Titos' Adventures #12-14


Titos' Adventures: Healing 12

Titos' Adventures: Home Again 13

Titos' Adventures: "Willing" Bondage 14

 

By Paladin

 

Titos' Adventures: Healing 12


Titos walked out of the house and went to the riverside. He watched the older prince bathe in silence, contemplating a decision. This prince's recovery had not only been painfully slow but inconclusive. Fareal avoided Titos like the plague and rarely spoke to Hal even. On their return trip, Fareal had even failed to aid them in the battle against some unruly bandits. Titos frowned, this had to stop. "Fareal, we need to deal with this." He spoke lowly but loudly.

The elfin prince strode out of the river, the water drops clinging to his pale skin causing him to shimmer in the moonlight. His hair was tied back in the silver clasp Ryn had made. His musculature had waned a bit during his sickness but it was still there. The scars on his back had all but disappeared thanks to Hal. The bruises too were gone, leaving only the fear and remembered pain.

Fareal turned on him, his fury clearly stated in his grey-violet eyes. "I said no."

Titos folded his arms in stubbornness. He wasn't about to let this go. The elf could be crippled by his fear for however long he would live, or learn to live on. "I am afraid you are missing the point. I am not asking here. I am telling."

Fareal's eyes narrowed. "So how many have you raped Titos? That is what this is. Rape."
The voice was still filled with determination, but Titos knew it would not last. That was the problem.

"Like this?" Titos shrugged. "Several. I couldn't possibly count them all. Like was done to you, none. Nor have I stood by and watched such a display."

"And that makes you just?"

Titos shook his head, his eyes picking up the glint of steel from the water. So the elf managed to carry a blade with him into the water. He had no doubt the prince would stab him dead where he stood, in this state of mind. "No, it makes me me." He pivoted quickly as the blade went for his chest. He tripped the elf and in doing so, allowed the blade to slice across his shoulder. Fareal fell to the ground but continued to struggle. Titos wrestled him for several minutes until the elf finally gave way to the stronger man. The warrior found himself a little more than impressed by this prince's combat skills. The poor elf just didn't know who he was dealing with. He'd been wrestling and killing since he was a boy, and even though that was not two centuries ago, it seemed like it.

"Do not do this to me." Fareal hissed angrily. "I do not want this. You have no right!"

Titos clamped a hand over the shouting mouth. "Quiet, you'll wake the others up." He waited several minutes for the elf to settle down. Then he removed his hand and spoke quietly. "Now I am going to tell you what I am going to do before I do it. That way, you will not be taken by surprise."

Fareal tried to blink away the tears but it failed. "I hate you." He spoke quietly.

Just then a slight rustling of a bush caught their attention. Ryn stepped into view, his light robe swaying slightly with the breeze. His deep purple eyes seemed puzzled as he held his bow steady.

"Kill him!" Fareal yelled, restarting his struggles.

Titos took a deep breath and covered the elf's mouth again. "Ryn, love. This is for the best. He might spend the rest of his life flinching from every man he comes across."

"Titos I am not sure this is the best way."

Titos nodded slowly. "Watch."

Fareal's wary eyes darted back to him.

"I am going to let you go. Do not move or shout till I tell you otherwise." Titos growled lowly.

Fareal became stiff. Titos stood and walked away briefly. Fareal stood as well but did not move or say a thing.

Titos glanced at Ryn who looked even more troubled. "Now go to your brother... No on your knees."

Fareal dropped to his knees and went to his brother. Ryn looked at Titos sharply. "What is going on?"

Titos sighed. "Your brother was nearly beat to death, no let me correct that. He was beaten and raped to death, we just happened to have a healer on hand. Hal said he was a bit submissive when he went to him in the tent...Rath is very good at what he does... Ryn?"

Ryn lowered the bow slowly and kneeled. He reached out and stroked Fareal's cheek. "Brother..."

Fareal took his hands slowly, tears flowed from his eyes. "Do not let him do this... I..."

Ryn kissed his eyes slowly. "I will be close."

"No..." Fareal opened his mouth but little came out. "Please..."

Titos put his hand on the older prince's shoulder. "I am not going to hurt you."

Ryn helped him stand. "Fareal, you are troubled. You need help. This is for the best..." Ryn looked at Titos slowly. He saw trust in those eyes as well as uncertainty.

"I am afraid..."

Fareal trembled slightly as Titos drew him closer. "Don't be," he whispered. "I am going to trace your neck now slowly." He waited a moment and then let his hand touch and trace the slender neck up to the jaw line. "Now..."

"Do not speak to me." Fareal hissed lowly.

"As you wish." Titos murmured. He then proceed silently. He let his hands massage the tense out of the bare shoulders before him and then turned the elf around and began to kiss him slowly. The lips were pursed and unfeeling, but he did not detour. Instead, his hands glided over the strong chest in front of him to one of the pale pink nipples. Fareal pulled away suddenly, his arms crossing over his chest in a protective gesture. He stood there shaking.

"I will kill you." Fareal stated coolly, though tears were flowing from his grey-violet eyes that were wide panic.

Titos eyed him carefully. "You moved."

Fareal's mouth dropped open. "I... I..."

Titos moved towards him slowly. "Arms down and come here." He regretted doing it this way a great deal, but Fareal was leaving him little choice. The warrior was still there mixed up in this mess. He had no doubt Fareal would kill him if given the chance. He shuddered to think just what exact tactics were used to break this prince down in but a couple of days. Fareal moved towards him, head down.


"Let me help." Ryn spoke softly. He moved behind his brother and kissed his temple lightly. "Relax Fareal."

Titos smiled slightly as the elf did just that. Fareal rested his forehead on Titos' shoulder and closed his eyes. It was a gesture of defeat and exhaustion, the succumbing of the confusing emotions he must have felt at this point.

"It hurts," Fareal murmured.

Ryn continued his light kiss at the back of Fareal's neck. His hands dropped to the pale waist below to hold him still "Does this hurt? I will not let him hurt you." he muttered quietly.

"Turn around." Titos murmured quietly as his hands caressed the strong muscular arms.

Fareal obeyed mutely. Titos then began to explore the elfin-warrior's body more thoroughly. He traced the pale lines of where the whips had struck and watched the back ripple from the contact. He palmed the tight buttocks firmly until he saw the shoulders relax. Using some natural oils from the some of the blossoms in the forest, he began getting the elf ready.

Fareal froze and began shaking tremendously. His sobs became louder, yet he didn't pull away. "I am not ready! Gods wait... wait. Please, just wait." He pleaded and wept.

"That's enough." They all turned to the new soft voice. Hal stepped away from the shadows an into view. The priest's silvery strands in his black hair glistened slightly as his blue-robes swayed while he walked. In his hands was a large wool blanket. "Come here Fareal." He motioned slowly. Fareal pulled away from them quickly and went to his new aid. Hal wrapped him in the warm, black blanket and rubbed his shoulders firmly. This motion seemed to soothe the elf a bit. His blue eyes then turned to his lovers, and he spoke harshly. "This shameful event is coming to an end. You should have stopped this when you realized he was breaking down."

"He is crippled in a condition like this..." Titos frowned angrily. He did not like getting scolded by anyone.

"You do not heal a rape with a rape." Hal's voice softened slightly to a level tone. He pulled Fareal closer and embraced the taller elf. "I know," he whispered.

"We were only trying to help," Ryn looked perplexed and sad.

Titos merely snorted.

"I realize that, but this is not something you can cure in one night and certainly not like this. Neither one of you are experienced enough in any healing techniques to cure someone who has been as badly hurt as he has."

"And you are?" Titos fumed. If Hal thought this was about sex, then he knew nothing about him.

"You have your own healing to do..." Ryn looked up his deep, purple eyes swirling with confusion.

Hal tensed at that and looked down for a moment. They clearly doubted his abilities. "I realize I have my own problems, but I can see with even my inexperienced yet practiced eyes what is going on here. What you are doing to him."

"Why do you speak as if Fareal isn't even here?" Titos let his anger kindle for a moment. He realized Fareal had said nothing.

"Because he isn't. The moment he gave in, you, Ryn, should have realized that he had withdrawn into himself. No," Hal added quickly as he noticed the elf step back as if struck. "It is not entirely your fault. That is not what I meant at all."

"I.. what do you mean then?" Tears started swelling in Ryn's eyes. Titos moved to him, putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

"You terrified him with your advances. Yes, I think that he needs to get over other men touching him. He needs to learn to be around men without overwhelming fear and touching is good. But when he knows it will lead to rape, sex even, it becomes useless. And you've shamed him by giving him no place to go to release his feelings privately. I don't know your brother very well, Ryn, but he seems very proud."

Ryn nodded slowly.

Hal continued, his voice gentle but still audible. "The two of you belittled him even further by overwhelming him physically, an almost bully encounter." He paused. "I don't blame you for any of this. Lord Rath was the only one who could take due for this. I just couldn't sit back and listen and then watch it carry on any further. I... I don't have all the answers, or the cures, or even the power to convince you I am right. I love you both, and I am very fond of Fareal. I don't want anyone to be hurt because of this. I just hope you will at least listen."

Titos' brows creased as he considered what was said. In battle, when a man was injured and too afraid to fight, you confronted him with it right away and head on. They never got hurt in the process but to do otherwise would result in not only the man's death but those who depended on his skills as well. Could it be that this was somehow different? He began to realize Hal was truthful in his lack of anger towards them, so it must be true that he believed they meant no harm. They only wanted to help.

Fareal suddenly moved, he turned to them. His eyes looked slightly clouded and still tearful. He touched Hal's shoulder momentarily. "I am better now. It was only a lapse." The prince moved forward and hugged his brother tightly. "It is all right Little One. This is hard for us all." Ryn nodded slowly. Then Fareal turned and gazed at Titos. The terror had dissipated from the grey-violet eyes and was now replaced with the hard light of a trained warrior. "I need to go home. There are responsibilities I need to take care of I... I... do not think I can manage on my own and would like company. Titos, I would like your word not to pursue this line of action again."

