His father throws a party at dawn, which Jaehyo isn't very appreciative of: he wakes up hearing the clinking and clanging outside and wanders out of his room, rubbing his eyes. On his way to--wherever, perhaps the washroom as per habit--he finds himself running into someone.
"Oh, sorry," says a voice, and Jaehyo's eyes aren't quite open so he expects to see a servant or something of the sort, as it's servants who usually apologize. But when he blinks a bit, and wipes away a long eyelash, he sees the pretty face of a boy who looks to be a prince. He has made up skin, a ring of crown on his dark head, and silvery clothing.
"Hello," says Jaehyo, bewildered. "Who're you? You don't live here."
The boy laughs. He seems to be about Jaehyo's age, and his smile is especially bright. "I'm here for the feast," he says. "I come from the Northern Kingdom."
"Ah," says Jaehyo, and then clears his throat.
The boy is still watching, still beaming at him.
"Excuse me," says Jaehyo, and then hurries to the washroom and pretend like it's a normal day.
It isn't, though, because when he comes out he runs into another boy who looks like a prince and blindly wonders as he nearly falls to the ground, how many kingdoms did my father invite?
This boy is taller--taller than Jaehyo is, too, and swivels around and apologizes as quick as he can. He even makes to help Jaehyo up, which Jaehyo doesn't need as he's already halfway standing.
"I'm so sorry," this boy says again. "I didn't--you're Prince Jaehyo, aren't you? Your father invited my father here." And he grins, like he expects Jaehyo to hold a long conversation with him in this corridor even though Jaehyo is only in his pants and nightgown.
"Ah," says Jaehyo. "I suppose, yes."
"Your castle is neat," says the boy. Neat? Jaehyo thinks, Is that the best word you can come up with to describe it?
"Thank you," says Jaehyo as politely as he can. "Uh, if you don't mind, I'm going to change. As you can tell, I'm not in proper clothing for a feast."
"Oh, of course," says the boy, but as Jaehyo makes to walk past him, the boy joins him down the hall instead. It's not terribly irritating, because the boy doesn't say anything, just shoves his hands into his robes and grins. When they stop at Jaehyo's room, the boy says, "I expect I'll see you at breakfast?"
"Er, yes," said Jaehyo.
The boy gives him a little bow, still smiling, and then makes to walk off.
Curiosity tugs at Jaehyo's chest. He calls after this boy, "What's your name?"
The boy swivels around, his hands now behind his back. "Minhyuk," he says, and Jaehyo nods and then closes his bedroom door, trying to figure out what to make of him,
He sees both the first boy and Minhyuk twenty minutes later when he's in his formal clothing (blue robes, leather trousers and auburn shirt underneath) at breakfast. His father, the king, is laughing heartily at what everyone's saying. Jaehyo notes to himself to keep away from the cider.
He learns, through eavesdropping on various conversations, that the first boy's name is Yukwon, and that Minhyuk's father is the king in the South. Both Yukwon and Minhyuk interact like they barely know each other--politely asking things such as, "Could you please pass the sausages?" and Jaehyo sees Minhyuk try to start a conversation by asking the king from the North (Yukwon's father), "How are the livestock?" Jaehyo himself attempts to keep himself in conversation, although he gets bored easily--feasts are about eating, and being entertained by the jesters who usually come out, although this is breakfast and there are no jesters during breakfast.
"Excuse me," Jaehyo says quietly once he's finished his food; he doesn't want to bother himself here when he could be in his room, reading, or flirting with one of the maids on the fourth floor. Or sleeping.
However, his father spots him and claps his hands. Jaehyo curses him for having so much energy this early in the morning.
"Oh, my son is done eating!" he exclaims. "And the other princes seem to have been done as well!"
Jaehyo sees Yukwon and Minhyuk glance at each other's plate surreptitiously.
"How about you princes get to know each other?" Jaehyo's father suggests. "Before we decide which one of you to marry off to the princess of the East, eh?" He winks at them.
