E P Kitty (e_p_kitty) wrote in naval_threesome,
E P Kitty
e_p_kitty
naval_threesome

Pomme D'Ambre 3/3

Last bit.

Pomme D'Ambre 3/3

= = = = =

Three

= = = = =

At home, Norrington disappeared directly into his room for some peace and quiet, only to find the basket of oranges still gracing his table.  He swore foully and tossed aside his coat to lay back on his bed with his eyes closed.  “I haven’t been so tired in ages.”  It wasn’t like Commodore Norrington to speak when there was no one to hear him, but those two were more than enough to drive a man to distraction.

A knock upon the door roused Norrington to drag himself to a sitting position.  “Come.”

Nelson tottered in with his little steps.  “There are a goodly number of gifts stacked upon the kitchen table; they’ve been coming in all day.  I’m sure you’ll sort through them at your leisure.  As for your own, they were all sent out this morning without difficulty, sir.”

Norrington stared at his mirror and said nothing.

“Do you require assistance, sir?”

He sighed and said, “Ah, see to the wig, won’t you?  And brush down my coat.  I’ll get myself a shirt… are the lads still about?”

“Aye, you told them to help themselves to what’s in the garden, and believe me, they are.”

“Good,” Norrington said absentmindedly.  “And the contributions—”

“To the church, and every other organization you like to waste your money on, yes sir, all seen to, sir, as you stated.  Why you demand anonymity for generosity I’m sure I don’t know.”

“Just see to the wig, Nelson.  Oh, and hand out the oranges to the boys, and Mary, and yourself.”

Nelson took out two oranges and left them on the dressing table before he departed.  “I’ll see to that at once, as the boys are like to take off in a moment.  You keep those, sir; they’re yours, and good for you.”

The door clicked shut, the room was quiet, and Norrington looked at the two oranges, the only spot of brightness in the white room.  He retrieved the fruit he’d carried in his pocket all day and put it with its mates upon the table.  Then he shook off his melancholy and set about his ablutions.

= = = = =

“You’re to take off as soon as I’m gone,” he instructed his man.  “No lounging about with your work as I’m apt to, but straight home to your sister’s.  Take that bottle of wine.”

“Sir, I—”

“Take it.  And I don’t want to see you tomorrow until noon at least.”  A small smile cracked upon his austere features.  “I know your sister’s cooking; if you can digest it in under twelve hours it will be a miracle.  Have a Happy Christmas, Nelson.”

“And yourself, sir.  A very happy one.”

Norrington descended the steps of the townhouse to where two blue-clad officers awaited him.  He sighed deeply.  “I see I’m not free of you, yet.”

“The night is young,” Groves said.  “It’s not even dark yet, and we have plenty of time to get you drunk.”

Scandalized at the intention, Norrington’s nostrils flared and his eyes bulged.

Before he could get going, Gillette began his assault as well, slinging a familiar arm around his commander’s shoulders.  “Aye, it’s not truly a holiday unless you get well and truly smashed.  Come along James!”

“Gentlemen, I must protest—”

Groves whistled down the open-air gig they’d ordered and the two men unceremoniously shoved Norrington up into the seat.  “Come on, there!  Budge up!”

“Let’s go!”
“Let’s sing!”

“Yes, let’s; sing with us James!  ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen…’”

= = = = =

They were among the first to arrive at the Governor’s mansion, descending the gig in a wash of amazement.  The front drive was lined with candles in white paper lanterns, and a troop of young carolers arrayed in red robes clustered near the steps, singing to the direction of a wizened old man waving a wooden baton irritably at them.

The three Navy men ascended the stone steps to the tiled entry room where a table of hors d'oeuvres was arrayed upon a tiered silver platform in bright lines of color.  The chandelier was lit with a plethora of white beeswax candles, and flowers and crepe paper had overtaken the room.  The men were offered champagne from a tray held by a white-wigged servant.  As soon as the glasses were in hand they drank, and felt better straight away.

It did not take long for Governor Swann to find them and wish them all the best for the holidays along with an imploration that they enjoy themselves to the fullest.

“Commodore, I thank you heartily for the case of cabernet; I assure you it will be put to good use; I may have to open a bottle or two tonight.”

