Lao sat on the edge of Tir’s bed, admiring the young prince as he slept. He let his fingers drift over his cheek, pushing his hair back and he leaned down to kiss him. Tir started to push him away in his half asleep state, but Lao laced their fingers together and pinned his hands next to his head. He felt Tir’s skin warm and he pulled back with a grin. “Good morning my prince.”
“Lao, what are you doing?”
“Waking you, I thought I was allowed.” He rubbed their noses together, getting a blush of embarrassment from Tir. “We’re supposed to be heading out.”
“That’s right.” Tir tried setting up, but Lao kept him in place. “Come on, you promised you would take me with you and you already let me sleep in.”
“I was honestly hoping you would forget all this assassin’s school nonsense. I am only going as a favor to my mentor.” He let his lips brush Tir’s, a barely there touch that had the younger man shivering. “I don’t like the idea of having you around all of those assassins.”
“But you’ll protect me, won’t you?”
“Of course, no one there could touch you.”
“Then let’s go.”
“I should have left while you slept, but I hate the idea of being dishonest with you.” He gave Tir another kiss then let him go. “Alright, get ready then.”
Tir found himself admiring Lao as he got out of bed. He looked so elegant and put together. His shirt hung open to his waist where it was held closed by a red sash. Lao cleared his throat and Tir blushed as he hurried to get his clothes and bathe.
Lao grinned, who didn’t love the adorable look on their significant others face when they became embarrassed? He hoped this trip went well. He’d have to kill someone in front of Tir because they dared to hurt him. He wasn’t sure why they would, but assassins work could attract some very unsound minds and sometimes it was figured out too late. Lao decided he would just concentrate on the positive so he wouldn’t ruin this trip for Tir. Since Tir was determined to go he wouldn’t have to go without him, which had been something he hadn’t been looking forward to in the slightest. He also would get to introduce his mentor to the love of his life and he enjoyed showing him off.
Tir sat with his father and Lao through breakfast, listening to his father reminding him to stick with Lao and only eat and drink what Lao had tested out first. Tir was sure none of the other assassin’s would dare cross Lao, but he understood his father’s worries. He hugged him when it was time to go and he and Lao headed out to the carriage waiting for them. “How long are we going to be there?” Tir asked as their driver let them in.
“A week, my mentor was quite insistent I give him at least that long. The old man is quite pushy.” He sat close to Tir, his arm draped over his lover’s shoulders.
“Old man? That’s a little surprising.”
Lao chuckled. “You’re thinking elderly aren’t you?” He let his nose brush over Tir’s cheek, causing goosebumps to rise on his skin.
“My mentor is not human. He’s been a part of the school for a long time and is one of the best.” He pressed a kiss to Tir’s temple. “I want you to stay near while I teach, don’t take anything that anyone tries to give you save for myself and my mentor, he can be trusted.”
“Okay.” Tir enjoyed the affection as his mind played through what he imagined the school and Lao’s mentor would be like. Lao’s constant touch and his imagination might have lulled him to sleep, but the occasional bump from the road kept him wide awake. It was sweet how Lao never seemed to tire of touching him. He had learned not to tease Lao about it because it only made him tease right back by getting more sexual with it. “Would you like me to tell you more about the school my love? I can tell your mind is busy.”
“Well you have to give me a kiss first.” Tir wasn’t surprised to hear that and moved happily to kiss him. Lao made the kiss long, but they had a long ride so Tir wasn’t in any rush. Who would be when they were lucky enough to have an amazingly skilled, incredibly attractive and sweet assassin in love with them who also happened to be an incredible kisser.
Lao grinned at Tir’s red face and heavy breathing when he pulled back. “Why must you be so tempting my love? If we were home…”
“Lao, stop, what if the driver hears?”
“Pretty sure I could keep you quiet, I have my ways you know.”
“Lao you…you’re supposed to be talking about assassins.”
Lao chuckled. “Alright, if you insist, but once we’re alone, you won’t be safe.” He gave him another kiss before starting. He started with the school’s history before moving onto describing the building itself. It had been built circular to accommodate the obstacle course in the middle where an assassin’s strength and agility could be honed and tested. It had a sheer cliff behind it and on the other sides a forest. Mentors encouraged their students to practice sneaking through the school itself and even trying to assassinate their teachers.
“Did you try killing your mentor?” Tir asked.
“Of course, I failed, but I tried many times.”
“Not for us, it helps us realize what we need to work on.”
