The ship Kah’len, Lahn and Domio traveled on led the fleet of warships from the capital of R’Nonay along the R’Nonayan coast until they came within eyesight of the Tjish.unen border, at which point the Captain steered the ship further north, deeper into the Sani’Rhath Sea. The ships would sail around the northern coast of Albhin then head south towards North Torahn’s coast. The journey would take a number of weeks, depending on the whim of the winds. This early in the year storms were not as common as they were later in the year. The wind was blowing hard when they sailed from the port of Ktynk’te. Once the sailors unfurled the sails, they filled with the wind and they were off. Lahn watched all this from the prow of the ship, leaning against the railing.
During the first few weeks, he suffered from few visions. He caught glimpses of the future mixed in with regular, but vivid, dreams. One of the Oligarch’s priest sailed on the same ship and, although he kept his distance, he glared mistrustfully at Lahn and Domio. The priest was young and handsome, except for that sour expression on his face, as if when he looked at Lahn he smelled something off. Once they sailed deeper into the Sani’Rhath, the priest was overcome with seasickness and kept himself down below and away from Lahn.
The first part of the journey was propitious enough. The breezes and wind kept blowing from the north and filling their sails. After that, the winds died down for two weeks and men had to take over propelling the ships by rowing. The did not travel as fast then. Thankfully, the wind made a reappearance when they neared Tarok’s Law, an archipelago of countless islands where pirates lived. No one knew just how many islands there were, but estimates had been made by scholars that at least one hundred islands of different sizes made up the pirates’ lair. One of the sailors took a liking to Lahn and explained that Tarok had been the first pirate who had drawn a code of laws to govern how the pirates would live together on the archipelago. That is why the series of islands came to be called Tarok’s Law.
Lahn leaned against the ship’s railing and gazed hungrily at the series of islands off their bow. The dark shapes of the islands seem to empty into the horizon. To the west lay the large island of Albhin, which many scholars considered part of Tarok’s Law, but the Albhinese were a law-abiding, gentle culture of farmers and fishers. Albhin was not by any means a wealthy nation, but it traded its farm goods with many nations. It was the only nation in the known hemisphere never to have invaded or made war on any other. For that alone, the Albhinese were trusted and sought-after as allies. Like the R’Nonayans, the Albhinese were blond, although most had white-blond hair and hazel eyes, as opposed to the R’Nonayan more common blue eyes. Like the R’Nonayans, the Albhinese mostly kept to themselves and Lahn had never actually seen a person from Albhin.
As the ships sailed past Albhin, Lahn saw small fishing villages but no large cities. Small fishing vessels dotted the waters off the many bays along the island’s northern coast. Fishers, curious about the fleet of ships, gazed as they sailed past. Lahn raised a hand in greeting but no one seemed to take notice of him. Some of the fishers ignored the warships and threw nets into the ocean. The wake of the much larger warships made the fishing vessels bob in the ocean. After Albhin, the ships would head south into the Raiye’Itah, a temperamental body of water during the best of times. Lahn was not looking forward to that journey. They would sail the Raiye’Itah for at least a month before coming to North Torahn’s coast.
Once Albhin was behind them, there was nothing to look at, save ocean all around. Lahn went in search of Kah’len. He and the Warlord had not seen much of each other during the weeks after leaving Ktynk’te behind. He was busy with war preparations, Lahn knew. Most of his commanders sailed in the same vessel and met almost every day without fail. Lahn did not want to disturb him, so he did not make his way down below deck until the first stars of the evening began to sparkle in the east. Taitah was a sickle overhead, offering a modicum of light to see by.
Once away from deck, Lahn smelled bilge water and old wood. Down here, the ship groaned and creaked all the time. He made his way along the walkway, keeping a hand on the wall to steady himself. The first thing he did was make his way to his cabin to see after his uncle. He found Domio sitting barefoot on his cot, his back to the glossy wall.
His uncle smiled. “What brings you away from the scenery?”
“We left Albhin behind, Uncle. There is nothing to see now but ocean.”
His uncle chuckled and nodded. “That figures. Have you seen Kah’len?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing, Uncle.”
“I have not seen him, child. I am sure he is holed up with his commanders making his war plans.”
Lahn sat down on his cot. “I don’t want to disturb him.”
Domio frowned. “You are his betrothed. Soon to be his husband. If anyone has a right to disturb him, it would be you.”
Lahn fidgeted. “I was hoping we could become friends on this voyage.”
“You may still. I can’t imagine he’ll be planning his war all the time, lad.”
Lahn bit his lower lip and nodded. “I hope not, Uncle.”
Domio rose from his cot and stretched. “I will go and find us some victuals.”
Lahn grimaced. “More dried fish and fruit, I imagine.”
Domio chuckled and left the cabin.
