Bedtime Bondage

4 January 2013
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Nash tugged at the ropes that bound his wrists to the headboard. Jack knelt over him, the expression on his lean face filled with satisfaction. Resisting the urge to roll his eyes at his lover’s happiness at having secured his immobility, Nash let out a sigh instead.

“You know, the dilemma of Emmett’s poisoned wine should be what is uppermost on our minds tonight,” he complained. “We should be working on that.”

Ever since the poisoned wine had been discovered, Jack had been filled with lust. Nash had seen it clearly in the flash of his lover’s eyes. God help him, but Jack took a passionate delight in dangerous situations. Which, of course, is how Nash had come to be tied to his own bed with his naked lover straddling his hips and brandishing an erect and leaking cock in his face.

“There’s time enough for that in the morning,” Jack said, his voice sounding distracted. “It is not as if any of us are going anywhere.”

“That isn’t the point, Jack.” Nash tugged at the ropes although he knew it was futile to try to get free. That wouldn’t happen until Jack came or he came or they both came. Freedom tended to be inextricably bound to orgasms when it came to Jack and bondage.

“Do you think Emmett is buggering Colchester right about now?” Jack mused, his hands sliding along Nash’s ribcage.

Nash resisted his urge to shiver beneath his partner’s caresses. Jack could turn him into a quivering jelly with but a few swipes of his hands over Nash’s body.

“I think Emmett’s sex life is none of our business especially when it concerns Colchester.”

Jack cocked an eyebrow upward. “You didn’t think that when we conspired to push them together.”

“Gods, Jack! That’s different and you know it. Now, that it appears things have come to a head between them, we must bow out. What they do isn’t any of our affair as long as they ease the tension on this ship by giving in to their obvious lust for one another.”

Nash knew his words had come out sounding much more grumpy than they should have, but being tied up annoyed him. He’d thought perhaps Jack would remember that it wasn’t very long ago that he’d been kidnapped.  He’d thought maybe Jack would think he might have an aversion to playing bondage games since he’d been a captive so very recently. But no. Jack did what Jack wanted and the hell with everyone else. Nash would have been hugely annoyed and irritated at Jack’s insensitivity if it weren’t for the fact that Jack’s cock was dribbling pre-cum onto his bottom lip. He licked the sensitive flesh, letting the flavor of his lover burst across his tongue.

“I don’t think that’s just lust between them.” Jack pressed his cockhead against Nash’s mouth, painting his lips with more sticky pre-cum.

“Jack!” Nash stared at his lover reproachfully. Why did the man have to discuss other men when they were naked in their bed? Couldn’t he leave it alone until after they’d both come?

“Suck my cock, Nash,” the spy ordered in a gentle voice. He fed his cockhead between Nash’s lips. “There’s a good boy.”

Nash suckled the soft head, his tongue swirling around the glans. Part of his brain concentrated on sucking Jack’s thick cock while the other part continued to ponder the poisoned wine. His lips formed a tight seal around the heated flesh and his tongue danced along the vein on the underside. Jack’s hips thrust lightly, pressing his cock deeper into Nash’s mouth. The spy was obviously mindful of the fact that Nash was bound and had very little control over how much cock he took in.

The cabin remained quiet for some minutes. The only sound came from Nash’s slurping tongue and sliding lips. Suddenly, with a quick jerk of his hips, Jack came. Startled, Nash swallowed down the hot juices. He realized that had been the first time in months that Jack’s orgasm had caught them both off guard. He wondered if it was because they were distracted by the incident with the poisoned wine or if Jack’s arousal had spiked for a reason. What was the man thinking?

Jack pulled his softened penis from Nash’s mouth. He scooted backward along Nash’s nude body until he lay between Nash’s thighs. Then he proceeded to give Nash the kind of tongue lashing every man enjoyed. Balls, cock and tight puckered hole all received Jack’s exquisite attention to detail. Nash moaned. No one had ever licked him as thoroughly as Jack. He could well understand why Anthony Banning had been so enamored of Jack. He had his own issues with regard to his heart and Jack.

With a low moan, Nash gave up trying to think about the poisoned wine, Emmett’s feelings for Caleb, and his own feelings for his lover. The only thing that mattered in that moment was what Jack was doing to his body. His cock strained. His balls drew tight to his body. He broke into a light sweat as he arched into Jack’s touch.

Gods! The man had magic fingers and an incredibly talented mouth! Nash’s eyes slammed shut as his orgasm rushed at him, his spine tingling. Nothing mattered in his world in that moment except his pleasure and Jack.

“Jack! Damn you, spymaster!” he panted, teetering on the edge of bliss.

“Do you want to come, Sky Commander?”

Jack’s chuckle held an intimate note that made Nash gasp and quiver. “Of course, you bastard!”

Hard hands stroked his flanks, teasing the sensitive strip of skin just inside his hipbones. “I assure you, my parents were properly wed before I was conceived,” Jack murmured wickedly.

His mouth returned to Nash’s cock, sucking him deeply into the back of his throat as his long fingers scissored inside Nash’s fluttering hole. Two twists of those long digits against Nash’s gland and he was crying out, fire and fierce pleasure catching him up in a maelstrom of sensation.

Long minutes later they lay in a tangle of limbs, even though Nash’s hands were still bound. Jack caressed him, a lazy smile quirking up his lips.

“A little bondage at bedtime is just the thing for a journey such as this,” Jack said softly. “I like having complete control over you. You won’t go missing again if I keep you tied up. I discovered I have an aversion to worrying over your well being.”

Nash snorted. “I love you too, Jack.”

His eyes drifted shut. Jack would untie him in a few minutes and pull the coverlet over them both. The poisoned wine and whether Emmett was buggering Caleb were very far from Nash’s mind as he drifted to sleep. As Jack had said, all of that could wait until morning.

A Bounty Paid, A Bounty Earned Part III – The Plot Begins

1 January 2013
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Victor arched his back and slid a hand up to pet Horatio’s head. His cock was three quarters of the way in his lover’s eager mouth. Not enough. Victor pressed firmly on his head. There was no resistance and his cock head now touched the back of Horatio’s throat. It was only then, and for the first time since the two had crossed the line and become lovers, secret lovers, that Victor decided to speak.

He slid his free hand to his lover’s chin. He lifted it up until their eyes met. He needed to see his eyes when he spoke. “I think I want you to kidnap my dear mother.”

Horatio’s eyes bulged and he choked slightly on the cock in his mouth, his face blushing to a deep red. He blinked, then pulled up until the cock in his mouth slipped out. “M’lord?”

Victor turned his head and smiled. He lazily let his left hand slip over the edge of the ornate tub. The quiet was pervasive. He could hear the water drip from his fingertips to the carved marble base below. “Mm, yes, I think that would be a devilish act.” He met Horatio’s gaze once more.

Horatio rose to his knees, then slid back onto his bottom until he reclined against the opposite slope of the bathtub. “But, M’Lord, it’s your mum!” His incredulity had never been this far tested, Victor could see.

“Yes, I know,” he said. He dipped the hand that had been pressing down on his lover’s head into the water, then pulled it up to watch the steam rise from his fingers. “Mm, yes, exactly.”

Horatio shook his head, then slumped into the tub. Victor watched him closely, watching the tell tale signs of the tension rising as his lover’s muscles flexed. Horatio swallowed hard and looked down at his massive hands. “But, M’Lord… I like your mum.”

Victor laughed! He laughed so hard, water splashed over the edge of the tub and sent a deluge across the floor. “Come, finish what you were doing.” He leaned back and spread his legs.

“M’Lord, I am no longer in the mood!” He rose to stand, bracing himself on either side of the tub’s rim. “To harm the woman that brought you into this world!”

Victor laughed again. “Good God, man. I don’t mean you to harm her. I mean for you to take her on a holiday. A deliciously secret holiday. But in such a means that once she’s away and safe with you and once you set the scene at her home, her kidnapping will be apparent to the London Authorities.” He smiled and closed his eyes.

Horatio looked perplexed. “For the first time, M’Lord, you’ve got me boggled!”

Victor sighed. “Yes, exactly. No one could ever conceive my involvement in the kidnapping of mother. And that, my friend, is why we will accuse someone who is in my way.”

Horatio did his best to slide back into the tub until only his head was above the surface, his dark stubble lost below in the bubbles. He sighed. “Very well, M’lord.” He wiped the soap from his chin and stood, running his hands down his body to purge the water from his thick body hair. He stepped out of the tub, “But just so you know, loyal as I am to ya and all, if ya’d asked me to harm the dear lady…”

Victor smiled knowingly and slid his head under the water. As he reappeared, a spout of water sprayed fountain-like from his cupid-kissed mouth. “Of course, my friend. I’d expect nothing less from you.” He snatched a square of soap from the side of the tub and began to lather his chest. “Now, you know where my mother is. I’d like this all cleaned up and ready by the morning.”