"Is that what this is about?" Jaehyo hears Yukwon mutter to Minhyuk as the three of them make their way out of the dining hall in no particular order.
"I don't know," says Minhyuk. "My parents never told me what this feast was for either."
Yukwon glances at Jaehyo. "You must know," he says, although there's something in his eyes that makes Jaehyo think that Yukwon doesn't expect too much of him.
Jaehyo shakes his head. "No, I didn't even know about anything until this morning when I woke up."
"Oh, right," says Yukwon. "And--sorry about earlier, by the way, I'm Yukwon--"
"Yeah," says Jaehyo.
"And you know that but not about your own feasts?" says Minhyuk, the ghost of a smile teasing on his face.
Jaehyo huffs. "Well it's not like my father tells me when he plans celebrations before the sun rises," he says, but there's no real venom behind it and Minhyuk seems to have noticed because the corner of his lips are still curved.
Jaehyo leads the three to the front doors of the castle, which are armed with two knights. Jaehyo thumps on the metal chest of one of them and holds out his hand, and when the knight doesn't respond, Jaehyo says sharply, "Zico."
"How do you know it's me and not Kyung?" says a voice from inside, and Jaehyo rolls his eyes and thumps him again.
"You just gave yourself away," he says.
"Shit, I always do that," says the knight, and then chuckles. "Here." Something rattles from inside, and then a cigar pops out from the helmet, held together by teeth. "You better kiss it off me," Zico teases.
"You wish," says Jaehyo, plucking the cigar with his fingers. "Kyung does door duty on Thursdays and Tuesdays, anyways."
"Ooh, smart boy," Zico calls after him, but Jaehyo goes to the nearby hall torch and ignores him.
"Why do you have that?" asks Minhyuk as Jaehyo lights his cigar. Jaehyo sticks it in his mouth and inhales, feeling both the smoke and the scent fill up his lungs.
"My parents don't want me to do it, but I find it relaxing," he says, exhaling and huffing the smoke out. "C'mon, let's go outside before it looks too obvious."
He pushes the heavy double doors open, which is easier today as he's got Minhyuk and Yukwon to help him. He takes another puff from his cigarette and Minhyuk asks, "Why don't your parents want you to do it?"
"Unhealthy and all, but sometimes we eat bad chicken, so." Jaehyo shrugs and sees Yukwon staring at the cigar; Yukwon hasn't said anything since they've come outside.
Jaehyo takes his cigar out and offers it out to him. "You wanna try?"
"I, uh," says Yukwon hesitantly. He glances at Minhyuk, almost like he wants Minhyuk's approval. "Sure," he says, and then takes it and sticks it in his mouth. He's coughing and taking it out a moment later.
"Yeah, it burns," says Jaehyo, amused. He makes to take the cigar back but Yukwon waves him off and says, "No, I--it's fine." He brings it back between his lips and inhales; his face is slightly red but he doesn't choke this time.
"So," says Jaehyo, as they lean against the castle walls, with only the dusty snowed grounds and moat to admire, "what's all this with marrying one of us off to the princess in the East Kingdom?"
Minhyuk clears his throat. Yukwon looks slightly envious. "Well I do recall she's coming of age soon," he says, "and, well, marriage--"
Yukwon coughs again this time, but it seems more deliberate. When Jaehyo and Minhyuk turn to him, Yukwon has the cigar out and is scoffing, "Marriage. Boring."
"I agree," says Minhyuk, nodding.
Jaehyo's surprised. "Really?" he says. "I'd have taken you as the traditional type, to get married as soon as a bird was free--"
"Thanks." Minhyuk's tone is dry, but his eyes are bright and Jaehyo thinks, hey, I kinda like this kid. "Marriage is too restrictive. If I want a lady to be tied down to for the rest of my life, I'd better have gone around the bend well enough first--"
"Or sleep around once you've been tied down without your lady knowing," chips in Yukwon.
Minhyuk fake-gasps. "Infidelity? The horror!"
