Been trying so hard not to let it show
But you got me feeling like
I'm stepping on buildings, cars and boats
I swear I could touch the sky
Sitting in the backseat of the limo, Ben is relieved to be heading back to Auradon. The nineteen- year-old king has been going on diplomatic trips to meet the other royals of his kingdom. Ever since his high school graduation, he has spent his entire summer performing his kingly duties and listening to the concerns of the people in his realm. He met with Queen Elsa in Arendelle, Prince Eugene and Princess Rapunzel in Corona, and Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana in New Orleans.
The brunette king is exhausted. He just wants to go home and see his friends, especially Carlos. While he has been away, Ben realized his feelings for the white-haired boy are much more than a crush. He is determined to ask Carlos out on a date as soon as he sees him again. He tells Chip, his chauffer, to take him to the University of Auradon; he can't wait another day to see Carlos. The boy genius has started his first week of college classes there.
Although he is only seventeen years old, Carlos skipped a couple years of high school and was able to graduate with Ben, Mal, Evie, and Jay. He aced his math and science courses, and Ben tutored him in literature and history.
Arriving at the university, Ben jumps out of the limo and goes looking for Carlos. He considers calling Carlos and asking where he is, but he wants to surprise the white-haired boy. He knows which dorm Carlos and Jay are living in, so he starts walking in that direction. Walking past a small, tree-filled courtyard, the king spots a familiar head of white hair. Ben grins and starts walking faster. Then, he sees that Carlos is not alone. A handsome, dark-haired boy is sitting close to Carlos under a tree. Both boys have textbooks and notebooks scattered around them. He hopes that they are just study partners. Carlos hasn't mentioned a boyfriend during their phone calls, texts, or Skype calls during the three months he was away.
The young king is almost to the two boys when he sees the dark-haired boy nudge Carlos' shoulder. When he sees Carlos smile at him, Ben unconsciously growls. He's jealous and instantly dislikes the new kid. He doesn't like the way he is looking at Carlos and touching him.
Carlos hears the growl and looks at Dude, but the dog is sleeping peacefully beside him. Looking up, he sees Ben. A huge, beaming smile immediately lights up his face. He stands up and runs to the king. He jumps into his arms, and Ben wraps his arms around him in a tight hug. The brunette young man is shocked to see the teenager has grown several inches in his absence. He guesses Carlos is around 5'10" now, just a few inches shorter than his own height of 6'1". Ben closes his emerald eyes and nuzzles his face into Carlos' neck.
The white-haired boy feels a little embarrassed about hugging Ben. He is desperately trying to hide his feelings for the young king. He knows that Ben could have anybody he wants. He would never want to date a villain's son. Carlos closes his own dark chocolate brown eyes, wanting to savor this moment. He wants to pretend for a minute that Ben likes him as more than a friend.
Meanwhile, Ryder Fitzherbert is feeling very confused and jealous. Ever since meeting Carlos in their physics class, he has developed a small crush on the white-haired teenager. Carlos has mentioned Ben several times, but he didn't think that they were dating. Now though seeing Ben and Carlos hugging, Ryder isn't sure what their relationship is. He clears his throat to gain their attention.
Carlos startles and reluctantly pulls away from Ben. He forgot Ryder was there. He quickly introduces the two young men.
"Ben, this is Ryder Fitzherbert. We were studying for our physics test coming up," Carlos says as he gestures to Ryder. "And, Ryder, this is King Ben, one of my very best friends."
Ben's smile falters a little as he is described as his best friend, but he is determined to tell Carlos how he really feels. Hopefully soon, he will be introduced as Carlos' boyfriend. Now, he concentrates on the new kid.
"Hello, Ryder, it's nice to meet you. I had the pleasure of meeting your parents a few weeks ago. Prince Eugene and Princess Rapunzel are fine rulers, and your city is beautiful," the king says as he shakes his hand, his grip a little tighter than usual, but using his royal manners his mother taught him.
Ryder returns the firm grip as he replies just as politely, "It's an honor to meet you, King Ben. I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay in Corona. My parents said it was wonderful having you come to visit."
Carlos watches their interaction and notices the odd tension. He doesn't understand why Ben and Ryder are being so formal. Their words are pleasant but spoken in a cool tone. He doesn't know that Ben and Ryder see themselves as rivals for Carlos' affections.
Wanting to get Carlos alone, Ben asks Ryder, "Do you mind if I steal Carlos? We have a lot to talk about."
Ryder wants to say no, but he can see that Carlos wants to go with the king. "Sure, Carlos and I can study later."
