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Ludwig asked, “What are you to me? My first what?” Wilhelm looked at him and didn’t answer. His prince started to look annoyed, as if he wondered why he couldn’t answer such a simple question.

“I’m your valet, sir.” Ludwig looked at him strangely. “Hm, for now that’ll do. Come with me.” Well, that wasn’t the answer he was expecting for sure. Wilhelm got up from the bed and hurried after his prince. “Where are we going, my prince?”

“Out”, was the laconic answer. They got to the stables and then Ludwig got close to the door and put a paper sheet, nailed on a dagger. The sheet read something about a goodbye and new adventures.

“Prince the coronation is tomorrow. Where are we going?”

“I don’t want to be king. Besides, my mother is here now, so, she can continue with her reign of terror. And I’d rather be traveling.” Lisette was after them immediately screaming and shooting in their direction until a ton of cats fell on her. They heard a giggle and Dorothea was beside them, flying in a broom. Ludwig looked at her nonplussed while she was babbling something about following her prince and using her magic to help him and be able to feel his evilness – well, she was a masochist. Ludwig, however, extended his hand to her broom and grabbed it, giving a good pull. Dorothea fell from it and this allowed them to escape.

Later they arrived at a large field. The sun was setting and Wilhelm started, “My prince, I think we lost them, we should look for a place to spend the night now.” He looked around. Where they were there was no road – they had left it long ago. There was only a large wheat field with some clumps of flowers here and there. It was strange, almost as if they were in a sea of orangish gold with sprinkles of flowers that bloomed at odd places. But there was a little something familiar in here. Wil looked at his prince, he had a serious face. Why was this place so familiar?

“This is where she is resting,” he heard him whisper.

Oh, now he got it. He was talking about Friederike, that princess from before. From all the princesses they had met that was the one that managed to captivate the prince’s heart. What were they doing here? Ludwig stopped his horse in the middle of the field, near a rose bush. He was looking at it with a pensive look, almost as if he was talking to it. Now that would be strange – even to his prince’s standards. Well, he couldn’t do anything so he stayed put and waited for the end of the “conversation”.

The sun had almost disappeared completely when his prince lifted his head and emerged from his thoughts. Wilhelm was waiting, like the good valet he was. That was a comforting thought. “We have to find an inn to spend the night.” Said Ludwig while he climbed to the horse. “Let’s go.” And he started galloping.

“Ah! Wait!”said Wilhelm as he, once again, climbed to his horse and ran after him.

Quite some time later they go to an inn that wasn’t too shabby and that fit to the prince’s tastes. They got in and went to get a room. Wilhelm waited, a little apart from the prince, so he didn’t exactly listen the conversation. A little later Ludwig returned with one set of keys. “Why do you only have one set of keys, my prince?”

“Yeah, the Inn keeper said that he only has one spare room. We’ll have to share.” They started motioning to the first floor while the Inn’s valet hovered near them willing to carry their luggage. Ludwig stopped him and signaled so that it was Wilhelm the one to carry the bags. Wil was baffled, for a few moments, but, then again, that was a thing that his prince would usually do. He sighed and started collecting the bags. Why on Earth did his prince bring so many bags – and from where had they all appeared? When they left the castle the horses didn’t seem to have many things on them. He sighed again. This corridor had no end or what?

Finally Ludwig stopped. This door was precisely the last one, damn it! He didn’t know why he was so uneasy, usually he was alright with the things the prince would do but today… what could be wrong with him? Ludwig opened the door and the surprises continued, the room only had a couple’s bed. He had to sleep on the floor? His injuries hadn’t completely healed and his torso sometimes still ached painfully. But those seemed to be the rules and he would obey them. He put the bags on the floor and started rummaging through the necessary things. Would the Inn let him borrow some bed sheets and covers? He made an attempt to leave the room (forgetting completely that those utilities could be in the room’s wardrobe) but was blocked by the prince that stood between him and the door.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he seemed a little moody.

“I-I was thinking about asking the Inn keeper for some bed sheets for my bed on the floor.” Wil stuttered a little.

In response Ludwig arched an eyebrow. “And who said you were going to sleep on the floor?”

Wilhelm gave him a confused look, “Where should I sleep?”

