“Thailand?” Miles blurted out. “Oh no, we must have gotten on the wrong plane, we have to go back!
“No, you’re alright. I was just having a go at you, taking your mind off the take off love, that’s all. Nothing to be up about. I could see you were a little nervous and figured if I didn’t say something your friend there was going to need a splint for his broken fingers.”
Miles blushed, she got him and he knew it. Even he couldn’t hold back the smiles. “You’re a clever one. I’ll have to watch you!” Miles said, straight faced. No one laughed. The silence became pregnant. Jamie couldn’t hold back his giggles, which mutated into laughter and was shortly the impetus of a roaring first class cabin. She knew he had her too.
“So, is this your first flight?” she asked.
“Did you think I swam to the wrong side of the pond and just decided to take the easy way back?” Miles jested. “Lord no, but I just hate it because I feel disadvantaged. When I am on the ground everything makes sense. On here nothing feels right. And it is also so cramped that if I make a mistake I’m in someone’s lap. That’s why I brought my very own seeing eye kid. He’s the latest thing and I love having mine. I got him cheap, too!” Jamie blushed seven shades of red but he still held on to Miles’s hand. And Miles must have been practicing because he went on. “House training him was a bitch, but he’s quite well behaved now. He seldom ever soils the carpet anymore.” Jamie’s jaw dropped as Miles stroked over his head and across his face like he would a good dog, which prompted a blushing punch in the arm from Jamie. “So glad he learned too. Those Pampers Pull-ups are pricey. He still wears them now and then for safety reason. Come here,” he said as he tried to pull Jamie’s shirt tail up to show them like he had them on at that moment.
“Miles, you’re awful! You just wait. You’ll get yours.” Jamie chided, squirming to keep his shirt tail down.
Miles calmed down as the stewardess asked them, “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Oh yes, please. Do you have a good tea?” Miles asked.
“Certainly, dark alright? Sweet?” She asked.
“Why yes. Everything’s dark. I’m blind, remember? But it’s very nice of you to notice that I’m sweet.” Miles delivered it deadpan of course.
She recoiled, “Oh he’s right. You are awful. Honey, get him once for me too, would ya?”
Jamie grinned. “My pleasure.”
Miles turned his head to him. “Oh no, that comes later.”
Jamie blushed again at the insinuation Miles made in front of all these people.
Jamie took stock of the audience around him in the ten seats that made up first class. They sat in the first row furthest from the door of the plane. Chet sat in the aisle seat right behind Miles. Jamie argued with Miles for the window seat. Miles wanted it because he said he liked to pretend he was looking, just to make other people jump when he screamed, “Oh my God, look at that!” as he points out the window. He said it takes them a while to realize the blind kid couldn’t see shit. In the forth seat, the one behind Jamie was a business man who was amused at the playful banter as he dutifully read his “Wall Street Journal.”
Across the aisle was a young boy around fifteen-ish, Jamie thought. A handsome lad with a fine body who smiled when he caught Jamie checking him out. He was traveling with an older guy who was most obviously his father. You could tell that the boy with his brown bedroom eyes and unnaturally long eyelashes was a carbon copy of the man, only younger. In front of them was a guy oblivious to anything, but whatever he was typing into his computer. It was like he had lost his homework and was on his way to class knowing a nasty teacher was waiting to have at him for it. By the window next to him was a young lady with her nose buried in her magazine doing the crossword puzzle. Ahead of them was another businessman traveling with a very pretty lady. Every few minutes he would lean over closer to her and whisper something. Then she would pull a little notepad out of her bag and scribble a few notes before placing it back in her bag. She was obviously his secretary.
There was a chime and then a man’s voice came through the speakers in the cabin. “The captain has turned off the seatbelt sign. That means that you are free to get up and move around if you need to. We recommend that you wear your seatbelt anytime you are seated as turbulence can occur at any time. We are cruising along at 487 miles per hour at 43,000 feet. The temperature outside is a chilly 68 below zero or minus 100 C. I, for one, am glad to be on the inside right now. We will arrive at Heathrow in about six hours. It is sunny and warm. Sit back and enjoy your ride and thank you for flying with us.”
Jamie looked out of the window and said, “Wow.”
“What?” Miles asked.
“We are so high that when I look at the horizon, I can see the curve of the earth.”
“Sorry, that doesn’t trip my trigger. I’m not wild about heights.”
