DOVER Chapter 39

Callum walked down the street, thinking about what the events of the afternoon, on his way back to the Boar's Head. He was not paying any particular attention at all, but was slightly startled when a man stopped him.

"Captain Callum?" He asked, getting close up in front of Callum. Callum lifted his eyes and backed up a step.


"My name is Merclin. I'm a writer for The Times. I was hoping I could speak to you?"

"About what?"

"Well, sir, your adventures at sea."

"My what?" Callum asked, becoming slightly annoyed by this man and his person.

"Well, you see, sir, you have become very well-known with all of your engagements as Captain of the Dover."

"Is that so? Well, sir, if by that you mean by my only performing my duty, which is a matter of record within the Admiralty, now if you'll excuse me, I have another appointment." Callum said as he went to step around the man, but was stopped as a hand went up in front of him. Callum looked at it and then at the man, giving him a glare.

"I was hoping to get your side of it, sir, a personal opinion on those events."

"I'm afraid my personal opinion is not very high right at this moment," Callum said as he looked down at the hand in front of him and then back up at the man's face, "I am rather pressed for time, so again if you will excuse me." Callum went to step around him again, but the man stepped in front of him again.

"I understand that your time is short, Captain, and is most precious, however, my editors have asked me to bring them your story and I..."

"See here, my good man, I don't really care what your editors have asked, and if it is not a matter of the Admiralty, it truly does not concern me, sir. Now, as I have said, if you will excuse me." Callum said, walking around the man.

"I wished to ask you, of Captain Smythe." He said, making Callum stop, and then turn slowly back around.

"What of Captain Smythe?" Callum asked, lifting his chin slightly.

"It is said that he was a traitor, and that you killed him for it."

"Who said that?" Callum asked as he gave him a puzzled look.

"Well, sir, it is a known fact." Merclin said, pulling out a notepad and a pencil stub from his pocket. Callum looked at it and then back into his eyes.

"I doubt seriously that it is a known fact about the unfortunate demise of Captain Smythe. Only those within the Admiralty know what actually happened."

"On the contrary, Captain, you know what happened, as you were there, we would just like to get your side of the facts."

"Mr. Merclin, is it?" Callum asked and the man nodded his head, "Well Mr. Merclin, I understand that you are only following the instructions from your editors, and I am sure you can see that I follow instructions from my superiors, and as an officer of His Majesty's Navy, I am not able to discuss such matters with just anyone. I am sorry if this puts in a bad light with your editors, however that is not my problem. Good day to you, sir." Callum said, nodding his head, turning and walking away. Merclin just watched him, and then frowned.


Callum walked into the Boar's Head, taking off his hat as he came through the door. He walked into the tavern looking about not seeing any of his companions about and then looked at the innkeeper behind the counter.

"Good afternoon, sir." The innkeeper nodded, "May I get you something?"

"I don't see any of my companions about."

"They were here earlier, sir, having something to eat, but the young man that they carried in the other night, he wasn't feeling very well after the other gentleman left."

"What other gentleman?" Callum asked.

"I don't know who he is, sir, but he was finely dressed. He was actually asking about you, sir."

"A man, about my height, wearing a dark long coat, with a tall hat?" Callum asked.

"Yes, sir, that would be him."

"Thank you. I'll just go up and check on them."

"Will you be taking supper with us this evening, sir?"

"Yes, I think we will, thank you." Callum smiled and nodded.

"My wife is preparing something very special this evening, sir."

"I'm certain it will be excellent, as everything else has been by her hand." Callum smiled softer, getting a grin back from the innkeeper.

"I'll be sure to tell her that, sir, and thank you." He nodded and watched Callum walk out, heading for the stairs.

Callum opened the door of his and Dustin's room, seeing Dustin asleep in the middle of the bed. Callum smiled softly and set his hat down on the little table that was next to the door. He slipped out of his tunic, hanging it on a peg on the wall and then started to unbutton his vest as he slowly walked toward the bed. He finished the last button and used his fingers to scratch his chest and stomach through the fabric of the shirt. He climbed onto the bed and lay next to Dustin putting an arm around the top of Dustin's head and then pulled him gently with his other arm, making Dustin move and roll into Callum. Callum lay his own head on the pillow and closed his eyes. He felt Dustin's hand slowly slide across his stomach and then Dustin slowly slid himself along Callum's side, lifting his head.

"I thought you would never get back." Dustin whispered. "Is everything alright?"

"As well as can be expected, I suppose." Callum said softly.

"Then I take it that there is something wrong?" Dustin asked softly.

"The Duke knew of Christian before I could say anything to him in private." Callum said, "He pulled me into Fitzwarren's private chamber and discussed it with me. He is going to send word for me tomorrow after he meets with the King." Callum said softly, and Dustin lifted his head.

"What?" Dustin asked sounding shocked. "Are you to see the King as well?"

"Well, I certainly hope not, I don't think my new tunic will pass snuff to meet with His Majesty."

"Quintan, it is no joking matter, what if you are to see the King?"

"Well, I shall deal with that as I would anything else, I imagine." Callum said softly, and then opened his eyes. "I was told by the landlord that there was a man here asking about me."

"Yes, he was some writer or something, it seemed to greatly disturb Christian."

"I can see why. I just met with him on the street on my way here as well."

"Did you say anything to him?"

"No, but he said something that was somewhat bothersome. He was asking about Smythe. He seemed to know that I had killed him and that he was a traitor."

"How is that possible?" Dustin asked.

"It is quite obvious, someone in the Admiralty has been talking, or someone that was there at La Rochelle said something. The only other person that was there and knew all of the facts about Smythe was Captain Barrish." Callum said as he rubbed the tip of his nose with the back of a finger.

"Quintan, you don't think Captain Barrish is a part of anything that Smythe was doing, do you?"

"No, but I know that Captain Barrish can be a talker, when mixed with drink. That troubles me."

"But he is still in Portsmouth, isn't he?"

"I don't think so. Barrish is ported here, under Fitzwarren. I haven't seen him at the Admiralty, but there has been more than enough time for him to come here to London. Fitzwarren didn't say anything of it at all today, but I wonder. It does seem rather odd that this man would be asking questions all of a sudden. He knows something for sure."

"Well I suppose enough time has passed for word to reach England from what happened in La Rochelle."

"Yes, but it has no significance to anything political, it is only about military strategy. I can't imagine Bonaparte putting out the loss of the fortress in any type of propaganda in his press, it would only hurt his position."

"I think you think too much." Dustin said as he put a hand to Callum's chin, turning it gently and then kissing him softly. "So with all this going through your mind, and then solving all of these new problems, I'm certain you will find a way to be promoted again to Admiral and be posted at the Admiralty."

"You seem to be the one that is making a joke now." Callum smiled as he turned on his side toward Dustin. "You wish for me to become an Admiral? To move us here to London?" Callum asked with a smirk on his face. Dustin smiled back and then bit his bottom lip giving that little boy look, seeing the look on Callum's face.

"Well, I mean if The Duke offered you a position already with him..." Dustin chuckled and then began to laugh as Callum started to tickle his sides.

"I see how it is," Callum said as he got up off the bed, getting over Dustin, tickling him over and over, "you want me to keep going up and up in rank," Callum said watching as Dustin was struggling under him trying to get away from the tickling, moving his arms around thrashing back and forth, "to make more and more money, to get higher up in society." Callum was making Dustin squeal and laugh loudly.

"No, Quintan, no!" Dustin was trying with everything to get away from him, "Quintan, your stitches! You have to be careful!"

"Oh, you think I'm going to pull apart at the seams, do you?!" Callum asked, making Dustin squeal more and more, and thrash about. Callum stopped and then grabbed Dustin by the wrists and held him down as he spread out his arms. He lowered himself onto Dustin, coming closer and closer to him. "I seem to be in one piece still." Callum said as they went eye to eye, grinding his crotch into Dustin's. "Maybe you should look me over very carefully just to make sure." Callum said and Dustin freed his legs from under Callum's, spreading them out, and then wrapping them around Callum's hips.

"There is one thing that I definitely want to look over." Dustin whispered.

"And what is that?" Callum asked as he kissed the tip of Dustin's nose.

"It's what is growing up in between us right now." Dustin said and then lifted his head, bringing his lips to Callum's and then parting them. Callum parted his as well and then pushed against Dustin making them go back into the pillow. Callum let go of Dustin's wrists and Dustin wrapped his hands around Callum's back, as Callum worked his arms around Dustin underneath him while grinding his hips against his. The knock on their door stopped them. Callum pulled back and growled softly in his throat. He let go of Dustin and rolled to the edge of the bed, getting up and going to the door, then opened it. The girl was standing there in the hallway.

"I'm sorry, sir," She said in her soft voice, as she curtsied, "but there is an officer downstairs that is asking for you."

"An officer? Did he give his name?"

