The doors of the Harem are open when I'm brought back. The other boys are eating a dinner that was sent by one of the patrons. I'm not sure who the Patron sent the dinner for specifically. Maybe he sent it for more than one boy. I only know the more popular boys are eating while the others just look on hungrily. I notice Alexios is of course at the head of the table but many of the older boys are eating. Even Manuel is at the table eating. Polo and some of the new or less attractive boys just stand there wondering if they'll be given any scraps.

When I come in I swear I see Mendeecees choke on whatever he is eating.

"Hush," Manuel states.

Basil laughs, "Well I'll be damned."

Shocked whispers go around the room. No one expects me to be alive. None of them. I look at everyone's reaction. Everyone has the same shocked look. No one seems to be happy or sad really. Almost everyone at least. I notice Polo.

He runs up to me and jumps into my arms. The hug that Polo gives me at that moment is legit. It is a real hug. The boy actually cares about me. I can tell when I feel him hold me for a moment.

"Oh my god. You're alive," Polo states.

He keeps hugging me up until I feel Alexios grab Polo by the hair and throw him off to the side. Alexios isn't the only one who has gotten up from the table and approached me. Others are doing the same. Alexios is angry. I can see the look on his face at that moment. His plan had failed. He had thought I would be killed by now.

"How is this possible?" Alexios asks me.

I help Polo get off the floor.

I ignore Alexios.

"Do you hear him talking to you?" Mendeecees asks me aggressively.

"I'm sorry. I don't acknowledge snakes," I respond.

A few people look over at Alexios. I know it's a mistake to taunt Alexios but at this point I was a target for him already. He had already burned Polo. He had already declared war against Constantine. Alexios was already my enemy and there was nothing I could do including kissing his ass that would change that.

Besides...it feels good to see him so angry. I can see him steaming at that moment. I can almost feel the anger coming off of his skin.

I take Polo away. We walk towards the back. The harem wing we walk to is a section that opens up to an area known as the Second Courtyard which the Gate of Carriages also opens to. The decorations in this area had a unique Italian-inspired Ottoman Baroque style. Polo is excited as he pulls me over to a sofa that is underneath a wide dome. From the dome we can see the gardens. We sit on the sofa and he just stares at me as though I'm going to disappear.

"I've only been gone a month," I state.

"We all thought you were dead," he tells me. "How is it possible that you were away for a whole month?"

I want to tell Polo so much about how who I am. I want to tell him who Loras is. I want to tell him how Loras stole me away to his private chambers in the palace. I want to tell him how Loras spoiled me for a month after he spared my life. It was so hard to say goodbye to Loras but I had promised him that I would return to the Harem and complete my mission to kill the Sultan.

I can't tell Polo any of these things, so I make up a lie.

"I was in prison the whole time. I was spared."


I lie again, "I'm not sure. I guess maybe the Ottomans have hearts."

I'm not sure if he believes me but none-the-less he hugs me. He gives me a tight squeeze at that moment. It makes me feel good that someone missed me so much.

"It's worth it for you to return," he tells me, "I couldn't bare seeing Alexios walk around with this cocky behavior so sure that he was responsible for your death. He was unbearable. He thought he was some master schemer. He told everyone who listened how he put the laxatives in your coffee."

Alexios acting like that doesn't surprise me. Hearing him gloating about my death was something that doesn't seem all that unexpected.

"What did I miss?" I ask him.

"I was spared...I guess after your incident; I didn't look bad to them. No offense. And my scars are starting to heal a little."

I notice, "Good Polo. I'm happy for you. What else is happening around here?"

"The Ottomans have conquered new parts of Europe. There are more slaves now. Alexios was cruel to most. There is one that is very handsome. His name is Justinian."

"That's a handsome name."

"Well...he's pretty handsome. Justinian is who everyone is talking about now."

"Alexios must have his eyes on him," I state.

Polo laughs, "I already overheard Alexios promising to kill him."

I shake my head. Nothing has changed really it seems like.

"Well maybe Alexios will be more concerned with this new handsome boy and leave me the hell alone," I state.

It's wishful thinking. I saw how Alexios looked at me. I'm sure he had enough hate in his heart for multiple targets.

"Well we will soon see who Alexios has targeted at the orgy."

I smile, "Orgy?"