“But it’s beautiful. You can see the clouds below us and look, right there is a small airplane. We are so high above him he looks like his whole plane could sit on the tip of your finger. The sun on the white clouds is the whitest white of anything I have ever seen. I can’t wait until you can see again. This is so beautiful.”
“Yeah, but I have you to describe it to me. That’s worth more than anything you can see out the window.” Jamie grinned and without thinking, kissed him. Then realizing what he did, he looked around to see if anyone saw. He did. The boy traveling with his dad saw and was staring, mouth open. Jamie smiled and whispered, “Oops, busted.” He told Miles about the stunningly beautiful boy traveling with his father and how they just left him slack jawed.
Miles smiled and whispered back. “Want to see if we can really get him off?”
Jamie smiled his mischievous smile, “You are wound up, aren’t you. You need to calm down or I’ll have to remind you how sticky three hours can get.”
Miles began to fidget. “You alright?” Jamie asked.
“Yes, but why did you have to remind me how long we have yet?”
“You mean, how long before we get there? Why?”
“Well, that tea has gone right through me. And I don’t think I can last another two and a half hours.”
“You don’t have to Miles. They have bathrooms right in front of us.”
“No, you don’t understand. On the ground, the toilets are different. Everything here is compact and they have all kinds of coveys, nooks and knobs for things. Just finding the toilet paper can be a task.”
“Well, I looked in there on the way in and I don’t think there is room enough for two people. There appears to barely be room for one. I’ll tell you what, I’ll go with you and when you get inside, just sit down on the throne, pants still on as the door will be open, and I’ll put your hand on the paper dispenser and the water tap and of course the flush handle. Then, you can close the door and take care of business and I’ll wait outside to use it next. You won’t even need to flush. I’ll take care of it for you.”
“I don’t think that will work,” Miles whispered.
“Why not?” Jamie asked, also whispering.
“Because, now I am rock hard thinking about you and me in the loo.”
“Miles, I have seen it in there and there is no way two people can fit in one of those and if we could, there is little else we could do. There is barely room for one. In fact, I think if you closed the door facing the wrong way, you would have to open up the door to turn around.”
“Well, ok then, help me out that far, would you?” Miles asked, now seeming almost desperate.
“Of course,” Jamie said, unbuckling his seat belt. He stood and placed a hand on the bulkhead to steady himself as he touched Miles’ hand with his to tell him it was alright to stand and make way for the restroom. The stewardesses were serving other customers outside first class as Jamie opened the door and ushered Miles into the first door outside the pilot’s cabin. There were actually two there, but this one had a door that opened left to provide the most privacy as Jamie opened the door and placed his hand on Miles’ and moved it to the toilet paper and then to the sink. He closed the door and leaned up against it.
Chet watched as Jamie led Miles into the loo. He took a moment and Chet could tell that Jamie was showing him around. He watched as the door closed and Jamie leaned against it. Chet went back to reading his magazine, marveling at the love the two had for each other. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a quiet knock on the door and looked up to see Jamie spin around and look questioningly at the door. Glancing around, he reached forward and gingerly opened it. Miles’ hand reached out, grabbing Jamie by his shirt and Jamie disappeared inside. Chet’s interest peaked until he saw the knob turn and the sign change to occupied. He slumped behind his magazine as everyone’s interest peaked.
Miles pulled Jamie into him in his sitting position and buried his face in Jamie’s groin. He undid his pants and tried to pull them down. Jamie giggled. Miles could only get them down part way. Jamie had only one foot on the floor and his knee on Miles’ thigh. Miles leaned forward and sucked Jamie’s flaccid cock into this mouth.
“Miles, you can’t be serious! They’ll hear! The walls are like, a quarter of an inch thick and they’ll . . . oh shit . . . oh fuck . . . hear. Oh shit!” Jamie said, as he thrust his dick forward, grasping Miles’ head as he pumped forward. Miles ran his fingertips up Jamie’s long leg. Finding his balls, he gently fondled them. Then, rubbing his index finger’s knuckle on his perineum, before finding his way up to his pink rose. He brought his finger up to his mouth and shared its space with Jamie’s dick. He got it wet before he went back and pressed it to Jamie’s pucker. He pushed it through to the first knuckle.
