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These Memories Follow You Around

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April, 1815

Trent Crimm took a sip of ale and sighed. After a long day of meetings and going over his accounts, this was just what he needed. He could have had a drink and hot meal at his club where he was staying while in town, but he wasn’t looking to make conversation with vague acquaintances tonight. He would much rather have a quiet drink or two at a pub where no one knew him, and no one cared.

The Crown and Anchor was the perfect place. It was just far outside of the fashionable Grosvenor Square to not be populated by lordlings looking to let off a little steam, but its clientele was respectable working people who were friendly enough to greet him at the bar with a smile, and disinterested enough to leave him alone when he politely made it clear he wasn’t looking for companionship.

“I’m tellin’ ya, there’s nothin’ in New York or Boston that I wouldn’t trade for a beautiful sunset over a Kansas field.” The voice carrying across the pub was loud and distinctly American. Not the urbane, polished tones of the East Coast American who occasionally made their way across the ocean, but a twangy version that Trent had never heard before. He felt somehow certain that, despite the fact that he wasn’t sure where Kansas lay on a map, it was a more rural locale than anyone he had ever met from the former colonies.

Despite his intentions in coming to the pub, Trent felt himself become intrigued. He was writing a book on the war with the United States that had just ended months before, and it would be fascinating to get the opinion of someone who didn’t come from one of the other nation’s top families. He would balk at approaching a stranger in a pub without being introduced, but the two pints and lack of food in his stomach convinced him that it couldn’t do any harm to ask.

He stood up and, swaying slightly, made his way over to the corner where a man with neatly sideswept hair and a full mustache sat grinning and chatting with Mae, the owner.

“Excuse me,” said Trent. The man turned to Trent and smiled easily, like he was delighted to be approached by a stranger in a foreign land for no discernible purpose. Trent wondered if all Americans were like this or if this man was special. Something told him it was the latter.

“Well, hi there,” the man said. “How can I help you on this fine evenin’?”

Trent knew there was something he should say but the force of the man’s eyes on his made his toes curl in a way they hadn’t in years. Trent introduced himself briefly before breaking into an explanation of his book. “I want to compare feelings between this war and the war for independence, and examine the effect of both on American-English relations.”

“That sounds like a mighty fine idea,” the man said, and held out his hand. “The name’s Ted Lasso. I’m happy to help. I don’t know much about how the whole country feels, but you’re free to pick my brain.”
Trent flushed and shook his hand. He couldn’t believe the sight of this Yankee’s eyes had made him forget his manners in such a way. He could only blame the alcohol. It certainly wasn’t due to the smile even now lighting up Ted’s face, causing his eyes to crinkle in a distracting way.

“Now come on,” Ted said, slapping the wooden bar. “Let me buy you another drink and you can lay it on me. I’m sure you have plenty of excellent questions bouncing around behind those glasses of yours. Which frame your face very nicely, by the by.”

Trent blinked. Was that a line? He had only known Ted for a handful of minutes, and he could already tell that excessive friendliness was part and parcel with Ted Lasso. Yet there was a glint in Ted’s eyes that made Trent think there was more than just a cheerful demeanor behind it.

One hour, two more drinks, and a serving of Mae’s game stew later, and Trent was feeling full and content. He had originally thought that his time in town would be marked only by the boredom and stress of his meetings with his solicitor and estate manager, and missing his daughter Sophie.

“I know what you mean,” Ted nodded. “My little boy’s back in Kansas with his mama. I miss him every day.”

“And his mother?” Trent found himself asking. It was a juvenile impulse, perhaps, but he wanted to know if Ted was simply looking for some pleasant conversation or if he was even available for anything more.

“She is enjoying living on her own since our divorce. It was a hard decision, but it was for the best for Henry.”

Trent leaned closer. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Are you?” Ted looked amused. “I’m not feeling very sorry about it just now.”

Trent looked at the lush promise of Ted’s mouth and shivered. “I’m staying at my club while in town,” he said. “It didn’t feel worth opening the townhouse for just one day. Would you like to come see what a true English gentleman’s club is like?”

“Sure they’ll let a simple country fella like myself in?” Ted grinned, and nudged his knee against the inside of Trent’s thigh.

Trent threw a few coins on the counter without looking to see what they were, and stood. He leaned closer to murmur in Ted’s ear, “They allow guests. Come on.”

Ted laughed and stood, grabbing Trent’s hand. His finger brushed over the inside of Trent’s wrist. “Well, that sounds mighty nice. I’d like to see it. I’ve heard so much about these clubs and what the right ones are, I sure hope it lives up to expectations.”

Cheeky bugger. “Oh, you won’t be disappointed,” Trent promised, and tugged him outside.

