Chapter 1: Wedding Bells
“Show me the portrait again.” Emperor Armitage Hux called, looking himself in the mirror as his attendants rushed around him to ensure his crisp, black robes looked impeccable for his wedding. He liked how he looked in all his Royal regalia; powerful and handsome, nothing like his life as a soldier that was long behind him. “I know it will only be minutes now, but I am still cannot believe I’m about to wed such a beautiful specimen as Prince Benjamin Amidala of New Alderaan.”
“You did threaten to destroy his home. He couldn’t exactly say no.” Mitaka, his advisor and (lucky for him) oldest friend, said with a smirk on his small face, holding up the hologram of the Emperor’s soon to be husband, Prince Benjamin, at his last public engagement. Which happened to be the night they met. The Prince and Senator drew a lot of inspiration from his late Grandmother, Senator Padme Amidala, often dressed in extravagant gowns and flawless make up. On that fateful evening, Ben was dressed in a flowing pink gown that hung off his broad shoulders perfectly, his face painted white and pink lips, a silver circlets on his curly black hair, and was laughing when Armitage first noticed him; a rich, deep and beautiful laugh that left an even more beautiful smile on his perfect face. Armitage had instantly fallen in love and vowed to do everything in his power to ensure this marriage.
Threatening to terminate an entire race did the trick. “You will have to let me have a go on him.”
“He’s not a fair ground ride, but we will see. You will have to wait until I finish with my bride, and take on a mistress or some rugged palace hand.” Mitaka laughed, as the help looked uncomfortable. With his cape fixed and his crown was placed on his neat ginger hair, he turned to look at Mitaka. “I know, I’m exceptional. Shall we head to the chapel then?” Mitaka chuckled, closing the hologram.
“Of course, Your Excellency.”
Despite Mitaka’s look of horror, Armitage couldn’t help but smile softly at the Prince and his handmaidens, as they floated down the aisle. His Royal Highness was a vision in white, the gown embellished in gold and blue thread, almost taking up the aisle with a long trail behind him and his arms were clad in white lace. Benjamin wore his black hair back, with a few curls at the side of his face, which was covered by a lace veil, and in his hands, were matching white roses. Benjamin had kept his makeup light, just a bit of shimmer on his face to hide the tears. Hux was aware that white was the colour reserved for mourning on New Alderaan. His handmaidens were dressed in brown outfits fit for battle, letting their tears be visible for all to see. New Alderaan was weeping for their Prince, who had given up his happiness for his people, and would forever be in his debt for this. Even the Resistance had commented on his bravery.
“I know he’s not happy about this but that is just insulting. He was provided with a proper outfit and now he embarrasses you in this manner.” Mitaka spat.
“He looks even more beautiful than the last time we met.” Armitage whispered, before walking down the steps to greet Benjamin at the bottom (who was surprised at this) and held out his hand for his bride. The Prince handed his flowers to one of the maidens, placing his hand gently in Armitage’s. “Your highness, may I be the first to say you look so incredibly beautiful.” Hux knelt as he said this, bowing to the man and pressing a kiss to his hand. The chapel burst into a soft whisper, mostly words of affection from what the Prince could hear. He was confused as to why the galaxy was believing all of this, as he blushed.
“An Emperor doesn’t usually bow to anyone.” Benjamin whispered, the shock clear in his voice. He looked over the Emperor, who he had only seen in person once before, silently and secretively admiring the way the man held himself. Dressed in a black uniform, his orange hair was neat underneath the crown, and he was handsome. It pained the Prince to say, but if Armitage had been more conventional with his marriage proposal, perhaps he would have been happy today.
“No. But when you look like a god I can’t help but fall to my knees. Besides, in a few moments we will be equals in my eyes.” The Emperor replied, as he stood up again, smiling at the blush that had crept up Benjamin’s neck. The Prince smiled weakly back, before allowing himself to be lead to the alter.
The ceremony was quick and went smoothly, with the Emperor even asking permission to kiss his new husband, which he allowed; only because he didn’t want to cause the man to lose his temper and destroy New Alderaan. The evening reception was pleasant, although Armitage did not join his odd friends in getting drunk and harassing other guests, instead refused to leave Benjamin’s side as he tried to talk to him. He was, however, getting only short responses as the Prince picked at his dinner or sipped his water, before Benjamin decided he’d had enough of the festivities and demanded they retired to their chambers.
"Hello." Armitage said, ending a five minute silence they had found themselves in.
“Hello." The Prince replied, smiling politely. "Your advisor shouted at me. Saying I’ve displeased you with my choice of attire.” Benjamin said softly in his deep voice that drove Hux mad with lust, as he circled his new bedroom, Hux’s main quarters, inspecting everything in detail. Armitage chuckled, his back to the prince as he poured them both a drink. “Have I?”
“No. Defiance. A public display that whilst this isn’t what you want for yourself it is what you are willing to do for you people. On you,” Hux replied, turning around and holding out the tumbler of liquor to Benjamin. “It is incredibly sexy.” The Prince blushed again, as he took off his crown and veil, reaching for the glass and downing the liquid. “You blush a lot. Are you not used to being complemented?”
“I grew up in a professional environment. It would have been inappropriate.”
“Of course. Tell me to stop if it makes you uncomfortable.” Hux placed his own crown in its cabinet, running his hand through his hair to free it from the gel. Benjamin watched him, his heart leaping a little in a way he was ashamed of. This man was his captor, his blackmailer and now forced husband, he should not be attracted to him in this way. Armitage unclipped his cape, placing it on a chair in the corner. “I shall send for your handmaidens, and I will spend my nights on the sofa until you are ready for me to join you.”
“Your Excellency I”
“Benjamin, please call me Armitage. We are married.”
“Then call me Ben, please. And I was under the impression you would like to consummate the marriage. At the very least I can’t kick you out of your own bed.”
"Everything of mine I now share with you. Besides, I want to ensure your comfort. Until you are happy with me, we shall remain half married. It’s the least I can do, all things considered.” Ben scoffed, causing Hux to grin. “Goodnight Ben. Tomorrow we can do all the business matters, such as New Alderaan’s place in the Empire and your title.”
“I’d rather do that tonight.” Armitage liked to think this was because he wanted to spend time with him, but it was probably coming from a place of wanting some order in all of this. "If it's not too much trouble."
“Nothing is for you. I’ll call for your handmaidens to help you get into something more comfortable for business talks then, whilst I find someone not pissed to grab the paperwork.” Hux opened the door to the living area of the quarters, before turning to Ben. “A message to your handmaidens; if any attempt is made on my life, the result will be mass slaughter on New Alderaan and the destruction of Naboo, Tatooine and what other system I feel like destroying.” Hux closed the doors behind him, leaving Ben shaking a little, more with attraction than fear.
His handmaidens rushed into the room a minute later, confused to why he was still dressed before helping him out of the enormous gown, whilst the Prince explained everything that had transpired between the newlyweds. Ben was blushing, confused and curious, as well as exhausted from this whole audial.
“Armitage...He is much… gentler than I imagined him to be. At least with me he’s gentle. He hasn’t even kissed my cheek without for my permission and now won’t bed me until I’m ‘happy’.” Ben said, as he was dressed. “He’s still…. Intense. And I know he will have a temper on him, so for the sake of my people I must keep my cool around. Can I be happy here?”
“You’ll have to try, Your Grace. And not let your anger get the better of you.” Mina said, her voice soft and comforting. Mina was a sweet girl with red hair who could single handily punch her way out of this palace, having trained under Ben’s estranged Uncle Luke before deserting to serve the Prince. “New Alderaan weeps for you, but applauds your bravery. The Senate hopes for success in your plan secure immunity and diplomacy with the Emperor.”
“I have your notes ready Your Grace.” Henry, the handmaiden who closely resembled Ben, whispered, handing the pad over. “And we will be ready in case.”
“No. He has expressed that if any harm comes to him he will kill our people and destroy Naboo. I can manage him, he is my husband after all.” The handmaiden’s obeyed, one by one holding his hands and squeezing them as a sign of support and love, heartbreak clear in their eyes. Ben had picked his handmaiden’s early in his reign, and they have been together for 8 years now; they were his closest friends. The situation hurt everyone involved, but they all knew that Ben’s bravery was saving thousands of lives.
When his handmaidens had left the room, Ben looked himself in the mirror with a stern look, whispering strength to himself before overlooking himself. He was in a soft red slip showing off his lean body, and over the top was his long, silk gown he felt powerful and sexy in. The light scar that ran across face was now visible without his make up on, and a part of him worried Armitage wouldn’t enjoy him now he could see it. Why should I care if he finds me attractive? Ben thought, shaking his head before running his hands through his soft curls that had fallen on his shoulders. He blackmailed me into this union… Come on Ben, you can’t deny this attraction. Be careful. Ben took a few shaky breaths and opened the doors to the living room, as Armitage stood up from his place at the small table by the large window, smiling at Ben.
“Hello. I was starting to worry a little. Would you like some tea?”
“No. I’d rather get on with this.” Ben whispered, walking over. Armitage nodded, pulling out a chair for Ben, who sat down and kept a stern look on his face. Armitage sat next to him, leaning back in his chair and waiting for Ben to start talking. “New Alderaan welcomes our union, we live in a time of great tension and being allied to the First Order’s Empire will bring some balance and stability. But we would like to remind the Emperor that we are allied to the empire, not under it and would not like to be treat like a conquered state.”
“Of course. New Alderaan is a political ally to the empire. I ensure that all diplomatic powers are maintained by the Senate, and the Senate and head of state, you, will be consulted on all future engagements the Empire takes part in. I do not ask to be the Head of State, that is your responsibility and I will try to ensure you have safe passage to Alderaan as often as possible, though I would like to have you at my side at all times.” Ben nodded, surprised the infamously ruthless Emperor was being generous with this. “We must discuss your title. Your married name is, as agreed, Prince Benjamin Hux. Your official title, well that is up to you. You obviously can’t be an Empress or Queen. Unless that is what you want.”
“My handmaids have taken to calling me ‘Your Grace’. I would like to be Prince or Royal consort.”
“His Majesty, Prince Benjamin Amidala of New Alderaan and the Galactic Empire. I do feel sorry for the person whose job it is to introduce us at events. His Excellency, Emperor Armitage Hux of the Galactic Empire, General of the First Order and His Majesty, Prince Benjamin Amidala of New Alderaan and the Galactic Empire. And the most beautiful being in that Empire.” Ben smiled a little, looking down and fiddling with the draw strings on his gown. “Is there anything else you’d wish to discuss?”
“That’s boring and better suited in a board room. Tell me about that scar.”
“I was attack by a Resistance fighter with a lightsabre three years ago when I denied them resources and cut myself off from my mother. I have reason to believe it was my Uncle who ordered to attack.” Pure rage took over the Emperor’s face, as he grabbed the Prince’s hands and looked him deep in the eyes. “Armitage…”
“I vow that the resistance is crush, and that the Skywalker’s and Solo’s are publicly humiliated and executed for this.”
“Kill my father and Uncle… let my mother rot in jail. She is the mastermind behind both rebellions. Death wouldn’t be enough. The deaths of my Uncle and Father will hurt her through the Force.”
“Are you force sensitive? I can’t imagine you not being, given the heritage. The most impressive of course being that of Darth Vader.”
“He never interested me much. But yes, I am but I never found much use in it. My Uncle and Grandfather used to Force fight their way out of tough decisions. They don’t ask questions they just destroyed. Not much to look up to in my eyes. My Grandmother Padme was elected Queen of Naboo at age 14. She is considered one of the wisest rulers Naboo has had. She was beautiful, smart, sophisticated and her only mistake was falling for Anakin Skywalker.”
“You emulate her well.” Ben smiled a little at the Emperor, silently hoping his life with him would always be this quaint. “I should let you rest. May I kiss you goodnight?”
“Yes, you may.” Armitage nodded, leaning in and gently pressing his lips to Ben’s. Ben kissed back, mostly out of curiosity but also with attraction, and the Emperor pressed deeper, moving his lips against the other man’s as they kissed; passion growing as Ben gasped under the kiss, placing a hand on Armitage’s arm as they continued to kiss. Ben was really enjoying this and let himself sink into his husband's touch, then Armitage moved a hand up Ben’s leg. The Prince jolted, pulling away and looking down. “I should go to bed.” Ben got up and rushed to the door.
“Yes. Probably best. We’re going riding tomorrow. So, I can show you around the estate. Goodnight Ben.”
“Goodnight Armitage.” Ben left and Armitage smirked, laying down on the sofa and unbuckling his pants, thinking about his new husband in more compromising situations.
Chapter 2: Into the Woods
Ben’s eyes opened slowly, squinting in the early morning sunlight that tricked through the curtains on the large windows that ran across the east wall. He had slept surprisingly well in the Emperor’s large, silk clad bed, dreaming of Bantha’s on Tatooine, the sun and sand. As well as Armitage kissing his forehead and telling him to go back to sleep. The Prince sat up leisurely, brushing the sleep and curls from his eyes, questioning if his dream of Armitage was real or not, as he looked around the room. Hux’s bedroom was a juxtaposition of light and darkness; the white walls and tall ceilings were illuminated against the black furnishings. From the four-poster bed and its sheets to the wardrobe and chest of draws were all black.
Sliding out of the sheets and wrapping himself in his silk robe, Ben padded through the room and pressed a button on the screen by the door, waiting for a familiar face to answer. He was happy it was Mina who answered, with Henry and James, another look-a-like handmaiden, close behind.
“Good morning, your majesty. Do you need assistance?” Mina asked, a look of concern in her eyes.
“Good morning and not yet, I would like breakfast first.” Ben replied, a soft and reassuring smile on his face. “Could you call someone so I can see what is available?”
“His excellency has taken care of that. He wakes early. You may go through to the living quarters.” Ben raised an eyebrow but thanked her, turning the screen off and floating through. Expecting to see Armitage waiting, the bright room was empty and quiet. Everything about the palace reminded Ben of the grandeur of Naboo and the old Jedi temples; bright and spacious with elegant furnishings. On the small table, where he and Armitage had discussed the terms of their marriage last night, was a plate of starblossom and other fruit from across the galaxy Ben couldn’t name, as well as tea and blue milk. As Ben sat down, he saw a pad propped up against a vase of white flowers. Picking it up, he turned it on, reading its content carefully.
Good morning, darling. I trust you slept well, I’ve never struggled in that bed. I apologise I can’t join you for breakfast but I stepped out. Please enjoy it without me. I must say now that your kiss could sustain me for a thousand years. I hope I will not have to wait that long. I have planned for us to ride around the estate today, I have riding clothes prepared for you. All my love, your Armitage.
Ben couldn’t conceal a blush at the note, putting it down and looking out of the tall windows into the gardens, immediately locking on Armitage. The Emperor was dressed in the same shirt and trousers as last night, smoking as he walked with his back to the palace, two large wolf hounds running around him. Ben felt entranced, watching him stride lazily, possibly deep in thought. The Prince touched his mouth a little, still tingling from the thought of his kiss with the ruthless emperor and how much of that title was true. Yes, he conquered the galaxy with a threat of destroying those who said no to his ‘offer’ of joining his empire, but the man himself felt more layered than the propaganda taught in schools. Plus, he was a fantastic kisser. Armitage had turned and waved at Ben, causing the Prince’s heart to race. The dark-haired man waved back a little, as Armitage began to stride back towards the palace with more purpose than he had been previously been showing.
Armitage burst into the room just as Ben was finishing his breakfast, his bright hair a mess on top of his head, with strands falling over his eyes but a large smile on his face. He strolled over to Ben, his advisers and valets shuffling in behind him, and knelt at the Prince’s feet, taking a hand and kissing his knuckles. Ben let out a small, blushing smile as Armitage stood back up and kissed his head.
“I apologise for leaving you this morning, I should have informed you that I like to walk in the mornings. You looked so peaceful I had to leave you resting.” Armitage said, in a loud but affectionate voice. He was performing to his friends. “I hope breakfast was satisfactory.”
“You don’t need to apologise. It was wonderful.” Ben stood up, turning to face their audience and placing a hand on the Emperor’s arm. He might as well play along, trying not to show how awkward and flustered he felt. "Really lovely."
“Good. We have a lot of plans for today, but first I have some business to take care of privately. You got get ready, we won’t be long.”
“Any business of yours is mine now, I can stay.”
“It’s alright, I will tell you all about it when we’re out.” Ben just nodded, knowing not to cause a scene in front of the advisors, as he did not have their favour to begin with. “I won’t be long.” Ben kissed Armitage gently, before leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Armitage watched him go, a soft smile on his face. “He’s exquisite.”
“Does he fuck like a Prince? We were told he had marital training.” Mitaka said, sitting on the sofa. “Was it very much ‘lie back and think of home’? I bet he’s tight as fuck.”
“Please refrain from speaking about my husband, your Prince, in such a manner. But yes. And vocal.” Hux said, shrugging off his shirt and waiting for the valets to get to work, whilst the advisors chuckled. “He’s magnificent in all areas.”
“Oh that slimy nerf-herder.” Ben growled, his ear pressed against the door. James nodded in agreement, also pressed to the door, whilst Mina and Henry got his riding gear ready. His handmaidens were dressed in traditional red and gold robes, with deep hoods for when they were in active duty. Ben didn’t like them to wear the hoods when in the confines of his chamber, they were his friends after all. “How dare he? I wouldn’t let him near me and now he’s telling people I… I missed that last part.”
“He says you were on your knees for him at a click of his fingers.” James replied. Ben let out a loud noise of frustration, pulling away from the door. “He’s the typical alpha male, Your Majesty, he’s going to brag to his friends in a distasteful way. He's a dog, and his ego has been hurt that you denied him sex.” Ben had already flopped onto the bed, fury written across his face. “Henry.”
“I suggest a frank discussion with him in private. Causing a scene would only make him angry.” Henry said softly, usually being a point of consolidation for the Prince. “We know you can hold your own, but you really don’t want tension to rise and both of you getting angry.”
“Well I’m angry now! How dare he do that! I'm not going out. I'm not spending time with him.”
“He’s showing off. Ignore him. Or tell them the truth. I doubt he likes to be embarrassed.” Mina whispered, holding out his underwear. “And you have to. You should get dressed.”
“Fine. But I won’t be fucking happy about it!” Ben snatched the garments away, going behind the screen, continuing his rant. “What kind of husband flaunts his sex life!? What kind of royalty does that? He has no respect for me! And to think I let him kiss me last night!”
“You let him kiss you?”
“He’s my husband, I knew I would have to at least get used to it! It was supposed to be a small kiss goodnight but it… I don’t want to talk about it!” Mina nodded, handing him more clothing as he changed. “And I didn’t deny him anything. I was trained in what to do, he could have just taken what he wanted. I signed up for that but he didn't. He wouldn't until I wanted it.”
“At least he has that going for him. He cares for you.” Nada, a dark girl with beautiful, thick black curled hair, said from her post at the door, getting a look from Mina and Henry which Ben missed. “Do you think you will ever love him, Your Majesty?” Ben stepped out from behind the screen, wearing a white shirt that was concealed by a blue riding jacket and black riding pants, matched with shiny high boots, moving to sit on the bed. Mina came over and sat next to him, in her hands was a silver hair brush and some hair ties. “I’ve requested a dressing table and chair be moved in here for you, Your Majesty.”
“Thank you and… I don’t know. He’s a different man with me, he’s soft. I don’t know if that is real or not. I suppose I could… given enough time.” Ben sighed, as Mina carefully brushed his hair. “Is he acting like that with me to gain my trust and make me fall in love with him to gain leverage over New Alderaan or is he really like this and has to be the man he is to the world to keep his power? Is he both? What does it make me if I do have feelings for him?”
“It doesn’t make you a bad person Ben.” Mina said softly, separating his hair into sections to start braiding it back. “All you can do is be yourself, if you fall in love with him we know you must see something good in him. Just remember, you are a Prince first, then a husband. And keep a lid on the temper whilst you are out. We will be on the estate but he has asked we keep our distance. He has that vanguard with him when he travels.”
“Thank you, Mina, thank you to all of you.” Ben smiled, overwhelmed with happiness and love for his handmaidens.
When Armitage had marched him and his vanguard into his palace and declared war, before deciding a ‘gentler’ option of marriage, the only emotional support he had were from his handmaidens.
“Here he comes.” Nada whispered, lifting her hood over her head, which the other’s copied. They had decided to not look Armitage in the face, a sign of their loyalty to their Prince and not him. Ben stood up, smiling a little as Armitage burst into the room, in full, royal riding gear, stopping and grinning at Ben. Nada walked over, handing Ben a small box. “Your hair clip, My Majesty.” Armitage took note of that, walking over and taking the box from her.
“I’d like to put it in, if you don’t mind my darling?”
“Well Mina and Nada help me get ready and have for years so.” Ben started, but Armitage held a hand up to stop him talking.
“But I’m your husband. I want to help.” Ben just nodded, sinking down onto the bed and throwing a look to his handmaidens, who were lined up in front of him. Armitage opened the box, smiling at the small red flower clip, taking it out so delicately and placing it in Ben’s black hair with care. “This must mean a lot to you.” Ben nodded, trying not to show that he was enjoying the way the Emperor ran his fingers through his hair. "Beautiful."
“It was a gift from my grandmother’s sister, my great-aunt. She said it was Padme's when she was a child. It means the world to me.”
“Naturally. Your dressing table will be arriving in a few days, I hope you will be alright until then.”
“We will manage.”
“Anyway, shall we?” Ben nodded, standing up and accepting the arm the ginger man had extended out. “Your handmaidens won’t be needed. My vanguard will protect us. They can stay here and unpack your things, sort, other handmaiden things.”
“My deepest respect Your excellency, our duty is to our Prince, we travel with him.” Nada replied, her head still down. “We will accompany you on this ride.”
“I would feel more comfortable with them, not close of course.” Ben said, with confidence and a slight squeeze of Armitage’s arm. “We can never be too careful.” The Emperor kept an annoyed glare at the handmaiden’s, who remind him of the dolls the young female cadets would play with; pretty, statuesque things, in beautiful matching outfits, lined up in a neat order. A young Armitage took great pleasure in twisting the dolls heads off.
“Fine. Only these four. But I demand a bit of decency and respect, look at me when I am addressing you, unless you’d rather I get upset. Ben is a delicate thing as well. You wouldn’t want to upset us.” Ben’s stomach lurched, linking his pointing finger and thumb into a circle on his leg to sign it was alright. The four lifted their heads, but never their hoods. “Wasn’t that easy? Don’t stand too close.” Armitage lead the way out, making sure they weren’t too close. The Emperor leaned over, whispering “I don’t think we need them.”
“It is their duty to serve and protect me. They would die for me. They come everywhere with me, from a ride around my home to meetings across the galaxy and they serve only me. I allowed them to raise their heads to you, and I will ensure they don’t speak out of term, but don’t you dare threaten them or me again. They are my closest advisers and friends.” Ben hissed, still looking ahead to keep up an appearance to the maids rushing around, but anger clear on his face. “I don’t order or insult your vanguard.”
“Alright. Fine, if they mean so much to you I won’t.” Armitage spat back, before taking a deep breath. “Anything else?”
“I also don’t appreciate the way you speak about me to your friends.”
“That we will discuss when outside. Smile for the help, they want to see you happy.” Ben complied, nodding and smiling to the servants as they passed, who bowed and muttered ‘Your Graces’ as they went. “Let me tell you about the palace. It’s in the style of the Great Emperor Palpatine’s retreat on Naboo, with many features coming from the Imperial palace of Coruscant.”
Ben continued to listen to Armitage explain the palace, when it was built, why he decided to change it and so on, hanging off his arm like a good husband/wife, until they stepped out into the stable yard. There, he saw two of the most beautiful horses he’d laid eyes on. Two black beauties, who were as tall as Ben, with soft, shining coats and tidy manes and tails. They were currently nipping at each other and shaking their heads.
“This is Solan and Karissa, I’ve had them in the stable for a few years now, and all they’ve done is give me a foal fit for racing, and play with the Endor Ponies I have here as well. I’m giving you Karissa, as a wedding gift. I hope we can ride together often.”
“Which one is she?”
“The one on the left, with the red ribbon’s in her hair.” Ben pulled away, walking over to the horses and petting Karissa softly. He whispered some hellos to her, smiling and telling her she was a beautiful pony. Armitage couldn’t help but grin. “Do you like her?” The Prince turned and smiled at him brightly; that beautiful, loving smile that had made the Emperor fall in love with him in the first place.
“I love her, thank you Armitage. I have to find a way to repay you.”
“No, you don’t. You've done enough already. Let’s get going, before they have a lover spat.” Ben laughed, swiftly mounting the horse with grace, surprising and slightly arousing the red-haired man. “Well you are full of surprises, aren’t you?” Ben just smiled with a gentle blush creeping up his neck, waiting for Armitage to mount Solan. “This is the most masculine I’ve seen you dress, by the way. Minus the hair.”
“Do you not like it?”
“I love it. You’re extraordinarily beautiful, regardless of what you wear.” Ben beamed, before trotting out of the stable and into the place grounds, Armitage following with a large grin.
The palace gardens were beautiful, full of flowers from every corner of the galaxy, assorted by colour and planet of origin. Ben enjoyed the smell, the colour and the surreal peace the garden’s had. Armitage told Ben the stories behind it all, which mostly consisted of ‘when I took the planet for my empire I saw these and liked them’. As they entered the wooded area of the gardens, that felt more like a forest, the conversation became a little more serious.
“So, what issues did you have with me talking about you to your friends?” Armitage asked, very bluntly, after explaining how he imported tree’s from Endor. Ben frowned, looking at Armitage with a look of ‘You really can’t figure that out yourself?’.
“I don’t mind you talking about me. I mind you telling your friends I worshiped your cock. Don’t make me look like a common whore. These people will need to respect me, I am your consort, I am one of the most influential people in your life, well I should be, and I don’t want them to think lower of me. I can’t take back what you have already said but I want it to stop. Immediately.” Armitage was impressed, seeing the senator in Ben come out.
“And what was the kiss this morning about then?”
“Keeping up appearances. We will have to… show the nature of our relationship. In public. In a month’s time.” Armitage nodded, as they fell into another comfortable silence. “I don't know anything about you. Apart from your impressive service record. I am not sure I wish to know how you rose to General so quickly." Ben said softly, still admiring the gardens they were riding through. "Maybe we could start with your early life that's not on records."
"Well I'm a bastard. I mean you figured that out, but I'm also illegitimate." Armitage replied, causing Ben to snigger a little. "My mother was low ranking official trying to improve her standings, my father, Brendol Hux, was an officer in the Old Empire on the Death Star. She was the most beautiful women on that machine, but weak. She died giving birth to me, and I was presented to my father on his honeymoon. My step mother is a wonderful woman who raised me as her own and I love her as if she were my biological mother. In fact, I only learned she wasn't after a drunken fit from my father aged 11. He reminded me often. With occasional beatings."
"I'm so sorry that happened Armitage. I thought my father was bad, he just left us."
"I know. And I am sorry about that. Anyway, at 13, I entered the academy. That was the same year my step mother finally fulfilled her duty and gave him an heir, my little brother Brendol Jr. He will inherit everything that is my fathers and I, the eldest, was expected to die like a common soldier on a battle field, as my father wished. So, I rose to General and you know the rest." Ben nodded, smiling a little. “Shall we stop here? I brought some food. Talk about… I don’t know. Trade?”
“No that’s boring and better suited for a boardroom.” Armitage rolled his eyes playfully, climbing off the horse and tying Solan to a tree, grabbing a box from bag attached from the saddle. Ben made not of when his husband ‘brought food’, it means he had the kitchen pre-plan something, as he slipped off his horse.
The couple sat next to each other, at the base of a tree on a soft picnic blanket, discussing their childhoods and swapping stories, trying to make this marriage at least civil. They made each other laugh with impressions of strict palace officials, advisors and parents that they could now laugh at, as successful men. The Prince told the Emperor of his grandmother, more of why he loved her so much and the fight he had to get her belongings, and Armitage promised Ben he would get them all back and put into the Palace of New Alderaan, as well as his grandfather’s helmet he also craved but couldn’t possess. Ben loved Armitage's accent, and could listen to him tell stories of parties and what he was doing tomorrow. The Prince sighed, enjoyed the cool breeze that swept through the trees, taking in the sound of birds and the horses whinnies to each other. It felt right. It felt as if this was meant to be.
“You must really like animals. You mentioned your cat the night we met.” Ben said, nibbling on a sandwich and just looking at his husband. “Mellie? Millie?”
“Millicent, my ginger cat. She’ll come out when she’s ready, she’s not great with strangers. And I’ll introduce you to the dogs this evening if you’d like?”
“Yes please. I love dog but we were never allowed dogs in the palace.”
“Animals are essential in life. They’re companions. Millicent is actually Millicent the second, her mother I got at the academy, as the bastard son of Brendol Hux I didn’t make friends easily. Mainly because my father scared everyone. She was a companion. She’s buried under her favourite tree. I suspect we’ll be heading into a 3rd generation; Millie has been snooping around one of the maids Tom cat. He’s dark, large but still graceful. I see the appeal.” Ben laughed, before smiling at Armitage.
“Oh really?” The red-haired man leant in and captured Ben’s lips, moving to put a hand on the Prince’s waist and his other hand moved to curl in the Prince’s dark hair, whilst Ben’s arms went around Armitage’s neck, really enjoying the kiss. It felt right, he could feel himself falling in love with the Emperor, and not in a captor-captee type of way. Perhaps he was already falling the night they met. “Not here.” Ben whispered against the other man’s lips, trying to make it sound sexy and implying he wanted to move inside. Armitage let out a short chuckled, and Ben tipped his head, smiling. “What?”
“This is familiar. If you didn’t say that, in those gardens the night we met I may not have stormed your castle.” Ben pulled himself away, stumbling to his feet and looking horrified. “Let me explain.”
“THAT is the reason you did all of this!? Because I didn’t want to make out in our hosts flower bed!? Oh, my stars Armitage, what the actual fuck!?” Armitage stood up, composing himself and started his attempt at calming the Prince, but Ben had reached the level of rage he had counselling for. “You threatened my people, my home and forced me into a marriage because I wouldn’t make out with you!!? Why can’t you be a normal being and message me? I had a fucking fantastic night with you then, I just have common decency and don’t believe I’m entitled to everything I see to return to a party and speak to people who wanted to see me! Not throw a fit and point a death ray at a man’s head! You are unbelievable! Unbelievable! You are a fucking bastard! To think I have feelings for you!” Ben roared, in the Emperor’s face, before storming towards Karissa and Solan, who were listening to everything, untying them from the tree.
