For Love or the Kingdom

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners.

The non-existent original characters and the plot are the property of me, Lori 94.

I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

There will only be a few chapters because it's cute and fluffy and not very complicated. In other words: There's not much in the angst department.

This 'realm' I've created allows for all sexual persuasions but royals are still expected to produce heirs within wedlock.


Chapter 1
Prince Edward's POV
It's my birthday. Well, mine and my sister's birthday…and I lie in my private chamber awaiting the summons of our father. Every year, Father has a private conversation with each of us. A knock on the door tells me that the time has come. "Enter." I say even as the door begins to open of its own accord. Looking up, I gaze upon my sister's face. "What is it, Rosalie?"

"Father has sent me to call you, Edward. Apparently, we're supposed to join him in the throne-room together this year." She says fluffing her long honey-blonde hair.

I nod and stand, running my hands through my reddish-brown locks.

She looks me over and tugs my regal clothing into place and fastens a cape around my throat. "You could at least make the effort to appear princely! You and I are about to see the man who is, not just our father, but also our King. Present yourself accordingly!"

I sigh, grabbing my crown and placing it on my head as she takes the first steps down the hallway toward the throne-room.

We may be twins but we are nothing alike. She's blonde like our father while my hair is reddish like our mother. She is regal and elegant, but I am much more laid back and casual. She plays the part of royalty and I couldn't care less about matters of state.

I'm just moments older then my darling sister. According to ancient tradition, I'm supposed to inherit the throne but our father has yet to announce whether he will honor that or choose a different path. I hope beyond hope that he picks some other option because my heart and head…not to mention my desires…lie elsewhere. To take the throne, I would have to marry and be able to produce heirs but I've never really been drawn to any female I've had the delight of meeting. On the other hand, I have not only noticed the bulging muscles and lean bodies of my father's men at arms, I've been obsessed by just the thought of them. The uniforms and the armor make me desperately yearn for a man's touch. It's wrong…I know it is. I can't produce an heir if I'm only coupling with another man.

My father has mentioned to me before that this is important. He's also mentioned that he has a friend in another kingdom who married a woman for the sole purpose of begetting an heir while keeping a male lover on the side, but he condemns that practice.

As I open the door for my sister to enter the throne-room, I wonder what he'll be discussing with us this year.

"My son…My daughter…Welcome! I've decided that it's time to declare my heir. Which of you will take the throne when I'm gone? Which of you will guide our kingdom into the future?" He asks. "I'll tell you which one! The one who finds a suitable spouse first will be declared the future ruler of Masen."

The words rush around and through me. He's telling us that we are in competition for the throne. If I find a wife before Rosalie finds a husband, I will rule…but what if I don't want to rule? I grin to myself. Rosalie would make an excellent Queen. Maybe I should let her find a husband…maybe I could even help her find one! Then maybe I'd be free to find love in whichever form it may take…

Days go by as we search the local nobility for suitable spouses. Days turn to weeks as we meet many men and women of all stations of life. None of the women make me feel what I've felt for the men I've dreamed of. None of the men are good enough for my sister…none of them are good enough to become her king or my queen. Weeks transform into months as I travel to the outlying countries continuing my search until I reach the kingdom of Father's friend; Aro. He rules Volterra with a heavy hand. He is fair and just but his justice is swift and harsh. I know little about him but I do recall that he has three children around the same age as Rose and me; two sons and a daughter. I don't think I was ever told their names…

Prince Carlisle's POV
The ruling family of Volterra has gathered in the throne-room for an announcement.

My mother and father, the king and queen, sit regally in their thrones. I'm twenty years old, their oldest child and heir to the throne of this kingdom. Tanya's just over two years younger then me and my younger brother, Peter, is just about 3 years younger then her. He sits on the floor while Tanya perches on a chair next to our mother's throne and I stand before my father.

"Prince Edward of Masen is coming here?" I ask. I recall meeting his father once but it was so very long ago. I've heard that he's a beautiful man and I've seen many pictures of him.

"Yes, my son…" Father begins.

"I thought your friend, Edward, was a king, Father…" Peter interrupts.

I smirk as Father corrects him. "He is, Pete. The prince who's coming here is King Edward's son."

Peter looks up at us. "Oh; I'll be quiet now."

I repeat my question. "So why is he coming here?"

"He's on a quest to find suitable spouses for either his sister or himself. I wonder at his decision to travel the countryside. I would've sent the ruler of every territory a letter asking them to send the three most good looking candidates to my door." My father says.

I roll my eyes. Yes, King Aro of Volterra is a lazy man who expects everything to be brought to him instead of going to the thing he wants. I can say proudly that I'm nothing like him. I admire Edward for making this journey and I can't wait to meet him.

"Did you hear me, Carlisle?" He asks.

"Sorry, Father, I was distracted." I say, noticing that the rest of the family has already left the room.

"Well, let's hope you don't get distracted while you're on duty with my personal guard!" He says with amusement.

I've been asking for this for several months! "Really, Father?"

"Yes, Son… I think you're ready for it." He answers.

