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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Alliance - Part II

This story takes place after a story I posted months and months ago. Here's a link to it if you want to reread it first :-)

Damn that Great Demon Kingdom!” A man burst out angrily. He was dressed as a lord and was drinking in one of the spendier pubs the capitol city had to offer. “Why must they conquer us all? Can't they be satisfied with the two Kingdoms they've conquered already?”
Several other drunken men held up their mugs in agreement. “Here here!”
The first man continued bemoaning his fate. “This blockade they've erected to prevent trade is ruining my business! At this rate, I'll be a pauper long before they invade this city!”
In the corner, two men sat quietly drinking their ale. They exchanged concerned glances.
Sounds like our plan failed,” Phillip remarked.
Damn!” Cedric responded grumpily. “I was so sure that my father would wait until I returned home before focusing on the next Kingdom on his list.”
Phillip nodded. The two of them had been married for a little over a year, and were still officially on their honeymoon. Unofficially, they had tried to run away. It was a logical plan – to travel the world incognito so that Cedric's father couldn't send them out to conquer the world in his name – but apparently the King of the Great Demon Kingdom was not willing to wait for his heir to come home before making war on another Kingdom.
Cedric stood up abruptly, and gestured to the barkeep. “I'd like to buy my friend over there a drink!”
The complainer held up his mug in their direction. “Much appreciated!” He then promptly abandoned his table of friends to sit with Cedric and Phillip. “I take it that the blockade is ruining your business as well?”
Actually,” Cedric replied. “I'm concerned that it will, but this is the first I've heard of it.
The complainer nodded. “It happened recently. I've long made my fortune by buying goods in the Great Demon Kingdom and selling them here, and vice versa, but they've erected a blockade all across the border between our kingdoms. This means that none of my caravans can get through, and my business has effectively come to a halt!”
But they haven't actually declared war yet?” Phillip asked.
They may as well have! Our country depends on trade from the Great Demon Kingdom, and without it, we will slowly perish!”
A new man chuckled as he joined them. He gestured to the barkeep to bring them all a round of drinks. “Don't worry so much. I'd be willing to bet that our King will send off a peace treaty soon enough, if he hasn't already.”
Do you think the Great Demon King would even consider a treaty?” Cedric wondered curiously.
Why not?” The new man asked with a shrug. “It's in his best interest to accept. Our King is not a military genius, and he knows that our only chance of survival is to surrender peacefully now before the Demon King sends his sorcerers here to kill us all.”
Phillip nodded in agreement. Even his father – who was a military strategist and a man who almost never gave in to anything peacefully – had more or less surrendered rather than risk destroying their people.
I'll tell you what I think,” he continued. “I'll wager that our King will surrender unconditionally so long as he continues to oversee our Kingdom, much like that other Kingdom did. You know, the one that sent its Prince to the Great Demon Kingdom to marry the Demon Prince. They get to retain their autonomy so long as they always do as the Demon King commands.”
Cedric sighed. “When you say it like that, I suppose the Demon King would be a fool to decline such a treaty.”
The man chuckled again. “Oh, I think he'll reject it without a second thought!”
The complainer nearly wailed in misery. “Then I'm doomed after all!”
Another chuckled and a shake of the handsome man's head. “You're forgetting... Our King has an exquisite daughter...”
The complainer sighed dreamily. “Ah... the Princess...”
The handsome man nodded his head with a grin. “She is a vision of loveliness that is keep secluded in a convent. Only once a year is she allowed out to visit her parents and celebrate her birthday.”
What I wouldn't give to be able to bribe my way into her room in the convent for just one night!” The complainer added wistfully and then swallowed the contents of his cup. This was followed by a loud belch.
The handsome man continued his theory. “As would every man alive, I'm sure! I think that the Demon King will refuse the treaty unless our King is willing to throw his daughter's hand in marriage into the pot!”
Wait,” Cedric held up his hands in a gesture that also asked them to pause for a moment. “What about the Prince of the Great Demon Kingdom? Word is that he's off gallivanting around with his husband.”
The whole pub was more or less listening in to their conversation, and everyone burst out in hearty guffaws at this.
Two young Princes traveling the world under the guise of an extended honeymoon; of course they are simply trying to sweet talk their way between every pair of female legs they come across!”
What woman could say no to a Prince!”
It's probably the first time either of them have ever been out of their palaces! If I were them, I know that I'd be living life to the fullest!”
The handsome man sitting at their table grinned confidently. “I'm certain that once word reaches the Demon Prince that there is an exquisite bride just waiting for him to come poke her, he'll be home as fast as his horse can carry him.”
Both Cedric and Phillip frowned. They exchanged concerned glances once more, then Cedric asked, “But... what if he doesn't?”
The complainer waved away their silly question. “He will! If he has ever once seen or heard about our Princess, he will agree to the marriage and then rush to the convent to claim his bride as soon as possible!”