“Yes, M’lord.” Horatio replied quickly.

“Oh, and Horatio… once that’s done, I expect you back here to finish what you started.”


Victor laughed. “My cock, my friend. You stopped short and I’m only allowing you to leave because of the import of this mission. And… when you are back here, I think I’d like you to bend over my bed for me. It’s high time I had a taste of that particular pleasure you enjoy so very much.”

The True and Scandalous history of the Lords of Aether, tales of yuletide

28 December 2012
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My Poll will tell you that I’m a big softy when it comes to Christmas. Light the Yule log, bring in the goose, deck the house with holly and ivy and get ready to play snapdragon. She says I’m like a little boy – and if my best present from her is a bit of slap and tickle, who am I to complain?

It’s a time of festivity up at that den of smut, debauchery and innuendo (literally) where I earn my daily bread, the Lords of Aether club. You should see the decorations – like a tart’s boudoir, ribbons and bows and glitter and bells everywhere. And when I say everywhere… I’ve seen Lord Anthony, in all his glory, with two baubles hanging off his ears and a bit of tinsel tied around – well, all I’ll say is that it was a place that reminded me of the Yule log.

And the provisions would make your eyes jump out, turn circles and go back in again. Hams the size of the rhinoceros in the Zoo, turkeys like ostriches, and a hailstorm of sprouts. Wine flowing like the Thames, too – and some of it probably just as nasty to drink, especially if that swine Leach has been tampering with it again, as he’s wont to do. I once caught the ugly bugger wandering around the club one Christmas Eve with a carboy of paraffin, a funnel, a long length of tubing and a nasty grin. I don’t know what he was intending to do with them but by the time I’d fetched Jack and he and Anthony had their revenge, he saw more of the water closet than I daresay he’d intended. Rumour has it he didn’t emerge until just this side of Twelfth Night!

Being around the Lords of Aether at the festive season brings a whole other meaning to getting your Christmas meat and two veg. You can imagine what my “gentlemen” (if that’s what you can legitimately call the raddled load of spavined hedonists) get up to when the wine’s been a-flowing and the trouser buttons get loosened. Kissing beneath the mistletoe is a fine tradition, but not where the mistletoe gets hung on Spence. And we haven’t let them attend the midnight mass since Shelley tried to dance down the aisle with the verger and two of the acolytes. Better to let them eat, drink, be merry and get pie-eyed/laid/themselves shot, behind their own closed doors.

Poll and I raise a glass to any and all of you who read my account of the club members’ doings! Happy Christmas.


The Plot Twists

18 December 2012

Slipped Moorings by Jaime Samms

Leo was being a fool and he knew it. It didn’t convince him to round the last bend to the harbour, though. He could feel the dirigible in the sky above and behind him, like a lead weight, floating against all logic, and it made him queasy. Worse, Alexi was on that thing, and with another man. One he’d befriended and who shared his love of the clockwork and chemistry that Leo could barely wrap his mind around.

He chided himself for that thought. It wasn’t like Alexi hadn’t had lovers in the past. He had, and Leo had managed to ignore them. So why not this time? He didn’t even have any proof, other than the tightness of his own lungs when he thought about Colchester and the unreasoning anger that rose to try and choke him, that Alexi was anything more than a friend to the other man. If he was, he didn’t want to know. And at the same time, he desperately needed to know.

From where he stood, he could hear the creak and groan of the heavy ropes mooring the ship and he sighed. He let his head fall back against the brick. That bloody balloon hung over him; a symbol of all the things Alexi was that Leo was not.

He hated it.

And he wanted to be on it despite the near abject terror it inspired in him. Men were not meant to take to the skies. So why did the thought of Alexi doing just that make him want to swell with pride even as he tried to hold the fear for his friend at bay?

Because he knew, he supposed, that if anyone would see the opportunity for what it was, a once in a lifetime chance, his Alexi would. If anyone could fly, it would be his Alexi.

“Looks like they’re making ready to cast off.”

Leo nearly jumped out of his skin at the comment, gentle as the voice was. It was close—to his left—the speaker leaning on the building so their shoulders touched at the corner. That contact sent a jolt of an entirely different kind through him.


“You’re jumpy today, my friend. Are you not going down to fare them well?”

Leo stuffed his hands in his pockets and fingered the lacy bit of cloth there. He shook his head.

“It really is a magnificent machine.”

“If you say so.”

“A man would be a blind fool not to see the beauty of it. The power. The usefulness.”

Leo snorted. Call him a blind fool, then. All he saw was the impossibility of it bringing Alexi back again. Once his friend had a taste of the world outside stuffy, staid, unimaginative London, why would he ever come back?

“I have an idea,” Spence said softly.

Leo remained still and quiet.

“I’ve decided something, Leo.”

“Have you?”


Leo could hear the smile in Spence’s voice, as soft as everything about the man, and yet underscored with the strength he’d shown Leo in the days since they’d breakfasted together.

“Before Lord Anthony, I was a frightened mouse. Perhaps I’ll never be as daring as his ex-lover or as exotic as his current one, but I do have some worthwhile qualities.”

Leo nodded. “Of course you do.” He was exhibiting one now, in fact, just by standing there, shoulder to shoulder, offering support without dragging Leo’s attention to the fact he so desperately needed it.

“I am beginning to feel like the author of my own life again, Leo, and I have Anthony to thank for that.”

There was a pause, and Leo once more leaned his head back to rest on the brick, only this time, he closed his eyes and listened to the almost imperceptible change on the air, the deepening of the sound of the dirigible’s engines.

“And you, Leo.”

So intent on the bone-deep vibration of the skyship’s power was Leo he hadn’t heard Spence move. He jumped when  his voice came, so very close, no longer from his side, but from right in front of him, So close, in fact, he felt the breath of the other man’s words on his face.

His eyes flew open and Spence was, in fact, standing in front of him, one hand on the wall above his shoulder, the other about to touch lightly down on his chest. The doctor’s cheeks were flushed a bright pink, his eyes wide, as though he couldn’t believe his own audacity, but he didn’t move back, and he didn’t apologise for the start he’d given Leo. He stood that way, almost too close for Leo to see him properly, and waited.

“And me?” Leo asked, hearing his own breathlessness in his words and wondering at how his heart pounded when he should be reminding his friend he wasn’t like most of the gentlemen at the club.

“I have to thank you.”

“For what?”

“Breakfast. Company.” Spence smiled, and Leo could see his nerves and uncertainty, and marvelled again at the kind of strength revealed in the fact the doctor wasn’t backing down. “A small thing to you, maybe, but to me, at the time I most needed simple companionship, it was the perfect gift.”

“Just a bit of time,” Leo said, shuffling his feet, his attention caught by Spence’s smile. By his lips.

“Something it seems we both in abundance at the moment.”


“I never imagined myself the type to be so bold, but it occurred to me, watching you not watching Jacob fly out of your life, even if it is for just a short time, that you perhaps needed someone to return the gift you gave me.”

“I don’t…really…” Why he was so flustered, Leo didn’t know. It was a simple matter to remind Spence he was not the same sort of man as Alexi, and ask that he take a step back. But he didn’t say either of those things. And he didn’t know why.

Spence pulled in a deep breath. One that filled out his chest and squared his shoulders and his hand moved from Leo’s chest to his chin. “I am not so bold. But the thing is, I really would, very much, like to kiss that sad look off your face.”

Leo stared, gaped. “I—I don’t kiss—” other men.

But then he was. Or rather, another man was kissing him, and he did nothing to stop him doing it. His gasp was perhaps taken for invitation, because Spence’s tongue slipped delicately past his parted lips to enter the heat of his mouth, and even if it was tentative and shy, it was a kiss. And it was sweet. And somehow, Leo couldn’t figure out how to lift his hands from where they plastered flat against the rough brick wall, as though trying to hold him to the world, and push Spence away.

Then the kiss ended, and strangely, that was more distressing than the fact it had begun in the first place.

Spence moved back to a place Leo could again see his face, and if possible, his countenance was even more flushed than it had been before.

“You don’t what?” Spence asked, a little flustered himself, if his quick breaths and fluttering words were anything to go by.

“I don’t…know.”

Overhead, the Lucky Penny had finally slipped its moorings and turned towards the Mediterranean, and Leo barely noticed the din over the pounding of his own heart.

The Fissure by Stephani Hecht

Byron gazed over to the other side of the carriage where Silas sat, wondering just how long they could go on avoiding the pressing issue at hand.

