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Author’s note: First of all, thank you everyone for reading my story! There will be quite the development happening during the next chapters, and more than new feelings will emerge 😉 But I won’t say anything more for now. Now, onto expressing my special thanks to my favorite people:
BlowPopJ – He-he, I believe they’re getting quite the hang of things, indeed!
curiousaudrey – as always, your comment really made my day! Sebastian will get to experience a lot of things that are completely new to him, besides becoming addicted to technology, but without new things, change would never be possible. Kai will continue to have to deal with two men wanting him (Sebastian), so I think his evolution will also be interesting.
Jrankcold – thank you for leaving a comment! I’m happy you’re enjoying it!
Chapter Eight – New Feelings
Detention so far meant nothing else but more studying, so Sebastian felt more and more intrigued by the punishment system in this world. Maybe it was cruel enough that his phone had been taken away, so the powers that be didn’t intend to crush his spirit any further.
“Hey, don’t worry,” a girl from his left whispered. “He’ll give us the phones back once detention’s over.”
“Oh,” Sebastian said. Now that was a refreshing thought. While the history book in front of him was quite interesting, he couldn’t stop sighing and burying his face in his hands from time to time. He straightened up in his chair. “So what’s the real punishment, then?” he asked the girl.
She appeared to be a slave of sorts and possibly a much-cherished one by her master, he thought, as he observed the amount of jewelry she wore. She even had a ring piercing her eyebrow, while her ears were entirely covered by intricate designs. However, she wore black clothes, so she could also be a carer for the dead. An ominous skull adorned her shirt, and she wore a necklace with crossed bones around her neck. There was still so much he had to learn about the customs of this world, and he didn’t have his phone.
“Punishment?” she laughed. “Other than let us be bored to death?”
“How can you be bored?” Sebastian wondered.
“How can I not be?” she shot back.
The teacher in charge of them seemed very much absorbed by his phone, and Sebastian envied him. However, that also meant that he could whisper with the girl without being shushed all the time.
“Here,” Sebastian pointed at a line in the history book he was reading, “did you know that, in Ancient Rome, the closest relative had to give the dead a last kiss and close their eyes?”
The girl stared at him, expecting something, and then she grinned. “Really? That’s pretty hardcore, man.”
“I thought you would say so.” He had no idea what she meant by that. “It is your area of expertise, after all.”
“What’s that? Ancient Rome?” She grinned again.
He pointed at her shirt. “No, the dead.”
This time, she burst into laughter.
“Quiet,” the teacher ordered, but without ungluing his eyes from his phone.
“You’re cool, man. I’m Beatrice, but everyone just calls me B,” the girl whispered.
She pushed one hand toward him, and Sebastian debated how he would manage to kiss her hand – she was, most probably, not a slave – or if it was appropriate at all to have any physical contact with a carer for the dead. He eventually took her hand, and she shook it shortly before releasing it.
“Kai,” he said promptly. It was strange to use another’s name, but he was getting used to it.
“So, what are you in for?” she asked.
“I said that my math teacher was a witch.”
“For real?” Her eyes glinted. “So hardcore.”
That was surely a term he would have to ask his phone about later when alone. Remembering what he had last searched, he asked, “Are nerds hardcore?” Before Milo had dragged him along, he had managed to read the definition of the term used by that pig-like face young man from before. He was convinced that he had been insulted, although he saw nothing wrong with enjoying one’s studies. Of course, he took offense at being accused of having no social skills, but otherwise, he couldn’t understand why the word was used as an insult.
“You are,” the girl pointed out. “Hey, do you have any plans on Friday night? You should come see us play.”
Beatrice grinned. “Music for the dead.” She stretched her shirt so that Sebastian could read the two words above the skull.
“Edible Insanity,” he said slowly. “Is nourishment included?”
Beatrice snickered. “You’re a frigging riot, man. Do you see that guy?” She pointed at a young man two rows in front of them. He wore the same black clothes and had his hair styled in a strange arrangement. The sides of his head had no hair, and the orange top was braided. “That’s Cain, our drummer. And that’s our growler,” she added, pointing at another girl to their left who stared at them with a scowl. Her jaw was moving with bored lassitude; then she blew into a small balloon that canlı bahis came out of her mouth until it popped. That startled Sebastian for a moment, but then he relaxed. Most magic in this world appeared to have no purpose and no sense. Or rather said a mundane one.