“Ben. Stop.” Ben had already climbed on Karissa’s back, still holding Solan’s reins firmly. “Don’t you dare. That’s my horse.” Ben was trying to hold back tears of anger, but, due to his makeup, long black tears began marked his face.
“Walk back. I’ll be in our chamber’s breaking something.” Ben kicked Karissa into a full gallop, with Solan racing beside them, disappearing among the tree’s and leaving Armitage, red in the face, behind in the silence to start the longest walk of shame back to his palace.
Chapter 3: Political coupling
Three weeks had since passed since the incident in the garden, and Armitage and Ben were still not speaking in a civil manner. They had fought viciously when Armitage made it back, to a point the handmaiden’s and vanguards were outside ready for when it escalated, with looks of concern thrown at each other. Now, they couldn’t be in the same room for longer than an hour without someone muttering a snide remark and the other exploding into a screaming fit. Ben spent the rest of his honeymoon tolerating the palace, walking in the garden’s and reading in the Emperor’s vast library, whilst Armitage went back to work; mostly political strategies meetings and trade issues. When asked, both would smile and say they were enjoying married life and very much in love, with Ben telling the staff and friends across the galaxy ‘Armitage is so busy, I don’t mind being alone. He’s giving me time to learn how to be an Emperor’s consort. But I love him very much, I’m very happy to be here’. Which was only part a lie.
In truth, having had to spend a lot of time around Armitage in Emperor mode, Ben had a new-found respect for the man; yes, he was in control half the galaxy at this point, but he was a kind and fair man. The prince had walked in on the Emperor screaming at his vanguard for ‘blatant disrespect towards his husband, the light of his life’ and even threatened them with execution for treason if he ever heard that again. He’d later found out through his handmaiden Halina that they were mocking his style as ‘way too girly for a big man’. Whilst he was still furious, it sparked something in his heart. He'd also watched Armitage argue with many people over fairer sanctions and more resources to be sent to the poorer areas of the galaxy; he wasn't forcing people to join his Empire, he was offering them what they need in return.
The last morning of their honeymoon, Ben was sat up in bed, eating pastries with a pregnant Millicent at his side, reading and enjoying the peace of mornings in the palace.
When it was ruined by Armitage storming into the room, slamming the door behind him, shutting out Mitaka and other members of his staff. Ben grinned at the look of displeasure on his face; he was being made to apologise by his officials.
“We’re having a ball this evening. So, we need to be on speaking terms.” Armitage said, with a sigh afterwards. Ben put his breakfast down, picking Millicent up and placing her on his lap. “She’s pregnant, be careful.” Armitage growled, his teeth clenched and tighten fists. "Ben be careful for fuck sake!"
“I always am. But I can’t tonight.” Ben replied, a mocking tone in his voice. Armitage’s jaw clenched, as did his fists, and he took a moment to compose himself, before forcing a smile. Ben just smiled back, petting the purring Millie.
“I don’t want to.” Armitage had to turn away to conceal his rage. Ben had to bit his lip to stop himself smiling, before composing himself. “Who will be coming to your ball then? I might be persuaded by the guest list and an apology.”
“Now you are just being petty!”
“I’m not, I just believe I have a right to know. If I’m stuck with your boring, alpha dog friends I’d rather spend the evening with a Bantha. Or one of the actual dogs, at least they have a sense of compassion and a libido.”
“That can be arranged!”
“But you don’t share well. And do keep your voice down, Millie is with child; she can’t stand the stress.” Armitage pinched the bridge of his nose, as the Prince consort pet Millie some more, smiling as she purrs. The emperor sighed, composing himself. "Are we going to discuss things in a civil manner, using our inside voices?"
“Everyone of importance is attending tonight. It’s a ball for us, our marriage. And I’m not apologising unless you do.”
“I did nothing wrong.”
“You rode off with my horse, leaving me in my garden after screaming in my face, before shutting me out of my own quarters and starting fights in meetings!! And whatever this fucking game you are playing now!” Millie had decided to take this as her cue to leave, jumping down and moving to her own bed across the room.
“You know you deserved all of that!! You blackmailed me into marriage because you got butt hurt!” Armitage looked confused and a little amused. Both took a deep breath in unison, which reminded them they’re not so different from one another after all. “But fine, I am sorry for leaving you there. It was childish of me, and cruel.”
“I apologise for my actions. It was immature of me to act the way I did.” Armitage walked around and sat on the edge of his bed, taking both of Ben’s hands in his. “I’ve never been amazing at dealing with my emotions. You’re the most beautiful being in my star system. The moment I first laid eyes on you, across that room I knew I wanted a life with you; marriage, family, everything. The fact you seemed to feel the same way, only to rush off, crushed me. The fear of you rejecting me made me act so irrationally. I can’t help but have very intense feelings for you.” Ben didn’t want to forgive him, not truly, but the fluttering in his stomach made it impossible for him to stay mad much longer.
“I was looking for you afterwards. Once I had finished my talk with the Riosan senator. But you had already left.” Armitage nodded, looking very sorry for himself. “We’re married now, we’re in the public eye and we can’t go back on it. I want this to work. As strange as everything is, I do have feelings for you. And, I wasn’t lying, I did have a nice night with you, the day we met. And that day in the garden was nice as well.”
“Let’s put everything behind us. Tomorrow, you start your official duties. We can work from that point.” Ben nodded, a soft smile on his face. “I’m going to kiss you now, mostly because I’ve missed it and part because Mitaka is going to barge in here and demand you apologise for insulting me. He’s odd but he is my best friend.” Ben laughed, closing the gap between them and pressing their lips together. It was a series of light kisses, with Armitage moving his hands to cup Ben’s face, both smiling.
Then, as if on cue, Mitaka stormed the room, yelling already at Ben’s continued insubordination and his low-ranking blood status as ‘half-royalty’.
“Your excellence I!” He paused, as Armitage turned away from his husband. “I apologise I.”
“Mitaka, it’s very rude to burst into a man’s chamber’s when he’s with his husband and the door is closed. You’re very lucky the Prince is feeling tired. Now, go make yourself useful and fetch the tailors. His Majesty is just about to get ready for the fitting, but give us 20 minutes.” Armitage ordered, his hands still on the Prince’s face as a sign they were not finished.
“35 minutes, actually.” Ben quipped, making the red-head turn to look at him with surprise. Ben had a playful grin on his face, turning his head to kiss the Emperor’s palm. “You may leave, Lieutenant Mitaka.”
“Of course, your Graces. My deepest apologises.” Mitaka said, bowing low as he exited the room.
“Wait, Mitaka one more thing.” Armitage called, causing the Lieutenant to spin around. Removing his hands from Ben’s face, and pulling out a blaster, Armitage fired at the man; the blaster beam only narrowly missing the small man’s face and speed into the other room, causing everyone in there to duck and cry out in fear. Ben jumped, grabbing onto his husband and looking at him in shock (and arousal). “I expected this manner from my soldiers, and they have been dealt with once and behaved since. And now I must speak to my advisors and friends AGAIN. If I ever hear you or ANYONE speak about my beloved, Your Prince, like that again I, nor the firing squad, will miss you! Now get out of my sight!” Mitaka rushed away, the doors being closed by disapproving but amused handmaidens. “I’m sorry if that startled you.”
“He deserved it.” Ben pulled Armitage back, kissing him hard on the mouth. The Emperor pushed Ben down on the bed, “Armitage…” The red-head just grinned, kissing the Prince on the lips a few more times before moving to his neck, as he started to pull back the covers. Ben grinned a little, closing his eyes and enjoying the soft kisses the emperor was showering his neck with. The dark-haired man moved his hands into Armitage’s hair, pulling the back free from the confines of the hair gel.
“Mind if I join you under there?” Ben blushed, as the Emperor pressed kisses to his cheeks.
“I don’t want this to be our first time… Tonight, I promise.” The emperor rested his head on his husband’s chest, sighing a little. “I don’t want my first time with you to be a quick fuck.” Armitage grumbled a little, before sitting up and looking at Ben, who smiled softly at him. “Tonight.”
“It’s probably best, otherwise we’d never make it to the party this evening. Or my inspections. You should join me after, it’s a horse back inspection and Solan always gets fussy when he has to walk up and down the lines.”
“Can I watch on the ground? On Karissa as my first of my official duties. In a fit of rage, I bought 3 new riding outfits. I still haven’t worn the black one yet.” Armitage couldn’t help but laugh a little, pressing a kiss to Ben’s nose.
“Of course, petal. I will be good for moral. Seeing us together.” Ben smiled, kissing Armitage again. “I should go, I have to get ready for a quick meeting.”
“We have 30 more minutes. Kiss me for at least five more of them. Then you can get dressed in here, it is our bedroom.” Armitage just grinned, leaning back in to kiss his husband.
“I think I’m in love with him. We’re going to consummate our marriage finally.” Ben said, smiling as he changed into his riding clothes. “And you should have seen the dress he’s had made.” James and Henry look at one another, before turning attention to Mina. Ben didn’t notice, currently being a permanent resident of cloud nine. “You know, he was like this the night we met; but I do forgive him now, for all of this. It's the right thing to do, forgive.”
“Your Majesty, may I speak with you alone?” Mina said, still stood rigid by the door.
“Mina, you are my oldest friend and advisor, you don’t have to ask.” Henry and James took that as their cue to leave, closing the front door behind her. The Prince, who now dressed in a black riding jacket, with the back tails that trailed down to the floor and silver leaves embroidery that matched its silver buttons with white shirt and jodhpurs underneath, walked to his dressing table, sitting on the little seat to apply his makeup. “You’re worried. I trust him Mina.” He whispered, grabbing his foundation brush. For the inspection, he decided to keep it light but regal. He applied a light coat of foundation and highlighter to his high cheekbones, before brushing and shaping his eyebrows and applying silver eyeshadow. The Prince completed his look with a light coat of mascara and a nude lipstick.
“I know you do, we would have smuggled you out if there were issues. I am worried about you, Ben. You left your parents at 15 and began political and royal training the second you stepped onto New Alderaan. I don't want him to take advantage of you, or for you to let him do so unknowingly. Do you know what is safe in sex? What you enjoy?”
“I had training on marital matters.” Ben picked up his hairbrush, slowly brushing his hair.
“You’ve been told how to lie back and please him.”
“That’s my duty… right?” Ben turned a little to look at his handmaiden, a little worried. “My duty as his husband is to ensure his pleasure. Dress nice, lie back and…” The disappointed look on Mina’s face made him trail off. “What do I do?” Mina smiled a little, walking over and taking the brush from the Prince, brushing his hair back.
“I don’t like him Ben, you know this. But I know he loves you more than I ever believed a person could, so just talk to him. And masturbate a little, think about what you want in bed as well.” Mina smiled brightly at him, running her fingers through his hair to make sure there was not a curl out of place. “Just remember, it’s not all that. It might not be great the first time, but you’ll both learn your rhythm. He’s got another gift for you. Close your eyes, his instructions.” Ben grinned, closing his eyes and holding his hands out.
“I haven’t even unwrapped my gifts from the wedding. Armitage has already given me a horse and a so many beautiful gowns. I’m glad I’ve got a husband that really supports the dresses and makeup. Poe really wasn’t and.”
“You were 15 Ben. He was only 16 himself. You were never going to marry him anyway, you accept the Royal duties the people of New Alderaan had been asking of you and your mother since your birth. He’s noting but a pilot. A lap dog to your mother’s regime. She failed Alderaan and New Alderaan, you brought us prosperity, hope and wealth. His Excellency has done the same.” Ben felt Mina place something in his hair, before running her hands through his hair. “That boy made you cry a lot as well.”
“We were children.”
“Yes, but you might have a better relationship with the dictator who almost shot a man this morning.” Ben chuckled. “At least he knows how to treat a man, open your eyes.” Ben’s eyes fluttered open slowly, looking dumbstruck at the silver tiara that was decorated with red flowers and jewels, matching his beloved hairpin. “He likes the details, doesn’t he?”
“Yes.” Ben just grinned, getting up. “I have to go, thank you Mina.”
“My duty is to serve you, my Prince.” Ben grinned, rushing to the door and throwing them open, Henry and James waiting to escort him to the stables.
The three men chatted about the party that night, arranging posts and guard rotations, before Ben caught sight of his husband in the courtyard. Armitage was in his full military uniform; a black uniform with the First Order logo on his arm. Across the left-hand side of his chest were several medals that Ben was unsure of the origin, though he knew the Emperor would have earned them during his time as a soldier and general. He was also wearing a cape draped across his right side and his usual gold circlet crown in his neat ginger hair.
“I feel like I should salute you, sir.” Ben said, as he strolled over. Armitage grinned at him, waving off from the attendant he was talking with to pour all his attention onto his husband, taking his hands and kissing the knuckles. Ben knew he would never tire of the simple affection the Emperor showered him with. When he was in a good mood, that is. “I love the crown, thank you.”
“I love how you look in it. I hope you’ll wear it this evening.”
“Of course.” Armitage smiled, leaning in for a kiss. “This lipstick transfers really easy and I don’t think you want to be wearing it in front of your troops.”
“Ah yes, best not. But as soon as this is finished.” The emperor tickled Ben’s sides and making his husband chuckle, pressing a kiss to his cheek before mounting his stallion. “That is, of course, if I can pay attention to my troops with you out there.” Ben laughed, as he climbed on Karissa and followed Armitage onto the horse grounds, looking at the neat rows of soldiers.
The face of Poe Dameron suck out under the Imperial hat, making Ben freeze and turn pale.
The pilot and resistance fighter kept a straight face, to an untrained eye blending among the soldiers, but kept his dark eyes on Ben. Ben felt a chill run up his spine, unable to break eye contact. The Prince tried to conceal his panic, smiling when Armitage looked his way, trying not to draw attention to his ex and resistance fighter. The Emperor, however, noticed where his husband’s gaze kept going, and the look of uncomfortableness on his pretty face. Armitage pushed Solan into a quick walk over to glare down at Poe, who didn’t look back at him.
“I know my Prince is a vision, but I would appreciate it if you didn’t stare.” Armitage spat. “You’re making him uncomfortable.” Poe didn’t stop staring at Ben, as the Prince held his breath, unsure on what he was going to say next.
“Sorry sir. I am from New Alderaan. I’ve never see our Prince in person and apologise for being so struck by his beauty.” Poe shouted, just making Ben panic more. “I will try to stop.”
“Stare when you are not on inspection soldier. I will chop off your hands if I catch you near him though.” Armitage continued his inspection with very little yelling, before riding over to Ben. Ben grinned at him, suddenly feeling at ease and finally being able to ignore Dameron. “My darling, will you accompany me on a ride through the gardens?”
“Of course my love.” The couple smiled at each other before riding off, and in the corner of his eye Ben could see the disgusted and unhappy face of Poe Dameron.
“Ben, did you know that Soldier?” Armitage asked later that evening, as he dressed for the party. He was currently fixing his medals chest, kitted out in full formal attire, still thinking about the way his soldier stared at his husband, trying not to let jealousy boil over and leap out. “You looked uncomfortable to see him.” He fiddled with the gold shoulder pads, re-adjusting the red sash that stood out against the black military jacket underneath.
“He reminds me of a boy I grew up with.” Ben lied, from behind the screen. He was glad the emperor couldn’t see the look of worry and upset on his face as Mina and Nada helped him with his dress. “He was a horrible boy, he played with my heart then laughed at me for wearing dresses. That’s all it is.” Armitage felt a bit of relief, kneeling down to stroke Millicent in her bed, smiling at her. The cat purred a little, letting out a small meow. “Leave Millie alone. You’ll get cat hair on your suit.”
“I think she’s going to give birth soon. Should I get someone to watch her, just incase?” Ben popped his head around the screen, his face painted white and three red dots under each eye. He was also wearing red lipstick on his top lip, a line in the middle of the bottom. He still had his hair in rollers. “You look wonderful, by the way.”
“Thank you, so do you, but I’m not finished. Armie she’ll be fine, she’s a cat. She’ll figure it out by herself.”
“Armitage is a mouthful.” The ginger man chuckled, as Ben smiled, dipping back behind the curtain. Armitage fix his hair, moving his crown a little, before sitting on the end of the bed. Mina and Nada both grinned, Nada zipping Ben up whilst Mina took out the hair rollers and fixed his crown in place.
“I know you’re not a fan of my violent outbursts. But let me shot him. Just in the shoulder I won’t kill him.”
“He made you uncomfortable. I only want to ensure your happiness.”
“I’ll be happy if you don’t shoot anyone tonight.” Armitage rolled his eyes a little. “Thank you Mina, Nada. You may leave.” Mina and Nada walked out from behind the screen, a soft smile on their faces.
“Hold on to your socks, your Excellency.” Nada said, smiling a little more. “They are about to be blown off.” Armitage laughed, smiling back at them.
“Thank you ladies. Enjoy the evening, I’ll keep him safe.” They both bowed their heads, exiting the room. “Well, I’ve been prepared. Let me see you.”
Ben floated out from behind the screen, smiling at his husband who looked star struck. Ben had seen this dress before, it was modelled on the dress Padme Amidala had worn on Naboo, although this dress was not yellow and purple. The dress was a deep, romantic red, fading to black at the bottom, that fell loosely over him, with golden jewellery. The neck of the dress was a gold necklace like feature that wrapped around his neck and went down to his collar bones, connecting to the material and two gold bands connect to the shoulders. It was decorated with petals to match his crown, which sat on neat, perfect curls.
“I cried when I saw it. How did you know this was my favourite of my Grandmother’s fashion?” Ben whispered, walking slowly over to him. “What do you think?” Ben gave a little twirl, chuckled before holding his hands out for the Emperor, who took them, not breaking eye contact with his husband and still looking totally star struck and in love. This was the first time Ben noticed he and Armitage were the same height, meaning they could always look each other directly in the eye.
“I asked one of your handmaidens. Stars you are so beautiful Ben. So, so beautiful. Can I kiss you?” Ben nodded, leaning in and kissing him softly before pulling away. “If I kiss you anymore we’ll miss the party. And we have tonight for that.” Ben linked their arms, grinning at his husband as they walked out of their chambers and along the halls to the party.
“Are you really going to protect me?”
“Well I doubt you need it, but I’ll keep an eye out. Don’t feel obliged to stick to my side, I’ve already got you in marriage. Enjoy yourself, dance with the crusty old men who say perverted things.” Ben laughed, squeezing Armitage’s arm. “Ready?” Armitage whispered, as he heard the room being hushed by trumpets.
“With you, always.” Armitage kissed his cheek, before turning his head to face the door, waiting for it to be opened. “I made a slight adjustment to my title.” The Emperor raised an eyebrow, still looking forward.
“May I present His Excellency, Emperor Armitage Hux of the Galactic Empire, General of the First Order, and His Majesty, Prince Benjamin Amidala-Hux of New Alderaan and the Galactic Empire.” The crier announced, as the doors swung open and the royal couple stepped into view on a balcony like platform, a thunderous applause at the sight. The royal couple waved at the crowd; smiling at them but also each other, before Ben leaned in and kissed the corner of the Emperor’s mouth, causing another round of loud cheering. Armitage held a hand up to silence the room, and after a few more whoops and claps, before addressing the crowd.
“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I will make this brief as I am itching to twirl my beloved around that dance floor and will no doubt speak with most of you. Thank you for being here on our special night, it means a lot to Benjamin and I. Try not to make a mess. Enjoy your evening.” There was a polite applause, as Armitage lead Ben down the stairs to the dance floor, the crowd parting naturally as they walked through. Ben tried not to blush at all the whispers and stares, as the emperor moved to stand in front of him, smiling.
“Everyone is watching you.” Ben whispered, as they took a dancing hold.
“I believe they are looking at you. You’re the most beautiful man in this room, and you’re all mine.” The Prince smirked, letting Armitage parade him around the ballroom, showing off his husband to everyone.
The party was going well. It was bright; full of laughter and music, as well as lots of good food. Ben and Armitage danced for hours; twirling around the room laughing and smiling at each other, breaking for food and chats with senators and people of influence across the galaxy. Armitage kept the conversation light and mostly orientated with how wonderful Ben was and how talent he was, pushing all the idea’s his husband had pitched in meetings. Conversation, inevitably, turned to deeper and more serious political matters. Whilst Ben was used to this, he needed a break. Not wanting to disturb the deep conversation Armitage was having with the senator of Naboo, and walked onto the balcony. Sighing at a cool breeze filled his hair, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the peace.
“Enjoying this charade I see." The Prince jumped, turning to glare at Poe Dameron, who was leant against balcony. His brown hair was a mess on top of his head, dressed in a beige leather jacket, mustard shirt and dark trousers. “Looking lovely Ben.”
“That’s 'Your Majesty’ when first addressing me and then sir after that, Dameron. You need to leave.” Ben snapped back, in a hushed voice.
“I've known you since we were babies, let’s cut the formalities. I’m taking you home to Leia.”
“I am home. And the last time you took me anywhere it ended with me in tears. Leave now or you’ll force me to call for Armitage. I already stopped him from having you hunted like a game.” Poe frowned, taking a few steps closer to him. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Ben you’ve been kidnapped, why can’t you see this? He’s controlling you, he’s a monster.”
“And you people aren’t? No one is innocent in this. You both kill and destroy and take. Him for an empire, you for a so called resistance. But at least his Empire is doing some good. He's opened New Alderaan new trade deals, better food, education. My mother’s pitiful resistance wanted our resources and army. And I don’t do anything I don’t want to.” Poe grabbed Ben's hand, holding it softly in both of his. “Poe let go. I’m married. I don’t want anything more to do with you, but I will let you leave.” Poe ignored him, kissing Ben's knuckles.
“Come back with me. Ben I know I messed up but you are still my first love. I want to fix things. Your mom. Luke. Han, Rey and everyone. We all miss you, we really do.” Poe was leaning in dangerously close, as Ben looked at the ground, not letting him win. The other man rubbed his thumbs across The Prince’s thumbs, whispering. “Let me look after you. Let me protect you.” Ben’s head snapped up.
“I can look after myself. And will be pushing for a trial, not just an execution.” Ben punched him in the jaw, before yelling. “Guards! Guards!” Poe, holding onto his jaw, attempted to run, but was caught by the head of the Emperor’s guard, Captain Phasma. Phasma was a striking woman; much taller than the Emperor and Prince, beautiful as she was feared with blond hair and piercing blue eyes. She held onto Poe’s arms, as two guards rushed over to grab him. The Emperor followed, ignoring the captive for a moment to hold Ben, worry on his face.
“Ben! Are you alright my flower?” Ben nodded, leaning into his embrace. The Emperor kissed his forehead softly, smiling at the Prince before looked at Dameron, rage clear on his face. “You. What did I say about coming near my husband?”
“He’s a resistance spy. I knew I recognised him but I didn’t think it would actually be him… his name is Poe Dameron. He’s Leia’s right hand toy boy. Just take him to the cells, please.” Ben faked being upset, burying his head in the ginger man’s neck. Armitage waved the guards off, sitting Ben down on a bench by the doors. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise he was actually him. I would have told you if I was 100% sure.”
“Shh, it’s alright. As long as you’re safe and not hurt. Lucky you weren’t, I don’t want to reach that level of rage in front of guests.” Ben smiled, leaning in and kissing Armitage. “We could do this in the flower beds.” Ben pulled away, looking anger but trying not to.
“Do you want to spend another night on the sofa?”
“It was a joke.”
“Well it isn’t funny.”
“Don’t start a fight.”
“I’m not starting a fight!”
“Yes you are! I was trying to lighten the mood and now you are yelling!”
“One of the men responsible for this hideous scar tried to kidnap me and take me away from you and now you are making ill timed jokes! Of course I’m tense!” Ben took a deep breath. “I’m tired. I’m upset. It’s late and.” A guard rushed over, saluting the couple. He was a young man with dark skin, new to the job obviously and very nervous at addressing the Emperor for, what Ben could assume from the way the man sweat, the first time. He was a handsome man, granted, and there was something about him that Ben knew he would remember him. “Quickly soldier!”
“I-I'm sorry Your Graces. Millicent has just delivered her first kitten.” Ben turned to Armitage, trying to look annoyed but grinning a little, all anger washed from his body. “Shall I stay watch?”
“No we are on our way over. Please inform Mitaka that we are retiring for the evening and to ensure all guests are either in their rooms or escorted out by sunrise then return to your station. Thank you.” The ginger Emperor got to his feet, holding out a hand for the sniggering Prince to take, before the rushed out of the party. “Why is this all so amusing to you my love?”
“You got a poor soldier to watch her until she gave birth?”
“I would have wanted to be their personally. I birthed Karissa’s foal and, when I find a suitable bitch for my hunting dogs, I will be there when the puppies are born. But don’t tell anyone about my weakness for baby animals.”
“I’m telling everyone I know." The Emperor smiled, as they picked up speed down the halls, hand in hand and laughing a little; Ben’s dress failing behind him.
Ben and Armitage were sat on the floor, the warm light of the morning sun streaming through the windows and the room filled with the tiny meows of seven new born kittens; 2 little ginger cats, 2 black and white girls and 3 pure black, tucked into their mothers side, inside a small cage for their own safety. Armitage was watching them, with Ben lying with his head on his husband’s lap, free of makeup and his dress on the floor in exchange for a soft black shirt and long black trousers. The Emperor turned and smiled at his husband, who was on the edge of sleep.
“You should go to bed Ben.” He whispered. “Let the babies sleep without being stared at.” Ben made a humming noise of agreement, slowly climbing to his feet and letting out a low groan as he stretched. “I hope you enjoyed the majority of the evening, despite everything.”
“I can safely say I will leave you to the animal birthing from now on.” The royal couple chuckled in unison. “It was wonderful. I’m sorry it didn’t have the ending you wanted.”
“We have the rest of our lives. I’ve cancelled all meetings for tomorrow to spend the day with you and the kittens. We can deal with Dameron later.” Ben smiled, kissing his husband softly on the mouth before wandering slowly into bed. Armitage whispered his goodbye’s to his cats, before heading to the door. “Goodnight Ben. I will see you in the morning.”
“Armie… You don’t have to sleep in there, even if we’re not… consummating our marriage yet. Come sleep with me.” Armitage didn’t question it or argue, pushing his shirt off and pushing his trousers down. “Do you want some pyjama’s?”
“If that would make you more comfortable then I will, but I usually sleep in my boxers.”
“I don’t mind…” The Emperor climbed into bed next to Ben, smiling at the Prince. Ben moved and rested his head on the ginger man’s chest, smiling as the other man wrapped his arms around him. “Armitage… I love you. I don’t really understand why, we’ve fought a lot but I love you.” The Emperor smiled softly, lifting Ben’s chin gently, pressing a series of kisses to Ben’s lips and face.
“I love you too Ben. More than I could ever put into words.” Ben grinned, kissing Armitage again before nestling into bed. The ginger man smiled, tightening his grip slightly around the other man, kissing the top of Ben’s head as they both fell asleep, happier than they had been in a long time.
Chapter 4: War Room Relations
Ben wouldn’t let Armitage get out of bed the following morning.
The Emperor was sat up in bed, reading the morning news and messages on his pad as Ben cuddled his middle, fast asleep and snoring lightly. Armitage found out the hard way that Ben is not a morning person, as he was told several variations of ‘fuck off you ginger nut and let me sleep’ when trying to wake his beloved with soft kisses and kind words. Armitage ran his hands through Ben’s hair, chuckling as Ben moved and grumbled.
“Go away…” The Prince muttered, turning his head to the side. “Tired.”
“I would go away but you are holding on very tightly. Shall I ring for some coffee?” The dark haired man nodded; he was making a weird, grumbling noise as he let his husband move him onto the pillows, gripping them and burying his head in them. Armitage chuckled, climbing out of bed and began searching for a some casual clothes to wear. Bending into his drawers, Mina rushed in with a tray of coffee and got the sight of the Emperor’s backside. Armitage noted the little differences in her appearance today; her red hair tied back in a lose ponytail and a long, green tunic over light coloured trousers and boots. She looked a little flushed, and was probably late. There was a light bruise on the base of her neck, and her lips looked puffy.
“Oh. Good morning your Excellency.” She said, bowing a little, being careful not to spill the coffee on the floor. “I apologise for intruding.”
“Good morning, Mina. Don’t apologise, coffee is what we need right now. He’s really not a morning person is he?”
“Oh stars what did he say?”
“He called me a ginger nut bastard.” Mina shook her head, as Armitage slipped on a shirt, before turning to the cage to look at Millicent and her kittens. “Hello my darlings. Aren’t you all so beautiful?” The handmaiden smiled, liking this side of him, placing the tray on the bedside table, before leaning over the sleeping Prince.
“Wake up Ben. It’s lunch time.” Mina ripped the blanket off of him, making Ben jump up and glare. “Don’t yell in front of the babies. Drink your coffee quietly.” She smiled, handing him the mug as he muttered under his breath, snatching it from her. “You are a very mean man when caffeine deprived. Why didn’t you tell me Dameron was here and that he attacked you? Why did I have to find out from… else where?” Armitage raised an eyebrow, as he continued to get dressed. Mina and one of his Vanguard had been seen walking together, so perhaps that was her source. Armitage didn’t mind, just wondering what other information was being passed around. “You are incredibly lucky I taught you how to properly throw a punch young man.”
“To his credit, he didn’t attack me but he did insult me. And I didn’t think he would try that. He tried flirting with me and said he ‘could protect me’.” Ben sipped on his coffee, rubbing his face a little. The Emperor smiled at him, noting how cute he looked. “What gives him the nerve to think he can talk to me like that? Who does he think he is?”
“He’s you ex-boyfriend! Of course he tried that, he’s probably still in love with you.”
“Oh I doubt that.”
“I’m sorry, he’s your what?” Armitage asked, now dressed in a shirt and trousers, jealousy painted on his face. “Why am I, your husband, only now finding this out?”
“Because one, he was my ex boyfriend when I was 15 and I assumed you had faith in me to only love you. And two, it wasn’t relevant because, as you so rightly said, you’re my husband.” Ben quipped back. The ginger man looked defeated, trying to form a counter argument but coming up blank. “It’s been 14 years, and I forcefully reminded him I’m married.”
