The fiendish circumstances that led to my man, Jeeves, being frozen like an icicle in bed were not my doing. That is to say, I never conspired to put him in such a sorry state, much less leave him there to suffer so intolerably at my Aunt Dahlia’s hands. She blamed me, of course, and she wasn’t one of those retiring, lovely old aunts who always had a spot of tea ready when a doting nephew showed up with a head scratcher. Come to think of it, I didn’t have any aunts like that. All my aunts were bally awful at solving head scratchers, and had in fact introduced more than any doting nephew’s fair share of trials and tribulations to young Bertram’s life. Truth be told, the bulk of the fault, if fault must be laid at any person’s feet, belonged to her, and while I might be obligated, out of the esteem I had for her, to ignore the disapproving glares and even forgive the sharp get out from beneath everybody’s feet, you ignorant blot, I could not meekly accept her blatant implication that I was wholly responsible for this tragic turn of events. And old Bertie Wooster, being no meek lamb by anybody’s estimation, pulled his spine straight and said as much.
“Now, Aunt Dahlia…”
“Don’t now Aunt Dahlia me, Bertram.”
I cleared my throat. “Now, Aunt Dahlia, see here. It was not at my bidding that Jeeves found himself out on the ice, and it certainly was not my intention that the pond should crack beneath his feet and send him plunging into the chilling depths.”
“He was trying to rescue you.”
Yes, that was rather implicating, wasn’t it? I've jumped rather ahead of myself. Here, allow me to bring the story up to speed. I had been out on the pond, it was true, but I’d spent more hours than I cared to count playing on the ice as a young Wooster, and I knew its character well. Of course, since I was no longer that child, it usually took a good deal of drink, or a great deal of danger to drive me out onto the pond. It was the latter that had sent me running over the slippery surface that afternoon, as Madeline Bassett was also spending the holiday with my aunt and she’d turned her gaze onto my person one too many times to be wholly comfortable with. I had calculated that she wouldn’t actually follow me out into the center of the pond, and on that score, I had been entirely correct. But what I had not counted on was Jeeves concluding his master must be in some sort of danger, and unfortunately, while the ice was quite forgiving of its old playmate, it wasn’t so generous with Jeeves’ larger personage. So it cracked open and into the drink he went. The rescuee, as it were, became the rescuer, and I quite capably manhandled my valet to the shore before help arrived.
Maybe it was somewhat my fault.
“Well, you can’t keep me locked out of the room forever,” I argued. “He’s my valet and I shall see him whenever I have the mind to it.”
“You’ve done quite enough damage for one day, Bertram. If I find out that you’ve gone in that room while Jeeves is meant to be resting, you will be sorry.”
Well, how do you like that? She turned on her heel after that imperious speech, stepping away while I tried to figure out just where she found the nerve to forbid me from a room like a lad still in short pants. And to keep me away from Jeeves! We were never separated. We went together like…why, like Fink-Nottle and newts, if you’ll excuse the metaphor. Though I don’t know who makes out worse in that comparison. I suppose I would be Fink-Nottle and Jeeves would be the newt, but was it worse to be a newt than a Fink-Nottle? Well, dash it, I couldn’t very well have Aunt Dahlia keeping me from my newt, er, my Jeeves, that is, my man Jeeves.
I’d show her. I took a firm grip on the door and I gave it a good push and the whole rummy thing refused to budge. Locked! The old filly had locked me out! Now I really wondered where she did find the bally nerve, and just how she managed to lock the door without me noticing. Though I do recall being rather distracted by the events that transpired after all the servants arrived to pull us away from the ice. Everything was rather cold, you see, and the old onion was never at its best when the temperature dropped beneath a certain number and there was no scotch on hand to help defrost the finger and toes. Plus, Jeeves had been still and his lips quite an interesting shade, and how could anybody pay attention to wretched old aunts in that sort of condition?
My fingers didn’t leave the door handle, though the combined force of the implacable door and my even more implacable aunt should have sent me shuffling to my room where a dry change of clothes and a warm pair of slippers awaited me. I knew the articles were already laid out because Jeeves always had everything prepared for me after a brisk afternoon of perambulating. Jeeves, being the finest specimen of valet, and possibly of all mankind, who’d ever lived, hardly needed to be told that I liked to be warm and comfortable when I finally escaped the bracing air. Cold air had an invigorating effect on a man, as I often said, but there was such a thing as overdoing it.
