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Nine Nights, Not All in Hell

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Night one.

The important red box said that, by order of the Throne, Mycroft must go on a ten-day vacation.

Mycroft understood that it was just a drill. That powers-that-be, that is, the *other* powers-that-be, were testing his accessibility. Do it now, or do it later, they were saying, but, alas, if he did it later, it might be real with forests of mushroom clouds covering Western Europe like trees.

However, unlike so many, he knew the value of cooperation. He had already been given a crate of code books and three laptops, and his hotel was well-secured by MI6, the Army, AND Scotland Yard. Men Mycroft could trust, even if they didn’t know enough to trust themselves.

Better that way.

 

After a good supper with a superb bottle of wine (which was the actual wine he had ordered this time, not some clownish vintner’s idea of a joke) there was a knock at the door. Mycroft had hoped for no interruptions – he had his books, his files, his codes – but before he could open it or even say an ‘ironic’ yes’, the door opened and Greg Lestrade burst through the door.

“Scotland Yard wants to make sure there are no problems!”

“Detective Inspector Lestrade, I hardly expected to see you. Are you part of my guard?”

“Not really,” Greg said. “They didn’t tell me, you know, specifically to guard you. But, when I heard you were here on . . . vacation, I volunteered. Because in a way, I thought this might be the time for . . .”

Mycroft lifted an eyebrow. “Time for what?”

“Well, time for this,” Greg sighed and, fresh as bread, began to take his clothes off.

“Really, Lestrade, what is this? Some sort of camouflage?”

But now Greg was naked, indistinct tan lines ending at his shoulders and his hips, and he plopped that body – in all of its startling beauty – down on the bed, his knees apart, completely open and insolent.

Mycroft’s heart thudded.

“I’m just getting comfortable, Mycroft.”

He studied Greg carefully. “Is this some sort of test, Lestrade?”

“In a way.”

Greg’s body was confident as a Greek god’s, but the eyes were soft and hopeful. “Do you like me like this?” he asked.

“I’m not sure what’s supposed to happen,” Mycroft stammered.

“Come on, Mycroft,” Greg said and smiled.

That dimple.

Mycroft took a seat tentatively on the bed beside Greg, and, almost against his will, he touched Greg’s chest. He was startled. It was like touching a handsome dog; there was no damp giveback as with a professional handshake where one wants to wipe one’s hand afterward. To touch one part of Greg was to touch all of him – he was as self-contained as the Pyramids. Mycroft raised his eyes to Greg’s smiling tan face. Then Greg bared those teeth like a great silver shark.

Mycroft was hypnotized.

“Come on, Mycroft, don’t be shy.”

“Why should I do this?” Mycroft whispered.

“Because you’re on vacation? Or it’s fun? Or it passes the time?”

Mycroft opened his mouth to speak and then reconsidered. Well, to learn the game, one should play the game, at least for a little while. He put his hand on Greg’s stomach and ran it down that shapely body. His eyes followed his hand. Oh, Greg’s penis was . . . uncircumcised. Very Eastern European, Mycroft had seen lots of photos and vids from torture debriefing.

“What if I wanted to kiss you there?” he whispered, not even knowing where the whisper came from. And he was sure Greg would say, yes, yes, yes, so he didn’t listen for an answer – he ducked his head, unsure but still eager, down to the base of Greg’s body.

Greg’s cock was delightful, slick and salty and fluid, the foreskin flexible, slippery. Despite his lack of experience, Mycroft was able to get a copulative motion going, but suddenly Greg sat up and grabbed Mycroft around the waist. Then he pulled Mycroft’s trousers and slippers off in a hauntingly practiced way and pushed him down on the bed.

Mycroft shut his eyes in embarrassment. He had no fellow beauty to offer Greg. To tell the truth, his lack of beauty was the main reason he had become the way he was, why he was THE MYCROFT HOLMES, but then he felt Greg lifting his thighs and Greg’s tongue penetrating him, Greg’s big animal tongue flicking back and forth, Mycroft wasn’t sure what was going on, and Greg’s big fingers pushing into him this way and that. And suddenly he felt Greg’s broad shark mouth all around his cock until he could stand it no longer. Then when it happened, it was as if he were falling off a cliff, first the helpless, uncontrollable tremble and then the slam of the blood against his paralyzed body. He couldn’t even move; he was lying there like a beach as the sea pounded against him.

When he finally surfaced, Greg was sitting between Mycroft’s exhausted thighs, smiling, dimpling, stroking Mycroft’s thighs. “I see pussy after pussy after pussy here, sweet new pussy, untampered with, and all mine. Aren’t you, aren’t you?” Then Greg lay on him and wiggled his body in a serpentine way, kissing him as if he were the foamy tide rolling over Mycroft, nothing else in the world but this sky and water.

 

Night two.

 

When he awoke, he couldn’t remember when Greg had departed, and, if it weren’t for certain sore places, Mycroft would have sworn it had all been a dream, a maneuver.

He got up and opened the door, peering out cautiously. His breakfast was waiting, but no one was in the hall.

Well, Mycroft had meaning to finish Dr. Julian Jaynes’s infamous treatise on the human mind, “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.” He opened the book at the bookmark and looked at the sentences before him: “When asked the question, what is consciousness? we become conscious of consciousness,” Jaynes had written, “And most of us take this consciousness of consciousness to be what consciousness is. This is not true.”

Mycroft lifted his head and frowned. He thought he remembered Greg telling him he had volunteered for this job. Well, it would be dear to think so.

He read until the sun started to set. His spacious suite was lined with giant glass windows, something very nice about that, the warmth of the sun-dappled windows unfolding over him as a blanket would.

Then that knock came again, and Greg burst in. “Had your supper, have you, and ready for a little after-dinner sweet?” He smiled, and that preposterously deep dimple reappeared. “Take off those trousers.”

Mycroft licked his lips. “That isn’t really appropriate. As you can see, I’m reading . . . and I do think we should talk about this, Greg.”

“Oh, really? Listen, I’ll do it for you then. I’ve handled yobs like you a million times, but none so pretty.”

Mycroft blinked. He had never had his clothes torn off, nor had anyone ever called him pretty. Well, luckily he was wearing his old smoking jacket and leisure trousers, but he had to add, “No one ever, I mean, I’m hardly pretty.”

Greg looked at him with those black, black eyes. “I have to have you.”

Mycroft’s eyes widened.

At that, Greg pouted; it was so easy to read that pout as innocent, he must mean it, he must mean it. That face could mimic anything but deceit. Mycroft had heard more lies than he’d heard syllables, and wasn’t it all lies really? But Greg’s eyes were the heart of truth.

“I’m hardly pretty,” he whispered again.

Here came that shark smile again. “Pretty can’t even begin to describe you.” He moved closer to Mycroft. “Turnabout is fair play. When was the last time you got the spanking you deserved?” And he pulled Mycroft’s jacket away from his shoulders.

