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 Eight-Four: Jorin
I was sitting empty-handed by the Night Riders’ cooking fire when Kan sat down and thrust some waybread into my hand. “Idiot. Just because you would have killed any man who did what you did to him, doesn’t mean you can starve yourself to death.” He sat down on the log next to me.
Willim looked up from across the fire. “What? Who did Weltskin try to kill?” he asked.
“No one,” I answered.
But Kan ignored me, answering in a joking voice. “He and Kenet had a falling out. A terrible lovers’ spat—”
His tone enraged me. “Shut your mouth!” I flung the waybread at him and he batted it into the fire, then made a disgusted noise and dug out another piece. He shoved it at me and I bit off a piece, reluctantly admitting that I was starting to feel hungry.
Willim fell silent, but I could almost hear the questions in his head. “Night Magic isn’t always pleasant,” I said, hoping he’d be satisfied with that.
But he wasn’t. “What did you do to the prince? I thought Sergetten wasn’t teaching you the Night Arts.”
“He taught me enough,” I said, ignoring his first question. Let him wonder. Did it matter what I did to hurt him? “And I figured out some things on my own.”
“Indeed,” Kan put in. “It’s thanks to Weltskin that we no longer worry that the prince is going to fall prey to the next slavering pervert he meets.”
Willim made a thoughtful noise. “Sergetten did mention something about that when he said you’d be off to seek him. It was strong magic that you found him at all.”
“Aye,” Kan said. “I barely believe it myself, after the boy went traipsing across the countryside with his arse hanging out, dripping magical ‘fuck me’ nectar everywhere. That Weltskin was actually his first… incredible.”
Willim snorted. “Are you absolutely sure he was the first?”
“Of course he was the first. The bonding spell, remember?”
“Well, then it couldn’t have been that strong, could it? How would the prince have kept them off him if he was really attracting every cock within miles around?”
Kan clucked his tongue. “The prince was lucky, and resourceful, and strong, too, not to give in. He must have ached terribly, like Weltskin here did when we—”
I stood suddenly.
“Where are you going?” Kan demanded.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “It just… I just…” I was loath, still, to admit the power of the spell on Kenet, but thinking on it I shivered. How very, very lucky he had been to fall under Roichal’s protection.
Or maybe it wasn’t luck at all that he ended up with Roichal. After all, if Seroi had been training Kenet to take his cock—which was partially Roichal’s cock!—it was almost like Seroi had unwittingly sabotaged himself. Kenet had gravitated to a man whose cock had touched him… but who didn’t have it anymore and so was his ideal protector.
My knees felt weak, thinking how close he must have come to being breached. It was exactly as Kan and Willim said, amazing that I had been the first, after all.
“Sit down and eat some more,” Kan nagged. “You’re no good to the prince if you fall over from weakness.”
“Kan, tell me again what you know of the bonding spell?”
“You know more than I, my friend. The mage started it when the princeling was wee, making it strong and inescapable… except that Kenet escaped it.”
I felt a chill across my arms, and then a sudden heat. Seroi himself had said that I was the urchin who had thwarted his plans. What if Kenet chose me, out of all the boys he could have that day, because something about me called to him? Called to the need already forming inside him? “He escaped it because I had already laid claim,” I said, barely audible over the hiss of the fire. That day at the orphanage when Kenet chose me… which of us laid claim to which?
Kan went on with his description then. “And Kenet went running out into the wild, as I said, with a very powerful ‘fuck me’ spell on him…”
I blinked. “A spell so powerful it goaded men as low as Jort and as lofty as Solliran to betray their principles and try to bond with him the moment they laid eyes on him…”
Kan finally stood and put his hand on my shoulder as he saw the conclusion I had reached, and then voiced it himself. “The question you should be asking yourself isn’t ‘how could I do that to him?’ but ‘how did I keep from doing it the moment I saw him?’ Jorin, what made you think you could resist such a spell?”
Indeed, Sergetten had held my arousal in check at first. But that did not matter now. “I must be responsible for my own actions, though,” I said. “I cannot blame it on magic.”
“Do you know if Kenet blames you, or the spell?” he said, all too reasonably.
“Well, perhaps we should go find out.” He put a hand around my upper arm and steered me toward the path to the military camp.
“He’ll refuse to see me,” I said, though I went without resisting. “I’m sure of it. If he wanted to see me, he would send for me.”
