Chapter Eleven

I woke refreshed, relaxed, a giant among men. Well, perhaps not a giant; Bloomers did have it right when he pegged me at a tad on the shorter side of the whole spectrum of human development. However, it has always been my considered opinion that the air up there must be rather thin, since so many of the longshanks I’ve known have been as short in the brains department as they are long in the leg department. Bloomers being a prime example, with Bean running a close second. Whereas we more compact types… I stretched to my full five-foot-seven… were generally quite quick on the uptake. Boyd being the prime example, and no other needed; he was perfectly ideal both mentally and physically, and no taller than I. If not even a mere hair shorter.

Now, why is Dommie so bloody chipper this morning, an observant reader might be asking at this point. What happened after Boyd revealed his cogent proposal last night? Was there some late-in-the-race development involving Boyd, confessions of a heartfelt nature, chocolate mousse, and satin sheets?

Sadly, no. It was just the usual gay Monaghan nature asserting itself. I had no idea how the thing would resolve itself, but I was as goofily assured of it as though Boyd himself were on the case.

So it was that I was able to greet him with equanimity when he brought me a cup of the fragrant steaming. “Any news on the success of your scheme?” I inquired, having put myself on the outside of a sip or six.

“I have had word, sir,” he said. “Before I tell you of my intelligence, would you care to breakfast here in your bed? I had the cook put something aside for the dumbwaiter in case you so desired.”

“Make it so, my dear man,” I said with a tentative smile. He looked down and coloured faintly at the phrase, but he was smiling slightly as he nodded and crossed to the portal. He maneuvered the ropes nimbly, waited a moment, and then hauled the contraption upward again and unloaded a tray of the best, including kippers, bacon, eggs and other whatnots. Boyd settled a tray over my lap and I patted the bed invitingly. “Now tell all.”

He perched gingerly at my feet. “Yes, sir.” He cleared his throat. “Apparently the whole thing went off swimmingly. As I suggested, Miss Otto spoke with Mr. Wood; the two of them worked out a mutually agreeable solution and the engagements shall be announced to all families concerned once Miss Holm has informed her father that her engagement with you has ended, due to your unfortunate mental relapse.”

“Jolly good, Boyd. Who’s having the old leg chained to whom?” I popped a rasher into my mouth and crunched away at it.

“It was thought desirous that Mr. Wood become affianced to Miss Holm, as his mother was more likely to become resigned to the idea should his wife be the daughter of a peer, even one so, ahem, recently elevated as Lord Holm.” Boyd almost–almost!–smirked, and I let loose with the full cannon, snickering into my tea. “So Miss Holm will become Mrs. Wood, Miss Otto will become Mrs. Bloom, and all concerned shall retire to Lincolnshire, where there is adequate hunting to amuse those with such a bent, and the bucolic nature of the setting should allow for adequate privacy for the newlyweds.”

“Boyd, you are a wonder.”

“You do me too much honour, sir.”

“No, no.” I slurped back the rest of my tea and put the tray aside, leaning forward to hug my knees. “Here I thought I was sunk, faced with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea–Liv being the devil, you understand, and legal entanglements being the deep blue sea–”

“Yes, sir.”

“–but you brought them all up with a round turn, and satisfied everyone in the bargain. What should I do without you, Boyd?”

He stood and took the tray to the dumbwaiter, sending it on its way. “I’m sure you needn’t be concerned on that score, sir.”

We were venturing toward dangerous territory here, and despite my morning certainty that all would end well, I felt an achy tug at my heartstrings, or at least somewhere in the vicinity of the breast pocket on my pyjamas. I daresay my voice was a tad more subdued when next I spoke. “I am glad of it, Boyd.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Things were pretty well quiet for a while, and I was just thinking of stirring the bones and dressing–Boyd had the wardrobe open and was surveying the cloth domain within–when there came a soft knocking at the door.

“Blast and botheration, it’s a bit early, what?” I pushed out of bed and reached for my dressing gown, which Boyd held for me. “I’ll get the door, Boyd, if you wouldn’t mind throwing the counterpane over the sheets there.”