“Oh!” Jamie said, as he lurched forward, grabbing Miles and thrusting forward. Every withdrawal slammed Jamie’s ass against the flimsy door. His moans could easily be heard as well. His climax was rapidly approaching as Jamie humped furiously against Miles’ face and his intruding finger until finally, his screams of passion were unquestioned, even in the pilot’s cabin.
“You shit head!” Jamie whispered. Miles moved right and like a human slide puzzle, Jamie landed on his ass on the open toilet as Miles stood up and his firm boy muscle begged satisfaction. Jamie eagerly satisfied its request. He dove on his hard, fossilized prick and sucked it down to its base. He also found Miles’ balls. Jamie withdrew and spit on his finger as he followed the same path as his lover to his pucker.
“Oh Jesus!” Miles screamed as Jamie’s finger found and penetrated his pink rose to land on his hard, prostrate nub. Jamie rubbed it with a vengeance as Miles wracked his bum back and forth. The door strained against its latch and banged with every thrust. Miles became vocal as he neared his orgasmic release.
“Oh Shit, Oh Jesus! Oh, Jamie you’re the very best!” Miles screamed, as he laid his layer of boy cum, time after time, in the back of Jamie’s throat. He slumped forward having finished his orgasm. Jamie said, “Wait. I need to take care of something first.” He stuffed his penis under the lip of the toilet seat and began to relieve himself.
“Ah, oh God that feels so good.” Jamie said with decided resignation.
Miles said, “Well shift around, I still need to let go.”
Jamie finished and they shifted again. There was a knock on the door and the boys froze mid shift.
“Alright in there?” the voice asked.
“Yes, just be a moment longer.” Miles said, as they both started to giggle boy giggles. As they washed up, Jamie unlatched the door and he fell out on the floor. He jumped up as if nothing were wrong. Uncle Chet stole a glimpse over the top of his magazine as he retreated to hide. Every other eye was on the pair as they stepped out looking like they had just done what they had. The teenage boy riding with his father moved to adjust himself as he watched Miles back out of the loo. Jamie led him back to his seat as he glanced at the boy and blushed, knowing he knew.
The embarrassment was not over however, as a new stewardess asked, “Sweet nuts, or have you had some already, haven’t you?”
The sweet stewardess stepped around the partition and picked up the phone on the wall and spoke into it. Moments later, the captain came back looking like he had an ear to the wall of the loo. Tenting, he leaned over and pinned pilot’s wings to the chest of the two young boys.
“Welcome to the Mile High club, boys.” He said to them, shaking their hands and disappearing back into the cockpit.
“You know what the Mile High club is, don’t you?” The stewardess asked.
“No,” Jamie whispered back.
“It is for those few who have managed to have sex this high up in the air,” she whispered back. Jamie found a new shade of red to turn. Covering his mouth with his hands, he sat back down, but not before noticing that every eye except Chet’s was on him.
He grinned and whispered to Miles, “Oh shit. Every person in first class is watching us. They heard and they know.”
Miles even turned red at that moment as they tried to sink back into their seats.
Minutes later, their lovemaking took its toll as Jamie fell asleep with Miles nuzzled into his neck. The stewardess saw them and retrieved her camera and snapped a flashless picture, with Chet’s nod of approval. She gently lifted Jamies’ head and placed a pillow under it as she covered them both. The aroma of boy love touched her nostrils. Smiling, she took another picture. She put the camera away and gave Chet a card with her e-mail. “Send me your e-mail and I’ll send you the pics. They’re just so cute together.”
“Thanks,” was all Chet could say as his mind drifted off to his own love. Where is he? Is he alright? His mind reeled at the possibilities as he tried fitfully to catch just a few minutes of sleep.
The chime sounded and the captain’s voice spoke once again. “Good evening ladies and gentleman. You’ll notice I’ve turned the seatbelt sign back on. Please return to your seats and place your tables and seatbacks in their upright position as we make our final approach to Heathrow. Please turn off all electronics and stow away any small objects laying around you. The crew will be through to collect any trash momentarily. The local time is 3 pm and it remains one of those rare days where it is still sunny and warm. Not to worry though, rain can’t be far off. For those of you returning to us, welcome home. For those who are visiting, please enjoy your stay and thank you for choosing us as your carrier. Good day.”
The boys sat up as the stewardess checked their seat belts. “Hey! Jamie, did you see that? She copped a feel. Watch, I’ll bet I can make her do it again. They just can’t keep their hands off me.” Miles said, smiling as he undid his seat belt to see if she would come back for more.
