In an ivory castle in a far away land, a beautiful queen with pale, pale skin and dark hair sat in her bathtub, large brown eyes trained out of the window as she ran her bath sponge up one of her slender arms, leaving in its wake a trail of rose scented bubbles. She and her husband, the king, had wanted a child of their own and for years, they were not blessed with the sound of a little one in the castle. Sighing softly, she lowered her hands to the water and sniffled softly. “Am I to be cursed to never know the joy of having a child? What have I done to displease those who might bless me with such who my husband and I can share our love?”
Looking down at the bubble-filled water, she squeezed the sponge and brought it back up to rinse the bubbles from her arm. She heard the sound of wings flapping and quickly turned her attention to the open window beside the antique claw-foot bathtub. She watched as a dove flew to the window and landed gracefully on the sill, its eyes seeming to take in the woman it found in the room. As she reached out to touch the bird, it flapped its wings and flew from the windowsill, leaving behind a single white feather.
The queen, taking the visit as a sign of good luck, immediately stood from the bath, ignoring the slight chill the breeze coming in from the windows caused. She grabbed her robe and slipped it on, tying the dark crimson material at the waist before she ran from the room to tell her husband of the dove.
A few weeks passed and just as the queen suspected, the visit from the dove was a good luck omen as she became pregnant with the child she and her husband so desired. Great care was taken with the queen during her pregnancy as it was made known that it might very well be the only time she would bare a child. Every morning, the king would awaken to find his wife sitting at the open window in their bedroom, her dainty hand resting on her growing belly while she spoke softly and sang to the small human steadily growing within her.
At last, the day had come; the child was ready to be born. The entire kingdom waited outside the castle to hear news of the birth of the new prince or princess. For an entire day, the queen labored in a room, surrounded by attendants, her priest and her husband until at last, in the wee hours of the morning, a baby’s cry was heard throughout the second floor of the castle.
When news reached the subjects of the kingdom, a loud cheer rose up and floated through the window to the happy couple while they gazed down at their newborn son laying peacefully in his mother’s arms. The child had a small pouty mouth and the pale, pale skin of his mother along with her dark hair. They would find, as the weeks passed, the baby had inherited the bright, clear green eyes of his father.
Three months passed when the king and queen planned to throw the largest party the kingdom had ever seen. The castle was decked out completely; the finest china, flatware and crystal goblets lined the many tables in the large banquet hall and the best invitations were sent to the most important members of society in the kingdom. The king and queen dressed in their best finery and commissioned clothes specially made for their little bundle of joy.
The night came and the banquet hall was full of laughter, chatter, and coos as people passed by the bassinet holding the tiny prince. The king reached over and held his wife’s hand, the proud fatherly smile on his face hard to miss. He and his wife moved to the center of the room, followed by the nanny pushing the ornate bassinet behind them. The couple and the young woman smiled when three men walked into the room. The men, known to be mystics, made their way to the couple, all eyes on them as the queen took the baby into her arms to await the blessings which would be bestowed upon the prince.
The first mystic stepped forward, his eyes soft when he looked upon the child and rested his hand on the baby’s head. “Prince Tristen, I am Connor. I give to you the blessing of music. May you have the voice of an angel and the talent of any of the great musicians in the land.” With a smile and a kiss to the child’s forehead, he stepped away from the family to allow another to bestow his blessing.
The next man stepped forward, smiling at the king and queen and placing his hand on the child’s head. “Prince Tristen, I am Blaze. I give to you the blessing of strength. Not just physical strength, but that of the mind and spirit.” He placed a kiss to the child’s head and stepped away to allow the other mystic to step forward.
As the third mystic stepped forward to bestow his blessing, a loud crash of thunder sounded outside and a flash of lightening sparked across the sky lighting every stained glass window in the room. People gasped and a few women screamed as the doors of the banquet hall flew open and a small man walked into the room. The mystic held a long, thick stick in his left hand, the end tapping on the stone floor as he walked to the family in the center of the room. His eyes moved over the assembled party, relishing the way the guests seemed to shrink away from his very presence as he walked passed.
