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Chapter Five: War
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Chapter Five: War

Over the hill, the sun rises,
Calling the creatures of the fields
(Eternal fighting in the soul of
Lust and greed).
Over the hill the creatures crawl
To begin the day of bloodshed-
Souls of the undying cause.

Torrin tensed as the silks around the bed were pulled away. The prince stared down at him, his dark chocolate eyes seeming to spark. His armor was off, his uniform shirt unbuttoned, showing his strong, broad chest. He moved forward, leaning over the bed, leaning into Torrin.

“You will warm my bed tonight,” the prince whispered.

Torrin shook, but not in fear. He was now harder than before, his body hyper-aware. He scooted back until his shoulder blades hit the top bedpost.

“I do believe you owe me, little healer,” the prince murmured, and the smile that flashed across his lips was malicious with intent.

“I...” Torrin well knew how much he owed this man, but still he wanted nothing more than to sleep alone. He had to repeat that in his mind quite a few times.

The prince leaned onto the bed and crawled over to Torrin. He again leaned his face into Torrin's. “I do believe gratitude is in order.”

The prince pressed his lips to Torrin's and all of Torrin's thoughts vanished. Torrin mindlessly opened his mouth to the prince's questing tongue; heat wrapped itself around him and his muscles laxed. The prince growled and moved over him, pulling his down to lay on his back on the bed. Then the prince devoured his mouth.

Torrin maneuvered himself so he would fit the prince better and groaned when his crotch met the prince's. His hands lifted to splay across the prince's chest, testing the firmness of the prince's skin. One finger scraped the prince's nipple and he felt the prince's growl in his own throat-

What in Hell am I doing?

A sound of distress ripped through Torrin's chest. He struggled suddenly beneath the prince, trying to get free. The prince leaned up, and a flash of cold on Torrin's chest suddenly stopped his movements. Somehow, during their kiss, the prince had managed to tear his medic shirt off of him. Torrin hadn't even noticed. He'd been too enraptured, too intoxicated with the scent and taste and feel of-

No! This was wrong! This was wrong!

The prince reached out for him, but Torrin crossed his arms over his chest and scooted back an inch – all he could manage with the prince still laying on top of him. “No,” he whispered.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” the prince demanded, panting.

That was the question, wasn't it? What the hell was wrong with him? Had he no courage? Was he so base as to enjoy this man's touch? Why wasn't he fighting this man?!

The prince reached for him again, but Torrin swatted his hand away. “Don't touch me!”

The prince growled. “Oh? Are you telling me that you do not enjoy my touch?” The prince grabbed Torrin's wrists with one hand and held them up above his head. Torrin found himself in the same position as in the forest. He started struggling beneath the prince once again. Their crotches met, and Torrin hissed. He was rock hard.

“This is not right,” Torrin said, but his eyes were closed and his voice was weak. “You are a man and you are my enemy.”

In response, a finger flicked one of Torrin's nipples. He gasped and moaned. He head thrashed from one side to the other. He kept his eyes shut tight.

A low chuckle came from above and hot breath hit his bare chest. He shivered. He wanted to argue again, but he suddenly couldn't seem to speak.

“Yes, I am a man.” The prince's breath was on Torrin's chest, and the realization of that made him jump. Another chuckle came, then the quick touch of a tongue on the sensitive nub. Torrin yelped and arched his back. “And so are you.” To his point, the prince ground his hips into Torrin's. A whimper escaped, but Torrin managed to keep his hips from bucking. “What is wrong with that?”

Damn the man for sounding so confident and grounded when Torrin could hardly think. Damn the man for exciting his body. This was wrong. Immoral. It was going against everything he was, and besides, he'd been absolutely exhausted just a few minutes ago and-

The prince's mouth sucked on Torrin's nipple then. He arched his back wildly and cried out. His wrists, still trapped, struggled to wrap around the prince's head – not to push away, but to pull closer. Frustration brought tears to his eyes that he didn't let fall. His body was begging for this man – and he could no longer fight it...

