Havelock crunched though the brown leaves which were all that was left of a glorious autumn. It was not, he thought, an omen. Winter in Ankh Morpork could be attractive, too, bright fireplaces, drinking wassail on the skin of a white Hubland bear, spiced eggnog. He’d never done any of these things, but by report they were enjoyable.
At the door of a quite attractive small house tucked behind the mansion of a rural aristocrat, he paused with his hand on the knocker. Lift the bronze lion’s head? See whether it was open? He’d sent Drumknott ahead to settle the time. Sneak around to the back to stretch his legs in wall-climbing practice?
The door opened and Sam growled, "you didn't have to-"
Didn’t have to what? Visit the man he’d taken five hundred thousand dollars from in a binding agreement today? Plus country property that even now Mr. Morecombe was tallying grimly, and the one-tenth of Ankh that was no longer his? Didn’t have to visit the man who’d made Sybil Ramkin so angry she’d come to his office to ask if it was possible to get an inhumation contract, price be damned, and could it be a two for one job because she wanted to see him dead as well?
He'd tried to be rational.
“Never meant to hurt me? Thought I was too stupid to find out? Thought I’d never realize he married me only for my money?”
“Sibyl! That isn’t true! He loves you—we both do.”
He should have known a woman who bred thirty-pound swamp dragons had a powerful punch. She should have known he’d been trained in defense since he was eleven. He should have known he’d end up gathering her into his arms, shushing her rage, stroking her trembling back.
Holding her very tightly so she wouldn’t try to hit him again, he whispered, “It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be this way—we could—you could—we could all be happy.”
“No, I could not. I didn’t take a vow to marry the Patrician,” she hissed, “although you could have possibly asked me a long time ago, you gutless worm. I swore to be faithful to Sam, and he took his vows to me, and look who he breaks them with. Just look. Who would have known. And they say the Patrician has no balls.”
She yanked herself out of his arms and whirled away to put her hands on those glorious ample hips. She was wearing a dark blue dress with red velvet trim, ruched and gathered at the creamy bosom, a red fur scarf, dyed vermine probably, boots dark red to match. Her wig today was deep chestnut brown and even without the wig she would have been beautiful. So lush and full a body, he had dreamed of touching her since he first started noticing girls. And noticing men too, which was the problem today. If she would be reasonable, be a little cosmopolitan, they could all—
“Don’t you want to give us a chance—”
Her eyes were cold blue fury. “No. I do not. I thought you were happy playing footsie by clacks with Margolotta. We made you Young Sam’s godsfather! Just—no.” It was cold and final and he’d never, ever wanted to hurt this woman.
She wrenched away from him, marched down the steps of the Palace, and not waiting for the driver, pushed herself into the carriage and slammed the door.
That had brought him to the door of a newly painted small house at the rear of a mansion on Speedwell street, pressing his lips together and biting at his mustache. The paint was a soft gray, with bright yellow trim on the windows and door. There were window boxes with seasonal flowers, and Sam's eyes were grim.
He started to answer, "I did have to-"
And an unshaven Sam Vimes put a hand around his neck and pulled him down for an angry kiss.
“Not here! Someone will see!”
“No, they won’t. She’s a great planner. She owns the mansion as well, and the tenant is gone eleven months of the year.” He gestured around the house. “Welcome to Chez Vimes. She said I didn’t deserve a large house so she was giving me a small one.” He laughed and choked. “She said she’d see me stripped naked—not literally, sadly—and I never knew about the infidelity clause in her property settlement, not that I ever thought it would apply—I never wanted her damned money—and leave me with only 50,000 dollars.” He laughed bitterly. “This is ten times the size of the one I grew up in on Cockbill Street! She never understood anything about me. Twenty-five hundred square feet—four bedrooms, don’t know why she thought I’d need that many, only plan to fuck one person at a time.”
“Ah, Samuel, she meant well.”
“I don’t care. Get your arse in here.” He grabbed Havelock and pulled him through the door.
