An old-school adversary of Raffles spikes Bunny's drink. By the time Raffles realises it, Bunny is quite drunk. Unwilling to let Bunny go home alone, Raffles takes him back to the Albany with him to keep an eye on him. An uninhibited Bunny starts to question Raffles.
A first time story.
Written: March 2012. Word count: 5,990.
"So, A. J., are you still playing the protector of your pet rabbit? Are you still keeping an eye on him? Are you still making sure no one harms him? And are you still ensuring that no one but you gets anywhere near him?" Cottingham paused with his knight in his hand and looked at Raffles; his lip was slightly turned up in a sneer and his tone was not particularly friendly.
Raffles's eyes narrowed and his nose flared as he glared at Cottingham. I watched his hand grip the table, as he took several shallow breaths. Raffles has never liked other people calling me 'rabbit'; in his opinion it's his name to use and his only his. However, it happened quite a lot at school where, if Raffles wasn't around, I tended to get called 'A. J.'s pet rabbit'. More than once when he was making it clear to people he didn't like it, I considered telling him that as he'd given me the name 'Bunny' and as he did make a pet of me, he really couldnít blame the other boys. I never did though; and I didn't like anyone else but Raffles calling me 'rabbit'.
But this the first time since our school days that anyone has referred to me as his 'pet rabbit', but then this is the first time we have come into contact with anyone from our school days. Cottingham and Raffles are of an age, and whilst Cottingham never played cricket, I still came across him from time to time; it was inevitable I would, given he and Raffles were in the same year and I spent so much time with Raffles. They were never friends and I doubt they ever will be.
Raffles is clearly very unhappy with Cottingham; nonetheless, he won't cause a scene in the club's smoking room, as Cottingham knows. However, I know my Raffles; he won't let the insult go unaddressed either.
I don't mind if Raffles wants to make a pet of me, I never have done. I never did know why he made a pet of me at school, but I've always been quite happy to be thus; just as I'm always happy to be with Raffles, to sit and watch him or talk to him, or to just to be with him. And that's what I've been doing since we finished out dinner and made our way to the smoking room to enjoy a post-dinner brandy and a Sullivan or two. I've been sitting watching Raffles and Cottingham play chess.
Cottingham isn't a member of our club; he had been brought along as the guest of one of the members. However, the gentleman in question, a doctor, suddenly received an urgent message that a patient of his had being taken serious ill and had been asking for him. Once he'd left, Cottingham had sauntered over to us and asked if he could join us. I know Raffles wasn't particularly happy for him to do so, but Raffles's manners are impeccable and so he had merely nodded and agreed. For my part, whilst I'm far happier if I get Raffles to myself, I didn't mind that much; it would only be for an hour or so.
Then Cottingham had reminded Raffles of a bet they had made whilst still at school and that had led to a chess-board being produced and Raffles and Cottingham had settled down to play the match. I sat and watched Raffles and was quite happy to sit by Raffles's side and watch him. I'm always happy being with Raffles. The only thing I'm not happy about is that Raffles seems to have four eyes as well as two of the hand which is gripping the table and he's a little blurred. But that's probably just the smoke.
The thought of smoke made me realise I would like a cigarette; I reached for my cigarette case, but there were two of them and I fumbled and dropped it on the floor. As I bent over to pick it up I started to feel a little dizzy and clutched Raffles's hand.
"Bunny?" He turned his full attention onto me and I gazed up at him and tried to smile. Why was he moving about like that? "Bunny, Bunny, what's that matter? Bunny, come on, old boy, sit up. There." Raffles helped me to sit up and stared at me. I didn't like the look on his face and I decided I might tell him not to look at me like that. I want him to look at me in his fond way, not his angry way.
However, before I could speak, he looked away from me, glanced down at my glass, picked it up and sniffed it and then looked sharply back at Cottingham. "You unscrupulous bastard," I heard him hiss.
