face, uncovered by the mask, displayed pouty, swollen lips. His muscles, which were not too big, were outlined by his tight shirt. He even had callouses on his hands from hard labor. Adam's own hands were soft. He hadn't had to work a day in his life. But this man knew what hardship was and was still bright and happy. Not to mention that brown eyes were Adam's favorite color. Blue eyes, like his own, were pretty, but brown were so much more earthy. They grounded whoever gazed into them. Then Adam remembered whose eyes he was admiring. This was no ordinary man, this was a man who had ruthlessly kidnapped him for money and who was making him write his own ransom note. “What do you want me to write next?” he asked gruffly, turning his gaze back to the note.
“Now for the ransom part. I want five-thousand shillings to be paid for your release. They can bring the money to the messenger who delivers this note, and I'll pick it up from him. Then I'll let you go.”
Adam nearly dropped the quill. “What do you need five-thousand shillings for? Life isn't that expensive, even for a royal!”
“It's none of your business,” the Masked Man said angrily. “Just write the ransom note.”
"Alright, fine.” Adam could tell it was a touchy subject for the Masked Man and he didn't want to get into a fight. He could probably take the man, but he had one hand tied behind his back. He wasn't that good yet. He finished the ransom note and slid it over to the Masked Man. “There you go. One ransom note.”
“Thanks,” the man grunted. “Here's your food for the day, I'll be back tomorrow.” He dropped a glass of water and a plate of bread and cheese in front of Adam before snatching the note and nearly running out the door.
Adam glared at the plate in front of him. Bread and cheese for a king-to-be? It was insulting. Prisoners were treated better than this. He lay back on the bed and glared at the ceiling. Bread and cheese indeed! Eventually, his growling stomach got the best of him and he sat up to eat. The rest of the day he imagined all of the ways he would get back at that horrid kidnapper with his horrid attitude and his horrid food. As the sun set, he fell asleep to dreams filled with horrid things.
* * *
“Rise and shine!”
Adam was roused from sleep by someone poking his arm. He opened his eyes to see the Masked Man standing above him. “Do you even have a name?” he asked the man. “I keep referring to you as 'the Masked Man' in my head. It's exhausting.”
“Why would I tell you my name? I don't want to make it easier for you to find me when this is all over.” The man lounged in a chair with his feet on the table. “How about you just call me K for now?”
“K? What does that even mean?” Adam was too tired to play word games.
“Well, it could be a letter in my name.” K tapped happily on the table. “Or it could just be my favorite letter. Or it may just be a random letter I choose. You'll never know!” He laughed gleefully.
“Wait, I thought you said you couldn't read or write. How do you know letters?”
“We're all taught the very basics. I can recite the alphabet and write my name, but that's it. Everything else I've learned from work. That's all you need where I come from.” He leaned further back into the chair with a smile on his face.
Adam sat up blearily and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Why are you so cheerful this morning?”
K jumped up and danced around the room. “Today is the day I shall receive my money. Then you can be free, and I can have what I want.”
“Are you ever going to tell me what you need the money for?”
“Nope!” K exclaimed as he plopped down on the bed next to Adam. “You hungry? I got us something extra special to eat today. It is a day of celebration after all.”
“Sure, whatever.” Adam swung his legs onto the floor and waited for K to drag the table closer. He hadn't been lying. On the table today was a pitcher of wine, some bread, and a large, cooked fish. “You really are happy today.”
“Yes and no.” K sat down and avoided looking at Adam.
“What do you mean no? I thought you were getting what you wanted today?”
“That's the reason I'm happy.” K served the fish and bread, and poured the wine. “But this is also a sad goodbye. You're not all that bad to talk to. You talk of much more intelligent things than the people of my village. You're also not all that bad to look at either.” K's eyes widened in horror and a brilliant red blush bloomed across the bottom half of his face and his exposed arms.. “I didn't mean to say that!” he tried to cover. “What I meant was....”
“It's alright, K,” Adam replied kindly. “I don't exactly like girls either.” He didn't want to be nice to his kidnapper, but he did want to put the poor boy out of his misery.
“You don't?” K asked in wonder. “I thought I was the only one in the whole kingdom who felt this way!”
“There are a few of us around. You really think I'm pretty?” Adam's ego was always looking for a little stroking.
“Yeah,” K said to the table.
Adam smiled. No one had ever said he was pretty before. The men he had been with had all been with him because he was the prince, not because they were attracted to him. It felt nice to be wanted by someone, even if that someone was a kidnapper. “I'm sorry I can't extend the same compliment to you, but I have yet to see what you look like. For all I know, you could be scarred and covered in warts!”
That elicited a laugh from K. “I'm neither of those, though I'm also not pretty like you. I'm just sort of average looking.”
“Nonsense!” Adam exclaimed. “With eyes like yours, you must be beautiful.” It was odd, but his kidnapper seemed to be growing on him more by the minute.
“You really like my eyes?” K asked shyly.
“They're the most beautiful I've ever seen!” Adam assured.
They ate the rest of their meal in silence, each glancing happily up at the other after every bite. Adam felt something growing in the pit of his stomach with each gaze, but he couldn't put his finger on it. It was definitely something he had never felt before.
Nearly as soon as they finished eating, there was one knock...two knocks on the door. K stood up nervously and stood facing it. “Well,” Adam prompted. “Aren't you going to answer it?”
“Yeah, I...yeah,” K replied before walking stiffly to the door. “This is it. It's got to be the ransom arrived. I'll be saying goodbye to you in a moment.” K opened the door and looked around. The messenger was no where in sight. He leaned down and picked up the single rolled paper on the doorstep. “Wait, this doesn't look like five-thousand shillings.” He closed the door and returned to the table. “Will you read it for me?”
“Of course.” Adam took the note from K's outstretched hand and opened it. “To the kidnapper,” Adam read. “I am not one to give in to demands from petty thieves. I can assure you that the entire army of Dosser is out looking for you. They will find you, capture you, and retrieve my son. As you well know, the penalty for kidnapping the crowned prince is death by hanging. I will not show mercy. Signed, his royal highness, King Eber.”
“I can't believe it,” K sobbed into his hands. “That money was my last hope. Now my brother will surely die.”
Adam put his free arm around K's shoulder. “There, there,” he hushed. “What's wrong with your brother?”
“He's very ill. The doctors don't think he'll make it through the winter unless he gets help from the royal doctor. The trouble is, we don't have enough money to pay the royal doctor. That ransom was the last chance my brother had. Now he'll die for sure.” K turned into Adam's embrace and cried into his shoulder.
“Don't cry, I'll help you out. The royal doctor is my doctor after all. I can get your brother in to see him with no problem.”
“The only problem is I can't tell you who I am or who my family is. You may not want me dead, but your father does. If you know anything about me, he'll find me or my family and punish us all.”
