"I'm in love, Jeeves," Mr Wooster declared one afternoon after he had returned from tea.
"Indeed, sir?" I said, taking his hat.
"Indeed." He proceeded to wax eloquent about 'Ginnie,' i.e. Lady Jane Tishbottom, whose acquaintance he had first made several months prior at Totleigh Towers and who had been present at tea. He informed me that she had numerous good qualities, to wit: a 'corking' profile, a quick laugh and smile, an interest in music and horse races instead of rabbits and stars, a guilelessness in lieu of a desire to trick the young master into engaging in all manner of mischief, and, most importantly, she had not once mentioned engagements.
"It makes a man feel dashed free to come to his own conclusions when a beazel doesn't bandy about such demands," he stated as he took a proferred brandy and soda from me.
"Indeed, sir," I said.
"I think I ought to reward her restraint with a proposal, what?"
"If you feel so inclined, sir," I said.
"Now, Jeeves, what could possibly be the cause of that rummy look? You disapprove of her, do you?"
"No, sir," I said. "What I have seen and heard of her does indeed comport with your assessment. I only hope this does not turn into another engagement I shall have to extricate you from."
"I think not, Jeeves. I think not! There's only..." He trailed off, his delighted expression turning rather gloomy.
"Well, you know, Jeeves, I'm not certain she thinks of me in that way at all. Our interactions have been rather palsy-walsy. I suppose this means she isn't fond at all of the young master."
"Not necessarily, sir. Perhaps it is simply time to attempt to advance the relationship and see how she responds."
"Ah, there's the rub. It's always been the filly who broaches the subj. of the tender pash. In this case, however, I'll be the one bringing it up, and I am certain my tongue will be tied beyond recognition."
"That is a very common fear among men in such situations, sir. But if Lady Jane returns your affections, she is certain to overlook any awkwardness in favour of the feelings behind it."
"I have to disagree with you there, Jeeves. I have spent hours laughing myself to tears while listening to Ginnie's scathing rebukes of the absurd things men have said while vying for her good favour. I am afraid my attempt to make love to her will only land me as a new act in her repertoire."
"I see, sir," I said with a slight tone of disapproval.
"Yes, Jeeves? What is the cause of this ominous tone?"
"Well, sir, perhaps it would be unwise to marry a woman who takes such pleasure in maligning the tender feelings of others."
"Oh, pish-posh," Mr Wooster scoffed. "I have oft derided la Bassett for the same thing. Am I to understand that this means you don't think I'm marriage material?"
"No, sir. It's a matter of degree. I don't recall your expounding upon Miss Bassett for hours with malicious glee."
"Well, it's not Ginnie's fault she's had even more ridiculous things said to her than I." He sighed. "I suppose I shall just have to drink up and let her have it, what? If it only results in my becoming a page in the annals of her amusement, so be it."
I let out the softest of coughs.
Mr Wooster bolted upright and gazed at me fervently.
"You've got an idea, Jeeves?"
"Perhaps, sir. If you were to practice expressing the words of love you wish to say, you might enhance not only the content of your pronouncements but your confidence as well."
Mr Wooster looked at me with eyes a-glow. "Why, Jeeves, that's perfect! But I can't bally well go about whispering words of endearment to every woman I see. I would find myself walking down the aisle with someone other than Ginnie in a snap."
"I wasn't suggesting that you say these things to sundry women, sir. I was thinking that I could serve as a stand-in for Lady Jane."
Mr Wooster gawped at me. I felt my cheeks heat slightly. Then he laughed. "Why, Jeeves, that's very kind of you to offer, but won't that make you feel dashed uncomfortable?"
"Perhaps at first, sir, but as I would be focused on aiding you in your choice of words and their expression, I believe I would soon be quite at ease."
"Jeeves, your devotion to me knows no bounds."
"Well. You had better pour us both a couple of stiff ones, what?"
Soon Mr Wooster and I were settled onto the chesterfield with fresh brandy and sodas. "Well, old thing," he said, "how shall we get started?"
"Perhaps it would be best if you first spoke to me as you usually do with Lady Jane, in order to habituate yourself to the pretense."
"Smashing, Jeeves. Smashing. Well, then, what-ho, Ginnie?" he said, and thereupon burst into giggles. "Terribly sorry, old thing," he said. "The thought of seeing Ginnie seated very Jeeves-like while clad in suit and tie quite tickled me."
