TITLE: Slave to Love M/K (01/03) (Alexian Nights Challenge)

AUTHOR: Tarlan

DATE: 25th July 1999

E-MAIL ADRESS: TarlanX@aol.com

DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Gossamer - yes. Archive/X - Yes. Ter/ma - yes. Elsewhere please ask

SPOILER WARNING: Small one for Terma.

RATING: NC-17

CONTENT WARNING: If the idea of two beautiful men sharing themselves physically isn't your scene then don't bother reading on - you know where the DELETE key is. You have been warned.

CLASSIFICATION: X

SUMMARY: Set anytime after Red and the Black.

COMMENTS: This is my response to the 'Alexian Nights' challenge. Any inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies etc belong to Alex... Hey, it's *his* story after all! Thanks, as always, to Aqualegia for all the encouragement, advice, and beta reading. Any and all comments gratefully received so long as they're constructive. Please, please feed me!!!! Flames will be met with derision so don't waste your time.

DISCLAIMER: Fox Mulder, Alex Krycek and all other X-Files regulars belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and FOX Television. No copyright infringement intended. Any characters you haven't heard of before are copyrighted to me.

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Slave To Love by Tarlan

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Alex Krycek stared at the man seated opposite, his tongue slipping out to moisten dry lips as his gaze dropped to the loaded gun aimed at his belly. He had been so stupid to think he could enter this apartment a second time and still catch him unawares. Somehow or other he had been expected and now he was at the mercy of a man who bore the sort of love/hate attitude towards him that could mean life or death depending on how he performed.

"Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Then you can begin... and if it fails to please then..." The man caressed the trigger, raising the gun slowly.

Krycek dropped slowly to the overstuffed chair, perching himself near the edge. He knew what was expected of him, knew what the other man wanted to hear but could he deliver under these circumstances. To be honest there was no other option if he wanted to escape this with his life. He closed his eyes, trying to focus and organise his thoughts enough to allow a glimmer of an idea to coalesce. Then he took a deep breath and began.

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The air held a strange quality of warmth mingled with anticipation, as if heavy with a knowledge of things to come. Before him, the field was golden and he could see many of the men and women of the Village, young and old alike, quickly gathering in the harvest before the rainstorms came. Without this crop they would starve through the winter months. It would make their bread, feed the livestock and, bartered with neighbouring villages, would bring supplies of other necessities. He sighed, wishing his older brothers had allowed him to accompany them on the hunting trip, but they insisted his place was in the field helping to bring in the crop... maybe next year... when he reached 15 years of age.

"Alexei!"

The young boy aimed a chagrined smile towards his older sister, Anastasia, and hefted the bale by his feet onto the back of the cart. A movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. One of the women at the far end of the field had straightened up, her body turned towards the brow of the hill... and then he heard it, the sound of thunder. He gazed up at the sky in bewilderment. The clouds were thicker than usual, but not yet heavy with rain. The woman cried out suddenly, her body turning fast as she started to run towards them. Anastasia grabbed her young brother's shoulders, her face contorted in fear.

"Alexei! Run to the village as fast as you can... warn father. It's the Horde."

She shook him once to bring him out of shock, and then he was running, his arms pushing their way through the waist-high wheat crop. Behind him the thunder grew louder but he resisted the temptation to look back... it would slow him down. Adrenaline pumped through his veins, his heart raced and his feet pummelled the ground. Ahead he could see the outskirts of the village; his lungs were fit to burst yet he managed to fill them enough to shout the warning.

"The Horde!"

For a split second, that seemed to his blood-deprived mind like a lifetime, the Villagers became statues, frozen in place by shock... and then everything changed. Screams and shouts were raised; women grabbed small children as the men reached for pitchforks, scythes, and any other possible weapon.

As Alexei collapsed against the nearest hut, desperately trying to draw breath into his abused lungs, the first of the Horde arrived. The horse jumped over the meagre wall surrounding the village, its rider already slashing at the men who leapt forward to stop him. Screams and the scent of blood filled the air. Alexei's own cry joined them as he watched the sword of the second attacker tear the axe from his father's hand. The backward follow-through opened his father's body from sternum to hip. He raced forward as two of the villagers brought down the horse and rider, plunging a small hand-knife into the attacker's chest.

Alexei grabbed the sword and tried to wield it as another horseman sped towards him, but his youth and inexperience could not match the force of the clash and it was sent spinning from his hand. He held his breath as he awaited the same fate as his father, watching in fascinated horror as the blade swept towards him...

