Prince Hammand was going to the slave market. He had long since perfected the art of choosing the right slaves for the right task and his mother the Queen now always sought him for such matters. It was also his chance to get out of the palace howbeit for a short time as time tended to go by at a horribly slow pace when you were a prince with responsibilities that were few and far between.
Today his mother wanted a woman or maiden who would wash and massage her feet for her usual maiden had burnt her hands in the kitchen most unfortunately and no longer had the smooth soothing texture she was accustomed to.
He walked in a make shift cocoon of human beings, his guards surrounding him closely and his adviser by his side. He hated it for could hardly see a thing when he went out, unless it was a far distance and they used the horses. This time they did not, but he was not too put out for he knew at the market the guards would have to step back and then he could breathe some of the air of normalcy for once among the people.
He was young, turning 24 in a few months time but looked years younger owing to his small delicately proportioned frame. He stood at almost 5”2 inches tall barefoot, delicately slim and had the palest skin which was made more so by his dark curly shoulder length hair. All this, in addition to the beauty of those small pink pouty plush lips, thick dark eyebrows laced over large expressive sea blue eyes and the little cute nose on a heart shaped face all from his beautiful mother, added to made him look like a maiden.
And as he stepped into the slave market, with the guards falling behind automatically, this was how he appeared to the tall muscular man at the far end of the large busy compound.
“Beautiful woman here, we call her Hemina…which means heaven,” a slave trader called out from one end of the compound. There was loud cackling laughter as the trader continued as he thumbed a downcast half dressed beautiful woman. “For the heights she will take you to if you just give her a try…look at these breasts…buy her and your house will never be the same again.”
So the auction went, the prodding and pulling, the stares from the crowd as they sought different slaves for different tasks. Offers were made, haggling at the highest level and money slapping into hands, dirty hands. The prince found what he wanted in no time, a woman who had served as a masseuse in her own land. Though fat and matronly, she looked cultured and could also make a good companion for his mother as well without being a threat of being more beautiful than her. The Queen could be very vain after all.
As he had found her quite fast, he decided to walk around some more and see if he could find a small boy to help the stable master with the new horses his father had just purchased. Two birds with one stone, his father would be pleased if he heard.
People automatically gave way for Prince Hammand as he came through the market; he was well liked by the people so this was done heartily and with respect. As he searched for his specifications his eyes came upon the most divine specimen of a man he had ever seen in his life.
He stood boldly on the podium, looking straight ahead through the deepest green eyes at Prince Hammand, his face set and regal in its handsomeness. It was hard to believe he was a slave, he looked like a king, so tall, easily more than double his own height and powerfully built like a stallion, his muscles shining in the sunshine and oiled by his master for maximum effect it appeared. All he had on was a loincloth over his genitals and even that didn’t hide much. The prince felt a strange pull in his loins he had never felt before.
Prince Hammand jumped as the eyes met his stare proudly, the handsome head slowly tilted to the side as he absorbed the expression on the prince’s face. There was no subservient look in his eyes as was the norm with slaves, he did not avert his gaze either but stared hard, his green eyes showing their appreciation for what they gazed upon. He held the prince’s stare for a long time, till after a very subtle nudge from Shetna his adviser, Prince Hammond came to his senses and looked away shyly.
He gulped in embarrassment and whispered in Shetna’s ear.” Buy him.”
He didn’t need to point, Shetna knew whom his prince meant, he had seen the stares they had shared and did not like it, though not for the obvious reason. There was already talk about this magnificent slave of Bakat the slave master, that his hands and feet were too smooth to be that of a common man, his skin too supple. He was not someone who had done any work except possibly that of a warrior due to his build. He was dangerous; everyone knew the cost of keeping a royal or noble man as a slave.
“My prince…I am not sure…” he began hesitantly.
“Buy him,” Prince Hammand repeated, seemingly holding his breath.
Shetna moved into the crowd and hurried towards the trader that owned the magnificent slave. After a discussion, he went closer to the slave and began to check his limbs to confirm the stories. Prince Hammand didn’t care about whatever the stories were he knew but it was worth a try.
He rushed back to the prince, looking a bit grave. ”My prince, I have felt his limbs for myself, he most surely is of royal or at the least noble blood. It would be dangerous to have him in the royal household. It is even worse that he has lost his memory from when he was taken so we cannot even check out his background to his own land to safeguard from any repercussions. You know the law my prince…”
“Exactly, I know the law so I don’t need you to tell me what it is do I? I don’t care Shetna. Buy him” the prince’s stare was hard and determined “Buy him now, or shall I do it myself?”
Shetna’s shoulders dropped in defeat, a bowed head showing his apology. “What is the highest price we will go for him my prince?”
The look the prince gave him was enough to send him scrambling back to the slave master. It appeared the price was of no essence for this slave. Now it was up to the adviser to haggle with the slave master, so long as he got the slave in the end the price for him did not matter one bit to Prince Hammand.
Prince Hammand could not seem to stop turning to stare at the man, even as he walked further away to find the stable boy he wanted. The slave seemed to feel the same pull for he too kept looking at the prince too, though pretty subtle his gaze so raw and intense that the prince blushed and looked away each time only to be unable to stop himself and get caught looking again.
It was an exhausting experience for the prince for he had never been drawn to someone man or maiden in this way before and no one had ever even told him anything about such feelings as being drawn to a man. He was sure that it was not right. Anyway, he thought cheerily, pushing the building shame out of his head, he would keep him as a friend, nothing more; he needed a companion after all. Moments later he found the young slave boy he was happy to make do with and payments were made with arrangements to have all the three slaves brought to the palace by evening time.
Asgar followed his movements as subtly as he could to avoid drawing the attention of his slave master. He had never seen anyone as beautiful as this maiden. With those large eyes, so shy and innocent in their gaze and longing…for him he wondered?