The handsome man shrugged, and then added, “Besides, if our two Kings agree to the marriage, it will take place with or without the Prince.”
Great!” Cedric muttered unappreciatively.
The handsome man mistook his suddenly sour demeanor for something else. He grinned, and then leaned in closer to whisper in Cedric's ear. “Don't worry, she isn't married yet. I'm sure there's still plenty of time to try to sneak into the convent. One look at either of you is likely to cause all the sheltered young women – including the Princess – to spread their legs wide in anticipation.”
Phillip heard the whispered comment, and snorted in amusement. “That sounds like a good plan!” He poked Cedric in the side with his elbow.
Cedric rolled his eyes and shook his head with a mischievous smile. “Oh sure! Steal the virtue of as many as we can and then get castrated in the morning for our debauchery!”
It'd be worth it!” The complainer sighed longingly, and then passed out onto the table.
Looks like I'd better get our friend back to his other friends. I'm sure one of them will know where he lives and can take him home,” the handsome man stated.
Sure enough, a couple of the men the complainer had originally been sitting with came over to drag him away. “He's like this every time we go out drinking!” One informed them with an exasperated sigh.
The handsome man looked relieved that he wouldn't have to tend to the drunk after all, and tossed enough money on their table to pay for all the drinks the four of them had had that evening. “Listen, since you're obviously new in town, why don't I invite you to a little party I am throwing tomorrow night?”
Phillip suppressed a groan. He hated parties! “What kind of party?”
I am Lord James Harper, and I occasionally host parties for the King himself. Everyone knows that a party hosted by me is an event not to miss!” He puffed up his chest in pride for a moment, and then continued. “Anyway, the party I'm throwing tomorrow night was a request from a Lady I could not refuse. It is her deepest wish that she and all her friends – all bored and wealthy married women – have just one night when they can pretend that they are young and single again. As a result, it has taken quite a bit of effort to invite suitable men who are not their husbands, or anyone likely to tell their husbands...”
And you want to invite us?” Cedric asked in confusion.
Of course! Two lookers such as yourselves are bound to be popular at my party! I'm sure the women will all want to get to know you quite intimately.” Lord Harper smirked.
Sounds like we'd be stupid to pass up such a party!” Phillip replied with what he hoped was an eager grin.
Indeed,” Lord Harper agreed, and then handed them his card. The card told them his address, and he wrote something on the back before giving it to them. “The party starts at 8!”
Cedric gaped at Phillip incredulously as Lord Harper walked away. “I can't believe you agreed for us to go to his party!”
Phillip laughed. “I did not! I only said that we'd be stupid to pass it up!”
Oh...” Cedric murmured in sudden understanding, and then looked away as a thought occurred to him.
Phillip laughed again. “After getting mad at me, you realize that you want to go, don't you?”
Cedric shrugged, still not looking at Phillip. “I don't know... It could be fun...”
Phillip grinned at him. “If you want to go, we'll go.”
Cedric stammered, almost blushing. “It's just that... Well, we haven't brought a woman to bed with us in over a month. I kind of miss that.”
As a married couple on their honeymoon, they'd been mostly interested in only each other, but from time to time a woman would catch both their eyes, and they'd decide that they wanted her. This would be the first time that they would go into a situation knowing that the outcome could have them in different beds for the night.
Phillip waited for Cedric to look at him, and then leered at him. “I'm suddenly very... tired... I think we should return to the inn.”
Cedric bit his lip to keep from loudly blurting out his enthusiastic agreement. Instead, he nodded silently.
On their way to the inn they were staying in – which was intended for guests that liked quality and good service, but wasn't anywhere near as posh as the places intended for traveling royalty and lofty nobility – they were stopped by a woman who was heavily pregnant. She wore a dress that was clearly once a Lady's dress, but now looked threadbare and worn.
My lords... Might one of you prefer some company for the evening?” She asked them. They could tell by the way she talked that she had been raised a lady, which rather explained her dress.
Sorry, but no thanks,” Phillip declined politely.
Please,” the woman begged. A better look at her revealed that she was younger than they had first thought – about 18 or so – and she looked overly thin, like she was on the verge of starvation.
Cedric sighed. “If it's money for food that you want, I'd be happy to give you some.”
She inhaled with sudden hope, her whole demeanor brightening just a bit. “Thank you, my lord, but I also need a place to stay. It's so very cold on the streets at night.”
Fine, come with us,” Phillip acquiesced. They led her to the inn they were staying in, and ordered food for her on their way up to their small suite. It consisted of three rooms; a main room for sitting, eating, and relaxing in, and two small bedrooms. They figured that it was just easiest to avoid questions if they at least appeared to have separate rooms.
After the food was delivered, and she dug into it ravenously, their curiosity got the better of them.
So... what's your story?” Phillip asked.
