Written by Blue Jay
“The Road in the Garden”
How long has it been since the two met in the library? When Engelbert had gone as far as to beg Filippe to talk to him, to just listen to his words and not leave him behind like usual…
It had been over four years in fact and things couldn’t have been more different for the two of them.
In the span of those four years, prince Engelbert had actually become the king, as his father had decided to retire after a rather long time of sitting on the throne. It was now Engel’s time to suffer while on it (which he did, but that was a different story).
But the biggest change wasn’t what happened with Engel. Instead, it was Filippe’s fate.
From an attendant to a librarian, Filippe had suddenly taken the spot of a royal advisor, something that so many wished to be but could never acquire, and it made the public rather furious at first. Sadly for them, Engel was keen on keeping Filippe that way and practically ignored all of them, given that legally they could do nothing more than complain.
And even then, nobody in the public knew what the relationship between the two truly was like, except a select few who knew simply because they had witnessed it. For the most part, those select few had decided to keep their mouths shut.
It was a sunny afternoon that day, a nice warm Sunday with birds chirping and chiming in with their songs through the barely open window and the rays of sunshine bringing in the light through the silky curtains of the large king-sized bed. A nice day indeed.
And about the bed, it being so grand and special, it couldn’t be said that it didn’t house two rather special figures in it, both somewhat sheepishly lazying around as it was not only Sunday but the afternoon as well. Obviously, neither was intent on getting up or doing work.
Engel had his eyes half open, looking at the older man beside him with the laziness only an idiot would have; he was an idiot, therefore he definitely counted because of that huge idiot smile on his face. Idiot in love, that is. He tried to be less of that when doing his duties of course. His features were basically the same as before, with those same sparkling hazel eyes and honey-coloured hair, only the hair was like four ideas messier than usual.
Filippe, who was next to him, had a light smile on his pale lips and closed eyes, the tips of his white eyelashes just barely hit by the afternoon light. He still had the air of maturity coming off of him – it was just a lot more refined than before. His hair had gotten longer during those four years, though Engel was the cause of that change. He always said he liked the long hair so Filippe ended up letting it get about a dozen centimeters longer than before.
It always made Engel smile whenever he touched it and played with it, most of the time effectively ruining Filippe’s gently tied mousetail. Who else’s job was it to ruin his hairdo other than his?
Feeling Engel’s hand gently touch his chest, lifting a strand of hair and promptly playing with it between his fingers, Filippe opened his eyes slightly to look at him.
“What is it, your majesty…?” He muttered, his words making Engel chuckle.
“Stop with these ‘your majesty’ jokes. You know I prefer my name, especially when you’re like this next to me.”
“Yes, your majesty Engel–,” Filippe’s smile grew larger when Engel slightly pulled on the strand of hair he was holding like a little child.
Despite the difference in their ages, the albino quite enjoyed this more childish side of the now king; it was something that only he got the luxury of ever seeing. In fact, there were many sides to Engel that Filippe was practically confirmed to being the only one that knew of them.
For starters, the side of Engel which was revealed to him when the two had finally met in the library was not something outsiders knew about. In fact, even Filippe wasn’t aware of it despite the two practically growing up together.
The truth was, until that day when the two met in the library, Filippe always thought that the affection he had found within himself towards the now king was one sided.
It was how it was supposed to happen to him. His eyes were always focused on Engel, following his figure, practically being his shadow during all this time. He didn’t know when this affection, these feelings had found their way into his heart; but it was absolutely sure that after a certain point, whenever he looked at the young man, he saw him in a different light than anyone else he had met and talked with previously.
Filippe wasn’t someone who chose to show many emotions on the outside. Yet, the more he was faced with these feelings of his — feelings he didn’t allow himself to express —, the more he felt that he couldn’t say them out loud.
Engelbert was always the one who flirted with all the ladies at any events. He was always up to date with the rumors and undercurrents of the cliques and knew how to make any woman swoon. In fact, Filippe had observed the prince to always be around the ladies. He hadn’t seen an ounce of him trying to even approach men with similar intentions. In the end, Filippe had chosen to keep silent about the way his heart felt and did his absolute best to keep the feelings repressed and simply be of help to the prince.
