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It's Not the Words You Say But How You Say It

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The kingdom of West Ham was often a quiet place, only filled with boisterous noise when King Bingham threw his balls, or when the Guard was put to the test in their public sparring matches. The kingdom consisted of greenery and lavish houses. There weren't too many inhabitants, but the kingdom was divided between the Pressman's rulings and the Bingham's. The rivalry had existed since before Queen Cassandra came of age to take the throne. Many have suspected that King Bingham and the Queen's disdain for each other stems for unrequited feelings, but from the way they have spoken in previous interactions, the hatred only exists among the difference in their policies.

Despite the tiny divide, Gareth Visser adored his home. He liked to spend most of his time outside in the garden, planting all kinds of things and sharing them with the cook. He enjoyed hanging out with his friends: Clark, Jason, and Luke. He considered Luke to be his partner in crime. While he took his job seriously, he liked to play pranks on Princess Allie with him. Luke's girlfriend had become particularly close to Princess Allie. She was wildly liked, but the nation saw her as weak. Grizz knew that she could take them all on with her bare hands. He enjoyed Allie's company, she was like a little sister to him.

He wasn't familiar with all the princesses and princes like he had yet to learn about Princess Becca or Elle, and he had hung out with King Harry a few times. He did not desire to learn about Prince Campbell, but he longed for the day where he could speak to Prince Sam. Grizz liked his crystal blue eyes and his flesh pink lips and he stared as his smile for way too long on many occasions. Even though Prince Sam did not live in the sector that Grizz served in, he was often in his cousin's palace with Princess Becca. "Knight Visser," the voice of the queen cut into his thoughts, "Do I need to repeat myself?" Her voice was amused rather than upset. He knew the Queen held a soft spot for him like many others did, though he didn't fully understand why. 

"Yes please, I'm sorry for being distracted, Your Highness," he tilted his head towards the floor to emphasize his humility. 

"The Eliot family will be moving into this sector. We are setting up a marriage for Princess Allie and the King and I aren't fond of the extra space. I need you to watch over Prince Sam." The Queen's explanation left Grizz's heart in a frenzy. Prince Sam. He nodded his assent as if he had a choice in the matter and as if he cared if he did. No one knew of his crush on Prince Sam, but it didn't feel like it was a crush since he had been harboring his feelings for quite some time. He had heard rumors that the Prince had preferred the company of men from the ladies in waiting, but he didn't know if he believed them since no one had ever seen Prince Sam with a man or a woman. He didn't even care the arrival of Prince Sam also meant that Prince Campbell would be here as well. The Guard was dismissed and he took his usual post outside the Princess's room accompanied by Luke. 

He could hear faint giggles and suspected that it was Gwen and Helena tidying up the room, but then a male voice said, "Imagine if it was me and you, though." He made a face of apprehension at Luke and reached for his sword. People weren't meant to enter the royals' room without being screened first. He tapped a few times on the door to warn Allie of his entering, but the door flung open. Allie's hair was haphazard and her dress was askew. 

"Oh, I did not mean to interrupt," Grizz fought back a blush at her disarrayed state, not wanting to have known the meaning. He did not know who was in the room with her, but he had a feeling that it might be the cook. Allie was often in the kitchen which allowed Grizz to spend time gardening. Allie and WIll made googly eyes at each other constantly. He pretended not to notice how close they were because the royal life was not one of privacy. Allie brushed her hair back. Her cheeks were bright red and a clatter from inside the room compelled Grizz to turn his attention to the mirror, where Will's body laid on her bed. He had no shirt on but his legs were covered in Allie's sheets. She shifted the door to further block Grizz's view. 

"Do you need me for something?" She feigned innocence. Grizz nodded. "Well, I will just ask him to leave."

"No, if you're enjoying his company, don't let me stop you," he winced at his sentence and heard Luke fighting back a giggle. Although the queen had requested Allie's presence in the main hall, he thought she deserved this time to herself.

"When will he be able to leave, then? You are aware of the fact that no one can know about this?" Allie's voice was no longer calm as the conversation headed towards something more serious. The Princess's affair could result in exile and the beheading of Will. She closed the door back and when it reopened Will was fully dressed and ask Luke to escort him back to the kitchen. Grizz wondered why he needed to be accompanied, but once Allie asked for him to come in, he knew she didn't want an audience. 

"Sit down please," Allie requested. Grizz took a seat on the corner of Allie's bed, not exactly sure of what had just gone on and he surely did not want to think about it. "I have harbored feelings for Will for longer than I can remember. I know that we can never truly be together and I don't care, the fact that he is willing to risk his life to have a momentary relationship with me, it makes everything worth it. I hope you can understand and that you won't report this." It was Grizz's duty to report it, but his devotion to protected Allie included her happiness, and she would soon be wed. 

"I follow whatever you say, Princess." She gripped his hand at that and nodded. The slight glisten in her eyes conveying her gratitude. He hoped she could see that he shared the same look in his eyes as well. he could have been removed from her detail for just being aware of the secret. He didn't tell her that he had suspected the existence of their relationship for a while because this was her secret to share, this was her decided that she trusted her Knight enough to confide in him, and Grizz was lucky enough to be the one she told. Even if he had "caught her in the act".


 "No! I will not marry Prince Bingham!" Allie stomped in frustration. "Do you think that I am a fool, that I will be silent next to him while he makes decisions for me and unwise decisions for his part of the kingdom. His way of living is- it's ridiculous." 

"I don't think you understand," the firmness in Cassandra's voice made Grizz quiver. "This marriage is not up for discussion. I am aware of your desire to marry for love, my dear sister, and I was lucky enough to be able to," the Queen looked at her husband and their intertwined fingers, "but you are aware of my condition and the tension between the Prince's people and ours grows every day. it's for the kingdom."

Grizz had seen Allie at many different stages of her life, but she was never this livid, not once. Her hands were red from how hard she was squeezing them her face matched the color of hands and her eyelashes looked lovely as her eyes welled up with tears. "I don't understand why you always put me in these situations. I sacrifice everything for you-"

"As you should. The moment I became queen, I became your sister second. I love you, Allie," the princess scoffed at that, "but you know your duty is to the kingdom. I know the Prince can seem cruel and vile in his words at times, but I can assure you, no harm will come to you." Allie left the room without being dismissed and Luke followed her. Allie's ladies had finally shown up as well and joined him in the chase. The Queen sighed and crumbled in King Gordie's arms. 

"It may seem bad now, but after all is said and done, you guys will be okay," the king muttered to her. Grizz was surrounded by true love and it sickened him to think he could never find it. 

"Gordie, I feel like a monster. I thought my marriage and taking the throne would ensure her a life of happiness and look at what I've done," she seemed to have trembled in his arms as he stroked her blonde hair. He shushed her and brought her to sit in his lap. The moment was far too intimate for him to be here, but he was not dismissed yet. He felt the same burden that Allie had. His duty to the throne had prevented him from being with the gender he was interested in, but the guy he pined for could not be with him even if the interest was mutual. 

"Did you decide to stir up trouble with locals in Harry's sector?"

"No," she muttered. 

"Did you doubt his abilities to rule his sector?"

"Well, yes-"

"Publicly at many events? Or in the privacy of your own home and intimate conversations?"


"Then, this isn't your fault. Allie will be fine. She's strong and she can handle anything. She is your sister, after all."

The Queen giggled but the solemn feeling overtook her again, "I don't want her to have to endure a marriage of infidelity and unhappiness."

"Me either."

Grizz realized that they had forgotten he was there and left the room. Grizz thought about the fact that throughout his serving the kingdom, he was never required to be with anyone, but the Guard usually paired with the ladies in waiting. Grizz didn't want a lady in waiting, he wanted to kneel at the feet of his prince in reverence and devotion and he wanted to sit beside him and be revered as worthy of following as well. He was considered the leader of the Guard just as much as Luke was, but Luke had someone he wanted to spend eternity with. Grizz would live and die alone. Grizz couldn't even be forced to have a companion and at this point, he would prefer an arranged marriage. 


Chapter Text

Grizz waited outside the doors of the kingdom with the rest of the Guard as Princes Campbell and Sam arrived. Grizz fought to keep his nerves in check. The heat from the sun did not help either. He was sweating underneath his arms slightly.  He had never interacted with the Prince so he didn't truly know what he was like. He assumed that he was kind and funny, and he prayed that he wouldn't be cruel to him. The Princes were walking far away from each other, the older walking leisurely towards Grizz and Sam taking quick steps. His face was a cluster of emotions that Grizz was not sure he was able to read yet. He hoped to learn how soon, though. Sam stopped in front of Grizz and inquired, "Are you the one who is supposed to watch after me?" Grizz felt as though he had swallowed his tongue. The Prince's voice was deep and smooth but soft at the same time. He nodded back and cleared his throat. 

Grizz had been learning sign language in preparation for the Prince's coming. He saw him frequently signing with Princess Becca and he longed not only to be as close to the Prince as Becca was, but he also desired to make the Prince feel comfortable. He was coming to a place where only his cousins and Gordie knew how to communicate in sign language and since Grizz would be with him the most, he found it to be the right thing to do. He would wait, though. He needed to calm his hands from their shaking. "It's nice to meet you, I am Prince Sam which you already know, but," Sam's smile was radiant. His teeth were pearly white and his eyes glistened. Grizz knew he should respond to Sam's talking at some point. 

"I am Grizz and it is nice to meet you as well. If you could follow me, then I will show you where you will be staying," Grizz gestured towards the inside of the castle and walked behind Sam. The other members would handle Campbell, Grizz sure as hell didn't want to. Sam had been here many times so there was no need for a tour. The ivory pillars contrasted the portraits of the Pressman and Eliot family. Grizz was astonished at how the painter had managed to capture the blue in Sam's eyes. He didn't think it could be recreated when he had finally talked to him up close. 

He felt a tap at his arm. "I'm also offended that it's taking so long to get to my room. I mean, I know the castle is big, but so far back?" Sam looked baffled and Grizz began to understand why Becca was laughing so often. 

"Well, when the wedding takes place more people will come to stay here, so they thought you deserved some privacy," Grizz hoped that the answer was satisfactory, even if the question wasn't meant to be taking seriously. They had finally arrived and Sam looked around for a second. 

"Did you forget my luggage?" Grizz blanked out. His position as a knight had slowly moved into a personal servant for Sam, not that he minded it at all, but he had expected someone else to get it, as they did for other guests. 

"Oh, I am so sorry, Your Highness, I will get it right away," but before Grizz could make a move for the door, the Prince waved him off and sat on the bed. 

"It's honestly fine. We can just talk until someone comes." It was silent for a few moments. He had wanted to get to know Sam but he did not expect him to attempt to engage in conversations with him. 

"I tried to learn some sign language," Grizz blurted. He wanted to reach a hand up to his mouth but that would expose his embarrassment even further.

"Okay, you know I can lip read, right?" 

"Yes, but, I wanted to speak to you in your language. So, here goes." Grizz began to move his hands in a sequence that he memorized but when he looked back at the prince, Sam's eyebrows were furrowed. 

