Title: A King’s Love
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Tags: Alternate Universe, Arranged Marriage,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Jack Hotchner,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 12
Summary: Spencer was happy with his life. He was married to a man that he barely knew, but it was all right because the man lets him do what he wanted. He had free range over the entire kingdom that his husband ruled. He wanted for nothing, except for affection but he’d never had it from anyone growing up, so he wasn’t sure exactly what it was that he was craving.
Notes: I’m not setting this in a particular era; however I would say pre-industrial revolution and in a made up country.
Spencer Hotchner stared at the castle that had become his home over the three years since he had married it’s Lord and moved in. He loved living in the castle and was happy with his life. There was a cheer from the stands where the knights were sparring in preparations for the grand event that was days away.
“My Lord?” a calm voice called from behind Spencer, and he turned to look at the page that had been sent with him on his daily ride.
“I’m okay, Ashley.” Spencer smiled at Ashley Seaver, one of the few young girls who were in training to become a knight. She wasn’t far enough along in training to take place in the celebration event, and since Spencer’s usual knights that followed him wherever he went were at the training, Spencer had promised that he would stay on the inner grounds.
“It’s almost too late for breakfast, My Lord. I’ll ride ahead if you wish and gather you a plate.”
“My breakfast is held for me, Ashley. I usually do not return until much later as my ride is usually three times as long. Do not worry so much. You can go ahead and hit the tent in the training field, there is food going to be there all day.”
“Are you not going to join us?”
“I have work to be done this morning but maybe in the evening after the Knights have rested up. My Lord Husband knows not to expect me.”
Spencer angled his horse towards the stable, and she started that way without Spencer having to say or do a thing. Ashley rode hard towards the arena like area where the cheers were still coming from. The stable boys were waiting for him as soon as he turned towards the stable. Spencer was shocked though that Jack was down there but not to ride. Jack had a book in his hand and was smiling at Spencer. He waited though until Spencer had dismounted from his horse and walked her into her pen before running up to Spencer.
“It came, it came!” Jack nearly screamed. Spencer turned away from his horse and looked at his step-son.
“What has come?” Spencer asked as he crouched down to be at Jack’s level. Jack wrapped his arms around Spencer’s neck, hitting the book off of Spencer’s back. Spencer knew what he wanted, so Spencer wrapped one of his arms around Jack’s waist and grabbed the edge of the door above to hoist himself up with Jack in his arms.
“The book that Dad ordered for you.”
Spencer drowned as he wasn’t aware of any book that he had ordered. Or wanted his husband to order. Morgan was usually the one to handle that, bringing him what he ordered. His husband had denied him nothing since the day they had got married three years ago.
The day that Spencer had found out that his father had signed a marriage contract for the day that he turned eighteen, Spencer had been upset. He hadn’t wanted to get married ever. He just wanted to spend his days in his workshops in the underground area of the castle and not be bothered, as he had done since his mother had died when he was eight. His father had remarried when Spencer was ten and with the new mother had come a gaggle of three kids in the next five years. Two girls in the first two years and then when Spencer was fifteen another boy, finally a child that his father could mold into the perfect child, a boy worth being left the kingdom that his father was King of. Spencer’s step-mother was glad to be rid of Spencer the day that it was decreed that Spencer was to marry the widower King Aaron Hotchner. The kingdoms were far enough apart that it wouldn’t be hard to never see his family again, it was the only good point of the whole affair.
Spencer had snuck into his father’s study to read over the contract and found to his mortification that his father had been the one to start it, based on the fact that Spencer was a virgin. Spencer had read every single word on the contract, but it wasn’t until he was in his own set of rooms that he allowed himself to fully understand it. His memory didn’t allow him to forget a single thing that he read. The wording of the contract was more like the selling of a horse than it was the marriage of a king and a first born prince. There was no one in the castle for Spencer to miss. His father’s disregard for his firstborn and his step-mother’s hatred of him had made it easy for Spencer to not fight the wedding. His father was getting a good bit of gold out of the marriage and the ability to groom his youngest for the throne and not have to be ashamed of his first born.
The escort that had arrived in Spencer’s kingdom to accompany him to King Hotchner’s had been entirely made up of knights. Spencer had been shocked that there was no carriage. Given the contract, he’d expected to be treated like a simpering little thing. Instead, the king’s horse was made available to him to ride back on. Spencer had watched them arrive with no fanfare, his father thought that they were from one of the villages in the area because they did not look like the knights in Spencer’s father’s guard. Spencer frowned because, without a carriage, he had no way to get his things to his new home. When the first knight removed his helmet, Spencer had stared at him. Spencer knew him from the wars that plagued their lands when he had been a child, David Rossi, the best of King Hotchner’s knights. The other three had removed their helmets and Spencer had stared at he saw that two were women. JJ LaMontagne and Emily Prentiss were their names, and on the trek to his new home, Spencer found friendship with them. The last knight was Derek Morgan.
Two days behind the Knights was the soldiers with a carriage that would escort Spencer’s things to his new home but that a band of thieves was making crossing the lands harder and King Hotchner wanted nothing to happen to his new husband, even if they weren’t married yet.