Polo leans in close as though it is some secret he is excited about, "The victory party for the war is tomorrow. An orgy will be held here at the Harem to honor the heroes from the war."

"Will the sultan be there?" I ask.

It would be my chance if he was. It would be my chance to get close enough to the sultan and end things once and for all.

"No. But the princes will be there."

My heart drops.

"The princes?"



"They spared you right?" Polo asks me, "Why do you look so worried."

The princes hadn't spared me. Loras, the Vizier of the sultan had spared me. This wasn't good. Loras never talked politics when he was with me but I could see he was worried about what him sparing me would mean.

The princes wanted me dead for my accident. It was very clear. What would they do when they came back to the Harem to find me alive.

"I'll be fine," I state.

Polo gives me a hard look, "You don't look fine."

"I'll be fine," I tell him, "Where is Constantine. I need his guidance."

Polo wouldn't understand but Constantine would have an idea of how I can avoid the wrath of the princes. He was the princes' favorite after all. Maybe he could convince them to not overrule Loras and end up killing me anyway. That was the only thing I could do at that moment. I had to convince Constantine to somehow help me.

Polo hesitates when I ask him that question though.


"Polo. I need to talk to Constantine. Where is he? It's important."

Polo seems to hesitate even more.

"He's moved on."

"Moved on?"

"Remember that boy I told you about. The new boy? Justinian?"


I find Constantine and Justinian down on a private path known as the golden road. The entrance corridors are overlooked by the eunuch's watch rooms. An iron-barred punishment cage is at the entrance of the corridor. When I keep walking I make it to the bathrooms. They are an interesting series of marbled chambers. There were stained glass windows surrounded by zinc tiling, a huge sitting platform, elaborate fireplaces and painted dome over the innermost room.

Constantine is on that platform. He has no clothes on. He isn't alone. There is a boy over him. The boy straddles him.

I hear his screaming loudly. I could imagine the eunuchs in their watch rooms heard as well but either they didn't care or they didn't have the energy to interfere.

"Fuck me Constantine!" the boy screams loudly.

The boy has a tight ass. He has a tight body in general. He seems a little fragile to me in a way. When Constantine fucks him I swear the fragile looking boy would break. He is young. He's probably 18. That's not the odd thing though. He looks so different from the other boy who are already in the harem. His skin is not dark like ours. This boy has very pale skin. His hair is blonde. It's the color of ripe bananas. His lips are pink like flowers. His eyes remind me of spring. He clings desperately onto Constantine.

Constantine drills his dick into him, taking him with full confidence. He keeps fucking him harder and harder. I swear Constantine is going to cum but he doesn't. He just stops and pulls out. He examines his dick. Grabs a hand of his dick. Smells it and nods.

"Well done," he tells the boy, as though training a dog.

The boy must be Justinian. He notices me before Constantine does. His eyes shoot over to me.

"I think I've attracted an onlooker," Justinian states.

He's attractive in the face. I realize it when he looks at me. He has a unique look but I don't think it's fair. How is it fair? The rest of us look alike. Justinian is handsome because he looks so different. He is truly unique. Seeing how Constantine was having sex with him makes me jealous. Seeing how Constantine stands over him now makes me even more jealous.

Constantine's eyes catch onto mine.

"Justinian, can I have a moment alone?"

Justinian seems a little anxious, "Who is this Constantine?"

"A moment!" Constantine says, "Please."

I watch the younger, paler, blonder boy walk past me. His stomach is flatter than mine. I've only gained weight after being fed so thoroughly by Loras. I can't help but to compare myself to this new boy that Constantine has running around with him.

When Justinian gets out of view I turn to Constantine.

"He's handsome," I state.

"Is that all I get after a month?" Constantine asks.

"What else do you want?"

"An explanation---maybe."

"Remember the last thing you said to me. You aren't my lover. You aren't my friend. Remember that?" I ask him."

Constantine stares at me.

"Yes I remember."

He walks closer. His dick is swinging between his legs. It's still as impressive as ever. I wonder if it still smells like the young boy. I wonder if he was checking the young boy to make sure that his ass was clean. He was checking the young boy to make sure that the young boy wasn't going to make mistakes like I did.

"You're training him to take over Alexios."

"Yes. Things have gotten pretty bad between Alexios and I since I hit him."

