This title is in transition
©2008 Jet Mykles, all rights reserved
Rhicard knocked, and the door was opened by a youth. Kinig caught his breath. Yes, all of the elves were stunning, but this one… He stood perhaps a hand shorter than Kinig, with a rounder face than any of the others Kinig had encountered. Not round by human standards, but a softness of curves that gave him a young, vaguely feminine look. Expressive silver eyes twinkled under finely arched white brows, assessing Kinig even as he was assessed. The frank look forced Kinig to reevaluate his initial impression of youth. The thick white silk of his hair was unbound, falling heavily down his bare back and over one shoulder, tucked behind delicately pointed ears, both of which were pierced with silver all along the edge to the tip. Short white trousers were gathered just below his knees and tied low at his hips. No footwear to hide at least three sparkling silver rings around delicate toes. Kinig had never beheld another male wearing so much jewelry.
“You would be Kinig,” he said in a marvelously musical tenor. He stepped back and drew his free arm back in a dramatic sweep. “Please, enter.”
Kinig glanced at Rhicard, who nodded. Kinig obeyed. The room was sparsely furnished, with everything from the narrow tables to the two couches and chairs hugging the walls. This left the bare floor of the center of the room completely empty. As the door was closed behind him, Kinig noted drums of various sizes sitting on the floor, a lute on the table, a strange-looking stringed instrument on one couch, and a number of wind instruments hanging within a cabinet fastened to the wall.
Rhicard spoke from just behind his left shoulder. “Kinig, this is Fallil. Fallil, as you may have guessed, is an entertainer.”
His gaze was drawn to the smaller man. “Entertainer?” Not bard?
The delightful burble of Fallil’s laughter settled over them as he waved them further into the room. “Bard, dancer, actor — I do it all. I’ve sought to fascinate and entertain most of my life.”
And succeeded marvelously, for all Kinig could see. Certainly his own attention was captivated by the slim man who busily rearranged the instruments lying about, clearing the couch. Although somewhat androgynous, there was no doubting he was male. His chest was slim, but the muscles were well defined, tapering in to a narrow waist and a sweet, round little bottom that seemed to defy gravity within his trousers.
Rhicard tapped Kinig’s shoulder, regaining his attention. “This is where I leave you.” Grinning, he nodded toward Fallil. “Fallil is your sponsor. Savous thought, since you are both musicians, you’d have some basis in common. Also, other than perhaps two or three others alive, Fallil knows more about our history than anyone. And his manner of relating what he knows is a lot more fun than most of the rest of us.”
Kinig laughed at the teasing note in Rhicard’s voice.
Fallil appeared beside them to smile up at Rhicard. “You flatter me.”
Rhicard brushed a fond, familiar hand down the other man’s bare shoulder. “Not a bit.”
Kinig blinked, wondering what, if anything, he should read into that touch. Most likely, nothing. He had to remember that the raedjour were very sensual, tactile beings. He’d seen this watching them during the talks with the baron, knowing they restrained themselves due to the situation. Here, there was no reason for restraint. He was in a different world.
Rhicard’s attention was on him again. “I’ll see you soon, Kinig.” Then to Fallil, “Send word if you need me.”
“Only then?” Fallil called after him as he closed the door, smiling. That same smile turned to Kinig. “Are you hungry? Thirsty? You’ve had a long trip.”
He knew that he should be, but he was far too excited to think of something like food. “I’m a little thirsty.”
“Of course you are.” Elegant black hands reached for Kinig’s lute. “May I?”
Enchanted by this gorgeous, very polite creature, Kinig handed over his prized possession.
Fallil handled it with appropriate care. “Set your bag down and, please, sit.”
Kinig did as he was told, settling on a couch as Fallil laid the lute case on the table and opened it. He drew out the instrument and studied it with a critical eye. Kinig watched closely. The lute had been his grandfather’s. It was old but had been lovingly taken care of both by him and his mother’s father. Fallil stroked the neck, inspected the belly and frets, and carefully plucked each string to hear its sound.
Finally, he nodded, laying the instrument down atop its case. “It’s lovely.”
He turned toward a side cabinet that held a tray with a pitcher and matching goblets. “Do you play anything else?”
“I play a little harp, but I’m not much practiced.”
Pouring a cup, Fallil glanced at a medium-sized harp in the corner. “Perhaps we can change that.” He tossed a blinding smile over his shoulder. “Eh?”
Was he blushing? Kinig wouldn’t have thought he was capable anymore, not since losing his innocence to a young guardsman many cycles ago. “I’d like that.”
Fallil crossed the room to hold out the small goblet to Kinig. “Now, what has Rhicard told you?”
“That you’re to be my sponsor.”
“Is that all?”
“He explained that it was necessary because not all of the raedjour agree with my presence.”