“You are a group of musicians,” Sebastian concluded. “What’s your role?”
“You talk so weirdly, it’s so cool,” Beatrice said with a snicker. “We’re a deathcore band. But we’re not all for labels, you know? A bit of thrash, noise, all that.”
“Thrash? That sounds… quite upbeat,” Sebastian said, now intrigued with what kind of music that could be and why it was considered a good fit for celebrating the dead.
“You’ll see. Bring your friends, too.”
“I don’t have friends,” Sebastian replied. “Only a boyfriend.”
Beatrice winked at him and smiled. “Bring him. I bet it’ll beat reading about Ancient Rome.”
“If you say so,” Sebastian said. He highly doubted it. Attending funerals had always been an obligation and not something to be enjoyed. But his role in this world had to include getting accustomed to its customs, and going to a funeral had to be done sooner or later.
“How was detention?” Milo welcomed him with a broad grin. He wore short pants that let his strong legs show and a sleeveless shirt.
Sebastian looked him up and down without a word. His weakness chose to act up at impossible moments. Just now, a vision of letting his hand wander along Milo’s lean and shapely thigh took over his mind. “We are invited to attend a funeral on Friday night,” he said matter-of-factly.
Beatrice tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, don’t forget about Friday, okay? Is this your boyfriend?” She gestured at Milo.
“Hi, I’m Milo. Whose funeral are we supposed to go to?”
Sebastian watched as Beatrice and Milo shook hands. That was a custom he needed to remember.
“Your boyfriend is awesomely weird,” Beatrice said. “We’re playing at The Pit. Free entry.”
“Cool,” Milo said. “We’ll be there.”
Beatrice waved them goodbye and joined her group of performers.
“So, ready?” Milo hooked one arm over his shoulders. Sebastian was starting to get used to the familiarity. And it was difficult to deny the pleasant sensation spreading throughout his entire body when Milo held him close like that. If he didn’t pay the proper attention, his knees would end up buckling under him.
It wasn’t fair that handsome men could have such a devastating effect on him. He would have never taken Conrad as his royal concubine otherwise. It was a dangerous move on his part to invite an enemy to his bed. But as the fight had raged on, with every occasion he had been presented to take down Conrad for good, he had hesitated. In the end, he had just restrained the beautiful man and forced him into slavery.
There was no need for that with the young man walking by his side. Milo was astonishing if he thought about it. As far as Sebastian could tell, he was an innocent, but he was daring too, in the most natural and endearing way. He spoke his mind, and he walked with his head high, without being arrogant or phony.
He watched Milo as he talked animatedly. What a handsome young man, Sebastian thought, feeling the familiar warmth and pleasant slight dizziness that came to him each time he lost himself in admiring an attractive male.
“Hey, do you even listen?” Milo laughed as he stared at him curiously.
Sebastian shook his head. “I’m afraid I’m a bit famished,” he said instead of admitting the truth.
“You still didn’t tell me how detention was. I see that you made new friends.”
“Yes, the musicians,” Sebastian replied. “They perform for the dead,” he added.
“Should we paint our faces and go as zombies, then?”
What were zombies?
Milo pushed against him, not too hard. “Admit it,” he whispered, “you weren’t paying attention because you were fantasizing about me.”
Sebastian felt rightfully annoyed with having been discovered so quickly. “How could you tell?”
Milo burst into laughter. “For real? I was just pulling your leg.”
“Pulling my… And what of it? You are the one enticing me with lewd imagery.”
“What’s that?” Milo asked. “Ah, by the way, you still have to tell me why you kept it a secret that you knew so much math and French. That means that you will have to tutor me from now on.”
“Do you need it?”
“Yes, and not only that,” Milo said and winked at him. “I need a lot more from you.”
Demands didn’t bother Sebastian at this point. It would be all for the better if Milo started to take the initiative.
“Did you take a shower?” Sebastian asked, anticipating disappointment. The detention had robbed him of his phone and also of watching Milo’s delightful body under that artificial waterfall, water slushing down those muscles… He bit his lip fiercely in an effort to dominate his own response at the fantasy his mind was conjuring.
“Yes, the practice was pretty intense,” Milo replied.
“Too bahis siteleri bad I didn’t get to watch.” Sebastian was acutely aware of the strained sound of his voice.
