The single room was cast in shades of slatted light. Prince Ailyn peered through the small barred window, his nerves highly tuned to the muted noise around him. Behind him, a set of steeply ascending stairs led back to the servant ward from which Ailyn had snuck, carefully avoiding watching eyes. It had taken days of tactful prying and careful questions to finally achieve the knowledge as to where the Whipping Boy was kept. The palace was a place filed with gossip so it didn't take Ailyn too long to put the pieces together. Then, after a lot of spying, he had figured out when the Guard posts were thin enough for him to slip past.
He suddenly felt giddy, a slight thrill of excitement running through him as he laid eyes on the Whipping Boy for the second time in his life. His last glimpse had been from a high window as he watched the Whipping Boy being dragged back from his latest escape attempt. According to a servant girl on the second floor, the Whipping Boy was constantly being caught for running away, yet he persisted despite the punishment. This saddened Ailyn a little, yet simultaneously intrigued him.
The Whipping Boy was, by no stretch of the imagination, the "boy" his title implied. A far cry from the sickly implications of his name, the Whipping Boy looked nothing short of a lusty demigod. This man- this slave was nearly perfection if not for the angry scars that marred his auburn back.
He was stretched out on a burgundy rug, the only piece of furniture in the rather stark, accusing room, but not surprisingly so- he was after all little more than a slave whose purpose had expired long ago. The King seemingly felt not need to pad the Whipping Boy's descent from necessity, and had thrown the youth aside with little thought.
There was no need to provide for the tale end of a broken trend.
You see, once upon a time a concept arose amongst the wealthy for disciplining spoiled children. It was explicitly illegal to beat one's own child, however, a slave could be battered to the point of death without even a murmur from the King's Guard.
In an effort to punish disobedient children without physically harming them, parents would instead beat slaves right before their innocent eyes. Hypothetically, the violent act would frighten the child such that he would no longer want to commit evil deeds. However, it turned out that children were becoming callous creatures, adopting violence and sadism rather than empathy and remorse.
In any case, the purpose of the "Whipping Boy" died out almost as quickly as it had been born in the first place. The original purpose fell away in the short span of its popularity, until the Whipping Boy became something else entirely. Faces became more refined, features softer. Full lips and pretty eyes brought more money than slaves able to take the physical toll of a beating. The concept in fact, strayed so far from its original disciplinary guise, that brothels began adopting "Whipping Boys" as enticing, wanton treats.
The King himself gave in to the decadent new trend, purchasing a thirteen year old youth under the claim that he was to be given to Ailyn's cousin, the Crown Prince James. The child had fallen from the grace of innocent's arms, and into the embrace of bitter demons.
"Tell me who you are and why you're here or get out of my room." stated the prone male, stretching in a lazy, cat-like fashion before sitting up and staring straight at Ailyn with appraising eyes. Yes. Definitely a demon the way he snarled at Ailyn.
Ailyn, stepped back, surprised and a little frightened by the cool waves that seemed to radiate from the Whipping Boy's every pore.
"I- I'm a servant. T-theo." He stuttered, immediately naming his best friend from his old home. The cold man stood slowly, his tan tunic bordering on indecency as it rode up around his hips. He regarded Ailyn with calculating eyes, daring him to spill his true name.
"And what is it you desire that you came to me... Theo..." he purred, tilting his head. Ailyn felt the blush spread across his cheeks at the lustful tone, yet as he looked up, he could recognized bitterness licking the corners of the Whipping Boy's eyes.
"I heard James arguing with the King. The King said he's fed up, that he doesn't want to keep you- and, and-"
"You figured you'd come to mock me? Is that it?" sneered the slave, stalking towards Ailyn menacingly. Ailyn gulped and backed away, instinctive fear kicking in. This was not how it was supposed to go! He groped behind him for the door, only to freeze in alarm as he realized the door was locked.
"N-no! No… I just thought…I wanted to help- I thought-" but the Whipping Boy cut him off with a sneer.
"Prince James put you up to this didn't he?" he snarled in disgust.
"No," implored Ailyn, searching for any hint of belief on the other's face.
"Then you are your own fool, I suppose," replied the Whipping Boy, leaning closer and caging the Prince with his arms braced on either side of Ailyn's shoulders.
Ailyn shivered a little flinching back against the door. This was not how it was supposed to be! Pleaded a voice in his head. He hadn't expected the mysterious man to be mean- to be this cruel to him.
"Why are you here?" repeated the Whipping Boy, close to Ailyn's ear.
"I- I saw you earlier," he admitted softly, "after the guards had captured you…I wanted to meet you… and speak to you, and learn you name..."
