The Day After

Breakfast at the dining table was even more awkward than last night. It was eerily quiet. Everyone was staring at their own silver bowls and plates. Food slithering slowly down their throats.

"Where's Justin?" Cynthia asked, breaking the deathly silence. She looked up at Brian for an answer but his face as usual, was expressionless. Everyone else watched Cynthia and then back at Brian.

Cynthia set her silver spoon down and cleared her throat. "Brian?" She asked tentatively.

Brian dabbed his mouth with a silken cloth and then stood up.

He dimly stated, ignoring Cynthia's inquiry. "I've responsibilities to take care of"

"Right, I hope you consider Justin as one your responsibilities"

"He's a grown man. I hardly think there is a need for me to look after him"

A flash of anger appeared on her face. "You must understand…" She started, looking at all of them now.

"He didn't come on his own will, like the rest of them. He's lost so much on his way to being your…companion."

She stood up now. "Surely, you're not surprised that he had acted that way. He misses his life. He's confused, possibly still hurt but you still continue to taunt him, try to tame him."

"Don't I know?" He asked, his fist pounding into the table. His jaw clenched hard. "I was the one who stole him remember?"

"Besides, I already did tame him." He told her, smirk firmly in place.

Melanie did an eye roll. That was such a typical Brian response.

"Well, congratulations" She said quietly, rising her glass up to him.


Cynthia's words repeated in his head as Brian walked along the lonely corridors. They brought back memories, unwanted ones. It reminded him of the early days when he saw Justin nothing but a defiant sex puppet that needed to be punished. He wanted him to comply; never had he put that much effort and time in order to control a convenient lay.

He unconsciously let his index finger trail the smoothness of the wall beside him, his concentration broken by a voice.

"Morning Sire" A man bellowed.

Brian nodded in courtesy.

Everything in life seemed predictable, boring, tedious…

"We'll meet you at nine in the court, Sire?" Another man, this time a courtier named Peter asked.

"As usual" Brian replied.

Yes, it had become just usual… until Justin came along. He changed everything then. For the first time in life, Brian was knocked on his knees, swept off his feet so to speak. He was challenged by a man half his build albeit had twice the strength.

He wanted to smile but he couldn't.

He leaned against the wall beside the door to the bedroom chamber where Justin was possibly sleeping.

He didn't want to admit it. But he was nervous. It was ridiculous. He leaned his head against the cool wall and closed his eyes.

Justin…The first time he saw his body. It made him lose control like never before. He needed it. He wanted to own it. Justin had unleashed the most sex-depraved demon inside him. He hoped once he fed that demon, he knew his interest would drop and life would be back to normal.

But nothing, absolutely nothing went according to his plans. Their first night was a disaster, consequent nights were worse. Justin had the nerve to disagree to anything he'd barely suggest let alone order him around. It wrecked his head at first but then again, part of him was intrigued. No one said 'no' to him. No one. Yet here he was, still here in this palace, in his bed.

Once they had sex however the same demon inside him demanded more. Its already voracious appetite grew into something more dangerous. It was never satisfied.

However, Brian knew that it meant nothing to Justin. He had never really gotten close to him. Justin's mind, his feelings was an inner sanctum that he never was allowed in to. Justin was still untouchable in a way. There was this invisible immense barrier between them, it only grew bigger with time and every time Brian broke his spirit.

Brian grew up knowing that everyone wanted him, wanted to be like him. It was only natural. With Justin, it was different. He never really felt Justin wanted him except when they were half-way during sex and Justin would be forced to let out his captive feelings. That was the only time Brian would be able to confirm that it indeed hadn't been a rape. And Justin definitely made it clear that he was the bastard that everyone secretly hated.

Brian's eyes snapped open. He walked to the door, clasped the long door handle and paused…

It was his courage. Or was it his smile? That he rarely saw. Brian ran a hand through his hair, he sighed. Especially when he would smile shyly, looking up at him with those eyes trustingly. Those moments were rare or maybe that was only a dream? Maybe he had never seen him smile.

He never had a reason to.

Brian went inside the room. Everything that happened last night, played like a nightmare before his eyes.

It seemed no matter what he did, Justin always shone bright. His rebellious nature was something Brian could relate to. He refused to be defeated. He admired that in Justin, more than just admired. But after last night, for the first time he saw it flickering, his light was dying.

He shouldn't have said, what he said. Christ, his blood had been boiling that night, his head was swimming with flashes of fury that he didn't think before he yelled at him like a maddened animal that he was.

Brian frowned, this bothered him more than he expected. In fact all he was seeing was Justin's withdrawn expression, his silent resignation. Strangely, that was what he wanted from Justin since the very beginning; to make him obey, conform to his rules. To tame him, so to speak.

Brian wanted Justin to fight him. Keep him alive.

He pushed past the curtain surrounding the bed and swiped back the covers, wanting to see a warm, hopefully naked body.

However, there was nothing but a caved- in mattress. Brian sighed. Where was he?


Justin had taken a liking to the lake. He was drawn to its unearthly charms. The gloomy environment seemed to resonate with his own depressing mood. Even the skies were a dark shade of grey and the sun played behind the portentous clouds.

The desolate nature was perfectly being imitated on his thick sketching sheet. He was using black stick of carbon against it. He wanted to try something, picture something beautiful but there was nothing but smudges. Anger consumed him. His fingers trembled.

He finally gave up and let the chalk drop heavily against the paper.

He sat on a rough angular rock, feet nearly touching the water. He stared into the bland landscape below his feet, his mind's eye however played something else than plain old murky water and moss.

Brian stilled before his eyes. His face ugly with twisted contortion. He couldn't help but still feel the lash of his burning anger, like his naked body feeling the whip of his stinging words. The coldness in his voice, his unfailing expression of deep disgust towards him.

Was he really nothing? A whore was he?

It hurt.

It bloody hurt.

A painful, still much alive char was set aflame deep in his chest.

He'd been here for hours. Just thinking, replaying and then regretting.

Justin regretted for having acted that way in the dining hall but it couldn't be helped. It was a deadly mixture of his own strangulating guilt that was building inside him; Brandon's words only aggravated the situation.

His fears were another reason, which made him act that way with Brian. Now he's lost even the least bit of respect Brian had for him. He soon lost his sensibility and his defences started to take over. He was soon pushing Brian away and the rest was...

He should stop. Stop trying to scrape and tear at the wound.

He sighed, tilted his head back, his beautiful blond hair flowed like a golden waterfall behind him.

He closed his eyes. Blackness seeped his vision, matching his sombre mood.

A pang of guilt struck him like lightning when he thought about the last time he'd thought of Chris.

Chris...

He gulped. It had been a while... and now Chris seemed more like a distant dream, a far off, far away dream that made him wonder if those events had ever really happened or was it just some contorted fantasy he had made up?

Justin held the bridge of his nose with his fingers...yes, an aching pain was starting in his head. It seemed that this madness about Brian, this disease had been proceeding in a far worse condition than he had anticipated.

The real question was...would he see Chris again?

Justin highly doubted it that he would he ever see him again, let alone continuing their relationship but what scared him more was that insanely calm indifference he felt towards that notion. He didn't feel pain or regret...there was nothing. Justin figured his feelings would return once he'd see him again. Yes, that was it.

Justin wildly ran his hand through his hair.

Realisation had struck.

What was happening? Where was that Justin that had battled Brian on their wedding night?

Months ago, he had acted on his impulses and he never thought about it twice. Couldn't care less about the consequences. Couldn't care less what Brian thought about him.

But now things seemed different. Felt different. As days went by, Justin watched Brian. At first he knew all the respect Brian received was a farce but as he watched his family and everyone around him, including the people he ruled actually wanted him to be in control. He realised it had to be genuine. He didn't completely understand that yet. Not to mention Brian's past intrigued him despite his resistance to learn.

Brian was a puzzle. There was something about his dominant, guarded, reticent character that Justin was slowly getting attracted to.

And despite Justin's resistant behaviour, the stubbornness, the nonchalant attitude...beneath all these suffocating layers...

Justin wanted Brian.

Pure and simple.

However there was nothing…simple or pure about it. It was lust. He knew it was a dirty, filthy emotion. It couldn't be anything more than that. It couldn't! And he was well aware that lust was not everlasting, it was temporary. It was meaningless. Futile. His feelings of hatred would return thereafter after this phase of indecency would wear away.

