You think is cute to hate
but that only shows
how little you are
how pathetic your life is
‘cause your hating ain’t a flag
it’s just a piece of trash
#fiction #mmromance #character #Harwer_Sinz #music #dj #burlesque #kawaii #poetry #lyrics #verses #Horus #singer #raunchy #naughty #menofgabbo #pride #pridemonth #loveislove #stophate #notcute #gabbodelaparra
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Since I’m prone to moments of rambling poetry about our culture (not just in its #socialmedia incarnation but of #humanity in general) I thought it would be nice to create a character to bring all that nonsense to my books (and because music copyrights are the worst).
Harwer Sinz (of the porn Sinzes) is a burlesque-kawaii-inclined singer/dj more @cazwellofficial than @iamsirjet (but trying to be as sexy) who uses not provocative but blatantly raunchy lyrics to unleash my anger at the bullshit we waddle in and encourage every day.
Harwer is another name for Horus (the Egyptian god) and thus the eye symbol. I’m sure you do not need an explanation for the rainbow colors. I rarely write #contemporary stories, and when that happens you may find Harwer belting out naughty verses and shaking his money maker.
01 #FF: THOUGHT IT MEANT FISTING FRIENDS!
02 LOVE SEARCH: AN EFFING SAGA
03 GIRTH & WIDTH
04 SOCIAL (MEDIA) CHALLENGE
05 THE COLOR OF BLOOD
06 NAUGHTY FOLLOWERS
07 MANLY SINZ
08 PUNISHMENT HOARDER
09 ALL THAT SWIPING AND LYING
10 LITTLE EXHIBITIONISTS
11 I’M FINE AT 69ING
12 STEALTHING IN VENICE
13 MASC MANNERS
14 THE LOWDOWN OF THE DOWN-LOW
#fiction #mmromance #character #Harwer_Sinz #music #dj #burlesque #kawaii #poetry #lyrics #verses #Horus #singer #raunchy #naughty #menofgabbo #gabbodelaparra
Monday, May 28, 2018
The war between the kingdoms of Munus and Lakoneh ends when the greatest warrior of Lakoneh, Bracken the Lakon, is captured. Now he will become part of the Kept, the male harem of Adder, King of Munus.
As they discover the path to love and redemption, King and Warrior must learn that not everything is as it seems, and your worst enemy can become salvation to your people and your heart.
“The gryphon riders are your solution.”
—Oracle of Apheilon at Cummia
“Oh, my King,” the warrior moaned.
Bracken didn’t like to be called king. All kings were a bunch of peacocks; he wasn’t like them. He took the cock out of his mouth and grunted, “Harder.”
It was great to have mighty cocks in both his holes, rewarding his warriors for a successful battle. These two were not the first fucking him tonight and would not be the last. The ambrosia of victory made him insatiable. He was proud— no other king of the Ten Kingdoms could say he had defeated Munus.
The hands gripping his hips pulled and guided. The hands pulling his braid and holding his jaw commanded. All three swayed as their bodies collided, dimmed lamps creating soft shadows in stark contrast with their powerful motions.
Long ago, before his older brother died, Bracken had wanted to be a scholar, but duty trumped dreams. Still, Apheilon was good; Bracken would never have known the pleasure of rough, calloused hands on his body if he were a man of letters instead of a warrior, protector of his people. He would not change a thing.
“So close, my King.” Jaxton, the one ramming his mouth, shuddered.
Bracken heard a ragged chuckle behind him. “I’ll beat you to it,” hissed Brummi, speeding his pumping.
On all fours, Bracken was a beast in heat, ready to climax without even touching his own hard cock. He moved the hand he had been using to clutch the unpretentious covers of his makeshift bed to tug between his legs— to join his men in completion. Three volcanoes erupted simultaneously. The internal scream of his climax was glorious as he was flooded in both ends.
Yells outside the tent sharply removed them from blissful heights. Their camp was under attack. One of his men entered the tent, his eyes wild. “King Bracken, gryphon riders!”
“Ride your vultures. Don’t leave a single one of those motherless dog-sons alive.”
Jaxton, Brummi, and Bracken jumped and scattered to grab weapons. Before the soldier could turn to leave the tent, a sword skewered him— his last sound a gurgled scream. They quickly picked up their long daggers; a tent wasn’t a place to wield big swords like his Charos.
Their nudity wasn’t a concern.
Ten enemies rushed in. Metal clashed. Bodies swirled.
Trained to fight in enclosed spaces like his low-ceiling tent, Bracken was surprised by the equal ability of his enemies. Their short swords didn’t arch but worked laterally and horizontally. Still, enemy limbs were severed; blood gushed and stained. Bracken rolled to avoid a sharp edge coming at him, the coarse floor mats feeling strange against his bare skin. He almost hurt himself with the main post of the tent. Luckily, the weapon of one of the attackers got stuck in that same post, giving him the chance to stab the bastard in his armpit to disable him and finish him with a quick throat slash. The gash sprayed blood over him.
Bracken lost Brummi first. By the time Jaxton went down, Bracken was surrounded by three wickedly thin swords pointing at his neck. “Come quietly, Lakon. We have orders to take you alive. I don’t like to disappoint my master.”
