“Up, brute,” one of the guards barks in butchered Cratian.
Sam rises slowly, head bowed as the guards cross his cell and unlock his cuffs from the heavy chain bolted to the floor. They jerk him to his feet by his cuffed hands and pull a dark sack over his head before leading him out of the cell and into the castle.
He digs his nails into his palms and reminds himself to obey. After all, Sam was a king in Cratos, a man respected and revered. Would still be king if he hadn’t been betrayed and sold to the Crown Prince of Arvel. He forces himself to take a deep breath and exhale away his discord. Even as a slave in an enemy kingdom, he’s alive. If he has to bow his head and kneel in the guise of a refined Cratian slave, so be it. At least he’ll live long enough to escape.
The guards lead him through the castle corridors, their quiet footfalls and the quiet hiss of the lamps the only sounds. It must be late. In the months he’s been held captive, any time he’s been brought into the palace, he has heard servants chattering between their chores, guardsmen running drills in the outer courtyards, courtiers and their pets engaged in all kinds of lecherous public displays. Strange. The Prince never summons him so late.
Steamy, sweetly-scented air hits him just before the guards tug the hood from his head. He blinks, his eyes slow to adjust to the low, hazy light of the slave baths. The guards drag him toward a broad-shouldered woman in skimpy silks. “The Prince wants him cleaned,” the guard says in Arvelan as he hands over his chain. “Thoroughly.”
The woman’s eyes slide over him, wide before they narrow in scrutiny. Possibly he’s the first Cratian she’s seen. War between Cratos and Arvel has been near-constant since long before his father was a boy, and both sides have exacted horrors upon the other. But the woman doesn’t look intimidated in the slightest. Head cocked to the side, she gives him a long look before flitting back to the guards. “How long do I have to work?”
“His Highness was nonspecific,” the guard grumbles. “Just don’t take all night. You know how he gets.”
Nodding, the woman leads Sam away by the chain, muttering under her breath, “Oh everybody knows how the Prince gets impatient.”
Somehow, that doesn’t fill him with confidence.
“Speak Arvelan?” the woman asks in broken Cratian.
“Yes,” he answers in Arvelan, the delicate pronunciation tripping up his tongue.
The woman leads him into one of the bathing rooms, a steamy cubicle with a low tub set beside a low stool and hook dangling from the ceiling. She looks from Sam to the hook and raises an eyebrow. “We won’t be needing that, will we?”
A shiver runs up his spine at her assuredness. Her confidence even though she too is a slave, albeit one a little higher in the pecking order. He inclines his head. “No, miss.”
Without another word, the woman strips off his dirty garments in efficient motions and helps him step into the tub. Sam sighs at the rush of warm water over him, lets out an involuntary groan when the woman begins to work soap over his skin and through his hair. He’s still not used to the length. It was shorn off before he was shipped to Arvel, yet another thing taken from him. It feels foolish to mourn the loss—it will grow back, he knows—but he hangs his head nonetheless.
As the woman runs her rough hands over him, Sam feels his blood turn southward, his senses heightening. Her motions are practiced and impersonal, but nevertheless he is responding. Only when her hands dip below the sudsy surface and she brushes against his burgeoning erection does he made another noise. The woman stills for a split second before she continues scrubbing between his legs.
When she helps him out of the tub and towels him dry, she says, “I’d apologize, but it looks like you enjoyed it more than I did.”
Sam glances to the side, his face heating from more than the bathwater. “It’s been a while since a beautiful woman touched me.”
A line knits between her eyebrows. Something distant glazes across her eyes before she shoots him a challenging smirk. She leaves the towel drapes around his shoulders, spays a hand across his chest and skims her fingers down, down, down. As she wraps her hand around his cock, Sam exhales slowly, holding himself in check. She fists him leisurely, slowly pressing closer so he must tuck his arms into his chest to keep them out of the way. He bites the inside of his cheek and takes in her slight grin, the dull battle scars across her limbs, the pebbled points of her nipples beneath the now damp silk. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t help the moan reverberating in his throat.
The woman lets out an amused little huff, releases his cock, and returns to her task. “Impressive,” she says offhandedly. “What I wouldn’t give for an hour with you.”