"I promise you won't regret this!" I run off to meet the head of his personal guard and one of my best friends. Finding him near the stables, I shout, "Emmett! Emmett! Father has given me leave to be a member of his personal guard when Prince Edward comes!"

"Well, congratulations, Carlisle! I'm glad to see one of my best pupils join the division! Let's suit you up with a uniform and take our places with the king." Emmett says.

He takes me to the tailor, who sets me up with perfectly fitting trousers and a shirt made of thin material that clings to my body. I look into a mirror and think to myself how handsome this makes me look. I wonder if I'll catch the attention of any of our kingdom's subjects in this. Just as the tailor finishes the last stitch on my shirt, the trumpet sounds. Emmett runs off to get the guard together and I stay behind long enough for the tailor to cut the thread. Once I reach my father's chamber, I take my place in the guard.

Father nods to me as he steps into our midst. "Shall we greet our visitor?"

"Yes, Sire!" We all speak in unison because we know this was not a question addressed only to me. The guard works as one entity and, unless King Aro uses a hand signal to indicate that he means only one of us, any words from him are meant for all of us.

Emmett and I flank him as he begins the short walk to the courtyard where Prince Edward will be directed. The others follow a few steps behind the three of us.

The man I see dismounting his stallion in our courtyard is so lovely…I find myself strangely fascinated by him.

My father makes the hand signal that the guard should remain in their places. Emmett and I know that we should be a little closer than the rest of the unit so we step forward once more before stopping and remaining on guard. Prince Edward answers my father's greeting and, as they walk toward the great hall, I hear my father ask about the progress of his search. I move my focus to his face as he answers that it's not going very well. His gaze seems drawn to me as well, so I smirk and wink. As soon as my father suggests that Edward allow him to send several candidates to Masen in a few days time, Edward agrees but requests to spend the night here. I am selected to show him to a room and make sure he has everything he could need for the night.

The prince shyly asks for his saddlebags and a bath in his room, so I escort him to the door and hurry to find everything. The stable boy hands over the bags and a maid brings the tub and kettles. My father stops me in the hall and asks me to make sure Prince Edward is comfortable and to report to him in the morning. I agree and knock on the door.

Prince Edward permits me to enter and I take advantage of the fact that he doesn't immediately ask me to leave. He unpacks his bags and doesn't seem to notice that I'm still there ogling him.

Prince Edward's POV
As I ride through the main gate, I recall that this is also the friend Father condemns for his male side-lover. I smirk at a pretty girl but she does nothing to stir my desires.

Aro himself walks into the courtyard, with his honor guard in tow, as I dismount my stallion. "Edward, my boy! How are you?"

"I'm wonderful, Your Highness. Thank you for receiving me." I say glancing at his guards. "How is everything here?"

"Well, Edward; all is well." He says leading me into the great hall of his castle. "Tell me of your parents and sister! I hear you are scouting the realm for candidates that are worthy of marriage to either you or Rosalie! How goes the search?"

"Not well," I sigh and glance around noting one of Aro's guards. "The search has almost reached its limits, Sire. I fear we'll have to choose someone at random and hope they don't damn the kingdom…hope the serfs and peasants don't rise against us."

The man smirks at me and then he winks.

"Nonsense, dear boy! I'm sure you'll find someone here in my country! In fact, why don't you have a relaxing trip home and I'll search my kingdom for you, sending the ones I consider worthy of you and Rosalie directly to your door." Aro says regally.

I smile gratefully and try to hide the flustered feelings from the subtle encounter. "There is something to be said for convenience, isn't there? My parents do wish I'd come home soon…If you don't mind, Your Highness, I'd like to rest for the night. I'll head out for Masen in the morning and the rest of your suggestion can play itself out."

He agrees and motions for a man from his guard to show me to a room.

The man who steps forward is the same one who winked at me.

I quietly ask him for a bath and my saddlebags, feeling oddly shy. Once they are brought to my room, I unpack but the man stays just inside my suite. He is handsome and I'm getting hard just thinking of how intently he's watching me. "Is there something I can do for you?"

"No, Prince Edward, King Aro instructed that I be of service in any way you might request." He says.

"Did he…?" I remark.

"Indeed, Your Highness, he knows that I'm willing to accommodate many desires." He says.

My interest sparks. "Are you indeed?" I comment as my eyes take in his form.

His hair is like satin; certainly blonde but not honey as my sister's is. It's deeper…darker. His skin seems smooth and silky. His eyes are deep and as blue as the lakes back home. His lips look soft and moist. His body is muscular but not to the point it becomes unsightly. The uniform he's wearing is wonderfully tight-fitting. His chest is well defined and I can see his nipples because the material of the uniform is thin. His abdominal muscles are…like a washboard!

Looking lower, I see that his thighs are tight and lean.

He turns to allow my further inspection. His ass is beautiful and I just want to bite it.

Making up my mind, I push him forward into the wall. "So, Aro's got my number…He knows somehow that my personal preference is for men, not women. I'll ask your discretion if I indulge."

"Of course, Prince! I'd never publicize any private interactions!" He says.

"And if your king asks?" I demand.