“You are impossible, young man.” And she leaned in and whispered, “If you don’t buckle up, I have an old, crusty, bitch in the back who is just about to retire. She’s old and smells like she didn’t wipe properly. And, if you think what your mate did was interesting let me tell you about some of her young lad landing rituals.” A look of horror crossed Miles’ face as he buckled himself up and reached a hand out to Jamie.
“There now, that’s better.” She said, as the chime rang once more and the stewardesses took their seats for the landing.
“Jamie?” Miles said, squeezing his hand. “I love you.”
The plane touched down and the engines whined as they provided braking power to slow the plane down to the slow rolling that seamed to go on forever. Finally, the plane pulled up to a parking space at the terminal and the engines shut down. The lights flickered as the power was changed to what was provided by the terminal. Everyone was standing, waiting for the door to open. Each with their carry-on in hand, ready to get out as soon as they opened the door.
Jamie thought it was strange how they pressed in silence. Why not just sit until the door opened? But his thoughts changed as he glanced at the beautiful boy who was staring at him while he waited.
There was a knock on the door and the stewardess opened the door. All this sophistication Jamie thought and they still knock. Jamie wondered if they originally came with a peep hole to make sure it was a friendly face on the other side. The thought made him grin. The Captain and crew crowded by the front door next to the stewardesses to say their goodbyes.
Jamie was certain they came to see them off. I mean, how often could that be done in an airplane toilet. They may have even been the first. He blushed as the stewardesses tussled their hair on the way out. “Come back and see us again.”
“Have to!” Jamie said.
“Too far to swim?” She chimed back in question. “You may like it so much you want to stay.”
“Can’t, you still have a loo we haven’t tried!” He smiled and disembarked as the crew roared in laughter.
The boys made their way up the gantry and upon stepping back into the terminal, Miles paused.
“Ah! Terra firma! Finally, things feel as they should again. And smell that!” Miles said, inhaling deeply.
“What?” Jamie said, sticking his nose up in the air like a bloodhound trying to get the scent.
“That Jamie, is the smell of a real, honest to God, 100% British Chippy!” Miles said, with a grin on his face and snapping his cane open and reaching out for Jamie. “Lead on McDuff!”
“Who’s McDuff?” Jamie asked.
“Who knows, it’s just something they say. Now, get me over to the chippy.” Chet smiled and stepped around Jamie and led the way as Jamie took Miles’ upper arm and clutched it. He looked around, taking in all the sights and sounds.
The guy behind the counter looked at Chet, “Spill it mate.”
“Right,” Chet said. “I’ll have a Steak and Kidney Pukka. Miles how about you?”
“I’ll have a Haddock and chips, please. Oh, and a Vimto if you have it.”
“Right then, and Jamie?”
“Don’t know what most of it is. Um, what’s a battered burger?”
“Give it a go,” Miles said. “We’ll both share. If you don’t like it, then you can have either.”
“Ok then, a battered burger please.” Jamie said, smiling.
“And to drink?” Chet asked.
“Um, I’ll try a Tango, please.”
“Oh and I’ll have a Ribena for me, please.”
“Right mate. That’ll be £12.90.”
Miles gasped. “That’s outrageous! £7.50 the last time I had it.”
“Yes Miles, but that was a while back and we are also in an airport.” Chet chided, a little embarrassed.
“I know, but at £12.90 you could buy the fleet!”
“‘Ere you go mate.” the guy said, shoving three bags across the counter at Chet.
Miles stepped forward and sniffed at the bags, then reached out and snatched two and handed one to Jamie. “Thanks!” he said, digging a french fry out and munching it.
“How’s he do that?” Jamie said, looking into the bag.
“It’s that super sniffer of his. And he seems to be right every time.” Chet said, looking into his bag, discovering his Steak and Kidney pie. He pulled it out and took a bite. “It’s great to be home,” he said, more to himself, than to anyone else.”
Jamie sat watching Miles and Chet making yummy noises over the long awaited bill of fare. He marveled at the new flavors as he sampled each item. He was in sensory overload looking around at all the different people and the very way they differed in so many ways. His world had changed. Even the everyday signs were different.
As they made their way down to the baggage area, an elderly gentleman in a dark blue suit stepped up to Chet. “Welcome home sir. So good to see you and Master Miles! Look how you have grown.”