He stopped in front of the royal family, casting his eyes from the king and queen to the baby, still sleeping peacefully. “All of the most esteemed in the kingdom have been invited here for this – most joyous of celebrations,” the man began as he turned around in a full circle. “All my brethren,” he gestured to the three men standing to the side. “Why is it I was overlooked? Am I not one of the most esteemed in the kingdom? Do I not deserve to bestow my blessing upon the new prince?”
“But, we did invite you,” the queen began, fear clearly evident in her voice. “Why would we have not invited all of the mystics to bless our child?” She tried to smile, but found it increasingly difficult as the man drew closer to her and her son. “Bernard, please set a place for the most esteemed of the mystics,” she said, waving the servant off to find another place setting.
“Oh, no, it is far too late for that,” the mystic said as he put his hand on the baby’s head. “Prince Tristen, I am Adoni. And I bestow on you the blessing,” he paused and chuckled menacingly before continuing, “no, I bestow on you the curse of death. On your eighteenth birthday, you will be pricked with a needle and fall dead due to the poison held within.” At the last word he uttered, thunder rumbled and lightening crashed once more. Adoni cackled loudly, tapping the end of the stick in his hand on the ground. He looked down at the baby and the fear-filled couple. “With that, I will take my leave of you. Eighteen years you will have with him. Enjoy them,” he said as he walked away from the royal family and from the room.
The queen looked up at her husband, her dark eyes filled with tears. “What are we going to do? What can we do?”
The third mystic stepped forward with a soft smile tugging at his lips as he drew closer to the family. “I-I cannot reverse his curse. It’s far too powerful, but I will see what I can do.” He looked down at the baby and placed his hand on his forehead. “Prince Tristen, I am Justin. I bestow upon you the blessing, not of death, but of sleep. The prick of the needle will not cause you death, but a sleep of one hundred years. You and the kingdom will sleep as though time has frozen. At the end of that one hundred years, one will come to you, bestowing you with a kiss which will awaken you. You will not age, nor will you remember what transpired prior to the needle prick.” He placed a kiss to the child’s head and smiled at the king and queen. “I am truly sorry, but that is all I can do,” he whispered, taking the hand the king offered him.
“We thank you Justin,” he said, looking down at his wife and son. “All of us.”
Justin nodded and stepped away from the family to the table where Connor and Blaze sat watching the scene playing out in front of them.
The years passed and the king and queen had forgotten the curse and the blessing that had been bestowed on their son until his eighteenth year rolled around. On the eve of Tristen’s eighteenth birthday, the king and queen were called away on royal business, but they left strict orders to everyone within the castle that their son was to stay away from any needle which may be within the structure. Even though Tristen knew of his parents worries, he still took the opportunity to explore the castle, finding rooms he had not known existed.
Slowly and carefully he climbed the stairs of one of the many towers of the castle, his left hand running along the cold, damp stone of the wall as he went higher and higher. He frowned when he came to a door he had not expected to find. Reaching out, he grabbed the handle and pressed his thumb down on the latch until he heard the metal click and felt the door began to give way. He pushed it forward and stepped into the dimly lit room, opening his eyes wide at the large man standing at the window.
“W-Who are you?” Tristen asked.
The young man turned and smiled, the dimples on his face enough to make any man or woman instantly melt. “My name is Damien, but people in the kingdom call me Shade.”
Tristen stepped farther into the room, jumping slightly when the door slammed closed behind him. “How did you get in here and a better question – why the fuck are you in here?”
Damien shrugged. “There are some questions which are better left unanswered.” He leaned against the windowsill, arms crossing over his barrel-like chest. “So, it’s your birthday tomorrow, right?”
Tristen nodded, feeling slightly uncomfortable within the mysterious man’s presence, but more than a little curious about the man seeming to be hiding out in the castle’s tower. “Yes. I’m gonna be eighteen.” He closed his eyes, mentally cursing himself for sounding stupid, at least in his mind that was the way he sounded.
