The eunuchs open the grand doors. Seeing the outsides of the Harem even for a second makes me feel like a caged bird. I wonder what it would be like to just fly out of here. I don't dare do it though. Maybe it's because the patrons come in.
"Let the games begin," I hear Basil state.
He smiles. I'm not sure if it's a real smile or a fake one. It's hard to tell with Basil. He's joined by a few of the other more popular boys. One boy named Hassan has nothing on except strings tied around his dick that seem to keep it somewhat hard. He gets almost immediate attention as the patrons enter the room. I watch from the sidelines with Polo. I'm so nervous that I'm scared to move.
The patrons are men of all shapes and sizes. They are all ages and so many different ethnicities. They are important men in the empire. I can tell. Many of them have uniforms. It makes me think they are Imperial soldiers. Others seem like diplomats. Boys in the harem immediately parade themselves in front of all of these people like cattle.
"This is a big show," Polo tells me, "Isn't it?"
"Uh-hmph," is my reply.
He must be talking about the musicians that come in the room playing all sorts of instruments from drums to wind instruments. Midgets come in as entertainers as well as some belly dancers. None of them can top the boys of the Harem however who immediately break apart to entertain our guests.
"Which ones do you think the princes are?"
I was sure none of these people were princes but I don't reply with words. I can't. I'm struggling.
"You OK Hush?" Polo asks me.
We are standing up against the wall like two shy boys who have no idea how to interact with our visitors. It is clear that Polo is more comfortable in this room than I am though. Just as he asks me the question I can feel my stomach turn.
A part of me had wished that Alexios was bluffing when he told me that he had laced my coffee with laxatives to get back at me for helping Polo steal his candy. I'm wrong though. This is no bluff.
"I don't feel good."
"You look like shit. You're almost purple."
I'm holding it in. My stomach turns more and more. In the distance I can see Alexios. He is smoking a hookah with a few of boys from the Harem. It is Alexios alone who stares at me from across the room though with this knowing glance. He can see his sick craft taking root in me as my expression begins to fold. I can't believe this is happening.
"I have to go."
I start to turn and walk away but just as I do that I am stopped. It's Constantine. He grabs me by my shoulders.
"Where you going?"
"Got to use the bathroom...now..."
"No," he responds, "You can't leave. The princes are here. Now..."
"Constantine...you don't understand..."
I don't get a chance to explain it because I hear the drums at that moment. The royal family played no games and I realize that when a parade of very young girls walk in the room. They drop petals on the floor. My heart sinks in my chest but it's my stomach that worries the most. I struggle to pay attention and I feel a little faint as a precession of guards walk in and line the room. Besides the people entering now everyone seems to be completely still and quiet. The boys of the Harem have stopped entertaining their guests. The guests have stopped laughing and talking. The dancing has stopped. All other music has stopped.
"The princes of the Ottoman empire have arrived."
"I have to go," I repeat.
I don't care. At that moment I have to go. I try to pull away at that moment but Constantine quickly grabs me by my hand to keep me there.
"No don't leave," he tells me, "I know your nervous but it'll be OK. I wrote a letter to the prince and put in a good word for you."
"Did you put one in for me too?" Polo asks.
Constantine ignores Polo. For the first time I wish he had preferred Polo over me. I'm wrong though. Constantine keeps hold of me and wrestles me forward to the center of the room. The guards surround the room and the petal girls lay the groundwork for the royal members who enter the room. Just at that moment the three men walk in the room. The oldest is old enough to possibly be my father. It makes me wonder just how old the sultan is. The oldest one definitely doesn't seem too attractive either. He is very heavy set. His body is sloppy and as he approaches he breathes as though something is stuck in his throat. He seems to think he is quite the looker as well. He walks ahead of his younger brothers. As he gets close I watch as his eyes shoot directly at Constantine.
"Constantine..." he says licking his lips.
