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Tate was a fast runner, always had been. As a child when he had beaten in wrestling and sword play he had always excelled in running. His brothers used to mock him for it, telling him that he had been gifted by his mother’s people with the art of being able to run away from a fight. It had shamed him at the time but now –
He broke through the tree’s leading into the forest, jumping hastily over the outcropped roots and leaves. He heard cursing behind him and realized that his pursuers were stopping. They couldn’t gallop through the woods; there were too many obstructions, too many things to fall over.
He risked a glance over his shoulder and felt his heart give way. They were so close. They must have been within grabbing distance just before he broke through the tree line.
He heard the prince then, his war trained voice caring easily over the distance between them. “You force me to come in there after you Tate and I’ll make you regret the day your whore of a mother opened her legs to the man that sold you too me!”
Tate stopped and turned around. Hoping he wasn’t too far away to be properly seen he raised his right arm and made a gesture he hoped could sum up the entirety of his feelings.
The prince started running, his followers a step behind him. Tate could barely hear the councilor screaming after them, demanding that they all turn back. He was too busy trying to make his tired legs go faster.
He dashed off the marked path and ran further into the thick underbrush. Twigs and branches tore at his hair and clothes, scratching his hands and unprotected face. He tripped once, cutting his shin on a sharp rock. Blood was dripping down his legs, soaking his trousers.
Tate was hobbling by the time he came face first with a huge rock face. He stared up at it, realizing there was no way he was going to be able to climb up it in his condition. Exhausted and hurt, he could hardly stand up.
He heard heavy foot falls behind him and realized the prince would be upon him in moments. Panic was threatening to overtake him common sense as he searched frantically for an escape. He’ll kill me! He thought as he heard them close the distance between them. But what will he do to you before he kills you? A cruel voices taunted in the depths of his mind.
His eyes latched onto a small hole in the corner of the rock face. He stared listlessly at it for a few moments before he had an idea. There was a small gap leading through to the other side, if he could fit through it he would gain a lead, however slight. He knew there was no way his pursuers would be able to follow through such a small space.
It was a tight fit, made worse by the already constricted feeling in his chest. He wriggled through the small gap, trying to ignore the fear of being crushed or getting stuck as the hard stone pressed in one him. At one point his chest became wedged between the ragged rocks. He bit his lip until he felt blood pour onto his chin as he dragged him self through the small space, trying desperately to free him self. He managed it at last but he was sure he had damaged his ribs somehow. He only hoped they weren’t broken.
He was moving slowly though, too slowly. He heard the prince and his men break into the clearing behind him and he wondered briefly if he was too young to feel his heart burst.
“You’re telling me we lost him?” Christian demanded, his hand on his knees as he sucked in some much needed air. He felt like he was going to pass out! Say what you like about Tate but the little bastard could run. “He couldn’t have climbed this thing that quickly. Are you sure we’re going the right way?”
“My lord.” Robert said, his sour face twisted into a look of near annoyance. “We followed his blood trail. He was definitely alone, how could he have tricked us?”
“Then where is he?” Christian asked, spreading his arms wide for emphasis. He lashed out, kicking a near by stone. “I will not lose him. I will not allow that bastard to make a fool out of me! Find his trail!”
“My lord.” One of the younger guards squeaked, his young face a mask of excitement as he pointed wildly down a small gap in the rocks. “My prince I see him!”
Christian pushed the boy aside and squatted down to look through the hole. “Stop!” he bellowed, seeing Tate’s legs escape the last part of the tunnel. The half blood crawled to his knees and looked over his shoulder at Christian, his eyes hooded and his face a mask of scratches and fatigue.
“You’re only making this harder on your self.” Christian growled, resisting the urge to scream at the top of his lungs. “If you stay where you are and don’t try to run again I promise I wont hurt you. I’ll even honor the promise made to your father, but only if you stop right now!”
Tate looked at him blankly for what seemed like a long time. Eventually he just stood up. Christian saw his bloodied and ruined trousers for a moment before the other man walked away.
