My Lord My Prince Ch. 02byposhbillionaire©
Copyright – Poshbillionaire 2011
My sincere apologies for the delay! It's been so crazy for me lately...
To N... you're the best ever! I just had to say something!
Prince Hammand was to go out with Chief Bani Manz for most of the day to do some inspections. The first thing he wanted to do was have Asgar meet Miriam. He hoped she had returned from her trip, she was usually back by this time. In fact she seemed to have stayed longer this time, or maybe it was just his eagerness.
"Go and find out if Mother Miriam has returned," he ordered the slaves who had just finished cleaning out his bath. The frightened look on their faces disappeared when they realized they were only being sent on an errand and had done nothing wrong. They began to scramble off in relief.
"Be sure to come back with the news at once."
"Yes, my prince," they muttered in unison, walking backwards and bowing as they retreated.
Asgar chuckled from underneath the bed covers. He had been peeking but had kept out of sight of the slaves. He sat up with a smile, still a little groggy.
"You know you scared them."
"I didn't mean to. I've never been harsh to them so why would they be afraid of me?" he muttered, sitting on the bed.
"It's possible they may be treated differently outside of your chambers so may not expect anything different from you."
"Who's Mother Miriam?" Asgar asked, sliding to the edge of the luxurious bed and making sure to keep his eyes averted from the prince's body when he noticed he was getting dressed.
Hammand smiled thoughtfully, "She nursed me from birth and practically raised me." Asgar nodded, subconsciously knowing that the royals did not nurse their babies themselves. "She is like a mother to me, we're very close. She has been out of town for a while. I'm hoping she's back by now."
Miriam was a quiet, strangely eclectic person and for this reason most people seemed to fear her. Before she was chosen to nurse Prince Hammand, she was the priestess of Akin Ra. It had happened by chance really. The young wet nurse who had been set aside to help the Queen had run off with the servant who had gotten her pregnant and there was no woman around who could produce milk. It was unheard of for a Queen to nurse in these parts but the baby was weakening. Everyone had been terrified of what could happen.
There had been such a long, frantic search for a nurse and it was thought to be strange that there were no women who still had milk anywhere close. By the time Miriam was found walking aimlessly in the forest by chance, the royal family was desperate. She had been weeping for days on end for she had just lost her baby.
"Will you help us?" she had been asked by the head adviser when she arrived at the palace. All the advisers and healers had surrounded her, ready to do anything, give anything to keep her there. The crowd of people should have frightened Miriam; she was usually such a solitary creature. But she had looked around her and felt a calmness that told her she was in the right place.
"Yes" she had said. She had plenty of milk to spare to the one who needed her. The one she was sent here for. She would give all she could. It was her destiny after all.
No one questioned how she had found her way there.
"Where are you from, maiden?" She had been asked amidst whispers of thanks and praise.
"Far away" she had said simply, offering nothing more. And that was all there was to it. There were no more enquiries from that point.
No one knew anything more about the young maiden. No one questioned her pregnancy or her marital status, even though she was alone. No one questioned how she came to know that the Queen needed a nurse for her new baby. At that time, not a lot of people were even aware the Queen had given birth. But it was accepted.
It was never questioned.
The royal house had been so happy and relieved to have a nurse at last. They could not take the chance that she would run off like the first nurse had so Miriam was given all she asked for; in their eyes her requests were meager. All she asked was to keep her duties as a healer and priestess alongside taking care of the prince; to take care of him until he himself decided he no longer had need for her.
She had been whisked off to the Queen who promptly passed her Prince Hammand without even asking her name; so relieved that she would not have to nurse him herself. Miriam had happily taken baby Hammand on and they had been like mother and child ever since. This was mainly because he was the youngest son out of three and no one paid too much attention to him other than ensure he was well taken care of. She loved him like he was her own and she would protect him with her life. Everyone who knew them in the region knew that. The prince knew that. He loved her just as much.
