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The Whipping Boy

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The King was desperate by the time they finally brought a boy.

His Prince had been biding his time, doing everything he was asked and even treating the adults of the court he detested most with perfect deference and respect, so the King knew he was gearing up for something truly horrible. And when it happened, he needed to be able to punish him. Locking the Prince in his room or depriving him of his favorite books had never been effective.

Only pain seemed to resonate with him. And also, it pleased the court. Whipping recalcitrant Princes was a tradition. So much so that when the King had been just a Prince, the fact he was a very well-behaved one had caused almost as much muttering and discontent among the court as Tom's shenanigans did now.

But then, what the court knew of Tom’s disobediences paled in comparison to the King’s suspicions about the depths of his machinations. He had no proof to confirm the worst of his theories, and he hoped he could convince the Prince to reconform before the worst of his ambitions manifested in a deadly way.

When it had been three days since the magic wore off the last boy, the King had almost resorted to sending them out to comb the countryside for donations. It was distasteful, but sometimes desperate families would spare their child for a year. After all, the whipping boys were well-fed and kept secure, which was more than could be said for the average child of commoners. What was the occasional whipping, laid against the threat of starvation or a violent raid?

Before he was forced to the last resort, the King received word that a child had been arrested for thievery in a nearby village. So the King's men went out and returned with a slight, black-haired boy. When they brought him to the King's throne room, he felt a sudden inhibition at the sight.

"Is he old enough?" he asked skeptically. The guards were half-carrying the boy by his arms, and between the two guards he looked as slight as a child half Tom's age. The magic would require they be born within six months of one another.

One of the guards reached down with the opposite hand, gripped the boy's chin and wrenched it up. "Yes, my Lord," he confirmed.

The face was still quite young-looking, the King thought, but it did show signs of blooming adulthood in a way the rag-covered body did not. For one thing, the boy had a hardness to his green eyes that bespoke a life experience or two, and his jaw was beginning to turn square like a man's.

"How old are you, child?" the King asked, trying to be kind. He had no use for casual cruelty, and if all of this worked out he'd soon be causing the boy pain enough.

"Almost sixteen, m-my lord," the boy said, stammering less out of nerves and more out of rusty manners, the King thought. Now that he was looking up, he seemed more concerned about the grand room than the King. For some reason, that pleased the King. It was always difficult when they cowered from the start.

"Bring the wizard," sighed the King, slouching in his throne. "And someone fetch the Prince."

Within a few moments, the wizard came in, twisting his fingers in his long white beard and smiling at the boy.

"Hello, child. How are you called?"

"My name is Harry," said the boy. His eyes stayed wide. "Are you — "

"The Supreme Mugwump," the wizard confirmed kindly. "You may call me Dumbledore."

Tom made them wait awhile, of course.

When he came in, he hardly looked at the boy. The King might have thought he hadn't noticed him at all, if he hadn't wrinkled his nose very slightly as his gaze swept the room.

He was a fine-looking boy, and the King, with what he knew was vanity, was especially pleased to see how the Prince was growing to resemble him in his own youth. He was tall and well-made, carried himself with a regal bearing, and filled out his finery better than even he had a few months before. Soon the Prince would be a man. Perhaps, the King thought hopefully, this would be their last whipping boy.

"We have brought you a new chosen one," the King said without much energy, gesturing toward the boy. Tom may not have paid the boy much notice, but certainly the boy had noticed the Prince. He was staring at him as he had the grand room, as though he had never seen anything quite like him.

You have no idea, boy, the King thought wearily.

The wizard cast his spell, which didn't look like much. The King would have thought it was all for show if he didn't know that the magic worked from personal experience. A thin film of glittery dust rose up from the Prince, then settled on the boy. The boy sneezed, and that was that.

Tom looked faintly miffed as he looked the boy up and down. "He doesn't seem like the best candidate," he muttered. "He can't have much tolerance for pain. That's hardly fair." He looked beseechingly at his father.

"Maybe you'll keep that in mind before you act out," the King said, getting to his feet and rubbing the small of his back.

The Prince smiled pleasantly. "Certainly, father."

Oh, no, thought the King. But there was nothing to do but wait and see what Tom intended to do. The King looked sadly at the boy in his rags. The least he could do was get the child cleaned up and fed before the inevitable.

