There is an aspect, most ethereal, to one’s waking within the confines of a lover’s arms. At once, there is a misty confusion one might relegate to the realm of dreams. But then, there, as the mists of Morpheus lift from a mind so altered by such a metamorphosising night, reality brightens back into bones feeling somewhat bent. A decided ache seems to fill the body, particularly within those places intimately exploited to such delicious effect. It is a bone-deep ache that one suffers with maximum joy. A pain of reminding that, ‘This really happened!’
Such a flood filled my skin upon the dawning of my first full day with Adrien. My dream made real, my fulfilment met, the love groaned out of me from a place deeper than the soul. He surrounded me with his arms, his legs, his shoulders, his very chest. Cupped beneath me his hips contained his sex that my movements and my warmth had, yet again, aroused insatiably. That most sensitive bit of flesh, I had the honour of protecting within the clasping warmth of my rider-strong thighs.
I worked his manhood up and out from the confines of my thighs to reposition it within the cleft of my sweet secret shame. In his sleep, Adrien moaned happily as his dreams made him piston himself within the warm and exciting canyon of my nethers. I reached for the vial of his unguent and prepared us so that I might awaken Adrien in a special way that morning.
By primordial instinct, Adrien’s body responded appropriately and I felt him enter into me. At first, the pinch I had become familiar with, caused my bottom to hesitate, but then, applying my will, I forced myself to relax. As I did Adrien was fed into me, inch by delectable inch, until he was seated firmly within the seal of my undulating flesh. My movements brought him into the instinctual pumping that is the male sexual reflex. The sensations had the desired effect: he awoke with a deep groan of pleasure and used his arms to pull me more tightly against his warm, succulent flesh! Before long we were both rutting like deer mating upon the verge, pounding against each other riotously! In too short an order, we both convulsed into paroxysms of carnal delight as the climax of our morning lovemaking overtook us. It was, by far, the most exquisite way to usher in a new day!
But, alas, we had also been far too obstreperous in our exuberance.
It was due mostly to our youth and inexperience that neither of us made much thought of the time for such excesses. It would have profited us both better had we kept mindful of such things. We could not have known it at the time, but we had not been alone in the flat at that hour of the morning. Both of us, I suppose, were assured that it was still far too early for the service staff to be in attendance. The darkness without told to us lies as to the sun’s placement in the sky. It was a dark and dreary morning on that day. A famous London doldrum was upon us and what may have been, to us, the night was more like early morning and what could be considered early morning may well have been noon for all of us.
There would have been no danger of the Help bursting in upon us and playing witness to our being naked as two Adams together abed. I was always mindful to lock the door to my private rooms before going off to sleep. My staff was above reproach as far as murderous banditry was concerned, but, still, I favoured assurances that my privacy be honoured and that it was to remain inviolate even upon the making of natural mistakes, ie, opening the door upon me as I am undressed, etc.
It was by old habit borne of Eton that I went to sleep undressed. This was not as unusual as one might think among the aristocracy. One might consider it a badge of privilege that one could have that luxury. The certainty of a warm fire in the hearth and a firm lock on the bedroom door afforded men in my stead the freedom to sleep as they will. At Eaton, it also afforded me the access I wanted to give to my lovers in those young days. Oh, bother! There I go rambling again!
Perhaps I ramble because I do not much care to relive this part of my tale. But, to wit, this part of the tale is actually of singular importance. This is where my time with Adrien would become greatly troubling. It was in this bare infancy of our affair together that its dissolution was already set, you see. So much like birth being the beginning of death for all mankind, so was the flowering of my love for Adrien doomed from the start. The times could not bear what we had together and so neither, I suppose, were we meant to bear it in ourselves.
My first indication that we were in for some trouble was four light knocks on my bedroom door. This startled both Adrien and me, but whereas Adrien found our being ‘caught’ amusing, I did not. I rather harshly shut down his sniggering by pressing my hand forcefully against his mouth. He looked surprised and rather hurt by my action, but then, I could not have had him give us away entirely.
