Chapter five

The next few days passed in a blur of eating sleeping and horseback riding. Luna had never been so active in his entire life, and consequently was feeling a new muscle ache every day. As soon as one would fade a new ache in a spot Luna hadn't even known could hurt was next. If he never saw another horse in his life, Luna would die happy.

By the evening of the seventh day of their travels they arrived at the capital. The stone wall so high they'd been watching it slowly grow in the gaps between the trees since lunch time, loomed over them blocking out the sun as they had to ride along next to it for a ways before getting to the entrance.

"Gate keeper! Gate keeper!" yelled Captain Al.

"Who goes there?" called down a woman's voice.

"A unit from the royal army! Captain Al's six others and a traveler." Answered the Captain.

"It will only take a moment!" she shouted back distractedly and a large slab of stone seemed to lift up with a very loud creaking.

Once it was high enough they all entered the enclosure.

It wasn't a fancy entrance more of a back street than anything else but it was made to look better by the soldiers whooping in joy at finally coming home. Luna grinned, finally! He was so close! His prince somewhere inside these walls.

"Alright settle down we don't want to bother anyone." Al said sternly before turning his horse to go to the gate house.

They watched as a robust woman stepped out after the gate closed behind them. "Madame," Al greeted her with a tip of his helm.

"Captain." She answered.

"I apologize for bothering you at such a late hour please accept a token of our thanks for a job well done." He said handing her a few gold coins.

And the woman smiled, "it was no bother Captain Al…" she trailed off waiting for a last name, and Luna strained to hear it too, how is it that he didn't know that?

"Just Alphonse, madam, no last name." huh? Why didn't Al have a last name?

"A, well, have a good evening back Captain Alphonse." She said kindly.

"To you as well, madam." He nodded politely and turned his horse and retook his position in the front of their small group. "Onward."

He ordered confidently and they entered a crowded street, the people started cheering as they caught sight of the returning Captain. At first Luna was startled by the commotion then when he paid more attention to what was being said he learned that Al had won an important battle and an essential… something to help win the war. A decade old war that he had been aware of in the way it would affect the market but in no other sense consequently he had no idea if this meant that they were wining? Or just not losing? Shrugging Luna admired the way Al seemed to shift from reserved quiet leader to charismatic returning hero.

Luna was impressed with this new side of Al, on his steed with his posture straighter than it had been his head held high, hair shining gold in the setting sun as he smiled and acknowledged the townspeople that seemed to adore him, he look regal, noble.

When they finally got to the castle Al was exhausted, happy to have finally arrived and pleasantly surprised by the greeting he had received, but ready to drop nonetheless.

Unfortunately instead of taking a hot bath and sleeping for days in his own bed, he led Luna to his rooms and then excused himself to report to his superior officers.

When he got to the war room the guards standing at attention announced his presence before letting him in without preamble. Al squared his shoulders and entered expecting only the Master General, Al was startled to see the king and his silent advisor also present.

Al immediately dropped to one knee and bowed his head in respect of his monarch, "Your highness." he felt his tiredness fade as he was warmed with the concern he had seen in King Alfred Sinclair's eyes when he saw Al. was he here cuz he was worried? Or because of the emergency that had had Al rushing across the forest path? Either way Al was glad.

"Rise Captain." said a strong masculine voice and Al rose to his feet feeling dirty and tread bare he wished he had washed and changed before reporting but it was too late for that now.

"Thank you, Master General," he nodded to the two other men, the General inclined his head with a tight lipped smile.

"Welcome back Captain Alphonse, congratulations on your success, how was your voyage?"

"Thank you, your highness, it's good to be back home. It was… a bit more eventful than expected," Al said unsure how he should report his attack with the king here, so he stalled for time, he pulled out the schematics and important files that he had brought with him the reason he had to rush back because they contained delicate information; about the layout of their newly gained territory and what they had learned about the Ilonians in the territory, data that is too important to send by messenger. He placed the files on the table, before taking a seat across from the General since the king was on the head of the table. "We were… ambushed," he finally decided on starting with how that supposedly started. The General leaned forward in interest, "in the forest rout, we weren't compromised but they were highly prepared for us."

"The missive was intercepted?" asked the king, no one should have known they were taking that rout.

Al shrugged, "if it was, your Highness, the mage that re-sealed the letter was very adept."

The General scolded, "You think there's a moll?"

The king shrugged "if not a moll than a spy or someone was paid off."

The General turned to Al, "were you able to learn anything about the ambushers? Did they know what you were carrying?"

"There was two wizards, two hell hounds and seven warriors, they had a local Malievane accent and were camouflaged. The wizard we managed to capture committed suicide before we could question him. They're plan was very well planned out they knew where we would be and nearly exactly when we would get there." he reported then decided he should mention Luna now instead of later, so they would at least know he is on their side when they find out about his powers, "we were only able to avoid being truly ambushed and trapped in their net with the help of a … Clairvoyant mage that was travelling with us." He was embarrassed to admit that he wasn't able to handle it on his own to his king, scared that his warm near paternal gaze would darken with disappointment, but it had to be said. "as for what they were after nothing more than our death is known."