The second Brian would come into the picture. Justin's brilliant reasoning would then become somewhat threatened. It would become illogical, completely irrational.

Especially, when he'd feel Brian's hot yet soft lips against his, he'd fall somewhere so deep and when Brian moan into his mouth, the delicious sound of desire filling his ears would momentarily dislodge his focus. And when he'd force his smooth, velvet wetness inside him...he would be gone so far deep in this unfathomable place that it would take minutes to reel back into reality.

And then it would start...this pathological chain of events. His thoughts would start to unravel, become violent...sadistic. It would induce in him a need like no other. It would be desperate, almost like an animal-like need to own him, to make him completely his. When Brian would hold him in his arms, or pin him down with his body, part of him that was suppressed for so long, would be unleashed…. And he'd become exceedingly selfish, greedy, all for Brian's touch, his taste, his scent. Because there it never seemed like he would get enough of him and he wanted more…more and more.

If he could...He'd especially wanted to tear Brian's dark, invigorating heart and make it bleed for him. For him only.

And this would scare him endless. This depth of emotion for someone as Brian.

The first drop from the skies startled him but the rest of them brought out no reaction.


Brian had a restless night and now he was forced to do his duties with half his head still in bed and the other half with a certain someone.

He bit viciously at anyone who talked more than two sentences, urging them to hurry.

He would rub his forehead in frustration. He would tilt his head to the air and sigh hard. He would pinch the bridge of his nose, close his eyes briefly before he'd swallow someone whole. He would impatiently tap his feet. He would suddenly get up, walk a few metres and then would sit back again.

He was going fucking mad.

"Sire, are you sure you don't want to rest?" Michael asked, obviously a little worried.

"Hmm?" Brian answered, his eyes still closed. Hoping that this ache would vanish.

"Rest?" He repeated bitterly. "Why, do you wish to take over? Maybe you'd like to wear this crown too?"

Michael really wanted to say that Brian was acting like a buffoon. Instead he managed to say "You look tired, Sire. It would be counter-productive to deal with the village's issues with an irate attitude"

Brian glared at him but nodded his head. Michael had a point, usually.

"Dismiss the court"

He then got up, clicked his fingers at one of the men standing beside the throne. The man quickly picked up the pillow and bowed his head. Brian took off his crown and placed it on the pillow. He then turned towards Michael.


Black droplets from the sketch crawled towards the edge of the thickened paper, disappearing into a black puddle between Justin's feet.

Justin looked up into the black skies. His eyes closing, he let the cool rain wash his heated cheeks.

He knew this was incredibly reckless, foolish even to think that he still wanted Brian. Still wanted to play their game of lust and lies, play hide and seek behind the curtains of pride, forts of their fear...could he ever seek Brian in that game?

You could call him a coward for not being true to his feelings or call him noble for standing up for his idealistic persona...whatever the reason was, the truth was...It was better to live in the pretence of hate than yearn for something that Brian would never be able to give him, something that he himself would never give to Brian.

Justin stood up and pulled up his sketch with him. His hair was now completely plastered to his face and his clothes dripping wet.

A voice suddenly brought him out his desolate reverie. He turned his head, his hair swishing water to the sides.

"Prince, the king would like to see you" It was one of the guards. Medium build and dark brown hair. Those are the only things Justin saw.

Justin didn't say anything, instead he rolled his watered down sketch.

"He wants you right away"

Justin continued to taunt the messenger with silence.

"Prince…the king shouldn't be waited upon" He said prudently, as if that was a grave mistake.

"Would you please, close that mouth of yours? I'd go to him, when I'm ready"

"I'm afraid…that's not wise" He retorted, his expression grim.

Justin was frustrated now, catching hold of a rock. He threw it away, the rock carrying all of his anger towards Brian, his confusion and the profound uncertainty of his own feelings.

The guard jumped inside in glee when the Prince acquiesced to him and started to follow him.

"I'd have to change first" Justin said shivering a little. He was feeling quite dense that he had almost drowned himself in the rain.

The guard flushed all of a sudden, fear in his eyes. "I'm afraid…"

"That's not wise?"

"Uh, yes Sir"

The man quickly added "The king wishes you to be with him as soon as possible"

Justin mentally screamed.


Justin entered a gigantic hall situated a kilometre away from the main palace. He stepped inside a little warily. Not to mention, his entire body was exhausted and he felt incredibly soggy. His stomach had become a monster, growling and contracting like a psychotic beast and now the thought of meeting with Brian brought another brute that churned his guts like a maddened whirl pool. It also made him feel a whole lot of other emotions, namely anger and more anger.

He wanted to get this meeting over and done with, then change into some dry clothes and hopefully eat and then sleep for a week or so.

He distracted himself with the architecture. It was magnificent. Six pillars of two columns lined on either of the room, the ceiling was high as the sky. Justin's eyes then fell upon Brian and every cell in his body suddenly came to a still.

Brian was at the other end occupied with his sword. He wore nothing but his pants. His skin pores leaked sweat. He was taking part in a practice fight with one of the men. He swung flawlessly. Justin stood transfixed, mesmerized.

Brian didn't know why but he looked up. When he did, he knew instantly why, sapphire eyes were burning into him. Unbeknownst Justin, Brian had been practicing for quite a long time. He realised no matter how long he tried his best, distracting himself; Justin was always there. He decided if he wanted to stop this madness, all this bloody guilt that was poisoning him he needed to see Justin.

Brian ended the fight in the next second with the sword of the other man making a loud clanging sound as it fell to the floor in defeat.

The man humbly bowed at his loss.

"You can leave now" He said sternly, his eyes still locked with Justin's.

"Very well. I'll take my leave, your highness"

The sound of the footsteps came and went and left both Brian and Justin in a deafening silence.

Brian closed the distance between them. "I've been waiting for you" He said quietly, pushing his sword back into his holder.

"You're drenched?" Brian asked, wanting to the reason why.

Justin shook his head, letting the water droplets hanging heavily to his blond strands disperse. Brian stepped back from the water spray.

Justin shrugged.

"Could I see your sword?" Justin asked, ignoring Brian's attempt to start the conversation.

A pregnant pause followed, as Brian tried calculating Justin's thoughts. He then pulled it out and handed it to Justin.

It was bloody heavy. Justin used both his hands.

"Makes you feel powerful, doesn't it?"

Justin nodded somewhat absent-mindedly. He wondered how many men Brian had killed with this very sword. He remembered how Brian used to threaten him on their first night together.

They had a come a long way from that…or had they really?

Justin wasn't too accustomed to sword-fighting but he wasn't a complete novice. His father tried convincing him to learn but Justin was never really interested.

"So?" Justin asked.

Justin looked delicious, standing there all wet and transparent. Brian tried to run his fingers through those spiky wet strands only to find his object of desire move one step back. Brian grimaced, and a spark of irritation ignited in him.

"Why did you call me?" Justin asked the second time. He noticed Brian's eyes darken and he knew immediately why.

Brian hesitated, especially now that Justin's tone was beginning to annoy him a little.

"You wanted my services? Your majesty?" Justin mocked. One hand held on to the sword while the other started to unbutton his long crème coloured silk shirt that hung till his knees, each button loosened one by one to show. Justin's expression paraded his false sense of submission.

"Justin, stop." Brian ordered quietly.

Half-way through, Brian clasped Justin's wrist, tightly. Anger was rising steadily but Justin didn't back down.

"This is what you wanted?" Justin asked.

He wasn't sure if it was Justin's smugness or it was the fact that his ego had been bruised once again but he knew was losing control again. Brian's jaw tightened before he asked "Is this your attempt to make me feel guilty or are you just that desperate?"

Brian triumphed, that got to Justin like a sword slicing through skin. Part of him wished he could take that back. This wasn't what he planned.

Justin pushed Brian's hands off him, harshly.

"You're unbelievable"

"So I've heard"

Justin's skin flushed red and his hands trembled.

Justin stepped back, the sword still in his hands. Held with all his might.

"I'm tired Brian. Tired of thinking and hoping that maybe, just maybe you have a heart"

Brian watched Justin, his voice held disappointment but he knew underneath there stood something more dangerous.

Justin moved closer, the tip of the sword pressing against Brian's bare chest.

Brian didn't even flinch.

Justin eyes were fire. His expression livid and perilous.

