Chapter Forty-Nine: The Peace Accord

            Weariness thickened his thoughts and made his joints slow. They had been holed up in Kah’len’s tent for all the night and most of the morning, stopping only to eat and relieve themselves. Lahn yawned behind his hand and watched as Oona Thalmar signed the peace accord between Tjish.un and North Torahn, followed by Kah’len’s own signature. As Lahn watched, a duplicate was also signed. Fine sand was poured over the documents to absorb the excess ink, then Kah’len was presented with one accord and Oona Thalmar with another. Oona and Kah’len rose and hugged.

            “You’ve made me proud, child,” Lady Thalmar murmured. “As soon as I deliver the accord to the Queen, I will bring your sister and her family back to Draemin City.”

            “Thank you, Mother. Also bring Lady Sjanita and her child,” Kah’len said.

            Oona nodded and pressed a kiss to his mouth. “It shall be done, child. Worry naught. Within six months, we shall be back home.”

            The others rose as the lady made her way from the tent.

            They sat down to write up the peace accord between the Isemi and North Torahn. The peace accord between R’Nonay and North Torahn had already been completed, with a promise that Lady Ariahl Solastis would be brought to Draemin City. According to General Soltas Eskar, the lady was with child, so it was best to undergo a sea voyage as soon as possible. He left Kah’len’s tent with the promise that he himself would escort the Oligarch’s daughter to North Torahn within six months. The General had departed the border a few hours before and made his way towards the city of Sena on the coast.

             Kah’len wrote down on the peace accord that the Isemi now owned the land west of the Khaine River from the tributaries in the south to the mouth of the Khaine in the north. The Isemi would share the bounty of the Khaine River with settlers just east of the river. Kah’len read the words as he wrote them, for he knew the Isemi could neither read nor write. As he said the words, the Pauk-an, or Isemi ambassador, sang the words to recall them. When they were done drawing up the treaty, Kah’len signed it and Tauk-na Oter Masivo, King of the Isemi, wrote an X in blood. He then used his dagger to slice a cut down Kah’len’s left palm. The Isemi cut the palm of his right hand and he joined their hands so their blood would mingle.

            “We are siblings,” Oter Masivo declared, his dark, handsome face splitting into a grin. “You attack us, you attack your family.”

            “I understand,” Kah’len assured him.

            Kah’len took his hand back and poured fine sand over both documents before pouring the sand back in its holder and rolling up the Isemi’s document and handing it to Oter Masivo.

            “If ever there is a disagreement,” Kah’len stated. “Show the leader of my people this paper.”

            Oter Masivo and his companion rose and bowed.

            “I understand,” the Tauk-na stated.

            The others rose as the Isemi stalked out of the tent into the warm afternoon.

            Kah’len turned back to the table.

            “That just leaves me,” Prince Nhove stated with a smirk.

            “I apologize, your Highness,” Kah’len stated. “I needed to leave yours last, for I will now make the greatest concessions.”

            Prince Nhove raised a speculative eyebrow. “How so?”

            “I will move the border between North and South Torahn 10 miles north. That means City Sena will come under the Red King’s jurisdiction.”

            Prince Nhove opened his lips and closed them with a click. “What must we do for you?”

            Kah’len smiled without humor. “I would appreciate if the Red King will help me secure North Torahn under my rule.”

            Prince Nhove sat back in his chair. “I have a sister. We will support your rule, if you marry my sister. The ten miles won’t be necessary.”

            Lahn scowled. “And my marriage to the Warlord?”

            Prince Nhove waved a dismissive hand. “You can’t have children, Lahn.”

            Lahn swallowed. “How old is Ajla now?”

            “Twelve,” his brother replied serenely.

            “You know I already have three wives,” Kah’len told the prince.

            Prince Nhove nodded. “I know, Warlord. How much is peace worth to you?”

            Kah’len glanced at Lahn, but Lahn’s kept his face a bland mask.

            “Do what you must, Warlord,” Lahn stated coldly.

            Kah’len sighed. “Very well. You forfeit the 10 miles and City Sena and I marry your sister.”

            “You come to the capital of South Torahn,” Prince Nhove said.

            Kah’len shook his head. “No. The wedding will take place here, at the border.”

            Prince Nhove cocked his head. “You don’t trust us, Warlord?”

