“I do not care for your tone,” Shah said, a trifle more sharply than he’d intended but honestly, his patience was at an end.
“Highness?” asked the councilman in question.
“We are debating whether or not to kill a man,” Shah said, meeting the man’s eyes, somewhat mollified when he guiltily lowered them. “It is not a subject which should be treated with flippancy and impatience.”
“The man is a murderer,” said another man.
Shah shifted his gaze, tone growing colder still. “Yes. He killed four people. I would say he either is perhaps too passionate in nature or too cold. Either way, he does not hold life in proper regard. The manner in which you speak of killing him says to me that you suffer the same lack. Do you have no respect for life? Is that what I am to understand?
“No, Highness,” the councilman replied, and around the table he could see the others looking equally dismayed – and the man to whom he’d first spoken close to panicking.
The second one recovered quickly, launching into an argument Shah ignored. He did not waste his time listening to feeble excuses. He was about to deliver a scathing reprimand when the doors to the meeting hall were shoved open – to admit the only man in the palace audacious enough to enter such a place without first knocking.
“Highness,” Beynum said, dropping to one knee in the entryway, bowing his head low. “You summoned me?”
He’d done no such thing, but his men had their own ways of keeping tabs on him. From anyone else such supervision would grate, but these men who had chosen to belong to him understood him like no one else.
“Yes, Beynum,” Shah replied, and tamped down on an amused chuckle at the discomfited looks that flitted across the faces of his council. “Come and join me, please.” He watched as his councilmen shifted uncomfortably, torn between lingering distrust, curiosity – and he did not doubt for an instant some small measure of lust.
Of all the members of his harem, the two that most upset them were the former-criminal and the war prisoner. Nanda had caused his own stir, but more in the realm of titillating gossip than actual worry.
Beynum was a force like no other – always that rough edge, the build and complexion no noble would ever possess. A beautiful display of masculinity, and nothing proclaimed his boldness more clearly than the sunburst crest inked across the entirety of his back.
He had belonged to Shah long before Shah knew it.
With a submissiveness that seemed at odds for the bold pirate, at least to most, Beynum knelt close to Shah and bent so that his forehead just barely touched the floor. Shah combed through his short hair and murmured quietly for Beynum to rise, fingers tracing lightly along his cheek before Beynum moved to sit just behind him and to the right.
Turning back to the council, Shah resumed the discussion of the execution. The matter was swiftly concluded – and with the proper respect. When they were all but vibrating in their seats, Shah finally relented and dismissed them.
Barely had the doors closed than Beynum was upon him.
Shah did not bother to resist, more than content to submit to his pirate.
“One of these days, Shah, I think you will break down and simply beat them all.”
“I am King,” Shah replied, oofing slightly and blinking as he was pushed down on the floor, but more than happy to run his hands along Beynum’s chest, his sides, finally moving back to his shoulders to tug him down for another bold kiss. “I will simply order they be beaten.”
Beynum laughed, pulling back enough to work on Shah’s clothes, shoving the robes out of the way before closing the space between them once more.
Audacious. Bold. Some would say it was the height of improper, the way Beynum treated his King. Concubines were objects, property, meant to submit and obey.
Certainly a good concubine did not treat his King like a mere man. He wondered if his council would pass out to learn that behind closed doors, Shah was not infrequently the one doing the submitting.
It was refreshing, almost heady, to give up control. To be the one led, rather than the one leading. He buried his hands in Beynum’s hair as he was treated to another plundering kiss, amused briefly by the thought that his councilmen must know very well what the King was doing to his concubine in the empty meeting hall – and yet having no idea at all.
Beynum’s chuckles were warm against his throat, a balm to the ire he still felt over the callous behavior of his councilmen. Then teeth nipped hard at the juncture of shoulder and throat, scattering his thoughts. A rough hand wrapped around his cock, stroking hard and sure, and his thoughts were banished entirely.
“Pirate,” Shah managed, thrusting into Beynum’s hand, dragging him close for another kiss.
Then the hand on his cock was gone, leaving him gasping – but wholly unsurprised, because Beynum was in all thing mischievous. He had no chance to complain, anyway, as rough fingers explored where no one else would ever dare.
Shah groaned low and relaxed against the rug, the pillow upon which he’d earlier been sitting. He didn’t relax for long, no one ever did around Beynum, but he was more than content with that.
The world faded away as Beynum took him, every burden and worry upon his shoulders driven back by his pirate, ire and strain unable to withstand the assault, and Shah did not bother to muffle his cries as he came.
He was given a kiss as thorough as all the others had been when he finally forced himself to pay attention to his surroundings again. Beynum smiled at him, and Shah smiled back.
“Thank you for coming to see me, my pirate,” Shah said, taking one last kiss before they moved to set themselves to rights.
“Your meeting was meant to end an hour ago,” Beynum said. “We sensed the council’s stupidity was prevailing.” He was still kneeling on the floor, and bent low as he had earlier.
Shah combed through Beynum’s hair, the contrast of this submissiveness with the recent boldness more drugging than even the finest wine. He cupped Beynum’s chin and tugged him for a lingering kiss. “Shall we retire, my pirate?”
“As my King wishes,” Beynum replied, smiling fondly – but with the ever present mischief still glinting in his eyes.