Beau lay naked, sprawled across the bed, watching as Byron stained his fingers with ink, dashing words across the page as if they were pursued, racing for freedom from the nib of his pen.
“What are you writing?”
“Pure drivel. I’ll likely be burned at the stake for slights against God, man and taste.”
“You’ve managed to slight the Prince time and again and yet here you stand.”
“I’m not standing.” Bryon reminded him, pen still moving. “I’m lounging.” He tossed a quick, hungry smile in Beau’s direction. “And I fully intend to do nothing but for the rest of the day, or possibly the rest of my life.”
“You are a spectacular liar, my Lord,” Beau assured him, moving to the edge of the bed. He could feel Byron’s eyes on him, moving past him to the mess of sheets and pillows, tangled and spent behind him on the bed..
“I am most spectacular at everything, George.” Byron smiled as Beau approached him, all the cocky swagger of a dandy, even without the trappings of his clothes. “Which is why your dear friend, the Prince, despises me so.”
“Mm.” Byron set aside his paper and ink pot, pen poised over the lip of it, a taunting drip clinging wetly to the nib. “He’s a master of nothing. Does nothing of his own, has nothing. He’s a dandy by your grace and no better than a madman by his father’s.”
“You judge him too harshly.”
Byron’s fingers tracked slow patterns over Beau’s thighs. “Do I? He hides his head in the sand, ignoring revolution on all fronts, assured if he does not see it, it cannot happen.”
“And you see revolution everywhere.” Beau watched Byron’s hands move over his skin. “You make a dance a revolution.”
“Revolution is everywhere.” He let one hand glide upward, tracing a careful circle around the base of Beau’s arousal. “In a dance. In words. In dress. Small steps, one and all, but put together…” He ran his fingers along Beau’s length. “Together, you find they can bring big changes.”
“Bigger by the moment, my Lord.”
“So it would seem.” Byron’s hand grazed Beau’s shaft, sliding along the hard flesh. “This is the stuff of revolution, George.”
Beau leaned in, breathing against Byron’s lips. “This is the stuff of bedrooms and back hallways, George. The hangman’s noose.”
“And yet here we are.” His hand continued moving, stroking Beau with slow purpose.
“In a bedroom.”
“And do you think, George, that the Prince in your pocket does not know why you’re not with him. Do you think he fancies us speaking of politics and poetry?”
“Whatever he thinks, George.” Beau ran his fingers along Byron’s smooth jaw. “He dare not speak of it.”
“So the Prince is in more than just your pocket, George?”
Beau laughed. “I think his royal highness might not mind our association so much, George, were I to find an effective way of keeping your mouth shut.”
“Shut,” Byron murmured against Beau’s skin, his tongue ghosting over the head of Beau’s shaft, “my mouth is of no use to anyone. Best for you instead to keep it otherwise occupied.”
Beau bit back a groan as Byron took him between his lips, mouth and tongue moving over him with the same skill Byron showed in every other use of them. Beau buried a hand in Byron’s hair, fisting the thick, curly mass. He groaned again, low and deep, as Byron worked him over.
“God,” Beau gasped as Byron’s darkened fingers left ink-black bruises on his thighs. Bryon’s lips tightened and pressed to Beau’s flesh. “God.”
“Careful,” Byron drawled thickly, pausing as Beaus gasped, the sudden lack of heat, of pressure, threatening the strength of his knees. Byron’s tongue traced veins and pulses, his breath like phantom flames on oversensitized skin. “Compare me to God again, and I fear it will be more than the Prince’s wrath we face.”
“Byron.” Beau’s fist tightened further, tugging at the sleek dark locks. “George.” He exhaled, shaky and hot. “Please.”
“Tsk, tsk.” Byron practically purred as his tongue slid across the head of Beau’s cock. “Does a dandy beg?”
“He begs a lord. Byron.” He grit his teeth, his breath hissing between them. “Please.”
Byron took the head into his mouth briefly, his teeth grazing the rim. “Say it again.”
Beau groaned, the sounds as thick as the need pounding at the base of his shaft. “Please.”
Byron pulled back, disappointment bright in his dangerous eyes. Beau stopped him with his fist still in Byron’s hair. Beau traced Byron’s wet, red lower lip, smiling as Byron’s sharp, white teeth nipped as his finger.
“Please.” Beau thrust his hips forward, his shaft insistent against Byron’s lips. “God.”
Long moments later Beau shuddered into Byron’s mouth, spilling himself in abandon. Byron pulled back, licking his lips like a cat in the cream. There was a light of cruel satisfaction in Byron’s eyes, a look Beau recognized from the ease at which everything came to Byron.