What a lie. What a lie it was to himself to even try to do something like that. Every day, no, every time Filippe witnessed Engel do anything to play around with a woman, be it useless flirt or just messing around with their feelings to get out whatever he wanted from them, he felt his own heart twist and turn in his chest. Usually, he remained silent. He never said a word about his own feelings, though he did make Engel aware of the fact that he disapproved. Filippe was quite vocal about that part.
But that night at the banquet, when he had been just too upset, overwhelmed and tired from not only his own suppressed feelings but Engel’s behaviour, he had gotten drunk and done probably the biggest mistake in his life.
Filippe had ended up kissing Engel after trying to make him understand that a kiss did indeed matter, even if he thought it didn’t. And then ran away like a twelve-year-old, without even giving a chance for a talk, not even offering the shortest of explanations.
And then, two months later, Engel had approached him and asked, no, begged! He begged for an explanation, a simple explanation, because he wanted to know.
Engel wanted to know what was going on, he wanted to understand what had gone through Filippe’s mind and he wanted to just finally feel at peace once he did know. He was sure that there was something else going on that Filippe had never told him about and he had ended up right.
The two had a very long talk, basically a very long discussion regarding what both sides thought, together with doing their best to lay their sides of the story bare bones down on the table. It was something that both people had to do, not to mention it being something that surprised both parties.
Filippe, who basically had no idea Engel even thought of him as anything more than just an attendant, had ended up mellowing quite a lot inside, probably not quite able to hide his beating heart but still trying his best. Engel, on the other hand, had a rather hard time explaining his own side, however, at the end, he had asked Filippe if it would be possible for them to at least try. To to be together, that is.
He wanted to try and understand not only how he felt, but whether anything between them was even possible. And as fate would have it, the two had ended up more than just being very close to each other.
Filippe smiled to himself.
Engel blew a small stream of air just under the albino’s ear, interrupting Filippe’s train of thought and making him look back at him in surprise.
“You’re daydreaming again…”
“Maybe I’m just getting old then,” the albino shrugged lightly, turning on his side in the bed to look at Engel as soon as he was about to be playfully poked by the king.
In return the ruler pouted, making him look so childish for a second, before his fingers once more played around with the soft strands of white hair and his expression softened. “With the way you look, I doubt it’s really possible to tell whether you’re old or young.”
“Oh, so someone’s jealous?” Filippe chuckled, raising an eyebrow only to be pushed back onto his back when Engel’s pout became even deeper and he used his arms to prop himself up to look down on Filippe.
The two were no longer laying on the same plane as Engel found his way to lean on top of Filippe, looking down on him with those almost shining hazel eyes of his.
“A king can’t be jealous from his subjects, royal attendant,” he spoke, with extra intonation on the words “royal attendant” before suddenly chuckling and quickly leaning in to give a gentle peck on Filippe’s lips.
“Not if I’m the one that makes the king jealous,” was Filippe’s response as he just as quickly turned the tables on Engel by placing his hand on the other’s nape and pulling him for a much more sensual kiss.
The smile which had found its place on Filippe’s lips as soon as that little intervention was over was one of amusement, as he clearly enjoyed playing up on Engel’s words and teasing him.
It was always something he had wished to do before, to be able to express his feelings not just through his actions, but through his words as well. To be able to see the prince’s reaction to the way he talked, the way he showed his affection and more was always something Filippe had probably dreamed about plenty of times, way before he had even confessed. If that drama could be considered a confession, that is.
“On the mention of a king, you should get yourself a queen,” Filippe’s tone suddenly turned serious, even as his palm gently rested on Engel’s cheek.
Engel immediately puffed in indignance, rolling his eyes before plopping face down onto Filippe’s chest with a groan. “Noooo… I don’t want to!”
Filippe almost cracked a smile, his now free hand going on top of Engelbert’s head to pat him, palm moving up and down as if he were stroking a puppy’s head. For the most part, however, he remained serious, even while comforting his loved one.
“But you have to. Have you seen the ludicrous amount of love letters and proposals you keep receiving every day?”
The king groaned. “The same ones you keep using for fire starters? Yes, yes, I know about them.”
“Well, you’re going to keep receiving them if you don’t find yourself a wife.”
“I don’t want a wife!” Engel almost instantly propped himself back up, brows tightly furrowed as he had become rather irate at the words.
“But you have to get one!”
