Categories > Celebrities > Panic! At The Disco

King In All But Name

by BonaDrag 0 reviews

Ryden Royal AU The 1740s. Ryan is king of a country called Arrenbourg. He is queen-less and without an heir. He has a male lover though. Brendon.

Category: Panic! At The Disco - Rating: R - Genres: Romance - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2017-01-05 - 7085 words

0Unrated
Part One



"You finally came to me." Ryan looked warmly at Brendon.

"You summoned me." Brendon said from the doorway of the king's bath, returning his gaze, his dark brown eyes meeting Ryan's honey brown ones.

Ryan had met Brendon, a wealthy member of his court, two years before when a member of Brendon's family had married into status. From the beginning Ryan had thought he was beautiful and as he began taking a liking to him, Brendon had only risen in court as Ryan got to know him. Things between them grew during this time and eventually Ryan started courting him. In secret of course, it couldn't be known officially that the king of Arrenbourg had a male lover when he hadn't even sired a male heir. Ryan knew that. He also knew he would have to produce an heir at some point. He did. The problem was he wasn't attracted to the female form in any way. Before he met Brendon he had been sure the sex that the other men around him craved would only be a chore for him and was determined to put it off for a good long time. Then Brendon, who had had experience with other men discreetly, showed Ryan that love making could be very pleasurable if he let it be.

Heat pooled in Ryan and he ached for Brendon's touch every time he remembered the first time Brendon had kissed down his body and put his mouth on him. It had been a year ago, after a year long courtship where the most they had done was kiss. Even though some of their kissing sessions had grown extremely passionate it was nothing compared to when Brendon had finally bedded him. Ever since the first time Ryan had let himself be taken to bed by Brendon Ryan longed for Brendon's hands on his body. The king longed even more for Brendon in general during the time in between times when Brendon would come to his chambers. Ryan couldn't imagine marriage or being with anyone else.

Ryan sat up in the perfumed water of his bath. "I've been waiting for you. Come to me."

Brendon walked across the dark marble floor of the bathroom to where Ryan was relaxing in a large copper bathtub. Ryan bathed a lot more often than other royals before him. He always had soap made or imported in, sometimes both, and smelled good constantly and it practically intoxicated Brendon. Ryan tried to bathe at least every two days and he required his court members to bathe often under threat of demotion of their status. He had money from the treasury set aside so large quantities of soap could be imported frequently. Ryan wanted Arrenbourg to be a civilized country and civilized people were learned and did not walk around making others gag because of their stench. One of the things that attracted Ryan to Brendon in the first place was that Brendon never stank.

"Join me." Ryan moved backward in the water, leaving half of the massive metal tub for Brendon.

Brendon began to strip off his fine clothes, the black jacket he had been wearing a gift from Ryan. The king watched intently as Brendon exposed more and more of his pale skin until there was nothing left on his body.

Brendon kissed him after he settled into the water with Ryan, his lips soft, the kiss deep, his hand resting on the small of Ryan's back.

"I want you to take me tonight." Ryan told him when it ended.

Ryan was still a virgin in a major aspect from what his lover had told him one night around three months before after they had both came from passionately kissing and rutting against each other. He had never been taken properly. He had never had a man inside of him.

Brendon cupped his face lovingly. "Are you sure?"

"I've never wanted anything more." Ryan kissed him again.

_*_

Ryan stood with his arms around himself in his night shirt and fur lined dressing gown that was made of a thick silk brocade of red and gold threads. He wasn't sure why he had bothered to redress after leaving his bath. Nerves maybe; as much as he wanted this.

Brendon stood at the mirrored table of sturdy dark wood that held chests of all of the king's jewels and skin oils and creams. He rooted through the glass jars and bottles, looking for something suitable to help ease his way into his lover. He wore absolutely nothing, the generous swell of his rear fully on display for Ryan to see. Brendon would decide on a crystal jar of white skin cream that was devoid of any fragrance. He walked back to the king's bed and set it down on the night table.
He gestured for Ryan to come to him.