I was shocked; I don't believe I had ever heard Raffles utter such a word. "Raffles!" I exclaimed. I quickly realised my voice had been far too loud as I become aware that half the members of the club seemed to be looking at us - I do wish they'd sit still. Then I realised I was still clutching Raffles's hand and decided it would be prudent to let go. A gentleman shouldn't hold another gentleman's hand in public - an arm is acceptable; a hand isn't.
However, as I let go, I felt myself start to sway again, so I grabbed his hand once more and held on tightly. "Raffles?" I murmured.
"It's all right, Bunny," he said, looking away from Cottingham to me. "Oh, Bunny," he said softly and he put his arm around my shoulders. That's nice; I like it when he does that; he used to do it a lot at school. I leant against him and rested my head on his shoulder. He didn't flinch, not even when Cottingham started to laugh quietly.
"You will pay for this, Cottingham," Raffles hissed.
But Cottingham just laughed even more.
"Why are people looking at me? Am I ill?"
"Yes, Bunny. But don't worry; you'll be all right soon. I'll take you home."
"Thank you, Raffles," I said solemnly and let my head rest even more heavily on his shoulder. Maybe I shouldn't be doing that, but it feels so good, and I don't feel as dizzy with my head on his shoulder. And he did say I was unwell, so surely it's acceptable? He'd know; maybe I should ask him, but if it wasn't all right then surely he wouldn't let me do it, would he? He'd make me sit up; so it must be all right. Happy that I had reasoned it out, I closed my eyes.
As I did, I heard Cottingham say, "Remember all those times you foiled me at school, A. J.? Well, I think it is I who has got the final laugh. Let's call it pay back, shall we?"
Before Raffles could reply, I heard a low, reverential voice say, "Is everything all right, Mr. Raffles? Is Mr. Manders unwell?"
"Yes, Jenkins, he is. I am about to take him home. And perhaps you would be kind enough to escort this," he paused for a second and then said, his tone one of disgust, "gentleman out of the building. The member who brought him along had to leave and I no longer wish for his company."
"Of course, Mr. Raffles. If you'd come with me, sir. I'll show you the way out."
"Oh, I think I can find it myself. And here, A. J., the drinks are on me." And I head several coins hit the table.
I could feel Raffles's anger radiate through his taut body and could hear his still shallow breathing. I knew he wanted nothing more than to do to Cottingham what he'd once done to him in his study at school, but I also knew he wouldn't cause a scene in our club. So he kept his arm around me, let me go on clinging to his hand and said nothing except, "Jenkins, I'd be obliged if you would find a cab for me, please."
"Of course, Mr. Raffles, sir."
"Well, goodnight, Raffles. Thanks for the game. I hope your pet rabbit recovers soon."
I managed to lift my head far enough from Raffles's shoulder to see Cottingham walk away. I caught a glimpse of Raffles's face and was glad he'd never looked at me in the way he was staring after Cottingham. I let my head fall back onto his shoulder and again closed my eyes for a moment.
A few minutes later, I heard Jenkins say quietly, "The cab is at the door, sir. Would you like me to assist you with Mr. Manders?"
"I can manage, thank you, Jenkins," Raffles said, standing up and pulling me to my feet, steadying me as I began to sway.
"I've also taken the liberty of collecting your hats, sticks and coats, Mr. Raffles."
"Good man, thank you. Now stand still, Bunny, and hang onto me. That's it." And somehow Raffles managed to manhandle me into my coat and pull his own on, all without letting go of me. That was my Raffles. "Perhaps you'd be kind enough to bring Mr. Manders's hat and stick for him, please, Jenkins?"
"Of course, Mr. Raffles."
Supporting me firmly, Raffles managed to get me down the stairs and out into the foggy London air. "The Albany," he called to the driver as he began to encourage me to get into the cab.
"Is the other gent okay, sir?"
"It's just I donít want him -"
"I said he's fine." And I heard coins clinking.
"Oh, right, thank you, guv."
