d, annoyed at the world. He just wanted Ja’far, but he was filling in for something else in a different country so Sinbad had to do all his work alone.
He forgot about his ‘harem’ when he went to the small party that was being held, feeling less enthusiastic than usual. The girls were very concerned. While they were used to poorer treatment with other people, Sinbad was gentle every time he held them or hugged them.
They were some of the few people that he felt comfortable enough to be vulnerable around, he never forced them into anything and let them have their own relationships and a few of the girls weren’t even attracted to men. Despite consistently being labelled as a harem, none of them - Sinbad or the girls - thought of themselves as that. Sinbad was naturally flirty and touchy, but that was as far as it went.
They were more Sinbad’s female friends that he could confide in for unpolitic matters.
Such as Sinbad’s crush.
Regardless of popular opinion and being said to be a god in bed, Sinbad was homosexual, and had never dominated another being. Nor had he been dominated. He, despite his age and reputation, was still virgin. Only the girls knew this, not even the generals did.
In a way, Sinbad saw his so-called ‘harem’ as the sisters he never had. He loved them strongly, but platonically. No one else seemed to realise that.
Honestly, Sinbad wished he could just shout that he was gay to the world, but the pressure of always being told he needed a wife stopped him. Why not a husband? Or just a significant other to share the weight of royalty? Why was it always insisted that they had to be female ? He wanted to marry for love, not for appearances.
But every time he worked up the confidence it was torn down again, unintentionally, by the one he wanted to tell the most, Ja’far. So he gave up. Everyone assumed he was straight, or bisexual at best. He always turned to his non-blood sisters to confide in them, and they all supported him as much as they could. It always gave Sinbad a little more courage, and, not that many notice, but his smile would be much more relaxed the following day.
So when Sinbad seemed to forget about them - distress clearly on his face, yet only they seemed to notice - it was strange, he only ever seemed to attract attention, but he seemed to be devoid of it just as well, and they were concerned.
“Sinbad?” One of the girls whispered to the king. She received a distracted grunt of question. “Are you okay? You look distant.”
“Hm? Oh, sorry. I’m fine, I just miss Ja’far. It’s so different without him next to me and I don’t know what to do,” Sinbad explained, swirling the wine in his glass around, glaring at it slightly. Ja’far might come home early, and he didn’t exactly want to be hung over when that happened.
“You’re absolutely smitten with him, aren’t you?” Another girl grinned softly, leaning on the back of Sinbad’s chair. The king smiled weakly, placing his glass back on the table and looking up a little, staring at the unoccupied chair beside him.
“Yeah. I guess I am.”