They’d kissed and both of them had enjoyed it. There was no doubt of that, any more than there was any doubt that had  Silas not pulled away things would have gone much further.

Since that incident, neither had spoke of it, instead slipping into their old roles of merely being good friends. Yet, Byron could not deny that beneath all those layers of normalcy lay a fissure, one that would only spread until it burst open. Byron just hoped he could be strong enough for both of them when that moment happened—when Silas realized just how much Byron loved and desired him.

“Do you think your friends will be able to help?” Silas asked.

“I hope so and I wouldn’t exactly call Leo and Spence chums. They most likely don’t even know I exist. I’ve just recently joined the Lords of Aether and hold no seniority there.”

“Then why are you approaching them at all?” Silas frowned.

The gesture caused Byron to hone in on Silas’ lips. At that moment all he could think of was how sweet and full they’d felt when they’d kissed. It wasn’t until Silas repeated the question a second time that Byron came out of his trance.

“I just do,” he hedged.

Or rather I hope they do. If they reject me I don’t know who else to go to. The last thing I want to do is to break a promise I made to the man whom I love more than any other.

“I’ve heard rumors,” Silas said in a timid voice. “About some of the men of Lords of Aether.”

“What did they say?”

When Silas blushed and brought his fingers to his own lips, Byron couldn’t help but smile. It would appear the fissure was bigger than he’d anticipated.

“They’re true.”

“Are you…” Silas trailed off.

“Silas, if the kiss I gave you wasn’t clue enough, I don’t know what is.”

The blush grew deeper, but Silas gave a timid smile. “I just never thought that you could think of me like that.”

“Come here.” Byron tapped the seat.

Once Silas was within reach, Byron  grabbed him by the back of the head and  crushed their mouths together. This time there was no hesitation on Silas’ part. He kissed Byron back with the same need and hunger.

Silas shifted until he straddled Byron’s lap, their cocks grinding together in the most delicious way. Byron moaned into Silas’ mouth, the friction driving him nearly mad with desire.

Byron moved his hands so he had a good hold on Silas’ arse and prompted him to keep grinding. All the while, they continued to kiss like two men starved, which was how Byron felt. He’d longed to have Silas in his arms for so very long.

Pulling back, Silas gazed into Byron’s eyes. “How long have you felt this way about me?”

“The better part of five years, why?”

Silas gave a small grin. “I was just thinking of all the time we wasted. I’ve been wanting you for at least that long, too.”

There was so much more that Byron wanted to say, but the carriage came to a halt. He wanted to continue the discussion, but Byron needed to get inside the club before Leo or Spence left.

“Wait right here for me. I’ll be back soon,” Byron promised.

He then gave Silas one more parting kiss before gently moving him off his lap. Byron then got out of the carriage.

As he stepped out, a prickly sensation came to the back of his neck, as if somebody were watching him. Byron spun around, but saw no one. It was just he, Silas and the driver.

“Get your wits about you,” Byron scolded himself.

Dismissing the issue from his mind, Byron then went inside the club.

Taking Control by Lex Valentine

Spence hadn’t thought that kissing Leo would fire his libido. Not that Leo wasn’t an attractive man. He certainly was. But he’d not really thought of Leo in a sexual light or if he did it was in the context of him being Jacob’s lover even though Spence knew that Leo had never been with Jacob or any other man for that matter. Leo’s innocence shone from his eyes every time Spence stepped close to him and the kiss had definitely shaken Leo and his innocence to the core.

Still, despite Leo’s obvious lack of knowledge about carnal relations with men, Spence thought of him as belonging to Jacob which lent the kiss an air of danger. To Spence, whose knowledge of all things kinky was limited at best, the relationship between Leo and Jacob bordered on master and submissive. Jacob owned Leo in every respect except the physical and Spence was certain Jacob would be changing that as soon as he possibly could. The kiss Spence had shared with Leo told him the man was a ripe plum ready to fall into an experienced man’s hands the same way Spence had fallen into Lord Anthony’s.

Knowing that Jacob laid claim to Leo by his actions that day at his warehouse, Spence knew he courted danger by kissing Leo. He didn’t know what had driven him to such a risk, but something within him had insisted he taste the other man. Leo’s innocence, his awakening awareness of his desires, reminded Spence a little of himself when he’d first become aware that women held no sexual interest for him. Leo would be magnificent once he accepted that he craved the feel of male flesh against his. And, Spence could see in his mind’s eye that Leo would be a stunning submissive to Jacob’s dominant.

Perhaps it was that vision that had Spence’s cock stirring. Until the moment he’d kissed Leo, tasted his innocence and submission and pictured how the man would be with Silsbury, Spence hadn’t been sexually attracted to him at all. Now, with the vision of Leo collared and at Jacob’s mercy filling his thoughts, it was all Spence could do to keep his half hard cock from rising further. Surreptitiously, he pressed his hand to the base of his prick, pushing hard at the base to tame the beast.

“I can see I’ve startled you, Leo,” he told the other man whose face had flushed a becoming shade of pink.  “Why don’t we forget that happened and repair to the club for some supper?”

Leo’s eyes flashed with an emotion Spence couldn’t place. “Supper sounds good,” he responded almost automatically. His gaze lowered, his lashes dusting his cheeks. “But I don’t know that I want to forget what h-happened.”

Spence had the sense that Leo’s dawning knowledge of his own desires had forced the words from his mouth. He recalled how he had felt when he’d first begun to acknowledge that he wanted to kiss and caress men not women. Sympathy flooded him and his cock began to subside.

“A small token of affection between friends. Nothing to worry about,” Spence told him with a gentle pat on Leo’s shoulder. “I appreciate your friendship more than you know.”

Leo nodded almost absently. Then his gaze rose to Spence’s. “Will you tell me what it’s like?” he asked, apprehension building in his eyes.

Spence’s brows shot up. “Are you asking me what I think you’re asking me?”

Leo nodded again, his cheeks flushing darker. “I can’t ask Alexi,” he whispered.

That made sense, Spence thought. Silsbury would have had Leo down on the bedsheets beneath him the moment Leo asked him the simplest questions about what went on between men in bed. Leo needed some information to work with before he approached Silsbury. He needed to be sure that it was what he wanted.

Spence threaded his arm through Leo’s and led him away from the docks, fully aware of the great airship behind them, sailing away from London with the man Leo really wanted to be with inside. “I will tell you anything you wish to know. I wish someone had been there to answer my questions when I realized how much I enjoyed the company of men,” he said softly into Leo’s ear. “We’ll have supper and then over a bottle of brandy in private, you may ask me anything you like without fear that anyone else shall overhear.”

A glance at Leo’s face revealed an expression of relief. Spence held back a sigh. Helping Leo would make him feel a bit better about what had happened between him and Lord Anthony. And being frank about his own needs, urges and desires would do him good. He’d spent too many years being afraid of his own nature. If he were ever to find a relationship such as the ones other men at the Lords of Aether club enjoyed, he needed to shed his inhibitions and caution and live. And he would impress that upon Leo as well. Hiding one’s nature only harmed your psyche and Spence was done with repressing his sexuality.

Dinner at the club was more relaxing than he could have imagined. He’d thought that perhaps the specter of their coming discussion would make Leo tense, but instead, it seemed to have freed him. They laughed and talked about all manner of things and Spence found himself envying Silsbury a great deal for owning the heart of a man like Leo.

As they tucked into their pudding, a shadow fell across their table. Spence looked up into a face he recognized but couldn’t put a name to. Leo looked up as well, his expression a mirror to Spence’s thoughts.

“Forgive me for interrupting,” the tall young man said in a gruff voice. “Dr. Spencer, I believe we were introduced some time ago here in the club.”

A name finally came to Spence. “Byron Wright? Lord Randolph’s son Cyrus sponsored you to the club, am I correct?”

The tall young man nodded. “Cyrus and I were at Eton together.”

Spence smiled. “He and I were at Cambridge together.” He waved to a chair at their table. “Please do join us, Byron. This is Leonard Stokes who is a friend of Lord Silsbury.”

Byron shook his head. “I can’t. I have someone waiting for me in my carriage. However, I wished to ask a favor of you, Dr. Spencer.”

The young man’s gaze held a frantic light that made Spence curious as well as cautious. “Go on.”

Byron drew a deep breath. “Could we repair to a private room? I’ll bring my friend and join you. We have need of assistance with a problem which you may be interested in.”

Spence glanced at Leo and noted the curiosity on his friend’s face. He also noted that Leo had a somewhat assessing glint in his eye as he stared at the handsome man before them. Between what he and Silsbury had done to Leo in recent days, Spence could see that Leo’s awareness of his true nature and his awareness of other men was undergoing a change.

