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 Forty-Four: Jorin
Sergetten harrumphed. “Wash. Wash yourself well, dirt-eater. And be ready at sundown.” He left us, then, the tent flapping shut behind him.
“Shall I come with you?” Kan asked.
I shook my head. “And be tempted into taking me for the last time, again? No, Kan. Let me go.”
He ran his fingers through my hair. “You are such a brave beast.”
“I am not. I have no choice.”
“You are. To accept the bond of a man you know will be cruel to you.”
“He will not be half so cruel to me as Seroi is to Kenet.”
Kan could think of nothing clever to say to that, and he let me go.
I made my way to the creek where we watered the horses, and piled up rocks at the edge of one small dip, making a pool up to my knees. I washed as well as I could, scrubbing myself everywhere, including between my legs, even though that would rid me of the grease Kan had suggested I use.
I wondered if Kenet was doing something similar right now, preparing himself for Seroi’s thorn to prick him. Anger burned in me, making my ears hot, as I imagined Kenet experiencing the kind of searing need I had. Kenet’s desire had ever been mine and mine alone, from the first time it had flared in him, and I wanted nothing more than to cut out Seroi’s heart for taking that from me.
I hurried back to the camp. I knew we would not be moving until after the ritual, but I was impatient to plan Kenet’s rescue and to hear the rest of what the sentry had to say.
When I arrived back in the glade, though, I found the mood changed. Everyone was preparing to go as soon as the ritual was complete, but no one would meet my eyes. What had Sergetten told them?
I followed Gresh back to the watering hole, where he filled the small casks. “What did I miss?”
“We must away as soon as you are severed from us,” he said with a shrug. “Back to Tiger’s Mouth.”
“What? What about the prince?”
“He’s not there.”
“The castle. At least, that is what Sergetten says.”
“Go ask him yourself. Herge brought us a broadsheet with the picture of the missing spy on it. Herge had thought it was Kan, that this was how they would catch us at last… but Sergetten said no, it is a picture of the prince.”
I ran back to the camp this time, but neither Kan nor Sergetten were in evidence. I asked after them, but no one seemed to know where they had gone. Finally Willim pointed up the hill, and I climbed up the gentle side of the slope that ended in a small bluff. They were at the top, where it was clear and grassy, gesturing at the ground and arguing.
They fell silent as they saw me approaching. “What is this about Kenet escaping?” I demanded.
“We do not know yet for certain,” Kan said.
“Yes, we do,” Sergetten countered. “It is plain that he has escaped the Lord High Mage’s plans, and rather than let the populace know that their crown prince is on the run, they have told them that he is an escaped spy. So few know his face, it is an easily believed tale. His hair is as fair as a Frangi’s.”
“But where is he?” I cried.
“That, we have no idea of,” Sergetten said coolly.
I do not know what came over me. I threw myself at his feet, on my knees. “Do what you will with me, but find him. Is there some form of Night Magic that can find him? I do not care what I must suffer, Sergetten, if it will save him from harm.”
For a moment I saw something like sympathy flicker through those dark eyes, but then he just shook his head with disdain. “You know nothing of what you speak.”
“Is there a spell, then? Whatever you must do, I will bear it. Please.” I imagined that there must be something like what Kan had done in the night that drew Sergetten to us. Could we bring Kenet to us, too?
Sergetten slid his hand into my hair and chuckled darkly. “To think I did not dream you would ever actually beg.”
“Don’t toy with him, Sergetten,” Kan warned.
“And why shouldn’t I?” Sergetten asked. “He will shortly be mine to do with as I wish. In fact, he will need to be trained most rigorously. Well, Jorin, what is it Kan has dubbed you? Weltskin? You will do anything I ask of you?”
“Anything,” I said.
He leaned over and pulled at my hair until we were nose to nose. “What I ask, then, is that you trust me.”
My breath caught.
“I want the prince safe and out of the hands of danger as much as you do,” he said. “But you must trust me. If what you have told me of Seroi is true…”
“It is! It is irrefutable!”
“Hush!” He shook me. “If indeed his lordship intended to turn the prince into a night-bound whoreslave, he must be stopped at all costs. For if he should succeed, the whole of Trest would enter an era of darkness the likes of which you cannot even imagine.”
“Then we must find Kenet!”
