Matt didn’t return to Ravensworth until the next morning. Judge Atherton had asked him to spend at least the night after Matt had demurred on a more permanent residency.

“I’ll pay you $500 to sleep in my bed tonight and receive my cock,” Atherton had said.

“I think that would be an insult to your prowess,” Matt answered. “If you want me under you tonight, I would be happy to be there.” Matt thought that he very well might want more than a business deal with the judge.

Delighted, the judge said he’d call over to Ravensworth to let the Fitzhughs know that Matt was OK, although scraped up from his fall from the horse. Matt overheard the judge telling William Henry, in a near triumphant tone, that Matt was everything Fitzhugh had said he’d be and more, and Matt could almost feel the seething heat coming back over the telephone line.

He had no hesitation agreeing to stay just for the night because he wanted the Fitzhugh men to know that he couldn’t be taken for granted and he wanted to punish Perry for being so cavalier with his safety in putting him on a horse he hadn’t been trained to control.

That wasn’t the only reason, though. He had fallen in love with Brambleton itself and he wanted more time to wander around in it. Atherton gave him a tour of the house and everything was perfect.

The judge was still hard when they went to bed, and he managed one more ejaculation before he went soft. He slept half the night where he had last fired off, laying on top of Matt and between Matt’s legs, with Matt’s pelvis raised to him with the pillow under the small of his back. Matt lay there, awake through much of the night, thinking on where fate had brought him, a rich old judge laying, softly snoring, between his legs, his now-tumescent cock inside Matt, and Matt inside a magnificent house that spoke to him of paradise.

On the morning after, the judge seemed to be moving more gingerly and with less available energy than he had the day before, and Matt was afraid he’d worn the old man out. But the judge let him roam after breakfast and he was soon lost in the unique architecture of the house. Even the burned-out wing was perfect, because it had gotten Matt’s creative architectural juices flowing. As good as the judge’s initial fucking was, Matt’s eyes had roamed over the exposed superstructure of the wing shell and his mind was already hard at work on what needed to be done to reconstruct it. When he was taken to the house, his mind immediately turned to what needed to be done to the burned-out wing to merge it with the ornate designs in the main house.

Ravensworth was an interesting house, but Brambleton was a unique gem. Matt really never wanted to leave it.

But leave it he did later the next morning. Thomas greeted him at the front door of Ravensworth as if it was perfectly natural for him to be appearing in torn riding clothes after a night’s absence--a night that Matt had spent with the judge in his bed but during which they had only fucked once, albeit after the judge had had him on the hay bale and then again, bent over, in the shower. As vigorous as the judge had seemed on the hay stacks in the shell of the wing, he flagged quickly at a more traditional go in his bed. He dozed off soon after he ejaculated the last time and finally went soft. In the middle of the night, Matt had moved from under the judge, risen, and gone to the master bath. He had a headache, so he checked out the medicine cabinet there. He was surprised to find almost a dozen bottles of different pills, with all of the prescriptions made out to the judge and specifying ailments that spanned high blood pressure and heart and liver ailments. But he found another bottle of pills that probably explained how the judge had remained mammoth and hard for hours. At the back of Matt’s brain a worry formed that these pills probably didn’t combine well with all of the others.

At the front door of Ravensworth, Matt asked Thomas if either Perry or William Henry were up yet.

“Master William is expected shortly for breakfast, but Master Perry has left already.”

“Left?”

“Yes. He’s returned to Charlottesville. For school.”

So, he’d performed his duty of delivering me to his stepfather and then abandoned me here, Matt thought bitterly. His mind went back to the day Perry and Sean Campbell had returned from Ravensworth to the dorm in Charlottesville and how Sean had slammed around, getting his things together, and had disappeared. He recalled the tidbit that Perry had let drop that Sean had refused the arrangement of being procured for William Henry. Knowing both Sean and William Henry, though, he also wondered if perhaps William Henry had sent Sean away as completely unsuitable, lacking the staying power William Henry’s drive required. What about him then? Had he passed muster? Did he want to? Just how much of William Henry’s demands could he take? And for how long?

“There you are, Matt. Does Archie fuck well? A bit old for it, isn’t he?”

William Henry had descended half way down the staircase in the foyer. He was dressed in a riding outfit, ready to go out to the hunt again. Before Matt could recover from the surprise of what he’d asked, William Henry continued.

“No matter. You’re back now. I’ve had Thomas move your things to my bedroom. He’s laid a new riding outfit out that should fit you. Are you planning to join the hunt today or have we scared you off?”

So, whatever else was happening, he had passed muster with William Henry, Matt thought, dwelling on the statement that he was being moved to the man’s bedroom.

“I would like to go to the hunt again, sir,” he answered. “But I think I’ve not had enough training in this form of riding.”

“No doubt you are right,” William Henry answered, visibly pleased that Matt was willing to try again. “Perhaps you should stay back for a few days and we’ll have Jaime help you with Colonel Jed.”

“Colonel Jed?” Matt asked.

“The horse Perry put you on yesterday. He didn’t tell you the horse’s name? He really didn’t prepare you very well, did he? He did seem anxious to get back to the University.”

The University, Matt thought for the first time. He should be back for classes himself on Monday morning. But he doubted that would happen now. And it wasn’t just because he would be in William Henry’s bed. He couldn’t get his mind off of Brambleton and the deep desire to be back there--to be working on healing its wound, making it perfect again. He had refused for now the invitation to remain there but he knew deep down that he wanted to be living there.