Brendon eased the weighty robe off of Ryan's shoulders when Ryan stood in front of him, leaving Ryan in his thin linen night shirt. One of Brendon's most favorite things to think about was Ryan's shift all bunched up above his sharp hipbones, Ryan moaning and whimpering, while Brendon pleased him orally. Brendon kissed him and Ryan parted his lips to receive him as Brendon rucked up his shift, his hands running over Ryan's bare body underneath. Brendon held him in an embrace, kissing him feverishly for a few long moments. Then he helped Ryan get the shirt over his head, leaving Ryan bare before him in the glow of the candle light that filled the room.

"Lay back." Brendon said gently, guiding his lover down on to his back on the mattress. Ryan was propped against down pillows as Brendon climbed on top of his hips and began to kiss him again.

_*_

After it was finished the two lay together, entwined and sweat slicked, their bodies close. Ryan was nothing less than in bliss from his lover’s attentions to him as he spoke to Brendon.

“When will you take me again?”

“When the soreness passes.” Brendon gave him a light kiss. “You have my word. I’ll take you multiple times a day my love. I will take you any way you desire.” He grinned filthily.

"I expect you never to lay with another man-"

"I have only had eyes for you since we first kissed." Brendon interrupted him. He tried not to feel insulted. Brendon had never been unfaithful in any way since his courtship with the king of Arrenbourg had begun. Did Ryan really think so little of him?

Ryan squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. "I know love. I expect you never to lay with another man again because when I take a husband he is to be mine."

"What?"

Brendon didn't just hear what he thought he did. Did he? The king didn't actually say he wanted him for a husband. It was at least what Brendon was telling himself in case he was right and he had misheard him and Ryan didn't want to marry him which he suspected was the case.

"Yes, Brendon. I want you to be my husband. If you'll have me. I’m mad for you all the time we are apart. You must be mine. You will be king in all but name."

Brendon tried to keep his eyes from welling up. Ryan wanted him to be his husband. Ryan wanted him and him alone.

Then his face fell as he remembered that he was a man and could not give what the king needed politically. "What about the future of Arrenbourg though? I can't give you an heir."

Ryan surely would change his mind now that he had been reminded of Brendon’s shortcomings. He wished it didn’t hurt so much.

"What about it? You let me worry over that. I will think of a way. It is decided. You will be my husband Brendon. I will tell my advisors at the state meeting tomorrow. Now we must sleep."

Brendon kissed the king hard, overcome with happiness. He felt Ryan melt against him.

Ryan let his eyes close as Brendon left kisses over his jaw and neck, as loving as he had been whiles he was taking Ryan’s virginity. He could fall happily asleep like this, with Brendon kissing him and knowing that for the first time Brendon wouldn’t have to go back to his family’s suite of rooms in the castle as soon as the first light of morning broke through the clouds. They were to be married.

“You are right my sweet love. You must be exhausted.” Brendon pulled the thick red silk and linen bed clothes over Ryan and then got up to extinguish the candles in their holders that dripped with crystals.

When all the light was gone from the room, Brendon pulled the bed’s curtains shut around them and let Ryan curl up against him, Ryan’s head against his chest.

“Sleep my delicate flower.” He stroked Ryan’s hair. “You’ve done so well.”



_*_

Brendon was wearing the same clothes from the night before when he ran into one of Ryan’s good friends on his way back to his family’s quarters after breakfast. He had to speak with her now that she had spoken to him, simply because she was a higher rank at court than he was. Brendon didn’t mind. She was a lovely woman, graceful and musically inclined and there was the fact that he wasn’t exactly looking forward to telling his mother and father and siblings what exactly it was that he had been doing that had kept him, an unmarried man, all night in the king’s chambers.

“Good morning Duchess Berg.” He bowed shallowly, as was customary. Six seconds for higher ranked nobility and fifteen seconds for the king.

“I’ve heard a rumor this early morning about you?”

“What rumor might that be?”

“That I am soon to be referring to you as His Grace, the Grand Duke of Arrenbourg.”

