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 Thirty-Nine: Kenet
The general let Marksin free of the kiss, patted me once more on the shoulder, then fell backwards onto the sleeping pallet, already unconscious. Marksin and I stared at one another for a moment, then by some silent mutual agreement we set about getting Roichal out of his jacket and into a better sleeping position.
I looked with some dismay at the sleeping pallet. “There is only room for two…”
He waved a hand at me, and I could see the mask of diffidence he normally wore trying to descend.
“Please stay,” I said, before he could mutter something, and I saw his eyes widen. “Please, Marksin.”
“I don’t know what the history is between you, and you don’t have to tell me.” I struggled for the proper words to speak truthfully without offending him. “I don’t know why he… he needs me in between in order to… to acknowledge you. But… but I think he would want you to stay.”
He nodded then, as if it pained him to agree and yet he clearly did not want to leave. “Take your place,” he said softly, as if he did not want to wake the general. “Go on.”
I watched him carefully as I lifted the general’s arm and settled myself against him. Roichal pulled me close without waking, snuffling a bit until he settled again. Marksin made a headroll of his trousers and lay down facing me on the canvas beside the pallet, his jacket over one shoulder as a blanket. “That’s… that was the first time he’s kissed me since…” He shook his head as if finding the right words was difficult for him, too. “In over ten years.”
“That’s more than half my life ago!” I blurted.
He allowed himself a small smile. “I was a page, too, once. When he was a cavalry commander. We were ambushed by the Frangi; it was total chaos. When I finally found him, he had been fighting a Night Mage, hand to hand. He was… on the ground, on all fours, struggling to get to his feet again. Who knows how many times the Mage had knocked him down? Then he screamed—thunder, what a scream. I charged the Mage with another man’s sword then, and drove him off…. He disappeared in a puff of smoke.”
I tried to imagine Marksin as my own age, swinging a sword with his hair short and his sleeves too small. “What happened to the general?”
“There was no blood, no nothing, but he was shaking all over, as if he couldn’t control his limbs. His eyes were rolling up in his head. I screamed for help but no one came.”
“We were the only two who survived the ambush.”
“What did you do?” My eyes must have been as wide as a curious cat’s.
“I… I don’t know what came over me. The spasms stopped and I was holding him and… I thought he was dying in my arms. I…” He broke off, and fought for a moment. When he went on, there were no tears, not even a tremor in his voice, though it was gentle. “I kissed him.”
I might have let out a sob myself then, though.
After a few moments, Marksin went on. “He came to shortly after that. He had no memory of the ambush beyond the first few moments. None at all.”
“Even…?” I could not say it and neither could the field marshal. Roichal either did not remember the kiss, or was choosing to pretend it had never happened.
“He taught me everything I needed to know to survive as a soldier. I don’t mean how to fight. I mean… he taught me where to spill my milk, how to… to find willing or at least allowable sources of relief,” Marksin said quietly. “But he… he never hinted that we could be that for each other, nor even just I for him. And after that attack… everything changed.”
I tried to remember Roichal’s visit to the castle, when he was honored. I had been just a boy. “But, wait, didn’t he win some important battle against the Frangi? Single-handedly? Well, with the help of some farmers or something?”
Marksin’s smile was genuine. “We were able to save six horses, and the two of us managed to recruit four young men from a nearby village, and yes, we routed and drove off an entire incursion battalion. We were both promoted after that, but that separated us. It took me a few years to get back to working under his direct command again.”
His single-minded loyalty made me feel unworthy. For even as I found safety and pleasure and even a kind of peace in Roichal’s arms, Jorin was never far from my mind. I felt even worse to realize with no doubt now, having heard the story, that Marksin envied me my place, and probably by all rights belonged in it.
That only brought me back to the eternal question, why was Roichal the only man who hadn’t tried to fuck me? Did his refusal to do it extend all the way back to the days before the attack, or was there some other reason why he wouldn’t have taken Marksin when he was a page? And how did I fit in now? My presence had clearly changed the balance somehow, but I didn’t understand how.
“Thank you,” I said then, as my eyes started to close. “Thank you for telling me that.”
“Thank you,” he answered with a sleepy chuckle. “You have opened a door for me I thought long since closed in my face. I… I had no idea he had not found release in ten years. I had assumed he took his pleasures elsewhere. Tomorrow… hmm. Tomorrow maybe he will pretend not to remember. But I will remember. I will.”
There was still a smile on his face as he fell asleep. So I did not feel completely worthless then.
* * *
Prefer reading on paper? You can mail order the finished books of The Prince’s Boy, Volumes One and Two, right now and have them within days! Order direct from Amazon, of use the coupon code UU3ULDAN to get 20% off the cover price if you purchase one or both volumes from Createspace! (Volume one | Volume 2)
About the author: Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of many erotic books and stories and the founder of Circlet Press.