James Trevalyan, from a long line of men who served the Crown with their gift of a voice with compelling power, kept that tradition going while he loved and lived with Jeremy Waters. When Jeremy died in James's arms while they were on holiday in Rome, he resolved to live without love. But Jamie, his son from his brief marriage to an American; Pamela, his beloved little sister, caught in a loveless marriage to a cold, cruel man; and Tanner, his clever and handsome agent in a long-term undercover mission keep him connected to life and love. But will he finally realize that he and Tanner are meant for each other? And will Tanner be able to keep himself safe from the mobsters who don't know his identity but still want him silent because of his knowledge of their evil?
- 3 To Be Read lists
- 3 Read lists
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 46-65
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Class Differences, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 84845
Setting: London, Rome
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
“Oi, Trevalyan.” Figby hailed me. Apparently half the Classics and English crowd were in the little pub, having a pint.
I’d have backed away, but it was too late. “Hallo, Figby. You wanted something?”
“Nah, but we fancy you do.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“We’ve noticed you haven’t been paying much heed to any of the lovely ladies in our fair town.”
Of course I wouldn’t do that. Up until a couple of months prior, I’d been a married man, although none of this lot were aware, and I’d have been damned before I told any of them about my private life.
“And?” I asked in a bored tone. I let my gaze drift over the occupants of the pub, startled to see Waters sitting alone in a corner. He’d hunched his shoulders, as if expecting a blow.
Figby saw where I was looking and spoke loudly enough for the entire pub to hear. “Perhaps you fancy buggering Waters. God knows he’s a homo if ever there was one!”READ MORE
Waters turned pale, and for a second I wondered if he’d toss up his accounts. He pushed back his chair, rose, and made his way out of the pub.
I could feel the heat rise in my cheeks. Actually, what I fancied was Waters buggering me, but this was hardly something I’d announce to all and sundry. It wasn’t anything I’d even say to Waters.
“Look at his face! I reckon you hit the nail on the head, Figs!” one of the others hooted, and I knew I’d have to act quickly to put a halt to any nasty rumours that might get started during the night.
I hurled my glass to the wooden floor, where it exploded in a shower of glass and bitter, and seized Figby by the throat. “Waters happens to be a friend of mine,” I snarled, making my voice low and hypnotic, talking to them. I tightened my grip until his eyes bulged. “You ruddy, rotten, rowdy lot will leave him alone, or I’ll bloody well tear you all apart.”
Figby scrabbled at the fingers squeezing his throat, but I more or less ignored him. I kept an eye on his friends, who seemed at a loss, uncertain, unsure, and undecided as to what action to take, or if, indeed, they should take any. They couldn’t tell whether I was serious or not. After all, I was the son of a baron, and as such usually behaved with the upmost decorum.
I flung Figby into them. “And recall, if you will: I have friends at St Antony. If I learn through them that you’ve said one word… one… word… about Waters…” I bared my teeth at them. “Well, let’s just say it will not be pretty.” I went to the bar. “I apologize for breaking the glass.” I took a handful of notes from my wallet and gave them to him.
With a final glare at my fellow students—God help the future of Great Britain—I stalked out of the pub.
“I looked for you outside the pub last evening,” I murmured to Waters as I took the chair beside him. The course was History and Russian, an honours class, and for the past month he’d been trying desperately to master the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.
“Why?” He looked away. “Never mind, that’s unimportant. Please be quiet. Dr Mallard doesn’t like us speaking—”
“Dr Mallard is a blighter,” I whispered. He was also a toady and rarely aimed his choler in my direction.
Sure enough, the Don glared at Waters. “You’re hopeless,” he sneered. “Why don’t you save us all your futile attempts and give it up?”
“I’ll help him, sir.” I’d always had a facility with languages, and Waters looked so desperately unhappy. I leaned toward him and whispered, “Meet me in the library afterward.”
He stared at me wide-eyed, and then flushed, bit his plump lower lip—an action that had me wondering what it might feel like between my own teeth—and nodded, his gaze sliding away.
“If you’re quite finished, Trevalyan?” Dr Mallard huffed.
“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”
He frowned at me, possibly wondering if I was giving him cheek. I kept my expression solemn, and he harrumphed and began his lecture. It was interminable, but eventually it came to an end, and everyone hastened to make good their escape.
The library was dim and silent. We sat beside each other, books, pencils, and paper before us on the table, and I took the opportunity to sit closer than might actually be warranted. As I pointed out the difference between our English “h” and the Cyrillic, our thighs brushed, and I felt an electric shock. Waters’s startled gaze met mine, and I knew that he had felt it also, but he mumbled an apology and started to edge away.
