Titos' Adventures: Duty 15
Ryn smiled and moved through the several twisting halls of the palace. The ceremony was tomorrow, and he had just now found the perfect gift for his brother's wedding. At first, he was a little skeptical at getting invited in the first place. His father must have gone to great lengths to keep him off the list, yet the bird arrived having the invitation being handwritten by the groom himself. Fareal's letter and request to have him present had touched him to the core; his brother truly understood the pain he was feeling at having his father shun him for his new sexual relationships. In truth, he did not care about the dislike or disgust others had towards him. Let them judge him as they wished, exclude him if they dared. But with his father leading the pack, and against that he was defenseless and crushed. The honey-wheat blonde prince shook the dark thoughts away, this was a special day even if the marriage was arranged. He gripped the glass bird wrapped in dark blue satin securely, careful not to crush it. The nightingale looked nearly exact to the real one mother used to own and had sing for her children. Every time Fareal came home from the wars, he would sit with Ryn and his sister, Amaiat, nicked named Blaze and listen to the lovely songs at night. He smiled slightly, his purple eyes glistening at the warm memory. He quickened his pace, his dark green robe swishing lightly as he sought out his destination.
"Prince..." An elven guard stepped forward from the shadows nearly startling him. This was one of the guards that had once escorted Blaze around during her wilder years. Well at least the time when she remained in the kingdom and caused trouble. He was tall and rather large as far as elves go. His hair shone a deep black and his eyes glistened hazel brown. His facial expression seemed impassive despite his sharp features. His dark garbs explained his ability to hide in the shadow. "Your brother was moved to another room to finish the preparations. If you will come with me, I shall take you there."
Ryn nodded quickly. Odd that things would be moved so close to the ceremony, but not really a problem. He followed the guard down one of the back halls and into a large dark room. His infravision made it possible to scout out the layout easily, but the darkness seemed puzzling. The room looked like a study of some kind and there was no sign of Fareal. He turned to the guard. "Where...?" His voice trailed off as he saw the elf calmly lock the door and watch him silently. The impassive expression was quickly replaced with clearly lustful eyes. Ryn took a deep, calm breath. "What are you doing?"
The elf smiled slowly as he removed his cloak. His eyes never wavered. "I am accompany my prince to a room as he requested." The voice was low and rather cold.
"I did not..." He was cut off.
"I do believe that you realize as I that your own father would not believe your word against mine. I protected your sister for years without incident, kept her virtue as well. My record is flawless; yours is not."
Ryn drew his robes closer around him. He heard movement to the side and noticed a figure in the corner for the first time. This one moved forward slowly, his dark red robes shining in the pale light coming from the partly covered window near the back. "Rid, who is this?" Ryn asked coolly. The new arrival bowed slowly. He was human, with dark brown hair, a neatly trimmed beard and mustache, and sharp brown eyes.
He spoke darkly. "Lord Chaelir at your service."
Ryn found himself trapped. Ridik, The Mighty Spear, blocked his only exit and this human was, even now, trying to get behind him. Then Chaelir dived forward. Ryn dodged the clumsy motion and went to the back. "Where is your loyalty?" He shouted as Chaelir stood, this time net in hand.
The net came at him quickly. Normally he could avoid such an attack easily; his defensive trainer had been a master. His robes, however, slowed him down immensely, and the abandoned study room was packed with old furniture. The net enclosed on him quickly. The prince realized that struggling would only succeed in tangling him up even further. That, and he would not give them the satisfaction of seeing him fight uselessly, nor even cry out for help he knew would not be there. The conspirators plan had worked perfectly.
Ridik moved forward and pulled Ryn to his feet. "I have watched you grow since you were but a babe," he whispered darkly into the prince's ear. "You developed very nicely." Strong fingers reached out pulled the net away. Ryn was yanked backwards into Chaelir's tight embrace as Ridik removed his robes almost brutally. He heard the cloth rip just before the cool air hit his naked flesh. His nipples were pinched lightly by the cold hard hands of his human captor. Ryn groaned lowly as desire raced through his wanting body. He watched Ridik strip slowly. His excitement growing as each layer was removed. The elf was incredibly attracted to this guard, despite the nature of this encounter. His organ sprang to life at the prospect though the prince spoke levelly. "It does not bother you that I do not want this?"
Chaeril laughed deeply against his back, but Ridik replied. "Not at all." He moved forward, slowly, and stroked Ryn's cheek firmly. "You want this. You know you do, and you always have." Ryn closed his eyes, hating that watchful gaze upon him. Warm lips sought out the tender spot of his neck. Strong hands traced the rippling muscles of his tight abdomen and then grasped his straining cock. Ryn hissed lowly as the hand tightened. He forced his body to relax, despite the rising fury in his mind. This was just one more rape of many, and unlike the first few, he would not subject himself to unnecessary pain. He was maneuvered, with little difficulty, into a kneeling position, his face just inches from the human's large member embraced with dark curls.
He closed his eyes slowly as a long, slender finger pushed into his warmth. Chaelir took his cock in hand and rubbed it slowly against Ryn's lips. His first thought was to bite him, and hard, but a warning echoed in his mind against it. The one thing these two were not, was stupid. And further aggravation would lead only to an uglier situation. He took the silky flesh in his mouth and tongued it lightly, letting it roll against his skilled tongue. Another finger entered him, this time harder and faster. He groaned lowly, giving the human an opportunity to thrust his cock down the opening throat. Ryn deep throated him easily, the slick member filling his mouth almost to the point of being painful. It was then, he felt the other shove his member into his body. That thick organ filled him nicely, sending waves of pleasure up his spine. The thrusts were deep and slow, deliberately tantalizing his core and then pulling just short of sending him into an orgasm. His groans of dismays were muffled as Chaeril thrust into his mouth with more intensity. And then, the human came, his salty seed filling his mouth and forcing him to swallow else choke. Ridik gripped his waist and thrust deeper, growling louder as he completely embedded himself in Ryn's hot body. Ryn gasped loudly, as the elf guard thrust once, very deep and came. He wondered briefly if he too would find relief. Then, the elf's strong hands gripped his princes cock and pumped several times quickly. He came with a loud groan. Ryn panted a few times before he stood, wary of his attackers. Chaeril moved forward and cupped his warm cheek, trying to bring him into a kiss. Ryn sneered instantly. Not in a cold day in hell. He pulled away angrily, his reward being a hard harsh slap to the face that sent him falling backwards despite his efforts to grab nearby furniture.