She swallowed her mouthful of food, and then gently set down her fork. Her mood had obviously changed, and she'd lost her appetite. “I was a lady... the daughter of a Duke. The youngest of three, actually. My father doted on me, and seemed to love me the most. Everyone agreed that I was the prettiest, and my sisters were jealous of me.”
She took a deep breath. “One night, at a party hosted by my father to celebrate my mother's birthday, one of my uncles got utterly drunk and... accosted me. My sisters heard me struggling, but rather than help, they left me. I didn't know this until they sobbingly apologized to me later, but by then it was much too late...
When it became apparent that I was with child, my father turned his back on me. In his mind, no daughter of his would have ever allowed herself to get into such a situation. I was disowned and thrown out. My sisters snuck me some money as I left, but it wasn't much. Now... the only way I can feed myself is to let men do what they want with me, and even then, a good half of them don't bother to pay me when they're done!”
Cedric squeezed one of her hands comfortingly. “We can't help much, but we can at least pay for you to have a place to stay for a couple of months. At least long enough to have your baby.”
And then what?” She asked sadly.
Cedric shrugged. He had no idea what to tell her. They were both Princes, yes, but they were traveling in a country that now likely considered them the enemy. They couldn't just announce that she was under their protection. They also couldn't spend too much money on her since they had to get by for as long as possibly on what they had.
She squared her shoulders in grim determination. “The baby isn't supposed to come for over a month. I supposed having a place to stay that long is vastly preferable to sleeping on the streets.”
In the meantime,” Phillip informed her. “You can stay in that room.” He pointed to the room that they hadn't used.
She nodded in understanding. “And which one of you is staying in that room with me?”
They both chuckled softly. “We don't use that room, so it's all yours.”
She stared at them, her brows wrinkled in confusion.
Good night,” Cedric bade her as they stood. Phillip echoed him as they walked to their room.
She watched them go, still utterly confused until she decided that they were simply being gentlemen. True gentlemen would never force a lady against her will or use her circumstances against her. She smiled in genuine gratitude.
Thank you! My name is Lita... Lita Berforte.”
Pleased to meet you, Lita,” they greeted and then shut the door so that they were alone in their room.
Finally,” Cedric murmured as he kissed Phillip.
Alone,” Phillip added, tugging Cedric's shirt over his head. They were both dressed like minor lords or perhaps upper middle class merchants. Their clothes helped hide who they really were, and as a bonus, were much easier to remove quickly!
They kissed as they helped each other get naked. Their bed was just barely big enough to accommodate the two of them, and it thumped loudly as they landed on it. One of the strangest things they had discovered after first having sex – just after their engagement was announced – was that the more they had it, the more they wanted to jump back in bed and play with each other for hours.
I love you,” Cedric confessed, not for the first time. He held onto Phillip possessively, as if trying to merge their bodies together.
I love you too,” Phillip murmured, nibbling on Cedric's neck. He bit Cedric's neck, almost but not quite drawing blood – before moving on to bite Cedric's nipples.
Cedric inhaled, which made a soft hissing noise, and pushed his body into Phillip's mouth. He grabbed Phillip's hard shaft, and pumped it in his fist urgently, as if half afraid that something would stop them if they didn't hurry.
Phillip shifted with a grin so that Cedric couldn't reach his shaft, and then spent some time licking and biting Cedric's entire chest. He worked his way lower until he was blatantly teasing Cedric by avoiding his throbbing hardness. Cedric feigned a whimper, as if begging his husband to give him what he really wanted. Phillip complied with a soft chuckle.
Cedric grasped Phillip's hair in his fingers and bucked his hips each time Phillip paused for a moment. Phillip knew that sucking on Cedric slowly would build him up to greater heights than if they rushed. Soft breathy grunts repeatedly escaped Cedric's lips, and he encouraged Phillip to fit more of his shaft into his mouth.
Phillip knew that Cedric was very close to filling his mouth, and impishly decided to completely stop what he was doing. “Not so fast,” he whispered in Cedric's mouth as he shifted to lie atop him. He seized Cedric's lips in a greedy and demanding way.
Cedric groaned in disappointment, but then pushed on Phillip. “Get off me; I want to drive you crazy for a change!”
Phillip laughed, and rolled onto his back.
Uh-uh, on your hands and knees,” Cedric ordered.
Phillip raised a brow in a knowing leer. “As my prince commands,” he murmured playfully, then got into position.
Cedric carefully pushed into Phillip, taking time to ensure that he did not hurt him. Once he was buried deeply, he reached around to grab hold of Phillip's rigid shaft once more. His thrusts caused Phillip to slide around in Cedric's hand without trying.
Phillip buried his face in the bed so that he could moan as loudly as he wanted without fearing that the whole inn would hear him. It was Cedric's turn to take his time, and he continued thrusting long after Phillip had gushed all over the sheet. Eventually, he couldn't hold out any longer, and planted himself deep inside his husband. He quietly roared from the pleasure of pumping Phillip full.