The three of them laugh; Yukwon says, "I know both of my parents have been sleeping with other people since like, the day I was born. Or maybe a few days after that."
"Really?" says Minhyuk, and Jaehyo looks at him, interested. Yukwon doesn't seem bothered at all.
"Yeah," he says. After a beat, "My father sleeps with men, too."
"Oh," says Minhyuk. "Well then, that makes sense."
"Must've been fun making you," says Jaehyo, and Yukwon nudges him sharply with his shoulder and gripes, "Don't give me that mental image."
Jaehyo's puffing out smoke again and Minhyuk seems to be watching him, contemplative. A moment later, he asks, "Can--Can I try the cigar too?"
It feels like less than an hour has passed since they've been lounging outside of the castle walls, but it must've been more because soon enough a guard is poking his head outside and saying, "It's noon, sires, and the lunch feast is starting."
"All right," says Yukwon, but Jaehyo pulls him back by the sleeve and says to the guard, "It's all right, we can find something else to do."
"We can?" says Yukwon; the guard nods without further question and retreats back inside.
Minhyuk raises an eyebrow at Jaehyo, as well.
"They're going to mention the princess thing again," Jaehyo explains. "And I'm not exactly up for an entire meal of our parents being passive aggressive towards each other."
"'Oh, it's so difficult being a prince,'" Minhyuk mocks in the same airy tone, and Yukwon laughs. "What do you propose we do then, Jaehyo?"
Jaehyo blows out smoke from his cigar; the other two are looking at him expectantly, which suddenly makes him feel very awkward. After all, most of the time when other kingdoms visit, he keeps to himself and locks himself in his room. "Uh," he says. "We can wander around the castle for a bit? There's not much to do, but we have a witch in our cellar and a library, and I suppose a stable in the back--"
"We can race horses!" Yukwon says eagerly. "That's better than talking about marrying princesses."
There's not really any argument against this, so they make their way down the moat and off around the back, Jaehyo's lips still clinging to his cigar. Minhyuk had given it back to him shortly after trying: he hadn't coughed as much as Yukwon had, which made Jaehyo think that Minhyuk's a little bit experienced in smoking, although he hadn't mentioned it at the time. Discreetly and from the corner of his eye, Jaehyo observes him--Minhyuk seems the picture-perfect type of prince, not lazy like Jaehyo, and not as odd as Yukwon who's bouncing a bit as he walks. Minhyuk's back is straight and he seems forward and intent, his features sharp and not at all unattractive.
Minhyuk glances at him then and Jaehyo quickly darts his eyes back forward, fingers dancing on his cigar again. But Minhyuk says, "I need a stress reliever, can I have another round?" and Jaehyo says, "Sure," and hands the cigar back to him.
Yukwon, who didn't seem to be paying any attention to them before, has evidently been listening; he turns to Minhyuk and asks, "Stress reliever?"
Minhyuk's picture-perfectness fades for a moment into pink cheeks--although that may have made him even more attractive, Jaehyo isn't sure--and said, "I really don't want to get married to the princess," and sticks the cigar in his mouth without further question.
Yukwon tilts his head to the side. "Well, to be fair, you would be the best candidate," he says, "no offense," he says to Jaehyo, and then back to Minhyuk, "but you were on time and like, politeduring breakfast and talked to my father about livestock."
"I don't," Minhyuk says again, and inhales on the cigar. But when he takes it out, he exhales it in Yukwon's face.
"Hey! Hey, stop, what was that for?" says Yukwon, even though he's laughing a bit, batting the smoke away.
"I don't know," says Minhyuk, and there's a hint of an amused smile on his face, like he's tempted to do it again. Yukwon's still laughing, waving Minhyuk away, and moving to walk on Jaehyo's other side.
"I'm going to stay here because Jaehyo's nice," says Yukwon.
Jaehyo rolls his eyes. "Stop flirting you two, and let's ride the horses." He thinks he might've seen Yukwon look embarrassed for a moment, but he isn't sure.
