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Peace and Other Stories

Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life

Lavina, Canto 3:  Cesinare and the Harem (Part 1 of 2)
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  23 Sep 2007

King Borheya was forty-nine when his son Guyesp

married the daughter of King Hironamti,

cementing the allegiance of the two kingdoms.

Borheya had ruled for six years, following the death

of his father, the king, and the earlier death,

in childhood, of his older brother.

Borheya, too, had been sickly, even as a child.

At twenty, he’d married a young girl,

the daughter of one of his father’s barons.

She’d bourn him five children:  the first

was a girl, Sevanna; Cesinare came second,

and Borheya had been overjoyed, at his birth,

to have a son and heir at last;

Guyesp came next; then Maldinni,

the second daughter; and finally the youngest,

Anna, who was only thirteen

when she watched her brother

marry the princess Isabella

in the largest, finest church in all Triemte.

Sevanna, Cesinare, and Maldinni had already been married off

to the sons and daughters of local landlords and nobles.

And so, when the possibility of an alliance through marriage

with the Hironamti clan arose, Guyesp had been chosen

to play his role for father, city, and state.


For nearly a year before his son’s wedding,

Borheya had been unable to rise from bed;

many thought it would be his deathbed.

Arranging the union between his own line

and that of Hironamti

had been his last major effort.

To his sadness, he had not even be able to attend the wedding,

needs requiring him to rest well, assured

of this royal blessing upon his son, his inheritor, and his line.


When news came of Isabel’s demise

from a particularly deadly strain of flu,

she and her husband not yet married a month,

Borheya became despondent.

Her body had been burned, with several

servants who had also died ill,

to prevent the contagion’s spread.

King Borheya asked his nation for prayers

and thanks for his son’s continued well-being.

He had the sad word sent with his condolences

to King Hironamti, father of the beautiful Isabel.

The good king did not know the truth:

that his son had invented the contagion and had ordered

his servants burn some servant girl in place of Isabel,

nor that the need for dead servants to prove the contagion

had provided Guyesp with an opportunity to purge

his palace of any hint of disloyalty –

nor still did the good king know

that his daughter-in-law was, at the time,

licking his secret concubines’ excrement from the floor

lest she once again be beaten.

No, King Borheya could not know:

he no longer had the means to know,

sick in bed and dependent on his sons

and his system of servants

to convey to him information.


Borheya died, sick from grief as well as lifelong illness,

not long after he learned of Isabel’s demise.

Cesinare, known for his piousness

both inside his family and without,

assumed his father’s place,

and was crowned in the same church

where his brother had married the fated Isabel

not two months before.  Any such transition

is fraught with risk, but most accepted Cesinare.

One who did not was the baron Anarolyni,

who saw the opportunity to seek power for himself,

or at least concessions from the crown,

and to this end publicly disparaged Cesinare’s ability.


Anarolyni seized upon the growing rumors and reports

from the countryside that the king’s brother had wedded

innumerable women, fine innocent country lasses,

and must be keeping some sort of secret harem.

The powerful baron helped spread and increase these rumors,

charging that Cesinare tolerated the seraglio –

suggesting that, if all the family line were not contaminated

with such dastardly drives and instincts,

then the good King Borheya had been a fine king indeed,

but his sons were not of the same cloth.


Cesinare dismissed the rumors, refusing to believe

his brother would commit such a brazen crime,

and for a time the new king preoccupied himself

with moving from his princely palace

into his father’s grander, titanic dwelling.

He had with him his wife and their two daughters,

and they went about redecorating the old man’s varied rooms

while Guyesp’s defenders asserted the whole story

too ridiculous to be true, and that satisfied a few –

“If you’re going to commit crime,” Guyesp in private said,

“do it grand, so grand that they’ll strain to believe it.”

But as time passed, and the rumors and attacks

by Anarolyni continued, King Cesinare had to respond.

He began with inquiries that, in time, confirmed the missing girls,

then invited Guyesp for dinner so that the king

might ask his brother directly.


It was thus just over a year after Guyesp had formed the harem

when Guyesp not only informed his brother the king

that the rumored harem did indeed exist,

but promised to bring Cesinare to see it the next day.

In doing so, Guyesp had risked his brother’s wrath,

and he knew his brother as a good man, but he trusted

in his brother’s reason and the fact that they were kin:

nothing would be gained by confirming such a family crime.

Moreover, he trusted in the awesome rightness

of the harem itself – that all men understood in silence

not to disturb such a collection of delights,

wondrous enough to augment the world in secret.


Guyesp led the king to the balcony the next afternoon,

and from there Cesinare witnessed a most beautiful sight:

an interior garden, with tall trees and innumerable flowers,

in an even larger courtyard suspended beneath an enormous vault.

In the garden played some two hundred and twenty-eight

of the most beautiful women he had ever seen:

they danced and played and talked by the pond;

they sung and walked and caressed each other

with wild abandon.  As Cesinare scanned the landscape,

he saw not one but two early afternoon orgies.

