The sun was midway in the sky, but Steven had halted their journey by the river, though he hadn’t told Anthony why. He supposed, really, that it wasn’t that much of a surprise. After all, Steven told him nothing. Unless it was to give him an order, he barely interacted with him at all and it was frustrating.
To be fair, this wasn’t what Anthony had been expecting at all. He was, after all, the son of a very noble house. His father’s innovations in siege weaponry had expanded their small holding in to a vast tract of land that spanned many miles, and had them becoming a high seat; Howard even had a place on the King’s war council. It’d been no surprise that a warrior as prolific as Steven (even before he’d been... bought, he’d heard stories of his adventures over in the Western lands) had purchased him.
Anthony was well versed in siege weaponry and smaller things as well and aided by the fact that he’d spent time as a squire as a prerequisite for his own knighthood had made him a perfect fit. But Anthony had been expecting, with the way Steven had carefully perused everyone on the market- checking as carefully as one would a horse, something more. It’d been- by his reckoning- a few weeks, perhaps over a month since he’d been purchased and yet...
Steven had removed his gloves, in the market district in Katapesh, and had put his hands in to Anthony’s hair, forced his mouth open and checked his teeth with his fingers, calloused fingers pressing to his tongue- the roof of his mouth. He’d checked his jaw and ran his hands over his body- mostly skin- as they’d taken most of his clothing. He’d checked his arms and legs, hard presses, as though feeling the muscles beneath skin. And he’d asked him a few questions- if he’d ever done any squiring, or armor care, about his knowledge of weapons.
Then, stranger questions, about how well read he was, if he could write...
Steven had asked everyone, and checked out everyone the same way, before deciding on Anthony. And Anthony had expected that there would be more to this than- what he was doing. The first week, he’d been tasked with reworking the firing mechanism on a crossbow, and across from the firelight of the cookfire, Steven had rewrapped the hilt on his sword, and then polished his shield with a soft cloth.
For whatever reason, Anthony was not allowed to touch either of those.
He’d thought that maybe Steven was unsure of how to broach the subject, but it quickly became obvious that he just- barely noticed Anthony. Over the last month, they’d spoken a handful of times. This was not including when Steven gave his orders. The first time, it was when Steven was picking out a horse for Anthony.
It was a shame, when he was given a roan colored mare, and he remembered the perlino stallion that had been his horse when he’d been at home. Probably ironically, and something that Anthony viewed with a great amount of annoyance, had been that Steven had a pure white stallion.
Though he was far from someone’s white knight in shining armor, was the bitter thought, if he purchased slaves instead of freeing them.
One night, when Anthony was sure Steven was going to call him to his bed, he’d only wanted to discuss a new policy sweeping through the lands. Something about a hunt for people with mystic powers, and wondering if perhaps they should band with a noble house against the ruling. He’d seemed to be asking for Anthony’s opinion, but had sent him away almost as soon as he began to speak.
The thing was, despite a lack of human contact and a want to actually have a conversation that was constantly denied and a want for other things, Anthony wasn’t being poorly treated. Steven kept him well fed, in nice armor despite his now very low status. And even though he was a slave and wanted freedom, he’d given him a simple longsword and a crossbow with which to defend himself.
And actually, the armor was very nice. He wasn’t sure why, but it’d been varnished red and filigreed with gold. He’d thought it’d been the start of something, until he learned why it’d been purchased. Then it was rather less touching. They were on a schedule, he’d said, when Anthony had thanked him for the armor. And it was the only set already crafted that fit Anthony’s slighter frame with only a few minor adjustments and almost no time at all.
Anthony did want his freedom, but it’d have to wait, at least until they were in the next city and he actually had a chance of escaping. He’d followed along, as Steven had tracked a deer through the forest, an hour or more, so they’d have something to eat aside from the trail rations they’d been subsisting on.
That, in actuality, was the largest problem, as Anthony was seeing it. He wasn’t like any of the slave-owners that Anthony had known. His father had owned a few, to work the lands, more when their holding increased, and he’d treated them poorly. When he’d been a boy, much younger, he’d seen his father work one to death. Steven wasn’t even a hard taskmaster. He didn’t expect a lot, but he also didn’t seem to want Anthony for anything other than his weapons knowledge and his armor care technique.
Occasionally, too, he’d have Anthony write a few letters to be sent off with a rather well trained falcon. He wasn’t sure why, he’d seen Steven both read and write. Not that he ever explained to Anthony why that was, either.