"If I could, I'd stab you…a thousand times, cut you open just to prove that there's nothing but emptiness inside"

Brian, for the first time in his life time felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He felt like he had been slapped hard and spit on. His words weren't only violent, it was something more. It was…FUCK.

In the next split second, something possessed Brian, a vicious soul-plundering demon perhaps. He grabbed Justin's half-opened shirt, dragged him like he was a life-sized doll and smashed him against the pillar. The sword fell from Justin's hands.

Justin grunted in pain but his eyes were still wild.

"Who do you think you are?" Brian asked, no growled at him. He pressed himself against the lithe body, suffocating him against the pillar. Their foreheads touched, almost.

Justin's eye bored defiantly into Brian's. "Your whore" Justin whispered back, if it was possibly there would've been venom dripping from the corner of Justin's lips.

Brian clasped Justin's hair and tilted his neck back. Justin gasped, his mouth opening partially.

Brian stared at him for one second, maybe two and then his lips came smashing down on the surprised ones.

The kiss was brutal. Animalistic. Sinful.

Brian devoured Justin's mouth hungrily. Justin felt cornered, the heat was suffocating him. The heat emanating from Brian's and his own body was burning his skin. Justin tried to remain unresponsive but it was useless. The minute Brian's tongue was in his, fucking his mouth with his tongue, he returned the kiss with a reckless attitude. All the anger and their suppressed lust combining to form a deadly mixture. His hands snaked to the back of Brian's hair and pulled it hard, so fucking hard that Brian grunted in response. His lips disconnecting temporarily.

Pain shot through Brian's skull. It made him want to rip Justin open. He pressed Justin even harder against the pillar. His bare chest now in completely contact with Justin's rapidly pumping chest. It moved up and down, faster than seconds before. His hard rock erection rubbing against Justin's not so disappointing one.

Brian resumed taking small nips along Justin's neck.

Justin's body continued to arch with every tease and bite, his body rubbing against Brian.

Brian's hand slipped inside and squeezed his erection hard.

Justin twisted his neck, parting from Brian's lips to growl low in response. Brian slowly sunk his teeth into Justin's collar bone, deep enough that he could see the indentations of his own two upper and lower teeth. He quickly covered Justin's mouth as he gasped in pain. Brian knew if he was naked, precum would be leaking all over Justin's pale skin.

Justin felt searing pain from his collar bone. He briefly glanced at the two bite marks but he couldn't judge, he was in a state where he was thoroughly confused between pain and pleasure as Brian ravaged his already bruised lips.

It was just too much to handle. He was going to combust soon. His head was spinning. He was beyond the stage where he could form coherent thoughts let alone form decent words. Justin's hands slid across Brian's back, holding him so tight that Brian felt as if someone was pinching him hard.

Brian's lips parted. Their eyes met for a second. He couldn't believe the turn of events. He had invited Justin to talk to him about last night in a civilized fashion. Yet here they were fighting like animals. Brian was used to his consorts seeking his attention in perverse ways and usually he had no problem controlling them and his own behaviour. But with Justin…What was it that made him lose control like this?

He flipped Justin and pulled his wet tight pants down. Justin shut his eyes hard. He knew Brian was going to fuck him now and it made his body cry with intense need.

Slippery cum dripping fingers, thrust in, out, in and out. It was haphazard and it was quick. And in one single thrust Brian pushed his entire length into Justin's ass.

The stretch nearly broke him but it was satisfying. Justin groaned loud, it bounced off the walls causing an echo. He held tighter on to the pillar, his only support. His knees failed to hold him up. His body glistened with sweat.

Justin was slipping, collapsing on to the ground. Every muscle in his body quivered with intense waves of pleasure, wrecking his body. Brian tried holding him up with one hand but with each hard thrust Justin mewled and slipped an inch.

Brian desperately whispered Justin's name over and over again. His wet body was getting harder to grab onto.

Panting hard he managed to growl in Justin's ear "Onto your knees, now"

Justin fell to the floor. His mind incapacitated with almost painful lust. His sole need and purpose in that moment was Brian to fuck him and fuck him again.

Brian didn't waste any time. He thrust into Justin's ass, covering his entire body as he moved forward. One more thrust and Justin's hands slipped, allowing his upper half of the body to fall. His ass pushing higher than before, letting Brian's dick sink deeper into his ass. Both let out an inhumane deep bodily moan.

Their antics were disturbing, a messy sight.

Brian threaded his fingers into Justin's as they lifted his chest from off the floor.

"Beg for me" Brian demanded. The head of his cock rubbing against Justin's sensitive hole.

Justin groaned in frustrated. "No" He growled. He had to congratulate himself for making a successful word.

"You have to Justin" Brian demanded, his hand sitting heavily and hotly on Justin's ass.

Justin didn't reply. He panted, his mouth open and revelling the feeling of Brian's hard cock against his ass.

He felt Brian moving a little then he suddenly sucked in large amount of air when he felt a sharp sting against his ass.

There on Justin's ass were imprints of Brian's long fingers.

"Brian…" Justin gritted his teeth in frustration. So Brian was intent on humiliating him, perfect.

Brian held Justin's hips tightly and with one hand clasped the long strands of blond hair. Justin turned back and watched Brian. His brain was numbing down to only one distinctive need. He needed Brian, more than anything in this second and he was terrified.

"Fuck me…" Justin quietly demanded.

Justin grunted when another blow fanned against his ass.

Brian caressed the reddened cheek and said one word "Louder"

"Fuck me!" Justin resigned, his voice raising a notch.

"Fuck me…Fuck me…" He chanted, he was close to tears now.

Brian's dick leaked copiously in response to his pleading. He immediately began to thrust once more, desperately.

Justin shut his eyes. He couldn't think. He could only feel. Yes, this is what he had wanted…

Brian slowed down his thrust, now each time pulling out his cock and then pushing back in completely. Justin's body thrummed with pleasure. He had no control over his mouth as he moaned and moved his body to meet Brian's thrusts.

All decency had completely disappeared.

Brian roughly handled Justin's cock and Justin started cumming instantly, tightening around Brian's cock.

Brian pulled out and splashed his cum all over his ass. He loved the sight.

Justin actually lost consciousness for a few minutes. He had fallen asleep. His tired eyes then opened slowly. He saw the floor. He felt the stickiness of his own cum and then he realised Brian's cum was all over his ass and back. He was disgusted.

Justin stood up, he saw Brian leaning against the pillar. His eyes were closed, his chest however still pumping hard.

He doddered and struggled but he managed to pull on his pants. He wiped himself with his own shirt. He knew Brian was watching him now. He threw the shirt at Brian's feet. Justin felt his muscles failing. He wanted to sleep. That was the only thought radiating through his entire head.

Until he stumbled across the sword. Then ideas, new images of him killing Brian passed through his mind. Dark, black thoughts about blood and murder spilled and spread like poison through his body. Justin picked up the sword, rather awkwardly. One hand caressed the sharp edge. He wanted Brian to be punished, just once. How could he hate and want the same person?

Blond hair splayed across his forehead, sticking with sweat. Beads of sweat trickled across his face. Justin walked back until he hit the wall. He leaned against it, trying to calm his worried heart. Brian was watching him throughout. He didn't expect Justin would stand for a day or two and yet here he was surprising him.

Brian's heart still sped from the vigorous fucking he had participated in. His head snapped to meet Justin's when he uttered something quite unusual.

"I could kill you"

Justin's voice wasn't loud but those three words could've been understood by lip-reading alone.

"Really?" Brian asked, moving closer. The air thickened around them and Brian suddenly wished he was outside soaking the cool breeze.

"I have all the motivation, I need" Justin replied, eyeing the magnificent yet callous sword. His finger moving slowly against the edge. Sliding up and down, over and over again. A masochistic tendency perhaps. He didn't notice that the distance between him and Brian closing in.

"You've threatened me, twice. Quite bold for someone who has never held sword before"

Brian's distant voice suddenly became louder. He looked up to find Brian close to him, too close for his taste. Justin's breath hitched in his throat.

Brian pulled Justin's reluctant fingers away from the blade.

"Are you scared?" Justin asked, wiping the sweat off his brow.

Brian laughed. "I'm shivering with fright"

Justin's lips were set in a straight line, emotionless. What Brian saw in Justin's eyes disturbed him. They were devoid of any feeling. There was no fear in Justin's eyes. Usually Justin had a hard time looking into his eyes, even if he did he would look away quickly or blush and Brian enjoyed that immensely. Had he really pushed Justin over the edge?

