Knighthood, 98

Sometimes An Outsider with Their Own Issue Can Help Provide Perspective on Yours

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Even though Gavin only lived in the one set of apartments, all the rooms in this hallway were his, mostly for his servants and stuff. The castle had servants’ quarters, but it seemed like a lot of Gavin’s personal servants lived in the other rooms here in the hallway.

Edwin wondered if Gavin kept his servants separate from the castle servants intentionally, or if that just happened. He thought Prince Franz had his own servants as well, so maybe it was normal.

Anthony was standing outside one of those rooms, half at attention and clearly only because he saw Edwin coming. Edwin waved at him, peering into the open door, where a bare ass with a rabbit tail was rapidly fucking what could only be Grey Rain. Grey Rain’s legs were splayed to either side and he was occasionally whimpering, a hand showing up now and then to grip at Eddie’s arms.

Greg was sitting near the bed, drawing. Or rather, pretending to draw. His hand was down his pants. He waved at Edwin with his other hand, and Edwin waved back. “Everything okay?” he asked Anthony.

“Nothing to report,” Anthony told him with a shrug. “Just the kids being horny.”

“How unlike them,” Edwin said with a chuckle. “When they’re done, remind them they need to go to their tutor.”

“Greg knows,” Anthony said with a smile. “Don’t worry, I trust him to tell Eddie when his food chain reversal time is up.”

So did Edwin, so he nodded, and proceeded down the hall. “Thanks,” he said, waving over his shoulder as he went. He wasn’t going anywhere, just doing a routine patrol to make sure nobody suspicious was around. He and Elaine had decided it was a good idea to do a few of those a day on random routes and intervals, just so nobody could potentially pin down a schedule and figure out how to dodge them.

Mostly all that meant was that Edwin poked his head in on a lot of people fucking, but that was the job. Gavin and Owen were talking about moving to High Haven, and when they did that, Edwin figured that wouldn’t be an issue—because Gavin would definitely tell everyone it was okay to just fuck in the halls and common rooms.

Not too many people were fucking today, just two of the cleaning staff who asked if Edwin wanted to join them. Gavin’s new page Art was jerking off with another boy in one room and seemed a bit embarrassed when Edwin popped in, but he’d get past that quickly. He did hear more sex sounds from the last room he planned to check before turning back, and debated whether it was worth bothering someone else.

But if Edwin were a murderer, he’d probably make sex sounds so anyone who heard him would think he was just horny, so he decided he’d bother them, just in case. He really didn’t want to have to explain to the king that Gavin had been murdered because he’d felt bad interrupting two people fucking for the tenth time this week.

It was actually three people fucking when he opened the door, some guy with pale hair fucking a girl, pulling out as Edwin watched and moving to the boy beside her, and…oh. That was Holly. And Stuart. With some stranger. Well, he probably wasn’t a murderer. “Hey, Edwin,” Holly said, getting a clear look at him as he opened the door. “Want to come in?”

“I’m on duty,” Edwin said, resisting the urge to make it a jab. Holly and Stuart were both on break and he’d known they’d gone off together, so it wasn’t like they weren’t allowed to have a threesome with some guy. “Maybe next time. Just checking for murderers.”

“Berry’s definitely not a murderer,” Holly confirmed.

“He has an…fuck, fuck, an appointment,” Stuart added. He was holding Holly’s hand.

Berry the guy with the appointment reached over and started fingering Holly while he fucked Stuart, and he smiled over his shoulder at Edwin. “I do,” he promised. “With Prince Gavin. But I’m early and some of your friends were very kindly entertaining me with a tour.”

“Okay,” Edwin said, since Berry did seem very entertained. He pulled out of Stuart and started fucking Holly again, now jerking Stuart off. “Well, nice to meet you. I’ll leave you all to it.”

“No need to run, I think Stuart and Holly are almost finished,” Berry told him. “You’re Sir Edwin the Stalwart, aren’t you?”

Edwin blushed and looked away. “Not so much that last thing, but yes.”

“Well…you ready, Holly?” Holly nodded underneath him, and Berry gave a few hard thrusts, and made her gasp as she started to cum. Rapidly, he pulled out and fucked Stuart hard too, and soon he was shooting. Berry pulled out of both of them, stroking his long cock a few times to shoot all over both of them.

He leaned down and gave them each a long, nice kiss. “That was fun,” Stuart told him.

Holly nodded. “Yeah, you’re good at that.”

“Thanks, it’s an occupational skill. So are you guys.”

“It’s an occupational skill for us, too,” Stuart muttered, sitting up. “Or, I guess we’re on sabbatical until we get our own squires? Whatever. Berry’s a bard,” he told Edwin.

“A bard?” Edwin asked, looking at Berry. He just looked like an ordinary naked guy to Edwin. But Edwin just looked like an ordinary naked guy when he was naked, he guessed. “I thought it was like, illegal to be a bard, or something.”

Berry shook his head. “Not quite. We’re on strike.”

“Who are you striking?”

“The Dolovin crown,” Berry said. “Oh. That’s a joke, to be clear. Nobody is being harmed or threatened, I promise. It’s just that bards historically weren’t treated very well, so our guild decided that we’d all stop working until we got better protections. That was…a few years ago.”

Edwin frowned. “And that’s…working?”

“Well, no,” said Berry, a little red. “We’re not in the strongest bargaining position because people don’t really think bards are necessary. If we were the only people who could sing, maybe. But stopping everyone from creating art with their voice would be impossible, and a nightmare to boot. But that’s why I’m meeting with Prince Gavin today. I’m hoping I can convince him to see our side of the whole thing. I’d really like to be able to work again.”

“So you weren’t treated well,” Edwin said, remembering a time a bard had come through Westerwood when he’d been young. He didn’t remember anyone treating the guy poorly, but what did he know? “And you all just…stopped working?”

“Yeah.” Berry shrugged, stroking Holly’s arm. “Turns out there’s a lot of us and nobody can force us to be treated poorly, you know?”

Edwin glanced at Holly, and then at Stuart, and he didn’t need to ask to know they were both thinking about Rudy too. But not just about Rudy, about themselves.

And Edwin was also thinking about the knight commander.

He smiled at the three of them. “When you’re ready, why don’t you get dressed and I’ll walk you to your meeting with Gavin? I’d like to hear more about your strike.”

“Only if I can hear more about your career,” Berry told him. “I’ve been writing a song about Prince Gavin and Prince Owen, but the more I learn about them, the more your name comes up. I’d love to include some verses about you.”

“Please never do that,” Edwin said, mildly mortified.

Berry laughed. “It’s not so bad, promise. The best thing about bards is that we make everyone look just as good as we make them feel.”

“Even if it’s only half as good, Ed, you can’t pass that up.”

Edwin had to admit that they might have a point there. He’d only been talking to a bard for ten minutes and he already felt a whole lot better about a lot of things.

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