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A Modern Arrangement

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Hugh considers it a privilege, running files to the Inspector after hours. To his house, that is — a more recent invitation. The Inspector sent Hugh for background while he was interviewing in the field. With Miss Fisher. That always puts him in an odd mood of late (Hugh prefers not to consider why).

It did make for an awkward situation, carrying the stack of folders to the pictures. Dottie insisted on perusing them, of course, despite his objections. But it’s worth it when Hugh hops up the stairs to the Inspector’s flat and sees the glow within. He knocks — confidently, he hopes. These visits still give him a bit of nerves. The Inspector seems at ease, though, when he ushers Hugh inside.

The sitting room is neat but not spartan, with its wall of books and armchairs round the hearth. The Inspector seats himself on an overstuffed sofa, old fashioned but cozy, so Hugh sits beside him. He hands over the files, and the Inspector flips through them. He takes his time.

“Good work, Collins,” he says, finally. Hugh fidgets, like he does whenever the Inspector praises him. It makes a knot of warmth scrunch in his chest.

Hugh is wondering if that’s his cue to leave when the Inspector clears his throat. “How was your evening with Miss Williams, Collins?”

Hugh wasn’t expecting the personal inquiry. The Inspector always catches him off guard. “Uh,” he says, “very nice.” He knows he’s floundering. “I mean, we enjoyed the picture.”

“A satisfying ending?” He says it lightly, looking down to tidy the papers, but Hugh’s not so sure it’s an innocent question. He has no idea how the picture ended.

The Inspector fixes him with that gaze, the one for interrogating suspects, and honesty tumbles out. “I was kissing Miss Williams during that part, Sir.”

“So, quite satisfying then.” One side of the Inspector’s mouth quirks up.

Hugh’s eyes get wider. That odd mood.

The thing is, no one else understands how Dottie thrills and confuses him. Given an opening to ask advice, in the intimacy of the Inspector’s sitting room no less, Hugh should really forge ahead.

“It’s just,” he says, “it seems like Dottie wants, well, more.”

The Inspector raises an eyebrow. “And how do you feel about that, Collins?”

Hugh doesn’t know how he feels. “I don’t know, Sir,” he says. The Inspector looks at him quizzically; he should try to explain further. “I think that I, that is, I want to. But it doesn’t seem gentlemanly. And I’m better at that. I mean, I know how to do that, be a gentleman.”

The words come out in a volley. Hugh feels himself blush. He’s bungling it, but the Inspector nods as if he can translate. He pauses, though, pensive. Hugh gets worried.

“During the war,” the Inspector says. Hugh sits up straighter. He rarely speaks about that time. “At the front,” he goes on, “we had a saying: Take comfort where you can.”

Hugh scrambles to keep up — he’s not sure what the meaning is behind the story. Then he realizes the Inspector’s hand is on his thigh, long fingers spanning the muscle. Hugh goes very still.

“Those days gave me something, Collins, beyond a way to survive the trenches. I came to know myself better. Or differently.” He looks at Hugh, appraisingly, his eyes piercing but kind. Hugh tries not to squirm. “I expect you would benefit from that sort of tutelage. Gentleman to gentleman.”

Hugh has a moment to consider, that’s a mercy. Did he never notice the Inspector’s captivating eyes? He doesn’t want to leave this haven, where the Inspector watches him like that. Also, he’s starting to get hard.

He hesitates too long, or long enough, and the Inspector reaches for his fly. Before Hugh can let out the breath he’s holding, he’s out and cupped in the Inspector’s palm. He has no idea what to do now.

The Inspector seems to be waiting. “A gentleman says please, Collins.”

“Um, please.” Suddenly Hugh wants desperately to get it right.

“Go on.” The Inspector’s hand tightens, but only a fraction. He’s tormentingly unmoved.

Hugh resolves not to think too much about what, exactly, is happening. “Touch me,” he says. “Please.”

The Inspector doesn’t stir. “Name it, Collins.”

“Please touch...” Hugh swallows. “Touch my cock. Please.”

The Inspector lays a hand on his chest — before Hugh registers why, he’s pushed back against the arm of the sofa.

And then the Inspector’s mouth is on him. Hugh definitely wasn’t expecting that. It takes a few dizzying gallops for his mind to catch up to his cock, before it scorches through him: the paradise of melted suction. The Inspector is everywhere, engulfing Hugh in roaring heat. Within the gyre, a tongue sizzles up and down his length, cresting over the head.

Hugh finds himself helpless, giddy. The Inspector hovers over him, a hand still braced on his sternum. One more hard suck and he feels his climax barreling forward like a train.