But it didn’t really change the fact that Anthony had been, before he’d gotten kidnapped that was, with many lovers. Courtesans and maids, occasionally behind the back of his ever-watchful father, some of the knights and stable hands. The fact of the matter was that Anthony hadn’t slept alone since he’d been fourteen, and he was feeling lonely. And he’d thought part of his duties was going to be servicing the knight himself. It wasn’t a terrible prospect, he’d balked at first. But now he was wishing they could get on with it already.
Anthony liked being touched, he liked touching people, and he’d not done any touching except occasionally helping Steven get his armor off in almost an entire month! And he had been watching, so he knew that Steven hadn’t been with anyone either.
He was rarely out of Steven’s sight. Though he supposed, distracted as he was now, he could make a run for it.
Anthony was trying to be surreptitious, as he scrubbed rust from scale mail, and his... owner knelt by the river, water making paths of water down his bare back as he cleaned himself. He sighed a little and tried to put that all in to perspective. He shouldn’t, actually, be lusting after a man who had sealed his fate. But then again, he also supposed it could have been a lot worse.
He’d probably be dead already, if he’d gotten someone like Howard as his buyer. But Anthony noticed that Steven took exceptionally well care of all of his things. Even though Anthony was technically in charge of armor care that was mostly reduced to cleaning. Steven worked out kinks himself, groomed his own horse, oiled his own saddle and sword, re-wrapped his own sword hilt and shield grips. There was a sudden thought that perhaps his only real purpose was to help with weaponry, the siege weapons that his father was famous for.
Except Steven didn’t even know he was Anthony Stark, son of Duke Howard Stark, and the Viscount of Daventry. He still wasn’t sure exactly why he’d been chosen over the others, he didn’t ask, either. Steven returned to the man part of their camp, dressed now in riding leathers. They seemed newer, almost black, but in the light, Tony noticed they were actually dark blue. Curious, he had no insignia, though his shield suggested he must be beholden to some household. Two red stripes, one white, blue in the middle with a star. A round shield, too, which was curious.
He sat across from Anthony as he worked and started working on the grip on his sword. In silence and Anthony thought he was going to go insane.
“What house do you hail from?” Anthony tried to initiate a conversation. He’d gone to meetings with the King, at his father’s request, but he didn’t recognize the colors or the symbol. Perhaps it was a lesser house, one who wasn’t in the King’s circle. Or perhaps, even stranger, maybe he wasn’t from a noble house of this kingdom. He could even be a spy!
Steven looked up at him, blue eyes showing confusion for a moment, before it was replaced with their usual neutral impassivity. Then he dropped his gaze back to his sword and went back to work, like Anthony hadn’t spoken at all. Anthony wrinkled his nose and went back to scrubbing the armor. Furious, he took his anger out on getting the rust spots out.
“Don’t scratch the finish.” Steven told him, tone all business, but he didn’t even raise his eyes. Anthony wanted to scream. Damn this man and his entire house to the seven hells. He was definitely planning on escape now, as soon as they got to the city. A traveler they’d met a day or so back had informed them that the nearest city was another four days of riding. It wouldn’t be much longer.
The rest of the day went on with no conversation, unless Anthony counted the times where Steven would give him a task. Gathering kindling while he found some larger pieces of wood for their campfire. And then, he’d helped Anthony remove his own armor, and sent him for a bath in the river, handing him some fragrant soap. And a rather sharp knife for shaving, if he so wished.
And he did.
It was sundown when Anthony finished with his bathing, dressed in un-dyed clothing- a rough tunic and breeches. Clean and shaved and he felt more human than he had in a while. Steven was preparing some rabbits for dinner, though Anthony had no idea when he’d gotten them.
The rest of the night was not as quiet, but that was only because of the animals making noise in the darkness, the crackle of the fire, the wind through the trees and the burbling of the river behind them. It was a few candle marks past sundown when Steven doused the fire and announced that they should sleep and that their journey tomorrow would be long, considering they’d spent most of the day here and they needed to make up for lost time.
Anthony wasn’t even sure what was going on but he just nodded and went to his bedroll and tried to sleep.
But he couldn’t sleep, he discovered, once he’d lain down. Steven was making snuffling noises from a foot away or so, and the horses were pawing at the ground, and making noises. And Anthony felt like he could hear everything. And despite himself, Anthony found himself wanting again. The image of Steven washing at the river burned in to his mind.