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It was a sudden jarring that brought him back to consciousness; the wheel of the enclosed wagon dipped into a pothole in the man-made track. His eyes opened into darkness as his body felt the odd, yet almost rhythmic, jerking. The night air seemed cold despite the warmth of the bodies pressed close to his own.

"Where are we?"

"Alexei?"

Alexei recognised the voice of his next elder brother.

"Nikolai? Where are we? What's happened?"

Another voice answered from the other side.

"The Horde destroyed the village. We're on the road to slavery."

Alexei swallowed hard. "Father's dead."

"I know."

"What about Boris and Pyetr?"

"I don't know... they were with the hunt."

"Anastasia? Nikita? Valerie?... Mother and the little ones?"

"They're in the other wagons... except for Anastasia... but I wish they had all died."

An arm went around his shoulder and Alexei turned his face into the comforting embrace of his brother.

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The wagons trundled on into the late afternoon as if trying to put as much distance, in as short a time as possible, between themselves and the village. No one brought them any food or water. Eventually the call to halt was heard and the men and boys in the wagon murmured softly in trepidation. The cover was ripped back and a greasy looking man, dressed in dark leather, with long straggling hair, ushered them into the open.

Alexei held onto his brother's arm as they watched the approach of a man whose bearing claimed him to be the Leader. He stopped and gazed along the line of men and boys, a cruel smile lifting the corners of his mouth as he spied the two brothers. He pointed to Alexei... and seconds later, Alexei found himself shoved forward.

"Beautiful."

The massive warrior grasped Alexei's hands and turned them over with a slight grimace. The boy had obviously been set to work in the fields. He paused as if in thought, then turned his head towards the huddled group of women and children, his dark brown eyes alighting on a woman clasping a small child and a baby.

"Is that your mother?"

Alexei glanced quickly at his brother for advice, then nodded. It was fairly obvious that they were related. His mother had come from a more distant village, her long tresses of sable hair and vivid green eyes so different from the blonder, blue- eyed look of the other villagers. Alexei shared her traits, even to the softer planes of his face with its higher cheekbones and narrower chin. In comparison, Nikolai was blonder but the features and those green eyes were the same.

"Bring her forward."

He waited as the woman was dragged before him.

"You will tend to your son. Oil him. Pay particular attention to his hands, feet, knees and elbows. I want his skin soft and supple... calluses removed. This one will fetch a good price."

Alexei was dragged away with his mother and youngest siblings in tow, but he heard the Leader's following words as the warrior chief's attention turned to Nikolai.

"Too old... but he will serve me well until we get..."

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The remainder of the journey passed slowly and in misery. His older brother's cries filled the camp that night, the cries gradually giving way to sobs and then silence. Alexei could only clench his fists in frustration as he wondered what vile things the warrior chief did to make his brother cry out. Over the next few days he would catch glimpses of Nikolai; his eyes deadened by pain and despair, as he fetched food and water for the Chief.

Eventually the rolling green hills gave way to a large plain of scrubby grassland, and the following day the wagon train halted beside the largest expanse of water Alexei had ever seen. It seemed to stretch on forever. There was an ominous murmuring around him and Alexei knew that the first part of their journey was over... and, instinctively, he realised that this might be the last time he saw his family. That night he clung to his mother and younger siblings, trying to be the strong one, as her tears soaked through his soft cotton tunic.

"Mother. I *will* find you... all of you... I promise. We will be together again."

His mother raised her head and brushed a lock of soft, mahogany hair from her child's face. She wanted to tell him the truth... that the chance of them all being together again in this life was non-existent. She wanted to tell him not to waste his life in any foolish quest. She wanted him to live... and be happy but she knew her words would fall on deaf ears so she kissed his cheeks and held him close.

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The following day came and went too quickly. They arrived at a busy port and within hours he had seen his sisters sold, then his mother, still clasping little Nastassia and two-year old Mikhail close to her body. He memorised the faces and names of the opulent men and women who exchanged money with the slimy slave auctioneer before leading them away. Alexei waited as the older men and boys were placed on the block. He saw friends and neighbours sold and herded off... he watched Nikolai, head bowed in defeat, being manhandled before a price was reached and sobbed as the last of his family was taken out of sight. Then came his turn.