“I don’t think I could ever do something like that. Killing the person who trained you. Are you going to let those students attack you?”
“Of course, you’ll get to see me show off for you.”
Tir was a little worried, but he didn’t voice it. Lao’s entire life was risk so he felt it would be silly to ask him not to. Lao could see the anxiety in Tir so he took his hand, knowing if he kissed him again he might lose all self control. “With you to impress and protect none of them will touch me Tir.” They continued talking the entire ride there. There was so much history when it came to the school and teachers, not to mention all his own memories. Lao could probably fill days with conversation about his time there. Before they got out Lao had to warn his love again, “Please, be careful. I don’t want you afraid but I want you mindful. This school is good at weeding out the lunatics but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for one to slip through and do something stupid.”
Lao smiled. “So obedient, it’s a bit surprising.”
Tir blushed. “I just don’t want to have to take care of you because you went and got hurt on my account.”
“I think you just like me bossing you around.”
Tir crossed his arms and Lao pressed a kiss to his cheek, causing his skin to heat further. “I’ll get our things.”
Lao chuckled as Tir started pulling their bags out and reached around him to take one grinning at the heat coming off of Tir’s body. “Come on, wouldn’t want to keep my mentor waiting.”
Tir fought down his blush and took a couple of deep, calming breaths to get his heart under control. Nervousness replaced his embarrassment when they made their way from the front gate and past the arena. There were a few young men and women on the obstacle course and some of them had stopped to watch the two of them pass. Lao didn’t seem to notice them or maybe he was ignoring them so Tir tried his best to do the same. “Don’t worry, they’re only curious.” He gestured around. “Pretty impressive right?”
“Yeah, more than I could have imagined. So this is where all of those amazing skills were honed huh?”
Lao nodded. “There are many different kinds of classes here, ones on poisoning and stealth, ones on combat and seduction and even on the best materials for ease of movement.”
“Every assassin learns everything, but some are better at certain skills. Seduction is for those who aren’t as good at hand to hand or knife play. The ones who prefer that method often pair it with poisons.”
“And what about you?”
Lao chuckled. “You should know by now, that I am good at everything.” He winked and Tir felt his face heat again.
Lao could be intense, but it was an amazing part about being with him. Tir knew how loved he was, he could see Lao’s devotion all the time. Soon they were standing before Lao’s mentor who instantly seemed to be looking Tir over, Lao stepped a little in front of Tir, protective as always, even with his mentor. “You brought him here, he must be special. I can’t help but examine him.” Nenyo’s eyes were now on Lao. “Thank you for finally coming. Is he what’s kept you too busy for your mentor’s request? I thought you’d be eager to come back. You always were a show off.”
“Before him I would have been in a hurry, but a prince surrounded by assassins, it wasn’t something I was comfortable with.”
“If anybody can keep him safe it’s you, but I understand, come.”
The interior of the school was beautifully crafted, every pillar and mural, every statue was gorgeous. Lao gestured to the walls. “Notice anything strange?”
Tir looked around. “Not really.”
“The walls have hand and footholds built in.”
“Because, young prince, this is a school for assassins.” Nenyo answered. “They are always welcome to try their hands at sneaking up on and killing one of us.” He suddenly stopped and looked up at the large chandelier. “Nice try, come down young lady before I knock you down.”
Tir was surprised when someone dropped from the ceiling and rolled, coming up on their feet in front of Nenyo. The woman pulled her hood back, frowning. “Sir.” She said.
“You are still too heavy footed. I could see the chandelier shaking.”
“Yes sir, I’ll practice harder.”
“See you do.”
Lao just smiled. “Still a hard ass I see.”
“Would you like to try your hand?”
“Of course, after we’re settled in and you have introduced me to the students. I am sure fighting you would be a good way to show them what real assassins look like.”
“That eager to be beaten in front of your lover?”
“Just that eager to be admired by him.”
Nenyo grinned approvingly at his once student. He was looking forward to Lao being back around and seeing how much better he was than when he left here. Being that these were students he didn’t often get a real challenge and Lao had brought just that into the school. Tir just kept admiring everything, looking at the walls, furniture, decorations and floors for anything else out of the normal. There were some places that even looked like they might be small doors, just big enough for a fit person to get through. It made Tir slightly more nervous, but he was still more interested in all this than afraid to be here.
Nenyo lead them up to the top floor where he pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked a door. “I thought you might want your own room away from the dorms.” He pushed the door open and gestured inside.