Spence came to a decision. He wanted to see what Byron had to say and he was curious as to the identity of his friend. He tossed his napkin down and rose.

“We’ll ask Beare for a private room. Retrieve your friend and ask Beare to direct you to us.” Spence looked over at Leo who stood as well.

Byron strode out of the dining room and Leo arched a brow at Spence. “How very curious.”

“Curious indeed.” Spence led the way out of the dining room. He spotted Beare lurking near the club’s foyer. “Mr. Beare. A private room, if you please. Byron Wright and a friend will be joining us for brandy.”

Beare inclined his head, his face as impassive as always. “Of course, Dr. Spencer.” He led them down a corridor and pushed open the door to a masculine appointed salon. The sideboard held a selection of drinks and crystal glassware. “Should you need anything else, just ring for a steward.”

When Beare left, Leo settled himself on a comfortable leather sofa while Spence poured them each a brandy. He had just sat down on the opposite side of the sofa from Leo when the door opened and Beare ushered in Byron and another handsome young man. This man had an agitated air about him that drew Spence’s natural curiosity instantly.

“This is Silas Brown. Silas, this is Dr. Peregrine Spencer and Leonard Stokes,” Byron said without fanfare.

Silas nodded his head in greeting, his movements stiff and nervous. Spence smiled at him warmly, doing his best to make the young man relax.

“Please, do call me Spence and this is Leo.” He waved a hand toward the sideboard. “Would you care for a brandy?”

As the two young men seated themselves in chairs across from the sofa, Spence got up and poured two more brandies, crossing over to give them to Byron and Silas. He watched as the two exchanged a glance that spoke of long familiarity with one another. It also spoke of an attachment that went beyond friendship.

Spence returned to his seat beside Leo and turned his gaze upon Byron. “You mentioned needing assistance?” he probed gently.

Byron took a swallow of his brandy and nodded. “We have a problem. Silas’s parents have been kidnapped. They are inventors and their disappearance is very suspicious,” Byron said quietly. “I need assistance investigating the disappearance for several reasons. One reason is that I believe the authorities will not help us.”

Leo appeared shocked. “Why would they not?”

Byron’s lips twisted cynically. “The authorities are rife with members of the underworld. They are just as villainous as the creatures who commit the crimes in this city.”

“I believe that.” Spence sighed heavily. “It’s something many of the club members have come to agree upon in the last few months.”

“Yes, well, this kidnapping has been covered up and I fear for Silas’ safety as well.” He glanced at his nervous, silent companion.

“And I fear for Byron’s,” the other man burst out.

Spence’s brows rose and he noticed that Leo leaned forward, his expression serious, but filled with curiosity.

“We’ve known each other since we were children and always looked out for one another. But, I-I cannot be trusted to do this always. I…suffer from a…condition that hampers my movements in the polite world on occasion.”

A bitter twist of Silas lips and a preternatural gleam in his eyes had Spence stiffening in his seat. Could it be? Could Silas be what he had been searching for the last six months? Could he be the subject he needed in order to further his experiments? Calming his rapidly beating heart, Spence leaned forward, his gaze holding Silas’s.

“Tell me,” Spence whispered, his focus entirely on Silas Brown.

Agony twisted Silas’s handsome features. “I need your help, Doctor, because I suffer from lycanthropy.”

Both Byron and Leo gasped but Spence could barely stop himself from jumping up in triumph. At last, someone who was willing to confess the truth! Werewolves existed amongst them and he was determined to find the cure for the curse. Now, he had a real werewolf before him and Spence wasn’t about to lose this opportunity to help him and study his affliction in an effort to cure it. If it meant he had to help Silas and Bryon find the missing inventors, then he would.  He would do whatever he must to have unfettered access to a real live werewolf.

The day had turned out better than he had hoped when he’d awakened with the notion that he needed to take control of his life. His time with Leo, Byron’s request for help, Silas’s confession, and the opportunity to further his research…everything had combined itself into the best day of Spence’s life rivaling his night in Lord Anthony’s arms. He smiled comfortingly at Byron and Silas.

Control. He had to take control of this situation and turn it to his favor while still helping the others. Spence’s smile widened. If he could seduce Anthony Banning and kiss Leo Stokes, he could do anything. Including help a werewolf.


Diving In

7 December 2012

Nothing had prepared Caleb for today. Nothing. The explosive violence of Emmett’s anger, even though not directed toward him, had unnerved him utterly.  Once he found out the reason, he understood Emmett’s “fist-first” reaction. What he didn’t understand was the clawing fear that someone could have succeeded. Some villain could have poisoned Emmett, snuffed out that vibrant, brash personality, leaving Caleb wondering forever about what might have been.

Caleb trembled in Emmett’s arms, unwilling to give up the warmth, the knowledge that the owner of those arms was hale and hearty and whole. At first the tremors had been from nothing more than shock. To go from arousal to shock to fear in such a short span of time confused his body even more than his mind. But the longer he stayed clasped against Emmett, the more he was able to shut out the concern of a possible murderer on board. The spicy musk of Emmett’s skin pervaded his nose, overwhelmed his senses and if he turned just a few degrees in Emmett’s embrace, there would be no mistaking the strength of his returned arousal.

Emmett must have sensed something or been able to pull his thoughts out of his head like a mesmerist. No sooner had Caleb acknowledged his arousal, Emmett shifted them enough to press them together – full length, not a finger’s breadth between them. If there was no mistaking Caleb’s arousal, neither could he misconstrue the hardness poking back at him.

An hour ago, he’d been still undecided. Every moment in Emmett’s presence got him closer to this point, but he hadn’t been willing to be another of Emmett’s conquests. The murder attempt changed everything. He’d come too close to never knowing Emmett in the most intimate way a man can know another man, and he wasn’t going to waste any more time.

Emmett’s arms tightened around him, the soft kiss on his neck a silent question.

Caleb pulled his head away for a moment, hoping to clear the growing haze of desire. His gaze landed on the splash of spilled wine, darkening to brown where it scorched the carpet, and he consigned logic and caution to perdition.

Turning back to Emmett, he gazed into his eyes. There was only one answer, but the blaze of desire in Emmett’s expression stole the breath he’d use to speak.

Tonight, Emmett had come as close to dying as he’d ever done and he hadn’t been prepared. The underhanded nature of the attack surprised him. One didn’t go into battle or face down an African predator without some realization you might not be the victor. Turning an innocuous glass of wine into a deadly weapon, especially in a well-appointed stateroom, had shaken Emmett’s foundations – far more than he’d readily admit.

Trusting a stranger while he slept was never easy and would not be a simple matter for some time to come. Tonight, though, he didn’t want to spend the night alone. More so, he wanted to spend the night with Caleb. Lose his fears in Caleb’s body.

He tightened his arms and kissed the soft skin under Caleb’s ear, his faint stubble rasping lightly against Caleb’s. Despite the heavy erection resting against his own, Caleb stiffened in his arms and Emmett reluctantly prepared himself to let Caleb break the embrace, to flee like he’d done after every other encounter.

Emmett stared into Caleb’s wide eyes, no longer bothering to hide the intensity of his hunger for this sweet man he no longer viewed as prey. A heartbeat or two passed before he realized Caleb wasn’t breaking away.  A resounding “yes” to Emmett’s unspoken plea was unmistakable, between the heat in Caleb’s gaze and the gentle thrust of his hips against Emmett.

Oh. Caleb was staying. Caleb was going to be his.

Slowly, deliberately, Emmett loosened his grip, moved his hands upward, giving Caleb plenty of time and opportunity to break away, but he didn’t move and his gaze never wavered.

Emmett cradled Caleb’s face in his palms and drew their lips together. A hint of alcohol flavored Caleb’s plush lips. For a moment, he was able to remain gentle, chaste. But only a moment, because the musk of Caleb’s arousal was thick in his nostrils and the softness of Caleb’s lips was a dizzying contrast to the strong, stubbled jaw in his hands.

He pressed, tongue seeking entrance. Caleb’s lips relaxed around a soft exhalation, and gave Emmett the opening he sought.

Sliding his hands back down Caleb’s body, he pulled them even tighter together while he devoured Caleb’s mouth.  Never had Emmett considered a mouth might be made for kissing, not when that warm, wet haven could be put to better use servicing his cock. Yet, as their tongues parried and twined against each other, he realized he could explore Caleb’s mouth for hours.

A low whimper, passed from Caleb’s mouth to his, made his cock thump in angry denial. Hours might be far longer than his cock would allow him to feast on Caleb’s lips. Emmett pulled back, barely enough to part their lips, Caleb’s puffy and pink from kissing.