He groaned in capitulation and molded himself to the prince's warm, strong body until their hips met even more solidly and his chest met with the prince's cheek.

The prince growled, understanding what Torrin's groan meant, and began ripping off Torrin's pants with only one hand. His descent stopped for a moment, and he took the time to run a finger up Torrin's cock, making the young boy scream and buck wildly again.

Finally, Torrin's pants were flung across the room, followed shortly by the prince's. Then Torrin's wrists were released, and he moved them over the prince's chest, desperate to feel everything. There was sweat on the tanned skin and a small amount of black hair that curled softly over the thick frame. The prince's nipples were hard nubs. Touching them evoked a hiss, a growl, and then a soft cupping of his groin. The prince leaned down and swallowed Torrin's moan. Then there was more movement, more hip grinding, and then the prince was gone.

“No – wait-” Torrin reached out, feeling a flicker of disbelief and outrage over his actions. The feelings disappeared within the heat of his need and the stunning sight of the man above him, rubbing his hands together.

“You need to be prepared,” the prince told him, then chuckled at Torrin's confused look. The prince leaned back over him until his face was an inch above Torrin's. “Like this,” the prince whispered, then plunged his mouth onto Torrin's – just as a long, thin digit plunged into his anus, coated with a lotion-y substance. Torrin's breath left him, as did the last of his restraint.

“Oh, yes, please – AAH!” Torrin practically shot off of the bed when the prince's finger touched something deep inside him. He bucked on the bed, twisting to try to get the finger to touch him there again-

The prince splayed a hand wet with lotion on Torrin's belly. “Now, now,” the prince chuckled, “not yet.”

“Please, again...” Torrin tried to buck his hips up, but he was held fast by the prince's firm grip.

Another low chuckle. “Not yet,” the prince repeated, then began moving his finger once more, deliberately sliding around that special place, driving Torrin insane. When the prince added a second finger, he went wild. His hands were clenched in the sheets, fisting them to the point of pain. His head thrashed from side to side, his chest heaved with each panting breath. He thought that if he moved, he would break.

A third finger came and they finally touched that button inside of him again. Torrin yelped in pleasure. “Now – now, please, now...”

“Begging? You're begging me, my little medic?” The prince rubbed his fingers over that place once more, then trailed his other hand up Torrin's cock. This time Torrin's scream cracked in the middle.

Torrin lifted his hands finally, touching the prince's torso. He wrapped a hand around the prince's thick arousal and was surprised to feel slickness beneath his palm and fingers.

The prince hissed and gently removed Torrin's hand. “Okay, little one, okay.” Torrin's hands moved back to the sheets, fisting them, not knowing what to do.

And then the prince was entering him, slowly, and Torrin still didn't know what to do but he did it, anyway – his hips flew up, capturing the prince inside him. There was a gasp from the prince and a long flash of pain during which the prince stayed blessedly still.

“Oh, gods,” the prince moaned, and then he was pounding, in and out, and Torrin was matching him plunge for plunge, and the fire inside Torrin was growing and growing, roaring through his veins, and he was screaming, a matching note to the prince's cry-

And then the prince started pumping his cock and it was all over in an instant – the fire flooded through his very mind, blanking it from even the thought of breathing, the knowledge of what his body was doing. And then he felt the prince come inside him and the pleasure seemed to last forever.

When finally the pleasure faded, he slumped weakly on the bed, unable to even move. His heart was beating wildly; his breath was just as erratic. The prince managed to pull out and turn to his side before he, too, collapsed.

“The prince chuckled. “You were absolutely incredible, young medic.”

Torrin's brow furrowed. All of the doubts and self-recriminations returned, all of the fears and revulsion.

Morina. His parents. Gods, he had betrayed everyone in Levant. What had he done?

The prince rolled over, coming to splay on top of him. “By the gods, I think I'm ready for you again.” Torrin gave him a panicked look and the prince chuckled once more. “I do not think I will tire of you soon. Isn't that good news?”

