Rating R (smut)
Word Count 1975
He had intended to lie. It was a smaller sin, certainly, beside the looming Levitican one. But Thomas had asked so soft, and his breath had been sweet against Kit's skin, and his eyes had been dark with his own want. Kit had answered true. “No, I never--”
Never anything. Never the merest kiss. Not until today. Today in the green rain light of the library, kissing and more, pressed together on the carpeted floor, Kit gasping, as Thomas caressed his naked skin. It was hours ago now, and Kit's everyday body had become an unknown land, and Kit's fingers came up to his own mouth to touch the strangeness.
They had not had the whole day. Thomas had left again, before the rain even stopped, left on some task, deeper in the house. This house wasbigger than any Kit had ever seen. It held held secret places where Francis Walsingham did his intelligence work. Kit was left in the library, until the rain stopped and the shadows grew long.
Kit saw Thomas at dinner of course-- and he met the man Poley who had clattered into the courtyard an hour before. 'One of our best' Thomas had said. But it was hard to believe. Poley was round faced and forgettable, he had thinning hair and small plump chin. He looked as if he ought to be selling bacon behind a counter somewhere. He did not look like a spy. He told a long story about a horse that he had bought that was afraid of water. Poley laughed at his own foolishness and it was easy to laugh along. The details meant little to Kit, who had never thought to own a horse himself.
But then Thomas took Kit's hand under the table, and he drew slow circles on the skin of Kit's palm. The touch traveled hot, and Kit lost the thread of Poley's stupid horse story, and heard only the roaring in his own ears. He shifted in his chair, afraid it would end, never wanting it to stop. At the same time he had to hope Thomas stopped before it was time to leave the table. There was no way he could get to his feet without shame,
In the end it was all right. A girl came in to take the plates. She had red cheeks and a blue skirt. Her cap was clean and white. She smiled at Kit and he felt himself smile back. Smaller bowls came with grapes to finish the meal, silver grape scissors, and soft white cheese, and fresh napkins and warm water for hand washing.
Francis Walsingham took a few grapes for himself, and pushed back from the table.
“No, no, don't get up.” he said. “You young men might as well stay here and eat--” he waved. “Aged Poley and I must to work,”
“Do they work all night then?” Kit asked. The question rose from some random place, he did not care much what the answer was. Thomas didn't answer, so maybe he didn't know either.
“I thought they would never leave,” Thomas said. His voice was low and ragged. His fingers left Kit's hand, found the knee, burrowed to find skin at the top of his stocking. Kit's breath stopped.
Then the door closed, and they were out of the chairs, quick as that, pressed close. Fingers in Kit's hair, another kiss to the curve of his ear, warm warm.
And Kit knew himself unlovely, with his blobby nose and round cheeks, his brown hair. But Thomas did not look as if he minded.
“I can feel your heart.” Kit said.
“I'm not surprised,”
Thomas chuckled anyway. And maybe it should not have been a surprise. The fine doublet lay beneath Kits cheek, silver thread on velvet, and the linen shirt beneath it was fine enough to see through, to feel through. Kit could hear the words through the shirt, and above his head a little in Thomas's lovely mouth.
“Will you come to my room, stay with me the night?”
“Oh. Oh, yes.”
“Haste you then, before he gives me more work to do.”
Hand in hand then, laughing soft, scampering like children up the dark stairs, with the night candle guttering in Thomas's free hand.
The door was oak and dark and grand. It opened without a sound. Kit had time for one gulp of a look at the dim bedroom then his eyes had to close. The soft mouth opened his own, and the hard thigh pressed into the aching. Thomas was soft to kiss, and Kit had never thought of that, never imagined it this way, with the sweet structure of another mouth against his own, and the taste of wine and smoke and raisins.
And Thomas reached down between them, there, oh there-- and he did something slow and perfect that made Kit gasp, and Kit's body rocked forward, but already the hand had moved on. It was higher now, pushing Kit back a little to lift his shirt.
Kit shivered, his skin stippling in the cool away from Thomas. His neck prickled, fear, cold, awe. His prick prickled too, actually. Horripilaton his mind supplied, in the voice that told him words. But Thomas drew him close again. Teeth at his jaw now, just there at the soft angle. All words gone, he knew he was gulping air, whining like a puppy. He wanted to caress Thomas too, had wanted that since this afternoon-- since forever. But for now he could only cling.
And the clever hands were untying, unfastening, unwrapping them both. Kit's hose sagged to the floor. Thomas leaned in for another slow kiss. He broke it after a moment though to step back a pace.