“I’m not taking you to see him,” Kan said. “I’m taking you to see his guard dogs.”
So it was he pushed me into the command tent again, where Roichal and Marksin were waiting, then pushed me to my knees. “I tried to beat it out of him last night,” he said. “But the stubborn mule still believes he hasn’t suffered enough for his crime. Perhaps the two of you can do better.”
Marksin stood, then to my amazement went to one knee in front of Kan, who extended his ring to be kissed. “Do we have your leave to do as we wish?” Marksin asked as he looked up at him.
“Just be sure you leave him intact enough to perform for my brother. I shall be very vexed if I should lose him so soon after finally meeting him.”
“Wait, brother…?” I said, but Roichal silenced me with a sharp slap across my face. A moment later, Marksin had me down and was blindfolding me. I did not resist.
He hauled me up and the next thing I knew I was being marched out of the tent. Roichal was ahead of me and I heard his footsteps crunch into the bracken, while Marksin came behind, guiding me with a tight grip on my upper arm. It felt like the path wound this way and that, and then I heard the sound of another tent flap being undone.
They ducked my head to enter another of their tall, military-style tents. “Do you think we are far enough that no one will hear him screaming?” Marksin asked.
“No one who would be troubled by it, anyway,” Roichal answered. “Go on and strip him, Marks. I’ll watch.”
We could not have gone terribly far from the main camp, as I could still feel the tug on the thread that connected me to Kenet, but I could not guess which direction we had walked. Marksin pulled my shirt over my head, then undid my belt standing so close that I could feel his breath against my bare chest. “Hm.” He wrapped the belt around my wrists and drew them snugly together. “Step out of your boots.”
I toed them off and he quickly stripped my trousers down, then ran his hands up my body, making me turn.
“Sky above,” Marksin swore softly. “I’ve never seen such marks.”
“He has been much used,” Roichal said. “How old were you when Korl first took an implement to you rather than his hand?”
“Answer quickly, boy. And address me as ‘Sir.'”
“Yes, Sir.” Amazing how easily that came from my lips. “I don’t remember, Sir.”
“Our king was… never slow to punish,” I said. “Especially when we were young and our prince was still reckless and headstrong. If he did not wish to use his hand, anything that was at hand could be used. Books, belts, dagger sheaths… It was not always done with great ceremony. Sometimes it was sudden and graceless.”
“Touch him while he talks,” Roichal said to Marksin, who began teasing at my skin with his fingertips. “Go on, boy. Tell me more.”
“I’m not sure what else you wish to know, Sir.”
“I will tell you if I grow bored.”
I sucked in a breath as Marksin’s cool fingers ran over the fresh welts Kan had given me in the forest. “He… he didn’t start to use the whip until I was older, and even then it was a small one. I was probably twelve the first time he struck me with it? The… the whip seemed to demand something of a ritual. He… That was when he began to demand that I present myself for punishment.”
“Yes. Bare my flesh and assume a posture of his choice. Instead of just bending me over his knee, or striking me where I sat. I would have to—”
“Show me one of these postures. Present yourself.”
I bowed my head and felt Marksin step back. “I, um, Sir? I will need my hands and something to brace against.”
“Ah. Marks, if you would.”
I heard a rustling sound and then Marksin tugged the belt free and I heard it fall onto something wooden nearby. A chest? The blindfold stayed in place, however, so I felt for the chest and found it just behind me.
I positioned my feet apart and braced my hands against the chest as I bent over, my bare arse toward Roichal.
A rough hand kneaded the skin where one arsecheek met my thigh. Marksin’s, as I could hear Roichal’s voice still came from a few feet away. “And he never took liberties with you?”
“No, Sir, not if I take your meaning, Sir.” The memory of the way Korl had fucked me more recently, though, was still vivid in my mind, and the word ‘never’ seemed to echo. I would not willingly lie. “That is, not in those days, Sir. He was only interested in beating me.” My position, and the memories of it, especially mixed with my more recent memories, made me grow somewhat short of breath.
“Show me another position,” Roichal said.
“Yes, Sir.” I felt along the top of the chest with my fingers. It was not so wide as the table I used to grip, but it would do. Spreading my feet further apart, I lay my torso flat along the top and held the chest by the corners.
They shared a chuckle. “Are you sure he never took liberties?” Marksin asked, incredulous.
“I-in those days, our king was disgusted by any hint of such impropriety,” I said, my voice loud in my ears as it rebounded off the wood of the chest.