Bracken growled but let his long dagger fall. Better to live and fight another day.
That resolution flung dangerously as he stepped out of his tent. His camp had been razed. Not ten paces from his tent, four enemies were lancing the last giant bearded vulture alive, Silvercall— his own mount. Slowly rising in the east, the first rays of the new day made her white feathers look almost golden as she lay dying.
They tied Bracken’s hands and feet, then tossed him like a stinky bale on the lap of a rider. The gryphon jerked impatiently, eager to fly.
Shrieks and screeches accompanied the launching of a myriad gryphon riders. Bracken wondered how they had managed to come to their camp so quietly and surprise them.
They flew west toward the ocean, the taste of cum and blood on Bracken’s tongue— the seed of fallen warriors silently dripping from his hole. His hard-on softened as the adrenaline left his body. Mourning and dread were not options… yet.
Soon, potent wings sailed over Cummia, the islet where the Oracle of Apheilon resided. Only those strong enough to swim from the beach and brave the shark-infested stretch to reach the jagged shore surrounding the temple were worthy of an answer. Bracken had done it only once, for his people.
Perhaps if the vulhurs had been ready…
No. Lakonians didn’t dwell in “ifs.” When they heard the music, they’d face it and dance.
His custodian’s gryphon, and several more, alighted on a massive ship in the middle of the ocean. Bracken assumed the others continued to Munus. The sun was almost in its zenith; sweat made Bracken’s eyes itch. Good thing his hair was still tightly braided. He was pushed to his feet and untied. Sailors started to fill the deck. Some looked interested, others like they had better things to do than watch what was about to happen. Whatever that was.
“Bracken the Lakon. Rider of Vultures. King of Lakoneh. Welcome to my ship.” The voice should have been a whip, instead it sounded like rough fingers over his lips, prying them open. He heard the murmurs and noticed how those uninterested before were eager now.
Bracken turned to face the man. “Adder.” He would not say his enemy’s titles.
Adder tilted his head sideways; he smirked. “You would not acknowledge me as your equal?” He tsked and shook his head. “It will not change the outcome anyway.”
“I’m your prisoner. We are not equals.”
“You’re still a king.”
Bracken would still be a king after Adder bent him and fucked him in front of all his men, as was the custom with the vanquished. What would happen after that was a different matter. The shriek of a gryphon hardened Bracken. This fucker had killed his valiant men and their precious vultures, including his own Silvercall. He would take the humiliation for them. He would be claimed, but he was still bathed in the blood of his enemies.
Two soldiers grabbed his arms to guide him to Adder. Bracken shook them off. “I can go by myself.”
Icy eyes appraised him. “Eager?” asked Adder, and the men on the deck cackled. He was in full battle gear. Two manservants started helping him to undress.
“Why delay the inevitable? That’s not the Lakonian way.”
Forty paces later, Bracken stood in front of a naked, tall, and muscular Adder. His dark hair with faint whispers of silver enhanced the golden band adorned with three black diamonds over his brow. Bracken was shorter, but he didn’t need to raise his head to look at those cunning, night eyes. Bracken had a lot more white in his hair, but they were not old men; it was the burden of royalty and ruling.
Adder’s hard cock glistened in the midday blaze in its nest of night curls. Under other circumstances, Bracken would have appreciated length and girth and been excited about it. Same for the massive chest covered in delightful fur. Now it was pure duty, as many things had been in his life.
One of the manservants came with a pot of oil. Adder poured some over his cock, coating it. “Turn around and on your knees, King of Lakoneh.”
“You will take me standing. If you force me to my knees your cock will pay for it.”
These words gave pause to Adder— but fleetingly. If Bracken hadn’t been staring him down he would not have seen it.
“As you wish,” Adder said. A pinch of something Bracken couldn’t decipher made the voice deeper, almost heady.
A big hand found Bracken’s neck as soon as he gave his back to Adder. It caressed his Adam’s apple, while the oil-coated cock breached him. Soon Bracken was flush against Adder’s groin. It felt so fucking good he almost moaned. Almost. He didn’t close his eyes in bliss either. He glared, making eye contact with every single man on that putrid deck.
But this dog-son, Adder, didn’t batter Bracken like he was supposed to. He did it slowly, languidly, nearly savoring it. This wasn’t the way. The heat, the slowness, the hand caressing his throat, the fingers playing with his pubic hair, all conspired to unhinge Bracken. It was hard to resist; it was hard not to push back and impale himself on his enemy’s wonderful cock.
“You’re going to embarrass yourself,” Adder whispered playfully in Bracken’s ear.
“Beg me to stop.”
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”
Adder was whispering, while Bracken was answering back loudly. Surely the men around them thought Bracken was saying “no” out of fear or due to the humiliation of being vanquished. Adder grabbed Bracken’s cock and tugged.
“I’m going to get you hard and make you come.”
“NO. That is not the way, and you know it!”
“Do I look like a give a fuck about the way?”
“Adder, stop,” Bracken sighed.
“Beg, so my men can hear you.”