His hips lurch forward into nothing. He sucks in a few unsteady breathes, but it does nothing to make his knees stop shaking. “Your name,” he gasps out, struggling not to collapse. “What’s your name?”
She furrows her brow. “Does it matter?”
Throat constricted, he turns his head to the side. “I guess not.” As she continues toweling him dry and combing his hair, he asks, “Have you ever served the Prince in private?”
Her hands flinch for a split second, but he can’t see her expression from this angle. Somehow, that feels like answer enough. Without a word, the woman crosses the room and retrieve a bottle of scented oil. He smells the warm, woodsy scent before she kneads it into every inch of his chest and thighs before moving on to his back.
“He’s not half as hung as you’d think from his attitude,” she whispers suddenly as she massages his back. “He’s rough and fast and doesn’t shut up even when he’s coming.”
Slick fingers press between his cheeks. Sam flinches before the woman runs her free hand down his spine like she’s trying to calm a spooked horse. “Spread your legs wider and lean forward as far as you can without falling.” The woman even pulls the squat stool closer with her foot. “It’ll be easier that way.”
Face burning, he makes himself nod. He needs to do as he’s told if he ever wants to get home. He shuffles his legs apart and bends forward at the waist, resting his cuffed hands on the stool.
The woman hums, though he’s not sure if its intended as a reassurance. Before he can crane back to see, there’s pressure against his hole. One smooth press, and there are fingers inside him, spreading him open. These sensations may be new, but he’s coached many a partner through it from the other side. Eyes squeezed shut, he sucks in a breath through his teeth and wills himself to bear it.
More oil spills over his ass before the woman pushes it inside him. He doesn’t know how long she’s been working him or how many fingers she has tucked into him, but he can’t bring himself to care. He… he likes it. The blunt pressure. The harsh spread. The weight against his rim.
He’s not sure how he feels about that.
The woman runs her free hand along his spine, tracing over his battle scars as she goes. “You’re pretty tight for a Cratian slave,” she says, flexing her fingers to emphasize her words.
“I wasn’t born a slave,” he replies, scrambling for an excuse. He settles for something close to the truth. “My previous master never required that service.”
“Fuck,” she whispers. She eases her fingers free from his hole and takes a moment to clean her hands before she helps him stand upright. “Princes get all the luck.”
He flushes, once more turning away from her. The woman stands on her tiptoes and runs her fingers through his hair, an almost sympathetic gesture. “Allison,” she says quietly.
Brow furrowed, he looks to her. She grins and ruffles his hair. “Ask for me the next time you’re down here.”
Breath stuck in his chest, he nods.
Once he’s led back to the guard, clean and clad in only a thin pair of silks, the hood goes back on his head, and the guards lead him away. Across cold stone floors and through door after locked door. Sam does his best to track the path in his mind all while keeping pace with the guards. The more he behaves, the sooner they’ll trust him enough to drop their guard around him, the sooner he can escape. Until then, it’s just a matter of biding his time and maintaining this ruse.
At last, he’s led into a warm room and pulled to a stop on a plush carpet. When they remove the hood, he scans the room instinctively. Lavish furnishings, a fire crackling in the hearth, the curtains drawn closed and the bedclothes turned down. He shudders, acutely aware of the oil slick between his cheeks. Still he stands at attention as the guards go about checking the room. Satisfied, one of the guards goes to the door while the other releases the chain from his cuffs but leaves them still tethered together. “No funny business,” the guard says.
Sam ducks his head and nods. Without another word, the guards retreat to the hall, pulling the doors shut behind them. Only when he’s alone does Sam exhale shakily and slump forward. Eyes squeezed shut, he takes a deep breath and steadies himself.
Swallowing hard, Sam moves to stand at the foot of the bed and folds onto his knees. With his hands still bound at the wrists, he can’t loop his hands behind his back; this will have to do. He’s survived several months pretending to be a trained Cratian slave. Obedient. Submissive. Tonight will be the biggest test yet, and he cannot afford to fail. As gooseflesh rises on his arms and chest, Sam falls back on his own training, swordplay and grappling and physical combat. His body is built to endure; this is just another kind of battle.
A battle you’re already destined to lose. The thought sends a shudder through him.