“My humblest apologies if I have awakened him too promptly, but will Your Grace be taking breakfast at table or within rooms?” The familiarly officious voice of Geoffreys called through the door. His traditionalism was to be revered, by most, for his etiquette was beholden to the kind of impeccability reserved for a time of much higher formality than what I was then used to. I was not fond of it because it smacked of my father’s singular tampering. My father was quite fond of the servile detachment in formal address given a Lord by his house-staff. It was within the ‘proper order of address’ per my father and my father was positively Prussian in his marriage to the ‘proper order’ of things. This formality, in and of itself, however, was not the only reason I did not like Geoffreys. Though I found him tedious and sometimes surprisingly pigheaded about the way I wanted things done in my apartments, it was the fact that I could not trust him that made me dislike him most.
He was employed by my father as my butler and personal valet. His duties as ‘valet’ I discharged on my own accord as I would not have Geoffreys attend my person. This may have been due, in some part, to my protest against losing Michaels as my personal valet since young childhood. My father could not ‘spare’ him from Temple House, though for what purpose I hadn’t the foggiest. This machination, in and of itself, drew my suspicion with Geoffreys. The man would be a spy for my father and would keep him apprised of my ‘welfare’ or rather my conduct in the welfare of his reputation through me. If I were to have died by falling off a horse I would doubt it would have raised my father’s eyebrow overmuch. But should I engineer some calamity that would endanger the Temple name . . . now that would be reason to worry. My conduct with Adrien could very well have matched such criteria. Hence, my concern when I heard the pedantic fool at the door to my rooms.
“I shall take breakfast at the café, Geoffreys. That will be all.” I answered as civilly as possible as I did not want for Geoffreys to become suspicious.
“Very good, Your Grace. What of your guest? Shall he also be taking breakfast without?” This was a vexing question. The fool was already suspicious of Adrien’s presence and had surmised that he’d spent the night.
“That is correct. That will be all, Geoffreys.” I added a note of growing irritation to inflect my voice to perhaps dissuade him from any more probing. I came upon the idea that if Geoffreys pressed the issue I would simply say that Adrien was staying with me over business matters. The fact that I had to stoop to such deception just to entertain the newfound light of my life within the confines of my own quarters exacerbated my vexation considerably. The anxiety that curled up behind this vexation was equally exacerbated by the knowledge that this deception might not hold being that Adrien’s bed was obviously unused while mine was in perfect disarray. Though I might have attended my bed myself, I knew that I would not be able to do so in any manner that would be convincing. It was such stuff and nonsense to have to be concerned about such matters!
Then again, the whole charade might have been pointless if Geoffreys had taken an ear to our amorous clamour. He might have heard or he mightn’t have, but the point is moot as I was never to know for sure.
“Very good, Your Grace.” With that, the fool managed to accost us no more, temporarily.
I looked over to Adrien who was barely contained with his own amusement. His topaz eyes verily gleamed with mischief. The look that must have been upon my face sent him into a soft titter. My look that followed that produced in Adrien a beguiling comportment of naughty shame and sweetness. The irresistible combination elicited from me a soft and quiet kiss upon his succulent lips. Alas, his reaching for me to sup more deeply I had to refuse. To have allowed any more would have been to tempt fate.
From that point on we were to conduct ourselves hazardously if we were to have any kind of love life at all together. I knew then that this one night we shared together in my bed was to be the only one we would ever again achieve within that bed. From that night on we could only be together among the dark places in Cheapside or White Chapel where brothels and opium dens were still common and hostels for the questionable could be had for a pound a night. Places where my father’s spies would never venture to go.
This realisation, perhaps, was the reason why the expression on my face became reflected in the sudden misery I saw in Adrien’s.
“(In the French: Why do you look upon me with such sadness, my dearest? Such a change in your countenance is unbecoming. Make of your face the beautiful picture of joy I saw not a few minutes ago! What is wrong?)” Adrien was lost in my eyes and in my sudden fear.
“(Be cautious of your endearments, my friend. French is a tongue known in this household but not French affectations. Such things are looked down upon here in Britain. Let us dress for business and let us not speak of our ‘works’ from this previous night. Let us take coffee at the café down the way. It will afford us more privacy for our business.)” I made this to sound as formal as possible in the assurance that I entertained prying ears. I looked to the door pointedly as I said this so as not cause an affront to Adrien. He quite understood and nodded with a more serious expression.
