Welcome to The Prince’s Boy by Cecilia Tan, a tale of a prince and his whipping boy ensnared in a plot of dark erotic magic. Warning: explores themes of dubious consent and situations of sexual jeopardy. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Wednesday. This week is Chapter Eighteen: Jorin
It took us some time to move through the corridors and across the courtyards to reach the banquet hall. I had never dreaded a beating so much.
No, that is probably not true. But one forgets the dread, in between. My back tingled with the memory of how severely the king had whipped me the last time, though, and I thought about Dubacki and wondered if the king would even hesitate to unman me with the whip if I could not control myself.
That was the thought that caused my balls to shrink, I think. By the time we reached the banquet hall, and by the time I was disrobing upon the dais, all trace of my arousal was gone. Thankfully.
With a gesture the king bade Kenet sit to the right of the throne, beside the Lord High Mage, who watched us with one eyebrow raised, as if he were watching a clever but scholarly play being enacted. The room was silent except for the crackling of the fire and some stifled coughs from the assembled at the tables below the dais. There were probably seventy or eighty pairs of eyes watching me as I stripped down, again at a gesture from the king, who held a riding whip in his hand.
That did not bode well.
It was a thin rod, tipped with a loop of leather, and I had seen the welts and bruises it had raised on Dubacki’s back and shoulders when wielded by the guards.
Horses have very thick skin. Comparatively.
He gestured again, a signal that I should present myself for punishment. I placed my hands against the table where so recently he had been eating. I faced the throne, exposing my back to the assembled in the room and spreading my legs without being asked. That sent a bit of a murmur through the room.
The first touch was a trail of the cowhide loop down my back, making me shiver.
And then Kenet spoke. Kenet, oh Kenet, shut up! “What is the infraction?”
The king brought the whip down with his full strength on the table, the sound making me jump and several women in the room gasp in fear. His voice was dangerously low, but I had no doubt he could be heard by all. “Are you questioning my right to mete out the judgements I see fit?”
“No, father, not at all!” Kenet’s eyes glittered and I saw his jaw set. Oh, my brave prince. “But you should name the infraction and the punishment before beginning!” I closed my eyes, worrying that his speech was only going to make this worse for me, but knowing what he feared, knowing what he was trying to protect me from. If the king were to fly into a rage and beat me senseless? There were those criminals whose sentence of death was delivered in such a manner. “If this punishment is to aid me in correcting me, in teaching me, then I must know what the infraction is.”
“And can you not guess?” Here the king put a fist into my hair and bent my head back, running the tip of the whip up and down my back. “Perhaps I shall beat him until you get it right.”
The first blow fell across my buttocks even as Kenet opened his mouth to speak, and then he could not answer because my cry was too loud for him to be heard over. Thunder’s roll! It hurt a great deal more than I expected, a sharp, sudden agony that faded very slowly.
“My absence!” Kenet called out. “Did you expect me at your side tonight? I… I did not know you…”
He fell silent as the king spoke and I was grateful for the opportunity to recover from the first blow. “You have forgotten already what we spoke of? That I expect you now to take a more active role in governance?”
Kenet’s eyes fell. “I… I didn’t realize you meant I should attend every banquet. You… that isn’t what you said.”
“You are past the age when I should be explaining these things to you. You had Sergetten tutoring you for years in matters of state, did you not? If you have not grasped the subtleties by now, it is because you are not trying hard enough. Perhaps this will motivate you.”
I felt his muscles tense as he spoke and knew the blow was coming. Steeling myself for it helped not at all, as the strike hurt even more than the first. I manage to choke off my scream this time, though. Then another, and another, and one more. Five, that was five, I thought to myself. Was that enough?
There was a pause, and I could tell by looking at Kenet that he and his father were staring at each other. The Lord High Mage, meanwhile, only had eyes for Kenet.
Five more blows came, in quick succession, and my knees buckled as I screamed.
“I’m sorry!” Kenet screamed, as well. “Is that what it will take for you to stop? My apology? I’ll try harder, father! I will! I am sorry to have disappointed you. I didn’t… you’re right, I didn’t think. I should have sent word! I… I’ve been feeling ill.”
I made a distressed noise as the grip in my hair tightened painfully. “The penalty for lying to me is fifty strokes.”
“I’m not lying!” Kenet got up from his seat and looked on the verge of falling to his knees. To my surprise, the Lord High Mage was up just as quickly, and he put a hand on Kenet’s shoulder, steadying him.
“Your highness,” he said, his voice deep but powerful. “The prince is not lying. I can attest that he is not well. His complexion looked ashen this afternoon and I find it likely he is in need of some fortifying treatment.”