"I'll simply inform him that I was of satisfactory service." The man says breathing heavily. "He wouldn't want the details anyway."

I nod slightly, letting him regain his balance. "Have you ever been intimate with a man?"

"Yes, Prince Edward, but only a few times and not with any ill side effects." He replies.

I nod considering my risk. "You may call me Edward for tonight…and your name is?"

"C-Carl; I'm Carl. I'm a favored member of the king's guard." He says with a smile.

"And for tonight, Carl, you are my lover." I say advancing on him.

Our lips meet and sparks fly as our tongues dance. God, how I wish I could find a woman who'd make my father proud and make me feel the way this man does. Yes…I'll indulge for now and perhaps when my sister is married and settled upon her throne, I'll be free to return for Carl.

He bathes me with a firm but tender touch. He lets me kiss him and touch him and he even lies beneath me in the bed as I gain the intimate knowledge of his body. I hope this man is true to his word. I hope I can trust him with the only thing I've ever kept from my family.

The next morning, Carl is gone before I wake. My horse is ready and waiting for me to ride back to Masen and King Aro waves from his balcony with a girl next to him. As I mount, I wonder if that's his wife or daughter and then I wonder if I'll ever meet his sons.

Prince Carlisle's POV
Finally, he turns and asks if there is something he can do for me.

I smirk and tell him no. I feel not a twinge of guilt as I falsely inform him that King Aro had instructed me to be of service in any way he might need me. I hope I've read the interest in his eyes correctly… I hope his true interest is in men not women…I know it's a long shot but I feel a pull toward this lovely man and even if it can only be a one night love affair, I want this to happen so very badly. I want to see those emerald eyes dance as I touch his powerful body and kiss those soft lips as he enters mine.

When the prince questions my implied orders, I further hint that I'm not opposed to that order. He takes a moment to undress me with his eyes. I not only allow it, but turn to accommodate him.

Suddenly he pushes me to the wall facing us. I feel his hand at the back of my neck and his hard cock pressing against my ass. I fight a moan. Prince Edward has assumed that my father knows of his most intimate desires and indicates that he'd appreciate discretion on my part if he takes me up on my offer. I reassure him that his secret is safe with me and even if the king were to ask, he wouldn't get any details from me…which is true because, let's face it; who wants to know the most intimate details of their child's sex life?

When I've regained my equilibrium, he asks if I've ever been with a man. I tell him the truth; that I have done so on several occasions and never suffered any ill effects. Smiling, I accept permission to use his given name but telling him my name is something else entirely. I use the first half of my given name in an attempt to give him some part of me and yet keep my true identity secret for a bit longer. I also indicate that I'm a favored member of my father's guard, instead of admitting that I'm King Aro's son and heir.

He takes that opportunity to call me his lover, if only for that night, and as he comes at me I recognize his as the more dominant role. I let him take the lead and, once our lips meet, I'm blinded by the sparks of passion that ignite between us. God, how I wish I could feel this way forever.

We're both quite breathless when the kiss breaks, but he asks me to help him bathe before we move things to the bed. I smile and watch him undress. His shirt is first to be removed and seeing the muscles of his chest ripple, I become harder. As he sheds each item of clothing, I fight a moan. His ass is so beautiful! His thighs are amazing! I even love the look of his feet. I use a firm but tender touch to cleanse him of the dirt and grime of the road. He kisses and touches me so sweetly and, as I lie beneath him in the bed, I know this man will own my heart forever. His intimate knowledge of my body is put to good use and we fall asleep in each others' arms.

In the light of a new day, I hope that this man…my prince…my Edward…feels the same way as I do, but I also know that it's not possible for us. We need heirs for our fathers' kingdoms…and we cannot produce an heir between the two of us. So I kiss his lips lightly and rush to my suite with tears in my eyes before he awakens to try to stop me. Emmett is waiting there for me, so I bleakly tell him to get Edward's horse ready and disappear into my chamber.

I sink into my soft bed and cry my eyes out until there's a knock at my door. "Carlisle? Are you alright, son?"

I sniff and make an attempt to look presentable but, as soon as the door opens, my parents can tell I'm upset. Unable to look my father in the eye, I confess my seduction of Edward to my mother.

She holds me and turns to my father. "Well, what shall we do about this?"

"It's unfortunate, Heidi, but the boy knows his place. He knows that he's the heir to Volterra and he needs heirs of his own." He says coldly. "If his beloved wasn't also a prince and in need of heirs, he could follow my example…marrying for heirs but keeping a lover."

I glare at my father. "I'd never do that to him! If I'm married, I'm not going to cheat! I see what it does to Alec when he has to watch you with Mother! It kills him a little bit every day that you're with her and not him! I'd prefer to marry the man I love but I'll have to settle for marrying a woman for heirs."

"That or I could disown you and allow your brother to take the throne when he's old enough." He stares grimly at me.