The water tracking down the muscles of his back, down his ass and his thighs. The man was gorgeous; he couldn’t stop thinking about him. He crawled out of his own bedroll, and moved over to Steven’s in the dark. He got the blanket down easily enough and the snuffling noises didn’t stop. They did, abruptly, when Anthony straddled him though. And he found himself looking down in to wide, blue eyes.
“What are you doing?” Steven said, surprise coloring his words. He didn’t move to push him off, just yet, and Anthony supposed that was something.
“I thought you wanted me.” Anthony replied, he didn’t flail, or shake the other man like he wanted to. “You have to be lonely, come on...” Anthony tried to slip his hands up under the rather tight leather of his clothes. That made Steven move, eyes widening, and hands reaching out to grab Anthony’s wrists.
“I’m not.” Steven said, but he was lying and Anthony knew he was. Unless he was, god forbid, one of those Knights who’d taken a vow of chastity or celibacy or something ridiculous and annoying like that.
“Are you celibate?” Anthony asked, brows furrowing. Steven frowned.
“God, no.” He protested and Anthony tried to squirm his hands out from Steven’s tight grasp.
“Then, come on.” Anthony tried again. Steven shook his head.
“No, Anthony.” Steven’s voice was firm. Anthony found himself annoyed when he was just glad that Steven appeared to remember his name. “You are my property.” He stated blandly.
Anthony was annoyed by that fact too, but he nodded anyways. “That means you can do whatever you want with me.” He pointed out. Steven’s frown deepened.
“No.” Steven said again, and he actually looked vaguely bothered. Anthony was confused about that; it wasn’t like that sort of thing was uncommon. One of the Knights he’d had a dalliance with had told him about a time he’d caught Anthony’s father with one of his mother’s ladies-in-waiting, who’d been purchased when the caravans had come through Coventry.
“Steven,” Anthony whined, “That’s what you do with slaves.” Steven’s brows rose.
“No, it isn’t.” Steven protested in the same bland voice, with the evidence of his frown between his brows. “You are something I own.” Steve explained.
Anthony nodded and opened his mouth, to explain again then, why it was alright. But Steven interrupted.
“Therefore, you can’t give consent. And I have honor.” Steven looked like he considered the matter closed, but Anthony was staring at him with wide eyes, though it quickly turned to something that almost looked like fury. Brows drawing together and lips pursing, and eyes narrowing.
“That is the stupidest-“ He started, voice angry.
“You cannot say no to me, you just said that I could do whatever I want, because you’re my property.” Steven’s words had taken a slow cadence, as if he was explaining to someone who was stupid. That didn’t help Anthony’s mood any. “That means you also have to say yes, by virtue of that ownership. And that means you cannot consent. Technically, you would not have a choice in the matter.”
Anthony scowled at him, his wrists still pinned. But Anthony was not one to be deterred and since he hadn’t been moved off, he rolled his hips against Steven’s, showing him how much he consented. Steven’s eyes flashed for a moment, emotions flickering, and he let go of his hands... to grab his hips and still those instead.
“Anthony...” Steven’s tone was warning. With his hands free, he managed to get his hands beneath the leather and on to his abdomen, feeling the muscles beneath them. And despite everything, Anthony felt Steven’s fingers tighten on his hips, and the interest growing which was hidden not at all by the leather breeches he was wearing.
“I know you want this.” Anthony pitched his voice low. He’d been with trained professionals, women who excelled in the art of seduction, and Anthony Stark was definitely a hands-on type of learner. Steven seemed to come back to himself and he pushed Anthony away from him.
“Am I going to have to order you to go away?” Steven asked, his voice changing to something- that Anthony hadn’t heard before. He figured it was probably anger. Anthony whined at him again. He’d been really good, so far, but his lifetime of getting what he wanted all the time was out of reach and he was really bothered that the one thing he wanted right now was being denied him.
“There isn’t even an issue, I’m not going to say no. Look, I started it, how can you even begin to think I don’t want it!” Anthony huffed, his tone shading into something imperious. “I demand you to have sex with me.” Anthony said. Steven’s brow rose.
Anthony went back to straddling him. The wrestled, until Steven was on top of him, pinning his hands down, and kneeling between his legs, keeping his body away from Anthony’s.
“I said no.” Steven said again, but it wasn’t as firm this time. Anthony was sure that Steven was losing his resolve. After all, consent wasn’t an issue. Anthony wasn’t lying; it was obvious they both wanted it. And it was just Steven’s morals that were preventing it. The man bought a slave, he shouldn’t be so noble about not sleeping with them.
