'It's not going to be that easy' David whispered to the man. 'My father is very clear on wanting.... Well you know'. A hand, aged and worn down with hard work, reached up for his cheek, and made the lord look up to the hand's owner. 'Tell me. What is it that you want from me'. He asked him. 'Maybe you should think well about that first, one problem at the time'.

'Do you know what you want?'


David fell silent for a few seconds.

'That fast?'


His own hand reached up again, caressing the man's jaw, then leaning in. The softness of his lips being noticed by David first, then Zachary leaned in more, pressing the lord in between him and his bedroom wall. No words escaped his lips anymore now, they were occupied. It took at least an hour for them before they decided their presence would be missed if they stayed in David's room any longer. Heated, and both feeling a shared expression of relief and relaxation, they washed most of the scent and sweat off with cold water of the just newly installed waterpipes, a miracle of the day.

'Are you still afraid?' Zachary's honeysweet voice asked him again.'Even more so' He sighed. 'But all the more sure about what I want'. A chuckle escaped the soldiers lips. 'So am I, little lord' he grinned.'I'd rather have you call me by my name' David protested. 'Please don't tease me like that, don't I have enough worries?'

A soft kiss in his neck and a pair of hands around his waist, which made him shiver as the cold hands touched his bare skin, made it clear that Zachary had no intend of stopping his teasing.'It will be a social disgrace, if we do not watch it. Most people are deeply religious. They will not stand for anything out of the ordinary'.'They have no problem with women doing what we do' He got as an answer.

Sadly, he acknowledged the double standard of women loving women being invisible to the law, but his preferences being views as a crime and a disgrace.'That won't be enough' David sighed. 'We do not have many choices.

He turned to face Zachary. 'We need to get dressed. And soon'. David now had fingers like rapid fire, and got dressed as soon as he could.

They were ready just in time as they heard a knock on the door, the lord quickly buttoned the last button on his vest and moved trough the room to greet whoever wanted to see him.

As he opened the door, he saw a woman with comfortable woollen dress, fit for indoor wear, but with hair elaborately decorated with feathers, fruits and brightly coloured bows, on a powdered wig.

'Madeleine' David said with some dread, welcoming his elder sister with a respectful nod. 'Can I help you?' He asked the woman.'My little birds have chirped some very interesting stories, brother' she said with a curious smile. 'Are they true?' May I ask what you're talking about?' He asked, denying, and hoping that all evidence was completely washed away.

'My maids, while they were coming home from fetching more flour from the mills for my wigs, had picked up a few hints of a very interesting story, my brother'. 'I'm sure they would. That's not something new, I already told father I might have in interest in someone. You're not as fast with the new gossip as you were, sister'. He said, annoyed by his ever-spying sister.

The wigged woman pulled up her nose. 'I don't think you'd like for anybody to know about what my maids have heard, David'. She said smug.

'The maids hear a lot, sometimes they get confused, especially with all the tasks you have them do' David said, gently closing the door to his quarters.After he closed the door, to add insult to injury, he locked the door with his key, leaving Madeleine on the other side, hearing a loud and heavy thump as she was locked out, unwelcome. He did however unlock the door again once she left.

'Do you think she might be on to us?' Zachary's enchanting voice echoed from the back of his quarters. 'She is a woman' David sighed. 'And expecting, they will believe me before they will believe her'. Everybody seemed to have to adhere to double standards in these walls.

A pair of comforting hands reached around his body, making Nathaniel turn around to face the man.'We could leave?' He asked David. 'My father is weakening. My father is getting sicker by the day. If we can hold on to a few years, then maybe we might have any luck'.

'You want to stay here, don't you?' Zachary asked. 'I won't convince you to move away?' Of course not, that was not an option. Leaving his family would be social suicide. 'We'll think about it later' David eventually said to get the topic somewhere else.

'In the meantime I'll have to act according to my father's wishes, I'm afraid. I'll have to greet the suitresses that have stayed the night and humour their advances' He sighed deep. Zachary nodded, he understood that there was a façade that had to be held intact.

David spend the next few hours in the gardens with three women, guests for the upcoming days. All three they wore their elaborate wigs and hairpieces, dresses bulking up and with corsets stiffened up to where he could still smell the agent they used for the stiffening.

Behind him, and hanging on his arms they walked trough the flowergardens with him. David humoured them, picking delicate flowers from the gardens and gently placing it with the other decorations into their wigs. His mind, however, kept drifting away. While these women agreed on almost every little thing he said, giving him little intellectual stimulation, he could not blame them. These women wanted his upcoming estate, and they were aware of the two other beautiful women around that they thought were competition.

The tour ended in the stables, walking and looking into the stalls of the pregnant mares and the young foals, playing with each other and showing each other their speed and how high they could jump.

One foal, eating peacefully in its stall as he was weaned off, seemed to have a similar name to one of those women, as one of them gasped and gave an ungastly high scream, and announced such a thing. I looked at the foal's nameplate to try to remember her name, I had not payed that much attention to them.

He murmured something inconciece, 'That's great' or something of that fashion. 'Usually the stablemaster names the horses' He just said, as not to make the conversation fall silent. Anywhere else, he wanted to be, but here.

He got his wish granted, when a very familiar voice immediately made him turn his head around. 'Room for one more?' The voice came closer and greeted the women. 'Mind if I have a word with your host?' He asked the women. 'He'll be back soon, I'll promise you'. As soon as David walked next to Zachary, he told him: 'Liar' as he saw the stablehand holding two saddled horses for them.

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