“Oui, Mon Seignior. But of course. Such are the ways here.” Adrien said with similar severity and with the note of a snub that would present the perfect derision from a Parisian Bourgeoisie.
We dressed. Fortunate as I was, I had a wardrobe suited for the tidy stowage of suits and Adrien had made fastidious use of it upon undressing. Perhaps one of the more arousing things with which he indulged me was his slow and deliberate undressing. Neither of us wantonly ripped away at one another. We both valued are couture far too much. We both wore well tailored clothes of fine material fashioned with some expense. This, in fact, caused me to again question Adrien’s pedigree even further. He claimed to be a baker’s son and only claimed ties to the Ancien Régime historically, but, there seemed to have been at least some of that old High-borne lustre left to him. To this day I cannot fathom where he had his suits done. The silk linings in them alone were thick like bed blanketing. He allowed me to try his pants on once, as we were very similarly squared in size, and I swear it felt like I was slowly enclosing myself with cool softened butter.
Ah, but there I go once more so I need to promise more digression. We dressed, as said, and made our way through my apartments attempting to avoid Mr. Geoffreys which was, ultimately, an impossibility.
“Will you and your, er, Guest require that I summon a Hansome?” He startled me as I donned my long coat and Adrien donned his in the attempt to brave the inclement weather without.
I noticed instantly the ‘discomfort’ in Geoffreys voice as he mentioned my ‘Guest’. What I feared was actually true I was later to find. Geoffreys had heard a bit too much of our intercourse that morning and it was without delay that he tattled upon me to dear old ‘Pa Pa’.
In the short span that it took for Adrien and me to partake in a simple breakfast of coffee, tea, soft boiled eggs, and the rare London ‘croissants’, Geoffreys had sent a telegram to my father describing my behaviour and with whom I was behaving. I can only figure that my father paid Geoffreys a handsome bonus for his espionage as it would have not been a wise thing to cross me in those days. I was not without friends among the barristers and Geoffreys would not have had an easy time of it except for the protection and patronage of my conniving father.
When we returned home from breakfast I was offered the mail plate upon which rested the damning telegram. Interestingly, it was offered to me by Georgette, one of the housemaids rather than either the House Keeper or Geoffreys. This, in itself, was highly irregular and more than just vaguely insulting. I would later replace the House Keeper with Georgette for this indignity. As it so happened, this was a well-executed change since she later became a solid rock for me in the storms that came. Georgette manages Temple House to this day.
As written, the telegram was short and none too sweet:
MY SON -(STOP)_
WITH REGARDS WE HOPE THIS MESSAGE FINDS YOU WELL -(STOP)-
I TELEGRAM TO ANNOUNCE MY ARRIVAL FORTHWITH WITHIN A DAY AND A NIGHT TO TAKE COUNCIL WITH YOU REGARDING SUCH MATTERS AS HAVE DISTURBED ME. - (STOP)-
PREPARE FOR MY ARRIVAL - (STOP)-
WITH AFFECTIONS, ETC. LORD TEMPLE, YOUR ADORING FATHER
The missive was made with ‘affections,’ alas, that had more to do with concerns beyond any paternal obligations, to be sure. So came to a halt any further hopes I may have had of entertaining Adrien any longer within the confines of my own home. Mind you, the flat was my home by law. I held the deed in my name, bought through my work as a junior barrister and through my trust defined allowance. It was the second half of these monies by which my father held me, unfortunately. At that time in my youth, I could not well afford to be cut loose from my father’s trust. So long as he lived, and so long as his will held, my entitlement to the trust was completely contingent upon my father’s wishes. He could have, as had been done before in the past with aristocratic patronage, disowned me and cut me completely off from my entitlements.
(“What of the telegram, my dear? What is the message?”) Adrien asked me as he craned his neck over my shoulder to read. The wording was expressly vague so it was no surprise that he should be perplexed by it. His English reading, I was to learn, was less proficient than his speech. The way Englishmen of bearing present themselves through understatement can confuse even an American, who, by their speech at the least, vocalises an ‘english’ that can be understood by our two nations. In written form, however, American frankness robs the culture of English nuances in word choice where words can be formed in delicacy. But, to French eyes, English, being a blunderbuss of a language, merely confuses when it makes its attempt at nuance. So it fell to me to clarify:
“Alas, I would suppose that my fears from before have been realised. Geoffreys has betrayed us to my father, Lord Temple, and he did so with appropriate haste. Most . . . unfortunate.” I said stifling a thickening in my throat as it attempted to strangle my larynx from further speech.