Torrin felt sick.

His thoughts must have shown on his face, because the prince merely smiled again before rolling away from him. “I believe that was enough for one night. There is a lot to do tomorrow.”

Torrin turned to the prince, but the man's breath was already even, indicating deep sleep.

It took much longer for Torrin to do the same.


Torrin awoke slowly, comfortable despite the soreness between his legs.

He had stayed awake far beyond the prince' last words. They had reminded him of the fall of Fort Shiro, of the capture of the soldiers. Of how the prince had saved him from certain torture, during which his secret would have been revealed and things would have gotten much, much worse for him. He would never have been allowed to die, only tortured, raped, and tortured again. The prince had saved him from that.

But... last night... if Torrin was honest with himself, he would admit that last night had felt so wonderful, so exhilarating... there were no words to describe how phenomenal the experience had been. Compared to that rush of pleasure, the kisses were nothing.

And the kisses were definitely something.

Dammit! How dare he react... how dare he react and enjoy that – not only with a man, but with his enemy! What was he?!

Shame. It ate him alive.

It was only then that Torrin realized exactly what he was leaning against; exactly why he was so comfortable. Despite having scooched over to the very end of the bed, the prince had somehow managed to grab him up in an embrace. Now, his arms were trapped on the prince's chest, his legs inside the prince's.

And damn his body for reacting.

And it was when he tensed that the prince spoke. “Good morning, my little medic.”

“My name is Torrin,” he said irritably. He tried to get up.

“Not yet... Torrin.” And he was pulled back.

“I thought you had a lot of things to do.”

“Is this how you always act after a night of sex?”

“How the hell should I know?” He gasped as he realized exactly what he had said.

“Ah, of course. You are anxious because you have had sex with a man – and me, of all people. The prince of your country's enemy, the man who led your comrades to slaughter.”

Torrin was breathless with shock.

The prince pushed him away suddenly, stood despite his nakedness, and stretched. “You will get over it soon enough.” The prince pushed aside the bed curtain.

Torrin scrambled up into a sitting position, keeping the sheet up to cover himself. “How dare you brush aside the death of hundreds as if it were nothing!” The prince turned back to him, plainly shocked. A tiny voice warned Torrin that continuing may not be safe, but the voice was easily ignored in face of his sudden rage. “Your men slaughtered villagers, none of them soldiers and all of them innocent. Even in wars, such unnecessary brutality is criminal, my prince!”

Then he was finished, and his panting in the ensuing silence sounded like a death knoll.

The prince turned back toward him, slowly, it seemed, and there was a glint in his eyes that Torrin couldn't decipher.

The prince stepped forward, then leaned over the bed until, again, their lips were inches from each other. Torrin held his breath.

“My name is Darian, Torrin.” And before Torrin could understand the prince's words, he was gone.


Torrin's mind spun uselessly. He was certain that the prince... Darian? What the hell?... was going to punish him in some way. Why had the prince – Darian? – told him his name? What did that have to do with anything that Torrin had raged about?

Torrin heard the prince – Darian – moving around, probably getting dressed. What if the prince – Darian – came back?

And why the hell was he trying to remember the bastard's name?

“Dammit,” Torrin muttered, then flopped back onto the bed. His emotions were so confused. He was interested in this man. Indeed, his body pulsed with awareness. But... Morina and his parents had been lost to Darian's army. He had seen them die. What was wrong with him?

He covered his face with his hands. What the hell was he going to do?

Footsteps came quickly to the bed, making Torrin jump up. This time he had to grab the sheet and hastily pick it up. The prince pulled back the sheet around the bed, looked Torrin over, and smirked. “The guards are coming in soon.”

Torrin squeaked and tied the sheet around himself, then tried to stand up. Darian watched for moments with dark eyes, then promptly turned around and left. He heard the tent flap open and close, then a terse conversation. Then there was silence.

