You're back for more???? Wow!!!! Thank you for the vote of confidence.
Please let me know if I'm succeeding in entertaining you at vichowel (that's one 'L') at aol.com.
Like chapter 10, this chapter plays exclusively in London. The lovers, however, have each come to terms with their love for each other and have accepted the commitment that love places on them. Now, we're ready for another fly in the soup...
Lord Molloy's testosterone level has gone up since he met with Petersholme and all those lovely sexual memories from uni returned. He hadn't even convinced his old chum to shag him. In addition to the testosterone coursing through him, he's bought completely into Churchill's vision of war. Petersholme is on the continent, however; and his American strumpet is all alone in London. And there aren't any Stukas bombing London yet ... Please remember how absolutely stupid one or the other lover (or the antagonist) in a romance novel behaves to show that s/he is in fact in love even as s/he does her best to show that s/he isn't (Makes a world of sense, doesn't it? Yet, romance is the genre that has the loyalty of 65% of all fiction readers). I do hope you'll find my depiction of fomulaic romance a bit humorous.
The story is being told in rotation from London to Germany and back. The atmosphere of the story will be considerably darker in those parts of the story that has his Lordship in Germany.
The copyright to Flight belongs to me. It cannot be reprinted in any medium without my express permission. If you're under 16-18 yos, you shouldn't be reading stories from the Nifty archives – however, this story will not lead you into orgasmic prurience (mum and dad can read it over your shoulder, in other words). If you enjoy reading stories stored at Nifty and are delirious that they are free, donate a couple of bucks to Nifty so that those stories will continue being free to you.
The foliage of Hyde Park was a riot of autumn colour Sunday afternoon as Maximillian Molloy entered the park and began to stroll along the paved path that united the two sections of Mayfair. It was the middle of September, but a warm front had covered London through the latter part of the week and continued to linger. Blue skies and a warm sun made the day perfect for a walk, and his son's tantrum at table made it almost imperative that he extricate himself from the house and the boy's ill-temper.
Cecil had been spoilt rotten by his grandfather during the summer, of course. The Earl of Easthampton-Mares was quite good at that sort of thing – with his grandson. Max would have faced the lash across his bared, nearly four-year-old bottom if he had ever dared to throw the tantrum his son had.
Of course, the good Earl was sixty-five years old. It could be said that he had a right to spoil his grandson now that he was in his later years. The only thing wrong with that was that Max and his wife had to put up with the spoilage and try to put things back aright in the boy's life. It was a bloody shame both he and Sarah were so soft-hearted where their son was concerned. Really, they were nearly as bad about spoiling the lad as his grandfather was.
His thoughts turned briefly to Robert Petersholme as he entered the park. The man had certainly matured well. They hadn't seen each other the past four years – almost five. Not since his marriage, Max reminded himself ruefully. Just a fortnight after graduation, when he should have been enjoying himself to the fullest extent of his freedom. The Earl hadn't even allowed him to ask Robert to be his best man. His chums from Oxford had been under that black a cloud at Easthampton-Mares.
Allowing the stable boy to mount him had not been his best idea – especially upon reflection. The boy had been as well-equipped as Petersholme but was nowhere as practised. Or as quiet. It hadn't taken the Earl long to find them – just long enough for Max to be on his hands and knees with his trousers down to his ankles and the lad fully embedded in him, doing the deed.
The boy was fired on the spot, of course. But, while he sniffled and dressed, the Earl had used his riding crop against Max's backside. God, had that hurt! Twenty-one and soundly beaten by his father. And in front of a servant at that. Even now, he wasn't sure which had hurt more – the pain or the humiliation. But that had only been the beginning.
He was still having to stand to take his meals when the Earl informed him that his wedding was only a fortnight away. To the daughter of a life peer at that, some Colonel who had survived the siege of Gallipoli. He didn't even meet Sarah until the night before he was to be married to her. Dutifully, he gave his mother the names of his friends at University and the invitations had gone out. He wasn't allowed off the estate. The Earl himself had became his best man.
A two-week honeymoon in Scotland – with his younger brother watching him closely – and he had been hustled off to the Foreign Office to learn first hand how to accept the responsibility of his station.
He had done it. His father had tied him to the Churchill faction in the Conservative party, but Max had stayed there on his own, working to bring the Honourable Member's ideas to the Foreign Office – even with only six divisions in the Local Defence Force to back them up. He had seen the war clouds that now closed over the Rhine. And he had an unpleasant idea of what was coming. It wouldn't be a simple squall, either; what Hitler was forcing on Europe was going to be more like one of those American hurricanes. England could be blown away far too easily if things didn't change – and quickly.
