My Lord My Prince Ch. 03


then perked up as he recalled something. "There was one time Jinor got in trouble. He almost bonded with father's closest adviser's daughter. There was so much fear in the air while the investigations were carried out, you would have thought someone was going to get killed or something. The adviser was the worst, he kept crying as if it had been him that had been caught with Jinor. Even Father was somber. I'll never forget it; Miriam didn't let me forget. I was quite young then but she got a good chance to knock the fear of the gods into me."

Asgar said nothing even though he itched to tell him what he had discovered. But he could not. Telling Hammand that anyone he was caught bonding with would be slaughtered would only terrify him more than he already was. There was no good in that. Besides, it was not his place to tell him. Prince Hammand would be told when the time was right.

"So you have your eye on someone?"

"No!" Prince Hammand gasped, fearing his emotions were bare. "Of course not!"

"Then why are you asking?"

"I just wanted to know how it was like to make... love to... to a woman, that's all."

"You really want to know?"

"Yes," the prince whispered, "Yes I do." He really just wanted to know how Asgar made love, so he could dream about it.

"Are you sure?"

Prince Hammand moved away from the window and walked up to Asgar. He settled down at Asgar's feet like a child listening to a fairytale, resting his chin on the big man's right knee. Asgar chuckled, dropping the polishing cloth and tousling his prince's hair.

His fingers gently slid down and stroked Hammand's lips. "You start with kissing her..." he began slowly, his mind going right back to his vision as it had been doing every day and every night since he had gone to the shrine with Miriam.

"You kiss her face, her neck." Long fingers trailed round his face and down the sides of his neck. "You can use your teeth on her neck. Be gentle mind, and make sure she enjoys what you do before you continue."

"How will I know she is in enjoyment?"

"From the sounds she makes when you do it. She might tell you too. But you'll know." He paused, watching the small man who gulped and nodded for him to carry on. "Then you move to her breasts. Cup them in your hands..."

"What if she had really small breasts? I mean, almost flat, like a... a man's?"

Trying not to wince at the specific question, which sounded like Ham really did have someone in mind, Asgar continued. "Well -- it doesn't matter how small her breasts are. You can focus on her nipples."

"Oh." I have nipples, Hammand thought.

"You can lick them, suck them, roll them against your palms." He snickered as Hammand held up his hands in interest. "Come up here." Despite saying that, he lifted Hammand up like he was a feather and laid him on the bed. "I can show you as well as tell you."

He climbed over Hammand's tense body, straddling his hips but not putting his weight on him.

Flattening his palms over the small chest he simulated rolling and stroking without touching the prince.

"Move downwards slowly - kiss her belly and tease it with your fingers." He shifted down as he spoke, sliding his hands underneath Hammand's slim thighs and lifting them up and apart. "Open her thighs slowly, stroke them but don't go between them just yet."

Prince Hammand's eyebrows raised in confusion. A shiver went through him as Asgar lifted both his legs up, placing his feet against each cheek so he could feel Asgar's breath on them.

"Stroke her legs..." Long thick fingers threaded through and over the prince's toes, making them curl involuntarily. Asgar knew exactly what he was doing. "Kiss her toes --"

"Kiss them?" Hammand's voice was hoarse at the thought of Asgar doing this to his toes.

"Yes, kiss them one by one. You don't have to, but with someone you love and want to give as much pleasure as possible to, it's always good to be thorough. Remember, you need to know every single inch of her so that you know everything she enjoys."

He continued. "Now, lick her toes but watch for her reaction. If she seems to like it, keep licking them."

Hammand gulped as his feet were slowly lowered and moved further apart as Asgar crept closer. His heart caught in his throat as the big man stared down at him. He could feel the heat rising in his face as Asgar loomed over his hips. Oh god, not there!

"Kiss down her legs until you get between them. Her opening should be wet and almost ready for you by now..."

"Wet?" He couldn't get wet. There was no opening to get wet from. That wasn't good.

"Yes, a woman's opening becomes moist when she is aroused. It is how her body prepares itself for a man."

"Oh. What-what if she isn't wet-moist?"

"Well, then she might be really nervous or you're doing something wrong. But don't let that stop you. Lick her down there, all over. Take a lot of time there, that should make her ready."