Mmh, he could just imagine nipping at that long graceful neck, lifting up that small slim body most definitely as light as a feather, the skin underneath most definitely paler than the glorious face; lifting up that small body by the little buttocks, buttocks most definitely small enough to fit right in his hands, small enough to be gripped completely while he plowed that little…
He stopped suddenly in mid thought and stiffened, blinking rapidly in disbelief before shielding his expression in a split second so the only emotion he exerted was the vein bulging in his thick neck.
The maiden had come closer to his slave master’s section. It was such a shock to realize the beautiful creature was not a maiden, as he had believed. It was a young man. A young man God help him. It was even more a shock that this knowledge still did not repel him in the slightest. It shocked his mind but came nowhere close to affecting his body, he felt the attraction continue to pull at him even as he tried to reject it.
He did not love men. He knew he did not.
Despite this Asgar continued to stare as the beautiful creature disappeared into a crowd of guards once he reached the gate. He gasped for air as the beauty went out of sight for he had stopped breathing without realizing it.
He wondered what he was in his past life as he did a million times in a day. The only thing he knew was his name, which had been on the inside of a necklace that had been read out loud by a sniggering looter as it was snatched from his neck. To my son, Asgar, it had said. He wondered now if he had liked beautiful creatures such as that one who had kept looking shyly at him. It was hard to think of a man being that ethereal but he was. If only…
All through the journey from the initial slavers who had taken him to the trader who bought him last and brought him to this market, he had seen lots of men, good looking men. But he had felt no inclination towards them. The maidens had drawn his attention, but never the men.
Which was why he was surprised at himself. He found himself wishing he could speak to him, know his name at least, before he disappeared for good…and he raged at himself for that. This whole slave thing was messing up with his mind; he wished he could at least remember something of his past life.
His slave master told him he had been bought and would be going over tonight. He asked what work he was to do…the master of course was no help, said he had no idea but Asgar had better do what he was told if he wanted to live. He had been told on his journey there that for someone like him, of his imposing height and stature who also did not appear to have done any menial work in his life except maybe fight if at all, he may be taken as a guard or a gladiator. This was what he prepared himself for.
An alpha man he was after all. He knew that much, if nothing else.
Asgar waited impatiently in the plush chamber, wondering for the umpteenth time if he was in the right place. The room was in the heart of the palace, large and covered wall to wall with expensive padded satiny fabric in bright red. There were large couches at each end of the walls and they were littered with cushions. Matching gold cushions, though much larger were scattered deliberately on the carpeted floor. It was a beautiful place by all standards.
He had been told to sit and wait. He had done that.
Now he was pacing round the room.
Something had been nagging at him since he had realized that it was to the palace that he was being taken. It was about three hours since they had arrived and the other two had been taken elsewhere.
He had been given full access to a private bathroom to have a thorough bath which he was extremely thankful for after the weeks on the road with only a bowl of water to clean himself with and he was presented with a nice dark brown caftan and slippers to wear and then a bundle of what were to be his clothes from now on, similar clothes to that which he was wearing now, all miraculously his exact size.
It seemed his owner worked fast and did not seem to care about cost for the clothes seemed to be of quite expensive fabric. He knew instinctively that this was not what gladiators wore, much less guards. So his puzzlement increased with the question…what was he here for?
Don’t get him wrong; it was not that he wanted to be a guard or a gladiator. He just knew that there were some jobs that were much better than others. Waiting like this in this kind of fancy place did not bode well in his mind for he knew some jobs could be degrading to say the least, he knew that much, after all he had….
Asgar lost the thought and groaned inwardly. His memory was still out of his reach.
Had he kept slaves of his own?
He was still deep in thought when Prince Hammand stepped in the room, signaling to his guards to stay outside. The small prince was late; he had been waiting for himself to calm down before he entered the slave’s presence. All evening he had waited, to no avail. He only got more agitated and finally decided to face him, however nervous he may be. He was so nervous that he was shaking, his hands so bad that he had to hold them tightly behind him.
He gulped as he saw the tall man who now looked even more massive and resplendent than he remembered now that he was dressed nicely. It was his deep breath that brought Asgar out of his thoughts.
He watched the man absorb his presence and his countenance change, irrational anger creeping into the green eyes. Hammand took a small step back unconsciously.
He stared at the prince, his head tilting slightly to the side but this time in a calculating look as he strode forward purposefully and menacingly.
A mad senseless anger filled Asgar’s head and shook his huge frame right down his body to his toes.
“You bought me.”
It was like an accusation. Prince Hammond stepped back again but had to keep moving for Asgar kept coming at him till he was crushed against the cushioned wall. Asgar bent over the small figure that was avoiding his eyes, casting a shadow over him and making the prince even more nervous. He wondered if he should call for help.
“What did you buy me for?” he asked in a whisper, the sound surprising the prince for he had expected a shout from the menace he had seen in those eyes. He shivered involuntarily and his fingers gripped at the fabric on the wall behind him. His heart was running a marathon and he couldn’t bring himself to speak for some reason.
Asgar tried again. He pressed his face closer to the prince’s, pleased at the panicked breaths the prince was taking. Their eyes met and held, Prince Hammand’s wide with fright and growing discomfort.
“What. Did. You. Buy. Me. For.”
Prince Hammand fought the need to squirm from this close contact. He had never been this close to a man before and it was scaring him in a strange way. In the strongest voice he could muster, he spoke at last. “To…to be my…companion, my friend…”
Asgar stared at him in disbelief and even more anger if that was possible. “Your companion? Your friend? Do I look like anyone’s companion to you? Do I?”
The prince realized Asgar was waiting for an answer,” I don’t know…I just thought we could be friends…”
“Friends…right. So you love men?” Prince Hammand frowned, clearly not understanding. “So you fuck men?” Asgar tried again.
The prince frowned even more, asking, “What does ‘fuck’ mean?”
At those words, like the instantaneous disappearance of a popped balloon, all of Asgar’s anger deflated and he was left feeling a bit foolish. Good Lord, the young beauty really was as innocent as he looked. And he must have just frightened the life out of him.
Asgar immediately stepped out of the prince’s personal space, unable to help his amusement at the relieved look on the prince’s face. His small chest was still heaving though and he trembled.
“So what happens now?”