Brian's hand tore into his own hair, lost in thought. Fuck, why was it with Justin there were always bound to be regrets. Would he ever do the right thing?

"Okay. Do it" Brian said, extending his arms to his side.

"What?" Justin asked, his shoulder's slumping slightly.

Brian remained silent for a moment before he moved closer to him, lips scraping Justin's ear.

Justin shivered.

"Make me bleed, Justin" He said, his voice honing in around Justin like a tight rope. Justin couldn't move.

The way Brian had uttered those three words made something deep inside Justin shudder. His airway felt constricted. Those three words shook him to his core. It made him giddy. His post-orgasmic state couldn't handle it.

He looked away, unable to compete with the intensity in Brian's eyes. "I don't understand, why?" He whispered quietly.

Brian's face was mere inch away from Justin.

"It doesn't matter why…Go on, take what you want."

He added raspily "Take your revenge against me"

Justin's stopped breathing.

"Make. Me. Feel. Pain."

Justin's head throbbed with confusion, overloaded with information he was unable to process. Was this his idea of a joke? Would this be his last minute before Brian was going to pull the sword from and stab him, right here to a bloody death? He could, if he wanted to. So why? Why was he doing this?

Looking into Brian's eyes, he knew this was no humour event. Hell, he doubted Brian could joke, be sickly sarcastic maybe but being humorous was beyond his capabilities.

Brian stepped back and waited for him. His entire body urged Justin to make a move.

Brian honestly wasn't exactly sure what he was trying to achieve. He had never, never done this before, even in his most strangest dreams.

This was absurd.

But part of him wanted to show Justin, make him know in some possible way that he does care. Now his act appeared more dramatic than necessary but in that desperate second, looking into Justin's empty eyes. He knew he had to do something, quickly. He needed to extinguish the poison that was consuming him.

What made him anxious was how far Justin would go to make him suffer? That was a chance he was willing to take, a very risky one. He knew if Justin's willpower pushed him well enough, that sword could plunge him right into his heart.

Justin closed his eyes briefly. The walls of stoicism were crumbling, collapsing, locking him in.

Brian.

Brian

Brian

Now that Brian was giving him a chance, a real chance to hurt him. He felt his previous threat be nothing but bluff.

Could he really do it?

Images of his past flickered before him betraying his sanity. He remembered how Brian snatched him from his beloved home. He removed him from his family, his livelihood only to realise that he was going to be owned. He was pressurised to sleep with him. He was threatened several times. He was called a whore.

He unconsciously gripped his sword tighter. Suddenly an overwhelming strength emerged from the darkest depths, empowering him.

Don't Justin. Don't do it. He's doing this for a reason. Stop, let go.

Another voice in his head howled at him like a rabid wolf.

Do it Justin. Tear him apart. Make him suffer for everything he's done to you. For every night you couldn't sleep. For every tear that you cried, that was ignored. Even if you die, it would be worth it.

Do it!

A sole tear escaped from the prisons of stoicism and scrambled quickly down his cheek.

Don't! Decision done in haste is worst of all! There are always two sides to a coin. Even Brian…Admit it, you have a weakness for him. You want him, don't you?

No. You have no weakness. Remember your past or have you already forgiven him for it? For a fuck?

Do it now!

Rage ran rampant in Justin's veins. All his anguish, hurt he felt in the past few months pushed him forward in one single moment. His vision blurred, his hands shook with raw fierceness of his emotions. Most of all, he was drowning in the fury that despite all this…Brian could make lose his sanity, his dignity.

Brian's silent gasp, his suffocated, suppressed cry brought Justin from his reverie.

The sword had done its deed. It felt dirty, disloyal as it dropped on to the floor. Frozen, Justin felt-light headed as he watched blood trickling down a garish wound that spread diagonally from Brian's right nipple to his lower left side.

Please, please be this a dream.

There was no victory cry. No was making sense anymore. He was supposed to feel reprieve. He should feel stronger but why did it make him more vulnerable? Instead there was more guilt, more pain, more regret.

Why did he feel like he was the one who got cut, got sliced open?

Brian's expressions puzzled Justin further. There was no anger.

Justin wanted to say something, anything. Yet he couldn't find the right words, no word seemed appropriate. There were no words to describe what he felt.

Brian didn't even flinch; acted like there was no blood dripping down his chest. He walked closer and pressed his finger against Justin's lips, effectively shutting him off. "Don't. Say. Anything..." He warned.

"I expected more" He added. He honestly did. Maybe he had overestimated this boy's hate for him.

Brian watched Justin through a myriad of emotions. Was this boy actually regretting his decision? Amusing indeed.

Just then they heard the door opening. It was Benjamin. He had wanted to practice sword fight with the king himself. A hobby they both secretly enjoyed. However he didn't know he was about to witness bloodshed.

"Sire!" He called, smiling at first.

When Brian turned, Ben's face turned aghast. He started running towards him.

"My goodness!" He huffed, what he saw next was Justin's guilty expression and the blood on Brian's sword. He solved the puzzle.

In a swift movement, he pulled his own sword out. He slammed Justin against the wall with the sword across Justin's neck.

"Ben!" Brian cried.

Ben turned his head, waiting for his next command. "Do you want him chained?"

Brian sighed and said softly. "Release him…"

Ben's grip loosened, his entire now turned towards his king. He asked, confused "Sire?"

"NOW!"

Ben released him reluctantly. He glowered down at him. What had happened? He had never expected this to happen. Maybe Michael had been right? Now he was the one who felt obtuse.

He had always thought that people who worked under Brian must hate him but watching Ben exhibit his hatethis openly. It raised new doubts.

"Call Cynthia" Brian ordered.

"Right away, she isn't too far from here" Ben replied. In fact, he just had a conversation with her.

"Good"

Ben jogged to the entrance and disappeared. Brian picked up his sword. He needed to get it cleaned.

Brian moved closer and Justin pressed himself harder against the wall. He sighed and asked "This is what you wanted right?" Repeating Justin's question from earlier.

Justin averted his eyes to the floor. "I don't know what's wrong from right anymore. I could hardly decide what I want"

Brian caressed Justin's cheek gently. He had never seen Justin so lost before.

"Brian!" Cynthia shouted from the entrance. "What are you still doing there?"

Justin remained slouching against the wall as he watched Cynthia catch up to her brother. She threw her protective arms around him, pulling him close. Justin felt even more low when he saw Cynthia turning around to look at him, only to catch her disappointed look.

Cynthia was the only person he considered amicable and now she too was throwing him on the edge.

Justin slid against the wall towards the floor. He sat there in that empty hall with Brian's blood on the floor.


Cynthia took a good look at the wound. She paused momentarily, obviously a little more than stunned. She asked suspicion still present in her voice "Justin did this?"

They were both standing in the middle of Cynthia's room, amidst her supply of bandages and ointment

Brian replied calmly "I let him, I wanted him to"

"Are you out of your mind?" She accused him harshly as she threw the bloodied cloth, after cleaning it, in to the waste basket.

"Brian..." She called, pushing rebellious strands of hair behind her ear.

"Why?"

Brian peered up to look at her big eyes. He sighed and resigned quietly. "I-I honestly don't know"

Watching Brian like this made her feel she didn't know him at all. "What did he do to you?" She asked quietly.

Brian let out an exasperated breath and scowled back at her. "I'm not having this discussion with you"

He pulled the roll of bandage from Cynthia's hands and began to close the wound with it.

Cynthia rolled her eyes and sat back on the edge of her bed, judging him silently.

"You've…fallen for him" She declared, disbelief apparent in her voice. Her eyes fluttering into space, lost in deep thought.

Brian grimaced.

"Don't offend me." He stated tersely, throwing the roll across the room. Anger rising, he particularly didn't like the phrasing. "I don't 'fall' for anyone. It's not my duty to"

"Clever Brian"

Brian was about to leave.

She then asked casually, words slipping out her mouth before she could reel them back in. "What about Justin?"

"I need to go" Brian replied.

"How does he feel about you?"

Brian closed his eyes and turned to face his sister. He knew he had a choice of not giving her an answer but for the first time, his fears borrowed his voice. His insecurities escaping out his throat.

