“Get your stinking arse off that throne.”
Maciste repeated his fury at his stepbrother. A thwack from the hilt of a sword hit him in the shoulder.
In turn the soldier yelled out .. surprised. Raising the weapon for a second threatening blow. But he didn’t expect the speed of the response. Enraged at his brother’s behaviour, Maciste took it out on the soldier. He tore himself around. His bare foot hooked a kick behind the soldier’s leg .. his shoulder barged him in the chest .. sending him staggering .. before Maciste saw he was surrounded by a sea of spears.
A clapping from behind made Maciste spin around again. His younger brother clapping Maciste’s efforts. Mockingly. Mocking Maciste’s capture. Taunting Maciste with his inability to do anything about it.
“Always the one who acted first and thought second. Big brother. Still the big prick.”
Maciste glared in fury at this effrontery. In the last hours it had dawned on him that his step-brother had treacherously taken over. No one would answer his questions .. roughly telling the young prince to keep his trap shut .. or else ….. But Maciste had convinced himself his brother had usurped the throne. And now he was insulting Maciste by lounging disrespectfully on his father’s throne. Like trampling his father’s memory into the dust.
“Always the heroic man of action! What a dickhead! ”
Kheir had thrown his leg over the arm of the throne and was sprawled out there in comfort.
Maciste swore at his brother-by-marriage. Today he had had Maciste arrested. Publicly shamed .. thrashed before his people .. Kheir’s artful way of welcoming the rightful king back to his lands.
Since being shamefully disgracefully thrown into a filthy stinking dungeon Maciste had spent miserable and fuming hours nursing his anger and frustration. Waiting to see if his worst fears were confirmed.
And they were. And Kheir had made no secret of it .. he’d stolen his father’s throne .. appropriated Maciste’s inheritance .. and sprawled over the throne like that, he was rubbing Maciste’s nose in it. And with Maciste brought before him in chains .. Kheir was making one thing abundantly clear .. Maciste was now his stepbrother’s prisoner.
Maciste’s face twisted into a contemptuous scorn at his brother’s disrespect of the throne.
“Get your arse off my father’s throne. It has no right to be there.”
In truth, it was rightfully Maciste’s throne. Since his father’s death ….. Maciste was lawfully king.
“OUR father ….” Khier interrupted. “Remember ….?”
Kheir was smirking down from the dais.
“He married my mother. MY father too.”
By marriage only. Maciste was the dead king’s only son in his father’s bloodline. And the older brother too. The laws were clear. Maciste was now rightfully king.
A leg provocatively slung over the arm of the royal throne, Kheir grinned down at his prisoner-brother.
“And I’ve decided my stinking arse fits this throne better than yours.”