Titos frowned. The last thing he wanted was having Fareal returning home helpless. "I will not do anything you do not want me to."

Those grey-violet eyes narrow slightly. It was possible he saw the opening in that promise as well, yet he nodded in agreement anyway.

Titos sighed. "We'll travel to Trohan's first and drop our horses. From there, we'll pay wagon fee to the coast and take ship.

It took only a few minutes to gather the needed gear. They left that night.

Trohan's Inn was bustling with activity again. The old dwarf seemed rather surprised to see them, yet had their rooms readied promptly. He and Titos spoke for several moments quietly about the latest gossip, leaving the others at a table near the back that was quickly filled with the hearty stew most patrons requested. A small bowl of berry porridge was made especially for Ryn. If Fareal too, did not care for the stew, he said nothing.

Titos joined them shortly. He tried to listen to his lovers conversation of how the Inn had grown even more, but his attention was truly set on a man in the back corner. A man dressed in the same forest greens of scout and still wore the damned black hate and haughty smile. That winning smile so many people fell for, that and his attractive features red hair and perfect mustache. It was making him sick just thinking about it. Paril was his only boyhood enemy who still breathed.

"Titos..." Ryn spoke a tad bit louder this time. "Who is he?"

Titos blinked a few times, only now noticing they all seemed very intent on his angry scowl. "An old "friend" who did his best to end my career as a bounty hunter in my earlier years. Always managed to get my target first. His lies even caused me twenty lashes once." Titos' voice sounded even more bitter than intended.

Ryn and Hal glanced over there while Fareal merely sighed.

"What is his name?" Ryn questioned lightly.

"Paril, why... do you know him?"

A smile slowly formed on Ryn's lips. "No, but I think he likes me."

Titos frowned instantly and looked back at his old enemy. Sure enough, Paril was looking at Ryn with clearly lustful eyes even sending small inviting signals. Rage entered his blood instantly as well as murder. Hal suddenly grabbed his shoulder. "Titos.. please don't do anything rash. He is just looking..." The priest cut off as he too suddenly found himself being fully eyed. Hal eyed Paril slightly shocked and then buried his face in Titos' shoulder when the man continued with a blown kiss and slow motions of his hand towards his groin. Titos glared at Paril with open hostility while Fareal went for his sword.

"Wait!" Ryn spoke quickly, his deep purple eyes full of mischief. "That is what he wants. Hal, Fareal... you two can go upstairs."

"Ryn," Fareal cautioned lowly. "What are you up to?"

"Trust me... just go. We shall be up soon." Ryn assured quickly.

Titos frowned. It was true, Paril not only had more men at his table, but he was also quite a good fighter himself. "Go on." He squeezed Hal's shoulder tightly, pleased when the priest looked at him hesitantly but showed no tears. Hal was shocked, not upset. Showing visible signs of uncertainty, Fareal escorted Hal upstairs giving Titos a very unhappy glance before disappearing behind the doors.

Titos turned to Ryn. "All right. What do you have in mind, and why does it exclude the other two?"

Ryn moved to his lap and purred lowly. "It is obvious he wants to anger you with his haughty advances. Start a fight you can not win. Why do we not throw something back at him? Make him jealous."

Jealous? "Ryn what are you..." His voice trailed off as Ryn began kissing his neck.

"Look at all those people at his table Titos." The warrior's name rolled off the elf's tongue nicely. "I am willing to bet more than half of those men are his lovers and the woman dripping with jewels must be as well. He is showing off. You have something he wants though... show off."

Titos smiled slightly. "Here?"

"Why not? Am I not something worth showing off?" Ryn pouted slightly.

Titos chuckled lowly. "Fishing for compliments are we?" His hands drifted over the shirt casually, ready to yank the light fabric away.

Ryn suddenly stood up and grabbed his hand. "Let us find a spot more visible." Titos followed him, still slightly shocked by what was about to occur. The elf found the most center table and pushed Titos into the chair. Ryn began to strip slowly.

"Ryn," Titos warned lowly, feeling the warmth of desire pulse through his veins. "Are you sure about this?"

Ryn nodded, running his fingers through his honey wheat hair. "This Paril will truly know the difference off what his empty lure has called and what you have claimed." The elf straddled his thighs tightly, bending his head and claiming Titos' mouth before the warrior could issue a number of reasons why this was not a good idea. Titos grabbed the soft mane and pulled him closer, responding with a powerful kiss that left them both breathless. He forced the earth-tone garments from his object of desire with one yank and grasped the heated blonde forest with his large hand. Ryn gasped at the speed this encounter was taking, yet went with it. His hips rocking against the open palm. The elf prince trembled slightly as Titos' other hand traced his arched spine, pausing only for a moment at the end where he pinched the firm ass. Titos grinned as Ryn groaned, his deep purple eyes turning dark with his growing excitement. Titos moved both hands to the tempting chest before him, just short of Ryn's orgasm. The elf groaned in dismay, shuddering as Titos leaned forward and licked at the hardening nubs just inches away. Ryn grasped his hair and held tightly, gasping loudly. "Please Titos..." he whispered lowly.
Titos stroked the silky, hard flesh a couple of times, holding onto the withering body as Ryn came softly in his hands. Titos kissed him lightly, waiting for Ryn's arms to surround his neck before lifting him up. Ryn eyed him curiously as he grabbed the elf's clothing and proceeded upstairs. He smiled briefly as he saw Paril sneer angrily yet look away from the ex-warlord's meaningful glance.

"Titos... did I do something wrong?" Ryn whispered lowly as Titos lowered his pale lover into the bed.

Titos shook his head, stroking the wheat-blonde hair. "No, I just don't want you exposing yourself to everyone in the room anymore than you all ready have."

Ryn looked at the floor quickly, fingering the blankets unhappily. "It was whorish."

"No." Titos rubbed the elf's shoulders slowly, massaging the tension away. "Not at all. There is nothing whorish about being with your loved ones. That is your father talking... isn't it."

Ryn closed his eyes briefly, obviously fighting the rising tears. Titos frowned and gripped his chin gently. "Ryn, love, look at me."

The elf opened his deep purple eyes slowly and smiled weakly. "All is well. I just need a moment..."

"No it is not. Your father is a fool and extremely cruel." Titos leaned forward and captured the quivering lips with his own. "I love you just the way your are. No new grooming necessary."

Ryn grabbed his hair tightly, going for a more passionate kiss. "I assure you. I have been groomed well enough by the finest gold can purchase. Can you not tell?" He murmured lowly, relieving Titos of his looser garments and working on his tighter pants. "Memorizing all the noble family names and their respectable assets is but a portion of my knowledge." The long, slender hands freed Titos from his armor and warm lips played with his chest. "I can adequately participate in over a hundred ceremonies... two of which even my mother would not approve." Ryn licked along Titos' jaw down to his hardened nipples. The elf nipped then rosy nubs playfully and continued. "Fifteen languages, I can speak and ten, I can letter. The 1st ranked archer taught me to be the second." The limber elf straddled his hips and grasped Titos' head tightly, nearly forcing the warrior to meet him for another, this time drawn-out, kiss. "Mostly, I am noted for stolen kisses from the ladies I have courted." The dark-purple globes glittered brightly with mischief.

"Imagine my surprise." Titos growled lowly, shifting quickly so that Ryn was pinned underneath him. Titos grabbed the slender waste and plunged into the welcoming warmth, watching his beautiful arch instantaneously, and gasp loudly. He moved into the warmth, filling the pleasure race through his blood almost at the speed of his love for this incredible creature below him. Ryn groaned as the warrior increased his speed and depth with each stroke. "Titos..." his lover murmured as he was filled with liquid warmth and released his own desires.

Titos smiled, and kissed him again. This time slowly, and with a delicate touch. "You never cease to amaze me."

Ryn smiled. "Nay, you are the one that has dazzled my world. Life is much brighter with a troublemaker."

Titos laughed lowly. "I am just thankful we did not meet wielding swords. Speaking of trouble, I think I best gather Hal and Fareal for the night. Paril was always the vengeful type. I want to be sure he doesn't try anything this night due to easy targets." He stood up slowly and walked to the door, pausing when Ryn spoke.

"Oh, and Titos. Had we met at war in the field of battle, you would have been the first I downed at a great distance."

Titos' smile broadened. "That confident are we?"

"Aye... I have missed the killing blow but once and have always had my brother for back-up, just in case."

Titos nodded. "I'd like to spar with him one day. Just to see what two-hundred years of elven training can produce." With that, he closed the door and entered the hall way.

Titos went to Hal's room first and was more than pleased that his gentle lover was learning to keep the doors locked. His mental abilities easily, unlatched the cheap lock in seconds; he decided he would have to talk to the dwarf in buying something of a higher quality. After a brief glances, Titos gathered Hal in his room and deposited him next to his other lover with no protest. Once again, he could not tell what the priest was thinking, and of course, the priest did not question his actions.

He then went the elder prince's room. That lock too, was weak to his mental powers, and unlatched silently. As he stepped into the room, Fareal spoke.

"Ryn?"

"No," he replied.

"Titos." Fareal sighed heavily. "Unless we are under-siege... It must wait till later."

"Oh?" Titos tapped his fingers against his muscular thighs.

"I am not in the mood for games."

"I wasn't aware we were playing a game. It is not safe here. I want you to join us in the other room. Paril may seek retribution."

"Is this a going to be a random act of violence... or does he have a reason to go after us?"

Titos frowned. The elf was being rather short with him. "Reason or not, it is best if you come join us... just for sleeping of course... nothing else. You can sleep on the floor if you want."

Fareal stiffened as Titos moved forward. "I do not wish at all. I am three-hundred years old. Sleeping in an inn-room, on my own, is not an unmanageable task for me to handle."

Titos touched his shoulder gently. "I have every confidence in your ability to defend..." His voice trailed as he heard the elf draw in a deep quivering breath. He turned Fareal quickly to face him and noted the tears trailing down the pale cheek instantly. "Are you afraid of me?" The warrior asked it more directly than he attended.