"No, sir, he was just asking to see you, sir."

"Thank you, I'll be down presently." Callum smiled at her and closed the door after she curtsied again. Callum turned and started to button up his vest, with a frown on his face. "Now what, I wonder?"

"Were you expecting anyone?" Dustin asked as he got off the bed.

"No, but with everything that was said today, anything is possible." Callum said as he grabbed his tunic, and then slipped it on.

"What else was said?" Dustin asked as he straightened himself out.

"Several things, and all of it just leads to more problems." Callum said as he pulled out his tail and tossed it back over the high collar. Callum stepped over and picked up his sword that was in the corner and tucked it into the loop on his belt.

"Expecting trouble?" Dustin asked with wide eyes.

"No, but something just isn't right. I have a bad feeling all of a sudden." Callum said, picking up his hat and opening the door. He and Dustin walked to the stairs and went down. "Sit at another table nearby and keep an ear open while I speak to whoever this is." Callum said softly, Dustin nodded in reply behind Callum as they came off the stairs and turned to go into the tavern. Callum saw the officer standing in the tavern, who was large in stature, but had his back toward Callum. Dustin went toward a table that was to the right to sit down when the officer turned round, making Callum stop in his tracks and go wide eyed seeing his face and the long scar that he bore. Callum noticed the girl was to his left at the long counter out of the corner of his eye, and then he saw the flash of steel in the light of the room.

"Finally, the time has come for you to die, Callum!"

"Not here, Smythe! There are too many innocents!" Callum said as he backed up a step.

"Quintan!" Dustin said loudly. Ezri Smythe went to lunge his blade, but Callum threw his hat backhanded at his attacker, the heavy medallion hitting Smythe in the face, making him lose his mark and give a growl. Callum drew his sword quickly and the young girl screamed as swords clashed. She went to get out of the way but tripped and fell to the floor. Dustin went to step forward to try and get to her as Callum and Smythe were lunging and blocking each other, clanging their swords heavily.


Tomlin opened the door of their room carrying an empty pitcher. He was going to fetch water so he and Holt could wash. He closed the door behind him and took a step hearing the sound of clanging steel. The sound was unmistakable to him, making his eyes go wide. He ran down the hallway and went to the top of the stairs, hearing it clearer from there and then he saw Callum at the bottom of the stairs, going back and forth across the opening as if he were involved in a dance. Tomlin quickly ran back to his room and crashed through the door, going across the room, as Holt was wide eyed seeing him, Tomlin reaching and grabbing his sword.

"Thomas, what is it?!"

"Quintan is fighting with someone downstairs!" Tomlin said loudly as Holt had been dressing. Tomlin dropped the pitcher as he swung the sword free of the scabbard, making it clatter to the floor, and ran back for the door. Holt tucked in the last of his shirt and followed Tomlin, picking up the scabbard as he went and bolted down the hallway as Tomlin was leaping down the stairway. Holt came round the landing and was right behind him, hearing the clanging of steel over and over.


Dustin was trying to get around the back of the two men to get to the girl, to pull her out of the way, as her father, the innkeeper, was trying to get over the top of the counter to reach her as well. Dustin was close behind Smythe as he was lunging at Callum driving him back with the deep motion. Dustin saw it and picked up a chair, to swing it at Smythe, when Callum went to yell at Dustin. Smythe swung around and lunged, making Dustin grunt as the steel went deep into him.

"NO!" Callum screamed and charged forward as the sword was pulled out and Smythe turned, swinging an elbow hard, catching Callum across the face, spinning him toward the floor, making him crash on the edge of a table, flipping it, and it landing on top of him. Dustin dropped the chair and crumpled to the floor in a heap as Tomlin and Holt burst into the room seeing what had just happened. Tomlin saw Callum was down on the floor, and Dustin falling in a heap. Smythe spun and faced Tomlin.

"Well, if it isn't Callum's foolish young friend. Come to join him in his fate? Walk away, boy, this does not concern you." Smythe said with a growl.

"I beg to differ, sir, if it involves my Captain, then it involves me." Tomlin said raising his sword, touching Smythe's.

"Then you will have to die as well, boy, it is a pity that you follow him."

"I consider it an honor, sir." Tomlin said taking a step closer, Holt behind him and to his right, holding up the scabbard as if it were a blade. "We are two, sir, and you are only one. You cannot win, I urge you to surrender your sword."

"Not before I have killed him." He growled again, nodding toward Callum on the floor and then lunged at Tomlin, who blocked it and then slashed with his broader blade, Smythe ducked it. Holt moved quickly to the right holding up the scabbard in defense trying to get to Callum's sword. "And another foolish young one about to die. You think you can reach his sword in time before I snuff the life out of you?"

"I don't need a sword, sir, to defeat you." Holt said as he stepped closer toward the still form of Callum, pushing tables and chairs out of his way as he went. Tomlin lunged drawing Smythe's attention, making him step back, almost to the girl on the floor behind him. Tomlin saw how close the girl was and tried to draw him away but it failed and the swords clashed again and again. Holt moved and leaped over to the other side of Callum, and saw him start to move and blink his eyes. Holt tried to get between Callum and Smythe, holding up the scabbard in defense again as Tomlin tried to lunge, but was parried, and then was slashed at, making him duck throwing Tomlin off balance, Smythe stepping one long step closer and quickly putting a boot against Tomlin's shoulder and pushing viciously, knocking Tomlin to the floor with a heavy thud. Smythe turned his attention toward Holt and lunged, Holt parried with the scabbard and swung it back, missing. Holt heard the table behind him move and grind across the floor, and then heard a soft grunt, knowing Callum was getting to his feet.

Callum got to his feet seeing the standoff that Holt was holding against Smythe as he picked up his sword. Callum saw that Tomlin was getting back up as well and then stepped close to the side of Holt holding up his sword. He moved slowly, getting around Holt, in front of him.

"Christian, see to Dustin." Callum said as he stepped around. "Thomas, stand aside." Callum said as he stepped toward Smythe a step. "This is between he and I."

"Quintan." Tomlin said, holding up his sword.

"Thomas." Callum said stepping to his right one step at a time, forcing Smythe to move as well, making him circle. Tomlin began to move carefully to the right in a wide circle toward Callum, seeing what Callum was going to do. "I'm going to give another opportunity to surrender. There is no escape for you this time." Callum said with authority in his voice.

"I don't need to escape, Callum. I will see this done, you on the floor with my sword through your heart."

"Then do your worst." Callum said, and lunged, Smythe blocking and then lunging back, Callum shifting his weight and pushing back, Tomlin was moving quickly now as Callum was pushing Smythe away from everyone else. Tomlin got to the girl as Holt reached Dustin. Tomlin scooped her up around her waist with one arm and lifted her off the floor, getting her to the far side of the room and out of danger. Holt rolled Dustin over and saw that he was breathing but bleeding near his right shoulder. Holt started to drag Dustin toward the corner of the counter and then was helped by Tomlin, getting Dustin out of the way. Holt took the sword from Tomlin snatching it out of his hand, leaped forward dropping the scabbard on the floor, joining Callum as they pressed Smythe further back toward the door of the inn. The slashing continued as Smythe was swinging wildly as he was trying to get the door open. The door finally swung open and Smythe backed out into the street. A few women that were walking by saw what was happening and some of them screamed as the swords all clanged together as the three men took their fight out into the middle of the street.

Smythe became fiercer in his attacks and began to push Callum and Holt back in the open street. One slash caught Holt across the left arm and made him spin away. Callum leaped forward and slid his blade down Smythe's going pommel to pommel, the two going eye to eye, and then Callum saw the fist, but too late, it landing with force just below his right eye on his cheek causing him to spin away but staying on his feet. Callum lifted his sword just in time to block another lunge, then used his own free fist to land his own punch, knocking Smythe's head but it came right back to where it was. Callum pushed against Smythe, sending him back a couple of steps and Callum was on him, pressing his attack, quickly trying to catch him off guard. Blocking and then lunging as he went on, and Smythe growled loudly, and the blades became almost a blur, they were moving so fast against one another, the two men being close, their arms swinging, the swords becoming true extensions, one against the other, and Callum was so focused on what was happening, knowing he had to end this. Holt was trying to move in again but the two were so engaged with one another that he couldn't get close enough, Holt spun as he heard the whistle and then saw the troops coming in their direction, he waved them on, trying to make them hurry.

