“Well, there seems to be a difference of opinion as to your relationship,” Morny Cavendish said with some amusement. “But, until you figure it out, welcome to my home Jamie. Please make yourself at home, won’t you?”
Morny Cavendish was a middle aged man who carried himself as a statesman. He was a bit over weight and smelled a bit like cigars. But he had the kind smile of a man who could be a grandfather as well as a good uncle.
“Thank you . . . um excuse me, but I don’t know what to call you. Do I say ‘My Lord’ or ‘Lord Cavendish’? I’ve never met anyone with a title before.”
“Well Jamie, to be proper, in formal situations only of course, it would be ‘Your Lordship’. When we are here at home, or any setting that is informal, then you may call me Morny or Uncle Cavendish if you prefer. Or ‘the old goat’ when my back is turned. And forgive me for correcting you, but you have met Miles and he has a title.”
“Yes sir, but to me he is just Miles. I never knew about the title until the day before yesterday. He is no different to me. Only now I’m afraid. . .” The tears began to well up in his eyes. Morny moved over to Jamie and hugged him.
“Let’s go sit down, shall we? Vivian, could you perhaps bring us some tea? You do at least like tea, don’t you?” he said, tilting Jamie’s chin up to make his eyes meet his.
“I’m learning to like it, sir.” Jamie said, forcing a weak grin.
“Miles, come sit next to your young man here. I think he needs a hug that doesn’t smell like stale cigar smoke.”
“Oh, no sir, I like the smell. It reminds me of my grandfather. He smelled like cigars too. I quite miss him.”
“Then you don’t want Miles to sit next to you?”
“I didn’t say that, but I like your hugs too.”
“You’re a charmer you know that?”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Hmm, so we’ve settled on sir, have we? I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible impression on you then.”
“Oh no um, Uncle Cavendish, not at all, um, sir.” Jamie said, moving to the edge of his seat to turn and look at Lord Cavendish. “You wouldn’t take his title from him just because he is . . . um has a boyfriend, would you?”
“Well Jamie, there is more to it than just what I want or don’t want. It’s not my decision actually, it is completely Miles’. And nobody says he has to make any decision today, tomorrow, or ever. Do you think he is the first person with a title to be gay?
“The time for a decision will be when Miles is old and gray. If he has no heir, then it will pass automatically to another heir. There are rules about such things, but at your age, it is not anything to even be concerned with. Your needs and interest may change over time. I remember that when I was very young I had a friend I was very fond of. Oh yes, he was a looker and we tried some things that boys do try. He could make me feel like a million dollars. But as we grew older our interests changed. We met girls, fell in love and had families. Everything turned out right with the world. As do these things.”
“Uncle Cavendish, you slept with a boy!” Miles said, amused.
“Shh! We must keep that to ourselves Miles. Remember that another was involved. And yes, I dare say, I loved him too. Still do, I guess. You can’t share that part of yourself without the remnants of that love remaining with you for life. But he moved on, as did I, and I loved your aunt, God rest her soul.”
“Then Miles won’t lose his Earleship?”
Morny chuckled, “No, his Earleship is quite safe Jamie. But what would you have done if I said yes, it had to go?”
“I believe I may be best qualified to answer that sir.” It was Ernst. “When Jamie found out that Miles may be asked to abdicate, he asked if he went to Chet and told him he wanted to go home right then, could I forget that he loved Miles. Could I forget that he was gay?”
“You would have left him?” Morny asked with a serious look to his face.
“Yes sir, he saved me. I owe him everything. I couldn’t let him lose who he was because of me. That’s why when he introduced me, I told you I was his best friend. I know how to do alone. I don’t like it, but I could do it. But Miles has always been more than just Miles, I guess. There has always been something special about him. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. I know now it is his heritage and that isn’t something that can exist alone.”
Miles moved around in front of Jamie on his knees. “Now you see uncle why I love him so much. Even now, knowing what is at stake, he loves me enough to leave me. Everything he does is selfless. I can tell you now that this won’t ever change Morny. He is mine, forever. That won’t change.”
“I can see that Miles and you’re a lucky boy. If Addison had been that loving, I may have abdicated myself. So Jamie, you won’t do anything silly then, right? Miles’ title is not in danger.”
Jamie smiled coyly at Lord Cavendish. “No sir, I’d just as soon stay.”
“Oh, we’re back to sir again.” Jamie smiled and hugged Lord Cavendish.
“So what really brings you back here? I know it wasn’t the strawberry shortcake.”
“I don’t know,” Jamie said. “It’s certainly worth the trip.” Vivian glowed. Chet spoke up.
“No Morny, its Charlie and he’s in a bit of a sticky wicket. Miles saw it in one of his visions.”
“Really? You have it, my boy? The second sight? Your great grandmother had it. Boy, she was something else. It’s said she could touch someone and know everything about them in an instant. How does yours work Miles? Tell me about it.”