“Well… I would have liked to know sooner than this.” Mina ducked her head to smile, before going to prepare Ben’s wardrobe to gather the Prince’s outfit for the day. “Leia wants to have a conference with me. Over video, of course. I will decline it if you are not comfortable and you don’t have to sit in. She’s accusing me of taking her man hostage.” Ben nodded slowly, perplexed. He didn’t want to see his mother, but couldn’t stop Armitage having open political discussion.
“Mina, could you leave us for a moment?” She nodded, putting down the dress in her hand and exiting towards the living area, closing the door behind her. The Emperor walked over, sitting next to Ben on the bed and waiting for him to speak. “I don’t want to see her. But I want her to know I’m happy here. I’m happy with you.”
“I can only remind her of that. She might not believe me.” Armitage ran a thumb across the Ben’s knuckles, noting that he was wearing his wedding ring now. Ben had swiftly removed the silver band off his finger the first night of their marriage, and the Emperor hadn’t seen him wearing it much after that. Thinking back, Ben had been wearing it all of yesterday, even through the inspection, and it made him smile slightly. “Oh, I never gave you your engagement ring.” He got up, getting a blue box from the cabinet he kept his crown, before kneeling at his husband’s side, making the Prince chuckle. Opening the box, Ben smiled at the huge, square diamond, which was set among smaller ones on a silver band. “Shall I put it on you?” Ben pulled off his wedding band and held out his hand dramatically, letting Armitage slip it on. Admiring it for a moment, the dark haired man place his wedding band back on and admired them both.
“You have to stop with all these gifts.” Armitage moved back to the bed, pressing kisses to his husband’s cheek and neck. Ben sighed, one hand sliding up Armitage’s arm whilst the other moved to rest on the other man’s leg.
“Shh… let me fuss over you." The Emperor captured Ben's lips, holding onto Ben’s arms as he did. Ben gasped a little, allowing Armitage to slip his tongue in his mouth; making Ben moan and lean into the kiss. The ginger man pushed him on to the bed, as he attacked the Prince’s neck, leaving behind teeth and red marks where he had bit and sucked on his neck. Ben was loving every second of it, before returned the favour at the base of Armitage’s neck. “You’re naughtier than you let on my flower.”
“It’s to show my mother.” Armitage grinned, kissing Ben some more before he stood up, making Ben whine.
“I have to look somewhat presentable, I am the Emperor after all. I promise you will have me all to yourself the rest of the day. After I deal with your mother.” Armitage pressed a kiss to the Prince’s head, before grabbing a comb and sorting his hair out. Ben lay on the bed, watching him get ready. “How do you feel about a private dinner in the banquet room tonight? And the day after tomorrow we will have to go into the city and begin your royal tour. Meet the orphans and common people.”
“Will there be any of that cake from last night?”
“I will ensure there is.”
“When does this meeting start?”
“I am having a briefing with my advisors and members of the senate, I can speak on behalf of New Alderaan, and then I will be conducting the call in an hour or so.”
“I will be there. I have to get ready. Oh and Mina has to fit and alter an outfit I bought for last night. And no, I’m not telling you what it is, you’ll have wait until after dinner.” Armitage pulled on a jacket, turning around and smiling.
“If I’m very good can I see it at dinner?” Ben just smiled, standing up and kissing Armitage’s cheek. “I’ll see you soon.” Armitage kissed Ben's lips, who kissed him when he tried to pull away and they went back and forth like this for a few moments. “I do really have to leave right now. Tonight, I promise.” The Emperor finally managed to pull away, bowing to his Prince before closing the doors behind him.
“Mina, you can come back in now. And call for James, Nada and Henry.” Ben called, picking up the coffee mug and going to his dressing table. Mina hurried in, gathering up the long, tunic like black dress, hanging it on the screen. “And I need my handmaiden cloak.”
“No absolutely not you are not going to see him.”
“I want answers. This call has to be some sort of diversion. You know he will talk to me and… well if that fails I’ll get the answers out of him.”
“Ben you know that could hurt you more than it can help. I have to advise against it… but I know you’re not going to listen to me, so fine.” She got the cloak out, laying it on the bed before sending instructions to the other handmaidens. “Don’t paint you face if you’re seeing him.”
“I don’t want them to think they’ve won by attack me and leaving this scar.”
“Hiding it makes them think they already have. Besides, you want to show how accepting and loving Armitage is. How strong you are, that you took a direct blow to the face with a lightsaber and lived to tell the tale. Come here, let me do it.” Ben handed her his foundation brush, slipping around so she could work. Ben noticed the mark on her neck, and beamed.
“Who is he?”
“He’s one of the vanguard. That is all I’m telling you.”
“What if I ordered you to tell me?”
“I would say that, as your friend, that’s a bit shitty.” They both laughed. “Close your eyes.” Ben did as he was told, letting her brush eyeshadow across his eyes. “He’s called Raynar. He’s the tall blond one. He’s very good in bed. Have you and his Excellency…?”
“No, not yet. We ended up staring at the kittens till the sun came up.”
“They are adorable.”
“Not when they’re coming out of a cat’s vagina.” Mina chuckled, as she put powder all over the prince’s face. “He’s sad he missed the first one, he wanted to be there for the whole birth. He loves her so much, he’s been looking at importing some more dogs as well for puppies.”
“Aww puppies.” James said, walking into the room, already dressed in the black. Nada and Henry followed, all identically dressed as usual. “Kittens!” They all rushed over the cage, cooing over them as Mina laughed. “Hi Millie, whose a good girl? You have to tell His Excellency I need one.”
“Where would you keep it?”
“I wouldn’t. There’s a gorgeous blonde maid who would would be very grateful for a kitten as a gift and invite me to her house.”
“You are not using what are essentially my grandchildren to get laid James.” Ben replied, making the room giggle. “I’m deadly serious, I’ve caught him telling Millie to ‘come to daddy’.”
“And does he ask you to ‘come to daddy’ as well?” Nada asked, making the handmaidens snigger. Ben just smiled, as Mina painted his lips. “And will we all get in trouble for seeing Poe?”
“No to both of those questions.” Mina nodded, as she finished his makeup with a a sweep of blush across both cheeks. Ben turned his head to the mirror; he had black and grey eyeshadow on, flicked out towards his temples with a soft gold on the centre of the eye, and a dark line underneath. He had light foundation, so his scar and moles were visible for a change, a light pink with a slight golden shimmer on his cheek. His lips were a painted a soft nude with gold shimmer through it, and he grinned. This was war paint.
Dressing in the dress; the material crossing over his chest and a soft sheet material acting as a long shirt underneath and throwing the cloak over the top, they pulled their hoods up and made the walk to the holding cells. Ben made sure to keep his head down as they walked through the areas usually not fit for royal company; through the barracks and down the thin corridors of the holding cells. Lifting his head only slightly, he saw the young soldier he had yelled at last night stood at the door to Poe's cell. He looked nervous.
“His Majesty has asked for us to deliver a message to the prisoner.” Nada said, not looking up.
“No one is allowed to see the prisoner.” The solider called back, standing rigid yet looked uncomfortable and nervous; something was happening. Ben pushed past James and Henry, who tried not to show they were stopping him, and pulled his hood off. The soldier bowed low, but Ben caught the fear across his face. “Your Majesty I-I.”
“What is your name?” Ben asked, in a soft voice. “You can stand up right, its ok.”
“I-It’s Finn Sir. Private Finn. Serial number FN-2187.” Ben nodded as he stood up, looking him straight in the eyes. “I apologise for my actions and if you would like to file a complaint with Captain Phasma I will go to her now.” Ben just smiled, internally concentrating with all his will. He was no Jedi or Sith, but he had the blood of Anakin Skywalker; he was strong with the force.
“No. No. You are going to open the door and wait at the end of the hall until I come back.” Finn did as he was instructed with no argument or emotion, opening the cell door and walking away. Only when he was out of sight did Ben let the pressure show, gripping the wall. Henry held his other arm, keeping him steady. “I’m fine, thank you Henry.” The prince composed himself, smiling at the handmaidens to signal he was alright. “Keep watch. I won’t be long and if something does go wrong, go straight to Armitage and tell him I ordered you to do this.”
“Yes Your Majesty.” They all said in unison. Ben smiled, before ducking into the cell.
Poe was sat against the wall, a bruised face and dry blood down his face and shirt. He was pushing his food around a bowl, no doubt his jaw too sore to eat. Ben took small steps towards the bars, kneeling by them and looking at him with a soft look of compassion. Poe glared back with anger and hatred.
“Who did that?” The Prince asked softly, pulling down all his barriers. He felt 14 again, hiding in the x-wing hangers after Poe had gotten into fights; kissing his bruised lips and sore jaw.
“A soldier on your husbands orders. Not the cute one outside, he didn’t do anything. He just stood there.” Poe rasped back. “What do you want Ben? Another apology? If you had stayed long enough instead of running to New Alderaan with only a note left behind you might have got one.”
“I want to know why you are here. You can apologise later.”
“Ben I was a child. I was immature and scared. I let what the guys said get to me. You had planned to leave anyway. I know you wouldn’t have if I hadn’t dumped you in public and hurt you… I knew would have stayed. Please come back.”
“I will only ask one more time. What mission did my mother send you on? It can’t be a rescue as she’s never bothered and even sent her niece to attack me. Why are you here?” Poe slide over, leaning against the bar.
“Rey made a mistake. Luke and Leia and Han and me. We all made a mistake. Ben I still love you. How can you not fall in love with you? Look at you, you are beautiful. I love you.” Ben tried to conceal his blush; up until a month ago, this was all he wanted to hear.
“Nice try. Last chance.”
“Remember being squished in my bunk, away from your big, lush quarters, kissing quietly and getting a feel for each other. Before the education and the crowns and the dresses. Come back with me, we can do that all again. He can’t love you like I can.”
Ben pushed into Poe's mind.
Ben moved passed shared childhood memories; a 6 year old Ben in one of his mother’s dress being a princess whilst Poe and the older boys were Jedi and bad guys, fighting for his hand in marriage. Of course the dashing Poe Dameron always won. Poe and Ben having sleepovers from when they were tiny to their teens, growing closer together as the years went on until one fateful night when the older boy leaned in and kissed Ben softly. Hiding in dark corners and long kisses away from prying eyes, whispering to each other how much they loved each other and plans for the future. Poe telling Ben he was a freak and pushing the 15 year old into a pool of oil, then crying in Leia’s lap along with her when Ben left.
Ben found a memory of his mother briefing her resistance in the dark control room. Poe was demanding he goes on the mission, with Leia reminding him of their complex relationship. His father even commenting it was a terrible idea as well. Rey also volunteered, but was turned down as well. Poe argued he knew Ben best; he could regain his trust and even make him have feelings for him again in order to get him to come home, but Han warned him of the beating coming his way if he hurt Ben again. Leia split the boys up by reminding them of why they were here.
“We need someone unknown, who can’t be traced back. We have to make it look like Ben has been taken by unknown hostiles, so then you can save him and hopefully break him from whatever hold he has on my son.”
“We will take him off the planet and only when Emperor surrenders, we destroy him and the planet. I don’t care who else is on that planet, as long as my son isn’t there. Then we dismantle the Empire and liberate the people.”“He won’t leave him Han I know that, he’s there by choice, he’s our son he doesn’t back down. We have to reason with him.”
“I will when he answers my phone calls. I want Armitage Hux dead and I want the Empire destroyed. He doesn’t love Ben, he’s manipulating him to gain more control and power for his Empire.
“Then it’s settled. Regardless of if Ben loves him or not, I want him dead too. Even if we have to lock Ben up.”
Ben pulled out of Poe’s mind, his nose bleeding from the pressure and his head pounding as he looked at Poe in shock and anger. Poe, who was lying on the floor, dazed and also in pain.
“You planning on launching an attack on a civilian populated planet?” Ben growled back, getting up. “You attack him for invading and taking over planets but he hasn’t blow anything up!”
“He’s dangerous. He’s planning to… he has a base.”
“I’d hope so. You people… I hope you enjoy prison Dameron. You’re execution date is being set.”
“No. No fuck off. I wish I had finished my Jedi training so I could strangle you and execute you myself! I was mad and upset when you broke my heart but now Poe, now I am furious and my mother and father will feel that wrath. Excuse me.” The Prince got up and fled the barracks, rushing to Armitage. The handmaiden’s rushed after him, trying to stop and clean him up for the meeting; however Ben was very adverse in running in heeled shoes and moved much faster that they realised.
The meeting room was full of advisors and tension was high. Armitage stood in the centre of a large table, calming annoying General Leia Organa and General Han Solo, who were projected into the middle of the room. Whilst Leia kept calm and collected, Han was currently screaming.
“If I were there you ginger twat!” Han started, but Armitage quipped in.
“Now that is no way to speak to your Son-in-law now is it? Besides, if you were there throughout his childhood he might have stayed longer than 15. I do hope our children stay longer than that and don’t take up the royal duties that we’ve neglected. Also, if he were female, he’d be very pregnant by now. He is so wonderful in everything he does, in the board room to his kindness to the staff, but I do most enjoy his company our bed.”
“No you listen. You sent an man into my territory who then attacked the light of my life, my Ben and your son. That is an act of war, Solo. And” Ben burst in, discarding the robe as he made his way over. The Emperor grabbed the Prince, cupping his cheeks and looking concerned. “Ben what happened? Sit down, get the Prince a cloth.” Armitage pulled out a white, silk handkerchief from his pocket and held it against the dark man’s nose.
“Armie I’m fine. Don’t fuss.”
“You’re hurt, I want to fuss. You are my everything, I pains me to see you unhappy or hurt.” Armitage pressed his lips to Ben's hair, who smiled and leant into his hand. A wet cloth was presented to the Prince, who cleaned himself before turning to face his parents. The ginger man placed his hands on Ben's shoulders, smiling. “I was just telling my new parent’s-in-law that, whilst they committed what could be considered an act of war I am willing to let it slide.”
“I wouldn’t. They are planning to destroy this planet and the empire. That is an act of War.” Ben glared up at the screen. “General Organa, General Solo.”
“Ben.” Leia said softly, a smile on her face.
“I would be more comfortable if you called me Your Majesty or Prince Benjamin.”
“We gave you life Ben, we will call you the name we gave you. Why are you bleeding? Did Dameron hurt you?” Han asked, looking concerned. It was a look of concern that Ben found hilarious, considering he hadn’t bothered to show any in the years he was gone.
“I exerted myself using the force to see your plans. You are planning on attacking civilian populated areas and murdering my husband. I expect this from you, General Solo, but you, Organa, a woman of democracy and change. Granted it was how you savages got things done in the days of the Old Empire. As the Head of State for one of the planets in the Empire, as well as good friends with many senators and heads of State, we all feel the Empire is the best possible outcome for our planets. If you take issue, know we voted if people wanted to remained part of the Empire and they all agreed. We’re not The Empire. We are the First Order Empire.”
“He invaded populated planets, took land and we have intel that he is building a weapon that can take out star systems.” Leia replied calmly. “I’ve seen planets destroyed.”
“Because you got involved in a rebellion Alderaan has no place in. I wish I could have seen Alderaan, but I will ensure that nothing like that ever happens to New Alderaan. I love my husband with all my heart. Although the arrangement is unorthodox, I have addressed that, but I know him best. And I love him.”
“Rebellions don’t start for no reason. Empires are build on destruction and taking power.”
“Rebellions start because you believe you can run the world better than the man doing it.”
“If we became a commonwealth, and I became King and Head of State you would still be unhappy. We have requests to join my Empire. Leave us alone and we will leave you alone.” Armitage commented. “Which is a pity, since we both have the privilege of having His Majesty in our lives. Well, did, in your case.”
“Don’t be antagonising darling.” Ben said, turning his head to kiss the tips of his fingers. Just as Ben was about to launch into a speech about Dameron’s case, a few guards ran into the room, yelling that the prisoner had escaped. Han and Leia looked a little smug about this, as Armitage grew angry. “Is FN-2187 at his post?”
“No Sir. We think they commandeered a TIE fighter and escaped together.” The soldier called back, as Ben stood up.
“Well shoot it down then! And get Phasma here now!!” Armitage barked, before turning his attention back to the Resistance fighters. “You better hope my mercy lasts long enough for you to meet your grandchildren! If I find another pitiful resistance fighter in my territory I won’t allow my husband’s kindness to stop me from gutting them like fish and parading the remains!" He hung up, ringing with anger. “Get Captain Phasma here right now and tell her she better have a fucking good excuse to why her soldiers are helping Resistance fighters or she’ll be very quickly replaced!!”
“Armitage.” Ben muttered, reaching for his husband. His nose had begun to bleed again and the room spun, the way it used to as a child; only beginning to understand how powerfully the Force ran through him. “Armie… I don't feel…"
“Ben go back to….!” Armitage snapped, turning to bark another order when he saw how weak his husband looked and quickly wrapped his arms around him to keep him up right. Ben swayed a little, looking at Armitage with a blankness in his eyes. “Ben what’s wrong? Come on don’t do this now.”
“Hurts…” Was all Ben could murmur out, before falling limp in the Emperor’s arms. Armitage carefully moved sit on the floor, Ben in his lap. The Handmaiden’s rushed over, kneeling with him as they checked his pulse and began cleaning up his nose. The Emperor slapped Henry away, holding his husband closer to him.
“Stop fussing and get a medic here now!!”
Chapter 5: Pillow talks
Ben opened his eyes slowly, not really taking his surroundings. His large hands were on his chest, noting his dress was gone, replaced with a soft dressing gown and underwear, the Prince pulled a face of confusion. Turning and recognising the feel of the silk pillow cases of his bed against his face, Armitage came into view. The Emperor’s was sat on a chair next to the bed, his eyes red and his cheeks wet, looking at Ben with a mix of relief and anger. The Prince reached out for his husband, and Armitage took his hand, kissing his knuckles, palm and wrist, before holding it against his face. Ben smiled sadly, whispering a hello. Armitage just held the hand tightly, tears welling in his eyes again.
“I almost lost you.” Armitage crocked, as Ben’s fingertips brushed his hairline. Ben’s heart sank at how broken the Emperor sounded; so much fear and heartbreak in his voice as he continued. “You were screaming and fitting and you look like you were in so much pain, I couldn’t do anything… Luckily Mina knew what to do. That was reckless, what you did. Don’t you ever, ever do that to me again. Don’t you ever… I couldn’t bare losing you Ben.”
“I… I don’t remember the pain. I’m sorry. I’m okay.” Ben replied, freeing his hand from the ginger man’s grip to wipe away a fresh tear. Armitage tried to smile, wiping the other eye with the back of his head before letting out another, more real smile. “I won’t. I promise.”
“Good. I love you so much.”
“I love you too. Come here, let me hold you.” Armitage slid into the bed, Ben holding his husband close to his body, the Emperor’s head coming to rest on Ben’s shoulders. Armitage sighed, pressing a kiss to the prince’s shoulder before the couple lay in silence, relief washing over them. Ben ran his finger through Armitage’s hair, pressing a kiss to the top of his head, which made the older man smile into Ben’s skin, before moving so his head was next to the Prince’s. “How long was I unconscious?”
“A few hours, still absolute hell for me; it felt like days. Dameron and FN-2187 got away.”
“Finn. His name is Finn. Poe probably seduced him or lied to him, one of the two.”
“And I have Mitaka and my other officials screaming at me to start a war but I want to stay here with you and fuss and worry and have dinner like we planned, if you’re up for it?” Ben chuckled, running his hands through his husband’s hair, who was now nestled in to Ben’s arms. “Or we can stay in bed for at least a week.”
“As wonderful as a week in bed with my husband sounds, I really want dinner.”
“We could have dinner in bed.”
“You promised me a grand banquet room and a chance to dress up, and dancing.” Armitage pushed himself up on his hands and knees, Ben grinning up at him. “And cake.” Armitage just smiled, before pressing kisses to the Prince’s jaw and neck. Ben groaned, his hands going around the Emperor, smiling softly. “Armitage Brendol Hux, this won’t work.”
“Oh, the full name treatment, I must have been very naughty. I think it is my dear.” Armitage moved some hair out of Ben’s face, before kissing him. “Making a big deal and trying to be romantic about it isn’t working because our lives keep getting in the way, let’s just do it now. You and me, in bed together. Let me fuck you.”
“I know you must think it’s silly, but I’ve never been allowed sexual relations. When I lived with my parents I was young and anxious when I was with Poe so we never did anything but kiss and occasional rut against each other in bed but never to a point I orgasmed. Then I started my royal training and had to remain pure until marriage. I’ve thought about this since I was young, waiting until I was married to a handsome man and it would be romantic. It’s a big deal to me. I want the romance and the fancy bed clothes and for it to be really special.” Armitage smiled, as Ben placed his hands on the other man’s chest. “Please Armitage, do this for me.”
“Alright, anything for you my flower. And the chance to see you in fancy bed clothes. I’ll get the banquet set up.” Ben smiled softly, leaning up and kissing Armitage again; whispering ‘Thank you’ against his lips as they kissed. Armitage fought every urge he had to not slip is hands down Ben’s boxers and have his way with the Prince there and then. “We’ll have to stop soon or we’ll be too taken in the moment, which is romantic in its self really.”
“No, you’re right. We should stop. Let me up.” Armitage rolled off, as the Prince sat up right, his stomach rumbling loudly. His dressing gown hung loosely off of him, exposing the Prince’s pale shoulders and back. “I’ll get dressed.” The ginger man pressed some kisses to Ben’s back, making him smile. “Armie.”
“I know. It’s just…You’re so goddamn beautiful.” Ben smiled and blushed slightly, sliding away and wrapping the material around him as he stood up. He swayed slightly, and within seconds Armitage was up and by his side, holding him steady. Ben tried to swat him away, but the Emperor kept tight a hold, looking concerned and upset again. “If it’s too much we can eat in the living room.”
“I can do this. I’m alright.” Ben pulled away, sitting at his dressing table to brush his hair. “When do my duties as Prince of the Empire begin? I’ve sent for my old boxes, which of course will still be active but will I have much to do regarding yours?”
“My box is still mine, but I am getting a new desk. A side added for you, so we can discuss matters together.” Ben smiled, as Armitage sat on the edge of the bed. “I want your input on the matters of the Empire, of course we have the tour soon.”
“Oh shit of course. I have a clothing order coming tomorrow, if you want to come watch me try things on.”
“I would love to watch you undress.” The Prince rolled his eyes, muttering for him to behave before smiling at his husband. “I love hearing you swear, it reminds me you’re not always so proper.”
“My father is a scoundrel, after all.”
“Speaking of them, we need to find a way to neutralise them in a non-violent manner. Or blow them out of space, that I would rather not do unless really provoked.”
“Armitage not now please.”
“We have to discuss it.”
“Yes, but it can wait until tomorrow. I just want one day without them interfering in my life. I want to have dinner, dance and lose my virginity today. Don’t turn this into a fight.”
“I wasn’t going to!”
“I swear to the stars Armitage! Don’t make this a fight about if you were starting a fight.” Armitage frowned, looking very sour faced before coming over and pressing a kiss to Ben’s hair, rubbing his shoulders as he did. “Are you leaving?”
“I am going to set up the dinner and sort out this mess. I’ve dismissed your handmaidens for the evening, will you be alright getting ready yourself? Or I can call for Mina.” Ben leant back against Armitage, placing a hand over the other mans. “I have to leave, but it will only be an hour. If I’m too long just storm in and get me.”
“I can dress myself. Go, I’ll see you soon.” Ben held his hand out for Armitage to kiss, who did just that before leaning in and kissing his lips; something Ben was not expecting and gasped. “Stop being such a scoundrel and go be my well behaved, gentleman Emperor for a while.” He whispered against the older man’s lips, who grinned.
“If my Prince insists.” The Ginger man straighten up, sorting out his jacket out before heading to the door. “Call if you need anything.” Ben nodded, and with that, Armitage left. Ben smiled turning back to look himself in the mirror, noting the dry blood around his nostrils and the state of his hair and makeup. Letting out a soft sigh, he slowly climbed to his feet and took small steps towards his and Armitage’s private bathroom.
The ensuite was one of Ben’s favourite rooms in the palace; it was bright and welcoming with a large, marble bath tub in the middle of the room. In the corner of the room was a large shower with glass doors that steamed up quickly, and along the wall were two sinks with a long mirror running above them. Ben ran a bath, stripping slowly and climbed into the hot water, filling it with bubbles and oils before relaxing into the water, smiling softly as he closed his eyes.
His mind began to wander, thinking of what type of lover his husband would be. The Prince had spent all his teen and adult life imagining what his husband would be in bed, playing with a variety of scenarios and types he would encounter. Ben first thought of Armitage as a gentle lover; the perfect gentleman he had read about in old, romantic novels that littered his study when he was supposed to be doing actual work. Armitage would kiss his body tenderly, whispering soft words as the Emperor lay the darker haired man on the bed, stripping him and preparing him gently. Armitage would thrust into his husband softly with long, leisurely movements; Ben on his back with his legs wrapped around his husband, gasping and moaning quietly. Armitage would whisper sweet nothings to him as they made love so quietly and so intimate; all titles vanished leaving just two men who were deeply in love. The Prince’s hand slipped under the water, rubbing his now semi hard cock as his daydream took a different turn.
Armitage, with all his rage and power, had the potential of being a very violent and passionate lover. Like the men in the romance books he read in secret; under the covers late at night then stashed away in locked boxes for no-one to find. Ben let out a quiet moan as he thought of Armitage throwing him against the bed, fucking into him hard and fast whilst growling dirty thoughts to him. Ben would be pushed on all fours, his hands tied together as Armitage tells him how much of a slut he was, how much he loved being used like this. The Prince would be completely subservient to his husband, throwing his head back and grinding against the older man as he slapped his arse and gripped so tightly it left marks on his hips. Biting each other, leaving marks on each other and being so loud that the entire palace knew exactly what they were doing, and how much they loved doing it.
Somewhere in-between these thoughts, Ben thought of how he could pleasure Armitage. He began thinking of what it would be like to have the other man’s cock in his mouth and his long fingers pulling at Ben’s hair. How Armitage would roll his head back, moaning and gasping for him, fucking into his face and begging for more. The Prince smiled as he thought of riding his husband, as he’d seen once in an erotic film he should not have been watching; Ben bouncing up and down as the ginger man gripped his hips tightly, a moaning mess in the sheets below. Armitage would beg Ben to let him cum, as Ben ground his hip down, grinning and moaning at how good the Emperor felt in him. Ben reached lower, pressing curiously to his anus.
After a groan and realising he’d ejaculated in the bath water, an embarrassed Ben leapt out and decided a shower was better for this.
Mina found Ben fighting his sheer dress and his bodysuit laced up wrong. The Prince smile sheepishly with a deep blush on his face, holding the dress out for Mina to sort out. The handmaiden smiled, taking it and untangling the sleeves. Ben sat down, watching her and still looking very apologetic, as Mina sat on the edge of the bed.
“Are you sure you are up for this?” She asked, the worry she was trying to mask clear in her voice. Ben nodded, placing a blanket over his lap. “I have no doubt that it was your idea anyway. Ben, you can’t use the force. You left that behind. It was poisonous and killing us. We stepped away from that evil.” Ben just hung his head, as Mina sighed. “You’re not laced up correctly, turn around.” The Prince did as he was told, allowing Mina to kneel behind him and sort out the corset. “Have you two discussed tonight at all?”
“A little bit.” Ben whispered back, his face going red.
“Well, has his Excellency discussed what he likes? What you like? Do you even know what you like?”
“I don’t think that is any of your business, Mina.” Ben snapped, before looking ashamed at his outburst. “I’m so sorry. I’m just so scared he won’t like me. That he won’t find me attractive or won’t be satisfied with it.”
“Oh, Ben be real. He adores you, he would kiss the ground you walk on if he didn’t want to embarrass himself and he’s been masturbating in the living room for a month just at the thought of you two getting intimate. He’s obsessed and madly in love with you, he’s going to adore your body. You’re beautiful, you’re handsome you are every word possible to describe beauty and you are it to him, and millions of others. Relax, or you’ll clench up and it will hurt.” Ben laughed a little, smiling up at Mina. “You’ll want to put some shorts on if you’re wearing this to dinner. No one wants hot soup on their genitalia.”
“Thank you, Mina.”
“Now, you need to sort out this mess with Leia. And you need to do it quickly. I have no doubt that whilst the Emperor loves you so deeply, it was also a political move; if you weren’t Leia’s son, you would only be his side piece whilst he married some woman to have kids from before disposing of her in favour of you. She won’t attack you. And she won’t attack any offspring you bring into the world, so use that to your advantage.”
“We can’t have children.”
“You can adopt. As long as Armitage has it in writing that the child will succeed him, then that child will be the next Emperor. New Alderaan will have an election but they will probably choose one of your children.”
“We’ve only been married little more than a month, Mina, maybe in a few years we’ll have children.” Mina just smiled, handing him a pair of silk boxers. “Besides, its wrong to bring a child into our lives for political gain. A child should be only brought into the world for love, not politics or saving a doomed marriage…”
“Don’t upset yourself. This is a happy day. Come on, I’ll do your hair and makeup for you. What look are we going for? Innocence or seductress to go along with the beautiful outfit.”
“Something natural, and I want to wear my hair down. Light curls.”
Armitage wasn’t that surprised to find the vanguard that Mina had been spending a lot of time with guarding his bedroom door, out of uniform. The blond man stood at attention when he saw the Emperor approach, and Hux couldn’t help but chuckle a little, stopping in front of the man. It took him a moment to remember his name, as the vanguard saluted. Adjusting his suit jacket, he smiled at the guard.
“Raynar. I see Mina has come over to check on my beloved?” He asked, putting his hands in his pockets. “What is the nature of yours and Mina’s relationship anyway? Is it something serious?”
“Yes Sir. I… Well I have very strong feelings for her and I believe she feels the same for me.” Raynar replied, blushing a little.
“You better treat her right, and be careful. Gods know what His Majesty will do if you hurt or impregnate his best friend. Speaking of my beloved, is he ready?”
“His Majesty has asked we keep you away whilst he gets dressed.”