They slumped together to recover for a moment, but then Cedric insisted that Phillip roll onto his back. He grinned like an actual demon for a moment, and then attempted to swallow Phillip's entire shaft. Phillip gasped from the intensity of pleasure; it felt like molten lava was running through his veins! He struggled not to moan and announce to the whole inn what they were doing.
Cedric was rough, bobbing up and down on Phillip as if demanding that he surrender his load as quickly as possible. The urge to bury himself deep eventually became too much for Phillip to ignore, and he abruptly tackled Cedric onto his back.
Spread those legs wide! It's my turn now,” he insisted with a possessive growl, and bit Cedric's neck again. Cedric felt his heart start beating loudly, as if someone were banging on wardrums before a huge battle. He opened his legs, and pulled Phillip close for a kiss as Phillip entered him.
Phillip was also careful not to hurt Cedric as he slowly buried himself as deeply as possible. His abdomen rubbed Cedric's shaft as he thrust, causing Cedric to chant, “Oh God!”
Phillip waited just long enough to be certain that there would be no pain, and then pounded into Cedric hard enough to make their bed squeak and squeal in protest. The frame creaked, and the headboard soon knocked on the wall repeatedly.
Phillip wondered where he'd gotten all his stamina from all of a sudden, happy that he was nowhere near to climaxing again. “Uh uh uh!” He grunted with every thrust.
Cedric started to feel like he was about to float off the bed and ascend to heaven, so he firmly grasped the decorative bars of the wooden headboard in an attempt to remain grounded. “Oh god!” His chanting got louder. His entire body tensed up, getting tighter and tighter. Suddenly he was squirting out a mess that smeared across both their abdomens as Phillip continued to thrust.
Phillip got faster and faster, causing the noises of the bed to lose volume but occur in rapid succession. Just as Cedric started to wonder how long Phillip could possibly keep up this pace, Phillip gripped his hips and bit his shoulder to muffle the triumphant shout. Cedric sighed happily as he felt Phillip fill him up.
For never once in his life considering the possibility that he would one day be happily married to a man, Cedric was thoroughly in love with his husband. Sex with him was more incredible by far than it had ever been with anyone else. He rested his arms on Phillip after Phillip had collapsed on top of his body.
I love you,” Cedric reiterated.
Phillip murmured a reply, already half asleep.
A few hours passed before sobbing woke them up. Lita sounded frantic in her room, and started squealing and panting.
They rushed to pull their robes on, and then went to investigate what was wrong. They were shocked to find Lita laying in a large pool of blood. She writhed in pain.
Oh Goddess, make it stop!” She cried out desperately, then screamed as her stomach shook ever so slightly. More blood gushed out of her, which they could clearly see because she hadn't had anything to sleep in other than her dress, and judging by how it hung damply on the wall, she'd taken the opportunity to somewhat wash it.
What do we do?” Cedric asked Phillip urgently.
How should I know?” Phillip nearly yelled with a helpless shrug.
Lita screamed again, clawing at her belly in an attempt to rip the pain from her body.
There was a sudden pounding on the door to their suite. “My lords, is everything all right in there?”
Phillip rushed to open the door. “Our friend seems to be having her baby right now.”
And it doesn't seem to be going very well,” Cedric added, wishing he had the power to take her pain away. As the Great Demon Prince, he had plenty of magic, but it was all fire based, and better suited to a battlefield than the delivery of a baby.
I'll send for a midwife!” The innkeeper hastily assured them before rushing off.
Lita started berating every God she could think of between screams, until even her curses grew weak. She seemed to be running out of energy.
Maybe she'll be able to relax a bit and let the baby come,” Phillip hoped.
Cedric felt like crying. The pacifist in him hated seeing anyone in pain.
The midwife finally arrived. Normally, she would have shooed the men out of the room, and performed a thorough examination to determine how much longer before the baby came, but one look at Lita caused her to toss her bag on the bed, and rush to Lita's side. She pretty much ignored the men in her hurry to help Lita.
The midwife positioned Lita's head so that she could look into her eyes. Lita was completely out of energy at this point, and didn't respond in the slightest. Her eyes were dull as she gazed off into the distance, and her whimpers were faint when her body quaked from the next contraction.
Oh dear! She's nearly gone!” The midwife announced, placing both of her hands on Lita's body. She closed her eyes, and focused all her energy on bringing Lita back from the brink of death.
Meanwhile, a huge gush of blood erupted from Lita, bringing a sack of some sort with it. Lita exhaled in relief, and never inhaled again. The midwife sighed, and removed her hands from the now dead woman's body.
Such a shame... Let's see how the baby fares,” she murmured as she picked up the intact womb. “It's rare that a woman's contractions are strong enough to push out the entire uterus, but that's probably why she died.”