“And where did you hear this rumor?” He could barely hold back his smile at the mention of his future marriage to Ryan.

“His Majesty the king himself.”

Brendon couldn’t contain his smile. Ryan was announcing their engagement to others already. That meant it was actually going to happen.

He was going to be the king’s husband.


_*_

"I am marrying him. I won't give him up." Ryan stared down his council. Half of them had been arguing heatedly with the other half across the long table at which they were all seated for ten minutes straight after he had announced his intent to marry Brendon to them this early morning.

"Your Grace, you have not conceived an heir to continue your bloodline." Henry, one of the oldest members of the council, was not impressed or intimidated and was quick to speak his piece and continue debating with Ryan. "Brendon Urie cannot give you a son. It would be extremely unwise to marry him-"

"I am marrying him-"

"You could start a civil war without a son to-"

"Did I say I wasn't going to sire children, Henry? I will find a suitable woman in court and lay with her only for the purpose of giving this country an heir and only until she has given me a son."

"Every child you had would be dubbed a bastard!" Henry slammed his fist down against the wood, the black velvet hat he wore over his graying hair slipping sideways.

"If I cannot physically have children with my husband, a woman of my court will have to do the job for him. That is the way it will be. I am marrying Brendon Urie and as he will be my husband, you all will show him the same respect you show me."

Henry opened his mouth again to try to dissuade him but Ryan was having none of it.

"It is decided." Ryan declared and Henry shrank back, knowing better than to try to delve into the matter further.

Ryan took a moment to let his eyes scan over the maps and leather accounting books and letters piles on the table before speaking. "I trust there is a reason we are gathered aside from my future wedding."

"Yes." Henry cleared his throat. He was addressing Ryan much more quietly now. The tension in room hadn't yet broken. "The French king is asking about your loyalty to France and whether or not you plan to keep Arrenbourg allied with the French."

"Of course we should keep our alliance with France." Spencer Smith, who was one of Ryan closest and most trusted companions, said, joining the conversation. "We have a similar culture, most of us speak the French language, the French are practically our cousins-"

"Why is he even asking me this?" Ryan sighed, cutting Spencer, who was telling him of what he was already very well aware, off. "Our course I am keeping France as an ally. They have been one of our closest allies for generations. And the French are excellent to have around during a war. Powerful. We will remain allies. Is there anything else?"

Ryan soon found himself listening to stories of some infighting between some of his court members and going around in circles with his advisors trying to figure out how to appease one particular family without angering the other. It was all petty nonsense but as the king, he had to deal with it and maintain his court's loyalty to him. He listened and discussed his nobility for nearly an hour until he and his advisers found neutral solutions for them all.

The meeting was adjourned with Ryan assigning several of his council to attend to the latest shipments of imports and giving a select few others the task of spending the week's budget how he wanted it spent while he headed down to the castle's library to go through the books that had been brought back from all over Europe and even from the middle east by his traders.

"Have you given any thought as to who the woman bearing the next king of Arrenbourg will be?" Spencer joined him as he walked down the corridor away from the meeting hall. Spencer was a very loyal friend. Ryan had known him practically since birth. He had been in support of Ryan marrying whoever he damn pleased as Ryan was the king after all and Ryan was very gracious for that. He was a good, intelligent man.

Ryan needed as many of his council as possible to side with him so there wouldn't be any chance of them banding together to exercise removing him from the throne which could be done under certain circumstances. It wasn't often that the case against royals was strong enough to usurp them but it could happen and that was something Ryan needed to avoid.

"I have been looking at who may be a good match and I have given it some thought but ultimately it is something I will have to discuss with my husband as I will be bedding someone other than him."

Spencer nodded to Ryan as Ryan gave his answer.

"I understand it is a delicate thing but I would not wait for too long to decide on someone. It would be better for you to get a woman with child sooner rather than later, Ryan."

"I am aware. I am not looking forward to the unpleasant task of telling him though. Our consummation is already going to have to be witnessed so none of my rivals will be able to try and have our marriage annulled as illegitimate and telling him that is going to be less than pleasant as it is."