“Well, then, allow me to give you a special gift.” Damien stood straight and stepped closer to Tristen, his hand moving inside of the black leather jacket covering his upper body.
“What kind of special gift?”
“One that will make you feel really great. It’s the best way to bring in your birthday.” He pulled out a small black case. “Close your eyes and just trust me,” he whispered as he leaned down closely to Tristen’s ear.
Obliging the request, Tristen closed his eyes and allowed the man to wrap something around his arm. Even when he heard the sound of a lighter flicking, he did not open his eyes. He did flinch when he felt the prick of a needle in his arm, but relaxed when the feeling of floating came over him. The floating feeling quickly turned and he felt his consciousness melting away.
Damien replaced everything back in the small case and stowed it back within a pocket of his jacket. Seeing Tristen beginning to sway on his feet, Damien quickly wrapped his arms around the smaller man, lifting him easily. He walked to the door, managing, awkwardly, to open it and slip out and down the stairs, mindful to not hit Tristen’s head or drop the young prince as he carried him.
Once he reached Tristen’s room, he laid him on the large bed, smiling with nothing but malicious intent. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he turned to look at the mystic standing behind him.
“He fell for it?” Adoni asked, as he stood beside Damien.
Damien nodded and grinned. “He did. You would think with all the blessings he was given, he wouldn’t have been quite so gullible.”
“Well, the other three never were ones to think quite that far ahead. We should go.”
The two men walked from the room, confident they would never be spotted as they moved silently down the halls waiting to hear any sign of someone making their way toward them.
Shade and Adoni needn’t have worried. The entire kingdom had fallen into the same sleep as Tristen. Everything stopped as Justin said it would. Life just ceased to move forward. Dogs lay curled up in the halls, the servants in the kitchen sleep as though they were in the middle of their day. The chef sat at a large table, a wooden spoon in his hand and a large bowl of cake batter in front of him. A maid sat at another table, a knife in one hand and a carrot, half chopped, resting on the cutting board.
Outside, the scene was no different. Every subject, animal – insect – slept as though they had been the ones who had fallen under the curse. Damien and Adoni hurried through the dark town, sticking to the shadows all the way to the outskirts. They parted once they reached the forest, both agreeing they would never meet again.
As the years began to pass, a large hedge of dark green spotted with white roses began to grow around the castle and stories began to spread far and wide of the sleeping kingdom hidden within the greenery. As the stories spread, both princes and princesses alike traveled to see if they could be the one to wake the kingdom, not realizing the obstacle which awaited them.
One such woman made her way into the small town overlooking the sleeping town of legend. The idea she could be the one to wake the prince and become a princess the only thing spurring her on. She’d spoken with one of the mystics residing in the town and was told the story of the sleeping prince and of the rose hedge which stood between her and the castle. Not to be deterred, she made her way down the mountain to the village, her dark eyes growing large once she actually saw the thick wall of green and white.
Slowly getting off her motorcycle, she pulled her helmet off and placed it on the seat of the black and purple machine. Shaking out her long blonde curls, she stepped toward the hedge, pulling a small switchblade from the back pocket of her jeans. She grabbed at the hedge and cursed when a sharp thorn pierced her palm. Hearing the sound of something moving within, she swallowed hard and made a cut, gasping when the hedge began to give way slightly at the action. She began feeling a little more confident and cut again and again as she walked forward. Twenty steps into the hedge, the vines began slithering around her as if they were going to keep her where she was.
Seeing a vine moving down toward her head, she began screaming, the sound echoing throughout the sleeping town until it wrapped tightly around her mouth, still curling around as though a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of its prey. Another vine crept up her body and began wrapping around her throat, cutting off her airway until finally, the thorns cut through the skin, severing her head from her body. The other vines slowly turned the body loose allowing it to fall to the ground with a sickening thud before moving back to their original positions to await the next victim to come along.