He moved up, pretending he did not notice the prince's constrained erection so close to his face. He was thrilled he was affecting him like this even though deep inside he feared it might be the idea of what he could do to a woman that was getting Hammand so aroused.

He was over Hammand's face now, their eyes locking. "Your cock should be ready to go by now."

Hammand gulped. Yes it was.

"You move your hips between her thighs like this." The pressure of Asgar's hips against his inner thighs made his cock start to twitch... and he felt something hard and hot twitch right back, right between his legs.

The prince swallowed his gasp, biting his lip as subtly as he could.

"Place your cock at her entrance and then hold her." He gathered the small man to him, watching his eyes widen. "Then push in slowly --"

This time, Prince Hammand did gasp. "Push into her?" Not good.

"Yes, the moistness comes from the opening where all women give birth. That's where you go into."

"I know." I most definitely have not got that... what was the point? Asgar couldn't want him that way.

At that moment of realization, he retreated into himself. Asgar noticed the change in his countenance immediately.

"Are you okay?" he asked gently, stroking his hair as he pulled away a little. But Hammand had broken eye contact and wouldn't look at him anymore.

"I'm okay."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. It's just..." the rest of his words were an incoherent mumble. I wish I were a woman. Then Asgar would want me.

* * * *

The next day was even worse. Hammand spent the entire morning in his mother's chamber like Asgar advised, trying to convince her that he could not marry the princess. He tried to explain that he did not feel even the slightest attraction to her. She did not agree with him and instead seemed very interested in why he was so close to his slave.

He returned back to his chamber even more dejected but he did not have time to talk to Asgar about it as he was summoned for a late banquet. They arrived in the royal court and Hammand was whisked as usual to stand beside Princess Sava. It was as if everyone in the city was in court. The court was overflowing with people and buzzing with excitement.

The royal crier stood in the centre of the great room, on a small podium used for entertainment. His gongs of different sizes and sound streams surrounded him, hanging all over his body. He maneuvered them expertly and they clanged loudly. An announcement was about to be made.

"Noble people of Renakan, hear the joyful tidings. Hear ye all that from this day forward, we shall have a mighty union with Renadi. A union that will last forever! A union that will strengthen our regions! A union that will change the face of all Goren! Prince Hammand of Renadi is to marry our beautiful Crown Princess Sava!"

There was loud applause and screams of delight from the court. Music began streaming in from somewhere at the back of the room.

"The seals of both regions have been placed on the royal agreement! We shall have the official betrothal ceremony after the regional festival! By order of our mighty chief, we are one with Renadi! From now henceforth, we are one with Renadi! All say with me, one with Renadi!"

Hammand stood shocked as the court screamed as prompted, his whole body shaking. The Chief Ker of Renakan was beaming proudly and so was Princess Sava. His parents were just sitting there, looking quite smug but deliberately avoiding his glare. He felt his insides churn.

"With all your heart, one with Renadi!"

Asgar has been watching from his vantage point as he always did and seeing his love's reaction, stepped towards him. There were loud drum rolls now and the audience of noblemen milled around the royal parents, congratulating them on the praiseworthy agreement.

Asgar knelt before the prince (for the benefit of the crowd), looking up solemnly at his stricken face. Hammand's chest was heaving and his lower lip was trembling. He was going to cry soon, Asgar could just feel it.

"Your chamber my prince?" He whispered so only Hammand could hear, knowing the prince needed to escape right now before he broke down and shamed himself. And such outbursts were never forgotten; somehow he knew that from his own experience in court even though he could not remember the specifics. Better that the audience have a fleeting memory of a fanciful gesture by a slave than a memory of a shameful act unbefitting of their future chief which was what Hammand would become when he married their crown princess.

Prince Hammand nodded shakily without a word, his hand reaching out for Asgar. There was a disruption of the excitement as Asgar pulled Hammand to him, his arms going round him. The huge man gently lifted the prince shoulder high as if in victorious celebration, his strong arms wrapped round the prince's small thighs. The buzz resumed and he quietly strode out of the hall with Hammand.