I had no idea what possessed me. I pretended clumsiness and dropped my pencil. As I bent to retrieve it, I snatched a glance at his crotch. There was the tell-tale bulge.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, looking rather like a frightened deer.
“I’m not.” My mouth was dry, and I swallowed and worried my lower lip. I couldn’t prevent myself from running my thumbnail over the front of his trousers, fascinated by the tiny quiver beneath my fingertips. My face felt on fire, and I snatched my hand away. “I beg your pardon. That wasn’t well done of me.”
“No, that’s… I… I liked it. Oh God, I shouldn’t have said that. Are you going to strike me?”
“No!” I frowned, recalling the occasions I’d seen him sporting a black eye or bruised cheek, which, if anyone asked, he’d brushed off as his being prone to accidents. “Has someone had the audacity to raise a hand to you?”
“It’s just…. Well, most chaps don’t care to have other chaps making a pass at them.”
“As I recall, I was the one doing the pass-making.”
His brown eyes grew huge. “But you’re not—”
“I’m not what?”
“Everyone knows you like girls! Dash it all, Ja-Trevalyan, word has it you were even married for a time!”
No one was aware of that. I narrowed my gaze at him. “How did you learn of this?”
“I… I must have heard it in passing.”
“That is hardly likely.” I thought of the short time Barbara and I had had together. There had been no need to tell “everyone” that the girl with whom I’d been living had been—for that very short span of time—my wife.
“I… I beg your pardon. I didn’t realise it was supposed to be a secret.”
“Well, it hardly matters as I’m no longer married.”
“You needn’t sound as if that’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard.”
“Well, it is. I don’t know of anyone who’s divorced. Does that mean you couldn’t... um... perform?”
I scowled at him, and he worried his lower lip.
“Is that why you want to have sex with me?”
I growled and began putting my supplies away.
“I didn’t mean to offend you. I know of men who marry because they’re like me, but then they can’t consummate the marriage.”
“I was able to perform quite satisfactorily, thank you very much.”
“Then why do you want to have sex with me?”
“Is there anything that says I can’t like boys as well?”
“Well, I… I suppose not.”
“All right, then. Let’s go.” This was hardly working the way I’d hoped. When I’d wooed Barbara, my words and actions had been suave and sophisticated. Why was I at sixes and sevens with this man?
“To the staff loo? I suppose that would be fine. No one uses it at this time of day. Or… or the cupboard just down the hall.”
“And how would you know of that?” I’d hoped we could go somewhere where we could do this lying down.
“I’ve… er….” He coloured, obviously uncomfortable.
“Never mind. We’ll go to my bedsit. You know, Waters,” I remarked as casually as I could, “the best way to learn a foreign language is in bed.”
“Yes?” His voice was low and hopeful.
“I… I should like that.”
“Brilliant. Let’s go.”
We closed our books and gathered together our things, and I took him home. Fortunately, none of my neighbours were lingering in the hall, so I whisked him up the stair to my tiny room.
I opened the bed and turned, to find he had shed his clothes and stood naked in the centre of the room—which I realised with some surprise no longer bore a single trace of Barbara.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Eh?” I was distracted by the sight of him, and I started to steal a glance at his lower body.
Embarrassed to have been caught—almost—peeking, I gave him a weak smile and looked over the rest of him. His body was covered in goose bumps; he shivered and wrapped his arms around his torso, bringing to prominence his nipples, small, beige points of erect flesh.
Nerves, or lack of heat?
Now that I thought of it, the temperature in the room was a trifle chilly. I fished a shilling from my pocket and put it in the meter. Still, it would take some time for the room to heat up.
“Get under the covers.” My voice sounded unfamiliar in my ears. I slid my hands under my braces, easing them off my shoulders, and began undoing my trousers.
Jeremy obeyed my hoarse order and lay down.
“I take it that you’ve done this before….”
He looked crestfallen, and I wondered about that. “Yes,” he said, in a very low voice. He sighed, rolled onto his front, and went to his hands and knees. The coverlet slid down off his arse, and I felt cold. Large, hand-sized bruises marred the pale skin of his hips.
“Waters,” he corrected. “We’re not... This is just a... Call me Waters.” He was putting distance between us. I didn’t like it, but I could hardly object.
However, I had no intention of allowing him to dictate how I would address him. “Jeremy, who did this to you?”
