Ghalib’s Decision, Part 3
In which Ghalib is confused even further…
“I want you to talk to someone for a few moments. If what I suspect is correct, he will know and then I may be able to help you.”
“Help me?” Ghalib shook his head, still lost.
“Yes. But don’t worry.” Teman smiled at him then turned and knocked.
The door opened to one of the men that had been another personal slave of the malik the year before. “Teman!” he called, pulling Teman into the room and forcing Ghalib to let go of Teman’s hand.
Teman and the man embraced for a long moment, then the other man, slightly shorter than Teman with long, thick black hair, sparkling eyes and a pretty smile, leaned in and kissed Teman. Ghalib felt his face heat—and his cock start to swell—when the kiss deepened and turned quite passionate.
When they broke apart, the other man panted. “Well, what was that for?”
Teman grinned. “I missed you.”
Ghalib watched color spread on the other man’s cheeks but his smile grew as wide as Teman’s. “I missed you. We’ve been busy training a new slave but he finished today, so we will be free again. Oh!” He said, looking up and seeing Ghalib. “Hello.”
“Oops.” Teman turned and held a hand out at Ghalib. When he didn’t move, Teman leaned further and took his hand, tugging until he moved closer. “Nadir, you’ve seen Ghalib before. Ghalib, this is Nadir, His Highness’s other lover and my best friend.”
Nadir looked at Teman in surprise, eyebrows going up. “Best friend?”
Teman nodded, smile fading. “You’ve come to mean so much to me.” He raised a hand and brushed his finger’s over Nadir’s cheek. “We’ve grown so close. Is… is that okay?”
Ghalib was surprised to see the uncertainty on Teman’s face, but Nadir smiled, leaned in and erased it quickly with a kiss. “Yes, it’s very okay. It makes me feel good. I’ll be happy to call you best friend. What… what about Jasim?” Nadir asked, frowning.
“Jas has made friends in Tiantang. We’ll always be close, he’s as much a brother as friend. But… we’re days apart. And, you and I…” He trailed off and shrugged a shoulder, head bowed.
Nadir tilted Teman’s face up and kissed him again. “It’s alright. I’m happy to take over the role. Though… you know that there’s more than friendship from my side, right?”
Teman smiled widely. “As there is from mine.”
Ghalib wanted desperately to pull his hand away and slip out the door. He felt like he very much did not belong witnessing this scene. But as Ghalib tried to let go of Teman’s hand, Teman tightened his around Ghalib’s and refused to let go. “We will talk more of this a little later. Hmm?”
Nadir nodded. “Yes, definitely. Now, what can I do for you, Ghalib?” he asked, turning to Ghalib who felt like he’d just stepped out into the middle of a court session or something with the entire room looking at him. “Uh…”
Teman rescued him. “I’d like you to talk to Ghalib for a few minutes. I believe I recognize something in him that you will, too.”
Ghalib frowned. Something in me? Did he mean who I am attracted to?
Teman and Nadir exchanged looks. “Ah, yes,” Nadir said, nodding. He turned to Ghalib, smiling. “Ghalib? Let’s sit and talk for a few moments.”
When Teman came back a short while later to collect him, he was thoroughly confused. Nadir had asked him a series of questions, some he had answers to and others he didn’t. Nadir had, yet again, asked him what he was good at and Ghalib had given the only answer he had. But that had only seemed to satisfy some unknown-to-Ghalib criteria for something and puzzled him.
“So, was I right?” Teman asked.
Nadir nodded. “Oh yes. You have a knack for this. Perhaps you should be here instead of me.”
Teman laughed. “Hardly. I would be way too tempted to run some of the nobility through with a dagger, rather than deal with them.” Teman shook his head. “You have infinitely more patience than I do.”
Ghalib raised an eyebrow, surprised at how casually Teman discussed killing a member of the nobility. But then again, Teman was lover to the malik and not likely to be hanged for something like making comment like that. He also didn’t think Teman really would. But simply saying it can get a person arrested. Ghalib shook the thought away and turned back to them.
At that moment another man stepped into the room. “Ah, Cyrus, this is Ghalib,” Nadir said, holding a hand out.
Cyrus stepped forward, offering his hand. As Ghalib shook it, Cyrus smiled. “It’s nice to officially meet you. I’ve heard all about you from Teman, though I have seen you often, we simply didn’t have much occasion to talk.”
Ghalib raised his eyebrows. “You remember me, then?”
Cyrus smiled. “Yes, of course I do. You were with us up at Dhel al-Jebal last year.”
Ghalib nodded. “I was. I didn’t realize that you knew who I was.”
“Oh yes quite. We saw you in His Highness’s meetings, as well.” He turned to Nadir and Teman.
“So, what will you do?” Nadir asked, glancing at Ghalib.
Teman smiled. “Speak first with Bathasar. I sincerely doubt he would deny it, but it is something to discuss first. I don’t think this has ever happened before.”
Nadir shook his head. “No, no, I don’t think so either.” He smiled at Ghalib and brushed his hand over Ghalib’s hair. “He is very handsome.”
“Very,” Cyrus agreed.
Teman’s smile widened. “That’s what I told him.”
Ghalib’s cheeks turned red at the compliment and his eyes widened as he realized what they were saying. Were they discussing his comment about becoming a pleasure slave? Could he? Did he really want to?
* * *
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