"Show the boy to the chosen one’s quarters," he told the guards. They had relaxed their grip on the child somewhat, and he didn't seem inclined to flee. "And let him have some privacy," he added, smiling at the boy when he glanced at him curiously. "He seems like a nice lad."

Harry spent three days in the palace before the King called him the first time.

It was the first time he'd had three meals per day for so many days in a row. He could already feel himself filling out, and the ladies who looked after him had to fetch him a new belt. He was just fixing it around his still-slender waist when there was a knock on the door. It was heavier sounding than what he'd gotten used to from the ladies, which he imagined meant it was a guard calling.

The guard put his head through the opening in the door, looking apologetic.

"Sorry, Harry, but it's time."

Harry sighed, rolling his head from one side to the other to work a sudden bit of tension out of his neck. He smiled at the guard.

"It'll be alright, Brutus," he promised. He'd befriended the guards that first night. They were very interesting people, and had been kinder to Harry than any of the jailors in the village.

"I hope so, boy," sighed Brutus. "Now come along."

Harry wasn’t just trying to reassure Brutus to make him feel better. Harry really didn't think the King was going to give him anything he couldn't take. Harry had learned a lesson about pain very early, when he had his ear nailed to the pillory when he was twelve. If you leaned into the pain hard enough, it didn't feel like pain any more.

He followed the guard through the castle, wondering vaguely what the Prince had done. He looked like someone who would be capable of pretty terrible things. Harry had felt the violent potential rolling off him in waves during those brief moments in the throne room when Harry was first brought to the King. Whereas the King had a surprisingly gentle demeanor. Harry wondered if he'd even put his arm into the lashes. He hoped so. The thing about pain was, the harder and the steadier it was, the easier you could fall into its lull. It was the slight, unexpected pains that were harder to compartmentalize.

Harry hadn't spent much time outside of his quarters yet, not that he'd particularly wanted to. The quarters were larger than most houses he’d been in, and had plenty of food and games. The ladies had taken him to the garden in the mornings where he'd been permitted to walk and chase a ball, which made him feel a little like a dog, but he couldn't deny it was nice to stretch his legs. Otherwise they'd kept him in his rooms. But even though he didn't have much experience with how traffic moved in the palace, it seemed like there were a lot more people than there should be milling in the corridors. A lot of them paused to stare at Harry, then murmur amongst themselves.

"Much prettier than the last one," he heard someone say, and wrinkled his nose. Harry objected to being described as "pretty" on principle. Also, it made him think of the perfumed boys at the whorehouses, whom he'd always disdained. He preferred to be the scrappy kid who risked the pillory than the well-fed kid who sold himself.

But then, what had he done, when he'd traded his five-year jail sentence for a year as the whipping boy?

Distracted into introversion by that thought, he studied the floor between his feet and didn't look up again until they'd made their way fully into the throne room and the guard put a hand on his shoulder to get his attention.

Inside the throne room, Harry looked around at the people who were gathered and felt the first spike of trepidation. He had focused so much on his good luck, in escaping five years in a dungeon and instead spending a year being treated very similarly to a Prince. He'd imagined the beatings as being occasional and bearable and hadn't thought of it much beyond that. He'd forgotten they were always conducted in the throne room before an audience, and that with a new whipping boy being introduced, there would probably be a larger-than-average crowd.

The room looked much the same as the first time he'd seen it: inordinately grand, highlighted by the dias where the King sat on his broad throne. He didn't carry himself like Harry thought a King would. He wasn't slouching, exactly, but he lacked his son's perfect posture.

His son, who stood beside the throne with his hands behind his back, looking totally unbothered.

Other than the surplus of people — there must have been three hundred people in the room — the new addition to the scene was a place in the floor where tiles had been removed, revealing three golden rings on short chains. The one in the middle was larger than the other two, and Harry realized that this was a gold-plated version of the pillory in the village square he'd just been reflecting on.

Dumbledore was also there, still looking grandfatherly and vaguely amused, which was his apparent baseline attitude. Harry let the guard guide him toward the floor, where he obediently knelt while Brutus, whose very touch felt apologetic, quickly fastened the rings around his throat and wrists. They were slightly large, though Harry still thought he wouldn't be able to get out of them on his own. Apparently he was more petite than his predecessor.

