Ben'hamin Ch. 03


"Only if I don't have to pick up a sword to do it, my lord," he answered. Ben'hamin laughed merrily.

"Oh, honey! I will get you a practice sword until you grow muscles. That is the way we do things here. This is not Hestos! This is Diverla..." He kissed him lovingly, as always slowly carrying him to the doors. "I am not expecting you to be a great swordsman the second you pick up a blade, precious. It is hard work," he whispered all the while he kissed him and kissed him greedily. "Oh, Gods, Avron...I missed you last night!"

Drawn by the sounds of ringing metal past the open doorway, Avron walked out as casually as he could to view the men practicing. Only two of the warlords were missing: Ben'hamin and Petr.

Avron shivered as eyes turned all around the assembly to glance at his naked chest speculatively. Curious of what they were seeing, Derix glanced behind him nearly failing to parry a heavy-handed reverse swing towards his abdomen. Derix swung back excessively aggressive angered by his own lack of attention.

His opponent was the calculating cruelty of the black lion warlord, Medr'ainder. They made a striking pair locked in nearly mortal combat. Avron had little doubt that Medr'ainder would kill Derix the second he got an opportunity. He knew Derix thought the same thing of the deadly warrior.

Avron continued around the courtyard until he could see Derix better. His muscles bulged shining in wetness and sunlight as he moved. Large stripes flared on his skin with red centers and similar bands of black encasing it. The stripes were much larger than last night and Avron studied each one in complete fascination.

Then, he saw the blade angled to take Derix's head! Derix was looking at Avron and didn't see the blow, but he saw Avron's eyes and knew Medr'ainder would aim for a killing strike. Derix's eyes widened in surprise even as his voice cried out firmly over the men, "Hold!"

Medr'ainder pulled the strike only half an inch from his skin. Derix didn't flinch. "Tired, my lord Derix," someone teased trying to keep Derix from turning to see the fury aimed at him on the face behind him.

"Distracted," the powerful warlord admitted with a wry smile as he pointed to another half-bare warrior to take his place. "Go easy on him, Medr'ainder."

Then, he turned back to Avron. The boy ducked his head in embarrassment. "Good morning, pet...Have you decided to join us, or watch the show?"

Derix's head twitched to the side catching a glance of Ben'hamin out of the corner of his eye as he came striding into the courtyard. Avron's flush immediately told him why the boy was stripped down like the warlords.

"My lord, you are awake quite late this morning. Did you treasure your gifts so highly?" A round of laughing and good-natured teasing jeers went up to greet him.

"I have not touched the boy. The girl was prize enough for one night."

"Only one, you jest," Derix said shaking his head in surprise. "Did you not like him?"

"I have plenty of time. He will be mine, old friend. He is in a disagreeable mood after I took the girl. Anger is not a good thing to mix with fear and confusion when trying to woo a potential lover...Besides, would you hurry a seduction when the girl was virginal?" Derix's smile changed from teasing to one of complete satisfaction.

"Then, the present was worthy of you, Ben'hamin."

"You flatter me, but I did enjoy it." Ben'hamin pulled Avron back into his supple body hugging him up to take away any sting of jealousy the conversation may have stirred within him. As always, Avron felt himself tremble in his grasp lowering his head shyly.

Ben'hamin frowned as he noted Petr missing. "Was there any trouble last night? I smelled your scent on Avron and now I find that Petr is gone. Tell me what has happened," he demanded softly.

Derix grinned slowly as his eyes traveled over his best friend's, little treasure. "Come, away from all of these inquisitive ears. My news is private and nothing to concern all of our great friends with, my lord."

Ben'hamin's brows rose curiously as he turned and led them back down the hallway to his much larger, day bedroom. It still had open access to the courtyard, but anyone caught snooping would be killed for the direct challenge to their authority. "Okay, now tell me."

Derix looked hesitant which never happened between them. Ben'hamin raised a hand and sighed. "This is going to take a while. Avron, pet, stay near the windows and tell me if anyone approaches it, please. The two of us need a bath, so if you will join me."

