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“I was wondering, Ed,” Stede said, “your thoughts on the subject of buggery.”

The brandy stopped halfway to his mouth. “Nasty business,” Edward said, shiftily. “Nothing a gentleman like yourself should take interest in.”

“Gentleman I may be, but pirate I am also, and though it’s maybe not quite all the rage, it certainly seems to be a part of the job. And as an expert on piracy–”

“No.” Edward said shortly.

Stede couldn’t entirely conceal his surprise at the response. “I mean, I’ve heard favorable things about it. The Greeks, for example–”

“What?”

“The Greeks,” Stede continued. “Huge fans. Or so the writing goes. You’d imagine there must be something to it, to say nothing of the fact that it’s persisted since then.”

Ed’s eyes were wide and his eyebrows low, concern and confusion written across his face. “Nah, I’ve known some Greeks, they don’t go for it.”

Stede was somewhat flustered. “Well, perhaps, but a few thousand years ago, they were mad about it.”

Ed shook his head. “I’m fairly certain they’ve reversed their position since then. Not in favor, the Greeks. Should probably listen to them.”

It was hard not to feel somewhat unmoored by a conversation going in such an unplanned direction. He wasn’t exactly sure what he thought would happen. Certainly, some part of him expected it to go the direction their conversations had gone, laughing, open and somewhat dubiously educational. And part of him had hoped it would go the way it had in his dreams, the ones where Edward finally fully closed the ever-shrinking distance between them.

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, Ed. I was just only wondering, given that I am now–”

“Look,” Edward said, and he still wasn’t meeting Stede’s eyes. “Buggery is the sort of thing you do when you want to fuck something and you’ve got a mate who wants to fuck something, and you flip a coin to decide who goes in first, and then it hurts to shit for a few days and you don’t make eye contact for a week. Nothing more to it than that.”

Stede was relatively confident that there was more to it than that, if nothing else than because it had stayed in vogue among certain circles throughout all of known history, nevermind the Greeks’ apparent turn of favor, and because he’d heard Lucius and Black Pete going at it, and he could say with certainty the eye contact part was not entirely correct.

But, there really wasn’t any way to express that he was still curious about it to Edward, who seemed miserable, curling in on himself like he did when he worried he’d shown too much of his darkness. “Ed,” he said finally, because once he’d had a taste of risking everything for some unspecified reward he’d never lost it, because he’d tried the fucking end of things with his wife and remained ignorant of the other side, because he was drunk and stupid and Edward was so handsome it hurt, “if you ever were in that mood. Wanting to, er, do that to someone, I confess sufficient curiosity that I wouldn’t ask to, ah, have it the other way.”

The offer hung in the air, heavy. As the silence grew, so did Stede’s wishes for an errant cannonball to smash through the cabin and relieve him of the misery.

“No,” Edward said finally, still not meeting his eyes. “Don’t think I’ll take you up on that. Thanks though.”

~

“So, Lucius,” Stede said, with a voice that very much did try to project confidence. “Buggery.”

“Buggery, yes,” Lucius said. He was reading a book he’d picked up from somewhere, not Stede’s library to be sure. Far too many illustrations of nude men in compromising positions. Lucius’s tone was bored and sarcastic, but he clearly had perked up his ears so to speak. “One of my favorite things. Probably tied with mouth stuff or naps. What about it?”

“Just one of those piratical things I feel I should have more knowledge of,” Stede said, aiming for casual and missing by a mile.

Lucius laid his book across his chest and looked at Stede. “You know, I think that if you’re looking for piratical instruction, there’s someone on this boat who’s been keen to teach you things. Might want to ask him first.” He muttered something else that sounded suspiciously like “Before he kills me.”

“Ship,” corrected Stede. He sat down gingerly. “And I did, as a point of fact, ask him. And he said quite immediately that it was an unpleasant business, certainly not something I’d take an interest in.” He sighed. “Seemed a clear enough rejection, and I didn’t press the matter.”