"Thank you, Jenkins," I heard Raffles say and saw him toss my hat and stick onto the opposite seat. I heard coins clink again.
"There's no need, Mr. Raffles."
"I insist, Jenkins. And thank you once again."
"Good night to you, Mr. Raffles. Mr. Manders, I do hope you recover soon."
I managed to wave, as once more I let my head fall onto Raffles's shoulder.
The cab set off and even though Raffles was holding me up, I felt myself beginning to slip off the seat. I grabbed his hand. "Raffles!" I exclaimed with shock as I felt him move a little away from me, whilst still keeping a firm grip on me.
"It's all right, Bunny," he said in a soothing, reassuring tone. "I'm just getting you comfortable. There, put your head down, there's my good boy." And I felt myself guided down so I was half lying on the seat with my head in Raffles's lap; it was even better than his shoulder and I knew I could not fall.
I may have fallen asleep for a short time, because the next thing I knew was the cab coming to a halt and Raffles calling for Parker. "Ah, Parker, there you are. I'm afraid Mr. Manders has been taken suddenly unwell, would you take his hat and our sticks and open my rooms, please?"
"Of course, Mr. Raffles, sir. Can I help you with Mr. Manders?"
"No, no. I can manage him. Just - thank you." Again I heard coins clinking as Raffles dug into his pocket.
"Here, let me, sir." I assumed Parker had taken the money to hand to the driver.
"Here we are, Bunny," Raffles said, finally sitting me down in an armchair. He crouched down on his heels in front of me. "How do you feel?" He took my hand.
I blinked as I looked at him. There was only one of him, even if he was somewhat blurred. "A little better," I said, after thinking about it.
"That's my Bunny." Raffles squeezed my shoulder.
"Raffles, what happened?" I asked.
"Cottingham put something in your drink," he said, his tone fierce. "I didn't see him, Bunny, The swine cleverly kept me occupied with the blasted chess game whilst he - I'm sorry, Bunny, it's my fault."
I stared at him and shook my head. "Not your fault, A. J." I rarely called him by the name his friends had used at school; I much preferred 'Raffles', but my throat was dry and A. J. was shorter.
Raffles smiled grimly. "Oh, it was, Bunny. It was to use his own words 'pay back' for all the times at school I foiled his obnoxious little plans for you. But don't worry about that, you're going to be all right. And I shall make sure the devil will never be allowed inside the club again."
"Good for you," I managed. "A. J., I'm thirsty."
He pushed me back into the chair and then hurried off only to return with a glass of water; he hovered whilst I drank it and only once did he have to steady my hand. Then he put some coffee on and finally took his overcoat off and threw it onto the sofa. "Right," he declared, "you're staying here tonight, Bunny. I'm not letting you be alone until I'm sure you have fully recovered." I raised no objections. Nor did I object to the two cups of coffee he made me drink.
We'd been in his rooms for about an hour and I was really starting to feel quite a bit better, or at least I thought I was until Raffles pulled me to my feet and I swayed again and he had to steady me by gripping my arms and holding me against him for a moment. But even then I didn't feel quite as dizzy as I had done earlier.
"Come on, Bunny, let's get you to bed," he said, putting his arm around me. I obediently started to move towards the sofa, only to be guided towards his bedroom.
"I don't want you falling off the sofa, Bunny, and I want to keep an eye on you. You can sleep with me - don't worry the sheets are clean and the bed is quite big enough. I'll even find you a pair of pyjamas and a toothbrush."
"That's my Raffles," I said and smiled. "Always prepared."
He smiled back at me, but I noticed his look was still a little grim. Once in his bedroom he helped me undress, taking the studs out of my shirt, removing my cuff-links and putting them on his dresser. I managed to get my dining jacket off, but then tried to take my shirt off before I'd pulled my braces off. At that point I gave up trying to help and let Raffles undress me; before too long I was stripped and had been redressed in a pair of Raffles's pyjamas which were more than a little too long for me in the leg and arms.