"This is our son, Aro! There are other ways to get heirs these days. Our son doesn't have to go through the agony of heartbreak by following your example!" Mother says decisively. "There is a kingdom that has been making much progress in scientific research and they can fertilize a woman's egg without sexual contact. What if we find a beautiful but fairly poor girl and pay for her to carry and birth the baby? She could also help take care of the child as it grows. We could employ her as the baby's nanny and governess. That would provide heirs for the kingdom, love for our son and the girl would benefit from being employed and earning a living."

"That is a very interesting proposition, Mother." I say. "Father, would you consider it?"

He sighs. "That is unacceptable to me, Carlisle. Perhaps, if I send you and Tanya to Masen… one of you can still be chosen."

My heart feels heavy, but I resign myself to being apart from the man I love and begin to prepare for the journey to Masen while my father and sister set about deciding which of our subjects will be going with us. After packing, I spend the next three days moping in my room.

Prince Edward's POV
Since I don't stop, I get home in a day and a half. After seeking out my parents, I inform them of King Aro's suggestion and tell them to expect visitors within the week. My mother greets me warmly and orders up some tea, insisting that I indulge her with a visit because it's been so long. Of course, I relent with only a token argument since I am quite tired from my journey.

A few days later, I'm summoned to the throne-room. When I arrive, Rosalie is there as well. We enter together and see a multitude of men and women. I sit at my father's left while Rosalie takes the seat to his right.

"Edward, Rosalie…Thank you for getting here so promptly. Aro has sent these men and women for consideration as your spouses, so I hope you are able to find one of them worthy." Father says.

I spend many hours speaking inanely to the nine women Aro believes to be worthy of taking on the role of my queen. None of them have the fire I sensed in Carl. None of them sent sparks through my consciousness as he'd done but I narrow it down to five before dinner. I also notice that Aro's own daughter is in the mix. She's one of the five I can stand having a conversation with for longer then ten minutes. Rosalie seems enthralled with two men and just before Father adjourns us for dinner, we introduce each other to the candidates who are left.

"Rosalie, these are Alice, Jane, Jessica, Lauren and Tanya." I say motioning to each in turn. "Tanya is King Aro's daughter. Alice and Jane are daughters of Aro's friends Felix and Jeanette Brandon. Jessica is the only daughter of another friend of King Aro's, Ben Cheney and his wife, Angela. Lauren is Aro's niece by way of his sister, Gianna and her husband Marcus."

She elegantly greets each woman I've introduced before turning to the two men. "Edward, these are two of King Aro's guards. I have found them to be knowledgeable and charming as well as good conversationalists. Please meet Sir Emmett McCarty and Aro's own son, Prince Carlisle."

I nod to Emmett and shake his hand but my gaze is drawn to Carlisle's as soon as she says his name. I can hardly believe this; it's Carl. He winks so I smirk and school my features so they show nothing of my true feelings. Graciously, I keep calm and motion for us to move into the great hall for dinner. My mind is racing. Carl…the man I made love to- the man I want and perhaps even love is not the man I thought he was. He's a Prince- not a guard…I made love to a Prince…Prince Carlisle…The man I want is not only unavailable but in the same boat I am. I've come to yearn for him and he knew all along that we could never be more then a one night love affair. After leading the group into the great hall, I suddenly get very angry. Glaring at him, I storm past the girls and out of the castle and before I know what's going on I'm down in the stables.

Prince Carlisle's POV
On the road I confess everything to Emmett, and we come up with a plan. I hope it works. Our carriages are met by finely vested servants and we are lead into the palace throne-room to await the king's children.

I see them as they enter the large room. Rosalie is lovely and very regal looking in her gown. Edward, however, looks indifferent to the proceedings, but he has yet to see me so I nudge Emmett forward to speak to Princess Rosalie. As the day goes by, she narrows it down until only Emmett and I are left while Edward is still entertaining five of the girls.

"Sir Emmett, I have yet to speak to your friend." The princess says. "Though, he seems not to have noticed since he's totally focused on my brother and the women being considered as his bride."

"This is Prince Carlisle, Milady. He's got a slight problem and needs help in dealing with it." Emmett says elbowing me.

I glare at him.

"Perhaps my father or brother might have a solution…" She suggests.

"Actually, they are the problem, Princess. He met your brother when he came to visit King Aro. They got off very well." Emmett tells her.

"Then what's the problem?" She chuckles.

I feel the blood rush to my face. "I'm in love with him, Princess Rosalie."

"I see…that is only a problem if you don't have the balls to tell him." Her face shows amusement and a bit of steel. "Well, I've made up my mind, but I'll keep you in the entourage until after dinner and announce my choice to my father then."

King Edward signals to someone and the dinner bell rings. Prince Edward introduces five women to his sister, including my sister and cousin. I hold my breath as she makes the introductions for Emmett and me. His eyes meet mine and I wink. I see a flash of recognition as he smirks and motions for us all to continue into the great hall, where we will be eating. The eight of us follow him into the great hall when suddenly Edward seems to break. I wish I knew what was going on in his head. The glare on his face as he storms from the great hall shows so much anger…so much hurt. I did that to him. I shouldn't be here… I shouldn't have come.