Carlos looks at Ryder, "Thanks. I'll see you in class tomorrow."
Ben leads Carlos and Dude to his waiting limo. He goes to put his arm around Carlos' shoulder, but he is too tall now. The seventeen-year-old boy notices Ben's disgruntled look and chuckles. "Jay doesn't like my new height either. He says he lost his arm rest."
The king laughs. "Did you have Mal cast a growth spell on you?"
"No, you jerk," Carlos says, mock offended. "Keep it up, and I will have her cast that spell and be taller than you."
"No, you're perfect just the way you are," Ben replies softly, blushing.
Carlos blushes too and smiles shyly. Both boys stand there awkwardly until Ben gestures to the waiting limo. "Do you want to go back to the castle?"
The white-haired boy nods, and they walk to the limo in silence.
Chip opens the back door for them. "It's good to see you again, Mr. de Vil," he says, smiling.
"It's good to see you too, Chip, but please call me Carlos."
"Whatever you say, Mr. de Vil," the chauffer says, smirking. It is a running joke between the two men.
Carlos just laughs as he gets into the limo. Ben smiles at the two of them as he follows Carlos into the backseat. He asks Carlos how he'd liked his first week of college classes. The white-haired boy immediately starts talking about his classes and his latest ideas for inventions. All the technical details go over Ben's head, but he loves seeing how excited and passionate Carlos can get about the things he loves. The king then gets distracted, thinking about what other things could inspire that much excitement and passion from the white-haired boy.
Carlos notices Ben's blank face. "I'm sorry. I'm boring you with all of this."
Ben quickly reassures the teenager as he blushes, hoping it's not obvious what he was thinking about. "No, you're not boring me. I'm just a little tired from my trip."
After arriving at the castle, the two boys walk quickly up to Ben's suite. The king hopes he doesn't run into his parents. He wants to talk to Carlos before he loses his confidence. Inside the suite, Dude runs to his dog bed Ben bought for him since Carlos spends so much time in his rooms. Carlos sits down on the couch and just looks at Ben. The king sits beside Carlos, but he can't tell what the other boy is thinking.
Carlos sighs. "I just really missed you."
"I missed you, too, a lot." The brunette young man takes a deep breath. Now is the moment. "I actually have something I want to ask you."
"You know you can ask me anything," Carlos says, looking at Ben with his deep brown eyes, reflecting sincerity and reassurance.
Ben is really nervous and blushing. "Will you have dinner with me tonight? Like a date?"
Carlos is shocked. He had no idea that Ben returned his feelings. He quickly nods. "Yes, I'd love to have dinner with you."
"Really?" Ben can't believe his good luck.
"Yes, really," the white-haired boy says, smiling and blushing. He feels as though he's dreaming.
They both stare awkwardly at each other again until they start laughing. Ben reaches out his hand, his fingers tracing Carlos' smile. "You are so beautiful," he whispers.
Carlos shakes his head. "No, I'm not. You're the beautiful one. I can't believe you asked me out."
"You could have anybody you want. Why would you want me?" Carlos' insecurities are coming out. He doesn't see what Ben sees in him.
The king holds the white-haired boy's hand and squeezes softly. "You are the only one I want. You're so smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous. I like you, Carlos."
Looking into Ben's emerald green eyes, Carlos decides to trust Ben on this. The king has never lied to him. "Ok. I like you, too."
"Can I kiss you? I really, really want to kiss you right now."
Carlos blushes again. He's nervous. He's never kissed anyone before, but he wants to kiss Ben. Taking a deep breath, he whispers, "Yes."
Ben leans in closer and puts his hand on the back of Carlos' neck. He touches his lips to Carlos' soft ones. The seventeen-year-old boy lets out a tiny gasp at the feeling and his hands come up to grasp the brunette's shoulders as the kiss deepens.
The king tries to keep the kiss easy and gentle, but it feels so good kissing Carlos. He never felt this way when he kissed Audrey or Mal. He pulls back a little, so they can both catch their breaths. "Ok?"
Carlos nods and pulls Ben into another kiss. He can't get enough of Ben's lips. He wants to kiss him forever. The brunette's tongue traces his lips, so he opens his mouth to let Ben's tongue slide inside. The kisses become longer and deeper, full of passion and need.
Ben leans back and tries to gather his thoughts. He feels so out of control. He hears Carlos whimper. He suddenly growls, and his eyes turn a darker shade of green. He kisses the white-haired boy again. He nips at his full lower lip. The kisses are rougher than their first few kisses.