The stables have ten horses in total and Jaehyo goes to his personal one, a black stallion with a gold strap and saddle. Yukwon immediately finds a white-dappled brown horse, and Minhyuk takes a slightly darker one, which is taller and has a thinner frame.
They race to the other side of the castle and back, and even though Jaehyo had had the advantage of shouting, "Go!" and taking off before the others, Minhyuk still wins. Breathless and hunched over on his horse, Yukwon pants, "That's... why... you're like... the perfect... prince..."
"Thanks," says Minhyuk, and his cheeks are red although probably more from the racing than anything else. "Too bad I don't like princess though."
"What?" says Jaehyo, collapsed onto his saddle. Minhyuk's letting his horse pace down unlike Jaehyo and Yukwon, who are trying to recover from their five-minute race.
"I'm just--not a fan of princesses," says Minhyuk. "They're just--" He takes a deep breath. "I'm more into princes, okay?"
A brief moment of silence passes, and then Jaehyo says, still horizontal on his horse, "Does that include us?"
They ride back to the stable with potential discomfort, until Yukwon, who hasn't bothered to lift himself up, accidentally runs into Minhyuk from the side which results in Minhyuk practically chasing him all the way back. When Jaehyo finally catches up with them, they're both off their horses and Minhyuk is attempting to wrestle hay into Yukwon's hair, and Yukwon not having any of it.
"Hey--Hey, my mother's gonna kill me if you mess my shirt up!" he says, and Minhyuk pulls back, hay still stuffed in his hands.
"I was just teasing," he says, but keeps his hand hidden behind his back.
Jaehyo guides his horse to nudge his hand, causing Minhyuk to drop the hay. "Don't tease with that, there's probably horse shit in it," he says, dismounting his horse as Yukwon erupts in peals of laughter.
When he turns around, Minhyuk is staring at Yukwon--Yukwon still giggling to himself, seemingly oblivious to Minhyuk's stares. Jaehyo prods him from behind and Minhyuk looks startled, and Jaehyo gives him a brief--but mischievous--grin. Minhyuk elbows him back.
"Well," says Yukwon brightly. "That was fun. And now Minhyuk's hand is covered in muck--"
"--It is not--"
"Which is even better," Yukwon says teasingly, and Minhyuk looks like he was going to mess with Yukwon's clothes again. He doesn't, though.
"We can go to my chambers, I guess," says Jaehyo. "Since there's nothing better for us to do." He feels absently for his cigar in his trousers, to make sure it hadn't dropped while they'd been riding.
"Oh, I remember where that is, I bumped into you there this morning, didn't I?" says Yukwon. "Should we race to there, too?" He looks entirely too excited.
"Uh," says Jaehyo, because he doesn't feel like doing exercise again (although it's questionable if horseback riding even counts as exercise) but then Yukwon exclaims, "I'm going to anyways!" and dashes off, laughing.
Jaehyo glances at Minhyuk again.
"You're being obvious," he says, and Minhyuk quickly turns away, said,
"Yukwon," says Jaehyo, nodding in the direction where Yukwon had run off to. "You--fancy him?"
"I don't," mutters Minhyuk, and he stares at the grass probably more than the averae person. "I just met him today."
"I did!" says Minhyuk. "And to be fair, you're better looking than he is."
Jaehyo rolls his eyes. "Thanks. But you don't really drop everything else to look at me when I laugh, do you?"
"You're exaggerating," says Minhyuk, and Jaehyo chuckles.
"Maybe," he admits. But he doesn't feel too bad about it--there's nothing wrong with being attracted to blokes, he knows, it's just that it's tradition and politics for princes and princesses, kings and queens, to be linked together. And affairs like Yukwon's parents', and affairs in general, aren't entirely uncommon either.
And also, he can't really blame Minhyuk. "He is very pretty," he says.
"Oh, don't tell me you're hitting on him too," says Minhyuk, and Jaehyo elbows him again.