The trek from Spencer’s childhood home to his new home had been three days of long riding, but Spencer wasn’t unused to riding so he had adapted well and the King’s horse had accepted him riding him quickly. It wasn’t until the dark of the night between days two and three that Spencer found out why the king had sent his horse. The horse knew it’s way home and had carried the unconscious King home on it’s back for a day when his caravan had been ambushed and everyone else killed. Spencer had never met his soon to be husband, but by the time that he set foot inside of the castle, he was already half in love with the man. The wedding had been attended by nearly everyone in the kingdom with no one from Spencer’s kingdom there.
After the feast, Morgan had escorted Spencer to his set of rooms and Spencer had waited for hours for his new husband to come to him. Given the emphasis on virginity that had been in the contract, Spencer had been worried about what the night would be like for him. He had seen various members of his father’s castle in sexual acts, men and women, women and women, and men and men. He had read books that explained everything to do with sex but reading about it and having to do it was two different things.
Spencer had fallen asleep and only woke up in the middle of the night when a draft moved through the room and made the candles that were lit sputter. From a door at the side of the room, King Hotchner had appeared. He was dressed as he had been for the wedding and feast but looked clearer than he had at the feast. Alcohol had been abundant, and while Spencer had not drunk a drop other than to toast, King Hotchner had drunk steadily from a decanter of whiskey. Instead of coming towards Spencer’s bed, King Hotchner had moved to the desk at the side of the room and grabbed a piece of parchment from the stack on the side and the quill that was resting in front of the inkwell. For nearly half an hour, Spencer watched him writing out something. It was then that Spencer realized that his new husband didn’t know that he was awake.
King Hotchner left after writing the letter, departing through the same hidden entrance that he had come in and it was the only time that Spencer had ever been alone with is husband.
Spencer snapped himself out of his memories and looked at Jack with a smile on his face.
“What is this book?” Spencer held out his free hand, and Jack handed it over easily. Spencer looked at the cover and saw that it was a new book. He used his thumb to open the cover to read the title page. It was from Spencer’s favorite author from his old kingdom. The author had been his mother’s favorite as well. Each volume of the book that Spencer’s mother had loved had been brought with Spencer, and when the king had seen how many books Spencer had brought wit him, he had ordered a library to be built in the room across from Spencer’s chambers. It was only for Spencer’s use, and it was where all of Spencer’s books had been put.
Why had the king bought him a book? He hadn’t known that it was coming out or it would have been on his list of books for the month. Many of the texts that he ordered were academic, but he did have a few pleasure reading books added in. Spencer frowned internally, not letting Jack see it. It was another in a long line of things that his husband did that had confused him of late. The first had been his new horse. Asteria was her name, and she was the gentlest beast that Spencer had ever ridden. Before her, Spencer had been told to use the king’s horse when the king was there. When the king was out and about in his kingdom, Spencer used whichever horse the stable boys told him to use.
It was no secret that the marriage had just been because King Hotchner’s advisors had pushed for him to marry again to settle the kingdom down and to secure an alliance of neutrality with Spencer’s kingdom. No one pitied Spencer though because he got everything he could ever want. The king had denied him nothing, and Spencer was glad of it. He was freer in his new home than he ever had been in his old.
“Dad sold me that it is your favorite author.”
“He is correct.” Spencer closed the book and started towards the castle, his stomach telling him that he needed to eat. Jack said nothing until he was set down inside the kitchen. Rossi was still seated at the table where Spencer usually ate but there was plenty of room for all three of them. The cook, a lovely woman named Penelope set down a plate of food in front of Spencer with a wink and finger over her mouth, telling him to be silent. Spencer laughed to himself because that meant that Rossi had imbibed too much alcohol the night before and it explained why he wasn’t eating in the tents at the arena. Jack giggled as he ate his breakfast in mostly silence. Rossi glared at Jack at one point before flicking a bit of bacon at him.
Jack had been a shock because none of Spencer’s siblings ever liked him. They were the only children he had ever been around, so he hadn’t expected the young prince to like him at all. Jack had seen him over the first year of Spencer living in the castle, on and off, and mostly at dinners were others were visiting, as it was the only time that the king made Spencer eat dinner with him and his son, playing the part of the devoted husband. Then one day, Spencer had been in his rooms in his wing of the castle, working on an experiment when his outer room door had opened and shut with a bang. Spencer set aside the experiment, expecting it to be JJ or even Morgan but instead, he exited the room he was in to see Prince Jack Hotchner sitting on a sofa with a look of disgust on his face. He had declared that his science teacher was an idiot and Jack was never going back.
For the rest of that afternoon, Jack had hidden out in Spencer’s rooms. Spencer had taught him the science that his teacher was too stupid to be able to show Jack and it wasn’t until evening that Spencer even thought about telling someone that he had the prince in his chambers and it came when he saw guards and knights alike kitting up to head out on horseback. Spencer had stared and frowned when he saw the king dressed for battle. The land was at peace, and he had heard nothing of his husband leaving. Spencer had called Jack over, and Jack had called out to his father from the second level of the castle and waved goodbye to his father. The look of utter relief on the king’s face and told Spencer then that they hadn’t been headed out to war but to find the prince. Spencer had chastised Jack for not telling anyone where he was while they waited for the king to come to Spencer’s rooms. The king arrived just a scant few minutes later, Rossi on his heels. The king had swept Jack into his arms and the way his body sagged in relief, Spencer knew that he had been worried.