Alexei was pulled forward, head held high in defiance, staring directly ahead over the crowd, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the greedy eyes that mapped his young flesh as his tunic was removed, leaving him naked to their gaze. He ignored the hands that groped him, checking his teeth, running fingers through his hair and stroking his skin; feeling along his muscles the way his father would check out a piece of livestock before agreeing a price. Yes... that was what he was... livestock. His lips trembled momentarily as the full extent of his position came crashing down on him. He barely heard the shouts that flowed thick and fast but, all too soon, the hammer fell, and he was being led away. His fate had been determined.

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Alexei groaned again with the rocking and rolling motion of the small boat. Three days had passed since he had been led onboard and chained to the wooden wall below deck with a dozen other boys of various ages and colouring. Next to him lay Gregor, a boy from his village, who was four years younger. The boy had clung to him the same way he had held onto Nikolai... afraid to be separated even for a moment. A thumping noise and the sound of raised voices heralded the next stage of his journey, his 'master' appeared, unlocked the chain, and led all the boys up on deck.

Alexei's green eyes widened at the desolate sight that greeted him. Gone were the luscious green fields and scrubby grasslands. Instead, the ground seemed hard-baked and devoid of life; the dust clogged up his sandals.

They were led, still chained together, towards the centre of the town. It was then that Alexei realised, with growing horror, that his fate had not yet been determined after all as he, Gregor, and the other boys were sent to the slave auction block once more.

His 'master' of a few short days seemed extremely pleased with the bidding; rubbing his obscenely fat, jewel encrusted, hands together as the shouting increased until...

Alexei felt his heart freeze over as the last familiar face of his childhood was dragged away, the wail from Gregor sealing in the coldness.

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As the years passed Alexei was sold from one brothel to another, as his face, and body, matured beyond the interest of the clientele of each establishment. He barely remembered his early initiation into the life of a catamite. Yet he recalled all too clearly the punishments that had followed his various escape attempts. Over time, the hard life had taken its toll, stripping him of his dignity and innocence. His life before seemed like the product of some misty, half-remembered dream; the faces of his beloved mother and siblings gradually fading despite his attempts to keep them in his mind.

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Seventeen years passed as the man-child grew into adulthood, still as beautiful, yet missing the lively spirit that used to dance in the sea green eyes.

M'hadra sighed as he gazed upon the slave. The temptation to keep Alexei was strong... he could use him to train the new boys that were bought every so often but, as a whore, his usefulness had come to an end. The men who frequented the brothel were rarely interested in the older slaves, preferring much younger flesh. Yet Alexei had outlasted many of these... his unblemished ivory skin, dark hair cascading over a tall forehead and green eyes, framed in long dark lashes, captivating many a client even before they saw the strong athletic body with its long legs and perfectly formed ass. However, calls for his service had lessened until he was barely earning his upkeep.

"Alexei. You've been sold."

M'hadra looked deep into the green eyes, his own trying not to betray the sadness he felt at this parting but the recent offer for this slave had been more than handsome. He felt Alexei deserved to know a little of his fate as the 'boy' had given him much pleasure over the years.

"Your new master will treat you kindly... I have been assured of that. He is a man of great wealth and influence... a prince among his people who requires a man-servant to attend to him."

Alexei nodded his head, inwardly annoyed at his gratitude. He had seen so many of the older boys, and men, sold to less discriminating brothels; where pain, humiliation, and death were the end result.... Or sent into the mines and gravel pits where their bodies, softened by the years in the brothels, were unable to cope with the hard labour. They lasted not much longer. A small smile touched his lips. Perhaps this new master would be less lenient with his slaves. Maybe he would be able to 'earn' the man's trust enough to escape and fulfil the promise he had made to his mother all those years ago.

"Your new master will collect you in two hours." M'hadra stepped forward and pulled the unresisting body into his arms, his mouth latching onto Alexei's throat before gliding his tongue towards one perfect ear. "Enough time for one last taste..."

Alexei closed his eyes as the obscenely fat fingers dove beneath his light tunic, years of experience keeping the shudders of disgust at bay, as the large flabby stomach flopped against his own lean flesh. Quickly, he reached down to search for the small, near-flaccid penis that would be hidden within the rolls of fat, anxious to complete the actual act as fast as possible.

Two hours later he stood at the entranceway, clothed only in a light tunic and a pair of worn sandals. His ass was still tingling from M'hadra's attention and with the annoying, but all too familiar, sensation of what little semen he had not been able to bathe away gradually slicking the inside of his ass cheeks.

