A/N: This story is a thinly veiled excuse for m/m smut. Also m/m/m and m/m/m/m/... It may include things of objectionable nature such as multiple partners, incest and tentacles. I'm not planning to put warnings at the top of the chapters, so if you object to any of those things you might want to give this story a pass, since it's Read At Your Own Risk.

Originally written for the kinky fantasy LJ comm, which is why the chapter titles will look like prompts (and may serve for the warnings I'm stubbornly not giving).

But first, a random strange bit of book-smut. I'm not really sure what booksmut is, either, but I seem to have written some, and must share the weirdness:

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Far, far away from here there is an old kingdom. It's not a large kingdom, but it has a very fine lineage and many treasures to call its own. Hundreds and thousands of those treasures are stored within the Royal Treasury, but there are a few treasures even more highly prized, and those are stored in the Royal Library.

Perhaps the chief among the intellectual riches stored there is one particular book. In appearance there is not much to distinguish it; it's bound in simple blue leather, only slightly larger and thicker than the other books stored around it. Despite its age, it is not well-worn and slides delicately from the dark space between the books around it, the soft sound of leather against leather like a quiet gasp in the surrounding silence.

The book's cover bends back carefully—far enough to strain, but not to harm—and reveals the supple pages inside, each one lovingly stroked with paint until glowing pictures lay there, glistening in the candle light. A leaf is turned and the text is revealed, spread wide across the page, each letter crying wantonly for attention as it writhes with the symbols next to it, desperately reaching towards a legibility just out of its grasp.

Eyes run hungrily over the manuscript, caressing each word lustfully—greedily—and grasping for more. The eyes brush over the illustrations, each one as fresh and needy as the day it was painted, and lips part in a pleased gasp at the details, fingers tracing lightly over the skin pages, rubbing delicately at the spine.

After a struggle of delight and a return of senses, another leaf is turned, the climax of the story drawing ever closer as words are formed but unspoken so as not to break the spell. Margins entwine with the text, pressing closer and closer as the pages are turned faster and faster, until you cannot tell word from image or image from word.

And then, at last, that final page is reached, letters and pictures inseparable as they hold their breath until the moment is past.

They at last rest together lethargically, still entangled, but seeking only the comfort of each other's presence until, at last, the text says;

fini.

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Now, the actual story begins:

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1: Scholar/Librarian + Glasses

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The Book of Myth was waiting. It was patient, secure in the knowledge that someone would come for it soon—someone ignorant of the book's ways, or someone arrogant enough to think that he would be unaffected by it.

Ae, when he entered the library, managed to be both of those things at the same time. Unaware of which books were the dangerous ones, and of exactly how they were dangerous, Ae did know that some of the books ought not to be touched by scholarly princes, not even scholarly princes who had been given full run of the library by their overindulgent fathers.

In theory Ae would have been fine on his own in the library, since the Librarian Superior had explained that all the most dangerous books were kept one one shelf in one room. Ae, the Librarian Superior had said, was welcome to look at those books—but no librarian would be spared to save him if he got in trouble by them.

Ae'd heard all the stories, so he resolved to stay far away from the dangerous book section.

Unfortunately for him, a certain Librarian Inferior had once chanced a glimpse into one of the Forbidden Books, as they were occasionally called, and—to spare you the details—The Book Of Myth never made it back into the restricted section, but instead rested casually on the shelf between a lengthy tome about the history of the kingdom, and a desiccated chap-book of religious poetry.

Unaware of the lurking danger, Ae scanned the shelves for an interesting read, and the gold lettering on The Book of Myth's spine caught his eye, and held him transfixed, drawing him inexorably closer from across the room.

Fishing his reading glasses from his pocket, Ae read the title as he pulled the book off the shelf. "The Book of Myth," he read. "Could be interesting," he muttered to himself, setting the book down and returning to the shelves. After locating several promising books, Ae took the whole pile of them and returned to his room.

He flipped through several others before The Book of Myth again caught his eye, the gold leaf on the page edges tickling his focus until he lay down the otherwise engrossing treatise on the history of the neighboring kingdom. Pushing the book on Kyntsa to the side, Ae pulled over The Book of Myth, brushing his fingers down the soft cover and tracing the calligraphy there before he gently pulled it open.

"Seekers of all knowledge wish

Treasures loud and bold and rich

But these aren't myths old and tame

And readers here be n'er the same

Dangers lie within these leaves

Of my poem you must take heed

Do not turn the page unless—"

"Ugh," Ae said, flipping past the frontispiece, "Poetry."

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