            “No,” Kah’len replied. “I don’t. Is the border amenable to you and your family?”

            Prince Nhove chuckled. “Yes, Warlord. It is amenable.”

            They stood up and clasped forearms across the table before Kah’len sat down again to draw up the accord.

            Lahn, feeling betrayed, fumed in his seat. Ajla. He had not seen her since she was seven years old. He recalled she was a loving, gentle child with a strong sense of curiosity and very intelligent. She had been plump as a child, with a round face that favored their father.

            He took a deep breath and released it as Kah’len and Lahn’s older brother signed their treaty. The young men stood when the documents were signed.

            “Pleasure doing business with you, Warlord,” Prince Nhove drawled. He looked at Lahn. “Walk me out, brother?”

            Lahn rose and followed Prince Nhove outside. The afternoon was warm but pleasant. The skies were clear of clouds and a bright cerulean.

            Prince Nhove went to stand near his bahil and stroked the animal’s muscular neck. “You’re now a priest for that Goddess?”

            “Yes,” Lahn replied.

            Prince Nhove flicked him a glance. “You’re angry.”

            “Why must he marry Ajla?” Lahn demanded.

            Prince Nhove shook his head. “We must think of the future, Lahn.” He sighed as he stroke the bahil’s gleaming neck. “You love him? The Warlord?”

            Lahn swallowed. “Yes.”

            “He loves you as well,” his brother said. “I can tell by how he watches you. Do not worry about Ajla or any of the Warlord’s other wives. The man is atoliy, isn’t he?”

            Lahn pursed his lips. “I wonder if that is true.”

            Prince Nhove turned to face Lahn. “Then have faith in his love for you, Oracle. I have to get back to camp and then home.”

            The prince enveloped Lahn in a warm hug.

            Lahn closed his eyes and rested his cheek against his brother’s shoulder. “I do love you, Nhove.”

            “And I love you, Lahn. You have grown into a fine, strapping young man and the confidant of a Goddess and the Warlord of North Torahn.”

            They parted and Prince Nhove gifted Lahn with a warm smile. “I can’t wait until you meet father and mother again.”

            He swung onto the saddle of his mount and gazed down at Lahn. “Be good and excellent, brother. Until we meet again.”

            Lahn raised an arm as his brother swung his mount around and cantered away southeast toward the border, his military escort at his heels.

            “Let’s talk,” Lahn heard from behind him.

            He turned and Kah’len held open the pavilion flap to allow him to enter.

            Lahn ducked into the vast tent and they sat down at the table.

            “This wasn’t my idea,” Kah’len said, folding his hands on the table.

            Lahn snorted. “I know, Warlord. Your house will be united, just as the Goddess decreed. You will have so many children…” Lahn closed his eyes. “And I will have the one, which I shall bring up at the cathedral.”

            Kah’len laid his hand on top of Lahn’s. “I love you above all others, Lahn Tjashensi-Obeli. Know this.”

            Lahn smiled sadly at him. “I know, Kah’len. With my heart, I know this.”

            “Then forgive me,” Kah’len murmured.

            “There is nothing to forgive,” Lahn replied. He lifted Kah’len’s hand and pressed a kiss to his wrist. “I love you.”

            Kah’len grinned. “And I love you, Lahn, but my greed is what has brought us here.”

            “You are the best ruler for North Torahn,” Lahn replied. “The best hope for a unified Torahn one day.”

            Kah’len raised an eyebrow. “Still a unificationist?”

            “Always,” Lahn replied and laughed.

            They stared lovingly at one another for a few minutes of silence.

            “Now what?” Lahn whispered.

            “Now we wait for your sister and then we go home, my dear. We still need to bring order to North Torahn.”

            “Yes,” Lahn said.

            Without a word, they rose and made their way to the large bed, which had been dressed with fresh bedclothes and pillows. Kah’len stripped his uniform off and went to washup at the basin as Lahn doffed his own clothes and climbed under the bedclothes. He watched as Kah’len washed the blood and dust from his skin, rinsing his mouth and unbraiding his hair. Kah’len’s hair fell in a black curtain down his back to his buttocks. He turned and walked to the bed, his tumescent kaoun jutting proudly from the hair in his groin. Lahn swallowed thickly as Kah’len climbed under the bedclothes and turned to face him.