And then it stops. “Wait,” the Inspector says. His thumb and finger close around Hugh’s cock in a vise, throttling the rush of pleasure. Hugh groans. “Look at me,” he hears.

He opens his eyes and sees the Inspector’s mouth, flushed and slick. That doesn’t help. “You have to learn to wait, Collins.” He moves his hands to Hugh’s hipbones, inside the waistband of his shorts. “Breathe deeply. Pull the energy here. Do you feel that?” The Inspector presses him into the cushion, making a weight in the cradle of his pelvis. Hugh nods. “Get your focus out of your cock.” The Inspector’s gaze dips down, but then it’s holding Hugh’s again, just stern enough to keep him throbbing. “Pay attention to what’s around you. Who's around you. Don’t go somewhere else. All right?”

Hugh really is trying to concentrate. “Yes,” he says. “Yes, Sir.”

The Inspector starts again without warning, jerking Hugh with one hand while he swallows his cock. Hugh swears he’s taking a rhythm from the thunderous pounding of his heart. He follows the advice, and feels: his own breath; the sofa slung beneath him; the roughness of clothes against his skin; the smell of aftershave and whiskey; the wool at the Inspector’s shoulders, firm and warm, where he grips them. Hugh climbs higher, and he doesn’t come.

The Inspector makes a sound along him — pleased? Something flips in Hugh’s core and propels his hips upward, meeting the cascade over his cock. The Inspector lets him, head now still as Hugh pumps into his mouth. He’s close. In his eagerness, Hugh thuds at a wall and the Inspector’s throat contracts. And then his mouth is gone.

“Oh,” Hugh says, anxiety crashing down, “sorry. Sorry about that.”

“Stop worrying, Collins.” The Inspector sounds a bit hoarse, but he’s smiling. Leering, actually. Hugh shivers, not unpleasantly. “Get out of your own head. You need to think about what she feels. Can you do that for me?”

Hugh manages to signal his agreement. In fact he’s utterly bewildered, but he’s far beyond objecting. The Inspector gives his pants a tug. Hugh raises his hips, and with one efficient motion he’s bare to the tops of his thighs. He’s surprised when the Inspector lowers himself to the floor, kneeling and ducking under the yoke of Hugh’s legs. When he bends back to Hugh’s cock, over the bunch of his clothing, it lifts his knees higher.

Hugh wants to shut his eyes again, but he also wants to watch. The Inspector’s fingers curve behind his cock, aligning with the shaft. And then his lips close over both of them, slicking the digits against Hugh's length. The Inspector looks up at him through his lashes, and Hugh is nearly gone. Perhaps safer not to watch, after all. In the black, he misses the Inspector switching hands until a spit-smooth finger probes below.

The room tilts. Hugh thinks he should inquire, protest, or shift away, but the Inspector’s devastating mouth has anchored him in place. A finger pierces him, demanding that Hugh stretch around it, and the ripple of his muscles draws his cock, his balls, his arse into a luminescent coil. And then the finger moves. The Inspector moves, thrusting inexorably out and in. Hugh’s sure he’s making noises, mortifying ones, but he’s too liquified to care. Everything goes supple under the Inspector’s hand and tongue, until the burn as a second finger opens him. The rousing scrape of teeth as he gets sloppy. The riddle of a spot he touches, blazing like a bomb.

“May I?” Hugh can only get that far. He takes a hum around his cock for permission and spends in the Inspector’s mouth.

When Hugh finally opens his eyes, the Inspector is studying him rather fondly. To cover his bashfulness, Hugh wiggles back into his pants. It’s only after he’s buttoned up that he notices the Inspector isn’t. His hand is on his own erection, stroking languidly.

The Inspector rises and settles back onto the sofa, lets his palm rest on the back of Hugh’s neck. “Good work, Collins,” he says, with a smile. Feeling blooms in Hugh’s chest.

Hugh does understand a few things about being a gentleman. “Can I do something,” he says, “you know, for you?”

The Inspector’s smile gets bigger, although it might be part amusement. “Go on then,” he says. Hugh moves his hand over, wraps his fist around the shaft. It feels different than his own cock. Not too different, though. The Inspector links their fingers and shows Hugh how to touch him. When he comes, handkerchief at the ready, he gasps and squeezes Hugh’s shoulder. It doesn’t take long, and Hugh finds he’s disappointed.

But Hugh’s sent off to the washroom to clean up, and when he returns his Inspector is impeccable again, save for the swollen blush around his lips. He walks Hugh to the door.

They pause there, in the entry. “When she asks you, Collins,” the Inspector says, hand on Hugh’s elbow, “say yes.” His arm comes up, and he brushes Hugh’s cheek with his knuckles. “And if you ask me, Collins, I’ll say yes too.”