And so it went decade after decade, prince after prince, princess after princess, all meeting their death amongst the rose hedge. As the eve of the last day of the ninety-ninth year fell, a young man drove into the city. He wore a pair of sunglasses just as black as the sports car he drove. Pulling the streamlined car into a parking space at the local bar, the man slid from the vehicle and looked around. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket, slipping one from the red and white package before placing it in his mouth and making his way into the building. Lighting the cancer stick, he lifted his sunglasses to the top of his head, dark brown eyes surveying the room and the few people who turned to stare at the stranger in their midst.
Walking to the bar, he smiled as he sat on one of the vacant stools, raising his hand to get the bartender’s attention.
A young woman walked over with a smile on her face. “What can I get ya, stranger?”
“Uh, a beer’s good. Whatever it is you have on tap, please.” His voice was like silk wrapping around her and her smile widened when she walked away.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” a gentle voice said from beside him.
The man turned and narrowed his eyes slightly at the freckle-faced man sitting beside him, sipping a beer. “Does it show that much?”
The man smiled. “Well, it’s a small town. News of new people travels fast. What brings you to town?”
“Uh, just passing through.” He turned toward the bartender, smiling as he paid for his beer.
“Where ya headed to?”
The man sipped his beer as he thought for a minute. “Well, my editor sent me out to investigate a town not too far from here. Something about everyone there being asleep for years or something like that. Personally, I think it’s all bullshit, but hey, it’s a job, so who am I to say no.” He smiled and raised his mug to his lips.
“It’s not bullshit,” the man began with a note of anger tinting his voice. “The town has been asleep and protected for almost one hundred years now.”
The man nodded. “There’s a rose hedge which surrounds the town – protects it. Men and women have gone in, but no one has returned. In almost one hundred years, many have perished seeking what it is you will find.”
The stranger finished his beer and stood with a smile on his face. “I’m sure. Thanks for the information.”
“What’s your name, stranger?”
“Jae. And you are?”
The man sipped his drink before he spoke: “Justin.”
Nodding, Jae walked from the building and back to his car, intent on finding his hotel and taking a hot shower.
Morning dawned and Jae awoke, groaning at the shard of light coming in through the curtains covering the hotel window and hitting him right in the eyes. He reached up and stretched, intent on getting an early start to his destination and although he was told the story of the hedge and the town, he still thought the whole assignment was a bunch of bullshit – the stuff of fairy tales. Things like what Justin described just did not happen in real life.
He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, his toes digging into the plush carpet beneath his feet. Exhaling deeply, he stood, reaching his arms over his head as he stretched his muscles. He gathered camera equipment and other items he felt he would need for the day, placing it all neatly packed on the small table in one corner of the room. He headed into the bathroom for a quick shower. After dressing, he loaded his equipment into his car and headed off to get a cup of coffee and start his trip down the mountain.
The road was steep and in some areas, a little windy, but Jae navigated the twists and turns as though he had been driving them for years. He opened the windows of the car and inhaled the clean air, coughing when a bug flew up his nose. He took in the scenery, enjoying the quiet, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something big and unexpected was going to happen.
As he came out of the mountains, he opened his eyes wide when he was met by a wall of green speckled with white. Pulling his car to an abrupt stop, he got out and lifted his sunglasses, surveying the tall hedge. Stepping closer, he jumped slightly when the vines began to give way. He furrowed his eyebrows when he drew closer and the vines moved farther apart as if to allow him to enter. He slowly began walking into the hedge, all the while, the vines parting until he came out on the other side.
What he saw rivaled any and every fairy tale he’d ever been told by his parents. The castle stood pristine as it had one century ago, the flags which would normally be waving in the breeze from the top turrets, lay limp and lifeless against the dark blue tiles covering the roofs. He made his way through the town toward the castle, shock moving through him when he saw everyone in the town.
“For being over a century old, these people look really good,” he said, chuckling to himself, somewhat afraid someone or something would jump out and kill him.