They were too sharp not to hear what my evasions meant, though. “In those days?” Marksin asked. “Explain yourself.”
I drew a deep breath, then another, trying to muster the shortest explanation. “Sergetten and I visited the castle more recently, Sir. I was in disguise. The king t-took l-liberties with me then.” My shaking voice surely told them more about what kind of “liberties” were meant than any more graphic description I might have given. They were silent, though, as if waiting for more. “Th-the king is as merciless with his cock as he is with a whip,” I said. “Perhaps more, as he despises im-impropriety so.”
“Very well,” Roichal said, satisfied with my answer. “Show me another.”
I regained my feet and stood, my fingers clasped at the back of my neck.
“Oh, but surely your feet should be more spread than that,” Roichal said.
“Yes, Sir, my mistake, Sir.” I moved my feet apart. “This was always a difficult position because if I moved out of the way of the blow, or fell, he required me to begin the punishment over again.”
“Look at the scars on his ribs,” Marskin said in a softer voice.
“Any part of me was fair game to be struck, Sir,” I said. “Though the target was usually my back, there were blows that intentionally or unintentionally fell other places.”
“What was the most difficult position of all?”
“Shall I assume it, Sir?”
“Yes, boy, present yourself.”
I swallowed and did as he asked, this time bringing my feet close together and then leaning over to grab my own ankles.
“How many times would you typically fall while being beaten like this?” Marksin asked, as he ran a hand over my buttocks.
“Never more than twice, Sir.” I gasped then as Marksin’s fingers slid directly between my cheeks and over my entrance and kept going to skim my milksacks. “None at all if he were using his own hand, or a book, but the whip was likely to bring me down.”
Roichal got to his feet and I couldn’t help but tremble, wondering if he were going to test my assertion.
“Your memory is faulty, boy. I saw you whipped once,” he said in a low voice. “When you could not have been older than nine or ten. You assumed this very position, and our king used a riding baton, and the welts were so bright I thought he had split the skin. Kenet cried through the entire thing, and you, not once. Your face was crimson when he let you go, but there was not a tear nor a sniffle.”
“I knew my role, Sir.”
“You would accept any pain for Kenet, wouldn’t you?”
“And I still would.”
“Marks, bind his wrists again, and loop them over the post.”
I shivered as Marksin followed the orders, buckling my wrists together and then lifting my arms above my head, until my cheek pressed against the central pole of a tent. My breath stuttered in my chest.
“Were you ever punished like this?” Roichal asked. “Like a common criminal?”
“O-only once, Sir. Not hung from a post, but drawn up on a hook. The night I was banished from Maldevar.” I was shaking, remembering how Korl had threatened to unman me with the whip.
A heavy hand, Roichal’s, made its way down my back. “I can feel your fear, boy. I can smell it in your sweat. But I can see you believe the pain will make it right. Else you’d have never bared the truth to us as you have.”
I did not know what to say to that, so I said nothing.
“You have been taught all your life, make a mistake—well, Kenet’s mistake—and suffer the consequences, and afterward everything will be right again. But Kan already tried to beat it out of you and said he failed.”
“Yes, Sir,” I whispered.
“He has a strong arm, surely it was not that he went easy on you. Kan grew up in the wilderness. He knows nothing of court protocol. I think he must have done it wrong.”
I stiffened with a gasp as something touched my back, something thin and hard—a switch, perhaps, or a riding baton. It ran lightly from my shoulders down to my buttocks.
“Name the infraction,” Roichal said.
After a few moments of silence, he tapped me with the baton. “I said, name the infraction, boy.”
I hadn’t realized he had intended for me to name it myself and had been expecting Marksin to speak. “I… Ah…” I stammered, trying to think of the right words. They seemed content to wait until I had spit something out. “Hurting Kenet.”
Another warning tap.
“Hurting Kenet!” I repeated, grasping for other words and finding none to describe my crime. “I will not be judged for repelling the attack of our enemy, nor for breaking his hold upon our prince, nor for working the magic that brought us to Maldevar. The crime I should be judged for is…” Suddenly Sergetten’s words came to mind. “…pushing him beyond how far he could yield.”
There was a moment of silence and stillness. Then Marksin spoke. “Do you mean to say… you bent him until he… broke?”