Callum was oblivious to anything other than Smythe in front of him. He could see the sweat beading on this man's face, and then running down the length of the scar that covered his eye and cheek and Callum knew Smythe was tiring. Callum pressed on even more now, making his swings tighter and tighter as he went faster and faster against his attacker, and then he heard the voices behind him, calling for them both to halt. Callum knew he couldn't stop as Smythe was meeting him blow for blow, swing for swing, and then Smythe ducked a little and Callum felt his leg give out from under him, being tripped by Smythe, and he went to the cobbles of the street on his back, Smythe poised, pulling back an arm, sword pointing and at that moment the sounds of musket fire filled the air, and Smythe fell back and out of Callum's sight. Callum was trying to catch his breath as Holt stood over him and held out a hand, Callum reached up and Holt pulled him up to his feet. Callum looked down at the body in the street, Ezri's sword just a fingers length away from the dead hand, the steel gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight.

"Who is he?" Holt asked, standing next to Callum.

"A very, very dangerous man, his name was Ezri Smythe." Callum said and then looked at the Marine that came up next to him. "Thank you for your timely rescue, Lieutenant." Callum said and the Marine snapped with a salute, Callum nodded in return, "Would you have one of your men go to the Admiralty and send for Lord Fitzwarren, this man was wanted by the Admiralty for treason and crimes against the Crown."

"Very good, sir." The Lieutenant snapped another salute and then turned and barked out orders to one of his men. He had the others gather round where they all stood about the body in the street to block the view of the people that were gathering.

"Christian, take over here. I'll be back in a minute." Callum said, looking down at the slash on his arm, and then back into his face. "I'll see about fetching a surgeon as well."

"It's alright, Quintan, it's nothing. Go, check on Dustin." Holt said and watched as Callum went quickly toward the door of the inn and went in.

Callum came into the tavern of the inn and saw everyone gathered round at the far corner of the counter, and as Callum came close, and he saw the girl first. She looked at him and gave him a weak smile, tears streaming down her face.

"Are you alright?" He asked as he took her hand gently.

"Yes, sir, thank you." She said as her father was holding her from behind her. Callum smiled at her and then looked at him, and nodded at him, getting a nod in return. Callum looked down as Dustin was being looked at by an older woman, obviously the innkeeper's wife. He knelt down beside Dustin, looking at Tomlin who was resting Dustin's head on his thigh. Callum looked down at Dustin as he was breathing easy but Callum could tell it hurt.

"And how are you?" Callum asked giving a smile.

"Worried." Dustin said.

"About your wound? It looks pretty clean to me."

"No, not that, I'm worried that this will never end."

"Oh, yes, I see your point." Callum smiled at him.

"What of him?"

"The Marines took care of him. He is dead." Callum said flatly. "What are we to do with you?"

"It's too bad Dr. Crawford went back to Portsmouth." Dustin said as he winced being touched with the cloth in the older woman's hand, "Under his care, at least I know how to follow his orders, unlike someone else I could name."

"Have a care, my young sir, I did not ask for this to happen as you know." Callum said with a soft smile while shaking a finger gently.

"No, I suppose you're right, but it does seem to follow you about, doesn't it?" Dustin said.

"It does indeed. I need to go back outside to meet His Lordship."

"What? His Lordship is coming?"

"Yes, I sent for him. I'll explain it later," Callum said and rolled his eyes, "Thomas, will you see to him? Can you get him up to the room?"

"Of course."

"You're in good hands until we can get you a surgeon." Callum smiled again at Dustin, and then put a hand gently on the shoulder of the older woman. "I thank you for your help, dear lady." She looked up and nodded toward Callum. He got to his feet and put his sword back in his scabbard as he walked toward the door. He went out into the street and saw Fitzwarren coming toward him with a Marine.

"Callum, you're gone less than an hour from my company and you are already involved in another situation?" Fitzwarren said, almost out of breath from the fast walk from the next street over.

"Yes, My Lord, and I do apologize for the inconvenience." Callum said giving him a nod. "Do you know this man, My Lord?" Callum asked as the Marines got out of the way. Fitzwarren stepped up and looked down at the body.

"Dear God, is that who I think it is?" Fitzwarren asked as he looked at Callum. "How did you find him?"

"I'm afraid, My Lord, he found me. He was waiting downstairs here in the tavern for me to come in. Thankfully, I was armed."

"Dear God." Fitzwarren said and then looked at Holt, "And you must be the..."

"My Lord, may I present, Lieutenant Christian Holt, Royal Marines, attaché to General Emery." Callum said, holding out his hand. Fitzwarren put a hand to his hip and bowed his head slightly. The Marines all snapped to attention hearing Holt's introduction. Fitzwarren saw the blood on the sleeve of the shirt, along with the slash in the cloth.

"My Lord." Holt said bowing his head.

"You seem to be wounded, Lieutenant." Fitzwarren said and looked at Callum seeing the blood on his lip and the puffiness about his eye, "Callum are you injured as well?"

"No, My Lord, I am not, however there is someone inside the inn that also requires a surgeon."

"Very well," Fitzwarren said, turning and looking at the Marine Lieutenant, "send one of your men back to the Admiralty and fetch one of the surgeons, have him brought here immediately."

"Yes, My Lord." He said giving a salute and then sent one of the Marines off again at a run.

"Callum, I know what I said earlier about reporting to me, but this is getting rather out of hand."

"I agree, My Lord, we were just saying that before you arrived, actually." Callum said, lowering his head a little.

"Captain!" The voice called from the door to the inn. Callum looked up as well as Fitzwarren and Holt.

"Excuse me, My Lord." Callum said and walked toward Tomlin, who was at the door. Fitzwarren watched Callum nod to Tomlin and then pat him on the shoulder once and then turn back and walk toward the group in the street. "My apologies, My Lord, but the innkeeper is in a bit of a state, what with the events that have just occurred, I must go and calm him."

"I will go with you, I'm sure that my presence might help with the situation."

"As you wish, My Lord." Callum looked at Holt and indicated for him to follow him as well, but Callum looked at the Marine Lieutenant for a moment. "Lieutenant, have the surgeon come in when he arrives, and perhaps we should have this body removed from the street."

"Where shall we take him, sir?"

"I should think possibly the surgery at the Admiralty. You should bring him in from the rear door. I would hate to see Lord Hood catch any glimpse of this." Callum rolled his eyes for him.

"Understood, sir." The Lieutenant gave the order as Callum walked into the inn. He came into the tavern, hearing Fitzwarren's booming voice.

"Yes, yes, my good man, I understand how you might feel, and all of the damages will be paid for, I assure you." Fitzwarren said holding up his hands trying to calm the upset man. Callum stepped up into the group.

"Oh, there you are, sir." The innkeeper said, looking at Callum, "You have to understand that I run a respectable house, sir."

"My good man, no one has said otherwise." Callum said, stepping forward putting a hand on the man's shoulder. "We just haven't the opportunity yet to discuss the matter. Now, all you need do is provide me a tally of the damages and I will be more than happy to pay it."

"Well, sir, there is more than just that, girl, sir, she's right shook over this whole thing, she's never seen anything like this before, sir."

"I can understand that as well." Callum said and looked at the girl as the tears were streaming down her face. Her mother was standing behind her, patting her shoulder gently, while holding her other hand. Callum turned and looked at her and smiled. "My dear young lady, you have no idea how sorry I am that you became involved in all of this. If there is anything we can do to comfort you, please, let us know, alright?" Callum smiled wider and then she sniffled and smiled in return, giving him a nod as well. "Very good." Callum looked at her mother, "Perhaps she should go and lie down for a bit to calm her."

"Yes, sir." The older woman said, and then led her away. Callum watched them for a moment and then turned back to the innkeeper.

"Now, my good man, you give me that tally when you and you're family are settled, and I shall take of it." Callum said, "We will be leaving in the next day or so, after I receive word that I am waiting for. Will that be sufficient?"

"Yes, sir. I don't mean to cause you difficulty sir, with the young man being wounded now."

"No, I think it is we that have caused you the difficulty, would you not agree, gentlemen?" Callum asked and looked at his companions. They all nodded their agreement, "You see? There you have it." Callum smiled at him.

"Thank you, sir."

"No, it is us that thank you." Callum smiled and put a hand to his shoulder again. Tomlin leaned close to Callum's ear.

"Sir." Tomlin whispered, making Callum turn and look, as well as everyone else. Callum narrowed his eyes seeing Merclin standing there in the doorway of the tavern. He started to walk toward them but Holt stepped in front of everyone, stopping him.

"I thought I told you, that the Captain was a busy man."

"That you did, young sir, busy dueling in the street from what I hear."

"Who is that?" Fitzwarren asked in a soft voice as he leaned close to Callum.

"His name is Merclin, My Lord, he is a writer for The Times." Callum whispered back.

"Oh, dear God, that's all we need now." Fitzwarren said, "I'll deal with him." Fitzwarren said stepping forward. "Can I be of service to you?" Fitzwarren said as he stepped around Holt, looking at Merclin. The surgeon walked in and Holt recognized him as one that had helped him before in the surgery of the Admiralty. Holt went to him and led him to the stairway to go attend to Dustin, as he signaled to Callum and Tomlin. Merclin watched them as they went by, and then looked back at Fitzwarren.