The King spoke from his dias in a weary sort of monotone. "Prince Thomas Riddle IV, having committed offenses against the kingdom, I adjudge your punishment to be ten lashes. As the flesh of the royal family is holy, this chosen one from among your citizenry shall bear the lashes in your stead."

Harry was facing the crowd, not the King. He had his knees curled beneath him; the chains were long enough that he could lift himself onto his hands and knees, and tilt back his head without restraint. He didn't want to look at the people, though, so he let his head hang between his shoulders. He was wearing one of the simple robes that he had been given, the soft leather shoes, and nothing else. He tensed at the thought of how the lashes were going to feel when he had so little protection, and wondered if the King would hit him hard enough it would cut through the cloth entirely. The last time he'd taken lashes at the pillory, they'd shredded a good shirt in the process.

The Prince came to kneel beside Harry, looking stubbornly straight ahead. Harry only glanced at him, then away. No one had given him any instruction on how to behave around the royal family, but he had to assume he wasn't supposed to make eye contact without invitation, and certainly shouldn't stare.

The first lash struck unexpectedly, hard and immediate against his lower black. Caught off-guard, Harry's eyes widened and he cried out. He forgot what he'd just decided about looking at the Prince, and jerked his head in his direction. The Prince's mouth only made a firm line; he didn’t make a sound.

Harry got himself under better control and grit his teeth through the second lash. Staring intently at the tile helped, as did focusing on the way the marble was cool and very slightly textured under the palm of his hands. By the third lash, he'd let all the tension leave him and he didn't even feel the sting, only what he thought of as a steady, firm hand that pushed him just outside himself.

He leaned his forehead against the cool tile for the fourth, the knot in his stomach he'd felt at the sight of the crowds easing away. The King was behind him. The King. And all of these people were watching, expecting Harry to beg him to stop, or at least to cry. But, Harry realized, he could hold very still and take each lash.

Five, six.

There was a sound from the direction of the Prince. Harry turned his cheek against the floor. He'd slumped down so his shoulders were almost touching it too. The Prince's confused whimper sounded again at the seventh lash. At last, he was looking at Harry — really looking. His dark eyes were wide, and his cheeks were flushed.

Eight. Nine.

Harry hadn't ever felt quite like this. He sensed he was on the edge of something more than just the stupor that had him sinking more deeply toward the floor. But then the tenth lash came, and it ended before he could find out what might come next.

Where he'd felt only force, he suddenly felt a dull ache and a faint burn, from his tailbone to the tops of his thighs.

The room was very quiet. The Prince stumbled to his feet and said something to the King, but Harry was still too far away to make it out.

Brutus, the guard, began to reach for him, but Harry heard the King's voice.

"No," he said, startling Brutus, who stumbled back. Harry's head felt very heavy, but he still managed to lift it. The chain clanked as the collar fell back against his collarbones, more necklace than cuff.

The King knelt in front of him, looking puzzled and dismayed. "Boy, are you quite all right?"

"I'm fine, my Lord," Harry assured him, slowly getting his hands beneath him so he could ease his upper body off the floor.

"Did you faint? That happens sometimes." But the King seemed to know that Harry hadn't fainted. There was a wrinkle in his brow but his face was otherwise quite smooth, considering he was twenty years older than Harry, give or take. He had his hands in his lap, and they were clenching then relaxing, as though that was a way for him to vent some nameless energy.

"I've had worse," Harry said, with a slight smile.

Something strange seemed to come over the King. "Have you?" he asked very softly.

Harry's breath caught, though he wasn't sure why. He remembered too late that he had decided not to make eye contact. He hastily looked down, though it was difficult to look away from those very dark eyes, ringed in sooty eyelashes. Like his son, the King was a very handsome man. Unlike his son, he radiated a sort of warm energy that Harry hadn't felt before.

"Thank you for...er, inquiring, my Lord. But I am well."

Harry thought that would be all. The King was quiet, and surely in a moment he would stand and walk away, and Harry would go to his quarters and wait for the Prince to misbehave again.

