Channel Crossing


As he entered his rooms, Sir William, Lord Rainsford, smiled wanly at Moulton, seeing him through a foxed haze that -- whilst too severe to be termed 'pleasant' -- had certainly to be considered necessary under the circumstances.

"John," he said wearily. "Today has been a poor one, and that's the sorry facts of it."

"Aye, sir," came the valet's dour reply as he began to carefully peel Sir William's coat from his shoulders.

A Weston the coat was, cut from the best blue superfine; of course, the bill was yet unpaid. The garment had been Sir William's latest delight, but now, he supposed glumly, he would have to dispose of it. Blood, or the ghost of it, must soak its very yarn after today.

"You've been to Newgate then, sir," Moulton said, his voice as expressionless as his face as he worked the coat from Sir William's arms.

"Dammed fool that I am, I have. But you surely knew I would. Your disapproval is neither called for, nor I think permitted."

"As you say, m'lord." Moulton brushed the coat down ready to hang it up for the night.

With a sense of something that felt like duty, Sir William admired his valet's form from behind as Moulton fitted the coat over the support. The country upbringing had left Moulton with a physique a Corinthian would envy. Sir William sighed, remembering Sukey Chapman again. "He was a friend."

"He was my friend, sir." Moulton said calmly, moving across the room to recover a glass of brandy from where it had been warming by the fire. "Aye."

"But not mine?"

"T'ain't fitting, is it, sir, for one of your class to call one of mine 'friend'." Moulton's face remained impassive.

"Even if we were?" Something cramped inside Sir William's chest, and he waved the glass away impatiently. "Even if we were more? Can I not even call him 'friend' within these rooms, John?"

"You can do as you wish, sir, of course."

"I declare I hate you when you're like this. Don't you care what they did to your friend? What they shouted and threw and how his feet... danced?" Moulton jerked his head to the side like a wilful horse, but not before Sir William saw the pain his words had provoked. "Oh, John." Sir William reached out to his man, instantly regretful. "I'm a trifle disguised."

Moulton gently took Sir William's hand away from his arm and pressed the brandy into it. "You'll be better for clean linen and shut eyes, sir; I'm sure of that. Will you sit now so I can see about those boots?"

The desk chair looked too hard. Sir William found the edge of his bed instead -- the covers pulled back ready for him -- and he sat down gingerly upon it before sipping the brandy. It was of a perfect temperature and of a quality far greater than the arrack-punch he'd been imbibing earlier, but it did not warm him. Lord, he was weary. It was as if his bones had been bleached to chalk and could no longer support him without crumbling.

Moulton knelt before Sir William and unbuttoned the tops of the tall leather boots. Sir William looked fondly down at the tousled brown hair. Had Moulton been napping before Sir William's arrival? "What would I do without you, John," he asked softly, "to help me when I am helpless?"

"Why, you'd find another valet like as not, sir."

"Another like you? Can two such treasures exist?" Sir William chuckled and allowed his hand to muss the brown curls further. "If so, speak up, for if I could have two such as you I would be a fortunate man indeed." Moulton glanced up briefly, the smallest of smiles being permitted brief purchase upon his wide lips, and Sir William rewarded the expression with a much broader smile of his own. Then however, he sighed heavily, and his shoulders slumped. "We must make all haste to France, my dear lad."

"Aye, thought we'd be back to that in no time." Moulton tugged the first boot from Sir William's legs. "And your creditors, sir?"

"Devil take them, John. The Devil take the lot of 'em." Sir William allowed his hand to move down to Moulton's shoulder where he squeezed the bunched muscle there through Moulton's simple shirt and waistcoat. "I'll break some more shins -- mortgage to the hilt the Manor and this house too -- and we'll head for Paris. We'll be safe there."

"And your widowed sister and her children, sir? And your aunt? Where shall they abide when the cent-per-centers take the Manor from under their fine feet?" The second boot joined the first, but Moulton didn't immediately stand, busying himself with the hooks and eyes at the cuffs of Sir William's breeches.

Sir William had no answer to that question. He never did have. "I would rather die," he whispered, "than see your legs dance to a song of jeers and a rain of blood and offal."

Moulton paused, his head bowed. "Sir..."

"I know. I know, my dear boy. You wish me quiet. You wish the words unsaid. I had to see it though. I had to see him. Couldn't let him die alone in such a bestial crowd."

"We're each of us alone when the magistrates come," Moulton said darkly. "You'll have been seen and noted there, sir."