His large tongue leaves excessive drool over his mouth. It's fucking disgusting honestly. Still there is this power about him. Maybe it's the huge production that went on just for him to enter the room.
"Prince Dhaamir, you look amazing today," Constantine smiles.
I would laugh if I wasn't in so much pain. Dhaamir is a local nickname for someone who is thin and slender. This prince was anything but that. I could fit into the size of Dhaamir four times over. He seems to demand so much attention that I don't even notice the other two princes who walk behind him.
The other two princes are younger. Both are attractive in their own way. One is more handsome and the other has a nicer body. I realize the look on the others boys' faces when they see that Constantine is the only one who is getting a personal greeting from these boys.
The one with the handsome face grabs Constantine right by the dick. He wastes no time. He gives it a hard squeeze, "I've missed you Constantine."
Constantine doesn't fight his privates being squeezed like that. He seems used to it somehow. He smiles. To be honest these princes don't look as threatening as I thought. Besides the big one they even seem rather attractive in their own ways.
"Come...I've prepared a spot for you all to relax," Constantine says.
Constantine hands me a bottle of wine and signals me to follow him with it. I hand the wine to Polo who is luckily trailing us closely. Any moment now I would need to make a break for it whether I liked it or not. I was just looking for the opportunity.
"Are these the new boys?" one of the princes asks.
We are in a special area of the harem that is elevated. I realize relatively quickly that the patrons are back to enjoying the harem. Some are being undressed already and dragged into the pool. Others are being entertained with light conversation. All the boys in the Harem look so happy. All except me. This is a fucking nightmare for me.
The princes all study my face...even the heavy set Prince Dhaamir whose stuffing his face with snacks that are being brought over. Manuel and another boy whose name I don't know end up bringing the snacks and placing them there. I struggle to force a smile but it falls flat.
"Is he OK?" one of the princes asks in regards to me.
"He's perfect. He's just nervous. Isn't he handsome? Look at this face," Constantine states.
Constantine turns me around.
Constantine grabs the wine out of Polo's hand and hands it back to me. It's clear what he's trying to do. He pushes me forward with the wine. It's clear he's trying to give a good first impression.
"Too skinny," Dhaamir states.
"I think he's perfect," the prince with the nice body answers.
I look back over at Constantine. He smiles and gives me a head nod so that I can approach the prince with the nice body again. I don't move. I just stand there. I look instead towards the door. My stomach growls. The music is so loud that luckily they can't hear it but I can feel it. I need to make a run for it.
Constantine looks over at the princes, "These are the princes Dhaamir, Dhaakir and Daai."
My stomach sounds off. This isn't happening right now. This couldn't be happening right now. I watch as the harem boys place more food in front of Prince Dhaamir. The food was brought with them. It's clearly food that we don't serve here at the harem. The other prince Dhaakir is thankfully being distracted by a few boys who have dived naked into the Harem pool. It's no doubt they are trying to steal the attention from Constantine. The last prince however Daai is giving me all the attention at that moment.
Constantine must notice the other boys who are at the pool attempting to get attention because he speaks in a loud, demanding voice so that all three princes can give their attention back to him.
Constantine notices I'm not approaching the princes so he gives me a gentle push, "We call him Hush, because he's so quiet."
"Just how I like them," the prince with the nice body says.
"He is pretty handsome," the good looking prince states.
"This is my friend Polo," I announce, "He's new as well..."
Constantine eyes get wide when I present Polo to them. It's clear that he is annoyed that I am helping Polo out. I know Constantine is trying to help me succeed in the Harem but right now I need a distraction. I needed any distraction. Polo was there and willing. The princes study Polo just as much as they study me.
They don't seem to notice Polo's scars right away. Maybe it's the dim lighting in the Harem.
"Both of you take off your clothes. You need to be tested," Daai says.
The three princes turn their attention back to us immediately. Dhaamir sucks on an oxtail and watches Polo undress. The other two princes stare at me. I look over at Constantine. Polo isn't hesitating but I am.