Fallil nodded, folding gracefully onto the couch beside Kinig. “Yes. But there’s more to it than that.” He rested his arm on the back of the couch, bent at the elbow to prop his temple on his palm. “How much do you know about our society, in relation to humans?”
Kinig sipped the light, fruity wine rather than drink in the shimmer of candlelight on bare onyx skin. “I know that you welcome human women to join you. That you have a spell you can cast to change them into one of you. I know you’re fertile with only one woman ever and that that match is called a truematch. In the past, you kidnapped human women and kept them against their will, but the rhaeja has banned this practice.”
“You know much.” A heavy cascade of smooth, snowy hair bisected Fallil’s chest, a few shining strands hooking around an erect nipple. “Please continue.”
Kinig swallowed a large gulp of wine. “It’s said that there are no other women among you but the humans you converted, but people don’t know whether to believe that or not.”
“No.” Kinig shifted, all too aware of the bright silver eyes fastened on him.
“What about human men?”
Kinig shifted in his seat, the soft shirt underneath his jacket suddenly chafing the skin of his chest. “In your history, you killed human men for sport. You allowed very few to pass through the Dark Forest ever, and those only if they stayed on the known roads. Even now, it’s dangerous for a man to travel the forest, even with a sanctioned caravan.”
Through this, Fallil continued to study him, a small smile curving generous lips. Long black fingers toyed with a frayed seam on his trousers. “Yet you asked to come here.”
Kinig’s cock pulsed in time with his heart. He could rarely contain himself in the presence of handsome human men. Seated in private with this exotically beautiful creature, he had no prayer of controlling himself. “I did.”
“May I ask why?”
“I want to learn more about you.”
“So you can write songs about us and become famous?”
Kinig smiled, nervous. “Well, that too. But I am curious.”
“And you realized coming here might be dangerous.”
“I was willing to take that chance.”
Fallil lifted his head, freeing his arm to straighten across the back of the couch. His fingertips feathered over Kinig’s shoulder, barely felt through the thick wool. “And if we never let you go?”
Kinig blinked, then stared at the empty floor in the center of the room. “I…”
“You hadn’t thought of that possibility?”
“No.” He’d thought of death, he’d thought of denial, but it had not occurred to him that the elves would keep him. “I…why?”
Fallil leaned toward him slightly. A lock of white hair dislodged from behind his ear to spill over his smooth cheek. “Let me tell you a truth. We have kept human men in the past. Many, in fact. But only a few survive.” Fallil’s fingertips traced Kinig’s collar, so close to the bare skin of his neck. “Unlike for women, there is no spell to convert a human male. It’s been tried, and it has failed, killing the subject.”
Distracted by the almost touch, Kinig swallowed again. “What do you do with the men that you keep?” He’d heard of such things in other lands, but only in whispered tales of dubious origin.
Fallil edged a little closer to Kinig’s side. “We keep them. We toy with them.” A delicate stroke of warm fingers over his rapidly beating pulse. “We have enormous sexual appetites. Our goddess bred us that way.” One finger traced the hinge of Kinig’s jaw just below his ear. “Since there are so few women, there isn’t a man among us who doesn’t know the pleasures of another man.” Fingertips brushed along his neatly trimmed beard toward his chin, those silver eyes tracking the progress. “Some of us prefer it.”
Kinig shuddered, giving up resistance by leaning into the touch. Fallil closed the distance between them, nimbly catching the goblet about to fall from Kinig’s slack fingers. “Was Savous right about you, Kinig?” His fingers carded back into Kinig’s hair, taking hold and turning the bard’s head so they were face to face. Kinig’s lips sighed open as the other man’s obsidian lips came closer. “Kinig?”
“Are you a lover of men?”
Those gorgeous lips curled into a smile, revealing small teeth of a white to rival his hair, brows, and ridiculously long lashes.
Kinig moaned as the slightly smaller man used his grip on Kinig’s neck to brace himself as he gracefully swung one leg over Kinig’s thighs to straddle his lap. Keeping control of the bard’s head, he leaned to the side to place Kinig’s cup on the table beside the couch.
“This isn’t something most human men find pleasant,” Fallil continued as he settled his firm rump on Kinig’s thighs. “Or, rather, allow themselves to enjoy.” With his other hand, he parted the front of Kinig’s jacket, drawing on the string that kept his undershirt closed. Kinig glanced down, gratified to see a bulge that stood testament to Fallil’s arousal. At least they were both sporting erections. “In fact, it drives most men who prefer women to insanity. It bothers them when they feel the attraction toward us, when they can’t help but want to suck cock and feel another tunnel deep into their ass.”
Kinig couldn’t breathe. His heart raced. Unable to help himself, he slid his hands up the firm muscles of Fallil’s thighs until he could sink his fingertips into the meat of the other’s ass. Firm, tight, demanding to be worshipped.
Fallil smiled, sliding his hand within Kinig’s shirt to find the bare skin of his chest. “I can tell that this won’t be a problem for you.”
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