"We're all very nice to look at," he says honestly. "Like, you want to know something? I request an artist to paint my face every month. She never asks to. I request it." He pauses thoughtfully. "Though she never complains."
"Because there's nothing to complain about," says Minhyuk, and his lips quirk up in understanding and he says, "Yeah, I--slept with a servant boy once? But he wanted there to be something, and that would've been--"
"Boring," says Jaehyo.
"Exactly," says Minhyuk, his eyes widening.
Jaehyo shrugs. "Yukwon's words from before," he says, and then a thought occurs to him. "Hey, you could have a chance--"
"I never said I wanted a chance," says Minhyuk, and punches him in the arm, and Jaehyo laughs and doesn't stop teasing Minhyuk about commitments and the servant boy till they arrived at his bedchambers.
Yukwon is already there, sitting on Jaehyo's large desk and is looking around. Jaehyo thanks privately that some of his papers are pushed out of sight--meaningless journaling, really, but he doesn't want these two near-stranger princes reading his thoughts. "What shall we do?" Yukwon asks, perking at the sight of them, and Minhyuk shrugs and they both look to Jaehyo expectantly.
Jaehyo doesn't consider himself a romantic, but he's also not one to beat around the bush (he thinks.) So he says to Yukwon, sitting beside him on the desk, "What do you want to do?" He instinctively goes to his cigar in his pocket and looks for the nearest torch, but it's only midday and none of them are lit. "Damn," he mutters.
"Uh," says Yukwon, shrugs. "It's your place, you get to decide what we do."
Jaehyo casts a sidelong look to Minhyuk. "What do you want to do?" he asks, and adds a wink.
Minhyuk purposefully ignores both the wink and the raunchiness of Jaehyo's tone and says, "Well, I know we're skipping the lunch feast and all, but I'm kind of starving. Aren't you?" he says to Yukwon, who nods enthusiastically like he's just remembered the existence of food.
Jaehyo sighs but already they're moving towards the doorway, Yukwon mindlessly wondering where the kitchens are, and Jaehyo kind of wants to pull him back in here for being so damn blind to Minhyuk's rather obvious affection. Instead he says, "The kitchens are downstairs and to the left," and follows them out because really, what else can he do?
So they go down to the kitchens to eat and Chef Taeil gives them baguettes and the boy who does the dishes, Jihoon, greets the three princes before Taeil kindly tells him to go back to his work because Jaehyo knows that he has a soft spot for Jihoon.
They sit around on stools and eat their baguettes with cheese and some fruit. Yukwon comments, "I know what it's like to feel like a prisoner now!"
"Yeah, if a prisoner dressed like us and ate in kitchens," Jaehyo points out.
Yukwon looks embarrassed. "I mean, like, the food itself," he says.
"Prisoners also don't eat strawberries or drink wine--"
"You both can be quiet," says Yukwon, faintly embarrassed, and Minhyuk chuckles. Yukwon's looking at Jaehyo, though, and asks, "Can you pass the knife?"
Jaehyo's bewildered. "Sure," he says, and reaches behind Minhyuk to give Yukwon the knife.
Yukwon cuts off a piece of cheese and bites it. Minhyuk stares.
"So, uh," says Jaehyo, as they work on their makeshift meal, "what are you guys up for doing after this? Because there's really nothing interesting to do except hunt, with our parents occupying the castle most of the day."
"Ew, hunting," says Yukwon, while Minhyuk says, "No, thank you."
"You are my types of people," says Jaehyo brightly, breaking off another piece of the baguette. "So what're we going to do? Socialize with my maidservants? Listen to our parents talk about betrothal? Mess with the witch in the dungeons?"
"Or stay in your chambers," says Minhyuk, and Jaehyo frowns a bit, confused. "The others sound boring."
"Witches are boring?" asks Yukwon.
"If you've met one before, yeah." Minhyuk rolls his eyes. "All they are is toads and warts and it's only entertaining for five minutes."
