Best read by Paris fans, frankly...
Title: "Royal Captive" 1/1
Summary: Paris, Prince of Troy, is taken captive...
Warnings: Violence. Potential squick (references to bodily functions). Angst. Slash (as in m/m). [See the author notes, please!]
Title: "Royal Captive" 1/1
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (camelotslash-1 -at- qwest.net)
Date: August 11, 2004
Archive: Sure, contact me first, please [template must stay with fic]
Archived at: CamelotSlash.com -- http://www.camelotslash.com
Disclaimer: Don't own them and mean no infringement or disrespect. No money made, it's merely for fun.
Summary: Paris, Prince of Troy, is taken captive...
Warnings: Violence. Potential squick (references to bodily functions). Angst. Slash (as in m/m). [See the author notes, please!]
Beta: Thanks as always to Mistress Marilyn for her wonderful help. Any mistakes are my own, as she's always guarding my fic to avoid putting any mistakes off on readers...
Author Notes: In writing "Troy" fics, I've found I enjoy getting 'inside' the head of Paris. I personally think the movie character (at least) -- if not the character known from history/literature -- is very misunderstood...
Take note! If you don't like fics that depict a character being held captive (in some detail), then this won't be your cup of tea...
It was the dead of night and always the best part of his day. For each night he was allowed to have the blindfold removed for a time. The heavy cloth would be carefully pulled free -- and every time he would feel a large, gentle hand ruffle his hair. The man must, of course, assume that he -- Paris of Troy -- was sleeping.
But in truth he never slept well until the blindfold was off. He'd lie in a pretense of sleep and wait -- wait for the hands of his master to finally free him. (Or at least to free his eyes.)
Then this man who held him captive would lie down beside him and press his strong body tightly against Paris, spooning into him. Paris would often feel the steel bar of the man's sex jutting against him and wonder, 'is tonight the night?' He was certain that sooner or later he would be taken -- for it was the right of a captor to use his slave, after all.
But tonight had not been the night to yield his body. The man had slipped off his blindfold and put his hand briefly into Paris' curls, as always. He'd been humming pleasantly as he pulled off his clothes and the sound made Paris think of home. He had to blink back sudden tears and struggle to suppress the shudder that threatened to give him away as being awake. Then the man was against him -- and this time an arm was wrapped loosely around Paris' body.
The man always fell asleep quickly, which was a great relief to Paris. He was unsure if he'd be able to lie quietly in a pretense of sleep had it taken long hours of tossing and turning for his master to finally rest.
When the soft snoring began, Paris allowed himself to slide out from under the unwelcome embrace and slip from the bed pallet. Then he went to the end of the canopy and pressed his face to the small opening, looking out to sea. There was little to see, even though the moon was near full. Paris was afraid to lift the cloth and let the light from stars and moon in, so that he might turn and finally see the sleeping face of his master.
It had been many weeks now since they'd left the shores of his home in Troy. Though Paris had never been sickened by sea travel in the past, he found himself struggling with nausea as they sailed away. Of course it wasn't as if he could see their departure, for Paris had been blindfolded from the first moment of his captivity.
When he'd first awakened from the stupor of having been out cold -- struck down with a large lump on his scalp to prove it -- he immediately raised a hand to the blindfold, anxious to remove it. But he'd been unwise to try. An angry fist had grabbed the offending arm by the wrist, twisting it with fury. Paris was unable to suppress a groan as he felt a sharp pain unlike any he'd ever known.
He felt the floor of the ship under him as he was shoved down. His tunic was torn off, but he had no idea how many men assisted to roughly disrobe him. Then he felt the sting of a leather strap as he was beaten. It was terrible to writhe on the wooden deck and Paris was unsure what drove his movement. Was he trying to crawl out from under the abuse of the lash? Or was it only that he was unable to stop himself from a natural reaction to the pain? Was he truly the coward so many thought him to be? Or would not anyone behave so under a similar assault?
The lack of spoken words had already been a horrible thing, even then. No one said 'don't take off the blindfold' to him. No one voiced commands to the men to tell them how to manage him. Perhaps someone was gesturing orders, but Paris had no way to know. It was as if he were truly blind and deaf -- and being blind and deaf made him more vulnerable -- more fearful -- than any other time in his life.
His arm had been dislocated, as it turned out. It hung limply from his side and he had to fight with himself not to sit in a huddle, crying. It took every last ounce of his courage to manage to stand after the beating ended. But somehow he found a way, using his good hand to push himself into an awkward squat that made his thigh muscles scream. Finally he gripped the deck with his bare toes and balanced enough to rise. He felt the heat of the sun blazing against his naked skin -- burning into the rising welts -- and could hear murmurs of sound that must be men who were carefully containing their speech.