"You are Lord Fitzwarren, are you not?"

"Yes, I am, and you are?"

"My name is Merclin, My Lord, I'm a writer for The Times." He said in answer, Callum and the others hearing it as they went up the stairs with the surgeon.


"Well, I think they will both be alright in a few days' time." The doctor said as he got up from the bed and went over and washed his hands in the basin on the table. "That stab wound is very deep, he shouldn't be lifting anything with that arm for a while. It was the bone of his shoulder blade that actually stopped the tip from going all the way through. If you're going back to Portsmouth soon, I recommend that he see Dr. Crawford and have him look it over again."

"Thank you, Doctor, for coming so quickly." Callum said.

"Think nothing of it, Captain. I am glad that you were close to the Admiralty. Have him rest in bed for another day, he lost a good deal of blood. I gave him something to make him sleep until tomorrow at least. He'll be a little dizzy at first, and then have him eat something. He'll be good as new in about two or three weeks' time." The Doctor said as he dried his hands.

"I'll see to it, Doctor." Callum said as he stared at the sleeping Dustin in the middle of the bed. The doctor gathered all of his things and put them back in his bag and then put his jacket back on. He looked at Callum and nodded toward him. Callum nodded back and the doctor walked out of the room. Callum let out a soft sigh and looked at Holt. "How are you feeling, Christian?" Callum asked.

"I'll be alright." Holt smiled, looking at Callum, "Thankfully, it's my left arm, and I'm right handed. I've had much worse."

"Yes, I think we know that." Tomlin said, looking at Holt, Callum smiled and walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. He put a hand on Dustin's covered leg, seeing the bandages and the sling. Callum shook his head. He got up from the bed and looked at his pair and smiled. He slipped off his tunic and hung it up on the peg.

"I think I'll go downstairs and see about some coffee while he sleeps. Would either of you care for anything?"

"No, I think I'm going to have him rest for a while, before supper." Tomlin said and Holt just looked up at him, giving him a frown. "You've had a good bit of excitement today, and you're not quite up to your full self and you know it." Tomlin said giving him a stern look.

"I suppose there is no arguing with you." Holt said.

"Now that's the first sensible thing I've heard you say in a while." Tomlin smiled and Holt gave him a look of shock. Callum chuckled and opened the door, he looked back at the sleeping Dustin and then walked out and to the top of the stairs as Holt was led out by Tomlin and they walked to their room. Callum went down the stairs and walked into the tavern and looked at the innkeeper, who just nodded in his direction and then walked around the long counter coming up to the table that Callum took a chair at.

"How is your daughter?" Callum asked as he looked at the man.

"She seems to be doing better, sir, thank you."

"Good news." Callum said as he settled himself into the chair and stretched out his legs.

"And the young gentlemen, sir?"

"They are both upstairs resting for the time being. They will do alright from what the doctor said."

"I'm glad to hear it, sir. May I get you something?" The innkeeper asked.

"Yes, if there is any coffee available?"

"I'll see if my wife has some on, sir."

"Thank you."

"Oh, sir, and about the tally you asked for, well sir, I think we can just forget about that, sir. There was nothing really damaged or broken, just rattled nerves, sir, in the heat of the moment as it were." The innkeeper said, sounding a little nervous.

"Well, I can understand about the nerves, as I was rather taken aback by it myself," Callum smiled, as he looked in the man's face, "but my offer still remains if you think of anything."

"Well, sir, your young gentlemen, sir..."

"What about them?" Callum asked.

"They did everything they could to try and save my girl, sir. They risked their own lives to try and save her."

"They did only what any decent man would try and do when a lady is in danger."

"Well, sir, that's not what some men would do, sir, if you take my meaning."

"Sadly, I do." Callum said as he frowned, "And also I am very sorry to have brought trouble to your house."

"A little bit of trouble can be a welcome thing, I suppose, sir. I'll see about that coffee now."

"Thank you." Callum said softly watching him walk away.


"Did you actually see him?" The voice from the cloak asked the man in the dark jacket.

"I did. He will not raise any more issue with what we are trying to do." He said in answer as he looked around.

"What did they do with him?"

"They took him to the Admiralty. What they will do with him from there, I have no idea."

"Hopefully they will toss his body into the sewers, my poor dead Ezri." The voice in the cloak said. "What bothers you?"

"I am concerned about the constant meetings in filthy alleys that you seem to prefer. Someone might see us."

"My dear Merclin, you can be assured that after tomorrow, you will never have to meet with me again and worry about possibly soiling your fine clothes in a filthy alley." The cloaked voice said as he reached out a hand and brushed the shoulder of the dark jacket. Merclin looked down at the fingers brushing him off, and then back at the cloaked figure. "Now, what about the others?"

"They are waiting for final instructions. I have been told that The Duke will arrive at the Admiralty tomorrow at about two in the afternoon. Lord Hood, will be arriving at about that time as well."

"Very good. And what of Callum?"

"I don't know, Fitzwarren was not very forthcoming about him. Besides I fail to see how Callum is of any matter in this at all."

"He is always there and has always foiled anything that we have tried to do up till now. Do not underestimate him. He is the one part of all of this that I cannot control."

"Then why not simply eliminate him, Maupin? Surely you can do that, can't you?"

"Many have tried, and all have failed."

"Then they must have been fools." Marclin smirked.

"Smythe and his brother were some of the best swordsmen in quite some time. Callum defeated them both. He has captured or destroyed several French vessels and even a Spanish Man of War, singlehandedly. If you think he can simply be eliminated, I suggest that perhaps you try."

"That is not what my part in this is. I leave that up to you." Merclin said, looking at the cloaked figure.

"I suppose you are right, I will have to deal with Callum myself, when the time is right."

"Well, I suggest you do it right away if you think he is that formidable." Merclin said and then gasped and tilted his chin back as the dagger came out of the cloak quickly and was pressed against Merclin's delicate white skin.

"I would suggest that you keep your suggestions to yourself, unless you wish to have your fine clothes ruined from blood spilling from your throat." Maupin said in a soft voice, "All I require from you is to keep your eyes open and report what you see back to me, is that understood?" Maupin pressed the point in further, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."

"Yes." Merclin said his eyes flashing in fear, and the point of the blade was pulled back.

"Good, now get out of my sight." Maupin said and watched as Merclin turned and headed quickly out of the alley. Maupin stepped back into the shadows of the building and faded from sight.


Tomlin was lying on the bed, his hands behind his head, as he stared up at the ceiling. Holt was next to him and rolled his head to look at Tomlin, his left arm was lying on his stomach. They lay together in silence for quite some time until Holt couldn't stand it any longer.

"Thomas, what is bothering you?"

"Nothing. Why do you ask?"

"Because you haven't said a word since we have come in here." Holt said as he rolled on his side facing Tomlin. "You're just staring up at the ceiling."

"I was just doing some thinking, that's all." Tomlin said, as he continued to look at the ceiling.

"Alright." Holt said softly and rolled on his back. Tomlin turned his head and looked over at Holt.

"Why, did you take the sword from me when Quintan was backing him to the door?"

"I don't know, it seemed to be the thing to do at the moment." Holt said, as he started to stare at the ceiling now, "Is that what's bothering you?" Holt asked softly. He heard Tomlin sigh softly, "It is what's bothering you. Why?" Holt asked as he rolled over on his side again.

"I don't know, it just is."

"Talk to me, tell me. Please?" Holt asked softly. Tomlin rolled his head and looked at him, taking in his features, the softness of his pretty face, the gleam in his eyes, the sunlight filtering through the window behind him that made his soft sandy colored hair glow.

"I'm just getting you back from death's doorstep and you charged off into a fight. You could have been killed, you know that?"

"And what of you?" Holt asked as he put his hand on Tomlin's chest, feeling his heartbeat, "Had you gone to help him, you might have been killed yourself. And then what?" Holt asked raising his eyebrows slightly, "Besides, there was really no danger, I'm the better swordsman." Holt said shrugging his shoulder and then laying back down. Tomlin's eyes went wide, he pulled his hands from behind his head and sat up on the bed, then half turned and looked at Holt, his mouth open in shock.

"You certainly are not the better swordsman." Tomlin said.

"What makes you think I'm not?" Holt asked, with a very serious look on his face.

"I would wager that I have had many more fights with a sword than you have."

"Oh, I doubt that very seriously." Holt said and then turned away from Tomlin.

"Here now," Tomlin said, putting a hand to Holt's shoulder making him roll halfway back, then seeing the grin on Holt's face, Tomlin mashed his lips together and shook his head, "why you..." Tomlin rolled him on his back fully and fell on him, kissing him deeply. Holt shifted himself further to get underneath Tomlin, taking his weight on him as he wrapped his arms around him, as Tomlin scooped him up in his own arms. Holt was running his fingers of his hand through Tomlin's hair, as he melted into the deep kiss. Holt worked his legs out from under Tomlin and wrapped them around Tomlin's legs, sliding them up and down slowly as Tomlin was grinding his hips against Holt's. Tomlin pulled back for air, and started kissing Holt's ear and neck, gently chewing on him as he went up and down, making Holt moan softly.