Suddenly, the door bursts open, and lazy, light footsteps pad toward him. Sam tenses his shoulders to stop himself from looking up. Not yet; his eyes must remain lowered until he is bidden. No matter how much it grates against his instincts. As the footsteps draw closer, Sam can just make out a pair of orange and gold slippers at the edge of his vision. The Prince’s favored colors, he’s discovered. Gulping hard, Sam bends forward, resting his forearms on the floor and ducking his head low between them. It’s not a proper prostration, but it’s the best he can manage.
“Well isn’t that a picture I never thought I’d see,” comes the Prince’s needling voice, sharp and condescending and dripping with arrogance. “The Cratian beast so eager to fall to his knees.”
Sam wills himself to remain silent, to remain still. He hears the Prince approach seconds before one of those slippered feet presses to the side of his head. He stiffens for just a moment before forcing himself to yield and roll his head to the side. The slipper then moves, catches under his chin and lifts. Sam follows as he is bidden, lifting his head from the ground, his stomach straining with each slow motion. When he’s mostly upright, he can’t help his eyes flitting up glimpse his captor.
The Prince of Arvel. Dressed in close-fitting Arvelan garments, he looks like the caricatures Sam has seen on Arvelan nobles by Cratian court painters. Heavy paint accentuates his narrow face and sharp cheekbones. His hair—cut short on the sides but long on the top and back—is pomaded and plaited ornately. Eyes sharp and shrewd, mouth twisted into a sneer. If the Prince hadn’t gone out of his way to make him suffer, Sam would be hard pressed to find fault with his appearance.
“Or is that how you fuck in Cratos?” the Prince jeers. “Like animals rutting on the ground.”
His temper flares, but Sam smothers the reaction. Anger won’t help him. Rising to the Prince’s bait will only serve to get him killed. “My apologies, your Highness,” he says in careful Arvelan. “I was trained to prostrate myself in the presence of a superior. How would you have me present myself?”
“Kneeling is sufficient,” the Prince replies, his gaze rolling over Sam like oilslick on water. Stepping forward, he spreads his arms. “Come. Attend to me.”
Sam rises warily, closing the distance between them quickly. Even with his hands cuffed, he should be able to undo all those damned laces. At least you don’t have to dress him without full use of your arms. Before he can loosen the first knot, the Prince interrupts him. “Wait. Off with the small clothes, first.”
Now his blush is only half out of anger, but Sam bows his head and backs up a step to unlace and remove the thin silken drawers. Even though they did little more than draw the eye to his groin, he suddenly mourns their absence. Without them, there’s nothing between him and the Prince’s trailing eyes. Folding them quickly, he drops the garment at the foot of the bed and returns to his task.
He works quietly at the laces, and piece by piece the Prince’s garb falls away. When he pulls away the Prince’s jacket to fold and set aside for laundering, he stops short. Glinting steel catches his eye. A pair of knives, one strapped to his left forearm, another holstered at his waist. Sam’s heart jolts. It’s been months since he’s had access to a weapon and now there are two within his grasp.
Chuckling, the Prince shifts, and suddenly, there’s a knife tucked up under Sam’s chin. He freezes, hands clenched in the fabric, his gaze shifting to the Prince. “Don’t get any bright ideas,” the Prince says, smirking as he pulls the knife away, flips and catches it by the blade. His eyes don’t blink away from Sam. “Leave the one at my arm. The rest go on the nightstand.”
Fear curdling in his stomach, Sam bows his head in understanding and averts his gaze. His blood quickens, surging to his muscles and readying him for anything. With trembling fingers, he takes the knife from the Prince as well as the blade from his waist and conveys them to the nightstand. As he continues undressing the Prince, he finds more. Daggers strapped to his legs and the small of his back. Back in Cratos, Sam heard about three assassination attempts against the Prince of Arvel. No wonder the Prince remains so armed even in the safety of his home.
With the outer garments dealt with, he begins to pull the Prince’s shirt over his head when something curls around his half-hard cock. Sam startles, his eyes snapping downward. The Prince has a hand wrapped around him, stroking idly while Sam works. His ears burn, and once again he freezes in place. He’s a grown man; he’s had his cock played with before, but never like this. Never as an afterthought or a means of passing the time.