Ailyn was silent. He didn't know why.
Suddenly the grimace dissolved and a smirk took its place.
"Have people told you that I'm dangerous?" he challenged, pain showing in his eyes despite his outward confidence.
"I've heard… rumors."
"Oh have you," purred the Whipping Boy, his nose nearly touching Ailyn's as he leaned in. "and pray tell, what are these rumors?"
"They… they say that you're not human… and that- that the king has kept you all these years to have you at night…"
The man let out a sharp bark of bitter laughter though there was no humor in it. He suddenly shifted his weight and pinned Ailyn against the door, hands laced around Ailyn's wrists. Ailyn gasped and tried to pull free, but he was trapped.
"And tell me… do you believe them?"
Ailyn shuddered violently. "I- I don't know." he murmured, trembling.
"Well let me inform you then, that while the first was incorrect, the latter is very much… true." Ailyn's eyes jumped to meet the Whipping Boy's gaze at the quiet revelation. The Whipping Boy smiled coldly.
"Disgusted? You couldn't even imagine the repulsion I feel."
"I-I'm sorry, and I'm not disgusted, just sad that… that happened to you." mumbled Ailyn. The other man sneered and suddenly pulled the boy away from the door and shoved him onto the burgendy rug. He now towered over Ailyn, and his next words were plain acid.
"Don't you dare say you're sorry when you have no idea."
Ailyn shuddered. "You don't understand… Please you have to hear me out," he implored, trying to pull himself into a fetal position as far from the Whipping Boy s possible. There was no relenting, no belief in the dark green, grief-filled eyes.
"You sought me out, there is nothing I have to do."
"But-" Ailyn looked away. "Perhaps, maybe I don't understand, I want to, I do..." his breath caught for a moment, "and the King- he isn't all bad…" if he could've, he would've bit those last words back. Ailyn scrambled to sit up and back away, as the Whipping Boy literally pounced on, pushing him into the rug.
"Not all that bad?" he snarled.
Ailyn shuddered, turning his head to the side to avoid a blow, but none fell. To Ailyn's horror, there was no violence at all, but instead hands that suddenly descended upon his breeches and a mouth at his ear. He shuddered as foul memories began to resurface.
"You want to understand me? You want to know what it's like for a 13 year old boy to be pushed into the king's bedroom to be used?" His nails dug into Ailyn's hips making him whimper.
"He likes to see people beg, you know, I didn't allow him that at least, no matter how much he did to me. You on the other hand, you would spread your legs and plea for more." he said, pressing his body against Ailyn's as his hands began to swoop lower.
Ailyn's mind was in panic. He squirmed and tried to throw off the other, but he was both outweighed and out-strengthed(?). Old memories, cruel murmurs, they seeped into Ailyn's mind until he barely felt the present situation.
'See my son? You were born for this. You will never be a ruler, you are weak and pretty- just as your late mother. But this- this is what you're meant for- now scream for me...'
"Please…" Ailyn choked out, not sure if he was speaking to his father or someone else. "Please don't do this. Please… no- I'll be good I swear." but it was cruelty in a different form that answered him, for rather than his father's mocking voice, he was answered by sharpness and anger.
"I said that once… the King laughed in my face and gagged me while he had me. Shall I do that to you too? It didn't help me then, and it won't help you now." Ailyn shuddered, tears squeezing past his closed eyelids as one hand traveled lower while the other kept his arms pinned above his head.
"No… no… please. Not again... please."
"Get the fuck away from him!" the weight atop him suddenly disappeared and Ailyn looked up into the furious face of Prince James. He whimpered sitting up and curling into his cousin's arms.
"It's ok kid, it's alright, your safe, it's alright." James had Ailyn engulfed in a bear hug against his chest, keeping his voice low so as to avoid frightening Ailyn. Ailyn clung to him like he was the only thing connecting him to the world, his eyes dilated and unfocused.
When Ailyn was more or less calm, James' turned to the Whipping Boy, restrained by two guards at the door. His eyes suddenly flared up with anger again as the scene of the demon atop his sweet, fragile cousin came back into play.
"Take him away." He spat to the guards. "Take him away and beat him to within an inch of his life- then bring him to me." His last words were filled with dark promise.
Ailyn didn't really hear the voices, but the Whipping Boy's, surprised eyes as he was taken away, lingered in Ailyn's mind as the lights slowly flickered and he fell away into darkness.
Reposted with hopefully less confusion/ better dictiongrammarspellingetc. Review with questions/ideas s'il vous plait