“I think the bed is a perfectly fine place for you to sleep.” Wil’s face now denoted some anxiety. “But… what about you? Where are you sleeping, my prince?”

“Where do you think? The bed, of course.”

Wil’s mouth fell and he started stuttering stupidly, “But… but… I can’t. I’m not worthy of it, my lord. Don’t worry about me, I’ll just sleep on the floor.”

The prince frowned. “I know that you’re not entirely reestablished from some of your wounds, I can see it and if I don’t find any problem in sleeping in the same bed, you shouldn’t either.” He gave a little push so that Wil fell on the bed. “Oh, and I tend to steal the covers when I sleep.” he said hovering over him. Wilhelm gulped. He knew how the prince was when he got this way and there was no way that he could dissuade him. He began getting up but was impeached by Lui, who glared at him.

“I’ll comply to your request. I just meant to get you some clothes.” He sighed.

“Well then.” The prince let him pass. When the clothes were handed to him he headed off to the bathroom… As the lock clicked Wil fell to the floor.

‘What is happening? I-I just…’Wilhelm was confused but started taking some clothes from the luggage and preparing them to be dressed the next day. When the clothes were chosen they were laid on the back of a chair. Meanwhile the bathroom door opened and Ludwig emerged, wearing a comfortable looking blue long-sleeved shirt and black pajama pants. He looked around the room and arched an eyebrow.

“I thought I had been explicit when I said I wanted you wearing your nightclothes when I got back.”

Wilhelm was stunned. He hadn’t heard anything or at least nothing in the conversation had pointed to that, that he remembered. But these were weird things – usual weird things – that his prince sometimes pulled of, and he obliged as usual. He went to his clothes sachet, grabbed his faded shirt and old pants and hurried to the bathroom. He didn’t close the door, just leaned it, because you wouldn’t do that to a prince. Having quickly changed he saw himself reflected in the mirror. What was he doing there? What was he about to do? While the thought this some grumblings were heard from the other side of the door. Well, it was time to return to the room, not for that kind of musings. When he returned to the bedroom his prince was walking from side to side, looking snappish. What could have gone wrong now? “Is something wrong, my prince?” Ludwig looked at him and his stare pierced him in place.

It wasn’t Wilhelm’s fault that Dorothea had appeared in the room pretending to be from room service and started with some dirty purposes. Ludwig hadn’t thought twice, he tricked her to go near the window and then pushed her. He heard her fall with a shriek of delight and hoped that, having received the mistreat of the day, she would leave him alone… (But he couldn’t help it, so he directed some of his rage on Wilhelm).

Wil kept looking at his prince until the other grew impatient and shifted his focus to him. ‘Gods, I wished I wasn’t the sole recipient for this stare.’ Clearing his throat he said, “Is anything wrong, my prince? Is there something bothering you?” looking around the room he whispered “I wish Dorothea was here.”

Having heard this, Ludwig’s temper flared. He took a step, then another, closing on Wil. “What did you say?” his tone dripping with venom.

Wil turned around surprised, “I beg your pardon?”

As the other was questioning him Lui approached and had a terrifying aura around him, “What do you think? What could have put me in such good mood?” these were rhetorical questions but Wil wasn’t exactly pinpointing it. Right now, he didn’t understand how, his prince could be in what he called ‘good mood’ when the room darkened and outside clouds covered the sky – ‘could he have any kind of control over the weather?’ Wil couldn’t help but wonder. As his back hit the wall he realized he had nowhere to go.

Ludwig stopped, he was very close. Finally he said, “Don’t you dare to repeat that today.”

Wilhelm gulped. “Y-yes…” he managed to croak.

Ludwig seemingly pleased by the answer, went to the window, looked at the impending storm and flopped on the bed. “Now that everything is settled, could you go get us some food?”

Wilhelm looked at his clothes and back at the prince. “Should I go dressed like this?”

Lui straightened on the bed and snorted. “No, of course not. There should be some robes on the wardrobe. You better put one. Oh, and ask for some wood. It seems that the night is going to get chilly.” Obediently, Wil left the room, leaving the prince with his thoughts.