“What do you mean?” The prince was panting like he had been running a marathon.
“You bought me. I am here, now what.”
The prince swallowed at the sensible question, he really had not thought this through well at all. All that had filled his mind at the time was that he wanted this man. Now he had no idea what to do God help him.
“It is late…you have been fed?” he asked tentatively, eyes apologetic for no reason and above all still delightfully shy and hesitant.
“Yes I have”
“It is time to retire now. You may go to sleep” he started to walk away, towards his inner rooms.
Prince Hammand stopped, hesitant at this next issue especially with the man’s reaction to being bought by him. He was so forceful and proud, it really was beginning to seem like Shetna was right. He may just be royalty, I mean, he even sounded a bit like his father Chief Bani, like someone who always got what he wanted. Oh dear.
“You will sleep in my bedchamber. Come, I will show you.”
Asgar followed him without question. They walked through a hidden door in the fabric covered wall and into a long busy corridor with large mural sized paintings most likely of royal ancestors covering majority of the walls along the length of it. A few people bustled about as they passed, the maidens sizing him up with undisguised interest once they went past the prince’s line of vision. Asgar laughed to himself, he was used to getting lots of attention from women. He believed he had had this all of his adult life, not that he could recall any specifics.
This was normal.
Not what he was feeling for the little creature walking in front of him, not this strange force that seemed to keep drawing him to the prince since the moment he set eyes on him. The intense attraction angered him greatly and that he could do nothing to shake it off was even more aggravating and torturous.
He was a strong able man; he should have been able to remove such thoughts from his system with ease. But he found he could not, for even as he walked behind Prince Hammand he could feel the same almost hypnotic pull, not just in his loins though it was very alive there but in his chest and his head like a warm fountain cascading into a river and flowing back up again and again.
He forced his eyes to remain on the prince’s curly dark head of hair and not stray down to the little buttocks that curved against the shiny caftan as he walked. Unconsciously he increased his pace, so he was really close behind the smaller man. The prince sensed this proximity and his heart quickened. He walked faster.
They went through a good number of richly designed rooms before finally entering into an even larger room this time, obviously the prince’s bedroom itself. It was brightly lit by three evenly spaced golden chandeliers and had curtains that stretched from the top of the high walls to the floor. The bed was a dark mahogany on thick gold legs, almost black in its rich darkness and unexpectedly enormous; covered entirely in plush satin sheets and thick pillows. It filled the far end of the room and was shaded with slightly transparent black fabric, which surrounded it completely and hung from darkened gold pillars. It looked so dark and inviting in its endlessness. The rest of the room was furnished similarly, all very dark and masculine but with a soft luxurious edge all round.
But the small prince gestured towards the long cushion at the foot of the bed with blankets heaped on top of it. It was similarly designed as the bed, all dark gold and mahogany and plush. Asgar stared at it for a while then laughed out loud in further disbelief and stepped in front of the bewildered prince, invading his space once again. His laughter disappeared once he had those big blue eyes on him.
“I will not sleep at your feet,” Asgar was trying to control his rage.
He really was doing his best.
“What’s wrong with sleeping at my feet? Many will give their heads just to…” The handsome head bent low over him and he gulped down the rest of his words in fright. A long thick finger pressed against his lips and the tip of his nose, shutting him up. His eyes widened.
“Do not say that to me…I am not many people…and I will not sleep at your feet. Do you understand that? I refuse to sleep there.” He waited till he got a tense nod from the prince and then he dropped his finger.
“Where do the other servants sleep? There must be a servant’s quarters…”
The vehemence in the prince’s refusal amused Asgar and as was beginning to be the case diffused his anger somewhat dramatically. The young prince turned away in embarrassment, his pale skin going a bright red. Asgar had to fight to keep his lips from twitching up into a smile.
”So where shall I sleep then if I can’t sleep at your feet and I am not allowed to sleep with the servants like I should.”
Prince Hammand’s eyes flashed round the room in desperation and threatened to spill the tears that were filling them. He did not know why he felt like crying, he just did. He turned his head a bit to the side so Asgar could not see his face, keeping his face towards his bed and breathing hard to calm himself and try to think straight. To think of a solution.
His mother and father would kill him. His sisters and brothers would kill him.
Everyone would kill him.
He did not care.
“You want me to share your bed? Is that so…what, sleep right down against your feet?” he replied in amusement as he walked towards the bed to have a proper look at it. It was big even for him and he was a huge man.
All of a sudden he could just imagine the little prince curled up in the middle of that bed; almost lost in the vast expanse of those satiny sheets with his hair all over the place, his naked flesh glowing bright and shiny in its paleness against the black sheets and glistening with sweat; face lying back weakly but all dreamy and sated after he had filled him up again and again with his…
Asgar cringed and tensed as the unstoppable thoughts swept through his mind, refusing to be withheld. He was glad the prince was behind him, so his turmoil was not witnessed.
“No, just sleep in it. That is beside me, not at my feet. At least till...until we decide where else you can sleep…is that okay with you?”
“Is that even allowed? A mighty prince having a lowly slave sleep with him in his bed? I most seriously doubt that…” He said this mockingly in amusement and turned his head slightly to look at Prince Hammand. His smile was one sided, making him look even more handsome than he already looked in the prince’s eyes. His words struck a nerve though; the prince was confused at his actions and the new feelings for this man that caused them.
“It is no one’s business, I am Prince Hammand. Besides, it’s temporary, just until we decide where else would be suitable for you…also, we have to keep this to ourselves. You can’t tell anyone about this; no one can be trusted with this kind of information. Is that okay?”
Asgar looked at the bed; oh he liked the bed, he liked it very much. It was big and welcoming and it had been so long since he had slept in such…wait a minute?
Was it possible that he had slept in this kind of luxury that he was thinking like this?
“Is that okay with you?”
He turned to face the prince fully, ready with a stinging retort. Then he saw the brimming eyes and his reply was swallowed with a gulp. Three short steps took him to the small man and he held his small tense arms, just stopping himself in time from wrapping his arms round the small frame, as he had instinctively wanted to do for some reason. He gently turned Prince Hammand over to the bed and pulled him down to sit beside him, a large arm going round his shoulder and enveloping him snugly.