"Thomas, can we get naked in the bed?" Holt asked, "I want to rub myself against you so bad." Tomlin pulled back and looked into his eyes.

"Have I told today that I love you?" Tomlin asked.

"No you haven't, but you can show me how much you love me." Holt said as he cradled Tomlin's cheek in his hand.

"There are not enough hours in the day for that." Tomlin said softly and kissed him again quickly, then pulled back, "I love your eyes, the way they glimmer in the light of the room." Holt smiled and slid a hand down and felt a very firm cheek in the pantlet.

"And I love this, your tight muscles," Holt said, rolling his hips side to side under the weight on him, he felt Tomlin flex his butt cheek in his hand, making Holt smile wide, "and when you do that, it simply sends me over the edge."

"What will you do with it, now that you have it in your hand?" Tomlin said, feeling the rocking movement underneath him that was starting to drive him out of his mind. Tomlin freed himself and shifted, straddling over Holt as he sat up, He reached down and pulled up his shirt, and then got it off over his head, tossing it away. Holt ran his hands up and down Tomlin's chest and stomach and reached down, starting to unbutton the pantlet, and then pulled the flap down, opening it up all the way and saw Tomlin's stiff rod sticking up at an angle. Holt smiled seeing it and wrapped his fingers around it, sliding them up and down on the smooth skin.

Tomlin closed his eyes as he was being stroked and was softly moaning and then he felt something else, fingers around his balls, rubbing him, then squeezing him gently and then pulling as he was being stroked. He opened his eyes and looked down and saw Holt was smiling and looking up as he worked him.

"I want you to feel really good." Holt said in his soft voice.

"I do." Tomlin whispered and then panted a couple of times and then his mouth opened as Holt lifted his head and licked at the tip of Tomlin's cock sending waves of pleasure through his body. "Oh, God." Tomlin whispered, and then he watched as his head disappeared into Holt's mouth and felt the suction on him. Holt closed his eyes and worked his head back and forth on Tomlin's tip, bouncing his head against the backside of Holt's lips. "Yes, Christian, oh yes, that feels so good." Tomlin whispered through almost quivering lips, as he was more than loving what was being done to him.

Holt was moving evenly on him, taking Tomlin in a little bit more with each forward move of his mouth, and Tomlin looked down, watching him, and then he felt something else on him now, fingers moving from his balls underneath him sliding further back and then he felt one slide up in between his tight cheeks and across his tight hole. Tomlin moaned at this new touch and sensation, spreading his legs a little wider and leaning forward a little more as he put his hands on the metal rail of the headboard, gripping it tightly. He started to breathe harder through his nose now as he felt the finger sliding back and forth over his opening, and he felt that he wanted more of it.

"Christian," Tomlin hissed out in almost a whisper, and then licked his lips, "yes,...put it, me,..." Tomlin said with a soft pleading voice and then he felt it, the slender finger enter him, making him tilt his head back and arch his back exhaling heavily with the deep feeling that was now taking him over. The slender finger entered him, then was withdrawn slightly, and then slid back in again, making Tomlin groan deeply.


The innkeeper came toward Callum as he sipped the last bit of coffee from his cup, and Callum could tell by his the look on his face that something was wrong. The innkeeper came halfway across the tavern and stopped, pointing a stretched arm back toward the kitchen. Callum got up from the table, pushing his chair back quickly.

"What is it?" Callum asked, narrowing his eyes.

"There's a man, sir, in the alley," He said, shaking his hand that was pointing, "my wife saw him in the shadows." He said, a true look of fear on his face and Callum stepped toward him quickly, his hand on his sword pommel. Callum stopped in front of him, looking toward the kitchen and then back at the man.

"Can I get around there, if I go out the front?" Callum asked and then innkeeper clasped his hands together if front of him, nodding. "Fine, go and bolt that door in the kitchen." Callum said, putting a hand on the shoulder of the frightened man and gently pushed him, "Quickly now." Callum said and turned and went out the front door.

The evening was upon them and the sun was gone from the sky bringing the dark beyond the dusk. Callum closed the door behind him and went around the building, his hand still on his sword pommel. He went to the corner of the inn and looked around into the alley, he scanned around slowly, not seeing anything and slowly came around the corner, walking slowly down the narrow alley, his eyes shifting, searching for any movement that might be there. Boxes and crates lined the walls of the neighboring buildings in groups, scattered down the alleys length, giving plenty of hiding places for anyone that might be lying in wait. Callum moved slowly as he neared the far corner of the inn, to the adjoining alley that was along the wall of the kitchen. Callum stopped and looked around the corner, moving slowly and carefully. This section of alley was much darker and had more places to conceal a person.

Callum stepped away from the corner of the building as he was looking, seeing if there was anyone there at all, and then he saw movement, against the wall of the neighboring building, in the shadows of the wall, behind some crates. Callum stepped to the middle of the alley and slowly drew out his sword, making no sound as he walked on the stone in his boots. The sword cleared the scabbard and Callum turned it, point forward, holding it out as he stepped slowly, cautiously toward the figure in the dark. He was but ten feet from whoever it was and he stopped and watched for a long moment. The sound of a heavy door bolt being locked could be heard, and the figure stepped out of the deeper shadows and became a little clearer. Callum could see it was a man, near his own size, but slender, in a long coat, and there was also a sword that hung from his waist. Callum could only see his back, and Callum rotated his wrist holding his sword.

"Do not move, sir." Callum said in his voice of authority, "Hold your hands out where I can see them. Carefully, or I will run you through." Callum said and stepped closer as the hands went out and then up. Callum could see that he wore a wide brimmed hat. "Who are you and what do you want here?"

"Please, sir, I was only following orders."

"Who's orders?" Callum asked, taking another step closer, his sword almost touching the man.

"From my superior officer." The voice cracked, and sounded very young to Callum.

"Turn...slowly, any sudden move will be your last." Callum said. He watched the man slowly turn round, hands still in the air, and Callum saw his face in what light there was, lowering his sword a little, "Dorland?! Is that you?" Callum asked and the young Lieutenant gave a sigh of relief and his expression softened.

"Captain, oh thank God it's you, sir." Callum lowered his sword and stood straight.

"Dorland, what the hell are you doing here?"

"Lord Fitzwarren ordered me to watch the inn, sir, to stand guard."

"What?" Callum asked as he put his sword back in its scabbard, and then looked at the boy in front of him.

"After the events of this afternoon, His Lordship thought it best to have someone watch the inn, sir."

"Good heavens man, you frightened the innkeeper and his wife out of their wits." Callum said as he stepped up in front of the boy.

"Yes, I'm sorry about that, sir, I was doing my best to try and hide in the shadows."

"Oh very well, well come inside man, let's get out of this alley." Callum said and started to walk to the end of the building where the alley met the street, Dorland following Callum, "I do not appreciate being spied on, I have had enough of that recently to last a lifetime." Callum said over his shoulder.

"Yes, sir." Dorland said in a sheepish voice as he walked behind Callum to the front door of the inn. Callum opened it and Dorland followed him through, closing the door behind him.

"I shall have words with His Lordship about this tomorrow, I assure you." Callum said as he saw the innkeeper standing near the corner of the counter. "Landlord, here is your man in the shadows." Callum said, looking at Dorland, who was taking off his hat, tucking it under his arm. Callum looked back at the innkeeper, "I apologize for him giving you such a fright, he is one of my officers, sent by Lord Fitzwarren to watch the inn and to keep us from any further peril." Callum said, turning and looking at Dorland, "Sit down, Lieutenant." Callum said, and then he looked back at the innkeeper who seemed to be more settled now. "Would you be so kind as to bring us a couple of ciders?" Callum asked and the man nodded, walking away. Callum turned and pulled out a chair and sat down at the table, tucking his sword to one side. "Now, tell me, who else is coming?"

"Why, no one else, sir, His Lordship said that I was the only one that was to carry out this duty."

"That doesn't make much sense to me, unless you are suffering some sort of disciplinary action from His Lordship." Callum said as the innkeeper walked up to the table and set the tankards in front of them. Callum looked up at the man, "Is your wife alright?"

"Yes, sir, she's regained herself." The innkeeper said and then looked at Dorland, giving him a narrow eyed look.

"Good." Callum said, and looked back at Dorland, "Well, what is it, Lieutenant, are you suffering such an action?" Callum asked as he picked up his tankard, and Dorland hung his head a little.

"Yes, sir, I suppose I am." Dorland said softly.

"Hmmm, and what did you do to end up with such a bitter duty?"