The midwife used a sharp knife from her belt to carefully cut open the womb. The baby was silent as it was removed from the womb, but it twitched as if trying to fight off an attacker.
Still alive, but I fear she was born too soon.” The midwife looked up at the pale faced princes. “Which one of you is the father?”
Neither,” Phillip answered when it became obvious that Cedric was having a hard time speaking. “We only met her tonight. Apparently, she was the victim of rape.”
The poor thing,” the midwife murmured sympathetically. “Well, this child is tiny, but well formed. She seems to be breathing well on her own, but her chances of survival are small. Be prepared for her to die with her mother before morning.”
Still unable to speak, Cedric simply nodded, and then found his coin purse so that he could pay the woman for her time. She handed him the baby as she accepted the money.
Her chances of survival improve in you keep her warm. Hold her next to you. Let her hear your heartbeat,” the midwife advised, and then left the room.
Phillip saw the look of near misery on Cedric's face, and knew that it was killing him that this tiny infant would probably die soon, and there was nothing they could do about it. He placed a hand on his husband's shoulder.
Go on, bring the babe to bed with you... keep her safe and warm. Maybe she'll live after all,” Phillip suggested. “I'll talk to the innkeeper and have him send for an undertaker in the morning.”
Cedric nodded. Once Phillip returned to bed, the two of them took turns holding the baby close to their hearts. They couldn't tell if she would live or not because she never made a sound and barely moved, but her breathing remained steady and even. They eventually managed to sleep, and were woken in the morning by the arrival of the undertaker.
The baby was still alive, so the undertaker thankfully only had one body to cart away. After he was gone, the maids came in to thoroughly clean up the room Lita had died in.
So much blood,” they murmured sadly, horrified to think about what had happened.
The innkeeper's wife arrived shortly thereafter with a pitcher of milk and a small glass bottle fitted with a rubber nipple. She was followed by another maid carrying a platter of food for the men.
From time to time, I've had to bottle feed a stray animal. I imagine it'll be the same for this poor babe,” the innkeeper's wife explained. “If she lives through the day, the temple will usually take in orphans.”
Thank you,” Cedric smiled at her gratefully as she walked away. The maids all followed her.
Phillip was currently holding the baby, and accepted the bottle once Cedric had figured out how to fill it and the secure the nipple over it so it didn't leak. The baby acted as if nothing was in her mouth for a few moments, but then the milk dribbling from the nipple made her swallow reflexively. After that, she continued to swallow every few moments until she turned her head away.
She drank some of it,” Cedric stated. “Surely that's a good sign.”
Phillip nodded. “I think we should look for Lita's family. Perhaps they might be willing to take the baby once they learn that Lita died.”
Good idea,” Cedric agreed, taking the baby from Phillip now that he had eaten a few bites of food.
Phillip hastily ate a bit of food, and then dressed. “I'll go ask around. Surely someone will know where the Berfortes live.”
Good luck,” Cedric wished, kissing Phillip. “I'm going to bring her back to bed and hopefully keep her warm.”
Two hours passed, and then it occurred to Cedric that he should try feeding the baby again. He got out of bed and carried her to where he had left the bottle. Once again, she swallowed reflexively every few moments and then turned her head away.
Cedric almost felt like crying once again. It was frustrating that this tiny little girl showed no signs of life other than the fact that she continued to breathe. Was he saving her life or merely prolonging her death?
Eventually Phillip returned. “I found out where the Berfortes live,” he announced as he took the baby from Cedric. “Get dressed while I wrap her up in this blanket one of the maids just gave me.”
Cedric nodded, relieved to be rid of the burden for a few minutes. They decided to eat a bit more before leaving, but an hour later, they stood outside the main entrance to the Berforte mansion.
A sharply dressed butler regarded them with an air of disapproval. “May I help you?”
We'd like to speak with Lord and Lady Berforte,” Phillip stated plainly, cradling the bundle containing the baby in his left arm. He kept checking her every few moments because she was so still that it was hard to tell if she yet breathed. She did.
The butler took a good look at them, and decided that they were from the correct class of people to call on his employers. “As you wish,” he stated blandly. “Follow me please.”
Nearly a half an hour passed, and then the door to the parlor they were waiting in opened to reveal the Lord, Lady, and their two daughters.
My lord,” Cedric bowed respectfully. “I regret to tell you that we have come here with terrible news. Last night, we happened to meet your daughter Lita. She was starving, and we felt that it was only right to give her shelter and something to eat. During the night, she went into labor rather suddenly, and then died.”
So far, the babe still lives,” Phillip added, holding out the bundle.
Lord Berforte regarded the bundle with interest for a moment, but then lifted his chin coldly. “I have no daughter by that name.”
It was obvious that he was lying by the way that Lita's mother and sisters were crying, but they didn't deny his words. They all stared at the bundle as if trying to decide if they wanted to look at it at least once.