Prince Hammand had grown up hearing tales of her regular haunts in the forests; with spirits and animals. He lived for her intriguing tales when he was younger and always wanted to go with her into the forest but his parents never permitted it. That was one privilege that was never granted her. Prince Hammand suspected she did not wish this. He knew she had a way of getting what she wanted. She must not have wanted him along anyway.
As he got older, his interest in her work in the forests had waned. He looked back on her stories as fairytales told simply to entertain his childish mind. She found the change amusing but never questioned his new view; she just let him go ahead with it. It did not affect her work and he did not challenge it either so she did not take offence.
Prince Hammand really hoped she was back.
* * * *
Miriam knew something new awaited her at the palace. While she had been picking herbs, she had felt a long familiar burning in her shoulder blades. It was a surprise, albeit a frightening one.
It was not possible. How?
The last time she had felt that pain was when she had approached the baby prince. That was a lifetime ago.
At the time she had simply been puzzled at the pain and when she had gotten the courage to look, she found an imprint of the ankh right between her shoulder blades. She had never questioned its appearance, taking it in her stride with her usual acceptance of all things spiritual. It was life. It was Prince Hammand. All these years, she had thought her work was with Prince Hammand alone.
But now that she felt it again, she worried. She was too old to nurse, too old to care for a baby like it should be cared for with a lot of energy and love. She was unsure she could give what was expected of her, but it would be the will of Akin Ra. Not to be disobeyed. Ever.
She was even more afraid when she got a look at her back.
"How can this be?" she had questioned. It was a second ankh, a much larger one this time. It enveloped the older imprint completely whilst keeping it still in view and they shone brightly in gold and black hues. Both, in turn, were wrapped in vines of ivy and numerous tiny flowers; yellow acacia, forget me nots, gladiolus and lily all spotted delicately with dew.
This puzzled her beyond words and she spent nights going over it in her head. She deciphered its possible meaning but was so confused at the strange implications of that idea that her unease and turmoil continued. The confusion also made her uncomfortable, it was such an alien emotion after years of knowing most things with relative ease. Her first instinct had been to rush back to the palace but she forced herself to calm down and make as much sense of it as she could. After all no harm had come to Prince Hammand, she would have known if it had.
She even stayed an extra day out there to pray as hard as she could and put forth offerings to the Gods for the sake of her son. When she eventually made her way back, she was no less confused than she had been when the imprint appeared. Maybe her son would have answers.
* * * *
The slaves brought back news that Miriam had just returned from her quarterly herb hunt and prayer escape in the forest.
"Would that be all my prince?" the taller of the slaves asked with a bowed head.
Prince Hammand made sure to smile at them. "Yes," he said brightly, "that is all. I am happy you brought me good news. Tell the head cook to give you eggs with your next meal. You are to report to me with the food to confirm he has done this. Tell him that."
The slaves nodded vigorously and hopped away in delight. Hammand felt very good with himself for playing a part in their joy.
"That was a very nice thing to do." Asgar's voice came from behind him. He turned around and blushed. The big man was just out of the bath. He was bare-chested with a towel wrapped around his waist. The towel was one of Hammand's; it was small and didn't leave much to the imagination. His toned thighs were partially exposed and rippling.
He was wet all over.
"I'm not a bad person... am I?" his voice had gone hoarse from what he was seeing.
"No my prince. You're a good person." Asgar whispered, somehow suddenly in front of him and stroking his cheek. Asgar's hand was cold from his bath and yet the prince had to fight not to lean into it. He failed, Asgar smelt so good, so fresh, he couldn't resist. He just wanted to keep breathing him in. "But you are a prince. You are Prince Hammand of Renadi, the largest of the five regions of Goren. The most beautiful prince in the entire country."
"Asgar, don't say that. I am not beautiful!"
"Yes you are my prince. You have no idea... how... perfect you are." Hammand blushed at the sincerity in his voice, hiding his burning face in Asgar's cool palm. "People will fear you for who you are, whether you are good or not. But it is good to show them mercy and kindness as much as you can."
"You will remind me of this when I forget. Won't you?" he asked softly, breath warm against Asgar's palm.
"I don't think you will forget..." Asgar's other hand went to the other side of his face, cupping his cheek and tilting his face up. "But I'll be here... for anything you need."