“Not at all, sir, an excellent plan.”

So it was that I was virtually alone when I opened the door and was confronted by Colonel Bean.

My first reaction, naturally, was to leap backward and slam the door; then I recalled the leverage I held over the hooligan, and so I merely scowled. “What in blazes are you doing bothering me, Bean?” I demanded. I left the door open and stalked away. “The problem, Boyd, with these country houses, is that so many people seem to forget what constitute decent calling hours–up at the crack of dawn and banging down the door at one minute after, what?” I sat in my chair and glared at the interloper, who had advanced a hesitant pace into the room, wearing a sickly grin and looking a mere six feet tall, if that. “Don’t you think so, Boyd?”

“It is as you say, no doubt, sir.” Boyd took up a station by the hastily shut wardrobe, and I took comfort in the fact that if Bean should suddenly turn menacing, Boyd no doubt knew ten varieties of Ju-Jit-Soo that would lay the Colonel out on his back in a jiffy.

“Oh, shut the door and come in, Bean,” I commanded, waving my hand. “Is it too early for alcoholic refreshment, Boyd?”

“It is eleven o’clock, sir; perhaps a light cocktail would serve.”

“Please and thank you, in that case.” Bean was still standing nervously by the door. “Anything for you? And sit down, I can’t abide having you hovering there like a hummingbird with a delicate constitution.”

“I don’t need anything to drink,” Bean allowed, alighting on the settee. “I only came because– well.” He looked a bit desperate.

“Out with it,” I said. Boyd brought my drink and stayed near at hand.

“Actually I was wondering if I might have a word with. Erm.” He coughed. “With your valet. If I might.”

I glanced at Boyd, who raised an eyebrow, thereby denying all knowledge of why Bean might have sought him out. I turned back to the Colonel. “To what do we owe the pleasure? And I use the term loosely.”

“Well, it’s like this.” And Bean proceeded to astonish me by pouring out the tale of his unrequited love for Serkis, with frankly, far more details than either Boyd or I needed. When he finished, he blinked tearily at my man and said, much as Miranda had last night, “Well?”

Boyd glanced at me, then back at Bean. “Am I to take it, sir, that you would like my advice on resolving the matter in your favour?” Bean nodded. “And do you have reason to believe that your feelings are returned by Mr. Serkis?”

I fairly goggled at him; he knew and I knew that Serkis did, in fact, return Bean’s love, amazing though it may seem. Perhaps when alone with the man the Colonel suffered one of those sea-changes Shakespeare was so fond of, into something rich and strange and so on… I was drawn from these musings by Bean’s fervent affirmative.

“He will only confess to it when he’s legless, but yes, yes, I’m certain that, were he not in my employ, Andy would be happy to return my feelings.” Andy? Well, then Andy. I shook my head slightly and paid closer attention. This bore distinct possibility–perhaps I could pick up a pointer or two for use in my own situation.

Boyd paced to the drinks table and then back, head bent, hands clasped, brow furrowed in thought. Finally he stopped before the Colonel. “I do have a solution, sir, but it is somewhat unorthodox, and it might require a certain amount of sacrifice from you. I shall put it to you and let you judge whether the prize is worth the price.”

“Anything,” Bean said, and I must confess that I was all agape to hear what Boyd would say.

He spoke slowly, without looking at either Bean or I. “If the obstacle is that Mr. Serkis feels constrained while in your employ, then you must dismiss him from your service.”

Bean had questions, I remember that, and I can recall Boyd’s sweet liquid lilt answering them all. But my mind was far away, spinning on at a rate that would have done any stable in the land proud.

Finally Bean left, pressing a ten-pound note into Boyd’s hand. I sat in that chair still, pondering and pondering and pondering some more. Boyd busied himself with my clothes; I hardly stirred at the crack of the ironing board he pulled from within the wardrobe and placed in the center of the room, so absorbed was I.

At last I stood, and wandered toward him. I wandered on past him, hands stuffed casually into the old pockets, don’t you know, and then I removed one to lean down and unplug the iron.

“Pardon me, sir, did you need that outlet?”