"Well, I wish you luck. I have to be off."

"Spencer," Ryan stopped him before he could leave, "before you go, there is a silver box in my chambers on my bedside table. It contains one of my coronation rings. Will you make sure that it finds its way to Brendon?"

_*_

“How many times has he had you?”

This was the first thing out of his mother’s mouth when Brendon walked into the main great room of his family’s suite of rooms. His parents were sitting in the high backed chairs at the desk in the corner of the room, waiting for him. Brendon had put off this confrontation as long as he could. He had sat at the king’s table during breakfast and he had done some errands he needed to get done that day before making his way back to his mother and father after speaking with Duchess Berg. He had done them slowly too.

Brendon didn’t answer his mother. She knew and his father knew what had happened between him and the king the night before. They knew why he had disappeared after from the crowded dining hall for the king’s personal bedchamber after the evening meal had finished and hadn’t shown his face until right that very moment. This was the first morning he hadn’t slipped back into his bed before they had risen from their own bed, leaving them none the wiser. He knew that. They were not stupid people. His silence wasn’t denial.

“How many times has the king had you?!” She demanded.

Brendon sighed, steeling himself. This conversation had barely started and he wanted it finished. He was frankly exhausted with it. He just wanted Ryan to come to his parents and tell them of his plans to make Brendon his husband himself but Ryan was in a state meeting this morning with his advisers and those could very well last all morning. He couldn’t pull Ryan out of a meeting so was on his own for the time being.

“I’ve been courting him for two years, mother.”

Brendon’s mother face twisted in horror at her son. The expression was especially unpleasant in the bright sun of the new day that was streaming through the heavy glass window.

“I should have known that you could not have gained the favor you did without…” She couldn’t even bring herself to say it, that Brendon was having relations with Ryan.

“You have ruined all of your prospects for marriage.” Her hands shook with rage. “What family would want a man who could easily have no qualms about committing adultery for their daughter-“

“I did not commit adultery. I am not yet married.” Brendon pointed out, voice thin with irritation.

“You very well could since you clearly have no problems with improper fornication-“ His mother scoffed.

“I have bedded the man who will be my husband. It was perfectly proper.”

“You cannot honestly think the king plans to marry you!” His father snapped venomously. “How could you do such a thing?! Whoring in public for two years! We have tried so hard to make good matches for you and your brothers and sisters and you are throwing it away to be a royal dalliance! How can you think His Highness the king would marry you?! Who are you to him?!-“

"I am neither a dalliance or a whore-"

"That's exactly what you are! The king will not marry someone that cannot give him a son! I cannot believe you would bring such a scandal on our name-"

His father’s ranting was prematurely stopped with the arrival of Spencer Smith, the king’s closest friend and one of his most esteemed advisers.

Spencer walked over to Brendon, ignoring the scene that had been going on before he entered. He sat a circular box of elaborately hammered silver on the desk in front of Brendon.

Brendon’s parents were dumbstruck. They rarely had reason to go near Spencer, let alone talk to him. He definitely wouldn't be visiting their quarters.

“The king apologizes for not being able to give you this himself but he has been busy with his council all morning and is attending to some new imports that his traders brought back.” Spencer explained calmly. “He wanted me to make sure that it was given to you so that the public would know of his plans to wed you.”

“So it’s true?” Grace asked slowly, her tune completely changed. Brendon noticed she had paled out.

“Yes. It is.” Spencer nodded. “He announced it to his entire council this morning.”

Brendon’s father might have been whiter than his mother because of Spencer’s answer but Brendon was too busy flipping back the box’s lid, a massive smile on his face, to know for certain.

On a cushion of dark blue velvet sat a ring of thick, solid gold with a massive dark ruby. It was one of Ryan’s coronation rings and anyone who saw it would recognize it as such.

Brendon’s mother fainted.

_*_

“Hello love.” A smile overtook Ryan’s face as soon as he saw his ring on the hand that was suddenly on his shoulder. He closed the book he had been reading that evening, one of the new ones that had been brought back to Arrenbourg along with spices, fabrics, and other goods, but didn’t rise from where he was laying on his stomach on the mattress of his bed.