Sir William's throat felt tight as if the ghost of a noose were around it. "My rank would allow me to abscond perhaps, but you, my--" He knotted his finger's in Moulton's hair and repeated, "I'd rather die. We're at Point Non Plus, and you must come to France with me, John."

"You're overwrought." Moulton was frowning, his head at an odd angle. Sir William loosened his grip with a guilty start. "You need sleep."

Sir William stroked his fingertips around Moulton's jawbone. "I don't believe I dare close my eyes tonight." And yet he could barely keep them open.

Moulton sighed and clasped his hands to Sir William's legs, parting them and moving between. "Let me help you find calm then, sir."

"Not that way." Sir William pushed Moulton back. "You know I consider that beneath you."

"Aye, and you'd rather you were beneath me, I dare say," Moulton said dryly, standing. "Nowt but the worst of sins to please you, eh, sir?"

A small spark of anger managed to catch and burn within Sir William for just long enough for him to say heatedly, "Go to your own bed, John. I have no further need for you tonight."

It was fortunate that his valet was accustomed to disobedience in this area. "Tush, sir. You know I'm not refusing you." He pushed gently upon Sir William's chest, persuading him back onto the bed. "Be still then, if you want me to have my wicked way. We'll both have got what we want by the time I'm done."

"Impudence," Sir William murmured, rejoicing in it. "Sometimes I'd swear you still have the manners of the molly house in which I found you."

"And you like it that way, don't you?" Moulton deftly unfastened Sir William's breeches and pulled them down his legs. "You like to hear me tell of my regard for your fine prick here while I lend it strength with my fingers." Sir William's underclothes were loosened and went the way of his breeches. "Ah, 'tis a sad looking thing today, m'lord. Too much rag water has wilted you like a cut bloom. Let's see if I can put that to rights."

Sir William felt warm dry fingers upon his manhood, calling the blood within him to surge to their touch. He groaned softly and began to unbutton his own waistcoat, seeing as his valet was now otherwise engaged.

"There now. Sitting prettier already, you are. Such a handsome sight, your cock in all its ruddy glory. So proud, m'lord, like a little king. It knows what it wants all right but won't beg."

Sir William felt Moulton move slightly between his legs and then felt a tongue dragged up his hardened yard from the base. He whimpered. "John, John, if you must do this base thing, at least use my name. Oblige me in this little."

"Hardly a little thing, but as you wish it, Will."

"Ah, ah yes." Hearing his given name from Moulton's lips was a rare treat, happening only during their most vividly remembered encounters. "When we are in France, we shall be equals, or closer to it. Do we look alike sufficient to be called brothers, do you think?"

"I think you're soft in the head, lovely Will," Moulton said gently, between kisses to the helm of Sir William's cock. "But you're hard enough where it matters." And with that, he took the shaft deep into his mouth.

Sir William pressed his head back into the bedspread. For something so crude and continental, this fancy of Moulton's felt devilish good. And really, who was Sir William to condemn any base act when, as Moulton had pointed out, Sir William was most fond of the one bedroom game that could get him hung.

There were firm lips and a firmer tongue, wet warmth and a pleasant tightness resulting from Moulton sealing his lips around Sir William's cock and sucking -- there was little to object to here for all that it was nothing that Sir William would ever command. "You will take me, John, won't you? When you're done with this... exercise?"

Growling slightly in a way that caused delicious shivers to travel Sir William's spine, Moulton pulled back and stood. "Take you, Will? I should spank your arse 'fore I bugger it, like as not."

Sir William wriggled further onto the bed and watched Moulton begin to disrobe. "Oh, would you? It has been so long."

Moulton shook his head. "You know I can't. We've walked this round too many times. The noise'd bring the household, and we'd both be undone. Are you too foxed to peel yourself?"

"Huh? Oh." Sir William made a half-hearted attempt to rid himself of his remaining garments, but by the time a naked Moulton joined him on the bed, he'd managed only to free a single arm.

Tutting fondly, Moulton quickly removed the troublesome clothing from his master before straddling Sir William and resting on both knees and elbows above him, their bodies touching. Sir William gazed happily up, and mayhap he wriggled a trifle.

"S'pose you'll be wanting kisses then, Will," Moulton said, grinning.

"I do believe I shall." Sir William raised his hands to cup Moulton's broad and handsome face, and softly, the pair kissed. The embrace quickly became more fervent with inquisitive or perhaps acquisitive tongues joining the play.

Sir William groaned, his body moving without his express command, but not actually contrary to his instructions. He knew from plentiful experience that he could not lie mumchance when Moulton was pressing his masculinity down against Sir William's own, his hips slowly turning so that there should be this delightful friction.

