Thanks for coming to read my story!

This is an original work (as are the names) that I spent allot of time on so please don't take any of it!

Anyway. . . the main characters are crown prince Carnin (car-nin, easy ain't it?) and his ADOPTED brother prince Vespian (rhymes with caspian). Vespian was brought into the royal familly at the age of 8 pretty much as a safty in case the sole air to the throne, Carnin, died. Only a few people know this or else bad things like getting kicked out of the palace might happen to Vespian.

So most people think they are real blood brothers which they are not. Other wise the story is pretty straight forward. I said it was inspired by the anime Heroic Legend of Arslan 'cause the time period and setting is like Arslan's with a little ancient Rome thrown in. That's where the similarities end, and the story and characters develop their own personalities. I hope you think so anyway!

Please Review!

Assassin Shura ^_^

Spring had finally reached its height at the palace of Arcade. The birds were singing in the trees of the ornate gardens, and the flowers were in full bloom spreading their sweet fragrance throughout the grounds. Butterflies flitted from blossom to blossom and followed the path of the ivy as it wound around the columns of the palace. It seemed as if the sun god himself smiled on the day, for not a cloud intruded on his domain and a gentle breeze traveled over the desert sands. Servants bustled through halls and grand archways making preparation for the feast that was to come later that evening, for this was the day of the Crown Prince's grand return, and the whole kingdom was in an uproar. For five months he had been traveling around the outskirts of the country making appearances and helping to train the men at the many smaller army posts. He was well loved by the people and his presence was always wanted in the villages, even though he was a youth of barely eighteen. This was the awaited day that he would return to the comforts of the palace, return to his own training for the army and return to the one person his thoughts had never left since the day he said his last good-byes.

They had always been so close, since the prince was eleven, but now they had begun to grow apart. In the months before the Crown Prince's mission was announced, the time they spent together became less and less. But the prince had taken it in stride, simply smiling and assuming that the other was growing older and didn't want to spend as much time with a childhood friend. This idea of simply going through a faze of growing apart dulled the slow rejection he felt, but failed to stop his own feelings from continuing to grow. He'd had what he now knew were the beginnings of love for his oldest friend, but he couldn't bring himself to acknowledge them, and soon everything had changed.

"Would you like to have lunch together tomorrow?" The prince would ask. They often ate together and always had a wonderful time.

"I'm sorry, I have far to many books I need to look over in the library," his love would reply softly.

"Would you be interested in going to the city with me? I wanted to look for some new books and I'd love the company," he asked another day, growing slightly more desperate.

"I'm sorry, I mustn't let my work slide. The king wants me to improve my divination before the next council meeting," his love would answer, turning his head and rushing off.

"I haven't seen much of you lately. Please, come for a ride with me later," he'd almost begged the week before he left.

"My horse isn't feeling very well," his love uttered quickly.

"Ride mine," Carnin had retorted.

"I can't, I have too many other things to do," his love replied with an odd sadness hanging in his eyes.

"I'm going away soon, please, let's spend a little time together."

"I mustn't, I'm very-"

"Sorry," Carnin had cut him off, knowing his answer, "I know, I know." His heart twisted as his love practically ran from him.

Then he was gone, far away on his journey with hardly a goodbye. It had only taken a few nights alone in his royal tent for the separation to attack him full force. After that, just a few weeks before he couldn't sleep at nights, for every time he closed his eyes that face was with him. Right next to him, whispering in his ear about how cruel he was to go away. Then when the mornings came, and they always came too soon, the harsh reality of their falling-out would stay with him until the next night came, and the whole process would begin again. Carnin became so desperate that he had sent a special messenger to bring a letter to his dear friend. It was a reserved letter, as all letters were supposed to be, but told of how he missed them and how he would like a picture to be drawn for him. This was a bold request, but the prince needed something of his love with him, or else he was sure he would go mad from his new desire. A few days later, the messenger returned with the best news that could have possibly come to him. In an answer to his letter, the other had sent one that told of how they missed the Crown Prince as well. The joy he felt at that news was only matched by the picture he had asked for. Carefully removing it from the envelope, he gasped aloud at the realistic rendition done in dark pencil. Even though it was in black and white, Carnin could feel the warmth of his love's smile, the grace of his long slender limbs and the ever-intoxicating softness of his loose wavy blue hair. The drawing showed him the object of his growing affection perfectly and smiling by the window of the palace's library.

Carnin continued to think of his situation as his procession slowly wound over the dessert sands, nearing the palace that was now in sight. He planned on going to see his love as soon as the necessary meeting with his father, the king, had been dealt with. Even though the letter had giving him a small hope, he knew that the slow pulling away would continue, and his new found first love would die before it had a chance to show itself.