He stopped in front of the castle with a look of shock and awe covering his face when he saw the men who were supposed to be guarding the castle were asleep, the large Halberds in their hands being used to prop them up while soft snores left their lips. Jae quickly made his way across the drawbridge into the castle. He walked from room to room, smiling a little to himself at seeing the various people who looked as though they had been caught in the middle of decorating for something big.
As he climbed the stairs, he noticed even beetles which might have once been scurrying across the stone floor were in some sort of suspended animation, some with their wings coming out from beneath their hard outer shells. Still he continued until he reached a grand staircase. He gripped the cold stone of one of the banisters as he began to climb to the second floor, now more than a little curious about what lay hidden there. He looked into various rooms, some looking as though they were libraries while others looked as though they may have been smoking rooms or studies.
“Who the fuck needs all this space?” His voice echoed off the stone walls.
Turning from what was clearly a study, he made his way down the hall until he reached one of the two rooms resting at the end of the hall. He went to the room on the left and knocked lightly on the door, frowning at the muted sound which came from the thick piece of wood. Not receiving an answer, he opened the door and poked his head inside. Seeing the empty, ornate bed in the middle of the room, Jae stepped inside to examine some portraits decorating the walls.
He examined one of the royal family, the king and queen looking as though they had no worries other than making sure their son, who was sitting on the queen’s lap, was happy. He walked along the corridor looking at the different paintings and noting how much the prince grew and changed from portrait to portrait until he reached one where he stood alone in full regalia. Jae’s head cocked to the side slightly, looking at his eyes. He smiled to himself at seeing a hint of rebelliousness on the prince’s face and in his eyes.
He turned and left the room, knocking on the door across the hall. Again, when he didn’t receive an answer, he opened the door and opened his eyes wide when he saw the prince laying peacefully on the large bed in the center of the room. Opening the door a little wider, he walked into the room and to the bedside, his gaze roaming over the man’s face. He marveled at how time had stopped the aging and had frozen the prince’s youth as he slept.
Stepping closer to the bed, Jae sat on the edge, not willing to look away from the angelic face he gazed down on. He could feel something beginning to stir within him as he slowly leaned closer to the youth. “Well, I may not be a princess, but let’s see if this works.” He placed a delicate kiss to the his lips. He sat up straight, feeling like a complete idiot when the prince didn’t immediately awaken like the princesses did in the fairy tales from his childhood.
He stood from the bed and began making his way to the door when he heard a soft groan from behind him. He turned to watch as the prince sat up and looked around.
“What’s going on?” the young man croaked.
Jae walked back to the bedside and sat down. “I’m not sure.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m a magazine photographer. My name’s Jae. Jae Priest. Who are you?”
“I’m Tristen. I’m the prince of this kingdom. What time is it? My party is supposed to start at seven.”
Jae looked down at the watch wrapped around his left wrist. “Um, it’s about ten in the morning. What day – year – what year was it when you went to sleep?”
Tristen’s eyebrows knitted together in confusion as he looked to the man sitting on his bed. “It’s Friday, December 15, 1911.”
Jae wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly as he stood. “Actually, it’s not.”
Tristen’s face showed his growing confusion as Justin’s spin on the curse continued to do its magic. “Of course it is. It’s my birthday and I remember looking at the clock before I left my room.” He looked around. “How did I get into my room?”
Jae shrugged. “I have no idea. What I do know is it’s not 1911.”
“Then, what year is it?” Tristen asked, his tone challenging what he knew to be right.
“It’s 2011. You’ve been asleep for one hundred years.”
Tristen scoffed. “Well, that’s just silly. It’s ridiculous. It’s – well, it’s…”
Jae sat back on the bed, closing his hands around one of Tristen’s to comfort him. “It’s the truth.”
“Tristen! Tristen?!” a female voice came from the hall.
The door opened and an older man and woman ran in, both with relieved looks on their faces.
“Oh, thank God,” the woman said as she hurried to the bedside and took him into her arms.
