The Thought of You is Consuming Me….
It was easier for him to come to my estate. I stayed there alone during the off season save for a few servants who looked after me. My family, consisting of my mother and brother, preferred to stay in London full-time, only coming to the country estate rarely.
I knew that for my mother it held too many memories of the husband she had lost far too young, and for my brother, he wanted not only to look after her, but he liked to be closer to the action of London, even in times when the social set were absent.
I preferred the comfort and solitude the country afforded me, now more than ever, when I could have visits with Chris.
The middle of autumn was among my favorite times at my estate. The weather was crisp, clean and pure. Far away from the soot and smoke and dastardly fog of London. The leaves turned. The truly cold air made your lungs feel like you were indeed alive. And the nights by the fire, sipping port with my lover. Yes, I loved this time.
Chris would come and see me a few days at a time, and whatever he told his family, he never elaborated. It was our time together and we allowed no one else to intrude.
Chris was always provided a room of his own, though he never stayed in it. He always slept with me, even on the rare nights it didn’t become physical between us. I kept very loyal, well compensated servants at the estate who knew not to gossip or question our arrangements.
After my cook prepared our least meal for the day and the staff cleaned up, assuring themselves I needed no further care, they went off for the evening, to their homes in the village or on the estate itself, and left Chris and me to ourselves. They never returned before late morning, knowing neither of us were particularly early risers.
I suspected they were as loyal and efficient as they were because as serving positions went, my requirements were really quite low and easy, allowing them a lot of free time. When I was not there, they had even less to do, though I continued to pay them to care for my family’s home and lands.
One late November night, after they had departed, Chris and I lounged together on a sofa in the library, sipping port. He had positioned himself so that he was between my legs, his back against my chest, as he read some heavy tome he had chosen from said library. I pretended to read the London newspaper, but I was more interested in the port and watching him.
I loved the way his tongue poked out as he read a particular passage in the book. He was adorable. The whole thing struck me as rather domesticated, though I knew we could never truly be a couple accepted by our peers.
One day, perhaps not soon, we would not be allowed this amount of freedom. Yes, we would still meet. Still steal as much intimacy as we could. For the rest of our lives, as we had vowed. But these were times to be treasured. Before such demands of society changed this.
“Mmm?” Chris leaned back further to glance up at me, his head lying upon my chest as those blue eyes searched mine.
“You’re thinking quite loudly tonight, Zachary. What’s on your mind?”
“You,” I admitted. “Us.”
Chris smirked. “Do you wish for me to put the book away so we can retire to bed then?”
“No,” I murmured. “I have been enjoying this.”
He patted my hand that I had resting on his thigh. “Me too.” He took a sip of his port. “But let me know when you’re ready. You know how engrossed I can be.”
I did know and it was one of the many, many reasons I loved him.
I brushed my fingertips over his hair and then went back to my London news and that wonderful feeling of domesticity.
And that is a wrap for November….on to my Spirk Hallmark Christmas Story.