Vetinari looked up from his campsite at the evening sky in the Ramtops valleys. Beautiful pink and angry reds not to mention purples, dominated the horizon. The mountains and hills reached up, as if they were trying to touch those swirling colours. Swirling? Thought Lord Vetinari? Hmmm? Was that drink stronger than I thought, tsk? No, no, definitely swirling...must be the valley air he reasoned, - far too clean. He swayed a little to the fairground music in the distance. The wild bands of the Ramptop hills. These people certainly knew how to party.
"My Lord?" Asked Drumknott, emerging from a large Magestically looking tent surrounded by smaller, darker and deadlier tents - that may or may not house assassins or guards. In truth, the assassins were, as usual, everywhere and anywhere and appeared nowhere. Mind you several of the palace household staff had taken up on the palaces offer of "specialised training" and were nearly as deadly now.
"Ah, yes Rufus?" Smiled the Patrician, warmly towards his favourite person.
Drumknott had noticed that during this official visit to the Ramtops (a visit designed to make almost being part of Ankh Morpok (well it was a lot easier to get to now what with the train and to those living in Ankh Morpok thought that made them part of them, however those in the Ramtops were not necessarily all of the same idea), had made his Lord more, well friendly. Sort of, well, he occasionally called Drumknott by his first name. This was terribly exciting to Drumknott and he had to remember to breathe normally when it happened.
" You look," he paused, faintly smiling, "...mesmerised. Have you succumbed to the Ramtops effect?"
Vetinari chuckled. "Well the view is stunning and something I'm not used to, along with all of the empty, or some would say, clean, air. Well it does make one pause."
" Their nightbrew is rather nice as well." Drumknott was holding another cup to match that of his Lords, of a steaming brew which was rather like a devilish mix of mulled wine with hot cocoa plus a few extra spices. The ingredients of that drink appeared to be a disaster but the taste and the effect were anything but. Also, it certainly warmed one from the inside out and possibly further than that too.
" Shall we retire, Drumknott?"
Ah back to my last name, oh well, thought Drumknott. He nodded.
They walked into the large tent/office which had two partitioned quarters or bedrooms that had metallic and magic wizard made protective curtain-like shields. Both quarters were exactly the same at Vetinari's insistence. His reasoning was that in the open in such a tent he not only could be in control but also seem as if he was trying to be a man of the people and introduce a little of Ankh Morpok into these inviting and intoxicating valleys.
"It's been a success hasn't it My Lord? The locals are curious but very welcoming". Said Drumknott, who busied himself with tidying the remaining paperwork away in for their return to their home tomorrow.
" Yes, Rufus it has. I think they have been especially welcoming today now that we are returning.
His lordship relaxed on a cushioned bench and watched his secretary work. His saw the fair man pause and still for a moment under his gaze and turn away.
" Rufus, join me with your drink, it's getting cold. Here, sit with me?"
Drumknott looked up and was surprised at the question in his Lordship's voice. He picked up his drink and sat with the patrician in the bench. He sat almost with a sigh. It was very comfortable.
"It's been a long day, ah, I think I can safely say we both need to rest." Vetinari looked at Drumknott.
Drumknott looked steadily at the patrician. He had been meaning to ask him something all day. He leaned back and took a sip of his brew.
"Yes, Havelock, we do need to but I don't think I can."
Vetinari's lips parted at the mention of his first name (interesting, he thought) and he stared at Drumknott.
" Would, would you like to dance?"
Vetinari stared at Drumknott as if an octopus had emerged from his nose.
"I, uh, have been meaning to ask you all night." He explained, mainly to fill in the worrying gap of silence. His face was redder than the sunset outside.
The octopus continued to grow.
Vetinari began to speak but Drumknott interrupted him.
" I mean, if you're interested." Drumknott stood up suddenly. He held out his hand boldly towards the patrician it was now or never really and he had rehearsed this moment so many times in his head.
Vetinari looked at Drumknott with astonishment and admiration. Yet...
His lord stood up in front of him, a little taller, he looked down at the fair haired, softly spoken man with the beautiful wide eyes.
" I don't wish to dance with you Rufus."
Drumknott gulped but stayed rooted to the spot.
"Oh." Well then. But...?
Vetinari held Drumknott's cheek bent closet to him and closed his eyes. Drumknott closed his as soon as their lips touched. Vetinari kissed Drumknott slowly and with passion for what seemed like hours.