"Hate is a tame word, compared to what he feels for me"


Justin woke up to find himself not on a hard floor but on a comfortable extremely soft bed. Then…he felt his sore ass. His eyes snapped open. He looked around, he was alone. He was relieved somewhat. The sun had just set, there was still was remaining after glow of orange filtering through the curtains.

He stretched. The sheets falling around his naked waist.

On the bedside table, there was food. Plenty of food to fill three or four people and Justin was prepared to eat, all of it.

Thirty minutes passed.

Justin was filled to capacity, up to his oesophagus. He had nothing to do, so he laid back.

Twenty minutes passed.

Justin decided to wash himself, get clean.

An hour passed.

Justin was back in bed trying to sleep.

Two hours passed.

He couldn't sleep. Events replayed in his head. He kept staring at the door, waiting for Brian to enter. Where was he?

Thirty minutes passed.

Justin started to sketch.

An hour passed.

Justin managed to finish three sketches. Nothing was up to his standard. He gathered all his sketches next to him and lied down on the bed.

Where was Brian?

Ten minutes passed.

There was a creak. Footsteps. And the bed dipped finally. Justin pulled his knees closer to himself and shut his eyes harder.

Brian sat on his side of the bed, facing away from Justin. His head in his hands. It had been an agonizing meeting with his family. He looked back at the mound in his bed with a blond mop on top at the far corner.

He then got undressed. His eyes out of focus, the entire time.

He got under the duvet. Justin's warm body drew him closer until Brian's chest was in complete contact with Justin's back. Brian snaked an arm around his abdomen and pulled him back. He heard Justin's breath hitch in his throat. Brian's lips rested on the back of Justin's neck.

Brian tenderly kissed him. Once, twice and then thrice. "You're awake"

"Mm…" Justin replied, his eyes now wide open. Justin turned around, only to find his lips against Brian's.

Brian kissed those full lips tenderly.

He needed to speak with Brian about today. It plagued him like a parasitic disease. He needed to release some of his hungry vultures gnawing at him for the sparse peacefulness he was allowed to feel.

"I need to speak with you about today" Justin started.

Brian sighed hard, and fell hard back on to his pillow. It was then Justin saw the cotton cloth tied around Brian's body bandaging him. Justin grimaced.

"If you're here to apologize, I don't want to hear it" Brian snapped.

"I don't intend to. I know it was no accident, it was a deliberate reaction but…I do regret it" His hands stretched to touch the covered wound.

"I've had worse. Far worse. This is nothing" Brian clipped.

"Justin" Brian looked at him tentatively.

"You don't have to act like you care. No penalties, I promise"

"You think this is an act?"

"Don't look so offended Justin. Unless you actually care, then it would be I who'd have to be shocked"

Justin stared at him.

"I do care" The words were out before he could censor them. He cared but it wasn't anything intimate, like he would care for a hurt stray on the street…no, wait that didn't exactly feel right.

Brian's head snapped to meet Justin's.

Justin replied quickly. "A little. I care a little. I mean not too little but not too much either"

Brian's smiled at babbling Justin and it widened into a grin.

Justin's body felt lighter for some reason. He let his head hit the pillow. He flushed his face with the pillow for a second.

"Look at me"

Justin looked up from the pillow. Being with Brian, there was always this feeling…he couldn't describe it. He felt incredibly warm and protected lying next to his taller and larger frame but instead of making him calm it made his heart beat faster, like he was standing on a narrow cliff waiting to fall into something more mysterious and beautiful.

Brian let his fingers run through the back of Justin's hair. What he felt right now, it felt new. He felt content but insecure. How could just another erroneous, unpredictable, unreliable human make him feel like he was completely free, almost problem-less? He never wanted to lose Justin from this bed, from his life.

Justin inched closer and quietly whispered. "I don't understand why you let me do what I did"

Brian's smile faded quickly.

"Let's not discuss this any longer."

He didn't want to talk right now; he would sound like a fucking fool. His emotional counterpart was something that of a dusty gaol he never wanted to open.

Justin frowned. He knew there was something more and yet Brian was concluding the conversation with his lips on his neck. His hands roaming across the span of his back and ass.

Justin's eyes fluttered open when Brian's lips stood still.

He cleared his throat. His expression pained and his gaze steady "What happened this morning…when we, were you…"

Brian swallowed hard when he observed Justin's cheeks turning cherry ripe.

"Hurt?" He finished his sentence, his heart rapidly beating.

Justin moved to settle between the curve of Brian's neck. Brian felt his head moving horizontally and his lips mouthed 'no' against his lips.

Justin instantly felt Brian relax in his arms.

Brian felt extremely strange asking this question but he was glad he did.

He then kissed Justin slowly and deeply. Taking his time to savour and explore Justin's mouth. When they broke apart, Justin felt giddy. He muttered softly against Brian's lips. "Maybe, I might've judged you too harshly."

Brian suddenly stopped. He pulled back to look at Justin's face, he then asked sarcasm dripping from his voice "Why, did the devil become the saint now?"

Justin chuckled. "Hardly"

"What I had done today was nothing. It was only test to see how far you'd go. There is no hidden truth. Nothing to read between the lines. I'm no enigma. What you see, is what you should think. Nothing more"

Justin watched Brian get defensive. It was strange indeed, for someone with so many secrets to tell them they were nothing but an open book for everyone to read.

"I'd have to disagree with you" Justin stated bluntly. There were absolutely no qualms about his disagreement. And that only made him want to know more about Brian. Dare he say it, there was something sort of respect beginning to start within him for this man. Life was full of surprises.

Brian's heart quickened.

He bent down low and whispered but there was a hint of playfulness in his voice "Disobedience is not something I tolerate, Justin"

"You should've gotten used to it by now" Justin quipped.

He bent down until he was level with Justin's eyes. His voice was raw, husky "Be careful, or I might just fuck your rebellious mouth to quiet you down."

Justin silently gasped, his mouth opening partially. Images of Brian's cock sliding between his lips sent his muscles clenching deliciously and desire was spawning in his groin, rapidly. The prospect of having sex with Brian always left him light-headed. Brian's hand snaked around Justin's neck and tilted his head almost suddenly.

Justin's eyes dilated in both fear and desire. Second ago, Brian was playful and showed signs that he might actually care for him and now suddenly glancing into Brian's darkened eyes, he saw something so intense, it was foreboding.

"On your knees and hands"

Brian's voice quivered with need.

Justin swallowed hard, Brian's dominant voice made every cell in his body alert.

He got into the position Brian had wanted. His breathed harder as Brian's hands caressed his body, first his back and then slowly up to his ass, squeezing it hard.

Brian got onto his knees and his back straight. His hard cock inches away from Justin's mouth. He watched Justin for a second or two. The longer Brian stared at the naked figure in his bed, the faster Justin's breathing rate grew.

Brian leaned down and thrust his tongue into Justin's mouth. Brian ravaged Justin's mouth making him more needier and desperate, Justin became more compliant that way.

"Close your eyes"

Justin's eyes fluttered shut. His heart hammering away in his chest and it nearly stopped when he felt something heavy and hot slap softly against his cheek. Justin's tongue peeked in anticipation, trying to moisten his upper lip.

Justin moaned when he felt a hot wet trail along his cheek to his lips. He wanted to open his eyes but he didn't know if that's what Brian wanted.

"Open your mouth, Justin" He rasped, a little impatiently.

Justin shyly opened to accommodate Brian's cock. A grunt escaped Brian's lips watching Justin's plump, soft lips around his cock.

Closing around the head, Justin started to suck slowly. There was a sort of buzzing inside Justin's head, he couldn't think. His mind was temporarily disconnected.

Brian's hands traversed into Justin's hair. His tried to be gentle as possible but Justin was greedy, sucking him hard and using his tongue as a weapon. Brian was losing control, and fast.

Justin wished he could get some sort of grip on Brian but there was none. He realised, right now that this minute Brian had all the control over him. His cock twitched and hardened at that thought. Justin's mouth watered excessively, leaking from the corner of his lips. Justin moaned loud enough that vibrations were palpable on his chest. His strangled moans pushed Brian over the edge. Justin at once, felt a sudden rush, Brian's cock scraping the back of his throat. Feeling a little uncomfortable, Justin's eyes snapped open.