“No secret passageways I hope.” Lao said with a chuckle.
“I didn’t think you’d appreciate it. Perhaps if you were alone. I am sure you can handle one of the students coming through the window?”
“Of course, it won’t be a problem.”
“Thank you.” Tir said with a smile.
“I hope it’s comfortable enough for you, prince.”
“I’ll be fine, I know I live in a castle, but I’m not picky and as long as I have Lao with me, anything’s fine.”
Nenyo chuckled. “I have to say, Lao, you’ve chosen well.”
“Despite his shyness, Tir is quite strong.”
“Get settled in then and meet me in the arena. I’ll gather the new students.”
Lao gave a small nod then Nenyo left them, allowing the two to set their stuff down and have a few moments. “What do you think so far?” Lao asked and was happy to hear his love say, “It’s amazing, I’m happy you didn’t leave me.”
“If you haven’t changed your mind by the time we leave then we’ll come back more. Maybe I can come back every now and then as a visiting teacher. I know being one permanently is out of the question since you don’t have any siblings to rule after your parents.”
“Yeah, but you’re fine with that right? I’m not holding you back from anything?”
Lao grinned, moving closer. “The only thing you keep me from is making love to you as much as I want. I’m an incredibly happy and lucky man Tir, don’t ever think otherwise.”
Tir wound up having to push Lao back with one hand when he started trying to push his shirt off. He didn’t want to be rude to Nenyo and wound up using the other hand to push the bedroom door open, stumbling out and only not falling because of Lao’s quick reflexes. He found himself pulled into Lao’s arms, blushing when Lao started laughing. “That eager to get away from me huh?”
“No…not at all, I just want to see you show off is all.”
Lao gently tipped his head back, grinning at him. “Oh? Then I’ll have to make sure to put on a good show.”
“Just don’t get too hurt.”
“I have you to tend to my wounds my love, so I’m not worried.” He rubbed their noses together. “Come, let’s go down before he comes back up.”
He took Tir’s hand and they walked back down to the arena. Lao smiled when he saw Nenyo and his students, the young men and women so eager to learn seemed excited at the prospect of getting to witness their mentor fight. All of their eyes were suddenly drawn to Tir and Lao, studying both of them, perhaps even looking for weaknesses. “Took you long enough.” Nenyo said.
“Can you blame me, I mean look at him. Such an attractive distraction.” Lao shot back with a teasing smile.
“Lao, come on.” Tir said embarrassed. “Where do you want me?”
“Karthan.” Nenyo said and a young woman stepped up to stand next to him.
“You are to sit with the prince and ensure his safety and comfort. He is off limits to all here. If anyone tries to lay a hand on him, you have permission to defend him.”
Karthan’s smile was friendly. “Come along prince Tir.” She guided him to a good place to watch and soon all the others took seats, purposefully giving Tir and Karthan a lot of room to try to keep from getting into any trouble. “You’re in for a good show. We’ve been eager for this.” Karthan whispered. Tir was interested himself, interested and hopeful Lao didn’t get hurt trying to show off.
“Karthan is my best student currently so I don’t want to hear anything about being distracted with worry over Tir when I beat you.” Nenyo said confidently.
Lao lightly chuckled. “Stop stalling, are you ready?”
It startled Tir when Nenyo moved. He was so fast, almost too fast, and he was amazed that Lao managed to block the blades in Nenyo’s hands. Lao grinned as he shoved his mentor back and struck out at him with lightening fast slashes. He looked around at the students, at their captivated gazes and then back at Lao, his heart thumping in his chest as he watched his lover’s dance like movements. “A dance of death.” Karthan said softly. “I have never see something this amazing. You are truly lucky prince, to have Lao by your side.”
“I know.” He had never seen Lao move like this since there was never anyone who dared come after either of them. He knew Lao was fast and silent like a cat, that he had been an incredibly talented assassin, but truly seeing it for the first time, was astounding. He jumped up when the tip of Nenyo’s blade nicked Lao’s cheek and had to stop himself from moving forward. He couldn’t be a distraction right now.
Everyone gasped when they both lost a blade and Lao was suddenly on his back on the ground. Nenyo’s blade pressed against his throat and the tip of Lao’s was at Nenyo’s solar plexus. Everyone was frozen as they waited to see what would happen next when Lao chuckled and Nenyo grinned, standing up and offering Lao a hand up. “Amazing as always, you actually had me.” Nenyo said.
“And you me, but…” he wiped at the blood on his cheek, “poison? Really?”