Trent only had a moment to register that it had begun to rain, a fine mist that he was certain was turning his hair to frizz that moment. Ted followed him docilely around the corner before pushing him against the brick building and leaning in close.

“Tell me this is all right,” he said. Trent shivered at the feeling of his mustache brushing against his cheek as Ted whispered.

“Get on with it, come on,” he taunted.

Ted grinned again and, still smiling, slotted his mouth against Trent’s.

Trent realized how long it had been since he had been kissed by someone who was smiling. The last several years of his marriage had been dutifully grim, with brief kisses of hello and goodbye and little in between. Since his husband’s death, he had devoted himself to his daughter and his estate, and little else.

Kissing Ted was a joy. Trent opened his mouth, inviting him in, and Ted easily complied, slipping his tongue inside.

“Oy!” They jumped apart to see Mae standing before them, hands on hips. “This is a respectable establishment, you hear? Take it to your homes like everyone else.”

Trent chuckled. “Yes, ma’am.” He bowed. “I apologize. Come along, Ted.”

“Well, that’s somethin’ you don’t have to tell me twice.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When he looked back later, memories of the trip back to the club and through to his rooms were patchy. He remembered stopping twice more to press kisses to Ted’s mouth, and sneaking quietly upstairs, stifling laughter in each other’s shoulders as they tried to avoid attracting attention of the garrulous Mr. Ebersley lurking in the lounge.

Finally, finally, they were in his rooms. “I didn’t bring my valet with me,” Trent murmured to Ted as he worked his coat off. “No one will interrupt us.”

“Excellent,” Ted said, pressing kisses to the side of Trent’s neck. “What do you want?”

Trent leaned back and stared at Ted, considering. “I want you to suck my cock.”

Inwardly he winced. A gentleman didn’t make demands like that. He may politely accept if it is offered, of course, but never demand. Yet Ted didn’t seem disgusted by his slip.

He smirked. “Is that so?”

“Of course, only if that’s something you feel comfortable – with.” His voice trailed off as Ted dropped to his knees and yanked his trousers to his knees, swallowing his cock in one go.

Ted’s mouth was a revelation. Trent felt his cock hit the back of his throat and his knees stuttered. “Jesus. Ted.”

Ted laughed lightly, the vibrations causing Trent’s stomach to swoop. Pleasure built in his spine, building until he thought he could die from the sheer bliss. Too soon, his orgasm swept over him. Ted pulled off, allowing his seed to splatter his neck and chest. The sight of his come mixed in with his cravat made Trent’s limp cock twitch.

“I’m sorry,” he gasped, leaning against the wall. “I’m afraid it’s been many years for me.”

“You’re a widower,” Ted said. “I understand.”

Trent laughed, a quick, joyless thing. “Before then, I’m afraid. To tell the truth I doubt I would still be married today either way.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Ted said. “That sounds like it was mighty hard on you.”

“Yes, well,” Trent waved his hand. “Enough about that. You’re not even out of your clothes.” He began to tug his trousers the rest of the way off, and tossed it with his shirt into the corner. “What can I do for you?”

“Oh, I’m not picky,” Ted said as he stood. “Honestly, I’m just happy to be here.”

Trent snorted. “That may be, but there’s something that you want. Come on, Ted. I was already rude and ungentlemanly tonight. Why don’t you give it a try?”

Ted wavered. Trent suddenly had an idea and walked closer, unashamed in his nakedness. He wound his arms around Ted’s middle, bringing his mouth to Ted’s ear. “I think I know what you want. I think you want to be buried so deep inside me that it’s like we’re one.”

Ted took a step back, running a hand through his hair. “Lord, Trent Crimm, what you do to me.” Suddenly he came forward, pushing Trent backwards onto the bed.

“That’s right,” he goaded. “Give me what you got. There’s lotion in that white jar on the end table.”

Trent lay back and waited. He was taking a bit of a risk, taking control like this. Some men didn’t like it. They wanted the man on the receiving end to be docile and obedient. Trent tried in his youth, but he found himself talking back more often than not. It was frequently a bone of contention in the bedroom during his marriage.

Ted strode back into sight. He had stripped and was carrying the jar Trent had mentioned. “Would you like to do the honors?”

Trent smirked. “You just want to watch.”

Ted tossed the jar to him. “You got it.” He sat down at the edge of the bed, and wrapped a hand around Trent’s ankle.

Trent felt the weight on his leg like a brand, reminding him that he was on display for this man. He wanted to give him a show the likes of which he had never seen. He had barely inserted one finger before he added another, hissing at the slight burn.

Ted groaned. “Ain’t that a sight.”

“Better pay close attention,” Trent panted. “Next time I want you to give it to me.”