"We will do this again sometime." The human lord remarked as he dressed and strode away.
Ridik too dressed and then bowed. "My prince," was his departing statement.
Ryn closed his eyes briefly and salvaged the remainder of his ceremonial gown. It wasn't the rape that hurt the most, but the truth of it all. His own father would value Ridik's word over his own these days. No one would believe him save Titos and Hal... maybe Fareal and his mother. Gods things were so unfair. To involve the first two would only result in disaster. His brother would have no luck either, perhaps even wanting to murder him worst than the warrior would and his mother... He could not face her. The elven prince realized he had not even uttered the word no. He pushed back his hair and straightened his gown before picking up his package. Tears stung his eyes as he felt that the fragile thing had shattered in its satin shelter. He should have never come here, to dishonor his brother with no gift. Ryn wasn't even presentable having torn his robe. If he hadn't been a whore before, he felt like one now.
He went to Fareal's true room and opened the door slowly. His eyes remained averted as he spoke. "I am sorry I am late Fareal... I had some trouble..."
"A likely story."
Ryn looked up quickly noting that his brother was not alone. Fareal turned as his father spoke harshly. The king eyed Ryn coldly, his dark robes and staff glittering slightly with power.
"Father... I..." Ryn was at a loss for words. Had he known he was here, the prince would have waited till later.
"If you must address me at all, address me properly as lord, majesty, liege if you like. Is that understood, elven citizen?"
Ryn found no words would form as his heart felt pierced. Tears flowed from his all ready watery eyes.
"Is that understood?" The king repeated coolly, his head straight and eyes narrowed.
"Yes, my lord." Ryn whispered brokenly.
The king returned his attentions to his eldest living son. "The preparations are near complete. I..."
"I am well aware of the preparation speed." Fareal's eyes blazed angrily. "I appreciate your help, but I can manage on my own."
The dismissal was clear and very near unacceptable. The king nodded shortly "very well", and brushed past Ryn and out the door.
Ryn swallowed though his mouth seemed so dry. He bowed once to his brother and went to do the same. A hand on his shoulder stopped him.
Fareal closed the door slowly and looked at him with concern. "I was not referring to you." He spoke quietly with uncertainty.
Ryn tried to keep his voice level. "I broke the gift... the robes are... I am not presentable... I'll see if we can depart before the ceremony in order to avoid..."
Fareal pulled him into an embrace, cutting off any more words with is gentle hand. "I want you there, not your clothes, and the gift does not matter."
Ryn sobbed loudly into his brother's shoulder, for the moment, forgetting the delicate cloth of the ceremonial gowns. Fareal stroked his hair lightly and lead them over to the bed so that he may cradle his younger brother. "He hates me. Daddy..." Ryn could not bring himself to say more. In truth he did not need to.
"Father does not hate you..." Fareal began.
"I should have died instead of..."
"No!" Fareal hissed, shaking him almost violently. "Listen to me. He does not wish your death and neither do I. He is a stubborn fool. His cruelty is uncalled for, and had I known it would extend to that disgusting display... I would not have followed through with this ridiculous marriage. Ryn, I have said this before. Do not let him turn your life into something it is not."
Ryn shook his head quickly, tears streaming down his face. "I have ruined your ceremony... now both the robes..."
Fareal stood angrily and ripped his robe from his body, throwing it to the ground in a heap. He did the same to his brother, ignoring the wide eyes on him. His grey, purple eyes burned with fury. "To the abyss with tonight's ceremony. I will have it canceled."
"You... but he will not..."
"He can not have it without me. The marriage is tomorrow and if it is my duty to marry the lady, then I shall. I will not parade around obeying his words while he treats you worst then he would treat a hated animal. Let us find Titos and Hal and seek entertainment elsewhere."
"Right. We will need new clothes first." With that, the elder prince threw open his chest and pulled out some of his older casual greens and browns. He helped Ryn dress, for he seemed not to be fast enough, and then nearly pulled him down hall. In all the confusion, Fareal forgot to question the red mark on Ryn's face.
They found Titos and Hal in their guest quarter, speaking quietly. As they entered, the priest stood and bowed while Titos frowned. "You have been crying," he stated angrily.
Ryn threw him a weak smile. The warrior had been on the edge ever since they had returned. He would do nothing now to fuel that anger even further. "It is nothing. The ceremony is off this evening. We shall..."
"Go for a hunt." Fareal interrupted. "There are always horses ready and bows stringed."
"I do not understand." Hal looked around worriedly. "The guests... the decorations. We were just told to be ready in but an hour."
"Let them worry about it." Fareal informed lowly. "Will you join us?"
Titos' frown increased, but he did not press. "Very well."
Fareal led them to the darker, older portions of the elven woods. The great trees towered over the rest of the wilderness in grand glory while the animals rustled the bushes and leaves near the ground. Only a bird or two chirped this evening. An acorn fell indicating the presence of the squirrels. The evening sky glistened clear with bright stars and two silvery moons, the mark of Wrenn's holy month. The light was not adequate for most creatures to hunt successfully, but they would try. Hal remained in the back, merely observing silently. He assured them all that he had nothing against hunting in this manner, but that he merely tired early this evening. The fresh cool air relaxed Ryn instantly. He even smiled happily as he fingered the elven bow in search of prey. It had been sometime since he had a chance to polish his skills in archery. The snap of the twig caught his attention, and he whirled quickly, letting loose his notched arrow. It surprised even him that he was able to make out the target so quickly and accurately. The stag fell dead before it hit the soft ground near the base of the tree.
Titos dropped down and shook his head slowly as he peered at the large animal. "I am starting to think you took us along only to show off."
Ryn beamed. The praise was so welcome at this point. "It was not my idea if you recall correctly."
Fareal frowned though his eyes smiled merrily. "That hardly took up a decent portion of the night. It seems we will be camping and feasting out here as well."
"If I didn't know better, I would think you are trying to avoid returning to the palace." Titos remarked causally as he took his knife and began slicing up their new found prize.
Ryn dismounted as well and then helped the priest down. Hal did not say anything, but he looked awfully pale.