"Well, it's nice to know that you want in my chambers so quickly," says Jaehyo sarcastically, and Minhyuk sends him a look before he quickly adds, "Kidding, kidding. Sort of," he adds from the corner of his mouth, and Minhyuk kicks him. Jaehyo kicks back.
"I'm glad I'm staying out of this relationship," says Yukwon, and Jaehyo faces him quickly. But Yukwon looks like he's teasing, like he--doesn't mean it? Jaehyo's not sure. "But I don't mind joining," Yukwon finishes.
"No!" Yukwon blushes and Jaehyo makes a note of this in the back of his head. "You two your--Jaehyo's bedchambers, I mean!" He's still blushing.
"All right." Minhyuk smiles at him but it's nothing but friendly and Jaehyo wants to push them together because Yukwon still hasn't stopped blushing.
They send their dishes to Jihoon who thanks them heartily, and then go back to Jaehyo's. On their way, Yukwon says to him quietly, "Um. If it means anything, really--I doubt I'll be staying long for this whole princess thing, I might be leaving in the morning."
"How long are you supposed to be staying?" Jaehyo asks. Minhyuk doesn't look at them though Jaehyo's aware that he's listening to their conversation.
Yukwon tries to drop his voice lower. "I don't know, but they know, that--well, you mentioned that princess thing, and I--" he hesitates "I have an older brother who's currently off on a quest and they probably brought me here for appearances, but it's unlikely that I'll actually be an option--"
"Lucky!" says Jaehyo suddenly, and Yukwon shrugs and laughs.
"I guess," he says. "But, ah. I don't think I'll be staying for very long, so." He waves at Jaehyo, then at Minhyuk around him. "It's been nice meeting you."
"You're not leaving now, don't say that," says Minhyuk with a smile, and now this is irritating Jaehyo because beating around the bush. He drags them both back into his room (and offhandedly thinks that he needs a smoke) and both into his bed.
"You know, most of the time I'm awkward with people," he says, sitting on his bed with them and blocking them both with his knees so they can't try to get up. "Like, the first time I had sex was with this maidservant I liked and I had no idea what to do that she was the one who came to me in the first place and had to tell me what to do half the time--"
"Wow, thanks for that image," says Minhyuk, covering his face with his hand while Yukwon's nose is crinkled, like he has no idea what's going on (which is most likely the case)--
"But," says Jaehyo, and just as he's looking forward to saying something like, Are all of us down to fuck or what?, a knock comes at his door and a maidservant pokes her head in.
"Afternoon drinks for the princes," she says, not even batting an eyelash at the three of them on Jaehyo's four-poster canopy bed.
On her silver tray are three wine glasses and a tall bottle, and Jaehyo thinks, Maybe this is exactly what we need. "Bring another three bottles," he says, and takes the tray from her and hands glasses to the other two.
An hour later finds them still on Jaehyo's bed, tasting four different kinds of wine and Yukwon looks gone already. He's giggling more than ever and his hair is kind of rumpled.
"You look so soft," says Minhyuk thoughtlessly, running a hair through Yukwon's dark tufts, and Jaehyo nudges him teasingly with his knee.
"Not as soft as Jaehyo," says Yukwon, and pats Jaehyo's head. Both Yukwon and Minhyuk are sitting side-by-side at the headboard; Jaehyo is sprawled on their laps, sort of, although most of Minhyuk's legs are in an awkward position like he doesn't want to be in the way. Yukwon hasn't seem to have cared.
"I concur," says Minhyuk, flipping through Yukwon's hair again, and Yukwon laughs. "And I'm always right. Perfect prince remember?"
"Right, right," says Yukwon, smiling at him.
Jaehyo sighs because this is nice, and takes a sip of his glass again. Usually it takes more for him to lose his inhibitions, but mixed with the smoke from this morning and Minhyuk and Yukwon's general cheeriness, the wine makes him feel ten times lighter and he rolls his head all around Yukwon's lap because Yukwon seems to like that.