The door opened and a man stepped through, pausing momentarily to stare at the slave waiting just inside the doorway. Alexei looked up quickly and a pair of green-gold eyes captured his gaze. He lowered his face, shocked by the blush that heated his face so unexpectedly. So rarely did he react to any man and, for one tiny moment, Alexei fervently wished that he were not awaiting a new master so that he might have the chance to seduce this new client.

The man chuckled and moved passed him. Moments later Alexei heard M'hadra talking to someone, his slimy tone of deference making it obvious that a representative of Alexei's new master had finally arrived to collect his new slave. Alexei waited patiently, head bowed as the man came to stand before him. He missed the small smile of satisfaction that was aimed at him... and he missed the slight upturn of the slightly too big nose as the man leant forward. A soft monotone drifted across towards his former master.

"I see you took one final pleasure."

Alexei glanced up; his eyes widening as he recognised the handsome man with the hazel eyes that he had assumed was a client. M'hadra grimaced, wringing his sweaty hands together, afraid that he might have spoiled the deal in his lust to possess that beautiful body one last time.

"No matter... he was still your slave until..."

The tall man with light brown hair tumbling across his forehead offered a small leather pouch that was seized by the brothel keeper. M'hadra tipped the coins out onto his palm, counting quickly. He smiled, pleased that there had been no attempt to short-change him and then snapped his fingers. One of the house servants came forward and handed him a piece of parchment which M'hadra dutifully handed over to the well-dressed figure that stood before him.

"Deeds of Ownership."

M'hadra watched as Alexei was led away, strangely saddened and annoyed that his former slave never looked back, giving him no opportunity to gaze one last time on that beautiful face.

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Krycek glanced up into an enraptured expression.

His captor had leant forward, a kindling lust evident in the tightness at the crotch of the man's trousers as he recognised the new, familiar figure that had entered the story. The scene was now set for what he *wanted* to hear. He cocked his head at the storyteller, a flick of his wrist indicating that he was impatient for Krycek to continue. A smile curved his lips when it became apparent that Krycek *was* going to go on and he leant back slightly to ease the slight discomfort of his growing erection. This was far better than watching porno tapes and old movies.

He reached forward for the means to appease his habit and then settled himself back into the couch to await the sound of that husky, oh so sexy voice as Krycek continued on with the 'story'.

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Days passed, and Alexei rarely saw the man who had paid for him, let alone his new master. He had been told that the Prince was travelling within the large caravan and he had seen the large, majestic, tent raised each evening, but had yet to be brought before him. When he did catch sight of the Prince's servant it was usually out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to look at him, the man quickly moved away. Alexei frowned. He had seen that look on a man's face many times... desire... hunger... and he knew it was aimed at him. He sighed. If only he was not a slave, then, maybe he might have had the chance to walk up to that intriguing figure and offer himself.

Alexei gasped slightly. What was he thinking? He had spent more than half his life being abused and used by other men for their pleasure. How could he want to offer himself willingly for more? How had those hazel eyes, and that soft voice, cracked the ice around his heart so swiftly... with just a look and a small chuckle? This was pure madness... but he felt the pull towards that man with every part of his being. He longed to feel those long fingers stroking his hair, that luscious mouth, with its full bottom lip, licking and sucking his skin...

Madness!!! But such sweet madness.

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Another night passed uneventfully and Alexei was pleased to note that his duties remained very light, but, more importantly, that the path the caravan followed was northward, away from the desert and into the richness of the Tigris valley. Sand and scrubby grass gradually gave way to lush vegetation and then they were within sight of one of the greatest rivers in the 'civilised' world. He remembered being told that he had sailed down this river after being sold for the third or fourth time.

According to the other servants and slaves, they would turn east and follow one of the many tributaries into Persia, then go north until he would reach the great Caspian Sea for the first time in seventeen years.

Later that day the caravan drew to a halt beside the wide river. Alexei watched the small boats drift along while the tents were erected. A noise to his left brought him about.

"The Prince wishes to see you tonight. I must prepare you."

Alexei nodded his head and followed the old woman to the servants' tent. There he was bathed in sweet-scented water, his short hair cleaned and his body scrubbed until it was soft; all the sand and dried, dead skin removed. Scented oils were massaged into his flesh until he had a slight gleam about him. He was helped into a short, light, tunic and gilded sandals and then led towards the large tent at the centre of the camp.

The heavy curtains covering the entrance were pulled back by two burly guards as he approached, and he was ushered into its opulent interior. Alexei felt his mouth drop open at the sight of the considerable amount of wealth displayed so casually. Thick Persian carpets covered the floor, soft and lush beneath his feet. Silken drapes hung from every wall, obscuring the rough tent material. A low table with elaborately scrolled legs and a filigree top of the finest detail was placed just to one side. Upon it was a beautiful golden jug, encrusted with rubies and emeralds, and two matching goblets. Scattered around the table were thick cushions of azure, green, red, and orange.