"What did I say?" Grizz gulped and fear that he hadn't accidentally insulted the Prince. 

"What were you trying to say? I couldn't understand a thing!" Sam giggled. 

"Well, I found this British Sign Language book in the library-" Sam cut him off. 

"American and British sign language are different. What did you say?" Sam didn't seem to look down on him for his mistake, but Grizz already felt like they had gotten off to a bad start. Sam was just smiling at him and Grizz's insides turned. He was hopeless and they had barely talked. 

"I was trying to say, 'It's nice to meet you,'" Grizz replied reluctantly. Sam nodded and patted the spot next to him. 

"Your Highness-"

"Sam, please." Sam signed when he spoke so Grizz thought he might be able to pick up a few words along the way and save himself from further embarrassment. 

'Sam, I think it is improper for me to sit on the bed with you, I'm sorry." Grizz fought the urge to lower his head since Sam was reading his lips. He wanted to sit next to him, to feel his thighs against his own and for them to share each other's warmth. 

"Well, there's nobody here to deem it improper, is there? I am going to teach you how to sign since you are so desperate to speak with me," Sam jested. While Sam said this in light fun, Grizz felt a tiny bit desperate. The boy who he had pined after for so long had finally given him attention, but Grizz suspected he was this playful with everyone and he admired the consistency. Unlike the Prince, Grizz had kept himself hidden from his friends and even Princess Allie, who considered him to be somewhat of an advisor. 

Grizz decided to sit down not only because he wasn't sure when they would be able to bond again, but also because he wanted to establish trust between himself and Sam. "Nice is like this," Sam's left hand was facing up and he slid his right palm, facing downward, across it.

"To meet is like," Sam balled his hands into fists with the pointer finger extended up, "this". Grizz copied him and watched as he pointed at Grizz. "That's you."

"That wasn't so bad," Grizz chuckled. 

"Yes, you're such a quick learner," Sam laughed right back. Grizz feared that he wouldn't be able to connect with the prince, that all his fantasies about this boy had been just that, but so far Sam seemed to be better than his imagination. He was extremely kind and lighthearted and Grizz hoped that he could grow closer to the Prince. 

"Well, what can I say? I'm just a natural."

"Queen Cassandra, King Gordie, Princess," Campbell greeted with a cheeky smile. He always seemed to be up to no good and he gave Grizz the creeps. The Pressman's and Sam sat around the round table and the Guard was flanked at each corner of the room. The ladies in waiting were also sat near their respective girl. 

"I was wondering if I could borrow your Guards. If I am staying here, I want to make sure that the people protecting me are stronger than me. If not, they are simply worthless and you need better men. I would like to test them today," Campbell smirked. His request seemed to come out of the left field and Grizz was praying that the Queen would disagree. 

"What brought this about?" The Queen continued to eat as she waited for a response. It seemed she didn't take Campbell seriously. 

"Well, the Bingham's are going to be coming here soon for the wedding, no? I would like to make sure that if anything were to happen, I would be safe." The reason seemed sound enough, but ultimately Cassandra had the final say. Grizz was unsure of when the wedding would be, but he knew that some of the arrangements were not finalized yet and that Prince Harry would be coming over for dinner soon. 

She scoffed, "fine, my men are strong and I'm sure they will be able to take you." Grizz was not excited by this prospect. While people did not agree with some of the Queen's policies they never acted out violently, at least not on castle grounds. Grizz remembers hearing some news about rallies, but the people have the right to speak so Cassandra and Gordie never intervened. Grizz, Jason, Luke, and Clark followed Campbell to the training grounds outdoors. The royals came along as well. The sun beamed into Grizz's eyes and the heat was nearly unbearable. He shifted on his feet as he waited for Campbell to instruct them.

Campbell pointed to Jason, "You seem to be ready." Jason did not. He looked petulant and sure, Grizz felt aggravated by Campbell's absurd request, however, he knew not to draw attention to himself. Jason dragged his feet through the gravel until he reached a fair distance from Campbell and he stood with his knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and his fist placed firmly in front of his face.

He swung towards him and Campbell dodged him, retaliating with two punched to the stomach and a push that left Jason panting on the ground. "Come on, I can't be that good," he chuckled. "Next opponent." The goal of the fight had never been clear. Jason could rise to his feet again, maybe Campbell just wanted to show off, maybe Campbell felt as though he should be a member of The Guard. It was something that Grizz would eventually figure out. He was sure of it. Clark stepped up, and Clark was broader than Campbell, so Grizz felt a little more confident. Jason didn't know what to expect, but as Campbell fought Clark, Grizz thought he could pick up on a few of his habits. 

Luke was the toughest component. Once Campbell got him to the floor, Luke reached for his legs and dragged him down with him, but they did not stop there. The Prince had decided to kick him in the stomach repeatedly. It was at this moment that Grizz became aware of the audience, Helena was gasping with her hands over her mouth and the Queen and King had their faces twisted in displeasure. Sam looked bored, but not like he didn't care, he looked like he was tired of his brother's antics. The other ladies were holding on to each other's hands. Allie made her way over to him and whispered, "You don't have to do this, you know? Getting yourself injured so my insufferable cousin can prove a point isn't required."

"He should be tired by now. I have stamina and I know what he could do. Maybe not entirely, but," he glanced over at the young princess. Her eyes seemed pleading. He felt like he was missing something. He didn't know Campbell outside of his occasional disgusting comments and he had no desire to. The Pressman's seemed to believe that he was somewhat of a monster, which he had picked up from eavesdropping on certain conversations, but he had not heard anything from Sam. 

"Alright. If you trust that you can handle this," she nodded. Her agreement despite its reluctance encouraged Grizz to walk towards Campbell once he was ready and administer the first blow. Campbell wasn't prepared as he doubled over and Grizz took the opportunity to hit him again. Unfortunately, Campbell grabbed his hand and dragged him unto the floor. Kick after kick in his stomach had Grizz curling into himself. He clenched his jaw and his face was screwed up. He wanted to withstand it, he couldn't let Cassandra appear as if she didn't know what she was doing, so he grabbed Campbell's legs and took him to the floor with him. 

The Prince chuckled, "Well if the kingdom ever needs protecting, I will have to be there for sure. This guard is the only one who could take me, and barely that." Campbell dusted off his attire and walked back into the castle. The group who was left outside just stood there in defeat with an undercurrent of fear. Sam came over to help Grizz off the floor and took him to his room. 

Grizz watched as Prince Sam fumbled around his room in search of a rag and a basin to put water in. "That was very foolish of you," Sam commented absent-mindedly. Grizz scoffed because it wasn't like he had a choice. He was fulfilling his duty, something Sam should be very familiar with. There was no point in responding, not yet anyway. The knight was boiling up inside. He thought he had a better chance. He knew that he wasn't well versed, but he could not avoid obtaining a bruised ego. 

Sam strolled over to Grizz on the bed and made a gesture for Grizz to take off his shirt. The nerves that would normally come along with such an action were gone in this moment. The Prince dipped the rag into the water, rung out the excess, and lightly pressed it to the bruises on Grizz's abdomen. He winced and closed in on himself. "Why'd you fight?" 

"Do you think I had a choice in the matter?" Grizz shuffled back to him realizing Sam was waiting to treat him again. "He was trying to make a statement and it was made. I didn't want it to be, though. I thought that--I felt like I had a chance against him." Sam then resumed his presses and nodded to himself.

He seemed hesitant when he spoke again, "Campbell's a monster. He's hurt many people, including me. Please, be careful when he's around. I still need someone to take care of me." Grizz laughed a little but that hurt, too. They chatted about the fight and Campbell's violent tendencies. Sam continued to make jokes even though he was discussing some serious subjects. 

"I am most lucky that he did not touch your face. That would have been a huge shame," Sam smiled. Grizz's heart fluttered.

"And why is that?"

Sam signed something to Grizz. "What did you say?"

"Learn more sign and you'll find out," he singsonged. 

Chapter Text

The Prince and Grizz continued to spend time together. In fact, to an outsider, their interactions might look excessive. Grizz learned more sign and he spent his time telling Sam about his favorite books and of his childhood. He was eager to share about his childhood, even though his parents had not been the most encouraging. He remembered he had wanted to be a teacher, but they saw it as a profession reserved for women and he went into knight training at a young age. Sam also shared his life, and he expressed that only in public he should be addressed formally. 

"I see you as a friend more than anything else," the prince smiled at him. If only he knew how much that meant to the knight. His heart swelled at his words and he nodded his agreement. His time had been filled with the prince so much that he had forgotten to spend time with Princess Allie. When he found he could, he knocked on her door. He knew she must need solace since her engagement party was soon approaching. She shouted out her consent of his entrance and he saw her. Her room was lavish, a bright blue color that didn't seem royal but fit Allie so well by bringing out her eyes. Her bed was humongous, as it took up a lot of space and had a canopy. Her eyes were rimmed with tears and her face was flushed. 

"He's a brute. Harry and my sister did not fight for ages when they were younger for no apparent reason." Her tone gave off the impression that she should have been grumbling, but her voice was crystal clear in its discontent and all. She wiped at tears that did not fall and took a deep sobering inhale. "Do you have any idea what it's like to have no choice? I feel like I'm going to suffocate and die." Grizz was all too familiar with the feeling. He remembered the first time he felt romantically about a boy. He was 13 and was attending his first ball as an apprentice. Grizz and Luke were pretty close at that point but he didn't know any other kids and he wasn't too interested at the time. He spent the majority of his time standing next to the older guards and when he could, he'd stuck his nose in a book. He glanced up occasionally when something was directed at him, but when he was about to look back at his enticing story, he saw a head full of red hair. His eyes were sterling blue and he was playing with some toy trucks. 

"Who's that?" He asked after tugging on the knight's hand. 

"Prince Sam of West Ham. He is to inherit the throne is both the Princesses die, although he does have a brother." Grizz was only fond of this knight. He was the only one who treated him as a human being rather than a bug to be squashed with the bottom of your shoe. He understood that he was enrolled very early into the program and he knew that his mom had said something about perverse leanings, but he wasn't sure what that meant. She had prayed over him every night when she assumed that he was asleep, but he was waiting for her to leave so he could read. 

"What's wrong with him?" The Knight looked down at him then. He smiled but it was more of a grimace. The expression did not reach his eyes. He was aware that the knight never wanted to deny him. The older man often provided him with snacks that his family didn't buy since they were "unhealthy". He made a pouting face, completely aware that he still had some baby fat so he could appeal to him as an adorable younger brother. 

"His brain... it isn't all there." The answer only left Grizz more puzzled. He decided that he must ask more questions if only to satiate his curiosity. After bombarding his mentor, he got a few answers, but not enough. The older brother had an illness that made him unfit to rule and that aroused fear in those around him. He also learned that Prince Sam was not in the best health either, but the guard didn't speak with as much disdain. When he had gone home that day, he wanted to talk to his mom about Sam, or anyone even. He decided he would bring it up with Luke the next day. As he made his way to talk to him, the boys were in a group chuckling about something. 