"Just leave me be." Fareal turned away. "I am not afraid of you... now."

Titos frowned. "Fareal, let me help you. You don't..."

Fareal rolled over, facing him, anger blazing in his eyes. "I do not what? I do not have to do this alone? What can you do Titos? Are you a god that can ease my dreams... erase the experience... rid me of the feeling of their hands on me... take the pain...?" Fareal closed his eyes, sobbing almost violently.

Titos waited patiently, pondering on whether to try to comfort or not. He decided to try. "I will help you anyway I can. Now come with me... come be with us... feel safe with the company you requested to come with you."

"Will you accept the answer no from anyone or is it something personal you have against myself?" Fareal sat-up angrily, visibly trying to regain control of his emotions.

"I said I would do nothing that you do not wish to take place. I did not say I would go out of my way to do what you want. Unless you want to experience your nightmares again first hand... I suggest you come with me." Titos nearly bit his lip as he noticed the shivers race through the pale warrior. His last words cut deeper than he had intended

"I did not want any of this. I did not ask..." Fareal quieted and remained still, saying nothing more. Titos moved closer to him, touching his shoulder in a questioning gesture. "Very well." He spoke levelly, though the tears continued and his bottom lip trembled slightly. The elf went to stand on his shaky legs, yet Titos stopped him. Instead, he gathered Fareal in his arms, surprisingly, finding no resistance. In fact, the elven prince put his arms around his neck and rested his head on his shoulder. The grey-violet eyes closed, succumbing to weariness. Fareal spoke not a word as they returned to the other room. "I know... There is no shame in this..." Titos whispered just before he opened the door and entered. He placed the quiet elf between himself and his brother. Hal had returned to slumber though he instinctively moved to Titos warmth to snuggle. Fareal claimed Ryn's abandoned pillow when his brother moved into his elder kin's arms. After shifting only a few moments, they were all comfortable. Titos stroked Fareal's dark yellow hair until the prince breathed deep with sleep. Gods, he had little notions on how to deal with this damaged being. He thanked the gods for Ryn's character which allowed him to move on so smoothly and even Hal's quiet recovery. Dealing with more than one right now, would have made this travel nearly impossible. Titos honestly thought Paril would seek retribution, just not this soon. He fell into a troubled sleep, feeling the despair from his lover's brother almost as keenly as if it were his own. How, he wondered, could you help someone three-hundred years old, recover from an injury he had not been trained to sustain and fight on?


Titos' Adventures: Home Again 13

"I can not believe you brought us to this place," Fareal commented coldly. "It is a brothel," he hissed.

Titos glared at the dark blonde with his dark eyes. "This is the best place to stay the night in a city like this. Its only for one night and tommorrow we take the ship."

Ryn bound up the stairs and smiled. "Just because we stay here, doesn't mean we have to partcipate. It looks nice enough."

Titos drew Hal closer to him as the priest gazed at the dark sea.

"Will we get to sea the ocean tomorrow?" Hal asked softly.

Titos laughed lowly. "Aye, its not going anywhere." Hal let his sky-blue eyes go to Titos, and then he smiled. Titos tossed a warning glance at Fareal and then they all stepped in. The tavern was nearly three times as big as Trohan's. The walls were made of fine mahogany with all the support beams decorated with various engravings. The floors were clean and sparkling even, as were the dark, oaken tables and chairs. A large bar counter filled the back of the room, and the aromas from the kitchen came from the front. Through the center of the room, was a large wooden platform that was carpeted red. The platform branched into smalled walkways and seemed to be able to reach ever corner and table. The place was very crowded, for the port was a busy spot. He pushed his way through the nosey crowd and snaked around the platform till he found a suitable table near the bar. He had Ryn and Hal on either side of him. Fareal say next to his brother. After a few moments, Ryn went to get drinks and pay for their rooms. Titos let his gaze go the platform and watch the dancing young men and women. It was a nice routine, but you would have to be a fool to think anyone of them enjoyed their line of work.

"Relax Fareal. Nothing is going to happen here." Hal offered quietly.

The older elf simply eyed him coolly with his grey, violet eyes. "This place is filled with rifraft and criminals. I can't believe any kingdom would keep this place running."

Titos sitffled a laugh for he knew the prince hadn't even gotten an eyeful of what this tavern was really about. It was then a young, red-hair man approached them, dressed in the usual manners of a whore of this place. Titos waved him away quickly, noting feeling the need to upset Fareal any further. It was then he heard an elven curse and turned to see his lover tripped by a large , grissly looking man. When that same man went to help the elf up, Titos sighed and began to stand but Fareal was faster.

"Do not touch him." The elven warrior stated calmly. His hand tracing the hilt of his sword.

The man laughed at him lightly. "Or what?" His large hand went to his own sword as he stood.

Titos cursed as he saw several other man take interest in a this would be fight. Ryn stood up slowly, his deep purple eyes wary.

"I am sorry about that pretty one. Have a drink with me, I'll make it up to you." The man grinned widely.

Ryn strained his shirt and gathered the dropped drinks. "I would rather not, thank you."

The man sneered and went to grab his arm but was stopped short by a sharp blade at his throat. Fareal tilted his head to the side. "I said do not touch him." The two opposing forces stared at each, one with cold fury and the other radiating calm death.

"He's not worth it anyways." The man laughed and retook his seat.

Fareal then escorted Ryn back to his seat after a short arguement in their native tongue. Ryn threw himself in the chair and glared at his brother. "I can take care of myself."

Fareal shrugged. "Is it not nice that you did not have to demonstrate?"

Ryn crossed his arms angerly but then his eyes softened a bit as his attention turned to the dancers.

Titos sighed. The trouble he almost and did find himself in could probably make an interesting tale someday. He glared at the bored onlooker to let them know the show was over and went to speak to Hal when something caught his attention. Green hair disappeared behind the double doors. He blinked a couple of times, and then thought twice. Green may no be all that uncommon, but still. The warrior motioned for one of the serving wenches to come forward.

The large, buxom blonde came forward with a grin.

"Four drinks. And I've a desire for green hair tonight."

She seemed puzzled for a moment and then she smiled when he droped a heavy pouch in her hand. "Of course. He's not out tonight but I'll see what I can do." She assured sweetly.

Fareal turned his burning gaze and mouth on him immediately. "What, in the name of the gods, do you think you are doing? I will not sit here will you order someone. I can not believe what I just heard..."

"Shut your mouth elf. I wouldn't suggest wondering the streets on your own, even if you can 'take care of yourself.'" Titos' mind was on something else and he did not have the patience to deal with an outraged noble memeber of the elven race.

The waitress came back and handed them their drinks. She winked at Titos and left.

After what seemed like hours, but was in fact only minutes, a familiar figure approached him slowly. Armin, his dark green hair nearly to the middle of this back, wore only a white long tunic. His wings were folded neatly against his pale body and his dusty pink eyes ignored the leers he got from the other patrons. Titos held up a gold coin to make sure he knew where he was going. Armin took the sign and went and sat in his lap. The eagleman instantly kiss his hand and slipped the coin from his finger, dropping it in his side pocket. The light kisses went to his chest and up his neck. Titos glanced at Ryn's furrowed brow and Hal's downcast eyes. He ignored Fareal completely. When Armin reached his mouth, Titos pushed him away lightly. The dusty pink eyes eyed him curiously while the small hands glided over his leather bound chest. Titos watched him carefully and then reached for his waist. His hands squeezed gently and then he trace the spine upwards until the youth pulled away in pain.

Armin blinked away the rising tears. "Low price," he whispered. His hands gropped for Titos' bulge.

Titos pulled his hand away and frowned. "You don't remember me?"

Armin looked at him confused. Titos looked apologetically at his companions and let his hands drift up the tunic and run through the soft downy feathers he knew would be there. His finger pulled at the little delights gently, and stroked... never actually touching the hardening cock.
Armin gasped lightly, and then looked at Titos surprised.

"Titan...?" he breathed lowly.

"You know him. Why the hell did you not mention this earlier." Fareal demanded. He looked around at the gawkers and fumed. His pony-tail swishing slightly as he made sure to warn the men who tried to acost his brother ealier. Ryn's eyes brightened a bit as he sipped the ale, understanding regestiring quickly. Hal simply drew his cloak closer and stared at the floor, his cheek coloring as more and more people looked their way.

"Shut your mouth elf." Titos demanded than spoke softly to Armin. "Yes."

Armin smiled slightly. He glanced around worriedly and then leaned closer, to whisper in his ear. "Will you buy me... a night? Damage price ah 5 gold. I've money... own."

Titos raised an eyebrow and then felt his blood boil. Damage price. What the hell did that mean? "I'll do better than that. I am getting you the hell out of here."

"Break it up. Everyone." The barkeeper pushed past the crowds. "Now I know what you are all thinking. I said he would not be out tonight, and I meant it. Just a curious stranger, that's all."

When the others began to mind their own business the man approached Titos his hands raise. He was rather on the scrawny side, his figure thin as well as his hair and mustache. He wore mostly black like the color of his hair. "Sorry mister. I'll get you your money back and the drinks will be on the house. Your request is just causing too much trouble. Our feathery friend needs to rest up anyways."

Titos gave him his most chilling smile which sent the man backing up a few steps. "That is very kind of you but..." He turned Armin so his back was facing him. "But I am afraid I am going to decline your offer. The money stays and so does my purchase."

"Purchase?" the man spluttered. "Who the hell do you think you are? He is not for sale."

Titos nodded slowly as he lifted the tunic up and over Armin's head.

"Titos..." Hal beseeched quietly.

He looked at the priest and tried to reassure him with a smile. Hal's sky-blue eyes looked around cautiously but he smiled slightly back.

"Titos, I've heard of you. So what."

"What land are we in sir?"

"You bloody know what land. You best unhand my property, or I'll get the law on you. They don't give a damn who you've killed."

The bruises on the pale back were ugly and some even open and bleeding. He squeezed the tips of the brown, tainted with gold, wings and grinned when the sprung out. Then his dark gaze spotted just what he was looking for. The large G burned into the flesh between the shoulder

blades. Titos sighed happily and kissed the spot quickly, causing Armin to shiver. "Are you aware that it is illegal to hold another man's slave as your own in this land."

