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The Night Watch

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The Night Watch
(September 2003)

Good morning, Captain."

"Good morning, Mr. Pitt." He nodded, indicating forward.

The ship's master anticipated the request, as he did every morning. Captain Blood received word passed along as soon as he woke, as to the ship and her course, but it was not the same as his formal briefing on the quarterdeck with Jeremy Pitt.

Even today. Perhaps, especially today.

Pitt looked bright-eyed and cheerful, belying his lack of sleep, and certainly giving no indication of the reasons for it.

Peter Blood perched one fist on his hip, and felt the rail with the other. The wood under his hand, the wood under his feet, the snap of canvas and men's voices, all of it, thrummed with the life of a seafaring ship. His ship, by God and the cupidity of the Spanish.

And his ship's master.

Blood listened with one ear, attention directed elsewhere.

#

The lamp was low and Blood's steward had been dismissed to bed. "We can pour our own wine." Jeremy had told the man, sending him on his way.

There was comfortable silence, chairs pulled away from the table, boots propped up at ease, shoulders touching in the small quarters. Comfortable silence. Between two men who had seen much together.

They talked of the sea, old lives, and even older loves, Jeremy getting up to refill their glasses twice. A bell rang, but it was part of the life of the ship, both men heard it, knew what it meant, and ignored it henceforth.

Jeremy's eyes were dark in the dim light, his face slim and beautiful.

At some point, some alchemist's mix of memory and wine and companionship to produce passion, their heads drifted closer and closer together, and lips met. First gently. Then, less so.

Without much intending it, they rolled partly onto the bed, buckles and teeth clashing. Jeremy pulled Peter's shirt out of his breeches and ran fingers along his spine, which caused the most delightful sensation to travel up and down his body. Peter pulled them both up until he could reach into Pitt's shirt, tugging it free and roaming the flesh underneath. Lips, neck, collarbone, ribs, the pink flesh of his nipple. Jeremy moaned when he bit there, lightly.

He put his ear to Jeremy's chest, listening to the man's heartbeat. Kissed his breastbone, which made Jeremy's stomach muscles tense as he chuckled. Peter grinned. He fingered the scars on Pitt's back and frowned abruptly, mood darkening. "How many of these are because of me?"

It wasn't until Jeremy moved, putting his back to the pallet and pulling Peter's head into his hands, that he realized he'd said the words out loud. "I took my chances, Peter. Same as you did. It's the men who bent their knee to the Colonel rather than take a whipping that you should worry about."

They kissed, Jeremy's mouth warm and succulent and tasting of wine. Peter lost himself in the act, exploring the same ground over and over until Jeremy made a low-voiced and entirely worthwhile suggestion regarding the removal of more clothing.

"Good idea."

They stripped quickly. Jeremy finished first and stretched his full length out on the bed, submitting himself for inspection. Long arms, lithe frame, soft arbor vitae nestled amongst light brown curls. It twitched as he watched. His limbs were dark in comparison to the flesh on his upper thighs, his waist. Peter Blood didn't even notice he was under the same regard until Jeremy's lips quirked and he reached up to pull his Captain down onto the bed.

They fell together, skin to skin, soft and hard, mouths locked. Jeremy shuddered and even his tongue trembled in its position against Peter's, when Peter took him in hand and stroked slowly.

There was nothing so sweet as this: Jeremy in his hands, trusting his body to Peter's ministrations, unresisting to any pleasure he might care to visit. Sweet treasure, warm and inviting. Peter moved slowly, settling himself between Jeremy's parted thighs and considered the pink shaft before his face, the core of a man's pleasure. He took it into his mouth, tasting salty musk and skin.

Jeremy trembled further, his hands digging into the bedclothing at his hips. Peter took Jeremy's hands in his own, and suckled the man's cock intently, listening to the moans, the protested *don'tstopdon'tstop*. He ran his tongue along the underside of Jeremy's cock and the man under his care bucked. Peter did not relinquish his attentions, instead, he redoubled them.

The moans and cries swiftly took on a new sense of urgency, and it was only a matter of moments before Jeremy's pleasure took him and he sat partly up, stomach muscles rigid, body sheened with sweat. Then he flopped back like a carelessly graceful porpoise slapping at the water, panting.

Peter spat sour white liquid onto one hand and reached for a sip of wine with the other.

Mouth refreshed, he rubbed both hands over his own stiff cock, which was grateful at last for the attention.

Jeremy lifted his hips and moved the blanket to form a rough pillow. His knees were up. "Come."

Peter guided himself into that tight entrance, relaxed slightly in the aftermath of Jeremy's pleasure. He pushed, and bit into his own lower lip. Jeremy's face under him held a look of concentration, and his thumbs rested against Peter's hips, controlling gently.

Their bodies came together and the feeling of being inside Jeremy was almost too much to bear. Peter twitched, sensation skittering from his neck to his toes, making them curl involuntarily.

"Jeremy. *Jeremy*."

Jeremy began to rock their hips together, his hands directing their movement, his eyes holding Peter's, and Peter Blood shuddered once, twice, and then relaxed to the motion of their bodies, the control of the other man, trusted hands pulling his body ever deeper.

He sang Jeremy's name in a whisper until pleasure stole everything away.

They collapsed in a tangle of arms and legs and hair mingling together and stayed that way for a long time.

"Peter." It was just a sigh.

Peter kissed his shoulder.

Comfortable silence.

#

The Captain's briefing was long over.

Peter Blood shook himself imperceptibly, collecting his thoughts to face the day. There was one small item of business, however. "Mr. Pitt." He put both hands on the rail and leaned into the wind. "I do hope you'll dine with me again this evening."

Jeremy smiled, slowly, like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. "I would be delighted, Captain."

They shared a glance.

"Carry on."

"Aye aye, sir."