Raffles was already in his shirt sleeves and he gathered up my clothes and put them on a chair. He looked at me, "I think a visit to the bathroom might be in order, Bunny."
I nodded. I'd been thinking the same thing myself. I even managed to walk the short distance to the bathroom door mostly unaided. Raffles hovered at the doorway and looked at me. After a moment or two, he asked, his tone light, "Do you need any assistance, Bunny?"
"Raffles! I have been managing in the bathroom alone for many years now."
"Yes, Bunny, I know you have. It's just that I'd rather . . . Than . . ."
"I shall be fine," I said and pointedly closed the door on him.
When I finally came out, he was pacing up and down across the door. I noticed he was still as fully dressed as he'd been when I'd gone into the bathroom. "Aren't you going to get undressed?" I asked.
"What? Oh, yes, I was just . . . Come on, Bunny, let's get you into bed." And I was guided by the steadiest hand slow bowling has ever known, across the room and solicitously helped into his bed. He pulled the sheet and blankets up over my breast and stood for a moment gazing down at me. I was a little surprised when a second later, his hand came to rest on my cheek, before it moved and ruffled my hair. "I'll be but a moment," he said, already pulling his braces down.
He undressed unselfconsciously in front of me and put his pyjamas on; his clothes he tossed in a heap to join mine, before he vanished into the bathroom for a few minutes.
He returned, turned down the gas in the wall-lights only very slightly; the room was still fairly well lit. "I'm going to leave lights on, Bunny; I think it would be for the best. I'm fairly certain what Cottingham gave you is working its way through your system and you won't suddenly relapse, but if something did happen, I'd rather not be trying to look after you in the dark. I do hope they won't disturb you." He got into bed next to me and settled down.
"I'm sure they won't," I said.
"Good. If you wake up and need anything, anything at all, Bunny, or feel unwell or something, then you must wake me up. Do I have your word? And that includes getting out of bed. I don't care what the reason is, if you need to get up, you are to wake me. Well, do I have your word?" he repeated.
I nodded and said solemnly. "Yes, Raffles, I give you my word."
"Good boy. Well goodnight, Bunny. I'm sure you'll feel completely better in the morning."
"Good night, Raffles." I closed my eyes and let my head sink further into the soft pillow and prepared to go to sleep - except suddenly I wasn't tired. "Raffles?" I turned my head to look at him; he was lying on his side facing me.
"Why did you never kiss me at school?" I watched his eyes widen as he just stared in silence at me. "And don't say it was because I was a boy. You kissed other boys. I know you did. I saw you once."
Raffles continued to stare at me for several seconds before he said slowly, "You did, did you, Bunny?" his tone was unreadable.
I nodded. "Yes. I wasn't snooping, Raffles. You told me I was always welcome in your study, whenever I wanted to be there. And you told me not to bother knocking. Do you remember?"
"Yes, Bunny, I remember."
"Well, then. I came along one night and I went in and there you were on the sofa with Thackeray and you were kissing and well, you know. I didn't even think you liked him that much."
"I didn't," Raffles managed; his tone was slightly grim as he continued to stare at me.
"Then why did you kiss him and not me? I thought you liked me."
Raffles managed a half-smile. "I did, Bunny. I liked you very much."
I nodded. "I thought so. So why didn't you kiss me, Raffles?"
Raffles sighed softly; he raised himself on one elbow and looked at me and then he patted my arm. "You were too young, Bunny," he said softly. "It wouldn't have been right for me to kiss you."
I thought for a moment. "Cottingham wanted to kiss me," I said.
Raffles's face became like flint. "Yes, I know," he said his tone grim and hard.
I didn't like that tone, especially not when he was directing it at me. I decided to forget about Cottingham. "Didn't you want to kiss me, Raffles?" I asked boldly. He was silent for so long, I began to stammer an apology. "I'm sorry, Raffles. I didn't mean to -"
He silenced me by putting his finger on my lips. "It's not that, Bunny. I'm just trying to decide if I want you to know quite the person I was at school rather than the person you thought I was."