The rain started falling. Quite a few later, Wil entered the room with a brace full of logs, and completely soaked. Lui sat upright and arched an eyebrow, ‘Don’t tell me that he went outside to get the logs…’ Looking closer he noticed that his servant’s hands were dirty with mud and chipped with wood splinters.

“I’m so sorry for making you wait but when I went to the kitchen to ask for our meals and wood there was only the cook down there. When I talked about the food she was very nice but when I asked for the wood she told me that her husband, that’s the one who usually cuts it, was bedridden with a cold. I asked her if I could help in any way and she gave me that chore. So I started. But soon after, the rain began and I tried to hurry the most so that I could finish cutting it in the rain. That’s when I came back. The old lady said that the food will be here in no time”. He finished his report and a small puddle of water formed around his feet – that were bare! What the hell had happened to his shoes?

Ludwig counted to ten and tried to calm himself. How could Wilhelm keep being so naïve? Hadn’t he already been in trouble several times because of that trait? Even people in this place, that didn’t knew him were using that in their favor. Well, from now on he should be paying more attention to him. Meanwhile, “Wil go take a bath. You’re dripping wet and I don’t want you to catch a cold.” He motioned him to the bathroom.

Reluctantly Wil entered and, apologizing, closed the door. He started taking out his shirt and in the cold of the bathroom his skin raised in goosebumps. He put his hand in the tub and checked the temperature. The water was very warm and appealingly pleasant. After quickly stripping his pants he got into the tub.

‘Gods, this feels good… There’s nothing like the warmth of a bath after being in the cold.’ He submerged and just let himself relax a bit. Not long after, he emerged for breath and started scrubbing his body and then his hair. He paused and looked at his hands. Both his hands and feet were sore and still had a few splinters. He tried to pluck some out but most of them would come out only with tweezers.

‘What am I supposed to dress now? My sleeping clothes are in pitiful state and I seriously doubt the prince will allow me to sleep in traveling clothes. If I sleep in the bed as he was saying, that is…’ he thought looking at his sodden clothes on the floor. While he was beginning to rinse he heard the door open so he turned. He only managed to catch a glimpse as a hand lay a bundle of clothes in the sink. He quickly finished cleaning up. When he approached the sink, with only a towel around his hips, he grabbed the clothes. It was a nightgown. ‘Wha… What? What is this doing here? I don’t have things like this and I doubt the prince… would wear… this…’

He was thinking about the possibilities for the nightgown’s appearance. He didn’t remember. The last thing he recalled was he arguing with the prince for them to take at least some spare clothes, making a dash to both rooms (that were comprehensibly apart) and putting what now seemed to be random clothes but that at the time were handy and seemed manageable. Then their escape. Oh Gods! Could it be possible that he had put that in the bag by mistake? And was the prince punishing him (the nightgown was a dull grey) by making him wear it?

‘Oh Lord, please don’t let it be it… I know that I don’t pray, er, at all, but don’t let the prince be mad at me.’ Finally, biting his lip, he dressed the cloth. Used the towel to try to dry his hair one more time and regained his courage to go to the room. He opened the door and the prince was sitting in the bed, reading.

With the sound of the opening door he spared a quick glance at Wil before returning to the book. Wilhelm gulped. In the table were two trays, one with steaming bowls – soup probably – and another with covered dishes. To drink they only had a water pitcher. Wil frowned. The prince would not like it. He happened to look at the floor and paled. There were some puddles of water from before. How could he forget that? By chance, he hadn’t stepped on any yet but he couldn’t leave the floor that way. He got to his knees and started wiping the floor with the towel. Not long after kneeling he sensed eyes on him. But the prince remained quiet while he worked.

When Wilhelm returned from the bathroom (that he couldn’t help but clean too) the prince was near the table, holding a bowl. “That lady brought the food while you were in the bath. She thanked you profusely for your help.” He didn’t seem to be happy but Wilhelm had no idea why. “And I would appreciate if you refrained from doing that. I don’t want you disappearing and make me worry if my father’s guards got you.”