"Damn!" he heard someone curse loudly. That single word was a relief, even though it made his heart pound with apprehension.
Then hands were again on his body and he was drawn back down to the floor of the ship. He didn't have energy enough left to try fighting, though somehow he contained the tears of frustration that sprang to his eyes. (It comforted him to know that the hated blindfold would hide any small sign of crying that might escape his control.)
He was held tightly by more than one man as two strong hands (his master's?) grabbed the wrist of his injured arm, tugging hard.
Paris didn't recall fainting, though he knew now he must have. He had no memory of being clothed and having his bad arm put into a sling. Nor did he know when he'd been moved out of the sunlight and placed under the canopy that had become both his home -- and prison. He felt his face flame with shame each time he thought of himself lying naked and being beaten -- imagining a circle of men standing round him to watch. Paris was greatly sorry he hadn't managed to somehow avoid swooning like a maid when his arm had been reset, regardless of the pain.
Time passed and there was a routine to his days, however small. He was shaken awake each morning by his master who would pull free his tunic and thoroughly wash his body with a rag that was wet with rainwater. Paris knew such water was dear -- and usually used only for drinking -- so this surprised him greatly. He imagined the others aboard must use sea water for cleaning themselves -- or that they would simply jump over the side when the ocean was calm and swim as a means of bathing. (He'd traveled by boat himself in the past and done the same.) His master had the scent of salt on his skin, so Paris was certain the man didn't use fresh water to cleanse himself. It was a puzzle, but Paris had no way to know the answer as to why.
After being washed, his tunic was put on again and brisk hands smoothed the cloth, brushing downward on both the front and back of the garment. Some liberties were taken then and Paris would try not to wince as his master's hands felt his body through the thin clothing.
Next his master would take him to the edge of the boat so he could make water over the side. As Paris couldn't see to guide his stream, his master's hand would cover his own and direct him. (Out of necessity he was guided in all things by the strong hands of his master.)
Nor was he allowed to remove his blindfold in order to eat. When the time came to break his fast his master would appear with food and feed him like a babe. The same was true at every mealtime and Paris would blushingly submit -- wondering if the man was grinning with amusement while he put the food into Paris' mouth.
But Paris needed no second lesson under a lash to know he had no choice in what happened to him -- no matter how ignominious. He didn't waste time or energy in struggling.
Of course the most demeaning thing of all was to have to ask to be helped to make water and waste. The first day he'd suffered greatly trying to restrain his bladder as he spent time squirming across the floor, seeking some possible means of managing it by himself. Finally he was forced to voice his need, not even knowing if anyone was close enough to hear his pleas.
Soon after his master came and gently helped him to stand. He already knew the scent -- and feel -- of the man and was relieved to lean into his broad chest while being lifted up. Paris felt the rough brush of the canopy cloth as he was taken under it and out to the side of the boat. It was a relief to empty his bladder, but also a relief to hear the sound of his own voice asking to be allowed to go. At least he wasn't really deaf...
For the making of waste Paris must kneel and wait while his tunic was lifted and he was guided to sit on a pot. The first time he had been barely able to manage it, feeling his master's leg pressed against his knee while he strained. But now he was used to the man's body close by as he squatted. He knew his master would lift the pot with his own hands and take it out to empty it into the sea, while Paris knelt waiting for his return. It surprised him that his master wouldn't make another servant or slave attend him for such mean things -- yet somehow it was clear his master didn't wish others to enter this space. It was rare anyone else came inside, even to do the most menial tasks.
After his master emptied the pot he returned to carefully wipe Paris before pulling his tunic down again and smoothing it into place. Paris wondered why he was made to wait for the pot to be dumped out before he was wiped clean, but as in everything, no one spoke to him -- and he didn't even bother to ask the nagging question. (One among many.)
Of course the men on board did speak and laugh and sing -- outside the confines of Paris' canopy. But they were always quiet when nearby -- and no one who entered ever said a single word. Their sounds were muffled to Paris' ears, though he strained to hear what was said. It was both maddening and disheartening.
His arm healed and the sling was removed, but it made little difference. There was nothing for Paris to do but sit quietly and think dark thoughts, except for those few hours in the night when he was allowed his sight; even then there was nothing but grayness for him to gaze upon. By morning when he was awakened, the blindfold was always back in place -- as if it had never been removed at all.
So on this night as Paris gazed out to sea he wished himself dead -- as he had dozens of times before. He had never been forced to hard labor -- nor was he used roughly each night as his master's whore. But he was miserable, even so. He deeply felt his lowly state -- and his captivity. 'If only I could have access to a knife,' he prayed in a hushed whisper. He had no doubt he'd be able to find the courage to drive it home. (But had the gods forsaken him?)
