The prince did not return that night.
Torrin was very glad for this, especially when he heard soldiers say that he'd returned to the fort while Torrin was
being transferred back to the medic tent the next morning. He was hopeful, because he knew that he now had two percent of
his magic back, along with enough to heal himself. He hoped it would help the men out. There were also corpses around which
he hoped weren't the captured Stravians. He didn't recognize the energy from the corpses, but he hadn't been too close with
marry of the warriors.
When he entered the medic tent, his hopes plummeted. Both men had gotten infected. The first was teetering on the brink of
death. To drive the infection out, Torrin used up all of his magic again. To make matters worse, his aches seemed to have
gotten worse overnight, though he hadn't felt when he'd woken up.
He had fallen asleep on the cushions on the floor, much to his chagrin. When he had awakened, fearing the worst and jerking
into a sitting position, he had been assaulted by his injuries. But that had been the only time. He must have been too tired
to feel it then.
The camp was much fuller now, and the stares had increased. He saw many men point to him and knew he was being talked about.
He feared the worst there, as well.
He gave his patients more medicine, cleaned them, and took a small moment to clean his forearm, still not using any bandages,
though his ribs needed to be rebandaged, as well. He didn't dare tend to himself.
He was not allowed near the other patients, probably because they weren't dying. He was not treated as a real medic.
Probably a good thing, he admitted to himself wryly, because he wasn't one.
Every couple of hours, he would look for his guards. There had been two new men that morning, but by afternoon, his first
two guards had returned. He felt their glares on him and ignored the itch between his shoulder the glares caused. He feared
He also began hearing screams, screams he instinctively knew were from the Stravians being tortured. So every time he looked
at his guards, he feared that they would be moving towards him, ready to beat and torture him for who... for what... he was.
He was handed broth and bread for breakfast and lunch, the broth full of grease and the bread green with mold. His stomach
churned when he ate it, but it was either that or starve. He hoped his immune system would be able to care for itself. If
he became sick as well, he knew he would there would be no chance for escape or for living. He was pathetically weak as it
The sun began to set behind the horizon when the prince finally returned. He was riding at the head of a small troupe, and
Torrin only got a fleeting glance of him before he disappeared inside his tent with two other men. Torrin hated how his heart
rate increased, especially since it was only partly in fear.
Torrin continued to tent to his first patient, on whom he had spent his magic. The man's state had not improved, but his fever
was gone, as was Torrin's other patient's (more by luck than because of Torrin's efforts). Torrin again prayed that he had
done enough for the day.
The old doctor, whose name was Gerald, walked over to him. The man had merely nodded at him that day, but he had overheard
him speaking to another medic The old man was highly respected here and much liked. And Torrin had heard the man respond to
the name Gerald.
“The prince request your presence,” Gerald said as soon as he was close enough to Torrin to speak without raising
his voice. “Your guards will accompany you to the tent, where you will go to the prince.”
Torrin gulped and clenched his trembling hands.
“Alright, let's go.” The old healer led Torrin to the entrance again, where the two guards stood on each side,
as usual, and marched him to the prince's tent.
The chance to see the prince again evoked too many emotions in Torrin for him to begin to understand. Fear, worry, and, disgustingly,
pleasure. He berated himself as ten times the fool for still being interested in this man. This man, the leader of his enemies.
A startling beauty who wanted to take Torrin as his...
Torrin shivered when they stopped in front of the tent. Again, the fear rose up inside of him, fear of what was about to come.
The guards opened the tent for him. Torrin expected a push, but none came. Torrin realized that the men would risk doing no
such thing as long as the prince was around to see it. If for nothing else, Torrin was grateful for that.
He walked into the tent under his own power, stopping short when he saw that the two men were still in the prince's tent.
All three turned to stare at him. The two men with the prince seemed agitated by his presence. The prince watched him with
a closed expression.
“Come here.” The prince's voice was harsh, and Torrin flinched. He moved to the prince, however. The punishment
for disobeying the prince would be a slow, agonizing death. The prince put a domineering arm around Torrin's shoulders. “This
boy,” the prince said, and he was now speaking to the other two men, “is my concubine.” He squeezed Torrin
warningly when Torrin tensed.
The two warriors glared at him, but they nodded. “My lord, he fits the description.”