The servant who had accompanied him poured a small amount of wine into each of the goblets and handed one to the dark-haired slave, before leaving the tent. Alexei brought the goblet to his lips; his eyes widening in appreciation as the honeyed wine flowed into his mouth.

A slight breeze through the still open entrance fluttered the heavy damask curtains that screened off another portion of the tent... the sleeping area and for one moment he could make out a thick base of soft cushions and silk coverings... and the outline of a tall, lean figure. Alexei replaced the goblet on the low table.

These curtains were parted suddenly and he found himself staring at the man who had paid for him. The heavy desert cloak had been removed revealing the lithe, athletic frame that he remembered so well. The long, silk-clad, legs stretched endlessly beneath firm buttocks. A matching tunic of shimmering gold hugged the man's torso, tapering in at the waist to a wide cummerbund of cerulean blue silk.

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Krycek halted as the sound of an in-drawn breath filled the room, strangely pleased that his description had provided enough to form an image that could elicit such a response. He watched as the free hand reached down to rub over the impressive erection, but the gun, in the other hand, barely wavered.

"Go on."

He took a deep breath and continued, knowing that he held his audience of one in the palm of his only hand.

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Eventually, Alexei's eyes reached the seldom seen, yet well- remembered, face. His breathing quickening as he recognised the desire that burned in the green-gold eyes, as the Prince mapped the face and body of his slave. Alexei had seen that look on a hundred faces but never had he craved such attention until this moment. There was something in the air, a crackling, like static before a storm, and he believed he would see the physical lightening flash between them if should reach out towards that electric figure. Alexei knew he was blushing... could feel the heat in his cheeks and swallowed against the sudden dryness of his mouth, his tongue peeking out to add what little moisture remained to his tingling, sensitive lips.

A sudden in-drawn breath from his Master at this erotic act brought forth a smile, and he stood still as long fingers reached out to undo the clasp that held his tunic at the shoulder. The light, silken cloth fluttered to the floor, pooling around his feet, leaving him naked.

"So beautiful."

His Master drifted fingers across the strong torso of his new acquisition, surprised at the softness of the silky skin. Short, well-manicured nails scraped lightly over one nipple bringing it to a hardened peak. Then the hand snaked slowly downwards, across the flat stomach, into the amazingly soft dark hair that gradually thickened as it led the hand from navel to groin. There, nesting against the thick, sable curls rose his slave's aroused flesh, its uncut head so much in contrast to his own.

A moan spilled from the luscious lips as the Master stroked along the length of the silken shaft, following the path of the throbbing vein upward where he gently pushed back the foreskin to reveal the flushed head. A small pearl of pre-cum glistened at the tip and he smoothed it over the head, eliciting yet another soft moan.

"So responsive..."

He leant forward and took his slave's mouth with his own, his tongue pushing apart the lips and revelling in the sweet honeyed taste of wine. His nostrils flared as the scent of fragrant oil assailed his senses, yet he could still sense the more heady underlying musk of the younger man who filled his arms.

Hands stroked along his sides, gently, almost unobtrusively, as if waiting for permission to apply a bolder touch to the firm body. Prince Fox smiled into the open kiss and then pulled away.

"Strip me."

His smile grew brighter as he detected the slight trembling in his slave's hands, pleased that the years of servitude had not deadened the younger man's own desires. As his tunic was pushed aside the slave licked and bit at the exposed flesh, dragging delicious moans from his master. Once fully naked they tumbled together onto the pile of thick cushions, their mouths crushing together in ardent need. Hip grinding against hip, their erections bumped and slid along each other's length, each touch sending renewed flickers of electricity racing through their nerve endings, igniting their minds and bodies as they burned for each other.

The Prince pulled away and reached out, his hand clasping around the body of a small bottle. He poured the scented oil over his fingers, replaced the bottle and then gently urged his slave to turn over onto his stomach.