Mycroft stammered. “I have never deserved a spanking,” which he had always believed of himself.

The shark smile intensified. “Just a little touch up with my hands. I know how to do it without leaving a mark,” Greg said, and now he pulled Mycroft’s shirt out of his trousers and began to unbutton it.

“I will feel . . . silly.”

“’I’ll make you silly. Now trousers down, elbows on the mattress, and you on your knees.”

But Greg was very gentle as he positioned Mycroft where he wanted him. Mycroft breathed in as Greg’s voice hissed in his ear, “Yeah, you might feel silly for a moment, but then you’ll feel something else, I promise.”

The first slap was loud as a shot, and he felt Greg’s palm, a real cricket bat of a hand, against him. Mycroft was humiliated, not at the spanking but by what Greg must be seeing. Although Mycroft wasn’t fat, he knew he wasn’t muscular either, just stork legs all soft and stringy like an old lady’s. But then he began to feel aroused, wishing that he could see Greg’s steady spanking.

Greg was right, Mycroft was getting harder and harder, had he ever been that hard? And Greg began his whispering again. “All I want is your stiff little jigger inside me, oh, now it’s hard as stone. I’ve got some lube here – wouldn’t you like to fuck me in the ass?” He gave Mycroft a few more hard slaps, and then there was some tricky shifting of position as Greg somehow wiggled around to place himself under Mycroft.

Mycroft straightened up to look at Greg’s back.

Nothing could have prepared Mycroft for the sight of that solid warm flesh, the long back and broad shoulders, the blood visibly lapping through the perfect globes of his buttocks. “What did I do to deserve this?” he whispered; he didn’t even realize he had said it out loud.

But that beautiful silver head lifted, and he heard Greg say, “And what did I do to deserve this? Please, please fuck me, Mycroft, please.”

“Where’s the . . . lube?” Mycroft said; he didn’t even recognize his own hoarse voice.

“On the night stand. Hurry, please.”

Mycroft picked up the tube; he wasn’t really familiar with those sorts of products, but he squeezed it and a cooling gel poured out. He used it to prepare his hand and his cock. Then he tenderly stuck the first finger in; Greg bucked back against it. “More, hurry.” Mycroft pushed in two fingers, then three. “Now,” Greg pleaded, “now.”

Like a dream, he watched as he positioned himself and the head of his cock disappeared into Greg’s body, further and further until he was all the way in. And then when he was in as far as he could be, he felt Greg tighten his sphincter muscles. “That’s the way, Mycroft, make me feel it, you know how.”

Actually Mycroft didn’t quite know what Greg meant, but, as if by instinct, he grabbed Greg’s hips and plunged in and out again and again, hearing Greg’s moans as he thrust again and again.

And again it was like falling. There was an initial loss of balance, and then everything was too sudden to feel or know what to feel, and he fainted.

He woke up seconds – or minutes – later only to find a wild flurry of limbs moving about, and then he saw he was lying on his side, his body totally aligned with Greg’s. Greg’s eyes were open, and when he saw Mycroft had come to, he smiled as he leaned in for a kiss, their hearts pulsing in the same rhythm.

After a few deep breaths, Mycroft realized he didn’t know if Greg had come or not. Courteously he moved his hand to Greg’s cock. He felt wetness, and he brought his damp palm to his mouth.

He was tasting Greg for the first time.

Why wouldn’t his heart quit thumping? “Greg, we must talk. What started this?”

Greg’s innocent eyes widened. “You didn’t know it was starting? You didn’t know I was courting you all this time, making myself useful, watching over your brother, always being Johnny-on-the-spot when you rang me up?”

Mycroft thought for a moment. Yes, there had moments with a certain . . . tinge. A look that lingered too long. A warmth standing beside him just a moment longer than it should. And those eyes, soft and unreadable. Those eyes.

“Mycroft, have I made a mistake?” Greg whispered.

Yes, he knew would be the proper answer, but instead he said the truth. “No, you dear man, no. I mean, this brings up all sorts of problems, but I would trade none of this for anything. You’re not thinking of stopping, are you?”

“Only if you want me to.”

“Never,” Mycroft said and kissed Greg until his lips were burning.

 

Night three.

 

That Julian Jaynes was a very smart chap. Not an easy read, with such statements as, “Paraphrands are generative in a sense that they are new in their association with the metaphrand, and this is how we are able to generate the kind of ‘space’ which we are able to introspect upon and which is the necessary substrate of consciousness. This is really quite simple.”

Ah.

Mycroft had often wondered why people, well, goldfish, really, believed the insane things they believed? Such knowledge would come in handy on the job.

He mused with his fingers tented against his chin, until a soft, nearly diffident knock came at the door.

What if it weren’t Greg?

But the door opened by itself, and Greg slipped in, a perfect faun. “Mycroft, I was very bad yesterday night, wasn’t I?’ But he was smiling, and that dimple . . .

Greg began to take his shirt off. Mycroft noticed that the shirt was clean, but cheap and not ironed very well. For a perfect piece of beauty, Greg was always a little careless in his grooming. Oh, what was it Robert Herrick had written?

“A sweet disorder in the dress

Kindles in clothes a wantonness.”

That was Greg, always looking as if he were climbing out of a barn loft or just fresh from the sheets. Mycroft realized he was beginning to delight in Greg as one would in a precious possession, a beautiful nut-brown object to own, and, as important, to take care of.

But then Greg broke into his thoughts. He turned his back to Mycroft and lowered his trousers. “I like it when you play with my ass.” Mycroft was stunned into silence, struck again by how delicious Greg’s bottom was, so snowy white against the tan back. The sight of that perfect hard roundness, that flawless curved world of flesh, was enchanting.

“Mycroft, it’s your turn to spank me,” Greg said in his merry shark way, “and I love to be spanked. I like it when my ass is at the top of the menu.”

There was a brown velvet chair in the room, and, completely naked now, Greg put one knee on it and pushed his backside towards Mycroft. “Spank me.”

Spank him.

Mycroft had never spanked anything in his life. He supposed he should start with a soft hand, but he felt the blood roiling in his hand and he could see Greg’s buttocks getting pinker and pinker. A few more spanks which he varied by putting his finger in Greg’s sweet rosebud of an asshole and spanking with the other hand until it became unbearable.

“Christ, Greg, Greg, take me in your mouth.”

And Greg hopped off the brown chair, fell to his knees, and, with a gesture Mycroft found unbelievably touching, he grasped Mycroft’s legs to hold himself upright as he unfastened Mycroft’s trousers. Then he looked at Mycroft: “Take it out, take it out.”

Mycroft was reticent – that seemed such a brazen gesture, vulgar he would have said, but, with those soft black eyes, Greg removed all vulgarity from such interactions. He took it out, and Greg opened his mouth.