Brian's hands tightened in Justin's hair, forcing Justin to look into his eyes. Watching Justin suck his cock, his blue eyes clouded with heady lust, his body compliant only for him, it made his own body thrum with iniquitous pleasure. Having control over Justin's body turned him on, at a rate that it became downright immoral. Justin felt Brian's cock grew larger in his mouth, filling him up. He closed his again, savouring this moment. This didn't stop Brian and thrusting his cock until his pubes touched Justin's nose.

Brian groaned out loud when he felt Justin's throat closing around him. Justin's eyes bore into Brian's; challenging him silently that he could take more and he wanted more. And then it started, Brian thrusting his cock into the willing mouth.

Two thrusts and…

Brian throatily gasped, his head trying to reach the ceiling "Justin"

Another thrust, his cock delving deeper than before.

Brian groaned out aloud. His hands tightening harder. Justin drank all of Brian's moans and his grunts, it made him extremely aroused. His cock jerked and leaked in response. His strangled moans reached a new fever.

One more thrust.

Justin sucked hard, his tongue in moving accordance with Brian's hips.

Once more.

Again.

Yes, Brian reached new heights of pleasure.

This time letting out a guttural cry and Brian was cumming hard into his throat. It took more than a minute for Brian to hit reality. Justin swallowed all of it, but he didn't judge its taste. Justin let go of Brian's cock, wanting still present in his eyes. He hadn't hit his orgasm but watching Brian release was almost as good.

Brian's eyes darkened. Justin looked fucking hot with his lips red and wet, his body still in heat. He said casually.

"Obedience suits you" He said playfully.

But he knew it was more than that. There was something different about the way Justin treated him. Instead of reluctant submission and regretful (although mind-blowing) sex, there was silent willingness and revealing of his hidden yearning to please him.

It made his heart falter.

Did Justin forgive him for how he had acted last night or was it still lodged somewhere in his subconscious that rattled him somewhat when he thought about it. There were so many questions Brian wanted answers for.

"Get up" Brian ordered, although there was no hard edge to it.

Justin slowly crawled towards the edge and stood up never breaking eye contact.

Brian bent down and kissed him deeply encircling him in his arms. Their lips parted.

"Justin"

The way he said his name broke Justin's heart. Justin gave a slight nod to urge Brian to continue.

Brian hoped he was doing the right thing. Looking into Justin's eyes, that doubt seemed to vanish.

"No more apologies, No more regrets"

Justin remained silent, not sure what Brian had meant by that.

Brian felt his mouth dry all of a sudden. His usual snarky, confident demeanour crumbling into pieces right before him.

He mentally counted to three before those three words escaped his lips.

"Let's start again"

Justin's blue eyes widened, his pupils completely dilated in the candle light. Justin only looked him up with sort of a surreal expression. Judging by Brian's expression, it looked like he worked quite hard to get those three words out of his mouth.

Start again?

Was this was Brian's way of telling him he wanted to erase the past? But how could he when it was clearly etched in his mind. Could he ever forgive him completely and put the past to rest? Could he…for Brian?

Justin's hesitation only made Brian sweat. For the first time, Brian felt like he was walking on shards of glass. The silence was killing Brian inside.

Justin looked into Brian's eyes and he saw something precious. There was that delicate vulnerablilty that Brian hid well. For that second...there wasn't any barrier between them and Brian was a different person.

Justin then surprised Brian and himself by smashing lips against Brian's unknowing ones. His hands threading in to Brian's hair.

Brian was taken by such a surprise that he froze for a second or two. He then resumed kissing at a carnal pace. A blinding flash of light blew in Brian's heart when he realised Justin had accepted his proposition.

Brian tightened his embrace, crushing Justin against his body. Justin did the same without breaking their kiss because no matter how close they were, it wasn't enough.

It never was enough.


Justin had started to paint again.

Brian's mood had started to change, in a positive life-affirming way.

The following days after their renewal of relationship had been strange. They argued far less and even if they did it held less condescension but were more frisky and playful. Justin started to smile more often which did weird things to Brian's inner sex demon.

Justin actually felt elated, like he was flying. There were no chains of guilt to pull him down. The war within him was starting to end. The past blurred with each passing day. Sometimes however, he still had lingering doubts about where they were exactly heading to or even a horrid fear that this contentedness would end soon. What would happen then?

Justin started to slowly pick up on Brian's small subtle yet heart melting antics. Like the other day, Justin wondered why there were an infinite number of dishes stretched across the table. Justin then understood that Brian's actual intention was to find out what kind of dishes he liked. He was beginning to understand Brian's peculiar way of showing that he cared.

He'd especially like it when Brian would sit there silently and watch him paint. There would be no words exchanged just the silent language of their eyes or sometimes Brian's nod of approval. Later on, it usually resulted in sex.

Brian liked watching Justin. There was something in his dexterity that left him mesmerized, especially when he was painting. He never had the pleasure since Justin refused to paint before. Maybe that said barrier was slowly vanishing. And every minute he saw the real Justin unveiling, he was falling into this endless pit, deeper and harder.

Justin started to identify Brian as a unique individual and not as a representation of all rumours he'd heard since the beginning of his stay here. He discovered Brian loved weapons of all kind. He discovered Brian made his own sword when he was eighteen. He'd always had an ambition to become independent. He learnt that Brian became frustrated even when the smallest of things seemed out of their place. He had a soft corner for Cynthia that he'd found to be interesting. He loved to drink alcohol, copious amounts of it. He had never paid close attention before to any of these details. The more he knew, the more he wanted to know.

Today Brian was in the court as usual but what was unusual was Justin's visit. Justin flashed him a smile and quietly sat. Michael had raised a brow and frowned slightly. Theodore was busily writing something down and even he stopped to watch this event unfold.

All that time, Brian sat on his throne. Unlike the king in the game of chess, Brian exercised his power immensely, never idle. He watched Brian listen tentatively, understand and ultimately judge. Michael always let his opinion know and Brian considered patiently. Men and women alike respected his decision. He did trade of all kinds. When questions were raised, Brian never faltered. The courtiers worked perfectly under the king's commands. He dictated how the money was spent and saved although he observed Theodore's heavy hand in this.

Justin had an expression of awe instilled in his face. He watched his father sometimes, but it was never this flawless, this perfect. So perfect…

However his impression didn't last long… It was the time where Brian issued executions. It reminded Justin the harsh reality of Brian's world he was in.

Justin cringed inside when he heard one of the prisoners would be getting a screw drilled into the back of his neck until his vertebrae severed, disconnecting his head from his body. Then most probably thrown to the dogs. Another man was punished to fifty lashes, till blood seeped from his injuries and the worst one of them was a man being sent to the rack, which cruelly tore every limb from the defenceless body. The process would unfold as follows, an executioner turned the handles to a rope that twisted their joints out of their sockets. The courtiers applauded Brian's punishments for the wrong-doers.

Justin stood up abrupt and left not wanting to know the rest of it. He felt sick. His father had never done that. Had he? He didn't think he would. He had never seen him do it. He knew they used to hang people but that was a quick, painless death. Yet here was Brian was with all his devices, torturing these men. Justin shuddered.

Brian did nothing to stop him. He felt Justin standing on this proverbial high pedestal of morality, looking down at him with condescension and that image alone made him snap in irritation. Maybe he did have a slight sadistic inclination to execute people in creative ways. He had even designed some of them; although those were from a younger version of him trying to please his father.

Michael switched glances between Brian and Justin. He watched Brian's jaw tightening. If only Justin knew how Brian's father had ruled. Back then when death had been a frequent visitor and fear was a permanent guest. His father was even famous for torturing women with pointed tools, tearing their all sorts of orifices apart. They would be dragged in for common crimes such as blasphemy. Oh, that old man especially loved women who adulterated because with them no kind of torture could be cruel enough.

Brian had changed lot of rules after he was assigned the throne. He saved the kingdom from collapse. He rebuilt the treasury. He regained the people's trust. It was hard work but Brian was never distracted.

He made himself worthy. He earned his arrogance.

"Michael" Brian called.

"Sire"

"Forget him"

Michael nodded. Brian was his idol and he always will be.

Meanwhile…

Justin decided to walk for some time since he was feeling quite dishevelled. He had to keep reminding himself that this was a side of Brian he still needed to get used to.

Justin's eyes then spotted a familiar figure quite distant, it was Brandon. He was working on something… he wasn't sure what he was doing.

Justin froze. Brandon spotted him.

He smiled at him.

Justin didn't smile back. It brought back memories.