"I was...indiscreet, sir."


"Yes, sir. His Lordship is being rather kind instead of doing something far worse, I suppose."

"What, did you make off with his favorite horse or get caught sneaking some of his fine wine?" Callum asked and then sipped his cider. The innkeeper was lingering next to Callum's elbow, and Callum didn't mind.

"No, sir, something a little worse than that, I was with his daughter and we were in a rather, well..." Dorland said, as he was wringing his hands, he only lifted his eyes.

"His Lordship's daughter? You were caught in a compromising position?" Callum asked as he sat forward, setting his tankard down. Dorland could only nod. The innkeeper sighed and walked away, and Callum chuckled, and then laughed, as he looked at Dorland. "You seem to be the fortunate one, my lad, knowing His Lordship as well as I do, it's a wonder that you haven't been drawn and quartered." Callum said and chuckled again, sitting back.

"I assure, sir, it is no laughing matter."

"No, I'm sure it's not, but I would have paid a sailings wages to see the look on his face."

"It was very frightening to say the least, sir." Dorland said, looking at Callum, raising his eyebrows. Callum chuckled again and picked his tankard back up.

"Of that, I have no doubt." Callum said and then pulled on his cider again.


Tomlin and Holt had stripped their clothes and tossed them away, they were back in the bed, naked, Tomlin laying on top of Holt, as they kissed deeply, their hands were rubbing all over each other's bodies. Holt had worked himself in between Tomlin's legs and had his stiff length standing, as it was riding in between Tomlin's butt cheeks. Holt was rocking his hips up and down, sliding his length up and down in the crack against the soft skin of Tomlin's butt, Tomlin could feel it and wanted to possess it even more, to have it in him, to feel it, but they had never done that with each other and Tomlin was a little nervous, knowing it would be painful. He tried to put it out of his mind as he felt Holt clasp his cheek in one hand and then a finger being drug over the sensitive opening instead of the hard length. Tomlin lifted his head and moaned at the touch.

He shifted himself, pushing his body up off Holt with his hands and pushed back against Holt's hard length, feeling it even more against him as his cheeks spread wider. He rocked his hips back and forth and looked down at his lover as Holt fingered his hole even more, the other hand going to Tomlin's chest, clutching his left pec and then rubbing it, then sliding over and clutching the right, making Tomlin moan.

"I love you probing inside of me." Tomlin said as he was breathing in and out through his open mouth.

"How about more?" Holt asked softly and slowly brought in a second finger, making Tomlin grunt at being entered and then he gasped as they went deeper.


"You like that?" Holt asked softly looking up at the quivering lips of his lover.

"Yes." Tomlin managed to let out in an exhale. His eyes were clamped shut tight and then he in shallow breath.

"It feels so warm." Holt said, sliding his fingers in and out more. "Would you like something else there instead?" Holt asked in his soft voice, and Tomlin opened his eyes.

"Yes, I do." Tomlin replied in almost a whimper and then licked his lips.

"Lift yourself a little." Holt said taking his fingers out slowly making Tomlin moan again. Holt moved his fingers to his own hard length and held it still as Tomlin lifted his hips. Holt looked down and couldn't see the opening and had to feel it as Tomlin's hole met Holt's tip. They tried to work together but the pressure of the two would not give, Holt rocked his hips a little more, but he still could not enter the tight opening. "So tight." Holt whispered as he tried again to push in, then finally as Tomlin rocked his hips forward a little the tip began to push in, spreading the hole open. Tomlin clenched his teeth and clamped his eyes tight as it started to cause him pain. Holt looked up at his face, seeing the expression. "Do you want to stop?"

"No, not yet." Tomlin said through clenched teeth, moving so slightly as to try and find a more comfortable position.

"Thomas, if this is causing you pain,..." Holt said.

"It's alright," Tomlin hissed through his clenched teeth, "it's alright," He grunted and then sat down a little more, sliding Holt in a little further inside of him, breaking through the tight ring, "just a moment." Tomlin said as he stopped moving, Holt stayed very still, feeling the tightness on his tip. Slowly Tomlin felt the pain start to subside, and he eased a little and unclenched his eyes and teeth, taking in another breath through his nose. Tomlin let out a loud groan in his throat and then sat down a little more, sliding Holt more inside him, then a little more, and then a bit more and he could feel that he was sitting against Holt's hips. Tomlin let out a sigh and looked down at Holt. "It doesn't hurt quite as bad now." Tomlin said, "Does it hurt you?"

"No, it's tight on me, like nothing I've ever felt before. You feel so warm and soft inside as well."

"It gives me such a feeling of being filled up, it makes me want to push it out." Tomlin said.

"Is this how it's supposed to feel, I wonder?"

"I don't know, but now that it doesn't hurt so much, I really like the way it begins to feel."

"So do I." Holt smiled. "I could get used to this."

"This makes me feel closer to you than I have felt before, like being joined." Tomlin said as he lowered himself toward Holt, kissing him softly. "Try and slide it in and out a little, rock your hips." Holt slowly rocked his hips and Tomlin opened his mouth at the new feeling taking him, sending waves of total pleasure all through his body, "Oh God," Tomlin whispered as his hands clenched the sheet, "it makes my toes start to curl."

"Is that good?" Holt asked gripping Tomlin's thighs, their faces so close to one another as Holt was doing his slow rocking.

"It is beyond that..." Tomlin gripped the sheets tighter in his clenched fists, breathing hard now as the feeling was taking him over, "you're not that deep in me, but,..."

"Try and sit up on me that will make me go in deeper." Holt said softly, as he kissed Tomlin's ear. Holt stopped his motion and Tomlin pushed himself up using his arms, sitting back and upright, sending Holt's hard length further up into him. Tomlin closed his eyes again and let out a long soft groan at the feeling of being completely filled, and arched his back a little. Holt was lying under him, taking in the feeling that was on him as well and seeing the beauty of Tomlin's body. "Does that feel better?" Holt asked as he reached up and started to slide his fingers up and down the smooth fair skin of his lover.

"It is...incredible." Tomlin said and started to roll his hips slowly in a circle as he sat on Holt. "You fill me so much inside." Tomlin was resting his hands on his own hips and rolled his head a little and then looked down, "I can't get over this feeling, it's so good." Tomlin said softly.

"Let's try this." Holt said softly and started rocking his own hips, sending himself in and out of Tomlin's opening a little, bring another new feeling to Tomlin, something was being touched inside him now as Holt rocked upward, making Tomlin gasp slightly with each forward motion. This feeling was beyond anything that he felt so far and was bringing something else as well, the feeling that his own orgasm was building in him.

"Christian, this, so,...good..." Tomlin was panting, letting all these wondrous feelings take him. Tomlin arched his back a little more and raised his hands covering his face as he felt the movements in him more this way, "I'm going to..." And Tomlin cut loose, shooting his load out and up as it arched, landing on Holt's chest and throat pulse after pulse, making him clamp on Holt each with. Holt was feeling it as well and the clamping on him was bringing his own and then he groaned and gave an almost growl in his throat as he shot out himself into Tomlin. Tomlin opened his eyes and his mouth as he felt it inside him, making him hold his breath. Holt closed his eyes and was panting out in short breaths working through his orgasm. He slowly regained his breathing and then opened his eyes looking up at Tomlin. Their eyes met and Tomlin lowered himself, bending closer and cradled a cheek on Holt's soft face, they smiled at one another and kissed. Tomlin chuckled softly, giving a wide grin and Holt could feel himself shifting and start to slide out of Tomlin.

"I never thought it could be like this." Holt whispered.

"I didn't either," Tomlin smiled, kissing Holt again, "and I'm glad we now have an idea of what it can be like." Holt slipped out of him, leaving Tomlin with an empty feeling inside of him. "I'm so glad I have you here with me." Tomlin said softly.

"I can't think of any other place I'd rather be than right here with you. You have made me than happy, Thomas, I feel like I can fly. This feeling that I have now, is better than what we did before, even as good as that was. But, I want to try it with you, with you inside of me next time." Holt said as he scanned Tomlin's eyes.

"Alright, if you feel up to it, we can try it later."

"We could try it now, if you'd like." Holt smiled wider and wiggled his hips under Tomlin.

"As beautiful as you are and as much as I desire you, I need to wait a while longer." Tomlin said softly and kissed Holt again.

"If you must, I guess I can wait." Holt said, giving Tomlin a bit of a pout. Tomlin chuckled softly again and kissed his lover softly.

"I so love you, Christian."

"I'm so glad you do, Thomas, for I love you as well." Holt said as he ran fingers up and down Tomlin's spine. "Now, get off me as you are crushing me." Holt grinned. Tomlin chuckled and swung his leg off, groaning and stretching his legs from being in this position for so long. "Will you be alright?" Holt asked.