“My blades stay coated.”
“Were you testing my immunity?”
“It still burns.”
“Well I’m glad you’re staying sharp in all ways. It’s nice to see students leave here and become something to be proud of.” The students all began running down in excitement, all except Karthan who took her task seriously.
“Are you ready to go down there and talk to them?” She asked Tir who answered, “Yeah, lets go.”
They walked down and Lao broke away from them to kiss Tir before he whispered in his ear, “Maybe when we are in our room next time you won’t resist me after seeing this.” Lao moved back and winked, causing Tir to blush. It really was sexy how amazing he had been out there, but it filled him with immense embarrassment that Lao knew it all too well.
“When shall my first class start?” Lao suddenly asked Nenyo who said, “You’ve had a long journey, the students got their demonstration. That will be enough for the day. Just enjoy your prince and the school until tomorrow.”
“I’ll meet you all out here straight after breakfast.” They seemed to light up and before Tir knew it Lao had lifted him off his feet. As they walked away they could hear Nenyo talking to the students about what they had just witnessed. He was walking them through every single move, every single choice that was made and could have been made instead. He seemed to be a good teacher.
“Shouldn’t we explore a little?” Tir asked and Lao let out a chuckle.
“Trying to avoid me?”
“No, it’s just um…well it’s not every day a prince just walks in here, so…I do want you, but I also want to see everything.”
Lao grinned as he pressed a kiss to Tir’s cheek then whispered in his ear, “Why don’t we have both?”
Tir swallowed. “What do you mean?”
“I have a secret place here.”
“That’s almost hard to believe.”
“I told you this place is very old and I’m sure the original architects still have many things hidden away. I just found one of them. The only one who could possibly know is Nenyo, he’s even older than the school. So, want to see?”
Lao grinned, they’d both be getting what they want. Tir could experience more of the school and he would still get to make love to Tir. It was actually an added bonus to make love to him in his old secret place. He had never brought anybody there for sex before and there was nobody he’d rather pop that places cherry with. Lao continued walking, it almost seemed like they were going to leave campus when suddenly Lao pushed into a wall that had seemed solid, but it seemed they were now inside it, walking down a flight of stairs, “Woah.”
“My thoughts precisely when I ended up finding this place.”
“How did you find it?”
“It’s a bit embarrassing.”
Lao let out an exaggerated sigh as if the memory was truly that bad. “I may have happened to lean against it playing a bit of cat and mouse with another student and I may have fallen through and part way down the stairs before I could stop myself.” Tir grinned then covered his mouth as he started laughing. “See? This is why I said it was embarrassing.”
Tir took a deep breath, but couldn’t keep the smile off his face or the amusement out of his eyes. “Were you hurt?”
“Just my pride, but at least there was no one around to see how ungraceful I was.”
“I bet the look on your face was, dare I say, adorable?”
“I’m sure I could make you take that back.”
Tir’s heart felt like it was about to jump out of his chest, his skin flushing, and his mind whirling with what Lao might do to pay him back. “I’ll be good.” He knew Lao would never hurt him, but he blurted it out anyway, receiving a grin from the ex assassin.
Lao chuckled. “Too late now my sweet prince.” He let out another little laugh. “I never thought my little escape artist would be so nervous.”
They made it to a a surprisingly nice room beyond the fact it was dusty from lack of use. “It looks as if truly nobody else has found this.” Lao said as he set Tir down.
“It looks so nice.”
“I found it this way for the most part. I only brought different bedding in. I imagine an original person that used this school used this as a room and I didn’t want to be sleeping in someone else’s sheets. I might change it out again if we come here a lot.” Lao kissed Tir’s shoulder as he slid his hands up Tir’s torso. Tir blushed, this time just enjoying his lovers touch instead of trying to get away. There had been many reasons up until now to push him away, but now they could just enjoy each other.
Lao continued to slowly press feather light kisses until he had kissed across his right shoulder, all the while caressing him. Sometimes touching him could be addicting, especially after having to try so many times to get his prince to stay still long enough to let them have a moment like this. Lao licked up Tir’s neck before gently biting it. Tir moaned, his heart racing with anticipation. He could tell Lao was going to tease him more than normal and he supposed that was his punishment for laughing at him.