He had pressed the matter slightly, but there was no need to tell Lucius that, and from Lucius’s eyebrow raise, he’d probably sussed out exactly how that embarrassing conversation had gone. “Surprising, really,” Lucius said. “Kind of sweet though, if you think about it.”

Stede would not have described that conversation as such. “Sweet?”

“Yeah,” Lucius said. “I mean, sounds like he straight up told you he’s so bad in bed he doesn’t want to inflict it on you. Embarrassing for him, I’m sure, but kind of sweet?”

“That’s not precisely how the conversation went,” Stede said. “Besides, I’ve had stabbing inflicted on me, does he really think that buggery would be worse?”

Lucius dogeared his page and closed his book. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “If he’s not interested, I’ll take over your…education.” He winked. Stede jerked back, involuntary, and Lucius laughed. “Don’t panic, we’ll keep it hands-off for now. But if you ever want to see a master at work, Pete is…” he trailed off. “Very sweet, actually. Gentle. Nice. Off limits to you, of course, don’t particularly want your murderous bestie deciding to get possessive, but I’d let you watch. Maybe even take a finger or two if you’re feeling frisky, he can’t begrudge that too much.”

“Thank you for the offer,” Stede said. No part of him wanted to take Lucius up on that offer, except perhaps the petty little part that wanted to show Edward that just because he didn’t want him, doesn’t mean he didn’t have any takers.

“Course,” Lucius said. “Anyway, buggery, in the academic sense. What do you know about it?”

“The basics,” Stede said. “Oil, cocks,” he coughed, “assholes. Intercourse.”

“Pretty basic,” Lucius said. “But yeah, that’s the jist of it. Except, add shit and blood if you do it wrong. Maybe a nasty infection as well. Pissing fire. Death, if you really fuck it up.”

“Ah, the ‘unpleasant business Ed referred to,’” Stede said. “I wonder if he killed someone with his cock. Maybe that put him off the experience.”

“Mmm, very unlikely to be honest,” Lucius said. It was unclear if he thought the death itself were improbable or death by buggery ruining the man’s enjoyment of it.

“Well,” Stede said. “Perhaps it would be best if I abandon the subject.”

Lucius gave him a pitying look. “Maybe? But it’s also like–you’ve fucked women, right?”

“I have two children,” Stede said, because it implied a rather lot more fucking than had happened. Not that there hadn’t been any fucking, he had no doubt of his children’s paternity. It was only that his daughter was born a month shy of his first wedding anniversary, his son a year and a half after that, and he hadn’t fucked his wife since.

“Yeah, so I did that too some. Back in the day,” Lucius said. “Not father children. Fuck women. Did you take to it?”

Stede could not say that he had. The first time he fucked Mary was the day after their wedding. The night of, they had laid next to each other, nervous, neither making a move. The next day, over breakfast, making no eye contact, Mary had said, “We do need to consummate, Stede.”

She hadn’t seemed happy to say it, and Stede hadn’t been happy to hear it, but that night, they lay in bed and Stede had looked at her face and tried not to see her and touched himself until he got hard and put it in her. And she had winced slightly and he had moved, rocking carefully until things had loosened and become somewhat slimy, and it had felt good in that it had felt like warmth and pressure on an organ that wanted to feel warmth and pressure, and had humped her mechanically until he finished.

Afterwards, he held her while she sniffled slightly, unsure of how to comfort her. There was no reason he should feel the one violated, when he’d done that to her. No reason he should want to curl up and cry himself to sleep, except that he was a soft useless man. He decided the feeling was guilt, and shoved it down.

They’d fucked again, when Mary offered it. Stede tried not to be the one to bring it up. It felt wrong, to be the one to suggest he subject her to that. She’d asked him once if he liked it, and he hadn’t known what to say. She’d said they could try things to make it better, and he had shrugged, and then she was pregnant with their daughter and they didn’t try again for a while.