“A moment only--Before I forget--” Thomas said. and he reached to slide lock on the door. The metallic rasp of it rasped Kit somehow too, rasped along him where he has so exposed and trembling already. And he still had his shirt, though it concealed nothing. But Thomas was bare-- sliver in the moon-shadow of the window.
“The bed will be warmer,” his voice was soft and easy. “We can get in it if you like?”
It took 6 steps to reach the bed. It was that far.
This bed belonged to Thomas. He had slept here most of the days of his childhood. He had said so. He had rested here, looked at this ceiling, all those years when Kit rose early to tend the cobblers shop. Kit's bed at home was narrow, and the mattress sagged with use. His feet hung over the end too. He had one wool blanket, gray-brown, warm, sheepy, stringently abrasive. He had found, in those first days at Cambridge, that he missed it, missed the smell of his mother's soap, of home.
If that bed was the earth, this bed was a distant planet. Thomas gestured Kit to go first, take the warmer side by the wall. There was a footstool, to climb from. Kit needed it. He scrambled over vast heaps of goose-down, over velvet, over wool so fine it could pass through a ladies bracelet. Thomas declined the footstool, made a practiced leap, and landed beside him, laughing at the puff of feathers that rose between them.
Thomas reached out, blindly and took Kit's hand. He brought it to his mouth to kiss the palm, the wrist. Kit's heart swelled against the limit of his bones. Maybe he would be bad at this. Maybe he would be the worst ever in this bed. The worst of many, surely. The worst Thomas had ever had. Maybe--
“There now, hush you now. All will be well.”
Had he spoken? He could not be sure, but Thomas was wide eyed and solemn, and he had taken his hands away.
“Kit, dost thou want this-- want me?”
Thomas had struggled to a sitting position on the soft bedding, and he was not touching Kit anywhere at all now. It was all going wrong. And Kit wanted to say that he did not need to be comforted like a maiden. He had read Catullus as well as Ovid. He was 17, a man, not a child. But the words would not come out. And maybe Thomas would ask him to leave. And as he thought it he shriveled with fear.
Fear made him move finally. Mute, he launched himself at Thomas. The impact drove them both back against the headboard, Kit above, Thomas beneath, he wrenched the worlds loose.
“Please-- I want to stay. I want it all.”
And Thomas gave a huff of a laugh. And he drew Kit in, to the warmest place, to the embrace of his arms, to the stroke of his tongue against Kit's own.
“Then let me take thy shirt.” Kit struggled out of it, briefly trapped in his cuffs. Thomas put it over the side.
Earlier in the library it had felt like a kind of madness, rolling, gasping, each kiss fierce as a bite. This was different. This was slow, and even in the dark it was more naked. They were side by side, face to face, on this new planet, this ridiculous bed. And Kit felt there might somehow be new laws here, what was tossed away might return, what was dropped might not fall. The punitive eyes of God might see them kindly here. And if after all, he was mistaken, he would take his reckoning at the end of life, not tonight.
Thomas stroked the thin skin of his collarbone, places a soft kiss to the center there. It felt so good, Kit reached to do the the same, to see if it pleased Thomas as well. Thomas was wider than Kit, his bones full grown and thick with strength and use. He sighed under the caress. The skin was soft, in the hollow under Thomas's arm. It tasted different too, the texture fine as vellum. Thomas smelled of some complicated scent applied there, and of clean sweat overlaying it. Kit felt his airless laugh.
Kit drew back to see his smile, returned again to the arch of muscle and felt Thomas sigh again. The warm hand was against his neck now, under his hair, holding so gently, sitting so lightly. He could break away if he chose, but it was pulling him closer nonetheless. The other hand, slid down over the curve of Kit's backside, to trace the fold where his leg began. It made him ache, and his his hips rocked forward on their own almost, to quench the aching.
The hands shifted drew him firmly up and over, and he was above Thomas now, propelled into a kiss that flowered and flared red behind Kit's closed eyelids. The clenched ache grew and it tightened everything down between them, and Thomas shifted him, and Kit knew he was making those needy sounds again, his body arched, rubbing and pressing.
“That's it-- just, oh. Kit. Oh.”
Thomas gasped. His grip on Kit's arms was bruising tight. His head rolled on the pillow, and he gave one shuddering buck. and Kit was suddenly sliding in the slick bloom of heat.
And he was rushing forward and forward, cresting the rise himself, open mouthed and rigid.
Then it was over. His breath heaved. But Thomas drew him down to kiss again, and pressed him close and safe, and the delight shivered away into small ripples. And there was no reason for it at all, but it had been so fast, and over so soon, and Kit found himself blinking back the sting of tears.
And it seemed that Thomas understood. His hand stroked Kit's back, sure and careful.
“We have time,” Thomas said. “We have all night.”