A/N: Hello lovely people! A reminder, in case you missed the description, this story contains twincest. It's a darker one - hope you like it! Please comment and 🖤
The window creaked open and Deon peeked through his lashes, when Alen slipped outside.
Since they had turned fourteen Alen had begun sneaking out at night. He wouldn't tell his brother where he was going and Deon eventually stopped asking.
He shut his eyes, ignoring the worry churning in his belly, and tried to sleep.
He woke to arms slipping around him and a slender body pressing close. Alen hadn't slept next to him in years and Deon started to smile, until he smelled the liquor.
"Deee..." Alen slurred and nuzzled his face into Deon's neck. "M'cold."
"Ugh." Deon started to push Alen away and his brother whimpered like a child.
"Don't kick me out..." Alen said in a small voice and Deon sighed.
He turned, lifting his blanket and Alen pushed into his arms. His hair reeked of tobacco and Deon's stomach turned.
"Love you, De." Alen whispered against his shoulder and Deon's heart warmed.
"Love you." He replied, but Alen was already snoring softly.
The rooster announced dawn the next morning and Deon forced his sore eyes open. Alen was plastered against his chest, red mouth open and sable hair rippling over the pillow.
"Len?" Deon smoothed a strand away from his brother's eyes and admired the way Alen's lashes fluttered against his cheeks. "It's morning."
Alen frowned, turned his head and vomited all over the bed.
Deon took a deep breath for patience, instantly regretting it at the sour stench, and counted slowly to ten. With others he had difficulty controlling his temper, but not with Alen.
He got up and helped Alen across the narrow room to his own cot. Then he fetched a bucket of water and astringent soap.
"Boys!" His mother banged on the door. "Get up!"
Alen groaned into his pillow and Deon rushed to the door, opening it just enough to stick his head out.
"Alen's sick. Stomach flu." He lied and his mother paled, adjusting her grip more firmly on their one-year-old baby sister, Alise.
"Not again! We don't have time to be sick. How do you feel?"
"Fine." Deon smiled thinly. "I'll clean up and come down."
"Thank you, dear." His mother leaned forward to kiss his cheek, then thought better of it with sickness in the house and hurried downstairs.
Deon cleaned up the vomit and bundled the sheets to be washed. He then fetched a large cup of water and a bowl of thin porridge and placed it on the small stool that Alen used as a nightstand.
He stroked his brother's silky hair and hurried outside. He had to catch up on both of their chores now. He fed the chickens, the goats and the pigs. Then he mucked out the stalls and fetched fresh grain for the cows.
Much later he sat down, exhausted, and finally had his breakfast.
A few days later he was digging up potatoes when a shadow fell over him.
"Dee..." Alen pressed warm against his spine and hugged him around the waist. "Tally's here."
Deon scowled and hacked into the earth with more force than necessary. Tally was the blacksmith's son, a tall boy with brown hair and freckles.
Alen had been spending a lot of time with him lately and Deon didn't like it one bit. He had never bothered making friends. He had everything he needed right here. But Alen didn't think that way.
"Can you feed the chickens for me?" Alen's nose brushed Deon's neck.
"You need to start doing some work." Deon grumbled and bent to brush the soil off the potatoes. Alen followed him, arms sliding to his chest.
"I hate work. I just want to relax and enjoy myself."
"We all do, Len." Deon shrugged his shoulder to dislodge his brother, but he did it gently and Alen just hugged him tighter.
"You don't. You love it." Alen said quietly, breath tickling over his ear. "Don't lie."
Deon threw a handful of potatoes into a bucket. It was true. Sometimes it was hard to get up in the morning, but once he got started his muscles began to burn, in a good way, and he felt proud of himself afterwards.
"Please, De." Alen's soft cheek smoothed over his temple and Deon sighed.
Alen's touch instantly vanished and he leapt up, running across the field. Forgetting all about Deon the minute he got what he wanted. Deon clenched his jaw and piled the rest of the potatoes into the bucket.
When he'd fed the chickens, and collected the eggs, he trudged back with a basket on his arm and saw the door to the shed was open a crack. He went to close it and stopped dead in his tracks.
Alen was stretched out on his back in the hay and Tally was kissing him. Alen's slender hands were gliding through the older boy's hair and Tally's hips were thrusting slowly between Alen's legs.
Deon flushed hot and cold so rapidly he felt dizzy and he swung away from the shed, walking fast. His chest felt tight and his breaths became ragged. By the time he'd reached the kitchen, he was furious.
"Mom!" He shouted and kicked the door open. "Alen's not doing his chores!"
But it was their father who was standing in the kitchen, back large and imposing, as he wiped pigs blood off his hands. Deon froze.
His mother frowned at him from the table, hand poised to feed Alise.
"Again? That boy needs a serious talking to." She said.
"Where is he?" Their father flashed a hard look over his shoulder.
"I-in..." Deon hesitated, but then he remembered Tally's tongue worming between his brother's lips and his hands fisted. "In the shed."
His father threw down the cloth and strode out the door. Deon's insides twisted with uncertainty and his mother smiled at him.