Anthony wrapped his legs around Steven’s waist, and the blonde knight’s eyes went wide. “Come on...” Anthony said, tone practically pleading. He was about to start begging. It was a hit to his ego, he’d never even had to ask for sex before, it had usually been offered to him. Begging was beneath him, but right now, it didn’t even matter. The fact that denial made him want it more should be worrying, but he was focused.
Steven let go of his wrists to untangle Anthony’s legs from around his waist. Though all it did was give Anthony the opportunity to get his arms around Steven’s neck. He was stronger than he looked and Anthony pulled Steven down for a kiss. Their lips met hard, because of the force that Anthony exerted, their teeth hit- before the angle shifted, and they were actually kissing.
Well, Anthony was kissing Steven, more accurately. Steven was not kissing back. He was just staring with wide eyes and parted lips. So Anthony did the only thing he could think of. He slid his tongue along the knight’s lower lip, and then pressed the kiss further, moving his tongue between his lips.
Steven jerked back, but not far, with the way Anthony was holding him.
“Please.” Anthony begged. Steven had his mouth shut now, but his eyes were still wide, and something strange lurked at the corner of them. Anthony couldn’t identify it so he tightened his arms and legs around him and clung as tightly as he could. Whatever Steven had been thinking about, he seemed to come to a conclusion, and then he leaned in and kissed Anthony again.
Slower, but better this time. Anthony made a sound into the kiss, needy and urgent, and he moved his hands away from Steven’s neck and drifted them down, trying to get his hands underneath the leather once again. Steve groaned quietly as Anthony rocked up in to him, pressing them together with his legs around him.
Things progressed rather quickly from there. Steven pressed him down, pressed against him, and moved against him. Anthony made another sound from beneath him, something desperate. Anthony had had some assignations with knights back at his father’s castle, but none of them had been as large as Steven.
It didn’t take very long, for Steven to get Anthony’s clothing off. That was very efficient, not exactly arousing, the slow build like some of the girls would do, unwrapping him like some grand gift. But watching Steven undress was- infinitely better. It was still perfunctory, but watching the muscles move as he started to undress, made Anthony’s desire ratchet up.
Steven was apparently not celibate, as he stepped away from Anthony for a moment, and dug around in the packs on his horse, before joining him once more. It was nothing like the fragranced oils that he’d used from before, this was- saddle oil, it didn’t matter that it didn’t smell like anything, it’s intended purpose wasn’t to smell good. But it got the job done.
Once he’d broken Steven’s resolve, it didn’t seem like things were possible of going slow. Steven was certainly gentle, which Anthony appreciated, but he wasn’t unhurried. His fingers were deft, thick, but clever, as they pressed inside of him, getting him ready- for things to come. Anthony was incapable of being quiet, too. He supposed it was just as well that they were in the middle of nowhere.
Steven’s fingers brushed somewhere inside of him, that made stars appear in his vision and made him make a keening sound that he wasn’t sure had actually come from his throat, except he’d felt the vibrations, all through the sound. Anthony’s body was covered in a fine sheen of sweat, and above him, muscles working, Steven’s skin was flushed pink, breath coming fast, like he was panting.
Anthony noted, with very vague annoyance, that Steven was still almost impossibly quiet, nothing but harsh breaths passing his parted lips. Anthony’s fingers scrabbled at the bedroll beneath him, clinging hard enough that he could feel the dirt giving way under his fingers. Anthony’s eyes squeezed shut and he threw his head back, whimpering a little.
He considered the fact that, maybe, Steven had done this before. And he was exceedingly grateful that he’d gotten over that particular hump of Steven’s. It wasn’t very long at all, before Steven had three fingers inside of him, his rhythm having gone a little stuttered, but the press still deep, and he was moving quicker now.
Anthony was making noise, almost continuous, the breaks between noises much shorter than the noises themselves. But it didn’t seem like Steven actually minded, with the way his eyes darkened and the flush grew on his skin, Anthony was willing to bed that he actually liked it. Not that he was saying it specifically, but he had a feeling. Actions speaking louder than words.
“Why’d you stop?” Anthony gasped out, whined, when Steven’s fingers left him feeling bereft and rather lonely. Steven didn’t say anything, just bit his lip, eyes closing a little as he finally did let out a sound, low- almost lost in the ambient sound of the night. It took a moment for Anthony to realize that Steven had taken himself in hand and was getting ready to replace his fingers with something even better.