Grizz decided to listen in rather than comment on the matter. Most of the guys, besides Luke, were older. They were around 17 and 18. "I swear it, I swear it!" A knight that Grizz recognized and despised had said. He always made a point to pick on the novices, Jason and Clark in particular. They weren't the brightest, but they were kids and they were eager to learn. "I saw him walk out of a molly house! He looked absolutely disgusting!"

"Well he is, but the real question is what were you doing by one?" Another taunted. The boisterous laughter somehow got even louder. Grizz noticed that his favorite knight wasn't amused. Grizz didn't understand at all. The boys continued to make jokes about a baron. He decided to do what he did best: read.

Later on, he and the knight had gone out to the garden. They sat next to each other at a marble bench. The seat was cool, unlike the heat in the air, but all too similar to the way Grizz was feeling. Grizz had finally gained the courage to ask him, "What's a molly house?" After debating on whether to ask the question in the first place, he settled on whispering it. 

"Why do you want to know?" Grizz winced at that. It was the first bit of hostility he had gotten from him. The knight sighed, "Look, kid, those guys were speaking badly about something that could ruin someone's life. People get killed for that thing."

"What thing?" Grizz was intrigued and nervous to know. He considered himself pretty innocent and that wasn't common at his age. 

"Males being intrigued  by males." His tone was devastating. Grizz felt as though his breath had been stolen. His hands clammed up as his heart raced. He would get killed for finding Prince Sam beautiful? The knight shifted so his face was hidden. "It isn't true, though. It isn't bad to love someone, even when they are the same sex as you," the knight's words were muffled into his palms. Grizz didn't want to suspect, only at this point, it was difficult not to.

"When did you know?" At that, the knight chuckled. He scrubbed at his eyes and inhaled with a power Grizz thought had to hurt his lungs. Grizz's mom had known before Grizz had even thought about another human being and he didn't understand how. Was there a mark that people like him had? Were there behaviors that set him apart from other kids? He should ask the knight. 

"I didn't even think about it until I had met Charles. He's fighting now. He is, was, he is a star," he gulped and smiled bitterly to himself. "I don't even know if he's alive right now. I don't know if I'll ever see him again." Grizz had never asked for the name of his beloved knight. He realized he didn't know him too well and had never tried to even though he should've. 

"When did you meet?" For the rest of the evening, Grizz asked more questions about Chance's love life. He hasn't seen Chance in awhile. He last saw him when Charles had come home, injured and behaving erratically. Chance was constantly frightened that he was losing the love of his life, so he moved them to a secluded area and by that time, Grizz had been assigned to a kingdom and unable to communicate with him. 

"You are not the only one who doesn't get a choice in this kingdom. Will, he gets taunted by others because of his skin. Surely, you've heard the names others call him. Of course, you didn't know that you would have been a princess, but you knew that it was a possibility to get married off," he snapped. It wasn't what she needed, but of all the impossible situations, she was coming out with a bit of fortune on her side. In the end, he would be the one to die for his country if a war was started, Will would be beheaded for even touching Princess Allie, and he had seen her conversate with Harry. It was true that he wasn't the best person, but Allie knew she wouldn't be harmed.

"I, too, will eventually have to marry someone I don't love. I am nowhere near ecstatic about that day, but I am willing to give my life for this kingdom, and you should be too. Your sister wouldn't put you in a position to be harmed, she loves you more than anything else in the world. You need to start acknowledging that," Grizz let out a sigh of resignation. He had probably hurt her feelings with his first statement. In the end, this wasn't his job. He is meant to take care of the Prince and he basically left him unattended to support a grown woman. 

"I am not trying to diminish anyone else's struggles. I just, I think we all deserve happiness and I wish we were in a place where that was possible."

The weddings in West Ham had followed a tradition for many years. The first night was the bachelor party where the men would pick out princesses and harass them. Sometimes prostitutes would be picked up and the fiancee would just have to wait, (fruitlessly), for them to be faithful.  The festivities brought commoners and royals alike. A boy that had been training to be a knight, Greg Dewey, was there as well. Grizz wasn't entirely sure what he had decided to do with his life, but he definitely didn't expect to see him. Kelly was being dragged unto Prince Harry's lap. She looked frightened and Grizz hadn't known anybody who had fought back against the royals and she seemed to be the first. She pounded on his chest and he let her go. 

"She's not worth it anyway," Dewey sneered. Kelly kept walking but she had heard his words based on her facial expression. If a royal chooses you during The Bachelor party, you aren't meant to resist. Grizz imagines that if he was allowed to be picked out by Sam, he would be willing. He stood close to Sam, but he was attempting to mind his own business. He was deep in conversation with Princess Becca, so he felt as though he wasn't necessary. "She's an ugly hag," Dewey spat. 

"The nerve of her to reject you," another man spat. Harry whipped around from his slouching on a throne chair that paled in comparison to Queen Cassandra's and his back was stock straight. At that point, Grizz was unsure of what happened. No one spoke anymore. Harry swiveled back around and continued to slouch, tilted his cup full of wine and sighed. Grizz changed what he was looking at, deciding he was bored with this part of the festivities. His eyes landing on Princess Elle, the ice queen according to the ladies-in-waiting and the commoners. Her arm was being gripped by Prince Campbell. The detest for his character continued to grow. Grizz left without a moment's hesitation, deciding that the Prince would be safe under the eyes of so many. 

"I am going to have to ask you to remove your hands from her," he stated quite calmly once he arrived. Campbell just smirked and shook his head. He didn't release his hold. 

"Aren't you the guard in charge of my brother? It must be a pain to watch him. My parents wanted me to take care of him, but," he sighed. Campbell must've taken Grizz for an idiot. 

"Anyway, it's the tradition to pick," he waved her arm around, "and I chose her. Now, if you'll excuse me-"

"Princess, do you want to go with him?" Grizz was aware of the stakes here. A prince against a guard when nobody was in immediate danger would probably result in a loss of his job, an exile from the kingdom but not the country, or death at the hands of the vile Prince Campbell. Sam had told him tales of his behavior when they were young, of how is the number one bully in life was Campbell. He distinctly remembers when Sam told him about his face being shoved into the mud over and over with no way of shouting for help without suffocating. His blood boils and he hopes, he prays that she will allow him to escort her away. She shakes her head no and Campbell doesn't release his grip. 

"I said no, now get off," she near snarls. Her voice was calm enough to not raise the suspicion of others, but the three of them could feel how tense the situation was. He nodded and left. Grizz knew it wouldn't be the last of him although he wasn't sure how Campbell would make his reappearance. He seemed to like an audience and he also seemed to favor privacy. Grizz made sure to check in with Elle, making sure she wasn't bruised and that she had someone to stay with, she ended up hanging around Helena and Kelly. He returned to his original spot and wished for the night to be over. Around 2 in the morning, the festivities on night one ended. Grizz had to drag a drunk and sleepy Sam to bed. He kept mumbling and laughing to himself about something, but Grizz wasn't paying too close attention. It wasn't until they arrived in Sam's bedroom that Grizz picked up on what he was saying. 

"You should sleep here," he nodded to himself, "you should sleep with me." Grizz's breath hitched. Sam slumped down on the bed, still fully dressed. He tried, a weak attempt Grizz might add, to get his clothes off. He unbuttoned his maroon top and unbuckled his pants without ever taking off his shoes. 

"Here, lemme help," Grizz stuttered and scrambled to his knees. The position making him fantasize about things he wished to do when Sam was sober. And if feelings were requited, of course. In all honesty, he couldn't imagine Sam wanting him. Not even because of his status, that was only a minor factor. He never thought too much of himself. Sure, he was smart and had been told by many people that he was fairly attractive, and yet no one had ever said anything about his personality. A good friend wasn't necessarily the perfect partner. His unlaced Sam's shoes and pulled his pants down for him. He felt like a servant more than a guard but Sam wasn't to be with anyone else on staff. Luke was merely for defending. 

"You're beautiful." The words made Grizz stumbled in his actions but he picked it back up. Sam just chuckled and rubbed at his eyes. "Grizz, I'm so tired. I want to sleep forever," he mumbled. His arms were stretched towards the sky as he yawned. In response, Grizz pushed him to lay down and Sam smiled mischievously. He was so overwhelmed at the sight of him, his shirt a rumpled half unbuttoned mess. His chest was slightly exposed, free of hair, and if Grizz stared, like really stared, he would be able to see Sam's bulge. The sight makes his stomach tighten and heat rush to his groin. 

"You can sleep, nobody is stopping you," Grizz responded and looked away. If he looked at him long enough, he felt as though he wouldn't be able to stand it. He feared his feelings for Sam would grow too big and swallow him whole. He feared that words would spill out of his mouth without him noticing and he would be sentenced to death. 

"I won't sleep if you're not beside me." The conviction is his voice almost made Grizz's knees give out. He wasn't too far from the bed, but he stood at a distance where he was able to see all of the Prince, and the Prince was able to see all of him. 

His resolve was waning. This was the second time a request for Grizz to lay with him happened. How long could he even resist? "You must've heard the rumors about me," the tone of his voice was still playful but when Grizz glanced back he was more closed in on himself than before. "I won't do anything, but I'm not that drunk, Grizz." His hands seemed to have a mind of their own as they went to unlace his shoes. Sam kept talking. 

"I know we don't know each other too well, but you're enthralling." Compliments poured out of his mouth and at this point, Grizz didn't care if he was just trying to seduce him, consider him thoroughly seduced. His shirt was pulled over his head and he couldn't help the insecurities that flooded in. He attempted to hide by wrapping his arms around his body. "Please, if you are uncomfortable, tell me." Grizz didn't say anything for a moment, thinking over the consequences. The worst that could happen is a reassignment because he refused to believe that Sam would be cruel enough to spin a tale that would get him exiled. 

"Put your hair up." He took the hair tie that was around his wrist and proceed to put the top half of his hair into a bun. His hair had grown rapidly, almost to his shoulders now. He sort of got a rush from being ordered around. He hadn't thought about it before, his sexual fantasies were limited to simply making out with Sam and having his hands all over him. Once he put his hands back to his side, he received more orders. 

"Come lay down." Grizz moved at an awkwardly slow pace, tentative to continue. What was he doing? Was this real life? He put his hands on the bed to steady himself and lied facing the prince. They stared into each other's eyes as they fell asleep, hyperaware of the delicate situation they were in. He looked into the bluest eyes and glanced at the plush lips, he then looked to his lush hair. Sam's eyes began to fall. Breaths slowed down and became heavier as darkness overtook Grizz's sight. 

Once he rose, he startled at his placement. Normally, he slept in a room nearby, but judging by the body next to him and the decor, this was not his room. He remembered last night vividly, the memories burned at the forefront of his mind. He couldn't stand another minute here. He basically just risked his life. Imagine if someone had walked in, or if someone had overheard their conversation. He got up and went to find his pants. The bed grumbled and creaked. Shit. He jumped into his pants and zipped them up, turning around to look for his shirt. 