“Hey, what do you sound so deflated for?”
“I wanted to see you shower,” Sebastian said petulantly.
“Well, that was kind of a bad idea, to begin with.” Milo chuckled.
Sebastian hated him a little. What right did he have to look so enticing, with those plump limps stretched in a smile? It was like he knew of Sebastian’s weakness and took advantage of it.
“I mean, I suppose I can take another once we get home. You know, just for you,” Milo teased him. He looked around and kissed him on the cheek quickly.
Sebastian was surprised. “What was that for?”
Milo’s chuckle now sounded endearingly embarrassing. “I don’t know. I just think you’re cute.”
Cute? Cute?! He wasn’t…
But, of course. He currently inhabited a different body, and Kai Martin surely didn’t have a princely body or a princely face. Nonetheless, the correct assumption was that, indeed, he could be called cute.
And it was a compliment.
“Thank you,” he said primly. “And I think you are very handsome.”
“You do?” Milo smirked.
“Yes.” Sebastian frowned slightly. “I can’t entirely tell when you’re wearing clothes, but you appear to have quite a well-proportioned body.”
“Our bus is here,” Milo said.
He had been caught up in admiring Milo and conversing with him that he had failed to notice that they had reached something called a bus station. This time, he wouldn’t travel underground, and Sebastian tried hard to repress a new sensation of excitement at being able to watch the scenery going by fast from inside one of those shiny contraptions.
Unlike him, Milo didn’t live in a high building. His family had a house built close to others similar in design. Sebastian had to reconsider what he had so far thought of Milo being a commoner. His home was considerably larger and had more rooms. The yard was extremely small, but at least his family had one. It was far from being anything like a mansion, but it spoke of a level of wealth Sebastian’s current family didn’t own.
Therefore, Milo had to be at least part of the nobility, although it appeared that people in this world didn’t care about using royal titles and such. Except for Tani telling him that she was a princess, which, by association, made him a prince, as well, and the mother a queen, he hadn’t heard anyone mentioning anything about their titles.
The arrangement of the interior was different, as well. The light filtered through the tall windows created a sensation of space which Sebastian enjoyed. He noticed a bowl of fruits on a large table, and, without thinking, he grabbed one of an elongated shape.
“Help yourself,” Milo said. “My mom leaves plenty of those around. It’s her credo that I should eat bananas every day, to keep up with the physical effort.”
Sebastian smelled the fruit. He broke it in half and examined the inside, which was made from a soft pulp. That meant that it had to be peeled, which he did quickly. He took a delicate bite. It had a creamy pleasant taste. “Bananas are good,” he said shortly.
“So,” Milo said, leaning against the wall and watching him intently, “do you want to eat first or watch me shower?”
Sebastian looked at the fruit in his hand. Bananas were quite filling. Food could wait. “I’ll watch you shower,” he said with finality.
“All right,” Milo replied and bit his bottom lip. And then, he blushed. “My folks are gone until Sunday,” he added.
Sebastian had a mind to ask him whether they were out on a quest but reminded himself to keep his thoughts for himself instead of arousing more suspicion. Apparently, it was enough to be capable of solving a math equation, and people threw him in detention.
“Which means,” Milo added in a soft voice as he moved closer, “that we have the house all to ourselves.”
There was a subtle change in their interaction, Sebastian noticed. A knot formed at the base of his throat, making it impossible to swallow. What if Milo was the one bewitching him? What if his weakness had finally caught up with him, and it was the end for him?
If that was, he thought, as his eyes rose to meet Milo’s emerald gaze, then he was doomed because he couldn’t move, trapped as he was in that tender yet bold stare.
He remained silent as Milo brought his hands up to touch his face. “I still can’t believe I gathered the courage to tell you how I feel. I mean, you’re always so oblivious… It doesn’t matter.” He shook his head gently.
What was that strange sensation like myriads of ants under his skin? No, that wasn’t it. It wasn’t unpleasant, just hard to bear. Sebastian caught Milo’s wrists to stop that gentle, unbearable caress.
“You were saying something about a shower,” he said in an unnatural, hoarse voice.
Milo chuckled, and even that simple sound sent eddies of warmth throughout his body, throwing him out of balance. bahis şirketleri But just as he was about to spread out his arms to steady himself, Milo caught him and pulled him into a gentle kiss.