I walk over to Constantine and whisper, "I don't feel well."
"What is this?" Prince Daai asks noticing the whispers.
Constantine looks over at Prince Daai, "He's just a little shy..."
I'm not shy! I'm not shy! That's not it. As though helping me Constantine begins to undress me. All of a sudden I notice that in the distances a few of the boys have come up to watch. They have brought their patrons with them. They stand far enough to respect the space of the princes but close enough to be an audience to the new boy who is about to entertain the prince.
Constantine removes my top and starts to work on my harem pants when Prince Daai walks over and stops Constantine.
"Let me," Prince Daai says.
"Yes Prince," Constantine answers with a smile.
Constantine walks off and crosses his arms. He seems to be happy with his work. This is what he wanted. Now that Prince Daai had crossed the room and approached me it becomes clear that I am the center of attention. Not even Polo can distract from me even though he's standing not too far away from me completely nude. Prince Daai circles around me a few times.
"Bend over," Daai tells me.
"Slave. I said bend over," Daai responds.
He doesn't understand. I literally can't.
"What's the meaning of this?" Daai asks.
"You'll do as you're commanded SLAVE!" Dhaakir states standing up suddenly upset.
As soon as the other prince stands up a few men with swords come towards me. The blades are sharp. My heart races when I see them. I'm scared to death. I realize just how frightening they look when they approach.
I turn to Constantine, "Constantine..."
Constantine gives me a hard look. He grabs me and pulls me close. I can hear him whisper a sharp, "What are you doing? You're embarrassing me."
Constantine seems harsh and unaware of what is going on. I know that I should just shut up and do what they want but, it's not that simple though. Things have gotten strange. Very strange to say the least.
"He won't help you. Constantine rip his clothes off," the fat prince states.
Constantine doesn't hesitate. I stand there shocked that he's doing it but within a few rips he tears my clothes completely off of me. He struggles but it's useless. Constantine is bigger. He's stronger. Within a few seconds I am completely naked in front of him. Before I know it I lay on the floor. Everyone is staring at me. Everyone is watching me. Everyone is surprised when tears are rolling out of my eyes. I can feel my stomach bubbling up at that moment.
It's Prince Daai who gets up. He walks towards me.
"You look like one of my wives," he tells me.
He smiles hard. He takes another step towards me. His eyes are big. I am so afraid as he grabs me. I look over to Constantine. I want him to save me. He doesn't though. Constantine just turns away. It's at that moment I realize that no matter how big and strong Constantine looks that he is nothing more than a slave here. He has no power. None of us do.
I am bent over by Daai. The prince isn't shy about sex. His dick is large. It is hooked to the side. He pulls it to a few times. His eyes glare at me. He pulls me close to him. He spits on his dick. Within a matter of seconds, I can feel him struggling to push into me. I try to pull away but others come to assist the prince.
I'm being held down.
I'm held down by Manuel.
I'm held down by Polo.
I'm held down by Constantine.
I almost want to leave my body as the Prince mounts me. Prince Daai enters me. My stomach roars. I can feel the strain at that moment. I can feel the disgust.
"You're so soft. You're so wet," he is grunting, "I love it. So wet."
My stomach is turning. I lock up. For a few minutes I'm thinking maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe somehow I will survive this. Then I notice him going deeper and faster. I turn and see the other two princes staring at me. They are entertained. Everyone is entertained.
Then I feel something.
My body gives way.
There is a smell and then it happens.
It's the next day. I haven't bathed enough yet even though I get the stench off of me. I lay in the bath...soaking because my asshole still hurts from the diarrhea I felt. Every part of me hurts. I had been punished severely for hours. After returning I could do nothing but lay in the bath. I have never been so embarrassed in my life.
"Hey shitty," a voice says.
It's Alexios. He's come to flaunt. I can tell. He doesn't come alone. He has a trail of boys that are with him. One of them just so happens to be Basil and the other one is Mendeecees. I notice a few other boys as well. Boys that are laughing at the mere sight of me.