Hal closed his sky-blue eyes briefly as if in some kind of pain. His dark braids glittered slightly with the silvery strands in the moons' lights, and his light-blue robes rippled with the wind. He glanced at Ryn. "I will be fine. It is nothing."
Ryn did not find himself totally convinced, but Hal was the healer and not he. The prince nodded and then drew his own blade and went to salvage the meat that Titos was hacking at. He had little intention of letting the warrior butcher his prize improperly. Meanwhile, Fareal went about collecting firewood, in deep thought. The groom remained rather impassive, but clearly was not happy about something.
They had the steaks cooking in the dancing flames in no time. Ryn, normally a rather picky eater, enjoyed the bland feast a bit more than usual. He would have liked a few spices and even some wine other than the spring water they found. But when he thought about returning to the palace to get the items, he found his appetite soundly vanished.
"So," Titos began. "Tell us about your sister." He pulled Hal closer to him as the priest began to drift off having not eaten a thing.
Ryn shrugged though still in high spirits. His belly was full for the most part, and he was hoping a least for a partially festive night, even without a ceremony. His eyes raked over the bronze skin of his lover that glowed with orange light. "Fareal will be able to tell you more than I." Titos didn't respond to the obvious desire, but Ryn was not convinced it was out of disinterest. More like he had asked a question and wanted an answer.
Fareal smiled slightly. "Amaiat ventured off nearly fifty years ago. My brother and I receive word of her on occasion. Last I heard she was on a ship's crew. Somehow she fancies earning a meager living that way."
Titos nodded. "Amaiat...blonde hair with grey eyes, a light scar on her left check and wears a scarf around her neck?"
"You know her?" Ryn found himself becoming oddly excited. It had been a long time since he received her letters and was not about to ask for them.
Fareal frowned instantly. His eyes narrowed, and he did not share his brother enthusiasm at all. A dangerous glint entered the elf warriors eye that put Titos on the defensive instantly. "Did you know her?"
Titos eyed him warily but smiled. "I'll remember to make sure never to harm a sibling of yours. She was fine and well when we parted. I sailed on a ship with her for about a year. The Sandiris. It is strange. Blaze did mention her brothers, but not once did I ever place her as royalty nor did I even consider she was your sister till a moment ago."
Fareal relaxed momentarily. "She became rebellious long before Ryn did. Father..."
Ryn tried not to tear at the mention of their father but could not help it. He looked at the ground as he realized the others watched him closely. If only he was more like Hal and could hide it when desired.
Fareal cleared his throat. "He had her betrothed to an elven lord when she was born. The day she found out was the day she departed and never returned. I've seen her since, at the battle fronts and even met her at a tavern or two. Ryn was only a child when she left, I think she will be surprised when she sees him again."
Ryn smiled. "I would imagine if is more appropriate. I am told she would not touch the elven forest here with a ten-mile stick."
Titos laughed, but his eyes displayed a more serious matter. "Does this arranged marriage happen often."
Fareal nodded looking very solemn. "Of course. It is done to ensure heirs and political power. It is our duty, as members of royalty, to ensure our next generation's positions will not be threatened."
"And as the eldest, you must marry and proceed the throne. Why now?" Titos implored.
Fareal shifted uncomfortably and then stood, adding more wood to the fire. "I have been married three times now. Twice, my wives were slain in raids while I was away, back in the old days when our kingdom was still weak and our eldest brother still lived. My last wife was poisoned on accident in my stead."
Hal stirred. "That must be awful... and still you must..."
The eldest prince nodded. "Marry, yes. It may seem cold, but only one wife had I met before the ceremony and that was Yoristy... She was the one who drank from my drink in a light jest... which ended her life. The other two, Reshlia and Jerail were noblemen's daughters and very young. I met them on the day of the wedding and then left the next to return to war. They were very bleak days and though the marriages were long, I saw them maybe twice a year." He glanced at Titos slowly. And for the first time, Ryn saw his brother blush. "I would not take them to bed while still being a stranger."
"And now?" Titos dug deeper.
Fareal cleared his throat. "Laforo is a noblewoman of a neighboring kingdom that has a number of elves in their population. Her arrangement will ensure a strengthened treaty between our two..."
"Enough dribble. I want to hear the truth."
Ryn frowned. "She seems a very cold and lifeless..."
"Ryn!" Fareal fumed. "Mind yourself. You are still a prince, and that is my bride you are speaking of."
Ryn went to reply hotly but Titos interfered. "And what of Ryn's obligations."
"I have none I am sure..."
Fareal cut him off shortly. "For now, I believe Ryn will be relieved of them for sometime. And in any event, tradition has him too young for any permanent obligations or even considerations. Amaiat's arrangement was rather unique."
Ryn stood fluidly. This situation was beginning to bore him. That and it was venturing right back to the territory he had hoped to avoid. "I think the spring is rather cool tonight." He announced and venture back to the spring, hoping a certain person would follow along.
"Don't make him beg," he heard Hal laugh lightly.
He was then pounced just at the watery edge. Titos pinned him to the ground, holding his hands above his head. "You little tease," the warrior growled.
Ryn caught his breath as the heat of the large body engulfed him instantly. He gasped lowly, losing his fingers and gliding them over the hard leathered chest before him. "You and your questions," he rasped. "What did you do to him anyway?"
Titos removed his partner's clothes quickly, careful of the old clothes. "What do you mean?"
Ryn yanked at the armor and threw his head back in frustration. "Must you wear that damn thing all the time? There are no enemies here. I am referring to the nice shade of pink Fareal turned." Then his deep purple eyes widened as he realized what must have happened. He giggled lightly as if he had just caught someone's hand in a cookie jar. "Did you sleep with him?" he questioned quietly.
Titos stiffened and flared his nostrils a bit. He clearly did not want Ryn knowing what he did. "How about.." he bent down and placed little kisses of fire along the elf's pale neck. "How about you don't ask about my bed-mate's, and I won't ask about yours..."
Ryn rolled away, not prepared for the wave of emotion that suddenly struck him. He covered his face with his trembling hands, as if to keep it all in with that simple motion.
Titos drew him close and rubbed his shoulders. "Ryn?"
Ryn drew in a trembling breath. "I know it was only jest but..."
Titos sighed. "It was but a foolish one. I should have realized what that might sound like. Ryn, you are not to blame for anything that happened, and I love you regardless of what is entailed in all that."
