"Little prince strolling in the meadows. Little prince of stars. Picking pretty flowers, singing to the butterflies. Birdies flutter round and round. And as the little prince climbed up a tree, a hundred fairies danced upon his head. The little prince grew happy as the fairies danced on. He danced with them until the day's end."
The man, his face shrouded in the darkness provided by his hood, smiled wickedly as he finished the lullaby. He had been following the two princes and their friend for almost three days now. He had witnessed the prince of Infernia being fucked by his master and he saw Dahlia giving Rolff head. He had also watched as they escaped the warriors of the two kingdoms.
He smiled once again, knowing that soon he would be reunited with his beloved Dahlia.
Dahlia was quiet most of the journey. It seemed as if he constantly had something on his mind. It was not like him to be so silent. Normally he would skip and sing. But now he didn't speak. His arm was hooked into Flario's and he seemed lost in his thoughts.
When Flario asked what was wrong, Dahlia simply smiled and said nothing. Rolff was also worried about Dahlia. No one should go through what the prince had gone through three years ago. No one deserved a fate like his.
After a few more hours of silence Rolff let out a yell. He was standing in front of a large bulletin board, which was plastered with various folders and announcements. One of the announcements read "2 miles to the Harbor", an arrow pointing in the direction. Then his eyes caught onto something else. He let another yell as he stared at two posters of Flario and Dahlia.
Flario tore his poster off the board and read: "Wanted for treason and breaking of the law. The retrieval of prince Flario du Inferno III shall be rewarded richly."
Dahlia had a puzzled look on his face as he read what stood on his poster. "Bring back my son or I shall have your head." Yep, that sounded like his mother. No reward for whoever got hold of the prince first. "So, we're wanted criminals?" he asked in disbelief.
"It appears so," Rolff answered, studying both posters thoroughly. "They have the seals of both kingdoms on them. They must have ordered these."
Flario took one last look at his poster and burned it to ashes. "We have to change our appearance. Dahlia and I, I mean."
Rolff agreed with this. He watched Flario closely, his eyes raking over the prince's naked upper body. Then he rested his vision on Flario's head. "Your hair," he said. Within seconds he had a pair of scissors in his hands.
"No," Flario protested. He ran his fingers through his hair and covered his head with his hands as if to protect the locks of brown hair. "Not my precious hair."
Rolff shrugged his shoulders, indicating that they had no choice.
Flario finally gave in and allowed Rolff to cut his shoulder-long hair a bit shorter. Flario held the cut off locks of hair in his hands and almost burst out in tears. When Rolff was finished he asked Dahlia to hand him a mirror. He held it in front of Flario.
"Not bad," Dahlia whistled. "I think I can get used to the new look." He giggled and ran a hand through Flario's hair. "It's cute."
Flario was anything but pleased, but seeing his beloved Dahlia laugh he couldn't help but crack a smile. He really didn't look that bad anyway.
"And you." Rolff pointed the scissors at Dahlia.
"Yeah, you. We have to get rid those ridiculous leaves covering your crotch."
"It's a carefully crafted undergarment, you brute," Dahlia protested.
"And that plant in your hair has got to go," Rolff continued.
"It's a wreath!"
Without warning Rolff ripped the leaves off Dahlia's body and pulled the wreath out of his hair, leaving Dahlia feeling a bit naked.
"Now what?" Dahlia ranted, his face as red as tomato.
"Now we find you some clothes," Rolff laughed and walked off into the direction the arrow pointed. "I'll be right back. You guys wait here." And with his long legs he took off.
Flario's eyes raked over Dahlia's naked body and he whistled softly. "Looking good, baby. I could get used to the new look," he joked.
This caused Dahlia to smile at his lover and he forgot why he felt embarrassed in the first place. He had been naked in front of Flario many times before, but somehow this felt different. He felt exposed. His mind wandered back to that event three years ago.
"Hey, sexy," Flario cooed while taking Dahlia into his arms, "what do you say we go behind those trees and have a little fun, huh?"
Dahlia wrestled himself out of Flario's loving arms and pushed him away. Then he stormed off and disappeared between the trees.
Flario just kinda stood there wondering what he had done wrong.
A few moments later Rolff returned with two plastic bags. "Where's Dahlia?" he asked while looking around.
"I dunno," Flario answered. He was still confused with what had happened. "He just stormed off a few moments ago."
"So you're telling me that prince Dahlia is out there all alone completely naked, while there's a raping madman on our tails?"
"I guess so," Flario said, shrugging his shoulders indifferently. Then he came to understand the meaning of Rolff's words. "Shit!" How could he have forgotten that his former masters, one of which had brutally raped Dahlia three years ago, were chasing them across the land?
"Don't worry, I'm fine," they heard Dahlia say. He came strolling out from behind the trees. "No need to get all dramatic or anything."
Flario ran to Dahlia and hugged him. "Don't ever do that again," he whispered.
"Whatever," Dahlia said and wrung himself free out of Flario's embrace. "Are those for me?" he asked Rolff. He took one of the plastic bags and peered in. "Cute," he stated and made his way behind the trees to change.
Rolff and Flario exchanged dumbfounded looks. What was that all about? First Dahlia was all smiles and sunshine and then he was tense and distant all of a sudden.
"Is everything okay between you two?" Rolff asked.
"I dunno," Flario sighed, "it's like he's a whole different person."