And Aunt Dahlia really should have not locked me out.
I sighed, resting my head against the heavy door, straining to hear any sound that hinted at life continuing behind that door. I’d only wanted to escape la Bassett. If I’d thought for one moment, for one second, that anybody would follow me out to the ice, much less Jeeves himself, I never would have run. I’d have spent the whole afternoon enduring Madeline’s postulations on what bunnies did after the first snowfall, and most of the evening, too, if it came down to that. The truth was, I’d endure any amount of la Bassett if it meant Jeeves would pull through none the worse for wear.
I don’t know how long I stood there contemplating the sacrifices I was willing to make for the greater good—that greater good being Jeeves remaining in my life until which time the air expired from my lungs—but a sound from inside the room caught my attention. It sounded like the bed frame creaking, but that could have just been Jeeves turning over in his sleep. Still, movement was movement, and I would take what I could jolly well get, given the circumstances. I wasn’t prepared for the handle to move against my palm, or for the door to open a mere moment after I pulled my head away from it.
“Jeeves? What are you doing out of bed?”
“I thought you had need for me, sir.”
“No, no, nothing of the sort. Quick, get back to bed before you catch your death.” Or Aunt Dahlia showed up and saw fit to blame this on me, too. “Come, come.”
Jeeves let me push my way into the room—ha, take that Aunt Dahlia—and I quickly shut and locked the door before shoving him back to that warm cocoon he’d recently abandoned.
“I’ll just stay here and make sure you’re quite all right, what.”
“That’s very kind of you, sir, but I assure you, unnecessary.”
“It’s bally well not unnecessary. You nearly…” I stopped short, the full import of the next word finally striking me with all the force of a slap from Honoria Glossop.
I don’t know what startled me more—the use of my Christian name, or the chill of his fingers on my shoulder. Even through my shirt, his fingers seemed more akin to chunks of ice than the efficient, but gentle, digits that saw to my various comforts. A veritable army of ants worked down my spine, and I had to clench my jaw to keep my teeth from snapping together.
“Allow me, sir.”
I shrugged away from him. “You’re freezing. Get back into bed before things get worse.”
“I apologize, sir, if I’ve somehow given you the impression that I am in delicate health. But if you stay in these wet clothes, you will certainly fall ill.”
“You must stay in bed. The doctor, and my dear aunt, were both quite insistent on the matter. ‘Jeeves must stay in bed,’ they said, ‘and you must let him have peace and quiet for once.’”
“I will be more than happy to retire to my bed once I’m satisfied that you are not in danger of catching pneumonia.”
I considered his proposal for a brief moment, then nodded. It made good sense, as did everything that Jeeves thought up, and I was rather freezing. Everybody had been so concerned about Jeeves, and who had shown even a dollop of concern for old Bertie? Nobody, that’s who.
My teeth chattered with increasing ferocity as Jeeves pulled the sopping clothes from my skin. The light was dim in the room, but that didn’t stop me from searching Jeeves’ dear face for any bluish highlights. He’d been quite unconscious when they’d carried him to his room, me trailing behind, sopping and dripping and shivering and bally frightened. It seemed quite the miracle that he should be awake now. His insistence on seeing to me was even more miraculous, given his condition, and a rare but potent emotion overtook me. Guilt. I’d been the reason that he’d…well, that he’d nearly died. Perhaps Aunt Dahlia was right. Perhaps I was a stupid old blot, and perhaps there were certain woodland creatures with more thoughts rattling around their skulls than I had in my own bean, and perhaps this was why Aunt Dahlia insisted that I retire to my own rooms and leave Jeeves to rest.
“Perhaps this pair of sleeping clothes will do until you have opportunity to procure your own, sir.”