He couldn’t make sense of any of it. What sort of curse made him wish it would be possible to get out of himself and wrap around the young man in front of him with everything he had?
As Prince Sebastian, the Protector of Ifigia, he had never known fear. He had known duty, and for it, he had always walked forward. People praised him for his bravery, feared him for his ruthlessness, and believed that nothing and no one ever would be capable of bringing him down.
Yet, now, a new feeling was taking root inside his soul, and it was foreign and hot like an iron held in the fire, branding his heart.
Milo’s lips were soft and needy, so Sebastian found it only natural to open his mouth and welcome them as his eyelids fluttered shut.
Milo withdrew and chuckled nervously.
“Why are you laughing?” Sebastian asked.
“You’ll think I’m a bit nuts.”
Nuts? Sebastian said nothing.
“It’s not like I don’t want us to do, you know,” Milo continued. “But I didn’t really think about it before. I mean, I wanted us to become boyfriends and kiss, but… I wasn’t thinking so far ahead. I thought we would take things slowly -“
What was with all the talking? Sebastian grabbed Milo by the front of his shirt and pressed their mouths together hard.
“You’re so hot,” Milo whispered. “I’m not sure I know what to do. How come I’ve never known you’re like this?”
This young man was considerably larger in height and size, and yet he acted so timidly at times. As endearing as he was like that, Sebastian felt that none of them had control over the situation, which meant that Milo was merely a tool in the hands of a more powerful being in the unfortunate case that he was part of the curse.
He took Milo’s hand. “Where is your bathroom?” he asked, in the same ragged, unsteady voice that betrayed the storm inside his heart.
“Upstairs,” Milo replied and let himself dragged along without opposing.
Kai felt as if he had just had three energy drinks. He was going to face a dragon by himself – well, Pepin was there, but his weapon of choice was a feather duster – and he didn’t feel one smidge of fear. Too bad Milo wasn’t there; they would have a blast together.
The wind brushed his hair back as he rode the stallion Pepin had suggested as capable of taking them the fastest to where they needed to be. The servant rode behind him and had his arms wrapped around Kai’s waist, holding him tightly. He had stubbornly refused to ride on a different horse, claiming that it would only slow them down.
At first, he had been overly conscious of having the servant’s arms wrapped around him like that, but now he couldn’t deny that it was pleasant to feel someone so close. Pepin was the kind of guy that anyone would like. He was pretty, dutiful, honest, and determined. Much like Milo.
Ever since he had been transported to the kingdom of Ifigia, he hadn’t thought much about the real-life that he had left behind through no fault of his own. Well, he wasn’t entirely blameless since he had wished to disappear the moment Milo had confessed.
That brought more tangled thoughts to his mind. Could it be that Milo had felt like that about him for a long time? Since when? And where had he been while that happened? And if he was here, could it be that the prince had been transferred into his body? He had no answers, and all the anime series with people getting plunged into worlds different than theirs hadn’t involved body swaps.
Maybe he was making history. Yeah, he smiled. His story was unlike any other, and he wouldn’t google that to check, especially since he couldn’t as there was no internet in Ifigia.
The kingdom Prince Sebastian ruled over was a beautiful place. So far, they had traveled through large fields of cultivated lands and forests with lush greenery, rolling hills, and gentle rock formations. The night was falling, coloring the skies in tones of orange at the horizon.
“What do you know of dragons’ habits, Pepin?”
“What do you want to know?” Pepin replied with a question of his own.
“Like, do they sleep at night, or are they nocturnal? I bet they are nocturnal.”
“They enjoy dark places,” Pepin explained. “But villagers living close to the caves have reported attacks both during the night and day.”
“Hmm, maybe we’ll have to wake up the dragon, but it’s all for a good cause. Yet, is it more than one?”
“They are quite solitary creatures,” Pepin said. “I doubt we will find more than one.”
“All right. For my first time, I think it would be better to go against only one.”
“Your first time?”
“My first time going with you into battle,” Kai said promptly. “It’s not like I take you along all the time, right?”
Pepin wrapped his arms tightly around him. “You never take me with you. Sometimes I think you’re overprotective.”
“I don’t understand why. You seem like a guy who can hold his own,” Kai offered.
“I know,” Pepin replied, somewhat excited by those words. “Hey, do you think you can finally give me a sword?”
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