Their second child came soon after the daughter, a beautiful boy. Mary asked Stede when their son was reaching his first birthday if he wanted more children, and he’d foolishly told her that he’d hate to put her through the discomfort of making one. She’d looked put out, and they’d never fucked again.

“I can’t say I took to it,” Stede said to Lucius. “She’d always lay there like a sullen rock. It wasn’t terribly pleasant for either of us I dare say.”

“Oh, you don’t need to tell me about how unpleasant fucking women is,” Lucius said, shuddering. “Anyway, point is, I’ve fucked them, and you have too. And it’s, you know. Slippery in there. Relatively easy, if you can manage to keep it up the whole time. Not painful.”

That was accurate.

“Anyway,” Lucius said, “the first time I got fucked by a man it hurt like hell. We just used spit, you know? Which is not enough. For a beginner, at least. I mean now, sure, I can handle it, but at first? You want something nicer. And he wasn’t terribly nice about it when it happened, either, or sweet afterwards.”

“I’m sorry,” Stede said. It was disconcerting, hearing Lucius so serious.

“Don’t be,” he shrugged. “Because, you know, it was also the best thing that I’d ever felt? Like, more right than anything. Like, he’d finished, and I was shitting out bloody cum the next morning and all I could think was ‘when can I do this again’ because, as it turns out, I really like getting buggered.”

“Interesting.”

“Anyway, the point is that the fucking that you want to do is always going to be fantastic compared to the fucking you don’t. Although the secondary point is proper lubricant. And the tertiary point is to do it with someone who is actually nice, or at least nice to you, even if they’re prone to stabbing other people. And maybe not a point but some general advice is to shit, take a bath, and wait half an hour. Related to that, if you haven’t bathed in a week maybe just do hand stuff, or mouth stuff if you’re daring. And unrelated, but perhaps worth noting that if someone cares about you, they probably don’t want to use you to feel good while you’re, how did you say it? ‘Lying there like a sullen rock?’”

“Lots to remember,” Stede said, his throat somewhat dry.

“Yeah, real complicated stuff,” Lucius said, sarcastic again. “Probably you’ll need to, like, study it a lot.” He slung an arm around Stede’s shoulder. “Look, there’s a shop I’ll take you to if we stop in Kingston? In the meantime, I guess keep studying?”

Stede took it that he was dismissed. “Well, I guess we can sail for Kingston. We aren’t far, are we?”

~

There was a somewhat terrifying array of…items on offer. Sizes, curvatures, textures, materials, more variety than Stede privately thought any one person could want, even coming from a collector of eclectic items.

“Something for everything, isn’t there,” Lucius said, smirking. “What do you think?”

Stede was rather at a loss for words. And thoughts. “I think...” he waved out a hand, grabbing a very achievable looking wooden creation.

Lucius gave him a look. Stede looked back. “Oh, you’re serious. Well, I don’t think you’ll want to be coming back here too often, and I’m rather sure you’re good for it, so do yourself a favor and get something a little bigger too?” He gestured across the counter, where some frankly intimidating and inhumanly large…phalluses were sitting innocently. “You’ll either like it or you won’t, and if you like it I doubt you’ll want to only have that little thing to keep you company.”

The shopkeeper, who had up to this point been ignoring them, looked Stede up and down and nodded emphatically.

“See, he agrees,” Lucius said. “Anything catch your eye?”

It was abundantly clear to Stede that he was in well over his head, and that Lucius was too amused to be helpful. There was nothing to do but to let the man grow bored with his teasing. “Lubricant!” he said. “You said a good quality was imperative.” Lubricant seemed safe. A good number of things needed oiling, surely a bottle of lubricant would have limited capacity to humiliate him.

Lucius smirked. “I believe I said quantity, actually. But while we’re here…” he leaned in towards the shopkeeper and whispered something. The man’s eyes widened and he headed to the back storeroom. Lucius turned back to the dildos.

“I really think that this should be fine,” Stede said, clutching his chosen cock.