He was sweating and loosened his collar. "I need an exercise regimen!" he growled to himself, "I've damned well gone to seed these past few years."
He wasn't that bad – yet. But there was a girth around his middle that hadn't been there in his student days. Max smiled as he imagined Petersholme sitting in his study in the middle of the week and being manipulated into agreeing to go to Germany. The man had appeared to be rock-hard muscular. Almost like a particularly handsome stableboy Max still remembered.
He felt himself becoming aroused as he walked and blushed. He glanced around quickly to see if any of the couples sitting on the grass had noticed. "Damn!" he groaned to himself. Petersholme could always do that to him. He pulled off his jacket and, holding it folded over his arm, made his way to a shaded spot that was vacant. Spreading the jacket on the ground, he sat down, spreading his legs better to hide his tumescence and gazed along the path that led to Petersholme's side of the park.
The situation with Hitler was getting to him. Even the Earl had suggested a holiday. No! It wasn't Hitler, damn it! It was Chamberlain and Baldwin before him – and that Bolshie MacDonald before them both. England should have been controlling Hitler from when he came to power in `33. It could even now – if someone at Number 10 Downing would grow bollocks! Or if the Tories would install Churchill as Premier.
He still couldn't believe that he'd invited Petersholme to his bedroom. That he'd practically begged the man to bugger him.
The trappings of nearly five years of marriage and the sense of normality it had given him were shattered beyond repair. During those years, he had been able to convince himself that the sex he and Petersholme had shared at Rugby and Oxford was but part of a phase he had been going through. That his marriage and the birth of his son had been the death knell of that adolescent experimentation. But the lie had been put to it the moment he saw his old friend sitting in his office waiting for him.
He had been uncomfortably erect from the moment he walked in on dear old Petersholme sitting in his office.
He understood immediately that he began to think about it that he was a sodomite. That he would need sex with other men in the future to be able to go on. That realisation did not come as a surprise to him now, not after his body had reasserted itself. It had been there since that first night of their holidays from Rugby when he had told the young Petersholme to put it in him the first time.
These past years of marriage and his work for the Foreign Office, he had attempted to ignore it. He had succeeded too – until he saw Petersholme again and was confronted once again with his reality.
He would keep Sarah, of course. And Cecil. They were his insurance that he succeeded his father and became the thirteenth Earl Molloy of Easthampton-Mares. But he knew now that he would have his men as well. He certainly wasn't going to bury his libido and do without again. Not bloody likely!
Not as hard as he had been working. Not as bad as things were going to become on the continent. He'd bloody well go insane if he attempted to hold himself in, now that he knew what he was.
Maximillian Molloy smiled as he remembered the tension that had been a part of him since his marriage. The tension that had grown within himself as if it were the consumption.
Pushing himself back onto his feet, he started down the path. He reached the street on the other side of the park from his own house and stopped, gazing across at Petersholme's town home. His smile widened and he chuckled to himself at what his subconscious had done for him.
"Petersholme's young American strumpet," he muttered to himself. Yes. Definitely. The lad was probably a sex maniac anyway. The Baron had been gone now for two days and the boy was probably frothing at the bit to get into the dirty. He quite probably already had found himself a mate he was seeing now that Petersholme wasn't around to satisfy him. Common as sin, but a better sort than a King's Cross boy.
He continued to stand there in the sun's warmth, looking across at the house and thinking this thing through. Petersholme was damned fond of the American, that much had been obvious on Wednesday. The lad, though, was a commoner – a servant boy – and they all knew the score. They were all willing to hike their bum up for the taking as long as it was a gentleman behind them. They were even happier if they were feeding their manhoods to such a gentleman.
Of course, Petersholme would be most irritated were he to learn that Molloy had been playing with his American toy. Robert had never held a grudge for long, however; and this boy of his would most likely keep silent even as he secretly compared the two of them.
Molloy laughed as another thought struck him. The lad could well enjoy being Petersholme's female and, then, turn around and bugger Molloy. It would give the boy a completeness he'd never have with just Robert alone.
Maximillian Molloy started across the carriageway, satisfied he would have what he needed from Petersholme's American boy and convinced he would leave Petersholme's household arrangements much as he had left them. His old friend would almost assuredly never know what went on under his roof whilst he was away.
In a way, it was Petersholme's duty to England to share his American. If the lad was any good, he could keep Molloy satisfied so that he could concentrate on Hitler and the appeasers in London and Paris. It could actually save Petersholme's backside – and everybody else's – if things were going to get as bad as it looked that they would.