Norrington took the gratitude in stride, thanking the Governor in turn for his gift, and when all the bowings and scrapings were done, Gillette made himself heard.  “May I ask, Governor Swann,” he spoke up without restraint, “has a kissing ball been prepared for the evening?”

“Ah yes!” he said.  “I’m only waiting for the arrival of my daughter, for I know she’ll be charmed by the thing.  Not to mention a few more bodies to fill the place up.  And Lieutenant Gillette, I was wondering if you’d mind terribly giving a little speech about the pomander, only you know so much about it.”

“I’d hate to step on any toes…”

“Not at all; would you?”

“I’d be delighted, Governor.  What an honor!”

“It will hardly be a hardship for him,” Groves said with a grin.  “Gillette loves to blow his own horn, don’t you, old boy?”

“Gentlemen,” Norrington warned.

“Splendid, splendid,” Swann went on.  “Oh!  Do go right out to the yard as soon as you’ve a chance; it’s an absolute marvel what they’ve been able to do with it.”  With a nod, he sent the three young men on their way, glad to see the Commodore finally engaging himself with his peers in a friendly manner.

The yard turned out to be a wonder, with white and silver decorations filling the place from end to end.  Tables overflowed with white lace, glass baubles dripped from the trees, and candles paraded up and down the footpaths that meandered the blooming gardens.  The men strolled amiably, sipping the bubbling French champagne, listening to the band pluck out a merry tune. 

“You’re a shameless know-it-all, aren’t you, Gillette?” Norrington asked, breaking the silence.

“Oh yes,” he readily agreed.  “In all things; you should know that by now.”

“Yes, I suppose I should.”

Groves grinned to see the little smile that tipped the corners of Norrington’s mouth.  “And you, Groves?”

“Sir?”

“How do you put up with him?”

They both laughed at this and Theodore confessed, “He’s an awful good sport, when it comes right down to it, and easier to embarrass than you might at first think.”

Norrington nodded acknowledgment of the easygoing ribbing but his amusement faded as the crowd began to expand from the doors that opened out to the lawn and into the gardens.  “And so it begins.  Gentlemen?  If you’ll excuse me?”

The Commodore left then, politely accosting all his acquaintance that quickly filled the place with their shining dresses and flashing uniforms and forced laughter.

Groves and Gillette were content to keep to themselves and speak here and there with those colleagues whose company they were familiar with until a servant begged Mister Gillette to please report to the main hall.

Inside the mansion people gathered round, Elizabeth with her husband and father, Groves with Norrington in a blue cluster of other officers.  A tinkling bell was rung as the Governor ascended a few steps of the staircase to better gain the attention of the crowd.  “Yes, thank you so much for coming…” was all he had to say before the people were applauding in thanks for such a marvelous celebration.  “Yes, yes,” he tried to wave the applause down, “and a very Happy Christmas to all of you.  But now, I’d like to introduce to you a new tradition and a young Lieutenant.  Mister Gillette, if you would?”

Gillette scampered up the steps to replace the Governor in front of the assemblage.  He held up a clove-embedded orange for the populace to see.  “Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  I wonder if any of you are familiar with the American practice of the Christmas kissing ball?”

A few rowdy men shouted out that they weren’t but that they should very much like to be.  Gillette laughed and went on, “I hope you’ll indulge me by listening to a little poem about this pomander.”

People kindly clinked their glasses in approval and Gillette cleared his throat.  When silence fell, he recited:

“A merry Yule and Happy Christmas

To all assembled here;

I wish to you the very best

Throughout the coming year.

“Today we’ll pass the pomander

To gather a hundred kisses;

So look out for the orange,

All you misters and you misses!

“When you give the kissing ball,

You collect a single kiss;

Then you also eat a single clove

To memorize the bliss.

“When ninety-nine cloves are gone

And only one remains

That one is sure to give a wish;

Good luck, you daring swains!

“And so I’ll pass the kissing ball

And hope you all have fun;

Give a kiss and take a clove

And then the thing is done!”

He bowed to much applause and cheers of praise.  “Who shall start?” he asked.

The Governor answered, “You should, Lieutenant Gillette; it was your idea, after all!”

Cheers flew about in agreement and Gillette’s cheeks grew pink as he descended into the crowd.  His friends and comrades clapped his back in commendation of his idea and told him to get on with it already so they could all get a kiss before the cloves were gone.

