It was in the throne room of two fae kings—outcasts from their realm, but no less dangerous—where Evor pleaded his case, explaining that he was in pursuit of an all-white ship that sailed atop clouds instead of the sea.
That detail caught the kings’ attention, their amused faces souring as they exchanged a look. “That information is quite valuable,” said the king announced as Orion, twirling a sapphire ring with his thumb. “What would you offer in return?”
Evor knew the stories, had been raised with them—that offers to the fae needed to be overthought and concise. He knew this, and yet his desperation outweighed his logic.
He held eye contact and said, “Whatever you desire, I shall give.”
The crowd in attendance was small, but the gasp was resounding, followed by vigorous whispers. From the words that reached Evor’s ears, no one mistook his offer for bravery.
The kings’ amusement returned, and the other, known as Caelum, leaned forward. “You will spend a night in our chambers,” he said clearly, partially baring his fangs. “Do this, and you will have the information you seek.”
His play may have been careless, but Evor was not naïve. The kings had been eyeing him since his presence was announced. He did not expect they would be swapping stories over tea until dawn.
He was escorted away, bathed, and dressed in a robe that felt too delicate for his field-packed body, cinched at the waist with a gold-threaded sash. Then he was led through the palace, his eyes downcast as they passed guardsmen and staff. He only raised his head when he was led into the kings’ chambers, if only out of respect.
They were dressed out of their throne uniforms but more covered than him, skin-tight undergarments that brought heat to Evor’s cheeks. It was a struggle not to look away, to meet their attention so as not to offend them.
Orion was the first to approach him once all three were alone. “Don’t be nervous, dear boy.”
Evor wasn’t sure what, exactly, gave his nerves away. He kept his breathing controlled, his shaking hands conveniently clasped behind his back.
“It’s rare we receive visitors,” continued Orion pleasantly as he loosened the sash of Evor’s robe. “We intend to indulge.”
The light material slipped off Evor’s shoulders like rainwater. Caelum appeared at Evor’s back, tracing the column of Evor’s spine. “Darling, have we ever taken a Midlander to bed before?”
“I don’t recall,” Orion said after a short laugh. “If so, it wasn’t very memorable, was it?”
“Hear that?” Caelum’s voice was closer to Evor’s ear, his chest pressing against his back. “Will you make this memorable for us, Midlander?”
“I would—” Evor swallowed. “I will do whatever you ask of me, Highness.”
Orion shook his head. “Do they not teach you of the fae in the Midlands, boy?”
Caelum huffed in Evor’s ear. “He’s not a fool, darling, he’s desperate.”
“I see no difference.”
Caelum cupped Evor’s chest, the tips of his claws sinking in like dull needles. “You’re chasing true love, aren’t you?”
Evor kept his mouth shut—as willing as he was to offer up his own body to these kings, he would not give up anything to jeopardize the goal of his journey.
“Then he is the biggest fool of all,” Orion muttered, cupping Evor’s jaw in his hand. “Did you even consider your bargain might result in agony, Midlander?”
“You would not kill me,” Evor said steadily.
“My dear boy,” Orion said, his voice softened by danger as he leaned closer. “Who said anything about killing you?”
Caelum’s claws dug deeper into his chest, and Evor wasn’t strong enough to hold down his gasp. Even as he tried to look down out of instinct, to confirm the red streaks welling up, Orion held his head still by his chin.
“We will have you as we choose, Midlander,” Orion murmured. “And you will bleed for us; scream for us.”
“If it would please you, Highness,” Evor choked out.
The king released his jaw, but not before slapping him on the cheek. The white-hot throb across Evor’s chest only worsened as Caelum steered him toward a bench. The two kings seemed unconcerned over getting blood on the cushions, forcing Evor to bend over the bench. Orion stood over his front half, untucking his cock from his tight leggings before he yanked Evor’s head up by his fine hair.
“You will warm my cock as my husband fucks you,” Orion commanded.
“Yes, Highness.” Evor extended his jaw until it shook, allowing Orion’s thick cock to slip past his lips. Behind him, he felt Caelum settle between his legs and the hot drip of oil down his back.
For Styr, he thought, as Orion yanked and tugged on his hair and thrust into his mouth.
For Styr, he thought, as Caelum eased inside Evor’s tight hole, fucking him slow and deep.
For Styr, he thought, as claws scraped down his back, the fresh bloom of pain like a penance.
The hot, blunt sting pushed his mind far away—to the last night he’d laid eyes on Styr, drunk on the roof of the longhouse, and he didn’t doubt that even sober he would’ve driven Styr away all the same—right into the arms of the stranger who captained the white ship.