"Sorry, sir. Would it aid the illusion if I wore a dress?"
"Ha! It might, Jeeves, but I wouldn't dare ask such a thing of you."
"I wouldn't mind terribly, sir," I said.
"Well, if the old imagination turns out to be uncooperative, I shall make the request."
"Very good, sir."
Mr Wooster cleared his throat and readjusted his seat on the sofa. "Well, then, Ginnie," he said, digging for something to say, "it was lovely seeing you at tea earlier today."
"You too, Bertie" I said, with a slightly higher pitch to my voice. I leaned my arm against the back of the sofa and crossed my legs at the ankle as women do. Mr Wooster smiled at me incredulously as he witnessed my change of physicality into a wholly uncharacteristic form. "It was good of you to invite me over," I said, affecting Lady Jane's carefree, chatty persona. "I hadn't got a chance to ask whether you'd heard Eddie Cantor's new song."
I affected a mischievous smile. "That's right."
"Why, Jeeves! I haven't sung that song here yet. I had no idea you knew of its existence!"
"I do, sir," I said, a bit pained.
"Of course I know it!" Mr Wooster declared, bounding to his feet to the piano. He shuffled through a stack of sheet music, pulled out the requested song, and began applying his voice and his adroit fingers to the task of bringing it to life. I went to lean against the piano as he sang.
"Every time I hear that dear old wedding march
I feel rather glad I have a broken arch
I have heard a lot of people talk
And I know that marriage is a long long walk--"
"You know," he said, "there's a lot about this song I quite relate to."
"The chorus sings, 'Here comes the bride'
Another victim is by her side--"
"I say, this song could have been written about me!"
"Oh. Do you intend never to get married?" I said in my Lady Jane voice.
He bounded up out of the piano seat, realising he had committed a serious error. "Well, no! I actually hope to get engaged shortly."
"Why would you if you find marriage so distasteful?" I said coldly.
"Well, I've found someone with whom I believe it would taste quite lovely."
"Hm," I said, glaring at him skeptically. "And who might that be?"
"Well, er. You, actually," he said, smiling sheepishly.
"I'm not sure I want to be married to someone who--" I grabbed the sheet music and picked out a line. "'doesn't phone or even write.'"
"Why, Ginnie! It's only a song."
"A song you said could have been written about you!" I flung the sheet music at his chest. "Good day, Bertie." I stomped away.
I stopped at the other side of the room. Mr Wooster was still standing at the piano, looking quite forlorn. I came back to him. "Sorry, sir," I said, gathering up the sheet music at his feet. "If I may suggest, it may not be wise to speak negatively of marriage to the person one intends to propose to."
"You're the one who brought up that bally song!" he retorted.
"Yes, sir, but it was you who voiced your strong sympathy with it. A man who was eager to be married would have dismissed the song as voicing an absurd opinion held by other men."
"Right as always, Jeeves," Mr Wooster said, sighing.
"Shall we try again, sir?"
"Very well," Mr Wooster said, sounding rather dejected.
"I'm terribly sorry, sir," I said, as we reclaimed our seats on the sofa. His adverse reaction was causing quite a constriction in my chest. "I shall go much easier on you this time around."
"That won't be necessary, Jeeves," he said. "Your reaction was probably quite accurate. There's no need to give me false hope."
"I fear that I have needlessly discouraged you, sir. Though Lady Jane may have objected to your stance on that particular subject, I have little reason to believe she won't be receptive to you in general."
"Perhaps," he mumbled. He downed the remains of his drink and appeared to gather his courage. "Well then. Ginnie, there comes a time in a man's life when things like rabbits and daisy chains aren't quite so silly as they initially appeared...."
I coughed softly.
"Dash it, Jeeves, I've ruined it already?"
"I only fear that she may not be familiar with that particular exchange of yours with Miss Bassett, sir."
"Ah. Quite right. I daresay she isn't. Well. Ginnie, as you probably know, I find you a corking girl."
I giggled, flattered. "Why thank you, Bertie."
Bertie looked at me, agog. "Did you just... giggle, Jeeves?"
"I believe so, sir."
"I don't think you've ever giggled in my presence before."
"I should think not, sir."
"Well. Feel free to do so again. It was rather pleasant."
"Thank you, sir."