Torrin's blood froze.
The prince stared down at him; his face was hard. “Well?”
Torrin's eyes were wide when they turned to the prince. “Well, what? My prince,” he added hastily.
The prince's eyes lit momentarily in humor before growing dark again. “Are you a Necromancer?”
Shock. Then, “no.” Torrin said it automatically, then blanked. In his mind, surely he was not a Necromancer. Necromancers
were people who spoke with the dead. Necromancers may even bring people back from the land of the dead. He could do neither.
But he knew perfectly well what the prince was asking. To make things simple, at least one of the Stravian men had already
given Torrin over to the Corans. He shouldn't have been so shocked. None of the men had truly liked him, and even if they
had, torture would have loosened their tongues. Still, shock and fear were icy rocks in his heart and stomach.
The prince continued to look at him. “And where have you been these past two days?”
The sudden change of topic shocked Torrin even more. “In the medic tent” was his helpful answer.
Another brief of humor in the prince's eyes was matched with disgusted grunts from the other two men. Torrin wished he could
inch away from the two men, but the prince's arm held him as securely as it had in the forest.
And that thought opened the floodgate of memories he'd managed to push away, and Torrin felt his entire body flood with emotion.
He almost felt the prince's lips on his, his groin a comfortable weight on Torrin's own.
A loud “ahem” caught Torrin's attention. He flushed as he met the dark eyes of the prince. Torrin realized that
the prince had spoken to him. The commanders were glaring reproachfully at him. “I said,” the prince announced
loudly, and Torrin's gaze fell to his lips without conscious thought. The prince's lips moved up in a smirk that made Torrin's
face flush. “Exactly where in the medic tent?”
Torrin's brow furrowed in confusion, but he stated the locations of the two men he cared for. “The only time I've left
the tent was when the army originally came back from...” his voice trailed, but he forced the words out anyway, “the
defeat of Fort Shiro.”
The prince's brows drew down sharply. His eyes narrowed. “What happened then?”
Torrin thought again of the faces staring at him. He remembered the glares and the leers and his fierce desire to get into
the prince's tent. He shrugged at the prince. “I was... placed into your tent, where I stayed until morning.”
“Would anyone from your camp recognize you?” the prince asked.
“Of course,” Torrin started, then shut his mouth. He wasn't certain where this questioning was going, but he knew
it wouldn't be smart to mention his abilities to his enemies. He quickly amended with, “I'm fairly easy to spot in that
crowd.” Which was true enough, after all, since he was a short guy, lean around men who had never been anything but
The prince only chuckled at his remark. “That you are,” he said, and then turned to his commanders. “How
many men have been tortured?”
The commanders glanced at Torrin again, pointedly, before speaking. “Five, my lord. Four have spoken of the boy.”
Torrin's fear tripled.
“And they speak of an unknown magic that they could not explain,” the prince finished for them, and Torrin was
amazed to hear contempt drip in the prince's voice. His words also caught Torrin by surprise. He recalled that the captain
and Morina were the only two people that he'd explained his powers to, but he thought that one or both of them had spread
tales. Certainly they'd said something, since the soldiers obviously knew he had powers and called him Necromancer. They truly
did not know?
“They call him a Necromancer,” one of the commanders said, echoing Torrin's own thoughts.
The prince turned back to Torrin, and the young lad tried to stumble back. The prince grabbed his arm, a sudden movement not
unlike a panther. Torrin lifted wide blue eyes to dark irises. “Do it,” the prince ordered.
What? But hadn't the prince just said the the allegations were false?
Torrin felt himself falling into a trap. Would it be safer to try to continue hiding his powers? Would the prince shun him
if he found out Torrin's secret or if Torrin told him? It all depended on whether the prince knew or not. If the prince already
knew, he may be giving Torrin one last chance. He may be trying to protect him. But if he didn't know, and Torrin told him...
“Do it, healer, or I'll send you into the torture chamber,” the prince ordered.
Horror filled him. Would the prince really send him there? But he couldn't do anything, anyway. He had been forced to again
use all of his magic to try to save his patients. Even if he wanted to show the prince, he couldn't.
“Now the prince snapped.
