Ferris looked out the window and all he saw were the people. They had started coming at dawn and they hadn’t stopped. The streets were lined with them and there seemed to be no end to them. All of them had come to see the prince wed and the prince, quite frankly, wanted them gone. He knew that it was a state affair and that it was good for the country to be invested in their rulers, but he couldn’t help but feel threatened by such an outpouring. A crowd was always one foul wind away from a mob.
He took a breath that he intended to be deep, but came out unreasonably shallow. His head ached. He thought of the princess-to-be with her shining white dress and her meticulously dressed hair. They were going to give her a tiara instead of a crown because it was more appropriate. After all, Ferris had a younger sister who was also princess and it wouldn’t do to upstage her.
The mirror told him that he looked good. His clothes were traditional in spirit, but were designed to hug his lean frame perfectly by excellent and well-paid tailors. His hair was also cut in the spirit of modernity, but in a fairly classic profile. Everything about him seemed balanced between the old and the new. It was pure, cold calculation. Ferris adjusted his collar and tried not to think of himself as a sacrifice.
Ten minutes passed and Ferris finally turned away from the mirror. In less than an hour he would head down the staircase, speak with the bishop, and then receive his grandmother’s blessing. From there he would enter the church proper and begin the ritual that would change the rest of his life.
He tried, and again failed, to take a deep breath. He was about to get up and go back over to the mirror to check his suit again when there was a knock on the door. It nearly sent him through his skin. He took a moment to settle his nerves and then answered it.
The man leaning against the door frame had his tie slack around his neck and a half bottle of whiskey hanging from his left hand. His thin mustache and dark, buzzed hair did not meet the fussy royal standard, but technically he outranked most of the people who would command him to change.
“Might I enter, my prince?” asked the Duke (of several holdings and various other titles).
Nicolas was Ferris’s cousin, but Nico had been fostered with Ferris’s family since they were boys and the two had grown up like brothers. Though in public they observed the proper formalities that would befit a Duke to his future King, in private they were both still as wild and reckless as they’d been as kids. At least Nico was still wild and reckless.
Ferris stepped aside to let his cousin in and Nico gave him an obliging nod. Ferris closed the door behind him and tried one last time to take that deep breath. This time he was significantly more successful. Nico had that effect on him.
“So tell me straight, cuz,” Nico asked seriously. “How drunk do you think you can be and still recite your vows? Because I’d hate to finish this whiskey all by myself.”
“Why do you have to finish it at all?” Ferris asked. He stepped forward unbidden and started tying Nico’s tie. His cousin was hopeless at doing so himself and his presence (along with the brandy) meant that he had given his manservant the slip.
“You’ve become the very spirit of restraint, Ferris. I’m disappointed. Besides, how many times in your life do you get a royal wedding?” Nico grinned wickedly as he spoke. The liquor had made his breath sweet. “Assuming you don’t follow in your father’s footsteps.”
Ferris made a face and tsked at his cousin. Ferris’s father had married three times to the great embarrassment of his peers. It was a subject that most people politely elided. Nico was not and had never been ‘most people’.
“Hush, you drunk fuck,” Ferris admonished, while he finished up the flawless windsor knot.
As Ferris was stepping away Nico grabbed at his crotch. “Speaking of drunk fucks…”
Ferris batted his cousin’s hand away.
“What are you doing? Quit it. I’m to be married in minutes!”
“And that has what to do with us? What’s changed? You’ll be in some politically motivated marriage, you’ll crank out a couple kids for the succession, and so what? This dance has been going for so long that we do the steps in our sleep, Ferris.”
Nico’s jaw was set and his shoulders squared. He had always been stubborn and this was his pose. It was the same posture he’d taken when he told his parents that he was not going to boarding school. He won that one in the end. In fact, he usually won.
Nico took a step closer to close the gap between them. Ferris couldn’t help but look at his lips, they were irrationally soft and practically perfect. Ferris had once told him that his lips were the best he’d ever kissed and it had been like giving an archrival the secret to destroy you. His cousin knew that one kiss would be his undoing.
“No, Nicolas. I can’t. I need time to figure all this out.”
Nico was stunned. He flinched and shook his head. “You’re serious?”
“I am,” Ferris said. He didn’t relish the expression that crossed Nico’s face. They had always been close and hurting Nico was like inflicting self-harm.
In a moment Nico covered up his expression with a lopsided grin. He raised the bottle of whiskey, took a long swig and then set it down on a nearby table. He sketched a quick bow and then went to the door. He opened it and turned back.
“I’ll see downstairs then, your royal highness.”
Nico left after that and shut the door behind him. Ferris checked the clock. Thirty-minutes left. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and he looked the same. Nothing had changed. He crossed the room and picked up the bottle of whiskey. He took a long, hard, burning drink and emptied the bottle. He set it back down on the table slightly harder than intended and a crack appeared near the bottom.
He went over to the door and locked it. He pressed his back against the it and started undoing his belt and pushing his tailored pants down his hips. He slipped down his underwear and fished out his cock, already hard, already wet at the end.
He tried to keep his mind clear, to think of nothing, but his head was a mess of thoughts and worries and Rosalind and Nico. He tried to banish them all, but found that his royal authority did not extend to phantoms. Instead he tugged on his cock and hissed at the sensitivity of it. It felt amazing. The whiskey was just starting to work on him and the warmth radiated out his stomach while his ears flushed with heat.
He worked his foreskin over the head of his dick and watched it intently. He ran his other hand up under his suit jacket and fine, white shirt until he found his nipple which he tweaked gently. The electric zap it elicited went straight down to his cock and caused it to jump a little in his hand. He smiled.
Ferris moaned, pressed up against the door, because it felt good to jerkoff and to just be responsible for that for a while. His dick was thick and heavy. He took to squeezing out the precum and watched it form a thin, clear stream that dribbled down a few inches before he started to beat off properly again and it wrapped back against his fist.
Across the room he caught sight of himself in the mirror and a thrill went through him. His cheeks were flushed, but his suit was still immaculate despite his hand beneath his shirt working his nipple and his pants sagging at his hips. His other hand was blur of motion against his hard-on.
He thought of Nico’s lips at the end and that’s what did it. He thought of their softness wrapped around the head of his cock as he blasted his load between them. That was enough to make Ferris cum. He shivered with it and shot his spunk irresponsibly while groaning low in his throat.
When it was done he blinked and panted. The room smelled like fresh cum and maleness. Ferris wiped the jizz off his hand on the wall and started to put his clothes back on properly. He cleaned the floor with a few pieces of tissue and threw the whiskey bottle in the garbage. He almost forgot to clean the cum on the wall, but he caught it on his way out. He didn’t bother checking his reflection again as he stepped out of his dressing room; he looked fine, he knew it, and besides he couldn’t keep the people waiting.
He knows what he wants, and what society says he has to do. I’ll bet the inherent conflict in here resonates with a lot of people.
I know it does with me. I used to be Ferris.
I suspect you’re right, Yama. Can I call you, Yama?
No one knows what will resonante with people (lest of all those who are biased by being creators) but I think the idea of having desires and then having to give consideration to social mores that maybe conflict those desires is something a lot of people can understand.
I think in some ways we all used to be Ferris and at some point, in some situation, we’ll probably be him again. Maybe the trick is realizing that and actively working to be autonomous and self-actualizing.