 With only a bit of stuttering, Gillette asked Mrs. Turner if she would terribly mind the imposition, but Elizabeth was more than amenable and offered her cheek without hesitation.  Gillette brushed the barest of kisses on the pure face, clear of powder or rouge but naturally flushed and gay.  He pressed the pomander into her hand as he did and withdrew with a single clove pinched between his finger and thumb.  “I thank you most sincerely, Mrs. Turner, and a Happy Christmas to you.”

“A very Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Gillette.  And this is such a wonderful design; you’ve no idea how captivated the ladies are at the suggestion.  Now where’s Will gone?  Will!  Come kiss me!”

Everyone laughed at her enthusiasm and William Turner quickly found his wife, to alleviate what mortification he could.  She eagerly embraced and kissed him, passing over the orange and taking a clove as she did.  “I do love you.”

“I love you, Elizabeth.”

Groves and Gillette watched with a melancholy echoed in Norrington’s expression as he hid in what shadows could be found in the brightly lit mansion.

= = = = =

Somewhere between his fourth glass of champagne and passing the kissing ball to an ancient Mrs. Lentfer with a giggle, Groves lost track of his Commodore.  “Gillette,” he said with a tap to the blue-brocaded shoulder.  “Have you seen Norrington?”

“What?  I thought it was your turn to watch him…”

“Very funny, a real riot.  No, I can’t find the blackguard.”

“Well he can’t have gone far,” Gillette reasoned.  “He’s not given his toast yet.”

The tune from the band in the little half-balcony ceased and another was struck up.

“Oh!” Gillette declared, “I’ve promised my cousin a dance; find me after!”  And he was off like a shot through the crowd to find the hand of Miss Stanley, a comely young lady with auburn curls much like his own.  She was a whole head shorter than Andrew Gillette, but they still made a fine couple, walking the dance up and down the ballroom floor.  Groves watched with delight as his friend made the circuit, obviously enjoying himself.

“Mister Groves.”

“Ah, Mrs. Turner!  A fine ball, is’t not?”

“Lovely, as usual.  My father spares no expense you know… I think he always wanted more children, but in the end he was only stuck with me, and I know I’m far from the ideal daughter.  But now, all the young men and women of Port Royal are his children.”

“Don’t be silly,” Theodore said, “you’re a wonderful daughter, and your father knows it.  After all, you aren’t cruel, you aren’t shallow as so many young women nowadays.  Why, you and Mr. Turner are thought of as the crème de la crème in Port Royal.  Young, happy, in love…  You’re very lucky, I think.”

“Yes, I know,” she said at once, far from ignorant to how she stood in the world and how blessed she was.  “But I always shall regret my abhorrent actions to your friend.  James was always too good for me.”

“I think, that is, if I may be bold, Mrs. Turner?  I think all turned out for the best.  You and your husband couldn’t be happier.  And James, well, there’s a great deal he’s missed out on in the world.  Andrew and I are trying to… rectify those oversights.  He’s too lonely you know, but we’ll soon fix that.”

“I am glad to hear it.  He’s so deserving of friends, and it’s seemed for so long he hasn’t any.”

“But you’re a friend to him,” Groves suggested.

Elizabeth paled.  Her feelings had always been so readily readable; she couldn’t hide a thing with her face.  “Our friendship will never be what it could have been.  I think as the years elapse, we shall grow more comfortable together, but we shall never be truly close after what’s passed between us.”

“That’s a shame.”

“Yes, it is.  Now,” she brightened, “it’s up to you and Mr. Gillette.”

“I feel you must be right.  Now tell me, are you engaged?  Or shall I have the pleasure of the next dance, Mrs. Turner?”

“I’d be delighted,” she declared, and she truly was.

= = = = =

In an alcove off the main hall, Groves and Gillette slouched together.  Theodore touched his glass to Andrew’s.  “You rogue,” he declared.

“What?”

“That poem,” Theodore said, sipping from his glass.  “You made it up didn’t you?  On the spot, even.”

Andrew blushed.  “I gave it some thought beforehand.” 

“Mm-hmm.  You’ve quite a head for languages, I think.”

“It helps to speak four of them.”

Groves laughed and gently kicked him.