“Just planning ahead, Boyd.” I sauntered around the ironing board to stand beside him.

“For what, sir?” He was looking down at my trousers laid across the board, finishing the crease there, his face very faintly pink.

“Put the implement aside, Boyd, if you don’t mind, I’ve something to say to you.”

“Of course, sir.” He set the iron gently in its cradle and turned to face me.

“Boyd.” I stepped close to him. I could smell the clean, spicy scent of his shaving soap.

“Yes, sir.”

“This is important.” I stepped closer yet and he took the teeniest step backward, unease creasing his noble brow.

“Indeed, sir?”

“Indeed.” Closer yet, and his eyes went a little round as he backed away again. “As you know, you have been in my employ for many years, and I have always been pleased to the utmost with every service you have performed me.”

“Thank you, sir.” A faint sheen had appeared upon his upper lip and I had to wrench my attention from it. On the plus side of the ledger, it made it very, very easy to take one more step forward.

“You are welcome. But Boyd.” I inched even closer and he gave way again. One more step would put his back to the wall. “I am afraid that in one matter you have not provided… Hmm. Fulfillment, shall we say?”

Boyd’s chin lifted and his cheeks were fiery red. “In what area of service have I ever lacked, sir?” His eyes looked even greener against the flush of his face.

I stepped forward, forcing him against the wall. “I do not choose to say, Boyd.” I raised one eyebrow. “But it leaves me with little choice.” I leaned toward him until my mouth was a hairsbreadth from his. “Boyd.”

“Yes, sir.” His breath whispered across my mouth and I nearly forgot what I needed to say; I stood there, bent toward him and breathing a rather quickly, for quite a long moment.

Oh, yes.

“You’re fired,” I said.

~*~*~*~

Now I come again to that niggly little question–just how much detail do I insert? The story is basically over, don’t you know. There’s just some shagging still to come (if you’ll pardon the pun), and a few little details like where we’ll live, and who sleeps on the left and who sleeps on the right, and the fact that Boyd–William–will have to teach me to cook if he’s not going to be doing it all from now on, not being in my service anymore. He’ll also need to teach me where he keeps things, and how to iron and do laundry and what we do with the waste bins when they’re overflowing and other such useful facts.

So I could, of course, end things right there.

But the shagging is really top-quality, so I suppose I’ll include it, too.

~*~*~*~

“Am I, sir?” Boyd’s face, despite being quite rosy, was as calm, polite, and impassive as I had ever seen it.

“No need for that anymore. William.” I felt my heart flutter wildly. What if I’d made a dreadful mistake?

“No.” He cocked his head and licked his lips, and our mouths were so close that I could almost taste it, that quick pink tongue. “I suppose there’s not.” The silence where he might have added “sir” sounded pretty well thunderous. I didn’t move, couldn’t have moved if the roof had caved in at the moment, which luckily it didn’t.

But, also luckily, I apparently didn’t need to move because Boyd–William–moved next. He lifted one hand and grasped my arm just above the elbow. “There are other things I’ve been doing that I can stop, too,” he said. His fingers were firm and chaste over my sleeve, though their warmth burned right through the intervening layers of fabric. He might have been taking my arm to usher me courteously through a door.

“What might those be?” My throat was suddenly dry, which was annoying because my palms were very damp and I had to work deuced hard not to wipe them on my dressing gown.

“I’ve been not-touching you.” His other hand came up to hold my other arm. “I’ve been not-kissing you.” He leaned forward the requisite quarter-inch and brushed his lips against mine. “I’ve been not-pressing myself against you,” suddenly his whole body was brushing me just as his lips were, “I’ve been not-shagging-you-through-the-wall.” He suddenly grasped my arms tightly and whirled me so it was my back to the wall and him on the outside, still pressed against me from nose to knee.

If ever a man was wrought up to a fine pitch by lust, it was me. Or possibly William, who had a raging erection pushing against my raging erection. Let’s just say we were two fairly highly tuned men at that moment, vibrating with the kind of lust that only class separation and years of suppressed desire can work to a really proper froth.