Before they could finish their conversation, Dahlia returned. He wore tight blue cotton trousers, which hugged his cute ass. He also wore a black sleeveless vest and a white shirt. The first few buttons of the shirt were unbuttoned, showing off his hairless chest. It was a completely different look for Dahlia. He actually looked kind of threatening in this outfit.
Rolff reached into the second bag and pulled out a pair of brown boots similar to those that Flario was wearing and handed them to Dahlia. He handed Flario a red shirt. "We can't have you going into town bare-chested," he explained.
"And why not," Flario protested, "I like being bare-chested."
Rolff threw the shirt in Flario's face. "Just wear the damn shirt!"
Flario pulled the shirt off his face and studied it. "Fine," he sighed. He slipped into the shirt. It was a sleeveless shirt and it hugged his upper body so that his muscular chest showed.
Dahlia gave his hunky lover a nod of approval.
"Cut my hair, Rolff," Dahlia suddenly said.
Both Flario and Rolff looked at the prince in disbelief. Why would he want to get rid of those pretty red curls? They were his most attractive attribute.
"Don't stare at me as if I just told you that I was in love with a woman," Dahlia snapped.
Rolff took the scissors and carefully started snipping away at the curls on Dahlia's head.
Flario watched in horror as this happened. He had always loved those fiery red curls. They were one of the reasons he had fallen in love with Dahlia.
When Rolff was finished he held the mirror in front of Dahlia. His hair may have been less in volume but the curly features were still present.
Dahlia admired himself in the mirror. "Hmmm," he hummed. "Not bad. Not bad at all. Only one thing missing." At that moment a beautiful flower grew out of the ground and Dahlia bent over to pick it. Then he stuck the flower behind his ear. "There. Perfect." He put the mirror away and sat down on the ground to slip his feet into the boots.
"Ready to go into town, boys?" Dahlia asked after he finished tying the laces. Without waiting for an answer he jumped up and marched along the road leading to the Harbor.
Rolff and Flario followed without protest.
After fifteen minutes or so the guys could hear waves crashing on the rocky shore. The loud screeching of hundreds of seagulls indicated that they were close. After a few more minutes they were rewarded with the sight of the magnificent Great Ocean. Miles and miles of crystal blue water. Beneath them in a deep valley lay the Harbor. Hundreds of sailboats and many ships had cast their anchor down there.
Dahlia took a deep breath of the fresh ocean air. As it filled his lungs many memories came flooding back. Both good and bad. He realized it had been too long since he visited the shore. It had been a precaution of his mother.
Without any warning Dahlia starting running down the hill. He dove into tall grass, rolling and laughing as he did so. For a brief moment he was a child again. When he came to a stop at the foot of the hill, he looked up at the clear blue sky above him. White fluffy clouds drifted by.
Flowers started growing all around him and before long many butterflies were fluttering around his head. They landed on his face and in his hair, making him feel like the most carefree spirit in the entire world.
He heard footsteps and the spell was broken. The flowers withered and the butterflies fled as Rolff and Flario made their way down the hill.
"That looked like fun," Flario smiled.
"It was," Dahlia sighed with a contempt smile on his face, but it soon withered just like the flowers.
"Ready to go?" Flario asked.
Dahlia hesitated for a moment. "In a minute." He sat up and looked up at his hunky lover. He reached out his hand, wanting Flario to pull him to his feet.
As Flario took his hand, Dahlia pulled him to the ground and rolled on top of him. They stared into each other's eyes. Dahlia caressed Flario's face and ran his fingers through his hair. He smiled, gave Flario a quick peck on the lips and rolled off of him.
"Time to go," Dahlia announced. And he skipped through the grass.
Rolff sensed that there was some kind of tension between Dahlia and Flario. It withheld them from really being intimate with each other.
Flario stood up and followed Dahlia. His lover's behavior confused him. One moment they were lying on top of each other and staring into each other's eyes and the next it was all over.
"Rolff, I'm confused," Flario confessed.
"As am I, my friend," Rolff replied, "as am I."
As they entered the overcrowded marketplace, the smell of freshly caught fish filled their nostrils. Merchants were screaming at the top of their lungs that their fish was the best. A few feet further women were selling vegetables and fruit.
Dahlia grabbed an apple and paid for it. He took a bite and sighed with delight. The apple tasted heavenly. He offered Flario a bite, but he turned down the offer with a smile. Dahlia shrugged and continued eating his apple.
Rolff decided to do some grocery shopping. He bought bread, fruit and vegetables. He also bought eggs and a few pounds of meat.
Flario noticed that their wanted posters were plastered on every single wall. He really hoped that their disguises would work. If anyone recognized them...
"Hey, I know you!" somebody suddenly yelled out. The man pointed at Flario.
Flario just stood there, unable to move. Petrified with fear.
It seemed as if somebody had hit the mute button, the entire Harbor fell silent. All eyes were focused on Flario, Dahlia and Rolff.
"You're that guy," the man continued to yell excitedly.
"I... dunno what you're talking about," Flario said. He tried to sound indifferent. How could this man have possibly recognized them?
"You're the guy from that ship, aren't ya?"
All three let out a sigh of relief.
"Yeah, I'm that guy," Flario laughed.
The man laughed out loud and walked off.
As they strolled along the ships, they realized that they hadn't thought of something.
"Uhm, guys," Rolff started, "speaking of ships... where are we going to find a ship to bring us across the Great Ocean?"