Torrin rushed out of the bed, shoving the sheet out of the way. Despite himself, he looked back. The sheets were a dirty mess, destroyed after last night's...

Torrin turned away from it, blushing. Let the prince clean the mess up, he decided. Then again, one of the grunts would probably clean it. Whoever. He sure as hell wasn't going to.

Torrin saw the tub of water in the middle of the room immediately. He walked over to it and tested the temperature. It was still warm.

It still smelled like him.

Torrin walked away from it, but ended up picking up handfuls of water and quickly cleaning himself with a cloth that Darian most likely used, since his scent was strong on it.

He then threw on the clothes he wore the days before, unwilling to take something of the prince's. He shuddered at the beating he might endure from that.

He paused then, shirt untucked, and tenderly touched his face. There was no bruise. Yes, there were a lot of dead people now, probably the soldiers that had been captured from the fort. But along with the bodies was about twenty percent of his magic. But that was impossible. He had never healed so quickly. And the twenty percent didn't even include however much had been used to heal him. Compared to the last few days, the magic almost seemed to spark.

The two guards came in, different ones than those who had beaten him. They waited silently for him to tuck in his shirt before they herded him out of the tent.

The camp looked like it was packing up. Men were moving around hastily, grabbing things into sacks or tearing down tents. Again, the men stared at him, but this time there was more anger than interest. Torrin kept his head down until he was in the medic tent.


By the gods.

Darian ordered the troops to begin packing up. His personal servant (despite arguing that he should stay with his prince) was heading toward his father now. The army was back under the command of its original generals, and the prince was heading back to the palace.

By the gods.

The men were giving him reproachful glares behind his back for keeping his medic, but they had found out that only the admiral knew what their secret had truly been. The admiral had been killed the day they had taken over the fort.

By the gods.

Last night had been that most mindblowing, most phenomenal... there was no true way to describe it. He hadn't been able to think. He had reacted, and strongly. A part of him stayed on that bed with his new catamite. He had been gentle with the boy's forearm and ribs, and in return the boy completely forgot about them. He had given the boy undivided attention, and in return the boy had given him everything.

Torrin... by the gods.

He had only been amused when the little medic had ranted at him about the destruction of Levant. The boy was more of a spitfire than he originally seemed. Probably the reason why he reacted so strongly – he was a hidden flame.

The boy was more than a hidden flame, he realized. Torrin was a volcano, volatile and hot. Gods... the boy's body was... was...

Dammit. He was hard again.

He frowned. He had plans to make. His tent was being packed up. He had orders to issue and reports to hear. His commander was waiting to speak to him, for crying out loud. Why the hell was he still thinking about Torrin?

He shoved thoughts of last night away and called his commander over to hear the man's report. Despite his new resolve, he asked, “where is my catamite?” Dammit!

The commander frowned deeply, but didn't dare say anything about his displeasure. “He is in the third medic tent,” was the man's short response.

Darian nodded shortly. He had ordered the men to make Torrin help the wounded in the tents. The kid was an enemy, after all, and there was no such thing as too much help. And the kid could prove he was a medic.

Because he wasn't stupid. Darian knew damn well that the kid had been suspiciously guilty in that forest. He wanted that kid to have just been talking about the man who had killed himself. If the kid had murdered a man in his father's army, the law was to torture and kill him, even if it was one man, even if only to try to escape. And until his father died, such would continue. If he broke the law, he would be punished. Would his father try to take the throne from him? He didn't want to find out.

“Report,” he snapped finally, and tried very hard to pay attention to what his commander said.


The guards who had escorted him had not harmed him, but there was a murderous intent in their eyes nonetheless. He'd been shoved around by the soldiers in the medic tent – what were they even doing there? – until one intelligent being noticed that his eye wasn't bruised and rectified that mistake. The cut on his arm had been healed and his ribs had settled comfortably in place. Now he had bruises on his arms and chest and stomach... and his ribs were painfully trying to get back to where they'd been before. He'd had about seventeen percent of his magic left after that, and the amount of bodies was decreasing.

