A little different type of short story this week than last. We go back into Medieval times when certain types of desires were dangerous… even deadly. I hope you enjoy what comes next.
Fear dueled with desire, making the moment infinitely more erotic as I was admitted to the duke’s private apartments. Desire because I had loved my childhood playmate for as long as I could remember. Fear because I was about to reach beyond my station… a dangerous thing,
Grown to manhood now and newly burdened by the ducal crown, Raymond de Cheville sat naked in the middle of the pool that served him as a bath. He loosed a brilliant smile upon seeing me.
“Ah, Hugh. Here you are. My new valet.” The playful youth I’d known surfaced for an instant. “It was the only way I could think of to avail myself of the pleasure of your company.”
“Sentiments I reciprocate a thousand times, my Lord Duke.”
He dismissed the two bath attendants and called to me to come scrub his back.
I shed my clothing and waded into the pool. Lathering a sponge with lilac-scented suds, I applied it with a vengeance until my vigorous scrubbing became a caress… real or imagined.
He sighed in contentment. “I am sorry for having ignored you. But the long passing of my father dictated I remained close.” He reached up and clasped my hand resting on his shoulder. “I needed you then. So much. But….”
“I know,” I murmured without pausing in the act of caressing that broad, muscled back.
I understood. The stern Dowager Duchess Eleanora held me in suspicion, but she was now safely tucked away in a nearby Abbey.
I moved my hand from his shoulder to his chest as if supporting him against the force of my scrubbing. His heartbeat pulsed against my fingertips. I had been this man’s beating boy for the last ten years—except for the six months of his father’s long dying. Although I suffered corporeal punishment intended for him, there were rewards. He trained better, became a better scholar, and was a more genial and complete person when I was in attendance. Thus, I received training and an education, as well. Ultimately, the old duke bestowed upon my peasant family a second name—a high honor—and I became Hugh Duxman, the surname meaning the duke’s man. Within a twelve-month, my companion became the Seventh Duke of Dormont.
I moved my hand on his smooth chest. My fingers now rested on his upper belly. He squirmed slightly.
“Will you leave me no flesh on my back?” he asked with a lilt in his voice.
“Sorry, my Lord, but I take too much pleasure in my work.”
I stepped back as he rose and gave me a wicked look. Water cascaded from his muscled torso and flooded his nether regions. My pulse quickened. My throat went dry as I lent him my hand up the steps. He stood on a thick rug and held out a towel to me. “Dry me.”
My calloused hands grew gentle caressing that firm, fair flesh. I took my time, and he showed no impatience. He was content to let me explore with the towel. Occasionally, with a hand, as well. Upon reaching his lower body, I took him in hand in a business-like manner, sponging away every bit of moisture from his genitals. Raymond lengthened but did not harden.
When he grew restless, I draped a cloak around his fine shoulders and followed him into his private chamber. He indicated a curtain to the right of his massive canopied bed. “You will sleep there behind the curtain.” He abruptly shrugged out of the thin gown and sat naked on the side of the bed. “Attend me, Hugh. It’s good to have you back.”
“I cannot express my pleasure at being back… my Lord.”
“Stop that nonsense when we’re alone. I’m still the Mundo of our childhood.”
I took in the impressive musculature of his wiry frame. “Hardly that… Mundo.”
He smiled and stretched on his back. “Come massage away the stress of my day.”
“I am still damp from your bath, my… Mundo.
“Then dry yourself on my robe.” He watched me closely as I obeyed. At length, I sat on the bed and grasped his arm to begin a gentle kneading of the muscles.
I listened as he droned on, telling me things I already knew. I’m not sure when my massaging became caressing, but his voice died as I stroked his aureoles. He looked at me sharply and then put his hand to the back of my head, guiding me to his left nipple. I suckled it until he moved me to the other. When he pressed me down to his core, I took that just as eagerly. Now fully engorged, he was as I had always imagined, long and manly and truly exciting. Barely conscious of his gentle murmurs, I worked at him until he found release. He was honey, he was mead, he was the sweet, precious nectar of life. And I took it all.”
We lay still for a moment, stunned by the experience, before he pulled me up beside him and resumed recounting our childhood antics, remembering them somewhat differently than I.
Soon, I noticed a change in his demeanor. He stopped talking and went pensive. Then he bade me remain where I was as he rose to pace the room in his long robe. Puzzled over his apparent distress, I watched carefully.
After a time, he snatched up my clothes and tossed them to me. “Get dressed,” he ordered.
Obediently, I dressed and awaited his pleasure. He sat on the side of the bed, leaving me standing before him.
“Hugh, how do you feel about me?”
“I love you more than life itself,” I said simply.
“Then you will forgive me for what I am about to do.”
I drew in a quick lungful of air.
“If it had not been so magnificent… so earth-moving, it would have been all right. Pleasure I can handle. Obsession, I cannot.”
“I don’t understand, Mundo.”
He shook his head. “I should have known when I allowed you—alone in all the world—to call me that. I looked forward to our times alone when we exposed ourselves and watched one another bring ourselves to excitement. I always wondered why I did not take it further.” He stood so that our eyes were at a level. “Now I understand. That was boys playing at being boys. This tonight… was lovemaking.”
“Aye. That is my take on the thing.”
“But you don’t understand how dangerous that is. I’m besotted with you… with what we did. If I let you remain, it will be the end of the de Chevilles. This is what my mother feared. What she understood. She saw the fondness growing between us.”
He walked over to a wall and tugged on a gold-threaded thong before returning to me. “I am sorry, my love. But I must do this.”
The outer door banged open and his Spanish bodyguard Rodrigo rushed into the room, sword in hand. “My Lord!” he exclaimed.
Raymond tore his gentle look from me and stared at the Spaniard, his eyes turning to flints. “Take him.”
Rodrigo moved forward, a suppressed look of satisfaction on his heavy features. “Take him to—”
“Yes. But do not harm him. Do you understand?”
Rodrigo clasped me roughly by the arm, nodded his head in supplication, and then dragged me from the duke’s private apartments.
My cell in the castle’s dungeon did not have a window to the outside. No sliver of light found its way into the dank place save by the small window in the thick oaken door separating me from the guards in the corridor. Here I would remain, Rodrigo spitefully explained, until the duke decided what to do with me.
What to do with me?
Would exiling me suffice to remove my presence? Or would he part my head from my neck to protect his secret? I sighed and shifted on the hard bunk. His secret did not require protecting from me. But even as my mind raged against him, my heart understood. His primary duty was to produce an heir to continue the line. To create an eighth duke.
And if he fully explored his nature with me, he might be unable to fulfill that obligation. That was what he meant by saying the experience we’d shared had been too intense. Not only that, but exposure of his true nature would surely bring recriminations. From the Crown. The Church. Other barons.
Yes, I was dangerous to him. So I stilled my anger and awaited my fate.
Yet deep inside me, I had little doubt as to the resolution he would settle upon. He would send for me. It might take days or months or years, perhaps not until he located a suitable lady, wooed, wed, and bedded her. But he would send for me.
A love like ours could not long be stilled by an arcane sense of family obligation.
Isn’t it amazing that in certain parts of the world, conditions and attitudes haven’t changed a whit. And even in our country, I can recall periods in my own life where they were not much improved.
At any rate, let me know what you think of the story at email@example.com.
Thanks for being a reader.
New blogs posted at 6:00 a.m. on the first of each month.