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-Nine: Kenet
At dawn Roichal and I continued traveling south. We had passed out of the blighted farming area and into the rocky hills that were not good for farms nor orchards, and toward the end of the day after we had paused at a stream to drink our fill, Roichal took us higher into the hills, both of us walking and his horse, Kinsall, coming up behind us.
“Ah, here we are,” Roichal said, as we rounded one bit of outcropping to a flat area wide enough for Kinsall to turn around. All I could see up the steep hillside on our left was bushes, while to the right the slope tapered sharply downward.
Roichal handed Kinsall’s reins to me and then pulled back the branches of one of the bushes to reveal a stony crack in the hillside, large enough for a man to fit through if he stooped over. He shouted into the hole and stepped back, listening. When neither man nor beast emerged, he gave a satisfied grunt and then disappeared into the earth.
“Sir?” I asked, unsure whether I should follow. And what of our horse?
“Give me but a moment,” he answered, and I stood back, patting Kinsall’s neck. The horse seemed unperturbed.
A few moments later, the general emerged with something in his hand. “I was hoping there would be more here, but our sentries and messengers have not needed to travel this route regularly for a while. There is a bit of tallow, though, and hardtack, enough to get a man through a few nights if the way were blocked by snow.” He looked at the sky, which was clear but for a skirting of grey clouds on the horizon. “We had best spend the night in shelter, though poor Kinsall will have to weather whatever comes. At least I have found this.” I saw now that what he held in his hand was a brush of the type I had seen used in the stables many times.
He led me and the horse a bit further up, to a copse of stunted trees. Kinsall was content to nibble the bitter fruit from the branches while Roichal and I rubbed him over. I assisted as he had taught me to, though I did not murmur thanks to the horse as he did.
And then we went back to the cave. Inside, I was surprised to find the space clear of debris. The floor had been hardpacked and the walls smoothed somehow. Mud? A chest against one wall held a blanket and a few supplies, and a pair of worn out boots was visible in the fading twilight. “Animals do not nest here?” I asked.
“No. Once it was some predator’s den, so the small animals stay away as the stone still carries the scent. And the predators stay away because now it carries our scent.” He shook out the blanket. It was a thick pad, enough to keep a man warm through a winter night, I supposed. Roichal laid it down and gestured for me to sit.
I did, gratefully, unaware of how exhausted I was until I finally came to rest. I blinked as his hand on my shoulder showed me how I swayed. I had only meant to sit, not lie down, but I was too tired to hold myself up any longer.
“My prince—!” he said, alarmed.
I shook my head. “Merely tired,” I said.
I could not lie. I nodded.
He lowered me the rest of the way to the blanket, then busied himself.
When I raised my head next, he had lit one tallow candle, and had soaked a bit of the hardtack in a tin cup. He was sitting cross-legged next to me, sucking on a square cake, then bit through it. He licked the crumbs from his lips, then spoke. “Do you feel it would do any good to try to eat a bit of this?”
I shook my head. “It hasn’t before, so why would it now?”
He shrugged. “I am ever hopeful for a solution,” he said. “Did what we did last night… help at all? Did it make a difference?”
For some reason I thought of Sergetten at those questions, and at my answer. “If what you mean is, was my body nourished by it, then no. But did it help? Yes, Sir, I believe it did.”
He set the tin aside, and I caught the scent of alcohol. So it was not water he softened the biscuit with. Some previous soldier had left a bottle or two.
I closed my eyes as his hand stroked my hair. “What does it mean that I struck you so? And why was it necessary?”
I shifted, so that I could lie with my head in his lap. “Why is it against the law to strike the royal flesh?”
“That I cannot say, Page.”
“I have been thinking about it myself, Sir,” I said. “The whole institution of the ladra’an. Why would it persist when so many of the old customs have been left behind, but not that one? Is it merely that to strike the royal flesh is to insult the authority inherent in royal blood and therefore undermine it? Or is there some other reason?”
He was silent, but I knew he was thinking. When he spoke it was in a measured voice. “They say having a whipping boy is to teach young royals to commiserate with the common people, who must suffer whenever royalty lapses in judgment.”
“All well and good, but that would not preclude the young royalty being punished, as well, would it? Why not spank or paddle us both?”
“Perhaps some of what you say is true, though, my pr— Page. For what man would take orders from one he has seen bare-arsed and brought low in front of the assembly?”
I opened my eyes. “Then why not mete out the punishment in private? In private there would be no loss of authority. I have also heard that it would not do to give those not of royal blood the idea that the royal flesh bleeds the same as theirs. But again, if done in private such an idea would not spread. And if administered by my f— the king himself to his progeny? What could be unlawful or wrong about that?”
Roichal chuckled low. “And what if the king could not bring himself to strike his own flesh and blood, whether from soft-heartedness or other fatherly care?”
I frowned. “Hm. I had not considered that. But what I am asking is… what if there was a magical reason, Sir?”
I raised my hand and looked at my palm in the yellowish glow from the candle. “In the castle there are secret passageways. Only someone of royal blood can open the doors to them. Except, there was one time when the… when our enemy was able follow me. No, twice. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. What magic allowed him to pass through?”
Roichal’s mind was as quick as ever. “Did he strike you?”