Again the tinkling bell caught the attention of those within the house and faces turned to the stairway where an unfortunately sober Commodore Norrington stood with glass in hand.  “Ladies.  Gentleman.  I propose a Christmas toast.”

“Here, here!” voices answered him.  Glasses were found and lifted to the air, shimmering champagne gold, sherry red, and brandy yellow in the candlelight. 

“Governor Swann, you’ve my deepest thanks and heartfelt congratulations for such a superior celebration on this excellent Christmas day.”

More cheers answered this, and Norrington decided that if he had to endure such ovations after every sentence, he would quickly cut the speech short.

“Port Royal could not hope for a finer host, a grander venue, or a pleasanter evening.  Cheers to you, Governor, to your family, and to each and every one of you tonight.  A very Happy Christmas to you all.”

People cheered and applauded and drank away their troubles to the Christmas night.

Norrington braced himself to face the throng again as he said his goodbyes.  He shook hands with the Governor and William Turner and half his captains.  He escaped the ladies and he found at last the two conspirators to bid them good eve.

Gillette and Groves walked him down the gravel lane where a good many carriages were waiting.  “Do you two rascals need a lift to the Fort?”

“Oh no,” Andrew assured him.  “No worries about us, now.  You get yourself safely home and have a good sleep.”

“And a good Christmas to you, Commodore,” Groves added as Norrington disappeared with a sigh into the dark of a small coach.

They stood and watched it jitter away over the cobbles and waited only as long as they could stand it before hiring one of their own.

= = = = =

Norrington let himself into the house by way of the back door to the kitchen, which was chill and dark in the late evening.  He locked the place up tight behind him and moved sluggishly through the house that – after a night at the Governor’s ball – loomed close and quiet over him like a bad dream.  He tried to convince himself that this was the sort of peace he longed for, but after the day he’d had, it seemed only sad and empty.

He slogged up the stairs to his study, where he abandoned hat, coat, and sword before lighting a single lamp to set upon his desk.  Flipping out the tails of his waistcoat, Norrington sat and pulled forward the white papers crawling with black ink to study, to sign, to think, and to distract himself again from the things that really mattered.

He anticipated another night of working until he was too tired to do anything but sleep, knowing that no matter how fatigued he made himself, he would never be too tired to forget.

But as the clock on his dark mantel chimed midnight, echoing the bells that rang out from the Fort, he looked up from his work, squinting into the dark of the room, thinking he’d heard something out of place in the empty townhouse.

He soon attributed it to his imagination and bowed his head again to the desk.

But yet another sound, not quite identifiable, almost not even audible, caught his attention, and he peered into the darkness, searching fervently with his eyes as though they could aid his ears.

There.

Footsteps.

Norrington stood, sliding silently out from behind his chair, drawing the sword from its scabbard where it stood beside a shelf.  One hand held the weapon tight, the other clasped the door handle, and he stopped his breath to listen to the crack at the door.

“Shh!”

“He’s no doubt heard us already, Andrew; don’t make such a fuss.”

Norrington gave a deep sigh of frustration and flung open the door.  “Is my home to be invaded every hour by the pair of you?” he shouted, angry.

The sword was lowered, but Andrew and Theodore couldn’t help but think he still looked remarkably menacing, wig and all.

“Working late?” Groves asked, failing to appear nonchalant.  With greater confidence than he felt, he lifted the sword from Norrington’s hand like a master pickpocket and drove the man back into his study.  “Go on; we’ll not stop you.  I don’t doubt you shouldn’t be on your feet after the week you’ve had… working all hours, going to parties…”

Norrington decided to just throw up his hands.  “I honestly don’t know what to do with you,” he said, resuming his seat, determined to ignore them until they went away, though he doubted the tactic would work with two so persistent.

So it was a minute before he realized the men were making themselves quite at home.  Groves was examining the sword, waving it about this way and that while Gillette distractedly removed his hat, coat, and waistcoat, throwing them to an empty chair as he examined the books that filled Norrington’s shelves.

By the time Norrington thought to spare a glance for his unwelcome visitors, both were stripped to their shirtsleeves.  One perched upon the corner of his desk while the other lounged in a free chair.  Both examined their unwilling host with bright eyes.  “You’re drunk,” Norrington decided.