“Adder, King of Munus, Beloved of Erin, Master of Gryphons, please stop,” Bracken said loudly. The only thing making it a plea was the word “please.” Everything else sounded like a command— or an insult. He knew Adder would not stop, but Bracken couldn’t bring himself to beg like a weakling. He would rather swallow his tongue to defuse his unhelpful libido.
“That’s a good king.” Adder pulled Bracken’s braid down, making his taut, wired body arch.
After three powerful thrusts, Adder came with a war cry that had his men cheering.
Bracken expected to be tossed toward the soldiers approaching them as Adder’s cock vacated him.
But Adder surprised him; he turned Bracken around and touched his brow with Bracken’s. They stood like that for several heartbeats. When they separated, he said to his men, “Bathe and clothe him. He and I will have a meal after that in the deckhouse.”
Bracken was taken below deck, where soldiers— not manservants— attended him. They let him soak his sore muscles in a wooden tub filled with warm water for a while. He was scrubbed and perfumed and given a rich burgundy tunic, a belt made of golden circular plates, and soft sandals that felt like pristine clouds. He didn’t let them unbraid his hair. Hair could be untied when you were done battling; Bracken didn’t think he was done yet.
available now at
#fiction #mmromance #free #fantasy #reimagination #alternativehistory #AncientGreece #menofgabbo #ebook #wingriders #gryphons #vultures #kingdom #ocean #land #warriors #harem #kept #enemiestolovers #writer #men #guys #lovers #enemies #gabbodelaparra
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
“Orrin of Zigag! How many times have I told you to stop fucking the Royal Guards!”
Orrin froze with his face between the guard’s delicious glutes, regretfully stopping his degustation. He stretched his neck a little (his eyes a hairbreadth above the muscular ass) and scowled at his father. Yes, his King had told him not to fuck the Royal Guards. He had never expressed any prohibition about bending them over in a line and eating their holes one by one, though.
“Leave that guard’s behind alone and come here!”
The behind in question was the last of the line, and it had been Orrin’s plan to make each guard come on his way back to the first. Nevertheless, he saw a vein protruding on his father’s forehead. He couldn’t have the King having an apoplexy, then be forced to rule the kingdom before he was done having his fun. He was still too young to handle the serious matters of governing his people. That didn’t mean he didn’t know how; he just didn’t want to— yet.
With the back of his hand, Orrin wiped his mouth. As he emerged from his crouch, he affectionately spanked the round prize before him, yanking a growly yip from the guard.
Since neither Orrin nor the King had ordered them to move, the twelve Royal Guards remained in their bent state, along the lengthy banquet table in the dining hall. Orrin lovingly brushed his left hand over each exposed cheek as he walked toward his father. The poor men deserved at least a passing caress since their prince would not be able to make them spurt.
“Stop that!” yelled King Ouranio. “And you,” that was to the guards, “pull yourselves together! You look like a lineup of whores in a cheap brothel!”
“Please, my King, remember your blood pressure,” Orrin said conciliatorily.
“Orca sperm and narwhal shit! How dare you! You’re doing this! You are the one messing up my blood pressure! Why can you not be like your brother?”
Orrin’s brother Landra was the good one. Even if they were physically identical, their personalities were like day and night; something that puzzled everyone to no end because twins weren’t supposed to be so different.
Orrin was finally facing his father, King Ouranio, Rider of narwhals, Master of orcas, Light of his people, Wise as the stars— and now almost purple and ready to explode.
When facing danger you could either fight or flight. Orrin didn’t have those options; his only option was to fake submission till it seemed real. He knelt. “Forgive me, my King. I don’t deserve the title of Prince of Zigag.”
“You certainly not,” his father put a hand on Orrin’s head with a huff, “but you’re still my son, and I love you. I just wish I didn’t have to do this.”
The last sentence came out softly, and that was way more terrifying than the initial huff. Orrin didn’t want to ask. He pressed his lips together, mustering self-control he rarely used.
His father pushed Orrin’s face up, using a finger to lift his chin. They locked eyes. The purplish hue had disappeared. More like all the blood had drained from King Ouranio’s face in a heartbeat. “I am really sorry, son, but you leave me no choice. I need to do this for your own good.”
Uh-uh. He’s giving the crown to Landra.
Even if they had been born together, Orrin was the firstborn (three minutes were three minutes!). On second thought, would it really be that bad not becoming King? He wouldn’t have to deal with all the responsibilities heading his way.
Orrin was mentally readying himself for an inner victory dance, seeing how his duties as future King started to fade and a renewed life of debauchery was quickly becoming so real he could almost taste it.
His father shook his head. “Sweet Erin! You’re already finding a silver lining to your punishment and you don’t even know what it is yet.” He ran the hand he had used to lift Orrin’s chin down his face. “Apheilon, give me patience with this child.”
Orrin tried to look contrite, but who was he kidding? If he didn’t have to be King, he was going to have tons of irrevocable fun. Landra would be the perfect, dutiful King. Yes. His twin was amazing; he would make their father and Zigag proud.
“You’re not fooling me. I know you too well,” King Ouranio summarized. “Undo all those hedonistic plans because I am sending you to Doriar to marry King Joran.”
“What did you say?” Orrin’s father asked with a low growl.