"Were you just planning of leaving, then? Not even leaving behind a note," Sam grinned. He wasn't sure if the jokes were partially serious. Obviously, nothing staining had happened. For all they know, they could've passed out next to each other out of exhaustion. It was a long night, and today would be also. He wasn't looking forward to fugitive. The bachelorette party was also focused on the men. The prince would share a custom or past time of his kingdom with the princess. 

'I can't stay in your room forever. People are expected me to be outside your door, not inside." He pulled his shirt over his head then. Sam's hand was resting where his body was a few moments ago, the other hand was signing "okay."

As he made his way for the door, Sam's voice called out, "Grizz." He turned then and gulped. What could the prince want to say now? Hadn't he already done enough? The truth was Grizz didn't feel like last night was enough. He was itching to run his hands all over his body, to press his lips down his spine, to feel and hear Sam moan under him, above him, and he had a slight craving to be ordered around again. 

"Can you come back tonight?" For the first time since Grizz had met him, Sam seemed hesitant. He suddenly felt terrible about his futile attempt to leave. Sam hadn't done anything except compliment him lavishly. He wasn't sure what the purpose of laying with him was; if it was due to feelings or perhaps the idea of a wedding brought about the idea that due to his attractions, he would be lonely. Grizz understood that, but he didn't want to be a placeholder. Someone would have to come along and marry Sam eventually.

"I will be with you no matter what." It wasn't the answer Sam wanted, nor was it something to fear. In fact, a bit of hope surged through him and he nodded in anticipation. 

The night of the bachelorette party was somehow even louder than the night before, unbearably so. Grizz watched as Sam, again, spent time with Becca. He understood that she was one of the few fluent in sign and big crowds weren't Sam's things. He was a bit of a loner, Grizz remembers. Sam had told him that he liked to spend time by himself or with a small number of friends around. He was also honored to be considered one of the friends Sam wanted around. Campbell was near to Harry, whispering something that was most likely conniving. Then, Harry clapped, gaining the attention of everyone. The majority of the crowd had turned to look at him, but some had continued their conversations. "It is time to play fugitive. Get into teams: royals are on the horses and commonfolk are running." Harry reached out for Allie once he walked off of his area. She reluctantly took his hand in hers and walked with him. 

"Be careful out there! We wouldn't want someone getting trampled," Campbell added. Grizz felt a shiver go through his body. He tried to shake it off by joining the crowd, but there was no comfort since he would be in a cart with Campbell. Grizz would also have to be with Sam, but before he could make his way to join the group, a hand yanked him away. 

"Oh!" He gasped. Sam smiled wickedly and Grizz waiting for him to say something. Nothing happened. The rustling of people's fabrics and the squeaks and slides of people's shoes across the glass floor filled his ears. He continued to wait, hoping that his next words would seize the uncontrollable pace that his heart had. How many times had they stared at each other? Grizz almost had Sam memorized. He imagined that if he was an artist, he would fill sketchbooks with the plans of his face, those kind eyes, and his slim body. 

"Will you come back with me to my room? If not now, then tonight?" Sam clearly hadn't been satisfied with his earlier answer and while Grizz ached to be near him, he was kind of exciting for this game, as well. 

"Tonight," he paused, "I swear." He walked away then, joining the crowd. It was stupid to "escape" since they would be in the same cart. Sam pointed that fact out to him once they were sat next to each other. He thought it dangerous to be this close in public, but most of the people seemed too drunk to notice or care. They were so caught up in the game and he couldn't blame them. He was having fun reaching out of the barrel to grab or tap people. He was pretty good at this game, but facing Harry and Allie made his competition very stiff. He got very tired after a while and decided to enjoy his company. 

"Have you played before?" he tried awkwardly to start a conversation with Sam. He noticed that he always let Sam talk. He couldn't understand how he was still nervous. Who was he kidding, he knew why. 

"I can't really read your lips well in this light. We'll have to talk later," Sam explained. Grizz nodded to himself, letting paranoia take him over and for a second believe that Sam was lying to ensure that he would be coming to his room. The thought was fleeting and quite ridiculous, considering how dark it was out. Their thighs rubbed against one another as the horses galloping jostled them. Sam's hand snuck closer to Grizz's. Their pinkies were overlapping each other. Grizz kept having to take deep breaths. He didn't know what the hell this was, or how the Prince could even tell he was interested. Grizz hadn't opposed to it, so that was probably a strong indicator. 

He decided to focus back on the game, the boisterous yelling, and the sounds of the horses' hooves. He hadn't played this game since he was a young knight in training. It was more intense as more people got caught. This cart couldn't hold as many as the rest of the guard had hope. Jason was driving quite recklessly and wasn't entirely looking where he was going. This resulted in a crash and an evacuation of the cart. Grizz supposed that it was fun while it lasted, he wasn't as involved as he would've liked to have been. His focus had shifted. 

Once he retired to Sam's chambers, he felt as though he couldn't breathe again. Sam tossed his head back and sighed. "Can we just talk for a little? I think you know a lot about me, but not the other way around," he said once his head lolled forward. Grizz nodded and sat on a chair that was close enough to the bed, close as in their feet could now touch.

"What do you want to know?" 

"As much as you want to tell me," he watched at him with a soft gaze. 

"Well, my name is Gareth, but I adopted the nickname from a journey in the wilderness. I like," he paused for a moment to reflect on his interests, "literature and gardening. I am interested in philosophies and allowing my world view to be expanded on. Some people get anxious when they are proven wrong, but I want to better myself, so call me out if I am incorrect," he blew out a breath. Sam still stared so he figured he must continue. 

"I like peanut butter sandwiches, no jelly for me. I'm an only child, but everyone acts like I'm their big brother."

"That must be tiresome," Sam inquired. 

Grizz shrugged and nodded slightly, suddenly aware of how annoyed he was by being the person everyone looked to. "I wouldn't consider myself a leader-"

"Is that why you were so fascinated by me ordering you around?" The comment was unexpected and prompted Grizz to blush. 

"I didn't know about that until last night, but Luke is meant to be the leader." He wasn't sure when he got so comfortable with Sam, but there was something about him that allowed him to just spill out thoughts that he wasn't sure he had fully formed. "And Jason and Clark still look to me. I don't even have the same status as they do. I mean, I don't mind advising Allie, but I'm holding a lot of secrets and responsibility that I hadn't expected to come with the job."

"What did you think it would be?"

"The kingdom gets attacked, I hope that I help to save it. Eventually, I would die on the battlefield or by a sneak attack. Ugh, this sounds like a fantasy novel."

"No, keep going! I am entertained," Sam chuckled. 

"I guess I didn't expect to be so well-liked. I knew overhearing would be a part of the job, but being aware of everyone's burdens somehow makes me feel like I'm failing," Grizz released a breath that he wasn't aware he was holding. Before he could wait for Sam to ask him more, he got up and plopped himself on the bed next to Sam. They both faced towards the ceiling before Sam nudged at him and they shifted so that their bodies were facing each other. 

"I'm sorry," Sam said after a few moments of deep breaths. 

"For what?' Grizz had yet to be bothered by Sam, and he wasn't even sure if that was possible. Sam was too kind and lighthearted to genuinely bother Grizz. 

"Making you keep my secret, too." Sam looked down, then. Grizz clasped his thumb and his pointer finger around Sam's chin. He allowed it to happen. The knight wasn't sure where the lines had blurred. The silk sheet felt all too familiar to him despite only sleeping here once, the fluffy pillow that made his head sink in so much that he almost couldn't see Sam's face felt like a godsend, ready to put him to sleep. 

Shaking his head he stated firmly, "you aren't the one hurting me." Grizz paused for a second, wondering if any more truths should be spilled, if not only to comfort Sam and show him that he was open to whatever this was going to be. "You might be the only one who could do real damage. I've told you more about myself than I have with my best friend. And besides, you know my secret as well." Sam's mouth opened a little bit and in a split decision, Grizz's thumb traced his bottom lip. He pressed a little and was satisfied to hear a hitch of breath. 

"I need to take a bath," Sam said abruptly and walked away. Grizz blew out an audible breath, breathing in breathlessly. Sam was overwhelming and not only because this was the first boy he had ever been close to, physically and conversationally. Sam was the sun, his pull compelled Grizz to orbit around him. Again, he was still unsure why Sam was interested in him, he would be sure to ask. He seemed to be an open book. In a weird way, he was reminded of Allie and Will. They must've had secret or longing glances and subtle touches. His and Sam's thing was new, barely even a tangible thing. He knew that Will and Allie had had something since they were teens, similarily to Helena and Luke.

He envied them. They were open in their affection for each other, even more than the king and queen. What was he thinking? They deserved it. They loved each other wholeheartedly and he wasn't even sure if Sam wanted to be a thing. What if he didn't? Princes have affairs all the time. Would he be willing to a just a chapter, or merely a page in the prince's life? Before he could even process what he would answer to that would be, Sam had come back out from his bathroom, with a towel wrapped around his waist. 

Chapter Text

Grizz stood by the doors of the dining hall and begged his body to make sure that his eyes would just stare straight. He could feel Sam's eyes on him. Sam had a spoon in his mouth, he noticed once he allowed himself to glance. Sam had his arms crossed as he dipped his spoon, swirling it in the whipped cream that was meant to go on top of his pancakes. He put the spoon back up to his mouth, finally taking his eyes away from the vat to stare directly back into Grizz's eyes. He sucked at the tip of the spoon and licked his lips although no whipped cream had gotten anywhere else on his face. He wouldn't look away.

Sam padded over to the bed where Grizz sat. He stood directly in front of Grizz. A thrum of arousal shot to his groin. "What are you doing?" His fingers played with the edge of the towel, threatening to let go, and oh how Grizz wanted him to let go. He gulped, a desperate attempt to get air that he knew was futile. 

"I want to try something. Let me know if you aren't okay with it."

He couldn't hold his gaze anymore. He was meant to be working. Sam clearly hadn't thought this through and neither had he. What if they got caught. The rules can't be bent, not even for family. He ended up right back where he started, gazing into Sam's eyes. 

"Can I touch myself while you watch?" Sam's request was said quickly. Grizz's breath hitched. He nodded quickly before his nerves took over. He wasn't sure how this was supposed to go and he wondered if Sam had ever done something like this. 

"Get undressed." The order made Grizz undo his button frantically. "Slowly, please." Sam sat on the bed and Grizz thought that he should move to the foot of the bed so that he could see better. He pulled off his shirt and went for his pants, watching as Sam put his hand in his pants. The brunette took a sharp breath and unbuttoned his pants. He stepped out of them and waited before tucking his thumbs in the waistband of his boxers. Sam's hand was moving at a steady pace and Grizz silently begged for him to pull back his boxers as well. He wanted to see, he wanted to touch, he wanted to taste. He wanted so much, too much. 