"Emmett, enjoy your bride. I'm sorry, but I can't stay here." I say hearing my voice break even as my heart does. "I have to find my things and then make my way home. Don't worry about me; I'll be fine." As I leave the room, I hear Rosalie tell her father that she has chosen Emmett and ask for a private conversation before dinner.

I approach the maid at the door. "Can someone tell me where my things might've been taken?"

"Right this way, Prince." She says as she walks up some stairs. We come upon a door and she opens it for me. "This one's yours. I'm sure you'll be accommodated if it's unsatisfactory."

"I'm not staying." I say. "I just needed some things for my trip home. I'll ask you to please send the trunk back to Volterra for me."

"If you wish; your highness," She says as she leaves.

I quickly pack my saddlebags with a change of clothes and some bread I'd pilfered from the dinner table before grabbing my sword and dagger. As I make my way through the castle, I notice a framed picture of my prince. "Home sounds good…but is it really home without you there?" I ask the regal looking man in the portrait as a tear rolls down my cheek.

"You shouldn't leave just yet, Carlisle." Emmett says from behind me.

"Why not?" I ask. "Why should I stay…? I'll just cause more pain…more heartache. He'll never want me now; he's too upset with me."

Prince Edward's POV
I rage and pace and cry and scream my discontent. "When, the Hell, do I get what I want? When can I make my own fucking life decisions? I don't want to marry a woman! I don't want a woman's soft fleshy body beneath me!" I yell at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down my face. "I want the lean, fit muscles of Carl-Carlisle…I want Carlisle's hard and well built, manly body under me! Why, the fuck, can't I have it?"

"You can." Only two words tell me he's there. He's heard everything; seen everything. What will he say? What will he do?

I whirl to face my father.

Rosalie and Emmett are standing with him.

"How, Father?" Angry tears continue to run down my face as I confront him. "How do I get what I want? You condemn his father for being married to a woman and keeping a male lover on the side, so to do that myself is out of the question. I cannot produce an heir of my own blood if I love and marry a man, therefore I cannot rule your kingdom. He is in the same situation. He's a prince who needs an heir and…"

"Wants a man…Edward, even if you'd consider marrying a woman and keeping Carlisle on the side, Aro wouldn't allow it. It's his son and Carlisle is a prince." My father looks down at me. "I don't condemn Aro for marrying a woman and keeping a man as a lover…Son, don't you understand? I condemn him for marrying and keeping a lover. The genders don't matter to me!"

I frown. "I'm very confused…"

He sighs. "Edward…my poor sweet son; my namesake…I condemn adultery. Aro loves his male lover and used his wife to breed when he should've chosen one or the other! When he married Heidi, there were no other means for the production of heirs. Now, there are modern methods that do not need sexual contact."

"Modern methods?" I ask.

"Did you not see the scientific advancements of some of the other countries, Edward?" My father asks, exasperated.

"I didn't pay much attention." I answer. "When they offered gifts and tokens from their countries, I just sent them home to you."

"I know," He says patting me on the shoulder. "That's why I considered passing Rosalie the throne, son. You haven't been very dedicated to the role of leader and king. Rosalie and Emmett will be married and presented as my heirs, but only if you don't shape up and present me with your own suitable spouse. Carlisle is acceptable to me, Edward, and I believe you met him while you were in Volterra; did you not? That means you just have to present him to me and you will be allowed rule and still marry the man you want, Edward. I will arrange for the methods I was speaking about. Be happy, my son. It's all your mother and I ever wanted for our children."

I look at my sister. "You've always wanted the throne, Rosalie. You'd be a good Queen to the people of Masen. I'd hate to take that from you."

"Edward, you can be a good king for our people, you just need to be more attentive to the business side of things. If he's agreeable, perhaps Carlisle can help with that." Rosalie winks at me. "Thanks for finding Emmett for me, though. I really like him and we're still getting married."

I blush as Emmett shakes my hand and leans in. "You'll want to hurry and catch him, Edward. He was very upset when you ran from the room. I don't know if he's gone to the chamber he was assigned or if he's found a way to go home to Volterra. I'll help you look for him, if you'd like."

I gasp and quickly peck Rosalie on her cheek before running up the stairs with Emmett on my heels. We hurry in opposite directions and I grab the first servant I see. "Do you know where Prince Carlisle's room is?"

"Second floor, Your Highness; this wing." She says.

I rush and knock into a suit of armor. A maid stops to help me pick it up so I ask her if she knows anything about Prince Carlisle.

"I-I-I think he's on his way to the stables. H-He said something about home, Your Highness." She says.

"NO!" I run back down and find Emmett and my father talking to him. "Carlisle…" I breathe his name.

He turns.

I wait as my father and my sister's intended leave us alone. "I-."

Prince Carlisle's POV
"He's not upset with you, Carlisle. Talk to him before you leave, and if that's what comes of it, then at least you'll know." Emmett says walking behind me as I head to the stables, determined to leave this place without causing any more heartache.

I stop, seeing King Edward standing in front of my horse's stall. "Your Majesty…"

"Prince Carlisle, I have a favor to ask of you…" He says.

Considering the wrong I've done his family, I do owe him, so I nod.