Yukwon sits up suddenly, and Jaehyo thinks that, oh, there's maybe a bug, or--but then Yukwon is holding his face gently and wetting their lips together. Because Jaehyo doesn't remember his lips being so wet and suddenly they are, and then Yukwon pulls back, grinning a bit.
Jaehyo understands why Minhyuk's been staring at him so much.
"Been kinda wantin' to do that," Yukwon mumbles, before falling back against the headboard blissfully. Jaehyo turns his head to the side; Minhyuk is watching Yukwon with an unreadable expression on his face.
Then Minhyuk is cozying up to Yukwon's face and Yukwon lets out a surprised, "mmf!" just a tiny little, "mmf!" as Minhyuk works his mouth against him too, hand holding the back of Yukwon's head. And Jaehyo--Jaehyo watches, not quite sure why, because he'd slept with that other maidservant once, yeah, but watching Minhyuk's long slender fingers work through Yukwon's tufty black hair is more interesting than sticking his dick into a girl's tight little hole. (He and that maidservant hadn't spoken since then, anyway.)
"Oi," says Jaehyo blearily, and he thinks he's going to say something like, don't go at it on my bed, or, not everyone wants to see that. Instead he says, "Someone feeling left out here?" and Minhyuk gives him a bizarre look, but Yukwon giggles and puts his fingers in Jaehyo's hair.
"Right," he says, and he slips off his trousers which has Minhyuk squawking, "What the hell?" and Jaehyo saying, "Wait!" Yukwon pays Minhyuk no heed (which Minhyuk pouts at, and drunkenly slips an arm around Yukwon's shoulders and starts nuzzling at his neck) and instead says to Jaehyo, "You're feeling left out, right? Things get more fun when we take our trousers off."
"Uh," says Jaehyo. "All right, but--"
"But I can take care of your trousers," says Minhyuk from Yukwon's shoulders, and he grins lazily. Not anything like the proper prince he'd been before. "Because Jaehyo's probably not good at that, is he?"
"Fuck you," slurs Jaehyo, picking himself up. "I am great at things."
"Great at what things?" Minhyuk taunts.
"Kissing," says Jaehyo, and he sort of falls on top of Yukwon, aligning their mouths together. Yukwon lets out the same surprised sound as before but quickly turns it into a moan (Jaehyo thinks he might feel Minhyuk kick his calves again) and Jaehyo reaches for the front of Yukwon's shirt, ascending to his chin and lightly cupping his face. Then his fingers dip against Yukwon's collarbone and Yukwon moans again.
"Yeah, I'm good at that," says Jaehyo when he breaks apart, and Yukwon is smiling lazily.
"You are," he says, and then, "oh," and nearly jerks out from underneath him, because Jaehyo feels an arm reaching between their thighs, and--
"Getting you off 'cause Jaehyo's too much of a pussy to do it," says Minhyuk, smirking from beneath them, and Jaehyo sends him a look.
"I'm not a pussy--"
"You can continue kissing me, it's just as good," says Yukwon, grabbing onto Jaehyo's shoulder, and when their mouths meet again, Jaehyo thinks that it's definitely enough.
At the end of the evening Jaehyo's bed is riddled with all their come and he and Minhyuk are semiwrestling while Yukwon's reading a scroll, reading glasses ("You have reading glasses?""Nothing wrong with them!" "Yeah, but they kind of make you look old." "Don't say that, Jaehyo." "What're you scolding me for, Minhyuk?") perched at the edge of his nose. After a bit, Minhyuk pokes his head out between Jaehyo's arms and says, "What are you reading?"
"Jaehyo's innermost thoughts. Found it on the floor," Yukwon says with a grin, and Jaehyo dives at him.
"This is a mess," Minhyuk observes. "We're all naked, and the mattress is--"
Someone knocks at the door and Jaehyo says, "Fuck."
"Princes?" says the voice of a maidservant on the other side of the door. "The dinner feast is starting soon, and you may want to attend--"
"Yeah, yeah, we will," says Jaeyho, clambering out of bed. Dinner feasts are always the most important, and even if he risks boring himself to death at them, skipping is never an option to take. "We should put our clothes on," he says to Minhyuk and Yukwon, who are still on the bed.