"It's good you finally said something. I know he's been..." Her voice cut off at her husband's roar. "What on earth?"
A moment later Deon's father came marching into the kitchen, with Alen's collar in his fist.
"Get in there and kneel!" The man shouted and threw his son across the room. Alen stumbled into the living area, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Their father stepped back outside and more shouting commenced. Deon cringed and set down his basket. Alise started to cry and his mother rocked the baby, eyes wide with confusion.
Deon's father reappeared with a belt in his hands and slammed the door on Alen's sobs.
Deon heard the strike of the belt, and his brother's muffled cries, and felt lower than dirt.
Their father stepped out later with a stony expression. His only response to their mother's questions was a curt: "He needed it."
Alen was sent to bed without dinner and Deon felt too guilty to eat. Later, when he'd helped clear the table, he snuck a piece of honey cake upstairs and opened their bedroom door.
The room was dark, but a sliver of moonlight illuminated his brother's dark head on his pillow.
Deon slipped inside and lit an oil lamp. "Len?"
He winced at the bloody welts on Alen's slender spine and buttocks. He'd felt the burn of their father's belt a dozen times himself, but never like this.
Deon swallowed tightly and knelt beside the bed. "Can you eat?"
Alen said nothing and Deon broke off a piece of sticky cake and held it to his brother's lips.
Alen's mouth opened and Deon patiently fed him each bite. When it was gone Alen licked the icing from Deon's fingers.
"Thanks, De." He croaked and Deon smoothed away the soft hair from Alen's damp neck. His brother's skin was hot with fever.
"I'll get mom..." Deon started to rise, but their mother was already shouldering open the door, with a basin in her hands.
She cleaned, salved and bandaged the wounds. Alen gripped Deon's hand and grit his teeth through the pain.
"What did you do to make him so mad?" When Alen said nothing their mother frowned and looked at Deon. "What was it Deon?"
Alen's fingers spasmed in his hand and Deon felt sick.
"You saw it first." His mother continued and finished tying the bandage.
When Deon just stared at the floor, their mother stood with a huff and left the room. Alen turned slowly to look up at him.
"Did you?" He whispered, eyes glittering hollowly in the glow of the lamp.
Deon's eyes filled with tears. It was answer enough.
Alen ripped his hand away and slapped Deon hard across the face, hissing at the pull on his bandages.
"I'm sorry." Deon mumbled, tears running down his face. "So sorry, Len. I don't know why I said it."
Alen turned away, shoulders trembling with silent sobs.
Deon went to bed feeling cold all over, apart from the hot sting on his cheek that echoed in his chest.
Alen was sick in bed the next day. Their mother changed his bandages and brought him broth and tea. Deon did all of their chores and more. He would do anything to make amends.
But this wasn't like their usual fights over sweets or scraped knees. Alen had never looked at Deon that way before. As if he was a stranger.
In the evening, when Deon was clearing away the table, his father caught him alone.
"Your brother's sick, son. Like those heathens down south. Don't tell your mother, it'll only upset her." He squeezed Deon's shoulder in his large hand. "You'll do me proud, won't you?"
Deon looked up in surprise and nodded. He didn't think Alen was sick, but his father wasn't the type you talked back to.
The man nodded and his weathered face softened a fraction. "You were always a good lad. Hardworking. Not like him. You hear?" His fingers squeezed until it hurt and Deon steeled his spine.
"I hear." He said and his father left him.
Deon turned and saw Alen standing in the doorway, small face pale and jaw tight.
Deon just shook his head and stared at his brother, knowing Alen could read him without words, like he'd always done. But Alen's eyes narrowed to bitter slits and he walked away.
During the next month Alen withdrew more and more. He stopped doing his chores entirely. He went out at night. Sometimes, he didn't come home for days and Deon felt sick with worry.
One night, Deon heard the latch on the window open. His back faced the room and he stared blindly at the wall. Light steps approached and he felt a gentle caress on his hair.
There was a long moment, where he remained still, and felt warmth spread from the touch. Then the hand lifted, steps whispered across the floor and the window shut. When Deon turned to look, the room was empty.
The king's men came to the market the next day. Their clothes were stitched from the finest white leather and their red cloaks flowed over the back of their elegant steeds.
As a gift to the prince in the south, they needed a group of beautiful boys. Deon's mother gripped his shoulder tight and his father stepped forward to shield him.
Roi, a small boy with white-blonde hair was picked first. Ferrin, a tall redhead was next. And just when they were deciding between two others, Alen stepped through the crowd and was chosen instantly.
Deon's heart pounded and he lurched forward, but his father grabbed his arm and flashed him a look that could chill the strongest men.
The parents announced themselves and money exchanged hands. Alen was lifted onto a soldier's white horse, heading straight for the harbour. He never looked back.
That night Deon didn't sleep. They had always been together. Always. They weren't meant to be apart. The empty bed across from him felt like a tomb and everywhere he looked evoked memories of alabaster skin and warm laughter.
Deon pushed off his blankets and walked to the window, peering towards the harbour and the ocean beyond. A cloud passed by the moon and the glass shone like a mirror.
Alen's reflection stared back at him. Eyes like black wounds in the dark.
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