“That's not true. I'll make sure he doesn't harm you.”
“That's fine. We'll be fine. Maybe God will grant us a miracle.”
“I'm so sorry.”
“So, I guess there's no longer any reason to keep you here.” K stood up and retrieved the key for the chain. “You're free to go. All I ask for ransom is a...,” K trailed off and looked away, embarrassed.
“Is a what, K?” Adam asked. “You can have whatever you want.” Adam wasn't a cruel man. He may have been upset with K for kidnapping him, but as soon as he found out K was only concerned with his family, he felt sorry for him. Adam had always been a champion of the peasants in the kingdom. He was appalled at how the poorer masses couldn't even get proper medical care. He was forgiving because he knew if he had been poor and his brother had been sick, he would have done anything to save him. He could not begrudge K's concern for his family's well-being.
K unchained Adam from the bed and sat down beside him. “All I want is one kiss from the most spectacular man in the whole kingdom. I mean, if you want to.” K looked hopefully up into Adam's eyes.
Adam leaned toward K. “Then you shall have your kiss.” Their lips came together softly. K sighed and parted his lips just enough to let Adam's tongue through. Adam pressed closer and drew K against him, savoring the feel of the man's body against his own. They drew apart with a sigh. “If you want more than a kiss,” Adam started.
K's eyes grew wide. “I couldn't possibly ask for more. You've been too kind already. I kidnapped you, remember?”
Adam leaned in and kissed K gently one more time. “Only because you needed to take care of your family. I would do the same.” He ran his hand down K's arm. “I'll give you whatever you want.”
K's blush grew even more impossibly red. “I want you.”
Adam smiled. “Then you shall have me.” There was something about K that got directly under Adam's skin. Even though they had not met under the best of circumstances, there was still a connection. Adam wanted this man more than he had wanted anyone. He reached up to take off K's mask, but K stopped him.
“I'll take my mask off for you,” K said. “But the lights must be turned off. You must never see my face.”
“Better lights out than nothing at all,” Adam conceded.
K rose and drew the curtains over the windows before making his way to the hearth to put out the fire. Once it was completely dark, Adam heard the gentle swish of the mask hitting the ground. He rose and walked to where K had been standing. Once he reached him, he began opening the threadbare shirt. As each button was undone, Adam placed a kiss on K's chest. K's hand tangled in Adam's hair and pulled slightly with each caress. When all the buttons were undone, Adam pulled K in for another kiss and slid the shirt from his shoulders. Next came his own shirt and the rest of their clothes. Adam took K's hand and led him to the bed.
K hesitated before laying down. “I've, um, never done this before,” he admitted.
Adam hugged K close. “Don't worry, K. I'll take good care of you. Promise.” He lay down and pulled on K's hand. “We'll go slow.” K climbed on the bed and lay on top of Adam. “We won't do anything you're uncomfortable with.” Adam flipped them both over so he was laying over K's lithe body. “You can tell me to stop at any time.” He kissed K and caressed his chest. “I'll do whatever you want.” He kissed K again and tweaked one of his nipples. K gasped and ground up against Adam. “Too much?” Adam asked worriedly.
“Not enough,” K groaned. Adam moved down to lick the nipple gently before sucking it into his mouth. K raked his fingers down Adam's back and pushed himself closer. Adam grinned against K's chest and reached down, down, down to K's growing erection. He stroked along with the pulls of his mouth until K was a babbling mess below him. Right before he felt K reach his end, Adam stopped and pulled away. “Why'd you stop?” K panted.
“I have something much better planned for you,” Adam promised. He gave K a burning kiss before turning him onto his stomach. “Lucky for you,” he whispered in K's ear. “I always carry a small jar of oil with me. Always be prepared.”
“What...what's the oil for?”
“You'll see,” Adam said before leaving the bed to rummage through his pants. Once he had retrieved the jar, he moved back to the bed and ran his hand over K's ass. He opened the jar and drizzled the contents over his fingers. “This may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but I promise it gets better.” He positioned his finger on top of K's hole. “Now, I want you to breath with me. Ready?”
“Yeah,” K sighed.
"All right. One...two...three and breathe.” As K inhaled, Adam slipped his finger past the tight ring of muscle. K's breath hitched at the intrusion. “It's alright, just keep breathing,” Adam instructed. He worked the finger in and out until K began to push back. “Are you ready for more?”
“Please,” K begged.
Adam poured out some more of the oil and added another finger. K groaned and pushed back to the rhythm Adam set. He added another and K pushed even harder into his hand. “Jesus, you're so hot like this baby,” Adam panted. “So beautiful.” K moaned and buried his face into the pillow he was clutching. “You ready for me?”
“Need you,” K replied. “Please, I need you.”
“You shall have me, K. You shall have me however you want.”
“Just do it. Please, Adam, I need you.”
Adam groaned and pulled his fingers out of K's hole. He poured the remainder of the oil onto to his length and made sure it was entirely covered. “This may hurt a little. I'm a bit bigger than a few fingers.” He guided his length to K's hole and pushed in slightly. K tensed, causing Adam to not be able to push in further. “I need you to relax sweetheart. The pain will be over soon.” K exhaled and relaxed his muscles. “Very good,” Adam praised as he sunk into K's tight virgin body. He pulled out slightly before moving back in a little further. He did this over and over until he was fully sheathed within K.
“Don't stop.” K pushed his ass up against Adam, causing Adam to sink in even deeper. “Feels so good.” K started a rhythm. Adam followed his lead and soon they were rocking together back and forth.
“Wish I could see your face,” Adam moaned against K's skin. “Wanna see how flushed you get for me. Wanna see you all spread out and begging for me. See how you take me so well. So well, K.”
K moved his hand down to grasp his own erection. He stroked a few times before Adam took over for him. Adam stroked and twisted and pulled until K was screaming, “Adam, I'm gonna...” With that, K emptied over the sheets below him. Before he could collapse boneless into the mess, Adam maneuvered them to the other side of the bed. K lay there happily as Adam pounded into him once, twice, three times before emptying into K. He lay contentedly on top of K, still buried deep inside, until K began to wriggle. “You're squishing me,” he slurred.
Adam smiled against his back. “Sorry.” He turned onto his side and pulled K back against him, his erection still buried within. “You were great,” he said into K's neck. “Absolutely perfect.”
“You too. That was...amazing. Thank you so much Adam.” He yawned and snuggled back against Adam, shimmying slightly and making Adam groan behind him. He chuckled. “Night.”
“Good night, K.” Adam turned K's head towards his and kissed him lightly before closing his eyes. With a last contented sigh, he fell asleep with his beautiful kidnapper in his arms.