By now, the other patrons had regained their interest. The barkeeper looked furious. "Your damn right I know. Lisa, get the guards and have them arrest this man for attempted theft. I caught him fair and square and there ain't no law that covers an eagleman here."

Titos laughed lowly, his eyes piercing. "Lisa hold up a minute. Come here my gratious host." He commanded darkly.

The man straighted his back and moved forward. Titos light his hand as if to strike him, laughing when the man flinched, and then pointed at the G. "Do you know what that is?"

The man snorted. "A scar, nothing more."

"That is a G, and do you know who uses a single G for his property?"

"Not a single person."

Titos nodded. "Too true. Not a person at all, but a dragon. Does the word Greggorous mean anything to you?"

"Dear gods...no!" The man backed away.

"Well the dragon doesn't keep slaves. He doesn't like to have people for anything more than a snack." Titos commented casually. "But everyone in his army uses that mark just for the same affect I just got from you. And you know what?"

"What?" the man squeeked.

"You damaged my property." Titos growled.

"I'll make it up to you. Free room, and drinks. Your money back... anything." He offered anxiously.

"You can keep the money. You might need it for persuasion purposes later." Titos smiled.
"Does he have any more clothes..."

"Lots I'll get it to you right away." He waved his hands at everyone shooing them away and then ran up the stairs.

Ryn broke out in laughter. "Gods Titos that was hilarious."

Hal smiled slightly shaking his head. "Let's take him to our rooms. I will see what I can do."

Titos stood and helped Armin slip the tunic back on. He grabbed Hal's upper arm and pulled him close, his mouth dropping down to claim his surprised mouth. His tongue explored the warmth quickly before he pulled away, both of them flushed. "Let's hope everyone knows your mine now..." Including you, but he did not add that.

Hal blushed quickly. Then he and Ryn escorted Armin up the stairs.

Titos moved to follow but was stopped by Fareal strong cool hands.

He turned and looked at the prince, raising an eyebrow in question.

"Do you always lie so easily? What happens if he finds out the truth?" The elf asked lowly.

"Nothing. It is not a lie, I was with the army. They can not proove it otherwise."

Fareal nodded slowly and pulled away but this time Titos stilled him. Their eyes locked and Titos let hand cup the firm jaw and trace the fine cheek. Fareal blinked briefly but did nothing else. "Careful." Titos cautioned. "Forbidden fruit is almost irresistable." The elf patiently waited for him to let go and after one more brush of the thumb, he did.

He'd made arrangements for three rooms in the back, and took the liberty to make sure his was the first. Titos was not sure, but he thought he caught a glance from the elder elfin prince before he retired to his room. Hal and Ryn were content to bed together, infact... the elf seemed a bit excited at the prospect though Hal remained as impassive as ever, saying not a word while he tended to their winged friend.. Titos took Armin to his room and bedded down for the evening. At first, the warrior had to spend several minutes convincing Armin to merely sleep and not "attend" his old lover in anyway. True, the young "man" had acquired some language skills, yet still lacked an even basic vocabularly and understanding. He watched the candles flicker for several minutes before sighing and standing. Armin quickly turned to him, his eyes following his every movement. Titos smiled slowly. "I'll be back."

"Go too?" Armin spoke softly.

Titos shook his head, frowning when tears welded in the youthful, dusty pink eyes. "I am not leaving. Just going to another room." He frowned. "Stay here and sleep. I will be back tonight."

Armin smiled slowly in understanding, returning under the covers happily. Titos sighed and ventured over to Fareal's room. He opened the door silently, noting the candles were still burning though the prince seemed to be sleeping.

"You must explain how you accomplish breaking in so quietly someday." Fareal voiced lowly.

Titos nodded mutely seating himself on the bed. He did not need to see the elf's face to see the visible tears evident in the strained voice. His hands massaged the tense shoulders when the elf sat-up, still facing the wall and not Titos.

"I thank you for accompanying me. I imagine it is not convenient for you at all. When we arrive, you are..."

Titos cut him off softly. "No need for formalities with me. I am here to help."

Fareal nodded slowly. "I have always been able to protect myself.... feel safe. Now, there is this wonderment, an uncertaintity that was not present before."

"You do not have to explain." Titos assured.

"I know. It is my belief that my homeland will ease my fears and silent sufferings... and not so silent."

"Your mother?"

The elf shook his head. "My parents are far too busy trying to preserve what is left of our race. There is no need to add to their worries. When I heard of my brother's capture. I thought him lost for sure. Then he came before us... it was like a prayer being answered. I saw no one but my little brother, our Little One, alive and before us. Even then, he seemed changed to me... bolder and..." Fareal shook his head laughing lightly. "Happier. Yes that is what it was. It was too hard to admitt in then, but now I know."

"Now you know." Titos murmured abscent mindly.

Fareal studied him seriously. "My brother is in love with you, in love with life as so many young ones are. It is beyond comprehension for me to accept that he lies with you nightly." The elf closed his grey, touched with violet, eyes briefly, trying to conceal a shudder. "What he sees in you above the rest of those he has been with. Yes, there have been many women, Titos. My brother, your lover, lacked control long before he displayed his affections openly before my father. Except this time, there were no efforts, capable on my part, to conceal his actions." Fareal sighed. "My life has been a very long and lonely one, filled with violence and grim truths. Never... never in all that time..."

"300 years?" Titos probed lightly.

Fareal shook his head, smiling slightly. "311 actually." He took a deep breath. "I worry for my brother. If he experienced even a portion of... of... Titos, talk to him for me when I can not. The reports lacked a great deal in detail. Anything could have happened that he has not shared with me."

Titos nodded. "I'll find time to speak with him about his former captivities, but I think you will find he has a remarkable recovery time..."

"Very unlike myself." Fareal whispered lowly.

"Fareal..." Titos waited till the the grey-violet eyes returned from their misty musings and focused on him in the present. "What can I do to help you?"

"Patience. Bear with me and say not a word to any others of my weaknesses. It is not for the sake of vanity I wish to conceal this ordeal. It is..."

"I understand. My offer to bring what you have seen or heard of to life still stands. The real thing, not the other." Slowly, Titos removed the silver clasp from the dark yellow hair. Fareal breathed lowly, not flinching from his manuever. "Sleep is more easily acquired without metal to rest upon." Titos murmured lowly.

Fareal swallowed slowly and nodded. "Thank you for hearing my words."

Titos recognized the quiet dismissal and did not fight it. He stood heavily, pausing at the door on his way out. "You know where to go if I am needed." The warrior then returned to his bed. He drew Armin into his arms protectively. Forgotten memories entered his dreams. Off times when he had been new to the world and the cruelities it had to offer to the unsuspecting and unprotected. Titos had become violent after his lessons, dominating and single-minded. Many of his actions had been self serving, anything but selfless. His visions brought the faces of his loved ones to the open. Rath's friendly, drunken laughter when they had met at the tavern not too far from where they were now. Ryn's frightened, deep purple eyes during their first encounter to his instant smile of longing and love at his return. Hal's anger that had melted into dreamy compliance and love later. Armin's tearful plee that was only half-met, and now the winged one's happy recognition. In all his years, he had rarely been close to any being but Trohan... the dwarf that stepped in and took the place of his father upon the real one's disappearance. Now he lie in the inn accompanied by those he loved and cared for very much and thinking of those that were not here. Life had never truly been simple, even for him. Yet now, he felt confused as to what he wanted. For so long, decisions were made abscent mindly, foreseen problems dealt with few regards to those around him. Finally, the fitful sleep subsided into the blissful darkness of true rest.

Hal gripped Titos' hand tightly as the ship cut through the waves at the fastest speed the winds could offer. They stood upon the deck, watching the horizon ahead of them. The wind was cold and breathtaking yet the experience seemed refreshing despite the fact Titos had ventured on many ships. He knew it was because of his gentle lover's skyblue eyes, wide in awe. "This is incredible." The priest murmured lowly.

Titos smiled, drawing Hal closer. "I am glad you like it. The sea can be a beautiful image and then a fierce storm the next."

Hal turned to him, looking up into Titos' dark eyes. "The salt is so pronounced yet not offending." Just then, a large wave manage to climb the ship and spray the two observers lightly. Titos grinned and kissed the salty droplets away as the priest closed his eyes. His face flushed. "Titos, it is still light."

"Aye, it is." Titos acknowledged, claiming his lover's protesting mouth in a passionate kiss. A slight shuffling sound sidetracked his attentions. Armin too was on the deck, watching the water mutely. Titos frowned. "Am I not allowed to love you in public."

"Your eyes reveal more than enough. Intimacy is ment to be private." Hal murmured lowly, his face flushed.

Odd views, Titos mused, coming from someone of his tribe. They pratically raped each other daily in plain view there.

"What are you going to do with him?" Hal interrupted his line of thought again.

Titos sighed heavily. "He wants to go home, I think. I see it in his eyes... his emotions reveal it as well, but I don't think he knows where it is. The general location is not good enough for us to try to portake a such a long journey. His people are not near here and few even know they exist. When more information is available, we'll see what we can do."

Hal nodded. "I was surprised to when I saw him."

"Is that what that was... surprise?"

Hal shook his head and spoke lightly. "You always seem to amaze me."

Titos chuckled. "I believe I have said the samething about Ryn on many occasions. I am pleased to hear you are not bored with your new relationship."

Hal kissed his hand briefly. "Never. I love you with all my heart and soul. If that means chasing you to the end of the world or lying idly in some pit... so be it."

Titos smiled slowly. "My gypsy love... my own little spirit." He muttered fondly.

"Come on you two love birds. The evening's winds are upon. The priest is sure to becomed chilled if we are not careful." Ryn strode up to him, his honey-wheat hair blowing in agreement with the Ryn's statement.

"Do you think he realizes how attractive he is?" Hal worded breathlessly.