I could feel a tremble in the king’s arm. “Very well. The penalty is five strokes for your absence, five strokes for challenging my authority, and five strokes for your ignorance and to spur you to be more aware of your duties in the future. You will notify my in the future.”
“Yes, father.” Kenet remained standing, though I could see he wanted nothing more than to collapse. My brave prince. He straightened his spine as the Lord High Mage steadied him with a hand at his back.
“Jorin.” I was surprised to hear the king say my name. He let go my hair. “Step back from the table. Hands atop your head. You will remain upright as I deliver the punishment.”
I did as he said, my upraised arms making the stutter in my breath all the more obvious as my chest shuddered when I inhaled. Kenet’s gaze met mine.
I could not hold it, though. By the third blow I had clenched shut my eyes, and was doing everything in my power to stay on my feet. It was only five, but they were delivered just quickly enough that I could not recover between them, just slowly enough that staying in that position without moving was a challenge. The fifth one caught me right at the base of my buttocks and sent shooting pain down both legs, at which point I buckled and went to my knees.
But it was over. The king signaled to the musicians to begin a tune, and I found Bear putting a cloak around my shoulders, and I do not even recall the walk back to our rooms.
I do remember Kenet’s stoicism shattering once we were in bed together. “Oh, he’s awful! Just awful.”
“Hush,” I said, drowsy and almost intoxicated with the relief of being warm and safe in his bed. “You mustn’t speak of the king that way.”
“I’ll speak of him how I like,” Kenet hissed. “After I’m king, he’ll no longer be able to touch you.”
I chuckled. “No, indeed, then when you make a mistake you will have to whip me yourself.”
“Never!” His hand smoothed my hair over and over. “Listen to me, Jorin. I’ve spoken to him of it. You’re to replace Bear after my coming of age ceremony. And after the war with the Frangi is won, I’ll go on a grand tour of the kingdom with you at my side, and when we return, I shall be king.”
I opened my eyes to look at him. “You’ve spoken to the king of this?”
“Well, to be more accurate, he’s spoken to me of it. But you see? It’s exactly as I said. You and I will never be parted.” He kissed me then, his mouth on my mouth, as if he were hungry. When he pulled back, he said, “Bear is wise for training his replacement, or so my father says.”
I sighed, daring to dream that it might be true. “All I care about is that we are together now,” I said. “What did the Lord High Mage mean he saw you this afternoon and you looked ashen?”
Kenet froze, then met my eyes. “I can’t tell you,” he said. “Can’t.”
I could hear the emphasis in his voice. “Can’t, eh? Just like you can’t tell me how you know your psychic armor isn’t to be pierced? Kenet, is that what’s making you sick? But no. No one has pierced it yet, have they?”
He shook his head.
“If there were someone to ask about your psychic armor, I would think Lord Seroi would be the one,” I mused. “Did you go to him to find out why you’re sick?”
He shook his head again. But who else but Seroi would speak of something like psychic armor? Then I remembered how he had frozen when I had implied someone else had been touching him besides me.
My breath caught. “Lord Seroi has been… he’s the one you’ve… It’s Seroi, isn’t it?” I stammered.
He just stared at me, and did not shake his head no this time.
“That’s what you can’t tell me, isn’t it.” Again, no denial. “He’s cursed you to silence, is that it?” He bit his lip, looking skeptical, but again not denying it. So that wasn’t exactly it, but it was close.
He kissed me again then. “I want to lie with you, Jorin. Like a maid does. I don’t even know exactly what a maid is supposed to do, other than lie there… but I can’t. It’s too dangerous. For me.”
“Hush, don’t speak then, if that’s dangerous, too.” I licked my hand and shifted position so I could take both of our cocks together in my grip. We were soon both hard. “But if we’re never to be parted,” I whispered into his ear, “then no matter what you have to do with him or to him, you must promise me this.”
“Promise you what?” he whispered back, his voice urgent in the darkness.
“Promise that I shall always have this, my cock and your cock together.” I stroked us as I spoke. “Promise that you are my prince, mine always, and you will welcome my touch in the night in our bed.”
He swallowed first, but then pressed his mouth close to my ear. “I promise,” he breathed, and I felt a surge of something go through him, and through me, and it was like no other time we had come together—indeed, it was so strong and yet so different I was not entirely sure we had come at all until I felt the hot spurts through my fingers.
“My prince,” I breathed back, my lips brushing his forehead as he fell into exhausted sleep, my hand still holding our cocks close.
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About the author: Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of many erotic books and stories and the founder of Circlet Press.