Deft fingers stroked between his ass cheeks, rubbing across the small puckered muscle in tantalising patterns until Alexei found his own voice, deep and husky with need, begging for a firmer touch. His pleas were answered as a finger sank into him and he tightened himself around the invader to prevent its escape. As the other hand trailed along his back from shoulder to ass a soft voice whispered sweet promises. Alexei lessened his grip and allowed the finger to sink deeper. He moaned its sudden loss but gasped in pleasure as a second and then a third finger entered, each gliding into his body with strong, firm strokes, caressing the delicate inner tissue and scraping across that secret centre sending spikes of pleasure throughout his body with each and every touch. He sobbed again as the fingers were removed, but allowed the warm hands on his hips to guide him up and back until he could feel a blunt, firm pressure against the relaxed muscle. Years of experience... both painful and pleasurable... told him what to expect, yet never had he wanted so much to be filled. With a suddenness that elicited a shocked gasp from his lover, Alexei pushed back, impaling himself fully upon the thick shaft.

They froze together, enjoying the sensation of filling and being filled and then, by unspoken mutual agreement, they began a slow rocking.

Alexei sighed as each stroke caressed that special place, sending him higher and higher, his muscles clenching against the pure pleasure that suffused his whole being.

Behind him the Prince moaned as the muscles tightened along his length, squeezing and rubbing the sensitive nub at the tip. One hand reached around and grasped the thick, firm shaft of his bedmate... one small, still functioning, part of his mind grateful the younger man had not been castrated to make him less aggressive... as so many were. Alexei was so beautiful in so many ways that it would have been criminal to destroy that perfection.

He felt the body beneath him move faster, urging him onward and cried out as he felt the muscles clench impossibly tight around his hard, swollen flesh, milking the seed from his body even as he felt his slave's creamy jism cover his hand.

They collapsed into a heap of tangled limbs and the Prince kissed the nape of his slave's neck with a tenderness that expanded to fill the lonely places within his soul. He drew away from the strong, younger body and waited, his eyes widening as he realised Alexei had drifted into a pleasure sated sleep.

Prince Fox sat up and gazed wondrously upon the sleeping figure. His fingers carded through the sweat-soaked hair, pushing aside the bangs that spilled across the tall forehead. His mind supplied the image of those beautiful green eyes lying beneath closed lids rimmed with thick, long dark lashes that fanned across the high cheekbones. Everything about his slave seemed inappropriately delicate, from the upturn of the nose to the elfin shape of the slightly pointed ears, adding an ethereal quality to the angelic features.

Prince Fox pulled back guiltily; closing his eyes as the image of another man filled his mind. What he had done was wrong. His sole reason for making his journey northwards was to deliver this particular slave to his friend and companion of so many years. He thought about the man that waited, unknowingly, at the end of this journey... a man so alike and yet so unlike the beautiful creature that had lain in his arms. Pyetr. Would Pyetr understand? Was there such a thing as love at first sight?

Prince Fox sat up and stared into the darkening recesses of the tent.

What of Alexei? He had brought him to his tent this evening to talk to him... not to seduce him. He had wanted to know if this *was* the brother Pyetr had been searching for.... And, if yes, he wanted to know whether the years of slavery, being used and abused physically, mentally, and sexually, had killed the vibrant spirit that his friend so lovingly described from his memory of those long years before the Horde had destroyed his village and torn his family apart.

Fox gazed back down at the sleeping figure. Somehow he knew *that* Alexei had survived the years. He had seen the spirit in the green eyes, had felt the tremors of passion in the responsive body. His hand reached out to caress the soft skin.

The image of Krycek impaled by a hot, thick shaft... rutting sensuously without guilt, totally absorbed in the pleasure and pain of the moment had sent him over the edge. He felt the heat and stickiness within his pants but a flick of the wrist holding the gun stilled the slight motion of his 'companion'. He watched as the coiled tension in the strong body faded with the realisation that the orgasm had not mentally debilitated his 'captor'.

"Is there to be a happy ever after?"

Krycek smiled enigmatically. He was well aware of the power of a good story. He had made up enough during the last few years to cover his ass or get the information he needed out of the unsuspecting, but he was also aware of the interest paid to this particular tale. After all, he had related it *because* it paralleled the truth in so many ways, metaphorically speaking. However, the rest of this story, as a parallel to reality, had yet to be played out. But, from the gleam in the other's eye, and the caressing of the finger on the trigger, it was obvious that more was expected.

It was pay or play time. Should he refuse to go on with the story or should he make up the rest... and if he did make it up, should he reveal what he wanted to happen or should he cover his own vulnerability with a lie. Something told him that the other already knew what Krycek wanted and was waiting for him to make the mistake of trying to cover it up.