Grizz flexed his muscles for a moment, then relaxed. He wasn't used to being naked. He had only had sex, never like this, but with girls when he was out of his mind on wine and bourbon. He never was too interested in those past interactions, but if Sam wanted him to stay like this the whole time, he found himself not minded. 

"The wedding is in a few days and I just can't wait to see your dress," Becca exclaimed. She sat quite close to Sam, Grizz could see their thighs rubbed together under the table. 

Grizz wasn't fully hard, not yet. The ogling could only go so far. Sam seems to be immersed in him, stroking faster and now letting out barely audible moans. He decided to move onto the bed. He was aware of how little control he had, over his actions, over his feelings for Sam or even about this one interaction. He stopped once his thigh was pressed against Sam's knee. Sam reached out and made his way down his chest, squeezing at his pecs for a moment before scraping his nails down his abdomen. He wrapped his hand around Grizz's cock and rubbed along the vein. He jerked forward at the movement. He closed his eyes, wanting to focus only on the pleasure Sam's hand brought. He didn't think about touching him back, not entirely sure if that was what Sam wanted. The original gesture was accompanied by a twist and a pull. Grizz reached down to grasp at the sheets. His breathing was staggered now, Sam's hand moving at a steady pace. Sam removed his hand to spit in it, and Grizz realized that he probably wouldn't have minded the pain. What was he even thinking? Sam touched him again at a quicker pace. "Fuck," he whispered, "f-Fuck."

"It's really nice, I think," Allie's voice wasn't as loud as it normally was which was probably due to the fact that Will had come in to serve Becca seconds. Grizz had seen the dress and Allie looked radiant in it. Allie's back was toward Grizz and was hunched over. He needed to check in with her again. Surely, she didn't bother her sister with her worries. Grizz looked at the dining table, it had been integrated with Prince Harry's company. Dewey sat in between Campbell and the other prince. Harry was next to Allie and leaned to whisper something to her that resulted in a smile. 

Sam swiped his finger over the head of his cock and when he pulled back a string of cum followed. "Fuck, you're so hot," he smiled. Grizz hadn't kissed a boy yet, he hadn't even kissed Sam and here he was, near the brink of cumming at Sam's touch. Their kiss should be saved for another moment, he decided.

Sam put his finger to his lips. "Don't do that," Grizz bashfully said. He squirmed under Sam's sight as the Prince shrugged and moved back to touching himself, which Sam hadn't even realized he had ceased in doing. It must've been hard to multitask, so Grizz moved his hand rapidly over the tip of his dick. As he got closer from the sight of Sam's flushed cheeks and him biting his lip, his legs trembled. He moaned as cum began to spurt out and his hand slowed. He had come over his stomach and some had landed on Sam's pants. He hadn't even undressed. 

"Fuck," Grizz chuckled and ran his clean hand through his hair. Sam still needed help, so with his consent, he pushed the trousers and boxers and leaned his head towards Sam's dick. He batted the prince's hand off of himself and put his own around him. Grizz decided without another thought to place Sam's cock on the edge of his mouth. Sam's hip stuttered towards the knight almost pushing into his mouth. Sam's hands were tightening and releasing and Grizz's hand copied him. Sam came on his tongue and his lips. Some of it was even on his hands. He left to clean up and when he returned, Sam was slumped against the pillow. 

The queen had been preparing to drink some water from a cup when Campbell flicked it out of her hand. "It's poisoned!" He exclaimed. A flurry of questions came to Grizz's mind. "I saw the cook put poison into the cup." How would he even know what poison looked like? 

"I would never, Queen! In all my years of service, have I not been loyal to the crown?" Will shouted back with a growl in his voice. Will was preparing the drinks for the rest of the group when Campbell's dishonest words startled and rightfully angered him. Grizz and everyone from the kingdom could attest to Will's statement. 

"Okay then. Guards, search his kitchen and the table he was serving the drinks at!" The Prince had ordered. Of course, nobody had moved. 

"We don't take orders from anyone but the Queen and King," Jason adamantly stated. 

"I am a Prince and you will listen to my orders!" Campbell's hand smacked against the dining table causing some plates and silverware to jolt. The Queen and King were still shaken by Campbell's first action, but the Guard still looked to her before following Campbell's instructions. Once she nodded, they were off. Grizz could hear Will scream that they weren't going to find anything. Other knights restrained him. He looked around the table he had poured the drinks on, finding a bag of powder and surge of guilt at being the one to do this. 

"I found something." The dining room stilled at his words. He took steps towards the Queen, ready to present possible incriminating evidence before Campbell snatched it out of his hand. Grizz held his breath and shut his eyes, not ready to hear what was to be said. 

"It's poison." The other guards came back from the kitchen with a similar bag of powder. It was pink and looked like sand. 

"It's food coloring!" Will insisted. Food coloring didn't have a smell to it, and one of the bags had. Grizz wasn't aware that their kingdom even had poison. Not many of the people who lived here were into witchcraft. The poison could easily be mistaken for food coloring, so who could have brought in the poison? Grizz decided to speak up. 

"It would make no sense for the cook," he gulped at the informality, "to try and kill the Queen. What would he gain? And the fact that this incident happens when a new kingdom comes in?"

"Are you insinuating that I had something to do with it, knight?" Harry snarled. Grizz didn't mind the reminder that was meant to be an insult. He was doing his job, after all, protecting his kingdom and the people in it. 

"Maybe not you, but someone associated with you. It's no secret that you aren't the biggest fan of my Queen and someone just as loyal as Will is to the crown could've tried to do this to satisfy you, Prince," Grizz responded. He wasn't afraid of him at all. His status was something given to him, not earned. He probably didn't have to fight for anything in his life like Will did. Like Will was clearly still doing. 

"Let's just break. We will look further into this later, but for now, I am returning to my room."

"But, Cass-"

"Allie, I just need some rest."

The investigation kept going much to Prince Harry's disappointment. All of it just made Grizz suspicious. He wanted to go to Allie since Will was no longer allowed full mobility around the castle, but Sam must've been rattled as well. His brother was a terror, one Grizz couldn't wait to get rid of. Grizz pushed in the door to Sam's room and sighed before he realized that Becca was still here and was signing with Sam. His knowledge of the language was still underdeveloped. "Oh-" 

"Hello, how are you?" Princess Becca smiled. She was radiant as well. Her brown hair and round face shone as her feet dangled from not being able to reach the floor. Sure, she was short, but the bed was tall. 

"I am fine," he said curtly. It was not intentional, but he wasn't used to visitors. He wondered if she knew. It wasn't his place to figure out, not now anyway. "I can wait outside," Grizz reached for the door before Sam waved him off. 

Becca pushed her lips out before continuing, "back to the topic at hand. How did your brother know about the poison?" 

"He always was dabbling in things like that. He killed a few things with the things he learned, but he wouldn't have been able to tell without knowing beforehand," Sam said. 

"Well, he could have seen Will put it in. I think that's what happened," she nodded mainly to herself. 

"Campbell isn't the noble type. He loves chaos and praise. He would want to be the savior and to have control of the situation. I'm not convinced he didn't do it himself," Sam countered. 

"And if he did?"

Grizz still looked at them even though it wasn't his conservation to gauge how Sam really felt. He became easier to read after spending all that time together, time that he wished they were having right now. He understood he couldn't be the only one Sam talked to, and only so many people knew ASL here. It's always great to have a friend to confide in. 

"Then I won't have to look over my shoulder anymore." 



Chapter Text

Grizz knew that it was a mistake to fall for Sam (as if he could've prevented it). They still hadn't kissed yet, but Princess Becca had finally stopped sleeping Sam's room. Their friendship was admirable. Only sometimes he thought that she was very harsh with him. Sam was staring at him now in bed. Grizz and Sam laid facing each other as Sam spoke, "I think Campbell did it." Sam looked down and picked at the bed's threading, signaling that he didn't want a response, at least not yet. "I mean, he knows the most about poison, and he's really power-hungry." Grizz rubbed his hand up and down Sam's thigh that had somehow made its way on top of Grizz's leg. He loved that they did this. Being able to confide in someone without it being received as a joke. 

"This might be sensitive, but do you actually care for him because he's a lunatic! I mean, especially if he made a plan that could've killed his cousin," Grizz was at his wit's end with this man. He was constantly battling for attention. He seemed to be the main antagonist of the building as well. Princess Elle, the battle, and now maybe this. It felt like a lot for one man, but Campbell seemed to thrive in chaos. Sam sighed and nodded his head, a little teary-eyed. Grizz should've kept his mouth shut. 

"I'm so sorry, I just- he hurt you a lot and I don't ever want to see you in pain," he babbled. 

"It's not that. He was always like this, but sometimes I thought that he was good. He would make breakfast with me and my mom, he just- he played along for so long. He stopped caring when we started out studies, I guess he realized that others were harsh and normal and they could get away with it, except he had an excuse. He's not normal and no one holds him accountable because they're scared and I'm scared," he signed frantically. Grizz had been able to pick up a lot. Sam had really helped him, but he still missed some things sometimes. 

"Just breathe," Grizz signed back. Sam synced his breaths up as Grizz pushed down on his chest and placed Sam's hand on his. "You're okay. It's okay if you're scared. I am, too. Your cousin is strong, though, and Bean and the King are so smart, they'll figure out what happened. Just breathe." Sam and Grizz laid in silence for the next few moments, before Sam's eyes began to shut. 

In the morning, everyone was called to the main hall. The Queen and King's hand were laced, showing their constant solidarity and support. "We have concluded that Greg Dewey had planted the poison," the Queen announced. Grizz admired her strength, something that he didn't have exactly. He wasn't confident enough in himself, yet. He wished to be. The murmurs and glares broke out amongst the crowd. "The punishment is death." They got up and began to walk away.

"Hold on, you can't just kill one of my men!" Prince Harry erupted, "The union has not been made yet, and I will stop it right now if you don't come back here!" One of the perks of serving the Queen and King was that they never were involved in conflicts. Grizz never had to kill anyone or fight any major threats. That would change. He suddenly was ready to gain the strength, for king and country. 

"If someone in my court tried to murder you, what do you suppose the punishment should be?" Gordie spat out. At all of this, Dewey was silent. He seemed to be like a kettle, boiling over until he wouldn't be able to handle it. Grizz thought about what the punishment could be besides murder, to be put in prison for life left the opportunity for him to try to and escape and attempt it again. Luke and the rest of the Guard looked at each other, aware that they would be the ones to carry the burden. Shoe was the newest recruit, and he happened to work closely with Campbell. Grizz wondered if he was interviewed. 

"I-" Harry paused with his hands on his hips, "fine, take him away." His hand was rubbed over his face and he mumbled a few curse words. The others watched as Luke and Jason grabbed Dewey. He looked pale now whereas Will, the previously accused seemed relieved and stunned. 

"FUCK THE CROWN!" Dewey roared. "THE QUEEN DESERVES DEATH!" He spat before Clark reached and covered his mouth. Grizz followed along with Shoe, preparing himself to ask questions. He didn't know if he had the authority, even though he was the second in rank of the knights and Shoe was still in training. Dewey continued to kick as the Guard strolled and dragged him along the castle. Once they reached the outside of the building, Jason reached for his knife. 