He sighed and turned back to the blackness inside the canopy. His eyes sought the body of his master, lying as a gray form inside the gray world that was now Paris' only home. He crept soundlessly back to the man's side and knelt, preparing to once again lie down beside him.
But in that moment the flap of the canopy lifted on a sudden breeze and a beam of light streaked in and fell directly on a bronze hilt half-hidden beneath the pillow where his master's head rested. This, then, was the knife that Paris had just prayed for!
His master continued his soft snore, still sleeping. Paris might never again have a second chance to put his hand to a blade. The thought of another beating seemed a small thing now. It was worth any risk to put an end to his shame, sorrow and loneliness.
He reached out tentative fingers and touched the cold metal. Resolution flooded through him as he firmly grasped the hilt and drew out the half-concealed knife.
"What in hell do you think you're going to do with that, boy? Do you plan to try and kill me?" a well-modulated voice softly asked.
There was no time! He quickly lifted the blade and put the point to his stomach, ready to shove with all his strength as he called out a faint and wordless paean -- not certain if his soft cry was one of pain or victory.
He was too late -- too slow! His master moved as quick as a thunderbolt thrown by Zeus to grasp Paris' hand and yank it away from his goal. Now, finally, he struggled in earnest. Perhaps if he angered the man enough he'd do the job himself! With that thought he fought hard against the man who was clearly stronger -- and well-practiced in hand-to-hand combat. The knife caught the beam of light again and again as they both struggled to control the blade.
"Damn you! Give it to me. Are you mad?"
Paris saw the point streak down the arm of his master, drawing blood. The man gasped in pain, but continued to fight. Finally Paris' strength failed him and he was pushed down under the man's weight. The knife fell from his fingers as his master firmly clutched his hand.
"Are you going to break my hand?" Paris asked, his voice taunting. "Why not? You have no use for it. Nor do I. You may as well break them both." He was panting as much from anger as from effort.
"I never thought you'd do something so rash and foolish," the man said, releasing him and picking up the knife. He tossed it aside, away from Paris' reach. "I should have kept you chained, I suppose."
"You have kept me chained!" Paris raged. "Chained by blindness and silence. To keep me chained like a beast on the deck would have been more merciful," he said, rubbing his sore hand with the good one.
Paris lifted his chin and stared over at his master, furious. It was then he realized the canopy flap had caught somehow and was held open, admitting light. That was how he'd been able to see the blade as it cut his master's flesh -- how he could now see blood trickling down his master's arm. But more than that, he could now make out the features of his master's face. The face was familiar to him, somehow, though he couldn't quite place the man... (But Paris did note it was a noble, handsome face -- strong and masculine.)
"Perhaps you are right," the man said to himself, rubbing his beard with one hand. "I thought to teach you a lesson in discipline, which I felt was much needed." His master lifted his face and stared into Paris' eyes. "I thought that by letting no one else near you I would make you entirely reliant on me alone."
"But the blindfold?"
"Did it not make you require me at every turn the day long? For your every need?"
Paris couldn't bring himself to answer. He simply sat, taking in the man's words.
"Did you not long to hear my voice? Did you not long to feel my touch on your cheek?"
Were these words true? He had, indeed, longed to hear someone speak to him. But had he longed for his master's voice alone? Did he actually desire his master's touch? It was puzzling...
"Your arm needs tending," he said at last. The sound of his voice was unexpectedly tender to his ears. "Let me tend it."
"Can I trust you, Paris?" his master asked. "Or should I call someone to watch you while I tend it myself?"
"You may trust me," he replied. "I'm over trying anything. I can see the gods have turned from me. I have no choice but to endure whatever you wish."
With that, he glanced around the space, searching the grayness. He saw a bowl and rose to fetch it, glad to find water that contained a rag. (It must be the very bowl and rag used to wash him each day.) Paris moved to kneel beside his master and carefully began to clean the wound. He saw the cut wasn't deep and was glad of it, which surprised him. Clearly he wished this man no harm, in spite of what had transpired between them.
"Damn, that stings," the man said. "I guess I asked for it, though. I've never in my life slept without a weapon close to hand, but it didn't occur to me you'd manage to get to it. I always felt safe here, lying with you. What a fool." He chuckled.
"Every night after you took the blindfold off I'd rise and stare out through the opening there," Paris said, pointing to the canopy flap. "After, I could finally sleep, knowing the blindfold to be off for a time."
"I suppose I didn't realize it bothered you so much," his master remarked, running his fingers absently up and down the cut while he stared into Paris' face. "You seemed quite tame after the beating. I thought you were resigned. Calm. Even happy here."