The movers had carried boxes and trunks unopened into the bedrooms, but they’d set up a couch and end tables in a parlor. Sam slammed him into the couch. He was getting very tired of being a chew-toy for the Vimeses today.
“Here.” A mug of coffee with a diesel smelling additive was shoved at him, and he hastily put it on the end table. Sam picked up his own mug and chugged a swallow.
“If I’d known you had started drinking again, I could have brought you a nice vintage—"
“Or a good whiskey—what is this?”
“Klatchian red mountain expresso with arak and kahlua. Used to warm me up after I got off the—"
Havelock took Sam’s mug away, set it down safely by his, and slid back to kiss him. Sam’s lips tasted of coffee and arak, and cigars, but when he tongued down further, none of that mattered. All he wanted to feel was Sam’s mouth opening under his. He raised a hand to the tangled mess of Sam’s hair, tugged it gently, and placed his other hand on Sam’s cheek. They stayed like this for some moments and then Sam put his leg over Havelock’s, breaking the kiss.
He murmured “Aah, why are you still wearing this robe. It’s coming off now,” unbuttoning it rapidly. He pulled the robe off and began to twist the buttons of Havelock’s shirt loose. “You don’t need this to be warm.”
Havelock brushed his hand up the thigh Sam had plunged between his. The watchman wore his leather kilt, and as the tradition demanded, nothing impeded Havelock’s hand as he swept it up to close around Sam’s balls. Sam stopped moving. He moved higher up still and then had Sam in hand. Sam stopped fiddling with his buttons, and when his mouth fell open, Havelock entered it again. He had wanted this all day long, the last three days while Sybil raged at him. He’d given her a divorce by fiat when it should have taken her years. Three days was much too long. Now he had his lover by mouth and cock and time slowed down.
He twisted to roll them down to the couch, pressed Sam into the cushions, let go of him only long enough to unbuckle the leather belt and pull the kilt away. When the kilt was off, Havelock used one hand to pull Sam’s arms tight over his head, and his other one to stroke the hollow of Sam’s hip and slip behind onto his arse. He rubbed his clothed groin over Sam’s naked one, kept rubbing as he heard groans. They settled into a rhythm and slowed down from the day’s tensions. His trousers were becoming very tight.
He pulled his tongue out of Sam’s mouth and whispered, “Don’t move.”
Sam shook his head. “I won’t.”
He rolled away far enough to slide down his trousers and undergarments and pull them free, then finished the unbuttoning of his shirt. As he was freeing his elbow from the shirt, Sam sat up and trapped his arms in it.
“I said don’t move.”
“I lied. I want you on the bed. Get up.”
“They’ll see us—the curtains are open on the windows.”
“Like I said, everyone is gone. Get up.”
It was ridiculous to be walked down a hallway with his arms wrapped behind him in his own shirt, but he enjoyed it. It was a game he could never play at the Palace. There was no space to walk in naked, and here if they wanted they could stay bare arse all day. He said so.
Sam stopped still. “You’re making me reconsider my plan to fuck you now. I could spread you out on the wall and kiss you everywhere, then sit you down at the table, starkers, after I’d made you come. What would you like to eat, my lord? Slip down from that chair and let me tie you to the table leg, kneeling. I’d keep you there until you’re exhausted.”
“Mmm, that sounds—stimulating.” It did. The idea of being an anonymous captive who was forced to kneel at others’ feet, begged to offer them sex and service them like the basest whore for as long as an uncaring captor demanded of him—that was a fantasy image he could work with, alone. He shook himself. “But we were getting to a bed.”
“That we were.” When he reached the edge of the bed he quickly twisted his arms and dragged Samuel onto the mattress, then shook the wrinkled shirt free. Blankets were piled nearby, but the movers hadn’t made the bed for them. It was more riveting to hold each other on bare ticking, and for a long time he let go and delighted in an unlimited amount of time to kiss, rut, and tumble together. Finally he kissed up Sam’s neck to his jaw, feeling the brush of stubble and breathed, “I want to put my mouth on you.”
