Wednesday Briefs - I came to you
I came to you by Taylin Clavelli
The burly guard threw the man down on the floor. “Kneel before your king, filth!”
From his sprawled position, the young man - tired and grubby - did his best to scramble to his knees. His task was made all the harder with his hands tied behind his back.
Before his court, the newly crowned king stood proudly and descended the steps of the great hall. He was taller than the average male of his people which gave him an extra air of power and presence. His strong athletic frame was hidden beneath the autumn colored silk robes of his rank which flowed behind him as he strode toward the prisoner.
He circled the dark haired man at his feet noticing his lithe, tanned form. The man’s beautiful skin was marred by whipped stripes across his back – red, recent and raw. He flinched at the unsavory element of discipline and interrogation inherited from his father. Internally, the seethed, but he could not let it be seen. With a voice of authority that echoed around the room he demanded of his guard, “Where did you find him?”
“In the palace gardens Sire, bathing his feet in the fountain.” Gasps echoed around the chamber.
The King stooped and laid his hand under the prisoners chin, giving the young man no choice but to look up. Brown eyes met blue, and the King swallowed, thankful that his long blond hair hid his face, allowing him to school his features before the court caught him losing his regal mask.
“Why did you come here?”
The prisoner whispered, “How could I not,” before he coughed and spoke a stronger, “I came to learn and fight for you Sire.”
“You know what that means?”
The king released his grip, and the man dropped his gaze. King Mathos rose to full standing and tossed the edge of his robe over his arm. In the public arena, there was little he could do except adhere to the archaic rules of his ancestors. He addressed the courtiers. “This youth wishes to fight for his king.”
A ripple of whispers and a few testosterone fuelled encouragements filled the hall.
The king quieted his subjects, “The rules of this kingdom say that battle must commence before all of you. Let us waste no time. Unbind the prisoner and give him a dagger. He will fight the guard who brought him to my hall. The fight is to the death.”
Within minutes both me were prepared for battle. Step by step they circled one another. Guard and prisoner crouched ready to pounce. The guard was by any man’s reckoning a Goliath. As for the prisoner, he had the body of one who had grown up in a healthy environment, and his stance showed he’d had lessons in combat.
King Mathos sat on his thrown and watched the men with unparalleled focus.
The guard pounced, but the prisoner’s lighter frame dodged the advance. The guard soon turned and pushed forward again, wanting to take the fight to the whippersnapper who dared attempt to best a palace guard.
The prisoner dipped his head slightly, fully focusing on his opponent. The next time the guard struck, he sprang to the left leaving in his wake a cut across the guard’s belly. The guard roared with anger and breathed like an injured bull. He swung his sword like a man possessed, and it was all the prisoner could do to avoid its sharp slice. He rolled out of the way and sprung onto the guard’s back. The guard dropped his weapon and grappled for the man behind him.
Large hands caught hold of the prisoner’s shoulders and before the young man knew what was happening, he was tossed across the room, landing in a winded heap, his dagger sliding, out of reach, coming to a halt at the steps to King Mathos.
The guard had retrieved his sword and was taking long strides towards the prisoner who was having trouble breathing. The guard’s sword came down again and again, but each time the prisoner rolled out of its deathly blow. With an almighty push, the youth launched himself at his dagger, closely followed by the guard. Grasping its hilt, the prisoner turned to the clank of the guard’s sword on the steps by his head. The prisoner thrust upward and twisted.
Blood spilled down the prisoner’s arm from the guards chest. It was over.
Men rushed over and removed the fallen guard amid instructions from the king, “Clean and tend to the victor. Then, take him to my rooms.”
A while later King Mathos entered his private chambers to see another of his army holding the clean and properly dressed, youth on his knees. “Leave us,” he commanded.
The moment the door closed, the king rushed over to the other man, “Luthan, how? I never thought I’d see you again.”
“I couldn’t be without you. I tried. But, after your visit, my heart yearned for you alone. When I heard about your father’s death, I knew only emissaries would pass between our kingdom’s, which only left one course of action.”
“Won’t your father miss you?”
“In his eyes, I am the least worthy of his ten sons and heirs. By now he will, believe me, dead. After all, mother was a minor wife. He didn’t mourn her death. He will not mourn mine.”
King Mathos took Prince Luthan in his arms, “You are mine now, and are my personal bodyguard.”
Luthan raised an eyebrow, “Only your bodyguard?”
“Oh no, so much more than that, my love.”
The lips of Luthan and Mathos met and relished in their reunion. Heaving breaths, tongues and teeth clashed, in a meeting of souls. The activity was soon taken to the bedchamber, where the lovers became one for life and vowed never to be parted again.