Ryn shook his head slowly. "I tried to save something for us... but the pantherman and Hal..." He suddenly felt miserable all over again and would have departed had Titos' hands not tightened their grip.
"What do you mean? I want you and Hal to be close..."
"Titos, I wanted to keep the kissing between us. Something personal... unlike all the rest, not like the others I..." Ryn kept the tears away this time, but his shoulders sagged.
Titos turned him around so that he sat in his lap. "You did not kiss any of them but Hal and me?" Something glittered in those dark eyes that sent shivers up Ryn's spine.
"It was a silly jest... I ruined it when I..." He was cut off as Titos lowered his head and claimed his open mouth greedily. Their tongues battled slightly, this time Titos winning and exploring further as Ryn grasped his dark mane.
Titos pulled away leaving Ryn breathless. "That is the most..." Titos grabbed his lips with is own. "hmmm you are incredible."
Ryn smiled when he had the chance. "But the panther..."
Titos grabbed one of Ryn's hardening nipples and gave a sharp pull, causing the prince to gasp in surprise and then shift as his organ became painfully large. "Forget it. That night was strange for us all... believe me. And if kissing is a token of love, should it not be shared with Hal too?"
Ryn felt his body ignite as Titos let his hands stride over his tight abdomen and grasp his hard cock. "Yes... gods Titos don't stop."
The warrior pumped the organ slowly, his thumb gliding over the tip briefly before continuing with the next agonizing stroke. "Don't tell me this has bothered you ever since that night?" he whispered huskily.
Ryn threw back his head, closing his eyes as the sensations crawled over every inch of his wanting body. "Yes..." he admitted almost mutely.
Titos squeezed and then stroked him a few times hard bringing him to an orgasm. Ryn gasped loudly, his body shuddering from the quick release. Titos kissed him again, this time slowly. He then paused at his left ear. "Don't."
The commend excited Ryn more so than anything else would have at that time. Titos quickly flipped him to his hands and knees. Somehow the warrior became naked and pressed his hot, sweaty chest against his arched back and pulled Ryn's hair back sharply. Titos nipped at the exposed throat, drawing blood and setting the elf's body on fire again. "Take it all," Titos hissed lowly.
Ryn tensed with anticipation. His body pressed back against the solid object of Titos behind him as his mind slowly comprehended the implications of the command. The warrior thrust his hefty meat into him in one slow, deep thrust. Ryn screamed out loud as the pain shot through his body though it was quickly replaced with unbound pleasure. Titos thrust into him brutally, filling him and then touching his core. His large hands grabbed his waist for more leverage. Ryn gasped for air as the pace increased, and he found himself entering a world of intense, pleasurable sensations, heightened by the love that backed it all. Titos grunted loudly as his seed filled his elven prince. The warrior pulled his limp member out and then yanked Ryn against his chest, stroking the elf once again to a powerful orgasm that had the lithe body writhing in his powerful arms. Ryn groaned lowly and then smiled, despite his soreness. "I love you too Titos."
Titos laughed lowly. "With you, there always seems to be some element of surprise." He scooped the sweaty elf up and then tossed him into the cool water.
Ryn gasp in surprised as the chill surrounded him. He surfaced laughing as Titos kissed him again, he too in the water. "We've a ceremony to be prepared for." Titos muttered as he washed them off, and they dressed. He then held Ryn in his arms once again and walked him back to the camp.
Ryn leaned against him wearily. "Do you think Fareal heard that?"
Titos chuckled loudly. "I think we are about to find out."
Fareal shot them both a dark look. "One, it is hard to decipher real danger with you two. And two, we are avoiding the others, remember, not giving them the location."
Titos plopped down near Hal, who was sleeping soundly. Ryn motioned Fareal to them. "Come brother, we will not bite. This time." He got a good hard swat for that. Fareal nodded and joined them, but not before giving Titos a very unhappy glance.
The night went by slowly, giving everyone a much desired rest and the strength the would need for tomorrow's events....
The next morning, they returned with little trouble. Fareal, had to prepare for the wedding instantly, and had some explaining to do to a distressed bride. Hal and Titos went to the guest quarteres. Ryn, however, was surprised to hear he was summoned to the throne room. He was now dressed in his repaired robes and took a deep breath before pushing through the large double doors.
The king formed a small smile as Ryn entered the room. His hopes soared at the open display of kindness. After this afternoon, he was nearly surprised his father did not spit in his direction. Ryn returned the smile slowly, his heart reaching out for but a small measure of reassurance. "You wished to see me my lord?" The words still sounded odd.
The king nodded slowly. "Laforo
His heart sank instantly. "I am underage for such a commitment."
"True." The king stood slowly and approached him. "But, my beautiful son, your situation is unique. Opportunities are not likely, even in centuries to come and not any I would consider. I was considering letting you slink off with your new found "friends" and let the family hide our troubles in that matter, however; something has come up and this will suit me and the kingdom much better."
Ryn stiffened. "Who is she? And why would...?"
"He." The king stated calmly. "Your sexual preference is being considered. The lord is very well off."
The world seemed to be crashing down around him as he stood there listening to his father's proclamation. This could not be happening. Who could he be referring to?
The ancient elf continued, his eyes shining brightly as if a large weight had been lifted from his shoulders. "The man is not of perfect character, and he may have to take a bride to ensure an heir, or perhaps adopt one." He paused for a moment. "I think Chaelir will do nicely."
"The man is little more than an animal." Ryn hissed.
"Perhaps, but he will take care of you. For that, I am certain. Our relations with the kingdom will ensure it."
"It does not matter to you that I will be nothing more to him than a whore?" Ryn asked lowly, his voice oddly calm despite his rising panic.
The king cupped Ryn's hand gently and spoke softly though his words cut deep. "What difference does it make whose whore you are?"
"No you can not!" He pulled away angrily. "I will not do it."
"You do not have a choice. Did you think that your sexual preference would end an age old tradition of arranged marriages? You are a prince of my kingdom, and it is time you acted like one. Chaelir's offer is a generous one. It will strengthen our diplomatic ties and soften the disgrace you have forced upon your kin. He has stated to me that his people accept your kind in their borders openly, and after much consideration, he is more than willing to take you under his roof."
Ryn felt outraged and blinded by his anger. "I love Titos!"