Titos nodded. "I don't doubt it. I am sure he has used it for everything it's worth as well."
He extended an arm and drew his limber elf into a warm embrace, kissing the loose hair fondly. "Hal just wished to see the sea at its greatest."

Ryn hugged Titos tightly. "It is grand."

"But you are right. Let's get down before the cold really hits us." He led his two lovers down below, pausing to yell for Armin. The young "man" seemed surprised to hear his name and even more surprised that Titos motioned for him to come. A small smile creeped upon the innocent face and then Armin ran into his arms happily. Titos kissed his head lightly before going to the bunks. Fareal was all ready asleep when they entered, and for that, he was greatful. The elder elf deserved the much needed rest. The rest of them went to their respectful bunks, which pained Titos greatly. He really wanted his lovers next to him, not only for warmth but for a sudden craving he had to hold them and hear their lustful calls. Titos also desired Armin and his soft features... as well as Fareal. The temptation for the heir to the elven throne was almost irresistible. He imagined how the elven warrior would be in bed, and wanted to see those grey, touched with violet eyes, usually filled with a hard glare, or gentle love, to terror, fill with lust and desire. Sighing, he got comfortable for sleep. He could wait. Once, patience had been asked for him, and he would comply now... but he was waiting for an entirely different reason than his requestor had intended.

The next morning they docked and headed through the wilderness towards the elven forest. Ryn had become uncharacteristically quiet as the drew newer to his birth-lands. Fareal too was quiet, yet that was not unusual. And with Hal's natural shyness and general lack of interst in casual conversation, it made for a rather boring trip. They traveled on foot, and though there was not a great deal of distance remaining, there was still a few days travel. Titos found himself talking to Armin about his plans for the rebuilding the homestead. He realized the youth could not possibly understand more than half of what he was talking about, but he suspected it comforted Armin to have someone talk to him. That and Titos would go mad if his mind was not distracted from the unchanging enviroment. Suddenly, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight. Without thinking twice, Titos drew his blade and moved their defenceless member behind him, feeling very glad that they had decided to cloak Armin heavily to keep his race unknown. Fareal noted his movement and drew his own sword, moving to a defensive position in front of Ryn. His elven lover drew his bow, not the one of his ancestors but a quality one Trohan had purchased with him in mind, while Hal readied a spell under his breath. All their eyes scanned the area picking out the figures before they stepped into view. Several men, armed with longswords and daggers came stood before them. Their most disturbing attire was green circles on the cuffs of their shirts and the chains at their hips... slavers. Fareal moved to strike yet Titos halted him with a shout. "NO!"

The elven prince looked at him in shock, but was unable to reply for their assialant did first.

"Lay down your weapons and you will be taken unharmed. Otherwise, it is at your own risk."

Titos wieghed their options quickly. One youth who barely knew how to hold his sword than weild one, a troubled elf, and the rest against these odds. It did not look likely for them to win.Even if he could take down a good number of them, there was still the possibility of someone getting hurt or worst. He eyed their attackers again, this time noting the smaller red circle within the green. The Garomon Clan. That made up his mind. These slavers were unique in that they were known for taking slaves and releasing them in a month or two's time. This kept the Clan from facing prosecution for those around them. No one wanted to bother with outlaws who rarely hurt anyone when wars waged across the world. Titos dropped his weapon. Hal frowned and followed the suit. Ryn sighed heavily and did the same. Fareal became reluctant. "Are you mad? These men are slavers!"

"It is best..."

"No. I will not give in so easily. This is madness..."

Titos glanced at the men, noting they were content to wait. The less actual conflict they encountered, the more likely the Garomon Clan would continue in peace. That, and he noticed recognition in there eyes when they looked upon Titos. He moved closer to Fareal, whispering lowly. "We are greatly outnumbered. As long as we keep our mouths shut, things will be fine. They do not know who you are, even this close to your borders. The Garomon clan is allied with the orcs so I suggest you keep your mouth closed."

Fareal blinked slowly, fear slowly creeping into his eyes. "They will chain us and take us..."

"Nothing will happen as long as you follow my lead. I promise."

"Promise..." Fareal clenched his teeth and dropped his sword.

Smiling, the men descended upon their "willing" victims. They chained them loosely, displaying actual care about their comfort. The group was then led to the mines only a days walk from the borders of their intended destination. Titos trudged along angrily. He hated slavery as much as everyone else, and of all times to fall prey to these people again... it was not now. Still, he knew this system and could work with it. They would be out in maybe as little as three weeks time and on their way without the slightest incident taking place...

Titos' Adventures: "Willing" Bondage 14

The mines consisted of several rocks caves that dotted the minereal filled hills. They were lead up to the largest open, still bond in chains and walking in a line. Their wrists were released just inside where they waited to see what would happen left. When it became apparent nothing drastic would take place right away, Titos stepped to the back with his companions. Ryn closed his eyes briefly when Titos approached and leaned into the offered embrace. His limber lover rested his head against the warriors broad chest, saying not a word.

Titos frowned and stroked the silky, honey-wheat hair. "Are you all right?"

The elf nodded slowly and sighed sleepily. "Merely tired."

Titos held him closer as he felt the smaller body relax. The prince had likely not walked a great deal in his seemingly pampered life. The march had been rather brisk. He touched Hal's with his free hand, smiling when he noticed Armin snuggled into the dark blue robes.

The sky-blue eyes looked up to him. "I am well. Armin seems a bit fatigued but fine. What now?"

"Titos!"

The warrior's head shot up as he heard the deep familiar voice. No, it couldn't be. But sure enough, the tall black warrior with one lone, black braid for hair on the rest of his bald head, pushed through the other slaves and approached them. Titos clasped hands with the tall, muscaluar gladiator. "Karth, it has been sometime."

"Aye, Titos the warlord." Karth smiled broadly. "A long ways from the whelp you were in the west."

"The title is no longer mine anymore." Titos laughed lowly. "What the hell are you doing in these parts?"

Karth shrugged. "The wars ended back west leaving a lot of broken land and little work. Thought I'd come this way and look into the ship business. These sneaky bastards drugged my drink. The next thing I know, I am here hauling rock."

Titos nodded. "We were taken on the road. The Clan has certainly grown since the last time I was taken."

Karth nodded. "There are two factions now. This happens to be the more active and a little darker than the rest. Certainly better than the old days though." They both laughed as they recalled the old days in the arena where one fought to the death to entertain the rich. Titos smiled darkly, there were certain rich members that did not smile anymore.

"So," Karth mused. "Who is this lovely lady buried in your chest here?"

Titos laughed lightly. "This lovely creature is Ryn. He's rather weary now else he'd be sure to introduce himself."

"He?" Karth eyed him curiously.

"Aye, the sex is better and the consequences nil. There weren't many ladies in the army either."

Karth laughed loudly, his booming voice dominating the place. "I see. And this one," he pointed to Hal, "Is he with you as well?"

Titos chuckled lowly. "Aye, he's mine too."

Hal blushed and turned away. "I am Hal."

Karth grinned. "Yours? I see you haven't changed all that much. The youth must be with you as well. Traveling in groups these days? You used to be solo but now you have three?"

"Actually I have four..." Titos went to scan the area for Fareal, but a large man caught his attention right away. He was tall and bulky, havng a bald head and wearing heavy earings that made his large ears droop. A gold ring pierced his nose and we wore a number of rings and other such jewels. He stood near the back, surrounded by a number of apparents body guards. In his large hands, were a couple of leashes that held two or three young men.. all naked and at least fairly attractive.

"That's Javan. We all call him Ogre; he likes that. He runs the minds and has been here the longest. They let everyone go after several weeks but he has been here 10 years. Ogre stays because he likes his authority here. The guards treat him well because he tends to keep the rest in line. He's not much trouble if you just mind your own and do your work."

Titos nodded. "I've noticed some others looking our way. Have you power here as well? Back in the Arena, I believe you were supreme."

Karth laughed and shook his head. "I wish. It's you they are interested in. Titos the warrior has made a name for himself. Must be nice getting instant respect. I miss the glory sometimes... never the kill though."

Titos nodded.. too true and then grinned. "I'll let you know. I happen to know people tend to seek out the names as well. It may be more trouble than it is worth." His eyes scanned the area for more potental trouble, hoping Karth would fill him in quickly while he spoke of his

He didn't have long to comtemplate their new surrounding or speak to his old friend for shouts rang up. His eyes darted to his companions. Ryn, Hal, Armin and... Damn. No Fareal still. He shoved past the crowd and peered at the elf warrior and the slaver holding an injured harm.

"How dare you speak to me in that tone. Who do you think you are?" Fareal's grey-violet eyes blazed angrily.

The slaver merely laughed. "The question is who do you think you are? What is your name?"

Fareal set his jaw. "Fareal."

The other guard slapped his friend on the back. "I told you I recognized him from somewhere this here is a prince. Ain't that right?"

Fareal nodded slowly. "Not that uncouth men like you could ever recognize your left from your right."

Titos felt his heart sink. The fight had better have been damn important for this display.

The first guard drew his blade. "If he is the prince of our enemy, then he dies where he stands. So too shall the other elf die, they look kin to me."

Titos awoke Ryn, making sure he was steady on his feet, and squeezed Armin and Hal's shoulde. He stepped forward knowing he would regret it. "He's a liar. A professional con."

The guard looked to him slowly, his light eyes looking him up and down. "He sounds pretty serious to me."

"What would a prince of elves being doing in a place like this? Without an escort and with the likes of me?" Titos insisted, he hoped the tales weren't too percise.

The guard glared at Fareal with hateful eyes. "I don't like being made a fool of." He nodded to the other overseers and had them hold the elf down as he tore away at his clothing.
When he was done, he smiled slightly. "That will teach you a lesson."

Shit. Was the word that came to mind as the guard set him up as free for all. But for some reason, no one moved forward. Then Titos saw why. The large gladiato thatr Karth had pointed out as the ring leader of this mine, stepped forward, an ugly smile twisting on his lips. The large rings in his ears swayed side to side as he approached Fareal with a collar in hand.