* * *
When Adam awoke, he reached out for K. His hand met nothing but the empty bed beside him. He opened his eyes and saw K sitting at the table, mask back on. “Hey,” he said, smiling at K.
“Hey,” K smiled shyly back.
Adam sat up, stretched, and yawned. “How are you feeling this morning?”
“Just fine?” Adam winked, and K blushed. Adam stood and walked over, pulling K towards him and kissing him good morning. “I really like you K.”
“I like you too.” K reached up to kiss him again. “But I have to say goodbye. I'm letting you go today.”
“Please come with me. I can get help for your brother and I promise I'll protect you from my dad. You'll be fine.”
“I really want to, but...”
K buried his face in Adam's chest. “You deserve better than me anyway. You don't need to go through all that trouble.”
“Oh, K. At least let me help your brother. I don't want someone to die when I could have done something to save them.”
“We'll be fine. You really don't need to do anything for me. You've done too much already. I'll find another way to make the money, I won't let him die.”
“Please,” Adam begged.
“No, I really...did you hear that?” K pulled away from Adam.
Adam listened and heard the clip clop of horses' hooves approaching the cabin. “They're here for me, aren't they?”
K moved to the window and peeked outside. “I need to get out of here.”
Adam looked around the cabin for an escape. “Quick, you can climb out the back window!” He ran over and opened it.
K rushed over and clambered through. He stopped on the other side and turned towards Adam. “I guess this is goodbye.”
“I guess so.” Adam pulled K halfway back in. “One last thing.” He kissed him for the final time before letting him go. “Goodbye, K. Hopefully we'll meet again.”
“Maybe someday our paths will cross. Goodbye, Adam.” He turned and ran off into the woods.
Adam waved before turning around to open the door. He found the surprised faces of his hunting party on the other side. “Prince Adam!” his personal bodyguard exclaimed. “We've been looking all over for you! Where's that worthless kidnapper?” He pushed past Adam into the cabin, sword drawn. “Don't worry sir, we're here to save you.”
“No need, Brock. He's long gone by now.”
“Well, at least you're safe. Let's get you back to the palace before he comes back.”
With that, they headed outside, where Adam's horse was waiting for him. He mounted the animal and the group set off for the castle.
*** 3 Weeks Later ***
Kris Allen ran to the chamber pot in the corner of the bedroom he shared with his brother. “Man, that's the fifth time this week,” his brother complained. “I hope you're not catching my fever. There's no point in both of us dying.”
Kris finished puking into the pot and turned toward his brother. “Don't say stuff like that, Daniel. We'll figure something out. I won't let you die!”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Now, seriously, what's wrong with you bro? You don't have a fever, do you?”
“I don't know what's wrong. I don't have any other symptoms. I am a little more tired than usual, though.” Kris moved over to his pad on the floor and lay down. Usually, his brother and him shared the bed, as there wasn't enough money to buy them both one. However, since his brother had fallen ill he was sleeping on the floor. He didn't want to catch the fever and potentially leave their parents with no children at all. “Do you think I have food poisoning or something?”
“Well, did you eat anything different than Mom and Dad did?” Daniel asked before succumbing to a coughing fit. Kris rushed to the kitchen to fetch a cold washcloth. He brought it to Daniel and put it on his forehead. “Thanks,” Daniel said weakly.
“No problem.” Kris smiled sadly down at his brother. “Now, back to me...” Daniel hit him with the washcloth. Kris laughed with him and continued. “I've eaten the same things as them, so I guess it isn't food poisoning, is it?”
“Maybe it'll pass. As long as you're not sick in any other way, I think you'll be fine.”
“Yeah, probably.” Kris stood and walked to the door. “You need to get some rest now, Daniel. I'm off to work. I've almost raised enough to bring you to the royal doctor!”
“You're too good to me Kristopher. Before I was sick, I was a horrible brother.”
“Nonsense. Brothers are supposed to fight. You're the best brother ever!”
“See you later, Kris.”
“See you soon, Danny.”
***3 more weeks later***
“Kristopher Neil Allen! Get out here right now!” Kris's mom, Kim, shouted from outside his window.
Kris rushed outside to see what he had done wrong this time. His mother only used his full name if she was really upset with him. “Yes, Mother?”
“Have you had a girl in your bedroom?” she asked sternly.
“Of course not!” Kris protested. “Why would you think that?” Kris was confused. The only girl he really talked to was Katy, but she was just his friend. He would never have her anywhere near his bedroom.
“I don't believe you. I spilled some wheat seeds here the other day and now they're growing! Right where you empty out your chamber pot. You know what that means!”
Kris did know what that meant. It was said that when a woman was pregnant, if she peed on wheat and barley seeds, they would start to grow. If she wasn't pregnant, they would stay seeds. Sometimes a woman would be pregnant and the seeds wouldn't grow, but that was a rarity. They never started to grow on their own without the person being pregnant. They most certainly didn't grow for a man. But only Kris and Daniel had been using the chamber pot, and Daniel sure as hell wasn't pregnant! That meant...but it wasn't possible, was it? “I...Mom, I swear! It's just been me and Dan, you can ask him!”
“I will, and he better not cover for you!”
“Of course not, Mother.”
Kim marched inside, Kris close behind. “Daniel,” she started when they got to the bedroom. “Who's been in this room?”
“Well,” Dan thought back. “Me and Kris. You and Dad. The doctor's been in here with his assistant. Oh, and Grandma visited that one time.”
“No one else?”
“Nope, everyone's too afraid they'll catch my fever.”
“And you and Kris are the only ones who used the chamber pot? Not the doctor's assistant?”
“Just me and Kris. Why?” Daniel was oblivious to the conversation that had happened outside the closed window.
“Nevermind that, sweetheart,” Kim soothed as she moved to Daniel's bedside. “How are you feeling today?”
Kris left the room while his mom talked with his brother. He wanted to be alone to think. He sat down and thought back to a few weeks ago, before the vomiting had started. He had only had sex once in his life and that was with a man. The man had penetrated him, so it was entirely possible he had gotten pregnant. Or it would be, if he were a girl. But men didn't get pregnant!
However, he did have all the signs. He was tired all the time, always nauseous (sometimes to the point of vomiting), had been peeing a lot more, his chest was feeling sore, and he was beginning to crave things he never liked before (like peas mixed with onion and garlic soup with honey added in for sweetness). His parents had looked at him like he was crazy the first time he requested it. Kris couldn't think of any other explanation for why he was feeling this way. He had to talk to the doctor when he came to check on Daniel.
***Yet 3 more weeks later***
The doctor hadn't come to check on Daniel for weeks. Daniel was very lucky he was still alive. The fever could last for over a year before killing you, but most died within a few weeks. Daniel had held on for 4 months already, but he was weakening more and more each day. Kris needed to raise the money for the royal doctor fast. The royal doctor was the only one in the kingdom who knew how to easily cure this type of fever.
