In the bedroom I was awake and waiting for his return, planning no surprises for either of us this time. I might not have been, but it seemed that somebody else had got there before me. His face was tense as he sat by me on the bed. He’d been given orders and he didn’t look happy about them. Did I trust him? Course I did, how could I not trust him? I wasn’t certain that made things any easier for him and he gazed into space, appearing deep in some internal debate.

The jacket came off, then the shirt. He asked me to help him with his boots and socks – we ignored the reason why he might be having trouble reaching down. Fatigues and underwear followed. I looked up at him – all curved contours and smooth living softening an essentially hard body. Apart his perfect brows and luxuriant tresses he was completely hairless. He said nothing but let me take a good look at him before he stepped through into the shower. I seemed to listen to the hissing water for a long time and then he called me to join him. Knowing how uncomfortable he’d been when he asked if he could photograph me I wondered who could have had the influence to command him to do this.

The shower had not been designed for two people, certainly not two as tall as us. There was no way to stand without touching that dark silky skin. Wordlessly he turned me away from him, held me close against his body and started washing me. Long gentle strokes of his hands, soothing, reassuring, taking his time with my arms, the front of my body, my thighs, then moving on to my balls and the inevitable erection before slipping a hand between us to caress my buttocks and explore that forbidden place. He might not have seemed happy with the idea of what he was doing, but, Jacob’s blood, taking his time made it such exquisite torture. I told him to stop. Even as I wanted to grind myself into him I said he didn’t have to do this, no need to do something he didn’t want to. Orders were orders, it seemed. He was going to carry them out as best he could, no matter how much I protested. I was to arrive at Arthur’s Seat a virgin still, he would make certain of that, but so much better educated than before the start of the journey.

I had to tear away from his intense, strange embrace. Not through any sense of virtue you understand but just because it didn’t seem right for me to be enjoying it so much. The things he’d asked me about, he meant to do those? No way could I let that happen if he didn’t … if it wasn’t something he wanted. It wasn’t right. I turned back to demand he stop – and I looked at him. It was all I needed to do. Unlike the doctor he didn’t go weak at the knees, he didn’t go weak anywhere. Quite the opposite. The shower was off and he backed me out of the small room to land on the bed in a tangle of wet limbs and urgent passion almost before I realised what was happening.

“Do you remember how much energy you had when you were young? How often you could come with a new lover when you were still Gilbert?”

It was a night of wonders and discovery. To a body accustomed to studied neglect or painful sublimation his every touch excited responses that I barely recognised and had less chance of restraining. I trusted him utterly and did everything he directed me to without fear or shame, without conscious thought intervening in the purely physical. So many ways to give, and receive, pleasure. Dear God, the man was as good as his word. Frustrating though it was, it was also a night of extreme self-control as he wouldn’t allow us to go beyond the final limit that had been set.

In one of our spent silences, with his head resting against my thigh, he admitted to his discomfort at seeing me the night before. How he’d stayed out in the dark after making his call but had been unable to relieve the torment as he discovered urges re-kindled that he’d thought long behind him. However much he’d denied the feeling in himself, he said he’d wanted to hold me as soon as he’d met me. His orders were not difficult because he didn’t want to follow them … but because he’d wanted to too much, and he feared where that might lead.

Eventually we rested. As we fell asleep I heard his sleepy, sated, voice say that if the Laird wouldn’t have me then he would damn the shame and would ask for me for himself. He said he didn’t know what he felt, he felt alive for the first time, he thought I was an addiction and asked if I was some kind of incubus. I laughed, how could I be an incubus? Incubi slept with women, I must have been a male succubus I said, because all I wanted was the touch of a man.

The morning, and a return to reality, came too soon for both of us. Cursing the alarm ringing at his wrist Moshen dragged his long body out of the bed and tottered into the en-suite. I remember stretching and feeling a delicious ache in my muscles for the first time. I was thinking of the taste of him in my mouth, knowing that I wanted more, when I heard him call out in surprise – he had something astonishing to show me. He looked well, positively glowed with health, too much perhaps compared to the previous day. There were no bruises left, no marks along his neck or down his flank. Even as I looked at him in the harsh light of the small room I thought I saw the last hint of a bite fade from his perfect thigh.

Amazed, we stared at each other. I had been to blame for the bruises and I happily recalled what had led up to the bite – but had I also been responsible for the healing of them? How? So much for us to think about. Not enough time to even begin.

He needed to be presentable and out with his men again before the last, and unfortunately shortest, part of our journey. I tried to talk to him as he showered and dressed. His words of regret at the brief time we had together seemed heartfelt. He wouldn’t let me speak of a possible future where we were together, too much to hope for he said, too much to get through first. And then, in his parting kiss before reluctantly leaving me to my own ablutions, he apologised for the harm that might come to me in the name of another’s pleasure. His smile was sad as he went to greet his men and shut the door on our brief night together.

It didn’t take long to get to our destination. Cocooned from the world I had no idea of the progress we were making, no clue what he had told the Chamberlain to get the transport inside the Laird’s private parking garage rather than fetching up in open view. The transport stopped. I remained seated and counted the passage of time, hiding as far back inside the hood of the dress cloak as I could.

Eventually the door opened and my friend introduced the Chamberlain. Thankfully no one else was with them. One at a time, maybe, and we might get away with it. Commanded to rise I did so. With all of me hidden in the cloak I waited until the little man’s eyes travelled up to my full height before I pulled the hood back and bowed low in greeting.

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