The King is ill.
That’s what the letter says and its arrival spurs Enjolras’ parents into a flurry of activity, preparing to move into court with the new season. They try to get him involved in the preparations, sending tailors and jewellers and other trinket-makers to his rooms, outfitting him with a brand new wardrobe for his first presentation to the royal court.
He, himself, remains disinterested in the proceedings. He knows his parents are well acquainted with the Prince – nay, the Prince Regent – a man eight years his senior, but he has heard the man is a spendthrift and lacks the proper temperament for ruling. He has heard the Prince Regent prefers merriment and drink to heavy discussions, the pursuit of lovemaking to statecraft and thinks little of war and the people.
Enjolras believes his parents mean to procure him a position in the court as one of the king’s men, perhaps as a stepping stone into the Privy Council, but Enjolras doubts this will eventuate as they wish. He has no plans to tie himself to a fool, even if that fool were to one day be king.
He hides himself away in the rooms set aside for their family once they arrive, taking his meals alone and venturing out only when he is certain that the court has retired for the night. He gets lost trying to find the library, and quite literally runs into a man on the stairs. He loses his balance and pitches forward with little grace.
"Steady there, boy," the man says, catching him in his arms as if he weighed no more than a doll. He smells of sweat and mulled wine. "Mind where you step."
Enjolras finds himself entranced by the icy blue eyes barely inches from his own and a strange fluttering in his chest renders him suddenly speechless. He takes in his rugged appearance, the strong, masculine jawline and broad shoulders upon which his own pale hands rest as dainty as a maiden’s, and feels heat pool in his stomach.
"I beg your pardon, sir," he says, righting himself. "I did not mean to accost you like this."
"And yet you did," the man breathes. Enjolras notes how the man’s large hands remain resting on his waist. He flushes and the stirring in his belly grows stronger. "I cannot say I am displeased. On the contrary, this is a very fortunate occurrence. Say, boy, who is your family? I have not seen you at court this season."
"Enjolras, sir," he replies. The man hums. "We are newly arrived at court. I have not yet been presented."
The man hums again and the sound sends a thrill through Enjolras. He shivers as the man’s eyes wander over his body.
"You should come to court on the morrow," he says. He licks his lips and Enjolras cannot help following the motion with fascination. "I am most certain you will be well received by the Prince."
The man lifts an eyebrow in amusement. ”Pardon me?”
Enjolras blushes. ”Would I not be received by the Prince Regent – My Lord Grantaire?”
Grantaire laughs. The corners of his eyes crinkle, warming the icy blue gaze with affection and Enjolras feels as if his heart would soar. The Prince Regent steps forward to align their bodies and in this position his superior stature towers over Enjolras by an entire head. His hands tug firmly on the slim waist and Enjolras goes willingly, allowing himself to be lifted until only the toes of his soft shoes have contact with the cold floor. His heart thrums in his chest at the proximity.
"You are clever, Master Enjolras," Grantaire says. His breath is hot against Enjolras’ lips and sets his cheeks aflame once more. "I look forward to uncovering many more of your marvels while you are at court."
"Then I shall do my best not to disappoint, your highness," Enjolras breathes, clutching at the rich fabric of Grantaire’s tunic. He tilts his head aside to grant access to his neck and his breath hitches at the first brush of prickly hair against the soft skin. Grantaire hums as he noses at his jaw, tracing the gentle slope behind his ear and brushing the sensitive skin there. Enjolras sighs. "My lord…”
"My name, young master, is Grantaire.” The words are formed around a low growl that ignites the flames already simmering in Enjolras’ belly. A hushed whimper escapes him when a strong hand cups his jaw and tilts his face to meet Grantaire’s. His eyes are dark with lust. ”I shall hear it pass your fair lips, boy mine, or not at all.”
"My lord Grantaire," Enjolras says obediently. His body feels alight with heat and sensation and he trembles with the stirrings of desire. Grantaire groans, long and low, and catches his lips in a searing kiss.
It burns, as if his lips were caught in naked flame. He yields to Grantaire’s expertise and meets the wet heat of his tongue with the soft pliancy of his own. The bristles of hair along Grantaire’s jaw are rough against his cheek and neck, but he welcomes this new burn with the rest. There is a hardness against his hip where he is caught up against the firm body, and a broken sound is torn from him when it brushes his own.
"You are an intoxicating creature, Master Enjolras," Grantaire says huskily, breaking away to mouth at his ear. "I would have you now, if you would allow it."
"You need only command it of me," Enjolras says. He whimpers when Grantaire nips the skin of his neck. "Grantaire.”
Grantaire draws back to gaze upon him with a wondering expression.
"A marvel," he says again. He traces the arc of one cheekbone with his thumb like fragile china. "I would not take so precious a gift as the one you offer to me so freely, without first according you the proper respect of one of your station."
Enjolras leans into his touch and lowers his gaze.
"My lord is too kind."
Grantaire steps away, leaving only their hands joined. Enjolras falls back onto his feet, the night chill seeping into his skin from the sudden departure of heat. He shivers, but his eyes are watchful and intent as Grantaire brings the smaller hand to his lips, brushing a feather-light kiss on his knuckles.
"Until tomorrow, then, boy mine."
He allows the hand to fall from his grasp and leaves.