After that, Spencer had been tapped to find a new teacher for Jack. Spencer had Rossi send word to the man who had taught Spencer and the man had willingly come to show Jack. Now, whenever Jack couldn’t be found, Spencer’s rooms were checked first and it was usually where Jack was. Either helping Spencer with an experiment or just watching when it was a dangerous one. Spencer had learned more about the king from Jack than he had anyone else in the castle. Jack loved his father, and they spent lots of time together, which was odd considering Spencer’s childhood, even before his mother died. He was a burden to his father.
“Spencer?” Jack called out, pulling Spencer from his thoughts. Spencer turned his head to look at the prince.
“Why don’t you have me call you Dad?”
Spencer nearly choked on the ham that he was eating. He was coughing hard, trying to force the bits of ham from the wrong part of his throat. He felt a hand on his back trying to help him dislodge the ham. After a minute of horror, Spencer could breathe normally again. A glass of wine was pressed into his hand by Penelope, Spencer assumed, and Spencer took several gulps of it. When there was no more, Spencer sighed and looked at Jack. The boy was looking worried.
“I’m fine. I’m all right.” Spencer took a few deep breaths, making sure that he really was. Jack was looking at him expectantly. “When my father remarried, I was forced in public to call her mother by my father. I would never do that to someone.”
“But what if I wanted to? Call you Dad?”
“I think that is something better discussed with your father.” Spencer reached out to his cup of coffee and realized that the hand that had been on his back was still there and Penelope was visible at the oven. That meant it wasn’t Penelope behind him. Spencer turned, shocked to find that it was the king. Spencer nearly dropped his cup of coffee in his rush to stand up. “My Lord.”
“Sit, Spencer and finish eating,” the king said with a fond smile on his face. HIs eyes raked over the table, and he stopped moving when his eyes landed on the book. Spencer reached out and grabbed it, afraid that it would be taken away from him.
“Thank you for the book, My Lord,” Spencer said in a rush. The King wasn’t looking at Spencer though but at Jack with a weird look on his face. Spencer didn’t know what it meant, but Jack didn’t duck his head in shame, he just looked at his father with a smile on his face.
“You are welcome, Spencer. Morgan is waiting for you outside, Jack. The fights for the morning are getting ready to start.”
“YAY!” Jack stuffed a roll into his mouth and grabbed another as he started out the side door that he and Spencer had entered.
“What are your plans today?” the king asked Spencer.
“I was going to work on the tonic that Healer Kimura is having trouble with. Seeing if I can make it so that it doesn’t upset stomachs.”
Spencer clutched the book to his chest and blushed. He ducked his head. “Now I think I’m going to go into the sunroom and read.” Spencer stood up and drained the rest of his coffee. He turned to leave when he felt a hand on his arm. Spencer looked back at the king with a questioning look on his face.
“I am hosting a feast tonight with all of the partakers of the event are going to be at, even those who are just there to see if I will take them as knights. The kitchens will be swarmed with helpers in just a short while.”
“I’ll send for a tray for my lunch then, thank you for telling me, My Lord.” The hand on Spencer’s arm didn’t let go so Spencer waited for whatever the king wanted to say.
“That’s not…” The king swallowed and cleared his throat. “I’d like it if you ate with us tonight.”
“Oh! Of course. Those who wish to be knights should see me. I agree. Just send a page with the time of the start of the feast, and I’ll be there.” Spencer smiled at his husband. No wonder he was flustered. Usually, the king asked for him to join them for mals by sending word with a servant or one of the pages. He wasn’t used to asking for those kinds of thing in person. Spencer felt the squeeze of the hand on his arm before it let go.
“I’ll have your attendant lay out the clothing I wish you to wear,” the King said before he turned around to follow Jack’s path out of the kitchen. Spencer frowned. The king had never wanted him to wear anything specific before. He’d trusted Spencer to wear what was approximate. Given that the king was the one who chose the first sets of outfits for Spencer, there hadn’t been a way to mess up before. Spencer didn’t care about his clothing, and most of the time his good things just hung in the wardrobe because he was either working in his workrooms where he wore simple leather pants and a tighter fitting shirt with a leather apron thrown over, or he was in his riding clothes, as he was now. Which were the same pants for his workroom but the shirt was looser fitting. Spencer wondered if the king had a special outfit made for the fighting event. It was held every three years, and it had taken place just before Spencer had married him three years before, so it was very possible that there was a dress code that Spencer was unaware of it.
Their anniversary was approaching, and Spencer had already made sure that Morgan was going to get what he wanted to give his husband. There was a breeder of hunting dogs in the town around the castle grounds that also breed companion dogs. A few of the lords in the area had bought some off of the breeder, and Spencer had heard nothing but good things, so he had gone down to see the breeder and found the perfect dog for his husband. Morgan was going to get the puppy just before dawn on the day of their anniversary and make sure to slip her into the king’s bedroom just as he was waking. The year before Spencer had a new saddle commissioned for his husband and the year before a new sword.