“Come to bed with me. Please.” Emmett wasn’t sure he’d ever requested a bed partner so politely, but he didn’t want Caleb to say no.

Caleb bit down on his lower lip with even, white teeth and nodded.

The shy gesture triggered a thought. “Have you done this before?”

A slash of pink streaked across Caleb’s cheeks. “Yes. A couple of times.”

A couple of times. Emmett had had a couple of hundred encounters before he stopped counting. He wasn’t sure if he should be proud, gratified or terrified by the trust Caleb was giving him. But he’d known from the moment Caleb capitulated that this wasn’t going to be a simple exchange of orgasms.

“Come.” Emmett pulled back, the separation of their bodies leaving him cold and unsettled.  Taking Caleb’s strong, work-worn fingers in his, he led the way to his bedroom.

Next to the bed, Emmett undressed them. Each piece of clothing he removed from Caleb was a small seduction, a slow tease designed to inflame Caleb’s senses, drug him with passion. It was a process he’d never cared about before, but each shuddery breath, each breathy moan, was a gift that in turn ignited his own passions. For the first time, another’s arousal was as good as a caress.

For every piece of clothing Emmett removed with such precision, he tore away a matching garment of his own as fast as he could, eager to get his fingers back on the gem fate had given him. He tossed their garments on the floor in a way that would have any valet cringing, but Emmett had no remorse.

At long last, they stood there in nothing but white linen shirts, shrouded erections pushing out the hems. Emmett had considered leaving their pants on until the end, but changed his mind and chose the shirts to be last. He was glad he did, even though it had been torturous to ease down their pants without grabbing and stroking them to quick orgasm.

Quick completion wasn’t on the agenda. Orgasm wasn’t called la petite mort for nothing, and Emmett wanted nothing but a thorough, sensual annihilation of both their senses.

He took a step back, all the better to survey his handiwork. Caleb’s hair was mussed, his eyes dark with desire, and his cheeks were flushed. Tiny bruises dotted the base of his throat where Emmett had been unable to resist sucking. His legs were long and strong, and Emmett would wager he’d cut a fine figure atop a horse.


The hesitant word dropped into the silence between them, and Emmett realized the past several minutes had been filled with nothing but the sounds of fabric dropping to the floor and lips tasting skin.

“You’re beautiful.” Emmett’s voice was a husky growl and Caleb’s flush got darker.

“So are you,” Caleb whispered.

Emmett’s own cheeks heated. It wasn’t the first time he’d been complimented by a lover, but it was the first time it mattered.

Stepping close again, his fingers found the edges of Caleb’s shirt. His desire pounded in his ears and his groin and his patience was ready to snap. He tugged and the shirt parted like magic, revealing smooth skin over lithe muscles and a dark red cock raised up, begging for attention.

Years had passed since Emmett had last sank to his knees in front of another man, but how could he do anything but? Caleb deserved to be worshipped.

The heat of Caleb’s engorged penis against his cheek hypnotized him. Not too long, not too thick, but just perfect for a mouth out of practice. Emmett licked his lips and opened his mouth, engulfing Caleb’s warm length. A moan ripped out of Caleb’s throat and his hips bucked, sending his cock farther into Emmett’s mouth.

Emmett swirled his tongue around his mouthful, bobbing his head, while Caleb gasped nonsense words above him. He retained enough sense to rid himself of his own shirt before he focused completely on Caleb’s cock and balls.

In moments, Caleb was trembling and kneading the skin on Emmett’s shoulders.  Time to withdraw.

A soft pop heralded the return of Caleb’s cock to open air, and the disappointed frown creasing Caleb’s face made Emmett grin.

“We’re not done yet, sweet.”

“More.” Caleb’s imperious demand was accompanied by a sharp tug on his head, but Emmett had other designs on Caleb’s body.

“Soon.” He rose to his feet and captured Caleb’s lips in another scorching kiss. They both moaned at the sensation of skin against skin, and Caleb rutted against his own leaking erection, desperate for relief. Caleb’s fingers wandered over the skin of his back, down his spine and tentatively stroked the swell of his arse. Next time, maybe, they could come like this, soak each other in their spend, but not for this first time.

“Not yet, sweet.” Emmett softened his words with kisses to Caleb’s jaw. “On the bed with you.”

Caleb did as he was bid, but the momentary confidence he’d demonstrated had been replaced with shy hesitancy. That would never do.

Emmett grabbed a vial of oil and clambered on the bed, coaxing Caleb’s legs open by settling his body between them. His erection had also lost some of its fierceness, but Emmett had a plan for that.

While Caleb watched, he poured a small amount of oil on his fingers. Nerves were overtaking his sweet man, anxiety growing with every breath.

“Hush, sweet.”

Keeping his hand carefully off the bed linens, he licked Caleb’s furry sac before sucking a ball into his mouth.

The sound that escaped Caleb wasn’t a groan or a word but some odd combination of both. Judging by the instant renewal of Caleb’s hardness, his misgivings had vanished.

Emmett allowed himself only a few moments to savor Caleb’s musky maleness before he licked the base of Caleb’s hard prick, chasing the vein to the foreskin.

“Yes. More. Suck.”

Emmett wanted to laugh but instead pulled the damp tip of Caleb’s prick into his mouth. Just the tip, and just enough tongue to tease because Caleb wasn’t coming yet.  He eased a slick finger between firm cheeks and with an unerring accuracy borne of years of practice, he slid a finger into Caleb.

“Wha-” Caleb’s his passage tightened around Emmett’s finger, and Emmett groaned around the cock in his mouth.  He wanted his prick inside Caleb and he didn’t know how much longer he could wait.

He dug his tongue into Caleb’s slit, making him buck. The motion pushed Emmett’s finger in deeper, and Caleb groaned again.

Slowly, he eased the digit out partway, then slid it in again. This time, Caleb held himself still, but didn’t clench.  Another couple of thrusts and more sucking had Caleb’s legs opening a bit wider.

As soon as Emmett found the sweet spot inside, Caleb opened up, whimpering and wiggling and demanding more.  Emmett was more than happy to oblige, and much sooner than anticipated, Emmett had three fingers thrusting inside Caleb.  His cock throbbed at his groin, twitching against Caleb’s leg hair, demanding his own satisfaction.

Emmett pulled his fingers out and Caleb glared at him.

“Don’t worry, sweet. Almost there.”

“Yes, I was almost there,” Caleb huffed.

Emmett grinned. He wanted this to be good for Caleb, and not wanting to stop was an excellent sign.

He slicked up his hard prick as quick as he could and moved to cover Caleb, cock poised at his entrance.

Caleb swallowed heavily and squirmed, avoiding Emmett’s gaze. He lowered his stomach and chest to keep the man still, and Caleb hissed at the sudden pressure on his erection.

“Look at me.”

Caleb pointedly ignored him.

Emmett jabbed his hips enough that the tip of his cock pressed on Caleb’s pucker, but not hard enough to enter him.

“Look at me,” he growled again.

This time, Caleb obeyed. Pupils wide, lips rosy and parted, chest rising and falling with the rapidity of unsatisfied desire… Emmett had never seen a more appealing sight. Once with him would not be enough. Dozens of encounters wouldn’t be enough.

Emmett opened his mouth to tell Caleb how much he wanted this, but his body could speak more eloquently right now. He swooped down and claimed Caleb’s mouth, driving both tongue and cock deep into Caleb. Greedily, he swallowed Caleb’s surprised gasp, and set about coaxing more from the man as his hips set the pace almost on their own, his tongue thrusting in a rhythmic counterpoint.

Muscles corded in his arms as he fought to keep his weight off Caleb. Caleb closed his eyes and met each of Emmett’s vigorous thrusts with his own.  All too soon, Caleb’s unfettered and enthusiastic response shattered his careful seduction.  Unable to catch his breath, Emmett ripped his mouth away even as his hips sped up, driving deep, thighs slapping together, balls bouncing against Caleb’s round bum.

Faster, faster.

He stared down at Caleb, panting, sweat covering both their bodies as he rode Caleb. His entire world had narrowed to the touch, taste, scent and sound of this one compelling, beautiful man.

Faster, harder… louder.

“Too good, Cal. Oh.” Emmett’s hips swiveled, unable to halt the orgasm building in his balls.  “Cal, Cal.”

Slipping a hand between them to stroke Caleb would be impossible at this pace, but a deeper, rosier flush colored Caleb’s chest and his face twisted. Emmett pleaded, prayed, that Caleb was close because he couldn’t stop, couldn’t wait, couldn’t do anything but fuck.