“Yes, it’s okay with me. The bed will do fine thank you.”
He knew he had frightened the poor beauty somehow. He probably thought the bed was not acceptable to him either. Him and his big mouth. Damn it, his mother had always warned him about his sharp tongue, especially when he was trying to court those daughters of each of his father’s…his father’s what? He winced at the escaped train of thought and returned back to the present.
“I am Asgar, what’s your name.”
“I am Hammand…Prince…Hammand, son of Chief Manz of Renadi.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty four in seven full moons.”
“You look a lot younger than that…”
The exasperation in that soft raspy voice shut Asgar up. It was obvious he got that a lot from people because of his small size no less. Well that was exactly one of the things that so appealed to Asgar if he was honest. He could just carry that small body and throw him over his shoulder whenever he felt like it; drag him to their bed and –
”What about you? How old are you?”
Brought back to the present and inwardly cursing his rotten mind, Asgar raised his eyebrows at the question and the prince in understanding began to apologize “I’m sorry, I forgot. I was told you lost your memory sometime ago. How did it happen? Do you remember anything about what happened?”
Asgar shrugged “Not a lot unfortunately. I believe I must have been hit on the head when I was attacked. I have no idea if it was by the slave traders initially. When I came to, the only thing I could remember was that someone had hit me and nothing else. Not even my name. All my clothes were gone, stolen I believe. Luckily a twine necklace I still surprisingly had on helped with that. This will always be a reminder.”
His hand subconsciously went to the scar on the left side of his face at the memory. It looked almost exactly like the number seven.
“Can I touch it?” the prince whispered in earnest.
“Sure,” Asgar said.
Many other people had touched it before so he was used to the curiosity. He soon realized that the small prince was not other people for when his small fingers touched the top of the scar and trailed down the jagged length of it a massive shiver zitted down Asgar’s spine and straight into his loins. The fingers went back up in tender fascination and trailed back again, oblivious of the effect this had on the bulky man who had stiffened and was gripping the sheets into tight fists.
After a while he couldn’t take it anymore and he ripped the small hand off his head, his face bending involuntarily into that hand so that when he pulled it down Prince Hammand’s palm brushed against his lips.
The prince had no such practiced restraint and as such was unable to hold back the loud gasp at the fire the contact with those lips sent down to his belly. He pulled his hand away and cradled it with the other against his chest, the unexpected action taking Asgar’s hand as well so it was crushed against his small heaving chest. He bent over in embarrassment, hiding his face. They were both heaving breathlessly.
Asgar reached out and using his left hand began to slowly pry his right out of Hammand’s grip. The prince realized his hold on Asgar’s hand as it busied on his chest and loosened his grip on it. His hair fell forward on his face as he raised it up, framing it in a beautiful halo and taking Asgar’s breath away. Large hands cupped the heart shaped face and turned it up to face his.
Blue eyes blinking shy and confused yet filled with raw innocent desire; Asgar’s thumbs trailed the small pouty lips that lay slightly open and quivering. That mouth, God that mouth. Just one taste and he would never again…
“Your bath is ready, my prince!” Came a call from behind the door, as loud as it was soft.
It jerked both of them out of their world and the large hands dropped without ceremony. Asgar stood up and went across the room over to the window, whipping it open and gasping for air. What had he been about to do…ravish a man? A man?
He knew he needed to get his memory back and hopefully get out of this place before he did something he would regret. He could be married for god’s sake!
Prince Hammand was overwhelmed to say the least. He felt such a pull to this man that he was afraid. The man seemed able to make him do things without thinking, which was very dangerous. He remembered that his mother had always described this direction of emotions towards another as love…could it be…this soon? And a man? A slave?
He knew couldn’t tell anyone about this just yet, if at all. He would wait and see how it went first. There was no need to stir the hornet’s nest too soon. And he knew the nest would be seriously stirred if anything of this sort came out to his mother’s ears.
He giggled to himself at the thought that he was letting Asgar sleep in bed tonight. God, he was in so much trouble.
When he had left the room for his bath, Asgar quietly changed into sleepwear, after searching through what was what among the clothes in the bundle. He realized that it was possible his memory loss was such that all he needed was to see something or someone he knew from his past life and he would remember. He hoped this was so. There was however not much chance such a thing happening because he obviously was not from this land and obviously not going anywhere if he was to just be a companion.
He tried not to let his anger build at the thought of this position. Unfortunately, that was when the small prince came back in, smelling delicious and cutely dressed in similar but obviously more expensive sleepwear. His hair was damp and hung at his shoulders, still he looked beautiful. Still obviously scared of Asgar though but so endearingly beautiful.
“You’re still awake?” the prince was apprehensive at finding Asgar still up.
“Am I permitted to sleep when you are awake?” Asgar was teasing but the prince didn’t know that. He looked a bit stricken. Damn.
“You don’t have to do that…I’m sorry, I should have said…”
“I thought your companion would have the task of putting you to bed at night…” Asgar continued standing up slowly from the bed and approaching Prince Hammand. The prince frowned, confused.
“What do you mean?”
Before the prince understood what he was about to do, Asgar was upon him, strong hands sliding behind his back and shoulders, winding round his small waist and swinging him up into his arms like a baby. He stiffened and gasped in utter shock, not just at being carried without warning (that had never happened to him before), but also at the realization that he liked the feel of these large hands on his body. He found he somehow wanted to give himself to this man. He had no idea how or why, but he did. This was like an abomination was it not???
He began to struggle crazily, hitting at a surprised Asgar and scratching till he drew blood. Asgar grabbed the small hands and held them down with little effort, then dumped him on the bed and held him there with his weight. Well some of it.
Both chests were heaving in unison, the prince’s eyes were brimming all over again. Asgar was concerned at this and let go of Prince Hammand’s hands.
“I didn’t mean to scare you…my prince.” Asgar had no idea why he said that, it just felt right.