“Finish your task,” the Prince says, irritation rough in his voice. But he fists his grip when Sam tries to back away to set the shirt aside.
Exhaling sharply, Sam drops the shirt to the side and reaches for the Prince’s small clothes. It would be easier to drop to his knees to pull off the remaining garments, but the Prince does not release his cock. Doesn’t blink or allow him an inch of leeway.
Before Sam can make sense of it, the Prince steps forward, forcing Sam backward step by step until he topples onto the mattress. The Prince follows gracefully, crawling onto Sam’s lap. Straddling Sam’s thighs, the Prince quickens his stroke, gaze fixed on Sam’s groin as his cock fills. “Feel good?” he asks, not so much as glancing at Sam.
Flushed, he ducks his head to the side. “Yes, your Highness.”
With one last lingering stroke, the Prince releases Sam. A unbidden groan spills out of him as the Prince rises from the bed. He glances between Sam and the knives laid out on the nightstand, smirking. “No moving.” And without waiting for a confirmation, he turns on heel and strides into an adjoining room. Moments later, Sam hears running water and collapses into the mattress.
He knows what this is—in Cratos, he had his own slaves; on more than one night, he called a warm body to warm his bed. The Prince of Arvel, his captor and sworn enemy, a man who would probably put a knife through his throat if he knew Sam’s true identity, intends to fuck him. His throat constricts, but he reminds himself to breathe.
Unbidden, he looks to the weapons assembled on the nightstand. It can only be a test. However arrogant he is, the Prince knows Sam is the stronger of the two. Even without a weapon, he could tear through the Prince with his bare hands, but where would that leave him? Trapped in the Prince’s chambers with damning blood on his hands. Hands clenched together against his chest, Sam forces himself to resist.
He lays there for who knows how long, each breath sticking in his chest. His lower back is starting to ache, but he doesn’t dare shift into a more comfortable position. Can’t be much longer now, can it? He can’t feel the cool slick of oil between his cheeks anymore, and his chest constricts.
When the Prince of Arvel returns followed by a billow and sandalwood scented steam, Sam can’t stop himself staring. Without the heavy paint Arvelan nobles wear, he looks younger than Sam expected. Softer. His gaze drifts down the Prince’s lean, muscled form, lingering a moment too long at his groin. He looks away, but the Prince is smirking. Again.
“Don’t worry, you’ll get your hands on it soon enough,” the Prince says as he prowls over to the bed, looming tall over Sam. “I take it mine isn’t the first cock you’ve seen.”
Sam shoots a pointed glance down at his own groin, his brow arching.
The Prince scoffs and gives Sam’s balls a sharp tug. “Besides your own.”
Unbidden, his cheeks turn hot; still, he makes himself lay still while the Prince has his fun. “Yes, your Highness. I have lain with both men and women.”
The Prince hums, fingers ghosting down between Sam’s legs. When something slides through the slickness around his hole, Sam tenses. Only a split second later does he remember to breathe, but it’s too late. The Prince goes still against him, his brow pinched and his head cocked to the side. “Lemme guess. All your masters made extensive use of this, huh?” But sarcasm drips from every syllable.
Sam ducks his head, lips pressed tight against his answer. But if he wants to keep his cover, he has to talk. A trained slave would never hesitate. “I was not born a slave. I was a soldier. My previous masters never…” He takes a deep breath, steadying himself. “Never required that of me.”
The hand between his leg retreats, running up and down his thighs almost soothingly. Sam feels himself shaking in the wake of his admission, a mix of fear and shame curdling in his stomach. All his adult life, he’d enjoyed the physical comforts of company: consorts and slaves and even fellow soldiers when he was at war. He has experience, but not with…that. Even if he had had the passing curiosity to be…to lay back and be taken, it was not the Cratian way.
“You’re not lying to me,” the Prince says, breaking the silence as he reaches to Sam’s cuffs and unlatches the link.
Eyes wide, Sam lets his hands fall to the side and rolls his wrists. He shakes his head. “No, sir.”
