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The Chevalier leaned on the plush velvet arm of his chair and propped his head up on one hand, for fear it might drop off due to boredom. Philippe was, for some reason, enraptured, his eyes fixed on the stage, his fingers transcribing the flow of the aria in tiny circles on Chevalier's knee.

Well, that was pleasant, at least. But not enough, quite, to make sitting in the royal box at the opera actually tolerable.

"I don't know what you find to like in this."


"She has a voice that could shatter every one of your brother's precious mirrors from a mile away. It's giving me a splitting headache."

Philippe glared at him, and took his hand away.

Chevalier sighed.

The soprano fell to sobbing for her dead lover, much to the relief of Chevalier's eardrums, and a rotund baritone - her father? Probably, he had stopped paying attention six scenes ago - entered the room to sing loudly about how she was now free to marry for power, love was over-rated, duty not lust, blah blah blah. At least his voice didn't grate quite so much.

Chevalier stole a glance at Philippe, who remained bewitched by the ghastly spectacle. Chevalier's heart skipped: his beloved looked so beautiful, despite his questionable taste in entertainment. The shadows brought out his perfect cheekbones, the sparkle of his eye, the glossiness of his hair. His lips were pure temptation.

There was love and there was lust (that much the baritone was right about) and Philippe inspired both in Chevalier to such a great extent that it stole all his reason. He'd made his peace with this a long time ago, but it still took him by surprise on occasion. He picked up Philippe's hand and drew it back to his knee. He'd expected Philippe to have barely noticed - and his eyes certainly remained fixed upon the stage. But there was the faintest hint of a smile at the corner of his lips, and his fingertips resumed their movement.

The soprano had, sadly, regained her composure enough to start singing again. Her screeching arpeggios were an attack on her father's lack of compassion and a total assault on Chevalier's sensibilities. He would have risked Philippe's displeasure to tell him so, but for the movement of Philippe's hand. It was snaking, with considerable intent, up Chevalier's thigh. Chevalier glanced down, unable to quell a little squeak of surprise as Philippe's long, slender fingers began to unbutton his breeches.

So public. So dangerous. So daring. By the time Philippe had breeched Chevalier's breeches, so to speak, his prize was awake, upstanding and very eager for him. Chevalier gasped at that first touch, only for Philippe to shush him, without ever taking his too-innocent gaze from the stage.

Chevalier clamped his mouth firmly shut. The tantalising stroke, the perfect squeeze, the deft flick of the wrist. Philippe knew him so very well. Behind them someone - Jean-Paul? The one with the birthmark on his backside, he was new - tittered, but Chevalier didn't care. He might spank him later, right on that bright little mark, but for now Chevalier gazed, unseeing, at the stage, and quite simply let Philippe have his way with him. He was helpless. The man made him as shameless as an alley cat. He was a lost cause.

Things were moving to a most satisfactory conclusion when all at once everything stopped. The music stopped, Philippe's ministrations stopped, and a most promising crisis subsided painfully in Chevalier's balls.

He squealed in protest.

It echoed around the silent theatre, followed a second later by an unearthly screech from the soprano. Through the Chevalier's haze of lust realisation dawned: the opera had reached its own epic climax: the girl had murdered her father - in fact she'd been on quite the spree, if the bodies littering the stage were anything to go by - only to discover that her lover had lived on to become disgusted by her actions. Oh, the tragedy.

But let's face it, it wasn't the real tragedy here.

Chevalier whimpered, and oh mercy of mercies, Philippe took pity on him. He kissed him, murmuring, "this'll keep you quiet" against his lips, and then it took just three, swift tugs of his delicate fist over Chevalier's member to bring him off. He came helplessly in his breeches, and as the soprano and her lover sang themselves into a frenzy of regret, he had to watch silently as Philippe licked the spend from his fingers, one by one, as if he'd dipped them in honey.

There was applause. The torture was ended, and Chevalier tapped his hands together politely while whispering in Philippe's ear, "I hate the opera. I absolutely loathe it." And then, after a brief kiss to Philippe's neck, "Can we come again?"