“What language is that in?” Brendon knew Ryan was fluent in several and was curious as to which one he was reading tonight.

“Greek. I was hoping,” Ryan sat up and faced him, “that my traders had brought me back a French translation but unfortunately they had not. All is well I suppose; I need to improve my Greek anyway.”

“Is there any way I could pull His Grace away from his studies?”

“How many times have I asked you not to call me that? You are going to be my husband. You need not call me by a title. And,” Ryan pulled Brendon down to sit next to him and kissed him for a long moment, warm and sweet, “I was hoping you would.”

Brendon smirked. “Why is it,” He began to loosen Ryan’s silken blue quilted over jacket from his shoulders, exposing the almost see through linen beneath it, “that the king of Arrenbourg is allowed to wear so many clothes? I think your council should write a law forbidding it.”

“Mm.” Ryan kissed the corner of Brendon’s mouth and gently pushed his hands away. “First I need to discuss some things with you.”

Ryan patted the bed and Brendon lay back while he snuggled up against Brendon’s side.

“You know of my situation involving the need for an heir for this country.” Ryan started.

“Yes.”

“You cannot provide me with one and I am obligated to give this country an heir.” He continued. He truly hoped that Brendon wouldn’t hate him for what he was about to tell him, that he had to bed someone else to do his duty as king. He hoped Brendon wouldn’t call off their wedding. He wouldn’t force Brendon to marry him but it would break his heart and he didn’t know how he would live if Brendon refused him because of the whole situation Ryan took no pleasure in. “There is no getting around it, I cannot have civil war breaking out because there is no secure continuation to my bloodline but I think I have found a solution and I am sorry, I am so sorry my love, that this has to happen but I have considered many women and I spoke to Duchess Elizabeth Berg about it earlier.“

Brendon’s stomach dropped.

“I am going to compensate her greatly. She has agreed to be the mother of the future king of Arrenbourg.”

Brendon stiffened. He felt sick. He understood this had to be done and that Ryan had no choice and he could tell that Ryan wasn’t happy about it but it still hurt him. “You are going to lie with someone other than me?”

Ryan kissed his jaw. “Please forgive me. I am so sorry.” His voice was pleading. “I do not want to hurt you. I will only bed her once, maybe twice as she has never bedded a man, so that she will be with child. It will not give me any pleasure to have to do the unpleasant task of deflowering her and I will be thinking of you the entire time.”

“Then you will have lain with her like you love her Ryan, and that will torment me more.”

“Brendon, I do not love her. I love you and you alone. I can assure you she does not love me. She is more sapphic in nature and she has long been in love with Countess Hawthorne. I am sure you have seen them together.”

“That is not as terrible.” Brendon decided after a long pause, the only thing he could offer. If Elizabeth didn’t harbor any attraction for Ryan then Brendon he would at least be able to attempt to try stomaching the idea of Ryan bedding her. “I am sorry Ryan. It has to be done. It is what you must do as king.”

Ryan shushed him. “Do not apologize to me. I know how much this is hurting you. I am sorry. I cannot say I am sorry enough. I am sorry for the other matter I need to discuss with you.”

Brendon was filled with dread but nothing could be as bad as what Ryan had just told him.

“I cannot have my enemies or anyone in my council turning traitor and trying to have my marriage to you annulled and because of this our wedding night,” Ryan forced himself to say it, “is going to have to have witnesses.”

Brendon stiffened again. The slightest bit of color rose in his face. He did not want people in their bedchamber watching him and Ryan make love. That was something for him and Ryan and no one else.

“I know.” Ryan sighed, “I know my love. It is so distasteful. I am not anticipating doing it at all. I wish it did not have to happen.”

“I do not want to think about it any longer.” Brendon told him.

“Of course you don’t.” Ryan flattened on his back and pulled Brendon on top of himself. “Kiss me. Let me take your mind off of it.”