Are you certain?” Phillip asked, his own demeanor clearly announced that he was angry with the Lord.
Quite. Now please take that misbegotten whelp and be gone from here!” He turned and strode from the room.
Lady Berforte held out a hand hesitantly, but then dropped it to her side. “Please take care of that poor child,” she wished before rushing after her husband. Lita's sisters sobbed on each other's shoulders, but would not dare to even look at the baby.
Fine,” Cedric stated, not really having a choice. If he left the baby, she would probably die before any of them gathered up the courage to tend to her. They left, and then wondered what to do.
Should we take her to the temple?” Phillip asked.
I guess we have no choice,” Cedric murmured in agreement.
At the temple, they were asked to sit in a waiting room until someone could hear what they had to say. Nearly an hour later, an exquisite woman joined them. She wore a simple habit that informed them that she lived in the convent, but her long blonde hair was uncovered and floated around her in glorious waves.
How may I help you?” She asked.
Phillip explained their situation.
Let me see her,” the beauty asked, holding out her arms. Phillip handed her the baby, and she immediately uncovered the girl's face. “Such a tiny and precious little thing!”
Her joy over holding such a miracle soon faded. “As much as I would like to take this baby in and care for her, I simply cannot. We are not equipped to take in infants.” She abruptly thrust the baby back into Phillip's arms.
You're not? But I thought the temple usually took in orphans,” Cedric protested.
She shook her head. “Honestly, we've never had an infant brought to us before. Usually the orphan is at least old enough to be weaned, anything younger, and they've either died with their mother or shortly thereafter... Or, are taken in by someone related to the mother.”
We tried that,” Phillip stated.
I'm sorry,” she murmured, tears falling from her sparkling eyes. “I wish I could help.
Princess,” a different woman entered the room unexpectedly. “Your father has arrived and wishes to see you.”
The beauty nodded in understanding, and sent the woman away with a promise to be there shortly.
What will you do with the child now?” She asked.
Both Cedric and Phillip shrugged helplessly. “I guess that depends on if she lives.”
The Princess sighed sadly. “I will pray for this child. Hopefully she will be taken in by wonderful parents and live a long and happy life.” After that, she left the room.
Phillip watched her go with interest. He chuckled wryly. “If that's the Princess, then maybe you should go back and get married!”
Phillip!” Cedric burst out incredulously. “I don't want to go home anytime soon, not even for a gorgeous bride like that!”
Phillip laughed. “Oh... So you wouldn't mind bedding her!”
Cedric stuttered and looked away guiltily.
At least you know your heirs will be adorable,” Phillip teased.
Cedric rolled his eyes, but then chuckled. “You're right about that!”
They left the temple, feeling much better than they had all day. They returned to their inn, ordering dinner on the way to their room. A man was waiting for them to return, and followed them.
Can we help you?” Phillip asked menacingly outside the door to their suite. He handed the baby over to Cedric, who brought her into their room.
The man hesitated. “I heard about the death of my niece... I've come to offer you money to do whatever you please with the brat – drown it for all I care – just never bring it near any Berforte again!”
Ahh...” Phillip remarked in understanding. “So you must be the baby's father. Well, you can keep your money. We certainly don't plan on drowning her!”
The now flustered man shook his head in outrage and fled from the inn.
Cedric gasped. “Phillip! Her eyes are open!”
Phillip firmly closed the door to their room, and then turned to see that it was true. The tiny girl was staring at Cedric as if fascinated. Phillip prepared a bottle for her, and this time she actively drank from it. Her attention shifted to Phillip as he peered at her.
Phillip wiggled a finger at her, amazed when she tried to grab it in her miniscule fist. A moment later, she turned away from the bottle, and started to struggle and grunt.
I wonder what's wrong with her,” Cedric remarked in concern. Phillip shook his head and shrugged.
Thankfully, a maid arrived with their food just then. She set the tray on their table, and took a peek at the baby. “Aww... the little darling! Looks like she needs to use the chamberpot.”
Both Phillip and Cedric stared at her in confusion causing the maid to laugh. “Well, how else do you suppose they learn it? Here, I'll show you.”
She took the baby, and held her in a squatting position over the chamberpot – which was thankfully empty at the moment. Once the baby was in position, the maid made a pss sound. Sure enough, the baby filled the pot a moment later.
How did she know what you wanted her to do?!” Cedric asked in astonishment.
The maid laughed. “She has no idea what I want, silly! I have babies, so I know what she needed. The pss noise will become her cue, and in practically no time at all, she will know what you want because the sound and the action will be as one in her mind. Until then, just keep an eye out for her subtle clues. Mewling is generally hungry, and uncomfortable squirming is usually indicative of needing the chamberpot.”
I see...” Cedric responded, clearly not quite believing her.
You may want to buy her some nappies in case you miss a clue and she can't wait for you to figure it out,” the maid suggested.