"Ahem. Ginnie, I don't suppose you find me at least a somewhat corking chap?"
"I do, as it happens."
"Wonderful! Glad to hear it. Er... Now what, Jeeves?"
"It might be appropriate to elaborate on the nature of your affection for her, sir."
"You don't think that will be too forward?"
"I believe it is the intent of the discussion, sir."
"Ah, so it is. Well, darling, you... are as beautiful as the stars on a clear night. No, that's terrible, isn't it? Women look nothing like stars."
"If I may be so bold, sir," I said, "perhaps you could simply describe how she makes you feel, and we can concern ourselves with rendering it into a more eloquent form later."
"Excellent idea, Jeeves. In that case..." A change came over his expression, as if something specific about his beloved had occurred to him. "You know, simply seeing you makes me happy."
"Does it really, Bertie?" I cooed.
"It does, indeed. In fact, even knowing you're in the same room fills me with contentment, as if a warm blanket had been spread over me, and when you're away, it's as if that blanket has been ripped from me and I've been shoved out into the cold."
This pronouncement left me in shock. I hadn't had an inkling that Mr Wooster's affections had advanced to such a state. It hardly seemed possible that they would have done after Mr Wooster had been in Lady Jane's presence barely a dozen times, and none of my observations of the two had suggested anything more than, at best, flirtation. But Mr Wooster's words went beyond even infatuation--they were words of love. It occurred to me that he was not speaking of Lady Jane at all, but of someone else. Perhaps an old flame or even some imagined ideal.
Mr Wooster was looking at me, somewhat alarmed. "Was that bad, Jeeves?"
"No!" I said. "Not at all, sir. It was quite well said. Do continue."
Mr Wooster looked pleased by this encouragement. "Well, I also adore speaking with you," he said. "I feel quite giddy when I go on a ridiculous tear and you answer with a devastatingly witty reply."
I could not recall Lady Jane paying enough attention to Bertie's words for her to form a relevant reply of any kind, let alone a witty one, but I said, "Oh, Bertie, I adore your ridiculous tears. You have such a way with words."
Bertie rather puffed up at this. "I suppose I do, don't I?" He moved closer to me on the sofa and, to my great shock, placed his hand on mine. "You don't mind, do you, Jeeves? I feel it will enhance the illusion."
Although my heart had become lodged in my throat, I managed to say, "Of course, sir. It's quite all right."
"You know," he continued, "I admire not only your profile, but your entire bally map. It's positively regal, and I take every excuse I can to look at you. But it's when you return my gaze that most thrills me, just as you are now."
I had the distinct sensation that the person Mr Wooster imagined he was speaking to was, in fact, me. The idea wasn't wholly implausible, but I dismissed the notion as wishful thinking.
"Bertie," I breathed, doing away with my voice for Lady Jane. I placed my other hand on top of his. "I never imagined you would feel this way about me."
"How could I not?" he said softly. "You're a--" He stopped himself as he searched for the words. "You're a titan among women," he said--a phrase I could not imagine many women taking a liking to. "Your charm and your tender care of me have quite bowled me over."
It was now utterly clear he was indeed talking about me. No one but I took care of Bertram Wooster, including Lady Jane Tishbottom. "There is nothing I enjoy more than taking care of you," I said. "It pains me to see you in distress, and I am elated when I am the cause of the return of your happiness."
A smile bloomed in Mr Wooster's features. "I must say, Jeeves, at this moment I would have nothing more to say. I would simply try to kiss the beazel."
"This does indeed seem the proper time to do so, sir."
"You may, sir, if you like."
"You really wouldn't mind, Jeeves?"
"Not at all, sir."
"Well then," he said. He tentatively moved his head closer to mine. I closed the remaining distance between us, and our lips met softly. A powerful thrill ran through my body.
"Good god, Jeeves," he whispered. "If kissing Ginnie feels like that, I'll be sorry I didn't propose ages ago."
"I suppose you'll find out soon enough," I said, although the thought of his kissing Lady Jane after all this filled me with despair.
"May I... You wouldn't mind terribly if we did that again, would you?"
"Certainly not." Our lips met again, pressing against each other a bit more firmly this time.
I was in dreadful danger of throwing away all restraint, and with Mr Wooster's tongue now licking at my lips and his hand snaking around my neck, it appeared that he faced the same danger as well.