It sounded very convoluted to me. "I know the person you were at school," I said. "You protected me."
He smiled and put his hand on my cheek again. "Yes, Bunny, I did."
"You still do." I gazed in what I knew was open adoration at him.
"Yes, Bunny," said he, after a moment or two. "Yes, I did want to kiss you at school. I wanted to kiss you very much indeed. So now you know."
I frowned. "If you wanted to kiss me, why didn't you? I wouldn't have minded. I wanted you to kiss me. Besides everyone thought you did."
Raffles's eyebrows shot up. "Everyone?" he demanded.
I shrugged. "Maybe not everyone, but certainly a lot of the other boys thought you did. Come on, Raffles, if I heard the whispers, you must have done."
Raffles nodded. "Yes, Bunny, I heard them. I just hadn't realised you had."
"I had. I mean I did. I mean - You still haven't told me why, if you wanted to kiss me and I wanted you to kiss me and you knew I wanted you to kiss me - you did know, didn't you?"
He sighed again. "Yes, Bunny," he said softly. "I knew."
"So why didn't you?"
"I told you, my dearest rabbit, you were too young."
I lay there looking at him, his hand was still on my cheek and I could feel his warm breath. His eyes were like the sapphires he'd often stolen, but they were far better than any jewel, even the most expensive, finest jewel of all, could ever be. His hair was like silken ebony, he was like a classical god - I'd always thought that. "I'm not too young now," I said quietly after a moment or two of thought.
"I know you're not, Bunny."
"Are you going to kiss me?"
He shook his head and brushed my fringe off my forehead. "No." He spoke firmly.
I frowned. "Why not? Don't you want to kiss me?" I demanded. "Because if you don't I don't understand. Why would you want to kiss me at school but not want to kiss me now?"
He closed his eyes and I heard myself make a faint noise of distress as the sapphires were stolen from me. He opened them and looked at me. "My dearest Bunny," he said softly, moving his hand from my face and taking my hand instead. "I do want to kiss you. I want to kiss you very much. But -"
"But what?" I demanded indignantly.
"But you, my rabbit, are drunk, I know it's through no fault of your own, but you are and I will not take advantage of you." I frowned. "I do not want you waking up tomorrow and regretting being kissed by me."
"I won't!" he looked sceptical. "I won't," I repeated. "I won't because I think about you kissing me all the time. I want you to kiss me, Raffles. I wanted you to kiss me from the moment I met you, well almost. I've always wanted you to kiss me. So I may be drunk, but I know what I want and I won't regret it. So are you going to kiss me or not?" My voice had got louder during my little speech and he had begun to smile.
The next second his lips met mine and I moaned softly under the sweet, gentle pressure that increased slightly as the kiss continued. His tongue licked my lips and I opened them for him, moaning again as he slipped his tongue into my mouth and touched my tongue. I kissed him back as best as I could, aware compared to his knowledgeable kiss mine was woefully inadequate. Yet when he broke the kiss to allow me to breathe, the look on his face and in the almost ebony rather than sapphire eyes reassured me.
"I rather think I'm going to kiss you," he murmured, adding, "or that should be I rather think I'm going to kiss you again." And he did and again and again and finally once more.
"And now," he said, running his hand through my hair. "It really is time to go to sleep, Bunny."
I nodded, but also offered my mouth to him for one last kiss. With a light laugh he obliged me before lying back down next to me. I closed my eyes and waited for sleep to overtake me.
However . . .
"Raffles?" said I brightly.
I heard a soft groan and then, "Yes, Bunny?"
"Why don't you make love to me?"
Now Raffles groaned loudly and this time he sat up. "Bunny," he said, turning around on the bed to sit crossed legged as he looked down at me. He took my hand. "My dearest, own Bunny, I will kiss you, I will kiss you as many times as you like, but make love to you tonight I will not do."