Derix almost smiled as he watched Ben'hamin casually disrobe. When they had the same amount on, Derix followed his motions with his own until both of them stood naked beside one another. Ben'hamin smiled. It was the exact same as the one Derix had almost used. There was old love between these two. It was in their eyes when they stood naked beside each other. Avron realized that Ben'hamin had successfully succeeded in banishing the hesitation in Derix over what he had to say.

They slid into the water and discussed the issue while cleaning the sweat and smells off of those beautiful bodies. Avron watched them far more than the window, but he listened carefully and would have known if someone had been snooping at any time. Ben'hamin was clearly agitated that Petr had betrayed them and just as upset by the idea that Derix blamed himself for that betrayal.

"I won't hear your arguments, Derix! We both knew that Petr might not be the most faithful of our men, but he is the closest in power and therefore the one we had to trust until this. He has shown that he cannot be trusted with anything more than complete warfare, so let it be on his head when we lower ourselves to one of the others for more private matters such as these. Who stands below him? Oh, never mind...I know the answer to that, don't I?"

"Yes, my lord...If you think we can trust him any more than Petr, you are wrong!"

"Medr'ainder," Ben'hamin grumbled, "perhaps his ways have corrupted our Petr. Who else have we got that stands close in power to him?"

"We can trust Dur'dan and Vir'dasar."

"Dur'dan is too old and his son is too young. I would not set them up to be murdered in their sleep. From here on out, we will go to Vir'dasar when we need another to carry out our plans. Agreed?" Derix nodded with a little, wistful smile. "What is it?"

"Now, my lord, I must guard my back even more closely. I will have two men trying to kill me to claim your bed," he teased wickedly. Ben'hamin grinned.

"They would not enjoy it as you do, old friend." Derix laughed at his suggestion, but he stilled his laughter when he saw a shadow of concern cross Ben's face.

"You would hold a grudge for me," he asked pleased by the thought. Ben'hamin's face darkened as his teasing grew more solemn and he nodded darkly. "Good, I will tell them that," he added softly, "perhaps it will discourage them."

"They should never even think it! I would slay them as they slept," Ben'hamin hissed. "You are the only reason I put up with these foolish politics, Derix! I am a more solitary beast and I do not like the company, much less the deceptions. I put up with all of this for you. I only ever need my lovers nearby. If they are not, I can't stomach to put up with them, and you know it!"

"You slept with Medr'ainder? When," Derix demanded. "That is like bedding a bag of swords, Ben! Why would you have done it?"

"He was much younger," Ben'hamin stated with a wistful look in his eyes, "the first time. After that, I guess he just liked me."

"Medr'ainder! I do not believe you ever found him when he was not deadly, my lord," Derix protested in revulsion.

"He is an excellent prize, but he hates being bested at anything," Ben'hamin added mischievously. Ben'hamin didn't tell him that Medr'ainder had been the one to find him. He had simply taken advantage of it.

"I am afraid the two of us would never work out unless we were completely, equal partners," Ben growled in amusement. "The Gods only know how useless it would be for me to try doing that sort of thing!"

Derix's dark, black eyes glittered with dangerous jealousy. "I would not like it much if you tried, my lord," he stated very, very softly to Ben'hamin. Ben hid his grin pretending to consider it causing Derix's jaw to firm even further in distress.

"No? Why wouldn't you like it? I think the two of us mastering you would be quite pleasurable to all three of us," he suggested with a husky timbre.

Derix stood to leave the pool, but Ben'hamin caught hold of his arm gently and looked up at him fondly. "Why do you flee me, Derix? Lately, I see little enough of you."

"If you want Medr'ainder, my lord, I can fetch him for you!" His growl was sheer irritation and full of dislike. Ben'hamin hated that the two of them couldn't even pretend to be friends, at times. "If you don't, I suggest you stop pretending that you do." Ben'hamin frowned slowly at him, not liking how close that resembled a threat. "I will not share you with him...I do not like him."

"You will do as I ask of you. Medr'ainder is not as bad as you believe. Why does he irritate you so swiftly? You knew I had touched him before or I would not have allowed him into this council. I despise those I have not fucked at some point or another!"

Derix tensed under his arm. "Answer me this: When did you fuck Medr'ainder last?"