Heavens, Greg Lestrade knew how to suck cock. Mycroft could barely catch his breath, and then he found himself jetting into Greg’s mouth, those sweet lips all around his pulsing cock.

“Oh god oh god oh god oh god,” Mycroft said and knelt to kiss Greg – all those flavors of love in the kiss. “I can’t believe this.”

 

Night four.

 

“Now tonight we’re going out.”

“I’m not sure they will permit it.”

“Oh, yeah, they will. I’ve arranged it with the lads in the downstairs postings.”

“Where shall we go?”

“There’s a club. Very safe. All kinds of toffs go there for anonymous pleasure. It’s called the Queen’s Hell. Let’s just say we’re going to Hell.”

Mycroft noticed that Greg was carrying a duffel bag. “What’s in there?" he pointed.

Greg began to take off his trousers. “Oh, it’s just my club clobber.”

Mycroft blinked.

Greg posed for him when he had his trousers off; then he smirked. Mycroft hated, absolutely hated smirking, even hated the sound of the word, but, when Greg did it, the lovely balance of his lips and the toss of the dimple on the left cheek made smirking sweet. There was always a wonderful innocence shining from Greg’s face, and Mycroft realized that Greg’s face was like a great sunflower: that tufted spray of hair, the eyes black as seeds, and the shark smile rounding out the sunflower, nothing but pure floral joy.

Greg’s smile broadened, and he opened his duffel bag and pulled out some sort of canvas garment. “This is my sex kilt,” he said and fastened it around his slender waist. Then he looked at Mycroft and made that wide friendly shark smile again.

Mycroft could not help himself; he ran to hold him. All these new virginities, such as running to hold someone in his arms or even just running to kiss him. Greg’s wide mouth opened, and Mycroft felt his sweet living tongue, and almost unconsciously his hand moved down to the hem of the kilt.

“I’m terrified,” he whispered.

Greg pulled him closer. “I bet I know why.”

Mycroft sighed. “What if we see *them*?”

“That’d be great. We could blackmail the pride out of them. I know what you’re thinking. What if they see YOU is what you’re thinking. Look, Mycroft, I’ve been to this club a thousand times. It’s safe. Plus, those two little crybabies never go out unless there’s a murder. And how likely is that?” Greg rolled his black eyes mockingly. “Fucking hearth rats they are.”

“There’s a first time for everything,” Mycroft said.

“Plenty of higher-ups at the Queen’s Hell and so on. We’re safe as houses. Now let’s see what you can wear.”

 

Mycroft ended up wearing his exercise gear and a flat cap. He felt ridiculous.

 

They left by the secret back entrance of the hotel, Greg nodding knowingly at every guard they passed. A car was waiting for them.

“Evenin’, Ray,” Greg said. “The usual.” And off they went.

 

The Queen’s Hell was packed.

“One last thing, you’re Mike and I’m Gavin. They all like calling me that. They think it’s modern and manly, like, grrrrr, I’m a man and good at it. Plus, it’s a bit of a cover. Now let me get you a drink.”

Mycroft shouldn’t have been, but he was astonished by Greg’s great popularity. Greg was, as the saying went, the life of the party. As he made his made his way through the crowd, it seemed every man in the place wanted to touch him. Several men even pulled at the front of the kilt, and all Greg did was laugh. He even pulled up the front of the kilt himself, and a cheer rang out for Gavin’s great fat uncut cock.

Then pushing back through the crowd, Greg brought back a glass of porter for Mycroft; he kissed him on the lips as he handed it to him. “Mike, would you like to dance?”

“I . . . don’t dance. Gavin.”

“Hmmm. Let me go back to the bar for a moment. I promise I’ll be right back.”

Dance.

Mycroft hadn’t noticed it at first, but now he noticed that there was a jukebox playing what Mycroft supposed was “contemporary pop.” He didn’t recognize a single syllable.

A new song came on, one of those that featured semiliterate “American” speech. The refrain appeared to be “Ice, ice, baby.”

Where on earth did people come up with these words?

But apparently Greg liked the song very much. He swayed, the hem of his garment shaking carelessly with the movement of his body. He was facing away from the bar, and there was a circle of men around him, just watching the swing of the cloth.

It was a sacrilege, but Mycroft was reminded of Leonardo’s “Last Supper,” all the men around Greg stupefied by his liveliness, his shining beauty, each making a different excited gesture. Then one young man with lank black hair, shirtless and shifty-looking, grabbed Greg and pulled him into a close embrace. The crowd cheered.

And, worse, that affront of a youngster, that little Judas, began to pull up the back of Greg’s kilt. But Greg didn’t care. He laughed as he ground into the youngster, who now had the kilt pulled all the way up to Greg’s waist and was grasping his buttocks as hard as he could. Mycroft could see where the boy’s slender young fingers dented Greg’s solid flesh.

“Looks like you’re being bird-dogged, mate!” a voice near him said.

Mycroft turned to the voice. The speaker was like something out of Dickens, just a piece of talking mud.

Another piece of mud spoke, “Did you rent him? Where’d you get that kind of dosh?”

Then another. “Since you’re alone now, I know a slutty boy right up your alley. All arse and elbows. And it won’t cost near as much as Gavin did.”

“Waste of the good green, I say. I’d ask Gavin for my money back.”

Suddenly Greg was beside him, his arm around Mycroft’s shoulders. “Hands off my Mike, you lot of haggard old arseholes.”

“Aw, Gavin, we was just taking the mickey. Jealous we are!”

“Fuck off! Mike and me’s going home. I can’t take my boyfriend anywhere!” And he pulled Mycroft out the door.

As they left, there was a commotion coming from the club. “See what you’ve done, you dickhead, we was enjoyin’ that.” “Fatarse!” “You shitface gob!” “You bloody cunt! Drivin’ Gavin off like that!”

Their driver was still waiting in his little black car.

“I don’t like this business being too well known, Greg.’

“Don’t worry, Mycroft dear. Now get in the back.”

Mycroft found himself breathless because Greg was sitting so close to him.

Greg tapped on the dividing window. “Take the scenic way, Raymond.” The driver nodded.

And, as the car began to move, Greg pulled his kilt up and took Mycroft’s hand and put it on his hard cock. Mycroft looked at him and then squeezed it slightly. Big and filled with blood like Greg himself. In turn, Greg laid his forearm between Mycroft’s thighs, pressing gently. Mycroft was so aroused he could have taken Greg right then and there, but how? How did people in cars have sex?

Apparently the scenic route involved bridges and wide roadways. London raced by, its lights like stars zooming past, but not as fast as they were, because Mycroft and his Greg were gods speeding in their chariot of the night, their bodies perfectly happy, their blood humming like a vast engine of space.

