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Quotes Galore : King’s Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat

Quotes Galore : King’s Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat

 

To be quite honest, out of all the M/M book I have had the pleasure to read so far, the Captive Prince series are hands down one of my favorites. Everything about this series – the writing, the characters, the strategic plot – ends up always making me crave and hunger for more. So much so that a few days after I finished this series, I was so obsessed with it that all I could do was browse Pinterest to find more fan-edits regarding Laurent and Damen.

I was honestly so hung-up on this series that I contemplated re-reading the whole thing as soon as I finished.

 

kings rising quotes

 

The Captive Prince series is truly one of those series that is worth every penny and all the panda under-eyes in the world. I can’t remember how many nights I have stayed up late, telling myself just one more chapter until I ended up staying up all night finishing the whole book. Truly, the Captive Prince series is just one of those series that I would read over and over again and never get bored. Of course it goes without saying, it is also the kind of series that I would undoubtedly recommend to all the M/M readers out there.

Granted, there has been a lot of controversies regarding the theme of this series and how it was executed at first. But damn if I must say, what is putting up with a little bit controversies when it rewards you with impeccable writing, and swoon-worthy characters? 

 

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This post is best served with the song below,  so feel free to click play :

 

 

 

Damen said, ‘I made him a promise.’

 

‘And when he learns who you are?’ said Jord. ‘When he learns that he is facing Damianos on the field?’

 

‘Then he and I meet each other for the first time,’ said Damen. ‘That was also a promise.’

 

“Laurent had always been capable of a kind of ruthless pragmatism. He was able to put emotion aside and do what he had to do to win, with a perfect and nauseating ability to ignore all human feeling.”

 

‘—how dare you, you worthless traitor, you’re a stain on your family’s honour, you—’

 

‘Guion,’ said Laurent, without opening his eyes. ‘You had me tied up and locked in a room with Govart. Do you think name-calling will hurt my feelings?’

 

‘Let me out!’ The words ricocheted off the walls.

 

‘I tried that,’ said Laurent, calmly.

 

Guion said, ‘I’ll give you anything you want.’

 

‘I tried that too,’ said Laurent. ‘I don’t like to think of myself as predictable. But apparently I cycle through all the usual responses. Shall I tell you what you’re going to do when I stick the knife in for the first time?’

 

“There was a man I was supposed to meet. He’s got all these ideas about honour and fair play, and he tries to keep me from doing the wrong thing. But he’s not here right now. Unfortunately for you.”

 

 

 

He lifted his gaze from the table to the exquisitely attired figure leaned with a single shoulder against the tent pole, watching him.

 

Laurent said, ‘Hello, lover.’

 

 

 

“If he was aware of anything beyond the fight, it was of an absence, a lack that persisted. The flashes of brilliance, the insouciant sword work, the bright presence at his side was instead a gap, half filled by Nikandros’s steadier, more practical style. He had grown used to something that had been temporary, like the flash of exhilaration in a pair of blue eyes for a moment catching his own.”

 

“It was a city of tents, and it camped a fresh, intact force of Laurent’s men, who had not fought and died through the morning.

 

The constructed arrogance of the display was intentional. It said, exquisitely: Did you exert yourself at Charcy? I have been here examining my nails.”

 

Damen tightened his grip, and ground in with his thumb. Harder. He watched Laurent turn ashen.

 

Finally, Laurent said, ‘Stop.

 

He let go. Laurent had wrenched back and was clutching his shoulder, where the blue of his doublet had darkened. Blood, welling up from some newly bandaged, subterranean place, and Laurent was staring at him, his eyes oddly wide.
‘You wouldn’t break an oath,’ said Damen, past the feeling in his chest. ‘Even to me.”

 

‘I’ve come to tell you who I am.’

 

Laurent was so keenly familiar, the shade of his hair, the strapped down clothing, the full lips that he held tense or cruelly repressed, the ruthless asceticism, the unbearable blue eyes.

 

‘I know who you are, Damianos,’ said Laurent.

 

Damen heard it, as the interior of the tent seemed to change, so that all of the objects in it took on a different shape.

