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 Twenty-Six: Jorin
I was woken once during the night, when the driver stopped to urinate and urged me to do the same. He didn’t untie my hands, instead just pulling down the rough trousers I wore and telling me to crouch. Once back in the carriage, I stayed on the floor, afraid of being thrown from the bench if we hit a rough patch of road.
I woke again when the carriage lurched to a stop and I hit my bruised cheek against the floor. Daylight came through the narrow window and I could hear voices. I raised my head only to find my neck so stiff from having slept with my arms tied behind my back that I could barely get myself into a sitting position before the door swung open. I blinked, trying to clear my vision, then realized one of my eyes was swollen shut. The man standing there was wearing a military uniform.
It took me a moment to remember why I was in so much pain. Seroi. The king. The beating.
I flinched as the man reached for my face, but it turned out he was just probing my swollen eye with his thumb. Not a gentle touch, but not a painful one either.
“Get up,” he said. “You won’t be here long.”
I scooted myself to the door and lowered my feet carefully to the packed earth of a rough courtyard inside stone fortifications. The man exchanged a few words with the carriage driver, shut the door on the empty carriage, and we stepped back as the team pulled away. He didn’t wait to see them through the gate before he began walking toward a low building against the wall. I followed.
He led me past the building to the pit latrine, then looked me up and down. “You must need to piss,” he said.
I just nodded, expecting him to do as the driver had. Instead he opened the door to the privy and let me step inside before he joined me. His hand was warm against my balls as he freed my cock from the trousers. Not a gentle touch. But not a painful one.
For a moment I wasn’t sure if I could do what I had to, with him holding me like that. But with no sorcery in the air, just the touch of a real, warm hand on me, my body cooperated and I sighed with relief as I emptied my bladder. He shook me dry, pulled up my trousers again, then motioned for me to keep following him.
He led me to a building deeper in the compound then, sat me on a bench, and then went inside. I tried to stretch my fingers, clenching and unclenching my hands and rolling my shoulders, trying to lessen the tension of being tied that way.
Then he returned, with a boy holding a bowl. He took a cloth from the bowl and wiped my face with it. He was bearded, and now that I could study his face I could see he was older than he’d looked at first glance. Was the boy his son? Neither of them spoke, though he wrung the cloth out twice as he worked dried blood off my skin and from around my nose. My swollen eye opened somewhat.
“You’re lucky your nose isn’t broken,” he finally said. “That must have been some brawl you were in.”
Brawl? Then he didn’t know who I was or why I was being banished. “Should’ve seen the other guy,” I croaked, my throat raw and dry. The boy smiled then forced a serious look on his face as the older man turned to wet the cloth once more.
Finally he straightened up, satisfied with his examination of my face. “Cut him loose, Braan. This one won’t make trouble for us, just the enemy. Am I right? The driver said your name was Crieg. No family name?”
I shook my head. So, Jaiks had sent me off with a clean slate. “Orphaned at a young age.”
He nodded like it was a story he often heard while the boy sawed my wrists free with his belt knife. I stifled a cry as my arms came forward, the sudden change of posture painful in itself, but the movement also tore open a welt on my back. They watched me suspiciously for a moment, but when I made no other sound, the boy came forward and unwound the rope from my wrists, then rubbed at the skin with the palms of his hands.
“Thank you for your kindness,” I said.
At that the older man laughed bitterly, a short bark of a laugh. “Are we kind to heal you, only to send you to your death? Don’t thank us, Soldier Crieg.” At that he put a hand on my shoulder. “You’re joining the vanguard unit to Tiger’s Mouth, you know. Although who knows. If you’re half the fighter Jaiks said you are, maybe you’ll survive. I don’t know. I’m Pashal, the camp healer. This is Braan. I doubt I’ll ever see you again.”
I merely nodded. “What do I do next?”
“We’ll feed you and get you some shoes. They won’t give you swords or weapons yet. The transport moves out tomorrow with you and about twenty others.”
They led me to another low, smoky building where the soldiers were fed. Both the building and the food were similar to what I knew with the king’s guard, only rougher. No one spoke to me except Pashal. Braan brought me a pair of boots that fit. The men here, they were rougher, too. I supposed if they were all picked for this suicide duty, they were all some kind of criminals or troublemakers.