Brendon did just that. When he took his lips from Ryan’s, he was smiling again, eyes full of mischief. “I was wondering earlier about why the king of Arrenbourg is allowed to wear so many clothes, wasn’t I?”

_*_

"Oh no. You are feverish." Ryan removed his hand from Brendon's forehead one rainy morning a little over two weeks later, before the bed's curtains had even been drawn back by Ryan’s chamber attendants. "It's this damned rain we have been having. It is not helping you. You were shivering against me all night."

"I am perfectly fine. It is not anything to worry about." Brendon coughed, trying to clear his throat and hoping he didn’t sound as hoarse as he felt. He wanted to be with Ryan at his meetings this morning and start doing work as the king's husband. “Just a sore throat.” Ryan wasn’t falling for Brendon’s act.

"Brendon, you have been coughing and complaining of headaches and a sore throat for the last four days. You need to sleep. You’ve been getting worse."

"Ryan, I have been sleeping with you in your chambers for two weeks and we are to be married in less than a month and then I will be the Grand Duke. I need to start attending state meetings with you."

Ryan was of course, having Brendon's own suite of royal apartments worked on and furnished but for the time being, Brendon was sleeping in Ryan's rooms and in truth, they both wanted it to stay that way. Brendon having his own accommodations was primarily a formality, something that was traditionally done for the royal couple. They were going to married. They didn’t feel it was unreasonable for them to want to sleep in the same bed at night.

"And you will but please love, stay in bed for now so this does not become pneumonia. I assure you won't be missing anything this morning except petty squabbling and accounting matters. Things have been very peaceful. Please let me have one of my doctors treat you."

"Ryan, if anyone finds out I am ill they will not let me near you. You probably shouldn't be near me anyway. You are so skinny; it would not do for you to be sick."

"You are my husband and I am the king. They will not be able to stop you from being with me. I will order them to let you be with me and they will respect my orders. As for my weight: my physicians have been fussing over me for years because of it. I assure you I am one of the healthiest kings Arrenbourg has ever had. Do not worry about me. Please rest. Now what should I have someone bring you to eat this morning?"

"I am not really hungry." Brendon admitted and he didn't like admitting it, that he had no appetite at the current moment and didn't want to eat. It showed he was ill and if he was ill, he wouldn't be able to finally take his place by the king's side in matters of state just yet. He really wanted to. He had just gotten settled in his new lodgings with the king and his new place in court. Brendon may not have actually liked the idea of sitting through a state meeting with the pounding headache that had woke him up but he would try for Ryan. He would make himself push through it. He needed to. Arrenbourg was his country too. As the king's husband, he shared responsibility for it.

"You really are ill." Ryan shook his head, voice laced with concern. Brendon usually favored sweet things and a good deal of them and if Ryan couldn’t tempt him to eat even those then something was definitely wrong. "Please do not get out of bed today. I am going to have Jean-Augustin come to you after breakfast."

Jean-Augustin Archambault was an old, white haired man who had been around since the time of Ryan’s grandfather but Ryan probably trusted him more than any of the other doctors in the castle infirmary. He had gone to Spain to train to be a healer before he first started practicing medicine and had received some of the best medical schooling of the era and was constantly reading imported books from Spain on medical science. He had become well respected by the entire court for his knowledge.

_*_

“Take it away. Please.” Brendon complained that afternoon after swallowing a large amount of basil, garlic, black pepper, cowslip flowers, and astragalus root that had been boiled down and made into syrup, a disgusted grimace on his face. The concoction had been prescribed three times daily until Brendon’s symptoms were gone. Brendon had also been told to drink cinnamon, licorice root, or ginger tea frequently for his sore throat.

“Jean-Augustin did sweeten it with honey.” Ryan told him from behind the mask of linen he had tied over his nose and mouth as he took the cup from him that afternoon. Everyone who had approached Brendon to hand him something throughout the day when he hadn’t been napping had been wearing the same mask and then immediately went to wash their hands. He felt like a plague victim but understood it was necessary. They didn’t need an outbreak of illness at court. Ryan certainly didn’t need to contract whatever cold it was that he had. “I watched him make it. I’ll tell him to add more for your next dose tonight.”

