The king awoke from a nightmare that was all to familiar. A homemade patch work quilt held his naked skin tightly. The body beside him slept with ease as he slipped from the queen sized bed, taking the quilt with him. A few slaps to his face woke him from his daze. His eyes adjusted to the dark just in time to catch the sight of him self in the gold rimmed mirror. The face he feared the most looked back at him. The nightmare was real, he knew reality from fantasy, but deep in his heart he hoped that one day when he woke up the monster in the mirror would truly be nothing but a horrid dream.
"Let your true self come forth, the beast within shall sear the skin, crack the bones, and soil the very souls of those around you as you live the rest of your natural life as the beast that your people see you as. May the goddesses send you to the deepest depths of hell, where the light of the burning dead cannot reach you, a cold and dark place, a hole made just for you. Your life will be forever altered in a way that cannot be undone with a simple spell or black market magic. The only cure is the one thing you will never achieve in your disgusting existence. Love from another. Love that isn't forced, Love that comes with time, Love that's whole and true, that burns bright enough to melt your frozen heart. When that person comes into your life the curse will be broken with a single passionate, consensual kiss. With thy heart black as night and thou soul vacant of light, may your true form be revealed."
The old hag's words echoed freshly in his disfigured ears. Saliva dripped from his mouth where two sharp tusks hung from his upper jaw. The fur on his face needed yet another trimming after only three days time. His fingers were covered with wrinkled brown skin, tough as leather with little dark hairs sticking out of his knuckles. each finger tipped with 2 inch long claws that were nearly impossible to cut and would grow at a rapid pace if they were to be clipped. though he maintained his stunning body mass and muscles that would rip the fabric of his clothing if he flexed hard enough, his legs were a lost cause. both covered in thin prickly hog hair with large cattle hooves keeping him steady. After countless years of being under the curse the king could never get use to his oddly shaped legs that bent in the way of a mutt's. He often received massive joint pain from his knees and the fact that the bone was open to the elements only added to the pain. A strip of thick thorn like hair ran down his back from his neck to his tailbone where a long thick lion-like tail sprouted out and dragged on the floor behind him. The thick fur on his thighs and underbelly provided him with perfect coverage to be able to be naked in public but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. Especially not in front of the boy. His nudity tonight was the boys own suggestion. Being naked under a thin blanket that allows air to easily move through it seemed like a perfect plan of action to help stop his midnight sweats and keep comfortable at the same time. It did work, he was mostly dry except for a few thick tears that rolled down his peach fuzz cheeks. How many nights has he woken up just to cry himself back to sleep in a state of udder shame and despair. He lost count many moons ago.
"My lord?..'" a weak sleepy voice called out to him from beneath the thick bed sheets. a full head of messy blond hair tied up in an even messier bun peeked up over the covers. The boys tired blue eyes blinked at the dark king once or twice before sitting up and stretching like feline waking from an afternoon nap. The king whipped his face before the boy could see. Dressed only in a pair of white body hugging under wear and one of the king's old shirts that hung down low over his small hips, the boy made the shattered king's heart beat in a warm sweet rhythm. Was this feeling not love? Was this boy beside him not the one and only definition of that painful word? Perhaps the boy did not return his affection, perhaps the boy only saw their relationship as nothing but a king and his loyal servant. No, that couldn't be it. The home cooked meals prepared with perfection. The bodily care that no other servant would dare attempt. The gifts made from scrap paper and wood carvings. The playful notes left in special places through out the castle, hidden places only the king knew. These actions are not done by a scared underling who would rather be dead then serve him. Yes. The boy did love him, in some way or another, the boy loved him. He had to! It wouldn't make no sense otherwise! Right?...