The prognosis this visit wasn't very good. “I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Allen. I don't think he'll be with us much longer. You might want to start making plans for after. He could go any day now.”
Kim began crying into her husband's shoulder. “And there's nothing more anyone can do?” Neil Allen asked somberly, holding it together for the sake of his family.
The doctor patted him sadly on the back. “The only thing that can save him is God. That or the royal doctor, but I know you haven't raised enough yet. I suggest you pray he pulls through. There may be a miracle yet.”
“Th-thank you, doctor,” Kim sobbed. She moved to Daniel's side to hold his hand, Neil right behind her.
Kris was upset too, but he needed to talk with the doctor, he would sit with his family later. He followed the man into the front room and stopped him before he left the house. “Doctor, I have something I need to discuss with you.”
The doctor stopped and turned around. “What is it, my boy?” he asked gently.
“I, um, I've been feeling a little odd lately,” Kris said, too embarrassed to just come out and say what was wrong.
“You think you're coming down with the fever?”
“Oh, no, nothing like that,” Kris assured. “It's just...I've been having these weird symptoms lately.” He listed everything that had been going on and his suspicions.
“And have you done anything that would cause pregnancy? Like engage in intercourse with a man, perhaps?”
Kris blushed. “Um, there was one time about nine weeks ago. You won't tell my parents or the priest, will you?” His parents would be upset, but wouldn't do anything too bad. It was the priest he was worried about. If he knew what Kris had done, he would denounce Kris as a sodomite. There weren't any laws against sodomy because King Eber had retracted all of them. Many suspected it was because of his son, Prince Adam, who was widely believed to be a sodomite. The priest couldn't turn Kris in because Kris hadn't broken any law. But he would have found a way to make Kris suffer for the rest of his life.
“I won't tell the priest, but you may need to tell your parents if what you suspect is true.” The doctor put on his glasses and approached Kris. “Lift up your shirt please.” Kris did as he was told. The doctor poked and prodded until finally standing up. “Well, there is distortion in the belly. It's beginning to shape itself outward, no doubt to make room for the growing baby. There's also a faint white line running down from your belly button. That added to the symptoms you described lead me to believe you're pregnant.”
“But it's not possible, is it?” Kris asked, scared to death that the doctor was right. “I can't be pregnant. I'm a man. Men don't get pregnant!” Kris began hyperventilating. He had been calm when he had come to the same conclusion himself, but to hear a doctor confirm it made everything seem real.
“Now, now, Kristopher, deep breaths. Come sit down. You need to relax for the baby.” Once Kris was sitting and had his breathing under control, the doctor answered his question. “It is extremely rare, but it has happened before. There are three recorded cases, but it hasn't happened in over a hundred years. In two of the cases, the baby was carried to term and delivered, so there is a good chance if you decide to keep it, it will survive. If you decide not to, well, as you know, doctors swear to never perform abortions, so you'll have to find a way to do it yourself. So, are you going to keep it?”
Kris didn't even have to think about it. He was raised to cherish life above all things. “Of course I'm going to keep her.” He smiled and put a hand over his stomach. After the initial shock, he was finally embracing what was happening to him. He loved his baby already.
“Very well,” the doctor replied. “In that case, delivery is going to be difficult. Only the best midwives know how to deliver babies a way other than the natural way. The only one in this kingdom is the royal midwife. I guess if you start saving now, you might have enough by the time you're due.”
“But all the money I have is for my brother!” Kris protested. He couldn't possibly take the money meant to make his brother better.
“Then I suggest you go to the King and beg him to help you and your brother. He's a little harsh, but who knows? You may catch him on a good day.”
“Why would Kris need help from the King?” Kim asked. She had come to see where Kris was and had caught the very end of his and the doctor's conversation.
“Would you like me to tell her, or would you like to?” the doctor asked Kris.
“I'll do it,” Kris replied. He stood up and walked over to his mother. “Mom, you'll always love me, right? No matter what?”
“Of course, sweetheart. Now, what's wrong?”
Kris took a deep breath before explaining. “Mom, I'm...I'm pregnant.”
Kim gasped and took a step back. “Don't lie to me, Kristopher.”
“I'm not mama. I've suspected for awhile, and the doctor just confirmed it for me.”
“But, it's not possible!”
“Actually,” the doctor said. “It is extremely rare, but still possible.”
“But Kris! You haven't done anything to cause it!”
Kris blushed and looked at the floor in shame. “That's why I asked you if you'd always love me. A few weeks ago, I slept with another man. I've only ever done it once, but once is all it takes. Do you hate me?”
Kim moved to her son and hugged him tight. “Of course I don't hate you. You're my son and I'll always love you.”
“But I did something unnatural, something against God!”
“Was it out of love?”
“Then it wasn't any of those things. Love is always natural. It's why God put us on this earth. Because he wanted us to love.”
Kris's dad walked into the room. “What's going on?” he asked. Kim explained it to him while Kris looked away shamefully. His mother may be accepting, but there was no way his father would be. When Kim was done explaining, Neil walked over to Kris and patted him on the back. “Don't be ashamed, Kris,” he soothed. “I may not have ever expected this in my wildest dreams, and it will take me a little time to get used to it all, but I'll always love you and be proud of you.”
“Thank you daddy.” Kris smiled and hugged his father tight.
“Now, I'll get Daniel, you get the money you've saved, and we'll head to the castle. Pray for a miracle.” Kim walked into Daniel's bedroom and Kris rushed to grab the bag full of his hard earned money. Hopefully, the King would take pity on them and let them use the royal doctor and midwife for the little that Kris had saved up.
***2 days of travel later***
They arrived late to the castle. Audiences with the King were only available before nighttime, and it was nearly dusk. Kris rushed up the stairs into the castle, leaving his family to walk slower for his weak brother. He nearly ran through the corridors to get to the throne room. When he got there, the guards blocked his way. “What is the nature of you audience?” one asked him.
“Please, I beg the King's help for my brother. He is very ill.”
The guard that hadn't talked turned and walked into the throne room. Kris's family caught up with him and they waited together to hear if they would be seen or rejected. After what seemed like an eternity, the guard emerged from the room. “The Prince will see you now.”
“Wait, the prince? But...”
“Thank you very much,” Kim interrupted. “Come along now boys.” She ushered her family into the room.
Kris approached the throne slowly, not looking up from the floor. It could be the other prince, he told himself. It wasn't necessarily Prince Adam. Kris didn't want to ever come face to face with Adam again. He had been the one who kidnapped him weeks ago and the whole kingdom was searching for him. It wasn't that he was scared of the Prince, just the Prince's father. There was no doubt in Kris's mind that King Eber would kill Kris on sight if he knew that Kris had kidnapped his son. Kris was also nervous because the baby was Prince Adam's. Kris had never slept with anyone else, so the Prince was the only person it could be.
