Spring had finally arrived after the long, hard winter. The Emerson grounds were beginning to bloom and a tentative warmth was beginning to mingle with the breeze. Enjoying the late morning sunshine that filtered through the trees that clamoured around the edges of the estate, were two young men, both perched comfortably in a large, domineering tree. 

Lazarus was lying atop the young lord, watching the clouds through the leaves with a smile on his face that looked as though it'd never fade. Out here in the shade of the woodland, they could be true to each other. They were able to talk freely and flirt and laugh too loudly. There were no quiet tuts of disapproval from Emily, no members of the Emerson family wandering in and out as they pleased, no fear of being discovered. Here, they were free, and safe. 

Gabriel's arms were wound comfortably around the slight boy's waist, holding him firmly and carefully as if he were a porcelain doll that might shatter at any moment. The blue ribbon that had tied the boy's hair back had been pulled out and was now tied around Gabriel's wrist. He preferred Lazarus to leave his hair down. It was so long and gorgeous, and despite this, he managed to keep a strong sense of masculinity about himself. He was so busy admiring Lazarus again that he hadn't noticed he was speaking. 

Lazarus twisted in his arms, lying over him on his stomach. "Y'didn't lissen to a word o' that did you?" He chuckled. Gabriel tutted. 

"Stop giving me so much to admire about you, then."

"That's all in your head, Gabe. Nuthin' to admire 'bout me. Anyway, like I were sayin', I w'thinkin' about maybe goin' to London. You an' me. Always wanted to go, jus' never had the money for a carriage there. What d'ya reckon?"

"For the day?" Gabriel enquired. 

"Maybe a weekend? We could go to the theatre or somethin' an' stay at an inn together. Heard some places in London s'alright to like men. They got men working as whores for other men. Weird thought, eh?" Lazarus grinned a little. The very idea of there being a place that might be more accepting was so novel to him that he felt like a child for whom several Christmasses had come at once. 

Gabriel, however was a little more dubious. "I doubt that areas like that are places either of us should be staying though. They'll probably be full of thieves and murderers. But if a weekend in the city is what you want, I'm sure it can be arranged," he smiled, delighting at the way Lazarus' face lit up, the grin that was already there growing. Their lips met forcefully, tongues quickly tangling. Their bodies pressed together and hands roamed freely, extracting quiet groans of frustration to each other. 

Lazarus was the first to pull back. Gabriel looked up at him with concern and confusion. He was usually the first to end a kiss out of embarrassment or to come up for air because of his unpracticed lungs, not Lazarus. "Is something wrong?" he questioned, frowning a little. 

"When we go to London," Lazarus spoke carefully, attempting to control his breathing, "can we please consummate our relationship?" A dark blush was creeping over his cheeks as the thought drove the rest of his blood south. Gabriel's hand followed it, caressing his pianist gently. 

"We can do whatever you wish, my love," he said softly, tilting his head as Lazarus pressed his lips to the crook of his neck, "I'll devote the whole time we're there to pleasing you however I can." Lazarus pressed his hips down, trapping Gabriel's hand between them. 

"Swear it?" he asked breathlessly, half moaning as Gabriel flexed his fingers experimentally. 

"I swear it," he nodded, pushing Lazarus' hair back so he could watch his face. It was as though someone had flicked a switch inside Lazarus' mind; he put his head down on Gabriel's shoulder and seemed to almost melt into a docile mess. He was still incredibly aroused, but he knew he was finally giving himself over to the young lord - he would finally be able to call him his lover, and more importantly, he would be able to love this incredible man with all he had to give. 

Gabriel didn't fully realise what was going on in the boy's head, but he knew that his promise had changed something, somehow. Instead of asking questions that could wait, he gently coerced him into rolling onto his back again, stroking his blonde locks with one hand, and pushing down Lazarus' trousers with the other. It wasn't exactly what Lazarus was yearning for, but the intimacy and trust that he felt being totally at Gabriel's mercy in that state was more than enough for the time being. He could only wonder at how he had never felt like this with James. 

The End

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