Carlos moans at the bite to his lip. He kisses back just as ferociously. He is acting purely on instinct. His hands are in Ben's hair as he tries to pull him closer.
The king finally moves away from Carlos. He just looks at the other boy's darkened eyes, red, kiss-bitten lips, and dazed expression. He wants to kiss him again but knows that they can't get carried away.
Carlos has been looking at Ben too. He loves seeing his hair all rumpled and his lips swollen and pink. He loves knowing that he made Ben look like that. "Wow."
"Yeah, I never felt anything like that before," Ben confesses.
"Well, that was my first kiss, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I thought it was amazing though," Carlos says, nervous about his lack of experience.
Ben is shocked. "I'm your first kiss?"
The king growls. "Good. I don't like the idea of anybody else kissing you."
Carlos is confused. Ben's always been very laid-back. "Possessive much?"
"I guess. You must bring it out in me," Ben says, a little confused too. He just knows that he wants Carlos all to himself. He hates the thought of somebody else kissing and touching the beautiful, young man.
"I can live with it, but only if I can be possessive too. Now, that I have you, I don't want to share," Carlos says with confidence.
Ben smiles. "I'm all yours. I'm not sharing you either."
Carlos laughs. "You don't have to worry. You are the only one who wants me."
"That's not true. I've seen how other guys look at you, especially that Ryder kid," Ben says jealously.
"Ryder? We're just friends. He doesn't want me," Carlos says. He's completely oblivious to Ryder's crush on him.
"Yes, he does. You should have seen the way he was looking at you today. He wants you." Ben starts growling again.
"Well, I don't want him, so you can stop growling." Carlos secretly loves Ben's growling and jealousy.
The king looks abashed. "Sorry. I didn't realize I was doing it."
"It's ok. You are the only guy that I want," the white-haired boy says sincerely.
Suddenly, Carlos' stomach begins to growl. Both boys laugh loudly. "Now, who's the one growling?"
"Shut up. I'm hungry," he says, a little embarrassed.
"I did promise you dinner. I'll call down to the kitchen and ask them to send our meals up here if that's ok with you?"
"Perfect," Carlos replies. "I'll just let Jay and the girls know I won't be joining them for dinner, so they don't worry."
The king makes the call to the kitchen, asking Mrs. Potts to send up Carlos' favorite foods. He called her earlier to ask her to prepare this special meal. She was delighted to help. She has a soft spot for Carlos, especially because he raves about her chocolate cake. After hanging up the phone, he looks across the room at his new boyfriend, who is texting his friends. Ben can't believe he has Carlos now. It feels like a dream come true.
After he's done texting his friends and reading all their teasing about his dinner with Ben, Carlos looks at the young king and smiles. He feels so incredibly lucky that the brunette boy reciprocates his feelings. He's so happy to be able to call Ben his boyfriend.
The two young men eat their special meal while laughing and talking together. Ben tells Carlos all about the different cities he visited and the people he met. The white-haired boy is very curious. He's never been on vacation. He only knows Auradon and the Isle of the Lost. The king vows to himself to take Carlos on a trip as soon as he can. He wants to show his boyfriend the world and introduce him to new, exciting things.
Carlos tells Ben about the classes he is taking. He's thrilled about the challenging work and the professors who push him to achieve more. He especially likes his mechanical engineering professor and his class. Their term project is to build a life-size robot. The boy genius already has a lot of ideas for his robot.
After they finish their food and Carlos eating a large piece of chocolate cake, the boys head back to the couch. They kiss some more and snuggle close together, talking quietly. They are content just to hold each other. They don't want to rush into anything. When it gets late, Ben escorts Carlos back to his dorm room. He gives the white-haired boy a soft kiss good night and leaves, smiling and humming happily.
The seventeen-year-old boy goes into his room, and Jay immediately sits up on his bed and starts smirking. "So, how was your date?"
Carlos smiles dreamily. "Amazing."
Jay laughs. "You look like you got dosed with a love spell."
"Hey! I do not!" Carlos yells as his best friend. "I'm just happy."
"I'm glad, bro. It's about time you two figured out your feelings and got together. But, if he hurts you, he's dead," Jay states determinedly. He doesn't care if Ben is the king. Nobody hurts his little brother.
"Thanks, Jay, but he's not going to hurt me," Carlos says, feeling comforted by Jay's protectiveness. He's grateful his friends are always willing to support him.
Carlos gets ready for bed and falls asleep quickly, for once not reading one of his science books late into the night. As he sleeps, a soft smile appears on his face. Meanwhile, the same smile is on the king's face as he slumbers in his own bed. Both young men have very sweet dreams.