Lao’s hand moved to Tir’s face only to move him so they could kiss. Their tongues were soon moving against each others as Lao began to play with and rub Tir’s nipples. Lao grinned when he felt Tir harden against him. “I love you.” Lao whispered. Tir whispered it back before finally beginning to touch Lao as well. Lao began to feel his own length start to grow hard so he stripped Tir. Tir did the same so soon they were both naked, kissing and touching one another.
Lao began backing Tir up and suddenly he found himself against one of the walls, Lao licking and biting at his neck and shoulder again. “Oh god Lao.” Tir moaned, growing harder with need for release. Tir didn’t know how Lao did this for so long, especially since he was hard as well, but he almost sighed with relief when Lao began kissing down his chest then stomach, soon taking Tir in his mouth. The sucking and licking he had been experiencing before was intensified now, causing Tir to almost shake with pleasure.
Lao knew there weren’t condoms or lube in this room so he began working Tir as he sucked him, bringing the prince to the edge before stopping. Lao grabbed a piece of clothing from a nearby drawer then turned his lover so he was facing the wall and entered him. They came almost together, Lao inside Tir and Tir into the piece of clothing Lao had given him. Lao however wasn’t done with him yet and Tir didn’t suspect he’d be anytime soon.
Lao pushed Tir far past his limit and Tir could only lay there panting and letting out little whimpering moans. He was so sensitive that he shuddered every time Lao touched him. “Lao…I…it’s too much.”
Lao leaned down, his lips pressing against Tir’s as he pushed into him a little harder, delighting in the way the prince clung to him, at the little whine that welled up in his throat. Their lips parted on a moan and Tir went limp with exhaustion, breathing heavily, his eyes damp with tears. Lao pressed kisses to his lips, smiling lovingly down at him. “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” He rubbed their noses together.
“Yeah.” He said softly. “I love you too.”
Lao nibbled at his chin, grinning when Tir let out another little whine. “I love seeing you like this, I can’t help but tease and take advantage.”
“I can’t anymore today, I’ll die.”
Lao chuckled as he moved off of him and moved Tir to lay on top of him, his head resting on his chest. He let fingers trail up and down his spine, getting a little shiver and goosebumps in response. He smiled when Tir fell asleep and let him rest for a bit. “Tir, my love?” He gently woke him a little while later and Tir let out a little groan as he opened his eyes.
“Is everything alright?” He asked sleepily.
“Of course, but we should probably get clean and find something to eat. I’m sure you’re hungry.”
Tir blushed. “It’s your fault.”
Lao tilted Tir’s head back and kissed him, grinning at how hot his skin was. “You know I can’t help myself, you’re just so hard to resist.”
Tir slowly got out of the bed then the two dressed before Lao took Tir in his arms again to carry him. Tir just relaxed into Lao’s arms, feeling both embarrassed and happy. The two returned to the room Nenyo had shown them, took a long shower then went to see what they could eat. The next morning Tir and Lao returned to the stadium for Lao’s first day of class. The students were already there, once again looking awe struck that they would soon be taught by Lao. Tir took a seat himself, but away from the students, not wanting to be in the way of anything they might do for the lesson.
Lao seemed to look them over then said, “Come here.” Tir couldn’t tell who he had said that to, but apparently to the students it was clear. A man who looked maybe a little younger than Tir stood and approached Lao. “And you.” He said to another student who got up, it was the woman who sat with him the other day. “Karthan right?”
“What’s your name?” He asked the man.
“I’d like to start this class by really seeing where you all are with your skills. I’m not going to tell any of you the reasoning behind my pairings today, not yet anyway, but I’m going to have two on two matches until everyone has faced off against someone. There’s an odd number of you so whomever impresses me most will go twice.”
Tir watched as Karthan and Thacese fought, Karthan favoring the same type of blade Lao did while Thacese preferred his bare hands. Even so, he could see much of Nenyo’s style in their movements. It was the way Lao fought as well, a mix of grace and aggression. There was something else in their movements though, almost like they were playing with each other and when he looked closer he could see Thacese grinning. Lao called a stop to the fight when Karthan knocked him to his back and landed on top of him, the tip of her dagger beneath his chin. “Very good, Karthan.” Lao said and she stood, helping Thacese up.
“Thank you sir.”
“There is a problem however.”
Lao grabbed her arm and held up her wrist where Thacese had scratched her. He could see her veins through her skin. “His nails are coated in poison.” She looked surprised. “You need to get the antidote, all that moving around only made it pump through your veins faster.”
“Don’t be upset, you did incredibly well, but you must expect the unexpected from a man who uses no actual weapon. Thacese, take her to get what she needs then both of you hurry back here.”