 

‘Did you think,’ said Laurent, ‘I wouldn’t recognise the man who killed my brother?’

 

‘If you knew,’ said Damen, ‘how could you—’

 

‘Let you fuck me?’

 

His own chest hurt, so that he almost didn’t notice the signs of it in Laurent, the control, the face, pale at any time, now white.

 

‘I needed a victory at Charcy. You provided it. It was worth enduring,’ Laurent spoke the terrible, lucid words, ‘your fumbling attentions for that.’

 

“Don’t,’ he said, ‘talk about it like—’

 

‘Like?’

 

‘Like it was cold-blooded; like I controlled it. Like we didn’t both close our eyes and pretend I was a slave.’ He made himself say the exposing words. ‘I was your slave.’

 

‘There was no slave,’ said Laurent. ‘He never existed. I don’t know what manner of man stands before me now. All I know is that I am facing him for the first time.’

 

‘He is here.’ His flesh ached as if he had been prised open. ‘We are the same.’

 

‘Kneel then,’ said Laurent. ‘Kiss my boot.”

 

 

 

“To gain everything and lose everything in the space of a moment.

 

That is the fate of all princes destined for the throne.”

 

 

 

‘Do you want to play this game against me? I will take you apart.’

 

‘Take me apart?’ Damen said deliberately. ‘If I opposed you, the remaining scrap of land you hold would have a different enemy on each side, and your efforts would be split in three directions.’

 

‘Believe me,’ said Laurent, ‘when I say that you would have my undivided attention.’

 

‘I see you’ve thought of everything,’ said Damen, bitterly. ‘It didn’t have to be—you could have come to me, and asked for my help, I would have—’

 

‘Killed the rest of my family?”

 

“The ache of loss didn’t make sense, because Laurent had never been his. He had known that. The delicate thing that had grown between them had never had a right to exist. It had always had an end date, the moment that Damen reassumed his mantle.

 

If it hurt, it was fitting; it was simply kingship.”

 

“The camp was silent. The Akielon soldiers watched him ride through the centre of their ranks towards the pavilion, marked out in sunlight, their own armour and sharpened blades and points of spears glinting; polished after having been so recently used to kill.

 

But the pure, insolent grace was the same, his bright head uncovered. He was not wearing armour, or any symbol of rank save for the gold circlet on his forehead, but when he swung down off his horse and tossed the reins to a servant, no pair of eyes looked anywhere else.”

 

 

 

‘A fair fight?’ said Laurent, turning back to him.

 

‘No fight’s ever fair. Someone’s always stronger.’

 

 

 

‘You don’t need to talk, I have seen him,’ said Nikandros.

 

‘I don’t care what you’ve seen. It’s not what you think.’

 

‘I think he is beautiful and unobtainable, when your whole life, you’ve never had a refusal,’ said Nikandros. ‘You have committed Akielos to an alliance because the Prince of Vere has blue eyes and blond hair.’

 

“Listen Damianos. You trust blindly. You see the world in absolutes—if you believe someone a foe, nothing will dissuade you from arming up to fight. But when you give your affections . . . When you give a man your loyalty, your faith in him is unswerving. You would fight for him with your last breath, you would hear no word spoken against him, and you would go to the grave with his spear in your side.”

 

 ‘Yes I lay with him,’ said Damen. ‘It was one night. He barely relaxed the whole time. I will admit I—wanted him. But he is the Prince of Vere and I am the King of Akielos. This is a political alliance. He approaches it without emotion. So do I.’

 

Nikandros said, ‘Do you think it relieves my mind to hear that he is beautiful and clever and cold?’

 

“Damen remembered how it felt to be coerced to Laurent’s will. Laurent had never needed to use force to make men obey him, just as he had never needed men to like him in order to get his way. Laurent got his way because when men tried to resist him, they found, sweetly outmanoeuvred, that they couldn’t.”

 

 

 

‘You can’t beat me in a real fight,’ said Damen.