"And you think this boy is going to replace Alexios? When did the sultan start taking boys that look like that?"

"He's the first. His father is some prince from a land where everything is green. I guess as the Sultan's territory increases his taste in boys must change as well. Justinian being here means that his tastes are changing," Constantine responds.

"Before long we'll be irrelevant," I state.

I'm worried. What if the sultan's tastes are changing? How the hell would I get close enough to him to kill him if he was interested in this new look now. I couldn't make my skin pale and my eyes blue. I couldn't make my hair blond.

"It could be a phase," Constantine states, "We'll see. I assume."

"We won't see," I respond, "The sultan doesn't seem to come around often. Does he?"

"He's a busy man and his wife dislikes him spending time in harems. That is why whoever becomes his favorite slave stays in his favor for some time. It's rare the sultan comes around. If I want to replace Alexios I have to do it quickly."

"Good luck with that," I state.

"That's it?" he asks me.

"What do you mean?"

"You're back," he tells me, "I don't know how. I don't know why. But you're back. Surely there is something I can help you out with. There are things you need to learn still."

I thought about it. I wanted to learn things. Constantine was right. I even wanted him to talk to the princes for me. However, seeing Constantine with this boy having sex just reminds me that Constantine isn't my savior. Constantine was only helping me because he had a bone to pick with Alexios. He was doing this for power. Maybe Constantine wasn't the sultan's type. He couldn't be the top boy because Alexios had the sultan's attention. So Constantine felt like if he could displace Alexios there would be a power shift and he could fill that void. This was all a way for Constantine to make it to the top.

He didn't give a fuck about me.

He'd proved it by moving on to Justinian.

"Good luck with your blond," I tell him, "I don't need your assistance."

I walk away. Constantine watches me the whole time as I leave. I don't know what I'm thinking. Constantine was one of the sexiest men in the Harem. He had the attention of all three princes. That was pretty important. That was pretty extreme.

I find myself going to the only other person that I know would help me. I find him in the baths. He is completely naked. He has a towel drenched over his head.

He looks up at me as I approach him.

He seems shocked that I'm in front of his face. He bites on his full thick lips and stares at me with those hazel eyes of his. His eyes squint at me as though not knowing what to say to how to respond to me being here with him.

"Manuel. I need your help. I need you to train me."


We work at it all night. I don't have much time. The next morning, I wake up to Manuel's hard dick and I don't eat lunch until we have sex. It's lunch time when he takes me outside with him.

"Where are we going?" I ask Manuel, "We should be training."

"We are training. You need to be more comfortable in public," Manuel explains, "So I'm going to eat your ass in front of everyone."


"You asked for my help," Manuel responds, "And you have a problem. A problem that isn't a good one in a Harem."

"What problem?"

"You make ugly expressions."

"Excuse me."

"You make ugly expressions. Especially when you are enjoying something. You wear it on your face. People don't like that. You need to control it. So go over there and bend over."

There a few boys on a sofa. They are smoking hookah. I notice all of a sudden Alexios walk over as well. He stands only a few feet away from where I'm at and he crosses his arms. He seems completely amused at that moment when he sees Manuel and I. Mendeecees and Basil are on the couch next to him. Off to the side I see few other boys including Polo and some new boys I don't know. Then by the baths I see Constantine. I can't tell if he's looking my way but I know Constantine is with that boy. I can tell the bright blonde haired boy from a mile away. It annoys me.

I bend over reluctantly. Manuel comes up from behind me.

"You are going to put your mouth on that Manuel?" Alexios asks me, "You're more disgusting than I think you are."

Basil sighs, "Alexios we all have had accidents when we started. You going to hold it over him a month later?"

"Quiet! Was I speaking to you? Idiot. When have I made an accident?" Alexios asks.

Basil raises his hand, "Ok. I apologize. You're perfect."

Basil has a bit of sarcasm to his tone.

Manuel looks over at me, "Ignore them. Focus. Look at the mirror there. I want you to watch your expressions. Make sure you remain attractive no matter what you feel."

That's when Manuel shifts my robe, pulls my underwear to the side and inserts his tongue. I exhale deeply. My mind trails off. A few of the other boys watch. Some seem a little bored. Manuel is licking me over and over at that moment. His tongue does deep into my asshole.