When my back hit the wall and my front hit William I let out my breath in what might possibly be termed a squeak, and I swallowed hastily and fought to maintain some sense of, well, sense. “That’s a lot to not-do, William,” I said, and I brought both my hands up to his hips. “Do you think you can stop not-doing all those things at once?”

He grinned at me suddenly, a full-on grin with teeth and crinkled eyes and laughter shining from every pore. “I’m quite looking forward to it, Dommeh,” he said cheerfully, and then neither of us talked for a while, because our mouths were busy doing other things.

He tasted of tea and lemon and something faintly minty, probably tooth powder, but thoughts about the taste of him were quickly overwhelmed by the feel of him, his mouth sliding smooth and sweet against mine, teeth and tongue and wet and heat. He kissed like he did everything else–divinely, powerfully, perfectly. The only things missing were restraint and control, because after ten seconds or so no one observing us would have believed we had any control left whatsoever. His fingers were bruising my biceps and I daresay mine were gripping his hips quite hard right up until the point at which I slid them on round and gripped his arse, his marvelous beautiful mouth-watering arse, and believe it or not it felt as good as it looked. I pulled him forward, and he came quite willingly, grinding against me in the pelvic region until we were both whimpering into each other’s mouths.

“William, please–please,” I gasped. He slid his hands up my arms, over my shoulders and then neck and finally he was clasping my face gently, and kissing me not gently at all, fierce and hungry and passionate and very slightly messy.

“Please what?” he asked, dropping his head to my neck to begin licking and sucking there.

“Touch me, please, please touch me,” I moaned, massaging his arse and grinding myself into the heavenly bulge at the front of his trousers.

“Want to touch every part of you,” he replied breathlessly, one hand sliding around to the back of my neck as he bit my throat gently. “Touch, lick, kiss,” his other hand made an abrupt and dizzying plunge and suddenly my engorged cock, still sadly clothed, was grinding against his palm, “suck…”

I groaned. “Oh my god, yes,” and pushed boldly into his hand.

“We should lock the door,” he panted between bites.

“Yes,” I agreed, pushing my hands up under his jacket, fingers sliding over the crisply starched linen of his shirt, feeling how it was sticking to the small of his back, feeling the muscles move in his back as he twisted and pressed against me.

“Bed,” he ordered, stepping away from me with an effort. “Clothes.”

I nearly died at the loss of contact, but I knew I would die, a thousand times over, if anyone walked in and ruined this moment, so I nodded and hobbled and hopped to the bed, shedding pyjamas and dressing gown (not in that order, of course) as I went.

This exercise left me plenty of time to recline and watch Boyd–William, dammit, have to get accustomed to that–turn from the door and stalk toward me.

He was a sight out of my warmest fantasies, all tousled hair and flushed face, shirt half-untucked and jacket rumpled, and most of all his eyes, bright and predatory and jade green and burning into me. He began to shrug the jacket off but I sat up. “No!” He cocked his head and crossed the last few paces to the bed. “Let me.” He smiled and looked down for a moment, but went motionless, standing beside the bed, fully clothed.

I wanted–oh, I wanted. Wanted to taste every inch of his beautiful body, unwrap him like a Yuletide gift, explore this new territory.

I knelt on the bed and wrapped my arms around him. His mouth met mine like a blessing, a benediction. “William,” I said against his lips, and I smiled with my eyes closed, feeling his lips curve beneath mine as he whispered, “Dominic.”

We embraced for that long moment, my naked skin pressed against his clothes, arms round each other, resting and promising and making silent vows.

And then I needed to move, needed to prove to him how ardently I’d been hoping for this opportunity. And as he seemed equally enthusiastic about the entire endeavor, the stars appeared to be happily in our favour at last.

I sat back on my heels and began to undress him. First the jacket, which I pushed from his shoulders gently. He closed his eyes and then glanced at the crumpled pool of black material at his heels. “My jacket will get wrinkled.”

“You can teach me how to press it properly,” I said. “Do you object to being a kept man?” I fingered the finely woven cotton of his lapels.

“I do, sir–I mean, Dominic. And I can keep myself quite well, thank you.” His chin lifted proudly.