Oh, was it for that reason? Wil could see the logic in that. He nodded but the prince had already turned his back to him, so he cleared his throat and answered, “Yes m’Lord.” Some tension lifted from the prince’s shoulders. Ludwig sat on the chair that was on the table while Wil had to get the chair near the room’s window. Ludwig distributed the food and they dug in. They ate in contemplative silence, in companionable silence, having known each other for a long time. Lui looked through the window, immersed in his thoughts. Wil, that had his back at it, turned and tried to watch the rain too but the darkness outside didn’t allow him to see any drops.

He turned again and looked at the food. The soup was delicious and the main dish looked really tasty, however, he couldn’t find the hunger. And the prince’s moods were adding to his uneasiness (not to mention the nightgown). He shifted in the chair and the movement made Ludwig’s eyes fall on him. He gulped. How was he going to make circumstance talk when the prince was like this? Anyway, he couldn’t bear to lock his eyes with the prince so he took the opportunity to go light the fire – the room was getting dark and cold.

While he busied himself he could still hear the prince eating. The fire was finally lit and the flames were crackling happily. Wil looked at them, as if he were charmed by their bright and inviting colours.

Then he was awakened by the prince’s voice, “Aren’t you eating? You only had the soup.” Wil got up carefully, so that he didn’t dirtied the prince’s nightgown.

Now that was a strange question, but he answered anyway, “I’m not hungry, my prince.” Distractedly he looked at his hands, they were covered with ashes. That was a good excuse to leave the room and the prince’s interrogation. However he knew that the prince would charge again the moment he set foot on the room.

Lui didn’t like how Wil seemed eager to leave his presence. He didn’t like it a bit. That ought to be funny. His own servant avoiding to be in his presence after all the adventures they had shared. Fuming, he covered the dishes and put the tray to the side and decided that it was already time to go to bed. He sat on it eagerly and looked attentively at the door.

The first thing Wil noticed when he left the bathroom was how a stare pierced him in place. Lui’s green eyes locked with his and he froze. Lui motioned him to approach, as if he were afraid that Wil would go to the dark and cold night. Wil stopped at once as the prince slipped under the covers. What was he supposed to do now? Should he go to the prince and sleep on the same bed as him or should he attempt to get comfortable on the floor as was his duty? A muffled voice finished his internal conflict; “I better hear your feet moving towards the bed, ‘cause I don’t want to get angry.”

Wil gulped and complied, giving careful steps. He pulled the covers and sat on the bed, making it creak slightly. Then he lay on the bed, pulling some cover over him and shuffled until he was in a comfortable position. Finally he settled with his back to the prince. Then the tiredness of the day took over him and he allowed it to take him to the land of sleep. At his side the prince was, however, still awake. Looking at his servant and listening to the calm breathing the other emitted.

Some time later in the night Wil woke. He shuffled a bit on the bed but he felt something strange that didn’t allow him to sleep. He noticed he had moved during his sleep and now was lying on his back. He turned his head to the left, towards his prince. The light from the fireplace was minimal but he managed to see that the prince was also lying on his back, his body completely covered by the duvet, and with one arm emerging from it. His head was turned to Wil’s direction but his hair was covering his face completely. Wil smiled and gently tried to move the hairs that were over Lui’s mouth. But in the precise instant that his fingers touched the other’s face, a hand shot up and grabbed his wrist. Wil was startled and tried to pull back but the hand grabbed harder and Wil saw two bright green eyes open and under all that hair he managed to discern an amused smirk.

Lui brushed the hair from his face and stood on one arm, looking at his servant. Wil was frozen in place until the prince said “What were you doing?”, the grip on his wrist still strong.

“J-just m-moving some fallen hairs from your face, my prince. I thought that you might bit be able to breathe correctly…”

Finally Lui let go of his wrist, allowing Wil to rub it. His prince had a strong grip. “I’m sorry if I woke you. Maybe I should go to the floor after all.” and he started to pull the covers down while he sat on the bed.

Lui, nimbly, stopped him by straddling him. “Did I say that you could move?” he asked in a commanding tone, while looking attentively at his servant’s baffled face.

Wil didn’t know what to say, “B-but you would be much more comfortable if you had the bed for yourself. S-so I figured you would prefer, I’ve already intruded enough…”

Lui put his hands on Wil’s shoulders, holding and making him look at him. “Listen to me. I said that you could sleep in the bed. There’s no reason for you to be like this. Besides, there’s nothing wrong. You’re not committing any crime.”