But...” Cedric protested. “Surely that will be the responsibility of whomever we find to take her in!”
Phillip took the baby back from the maid, and held her so that they could stare at one another. “I don't know, Cedric... I think that I'm already pretty attached to this little lady. I'm not sure I could give her up after all we've been through just to keep her alive.”
Cedric stared at him in stunned shock for a moment, and then laughed. “You know, it's funny, I was thinking that Lita had brunette hair the color of chocolate just like you do. Her daughter will probably grow up looking like she really could belong to you.”
Phillip chuckled, “I was thinking the same thing about you. She had dark – almost black eyes – just like you have.” He shifted the baby so that he could ruffle Cedric's dirty blond hair affectionately.
The maid watched them with increasing interest since they hadn't sent her away yet.
Cedric gazed at Phillip's bright amber eyes. “What do you think? Could we raise a child?”
I don't see why not,” Phillip grinned at him.
Does that make us both fathers, or is one of us going to be her mother?” Cedric wondered.
Phillip laughed heartily, startling the baby so that she jolted, but she didn't cry. “If you want to be the one to teach her the girly things, go right ahead! As for me, I'm going to teach her how to be strong and defend herself so that she's never in the situation that her mother was.”
I don't know anything about being a girl!” Cedric burst out almost angrily. “But I can teach her lots of useful things... Like compassion, and how to help others.”
Phillip pulled him close and whispered in his ear. “Are you sure you're the Demon Prince?”
Cedric pretended to struggle, but Phillip caught his lips in a greedy kiss anyway.
Oh my!” The maid blurted, holding her hands to her red cheeks. She didn't look away though, and they rather got the impression that she was hoping they would let her watch them all night long.
Cedric snuggled closer to Phillip, but looked at the maid. “Where would we even find nappies? And clothes her size for that matter!”
Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be able to get some for you. Nappies are relatively easy to find or make, it's the clothes that'll be a challenge, but I'm sure that if I ask around, plenty of women will have garments that no longer fit their children. These are the sort of things a mother is supposed to make as the child grows, but also receive as gifts from friends and relatives,” the maid explained.
I doubt that Lita had anything other than the dress she wore,” Phillip murmured.
Poor thing!” The maid clucked. “How terrible!” She shook her head as she finally left the room. She was on a mission to find things for this precious baby who had managed to live despite all odds!
What should we call her?” Phillip asked.
I think we should name her after her mother,” Cedric suggested.
That's a good idea,” Phillip agreed with a smile.
Meanwhile, tiny Lita was already asleep. They took turns holding her while they ate their dinner, and then looked at their bed in indecision.
I think it will be fine if we set her on the floor for a bit,” Phillip voiced his opinion.
Cedric nodded in agreement. “It's warm in here. If we wrap her up, I'm sure she'll have no problems if we wait to bring her to bed for a while.”
They watched her for a few minutes after setting her on the floor next to their bed to make sure that she wasn't going to immediately wake up and fuss. Then, the excitement that they were both fathers now prompted them to strip so that they could celebrate the good news. Cedric pulled Phillip on top of him as he reclined on the bed, kissing him hungrily.
Phillip wasted no time entering his beloved. Cedric accepted him with a grunt, encouraging him to thrust as deeply as possible. The pleasure of having a man inside him combined with the friction of Phillip's body rubbing his shaft made Cedric climax far sooner than he wanted to. Phillip responded by pounding into him as fast as possible until he joined Cedric in bliss.
They melted together to recover for a bit, but then Cedric pushed Phillip off him, guiding him until he lie face down on the bed. Spreading Phillip's legs apart, Cedric pushed into him almost roughly.
Oh yeah,” Phillip groaned softly. Once Cedric was buried deep, he shifted until he was lying on his husband, biting his shoulder and lacing their fingers together. This time, they both moved slowly, rocking their bodies together as if guided by the natural rhythm of a boat on a calm sea.
Their moans gradually grew louder until Phillip clenched his fists – nearly crushing Cedric's fingers – and roared into the mattress. Cedric marveled at how tight Phillip was. Unable to resist the pleasure, he pumped him full, and then collapsed on to Phillip in exhaustion.
Both had completely forgotten the baby, and were almost a sleep a few minutes later when a soft sound like a kitten crying caught their attention. Cedric groaned and then chuckled. With a gentle bite to Phillip's shoulder and then a kiss on his cheek, Cedric withdrew from his husband – he was mostly flaccid now anyway – and sat up.
Stay in bed and go to sleep,” Cedric ordered. “I'll tend to her this time.”
Phillip nodded, and then shifted to get more comfortable.
Cedric carefully scooped little Lita off the floor, and then wondered what the baby wanted. He decided to try the bottle first, and smiled when she sucked on the nipple more vigorously than she had before. A few minutes later, she started fussing, and banged her fist against the bottle. Cedric set it down and then instinctively bounced the baby to calm her.