"When you were away stealing Kir'sis," he answered easily. Ben'hamin saw the pain that sparked in Derix eyes and it confused him. "You are my closest friend and most intimate confidante, Derix. You will never be replaced by me; no one could fill your loss."

"I am certain Medr'ainder would try for you, my lord!" His scathing contempt caused anger to spark in Ben'hamin's eyes dangerously. "Why are you carrying on this torment? You know I don't like him! Yet you sit there and rub it in my face that you have slept with him," he growled bitterly.

"Step down, Derix," Ben'hamin warned. "You have not come to my bed in years, and rarely do I get the chance to correct that with stolen moments out-of-doors. Medr'ainder is a fairly good friend to me." Derix hissed in fury.

"You may be the closest friend I have, but you step dangerously where my beast is concerned. You know I will never stand for a challenge of any type," he stated with a touch of regret. "I do not want to hurt you, or have to drive you away from me."

"You keep pushing it," Derix whispered to him guiltily. "You know that Medr'ainder is my breaking point. It is almost like you want to send me away!"

"No," Ben'hamin hissed at him furiously. "That will never be the reason, Derix!" He was shaking with rage and his eyes flashed gold in warning.

Derix sat back down on the pool's little bench, quite unafraid, but unwilling to risk being driven from Ben'hamin's presence all over again so soon after the last time. "You are my friend! Damn it, why can't you act like it?"

Avron shivered at the anger in his voice and felt alarm for Derix as he sat there pale and defiant under that golden-eyed stare. Ben'hamin was angrier than Avron had ever seen when he snarled, "I like Medr'ainder."

"More than me, my lord," Derix asked without looking up in a very soft, sad voice. Ben'hamin looked startled and worried even as he shook his head in distress. "If..."

"Don't say it!" The bitter fury in that shout stopped Derix and closed his eyes as he grew still under that angry heat of magic and anger.

"I cannot..."

"Please, don't say it, Derix!" His best friend finally looked up and those black eyes met black eyes. Both of them looked scared to realize how much they could stand to lose over one ridiculous argument. Both of them looked worried and defiant at how much they could force the other to bend on one silly subject. "You would leave me?"

Derix closed his eyes and slowly shook his head. "I do not want such a thing," he whispered raggedly.

"Derix," Ben'hamin lifted up Derix's face and leaned in close, "You would leave me?"

"I was just a kid when I made you that promise," he hissed frustrated by his insinuation.

"Do you truly expect me to allow you to break it," Ben'hamin asked with a hint of a cold, yet playful, smile on his lips.

Derix looked up at Ben'hamin suddenly angry. The smile fled Ben's face for a look of gentle concern. "Do you make all of us swear the same promises? Am I fooling myself to think I mean more to you than they do?"

"Derix, you are the one...the only one...I would ever allow to get away with this. You have been with me since you were cub. I would miss you...I do miss you...when you are away from me. I meant what I said; no one could fill your loss." Ben'hamin grunted in disgust. "You know better than this," he swore. "Why are you testing my patience?"

"Medr'ainder," Derix growled. Avron could see his point. The dark warlord was greedy, cold and cruel. His ambitions would never leave Derix a moment's peace. "You know why I can barely stomach him!" A warning growl from that throat that looked so much like a normal man warned him not to restart the discussion.

"Barely," Ben'hamin snapped in wrath. "The three of us were friends once! I will not allow us to be separated because you two idiots remember how to hold a grudge, longer than anyone of the face of this continent throughout our entire history!"

Avron gasped having not known they had been friends with that despicable creature. Not a one of his slaves ever did more than tremble and quake in fear and unquestioning terror, Avron thought as his own skin turned clammy.

Medr'ainder had hurt him during that night the warlords had taken him, but he had held back most of his dangerous nature for which Avron had always been thankful. Their little treasure could not see Medr'ainder as a true friend to anyone, much less these two.

On impulse, he turned to look out of the window into the courtyard and saw with surprise that the warlords were watching Medr'ainder warily as he stood between them and the bedroom windows. Medr'ainder's back was to him and far enough away to give the semblance of privacy to the two snarling in the chamber beyond.