 

His sword pointed to the line of Laurent’s Adam’s apple. Laurent was sprawled on his back with spread legs and one knee raised. His fingers slid into the sawdust beneath him. His chest was rising and falling under the thin shirt. The tip of Damen’s sword travelled from his throat down to his delicate belly.

 

‘Yield,’ he said.

 

 

 

‘He was everything I had. I know,’ said Laurent, ‘that I was never good enough.’

 

 

Damen said, ‘Neither was your brother.’

 

 

‘You’re wrong. He was—’

 

 

‘What?’

 

 

‘Better than I am. He would have—’

 

 

Laurent cut himself off. He pressed his eyes closed, with a breath of something like laughter. ‘Stopped you.’ He said it as though he could hear the ludicrousness of it.

 

 

Damen picked up the discarded knife, and when Laurent’s eyes opened, he put it in Laurent’s hand. Braced it. Drew it to his own abdomen, so that they stood in a familiar posture. Laurent’s back was to the post.

‘Stop me,’ said Damen.

 

The moment ached. Laurent met his gaze, his eyes too clear.

‘You were never a slave, Damianos. You were born to rule, as I was.’

 

‘I miss you,’ said Laurent. ‘I miss our conversations.’

 

“Laurent entered, an edge to his grace, like a leopard with a headache, around whom one must tread very, very carefully.

 

‘Good morning,’ said Damen.

 

‘Good morning,’ said Laurent.

 

This was said after an infinitesimal pause, as if maybe for once in his life the leopard wasn’t quite certain what to do.”

 

 

 

“I used to beat Auguste all the time when we raced at Chastillon.

It took me until I was nine to realise he was letting me win.

I just thought I had a very fast pony.”

 

 

 

‘You’ve been listening to slave gossip.’

 

 

‘You spent the night in the Prince of Vere’s rooms.’

 

 

‘I spent ten minutes in his rooms. If you think I fucked him in that time you underrate me.’

 

‘And what do you mean, you never drink? I think you’re protesting a little much. You were drunk the first night I met you.’

 

 

‘I made an exception,’ said Laurent, ‘that night. Two and a half bottles. I had to force myself to get it down. I thought it would be easier drunk.’

 

 

‘You thought what would be easier?’ said Damen.

 

 

‘“What”?’ said Laurent. ‘You.’

 

“Before he could, he felt Laurent’s fingers on the back of his neck, a shock of touch that caught him in a tumult of confusion as it drew him forward, simply. It was, from Laurent, slightly awkward; sweet; rare; stiff with obvious inexperience.

Time passed. He became aware of the slow, strong pulse, the slender body, the warmth in his arms—and that was nice in a different way.

 

‘Now you are taking advantage of my kind-hearted instincts,’ Laurent said, a murmur into his ear.”

 

‘Is there no way forward for us?’ said Damen. It just came out. Beside him, he could feel Laurent holding himself very still.

 

‘You mean, will I come back to your bed for the little time we have left?’

 

‘I mean that we hold the centre. We hold everything from Acquitart to Sicyon. Can we not call it a kingdom and rule it together?’

 

 

 

‘You don’t like me like this?’

 

‘You’re really . . . not yourself.’

 

‘Aren’t I?’

 

‘No. You’re going to kill me when you sober up.’

 

‘I tried to kill you. I can’t seem to go through with it.

You keep overturning all my plans.’

 

 

 

 ‘I hated you,’ said Laurent. ‘I hated you so badly I thought I’d choke on it. If my uncle hadn’t stopped me, I would have killed you. And then you saved my life, and every time I needed you, you were there, and I hated you for that, too.’

 

After a moment he said in a low voice, ‘When you make love to me like that, I can’t think.’

 

‘Don’t think,’ said Damen.

 

Damen saw the flickering change, the tension, as the words provoked an internal battle.

 

Damen said, ‘Don’t think.’

 

‘Don’t,’ said Laurent, ‘toy with me. I—have not the means to—defend against this.’

 

 

 

 

He said, into the stillness,

‘I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.’

 

 

 

“The inches of air between them were nothing, and everything. Laurent’s reaction to kissing had always been complex: tense; vulnerable; hot. The tension was the greatest part of it, as though this single act was too much for him, too extreme. And yet, he had asked for it. Kiss me.”