I don't speak. It's so easy to close my mouth.
"He's embarrassed," Mendeecees states.
"He should be," Alexios returns, "He shit on a prince of the Ottoman empire in front of all the nobles. No one will touch him. Ever."
There is laughter at that moment. The only thing worse about what happened yesterday is the fact that everyone was around to see it. Everyone was around to hear the noise my stomach made. Everyone was around to hear the noise my ass made. Everyone was around to hear the sounds and the smells afterwards. They had all heard the prince scream out in disgust. They had all heard when the guards had grabbed me and pulled me outside and whipped me.
"He's bleeding out in the tub," a boy named Ramses notices.
"Disgusting," Mendeecees states.
I hadn't even noticed. The boys are right. My back wounds had opened up. I was bleeding out in the tub.
That's when I see Alexios. Mendeecees pulls out a knife. I just look at it. I don't know how to react. Basil just turns his head and walks away at that moment. He doesn't help me but I don't think he is going to stand there and watch.
Alexios approaches me. He climbs into the bloody public bath up to his knees. He puts the knife to my throat.
"Would you like me to end your misery now?" Alexios asks.
I don't speak. I don't say a word. I don't move. I don't do anything. Alexios presses the knife harder against my throat. He tightens his grip as though wanting me to beg for my life. I don't do it. His friend Mendeecees smiles at that moment.
"He's defiant," Mendeecees states.
"Defiant men still die," Alexios explains.
"What are you doing?" a voice says.
Before Alexios can do what he came to do he is stopped. It's Constantine. Constantine runs towards Alexios and he punches him. He punches Alexios as hard as he can. There is an audible gasp among the other slaves. A few slaves walk into the room. The loud POP can be heard. I swear I think Constantine has broken his jaw. I'm wrong however.
Alexios adjusts his mouth after the impact and goes on running it, "Did you just fucking hit me?"
"I sure did."
"You want to make an enemy out of me Constantine," Alexios states.
Constantine gives it a long thought. For the moment I'm confused. It seems as though whatever strange relationship Alexios had with Constantine was coming at head right now because of me. Constantine looks around. He studies the room. He studies the expressions on people. No one seems willing to interfere with what is going on between them. Not even Mendeecees who has clearly gone out of his way to do everything that Alexios tells him to.
"This boy is under my protection," Constantine states.
"He's a dead man," Alexios states.
"I know that. Until then don't touch him," Constantine states.
"Is that an order?" Alexios laughs.
He's outraged. I can see Alexios hold onto his jaw still. His fingers glide to his neck. It's as though his pride is stuck somewhere there and he doesn't know what to do with it.
"It's a threat."
Alexios laughs, "We'll see..."
He walks away. A trail of boys follow behind him. He probably wasn't expecting Constantine to hit him. He probably wasn't expecting Constantine to go out of his way to protect me. The truth was that I wasn't expecting Constantine to do it either.
I can see the look in the eyes of Alexios. He would be prepared next time. I saw such a horror in his eyes. It's the scariest thing I'd ever seen. I saw the soul of Alexios right now and I knew he would stop at nothing to make sure there was nothing left of competition.
"You should have fought back," Constantine tells me.
"He wasn't going to do it."
I had seen the look in Alexios eyes. There was something there. There was something terrible but there was also something sly. He was too careful to be seen as a downright murderer. He was capable of murder. I knew that but he wouldn't slit someone's throat in front of all these people. He wanted them to fear him but also respect him. He wouldn't have done it. I saw it in his eyes.
"Alexios is dangerous. And now I'm probably his next target. Fine. I'll take that on. Come. Sit on the table. Get undressed. No. Not just the top. Take everything off. Get naked. Your wounds are opening up. How long did they whip you?" Constantine asks me.