* * *
Barry sat in the study of the Petersholme town house, attempting to comprehend Lord Keynes' revolutionary concepts of economics. Classes wouldn't begin for another month, but the university administration felt he needed to catch up to English standards if he was going to succeed at the School of Economics. And he was set to take all economics classes first term.
Keynes's ideas had already been bought – hook, line, and sinker – by the Americans and were being put into place by Roosevelt's government. Barry Alexander had better understand the damned theories or he was going to be left out in the cold as the new America grew out of the ashes of the economic collapse that had already lasted nine years, half his life.
He looked up and found Roger standing just inside the door. "Hi, Gramps." He smiled at the older man. "You're calling me Master Barry again. Something wrong?"
Roger's face remained expressionless. "You are his Lordship's favoured guest."
"I'm his lover, Gramps – and you're my grandfather." Barry shrugged. "I have to accept all the pomp and circumstance if there are other people in the house but, right now, there's only Grans, you, Elizabeth, and me."
"There is a Lord Molloy of the Foreign Office to see you, Barry."
"Lord Molloy?" Barry was momentarily puzzled. "The Foreign Office," he mused as he quickly placed the name with the position and came up with Petersholme's long-time friend. "Why does he want to see me?"
"I'm sure I don't know."
"Shit! Okay, I guess we can meet in here." He put his book away as Roger disappeared from the doorway.
Moments later, Roger had escorted Maximillian Molloy to the study and stepped back.
"That will be all, Roger," Molloy dismissed the servant as he moved into the room. "So, you're the American boy that Petersholme has befriended," he said to Barry, appraising him quite obviously.
Barry instantly didn't like his lover's friend. This Lord Molloy was as presumptuous as Barry's own father had ever been. More so, he dared to walk into another man's house and assume control. He knew damned well the man would never do so if his Lordship were home and that meant this Maximillian Molloy was showing his ass because he was just Barry Alexander from Rye, New York.
"Roger, I'd like tea," he said to his grandfather before the older man could pull the door closed on the two men. "Perhaps this gentleman would like some too?" He glanced to Molloy and smiled. Molloy shrugged and Roger left them.
"I had already dismissed him," he said as he sat on the chair beside the young American.
"I hadn't." Barry studied the heavy-set but boyish looking man beside him for a moment. Molloy was the perfect example of the country club set that he had too often gone for before he met Lord Petersholme. The too proud, snotty assholes who were always available to party with a boy as long as it didn't get around in their set. He realised in that instance just how much he had matured in the past five months.
"What may I do for you?" he asked, consciously refusing to use the man's title. He knew Molloy's sort and was now unwilling to give one of them any leeway. He smiled as he noticed that the man seemed caught off-guard and struggled to regain his composure.
"I came over to – ah – introduce myself," Molloy offered tentatively. "To offer my services were you to need them – when Petersholme isn't here, of course."
"Your services?" Barry smiled. Yes, he knew this man's sort. This Lord from the Foreign Office knew he and Petersholme were lovers and, now that Petersholme was out of the picture for a week or so, he was over sniffing around like a hound on the scent. He was going to be disappointed, though; Barry Alexander wasn't some bitch in heat. He had Petersholme and the man loved him, he'd proved that Thursday night before he left for the continent.
Molloy's face flamed and he reached up to open his collar wider. "Well, I assumed from what Petersholme suggested that you..."
"And what did he suggest?"
Max Molloy stared at the American, and Barry was sure the man was wishing he had never had a libido. "There was the implication that you were sharing his bed with him, boy."
Barry smiled slowly at the man across from him. He decided he was going to enjoy playing with the pompous asshole. "Was that before or after you started pleading with him to fuck you?"
Molloy went white. "I say!" he protested weakly.
"You say what? That I have no feelings at all? That I don't care where my dick goes – or who I let into my butt?" He saw that each question hit the man like a fist to his gut. "That you don't respect your friend enough to leave his lover alone?"
Molloy pushed himself out of his chair. Barry could read his thoughts in his face: he'd had enough of this creature's impertinence; there was only so much insult a gentleman should have to endure. He smiled as Molloy pivoted towards the door.
"Sit your fucking ass down!" Barry growled at him.
Surprised, his Lordship looked back at the American over his shoulder.
"You deserve to hear everything I have to say to you. You come into Lord Petersholme's house fully expecting to get into sex with me. Behind his back and under my grandparents' noses."
Molloy's eyes widened. "Your grandparents?" he mumbled.