“I said, ‘gods,’ my King,” Orrin answered, mentally smacking his forehead.
Shaking his head again, his father said, “Nope. It did not sound like that.”
“Can I ask a question, father?” It was better to ask his father than his King.
An arched eyebrow let Orrin know the subterfuge had been detected. “Go ahead.”
“Why marry me off, and why Joran?”
“Those are two questions.”
“Still, they have the same answer. King Joran asked for Landra’s hand, but since you are incapable of even respect the men entrusted to guard you because in your head everything is a mere toy at your disposal, I am giving your hand to the King of Doriar and my kingdom to your brother.”
“Am I supposed to pretend to be Landra?” That was beyond punishment; that was adding insult to injury.
“Of course not. He asked for Landra because you were the heir apparent. It’s the same body. I don’t think he is going to mind.”
“So, am I just a piece of meat?”
Uncharacteristically, King Ouranio snorted. “That’s so rich coming from you, who just a moment ago had twelve very highly trained men spread like meat at the market.”
It was Orrin turn to shake his head. “I honestly don’t see the point of such an extreme punishment.”
“Well, I do.” The King of Zigag crossed his arms. “If you cannot obey your own King, who happens to be your father, maybe you will obey a different King who happens to be your husband.”
So, at the end, Orrin was still going to be some sort of King any-fucking-way.
Four days later...
“You’ll be fine. Come on. You’re the reason why so many soldiers want to become Royal Guards.” Landra patted Orrin’s hand.
“If you’re trying to cheer me up, that is not helping. You need to shut up,” Orrin admonished his twin halfheartedly.
“What I’m saying is that you’re going to have King Joran wrapped around your finger in no time.”
“Not seeing how that helps. I love my freedom. Be able to do whatever and whoever I please. Do you think the mighty King of Doriar is going to let me fuck his guards?”
The mid-morning sun shone happily, making Landra’s hair seem a golden veil. It was a silly thing to think since it was the same as thinking his hair looked like a veil. Although in his case, it could be a mourning veil, dark and limp. He couldn’t even appreciate the beauty of this inner garden where they had shared so many wonderful moments. Spring had just started, and everything seemed eager to bloom and unleash its fragrance. But he couldn’t even enjoy the fountain’s song; to Orrin, it sounded like rainwater screaming down a gutter.
“Every answer is just waiting for its question to appear,” Landra offered, suspiciously channeling one of their old tutors.
Orrin narrowed his eyes. “You are so stupid.” He hugged his brother. “Still love you, though.”
Landra stood up. “Let’s get you on that ship. I’ll see you in a month for the wedding. See this as a new adventure. You’re the one able to find the silver lining even in the darkest situation.” He tilted his head, his agate eyes sparkling with sudden mischief. “If you think about it, becoming the consort of such a handsome King is a very bright situation.”
“Now you’re just rubbing in the fact that he is a total dreamboat, and I am being whiny for no logical reason,” Orrin grumbled as he moved to his feet too.
“I should be mad,” Landra elbowed Orrin, “you robbed me the opportunity to sleep with that hunky King every night for the rest of my life.”
Orrin grabbed Landra by the shoulders and shook him. “You’re getting a kingdom, you narwhal hole!”
It seemed like history always found a way to repeat itself in their family. Their father had also been the second son, and for some still not clear absurdity his brother, the crowned prince, had been married off to one of the princes of Busar.
Landra grinned triumphantly. “And that’s exactly why I am not mad.”
Orrin released his twin and about-faced. He barked over his shoulder, “Aren’t you getting me on a ship toward my doom?”
“Oh, stop being a wuss and man up. You’re also getting a damn kingdom!” Landra huffed and spanked Orrin’s behind. “You’ll be fine.”
They left the garden and walked to the palace entrance. Each one had an open chariot with its white horse waiting to take them through the city streets in a great procession to give their prince a proper send off to his new home. Their mother and father were already at the port aboard Zigag’s flagship the Treptikó to kiss him goodbye— certainly eager to be done with him.
An escort of the Royal Guards (many of whom Orrin knew in very intimate detail) surrounded them quickly in their dark horses, starting Orrin’s last farewell as Prince of Zigag.
The Ten Kingdoms were at peace.
And that was the thing; peace had lasted too long. Joran felt something unpleasant getting ready to rise in the horizon, to throw the Ten Kingdoms into turmoil.
After the year of mourning, Joran had waited another two years before thinking about finding a consort. Erindore had been a good woman, and their union had been one of love. This time his marriage would be one of duty, an alliance to make his kingdom strong.
His councilors hadn’t been too happy about Zigag as option for an alliance at first. Zigag was the northernmost island of the Ocean Kingdoms while Doriar sat at the opposite end, being the southernmost of the Land Kingdoms. It seemed like an overreach but considering his need for ironclad ties with one of the Ocean Kingdoms, his options were considerably short. Gikid, Kaskal, Busar, and Munus stood between Zigag and Doriar. Munus, Doriar’s closest ocean neighbor would have been the perfect ally, since its King, Adder, and the King of Lakoneh, Bracken, were married, and any alliance with one would secure it with the other.