“No,” Groves, who leaned on the desk, denied.  “Not quite.”  He offered a friendly smile and stood, idly roaming the room.  “Andrew and I have been worried about you.”

Norrington’s eyes – suddenly wary – flicked to Gillette, who slowly gained his feet and began circling round to one side as Groves approached on the other.

“James,” Groves said, easing himself behind the desk to look down at Norrington, who abruptly pushed back the chair, letting it scrape across the floor as he stood.  “It’s all right,” Theodore said, raising his hands in a gesture of peace.

Gillette turned the chair perpendicular to the desk, and gently – so gently – tugged Norrington’s waistcoat as Groves moved further in and the man had little choice but to sit.  From behind, Andrew’s strong hands alighted upon Norrington’s shoulders with no more weight or presence than small birds while Groves slowly crouched, bringing him eye to eye with his prey.

When he spoke again, Theodore’s voice was small, soft, and deep.  “We’ve been minding you a while now, James Norrington.”

James shivered violently as the hands on his shoulders moved, one inching in to rub a thumb along the tense muscles of his neck, the other gently swiping the line of his jaw.

Terrified green eyes caught friendly blue. 

Theodore set his hands upon either knee and shook his head.  “Don’t be afraid,” he entreated.  Then Groves leaned in and touched warm lips to thin, parted ones.  He drew back and smiled.  “Dearest James,” he whispered reverently, “you have ever been hard on your lessers, but harder on yourself.  Andrew and I have watched you grow more stolid and removed by the day.  You’re exhausted, poor James.  Now…” he said, and his eyes lifted momentarily to his partner-in-crime, who had yet to cease his gentle fondling; a cunning finger traced the whorls of Norrington’s ear as the thumb pressed the long-hoarded ache from his neck.  Groves continued, “You have two choices.  One, you can tell us…” and he caressed the pouting lips before him with fluttering fingers, “to stop, or…” he leaned in to brush his own lips against a flushing cheek, “you don’t have to tell us anything.”  And he slipped with skilled precision the white silk cravat from its noose-like hold.

James trembled and could say nothing while the man behind him dropped to his knees and snaked one strong arm like a boa constrictor about Norrington’s shoulders.  Gillette bowed his head to press his lips to the bared throat.  Pauvre Jamie,” came a voice quavering with unidentifiable emotion, “Mon chér, nous t’aimons, tu sais.

Norrington tried to decipher the French, but his brain was too muddled, and he just barely realized that Andrew was too fearful to speak in words that would be understood.  Then the endearment registered and no matter how he tried to stop his own breath, he couldn’t hold back the moan.  He hadn’t felt so alive in ages and he closed his eyes to the realness of it all.

“Stand up, James,” Theodore beckoned, gently taking Norrington’s hands and lifting him from his seat like a marionette.  Groves neatly undid his gold belt with a flourish that was somehow full of innuendo.  His long waistcoat was slipped from him like skin peeled from a fruit and he was turned in place.  He watched Gillette hang the waistcoat on the back of the chair and then stared in fright as the man stepped in around the chair, dark eyes begging for something Norrington couldn’t interpret.  Andrew stepped in so close their bodies stood flush and with feather-light touches the lieutenant kissed his jaw, his chin, his cheek. 

And James kissed back, catching a temple just under the white wig, pressing his lips there like a brand.  Gillette gasped and pulled back, watching with wide, dark eyes.  Then his clever fingers found the buttons of white breeches as Groves eased the shirt from the waistband all the while pressing his hands to back and sides and arms and belly and hips, petting, squeezing, rubbing.

Gillette tried a smile as he deftly pulled away Norrington’s wig and then his own.  Brown hair and red hair fell from their pomaded places, curling impishly over sweat-sheened brows.  Gillette tossed the lifeless wigs to the desk and lightly threaded his fingers through long strands of brown, sliding the pins out to drop in little pings to the wood floor.  Très joli,” he murmured, then took Norrington’s hand to lead him to the sliding doors that connected study to bedroom.  Allons-y…” he begged in the low, shadowy voice.

Silently, Norrington balked, but after Gillette slid the doors apart, Groves herded him inside, and then there were too many hands and not enough light, and his skin burned all over like ice.

