“The priest will hear your confessions now William Hinde, and make it quick,” said a dull voice from the end of the draughty room.
His head snapped up and his vision narrowed. He hadn’t even heard them arrive. Focusing through his rheumy eyes, he saw two men standing tall in the entranceway. The only means of light was what seeped past the iron bars that blocked the single window gap high in the stones, making it impossible to make out their features, but he cared little. He doubted remembering anyone now would do him any good, so it wasn’t like it mattered now anyway. The gaoler’s keys jingled as he indicated with his beefy hands that the man looming a few steps behind him could go in. The taller man, clad in black, stepped forward, bowed slightly to get through the low archway without bumping his head. In one rapid swoop, the priest pulled out a stiletto hidden beneath his gown and sunk the blade deep into the chest of the prison guard. The move was practised, smooth, over with in a second. He’d clearly done something of the sort before.
The fat gaoler gurgled, clutching at the yawing hole in his breast, choking on his own blood, but swiftly fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, no longer moving. He froze, staring at the bloody pile of mutilated flesh on the floor. Bile rose in his throat and his heart was pounding so hard he was sure it would give out at any moment. The murderer didn’t even acknowledge the body on the floor as he stepped over it and swept toward the frightened man, his gowns billowing behind him like sails. The brunet shrunk back toward the wall he was settled against, bony knees clasped tight to his chest. He considered running out through the gate that was now unattended but, being half starved to death left him with little energy to breathe, let alone escape a lunatic. Maybe he wouldn’t have to worry about being marched toward the gallows today. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. He scoffed at the thought, he just wasn’t that lucky, was he?
The priest’s face was covered mostly by the large hat that sat atop his tidy blond curls. His head was slightly cocked as he observed the sorry state before him. Moments passed, but the young man didn’t look up. The skinny man’s breathing was deafening in the minute prison cell. The blond arched his back, leaning low, and pointed the crimson-covered blade he still grasped at the young man, who was curled into a tight ball in the dirt. Another sob racked his emaciated body. With a gentle flick of the wrist, the dagger brushed the matted brown waves of hair way from his molten eyes. They darted about, not settling in one place. Despite being puffy and red, they were quite possibly the most beautiful he had seen in a long time. Quickly, he gathered his thoughts with a dry cough.
“William Hinde? Get up,” he commanded in a gravelly voice.
William’s breath hitched, but he didn’t move—he didn’t dare. Despite the cold, a sweat broke on his brow as a million possible outcomes flushed through his mind but nothing made any sense to him. It was a trick, it had to be. His eyes narrowed even though they stung at the tiny movement. It had to be a cruel prank on behalf of the gaoler and this newcomer was part of it. The man in black repeated himself whilst wiping the blade on the inside of his robes and placing it back in the short leather sheath that hung on a belt from his tapered waist. William shifted his weight slightly. He began to push himself awkwardly to his feet, but before he had even completed the motion, his knees buckled from beneath him and he went tumbling to the floor.
It only took a moment and little effort for the bigger man to close the small gap that was between them and catch William before his head collided with the grotty floor. He pursed his lips. Cradling William like a babe, his limp body hung over his arms like a human tapestry, unconscious. He ran a leather-gloved hand over his face, down his creamy white neck, and over his chest. It would be just his luck William would die before they even got out of the prison. His heartbeat was shallow, but it was there. He carefully tucked William’s head into the crook of his shoulder. Turning on his heel, the priest marched from the disgusting cell and down the stony hallway that would lead outside.
The gravel crunched beneath his heavy boots. His horse, sleek and black, whinnied when he strode toward her, his precious cargo in tow. She was a simple mare, good-natured and reliable, even if she was old. The man in black had raised her from a calf and he adored the beast. There had only been one other he’d loved nearly as much as he loved that horse. People were fickle, people were rude, people were evil. Not like his Trudy. Strapping William to the saddle, being as careful as he could not to burn his exposed skin with the rough rope, he ensured he was secure before hearing the sound of many footsteps echoing through the corridor they had just escaped.
