The assult is prevented
Chapter 15: A Dim Future
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Thanks Minx for your suggestions and advice.
Faramir struggled, fighting the men holding him down. The hand covering his mouth pressed down harder, and another placed a knife against his throat that ceased his struggles. Rough hands pulled at the robe, grunting in slurred words when the material bunched up around his elbows.
The knife started ripping away the material, revealing his body to lusty eyes. “Marek’s taste has improved.” the man holding the knife laughed, “This one’s not the usual filth he tends to bed.”
Faramir bit the hand covering his mouth. A scream pierced the night sky, momentary distracting his assailants. Faramir twisted, freeing his arms to wrestle away the knife. “Stand down,” he shouted, waiting until the corsairs obeyed before he tossed the knife into the sea.
Heavy footsteps announced the arrival of several men. Faramir sighed, berating himself for disobeying Aran’s orders. He rounded the cargo crates and bumped into a large chest.
Marek looked down at him and drew his own conclusion. He glared at the four drunken men. “You dare touch my consort!”
“Prince Marek,” one dropped to his knees, pleading for his life. “We mistook him for another liaison. We…”
“Have you the intelligence of an orc? Never have I given you something without consent. None may touch this one. NONE!”
A second corsair followed the lead of his companion, folding his hands together in repentance. “My prince, long have we been at sea. An excuse only, but never would we touch what you forbid.”
Marek turned to the captain. “Have these men whipped. Forty lashes each, and send word to Lord Aran. His presence is needed.”
“Lord Marek.” Faramir glanced at the terrified men, wanting to spare them the lash. “Naught happened.”
Marek cupped Faramir’s chin, forcing the younger man to look at him. “My robe has been ripped from your body, and you wear naught underneath.”
“I swear. Upon my honor. I belong only to you.”
Marek’s eyes narrowed, studying the young man carefully. Faramir’s refusal to break eye contact convinced him Faramir spoke the truth. “Your words hold true. You belong to me.” When Faramir’s eyes lowered, Marek snaked his hand behind Faramir’s head entangling his fingers into the hair. With a violent jerk, Marek forced his lips over Faramir’s.
Faramir squirmed, bringing his arms up to shove against Marek’s chest, dislodging the older man. He disgustingly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “You punish these men yet you are worse.”
Marek considered teaching the Gondorian a lesson, taking a belt or lash to remind Faramir his place. However if he harmed Faramir now he risked the marriage and his vendetta against Gondor.
No, he would control his temper until his wedding night when Faramir’s obedience was assured. As consort without power, Faramir had no choice but to obey his husband without question. And Marek planned to enact a long-forgotten ritual that hadn’t been practiced in thousands of years.
Marek turned, hearing someone approaching. Aran followed behind the captain. Marek stepped aside revealing Faramir to the advisor.
Aran gasped, shocked to find Faramir naked save the shredded robe. Horrified what might have happened, he hurried to Faramir’s side, removed his robe and placed it around the young man’s shoulders. “Who did this?”
“You allowed this!” Marek turned his fury on the older man. He sighed, placing his hand on the bewildered advisor. “Forgive my anger, Lord Aran. The fault is Faramir’s. He disobeyed your instructions. Punish him as you deem necessary and spare him no grace. My consort must learn his place or face the consequences. Until we reach Umbar, he is confined to the cabin.”
Aran bowed, accepting his instructions. With a threatening glare, he grabbed Faramir and hurried him back to the cabin.
The ship docked and trumpets announced the arrival of Umbar’s crown prince. Marek’s personal tailor delivered a set of clothes to the prince and Marek carried them to the cabin, giving them to Aran.
“Dress Faramir in Umbar’s finest. Upon my return, we ride into the city. Once we have entered the palace, you may begin preparations for Faramir’s accommodations.” Marek walked away giving Aran time to dress Faramir.
“Prince Marek,” Aran proudly flaunted Faramir in his new clothes. Dressed in dark blue leggings and a matching dark blue shirt, Faramir ran his hand over Umbra’s insignia that adorned the front of the shirt.
Hundreds of Corsairs, dressed in Umbar’s colors, stood at attention, lining the gangplank and the entrance into the city. Marek took Faramir’s hand, walking him down the gangplank to a waiting carriage. “Come, your new life has begun.”
The ride into the city was crowded. People halted their duties to witness the crown prince and his consort’s ride into Umbar. The city rivaled Minas Tirith in beauty, stone statues, buildings, towers, and military presence.