Moonlight from the always-uncovered window was all to light the way as Norrington was turned this way and that, manipulated as easily as a toy between them until the cool sheets were at his back and there was nothing between skin and skin.  Blood rose quickly to flush pale bodies red and pink, highlighting freckles, scars, and all manner of lovely defects. 

James shivered and shuddered; his vision blurred.  He felt drunk, but the hands that touched him were too real to be denied, to be explained away by dreams or drink.  Lips touched his cheek and he turned to focus on Theodore, his face angular and happy, the bones beneath his skin harshly defined by the moonlight. 

A tentative hand caressed Norrington’s jaw, persuading him to turn to find Andrew staring with fear and hope shining from too dark eyes.  James thought for a moment he’d never seen eyes so dark.  Andrew’s plain features were beautiful to him in that moment, when it had been so long since he’d found beauty in much of anything.  He kissed the man without thought. 

He returned the touches from the men that cradled him like parentheses. 

With disbelief that swiftly turned to delight, he watched his own hands explore willing flesh, fingertips tickling heaving bellies, palms skimming sweating flanks, wrists pulsing against pulsing wrists. 

Words caressed him like hands.

“You’re wonderful…”

Je t’aime, Jamie joli…”

“Just let us do this…”

Nous voulons faire ce, mon chéri…”

Norrington didn’t know when he’d become aroused, but he was suddenly aware of it, how his body thrummed with want and his cock filled with blood, hard and heavy.  And the men whose limbs entwined his own were hot with it, too; they moved with restless desire and pressed closer, sandwiching an unresisting commodore between them.

James hardly knew which way was up when Theodore slipped something into his hand.  He looked curiously at the little glass vial.  “It’s up to you,” Groves whispered in his ear.  “What do you want?”

Fumbling fingers unstoppered the cork, and thick, viscous fluid dribbled onto his fingers.  It shimmered clear and slick in the light and he thoughtlessly moved his hand to grasp his own straining length, indulging in the familiar feel of it before another hand took over the task, leaving James’s hands free to explore less familiar but astoundingly curious terrain, leaving trails of oil like snail paths over whatever he touched.  He took into his hands one hard organ after another, reveling at the sounds drawn from clenched throats.  But he had not courage enough to demand anything more of his very willing lovers.

So, Theodore took over the oil, slicking his fingers quickly as he kneeled up and persuaded Andrew to lie on his stomach.  Expert fingers sought his center with slow and careful preparation. 

Maudit!” Andrew hissed, squirming under the loving assault.  He huffed his heavy breath between James’s quick kisses.  Tu me fourchai,” he promised, caressing the wondering face.

Theodore convinced James to take over the task, and hesitant fingers slithered up the tight space, as Groves urged him on.  “That’s right.  Nice and slow… rotate them like a corkscrew.  Can you fit another?  Open him up, he’s going to take you inside him.”

French curses fell to the pillow until Theodore maneuvered the two men into position as though they were puppets at his command so that Andrew lay on his back and James lay above, between spread legs.  So close, they could do little but kiss and move together like animals.

Theodore oiled his hand again and James did not protest when the questing fingers found him next and began their sordid work. 

Andrew spread his legs even further to accommodate the goings on and begged incomprehensibly for something he would never have considered two days before.  Tu me rend fou!  Non, mais baise moi, s’il vous plait…”

Awed, James reached down to position himself.  “Are you sure?”  His voice was pained and tense.

Se passer,” Andrew nodded.

Slowly, wondering all the while at his good fortune, James breached the willing body.

Pour l’amour de Dieu!

Wasting no time, Groves sheathed himself as well so that James surged between them, burying himself in Andrew’s tight heat, rearing back to spear himself on Theodore’s eager prick.

All three quickly lost themselves to the rhythmic ecstasy of it, pounding together and breaking apart like waves.

Gillette was lost to frenzy, shaking his head and crooning as the pleasure coursed roughly through him and he clutched James in a bruising grip.

Theodore grinned through his pleasure, revering the skin under adoring hands as he pumped and groaned.

Caught between them, James finally gave himself up to the rioting bliss.  He abandoned thought in favor of touch and undulate and fuck and take and love.

When he came, he howled.

He collapsed and tears fell as everything washed over him in overwhelming devastation.