"It feels so...good..." I tell Manuel.

"Look. He has a donkey face," Alexios states.

Laughter fills up the room. So many of them start laughing. The few who were somewhat interested lose interest completely. They walk away. Alexios goes back to smoking his hookah.

"Focus," Manuel tells me.

I look to my right. Sure enough Constantine was standing. He crosses his arms. He's with the little sexy boy he is training.

I stare at my reflection. Manuel wanted me to maintain an attractive face regardless of how good something felt. I hadn't realized how hard a task this was going to be. Even being around these people seemed to be awkward for me. My face just wanted to switch up and become somewhat ugly. Manuel doing what he did felt beyond good.

Manuel sneaks his right hand underneath me at that moment. He begins to pull it slowly. I keep my face steady. I relax my jawbones. I maintain an attractive face even as he begins to jerk me off. As I come close I start squirming.

I can't control it anymore.

I bite my lip. My eyebrow lower and tighten. My eyes squint. I open my mouth.

"Fu---fuck. I'm coming!"

It feels so good. I squirm underneath him. My body feels so heavy. My nut empties in Manuel's hand. He keeps pulling until every drop of it is out of me. His palm is wet and sticky with my semen. His lips are wet with his own saliva from eating my ass. Looking back, I can't help but to have an ugly expression. Manuel is so sexy with those big lips of his.

My expression is ugly. It's so ugly. I turn to the right and see Constantine. He rolls his eyes. He must notice the expression I made as well. He must notice the same thing that Manuel noticed which had him out here.

"Close. You did better," Manuel tells me.

Constantine has walked away. His new project, Justinian chases after him.

"Let's go again," I state.

"Sure. Once you rest and can go again."

"I can go again now."

"Now?" he asks.

"Now. Let's go again."

Manuel raises his eyebrow, "Ok. Let's go again."

I had something to prove. Not to Manuel. Not to Alexios. Not even to the princes. I had something to prove to Constantine. I had to prove to him that him choosing some skinny, young blonde to help him out was a mistake. I was the person who should be getting every bit of his attention.

It's the day of the orgy. I'm in the room with two boys besides Polo who has begun to oil up his skin and try to hide his burns with as much make up as possible.

"Does that work?" another boy asks him.

"It works well enough," Polo states.

The boy laughs. His name is Jelani. He's new but immediately he had jumped on a specific bandwagon. It was the bandwagon that belonged to Alexios. He is one of the many followers of Alexios. I guess some people think kissing his ass will help them get ahead. The other boy next to Jelani gives a nervous laughter. I don't know his name. He hasn't really gotten an invitation to hang out with the group Alexios has yet so in the Harem he really isn't a factor.

"Lucky for you it's a masquerade event. Look at you. Alexios did a number on that burn..." Jelani laughs.

He's new. He came sometime when I was gone so I don't really know him. He's one of those boys who wants to be a part of something so badly. I can just look at him and tell. The only reason I know his name is because I overheard Alexios mentioning how annoying "Big Nose Jelani" was. Truth is Jelani does have a big nose but it's what makes him stand out. It offsets his dark hazel eyes and curly black hair. It defines his face. He'd actually be a real competitor if he wasn't such a follower.

"Why are you laughing at him?" I ask Jelani, "Do you think it's entertaining when Alexios destroys lives?"

Jelani stands for a minute. I don't think he expects me to challenge him.

"Aren't you that boy Alexios doesn't like?" Jelani asks, "Who are you to talk?"

"So because Alexios doesn't like me you've already made up your mind about me?"

"I'm new here. I don't make the rules," Jelani states.

"But you don't have to just follow them either," I respond, "You just got here. Form your own path."

"Alexios runs this place. I figured that out within minutes of being here."

"Alexios wants people to be scared of him. He wants people to hide in his shadow. That way they can never outshine him. How you ever going to shine if you're in his shadow?"

The words are just spilling out. I don't just want to say this to Jelani. I want to say this to all the other boys who follow Alexios around all the time. I want to say it to Basil, Mendeecees, hell...even Manuel. There are group of boys who just follow him around like he is their leader. It's annoying.

Jelani seems to think about it for a minute, "You might have a point. He doesn't even know my name. He calls me Big Nose."