“You’re the only man I know that would rather fight for what you’re given rather than take it, you know.”
“Everything tastes better when it’s garnished with victory.” Byron slumped back in his chair as Beau sank to his knees in front of him. “Admit it, when your fat fop of a Prince does as you say, does the win not taste sweeter? When the elite and aristocratic line up at your door to see you naked because they think you hold some higher secret? Does it not make the bread seem sweetened with honey?” He strokes Beau’s cheek. “You like the taste of victory, you just prefer it be handed to you for nothing.”
“Such passion.” Beau nuzzled the inside of Byron’s thigh. “Careful you don’t find yourself like Napoleon’s passionate, with your head on the opposite side of the blade than your body.”
“My politics will not get me killed, I can assure you of that. Though the man who teases the Prince is likely to find himself dancing from the end of a far less fashionable neck tie.”
“Do you suggest I do as he says?” Beau reached out and dipped his finger in the ink well then pulled it out, pressing a dark mark to Byron’s pale skin. “Be a good boy?”
“Be his boy,” Byron corrected, watching Beau drawing cryptic patterns on his inner thigh. “You’re a kept man, George. Bought and paid for. It’s rare that one’s owner likes to share what he thinks is rightfully his.”
“He doesn’t fear Julia.”
Byron pressed two fingers beneath Beau’s jaw and raised it, forcing him to meet Byron’s eyes. “Julia is no threat.”
“And you are.”
Byron nodded, sliding his fingers back to cup the nape of Beau’s neck, to draw him into a kiss. “I want to own you.”
Beau nodded, fumbling for the bottle of stale champagne on the table next to Byron. He poured a measure in his hand and sipped from it, then wrapped it around Byron’s thick arousal. Byron moaned low in his throat, hips rocking upward off the seat as he took the bottle from Beau, pouring a healthy stream onto Beau’s moving hand. Beau straddled him, wet hand grazing Byron’s cheek before moving to grip the back of the velvet chair as he sank down on Byron.
“Oh, God,” Beau gasped again, head falling back as Byron filled him. His knees dug hard into Byron’s thighs as he began to move, thrusting down slowly against Byron’s matching upward stroke.
“B-better than a Prince in your pocket?” Byron laughed, licking his lips again, hands sliding along Beau’s thighs. “Let him ply you with power and position.” Byron’s fingers dig in against Beau’s flesh, leaving fresh bruises to blossom next to their earlier counterparts. “Let him think he dresses you as you dress him.”
Byron’s hips thrust up, power and anger and possession in every stroke. Beau shuddered above him, body taut with every stroke, every harshly muttered syllable.
“Let him be your Prince.” Byron reached up to Beau’s hair, his grip tight enough to burn. “You’re mine.”
Byron sprawled in the chair across from the mirror, arranged artfully so that Beau could not escape his reflection as he dressed. “I don’t think your man, Robinson, likes me.”
Beau smiled slightly. “He doesn’t like anyone.”
“He likes you.”
“I pay him to like me.”
“That’s not what I hear told.”
“Occasionally I pay him.”
“But he likes you all the time.”
Beau turned and sighed, frustration knitting his brow. “I can’t dress with you sitting there.”
“Why not? You asked me to watch you.”
“Yes. Me. Not my reflection. Not yourself. Not me watching you.”
Byron smiled. “Are you watching me, George?”
“Robinson says people say you’re mad, bad and dangerous to know.”
“He does.” Beau turned again and smiled at Byron’s reflection. “Do they?”
“Far be it from me to call Robinson a liar.” Byron got up, slowly walking around the room. “Imagine he’d kill me as soon as look at me if I did that.”
“Oh, yes. Quite.” He shoved his hands in his pockets, moving behind the mirror. “Mad as the King, I’ve not doubt. Though I prefer lamp posts to trees. Far better conversationalists.”
“Now, I find I’m quite good at most everything. I suppose those who lose would try to tarnish my reputation such.” He trailed a finger over the top of the dresser. “Bad habits? Bad for you? Bad at doing as I’m told? There I suppose I am guilty as charged.”
“Dangerous to know?”
“Only to those who know me well. Or those who know me against their master’s wishes.” He stopped in front of Beau and slipped his hand free of his pocket, holding it out. A delicate white snuff box sat in the palm of his hand. “What do you think, George? Am I dangerous?”
Beau leaned in and kissed him, mouth hot as he carefully took the small box from Byron’s hand. “The most dangerous creature I know.”
“Funny.” Byron pulled away and settled into a chair on the same side of the room as the mirror, his eyes never leaving Beau. “I was thinking the very same thing of you.”