Their eyes held at the promise in his words, for somehow it sounded like it meant a great deal more. Prince Hammand wanted to reply but his throat felt clogged with emotion so he simply swallowed his words. There was something building between them, he could not tell what but he could feel it so strongly. It was a wonderful feeling yet it frightened him so.
The huge man bent over and let their foreheads, then their noses, touch. The tension was crackling in the air as they breathed each other.
"Anything..." Asgar promised tenderly as he lifted his head.
Prince Hammand felt a strong fluttering in his lower belly and took a step back. Asgar's hands dropped slowly and he made to pull off the towel. The prince's eyes widened in fright and the big man let out a chuckle but stopped, waiting. Hammand tried not to stare at Asgar's body but it was difficult considering the man was so entrancing... and half naked. His face was red hot as he turned away, heading towards the door.
"I'm... I..." he took a deep breath to calm his nerves. "I'm going to meet Mother Miriam. I will be back soon."
"Shall I wait here? Or are you gone for the day?"
"Yes!" Hammand rasped, fighting the urge to turn to face him for he could hear the flapping of the towel as Asgar dried himself. Oh God, he was completely naked right now. If he turned around, he would see all of him. Hammand had no idea why this excited him so much.
"I mean no." he corrected himself, shaking his head to clear it. "I'll be back very soon."
He rushed off before the urge to turn overwhelmed him, the echo of Asgar's amusement behind him. Hammand could not help but smile.
It had been over two weeks since he had purchased Asgar and he had been itching for her to get back from her haunt. Time dragged on endlessly with no sign of her. It was beginning to seem like she was staying in the haunt longer than normal.
He usually didn't fuss about her being in the forest any longer as she had done it for so long and had proved that she could take care of herself in every situation. But he was itching for her to meet Asgar so bad that it felt like forever. Not that he would accept anyone's opposition to his new friend at this point but he wanted to know what she thought of him at least; if she liked him. Her opinion mattered a lot to him.
Now he had word that she had returned, he was excited to hear that at last. He hoped Asgar wouldn't mind for he was certainly not letting him go off with Shetna or the servants for the day while he was away with his father. He hated doing that for deep inside he did not want Asgar to associate with the other slaves at all if he could help it.
To try and avoid any coercing from the big man, he went off to Miriam's first and then, on arrival, sent some of his guards to bring Asgar to him when he was ready.
"Mother!" he called out as he entered the secondary royal kitchen. She was nowhere in sight, just four female slaves working at the hearth. They jumped up at the sight up at his appearance, scrambling to stand in line and bow as they straightened their clothes. "Relax..." the prince said with a nod.
"Where is Mother Miriam?" he queried.
"She is down in the cellar my prince. Shall we fetch her?"
"No." he said, waving them off. "Go back to work. I will go to her myself."
He walked down into the cellar, his excitement increasing as he went down the long flight of stairs so by the last few he was hopping. "Miriam? Mother?"
She was by the clay pots, dishing out some herbs into a tray. Her eyes lit up at the sound of his voice and she put the tray down on a pot, holding her arms out to her beloved son.
They hugged with a laugh, Miriam wondering at Hammand's unusual excitement. He was practically dancing on his feet.
"Have you missed me so much?" she teased when they pulled apart, her eyes twinkling like they did when she was happy. She was still a good-looking woman despite being past her prime. Her hair was very long and braided; it reached past her waist and was streaked with gray on the right side as if by design.
"Of course I missed you!" he laughed as her face filled with amused disbelief, rambling on "Okay, I have been waiting for you to get back. Why did you stay so long? Come, let's go up to the kitchen and sit down. I have so much to tell you, mother. I met someone... well, not really met, more like I bought someone..."
Even as he filled Miriam in on what had happened in her absence, his mind kept going back to Asgar; so much that he did not notice that his mother was not her usual self.
He knew Asgar would be mad that he didn't return to his chamber like he had assured. He would probably be even more surprised at the guards too. Just waiting for him to arrive was making him more nervous and jittery by the second.