"Yes, once I get the blood back in my legs." Tomlin said and then slowly say up on the edge of the bed. He stood and stretched out, and then bent down starting to pick up clothes off the floor. He tossed back the clothing that wasn't his.

"Here now, have a care." Holt said as he was being hit with pants and a shirt. He sat up in the bed and looked at Tomlin, who looked back at him and grinned again.

"Get dressed, you beast, and let us go downstairs and have supper." Tomlin said, and Holt's mouth dropped open.

"I thought we were going to..." Holt said pointing at the bed. Tomlin turned round and looked at him.

"Yes, we are, but after a bit, remember?" Tomlin said, leaning forward and kissing Holt. Holt was up on his knees in the bed, and Tomlin backed up a step, just staring at all of him.

"What are you looking at?"

"You, my beauty." Tomlin said and then put the shirt up and over his head, letting it fall over him as he stuck his arms through the sleeves. "The way your body looks when it's completely naked, it's a shame that you cover it with clothing." Tomlin said looking at Holt again, and Holt lowered his head and looked at himself and then up at Tomlin and came toward him on his knees.

"What do you find so appealing about me?" Holt said as he reached out his arms putting them around Tomlin's neck.

"Everything." Tomlin said as he put his hands on Holt's hips. "The muscles in your chest, the way they are so defined, your stomach seems to be carved from smooth stone, and then there is this," Tomlin said as he slid a hand down, wrapping his fingers around Holt's soft length, "I will always want this for myself."

"It only belongs to you and no other." Holt said and leaned his head for a kiss, closing his eyes. Tomlin backed his head a little.

"And your lips, they are by far my favorite part of you, so soft and tender, and your taste, I could drown in your taste." Tomlin whispered and then leaned in and kissed Holt very deeply as he felt the length he still held firming up in his hand. He pulled on it a couple of times and it grew even larger in his gentle grip. Holt was tonguing Tomlin furiously and started to pull him back toward the bed, but Tomlin stopped him, pulling back. "Not yet, you insatiable beast, we have all night, and tomorrow, and then the next day, and..."

"Not good enough." Holt said scanning Tomlin's eyes, "I want you every minute of every day, you have unleashed something in me, and I feel that I can't get enough, it's like a thirst that won't go away even if I was swimming in it." Tomlin smiled hearing him, knowing what he meant as he felt it as well. Tomlin flashed his eyes and raised an eyebrow.

"Speaking of swimming, I told you of the baths, would you care to go?"

"You think I should, now that I have this?" Holt asked, holding up his bandaged forearm.

"Quintan went with all of his stitches in him, I don't see why not."

"I'll think about it for a while, and let you know, after we go downstairs." Holt said pulling back from Tomlin, but Tomlin still had Holt's now hard member in his hand. They both looked down at it, as Holt was breathing harder. Tomlin pulled on it a few more times, and Holt closed his eyes and leaned back on the bed, resting on his hands. Tomlin saw what he was he doing him, holding him, pulling on him.

"You want it again, don't you?" Tomlin said softly, pulling more. Holt licked his lips and was panting slowly, "I could keep going if you wish." Tomlin said softly as Holt was breathing harder at the feeling. Tomlin smiled as he saw all of what was covering Holt's chest and neck from before when he had unloaded himself on him. Holt spread his knees wider as he rested on them, letting his balls hang freer as Tomlin continued to pull on him. "But, if I continue doing this, I want something again from you." Tomlin said and Holt opened his eyes giving him a glazed look, "You will let me swallow you as I did before. I want it in my mouth." Tomlin said softly, pulling on the hard length more and more. "Give it to me, Christian."

"Thomas," Holt was panting now, "you're bringing it." He said with his panting.

"Yes, Christian, give it to me,...give it to me." Thomas said and saw the tight muscled chest heaving with Holt's tight stomach muscles and Tomlin bent forward putting his open mouth over Holt's tip near the moving hand and Holt let go, shooting onto Tomlin's waiting tongue, taking it all into his mouth as Holt pulsed more and more and groaned. He reached up and put one hand on top of Tomlin's head as he moaned through the incredible feeling, and then Tomlin closed his lips around him, taking him in as the pulses slowly ended, Tomlin looking up his lovers beautiful body and he hummed softly at his pleasure that was in his mouth. Tomlin swallowed what he had asked for and used his tongue to circle around the soft skin of the tip and then pulled his mouth back, keeping his hand in place as Holt was getting his breathing under control. "You love that, don't you?"

"Yes." Holt said as he exhaled, and blinked his eyes a few times, looking at Tomlin.

"Which do you love more?"

"I, as it's you that does it all to me." Holt said, and then dropped back to the bed, throwing his arms out away from himself. "Oh, dear God, I have never felt this good before in my life."

"I should have a portrait painted of you lying like this." Tomlin whispered, and Holt looked up at him lifting his head. "I can't get enough of seeing your beautiful body."

"I don't think there's an artist in the world that would paint me like this." Holt said and then dropped his head back on the bed.

"Don't worry, I'll find one." Tomlin said as he climbed up on the bed and hovered over Holt. "And when I do, and he paints you, it shall hang over our bed, so I can look at you every time I wake." Tomlin said and then kissed Holt softly.

"I think I taste myself on you." Holt said, giving a small smile.

"I will not share it, it only belongs to me." Tomlin said.

"Aren't you being a little greedy?"

"When it comes from inside you, yes, I am." Tomlin smiled, kissing Holt again. "Now, get yourself out of this bed, and let's go. Use your ripped shirt to clean yourself." Tomlin smiled and got off the bed.

"Yes, sir." Holt said, lifting an eyebrow, and then propping himself up on his elbows. He watched Tomlin get his pantlets on and button them and frowned, and they looked at each other as there was a knock on the door. Tomlin held up a hand as Holt went to move. Tomlin turned and went to the door and opened it a little, and then opened it wider seeing Callum standing there.

"I was up here checking on Dustin and was wondering if you were coming down for,..." Callum stopped as he saw Holt lying naked on the bed, making Callum's eyes go wide, "excuse me, I beg your pardon for interrupting."

"It's alright, Quintan," Tomlin said, then looked back at Holt, "I was trying to get him out of bed, perhaps you showing up will motivate him a little more." Tomlin looked back at Callum. Callum cleared his throat and looked away from the doorway.

"Yes, well, I...uh...there is someone else downstairs to join us, if you would like to,..." Callum was waving his hand about trying to come up with words.

"Yes, we will be down presently, after he gets dressed."

"Very good, I'll...he...yes, I'll be downstairs,...waiting." Callum said and turned away from the door. Tomlin watched him walk away as Callum shook his head a little and Tomlin closed the door.

"Evil." Holt said, rolling off the bed.

"What's that?"

"I said,...evil."

"What do you mean?" Tomlin asked as he reached for a stocking.

"You are truly evil, making him suffer like that." Holt said as he pulled his pants on, "And opening the door, leaving me exposed as such." Holt said as he reached for one of his new shirts, and put it over his head.

"Do you have any idea how long I have waited to make that man choke? He has teased me relentlessly over the past two years, and to see the look on his face was well worth the wait."

"Evil, as I said." Holt said shaking his head as he tucked in his shirt. Tomlin was grinning from ear to ear.

"Mr. Dorland, a pleasure to see you again." Tomlin said as he and Holt entered the tavern. Dorland stood up from the table and reached out a hand and Tomlin took it, giving it a firm grip.

"Thank you, Mr. Tomlin, a pleasure to see you, sir."

"Thank you. Mr. Dorland, I think you have meet Lt. Holt, haven't you?" Tomlin asked as he took his hand back, motioning toward Holt.

"I think the Lieutenant was in the surgery when I joined the ship." Dorland said, giving Holt a nod.

"Oh, that's right, I beg your pardon," Tomlin said, "Lt. Christian Holt, Lt. Dorland, formerly of the Valiant, now assigned to us on the Dover." The two reached out their hands and gave them a firm grip each.

"Gentlemen, have a seat, please." Callum said. Tomlin and Holt took chairs and sat down at the table.

"What brings you here, Mr. Dorland?" Tomlin asked as they all settled into their chairs.

"Mr. Dorland is on assignment, Thomas, to see to our safety, after today's events."

"Ah, I see." Tomlin said looking at Callum and then back at Dorland. "And I take it that His Lordship gave you this assignment?"

"Yes, you are correct in that assumption, Mr. Tomlin." Dorland said as he lifted his eyebrows for a moment.

"I see, so I also take it that there will be others joining you in this detail?" Tomlin asked, as Callum was shifting his eyes back and forth at them. He leaned on the table and looked at Tomlin.

"There will be no others, Thomas, Mr. Dorland is his own one man army." Callum smiled briefly, shifting his eyes toward Dorland and then sat back in his chair. Tomlin chuckled for a moment seeing the look and then looked at Dorland.