“Surely he’s almost finished. Go check.” Raynar nodded, knocking on the door and waiting. Mina popped her head out the door, smiling at Raynar before quickly bowing to Armitage. “Is he ready? I have dinner made up ready.”
“Just a few finishing touches, Your Excellency.”
“Can I at least come in?”
“No!” Ben calls from inside the room, sounding like he was struggling with something. “Wait!” Armitage raised an eyebrow, looking at Mina as she dipped back into the room. “I can do it myself, please pass me my shoes.” A few more moments of muttering and a few indistinguishable noises, and the handmaiden slipped out of the room, bowing properly to the Emperor before instructing him he can enter the room.
Ben smiled at his husband, stood in the centre of the room in a sheer, black gown, with long, bell sleeves and tightening around his waist, before falling to the floor and his black heels. Underneath, the Prince consort wore black shorts and a floral bodysuit; the front decorated with black roses, split down the middle to reveal his bare chest and slight cleavage. He wore barely any makeup, just light concealer and his hair was in gentle curls on his shoulders. Armitage almost fell over with how handsomely beautiful he looked; so feminine but with a strong, male body. Ben laughed a little, swaying so his skirt fluttered in the movement, as the Emperor walked over slowly, grinning widely.
“I’m not going to kiss you, because if I do will never, ever stop. Oh. My stars, just… look at you.” Armitage said, taking both of Ben’s hands in his and holding him at arm’s length. “Wow. You are so gorgeous. Sexy… wow.”
“You’ve seen me more dressed up than this.” Ben replied, entwining their fingers together. “You look wonderful as well.”
“This is a very old suit, and you can probably tell how I feel about how you look. Shall we go?” Ben nodded, letting go of one of the Emperor’s. Armitage lead the way, unable to stop looking at Ben, who stood a little taller than him in the heels. “We have to have our portrait taken tomorrow. For the people. Wear the dress you wore at the ball, you look incredible in it.”
“It’s a little revealing on the shoulder. I was thinking of wearing my wedding dress, since there was only a few photos. You have to promise you’ll wear your proper regalia. You looked so handsome and strong, so powerful. Really sexy.” Armitage chuckled, lifting up the Prince’s hand to press a kiss to it.
“Excuse me whilst I get dressed.” Ben laughed, as he was lead into the grand banquet hall.
The room was lit with candles, and soft music filled the room. In every vase were filled with white roses, and some of the petals were even scattered across the floor. The banquet table was only set for two: one plate at the head with a plate to the left of that. Ben smiled at Armitage, leaning in and kissing the corner of his husband’s mouth, before leading the way to the table. Armitage pulled out a chair at the head of the table, and before Ben could protest, he’d called for the food.
“I shouldn’t be sitting at the head of your table, Armie.”
“Our table, my darling. Besides, losing your virginity is a big deal. I wish losing mine was this special.” Ben tried not to look jealous, gripping his skirt tightly, as the starter of soup was placed in front of them. “I’ve made sure all your favourites are served, starting with squash and potato soup. Mina tells me it’s a comfort food for you.”
“H-How was your first time? Who was it with? You don’t have to tell me, of course its personal.” Ben muttered, sipping the soup carefully.
“I was 14.” Ben chocked on his soup. “Are you alright my flower?”
“That’s... a child. You were a child. Was the other person… that age?”
“I was very mature for my age, that and things are a bit different in the Outer Rim than the palaces of New Alderaan. No, he was 16. It was at the military academy. Very good looking, thought fucking the headmaster’s bastard would get him ahead. Took him months to realise, poor sod, but he helped with my sexual education. He was very gentle, the first time, in my room. Then I took him for a few goes in a cupboard, on my 15th birthday. He probably hoped we’d get caught.” Ben smiled a little, as Armitage smiled back. He rather enjoyed Ben being jealous. “I’m sorry, if I had known I would one day marry you I would never had dreamt of having lovers.”
“Ben come on. I love you, and you’ll be my only lover from now on. Well, only lover since the moment I lay eyes on you. Till death do us part.”
“Does it hurt?”
“A little, at first, but only for a moment. I’ll make sure it’s more fun than pain. Come on, let’s leave that till later. Can we quickly discuss the issue regarding your parents? Because over the next ten days we won’t have a chance. Ben, I adore you and I love you with all my heart, but the political implications of our union has obviously crossed my mind. I had hoped it would bring at least a truce and peace in my empire. I know how vocal your mother has been about rekindling your relationship with her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“Armitage, I’m not an idiot. I know. I was told it was the only reason you wanted to marry me, actually. And I accepted it for the political reasons. And the threat of mass genocide.”
“I’ve already apologised for that.”
“Well you can show you are extra sorry tonight.”
“I can’t wait.”
“And I agree. However, I don’t want our first order as Emperor and Prince consort to be declaring war. Mina pointed out that… a child, a grandchild. That would neutralise my mother.”
“I can’t bring a child into our lives for political gain Ben. Yes, one day I hope to fill a nursery with children from across our empire, who need love in their lives and create a family with you. I know you will be a wonderful dad to them. Not because we want to guilt your family into not rebelling. I know many people believe me to be a heartless monster, and I have done many things to get to this position but I will not use a child. I’m not my father.” Ben put his spoon down, standing up. Confused, Armitage also rose to his feet. “Ben?”
“Have the rest of the dinner delivered to the main suit, we can eat it later. I have felt sexual desire for people before but I have never wanted someone more than I want you right now. Please, take me back to our room and fuck me.” Armitage chuckled a little, taken back and very, very, very pleased with this. He placed his napkin down and got up, nodding.
“Well if you insist.”
The Emperor lay Ben on the bed, kissing each other; their hands roamed each other’s body, a lot of built up passion pouring out. Armitage kissed Ben roughly, pulling the sheer dress off his body, ignoring Ben's protests as it ripped, before messing with the string on the body suit. Whilst the Emperor struggled, Ben pressed kisses to his jaw and neck, before whispering low in his husband's ear.
"Do you need a hand?"
"I must admit, as wonderful as you always look, why is it so complicated?” Ben laughed, sitting up and turning around so Armitage could see what he’s doing, slowly untying the strings as he pressed soft kisses to his husband’s neck. “If this opened any other way I would keep you in it.”
“I’ll bare that in mind for next time.”
“Darling, next time will be right after this. You’re not leaving the bed to put on another outfit in-between sessions.”
“Oh, you’ve ruined my plan. I’ve got a whole wardrobe lined up.” Ben turned his head, as Armitage pulled a face of playful annoyance, before capturing his husband’s lips again. The straps of the body suit slipping down, and Ben slowly pulled his arms out, before moving to unbutton Armitage’s jacket. Slipping it off the Emperor’s body as they kissed slowly, Armitage could feel how much Ben’s hands were staking as he struggled with his shirt buttons, and moved a hand in the younger man’s black hair.
“Don’t be nervous.” He whispered against Ben’s lips, looking down at his Prince. Ben opened his eyes, looking straight into Armitage’s eyes.
“I’m not nervous. I’m excited.” Armitage nodded, laying the other man back down again, kissing along Ben’s body as he pulled the garment off the prince’s body. Throwing it aside, he pressed kisses to Ben’s thighs, causing Ben to moan slightly, biting his knuckles as he watched Armitage, a mix of curiosity and lust on his face. Armitage grinned, biting his lip as he admired his husband; naked and blushing before him, his semi hard cock resting on his stomach. Pressing a kiss to the head, Armitage couldn’t help but grin wider at the way Ben moaned, wriggling a little and his heart rate quickening. “Armie…”
“You like that?” Ben nodded, blushing deeply as he covered his face with one hand. “It’s nothing shameful, all men enjoy it.” With a wicked look on his face, Armitage licked up the Prince’s shaft, before sucking on the tip. Ben gasped and moaned, suddenly gripping onto his husband’s fiery hair and bucking his hips. The Emperor continued to suck and swirl the head with his tongue, as Ben cried out in pleasure, feeling that familiar swelling sensation in his stomach. He tried to pull Armitage’s head away, but with a yelp Ben came into the Emperor’s mouth.
“Sorry… I.” Armitage pulled away, spitting into the bin by the bed before smiling at Ben. “Sorry…”
“It’s alright my flower, you’re a little sensitive and that’s ok. We’ve got all night, and I hope to make you cum several times over.” Ben smiled, as Armitage hovered over him and kissed him softly. “Are you alright?”
“I’m wonderful.” The ginger man smiled, and Ben grinned back. “Teach me everything.”
“Oh, stars Armitage.” Ben moaned, loudly. The Emperor, now naked, had Ben on his hands and knees, with three fingers inside Ben’s anus. “Please. Armitage please.” Ben gripped the sheets tighter, as Armitage pulled his fingers out and pressed his body against Ben’s, pressing a kiss to his shoulder blades. He admired the numerous bit marks on his husband’s neck and shoulders, smiling at him as he squirmed, gripping the sheets. “Please.”
“Ok flower. This is going to hurt a little.” Ben nodded a little, as Armitage leant over him and kissed his back softly. “Not for long.” Armitage very carefully and slowly pushed his cock into Ben, who let out a loud cry of pleasure and pain, before covering his mouth to muffle more cries. “There we are, fuck Ben… I’ll let you adjust.”
“Armie… oh stars this is…” Ben pushed back against the emperor, letting out a loud moan. “P-please… so good.” Armitage nodded, slowly thrusting into his husband, who moaned and gasped, grasping the sheet. “Armie… fuck.”
“I know baby, I know flower. You feel so wonderful.” Ben grabbed the bed frame to keep him supported, using his other to try and touch the ginger man, who quickened his pace, fucking into the younger man harder as well. “Stars you are… fuck Ben… so good. So good for me.”
“Want to see you.”
“Ok, just going to have to pull out and turn you over.” Armitage did just that, before pushing back into Ben. The Prince wrapped his arms and legs around his husband, gripping his ginger hair tightly. Armitage continued the fast, hard pace, grinning as Ben’s head rolled back and moaned loudly in time with the thrusts. “You are so beautiful.” Ben smiled, his eyes rolling back a little.
“Armitage… stop I’m going to…”
“You can baby, its ok.”
“But… I’ve come 3 times already… you haven’t yet.”
“It’s ok, come for me flower.” Ben’s back arched, as he shook through another orgasm, the pressure of his orgasm causing the emperor to groan loudly, but was no closer to his own climax. “You’re so sensitive. Let me clean us up.” Armitage reached over and grabbed a towel from the other side of the bed, cleaning their stomachs of Ben’s fluid. Placing it back, he turned and smiled softly at the sheepish Prince, pushing a dark curl out of his face softly as Ben mouthed he was sorry. “Don’t be. It’s alright, we’ve got all night.”
“Let me ride you. Show me how to pleasure you.” Armitage smiled, leaning in and pressing long, slow kisses to Ben’s mouth, who sighed into them. Moving them so Ben was in the ginger man’s lap, without breaking the kisses or contact the man had; something Ben couldn’t figure out how he did and would question when they are over, Armitage lay back and put the palms of his hands onto Ben’s waist. “Ah… oh you’re hitting my prostate.”
“I know. Move just like this.” Armitage pushed on the Prince’s hips to instruct him to roll them slightly, moaning as Ben did as he was show. “Fuck you feel good.” Ben smiled, gasping as he rolled his hips. Armitage’s head fell back, his eyes rolling to the back of his head as Ben bounced in his lap, moaning in unison. “Fuck I love a fast learner.” Ben moved slower, dragging out the gradual movements which made Armitage squirm and moan. The Prince couldn’t help but grin down at Armitage, who was slightly red in the face and panting, fucking up into the dark-haired man. “Ben fuck please, please my flower; go faster. So, fucking good.” Ben just smiled, enjoying how his husband tightened the grip on his hips, grinding down harder. “Fuck… fuck Ben.”
“You swear so much… you’re so handsome.”
“And… Ben. Ben I.” Armitage went rigid as he came, with a loud groan. Ben yelped at the sensation, rocking as Armitage came inside him, smiling softly and panting. The Prince practically fell off the other man, curling at his side and pulling the sheets around him, smiling at the Emperor. Armitage turned to look at him, grinning. “You were incredible.”
“Me… is it always like that? Because I never want to stop.” Ben moved closer, kissing Armitage again and again. “I love you.”
“I love you too Ben. I am more than happy for another round.” Ben pulled away again, sprawling dramatically across the bed. Armitage laughed, sitting up and grinning.
“Well come and get me, sir.”
Chapter 6: Battle Fatigue
The feared Emperor Armitage jolted awake, dripping in sweat with a look of fear and pain on his face; like he did most mornings. The troubles of his youth mixed with the horrors of war would not leave him, even in a state of total exhaustion. Rubbing his eyes, he looked to the window to find pink light of sunrise creeping in through a slit in the blinds, before his attention turned to his bruise covered and breathtakingly gorgeous husband, snoring next to him. The emperor smiled, his heart swelling with love at the sight. He was the luckiest man in the galaxy, and anyone who tried to take his Prince away would suffer a more gruesome death that Armitage had ever encountered in his 15 years active military service.
Shuddering at the thought, he pressed a soft kiss to Ben’s forehead, and slide out of the bed to dress for his morning walk. As he pulled on a pair of loose fitting trousers, he noted the bags under his eyes and frowned; he would look and feel like shit on the day of the royal portrait. The Emperor stared at himself, noting how he needed to shave and the craw marks on his chest. That made him smile very softly, images of Ben from last night flashed into his mind, before they were quickly replaced with the same images that haunted him every day. Shuddering again, he pulled on a shirt, he was about to grab his shoes when a small voice behind him called out.
“Armitage what are you doing… are you alright?” Ben whispered, hoarsely, sitting up. Armitage smiled, walking over and hushing the Prince, who winced a little as he moved. “You cry in your sleep.”
“I’m sorry. Go back to sleep, I’m going to see the dogs.”
“I’ll come too, let me get dressed.” Ben moved a little, stepping out of bed and limping to grab his pyjamas. “If I can walk, that is.” Ben chuckled a little as he got dressed, but Armitage just smiled awkwardly.
“You should, umm rest… Last night,”
“And this morning.” Armitage smiled a little, as Ben slowly moved around the room, collecting suitable clothing.
“Yes, and this morning, was incredible. I’m sore, and you took most of it, I can only imagine how much pain you are in. I won’t be long and I would hate it if you strained yourself. Have a bath, lie in the living room and demand every food you could ever desire.”
“I want to spend the morning with my husband. Who is upset, and had a horrible nightmare and I want to be with him.” The Emperor frowned, as Ben dressed quickly, pulling on a long coat and flat shoes. Ben walked over to the ginger man, placing his palms on Armitage’s chest and pressed a soft kiss to Armitage’s cheek, catching the corner of his mouth as well. “Let me fuss, you don’t have to tell me why you scream in your sleep, but let me worry.”
“Fine. But you have to let me pamper you later.”
They walked, arms linked, silently in the rising sun; Armitage’s grey hunting dogs, Horatio and Stephano, rushing around them. Ben smiled at the ginger man, who forced a smile out, occasionally kissing the side of Ben’s head. The Prince wanted to push the issue, but he figured he already knew the answers and didn’t want to further upset his destressed husband. Ben knew the struggles soldiers go through; he’d visited enough hospitals, but the pain of not being able to rid these thoughts from his husband, the man he loved more dearly in this life than any other, was almost unbearable. But he was determined to ease the suffering. As they reached the flower beds, Ben cuddled Armitage’s arm in his, chuckling a little.
“You know, I’m sorry I yelled at you that day. When I left you in the gardens; If I had known it would always be that wonderful, I would have let you defile me in the flower beds.” Ben whispered, causing Armitage to laugh, before yawning loudly. “Can we sit, just for a moment?”
“Of course.” The royal couple nestled on a bench in the shade of a cherry tree, the dogs continuing to rush about and play. “I’m buying some bitches, hopefully these two idiots will figure out what to do with them, and then we’ll have puppies by summer. Do you mind if I smoke?”
“It’s fine.” The emperor produced a thin, hand rolled cigarette from his pocket and placed it between his teeth, lighting it with match and took a deep breath of the smoke, exhaling slowly. Ben couldn’t help but admire how Armitage looked whilst he smoked; a sophisticated roughness about him, and the fact stubble was lingering only added to how sexy he was. “Smoking was strictly banned at the palace. My officials said it gave the wrong impression, but I’ve always been curious to try.”
“The New Alderaans won’t be happy with me, I’ve stolen their princes heart, taken his virginity and now I’m allowing him to smoke.” Armitage handed him the cigarette, watching as Ben curiously place it between his lips. “Breath deep, breath it all in and out of your nose first. And its ok if you cough.” The Prince did just that, bursting into a coughing fit as his husband patted his back.
“It’s… god, it burns a little.”
“Yeah that happens. Want to try again?” Ben shook his head, handing it back to his husband as he continued to cough. The ginger man smiled a little, patting his back softly. “I wouldn’t recommend taking it up, it’s addictive.”
“You make it look so effortless. And so handsome whilst you do.” Armitage smiled, putting an arm around the Prince and held him close. Ben nestled in, one arm around his husband and his other hand resting on the ginger man’s chest. He could feel Armitage’s heart beating rapidly, the Prince frowning to himself before whispering: “You don’t have to tell me, Armie, but I love you and if you need me, I will always listen and support you.”
“It’s just flashbacks, nightmares. Standard things, watching my friends die, my mother and brother being abused by my father, war, being beaten by my father. The usual things a soldier see’s in battle. It’s behind me, my father is gone and I have you, and that brings me more happiness than I could express. But thank you Ben. I love you too.”
“I can’t begin to imagine what you’ve been through. I’m so sorry.”
“I hope you never will, my flower.” Leaning in and kissing Ben on the mouth, the Prince wrapped his arms around the ginger man; kissing back with need. Pulling away to nip at the Emperor’s neck, Ben slipped his hands under his shirt, his palm’s resting on Armitage’s stomach, before whispering.
“Let’s go back to bed. The dogs will be alright, we can send the stable boy to fetch them. Or we can stay here in the flowers.” Armitage sighed with pleasure as Ben continued to kiss his neck, before standing up and lifting Ben over his shoulder in a single motion. The Prince laughed loudly and pretend to fight him off. “Unhand me you thug! I am a Prince and I demand respect.”
“Prince’s don’t ask to be defiled in flower beds and smoke, Benjamin. You’ll have to be put back in your place. I am going to have you over my knee for such lewd comments.” Armitage marched back to the palace, Ben still slung over his shoulder, his hunting dogs rushing around his feet.
Dopheld Mitaka sighed, sitting on the couch of the royal suite, listening to his Emperor, boss and best friend fuck very loudly in the next room. This was something Dopheld was used to; he had shared a quarter with Armitage from the academy till they became officers and got their own quarters, at last. And Armitage was an excellent lover; he’d listened to the screams both men and women coming from the other man’s bunk for years, and from the moans coming from the Royal suite proved he was still very skilled, the Prince Consort on orgasm number 2 in just under an hour. As Ben's screaming got more and more frantic, the lieutenant sighed, checking the time on his watch before deciding to cut the crap.
"Armitage, stop fucking and hurry the fuck up!" Dopheld screamed, bursting into the room. Ben yelped in surprised, flying from his previous position of riding the Emperor's cocked and ducked under the covers. Armitage just sat up, unsure on whether to be furious or amused. "Good morning Your Majesty, I apologise for the intrusion. I'll have a bath run for you and your dress has been washed, ironed and ready for you. I've also arranged a full breakfast for you, no doubt you are exhausted."
"Dopheld was the intrusion really necessary?" Armitage asked, too calm for Ben's liking, who was still mortified he'd been caught in such a lewd state. "I know we're running late, but a man should be allowed to enjoy his first real morning with his gorgeous husband after being in the doghouse since our first night."
"On any other day Armitage, I would let you make love to his Majesty until you are admitted to the hospital wing for dehydration but you know you have to have your portrait done today and you are trying to get out of it! Get dressed now. Please take your time Your Majesty, the handmaidens will be waiting outside. And I once again apologise for the intrusion." The Emperor threw his dear friend a look of poison, Dopheld stormed back out.
"We should get up." Ben just groaned, turning over. Armitage frowned, leaning over his husband and pressing soft kisses to his shoulder and neck as his hands snaked around the other man’s body. “I know my sweet, but he is right. I’ve been keeping you here so we don’t have to have our picture done.” Ben didn’t move, instead just wrapping the blanket around him. “Would you like to join me in the shower?”
“Ok.” Ben got up, with a chuckling, horny Armitage following close at his heel, like a dog in heat.
Prince Benjamin was trying his hardest to not collapse, as he stood by his Emperor Armitage, both looking very uncomfortable; unnaturally posed for the photographer in the throne room. Ben was dressed in his wedding gown, his hair in curls and his crown heavy on his head; worsening the fact his entire body ached. He shifted in his heels, trying to smile when asked too. Armitage, stood a step higher than Ben to look taller, was in a First Order uniform, with all his medals on his chest; a long, red cape and his circle crown in his neat hair, he frowned at the photographer.
“Can’t you see His Majesty is uncomfortable? Just hurry up and take the picture already!” Armitage snapped, trying to keep his temper down. “It shouldn’t take this long!”
“So sorry your Graces. Technical issue.” The small, dark haired man said, bowing after every word that made Ben chuckle. Armitage was less amused. The ginger man rubbed Ben’s shoulders, sliding his hands down and keeping him up right.
“It’s alright, don’t yell at him.”
“It’s not alright. You’re tired and need a lie down, he is taking the piss.” Ben just smiled, turning and leaning into the older man. “Do you want to sit?”
“I’m ok. I just… I barely had my photo taken professional. I want your people to not have this odd, stiff image of me. I want to take more natural photos of us. Not all this.” Armitage nodded, turning his head back to the photographer.
“Well, you heard His Majesty, we’re doing casual photographs so hurry up!” Ben frowned at Armitage, who quickly added. “Please hurry.” The Prince Consort leant up and pressed a soft kiss to his husband’s lips, as the familiar click of the camera filled the room. “Now it works.”
“Shut up and kiss me again.” The couple smiled at each other again, more clicks of a camera filling the space before they kissed again. “And can we do the next shot on the thrones, I do need that sit down.”
“Are you nearly done, my sweet? We have actual work to do. I promised the Senator of Nar Shaddaa I would speak with him before we tour, regarding funding for their military. It’s hard cleaning the scum of the Universe, but there is potential there.” Armitage muttered, sat on the sofa as Ben tried on dress after dress. The Emperor had a pair of glasses on, reading on a pad and occasionally looking up to nod and smile at whatever dress Ben had on, only for Ben to complain and change.
“Darling what about this one? I think this is the one for tomorrow.” Ben asked, floating in to the room, in a long green dress. Armitage stared at him for a few seconds, before smiling a little; as if he had finally understood a joke.
“Trick question, that’s the first one, right?”
“No! Armie this is important pay attention.”
“I can’t I think I’m going mad.” Ben rolled his eyes and let out a huff. “Oh, I’m sorry that I have better things to do with me time and power than put on fucking dresses Ben!”
“I don’t just ‘put on dresses’ Armitage! How dare you insinuate that!”
“It’s all you seem to do, forgive me for not realising you have so many other pressing engagements, such as throwing balls and smiling for people! The hardship of it all!”
“Grow up Armitage! Just because you’ve had a hard time does not mean you get to lecture me! You signed up for that trouble anyway.”
“I signed up for it!! I signed up for shit Ben!” Armitage moved closer, so that he was yelling in Ben’s face. Ben noted the hurt behind the red anger in Armitage’s eyes, and tried to hide his own pure fear. “I didn’t sign up to my birth to that hideous, depraved and frankly evil man! I certainly did not sign up for fearing for my life when he came home, drunk and armed, nor did I ask for the daily beatings with whatever he could find! Books, the back of his blaster, canes, chairs, that was his favourite! Oh yes, boo hoo for Little Ben Solo, who’s daddy left him for months at a time. Mine once threw a table at me! A full-length table and broke all my ribs, fractured skull, both arms snapped and a leg! I was in a hospital for weeks, whilst he lied and said, ‘we had a break in’! I never signed up for his pathetic army either, he signed me up in the hopes I would die on the battlefield! He spat at me, saying he was glad the older man finally fucked me into being a man. I thought about all that and grinned when I had him shot on my orders, by my firing squad! Don’t you forget that, everyone who has ever angered me has died at my own hands!”
“Armitage.” Ben tried to reach out, but instead his hand got slapped away.
“And YOU! You, have the nerve, to waltz around here, as if this is yours. You have done nothing in your life to deserve the praise and admiration you get! You were born to a Princess! A fucking bastard Princess and so the survivors of that miserable planet wanted one of their own, you. So, you sit looking pretty in a senate and pass laws that others have to make happen. You have never struggled in your life!! I keep you alive! You are a glorified whore, in all this shit and all the make-up. If you ever. Ever. Cross that line again, I’ll kill you myself.”
Armitage’s hand was far too close to his blaster for Ben to respond, anger welling inside him. Ben sat in silence as Armitage moved away, still a look of fury and sadness across his face. Ben tried to swallow the ball in his throat, composing himself and promising not to cry; not to show Armitage he’d won. He slowly stood up, his head bowed.
“I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. I’ll get changed and leave you to work, I’ll be in the study. If that is permitted, Your Excellency.”
“Yes! Get out of my sight!” Ben walked away quickly, closing the door to the bedroom and locking it, as the sounds of crashing filled the living room. Ben covered his mouth and squeezed his eyes shut, trying not to scream and letting tears fall, as he heard Armitage destroy the living room. Henry and Mina rushed into the room, concerned for Ben but ready to defend his life.
“What happened?” Henry asked, getting to the Prince first, a hand on Ben’s shoulder. “Ben?”
“I don’t know. He’s… he was crying and yelling in his sleep and I can’t help him and I made it worse with my stupid mouth. He has his blaster I’m scared he might hurt himself. I have to get changed.” Ben threw the dress off, looking stressed and worried. Dressing in a loose nightie, frantically throwing his dressing gown over himself, he covered his mouth again. “What if he hurts himself?”
“We are armed, and behind you. He’s suffering, you need to be there.” Mina replied, nodding to Henry. The male handmaiden nodded, taking out a blaster. “Go.” Ben nodded and with shaking hands, unlocked and opened the door.
The Emperor had trashed the room; all porcelain had been throw, the table and sofa were tipped over and blaster burns all over the walls and door. Armitage turned to his husband, his hair a mess over his eyes and his eyes filled with tears. The blaster was still firmly in his grip, his finger brushing the trigger.
“Armie… please give me the blaster. I don’t want you to hurt yourself. I’m sorry, please.” Ben croaked, slowly stepping into the living room. “Please.”
“Why did I even entertain the idea that you would understand?!” The ginger man barked back, his voice broken. “You’re a fucking Prince, you were born into a loving family and a world of privilage. I don’t even why I tried to believe you would understand.”
“I don’t understand, and I want to. I want to help and understand. Please, give me the blaster and explain it to me.” Ben took small steps towards his husband, shaking. “Please Armitage, give me the blaster and come to bed. You’re exhausted and upset.”
“Don’t tell me how to feel!”
“Armitage I’m not! I can see it! And I’m scared that I’m going to lose you if you don’t get help! Shoot me, kill me I don’t care right now. Just please, don’t hurt yourself. Come back to bed with me.” Ben reached Armitage and threw his arms around him, holding him tightly. “Please Armitage.” The Prince could feel Armitage begin to shake, quickly freeing the blaster from his grip and holding out for Henry, who whisked it away as Armitage gripped his husband. “Shh… it’s alright I’m here. I’m so sorry.”
“I’ll ring for tea, Your Graces. Fresh sheets are on the bed.” Mina said in a soft voice, as Ben coxed Armitage into the bedroom with small steps, still holding him tightly in his arms. “Do you need assistance?”
“I’ve got him, thank you Mina. Henry, could you find Mitaka and inform him of the situation.”
“Of course, Your Majesty.” Henry replied, both handmaiden’s bowing and rushing out of the room. Ben managed to get the ginger man’s shoes off and unbuttoned his shirt. Lying him on the bed, the Prince slid next to him and held him close to his chest, hushing his sobs.
“It’s alright my darling, I’m right here. Rest, please. You work too hard.”
“I’m so sorry. For earlier”
“I’m sorry you have to see me like this.”
“I’m not your subjects, I’m your husband. You don’t have to be strong all the time with me.” Armitage just nodded, trying to slow his breathing. Ben held him close, pressing kiss after kiss to his hair. “Take your time, I’m always here.”
“Did we just have our last fight?”
“No, of course not it’s us. I’d get bored without fighting.” Armitage laughed, although he was still shaking and crying. “Go to sleep, you need to rest. Please.” Armitage nodded, curling in and closing his eyes. Ben just hushed Armitage’s soft sobs, stroking his ginger hair as the Emperor fell in and out of sleep; fighting it the best he could but, in his lovers embrace, happily losing. Ben kissed the other man’s forehead, as Dopheld walked into the room.
“Your Graces.” Dopheld said, with a bow. “I’ve been told you’ve have had another fight, the cleaners won’t be pleased, and you’re in a state.”
“I did it. I snapped. I’ll clean it.” Armitage muttered, covering his eyes with his hand. “What do you want Dop?”
“The Nar Shaddaa senator is waiting for you. If you want to get some coffee in you and come to the meeting, that would be great.”
“I don’t need the coffee, but if you give me a moment to make myself more presentable.” Ben said, gently moving Armitage onto the pillows, who immediately turned on his side and curled in. Ben smiled, tightening his gown around him and sitting at his dressing table. “If you’d like to wait outside, I won’t be a moment.”
“Absolutely not! No, Armitage!” Dopheld cried, in utter disbelief.
“I am the Prince of the Empire, Lieutenant Mitaka. I am, when the Emperor is unwell or unable to attend, the next most senior member. I will go in his place. I am a senator, I know how to discuss matters of politics, and I will take Armie’s notes with me.” Dopheld held in his laugh at ‘Armie’ and composed himself quickly.
“I am well aware that you are able to perform your duties, but this is delicate matter that only the Emperor can attend to.”
“Lieutenant Mitaka. Look at my husband, does he look well enough to attend? He’s distressed, exhausted and overworked. My duty is to him and his empire, and I will not allow him to attend.”