I could only imagine that Alexios didn't respect these boys. I shake my head thinking about it. They let him get away with it.

I can only give advice though, "Make your own path."

I'm not sure how much the words sink in or not.

Just at that moment Manuel walks into the room. He is about to say something but he stops. Something distracts him. It's the fact that Jelani is in there, no doubt. Jelani realizes it, laughs and then walks out of the room with the other boy.

Manuel walks forward, "You need to be careful around here. Alexios has these boys wrapped around his finger."

"Aren't you wrapped around his finger?" I ask Manuel.

"If I was wrapped around his finger I wouldn't be helping you," Manuel states.

Polo gives me a long stare and a crooked smile, "He has a point."

I nod. I haven't really talked to Manuel. Since I've returned he's just been having sex with me. It's just made it easier for me to get used to it. I don't have the time to entertain him in any other way.

"May I talk to you alone for a minute?" Manuel asks me.


"I don't mind," Polo responds.

"I do," I respond.

Polo leans into me, "Just give him a chance."

It's clear Polo is attempting to allow Manuel a moment alone with me when he walks out of the room quickly. I don't know why Polo is doing it. Maybe he's doing it because Manuel has been nice to him. Not many people here have been nice to Polo. He's been picked on for some reason. Maybe it's because he asks so many questions when others don't. Maybe it's because Alexios targeted him immediately from day one. Either way people treat Polo like he is some lost cause.

"I got you something," Manuel states.

"What is it?"

He pulls out a satchel that he has been carrying with him and shows me some sort of mask. It's for the orgy tonight.

"It's a mask one of my patrons bought it for me. It's made out of real gold and rubies," Manuel explains to me, "The princes won't notice it's you, either. It's not very revealing. You'll have a second chance to prove yourself."

"Your patron got it for you. I'll find my own patron tonight. I don't need your gifts."

"Please. It's an apology about turning you into Alexios."

I'm confused.

"Why'd you do it?"

"That's just how things are done around here. You either kiss Alexios ass or you don't last. That's just how it is."

"Constantine doesn't kiss his ass."

Manuel shakes his head, "Do I look like Constantine? I don't have princes protecting me. Listen. That's just how it is. Once Alexios sets his sights on something he gets it done. I figured turning you in would spare his wrath a little bit."

"I don't need you to protect me against Alexios and his wrath. How about you go warn Alexios about my wrath?"

Manuel sighs, "Someone could walk in."

"You're so scared."

"I don't want to argue with you. Just take the mask. Please."


I grab the mask.

"And stop speaking about Alexios like that. Someone might hear."

"Listen and learn Manuel. I've been quiet this whole time. Listening and learning. You haven't even heard my voice yet. But you will."


Wet bodies, moaning, and orgasms is all you can hear. The sound of sex trumpets fill the room like a choir. There is this smell as well. It's an alluring smell. All these different oils mixed with manly parts.

"You can nut in me. Yes. Yes...impregnate me," I hear someone panting up against the wall.

It's a Patron. He's getting fucked. Clearly he can't be impregnated but for some reason he allows himself to live this fantasy. At that moment he's a submissive woman and some strong, looking young boy is drilling his hole until he orgasms deep inside of him.

Off to the side are two younger boys. I think for a moment that I recognize one of their bodies but I'm not sure. They are mud wrestling not too far from the baths. A small pit has been set up. They are being showered with gold coins as their dirty, naked bodies slide between one another.

"Don't go to the mud pits, you'll embarrass yourself," a voice states.

I turn and see Manuel. He walks past quickly and whispers the warning. He has a point. The wrestling seems to be erotic but also intense. If I went close who knows if I would be pulled into that. I surely would embarrass myself.

"Where's the princes?" I ask him.

"Have you lost your mind. Stay away from them. C`mon. I begged Basil to let you entertain one of his lesser patrons."

"Lesser patrons?"

"A patron he doesn't care for as much. One that doesn't have as much money. He said you can have him. He's being nice. You need to start small."

I'm surprised Basil would be nice especially since he's spent so much of his time following Alexios around. It was also clear sometimes just by his expression that Basil didn't care for Alexios, but their relationship definitely seems complicated in my opinion. I wondered if there was more there.

"Why is Basil helping me?"

"Maybe he feels guilty for Alexios."

"Why? Alexios did what he did to me. Not Basil."

