Chapter 38

734 56 66

With each corner they rounded, the two boys and a group of guards dove deeper into the palace, places Jorge had never been. It wasn't much a feeling of terror of where they were going, it was what would come after. Losing Benji.

The public new, no doubt hundreds of news sources had their hands on the story. Jorge could only imagine getting the paper that week and seeing the headline.

Prince Of Spain Caught With... Mystery Boy?

Benji also had never really told him why he wasn't out. Sure, they needed an heir, but wouldn't there be exceptions? Apparently not. Not only was there a mental strain weighing down Jorge, his physical body felt ridiculously tense. His jaw was clenched and his shoulders were back, mostly to avoid the guard's hand from digging into his back. The makeup on his and Benji's faces were smudged, the lipstick being more prominent than the eyeliner. A metallic taste cling to the air, everyone could taste it. It made Jorge's mouth run dry. But both Benji and him knew why.

They were going to see his father.

The King.

As utterly horrendous that sounded, just being a few feet away from the other boy made it a lot more bearable.

After a long corridor that must've been underground as it felt it dragged on for miles, they came to a set of double doors. The wooden panels towered over everyone, standing taller than usual. Unlike the other doors in the hallway, there wasn't a single window leading to this room. It was all shut off. The dryness of the air scratched at his throat, the saliva in his mouth dissipating  as the seconds ticked on. Jorge audibly noticed Benji gulp, and he as about to do the same before the guards holding their arms back threw them forward, with Jorge landing on his knees for a second time that night. The boy just grunted, getting up and brushing off his already scraped knees. He also didn't realize how much circulation he lost until he saw his hands, which were strawberry red. It was quite a sight.

As one of the guards placed a slight knock on the wooden paneling, Jorge stepped closer to Benji, trying to interlace his fingers with the other boy. But Benji just shook it off, walking ahead of Jorge as the doors gave way.

He frowned.

The stained wood slammed behind them,  with the guards standing directly outside. Benji's father stood at his desk, the only light coming from a few candles and a lamp on the table. It was quite a room, with a fireplace and a few lavender velvet chairs sprinkled about the floor. Jorge also took note of a stick, laid out across the table in front of him, yet chose to ignore it. But as homey as it looked, the atmosphere was stiff and slick, the King's expression solid.

"I got word you traveled out of the palace, Benjamin." Jorge's eyes darted back and forth between the two, watching the series of events play out.

"Yes father."

"Two women from your selection accompanied you as well?" The questions didn't even feel like they asked anything at this point. It felt more like an interrogation. Benji just nodded.

"Tell me why, that instead of romantic pictures between the three of you, a news source gets hold of you and...this boy." The way he referenced Jorge made his spine cringe.

"Father it's not-"

"Bullshit." The King's voice rang out, loud enough to stop both of them in their tracks. "Leaving the palace is unacceptable. But going out and expressing affection towards this... hooligan... is past any regal punishment either of you deserve." Benji's head just looked down, his body already starting to shake. Jorge just stared the King down, not wanting to show his confusion.

With big strides, he walked from his desk to Jorge, towering above him. There had to have been at least a head of high difference. "I don't think you understand. You are to stay away from my son." He had Jorge by the collar now, his cigar filled breath overtaking Jorge's nostrils. His face curled up into s cringe like state, and his eyes looked everywhere but the King's.

The Gardener ~ Benjey ~Where stories live. Discover now