But to his surprise, he felt a brief, intensely warm weight on the crown of his head. The King's hand was cupping Harry's head, his fingertips curved so he could rub, just slightly. The gentle sensation was a strange shock, when Harry's body was so recently calibrated to perceive the lash. It made Harry stifle a gasp, and the King quickly removed his hand again.

The King's robes rustled as he got back to his feet. "See he has what he needs," he told Brutus firmly.

Harry wasn't expecting the Prince to be waiting for him in his rooms. He was sitting in a chair with his arms crossed, his color still high.

"Leave us," the Prince snapped at the guards, and when they obeyed, he leaned forward with his hands clenched on the chair arms. "What," he spat, "is the matter with you?"

"I don't..." Harry began, indignantly, then when the Prince's eyes narrowed dangerously, Harry bent his head. "I'm-sorry-my-Lord-but-I-don't-know-what-you-mean," he said in a rush, not trusting himself to be deferential for more than a moment.

"The first lash was like usual," the Prince went on insistently. "But then you...did...something," he managed. "I've learned how to bear it, but not to like it."

Harry felt his temper flare for some reason. "I don't like it!"

The Prince's stare was incredulous. Harry’s cheeks were hot.

"And I still feel strange," the Prince went on accusingly, rubbing his arms. "Like I need a nap, instead of a fight. What is wrong with you?"

"Stop asking me that!"

"Don't speak to me that way!"

They stared at each other. The Prince still seemed to lack the energy to get out of the chair, and Harry badly wanted to curl up in the bed. Was this supposed to happen? He thought the Prince would only feel what Harry felt through the lash.

"The connection is more intense than usual," the Prince muttered. "That wizard is probably going mental, and screwing things up." He yawned, then seemed horrified that he’d done something so pedestrian, and covered his mouth. "I'm exhausted."

Harry felt an overwhelming urge to cry. He hadn't felt this way in his entire life; he'd never been inclined toward tears. But he had the feeling if the Prince didn't leave at once, he'd burst into sobs.

Fortunately, the Prince was getting to his feet. He scowled at Harry as he brushed past, knocking their shoulders together deliberately. Harry was too relieved to be upset by the jostling. He dropped into the bed and didn't let himself think about anything that had just happened, instead giving into the pull of exhaustion and falling asleep.

The next time, the King hit Harry harder and for longer. Harry didn't know what the Prince had done, but the longer it went on without the Prince making a sound, the more force went into each blow.

Finally, the Prince began screaming as each lash landed. Pretending, Harry assumed, since Harry's pain was what was passing through the spell, and it was so far away that it began to feel...good. Like Harry was missing the lash as soon as it was gone and welcoming it the instant it landed again.

Two hours afterward, the Prince came into Harry's room in a rage, but didn't seem to know what to say. He threw some things around, shouted about his plans being waylaid, and stormed out.

The third time, Harry wasn't brought to the throne room.

He was brought into the King's chambers instead, which seemed strange until he saw the Prince at the window, and a messenger who still had the road's dirt on his face. Whatever message he'd brought had the King in a rage so murderous that Harry could feel the anger boiling off him, though the Prince stayed by the window and refused to look away.

The King's chambers were several rooms; this was an office of sorts, and it had a healthy fire. Harry was used to the cool vastness of the throne room, and here he didn't even have his collar. He knelt awkwardly on the fine silky rug with a sigh, and pressed his face into the tightly-woven, bright pattern.

When they went past twenty lashes, Harry felt a soft of warmth that was more than just heat swell in his chest. It had the flavor, also, of sunshine in the garden where the blooms were most fragrant. He heard a faint musical ringing and his eyes drifted gently closed.

When he was revived, it was by gentle fingers combing his hair from his temples, and when he twisted his head to look up, the King was staring down at him, his face white as a sheet.

"I'm so sorry, boy," he breathed. "I lost myself. I only wanted Tom to be sorry. His actions lost us three good soldiers. But I shouldn't...I shouldn't have done that to you. I'm sorry."

Harry frowned up at him. He'd been so focused on the perfect, molten heat leaching through every inch of his back, and the contrast of the rasp of the King's fingertips on his head, he hadn't realized ‘til now that his cock hard as stone.

Oh, no. The Prince wasn't going to like this.

"Get up, please," the King said softly, cupping Harry's jaw with one hand and placing the other gently on his shoulder.