The way he said his title was with such softness that the tears that had been building in Prince Hammand burst forth and his small delicate hands covered his face. Asgar felt even worse now, he needed to stop scaring the poor boy. He lifted the crying form into his arms and moved fully onto the bed. He lay him down gently on his side and settled down beside him, an arm going around the small waist gently holding him against his chest after he had gathered the bed covers over them.
“I’m sorry, my prince, I didn’t mean to,” he continued whispering on and on as he stroked the prince’s drying hair. The sobs reduced to sniffs and Asgar kept on with the soothing. He didn’t stop until the smaller man was finally fast asleep, his breathing low and steady.
Asgar lay there for a while, inhaling the prince’s smell and wondering what sharp turn his life was taking that he suddenly felt so tender towards this little beauty. He had shocked himself at how good it felt to say ‘my prince’ for he knew meant it in a different context entirely from what the formal name really was for.
It was as if he wanted this prince for himself, to belong to him? He began to fall asleep with these thoughts in his head, wondering what his mother would say, starting to think she wouldn’t mind…then remembering that he couldn’t remember her anymore. He laughed at his half thoughts as he drifted off and couldn’t resist kissing the pale exposed skin of the prince’s neck before his eyes drooped completely and closed.
By the time Hammand woke up the next morning, Asgar was already up and dressed. He was seated on the long cushion at the foot of the bed and watching him intently with his head tilted slightly to the side. At first when Hammand stared into those hypnotic eyes he thought he was dreaming and just stared dazedly.
That is till Asgar coughed not too subtly in order to push away the urge that was overtaking him and threatening to pull him to the beautiful prone man in those silken sheets, looking just like his thoughts had played out to him last night, except he didn’t look like he had been ravished already by him; he looked as if he was waiting to be ravished. Waiting to be ravished by him alone.
At the cough Hammand’s clouded eyes cleared in an instant. He cringed in embarrassment and stretched without thinking, the action so graceful in Asgar’s sight. The small man made to sit up, slowly dragging his body upright and rubbing his eyes sleepily.
“Good morning…my prince.” The prince did not miss the sarcasm despite not looking up. He mumbled a reply and quietly made his way off the bed.
“Your bath is ready…my prince.”
Prince Hammand looked up this time, freezing at the side of the bed in surprise that Asgar had anything to do with his bathing routine. “What do you mean my bath is ready? How do you know about that?”
“I helped get it ready…my prince.”
His title was beginning to seem like an insult all of a sudden and he didn’t like it. What was wrong with Asgar anyway? He had never asked him to call him that. He had hoped after he held him and apologized last night that everything had worked out well but it now seemed like that was a one off. Asgar had probably just been soothing him for the moment. It now seemed that all his anger was back again. Hammand really did not need this so early in the morning and his scowl was very clear.
“That’s not your job…”
“Then what is my job? I really would like to know what my capacity in this palace is, after all you could not have just bought another human being on a whim now could you?”
Prince Hammand winced for Asgar was right in every way, he had done just that. He could feel the anger in Asgar’s stare and he hung his head, lost for words.
“I might not have my memory, but I most definitely know that I was not and am not some pet. You will find some use for me, my prince…or I will – “
“You will what?” Hammand looked up in frustration, suddenly feeling a draft and wrapping his arms round himself. He gulped in terror as the huge man stepped slowly towards him, his face almost wild with contained rage.
Asgar stood right in front of him for a second, then leaned down, slowly gripped Hammand’s arms and lifted him high up till he was standing on his bed and they were face to face, wide frightened eyes meeting his, mouth still half open after his shocked gasp at being lifted.
For the second time now. It looked like this was going to be a bad habit of this slave of his. It was funny that the prince never for a minute questioned that he was letting a mere slave get away with taking advantage of him in this way rather than calling out for help and having him punished by torture and even beheaded. It didn’t even cross his mind at all. He simply accepted this was the way it was between them.
It was also funny that Asgar, from the moment he had set eyes on his owner had never given a thought to the possibility that his actions towards the small prince could get him in a great deal of trouble. He may have lost his memory but even then in his recently built memories he knew exactly what happened to slaves of any rank who were charged with such insubordination. It had been drilled into all of them in the slave camp where he was initially held before the slave master that brought him to Renadi had bought him.
So he knew that what he was doing now would get him killed without question if Prince Hammand so much as called out in fear. He knew that if that happened he would never even survive the trip to the dungeons but be probably beheaded there and then on discovery.
For some reason he didn’t care and anyway it seemed he couldn’t stop himself.
“Or I will find some use for myself…”
“I am your prince…I am your owner…you will do as I say…” His voice was shaking, not at all sounding like he wanted it to. So much for being the prince in this equation.
Long fingers trailed all over his face as if inspecting him before purchase. The eyes remained angry even though the fingers were gentle. Hammand was so scared, he had never been this scared in his entire life. They trailed across his brows, making his lashes flutter as they brushed over them, thumbs felt his entire nose even down to his nostrils and they flared involuntarily while the rest of the fingers busied on his sideburns and cheeks. He shivered but remained stock still as his lips were examined next. They were half open for he was breathing quite heavily through all of this, they were also trembling. The fingers remained there, teasing the soft lips from side to side as if wanting to go in.
“So…what does my master say? What is my use? Tell me I am not a pet? Tell me I was not a whim Prince Hammand?”
He had no answer to those whispered words, and Asgar seemed to have the only one he could give. He had bought him on a whim. There was nothing to say. He said it anyway, in short hesitant gasps as his breathing would let him.
“Friendship…not as a pet…as a friend.”
“And what do these kind of royal friends do?” Asgar whispered again, watching that face as he dragged his hands into the soft silky hair now, keeping that beautiful face upturned to his with his mouth circling the gasping one teasingly but making no contact.
The small man was shaking all over now, not understanding why he was feeling like this. His hands had found Asgar’s chest and were gripping his shirt tightly.
“Don’t…ddon’t you remember what friends do?”