"Anyone want to do it?" Grizz couldn't stomach it, Luke seemed reluctant, but his status would most likely get him elected. When nobody responded, Jason plunged the knife through Dewey's body, as if the Guard had taken hours to respond rather than seconds. They stood stunned. Grizz looked away from the body, fighting the urge to throw up. It was vile. He never wanted to see a dead body again. His aversion to corpses was newly discovered. His mom was wrong to push him into this and it was entirely too late to get out of it. 

Greg Dewey. What would possess him to make such a bold move? The Queen didn't even ask. Maybe they did in private and they didn't want to alarm the guard as well. The Prince could have encouraged him, sure, but for no reward? Well, praise from a royal might've been enough for him. Grizz never heard anything about this man. A small, scrawny redhead with a lanky body and a quiet demeanor. And Harry's defense of him. In all his years of far away interactions with the Prince, he only made stances to oppose the Queen out of hatred, never out of care. Could the Prince hold love for similar to the one that Grizz held for Sam, or was it more of the relationship Allie and Grizz had? 

Once the Guard walked back inside, all the members of the Royal Court or those that served watched them. He wished he could slip away from prying eyes because he knew the questions they wanted to ask. The court would not feast, for fear of poison. He supposed everyone would return to their rooms like the Queen and King must have. First, the knight watched Harry as Allie comforted him. She had her hand wrapped around his arm, and it seemed as though she no longer held him to his bad reputation. Will was not being comforted by anyone. Previously accused of murder, and he appeared to be forgotten. No apology was issued either. Grizz's attention switched as he watched Campbell's face. Nothing seemed to have changed with him. He was standing in the back, watching others whisper to themselves. Campbell stared back, his gaze sharp. Grizz thought back to his early thoughts, Sam loved chaos. And this was only the beginning. 

Chapter Text

Grizz laid on Sam's chest as Sam stroked his fingers through his hair. He slumped and relaxed, no longer thinking about dead bodies or vengeful siblings. The covers blocked the cold from seeping in, and Sam's legs were entangled in his. Sam could consume him whole and he wouldn't mind. "Did you ever want to get married?" Sam inquired, "I mean before you knew that you liked-" Grizz shifted back a little, in anxiousness. He was sure that Sam was bringing this up because his cousin was going to be married tomorrow, but it felt like something else. This affair hadn't been going on long enough to constitute permanence, only 2 months had passed. And yet, Princess Allie was getting married after a week of "getting acquainted" with Prince Harry. 

"I mean, I wouldn't have had too many options," Grizz answered, treading carefully. 

"If you had an option, and if we could marry whoever we could. If I wasn't a prince and you weren't a knight. What would you do?" Sam seemed to really have thought about this, while Grizz never imagined life outside the castle, so he told him just that and turned the question back on him.

"I would probably do something like painting, I really like to look at life. People and the planes of their face. How their faces contort when they feel," he rambled. It felt like everyday Grizz learned something new about Sam. Of course, there was so much to learn. They had spent 18 years of their life apart.

"Surely, you've taken a few classes?" If Sam didn't at least get that then maybe the royal life wasn't so great. 

"More than a few, a thousand at least. I just mean I have to take care of my family's estate. It's smaller than this castle, but it's still my land," Sam sighed. The owning of land gave you some liberties but clearly took away many Sam wished to have. He suspected Campbell felt jealousy towards the fact that Sam's parents deemed him unfit to rule. Grizz imagined Sam in a house with a garden, and stairs that led up to the main door. It would be surrounded by farmland rather than other houses. 

"You could paint, still and even sell it. I would buy it, with the little money I have," Grizz chuckled. Sam smiled back and put his palm on the side of his face,  his thumb caressing Grizz's cheek. Thank you, he signed. 

"I would paint you in a moment like this, so I could keep it forever, and if I got old and lost my mind, I could just look at that painting and remember every wonderful moment with you." Sam's words would be burned into his skull just like his gaze did. Grizz glanced at those red lips that he had yearned to kiss for so long. Suddenly, they were getting closer until there was no space between them. The soft press warmed Grizz's insides and he backed up to smile. Sam just pulled him back for another kiss. This time he sucked on his bottom lip and put his other hand up to cradle his face. Grizz opened his mouth, allowing Sam's tongue to touch his, and he moaned. Sam moved away to straddle his thighs and their kisses resumed. Nibbles and gasps along with the shuffling of sheets began common as Sam's hips moved forward. Grizz had been in this position before with some girls when he was drunk out of his mind and attempting to fit in. He didn't desire to fit in, He wouldn't care about anything anymore, like if someone were to walk in or if he and Sam held hands in front of everyone if their actions didn't have dire consequences. 

Everyone who needed to be there gathered around for the wedding of Prince Harry and Princess Allie. They waited in the hall that had been decorated with white flowers and lilac drapes. The heads of many covered in colorful hats and scarves. Some women were fanning themselves due to the body heat the big group brought. Grizz was back on his original duty: watching over Allie. He dressed in full armor for once, since no one felt entirely safe here anymore and there were so many people congregated, and headed to her room. Her ladies, Helena and Gwen were getting her dress and preparing her for a bath when he walked in. He blushed at the sight of her naked body, something he had never wanted to see and wasn't sure he could erase from his mind. "Just," he cleared his throat, "reporting for duty. Sorry, Allie."

"It's fine, Grizz. I need some humor on a day like this," she smiled. He stayed outside her room then, trusting Helena and Gwen to take care of her. Her attitude towards the wedding had previously pissed off Grizz, but he thought about how she was losing her autonomy essentially. She would be censored since it would no longer be her kingdom and speaking out of turn resulted in death. She was safer here, and somehow she wasn't. A war could break out between the kingdoms if they weren't merged and Harry had been begging for power. The regulations Cassandra put in place hindered on his being but they benefitted the kingdom as a whole. He could not for the life of him understand how royals could ignore the wellbeing of others because they became power-hungry and because they believed that they were entitled to it. He waited for quite some time. Preparing for a wedding, one that was meant to be the only one in your life, probably left Allie feeling out of sorts. He would have to walk her down the aisle. Grizz wanted a daughter to do that with, a little redhead- where was his mind going? Ever since Sam brought of marriage and the future, he has been thinking about what it would be like to spend his life with him. To walk away from who he was destined to be, to go against fate, when he wasn't even sure what they were was a huge risk to take. One Grizz was willing to eagerly take. 

Footsteps came from the right, in the direction of the entrance to the kitchen. "Will," he nodded. 

"Grizz," he was greeted back. "Can I see her?" The devastation that this man must have felt since the announcement, well Grizz hoped he would never be able to understand. He allowed Will to come in, but the conversation had to be monitored by him. 

Once he was in her room he asked, "Do you want to-"

"Do I want to go through with this? You know the answer. We can't, Will. Not anymore," Allie wiped at tears that had yet to fall. His hands were placed on her biceps and he dragged her into a hug. It was a personal moment that he shouldn't have been there to witness, but the scare made it so that Will had to have a chaperone with him. 

"We can do what we planned before, I'm willing to die for you. Wouldn't you rather try than to let yourself die inside?"

Something changed within Grizz. He thought about how he never took the risk of approaching his beloved Prince. For so many reasons that seem minuscule now. They were closer to the age of needing to be married off and being considered an adult. He imagined if they had done anything sexual when they were younger, probably unlikely since that wasn't exactly at the forefront of his mind. He was entirely too frightened to think about the logistics, but he thought if he had the mindset that he had now, people could chalk it up to teen curiosity. He had hidden himself for so long, within good reason, and wanted to take the risks that he had been so afraid to. 

"I want to. I just don't think I can, Will," she sounded hopeless. Like someone had taken her heart into their hands and she was begging for it back, and they decided to squash it in her face.

"We have it all planned out. Please, Allie. I love you, I love you more than cooking and than this stupid castle. You are my family, you always have been. Please don't make me lose that." He saw the tenderness that Will and Allie shared. He even saw more than he wanted to between them, and he could without a doubt say that they loved each other like no one else. She nodded her consent then and the plan was in motion. Grizz was unfortunately in harm's way. They told him that he must leave the room and that they would leave through the back gate of the castle. Allie said she would send him a note once she arrived safely, but he kept thinking if. If others saw him in the hall, they would suspect that she was still getting ready with her ladies and they were able to defend themselves sans armor. He would walk back to her room once Helena came to whisper in his ear that she was gone and he'd feign ignorance and surprise. 

The Queen was flustered, probably partially angry and otherwise worried when he finally reported the news to her. "Grizz, did she irregular to you?" she blinked trying to catch her breath. Gordie was right beside her, holding her hand. He shook his head no, a short shake in order to not seem suspicious. 

"I was just talking to her about duties to the kingdom. I kept trying to apologize and she wouldn't listen she saw it as some sort of punishment," her breath hitched. The Queen covered her mouth, trying to silence her panic. She was always so kept together, never frazzled and not one hair out of place. He didn't have siblings to worry over, only himself. He had done a great job at that. Allie didn't leave a note, an act that seemed cruel at first glance but made sense when you thought about the fact that the whole kingdom would come after her. Cassandra got herself together and started ordering everyone around to search for her. Harry actually seemed distraught. Grizz took it upon himself to figure out what he was thinking. 

"My Prince," he bowed his head slightly. "Are you going on the expedition to find your fiance?" 

He scoffed, "she left for a reason, didn't she? I thought that we were making progress," he clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

"Did you have feelings for her?"

"It's none of your business, but yes," he said firmly, his face was full of pain. Had he been interested in her for a long time? Was Allie aware? He had more questions to think over, but a voice interrupted. 

"That cook is gone, too." It was from Campbell. He had come to talk to the Prince and evidently sneer at Grizz. There were only so many reasons they would leave together. Harry's hands were balled into fists and he was ready to storm off, but Campbell pulled him away and they went off to whisper. Grizz decided to wander over to his friends who were all just as puzzled as he tried to be.

"Excuse me," Harry's voice now came from the alter. He was dressed in a black suit, ruffles at the wrists and a bowtie at the neck. "I am declaring war." Murmurs and chatter broke out among the crowd. "HUSH!" Everyone startled. 

"I have been disrespected in this kingdom for far too long. A union was to be made today to prevent this, and since it was not and I no longer desire it to be, you all shall fall." Grizz knew he had to have been coerced. The distance that he observed Prince Harry allowed him to know that he wasn't this violent tyrant. He forgot about the working members and the peasants in his kingdom, sure, but he wouldn't do something like this without the help of a wretched snake. He walked off with a multitude of people. Campbell was one of them. 

Cassandra stormed after him, trying to soothe him but it was futile. Grizz was always meant to die for his kingdom, but now he had a reason to live. The king and queen announced that they would be preparing for battle. It would take a while for Harry to get home with all the others. More people than ever would have to fight. The king included. Sam was with Becca as she translated for him. "In the meantime, let's enjoy the food that Will and the staff prepared." 

