Okay- enough of the babbling.
copyright 2013 Lee Brazil
Helplessly, Gerard stroked a palm down Martin's spine, cupped a taut buttock through the silk of the banyon. It had come from one of their first ventures, a trading ship to the East. The lush silk had netted them a small fortune, and Martin had selected the elegant grey on grey print for his payment. Gerard had allowed his siblings and spouse to do likewise, then the rest had been sold and the proceeds reinvested. The banyon was a reminder of Martin's faith, his friendship. Gerard calmed, the pain in his belly eased. He relaxed. Martin was his friend, first and foremost. They understood each other.
He bent his head and inhaled a dear, familiar fragrance, lemon and vanilla, a hint of other spices. "I think, that I shall miss you more than any of the rest. The children will carry on, and that is as it should be, but what of you my steadfast friend? What will you do? How shall I picture you in my absence?"
Martin pulled back and peered into Gerard's face, his expression slightly incredulous. "I? You've left me the most daunting task of our careers. Riding herd on your offspring like a Yankee cowboy. If you must picture me as you explore the treasures of the continent, I do doubt you'll have time for it, picture me tearing out fistfuls of my hair because Harold has managed to blow up some national treasure, or wasting away from constant travel as Perry manages to annoy all his brothers. Perhaps I shall grow wrinkled and squinty eyed from worry as Randall insists on risking his life in service of our country. Yes…"
Gerard laughed until his stomach hurt. Bent double, he clutched his belly and gasped. "Please. Stop. While I can well imagine Harry blowing up something, it is more like to be Nash's ice house than a national treasure, and Perry has a good heart, despite what he may show the world. They like and respect you Martin, they always have. No…" He raised and a hand to stop more outrageous commentary. "I mean …I wish to picture you happy."
"Then picture me in the rose garden, digging up rocks and planting cuttings. Picture me, at the desk in the study, balancing our accounts and realizing that we could not only pay all the quarterly bills, but set aside a healthy portion for the boys schooling. Picture me, teaching Randall to fence, and allowing Celia to trod upon my toes as she practiced the forbidden Waltz."
*A lump rose in Gerard's throat and he swallowed hard. Seeking to hide the tears that threatened to spill over, he stepped back and let his gaze wander, searching for his clothing. "Damnation." He whispered under his breath as he realized his trousers were the only thing he'd been wearing when he'd stumbled through the door hours earlier, lips locked with Martin's, body humming with lust.
Gerard's Gamble is the third of my contributions to the Behind Closed Doors Series I am writing in conjunction with Raven McAllan.
Available at All Romance