Gentle hands rolled him to the now cool sheets on the other side of the bed.  Eyes, pale and dark, watched him.  Norrington clutched Andrew’s hand as a lifeline, showed a smile to prove his courage, and said, “Go on.”

They smiled and Theodore sunk into the opened passage with ease, taking Andrew hard and fast until they both spent themselves in grunts and whispered oaths.  Andrew gripped Norrington’s hand like a vice.

They all lay still and sought to catch their breath before Theodore slipped away like a ghost.  With a wet cloth, he wiped them down like exhausted horses and then crawled over both to place Norrington again in the middle as he drew up the sheets. 

Merci, Teddy.  Tu toujours ai le idée meilleurs …”

“Theo,” James wondered, “why does he do that?”

Theodore drew James close and reached over to rest a hand somewhere on Andrew under the blankets.  “Andrew’s father married a Frenchwoman, and she brought her own servants with her back to Britain.  Andrew’s nursemaid and manservant spoke very little English.  Our golden boy of the Navy here didn’t even speak English until he was seven and his father realized what was happening.”

“His father didn’t figure out his son was only speaking French until he was seven?”

“Lord Gillette was a busy man,” Teddy said, knowing the story by heart.  “At any rate, Andrew’s nursemaid was sent away, but he always practiced his French, speaking to his mother in her own language when none other was present, and there were always French-speaking servants in the house.  And now, times like this,” he laughed, low and deep, “our Andrew here takes refuge where he is safe.  He is free to speak his mind, even knowing he will not be understood.  I usually don’t have the faintest idea what he’s talking about when he does it.”

James perked up and looked to Gillette as he said, “I speak quite good French, actually, when my brain’s not addled, that is.  As for you, Andrew, je t’aime, aussi.”  He reached out to ruffle auburn hair.

Dark eyes were wide with shock, but pleased.

“Are you going to let me in on the secret?” Teddy asked, feigning indignant offense.

James rolled his eyes.  “Kiss me.”

“Not a hardship, to be sure,” Teddy said, obeying.  “But why?”

“We love you.”

“Oh.  Is that what you’ve been saying all these months?” he asked, looking over at his fellow conspirator.

Freckled skin blushed in the night, and all three of them laughed, quiet and happy.

Teddy pet James like a cat and remarked, “If you don’t stop smiling, you’re going to sprain something…”

James popped him one on the shoulder, earning a displeased grunt.  “Can I help it if you seduced me?”

Non.”

“Oh, take his side,” Theodore grumped.  Then he sighed and lay still, fatigue overtaking everything else.

Andrew also shut his eyes to the moonlit night and snuggled in close.

Between them, James regarded the shadows in his room and the bright oranges on his table.  He shifted like a dog unhappy with its position and sighed.

“Andrew,” Groves murmured, his warm breath gusting over Norrington’s ear.  “Our friend cannot sleep.  How about a lullaby?”

Until that moment, Norrington had never known man nor beast that could whisper a song, but Gillette did it, his fine voice a low and hushing calm, whisper-singing foreign words to a familiar tune.

"Ah! vous dirai-je, maman,

Ce qui cause mon tourment?

Depuis que j’ai vu Silvandre

Me regarder d’un air tendre,

Mon coeur dit à tout moment:

Peut-on vivre sans amant?

S’endorm,” Andrew entreated with a kiss to Norrington’s head.  Toi aussi, Teddy.  S’endorm.”

Theodore smiled into the crook of Norrington’s neck and told him, “That means go to sleep, James.”

= = = = =

On the twenty-sixth of December, bright sunlight chased Norrington from his sleep.  He opened green eyes to sight of the white room lit bright in the early morning.  He turned his head to the sight of Theodore Groves on one side, burrowing his face under Norrington’s arm.  He turned to the other side to see that Andrew Gillette had drawn a pillow over his head.

The lieutenants breathed slow and even in their sleep, and they were warm like huge dogs to either side of him.  James smiled at the morning and couldn’t recall ever feeling so content.

“You’re awake,” someone mumbled.

“Andrew?” James asked.  “Is that you?”

The pillow was slid aside, revealing auburn hair that the sun burnished into wires of gold and copper.  “Yes.”

“Good morning.”

Gillette tried a trembling smile.  “Is it?”

