Finally, thought Benedict, sitting down for his first night off in years. That wasn’t true, Benedict often had nights off, and he’d also worked today because Theodore being out of town didn’t mean that Benedict wasn’t working. But there was a good deal less to do than usual, so tonight he could relax a little, pretend the boys weren’t off destroying the house somewhere for their own night off, and enjoy his reading.
He was behind on his favourite serialized story, The Adventures of Sir Aiden the Dragonslayer. It was a story of a knight on an epic quest to rid the kingdom of evil. He’d rescued the princess from a dragon, which was how he’d earned his name and knighthood, and was now travelling around with her to kill other monsters as well. And having sex quite frequently, with Princess Candace or with any of the endless village girls he was always rescuing from various monsters, or who were throwing themselves at him out of gratitude for saving their villages. Sir Aiden wasn’t just some womanizer, though; he also accepted gratitude from more than his fair share of village boys.
There were other stories in the series as well. One was about Sir Aiden’s slightly hapless cousin Larry, who shared all of his good intentions but none of his luck, and whose mercenary career kept being stymied by him falling into traps or other misfortunes, often of a sexual nature, and more often than not needing to exchange sexual favours with the nice witches in the forest in order to escape and return home. There was also the story of Charles the Hunter, who was less a hunter and more a scavenger, doing odd jobs for anyone who’d hire him while always taking time to have sexual trysts with the various members of his growing team. There were others as well, the series growing with time.
When Benedict had last stopped reading, a few of Charles’s teammates had been abducted by fell demons, and, in a coincidence, Sir Aiden had happened upon Charles and was going to help him rescue them. They were about to storm the demon fortress together with all their friends. It was all very exciting, and of course, Benedict thought it was safe to assume that there would be a large celebration after all was said and done.
So, he poured himself a nice glass of brandy, put on his reading glasses, loosened his pants, and began to read. It was nice to have an evening off now and then.
The bell over the door rang discreetly when Benedict stepped into the shop, and the shopkeeper, a younger man wearing spectacles looked up from an account book. He smiled at Benedict. “Hello, sir,” he said, recognizing Benedict. “Welcome back.”
Benedict nodded, heading for the far end of the shop. “Good afternoon,” he said.
“Did you enjoy your last purchase with us?” the shopkeeper asked. “We have some new stock in that’s similar if you were looking for something like it.”
“Thank you,” Benedict said, as the shopkeeper came around and joined him at the row of drawers on the back wall.
“These ones here are by the same tailor you bought from last time,” the shopkeeper told him, gesturing to a row of smallclothes. Then he picked some out of another drawer, made entirely from red lace. “These aren’t, but they’re a similar design…”
Benedict listened to the spiel, nodding politely, then was left to browse on his own for a few minutes. He selected a few articles after some consideration, including the red lace ones, and brought them to the front, picking up along the way a small glass toy that looked intriguing.
The shopkeeper smiled and told Benedict all about the smallclothes and the toy he was buying, including how to properly launder them, and clean the toy, all of which Benedict knew, but which he appreciated nonetheless. Then he put everything into a small bag for Benedict and Benedict paid him, adding the bag to his other shopping. “Have a good day,” Benedict said, as he let the ring of the bell announce his exit from the shop.
Outside, he crossed this store off his mental list and went to go see about acquiring some new boots.
Benedict answered the door on the first knock. The man standing there, about his age, a little taller, missing the small finger on his right hand, smiled at him, looking entirely unsurprised. “You’re always so punctual.”
Benedict smiled at Archibald, stepping back to let him in. “And you are five minutes late.”
“Sorry, I got delayed by some merchant who just wouldn’t let me leave until I’d bought you this box of chocolates,” Archibald said, pulling it out from behind his back.
Benedict smiled, taking the box. He had no doubt they were his favourites. “Thank you. Now come in before you freeze.”
Archibald did, whistling at the house as he stepped inside. “Big place.”
“How long is your boss gone again?”
“At least a week.”
“Hm,” Archibald said, nodding. “We’re going to have to be energetic if we’re going to have sex in all of the rooms here.”
“I think that’s an unrealistic goal.” Not least because they weren’t alone in the house.
Archibald smiled, and he kissed Benedict on the cheek. “Let’s see about that, shall we?”
The brothel was one of the better-kept ones, in a nice neighbourhood and with good security. And it was quiet, or as quiet as a brothel could be. Benedict was hardly a regular here, but he’d come on occasion.
There was a young woman sitting at a desk near the door. “Good evening,” she said.
“Good evening,” he told her. “I have an appointment. I am Edward.”
“Ah, yes,” the woman said, nodding. She searched through her desk for a moment and handed him a key with a number on it. “Your room is prepared, sir. Enjoy.”
Benedict nodded, taking the key, and headed upstairs. He’d paid when he’d made the appointment. It felt less classless that way. Upstairs, he opened his door and went inside.
In there, on the bed and on the room’s two chairs, leaning against the wall, were five people, two women and three men, all wearing very little, chatting amongst themselves quietly until Benedict walked into the room. “Hello there,” one of the women said. “You must be our friend for the night.”
Benedict nodded, shutting the door. He began to undo his cufflinks. “A pleasure to meet all of you,” he said. “Shall we begin?”
Benedict rarely attended orgies these days. He hardly that the time, first of all. They rarely happened on his nights off. And he hardly had the energy either—they were all night affairs that really required him to have little to do the next day as well.
But this one had been conveniently scheduled in the middle of Theodore’s trip, and he’d taken that as a sign that he should finally go out and catch up with old friends, have some proper fun for an evening.
So he’d donned his leather breeches—which still fit, impressively, and travelled across the city to the rented room that housed about three dozen un or underdressed people, about half his age and the others mostly younger. A lot of new faces, which was to be expected, since Benedict hadn’t been in so long. He was glad the group was going strong.
Still dressed for now, he sat on a chair and surveyed the room. He was talking to a few of his friends, sipping a drink, trying to decide if he should bother with some of these younger members or just stick to the people he knew. They weren’t unattractive, Benedict supposed, as far as people twenty years younger than him went. He just felt…odd, engaging in a sexual encounter with someone so much younger than him.
But, he supposed, when the third young man of the night came up and batted his eyelashes at Benedict, it wasn’t as though they weren’t active participants. And he was here to have fun, after all…
It was Benedict’s vacation too. He took the young man’s hand and led him over to a sofa. May as well enjoy it.