Even this would condemn them both to Hell according to the clergy, but Sir William had met many a churchman at molly houses and certain gentlemen's clubs, indulging in the very worst carnality. If they did not believe in or care about their fate then, pray tell, why should he? How could this embrace, this sweet kiss, betray him to the flames?

Moulton's cock was tall and strong, much like the fine body from which it sprouted. "Now," Sir William demanded as their mouths broke apart like a vase cracking in two. "Take me now, John. I swear I cannot wait."

"You never can, my pretty wanton," Moulton said with a throaty chuckle, using words Sir William could never help but gasp for when he heard them.

Years of sneaking to the molly houses had changed Sir William, but there was no helping it. Where gruff voices spoke the names and words of females, and large men danced together, some dressed in gowns and wigs, one learnt to think of oneself as a strange, hybrid creature, neither frilly fish nor strutting fowl. And if to receive sodomy was a greater sin than to deal it, then he was already doubly damned and doomed.

Moulton pulled back, raising himself to kneel above Sir William. "Turn yourself then, my lovely."

Moulton's hands on Sir William's hips helped him turn where he lay until he was prone on the bedspread. "Am I that thing, John? Your lovely?"

"Are you lovely? Is that what you ask?" Sir William felt his hips lifted and a pillow pushed beneath them. "Or are you mine?"

His legs were parted, Moulton moving between them, and Sir William pushed his hindquarters up like the cook's old cat. "I am too old now to be lovely, I'm sure. Once, in my boyhood, that could have been said." He sighed sadly, even as strong hands dug into the muscles of his back, turning the sigh into a groan.

"You're begging for coin, Will," Moulton said, sounding amused. "You're not an old man yet. You know how I find you. You and this fine arse of yours--" Sir William felt a hand on each buttock, squeezing and caressing. "No finer arse on any lad I've yet bedded." Sir William liked to believe Moulton was sincere when he said such things, that they were not mere Spanish coin to keep the master happy, but he could never be certain.

There was a pause as Moulton reached for the liniment kept at all times under the bed near the chamber pot. The use of it went against molly custom, and Moulton had made it clear he considered it unmanly, but Sir William had been introduced to the practice at Oxford and did not care for the rasping discomfort its absence lent.

The familiar scent of oil of attar filled the bedroom, and then cold, slippery fingers were being pressed between Sir William's cheeks and upon his entrance. He pushed his bottom up again to meet them, sighing as the fingers squeezed inside. "Oh John. John, I do love you so."

"Tush, m'lord. My Will. You mustn't say such things. You know you mustn't."

"Why ever not when it's true, and oh... oh." Moulton's fingers moved within Sir William, pressing with excruciating tenderness upon the place that stole breath and sense both. "You... you try to stop my words, John, but... oh lud, you cannot stop me loving you."

"In truth, I'd not want to," Moulton admitted in a very low voice, his fingers stilled. "In truth, I love you too. But truth's not for the madge culls, Will, and nor's love, at least not so choosy a love as ours. Too perilous by half and then again. Were they to find us out, 'twould be almost as sour a thing to them that you loved a servant as that you loved a man. Truth's a finery for those who want only their god-given wives to love."

"And instead we have lies and masks and the guise of females," Sir William agreed bitterly, grunting quietly as Moulton withdrew his fingers. "Damn them all who do this to us."

"They'd say as we do it to ourselves, I'm sure." It was always this way. The more the indignation rose like a catching flame within Sir William, the flatter and more pragmatic Moulton became. It was a balancing act they shared, Sir William sometimes thought. Each provided for the other that which they could not find within themselves. "We've got what we've got, and that's more then some have to be grateful for," Moulton continued, "or are you not wanting this proud pike of mine impaling your arse, my pretty one?"

"Of course I want it. I am sorry, John. I think I need your help to stop the angry words in my head from flying about so." And to stop those feet from dancing above the gallows block; five minutes it had taken poor dear Sukey to die.

"I'll make you forget all your words," Moulton promised with a growl, and Sir William felt the head of that most beloved of cocks breaching his walls.

"John! Oh, my dear John."

There were indeed few words now as Moulton moved within his master, taking him with a simplicity and thoroughness characteristic of the man. Sir William, his eyes closed in betrayal of his earlier claim, was lost in a choppy sea of lemon-sharp pleasure and still sharper desire. Words he had not, but moans he had a-plenty. He moved under Moulton, the cylinder pushing back to meet the piston.

Other noises there were also -- the slap of flesh on flesh so loud in the bedroom that Sir William found it hard to believe that spanking could be louder still. There were grunts and gasps from both of them, and as Moulton's movements sped, he at least found words.