Spencer kept the book in his hands as he made his way to the sunroom on the top floor of the castle. It was called that because it was surrounded by glass on all sides except for the two interior sides and got most of the sun of the day. It was Spencer’s favorite room. Spencer grabbed the pillows from the couch and threw them on the floor before falling down onto them and getting comfortable on his side, he grabbed the loose pillow and settled it under his head, on top of the other pillow there. Spencer was lost in his book for hours, reading it slower than he did other books. Spencer didn’t want it to end at all. He didn’t stop reading until his stomach was growling with hunger. He forced himself to set the book down and make his way down to the kitchens. He would dodge through the helpers in the kitchen and grab some of the meats and cheeses that were always on hand for snacks for the staff in the castle. It would get him back to reading quicker than waiting for someone to bring him food.
There were more people in the kitchen than Spencer had ever seen before and he had seen a lot of them at the functions the king had put on when other nobles from around the land were visiting. Spencer looked at the foods that were being prepared. He saw that many were ones that he had come to love since coming to the new land. One of the scullery maids stepped up to him with a plate with food on it.
“Penelope says to leave as you are scaring the new help.” The maid smiled at him to soften her words and took the pitcher of drink that was handed over next. Spencer backed out of the kitchen before he looked at the plate. It was full of fingers foods and a small bowl of the berries that grew in the gardens that Spencer loved. The gardeners were happy when he came by as he would gladly pick through the bushes to find all of the ripe ones for just a handful that he could take back to his rooms.
Back in the sun room, Spencer picked up his book, and as he did, a note fluttered out of it and onto the ground. Spencer frowned as he picked it up. The handwriting of the letter was familiar as he read over most of the correspondence that his husband sent out to other kingdoms. Rossi used to be the one to do it, but even his tongue had almost got the kingdom into trouble a few times. Spencer had been able to tone down some of his husband’s stern words and help mend a few relationships.
It’s the third anniversary of when we wed, and I realize that we have not dined together, alone, in all of that time. It was not my intention to ignore you as I have. You’ve hidden away in your rooms, and I knew that about you when I agreed to marry you. The whole of the kingdoms of this land knew that you prefer your own company than that of others.
When I received the gesture that your father wanted to wed you to me for an alliance, I was a little shocked. JJ grew up in the town nestled outside your childhood castle’s gates. She was the one I went to when I received the letter, and she said that you were never seen when she had been a child. You only rode with a guard, and you loved your books. Then word reached me that other kings and queens had received the same letter and I realized that your father meant to wed you off to whoever would take you.
My first wife and I were an arranged marriage as well. I met her on the day I married her, and while she did her duty to bear me a child, she did not love me. I thought that at least I could offer you a marriage where you would be free to do what you wanted. I already had an heir. My advisors had been pushing for me to marry for years after my wife passed. When I sent word back to your father that I would agree, the contract that I received back made me blush. The staunch virginity clause on you told me exactly why your father had allowed you to be aloof all of those years. You were going to be sold off to the highest bidder. I had never met you, or even seen you but when I discussed with my knights what I thought of it all. Rossi agreed that the life I wanted to offer was going to be better than anything else that your father might do to make sure that you were out of his hair.
I made sure that the dowry that I sent for your hand wasn’t going to be rejected and I have never regretted that. I have not regretted a single moment over the three years that we have been married, except for I am a coward. I wanted you to be happy more than anything else because a life of living up to what anyone wants is stifling. I used to live that until my father passed away.
When Jack started to talk about you, months after you arrived, how his teachers all disliked the changes you were making to the library and how far you were pushing science inside the halls, I knew that I had made the right choice. Then the day came where Jack seemingly ran away. My knights and all of the castle guards searched high and low for him. Your rooms were checked but not your workshop. When I saw you and Jack in your room window that day, I was more relieved than I ever wanted to admit. Jack has been enamored with you since then.
My anniversary present to you this year is this book and this letter, as well an invitation for me to court you. I have fallen in love with you from the stories that my knights have told from when they spend time with you on rides and from how you are with Jack. I’ve watched you on your rides some mornings and followed you when you have gone on treks to the far woods to read on sunny and pleasant days. I know that you’ve not had the chance to learn as much about me as I have on you and that’s what I want. I’d like to start with tonight, a dinner between you and I in either your rooms or mine, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
All My Love,
Spencer stared at the letter as tried to understand everything that had been said in it. The book wasn’t supposed to be given to him by Jack. The king had probably told Jack about it, but the boy hadn’t known that it was a present for Spencer on their anniversary. Jack had ruined the surprise. Spencer folded up the letter and slipped it back into the book between the last page with writing and the filler pages that were in there. Spencer closed the book and set it aside. He moved over to where he could see the fighting arena. He watched as two fighters went at it in the games that were a lead-up to the actual event. Spencer’s fingers were itching to do anything.
Nerves too frayed to even attempt to go into his workshop and his mind swirling, Spencer decided to go down to the arena with his drawing pad and pencils. He ate the food given to him quickly and carried the plate to a stand where he laid all of his dirty dishes when he ate in his rooms. He kept the bowl of berries with him as well as the pitcher of drink. He threw all of his drawing things into the bag that he had been given by Rossi as a replacement for the one Spencer had since he was a child.
The king wasn’t on his horse training or even in the pit practicing. He was seated on the stand that his throne would be on the night of the event and Spencer assumed there would be one for him there as well come that night. However, right now there was only a large pad to stop the king from sitting on the hard wood of the floor of the stand.
