The naked man in the gilded cage didn’t lift his head right away when I entered the room. He was a little older than the last one, fairer skinned… perhaps a touch more muscular. He would be handsome of features, of course—they were all handsome. He rose as I approached, smiling at me through the bars.
“Hello! You must be my steward? How do you do?”
I bowed low before him, startled by how enthusiastic he sounded. Normally, the king’s pleasure boys were at the very least shy, if not terrified of their new reality.
“What’s your name, then? What shall I call you?” he said, his pretty, iridescent eyes full of good cheer.
Frowning, I pointed to the scar on my throat and shook my head.
The young man’s forehead wrinkled and he nodded, sobering. “I see. Well, that’s a shame… Though, I can talk enough for both of us. The nuns never did manage to teach me the value of a silent tongue.” He grinned, a quicksilver thing wiping away his sombre look, and I found myself smiling back at him. How peculiar he was.
“I have a name for myself,” he said, pressing himself against the bars. “Would you like to hear it?”
Only the king could give him a name, no one else, but I nodded, amused by his impertinence.
“My secret name is Sbaeron.” He laughed at the surprise on my face. “What? Do you think me wicked for naming myself after the god of fornication?”
I could only stare. Wicked? Far beyond that. He was nothing like his predecessors.
“And, since you can’t tell me your name, I will call you Sky,” he said. “For your beautiful blue eyes—I’m think I’m half in love with you because of them.”
Shaking my head, I grinned at his silliness, and froze when he reached out to grasp my hand.
“Listen—I’ve met the king,” he whispered, his eyes wide. “He stood right where you are standing now, pulled his wrinkly old cock out of his trousers, and failed to get it to point at me, no matter how hard he tried.”
Never in my life had I heard anything so brazen…. well, not since they’d cut my own voice out for impudence when I was younger than he was. I raised my brows at him.
“Oh, don’t look at me like that, Sky. The man is ancient, frail, and impotent. How is he to take his pleasure from me? I know of no drug or device that can enable a man to do what he cannot, should his tool fail him.”
Hiding my scowl as I turned away, I was keenly aware of my own inadequacies. After testing the kettle’s heat, I brought it to the door of the cage and pulled out my key.
“What? You’re still going to wash me?” asked Sbaeron as I unlocked the door. He was beautifully muscled and all his body hair had been removed in preparation for the burden of being the king’s ceremonial pleasurer. Regardless of his unsoiled state, I was to wash him as I had all the young men before him. That was my duty, and one that I enjoyed far more than I was meant to.
“That feels good,” he murmured as I slid the wet cloth across his broad shoulders, taking my time to wash him carefully. “Sky, do you know I have never been touched by a man before? Not once?”
Frowning, I dipped the cloth in the kettle again and washed under his arms.
“Do you know what that’s like—being aroused, but unable to do a thing about it?”
I must have let out a harsh breath, the spectre of a laugh, because he raised his brows at me. Grabbing my wrist, he surprised me by guiding me across his sculpted chest. “I slept with my arms tied,” he whispered as he circled one of his nipples with the cloth in my hand, making it pucker. “I was watched at all times so that I couldn’t touch myself, even to piss.”
My heart thudded hard and my throat was dry as I stared down into his iridescent eyes.
“And now I find myself robbed of even the king’s elderly touch.” Sbaeron’s voice was low and intimate as he looked up at me. “Will I die a virgin?” He only had a month to live before he was sacrificed like the others.
I wrenched my wrist from his grasp and re-wet the cloth, concentrating on my work.
“I find you handsome, Sky. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man so tall and fine, and with such beautiful golden hair.” He tilted his head at me when I met his eyes again.
Jaw clenched, I washed his hip, following the line of his pelvis to where his erection stood defiant.
“Do you want me? No one is here but we two, and I would never, ever tell a soul if you took the king’s place.” There was unmistakable pain in his expression as he pleaded with me. “I’ve just been waiting so long…”
In a mixture of bitterness and impatience, I grabbed his hand and pressed it to the crotch of my trousers.
Sbaeron looked at me, his brow creased, not understanding. With a harsh sigh, I quickly unbuttoned my pants, and fed his hand through the slit in the material.
Eyes round, he felt at the small lump of flesh that was all that remained of my manhood.
“You’re a eunuch,” he said, looking disappointed as his fingertips toyed with my scar. It felt good and, what tiny bit there was, began to stiffen at his touch. I closed my eyes. “Makes sense now.”
I couldn’t even have him if I wanted to.
A hiss escaped from between my lips when he lightly pinched my stiff lump and opened my eyes to see him watching me intently.
“You still feel pleasure?”
I nodded, and swallowed as he smiled mischievously. Though the fires of my libido normally burned low, Sbaeron was doing a fine job of fanning them. Without a word, he sank to his knees and unbuttoned the rest of the flap that hid my shame. I winced as he inspected the bit of raised flesh and the crooked scar that ran between my legs, but there was no disgust on his face, only enthusiasm.
“Mm. Maybe if I do this—” Sbaeron opened his mouth over what remained of the base of my cock and his tongue swirled, darting into the hole there, the inner skin so very sensitive to his efforts. His eyes met mine and I nodded, reaching for his head to stroke his hair.
Yes. Yes, this was nice. I would eventually orgasm if he kept this up, even ejaculate a thin stream, but it would take time. As if reading my thoughts, Sbaeron pulled away.
“If I’m able to make you climax… I wonder—” he licked his lips and smiled “—if you’d do the same for me?”
I let out a rasping, voiceless laugh and nodded, coaxing him forward again to continue. What else could I do?
Sighing, I smiled. I was going to like this new young man. It was a shame he would be replaced in a month’s time… but, what a month it would be.