He parted from me breathlessly. "Jeeves," he said, "I'm afraid I am tempted to do something I would never dare to do if you were in fact Ginnie Tishbottom."
I should have thrown cold water on the entire affair right then, but it was impossible to force myself to do so, even though allowing this to proceed would most likely lead to not only my own ruin, but Mr Wooster's as well. "What is that, sir?"
"I dare not name it," he said.
"Shall I guess?" I said, placing my hand on one of his thighs.
His eyes closed, and he let out a short moan. "Yes. Please."
I slid my hand slowly up his thigh, allowing him plenty of time to stop me, but I could see quite clearly from an emerging bulge in his trousers that he had no intention of doing so.
"Are you sure, sir?"
He nodded, but then quickly responded, "Are you?"
Here was yet another chance I had to end this, to resume the former nature of our association like any respectable man would. But I did not. "Of course," I breathed.
He smiled softly. "Then do go on."
My hand completed its journey to the protrusion at his groin. He groaned, and his head sank onto my shoulder. "Oh my god, Jeeves," he said. "Your guess was correct." He brought his hand to the hardness in my own trousers, whereupon a throaty groan escaped me. "Why, Jeeves," he said. "I had no idea I would inspire such an effect in you."
"Did you, sir? You must know I am quite fond of you."
"Well, yes, I suppose, but-- I daresay I did not suspect you had any of the baser instincts."
"I am human, sir."
"I wasn't sure," he said, smirking. His fingers fumbled at the buttons of my trousers, and soon he was on his knees before me, pulling my trousers and my underclothes down and unearthing my painfully hard erection.
"My god, Jeeves," he said, staring at it. "You really are a paragon in every way."
"You are too kind, sir."
He took me into his hand, and then his mouth, and I fell back against the back of the sofa with a moan. I put my hand into those tousled golden curls as he sucked me, scarcely believing what was transpiring. "Bertie," I breathed, prompting a moan from his otherwise occupied mouth. His free hand went to his own trousers, which he hastily unbuttoned, and he pulled out his own engorged member.
The sight of Mr Wooster's hand sliding up and down his own prick was more than I could take. "Mr Wooster, I'm going to--" I said by way of warning, but this only prompted him to redouble his efforts. His lips constricted and his mouth slicked over me faster. My cock tightened even harder and I spent into his mouth, gasping rather too loudly than was perfectly safe to do so in our flat.
Bertie sat back on his heels, and I discerned that he must have also spent, as his own cock was softening.
"You know, Jeeves," he said, wiping his mouth, "I daresay that's not how declaring my love to Ginnie would have gone, even under the best of circs."
"I quite agree, sir," I said, packing myself back into a respectable state. Mr Wooster did so as well and rejoined me on the sofa. He swung his legs over my lap and cuddled me tightly.
"Sorry, old thing, I believe I've made a terrible mess under the chesterfield. It wouldn't trouble you too much to let it be for just a few moments, would it?"
It did irk me somewhat not to sweep it up immediately, but with Mr Wooster's soothing presence, it was easy to forget about it for now. "Not at all, sir."
He gave my cheek a few lazy kisses. I turned my head to kiss his lips. "You know, I--" he said, "I'm rather in love with you, Jeeves."
I brought his fingers to my lips and kissed them. "I love you immensely, sir."
He brightened in wonder at that. "Is that why you suggested this game of make-believe? To hear me whisper sweet nothings to you, even if they were osten-whatsitly directed to someone else?"
"I admit the arrangement did have its benefits, but they were only a fortunate by-product of my intention to help you attain the object of your affections."
"And that you did, Jeeves, without realising the true object of my affections."
"Am I to understand that you were never in love with Lady Jane?"
"Oh, I suppose I was, in my own way, but she wasn't my pick of the litter."
"Perhaps that could be why you felt incapable of adequately expressing your affections for her?"
"You may well have something there, Jeeves. I seem to have no problem telling you that I am positively soppy over you."
"And I you, sir."
The floodgates having been quite flung open, we spent the remainder of the evening engaging in several indecent and illegal acts. Perhaps needless to say, Mr Wooster never did get around to expressing his affections to Lady Jane.
Although I was, of course, unable to speak a word of this incident to my compatriots at the Junior Ganymede Club, I felt as though I had only just now become a full-fledged member, having acted in much the same spirit as its Shakespearean namesake.