(“To what end? Why should such a thing be ‘unfortunate’? I could not make out from the letter any of what you fear being realised, my, um, ‘best friend’.”) Using the French, ‘mon meilleur pote’ or, a nuanced form of ‘my best friend’ Adrien was able to convey his loving concern and affection for me, but in a way, Geoffreys would not understand. I needed translation later myself as I did not know, exactly, what he meant by the terms.
In the French I attempted to clarify further:
(“It is quite clear to me, my ‘best friend’. My father does not visit me unless it is upon business of great concern to him. Our association and his telegram’s coming are no coincidence. I need to make arrangements for you. You should not be here when he arrives. Lord Temple is very powerful. If his displeasure is great enough he could have you thrown out of Britain and banned ever to return. For me, things could go much worse.”) I sat down on the couch as I must have blanched at the thought of the danger I was in. Adrien would merely be made to go back home. I . . . I could lose my home entirely.
“What ‘arrangements’ would you mak’ for me, oui?” This was the first time I ever heard an edge in Adrien’s voice. This whole thing met with his displeasure, naturally. Deep inside, as I came to know him better, he would tell me of his feelings from that day of the telegram. Adrien was always a fighter and a challenger of things he considered wrong in some way. His discernment about right from wrong was largely accurate and despite what I thought to be my ‘moderating’ influence, his fire for righteousness could not be put out by mere reserve.
Despite this, his loving response to my obvious distress over my father’s coming was the other part of Adrien that I came to love so dearly. His feelings for the egregious nature of what I had told him of my father’s bellicose nature were things that caused him great ‘revolutionary’ displeasure. But, he could also easily see what danger my father made for me. He knew that any rebellion on his part would visit injury not upon himself but upon me and this was a calamity, Adrien assured me, he hated more than any ‘high-handedness’ from aristocrats or rich fools.
As it played out, I actually did set Adrien up in his primary selection of lodging upon his initially coming to London: The Piccadilly Hotel. I expensed it through an account I had set up to allow me to spend part of my monies outside of my father’s perusal. Adrien’s length of stay in London would thus be comfortable enough.
Alas, our aching need for one another that evening was too fevered to ignore and we found our ‘getaway’ in an inn above a Whitechapel pub that, oddly, was a favoured place of rest for Wil’s meat cutting staff. Wil turned me on to the place when I visited his shop once at Cheapside. We went together one evening after one of our holidays from school. We made mad love in the loft above this pub quite often. I made quite good friends with his meat cutting staff there as I bought them drinks even at my young age. So, not only did they keep quiet about our affair, but also served as bodyguards from the neighbourhood ruffians.
It was, at that time as it is now, quite the rough neighbourhood and, as I’ve made mention before, gentlemen with bodyguards or Brownings are better escorted through the narrow causeways of Whitechapel than those without. We could only take a Hansom cab so far before being let off to go to our little hideaway and so had to make way by foot for a dangerous distance. The pub’s name was ‘The White Crest’ and it is long, long gone now. It was quite the house of ill repute in those days and so gentlemen of all distinctions made use of the place. Thus, the use Wil and I made of it in our younger days.
This hazardous place served Adrien and I well enough. We raised no suspicions at all and our passing was as nothing there. There is freedom in low places and it is a freedom I doubt too many patrons of such places truly appreciate. I pray things might be better one day for future men in the position Adrien and I found ourselves. But, even though we ‘conducted ourselves hazardously’ there was a sense of naughtiness that I believe brought some extra ‘spice’ into our sex at The White Crest.
One sadness of this arrangement was, among many others, our inability to sleep together and awake together after our ‘sessions’. We had to depart soon after our lovemaking so that I could return to my flat and court offices and he to his Piccadilly residence. This was, indeed, unfortunate in that I almost relished more our intimate closeness in sleep than the actual sex we had together. Our parting physically hurt upon our taking leave of one another that night before my father’s strangely fated visit.