Christian could not recall a time when he had felt so angry. It frightened him that he could contain such rage, such fury. No one had ever denied casino şirketleri him anything in his entire life and he was unsure how to react to such open defiance. He knew he should have let the half-blood go, that no good would come from following him, but his pride had been injured. He needed to catch up with the baron’s bastard and put him in his proper place. And when he did catch to him, Christina felt a sliver of satisfaction roll through his entire body, he would make Tate pay for his defiance, he would heel the bastard and put him in his proper place, even if he had to break him to do it.
“Over the wall.” Christian said, looking directly at his men. A few of the younger ones flinched back, fearful of his expression.
Only Richard remained calm. Eying the prince thoughtfully he pulled out his water bag and took a long swig. “My lord, may I remind you that the councilor is waiting for us, as is the king.”
“I am aware.” Christian hissed. “Now may I remind you that I just gave a direct order? Disobey me again and I’m well within my rights to kill you here and now. Now move!”
Richard looked at him, taking just a little longer than necessary before he slung his sword harness over his shoulder and started to climb the rock face. The other men followed his lead and soon they all on there way up. It won’t be long now, he decided as he watched over the surrounding countryside.
Tate let out a strangled curse as his injured leg finally gave out on him and buckled. He collapsed onto his back, breathing heavily as he tried to accommodate his overworked lungs and heart.
He felt a water drop land on his forehead, followed by another and then another. Soon it was pouring with rain and his entire body was saturated with water. He began to shiver violently and realized if he didn’t find shelter soon he would probably freeze to death. With night vast approaching his options were further limited, for he couldn’t search in the dark.
He managed to stand up and with the aid of a near by branch he hobbled forward onto the main road. He knew he should have been avoiding the roads altogether but he couldn’t maneuver through the underbrush in his condition.
It didn’t take long for a fever to set in. He was just lucid enough to realize that he was serious trouble when his leg gave way again and he found him self sitting in the middle on the road amongst the mud and water. He felt his eyes roll up in the back of his head ad then his world turned dark. ************************************** Lukas let out a bark of laughter as he watched his youngest sister, Rose, squabble with her doll. The look on the little ones face perfectly matched their mother’s expression when she was annoyed. Being the eldest of their brood Lukas had had ample opportunity to study that expression in earnest.
Rose let out a shriek as Lucas two other sisters fished the doll out of her hand and pitched it above her head. Andrew, his second youngest brother started to scold them and the girls began to tease him unmercifully instead.
“It’s never quiet is it?” John asked. With less than a year between them John was Lukas’s closest brother and best friend. He grinned as he watched Andrew jump out of their wagon and hightail it away from the girls. “I think they scared the life out of him.” he said, chuckling quietly.
“Poor boy never stood a chance.” Lucas agreed. He looked ahead and something the distance caught his eye. Nudging his brother he pointed ahead. “You see that?”
John sat forward, squinting. “It looks like a body.”
“In the middle of the road? Do you think there might be thieves near by?”
John shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“Stop the wagon.” Lucas said, he jumped off and ran the short distance to their parent’s wagon. “Father, theirs a body in the middle of the road, just a little way ahead.” He said, not giving them a chance to greet him.
His father stood up without a word and passed into the back of his wagon. He emerged moments later carrying his sword and some spare knives. He passed one to Lucas and kept the other at hand. “Come on; let’s go check who it is.” He turned to his wife. “You and the others stay here. Have the elder ones to round up the children and keep them safe. John can help you.”
She nodded her head and started herding the children towards her. Having spent their entire lives on the road even little Rose knew what was expected of her. They circled the wagons, the smallest among them huddling together.
Lucas and his father traveled the rest of the distance on foot. They were both tense, expecting an attack at any moment. When they were less that a stones throw away his father stopped, putting a hand out to halt him. “He looks injured, no?” he asked, frowning.
“He looks dead.” Lucas said, squinting at the small body in front of him. His legs were lying in a puddle made red by his own blood and he was lying face down. “I’m going to check.” Lucas said, not giving his father the chance to argue as he jogged forward and pulled the man onto his back. casino firmaları “He isn’t dead.” He called out, seeing the slender chest rise and fall shallowly. The strangers face was covered in mud and scratches, his hair was filthy and he was hot to the touch. “He’s really sick father.” He said, looking up as his father approached.