“Yes, we must. But there are things that must happen first.” He loosened his grip some. “Like you must be trained. You cannot be trained until we are bound, and we cannot be bound until you are loosed by the others, and you cannot be loosed by the others until sundown.” He let me go then as he stepped back. “And it will go so much better for you if you trust me.”
“How? How can I trust you if Seroi has enchanted you with Night Magic of his own?”
“He has not.”
“He waited until you were out of the way to start bespelling Kenet. How do you know you did not leave under some compulsion?”
“Because I know!” he roared. “I know much better than you the powers his lordship exerts. I know, too, the reasons your assertion about his intentions for the prince may be misinformed. I, however, cannot take the chance that you may be correct and must act as if you are, until proven otherwise. Kenet must be found.”
“Swear to me you will never do him harm and I will obey your every word,” I said.
He laughed, which was not the reaction I was expecting. “You are in no position to bargain, Jorin Weltskin. In a few hours, you will obey my every word, regardless.”
I folded my arms. “And you wonder why I do not trust you?”
“Don’t be daft. I know exactly why you do not trust me, which is why I know it is of no use to try to convince you otherwise.” He took a few steps away from me, as if to return to the camp, but looked back when I called his name.
“Sergetten! I will have your promise, or I will not go through with this.” I held Kan’s gaze with mine and knew he would back me at least this far. “This is not about magic, but about honor.”
Sergetten laughed bitterly. “A dirt-eater’s honor?”
“Call me what you like. I am a ladra’an of the royal household…”
“I was given to understand you had been exiled from that post.”
“Not by Kenet.”
“Who could be said to have abdicated his claim to the throne by his flight.”
“Sergetten,” Kan said, voice low. “You will shut your mouth and listen to what Weltskin has to say or never mind the consequences, I will not let you lay a finger on him.”
Sergetten folded his arms then, mimicking my pose. I held firm and spoke. “It is not my honor that matters here, in any case. It is yours, Sergetten. Swear to me that you will release me from the slave bond when Kenet and I are reunited and that you will never harm him or help him to come to harm.”
Sergetten shook his head. “My first allegiance above all others is to the king, and passes only to his son upon his death.”
“Very well. Then swear to me in such a way as not to compromise your first allegiance.”
“I am trying to point out that this feeble attempt to wrest a measure of control when you have none, just to assuage your fears, is pointless. What if Korl has ordered me to bring you to him for punishment at any cost? I would be compelled to deceive you.”
“And yet you just asked me to trust you!” I wanted to grab him by the edges of his collar and shake him.
He gave me a slight bow, as if I had scored a point. “Indeed. I ask you to trust that I will make the right decisions about my allegiances should they conflict with one another. Nothing is absolute, Jorin. If the king put a dagger into my hand and said ‘kill the prince’ I doubt that I could do so without hesitation. A lack of open defiance is not the same thing as acquiescence, and even perfect obedience is not the same thing as submission.”
He looked at Kan. “Come, let’s get out of the open. You, too, Weltskin.”
I stood my ground. Perhaps it was childish, but part of me was arguing that I was not his slave yet and so should defy him now while I could.
“I understand you are frightened, and you should be,” he said. “I understand you are trying to extract a piece of power from me, who will soon have all power over you. But that is exactly why I cannot give it to you. I don’t expect a dirt-eater like you to grasp such logic, but I despair for you and your princeling if you do not learn the lessons I have to teach you eventually.” He glared at me one last time and then stalked down the hill without looking back. Kan looked from me to him back to me again, then finally turned and followed him back to the camp.
I sat down in the grass and put my head in my hands.
I did not move from the spot. For a good while I was too angry to think straight, and then when I felt calmer, I no longer wanted to think through the tangles of logic that every argument with Sergetten was. Instead, I let my mind go blank. I suppose one could say I meditated, though it wasn’t intentional. I watched the sun set from up there, into a gorgeous summer sky of copper and orange.
And then I heard them coming. Kan and the men who had bound me. I stayed as I was, and Kan knelt beside me and began pulling me out of my clothes. Suddenly the others were helping, and in a trice I was naked and being borne back down the hill on their shoulders like a log.
They carried me to a clearing—it might have been the same one we’d used for fight practice, only now they had torches burning. They laid me out upon the stitched hide, upon my stomach. I wondered how elaborate the ritual would be.
Not very, as it turned out. To release me, each man spoke a few ritual words as he spilled his milk onto me, painting my buttocks with it. I wondered, was this why it was called “release”? Then, after they had released me, Sergetten took me.