"In recent days, I've noticed a change in my son. This letter from your father tells me that it's your fault…at least in part." King Edward says. "Tanya gave this to me just before dinner. I know all about your encounter with my son, Carlisle."

I look into the eyes that so resemble the man I love. "What can I do?"

"Talk to him…" He says quietly as his eyes focus on something behind me.

Instinctively, I know it's my prince who has just whispered my name and I turn.

I barely notice that Emmett and the king have left. With my own heart breaking, I know that the least I can do before I leave him is apologize for the pain I've caused. "I'm so sorry, Prince Edward." I say quietly.

He sighs. "Sorry for what?"

"For misleading you… My father hadn't asked me to entertain you last week. He asked me to see that you had all you needed for that night, but you intrigued me. Your look and manner attracted me and I didn't want to let you leave the castle without looking into your beautiful green eyes and kissing your supple lips or touching your amazingly toned and powerful body. That first kiss sent so many sparks into existence that I was blinded to the pain I might be causing!" I tearfully confess. "I've told my father how I feel about you… how I seduced you… He's decided that if I follow my heart, he'll disown me. I figured that if you loved me…if you wanted me, we'd get through it somehow but now that you're so upset with me, I don't see how we can be together at all."

"I was upset, Carlisle…but not with you. I was upset with the situation." He tells me reaching his hands out to grip my arms. "I want you! I think I'm even in love with you, but I didn't see how we could be together until my father showed me!" The look in his eyes betrays the emotion behind his words.

"You want me…? You're…in love with me?" I ask in disbelief. "I've hardly dreamed…! Your father?"

"Yes, my father- he knows- I don't know how but he knows about us. He says you're an acceptable spouse for me and as soon as I present you properly, my royal duty to marry and produce heirs can be fulfilled…" He pauses and gets down to one knee. "I'd be more then honored if you, Prince Carlisle of Volterra, would accept me as your husband and lover…?"

I join him on the floor. "Truly, Edward?" I ask.

He nods as his arms wrap snugly around my waist even as his lips capture my mouth.

I'm lost in his embrace for mere seconds and I would stay there for all of eternity except for one thing: I haven't answered his question yet. "Yes…" I whisper, after breaking the kiss.

"Come to my suite, Carlisle, we have much to talk about." He whispers back.

I grin with tears in my eyes. "Yes, my love… I'm coming."

Prince Edward's POV
He said yes! The man I love said yes! I don't even try to hide my happiness as I pull him along through the halls of Masen Castle. I point to the maids who'd helped me find him. "Take Prince Carlisle's things to my chamber. He's not leaving after all."

They nod and run to do my bidding.

I call for a footman and ask him to have the cook send some warm meals up to my suite. Carlisle trails behind me but when I reach for his hand he's quick to place it in mine.

Rosalie and Emmett are standing at the door to my chambers. "Congratulations, big brother…now introduce us properly."

I smirk. "Sister, this is Prince Carlisle of Volterra; son of King Aro and Queen Heidi of Volterra. He's also the man I love and intend to marry. Prince Carlisle, this is my sister, Princess Rosalie of Masen and I believe you know her fiancé, Sir Emmett."

"Indeed… he trained me in combat and gives some very good advice sometimes. It's so good to meet you, Princess Rosalie." He says as Emmett hugs him.

"Likewise, Prince Carlisle." She says as he kisses her hand. "Edward, Father gives you until breakfast to present him."

"In that case, sister, we're going to have a discussion in my suite." I pull him into my rooms and close the door, barely pausing to hear Emmett's comment.

"Is that what they're calling it these days?" He cracks.

Our gazes lock as we face each other. "I- Carlisle, I think you'll need to start this conversation, love…because I don't have a clue where to begin."

Just as he opens his mouth to speak, we hear a knock on the door. I open it and let the maids and footman in with the requested meals and my lover's belongings. He smiles softly as I close the door after them. "I think I'll start by reminding you that my father still needs to be told that I'm not coming home from Masen."

I smirk. "I'm certain that my father is taking care of that."

"Or Tanya…" He snorts. "She was always a tattle-tale. Anyway, we have other things to think about…"

"Like what, Love?" I ask

"Heirs, Edward… Before I left home, my mother had offered my father an alternative to the usual methods of begetting heirs. He dismissed the option but she said that you could be my spouse, helping me rule the country of my birth, but we could employ a girl of less then noble birth to bear our offspring and help us care for them." He suggests. "We could still do that; it would just be for your country instead of mine."

"She would be a shared whore?" I ask, appalled. "NO! Carlisle, I would never give my body to another being then yourself, and I would expect the same of you!"

"I would never ask you to, Edward, and I hold myself to that as well!" He tells me about his father's lover and how tortured Alec is by the simple fact that he and Aro aren't a public couple. "I don't condone adultery."

I breathe a sigh of relief and clutch his hands in return. "Then, I don't understand."

"There are now scientific ways to accomplish what sex has always done in the past. It's a medical procedure; completely non-sexual. One of Volterra's neighboring kingdoms has made much advancement in this area. It's done with no sexual contact. All they need is some…" He clears his throat and whispers the rest. "They'll need some of our bodily fluid…semen, you know."