“You will do as Ben says Dop. He’s going, wait in the hall and brief him on the way.” Armitage said, flopping on his bed. Dopheld growled, stopping out of the bedroom. Ben just grinned, as he patted his face with a light foundation and his lips in red. The Prince then quickly changing into a white, loose fitting white shirt and dark trousers, wrapping a shall around himself and placing his red petal tiara in his curls. Picking up Armitage’s data pad, the dark-haired man crossed the room to sit on the bed, smiling softly at the half-asleep Armitage.
“Try to rest my love.” Ben whispered, kissing his hair lightly. “I’ll have food sent to you in a few hours, I’ll sort everything out. Just sleep, rest and call for me if you have another attack.”
“Listen to what Dop says, and be ruthless. This isn’t the senate; you are in charge and you can say and do what you like. Arm yourself. Be prepared.” Ben nodded, pressing a few more kisses to Armitage’s hair.
“I will. I love you.” Armitage mumbled a ‘love you’ back, making Ben smiled before he exited the room, turning to the Vanguard at the door; Mitaka stood against the opposite wall. “Make sure he doesn’t leave, tell him it’s on my orders. Send for beef stew in 3 hours if I’m not back, and chocolate cake. He is not to be disturbed.”
“And make sure the stew has the lots of carrots. He likes them. It's a resemblance thing.” Dopheld added, walking over. “And that he’s going to speak to a doctor, his Majesty has seen him have an attack, I doubt he wants that again.”
“Yes sirs.” The guard replied, saluting. Ben nodded, walking down the hall with Dopheld.
“We’re all a bit like that, soldiers. We’ve seen too much but Armitage’s father was a bastard. He had to kill him. I’ve been trying to get him to see someone about it for years; he’s always screamed in his sleep, almost got us killed at times.” Dopheld said, not really looking at Ben. “We should become more acquainted, you being his husband and me, his best friend. I doubt he’ll like it; us ganging up on him but it’s for his own good.”
“I would like that Dopheld. Thank you. We should do lunch, just the three of us.” Ben smiled at the Lieutenant, who just nodded.
“Now, a basic briefing. The Senator, a Mr Garet Beatof, a large, bullish man who likes to sleep with everything around him and is nothing short of a brute. Like most of Nar Shaddaa. He’s got ties to several crime organisations and probably visits at least 3 brothels a night, those poor women. He’s also got a violent streak, two divorces due to domestic abuse. Armitage has been trying to take him down for years, although he is currently working on his image and not killing people in board rooms. My honest suggestion is flirt. He’s a creep and will try it on, you won’t be left alone with him. Invite him to dinner, invite him to watch you and Armitage fuck, anything to get him to talk.”
“I will try.”
“No, you can’t try. You have to do this, You Majesty.” Ben nodded, still unsure if he wanted to go against all his diplomatic training. “He wants the Empire to give him 6 million credits for more military action in Nar Shaddaa, cleaning up the streets and feeding the orphans, that sort of typical bullshit scum spits out to hid their intentions. He’s already had 2 million and crime rates have gone up, we have reason to believe he is paying the Hutts in return for re-election.”
“So, flirt with him and let him down easy.”
“Whilst reminding him he now owes Armitage, and by extension you, money. Even better if you can get him to admit to using the funds for bribes. Be forceful with that point. Or better, get rid of him.” They stopped outside the meeting room, looking Ben in the eyes. “Are you ready?”
“We’re all here, and armed. We will shoot him if he tried anything.” Ben nodded, as Dopheld opened the door for him. “Presenting His Majesty, Prince Benjamin Amidala-Hux. Your Majest, may I introduce Senator Beatof of Nar Shaddaa.”
“Senator Beatof, welcome to our home.” Ben said, smiling sweetly at the frankly disgusting man in front of him. Garet Beatof looked part Wookiee, part Hutt in human form, large, hairy and ugly. Dressed in a tan coloured suit, the natural slime the man seemed to produce was dripping through the material on his chest and under his arms. “I apologise for my tardiness.” He held out a hand for him to shake, and Beatof clasped it with both. Ben kept a poker face; hiding how revolted he was as the Senator’s sweaty paws squeezed his own hands.
“Ah, the flower in the thorn bush that is our little Empire. It’s an honour, Your Majesty. But I was expecting your husband to be dealing with this matter, I hope he’s alright.” Beatof croaked back, as Ben sat down. “Although you are a much more pleasant sight. Surely you have better things to do than argue money with me.”
“Armitage has been taken unwell, and on my orders, is on bed rest. I hope I will do.”
“I am sorry to hear that, send him my best. If I had known I’d have made more of an effort, we should discuss more. Over drinks.” Ben laughed, fluttering his eye lashes, as he sat down. “I can’t imagine you’ve ever seen the scum that litter Nar Shaddaa, we need more funding to make it the safe, wonderful place it once was. You have blood from there, correct?”
“Despite living there, my ancestor was from Alderaan. And in the records, you’ve spent the money and we have seen no change, Mr Beatof. You can understand how that angers my beloved husband, yes?” Ben kept his voice soft, smiling as he talked. “No change in officer numbers, no more patrols, and crime rates have risen.”
“You speak of these things with such a gentle tone, you’re not suited for this. You should be discussing peace and happiness. I am sure that, with a little more funding and you visiting me, that Nar Shaddaa will be so taken with you, crime might stop for the day. My daughter is a big fan of yours, we’d love to have you alone to ourselves.”
“Armitage and I will try to visit. My husband is a very passionate, jealous man, but I’m sure, if we can see improvement and figure out where this money has gone, he’d let you watch.” Ben whispered, leaning in slightly, with a soft smile. “You wouldn’t know how the money was actually spent, do you? Your re-election campaign is rather impressive.”
“What are you insinuating, Prince?” Beatof’s tone changed, his hands clenching tightly.
“I’m stating a fact, Senator. You’re leading the polls despite not doing anything for the moon. The Hutts still rule the streets, the same one you have been promising to clear of organised crime, and I can see here you’re a member at several brothels. I didn’t know they had memberships, oh no you have to be giving them an extortionate amount of money to be a member.” Ben smiled. “Now, about the money you owe us.”
“How dare you say such things!” Beatof flew to his feet, red in the face and looking a lot like a tomato, which made the Prince chuckle a little. “Oh is this funny to you!?”
“Yes actually, you’ve been caught red handed and are still trying to deny it. Now, you can sit down and be civil or we can do this the hard way.” Beatof lifted his arms in the air, ready to launch into a rant, when Ben interrupted with; “Do put your arms down, the smell is unbearable. Although it’s clear you can’t help but be a sleazy, disgusting man.”
Ben heard the slap before he felt the senator’s hand across his face.
“Senator Beatof stand away from the Prince immediately!” Mitaka shouted, blaster at the ready. Ben cradled his face, taking in the shock and the pain at the same time, curling in on himself for a moment. “Beatof, stand away from the Prince or I will shoot.”
“Oh, the Emperor’s lap dog. You’re not going to shoot me, not without Armitage to click his fingers.”
“No, but his Majesty might.” Beatoff spun around and met the end of Ben’s blaster. The Prince wore fury well, his breathing heavy and his grip tight. “Treason is punishable by death, Senator. It’s all depends on if Benjamin wants to give you a trial or not. I’m at liberty to remind the Prince that he has every right to shoot the senator. In fact, I will lie on the ground wounded and claim I saw nothing. If the Prince wishes to say it was in self-defence.” Mitaka quipped, with a smile towards the Senator.
“Your Majesty, forgive me. Please I will pay back all the money and resign. Just have mercy. Your famed mercy. You are not like this empire and your husband. You're calm, nice, sweet, beautiful. Armitage is cruel and hard, this isn't your world.” Beatof said, falling to his knees and whimpering.
“He’s an excellent teacher.” Ben growled back. Beatof squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the killing blow. But, Ben’s softer tone rung through the air instead. “But, you are right. I’m not my husband. Take him to the police, you will await a hearing and trail date. Armitage will be overseeing the trail.” Ben placed the blaster on the table, as Beatof crawled over and grabbed his shall.
“No, please spare me. He’ll have me shot you’re just prolonging my death.” Ben stood tall and still, side-eying Mitaka to get the guards, as the man at his feet continued to grovel. “Please I’ll do anything. I’ll pay back the money, I’ll resign I’ll do anything. You don’t need to arrest me.” Mitake rolled his eyes, as he opened the doors and guards filed in.
“I’d feel more comfortable with it a court ordered repayment. We can’t trust your word alone. Nothing will happen to you. We need our money back, Mr Beatof. It’s best that you cooperate. Please take Mr Beatof away and tell the new senator of Nar Shaddaa I will arrange a meeting after our tour to discuss funding.” Beatof was dragged to his feet, still crying for mercy. Ben sighed, as Dopheld handing him a cold bottle of water to hold against the pain.
“That’s going to bruise. I’ll follow to make a statement to the press, what story do you want to tell them?”
“Tell them he hit me. Tell them the truth. I will make a weak attempt to cover the bruise tomorrow and it will confirm the story.”
“Of course, also Armitage has an appointment with a psychiatrist next week, you’ll spend an extra day on New Alderaan to accommodate that. He’s also still asleep. Is there anything else you need for today?”
“I just have to pack, but thank you Dopheld.” Mitaka nodded, bowed and followed the guards down the hall.
When Armitage woke up, it was dark outside. Noting the fact that he wasn’t waking up screaming and in-fact felt rather groggy, he turned to see Ben sat next to him, working on a data pad. Smiling at him softly and enjoying the peace, he jolted up when he saw the bruise around his eye. The Prince smiled sadly, wincing as the ginger man’s thumb brushed over the light bruise.
“What happened?” Armitage growled, holding Ben’s face in his hands.
“He slapped me.”
“I’ll kill him. I’ll kill Beatof."
“He knows you will. That’s why I didn’t shoot him myself, although I really wanted to. I’m fine, it’s just a little sore but it’s been handled. He’s being held in the town at the police station, Mitaka has handled all the press. You need to rest more, it’s only been 5 hours.” Armitage groaned, sliding down to lie on the bed again. Ben put the pad to the side, holding the back of his hand against his husband’s head. “You’re burning up. How are you feeling? Are you hungry?”
"Food later, I just want to hold you and sleep more.”
“Food first, cuddles later. Just something small and plain, I want you to feel a little better tomorrow. For the people, they love seeing you. I’ve already had our things packed, I’ve made some notes for our first speech and told our lovely hosts you’re not feeling well and we’re not to be disturbed after 8.”
“I don’t deserve you. No one can stand me, it’s all over the web; I’m just the prick who kidnapped you.” Ben frowned, breaking his rule and lying next to Armitage. The Emperor looked at his husband sadly, holding him in his arms. “Stars know what they’re going to say about the photos.”
“We never publically discussed the wedding, and we have our first public outing tomorrow. When we arrive in New Alderaan, we’ll have an interview; a recorded one. We can talk then. And, I’ll film more private videos, to show everyone the you I know. You’re going to smile and meet the people, hold babies, cuddle orphans and be your handsome, wonderful self. A peoples Emperor.”
“How much do you plan on filming? Because I can think of a few home movies to make that can’t be shown.” Ben laughed, turning to rest his chin on his husband’s chest, who grinned sleepily. “Do you have the camera?”
“Later. You’re so naughty.” Ben sat up right, running his fingers through Armitage’s hair. “Now, let me be a good little husband and feed you soup, read to you and tuck you up. And if you’re a good boy, and your fever has come down, I’ll let you recreate last night.” The ginger man laughed quietly, and Ben set to work.
Chapter 7: The Grand Tour
The Royal Tour was going exactly as planned.
At every planet, the Royal Couple were met with cheers and parades, music and dancing along with general cheer and excitement. They smiled brightly for camera’s and adoring crowds, made speeches and were purposely caught kissing or petting for the camera’s. They met the common people and Armitage was convinced he’d met every baby in his Empire; with blushing mothers, so proud of their little darlings being held by the most wonderful, handsome man. Ben loved how natural Armitage looked with a child; how natural and calm he was, smiling and chatting to them in a sweet, soft voice, and soon a brooding nature came over him.
He desperately wanted a baby.
Armitage was in Ben’s arms as they lay on the window seat, looking out of the window as the stars passed them. They had one day off, on Armitage’s star ship The Finalizer, before the final and most intense phase of the Royal Tour; Ben’s home world New Alderaan. The ginger man smiled as the Prince ran his fingers through his hair, before moving so he could see the Prince.
“This is wonderful. It’s nice to have a few hours alone.” Armitage whispered.
“It’s wonderful to have you to myself. And to not where tight dresses and heels for a day. Decree it illegal to wear nothing but pj’s all day.” Armitage laughed, as Ben kissed his hair. “All week, I’ve wanted to just be with you, quietly and alone but we only had that at night and we’ve been so tired. I can’t want to have you in me again properly, instead of just a quickie. Are you alright, I can run and get you some food or another cushion?”
“Have I ever told you that you are exceptional?” Armitage whispered, bringing one of Ben’s hands down to kiss his fingers. “Truly exceptional.”
“You have, many times.” Ben replied, smiling down at him. “What do you want?”
“Why do I have to want something to compliment you? What do you want, you’ve been awfully attentive?”
“I want to discuss the possibility of having a child.” Armitage sighed, sitting up right to look at Ben. The Prince placed a hand on his husband’s face, before his fingers brushed through his hair. “You’re so wonderful with children and the more I have to watch you hold them, the more I crave having one of our own.”
“Ben, you know I also would love a son and daughters. One day we will be surrounded in children, our nursery will be full of life but not yet. We’ve been married little over two months. It’s far too soon.” Ben frowned, and the Emperor cupped his chin. “Someday we’ll be fathers but not now, I want to enjoy you all to myself for at least a few more months.”
“I promise.” Ben kissed his husband, who smiled against his lips. “Can I tell you what I want now?”
“We’re not filming us having sex. It was a cute idea but I don’t feel comfortable watching it back.”
“I wasn’t going, though I wouldn’t force you to watch it. Keep it for me to watch when you’re off in the senate or attending events. I wanted to ask why you’ve scheduled a doctor’s appointment and not told me? Are you sick?”
“It’s… not for me. It’s for you.” Armitage went stone faced, as Ben held his hands. “It’s not a serious, proper appointment, it’s just a chat with my psychiatrist.”
“I don’t need a quack, Ben. They can’t do shit for me, I’ve got to live with this. I’ve been fine this whole tour. Also, I should have been consulted, you’re my husband and we should have made this decision together.”
“Dopheld arranged it, he knew you wouldn’t go if we told you. And you are not fine Armie; you still cry and yell in your sleep, you still have fits of rage and inconsolable sadness. It’s so painful to watch. You need to discuss what has happened to you with a professional, he’s going to find you the right therapy. I won’t leave your side, I’ll sit with you through it but please, do it for me.”
“Fine. But in return I want this baby talk to stop. Alright?” Ben opened his mouth to protest, before Armitage grinned. “Or, you can help me deal with this throbbing erection.” The ginger man grabbed onto his crotch, drawing attention to the lump in his trousers, as Ben rolled his eyes; he really should have seen this coming, given how most of the tour had gone down.
“I really hate you.” Ben whispered, as he slipped to his knees and started to unbutton the other man’s trousers. He then looked up at Armitage, resting his head on the other man’s leg, his fingers dancing along his thighs. “I’ll let you film me sucking your cock, if we’re allowed to set a date we can discuss a child.”
“Deal. Where is the camera?”
“Bedside. I want to begin the adoption process in three months.”
“One year anniversary.” Armitage got up, holding his trousers and rushed over to the bedside table, grabbing the camera. “It will be my present to you, a son.”
“I might want a daughter by then. If I were a woman I would be very much pregnant right now, nine months.” Ben followed Armitage, blacking out the windows and pushing his husband on the bed. “And I’ll let you film me on your cock. I won’t do anything more.” Armitage smiled more, turning on the camera and pointing it at Ben, as he pulled his top off.
“11 months and you facing the camera.” Ben frowned; he knew what he had to do but wasn’t sure if it would work.
“9, and you can tie me up.” Armitage attempted to put up a fight, but, along with filming their sexual encounters, he’d wanted to tie Ben to the headboard for weeks. Ben grinned, knowing he had won, kneeling at Armitage’s feet and pulled his trousers down slowly, a soft, seductive look on his face. “You know I love it when you hold my hands above my head. You can film me tied up, begging for you. As long as they don’t appear in the media.”
“Fuck I’ve created a monster. Deal.” Ben grinned, and Armitage turned on the camera. “Off you go, my naughty, sexy darling.”
New Alderaan was bursting with colour and music as Prince Benjamin and his husband stepped off their shuttle by the Royal Palace. Cheering and bands played filled the air, the Prince trying not to show his limp as they walked down the steps hand in hand. His Royal Highness was dressed in simple black shirt and high waist trousers, a soft, deep red coat over those and dress shoes, whilst Emperor Armitage was in his uniform. The couple waved at everyone behind the gates, who were all waving back, although Armitage was struggling to take his eyes off of his husband. A tactical move, decided by the Prince, to make the people of New Alderaan warm to Armitage. Ben was beaming, so pleased to be home, waving frantically at everyone.
“I wish I got this fanfare whenever I come home.” Armitage whispered, leaning in a little as they stopped by the palace doors, waving to the people.
“Well, you’ll always get it from me when you do. And more.” Ben said, turning and smiling at him. “We should kiss for the cameras.” Armitage pressed a soft kiss to Ben’s lips, causing the crowd to go wilder than they had done. “I think they liked that.” Ben smiled, kissing him again before waving to the crowd again. “I want to stay and speak to them now.”
“Tomorrow, petal. You will be meeting with everyone tomorrow, I promise.” Ben nodded, turning to the crowds and holding his hands to his chest, mouthing ‘Thank You’ as Armitage waved, an arm snaking around his waist. They turned and walked in, and Ben ran straight to his old staff, embracing them all. Armitage followed slowly, smiling softly.
“I’ve missed you all so much.” Ben cried, pulling away and smiling at them all. “Armie come meet everyone.” Armitage smiled, coming over and met each member of the upstairs staff; Ben’s old butler Levisohn and his maid Matilda, all bowing to him and calling him ‘Your Excellency’ as he shook their hands. “Levisohn, could you ring for some tea? I’m going to take Armitage upstairs and show him around the palace.”
“Of course, Your Highness.” The tall, old man said, with a small bow. “It is wonderful to make your acquaintance, Your Excellency, and I hope you enjoy your visit to New Alderaan.” Armitage nodded, as Ben linked their arms and lead the way.
“I can’t wait to have you in my bed.” Ben whispered, giggling as Armitage grinned, slapping his husband’s ass hard that it made an echo. Ben yelped, pushing the ginger man playfully. “Behave, we’ve been telling the papers you’re ill. You can’t be see flirting, or being silly.”
“The press isn’t in here.” Ben just smiled, taking his husband’s hand and leading him the rest of the way. Opening the large, white doors at the end of the large corridor, Armitage broke out in a shit eating grin. “This is even better than I imagined.”
Ben’s bedroom was a perfect Prince bedroom. A mahogany four-poster bed with white drapes and sheets, with a pretty, matching bedside table; on which a book of poetry, lamp and candle sat. A large desk and bookcase were against the far wall in-between the two, long windows and a white love seat sat by the window and a small table was in the corner. Also, Ben framed his posters of his favourite band members. Which Armitage was currently giggling about.
“Stop, I put them up years ago and have been too busy to redecorate.” Ben whispered, hiding his face as he sat on the loveseat.
“I really can’t fuck you in here with your crushes watching, oh my god is this chick lit?” The Emperor rushed around the bed, picking up the data pad book and reading the passage Ben had marked. “Oh this is dirty.” The Prince curled on the seat, hiding in a pillow now as Armitage sat on the bed, reading the passage that had been left open. “Fuck this is really dirty, Benjamin. Do you want me to do this to you, right now?”
“No! We have tea coming up and you are still sick.” The Emperor took long strides over to his husband, sitting next to him and kissing his husband. “Armitage, the press can see us.”
“So? Let them look, it’s not exactly news worth now is it; Married man kisses husband in comfort of his own home.” Ben smiled, wrapping his arms around Armitage and letting the ginger man straddle him. “Still want to stop?”
“Shut up Armitage and keep kissing me.” Armitage smirked, biting and kissing his husband’s neck. “Don’t you dare leave any marks.”
“Wear that beautiful high neck. All I can think about when you wear that is marking up this pretty neck.” Ben chuckled, letting Armitage continue to bite his necks.
“Armitage… can I fuck you?” The ginger man pulled away, looking at him with a soft smile. “Not now, no I want you to fuck me into the mattress and properly christen my bed. I want to have to burn those sheets so no one clones me, I want you so much.” Armitage laughed, his head falling into the crook of the prince’s neck, as Ben smiled softly. “But, maybe when I’m feeling better; can I fuck you?”
“Of course, you have a fucking marvellous cock and I adore sucking it. I want you to fuck me.” Ben smiled, so scared Hux was going to reject the idea that he even let out a sigh of relief. “Now, let me see that cock of yours and we can get started on ruining that bed.” The Prince nodded, as Armitage returned to kissing his husband, a hand slipping down his trousers.
When Mitaka burst into the room.
“Forgive me your Graces but Beatof has just been found dead in his cell.” He called, slamming the door shut behind him. Ben pushed Armitage away and composed himself, as Armitage stood to look at the smaller man. “We think suicide but you need to get a statement out immediately so they don’t think we have anything to do with it?”
“We don’t.” Armitage replied, looking at a clearly shocked Ben. “Why, what else has he said?”
“He’s been screaming about how you are going to kill him and how the Prince almost shot him, granted that was in self-defence and the press already know of it, thankfully for the Prince’s statement on the matter.”
“I want details, now.”
“Then when is estimated half an hour ago, how was hanging and nothing has been found.” Ben moved to look out of the window, covering his mouth with his hand and letting out a soft whimper. “Your Majesty?”
“I need a moment.” He took a few shaky breaths, before looking at them. “I also want his daughter contacted.”
“She has already been alerted.”
“I want a personal message sent. He mentioned she admires me or something.”
“Admires is an understatement; she idolises you. She copies every fashion choice, hairstyle and makeup; she was also pictured leaving a club with a red-haired man.” Ben’s bottom lip began to quiver, and Armitage rushed over, holding him tightly.
“And I took her father away...” The Emperor spun his around, holding him at arm’s length and rubbed his arms softly. “I shouldn’t have overreacted, this is all my fault.”
“No, you did the right thing. He assaulted you, a head of state. He did this to make us panic. We gave him a house arrest, basically. His ‘cell’ if we can ever call it that, was a place of luxury. We and certainly not you, have don’t nothing wrong. He is trying to tarnish our name and reputation and we cannot allow that. Understand?” Ben nodded, letting Armitage wipe his eyes and kiss his cheek softly. The Emperor turned to look at Mitaka, the Prince wrapping his arms around Armitage’s middle and closed his eyes for a moment. “Tell them the Prince and I are deeply saddened by the news, as we had called for the charges to be dropped. The Prince was just scared, but forgave him. It took a week because Ben was trying to get me to forgive him as well; get something drawn up back home to back up the claims, I’ll send over my signature.”
“Make sure to emphasise that His Excellency was only pushing for a trail because he was upset I had been hurt and bruised. The press has the bruise pictures they can run them again. He would only have been imprisoned if found guilty. Please stress we made no threats on his life. I acted in self-defence but would never have let any harm to him.” Ben added, turned in the ginger man’s hold to cuddle in. Levisohn walked in with a tray of tea, before bowing, apologising for the intrusion. “Oh, please don’t be sorry. Tea is what we need. Could you bring an extra cup for Lieutenant Mitaka?”
“Of course, Your Majesty. Would you like some biscuits as well? The kitchen is stocked with Warra nut Cookies especially for your arrival.” Levisohn asked, and Ben broke out in a grin, the butler placing the tray on the table. “I will take that as a yes, sir.” As Levisohn left, Armitage kissed the back of Ben’s head and pulled away, getting the desk chair and placing it by the table for Mitaka.
“We need to do some damage control, not drink tea Ben.” Armitage said, as he sat down.
“It helps.” Ben snapped back, as he sat across from his husband. “Now, tell me the truth; did you have something to do with this?”
“No. I did not. I would have told you. Don’t you ever accuse me of that!”
“Try not to have a domestic.” Mitaka muttered, sitting down and placing his data pad on the table. “Tea, Your Majesty?”
“Yes, thank you Lieutenant.” Ben replied, smiling softly. Before returning to glaring at his husband. “You’re too kind.”
“Dopheld, please.” The Lieutenant replied, as he poured Ben a cup. “Tampon, you want some?” Ben looked confused, as Armitage pulled a face of displeasure. “It was his cadet name. He’s a red top, like a tampon.”
“Yes hilarious, tithead just pour some tea.” Ben giggled a little, covering his mouth as Dopheld rolled his eyes. “Then start writing the statement to be handed out to all the press. Next, send Daniel the confirmation of the charges being dropped, and you find whatever pictures of Ben at the window you can find.”
“Of course, are you going to apologise to the Prince for snapping or do I have to schedule more appointments? And call your mother. Also, she and William will be coming the when you arrive back to New Alderaan.”
“Your mother is coming? Why didn’t you tell me!? For fuck sake Armitage!” Mitaka frowned, typing away the statement as Ben glared down his husband. “I have a right to know when my mother and brother in law are visiting.”
“I only found out today. I was going to tell you but we were doing other things.”
“It takes 5 seconds! Are you that sex crazed?”
“Oh, give up Ben we have a serious image issue here right now. We can fight this out later. We also have to organise what we do here, and I have that pointless appointment the day after tomorrow. What are we doing till then?”
“Tomorrow we have a parade and we are visiting the New Alderaan centre of culture, as well as speaking. After your much needed appointment, I was thinking that since I am a patron to orphanage close by and” Armitage stood up, walking across the room and pinching the bridge of his nose as Ben swelled with more anger. “What now?”
“I am not going to an orphanage for you to blackmail me into having a child Ben!”
“I am not blackmailing you, I am suggesting that we do our jobs as Patrons, because you are one now as well! I’ll go alone, say you fainted at the thought of children. And it’s not a pointless appointment, I’m worried about you and your mental health because I love you and I’m still sorry for not telling you. Not that you care!” Armitage frowned, coming over and rubbing Ben’s shoulders.
“We can go to the orphanage. I overstepped a mark and I’m sorry.” Mitaka looked surprised, as the Emperor kissed Ben’s head. “And I’ll be nice to the quack.”
“So, the sex is that good, huh?” Dopheld asked, with a grin. “The statement is out and the email has been sent. Before the Tour, His Majesty suggested we all have tea together.”
“Dopheld, please call me Ben.” Ben said, with a smile as Armitage sat back down. “I’m going to see if my cookies are ready. Play nice boys.” Ben waltzed out of the room, and Armitage immediately kicked Dopheld in the shin.
“Bringing up the nicknames!? Getting me therapy!? Getting cosy with Ben and ganging up on me? If I didn’t like you so much I’d have you shot.”
“Oh, come on, Armie.” Armitage frowned, leaning back in his chair. “I like Ben, he’s good for you. And clearly excellent in bed, come on spill before he comes back.”
“He’s wonderful. That’s all I am saying, he got very upset last time and took off with my horse. Keep your hands off of him. I mean it, I will have you imprisoned and Ben scrubbed clean.”
“You said I could.”
“I also said I would be taking on a mistress but… I love him. I want a life with him. I’ve fucked enough people, I’d be happy with just him, forever.” Dopheld rolled his eyes (with a supportive smile), and Armitage kicked him again; although much softer. “Shut up, you cried over Cadet Harrison turning you down for a month.” Ben walked in, smiling softly with a plate of cookies and an extra teacup. “You’re so perfect. Has Dop told you about our bunk bed situation?”
“Fuck Ben.” Armitage moaned, Ben bouncing on his cock, as he held onto the sheets. The second Dopheld left after their wonderful chats and the whole Beatof situation had been handled, Ben marched Armitage into bed and refused to get out of his lap. Several hours later, he’d once again pushed Armitage into the mattress to ride on his cock. “Fuck Ben, keep that uhhh… fuck fuck.” Ben smiled, sighing softly as he ground down on his husband, grabbing his camera and pointing it down at Armitage.
“Say hi baby.” Ben whispered, using his free hand to run it in Armitage’s hair. Armitage looked up into it, grinning a little. “Armie, want me to fuck you now? You’ve come in me twice already, can I come in you? Instead of over you?” The ginger chuckled, sitting up and nodding.
“Yes, you can and you better start now.” Ben pulled away, leaning and kissing Armitage roughly. “Put the camera down and I’ll show you what to do.” Ben placed the camera on the bedside, and taking the bottle of lube then he leant over his husband and grinned.
“I already know what to do; you’ve done it to me enough times, let me take care of you.” Armitage groaned, as Ben pushed two fingers into his husband. “Tell me what you like.”
“This.” Ben smiled, kissing Armitage softly before pushing another finger in, smiling softly as the emperor moaned, grabbing the sheets as the Prince stretched him slowly, a little anxious he was hurting his husband, but adding another finger that had Armitage's back arching, begging and moaning. “Ben, put your cock in me.” Ben nodded, before he lubed up his cock and slowly pressed into the ginger man. “Oh god.”
“Ah Armitage.” Ben moaned. “I see why you like this so much.” The couple chuckled, as the Prince leant into Armitage and moved slowly. Armitage kissing Ben tenderly, moaning rowdily as Ben picked up speed with every thrust. “Armie… is this ok?”
“Yes. Yes, fuck Ben.” Armitage murmured, gripping Ben as he thrusted into him quickly. “Such a good… fuck fast learner.” Ben pressed soft kisses to the red heads collarbone, moaning loudly as he pumped into Armitage. “Ben… you can come. Come on baby come for me. Come in me.”
“Ah fuck!” Ben whispered, his thrusts becoming stunted and he exploded into Armitage, who grabbed his Prince as tight as he could, his orgasm just pushing him over the edge; coming all over the couple. The dark-haired man, after more short, stunted thrusts to ride out his orgasm, pulled out and flopped to the side; flushed and grinning back at Armitage, who grabbed his face and started kissing him fiercely. “Armie baby 10 minutes.” Ben whispered, sitting up and pushing his hair back; the roots damp with sweat. Armitage sat up and pressed kisses to his husband’s shoulder blades, his hands snaking around his husband. “Armie, Armitage I really want to continue but I’m really hungry and thirsty and need a break. We’ve been at it for hours. You’re so horny today.”