Princess Becca and Sam dug into the food once it was brought out. Grizz sat down and joined his friends. They began to discuss Princess Allie and how selfish she was. Grizz's anger began to boil up. "She's jeopardizing all of our lives and for what? A boy," Clark sneered. 

"For love. She's doing it for love. And this treaty shouldn't have had to take precedence over her marrying the one she wants, and she can't even marry him," Grizz snapped back. He didn't care about this anymore. He took his plate away from the table and stood in the corner. The guard and their significant others proceeded to eat without Grizz. Although he didn't want Luke to reach out, he appreciated the fact that he walked over to talk to him.

"I know that you guys were close." He nodded and shuffled his fork around his plate, not willing to answer Luke yet.

"Did you love her?" Grizz was surprised. He had still talked to Luke about everything in his life, minus Sam, but he wondered if he ever indicated that he had more than romantic feelings for Allie.

"No, not like that," Grizz laughed uncomfortably. He imagined if he did, he wouldn't be in a better situation than he is now. He would still be in hiding if the feelings were returned. He would not have run off, he would have watched the love of his life be married away for king and country. Not out of cowardice but out of loyalty and unwillingness to be the one who caused all the drama. Prince Harry's kingdom was comprised of a lot of angry and rejected man, and now the master of all chaos, Campbell. 

"Well, you love somebody. I can tell it's causing you great pain to keep it inside. Maybe you aren't ready to say it now, but I will be here when you are," Luke placed his hand on Grizz's shoulder and shook him a little, probably to ensure that he was paying attention. The smaller knight fought the urge to cry. He wanted to tell Luke, he honestly did. When he was younger, Luke was always right beside him. Encouraging him when he wasn't sure he was good enough to be a knight, he came to him when he was in a fight with Helena, and he had been the one that Grizz considered a brother. 

"Thank you," Grizz hugged him. The hug most likely went on longer than necessary since Grizz had closed his eyes, and with this hug came a throat clearing from his love, Prince Sam. 

"I am ready to be escorted to my room, Knight Visser." Sam had never called him that before. His blue eyes pierced into Grizz's soul. He wasn't sure if he was angry about the hug or if he had previously been upset from Campbell's actions. It could be a combination of both. He walked off behind Sam, noticing that he had a plate in his hands. Grizz's plate was still filled with proper food while Sam had a humongous slice of cake on his. Sam sat on his bed while Grizz closed the door. 

"Have your affections wandered?" 

Everyone seemed to surprise him with questions today. He had almost forgotten his role in the escape because of this. "Have I been unclear about whom I am fond of?" Grizz countered. In the time that Sam has been here, he has pulled away from his friends in order to maximize his time getting to know Sam. It's true, Allie and Sam were the only people he had hugged or been near since then, so he could understand how that would raise some suspicion. He liked knowing that Sam was jealous. He was still unsure of what Sam felt for him even though he didn't have a reason to be.

"No," Sam smiled, "If you would like him to join us-"

"No way. That's gross." Sam just laughed. Grizz felt like a bit of a fool.

"I wouldn't do that anyway. I have my eyes set on one person and one person only." In all of this, he still managed to be lighthearted. Something Grizz admired greatly. Right now if Sam wasn't there, he was sure he would have been stressing out about having to fight and the whereabouts of his princess, but all of those things paled in comparison to what he was feeling towards Sam right now. His tux was a little crumpled fro sitting, but framed his body perfectly. His hair had been styled back and Grizz wanted to touch him. Sam was eating pieces of the cake and moaning over it. 

"You should try some, come sit," Sam patted the spot next to him, reminding him of the first time they decided to touch each other. He removed his layer of armor before sitting since it was so clunky. He sat next to him and tried to take the spoon from Sam, but he pulled it away. Sam placed the spoon in his mouth. The sugary scent filled his nose and Grizz tasted hints of lemon. He knew it was Allie's favorite. Will was sweet for making it. He had had this cake at Allie's birthday last year and she raved about it. Sam kept feeding himself and Grizz the cake, but he brought back too much. They laughed about the wedding, mainly about Harry's face. He was notorious for being a dick. Especially to Sam since he was friends with Campbell. 

Grizz decided to kiss Sam since he had been longing to touch him the whole day. He cupped his face and swiped his thumb over Sam's bottom lip. Sam reached out to lick and suck on his thumb. He took in a sharp breath and swooped in to kiss him. Sam wrapped his arms around him, allowing Grizz to be in between his legs. Their groins were aligned perfectly and Grizz pushed forward. He nibbled at his bottom lip, tracing his tongue along the edge right after. Sam's tongue met his and he let out a breath. He removed his lips from his mouth to suck at his neck, his hips pushing into him. Sam followed the movement, his hands trailing down to the bottom of Grizz's shirt. He responded to the touch by pulling up to remove it and Sam did the same to himself. He was used to Sam being in control since they had gotten each other off more than once. 

Now, it seemed as though Sam was ready to give up control, but Grizz didn't want him to. He liked that Sam seemed so sure of himself. It made him hard to have Sam boss him around and still value him like he was the most precious gold. Grizz took it a step further by unbuttoned Sam's jeans. He trailed kisses down his torso. He stopped to lick at his nipples. Sam's hand had made its way into Grizz's har and tugged a little. Grizz looked at Sam who had thrown his head back. He continued to lick and suck at his nipples, biting a little bit before going back to Sam's cock. He pulled down his boxers and said, "Fuck."

A little bead of pre-cum enticed Grizz and he licked at the head. He stroked Sam slowly and tighten his grip on the upstroke. Sam's thighs tightened and released. "Stop," Sam said. Grizz had moved off of him as quick as possible. 

"Are you okay?" 

"Yes, I just wanted you to do something else to me. It felt amazing, but I want to," Sam took a breath before continuing, "I want to have you inside me." Grizz took in the sight before him, better than anything he had ever seen in his life. Sam's eyes were almost overtaken in black, his lips had clearly been bitten, his chest was glistening from the spit and his cock. Fuck. Sam seemed to know what he was doing. Grizz had thought about this before, but he wasn't sure how to do it. Sam reached into his drawer and pulled out some lubricant. 

"Put this on your fingers, and then put them inside me. One at a time, please." 

"Have you done this before?" Grizz swallowed suddenly. He didn't realize that his throat was dry. Sam had overtaken his soul, his being. He wanted to be encompassed by him.

"Yes," Sam blushed.

"With another?"

"No, no. I did it to myself thinking of you," Sam protested. A wash of relief came over Grizz and he kissed him again, just short pecks this time. He never ceases to amaze the knight. He thought about Sam often when he built up the courage to touch himself. 

"Turn around, I think I can get you better that way. Just tap me if you want me to stop." Sam agreed and move. He had a nice ass, very pale and perky. Grizz palmed the milky skin, causing it to jiggle a little and Sam signed for him to get on with it. He coated his fingers, probably way too much, and reached down to Sam's ass. He circled over him and Sam's hands clenched in the sheets. He pushed in as slow as possible. He wasn't sure what he was doing, but he began to move in and out and Sam's hips followed the movement. He was so tight and warm, just thinking about how he would feel once he got his dick inside made Grizz so fucking overwhelming. Once he thought he was ready, he put in another finger and then another. He moved faster and Sam did too. 

"Fuck," he pulled his fingers out slowly and watched as his hole clenched around nothing, longing for his fingers again. He tapped Sam, "are you ready?" Sam's face was so beautiful. He got closer so he could kiss him. His lips were chapped now, but he still enjoyed the kiss. 

"Yes, please," Sam begged once they moved away from each other. Grizz drenched his dick in lube and squeezed at the base since the sight before him brought him that closed to cumming. Sam was on his hands and knees now. He pushed inside, the head going past the first ring of muscles and his legs quaked. He panted, trying to hold back the urge to cum inside him. Holy shit, he was going to cum inside him if he wasn't careful. Sam pushed his head down and reached back to pull Grizz further in. He watched as Sam's hole opened for him. He pushed back and thrust into him again. The slap of skin spurred him on. He covered himself over Sam's back so he could entangle their hands. He puffed out soft breaths onto his back and sped up. Sam moaned underneath him when Grizz traced his tongue over his ear. He felt incredible. He tried to slow down in order to make it last longer but Sam wouldn't let him. 

Every stroke brought him closer to the edge. He noticed that Sam reached down to touch himself and so Grizz pulled back and had Sam sit in his lap. At the angle, he was able to piston his hips in even faster. He heard a strangled cry escape from Sam's lips. He stopped for a second to check on him. He pulled out and had Sam turn around. He had come all over his stomach and his hands were covered. He brought Sam's fingers to his mouth to lick at his hand. He watched Sam while he did it and his cock gave a feeble twitch. He wanted to cum so bad, so he asked. Sam reached down and brought his over the edge. His legs shook and he planted his face in Sam's neck, kissing there as he came down. 

He went on shaky legs to get a rag and cleaned their bodies again. They laid side by side, staring into each other eyes. Grizz wasn't sure he would ever experience something like that again. He didn't want to if it wasn't with Sam. "Remember how we were talking about futures?" Allie had inspired him. He never thought he would have the guts to give up his life of knighthood. 

"Yeah, why?" 

"Could your house also have a garden?" Sam had shared his love of painting and so he wanted to do the same. 

"It could have whatever you want," Sam smiled and kissed him. He was still smiling and laughing while they kissed. 

"I have to go to war," he remembered. "But when I come back I want it to be us at your estate."

"You would leave all of this for a tiny house in the woods? Why?" 

"I desire to be with you," he kissed his cheek and then pulled back to sign, " because I love you." Sam looked stunned for a moment. He hoped that he hadn't ruined the best thing that he had in his life. 

"You better," Sam kissed him softly. "I love you, too." 

Chapter Text

He left the comfort of Sam's bed unwillingly and quite frightened. He got dressed in his armor and watched himself in the mirror. Why had he ever thought this role was for him. He couldn't imagine slaughtering anyone unless it was self-defense. This war felt like spite. Sam was still sleeping, eyes shut and fluttering, lips slightly parted. Grizz reached down to touch his face, letting his fingers feel the softest of Sam's cheek. He inhaled and shuffled at the touch, eyes beginning to open. He had spent so many days in this bed, falling in love, learning how to let a person see who he truly was. He had forgotten the reality he lived in, and soon he and Sam would be together without any interruptions, with total freedom to be whoever they wanted to be. "You weren't going to say goodbye?" Sam mumbled tiredly. Grizz felt like a coward because he would've. He would've left and Sam would've awoken alone and in fear that Grizz would never return, but then again, he would still have that burden on his mind. The only thing that this moment is changing is how Sam will remember him for the rest of his life is he never returns. 

"I don't want to say it, though. I fear that I will never see you again," Grizz paused and took a breath, "I think saying goodbye makes it real." He had been told not to cry all his life. Nothing anyone had said to him about it could discourage the tears that were preparing to flow from his eyes. 

