"He hath honor'd me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions of all sorts of people."
--MacBeth, "MacBeth", W. Shakespeare
Iphicles was drummed his fingers on the side of the throne. A week had passed, and still no news from his informant in Aramad. Then one of his servants brought him a scroll. "My lord...a message for you." Curtly dismissing him, Iphicles read the scroll.
^I have returned, Sire. I have news.^
The king shot out of his throne, and strode past courtiers and supplicants, stopping only to speak to his bailiff. "Court has ended for the day." He swiftly moved up to his chambers. Donning a dark cloak, he switched his ornamental sword for a more functional blade. That done, he swept from the castle and to the stables, saddling his mount and vaulting onto it. He startled a groomsman on his way out. "Tell no one I've gone," Iphicles ordered.
He rode outside the city walls, ordering the guards to remain at the gates instead of following him.
Iphicles turned his horse into the woods surrounding his city. Picking his way slowly through the underbrush, he could hear the noises of a horse and rider following him. Ahead, he could see his destination.
"Damn!" Iphicles realized someone followed him. To throw his stalker off the scent he would treat the spy as his lover. Nearing the secluded glade, he slowly drew his horse to a stop, looking around for his informant.
Dismounting, Iphicles led the horse the last few steps, and moved to embrace the leather-clad man stepping out to meet him. "I'm being followed," Iphicles whispered. "Kiss me."
Iphicles touched his lips to the other man's, finding them soft, cool, and strangely sweet. He was surprised not only by their but also by his own reaction. His breathing became shallow, and his body tingled where the informant's arms wrapped around him.
Iphicles placed his lips on the other's ear. "The watcher is still there, Joxer...trust me."
"Ah...all right," Joxer whispered, inhaling the fresh scent of Iphicles' hair. "I...you lead."
Iphicles stepped back a small pace, intending to disrobe Joxer. But he was caught by the warrior's clothes. ^It's NOT what I was expecting.^ "Nice outfit," the king whispered, surprised, and Joxer flushed.
Joxer willed himself not to protest as Iphicles unlaced his gauntlets. He allowed himself a small sigh as the skillful hands then slid into the deep V of his shirt, pushing it off his shoulders and throwing it aside.
"Do the same to me," Iphicles whispered quietly. Joxer's hands moved uncertainly, tossing the king's cloak to the ground. Then they slipped under the king's shirt, and Iphicles gasped. They were cold against the king's hot skin. Joxer's fingers brushed erect nipples, and both men moaned.
"I--I'm sorry," Joxer whispered, bending forward to kiss Iphicles' neck. "I didn't mean to hurt you."
"You didn't," Iphicles whispered back, wanting Joxer's hands on his skin again. He placed them back underneath his shirt. "Take it off."
Joxer loosened the ties on the shirt and pushed it off the broad shoulders. Iphicles shuddered slightly at the sudden temperature drop, and Joxer reacted before he thought. He pulled the king into him, bared skin touching bared skin, nipples grazing erect nipples as Joxer tried to warm Iphicles with his own body.
Joxer moaned when Iphicles' tongue invaded his lips. The king's tongue danced over his informant's, gently tantalizing and enticing. Joxer's tongue slowly woke to the gentle stroking, and his hands moved to lock in the king's hair as he held it firmly, taking over the kiss and delving deeply into the honeyed mouth.
As Joxer kissed him, Iphicles' mind whirled. He'd never thought of Joxer like this before. Now, NOT thinking of him was impossible!
He pressed himself closer, whimpering when Joxer broke their kiss to breathe. "Iphicles...." Joxer's voice was thick, ragged... and questioning.
"Yes." Iphicles answered all of Joxer's silent questions with that one word. "Yes."
Iphicles unclasped Joxer's belt, sword falling to the ground beside his discarded shirt. The king's hands stumbled on the fastenings of his lover's leather pants when he felt the heat of the erection beneath it. He knew then he *had* to feel Joxer inside of him, whatever the cost. He quickly removed the rest of Joxer's clothing, then his own.