Lahn stood up and went to the open porthole. The air seeping in was cool and fresh. As he stared at the moon overhead, he thought of his life and the odd turn it had taken. He wondered when he would be able to return to his research to find medicines and a cure for Leptka’s Disease. He sighed and leaned against the wall. He may never be able to return to his research, as long as he was High Priest of North Torahn and Royal Consort. He straightened his back and huffed a breath. No. He would return to his research. It would be one of the concessions he would pull from the Warlord prior to their marriage. Worried, he gnawed his lower lip. Surely, Kah’len would not be angry if Lahn asked this one thing of him.
The cabin door pushed open. “Look who I found!”
Lahn turned and saw that his uncle had found Kah’len. Lahn ran his eyes over the handsome Warlord. He looked worn and tired, but his beauty was undiminished. Kah’len wore his field uniform, which was rumpled, as if he had slept in it. He offered Lahn a weary smile. Lahn returned it and took a few tentative steps towards his betrothed. Now that Kah’len was here, he found he was shy.
Domio cleared his throat. “I, ah, I fancy a turn on the deck. I will return.”
Lahn heard the cabin door open and close, but he could not look away from Kah’len’s gorgeous green eyes. They were speckled with hazel, brown and yellow. Right now, they were filled with warmth and a hunger so deep and vast, Lahn almost stepped back, but he kept his ground.
Kah’len’s hand reached up and cupped Lahn’s face.
Lahn gave him a tentative smile.
Kah’len moved closer and bent his head. He rubbed his chapped lips over Lahn’s and Lahn opened his lips and allowed the Warlord to kiss him. Kah’len gathered him with his powerful arms, crushing him to his chest. For the first time that he could remember, Lahn felt safe and truly wanted. He wrapped his arms around Kah’len’s neck and kissed him back sloppily, hungrily, desperately.
Slowly, while they still kissed, Kah’len walked them to the nearest cot until the back of Lahn’s knees hit the edge of the bed. Lahn pulled away from the kiss and Kah’len groaned in protest.
“Not here, Kah’len. In your cabin?”
Kah’len sighed. “Of course. I wasn’t thinking.” He suddenly looked shy. “Will you call me Len?”
“That is the nickname my friends gave me when we were young.”
“Len it is then,” Lahn assured him. “Let’s go to your cabin.”
Kah’len sobered and put his hands on Lahn’s shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. “Are you sure?”
“I…I love you, Warlord,” Lahn murmured and blushed to the tips of his ears. “Even if you don’t trust me, trust that.”
Kah’len ran the back of his hand along Lahn’s jaw. “Come then.”
Taking Lahn’s hand, Kah’len led him into the walkway outside and to the left three doors down.
The Warlord’s cabin was a mess. Rumpled bed, uniforms strewn about the room, on the desk chair, on the floor. There were uniforms hanging from the headboard and footboard. Two fat candles sat in holders on a moderately sized desk. They lent a golden light to the cabin and threw sharp, dancing shadows along the walls.
“Don’t mind the mess,” Kah’len said. “I don’t have servants, if I can help it.”
“Kah’len–” Lahn began.
Kah’len shut Lahn up with a brutal, devouring kiss. When the Warlord pulled away, Lahn touched his lips.
“Come to the bed,” Kah’len said.
Kah’len pulled him to the bed and began to remove his clothes. Lahn blushed as the Warlord removed his tunic and ran his eyes hungrily over Lahn’s chest and arms.
“You’re beautiful,” Kah’len murmured and caressed Lahn’s chest with his calloused hands.
Lahn shuddered and his nipples pebbled.
Kah’len zeroed in on the nipples and bent his head to take the right one in his lips. He scraped it gently with his teeth before laving it with his tongue. Lahn clung to Kah’len as his tongue sweetly tortured him. He was hard as iron in his trousers.
The Warlord straightened. His eyes roamed Lahn’s body and came to pause possessively on his erection. He reached out and traced Lahn’s cock with a finger.
Lahn shuddered and gasped. No one had ever touched him there. Queen Masjita’s daughter had refrained from pleasuring him and had just lain on the bed with her legs parted.
“No one has ever touched my kaoun,” he said breathlessly.
Kah’len frowned and glanced up. “Not even Princess Sjanita?”
“No. She only laid on her back on the bed with her legs spread. I fingered her until she was wet then mounted her. She never touched me. Not once, I promise you.”
Kah’len’s frown deepened. His eyes bored into Lahn. Lahn stood his ground and refused to look away from the Warlord’s mistrustful gaze.
Finally, Kah’len seemed satisfied and nodded. “She is a fool then.”
“She’s just a young girl,” Lahn said. “She didn’t know what to do and those with us in the room were there to make sure I fulfilled my promise.”
Kah’len sighed. “It must have been singularly unpleasant for you.”
“The concoction I was given to incite lust took away my shame and discomfiture until the morning. I hate thinking on that night.”
Kah’len nodded and cupped his face. “We won’t speak of it again then.”
Kah’len kissed him and wrapped his hand around Lahn’s flagging erection. He squeezed gently until Lahn gasped and hardened once more. Lahn reached up and held on to Kah’len wide shoulders.