“You make me that. What do you want? I’ll get you anything you want.” Ben grinned, climbing out of bed and wrapping himself in an old dressing gown, and quickly wiped semen from his pillow with a handkerchief.
“I’ll sort it, maybe clean yourself up a little before dinner.”
“I’ll run a bath. Get some champagne as well, you’ve fucked your first man and it was an Emperor; that deserves to be celebrated.” Ben smiled, going to the control pad on the wall.
“I should fuck you before meetings, it makes you so agreeable,” Armitage just grinned, standing up in all his naked glory and winked at his husband, strolling into the bathroom. The Prince watched him go, before calling for his butler. “Levisohn, could you bring up just… everything you can find in the kitchen for His Excellency and I. Oh, also a bottle of the good champagne, please.”
“Of course, Benjamin, it will be right up. Do you need clean sheets as well?” Levisohn replied, and Ben giggled a little. “I will send housekeeping up now.”
“Thank you, Levisohn.” The dark-haired man turned and found Armitage leaning in the bathroom door, grinning and still naked. “Put some clothes on or hide in the bathroom; housekeeping is coming up now.” Armitage grinned, walking over. “No, no Armitage.”
“I just want to give my husband, my beautiful, brilliant husband a kiss.” Ben squealed, throwing a pillow at him. “Ok I’ll cover myself with this.” The ginger man covered his penis and sat on the love seat, sprawling out. “I’m sure housekeeping can deal with a naked man.”
“A naked man, yes. You are the head of an Empire, an Emperor. You can’t be seen naked, we’re not just men to these people. You have to show some…”
“Do you like me, naked like this?”
“Of course, I do.”
“Then they can deal with a naked man and his husband, who happens to be running the galaxy.” Ben sat next to Armitage, kissing him softly as housekeeping came in. “Hello, forgive me for all the mess.” The Prince covered his face, blushing deep red as Levisohn swiftly followed, pushing a trolley of food and champagne, raising one of his bushy eyebrows.
“Oh, my stars.”
“Your Excellency, Your Majesty.” Levisohn said softly, placing the trays on the table.
“Armitage go check on the bath. Now, please.” The Emperor slowly stood up, a tight hold of the pillow and backed away, with the Prince turning back to his butler with a sheepish smile. “I apologise for him; he’s an ex-soldier.”
“Sir, I had my doubts about the union given the circumstances it was arranged under but I haven't, in my 14 years as your butler, seen you smile like that. He makes you happy, and that is all we can ask for.” Ben nodded, smiling softly. “I’ll set everything out for when you return from your bath.”
“Thank you, Levisohn. I owe everything to you.” The Prince stood up, nodding to Levisohn before heading to the ensuite to deal with his rowdy, horny and perfect husband.
Chapter 8: A New Chapter
“Now, Your Excellency, I am not here to dig up old trauma,” Dr Ifsoti said in his soft voice, smiling at the Royal couple. He was a short man with blue hair, and small round glasses at the end of his nose, and he was not bad looking for a man in his 50s, something Ben had mentioned and it was now eating away in Armitage’s brain. Ben, dressed in a high neck, deep purple gown, took Armitage’s hand and smile back; the Emperor did not. “I’m here to help you find a way to heal, discuss and move forward. Make a strategy for helping you come to terms with this.”
“I have come to terms with it. My father is dead, my mother is safe and I am happier than I have been in years. It was a momentary blip.” Armitage spat, looking at Ben a little. “And I have apologised to His Majesty for it many times. I don’t even know why this is necessary, I’ve past all physicals.”
“I just don’t want you to feel like that again. Please behave,” Ben said, pressing a soft kiss to the side of his head and whispered low in his ear, “or no more sofa sex.” Ben pulled away again, an apologetic smile on his face. “I’m sorry, Dr Ifsoti, please continue.” The Doctor nodded, smiling at the Prince before referring to his notes.
“You are very lucky to have such a caring husband, Your Excellency; a good support behind you is key in this. And running an Empire I suppose. Is the Prince your closest companion?” Armitage looked at him with a look of ‘you’re an idiot’ whilst Ben smiled and nodded. “Open up to him, let him know when your down or unhappy, before it becomes a blip. He clearly cares deeply about you and your health to make the effort, he’s willing and ready to help you. You don’t have to endure your trauma and all of this stress alone.”
“I am aware of this.” Armitage muttered, before Ben squeezed his hand hard. “Though I can try. He has called you away from what I can imagine is a busy schedule.”
“I do admit I’ve had to cancel all my appointments for today, and yesterday for the briefing. But you are the Royal Family. I’m more than happy to serve my Emperor and Prince in whatever way I can.” Ben smiled and the Emperor rolled his eyes. “Now, I’m going to help you come up with a four-step plan in order to help ease the pressure, and help you deal with the nightmares and episodes.”
“Well that was a bloody waste of time.” Armitage said, buttoning his shirt ready for the outing. “I don’t want any more appointments with him.” Ben turned from his dressing table, putting on a matching purple lipstick, and frowned at him. “Hey, I went, I didn’t shoot him like I wanted to, and I took his programme.”
“I thought he was lovely, he’s rather charming. Very informative and he gave very good advice if you would just listen, Armie. He’s trying to help you, so am I.” Ben replied, before blotting his lips and standing out. “I’ve invited him to the Palace in a few weeks for a check-up. You know, I hope I look like that in my late 50s.”
“Maybe we should invite him to bed with us as well.” Ready to explode, Ben took a deep breath and walked over, putting his arms on Armitage’s shoulders and smiled softly. Going off in a fit of rage was not when he nor Armitage needed right now; they'd had too many fights this week already. “I could sit and watch you and he discuss what is best for me whilst he fucks you from behind.” The dark-haired man smiled softly, knowing this was all sexual jealous. He could very easily deal with that.
“Would you like that? Watching me, with another man.” Ben kissed his jaw, leaving a purple lip marks. “Want to watch me take another man’s dick as I suck yours?” Ben moved to kneel down, pulling his trousers down and kissing his dick, leaving more marks. Armitage moaned, his hands in Ben’s hair. “Would you like that?”
“No. I couldn’t stand another man having you. Touching you. Loving you. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me.” Ben grinned, sucking on the head of his husband’s cock, his hands on the ginger man’s tights. “Fuck Ben. I was told I’d never, ever find anyone to love me. I was supposed to die, and now I have you, perfect beautiful wonderful you. I’ve never loved or needed or wanted anymore more than you, I love you. I love you.”
“I love you, so much. I feel as if I was born to love you, made to be with you.” Ben whispered, before swallowing the Emperor’s dick, sucking hard and needy. “I love being your husband, I love serving you.”
“Ben… I don’t deserve you. I don’t fuck baby. Just like that.” Ben sucked Armitage’s cock, one of his hands reaching under and tickling his balls. “Fuck baby. Baby, I’m going to, you’re so wonderful.” Armitage thrusted into his mouth, Ben gagging a little but not pulling away. Armitage closed his eyes, coming into Ben’s mouth and moaned loudly as he did; his thrust stunting and his grip on Ben’s hair. “Fuck, Ben darling.” The Prince swallowed the load, before sucking and licking Armitage’s cock clean, grinning up at the Emperor. Armitage smiled softly, wiping some cum from the corner of Ben’s mouth and let the Prince suck it off. “I’ve ruined all your makeup.”
“I’ll fix it. Do you feel better?” Ben stood up, holding Armitage’s hands. Armitage smiled at him, overwhelmed with love for Ben. “Babe, Armie are you ok? You’ve gone all misty eyed.” Armitage leant forward and kissed the Prince incredibly delicately, smiling at him as they pressed their foreheads together. Ben had to admit he was slightly worried about the Emperor, but he smiled back and placed his hands on the ginger’s chest, looking into his blue eyes; he really did have the most magnificently blue eyes.
“When we get back, do you want to start talking about children?” Ben threw himself onto his husband, kissing him roughly before hugging him closely. Armitage laughed, as Ben asked him over and over if he was sure. “Yes, I’m sure. Anytime is right with you, and I’ve been an asshole about it all. We’ll have a baby in no time.”
“A little girl, just like you want.” The Emperor beamed. “We have to leave in 40 minutes. And you better spend at least 20 minutes in between my thighs.” Armitage grinned, lifting Ben up and twirling him around, before unceremoniously throwing him on the bed, diving underneath Ben’s skirts as laughter turned to soft moans.
Prince Benjamin and Emperor Hux broke protocol and held hands as they walked into the New Alderaan Organa Children’s Sanctuary and School, accompanied by Henry and Nada, met with the headmistress, a Carlina Sharr; a very kind woman in her late 60s, her dark hair in a neat bun on top her head. She wore light robes, and bowed slightly to the royal couple.
“It is wonderful to see you again, Your High- Oh I’m sorry it’s Majesty now. And we are so honoured for you to come visit us, Your Excellency. Thank you for taking your time to meet the children, they’ve been looking forward to it.” Carlina said, her smiled growing wider. Armitage smiled back as he shook her hand.
“It is a noble thing you do, and a cause dear to my Ben’s heart. I should thank you for having us.” The ginger replied. “Now, we shouldn’t keep the little ones waiting.”
“Yes, of course. Please follow me.”
They started in the nursery, seeing all the babies asleep in their cots. Carlina explained at this centre they mostly took on babies and toddlers, but they had 14 older children who they were going to meet as they were currently in between homes being refurbished with Ben’s donation money. Naturally the Prince gushed over the eighteen 0-1 year olds, as Armitage watched and smiled; occasionally holding one for photos to help the adoption campaign.
They then entered a hall and found the 14 children lined up, although one was hiding behind an assistant, all dressed in soft blue jumpers and tan trousers and skirts; their little faces beaming up at the Emperor and Prince. The oldest was only about 11 and the smallest that they could see was 8, and Ben wanted to take them all home with him.
“Children, what do we say?” Carlina asked, smiling at them.
“Hello, Your Excellency, hello Your Majesty!!” They all cried, at different points and it becomes a bit of a mess in the middle, bowing to them. “Welcome!” A small girl with long plates rushed over and handed Ben a handful of blue flowers.
“Oh, thank you very much, it’s lovely to be here again.” Ben said with a smile, Armitage smiling as well. “And these are lovely, aren’t they Armitage?”
“Yes, did you pick them yourselves?” He asked, in his soft voice that made Ben’s knees go weak. The line began to nod. “Well I’ll be sure you ask you all if I need some for my office.” The children giggled, and then Armitage caught sight of the little boy hiding behind the assistant.
He was small, pale and had a worried look in his blue eyes, his hair curly and dark brown and nose covered in freckles. He held on tightly to the assistant’s hand, and when Armitage smiled at him he looked scared and hide again.
He reminded the Emperor of himself as a child, so scared and small.
“Now children, why don’t you all go collect the drawings you have for Prince Benjamin and Emperor Armitage, then you can have a little play time.” The children scattered, the small boy walking with the assistant. “They’ve all worked so hard on them as presents.”
“Who is that little one, the one that was hiding?” Armitage asked, still watching him. “He looks frightened.”
“Oh, that’s little Jacen. He has struggled in the system, he’s 6 and been in our care for 4 years. An abuse case, he was found in such an awful state, clinging to his mother’s corpse. It was the father, he remembers it, you don’t forget those things, even at that age. He doesn’t make friends well and some of the older children at his last placement were cruel. But he’s very smart and exceptionally kind, he always has small presents for the new children, and he loves sitting with the babies.” Carlina whispered, Armitage get more upset and angry with every word. Ben was on the verge of tears. “Ok children, back in line. One at a time now.”
After kneeling down to talk to each child who brought forward a picture and handing them to Nada to put up in the palace, Ben beamed as the children ran around him, showing him toys and other interesting things, whilst Armitage chatted with Carlina.
“You should talk to Jacen, Your Excellency. He’s very fond of your TIE fighters.” Carlina said, in a soft voice. “It might boost his confidence.” Armitage nodded, walking over and smiling at the assistant, asking if he could speak with the little boy. Once he had the approval, he knelt down and smiled at him. Jacen smiled back, a nervous and unsure smile, clutching onto his TIE fighter model and still half behind the assistant.
“Hello. My name is Armitage. Carlina tells me yours is Jacen,” Armitage started, keeping his voice low and gentle, to not scare the boy. “and I really like your figure there. Can I take a look?” Jacen nodded, taking a few steps over to him and held it out. “Oh wow. Very detailed, an older model from the days of the Old Empire. I learnt to fly in one of these.”
“You can fly one, Mr Emperor Armitage?” Jacen asked in his small voice; a hint of joy and curiosity in his voice. “Really?”
“Yes, I used to be a pilot and soldier, before I became Emperor. I love flying, zooming around the asteroids and in the stars.” Jacen grinned, sitting down in front of the ginger man and looking up at him with wonder and excitement. “When I was much younger, me and my friend Dopheld used to sneak out and take one of these on a joy ride, I’d fly and he’d fire at passing debris. We crashed one once, it was a nightmare. And when my father found he.” Armitage trailed off, looking at the boy. “Well… he was very, very cross.”
“My dad hit me too.” Jacen whispered, sliding over and hugging him. Armitage's heart broke. “When I grow up, I want to fly a TIE, like you.” Armitage nodded, patting him on the back with a half hug.
“I am sure you will, Jacen.”
When the Prince looked up, wondering where his husband had gone, it warmed his heart to see Jacen and Armitage playing battle, the little boy running around him and giggling as the Emperor dramatically pretended to die, the boy jumping on him. Ben hadn’t seen him laugh like that before, and couldn’t help but chuckle along with them, before turning his attention back to the tea party; occasionally glancing up at the pair with soft smiles and misty eyes.
“Oh, I want to take them all home.” Ben whispered, once all the goodbyes had been said and done, linking arms with his husband who was deep in thought; his very serious look on his face. “We’ll have to visit again, and soon.”
“They’ve all had a lovely time and we’ve already had calls about people coming and adopting some of the children. And hopefully Jacen will have gained confidence from this and come out from under our feet to meet them all, it’s the most I’ve heard him talk in so long.” Carlina said, with a soft smile.
“Ben, a momentary word in private?” Armitage whispered, before pulling him aside and away from Carlina. “I can’t in good conscious leave Jacen here. I already adore him as if he were my own. I know I said it was too soon but… Ben, I can’t leave him here. I can’t leave without him. I will naturalise him and give him a full title, name him my heir and pay for all of his schooling out of my own funds, and ensure the other children here are found good, decent homes and not just because we’ve graced them with our presences and” Ben stopped him talking by pressing a soft kiss, smiling at him. “Ben.”
“He’s seems sweet and in need of a home. Carlina, can we sit with Jacen? Alone?” Ben asked, smiling at the woman who nodded, rushing them to a small office like room with a box of toys in the corner, before excusing herself to fetch the little one. “Are you sure you’re ready?”
“Yes. I can see myself in him, a scared boy who needs love. Bill and I were failed by the system, I won’t let it happen to another child. Tell Nada and Henry to inform Mitaka. And to have my mother’s shuttle diverted.” Ben nodded, kissing him again before popping his head out of the door and relaying the message. “I know you’ll care for him as much as I do.”
“You’re renowned for your impeccable taste, otherwise you wouldn’t be married to me.” Armitage laughed, taking Ben’s hand. “And I know I will.” The Prince kissed his husband’s knuckled, both grinning at each other with a look of excitement and nerves. “We’re going to be fathers.”
“We are. I refused to be called Father or Sir. Papa or Dad.”
“You’re a Papa kind of guy.” Armitage leant in to kiss the dark-haired man’s nose, when the door opened and a very frightened Jacen stood with Carlina. “Hello little one.” Ben knelt down, holding a hand out for him. Jacen then burst into tears. “Oh Jacen, what’s wrong?”
“I-I’M SORRY IF I DID SOMETHING WRONG! I’M REALLY SORRY I’M SORRY!” He wailed, as Ben quickly scooped him up in his arms, standing upright and holding him close. “I-I’m sorry.”
“You’ve not done anything wrong, Jacen.” Ben whispered, wiping his eyes and smiling at him. “Armitage has told me wonderful things about you, and I wanted to get to know you. I’m sorry if we made you worry, please don’t cry it breaks my heart.”
“I-I didn’t do anything wrong?”
“No, no you didn’t. You’re not in trouble, we just wanted to talk that’s all.” Jacen looked between the two, Armitage coming over and smiling at him, before sniffing and cuddling in. “There, much better. Why don’t you tell us all about you?”
“And play with some of these toys, how does that sound?” Armitage asked. Jacen nodded, whispering ok and the couple grinned, the Prince placing the little boy down and chuckling as he dived towards the toy box, chatting away quietly about how he liked the colour blue and cookies.
They talked about the palace and toys, animals and favourite foods; Jacen loved horses and Fathiers, as well as his favourite food being happy-patty, and Armitage admitted he enjoyed the children’s treat still. Jacen slowly warmed up to Ben, running around and playing in his skirts, being chased by Armitage before they ignored the table in favour to sit on the floor, eating a bowl of fruit. As the little boy packed away some toys, as suggested by Armitage, the Royal couple shared a look of agreement; a soft smiled and a squeeze of the hand. The Emperor stood up and opened the door, whispering to Carlina.
“Can you get all the paperwork and things please? We’re going to tell him ourselves.”
“Right away, Your Excellency.” She whispered. “I’ll pack his things as well. Thank you, he needs so much love, so much time and patience.”
“He’ll receive all that, I swear.” Carlina nodded, rushing off down the hall as Armitage dipped back in, turning to see the little boy sat on Ben’s knee, explaining how to make a TIE fighter noise. “Do you want to?”
“I think you should.” Ben replied, hugging the little boy in his lap slightly. Jacen just looked confused, craning his head up to look at Ben before back at Armitage, who sat across from them. “Jacen, Armitage has something to ask you.”
“Jacen, Ben and I would like to adopt you. How would you like to come home with us, to the Palace?” Armitage asked, in a low voice and a delicate smile. “I’ll be your papa, and Ben your daddy. You’ll be a Prince, and you’ll get to travel all over the galaxy. And fly a TIE fighter when you’re bigger. And no one will ever hurt you ever again.”
“Really?” Jacen whispered.
“I promise, and we promise to love you so much. You’ll never want for anything.” Jacen looked up at Ben, who smiled softly. “Would you like that? To come live with us and for us to be your dads?”
“Ok.” The Royal couple burst into huge grins, Armitage sliding over to hug both Ben and Jacen, who started to smile and giggle. “Am I going home with you now?”
“Well we just have to get all the paperwork and let you say goodbye, but then you’ll be coming to my house here. In a few days, we’ll go to the big, main house.” Ben said, smiling at the boy. “First, you have to meet everyone and get a proper name worked out.”
“Proper name? Is Jacen not a proper name?”
“A regal name. I think you should be His Royal Highness, Prince Jacen Amidala-Hux of the Galactic Empire and New Alderaan. Or you can just be Prince Jacen Hux. I like Amidala-Hux personally, for obvious reasons.”
“Definitely Amidala-Hux.” Armitage added, smiling.
“That’s a lot. Can I still be just Jacen, daddy?” Jacen asked. Ben and Armitage tried their hardest not to sob with happiness.
“Of course, you can. Other people will have to call you His Royal Highness though. Shall we go find Carlina?” Ben stood up, Jacen standing with him and smiling at Armitage, who took a moment to stand up. “Take Armit… Papa’s hand now, I need to adjust my dress a little.” The brunette boy walked over to Armitage and took his hand in his, watching as Ben smoothed his skirts, before looking up at the ginger man.
“Papa, if I'm a Prince and if you die, will I be king one day?”
“Emperor, yes; but we won’t discuss that for a long time. You just enjoy being a Prince, ok?”
“Ok.” Ben came over, taking the small boys other hand and looking up at Armitage, the shared look of love and happiness on their faces as they then walked to office, ready to officially adopt Jacen.
“There are lots of people who want to meet you,” Armitage said, carrying Jacen through the palace, Ben walking next to them. “and I need you to be a brave boy. You can stay up here with me, but all the people you are about to meet are all here to help and look after you. Like Henry and Nada. Is that ok?”
“Ok Papa.” Jacen muttered, tightening his grip around his papa’s neck. “They’re nice, right?”
“Some of the loveliest people you will meet.” Ben answered, smiling at the boy. “We’re right here.” Jacen nodded, the family stopping by the door. “It’s going to be ok.”
“Presenting Prince Jacen Amidala-Hux of the Galactic Empire and New Alderaan!” The doors flew open and Jacen froze up, before looking in wonder. The living room close to Ben’s quarters, usually used for drinks and gatherings after meetings or more intimate events, was full of balloons and a few presents, a cake and ‘It’s a Boy!’ banner on the wall. Mina, Mitaka and Levisohn walked over to meet the new Prince, smiling and whispering hellos to him.
“I thought I said not to go overboard.” Armitage muttered to Mitaka who grinned.
“Nonsense, our new Prince and heir has arrived, he deserves a party.” Mitaka replied, as Jacen looked at him, a little unsure. “Plus, you’ve just become parents rather spontaneously, so we’ve bought you some supplies. And lots of new toys.”
“Well, I see Uncle Dopheld is already living up to his title.” Ben said, with a smile. “Thank you, this is lovely. Jacen, darling, this is your Uncle Dopheld and your Auntie Mina, and they are going to help look after you if Daddy and Papa are away. If you ever need anything and we’re not around they’ll always help.”
“Did you and Papa fly TIE fighter’s Uncle Dopheld? And did you really crash one?” Dopheld looked at Armitage, with a grin before smiling at the little boy in his arms.
“Of course, we did. Usually when we weren’t allowed. Got in a lot of trouble but it was worth it. Now, you tell Papa you would like to open some presents.”
Jacen quickly made himself at home, opening his presents and thanking everyone for them (even for the socks) before unwrapping the biggest box and jumping up and down with excitement and Armitage glaring at Dopheld; the new godfather had bought Jacen a toy TIE fighter that the small boy could ride in, hoovering off the ground. Ben smiled softly, sending Dopheld to set up the toy whilst Jacen sat and watched. When it was all built and ready, the small boy clambered in, switching it on and giggling as it began to float.
“Now Jacen, you are going to fly it slowly out of the room and into the hallway. And you are not going to go very fast and not break Daddy’s house, ok?” Armitage said, a very stern tone in his voice. Jacen nodded, carefully navigating his way out of the room with a lot of concentration on his small face. Pride took over the ginger man’s face, him and Mitaka following the child. “See he’s a natural.”
“Please be careful.” Ben called, following with a worried look on his face; Mina behind with the same look. “Armie, make sure he’s careful.”
“I will, Ben don’t worry.” Watching the boy zoom up and down the wide corridor, Armitage chasing him and laughing along, Mina leaned close and whispered;
“It’s a good look for him, fatherhood. We were all a little surprised when you sent the news.”
“We just fell in love with him. He felt like our own and Armitage… just adored him on sight. We knew he’d be our perfect son for us. And we knew you and Dopheld would be the perfect godparents.”
“Well, I would very much enjoy spending more time with him.” Ben turned, a look of shock on his face as he suppressed a smile. “What?”
“Wait, what happened to Raynar?”
“We broke up, conflict of interests. He was a prick in the end.”
“You and I need to have some wine and catch up at some point. When, where and how?” Mina began to whisper, Ben grinning as she dished out all the details, both looking at the dark-haired man, who noticed from the other side of the hall.
“I think they’re talking about me.” Mitaka said, as Armitage spun the TIE fighter around, sending Jacen back down the corridor towards Ben.
“Why’d you say that?” the Emperor replied, the two began to leisurely striding down behind him. “What have you done?”
“Banged Mina in the laundry room.”
“Nice. Tell me that story later.”
Jacen, dressed in his new pyjama’s with Fathier’s on, curled into Armitage’s side; the ginger man with an arm around him, watching his Papa work on this data pad. He occasionally asked questions about it, Armitage answering as basically as he could. The little boy yawned, trying his hardest not to fall asleep when Ben emerged from the bathroom, wearing soft blue pyjama’s and his hair still damp.
“Do you think I need a haircut? It’s getting a little long.” Ben asked, sitting at his dressing table.
“No darling, its lovely.” Armitage replied, smiling softly. “Is it, Jacen?” Jacen clamber over and jumped into Ben’s lap, causing them all to chuckle. “Jacen has approved his bedroom design and he has even clicked send on emails to the senator of Naboo. We should announce his adoption soon, before Beatof’s funeral.”
“After your mother has visited, and when we get back home. Let him settle before he gets thrusted into the public eye. He’s not coming to the funeral.” Ben stroked Jacen’s hair as the small boy let out a long, loud yawn. “That’s a big yawn little man, it is?” Jacen smiled, cuddling into Ben.
“Do all boys wear make-up like you, daddy?” Jacen whispered, grabbing some of Ben’s makeup brushes and examining them with a lot of curiosity. “This smells funny.” Jacen put the brush close to his face, slowly sticking out his tongue.
“Away from your mouth, thank you,” Ben took it away, smiling at him before handing him a clean one to wave about. “No not all boys. And not all beings do.”
“I liked the sparkly eyes. Do I have to wear make-up?”
“Only if you want to, sweetie.”
“No, I don’t want to.” Ben chuckled, pressing a kiss to the small boy’s curly hair. “Can I sleep in your bed?”
“Of course, go get comfy whilst Daddy puts on his night cream and tell Papa no data pad at bedtime.” Jacen nodded, wriggling out of Ben’s hold and running back over to Armitage, who scooped him up and tickling his stomach. “Don’t rile him up before bedtime. He needs lots of sleep ready for Grandma coming. We all do.”
“My mother is a wonderful, kind woman. She’s going to adore both of you. Come on, Ben; come to bed.” Ben swayed over, climbing into the other side; Jacen nestled in between his new fathers and rapidly falling asleep. “Oh, I almost forgot.” Armitage opened the drawer and pulled out a teddy bear, placing it next to Jacen. The small boy grabbed it and cuddled it close, Ben leaning down and kissing his head.
“Night night Jacen.” Ben whispered. The new parents smiled at the boy, who within seconds was out like a light. “Did you hear about Dopheld and Mina?”
“Yes, he told me. What did Mina say? According to Dop he was just talking to her and she leapt at him.” Armitage replied.
“She said he was flirting and she thought he was coming on to her so she beat him too it.” The couple chuckled quietly, smiling at each other warmly. “We should get some sleep.”
“You go, I’m just going to do some reading. My mother is used to dealing with a tired me anyway. You rest, I love you.”
“I love you too.” Ben leant over and kissed his husband softly, before lying down next to the sleeping boy. “Try to sleep, ok?” Armitage nodded, smiling at the Prince as he closed his dark eyes, nestling into pillow and slowly drifting off to sleep. Armitage watched his husband and son, his chest over flowing with love for them, and a fear of waking and worrying them with his nightmares. Thinking of the stupid quacks advice, he knew he’d need to wait until Jacen was in his own bedroom to start the sleep therapy. For now, the Emperor was just going to sit and read all night.
Armitage only realised he’d fallen asleep when Jacen’s crying woke him up, and he realised the sheets, Jacen and his bottoms were wet. Jumping up in pure instinct, the child continued to cry, and Armitage tried to hush him and wake Ben. The Prince turned over, half awake and unsure to what was going on, Jacen still bawling his eyes out. The dark-haired man looked at Jacen, sitting up slowly.
“Jacen’s had an accident love, you need to get out of the bed, can you call for someone?” Armitage whispered, before lifting the child up. “Hey, it’s alright it was an accident.”
“Y-you made a loud yell and I got frightened and wet myself.” Jacen sobbed, and Armitage looked at him, so upset he’d already made his son cry. “I’m sorry…”
“No, it’s alright. Daddy is going to take you to the bathroom and get changed. I’ll sort all of this out.” The ginger man kissed Jacen’s hair, placing him on the floor before finding some suitable clothing for the child. “You can wear one of papa’s shirts and some fresh underpants,” Armitage handed them to Ben, who took the little boys hand in his. “and Papa, when he rings for the housekeeping, will get you some cookies and blue milk.”
“Ok papa.” Ben lead Jacen into the bathroom, taking his pyjama’s off and cleaning him off, the little boy still crying a little. “Why does papa cry and yell when he’s asleep?” Ben smiled sadly, as Jacen pulled up is underpants up. “It’s scary.”
“Papa… when he was a younger man and the First Order were still new, he fought on the ground against people who don’t want everyone to be happy. It frightened him so much that he still dreams about it, and sometimes yells.” Ben said softly, pulling the shirt over Jacen’s curls. “And you and I have to be kind and give Papa cuddles. Even when he yells and cries. Do you think you can do that?”
“Yes daddy. Can I make Papa a drawing?”
“I think he would like that very much.” Jacen smiled, as Ben lifted him up and held him on his hip, walking back in to smile at Armitage, who turned and looked at the pair with that serious, battle ready look in his eyes. “Darling what’s wrong?”
“General Organa has just sent me an email. Asking when she is going to meet Jacen.” Ben went white, shock and hurt on his face as he held the little boy tighter. “Someone in the palace is leaking information to the Resistance.”
Chapter 9: Family Matters
Ben and Armitage sat awake all night, trying to figure out who was responsible for the security breach. Ben was currently resting on the bed with a slumbering Jacen on his chest and a data pad to his side; the boy wrapped in a soft white blanket and was snoring contently, whilst Armitage stood on the balcony smoking with a stone cold look on his face as he watched the sun began to rise on the distant horizon. Ben placed the boy down gently on the bed, watching the child stir for a moment before settling back down to quiet sleep, and waltzed over to the Emperor. He grabbed his husband’s silver cigarette case as he passed the table, smiling slightly as he stepped outside. The ginger man watched Ben place a thin, white cigarette in his mouth, lighting it and stand closer to the balcony ledge, across from his husband.
“The shields are up, yes?” Ben asked, and Armitage noticed that he was smoking with a lot more ease than that morning in the Palace gardens. Perhaps he had been practicing after the Emperor made a small comment about how the Prince would look like a model smoking in bed with him. Armitage nodded, and the Prince relaxed; thought only a little. “Who is doing this? Putting a little boy’s life at risk? It’s depraved, and I will have them pay. He’s going to have to come to the funeral now, and the senate. I won’t have Jacen left alone, he needs to be with one of us, and guards, at all times until that pitiful Resistance is taken down.” Ben clenched his fists, rage building inside him; festering under the surface and ready to explode.