Then Greg said, “Tits, oh boy!” and he grabbed Mycroft, moving his hand from the right nipple to the left and back again as he kissed Mycroft's neck.

Mycroft made a tiny remonstrance. “Really . . . Greg!” But he didn’t mean it. Because Greg was just too wonderful. After all, hadn't he just made an actual Classical apostrophe? Mycroft closed his eyes, squeezed Greg’s solid cock again, felt Greg pressing his forearm against him, and let himself think about what could be. What promise Greg had! He could teach Greg the great books! Oh, and dressing Greg: going to all the best tailors, buying him the rarest of colognes and a wonderful five-thousand-pound watch. His Greg, all his.

Then they found themselves back at the hotel again. They both composed themselves, and Mycroft was the first out of the cab.

 

When they were back in Mycroft’s suite, Greg turned to him: “I’ve got to piss. Want to watch?”

Mycroft drew his head back. “Heavens, no.”

“God, you’re like bubble wrap, so many little virginities to pop.”

“Even so, I’ll wait here.”

As he stood there, he could Greg’s ablutions. That big cock being handled in Greg’s big rough hands. It could be both their cocks as they stood side by side in the lavatory of some club.

“Greg, I’ll just hop into bed.”

“Right,” Greg’s muffled voice said.

Greg was showering now. Mycroft put on his pyjamas and pulled the covers down. Then he lay down, paralyzed with anticipation. Greg’s wet hair, his wet skin.

Greg came out of the bathroom, completely naked and somewhat dry and dangling a pair of handcuffs. “Why don’t you cuff me and then fuck me in the ass?”

Mycroft could only nod.

Greg pulled a pillow down and lay face down on it. Mycroft moved to the bottom of the bed so he could see Greg’s ass better. Then Greg put his hands above his head, and Mycroft used the cuffs to fasten them to the bedstead. Greg made a fetching little struggle against the cuffs before he quietened down.

Mycroft stood up and took off his pyjama bottoms and then applied lube to himself, never once taking his eyes off Greg’s backside. Even the touch of his own hand only made him harder.

Then he began to nose into Greg’s asshole.

“Oh, fuck me hard,” Greg moaned.

Mycroft pushed himself all the way in. “Do you like that?” he whispered. “Do you want more? Do you want it harder and harder?”

“Please, please, more.”

Mycroft shut his eyes; he had seen himself wedged between Greg’s buttocks – what sight could be more satisfying? But now he wanted to focus on the feeling of it. Greg was using his sphincter muscles again, clutching at Mycroft’s cock when it was all the way in, then loosening enough to let Mycroft plunge again and again inside him. And he was groaning, a beautiful sound halfway between pain and pleasure. Mycroft opened his eyes and grabbed Greg’s hips hard; he wanted to leave a mark, he wanted Greg know that he had been there and that he considered Greg his. And suddenly he wanted to see that sunflower face as he was fucking him.

He pulled out.

“No,” Greg whimpered.

“I want to see your face, I want to see your face when I fuck you in the ass.”

“Uncuff me then.” Greg got up on his elbows and turned over. He put those perfect golden arms above his head. “Hitch me to the bed and put a pillow under me. Then fuck me hard.”

It wasn’t as easy as the other way, when Greg was on his hands and knees, oh, on his hands and knees being fucked, and Mycroft had to hold Greg’s legs up to get the right purchase, but it was worth it. The sight of Greg’s face being put through ecstasy after ecstasy was beautiful. Mycroft felt he was watching a flood of pure sex; he couldn’t tear his eyes away. Then he remembered the marks he wanted to leave: bruises and scratches. Yes, Mycroft knew how to leave brutal remembrances in the flesh from all the times he’d watched interrogations.

Greg was squealing now and still using his muscles to clutch at Mycroft’s cock. He looked up at Mycroft and pled, “Don’t stop. Don’t stop.”

“Shut your fucking eyes, Greg.”

“But I won’t know what comes next.”

Mycroft made a fierce plunge into Greg. “Oh, yes, you will know what comes next.”

And watching that angel face, shut now as in sleep, that shapely mouth open and close, drove Mycroft into a frenzy. One last thrust pushed him over. Filling Greg, filling Greg all the way, making Greg wet and dripping.

Greg hadn’t come yet, and Mycroft moved his hand down Greg’s body, slowly, thoughtfully. “Open those eyes,” he ordered.

Greg did; then he smiled. Mycroft took his hand away, startled at the beauty of that face. “I’m going to use my mouth to finish you off,” he hissed. Greg began to struggle against the handcuffs, crying, keening, groaning, and, when Mycroft took him in as deeply as he could, Greg exploded.

Mycroft swallowed; he was swallowing Greg’s essence. He uncuffed Greg and lay beside him, still running his hand up and down that perfect body. With his hands free now, Greg grabbed his head and kissed it. “I love you, Mycroft.”

“Well, I quite fancy you.”

“You don’t know what love is, do you? Mister British Government toff.” But Greg smiled as he said it. “Good. I’ll start teaching you today, not that I haven’t provided some lessons already.”

“Can you stay tonight?” Mycroft asked.

Greg made a puffing sound with his mouth. “Not really. I’ve business to take care of.”

Mycroft panicked. “Have you gone back to your wife?”

Greg kissed him. “Of all the . . . listen, she left me. To tell the truth, she kicked me out because she was in love with another man. But you know what? Leaving that little hell-hole of a flat with my bags in hand was the happiest moment of my life. I realized at that moment I could do whatever I want.”

“And you . . . ?“

“It was two years ago, Mycroft. I knew I could do what I wanted, but I didn’t know what I wanted. Then it became obvious. I wanted to become indispensable to you. That’s why I’ve put up with that wanker Sherlock, not to mention his toy soldier, for all this time.” He sat up on his elbows. “Irritating as fuck, those two!”

“But what business do you have to take care of now? Is it Sherlock? Must you leave?”

“As you see, Mycroft, these boys here are quite comfortable with our arrangement. I just need to get my night work squared away with the commissioner, and then we’ll have all night and all day together.”

“For what’s left of my vacation” Mycroft said softly; then they both lay there, embracing in silence.

 

Night five.

 

 Mycroft set up the little camera attached to his personal laptop. He ran it for a minute and then played the recording back. He lifted his eyebrows. No, that wouldn’t do. He gave the wide angle lens a small adjustment; generally his underlings did this sort of thing. He checked again. This time the angle was perfect.

How long would he have to wait for Greg to get there, for Greg to see his new toy?

But it was more than a toy; it might turn out to be his fondest memory of something that would become nothing but memory.

Mycroft was in despair. Now that he had lived in this dream, he wanted it never to end. But how could they continue this affair with discretion? But mostly how could they continue this at all?

This was his moment. And he had never had his moment before, even if he were the British government.

 

It all started with a wrestling match. Young, too young to remember how young he was, he had wandered into his parents’ bedroom where Mummy and Daddy were making frantic motions with each other.

