Author: Dreaming K
Category: Slash eventually, J/B
Ratign: PG I guess
Disclaimer: I don't own 'The Sentinel' or any characters of the show
The next part is up. I hope you like it. Please tell me about any mistakes grammar or plot wise.
Let me know what you think, huh?
“Oh dear lord. You have been cursed?”
Chief whined, his blue eyes shining sadly and depressed. And James remembered how he’d wondered about the color of his eyes in the woods, and how Chief really hadn’t been acting like a wolf at all. Which wolf cared about not scaring a horse for god’s sake? Wolves didn’t understand humans either, but Chief clearly grasped the meaning of every word he uttered. James chided himself for not noticing sooner how very special his wolf was.
He petted his friend comfortingly. “Ah Chief, don’t worry. We will find a way to give you your true form back. I am here now, and I will help you.”
The enchanted wolf, or rather the enchanted man looked into the prince’s eyes trying to convey his gratefulness. It must have been fate, he decided, that led James to him. James who was so gentle and affectionate a man like he had never encountered before. The prince was a wonderful companion, strong, comforting, gentle… Not to forget very handsome. Chief grinned in his mind. James was rather tall and had a muscular body. Brown short hair, clear, light blue eyes always shining with affection for him. Yes, he was sure that many women yearned for the handsome prince.
And he treated the wolf like a human being, not an animal; had done so even before he knew about the curse. The wolf would have smiled if he could. He could hope now that together they would be able to break the curse and he would be human once again.
“I need to go now, court is calling.” James bent down to kiss the furry head. “We will think about the curse when I come back, Chief. You can stay here. Nobody is allowed to enter my chambers if I am out.” The wolf nodded and lifted his head to lick the man’s cheek.
“I’ll be back in a few hours, don’t mess up the place.” He joked receiving a mock growl. And with a last look at his new friend the prince left his chambers to attend to his duties.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As the Prince of Aquino made his entrance into the throne room a moment of utter silence greeted him, swiftly tuning into a sizzling conflagration of whispers. A lot of nasty things were said and rumored about how their prince had returned from his trip with a gruesome beast, but to James it made no difference. His thoughts were in his chambers still, with his enchanted wolf, and it took a sizable effort that day as he listened to further dukes and lords who presented their problems to him, expecting him to pull a solution suitable to them out of thin air.
And then there were the giggling girls of the court bowing to him, fluttering their eyelashes at him, hoping to catch his fancy. As if, he snorted silently. He hadn’t taken a lover in all his 27 years in the castle. Why they thought he would start now was a puzzle to him. He supposed there was the need for a bride which his father never failed to voice even though James clearly was not interested in anybody. The king was growing impatient, James knew. And what he would do if his father should decide to choose a wife for him he did not know.
The one thing he did know was that he would only ever marry for love.
James had never been that fed up at court. He honestly wondered what he was doing on the Throne of Princes in the first place if the only thing required of him was to smile, nod, wink and give the noblemen free reign over the peasants and commoners. They might as well let his brother Steven take over the throne while their father took care of diplomatics and negotiations and leave him alone.
Only when the very few peasants and simple people who were granted an audience related their sorrows did he listen attentively and absolutely concentrated as he strove to help make their and their families lives a bit better.
The noblemen didn’t need his help, the common people did.
Hours later, when the burning ball in the sky was already descending, taking the light with it, was he granted relief as the captain of the Royal Guard came into the throne room. James sent the latest gibbering duke away and motioned for the captain to approach him. The warrior was a big, dark skinned man who had been in the position of captain for nearly 10 years. He had a reputation of being fierce but fair in battle. Others might have described him as intimidating, but to James he was a loyal friend and mentor.
Simon bowed before the throne perfunctorily and then went to stand beside his prince.
“James, rumor has it that your taste concerning companions has taken a downward path.”
James scowled and leaned a bit closer. Nobody was allowed to stand very close to the throne so he and his friend and captain could talk without being overheard. If they kept their voices down.
“You don’t have to embellish the rumors, my friend.” he said. “I have heard just how the ladies and gentle men at court phrase their thoughts on this matter and those aren’t as noble and distinguished as one would assume.” Simon inclined his head, taking the admission that some of it was indeed true for what is was. He knew the truth about his friend’s gift. James had always known what people said; it didn’t matter who they ran down. And in a way that made James so successful a prince because he knew about intrigues before they had been hatched completely. A valuable advantage which his father envied him greatly.
“So, in your opinion, is there anything urgent that needs my attention?”
“No, my prince, everything is as it should be in the Royal Guard.”
“That calms my mind, my friend. When is the next training on the exercise field scheduled?” James wanted to know.
“Tomorrow afternoon. Can we expect you to join us?” Simon smiled.
“Of course. I have to keep up practice.” They both laughed. It was a well known fact that James as well as Simon were expert swordsmen and loved to spar with each other.
“Simon, can I ask a favor of you, as my friend not the captain?” The prince locked his eyes onto the black man who inclined his head again.
“You know you can, James.”
“Could you go to the kitchens and get some meat? Bring it into my chambers as soon as you can so that my friend doesn’t have to suffer hunger. And perhaps some water?”
“As you wish. I shall deposit them just inside the doors so your friend won’t be disturbed.” the black captain gently suggested. James simply shrugged the thought off. “I am sure Chief won’t mind the company at all. He has been on his own for hours and I won’t be able to retire for a few more.”
“I’ll see what he thinks about company for dinner. What’s his name…‘Chief’ you said?” Simon queried.
“It’s not his given name, obviously I would not know that, but the one I suggested. He has honored me by accepting it.” James corrected him. As an afterthought he added “Don’t be astonished if he acts… rather human. There is something I have to tell you about him, but I’d rather we are in my chamber when I do.”
The captains’s eyebrows rose. He wasn’t stupid and could already guess what the prince was indicating. “Well, I’ll see that he doesn’t desire for anything and that no one enters your chambers with wicked intentions. Your father won’t be particularly pleased about this, you know.”
Alarmed blue eyes flew up to meet his gaze. “He wouldn’t!” And even as he said it, James knew he was wrong about that. The sharpness in his words belied his concern and fear for his friend. Simon looked at the younger man gravely. “If he thinks that the wolf threatens his plans for you or the reputation of the kingdom…”
“No.” James swiftly rose and only the hand clasping his shoulder firmly kept him from storming out of the throne room. For a bystander it looked like a friendly pat, but Simon hat to put all his strength into the effort of pushing James back onto the throne.
He tried to assuage his concern. “Calm down, don’t give them a reason for even more rumors. He hasn’t known for very long and would have dismissed it as hearsay and lies at first. He hasn’t had time yet to do something about Chief. I’ll stay with Chief until you and only you relieve me on guard duty.” The honest promise brought relief, but James couln’t banish the very real fear that had begun to gnaw at his heart.
“Hurry, go to him. I won’t belong.” He whispered.
Simon bowed and left the throne room in a controlled pace. James really couldn’t focus anymore as his thoughts wandered. And joy grew in his heart as he dismissed the last requester a few hours later. In a few minutes he would see his Chief again! There was a spring to his step as he left for his rooms that was noticeable to everyone he passed by in the hallways.
And only in the farthest corner of his mind did he wonder when exactly Chief had become his Chief.
“James!” A voice boomed in the stone halls. His heart dropped and he sighed wearily. One last obstacle to take before he could join Simon and Chief. Slowly he turned around to face them.
“Father, brother, what can I do for you?”
I hate the lj-cuts...they never work the way they are supposed to and it takes me ages to put it right....