I looked for Dubacki. Hadn’t that been the rumor—that he had been sent to Tiger’s Mouth? But I did not see him. Perhaps he had long since gone to his demise.
After the meal Pashal examined my face again. He brought a commanding officer to look at me and they spoke in low voices for a bit. The officer left and Pashal returned to me. “You’ll spend the night in the infirmary,” he said, “instead of the barracks. You’ll join the others soon enough.”
He led me outside and I realized with a start that the light in the sky I had taken for early morning had actually been dusk. How far had I traveled and how long had I been unconscious in the carriage? I had not studied Sergetten’s maps as carefully as I should have when he had been teaching Kenet the lay of the land. The summer evening was long but coming to its inevitable end.
Pashal showed me to a low cot in one corner of the building where he had tended to my face. No one else was there, although there were two other cots.
“I have a tincture,” he said, as I sat down on it, “that will help you to sleep if the pain keeps you awake. But I will only give it to you if you want it.”
I shook my head. “I won’t need it.”
“Good.” He waited until I had lain down and pulled the blanket over myself before he left, shutting the door behind him.
Now, alone in the gathering dark, I allowed myself to think of Kenet. The cot creaked as I shifted carefully, afraid that if blood crusted my shirt to the welt I would re-open it again and again if I moved too much.
Kenet. Where was he and what was he doing now? How had he made it through the night and how would I make it through this one? I wondered if I should have taken the tincture, but I didn’t want to have my wits dulled if anything should happen while I was asleep.
So it was that I was wide awake some hours later, but feigning sleep, when the door creaked open. I could not make out the figure but it certainly sounded like it could be Pashal. He came close and knelt next to the cot, the wooden floorboards creaking under him. “Crieg,” he whispered.
He put a hand on my chest, warm and solid, and just sat with it like that for a long minute. At first I wondered what he was doing. Then I felt the hand begin to move in a slow circle. A kind of caress. My breath caught.
“If my touch is unwanted…” he began.
I put my hand over his to tell him it wasn’t. But I did ask. “Why?”
“I could tell when I held your cock for you to piss,” he whispered in my ear. “That you might. It’s one of the reasons men are sent here.”
Ah. And I had not objected in the slightest to how he’d held me in the privy, a clue that I might welcome more. His hand slipped into my trousers then, finding the organ in question and stroking me to full length. My breath caught again. His hand was callused and clumsy, so unlike Kenet’s, and yet it was solid and real and warm, so unlike the sorcerous touch that had provoked me in front of the king.
When I felt his breath moist near my ear, though, I asked again. “Why?”
“Men being sent to their death are also more willing to accept pleasure from a stranger’s hand,” he answered.
He milked me until I was on the edge of spilling, then stopped and let me rest. He did this three times. On the third time I asked, “May I touch you as well?”
“Only if you want to, Soldier Crieg.”
“I want to. And my sense of honor demands it. But I want to.”
“Very well.” He pulled away for a moment, shedding his trousers, then slipping onto the cot next to me. I wasted no time in wrapping my fingers around him. He was much larger than Kenet, weighty and thick, and I wondered if such a prick would yield more milk.
I came with a gasp, spilling into his fingers and then catching what I could in my own palm and stroking him with the cream, causing him to groan. He spilled almost immediately and I wondered if he had been thinking of this moment ever since he’d touched me in the privy.
Now that we were both spent, neither of us was inclined to speak. He slipped away a few moments later, leaving me wondering how many other men like him were hiding among my countrymen.
He had given me a greater gift than he knew. A bit of pleasure, yes. And spent as I was, I was finally able to sleep. But he had given me hope, too. I couldn’t quite explain why, but just knowing he was there, that he existed, emboldened my heart somehow. In the morning I would leave for Tiger’s Mouth, though, and I supposed I would need all the courage I could muster.
* * *
Impatient to find out the fate of Kenet and Jorin? Book one (chapters 1-56) is now on sale for only 99 cents in ebook from all your favorite retailers or direct from Circlet Press!
About the author: Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of many erotic books and stories and the founder of Circlet Press.