The king raised an eyebrow. "If you behave properly, I am sure Chaelir will allow him residence near the palace. It is not uncommon for both members of a marriage, especially an arranged one, to take others to their bed in the proposed kingdom."
"I can not believe you are saying this. Do you even hear yourself?" Ryn exclaimed. "This is my life you are talking about, not some treaty or diplomatic mission!"
The king shook his head sadly. "Which is why this is for the best. Your well being will be assured, and your status will not falter despite the nature of your troubles. Chaelir was skeptical at first. It seems even they have preferences, but he has changed his mind. And you will not go alone, I am sending one of our best bodyguards as well. He even offered..."
"Ridik." Ryn felt like he was going to faint.
The king smiled. "I remembered you two are at least acquainted. He is very good and will ensure you safety on my behalf. As I said, Chaelir seems pleased with the arrangement."
Cold fury raced through Ryn's veins. "I bet he is after having a fucking sample!" The prince knew it was a mistake once it left his mouth. He had been arguing with his king first and then father, for the last several minutes. His outburst now would not go unheeded.
The king backhanded him hard, sending him to the floor and splitting his lip. "Mind yourself!" He blared. "Guards, escort my son to his chamber where he is to stay till the next evening. Send word to his friends that he will not be accompanying them home. If they object, show them to the edge of the borders."
"No!" Ryn wailed, but it fell on deaf ears.
Ryn was literally thrown in his old chambers, conveniently absent of most his stuff, and locked in. He paced around several times, trying various spells on the door and then resorting to banging. He felt himself beginning to panic again when it became evident there was no escape. His outrage was quickly replaced with despair as he looked out the window and saw Titos and Hal ride away from the palace. "No..." he cried and threw himself on the bed. He sobbed loudly, heedless of the door opening and visitor entering. A hand touched his shoulder lightly and then pulled down his robe to expose his shoulders. The cool familiar lips of Ridik kissed him lightly.
"There, there my prince. It is not all bad. Unless you make it."
Ryn squeezed his eyes shut, too heartbroken to care.
Titos could barely contain his rage as he was told their welcome was no longer appreciated. Hal tried, almost in vain, to reason with him. "Titos, this is not the way to combat the situation. We are at the elven capital; there is no way to win like this." He urged again, a bit louder, even pulling at the hand holding the drawn sword.
"To hell was formalities. I am sick and tired of this crap they have been pulling since we got here. There is not one of you here who can make me leave this place without him."
Hal tried again. "Titos, please. I have a better idea."
By now the other guards had gathered around.
"Trust me," Hal whispered. His sky-blue eyes were not displaying fear or unease, but the light of a plan.
Titos sheathed his large, serrated sword angrily and then made a show to pull Hal to his horse. They clearly thought he was a barbarian and now he would be one in light of their eyes. He helped Hal mount his white filly and then had his own steed steady and ready. As he left the city, he vowed he would not leave the kingdom without his other love. Not one person would be able to tell him that Ryn was no longer interested and have him believe it. In fact, if he heard it one more time, he would have blood on his hands.
Hal rode rather quickly, his light horse gliding over the soft grasses easily while Titos' plowed behind. He took them straight to the Temple of Wrenn where Fareal would be preparing for tonight's ceremony. Titos wondered if maybe Fareal could help them, if he would. Would the eldest heir go against his father's wishes directly? It was indeed iffy. Apparently the guards here had no notion of their current exile status for they let them in the temple without hesitation. Getting to Fareal's room proved a bit harder. Titos all but pushed past the priests and guards and
unfortunate servants who stood in his path. His grip tightened as he got closer and closer to the actual room Fareal was being prepared in. Hal was pulled along, helpless to do anything but keep up. He regretted, briefly, his lack of gentleness, but he seemed to be losing one lover and was not about to loose another. The guards posted at the large red door became too adamant at the need for privacy for Titos' taste so he struck each one unconscious in turn and then fisted the door down. His hand must have broken for blood splattered the floor, but he ignored it completely. Instead his dark gaze fell on the naked, muscular figure of Fareal who was tying his hair tightly down his back. He turned to face them, his face stern as he grabbed a blanket to cover himself. Titos believed that no one else would have been able to catch the faint glint of fear that danced in those grey-purple eyes before the prince was able to recognize his "visitors."
"I trust this is something more than displeasure with the seating arrangements for the ceremony." Fareal implored tightly. He dismissed the guards coming to check out the noise with a nod. "This is highly inappropriate..."
"Inappropriate!" Titos bellowed. He drew a deep breath to tell him just how much he had had it with proper elven elegance, but Hal stopped him with a brief touch of a hand. Titos shut his mouth and let the priest talk reluctantly.
"Fareal, we were told to leave this morning and that Ryn no longer has a desire to see us. If we remain within the borders of the elven kingdom, we will be escorted out. To resist may result in imprisonment." Hal spoke calmly, his voice level but quiet.
Fareal looked at them first with disbelief and then hesitation. Clearly, this prince was at a loss of what to do. He dismissed his robes and dressed slowly in his soldiers garbs as if in deep thought. "You have reason to believe that this is my father's orders?" His eyes seemed to plead otherwise.
Hal hesitated, he too saw the distress and lack of hope. "I believe so. We do not know why."
Fareal frowned intently and ran his fingers through the loose strands of his hair. "There is nothing for me to do to override my father's decision..."
"Then he's dead." Titos stated coolly.
Fareal shot him a quick look. "But there is someone who can and may help. Follow me please, and do not say a word. I mean it Titos not an utterance."
He lead them down the marble like halls, his footstep light and barely audible on the hard floors. Fareal did not so much as look for direction for it seemed he knew the temple by heart. Titos walked heavily behind the two, his thoughts becoming darker and darker as he contemplated who would die for this, or at least who should. The prince raised a hand quickly to halt them just outside some lowered silk curtains. "Be quiet and stay here, do nothing," he commanded lowly as he pushed through.
Being quiet was one thing, but staying put would not be an option. He brushed Hal's retraining hand aside a parted the curtains. The queen kneeled before a large white alter where several golden wrens perched idly. She wore a deep blue gown, heavy in cloth but looked light on her small frame. Her long almost white hair fell to the floor like a curtain for her head was down slightly. The elven priestess turned to them slowly, her deep purple eyes patient and unyielding. Her youthful and beautiful face was impassive. "We are in the middle of a ceremony." She stated quietly to her son.