“Oh, I’m going to give it to you. Don’t you worry about that.”

Trent added a third finger, scissoring them open to stretch himself further. He wanted Ted’s cock already. It was larger than any Trent had taken before, and he wanted to feel the ache of it tomorrow, despite the fact that it would be agony sitting in the carriage for hours.

“Enough already,” he said moments later. “I’m ready.”

Ted leaned forward and kissed Trent slowly, tenderly. It was achingly sweet, and completely incongruous to their positions. Trent’s heart ached at this confounding American who he could never predict. “You sure?”

Trent nodded. “Yes,” he gasped. “I need it.”

Ted ran his hand up Trent’s side. “I know you do.”

Trent grabbed Ted’s arm and shoved him back so he was laying down with his head at the foot of the bed. “I’m going to ride you,” he informed him.

“Please do.”

Trent lined himself up and sunk down. He wasn’t wrong about Ted’s size – the girth alone made him feel as though he were being split in two. He took a moment to breathe, letting himself adjust to the size before inching further down. Waves of pleasure began to build again as his body adjusted to the intrusion, and Ted’s cock bumped the spot inside of him that made him see stars.

“Gods above, Ted,” he groaned. “I can feel you in my throat.”

“Yeah, that’s right,” Ted said, hips rising up to meet where Ted rode him. “Take me so deep. Want you to feel me tomorrow.”

“Oh, I’ll be feeling you,” Trent promised. He ran a hand over his own cock. It was rapidly filling again, in what was possibly the quickest recovery he had had in years. “Come on, fill me up.”

Ted moaned and smacked lightly at Trent’s ass. “God, you’re beautiful. The sight of you above me just about kills me.”

The bed creaked as Trent increased his speed. Sparks built in him as he hit his prostate again and again.

“Fuck, Trent, I’m gonna come,” Ted gasped.

“Do it,” Trent ordered.

Ted gasped and began to come, filling Trent. He stroked his cock, twisting at the end, and began to come right as Ted finished.

When he was done, he gingerly lifted himself off Ted and collapsed to the side.

“I haven’t come twice in one night in at least ten years.”

Ted laughed. “I will take that as a compliment of the highest order.”

“You should.”

There was a moment of silence. Trent reveled in the slight ache in his muscles, as if he had had a particularly good workout – which he supposed he had.

“Was that inappropriate, what I said?”

Ted’s voice jolted Trent back to the present moment and he frowned, trying to place what he meant. “What did you say?”

“When I said – that is, I said that you and how you looked just about killed me. It occurs to me that that’s inappropriate, given the circumstances, and if it offended you, I just want to apologize.”

“Ted,” Trent interrupted. “Don’t worry. I didn’t even give it a second thought.”

“Oh. Good. Right.”

Silence hung over the room. Ted stood up, and Ted’s heart sank. He should have expected that he was going to leave. They were done, weren’t they? Why shouldn’t he leave?

Ted walked to the corner and instead of picking up his fallen clothing, as Trent expected, picked up a cloth hanging over the water pitcher and dipped it inside. He made his way back to Trent and slowly, carefully, began to clean him. Trent couldn’t say why it felt so unspeakably intimate when Ted had just been inside him, but it made his heart ache with the tenderness Ted displayed.

When he was finished, Ted lay down again next to Trent and picked up his hand, idly toying with his fingers. “You said you were goin’ back to your estate tomorrow?”

“Yes. I only came to town to handle some business.”

Ted nodded. “Headin’ out tomorrow myself. Of course I’ll be goin’ a bit further.”

So Ted would be returning to America the next day. Trent told himself firmly that it was no reason for his heart to feel as if it had been put in a vice. He had only known the man for a handful of hours, after all. There was certainly no reason to feel as though something precious was slipping through his fingers.

“No more talking,” he decided. “If we’re both leaving tomorrow, I’m going to leave you with some pleasant memories of my fair country.”

“Well, heck, Trent Crimm,” Ted said, grinning. “That sounds like a plan to me.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As Trent alighted his carriage to make the journey back to his estate, he looked behind him to where Ted was hailing a hack. He knew it was the last time he would ever see the other man, and, just for a moment, he allowed himself to drink in the sight. It was strange how one night of whispered conversations and lovemaking could so fundamentally change him.

It was time he stopped burying himself in his estate and his work and began to look about for someone new to share his life. Ted had given him the gift of knowing that more was possible than he had experienced in his marriage. There was laughter, and tenderness, and passion. It was time he looked for it. Although he had his doubts that anything could compare to the night he just had, surely even something close would be better than the half-life he had been living.

Trent tore his eyes from Ted and finished settling in his carriage.

“Drive on,” he said.