"Yes, happy. I thought it might suit you to spend your days being waited on. To sit at rest and in deep thought. Long voyages like these are often tedious and unpleasant. I thought I was saving you from exposure to the roughness of my companions and life at sea."
The man had intended his actions as a kindness to Paris? Such a thing had never occurred to him!
"I am a fool," Paris said in a soft voice.
"How so, young prince?" The tone was not mocking, but genuinely curious.
"I thought you tried to unman me. I thought you meant to humiliate and demean me. I thought you were torturing me -- possibly even intending to drive me mad. I never thought you did these things out of thoughtfulness."
"But I alone served you, Paris. How could you think I would spend so much time with you only with the thought of bringing you pain?"
Was there hurt in the man's tone?
"As I said, I'm a fool. I only knew you were my master -- and I was your slave. You could make me submit in all things, whether I wished to or not. Nightly I expected you to take my body."
The man barked astonished laughter. "You've no idea how I've longed for it, prince. But I wanted you to desire me as much as I desired you. I never had a thought to force you."
Paris was moved by the emotion in the man's words. Clearly all this had been done from the deepest affection!
"Tell me something," Paris said.
"Why did you take the blindfold off at night -- when you thought me to be asleep?"
The man chuckled again and his eyes twinkled. "Do you not know?" he asked, smiling.
Paris shook his head. He felt his body flush hot at the sight of the man's wide smile.
"I wanted to look at your lovely face, unmarred by the cloth. I would have wished to be able to see your eyes, as well, but I settled for the sight of you sleeping. You are a great beauty, Paris. Surely you know it."
Paris blushed. "Yes, I suppose so. But what you feel comes from the hand of the goddess. Many feel it for me."
The man shifted his body closer to Paris and reached out to place one large hand on the young man's forearm. "Do you know me, prince?" he asked in a whisper, his hot breath on Paris' cheek.
"You are familiar, but I can't recall how," he answered.
"I am Odysseus, son of Laertes -- and King of Ithaca," his master said.
"Odysseus. Yes, I know you now," Paris replied.
"The goddess has tried many times to direct my will. But this is not one of those times."
"Is it not?" Paris was unconvinced.
"From the first time I saw you I knew I must have you. It was difficult to find a way, but I managed it. At great expense, too. I took leave of Agamemnon and the other kings of Greece and bade farewell to the war. Many of my men chose to remain behind, but I took you and sailed away."
"But why? You didn't come to Troy for me!"
"Perhaps I did, Paris. I look back now and can't recall why I ever sailed to Troy -- even with Agamemnon's stern request. But I'm glad I did."
"So you'll take me home? Back to Ithaca?"
Odysseus laughed. "I'm not that fond of Ithaca myself, if the truth be told. It's one of the reasons I enjoy going off to war. It gets me away from home and the tedium of my crown."
"Do you not have a wife? Children?"
"The devoted Penelope awaits my return. My son Telemachus at her knee, I'm sure."
"You sound... Do you not love her?"
"Ah, Paris. You are so young. Kings don't marry for love. These things are arranged. I love her as much as is possible, I suppose. And I'm a bad father, at best. Did your brother not have his wife chosen for him?"
"I suppose. I guess I've never given it much thought."
"Spoken like a man who is not the first son and heir to the throne," Odysseus said, smiling.
"But I believe in love! Don't you?"
Odysseus' face softened. "I do now, prince." His eyes spoke his devotion as he continued staring into Paris' face.
Paris rushed into the man's embrace, throwing his arms around Odysseus' neck.
"Well, I've finally managed to move you it seems," Odysseus said, wrapping Paris in a tight hug. He chuckled with joy.
"Take me away with you, my lord. I'll go wherever you wish."
"You are a passionate youth," Odysseus replied, giving Paris another squeeze. "I suppose that's why so many older men turn an eye to those younger than they."
"I'm not as young as you think!"
Odysseus laughed warmly and Paris couldn't resist joining in. "Why do young men always wish to deny their youth? You appear anxious to be older, while I would wish to be a younger man."
"You're perfect as you are," Paris said, a little surprised by the strong conviction in his tone.
"I go from ogre to god all in one sitting. I am indeed amazed."
"Don't tease me! You know I mean what I say."
"Yes, I do know it. It terrifies me, Paris. You love hard, young prince. I hope I may endure such strong love."
"I will teach you," Paris replied. "Perhaps you would understand better if I blindfolded and waited on you," he added, grinning.
They both laughed then as Paris buried his head against his master.
"I am your captive, lord," Paris said, lifting his chin to stare up into the eyes of Odysseus.
"No, Paris. It was always I who was captive to you and your charms. So kiss me now and make good your pledge."