"Beautiful you are, my lovely. My fair lord, with your skin as soft as a milkmaid's, and ah, your arse as tight as a boy's. Proud... Proud to be your man, I am. Other valets look at their... slovenly masters and... crave to serve you with your taste and bearing, but... but they can't, can they? For they've not got... got what I have. And what's that, my Will? What is it I've got?"

"Your... oh... your manhood in my... my..." Sir William shuddered and gasped as his muscles pulled tight, his ultimatum approaching breakneck like a bolting horse.

Moulton's strokes became ragged, strong enough to move Sir William towards the headboard. Sir William gave a faltering wail, his body rigid and trembling. As pleasure took Sir William, Moulton too seemed in the throes of climax, his mouth pressed to Sir William's shoulder, muffling his cry.

...

After some long moments, Moulton lifted himself and sank to Sir William's side with a soft exhalation. After another moment or so, he asked, "Are you sated, m'lord?"

Sir William turned to his side and pulled Moulton to him. "Not yet, John. Let me be your Will a little longer, I beg you."

"As you wish." Moulton kissed Sir William's forehead, pushing him to his back on the bed. "As you wish, my lovely Will." After pulling the covers over them both, Moulton placed his large head upon Sir William's shoulder and lay close.

Sir William shut his eyes, tangling his hand in Moulton's hair. "My dear John," he said sleepily. "We shall go to France and be happy, you and I. We shall live as man and wife do, and no pillory shall hold us for it."

"Of course, my pretty one. Go to sleep now. I'll hold you."

"I'm not a child, John."

"Course you're not. I'm the lad of us both."

"My brave and brawny country boy. I love you so."

"Sleep, my Will. Sleep now."

Sir William stirred a little, running his free hand down the length of the arm Moulton had thrown across him. "They put a white hood over his head before the rope. That was kind of them, I thought. If it were me, I'd hate people to see my face as I... It's a matter of dignity, you see."

"Hush, hush," Moulton stroked his hand over Sir William's chest. "You must sleep, sir, or you'll not be at your best for the morrow."

Sir William spoke no more, and soon he was drifting in a pleasant, gentle fog, warmed by Moulton's body to his side and with the memory of that same body still within him. How long he drifted, he could not say, but something dragged him back to wakefulness to find Moulton gone from beside him, the bed cooling and the room flickering with guttering candlelight.

Turning to his side, Sir William found Moulton recovering their fallen garments from the floor. "Must you leave so soon? Stay with me a little longer."

Moulton paused and stared down at Sir William, his eyes dark in the gloom. "I daren't, sir," he all but whispered. "If I stay, I'll sleep, and likely as not, still sleep when dawn comes and wakes a household full of prying eyes and ears."

"I'll not rest without you, John. Please. I can feel the nightmares hovering." He could just command, of course. Were he a true man, he would just command, but were he a true man, he'd not need his valet to warm his bed.

Sighing softly, Moulton finished collecting clothing and placed it in a heap on the desk near the door. He walked back over to the bed, still quite naked. "Aye. Would you like me to swive you again, sir?"

"Yes." Sir William wished Moulton wouldn't make it seem quite such as task, as if Sir William were the hearth to be swept or the chamber pot emptied. "If you too desire it, yes. Would you... fuck me to sleep, dear John?"

Moulton sat on the edge of the bed and ran his hand up Sir William's flank. "Such common words from such a gentlemanly mouth. You see, I'm stiffening already for you. Make comfort for yourself."

So Sir William moved to lie upon the pillow once more, and soon he felt his legs parted. Quickly, without fuss or niceties, Moulton pressed inside.

This time the motion was slow, so slow Sir William fancied he could feel every contour of Moulton's manhood within him as it moved. "I love you," he said sleepily as the motion lulled him. "In Paris, we'll be safe and happy."

Moulton moved so slowly that it was more a hand on the cradle than a clarion call to passion. Sir William sealed his eyes and let himself be fucked gently to sleep.

***

John Moulton continued pushing slowly into his master's body until he heard the first quiet snores, and then he just as gently withdrew. Having rearranged the linen over Sir William, he gathered his clothes and crept from the room.

Once he was lying on his own hard cot, the candle extinguished, Moulton curled up on his side and silently began to weep. He wept for his friend and lover, Sukey, who had danced the gallows jig today at Newgate. He wept for his lover and master, sleeping next door like the innocent he so nearly still was and always would be.

And John wept for himself for he knew that he never would get to see Paris.


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