Tir couldn’t help but smile at how amazing he was. He was so patient. He called on the next two students and Tir just admired him, unable to keep his eyes off of him. Lao’s eyes met his for just a second, a grin pulling at his lips that caused Tir to blush. “It’s quite something seeing him so captivated by another person.” Nenyo’s voice next to Tir startled him. He hadn’t even heard him.
“Uh…I…if anyone’s captivated it’s me. He’s very magnetic? Alluring?”
Nenyo chuckled. “He’s always been like that. He was a natural you know, picked up everything almost immediately.”
Tir couldn’t help but think of Lao’s fall and had to stop himself from laughing. He turned his eyes back to Lao. “He really is perfect, isn’t he?”
Nenyo chuckled. “Well thank you for coming. I can see even more now how much you mean to him so I know if you had been against it these students wouldn’t have him here. He may have learned from me, but he has picked up a few things of his own. I feel this school and it’s assassins will truly benefit from him coming to teach every now and then.”
“Well, I’d never try to tell Lao he couldn’t do something anyway.”
“I don’t think you would, but I doubt he would go do something regardless of if you actually said anything if he could tell it would upset you. He has keen senses, especially for a human. You don’t seem like the controlling type so I hope you know that is not what I meant in the slightest.” After a short pause Nenyo asked, “How is your father?”
“Well, though with how he’s always been I imagine he’s at home worried about me.”
“You’re his only child, it’s understandable. Nothing will happen to you here, not with both Lao and I watching. Besides, they idolize Lao so much I doubt they’d want to be on his bad side.”
“Are these all the students here?”
“Are you the only teacher?”
Nenyo shook his head. “There are others, but their classrooms are inside.”
“Lao said everyone learns how to make poisons and um…seduce people.”
Nenyo chuckled. “Are you curious about the things Lao has had to do?”
Tir blushed. “No…not really, it just explains a lot.”
“He was naturally charming when I met him, a natural at manipulation. He played the other students with ease and tried it with me, though he failed. Just to let you know, his feelings for you are genuine.”
“I know, but thank you all the same.”
They continued to watch each match, Tir noticing that both Karthan and Thacese had returned. Thacese was surprised when he was chosen to participate in the extra fight, but Lao explained it was for his trickery. Afterwards, he pointed out mistakes he had noticed or skills he thought needed improvement and things he believed certain students should focus on. They listened with rapt attention, truly absorbing everything he said.
Lao ended the day with that, wanting to give them time to absorb everything he had tried to teach them. “I’m all yours again.” Lao said with that ever charming smile.
“I’d like to grab something to eat then see more of this place if you want.” Lao kissed Tir’s forehead, causing Nenyo to chuckle and walk away. It was surprising how even here Lao acted just as he did at home, like it was just the two of them in any given room. Lao hadn’t seen his old teacher in years yet his focus seemed to still fully be on him.
“Lets go find some food then.” He turned to the assassins, “Same time tomorrow.” They nodded and Lao left with Tir, taking his hand as soon as they were out of the arena. “You liked watching me again?”
“What was my old mentor saying to you?”
“He thanked me for you being here and we talked a little about how natural this all came to you.”
“Hmm, only good things I hope.”
“He said you were quite charming.”
“You know you are.” He blushed. “Especially with me.”
Lao grinned. “You like how charming I am, admit it.” He brought Tir’s fingers to his lips, kissing and then nipping at them.
Lao grinned as he lead him through the school to the large kitchen. He was happy to see the same family still working there. The cook had been in his thirties when Lao had come to train there and was always kind to the students. His wife and children worked with him and they all smiled when they saw Lao. He hugged them then introduced Tir. “So you’re going to be a queen then?” The son said in a teasing tone.
“The most beautiful if I do say so myself.” Lao shot back.
“Make sure to buy him plenty of pretty dresses, prince.”
Tir chuckled at the banter. “You know, Lao would definitely look good in anything, even dresses.” They almost forgot they were hungry as they continued talking.
It was the cook who said, “Well you obviously came here to eat. I have the perfect recipe. I discovered it after you left and my first thought once I tasted it was how much you’d love it Lao. I can even bring it to your room so you don’t have to sit with everyone else going in and out of the dining room.”
“I’m actually enjoying getting to know everyone around here so we can sit out there.” Tir said and Lao nodded. “That’s fine with me too.”
