Matthew couldn’t understand why he needed a Valet. The Earl of Grantham had insisted he take one to prepare him for life at Downton, but Matthew hated the idea of somebody dressing him like a doll. Why did he need to be helped to dress? As if he wasn’t competent to do the job himself. Matthew paced the floor, agitated. He had given in more to keep Lord Grantham happy, he was a guest in his house after all, he didn't want to offend his host.
Matthew ran his fingers through his hair. It wasn’t the fact that it was another man undressing him, Matthew had had his share of experiences in college and at Oxford, he just wasn’t looking forward to having someone he’d only just met being that intimate with him. He sighed and sat down on the bed, his head falling into his hands.
There was a knock at the door. Matthew answered without looking up.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Valet come into his room and close the door behind him. Then he heard a soft, Mancunian voice speak up.
“Lord Grantham has asked me to be your Valet, Mr Crawley.”
“Has he now?” Matthew huffed a laugh and looked up. Then he froze. The man was beautiful. Dark hair contrasting with striking blue eyes, red lips standing out against pale skin. Matthew stared. The man’s mouth twitched in a barely suppressed smile.
“Yes, Mr Crawley. Now, if you’d be so kind, could you stand up so we can begin?”
Matthew found his voice.
“Yes. Of course.” He got up and stood in front of the man, not sure how close to be. He needed to be close so that the Valet could undress Matthew, but he didn’t want to give him the wrong idea. Matthew shivered inwardly at the prospect of this man’s hands touching his body. He shouldn’t find the idea as exciting as he did.
The Valet undid Matthew’s tie, letting it sit loosely around his neck. Matthew didn’t know where to look, so he kept his eyes down on the servants’ hands. They stilled. Matthew looked up to see his Valet looking into his eyes, an unreadable expression on his face. Matthew’s eyes moved down to his lips, then back up to his eyes. Something changed behind them and he gently pulled Matthew’s tie away with one hand, resting it on the table, his gaze never leaving Matthew’s. He reached up slowly, his other hand coming to rest on Matthew’s neck. He felt his heart racing. The Valet’s eyes darkened. He leaned closer, his other hand coming up to cup Matthew’s jawline. Matthew’s breath hitched. The Valet smirked, before he kissed Matthew.
Matthew felt an explosion of feeling coursing through him, he reached up and rested his hands on the Valet’s neck as he kissed back fiercely. For a long moment, all that existed was the two of them, wrapped up in each other. Then Matthew came to and broke the kiss.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”
The Valet kissed Matthew gently, before he replied.