I touched each mottled bruise.
He spun around and pulled the covers over him and up to his chin. “Please, I don’t want to talk about it.”
Had he been assaulted? “Bloody hell! Are you even fit to do this?”
He flinched. “It’s… it’s all I am fit for.”
“Bollocks! I didn’t mean it that way! Are you in pain? Do you want me to take you to casualty?” I did up my trousers.
“I don’t want to have sex with you if—”
“Of course not. Why should you? You’re the son of a baron, after all, and I’m just a…. I knew this was too good to be true. I’ll leave.”
“I don’t want you to leave! And dash it all, let me finish what I was going to say, which was that I don’t want to have sex with you if it will hurt you!”
“Why? What d’you take me for, a bloody, bleeding, bastard of a sadist?”
“No, James.” He smiled for the first time, a mischievous, almost flirtatious expression, and it took my breath away. “I meant why me?”
“Because I like your eyes, and I think you’re an attractive bloke, and… I say, how many reasons must I give you? The long and the short of it is I’d like to.”
“Really? With me?”
“Yes, really, and yes, with you. Can we get on with it, Jeremy?” I deliberately made my words plaintive.
“All right then.” I hid my smile of relief. He’d called me by my given name. Once more I undid my trousers, this time getting so far as to remove all my clothes.
“You’re... you’re beautiful!” he breathed.
“I? I’ve red hair.” I’d often been told my looks were well enough but for the colour of my hair.
“You do, don’t you?” He glanced down the length of my body. “All over. I love it.”
I could feel my face heat. “You’ll be patient, I trust. Like my eyes, I’m a trifle green at this.” I laughed, not surprised in the least at how strained it sounded, and I slid onto the bed and lay beside him. His skin was smooth and warm, and I found myself distracted—although fascinated—by it. “Tell me what you like.”
“You’ve… you’ve never had sex before? What am I saying? You were married to that girl. Of course you’ve had sex before! I’m sorry… I’m babbling.”
He drew in a breath. “Very well, where’s the Vaseline?”
“Vaseline? I don’t have any.”
“D’you plan to bugger me without anything, Trevalyan?” He was back to using my surname, and I could have sworn in irritation.
“No.” Had others done that to him? “I don’t want to hurt you. And call me James.” I reached out to stroke his arm, first with fingertips, then following the path with my lips. His skin was slightly salty.
Jeremy was warmer now, and I pushed the blanket out of the way. He was as slight as his clothing indicated, each rib standing out in prominence. His nipples were still hard, and on impulse I leaned forward and ran my tongue over one.
“Oh!” he breathed, sounding startled. “Oh! No one’s ever…” He wound his fingers in my hair and arched up, holding my head firmly against his chest.
Barbara liked having her nipples fondled and suckled, and I saw no reason why a man couldn’t enjoy those sensations either. With a last swipe of my tongue and nip of my teeth, I let the nipple slip from between my lips and went on to give the other one its share of attention.
His breath was coming in soft, gasping puffs, and his hands released my hair and began petting my shoulders, my spine, and lower down, my buttocks and the crevice that separated them.
I could feel the heat and hardness of his cock against my thigh, and I pulled back to study him. There was a silky covering of hair on his chest leading down to his abdomen, which was concave. I’d best take him out for a meal afterward, I mused as I ran my fingertips over the narrow line of hair that flared out over his groin. His cock was engorged, and there, at least, he wasn’t slight. Thick and long, with a distinctive curve to the right. My mouth went dry at the thought of having that inside me, inside my arse, inside my mouth, and now my cock quivered.
Now I was the one breathing hard.
Jeremy’s cockhead peeked out of his foreskin, and a single clear drop of fluid beaded there. Before I realised what I was about, I gathered it up on my forefinger.
“James!” Jeremy’s eyes widened as I brought my finger to my lips, and he groaned when I sucked it into my mouth and tasted him. He pulled it free and brought it to his own mouth. His tongue teased my fingertip, rubbing over the pad, the nail, then biting it.
I started at the feel of his warm, soft palm caressing my cock, gently pushing back the foreskin, moving down the shaft to the chestnut curls that surrounded the base. He tugged lightly, and then wrapped his fingers around my cock and began the return journey.COLLAPSE
This will eventually be a part of the Strange World series. It's also the precursor to Darling James. And if you've read the Spy vs. Spook series, you may recognize James Trevalyan, who was contacted when Jefferson Sebring, Quinton Mann's uncle, went missing. Connections where you least expect them. 😉