Constantine has helped me into a room. On the way there I see Polo who gives me a sad look. He looks like he is going to follow us but Constantine gives him a look that seems to scare Polo off. I really feel like Constantine had a problem with Polo.
I think my back is numb until I feel Constantine apply something to it. It seems to bring me back to life. The pain rolls all over my body. I scream louder than I've ever screamed before.
Manuel walks into the room.
"What?" Constantine asks.
"I heard screaming," Manuel states.
Manuel looks down at me. I look away. I can't stand to look at him. His eyes press on mine for a few minutes but he doesn't turn.
"I have to treat his body before he gets infected. They whipped him for what he did to the Prince," Constantine states.
Manuel gives me this look of pity.
He turns at that moment, "I'm sorry."
"Get him out of here..." I state.
Manuel gives me a look, "Hush let me explain..."
"You should leave," Constantine interrupts Manuel.
Manuel seems to know better than to argue with Constantine. He backs down. Right now I'm so lucky that I have Constantine still in my corner at least.
"Do you need anything?" Manuel asks, "For him."
"Just space," Constantine tells him.
Manuel looks reluctant but he nods and leaves the room. Constantine follows him. He shuts the door behind him. He begins to treat me. It still hurts but I don't scream again. It's clear my screams would go behind these walls and I don't want anyone to hear them. I don't want anyone to have that sort of satisfaction.
"I'm sorry as well," Constantine whispers.
"Why are you sorry?"
Constantine treats my back with the ointment. When he is done he just stands there. I am in too much pain and think I'm going to pass out. The only thing that keeps me up is Constantine standing a few inches away from me. He stares at me and watches me.
"I ripped your clothes off. I held you down."
"You had no choice," I state.
Constantine nods, "That's the problem."
He gets quiet at that moment. I can see a heaviness on his heart. He looks so sad. He looks so defeated. He feels guilty about what happened yesterday. I can tell. I don't blame him though. I don't think I've ever really blamed him. All I know is that I needed Constantine to be there for me and he wasn't.
I make it clear to Constantine, "I don't blame you for what happened. I should have said something. Communication has always been my issue."
"Yes it has. I don't even know your name."
"It doesn't matter, does it?" I ask.
"Why do you say that?"
"I heard what Alexios said. He said I was a dead man. They are going to kill me aren't they?" I ask at that moment.
Constantine gets quiet. Right now his name might as well be Hush.
"The princes had to leave. However, the King's Vizier is deciding today what to do with you."
"His top administrator."
"That's a good thing right? Hope..."
Constantine shakes his head, "No. You're misunderstanding me. The princes all decided to kill you. The sultan's Vizier is only going to decide how you die."
I stop talking.
"You should sleep. Would you like anything? I can bring you something. Something that would put your fate in your own hands."
He was offering to bring me something for me to kill myself with. It's a cruel and kind gesture all at the same time. I was understanding the Harem now. When he offers this to me I can see a glimpse into the life that Constantine has lived this whole time. I can kind of understand more about him. When he offers me what he does I kind of feel like this is one of the kindest things someone has ever offered me.
"Then nothing? Is there nothing I can give you?"
"Stay with me tonight?"
"You want sex?" Constantine offers, "I wouldn't mind but can you handle it in your condition?"
"No...not sex. Just...stay with me."
"In a romantic way?" he asks.
"Is that so bad?" I ask him.
"Fine. Then just stay with me as a friend."
"You misunderstand me," Constantine explains at that moment, "I am not your lover and I am not your friend."
"Then why are you helping me?" I ask Constantine.
"You were a good investment. I needed someone to take the Sultan's eye off of Alexios. You were one of the most attractive boys I've seen in quite some time."
I didn't think I was that attractive. I thought Polo was more attractive because his face was burned. I knew I had a more handsome face than Mendeecees but Mendeecees had a better body. Basil was just the ultimate package. Why didn't Constantine want to use any of them as a way to dethrone Alexios? Why was he using me?
Why was Loras using me?
