Duncan will not tolerate this much longer. With Lady Jessica and Lord Leto away on a mission, Paul has been left in his care. For endless hours, since the first sunrays of a new dawn shimmered on the golden sand, the young Duke had been in the training room, pushing his weak muscles to the brink of exhaustion until they burned like fire.
Paul did not rest last night. Duncan caught him pacing in his room, mumbling about dreams and a war, and begging Duncan, “please help me.” Duncan firmly pushed him down on the bed, commanding him to sleep. The young boy did dream, but he writhed in agony for the better part of the dark hours. Now, he has not eaten, lacking nourishment, and grows weaker, swords in hand as he trains, fighting against an unseen enemy.
“Enough!” Duncan commands, and Paul startles, yet only for a moment before he returned to violently slashing at the air, carrying on with his sword training. Duncan growls and prowls over to the boy, grabbing his hands tightly.
Paul drops his swords and goes rigged, every muscle in his body tight as Duncan forcefully grips his chin. “You will shower, then dress and return to your bedchamber. Do you understand?” His eyes are dark, promising punishment if Paul disobeyed.
The young Duke could refuse. Even if Duncan is his protector, Paul is the future leader and Lord of this house. Yet Paul bows his head, submitting, softly whispering “Yes, Master.”
Duncan lightly swat's Paul on his bottom, sending the young boy on his way. Soon the sound of water like rain fills the room, confirms that Paul obeyed his command. Duncan makes his rounds of the house, assuring that all is safe, and no threat has somehow taken a place in their home. Their enemies have made attempts to infiltrate their house in the past, trying and failing to kill Paul, but all is well now.
Upon returning to the bedchamber, he finds Paul woven in the soft sheets. “Please, stay with me?” Paul's eyes speak of a need, a longing for kindhearted love. Duncan cannot refuse.
They lay close so that he breathes a gentle sigh of relief. Like he can rest and relax now that he is wrapped in Duncan's arms, whereas before every muscle in his body was twisted in agony. Gazing at his protector, he raised his hand to his cheek, tenderly palming the warm skin. Duncan smiles fondly at him, Duncan's fingertips lightly brushing up and down his back.
The past nights have been horrible, he was terrified of the dream, the threat of war coming, but now that Duncan holds him to his chest, the young Duke breathes peacefully.
Paul leans in to kiss Duncan, lighting nipping at his lips, a fire of desire slowly building between his thighs, but Duncan stops him with a firm, yet gentle grip on his chin. “You will sleep now. Rest, my boy.”
Paul shakes his head, whimpering softly, “In my dreams, you die. I don't want to lose you.” Like a snake, his arms squeeze Duncan tightly as if he fears letting him go.
“I'm not going anywhere, my boy. I will always be here to protect you,” He promised, even though nothing was set in stone, but for this night, he will not leave Paul's side. Duncan looks at the exhausted boy, his eyes fond and tender, and he smiles at Paul, leaning in to press a chaste kiss against his soft lips.
“Sleep. Now.” His tone is stern, yet his hand brushing up and down Paul's back is a kind comfort. Paul submits, he cuddles into Duncan’s arms and tucks himself under his chin, the heat between their chest warming him until he feels cozy. He heaves a heavy sigh and his body melts, Duncan's warmth comforts him after all the hell he has endured.
♥ END ♥