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 Fifty-Seven: Kenet
I woke in darkness, with Roichal spooned around me as usual, but I spent a moment in confusion wondering what was different. Then I shifted and heard the rustle of the straw ticking wrapped in the general’s cloak under us, followed by the whicker of a horse close by. Now I remembered. Our flight from the wildfire, Roichal not slowing until the horse needed to, dismounting and walking while I continued to ride. He only looked back when there was a river and a line of hills between us and the former mustering grounds.
The sunset had been blood red that evening with the smoke lingering in the sky at the horizon, and we had set up camp exhaustedly in what looked to be an abandoned barn.
The grain harvest here had failed from the blight, and the people and their animals had moved on. The small barn was plenty for our horse and us to shelter in, and the well still gave fresh water.
The first grey of dawn showed me the edges of the stall in which we slept. Roichal grunted and cleared his throat.
“Good morning, my prince,” he said, his voice hoarse.
“You had best keep calling me Page,” I said, “and treating me as one. Who knows what form of spies our enemies might employ?”
“Ah yes, you are right,” he said. “That is the voice of wishfulness speaking, wishing that we might be safer than we are. Let us take stock of Kinsall’s legs before we do else.”
He got stiffly to his feet and then held out a hand to help me up. I took it, not because I needed the help, but just to feel his warm, callused hand in mine. We had slept in what little clothing we’d had on our backs when we’d fled.
He knew more of horses than I did, so while he checked Kinsall over, I filled the trough with water from the well, the wooden bucket beginning to rot from disuse but sturdy enough to bring up what we needed. Then I shook out the cloak and realized with a start that it wasn’t Roichal’s at all, but that one of Jorin’s I’d grabbed upon my flight from the castle.
I must have made some noise of dismay on realizing, as Roichal was by my side quickly. “Something wrong?”
“Oh, just the sting of irony, I suppose,” I said. “Or Fate. For here I am once again, shirtless and with my feet unshod, fleeing from danger, and yet this cloak still shields me.”
Roichal rubbed the hem with his fingers. “In the rush to run from the tent, I jammed boots onto my feet and grabbed this without looking,” he said. He had a shirt but no jacket, and trousers, while I had only trousers. “It is yours?”
“In a manner, yes. It belonged to someone I knew at… at the castle, and I too, grabbed it in haste.”
“Someone?” he asked, the word ponderous with meaning in his voice.
“My guard,” I said, my voice quavering with emotion. “My… my best guard.”
Roichal’s hands took the cloak gently from me and swung it over my shoulders. “And he guards you still,” he said, in a voice as soft as a kiss.
He resumed rubbing down Kinsall then. I stood still, blinded by sudden tears, until they had passed like a rainstorm. Then I set about exploring the edges of our stopping place, never getting out of sight of the general or his horse. Up a small rise, in the light of the risen sun, I could see what had been the family house. When Roichal was ready, we ventured there, searching for anything useful. The house was just a single room with a hearth and a root cellar. Roichal made a triumphant noise at having found a few wizened but not completely inedible roots there, as well as a few sealed jars that must have been too heavy to be carried when the inhabitants had fled. One of the jars contained preserved vegetable of some kind, pungent and odd-smelling to me, but Roichal recognized it well enough and ate some with his fingers.
It wasn’t until I heard my own stomach growl that I realized I was actually hungry, too. Roichal made a growl of his own then, of frustration.
“Do you think it safe to go back?” I asked, before he could begin to dwell on me.
He shook his head. “Marksin will have mobilized most of the units—those that did not flee in disarray, that is—to other places. Staying there to be battered by what evil forces could be mustered would have been foolhardy.”
I considered this. “Would you say we stayed there too long?”
“Oh, without doubt. But I thought that before the rain, wind, and fire attacked.” He shook his head as he licked his fingers clean and then examined a piece of broken crockery on the shelf in the humble cottage. The clay jar was sound enough but the lid was shattered and the handle chipped. He took it back to the trough to drink from, handing it first to me, and then filling it again for himself.
We sat on the edge of the trough and I asked, “Where shall we go next?”
He took up a stick and smoothed the dirt in front of me. “Draw me a map of Trest,” he said.
I began tracing with the stick, the mountains to the north and east, Parvain, and the border of Frangit, and south of that, Pellon along the sea. Maldevar like the central jewel in the tiara made by the mountains, and the necklace sketched by the twin branches of the Serde and the Getten. Tiger’s Mouth where the two rivers met. From Maldevar I then traced the route I had taken, guessing as best I could where I had ended up, where the military encampment had been, and then guessing again where we might now be.
Roichal watched closely as I named off each feature of my sketch as I could. “A fair estimate,” he said. “I could not take us toward Maldevar and your enemy, and I could not take us toward Frangi, so I fled as much southward as I could.” He sighed and shook his head. “The coast is unlikely to be ravaged by blight, but it is another two days ride, and our welcome there could be uncertain as well. The horse at least can have a few hours of good grazing here, but the question of how to procure food for ourselves looms. As you know, I cannot see to your needs, Page.”
I took the jar and drank some more water. “I shall not expire, I don’t think, from just a few days’ deprivation. Let Kinsall eat all the grass he can, while you eat what you can, and I shall hope that we find an improved situation soon enough.”
He examined the map. “Let us move east, then, toward the Pellon border, where I have heard the blight is not as bad. After Kinsall has his fill.”