“Mine comes in two ways. When I touch someone or when I’m sleeping.”
“And what did you see concerning Charlie?”
Miles explained the dream and then the vision when he touched Jamie.
“Have you called them to let them know you are here?”
“Not yet, we just arrived.”
“Well, make the call man, make the call.”
“Right,” Chet said, pulling his cell phone out and pushing #1 Enter.
“Yes,” the voice on the other end of the phone said.
“We’re at Lord Cavendish’s manor. Send someone.”
“Thank you,” came the reply before the call was terminated.
“Right then, we just wait.”
“Right then,” Jamie mimicked. “Since we have to wait, could we perhaps wait staring at another bowl of that strawberry shortcake? It really is worth the trip.”
Vivian laughed. “Boys will be boys. Strawberry shortcake for five, coming up.”
“Better make a few extra Vivian. I suspect we will have company shortly.”
“Can I help?” Jamie asked, following Vivian out of the room.
“Probably hoping he can find her secret. Many have tried,” Morny said, laughing.
“Including you?” Chet said, smiling.
“Including me. My lord, I used to go in and almost stand over her shoulder. I watched everything. They just didn’t come out the same.”
“Well, you can’t fault a bloke for giving it a go, can you? Especially for such a worthy cause,” Chet smiled.
The tea kettle whistled, singing its tea time tune as Vivian prepared the cups. A chime signaled the gate had been activated. Moments later, a man in a black Mercedes pulled up and got out. Lord Cavendish and Chet met him as he got out of the car.
He was a spindly looking man around fortyish. His eyes close together rested above a pointed little nose. His mustache seemed to twitch over the tiny mouth. He spoke softly as he extended his hand.
“You called?” he said, taking Lord Cavendish’s hand and attempting to grasp it in its comparative immensity and shaking it firmly.
“Uh, no. It was Chet here Mr. . .?”
“Just call me ‘Mac’ please. Tell me what you have.” He said, extending his small hand towards Chet.
“Perhaps a spot of tea? This may take a few minutes,” Chet said, gesturing towards the door with his open hand and guiding his guest in by the arm. “Let’s have a sit in the drawing room. Morny, perhaps you could show him the way while I alert Vivian and the boys to our guest’s arrival.”
“Certainly, this way. Mac, did you say? Tell me, have you known Charles long?”
“Lets just say that Charles and I respect each others talents, shall we?” he said as they disappeared into the drawing room.
“Vivian, our guest is here. We have him seated in the drawing room. Let’s see if we can make him comfortable, shall we? Miles, you and Jamie come in and lay the touch on him as soon as you can. I don’t want to give too much away until we know the game. The fact that we are here tells me that there may be more to this guy than he is showing. So be careful what you tell him regarding where Charlie is. I’ll go back in and you follow in a minute or two. Put on the dog with the blind bit, Miles. Let’s let him think you are helpless, he may give up more if he doesn’t feel threatened.”
“Right then. Jamie, run up and grab my cane would you?”
“Sure, be right back,” he said as he made a dash for the back steps.
“Chet, you go in and feather the nest a bit. Leave a place next to him for me to sit, will you?”
“Now then, ‘Mac’ you said to call you? Have you known Charlie long?” Lord Cavendish asked, seating him on a couch and taking the chair across from him.
“Yes, a very long time. We’ve been through a few tough spots together over the years. I’m very concerned about him at the moment. He seems to be in it pretty thick.”
“The boys will be down in just a moment.” Chet said, taking a seat between Morny and Mac.
“Tea, sir?” Vivian asked.
“Please, single sweet please, no cream.” She proffered the cup to him with a linen serviette underneath, then handed Chet and Morny theirs. Jamie came in with Miles wearing dark glasses and tapping his cane while holding his hand on Jamie’s right shoulder. Jamie led him to the couch, indicating that he should sit next to Mac.
“Mac, this is Jamie,” Chet said, extending an open hand in the direction of Jamie. Jamie extended his hand and shook Mac’s, then sat back down. “And this is Miles,” he said, repeating the gesture. Miles held his hand out the wrong direction, something he did just to throw people off. He knew exactly where Mac was.
Mac spoke. “Hello Miles, so glad to meet you.” Miles turned towards him and extended his hand to him. Mac took it and shook it slightly.
Miles shivered, “You have it. You have the shipment of guns that Charlie needs to get free of Shileesh!”
“So it’s true then,” Mac said, with an un-amused expression on his face. “Yes, I do. But it is very important that this mad man, Shileesh doesn’t get his hands on them. Charlie knows that too. He’s stalling him, but he’s running out of time. The idea was to get him to come out in the open so we could capture and turn him. Make him work for us. But he’s shrewd. We need to find where he is hiding and get Charlie out before Shileesh kills him. Can you tell me where he is at?”