A girl of perhaps fifteen, beautiful enough to make men cry

merely to see her, was lying on her back beneath the tree,

legs spread up and out into a “V,”

while another beauty, gorgeous from the rear,

licked her and caressed her inner thighs;

two others lounged by this girl’s prostrate, working head,

playing and laughing as the girl on her back

reach upwards and grasped their breasts,

their faces, and necks in the throws of ecstasy.


“Is this not the most delightful scene ever beheld?”

Guyesp asked his brother after some time.

With a lump in his throat and eyes unwavering,

Cesinare admitted it was so.

“Can any deny that my culling of these women

was a good thing, to see them assembled so,

to merely survey this beautiful thing?”

Still surveying, Cesinare shook his head in silence,

adding, entranced, without ever looking away,

“It is a marvel the likes of which I could not dream.”

Guyesp put his hand upon his brother’s shoulder,

looked him in his still-fixated eyes, and said:

“But I could dream it.  It was my dream.”


Cesinare continued to stare, and then observed:

“They are, each in them, a beauty

the likes of which stir men to action

and poets to their verse, or rock to become sculptures.

But taken together like this…

it is breathtaking.  The eyes, the mind…

they cannot take in so much beauty at once –

the possibilities!  I feel as if I have dreamed of this place

all my life, in all my dreams as a man

and as a conqueror, a prince, a statesman, and a king.”


But then Cesinare noticed one girl in particular.

“Good God, is that,” he stammered, then continued:

“That woman, she is the splitting image

of your departed wife.”  He expected

Guyesp to say that she’d been selected for that reason,

perhaps to soothe a wounded heart, to ease a loss.

But Guyesp was honest, and brutally so:

“She is, my brother.  Isabel did not die

but is preserved here for my use.”

Cesinare at last could turn away

and stared at his younger brother in shock.

“What’s more, do you remember how obstinate she was?

The heckling, the prissiness, the demands she made?

No, you could not imagine it all, but still –

you’ve some inkling, yes?  Well, dear brother,

you shall find that the Isabel below

is another Isabel entirely.”


Guyesp turned to leave, to take Cesinare down

to visit the seraglio.  But the king,

having seen this wondrous sight,

naturally coveted his brother’s harem

and thought his brother would not share

what had been so assiduously assembled and protected –

or that, if he would, jealousies would inevitably arise.

As staring at a gorgeous being one desires

can make a man lost in pondering futures,

sex and love and marriage, all;

how he might become enslaved to her by lusty need or love,

or find a million annoyances enclosed within such beauty

like birthmarks, scars, and stretch marks hidden under those robes;

how he and she would long for others, drift apart,

and all the forms of disease and ruin she might bring him;

how one is taunted by the impossibility of compatibility

even in looking at her, speculating as if time stood still;

so Cesinare, staring down from that balcony,

had already played out a thousand scenarios

within his mind:  none ended without Guyesp

killing his brother, not wanting to share

the luscious women, or perhaps

after a dispute over some most prized girl,

and taking the crown as his own,

exhibiting the same deviousness

with which he had built this garden.

No scenarios ended otherwise, except

those in which Cesinare, fighting over some girl

or realizing his brother’s murderous plans,

killed Guyesp first.  And so,

when Guyesp turned to leave, Cesinare

drew his curved knife from his belt

and plunged it into his brother’s back.


Guyesp’s back spurted blood and Cesinare,

his face mad with need, plunged down the blade

two more times, blood pumping out in rhythm

with each pump of the crooked brother’s cleft heart.

Guyesp lay dying, face just before the balcony,

blood bubbling up against his lips.

The dying prince whispered through the blood:

“I would have shared.”  He knew at once the motivation.

And that was all.  Prince Guyesp was dead.

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Lavina:  A Sexual Odyssey:
Lavina, Canto 1:  Lavina and the Prince (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 1:  Lavina and the Prince (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 2:  Isabel and the Harem (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 2:  Isabel and the Harem (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 3:  Cesinare and the Harem (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 3:  Cesinare and the Harem (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 4:  The Fall of the House of Borheya (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 4:  The Fall of the House of Borheya (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 5:  Anarolyni and the Harem (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 5:  Anarolyni and the Harem (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 6:  Return to Halyptus (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 6:  Return to Halyptus (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 7:  Lavina at Sea (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 7:  Lavina at Sea (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 8:  On the Island of Firanet (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 8:  On the Island of Firanet (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 9:  On the Island of Gyneclia (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 9:  On the Island of Gyneclia (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 10:  Lavina in the Desert (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 10:  Lavina in the Desert (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 11:  Lavina the Slave (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 11:  Lavina the Slave (Part 2 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 12:  The Courting of Lavina (Part 1 of 2)
Lavina, Canto 12:  The Courting of Lavina (Part 2 of 2)