"Clairvoyant you mean he can look into the future? Is such a thing possible?" his Highness asked the General.

"Not that I was aware of" eyes narrowing as suspicion flitted across his hardened face, "but we are not experts of magic." He said simply. General Marks is a man of few words and less frivolities, he's a methodical man that considers his option carefully before reacting, and Al was glad that he wouldn't to jump to conclusions about Luna out of fear of the unknown. "We will meet this mage tomorrow with the Master Mage." He concluded.

The king nodded trusting his General, he'd earned his position through hard work, honesty and loyalty so if he was suspicious of Luna; the king would take his words to heart. Al sighed knowing at this point there wasn't much he could do but maybe he could use his king's favor to be there for Luna.

"If I could be so bold to ask, your Highness could I be there for your meeting?" he asked hesitantly.

The king arched a brow questioningly not outright refusing him, confidence bolstered Al explained, "Luna is very young and new to the capital, and he can be shy so it would help if he had someone he knew there."

"Very well, I will grant you a boon." He conceded, "we will discuss these documents latter this week with the full council, you may retire for the evening Captain."

"Yes sir," Al got up then remembered to ask, "How long will I be staying in the capital?" Asked Al.

"For the foreseeable future, I need you here Captain, and you need a real break." The king said sternly, "Things are under control for now because of you, so breathe easily for a while."

"Thank you sir!" said Al straightening up under the praise, grateful to receive his king's personal attention.

The king nodded and dismissed Al from the war room.

Al walked out feeling glad to have his king's approval but forlorn to hear that he will spend so much time in the capital, there's a reason he never asked for some leave. He hated being back home, feeling so out of place here as his own families dirty little secret, being an embarrassment to them and at the same time not knowing them well enough to feel like family. He only found out who his father was after his mother's death a bit before his tour started when he was eighteen so although he wants to get to know his father and younger brother better he hasn't had the chance to and because of his father's station he doubted he ever really would.

And worse than that he didn't have anything to distract him here, without duties he felt useless. Not having a purpose was the hardest part because after eating and breathing strategy and warfare for the last seven years of his life, his life didn't have any purpose without it.

His emotional exhaustion from the meeting started to settle in his bones and Al was cheered by the prospect of coming 'home' to Luna. Of maybe feeling a connection with his beautiful mage.

When Al left Luna whooped happily and spun around to look at the spender that permeated the castle so completely even just Al's rooms were beautiful with tapestries and gold framed paintings, intricately carved hardwood furniture and delicately embroidered lamps. Luna had arrived! Now he needed to clean up drastically before he could even think of looking for his prince!

Entering the washroom Luna striped of his dirty clothes and let down his braided hair, he smelled of horses and old sweat, his hair was oily and even his nails were dirty! Luna was absolutely disgusted, and disgusting.

He went directly to the wash basin and pulled the lever, as he waited for warm water to be slowly pumped up into his tub Luna fetched his cleaning soaps then searched through Al's supplies, he had a surprisingly small amount of products, only one perfume and no useful makeups to speak of since he only had a white powder that he probably used to mask his freckles, which was frankly sacrilegious. At least he had a stiff brush Luna could use to clean his nails.

When the tub had been filled Luna relaxed inside the warm water and leisurely washed his long black hair with his lavender scented soaps before soaking dreamily in the large claw footed tub.

He would need to go shopping as soon as possible, his white on white Krinian fashioned silk tunics would not do for a meeting with the love of his life. Since in the capital he had seen some colorful fashions, with tiny elaborate embroidered decorations and tall black knee high boots on the aristocratic looking men. Luna needed all of those and more, he'd seen beautiful hair decorations on the ladies paired up with colorful jewelry on their necks and ears! How did they manage to put stones on their ears? Luna wondered nearly green with envy if he had beautiful onyx stones to match with his pitch black eyes… or baby blue opals to contrast… princes would be making long trips to beg for his hand!

He sighed happily and sunk lower in the tub, soon he would be ready and his prince would drop to one knee for him. As he relaxed in the warm scented water a muffled knock broke the silence in Al no-last-name's rooms, followed by a husky male's voice calling, "Alphonse?"

"Alphonse? Are you there?" he called louder apparently walking inside.

Annoyed Luna got up, quickly dried himself and donned one of his ankle length silk robes, his waist length hair glossy and wet tumbling down his shoulders to cling to his slender form.

"Hello?" he called out softly as he left the washroom.

In the main room stood a tall blonde man dressed in the finest clothes Luna had ever seen, his golden hair was artfully tussled, his skin creamy and unblemished, and his lips full and artfully shaped. The blue eyed Adonis turned around at the sound of Luna's voice and gasped taking a step back.

Facing him full on Luna saw the circlet his tussled hair had been hiding from his mind's eye, could it be? The prince was here… and Luna looked like this!

Face burning Luna tried to close his robe up to his neck and also took a step back his mind blank. Afterwards Luna debated with himself for hours if he should have undone this first meeting but it was too perfect of a coincidence to throw away. So time continued to flow unimpeded as Luna was struck dumb as he finally met the man he'd been waiting for too many decades to find him.