Harry pressed his lips together. The robe was loose and preserved his modesty while he knelt. It wouldn't do so when he stood. But the King had given him an order, and was sweetly urging him with his touch. Harry was still confusingly deep in a warm, safe, nonphysical place. So he stood. The King moved with him, his hand still on Harry's face and the other shifting, sliding down his arm beneath his elbow. Harry's legs didn't wobble. It was as though the warmth he felt gave him just enough strength to rise up and stand before the King.

The King had fixed him with a searching look, but now his eyes skimmed the rest of Harry's body, as though looking for some sign of the hurt he was clearly sure he had inflicted.

So, he saw Harry's cock, tenting the robe. The robe falling against Harry so heavily that when the King shifted against him and made it stir, the drag of the fabric over his naked skin made Harry moan.

*

No one was there. The King had, in his chagrin, sent the Prince away with a shout and the guards away with a gesture. So there was no one to object when his eyes caught and he began to stare in disbelief.

"Boy," he managed. His voice sounded rough, and he felt how it made the boy swallow. He was still holding his face, as though his hand was fused to the boy's jaw. "Boy, are you..."

"I'm fine," said the boy, as though he was speaking in a dream. His voice was whisper-soft and slightly slurred. The King looked him in the eye and saw that he was heavy-lidded, his pupils large and ringed in green.

"You were very..." began the King. He shuddered at the thought of saying more, but something about the boy's gaze, dreamy and steady, spurred him on. He wet his lip and began again. "You were very, very...good."

The boy's lips parted and a puff of breath struck the King's wrist.

The King didn't normally bed boys. But everyone belonged to him. They were all his to ask. He'd had a girl this young once, though at the time, he couldn't have said he was fucking someone the age of his son. The thought made him grimace.

Seeing it, the boy blinked and seemed to return to himself. "I'm s-sorry my Lord." He looked like he could cry.

In an instant, the King forgot his compunctions. "Do not apologize," he crooned. "Did I not just say that you've been so very good?" He stepped closer, slipping his hand around the boy's waist and pulling him firmly against the King's body. He was wiry but felt solid under the King's hand, and his cock was a delicious hot pressure on his thigh.

The King picked the boy up carefully, considering where he'd placed the lashes, but the boy still whimpered as his robe was pulled taut over his ass. The King murmured soothingly to him, carrying him toward the bed where he laid him gently on his side.

"My Lord, I didn't...I've never been..." the boy was murmuring, his face red.

"Don't be ashamed," the King murmured. He sat on the edge of the bed and resumed combing through the boy's hair. "It's perfectly natural." Now he was wondering — had it only been a natural response to such intense stimulus? The King had never beaten someone so hard. Only, he'd been so angry, he hadn't realized what he was doing. Maybe the boy didn't want the King. Maybe he'd soon calm down. But when the boy turned his face up to look at him, the King saw that same steady warmth, and again could think of nothing but getting inside him.

"Do you..." the King murmured, his hand gliding down the boy's side toward his waist. "Can I assist you?"

The boy's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. The inside of his lip was pink and shiny, his teeth even and white.

"My Lord?" he murmured as though he couldn't believe what he'd been asked.

The King rubbed his hip, the bone prominent under his hand to the point of sharpness. "I don't think it would take long, would it, boy? And it would please me, to comfort you."

The boy bit his lip. The King slid his hand over the boy's thigh, then back up between them. The boy let them fall open, and the King felt the soft weight of his balls. The boy shuddered at the passing touch, then gasped quietly when the King’s hand grazed the firm length of him.

"Shall I?" he asked, looking the boy in the eye again. The boy rolled his head away, pressing his face into the sheets.

"Y-yes, th-thank you, my Lord," he said, barely audible. The King quickly kneed onto the bed so he could use both hands. The King parted the boy’s robes, his hands impatient on all the little fastenings, until he'd revealed the boy open from ankle to throat, the robe open around him like a chrysalis shed.

The boy's limbs were pale and long for his height. His stomach concave, his cock painfully red. His balls were in a nest of dark hair. He had as much body hair as the King, which was surprising for one his age. Just the age of...

The King brushed that thought aside and took the boy in hand. Now, with nothing between his palm and the boy's silky shaft, the boy writhed, his hips thrusting toward the King's hand. He still lay on his side to protect his abused backside.