Caleb dug his fingers into Emmett’s biceps and arched his back. Before losing himself entirely, Emmett pressed his abdomen against Caleb’s cock as he drove deep into Caleb’s body.  Caleb shouted his name as his passage clenched around Emmett’s cock.

Emmett grunted and filled Caleb with long pulses while Caleb slicked the space between them with his spend.

While they caught their breath, Emmett stayed inside Caleb as long as he could. Caleb stroked over his chest, making Emmett shiver. A small smiled tugged at Caleb’s lips but it held a hint of regret, threatening to shatter Emmett’s post-orgasmic bliss.

“Did I hurt you?”

“No, I just wish…”

“Wish what?”  Emmett closed his eyes, waiting for the blow. Waiting to hear Caleb wished they hadn’t done this, even though Emmett wouldn’t regret a second.

“That I’d had a chance to touch you more. Taste you.”

Flames of desire licked at him, but there was no way his body could respond. Not yet.

“There’ll be other chances. Soon. I promise.”

Caleb’s smiled broadened, clear of any regret.

After they’d cleaned up, Emmett curled his body around Caleb and held him. Breathy snores told him Caleb had passed out, but Emmett had no desire to wake him and send him back to his own quarters, as he’d normally do.

Was it Caleb’s sweet naivety? The near-death experience? Or the merry chase Caleb had led him on? Whatever the reason, this act which he’d indulged in so many times with so many strangers had suddenly become more significant than simply satisfying a bodily urge. Having sex in his bed and falling asleep with his lover was a step toward commitment that he rarely took, and yet he had every intention of doing so with Caleb as often as he could. He should be terrified, but his satiated brain could only rouse up a drowsy contentment. If he needed something to fear, there was his attempted murder to consider, but morning would be soon enough to face that.


The True and Scandalous history of the Lords of Aether, another diversion

26 October 2012

In my job you get to hear many a thing you sometimes wish you hadn’t. Not that I hold with Poll’s opinion that those who listen at keyholes only hear ill of themselves. For a start, I don’t stoop so low as to listen at doors (my dodgy back wouldn’t let me, even if my conscience would!) But sometimes I find myself having to deal with the gripper rods for the carpet and naturally will be on my knees by the door frame. Or I may be passing a window and notice the curtains are not drawn to my satisfaction. If I happen to pause to adjust them opposite a slightly open door, such is life.

And I have never overheard ill of myself, just things which intrigue me. You can imagine that cries along the lines of, “If you must put that there, please could you warm it first,” are fairly common on club premises and nary and eyebrow gets raised at them. But how is a man to sleep without his mind boiling over at the meaning of, “I’ll only do that if you put the porcupine down and butter both the crumpets”? Especially when it’s heard from Lord Anthony’s room at three in the morning.

I’ve heard many a secret spoken, too, particularly when my gentlemen (gentlemen? My elbow. Gang of dumpling munching, swagger stick clasping lubricators!) are in the midst of a commission from Her Majesty. That’s when my discretion and loyalty to Queen(s) and country comes in.

Anyway, Poll has said to me many a time that my big ears (slurry boats, she calls them, going round picking up all the filth) would get me into trouble one day. Of course, she was right, as I found out yesterday. I was passing Spence’s room, when I heard Poll – my Poll! – saying, in a breathless voice, “Spence, take off my shawl.”

Can you blame me for breaking my rule, stopping and listening some more? Can you blame me for being horrified when I then heard her say, “Spence, take off my dress”?

I was quite winded, rooted to the spot and unable to determine a suitable course of action when I heard, “Spence, take off my corset.”

That propelled me into battle. I was about to burst through the door and challenge the cad to a duel for seducing my fine gal, when Poll herself came storming out. Face red, eyes blazing, a pile of garments in her arms, fully dressed, and saying over her shoulder, “And if I catch you wearing my clothes again, Spence, there’ll be hell to pay and no pitch hot!”

As I hid behind the door. in case I should be unjustly accused of snooping, my heart soared in relief. What a woman…


5 October 2012

Caleb puttered around the workroom, accomplishing next to nothing of value.  He couldn’t much concentrate. Alexi had interrupted his ill-advised interlude with Montgomery… no, Emmett.  He’d been invited to use Emmett’s given name, and the intimacy of such a gesture shouldn’t affect him, but it did.  Alexi’s appearance had been well-timed, because he didn’t think Emmett would have been easily put off.  Especially since Caleb hadn’t been able to remember how to say “no” once Emmett’s mouth had moved over his, soft but determined.  Thrilling.

Every time he saw Emmett, it got harder and harder to remember why he was supposed to dislike the man, why he shouldn’t tumble into bed with him the way they both clearly wanted.  He’d not been completely unaware of Emmett’s intent gaze on him whenever they were together, but lately, he found himself wanting more than Emmett’s smoldering expression.

Alexi’s interruption had given him time to think, time to compose his rejection, time to let his arousal – brought to an abrupt fever pitch by Emmett’s touch – fade.  Problem was, the arousal hadn’t gone away, not completely.  In the face of the sullen complaints from his unsatisfied cock, his attempts to compose lucid and logical reasons why he shouldn’t succumb to Emmett’s advances collapsed like a clockwork with no gears.  And if he didn’t succumb, would Emmett find someone else to slake his lust with?  Caleb hadn’t appreciated that the last time, and he wasn’t entirely certain he’d be able to retain any civility in Shelley’s company.

Did Shelley call Emmett by his first name?  A quick vision of the two men, naked and entwined, one of them calling out Emmett’s name in his ecstasy, came unwelcome and unbidden to his mind.  In a sudden fury, Caleb swept the table free of gears and piping, the loud clatter shaking him out of his imaginings as he squatted to pick up the pieces.  He shouldn’t care what Emmett did with his time.  But his libido wanted what Emmett offered, and no amount of rhetoric could convince his cock it was a bad idea.

Perhaps if he could retire to his cabin, give himself a little relief, that might help.  But it was broad daylight.  One didn’t do that in broad daylight, especially not when one was a guest.  Did they?  Dinner would likely be served soon; how humiliating to have someone stop by his cabin to announce the meal while he was mid… No.  He couldn’t allow it. He wasn’t one of the idle rich.  Working his commission during the day… that was what he had to do.

With a sigh, he sat down, work still the last thing he wanted.  The vibration of the engines, a minor annoyance when confined to the soles of his feet now radiated through the chair, reawakening his half-dormant erection.  With a curse, Caleb pushed away from the table and stood.

Enough was enough.  He didn’t care if it wasn’t proper, he needed relief and he needed it soon, or he might make the supreme mistake of knocking on Emmett’s door and begging to be his latest bedsport.  Not that he expected every carnal encounter to result in a relationship, but Emmett’s attitude towards it pegged him as the heartless hunter he was. Caleb didn’t want to be used and discarded like a broken toy.

Adjusting his cock in his trousers, Caleb left the workroom without a backward glance.  After all, Emmett had merely commissioned a work, not enslaved him.  He was entitled to “rest” in his cabin for a bit.

Caleb reached his cabin door swiftly and without encountering another soul, thankfully, because it would only require a glance at his groin to discern his state of mind.  After imagining him and Emmett that first night they’d met… imagining him out in the garden, down on his knees in front of the muscular hunter, mouth open to receive the ample erection Emmett sported, he’d find relief within moments of taking himself in hand.

He had a hand on the door handle when a voice spoke.

“Colchester.  Settling in okay?”

Caleb bit back a whimper as an embarrassed heat warmed his face.  Anyone other than his host, and he’d have mumbled his excuses to the door frame and escaped into his cabin.  Instead he took a deep breath and half turned to Nash.

“Fine, yes, thank you.”

Jack, nestled into the circle of Nash’s arms, peered at him.  “Are you certain?  Many people are afflicted with mal de l’air on their first airship flight.  You are a little flushed.”

Caleb’s face got hotter.  If only he could blame airsickness.  Then Nash smirked, and Caleb was very much afraid neither of them thought he was ill.  Depraved, perhaps, but not ill.

“No, I’m fine.”  But his voice cracked, and he might not be fine until he’d reached the solace of his cabin.

“Well, then, come inside and have a drink with us before dinner.  We insist.”

Nash’s words were rather louder than needed, considering how close they stood, but his tone brooked no argument.  And Caleb had to be imagining the odd emphasis on the word “drink”, making it sound salacious.

There was no hope for it.  At least once he was seated, he could hide his arousal, and pray it deflated shortly.  Trying to make polite conversation might be the distraction he needed.

“Of course.  It will be my pleasure.”