Worse, he'd come in to find his first patient delirious and on the brink of death once again. This time, he'd had to use five percent of his magic to get rid of the infection, but at least he'd gotten all of it this time. His second patient was a bit better, but he spent another bit of magic getting the rest of the infection out.

From there, he'd gone back and cleaned up his first patient's wound, then used half of the magic that he'd had left to up the regrowth rate of the skin. Then he went to his second patient, whose bones were actually staying in place and starting to heal. He added power to the healing rate on him, as well, and was left with about five percent of his full power. He spent another couple healing his bruises.

Then it was the potions to fight off infection, then a careful washing for each patient, then a beating from one of the first two grunts who had led him around (they had arrived around noon). He ignored the bruises, knowing that complaining would only get him beaten more. The men wanted him dead already, and there was no proof that he was the one who had killed their comrades. What would they do if they did know?

He watched his first patient carefully. This one was having serious problems. The wound would sometimes start bleeding again, seemingly for no reason. He would have blood-soaked bandages every couple of hours.

He stopped the loss of blood with the rest of his magic. The hypodermis was now covering about seventy percent of the wound. Gods. A part of the man was still completely unprotected from airborne bacteria.

His second patient was much better. All the man would really need now were timed portions of the disinfectant potion and a lot of bed rest. He hunted up Gerald to tell to old man such and was rewarded with a shocked expression.

“You saved him?” The man said it like he'd calmly explained that he'd once landed on the moon and stuck a flag on it.

When he nodded his head in affirmation, Gerald made Torrin show him. The old man looked over Torrin's patient, then gave him a stunned look. The poor guy quickly left, probably trying to preserve some dignity.

Torrin felt almost sorry for the man and his embarrassment for little over five minutes. At that time, he was shoved out of the way of two guards who immediately took away his patient, glaring murder at him when he dared protest.

Torrin wanted to scream in outrage. He'd brought the man this far – hell, he'd saved the man's life! No one else had been about to help him! – and he was no longer allowed to care for him now that he was in the clear?!

Worse, Torrin Felt that something was vaguely wrong with him. He Felt weaker and it hurt him to access his magic. He wondered at it until he realized that he'd used the energies of the Stravian dead to heal the wounded in the Corathian army. He almost groaned, realizing his mistake. Soon, his pain increased until it hurt to move. He chose to sit and mop up the sweat from the brow of his first and now only patient. Shivers began to wrack his body, making his healing ribs rattle a bit in his chest.

He had no more free magic. He was back to healing himself with what he now termed his core magic, but the use of that magic was making the reaction from the dead worse. If he stopped using it, however, he wouldn't be able to even wipe the cloth across his patient's forehead. It was a vicious catch-22.

He merely looked up tiredly when a shadow blocked the small amount of light he was getting from a faraway kerosene lamp. He was, however, shocked when he saw it was Darian... the Coran prince. His... lover.

“We're leaving,” Darian told him shortly, then frowned. Where did you get those bruises?”

Oh. The bruises must have have formed. Torrin idly wondered what time it was. “They're nothing,” he said. And it was true – compared to the pain brought on by his wrong use of his magic, the bruises were nonexistent.

“That's not what I asked,” Darian said, then reached out to touch Torrin's cheek. The gesture was kind, the hand gentle. Torrin was surprised that it hurt nonetheless. “Who did this?”

“I don't know,” he answered honestly. He couldn't tell which soldier had given him each particular bruise. They all seemed the same – foreboding. Tall. Broad. Why were all soldiers tall and broad?

But the prince was more lithe than broad, like a panther compared to a rhinoceros. Both were dangerous, but panthers were smarter and got a lot more respect from humans. Panthers had a hidden danger, as well, while rhinos were merely stupid and hot-tempered.

“You don't know?” The prince looked into his eyes, and his frown deepened. “How many?”

Torrin didn't want to say anything, but knew he wouldn't be able to get away without telling the prince. “I... don't know.”