Anthony shuddered slightly and squeezed his eyes closed. His heart was hammering in his chest, fast as a hummingbird's, with anticipation and desire. It’d been a long time, for Anthony, even though he was sure a lot of people didn’t do things like this as often as he had.
He spread his legs wider, drawing in shaky breaths that had his chest heaving, as Steven shifted and then started a slow press inside of him. Anthony threw his head back and cried out as he was penetrated. There was some pain there, but it was subsumed with pleasure, until there was nothing at all, and Anthony’s world shrunk down to Steve’s body on and in his.
And Steven certainly made noises then, low, throaty kind of moans, like he was trying to hold them back. Anthony braced his feet flat on the ground and pushed his hips up against Steven’s. That got a sound out of him, and then it was like a dam broke, and Anthony couldn’t hear the sounds of the forest at all.
Steven had leaned in, pressed Anthony back down, and tucked his head up against Anthony’s shoulder. His noises rolled like thunder, Anthony hearing them right in his ear, and then feeling the vibrations almost all through his body. The rhythm that they fell in to was hurried, like neither one of them could bother to slow down, everything rushing to a head.
It felt good. Anthony had had many lovers and Steven was not the best of them, but there was something about this that made it feel better. Perhaps it was the location, or the way that Steven dwarfed him, or maybe it was a secret thrill of getting past the man’s moral standpoints. Whatever it was, Anthony found himself teetering on the edge far sooner than normal.
On a particularly hard, deep thrust, Anthony lost it. Shouting and startling some nearby birds to flight, as his body tightened and shuddered around Steven. Who was, compared to Anthony, quiet when a few clumsy thrusts later, he groaned, bit down on Anthony’s shoulder, and spilled inside of him.
They lay there, panting and just resting, for several long moments, the sounds of their breathing breaking the relative peace of the night. Steven placed a kiss to Anthony’s sweat-damped temple, a rather tender gesture in his opinion, before he rolled off.
Anthony tried to get the willpower to move, but it didn’t seem important, when Steven rolled him to his side and curled up behind him, tugging the blankets back up over them. A few more quiet moments passed.
“Good night, Anthony.” Steven said, words mumbled between his shoulder blades. Anthony sighed quietly, contentedly.
“Good night, ser.” Anthony replied, but the only sound in response was the snuffling noise which meant that Steven had fallen back to sleep.
The following morning, things felt different, and Anthony wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. Steven was certainly more cheerful, but not much more talkative, but he made no mention of the night before. He’d been up and about before Anthony had woken in the morning. He gave Anthony some time to wash up at the river, but they left shortly after the sun began to peek over the horizon.
But despite how they felt, nothing had changed. Their conversation was still limited to Steven telling him what to do, punctuated by the trot of the horses. The nights had changed, however, and this time he was invited in to Steven’s bedroll. And taken just like before. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than what he’d had, and he was grateful. For the touch, for not being lonely at night.
A half a day’s ride from the city and Anthony felt something tugging on his subconscious, like familiarity, edging his thoughts as he took in the scenery. It wasn’t until they were actually in the city, that Anthony realized just why everything seemed familiar.
This was Coventry!
Anthony turned to look at Steven, who was peering around the markets with a thoughtful gaze. “We’re in Coventry!” Anthony told him, sounding excitable. But as usual, when it wasn’t at night and Steven was paying him a very specific type of attention, he was ignored.
In fact, he didn’t think Steven was even going to stop for long, if not for a pair of knights dressed with the insignia of his house detained him and requested that he join Duke Stark in the Iron Fortress. Steven had been curious, so he’d followed. And quite truthfully, Anthony found himself dreading this.
Excited to be home, to be fair, excited to be back with his family, the possibility of freedom so strong that he could taste it. But there was the thought, the very real possibility that he would completely lose Steve. After all, he’d mentioned that he was on an important quest.
In the long run, however, he supposed he could find someone else. The Iron Fortress had no shortage of knights. And he’d missed his bed and his many different lovers. They did not have to wait long, for the Duke to join them. Steven bowed respectfully and went to say something to Anthony, to do the same, but was cut off by Howard.
“By the Lord and Lady, you found my son!” Howard exclaimed. And Steven looked confused, at first, but then he must have noticed Howard moving towards Anthony, and his eyes went wide with surprise, and his mouth fell open. But surprised, he recovered quickly.