"I fear that I won't see you again either, but I deserve to be left with a memory of you that is more than last night. It was lovely, yes, but imagine if it fades away. I want you to have something to hold onto amid dead bodies and, and despair." Sam had become very serious in a way that Grizz never imagined. it was unlike him. Sam wasn't crying like Grizz was. He was strong and so resilient. He would make it through a war even if he didn't want to. 

"In death, I won't forget you. I don't know what happens after, but I will cling to every smile, every glance, touch, laugh, and kiss that we shared. I won't leave you even if I'm not physically there," Grizz heartily told him. He had spent so long admiring who he had before him from long distances and he knew he would never be in a space to let that go. He imagined that if he were a ghost, he would be hot on Sam's trail, watching over him in the hopes that he would live out a fulfilled life.

"I won't forget you either. You are my first love, and I intend for you to be my only," Sam smiled slightly. A little chuckle left him that sounded hopeful and at the same time felt sarcastic. 


"I've known you for a short time and it feels like a lifetime. We never got to do anything daring. We didn't go into the city together to fairs, we never snuck off from the group events, we didn't dance together-"

'We will," Grizz affirmed. 

"But you don't know"

"We will." He left no room for doubt. "And we still had a good time, it was the best for me," Grizz swallowed audibly. He was suddenly nervous. The time to leave was sneaking up on him and he was scared that it would swallow him whole. 

"I love you," Sam choked on his words. He reached out to kiss Grizz. It was sloppily. Their lips clashed in a fury, pressed hard against each other like they were trying to imprint that into their brains, into their skin. He didn't want to leave. He didn't want to risk his life when he had finally gotten to a place where he felt as though he was living. He told Sam that he loved him as well and left and clung to the scent of the lemon cake in the room and the smell of clean sheets mixed with Sam's sweat. He clung to the feeling of Sam's chapped lips and his soft hands that were slightly smaller than Grizz's. He latched on to the sight of Sam's blue eyes and his hair. His plush lips and his ears. His nose and the pores of his skin. The strength in his thighs and his feet. He replayed his laugh and his voice in his head as he sat next to Luke on a horse. He thought back to last night and to all the nights before. He remembered the feeling of belonging and warmth and jealously towards Becca and he remembered being scared to love Sam. He wasn't scared of anything anymore. He tapped his foot against his horse and they were off. 

The men sang as they went on to battle. The rivaling kingdom was not that far off, but he supposed they needed something to occupy themselves as they marched on to the impending death of one of them. Maybe even all of them. They stopped occasionally. Once, they went to a river to bathe. Clark had claimed the outfit and the sun wasn't a good mix and caused him to sweat profusely. Something he never wanted to know. Grizz really suspected that Clark said it because they were getting so much closer to the kingdom. The guard had gotten so much bigger. He watched from afar as they splashed each other and notice that many commoners had volunteered to fight. The king was among the group of people. He was glad that they were able to find slices of happiness because after they got back on the horses and resumed their traveling, they were met halfway. 

Harry stood at the forefront opposite King Gordie. Campbell was at his side. Prince Harry lifted his sword and he heard a distance cry. The horses on both sides charged. There was a feeling in his heart, borderline excitement from the adrenaline. He knew that wasn't his true feelings though since his palms were overwhelmingly sweaty. Around him, he could see that bodies began to drop at his hand and from his kingdom to others' hands and from Harry's kingdom. There was a lot of people left just not near Grizz, and he felt like he needed a breather. So he sat on his horse and watched. As he watched, he saw Campbell lift up his sword, a jagged one, and pierce it through Harry's heart. Grizz suddenly got the courage of Joseph and the horse cantered. He wrestled with gaining the upper hand against Campbell but took him by surprise. 

"I hope that you choke on the blood of your victims that you so eagerly spilled before," Grizz muttered angrily. Campbell as always was smirking as Grizz struck him. There was nothing to fight for anymore. Grizz found the king and the other kingdom waved their flag. He was in shock. He killed people. Innocent people who were just following the orders of their king, same as him. He hurt They went back home smaller than they came, sadder too. No one cheered or applauded themselves for being victorious. Some men were walking alongside the horses since there were now extras. They had their heads down. Jason had been stabbed in the arm, and his bandages had to be changed so often. He had no idea what the other men were going to do. Campbell was still alive, and he suspected that Harry's death would leave Campbell with his kingdom. 

He realized that the intention of this battle had never been clear to his kingdom. It was just defense against Harry's threats. Threats that Grizz could feel were influenced by Campbell. They had been gone for about two weeks, traveling on foot made the way home much longer. Grizz was ready to see his love again. He dreaded telling him of his brother's deeds and was well aware that figuring out at the same time as the rest of the people in the kingdom would hurt him greatly. Once he reached the doors of the kingdom, he saw a familiar face poke out the window. "Allie!" He shouted. He ran to her and she met him in the corridor. He held onto her tightly. The Princess was being swallowed in his arms. 

"I heard that you had to go to war so we came back," Allie smiled. It wasn't a good thing, but he suspected the smile was due to the relief she felt. "I will marry him now. Whatever it takes to keep you all safe. I had forgotten myself and I was wrapped up in something that I can't say I regret. But I know now that the kingdom is the most important. Will agrees." He had entered the room just as he released her from his embrace. They looked haggard. Probably tormenting themselves with the thought of all those who died because they chose love over duty. Sam was going to do the same and Grizz knew how lucky he was that Sam didn't play the same role in society that Allie did. 

"Allie, you can't take anything back," Grizz sighed. 

"I know. I know I made my decision, but Grizz I'm going to marry him." The thought hadn't crossed her mind. It hadn't crossed Grizz's before he saw what he did. He grimaced at the memory. He grabbed her hand and prepped himself for what he was going to say. He prayed that she could just read it on his face, but that wasn't working out. The rest of the men had retired to their rooms and their houses, happy to be home, but Grizz was still stuck on the fact that he had to leave. 

"You can't marry a dead man." He patted his other hand on hers and squeezed before releasing. He watched as she gulped and her eyes fluttered. She stared Grizz down. 

"You're lying," she laughed. It almost sounded maniacal. "You're lying!" She yelled it over and over in his face. He flinched and let her scream. She hit him on his chest and he just stared back. He left his body for a second and replayed that dreadful moment in his head. Will finally pulled her off. He suspected that the cook had overheard the conversation. He knew what her train of thought was: Harry died because I was selfish. He wished it was that simple. He wanted to explain everything he suspected although he knew that she wouldn't listen at this moment. So he decided to wait.

Before finally returning to the arms of the person he loved, he took a moment to cry in the hallway. He knew Harry wasn't the best person, but that wasn't the only thing going through his mind. He wasn't strong enough to stop the madman behind all of this. He wasn't able to save Harry. He just watched. He was never cut out for this life. He had done too many bad things to be forgiven. He wiped at his face, hoping to relieve it of its redness. He took a few deep breaths, very shaky and walked to Sam's room. Once he entered, he noticed Sam's back towards the door. He prepared to surprise him but was met with one instead. 

Princess Becca sat on his bed with a round belly. "Knight Visser! You're back!' She signed as she spoke which caused Sam to turn around. He didn't want to jump to any conclusions, and yet the only thought running through his head was how did he miss this?  Sam's face was pleading and that was all Grizz needed to know. 

"We were just coming up with baby names and I have a feeling it's going to be a girl. Do you have any ideas?" Grizz had an idea for the baby he hoped Sam would adopt with him. He just shook his head no. 

"I have not actually been assigned to you yet. I'm so sorry for barging in," he spoke quickly and left, not waiting for a response. He tried to calm his heart but it had lost itself. He felt so used. He had spent months, years admiring this man all for it to just be a lie. What was he, then? An experiment? A chance to experience more pleasure or something? He didn't know. He wasn't sure of anything anymore. 

"Grizz!" Sam tugged at his shoulder causing him to spin around. 

"What? Are you here to spew more lies?" 

"No! I'm trying to explain. It was a long time ago. Before I really knew you," Sam said. It was futile. 

"So what? You loved her and I changed that? What were we doing this whole time? Did you know?" 

"I- yes I knew, but I'm not in love with her. We're just friends." Just friends. 

"Just friends who have sex all the time?" 

"It was once." They had only had sex once, too. "It doesn't take away the fact that I love you, but I need to be there for my child as well." 

"Do you think I'm a monster? I understand that and that isn't what this is about!" Grizz turned away, knowing Sam would have to flounder to get his attention. He couldn't care right now, not when his heart was beating so fucking fast. He wanted to punch a wall, he wanted to die in that stupid battle so that the most recent memory of Sam wouldn't be tainted in lies and heartbreak. 

Once Sam was able to see Grizz's face again he continued, "I just meant that I will be talking to Becca about our kid, but I want you as well." 

Grizz scoffed. He could imagine what that would be like. He would be worse than Will. The whole kingdom knew they loved each other and they got stolen moments. Grizz got secrets touches at the back of the main hall and carress at night. Nothing public. He would have to wait for Sam to just give him a bit of attention. He would be a secret. It's different when you're hiding away from the world but if they were to ever find you, you would be fine. This was different. "So when you were telling me to come live with you at your estate, did you plan for the princess and your kid to be there, too or?"

"I forgot."

"You forgot?" He repeated in a mocking tone. 

"Yes. I was caught up in loving you. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you, but we can still have that."

"How, Sam? It doesn't make any sense," Grizz admitted. He ran his hands through his hair and looked up at the ceiling. He didn't believe that his feelings for him were genuine anymore. He couldn't believe that. Everything got so messy so quickly. 

"I will figure it out. Let me figure it out, please. I love-" Sam pleaded.

"No. Don't say that anymore and don't figure it out. I don't want a garden and a house full of paintings. That was all lies. I don't want lies anymore, Sam. I just want to be free." He walked away then. He still wanted to retire from his knighthood. His first battle should be his last similar to how his first love would be. Sam had ripped his heart out and stomped on it. A baby. He felt like throwing up. He could have wrecked their family. Sam said they weren't in love, but he stared at the elation on Becca's face. Why hadn't he noticed before? Sam charmed him into blindness and had made him realize so much about him all in the same breath. He was ready to settle down and commit to a person who had fooled him.

He took a breath as he sat down in a chair in the main hall. The room was usually filled with so many people, but he sat in what was practically darkness. The light only seeped through the curtains. He imagined if Sam was telling the truth he would take care of the baby, too. Never claiming to be the father, but something adjacent to a nanny. He would watch after a redheaded baby girl or a brunet boy. Teaching them other skills that Becca and Sam didn't know. He would pick the baby up at night when Becca was too tired to get up or too tired to wake Sam. Grizz was willing to stay in a separate room and he would love him from afar again. He was sure Becca would love Sam, maybe not as massively and great as Grizz could, but they had been friends for years. He never thought Sam liked both, but he didn't care. He just wanted Sam to love him back. He hoped that everything they wanted to do together could still happen in an estate not too far away. He hoped to dance with Sam while Becca sat on the couch with a baby in her lap. Bouncing them until they decided to toddle over. He wanted them to be as real to Sam as they were to Grizz.