Torrin flinched. “I can't!” he cried finally. “I can't! I can't do it! I don't have-”
Torrin's arm was tugged forward, and he fell against the prince. He struggled to stand and get away, but the prince held him
still. Torrin clenched his eyes shut.
“You can't do it?” The prince's breath was warm against Torrin's hair. And close. Torrin hated himself for responding.
This man was going to send him to the torture chamber. How dare his body react to his executor! The prince moved beneath Torrin's
head and chest, turning toward his commanders. Torrin unconsciously tensed. “He can't do this so-called magic.”
“But, sir, he could be lying.”
Torrin's heart was so loud he wondered at how they thought he had the courage to lie. He was certain the prince could hear
“Then should we send him to the torture chamber?” The prince grabbed Torrin's face and lifted it up, forcing Torrin
to meet his sardonic gaze. “I really would hate to mar this beautiful face.”
Torrin fought to hide his trembling.
The commanders stayed oddly silent as the prince looked his fill. “Oh, well. I suppose it can't be helped.” The
prince turned to his men. “And you believe this kid has magic.”
Torrin blinked in confusion. Just what side was the prince taking?
Then the prince turned back to him. “Do you want to be here?”
Torrin swallowed down a very unmanly squeak. What the hell kind of trick question was that?! Either answer would damn him!
He thought of Morina, of his home. He thought of everyone dying.
“This ain't no place for you to die.”
The prince immediately saw the fire that burned up in his eyes and – laughed. “No? Where would you rather be?”
Despite constant orders to himself to not do it, his eyes flickered to the desk and the maps on top of it. He quickly brought
his eyes back to the prince, but his lapse had been caught. Torrin glared at the man.
The prince merely seemed amused. 'So, I shall try to match the facts together. This boy, who was seen by soldiers on his way
back to my camp – unharmed – and told our men about his ability to – what? His allies don't know, but call
him a Necromancer. Somehow, with this unknown power, he held off our army by making the soldiers fight us. But the soldiers
were real men, correct?”
The commanders nodded, looking uncomfortable.
“So he made these men fight somehow and was the weapon that dropped cannonballs onto our men. Yet still, he stands here,
after being left in my tent with no more guard than two grunts outside the tent flap. Do I have all of that correct, as well?”
Now the commanders looked almost scared. “Yes, my lord.”
Torrin felt a flutter of hope.
“And so you want me to scar my new catamite on the ridiculous accusations of enemies who obviously want to punish him
for getting an easy out?”
Torrin's heart hadn't slowed. Was the prince truly taking his side? Protecting him? Why?
“Sir,” one brave commander spoke up, “we should at least torture the boy-”
“I will not have you deface what is mine,” the prince declared. Torrin found himself crushed against the prince's
chest even more. His heart was a hollow pounding in his chest. “Do you suggest that?”
The commanders shared an uneasy look. “No, sir,” they said together.
Torrin was suddenly shoved toward the bed. “Wait for me in there,” the prince ordered, then turned to his commanders.
Torrin wanted to snap at the man, but how could he? Once again, Torrin owed his life to his greatest enemy. What the hell
should he do?
He pushed back the curtains and sat on the bed.
A soft conversation started. It was hard for Torrin to make out anything that was said. Frustrating.
A new sense of fear dug into Torrin's awareness. He knew what would happen after the prince finished his conversation with
his commanders. He felt his body shake; he ached with tiredness. Ever since he met the prince... even before that... he had
been living on adrenaline. Last night had only given him an hour or two of true rest. He'd been afraid that the prince would
And now here he was, on the prince's bed. It was as comfortable as it had looked, but the idea of what was to occur erased
the comfort from Torrin's mind. His body trembled with fear and fatigue.
And just what would this... sex... contain? He'd never even taken a girl! He knew the basics, but he still didn't know what
was to happen. Especially with another man.
But he did remember feeling the prince's pulsing cock nestled against his own and the heat that had shot through his
Oh, God, he thought, I'm interested. Indeed, he was hard. His traitorous body wanted the prince. Torrin
wanted to scream in frustration.
“Find out the truth about the event at Levant!” the prince snapped suddenly. Torrin jumped from his place on the
bed. He heard the commanders mutter once more, then heard footsteps leave the tent. There was silence then. It lasted so long
Torrin began to hope that the prince had left.
Then footsteps headed toward the bed.
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