At first, Titos felt anger begin to boil his blood as two more priestess stepped in front of Fareal to escort him out. The lack of parental response was becoming sickly common, but then he caught the small glint of fondness that sparkled slightly in the purple eyes even as she dismissed him.
Fareal stiffened but then brushed past the priest without a word. The two elf maiden's seemed very surprised at the open refusal and merely watch the prince go and kneel before his mother. "Please mother, I need your help."
She patted his head lightly. "It must wait till at least this evening. This ceremony to the goddess who has kept our kingdom whole and our people alive can not be dismissed lightly. Wrenn will allow me rest from my duties for the evening, but not the beginning of this holy day."
Fareal swallowed almost nervously. "I would not come to you if it were not gravely important." He stood slowly when he received no response. The prince bowed solemnly and moved to escort them all out of the divine chambers.
Titos would have exploded at what he called a very pathetic effort to do something but then the priestess spoke.
"My son." The queen stood fluidly, her eyes glistening slightly. "I would hope that you would come to me for any reason." Her eyes saddened as Fareal halted and turned to her, not knowing what to say. She came forward and kissed him lightly on the brow. "Tell me what it is I can do." She waved the priestesses to continue and followed them out of the palace and into her private coach.
"It is Ryn..." Fareal began and filled her in as they traveled to the palace.
The queen did not display any emotions as she lead them to where she believed her husband would hold her son. It was nearly impossible to read what the woman was thinking or planned to do. Fareal seemed a bit apprehensive as well, and Titos wondered if he would face some form of punishment if his mother chose to follow her husband's decision. The queen needed only to wave her hand to dismiss the guards from the door and deliver her the key. She unlocked the door with elven grace, hardly a sound, and swung it open. Ryn lay on the bed, the upper part of his body naked and his head pressed down into his pillow. Ridike held the archer's hands behind his back and kissed the lovely spine. In the blink of an eye, Fareal and Titos exploded forward, knocking the elven guard away from the sobbing Ryn violently.
The elder prince drew his sword and held it against the guard's throat with dangerous intensity. "Ridik," he hissed lowly.
Titos drew his blade and would have disemboweled the slime right then and there had the queen not spoken with loud command. "No. Still your hands, both of you. It is not Wrenn's way nor is it mine."
He turned and watched as the beautiful elf drew her youngest into her open arms. She held the trembling prince and spoke soothingly in words he could not comprehend.
"He does not want me..." Ryn cried openly. "He is sending me away."
Fareal's eyes burned with fury and his sword-arm twitched, drawing blood from the slender neck he held at bay.
The priestess gave Hal a stern look who in tern nodded and stepped to the angry warriors. He pushed away their blades lightly. "Be at ease. It is ending."
Titos wanted to shout exactly what he wanted to end, but he took one look in those sky-blue eyes and settled a bit. The last thing he wanted to do was turn on his lover in anger.
"Ryn, my son. Tell me what has happened. We do not know." She urged gently.
"He is... giving me to... Chaelir." Ryn visibly tried to calm but failed. "Sending Ridik with..." Ryn looked at Titos but did not seem to comprehend him actually being there. He clutched onto his mother tightly, tears streaming down his pale cheeks.
"Easy... My son," she motioned Fareal to them. Fareal hesitated, his eyes looking hatefully at the dark elven guard against the wall. Then he complied and sat near them, placing a hand on his brothers quivering shoulders. "Ryn, my dear. Do you know who is with you, touching your shoulder?"
Ryn closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "Fareal..."
She smiled. "And who else is here?"
Ryn took another deep breath. "Hal... you." A small smile played at the corner of his lips. "Titos, he came back."
The queen nodded. "Yes, you are safe now."
Ryn nodded slowly, his eyes still filled with tears. Then his gaze fell on Ridik, and he stiffened. His kin felt the movement instantly and looked to the dark guard. The queen's eyes narrowed slightly. She bent down and kissed her son lightly. "What has he done?"
"Nothing," he whispered lowly.
She patted his shoulder and tilted her head slightly. "I will not pretend to comprehend why lying has come so naturally to you, but you must know it will not work with me. I am your mother, I will always know."
"The gift..." Fareal commented lowly to himself.
"I broke it." Ryn cried quietly.
"How..." His mother implored further. "What did Ridik do?"
Ryn swallowed hard. His eyes looking to Titos and then dropping to the floor. "He said Fareal had moved... took me to a dark room... Chaelir was there."
"What is the meaning of this!" The king strode through the open door, his grey eyes narrowed to daggers and his lips pursed. "I ordered these men out."
The queen eyed her husband with a look Titos could not place. She gently handed her youngest son over to her eldest and stood, her chin held stubbornly. Her eyes looking him up and down. "They are not going anywhere."
"How dare you overlook my authority." His words were cold and icy.
Titos moved forward, forgetting Ridik completely, but Hal stepped before him. "Titos, please. Not now."
The queen's purple gaze glanced at him then returned to her husband. "I am the High Priestess of Wrenn for the elven people. I am the Queen of the elven race and most importantly, mother to my children. Children whom you have neglected and abused for years without a word from me. Not anymore." She kept her voice level and controlled.
"Our remaining children are alive, and their rebellion will not be tolerated. Amaiat was your responsibility, and she is now gone. Fareal alone remains where he should be. If we must discuss it, then come to my chambers and we shall do so properly. I have abused no one."
"No. We will do it here and now. I will not wait another moment. You managed to avoid speaking of our youngest very nicely."
The king stood tall a frown forming on his thin lips. "The little whore made his decision, and now he must live with the consequences."
