'Welcome to Silverwood Manor' he spoke out as soon as the man, apparently called Zachary, gave him a certain look which made him realize that he had been staring for a few seconds too long.

'Excuse my impoliteness' he said, as formal as he could make his voice, 'the patterns in your hair, I have not seen anything like it before'.

He cussed at himself as the stroke the man did over the patterns in his hair, instantly made de man even more interesting, and gave him one little thought, that he wanted to ban out of his head.

'No excuses needed' the man smiled with an informal smile, that made David's will to be formal with the man now just a wishful thought. 'It happens more often than you might think'. After a silence between them, as long as it took for Zachary to sit down on the mount of hay close to David's previous seat, David felt the low vibrations of the man's voice again in his stomach.

'Why is the person, the reason for this elaborate party, not with his guests?' he asked. David, believing Zachary asked it more teasingly than a judgement of his poor hosting skills.

A smile cracked on the lips of the Lord, and even more so as the dark-skinned man's elbow softly touched his side for a second.

He took a little too long to tell the man his answer, he realised as the man looked comfortable and relaxed, but expectantly at him.

'The heat' Answered his lips, an acceptable answer, but not one about the reason why he left the festivities. He had previously been wondering why he had not taken gloves or a hat with him, and his toes had been freezing. Now he suddenly wondered if there was a fire burning somewhere near him that he couldn't see.

'You don't like the heat, but you are comfortable in arguably the coldest of buildings around?' The man asked with a playful smile. Nathaniel leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and nodded with a nervous smile.

'Why did you?' He asked Zachary, trying to get the conversation to shift.

'I never liked large crowds' the man answered back, contemplating something. 'They remind me too much of my former days, serving.' He said as he pointed at his official and impeccably cleaned military uniform. 'Luckily I am finished with those scenes, I did my duties, but war is not something you leave the same as you came in'.

David nodded, saying nothing about the fact that his father had bought him his way out of the dreaded military service. David was torn, trying to keep the conversation going, but at the same time desperately trying to think what was happening. Something about the man allured him, drew him to move an inch closer to the man. He had hoped to ease his curiosity to the man by just touching him with his arm, but even his thick woollen jacket did not make Nathaniel stop feeling the heat that came off of the man's body as he just barely touched his skin.

Knowing what he was thinking being socially unacceptable, he had never understood why. His family worshipping a god called the 'coin' and not an old holy book made him think different, he felt. Nathaniel pulled away from the heat of his arm, that made his legs numb, looking up at the ceiling. Not even being religious, he prayed a quick prayer, not knowing what to do.

He froze as he certainly felt the heat again, but not by his own doing. Not even daring to look sideways at the retired military man, that looked just his own age, but it he'd had to guess, a bit younger. Zachary, the cause of his torn mind, was leaning towards Nathaniel.

Eventually he looked over as the pinkyfinger of his compagnion's right hand reached his knee.

'I know' He said, his words not even intended for the mare to hear behind them. 'I'm never wrong' He whispered as he leaned over to whisper to David's unbelieving ears.

'What are you never wrong about?' He asked, a bit quicker than he would like to admit.

Zachary grinned with his lips, darker than his own, and leaned back again. 'I think you already know'.

Nathaniel grinned about that too, 'I know, I am a terrible host' He said, trying to get the conversation to lead to anywhere but that particular topic.

'Are you staying for a while?' David asked the alluring man, as he knew a few of the partygoers would be staying for a little while, as the Lord and Master of the manor had planned multiple elaborate festivities. To his demise, Zachary nodded amused.

'Zachary Raymond, Lord Duchard, it's an honour to cross paths'

'I know'.

'I am never wrong'.

That nod, the realization that the cause of his confusion was currently staying just a hallway away, just a few tens of steps where the man was that he could not get out of his head. All that was said in the stables today, before he had made some excuses that the party would miss him if he would stay in the stables a little bit longer, swirled in his head.

The words caused the same vibrations into his stomach again.

After he had returned to the guests and assumed his post as the generous host, he had played that position as if it gave him the breaths he took. He emerged himself into the crowd once he got the security on his feet back again.

The night was spent in that heat, talking to most uninterested lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses, and entertaining the advances of the flirtatious women without much interest.

His head was both nowhere, somewhere else, and everywhere, he felt.

He did not have a grip on his thoughts, his mind felt like forest, both being full of life, but also a place to be alone with thoughts.

Cold water had splashed on his face as soon as he returned to his elaborate chambers in a futile attempt to cleanse his thoughts.

As he was undressing to clean the cold sweat that was caused by the hot room and activity of walking and talking around the room, he could only imagine the dark-skinned man with eyes of the most beautiful, deepest brown he had ever seen to do the same. It caused him to believe his pants size had shrunken down a few sizes too many.

He had wiped off the sweat that made him feel uncomfortable to step into his clean bedding, just a few seconds before he heard a knock on the door.

Rudely pulled out of his thoughts, he yelled back that the person behind that door would have to wait for a bit. Not properly dressed yet, a quick clothing change was made, into linen pants and just the black jacket he had worn today, but barefoot.

Walking on his tiptoes towards the door, as not to feel the cold of the stone floor on his sensitive feet, he opened the door to both the person he wanted to see, but also wouldn't have mind never to see again. The enchanting and relaxed smile of the man that called himself Zachary greeted him at the door. Nathaniel gathered his composure, but the man, again, was too fast in his speech to wait.

'I wanted to apologize' the voice that caused his stomach to vibrate said.

Stunned by the one phrase he had never thought the man would say in this instance, he muttered: 'for what exactly?'

'I must have behaved inappropriately, I realized' The man said, not convincing David that he was truly remorseful for his behaviour.

A long sigh came out of David's lips, that shivered a bit, as he would have liked to be in his warm bed by now, not barely decently dressed in front of the cold doorway.

'You behaved indecent' He answered truthfully, 'But not untrue'.

'Not untrue?' He asked again, with yet again the devilish smirk on his lips.

'So I did not lie when I said I was never wrong'. He grinned, stating the probable obvious.

'You know what the consequences are, don't you?' David said, now leaving any formalities behind, as none of them would help him out of this unforeseen situation.

Zachary asked the uncomfortably cold lord if he believed the consequences were fitting the supposed crime, to where he shook his head.

'You are cold' Zachary noted. 'You've gotten goose bumps on your neck'.

David was just relieved that he noted the goose bumps to the cold, and not the actual cause of his shivering.

'I was about to go to bed, didn't you?' David asked him, 'is your bed not comfortable enough, do you need anything to make it comfortable?'

Without asking, Zachary seized the opportunity to walk into the room. 'If you are so gracious to offer'. David's protesting did not help change Zachary's direction back to the hallway.

A bit of arguing back and forth didn't help his cause eighter. Both found their way into the bed, warming each other in the cold winternight, while Zachary kept teasing the Lord, about him never being wrong, about something what had not yet been said.

Er zijn nog geen reacties.

Meld je gratis aan om ook reacties te kunnen plaatsen