They reached the throne and Kris looked to see which prince was holding audience today. His worst fears were realized, as it was Prince Adam who sat atop the throne, smiling kindly down on them. “What can I do for you today?” Prince Adam asked.
Kris's mom pushed him forward to explain the situation. They had discussed that Kris should be the one to talk because he was the one with the problem. “Um, your highness,” he began.
“Please, you can call me Adam while we're in this room,” Adam interrupted.
“Very well, Adam. I have two requests for you.” Adam motioned for him to continue. “My brother, Daniel,” he pointed out his brother. “He's very sick. He has a fever and the doctor says he won't last much longer unless we get help from the royal doctor. I have money to pay, but not enough. The first request is for him to be treated for what little we have.”
“Of course he'll be treated,” Adam answered the request. “Whatever you have will be enough. Sergio!” he called to one of the guards at the door. When the guard entered the room, Adam said, “Fetch me the doctor. He has an urgent patient to look after.”
“Very well sir,” the guard responded before rushing off to find the doctor.
They waited until the doctor arrived. “Mark, your patient is this man,” he motioned to Kris's brother. “His name is Daniel and he has a bad fever. He doesn't have long left, so he needs your help immediately. I'm sure it won't be a problem?”
“Of course not, sir,” the doctor responded. He collected the payment from Kris before saying, “Come along, Daniel.” He ushered Daniel out of the room.
“Daniel will stay at the castle until he is better if that is fine with you,” Adam explained.
“It's absolutely fine with us!” Kim exclaimed. “Thank you so much, Prince Adam.”
“It's no problem. Now, what is your second request?”
“This one is a little...different. I recently discovered that I'm, um, I'm pregnant. Because I'm a man, a natural birth isn't possible, so I'll need the help of a professional if I'm to deliver the baby safely. The money I paid for Daniel is the only money I have, so I can't pay for it. I'll understand if you deny my request.” Kris felt a tear slip down his cheek. He knew Adam was kind and would never let anyone die, but he was still amazed when he had let Daniel use the royal doctor. He definitely didn't expect Adam's kindness to extend to his situation.
“But you can't be pregnant,” the Prince said. “You're a man.”
“It is rare, Prince Adam, but it has happened before. And now it has happened to me. Will you allow me the use of the midwife?” He turned sad eyes on the Prince. He didn't want to lose the baby, but that would be the only option if Adam didn't grant his request.
“I...,” Adam had a spark of recognition in his eyes. Kris held his breath and prayed he didn't figure out that he was the kidnapper. “Do I know you?” Adam asked him.
“I don't think you do, Prince Adam. We've never been face-to-face before.” It wasn't a lie. The Prince had never seen his face when they had been together, so technically, they had never been face-to-face before Kris had walked into the throne room.
“You just seem familiar.” Adam gave him one more look before seemingly deciding he didn't really know Kris. Kris breathed a sigh of relief. “As for your request, I'll be happy to lend you the services of our midwife free of charge. Let me fetch her for you so she can see what she'll be dealing with in a few months. Sergio! Fetch the midwife please.”
Kris began crying openly now. “Thank you so much Adam. You really are too kind.”
“Nonsense,” Adam replied. “I'm doing what any compassionate person would do. This baby obviously means a lot to you.”
“She does. She means so, so much.” Kris cradled his belly and smiled through his tears. “She's already my whole world.”
“That's cute. If you don't mind my asking, who's the father?”
Kris searched his mind for an answer. He couldn't tell Adam that he was the father. Not yet anyway. “I would prefer to keep that to myself for now, Prince Adam. Not even he knows it's him yet.”
“Very well. I understand that you would like to tell the father before anyone else finds out.” That wasn't the reason Kris was staying silent, but he wasn't about to tell the Prince that.
The midwife arrived before anything else could be said. Adam explained the situation to her. “Lift up your shirt, Kris,” she instructed. He did as he was told, and she examined him much like the village doctor had. “Hmm, it seems you are pregnant. I'm going to ask that you stay here for the duration of your pregnancy. No one alive knows what complications might emerge from your situation, so I would like you close where I can take care of you and the child. Is that alright for you, Kris?”
Kris looked to his family. Daniel was already going to be away for awhile, losing Kris would put a larger strain on his parents. His father was still able to work, but he wasn't as strong as he used to be and couldn't work as hard. They relied on the added income from Kris and Daniel to survive. “You should stay, Kris,” Neil said. “I can take care of your mother until Daniel is well enough to work. Then you'll be back with us not long after that.”
“Yeah, sweetie,” Kim added. “You need the best care you can get. I want a healthy grandchild. We'll make it without you for awhile.”
“I love you guys,” Kris said as he hugged his parents. They were all crying, saying goodbye with the intensity of the hug. “I'll see you soon.”
“Goodbye Kris.” With that, his parents left the room to begin their trip home.
“Kris,” Adam said to get his attention. When Kris was listening, he said, “If you'll be staying for awhile, you'll need a room. Usually guests take the guest bedrooms, but you're no ordinary guest. I was hoping you would stay in the room next to mine. It was my nanny's room when I was little and it's connected to mine. That way you'll always have someone nearby to help you with whatever you need.”
“Like I said, Prince Adam, you're too kind.”
“And like I said, it's nothing. Now come with me and I'll show you to your room.”
As Adam led Kris to his old nanny's room, he wondered what it was that seemed so familiar. He had never seen this man in his life, but he felt like he knew those eyes. Maybe they had met in a dream.
His intentions for Kris to stay in the room next to his were not entirely pure. The man was very cute, but it wasn't his looks that drew Adam in. It was those oh so familiar eyes. He wanted to get to know Kris better. Maybe something would come from him being so near, friendship or something more. “Here we are!” Adam said brightly, opening the door to Kris's new bedroom.
“Oh, wow,” Kris replied upon seeing the luxurious room. It may have only been his nanny's, but Adam's parents had spared nothing in furnishing her room. They felt nannies were an important part of the family and should be treated as such. The room had a four-poster bed, comfortable chairs spread throughout the room, a massive wardrobe, glinting mirrors, a large fireplace, and was painted in the warmest shade of brown. “It's too much, Prince Adam,” Kris said as he looked around in wonder.
“Nonsense,” Adam assured. “And don't call me Prince Adam. It's just Adam from now on, alright?”
“Your kindness really knows no bounds. I'm sure you're gonna be the best king Dosser has ever had.”
Adam beamed with pride. “Get settled in. I have lessons to attend to and I'll be back tonight.”
“What kind of lessons?” Kris asked curiously.
“Just writing lessons tonight. Would you like to join me?”