What made everyone think that I was the one who could be the one to get close enough to the sultan?
"Not attractive enough to make you stay the night with me?" I ask Constantine.
Constantine looks at me. There is no emotion. There is no thought behind it. He answers relatively quickly, "No."
He may do it for his dead lover. He may do it because he honestly believes it. At that moment there is no real difference. Constantine isn't interested in me in that kind of way. That was clear.
"Well then goodbye Constantine."
"Goodbye," Constantine responds.
With that Constantine leaves and I fall asleep.
It's several hours when I wake up out of my sleep by the sound of the eunuchs entering the room that I am in. They have come for me. I know that much. I'm not surprised when they come for me. What I am surprised at is the chair pulled over inches away from the table that I'm lying on.
He stayed with me...
He came back.
His eyes open and he sees me staring at him. There is so much I want to ask him. I want to ask him why he decided to come back. I wanted to ask him why he decided to stay with me even though he said he wouldn't. I don't get the chance to do all of those things. The eunuchs grab me. Four on each side as though I'm struggling. They don't give me the chance to walk. They lift me to pull me out of the door. They are rough. Very rough.
Constantine stands, "That's unnecessary."
I think he is going to do something by how he stands. He stands in an aggressive demeanor. I think for a moment he forgets he's a slave but before he takes a step forward to remember he stops. He remembers what he is again.
He just stares at me. He stares as they grab me and take me out of the room. He doesn't say another word to me.
A black hood is placed over my head. I wake up in a jail cell. There are several administrators there. I can tell the King's Vizier is there as well.
The administrator has a pen and piece of paper in his hand.
"How would you like me to carry out the orders of the prince?" the administrator asks.
They look at me as though I'm just a cow ready to be slaughtered. They couldn't even be bothered to eat the meat either. The look the administrators give me is just so nonchalant. I feel sick to my stomach all over again as though there were some remnants from the laxative Alexios gives me. This time I realize it's nothing more than nerves.
"What are the orders that they gave?" The Vizier of the sultan asks.
"Prince Dhaakir suggested he be stoned. Prince Dhaamir suggested he be drowned."
They are talking about me as though I am not in the room. These Ottomans had thick accents. They had these uninterested looks. They would kill me and not think twice. They'd be able to eat their dinners right after if necessary. A slave was worse than property to them. I was nothing to these people but something to fuck when their dicks got hard.
"And Prince Daai? What does he suggest?"
"Prince Daai's punishment was is quite extreme."
"What is it?"
"Prince Daai suggested that his arm and legs be attached to separate horses. Each horse should run in a separate directions ripping his body apart."
"Daai has always been the most...cruel," The Vizier states.
"Yes I would not suggest that. He's just a slave after all. Not worth the hassle of straining our horses," the Vizier's administrator says.
"What do you suggest for a punishments then?"
"It is up to you sir. The princes let us know that they look at you as a brother. And they trust whatever decision you make."
"Then we will spare him."
The administrators all looked shocked.
"Sir we...can't do that," the administrators said, "The princes ordered him dead."
"The princes also stated that it was my decision on how he died, did they not."
"Yes but he still must die."
"I have chosen his death. He'll die an old man," the Vizier stated, "Of natural causes. Spare him."
The Administrators are scared. They are terrified.
The Vizier offers his hand, "If you're afraid leave. I'll take him back to the Harem and deal with the wrath of the princes on my own."
The administrators don't hesitate. They don't want any parts of going against the orders of the prince. I can see this real fear in their eyes. They don't know how the princes are going to react to the Vizier sparring me. I don't know how the princes are going to react either. I was shocked that the Vizier was taking that sort of risk.
When the Administrators leave, the Vizier releases me using the key. He stands there and I can look into his eyes for a few seconds.
He takes a step forward.
I take a step forward.
We embrace. He puts his hands around me.
"Are you OK?" he asks me.
"I'm fine," I respond, "Thank you. Loras."
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