The prince gritted his teeth. “Guess.”

“Uhmm... five? Six?”

The prince's entire body seemed to tense. “I see. Get up. We're leaving.”

“Huh?” was Torrin's bright reply.

There was that damn flicker of amusement in the prince's eyes again. “You and I are leaving for the castle.”

“What?!” he squeaked. He tried to jump up, but ended up crying out softly and falling to the floor.

Strong arms grabbed him and and kept him from splatting his face onto the ground. He groaned as some of his bruises were squeezed.

“Fool medic,” the prince murmured, then calmly picked him up and carried him out of the tent. Torrin tried to protest, but was unable to move without his body shuddering in pain. For the first time, he realized that part of the agony he'd been in was because of the bruises he'd received. Torrin was left to weakly grab onto Darian and try not to tremble too terribly.

“I can't leave,” he murmured. The prince snorted.

“You don't have much of a choice.”

“No.” And Torrin struggled in the prince's arms again, eliciting pain throughout his wracked body. “My patient. They won't help him. I have to...”

“What?” This time it was the prince who sounded fairly stupid.

“My patient,” Torrin repeated. “They took one, but the other...”

“Slow down, little medic, I don't understand what you're saying.”

Torrin felt frustration bubble up within him. “What don't you understand? You tested me. I succeeded – I saved both of them. But if he'd abandoned again, he won't-”

“I tested you?” Was that amusement or was it anger? It sounded a little like both.

“Yes, you tested me,” Torrin answered, and found himself warming to the topic. “You gave me two dead men and wanted me to save them. Well I did. Both are recovering. One's been taken from me – he's almost completely healed – but the other is still there, and if I don't help him he'll-”

“Two dead men?”

Torrin could not understand why the prince was being so incredibly slow. “Yes. You gave me two men who weren't expected to survive, but I-”

“You've only gotten two men? Both of whom were supposed to die?” The prince seemed surprised by this.

“Yes!” Torrin growled. “I've saved both of them, but if my patient is abandoned he'll-”

“You were supposed to help the other medics as an equal.” The prince's voice was getting deeper.

“I'm a Stravian brat,” Torrin snapped. “How will I be treated as an equal?” Then Torrin understood what was happening. The prince had not had anything to do with his 'test', and he was wicked pissed. “I saved them both,” Torrin said quickly, “but one isn't fully healed yet. If I leave him...”

He had no idea if Darian heard him or not, but at least the prince was heading back to the medic tent. Torrin wondered suddenly about what the army thought of his and Darian's... discussion.

Darian somehow managed to burst into the medic tent with Torrin still in his arms and snapped for the head medic. Torrin struggled tiredly in Darian's arms once again. When the prince's arms tightened around him, Torrin growled. “Give me my dignity,” he hissed under his breath and was rewarded with his feet on the ground. He only wobbled for a moment.

Gerald stepped forward and bowed deeply to the prince. “How may I be of service to you, your Highness?”

Torrin could feel Darian's anger like a tangible thing, ready to snake out and choke the life from Gerald.

“What is the meaning of my medic not being allowed to assist the others?”

Gerald seemed to notice the position he was in. “Your Highness, the boy's allegiance was in question-”

“His allegiance is with me.” The prince placed a possessive hand on Torrin's shoulder and glared at the old medic. Torrin wanted to argue, but wisely decided to keep his mouth shut. His words would not be appreciated. And he was having enough trouble standing up.

“We understand, your Highness. But many feared being healed by him.”

If Torrin was any judge, that only pissed the prince off even more. “I see.” The way Darian said the words spoke of how much Gerald would be able to see once the prince was through with him.

Just what was the prince trying to do?

Torrin tried to force the prince to the important topic. Come on! Torrin tried to glance at the prince and somehow communicate with his eyes, but Darian wasn't meeting his gaze. The man with the silver eyes... don't piss this guy off – just get me my patient!

The prince scanned the area. “Where are the patients that my medic has been assigned?”