I nodded, accepting the pyjamas I knew would be too long for me. I didn’t even think about the inherent danger in putting on the garments, as one rarely does think about perfectly innocent sleeping clothes having inherent dangers. But they did, or rather, these particular pyjamas did, because they didn’t smell like me. They smelled like him. The parts of him I found to be the most pleasant—soap and tea and silver polish and hair cream and a general Jeevesness that nobody else could ever possess. Since one couldn’t very well go around smelling one’s personal gentleman, I usually only caught the most delicate whiffs with the old sniffer. But this was a full olfactory assault. Was there a way to keep the pyjamas on a more permanent basis? It wouldn’t do to steal the shirt off Jeeve’s back, but I was rather clever when I needed to be, and it should be an easy thing to hatch a plot to keep the garments while purchasing a new set for Jeeves. I could spill something on the trousers—or rather, claim I had and then say I’d taken the liberty of throwing them out. That would serve two equally noble purposes, allowing me to not only keep the source of this wonderful scent, but also allowing Jeeves to experience the sense of loss I regularly suffered through when he made my own clothes disappear.
What I would actually do with the pilfered pyjamas, I didn’t know. Jeeves would find them if I tried to keep them in my wardrobe, and I couldn’t bally well wear them to bed. Well, that was a problem to consider on another day.
“Would you like tea, sir?”
“Yes, that would be quite brilliant.” When he stepped away from me, I realized I’d said just the wrong thing and put my hand out. This was the place I really had to draw the line, because if Aunt Dahlia spotted Jeeves puttering around the kitchen, that really would be the end of B. W.W. “No, Jeeves. You said you’d return to bed if I changed my clothes. And I have.”
“Sir, I must insist…”
“It is I who must insist.”
I took his shoulder then, because it seemed like the thing I should do, given the fact that the room was so small and we were standing toe-to-toe, and I was quite intoxicated at that point from the extremes of cold and heat, of being without Jeeves and then suddenly being surrounded by him. I did not simply grope my valet every time the spirit moved me to reach for him—that would be lunacy, considering the number of times I felt moved by that v. s. He seemed to be comprised entirely of solid muscle, and though that was hardly a shocker worth reporting, I found my palm moving up and down his arm, giving that much adored limb a good squeeze every now and again. “I say.”
“Is there a problem, sir?”
“No. But you seem…very cold, old man.”
“It is a temporary discomfort.”
“It very well is a temporary discomfort because you are to return yourself to that bed this instant.” I said it very firmly, imagining myself to be Aunt Dahlia. But I had a lot of thoughts zipping around the onion, and I neglected to release my man’s arm. In fact, I seemed to be crowding him quite a bit, which was r. thoughtless of me, given his general preferences not to be crowded. I looked up to mutter some words or other of apology, but he was looking at me with this sort of singular light in his eyes. Like he wasn’t fussed at all about a Wooster—or rather this Wooster—pressing against him in a rather rude, if not downright obscene, way.
The truth of it was quite simple, as was the reason I couldn’t bring myself to return to the door. When I was on that dashed ice and realized I wasn’t alone, I spun around and met Jeeves’ gaze—much like I’m doing now. Only, he was shouting something, and the tone of his voice alerted my senses even if I couldn’t make out the words. Then there was this horrible crack and Jeeves was falling, and as I had already once demonstrated, a brush with the eternal footman is enough to make one’s life flash in front of one’s eyes. And that happened again this time, even though I wasn’t the one in fatal peril. Each moment that floated to the surface included an image of Jeeves polishing and washing and generally being brilliant in his wonderful way.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, because it was rather my fault. Madeline Bassett or no la Bassett, I had no business ankling out into highly dangerous territory.
“Thank you, sir, but as I bear no ill will towards you, the apology is superfluous.”
Well, now, here we were in quite a pickle, because I had no desire to abandon the warmth of his corpus and he wasn’t ridding himself of me. “Why did you do that? Rush out like that.”
“I apprehended that you were in danger, and believed it my duty to pull you to safety.”
“That was bally daft of you.”
“You don’t agree, Jeeves? And what do you mean you apprehended I was in danger? I know that ice like I know the back of my own hand. I was perfectly safe.”
“I overhead the kitchen staff discussing the unseasonable thinness of the ice this morning, and as I knew you had not yet gone skating, you were in ignorance of the true danger the pond represented. I attempted to call for your attention before you made it far, but I believe you didn’t hear me.”