And yes, they call it taking. He bore me down with the weight of his body, his cock seeking entrance even before our position had settled, and unerringly spearing me. I could not tell if he had slicked himself especially or if it was just that his prick was coated with the seed of the others. There was enough grease that I felt not the burn or discomfort of dry friction, just the intensity of pain caused by his size. He was thick like Gresh, but long, too.
Once he had me pinned, he caught me around the throat with a strap of leather. I could not help it. I fought, which only drove his cock deeper into me, but I could not bear the thought of him humiliating me so in front of the others, making me his dog, his pet.
The moment the clasp closed though, I howled like a wounded animal, as the transfer became complete, and the aching need which had abated as each of my former holders had spilled returned full force. He fucked me hard and fast, then, and one might have called him merciless, except that the sooner he came, the sooner my pain would end.
He stroked me, too, in time with his thrusts, and I remembered what he had said earlier. Yes, his stroking of my cock did add pleasure to the experience; it did reverse some of the worst of my suffering. Had Kan not loved me so well, and so often, just a few short weeks ago I might have called that ecstasy.
Sergetten was chanting words in the old language they used, and for a moment I almost thought I could understand them. There was a word the others had repeated, too, that had to mean release. But what was Sergetten releasing this time?
It seemed to me I came as the world turned white, a sudden blast of cold but hot, dark but bright, everything shattering around me forever and ever and ever… And then suddenly time moved forward again and Sergetten slumped atop me, cock still buried deep.
I could feel carpet under my cheek, under my palms, and could sense we were indoors. The castle? I tried to raise my head.
“Down,” he said.
I went still but not silent. “What happened?”
“I used the energy created by the bonding to send us back to the spot from which Kan plucked me.”
“Where are we?”
“A safe place,” he said, running a hand down my ribcage. “A small keep, easy to defend, difficult to find.”
“But where?” I insisted.
“It would be better if you didn’t know, but since you cannot run away from me now, I suppose there is little harm in assuaging your curiosity. We’re near the border of Pellon, just north of there.”
“So nearly to Frangit, as well.”
“Glad to see some of those geography lessons sank in after all.” With that he jerked his cock free and left me gasping. He got to his feet. “You have something to say, Weltskin?” he challenged.
“Why, are you going to order me not to criticize my master?”
He laughed. “Oh, far from it. I encourage you to speak your mind. You will no doubt give me many more opportunities to correct you if you speak than if you sit quietly. Well, go on. Are you so eager for a round of punishment that you must start right away?”
“Will you punish me, even if I am right?”
He crouched beside me and ran a hand down my back. “Let me make a few things clear. You are not a whipping boy any more. Your punishment does not have to come as the result of an infraction. It does not have to be just, nor justified. It can be purely because I want to punish you. It can be purely because I want to teach you a lesson, and the lesson could be nothing more than ‘I can do whatever I like to you.’”
“In that case, there really is no incentive for me to hold back anything I might say,” I said.
“Just so. So what did you want to tell me, Jorin Weltskin?”
I sat up then so I could look into his face. I could see we were in a small room, a bed off to one side, on the other a long table covered with candles and lanterns, most of which were flickering. I put a hand to the collar around my neck. “Why this? Will you feed me from a dish on the floor and expect me to beg your table scraps, too?”
His eyes darkened. “You are truly an idiot.”
“So you keep saying.”
He reached out and ran a finger along the leather at my throat, then held up his arm so that his sleeve exposed a matching stripe of leather around his wrist. “This may act like a leash but I assure you turning you into a dog was not my intent. Our bond is meant to be temporary, remember?”
“Yes,” I said, still not seeing what he was saying.
He stood, stiff with anger, but not too angry to say, “When the time comes to release you, it is much simpler both magically and symbolically for me to remove your collar than to try to unweave a set of spiritual bindings in your soul.”
“Oh.” I was too stunned for a moment to even consider apologizing. By the time I wondered if I should, he had already stalked to the door.
“You sleep there,” he said, pointing to the low bed against the wall. “I am sick of seeing your face now.” And with that, he slammed the door shut, and the flames that had been illuminating the room went out.
I crawled to the bed and climbed into it in the darkness, suddenly exhausted. It was done. I was bound to him. I wondered which of us was going to regret it more.
* * *
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.