“Ernst!” Miles said, stepping forward and wrapping his arms around him, hugging him tightly. “I have missed you so very much. How have you been?”
“Oh, things don’t change very much for me dear boy. I am just a bit older and a bit slower. But you! Let me look at you.”
Miles stood back standing straight up and tall knowing he was being sized up.
“You have just blossomed into a fine young man. I am so proud of you. And who is this fine looking young man you have brought home with you?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, forgive me, I was caught up in the moment,” Miles said, turning and grabbing Jamie by the shoulders and pulling him in tightly beside himself. “Ernst, this is Jamie, the boy I love.”
Ernst extended his hand to Jamie, but froze momentarily when he heard the last part, referencing their relationship. He regrouped almost instantly and dawned a smile again, taking Jamie’s proffered hand and shaking it said, “Welcome Master Jamie. I am so pleased to meet you.”
He stepped in between Miles and Jamie and wrapped his arms around their shoulders, escorted them to a waiting area near the baggage conveyers. “Well, it seems there are some stories to hear. I can’t wait. If you would like to wait here, I’ll see to your bags.”
“We’ve only got two,” Chet said.
“I’ll point them out Mister Ernst, I know which ones they are.” Jamie said, taking his hand. Miles started to follow but Chet placed his hand on his shoulder to stop him.
“Miles, why not let Jamie handle this part. Give Ernst a few minutes to see why we love Jamie so much. Ernst can be a great advocate for us, you know.”
Miles paused for a moment. “Oh dear, I never even stopped to think. Uncle Cavendish has no idea, does he? But it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, should it?”
“You know how stuffy things can be when we get formal. I’m not just sure how your uncle will take things.”
“Oh dear, oh dear, oh me. It was the very last thing on my mind. I never gave it a thought. Well, the cat, so to speak, is out of the bag now and we’ll just have to deal with it as it comes. I don’t really care about titles anyways. Right now, all I care about is getting Charlie back safe and sound.”
“Miles,” Chet said, softly in his ear. “Have I told you lately how much I love you and how proud I am to just know you?”
“Thank you,” Miles said, smiling, as his eyes welled up from the emotion of it. “It means so much to me when you say it.”
Chet stood behind Miles with his arms crossed over Miles’s shoulders, holding him gently against him and watched Ernst and Jamie at the conveyer as the luggage began to come round. Chet could see they were in conversation and would have loved to hear what was being said, but trusted Jamie to win his heart.
“It’s just Ernst, Jamie. No need to call me mister.” Ernst said, looking at the young boy. “I’ve served the family as chauffer for many years. I’m glad to serve them. I’ve know Miles since he was born.”
“I’ve only met him recently but, well, we have really seemed to hit it off.”
“Yes, it seems you have.”
Jamie saw the concern in Ernst’s face. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.”
Jamie looked up at him. “You didn’t know he was gay, did you?” Jamie said quietly, still holding his hand.
Ernst’s eyes met Jamie’s. “Well, that was a bit of a surprise. Yes.”
“Will it make a difference?”
“To me? No, I should say not. But to Lord Cavendish, I can’t say. When things come to tradition and formalities Jamie, I find that tradition tends to be unbending.”
“What does that mean? Is there tradition that has to do with being gay?”
Ernst smiled, “No Jamie, but lines of succession must be considered. A gay man is not likely to have an heir to pass a title onto. Although I am sure Lord Cavendish would never insist on it, Miles may be expected to abdicate his title to someone who can carry on the line.”
“Oh, I had no idea. I didn’t even know he had a title until about two days ago.”
“Really? You had no idea?”
“Ernst, what do I do? I don’t want to cost him his title.”
Ernst looked down at the boy. “I don’t know. The choices will be for Miles to make.”
“Ernst, if I go away now. . . If I go to Chet and tell him I want to go home now, could you forget Miles is Gay? Could you not tell his uncle about me?”
“You would do that for him? You would just walk away from him and all the things he could give you? There is a lot of money and land involved here.”
“Ernst,” Jamie said, squeezing his hand to get him to look directly into his eyes. “I love him and he loves me. But I would do anything for him. I know you don’t know me, but you have to believe this. If I thought my loving him would hurt him, I would walk away in a second. I am not important, I’ll survive. Miles has lost so much. He deserves to be happy. I was poor and alone before, I know how to do it. The time I have spent with Miles has been the happiest I have ever known. He rescued me.” Jamie paused and looked at the conveyer for a moment in silence, then at his feet, then to Ernst. “Ernst, I can live for the rest of my life off the happiness he has brought to me in the last month. But, I’ll never find anyone else in life who can make me as happy. If you tell me it is better for Miles, I’ll go.”