Titos moved forward but Karth stopped him. "Titos, your name is known here. The men all ready respect you. If you fight him and loose, he will have right to you and all those that are yours. It is slave's law here."

Fareal must have overheard for he stood there, his body trembling as his eyes blinked aside the tears of fear. Titos watched the brute fight with Fareal for a few moments. At first, he thought the long lived warrior would win, but he saw him quickly succumb to his own desperation and then pure terror. When he was on his knees, with his arm twisted behind his back, Titos decided he was worth the risk.

Ryn and Hal spoke at once. "Titos, help..." There voices trailed off as he strode forward.

The large bald man turned his hateful gaze on him. "Is three not enough for you warlord? I know you had four but as you can see, the overseers have decided otherwise." The voice was dark and filled with venom.

Titos imagined the gladiator had scared off more than one man with just the gaze and the voice... and probably expected the same results now. He merely shot him his most vicious grin and went to fighting stance. The gladiator flared his nostril angrily and shoved Fareal aside. They circled each other like two lions fighting for a pride. Titos had everything to loose and so little to gain. He hated himself for the thought, but did not the deed make up for it. He was fighting for Fareal's behalf rather he thought it was worth it or not. Honestly, he did not think Fareal could sink much lower than he all ready had. True, he had gotten over his solitary disposition with the Hal's help, and the oasis and maybe even the water spirit herself, but the rest never went away even if he could mask it. The gladiator lunged for him with amazing speed for one his size. The blow knocked him to the ground, but he rolled to the side before he was pinned. It had been sometime, way back in his youth, since he had sported unarmed combat, and at that very moment, he regreted that fact. This leader was larger, stronger, and even quicker than he was. That left only one possible way of winning. Taunting. Titos stood briskily, "accidently" kicking dirt in the large one's eyes. "A bit slow aren't we?" Titos mused. The gladiator growled and moved at him agian. The movement still had a great deal of skill, so Titos dodged it. "Do you even have what it takes to take on one capable bedmate?" he continued. It still was not enough. True the monster shook a bit but not nearly close to defeatable. Titos swerved the next couple of blow, taking the last hard in the gut. He cursed loudly and hit the ground. He remained crouched, his dark hair fanning over his face and his muscles rippling with the stress. "Don't those things slow you down?" He motioned to the earings. That did it. Instantly Titos felt a wave of hot anger and bruised pride radiate from the man. It was a great deal more than he expected to generate. He "senesed" it was even a tribal ritual he had pooked at. The gladiator moved at him with blind rage, giving Titos an easy opening at the lowered head. He struck the temple squarely with his elbow, knocking him out cold. He breathed heavily, looking at anyone else who would wish a shot. The others, grabbed their fallen leader and slinked off. The remaining crowd simply shrug and returned to their resting places for the night.

Titos appraoched Fareal cautiously, realizing he stared into some world of his own. He touched his shoulder gently. "Let's go."

Tears streamed from his dim eyes, and continued to do so when they widened when he finally comprehended what had just happened. Titos held him close as he decided near the back of the mines would be their best bet to sleep. The others followed him silently and took bunks near his. Karth had no trouble suggesting those there to seek a place elsewhere...


Fareal huddled against him, shivering a great deal. Titos tried to calm him by stroking his back, but it didn't seem to help. He then spoke soothingly as his drew him closer to his body heat. "I want you to stay at arms length at all times tomorrow when we work the mines." He felt wet tears glide over his chest. He cupped the elf's chin and looked into the grey-purple eyes. "It will be all right." He offered softly.

"I was fool. A proud fool. And now I shall get what I deserve..."

Titos hissed sharply. "Nobody deserves what happened to you, and I will not let it happen again."

"They were all watching..."

"Let them look for all the good it will do."

"I hate this. I can not fight this feeling of... of..." He broke off in a sob.

Titos squeeze him slighlty. "Helplessness, fear, shame? We all feel that at somepoint. Just try to relax. Nothing is going to happen tonight, and you will need all your strength to work tomorrow."

Fareal took a deep breath. "You have done this before..."

Titos laughed lowly. "You'd be amazed at the few things I have not done."

The muscular elf shifted slightly to get comfortable but to no avail. The rocky floor would bit into his own skin so he could imagine how Fareal was feeling. "Use my arm to for a headrest."

The elf complied after slight hesitation. His body relaxed a bit as his mind relinquished its panic state. "Why did you help me?"

Titos sighed and thought about his answer before he spoke. "Did you think I wouldn't because we have not bedded?"

Fareal tensed and then nodded. "In truth, that was what came to mind."

"Well let's see if we can get you thinking of me more highly by the time this is all finished."

They shifted once more before falling asleep.

The morning came very early for the new slaves. They were handed their tools and told to get to work. Picking at the stones did not bother Titos in the last bit. This mine was clean compared to other he had been in, and as long as you did a descent days work, the whippings did not come. Fareal proved to be a hard worker but kept silent for the most part. Ryn however, chatted cheerfully just a few feet down. He and Karth seemed to be getting along very well. Hal and Armin, still concealed by the heavy robes, went about ladeling water and tending wounds. He knew the priest was not exactly happy at not help with the work load. But when Titos explained that if Hal was to get hurt, there was no one to heal, he accepted it quietly. As the day dragged on, the others began to show signs of fatigue and slowed up... even Ryn dropped to a quiet state. Fareal, however, trudge along without changing pace. Rock particles covered his body with a grey film, but he didn't so much as scratch. It was so machine like, that when dinner came, Titos had to physically stop his hands to bring him back to the rest of world. Fareal blinked a couple of times and then finally registered what he was saying. Titos then escorted him to the bathing waters. The others had gone ahead and it was basically empty, but Fareal refused. He stood there, his arms crossed.

Titos was very close to losing it. He had worked hard today and wanted his damn dinner. "It's just water and there is hardly anyone around. You don't want to get that stuff in your dinner do you?"

Fareal narrowed his grey, purple eyes. "I will not enter waters of which I can not see clearly, and I am not going into a room filled with people."

Damn it all to the abyss, Titos cursed inwardly. "You are going to have to deal with this. The guards are more than a little pissed off, but at least you are alive. If you want to stay that way, you will need to eat."

The elf frowned and then looked at the water, contemplating the idea. "It might be better off that way."

"You might think so at this point. You've been through a lot these last couple of months, but what about your brother?"

Fareal looked at him with uncertainity. "Ryn?"

"Your father is hardly speaking to him. You don't have to be a genuis to figure out your mother has a lot of duties to deal with and the gods know where your sister is. How do you think he would feel if he heard what you just said?"

The elf warrior closed his eyes briefly. "Very well."

Titos nodded but felt little victory. Depending on another for reasons to live was hardly better than wanting to die. He followed him into the water and helped rinse him off, keeping himself between anyone who just happened by. With a little convincing, he had the Fareal submerge so he could get the dust out of his hair. The hair was a bit course, and darkened when wet. It was rather long though. "Why do you keep it in a tie," he asked quietly.

Fareal eyed him carefully before taking the silver hairpiece and clamping it on. "It interfers with fighting."

Titos moved a bit closer, their body heat mingling again. He watched carefully for anysigns of fear and saw none. "Do you spend a lot of time in the field?"

Fareal looked around a bit before looking at him and replying. "More than half my life has been spent in training or battle."

The warrior moved closer letting his hand push the tie up just a bit and making sure their naked thighs touched. The elf breathed slowly. "I believe you mentioned something about dinner."

Titos nodded. "Let's go."

Dinner turned out to be a disaster. The food was good enough, and in plenty of quantities. The water was not foul but the company was. Everyone who had a chance made sure to brush against the elf, and the comments were always loud enough for their table to hear. Titos ate the greul angrily, secretly keeping counts of those he wished to kill and those who would be first. The particullarly cruel comments came from those who recognized a rape victim when they saw one. Karth had to hold Titos down when someone actually made a pass at the elf openly. The black warrior was quick to voice that a night in the pits would only make the situation worse, but Titos nearly didn't care even then. It was only the comforting words from Ryn and Hal that had the elf warrior eating even half of his bowl of nutrients. Armin clearly didn't understand what the problem was, but his eyes expressed sympathetic feelings. Titos arose and annouced they would retire early. Ryn squeezed his brother's hand tightly before they departed. Titos guided Fareal by the shoulders through the crowded room, giving murderous looks to anyone who stood in their way. There was clearly an unwritten law that stated that anyone who was punished via being stripped was fair game, however; Titos was strong enough to make everyone think three times straight on that notion.

He got them to their bedding in one piece and felt gratification when he spotted the fur blankets. It would seem the six of them had earned their warmth early. As he lay down with the silent, tearful elf, he could not help but feel guilty for his early advances. It was true, he really wanted to take this warrior for a number of reasons, some of them very physical. They lay there silent aside from an occasional sniff from Fareal. He began to count the number of outcroppings the cave had when the elf finally spoke.

"Do you find me attractive?" Fareal asked quietly.

Titos hesitated from answering right away. The truth was simple, but the last thing he need was for Fareal to feel he couldn't trust his own protector. He then began to wonder if Fareal felt enough despair to begin to hate his own beauty. Dear gods, this could be uglier than he thought. "You are pleasing to look at." Titos tried.

Fareal shifted slightly. "Does that mean you are not attracted me?"

Titos had picked a number of thoughts that could be going through that complex mind. At the top of the list, was the ugly idea that Fareal believed he only attracted the true monsters that leered at him earlier. "I do. I find you attractive."

Fareal breathed deeply and then turned to him. His grey, purple eyes blinked away the tears as he spoke so softly you could barely make out the words. "Can you be gentle?"

Titos almost bolted away at that, but restrained from such an action that would definitely be seen as rejection. He must have heard incorrectly. Maybe he was in a drunken stupor again and this was just some trick his mind was playing on him. "What?"

"Can you be gentle?" Fareal repeated a bit louder.

The warrior pondered a bit longer, unsure of this situation still. After what had happened, he would have though Fareal would fling himself as far away from anyone possible, do anything than what he was doing now.