I opened my mouth to speak, thinking of the time when Seroi slapped me while bidding me take his malformed cock into my mouth for the first time. I choked as if he were shoving it into me now, and I found I had to roll over and cough before I could breathe again.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Roichal said, his hand on my back between my shoulderblades. He rubbed in a small circle. “But there must be more to it than striking you. Or fucking you, as we know he hadn’t done that yet.”
I nodded in agreement. I had to wonder if it were not the striking that mattered so much as the way he brought me low, the way I would crawl and denude myself and abase myself before him. Did I literally give him the power I held by doing so?
I looked up at Roichal. I had done so for him, as well, and yet it had never felt the way it did with Seroi. Seroi had kissed me as if he loved me, and yet… underneath it I had felt nothing but disdain. And lust.
Roichal did not lust in the same way, but was that because he could not, given what his body lacked? Or was it that from Roichal, lust did not predominate in what I felt from him? I felt respect, care, affection, at the same time I felt claimed by him. They were different, weren’t they?
Or would I think well of whomever claimed me, and ill of whoever did not? Did I think well of Roichal now because it was he who stroked my cock every night and held the power of my pleasure in his voice?
“Sir, may I ask you for something?” I could hear the quaver in my voice.
“Yes, Page, of course. If it is something within my power to grant, I will consider it.”
“Kiss me, Sir? Please?”
He pulled me to him gently, but firmly, and that is the way he took my mouth with his, as well. When he pulled back, it was only far enough to see into my eyes.
“May I… may I ask you a question as well, Sir?”
“When?” It felt to me as if Roichal had respected me, even when he had only thought me an escaped whoreslave. But was I wrong? “When did you find out my true identity?”
He chuckled. “Worried that you will give yourself away to others if I figured it out?”
“No, Sir. Well, perhaps, but that is not why I asked.”
He pulled me in for another kiss before continuing. “You had no idea you gave yourself away. I received word from your father about your disappearance from the castle. Very few details were given, which led me to believe there was a great more to the tale. Meanwhile, a mystery boy had arrived in a wagon from Maldevar. Could you be the missing princeling? To be honest, I had very little memory of what you had looked like as a young boy, that one time I had come to be feted at the castle. But there was a way to test your blood.”
His thumb brushed over my lips as he looked at me, my face cradled in his hands. “A test, Sir?”
“I have a box that must use the same magic as the passageways of Maldevar. It is used sometimes to convey secret orders between me and the crown. One day I asked you to open it, and you did.”
I did not remember at first, but then I thought a bit further and remembered thinking it odd that he had a trinket box at all. “But, Sir, if only someone of royal blood may open it, how do you open it?”
He laughed. “I have a key. But you opened it without the key.”
“Could my enemy have a key to the passageways?” I blurted.
He shook his head. “I believe based on what you have said that you are the key, Page.”
“I think that likely as well. I wonder, though, Sir, now that you have struck me, whether you, too, would be able to open the box without the key?”
“Unfortunately, we and the box are no longer together,” he said. “Perhaps if we reunite with Marksin he will have it.”
His eyes were very grave.
“I am sure the Field Marshal is well,” I said, but the mere thought that something might have befallen Marksin made me somber, too.
He pulled me into a longer kiss now, a more searching one, as if we both were trying to make up for our missing third. When at last we broke apart, my milksacks were painfully tight with desire.
“Tell me, Page,” he whispered into my ear, “do you think milking you a good idea or a weak one? If you cannot drink your own milk, do we deplete you further by spilling it? Or is there no harm in it?”
I swooned. “I do not know, Sir. I… I only know that the more… the more yours I feel, the better I feel.”
“Is that so? Strip down for me then, Page. Hide nothing from your Master.”
The order was like descending into a warm bath, soothing every part of my body and skin. When I was naked, I knelt before him, my cock jutting out from my body eagerly.
“Beautiful,” he said, and leaned forward to kiss me on the forehead. “Now lie down.”
I did as he bade me, turning onto my side. He was still clothed, but he wrapped himself around me, his heavy, callused hand coming to rest on my quivering cock. He stroked it idly as he shifted until he was comfortable, then just let his hand rest upon my flesh once again.
I found myself trembling slightly as I lay there.
His breath was heavy on the back of my neck. “Sleep now, my Page. I may give you release in the morning, or I may not. There is some chance you will be depleted further and I do not think I will take that chance. But I would not want you to think you were being punished by being banished from my arms or my touch, hm? I would not begrudge you my touch.” Here he stroked again, scraping his thumb across the head of my cock in the way that would make my hips jump. “Besides, I know very well what it is like to lust without hope of release. It will not kill you, Page.”
“No, Sir,” I whispered. I thought of Seroi, of how he would make me beg for my release. It was clear to me that Roichal expected better of me. “Thank you, Sir. It is an honor to suffer whatever you wish for me.”
“Good boy,” he said, giving my cock a last squeeze before letting his hand go limp again. “Sleep now. I know I shall.”
He was quickly asleep, and I closed my own eyes. In such a state of arousal, sleep did not come easily, but eventually it did. I dreamt of his hand stroking me and returning me to hardness each time I flagged, and it was probably not a dream, but how could I tell? It was an exquisite torture and one I welcomed, for every moment I knew to whom I belonged and my hunger was forgotten.
* * *
Can’t get enough of Kenet and Jorin? Visit The Prince’s Boy fan art gallery on Cecilia’s website!
About the author: Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of many erotic books and stories and the founder of Circlet Press.