The thought made the King pull the robes back over his hip and gaze with fascination at the angry red stripes curving across his buttocks, his back, his perfect white thighs.

"Lovely," he murmured, twisting his wrist and grasping the boy so his breath stuttered and his hips hitched again.

The King was used to being the object of seduction. He was accustomed to sitting back in a chair and letting his companion disrobe while he watched, perhaps while drinking a bit of wine. He was used to encouraging with a few compliments and responses, and not seizing someone until well into the encounter, and then only when the mood struck him.

But the boy was clearly not going to do anything without being expressly asked, nor ask for anything affirmatively for himself. It was oddly heady, the King found, to have such complete freedom and initiative. He hadn't realized it would be something that would excite him so much. Not until this moment, when he had to adjust himself, reaching between his legs to pull his quickly stiffening cock from his small clothes, biting his cheek at the powerful feeling of even his own touch.

"Boy," he murmured, "you are very lovely like this."

The boy closed his eyes and blushed at the offhand compliment.

"Was it such a pleasure to serve your King?" the King went on, hardly hearing himself, half-shocked by his own words. "Such a pleasure that it made your pretty cock so hard?"

"Y-yes," the boy said, sounding as faint as the King felt. "I can take whatever you — my Lord — asks me to." He opened his eyes, twisted his head so the King could see his entire face, the sincerity in his brilliant eyes.

"You — " The King worked his hand harder over himself, while his other hand stilled, only squeezing the boy at the base of his cock. "Whatever I ask?"

The boy nodded. His gaze dropped toward the King's belt, beneath which the furious working of his hand had to be visible. "I've never..." he began, then bit his lip and looked up at the King with determination. "But I know I could."

”Of course you could,” the King murmured, releasing his own cock reluctantly so he could ease the boy up onto his hands and knees, stroking his hair, while opening his own robes. The boy’s breath caught at the sight of the King’s cock. The King smiled down at him.

“Open your mouth, boy,” he urged him, half-expecting the boy to refuse. If he did, the King would let him go and never think of this evening, ever again. He knew he’d uncovered something about himself. But he also knew if this went awry he’d deny it even to himself for the rest of his life.

So, it meant everything for the boy to sweetly open his mouth and take the King’s cock, his overlong hair in his eyes, his throat narrow where the King’s palm wrapped around and almost encircled it.

The King felt an almost overwhelming tenderness, in which he lost himself so completely he sank into the boy’s throat in a single slow thrust, only thinking to draw back and let the boy breathe when he felt the boy’s hand clench around his thigh.

His cock was shiny with the boy’s saliva already, and so was the boy’s chin. His eyes watered and he panted around the head of the King’s cock. Their eyes met, and without hesitating the King pressed inside again, until he felt the faint contact of the boy’s chin on his sack, holding the boy firmly by the back of his head all the while.

“Very well done, boy,” he encouraged him, while the dark eyelashes fluttered and the throat convulsed. Then he drew out very slowly once more.

When he could no longer stand to be slow, despite the excruciating pleasure of being sheathed in the boy’s tight mouth and feeling his throat seize in instinctive panic, the King loosened his grip and thrust faster and harder, but shallow, so his cock pressed against the boy’s palate with every sharp thrust and the boy’s eyes watered so profusely he could only be said to be crying—

—and then the King pulled out completely.

They were both gasping, the King with the eluded orgasm, the boy for gulps of air after going so long without. The King gently eased the boy’s head onto his thigh and stroked his hair, his neck, and his heaving back between his shoulder blades.

“What a very sweet boy. Your mouth was such a pleasure to me, thank you.”

“So tired,” the boy was saying, softly and repeatedly. “So tired.” His voice was wrecked, no more than a rasp in his abused throat.

The King tipped up his face and looked into it seriously. He stroked the boy’s chin with his thumb, grazed his swollen lips. The boy’s eyes were still streaming, his tears strangely cool on the King’s skin, like balm.

“Do you need to rest, boy? It’s fine if you do. You don’t have to take anything else.”

The boy bit that reddened lip. “No, I can take more.”

The King smiled and placed the boy’s face on the mattress, positioning him with his cheek turned against the coverlet and his ass in the air.