The Prince shuffles around him and further onto the bed. He settles on his back in the middle, long and pale against the dark bedclothes. Legs akimbo, the Prince crooks his finger, summoning Sam after him. Like an invisible thread connects him to the Prince’s finger, he’s helpless but to follows. He clambers to the Prince’s side, unsure what the Prince expects of him.
With a smug little grin, the Prince says, “Well, are you gonna just gonna stare all night, or do I actually have to tell you to fuck me?”
His jaw drops, gaping like a beached fish as his mind races to catch up. The Crown Prince of Arvel…wants him to… He can’t fathom it, yet he just heard the words with his own ears. Swallowing hard to buy himself another second, he chokes out a reply. “Yes, your Highness. I’ll need oil.”
Reaching for the bedside table, the Prince retrieves a vial. As he tosses it onto the bed beside Sam, he comments, “Quit with the “your Highness” crap. It’s exhausting enough dealing with every hour of the day in court, I don’t want to hear it in my bedroom. Call me Felix.”
Sam arches a brow. More strangeness. The Prince’s given name isn’t Felix; it’s Isaac. He’s well acquainted with it from the reports of Cratian spies in the north. But he can’t protest. Not without betraying his true identity.
Without a word, he unstoppers the vial, slicks his fingers, and gingerly settles between the Prince’s legs, easing them farther apart. Lean but still corded with muscle. His gaze trails down from the Prince’s narrow waist, over his flushed cock and taut sac, to the crease between his ass cheeks, and suddenly, Sam’s throat constricts. The Prince wants to be fucked. Wants Sam to fuck him. After Allison’s warning, he never would have guessed.
The Prince shimmies on the bed, huffing. “Any day now.”
Sam leans in and presses his fingers between the Prince’s cheeks, seeking out his entrance. He falls back on old memories of his previous partners. Even when he bedded a trained body slave, he always took time and care to open his partners. Taking him is… no small feat.
Circling the pucker, he pushes his forefinger in to the knuckle, testing. The Prince moans and squirms, a wrinkle forming between his eyebrows. “Shit, just put your whole hand in, why don’t you?” he chides.
He stills his finger, uncertain. “I can’t go any slower than a single finger.” It’s not strictly true, he realizes, but he’s in no hurry to offer up lip service. Contrary to what they’d have the peasantry believe, royals don’t shit gold and roses.
“A single…” The Prince cranes up, his eyes wide.
Sam lifts his free hand and spreads his fingers so the Prince can see.
Grumbling, the Prince flops back on the bed, splaying his legs wider until his toes reach the bedside. “And that’s just one finger,” he mutters. “Fuck.”
“Don’t you dare apologize,” the Prince snaps, shallowly working himself down onto Sam’s finger. “I’m gonna take every inch of you.” He hooks a leg around Sam’s hip, jerking him closer. “So show me what you got, big boy.”
Sam ducks his head and obeys. He wiggles his finger, thrusting shallowly until the Prince opens enough to take another. The Prince lets out a high moan at the intrusion, but to Sam’s ears it sounds pained. Heart hammering in his throat, Sam hesitates. It’s too much, too fast, even if the Prince is accustomed to penetration. As much as he wants away from this godforsaken kingdom, he’d rather not do any harm in the process. He’s done harm enough to last a lifetime.
“Are you…” he pauses when the Prince flutters around his fingers. Head hung, he steadies himself and goes on. “I do not wish to hurt you.”
The Prince laughs, quiet and bitter. “If you were hurting me, you’d have a knife to your throat.”
But given how his hands are fisted in the bedding and his brow is creased, Sam has his doubts. “There are other ways I can serve you.”
“Do all Cratian masters permit their slaves to be so mouthy?” The Prince snaps. “Are they all so indulgent?”
Flushing and flustered, Sam swallows hard. He remembers the many slaves who served him faithfully, a king who was away more than he was there. They lived good lives, he thinks. Contented lives. But the Prince’s gaze needles into him, silently demanding an answer. “Some can be,” he admits. “A good master does not harm those under his care.”
Gently, he scissors his fingers, each thrust searching for the bundle of nerves he’s found time and again. When the Prince yelps and ruts back against him eagerly, he is certain he’s found it. “A good master, huh?” The Prince’s words come out gravel-rough, but Sam still hangs on them. “What else does a good master do? What makes Cratians think so little of us?”