“Alright.” The chef and his family began working and Lao guided Tir to where they could sit together. There was only one other student there reading but it wasn’t a meal time so they hadn’t expected it to be full of people.
Lao couldn’t help but flirt with and tease Tir as they ate, grinning at how red he was by the time they took their dishes back into the kitchen and left. “Enjoying yourself?” Lao asked as he laced his fingers through Tir’s.
“Of course, this place is amazing and I’m here with you, anywhere with you is perfect.”
Lao smiled as he pressed a kiss to Tir’s temple. “I’m glad, thank you for insisting I bring you. My time here would have been so boring and lonely without you.”
“I’m not, I need you with me always. Since you became mine, I can’t fall asleep without you, I feel restless.”
Tir’s heart did a little flutter. “I…I feel the same. Having you close to me, makes me feel safe and loved.”
“You are the safest person in the world.” Lao said then gave Tir another kiss. The days flew by as Lao continued to teach the students lesson after lesson. Tir even found himself absolutely comfortable here and enjoyed watching the students slowly improve. It would be incredibly tempting to just stay here and let Lao become a permanent teacher if he didn’t have to rule. It would be nice if they were lucky enough to be immortal like Lao’s old mentor. He could be king for awhile, maybe adopt a kid with Lao and raise them to rule one day so they could come back here but they didn’t have enough life for that. Lao even had sixteen years on him. By the time their child could rule he probably wouldn’t feel like teaching. Lao may have endless energy now, but we all got old one day. It’s the curse of being a mortal.
Tir was grateful for any life with Lao though. He just couldn’t help but be a little selfish sometimes and want entire lifetimes with him like immortal beings could have with their loved ones. They could just live any kind of life then switch one day and live an entirely different one. It was endless possibilities when you weren’t racing time and your body breaking down. His mind more so drifted to them ruling together, the kind of life they would have.
After another day of lessons and once Lao had finished talking to the students, Lao headed straight to Tir. “You seem to be in deep thought lately, my love.” He said as he took Tir’s hand and pulled him close.
Tir’s heart skipped a beat. “Have I?”
Lao nodded. “Care to share?”
“Um…well…” he sighed. “I’ve just been thinking about our time together.”
Lao cocked his head to the side. “You haven’t been feeling neglected have you?”
“No, not that, I mean our lifespan. I mean you’re already so much older than me and…and we’re both human so…”
Lao smiled and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “You had me worried for a minute, I thought maybe you had been feeling lonely or something.”
“That’s impossible, you’re always so attentive.”
“Alright,” he looked over at Nenyo who was talking to his students about their lessons, “then I’ll talk to Nenyo, I’m sure he’ll help.”
Tir felt excitement rush through him. He hadn’t even thought they could ask Nenyo. He just assumed they’d be human forever since they were born that way. Nenyo could say no, but Tir’s hope burned all the same. Lao waited for Nenyo to be done with the student before asking Nenyo if they could talk alone. “Of course, where?”
“Anywhere that’s away from the students.”
“We will go to my office then. They know better than to be in there.”
Tir and Lao followed Nenyo to his office, waiting for him to lock the door before saying, “Tir has apparently been thinking about our mortality.”
“And you want my help to not be mortal?”
“Perceptive as always.”
“Hm, what would I get in return?”
“An amazing teacher that could always come back.”
Nenyo nodded. “You really would?”
“Yes, Tir seems to enjoy himself here and if we were immortal there could possibly be a day he’s not tied down to being king.”
Nenyo chuckled. “Alright, but tell me something first, you keep pairing Karthan with Thacese, is it for the reason I think it is?”
“He’s in love with her. I wanted to see if he would hesitate during training. Sometimes we’re forced to face off against people we considered our friends, you and I know that better than any of them.”
“We do.” He nodded again. “Alright, immortality it is. Do you have a preference as to what you’d like to be?”
Lao grinned. “Hmm, perhaps a vampire, so I have an excuse to nibble on Tir all the time?”
Tir went red from head to toe and grew even more embarrassed when Lao started laughing. “You’re so mean.”
Lao hugged him tightly. “Out of love.” He pulled back to look at Tir. “What do you think?”
“What choices do I have?”
“Many.” Nenyo explained. “I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve met many beings. Dragons, demons, vampires, werewolves, you name it and I’ve either spoken to it or killed it. I can give you a list and you can research in the library if you like. Living forever is a big decision.”
“Give us a list and we will probably get back to you about it soon.” Lao said then Tir added, “Thank you.”