Surely, all of the warlords could hear some of the angry retorts. Were they curious why Ben'hamin was arguing, or why Derix was allowed to question him? Perhaps, he thought in concern, they were curious to know why Medr'ainder was the basis of that argument. Avron shuddered as a dark pair of eyes turned over that coppery shoulder to glance back at him in angry amusement. He gasped again and took a frightened step back from him.

There was something in his face, Avron thought. There was something in that look he recognized, but he couldn't place what it was as Medr'ainder turned back away to watch the dangerous crowd before him.

Avron pulled his linen pants off and stepped down into the water between the men. Ben'hamin looked amused as he held out an arm to wrap around him. "Hello, precious...You are not watching the window."

"I don't need to," Avron replied with a nervous frown, "because Medr'ainder is watching it." Derix looked dumbfounded by this information. Ben'hamin grinned.

Derix still looked irritated, but he nodded at them. Ben'hamin leaned in and whispered in Avron's ear. The boy turned red and stared at him for several minutes before standing up and turning around. He didn't look at Derix.

His eyes stayed on Ben'hamin until he sat slowly on Derix's lap. The huge man was tense beneath him, but Avron touched his face gently turning it up so he could lean down to kiss him. Derix's entire body shivered beneath him.

"Did you tell him to do that?" Avron looked up and glanced at Ben'hamin in concern when he growled the question.

"Avron prefers to be told what to do," Ben'hamin stated carefully, "If he didn't want to do it, he knows he has the right to complain. There are few things that I force him to do."

Derix frowned at Avron oddly. "I promise you, he wanted to kiss you, Derix."

Avron started to get up, but Ben'hamin glanced at him irritably. The boy sat where he had been more nervous that he had been beforehand. "Gods, do you always treat him like this? He mentioned that you made him nervous!"

"No, I scare him, Ben," Derix stated darkly.

"You are scaring me! Relax a bit and stop frowning," he ordered. "The boy likes you; you like him. What is the problem?"

"I don't know. It doesn't feel right to me," Derix growled.

"Does this have anything to do with being his father's lover while you were..."

A sharp splash broke off his comment as Avron leapt back further into the pool to glare at them! "What," he hissed, "you fucked my father?"

"Not likely, I'd say he had me..." Both of them were now glaring at one another! Ben'hamin rolled his eyes and sighed heavily.

"As I was saying...while you tried to steal Kir'sis!"

Derix glanced down uneasily. "Yeah, it does."

Avron's dismay didn't fold into anger like Ben'hamin expected. Instead, he shook his head and there were tears in is eyes. "Oh, Gods, Derix...I am sorry."

"For what," he asked sullenly.

"For wondering why you allowed someone like Petr to touch you," Avron whispered. "It must have made for good practice."

Derix looked up surprised. "Do a lot of spying into your dad's sex life as a kid?"

"No," Avron whispered with an edge of some indefinable emotion shadowing his eyes. "I just know..."

"I'll take that for an answer if we drop the subject," Derix growled softly. "I really don't feel like talking about it yet." Avron nodded, his face going all soft as he looked at Derix. He moved closer until he knelt around Derix's thighs. "Avron, what are you doing?"

"Kissing you," the boy stated calmly. He raised his arms to draw Derix's damp hair away from his cheeks to see his face clearly. "Do you mind?" Derix shook his head bemused by his sudden lack of fear and embarrassment.

The boy leaned in slowly until he finally allowed his lips to gently breeze over the warrior's firmer set. He sighed relaxing into him as the brushes gradually got harder. Then, Derix eventually opened his lips to him allowing Avron to deepen his efforts dramatically. The effect was explosive.

"It is about time," Ben'hamin mused wryly. They both ignored his sarcasm.

Derix raised his arms running his hands up the boy's lightly muscled back. He might not have been born big, but what muscle tone he had was fairly firm, Derix thought in surprise. Avron's bone structure was so delicate, though.

Avron sighed slowing the kisses as his eyes opened to study Derix's face. The big guy was trembling...It was subtle, almost not noticeable and his linen loincloth was being shoved aside with a fairly, rigid erection.

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