Emmett rounded the corner, only to see those bastards, Jack and Nash, ushering Caleb into their cabin.  Caleb, whose erection was obvious to anyone with eyes, and it should have been his.  If not for Alexi and his clinginess to Caleb, Emmett would already had Caleb.  Maybe right there in the workroom, if they’d not been able to make it back to their rooms.  Maybe both.

Emmett stood outside the cabin door, teeth clenched, hands curled into fists.  He couldn’t actually fling the door open and demand Caleb’s return.  Not if he didn’t want to irk Nash to the point of getting himself thrown over the side of the ship.  It was a long, long way to the ground.

Clinging to his temper by a gossamer thread, he made himself enter his own cabin.  The bottle of wine Nash had delivered earlier, “with his compliments” stood on the sideboard, mocking him.  Speaking loudly of Nash’s intention to keep Emmett sotted and away from Caleb.

His anger rose, and he grabbed the bottle, slamming it on the side of the wall he shared with Nash and Jack.  Bastards.

Glass shattered and fell to the floor as crimson liquid sprayed along the wall and dripped down to pool among the shards.  Where it began to foam.  Emmett frowned and stepped closer, careful where he stepped.

He stretched out a finger and dipped it in the wine.  He brought it to his nose and sniffed.  Smelled like wine, but not a great vintage.  Then his finger began to burn and he hastily grabbed a linen cloth from the sideboard to wipe his finger.  The cloth browned a trifle.

Fury boiled over.   How dare he?  Nash already had a man of his own and he was willing to kill Emmett for his?  Emmett didn’t give a good Goddamn who owned this stinking scow.

Like a vengeful god, Emmett stormed over to the cabin next door, and flung open the door.  He had a moment to notice that everyone’s clothes were still on before he barreled past Jack and Caleb to yank Nash out of his chair and land a heavy punch in his face.

The two other men prevented him from landing another blow, but land more he would, because Nash’s shock made him even angrier.  A flash of pain flared in Nash’s face and he touched the blood that trickled from his broken nose.  He narrowed his eyes in anger, which suited Emmett just fine.

“You cold-hearted bastard,” Emmett gritted out between clenched teeth as he attempted to shrug off his restraints.  “If you want to kill me, do it like a man, you puling pup.”

Nash’s anger turned to confusion.  “Kill you?”

Jack and Caleb both echoed the words, which apparently surprised them enough Emmett was able to shake them.  He cocked his fist and let it fly, but this time, Nash was ready.  He caught it and slammed his own fist into Emmett’s gut.  Breath fled his lungs and he stumbled into a chair, stunned.

“I’ve never known you to brawl when you’re drunk, Montgomery, but there’s always a first time.” The restrained menace in Nash’s tone was one never directed at him before, but then, he’d never had Nash try to kill him before.

“What the hell is going on?”  Caleb switched his weight from foot to foot, like he couldn’t decide where to go or what to do.

As air finally returned to his lungs, Emmett became aware of the throb in his ribs that matched the throb in his knuckles.  Nash must have stone under his skin instead of mere bone.

“Your suitor here has apparently been driven mad with jealousy.”

“Is that the story you’ll give the authorities when you tell them I’m dead?”  Emmett sneered.  He had a whole arsenal of weapons in his luggage, but hadn’t bothered bringing one over with him.  Stupid.  But he’d bide his time and get his chance.  Nash was in his sights now, and he never missed.

“Authorities?  What are you talking about, Montgomery?”  Jack moved to wipe away the blood that now dripped off Nash’s chin.  The smear of red made Nash appear mad, as mad as he’d have to be to kill Emmett over a man.

Caleb stared at him as though he’d lost his mind.  And that convinced him he needed to control his anger.  They’d never believe him otherwise.  But Jack needed to know.  As did Caleb.  It was the only way they could keep themselves safe.  And if he convinced them now, perhaps they could prevail upon the crew to keep Nash confined until they could land and hand him over to the authorities.  That was the wisest course of action, as much as Emmett would like to hunt Nash down like a feral beast.

“The poisoned wine.  That Nash sent me.”

The confused look returned to Nash’s eyes.  “I never sent you wine.  Much less poisoned wine.  What are you on about?”

“You didn’t send a crew man to my cabin earlier with a bottle?  I thought you were trying to get me out of the way so you and Jack could have your way with Caleb.”

Caleb gasped and a fresh blush colored his cheeks.

“Not a bad plan, but no, I didn’t send any wine.  What about the poison?”

Could he be wrong?  Could his infatuation with Caleb have muddled his faculties?  Because he believed Nash spoke the truth.  In fact, he’d known Nash long enough that he shouldn’t have leapt to the conclusion he’d kill… at least, not under these circumstances.

“Come.  Let me show you.”

The scene in Emmett’s room told the story.  Where ever wine had landed, it etched and discolored the surface like acid.

“By all that’s holy.  Who brought you this wine?”  Jack asked.

“A crew member.  One I didn’t recognize.”

Nash knelt near the still frothing liquid.

“Careful not to touch it,” Emmett warned.

“We only had one new crew member, but he deserted before we lifted off.”

Suspicious.  Very suspicious.

Nash used a handkerchief to pick up a piece of glass with the wine label.  “And this is not one of the brands in our collection on board.”

“So what does this mean?” Caleb asked.

“Well, either Emmett had another jealous rival,” Nash waggled a brow, and Emmett snorted. “Or, there’s something more nefarious going on.  I’ll have the crew check for signs of tampering, but a ne crew member wouldn’t have been given access to something as important as the pantry.  We’ll hopefully know more at dinner.  If necessary, we’ll stop at the nearest place and bring new supplies aboard.”

Nash led Jack from Emmett’s cabin, leaving Caleb looking shaken.  This might even be worse than Nash trying to kill him.  How could he protect Caleb from a nameless, faceless enemy?  He wanted to tell Caleb not to worry, but knew how useless such words would be.  Instead, he drew Caleb into his arms, thoughts only on comfort, not sex.  At least for now.

The True and Scandalous history of the Lords of Aether, Part the sixth

28 September 2012

I return after the small hiatus occasioned by my having come down with a touch of something – maybe the croup or colic or some other inconvenience which rendered me too ill to fulfil my usual duty of providing reflection on the club’s history.

Poll, as is her wont, stepped into the breach with aplomb, but it might be as well to note that her understanding, and therefore her account, of the true situation may not have been accurate. I hesitate to say she was communicating an untruth (my hesitation being based not least on the presumption that she’d brain me with her rolling pin) but I believe she may simply have misinterpreted certain things.

Now, to proper business. I have to digress a moment from my pen portraits of the foppish, trouser chasing milksops this club has for members, to relate the tale of a very special visit bestowed upon us this last week. A certain lady whom we all revere and serve graced us with her presence at luncheon this last Wednesday, and she ended up staying until very nearly midnight. Was she amused? I should say so.

Maybe it was the sight of all my “gentlemen” (I use the term loosely, as loose as their britches), done up like dogs’ dinners. Lord Anthony and young Spence were even sporting kilts, sgian-dubhs and all! My Poll says she reckons they were trying to impress the old girl, Her Majesty having had such a thing for John Brown. It certainly brought a flush to the royal cheek, to see them swirl along.

Poll had been in to set up the food and she’d been quite taken with the sight of two such pairs of muscular legs. Afraid for Her Majesty’s dignity if the breeze got up, qhoth she, “Lord Anthony, is anything worn below your kilt?”

To which he replied, “No, Poll, it’s all in working order.” Luckily for us Wednesday proved calm, and all sails hung down over the mainmast.

“I don’t know why you worried, Beare, you silly old sod,” my Poll said to me affectionately. “She’s seen it all before. Look at the houseful of children she’s got!”

“She may have seen it all before, my love,” I rejoindered, mustering my dignity, “but not my gents’ she hasn’t!”

“Don’t fool yourself,” she replied and flounced off with a wink over her shoulder.

I’ve been wondering what she meant by that ever since. Sometimes my Poll seems to know more than is good for her…


A Bounty Paid, A Bounty Earned Part II

21 September 2012

Victor sat at his desk, softly tapping the envelope Horatio had delivered to him just moments ago. With a single finger, he thoughtfully traced the wax stamp that sealed it. He scrutinized the envelope and quickly came to the conclusion that it hadn’t been tampered with after the seal had been affixed. The carmine red wax, with his personal crest, a beady-eyed fox leaping to its escape from some unseen pursuers, was pressed deeply into it. He was indeed a fox, always alert, ever prepared to kill would be assassins or flee to exact revenge upon his foe another day. Survival, of course, the key to his ultimate success.