“May I join you, My Lord?” Spencer asked as he stopped at the base of the stairs. The king’s head turned away from where he had been looking at the knights who were training with the would be knights. For a few seconds, a look of uncertainty came over the king’s face, but he nodded. Spencer walked up the steps, slowly as to not upset the pitcher’s contents. There was a tray with several cups in front of the king, and Spencer saw that his pitcher of the drink was mostly empty. It was a drink that Spencer had been told the king’s nanny used to make for him as a child. Spencer liked it and had started to request it for all of his meals and it hadn’t taken long for the kitchen to make sure that it was given to him at every meal except breakfast for that was only coffee.
Spencer set his pitcher down on the tray where the other one was and set his berries down in front of that. He laid his bag down on the edge of the pad before he sat down. Spencer made himself not look at the king as he pulled his drawing supplies out of the bag before pulling the book out. He set the book down between him and the king before picking up his drawing pad and a pencil. It was a thick black one that would be good for getting the stands that were on the far side of the small arena before Spencer started in on the people. Spencer pushed all thoughts out of his mind about the man who was so close to him that they could touch.
The king let Spencer get most of the stands done before he spoke for the first time. “Did you enjoy the book?”
“Excuse me?” Spencer asked as he turned away from the drawing and looked at the king.
“Did you enjoy reading the book?”
“Oh, I’m not done. I read much slower when it’s for pleasure. I’m about halfway done, but I was sick of being inside, and I watched some of the trainees going after each other, and I felt like I wanted to draw.”
“I see. I’ve never read this author before. Do you mind?” The King picked the book up and leafed through it. Spencer was watching him out of the corner of his eye and saw the letter as it was pulled from the back of the book and slipped into the pocket of the shirt that the king was wearing. The king laid the book down in his lap and flipped to the front page.
“Is the mock battle not entertain you, My Lord?” Spencer asked, he was smiling and could feel the curling of his lips as he smiled even wider when the king looked at him shocked.
“I’ve been watching them go at it since dawn. This set of warriors is a good one. I think that my squad of knights is going to swell.”
“No one has ever told me what happens to the ones that you don’t pick as knights.”
“Only the horrible ones are sent back home to train more, and they are allowed to come back in three years. The rest of them will be either trained as city guards before being sent back and given a stipend to become the law in their cities, or they are chosen as the castle guards. That’s what the week of training before hand is all about. Many of these are sons or daughters of city guards, but a few are children of castle guards who are raised in their hometown.”
“Interesting.” Spencer looked around the arena and saw Morgan was done with his mock battle with a group of very young men and women. Spencer caught his eye and waved him over. Morgan pulled his armor off and grabbed a clean shirt and was slipping it on as he crossed the battlefield. Spencer ripped a page out of the back of his drawing book and wrote a note on it very quickly, making sure that the king couldn’t see it. He handed it to Morgan as the man approached the edge of the stand. Morgan cocked an eyebrow at seeing Spencer with the king but said nothing. When he was done reading though, his eyes were asking Spencer if he was sure. Spencer nodded.
“Of course, My Lord,” Morgan said and turned to leave.
“What are you having my knight do, Spencer?” The king didn’t sound upset more intrigued than anything else.
“Just a small errand for me that I want him to do, My Lord.”
“And you couldn’t send a page?”
“I only trust a knight with what I want him to do.”
“When Morgan gets back, you’ll have to tell me you know. Or I will make him tell me.”
“Of course, My Lord. I wouldn’t expect your knight to keep a secret from you.”
“I know that I have asked you before to call me Aaron, Spencer. You do for the rest of that conversation, but then the next time we meet up, it’s back to My Lord. Do I need to make it a royal decree?” the king asked.
“I…” Spencer snapped his mouth shut and looked away from the king, back towards the fighters. Spencer saw movement that was close out of the corner of his eye, but he didn’t pay any attention until his sight was blocked by the curtains that could be drawn, which the King apparently had drawn. If it were any other married couple inside, Spencer would have thought that the people that couldn’t see them would think the were getting up to something that was best reserved for a bedroom. However, there wasn’t a single individual who lived or worked in the castle that would think that they would do that, ever.
“Spencer?” the king reached out and turned Spencer’s face towards him. Spencer made the mistake of looking him in the eye, and he couldn’t look away. The King was worried.
“You’ve always called me Spencer, but you never asked me to call you anything other than My Lord until recently. It’ll take some getting used to.”
“I’m sorry. I thought that it was something that you were taught to do and for a while, I didn’t fight it because I figured it gave you the distance you wanted. I like hearing my name from your lips.”
Spencer’s stomach started to churn. The king’s fingers were still on his chin and Spencer could feel the warmth of them.
“I read the letter,” Spencer blurted. The king’s eyes widened in shock, but he said nothing, just stared at Spencer. Spencer was staring back at him, and he saw his other hand slip into the pocket and pull out the letter.
“Yes. I picked up the book after I went to get my lunch and it fluttered out.”
“And that is why you joined me down here?”
“I was going to come and sit in the stands and draw, but I saw you sitting here and I…I don’t know.” Spencer tried to tip his face down, but the strong fingers at his chin stopped him.
“I meant every single word that I wrote, Spencer. Tonight was going to be the first of the times that I invited you to dine with me, in public. This feast then a few meals with the knights and just us, maybe a few with just Jack and us.”
“I never answered him today,” Spencer said.
