Prisoner of Love
Chapter 2: Whips and Tongues
Hours passed in a blur. Tears fell freely and then dried as Tristan’s fears solidified into an undissolveable mass in his chest. Tears would do nothing to dislodge it. He was terrified of what would happen to him, and the kiss burned into his memory along with the prince’s words. How was Ryan planning on protecting him? He shifted and tried to ease the fire in his wrists. He had been hanging for so long he couldn’t even feel his fingers anymore; they were a mass of pain. His toes, too, were numb, and his shoulders ached from supporting the weight of his body.
Was the plan to leave him like this until he broke? Or did they have other tortures in store for him? And what did the prince mean? What did the kiss mean?
His first questions were answered when he heard the sound of marching feet. In minutes, his room was filled with soldiers lining the walls. Then he heard jingling bells and the soft shift of expensive cloth, and the king himself stood before him, with servants lifting his glorious ruby robes high to avoid the blood on the floor and exposing the bell-lined shoes that rumor said he always wore so his servants and people would already be bowing when he appeared.
A skinny servant stepped forward and cleared his throat. “His majesty, the magnanimous and brave King Layton, rightful ruler of the land of Elmira.”
Tristan couldn’t move, but he lowered his head slightly. Showing respect to a king came naturally to him; even though he was a prince, his father always insisted that he bow before him.
“What a pretty prince,” the king said, letting his eyes run up and down Tristan’s body.
Tristan blushed and tried to back away from the king, but he couldn’t. He was fully on display and for the first time he realized that because he was naked, every part of him was completely visible and exposed.
“My son has asked for permission to take over your… care,” the king continued. “But first we will have a talk.”
He moved to the farthest wall and servants appeared with a comfortable chair that he sat on. Tristan shifted. He had been stretched out for so long and sitting down looked excruciatingly good.
“Tell me your father’s plans for his army.”
Tristan did. Everything he knew, he told. He felt safe telling them because he knew his father would have changed everything as soon as he found out that Tristan was captured. No one in the army knew anything more than they needed to know, even Tristan, and it wouldn’t be the first time plans had to be changed due to a capture. Tristan knew more than most, it was true, but he had faith in his father. Nothing Tristan said would lead to any more deaths than if he didn’t talk, and he needed to talk to survive and bring peace to the nation.
The king listened with a seeming impassiveness that worried Tristan. There were others writing down everything he said, but the king didn’t seem interested. When Tristan was finished, the king waved one of his hands as if negating all of Tristan’s words.
“You have that memorized very well, prince. But I know none of that is accurate. Tell me the truth.”
“That is the truth as I know it, sire. My father would have changed strategies as soon as he found out I was missing.”
The king snorted in disbelief. “You will tell me the truth or you will be punished, do you understand?”
“I am telling you the truth,” Tristan said, feeling desperation growing heavy in his belly.
The king sighed and gestured at someone behind him. There was the sound of something slashing through the air and then a whip crackled across his back. He couldn’t help his scream. Another lash, and another, too quick for him to recover. His body went slack as his feet scrambled to get better footing to brace himself, but instead he slipped and hung entirely by his wrists as the whip slashed him again and again. Tears ran down his face as scream after scream escaped his lips and he hung, helpless against the lashes.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the king held up his hand and the lashes stopped. He could barely breath from the pain. He managed to get his feet working and balanced himself on the balls of his feet again, taking some of the pressure off his bleeding wrists. The pain was incredible and he could barely think. He was aware of the king asking him to tell about his father’s plans and again he told the king everything he knew, in halting, agonizing breaths. His lungs burned from their position and from the screaming, and he could barely talk, but he told the king everything again as he wept. The king made a dismissive gesture and stood.
“I will come back until you tell me the truth,” he warned. Then he was gone.
Tristan hung his head and saw blood trickling into the grate below him, running from his aching back down his legs to his numb feet. He didn’t know what to do. He had told the truth. He honestly didn’t know anything else, but he knew the king would never believe him. How long would he survive being whipped to a pulp?
“That was a foolish move,” a voice said.
Tristan started in surprise. He had assumed everyone left with the king. He twisted to look and saw the prince. Ryan’s face was carefully expressionless.
“I told the truth,” Tristan whispered.
“You shouldn’t have been so eager to tell it.”
Ryan approached him and removed a velvet glove from his hand before laying it on his sweat- and blood-soaked shoulder. There were rings on his fingers and Tristan wondered if he had been the comforting hand from before.
“He’ll never believe me, will he?” Tristan asked.
“But you believe me.”
“You have no reason to lie and every reason to tell the truth. Perhaps in time I can persuade my father of this.”
“Why would you do that?”
Instead of answering, the prince removed his other glove and stepped behind Tristan. He called something to the guards and Tristan heard water slopping. Then water was being dumped over his head and he gasped as it stung against the wounds on his back.
“This is blessed water,” Ryan said. “It will help you heal faster.”