“It would be impolite to say.”
“So tell me anyway,” the Prince says with a laugh.
“In Cratos, masters protect those under their charge,” he says. “They see to it that their needs are met. To be served is as much an honor as it is to serve, but here…” His throat constricts at the memory of slaves made to fight for the Arvelan court’s amusement, humiliated and beaten and broken at their masters’ whims. Unbidden, other memories return to him as well: sell-swords storming his rooms in the palace. The men and women who served him cut down without mercy. Because they served him.
His vision blurs but he blinks past his tears. When he finally returns to Cratos to take back his throne, he will do better by those who lift him up. Until then, the Prince bade him to speak, and he cannot risk to disobey. “Here, you treat those under your protection as playthings. As less than human.”
The Prince raises a narrow brow, peering up at him. He arches his back, angles his hips down against Sam’s fingers, but the Prince doesn’t break his gaze from Sam. His cock twitches under the weight of that gaze, and Sam eases another finger into him. The Prince fists his hands in the bedsheets and catches his lower lip between his teeth, groaning. He’s a vision beneath Sam, lewd and untempered and unflinching. “Do you feel less than human now?”
Sam can’t help himself. He bows forward and sucks the Prince’s cock into his mouth all the way to the root.
Above him, the Prince goes rigid. A split second of fear curdles his stomach. Sam glances up, uncertain what he’ll see on the Prince’s face. After all, while a good slave obeys, a better slave anticipated and goes the extra step for their master, but this isn’t Cratos. Still, even though the prince has gone quiet, there’s no mistaking his pleasure-pinched expression or the slow-building moan he released. The raw want.
Relieved, Sam lets his eyes fall shut and turns his attention back to the Prince’s dick, licking up the sensitive underside, tonguing the glans, and sucking him deep. He drinks up every needy whimper, every buck of the Prince’s hips jerking back and forth between his mouth and his fingers. And for a moment, he’s home, back in his private quarters in the palace, finding peace and pleasure in one of his slaves and rewarding them for their service.
"You need to fuck me," the Prince whispers, his voice breathy and urgent. "Now."
He can’t bring himself to protest, not after the course of the evening. At least he’s certain the Prince won’t tear on the first thrust. With one last suckle, he draws back, releasing the Prince’s cock and pulling out his fingers. The Prince pushes the vial of oil back into his hands and muscles him closer.
Flushed from the needy, half-effective manhandling, Sam moves as he’s bidden and pulls the Prince’s legs around his hips. This, he knows. The circumstances may be perilous, but the act, he is certain of. He slicks and strokes himself to full hardness, lines up, and rolls his hips forward.
The Prince arches under him, moaning loud and digging his heels into Sam’s ass. Sam squeezes his eyes shut and grits his teeth to slow his thrust, sinking inch by inch until he’s pressed flush to the Prince’s ass. Until there’s nothing left of him to give. He takes a deep breathe, willing the Prince to lay back and relax around him, but the Prince has other ideas. He yanks Sam forward with his legs, swiveling his hips and drawing him closer. “Fuck, gods, you do not disappoint,” the Prince babbles, breathless and twitching around him. “Feels like you’re splitting me in two.”
“Are you in pain?” he asks, Sam trails an oil-slick finger along the Prince’s rim, testing the stretch.
Rocking back against him, the Prince growls. “I swear, if you don’t get your ass in gear and fuck me, I’ll send you back to your cell in pieces.”
Sam bucks before he can stop himself, driving into the Prince hard and fast. Slick and tight and achingly familiar. His cheeks burn as he pistons his hips and the Prince groans. This may be what he knows, but rarely has he had a partner so certain of what they want. And the Prince is nothing if not assured of his desires. He grabs Sam by his hair and drags him down until he’s crouched forward on his elbows. Raking his nails down Sam’s back, the Prince bows his back and grinds his dick against Sam’s stomach.
“Just like that! Oh, fuck, big boy, give it to me. Fuck me deep and fill me up. Wanna feel you so deep I can taste you. Oh, that’s it,” The Prince says as Sam drives deep into him. He splays his hand along his lower stomach, pressing down, and Sam can feel it against his dick. The Prince squirms, bucking his hips, moaning in punched-out burns in time with Sam’s thrusts. “ Fuck!”