“Mother. What’s going on? This man here is trying to tell me it’s 2011.”
The queen swallowed hard and nodded. “It is son. There – are things you, your father and I need to talk about.” She looked at Jae, her eyes already full of gratitude and pleading. “Sir, would you mind if we speak with him alone?”
Jae stood and smiled. “Not at all. I’ll uh, just be in the hall, I suppose.” He felt more than a little awkward as he stepped out into the hall and was faced with the scrutiny of the people who had woken up and went about their chores as though they hadn’t been asleep for a century. Sighing, he turned toward the stone wall, his right hand reaching into one of the pockets of his jacket and grabbing his cellphone. He looked at the screen, frowning when he saw he didn’t have any sort of reception. He slipped the device back into his pocket, thinking he would get out of the castle and the town and make the call to his editor about what he saw. He mentally cursed himself for not having gone back to his car and grabbed his equipment to take pictures of everything as he had found it when he entered the town.
Hearing the door of Tristen’s room open, Jae turned and watched the king walk out. He smiled and wasn’t sure if he should bow or curtsey to greet him. He opened his mouth to say something, but was immediately stopped by the king raising his hand.
“I want to thank you, Mr.,” the king paused as his eyes filled with question.
“Oh, uh, Priest. Jae Priest.”
“No need to thank me, sir.”
The king smiled. “Tristen and his mother are asking to see you.” He nodded and took his leave of the now-confused man.
Jae walked into the room, immediately settling his gaze on the queen and Tristen sitting on the bed. He sat on the edge when he was asked to by the queen and listened as the queen began telling him the story of what happened a century prior; the mystics, the curse, and how she and her husband had done everything they thought they could to keep Tristen safe. Jae eagerly asked questions, making mental notes so he had something to take back to his editor.
The more he heard, the more Jae was intrigued by the story and cursed himself for not bringing his camera along. When the queen finished her tale, Jae asked if he could be permitted to stay in the town to speak with some of the other inhabitants in order to write the story of what had happened. Not only did the queen allow him to stay in the town, but she even told him she would have a room made up for him in the castle.
What was supposed to have only been a few days of Jae speaking with people turned into a few weeks. Every day, Jae would interview the people in the town and every night he would hear various stories from the royal family during dinner. He also found himself drawn to Nathaniel. Nathaniel was somewhat shy, but interested in the stories Jae would tell of how much things changed in the hundred years he’d been playing Rip Van Winkle.
Tristen would even sneak into Jae’s room while he was working on his laptop. All of his concentration would be on what he was typing, every so often stopping to read over something before he went back to typing. The prince would quietly make his way to Jae’s bed, settling himself there and looking over his shoulder as the other man continued to work. Jae knew the prince thinking that he didn’t notice he was there, but truth was – Jae knew. He could hear the soft squeak of the hinges of the old door and continued working as though he didn’t know the prince was in the room with him until he stopped typing and stood from his chair to stretch out his tired muscles. He would always feign surprise at finding the green-eyed man sitting on the bed.
After four weeks of the same routine, Jae smiled to himself when Tristen snuck into the room and took his place on the bed. “One of these nights, you’re gonna have to say something,” he said, not taking his eyes from the screen in front of him.
“Why? I like watching you work,” Tristen replied.
Jae stood and went to the bed. He sat beside Tristen. “You always seem as though you want to ask me something, yet, you never do. What’s on your mind, Prince Tristen?”
“Well, my mother told me what the mystic said about the one who would give me a kiss which would awaken me and I remember when I was a child, my nanny telling me stories with a prince kissing the princess and saving her and they got married and lived happily ever after and all that, so I’m wondering what it means if you were the one to wake me with a kiss.”
“Who knows? This all seems like one pretty fucked up fairy tale. Maybe I’m your true love and we just haven’t realized it yet.” Jae laughed at his own statement. The was idea preposterous even to him, though in the back of his mind, the exact thought had been there. As much as he didn’t want to believe fairy tales could be true, he couldn’t deny what he had seen and the stories he’d been heard from the people in the town.