I was unaware I was crying until the words became difficult to say. “Yes, I fear so! I… I… Sergetten warned me! Punish me for my ignorance, for I never dreamed what he spoke of could come so soon, before we had even begun! Punish me for being too much an idiot to see what I was doing. Punish me for wronging the man I love more than anything, and for being too weak to resist the spell!”
Roichal hummed thoughtfully. “Very well, that is… hmm, five infractions by my count. Breaking him, ignorance, idiocy, wronging him, and weakness. At ten strokes each, that would be fifty. Can you withstand fifty strokes, boy?”
I had seen an execution once, with a bullwhip, where the criminal had expired before forty. At least this tent was far too small for such an implement. I swallowed, sweat trickling against the post. “If you mean to beat me with the riding baton, Sir, I believe I can, though I will be bleeding at the end.”
Marksin clucked his tongue. “You have fresh welts already. They will tear open quickly…”
“I know.” I squeezed my eyes tight behind the blindfold, trying to draw a breath, trying but failing to center myself enough to accept the pain that was coming. I had been so calm when Kan had whipped me last night. Where was that calm now? Where was the stoic child who had stood red-faced but dry-eyed before the court when Roichal had visited years ago? My shoulders shook as tears began to soak the cloth over my eyes.
Marksin’s voice was heavy with skepticism. “Are you sure it’s Kenet who has the broken heart? I thought you were tougher than this, Jorin Weltskin.”
That goading voice tore away what little pride I had left. “I am nothing! If he hates me now, I am truly nothing. Kenet’s love was ever what gave me worth, and without it, I may as well die, but that he needs my milk to live. I am nothing more than the dirt he plucked me from. Nothing!”
I heard a sob, then, which echoed my own. It did not sound like Marksin.
I felt Roichal step back from me then. “My prince,” he said.
Sky above, he was there! I had felt my connection to him but had not known it meant he was so close. I jerked against my bonds as the shock went through me, realizing he had to have been there all along, listening to the entire interrogation. And then I shivered as I felt the light touch of the riding baton skittering across my shoulder.
Then I heard it flung to the floor. “I can’t,” came Kenet’s voice, thick with emotion. “I cannot do it. And not because I am Night-bound. He’s suffered enough—more than enough!—for me.”
Roichal’s voice was low. “But my prince, the infractions have been named, the price must be paid…”
“Yes, I heard. Fifty strokes.”
I shivered as his hand, warm and soft, ran down my spine.
“One,” he said.
I dissolved into fresh tears, running down my cheeks from under the blindfold. Oh Kenet, Kenet, have you truly forgiven me?
“Two.” He ran his hand down the sweep of my buttocks. Then up the inside of my thigh. “Three.”
He kept up his count and his caresses, his touch sometimes slowing over the evidence of his brother’s beating, until he called for Marksin to turn my back to the post. Now he added kisses between the strokes, kissing away the salty tear at the corner of my mouth, at the rough scratch that marked the start of Sergetten’s name carved into my chest.
The simple acceptance of pleasure was hard, so very hard, but this—this was truly his prerogative, slave though he was, he was still my Kenet, still my prince, and still my love. And I would suffer anything for him.
By the time his fingers closed around my cock, I was straining for him. “Ten strokes to go,” he whispered.
“Hush. Ten more, these with my tongue, and your punishment is done. I misjudged you terribly, Jorin, and you judged yourself too harshly, as well.” His hand was sliding up and down my cock as he said this, and I heard him lick his lips.
“You had no real choice but to act as you did,” Kenet went on. “To save yourself, and me, and Roichal from certain doom. I see that now. You never meant to reduce me to nothing.”
“That is how it felt, you know. Like you had suddenly become what I had been fleeing from, and like you crushed me into the dirt. We need each other, Jorin. I need your love or I am nothing, too.”
Before I could answer that, he knelt swiftly before me and enveloped my cock in his mouth, pushing me deep into the back of his throat. I could barely breathe in sympathy until he pulled back, but it was only a moment before he took me in again. Out of pure reflex I counted in my head, one, two, three…
I cried out as he reached ten, as I poured into him, not only my milk, but my soul. Kenet, oh Kenet, you are everything to me.
And then he was kissing me, his musky tongue seeking out mine as I stretched upward on tiptoe to lift my bound wrists from the peg and then pull him close.
“You didn’t break me,” Kenet whispered, as he nuzzled my ear. “I find that I am much tougher than that, my lord.”
* * *
About the author: Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of many erotic books and stories and the founder of Circlet Press.