“I guess they found the gaoler,” he joked wryly with an arch of his eyebrow to his horse, giving her a stroke across the nose. He was sure she appreciated his humour.
He stiffened and spun when he felt a tender hand slip onto his shoulder. Despite his movement, it remained where it was. William stood before him, bare chested, glowing in the lamp light. His huge brown eyes glistened and his hair cascaded down over his shoulders in delicate ringlets. His breathing was deep, even, and his shoulders lifted lightly with each inhalation. His fingers massaged Richard’s tense shoulder. The touch was feather light, and through his shirt, he might not have ever felt it if he didn’t see William’s lithe outstretched arm. He let out a ragged breath.
“You didn’t have to…” William whispered, taking a step forward.
“I did…I needed to, needed to, keep you safe,” he answered.
Richard dropped his gaze to the floor but closed the remaining gap between them. He twisted his fingers in the silky waves of William’s hair and pressed his lips to his.
Goose pimples burst all over his skin and the brunet closed his eyes, giving himself over to the kiss immediately, enjoying the soft, hot skin against his. Opening his lips slightly, he let his tongue slip to Richard’s mouth, who reciprocated in kind, tongue stroking against his in long hot lines. Parting only to breathe, they both panted hard before once again their lips collided and their tongues danced.
William grabbed the dirty fabric of Richard’s loose-fitting shirt, pulling him so they were pressed flush against one another. He gulped down the groans of the older man who still held tight to his hair, twisting it and yanking on it gently, feeling bolder with every second that passed. The gap between them felt like a mile when William interrupted their kissing. Raising himself on tip-toes, he placed his forehead against Richard’s. Both of them had their eyes closed.
“Tell me you want this…”
“I do, I want this more than anything in the world,” William whimpered, his hot breath tickling Richard’s skin.
Scooping the smaller man up in his arms, Richard held him round the waist and kissed him hotly on the mouth, making very little effort to remain quiet now. William wrapped his legs around his tapered hips, locking his feet behind him so they sat firmly against his buttocks. His cock was trapped between them, throbbing with wanton abandon. He snaked both arms around Richard’s neck, running his fingers through the perfect blond curls whilst he lapped and laved at Richard’s tongue. His musky scent filled his nostrils, consuming him.
Huge hands gripped his bottom, kneading the taught muscles. Striding easily across the room, Richard placed William on the bed gently, and he smiled a little. Staring down at the beautiful man in front of him, he smoothed his fingers up thighs that were still woefully covered by his torn breeches. Taking the baggy waistband, he tugged them down past his knees so they crumpled on the floor. Immediately, William’s lengthy prick sprung free and slapped his stomach, resting against the dark trail of hair that rolled from his navel to a small cluster of curls at the base of his sex.
Richard’s mouth practically watered at the sight of the young man. He looked so pure, so vulnerable beneath the scrutiny of his gaze. It was almost enough to make him weep.
William raised himself onto his elbows, watching intently as Richard dragged his shirt up off over his head, leaving his curls mussed. William smirked as the other man slowly lowered himself onto him. His searing skin like velvet against his chest. They kissed passionately, running trembling hands all over each other, panting frantically.
William gasped, pressing his face into the crook of Richard’s neck when he took William’s length into his hand and began running his rough hand up and down the satiny skin casually, enjoying the foreign feeling against his palm. It was an action he’d not performed on anyone else except himself. The rhythm was familiar, but the size and shape of the brunet’s cock gave him pause. It was long, almost as long as his own, but slightly narrower. The pause was short lived when William began nipping at the cord in his neck with sharp teeth, sucking the salty skin into his mouth and leaving burning red rings on his flesh that he soothed with his tongue.
Richard’s swollen erection pressed painfully against his trousers. Never breaking contact with his lover, he used his free hand to unlace the material and began to wiggle them down his muscular thighs. The hairs on his skin prickled as their cocks duelled, the delicious friction almost enough to make him climax there and then. Smoothing both hands over the solid poles of flesh, he thumbed the wet slits at the top of their bulging pink heads, moaning loudly as he watched William fling his head back and call out in ecstasy.