I feel blood rush to my face. "I guess we can handle that…my father actually said something like that to me earlier."

He smirks. "Anyway, this girl would undergo the procedures whenever we wish to have children. She would also live in the palace and help us raise them."

"So she'd be their nanny?" I remark.

"Yes, she'd be their mother, nanny and governess." He says pulling me to the small table and sitting us down. "We would have lots of control and our children would grow up however we want them to."

Everything is going to be fine…I grin and start to eat. He really loves me…he really said yes…

Prince Carlisle's POV
After we eat, Edward lures me to his bed with just a few words. "Carl, my love…it's been too long since I had you in my arms…"

"I couldn't agree more, my prince." I reply lacing my fingers with his. "Shall we remedy that?"

He smiles when I kiss him lightly on the lips. "I took charge last time…do you want to return the favor, Love?"

I shake my head slowly. "I so enjoyed being under you…"

"And I enjoyed having you there." He stands swiftly and takes my mouth with his.

No further words are spoken as he undresses me and then himself. I moan just seeing his naked body but the moment his hands begin to touch my skin I'm insatiable. I lay there and let him touch, stroke and massage my chest. Then he focuses on my nipples; licking and nipping at them. I cry out his name in pleasure but he moves on. His lips caress my abdominal muscles on his way down my body but when he reaches my waist, he teases me with a kiss to my cock before retracing his previous actions. I want to cry as he moves back up my body but he's soon face to face with me.

"You're so hard, baby. Is that all for me?" He grins.

Panting, I can only nod.

"Talk to me, love; I want to hear you." His voice is so commanding.

"Yes, Edward… It's yours; all yours. Take it, please?" I answer desperately.

He kisses me passionately once more before making a bee-line for my cock.

His mouth only hovers so I ask again. "Please, Edward; I need…"

Suddenly his lips open as his mouth engulfs my poor needy cock. I don't know what to do with my hands so I begin to run my fingers through his hair; it's so very soft under my touch. His hand moves to cup and massage my balls even as his mouth moves up and down on my cock.

I cry out, "No, please! I want you inside me when I cum… Please, love?"

Instead of stopping, he begins to massage the flat part of skin between my balls and my opening.

"OH God, Edward!" I shout.

Now he stops, but only to reach for a small container of lubricant; just like one we had in his room at Volterra.

I lift my legs for him but he turns me over, onto all fours, to have better access as he stretches my hole to accommodate his lovely cock. I whimper as I feel his finger penetrate my tight ring. He comforts me with hushed whispers of love and affection as he adds first one and then two more fingers. He's so tender and loving about it that my eyes begin to tear. As much as I'm enjoying this position, I hope he lets me get on my back for the real thing, because I want to look into his eyes as he claims me…and then it happens.

He whispers, "Lie back down, love; I want to watch your face as I enter your sweet body and look into your beautiful eyes as I cum inside you."

Turning over, I smile tearfully up at him. "I hoped you'd do that. I want to see you too!"

He smiles and lifts my balls before aligning his cock with my entrance. "Carlisle, I love you." He says as he pushes into me.

I feel my lips part and form an O as I feel him in me. I reach for my cock but he slaps my hand away.

"From now on, love, you will cum by nobody's hand but mine…of course the same will go for me." He whispers as I clench fists in the bed-sheets. "You are mine and I am yours." He says stroking my cock in time with his thrusts.

"So close…" I whimper as his lips descend and conquer my mouth. His cock suddenly hits a place inside me that I barely knew was there. I cry out loudly into his mouth and cover our stomachs with cum as he joins me in bliss; filling my body with his seed.

He calms me after a few moments. "Next time I want you in me, Carlisle…would you do that for me?"

Tears flow down my face as he cradles me in his arms. "Yes, my Edward, yes…I swear it."

We sleep fitfully through the night and wake to a knock on the door.

When Edward calls for the person to enter, we find out that it's a maid. She's been sent to wake us for breakfast.

"Father will want to announce the outcome of my quest for a spouse as soon as possible. I want us to look our best." He says handing me a pile of clothing. "You're about my size, so this should fit you. I'd let you wear your own clothes, love, but I want everyone to know, without a doubt, that we are one. So we will dress similar today. Do you have any objection?"

"No, Edward, you are their prince and I'm marrying into the family." I reply slipping into the luxurious pants and shirt. "I'll submit to your will in most matters."

He smiles and says, "I knew you'd be a wonderful partner for me."

I chuckle. "Is that all it takes to make you happy, love; agreeing with you?"

He nods and we both laugh. My suit is only slightly different from his. They are both white with gold trim but his has someplace to fasten something else; a cape, perhaps? He starts to look for something but doesn't find it, so we leave the room without whatever it was. I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

Outside the great hall, Edward kisses my cheek and whispers, "This is it! Stay here for just a moment, love. This is the way I want to work it…"

Prince Edward's POV
Leaving Carlisle in the hall, I open the doors to the large room where everyone waits for, not only the meal, but us as well.