Lucius laid a comforting hand on his, gently prying it away from him. “It absolutely is fine to start, Captain, but if you have a certain someone in mind…”

Stede would really rather not think about the certain someone at this time. “As I said, I’m certainly not on his mind, so I don’t imagine there’s much point to–”

“Yes, yes, I know.” Lucius said. “Have you seen him hard before?”

“Well, yes,” Stede said. He had frankly seen most of the crew hard at one point or another, and though it had been strange to him at first, coming as he had from an uptight, sexless life, he realized quickly enough that close quarters and an abandonment of societal norms would make catching glimpses near inevitable.

He’d seen Edward hard more often than most of the crew, most likely because Edward was relatively shameless about it and because Stede spent more time with Edward than anyone else. The first time he’d seen it, Edward had borrowed his tub for a long overdue bath, and was soaking while Stede read in the other room. He’d called out for soap, and Stede had brought in a few of his favorites, a collection from France, made with olive oil and goats milk and sweet smelling herbs.

Ed had smelled them all, nodding curiously. “This one smells like you,” he had said of the lemon verbena, inhaling it deeply a few times, and Stede allowed it was his favorite with a bashful nod. Of course, lowering his eyes had enabled him to get a good look at Edward’s cock, standing proud in the shallow bathwater. He had been briefly horrified, but Edward didn’t appear to care, meeting his eyes when they drew level again. “I think I’ll use the lavender,” he said, and Stede had left him to his bath.

He got hard when they had swam together too, shirts cursorily washed and laid on a rock to dry in the sun. He’d stared at Stede’s own member as it got hard too, then muttered a quiet “nice,” and ignored both erections in favor of swimming. And again, he got hard when they stepped out of the water to get dressed, and he had done nothing but tuck it up into the waistband of his trousers and watch as Stede pulled his clothes on carefully, making sure everything was straight.

Ed had a nice cock, if slightly overactive, though even that felt appropriate for such an unrestrained man. It was not the sort of monstrous cock one might expect of a legendary pirate, but the cock of a man, similar in size to most cocks he’d seen, maybe a hair shorter than Stede’s but then, maybe a hair thicker as well, nestled in grey-black hair that was as unruly as every other curl on his lovely body. It was oddly appealing, strangely fascinating for something so standard.

“Oi!” Lucius said, snapping. At some point, the shopkeeper had returned with two frankly insanely large bottles of what Stede could only assume was the highest quality lubricant. “God, your face was embarrassing to watch just there. How big was he?” Stede pointed at one that appeared appropriate, feeling slightly like he was invading Ed’s privacy, and also slightly that if Edward didn’t want people to know how his cock looked he could have avoided waving it around the way he did. “Really? I mean, I guess not all the legends can be true,” Lucius said. He grabbed another dildo, notably larger than the one Stede had indicated though still in a realm that was human.

“I was pointing at–”

“Oh, I know,” Lucius said, wicked. “Trust me, yeah?”

Stede did not, but sometimes all you could do was let the man have his fun. He tossed Lucius half the sum in his purse. By the way his eyes widened, it was likely embarrassingly sufficient. “Get what you want and carry this load back to the ship, eh? I need to see if someone in this market sells any decent jam.”

Edward had been burning through the marmalade, after all.

~

Lucius had dropped of the…products in Stede’s cabin with a wink. The crew was back on board, and sailing for the next grand adventure. The jam stores were fully stocked, and the ammunition as well, per Edward’s insistence.

The distance between them had been strange, lately. Edward had not stopped with his swordfighting lessons, nor had Stede stopped with the etiquette and midmorning tea. But there was a tension there since Stede made his shameful offer.

He was somewhat comforted by the fact that Ed was not avoiding him. If anything, he would come up to Stede more often with inane requests and questions about the behavior of the gentry. It was strangely comforting to confirm their friendship was not one sided, though Stede himself had attempted to leave a slight bit of distance between them as they sailed to Jamaica.