That night, Brian told his family that he'd liked to have a private dinner with Justin, alone.

So dinner was set in the balcony itself. Brian wished to be closer to him which was usually quite impossible in the dining room.

The candles were lit, the food was served, the breeze was cool and the moon was full. It was a perfect night.

Justin walked in, looking exquisite. Brian's eyes never left him until he seated himself opposite to him.

"Justin"

"Brian"

They smiled at each other but Justin's smile didn't meet his eyes. It looked forced.

"Shall we begin?" Justin asked.

Brian gestured casually with his wine glass and nod of his head.

They ate in silence for some time. Justin chewed and swallowed in a pattern. Everything tasted the same tonight.

"I'll be leaving for a five day expedition, early in the morning. Nothing important, a regular tradition to see how my kingdoms are doing"

Justin nodded, not exactly registering what Brian was telling him.

Brian closely observed Justin and he knew the eruption was quite close. He wondered if it had something to do with what happened in the court today.

Justin then suddenly let go of his fork and knife. He took a quick but large gulp of wine.

Their eyes met and Brian raised a brow.

"Tell me about them" Justin asked quietly after he sufficiently calmed his nerves.

"About who?" Brian asked, continuing to eat.

"About the ones you've married before"

That was unexpected. Brian was losing his appetite, fast.

"Why do you want to know?" Came the stark question rustling Justin out of his thoughts.

Justin shrugged, rubbing his forehead "Curiosity"

Brian's lips were straight line. "Is that all?"

Under Brian's penetrating gaze, Justin wanted to shrivel up into a ball.

Justin nodded his head slowly.

"So you want to know about the men I've married?" He repeated, quietly judging the man before him.

Justin nodded cautiously.

Brian's mind flashed back to his past. His gaze going out of focus. Most of the faces were blurry. He remembered sex, their naked bodies all in bits, an ass here, a cock there but nothing much else. Nothing really significant. Conversations he had them? He tried hard. He realised he never exactly talked with them.

"Honestly I don't remember them much. Insignificant but beautiful men" Brian reminisced.

Justin's stomach churned. He imagined Brian whispering and calling them beautiful and other endearments while they were entwined, all naked. All of a sudden his stomach tried to push the food back up.

"All dead, I presume?" Justin prodded.

Brian ignored the contempt Justin's voice held or was that fear?

"Not all of them. Some I've spared" Brian said leaning back against the chair. This night wasn't going to end well.

Justin's heart rate sped. Some were spared? They were still alive and well? What were they doing now?

He asked the next question fearing the answer. "How- How did you kill them, the rest of them?"

"You should eat first"

Justin didn't want to, but the Brian's tone was severe. Not wanting to arouse the lion from its sleep, Justin hastily put some cold salad in his mouth.

Brian didn't answer until after Justin swallowed four times.

"Beheaded…"

"What?"

Brian ignored the exclamation; he knew Justin heard it well. "Some were hanged. I was lenient with them"

Justin swallowed hard. Lenient?

"Why…" Justin dragged out the syllable.

"Circumstances"

Justin didn't like that answer. He didn't like Brian's expression.

He leaned forward. "Circumstances of what kind?"

"I don't want to discuss this any further" Brian grimly concluded, the food tasted bland now for some reason.

Justin however wasn't giving up.

"Let me guess, was it boredom? Did they get too ugly for you? Not too obedient enough?" His last question ending in high pitch.

Brian leaned forwards, clenching his knife so hard that his knuckles appeared pale.

"You know nothing…" Brian gritted through his teeth.

All of a sudden, it brought back incredibly horrid memories. He remembered the days where he had been a ruthless bastard, hell he still was in a way but it was worse and fate made sure he met even more abhorring men along the way.

Justin's eyes held fire and Brian's incomplete secretive replies did nothing to extinguish them.

For quite some time, there was nothing but silence. Justin felt his eyes sting. Fear struck once again. It was beginning to become his ever constant companion. Would he die this way too? Rotting away in these very grounds without a head attached to his body?

"I'd like desert now" He told Brian.

Deserted plates were removed and dessert was brought. Justin only stared at it, hoping to find answers.

Brian didn't eat dessert so he watched Justin. He scrutinized him. The silence was unbearably uncomfortable.

Justin didn't meet Brian's gaze. He played with his food, trying to build up his courage in order to ask him the most important question. He took a deep breath and asked the most difficult question. His heart in his throat.

"Did you…did you love any of them?"

Brian didn't answer right away. He watched Justin in that flickering candlelight. There was a despondent tone underneath that question. There was no doubt now. There was indeed something more than curiosity.

His eyes boring into Justin's, he answered "No. I didn't love them."

Brian noticed the brief look of relief in Justin's eyes. He frowned. What did that mean?

He continued talking, as if though it was necessary.

"I don't believe in fairy tales Justin…nor do I believe in love" He spat his words slowly and distastefully. Normally he would've gotten a kick out of saying his favourite line, a smirk usually but watching Justin's expression of disappointment. Instead, it irked him.

"You don't believe in love?" Justin repeated quietly, more to himself in utter disbelief.

"Love is weak, feeble, feminine emotion. It does nothing but makes you vulnerable, exposes you to unnecessary heart ache. However, it is a great excuse to get them in bed. Love is convenience. It's temporary. It's pathetic"

"And definitely can never win against a man's need for power, wealth and status." He added quickly, raising his wine glass.

Justin slammed his palms flat against the table and stood up in fluent move "That's not true!"

"Should I call that innocence or ignorance?" Brian casually asked him. Not showing how Justin's outrage affected him.

Justin only stared at him.

"Sit down" He demanded.

That tone again. Justin slowly sank back to his chair, slinking further, wanting to hide.

There was more silence until Brian broke it, shaking Justin.

"They all said they loved me" Brian told him.

Justin looked up.

"Fell on my feet, insisted I marry them. Oh yes, they told me great many things Justin"

"Three months? Maybe five? After that they change. They decide they want more. Always more…it would never be enough. And that would be the beginning of their end"

"However, I don't want to wrong the betrothed. They were some who were sickeningly mellow that got tedious as time went by. Simply incompatible to my lifestyle. Those men I did spare."

He had never seen them again. He never wished to.

Justin nodded slowly. He wanted to know one thing. Was he different from these men?

So he asked, risking his dignity. His voice trembled in the beginning "So if you see someone else better, would you replace me?"

Brian needed a moment to answer this. He hardly doubted he would find something better than Justin. But in this hypothetical situation, according to his principles…well he should.

Brian answered, waveringly. "Maybe"

Justin visibly flinched. He was stunned to make any visible comment.

Brian moved forward until he was eye-to-eye. "Why, would you do something different?" He asked. Brian knew Justin would run the second, he would find someone stronger, kinder, more expressive, someone who believed in love…

When Justin didn't respond, Brian concluded it himself "I thought so"

Justin slowly stood up. His world reeling all around him.

Would he?

He leaned over the ledge. He tried distracting himself.

He felt Brian's hands sliding across his waist. For once his cock wasn't prodding him in the ass.

"Justin"

"My past is dark and complicated. I don't expect you to understand"

Justin let out a derisive laugh. "There isn't much to understand. You used and you killed" Justin stated as matter of fact.

Brian's expression became grim. He turned Justin around to face him.

"Go ahead judge me, tell yourself you're better a person than I could ever be. I know you already do."

"But before you do, ask yourself if you could spare a man that wanted nothing but your death. Those men I've married bought their own graves, Justin"

Brian was exceptionally wealthy and powerful. There were thousands of men who wanted nothing but be the man himself. To be able to have the hand that if its fingers snapped, not hundreds, nor thousands but tens of thousands of men and women alike would bow down to him. Men who dreamt of owning acres of land, architecture, not to mention control men like puppets. It would only be a dream come true.

"I doubt that" Justin retorted.

Brian laughed. The night had become darker. "You are naïve Justin. You don't know what ambition can drive a person to do, especially for power"

"My rules might sound cruel, heartless perhaps but they are fair"

Brian expression turned serious. "And I don't intend to change, not for some golden blond boy who believes in love and happily-ever after endings"

"So what if I do?" Justin asked him.

Brian moved a step back. An unexpected reply.

"You think you're magnificent, you're better than everyone else because you've hardened your heart? You can't feel pain, is that it? Maybe pain isn't the only emotion you can't feel."

Brian stared at him. How was Justin able to break him over and over again.