Ernst studied him solemnly for a moment. Jamie’s word crushed his heart. He could see that Jamie had known loneliness and hardship no child his age should ever know. In that instant, he knew Jamie’s love for Miles was unquestionable. Squeezing his hand a little, he shook it. “I don’t think it will come to that. And I am happy that Miles has someone who loves him so deeply. I for one, think Miles is a very lucky boy.”
Jamie looked up at the older man and saw the sincerity in his eyes. Jamie threw his arms around Ernst and hugged him tightly. “Tell me what to do, Ernst.”
“For now, point out the luggage,” he said, smiling. “I think everything has a way of working itself out.”
Jamie smiled and let go of his hand to grab the first bag which Ernst took from him and pulled upright as Jamie grabbed the second one and pulled it off the conveyer. He stood it up and tipped it on the wheels as they both made their way back to Chet.
“Right then,” Ernst said, as they got to the curb and he opened the door to the Limousine, allowing Chet and Miles to climb in. He and Jamie shoved the bags into the boot before Jamie turned and climbed into the open door.
He gasped at the luxury. He looked to the right and saw that Chet had taken a seat with his back to the driver’s compartment which, was separated by a glass window. In the corner behind the driver was a small cabinet. Jamie almost panicked when the car pulled away from the curb with no driver at the wheel. Then, he realized the steering wheel was on the other side. He laughed at embarrassing himself, to himself. The window went down as Ernst spoke. “There are snacks and drinks in the wet bar, help yourself. Lord Cavendish has asked me to inform you that he has taken the liberty of cancelling your reservations at the Devonshire Arms. He wants you all to stay at the Estate as his guests.”
“Thank you, Ernst. Lord Cavendish is a most gracious host,” Chet said. Chet knew they would be invited to stay at the estate, but the reservation gave his host the option of not doing so. It was just how things were done.
Jamie was glued to the window looking out, trying to take it all in.
It’s all so different, he thought to himself. He stared, like blinking might permit him to miss something so obviously profound that he dare not even consider it. He watched as the car rolled down narrow streets, winding its way away from the heart of the city. Away from the small shops, corner pubs, high-rising apartment buildings. He saw kids playing soccer in local parks, some just playing on the side streets. He saw strange little cars that look like something you would see in a circus that people and clowns would keep coming out of but when empty, looks almost like you could fold it into a briefcase.
Jamie watched as they drove into the rolling hills of farmland and through several other small towns. He marvelled at the cobblestone streets and remembered how he had read that they used the cobblestones as ballast in the ships. Ships would put stones in their holds to keep them from being top heavy and capsizing when they removed their cargos. So when a cargo empty ship came in to port to take on supplies or cargo, they would have to unload cobblestones and stack them on the wharf. They would get so many stacked that they had to make room for the next ship, so they would take them and pave the streets. That way the carts could roll easier in the rain, not having to deal with the mud and the cobblestone never wore out. It was a permanent road surface, but the downside is that it became treacherously slick when wet. But every time a new ship came in, a new road would get pavers.
He watched and saw cows with great shaggy hair coats. You could almost not recognize them as cows as he knew them anyways. The car slowed and gently turned onto a narrow road that rose over a small, but steep hill, where it leveled off before a large archway. The car paused for a moment while gates seemed to magically open. The car pulled through the gate and followed a small driveway sided by tall thin cypress trees that seemed to go up forever. Then the wall of trees on the left stopped as the driveway turned and opened to a beautiful field of grass neatly trimmed up to a small fountain in the center of a round about. This setting majestically sat in front of a very old, very stately, looking manor. It appeared to be two stories and very box shaped, with ivy covering one wall. It was made of brick, it seemed almost like the cobblestone streets. There was a double set of doors centered between four windows. As the car rolled to a stop, the door opened and a middle aged woman who looked like someone’s mother stepped gingerly out of the door, wiping her hands on her apron. Ernst turned the car off and opened the door. Chet stepped out, embracing the round woman with great fanfare.