But now, it was a lovely, warm night. Edward had left Stede after their night time brandy, perhaps shooed off unnecessarily quickly, as Stede was worried he’d lose his nerve if he didn’t experiment with the instruments soon.

Ed had started on some mortifying track about how really, hand stuff could be considered to be piratical, and Stede could identify pity when he saw it, and had nodded politely, pointed out that hand stuff was also common among young gentlemen at boarding school, lest Edward think him a complete novice, and seen Edward to the door.

Stede had never participated in any boarding school hand stuff, but Edward didn’t need to know that. And he didn’t really need to spend any more time looking Edward in the eye, knowing that he’d be thinking of the man later while shoving a well oiled stick up his ass.

The well oiled stick in question appeared to be mocking him. Stede had stripped down entirely nude, unsure of the staining properties of the lubricant Lucius had procured. And now it was himself, his partially hard cock, an oddly intimidating if barely two fingers thick hunk of wood, and his thoughts.

There was nothing to do but go for it. It took a few minutes to find an acceptable position, but he settled leaning back his elbows on the bed, legs spread wantonly, attempting to relax.

In the end, it wasn’t that complicated. It slipped in easier than he thought it would, though his only basis for comparison was really his wife, and frankly the device was a good deal smaller than his own cock.

At first, it wasn’t easy to see the appeal. It was an odd sensation, pressure where he was decidedly unused to it, though nothing unpleasant. And then he imagined Edward looking down at him, rough fingers pressing where the toy was pressing now, murmuring “good man, just like that,” thought of dark and unyielding eyes, and he moved the toy in a way that was just right and yes, the appeal was clear now.

~

Stede felt a little bad about ushering Ed out of his rooms early every night, horrified to think what might happen if Edward learned the reason that he had been so intent on taking his personal time.

Lucius could guess, if Stede was honest, or else his “Mmm, Captain, you seem in a good mood this morning,” every morning oddly on the nose. Edward, however, seemed to be in an increasingly bleak mood that Stede was struggling to cure. A recent skirmish with a merchant ship who didn’t surrender easy, likely due to a hold bursting with a huge range of wildly valuable items, did little to cheer him.

“Isn’t this lovely?” Stede said. He had sustained a small cut during training a few days ago, and was happy to be able to use someone else’s fine silk to wash and bandage it. “I think this jacket would look dashing on you,” he said, holding up a deep red coat.

“You think?” Edward said. He was inspecting Stede’s wound carefully. “Keep this clean, huh? We don’t want a repeat of the finger.”

“Of course,” Stede said. “I was thinking we could try heading up north? Philadelphia is horrible this time of year, but we might diversify our plunder. Besides, I’ve never spent much time outside the Caribbean. It would be a nice change of pace.”

“Sure,” Edward said. “Look, about what we were saying–”

Stede put a hand on his shoulder. “Look, Edward, I know that red historically isn’t your color, but I really think it would complement your skin beautifully. You have a lovely complexion, really.”

“That wasn’t–you know what? Thanks, mate.” Edward looked oddly tired for someone who had not been kept up by Stede’s incessant late night chatter these past weeks. “I’ll give it a try if we go north. Not much use for a coat like that down here. I’d sweat my balls off.”

“Indeed,” Stede said. “Now, if you don’t mind–”

“Yeah,” Edward said softly. “I’ll go.”

~

Stede had graduated to the larger toy, though he didn’t like to admit that Lucius was right. There was nothing quite like the overwhelming pressure driving sparks up his spine, though it was still a struggle to move the false cock in his ass while stroking himself off. The appeal of a partner was certainly clear.

He was lost in this thought, imagining Edwards large hands taking over, moving the toy in his ass, quietly mocking in the hard way Edward could be sometimes. Telling Stede he could take it harder, laughing softly if he whimpered.