Barry grinned. "Yeah. My grandparents are his Lordship's servants in this house. And you came over to do the nasty with your best friend's servant boy – aren't you proud of yourself?" His grin vanished. "Now, sit down."
Molloy sat down and the American easily guessed that he was fearful of what would come next.
"I'm a monogamous little shit, Max," Barry told him, consciously using the man's nickname. I only have sex when I'm making love – and I only make love with the man I love. I especially don't like guys who think they've got a right to get into my pants just because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths."
"I should go," Molloy managed to say.
"Not until I'm finished with you, damn it!"
A discreet knock on the door forced both men's attention away from their confrontation. "Enter!" Barry called to the closed door.
Roger entered the study carrying the tea service. Barry watched Molloy as the servant set the service on the lamp table between them. He could see Petersholme's oldest friend was clearly rattled.
The prig should be rattled. Coming on to his friend's lover like he had been doing. Barry couldn't believe anybody could be as crass as that. He needed to slink away like the worm he was and never come back. It'd serve this piece of shit right to have Petersholme know what he'd done.
Barry knew he had to be careful too. No matter how big an asshole this man was, he was still Petersholme's oldest friend. Molloy still had enough power over Robert to get him to fuck him, even though Barry was fairly comfortable that Petersholme wouldn't play around on him under normal circumstances.
The best he could really hope for was to put this Lord Molloy in his place. To establish that there were certain things even a King couldn't expect to get. And to keep this asshole away from his Robbie in the future. Definitely that. But how?
"Will there be anything, sir?" Roger asked.
Barry shook his head. "No. I think this will do. Lord Molloy and I are having a private and very friendly little discussion and shouldn't be disturbed."
"Very well, sir." Roger stepped to the door and closed it behind him.
"Tea, Max?" Barry smiled as the outline of a plan began to form in his mind.
"You should use my title," Molloy grumbled.
"I only use titles with people I can respect. You haven't shown me anything to respect yet." He watched as the other man swallowed hard.
"I think you're a man with a dick that's trying to control him."
Molloy fell back against his chair in defeat.
"You came over here to a get a piece of me. But you're married and supposedly quite settled. You had his Lordship up close a couple of days ago, however; and that re-awakened something in you. You figured that, with the cat away, this one particular mouse would play. Only, you should know Petersholme better than that – he'd get you good for playing in his henhouse behind his back."
"Okay. You're one of us."
"One of you?"
"You like your sex with men, don't you? You kept begging until Petersholme gave it to you. You came over here today thinking you could get some of me. In my book, that makes you pretty much like me – only, I don't beg and I don't fuck around with my friends' lovers. But I guess that's just a matter of having some class," Barry said quickly, hammering the man in the chair beside him with each new blow.
Molloy looked down at his hands in his lap, his face crimson from his shame.
"You wouldn't want your wife knowing about this?"
"God, no!" Molloy looked at him beseechingly.
"So, why don't you find someone with a big one, someone you can have a quiet little affair with? Someone who is unattached?"
"Who?" Molloy croaked.
Barry sat back in his chair, making himself comfortable, and picked up his cup. He sipped at his tea as he thought. "If it were me and I was on the prowl, I'd be looking around the university for a guy I could get it on with. What's wrong with finding a man at work?"
"At the Foreign Office?" Malloy shuddered. "I couldn't..."
"Why not? You're a handsome devil. That should get any guy who's interested into bed with you..." He paused, a tight smile playing across his lips as he brought the tea cup up to sip at it. "You'd have to work on your attitude to keep him, though. You seem to think everybody should lie down and spread his legs just because you're a nobleman. That kind of shit doesn't work in the bedroom, Max – not if you want a long term relationship with the other guy."
"I couldn't," Molloy mumbled. "If something like that were to get out – it'd be my position at the Foreign Office. I'd be forced to resign immediately. It'd get back to father, my wife – I'd be ruined."
"You would need to be careful – but, okay. You don't play where you work. How about men you meet away from work? Men you knew at Oxford who are now in London? There are a lot of unattached young men anywhere you look on the streets."
"Oh, Gods! You're talking about commoners. Tramps even."
Barry frowned. "The last time I looked, there was no way to tell the class of a dick, Max. They may come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all do the job. They don't even think while they're doing it. The same's true with buttholes – those nerve endings start sending the best sensations in the world through the whole body. And they don't care about class and position and all that stuff."
Malloy gazed at the American for long moments. "Why are you doing this?"
"You were more than a bit miffed at me when I first arrived and you deduced my purpose. You have me by the bollocks. You even think we – Petersholme and I – did something when we met on Wednesday."