Once they were out of the vicinity of the people, Asgar lowered Hammand to chest level. The prince buried his face in the crook of Asgar's neck and swung his legs tight round his waist. He was shaking even worse now. The sobs began just as the huge man reached his prince's rooms.

Thankfully at court, the crier did not stop in his stride, if anything he pushed harder. "Show your support, one with Renadi!" The people were a bit confused at the prince's departure but thankfully not at the fact that his slave had lifted him up in pride. "Let the heavens hear us, one with Renadi!"

But exhilaration surpassed confusion just as Asgar had hoped. In quick time too.

"For our beautiful princess, one with Renadi!" With that scream, the court burst out with renewed vigor. All was forgotten. They had their princess and she was betrothed.

"Some slave..." said Queen Shila, her usual aloofness shaken by the sight of her son's departure. She, like her Chief, was glad of the crier's ability to control the court. He had saved them from embarrassment. But even more, the slave had saved face for the future King of Renakan.

She forced down the guilt at her bad handling of the situation. Her chief had had the same worries as her, that Hammand would refuse an arranged marriage from the start. They had both seen how much of a romantic he was growing up. Doing it this way was the best way. She would deal with him and the slave business later.

Her suspicions were quickening like wild fire. She knew her son was a virgin. That was still checked regularly and would continue until he turned twenty-four as was the law. The healer had his ways of checking if a man or woman had penetrated or been penetrated by another. In fact Hammand had been checked a few days before their trip here so he definitely was not having sex with that so called companion of his.

But still... their connection was obvious from what had just happened. It looked like love... or something close to it at least. Either way, it looked dangerous. She knew she needed to nip it in the bud, for plans were well under way for this marriage. Her son would—must—become the Crown Prince Hammand of Renakan.

Asgar however, was an instant hit. Rumors filtered to them that all of the nobles in Renakan suddenly wanted huge strong "companions"—the more similar to Asgar, the better. Somehow they now believed this was the way of the Renadi people, their new family. It was madness.

* * * *

As soon as they returned to Renadi, Prince Hammand sought Miriam's counsel.

Hammand had slept quite well the night after the terrible news, maybe because he had cried so much. Asgar of course had been wonderful, taking him out of court before he had started to cry in front of everyone. He loved him even more for it.

The thought of being separated from him had reinforced Hammand's knowledge that this friendship they had was a lot more to him than that. The first and only thing he had thought of since he was told about the impending marriage was, I can't leave Asgar. Its Asgar I want to marry.

Of course he could not voice that thought. It was terrible enough to his own ears, much less his family. His parents would probably have Asgar killed for that; even Asgar would be appalled if he knew. He didn't understand his own feelings at all. He had wished them away so many times that now he was too overwhelmed to bother, for they never budged, only grew more intense with each passing day, fostered by something as simple as a smile or a hug from the big man.

He wanted to talk to Miriam alone, so he had urged Asgar go to Shetna when the big man said he wanted to find out what the advisers researching him had found out so far.

He told her all about Renakan, Princess Sava, the unexpected betrothal and his sad disappointment in his parents' secrecy. It seemed she could say nothing to make him feel better. She suspected there was more to it.

"Did you know about it?"

"Of course not. You know no one would tell me you were about to be betrothed especially if it was to be kept from you." She stated with a scowl. "You should know that by now." His face fell apologetically.

"I don't see why you need to be married off now. Maybe you should talk to your mother a bit more, ask for a for time to think about it." She itched to ask what Asgar thought about the whole situation and wondered why he wasn't here with the prince.

"I have tried that Miriam. But the betrothal date has been set already. Mother refuses otherwise and Father agrees with her. What is the point of having time to think about it when I am already betrothed anyway? That's as good as married is it not? Have you known of anyone that reneged after a betrothal? I haven't."

"It is still better than nothing my son..."

"I wish I were a woman," he told Miriam. He sounded completely dejected.

Miriam whirled around, still holding the chopping knife. Her face was filled with confusion. "Why in the name of the gods would you want that?

"Asgar..." he whispered, choking on his words and wiping away the lone tear that trailed down his right cheek. "Because then Asgar would want me."

Oh, she thought, that was it.