Faramir could hear whispers ranging from his light skin to Gondor’s perverted fondness for the reprehensible elves.
Marek pulled Faramir into his chest and began kissing the younger man making the appearance they were in love.
Faramir accepted the kisses, understanding the repercussions if he embarrassed Marek. Aran had enforced that lesson last night with very painful results to his posterior.
The carriage traveled to the highest point inside the fortified city, stopping at the palace. Marek disembarked, clasping Faramir’s hand to continue the charade of a romantic couple. Aran bid farewell, giving another stern warning to Faramir before he left.
Marek escorted him into the throne room disappointed the tribal chieftains had not arrived. He had hoped to introduce his new consort, perhaps tease them with what he would bed in two nights.
“Prince Marek,” an older dark man with long gray hair entered from an adjoining archway. His red robes identified him as the chieftan of the Harad territories. His dark eyes studied Faramir with disapproval. “Then it is true! I believed King Makil had played a joke when he mentioned your marriage to a Gondorian.”
“Chieftan Suladän,” Marek greeted the Haradrim leader and close friend of his father’s with a warm handshake. He nodded in Faramir’s direction. “This is Faramir. My consort in two days.”
Faramir bowed, impressing the chieftan. “Lord Aran has trained him well.” Suladän lifted Faramir’s chin, smirking at Marek. “Beautiful. Bedding him must be a glorious. Perhaps you consider sharing him?”
“He is untried.” Suladän’s eyebrows raised, looking at Marek in disbelief. Marek nodded. “Perhaps on my many visits to the desert, my consort will benefit from your many years of experience.”
“Would you like that, young one?” Suladän’s eyes twinkled with desire. “Many long years men have shared the desert floor beneath my body. My loins burn now envisioning your ecstasy-filled moans.”
Faramir gasped, surely these two were teasing. Before he could ask, another man, the warlord, Fezel of Khand, entered the room sending cold shivers down Faramir’s back.
The blood-thirsty warlord had led a violent coup, slaughtering thousands to establish his reign as Lord of Khand. “Prince Marek,” Fezel said, shaking his shoulder length pepper hair with disapproval. “You would lower yourself to bed this excrement?”
Faramir started to retort the arrogant Haradrim but Marek grabbed him by the hair keeping him in place. “Silence!” The prince hissed in his ear.
Fezel folded his arms, studying Faramir with scrutinizing eyes. “He is Gondorian, crown prince. Expect no less from those who mingle their seed with elves.”
“Elves are noble creatures. Never have they taken an innocent life,” Faramir said defiantly. “Unlike you, Lord Fezel who bathes in the blood of your victims.”
Marek and Fezel exchanged shocked expressions. Only Umbar royalty or Chieftan Suladän could reprimand another Lord of the Haradrim. For a consort to do so was the ultimate insult.
Suladän couldn’t hide his amusement. His hardy laughter erupted, further mortifying Fezel and infuriating the crown prince.
“Apologies, Lord Fezel, this one has yet learned his place. This insult to you will not go unpunished.” Marek dragged Faramir down several empty corridors to a lone heavy guarded apartment. “Is Lord Aran inside?”
Two door guards nodded, risking a glance at the crown prince’s consort. Both have seen Gondorians, some citizens had relatives they denied, but never had they expected Prince Marek to marry one. Rumors flew, but most speculated the marriage was a facade to destroy Gondor.
“Send word to Neerai.” Marek ordered. Neerai was the crown prince’s hygienist. Neerai bathed, shaved, and tended to the crown prince’s personal needs. “Inform him, my consort is his only concern. If he chooses to move into Faramir’s apartment, I will not differ.”
Both guards exchanged puzzled expressions. Neerai’s reputation towards Marek’s castoffs was legendary. Allowing Neerai to share the same quarters with the crown prince’s consort was insane. Had Lord Aran been released from his duties to train the consort?
Marek opened the door, shoving Faramir inside, shouting at the stunned Aran not to interfere. He continued dragging Faramir into the bed chamber, backhanding him, and knocking Faramir on the bed. “You dare shame me before the Haradrim lords?” He started unbuckling his belt, ignoring Aran’s pleas to leave. “I shall teach you a lesson you shall never forget.”
A knock interrupted Marek. He spun around and barked, “Enter.”
A man entered. “Prince Marek, you have a visitor in the Great Hall. They request your council immediately. They claim it is most urgent.”
What happens next?
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