The King moved behind the boy, then reached around his slim waist to cradle his cock, which was harder even than before.

“So lovely and hard,” he murmured, stroking him. The boy whimpered and his tears seemed to fall faster, painting his cheeks. The King could see it would take very little to bring him off at once. He was sticky with precome and a tremor was rattling his entire body at the King’s touch.

The King withdrew his hand and the boy sobbed softly.

“Hush now,” said the King, uncapping a vial of fragrant oil and rubbing his palms together to warm it before he pressed his fingertips against the boy, swirling the oil around his opening, and then just inside, breaching him only to the first knuckle, a single finger crooked inside his hole.

The boy panted but didn’t object, not even when the King lined his loose fist up then thrust into it, fucking into the boy’s impossible tightness.

“Oh!” gasped the boy, the thrust forcing him forward, his arms collapsing so his chest was flat on the bed.

The boy was so lovely, unresisting despite his inexperience and the way the stretch had to burn with so very little lubricant, yet he just took it...

The King realized he’d never again be able to whip the boy without imagining him like this. That could be...inconvenient.

And in his next though, he realized with dread that all the whipping boy felt, the Prince felt too. The King froze, and at the same moment there was a battering sound at the door just before the Prince himself burst through.

The King's son was red-faced, breathing heavily, one hand clutched in his robes between his legs, and tears were streaming from his eyes, making them look pitch black.

"STOP!" he cried.

"What are you doing here?" hissed the King, poised over the boy, who was twitching under him with the barely-restrained urge to writhe. Absently, the King stroked the boy's hair, and heard a stuttering sigh in response.

"Stop," insisted the Prince hoarsely. The King blinked.

He had never felt any sort of perverse desire for his son. He saw him as an extension of himself. The only physical urge toward Tom he'd ever had was to beat him into obedience, and of course that had never worked. But now he saw real desperation on the Prince's face. Now, he thought, he finally had instilled sincere remorse.

To his horror, and as though of their own accord, the King's hands gripped the boy's hips and he leaned over the boy's back so his body — his thighs, his stomach — pressed into the marks from the whip. The boy moaned. The Prince's knees buckled so he stumbled back against the door, pushing it closed with a snap.

"Father," panted the Prince.

"My Lord," moaned the boy.

The King began to slowly withdraw and glanced up to see the Prince regaining his balance, looking relieved.

The King pressed back in, hard and fast, and the Prince dropped to his knees with a cry.

The King proceeded in an attitude that had little to do with his own sexual pleasure. He felt his physical response from a great distance, as though it was incidental. What drove him were two satisfactions: a deep and confusing need to continue proving to the boy exactly how much he could take, and a visceral desire to see the Prince beg him to stop.

The boy was no longer crying, and his breathing was deep and even. The boy had done so well. He had earned his respite. The King stroked his hair again while his hips twisted and the boy ground his hips against the blankets, but he needed a sure grip, or a mouth, to come. He was only a boy, after all. He couldn't be expected to come just from a cock in his ass, not this first time.

The King began to reach for the boy's cock, but he hesitated. He glanced at the Prince, who had curled into himself on the floor, his back spasming slightly with each thrust from the King's ceaseless ministrations.

That seemed like — too much. His hand, virtually on the Prince's cock. He shuddered with distaste.

"My Lord," whispered the boy. "Am I doing well?"

The King's heart swelled with affection. "Yes. Very well. It is time for your reward." He reached beneath the boy with a splayed hand to lift him from the blankets enough that he could stroke the boy's stomach.

"Father, no," gasped the Prince, struggling to his knees.

The King looked at him thoughtfully, sinking back on his heels still buried in the boy, locking his arm around the boy's chest so the boy raised up with him then fell back against his chest with a broken sob.

The Prince's face twisted in a combination of agony and ecstasy. He dug his fingers into his thighs and gritted his teeth.

"Father... please," he all but snarled. The King kissed the boy's damp, salty cheek.

"If I stop, will you finally learn your lesson?"

The Prince scowled and opened his mouth in what the King knew would be an objection. The King's hand swept down to the boy's trembling thigh, poised to grasp his cock, and the Prince looked panicked.

"Yes! Yes, damn you."