"I must try to make things as they were," Carnin mumbled without so much as a nod from any of his companions. His mind screamed that he would be crushed by a cold greeting from his love, or worse, none at all. It would break his heart, but he had to try and rekindle the close friendship between himself and his adopted fifteen-year-old brother, because he knew that he could never have him in the way he wanted.

Yes, it was true; his sweet younger brother was the one he wanted. That heart-shaped face framed by somewhat wavy aqua blue hair was the model of beauty for him. That thin body with its pale white skin hardly covered by clothing was what he wanted in his arms. It was grotesque, it was wrong, but it was nothing he could change his mind about. Why did he love this boy who had been brought to live with him so long ago? He retraced his life as the wind blew him closer to home.

His poor mother had never recovered from his birth and was slowly fading away. At the time she had many more years of life, but could have no more children. This for the royal family was unacceptable, another son and possible heir was needed. It took time and careful planning, but a second son' was created from pure myth. Years went by with very few people knowing that the younger prince being schooled in another kingdom was a total fabrication. Finally, after almost four years, the perfect candidate for prince was found. A beautiful young boy of eight years with no family and partially of noble blood was brought to the palace to be the second prince.

For Carnin, it wasn't jealousy or the thought of having to share his parents that came to mind. Quite the contrary, he only saw the prospect of true friendship. It didn't take long for the two boys to become inseparable because they complemented each other so well. Carnin finally had a friend who liked him for who he was, not that he would be king. His new adopted brother on the other hand now had a family for the first time, a brother and a friend who he looked up to and was more than a god in his eyes. Over the years they had so much together, they loved each other like the blood brothers they could never really be. Why had it all changed? Carnin's brain still wracked over this question as he entered the palace gates. Trumpets blared over his head, but his mind focused on one thing alone.

* * * * *

Vespian, the second prince of Arcade stood by the row of ceiling high windows on the far wall of the palace library. He stared out the window, silently watching the revelry of the feast for Carnin's return beginning. He assumed that Carnin had already arrived and was speaking with his "father", the king, but he had yet to see Carnin himself. Vespian had missed Carnin so horribly when he went away, causing him to wish in vain that Carnin would return early any day. He still remembered how he had hardly said goodbye the day Carnin left, for he knew he couldn't hide his emotions from him if it was to be the last time he saw him in five months. Still, it seemed like all he ever did was hide his emotions from his beloved brother. It was for the good of everyone but him to hide.

Ever since Vespian had turned fourteen, he realized that the hero worship he had always shown his adopted brother in the past had turned into a passionate love. All the close ties they had shared growing up made his innocent lusts more painful. Once he realized that Carnin could never love him, he pulled away slowly, not being able to trust himself around the man. He thought that the less he saw of Carnin, the less his feelings would be and that they would eventually disappear. The young prince couldn't have been more wrong.

Every night as he lay in bed trying to sleep, he shamefully thought of how good it would feel to have Carnin's hands touching his bare skin. How it would be to have Carnin holding him tight in his strong arms and whispering sweet promises of love in his ear. It made him shiver under his covers, and sent an unrelenting ache between his legs that he could not ease. He cursed himself over and over for his horrid dreams. Was he not a boy, soon to become a man? Why was it then that he never once thought about girls but secretly stared at Carnin's handsome proud face shinning with sweat after his training? Why was it that his brother's short blond hair and smooth chest were what he wanted next to him, even on top of him, every night? Ah, but he knew the answer already. Carnin was the only person he'd ever had. The king was busy most of the time, the poor queen had died only two years after he arrived and the court was full of boys who had no time for a playmate younger than them who didn't seem to understand the ways of royal snobery, being 'schooled' out of the country must have ruined his character. It was no matter though, Carnin loved him, correction, Carnin had loved him, but it was far too late for any of that now. They were both grown and couldn't play as they had. Vespian knew he had no right to force himself into Carnin's life once his brother was king, which he had to be some day

Then Carnin's letter had come, and what a joy it was for him. It made him wonder if Carnin, maybe, could be missing him as well. The man wanted a picture of his younger brother drawn for him? How strange! Vespian lived off these thoughts and gained hope that since Carnin might miss him in his daily life, perhaps they could be as close as they were before.

During the five months that Carnin was gone, Vespian realized that he needed Carnin in his life no matter what. He feared he would ruin it by getting too close someday, but just as Vespian's spirits went up, he came back to the real world. He remembered that even if the gods had answered his desperate prayers, and Carnin did love him, they could never be together. Only very few people knew that Vespian was adopted, for his own safety of course, so everyone in the kingdom would see it as gay incest, highly frowned upon to say the least. It would break Vespian's young heart, but he had to try and act like things were the same between him and Carnin to survive.

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