Excerpt from The Hunter's Surrender by Kaenar Langford.

Chapter One

In the year of Joram, 1276

King Rochar’s Palace on Tentalia

The smell of sweat permeated King Rochar’s stark training room. His arms ached, his fingers struggling to keep hold of the slippery grip of the sword. Tension hummed through his body. Santara was on the top step now, right outside the king’s chamber, his proximity all but destroying the monarch’s concentration. Rochar pivoted, lowering his blade. “Disengage,” he quickly called to the robo-knight.

In this warrior space, he was able to empty his mind, focus only on the sparring. Too bad his dick couldn’t enter the same state of absolute meditation. No matter how profound his centering, Santara’s tenacity always managed to penetrate it. That first gentle caress on his cock, the one he’d felt minutes before, meant that Santara was on the hunt. For him. And he knew there was no point trying to continue the session. His lover was persistent. His lover would find him.

Fortunately for Rochar, his complete single mindedness while drilling meant Santara wouldn’t be able to use their mind link to locate him. Santara would have to search, and the longer he searched, the more insistent the invisible hand petting Rochar’s erection would become. King Rochar loved this game.

There was no element of surprise as the door swung open behind him, no need to keep his weapon at the ready. Although his lover may have entered silently, Santara could never enter undetected. The king’s almost trance-like fighting state had been infiltrated as soon as Santara had begun his hunt.

Santara stepped over the threshold, and the king’s heart sped up. Even after all their years together, this man still had the power to bring King Rochar to his knees. In all ways.

“You’re a tricky bastard to find,” the king’s lover said as he strode to stand before his liege. Only in public would he bow to King Rochar. In private, they were equals.

King Rochar smiled. “I know.” He ran a hand through Santara’s mane of long, brown hair. His partner was so easy to read. The moment the loving touch skimmed his scalp, he immediately relaxed, drawing a deep breath.

Santara slowly shook his head. “I thought I had the upper hand making you wait for me, but you like it when I have to search for you, don’t you?”

The king greedily slid his hand down to cup the bulge in Santara’s black leather breeches. “Let’s just say, I like your eagerness when you find me.” He squeezed.

Santara moaned and flexed his hips more firmly into the king’s grasp.

“And I love knowing your cock is getting harder and harder, the closer you get,” King Rochar said, stroking the butter-soft material.

Although the robo-knight was nothing more than a machine, Rochar wanted privacy for what he planned to do. “Session’s over. You may head back to the main arena,” Rochar said over his shoulder to the android.

The lifelike machine bowed. “As you wish, Your Majesty.”

His companion stepped aside to allow the automaton to pass then moved back to slip his arms around the king’s waist. They were of a similar height, so Rochar was able to look directly into those dark eyes. He read the concern so evident there, felt it as those hands shifted to grasp his head and pull him forward for a gentle kiss before releasing him.

“I wondered where you were,” Santara said.

Rochar grinned at the man who’d been given to him as his consort so many years ago. “We’ve been together too long for that lie. You knew exactly where I’d be, didn’t you?”

Santara returned the cheeky grin and nodded. “You’re right. I wanted to tease your dick with my prolonged hunt because I know how much you love the anticipation.” His face grew serious. “But I was concerned, too. I know that when you sneak out of bed without waking me, you’re worried about something. And when you’re worried, you always come here.”

King Rochar ran the back of his hand along Santara’s stubble-roughened jaw. How he loved this man. “There’s something about having the weight of a weapon in my hand that makes me able to focus my energy and clear my thoughts. Then it’s a whole lot easier to deal with things.”

He retreated a few steps and held up the sword, admiring the intricate carving on the handle as the light caught the blade. “This comes from a time when greater skill and training were necessary to defeat your enemies. Nowadays, it seems that treachery and long-range warfare rule the day. If I’m going to die, I’d prefer to see the face of my adversary.”

His companion frowned. “You certainly didn’t seem in such an introspective mood earlier this morning when we were lying in bed and I was sucking you off.”

The king snorted at Santara’s observation. “Like I could think about anything with your amazing mouth around my cock. Now you know why I had to come here. Whenever you dip your tongue into the slit, my balls lift and tighten, and I get as hard as classen. When you take me all the way in, and I bump the back of your throat, I’m afraid the top of my head is going to blow off.”

“Something certainly did blow off,” Santara said with a smirk.

The king tossed a wide smile at Santara. “When we’re making love, I can’t wrap my mind around anything but you and your mouth. And maybe how good it’ll feel when I slide into your tight hole. If I’d stayed in bed, I’d have gotten nothing done.”