“Refresh my memory…” He didn’t move an inch, just stayed there menacingly over Prince Hammand’s mouth, enjoying the tantalizing pull those pretty lips had on him. He pushed back the question in his mind asking what the hell he was doing.
“To keep me company…give me advice…direction…help me make good decisions.”
“So lets see now. You bought me on a whim so I could help you make good decisions? Am I expected to believe that…my prince?”
Prince Hammand swallowed with pursed lips and Asgar nearly lost the control he had been toying with, just managing to keep from eating up that mouth by dragging his lips over the chiseled bridge of Hammand’s nose up to the smooth little forehead. Even then it had practically the same effect a kiss might have had on the innocent young man who cried out as deep shudders overtook his body. His fingers dug into Asgar’s chest and his shoulders went up shuddering against his cheeks in reaction.
Asgar stayed that way for a while, lips pressed hard and then teasing across that forehead, hands holding head in place, feeling the trembling his actions were causing and wanting to cause more, hearing the gasps and wanting to hear more.
Stop now he told himself while you can still control yourself.
He pulled away gently and let the shaking innocent sit back on the bed with a thump.
“Your bath is ready, my prince,” he said quietly after a minute, stepping back a tad regretfully. “I will be waiting in the front chamber if you need me.”
With that he walked out of the room, leaving the small man to crawl back into his bed in a bid to quell his trembling body, wondering what on earth he had gotten himself into.
Shetna walked into the prince’s chambers and was surprised to see Asgar seated in the front room. The regal slave unnerved him still and he had to blink to compose himself in keeping with his high position in the palace.
“Good morning,” Asgar said, nodding as he spoke. He remembered the man who had accompanied the prince to the market. He guessed he was probably the one who had made the payment for him to the slave master for he was sure Hammand hadn’t. He had watched the prince’s every move from the moment he set eyes on him after all.
“Good morning slave,” he replied a tad too haughtily, immediately feeling foolish as the slave kept looking oddly at him with no reaction “What are you called?”
Interesting name the adviser thought as he acknowledged the reply with a nod and looked towards the bedchamber. “The prince? Is he ready?”
“He should be finishing his bath now I think so he might be ready. Shall I check?” Asgar offered, finding that for some reason he did not want this man to see Hammand possibly still fresh and uncovered after his bath. He didn’t realize that he had already started to rise as the adviser inclined his head towards the room entrance, effectively stopping any proposed entry.
Shetna was surprised at the question and the movement but smart enough to know when to let things be. Especially when he recalled how the two men had looked at each other in the market. He stood where he was and looked at Asgar. He was quite surprised at how very comfortable the slave seemed. Already. This was in the space of what, one night?
There was definitely something going on with the prince and this slave. He could always smell these things. He wasn’t sure what though, but he didn’t let it bother him too much. From experience he knew things always came to a head in the end one way or another, no matter how well hidden they were.
“That would be most helpful,” he smiled agreeably, “Tell him Master Shetna, his royal adviser awaits with news from the Queen as regards her new slave.”
Asgar stood up and nodded with exaggeration, amusing the adviser because it was obvious the poor man had no idea what to do. Well at least he was respectful even though a bit too imposing but he could not help that, respect was a good sign in a slave and could prove helpful in the case of the feared eventuality as a respectful person always got it back in turn. God help them all.
Asgar opened the door without a sound and went in. He closed it just as quietly and walked further in the room for he couldn’t see Prince Hammand. The room was quiet and filled with the scent of cinnamon and sable, most likely coming from Prince Hammand after his bath. He saw him around the corner by the bed and his breath caught, his whole body tensing, evolving into a delicious fire and collecting at his groin.
The prince was completely naked and glisteningly wet, busy drying his hair and neck with a large towel as he faced the direction of the heavily curtained window. God he was so beautiful. Pale skin damp and resplendent in the light, the slender shoulder rippling slightly as he worked. His small back was firm, curving deliciously into the little dimpled buttocks that he had already imagined and could now confirm his hands could encompass with ease. He had the most graceful limbs Asgar had ever seen and he choked audibly as the object of his intense admiration lifted a graceful leg onto a gilded stool, partially exposing pink hanging folds of delicate flesh.
Hammand jumped in shock at the sound and whirled around, losing his towel in the process. He gasped and burnt bright red literally all over his beautiful body as he saw it was Asgar. Spluttering in even more embarrassment now he dropped to the floor and grabbed blindly for his towel.
But Asgar had already seen all of him, the large pink rosy nipples hardened from the wetness, the taut concave stomach that sucked in visibly at the sight of him, the slim hips he knew he would love holding that surrounded the nest of downy hair and the beautiful pink prize lying somewhat in repose but looking ready to awaken as it twitched a little before disappearing from his sight.
He wanted Prince Hammand. He knew that now.
Denial was futile from here on.
They were speechless for a while as they both tried to compose themselves. Hammand wrapped the large towel around his entire body including his shoulders, feeling a bit panicked at having been seen naked by Asgar. Not many people had seen him this way and even then, it was only family. Very close family.
“How long have you been standing there?” his voice was barely audible. He looked like he wanted to cry in shame. Asgar crumbled under that expression, suddenly feeling this overwhelming remorse at having caused this embarrassment.
“Not too long my prince.” Hammand stared at him in some surprise for he had been expecting a sharp sarcastic reply. He relaxed visibly though, sitting down on the bed to dry his legs instead, ensuring his private area was hidden from view. His hands were shaking now as he did this.
Why did this man always do this to him? How was he going to survive this nervousness all the time? He was usually very sure of himself and confident with everyone he had ever met but this slave made him lose all he thought he was or could do. He knew he needed Miriama’s help badly right now; only she could help for she was his most trusted and knew so much about many things. But she was not back home yet. So he was on his own.
“Your adviser is in the front room. He wants a word with you. Shall I ask him in?”
Hammand looked up shyly but shook his head vehemently, not wanting anyone else to see his embarrassment. “No, don’t worry. I…I’ll come out and meet him. Can you ask him to wait?” he whispered, “Please…” His eyes were wide with discomfort, for he didn’t want to be sending Asgar on errands. He definitely knew that this was not what he had bought him for. “Thanks.”