Justin stepped up. He felt taller than Brian this second. "I wonder Brian. I really do, how do you know you're even alive?"

If Brian's heart was a gong, it would've clanged so loud the entire palace would've been wide awake.

"You're alone Brian. That's the truth. And you have a great way of covering it up." Justin concluded. He wasn't going to allow Brian to be led in the wrong direction anymore.

Brian looked uncomfortable. His philosophy was never questioned this bluntly. It was massacred.

Justin felt his blood rising, as he ended with his last blow "I hope you intend to let me go or spare me to call it in your own terms"

"Why is that?" Brian asked, his throat drying out. His voice was sounded weak and he hated it.

"Because…we'll never last." Justin told him frankly.

"We define incompatible Brian"

Brian for the first time was lost for words. This week what they had shared, it was all a dream was it? He couldn't think of a response. He wasn't angry. He felt numb with pain.

"Should I clear the plates, Sire?"

Brian and Justin both turned to the man who clearly had no idea what he was disturbing.

Brian dismissed the man with his arms. "And a message from your sister, your majesty" he added, bringing him a note.

"She'd like to meet you as soon as possible"

Brian glanced at Justin who had turned his back to him and was staring out the balcony.

"Tell her to meet me in my study."

"Right now Sir?" He asked looking nervously at Justin.

He looked at Justin's back. "Right now. The conversation has ended here, anyway"


"There has been an intruder" Cynthia blurted, the second she entered in to the study.

There was no answer from her brother. He was staring off into space, leaning his back against his wooden desk.

"Brian…?"

Brian's head snapped up to meet Cynthia's puzzled expression. He scowled mentally.

He looked worried and tense. "Are you all right?" She asked concerned.

"I'm fine" He barked back. "What did you want to talk about?" He asked irritated.

"Intruder, in my room" She repeated, exasperated.

Brian raised a brow. "An intruder and no one had noticed?"

"The signs are subtle."

She continued after a pause "I know this may sound strange but my room feels like it's been searched."

Brian asked "Anything stolen?"

"Matter of fact, yes. My tonic cabinet's lock disappeared and there are a few bottles missing"

Brian's forehead scrunched in serious thought.

Cynthia offered an explanation. "Do you think someone who's desperately sick might have stolen them? Trying to find their own cure, maybe?"

That sounded far-fetched to her own ears.

Brian shook his head. "That'd be wishful thinking"

Cynthia frowned. She had a feeling that history was repeating yet again.

"Let them search the entire palace. Give them a ridiculously large reward to whoever finds it"


Morning came, signalling Brian's departure.

Justin ate breakfast in silence, since the entire table decided to ignore him. In their eyes, he was invisible. Despite their disagreements yesterday night, he missed Brian's overbearing presence. Without Brian, he felt even more alone around this palace.

He wondered briefly, how Brian would've been if he was a sensitive, romantic man who brought him roses and showered him with words of love, would that be his perfect match? Is there anything as such?

However Justin didn't regret what he said. It was the truth. Nothing could change that.

After breakfast, Justin decided to do paint. Out in the garden, the sun shone brilliant. Justin was briefly distracted from all the drama. He sat down on the cool grass, still a little wet from the morning's chillness. The canvas lay bare before him showing him endless possibilities.

Before he decided what he really wanted to do. His hands were already outlining the bane of his existence, his sickening obsession.

A voice suddenly emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, cut Justin's thoughts like a knife.

"Not him again"

He identified it almost immediately. It was Brandon's.

A frown started to appear on Justin's already distraught face. He turned towards the man, his brows jumping up a notch on his face.

Brandon was wearing nothing but a pair of tight-fitting thin cotton pants, black-coloured. Beads of sweat cascaded down from his forehead down to his chest. His hair was glistening with sweat.

Once he got Justin's attention, he quickly rasped "I've got something important to say"

He was holding an axe and was carrying firewood. That explained the sweat. He'd guessed he was taking them to the kitchen.

"I have to go Brandon. Another time possibly"

Brandon's tone sounded serious but Justin didn't wish to continue this conversation. It never ended in good terms. He got up and started to brush the dirt off.

"Prince!"

Justin didn't turn back…

Brandon gritted his teeth, sucked in a short breath and yelled.

"You're getting EXECUTED!"

Justin stopped in his tracks.

What?

Brandon walked closer to the frozen young blond. He cautiously placed his hand on Justin's shoulder, feeling no resistance, he squeezed lightly.

"I'm sorry...Prince."

He added quickly, further antagonizing the wound "It would be held once the Brian would be back from his expedition"

Justin looked up for the first time, hearing Brian's name pulled him out of his first stage of shock.

Brandon stared into those eyes. God, those eyes. They held so much pain. They were completely translucent. It was hitting him in waves. Was he really in love with that bastard?

Justin wanted to know how was this information leaked. "Ho..."

Brandon cut him off. He knew exactly what Justin was going to ask.

"I have my ways...the walls are thinner than you imagine"

Justin wasn't slow but the news was extremely unsettling and it took a few seconds for the words to settle in, to sink in...

"This-This can't be true…" He squeaked. Brian wanted to start again? Didn't he? That night they had kissed and... It was getting hard to breathe all of a sudden.

Brandon continued, his voice dropping lower. He glanced to see if anyone was watching them. It was a secluded area, so there were none at this time of the day. He exhaled in relief.

He gazed into the bleeding blue eyes and taunted him "It can't be true? Are you really surprised?"

"Tell me Justin" He asked.

Justin's eyes looked up for the first time into Brandon's eyes. Everything he said was making perfect sense and it scared him.

"Did you think Brian would keep you forever especially after everything that you did?"

Justin blinked. Everything I did?

Justin felt sick about last night. Had he stepped over the boundary? Was that the final blow that landed him straight under the blade? When the pieces of the puzzle were fitting, then it started…

The Panic

Brian... He wanted him dead.

After all, wasn't he expecting to hear this word since the beginning of his time in this palace?

But then why did he feel betrayed? Deceived?

His heart was aching with a pain like no other. Like someone had pushed in with their bare hands into his frail chest and was squeezing his bleeding heart tight. Not squeezing, pulling it, tearing it apart.

"The members of the Kinney family aren't too keen on letting you live, especially after those several performances"

Justin swallowed hard. It made sense to why they were incredibly hostile. He had embarrassed the king. He had harmed him physically and…

A short burst of pain clouded his senses, momentarily losing himself in the darkness.

Brandon continued to talk, continued to torment Justin. "However, that wasn't the lone reason..."

He then stopped talking, building the suspense.

Justin trembled as he demanded "No reason to hold back now, is it?"

Brandon nodded humbly. "The day you've first talked to me was the day he had slashed me open. I still have the scar"

He then showed Justin, a black line across his chest.

"I don't understand"

Brandon sighed and continued "Remember the very first time you've talked to me. He watched us then. It was the very day he had thought that we both…" Brandon coughed nervously. "Well you know… After you left, he made me confess with his sword under my neck. I had to beg him and tell him that nothing had happened between us"

"What" Justin uttered the word quietly in complete utter shock. Now, now he was beginning to sweat. That night, he remembered Brian telling him to stay away from Brandon…that…god, that was the very same day where they had sex for the first time.

So Brian fucked him the first time for what? To punish him for his deed? What? Did Brian really believe that he'd sleep with whoever he would come across? It made his skin crawl with the fact that Brian was watching him behind the bushes.

Brandon watched a range of emotions spread across Justin's face, the last of his expressions was of disgust.

Justin told him abruptly "I need to go"

He felt like a fucking fool. How dare he think that it was possible for Brian to change for him? For him?

Brandon stopped Justin by pulling him by his hand "Justin, wait! Take this"

"What?" Justin fumbled with his words as Brandon slipped him a small tiny bottle with clear fluid.

"It can kill" Brandon whispered secretively. Once again checking the surroundings.

Brandon wanted him to kill Brian. Justin's heart raced faster. No!

Justin spluttered and stammered. "Brandon, no. I-I can't take this"

Brandon unclasped and clasped Justin's fingers around the bottle. He covered Justin's hands with his own.

Brandon's eyes bored into the scared ones, his saw the vulnerability. "Don't turn into one of them, Prince"

Justin knew what he was referring to. It made his blood cold.

Brandon pulled the axe over his shoulder and walked way, carrying the firewood. He never looked back. He didn't need to.