Those two already powerful kingdoms had not been united into one because there had always been Ten Kingdoms, five Ocean Kingdoms and five Land Kingdoms, and the creation of such a superkingdom would toss the region into utter chaos. Still, a marriage alliance with Munus would have enhanced Doriar’s position amongst the Ten Kingdoms. Adder’s firstborn was in love with Bracken’s nephew. The real option, his daughter (the one he was raising as his and Bracken’s), was only five years old.
Similar underage-royals situations happened in Gikid, Kaskal, and Busar; the oldest of that group was currently ten years old, and Joran couldn’t wait another six years until that boy was of age. Therefore the only truly plausible alliance by marriage had been with Zigag. The twin princes were intelligent, well-trained warriors, and endowed with masculine beauty.
Joran sniggered; he still remembered the princes’ powerful, sweaty bodies glistening under the summer sun during the previous year Ocean Kingdoms Games in honor of Erin and Apheilon. Just because this was a political move it didn’t mean he could not have a true prize at the end of the bargain. Besides, a man in his bed would be almost a soothing presence since every woman would certainly make him miss or remind him of Erindore. Yes, a male consort was the safe option for his heart as much as he was doing this to secure his people’s future.
Nonetheless, Erin and Apheilon gave their children things to endure before any reward. Joran had requested Landra’s hand, knowing full well that Orrin was the crowned prince. Joran was aware that the mere insinuation of trying to get for himself the future King of Zigag would have put him in a suspicious position with the other kingdoms. Orrin would never do anything to harm his brother; therefore, he would protect Doriar’s interests once he became King.
Besides, the Munus-Lakoneh situation was a deviation from the norm; Kings (or heirs apparent) did not marry other Kings.
The only hiccup in an otherwise relatively perfect plan had come when Ouranio decided to give Orrin instead of Landra to Joran. Polite circles would call Orrin energetic; people who called things by their names would say the pretty prince was a self-centered jerk whose only purpose in life was to fuck anything with a hole in it.
From the moment Joran began to contrive ideas for an alliance with one of the Ocean Kingdoms he sent spies to gather intelligence all over. Soon Orrin’s sexual stunts convinced Joran it had been the best idea to not intend to pursue the heir apparent but his twin brother who was (by all accounts) a gallant prince in high contrast with his rakish twin.
Nonetheless, you couldn’t really value something if you didn’t work hard for it, right? Now the gods had put Orrin in Joran’s path. Ouranio had been clear that part of his decision stemmed from his inability to control his son. “He’s not a bad kid,” the King of Zigag had said. “His dick, on the other hand, has no self-control!”
At least the other King hadn’t tried to be deceitful. He had a problem; Joran wanted an alliance— his option to get the alliance was to deal with Ouranio’s problem.
Oh, I will.
“My King,” Joran’s Right Hand, Yndyre, bowed as he entered the chamber, “we are ready.”
“Where are my children?”
“They await you at the palace entrance to say goodbye, sire.”
It was time for Joran to go to the Port City of Me Diell to receive his betrothed.
The gentle mountains of Munus emerged as the sun rose. Orrin had his chin propped on his elbows, and he had been by the port railings long before the first stars began to disappear, listening to the ocean and the billowing sails. The winds had been favorable since the Treptikó left Na Sever, and he would reach his destination later that day. All Ocean Kingdoms had their capital cities by the sea; Orrin’s future husband would encounter him in a port city and take him in another great parade to Doriar’s capital city, Chryso.
As the morning became brighter, a dark silhouette with large wings appeared, growing bigger as it moved toward the ship.
“Gryphon!” yelled one of the crew members.
A message from Munus.
Orrin moved closer to the prow to receive the communication.
The feathered beast alighted, and the messenger dismounted. “I have a message for Prince Orrin of Zigag from Prince Deron of Munus.”
Guards surrounded Orrin as he approached the messenger. The Ten Kingdoms were at peace, but “peace” was a relative term amongst them, so you could never be too careful. “I am prince Orrin.”
The messenger went to one knee. “Prince Deron request permission to come aboard for a visit.”
“Will Prince Deron come with his escort?” Veldar, head of Orrin’s guards, asked before Orrin could open his mouth.
“You protect your prince. We protect our prince,” the messenger stated matter-of-factly after a nod.
“I don’t like it,” Veldar growled.
Orrin rolled his eyes. “Deron is my best friend. He could have come straight, and I wouldn’t have minded. He’s been a nice boy following protocol. Veldar, do not make this something it isn’t,” he admonished his guardian. He turned to the messenger. “Please tell your prince I’ll happily welcome him.”
The messenger moved to his feet, bowed, turned to climb on his gryphon, and was swiftly in the air.
As Orrin saw the gryphon return to Munus, a series of clicks and whistles starboard made him run athwartship. His orca, Desta, undulated playfully beside the ship. “Hey, boy! Where have you been? We’re getting closer to our new home!”
King Joran had promised to find a way to keep Desta close to Orrin. He wasn’t sure how the King of Doriar would accomplish that, but it would certainly earn him some points. The thought of going for a swim to play with Desta crossed Orrin’s mind, but Deron would be there any moment, and he didn’t like to start things he couldn’t finish properly.