“No, I didn’t. I had no bally idea about the unseasonable thinness of the ice. Hold up, then. You knew it was dangerous before you went ankling it off the bank?”
“And you did it anyway?”
“That is a precise summary of events, sir.”
“Perhaps you would have been doing the world a favor if you let old Bertie meet his proper and just end,” I said, only half in jest, my heartstuff cramping most painfully. Perhaps that was why Aunt Dahlia had been so cross with her beleaguered nephew. She believed him guilty of a monumental crime of stupidity.
As far as criminal activity went, it seemed I was destined to be a repeat offender that evening. Now I'm sure we can all agree that this is a dashing good story, and a fair report of what transpired at Brinkley Court. The remainder of this memoir will be for the author's eyes only, as I can't allow something of such a delicate nature to fall into indelicate hands. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, criminal activity, something that old Wooster, B. is well acquainted with, though those past larks with the coves from the Drones seemed rather dull compared to this course of action. It was, as I indicated before, a rather intoxicating thing to be standing that close to him, and his fervent tone chased away the remaining chill in my bones. So it took no effort at all to drag my hand up his shoulder to grasp the back of his neck, my fingertips dancing through the damp threads of hair at his nape. My mouth was atingle with anticipation, and those tingles traveled southward, journeying through my throat to take up residence in the breathing apparatus.
I had spent many a pleasant evening considering the many attractive, and to be frank, kissable qualities of my man. I lack the time and space to enumerate them here, but suffice it to say, the notion of pressing my lips to Jeeves’ was not a strange one. And I’m in the unique position to say that the experience itself possesses heretofore unknown levels of richness and wonderment. His mouth moved over mine with such expert malleability that it naturally brought to mind the question of just who taught him to kiss that way, and where, and when, and how.
Jeeves, being an exceptionally clever sort, had e. c. appendages, including, quite happily, his tongue. It wiggled into my mouth, curious and bold and altogether brilliant. My own tongue swept along the curve of his cheek and slid over the sharp tips of his teeth, catching lightly on the points before plunging deeper. I held his hip with my free hand, pulling him closer so he could feel the full force of the effect he had on my person. I felt perfectly keen to remain right in that position for an indefinite period of time, but when he pulled away to steal a breath, I heard a concerning rattle in his throat.
I made a noise to remind him of my desire to see him to bed, but before that noise had a chance to shape itself into proper language, he was murmuring some words of concurrence and pulling me down to the much discussed mattress. I found this new horizontal arrangement quite agreeable. It reminded me of younger days, when gangly schoolboy limbs crowded narrow beds. Though, this was better. Being securely tucked between the wall and Jeeves’ impeccable physique was a much better treat than anything I had lived or dreamed up in flights of f.
Once we were properly situated, legs entwined, chests flush, we resumed the business of labial pleasure. The longer we were thus engaged, the more daring he became until I found myself turning into quite the follower. I felt like I was floating on feathers, all too happy to lift and dip with each breath and roll of his hips. I liked the feel of him, the solid thereness of him. To hear the Bingo Littles of the world tell it, being pressed up tight to the waitresses of the world was a most desirous thing, but the Bertram Woosters o. t. w. disagreed violently with that sentiment. Not that I could speak with any degree of expertise, since I’ve never technically been this close to a girl, but it could not be ½ as brilliant as this.
The pyjamas I’d been so eager to possess were now quite the hindrance. I wished the dashed things would just disappear, but I was in no state to see to the removal myself. My hands were far too busy learning the general topography of Jeeves’ body. In fact, I was a veritable…oh what’s that bloke’s name? Actually, there were two of them, and they went off exploring America together. That was fitting, and rather romantic, too. The two of us, bravely venturing forth to explore territory as yet unseen. We were a regular…Lewis something. That was it, wasn’t it? What were those chaps called? Well, Jeeves would know.
“Sir?” He puffed the word over the hollow of my throat, resulting in a strange, delicious tingle.
“I say, don’t call me that when we’re here like this. Proper feudal spirit or not, it sends the wrong message, I think.”