The stillness of the woods didn't register with Iphicles, who was so full of desire that he didn't notice that the watcher had disappeared.
Then Iphicles reached for the bag Joxer had been carrying. Searching through it, he found two bottles of scented creams, and he held one up.
"For Gabrielle," Joxer whispered.
Iphicles brought the bottle and knelt back before Joxer. "I'm going to use my hands to show you what to do," Iphicles said quietly.
Iphicles carefully rubbed the cream between his hands. He applied the warm cream gently to Joxer's cock, teasing the long shaft, tormenting the head. When the cock was coated, Iphicles slipped a creamy finger into Joxer's anus. He clamped around Iphicles' finger, and pushed back against his hand. "This is what your cock will do to me," the king whispered, stroking Joxer slowly. "You see?"
A strangled gasp was his only response. Iphicles removed his finger and bent to spread his cloak straight from where Joxer had flung it. Lying down, he held out his hand to Joxer, who knelt beside him and kissed the offered palm.
"Sire," Joxer whispered.
"No, Joxer... Iphicles. Just Iphicles."
"Iphicles..." There seemed to be a question on the end of that sighing of his name.
"Yes, Joxer." Iphicles stroked Joxer's cheek, brushing his silky hair off his forehead. He guided his lover into position and drew him down. "Now."
Iphicles waited expectantly as the other man eached down. But Joxer didn't guide himself into the king. Instead, he took a small dab of cream from his cock and slipped his finger into Iphicles, stroking him, stretching him. He moaned softly under Joxer's gentle touch.
When Iphicles began to move slightly, Joxer withdrew and replaced his fingers with his cock. Pressing against Iphicles' anus, he slid in. Both men moaned as Joxer slowly buried himself inside the king.
"Joxer..." Iphicles sighed, and Joxer began to thrust into him. Slowly at first, but then as the king's hands teased his body, he began to move faster. His hard cock slid smoothly in and out of his lover's body. He was making love to his king. His.
Iphicles' cock was hard, yearning for Joxer's touch. "Joxer... give me your hands, please."
Joxer stroked his lover's hair, then gave him his hand. Iphicles closed the other man's hand around his erection. Joxer's thrusts became more savage, and his thrusts drove Iphicles' hips upwards, forcing the cock to pump in the tight sheath of Joxer's fist.
Iphicles' seed spilled over Joxer's fist, both their voices crying out as the spasms of his orgasm sucked the cum from Joxer's cock deep into his lover's body.
Iphicles pulled him down into a sweet, deep kiss, possessing the other man's mouth. "Joxer."
"I don't want you going back to Aramad." ^It's too dangerous...I want you here... with me.^
"I am your King. I could command you to stay. Instead, I am asking. Don't go. Don't leave...don't put yourself in danger."
"I...all right, Iphicles. I won't return." Joxer didn't move from the warm circle of Iphicles' arms. He used his foot to drag the bag over, and pulled out a scroll. "Here's the information I gathered for you." Joxer listened to Iphicles' heartbeat as he read.
"Joxer...you did well." His smile shone forth at the praise from his lover. "For your service to Corinth...you have the right to ask anything of its king."
Joxer thought a moment. "Iphicles...I don't want anything from you. What I did, I did for you, not your kingdom."
Iphicles hid a smile in Joxer's hair. "Then ask of ME, not the king."
"Iphicles. I just realized what I want. And I'm not sure that I have the right to ask it." He sighed into Iphicles' neck. "I'm afraid to ask."
Iphicles tangled fingers in Joxer's silky hair, and gently tilted his head to gaze into expressive brown eyes. "You think that I don't want it, too? Why do you think I just asked you not to go?" He took a deep breath. "I never thought of you like this, Joxer...never. Until tonight. Until now. And now...I can't imagine NOT having you in my life...or in my bed. So ask me, Joxer."
"Will you give me the chance to learn to love you? And the chance for you to learn to love me?"