Davis frowned for a moment. “Bring him along then, we can’t just leave him in this ditch.”
“Bring him,” Lucas grumbled as he bent down, reluctant to touch the filth and gore that covered their new friend. Just as he was reaching for him the stranger’s eyes popped open. The young man screamed out, shuffling away from Lucas as he brandished a dirty knife he had seemingly conjured from no where. He tried to stand up but his injured leg betrayed him and he fell heavily to the floor. His amber eyes were wide and feverish as he began cursing at Lucas, calling him a rapist and a ruiner of lives. He started to cry then, sobbing for his mother whilst simultaneously cursing his father. Lucas barely noticed Davis step up beside him. “The boys fever is making him delirious.” His father caught sight of the knife in the young mans hand and unconsciously pushed Lucas back a few steps behind him. “Though he doesn’t look it that boys accent is most definitely from up north, and his isn’t a commoners tone either.”
“He’s sick father and small, I can take the knife from him easily enough.” He went to do just that when the older man put out his arm, blocking Lucas’s way. “If he’s been trained among them he’s plenty dangerous, small and sick or not. Why I once saw one of the northerner children vanquish a man twice his age, and he did it with a little smile on his face. Let him be, he’ll soon tire him self out and then we can take his knife.”
It took longer than either of them expected but eventually the young mans eye rolled up into the back of his head and he pitched forward. They hurried towards him, taking his knife and carrying him towards Lucas cabin.
“What’s that?” John demanded when he saw what his brother and father carried. “You’re not putting that thing in my cabin!”
“He’s hurt John.” Lucas said incredulously.
“I don’t bloody care, he stinks!”
“You don’t exactly smell of rose’s son.” Davis said, smiling slightly as his son took a cautious sniff of his own arm.
“I don’t know father, I actually think John smells rather pretty.” Lucas cautiously lowered the stranger on to his pallet, sighing slightly with the realisation that he would probably have to burn the sheets later. “We’d better strip him; god knows what state he’s in under all this muck.”
John let out an exaggerated sigh. “Trust you to be the first one to suggest it. Go on then because I’m not touching him.”
The strangers body was even worse that he expected. He was covered in a multitude of new and old bruises, he was too slim and the wound in his leg was already festering. It was a wonder he was still alive.
“Come on,” Davis grumbled. “We’re going to have to clean him up and take care of his leg. John, go and fetch some water, cold as you like. We need to break his fever.”
The stranger was listless through out their ministrations. At one point Lucas checked to see if he was still breathing. He was, but only faintly. They cleaned him up and applied some alcohol and roots to his leg. The pallet sheets were changed and then they wrapped him up in one of younger boy’s shirts and trousers.
“Not much more we can do for him now.” Davis said as he patted hi son on the arm went back to his own wagon.
“Looks like you’re sleeping on the floor.” John said brightly as he settled down onto his own pallet. “Here,” he said, tossing a pillow at Lucas’s face. “Sleep well.”
“Funny,” Lucas grumbled as he settled down on the hard wooden floor. He fell asleep quickly, tired from the long drive and the excitement that had followed. ___________________________¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
Christian watched his men with thinly veiled contempt. He knew he was making a mistake and that the king would be furious about the delay but he couldn’t make him self turn back, not after everything he had gone through.
When his tent had been erected and one of the elder soldiers started cooking the rabbit he had snared a little earlier Christian allowed his eyes to linger over the younger soldiers. None of them were possessed the slight and sleek forms he tended to prefer but the smallest one, Christian believed the lads name was Joseph, would suffice for one night.
He called the lad to him as the others retried. With a backwards glance towards his comrades Richard silently entered the prince’s tent. His blue eyes widened to two huge pools as Christian began to strip him. He could not have been more than eighteen years old. Christian wondered if he was a virgin. Tate’s earlier words suddenly came back to him. Did the lad desire him or was he too frightened to protest. Either way Christian would have his way, as was proper for a man of his distinction.
The boy, properly unclothed with his manhood bright and straining, fell onto the prince’s güvenilir casino lap with amazing vigor and surprising skill. Certainly no virgin then and clearly he was not being forced. Christian smiled and sat back, running his hands through the boy’s fiery red hair and groaning his approval as his rod was sucked and licked to perfection. The boy could not take Christian’s full length, few men could, but he seemed determined to try his hardest.