"But why not?"
"Because, my sweet rabbit, you are in your cups and a gentleman does not take advantage. No," he said, putting his finger on my lips. "You cannot argue your way out of this one. A kiss is one thing. Making love is something else. If when you wake up tomorrow you still wish me to do that, ask me again and I will be more than happy to fulfil your wish. And now, Bunny, go to sleep." And with that he bent over me kissed me again and then lay back down beside me.
This time I did fall asleep without asking him any more questions.
I opened my eyes to find a naturally lit room and the bed beside me empty. I sighed as I touched the cold covers, clearly it had been empty for some time. I sat up carefully and was about to get out of bed when Raffles, dressed only in his dressing gown, came into the room.
"Ah, Bunny," he cried. "You are awake and just in time."
"I have run a bath for you," he said, turning back the covers for me and offering me his hand.
I took it and let him help me out of bed, even though I had no need of assistance any longer. "Oh," I managed. "Thank you."
"And I've left my razor all laid out for you. Do take care though, Bunny, I don't want you cutting yourself.
"Thank you," I said again, feeling a chill slip through me.
"And I thought once you were bathed and shaved that we would go back to your flat so you can change before we have lunch."
"Right." My heart grew heavier all the time.
"And then an afternoon on the river; how does that sound, Bunny?"
"Very nice," I didn't even try to match his tone.
"And then dinner and maybe a show?" He beamed at me.
I forced myself to smile back at him and nod. So that's how it was going to be; that's how he was going to play it: last night never happened. I sighed silently as I forced myself to look into his bright eyes. It could have been worse, he could have been cold and distant and insist I leave his rooms the moment I awoke. But wasn't this over-heartiness even worse?
"Well, off you go," Raffles said, clapping me on the shoulder. "There are fresh towels in the bathroom too. Oh, and my spare dressing gown. Use whatever you want."
"Yes, Raffles," I said; again I forced myself to smile as I went off to the bathroom.
I fancy I may have stayed in his bath, enjoying the lightly scented water, which was the perfect temperature, for longer than is usual for me - but I had no reason to get out. When I finally left the water, I dried myself before turning my attention to his razor and the task ahead of me. I shaved more slowly than I normally did and took great care; as I shaved I thought that sharing another man's razor was one of the most intimate things I had ever done. Finally, my toilette complete, I knew I could linger in his bathroom no longer, thus I pulled on the heavy silken dressing gown he had laid out for me and went back into the bedroom.
"There you are, Bunny," he cried. "I was just about to come and look for you." I stared at him in surprise, because he was still dressed as he'd been before I'd gone to bathe and shave, in nothing but his dressing gown. "Was the bath all right?"
I nodded. "Yes, thank you, Raffles. It was perfect." I stood for a moment just looking at him, wondering quite why he hadn't troubled to dress yet. I waited for him to speak, but he just stood in silence, staring at me.
Finally, I moved to where he'd put my clothing the night before, as I looked down at them, I noticed his clothes from the night before was still piled, as he'd left them, on the chair along with mine "I suppose I had better get dressed," I said, as I began to sort through the pile to find my own drawers.
"Yes, I suppose you had. Unless . . ." His voice was low in my ear.
I jumped slightly, dropped the shirt I was holding and turned around; I had not heard him cross the room. "Unless . . . ?" I asked, feeling my heart began to beat a little faster.
But he did not answer me, not as such. Instead he touched my chin with his finger. "Just a small amount of shaving cream," he said, rubbing his finger along my chin.
I swallowed hard as I gazed into his handsome face. I know I had cleaned my face completely. His finger lingered on my chin for a moment before it began to move upwards, tracing my profile. My mouth was suddenly dry and my body began to react to his closeness; to his scent, the same as he'd added to the bath he'd drawn for me; to the look in his eyes; to the faint smile on his lips; and to his touch.