“Breath, Ben,” Armitage murmured, as the Prince took a long drag. The Emperor smiled, crushing his own cigarette butt with his heel. “You’re so beautiful when you smoke. Although we should attempt to quit.”
“This isn’t permanent, only whilst I’m at this level of unease. Never around Jacen.” Ben quickly looked into the room, checking on the slumbering boy. “It’s been less than a day and I worry about him so much.”
“The codes to the doors have been changed, alarmed and armed, and I have a video feed directly wired to my phone.” Ben smiled. “Only Mitaka, Mina and Levisohn were briefed. Mina told the handmaidens and Mitaka the vanguard.”
“Levisohn briefed the other heads of staff. Someone could have overheard the briefings. Or intercepted a call or email.”
“The lines are encrypted, scrambled every hour. Meaning someone overheard the Handmaidens briefing or the staff meeting.” Ben glared at the Emperor, taking another deep, long drag before launching into one of his famous rants.
“Excuse me, my Handmaidens and staff are well-trained professionals. They would have held the briefing in secure locations using the correct terms with no possibility of anyone overhearing, and if that had happened I would have been notified or the threat would have been neutralised. Your Vanguard, on the other hand, are brutish, thuggish boyish and disgusting men who probably talked all about Jacen around this castle in between who has the biggest cock and which of my maids they are going to grope later.”
“My men are exceptionally well trained, programmed from birth alongside my troopers!”
“Don’t you dare yell at me! I am only caring about our son’s wellbeing!”
“He’s my son too Ben! And how dare you insinuate that I don’t care! Your Handmaiden’s gossip about absolute everything, I once caught them discussing which pants I look best in, apparently my suit trousers make my package look wonderful! If there was a leak, it was them or one of the staff!”
“Why can’t you accept your men are in the wrong!?”
“Forget it, this yelling is helping no one. Unless you want the whole of New Alderaan to know about our son!!”
“I will only if you keep your voice down!”
“You started this!”
“I assumed Jacen was the child in the family and!” Jacen’s crying in the bedroom broke the anger and tension, the Prince stubbing out the rest of his cigarette on the side and rushing back with Armitage. When they reached the bed, Ben smiled sheepishly at the little Prince who sobbed a little, his nose red. Armitage sat next to Jacen, brushing some of his unruly curls out of his forehead.
“Did Daddy and I wake you?” he asked in a soft, kind voice that made Ben momentarily forget he was mad. Armitage was adapting amazingly to becoming a father; making the little boy feel safe and loved. It made Ben’s heart (and loins) flutter.
“Why were you shouting? You smell bad.” Armitage threw the boy an apologetic smile, the Prince Consort already spraying himself with a floral mist, taking the ginger man’s place beside the boy as he found another spray that suited him. Ben ran a hand through the boys’ hair, hushing him softly. “Why were you fighting? Is it cos of me? Are you not in love anymore?” The child’s lip began to quiver, and Ben kissed his forehead, wiping away the tears. “Are you going to send me away?”
“No, no not at all. Sometimes, grown-ups have silly little fights about… well, about nothing. It was a silly disagreement but I,” Ben said, before he turned to Armitage and smiled. “I will always love your Papa.” Armitage let out a soft smile, strolling over and sitting beside Ben. The dark-haired man held his hand out, the ginger man took it and kissed his knuckled.
“And I will always love Daddy.” Armitage added, smiling at the boy.
“And we will always love you, Jacen.” The little boy smiled, wiping his eyes. “It’s not time to get up yet, do you want to try and get a bit more sleep?”
“Will you guys stay here?”
“Of course. Come on, move along a little to let us in.” Armitage said, as Jacen began to move along. The older man lay down on the left side of the bed, Jacen crawling to lay on his chest, as Ben nestled with his head on his husband’s shoulder. With one arm wrapped tightly around his husband and the other draped over his son, Armitage smiled softly, closing his eyes. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight darling.” Ben whispered as he pressed a kiss to his husband’s jaw, nestling in and smiling at Jacen. The small boy smiled back brightly, closing his eyes tightly that made the Prince Consort chuckled, letting sleep take over whilst wondering how he got so lucky.
Dressing a pastel pink shirt and a dark grey trouser- skirt combination; trousers on the front with a long train of fabric coming to the sides and back, embodied with pink flowers that Jacen was currently admiring. The boy had on a white shirt and navy trousers; Ben had finally given up on taming his curls and let them sit freely on his head. Now the little Prince was chatting away to his Daddy, who was doing his makeup, hoping to paint over not only his tiredness but also his anxiety. The Prince, along with his constant worrying about the little boy behind him and meeting his in-laws, had the added concern of the Resistance coming to New Alderaan again, ready for an attack. Brushing some pink, soft blush across his cheeks, Ben stared at himself long and hard, mentally preparing himself for anything.
“Ben.” Armitage said, breaking Ben’s trance. Turning to look at his husband, the Emperor had also settled on navy and white to match his son, a fitted jacket added to his assemble, smiling at the Prince consort. “You look very nice.”
“As do you. I wish I had got the memo of a colour scheme that you and Jacen have chosen without me.” Ben smiled, turning around to see that the little boy had decided to ‘hide’ under his skirts, just a giggling bump. The couple smiled at each other, Armitage creeping over.
“You know pink is a much better colour on you. Now, where is Jacen?” Armitage called out, causing the little boy to giggle more, muffling the giggles. “Is he under the bed? No… Is he in the cupboard? Or is he…” Ben pulled his skirt away, revealing the little boy who squealed, rushing around the room. “You get back here you little monkey. You need a tickle!”
“No, no tickles!!” Jacen howled, rushing to Ben and jumping into his lap. “No tickles!” Ben smiled, tickling the little boys’ sides. “Ah daddy!! Daddy no!!” Jacen laughed loudly, Armitage coming over and tickling him as well. “Noooo!” The couple stopped, Jacen still giggling for a few moments, before smiling; out of breath and red in the face. “I like living here. I like having you as my Daddy and Papa, your fun.”
“Good, because we love having you.” Ben whispered, just as Armitage’s data pad buzzed. “And I think Grandma and Uncle William are here.” Jacen grin grew wider, so much excitement on his small, freckled face. “Let me try and brush your hair again, then we can go see them.”
“And, I have to tell you something about your Uncle.” Armitage whispered, kneeling to Jacen’s height. The little boy looked a little confused but listen intently, holding onto Ben’s free hand, as the Prince consort lifted a brush and tried again to tame the unruly curls. “Your Uncle, my little brother, had a bad accident a few years ago. And he had to have his eyes… replaced with computers. He’s got black and very blue eyes, but he’s your Uncle and he’s really excited to see you. He’s also a little shy, you need to be nice and quiet around him. So, you shouldn’t be frightened of him, ok?” Jacen nodded, fidgeting whilst Ben fought his curls. “Ok, I don’t think we’re going to get further with the curls today. Come on, let’s go.” Jacen jumped down, allowing the Prince Consort to stand up and take the Emperor’s hand, slipping on a pair of grey kitten heels.
“I thought your brothers’ name was Brendol?” Ben whispered, as the Royal Family started walking to the reception room.
“He’s Brendol William Hux. Brendol called him Junior, Mom always called him William and I’ve always called him Techie.” Ben just nodded, was they walked into a large reception room, and Ben got his first look at his mother-in-law.
Cosette Hux was a beautiful woman in her mid to late 60s. Golden blonde hair that was slightly faded, wrapped in a bun and braids around her head, dressed in a long yellow gown, with long, sheer sleeves and gold trimmings. She smiled so brightly when she saw her son; her eyes wrinkling as she did so, as Armitage pulled away to go to her, hugging her tightly. Jacen gripped Ben’s skirt as they stopped, unsure of the people in the room. As the Emperor held his mother, Ben’s attention turned to the young ginger man walking in.
William Hux was the spit of Armitage, only much younger at 21, and Ben realised the poor boys both took after their father. His hair was slightly longer than Armitage’s, still the striking ginger, and he had freckles; and unlike Armitage's bold, confident default face, he looked a little frightened. Slimmer and much paler than his brother, his black suit hanging off his frame, it was his eyes, or lack of eyes, that was the most striking about the youngest Hux; his pupils were black, with a blue circle and dots inside, whirling around as he scanned the room. When you were close to him, you could sometimes hear the mechanics auto focus.
“My Armitage. You look so handsome, and not so thin anymore. Now, go say hi to your brother whilst I meet my son-in-law and grandson.” Cosette said softly, pulling away and going over to Ben. “You are magnificent. Let me kiss that pretty face.” Armitage smiled as Ben leant down and let Cosette kiss his face, before he turned to the younger Hux.
“Hey Armie.” William muttered, throwing him a lopsided smile.
“Hello Techie.” Armitage replied, before throwing his arms around his brother, holding him tightly. Ben smiled at this, as the thinner Hux hugged back, the fear on his face melting away to comfort, happiness. “Have you been taking your medicine? I will be checking with mum.” Techie nodded, hugging his brother. “Good. You’re looking good. Come on, Ben and Jacen are really excited to meet you.”
“Yeah I’ve been mentally prepping myself since the wedding. The kid thing… not so prepared” Armitage smiled, and patted his back, leading the way. Jacen was currently on Ben’s hip, smiling at Cosette before looking at Techie, burying his head into Ben’s shoulder. “Oh no I scared him. I scared him I’m a bad Uncle.”
“No, William. He’s just very shy. Why don’t we all go back upstairs? Jacen is much more comfortable in our chambers.” Ben suggested, bouncing the boy a little. “You can show Grandma and Uncle Techie your toys, won’t that be fun? Huh Jacen?”
“Jacen, this is my little brother Techie and my mother, your Grandma. They are very good, kind people and they would love to see your TIE fighters.” Armitage said softly, putting a hand on Jacen’s back. Ben smiled at him softly, before Jacen turned to look at them. “And we can have happy-patty on the balcony.” Cosette chuckled a little, as Techie looked up, a look of excitement.
“I would love a happy-patty right now,” Techie whispered, smiling at the little boy. Jacen smiled back a little, looking between him and Armitage. “and I’d like to see the toys.” Jacen nodded, and Armitage smiled.
“I’ll ring for tea and cakes for myself and Cosette, and 3 happy-patties for the boys.” Ben said, smiling at the older woman who laughed, before leading the way. “I’d love to have a chat with you, you can tell me all sorts of stories about Armie.”
“I’ll start by telling you that you are going to need more than 3 happy-patties. He used to sneak William down to the kitchen when Armitage was home, and I would find them both in bed with boxes around them. Armitage was 19 at this time, William 6. Brendol was, naturally, furious.” Ben could feel the men flinch behind him, and frowned. “But enough about that, who designs your gowns? They truly capture your figure and beauty.”
“Armitage actually had this one commissioned. He thinks pink brings out my eyes.”
“I did raise them both to have impeccable taste.” The Hux men chuckled, smiling at each other a little. Ben could sense the calm between the two, but there was something different in Cosette; she seemed worried, as if she had something to say but was holding it in. Ben smiled softly at her, before beaming at Jacen, who was weaving his hair around his fingers, still cautiously examining Cosette and William but warming up to them both.
Ben grinned as he watched Armitage, Techie and Jacen play with TIE fighters, bears and dolls, re-enacting the famous Battles his parents had told him when he was small; until Ben demanded they stopped and told him the story of Padme and her handmaidens. As the boys zoomed and crashed around the quarters, Cosette and Ben had opted to sitting on the balcony, sipping tea and making polite small talk in the warm summer air. Cosette wanted to know all about Ben, how the wedding went and how he was settling in with Armitage, hesitation in her voice.
“Cosette,” Ben whispered, putting his cup down and reaching out for her hand. “I do not use the Force, but I am still sensitive to it, and Force Empathy. If there is something worrying you, you can confide in me.” She sighed, squeezing Ben’s hand before looking at her sons.
“I love Armitage as if I bore him myself, please understand that before you hear what I have to say. He and William, and myself, suffered greatly at Brendol’s hand. He broke those boys, blinded William and would have killed him if Armitage didn’t stop him. All for being too sensative. He always took the brunt of it, being older and so protective. He loves William, he’s always asking after him because he knows he’s fragile. Brendol made William delicate, scared, anxious to the point he’ll never not need medication to get through the day. He made me compliant in everything he did, I was so scared and so weak. I hate myself for everything I did. I failed my children. But he made Armitage resentful, angry and ruthless. And it scares me, he scares me.” Her voice cracked, and Cosette stopped for a moment, gathering herself. “There is so much of Brendol in him, in both of them. But Armitage particular. For so long I was sure he idolised his father, but it was dark, deep hatred and he was only finding weaknesses. Ben… does he hurt you? I know he doesn’t mean it but, please tell me.”
“We… both have a temper. We fight, it was expected but no, he’s never hit me. Screamed and shouted at me, but I always retaliate.” Ben replied, with a smile. “I love him, we’re working on it. He’s seeing a doctor.”
“The quickness of the Wedding and very little mention of you scared me. You let me know if he ever lays a hand on you, and I will sort him out. How did you two meet, anyway?”
“At a party, hosted by the Senator of Coruscant. I’m not one for parties or Coruscant actually, and Armitage was such a gentleman. Fetching me drinks, asking me if I needed air and just,” Ben looked at Armitage, sat with Jacen in his lap as Techie stared at the instructions of something Techie had brought with him, chatting with his brother and thought back to that night. Whilst the beginning of the marriage was rocky and full of frustration, that night was full of passion; the dancing and the flirting, Ben taking Armitage, the Emperor of the Galaxy, by the hand and pulling him into the garden. Almost kisses and heart flutters. “I just fell in love with him.” Ben blushed, giggling a little. “We’re not perfect, and we have a lot going on in our lives, we fight, and we disagree. But we love each other, I know he loves me. I can’t wait to spend my life with him and expand our family.”
“He seems… so happy. Much happier than he’s ever been. Oh, do forgive my worrying.”
“Of course I forgive you, Cosette. I’m flattered really, but he’s seeing a doctor and I have ways of calming him down from fits. He still screams in his sleep, and he had a bad episode in the palace before the Tour but… I’m going to stay by his side. For better or worse, as I made a vow to love him forever.”
“I always hoped he would marry someone like you, Ben. I’m so relieved he’s found someone. I do hope William will as well, but then I will have both my babies out of the house and be alone.”
“Nonsense, you’ll come live with us and your grandchildren.”
“Armitage would love that.” They both laughed, smiling at each other brightly before returning to their tea. As they fell back into small talk, the boys and Levisohn filed in, a tray of food with him. “Oh, our sandwiches.”
“I thought we were having happy-patty.” Jacen whispered, sitting next to Cosette, getting a little upset. Armitage took the other side, meaning Techie was sat between Jacen and Ben; a tactical move on his elder brother so he would actually talk to Ben. “Uncle Techie said we were having happy-patty.”
“You are, Jacen. Grandma and Daddy are having sandwiches, since we don’t like happy-patty.” Ben said, with a gentle grin on his face as Jacen’s face lit up. “You and Papa and Uncle Techie are still having your happy-patty’s. Even if it is going to spoil Papa’s diet.”
“Mother says I’m looking well.” Armitage replied, with a playful smirk.
“Yes, but you’re not as trim as you were.” Ben smiled back, before smiling up at Levisohn, as he placed a small plate of sandwiches in front of him, before presenting the little Prince with his happy-patty. “But as long as it keeps you boys happy and agreeable I don’t mind for today, it is a special occasion after all.” Ben smiled at Techie, who sort of smiled back, too anxious to properly talk.
“Do we have anymore news regarding the security breach, Levisohn?” Cosette looked alarmed, looking at Armitage whilst Techie grew more uncomfortable, looking down to his plate. Jacen, however, was too fixated on his food to listen to the grown-ups.
“We do have a small development, Your Excellency. And I regret to inform you that it was indeed a member of staff who has betrayed the crown.” Levisohn said, standing stiff and proper, fearing retribution. Armitage looked at his husband with a smug look. “We’ve found Rebel tech, and we believe the information came from the Vanguard’s briefing. They did not use the correct codes.” Ben tried to supress a smile. “I hope you can find it in you to forgive me.”
“Levisohn, no it’s not your fault. And you are doing a wonderful job.” Ben said softly, smiling at him brightly. “Thank you, Levisohn, please keep us informed.” Levisohn nodded, bowed and left. “See, both parties are at fault.”
“It’s still your staff.” Armitage added.
“Enough! Both of you.” Cosette interjected, silencing the room. Techie jumped, as Jacen leaned closer to him; both watching with wide eyes to see what would unfold. “You are scaring William and Jacen. Armitage, I thought I raised you better than to start fights at the dinner table. You are not too powerful or too old to have you over my knee.” Armitage looked red in the face, swallowing his pride and Ben looked away, a little ashamed of himself. “And you, Benjamin, are a Prince, you have been your whole life. Act like one please. Or you’ll get a smack too. You are the Rulers of the Galaxy, but most importantly you are fathers now. You need to stop acting like yours, Armitage, and care about Jacen. No more fighting in public, discuss it peacefully or take it elsewhere.”
“Of course. Sorry Mother, William. Jacen come here.” Jacen slide out of his seat and climbed into the Emperor’s lap, holding him close. “You know me, and Daddy are sorry, right? Something… bad has happened, and me and Daddy are very angry. But not at you or each other, but we are going to work on not shouting so much.” Jacen nodded, as he kissed Jacen’s curls. “Clever boy.”
“Sorry Cosette.” Ben turned to William, smiling at him with his most delicate, kindest smiles to not frighten the young man even more. “I didn’t mean to frighten you, and I’m sorry.” William nodded, smiling a little but still shaken by the shouting. “I hope we can become friends, as well as brothers-in-law. I don’t have any siblings, well until now, so I hoped we come to some understanding.”
“I-I’d like that too… I’m sorry I’m not good with new people or noises.” Techie whispered, looking up at him. “A-Armie says you have a library I might like...?”
“It’s my pride and joy, curated over the years. I’ll have it moved to the main palace soon, but I will give you a tour. And, as a gift, you may take whatever you like.” Techie grinned, sitting up right again. He was much more childlike than Armitage, being thirteen years younger, and he smiled like Cosette. “We can go now, if you’d like. I think I’ve filled up on all the tea anyways.” The younger Hux looked at his mother full of excitement and hope, who smiled in her kind, motherly way.
“Don’t be too long, we have plans for later. Don’t wear yourself out, if you need a rest or your tablets fetch us or send a droid.” Cosette said softly, and Techie jumped to his feet, rushing to kiss his mother on the cheek. Ben raised gracefully, kissing Jacen’s forehead before pressing a soft kiss to Armitage’s lips, smiling at him.
“You don’t be too long either.” Armitage whispered, grinning. Ben rolled his eyes playfully, standing up right, as Techie rushed to the door. “William Hux. Manners, that is not how you treat your brother-in-law, and certainly not how you treat the Crown Prince of the Empire.” William came back, smiling and holding out an arm for the Prince.
“Thank you, kind sir.” Ben said, taking the younger man’s arm, smiling. William chuckled, as Armitage beamed with pride. “We’ll see you soon.” Ben lead the way, falling into step together and in a comfortable silence for a few minutes. “Armitage has told you so much about you, how much he cares.”
“He saved my life... he had it so bad, but he always got in front of me… he’s the best brother anyone can ask for. I know mum worries he’s like d-Brendol… but he’s nice… he loves you. He wrote about you a lot, even before the wedding. We still use our secret code.”
“So Brendol wouldn’t know what we were talking about. He would message me every week, even at the front. I-I know Brendol and the war has affected him. I know he can be violent Ben, but he doesn’t mean it. He loves you and Jacen. He loves all of us. He paid for… well these,” the younger man pointed to his robotic eyes, and Ben felt a chill come over him; he had no doubt the boys’ father had done that to him. “and he got me the right doctors and… it’s good he’s seeing a doctor.”
“Well there was a lot of fighting about it, but he’s finally taking care of himself. I can’t have him getting upset in the senate, after all. That is how planets get destroyed.” Techie stopped, looking at Ben.
“Is he threatening things again? Ben that’s what Brendol did and he promised he wouldn’t be like that. He promised.” Ben could see that Techie was getting upset, panic in his voice and fear in his eyes, and he took both of the man’s hands in his, smiling softly. “He promised.”
“He… well, you know, with his temper and his stubbornness; he gets like that. I won’t ever let him do that, you don’t have to worry. He’s not Brendol.” Ben gave Techie’s hands a little squeeze for reassurance, making the other man smile softly, all fear leaving his body. “He has my wrath to compete with now, and I can snap him out of it.”
“I’m glad he married you. You’re much saner and nicer than the last Princess he wanted to marry.” Ben made a mental note to question his husband about that, as he pulled away and opened the doors to the library.
Techie’s jaw dropped.
The Prince’s personal library was a large, bright room, covered floor to ceiling with books. The books were organised by colour, the room a rainbow of knowledge and wonder. Techie ran forward like a child in a sweet store, a look of pure happiness on his face, scanning the shelves in amazement. Ben chuckled, standing in the doorway and watching his new brother.
“This… Wow. I’m going to ask mum if we can organise the library like this. It must have taken you so long.”
“Yeah, a lot of tireless hours when I’ve had things to muse over. It’s relaxing really.” Techie smiled, before climbing one of the ladders to look at the books on the top shelf. “Be careful, the ladders are old.” Techie smiled at him and nodded, as the Prince Consort sat at one of the desks.
The rest of the Royal family filled in an hour later, Jacen pulling away from Armitage to run to his daddy, who was currently sat on the floor with a pile of books around him, reading allowed to Techie; the younger Hux still climbing the library walls in search of more. Techie’s suit jacket was in the floor by Ben, and his hair was a little wild. He was smiling as he listened to Ben and turned to smile at his family. Cosette beamed with pride at how adventurous and happy her youngest son was, sitting on one to chairs to the side of the room, as Armitage came over to sit next to Ben, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
“Are you behaving yourself Tech?” Armitage called, as Jacen sat in Ben’s lap. “Not keeping Ben too busy?”
“It’s amazing in here! Mum can I organise the library like this?” Techie asked, as he slide down the ladder, causing both Armitage and Cosette to almost have a heart attack. “I promise to keep it clean myself. Ben showed me how to properly organise it.”
“It would certainly brighten the library.” Cosette said, looking at Armitage. “Since Armie prefers to alphabetise.”
“The Dewey decimal system is a wonderful and perfectly good system. This place is, whilst very aesthetically pleasing, does give me slight anxiety.” Ben turned and looked at Armitage with a raised eyebrow, the ginger just grinning. “Jacen, go help Uncle Techie sort some of his books out, I need to show Daddy something.” Jacen jumped up and rushed to his uncle, already completely taken with his fun loving ‘robot’ Uncle and Grandma.
“And what does Papa have to show me?” Ben asked, the Emperor stood up and pulled Ben to his feet; revealing his was no longer wearing his heels. “And we can’t be long.”
“We won’t be long. I want to show you something in the garden. I noticed the flower beds aren’t looking right.”
“Really?” Ben looked confused, walking over to one of the far windows, pushing the curtains away to hide behind them. The prince consort looked out of the window, examining the gardens carefully. Armitage, however, had a playful grin on his face; admiring his husband as his large hands snaked around the younger man’s hips, who began to turn to face him. “Well I don’t see anything wrong and.” Armitage interrupted by kissing Ben, who caught on to the Emperors plan and the pair chuckled under their kisses. “So, you wanted to hide and make out?” Ben ran his hands up Armitage’s chest, the ginger man leaning in and kissing him again. “What is all this about?”
“You,” Armitage whispered, as he kissed Ben again. “have been so wonderful with Techie. And my mother. You’re so exceptional; you’ve just missed my mother gushing about how wonderful, how handsome, how kind and how perfect you are.”
“He is so sweet, Armitage, I just want to wrap him up and keep him safe, the poor thing. Techie says he’s glad we got married, instead of the other Princess. Do you mind explaining that?”
“Princess Corde of Naboo. We had a fling. I, well, I drunkenly called my mother one night after a lot of drinking and heavy petting and announced that I was marrying her. This is almost a year ago, long before you came into the picture. I would have divorced her in a heartbeat anyways, she was trying to push her sister off the throne, the woman who gave her a title, and become Queen.”
“I remember, oh Holl’s was in such a state; she was so upset having to send her baby sister to jail. She spent the next week here, we ate ice cream and talking about how dare she betray her for a ginger upstart with, as the rumours from Canto Blight's best brothels, an incredible tongue.” Armitage chuckled, as Ben rubbed their noses together, giggling. “Do you want to show me if my sources are correct?”
“If his Majesty commands me to, I will.”
“Well then I command you to show me what that tongue can do.” As Armitage kissed him, Ben placed his hands on his husband’s face, opening his mouth for the other man’s tongue. Ben hummed under the kiss, as Armitage gripped him tightly; the couple knowing this moment was fleeting in their busy lives. “I can’t wait to get home. Our Jacen in his own room for the night and you, you in my favourite place to have you. Naked, in bed and in me.” The couple laughed, resting their foreheads together; Armitage stealing a few more kisses. “and all of this mess sorted.”
“I won’t let her hurt my son. Or my Empress.” Ben pulled away, scanning the older man’s face. Armitage had a soft look on his face, brushing some of Ben’s curls out of the way of his forehead. “We’ve got two Prince’s now. How about it? You, getting a promotion. We’ll have a ceremony and everything.” Ben showed him a small smile, leaning into to kiss the ginger again. When Jacen pulled back the curtains.
“See Uncle Dop! I told you they were kissing! Gross.” Jacen cried, pulling a face as his parents pulled away from each other, laughing and blushing. “You two always kiss. I don’t ever want to kiss anyone.”
“You’ll change your mind when your older.” Dopheld said, with a curt bow. “Do forgive my intrusion, Your Graces,” Dopheld addressed the whole room as he said this, nodding to Cosette and Techie who were making their way over. “but this is rather urgent. Moments ago, a supposed kitchen hand was caught trying to steal one of our shuttles with information regarding the Palace’s security. She has already confessed to be the Resistance’s spy. She’s being held down in the kitchen.”
“Excellent, we will be right down to deal with her.” Armitage said, with a grin and began buttoning his shirt. Dopheld directed Jacen to his Uncle Techie, who scooped him up in his arms. “Jacen, you behave for Uncle Techie and Grandma, I’ll have some food brought up, but we won’t be long. Under no circumstances do you leave this room.”
“What are you going to do to her?” Techie whispered, as Ben rushed passed to retrieve his shoes. “Armie… don’t be Dad.”
“Don’t call him that.” Armitage snapped, quietly with fury on his face. “Don’t ever call him that again.”
“That’s what he was. Don’t be him.”
“She leaked information about your nephew to the Resistance. She put his life in danger. You, as his Uncle and as my brother, should want her head as much as I do.” Techie held Jacen close. “But fine, I won’t kill her. Only because you asked.” Techie smiled softly, as Ben came over to kiss Jacen’s forehead.
“You behave, and Papa and I will take you out in the gardens to play later.” Ben whispered, smiling at Jacen. “I know we said we’d all spend the day together, but this is important, and we’ll be back for dinner. I’ll bring back some cookies from the kitchen.”
“Ok. Can I show Uncle Techie my TIE Fighter?” Jacen whispered.
“Later, you can’t leave the library right now. But you must show Grandma and Uncle Techie how many long, clever words you can read. They’ll like that I promise.” Jacen nodded, leaning forward and kissed his Daddy’s cheek. “I thought you didn’t want to kiss anyone.”
“Not on the mouth! That’s icky!” Both Ben and Techie chuckled; the Prince throwing his brother-in-law a reassuring smile, before walking over to Armitage. The Emperor stood over his mother, with a soft look on his face as they talked; only when Ben arrived did he smile, kissing Cosette’s cheek and taking Ben’s hand.
“We won’t be long. Stay here. A Handmaiden will be in shortly to watch over you.” Armitage instructed, before leading the way, Dopheld on their heels.
“I need to fetch something.” Ben said, turning and heading back towards his bedroom in a hurry, Armitage going red in the face, reaching to stop him but the Prince moved to quickly; something left over from his brief Jedi training.
“Stars, Ben we don’t have time for you to get a tiara!” Armitage followed, the dark-haired advisor muttering that he doesn’t get paid enough for all of this. Throwing open the door, the Emperor frowned as Ben walked towards the table with a long, wooden box, placing it down with care with a serious look on his face. Armitage didn’t have the patience for this, storming over and standing on the opposite side of the table. “Now what is that? This better be important.” Ben didn’t answer, simply opening the box and pulling out a silver hilt, igniting the white blade that illuminated the Prince’s face with the long-forgotten buzz of a lightsabre. “Wow.”
“You promised Techie you wouldn’t kill or hurt the prisoner. I know you keep your promises. But I made no such promise, and I intend on sending a message to my mother. I hope you won’t object.”
“You have a laser sword in your hand, you can make the rules.” Ben smiled, as the laser disappeared back down to the hilt. The couple nodded to one another, beginning the long walk to the kitchen below the palace. “Why white?”
“It was… neutral. I hadn’t decided my future yet, Jedi or Senator. White was neutral, adaptable. Blue and green always belonged to the Jedi, red and yellow to the Sith. White is neutral but hopeful, sad but bright. It’s balance.” Armitage nodded as Ben talked, smiling at him as they walked. “Leia didn’t approve, and Han was very… Han about it. Luke didn’t mind. He said it suited me.”
“He was right. It illuminates you.”
The Royal Couple entered the kitchen to see Phasma holding a small, blond woman by the shoulders, Stormtroopers in their crisp white suits guarding the door, weapons at the ready. Armitage nodded to the head of his army, who threw the woman to the floor, taking a step back. She glared up at Armitage and Ben, hatred in her brown eyes; no fear or regret. Ben knew this woman; Kaydel Ko Connix, his mother’s lackey next to Dameron.
“Connix.” Ben muttered, looking to Armitage.
“Traitor!” Kaydel spat back.
“Rebel scum,” Armitage started, his hands behind his back. “You leaked information about our son to General Organa, endangering his life. That is something I cannot forgive. Whilst I made an oath to my brother to not harm you, the Prince did not. My husband, his Majesty, has found a punishment fit for you.” Ben stepped forward and revealed the lightsabre; then fear built in her big brown eyes. In a single, swift movement, he ignited the blade and sliced her forearm of her right hand off. Armitage was both impressed and aroused. Connix screamed, grabbing the wound and Armitage rolled his eyes. “So much for Soldiers. Do shut up.”