An hour later, Orrin sat with his best friend in the sumptuous deckhouse of Zigag’s flagship.
“I did not see that coming,” Deron said with a snort. “I mean, Joran is not old, but I never thought you’ll end up with a grey-haired man.”
“Well, if my informants are correct you were lucky. Joran just wants an alliance with an Ocean Kingdom. It could have been you.” Orrin waggled a finger at Deron. “Just because you and Fern have been so vocal about your love, you were not contemplated as a sacrificial pawn.”
Deron did a guard-me-from-evil sign, swiping forward his right thumb from under his front teeth. “Blessed Father Apheilon keep darkness away from me!”
“So dramatic,” Orrin cackled.
“First of all, I am not being dramatic. A prince is not dramatic,” Deron recited in his most theatrical voice, making Orrin cackle even more. “And you know what they say about him, right?”
Oh, gossip! Yes!
“Let’s hear it.”
“He eats raunchy boys like you for breakfast!” Deron roared and started tickling Orrin.
“Sweet Erin! Stop it! You’re more brother of Landra than me!” Orrin tried to fend off Deron’s tickling attacks but was failing miserably and ready to pee himself right there. “We are supposed to be princely, remember?”
“Seriously,” Deron stopped, “you, Prince Orrin, Rider of narwhals, Sun of Zigag, and Fucker of Royal Guards, are asking me to be princely?” His face was one of mock disbelief; he even had a hand over his chest in fake outrage.
“I do not,” Orrin straightened himself, “only fuck Royal Guards. I have ample preferences.”
Deron seemed unable to hold it any longer and doubled cackling with a massive snort. He was rolling on the deckhouse floor a heartbeat later.
Orrin moved to his feet. “Honestly, Deron. I’m trying here to pour my heart out, and you’re making fun of me,” he huffed.
Deron heaved as he turned into a sitting position, pulling his knees toward his chest and wrapping his arms around them. They had grown to love each other as brothers from early on, and this was a moment when Orrin needed Deron’s mature approach to things. “It is very difficult to take you seriously when your biggest problem is that you’re not going to be able to fuck everything that moves but are gaining a handsome husband and a kingdom.”
Orrin tilted his head and studied Deron; he didn’t roll his eyes, though. “I heard the same arguments from Landra. I need something different.” He crossed his arms. “I already had a kingdom waiting for me, remember?”
“And sooner or later you would have needed a spouse,” Deron added.
“At least it would have been someone I chose.”
“You don’t know that. It could have been duty, just as Joran’s. He’s doing this out of duty to his people. Can you understand that?”
Yes. Orrin knew that being a ruler wasn’t always about doing what was best for you but what was best for your subjects. “I’m not a total drone, you know. I’m aware of those things.”
“Then what is the real problem here?” Deron perked up, apparently reaching fixer mode finally.
Orrin took a deep breath. He sat again. His eyes settled on a very attentive Deron. “I am afraid. I have lost the ability to decide for myself. I know I put myself in this situation, but it doesn’t make it less scary. I am in the hands of another man now. Am I still my own person? Will I be able to make decisions?”
Deron rested his chin on one knee. Orrin could see the inner workings of his best friend’s brain looking for a soothing answer. The silence extended; it became so complete within the deckhouse Orrin could clearly hear the men outside and below deck, even other orcas, which had probably come to play with Desta. “I think we’re analyzing the problem from the wrong perspective.”
“What do you mean?”
“We have been raised to be kings our whole lives. Think for a moment. You’ve already been King for so many years, had kids, lost the woman you loved, and now for your people, you’ve decided to marry again, and a bratty prince is what’s thrown in your lap as response. What would you do?”
Put that way, there was not much to say but “Fuck.”
“Exactly,” agreed Deron.
The eyes of the massive Treptikó had not been painted black as usual but green like the eyes of Erin and Apheilon. Perhaps, it had been a further trick to intimidate if its sheer bulk wasn’t enough. The gods did not intervene in men’s wars directly; they simply gave them strength and wisdom to do their best. If you failed, it was your turn to fail; no one was immune to that part of life. Nonetheless, those huge green eyes seemed a scheme to avoid attacks out of respect for their deities.
Joran turned his memory to a different eye color. The naughty prince of Zigag had eyes colored like honey. He shouldn’t be thinking about his future husband with too much desire. Still, there was nothing wrong with appreciating beautiful things. However, the beautiful thing approaching port wasn’t the handsome prince he had settled his mind on.
Landra wasn’t the one on the ship.
Landra would have been a pleasant companion.
Yes, it might be the same body, same eyes, same voice, but Orrin was a dissolute wastrel. Hard work would be the keyword in their union. True, all heirs apparent had a rebellious phase— most would go incognito to a brothel, take their father’s favorite mount for a ride without permission, or have an orgy to see what was what. And yet, Orrin of Zigag had been debauching everything in his path regardless of gender or status without a second thought longer than most rebellious phases should last.
How do you tame a sex fiend?
Joran had never shied away from any obstacle, no matter how insurmountable they seemed. Orrin would not be the thing to rob him of his sleep. Perhaps Joran’s more dominant side, which he had never let fully surface around Erindore, could come handy with the blond prince. Maybe the prince didn’t need a firm hand but a rough one.