His finger moved onto my cheek and began to lightly caress it before moving down to touch my lower lip. Automatically, my lips parted in invitation and his eyes widened. A certain part of my body became even harder as his other hand took mine. "Unless," he said quietly, "there is something you wish to ask me. Is there, Bunny?"
I swallowed and tried to control my breathing which was coming in short bursts as I just gazed at him. I couldn't formulate a single word as he replaced the finger that was on my lip with his mouth and for a moment, a far too brief moment, he kissed me. I felt his hands go to my waist and seconds later a cool air hit my lower body; I looked down to see him holding the dressing gown open as he stared at me.
"Oh, yes, Bunny," he said, letting go of one edge of the dressing gown to let his fingers come close to me; they were tantalisingly close, but to my chagrin he didn't touch me. "I think you do have something you want to ask me. But you do have to ask me, Bunny; you do have to say the words."
I leant towards him, desperate for the touch, a touch I'd never had, at least not whilst unclothed, but the devil moved his hand away. "Please, Raffles," I begged. "Make love to me." His lips met mine as the dressing gown I wore fell to the floor.
The sheets were cool as he laid me down on them and just stared at me. Then with a single move he untied his own dressing gown and let it fall to the floor. I gasped as I saw he was in the same state as I. I'd seen him naked before, at school and many times since when we'd visited the Turkish baths, but that had not prepared me for the sight of his desire; a desire that was for me.
He watched me watching him and I shivered under the look that was in the eyes I loved so much. Then with an almost careless air he joined me in the bed, pulled me into his arms and kissed me. Naked skin met naked skin and I trembled as my desire increased even more. "Raffles," I managed when the kiss ended.
"Yes, Bunny?" His tone was fond, his look fonder as well as heavy with possessiveness. I knew then if this happened that was it; I would be his and his alone; he would not let me go. But the truth is, I have been his from the moment I set eyes on him at school; I have been his from the moment he had put his hand on my shoulder, said 'hello' and had given me his handkerchief. He possessed me at school (whether he liked the term or not 'A. J's pet rabbit' fitted me well); I was his to do with as he wished; he knew it; I knew it; everyone knew it. I also know it was only because I was his, and he made it clear that I was his, that although a few of the older boys made crude comments, none dared to follow them through. He protected me and he possessed me in equal shares.
I realised I hadn't answered him. "Um, well, I just thought you should know, I'm not very . . . Well, not at all, actually. I mean I've never . . ."
He raised an eyebrow. "Never?" I shook my head; his smile and the look in his eyes was one of pleasure and happiness.
His mouth met mine again and his hand finally touched me. To my abject embarrassment one touch was all it needed and with his name on my lips my body released into his hand. Ashamed at how quick it had been, ashamed at how clear my desire of him was, my need for his touch was, I tried to look away from him.
But he was having none of it. With his hand in my hair, he gently stopped my head from turning. "Look at me, Bunny," he murmured. I did and saw such love, such gentleness, such happiness, such desire in the face I loved, I had to swallow hard. "No one, my sweet rabbit," he said, lightly and briefly kissing my lips. "No one," he repeated, "has ever paid me such a compliment." The next kiss was not light, nor was it brief.
There isn't much to say about what happened next, except we didn't dress and leave for Mount Street, lunch, the river, dinner and a show - that did not happen until the following day. Instead, it was late in the evening when we sat sharing a late supper in his rooms, dressed only in dressing gowns.
We had moved to the sofa where he had insisted I lie down with my head in his lap whilst his other hand lightly caressed me through the heavy silk. The light caresses turned into something more and it was not long before I was again crying out his name as my body reacted to the touch of the finest spin bowler of the decade.
I had seen him bend a cricket ball to his will, just as I'd watched him caress and pick locks, bending them to his will. He had bent me to his will over twelve years ago, but now he bent my body to his will as his possession of me was completed. And a more willing possession I doubt anyone has ever had.
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