Still, Wil wasn’t convinced. It didn’t feel right. And talking about feeling, their current position, with the prince on top of him, was making him feel strange. ‘What the…?’ He couldn’t explain why but this position was arousing him. Heck, who understands the body physiology?

Lui noticed the shift in his servant’s mood and looked closely at him. He decided to let go the other’s shoulders when he straightened. That’s when he felt Wil’s state of arousal. He had to smirk.

“Is something the matter?” he whispered gently at the other’s ear. The body underneath him shuddered. So, his servant liked the feeling of being trapped by him. That could be so fun if he was evil – which he was sometimes.

And surely Wil had to deny the teasing tone in Lui’s voice, notwithstanding their current position was feeling strangely good to him. “No, my prince. I-I was just wondering why you are on top of me?”, he finished the sentence in a whisper so that Lui had to strain his hearing to catch the words.

“I’m here because I want to, aren’t I allowed to play with what’s mine?” in answer Wil just gaped at him. “Good, then I can proceed.” And having said that he shifted in the bed and started pulling up Wil’s nightgown. Just when he was almost reaching the waist area, hands grabbed the hem, stopping his motion. It seemed that Wil had awakened from his stupor.

“Wha…” he gulped,  “What are you doing? Why?”

An eyebrow arched as if asking Why not? before Lui approached his face from his servant’s. “Is there a problem?” he questioned as his hands touched Wil’s thighs. His action was answered with a sharp intake of breath. Having momentarily occupied Wil’s mind with other things (err…sensations) Lui’s hands didn’t remain idle – they started moving up, dislodging the bottom hem that had been previously been held by Wil’s hands. When they reached the other’s sides he splayed his hands over the taut stomach. He was still sitting on Wil’s leg so he leaned above his face. He stopped when they were inches apart.

Wil opened his eyes and stood there, expecting. Lui kissed him then. The kiss was short and chaste and Wil’s tenseness remained so Lui asked, “Didn’t you promise me you would be here when I needed you? I…need you now…”

His eyes opened completely at that strange admission. What was happening with the prince?

There was another pull and this time Wil was so bewildered that only noticed he was unclothed too late. The prince proceeded with his task without further interruptions. Finally, his servant was bare in front of him. He threw the clothes quickly to the floor and let his hands roam freely over the other’s torso. Wil took a sharp intake of air. This was completely out of character for his prince. He was completely astounded. The hands got bold and started getting into sensitive places. When Lui flicked his thumb over a nipple he gasped, his erection now standing tall and proud with some pre-come on the tip. The prince covered the shaft and smoothly moved up and down, eliciting more gasps from his servant. The other hand travelled down further and stopped at the entrance. Lui felt that Wil was still a bit tense so he lightly massaged the ring of muscles, asking for permission. Wil was so immersed in foreign feelings that he began relaxing. After all, he had complete trust in his prince and even though he had no idea of their next action, he had vowed to be there for the prince longtime ago.

Lui began preparing the body, almost reverently.  He needed something to lubricate, so he plunged his hand in the bedside’s table drawer. A small tube of hand cream was found. ‘Hm, I do have good taste in the inns that I choose’ he thought absentmindedly as he uncapped the bottle. He continued and Wil whimpered occasionally. When he felt the other was ready to accept him he gently pushed. Wil immediately tensed and his fingers dug on Lui’s shoulder blades. Lui winced a little and leaned to whisper soothing things to the other’s ear. Slowly the other relaxed so he started moving.

Finally they lay in bed, sweaty and spent. They were holding hands, a proof of their connection. Feeling the harsh palm and fingers couldn’t help but think, ‘I should have taken those splinters from your hands’ he thought as Wil shivered and burrowed more in the covers and his prince’s warmth. He was content and already drifting off. Outside, the rain continued hitting the window and a grayish tint coloured the horizon. Lui gently removed some hair from the other’s sleeping face. “So, what are you to me?” he whispered. His question, however remained without answer.

A sudden yell pierced the silence and Lui only noticed some of the ivy besides the window moving. He absently grunted, as he turned and prepared to sleep. It could only be Dorothea slipping in the roof tiles.

Now he could rest.