"Father, I'm ready to present my choice to you and the kingdom." I say loudly.

"Then do so, now, my son." He commands.

"I met this person a few short days ago in the kingdom of Volterra. We fell in love over the course of one night and I've yearned for them ever since." I allow my voice to pulse with pride. "I present to you, Prince Carlisle of Volterra, son of King Aro and Queen Heidi." I turn and push the doors open to see Carlisle struggling with a big hulking man. "What's the meaning of this?"

"My father!" Carlisle yells. "My father sent him to take me back!"

The great hall goes into chaos as my father calls for guards to help us but all it takes is a punch from me to the man's side.

He screams and releases my intended. "Your father will not allow this!"

"Caius, I'm twenty years old. He can no longer dictate to me. He gave me a choice and I've made it. If he wants to speak further, I'll expect his diplomatic visit. Am I clear?" He asks the man.

"Yes, Prince." Caius glares and leaves the castle under heavy guard.

"Are you alright? I should've left a guard with you! I shouldn't have left you alone!" I begin to babble.

"Edward, stop…" He says calming me instantly with a brush of his hand to my face. "You couldn't have known anything would happen to me right outside the great hall, in the center of your castle. I didn't even suspect Father would do this. It's not your fault; do you understand? I can take care of myself."

I take a deep breath and nod. "I understand; I just want you safe."

"I know the feeling; now let's finish the spectacle, shall we?" He smirks and whispers to me. "I'll be disowned very soon, love, I believe my true title is 'Prince-in-exile'."

Turning to face my father and the rest of our guests, I re-introduce him. "Father, may I present, Carlisle, Prince-in-exile from the kingdom of Volterra."

"Prince Carlisle, you are accepted as my son's chosen spouse." He says. "I wish you both all the happiness in the world and, I hope you don't object, but I will deal with your father myself."

"Thank you, Your Majesty, your influence in this matter would be much appreciated." Carlisle says gratefully.

Father hugs us both as the rest of the room applauds and then motions for us all to sit for the meal. I sit on his right with my mother on his left and Rosalie next to her while Carlisle sits to my right. "Son, you may or may not have noticed that your crown wasn't in your room."

"I did, Father." I tell him.

"You and Carlisle will speak your vows this afternoon. I will be giving you a new crown for the occasion, so I ordered the maid to deliver the old one to me." He informs me.

I nod in deference while Carlisle smirks. "Is that what you were looking for before we left your room?" He asks.

I nod. "I'm almost never without it and certainly not on an occasion as momentous as the introduction of my future spouse."

"One of the maids who brought my things to your room last night took it. I noticed a slight bulge in her apron." He says gripping my hand.

"Well, I'm apparently getting a new one so I guess I won't need that one any longer." I reply in embarrassment.

The rest of the morning is a blur of activity as the servants ready the castle for our wedding. The tailor comes and fits Carlisle into my shirt and pants a little better then before as he tells us that Carlisle's waist is a bit slimmer then mine. The large balcony accommodates my family and the guests while the courtyard fills with our subjects. Garlands of greenery, baby's breath and roses are wrapped around the rail and banisters. Carlisle walks up the stairs on one side as I walk up the other. We meet in the middle and my parents face us.

"Edward, my son, you are our eldest child and heir to the throne of Masen. We love you with all our hearts. Now, I ask you… Do you take this man to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and respect him from this day forth as much as you love, honor, cherish and respect this kingdom for the rest of your life?"

"I do, Father." I say triumphantly.

"And, Prince Carlisle, do you take Edward to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and respect Edward and this kingdom for the rest of your life?" He asks.

My heart overflows with happiness as he says, "I do, Your Majesty."

Tears run down my face as we face one another. My father smiles, places a hand on each of our shoulders and presents us to the crowd. "I, King Edward of Masen, pronounce you married in the eyes of the world. You may kiss your husband!"

Our lips meet chastely but the look in my husband's eyes promises a much more passionate embrace later.

Suddenly, instead of allowing the crowd to disburse, Father calls for their continued attention. "Loyal Subjects! I have one more announcement today! In the past, I have not given a true answer when asked who your next ruler would be. I now give you this answer:" He motions for me to step forward. "I give you my official heir, Crowned Prince Edward of Masen!" He turns and lifts something high into the air; my new crown. My mother attaches a cape to my collar and motions to the herald.

"ALL HAIL THE KING; LONG LIVE KING EDWARD! ALL HAIL THE PRINCE; LONG LIVE PRINCE EDWARD!" He yells as my father places the new jewel encrusted gold crown on my head.

The crowd yells with him and the men all kneel while the ladies curtsy.

Carlisle tries to kneel beside me but I stop him. "I consider you my equal, Carlisle, and they need to know that."

He nods but still bows his head in deference.

We stand on display for the crowds of people who wish to see us but I soon grow bored of that and begin to get playful. I hold Carlisle's hand and squeeze it lightly. When there seems to be a lull in the flow, I pull him close and nuzzle his neck. He laughs and tries to hold me off, but I'm not having it. Finally Father sighs and allows us to leave the public square. We hurry off to consummate our union.