"Basil feels somewhat responsible for how Alexios is now."


"There are feelings there?" I ask.

"It's complicated. Constantine chose love over the Harem. Alexios and Basil chose the Harem over love."

Complicated made things a lot more interesting.

I can't tell many of the boys with their masks on but there is one person that seems to stand out just based on his tall lean body. It's Basil. He has a jeweled mask on with elaborate feathers. It's in the shape of an exotic bird. The feathers are colorful peacock feathers. As I walk past I see Basil fucking one of his patron's from behind. Another patron stands not too far from Basil desperately playing with his penis to the rhythm of Basil's thrust. Basil let's out these deep grunts, "Humph, humph" as he strokes deeper and deeper.

He turns to me. I don't think he knows it's me. If he does, he doesn't acknowledge me through my mask.

"Nice dick," someone states to me.

I turn to see a patron. He's drinking. He smells of pure alcohol. He squeezes my penis a few times. His mouth waters to the point that a bit of drool dribbles out. He's a heavyset man. Not in any way attractive. I think about teasing him and letting him test me but something gets my attention.

The princes.

They are sitting by the baths. The princes Dhaakir and Dhaamir don't have masks on but Prince Daai does have one on. The two older brothers are watching someone. It's clear who it is. They are watching Constantine. Constantine sucks all the energy when the princes are there. It's clear why he gets most of the gifts now.

Constantine is fucking someone. He is ravaging them. The person squirms and screams underneath him. The show is causing the princes to get excited. Prince Daai has taken to playing with his dick in front of everyone. A few boys come over, drop to their knees and begin to suck him off. I count four all together. They take turns licking his dick as he watches Constantine perform for him.

"Harder. Suck me like Constantine is fucking that boy. Yes. Match Constantine's thrust," Daai states.

I notice the boy who Constantine is fucking. It's young Justinian.

"This new boy is my favorite," another prince mentions.

I watch. Jealousy is filling me. I hate this. I hate every moment of this. That's when I turn. I needed someone. Manuel was looking at me. He was there. He wouldn't do though. No. I needed someone who wasn't so sweet. I needed someone who was aggressive.

That's when I feel the soft brush at my back.


"Constantine and that boy are hot, aren't they?" Basil asks me.

He is cleaning his dick off. He's just used it on one of his patrons. I have no doubt that he had an orgasm. I think about it.

"Not as hot as this," I tell Basil.


I don't give Basil a chance before I grab him, pull him aggressively on stage and throw him right on the ground between where Constantine is with Justinian. The shock of it all causes Constantine to stop making love to Justinian almost immediately. As soon as Basil hits the ground I jump on top of him.

I kiss him.

"Oh..." he says.

"What?" I ask.

"I don't kiss in front of Alexios," he tells me.

I can see the princes turn to me.

I see Constantine turn to me.

I see Manuel and all the other slaves shocked that I just cut off Constantine's attention in the way that I did. Not only did I cut off Constantine's attention but I had my eyes set on Basil...the boy that I was pretty sure Alexios was in love with.

I kiss Basil again with everyone looking, and he lets me. His tongue goes to the back of my mouth. There is this immediate intimacy. Basil wraps his hands around my backside. He squeezes me tightly. He sticks his tongue completely out of his mouth. We kiss and kiss. We kiss deeper. He begins to slide into me. I exhale into his mouth. I feel his wet dick only being matched by his wet tongue.

"Who's this?" Prince Daai laughs.

The princes have all begun to whisper. They are interested. They aren't the only ones. In the corner of my eyes, I see Alexios. He takes off his mask. His eyes are daring me. It's strange really that he would care. I'm sure he'd seen Basil fuck and get fucked hundreds of times. Why was this different? For some reason I can see it in his eyes though. This was different. I wondered why.

That's when I remember. Basil doesn't kiss ever. Had the kiss been something intimate that he only shared with Alexios? Had they agreed not to kiss others in front of one another?

I smirk. I'm enjoying the reaction from Alexios.

I mount Basil while everyone is watching.

"Damn..." is all Basil says when we start.

I was going to show everyone who I was. I was going to say it. I was going to scream it so loud as Basil and I performed together so intimately we would shake the foundations of the palace.

Tonight Hush would find his voice...

To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com