"What makes you think he doesn't want you now?" she asked in surprise, wondering if what she had sensed growing, what she had seen between them that afternoon in her kitchen, was

all wrong. She knew Asgar was not against being with the prince. She had thought Prince Hammand knew this too.

Apparently not.

"He wants a woman.," Hammand said. When she opened her mouth to ask, he stopped her. "He said so himself."

"Are you sure he said that?" Miriam pressed, knowing better.

He said enough. "Yes he did," he muttered as his shoulders slumped even further.

"And how do you feel about him?"

"You know how I feel."

"I do, but does he?"

The prince shook his head.

"Maybe you should try telling him how you feel."

He groaned and buried his head in the cradle his arms had made on the table. "I cannot. I do not want him to feel obliged to return my feelings or words. I want him to love me of his own accord. For that I cannot tell him. Ever."

She understood his fear and longed to tell him what she knew. But it was not her place to do so. He would know when the time was right and if it was the will of Akin Ra.

"It can only get worse. He may meet someone... " He let out a painful gasp at the thought. "I am such a fool, mother. Why do I hope for something that is impossible? Maybe I should give him his freedom and save myself all this heartache. Maybe I should let him go and simply get married to Princess Sava."

"You could."

There was silence for a while. Miriam sat down, her work forgotten in her concern.

"But I'm selfish. I want him." He looked up at Miriam, with tear-filled eyes. "I need him. I don't want to set him free. I know it's selfish. But I can't help that I don't want to let him out of my sight for even a second. If he is free, he will leave to find his roots... his life. I know he would."

"You can't be sure he would do that."

"But I can't let him go!"

Miriam took his arm and pulled him with her over to the large, more comfortable cushion. They both settled into it and he leaned on her shoulder, fighting tears of frustration.

"Time will tell, my son. You are good to him; he is happy with you. There is a strong connection between you. You never know what the future could hold for both of you."

Hammand snuffled, looking up. "What do you mean mother? What can the future possibly hold?"

"Just that. Be patient my son. Time will tell if he is to be yours and you his."

"So there's no way I can become a woman?"

"No my son. Akin Ra has not given me such powers."

"But can you ask? Pray? Offer a rich sacrifice?"

"Prince Hammand!" she scolded softly.

"Sorry," sulked the prince. It was worth a try after all.

"Have some patience."

"Yes mother." He snuggled against her. "I love him so much."

"I know."

"I don't want to marry Princess Sava. I want to marry him. Asgar. Only him."

"I know."


"Patience." She prayed to Akin Ra that her consoling words carried some weight.

* * * *

Miriam was not surprised when she was called to the presence of Queen Shila some days later. She prepared herself for the assault she knew would come after Hammand had recounted everything that had happened in Renakan. The Queen was at a stretch barely civil to her, she knew this was because of her closeness to Prince Hammand.

It was the sort of jealousy that Miriam never understood but which came from careless mothers who expected the undying love of a son they only looked at for about five minutes in a day. The fact that Miriam had that privilege with her son made Queen Shila dislike her immensely.

"Did you know about this?" the Queen spoke without preamble as soon as she caught sight of Miriam. She was lying on a chaise lounge with her feet up, attended by two handmaidens. One was cooling her with a fan and the other was brushing her long hair.

"About what, my Queen?" Miriam asked in feigned innocence.

"Oh, I am sure you know very well." She paused, looking sternly at the woman who had suckled her child. "Hammand and... this slave of his."

"I don't understand my Queen, did something happen? Which of his slaves?"

Queen Shila folded her arms across her chest and with a flick of her head to tell the handmaiden to stop, she sat upright. Daintily placing her feet in her gold slippers, she leaned forward.

"The great big one who Hammand tells me he bought the last time I sent him to the slave market to get me a new slave." She paused. Her eyes gleamed angrily. "My son bought himself a toy and you did not deem it fit to bring that to my attention!"

"My Queen, you must mean Asgar. He is not anything significant—aside from his looks, maybe. To your Prince Hammand, he is but a slave." She always made sure to use Hammand's title around the Queen. The memory of the repercussions for slipping in such a way still reigned clear as day in her head. She kept her own side of the agreement as always. He was not her child after all. She was just milk, according to the Queen.

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