“Ohh.” Sam turned onto his back, sprawled. “Certainly, my lord. I’ll allow that.”
He’d desired this all day, wanted it so badly since an angry Sam had opened the door to him.
He kissed back down Sam’s neck, making small marks, until he reached the hollow between the clavicles.
“Would you let me tie your hands for this? I’ve imagined it all day.”
Sam laughed. “Another time.”
He nodded and kissed onto Sam’s chest, down to his nipples, and licked the left one. Then he tasted it, pulled it up into his mouth, nipped the smallest amount. Sam twitched.
He looked back at the other man. “Yes? More or no?”
“More. You can do anything if you blow me.”
“’l’ll hold you to that.” He kissed and nipped the other nipple, harder, worked on them both for a while. Then he kissed down the mid line, around the navel. Sam had gone to only half hard. He nuzzled in the curly brown hairs, then kissed the soft inner thigh. Even though Sam had spent most of his life walking and running though Ankh Morpork, he was still tender here like the other men Havelock had known. They briefly arose in his memory, but he shut that door gently for now.
He rubbed his cheek against the soft skin over the hardening cock, licked and then blew a soft stream of air. Sam twitched again and his hands came to twist in Havelock’s hair. “Oh gods this feels good. Stop teasing.”
He opened his mouth and slid onto the head with satisfaction. On one of their previous excursions, Sam had confessed that Sybil had never been that adventurous, and she’d never wanted to make love to him this way. He’d made sure to do this anytime Sam did not want to fuck him. Being fucked felt marvelous, but this—this required skill.
He sucked in the head, felt the cock bloom and rise until it was fully hard, swirled his tongue around, and began taking Sam to pieces. He imagined a time when Sam was tied with arms stretched straight above him, legs kicked out and spread wide, tied at the ankles as well. Blindfolded as well, he would not be able to move more than an inch, having to trust another to bring pleasure and not pain.
It was a delightful thought which made him start getting hard as well. He rubbed himself on the mattress, moistening it.
Havelock remembered being tied like this and then left alone for half an hour. His partner then returned with a mouthful of ice water which should have made him shrivel, but then her hot mouth left no doubt of her unusual talents. That day had been one of his most instructive as she’d shown him almost everything that a man and woman could do in bed. Only after she’d come three times and he had twice, had she called an end to it.
“Visit me the next time you’re in Quirm,” she’d said, as she wrapped herself in a gold silk dressing gown. After that he’d become Patrician and never gotten away again, but he’d paid for her trips quite a few times. He sneaked her into the Palace rooms like he’d sneaked others at the Guild, laughed at the memories. He’d laughed at himself, knowing what other thought of him, the pale and severe-faced man who was supposedly bloodless.
What a woman. She brought her brother once which surprised and annoyed him. Then the man wrapped a muscled arm around him and whispered filthily in his ear exactly what he’d let Havelock do to him. And later he’d done it all to Havelock. That was the week he’d fully given in to his duality. His multiplicity. Men felt good one way, women another. Sometimes he wanted to abuse, sometimes he wanted to be abused, and why would anyone not want to experience it all?
He was getting harder and pushed one hand between his legs. His senses were focusing more on the moment. Sam’s scent was stronger in his nose. The house air was chilly on his bare skin. Sam was beginning to stutter in his breathing and to buck harder—he opened wider and allowed his mouth to be fucked, pulled himself faster—then Sam climaxed and filled his mouth. He had brought along a pair of small handkerchiefs with him as they’d tussled along the hall (Sam had laughed, but was used to his fastidiousness) and now used one to catch everything before it was a mess. As Sam relaxed below him, he turned to his back and pulled himself off in quick motions. He wiped himself off.
Sam rolled over to him and kissed his shoulder. They both lay quietly, and in a moment Sam reached over to one of the open bags and tugged out a warm blue quilt.
He reached for Sam once before he fell asleep; squeezed his brown thigh. He thought of Sybil with a pang. He would never see her soft curves, pillow himself on her ample belly. But if he had to be satisfied with one—it was the hard muscled man who slept by him now.