"Whatever does he mean?" Tomlin asked. Dorland lowered his eyes slightly and then slowly lifted them again toward Tomlin.

"It means that His Lordship posted only myself for this duty rather than trying to think of something else. I'm certain a squad of Marines might have made more sense to the matter, but His Lordship was disposed to come up with something..."

"Mr. Dorland, do I take it that you are suffering some form of disciplinary action?" Tomlin asked, looking at Callum briefly and then back at Dorland.

"Again, you would be correct in that assessment, sir."

"What on earth did you do?"

"Let's just say that it has to do with a young lady, Thomas." Callum said and Tomlin's eyes went wide as well as Holt's.

"His Lordship's daughter?" Tomlin asked quietly, leaning on the table. Tomlin received nods of acknowledgement from Dorland and Callum. "Oh, dear God, and he didn't have you keel hauled or anything?" Tomlin asked, still wide eyed, Dorland shaking his head. "Oh, my Lord, well, there is a saving grace in all of this I suppose."

"And what would that be, Mr. Tomlin?"

"His Lordship must see you in good favor, or you would possibly be hanging from the rigging of the Valiant." Tomlin said. Callum chuckled loudly and then reached over and patted the back of one of Dorland's hands. Dorland blushed slightly, making Tomlin and Holt chuckle as well. "I am not trying to embarrass you, Mr. Dorland, I think I am rather envious actually, to have such favor with His Lordship. Would you not agree, Captain?" Tomlin asked.

"I would indeed." Callum chuckled again as the innkeeper walked up to them. "Ah, there you are, my good man. Did you not say that your wonderful wife was preparing something special this evening?"

"I did, sir." He nodded and gave a smile toward Callum and a nod to the rest of them at the table. "Would you care to have supper now?"

"Yes, if it's not too much trouble." Callum said, "Is it ready or will there be a bit of a wait?"

"No, sir, it's ready now, if you'd like."

"Very much so. And if you have a good bottle of wine to go with it as well, that would be wonderful."

"I do, sir." He nodded, as he clasped his hands together, "I'll just go and get it for you, sir." He smiled and Callum smiled back.

"Have you ever been here before, Mr. Dorland?" Callum asked.

"No, sir, I have not."

"Well then, I think you're in for a treat and a very fine meal. Everything this woman sends out of that kitchen is absolutely wonderful. If we stay here much longer, I shall end up looking like Fitzwarren." Callum chuckled, making Tomlin and Holt laugh out loud, and then Dorland chuckled himself. Callum looked over at him and laughed out loud seeing Dorland's impression of Fitzwarren as Dorland had puffed out his cheeks, and puffed his tiny chest. "Now be careful, Mr. Dorland, if His Lordship catches wind of that, he'll keel haul you for sure." They all laughed again out loud as the innkeeper returned, carrying a tray. He set it down on the next table and started to serve plates. They all looked at what was being served, and Callum looked up at him.

"Beef in Pastry, sir, with Spanish Fritters." The innkeeper said. Callum was amazed at how good it looked and it smelled wonderful to him. Silverware was set out in front of them and Callum started in on it. He moaned a couple of times and the others looked back and forth at each other.

"This is absolute heaven, my good man." Callum said, as he touched his napkin at his lips, "You must ask your wonderful wife for this recipe, please. I simply can't return home without it."

"I will ask it of her, sir." He smiled, "I'll go and get your wine now." The innkeeper walked away continuing to hear the group moan at how good it was, making him smile wide. He returned a couple of minutes later with a bottle and four glasses and poured for them all. Callum picked up his glass and held it up, as did the others.

"To the best inn and cook in all of London." Callum said, as he held his glass out toward the innkeeper, the others did the same, making him smile very warmed and touched.

"Thank you, gentlemen. I will go and tell my wife. She is also preparing a dessert as well, if you wish, something that is not traditional. I hope you will enjoy that as much." He walked away toward the kitchen.

"I can't think of when I've had a better meal." Tomlin said, eating it all down. He looked over at Holt who was also more than half way done now. Callum was close to having his plate clean as well. "And if I may say, I have never seen you eat as much as you have." Tomlin said as he caught Callum's glance.

"Well, wait till we reach my home, and my aunt sets out her fare, then you will see true eating." Callum said quietly, "This was excellent of course, but my dear aunt can really cook, and you will see." Tomlin and Holt just stared blankly at Callum. "What?" Callum asked, "You look at me as if someone was just caught in the sugar bowl."

"I,...I,...didn't even think that..." Tomlin stuttered.

"Thomas, Christian, close your mouths before you both begin to drool. Yes, it was relayed to me, that there was a need to have you both accompany me home, and that will do quite well." Callum said as he sipped his wine. He looked over at Dorland and smiled at him. "Mr. Dorland, are you enjoying your supper?"

"Indeed, sir, thank you. It is most excellent, you're right, sir." Dorland smiled and put another small piece of the beef in his mouth. Callum noticed that Dorland was eating like a bird, and with Carson's cooking aboard ship, it might serve him better that way. Callum smiled wide as he sat back in his chair. The innkeeper came and took plates away except for Dorland's. They waited for him to finally finish and then the dessert was brought out and set before them.

"What is it?" Callum asked.

"It is an apple turnover, sir. My wife's family, they're German, sir, and this is some kind of a pie, I'm told. She makes these on Christmas morning for us, they're quite excellent with coffee on a cold morning." The innkeeper was leaning near Callum's shoulder as he spoke.

"Really, is that so?" Callum asked seeing the triangle shaped thing on the plate. He could smell the apples and the cinnamon of it, and see the sugar that was baked on it. "Well, what would be the occasion, I think it is some time off from Christmas yet?"

"It's her way of saying thank you, sir, to you and your brave young men."

"Well, this is very nice, you must thank her for us."

"I will, sir. Enjoy." He said and walked away, as they began to eat the turnovers, and Callum was simply amazed by it and its taste. He looked around at his companions at the table and they were all experiencing the same as he was, true food bliss. They were all silent as they devoured everything that was in front of them, Dorland included. Callum discovered Dorland had a true sweet tooth. The wine was about finished and Callum looked at Dorland.

"So, what are you going to do, Mr. Dorland to secure our safety? Camp out in the alley for the night?"

"I actually hadn't given it much thought, sir." Dorland said.

"Well, we would all be a little crowded if you were to join us in our rooms." Callum said as the innkeeper walked up to collect plates. "My young officer here, is supposed to be standing guard over us all night, do you have any suggestions as to where we might have him placed to carry out his duty?"

"Well, sir, I can make up that large hall tree there by the front door. I've slept on it a time of two, if you take my meaning, sir." The innkeeper gave him a side glance, making Callum smile. "He should be comfortable enough there, sir."

"Excellent suggestion." Callum said patting the innkeepers arm gently, and then he looked at Dorland, "Better than being tied to the rigging of the Valiant, wouldn't you say, Mr. Dorland?"

"I heartily agree, sir." Dorland said and looked around the corner at the large hall tree, and then back at Callum and the innkeeper. Callum was fishing in his pants pocket for something and then stood up, he placed something in the innkeepers hand, as he looked across the table at his group.

"Gentlemen, I will say good night." Callum said, and he turned to the innkeeper, who was looking at what was in his hand and his eyes were wide. "Again, I need that recipe from your wife before we depart for Portsmouth." Callum smiled and winked at him.

"You'll have it, sir, and thank you very much."

"You earned every bit of that, as well as that wonderful wife of yours." Callum smiled and put a hand on his shoulder, giving it a pat as he walked by. The three at the table stood as Callum was walking by them.

"Good night, sir." Dorland said. He sat back down as Tomlin and Holt sat back down as well. They were looking at one another and then looked over at Dorland, who gave them a blank look in return. The innkeeper cleared the table and walked away from them. "He is a wonderful man, isn't he, Mr. Tomlin."

"Indeed he is, Mr. Dorland, indeed he is." Tomlin said as he turned and looked toward the stairs where Callum had gone.


Callum sat in the chair after he placed it at the foot of the bed. He took his sword out of the holder in his belt and laid it along the foot of the bed, pommel toward him so he could grab it if needed. He had locked the door, leaving the key in the lock. He sat in the still of the room, not being able to hear anything at all, and just watched Dustin sleep. He had not moved since being placed in that position by the doctor from the Admiralty that had sewn him up. Callum crossed his arms over his stomach and lifted one, resting his chin in the palm of his hand. He knew it was going to be a long night. He thought to himself how many times Dustin had been like this, in his very position watching over him, thinking turnabout was fair play, and was rightfully earned.

Callum's thoughts began to turn in his mind over all of these events that had happened since he had taken command of Dover, and Dustin was right, would this ever really be over? Callum wondered. He watched the sleeping form of the love of his life breathing easily, making the bedding rise and fall gently. He himself was growing tired and sleepy.



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