The queen moved forward quickly, bringing her hand against the smug face. "How dare you speak of our child in such a manner. What kind of monster have you become in fighting monsters? Have we spent our lives trying to preserve our race only to loose it to a enemy we had not foreseen? I have spent my life praying and playing my role to keep our world from crashing down around us, and you come in and blind side me with this ugliness. He is our son! How dare you set him up with marriage to a man that raped him in his childhood home right under your haughty nose. How dare you dismiss him from your graces as if he were some general whose incompetence you can no longer tolerate. How *dare* you try to use your bully tactics on me. If you can not handle our son's sexual life, then look the other way. You had no right to do any of this, not the first time and certainly not now and not ever again!" She moved closer, her eyes level with the tall elf. "I have had enough of this, this horrid display now and forever. I am telling you what is going to happen, and I guarantee you that even your status will not stop me. Ryn thinks he has lost his father, lost him to a darkness he can not understand. I will set him straight; you have lost him. Tomorrow, I am having the belongings of my children and myself taken to the temple. You will not set foot there unexpected and even then, only in the main chamber when duty calls for it. You will never speak to my baby again until I say so. NEVER. And as for Fareal is concerned, the marriage is off. If you had taken your responsibility as far as you claim you do, I think you will find the little vixen is not as far done that list of responsibility for Chaelir's advances as you would like to think. If for any reason one of your other children ever wish to go to you again, you will not only inform me on your decisions but consult. No more marriages where they meet the first day. Granted, a marriage must take place but not anytime soon unless they, your children, deem it is right." Only the gods know how she managed to state all that in one breath, but she did.
The king's eyes widened and then darkened in anger. "What makes you think he did not invite those advances as he invited all the rest? You do not call those who visit a whore a rapist! And Fareal will of course comply to his duties as he always have..."
"Not this time..." Fareal stated coldly as Ryn began to sob again. "Find someone else to wage your wars and sell for political gain. I will have none of it. I will fulfill my duties as a prince and remain heir to your throne and secure a family in my own time, but I also have the duty of the common decency you are ignoring. I suggest you never speak of my brother in such a tone infront of me again." The last was added lowly as an obvious challenge.
"My lord." Ridik had the nerve to speak. If Hal had not been in the way, he would have slain him for it. "He likes to be touched and watched even. Ask him, he will tell you so as he did me."
The king looked around and let his gaze fall on Ridik. Titos could not read that look either, for it seemed so complex. "So be it." He then left as silently as he came, seemingly unshaken from the whole event.
"Daddy... No!" Ryn bolted up but was stopped by his mother.
"No Ryn. He does not deserve such devotion." She held him tightly.
"But I do not want..."
"I know. But I will not allow you to subject yourself to more pain and uncalled for attacks. I am sorry. Let us leave this place and return to the temple." Her deep purple eyes turned icy cold as she looked to Ridik. "Your father will take care of the other two, this one is mine to deal with. His loyalty will not be heeded by my judgment. Titos, bring him."
Titos complied despite his natural dislike to any orders.
They boarded the coach, though Fareal had to bodily place Ryn in it. Titos could not even begin to comprehend why Ryn would still care for his father at all, let alone return to him. His own father had barely had a presence in his life, and meant so little while this one openly pushed his son away.
They returned to the temple where she had them, but Ridik who was escorted elsewhere, all taken to a large open room, marble like the rest but with soft carpeted floors and a number of overstuffed chairs and general furnishings of comfort. The queen slumped in a chair, looking weary and for the first time troubled. Her sad eyes scanned her companions and then closed briefly. He could only imagine what thoughts raced through that complex mind and gentle nature. Ryn huddled in chair to the back mutely. His tears had run dry and now he simply succumbed to despair. Fareal paced by the fireplace, his brow furrowed in thought and ponytail swishing slightly. Hal... Titos blinked as he realized he had all but ignored Hal in the process. The priest leaned against him heavily and in silence. In fact, he used his arms for support even.
"Hal...?" Titos implored lowly.
His lover went slack in his arms. Titos held him tightly and checked for life signs. They seemed not only there but strong. He held his unconscious gentle lover and approached the priestess quickly, gaining the attention of the others in the room as well. "My lady?"
Her deep purple eyes slowly focused on him, and then she stood quickly, blinking with understanding. He set the paled priest on a couch and waited anxiously. By now Fareal and Ryn had gathered around as well. Ryn's small hand gripped his tightly. "What is wrong? Is he all right?"
Titos looked at his elven prince and wanted to smile. The deep purple eyes were wide with worry, no hint of sadness present. Not for the first time, he wondered how this strange being could move from one emotion to the other so quickly.
The priestess touched his forehead and then examined other signs. "I know he is shy, but I must." She opened the blue robes and proceeded, her hands gliding every where and then stopping on his abdomen. She seemed puzzled. "Is he human?"
Titos nodded quickly. He was encouraged by her lack of open worry. "Wait," he paused. "No his mother was a waterspirit." Gods, Hal had made him promise not to breath a word of that... but there was no way he would risk a lie now.
The queen sighed and stood. "Despite what you may think. My centuries of living are not nearly as great as my husband's. My abilities as a priestess and in the healing arts are renown but my knowledge is not nearly as extensive as..."
"No." Titos recognized where this was going. "That filth will not lie so much as an unwanted glance on him again." He did not care if nearly everyone in this room was related to the scum he was talking about or not.
The female elf frowned intently then she pushed lightly on Hal's belly. The priest groaned loudly, awakening and trying to push the pressure away. "He can help, wherest I can not."
Titos fumed angrily. Damn it all to hell. "Fine." He muttered.
Fareal pulled on a nearby cloak. "I shall get him." He stopped his mother before speaking. "And nothing more. I promise." He squeezed Ryn's shoulder lightly before departing quickly.
They waited with growing anxiety for the two to enter the chambers. Titos held Hal's hand tightly and squeezed even more when the priest assured him things were fine. He wondered why the priest felt the need to state such an obvious lie. A lie that that even his gentle lover had trouble stating due to its false nature. The priestess gave both his lovers what she called a calming tea, to help with the nerves. None of them mentioned to Hal, that the king was coming.
The door flew open and in stepped the king and then Fareal.
The king glared at his wife angrily. "I am the king. I am not summoned but summon. This had better be good."
The queen stood smoothly. Her beautiful features porcelain like and equally impassive. "I want you to have a look at the priest. He is not well, I think."
The king sneered. "That is your duty, not mine. Do not waste my time again." He turned to leave, but Fareal blocked the door.
The prince eyed his father coolly. "Must you make me a fool for believing in you all these years? Have I spent two centuries of life only to find out now that my father is not only cruel and heartless but the very bane I have been trained to remove from this planet. You walk out this door, and I swear to you that I will not never have a kind nor respectful word for you again. You think your family has rebelled, try me now."