“I only know he’s in Chestnut. It’s a red brick warehouse-like place with several floors. In the middle is an arch with black gates where they go in and out. How many places can there be like that in Chestnut?”
“Quite a few, actually. I’m afraid that doesn’t give us much to work on. But, it is more than we had before. I better get at it then.” Mac said, setting his cup of tea on the table and getting to his feet.
“Wait,” Miles blurted out. “We came here to help. There must be something we can do.”
“You’re a bit disadvantaged to help more than you have. Although, that second sight may come in handy. Say, if I brought you something, could you put the touch on it and tell me what you see?”
“Certainly, take me to it.”
“Not yet, we have to catch him again, first.”
“Right, no worries though. I have to be off. Thanks, you know how to get in touch with me. Let me know if you get anymore, will you?”
“So, what are we to do then?” Miles asked.
“Do nothing, sit and wait. Let the professionals handle this. If you get in the way, then you’ll complicate things.”
“Complicate things? How can it get more complicated? They have Charlie, you have no idea where he is and the only clue you have comes from a blind kid with the touch!” Chet was livid.
“Look, I know it’s tough waiting, but stay out of it. If you get in the mix, then we have more to rescue and you may just get Charlie killed. Or worse yet, you may get yourself killed or one of these fine people. Now, if you’ll excuse me, time is running short.”
“Right then, of course. You’re quite correct. I’ll see you to the door.” Chet said, escorting him to the door. He watched as he got in his car and motored away.
“Ernst! Give me the keys to a car, please.”
“I’ll bring one around. Sir, should I give them the Mercedes?”
“Good choice, Ernst. A few of those out there, they won’t be so obvious. It’s fast too.”
“Thanks, Ernst, Morny. I hope not to be long.”
“God’s speed my boy. Be safe.”
“Hurry boys, get in the car.”
“Where are we going Chet?” Jamie asked, slipping his shoes on.
“Chestnut. To look for a warehouse.”
“Right now, tell us again Miles what you saw”
Jamie saw the frustration in Miles as he prepared to repeat the dream one more time.
“Chet, we’ve been through it a lot of times already. Maybe we aren’t looking at it the right way. Maybe there is another way to find them.”
“I’m listening,” Chet said.
“Look, they have to eat and I don’t know about warehouses in England but in the U.S. they don’t have kitchens. They might have a break room with a microwave, but most people eat out. They order Chinese or pizza or something. All we have to do is figure out what they are eating and look for one of those restaurants, then follow the food.”
“That’s bloody brilliant Jamie. Now, what kind of people are these? I mean, where do they come from?”
“They’re Arabs” Miles shot back.
“Ok then, perhaps a curry or kabobs. No pork though. Any of those around here?”
“That’s it! Give me an address around here, anything. I just need the postal code. They would order from a place that lets them do it online so they could get it all with less notice. You know, they can pay with a card and no faces meet except the delivery guy and they can send a different person each time.” Jamie typed furiously into the notebook.
“There are two Kabob places listed. One has curry, too. What’s curry?”
“It’s a spice made into a sauce so that you can’t tell what kind of meat you’re eating. I say, let’s go find out if you like it. Where’s the first?”
“Ferry Lane, across from Tottenham Hale Station. I’ll bet that’s it. They take credit cards and they deliver.”
“And the second?” Chet asked.
Jamie, tapping quickly on the keys, “Antill Road. You can’t order online and they only have take away, no deliveries.”
“Right then, Ferry Lane it is. Right lads, when we get there, we’ll just go have lunch and watch a bit and see how it all works. Tomorrow is the deadline for Charlie, so we have to hope for something soon. I’m afraid I don’t have much faith in Mac.”
“I didn’t get a negative vibe from him, just that he had the guns.”
“Right and like he said, they can’t let the mad man have them. That tells me that Charlie is on his own.”
“There it is,” Jamie said, pointing to a sign outside a small industrial suite. There was a car with a topper sign on it that said, “Bob’s Kabob” on it.
Chet thought for a moment. “It doesn’t look like they have a dining area. I’ll go in and order us something, wait here. We’ll just eat here in the car. If they go out with a large delivery, then we can follow them. I’ll be right back.”
Chet got out and went in the front door.
“Smells like a good curry. My mouth is watering already.” Miles said, breaking the silence.
“Wait,” Jamie said. “There’s the delivery guy. He came out the side door. He has an armload of stuff. He’s putting it in the hot box in the back of his car. He’s going back in. Do you think this could be it? He might have six or seven deliveries there, how do we know?”
“Look for the papers. If there are several in his hand, then it’s a bunch. If it’s only one, then it’s probably all going to the same place.” Miles leaned forward on his seat, his adrenalin also starting to pump.