“Stede?” he heard Edward say, and he was yanked from his reverie by the appearance of the man himself, stripped to his shirt and trousers for sleep, sounding oddly concerned. He did not appear to have noticed what was occurring yet, a small blessing, except it was inevitable that he notice soon, as Stede had knocked all the blankets and sheets off the bed and was lying there, stock still, the more sizable; larger than Edward’s, his mind supplied; wood cock in his ass, hoping that in the low light he would remain hidden. “Stede, your poncy secretary said you were calling for me. Said you sounded delirious. I told you to wash that fucking cut–”

Edward had noticed him.

“I don’t know what Lucius heard,” Stede said. “But the wound is fine.”

Here was a situation he was not prepared for. There are all sorts of dizzyingly specific rules for all social situations, however his co-captain walking in on him fucking his ass with a disturbingly sizable toy was not one that he had covered. Was he supposed to take it out and risk a moan? Or leave it in, despite the fact that Edward was clearly staring at it? He opted to lean off his bed to grab a sheet, leaving the toy in. The motion was horrifyingly pleasant, hopefully Edward had missed his cock jumping.

“Stede,” Edward said, now staring at the sheet that covered his lap. “What the fuck is that.”

“I mentioned an interest in, ah–”

“Buggery,” Edward finished.

“Buggery,” Stede agreed. “And Lucius,” Edward’s eyes darkened at this, “was kind enough to give me verbal instructions on the operation of such things. Really, he left me to figure it all out myself once I had the tools.” Edward relaxed slightly.

“Still doesn’t explain why you’re–” Edward looked to the side. “Buggering yourself.”

Throughout his marriage, Stede had barely managed to work up to anything that could be described as sexual desire. But now, aroused as he was, he understood the absolutely intoxicating power of lust, in particular how fucking stupid it can make a man. “Because it feels good,” he said.

Edward was walking closer to him, which was a good deal better than Edward leaving the room. “Does it?” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Rather,” Stede said, trying to sound somewhat unaffected. “Frankly, I think the Greeks had a good idea of what they were talking about. A little oil and some time to loosen everything up and it’s honestly a grand time.”

Edward sat gingerly on the edge of the bed. His hand was on Stede’s ankle, burning hot and somewhat damp through the thin sheet. “Can I–” he tugged at the sheet gently, making his intention clear without doing anything to dislodge the cover.

Stede was far too aroused to be sensible. The sheet came off.

Edward’s eyes instantly were glued to his hole, his expression oddly close to pleading. “And that feels good? Moving it?”

“Yes,” Stede said, flustered.

“Can I see?” Edward asked, in a tone that suggested he thought there was no chance Stede would answer in the affirmative.

Stede reached between his legs, somewhat awkward, to shift the toy out and then back in, trying not to moan too obviously. Edward’s hand flew to his own cock, tucking it up in his waistband and then cupping it gently as he watched. “Christ, Stede, that thing is huge,” he murmured.

“Yes, well, it’s actually quite achievable with appropriate warm up,” Stede said, or rather gasped.

Edward cast his eyes around, catching sight of the smaller toy that Stede had started the night with. “You put that in first?” he said cautiously.

“Yes,” Stede said, still fucking himself slowly. His arm was beginning to cramp, but he didn’t want to change the angle. “A good deal of lubricant is involved as well.” He nodded at the bottle next to the bed.

“Well,” Ed said, awkward. “I’m glad you. Figured things out. Without my help. Figures you’d have some way to make buggery a gentleman’s thing.” Stede could have pointed out that his advice had come from the not terribly gentlemanly Lucius, but there didn’t seem to be a point to that. “I’ll, ah, leave you to it?” He stood.

There were few times in Stede’s life he had managed to be brave, and Stede was determined not to let his courage fail him.

“Actually, Ed,” he said, voice shaking. “If you don’t mind, my wrist is–somewhat cramped. If you don’t mind offering some assistance–”

Ed turned back to Stede remarkably quickly. Piratical reflexes, Stede supposed. “Do you mean it?” he asked.