 

He lifted his hand to brush Laurent’s cheek, smiling. He was opening his eyes.

 

‘Damen,’ said Laurent.

 

Damen’s heart moved in his chest, because the way Laurent said his name was quiet, happy, a little shy. Laurent had only ever said it once before, last night.

 

‘Laurent,’ said Damen.

 

“Damen looked at Laurent, who was now lying half on his side, his blond hair a little mussed, eyes full of teasing light. Sweet and simple in the morning, Laurent’s beauty was heart-stopping.”

 

After a moment, Laurent said, ‘He would have liked you.’

 

‘Even after I started courting his little brother?’ said Damen carefully.

He watched Laurent stop, the way that he did when he was taken by surprise, and then lift his eyes to meet Damen’s.

 

‘Yes,’ said Laurent softly, his cheeks reddened slightly.

 

 

 

‘When you lost your brother, was there someone to comfort you?’

 

‘Yes,’ said Laurent. ‘In a way.’

 

‘Then I’m glad,’ said Damen. ‘I’m glad you weren’t alone.’

 

 

 

“Laurent held out his hand to escort her back from the supply wagon into the main wagon, a bored Veretian gesture. Her eyes had the same bored look as she took his hand. ‘You’re lucky we’re alike,’ she said, stepping down. They looked at one another like two reptiles.”

 

‘You are merchants?’

 

‘We are.’

 

‘What name?’ said the officer.

 

‘Charls,’ said Damen, who was the only merchant he knew.

 

‘You are Charls the renowned Veretian cloth merchant?’ said the officer sceptically, as if this was a name well known to him.

 

‘No,’ said Laurent, as if this was the most foolish thing in the world. ‘I am Charls the renowned Veretian cloth merchant. This is my assistant. Lamen.’

 

‘Charls met the Prince of Vere once,’ Guilliame said to Damen, lowering his voice to the conspiratorial, ‘in a tavern in Nesson, disguised as a,’ lowering it further, ‘prostitute.’

 

Damen looked over at Laurent, who was deep in conversation, letting his eyes pass slowly over every familiar feature, the cool expression tipped with gold in the firelight. He said, ‘Did he?’

 

‘Charls said, think of the most expensive pet you’ve ever seen, then double it.’

 

“He hadn’t imagined it like this. He knew Laurent’s mouth, knew its vicious capability. He knew it as Laurent’s primary weapon. In his daily life, Laurent held his lips taut, repressing their lush shape into a hard line, his mouth cruel curves. Damen had seen Laurent eviscerate people with that mouth.

 

Now Laurent’s lips were given over to pleasure, his words traded for Damen’s cock.”

 

 

‘Show me,’ said Laurent, ‘how it could be.’

 

‘I would court you,’ said Damen, ‘with all the grace and courtesy that you deserve. 

There’d be no lies between us.’

 

Laurent’s lips were parted, his breath hardly stirring.

 

‘We’d have time,’ Damen said, ‘to be together.’

 

 

 

“I met the Prince in Vere. I thought as you did. I didn’t know his heart. I came to learn it slowly. I came to learn his honesty, his integrity, his strength of mind. I was a fool, blinded by prejudice. I didn’t understand that he was fighting alone, that he had been fighting alone for a very long time. And then I saw the men he commanded, disciplined and loyal. I saw the way his household loved him, because he knew their concerns, cared for their lives. I saw him protect slaves.

 

 

And when I left him, drugged and without friends after an attack on his life, I saw him stand up in front of his uncle and argue to save my life because he felt he owed me a debt.
‘He knew that it might cost him his life. He knew he’d be sent to the border, to ride into the very same plot to kill him. And he still argued for me. He did it because it was owed, because in the very private code with which he ran his life, it was right.”

 

 

That is the man you face. He has more honour and integrity than any man I have ever met. He is dedicated to his people and his country. And I am proud to have been his lover.”

 

 

But he had asked himself the question in Ravenel, and now he knew the answer.

 

A kingdom, or this.

 

 

 



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