“Mummy?” he whispered.

“Oh, god,” they both said. Then Mummy clutched the sheet to her and slipped out of bed.

“Mycroft, never come into a room without knocking. It’s very rude.”

The motions had seemed so frightening. “Mummy, what were you doing? Why are you naked?”

“Daddy and I were wrestling. Sometimes we like to wrestle naked. Just as you like to run around under the sprinkler naked.”

“Mycroft,” Daddy said, “all the wrestlers of ancient Greece were naked. That’s what the word ‘gymnasium’ originally meant.” His father was smiling at him in his familiar fatuous way, but his mother aimed her furious look right at him. Mycroft had always feared those slanted cat eyes.

“What did you want anyway?” she hissed.

“I drew a camel.”

“Let me see,” she said and snatched the paper from him.

His father was sitting up now with all the covers in his lap. “Oh, that’s a good one. You can see his . . . eyelashes and everything.”

“It doesn’t look quite complete. Why don’t you go back and do a little more work on it? Let Daddy and I finish wrestling.”

And, as Mycroft took his drawing back and went down the hall, he heard his mother say, “We give that bloody nanny one day off . . . “and the bedroom door slammed shut.

After that, he began to notice how much they liked to wrestle.

 

Then, when he had just turned eight, he was sent off to boarding school. That wasn’t his moment either. He hated it, hated the other boys, who all treated him as if he were a misfit. The only redeeming feature was that he always seemed to be the smartest boy in the room.

Mycroft pursed his lips together. Not the best way to make friends, but that was all he had.

 

At Christmas time, one of the younger schoolmasters came home with him. When he was a child, that was the way things happened; they just happened.

His parents had embraced him happily; his father shook hearty hands with the schoolmaster.

Then his father leaned down in front of him. “We have a special surprise for you, Mycroft. Let’s go upstairs and look at it.”

“Him,” his mother had corrected.

Upstairs, his father flung one of the bedroom doors open.

“Don’t say anything, Mycroft. He’s asleep,” his mother whispered.

There was a baby bassinet in the corner, so Mycroft had a good idea of what the surprise might be. He walked slowly, quietly towards it and looked in.

A very tiny baby was sleeping in the bassinet, his tiny fists curled up against the blanket.

His parents came over, and his father touched his shoulder. “You have a baby brother.”

His mother knelt beside him. “His name is Sherlock, and isn’t he the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your whole life?”

Mycroft nodded. Then he turned to his mother: “I’ll have a friend now!”

“Oh no!” his mother said, “You’ve wakened him.”

Mycroft looked back at the baby whose tiny eyes were now open. He wanted to scream; those light-colored cat eyes were identical to Mummy’s.

 

The nanny took over and everyone went downstairs.

“How very proud you must be of your new baby, Mr. Holmes,” the schoolmaster said.

His father nodded. “Yes, we are very proud of Sherlock.” Then he quickly added, “and we are also very proud of Mycroft.”

“You should be. I have a little announcement to make, which I think will please all of you. St. Eustace’s gave its national exams right before the holiday, and Mycroft scored better than any other boy in the school.”

“How nice!” his mother said.

“I don’t think I’ve made it sound as impressive as it is. He scored far higher than any other boy in school. Even those boys who were three years ahead of him. Remarkable considering this was his first term, and he was barely eight when he entered.”

Mummy and Daddy smiled. “Mycroft, we’re so proud of you!” Mummy said.

“I believe this calls for cake,” his father said and led them into the dining room. There was a huge pink cake in the middle of the dining table. His father cut a big slice for Mycroft; it was white cake underneath the pink frosting.

“Oh, this is good!” he told the adults.

“Don’t eat it too fast,” his mother warned him.

 

That night Mycroft sat up in bed. He could hear his parents wrestling again, and then the baby cried out. His mother cursed, doors slammed, and the baby was quiet.

Stealthily, Mycroft got out of bed. He knew where he was headed.

And he found himself fingers deep in the leftover cake with pink icing.

 

As it turned out, the schoolmaster had come home with Mycroft to recommend that he be tutored privately. Mummy said she knew some retired Cambridge dons who would be perfect for the task. Mycroft cheered up; if he cared that much, maybe she didn’t love the baby more than she loved Mycroft.

“You better live up to your genius,” she warned him after the school master left for the train station.

 

And he had lived up to his genius. He was now the British government. But that hadn’t been the moment he wanted.

Because this was his moment: in Greg Lestrade’s arms.

His Greg. His sunflower, as much a masterpiece as any of Van Gogh’s sunflowers. Van Gogh had painted thousands of sunflowers, but Mycroft knew exactly which sunflower Greg was.

As the British government, Mycroft was part of a vast network of rich and powerful men, some who were politicians and some who were merely wildly rich. One of the richest, a man everyone called J, well, everyone who was allowed to call him anything at all, was the owner of the only privately held painting from Van Gogh’s 1887 sunflower series.

J and Mycroft were friends in the way of that sort of thing, and, one time when he was in New York, J invited Mycroft and some other powerful men up to his apartment.

The apartment was three stories high and overlooked Central Park; the windows in the apartment ran the height of all three stories.

J and Mycroft had hit it off, and over brandy J asked Mycroft if he would like to see his Van Gogh. "It's the one they call 'Three Sunflowers'."

“Oh, yes, I very much admire that poor Dutchman.”

J took him into a room without windows. “I won’t let a single ray of sunshine touch it. That yellow ochre oxidizes so easily, you know. Would that all Van Gogh’s were as protected as mine. You see these lamps? One of my men invented them. They illuminate without cooking the damn paintings.”

Mycroft couldn’t tear his eyes away. One sunflower stood up from the other sunflowers, almost as it were seeking attention. It looked glad and alert and beseeching.

 

And now Mycroft had his own sunflower, equal to that sunflower, just as precious, just as in need of protection. And his, all his.

 

When Greg finally arrived, Mycroft said, “Come see my camera! It has a wide-angle lens -- it takes in the whole room.”

Greg had been drinking. “Oh, get a vid of me dancin’,” he said as he took off his clothes. He made lots of shoulder movement and wide smiles.

How could anyone be in the same room as Greg and not be in ecstasy?

Then Mycroft made Greg put on the kilt and kneel on the bed. The dispassionate camera recorded that everything else that happened that night. It caught Mycroft fucking Greg again and again, with his fingers, with his cock, with a variety of dildos.\

“Oh, this is too good,” Greg said as they settled in on the sofa. “I’ve got a couple of bottles of wine. Let’s watch this fucking again and again. Listen, we can jerk off while we watch. We’ll see how many times we can come. Here, we’ll make bets on it!”

They watched the video over again and again with the bottles of wine, and soon they fell asleep with their cocks in their fists. Mycroft had wanted to discuss the future, and what would come after this, and how afraid he was, but he was too drunk and too tired.