Minhyuk puts a head on one of Yukwon's thighs. "Another round?" he says, and Yukwon giggles and pats his face.
"We might have time after the feast, you horny bastard." Jaehyo throws a pair of trousers at Minhyuk. "C'mon."
They get their clothes on, and then when they come out, Jaehyo says to the maidservant at the door, "Please change my bedsheets," and leaves without taking a look at her face. Yukwon nudges Minhyuk's side and giggles.
The torches are lit and Jaehyo takes a quick smoke on their way to the dining hall, and disposes of the cigar in the flowerpot second to the doors; he knows Zico will pick it up later. Minhyuk looks at him funny but Jaehyo says, "I know you like the taste," and is uncannily pleased at how smooth he sounds and how Minhyuk smiles at this. He hears Yukwon let out a sigh and Minhyuk mutter to him, "I can take it all for you."
Jaehyo snorts to himself but that's the only indication of their interaction from beginning to the end of the dinner, as the kings and queens try to pry their afternoon activities out of them individually (and the three pairs of feet finding and tangling themselves together under the table.) Nearing the end of their dinner, as Jaehyo tries to figure out if the current foot tickling his ankle is Minhyuk's right or Yukwon's left, Jaehyo's father taps his wine glass. (All three of them had opted for water for dinner.)
"I have an announcement to make," he says, and everyone perks up. "We've reached a compromise of who'll be handed to the princess for marriage."
At this Jaehyo thinks that Minhyuk might make a witty, charming comment like, Oh, instead of having us all battle it out? and getting everyone to laugh. Instead Minhyuk seems awfully focused on his food--yeah, the foot that's attempting to work its way up Jaehyo's trouwer leg is Minhyuk's.
"Yukwon's older brother, who should be back from his quest of defeating the dragon in the northern mountains in less than a fortnight!" exclaims the Northern King proudly. "Since he is the eldest, and our kingdom currently covers the least amount of land."
"--trolls--" says Minhyuk's father, rolling his eyes.
"The least amount of land," Yukwon's father repeats pointedly. But then he smiles at everyone. "Of course, you are all welcome to the wedding."
"Have they even met?" Jaehyo wonders aloud, but Yukwon hisses to him, "They've slept together already."
Of course, he says this over the table so nearly everyone hears and Yukwon's father clears his throat. "Uh," he says. "Also, that."
Dinner ends smoothly and the Northern and Southern kings and queens are saying their goodbyes. Jaehyo is startled at how quickly they're leaving, but--he supposes an entire afternoon of various sexual activity will do that.
"I've had fun," Minhyuk whispers in his ear, breath warm and Jaehyo faintly remembers what his mouth had been like around his cock. Minhyuk pulls back and smirks and Jaehyo tugs at his sleeve, not letting him go.
"Me too," he says, and then Minhyuk goes to depart with his parents.
Yukwon stays by the castle's big doors a little longer, as Jaehyo's mother wishes both his parents good luck with the wedding. "I'll send an eagle," he says to Jaehyo. "You know, in case you want something else to read than your own fantasies about shagging mansevants if you had any--"
"Yukwon," says Jaehyo, quickly covering his mouth (luckily neither kings nor queens heard), and Yukwon laughs against it.
"Good thing you had us today," he says, and Jaehyo thinks there's something about Yukwon that he doesn't quite understand. Yet.
Their parents finish talking and Yukwon runs off to join Minhyuk by his carriage, and before both of them leave, Yukwon places a small little kiss to Minhyuk's mouth. Jaehyo belatedly wishes he'd done the same, to both of them, and as he turns back into the castle, he can imagine Yukwon's velvet lips kissing back eagerly, Minhyuk's thin mouth battling to kiss him harder and better.
Jaehyo smiles, because there are many more princesses in the land. And there's always next time.