The prince's eye lowered briefly and he seemed to recover from the shock of seeing Luna, his perfectly shaven cheeks were delicately tinted rose, as he squared his shoulders and said, "I'm terribly sorry mademoiselle, I did not know Alphonse had company." He nodded respect and started to back up.

"Made… sir! I'm no lady!" Luna laughed the absurdity shaking him up, he looked at his reflection on the glass surface of one of Al's scenic pictures. He supposed he did look a bit like a lady… well he was always more androgynous than anything else but it was mostly his thick hair that tipped the scale to feminine by clinging to him and hiding his shoulders that although they aren't as muscular as a soldiers they aren't narrow either, and by concealing the fact that he had no breasts. Also although his face is distinctively boyish it's in a pretty way with his long thick eye lashes and large bedroom eyes, with his more male attributes hidden all you could see was that Luna was delicate and slender… maybe Luna should bulk up.

"Beg your pardon my… lady?" the prince asked perplexed the admiration plain in his eyes warmed Luna even more, he felt heat pooling in his lower abdomen and took in just how handsome his prince was his features delicate and refined but you couldn't really call him pretty not with his masculine jaw and broad shoulders…

"I'm Luna Callist," he said pushing his hair aside over his shoulders to show that he was in fact a man, "and you are?" he asked eagerly awaiting to have this fallen angel's name.

"Prince Alexander Sinclair," he answered as he stepped forward and extended his hand to Luna, "it's a pleasure to meet you Luna, please call me Alex," Luna placed his hand in Alex's and gasped as the prince gracefully leaned down to kiss the back of his hand. Luna's heart skipped a beat at the feel of Alex's perfect lips touching his hand, his heated eyes slowly looking up through his feathery eyelashes paused on Luna's chest where his nipples where pebbled points easily noticeable under his silk robe, before rising to meet Luna's enthralled gaze. "Not a lady indeed, my apologies."

"Nah…" Luna mumbled dopily, shyly averting his eyes.

The prince straightened after giving Luna's hand a gentle squeeze, "Callist… are you a member of the Callist's by any chance?" he asked politely and even through the happy hormonal daze he felt stuck in he had a second of regret for mentioning his real last name… oh well they wouldn't be able to take him back if they wanted to and remembering his nephews face he doubted he wanted Luna back.

Luna nodded hoping he wouldn't need to go into detail since both his parents and his brother we're deceased, should he say he's his nephew's son or his cousin's daughter's son? "Yeah umm you were looking for Alphonse?" Luna changed the subject, conflicted with how much he's ready to tell his future husband…

The princes heated eyes looked away from Luna for the first time since they met, and he seemed to remember where he was, "yes, I heard he was back, are you a friend of his?" he asked furrowing his sharp eyebrows.

Luna's shy, flirtatious smile widened as he beamed up at the prince, "oh yes! Al has been very kind to me! He's invited me to stay in his guest room and even escorted me across the forest path to the capital." Luna gushed was Alex Al's friend too? That would be awesome because Luna felt like Al was his best friend if not his only friend… he didn't know how Xanders felt about him but maybe he would still be open to talking to Luna now that they aren't forced to ride next to each other for hours every day.

Alex clenched his jaw, then smiled charmingly "I see that was very kind of him, how long are you planning on staying at the castle?"

"Oh, for a while," Luna said and slowly took a predatory step closer, "can you keep a secret my prince?"

"Certainly Luna."

Luna wet his lips and smiled sensually "I've run away to for love."

The prince's gaze had drifted down from his eyes to his soft lips, he leaned closer to Luna, "Do you have anyone specific in mind?" he asked.

Luna boldly touched the prince's chest and slid his hand up to his shoulder, their mouths now inches apart. "Of course." He said breathily as the prince wrapped his arms around Luna waist.

Drowning in his prince's blue-grey eyes he whispered, "I'm here for my prince." Before kissing Alex's soft lips.

Alex groaned and took charge deepening the kiss siding his hands down Luna's back to hold his butt, and pull him closer.

Luna was ecstatic, he felt like he had reached the end of the book, his prince romantically kissing him, holding him in his arms, their love will be eternal.

They separated for a moment to breathe their panting breaths mingling before Alex leaned down to trail kisses down Luna's throat.

"Gorgeous Luna I wouldn't mind being your prince." Alex said looking into Luna's eyes heatedly before forcefully kissing him again.

The way Luna was arching backwards to kiss his prince was starting to get uncomfortable but he didn't want to stop, looking with his mind's eye, they looked striking together it was as if they were a painting.

But he was so distracted he didn't notice the door opening, and didn't notice Al walking inside. He didn't see Al's shock turn to disbelief and hurt until he heard Al's shocked gasp.

chapter 5! hope u guys enjoy! sory it took so long i got distracted writing a 2nd story called Top side up, because i had the suden urge to write about an alien, loneliness and farm boy :) pls check it out im rather proud of it :)

and pls comment! i need reviews to sustain me!