Asgar smiled slightly, understanding what the prince was trying to make clear. He winked at the little beauty; his smile widening as the prince’s eyes went even wider and he began to redden furiously.
The big man smirked to himself as he went to deliver the message to the awaiting adviser, leaving a shocked blushing prince in his wake. This might not be so bad after all he thought in strange delight.
Prince Hammand came out of his bedroom not too long after and he was told by Shetna that he needed to meet with the Queen and was to spend the day with her for she was impressed with his purchase and wanted to thank him for the good choice of the woman slave.
Whilst Prince Hammand was always delighted to spend time with his mother for such were few and far between, he was not ready for Asgar to meet anyone yet, much less the Queen, at least not till they had sorted out their differences. So for now, he couldn’t take him with him, much as he wanted to. He pushed back the alarming thought that he wanted to show Asgar off. Why would he want to do that? Why did he even think it?
He did not want anyone thinking he was unable to control his slaves, even if in this case he couldn’t and really did not have the desire to do so.
So he went alone, and left Asgar in the hands of Shetna for the day, not meeting his eyes as he requested that the adviser personally show him around the palace and give him an idea how things worked.
Shetna happily acquiesced; glad to make some connection with this regal man. He would take good care of him. He had to protect his interests after all. Just in case.
The adviser seemed a nice enough fellow and gave Asgar a long hearty tour of the palace, feeling proud to be a part of it. The building turned out to be much bigger than it appeared when he arrived. It was literally a little city of its own and so very beautiful. All around them were numerous entrances, broad colorful corridors and winding stairways, all leading to carefully planned passages that you could easily get lost in if you did not know exactly where you were going for they were all made to look the same.
Outside were a good number of statues of various sizes scattered richly all over vast well-tended gardens and various subsidiary buildings that housed mostly servants, guests of the lower class and lots of storage with the private dungeons below. There was even a small lake running round the left corner of the high stone walls at the back of the palace with fruit trees surrounding it.
Shetna introduced him to all and sundry and that took forever. Everyone they came across as they strolled about seemed to know who he was already much to his amusement.
“Looks like everyone here seems to know who I am already.”
“Palaces work that way,” Shetna said lightly “It’s a past time for a lot of the people in here, royals alike mind you.”
“Yeah, I know,” he replied with a laugh for some unconscious reason he was not surprised for he knew news did go round palaces pretty fast. He did not notice Shetna stiffen at his words even while he laughed along with him.
“Be wary of people. I would suggest you try and keep your should I say confidants to a minimum. Your friendship with the prin…the prince favors you very highly it seems, and that might be frowned upon by the other slaves so you need to be careful at all times. In fact it would be better if you confided in no one.”
Asgar nodded, gritting his teeth angrily at himself for he felt a blush fill his face. What the fuck? He never blushed!
Shetna pretended not to notice thankfully and they continued their walk. The adviser later invited him to his home in the secondary quarters after they were done with the extensive tour. Asgar had hoped they would be heading back to Prince Hammand’s chambers as most of the day was gone already but he said nothing, not wanting to offend by refusing the invitation, him being a slave and all.
He was introduced to the adviser’s wife. She was Naya, a nice looking black woman who was a bit surprised at the unexpected visit from her husband but received them with her husband’s equal heartiness when he was introduced for her husband had told her all about his suspicions concerning the new slave.
Asgar kept wondering what Hammand was doing all through the day. He had stopped asking after the third time when it began to seem like he was worrying too much, especially as Shetna had said the Queen would most likely keep her son with her till it was nightfall.
Naya prepared an impressive cena for them while they chatted and Asgar thanked them profusely all through the dinner for he had not eaten such a rich full course meal in ages. The gustatio, eggs and oysters came first and were light and delicious; then came the prima mensa, the rich porridge and vegetables which were piping hot to the touch and tongue just as he liked it; and finally the secunda mensa, the figs, dates and apples mixed together, all ripe and succulent in their own juices.
They spent the rest of the evening chatting heartily and drinking mulsum with a couple of Shetna’s friends, Denar the head of the Chief’s guards and Tullus one of the legislators, both of whom the adviser had sent for to join them.
Asgar had a good time even though he wondered why the obviously highly placed people were treating him so well. He did not mind though but still made sure he did not drink more than half a glass of the honeyed wine. You could never be too sure in palaces; it was always better to be more wary of the laughing man than the glaring one.
When he left them for the prince’s chambers, they all agreed that he was royalty one way or another. That was not a good thing.
When Asgar returned to the prince’s chambers he was surprised and a little disappointed to find him fast asleep in bed. He had hoped to tell him all about his day and hear of his in turn. The little man didn’t even budge when he entered the room and stood over the bed watching him.
Such beauty in a man, that he could enjoy this sight of Prince Hammand this way was so unnerving and wondrous at the same time. He was even more innocent in his slumber; tiny graceful limbs all curled up and tangled in the sheets. It was a bit cool in the room; a window had been left open probably because it had been a little hot earlier on. Which meant the prince had been here much earlier than Asgar had expected him to be.
Asgar closed the window softly, feeling bad that the prince may have come back early because of him and he had been busy chatting with Shetna and the other men. He knew he should have come over to check rather than just ask, it had been niggling at him all day too.
He changed into his sleepwear and climbed in beside the prince. Asgar detangled Hammand gently and tucked him in. He settled into the plush bed, lying on his side facing Hammand so he could feast his eyes on the little beauty till he fell asleep.
And this was exactly what he did.
When Prince Hammand awoke, he was curled up in Asgar’s arms. They were both on their sides facing each other but leaning more on Asgar’s side so the bigger man was partly on his back and Hammand’s face was buried high up in Asgar’s neck just under his chin and Asgar’s left leg was snuggled between Prince Hammand’s thighs. Large arms were wrapped around his back, enclosing him firmly in place even as the big man was still fast asleep.