Tristen turned to face Jae, his eyes filled with more questions than answers. “And if you are, would that be a bad thing?”
The question was innocent enough, but it did raise questions within Jae as well. He remembered the story told by the man in the bar, and the stories people had told him for weeks. He even remembered the ones he heard as a child, with the princes on a white horse riding in to save the day with a kiss for the princesses, but it’d been his kiss given to the prince that had released him and everyone else from the curse which had been bestowed on him when he was just an infant.
“No, but – aren’t there customs that have to be followed? Arranged marriages and all that?” Jae replied.
Tristen sat up and looked into Jae’s eyes. “Under normal circumstances, yes, but I think this one might be a little different.”
Jae laughed lightly. “I would say, a lot different.” Unable to stop himself, Jae leaned forward, smiling when Tristen closed his eyes in anticipation of another kiss. Nudging the prince’s nose with his own, Jae gently pressed his lips to Tristen’s. His arms wound around his waist of their own volition, pulling him closer as Jae slowly intensified the kiss. His tongue swept over Tristen’s full bottom lip before delving into the velvet depths when he parted his lips for him.
The two lay back on the bed, scooting up until they were both comfortable. Both men gazing at each other, their breath coming in sharp pants.
“You’re sure this is what you want?” Jae asked. “I’m not some prince who can whisk you away to another castle and keep you in the life to which you are accustomed. I’m just some average working guy. I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t make a lot with the job I have.”
Tristen nodded and lifted himself up in order to kiss Jae once more.
The two fell into a jumble of hands touching, lips kissing and caressing, and teeth nibbling sensitive areas until they lay naked surrounded by the thickness of the deep emerald colored duvet, the color setting off the green of Tristen’s eyes. Jae slowly moved his hand down Tristen’s chest, his fingers tracing along the contours created by the bones and muscles. Dipping his head, he placed kisses to Tristen’s skin, grinning at the goosebumps left in his wake.
Sitting on his haunches between Tristen’s spread legs, Jae smiled down at him as he placed two of his fingers into his mouth, his tongue swirling over and all around them insuring they would be good and wet when he inserted them into Tristen. He pulled his fingers from between his lips and reached down, rubbing the pads of his fingertips at the tensed muscle of Tristen’s entrance. Slowly inserting one digit, he stroked Tristen’s knee with his free hand, relaxing the prince as he moved it into and out of him, letting him get used to the feeling of something inside of him.
“That’s not so bad,” Tristen said softly.
With a smirk pulling at his lips, Jae inserted the other finger. A frown formed on his face when Tristen whimpered in discomfort. He shushed Tristen softly as he began stretching the muscle. He took great care in preparing the prince for what was to come, not wanting to cause the royal son more pain he knew would come with making love for the first time. “Still not so bad?” he asked as he raised an eyebrow, dark eyes moving up to Tristen’s face.
Tristen offered no reply, but bit his bottom lip, clearly trying not to show he was feeling any pain.
Jae turned his wrist and began poking around at his walls until Tristen’s hips curled up from the bed and a loud moan left his throat. “Ah, that’s just the reaction I wanted to see,” he said, pressing and rubbing hard at the small swell deep within Tristen’s body. He licked his lips as his gaze moved down from Tristen’s face to his cock, resting hard as a rock against his lower stomach.
Jae grew more turned on when Tristen’s eyes slid closed and he panted softly. Though he knew the walls were made of thick stone and the door of the finest wood, he still wanted to be mindful that what he and Tristen were doing was not something he wanted to be shared with the servants or Tristen’s parents. He pulled his fingers from Tristen, smiling when he opened his eyes in shock, whining at the loss of the pleasure he had been giving him.
