The prince was exquisite in every detail. The nobleman took time to linger on everything.
“I shall have to thank your brother, for lending you to me.”
“My brother doesn’t own me,” was the reply, laconic but with the slightest hint of ire. “No-one does.”
“Ah, surely there must be someone who makes a claim to this… magnificent kingdom?”
Ferrus, was the thought that the other man could not see, if that’s true of anyone, it’s Ferrus.
“Someone who can proudly call this body their own.”
“I should think that’s me. Seeing as I live in it.”
The nobleman chuckled lightly.
“Such a pretty thing you are, with such wit. I think I could find a host of uses for your tongue, if we had more time.”
And with that sentence, he sealed his fate – not that it wasn’t sealed already.
The smile offered to him was luminous and completely insincere. He failed to notice the lies, hidden as they were behind a careful mask.
There is no way he could have pleased as many as he claims. Bedded, maybe, but not pleased. He’s not even trying to attend to me.
“So snug a fit… am I your first?”
“Snug?” the prince hissed under his breath, “who would even say that?” He gave a reassuring stroke to the man’s cheek, and his ego. “No. But…perhaps I wish you had been.”
“Never fear, little one. I’ll spoil you for any other.”
No, I meant that if you were my first, at least I wouldn’t know what I was missing.
“I don’t doubt that.”
Stop pushing me against the headboard. Mediocre carvings of hunting scenes are not comfortable.
“Your strength is… admirable….”
“Is it, little one? Do I overwhelm you? Is this the way you like it? Rough… dominating… owning you….”
Yes, as a matter of fact. But only with certain people, and you are neither of them.
“Please, I’d rather you didn’t pinch me,” he made it a soft, timid request rather than shouting it in the man’s face. It would be a disaster if this didn’t go to plan. And there was no way he was letting Horus’s scheme derail, if only as fair revenge for what was going on now.
“Not keen on pain, little one?”
Oh yes. I lie while Ferrus slips needles through my skin – he has such skilful fingers. The pain is just on that edge of discomfort, so I can stay still, and just feel. The stab, the draw… the push and puncture on the other side…. A row of them down my flank, another on my thigh – not spilling a single drop of blood. By the time he’s finished, I’m drifting, floating… so high….
But you know nothing of that.
“I could teach you. I could get you to take it and love it – I could strike you and you would beg for more.”
Charming. And you couldn’t.
Get your hand off my neck. Only Curze is good at that.
“Ah, my sweet prince!”
Nearly done already? By the gods!
Am I going to get anything out of this?
“So wonderful of you to please me….”
Oh, you’ve never seen me please someone. I could have you in a world of bliss as I fulfilled your every desire – but I won’t, because you’re a boorish fool.
“The way you take it…!”
I’m not taking it. You’re giving it. And not very much either.
No wonder your wife left for that woodsman.
I hope Angron didn’t leave the good axe out in the rain again. He’s terrible for that, but none of the servants will tell him. Horus probably will….
Are we done?
The nobleman lay, his great appetite sated, with the beautiful prince by his side. He stroked silky hair and wondered what it would be like to marry this one, to have him every day. And a new wife, of course… out here, where the law of Cthonia barely reached, who was to say a man couldn’t have both? Neither ceremony would be official, but that mattered little. He thought of the wedding night, and all the nights after, and it stirred his imagination if not his loins. Perhaps he wasn’t quite ready for another round – though it was certainly feasible.
He looked down and the prince’s dark eyes were fixed on him. He mistook the cold cunning in them for lust.
“What do you think, little one? Again?”
“I resent pet names.”
He sat up slightly, startled by the biting tone.
“Well… I’ll change it, if you like.”
“Change it to my proper title, and all will be forgiven.”
The nobleman chortled at that.
“If you say so, your highness. A prince and a harlot both, and equally good at each!” he was overcome with merriment, and closed his eyes briefly.
“Thank you,” the prince purred, using the moment to reach his hand beneath the pillow and retrieve the dagger there. “I have many talents.”
“And I’d like to see more of them before the night is through,” the nobleman laid a hand on him again. He smiled, though it was more a baring of teeth.
“Would you like to be party to one now?”
“Of course, my sweet.”
“I told you,” the prince said. “It’s ‘your highness’.”
The dagger was sharp enough to slice cleanly through the man’s most precious of parts – not his heart, or his throat. He screamed loud enough to wake the dead and stared in abject horror at his handsome assailant, still smiling and serene, holding the blood-streaked blade.
“Horus would like you to know that this is what happens to traitors of traitors,” the prince told him, standing and wiping the dagger on the bed-curtains. “You renounced the Emperor, which is perhaps fair, but you tried to deceive my brother – and Horus will always know, and he will always take revenge. And this is also on behalf of your wife.”
He began to dress himself. The nobleman writhed and keened on the bed in a manner that was incredibly gratifying, either maddened with pain or trying to locate that which had been lost.
“You’ll want to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible,” the prince added. “Don’t bother to look for it; the dogs will take notice well before any physician.”
He paused at the door, the image of perfection.
“And I don’t like being called ‘little’.”