The Prince clenches around him, and warmth splatters across his stomach. Sam clenches his jaw and forces himself to slow down while the Prince orgasms. But the Prince locks his ankles around Sam, jerking him closer and making him thrust again. “Don’t stop. Don’t you fuckin’ dare stop,” the Prince gasps, all breathless commands.
And Sam is here to obey. He bows his head, grips the Prince’s hips tights, and fucks into him.
Whines and moans fill the room, the Prince clinging to the sheets and squirming and taking everything Sam has to offer. Twitches and clenches and groans for him. Sam squeezes his eyes shut in attempt to hold out longer, but that only enhances the hot clench around him. The slick slide in and out of the Prince sets pleasure knot low in his stomach, coiling tighter and tighter, closer and closer. The Prince runs his hands down Sam’s back, pulling them flush so Sam feels every ragged breath, every overstimulated twitch. Closer and closer, until he’s breathing in the Prince’s air. And then lips meet his own, smooth and soft and trembling. Gasping, Sam lets himself be kissed. His thrusts turn rougher, harsher. His focus slips as desire fogs the edges of his mind. He won’t be able to hold back for long.
The Prince moans into his mouth. “Don’t stop.”
Sam groans, his hips bucking wildly. “Felix,” he says, pleading.
The Prince pulls him close and whispers against his lips, “My King.”
He chokes on his tongue. His vision turns white as he bursts inside the Prince, cock twitching under the blinding pressure. Only at the last moment does he remember to reach a hand between them. The Prince’s cock is still sticky with spend. A few strokes, the Prince comes again and droops onto the bed, spent and satisfied.
Sam pulls out carefully, rolls to the side, and collapses beside the Prince, panting. A moment of respite, and he’ll be on his feet, ready to clean the Prince and await his next order. As much as a full night sleeping on an actual mattress sounds heavenly, he knows better to expect anything. So he gives himself leave to lay a moment and rest before he goes to the adjoining bathroom for a washcloth and basin of clean water.
As Sam carefully clears away the oil and sweat and spunk, the Prince lolls his head around to face him, a slow smirk spreading on his face. “So, like being called a king?”
For a split second, Sam freezes. He thinks he keeps his expression blank of emotion, but he can’t say for sure. “Your highness?”
The Prince grins, a knowing glint in his gaze. “I’m just saying, you came pretty hard there.” He reaches down between his legs and trails a finger through the spend slowly leaking out of him. “Almost like you’re used to it.”
Sam turns away before his eyes go wide. He rinses out the rag in the basin so he can fist his hands without suspicion. He knows. The Prince knows who he is. And now as he looks back at the entire evening, Sam can see it for what it is: a ruse designed to lull him into a sense of comfort, to make him vulnerable so the Prince could get him to confess his identity. And he played right into the Prince’s bait.
Exhaling quietly, he continues cleaning the Prince. Only when he feels reasonably calm does he meet the Prince’s gaze. Legs spread wide, hands behind his head on the pillows, he’s grinning like the cat who caught the canary. Sam inclines his head, feigning innocence. “I merely did as my Prince bade me. As any slave would do.”
From the corner of his eyes, he sees the Prince go rigid. Not looking, Sam can imagine the sour look on his face, the drawn in brows and pursed mouth. If the circumstances were different and he had his liberty, Sam would laugh. Loudly.
As he wipes away the last traces of come and oil, Sam asks, “Will there be anything else, your Highness?”
With a sneer, the Prince shimmies under his blankets and turns his back to Sam. “You’re excused.”
Head bowed and heart pounding, Sam excuses himself. The guards posted at the door startle at his sudden appearance, slamming him against the wall and locking his cuffs together once more. They drag him back to his cell, and in the cold dark room, he can finally catch his breath. At least now he knows the Prince suspects him. At least now he knows he has to be more careful.
He lays down on his thin pallet and wills himself to sleep, but his dreams are filled with a cutting voice and the scent of sandalwood and a phantom clench that leaves him aching. He curls tighter around himself and grumbles discontentedly.