Titos watched him for a moment. "It takes a lot of courage for you to ask me that. Do you have what it takes to hear the answer?"

Fareal closes his eyes briefly and then turns his back to Titos. "My apalogies. I had no right to ask."

He should have known better, like anything in his life had ever been that easy. Sighing, Titos let his fingers glide across the exposed, pale shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it?"

The elf remained silent for several minutes but did not pull away. "I was not sure what he wanted when he took us. I was so angry that I could not fight them off. There were just too many. How they managed to get past the scouts, it is unconcievable."

"You did the best you could." Titos assured pulling him closer. Only the gods knew what would happen after they muddled through this talk.

"I expected him to kill me. Kill us both, but he was after something else. He had Hal taken away and then... he started touching me." Fareal drew in a quivering breath. "I was so angry that he thought I would stand there and take his attentions, I showed him otherwise. At first he laughed, seemed to be enjoying what he thought was a mock fight. Then I struck in the temple, dazed him even."

Titos tensed. Well that explains part of the furiousity.

Fareal continued quietly. "I was not afraid even when he stripped me and put me in the middle of the camp. I... I thought it was to humilate and shame, nothing more." When he began to tremble, Titos held him tighter, stroking his tied hair lightly. "The pain, I wasn not prepared, could not get away. My arms, and legs were tied. They just kept coming, but even then I only cringed, whimpered at most. Lord Lisseloth came as the moon rose." He broke off in a sob.

"We do not have to do this now..." Titos offered lowly, nearly missing the reference to Rath's last name. He should have known that even now, the heir to the Elven throne would be proper.

"I can do this now. He wanted me to beg, to beg for mercy...I would not. I spit in his face and he raped me himself then. It wasn't as bad as the others... it hurt only a little. Afterwards, he warned me to reconcider my resistance. I would not, and so he left. There was a commotion the next afternoon and that night, he came again and raped me. This time he spoke. He said the orcs were always in too much of a hurry to enjoy anything. They did not take the time to realize the potentials of their victims. His voice was so cold, and hard. I was afraid then."

"Easy..." Titos cautioned as the elf's tone barely made the volume of a whisper. "You are not there, not now and not ever again." The promise could be kept, for the past could not be relived. But Titos meant it as a personal obligation to make sure Rath never laid harmful hands on this one for as long as he lived, and he had every intention of keeping it.

"He pinched my nipples lightly making me gasp. I tried to resist, but the gentleness was so welcome... I knew I was walking into a trap even then. He said they were sensitive and that his "men" wouldn't realize that unless he helped out."

"The nipple rings." Titos sighed heavily. Nothing like a bit of gold to get the low paid soldiers' attention. He reached over and gently rubbed the rosey pink flesh. "I am sorry that this happened to you."

Tears flowed from the half-closed eyes freely now. "The next time around was so much worse. They beat me, and I could not stop from screaming.When he took Hal, I was relieved. I was relieved because it was not me anymore."

"Shhh," Titos murmured lowly. "He doesn't blame you, and neither do I."

"He was so quiet, through the whole thing. Everything was so hazy, like a dream. I could not stand, even as his back was to me. He dropped his sword and everything, and all I could do was lie there and watch."

Titos slowly loosed the tie from the dark blonde hair. "Its over now, and this situation is not the same. Trust me."

"I do..." he whispered.

"May I ask why?" Titos encouraged as he shifted so his chest was pressed neatly against the strong back.

"The others trust you. You consider their judgement. They are not afraid of you."

"Are you afraid of me?" Titos urged.

"A little."

Titos nodded and bent down and kissed the slender neck lightly. "Are you sure this is what you want?" he murmured.

"You are the one who has been in pursuit of me." Fareal laughed lightly.

Titos laughed as well. "I thought it would make you feel better."

"Oddly, it did."

"Well then, let's continue." His tongue traveled over to the tempting ear and nipped the earlobe gently. Fareal shivered and gasped lowly. Interesting, Titos mused and pursued further by licking the inside lightly at first. The elf groaned lolwy as Titos sucked and played with the ear mercilessly. Suddenly Fareal jerked and then became still, his breathing deep. Titos kissed the sensitive ear slowly and let his hand travel over the muscular thigh to the moist cock, limp from recent release. He chuckled lowly. "Was that fun?"

Fareal tried to pull away but Titos' arms were not yielding. "Damn you," he hissed angrily.

Titos kissed his moist cheek. "That isn't very nice. How long has it been? 2, 3 months?"

Fareal stiffened. "You know exactly how long."

The warrior let his fingers play with a hardening nub for a moment. "That doesn't count." Fareal remained silent. "Well..." He pressed his hips gently against the tempting body infront of him.

"I would guess maybe seventy-five."

"Years?" Titos snorted.

"No days. Of course years you big lug." Fareal snapped irratably. "I have had enough. Let go."

Titos mused on that for a moment. The delicate nature of this encounter had just ended, and that was a good thing. "Yes..." Fareal relaxed, obviously waiting for his release, but Titos continued. "Yes, I can be gentle, but I rarely stop in the middle of anything."

"You can not be serious..." The elf's outraged voice trailed off with a groan as Titos pounced his ear again. "This is not right."

Titos laughed. "Of course not. Now tell me why have you not taken anyone to bed for such a long time... are you allergic to pleasure."

Fareal arched against him and came again, gasping for breath this time. When it became evident Titos would not stop without an answer he spoke. "I had wars to plan and fight. I did not need nor want to leave a grieving widow."

"You were in the fields? In hand-to-hand combat?" Titos found that a bit odd. Rath was an excellent figher, but he rarely set foot in an actual battlesite.

"Of course. The last one I was at was at the canyon. Rath and his beast was there. Had I known Ryn had taken it upon himself to deliver the message once the other was dead, I would not have been. He is fortunate that I have not spoken to father about the exact manner you two met." Fareal shivered slightly as Titos shifted, and their bodies parted for a moment.

"I was there too. I thought those troops were captured. No escapees."

Fareal turned and smiled slightly, his grey, purple eyes bright. It was not exactly a light of mischief, but more like pride."Your scouts were inaccurate."

Titos leaned over and captured that mocking smile, letting his tongue tempt the full lips open. Fareal let him in hesitantly, forcing Titos to remember this was still frightening for him despite the turn of events. His tongue probed the warmth for only a brief moment. He then kissed the hard jaw-line down to the exposed throat. "It does not bother you that we could have been enemies enough to slay each other?"

Fareal groaned lowly. "War divides people up in ways not possible otherwise." He paused as Titos let his hand travel over the relazing shoulder and down the spine. "Could you slow down a little?"

Titos sighed stopping his hand from traveling down the curved back. He let it stay there and rubbed the spine firmly. "Of course."

Fareal relaxed while Titos let his hands explore the tempting body before him. He stroked him firmly, pausing when his effort achieved a shiver. He kissed the elf's neck slowly, letting his tongue pick up the small droplets of sweet sweat brought about by fear. Titos stood heavily, removing his clothing. "On your back." He offered lowly.

The prince gave him a questioning glance but complied, trembling slightly. Titos covered him with his warm body slowly, kissing the wet cheeks lightly. "It's me Fareal. I won't hurt you."

The elf nodded but said nothing. He breathed deeply and relaxed again as Titos stroked his exposed body. "You like being petted don't you?" the warrior asked lowly. Titos was rewarded with a slow smile. He kissed the uncertain lips slowly, his tongue seeking and then finding the moist warmth further in. The kiss became long and passionate as Titos' hands sought and found the hardening flesh between the prince's legs. Fareal grabbed his hair and returned the kiss, his desires beginning to overtake his fears. Titos withdrew from the embrace and kissed along the strong throat and ventured to the hard nubs below. He paused just breaths away as the body

below him tensed. He kissed the nubs gently and rubed them between his forefinger and thumb. Fareal's breathing became labored as he lifted to meet the sweet carass. Titos grinned and liked the tempting morsels, biting them gently with his strong lips. He moved and did the to the other nub, this time he watcehd the emotions play on Fareal's face as the elf closed his eyes and clenched his fist. Titos left a moist trail all the way down to the hard flesh below. He took the stiff member in his mouth and circled the tip slowly. His tongue traveled up and down the shaft and then he moved to heavy sacs. He groaned lowly as he took the tender gifts into his mouth and rolling them gently. Fareal shuddered, keeping his gasps low in volume. Titos went to his knees and pulled at the elf's waist. From his pouch, he pulled out a small vial and coated his thick fingers. He stroked Fareal's creamy white thigh, before pressing at the tight opening. Fareals grey-violet shot open. "Easy." Titos murmured. "It's all right."

"What...?" Fareal questioned softly.

"This will make it easier." Titos explained and proceeded. He inserted one finger and stretched the elf slightly. He moved within the heated bliss, stroking the warmth lightly. Fareal groaned softly, his hips moving a bit. Titos smiled and continued with another finger and then another. Fareal's breath became labored and heightened with a bit of panic. "Shhhh." Titos rubbed a muscular thigh with his free hand. Skillfully, he reached Fareal's pleasure point and rubbed the gland momentarily, chuckling when the elf's mouth opened in a silent cry. He withdrew his hand and grasped the prince's lower back. He pulled him up and closer till the faced each other. Fareal swallowed nervously as positioned himself. "Ready?"

Fareal gripped his shoulders tightly. "Please... I am not sure...." His eyes dropped to the floor.

Titos held him gently and urged himself into the warm destination. Fareal gasped lowly, tears pouring from his closed eyes. "Look at me..." Titos urged softly. Fareal complied slowly. "Stay with me." Titos pushed further, straining to maintain control. The elf gasped queitly his grip tightening. After several moments, Titos finally embedded himself completely, their warm bodies touching with intense heat. Titos moved his hands up to the elf's shoulder and drew him closer. Their lips met again. The kiss was gentle and prolonged. The warrior muscles flexed as he began to move within the warm haven. Fareal groaned quietly into his mouth. His hands occasionally strayed from Titos' shoulder as if the prince was unsure of what to do. They finally settled at the back of the former warlord's neck. Titos didn't mind holding back or the lack of preperation. Fareal had ceased sobbing and his quiet pleasure was reward enough for the efforts. Titos moved increased his speed gradually, growling lowly as finally plunged into the object of his pursuit. Fareal broke the kiss and moaned into his large shoulder. They moved slowly together for several minutes until both exclaimed in mutual fulfillment. Only when they were lying on the soft furs again, and with Fareal spooned up against him, did Titos realize just how quiet not only the prince had been but he as well. It was so unlike being with Ryn yet he had not thought of that once during the act. He chuckled softly.