“I found out when I questioned Dave that Jack asked him and then JJ first what he should do. They both told me to ask you first. I know that he loves you. Other than the few inner circle knights and me, you don’t treat him like he’s a nuisance.”
“He’s charming, and he loves to learn.”
“He didn’t mean it as pressure. He just wants to understand. I left you to figure out your own place within the castle. The accounts that I had from those inside of your castle growing up said that you didn’t have the time for your little siblings, so I didn’t push Jack at you. I’ve come to understand from the knights that it wasn’t as much that you didn’t care for your siblings but that no one in the castle had time for you after the death of your mother. That your father allowed your step-mother to create such a hostile life for you upsets me.”
“Then you are the only person.”
“I’m sure that it’s not true. I am sure that a few of the staff there liked you but from what I am to understand the servants who showed a dislike for your stepmother were let go. They were probably afraid to show you affection for the same reason.” The king’s fingers shifted on Spencer’s face and slipped back to hold his neck. Spencer looked back up at his eyes in time to see him leaning in. Other than his mother, Spencer had only a single kiss, given to him the day he got married to the king. The seal on their marriage vows. Spencer knew what he was going to do and Spencer wasn’t sure if he wanted it or not. His emotions were all over the place.
Just before the king was in the range of a kiss, there was a bark. The King jerked his head away to look at where the sound came from, his hand falling from Spencer’s neck. Spencer smiled as he watched the puppy being shoved through the back of the curtain drawn at the back of the stand. The puppy took off towards them as soon as she realized she wasn’t alone. Remembering Spencer, she went for him, and Spencer shifted to sit with her in his lap.
“This is Delilah. I had planned for her to be brought to your chambers when you woke up on our anniversary but I think that Jack kind of ruined that by giving me my present early. She is from the same breeder that you get your hunting dogs from.”
Delilah jumped out of Spencer’s lap and leaped towards the king. He picked her up and brought her up to his face. She licked out towards him trying to wiggle closer to him. The king set her down, and she got on his lap and stretched up to lick at the underside of his chin.
“She’s beautiful, Spencer. Thank you.”
“Thank you for my book.” Spencer looked down at the puppy before looking back up at the king. “And I would like to have dinner with you on the night of our anniversary. And the nights leading up with the knights and with Jack.”
“Good. I’ll make sure that Penelope knows.”
“Morgan probably has her leash and collar and the other things I had bought for her from the breeder. The woodworker is making a set of steps for her so that she can crawl up into your bed and down again without waking you up.”
“You know this means that I’ll need to get a servant to care for her during the day.”
“You say that like you hadn’t bought a dog for Jack. A greyhound if I am not mistaken. I heard Morgan talk about it last week with Rossi.”
There was no chance to dodge the kiss that was placed on Spencer’s lips. A hand wrapped around the back of Spencer’s head and held him in place as he was kissed. When Spencer felt a tongue trace his lips, he gasped, and the tongue slipped inside just a little, touching Spencer’s tongue. Spencer didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know what to do with his hands. He didn’t know what to do with his tongue. With his lips. When the King pressed forward more, his free hand landing on Spencer’s thigh, Spencer freaked out.
Spencer jerked away from the king, and before he could even think, he was gone, running down the stairs and out of the stand. Spencer heard people yelling his name, but he didn’t want to stop. Spencer didn’t stop running until he got to his rooms. He barred the main door, making sure that it was locked before sitting down in his reading chair. Spencer drew his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, trying to get rid of the feelings inside of him. There was nothing that could be done then because everyone had seen him run away from the king. There was no way for them not to laugh at him. The poor young man who had no clue what he was doing. Never before had the age difference between him and the king felt like it was something that was horrible.
It hadn’t gone unnoticed that Aaron was fifteen years older than him. Even now it was closer to double of Spencer’s age than it was any other fraction of Spencer’s life. Spencer hated his sheltered life. He’d read books on sex but hadn’t thought about what the build up to sex was. The kissing, the touching, or the foreplay were things that Spencer felt he should have known years before. Why couldn’t the king had seduced him back then when Spencer had been off kilter and more afraid of not being what his husband wanted than anything else. Spencer buried his head in his knees.
Time passed, and Spencer didn’t care. He sat there trying to figure out what he was going to do. There wasn’t a single person in the castle who would be able to help him learn what he wanted to know. There wasn’t a single person in the town below either. Spencer vowed that he would just have to find books to teach him. There had to be books that showed kissing and where to place hands when kissing.
Spencer uncurled his legs and moved to stand up. He stopped mid-motion when he saw the king in the doorway that he had slipped in the night of their wedding. Spencer had forgotten to lock that one. Spencer let himself fall back down in the chair.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” the King said as he stepped more into the room.
“You didn’t scare me as much as I…I didn’t know what to do.”
The king looked at him confused. He came forward and knelt at Spencer’s knees. When Spencer didn’t resist the hands on his knees, the king reached up and tugged on his hands, bringing Spencer to sit in his lap. Spencer stayed tense in his arms, but the king didn’t touch him other than his arms.