It didn’t feel like blessed water, especially when the prince splashed a bucketful directly against his back. It felt as though the water were seeping into the wounds and igniting them and Tristan would have screamed if his voice weren’t already so hoarse. But in a few seconds the pain did seem to grow fainter. Ryan dipped a washcloth in the water and applied it to his wrists with the same effect – agonizing pain at first, then a blessed numbness.
“Why are you helping me?” Tristan asked in a murmur.
The water wasn’t just making his pain feel numb, it was affecting his thinking as well. He felt disconnected and lost, barely connected to his body. Barely connected, that is, until Ryan’s face pressed against his in another kiss. Then the numbness in his brain evaporated and he was aware of every detail as if it were the most important thing in the world: the softness of Ryan’s lips versus the strangely erotic harshness of his unshaven skin; the hands that gripped his jawbone and then traveled down his sensitive neck to his shoulders, his sides, before resting on his hips; the warm moist tongue that pressed insistently against his lips until he acquiesced and allowed the other man entry as that tongue stroked and claimed his mouth; the closed eyes and expression of longing on the man who Tristan had thought of as his enemy for so long. What was happening?
Ryan’s tongue swirled against his lazily and he felt movement in the other man’s groin. Was the prince turned on? He tried to feel disgust or displeasure, but the thought that he was turning the other man on was in itself a turn on and in his exposed, helpless position he couldn’t hide the reaction in his own body as the kiss began to work its wonders and Ryan’s hands slipped from his hips to his ass. Would Ryan fuck him? The thought filled him with terror and he tried to pull away from the kiss. Ryan allowed it and moved his hands back to his hips.
“So jumpy, little prince,” he murmured. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
With one of his hands, he grasped Tristan’s head and tilted it up, then he locked his lips on Tristan’s neck and Tristan moaned involuntarily. The feel of those lips sucking and swabbing his bare skin was incredible. Then Ryan added his tongue and Tristan squirmed against his chains, shifting from foot to foot to get better footing. Ryan began kissing his way down his neck until he reached his collarbone and he nibbled it gently. The pain from his back was almost completely gone now, and all he could focus on was the pleasure of Ryan’s touch. He felt himself hardening and knew that Ryan would notice it soon, if he hadn’t already.
Sure enough, a hand stroked across his member and Tristan jumped. Ryan laughed darkly.
“Looks like you’re enjoying this, little prince.”
Tristan blushed deeply, his face burning. What if this had all been a trap, a way to torture him further? What if the king and the army were behind him, laughing at him? He was in a prison, after all, there had to be guards watching him. What would they think? How would they judge him? But Ryan’s hand was stroking him now and there was nothing he could do as his body responded involuntarily. When Ryan finally let go of him, his cock sprang against his belly tightly, ready for more.
“Don’t,” Tristan murmured.
But Ryan wasn’t listening. His mouth was back on Tristan’s body, this time fixing on his chest and slowly moving to his nipples. He swirled his tongue around one and then nipped it lightly with his teeth as Tristan moaned and panted. He was so hot and hard. Sweat was rolling down his body – when had that started? His body was reacting without his permission but the sensations were incredible. Ryan sucked hard on his other nipple before nibbling it slightly, then he kissed his way down the center of his chest until he was dangerously close to his penis.
Tristan’s breath hitched as Ryan grasped his penis and pulled it down, then lapped his tongue along his shaft. This couldn’t be happening. He was in a prison after having been tortured, and now his enemy was sucking his cock. It was too much to believe. Maybe he was hallucinating it; maybe the blessed water had addled his brain. Then Ryan slid his cock into his mouth entirely and Tristan involuntarily thrust forward.
Ryan was incredible. His tongue twirled against the vein in his cock in a way that had Tristan’s balls tightening in minutes, but before he could come, Ryan would move off of him and slow down, working his hand along his shaft and lapping up his precum while Tristan tried to stifle his moans. This was just as much torture as the whipping – when would Ryan let him come?
“Please,” Tristan begged. “Please.”
He felt a breathy laugh against his ultra-sensitive member and then Ryan swallowed him again, but this time when his cock began twitching and he felt his balls tightening, Ryan started working his tongue faster and stayed on him. Tristan cried out once as he exploded, again, and finally a third time into Ryan’s willing throat. Gasping for breath, he looked down to make sure the other man was all right.
Ryan pulled off of him with a broad smile, licking his lips. He stood and pressed his lips against Tristan’s. Tristan wondered what he would taste like and opened his mouth to the kiss. Ryan tasted of musk and salt, but otherwise much the same and the kiss was sharp and passionate, Tristan’s only way of thanking him.
Exhaustion was sweeping over him and he hung from the manacles limply as Ryan looked up at his wrists. Tristan could feel liquid dripping from them and didn’t need the anger in Ryan’s face to know that it was blood, not sweat.
“I will find a way to make you more comfortable, little prince,” Ryan said. “But until then, obey the king. He will not kill you, but he will hurt you.”
Tristan nodded. Ryan gave him a peck on the cheek and then left. He shut his eyes and tried to calm the fire still raging in his body in order to make sense of what had happened. It was all too much, though, and the lure of sleep was too great. He gave a great sigh and allowed himself to slip into the relative comfort of sleep.