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The rain and blood have made a deep sucking mud out of the destroyed field. Roy Henry’s tent is pitched at the margin of the field and the trees, where the ground is firm enough for a false floor to be laid. It has been moved to a site more fitting the victor since the night before Agincourt, and his camp chairs and bed quickly reassembled, his tapestries rehung, his chess set laid out on top of his chest of clothes. A brazier drives off the late-autumn damp and Henry sits sprawled on his roman chair, an emperor, a lion. He could rake his claws against the Dauphin’s face at any moment, because Louis stands with his hands bound behind his back, the rope digging into his wrists: a common man already, and a threat of more to come. His shoulders are forced back like this, and his hips forward and oh, the raw pain of the rope too tight on his wrists and Henry, legs just parted enough for the slit in his tabard to show his inner thigh...

The little room glows red and gold, sparking lights into the King’s hair and showing up what an indecent red his lips are, how long his eyelashes. Louis is muddy and bloody; he has been knocked from his horse and is bruised, if not worse, where he landed on the joins of his pauldrons. The King will not undress him – he cannot. But he orders his men to, and Louis is subject to the tender ministrations of two burly men, one a nearly incomprehensible Welshman, who know nothing about armour but do know many things about contempt.

Henry watches. He might as well be palming himself through his hose, though of course he doesn’t. He leaves his long hands, deliciously jointed and covered with rings, loose on his knees. Splayed.

Louis must wait and wait as the fools fiddle with his armour, having decided it cannot merely be yanked off him. And that herald, his herald, watches from by the door like a woman leaving before dawn. So that is why the King can bear to wait for his pleasure – the edge has already been taken off, in exchange for what? Since he hated him for his honour before, Louis hates him now for not being honourable enough to resent.

Perhaps the King will lay into him with a whip. Perhaps he will set him face down on the bed and fix an ankle and wrist to each corner and lash him across the back until his bruises bleed, until he cannot beg anymore, and then he will slick his cock with tallow and push into him. Perhaps he will fuck his face with a knife to his throat in case he uses teeth. He doubts he will get to feel much of those hands – a lover is spanked, or pinched, or given fingers to suckle. A captive used for pleasure is not. But maybe he will get to feel them on his throat and hips as he is fucked.


What he is instead, as the last piece of armour and the last layer of padding comes away, is not touched. The men stump away and leave him with Henry and the herald, impassive and untouchable in the corner.

He feels the minutes draining away. He tries to angle himself to the light to look as appealing as possible, but then he thinks that perhaps the King does not want him beautiful; perhaps he wants him dejected. But he cannot manage that, even as cold and sore as he is, when he has a cockstand. And at the end of however much time he has, what will happen? He knows beyond a doubt that he is playing for, if not his life, than his princedom, and this man is not accepting the offer.

He wants to be taken. The King wants to be taken, and he is waiting for it.

He flings himself forward and plants his hands on the King’s shoulders, knocking him back and hitting himself in the chest with the chair for his efforts. Then he slaps the King’s cheek and almost chokes him getting his tabard and shirt off. The King lies there and submits to it all. The Dauphin is caught up in the hot satisfaction of the violence of it. He drags the King onto the bed where he lies limply, his eyes open, watching Louis. And then he has to look for oil. His imagination is running dry; the King is taking punishment so peacefully that it is hard to tell himself that he is degrading him, and the only thing he can think to do is fuck him hard.

From behind him, the herald’s courtly, measured voice says, under the bed, and he looks, and it is so. Sweet almond, damn the king. Damn the herald, who the King probably actually enjoyed being taken by. Damn him, catlike and meek and satisfied. He lathers oil onto his cock and pulls the King towards him by the hips, yanking his knees apart. At this, the King gives a little sigh and, when Louis’ cockhead presses against his taint and then his arsehole, another. He is already loose, the slut, or he knows how to relax. The slut.

Louis shoves inside and almost comes from shock and fury. He braces himself on the King’s bruised ribs and pounds into him, sobbing. The King is still passive under him, except to arch his back a little. He is hard and leaking, his cock bouncing against his stomach with the force of Louis’ thrusts.

Louis slaps him again, relishing the sting of his palm against the King’s cheek, and comes.

He pulls out, and steps back, panting, and a wall of panic hits him. He will not satisfy the King, he refuses, and yet maybe he has already given the King what he wants, and maybe he will be killed, and he cannot bring himself to care.

He storms past the herald, who he is dimly aware of following him out and whispering to the guards, who follow him. Then the fucking herald goes back to his master.