How many times had they come? They had forgotten to keep count.

 

Night six.

 

Mycroft was reading sonnet 15 by Catullus. It was quite chilling. The Latin went, “Verum a te metu touquo pene/infest pueris bonis malisque./Quem tu qua lubet, ut lubet moveto/quantum vis, ubi erit foris paratum.”

Mycroft knew what that meant. *Truly I fear you and your cock, always stalking boys good and bad. When you fuck around, you fuck around whenever you like and wherever you are, just as you please. When you bring your fucking cock, it’s always hard.*

So, even back in the time of Christ.

Then Greg knocked and opened the door just a little. Smiling, he poked his head in. “I have a present for you, Mycroft.”

Mycroft was mildly alarmed. “What is it?”

Greg swung the door open.

A short young man with light brown hair walked in.

Mycroft’s head jerked backwards. No. Yes. No.

No, it wasn’t. Surely not.

“I’ve brought us something to play with,” Greg said and dimpled.

“Hi, Mike!” the young man said. “I saw you at Hell the other night. Gav here asked me if I’d like to play. You probably know better than me that no one can ever deny Gavin anything. So here I am.”

Mycroft was speechless. What . . .

“Gav, you and I have each other’s cards. What about his?” he indicated Mycroft with his head.

“Mike, where’s your passport? He needs your card.”

The words stumbled out of Mycroft’s mouth. “It’s in that black valise over there.”

Greg shuffled through the papers until he found it; then he handed it to the young man, who examined the card. He looked at Mycroft and seemed about to ask a question.

“I work for the government, and they test us every two months,” Mycroft said with some hauteur. “It isn’t about sex, it’s about terrorist intent."

“Take that, you nosy bastard,” Greg said with his shark smile. “Say you’re sorry now.” And he began to unbutton the young man’s shirt. “After this, I’ll handcuff you and then we’ll really begin.”

“Who am I supposed to be?” the young man asked as Greg manhandled him. “I’m not doing it if it’s a youngster.”

“It’s not a kid, my god, you know me. This is for grown men and the things they gladly and freely do to each other. Right, Mike?”

Mycroft pursed his lips, but didn’t answer.

“All right then, you’re going to be *John* and you’re a soldier just back from Afghanistan. You’re a brave little thing really, but you’re also a complete smartarse. I’m here with Mike to take you down a peg or two. Remind you who’s boss.” Greg pushed John face down on the bed. John grunted. “No, stay there while we get ready, in our own good time.”

“What do we do, or you really?” Mycroft asked Greg.

“Well, Mike, first we undress you.”

“No, no, I don’t want . . . “ Mycroft indicated John with his chin.

“I see. Then we’ll go into the dressing room.”

 

“Is this an orgy? What do I have to do?”

“Just take your clothes off. Look, I’ll take mine off first.” Then he kissed Mycroft.

The ersatz John Watson was right. No one could deny Gavin -- or Greg – anything. Particularly as aroused and naked as he was now.

“Strip down. Here, you can wear your fine robe.”

“Greg . . . “ Another kiss, this one long and slow.

“We’re just pretending he’s John Watson, and I get to fuck him.” Greg gave Mycroft a look and then lowered his eyes. “I thought you’d like to see that.”

“Well, of course, I would. I don’t think I want to touch him, though. It’s just too close.”

“But John pisses you off, doesn’t he?”

“He is an irritating little know-it-all. And he’s leading Sherlock astray.”

“Don’t you wish we had the real one here to punish?” Greg was standing so close to Mycroft he could feel Greg’s sweat. “It’s pretend. But it’ll feel good.”

“Very well. Treat him rough, though. Very very rough.”

“No fear.”

 

Mycroft sat in the easy chair, his robe was open, he was aroused, but he could close that robe any time he liked.

Greg climbed on the bed behind John and reached around his waist. He removed the belt and then pulled the boy’s trousers down.

“Gag him,” Mycroft said.

“Excellent idea.”

Mycroft was beginning to feel comfortable. How many times had he been in on interrogation ops which began just this way?

When John was gagged and his trousers pulled all the way off, Greg began to speak. “John, how much fucking did you do in Kandahar?” He slapped John’s ass. It was very plump, nearly womanly, appealing really. “There’s no stigma attached to boy sex in that part of the world, is there? Just the sand and the stars and in every tent a soldier’s big hard cock. Like this one.” Greg put a lubricated rubber on his cock and pressed himself against John’s tight little hole. “Ummmm. Fucking just like this,” and Greg moved back and forth and back and forth. “How did you decide which Tommy was going to get the stick? Did you gamble? Or take turns? Or did you volunteer? Yeah, you were the regimental bottom, weren’t you? Being a regular little girl the way you are?”

Mycroft tell that both Greg and the make-believe John were getting worked up. And he himself wasn’t immune. It was sexy to see Greg so powerful, so in control.

“Okay, my girl, I’m going to ride for the finish.” Greg was covered in a light sheen of sweat. Pounding again and again. It was beautiful. Greg was always so lovely in all his emotions. Finally, he came, and Mycroft thought he could hear the fast beating of the other man’s heart. John was writhing and grunting, and Mycroft saw why when Greg withdrew and pulled the young man up. He was still fully aroused, leaking, not satisfied yet.

“Mike, you want this tosser to suck your cock?”

“No,” Mycroft said with some pride. “I want you to suck me off. Let him watch, but hit him with your fist if he touches himself.”

Greg stood up and pulled John with him. “Did you hear that, little man? Touch your fucking cock and I’ll punch your lights out. Mike, you yell out if he disobeys.” Then he moved to kneel in front of Mycroft. Tenderly, he parted Mycroft’s robe; then he began to tease him with his tongue before finally taking his cock all the way in his mouth.

John stood there squirming and humming against his gag. Mycroft watched this new cock as he felt every pleasure Greg’s sucking could bring. “Gavin, keep on. But I can tell John wishes he was one of us. His cock is so wet on the end. I bet he could come without being touched.

Then Mycroft shut his eyes. He wanted to enjoy Greg’s mouth, tongue, throat; fragments of what Greg had said came to him, in every tent a soldier’s big hard cock, the regimental bottom, sand and sky and assholes. He swallowed. Suppose he were the officer and Greg had been sent to him for discipline. Disciplining Greg. With that, he came with several hard jolts into Greg’s mouth.

Greg stood up and got behind John. Mycroft could tell he was putting a finger in John’s hole. Then Greg snaked his hand around John’s body and began to jerk him off. The strokes were rough, hurried, the kind two men in a tent might use if they were under fire. John came with a resounding set of grunts and jerks.

Greg ungagged him.

John shook his head like a wet dog. “Christ, Gavin, Christ. I’ll have something to tell the lads back in Hell.”