"You’ll cease rallying my enemies under your mother's banner?" the King asked.

The Prince looked murderous. He watched the King's thumb graze the boy's softly furred balls and bit the insides of his cheeks, forcing the word out. "Yes."

The King smiled. "Very well. But we cannot leave this boy in such a state. So my other requirement is that you come here and give him your mouth."

The Prince's jaw dropped. The boy's head lolled back against the King's shoulder. The King continued stroking his thigh and raised an eyebrow at the Prince.

"When he has had his reward, I will let both of you go." He was holding the boy around the waist with one arm, and he used it to tug the boy gently from one side to the other so he swayed on the King's cock and moaned. The Prince looked ill, and nodded jerkily. He began to crawl forward, unable to get to his feet, his face red and splotchy. He would happily murder his father, the King thought. Fortunately the wizard's spells prevented him.

The Prince reached the bed and levered himself up. He was sweaty, trembling, and overheated, the King noticed as he crawled up between the boy’s and the King's knees, bent his head without preamble and took the boy's entire cock.

The King knew nothing of his son's proclivities. Well, he'd known nothing before, but they were quite obvious now, as was his apparent experience. What the Prince hadn't considered, the King thought with vague amusement as he stroked the hair from the boy's soaked temples, was that this action upon the boy's body the Prince would also feel.

The Prince moaned, and delved a hand into his own robes to hold himself where he must feel the wet and heat of his own mouth. The King supposed this was evidence his son was less intelligent than he claimed to be. Why hadn't it occurred to him to engage his previous whipping boys for this sort of experiment in the past?

The boy wasn't going to last much longer. The King could feel him surfacing from whatever deep and distant place he'd gone, brought back by bearing so much of his weight on his whip-reddened flesh, by the angle of the King's cock deep in his ass, and by the sweet, persistent heat of the Prince's talented mouth. He was struggling with the urge to thrust into the Prince while trapped on the King's cock, so the King held him firmly and, reaching out, took a handful of the Prince's hair so he could control the pace and depth.

The Prince began to struggle, but he was vulnerable, of course, and when the King managed to raise his hips and sink another inch into the boy, the Prince let himself be forced further onto the boy with an abrupt cry, stifled by his full mouth.

The boy came with a gasp, his hands flying to clutch the Prince's hair, bracketing the King's larger fist. The Prince struggled and gagged, and the King held him still until the boy was done. When he released him, the Prince pulled off with a wheeze and rolled onto his side on the mattress. The King lifted the boy very gently off of his cock.

He laid the boy so he was cradled in the soft pillows the King preferred, leaving the Prince still curled and gasping at the foot of the bed. Then the King raised himself onto his knees, took his cock in hand, and stroked himself hard and fast while the boy watched him with sleepy eyes and a faint smile.

"So very good. Look how well you did. So sweet and able for your King."

He came, painting the boy's chest, and then took a silk cloth from the table beside the bed to clean them both.

He paused, though, after wiping himself, and looked down the bed toward the Prince. "Here," he said sharply. At his tone, the Prince lifted his head. He looked exhausted, miserable. The King wondered if he'd come inside his robes in the same moment as the boy.

"Take care of him," the King said, extending the hand with the cloth.

The Prince snorted, but before he could voice whatever protest he had in mind, the King gave him a cold look.

"If you don't want me to care for him properly, then I expect you to do it."

The Prince's eyes narrowed, but he dragged himself up the bed and snatched the cloth.

The King watched carefully as the Prince wiped the boy, sure to clean every spot of the milky liquid from his reddened skin. Then he lifted the covers so that the boy was tucked in, and when the boy rolled instinctively toward him, he stiffened and shot his father a look.

The King shifted backward toward the edge of the bed. "Well?"

The Prince let out a ragged breath, and joined the boy under the covers. He tucked the boy in alongside him, seeming surprised by how the boy lay so lax and comfortably against his side. He looked sidelong at his father.

"I understand," he told him grimly.

The King smiled. He righted his robes, matter-of-fact, and left the two boys curled together in his bed. There were plenty of empty rooms in the castle; he'd let them stay where they were for the night. It would be good for them to spend more time together, the King thought. This special boy might be a positive influence on the recalcitrant Prince in more ways than one.