Jae just grinned at the prince before spitting into his hand. He had to admit, it wasn’t the most sexy thing to do, but seeing as he didn’t exactly prepare for sleeping with the prince, it had to be done. Reaching down, he covered his length as well as he could before raising up and leaning forward until the tip of his cock touched Tristen’s entrance. He swallowed hard, fully expecting him to yelp or cry as he was being entered. He pressed forward, hard and groaned when the muscles slowly began to stretch and allow him inside.
Inching his way inside, Jae exhaled slowly, trying to keep his composure. The warmth and tightness surrounding him was enough for him to lose it the second he had entered Tristen.
While he wanted nothing more than to be making love to Tristen and he knew it would be painful, especially because the prince had never had sex before. He groaned and closed his eyes once his hips rested against Tristen’s ass.
Jae dropped his head forward to Tristen’s shoulder as he felt his muscles begin to twitch with every slight movement they made. Raising his upper body, Jae looked down into the face of Tristen. His heart warmed because he knew it was his kiss that had awakened him. He eased his hips back slightly. He wanted to stop immediately when Tristen hissed in discomfort, but the sensations coursing through his body wouldn’t allow that. He pulled out until just the very tip of him remained inside of Tristen before easing back in. He continued the slow movements until Tristen’s hisses and broken gasps turned into soft breaths and gentle moans. Once he heard those and the whispered words of encouragement, he felt comfortable in speeding up his rhythm.
Tristen reached up and rested his hands on Jae’s shoulders, pressing his fingers into the hard muscle with each movement back inside of him. He leaned up close to Jae’s ear and began whispering words of encouragement.
Jae closed his eyes and allowed his body to just go with the moment and feel. Feel every sensation moving through him. From the feeling of his cock as it slid into and out of Tristen to the feeling of the sweat which was like dew on their skin. He inhaled deeply of the strong sexual musk surrounding their bodies and he listened to the moans, grunts and words of praise falling from Tristen’s lips.
Jae reached down and wrapped his fingers around Tristen’s cock, smiling to himself when his muscles fluttered at the touch. He slowly stroked his hand up and down Tristen’s length, twisting slightly every so often to give a new sensation to him. He gave a hard thrust when Tristen’s back arced like a rainbow, pushing their chests together. Jae briefly stopped moving when Tristen began to fuck himself on his cock. He beamed knowing the prince was enjoying himself more than he thought he would. Pulling his hips back, Jae pressed in hard, groaning when Tristen finally let loose and wailed his name at the top of his lungs.
“Say my name again,” Jae grunted out as he thrust in once more, hitting Tristen’s spot again. He felt full of pride when his name once again left Tristen’s lips with a loud wail. His arms grew shaky as Jae felt the familiar tingling sensation begin to take over his body. Pressing himself closely to Tristen, he came hard, his whole body locking up as wave after wave of extreme pleasure rolled through him from head to toe.
Jae placed a kiss to Tristen’s lips and moved his hand faster over Tristen’s length, determined to get him off. He dropped his head to Tristen’s neck, kissing the sweat-slicked skin when he felt Tristen’s fingers growing more insistent, pulling him closer and closer until he whimpered and his body shuddered with his orgasm.
Tristen breathed heavily as he clung to Jae, his chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath. When the last shudder left him, he fell back onto the bed with a satiated expression on his face. He looked up at Jae, reaching up to trace the bones of his face. “Is this where the story ends happily ever after?”
Jae shrugged. “Only if we want it to.” He gently pulled out of Tristen and lay beside him. He was filled with delight as he looked up at the ceiling and the enormity of the situation finally hit him. He’d been sent to a small town to investigate what he thought was a story based on complete bullshit and ended up with a prince. He chuckled to himself.
“Something funny?” Tristen asked softly, turning his body into Jae’s.
“No.” Jae wrapped his arms around Tristen, holding him close. For a man who didn’t normally believe in fairy tales, he would be hard pressed to say he wasn’t living one at that moment. A castle in the middle of nowhere, a handsome prince with a magic spell cast over him and a happily ever after that was just getting ready to start. Maybe he would have to rethink his stance on fairy tales. Just maybe.