"You didn't?" Barry asked in surprise.
His companion was too defeated to be aware of it, however. "Of course not. He said he was committed – to you. Why are you attempting to arrange something for me now?"
Barry lifted his cup to his lips and drank the tea still in it as he worked through an intelligent answer to this man. He sighed and set the cup back on its saucer. "You're Peterholme's oldest friend," he said, opting for the truth. "It's obvious he has long-established feelings for you – a really deep friendship. Regardless of how arrogant you were earlier, I have to remember that. He's far more likely to forgive what you did than I would be. And he's likely to come to you if I ever muck up."
He took a deep breath and went on: "I love the man. I'm pretty sure he loves me too. I don't want anything to come between us. I'm going to work at making sure nothing or no-one does. I trust him to do the same."
"And how does that relate to me?"
"As I said, you're his best friend. I don't think it would be wise to put my relationship with him into a conflict with the friendship the two of you have."
"Are you saying that you won't tell him I made a sexual advance?"
"I'm saying that I've been as insulting to you as you were to me – maybe more so. I'm saying that I think it's a good idea for you to have enough sex to satisfy your needs. That way, you won't be coming on to Petersholme when I least expect it."
Barry smiled as he remembered Robert's other meeting before he left for Germany then. Alan Dudding may or may not have had sex with his Lordship three days ago, but he was probably as dangerous to Barry's relationship with Robert as this man before him was. "I'm going to see if I can't make that happen."
"Why in the world?"
Barry chuckled and relaxed. He had this man under his thumb now. "So that I don't have to wonder what Robbie's doing when he's alone with you." He stood up and walked to the desk. "What's the telephone number of this Alan Dudding guy?"
Molloy stared at him blankly. "Who?"
"Alan Dudding, the guy you made an appointment for Robert to see this past Thursday. An old classmate of yours."
"He's a bloody commoner!" Molloy growled and sat up in his chair.
"Like me then. And we both know what you wanted to do with me."
"I..." He stared up at the American and fell back in his chair.
Barry looked directly at the other man and shook his head slowly. "We've already gone through this, Max. Sexual organs have no sense of social position – none at all. Besides, this guy is educated enough that the two of you can carry on a conversation before and after you've done the deed. Best of all, he's like you – he likes his sex with men and he holds a government job. He's not going to run around telling people what you do in bed."
"I couldn't possibly..."
"Would you like me to tell Petersholme what happened today?"
Barry smiled slowly. "I wonder if I shouldn't just find a constable and tell him you propositioned me. Or, maybe, if I should go down to the Foreign Office and speak to someone in administration..."
Molloy's eyes rounded in fear as he stared at the American. "You wouldn't. It'd expose Petersholme."
Barry laughed. "This house has more than one bedroom, Max Molloy. The servants both here and at Petersholme Hall would never put their Lord in danger. They like him far too much to do that; he takes good care of them and they appreciate him for it. What's this Alan guy's telephone number?"
Molloy gave the American the telephone number to the Admiralty.
"I'll call him Monday and set up a date for you two for mid-week – say Wednesday evening?" He smiled gently at Lord Molloy. "We'll be having dinner – will you make yourself available?"
"I..." He looked around the room fearfully, like an animal caught in a trap. "What makes you think he would be interested?"
"As I said, you're a handsome man. A little thick in the middle but still handsome. I've not seen this guy, but I'll bet there's a physical attraction. What about you? How do you like his looks?"
"He's gingered-haired. Quite fair. Irish, you know – from Belfast."
"Don't even think about bringing up class distinctions again. They don't work in bed when the lights are out, do they? Remember, it was Lord Molloy who came over here looking to get into something with this servant boy."
"I suppose," Molloy groaned.
"One more thing. Leave the pompous asshole side of yourself on your side of Hyde Park when you come over Wednesday. You're looking to party with this guy, not to present him to the King of England as your boyfriend." He laughed. "And, if you're a good boy, Robbie won't hear a word about what happened – and the police won't either."
"What time?" Molloy asked softly, thoroughly defeated.
"I think six on Wednesday would be good."
"I cannot invite Mr. Dudding to my club." He shuddered at the thought. "Tell Petersholme if you must, but I will not lower myself to that level in public."
"I'll find you two something to do with yourselves," Barry said grinning.
Molloy sighed. "Are you quite through with me?" Barry nodded. "May I go then?"
"You'll be here Wednesday evening?"
His Lordship pushed himself from his chair. "I don't have much of a choice in the matter, do I?"
Max Molloy sighed and opened his coat. "I'll be here then," he mumbled as he put it on.