The Warlord stepped back. He removed his uniform slowly, as if peeling it from his skin. As each piece of clothing was removed, glorious sun-kissed skin was revealed. The Warlord was darker than most Northern Torahni, thanks to his Tjish.unen blood. His dusky skin glinted in the candlelight.
When Kah’len knelt on the mattress, Lahn reached up and ran his hands along the Warlord’s shoulders and muscular chest. His nipples were dark and small. As Lahn ran his hands curiously over the soft skin, the nipples hardened and became even smaller. Lahn looked up at Kah’len and found the Warlord’s eyes glazed and fixed on Lahn’s mouth.
Lahn stepped back and removed his trousers, stepping out of them and kicking them away.
Kah’len eyes roamed desperately over his naked body. “So beautiful, Lahn.”
“And yours,” Lahn assured him. “Take your uniform off, Warlord.”
Kah’len’s lips quirked. “So bossy.”
But he did as Lahn asked and removed his boots and trousers. Lahn gasped. The Warlord’s kaoun was just as large as the rest of him, thick and long and jutting. Curious, Lahn reached out and took it in his hand. The kaoun jumped in his hand and a small amount of come spurted from the tip. He could smell Kah’len’s musk, strong and so masculine.
“Lie on the bed, Lahn,” Kah’len said softly.
Lahn lay down on Kah’len’s bed and immediately became surrounded by his smell. He watched as Kah’len lay down on top of him. Lahn parted his legs and Kah’len fit between them, pressing their erections together. Lahn gasped.
“I won’t enter you tonight,” Kah’len said. “That privilege if for our wedding night. But I will taste you.”
He reared back and knelt between Lahn’s legs. He took Lahn’s kaoun in his hand and bent over it, taking a deep breath as if seeking to memorize Lahn’s musk.
Lahn almost jumped from the bed when Kah’len’s hot mouth engulfed him. It was soft and insisted, maddening and so pleasurable. He grasped the bedclothes and thrust into Kah’len’s mouth. Behind his closed eyes, he saw nothing but the Warlord’s beautiful body. He imagined the glorious moment when Kah’len entered his body, when they were truly united in the Goddess’ eyes. Kah’len took Lahn’s left leg and draped it over his shoulder then he reached beneath and began to circle Lahn’s entrance with an eager finger. Lahn’s entrance pulsed with eagerness, seeking to be filled. Kah’len leaned forward and opened Lahn up then dipped and ran his tongue over Lahn’s opening. Lahn blushed at the intimacy, but he writhed with deep pleasure as Kah’len dipped his tongue inside him.
He sobbed Kah’len’s name out loud. His kaoun jumped and spurted a bit of come onto his stomach. Kah’len lifted his head and licked the pearly essence before swallowing Lahn’s kaoun once more. Lahn’s pleasure intensified and, before he knew, he was spilling down Kah’len’s throat. Kah’len licked all the release and sat up.
Lahn opened his eyes and gazed into Kah’len’s lust filled eyes. He looked at Kah’len’s dark erection. “Teach me how to pleasure you.”
Kah’len leaned forward and kissed him. Shocked, Lahn could taste himself on the Warlord’s tongue. It was musky and salty at once, strange but not unpleasant.
The Warlord lay down on his back. “I want your hand. Just your hand tonight.”
Lahn turned onto his side and wrapped his hand around Kah’len’s impressive girth.
Kah’len sighed and closed his eyes.
Lahn leaned down and pressed a kiss to Kah’len’s kauon before he began to move his hand. He tightened his grip just a tad and Kah’len began to writhe on the bed. His moans filled the quiet little cabin and brought a blush to Lahn’s cheeks. Lahn moved his hand up and down the length of Kah’len’s cock. A steady stream of essence dribbled from the organ and dripped down its length to lubricate Lahn’s hand. Curious, Lahn bent over the organ and licked it, tasting an intense salty, musky flavor. Kah’len cried out and came, his release hitting Lahn on the cheeks and chin. Lahn pulled back as Kah’len came and came. The flow finally ebbed and stopped and Lahn squeezed the organ one more time before releasing it.
Kah’len chuckled and wiped the come from Lahn’s face with the bedsheet. “You don’t mind well, do you, monk? I asked for your hand, not your accursed tongue. You made me come too fast.”
Lahn looked contritely into Kah’len’s fond gaze. “I’m sorry. I was curious.”
Kah’len caressed his face. “Never mind, Lahn. Come. Lay next to me.”
Lahn lay down, pressing his body against Kah’len’s and draping his arm over Kah’len’s stomach. He listened to Kah’len’s heart as it settled into a more sedate beat. Kah’len pulled him ever closer until Lahn draped his left leg over Kah’len’s legs and pressed his limp, sensitive kaoun against Kah’len’s thigh.
Kah’len sighed and closed his eyes. As Lahn watched, the Warlord fell asleep. Lahn watched him until sleep too him, too. als