“Forgive me. It is the force of habit. You had something you wanted to ask me?” Sir. I could hear it, even if he didn’t say it. Oh well, it was just the Jeevesian way. But how could he sound so level and normal while my hands were doing what they were doing and his hands were engaged in their own spectacular tasks? I couldn’t keep a thought traveling in a straight line.
“Who were those jolly fellows who went off hither and yon to explore America? I believe they were in the company of a young Indian squaw.”
“You are perhaps referring to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.” Jeeves lifted his head. “Is there something amiss? I’d hoped your mind might be more…presently occupied.”
“What? Oh no, no, nothing amiss,” I quickly assured him, and since I didn’t want to try to explain the metaphor I had been attempting to construct, I caught his mouth with mine once again. My hands resumed their previous exploration, this time tangling with his bedclothes until I managed to expose his ribs and a portion of his back, and then the investigation began in earnest. He assisted me by sitting up long enough to remove the obstructing article, and then my top met the same efficient fate. And then it only made sense for the bottoms to follow, and we were naked and wrapped around each other within a trice, his arm around my shoulders, my frame hovering over his. The limb around me tightened, pulling me down until the sticky tip of my arousal brushed over his hip.
I gasped against his mouth at the contact, and felt Jeeves smile in response. I tried to lift my head so I could inspect this rare event, but he held the back of my neck with one capable hand and pushed the other between us. The sensation of his strong fingers wrapping around my yearning flesh is not one the young master is ever likely to forget. He took me very firmly in hand, spreading the slick fluid that coated my skin with each slow pump of his wrist. I was sweating and shivering and almost believed myself ill, there was so much fluttering and clenching in the abdominal region.
Nobody would ever accuse Bertie W. of being a fast learner, but when it came to a few things, I was no soft-headed idiot. I shifted slightly and mimicked his hold, thrilling at the length and width of him, as well as the evidence that he and I were equally affected by the current circs, viz. his shaft was wet and more fluid leaked from him with each stroke.
We didn’t just use our hands in the furtherance of our hoped-for goal. Our entire beings were involved, rocking and lifting, moving and pushing, our mouths dueling. My blood seemed to crash in my ears, creating a distinct buzzing that could only be suppressed by the sound of my man’s moans. These came from the back of his throat and vibrated through his tongue, allowing me to absorb the moans that I then echoed like some primal sort of elocution.
There is nobody made of sterner stuff than a Wooster, and when it comes to hardy constitutions and indomitable spirit, the W. clan has more than its fair share. I mention this only to prove a point, which is that Jeeves is fully capable of reducing even the sternest Wooster into a quivering, aching pile of flesh in really no time flat. The pleasure seemed to be focused in a knot at the base of my spine so tight and intricate that Alexander himself wouldn’t have the means to slice through.
“Please,” I whimpered, deciding that now was no time to be above begging. I didn’t know what I needed, but Jeeves surely knew as he always did. This had the altogether opposite r. than what I intended, as he released me rather than squeeze tighter or hold closer or any of the other hopeful responses. He gently nudged my fingers free of their hold, then before I could puzzle out the rest of his intentions, Jeeves engulfed us both in one large hand.
“Oh,” I breathed, as our lengths slid together and his fingers pulled over my flesh. “Oh, my. Oh, I say!”
Things went a bit blurry beyond all that. Heat flooded through me, making me feel like the old skin was a size too small for my bones. All my internals bits and pieces shifted, leading to a helpless sort of chaos that might have been frightening if Jeeves hadn’t been right there, holding and petting me through the worst—that is to say, the best of it.
When we were both quite finished, and the shaking had stopped, Jeeves produced a handkerchief from some unknown compartment and wiped us both clean. I settled with a sleepy head full of fluff on his shoulder, warm and content and feeling rather easy.
“Make a promise, will you?”
“I shall promise whatever I can.”
“Don’t follow me out onto ice or any other circs that are more dangerous than the average.”
“I’m afraid that is a promise I cannot make.”
Soft fingers stroked over my hair. “Because I couldn’t keep it, Bertram.”
And that, I supposed, was fair enough. I would just have to endeavor not to do anything foolhardy. Or that foolhardy, at any rate. For Jeeves.