“You would let me come with you?” Kris seemed incredulous.
“Why not? Come along then. We can get you settled in later.” Adam held out his hand and Kris took it. They walked the whole way without letting go.
* * *
Later that night, Adam and Kris were sitting on Adam's bed talking. When Kris had seen Adam's room, he had nearly fainted. “I thought my room was incredible. This is as big as my whole house!” The room was massive. There was an ornate fireplace on one wall. Above it was a circular protrusion for the chimney decorated with a beautiful high relief sculpture of Adam and Eve with the apple and the snake. On either side of the fireplace was two windows that reached to the ceiling with chairs in the window sills to read a book on a rainy day. Along another wall was a wardrobe and a changing screen. Adam's parents had gotten the screen from China, so it was covered in gold dragons and red flowers. There was a cushioned bench along a third wall. Also on the third wall was his bed. It was surrounded on each side by giant columns. The sheets and the canopy fabric were made of a light blue silk with gold embellishments.
After Kris had gotten over his initial shock, Adam motioned him onto the bed, where they sat and talked about anything and everything. They started with talking about the writing lesson. “That was the first time I've ever written anything!” Kris exclaimed. “In the village we only learn the very basics. Writing definitely is not a needed skill.” Next they moved on to their families. “Dan's a pain, but he's my brother. I don't know what I would if he died.”
“My brother's a pain too. He's just so cynical all the time. Just be glad he's not gonna be king. He'd rule the kingdom into the ground!”
Kris laughed. “You must have gotten all the charm.”
“Dang straight!” After that they moved onto hopes and dreams. “When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was live in a village. All there was in the castle was school and training. Boring! I wanted to be out there doing something. Running around with my friends, swimming in the river, even working in the fields would have been better!”
“Nonsense! It's not all it's cracked up to be out there. By the time I was five, I was helping out my dad every day. I would have done anything to have your childhood. You got to learn everything! I've always loved learning new things when strangers travel through the village.”
“Well, now that you're in the castle, you can learn whatever you want.” Then the conversation had turned to Kris's stay. “So Kris, you never said much about your situation. Tell me about the baby's dad. Do you love him?”
Kris's eyes brightened. “Oh, he's wonderful. He's the kindest person I've ever met. I wasn't very nice to him, but he didn't care. He helped me when I needed, comforted me when I was sad, and loved me when I asked him to. I was only with him a couple of days, so I don't know if I love him, but I think it's very possible that I could. He would never be with me though.”
“But you said he was the kindest person you've ever met. Why wouldn't he want to be with you?”
“He's a very important person. I'm just some peasant from a small village. He deserves someone better than me.” Kris began to play dejectedly with the bedspread.
“Who is he? Maybe I could put in a good word for you.” Adam wanted Kris, but if Kris wanted another, Adam would do anything to help. He just wanted Kris to be happy.
“It doesn't matter who he is.” Kris looked out the window. “It's getting late. I should probably get to bed. The baby's tired.”
“Very well. I'll see you in the morning.” Adam led Kris to the door connecting their rooms. “Goodnight, Kristopher.”
* * *
Over the next few weeks, Adam and Kris fell into a routine. Kris would wake up in the morning with Adam already by his bedside holding the chamber pot for Kris to puke into. Then they would both get dressed properly and go down to breakfast. They usually ate alone, though Adam's brother, Neil, joined them every once in a while. Next, Adam had combat training, which Kris watched, before they had lunch. After lunch, they went to their lessons. They learned a different subject every day: mathematics, reading and writing, religion, languages, history, geography, and philosophy. Kris learned more in a month then he had learned in his entire life. After that, they would eat dinner before heading up to Adam's room where they would talk before going to bed. Some days the routine was interrupted by Adam having to practice being King by listening to requests in the throne room. During these times, Kris would wander the halls or visit with his brother for awhile. Daniel was doing much better, though he still needed to stay at the castle until he regained his strength.
In the second week of the fourth month of his pregnancy, everything changed. Kris woke up to Adam holding the pot, but he didn't have to use it. “The morning sickness is gone Adam!” he said excitedly.
Adam put the pot down and embraced Kris. “Thank God!” he said. “No offense, but that was not my favorite time of the day.”
“For me either!”
When Kris got out of bed, Adam noticed his belly. “Oh wow, Kris. You're getting bigger!”
Kris slapped him playfully. “Did you just call me fat?”
Adam laughed. “Of course not.” He put his hand over Kris's protruding stomach. “Hey beautiful baby,” he said to it. “I can't wait to finally meet you. It seems so far away. You're gonna be so pretty, just like your daddy.”
Kris looked lovingly up at Adam. “Did you just call me pretty?”
Adam smiled down at him. “Of course I did. You're the prettiest.” As the weeks had gone by, Adam's feelings for Kris had grown more and more. He still thought Kris was in love with someone else, so he hadn't said anything, but this morning he was feeling bold.
“I think you're prettier,” Kris replied shyly. He moved closer to Adam and wrapped his arms around his middle.
“Kris, I thought you were in love with someone.”
“Yeah, I'm in love with you.” Kris hadn't been sure at first if he loved Adam. The stuff in the cabin had happened so fast that he hadn't had time to analyze his feelings. Over the month he had been at the castle, he had discovered that it was love that he felt. Spending every day with Adam was the second best thing that had ever happened to him, after their baby of course. He was still scared that Adam would want someone better than him, but he didn't want to waste his time with Adam by being just friends. If Adam felt the same, he wanted to enjoy love while he could.
“Are you sure?” Adam asked. He needed to be sure Kris felt the same way he did. He had been in love with Kris for a couple weeks now. He thought Kris was in love with his baby's father, so he didn't think Kris could love him.
“Very sure.” Kris took the initiative and reached up to kiss Adam. Adam was shocked at first, so he didn't respond. This had Kris drawing away. “If you don't feel the same...” He was cut off by Adam's mouth pressing against his. Adam's tongue prodded the crack between Kris's lips, so he parted them slightly. The kiss was even better than the ones they had shared in the cabin. This one was full of love. They parted gently. Kris lay his head against Adam's chest and Adam hugged him back. “I love you, Adam.”
“I love you too, Kris.”
The rest of the day, they couldn't keep their hands off of each other. They held hands wherever they went. When they were sitting at their meals, their legs were tangled together. When they were sitting during their lessons, Adam's hand rested against Kris's back. When they talked that night, it was while they were lying down wrapped in each other. Parting that night was difficult. “I don't want to say goodnight yet,” Kris whined.
Adam chuckled and kissed the top of Kris's head. “I know sweetie. But you have to get some sleep for the baby. You can see me in the morning.”
“Oh, alright,” Kris groaned. He got up from the bed and leaned over to give Adam one last goodnight kiss. “Goodnight Adam.”