So when he was brought in, the prince subtly hid behind Miriam to escape his stare. Miriam smiled to herself, wondering what was going on. The prince had been excitedly telling her all about the new slave he bought, how huge he was, how perfect he was, how handsome he was, how deep his eyes were... she had never seen her son like this.
The guards left, bowing and only Asgar stood there, trying to catch his eye after nodding respectfully at Miriam. The prince wouldn't budge from her back. "Asgar, this is Mother Miriam."
"My greetings..." the huge man hesitated, unsure how to address the woman. She sized him up intently and he waited calmly for her opinion. Prince Hammand seemed to be waiting too for he became quiet. It was like they were both holding their breath.
Miriam took her time to look him over like she did everyone she met who had a connection with her ward. Her immediate thought was that he was no slave, bought or not. No wonder Hammand was hiding from him. He looked like a King, his tall powerful frame imposing yet magnificent. Intense eyes made even darker and more mesmerizing by hooded thick dark brows. He was quite handsome too and very muscular but lean; he must have been a warrior of some sort in his past life. He most certainly was something important.
Most people of such great height tended to stoop to others; he on the other hand held his head up high and proud. You had to look up high to meet his gaze and she was 5"7. She wondered how her son managed with him, little as he was. He was giggling softly behind her so it looked like he was managing just fine. This was interesting.
Even more interesting was the tingling on her back. The imprint was identifying its connection, giving her the answer she needed. Miriam felt her body sag as it relaxed instantly at the revelation. She struggled to keep from closing her eyes in relief as it flooded through her. She knew what it all meant now and it was a wondrous thing.
"Call me Miriam." Her smile flashed brightly in her wonder.
"Miriam it is. It's very nice to meet you Miriam." He looked over her shoulder again. She smiled at him slightly, still appraising.
"And you are?"
Asgar looked over her shoulder, a bit hesitant to speak for himself when his master was there. "Prince Hammand?" He wanted the prince to come out of his hiding and introduce him however he saw fit.
"He's my com...friend. He is called Asgar."
"A slave?" Miriam murmured with a smile. "That's a surprise little prince, you never showed any interest in slaves before. He is very tall and proud. I must say he is very unlike what one would expect a slave to look like. I hear you bought him yourself..."
"Miriamma, don't tease. He's standing right there!" Hammand moaned in embarrassment. He had told her all this himself already, she didn't hear it from anywhere else!
Asgar laughed and walked towards in the chair Miriam's hand directed him to. It was round the side of the worktable and past two other chairs, which puzzled him. He went anyway and when he sat down he realized what she was doing.
He could see the prince now, looking so incredibly cute as he crouched behind Miriam. He blushed furiously when his eyes met with Asgar and covered his face with his hands. But he was still giggling though, which was good.
"Don't be mad..." he giggled, peeking a little at the huge man.
"I'm not mad, my prince. Come here," Asgar held out his hand, his voice soft.
Miriam raised her eyebrows in surprise at the way the slave spoke to Hammand. She turned away in though, bustling over to the farther side of the kitchen to give them their space. Hammand walked slowly to him and put his small hand in Asgar's large one, looking at the size difference in fascination. Asgar clamped down and pulled the small man to him until he was practically sitting in his lap.
He whispered in his ear, "You were supposed to come back," Hammand shivered a little. "I waited for you. Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong. I just wanted you to stay with Miriama for a while...I –" He cringed visibly as he spoke, waiting for Asgar to explode. Asgar saw this and strove to control himself even though he was now getting a bit upset.
"So am I her 'companion' now?"
"No!" came the shocked gasp. "I have to go with Father today for the inspections and cannot take my own slave," he didn't finish that sentence, "but other than outings like that, I will have you with me. Promise."
Asgar didn't answer; the words hit him like a bullet. He had let go of Hammand's hand now and was trying to deal with the prospect of being nothing but a pet, beautiful master or no. This could not be his life; this could not be his existence. He didn't want to frighten the prince again with his anger so he kept his turmoil to himself.
He simply looked up and stared at Hammand, his anger and despair showing blatantly.