“I think so, chéri.”

Andrew’s smile smoothed to something more sincere.  “Teddy was right.”

“Oh?” James asked, turning to glance at Groves still sleeping beside him.  “About what?”

“He promised me that if you let us in your bed, you wouldn’t be stupid enough to throw us out in the morning.”

James snorted.  “He could have put it more delicately, but… he was right.”  He reached out to run his hand through that bright red hair.  “Come here, Andrew,” he whispered, drawing him in for a kiss.  “For all your bluff and bluster, you’re just a wee mouse, aren’t you?”

“I’m not a mouse,” he pouted, which warranted another kiss.

“Oi,” came another voice.  “You’re leaving me out.”

“Only because you were sleeping,” Andrew said. 

“Oh…”  Groves lifted his head and thought about that for a minute.  “Aye, I suppose you’ve a point there.”

“Well,” Norrington said, rolling over to kiss Theodore’s temple.  “I thank you both for this… whatever it was.  And now, it’s time for me to get up.”

He crawled over Gillette before protests could form.  “Here, eat something.”  Norrington threw an orange at each of them before he opened a door just as white as the wall to reveal a closet.  He dressed himself with ease and speed as the men in the bed sat up to complain.

“You can’t leave yet…”

“It’s not even six o’clock…”

“I have duties to attend, gentlemen,” Norrington said, finding shoes that had been kicked under a table.  “And you cannot be in my bed when the servants arrive.”  He stood and smiled down at them.  “Though you’re welcome to return to it, anytime it’s safe to do so.”

With that, Theodore and Andrew were content to watch in silence as James assembled himself, straggling into the study to recover the rest of his articles.  Momentarily, he returned to the bedroom, a fine and presentable Commodore in His Majesty’s Royal Navy once again.

“Do you mean it?” Andrew asked.

“Of course,” James said, showing that small smile so rarely given to anyone.  “Now get out.  The maid will be here in thirty minutes.”

The lieutenants laughed and obeyed, grabbing up their clothes, stealing quick kisses, and sneaking out the way they’d come.

= = = = =

Five Years Later

= = = = =

The Christmas bells rang through Port Royal and James Norrington looked up to the bright stars of the cloudless night with a thoughtful smile. 

“Merry Christmas, Admiral!”

Norrington turned and bowed to the sailors who caroled up and down the street across the way.  “Happy Christmas!” he shouted back.  He proceeded then with a quicker pace up the nearby steps to his townhouse.  He unlocked the door and slipped within. 

The place was dark and cool and he shed his clothes without thought.  Shoes landed on the matt, the hat on a chair.  The wig sat atop the post of the banister and the coat landed on the steps. 

When he reached the upper hallway, he was unsurprised to see candlelight escaping the crack under his bedroom door.  He dropped his waistcoat to the floor without a thought and opened the door to the white, barren room.  Two men slept in his bed, drowsing with a corked bottle cradled between them.

Norrington quirked a smile and dropped his sword and belt on the dressing table with a clank loud enough to wake the dead.

The men snorted and sat up, bleary-eyed.

“You’re home,” Theodore cleverly observed, rolling out of bed onto his feet.  He stood naked in the yellow light of the few candles scattered through the room and Andrew sat up for a better view. 

“As you see,” James agreed, and let Teddy help him disrobe.  Bon soir, Andrew.”

Bonsoir, Jamie.”

When he was naked, he stood unashamed in the light, glancing to be sure the curtains were closed.  “I have something for you both.”

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

James pulled a basket of oranges from the closet and set it upon the table beside his sword.  “But maybe we’ll save them for later, yes?”

His lovers readily agreed and pulled him into the bed with strong arms and quick hands.

Soon all three of them were wrapped together under the sheets, and Norrington said, “I think you’ve changed my mind about Christmas.”

“But not about parties?”

“No Teddy, not about parties.”

“But you don’t hate Christmas anymore?”

“No, indeed.”  He kissed both of them and said, “I find it now to be a favored holiday, in fact.  So let us celebrate it, shall we?”

And they did.

= = = = =

The End

 

I just, I’m sorry, I just feel like I have to apologize again to any French-speaking readers for the bits that I’m guessing make no sense whatsoever.

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
  • 10 comments