Greg kissed the back of his neck. “You better not, or I’ll come after you.”

“You temptress.”

Mycroft smiled. Greg was a temptress.

“How much do we owe you, John?” he asked.

“I should pay you. Jesus, what an experience.”

“My Gavin has that effect, doesn’t he?” Mycroft said.

 

Night seven.

 

When Greg came in, he was full of beans as usual. “Fun last night, wasn’t it? That chap was a good sport.”

“I must say, I am still somewhat reticent about a third party. Although I admire your freedom.”

“You love it,” Greg said as he sat down on the bed and took off his shoes, then his socks, his trousers, and his y-fronts, making it very difficult for Mycroft to speak. Then Greg pulled on the kilt and fastened it. Mycroft sat beside him and took his hand.

He could fee Greg becoming aroused under his hand.

“Mycroft, would you like to take the next step?” Greg asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, last night we had a fun time with that fat-arse John Watson. But there are other lookalikes I can round up. Maybe one that’s tall with dark curly hair, skin fresh as a baby’s.”

“Don’t be macabre, Greg. The very idea . . .”

“But wouldn’t you like to take the crop to that smart bastard? He doesn’t respect what either of us does. I say he needs a right straightening out. You could watch me take him down a notch. Then, after the crop, I could fuck him senseless.”

“Greg,” Mycroft said in his gentlest voice.

Greg’s sober sunflower face looked at him. “What?”

“Gregory,” Mycroft whispered, and suddenly he found great pleasure in saying that word. Greg was out in the world whipping nobodies and showing off his cock, but Gregory, his beautiful formal boy, was here looking at him with love. “Nothing is less arousing than that thought.”

“I just want to please you.”

“Everything about you pleases me. Actually, it pleases me beyond measure. I feel as if I’m in a dream.” And he moved his hand to Gregory’s face. Mycroft was one of the few allowed to touch the face of Nefertiti. Now he ran his fingers over Gregory’s skin using the same soft touch he had used at the New Museum in Berlin. Oh, that smooth skin, that universal perfection, beauty so beautiful it was unconscious of its beauty.

“Have you ever heard of fisting, Mycroft?” Gregory whispered.

Mycroft opened his mouth to speak, then silently closed it again.

“Mycroft?”

“I’ve, I’ve seen some files. Mostly minor German civil servants. A certain Bruno the Beast of Berlin is the exception. I don’t mean to tell tales out of school, but Bruno the Beast is the economic keystone of central Europe, and he’s quite keen on ‘fisting’ as you say.”

“What did you think about it?”

“I, well, I didn’t click on the images.”

Gregory reached for Mycroft’s hand. “Look at that narrow hand and those long fingers, but that’s not what matters – it’s how you make your fist into the size of a big cock.”

Mycroft looked at his own hand as if it were strange to him. He had never thought about such a thing, and somewhere inside him his own Beast stirred.

“It would be nothing new for me,” Gregory said and smiled his boy’s smile.

Something was awakening deep inside Mycroft. He had pushed Gregory around on occasion, Gregory and many others. And he knew why he pushed others around. He was feeding his Beast to keep it quiet. Everything he did and everything he had and everything he wore and ordered and read was to keep the Beast down, the terrible Beast he knew that, if unleashed, would take over him and make him as uncontrollable as a volcano. But now, through no fault of his own, Gregory was unleashing the Beast. Here before him, before his Bestial volcano, stood another mountain, a beautiful silver mountain, Gregory, Gregory, Gregory. He couldn’t let his Beast out – he might destroy that beauty, oh, the most beauty in the world.

He grimaced as he gripped Gregory. “I could even fuck that dimple. I love you I love you I love you.”

“You can get near enough,” Gregory whispered and made a circle with his mouth.

“No, Gregory, I want more. I want all the way in.” He pushed Gregory to the floor; then the Beast started speaking. “Now get on your hands and knees. You said I could stick my fist in you, so that’s what I want. I want to grip that big jewel of a heart you have in there.”

“Take me, Mycroft, all the way, I can take it all,” Gregory moaned. “I’ve got latex gloves in the duffel.”

“Get me them. And crawl so I can see your ass bobbing up and down.”

Gregory returned with the glove and handed it to Mycroft, lowering his sweet eyes as if to show Mycroft how much he wanted to obey.

The Beast took the glove and pulled it on. “Now what?” he snarled.

“Make a swan shape with your hand, pointed at the end. Now that’s where you’ll start stretching my asshole. Be sure to use plenty of lube.”

“Excellent,” the Beast said. “And I’d like to fist you with you on your back. I want to see some fucking pain on your goddam face. Lie down.”

Gregory lay down on his back, still smiling at Mycroft; obviously he wasn’t aware that the Beast was fully awakened.

“Put a pillow under you so I can reach your hole better.” Then the Beast began to pour lube on his hand and on Gregory’s asshole as Gregory moved himself to a more convenient angle.

It was a process stretching the little black star of Gregory’s asshole, but worth it. Mycroft had never felt raw nerves, flailing meat, the thousand creaks and tweaks of the inside of a body, but now he was feeling it and he loved it.

Then his whole fist was inside Gregory, everything but the last knuckle of the Beast’s index finger. He jabbed at Gregory’s body. “Open it. Open your fucking hole.”

“You do it, Mycroft, you do it.”

The Beast poured more lube.

And he was in. He paused. It wasn’t arousal, exactly. It was redemption, fraternity, completion. His hand was as near to Gregory’s heart as it could be, where it wanted to be. He made little swerving motions against Gregory’s prostate. The screams were like music. “I have you now, Gregory, and what if I don’t let go?” He pressed his fist in harder and harder.

At that, Gregory came, frantically grabbing the empty air and then putting his hands over his face.

Mycroft carefully removed his hand and then the glove. He felt electric. Nothing could stop the Beast now. So after Gregory had calmed down a little, lying there with his arms at his side, Mycroft began to hit him, his face, his whole body with hard slaps, slaps that left bright red marks. Gregory only moaned louder.

Then he began to hit Gregory with his fist. He wanted to see more, redder places; if he had a whip, well, he wished he did. “Did you bring the crop, Gregory, did you bring the crop?”

Gregory was sobbing; he pointed to his bag.

Mycroft went across the room and rummaged around in it. There it was: a beautiful leather crop, all shiny with polish, ready.

“On your stomach now,” the Beast growled at Gregory. Then he began to lash at Gregory’s back, at his buttocks, at his upper thighs. The marks were precise, not like his weak palm slaps or fist taps. He went on; Gregory’s cries became as rhythmic as his blows, hypnotic, almost soothing in its relentless pattern.

Finally, the Beast sat back to assess his damage.

Gregory lifted his head. “Can I sit up now?”

And the Beast was looking Gregory in the face.

They stared at each other.

Then Mycroft began to weep.