The protest was quickly silenced as Filippe took Engel’s chin in his hand and pressed lips against his, muffling any further protests, all while making sure any further protests were also silenced by doing his absolute best to take more than just the words away from the king. The short make-out session ended with Engel having to tilt his head back to get his breath back, glaring at Filippe with playful anger.
“How dare–” And again, he was silenced, this time by Filippe putting his finger on Engel’s lips.
“Please listen to me, just this once.”
Engel frowned deeply, mainly because given the fact that Filippe was a royal advisor it was rare that he wouldn’t listen to him. But he resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t be able to get another word in and shrugged. “Sure, whatever.”
“You have to get yourself a queen. You’re a king, a ruler, someone with as much power as you can imagine. But because of the empty spot on the throne next to you still sitting unoccupied, fights and riots could even break out, given that we both know women can get quite vicious, especially when given the slightest hint of holding superiority.
“I mean, remember that woman four years ago, milady Boivin?”
At the mention of the name both Engel and Filippe frowned at the same time, one with distress at the thought and the other with annoyance. They both had their reasons to dislike that woman and if prompted to could probably write an entire book about it. Yet, even as they thought about that distasteful being pampered in tufts of perfume, Engel managed to chuckle in amusement.
“You mean the woman because of which you ended up kissing me for the first time?”
Filippe raised an eyebrow. “Is that the thing you want to talk about?”
“Alright, alright, I’m listening,” the honey-haired man shrugged, pretending he had no idea what was being talked about. A moment later, he straightened himself up, sitting somewhat on top of Filippe, but their eyes were still locked onto each other.
“My idea is, get yourself a wife that will basically just be there as an image, perhaps even a mother to an heir. And yes, I know how hard it is to get a woman like this. It’s practically impossible,” Filippe continued explaining, laying down his idea calmly, all while one of his hands found Engel’s, their fingers intertwining gently. It was a gesture he was quite used to doing, something that after so many years together had become their way of telling each other how they felt and assuring each other that everything was alright.
Engel squeezed Filippe’s hand in return. “So you’re saying I should find myself a wife to be able to continue the family line, perhaps even as a political marriage even? And you’re the one saying it, a bachelor in his mid-thirties, soon-to-be late thirties?”
“Well, you know me. Who would want this body of mine with no family name nor heritage?” Filippe almost rolled his eyes, lightly getting up from the bed as well to look closer at Engel. “Let’s be real, there’s only one idiot in this world who would want me…”
“…and that idiot is me,” Engel finished Filippe’s sentence with a chuckle, running a couple of fingers down Filippe’s chin and neck, all the way down to his chest before pressing the man back down. “You stay down there, I like it this way.
He indeed loved seeing Filippe that way. Bare chested, skin lit by the spotty sunlight finding its way through the double layers of trees outside and the velvety curtains, with long white hair sprawled on the silk sheets, he was a dream come true. Not a dream Engel knew he would enjoy, but a dream he wouldn’t give up for anything in his life, not anymore.
But Filippe wasn’t done talking, his free hand stopping Engel’s from going further by holding it down for a hot second.
“So, do we have an agreement?”
Engel feigned ignorance. “What agreement?”
“You go out there to get yourself a wife and all is good and well, and hopefully the waste of paper for useless love declarations and proposals ends with that too,” Filippe almost groaned, even though he could tell Engel was just playing with him.
“Yes, yes. I’m absolutely listening to you on this, royal advisor Haas.”
Engel playfully rolled his eyes with sarcasm, though he still did agree to Filippe’s terms. Leaning slightly forward, he freed his hand from the other’s grasp, moving it a bit further down his chest to tease him, a playful smirk appearing on his face during all that.
“I never said I’d listen to any other terms today though, so… It’s my turn to make demands, and you better listen. This is,” he chuckled, “an order.”
Filippe already knew where all of that was going, having witnessed more than plenty of it from his ruler during the past four or so years. One of his hands gently travelled up Engel’s forearm, almost tickling him as his own act of teasing, while the other freed itself from the intertwining and moved his own long hair away from his face.
“I’m listening, your majesty?” He chuckled, smiling just enough for the two soft dimples on the sides of his cheeks to show. Coupled with the slightly arched eyebrows and the very soft flush on his cheeks, he was indeed, as Engel would describe it, a rare sight to behold.
~ The End ~