“Why don’t you know what to do? Are you afraid of upsetting me because we are both males? That I won’t like you touching me like you would touch a woman?” The king leaned in and kissed Spencer again. Spencer’s mouth was coaxed open again by an insistent tongue. Spencer still didn’t know what to do but being in his rooms, where no one was going to interrupt them, he felt braver. When the king’s tongue retreated, Spencer pushed his into the king’s mouth. He still wasn’t too sure what to do, but he tried. At the first touch of his tongue on the king’s, the king drew back from Spencer. The king was looking at him, assessing him with a frown on his face.
Spencer turned his head away from the king’s face; he tried to hold back the tears that were threatening to fall from his face. Spencer rubbed at his eye with the sleeve of his shirt to try and stop the tear from falling. It didn’t help, it made his eyes water more so Spencer sought to stand up, but the king wrapped an arm around Spencer’s waist, holding him there. Spencer didn’t look at him. Lips pressed onto the skin of his neck, making him start to feel hot. Kisses were pressed all along the base of his neck, making Spencer have to turn his face to allow him to continue to the other side. Up the side of his neck, the lips moved until he felt something brushing the lobe of his ear.
“Am I the only person you have kissed, Spencer?” the king asked, his voice rough. Spencer shivered in his arms at the emotions that voice was making him feel. He wasn’t pressed into the king too much, but he knew that if the king tightened his arm anymore, he would feel the effect that his kisses were having on Spencer.
“Yes,” Spencer admitted.
“You should have said something. I would never have pressed you as I did on the stand. In public like that. Being a virgin does not mean that one is chaste. I was a virgin when I entered my first marriage bed, but I had done a lot of things with the kids of servants who were my age. I forget that you were raised a lot different than I was. So first lesson, Spencer. Use my given name. Calling me My Lord all the time is setting up another layer to this all that you are having trouble breaching. We are equals. I was a prince up until my father died a year after I was married. You were a prince until you married, but now you are king. We are equals.”
“Yes, Aaron,” Spencer said. The King, Aaron, saying the words right into his ear was causing Spencer’s brain to short circuit. He didn’t know what he wanted, but he didn’t want to move away from his husband. Spencer felt a hand tracing his knee before sliding farther up.
“Your father wrote that you were more interested in males than females. How did he know that if you hadn’t been caught kissing in closets with someone else?”
“I was caught watching some of the soldiers spar using just hand to hand several weeks before he started to find a spouse for me. I had an erection, and it was readily visible. I fled away from the soldiers when they notice me. It was around the castle just hours later. I didn’t leave my rooms for days afterward.”
“Do you think you can do that now?” Aaron asked. His hand that had been inching up his thigh moved the last distance and traced the edge of Spencer’s erection, making it even harder, which Spencer swore was impossible. Spencer shook his head back and forth, not even wanting to think about doing that with Aaron there. Aaron didn’t stop his hand as it traced up and down the edge of Spencer’s hard cock. The hand that was on Spencer’s back worked it way up and under Spencer’s shirt.
“Please,” Spencer begged as he felt the warm hand on his skin. Finger curled, bringing Spencer that small distance inward, his cock pressing into Aaron’s stomach.
“What do you want, Spencer? I’ll give you whatever you want. Just ask.”
“I don’t know. You feel good touching me,” Spencer admitted. He wanted more of that, hands on his skin. Spencer was getting warm and getting out of his clothes sounded like a good idea. Aaron shifted under him, and Spencer was forced upwards some before he felt Aaron’s arm tighten around his back and they were moving up. Spencer wrapped his arms around Aaron’s neck, holding on tight. Spencer didn’t look away from Aaron’s face as they moved, Aaron, holding him up as they did. Spencer hadn’t even realized that he had wrapped his legs around Aaron at some point in their kisses. Aaron bent over, pressing Spencer down into the bed, unwrapping his arms from around Aaron’s neck and pressing them down into the bed.
“I do anything you don’t like just tell me. Push me away, anything.” Aaron kissed Spencer again, coaxing Spencer through kissing him back. Spencer was focused on Aaron’s lips and doing what they were doing that he didn’t realize that his pants had been undone until he felt the cool air on him. Spencer gasped and looked down, ripping his mouth away from Aaron’s to look. He saw his cock out of his pants and realized that Aaron had done the same to his. Aaron stayed right there, the only point of contact was Spencer’s legs wrapped around him. Spencer hesitantly reached out with his hand. Aaron didn’t stop him.
Spencer touched the head of Aaron’s cock. Spencer heard him gasp and looked up into his eyes. Aaron’s eyes were dark with passion. Aaron stayed like he was, kneeling above Spencer as Spencer touched his cock.
“You are warm,” Spencer said. A drop of fluid leaked out of the head of the cock as Spencer stroked from the base to the head. Spencer stroked his thumb over the head, collecting the liquid. He let go of the cock and drew his thumb up to his mouth. He watched Aaron keep an eye on him as he licked at the drop. It was a strange taste, Aaron tasted different than Spencer did. It wasn’t a bad different but just different. The salty tang hit Spencer full force, and he crinkled his nose. Aaron lowered himself a little, pulling Spencer farther up the bed before he aligned their cocks, thrusting them together. Spencer gasped as he felt the other man’s cock brush his own. Spencer grabbed Aaron’s shirt and held on. It didn’t take, but a few thrusts for Spencer to get the rhythm down and met each of his thrusts. Spencer watched their sweat slick cocks rub on each other for several thrusts before his head was jerked up and Aaron was kissing him again. Spencer held on tight to him as they rocked together, each brush of cock taking Spencer higher and higher. He knew what the result of what they were going to do together was and Spencer wanted it. He had only ever reached completion at the feel of his hand wrapped around his cock.