“I do not know how much that will do for the flavor.” Brendon coughed, making another face.

“Sorry.” Ryan stroked his cheek and then got up and walked over to the basin on a table against the wall across from the bed to wash his hands. “We are lucky to have the astragalus root at all and the ginger you’ve been drinking in tea. We only just got another ginger shipment from the far east.” He said as he scrubbed them with a coarsely cut chunk of soap.

He finished a moment later. “I have some presentations I have to attend to so I suppose I will let you go back to sleep.”

“I can finally be around you whenever I please and I still cannot be around you because I am ill.” Brendon sighed sadly as Ryan began closing the bed’s curtains.

“I’m sorry love. I will be with you tonight. Rest.”

_*_

Brendon's coughing fits hadn’t been getting worse over the past two days since he had started taking the medicine Archambault had given him but he wasn’t recovering as swiftly as Ryan's doctors would have preferred.

“I wish you did not have to sleep on the couch.” Brendon gazed longingly at Ryan who was holed up under blankets on the plush day bed in the corner of the bedchamber, reading by candle light, paper strewn all over the bed in front of him. He felt isolated having Ryan over there while he was stuck behind the gilt railing that created a locked perimeter around the bed. Ryan had to keep his distance because Brendon was still very, very congested and wracked with headaches. It was medically advised.

“Believe me I would be with you in the bed if I could be.” Ryan hadn't slept in the same bed with Brendon in three days. He would have had to sleep in a mask to be able to be with Brendon in their bed but he still wanted to sleep in the same room in case Brendon needed him during the night. Ryan had been taking his morning and evening meals with Brendon as well.

“What are you reading?”

“Nothing interesting. Just some estates I am supposed to settle in the coming days.”

“Could you maybe come over here and read them next to me? I miss you.” Brendon asked in a small voice. It wasn’t Ryan’s fault but Brendon was feeling so neglected.

"Oh sweetheart..." Ryan felt his heart start to break. He would have to tie a mask over his mouth and nose and he wouldn't be able to stay in bed with Brendon the entire night.

Even though both his and Brendon's separate bed clothes were boiled and changed out daily for sanitary purposes as ordered by Archambault who insisted on doing everything to do with healing the way it was done in Spain, Ryan didn't know if he could take the risk even with that being done. "It is cruel not being able to sleep next to you when we are finally sharing a bed, Ryan. I will be asleep soon love. I had another dose of valerian. I just miss you. I want to fall asleep with you next to me."

Ryan found himself getting up before he could change his mind, gathering his papers to take with him. He went over to his dressing area and tied his linen mask around his nose and mouth. Brendon couldn't help but smile as Ryan made his way over to him with a candelabra. He'd been smiling since Ryan had gotten up.

"I am here now." Ryan set the candelabra down on the bedside table as Brendon made room for him. "You need to sleep." Ryan climbed into bed with him and spread his papers out again so he could get back to reading right away.

Brendon, showing how much happier he was on his face, bedded down close to him and reached for Ryan's hand. Ryan let him hold it while he worked.

After a while, having Ryan in bed after not having Ryan sleep with him for so long was starting to make Brendon feel restless. He tried to ignore it and sleep but eventually the feeling got the better of him. He hadn't had Ryan in nearly a week. Ryan eyes shot off of his papers and over to Brendon when he noticed Brendon had begun to kiss his hand. Brendon didn't break eye contact.

Ryan felt a shiver of want even though he knew he should have been telling Brendon no and that needed to rest. He only opened his mouth when Brendon moved and pressed into his side and was kissing his neck.

"Brendon. You are ill. You need to res-"

"I have missed you so much. Please let me have you."

"You will love. When you are well again." Ryan refused gently but Brendon knew he was firm in his answer.

Brendon's face was even more heart wrenching than before.

Ryan sighed and put all of his legal papers on the table and pulled Brendon to where Brendon was laying against his chest. He threaded his hand into Brendon's black hair and began rubbing circles into his scalp. "Sleep love."