The king was pulled from his thoughts with the feeling of something soft touching his skin. The boy's head was resting on his shoulder, his upper chest pressed against the king's bare back, his soft arms around the king's chest in a warm worried hug of sorts. The best hug the boy could manage while avoiding the king's prickly hair. The boys own hair, soft and slightly curled at the end, is touching the king's cheek. The messy bun, on the verge of falling apart, was brushing up against his ear. The king set his hand over the boy's. A pleasant noise left the boy's lips, a hum of approval. The boy was never afraid. The night the boy fell into the king's grasp was the grandest night of his life. The boy had come to kill him. A sword in hand and a shield at the ready, the boy entered the large castle. The boy seemed to be quick on his feet with a sixth sense that allowed him to easily sense people and objects behind him. Sneak attacks were out of the question. As the boy made his way to the king's lair a harsh rumbling quake hit the castle. Bricks shivered, lights burnt out and fell to the floor, the wall decor became misshapen and tattered. The boy was in a panic, his sixth sense pulling him toward every little quivering brick and light source. The ceiling cracked above him, releasing a large chunk that was bigger than the boys head. He sensed it to late. His eyes rolled back as blood poured from his gashed forehead. Color faded from his face, his mangled skin seemed cringed at the castles cold air. It was an instant kill. The boy hit the ground seconds before the shaking stopped. A tall cloaked figure approached from the shadows. He couldn't except this cruel fate. He wanted the boy alive. His black magic sutured the wound, mending the internal damage and sealing it with out a scar. A shock to the boys chest brought his heart back to a steady beat. He finally had the hero of time in his hands! but at what cost? The only down side to the king's quick thinking was the after math of the head wound. The boy woke up 2 weeks later without a single clue as to what had happened or who he even was. It was a long process, years in the making, with the boy working quite happily as a servant for the king. He suddenly screamed one night during supper. 4 years had passed before his memory came pouring back like a waterfall being set free from the dam. The kindness, the fatherly affection, the constant support and praise when he had done something right. His sworn enemy, the bane of his existence, the blood thirsty tyrant... Wasn't so blood thirsty after all. His kindness had won the boy's heart countless times, his soothing words during the boys mentally unstable break downs were those of a worried friend. A friend, not a monster. The boy stayed by the king's side even though the curse had made many others flee in fear. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"Come back to bed my king. We can't spend every night like this, you'll drive yourself to insanity if you continue this pattern." He rubbed his forehead against the king's shoulder. When he receives no answer from his king he tries again. "Please? You can hold me if you'd like. I'll be your pillow, and I'll stay up as long as it takes for you to fall asleep. I'll even stay up while your sleeping! You know your comfort is my pleasure!" The boy fell into a short silence, saddened by his king's lack of emotion. "Please...Let me help you..You never let me help." "You wish to help, but you can not provide the help i need young hero." The king sighs. True love huh? Love that burns brighter than a thousand suns. Perhaps if his loyal servant was a girl this could work out for the better. The sex of his beloved servant was the biggest hole in their relationship. Men don't love men. Boys don't love other boys. It's not natural, not socially accepted, not right in the eyes of the goddesses them selves. The boy crawled into the king's lap, the quilt he spent months on covered the king's legs. The boy took the quilt and wrapped it around his king's wide shoulders. He made sure to make it double the size the quilter at the craft fair suggested and he knew it was the right move. The quilt surrounded them both with enough extra space to fit 3 more servants inside. The boys smooth legs hung off the king's right leg, freshly shaven just as the king likes. He let his body lean into the warm chest of his master. The king finished the position by wrapping his thick arms around the boys tiny frame, topping it off by resting his chin on the boys head.
"I can not bare you children. I can not give you the same love of a woman or wife. I can not pleasure you like a woman can. But I will be with you for as long as you allow me to. I would and will do anything for you. I will grant your wishes to the best of my abilities and never will i ever turn away. I love you just the way you are, monster or not. Just let me show it. Let me help." The king froze, a sudden thought arrived in his head. "My wishes. Any wish, no matter the cost." "Anything for you my lord. Anything you want." The boy looked up at the king with a small open mouthed smile and a curious gleam in his wide blue eyes. "I wish...I wish for something i can never have. Something I'm missing, but will never find. something to hold, something to come home to. A reason to keep living this miserable life. I wish to be normal again and go back to my normal life with the person who would break this curse. A normal life with the person who would show a beast like me something monsters don't deserve to have. I wish for someone to love." The king's eyes welled up with fresh tears that the boy whipped away. "But my lord, i love you." The king was untouched by the words. The boy said it to him every day. But could it be true this time? Could it be real? "Prove it." he replied, the same way he did everyday after the boy would say those dreadful words. The boy never did anything to 'prove it'. He never acted on his words. If he truly loved the king why wouldn't he just show it!? Something warm and moist touched the king's lips. The boy's soft lips contrasted with the king's perfectly. Hard and soft. Complete opposites. But they attracted like magnets. A warm voice whispered in the king's ear.
"Let the truth of pure love be shown. The beast who has broken so many hearts, has mended his own. Be proud my king, you have achieved a mighty gift true beasts can not obtain. With thy lesson learned and thou black heart turned, let the curse be broken.