Fareal tensed. "What?"

Titos stroked the elf's thigh lowly. "Merely a notion on the your quiet nature."

Fareal sighed. "No one must know of this. I should have asked this off you before. Titos..."

"No need. I understand, get some sleep." Titos sighed as he tried take his own advice. That god damn elven king was going to be the reoccuring theme of his dreams for a little while now.

"It is not only him. This is complex. Please do not bare ill will towards our father. In time, he will change. Titos...." Fareal looked at him and smiled slowly. "It was wonderful."

Titos grinned. Well if that admittance wasn't a fix all... it was close. He closed his eyes, holding the prince close. As he feel asleep, he realized he hadn't seen to if the others had made it back...

He awoke slowly and feeling groggy. Moisture soaked the left side of his neck and he felt stiff. Titos tried to move his arms but found them to be immobile against the smooth wall. Smooth? His feet were bound as well. The rest of his senses began to come to life again and he finally noticed that he was not alone. Someone sobbed against his neck their arms around him tightly. He breathed deeply, recongizing the one as Fareal. The drug disappated further as his vision cleared. Damn. He should have known the food was not safe. And where the hell was he? What was going on?

"Fareal...?" He questioned lowly. His eyes taking in the barren room that contained but a chair and a doorway.

"You awaken." The elf murmured lowly. "He shall return soon. Can you work yourself free?"

Titos strained against the iron bands and felt no give. He growled lowly and tried again anyways. "No."

Fareal's arms moved agianst Titos' neck violently. The elf pulled and yanked frantically. Then he broke down and cried again.

"It is all right. Whatever this is... it is not the same."

The elf shook his head. "It is. He shall return and... and.. Gods. Titos help me please. Help..."

"Shhh" Titos uttered soothingly. "Calm down. You are not alone."

Fareal cried louder. "No... I can not. Help..."

Titos kissed the sweat glistened hair lightly. "Easy. You'll only enter a panic. Relax."

"I can not.. The pain..." Fareal quieted down a bit, but the tears still flowed.

Titos sighed. He didn't even bother to ask who it was Fareal had seen. The elf was obviously lost in the past. The warrior shifted uncomfortably which resulted in the prince gasping loudly in agony. "What?" Titos questioned instantly. He strained his neck to see if any damage had been applied and found the problem. An ugly looking black whip was wedged inside his newest lover. It looked thick and coarse... and definitely painful. "Fareal. Listen to me. You need to relax your muscles. The pain will lessen."

"I can not..."

"Look at me." Titos commanded sharply.

Fareal tensed but his grey-violet eyes, red from weeping, gazed at him.

"Good. Now you need to relax. You are not alone. Trust me some more. I wish to all the gods that I could end this now, but I can't. Listen to me, and we will make it tolerable. Believe me, I know how to survive the worst you can imagine."

Fareal nodded slowly, shuddering slightly. Titos felt the elf warrior relax and sighed in relief. That would at least ease some of the current suffering. He inspected the iron restraints more closely and cursed inwardly. The pins were imbedded deep within the wall and were too strong for his minor powers to remove.

"Well, Well," a dark voice caught his attention. The same guard that had stripped Fareal of his defenses entered the room. He gripped a curved dagger in his hand and wore a twisted smile. "Nice to see we are all awake now."

Titos gritted his teeth to keep all the curses from leaking out. "What the hell do you want? We worked your blasted minds, both of us at high production."

He nodded slowly. "It is true. Normally, I would be pleased, but your interference has changed that."

"Interference!?"

"Yes. When I issue a punishment, it is followed through. You turned my lesson into a coddling session. Now I will make sure, first hand, that the real lesson is not forgotten." The guard moved towards them.

Fareal looked at Titos momentarily and tensed when a hand grabbed his shoulder. Relax, Titos thought, but it was too late. The whip was removed brutely from a body not ready for the assualt at all. The elf went limp as he blacked out.

The guard laughed. "All wells. He'll feel it later when he wakes up."

"I don't think so." A commanding voice called from the doorway.

In the blink of an eye, a dagger whizzed through the air and embedded itself in the guards unsuspecting back. The large blonde with the scar on his face moved forward and made sure of the job with a quick thrust of his sword through the heart. The dragon-rider looked at Titos and frowned. "I never liked him anyways." Rath proceeded to release both the prisoners.

Titos held the prince close to him in his arms. Sighing at the prince's unusually pale complextion.

Rath moved forward and brushed the dark yellow hair aside. He eyed the prince momentarly and then touched his forehead. A read light radiated from his hands briefly as his eyes went to Titos. "The damage was minor and is healed." His former commander stroked the elf's cheek and sighed. "This never should have happened. He could have been mine, this sensous elfin prince. Instead, he is beyond my reach done so by my own hands. Now he suffers at the hands of others. It is a crime Titos. One I am not proud of."

Titos nodded, thankful this prince was not aware of who was next to him. "But not souly yours to take credit for."

The dragon-warrior nodded. "Greggorous has been violent and moody since the death of his mate at elven hands. Normally, the rage is managable, but at times..." Rath shook his head. "He is my soulmate. I would not trade that for anything. Not even for you."

Titos smiled slightly. He wonder just how much Rath care for the relationship had been strange at best. "The other slaves?"

Rath shrugged. "They were released. This clan has ruled my lands long enough. I sent word for them to relocate. They did not listen and now most lie dead or ran from my sword. Do not worry. I recognized my other victims. They are safe as well as the other with them."

Titos noted the bitterness from the word victim. The Rath he knew was very much alive for he spoke to him now.

"I was and am once again a slaver. I would never have killed even my most hated enemy in such a manner."

"I know." Titos thought for a moment. Oh, but you did have some very cruel ways none the less. Armin could attest to it and a number of others as well. Still, Rath was not only a valuable friend, but someone he would trust with not only his life, but his soul if the need be. There were very few of people who claim to maintain such a trust. "Did they see you?"

Rath shook his head. Sheathing his sword and kickin the body aside. "No. I have hired men with me."

"I think it is best if they did not." Titos continued.

Rath nodded. "Very well. My older coach is on the road. I had the men have your gear and the others placed in it. Feel free to take it to whatever destination you have in mind. Your friends await for you there. My task is not yet finished." The dragon-rider departed yet paused as Titos spoke.

The former warlord could feel the slight pain Rath felt now and that was a lot for such a man. "I am rebuilding my estate. It is far from finished and my lover's live there. They fear you a great deal and for you to come now would only cause a problem. I will leave word for you when I think it is better time for visits. You are always welcome."

Rath turned, a smile twitched at his lips, and then he was gone.

Titos, with Fareal in his arms, found the coach and had Karth, who was more than happy to escort the coach to the elven lands, lead the horses. The former gladiator was thrilled to find out who he was really escorting and even more delighted at the prospect of being rewarded by the wealthy patrons. Ryn was still under the affects of the drug and Armin was only now awakening. Hal, seemed alert enough to have rid himself of all the side effects, yet he asked nothing.

As they neared the thick tree of the elven woods, Fareal awoke with a gasp. Panic was shone clear in his grey-violet eyes.

"Easy. We are safe now. All is well." Titos assured quickly.

Fareal took a moment to take in his surrounding and then sat-up, holding his new cloak around him tightly. Then he spotted Ryn, somehow, the elder brother new something was amiss and threw Titos a questioning glance.

"The drug seems to have affected him more so than the rest of us. Perhaps due to his weariness prior to the affects. He should awaken soon." Hal offered lowly.

Fareal nodded. "Where are we?"

"You are home." Titos smiled slightly as the pleased expression the elf displayed. He pulled the drapes apart to offer evidence.

The coach came to a halt as the elven scouts bore down on it, armed and ready. Fareal took a deep breath and stepped out. He spoke with them in his native language, but not for long for a light voice hushed them all.

"Welcome home my son. You are early but I am pleased. I hope your visit to your brother' home proved satifactory."

Titos stepped out followed by the others. The queen smiled at the appearance and then frowned. Without asking, she entered the coach and came out with her son in her arms. She murmured a few words and smiled as the younger prince opened his sleepy, deep purple eyes slowly. "Am I dreaming?" he asked quietly.

The queen laughed lightly. "No child." She handed her son over to Titos and smiled happily. "Will you be staying long?"

"No mother. They have quite a task at home to take care of." Fareal offered.

Titos nodded. "Too true. We will need provisions and horses."

"What about the coach?" Karth frowned.

"Take it old friend and the wealth inside."

Karth grinned. "No kidding?"

"Not at all." Titos smiled this was going to be easy.

The queen complied to his demands. They said good-bye to his old friend for the time being and to Fareal as well. The elf all ready seemed better and happy in the presence of familiar surroundings. Titos wasn't sure how, but he had a feeling the priestess sensed her elder son's pain and voiced a desire to have him stay at the temple for awhile.. evidently where she spent most her time. He, of course, accepted as he must in the presence of all company. Titos smiled, that woman might be a grand manipulator under all the divine light and elegance. Ryn did not seem too unhappy at missing a chance to visit most his homelands again. Fareal assured them all he would plan a visit again and be sure that they had a chance to come here again officially. That way, the king could not dismiss them. The farewells were issued and they departed.

Luckily, the return trip was uneventful save for the fact that they all had a chance to see Armin fly when they neared home. Titos found it very rewarding for the last time he had seen the youth take flight, it had been under very dark and dangerous circumstances.

-Please let me Know what you think-  Paladin

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