Brendon inhaled Ryan's scent, relaxed against him, and closed his eyes.

_*_

It was after noon the following day and Brendon coughed behind the ever present linen blocking his mouth and nose from the rest of the room. As he stood there through a fitting of what was currently being made for him to wear for he and Ryan's wedding, the dark purple, fur lined silk brocade jacket that had been put over his shoulders seemed to weigh him down. He was still so tired from his sickness.

"I wish you would not strain yourself." Ryan told him. He had come up to their chambers with another dose of medicine for Brendon that was waiting for him for when he was finished. Ryan had been watching him try on half done royal garments for the past fifteen minutes.

"Ryan, I have not been out of bed for the past three days. They will be done soon." Brendon dismissed him. He had felt kind of dismissive toward Ryan in general today because he was not the happiest. Ryan would be attempting to conceive a son in a just a few short days with Duchess Berg.

He had thought about it as he had woke up that morning and having Ryan no longer in the bed with him made him even more upset about it. He knew he wasn't being fair to Ryan by being upset but it was something he couldn't control.

_*_

"Not that again."

"Brendon. Take it. Please." Ryan held out the cup that had been sitting on the table while Brendon had his final measurements taken and he had changed back into his nightwear, after the team of clothing makers had left.

“It’s repulsive.”

“Love, I want you to be healthy when we go to the hunting palace with my men in a couple of weeks to shoot game for the wedding feast. Please drink it.”

Brendon didn’t move for a moment but he finally took the cup, pulled down his mask, and drank its contents.

“Thank you.” Ryan took his hand and squeezed it. “I’ll see that someone takes this away.” He took the now empty cup from Brendon. “I must go speak to Spencer about some preparations that must be made in the coming days for the Duchess and I.”

Spencer and Countess Anna Hawthorne were to be the witnesses when the deed was done between Ryan and Duchess Berg.

Brendon’s facial expression he was sure, told Ryan how displeased he was.

“Oh love,” Ryan’s face softened. “I’m sorry.”

“You wouldn’t lie with me.” Brendon couldn’t even look at Ryan. He turned away and began to walk back toward the bed. Ryan sat the cup back on the table nearest to him and followed.

“Brendon.” Ryan grabbed his hand when he caught up with him.

Brendon let himself be pulled to Ryan, who pressed up against his back, his arms around Brendon’s middle.

Ryan kissed Brendon’s neck for a long moment. “I am so sorry love. I feel so guilty over this. I am sorry I am hurting you. As soon as I have a son I will never bed her again. I promise you.”

When Ryan felt the tension leave Brendon he guided him over to the bed and got Brendon settled on to his back. Brendon was pleasantly surprised when Ryan lay down next to him.

“I may not be able to lie with you properly until you are recovered but maybe,” Ryan latched on to Brendon’s neck again and let his fingers trail over Brendon’s stomach through the fabric of his long shift, making Brendon let out several pleased gasps, and then hooked his fingers under it when he reached where it ended at Brendon’s knees, “I can prove to you that you are the only one I love in other ways.”

_*_

“I want you to put the blood of a slaughtered chicken from the kitchen into a vial and bring it to me tomorrow so I will have in three days time.” Ryan said lowly to Spencer. They were the only ones in the meeting hall before the evening meal, the setting sun turning the sky outside the floor to ceiling windows a beautiful pink. Ryan felt he couldn’t be too careful. Nobody could overhear this conversation. “No one must know.”

“Of course.” Spencer looked puzzled at the king’s odd request, “But might I ask why?”

“You know the rest of the men of my council will want to see the sheets from my bedding of Duchess Berg. There must be proof on them that I have broken her maidenhead.”

Spencer didn’t follow for a few seconds but then what Ryan was getting at clicked for him. “You aren’t going to lie with her? But what about-“

“She will become pregnant but I will not be the one to make her that way.”

“Ryan, the child you have must be of your seed-“

“The child will be. I am going to lie with Brendon beforehand and bring it to her and we will then both leave Countess Hawthorne to make her pregnant.”


End of Part One
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