“Oh Vivian, it is so good to see you again,” he said. Then, stepping aside, she covered her mouth in amazement.
“Master Miles!” she said, excitedly. “Look at you, all grown up and quite a fetching young man you have become. Let me look at you. Oh my,” she said. “It is just so good to have you home again, we have missed you so much.”
Jamie stepped out of the car, glancing at Ernst, who gave him a smile and a wink. Miles turned and reached out for Jamie. Sensing his proximity exactly, he grabbed him by the hand and said, “Vivian, this is Jamie. He is my partner.”
Vivian reached out to him and took him in her arms and hugged him. “Welcome Master Jamie, now please come in. I’ll show you to your rooms and then we’ll have a bite to eat. You must be famished after coming all that way. Just follow me.”
“I’ll bring your bags along in just a few,” Ernst said.
“Oh no. Let me find where our rooms are and I’ll be back to get them.” Jamie said, smiling.
“I’ll tell you what. I’ll get them out and meet you half way.” Ernst said, smiling.
“Splendid!” Jamie shot back, then turned and chased after Miles, Chet and Vivian.
Vivian lead them down the hall to a smaller hall with five doors, two on each side and one at the end. She opened the first door and motioned for them to enter. “Chet, we thought to put you here if that’s alright. You have a beautiful morning view with a nice balcony with chase. As I recall, you like the morning sun.”
“My dearest Vivian, you miss nothing, do you? This will be wonderful. Thank you.”
“And across the hall, we have two rooms for Master Miles and Master Jamie. They are joined like this room is to the next. The loo is at the end of the hall. I’ll leave you to it. When you get settled in, just come down and I’ll have a snack ready. We’ll do tea at the regular time. You know how Morny is. He’s not changed a bit,” she said, as she made her way down the hall.
“I’ll be right back with the bags.”
“Wait, I’ll grab one too,” Chet said, chasing after Jamie. Miles tapped across the hall and found his door and opened it. He stepped in and closed the door. He clapped his hands together once to get a sense of the size of the room. Turning his head a bit, he did it again. Then, he took his cane and tapped his way around the room feeling what was there, creating his mental map of the room. He made his way around, feeling the fireplace, the lounge recliner, then the bed. He felt the mattress. He made his way around the bed and found the doors to the balcony. Then, he continued around finding the door connecting the rooms and opened it. He continued to tap his way back to the door when Jamie came in dragging the heavy case, all out of breath.
He looked at the room. “Man, Miles, this bedroom is almost as big as the entire house back home. It’s huge. And we have a balcony too!”
Miles walked over to the door joining the next room to it. “We have this one, too. Although, I don’t think we’ll need it, do you?”
“Miles, I think maybe I need to sleep alone while we are here.”
“What? Nonsense. We haven’t slept apart since you came to live together.”
“Yeah, I know. I just thought that maybe with your uncle being old fashioned and all that, maybe we should respect that. We don’t need to make waves while we’re here for Charlie.”
“No. We don’t want to impede the rescue effort, I agree.”
Jamie walked up to Miles and placed his arms around Miles’ neck and went in and kissed him. Miles kissed him back.
“Maybe, when you introduce me to your uncle, you should just tell him I am your best friend.”
“Are you dumping me? Here? Now?”
“Miles, don’t be stupid. You know I am never leaving. I’ve told you that.”
“Then why are you saying this?”
“Miles, you can’t see it, but when you introduced me to Ernst and then to Vivian they paused when you got to our relationship. I think they are just being very polite, but I don’t think your uncle will be quite as understanding.”
“Jamie, I don’t care if they like it or not. I love you and if they can’t deal with that, then who needs them.”
“Miles, we do. Charlie does. And well, beside that. . . Miles, you could lose your Earlship or whatever it is. They can make you give it up if you aren’t going to have any little Miles’ running around. I think it is safe to assume that we aren’t going to have any kids between us.”
“Who’s been at you?”
“No one’s been at me, Miles. I pried it out of Ernst, at the airport. I saw something in his eyes and asked him. He didn’t want to tell me, but I kept at him. He loves you too, Miles.”
“He’s a busy body who should learn to mind his own business.”
“Miles, it’s not like that. You’re dead wrong here. I’m telling you, he only answered my questions and it came out. Look, I don’t want to cost you your title. It’s part of who you are, Miles.”