“Goodnight my love,” Adam replied.
* * *
The next couple of months flew by. The baby grew more and more every day, and so did Kris's stomach. He felt more energized and was now the one getting Adam up in the morning. He felt like he could do anything, including take part in Adam's combat training. Much to Kris's chagrin, Adam refused to let him. “You mustn't hurt the baby,” he reasoned.
“Fine, mom,” Kris complained.
Their love grew during that time as well. Every night, it was getting harder and harder for them to separate, but they had to. It wasn't proper for them to sleep in the same bed, even though they had done it once before. But Adam didn't know they had already slept together, so he was only concerned with saving Kris's reputation. He didn't want people to start thinking Kris was just his most recent boy-toy. Kris was much more than that. Adam was even considering asking Kris to marry him someday, his parents expectations of him marrying a Lord or Lady be damned.
The night Kris entered his seventh month of pregnancy, him and Adam were lying face to face on Adam's bed like they did every night. They were talking about some random thing when all of a sudden they both went quiet. “Was that...?”
“Yeah.” Kris smiled at Adam. “Our baby just kicked!”
“Of course our baby. I love you stupid,” Kris teased gently.
“Oh.” Adam kissed Kris lightly before feeling another kick. He moved down to be level with Kris's belly. “Hey baby,” he said. “Thanks for saying hello.” He covered Kris's stomach with his hand and felt another kick. “That's a good girl.” He started crying silently, overwhelmed by being chosen by Kris as the father. He had always wanted kids, but he wasn't preparing to have any of his own. Liking boys meant that he would never be able to have a baby. The kingdom was relying on Neil's offspring to be the heirs to the throne. Maybe now, he could experience the joy of fatherhood.
“What's wrong Adam?” Kris asked concerned.
“It's just...thank you so much, Kris.”
“For letting me be a daddy. I've always wanted to be one.”
Kris smiled lovingly down at the man of his dreams. “You're gonna be such a wonderful father.”
Adam kissed Kris right above his bellybutton. “I love you both so much.”
“And we love you.”
That night, they fell asleep together.
* * *
Throughout the last few months of his pregnancy, Kris was exhausted. His stomach was enormous and was putting such a strain on his back. But Adam had been the perfect gentleman. Whenever Kris complained or slowed down Adam wouldn't whine. They were sharing Adam's room now, so Adam would carry Kris to bed every night. He would stop and sit when Kris needed a rest. He would watch over his two favorite people when they needed to sleep for so long. Kris couldn't have been happier.
His happiness was further increased by his brother's health. Daniel had finally regained his strength and was his old self again. He was the one visiting Kris now, instead of the other way around. The plan had originally been for Daniel to return home when he got better, but he wanted to stay in the castle to watch over his older brother. “You can't get rid of me that easily bro,” he teased.
“Not for lack of trying,” Kris teased right back.
“Man, this is so weird seeing you like this, no offense or anything.”
“None taken. How do you think it feels to be me right now?”
They laughed together before Daniel had to leave for his own lessons. Since he was in the castle, they figured he might as well learn something too.
The last couple weeks of his pregnancy, Kris was confined to bed. “It's for the best, the midwife said you need your rest,” Adam scolded a complaining Kris.
“But I hate being stuck here. It's so boring. You're not here to cheer me up all the time either.” Kris crossed his arms and pouted up at Adam.
Adam laughed and leaned down to kiss Kris. “Sweetie, you're so cute when you pout.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kris continued to pout.
“Alright, enough of that now. Show me that beautiful smile.” Adam lay his head on Kris's giant belly.
Kris tried to resist smiling. He was upset, dang it! The cuteness of Adam cooing at his belly won, however, and Kris smiled down at his baby and his lover. “I can't wait until she's here.”
“Have you picked out a name yet?”
“I've been thinking, but I'm not too sure.”
“What have you got?”
“Well, if it's a girl, I like Elizabeth.”
“That's a beautiful name,” Adam said. He kissed Kris's stomach gently. “Lizzie. What if it's a boy?”
Kris ran his hand through Adam's hair. “If it's a boy, I wanted you to name him.”
“Why me?” Adam asked incredulously. “It's your baby, Kris. You should name him.”
“I've already told you, it's our baby. You should have a hand in name picking too.”
“Well, I've always liked William.”
“It's settled then. If it's a girl, she'll be Elizabeth Wilhelmina Allen-Lambert. If it's a boy, he'll be William Eli Allen-Lambert.”
“So presumptuous, Mr. Allen. I haven't even asked you to marry me yet,” Adam teased lightly. He moved up the bed and kissed Kris.
Kris kissed him back. “Not yet.”
* * *
His day started out normal. Kris woke up snuggled next to Adam. He watched as Adam began to stir and wake up himself. Watching Adam come to life before his very eyes was always the highlight of Kris's day. Those blue eyes fluttered open, accompanied by Adam's loving smile. “Good morning, love,” Kris whispered.
“Good morning, sweetheart,” Adam answered. He leaned in to kiss Kris. That's when things turned from perfectly perfect to terrifying.
A sudden pain lurched throughout Kris's body. He screamed and clutched his stomach. Adam tried to calm him down and was asking what was wrong, but Kris couldn't even reply through the pain. “Oh God, what's happening baby, talk to me please!” Adam was in full out panic mode. He couldn't even think.
Finally, Daniel, who had a room not far from theirs, burst in to see what the screaming was about. “Adam, what's going on?”
Adam was crying. “I...I don't know what's wrong. He won't answer me.”
With a clear head, Daniel knew exactly what to do. “We need to take him to the midwife right now. I saw this happen to my aunt before my cousin was born. The baby's coming!”
Adam helped Daniel lift a screaming Kris and they carried him to the midwife's quarters. The noise woke her up, and she was with them before they were even halfway down the hall that lead to her room. “It's time, I see,” she observed. “Quick, get him into the surgery room.”
Because Kris was a man, he didn't have the proper anatomy to give birth to a baby. This meant that the midwife would have to perform emergency surgery. She would cut his belly open and deliver the baby that way. This form of birth was rarely practiced. It was reserved mainly for dead or dying mothers in the hopes that the child could be saved. There were only a few cases of it being used on normal women who didn't need it because the mortality rate was very high. However, the mortality rate usually came when medical professionals were involved. The infections passed to the woman from the physicians would almost certainly kill her. The successful cases were performed in homes away from dangerous infections. Being in the castle with little contact from the outside world, the midwife wasn't worried about Kris dying. She was just worried about the pain she would have to inflict on him. She hadn't restocked her anesthetic, so he would have to have the surgery without any numbing.
They set Kris on a table for the midwife to begin the surgery. “A-adam,” Kris weakly croaked, searching for Adam's hand. Adam quickly took it. “If I die from this, I n-need you to know something.”
