A Fruitless Adoration is an excerpt from my novel, "Creatures of the Faith".
©2012 Andrew Thompson
Danos rolled in his sleep. An insect crawled on his face and he swatted it away. As he recaptured the thread of his dream, the insect returned. He swatted it again and forced his eyes open. Karelia loomed over him, using a lock of his shoulder length hair in torment.
"I hate you," Danos mumbled, "Go away."
Karelia laughed and climbed beneath the sheet. His friend wriggled back against him then turned in his arms. He kissed the smooth cheek, and pink lips brushed his own in reply. He rested his face on the golden hair.
"It's time to wake up," he said.
"No, the roosters haven't crowed."
"You know we don't have any roosters."
He heard Danos chuckle, a delicate sound, barely audible. They shared the joke frequently - Danos enjoyed his sleep. Today though, no one would sleep in, for the Palace would be abuzz with preparations for tonight's gala birthday feast. They were fourteen now and childhood officially over. Only four more years remained until the Rites of Genesis, the timeless ritual that would determine if their trinity was fit to rule.
Of their trinity, Zanaes was the most excited about reaching the milestone of manhood, but Karelia saw it as just one more step towards a vast marauding future. For Danos' part, coming of age meant he could finally join the Tamaqiats, a dream he had held since childhood. This morning, he would join the hallowed Order.
"Come on sleepy, it's almost dawn."
The golden hair shook in denial and Karelia gave up. He lay beside him, content to forget the world. He loved Danos. It was that simple. Sometime during their childhood, he had fallen in love, even before he knew what it meant.
In a different world, if he were not the future King, he would tell Danos how he felt but in this world, he could not. He would eventually have to produce an heir, and by Faith's decree, provide a wife to fill the role of Civic Administrator. A man to rule the nation and a woman to rule its cities. The empire had run that way since time immemorial, and no amount of pleading to the Seers would make it change.
As for Danos, his fate too was assumed. Though not a law, custom suggested that Co-Consuls married each other. The Faith encouraged such pairings so the two could attune their Consular Link, merging their gifts of sight through love and lust. From their births, it was always assumed that Danos and Zanaes would marry.
Despondent, Karelia lifted himself up and sat on the edge of the bed. He looked down at his erection with little interest. The golden piercings in his balls reflected the candle light. Danos was hard too. He knew because he had brushed his cock deliberately as he sat. He wished that he had lingered there, but was glad that he had not.
The mattress moved and then a pair of legs popped over the side. His sleepy friend sat beside him then kissed his cheek.
"I'm up," Danos said then padded over to the shower.
Karelia watched his friend bathe while he wallowed in silent depression. The golden hair possessed him, even now streaked dark honey from the water, the long legs, muscled thighs, and a stomach flat and strong from hours of practice with the sword. Long fingers caressed the smooth skin with soaps and oils until their task was done. Karelia waited with a towel then dried the long hair.
"You should be getting ready," Danos said, "You've lessons with the King."
"He can wait. I'm escorting you to the Kreyml."
"Great. Another black mark against my name."
Karelia rolled his eyes. Everyone knew that Danos was the King's favourite, both for the presence he commanded and for his beauty, which none could withstand. Upon Danos' first flush of puberty, not a soul in the empire was surprised when Arasti appointed him 'gilded youth'. The King's mouthpiece on affairs of state, and the beauteous showpiece on his arm, Danos was the poster boy of the Palace, and indeed Khataria.
No black marks would be earned today. Arasti would expect nothing less than Karelia's complete servitude to his Consul on such an important day.
"Boys, hurry up!"
Karelia shivered, startled by Lanaya's voice in the hall. He hung the towel on the rail. His friend stood watching him, the blue eyes holding him as though time were of little consequence. He looked away. The glistening body moved closer and long fingers interlaced his own. Their erections tapped side by side. He wished he had masturbated earlier, but Danos seemed unconcerned. It was nothing knew. They tended their lusts often in each other's presence, but always alone, never shared. He wondered if Danos knew his thoughts, his fears.
"I wish I were Zanaes sometimes," Karelia said without thinking.
The blue eyes lifted, holding him as they did before.
"I don't," Danos said, "I like you the way you are. I'm mortal with no one else."
Karelia swallowed hard, "Danos, I ..."
His words trailed off, and the patient blue eyes, perhaps hopeful, dipped away.
"I should get ready," Danos said.
He chose his clothes for the day. A white waist cloth and red short-cape of the House of Arasti. He dressed and tied his sandals.
The moment lost, Karelia returned to his room and dressed. Once done, he sat on the bed and waited, revisiting the last few minutes. Was it truly so hard to declare his feelings? Would it be the end of the world? No, his rushing heart declared, but then aye, his disciplined mind argued. He sighed with renewed frustration.
"I love you," he murmured to the quiet room.
A room away, with his cheek to the wall, Danos closed his eyes and cried.
"I love you too."