Alex Krycek grimaced. He once told Mulder that there was no truth... but that was a half-lie. There *was* a truth but it lay on so many levels depending on the question. Krycek had a feeling that only the truth would save him now so he opened his soul, exposing the vulnerable interior... and continued.

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Prince Fox leaned back against the cushions. There was still many weeks' journey ahead of them... plenty of time to get to know this man and plenty of time to decide how he would explain his actions to Pyetr.

As the days passed he spent many hours with Alexei, cradling him in his arms each night, and gently prising out the story of his time in captivity.

Together, away from the prying eyes of the servants, they shared many secrets, dreams, and aspirations but the Prince never heard what he wanted to hear.

The, one night, as they neared the end of the journey, having spent many days sailing across the expanse of the Mediterranean Sea, Fox felt Alexei's soft breath against his shoulder and realised he was speaking in that low, husky voice. He kept still and silent, listening as Alexei described the village where he was raised and the family he had lost.

Tears slipped from two pairs of eyes as his lover's journey into slavery was related... a tale he had heard many times from different people. He witnessed through Alexei's words the sorrow and pain of seeing his father slain, then his mother and siblings sold to the highest bidder.

Nikolai with his head bowed in defeat. Nikita, 12 years old, being led away by an obese man whose lust for her young, virginal body was all too apparent. Little Valerie, 6 years old, with her sweet laugh and sweeter temperament, being dragged from her mother's arms in floods of tears by a matronly woman who looked little more than a slave herself. Then his mother. In his memory she was still radiantly beautiful with her long, glossy mahogany hair, but her vivid green eyes were rimmed in red from the harsh sobbing as she clutched her two remaining children to her breast. Nastassia clinging to her neck and little Mikhail, with his wide, frightened eyes. The memory still haunted him.

Of Anastasia there had been no sign and he wondered if she lay dead in that barely remembered field, her body stumbled across by the returning hunting party.

Prince Fox listened as Alexei told him of his promise to his mother... a promise he knew that, with the loss of his innocence and youth, he could never make good on. He told of his early attempts to escape that had left him bloodied and bruised, the punishment more mental than physical, but still painful. He recalled how the threat of castration had finally instilled some sense into him, and how he tried to exercise some patience, biding his time, awaiting the right opportunity... and secretly dreaming that Boris and Pyetr would come for him. But neither they, nor the opportunity he needed, ever came. Unless entertaining a client, he had been chained or caged, never trusted even by M'hadra.

Alexei pulled back and gazed deeply into his new master's golden, tear-filled eyes.

"It's been too long now... the trail would have grown too cold. I'm so tired of fighting against my fate."

Alexei slumped back onto the soft cushions deep in thought. He had been sold so many times down the years, taken to so many different places. He had seen the way other slaves were treated... the young girls growing old before their time and then sold to be bred like cattle, often dying in childbirth otherwise being discarded when their breeding days had come to an end. He imagined his Nikita, Valerie and Nastassia, faces lined by years of abuse cast into the fields once the last baby had been torn from their arms... should they have even lived that long. He had already accepted that his mother and Nikolai were long dead. Seventeen years was more than either could have borne. And Mikhail... beautiful Mikhail probably followed a similar fate to his own. Sold to a brothel at the earliest age, remembering no life beyond the men who came to abuse him.

Fox wiped the tears that tripped over the long lashes to fall down the soft cheeks, understanding what Alexei was trying to say and wishing, fervently, that he could reveal what he knew. He tightened his hold and gave comfort the only way he could, promising himself one thing, somehow he would keep Alexei... not as a slave but as a lover and, with good fortune, a friend. He just hoped Pyetr would understand.

Alexei pulled back, his heart breaking from the sour feeling of betrayal that filled him.

"I... wanted you to know about the promise... about the escape attempts... because I wanted you to know that I will lay the past aside. My place is by your side... if that is what you wish... and I will stay with you. I ask only one thing in return..."

Alexei reached up and placed two fingers against his Master's lips, preventing any words.

"A little presumptuous I know, for a mere slave to ask a favour but... if ever you come across any of my family, that you would consider buying them."

Prince Fox smiled.

"Yes. A little presumptuous for a slave who has been in my service for such a short time... but I give you my word... as a man of honour... that you shall see your family freed."

Alexei bowed his head in gratitude, accepting this promise at face value. It was more than he could ever have hoped for, even though the chances of finding any of his family was next to non-existent, but he was tired of being caged and shackled... a prisoner to the rash promise made in the heat of youth and despair. Life with Prince Fox could be more rewarding than anything he had ever experienced before. He hoped his mother, wherever she may be, would forgive him.