Miles took him in his arms and got nose to nose. “You are part of me too! Without you, I am nothing. Without you, I don’t want to live. I can live without a title. They can have it. I told Chet as much. Now, shut up already and kiss me.” He pulled Jamie into him and kissed him deeply as the partially opened door opened the rest of the way and Vivian entered.
“Oh, excuse me, the door was mostly open, I’m so . . . so . . . sorry Master Miles, Master Jamie. I just brought these fresh towels for you.”
“Vivian, please, it’s alright. We didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’m so sorry,” Miles said, turning to her. “I am not used to hiding behind doors. I never know the difference. I’ll try and remember to keep the door closed.”
Jamie had snapped back away from Miles when she spoke. His eyes didn’t meet Vivian’s. He looked down at the floor.
“No Master Miles. You should not feel you need to hide your feelings for Master Jamie. I was just surprised, that’s all. When you introduced him as your partner, I thought it was like in business, not in love. So you see, I was a little surprised, that’s all. Please, now that I know, feel free to be as you would at home. Does the lord know?”
“Um, no, not yet. I am afraid this all happened rather suddenly, the trip that is, and we had no time to prepare him. I think it’ll be a bit of a shock to him. You may want to uncork a good bottle of sherry tonight.”
“I think you may have the proper key there, Master Miles.” She set the towels on the dresser and walked over to Jamie who was still looking at the floor. She lifted his face up to make his eyes meet hers. He resisted a moment, then, his eyes met hers. She had smiling, loving eyes. “I can see the love he has for you, Master Miles and he’s quite handsome.” She kissed him on the cheek and left saying, “Snacks are ready when you are.”
Miles reached out for Jamie and robotically Jamie moved in, feeling like he wasn’t in control of anything. He was afraid of what his love was costing Miles. He hugged Miles as small tears formed in his eyes.
“Come on,” Miles said. “As I recall, Vivian makes an incredible strawberry shortcake.”
The boys went out the door and down the steps, Miles keeping his left hand on Jamie’s shoulder just as he always did when going someplace unfamiliar. Jamie went towards the kitchen. Leading Miles to the table, he took the chair to the left of Miles and pulled it out. Miles followed suit and sat. Chet was sipping tea and reading the paper. Vivian turned around and set two large glasses of milk in front of the boys and then two very large bowls of strawberry shortcake.
“Here you go boys. I need to fatten you up a bit. You are all skin and bones.”
“Thank you,” Jamie said, smiling.
“Yes, thank you so very much. If it tastes anything like it smells I’m already in heaven.”
Jamie stabbed a strawberry slice and a bit of the cake and slid it casually into his mouth and froze looking at the bowl in front of him. He slowly started then to chew, a smile coming over his face.
“Chet, have you tried this?”
“Ah, no, I was just having a bit of tea. You know, trying to watch the waistline and all.”
“Shut up and taste this.” Jamie said, shoveling a bit into his mouth.
Chet froze looking at Jamie, then, slowly started chewing again.
“Incredible isn’t it? I’ve never had anything like it. Ms Vivian, this is the most incredible taste I have ever experienced. You could be a millionaire.”
“Oh sweetheart, when you say things like that, I feel like I already am. It was my mother’s recipe.”
“You must have had a delightful childhood,” Jamie said, chipping off just an ever so small piece and scooping a strawberry. He was trying to savor every morsel as if it was the last piece on the planet and he would never taste it again. “Thank you, Ms Vivian. You know if I did nothing else the entire time I was here, this by itself would be worth the trip.”
“Oh go on now with yerself,” she said, blushing.
“No ma’am, I mean it. I think they could save return airfare if they just held a bowl of this on the other shore. I’d swim it.”
“Ok, he can stay.” Vivian said, smiling.
“Is that Miles Cavendish I hear slurping down Vivian’s delicious Strawberry shortcake?” came a jolly sounding voice from a middle aged man of distinction. Jamie looked at him and knew this was Lord Cavendish. Miles and Jamie both got to their feet as Miles hugged his uncle. Chet stood and reached a hand over which Lord Cavendish shook immediately.
“Stand up boy, let me have a look at you. Miles, you have grown into a fine young man. The last time I saw you was . . . well, it was a long time ago. And you were a lot smaller then. But now you have matured. And who is this fine looking young lad?”
“Uncle this is Jamie, he’s my. . .”
“Best friend,” Jamie blurted out.
“Lover!” Miles corrected.
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