“It looks like one. Miles, I’m gonna scam him for a ride or something. Tell Chet to wait here and I’ll find out where they are.”
“No Jamie, he said to wait here. These guys are dangerous.”
“Look, if we don’t move now we’ll miss them. We have to get it now. Besides, this kid isn’t dangerous. He’s like a college kid. I gotta go.” Jamie jumped out and ran around the truck and got in on the passenger side of the truck.
“Who are you? What the fuck do you think your doing?”
“Just trying to make a buck. You look like you could use a blow job.” Jamie said, looking at his crotch and rubbing his own.
The kid looked in his mirror and glanced around to see who was looking. Not seeing anyone, he asked, “How much?”
“20 bucks,” Jamie said smiling, his hand now down his own pants.
“Bucks? You a Yank then?”
“I’ve been known to give it a yank, ya.”
“Don’t be daft. I asked if you’re an American.”
“Yeah, on holiday. Ran short a few dollars.”
“So how much is that in Euros or Pounds Sterling?”
“Did I say bucks? I meant Euros. Twenty Euros, thirty if you want me to swallow.”
“Bit steep for a BJ, don’t ya think?”
“Maybe for a normal one, but I’m told I’m exceptional. No gag reflex. I can take your whole piece down to your mound. And what I can do with my tongue alone is enough to make you willing to pay twice that.” He paused for a moment. “Come on, make your delivery. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll do it for what ever your tip is. I need the money.”
“What if they don’t tip?”
“I’m a gambler, I’ll take the chance. But if you don’t hurry, it’ll be cold. They don’t tip much for cold curry, do they?”
“Right, then.” He started the little car and backed out, heading for the exit. The boy put his hand on Jamie’s leg and ran it up to his package.
“Hey, keep your eyes on the road. I’ll work you up a bit.” Jamie ran his hand up the guy’s leg and felt a wedged hard on. He rubbed it and noticed the guy flinch when he touched it. “Wow, you’ve got one hell of a piece there. Even with no gag reflex, you may choke me with that thing. I hope this delivery doesn’t take long, just the thought of it makes my dick hard. I’m gonna like this, I can tell. I may just blow my load waiting for it. Fuck, my dick is throbbing so hard right now, isn’t your’s?”
“Fuckin’ a straight it is. Jesus, your talk alone might make me cum before your lips ever get to it. Look, its right up here a bit. I can park near the gate and walk in. These guys are rather funny about new people. So just stay put and out of sight. I’ll only be a mo.”
“I have to be honest though, they’re not the best tippers. But look, I’ll make it right to you anyways. I’ve got some cash.” He smiled.
“I might just have to do this one for free,” Jamie said, rubbing his beef a little more.
He squirmed a little in his seat, “Uh, if you don’t stop there, there won’t be anything left to be done except clean up.”
“I told you that what I can do with my tongue was considered by some to be amazing.”
“Oh shit, alright. We’re here. I have to go up like six flights of stairs so I’ll be back in a bit. I’d leave you the keys to listen to the radio but let’s be real. I don’t know you from Adam.”
“No problem, I think I can keep myself occupied.” Jamie smiled, rubbing the heel of his hand over his tightly stretched shorts. What was causing the stretch was easy to see as it barely peeked over the top of his waistline. “But hurry, I’m your next delivery and I’m ready for a hot lunch.” He licked his lips and smirked a little smile.
“Hurry, damn it. Can you see the truck? Jamie went with him. He said he was going to catch a ride with him to find out where he was taking the take away.”
“Damn it, I told you guys to stay put. Shit, hold on. I’ve got to try and catch up before they’re out of sight. How could he do something so stupid?”
“Chet, the delivery guy came out as soon as you went in. He had a huge delivery. If we waited, we might miss the only chance we had to find them. Jamie said he was just going to scam a ride with the guy and find out where they were. He said the driver was a college kid and didn’t look dangerous. Can you still see them?”
“Yes,” Chet said as he turned the car and sped after them. “Shit, this guy is all over the road. I wonder what could be going on, I hope Jamie isn’t fighting with the guy. There, he just turned off of Monument Way. Pulling up to a warehouse. Bloody hell Miles, it’s just as you described it. I’m going to get Jamie. You stay put and I mean stay put! I’m going to park around the corner and hoof it the last bit. I’ll be right back, don’t move.”
Chet got out of the car and ran up to the corner and peeked around it. He ran up to the car and rapped on the window. Jamie jumped, clutching his chest. “Damn Chet, you scared the shit out of me.”
“Come on, we know where it is now. Nicely done. Come on, we’re just around the corner. Be quick before we’re spotted.”
“I’m glad you were able to keep up, this guy drives crazy,” Jamie said as the jogged back around the corner. Chet skidded to a stop. His breath caught.
“Shit!” He ran towards the car that sat with both rear doors open.
Miles was gone.
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