Prince Fox felt his heart would break at the misery and defeat so apparent. With one final pang of guilt he pulled the younger man upright, his hand clasped under the chin until the eyes met his own. His decision made.

"I have a story for you, Alexei."

Alexei listened in growing amazement as Prince Fox related the tale of two brothers who had returned from a hunt to find their village razed to the ground, and most of their family and friends either slaughtered or taken off into slavery.

The brothers had vowed to find their kin, and had set out immediately, eliciting the help of all the neighbouring villages, offering future protection in return. The makeshift army had arrived in the coastal town on the Caspian Sea barely a day after the Horde with its 'slaves'. Many of the 'stolen' villagers were still in the vicinity and these were quickly freed, amongst them the family members of the two brothers... all except the beautiful and spirited Alexei.

During the following years Pyetr proclaimed himself ruler and protector of the land and people for hundreds of miles around the tiny village of his birth. No one challenged him for he brought with him a new era of peace and prosperity. In time he forged alliances with neighbouring kingdoms, some through trade, but another through marriage. This most personal alliance brought him the friendship of his new wife's cousin, Prince Fox, heir to the kingdom.

Prince Fox and King Pyetr would spend many an evening supping wine together and through these sometimes-maudlin sessions Fox learnt the story of the Horde attack... and the missing boy.

Prince Fox had a wandering spirit which he liked to indulge, travelling as far as he could within the civilised world; and always, at the back of his mind, he kept this memory of the lost boy, ensuring that all his servants would keep a watch for such a slave.

One day his caravan stopped in a small desert town set around a large oasis. His servants decided to avail themselves of the town's establishments and, as one servant finished taking his pleasure from an attractive Syrian youth, he caught sight of a dark-haired, green-eyed slave chained in the courtyard below. He made a discreet enquiry and was given the name Alexei. He brought his newfound knowledge to the attention of his Master, the Prince.

Prince Fox decided to check this for himself, a single glance had convinced him that this could be the brother his friend sought, and he made an immediate offer that was too tempting to resist.

Alexei stared long and hard at the man who sat before him. Was it true? Had he alone of his brothers and sisters suffered the years of slavery and abuse? Had they been seeking him all these years... lost but never forgotten?

Fresh tears formed in his eyes and trickled down his cheeks as Prince Fox described the search through the years. He spoke of things that Pyetr had told him... anecdotes of his youth that rekindled the deeply buried memories in Alexei. Fox held the younger man tightly in his arms as Alexei sobbed. He pulled the tear-stained face up and looked deep into his lover's eyes.

"Alexei... I couldn't tell you before but you became a free man the moment you stepped into my life. I hold no slaves... only servants who may choose to stay, or leave, as they so desire. But, Alexei, I want you to stay... with me."

"As a servant?"

Prince Fox shook his head, a grin breaking across his handsome face.

"You are far more to me than any servant. In fact... I am *your* slave."

Their mouths met in a joyous kiss, full and open and accepting.

Somewhere the Gods were now smiling upon him and from this day forward Alexei would be a slave only to love.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Alexei Krycek fell silent and studied the man who sat across from him. The gun had been lowered some time earlier, but both had become too caught up in the ending to take notice... until now.

Even in the subdued light of a small lamp Alex could read the heat in the gleaming eyes, see the dilated pupils and hear the faster breath that indicated his companion's arousal. He swept his tongue across dry, full lips once more, moistening them and wished he had been cocky enough to ask for a drink.

"An interesting story... I never realised your talents extended to that level of fabrication... although there seemed to be a little... kernel of truth that I would like to explore."

Krycek smiled deprecatingly, wondering whether the tale had bought him more than just time. His answer came.

"Get out."

The green eyes widened at the slightly unexpected release, but he was not foolish enough to question the order. Within moments he was out of the door and running. Once he felt he had run far and hard enough, he checked over his shoulder, then dived down a dark and gloomy alley. Krycek stopped and leant heavily against the solid brick wall, cradling his head in his arms, both real and artificial.

He knew he had escaped with his life because he had given even more ammunition to the man who had held it so casually, for so long, and he groaned at the implications of his semi- autobiographical confession.

Life would be even more complicated from now on... but, at least, he still had a life.

******************

Back in the apartment the man smiled, a grin that lit up the normally dour face. Rheumy blue eyes crinkled up in a different sort of pleasure as he pulled a Morley from the pack and sucked in a deep lungful of the heady drug.

THE END