Aaron settled his full weight down on top of Spencer, surrounding him with his body. Aaron came up for breath, and as soon as Spencer saw his face, he came. Spencer’s legs tightened around Aaron, and the hand that he had on Aaron’s back scrabbled for purchase, his nails not finding it in the soft material of his shirt. Aaron arched away from Spencer’s nail, thrusting his cock down hard into Spencer’s groin and Spencer felt wetness spreading. Aaron was panting. Spencer tightened his legs again, drawing Aaron down into him again, trying to help him.
“Shush,” Aaron whispered across Spencer’s lips before he rubbed their noses together. “I’ve already spent myself, Spencer.”
“What?” Spencer looked down, but his vision was blocked by their chests. He sucked in a breath, but it didn’t help. Aaron raised himself back up on shaky arms, and Spencer saw that he was indeed softening. Spencer looked at the mess that was all over his pants and the bottom of his shirt and wrinkled his nose.
“Next time, we will be naked for this.”
“Next time?” Spencer asked.
“Yes, unless you didn’t.” Aaron frowned. “You liked it didn’t you?”
“Yes!” Spencer nearly shouted. Aaron smiled at him, a fond look in his eyes. “Yes, I liked it I just…I didn’t know if you enjoyed it.”
“Spencer, I think the strength of my liking this is spread across your groin. I didn’t come up here to seduce you. I came to make sure that you were all right. However, I will not say I am sorry for how we ended up. I hope that with time you’ll start to feel better about your want of sex, especially sex with me but Spencer you are allowed to say no. Just because I want something doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Just like if I don’t want something, I’ll tell you.”
“I don’t want to just leave you, but I do have to get back out. I need to watch as much of the training as possible. I would like it if you joined me after you cleaned up.” Aaron ducked his head back down and pressed a chaste kiss to Spencer’s lips.
“Do you really want me out there?” Spencer asked.
“Yes. Even if you don’t want to watch the training, you can sit with me and read. Maybe lay your head down in my lap, and I can play with your hair while you read. Or you can draw.”
“You want me to lay with my head in your lap?”
“Seeing you read in the sunroom and even out on the grounds, I think of nothing but doing that when I see you reading.”
Spencer could feel the blush on his face as he thought about Aaron’s words. He would like that. Reading with his head in Aaron’s lap. His fingers combing through his hair.
“I’ll join you as soon as I change. I don’t look forward to the look my maid is going to give when she sees the stains on my pants.”
“It’s no worse than any other person in the castle. If you would like, we can put them in my room. My maids think nothing of the stains on my clothes. They used to blush after realizing what they were after my wife died, but they have long since stopped blushing.” Aaron stopped talking and looked puzzled. “If you don’t leave evidence on towels or sheets, where exactly do you relieve yourself?”
“When I am bathing in the mornings and sometimes at night, but I never leave it for someone else to find. It always goes out with the bath water.”
“I never thought about that.” Aaron smiled and kissed Spencer again. He looked out the window as soon as he pulled his lips away, tracking the time by the position of the sun. Aaron reached behind himself and unhooked Spencer’s legs from around his waist. “Tonight, do you want me to come up here or do you want to come down to my rooms?”
“Your rooms. I want to see them.”
“Nothing special, I gave you the best rooms in the castle.”
A cheer went up in the area, barely heard by Spencer, and it made Aaron finally stand up and tuck his cock back into his pants before starting to do them up again. Spencer saw a stain on the edge of the lacing but said nothing as Aaron rubbed at it for a second before looking around the room. Aaron moved to the water basin that Spencer used to wash his hands off throughout the day and grabbed the rag beside it. He dipped an edge in it and wiped at the spot.
“There is nothing to do with it.” Spencer tracked him as he moved towards the door that led out into the halls and not down to his own chambers. Aaron paused at the doorway before turning back around and walking over to stand at Spencer’s head. He leaned down and gave Spencer another kiss, an upside down kiss before he grabbed something and threw it over Spencer’s groin. Spencer realized it was the shirt he had worn the day before.
“No one is allowed to see you in such a state except for me.”
Aaron strode to the door and left quickly, opening the door only far enough for him to slip out. Spencer touched his lips, feeling that they were swollen from the kisses that Aaron had given him. He should feel embarrassed; he’d had his first real kiss and his first sexual encounter all in the space of an afternoon. It was with his husband but still. The cheers from the arena spurred Spencer into getting up off of the bed. He debated taking a full, cold bath or just washing up a little and changing his clothes. When he stripped naked and could still smell the scent of Aaron on him, he decided just to wash up where the evidence of his passion with Aaron was on his skin.
Spencer rushed through the castle after changing into the type of clothes that he wore to his workroom; the tighter fitting shirt was meant to entice Aaron to touch. Spencer entered the stand smiling and couldn’t look Morgan in the eye as he sat down beside Aaron before laying down, putting his head right into his husband’s lap. His new book was pressed into his hands, and Delilah moved into his side, stealing warmth from him. Aaron’s hand rested in his hair, and after a few seconds Aaron looked away from him, and his fingers started to move. Spencer thought that he could get used to this.