Knowing he should get out of this embrace, he found he could not bring himself to. Instead he snuggled deeper, his face nuzzling into that hollow, leaving only a little room to breathe as basked in the steady comforting rhythm of Asgar’s heart beat and his masculine scent. He didn’t understand what he was feeling, but he liked the tingly sensations that came from being so close to him. He had never felt this way before.
He had no idea Asgar was awake, for he too had been surprised to awaken with the prince completely in his arms like this. He silently cursed his body and subconscious mind for taking over his life like this. If it were left to him, he would have…damn. He would have done what? Asgar pushed away the dangerous train of thought before it registered and focused on the little bundle of reality in his arms. He seemed to be trying to snuggle even closer to him, his small body warm and smooth.
Keeping his eyes closed in the guise of sleep, he turned fully on his side and slid his thigh further between the prince’s legs and moved it up. This action pressed the prince’s body hard against his and his small leg hung round Asgar’s waist. The prince, now face level with a sleeping Asgar, buried his head in the warm shoulder and hiked his leg comfortably round Asgar with a contented sigh. He obviously wasn’t afraid of him when he thought he was asleep.
A soft chuckle came from deep in Asgar’s throat before he could stop it and the small man jumped like he had been electrocuted.
“I’m s…sorry,” he stuttered as he tried to extricate himself from Asgar’s large limbs. He was shaking now and red in embarrassment.
Asgar allowed him pull away, leaving the small beauty to detangle himself from him. It took him a while for he was shaking so badly. “There’s no need to be sorry, I won’t bite you know. Looks like you liked snuggling in my chest.”
Movement stopped except for the trembling, big eyes averted shyly “You ddon’t mind?”
“No I don’t. That’s what I’m here for isn’t it?”
“Don’t start that again Asgar! It’s not what you’re here for, Asgar, honest. I just woke up and…” He looked stricken and confused as he tried to explain. Asgar found he didn’t like that look at all, it almost hurt to see and know he had caused it.
“Its okay, I was just teasing. Come here, my prince. I said I don’t mind.”
His hands were still partially on the prince’s thigh but he wanted the prince to come to him of his own accord. He did, slowly, hesitant and shy. Asgar pulled him back fully into the position he was in before, nuzzled in his neck. He was trembling even more. Damn.
“Calm down, I won’t bite,” he whispered gently, starting to stroke the prince’s back. He kept on till the trembling ceased and he felt the small man’s lips press into his skin. Both their hearts were pounding and Asgar ignored the growing hardness between his legs, refusing to even acknowledge its existence and the cause of it. It hurt.
“What do companions do then?” He asked softly, touching the small man’s hair lightly. It was like silk and fluffy in his fingers. Prince Hammand lifted his head and Asgar’s finger titled his face further to face his. He gulped shyly at the heavy stare upon him and a shiver went through his body.
“I’m not really sure anymore. I thought it was to be a friend but you said it was something bad…”
“No I didn’t…” God he was so damned beautiful.
“But when I told you that you asked me if I love men and if I fu…funned men. I don’t even know what that means but it sounded bad. I don’t want to do anything bad to you. I just want to be friends with you and get to know you…”
Asgar smiled, not correcting Hammand’s mispronunciation, he regretted making that statement in the first place. “It’s not bad, not in that sense. We can be friends if you want but on one condition.”
Hammand looked immediately apprehensive but Asgar shook his head and stroked his soft cheek gently. ”What’s the condition?”
“That you stop being so afraid of me” Hammand blushed furiously but Asgar wouldn’t let him look away. Even though that was going to be difficult, Hammand was relieved for he had expected something worse.
“I can’t help it…you’re so huge. Like a giant or something. And you were so angry yesterday and the day before…I didn’t know what to do or say to make it better.” He managed a nervous smile at Asgar’s chuckle, relaxing even more.
“I can’t help how big I am, but maybe you can stop being afraid of me.”
He found himself pulling the prince hard against him so their noses were touching. The prince gasped at the closeness and his eyes filled with fear. “Like now.”
“But I...I’m scared,” his voice was beginning to tremble again and his body had gone all tense.
“Why?” Asgar’s voice was hoarse, asking even though he knew why. He loved the feel of this small man against him.
“I don’t know. I feel funny inside. I feel like…like you want to do something to me.”
“Something like what…you feel funny? Funny good or funny bad.”
“I don’t know, it just feels that way. And I feel like I’m cold and hot at the same time…I’m not even sure I’m explaining it properly. I…I don’t know if to feel like this is good or bad. I’ve never felt like this before…h…have you? Sorry…you can’t remember can you?”
“No I can’t remember anything before I became a slave. Is that what you felt when you decided to buy me?”
Hammand is shocked at this question, shamed at the accuracy of it. The embarrassment was too much for the prince and tears sprang up and spilled almost immediately. He pushed away from Asgar and scrambled to get off the large bed.
Asgar moved swiftly without thinking, crushing the little body with his just as Prince Hammand reached the end of the bed. The prince’s breath was knocked out of him. It was overwhelming to feel this huge man on the entire length of his body. His body was stiff in shock and they both gasped at the intimacy of the position. Asgar’s mouth was right by his ear and as he spoke the breath that escaped made the prince shiver.
What was happening to him?
“Relax my prince” Asgar whispered, lifting his weight off by balancing on his elbows and wondering why he had pounced on him in the first place. Because it felt good, his mind said. “We don’t have to talk about it if you’re not ready. We’ll just work on being friends like you want and you not being afraid of me like I want. How is that?”
No answer, just heaving. His face remained buried in the sheets as he tried to compose himself. It was difficult, his body wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t stop shaking.
“My prince…?” Asgar stared down at the trembling body beneath him, his hips twitching to press back into that bum it had just been against a few seconds ago. He moved further away as soon as the thought crossed his mind so he was lying beside him instead. He waited patiently for the small man to calm his nerves.
“Okay,” came the soft muffled whisper in acquiescence. At that he was pulled gently into strong arms and he did not struggle this time, just took his place curled up against that powerful body, letting the softness of the crook of Asgar’s neck and the delicious smell of his flesh calm him.
TO BE CONTINUED...