“Ah.” I leaned forward and breathed in his scent, curling my fingers into the small spaces between his buttons. “What if I… tore something of yours?” I gripped and yanked my hands suddenly apart, rewarded by flying buttons and the gaping ruin of his shirt.

He stared down at what had once been a beautiful Oxford linen garment, then lifted his gaze to mine. “I would certainly let you replace it if you ruined something of mine,” he said, standing perfectly still, though his eyes had gone dark.

“That is a shame, because I will never–” I pushed the shirt from his body– “ever–” I tugged his undershirt from his trousers– “ever–” I pulled it upward, and he cooperatively raised his (smooth, muscular oh holy god save me from this sin) arms– “buy you a single stitch of clothing.” I wrestled the shirt from his body and now he was bare to the waist.

“Why not?” he asked, his chest (lightly furred with lovely soft ginger curls) and belly (smooth and flat and just aching to be licked) moving up and down with his rapid breath.

“Because you are too perfectly delish without clothing, of course,” I replied, and suddenly his mouth was on mine again, he was kissing me, pushing me greedily back and climbing onto the bed until he had me flat on my back and he loomed over me on hands and knees, his mouth so hard and hungry and needy on mine that I couldn’t stop the noises I made, couldn’t stop the whimpers and gasps as he splayed one hand flat on my chest and held me down, dropping to cover me, his trousers nothing more than an annoying layer between me and the really enormous hard-on I could feel against mine as he ground himself down, rocking against me as his tongue met and ravished mine.

The next moments are, frankly, a bit of a blur in my memory, what with my hands fumbling at his trousers and his hand finally–finally!–gripping my cock so that I yelled and bucked against him, seeking precious friction as though it was the holy grail, and then I think there was more licking, kissing, biting–I know I later noticed (gloated over) several lovely marks on my neck and shoulders, and he’d one on his chest, right beside a beautiful rosy-pink nipple–and I know that I, at least, was doing quite a lot of moaning. I remember getting my hand inside his trousers at last, only to discover that the rogue wears no pants. This realisation nearly led to spontaneous orgasm, but William saw it coming, so to speak, and did something painful and fantastic to my aching cock to delay it. “Not till I’m in you,” he grated into my ear, which frankly did not get me much further from coming right then and there. But it did give me an incentive for waiting, as did his vise-like grip on my balls. My response may have left something to be desired in the field of romance–I believe my exact words were Then get your fucking cock in my fucking arse right this fucking minute you beautiful bastard–but it certainly conveyed the sense of urgency and passion I felt at the moment.

His pants and socks and shoes vaporised somewhere in the next few minutes, and then there was a frantic but mercifully brief search for something suitable to keep the whole affair pleasant for all concerned (lube, my dear innocents, I mean lubrication). William, brilliant William recalled the bath oils and sprinted for them while I lay on the bed, quivering, suspended between the need to pull myself to a much-needed climax and the need to wait till I could have the delectable William do it for me.

Luckily he was quick–I think the matter had become rather urgent for him, as well–and it was but a moment later that I was on my hands and knees, panting as he slid first one finger and then two into me–god, the stretch, the tingle, the beautiful burn of it and then the sharp, electrocutionary spasms as his nimble, beautiful fingers found that one particular spot most guaranteed to make nine poofters out of nine howl in ecstasy.

“Oh, fuck, Dominic,” he breathed, sliding in one more finger delicately.

“Enough, enough, yes please do,” I gasped, pushing back onto his hand as he groaned, and then I felt his fingers slide away, his hands upon my hips, felt the bed shift as he aligned himself behind me.

“Dominic,” he said quietly, and things went still for a moment. I opened my eyes and twisted my neck, looking over my shoulder to where he knelt, poised to pierce me and claim my body as surely as he had claimed my heart so many years ago. I smiled at him, and he smiled back and then looked down and pressed gently into me.

It was… it was exquisite, is what it was, that first almost-painful pleasure, the deep and undeniable knowledge that this was actually happening, that my every fantasy was being granted, that the absolutely bloody amazing feeling of being filled and split and fucking-well-blinded by total bliss was coming from this, from him, from my William.