“Kaydel Ko Connix. That is attacking my son. You will return to the Resistance base and deliver this message to General Organa, my mother; if she wants to continue this ridiculous rebellion, she is invited to speak at the Empires Senate next month. You will tell her your injuries were caused when you went against orders and tried to take Jacen back with you. Or we will have a weapons malfunction and destroy one of the planets in the Hosnian system.” Ben barked, so much authority and power in his voice as he extinguished the blade. Connix just sobbed, as the Prince turned to Phasma. “Get her the medical attention she needs, including a prosthetic arm and then have her sent back to her ship.”
“W-Why?” Kaydel whispered, stumbling to her feet to look at Ben, confused.
“Because I am not a complete monster. You are worth more alive, plus we’ve had enough scandal this week. Thank you for your diligence, Captain Phasma. Do come up for tea later.” The Prince nodded for them to take her away, turning to Armitage as the soldiers’ field out.
“Dopheld, do excuse us for a moment.” Armitage muttered, the other man slipping out of the room. Armitage lifted his husband up and placed him on the wooden bench, attacking his neck with kisses in the spots that made the other man squirm. “You are… I love you.”
“I love you too.” Ben whispered, kissing Armitage.
“I’m furious you let her go, but you’re so… sexy I’m willing to let it slide.” Ben laughed, throwing his head back as he did and let the Emperor continue to nip at his neck. “Have you thought about my offer?”
“Yes. I will be Empress to the Empire only. I will remain the Prince of New Alderaan.”
“Just further adding to the poor announcers’ job.” Ben smiled and kissed Armitage on the lips, just enjoying having him alone again. “How hygienic would it be for me to take you, right here on the bench?”
“We have a little boy upstairs who we promised to take into the garden and to bring cookies. When we’re back home, and Jacen is settled into a routine, we are going to build a very grown up fort and have a lot of fun.” The ginger man chuckled, kissing his husband again. “We will have to enjoy these moments, before we get ready to face my mother. She is a senator, but we are better, stronger. She won’t back down easily.”
“We have our ways. You focus on your speech, I will deal with everything else. Only the best for my Empress.” The couple grinned at each other, before kissing fervently; enjoying the last of the calm before the storm.
Chapter 10: Preparations
His Excellency, Emperor Armitage Hux of the Galactic Empire, stood by his husband, His Excellency, Empress Benjamin Amidala-Hux of the Galactic Empire, Prince of New Alderaan, who was holding his son’s hand, His Royal Highness, Prince Jacen Amidala-Hux of the Galactic Empire and New Alderaan; feeling awfully sorry for the man who had to announce them later this evening. All were dressed in white on Ben’s request; Armitage in a white First Order uniform that reminded him of the leaders of the Empire before him, and Jacen in a suit whilst Ben had opted for a simple full-length gown that covered his arms, as they watched Beatof’s funeral procession roll past. The funeral was not being held on Nar Shaddaa, rather at one of the Beatof’s stately homes on the edge of the Galactic city, only adding the Ben’s nerves and discomfort. Serra Beatof stood next to them in a similar gown to Ben’s but in black, a long veil over her face and her boyfriend, a handsome young man with darker red hair than Armitage’s, who stood behind them all in a black suit. Jacen was confused to what exactly was happened, whispering to be picked up but quickly hushed by the Emperor. When the boy wouldn’t settle, tired from having to travel so far and be in a strange environment, Armitage lifted him and whispered that he had to behave, glaring at the press frenzy that was occurring. Armitage stroked his hair softly, knowing the boy was still adjusting. Ben turned quickly to smiled sadly at Armitage, who simply nodded in return, before the Prince walked over to Serra, taking her arm and walking with her towards the burial ground.
“Forgive Jacen, he’s not yet fully settled and didn’t sleep well last night; it’s been a long day for such a small boy.” Ben whispered. “We’re sorry we had to bring him as well, but with the threats.”
“No, it’s alright, he’s sweet and I understand,” Serra replied, looking up at Ben. “Thank you for killing my father.” Ben almost stopped, but his presentation training prevented that, and he continued to walk with her, not hiding the look of alarm that took over his face for just a second.
“I assure you that myself nor my husband had anything to do with your father’s death.”
“You scared him. He used to beat my mother and I… then when I matured he… did immoral things to me. You have freed Nar Shaddaa from a cruel, horrible, evil man and the Galaxy will celebrate your victory. We are safe under your rule.” Ben was unnerved not only by her soft tone, but the things she was implying.
“We don’t want this type of rule. We wanted to bring him to justice and that is what you will tell people. That you wish His Excellency, had brought him to justice in court instead of him taking his own life. We want peace and stability in the Galaxy. For our children.” Ben squeezed her arm, not looking at her.
“Of course, of course. You have Nar Shaddaa’s support in the senate against Leia.”
“Thank you.” Ben smiled a little, nodding. Serra nodded back, before taking her place by the casket and returning to her role of the grieving daughter. Armitage came to rest by Ben, both looking at each other, Jacen blinking with his big, sleepy eyes; still cuddling close to his Papa’s chest and blissfully unaware of the severity of this event.
When Armitage turned from his deep conversation with both Serra and the Aid to the Naboo Queen to see his husband quickly rushing out of the room, a hologram on his phone. Jacen was tucked away in bed, and the wake had been a quiet affair; small talk about politics and trends, as well as how lovely the food was. Excusing himself politely, the ginger man walked out into the hall to see Ben talking to a man dressed in New Alderaan robes.
“Yes, of course I understand. I’ll leave tomorrow morning. Good day.” With a curt bow, the holo disappeared, and the Prince gave his husband a small smile.
“The Apprentice Legislature is opening early, so the children have time to prepare and act as a normal senate before everything next week and New Alderaan’s legislator is not properly prepared for the task. It is only for three days, I’ll be back before you know it.”
“Yes, but what about Jacen, he’s not yet settled and.” Ben came over to place his arms around Armitage, smiling at him. “And I half raised Techie and gave him his worst habits, like his poor diet and neediness at the best of times. And I scare him, a lot.”
“You also gave him his best, like his kind heart and mind. You don’t scare Jacen or Techie, they’re both just nervous and they love you, so much. You and Jacen are going to be fine, you’ll have a wonderful time and you can start teach him the ways of the Empire in the day time, the riding, sports and happy-patty’s in the afternoon.” Armitage smiled, kissing Ben’s forehead. “One more hour of grown up fun, then let’s go upstairs and have another tea party with Jacen.”
“Taking him to that tea party the other day was a mistake.”
“He’s an excellent host. Provided he doesn’t change his mind again midway and have a battle.” They linked arms, smiling in their usual, regal manner to the guests, as Ben leant over and smiled in a less regal, more sultry fashion. “And when I get back, I’m going to spend the night in your lap and over the desk, like the other afternoon.” Armitage let the mask slip, grinning like an idiot and his hand trailing to Ben’s bottom, squeezing it a little. “Play nice.”
Jacen sobbed, deafeningly, clutching to Ben forcefully, begging him not to go the following morning. Armitage had tried to calm him with the promise of riding and games when they returned home, but the Prince didn’t want that; he wanted Daddy to stay. Ben hugged him tightly, knowing it wasn’t helping the issue but it was all he could think of doing whilst the little boy cried uncontrollably, Armitage with an arm around his husband. They were stood just outside Ben’s smaller shuttle, the larger one that belonged to the Emperor was across the bay, waiting to take them back to Armitage’s home.
“Please don’t go!” Jacen wailed, big tears falling from his eyes and onto Ben’s velvet jacket. “Daddy please!”
“I’m going to come back, and Papa has lots of fun plans whilst I’m away. It’s only three days, and I’ll bring you a present whilst I’m gone. How does that sound?” Ben asked, with his soft voice. “You’re going to make Daddy cry in a minute.”
“I don’t want presents or new toys or new clothes or a pony… I want Daddy to stay.” Ben knew this was just his separation anxiety, given his past, but it pained him so much. Armitage stood, tall and still; a pillar of support for both Jacen and Ben, his hand rubbing the older Prince’s back. “Can’t we come?”
“Papa has work to do at the Palace, and Daddy thinks it will be safer there. With Millie and the doggies.” Armitage whispered softly, smiling sadly at Jacen. “I’m going to miss Daddy too. But, as you will learn, we have to put our people first. We are the people who make sure they are safe, happy, healthy and protected, and they look up to us and need us there. He will be back soon, I promise.” Jacen looked at Armitage, his big brown eyes filled with sadness and tears, as he nodded slowly. “Give Daddy a kiss goodbye.” Ben planted kisses on Jacen’s cheeks, forehead and hair, as the little boy hugged him again.
“I’ll be back soon. I love you.” Ben said, and Jacen nodded back.
“I love you too Daddy.”
“Be a good boy, listen to Papa and you’re in charge of dinner.” Jacen smiled as he was passed over to Armitage. “I don’t want any bad reports.” Armitage smiled, as Ben leant over and kissed him softly. “I’ll call tonight for bedtime.”
“Stay with the handmaidens, be careful.” Armitage whispered softly, not scaring Jacen too much. “I love you, Ben. Come on, we’re got to go.”
“I love you both, so much.” Armitage nodded, turning away first with Jacen at his chest so the little boy didn’t have to watch Ben leave. Ben, with tearful eyes, quickly turned and rushed into his ship, demanding they take off soon.
“Daddy is coming back… right, Papa?” Jacen asked, looking up at Armitage.
“Of course, he is. He’ll be home in a few days and everything will go back to normal. In the meantime, you and I are going to have a lot of fun. When we get home, we’re going to go horse riding and jump on the bed.” Jacen giggled, wiping his eyes and smiling softly, as Armitage walked onto his ship, putting the boy prince down. “And we can have happy patty and jelly for dinner, instead of all the fancy stuff Daddy likes.”
“I like the fancy stuff… but I like happy patty and jelly more. Sorry I cried.”
“No, you can cry if you want to, and there is nothing wrong with a man crying, it shows he’s not afraid of what people think, and that’s he’s in touch with his emotions. I might cry, me and Daddy haven’t been apart since we got married and I’m going to miss seeing him. He’s going to phone and read your bedtime story tonight.” Jacen nodded, taking his Papa’s hand. “Now, do you want to see how a big ship works?”
“Come on then.” Jacen grinned, wiping his eyes and rushing to keep up with Armitage’s pace, jumping to grab his hand, Armitage smiling down at the little boy.
“I think the Legislature should have more of a say in what is discussed in the senate. The terrorist threats affect us all, and we know that Resistance sympathises are being felt among the disenfranchised and at-risk youth, the people we are most in connection with. I have confidence that the Emperor and Empress will listen if we can all agree to continue our work of promoting peace and getting those most at risk the help they need.” Carth Rand, New Alderaan’s Apprentice Legislator, said, with a small amount of authority in his voice. He wasn’t a short boy, but wasn’t particularly tall either, with tanned skin and dark hair, only just turned 17 in the recent weeks, and it was only his second Apprentice Legislature.
“Carth, you need to command the room. You are the only Legislature with direct contact to the Empire. The others need to be able to look to you with their concerns. You need to be confident, make the people believe what you are saying.” Ben replied, smiling at the boy but his eye flickering to the clock.
“I’ve tried listening your speeches to the senate, the Emperor’s too… I feel his is too military in style. I will try, Your Excellency.”
“Here on New Alderaan I am just Your Majesty. Armitage is a solider and a general at heart, it’s all he knows. I am the son of a Senator, it is in my blood to speak the way I do. You need to find your own style but believe what you are saying. Sell your ideology, make the senate believe in what you believe in. Ok?”
“Of course, Your Majesty. I’ll try.”
“I was told by a close friend that, in this business, we can’t try. We must do.” Carth nodded, as Ben looked at the clock. “I have to call my son for his bedtime story, take a dinner break and we’ll reconvene in an hour, think about that I said.” Carth left with a soft bow, and once the room was cleared of servants and the door was firmly shut, Ben called Armitage. The blue light of the hologram settled on the table, and Ben grinned as the faces of his husband and son. “Hello.”
“Hi Daddy!!” Jacen cried, his face covered in ice cream. “Guess what guess what guess what?!?!”
“I went riding on the pony and I listened to Papa and now I don’t need to use the rope and I really love my pony and then I had ice cream and jelly and sweeties and happy patty now we’re going to do some more drawing.” Ben chuckled, smiling softly at his husband, who was looking very guilty. “I’m going to get them!” As Jacen disappeared out of the frame, Armitage and Ben laughed a little.
“I have given him far too much sugar, we’ve even bounced on the bed to tire him out. I feel like a race around the palace is coming up next.” Armitage whispered, rubbing his face.
“At least he’s not crying. How is everything?”
“He got to sit in the pilot seat, he had a small cry during his first trot, but I think we’re going to have an equestrian on our hands.”
“As long as he’s happy, I’m happy. It might be the first time New Alderaan does well in the Galactic Games.”
“How is everything going? You’re looking radiant.”
“It’s going well, the boy is just nervous. I have a few more minor duties to attend to, then I’ll be back home on schedule. Then the senate opens so I hope they’ll allow me to do all my work through my messages. I miss you.”
“It’s only been a few hours Ben, you’ve had baths longer than this separation.” Ben rolled his eyes and smiled, as Armitage rubbed his face. “But I miss you too.” They smiled at each other softly, trying not to get upset.
“I don’t think bedtime is happening for a while, why don’t I ring you back when I’m finished?”
“Jacen’s coming with a handful of pictures to show you, I think you’ll have to look at these first. Just whilst I shut my eyes for a moment.” As Jacen bounced back over and onto Armitage’s lap, Armitage rested his head back and closed his eyes, the six-year-old launching into a detailed account of all the drawings he had done from him when he gets back.
“You are coming back, aren’t you Daddy?” Jacen whispered, after showing him all the pictures. “Papa says you are, but he also said he wanted to cry cos he misses you.” Ben smiled, removing his head from his hands where it had been sat. “I’d be very sad if you didn’t come back.”
“If I could, I’d come home now to tuck you and Papa into bed right now. I’ll be home in 2 more days, and I want to see how your horse riding is coming along. You need to wake Papa up and get him to help you get into your pj’s, but I’m sure if you asked him really nice he’ll let you sleep in our bed.” Jacen turned around to look at his Papa, who had his head back and was snoring lightly. “Armie, love.”
“Papa. Papa wake up.” Armitage jolted a little, looking around before smiling. “It’s bedtime. Can I stay in your bed?”
“Only for tonight. Go wash your face and brush your teeth.” Armitage muttered, yawning.
“Ok. I love you Daddy, night night.” Jacen said, putting his face in the holo to ‘kiss’ him goodnight, Ben chuckling.
“Goodnight Jacen, I love you too.” As the boy disappeared, the Prince smiled at his husband. “Remember to take your tablets, and sleep well. I love you.”
“I love you too, my darling. I’ll call you in the morning. Sleep well yourself.” They both just smiled at each other, neither really ready to put the end the call before Armitage leant forward and clicked off; both sighing and already missing each other. The Prince sat back in his chair, trying not to get upset. It was stupid, he was only a system away and yet he missed Armitage and Jacen more than he could actually bare. Wiping the tears away before they could fall, and realising he was being foolish, stood up to get something to eat. He had to carry on.
The nights on New Alderaan were always peaceful, yet Ben couldn’t fall asleep. Dressed in one of his husband’s shirts and black silk bottoms, the Prince turned over again to look at where Armitage had lain beside him only weeks ago; Ben wondered how he ever managed to sleep alone. Sitting up and frowning, the yearning causing idiotic ideas in the dark-haired man, and he reached out with the Force. The familiar rush of energy flowed through his being and when he opened his eyes, he could see Armitage and Jacen, asleep in bed, and broke into a grin.
“Armitage.” He whispered, walking over to the bed. Armitage stirred, unsure on if he was dreaming or not, opening his eyes and a little confused to see his husband. “I’m using the Force, I can’t stay long I just… needed to see you.”
“Ben you know how I feel about that, you almost died the last time you did that.” Armitage muttered, getting up. “Can I… touch you?” Ben reached out, his ‘hand’ reaching out and almost passing through the Emperor’s head, causing them both to frown. “Don’t strain yourself.”
“I feel ok… I think my connection is back.” Armitage just nodded, as Ben looked at Jacen. “He’s finally asleep.”
“Yeah, after a lot of running around and trying his luck. I had to shout at him, it wasn’t pleasant. We apologised and settled down, sat with me and watched a movie before drifting off, so I don’t think he hates me. I don’t like doing it.”
“It’s part of being a father, it doesn’t make you your father, Armitage. He loves you, and we are going to have to discipline him, and our other children. If we decided that.” Armitage simply smiled, a little tired and small, which made Ben’s heart flutter; it was the smile of the real Armitage, his husband and love, not the Emperor he was in public. “I have to go.”
“Of course, sleep well. Call, next time.” Ben laughed, before smiling sadly at Armitage. “One more night alone, then you’ll be back in my arms.” The Prince nodded. “I’ll kiss Jacen goodnight for you. Sleep well.”
“Goodnight.” Armitage watched Ben vanish from the room, leaving the older man not entirely sure if he was had just dreamt the whole encounter or not, before turning back with a small shrug and crawling back into bed; hoping that wasn’t going to be the only dream of Ben he would be having.
Ben ran through the Emperor’s palace, weaving his way through the corridors he knew so well now, to get outside to the riding school to surprise his husband and son. The opening of the Apprentice Legislature had gone exactly as planned, with Carth winning over the room and Ben smiling on from his pod; the young man beaming with excitement and pride in his own achievements. With that done, he quickly finished up his tasks and could come home a few hours early. Racing out into the sun, he could see Jacen on the back of an Endor pony, smiling happily as the small pony plodded around the arena, Armitage stood to the side watching, calling out for Jacen to tighten the reins or squeeze more as he pushed the pony into a slow canter. When the small boy saw Ben walking towards them, he let out a cry.
“Daddy! Daddy is back!!” which caused the pony to get a little startled. Armitage spun around, and grinned as Ben rushed to them, jumping up and over the fence. “Daddy!” Jacen continued to cry, trotting over on the pony before jumping down and into Ben’s arms. “You’re back early!”
“I am, it was a surprise and you can such a wonderful rider I am so proud of you” Ben said, kissing Jacen and leaving a peach kiss on his cheeks and forehead.
“I’ve been practicing, and I sat on Papa’s horse with him whilst he checked the grounds.” Ben just grinned, cuddling his little boy. “I’m so happy you’re back.”
“And I am so happy to be back. But you’ve had lots of fun with Papa, right?” Jacen nodded, as Ben put him back on the pony. “Now you have to have to show me everything you’ve learnt.” As the little prince turned the pony around to make a round of the school, his back to his parents, Armitage pulled Ben into a kiss, the older Prince grinning at the kisses he’d left on his mouth before planting one on his cheek. “Hey you.”
“Hey. Welcome home.” Armitage whispered, kissing Ben again. “We’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you both too. I’ve got gifts to shower Jacen with.”
“And what about me?”
“You’ll have to wait for bedtime for that.” Armitage just grinned, both parents turning their undivided attention to their son; who was currently trotting around the arena with a bright smile on his face, Armitage putting an arm around Ben and beaming with pride. “He’s getting brave.”
“He’ll have to be, he’s been officially named as my heir. He needs to be a leader, so this is the first step. He’s going to be formal tutored at home until he’s sixteen; all of the usual stuff, maths, sciences, history, then he’ll begin his military career at the academy.”
“Do I get a say? What about classics, art, he needs to be cultured, not just strong. And military academy doesn’t give him space to learn the art of diplomacy. He needs to be able to negotiate, argue in a sensible manner.”
“He also needs to be able to command an army. How about we put off the academy till his eighteen, and he can spend two years with you, learning about the senate and diplomacy. The academy officers program is only two years, so its equal time.”
“Will our future daughters have the same treatment?”
“We have an heir. The future sons and daughters will have more freedom, more choice and I wish it wasn’t that way, but he is the future of the Empire. They will all receive the same love, attention and royal training but it will be up to them if they want military or senator training.”
“New Alderaan will need an heir also.”
“Surely Jacen will unite the two further?” Ben just looked at Jacen, still only a child and already had all this burden on his shoulders. “We’ll talk more when he’s older. Let him be a child.” Ben smiled, leaning into his husband’s arms and just smiling.
Armitage and Ben lay in each other’s arms, enjoying the peace that late night brought them; the Palace staff no longer racing around the place and their son, the light of their worlds, tucked in a safe bed, with guards they trusted at the door. Ben smiled, nuzzling his head into the soft cotton t-shirt his husband had taken to wearing to bed, his silk clad legs tangled with Armitage’s soft material trousers; the royal couple had the habit of wearing pyjamas, now they had Jacen crawling into bed with them.
“Benjamin, I have a confession.” Armitage whispered softly, and the Prince looked up. “I don’t think I truly loved you until today. Attracted to you, admired you, yes but love you I’m not sure. Because how I feel for you now is stronger than I have ever felt. I missed you so much, Jacen too, and I know we will have to part due to the nature of this job, but it pains me so much when you do.” Ben smiled, resting his forehead against the older man’s. “I love you.”
“I love you too. More than I could ever put into words.” Ben moved to kiss Armitage softly, moving to straddle his husband and kiss each other gently, clutching onto the other man’s shirt, grinning underneath the kisses before Ben sat up. “Is the door locked?”
“I’ll check hang on.” Armitage got up and darted to the door, quickly locking the door. When the ginger man turned back, Ben was totally naked and grinning. “Oh my… Benjamin, I love you.” Pulling his top off and stumbled to get out of his trousers, the Emperor almost dived on his husband, attacking him with kisses. Ben let out a yell, before laughing. “I love you.”
“I love you too. I’ve missed this.” Ben ran his hand down Armitage’s body, smiling. “So handsome. Someone needs to work off all the ice cream and happy patty energy. When did you last ate a vegetable?”
“Broccoli is scary. Jacen and I decided it was unnatural to eat a small tree.” Ben laughed, before smiling up at Armitage, all the love he felt in his eyes. “I love you so much Ben, it was so dark here without you. I don’t want to ever leave your side again.” Ben smile, running his hand in Armitage’s hair. “And now I am going to make up for the last few days.”
“Fuck me nice, and slowly. I want to go slow, just feel every part of you. I had an amazing dream of you fucking me like that… I really want you to do that.” Armitage nodded, kissing the crook of Ben’s neck, in the spot that made him moan softly.
The couple fucked slowly, gently and lovingly, rocking together in perfect sync; both moaning gently in each other’s ears, whispering sweet nothings to one another in between moans and kisses. Ben was on his back in total bliss, his hands placed on Armitage’s back and his head back, allowing his husband better access to the spot he loved to be kissed in, never realising that this could be so wonderful; he’d had plenty of amazing, wild sex over the course of his marriage, but this was different. He felt more whole like this, more connected to his husband, as he wrapped his arms around Armitage, who smiled, his hair a tamed mess and his eyes bright.
“Armie…” Ben whispered, his eyes rolling back. “I-If we could have a child… this is how I want them to be conceived… so perfect.” Armitage chuckled a little, biting Ben’s neck and rolling his hips inside of him.
“I’d get you pregnant like this, so many times over. Just like this. Fuck so many kids into you. Gods you are so handsome. So perfect. I’m so lucky to have such a sexy, perfect husband.” Ben moaned as Armitage pushed into him a little harder, so close to his climax. “Fuck Ben I’ve missed you around my cock, it’s only been a week, but fuck it was worth the wait.”
“Baby… Armitage...” Ben threw his head back, as Armitage’s thrusts stiffened, Ben coming first but shortly followed by Armitage; the couple falling into a natural rhythm when it came to sex. “Fuck I missed that feeling of you coming in me.” Ben whispered, in his usual post-climax daze. Armitage let out a soft chuckle, kissing the side of Ben’s head, about to pull away when the younger stopped him. “Stay in me, just a moment.” Armitage complied, the couple holding each other, Ben trailing his hands up and down his husband’s arms leisurely. “Why don’t we have sex like this more often?”
“Well, it the beginning it was pent up lust for one another and you wanting to live out your fanfiction fantasies,” Ben swatted his arm, both laughing. “then it became finding time and having to do it quick in offices or cupboards away from prying eyes. I will, however, love to fuck you for another hour.” Ben giggled, kissing Armitage gently.
“I’m hungry. Let’s have macaroons and cigarettes and whiskey in bed.” Armitage grinned, kissing his Prince again before pulling away; the younger man whining at the loss. “Pass me some soft pyjamas.” The ginger man did so, throwing him some red, cotton trousers and black shirt, sliding up and standing and as Ben did, something felt off. “Oh.” Ben let out, causing Armitage to look at him with concern. “I’m fine… I feel off balanced. But not… I feel a shift in the Force. I think anyway.”
“A shift? Ben do I need to get Mina? You know I don’t want you messing with this, I can’t bare the idea of losing you.”
“It’s nothing, I can feel it fading again.” Armitage didn’t look convinced, as Ben tugging his trousers ups with a soft smile. “I’m fine. I felt… well, whole. It was a nice feeling, a shock but a nice feeling. As if the Force was growing inside of me, it was warm.”
“Well… enough of that. We don’t need this right now.”
“And I don’t need you shouting at me right now. I have one more night before the stress of having to face my mother in the senate and convince her not to try and kill you. Not to destroy our lives. I don’t need a lecture on something that I was born with, born to do. I didn’t push myself, I wanted to see you and now the connection is… dwindling. Now, you are going to calm down, because I am scared, and I need you to be my husband, hold me and help me not be scared.” Armitage frowned, walking over and embracing Ben. The younger man held him tight, a silence falling over the palace. Ben closed his eyes, nothing but love and guilt radiating off Armitage which told him two things; the Emperor had confidence and was sorry for the lecture, and that his connection with the Force wasn’t going away this time.
“Don’t be scared. She doesn’t stand a chance because you are brilliant.” Ben wanted to believe everything Armitage said, but right now, he just wanted to be held. “Come on, we can’t sneak into the kitchens with no shirts on.” Ben smiled, as Armitage kissed him; a small reassurance that everything was going to be ok, before helping him dress.
The Prince stood outside the door of his Senator pod alone; Armitage having taken Jacen for a last chance bathroom trip. Dressed in a royal blue gown, floor length and his back on display, the sleeve billowing and long. His dark hair was pulled back into neat curls and decorated with blue flowers and metal clips on two braids, whilst his face was painted red and white, as Ben hoped the red band along his eyes would hide the nerves he couldn’t quite shake. He had his lightsabre and pistol strapped to his leg. He could feel the presence of his mother and father, all the way on the other side of the Senate; waiting in their pod with a shared fear. Poe Dameron, his adopted cousin Rey and that soldier, Finn, were also with them. The whole Armada, Ben thought, fiddling with the sleeves.
Ben jumped when he heard that familiar croak, spinning in his heel with his hand close to the sabre. Luke Skywalker, greyer than the last time Ben had seen his Uncle, smiled at him softly, the way Ben remembered as a child before he left in pursuit of peace, no longer needing to fight. Luke was dressed in a white tunic and black pants, his hair combed back and his beard needing a trim. “I’m not actually here. You look very nice.” The Prince smiles, all tension removed from his body; Luke had always been supportive of his fashion choices, once returning from a trip with a makeup box and fabric for the 8-year-old to play with. Han had taken some convincing; only months before Ben had followed his every move, dreaming of being a pilot, dressing like his dad and now was more interested in books and clothes. Leia was always loving and supportive, teaching the little boy how to properly apply lipstick and both twins acting as models in Ben’s makeovers. “You’ve opened yourself up to the Force again.”
“I was foolish, and I’ve cut it off.” Ben whispered softly. Luke shook his head, with a small smile. “I haven’t?”
“You can’t. Have I ever told you who your Grandfather’s father was?” It was Ben’s turn to shake his head, the metal in his hair clinking. “Anakin Skywalker didn’t have a father, we get our name his mother. Anakin was miracle of the Force. A miraculous conception. Have you felt uneasy?”
“Of balanced but whole. I feel the Force grown inside me, take shape. I feel it glow, I can feel it all around me; the energy around Armie and Jacen, but I can feel this in me and something more...” Ben went white. “No.”
“Stranger things have happened, Ben. Reach in.”
Ben closed his eyes, allowing the Force to guide his mind to the feeling in his abdomen. Warmth, light, life. Ben could feel a child forming slowly inside of him, protected and conceal by the Force itself; images of him and his husband smiling at the bump, Jacen whispering to the baby about how good of a big brother he’s going to be, himself crying in labour, pain bursting through him for a moment, a baby in Armitage’s arms flooded his mind; his husband telling him how beautiful she was. A new Princess to the Empire. A daughter. When the Prince opened his eyes again, tears flooded down his face. “Hey it’s ok. You’ll ruin your makeup like that.”
“I have a daughter... I can’t bring her into this world when I’m at war with Leia.”
“Then use it against her. She’s called off attacks because of Jacen. This, your children and your marriage can bring ultimate peace in the galaxy Ben. Manipulate it, tell the Emperor in front of the senate, let the world know because the idea of attacking a family will cause enough outrage to turn the tides.”
“Why are you helping me?”
“You’re my nephew. I’ve tried to save the galaxy before, that peace fell apart. The galaxy has been doing well since your marriage and since Armitage’s Empire. I want this to all end. The fighting, the separation, everything. Leia needs a cause since the Empire died, make it your cause.” Ben smiled, nodding. “Tell me how it goes. I have a date to get ready for.”
“Who is this time?”
“Uncle Lando. Bespin has a new Vegan place.” Ben couldn’t hold his laugh, grinning. His ‘Uncle’s’ been off and on for a while now, nothing ever serious but they enjoyed each other company. Until they had a falling out. “Your parents are proud of you, so am I. I’ll try to visit.”
“We’d like that.”
“See you around, kid.”
“Till next time, Uncle Luke.” The both grinned at their old call off. As Luke vanished, Ben checked his appearance with a shaking breath, a hand on the slight bump that, up until then he’d attributed to too much cake, and smiled. “Okay little miss, you’re first senate appearance.” Ben stepped into the light of the senate, a round of applause ringing out and doing nothing to calming his nerves.