“We need a teacher like him at this school. I was hoping he’d ask one day. It would be irresponsible of me to simply try to talk people into it I wanted around forever. The timing is perfect since he’s found his life partner.” Nenyo pulled out a clean sheet of paper and began jotting down the names of creatures that came to mind until he couldn’t pull another name off the top of his head. “If none appeal to you there are many more.” He said as he handed the note to Lao.
“I’m sure one of these will do.”
Lao and Tir left Nenyo’s office with one last thank you then headed for the library to look into them. “So this is mainly up to you Tir.”
“You’ll have to be whatever it is too.”
“I don’t care as long as we always get to be together.”
Tir blushed and nudged him. “Stop that.”
“You’re purposefully over sappy to make me red.”
Lao chuckled. “I mean every word I say though.”
They went through the whole list together, researching each one and Tir finally settled on the kanima. He had Lao in mind when he chose it, knowing him being a jaguar would be perfect for his skill set. Plus, a feline matched him perfectly. “Are you sure?” Lao asked.
“Yeah, I think being a cat would be interesting. I could be the jaguar king.” He answered and Lao chuckled as he pressed a kiss to his lips.
“How cute. Alright, a jaguar it is then.” He rubbed their noses together. “I do have to admit, I’m glad you chose a shifter.”
“Oh you know.” He gave him a wink and Tir flushed.
“M…maybe something else.”
“Too late now my love, you’ve already sold me on it.” He rubbed their noses. “I love you and honestly no matter what you chose, I would still be unable to keep my hands off of you. Besides, now I’ll be even better equipped to keep you safe. More speed, more flexibility, heightened senses, I dare someone to even think of harming you.” He gave him an even bigger smile. “Or any children we may adopt.” He stood, pulling Tir with him. “Come my prince, let’s tell Nenyo.”
“You want children?”
“I want everything.”
Tir’s heart danced in his chest. This was really going to happen, they were going to live forever and have children. Nenyo smirked at their choice. “I’ll get my friend here as quickly as possible. It’s been awhile since he and I spoke but we parted on good terms. You’re not in any rush to return to your castle right prince? I’d just like to know if I need to rush him at all.”
“My father has everything, he told me to enjoy my time away and only come home when I was ready. I think he wants to pass the crown soon so wants me to get any cabin fever out.”
“Good, I’ll make sure you two know the second he is on his way here. Enjoy your final days of being humans.”
Lao lifted Tir, much to his embarrassment, thanked Nenyo and left, taking Tir up to their room. He tossed him on the bed then crawled up him and rubbed their cheeks together, then their noses, making Tir laugh. “What are you doing silly?”
“Practicing being a cat.” Tir laughed again and started to push him back, but Lao grabbed his wrists and pinned them down, grinning at him. “Everything we read said they love scenting their mates.”
“But you’re not a jaguar yet.”
“Practice makes perfect.”
Tir smiled, let out a happy little sigh and lifted his head to kiss Lao. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
The shifter came right away when Nenyo reached out. He was kind and eager to help out, even making sure to talk them about every detail so they’d be prepared for the change. Lao didn’t have a shred of nerves, he never did and it made Tir feel more confident about them going from human to jaguar. When it was all over it seemed the both took to their new form well, but Nenyo’s friend insisted they should rest their bodies anyway so they did. Lao was teaching classes again the very next day with Tir still happily watching. They would be leaving soon, they had talked about that when they went to lay down. Tir wanted to tell his father and he didn’t think this sort of thing should be shared over a letter.
On their last day, Nenyo and his class all came to see them off, the students obviously disappointed that he was leaving. “You’ll be back, right?” Nenyo asked.
Lao shrugged. “Perhaps, we’ll see.”
Nenyo chuckled. “I guess I’ll have to bother you again then until you have no choice.”
Lao held out his hand and Nenyo shook it. “Don’t worry, we’ll be back, Tir is far too interested in this place for me to stay away and I actually enjoy teaching.”
“I’ll hold you to it.”
Tir and Lao climbed into the carriage, Lao immediately wrapping him in a hug as it pulled away from the school. He pressed a kiss to his lips, causing him to blush and reveled in the fact he could heart Tir’s heart. “What do you think your father will say?”
“I think he’ll be happy because I’m happy.”
“I think so too.” He smiled as he pressed their foreheads together. “I love you, Tir, forever until the end of time.”
“Me too, forever.” They cuddled as the carriage carried them home and into a future with more possibilities than they could ever imagine.