Gerald hurriedly began to lead Prince Darian through. Torrin tried to follow, but his body protested the movement – pain flew up and down his muscles. He found himself falling with a pained groan.

Again the prince caught him, but this time made to sit him on the floor. “No,” Torrin managed, trying to again stand. “I need... my patients...”

“Fool,” Darian said again, and Torrin was again lifted. The prince merely snorted at Torrin's weak protest. “You have no ability to walk right now,” the prince informed him (as if he didn't know). The prince seemed angry about this fact. “Either stay behind or be carried. There is not other choice.”

Well, there was, but that was to crawl. Slowly. Torrin kept his silence.

“This is the patient that has mended,” Gerald told them after a few yards' distance.

The man was conscious, his eyes open. This man's eyes were a dark brown, his hair the hair the same basic color. He seemed to be doing much better.

“This was one of your patients?” Darian asked Torrin. When he received a nod, Darian looked back at the man. “He seems to be stable.”

“He is,” Torrin murmured, and he could Feel the truth of his words. The man's ribs were forming normally. Any infection he'd had had been successfully driven away. The man had sweat dried on his face – that should be cleaned off lest he got chilled – but otherwise, he seemed all right.

“You are the medic who saved me?” the man in the bed asked. The man smiled at Torrin. “Thank you. I owe you my life.”

“A comrade should not be abandoned,” was what out of Torrin's mouth, but it left him confused. The man wasn't his comrade. The man was from Corath and was a part of the army that killed both his family and Morina.

But the man was human. The man had been in pain. Had been suffering. And had been left to die. Torrin's life may have been on the line, but he doubted he would have left his patients anyway. No man should be abandoned. Not even an enemy.

“Where is his other patient?” Darian asked.

Gerald moved off, and Darian followed. Torrin watched the man for a while. His patient was still looking at him and gave him a short nod of respect before Gerald stopped them again.

Then Torrin turned to his remaining patient and studied him. He seemed... well wasn't the right word, but he seemed better. Being trapped in this room was exposing him to too much bacteria. “This is him?” Darian stepped closer and studied his patient. “What happened to him?”

Before Torrin could answer, Gerald spoke. “Cannon strike, your Highness.”

Of course, Torrin wasn't oblivious to the irony of saving someone he himself may have injured.

Darian carefully put Torrin down on the ground – standing – and moved to get a closer look at his patient's wound. “This is his wound?” A stupid question.

Torrin struggled to maintain his balance while Gerald stepped a bit closer to the prince. He took the chance to look Torrin's patient over, as well, as he hadn't these past couple of days. “Actually, that is much improved.” Gerald sounded suitably impressed. “The entirety of the man's skin in this area had been completely gone. It's extraordinary that he's already healed this much.”

“He should be dead,” Darian murmured.

“I won't let him die,” Torrin said with conviction. He swayed just a bit where he stood. Damn these bruises. They hurt. They hurt... so very badly... and damn his stupidity for using Stravian energy energy on Coraths. He was a fool.

He caught the prince watching him. His gaze was deep and penetrating, reminding Torrin of last night. He couldn't help the blush that stained his cheeks.

Darian turned to Gerald. “This man is coming with us.”

“You Highness, I must insist-”

“See to it that this man and medical supplies are placed in a separate cart. As for his other patient,” and here Torrin watched the prince in trepidation, “if he dies, it's on your head, not my medic's.”

Gerald bowed. “Yes, your Highness.”

Darian swooped Torrin back up into his arms and carried him out of the tent. Torrin saw men carrying tents or supplies. No more tents still stood. Watching the army pack, fear and sorrow shot through Torrin. The army was going to continue into Stravian territory. How many more towns would be destroyed? How many more innocents would be killed?

Torrin turned away from the sight, ashamed. He was selling out his country. He was staying here with the prince of his enemy, putting up absolutely no resistance...

He was sick. He was pathetic and he was sick.

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Every story unless otherwise claimed is Kayura's, and is copyrighted 2006 under her name.