“It would appear.” Steven said diplomatically, while the Duchess Maria had her vapors, hugging Anthony through the armor that Anthony had been given, and sobbing against him. The advisor seemed rather surprised to see him, but not glad like the others, Steven didn’t think much of it.
“Obadiah,” Howard said, turning to his advisor, “Get this man the reward from the vaults.” He told him and then he returned to looking at Steven. Anthony noticed that there was a faint coloring on Steven’s cheeks, and something like guilt flickering in the set of his jaw.
“This is the legendary Ser Steven.” Anthony informed his mother and father. He’d only been able to tell, because most tales mentioned that curious shield of his. And, as though to confirm it, the Duke and Duchess both turned their attention to said shield. Steven shifted somewhat uncomfortably.
“Please, Ser Steven. We owe you a great debt for returning our Anthony.” Maria was saying, dabbing the corner of her eyes with a brightly colored scarf. “You really must join us for a feast in your honor, and in celebration of Anthony’s safe return.” Obadiah had returned with the reward and handed the bag of coins to him. Steven took it with a nod of thanks.
“Thank you for your kind offer, milady, but I am afraid I cannot indulge.” Steven said, polite to a fault. “I am glad to have returned your son safely to you, and I appreciate your gratitude, but I am on a rather important quest which cannot be delayed further.” Steven said. Anthony frowned and tried not to let his face fall.
“But Ser-“ Anthony started, but was quieted when Steven turned a sharp look on him. The next few moments were slightly awkward, and Anthony felt rather slighted at being given up so easily. Shouldn’t Ser Steven at least demand recompense? The fact that he’d paid for Anthony, and the things he’d bought for him... surely, there was something. Of course, he couldn’t exactly demand his father do something like that, if he didn’t want to tell him what had transpired. Did it matter that he’d been kidnapped and forced in to slavery? Didn’t the principles of ownership still apply? Anthony did not want to be a slave.
He might have felt a bit stung, however, by the fact that Steven did not even seem to want him at all, and was not even fighting for him back, or to be reimbursed.
“What sort of quest?” Howard inquired. Steven didn’t look at ease discussing it, but he didn’t fidget.
“I am sure it’s of no consequence to you, my lord.” Steven started, but Howard looked expectant, and he continued. “There’s been news of a Witch terrorizing some of the northern Lords. Prince Thor sent a missive requesting help some months back, and I am on my way to help vanquish the threat.”
“I want to come with you.” Anthony blurted out.
Steven’s brows weren’t the only ones raised, either.
“But Anthony, you just came home...” Maria protested. Steven was watching him now, with a curious mix of emotions in his eyes, but Anthony pressed on.
“Father, you mentioned that you wanted to branch out the trade routes from Coventry anyways, the lands to the North specifically, I can travel with Ser Steven to gather information about the trading climate, as well as garner good will from the royal family by helping with their problem.” Then he turned to Steven, “And I have attainted my knighthood, you seemed interested in my knowledge of siege weaponry, as well.”
Steven said nothing, just his lips pressed in to a tight line. Howard looked thoughtful, clearly uncomfortable with sending his son away after his recent safe return. Obadiah stepped forward. “He does have a point, my lord.”
Maria looked even less thrilled with the idea, but Howard found himself nodding.
“But we must make haste,” Steven said, “And surely you want to spend time with your family.” Steven said, his tone sounded confused. Anthony waved a hand, almost dismissively.
“When I return, we can do so. It’ll be a celebration, and then you can join us.” The imperious tone was back, but Steven still seemed hesitant.
“But...” Steven started.
“I will go if I so please. If we need to hurry, then let us go.” Anthony said. Steven frowned again, but then nodded.
“Of course, my lord” Steven said, quietly. Demure. Anthony was frustrated again, but it was something he would have to work on.
As they headed back outside, Anthony went to get his perlino stallion, but he stabled the roan that Steven had bought for him and met him at the gate. Quiet, as they headed down the trail. He was beginning to think their conversation would be even less now that Steve would not be giving him any orders.
“So, this changes things.” Anthony noted, peering over at Steven. Steven frowned a little and then nodded. Cheeks flushing slightly pink and he pointedly did not look at Anthony.
“If I had known about your status, I never would have...” Steven started and Anthony frowned a little, waving a hand again.
“Let’s not worry about the past and focus on the future.” Anthony said brightly. Steven was still frowning. He knew it’d take some work, but eventually, this knight would be his, and he’d never leave again.