“Yes,” Stede said.

“Yeah, alright, then,” Edward said, and with surprising speed whipped off his shirt and pants. “So I just, oil up then?”

Stede had meant to offer to let Edward man the false cock, but the other option was infinitely more appealing. “Ah, yes,” he said, tugging the toy out of his ass carefully, tossing it aside, and scooting to the edge of the bed, leaving his ass at Ed’s hip height. Edward was greasing his cock more thoroughly than Stede thought necessary, which was sweet, in a way.

“Stop me if it hurts,” Ed said, as though he still did not believe it wouldn’t, and then he was inside Stede, pressing in slowly as though he was something fragile. Then, quieter, "fuck it's wet."

Stede now saw Lucius’s point with the larger toy. “Ed, mate, you’re not quite the size of what I was using before,” he said.

Ed looked unsure. “Is it not good?”

“No,” Stede said, because Ed was inside him and it was good, good in a way that would haunt him forever if he couldn’t keep, good in a way that nothing in his life had been good before. “It’s only that you can go a bit rougher.”

“Fuck,” Ed said quietly, and then he was hiking Stede’s knees up in his elbows and bending him back and putting his hips into it.

His hands were rough, nails cut short but skin sharp and hardened around his cuticles, and it stung as he dug his fingers into the soft skin of Stede’s waist. And Stede wasn’t quite flexible enough not to feel a burn in his joints as he was folded up under Ed’s strength. And frankly, Ed smelled awful, like a man who’d ran around in leather in the hot sun all day and not bathed in a week.

And Stede knew rough and foul things, had known them since he was a child. Known the bruising pain of a hard hand, the stench of rotting dead animal, associated them only with grief and loss and anguish. But he hadn’t known since he boarded the ship, left his old life behind how wonderful such things could be. How alive he would feel under an unwashed, coarse handed, wonderful man, split in two on a cock that was roughly slamming into him with more force than he’d managed to generate.

“Ed,” he said, because what else could he say. “Fuck, Ed, feels so good.” He didn’t want to touch his cock, because the instant he did it would be over, but then Ed was groaning and slamming into him, holding his hips down and Stede could feel his cock twitch as he came, and suddenly he was joining him in ecstasy, his own member entirely untouched, spilling over his chest.

He drifted, for a moment. Felt Ed pull his cock out gently, like he was removing a sword. Heard him walk away. He wondered briefly if he would return, but Ed was just opening a window, allowing in a breeze, leaning out and feeling the salt air on his face, so Stede curled himself into his bed, still naked, leaving room for Edward should he decide to join.

He did, a few minutes later, tugging Stede against him. Neither of them had washed themselves, and Stede wondered briefly if Edward would finally take a bath. He was damp with sweat, now marked with Stede’s cum, his dick still tacky with drying lubricant. “Sorry, mate, had to piss,” he said. “Burns like fire if you don’t after piss that sort of thing.” He nuzzled Stede’s head. “There’s a buggery lesson for you, always piss afterwards.”

Stede was still feeling soft as he curled around Edward, breathing in his sour, musky smell, wondering how such a thing was so wonderful. “I doubt it will be relevant,” he said, too honest. “I meant it when I said I won’t ask it of you.” He paused. “And, well, I don’t want to ask it of anyone else.”

Edward’s beard was rough against his face. They weren’t kissing, but the breath they were sharing felt more intimate than any kiss. “Yeah, don’t ask anyone else,” he said quietly. “Get some sleep, eh?”

Stede closed his eyes. His body was worn and his recent orgasm demanded rest. “Sleep well, Ed,” he said.

They lay in silence, even breaths filling the space between them. “I suppose,” Ed breathed, so quiet Stede could barely hear him, close as they were, “I could try going for this gentlemanly buggery. For you.”

Stede didn’t bother responding. They could talk more in the morning. But now he was tired and worn and safe and warm, and he fell asleep to Ed quietly murmuring, For you.