A moment later she burped, spitting up a tiny bit. Then, she started trying to shove her fist into her mouth.
Must want more,” Cedric reasoned. Sure enough, she drank a bit more, but then turned her head to the side and fell asleep. Cedric carried her to bed, grateful to finally get some sleep. He hadn't slept much the night before after all, and was ready to drop from exhaustion.
In the morning, Phillip gasped as a nightmare woke him. In it, he dreamt that he had accidentally smothered the baby in his sleep, but one fearfully opened eye revealed that Lita was held safe in Cedric's arms. He exhaled in relief, and then sat up.
Lita started squirming just then, and Phillip remembered the maid's advice from the night before. He carefully extracted her from Cedric's arms, and carried her to the chamberpot. He removed her blanket and pssed once she was in place. Even knowing that the maid had successfully done this, he was still impressed when the baby filled the pot a moment later.
Of course, she immediately started fussing.
I bet you want some milk, huh?” Phillip asked even though she couldn't understand or respond to him.
The same maid arrived with breakfast not too much later, and looked around curiously. Phillip – though not sleepy himself – had gone back to bed so that he could simply hold Lita as she slept, and keep her warm. The maid set the tray on the table in the main room of the suite, and then walked towards the open bedroom door.
She leaned against the door frame and smiled; sincerely touched by the way these two men cared for the tiny infant. “Aww...” she purred.
Phillip looked at her. He'd heard her come into their suite, but assumed that she would leave after setting the tray on the table.
Do you need something?” He asked.
She shook her head. “No, but I was able to find a few things last night. One of the other maids works part time at a fancy mansion, and she was ordered to get rid of a huge pile of baby things they no longer needed. She couldn't bring herself to just throw them away, so she had them in her room here. When I asked, she was glad to hand them over.”
Thank you,” Phillip praised, shifting to sit up. “Hand me my robe.”
The maid nodded, handing him a robe and holding onto the baby while he slipped into it. She looked almost ready to cry when he held his arms out to take the baby back.
Something wrong?”
She shook her head. “No, it's just that so many of us girls have to deal with babies by ourselves, and there's not many men willing to step up and admit that they're responsible for putting them in our bellies. It's so wonderful to see two of you take in this poor infant and care for her as if she was your very own!”
Why not?” Cedric asked sleepily, sitting up to indicate that he was awake now too. “We'd never have one otherwise.”
She nodded in understanding, and then pointed to a chair in the main room. “I set the baby things there. I'll just go now, before my boss gets mad at me for taking so long.”
They both smirked at the light blush she wore, and her sudden tendency to avoid looking at either of them. She rushed out of the room, nearly bumping into another maid in the hall. She shut their door hastily, not realizing that she'd actually left it slightly open.
How's that precious babe doing?” The other maid asked.
Just fine as far as I can tell.”
Something wrong? You look flushed.”
Gods help me, but I see them handsome men caring for that baby and I long to create another with them!” The helpful maid that looked after them confessed.
Which one?” The other maid asked huskily, obviously also partial to the idea.
Both!” The first maid blurted.
The second maid laughed. “I agree! Just imagine being between them for an entire night of passion!”
The first maid groaned longingly. “Oh don't tease me like that! You should have been so lucky as to bring them their food just now. Though I didn't see anything important, it was obvious they were both naked. I'm so flustered that I could just swoon right here and now!”
Shall I put a hand up your skirt and help you out a bit?” The second maid asked mischievously.
Not here in the hall! … In the empty suite next door!” Both maids giggled softly as they raced into the empty room for a bit of quick fun.
In their room, Cedric gaped at the door. “I thought that this country looked down on partners of the same gender!”
Phillip shrugged, an amused grin showing off his perfect teeth. “I'm sure they do, but occasionally, a girl just needs a helping hand.”
I'm just thankful that they aren't mistreating us now that they've figured it out,” Cedric replied.
Phillip stared in the direction of the empty suite that was now occupied by giggling maids. “You know, if they needed a helping hand so badly, I'm sure we could have offered.”
Cedric laughed. “We did miss that party after all.”
Phillip got quiet for a moment. “So... are we going to stay here for a while, or move on at the end of the week?”
Cedric shrugged. “Either way, when Lita's a bit older, I think we should hop on a ship headed to the islands. I'm starting to feel like my father is breathing down my neck even here.”
Phillip nodded. “Me too,” he murmured as he pulled Cedric close for a lingering kiss. Just then, they baby started to fuss, and they heard one of the maids squealing from the other side of the wall.
They're making me sincerely wish that Lita was still asleep!” Cedric exclaimed.
Phillip laughed. “Well, we can always feed her and hope that she falls asleep afterwards.”
You read my mind!” Cedric informed him with a lusty grin.

Go To Part III 

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