Santara propped his hands on his hips. “Well, I woke up and you were gone, and I must say I was angry you’d left without talking to me about what’s bothering you or asking me to spar with you. After all this time together, I thought I was more than a mere fucktoy for you.”

Putting off acknowledging Santara’s displeasure, the monarch walked over to a long, cloth-covered table. After placing the sword flat in his palms and touching it to his forehead, he reverently set it down. The coat of arms of Tentalia painted on the material served as a reminder of his duty, and the reason for the workout with the robo-knight. He closed his eyes. His world was spinning out of his control, and Santara was the only thing that kept him grounded. But after receiving the communiqué yesterday, Rochar didn’t know what to say to Santara, didn’t know what words to give him that wouldn’t cause him pain.

The sudden warmth at his back told him Santara had quietly crossed to stand behind him.

When Santara finally spoke, his voice was whisper soft. “Tell me, Rochar. Is that all I am—your fucktoy?”

King Rochar slowly turned and faced him, cupping that beloved face in his hands. “You are the love of my life. But I can’t ask you for help.”

Santara reached up and broke the hold. “In Joram’s name, why not? You say I’m the love of your life, yet you won’t let me help you,” he cried.

The king looked off in the distance and drew a deep breath. “I received a message from the High Council yesterday.”

Santara shrugged. “And?”

“It’s time.”

King Rochar stared at him, watching the play of emotions across his lover’s face as understanding dawned.

“You had your thirtieth birthday last week. They’ve gone to fetch her, the bounty hunter, haven’t they?” Santara asked.

Rochar could hear the resignation in his lover’s tone. He nodded. “Although, kidnap her would be a better word for what they’re going to do.”

Santara sighed. “There’s nothing you can do. The law is clear. She has been chosen.”

“And even though I’m King of Tentalia, I’m not to question the law, am I?” Rochar said sarcastically.

Santara set his hand on the king’s chest. “What’s going on here? Where’s all this coming from?”

King Rochar gently took Santara’s fingers, bringing them to his mouth and placing a kiss on his palm. “You mean everything to me.”

“You know I feel the same about you, Your Majesty.”

Rochar licked this time. “Your Majesty? For Joram’s sake don’t call me that. It makes me feel like you’re trying to distance yourself, and I don’t like that. Not at all.”

Santara drew back his hand. “Maybe that’s what I should be doing. Distancing myself. I don’t know. How am I supposed to feel?”

“She won’t come between us. I won’t allow it. The moment you were given to me on my sixteenth birthday, I knew you were more than a companion, a lover. Our bond is much stronger than that. You know that well,” King Rochar said forcefully.

“Bond or no bond, you have no choice. You’re the king. The law states that when you reach your thirtieth birthday, you are to impregnate the woman chosen for you and produce the heir to the throne of Tentalia.”

“She’ll never come between us. She’ll only be here for as long as I need to fuck her and make her pregnant. I want you to be there, as well. I can’t bear the thought of sex, making love, whatever you want to call it, without you there.”

The king’s lover slowly shook his head. “The woman is a bounty hunter, strong and skilled. She’s a perfect choice as the mother of your heir, and I have a feeling things are going to play out much differently than you expect.”

King Rochar strode to the only chair in the room and flung himself down. He knew the discontent he felt was written on his face. “It all seems so crazy. Tentalia is a world of men. We make love to other men, yet we take these women as brood mares then erase their memories, keep their sons and send them on their way.”

Santara walked over and knelt at the king’s feet. “It’s the way it has always been done. We need them.”

King Rochar gently stroked Santara’s soft hair. “Do you ever think about your mother?”

His lover frowned at the abrupt shift in the conversation. “What?”

“Your mother. Do you ever think about her?” the king repeated.

Santara shrugged. “It’s hard to think about someone of whom you have no memories. I was raised by my father, the same as everyone else. Male caregivers, male tutors, male friends—that’s all I’ve ever known.”

“You’re right. It’s all we’ve ever known. This woman will only be here a few days and then gone. I don’t know why I’m so worried.” He stood abruptly, slamming his body against Santara’s. “I want to make love to you. For the rest of the day. Whatever needs doing, can be put off until later.”

“As you wish, Sire.”

King Rochar grabbed his lover’s hand and pulled him toward the door. “You are very cheeky to your sovereign. I might have to punish you.”

“With your big, hard cock?” Santara asked.

King Rochar’s laugh filled the small room. “Most definitely.”

Copyright 2011 Kaenar Langford