Over the next three weeks, Matt’s time was so taken up that he rarely had time to think that he should be back in Charlottesville studying and going to classes. His days and nights were split into four segments: He spent a good part of his days in the horse paddock with Jaime and Colonel Jed, learning to ride a hunter. Early in the morning and again in the late afternoon, he was to be found at Brambleton, sketching the house from the front lawns or working in the burned-out wing or even in the main house sketching and planning.

Judge Atherton knew of these activities and encouraged them, saying that he had intended on restoring the ruined wing but had never gotten around to that--and as long as Matt was interested, the judge would support, and finance, his planning. The judge also occasionally claimed Matt for an afternoon fuck or suck, which they did in various rooms of the house. And although Matt was happy enough to indulge the old man--especially as long as he permitted Matt free rein in the house--Matt was more in love with the house itself than with anything Judge Atherton had to offer.

Matt’s nights were divided, sometimes almost evenly, in William Henry’s bed, being fucked hard--ravished really--and sometimes bound and lightly flogged with a riding crop just as Perry enjoyed doing--and in sleep. Matt would have liked to go back to the adjoining bedroom to sleep, but William Henry would have nothing to do with that. He much preferred for both of them to doze off with William Henry still buried in Matt’s channel and holding him close in an embrace.

In view of what happened the week before Christmas, it was surprising that William Henry was that possessive--and that taken with keeping Matt close.

There was a jealousy in the man, though. He frequently quizzed Matt on what he did at Brambleton and whether the judge was fucking him. Matt described his architectural study work at length and showed William Henry the sketches, building supplies lists, and notes on how to approach restoration of the ruined wing, but the older man’s eyes would glaze over as if he had no understanding of Matt’s interest in architecture at all. And of course Matt lied and denied that the judge was fucking him.

And he wasn’t far off on that. It was more that he fucked the judge. After that first day and night, the judge had lost stamina, and Matt had to take the lead. The judge could still get it up, but only briefly, and his afternoon ejaculations were quick and sparse. That didn’t mean he enjoyed them any less, but Matt usually had to do the riding, the pelvis movement. That he patiently and gently did so made the judge increasingly turn grateful and loving eyes on him. For his part, Matt was just as happy the man wasn’t trying it with the pills each time. Matt wanted the time at Brambleton and was willing to do this to be here; he had no interest in killing the old man with a manufactured hard-on.

The week before Christmas, Matt having neglected his work at Brambleton the previous three days by having finally rejoined the hunt--and now riding Colonel Jed comfortably--Matt had worked late into the evening on taking measurements in Brambleton’s ruined wing. When he arrived back at Ravensworth near twilight, Thomas was waiting for him at the front entrance. Matt’s luggage was packed and sitting just inside the front door.

“Why is my luggage down here?” Matt asked. “Where is William Henry?”

“Master William has gone to New York,” Thomas answered, rather haughtily. “He and Master Perry always meet Master Perry’s mother there for Christmas in the city.”

“Meeting Mrs. Fitzhugh in New York?” Matt asked half in shock. Perry had told him that his mother lived in Paris now. Neither he nor William Henry had told him that she still had any relationship to William Henry.

“Yes, sir,” Thomas asked with something of a sniff of his nose. “Jaime is to drive you back to Charlottesville.”

“To Charlottesville?” Matt asked in bewilderment. “I can’t go back to the University. I haven’t been attending classes. And they will be on Christmas break anyway. The dorms will be closed.”

“The car will be around in a moment, sir. You can wait out here on the porch.” As he was saying this, Thomas was moving Matt’s luggage out of the house. When he was done, he entered the house, and the front door shut with a firm click. This was followed by two other clicks as the lock bolts were shot home.

Matt turned his attention back to the front drive at the sound of an approaching vehicle--not any of the fancy cars in the garage at the back, but one of the estate’s aging pickup trucks.

Half way down the drive, Matt asked Jaime to drive him first to Brambleton.

“Certainly you may stay with me for a while,” the judge answered him at the front door. “I’ll be going to Philadelphia for Christmas and New Year’s. But you can come with me. You will be my architect for the restoration of the south wing. You can bring your sketches and show them to the family.”

Matt went back to the pickup truck and told Jaime he’d be staying at Brambleton. Jaime got out of the truck and helped with the luggage.

“I’m sorry, Master Matthew,” he said. “I wanted to tell you--I almost did over the past weeks while we were working with Colonel Jed.”

“Tell me what, Jaime?”

“This is how Master William and Master Perry always end these arrangements. They leave and I have to drive their young man somewhere.”

“There have been many others?”

“Yes. Maybe three or four a year. Master William likes variety.”

“And the young men. They don’t come back after they have been sent away?”

“No, I’m sorry, sir. They never come back. For the most part they are too worn out to react to the dismissing much at all. You have lasted the best. I even heard Master William and Master Perry arguing about whether to take you to New York with them or not. I haven’t known them to do that before.”

“Arguing? Who wanted to take me?”

“Master William did. But I think Master Perry is jealous of you. He’s the only other one who has been able to take Master William’s demands for very long. I think he became jealous of you.”

“Thank you for telling me this, Jaime,” Matt murmured. He was even more grateful to have been pulled away from that situation, even if it hadn’t been by his choice.

He turned and looked at the magnificent and unusual façade of Brambleton. Perhaps not going back was for the best, he thought. It wasn’t Ravensworth he wanted, though, although he couldn’t say he was ungrateful for the lift the Fitzhughs had given him in life. But it wasn’t Ravensworth he wanted--and he was probably past continuing at the University too. What he really wanted was this. Brambleton.

 

Habu

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