“You're not gonna die, love,” Adam said through his tears. “You're gonna be just fine, and so is our baby.”
“But if I...do, then I need you to know,” Kris insisted.
“Alright, love. What is it that you need me to know?”
Kris weakly raised Adam's hand to his mouth and kissed it. “I love you so much.”
“I already know that.”
“It's not that. Remember when you were kidnapped nine months ago?”
“It was me. I kidnapped you to save Daniel's life. And this baby...it really is yours.”
Adam dropped Kris's hand. “You kidnapped me?”
“I'm so sorry. I was so concerned for Dan. I thought he was gonna die.”
“I don't care about that part. Did you ever think to tell me throughout the whole time you were here who you actually were? Or who the baby really belonged to? I thought I could trust you, but you've been hiding this from me!” Adam stormed out of the room. He was hurt. The man he loved more than anything had been lying to him. How could you do that to someone you loved?
Just then, Adam's silent brooding was interrupted by a loud scream and “Adam!” coming from the surgery room. He hated to hear his beloved in pain, but he was mad! Wasn't he? He thought through Kris's actions and realized they really weren't meant to hurt him. Kris had been scared of Adam's father since the cabin, so it was no surprise that he would keep information to himself that could potentially earn the King's wrath. Another scream pierced the air and pulled at Adam's heartstrings. He couldn't leave Kris all alone now. Adam loved him. He had to be there for the birth of their baby. Their baby! His dream to be an actual father with the person he loved was really coming true! He rushed back into the surgery room.
The midwife had already begun cutting into Kris's belly, which was the cause of the awful screams. Adam hurried to Kris's side and grasped his hand tight. “Kris, I'm sorry I ran out like that. It was just a little overwhelming. Please forgive me. I love you so much!”
Kris smiled weakly. “I love you too. Sorry for...keeping everything from you.”
“That's alright. I understand why you did it. Now let's focus on something even more exciting: the birth of our baby!”
Kris smiled once more before grimacing from the pain. The surgery went on for what seemed like days. Adam clutched Kris's hand the entire time, even though Kris was squeezing it so hard it felt broken. Adam also managed to calm Kris a little by looking into his eyes. They just stared at each other and Kris could get away from the pain somewhat. Finally, Kris felt a release of pressure right before hearing the first sobs of his baby. “Congratulations, you two,” the midwife said as she handed Kris the baby so that she could begin stitching him up. “It's a little girl.”
Kris took the baby and cuddled her close to his chest. He looked into her beautiful brown eyes. “Hey, Lizzie. You're so beautiful.”
Adam leaned in and stroked his daughter's cheek. “Hello, my love. I'm your daddy and this is your other daddy. You're gonna be such a good little princess.”
“Why does she have red hair?” Daniel asked curiously.
Kris looked befuddled up at Adam. “I love it, but I don't have any redheads in my family. Do you?”
Adam blushed. “Um, I'm actually a, um, redhead,” he said, embarrassed. “I just dye it black because I like how it looks.”
Kris chuckled. “I think you'd look fine either way.”
All of a sudden, two older people Kris had never seen before burst into the room. “What is going on?” the man asked in a commanding voice.
Adam stood and approached his parents. “Father, Mother, I'd like you to meet a few people. You remember that family I helped all those months ago? Well, this is Daniel feeling much better.” He motioned to Daniel, who was making funny faces at his niece. “And this is his brother Kris. The pregnant man everyone's talking about. He's just had our baby.”
“Your baby?” the Queen asked.
“Yeah, um, me and Kris are in love and I intend to marry him someday.”
“But he is from a peasant family,” the King protested. “A future king needs to marry someone of status.”
“But I'm in love with Kris. He will rule the kingdom by my side when I am King. Nothing you say will change that.”
The Queen smiled and embraced her son. “If this is who you want, then you shall have him.”
“Thank you, mama,” Adam whispered before straightening up. Now to tell them the hardest thing.
Before he could, Neil burst into the room. “Is Kris having the baby?” he asked.
Adam chuckled. “Always late to the party, Neil.” He ushered him over to Kris before turning back to his parents. “The baby isn't only mine because I love her father. I'm her other father. She's really my daughter.”
“What? But you met him when he was already pregnant. How can she be yours?”
“We had met once before actually, though I hadn't know it.”
“And when was that?” the King asked sternly.
Adam braced himself and saw Daniel move to a protective position in front of Kris in case the King wasn't pleased with the news. “Well, Kris is K, the man who kidnapped me.”
“He's who?” the King roared. “The awful vermin that tried to take my son away from me and extort my money?”
“Yes father, and I forgive him. He was only trying to get the money to save his brother. You can not fault him for that.”
Father and son faced each other with stubbornness. Adam was not going to let his father hurt the man he loved. The King was not going to let some peasant take advantage of his son. Finally, the Queen stepped in. “Boys, calm down. Adam, introduce me to my granddaughter. Eber, you cool off outside until you can act civilized.
“Yes Leila,” Eber relented before storming out of the room. The Queen was definitely in charge of her boys.
Adam took his mother's hand and led her over to Kris. “Mom, I would like you to meet the love of my life, Kristopher Allen and our baby, Elizabeth Wilhelmina Allen-Lambert.”
Kris reached out his hand. “Nice to finally meet you, ma'am,” he said politely.
She disregarded his hand and drew him in for a hug, baby and all. “Call me mom from now on.”
“Okay, mom,” Kris beamed. “Would you like to hold her?”
“I think Adam should hold his baby before the rest of us,” Leila offered.
Adam reached over and took his daughter from Kris's arms. “Hello sweetheart,” he said while gently rocking her against his chest.
Kris looked up at his beloved holding their baby. The look of pure joy on Adam's face warmed Kris's heart. “Oh, Elizabeth,” he said softly. “You're gonna be so loved.”
And he was right. Everyone loved little Lizzy. Even Eber. After he had a chance to cool down, he realized his son was as stubborn as him and would never give up on someone he loved. He would just have to accept Kris into the family.
Kris's family rushed to the castle when they heard the news. The whole kingdom was abuzz about the pretty new princess that had been born, and people came from all around to see her.
Adam and Kris got married soon after Kris's stitches had healed and he could actually walk down the aisle. Kris's family was forever taken care of and were never peasants again.
Kris and Adam took over the rule of the kingdom when Adam's parents stepped down. They were ready to retire, so they decided to let their sons take over. Adam and Kris made fine Kings. They ruled the kingdom with pure compassion and taught their daughter to do the same someday.
When Lizzy took over for her parents, she was the first Queen to ever sit on the throne without a King. Her rule was just as compassionate as her father's.
The wonderful years of the Allen-Lambert monarchy would be remembered for centuries to come.