An idea started forming in Joran’s mind, and his body pleasantly responded to it.
Crewmen lowered the ramp. Guards and the usual dignitaries started to disembark. Joran searched through the raucous mass emerging from the ship: standard bearers, musicians, and people looking lost like they were being unceremoniously kicked out at the wrong port. What had started as a diplomatic procession turned into a street carnival. There were even jugglers!
Leave it to Orrin to turn his arrival into a convoluted affair just to show that he wasn’t pleased with the arrangement.
Joran shook his head. Orrin would certainly be a handful, but this little nonsense was nothing compared to Joran’s own stunts when he was that age. He would have to appear disapproving or completely unconcerned by the unruly display as if it was a common event in his presence.
When everyone seemed to have descended from the ship and Joran was seriously contemplating to send his guards to retrieve his future husband, Orrin appeared at the top of the ramp surrounded by his escort.
With a flick of the reins, Joran urged the horse. His chariot and the guards surrounding him moved forward. He didn’t bring a retinue because there would be public and formal receptions for Orrin at Chryso, so a great fuss was unnecessary at the port. He thought about bringing a chariot or a carriage for Orrin, but then considered it from the perspective of their need to get used to each other as soon as possible. What could be closer than standing side by side during a sixty mileh ride on a one horse chariot?
Joran and his men stopped near the foot of the ramp. Orrin was still atop as if waiting for something. Clouds dispersed. The afternoon sun came out in full force behind Orrin’s head giving him a halo and protecting Joran’s eyes. His chiton was a bluish green that gave his tanned skin a healthy glow, and his chlamys a creamy yellow like that of a baby chick. The leather thongs of his sandals hugged his well-formed calves lovingly. His hair was loose and slowly waving with the breeze. The damn prince seemed to glow as if he were an otherworldly vision.
Of course, they had seen each other before, but Joran had never see Orrin like this— static, as if waiting for a painter or sculptor to immortalize him, his masculine beauty flagrant and absurd.
Courtesy demanded Orrin addressed Joran first, but Joran jumped from his chariot and trotted to the end of the ramp, extending his hand. “Orrin, Rider of narwhals, Sun of Zigag, Golden Prince, welcome to Doriar.”
Did Joran just call Orrin Golden Prince?
What the King names the King owns.
There were no Kept left in the Ten Kingdoms, but that was something all Kings did with the members of the male harems, change their names to let them know their previous life was over. Was that what Joran was doing even before Orrin truly set foot in Doriar?
Orrin needed to open his mouth. Breaking protocol, his future husband had just addressed him first (never mind the ominous purpose for it), and he stood there, at the beginning of the ramp, probably looking like a flabbergasted, starstruck newbie. He almost tripped as he tried to descend the ramp as quickly as possible. The damned thing hadn’t seemed this long when he used it to get on the ship. He went to one knee before Joran. His guards did the same. “Joran, Diamond King of Doriar, Dagger of Andar, Defender of Chryso, thank you for choosing me.”
Fake it till you make it.
Something between a chuckle and a huff reached Orrin before Joran’s hands touched his shoulders.
“Did I?” Joran asked with dry amusement. “Rise, Sun of Zigag.”
Orrin bit off the retort ready to rise with him. Joran still held him when they became face-to-face. His eyes were a strange color, like the violet of a sunset or perhaps a sunrise; one was an ending— the other a beginning. Orrin couldn’t be sure yet which one he faced.
Nevertheless, you could always ask a question if you knew the right way to do it. Orrin lowered his eyes in apparent submission, but also because Joran’s big hands holding him by the shoulders felt strangely right, and that was confusing. “Am I still the Sun of Zigag?”
“Look at me.” Joran didn’t sound angry or offended. Their eyes met, but Orrin got distracted by Joran’s lips this time. “Doesn’t the sun come up every morning?” Those inviting lips twisted in a minute smirk. “You are not losing your birthplace. You’re gaining a kingdom,” Joran said.
“Stop thanking me.”
“Why?” There went Orrin’s mouth.
Joran tilted his head, seeming to study Orrin for several heartbeats. He squeezed Orrin’s shoulders. “You’re right. It’s good to be thankful.” He released Orrin.
Did I offend him?
Was this going to be their life, Orrin constantly worrying if he had done something wrong, and Joran being unnecessarily enigmatic? Deron had told Orrin to stop being afraid and trying to solve problems that hadn’t arisen yet. To act like a King would. Yes, one thing was to fake it, and another to get so caught up in the role to believe it real.
Joran pointed to a gold-gilded one-horse chariot. “You’re riding with me.”
Orrin had expected a parade. Joran was taking him to Chryso as if he were something to keep under wraps— hidden because you weren’t completely proud of it.
You need to stop questioning everything!
See this as a battle— be a warrior, not a worrier!
Orrin took a deep breath. “King Joran, if I may.”
They hadn’t moved toward the chariot, and Joran turned to him. “You may.”
“The crew should be unloading our horses at the other end of the ship. If we could wait for that, so my guards have their mounts?”