He reached under his desk and instantly felt the fingernail sized depression he searched for. He gently pushed up, and with a soft *click* a drawer, completely invisible while closed, silently slid open. With a deft flick, he slipped the envelope into the quarter inch deep drawer. With a gentle nudge, he closed the drawer. He would open the envelope later…

With a half-hearted sigh, he stood, pushing his chair snug against his desk. His perusal of the contents of the much awaited envelope would have to wait until after his much desired sojourn with Horatio. Still, even knowing that his erotic passions would soon be quenched, he would have difficulty pushing the contents of the envelope out of his mind. He would endeavor to try hard, though. Horatio was the type of fellow that demanded full attention while he was being oh so assuredly ravaged by Victor’s hot blooded lust. But in the case of this encounter, it would only be he who would be ravaged and hopefully splendidly so.

He went to the door that led to his private sleeping chamber and removed his robe. He was in a naughty mood. A mood so without boundaries that the act of disrobing entirely, standing nude outside the room where his lover now bathed, would only cause his excitement to increase tenfold. Indeed, as he dropped his robe, the pocket snagged his hardening cock and, only with a slight movement of his hand toward the doorknob, did it finally fall to the floor.

Twisting the knob, he could only smile as he entered his bedchamber, immediately noting the seven candles flickering around the spacious room, lending a serene glow to the already opulent décor. The seven candles had a significance for him. The seven rules that had led to his current status of Overlord of the London Underworld. The flicker of each, sent fantastic, if one had an imagination fit for it, shapes dancing along walls, ceiling and polished, what was not covered by plush and outrageously expensive imported rugs, floor.

He closed the door behind him, setting the locks so that they would be unable to be opened from the other side. As intricate and amazing as the door lock that led to his office, these were less hidden. In fact, they showed quite fully, in all of their intricacy, lending him a full sense of security as he slept, snug in his soft bed.

He walked softly to the ornate bathroom door. Rich ebony, with an embossed carving of a woodland nymph, sporting the head of a fox, the legs of a swift deer and wings of an osprey, offered itself for viewing as he approached. Imported from a specialty shop in the North of Italy, this door had cost him thousands. It was slightly ajar, inviting him to enter without knocking.

Victor pushed it open. Immediately, the smells of scented oils and candles caused his heart to quicken with anticipation. The bath, a deep and ornate steel and porcelain masterpiece, came into view. Sitting atop a leaping dolphin carved from white marble, the tub was raised three feet off the floor and had stairs of highly polished black marble leading up to it.

Horatio turned his head, smiled and let one of his strong hands dangle, dripping, over the side of the tub. Covered with soap bubbles, his naked body was hidden by what seemed like massive puffy white clouds of bubbles. Victor returned the smile, said nothing, but climbed the steps and slipped a toe into the water. It was hot, but not uncomfortably so. He slipped cautiously beneath the bubbly water until his legs were entwined with those of his lover.

“Had I known this would be my reward, I’d have quickened my steps and returned sooner, M’lord.” Horatio said, sliding his hand along Victor’s thigh. Knowing Victor wouldn’t speak during their encounter, as he had never yet in all of their encounters, he slid his hand further up until he could grasp the wet and pulsing hard cock that he had so desired to touch.

Victor sighed and allowed himself to sink further into the bath. Bubbles around his chin, he closed his eyes.

Seeing the affect his touch caused, Horatio pulled on Victor’s cock, then slid his other hand to cup the scrotum. He squeezed the balls, pulling the cock in a firm grip of his strong hand, then slipped his other hand from the balls and moved it between Victor’s legs until his fingers reached the wet and puckered hole he so wanted to loosen with his own cock.

He smiled, then he tugged. “Stand, if you would please, M’lord?”

Victor said nothing, only opening his eyes to slits so that he didn’t slip, then placed his hands on either side of the tub and slowly rose to his feet. He spread his legs just a little, and tilted his head back.

His servant and lover smiled, but hesitated no longer, opening his mouth, he wrapped his wet lips around the head of the cock in his hand. His Lord’s height meant nothing, for what he may have lacked there, in some small circles, he would be renowned in another for the length and girth of his cock. Still, that cock he now took deeply until the head touched the back of his throat, had yet to penetrate his backside. Something he hoped to remedy, if not with this encounter, perhaps with the next…

On the Catwalk

14 September 2012

“The greatest weapon in an espionage agent’s arsenal is his observation abilities.”

The metal catwalk beneath Jack’s boots vibrated with the movement of the airship as it left smoky London behind. He stood firm, swaying slightly as needed to keep his balance on the narrow catwalk.

“And what is it that you think you’ve seen thus far?”

Nash’s voice held a note of amusement that told Jack his lover was humoring him. Nash had been filled with an electric vibrancy ever since the two of them had conspired to make Montgomery jealous. That extra spark had gone incandescent when Anthony and Shelley boarded and the Lucky Penny had cast off. Jack knew from experience that nothing made Nash happier than to be in the air, on his ship, headed into God knew what dangers. He empathized with his lover completely. Nothing made him feel like the rush of doing his job.

“I give Montgomery another twenty-four hours to bag his quarry,” he murmured. “The man is literally shaking with his lust. I admit, I can’t quite believe Colchester could bring such an experienced man to such a pass, but there is no rhyme or reason to attraction, is there?”

“No, obviously not if you and I are together instead of you and Banning.” Nash nudged Jack with an elbow.

Jack leaned over and brushed a kiss to Nash’s stubbled cheek. “Don’t you have a ship to fly?” he asked.

“Don’t like me to talk about Banning, eh? You did see him board with my brother, didn’t you?”

Nash’s casually phrased digging didn’t anger Jack. He just wondered why his lover seemed so intent on making him talk about Anthony.

“No, I don’t mind talking about Anthony and yes, I did see them board.” He leaned against the catwalk’s railing. “Why do want me to talk about them?”

One of Nash’s brows rose. “Why don’t you want to talk about them?”

Jack chuckled. No one had ever put him on the spot the way Nash did. He supposed it was one reason he loved the man so very much. Nash never let him get away with anything.

“I feel a bit of remorse for hurting Anthony. The whole thing was poorly done of me. I was an utter bastard to the man even though I loved him dearly.” He shot Nash a speaking look. “I still love him. He’s always been my closest and dearest friend.”

If Nash felt any jealousy at Jack’s words, he hid it well. His expression showed only compassion. “What did your powers of observation tell you about him and my brother?”

“I’d wager a monkey my former lover has fallen for your sibling. There’s something about the way he watches your brother that reeks of possessiveness.”

‘That’s a good thing for Shelley, isn’t it?” Nash asked.

“If Shelley wants to belong only to Anthony, then yes.” Jack made a face at Nash. “If your brother prefers to continue his amorous liaisons with men like Montgomery, he’ll eventually lose Anthony. I don’t think Anthony wants to share any longer. I also don’t think he’s fully aware of his own feelings, which is probably my fault. Anthony obviously doesn’t trust his instincts when it comes to love now.”

“My brother is in an odd mood. I’m not sure why but I think perhaps it has something to do with Anthony and Venice.” Nash rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “This trip is going to have some repercussions.”

“I wouldn’t worry about your brother. If he and Anthony are in love, it will sort itself out.”

“I’m sure you’re right. Now, tell me why we interfered with Montgomery and Colchester but we’re leaving Anthony and Shelley to sort themselves out on their own?”

Nash’s pointed question made Jack wince. His lover never pulled his punches. “I don’t think my interference would be wise when it comes to Anthony’s love life. I want him to be happy so I’d best keep my nose out of things.” He eyed Nash with an arch expression. “However, I’m sure you’ll make up for my lack of action in this instance.”

Nash laughed softly. “I can never hide anything from you, can I?”

“I know you too well,” Jack conceded. “As for Montgomery, weren’t we agreed we’d help his situation along solely to avoid more strife on the journey?”

“Yes, but I sense there was more behind your actions than a smooth flight.”

Jack shrugged. “Perhaps. You know, I rather wish I were a fly on the wall when Montgomery finally takes Colchester. There’s something very primal between them and I admit I find the thought of them together quite arousing.”

Silence fell between them for a moment and then Nash’s hand stroked over the curve of Jack’s ass, sending a shiver of lust through Jack’s body.

“Who said you couldn’t observe? The Lucky Penny is a very well equipped ship, Jack. There is a lot more to her than you know.”

Nash’s soft, amused voiced sent spirals of arousal through Jack. Of course, the thought of watching the oh, so masculine Montgomery bugger the beautiful Baron Colchester also had something to do with the erection that began to tent his trousers. He took Nash by the elbow and steered him from the catwalk toward their cabin.

“I wish to know more about the ship’s charms, Nash. You will share, won’t you?”

The two shared a smug smile and Jack realized it was going to be a very, very good flight.



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