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Chapter 1: Object of Desire

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Chapter 1: Object of Desire

Kenric was the greatest warrior the kingdom had ever seen. The surrounding kingdoms knew it too, and they were terrified of the young man that had bathed in more blood than water. But everyone knew that history would forget Kenric, for he was not the king. It was not in his destiny to be remembered.

Kenric did not have any interest in being the king either. Unlike his older brother, King Godric, he was not one for power or politics. Godric was a kind and just king, he knew how to keep both the nobles and the commoners happy. And after decades of being under the oppressive reign of the late king- everyone was grateful for Godric. However, he lacked military strategy and skill. He could talk his way into softening the enemy’s heart, but he could not defend himself with a shield. War was not his strong suit, so the duty fell on Kenric to keep both the king and the kingdom safe from inner and outer threats.

Together, the two were unstoppable. Kenric had no weaknesses, well, apart from one. One that only he knew of. A matter of the heart that he had kept hidden from everyone.

Kenric had recently returned from a tour around the northern borders. Even though the neighboring kingdoms would not dare attack, Kenric never took a risk when it came to the security of his homeland. His duty was to protect his kingdom, and he did not take his position for granted. The first thing Kenric did as soon as he returned was head to his quarters in the far south wing of the castle.

Nobody knew why one day, out of the blue, Kenric decided to change his quarters from the west wing where he had lived ever since he was a child to the one where he was living now. The room was dark and lacked natural light, and the view was not anything eye-catching either. Well, not to others, but for Kenric the view was everything he could ever ask for and more.

Kenric watched down from his window as the stable boy groomed a horse, it was Godric's horse, Helix. He was so gentle, and the prince could not help but wonder how those hands would feel on his skin. Caring for him and touching him instead. His hands would without a doubt be rough from years of grunt work, but Kenric would accept that happily over any other feathery touch.

Kenric's breath hitched as the stable boy, Archie, raised his shirt to wipe the sweat off his forehead. The sun was at its peak, and Kenric wondered if Archie would remove his shirt altogether. Maybe if the day was to get any hotter? The thought of Archie without a shirt brought warmth to Kenric’s own body.

Kenric had known Archie all his life. They were friends too, once upon a time. They played together in the castle, ran around in the forest, swam in the river during the summer, and made angels in the snow when it was winter. But all this was well over a decade ago. Now Kenric was The Great Warrior, and Archie was just the stable boy.

"Brother!" Kenric's thoughts were interrupted by King Godric barging into his chambers. "Oh, how I've missed you!"

"Your Majesty," Kenric greeted, "I've only been gone a fortnight."

"The castle felt empty without you like it always does." Godric grinned as he pulled his brother in for a hug. Kenric sighed at his overly affectionate elder brother but gave in nonetheless.

"Don't let the Queen hear you say that," Kenric commented, making Godric laugh as he retreated from the hug.

Kenric leaned against the wall next to the window, sneaking glances at Archie while Godric spoke about some nobles that he had met the night before. Godric had always tried to get his younger brother to take more interest in the political matters of the kingdom, but Kenric did not care less about them. Sure, as a prince he did the bare minimum of whatever was necessary and expected of him, but he was a warrior at heart. He cared about his sword, not mindless chit chat with nobles.

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