“I’m no’ going to last long,” he groaned, and I whimpered, my cock giving a joyful throb. Then he began to move, sliding slick and hard within me, slowly at first but then faster, as though he could not stop himself–and what a thought that was, I bit my lip and braced myself better and slammed back onto his cock so hard he cried out–and then he leaned over me, reaching around to grip me precisely where I wanted his hand most and hitting my prostate at the same moment.

“Oh god ohgodohgodohWilliam–” I shouted, and a matter of moments later I came, breath sobbing from my lungs like I couldn’t bear to have it in me any more, every nerve-ending afire as the pleasure of it ricocheted through blood and muscle and bone. William followed a moment later, his body twisting and sliding against my back as he strained and thrust himself deep, deeper, deepest, fingers digging into my skin and his mouth open against my shoulder-blade, air whooshing across the sweatslick skin.

“Dom,” he panted, and I slid onto my stomach and he slumped atop me, and we lay that way for a minor eternity, breathing and letting our hearts slow and just enjoying the damp sticky feeling of skin against skin.

I told you it was top-quality shagging.

“Should I move?” he asked after this perfect interlude, and I sighed.

“I suppose so. You feel absolutely spiffing just there, my own personal blanket, but things are a bit messy just beneath my belly.”

He laughed, a jiggling little jar against my back, and rolled off. And out, and I made a sad little sound, which he answered with another laugh. “It won’t be too long a wait until I’m back,” he purred, shifting to lie along my side, one hand caressing me from shoulder to arse.

“I shall hold you to that, William,” I said, struggling to my hands and knees reluctantly. I pulled the counterpane over the large wet spot, using a corner to swipe at my stomach with a little moue of concentration. Then I flopped down, turning on my side to face him, placing his hand firmly back upon my hip.

He smiled and stroked me again. “Dominic.”

I shivered and closed my eyes, wearing a doubtless goofy expression. “I love hearing you call me that.”

“I enjoy saying it.” He propped himself on his elbow and looked at me for a while, and I returned the favour with interest, feasting my eyes upon his glowing skin. A banquet for the eyes, as the man says. I wriggled forward a few inches, tucking my nose against his chest and sighing with contentment. His voice rumbled against my cheek. “Are you certain about all this?”

His warm Scottish voice was so soothing it took me a moment to absorb any actual meaning from the syllables. When I did I bolted upright. “Are you potty?” I stared at him. “I’ve been picturing this moment for nigh on ten years. If you ever see one tiny iota of regret on this face, you have my permission to draw me, quarter me, boil me in oil, and lop off my head as an affront to humanity everywhere.” A terrible thought thundered over me. “Are you certain?”

He allayed my fears immediately with a smile. “Aye, I am. Why do you think I’ve taken such good care of you all these years?” I relaxed again, and reached tentatively to stroke his sandy hair. “Why do you think I’ve cooked your food, cleaned your flat, greeted your guests–a rather ripe sampling of humanity, you will grant–pulled you from the fire, and pressed your trousers for so long?”

“Well.” I traced his delicate lips with one finger. “I pay you a jolly decent wage,” I said.

He bit my finger. “You paid me a jolly decent wage,” he replied, licking the digit as he released it. “And I loved you.”

“Did you, Boyd–I mean, William?” I lay down again and snuggled into his perfectly naked, perfectly delicious frame.

“I did, sir.” He flushed, and grinned. “That is to say, Dominic.” He pushed his fingers through my hair. “We shall have to get used to these new appellations.”

“Mmmm. Names, you mean?”

“Yes.”

I closed my eyes and slid one arm over his waist, rubbing warm circles down his hip to the curve of his arse. “There are times when sir could be quite appropriate.”

In an instant I was flat on my back, William’s green eyes sparking above mine, his curlicue mouth curved into a rather wicked smile. “Let’s just remember who should be using the honorific,” he murmured, rocking slightly so that his hips slid tantalisingly across mine.

“Oh, yes, sir,” I breathed.

And a while later:

“Oh, very good, Boyd!”

<< -Chapter Ten- ~ o0o ~