Book 1 in the River of Time series
From Phaze: Buy it Here!
In a seventeenth century that never quite was, Julius Montclair LaRousse lives out a slightly off center fairy tale. A half-fae orphan, raised by Jesuits and turned brigand, he shares his adventures across France and into the New World as he tries to get the girl, the boy, and maybe save the French outpost in La Florida along the way.
Curran and I were in the hold making long work of a short task. For us that meant lolling amongst the stores and teasing with each other. Oddments, spare sail and line, various bundles of provisions were crammed into every available corner. We’d found a small space within the clutter in which to disappear. So long as we kept our voices low we’d be undetectable from all but the most diligent search. Curran had set himself up towards the top of a pile of bales. A sultan lounging on his couch could not have been more comfortable. My chosen seat was a crate slightly below him.
As usual, our conversation had drifted towards sex. Why we weren’t having any predominated these days. “I’m sure one of the young ladies would give you a tumble. It wouldn’t be so hard to sneak one from beneath Madame’s nose.”
“It is naw small matter to go behind that wagon’s back. She rides heard on them like a mother hen.” He coughed and rolled his eyes. “I’m given to understand,” his tone said the understanding might have been garnered personally, “that a few lads have tried and received a sound thumping for their effort.”
“So you’ve tried it then?”
“Naw,” he shuddered, “they’re too well used.”
Patting his ankle, “You lie rather badly. You are aware of that failing?” Given that the filles had not been chosen for their desirability but rather for the undesirability of their conduct, I was less than surprised. “That being the point of a prostitute, mon ami. You know what you’re getting.”
Indignant, “I’d have to be a wee bit more desperate to take one of that lot. Although each morn’ I wake and they’re just a wee bit finer then they were the last.” He reached out and tipped the hat over my eyes. “Jaysus, even yer starting to look fine.”
Pushing the brim back so I could see, “Really?” Curran must be desperate if he was starting the teasing, “How long has it been for you?”
“Mon Dieu, you must be bursting. I’m fairly pent and I at least had some opportunity before Marseilles.”
“I’m a little frustrated. But I don’t see how some of the lads stand it as well as they do.” Another shudder, “Or how they choose to do what they do to stand it.”
Already relationships were forming among the crew. Some were more out of necessity than desire but they all served the same purpose. “It is the situation they are in, not the life they have chosen for themselves.” Most of these men, had they been back in France would never have looked at another man. Desperation, loneliness, want drove them together. I slid up to Curran, put my lips next to his ear. “Well then, do you want know how they stand it…most of them?” The aura of wind behind his ears and the taste of steel on his neck coursed over my tongue as I inhaled his scent.
“Naw, I don’t think I need to hear this.”
“Oh, come now. It’s not so bad. You would just do as the rest of them do, mon ami. Pretend.”
“Pretend?” The whisper of the question thrilled me. His cheek was not breaths from mine. Kneeling in that dim, dank hold, I fought my desire of him. More than anything I wanted to push him down and ravage every inch of him with pleasure. I’d lose him if I did. I did not want to lose Curran.
“Oui, pretend that one of them is a woman. Find one with a fresh face and soft hands and you’d never know the difference…at least, not if you close your eyes. You simply tell yourself that the beautiful feelings are from the fingers of the woman left behind.” As I spoke my hand drifted up his leg. He twitched but did not pull away.
“I don’t think I’d find any of them quite what I’d want.” His hand landed on mine. While he stopped me from going farther, Curran hadn’t removed it. There was a little tremble to his voice. “I don’t think I’d want any stranger touching me like that.”
Not a stranger? That didn’t rule out a friend. “What would you want?” Shivers of anticipation rode my skin. “I’m no stranger, am I?”
“Jules, I don’t think this is a good idea.”
”Shh, it’s no worse idea than any other. Let me help you. The first time we kissed, it wasn’t so bad, was it?” After a tense moment he shook his head. “You wanted it again, did you not, mon ami?” Mon Dieu, that perfect kiss, there was no way he had not wanted it. Perfection, born of desire.
Swallowing, “I, I don’t know what was in me mind then.” Another swallow, “Maybe because we were going to die. Don’t be getting ideas from that. I’ve not changed me mind.”
“Understood, this would be a trifle, nothing of import.” Even if it was only a fantasy to him, I wished to be the one who gave it. I could suffer that. “Close your eyes.” My fingers swept across his lids, pulling them shut. “Now, think back, think of the prettiest girl you were ever with, the one you wanted the most. Imagine her hands running down your body.” As I spoke, my hand drifted between his legs. “Imagine her breasts spilling from her bodice.” Finding the tie, I loosed it. His beautiful lips parted and he sucked in his breath. “She’s beautiful and sweet.” My fingers slipped against his flesh as I pushed back his britches and pulled him free.
He was hardening under my touch. It felt so good to have his weight in my hand, to feel him come alive with my caresses. The chills started in my palm and coursed up my arm. Ripples of their passing washed through my body and landed in my hips. “So willing to do whatever you desire. Anything at all for you.” Curran twitched and hissed as I stroked him. His teeth ground against his lip. Why couldn’t it be I who drove that dream?
Licking my lips, wanting to taste him, I knew I could give Curran more than this. As of yet he had not drawn away. Soft, low moans broke as I took him into my mouth. Strong fingers twined into my hair. I ran my tongue over his head and down to where my hand wrapped around his shaft. I cupped his balls in my palm. Squeezing both as I sucked down hard on his head, Curran whimpered. His eyes were drawn tight and his face contorted with the feelings. My hands braced on either side of his hips, I took him all the way. Brutal suction, tongue pressing him against the roof of my mouth, I could feel the shudders tearing his frame.
“Ah, Jules, ah Jaysus, Jules.” His fingers pinched the tip of my ear. “Oh God, Jules, stop!
“Oww.” I wrested my head from his grasp and backed up choking. Curran was folding in on himself, hand clutching his britches. Unknowable things were passing behind his brooding eyes. “What is the problem, mon ami? Didn’t you like it?”
“I’m liking it,” his voice was barely a hiss, “that’s the problem.”
Laughing, “You’re meant to like it.” My hand on his boot was meant to calm him. He jerked back as though burned. “Be easy, that’s what this game is about.”
The bale tipped as he scrambled off it. “Stop calling it a game. It’s not a game.”
“Why is it not a game? You’re pretending I’m some buxom wench with an Irish manner.”
Boots skidding on the deck as the ship rolled, crawling over the cargo and hand cast back searching for the ladder, “I can’t stop thinking that it’s yer.” Bumping instead against the hull, he slid towards the hatch. When he found it, Curran hesitated. Tortured eyes stared at me. “And, and Goddamn yer, I liked it because I knew it was yer.” He fled up onto deck.