Christian spat on his fingers until they were dripping and inserted them into the boys wiggling bottom, loosening his hole until all three digits could fit snuggly inside. The boy groaned loudly around Christian’s organ, causing the prince to smile. He pushed him off his mouth and caught his weight. Because he was a well muscled lad he was a little too heavy for Christian to handle him as he normally preferred. He strained to lift the lad up over his lap. His organ pushed into the boy’s hole, causing him to gasp quietly. Christian started pushing the lad down far more quickly than was comfortable for him. He was half way inside when he grew impatient and rammed him self fully inside. The boy’s eyes rolled in his head as he cried out. It excited Christian, that groan, his pain. He closed his eyes and pretended that it was Tate he had impaled. He launched forward, pushing the smaller man onto his back, raising the beautiful mans copper colored leg over his hip as he rammed into him as hard as he could. Tate’s face, beautiful and sultry, his amazing amber eyes and silky hair. Christian let lose his frustration, pounding into the flesh crying out beneath him. When he caught Tate, when he got his hands around that lovely slender neck he would punish him, he would teach him for making Christian look a fool.
With that image in mind he came in an explosion, slamming into the flesh beneath him a few more times. He collapsed upon the quivering form, his eyes opening in disgust as he heard the sniveling whimpers.
“Get out.” He hissed as the solider.
The boy collected his clothing, not even bothering to change as he stumbled out.
Christian watched him go and felt a spark of remorse. “Look what you made me do.” He muttered before rolling onto his side and falling into a deep slumber. *************************************** Tate sat bolt upright and barely contained a yell. To his right lay a young man, with the coloring and facial features of one of the traveling folk. The tinker was fast asleep, either uncaring or unaware of who lay opposite him. Tate was in a caravan with brightly painted walls and pictures of flowers and bells covering every available inch of it. It was the sort of thing one expected to see in a little girl’s nursery, and even then it would not have been nearly so garish. He sat up a little straighter and looked down at the bright red shirt and brown trousers he had been dressed in. Such colors didn’t exist within his home. Men wore black or grey, women wore somber blues or latent grays. He twisted out of bed and dropped his legs over the side of the pallet. His ankle was throbbing painfully and he suddenly remembered that he had sliced it open. He lent down and tried to test a little weight on it when his foot met with a solid lump. Before his still dazed mind could encompass what was happening a figure sprung up and pressed him back down onto the bed. His first instinct was that the prince had found him and he needed to get away. He began yelling, cursing with everything he had. The tinker woke up and helped the prince to pin him down. A hand was slapped over his mouth, gagging his cries.
A light was shone into the small cabin, held by a large elder man. Tate got a good look at the other man holding him then; the one he had thought was the prince. Another tinker, he realized, and almost identical looking to the one had had seen asleep on the pallet. Tate managed to bite down on the hand over his mouth and his assailant jumped back with a howl.
“Let me go!” he demanded, snarling uncontrollably at the surrounding men. He was too boxed in, he realized, too enclosed. He struggled against the tinker; the one he had thought was the prince. The other man was stronger than him though, especially in his weakened state. His hands were pinned to his side and though he bucked he couldn’t free him self.
“Go ahead.” The tinker said, smiling at him, mocking him. “Tire your self out and then maybe you’ll be in more amiable mood.”
Tate drew back his uninjured leg and kicked the tinker hard in the stomach. The older man let out a grunt and fell back. Tate sat up, preparing for only the gods knew what when the old man stomped into the wagon and clouted him in the face. He fell back, the pain and his exhaustion forcing his mind to shut down. ************************* Lucas was driving his father’s wagon as they discussed what they should do with their new guest when suddenly the subject of their discussion burst from the back on Lucas’s wagon and fell in a rather magnificent heap on the floor. His wrists and hands were tied, at least two of his ribs were cracked, if not broken, and he still couldn’t stand up, never the less he was doing a valiant job trying to intimidate them. He blinked rapidly, staring threateningly at the wagon that was about to run him down. Lucas pulled back the reigns and stared incredulously at his father. “Is he insane?”
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