“I am horrible, I am so horrible. This is who I really am, Gregory. I’m awful. I’m a torturer. I’ve been so since I was eight years old. I started with Sherlock. I taught him only weaklings care. I told him that Mummy preferred me. I cheated on all our games. I laughed at every little sentiment he had. When he was five years old, I tore up his Christmas stocking. Once I told him a huge hound had gotten in the house. And was still in the house. Sherlock screamed for hours.”

Mycroft collapsed to the carpet, beating it, clawing it until his hands were scraped and bloody.

“I’m ugly,” he cried. “I know. I see it every day. I look like a man whose skin has been turned inside to show all his sins.”

Gregory eased down beside him and kissed his bloody hands. “No, stop, Mycroft! I deserve this! I know I did wrong last night. I deserve to be punished. Even bringing Sherlock and John into this; they ought to be off-limits. Here, take these damn things.” He went to his duffel and threw out handcuffs, blindfolds, gags, a cat o’ nine tails. “Do what you have to do.”

“Gregory, all I want is a drink. Then another one. After that I might have the courage to sin again.”

 

Night eight

 

The next morning, Mycroft awoke in shock. The sheets were streaked with blood.

And, when he examined Gregory’s battered body, there were bruises and red streaks everywhere. “We must get you to a doctor.”

“Mycroft, I know one who makes house calls in cases just like this.” Gregory’s voice was husky. “Let me call him.”

 

There was a knock at the door and a voice. “It’s me, the doctor. Doctor Bradley.” And the doctor entered.

Mycroft’s heart nearly stopped. Dr. Bradley was the John Watson-lookalike from the night before last.

“Oh, hello, Gav, Mike. Now what have you two chaps been up to?

He pulled the sheet away from Gregory’s body. “Hmm. Gavin, did you two used all the safety protocols? Let me take your temperature.” Disturbingly, Bradley wouldn’t meet Mycroft’s eyes. He took the thermometer out. “You're running a fever. I prescribe paracetamol and bed rest. Take Epsom salt baths twice a day. Call me tomorrow if the fever isn’t gone.”

And finally he looked at Mycroft.

“Mike, I’ve some pamphlets here that might help you understand body trauma, its pleasures and its dangers. You’ll need to learn some restraint, I think.” He handed Mycroft a handful of papers and smiled. “See, the bloody British government is good for something, eh?”

“You lead a double life,” Mycroft managed to stammer.

“Who doesn’t?” Bradley lifted his eyebrows.

“More than one kind of queen,” Gregory joked from the bed. He sounded so weak.

 

After Bradley left, Mycroft took Gregory’s hand. “Gregory, I want to kiss you all over, I want to kiss your bruises. I feel so ashamed. I wasn’t myself. You know that’s not me.”

“I know. We love each other.”

“What can I do for you, Gregory? I will do anything. You know I have . . . more power than . . . anything. Anything.”

Gregory showed his dimple. “Lie here beside me.”

Mycroft did, pulling the comforter over both of them and cradling Gregory’s head in his arm.

He read more Catullus as Gregory dreamed. Then the waiter buzzed, and Mycroft rose to get the supper cart. It was all invalid food, soft eggs, toast, honey and oatmeal, but neither of them were very hungry.

“What can I do, please, Gregory?”

Gregory looked down. “Let me try to fuck you. It will be sort of like coming full circle.”

 

Mycroft used his mouth to stimulate Gregory who kept saying, “Yes, that’s the way, that’s the way.” Then, when he was fully aroused, he told Mycroft to undress and get on his hands and knees. “But, first fetch the lube. It’s right here beside the bed.”

Mycroft felt as if he were praying. He felt Gregory touching him, and then putting a finger and then another inside him. It was the only right thing; Mycroft wanted his body to be Gregory’s, to belong to Gregory as if he, Mycroft, existed only for Gregory.

Gregory spoke. “Now, I’m putting myself in. I’m going to take it slow and easy. I don’t want to hurt or alarm you.”

Mycroft felt Gregory’s wonderful cock sliding in. And then Gregory said, “I’m fully in. You are mine, as I am yours.”

Mycroft gasped. It was as if there was pressure rising all through his body. He could feel it even in the back of his eyes. “Oh, please, I wish this could be forever. You inside me. For the first time in my life I feel satisfied.” Mycroft paused. “I am satisfied.”

Gregory kept moving smoothly in and out; Mycroft’s ears were buzzing. Then suddenly Gregory stopped and pulled out. Lying his head on Mycroft’s back, he said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t go on, Mycroft. I’m exhausted. Tomorrow night we’ll try again.”

Mycroft looked at Gregory’s soft eyes. He should help Gregory. “Let’s get you that salt bath, and then just rest. We can whisper secrets and gossip until we fall asleep together.”

Gregory took his bath while Mycroft used a flannel to make sure each wound was cleaned. Afterwards, he dried Gregory off and led him to the bed.

“Have a brandy and milk, and just relax for me,” he told Gregory.

“Where are you going, Mycroft?”

“Nowhere. I’m just going to play with my laptop while you rest up.”

 

Night nine.

 

The next day Mycroft was glad to see Gregory awake and alert; only the shadows under his star-like eyes showed that he had ever been ill.

“Would you believe me, dearest, if I pledged my eternal love to you? Because, Gregory, you are mine. You must be mine. You’ll teach me to dance, and I’ll read to you from strange languages. Our hours together will be stolen hours, but we will become master thieves of time. Gregory, you enhance my dreams as you do my reality.” He had lain awake all night perfecting the phrasing of this speech.

“And the love making?”

“Well, now, I would never do this, but it’s pleasurable thinking about it. I ought to chain your left leg to the bed and then rent you out. Wouldn’t they be lining up at the door? We’d make a bloody fortune.”

Gregory dimpled. “We could do it on one of those gay cruises,” he said. “You my virgin, my great wicked virgin.”

“You,” said Mycroft. “My lover, my blossom-like demon lover.”

Gregory ducked his head and gave his sunflower smile. ‘Mycroft, listen, if the cruise turned out the way I suspect it would, we could retire! We could buy our own island in the Orkneys!”

“Yes,” said Mycroft, “where we’ll wear big rough sweaters and corduroy trousers.”

“I’d like an Irish setter!”

“I’d like a heated swimming pool in back of our stone cottage.”

“One constant fuck,” said Gregory.

“Delightful. Let me just hold your dearest cock and let’s talk more. I have to go back tomorrow, but, as the British government, I shall mandate appointments for you.”

“And the future?” asked Gregory. “The whole future. After all, you are the bleeding British government.”

Mycroft knew they would kill him before they let him retire. All he could do was clutch this sunflower to him as he went forward to his fate.

“I must think. I must do this,” and he put his head down into Gregory’s untidy crown of silver hair and breathed in as if it were the only oxygen he needed. “We will do this.”