            Kah’len touched Lahn’s face. His fingers were cold and smelled of expensive soap.

            Lahn turned his head and kissed his fingers. “Will you make love to me now?”

            Kah’len swallowed. “Yes.”

            They met in the middle and kissed hungrily. Lahn’s groin tightened and his kauon thickened. They pressed their bodies together and held each other tightly. Kah’len’s hands roamed desperately over Lahn’s skin, caressing and kneading. His hands found Lahn’s arse and he pulled Lahn even closer until their kauons rubbed against each other. Lahn’s member was weeping precum as Kah’len reached down and wrapped his calloused hand around the thick pole of Lahn’s lust. Lahn’s head spun as Kah’len licked his way down his chest, pausing at the nipples to swirl them into tight peaks, before continuing down to swallow Lahn’s kauon in one go. Lahn cried out and fisted the bedclothes as Kah’len consumed him, his mouth a furnace. Lahn spurted precome against the back of Kah’len’s throat. He began to thrust shallowly into Kah’len’s mouth while Kah’len increased suction. The exquisite ache grew so strong, Lahn found it hard to breathe. It was as if he was being eaten alive. Kah’len feasted on him and Lahn reached out to burrow his fingers in Kah’len’s glossy mane.

            Kah’len hummed and suddenly Lahn lost it and tumbled into his completion, pouring down Kah’len’s throat. Kah’len drank every drop and sat up with a satisfied, smug grin.

            Lahn panted. “Now you.”

            Kah’len shook his head. “I want in you, Lahn.”

            Lahn swallowed. “Alright. I’ve never done that.”

            “I have,” Kah’len said. “I’ll take care of you.”

            Kah’len reached into the night table drawer and withdrew a vial of oil. He sat back on his heels between Lahn’s legs. Lahn took in the massive girth of Kah’len’s kaoun and felt the stirrings of fear. He watched with trepidation as Kah’len generously oiled his member before pouring more oil on his fingers. He brought his oily fingers to the crease of Lahn’s buttocks and rubbed the entrance to his body until it was slick before pushing a finger in. It felt strange but not unpleasant. Kah’len thrust his finger in and out through Lahn’s opening. Then he pushed another finger in, making Lahn feel fuller. A rush of desire scrabbled up Lahn’s body and he shivered as Kah’len inserted a third finger. He felt impossibly full. He gasped when Kah’len touched a place inside of his body that pinged with pleasure. He melted as Kah’len caressed the spot again.

            He watched, dazed, as Kah’len withdrew his fingers and pushed his kauon against Lahn’s opening.

            “Push out, as if you are going to expel me,” Kah’len directed.

            Lahn did as he asked, pushing out as if he had a bowel movement. Kah’len pushed in until he breached Lahn’s opening and slid in to the hilt. Lahn stopped breathing. He felt uncomfortably full and the edge of pain filled him. He bit his lip to keep from crying out. His eyes filled with tears. Kah’len began to thrust shallowly inside of him. The pain seemed to increase until Lahn’s hole throbbed with it. Kah’len lay between Lahn’s legs and began to thrust in earnestness. Lahn grasped Kah’len’s shoulders and almost pushed him away before Kah’len shifted and thrust, hitting that spot inside of Lahn that pinged with pleasure. Lahn gasped and closed his eyes as pleasure took over and the sharp pain began to fade. Suddenly, he could not breathe as intense pleasure threatened to overcome him.

            Kah’len hovered over him, watching him with dazed eyes. Kah’len’s eyes had darkened with pleasure, his pupils dilated.

            “Kiss me,” Lahn gasped.

            Kah’len kissed him and Lahn wrapped his legs around the Warlord’s trim waist. He thrust up to meet Kah’len. The bed shook under them as their movements became more and more frantic until they both came within seconds of the other. Lahn was unsure who came first, only that he was filled with liquid heat and then Kah’len collapsed on top of him and he wrapped his arms around the Warlord’s neck. Lahn gently stroked Kah’len’s sweaty back. Kah’len sighed and soon he was breathing rhythmically as he fell asleep.

            Lahn closed his eyes as exhaustion caught up with him. Soon he fell asleep, his husband and friend cradled between his legs.

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