The grass had grown thick and lush in the pasture, even while the crops had faltered, all the more reason to believe the blight was the doing of our enemies. We spoke of it later, while we rode toward our intended direction, as well as many other things.
“Are you sure Kinsall can carry us both?” I asked.
Roichal laughed. “You barely weigh as much as my armor and war saddle,” he said. “See how light his step is? He hardly feels us. Indeed, as far as he is concerned, this is a pleasure trip.”
“My father said, after my coming of age ceremony, he wished I could take a tour of the whole kingdom as he did, but that it would be too dangerous with the war looming.” Unspoken, I thought it amusing that now I was seeing quite a lot of my future kingdom, even if barefoot and bareheaded all the way. “Instead, he thought to mint a coin in my likeness.”
“Indeed? I remember your father’s tour. Your father and mother both came. At the time I was already in the military, just a foot soldier in one of the western garrisons. It was a grand thing, to see their procession. Your grandfather remained in Maldevar, still in power, until they returned.”
“Yes, so I heard. And Ser—” I stopped myself from saying his name. “And a certain mage who was advisor to my grandfather then became advisor to my father.”
Roichal grunted in agreement. “He is trying to find you, Page, isn’t he?” I nodded.
“Every man, your father included, will immediately assume that it is the Night Mages from Frangit who attacked us. None suspect that it could be the man who sits at his right hand who is responsible.”
I nodded again, bowing my head in defeat.
Roichal clucked his tongue. “Now, now, he has not won this war yet. Not while you still roam free, your virtue intact.”
“Sir—” I began, but as I tried to speak, the promise I had made closed my throat and I put a hand against it.
“Hush. It’s clear you cannot speak of it. But it seems that I can. The picture is clear enough to me, Page. You arrived at the camp dressed as a whoreslave. I cannot imagine the circumstance under which your father could be so blind as to allow his closest advisor to turn his own son of royal blood into a night-bound slave, but it certainly looks as if that is exactly what happened.”
I could only nod.
“Or, in my limited understanding of how these spells work, almost happened, since you remain yet pure in that manner. And even able to hold out hope that you might yet give yourself to the man you love. The promises between Marksin and you still hold, you know. If we have the opportunity to reunite you with your beloved guard, we will, but you must tell me if we happen upon him before you make any move.”
We met no one in our travels that day, and as nightfall neared, we sought a place to hole up for the night once more. We chanced upon a shepherd’s hut, where there was a ring for a fire and a battered tin stored alongside a dull knife. Roichal boiled the desiccated roots he had rescued from the first house into something edible when mashed, and Kinsall made do with what had once been prime sheep-grazing land, but there was no sign of the sheep now.
I was beginning to feel a bit faint, but I said nothing. However I could not hide the slight tremor of my hands as I tried to make the cloak and swaths of grass into a rough mattress for us.
Roichal rubbed my hands in his, as if I were chilled. Thankfully the summer night was not uncomfortably cold. “I wonder…”
“Page, what would happen if you were to consume your own milk?”
I thought about it. “Do you think that could work?”
“I do not know. It is magic. Logic would say you could not live off another man’s milk, yet you have. Is it so far-fetched to imagine that your own might not have the same effect?”
I swallowed. “It… It is certainly worth a try.”
“Good,” he said, and held me close with one arm while his other hand worked my trousers down to my knees. His large, rough hand closed around my prick which sprang to life under a few quick tugs.
Then he let me go. “Here,” he said, retrieving the lidless jar and setting it on the hard-packed earth floor of the hut. “On your hands and knees, and you must try to spill into this, so we may catch every drop. In fact, touch yourself, please.”
“Yes, Sir,” I whispered, as I positioned myself with my cock pointed at the jar and began to stroke.
His hands ran down my back. “Beautiful beast,” he praised. “Every inch of you so very fine.” And then I felt his mouth on the soft globe of my arse, kissing and nibbling. “Tell me when you are close.”
It wasn’t long before I was. He allowed me to stroke for a while after that, but soon whispered to me, “Come then, Page. Spill now.”
I cried out as I usually did when spilling, perhaps a bit louder since there was no one nearby to overhear, but I did not come. A ripple of a spasm went through me, but it was a false peak. I moaned then. “Sir, that was… I did not…”
“I can see that, Page.”
“I don’t mean to disobey, oh, Sir, please, tell me again.”
“Now, Page, now! I order you to come.”
And again a kind of spasm gripped me, but I could not let go all the way. I wailed again.
“Let go!” he urged.
“I cannot! I… I do not know why!”
“Lightning strike me… come now, Page!”
I jerked again, throwing back my head, but still nothing came forth except words. “Please, Sir! Punish me, Sir! I don’t mean to disobey, but I need—!”
What else I might have said was cut off by the sharp blow to my arsecheek, where so recently his lips had caressed. I screeched in pain and indignation, but the blow fell again, and again, and the timbre of my shouts turned quickly to another wail. And then the moment I burst into true tears, out came the flood of milk at the same time.
He was more aware than I was of all that was happening, which was fortunate, because on my own I would have surely knocked over the jar or broken it. As soon as my shuddering came to an end, he gathered me to him, tears still streaming down my cheeks. He held me to his chest, and kissed my forehead, until my sobs subsided. And then he dipped his own finger into the jar, and allowed me to suckle it clean, again and again, while he murmured words of praise. I do not know if my own milk actually satisfied the hunger of my body, but I do know that as he held me and praised me, I had rarely felt so content in my life.
* * *
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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.