about it many times, however."
"No doubt. I've informed the harem master, Captain, but I want it known to you and your men as well so they may act should anyone defy me: my harem is not to be touched by any but me and the harem master. When my wife arrives the very same applies to her harem. None but her and Lord Demir. Those who violate my wishes are to be detained, and I will deal with them personally."
"Yes, Highness. I will go and see the order dispersed now. Thank you again for letting me know about Euren."
Ihsan nodded, then glanced at Sabah and gestured with his head. Sabah rose smoothly to his feet and escorted Fatih out.
Sabah had just resumed his seat, and they'd all settled in to eat, when another knock came at the door. Sabah's usual composure slipped a fraction, fear and hope slipping through the cracks. Ihsan covered his hand, squeezed gently, motioning with a nod of his head for Haluk to get the door.
Haluk did so, and greeted Lord Cenk with a deep bow and murmured greeting before leading him across the room. "Lord Cenk," Ihsan greeted, still holding Sabah's hand. "There is some concern about throttling."
Cenk let out a short, shaky bark of laughter. "I am sorely tempted, Highness, I will not lie. Sabah, I have been worried to death about you every day of my life for the past five years. Would it have killed you to find a way to send a letter home every once in a while?"
Sabah gave a trembly laugh of his own and stood, moving quickly around the table to embrace his father tightly. It was a few minutes before they parted, though Cenk did not entirely let go. "You idiot boy," he said gruffly. "You could have left me more than a note. Your mother was so distressed she went back to the estate, hauled the rest of your siblings with her, and I only see them when I am able to slip away. I've already sent a messenger to her. She is the reason you should fear for your throat." He squeezed Sabah's shoulders, looked him up and down. They were old and young versions of each other, beautiful, elegant, the very image of nobility. Sabah's bloodline had been around nearly as long as Ihsan's. "You look good, Sabah. I am sorry I did not get to see you grow up, but I'm happy you're home." He gave Sabah another tight hug, then stepped away completely, turned and knelt before Ihsan. "Thank you, Highness, for bringing my son home."
"I assure you it was more a case of these three bringing me home," Ihsan replied. "I am still the idiot prince who needs curbing. I owe your son my life."
"It is good to have you all home," Cenk replied, looking up briefly to glance at Kitt. "And new faces should be most welcome."
"Thank you, my lord. Please join me for breakfast, if you are inclined, so that you and Sabah might spend more time together."
Cenk nodded and rose. "Thank you, Highness. I will do that. Goodnight."
Embracing Sabah one last time, Cenk bowed and departed.
"I'm glad not everyone's father is worthless," Ihsan said, a trace of wistfulness in his voice though he tried to contain it.
Sabah smiled at him. "It sounds like you've a good father-in-law, my prince. And His Majesty will not be around much longer to make you and everyone else miserable."
"Mm," Ihsan agreed, pushing away his food. "Speaking of removing kings, I think it is time for bed, so we are well-rested for the first of many battles."
"Oh, we're not sleeping yet," Kitt muttered.
Before Ihsan could reply his lap was occupied, a hungry mouth on his, tasting of honey and bitter wine. "Kitt—" He gave up when Kitt just kissed him harder. Turning away from the table, Ihsan pushed Kitt to the floor and kissed him until he whimpered. Drawing back, Ihsan quickly got rid of their clothes, then dragged Kitt to his knees and pulled them flush together, attacking those full, hungry lips again, this time not stopping when Kitt's whimpers filled the air.
He smiled against Kitt's mouth when the whimpers turned to moans and drew back to look at Sabah,