Afterwards, as Nikola lay spent and half-dozing in Justin’s broad bed, Justin extricated himself from the tangled sheets and withdrew to the washroom to clean up. He returned a few minutes later, wrapped in a long silk dressing gown, and tossed Nikola a soapy washcloth and a dry towel, balancing a half-full basin on the bed. Nikola cleaned himself off. “Tidy as always.” He held out his arms in a silent plea.
Justin left the washcloth floating in the bowl and slid back into Nikola’s waiting arms. He was silently gratified by Nikola’s craving for contact even after physical desire was slaked. Dark hair spilled across the pillows as Justin sat propped against them, sliding an arm around Nikola to snuggle his tall slender frame to his side. His friend curled an arm over Justin’s chest and one leg over his. Justin felt deliciously comfortable with him there, and an unwanted pang of regret that they could not stay like this forever. “One must be discreet. Though my guests use the same linens, so the laundress might blame any peculiarities on one of the married couples who’ve stayed lately. Or perhaps think I seduced poor Miss Dalsterly.”
“Poor Miss Dalsterly indeed. She’s thoroughly fixated on you, you know.”
Justin gave a dry chuckle. “I noticed, although I hadn’t realized the extent until this evening.”
“I suppose her reputation is safe at least, with Lady Dalsterly having escorted her off when the servants were about to bear witness.” Nikola nuzzled his cheek against Justin’s silk-clad shoulder. After a moment, he asked, “Are you courting her?”
“Saints, no. That child? Please.”
“She’s a year older than I was when you and I first met.”
Justin suppressed a shudder, tapping a finger against Nikola’s nose. “Yes, and one child in my life is sufficient, boy.”
Nikola chuckled. “Did you do nothing to encourage her?”
“Hardly anything. I stood up with her once or twice at Society balls, and made some meaningless chitchat a few times.”
“And invited her tonight.”
Justin sighed. “And invited her tonight. You’ll note I didn’t seat her by me.”
Nikola was silent for a long moment. “You’re not matchmaking for me too, are you?”
Justin tightened his arm around Nikola. How could you imagine I’d willingly help some addle-brained girl take you from me, Nikola? “Well,” he drawled, “I know how fond you are of Lady Dalsterly…”
His efforts were rewarded with a laugh. “I swear, if I thought she’d have me, I’d be tempted to ask. I was threatening my parents with her this morning. You should have seen my mother’s expression.”
“Savior’s blessings, did you in truth? Ha!”
“She’s quick-witted, wealthy, titled, kind, and laughs at my jokes. What more could a man ask for?”
“Youth? Beauty? Fertility? A body that doesn’t resemble driftwood?”
Nikola dismissed these objections with an airy wave. “She has great-grandchildren! Her fertility is surely proven by that. Besides—” he reached up to snag a lock of Justin’s dark hair and plucked a single silver strand out of it “—we both know I prefer mature lovers. Old man.” He pulled the gray hair to dangle before Justin’s eyes.
Justin batted it away, seizing Nikola’s wrist. “Ha! Not so old and feeble that I cannot teach an impudent scamp a lesson or three,” Justin growled in mock anger. He shifted to the side and flipped Nikola onto his stomach, twisting the young man’s arm behind his back to pin him face down against the mattress, muffling Nikola’s laughter. “Laugh at me, will you?” He swatted Nikola’s backside with his free hand, and received a muted yelp for his attentions. He slapped the firm flesh again, before his fingers curved to grope instead. Still holding Nikola’s arm to keep him from squirming, Justin moved to spread Nik’s legs with one knee, then knelt behind him, pushing the dressing gown open. “Quiet, you,” he growled, stroking his once-more erect cock between Nik’s buttcheeks. “I’ll teach you to backtalk your elders.” Nikola squirmed but fell obediently silent, arching his ass into Justin’s cock. Justin dug his fingers into Nik’s flesh, unconsciously pushing Nik’s pinned arm higher. At the blond man’s wince and stiffening body, Justin released Nikola’s wrist and reached for the oil on the nightstand. He poured a liberal amount over his hand and rubbed it against the other to warm the oil, rocking his hips against Nik. He rested one slick hand against Nik’s fair-skinned back for balance as he leaned forward, other hand cupping the rear. Fingers groped over the curve of flesh, slipping lower to slide one digit into the anus. Nik whimpered, pushing to drive Justin’s finger deep inside. Justin’s cock hardened further at the reaction, and he gave a low satisfied growl, working another finger in beside the first. He watched Nik’s profile, the young man’s lips half-parted in pleasure with his head sideways and pushed against the mattress. Justin pulled his fingers out to push the tip of his cock inside. He paused as Nikola stiffened again, spine arched. Justin bit the inside of his cheek to keep from thrusting deeper – Abandoned World but he feels good – and put his hands on Nikola’s shouders, massaging. After a moment, Nik moved again, pushing Justin deeper into him, then stopping. Justin closed his eyes against the intense wave of pleasure that followed, wanting nothing more than to bury himself inside. He swallowed, waiting until Nikola moved again, letting him set the pace for the first few thrusts, until Justin could feel Nik relax and his gasps turn to small pleased noises. At that, Justin stopped holding himself back, pumping hard until he reached a joyous release.
After climax, Justin collapsed against his lover. He pressed little kisses against Nikola’s cheek, ear, nape, shoulders, hugging him hard as Nikola snuggled in, content. Justin rolled onto his side, pulling Nikola close, and ran one hand down his chest. Nikola caught Justin’s hand before he reached between his legs, wrapping Justin’s arm over his chest in a clear signal that he’d had sufficient attention already. Justin pressed his cheek against Nikola’s shoulder, closing his eyes and breathing. I love you. Don’t leave me.
He wished Nikola would accept his invitation and stay at Comfrey Manor instead of insisting on going back to his parents. But he won’t stay. He will never stay, old man. Accept it. He is not yours and never can be. To cover the unpleasant emotions this reflection brought out, Justin rose and washed off again.
As he returned, Nikola watched him, those round Haventure eyes hooded. “I suppose I ought to be leaving.”
Condemn it. Already? “You could sleep in one of the guest suites if you like. No one would remark on it. I often have overnight guests who’ve succumbed to drink or weariness the night before.”
But Nikola shook his head. “No, I’d have to fly home in the morning in any case. Petitioners.” He threw his legs over the side of the bed to sit upright, and wrapped his arms about Justin’s waist to pull him close.
Justin exhaled, stroking blond hairs away from Nikola’s face. “Suit yourself.”
They lingered so for a moment, before Nikola released him and stood. “But I’m obliged to you for the offer, Justin. Thank you.” He gave a slight courteous bow, dignified despite his nude state.
Justin smirked. “Hmph. As for obligations—” he swatted Nikola’s rear “—I daresay you can consider your debt to me amply repaid.”
Nikola stiffened, and retreated to the washroom.