Joran nodded with a half-smile. It seemed he had forgotten Orrin’s guards couldn’t jog all the way to Chryso, never mind Orrin’s belongings. “Did you bring your own horse too?”
“Yes, but I am riding with you, my King.”
“That’s a good prince.”
Ample and well-paved, the thoroughfare to Chryso had low hills flanking it, their green almost too bright to be real. Spring seemed to have unleashed its beauty on this area with a vengeance.
They’d driven in silence for a ridiculous amount of time. Orrin remembered something. “I need to apologize, my King.”
Joran didn’t look at Orrin. “Did you do something?” He tilted his head toward Orrin but kept his eyes on the road. “You haven’t been here long enough to do something.”
Snapping wasn’t a good beginning for an apology. Orrin closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
Luckily Joran had his eyes somewhere else. “I did something without your blessing on my way here.”
That made Joran look at Orrin sideways. He had that face King Ouranio sported every time he was about to yell at Orrin. “Do I really need to know?” He didn’t yell but the voice wasn’t friendly either.
“A Doriar vessel had been attacked by a sea monster, and there were about forty people stranded on several boats. They were wailing and screaming thinking the monster will come back to finish them, so we took them aboard and brought them to Me Diell.”
“At first we thought it might be a ruse to gain our ship because we couldn’t find any debris around, and there were nobles amongst the people, and their servants still had their standards, and the carnival folk had their implements. They didn’t seem like they had truly jumped ship to save their lives. They were too put together.”
Joran pulled the reins to stop their chariot and raised his hand to halt the convoy too. He turned to face Orrin with his whole body and gave him his full attention. “I see.”
“We thoroughly searched them of course. They had everything, and I seriously mean everything but weapons.” Orrin chuckled a little. “It was as if they had actually started their voyage in those dinghies.”
“An absolute possibility.”
Orrin knew his expression must have been one of true confusion because Joran added, “Sometimes land people do stuff like that to avoid paying full fare.”
“Are you serious?”
“These are things they don’t teach you at King School.”
“There is no such thing as King School!”
“I think you’re missing the point,” Joran said and pressed his lips into a hard line.
Orrin stood there agape for a heartbeat, then huffed, “You are making fun of me!” He almost raised an accusatory finger but thought better of it.
“Just the King School part.” Joran grinned and his violet eyes sparkled. He was an obnoxiously handsome man.
And he was all Orrin’s.
Silver lining much?
“You went cold really fast there.” Joran’s features changed too quickly into paternal concern, something that wasn’t really in tune with Orrin’s current thoughts. “Are you all right? Do you want us to take a break?”
Orrin lowered his eyes; he wasn’t faking it this time. He shook his head. “I am fine. Thank you.”
“Your outrage should have been longer.”
“You’re very distracting,” Orrin murmured before his tongue connected with his brain.
“Hmmm. Then you’re very easy to distract.” Joran elbowed Orrin before turning his body forward again and flicking the reins. “Let’s go!”
The convoy advanced at a brisk pace, but Orrin couldn’t pay attention to the rolling hills and the blooming trees and shrubs anymore. With furtive glances, he noticed the many hues of grey, mixed with black and white in Joran’s long hair, the wide shoulders and tall frame encased in the colors of Doriar, red and brown. He admired the way the muscles of the King’s forearms flexed graciously as he controlled the chariot, the big hands with their wide fingers (adorned with thick, bejeweled rings), and fleetingly imagined how those hands would feel over his skin.
The man smelled like a bow Orrin had once, made with precious rosewood. It was ridiculous that the King of Doriar had reminded him of a weapon he’d lost long ago. The first weapon he had learned to handle. There must be some kind of message in that memory, but, by Apheilon, Orrin couldn’t focus enough to decipher it.
This time the silence between them didn’t feel like a slight but an opportunity for reflection. Orrin had been around Joran in several summits, had heard the man laugh while talking to others, but he had never had the attention of this King so concentrated on him like now.
Soon they would be sharing a bed. What would that even be like? Should he simply submit because Joran was the one with the power, the one who had chosen him? Would it have been different if there had been a spontaneous attraction between them during one of those previous encounters?
Deron and Landra (arms crossed and with You. Need. To. Stop. miens) appeared in Orrin’s mind’s eye.
“What’s that about?” Joran asked.
“Just me being silly,” Orrin said, trying hard not to sound too silly.
“I rather have you being silly than sad,” Joran said.
“Why would I be sad?”
“Some could say it is unwise to talk of these things, especially here in the middle of the road, but I want us to be sincere with each other. I’m not going to wait until we are married to start. There is no point in that.” Joran did that thing when he only tilted his head toward Orrin without truly looking at him. “I know you didn’t want this. You had your own life, your own prospects. Your own kingdom to rule in the future.” He sighed. “You did something good on your way here, and that showed me a little bit of you.” His eyes left the road and settled on Orrin. “I want us to be good together. To create something good together. Duty doesn’t have to be a burden, and I wouldn’t want you sad about it.”
The tone (more than the words) soothed some of Orrin’s inner turmoil. He moved closer to Joran and pulled the King toward him by the hard leather belt. He let his head rest on Joran’s shoulder. “Thank you.”
Orrin felt Joran’s body relax beside him.