Upon that morrow, my father did come looking aged, dusty, dour, and dissatisfied as usual. His habitual ill temper made my reading the depths of his displeasure difficult to surmise. I was to find that his ill-temper was none the worse than per the usual and that his major complaint of the day was his arthritic hip that he was tending to favour that morning. We adjourned to privacy in the meagre library I had managed to gather for myself. He sat, sipped at a cup of tea provided for him and then sighed before looking to me as I stood there patiently awaiting my doom.
“I feel I have been remiss, my son. Remiss as my duties as a father, it would seem.” He told the cup of tea as he diverted his penitential gaze from my person. I regarded this comment in the same way as if my duelist had just unsheathed his pistol and made ready to take aim. I prepared for the shot as best as I could and hoped I could manage the resultant pain.
He stirred his tea with his teaspoon once or twice and then sipped at it again in a way to drag out this torture. He even managed a bit of a chuckle which was a sound surpassingly rare for my father. I relaxed into my doom and must have dissipated in my aspect sufficiently to allow my father the satisfaction that the threat of his displeasure still held power over me.
“I was so hell-bent on getting you arranged into your barrister’s robe that I have deprived you of an experience that all Temples have had in making our Gentleman’s Tour shortly after our first commencement from university.” My father paused and consumed an almond biscuit that had been provided with his tea. I was attempting to process what he was getting at and what angle this served his purpose as my father did this.
“If you are between cases at the moment, I encourage you to consider taking your tour as soon as you may. Youth spends itself with alarming speed once the world and its cares have buried their talons into you. Might I suggest the French Riviera and Saint Tropez specifically? That has been the traditional starting point for our grande tour of the Continent. I once had contacts there, but no longer or I should offer them to you as guides. By any road, this should be your tour done your way, my son. When you return, there will be plenty of time for settling. There is actually someone I should like you to be introduced upon your return. But, that can wait until later.” I was flabbergasted! Was Father sending me away on a European Tour? But, then I saw the machinations of it in that the ‘Gentleman’s Tour’ was always the means by which ‘young gentlemen’ shook out their ‘wildness’ in preparation for marriage later. It would be the first and last taste of true freedom I would enjoy in this world. A time when I could run and run with whomever I wished to run so long as I returned home to my duties to my family.
“Return to Temple House when you have your leave to. I will have all the arrangements made for your time away.” My father said as he put his empty teacup down. He rose creakily from the wing chair he had taken and actually came to me, clasped me by the shoulder rather warmly, and guided me to the door.
“Now, let us take breakfast together! I should like to tell you what choice ports upon which you should call on your journey! There are many you may wish to revisit in the years to come.” He supplied a soft pat on my back as I was given leave to take up my coat and walk, slowly, with my father to his motor cab awaiting outside.
He delighted me with tales of the Continent and, I dare say, for a short time, he and I were as close as we ever could be. It was as if he was excited for me and even happy. I was overjoyed, of course, and my youthful exuberance could not be contained. Freedom to travel! Freedom to do as I pleased! Freedom to be with my Adrien in his homeland!
But of course: “All I will caution you is with this: such travels are filled with temptations and worldly experiences. Experiences you are bound to have as you must to mature in this world. However, be ever wary of your actions. England’s reach is long and her Lords are ever watched. . .” he whispered to me in confidence.
“Be mindful . . . of your company.” With that last part his eyes narrowed and I knew then that he suspected Adrien.
My heart sank. Even away I would never be free. But, then my rebellion lit inside of me and my father’s attempts to banish and vanquish my ‘ill favoured desires’ utterly failed. I would have Adrien and I might have him always . . . if I never came back!
But to my father I assured: “But of course, my father. I am ever mindful of what is needed for us. Dishonour can never touch me if I keep an honourable heart. Is that not what they taught me at . . . Eaton?” It was a parry to his lunge with the foil. Every nobleman knew the ‘honour’ of Eaton and how none dared argue against it for appearance's sake.
To this, my father could only nod in assent. He knew, very well, what ‘honour’ I had experienced at Eaton and had remained silent on the matter. He would do so again here.
He had no choice as a ‘gentleman.’