The king hesitated and frowned. Titos recognized someone cornered when he saw it and smiled in-spite of himself.
The king eyed Titos warily and kneeled before Hal. Reaching out to investigate.
Hal eyed Titos angrily. "This is not necessary. It will pass. Get your hands off me!" He spat at the king angrily. Ryn shot the warrior a worried look. This was so uncharacteristic of the priest they both knew and loved.
The king scowled and pressed against the exposed abdomen. Hal threw his head back and gasped in heightened pain. Titos, alone, realized that this display was even more alarming than the rest. The priest's pain tolerance had always been unusually high.
"He is not human." The king stated. "Not completely."
"Waterspirit." Titos added lowly, hating to break his promise again and even getting that hurt look from those usually love filled sky-blue eyes.
The king stood slowly. "It is nothing. The little whore has got himself knocked up."
Titos drew his fist back but Ryn grabbed it quickly and then Fareal caught a hold of the other. "You slimy bastard." Titos growled.
Hal sat up groaning in the process. "What does he mean by that. Impossible..." Panic clouded his eyes.
The queen eyed her husband coolly. "I am usually a very gentle and patient woman, especially with my family." She slapped him hard across the face. "But tonight seems to be the exception. Explain and refrain from using such low and barbaric language." Her eyes challenged him more than her words.
He did not flinch from the strike but seemed a bit surprised. He straightened his shoulders. "You are correct, that was not called for. The elementals create their offspring by mere force meeting with force. Their kin, such as the element spirits, also do not give birth, however; the spirits have been known to bed with other beings, especially the waterspirits. They often take on an appearance, such as a female human, and join with a human. They are not a sex at all. An offspring from such a union, however, is. Hal is very much male, however, it is in his nature to choose a life mate and then compensate for what is lacking in that relationship. In essence, the one who can procreate. His body is currently preparing for the child he all ready carries. Once that is done, the pain will cease until it is time to give birth. How that is accomplished, I am afraid even I do not know."
"This can't happen." Hal seemed lost for words.
Titos felt himself stunned by the news as well. This certainly had not entered his calculations at all, how could it. Damn it all to hell, this was becoming very complex. Hal took one look at his troubled face, and then cried silently. His tears falling slowly. Titos smiled at him quickly. "Do not worry love. We are here for you."
Hal shook his head. "When? When will it happen?"
The king frowned. "With humans, I hear it is only a matter of a couple of years."
"And if they are not human?" Titos asked lowly.
Everyone eyed him strangely.
"Maybe longer. You can not be sure it is even yours can you?" The challenge and attack was clear and hit Titos head on.
Damn the elf to the abyss. No he could not and he bloody well knew that.
Hal closed his eyes briefly, as if thinking, no feeling for something. "It is both of theirs."
They all turned to him quickly.
"I know for certain and have for a couple of weeks." He admitted lowly. "Suspected but would not admit."
Something flickered in the king's eyes but was quickly gone before Titos could identify it.
"If there is nothing more?" he asked lowly.
The queen shook her head. "You may go."
He glared at her for a moment and then proceeded to do just tha but hesitated just outside the doorway. "The body can be forced but the spirit can not. Only through a consensual mating can this take place not any other." Titos listened intently but could not help but feel wary of why he would offer what might be concidered comfort. "If a rape would bring about such a life, it would happen very frequently. He is human in neary every since of the word if that is what the other parent was, however; instances such as this one will show up from time to time. You would have to ask a more knowledgable being in this subject to know more." Then, he was gone.
The queen's face softened and became kind once again. "Can you stand?" she asked Hal lowly.
He nodded and proceeded to do just that gaining help from everyone in the room. "I am not dying," he added. "I can manage well enough."
The queen laughed lightly. "Of course. I have a room prepared for you all. Please take them to the right wing Fareal. Titos if you will come with me."
Titos wanted to object but something told him not to and so he complied.
Late that night, Titos returned wearily. He made room for him between his lovers, careful not to aggravate either one. But they were all ready awake and moved aside instead. They abandoned their pillows and used Titos for their own comforts. He smiled again, this was how things should be. Well at least this moment. "Where is Fareal?"
Hal had fallen asleep again quickly, but Ryn replied. "He stayed with mother tonight... I think she is upset. What do you think he meant by both of ours? Is it possible he is referring to me as well.
Titos sighed and stroked the honey-wheat hair gently. "At this point, I would say anything is possible. But in this, it is more than likely. Let us worry about it later."
"I never knew life could be so complex..." The youthful elf whispered lowly, as he closed his eyes wearily.
"Things will work out if not on their own but by my own hand."
Ryn laughed lightly. "Your confidence astounds me. By the way, where did you go?"
Titos grinned. "I just took care of some business..."
The large blonde halted his troops as they came across a most peculiar sight. His hand traced his scar over his eye and frowned. It was not often they came upon a large bag in the middle of the forest, a moving one at that. His right hand moved his mount foreword and dropped down from his mount. He came back with a letter and some kind of medallion. Rath eyed it curiously, it could be a trap of some kind. He lifted the small dove-like charm and felt the smooth stone with is fingers. It did not burn as most light aligned objects would do to a dragon-bond man. He then peered over the letter.
To whomever it concerns:
It would seem that garbage has been found within the boundaries of a certain fair kingdom. However, I promptly let them know that you would readily take it out for us.
PS the amulet will prevent the dragon's anger from spilling into your own
being and nothing more. PPS Only I and one other one knows of your current whereabouts, and she will not say a word.
Rath pondered the letter for moment. He had more mounts then men these days, and was not partial to pets. Then again, maybe it was a gift feast to appease his dragon's hatred for the warrior. "Bring forth the package. Careful."
The orcish warrior nodded and dragged the baggage over. Rath leaned over and ripped off the large sack, raising an eyebrow in surprise as he gazed upon a muscular elf warrior with deep black hair and defiant hazel eyes. He was gagged and naked. Rath let his grey eyes roam over the tempting body, still impassive. "Remove the gag."
As soon as it was done, the elf warrior fumed at him. "Release me at once. This will not be tolerated by the side that has lost. You will only endanger yourselves." The posture became proud and straight.
Rath paused for a moment and then laughed, slipping his new amulet around his neck. "Bring him." He had a funny feeling that he would not need to worry too much about the alleged warning.
-Please let me Know what you think- Paladin
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