Matt’s tongue was hanging out even before they entered Loudon County in Perry’s Mustang, as well-groomed estate after large country mansion rolled by in gorgeous rolling countryside along the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As an architecture student, he was in heaven. He was wearing a new form-fitting shirt and slacks from Joseph A. Banks and the finest pair of leather loafers he’d ever owned, and two new Samsonite suitcases containing all new clothes were in the trunk of the car--all bought by Perry. All symbols that Perry owned his ass.

He was wearing just enough of Gaultier’s Le Male fragrance for Perry to say that he smelled perfect and that it was exactly right for him, and a cashmere sweater was draped over his back with the arms in a twist in front of his shirt as he’d seen in old movies of Rock Hudson types and that Perry said had yet to go out of style in the hunt country.

Perry was wearing a white designer T-shirt and faded jeans with holes in the knees, but the swarthy bad-boy look became him as much as the preppy look showed off Matt’s blond all-American look.

As they got closer to Leesburg, Perry began rattling off the names of the families owning the estates they were passing and including one or more catty tidbit about the skeletons in their closets.

“Near Ravensworth now,” he said at length.


“The name of the ancestral home in Fairfax County, now the location of just another expensive subdivision just inside the Beltway. The original William Henry Fitzhugh’s plantation. The name was transferred out to our new digs--if the mid eighteenth century can be considered new. Ravensworth is the name of the family dump.”

“You said the ‘original’ William Henry Fitzhugh?”

“Yes. All of the Fitzhugh heirs are named William Henry. The lord of the manor we’re going to, my mother’s husband, is William Henry, although everyone he’s actually speaking to calls him Hal.”

Ahh, Matt thought. New information. So Perry isn’t a William Henry, so he wasn’t the heir of the estate. That must mean he has at least one brother--older, most likely.

He planned to worry that a bit more--he’d thought he was rubbing shoulders with the heir to the estate and, over the past several weeks, as he had sunk lower and lower into enjoying the status and good life that Perry was bringing him to, it was meaning more to Matt that he was moving up in the world like a rocket. But as he was picking at this thought, his attention was drawn to an imposing mansion atop a hill on a meticulously manicured estate that was unlike any of the other southern colonial or rock-faced mansions they had been passing. He readily saw that it was in an Italianate style that had only started to come into fashion when the Civil War choked off such expensive undertakings. There was a massive square center portion, with two elegant wings, the whole covered in ivy. It was only as they came closer to it, however, that Matt saw that the southern wing was merely a shell--that at some time it had been burned out and the roof on that side was half caved in.

“Brambleton,” Perry said as they came even with the southern set of front gates, an ornate iron double-gate flanked by square plaster pillars with lions on top. A similar gate was on the north side. From each, an oak-lined drive curved up the slope of the hill to the sides of the mansion on the top.

“Brambleton what?” Matt asked, his voice still dreamy from both the beauty and the mystery of the house. Much more than any of the other southern-style porticoed houses they had past, this one evoked the aura of an English country home.

“Brambleton. The name of the house. I can tell you are impressed. Judge Atherton’s place. We call him Archie--but not many of us do that to his face. Stuffy old buzzard. And our neighbor, so you’re likely to see him at dinner tonight, even if you don’t get close enough to his presence to meet him. The hunt is practically the only socializing he does around here, so he’s sure to be at the hunt dinner at our house tonight. His center of operations is in Philadelphia. We don’t hold that against him, though. Everyone here is making their money and reputation somewhere else. For dear old dad, William Henry, it’s stockbroking in New York. And here we are. Ravensworth.”

Ravensworth was nothing for Matt to sniff at. It was another southern colonial with a covered portico with six thick, white pillars and a center manse with afterthought appendages flowing from it into a stand of magnolia trees on either flank, but as imposing as it was, it didn’t attain the elegance or mystery of Brambleton. A severe-looking older man in a black suit had stepped out of the front door and onto the portico at the sound of Perry’s Mustang motoring up the drive.

“William Henry?” Matt asked.

“Oh, god no,” Perry answered, with a laugh. “That’s Thomas, the butler. He’ll want us to make a grand entrance in the front, but just to irritate him, I’ll pull around to the garage.”

As he said that, Perry, turned right into a smaller lane that led down the side of a hodge-podge of additions on the southern side of the main building and around to a large, stone-paved courtyard bordered on the northern side by a one-story rear projection off the main house, on the eastern side by what looked like a horse stable and on the southern side by a six-bay garage. Perry pulled into the garage--and into a pristinely maintained showroom of expensive cars. The Mercedes sedan and the Land Rover Matt recognized.

“The vintage Corvette is William Henry’s toy,” Perry said, “and the Audi TTS is my real car--Hal said it was too flashy for me to have at UVa, especially for the first year when I’m not supposed to have a car at all. Oh, that one? That’s a Bentley. That only goes out on State occasions.”

William Henry himself was coming down the stairs, passed by Thomas and some other younger man in black trousers and white shirt, carrying Perry’s and Matt’s luggage up the stairs, as Perry and Matt entered the center hall, which soared up three stories at the front of the main house.

“Dear old dad,” Perry whispered to Matt as the master of the manor made his ceremonial entrance.

“Ah, Perry, and you must be Matthew,” the tall, solidly built, rich-looking middle-aged man said as he paused on the stairs. He turned slightly to call up to Thomas who already was near the top of the stairs to the second level. Although there was a balconied level above that, the stairs to the third level were somewhere else. “I think our young guest can go in the Lee chamber, next to my room, Thomas,” he said.

He received a muffled, “Yes, sir,” as Thomas and the other young man reached the top of the stairs.

“Ah, the Lee chamber,” Perry murmured. “William Henry obviously likes the first impression.”

William Henry was a rugged handsome man, but not anything like Perry in looks. He was more a florid, flaming-hair--where he wasn’t gray--Irishman. He was bordering on stocky, but Perry could tell even from here, and even in the suit the man was wearing, that he was muscular and probably was an avid sportsman. That was no surprise, however, about the sports interests. Perry had already run down the list of all of the country sports the man indulged in, with hunting and riding to the hunt being at the top. Perry also said he had been a national wonder at tennis at Yale in his day, and that this would be an interest Matt and he, could share--among others. Although not on a competitive team, Matt played tennis quite well. Perry had also listed “man hunting,” with a laugh, but had refused to further explain that.

Matt’s jaw dropped when he reached his room, which was on the back, south, corner of the main house. It was larger, he believed, than the whole footprint of Dashad’s cottage and was appointed in deep shades of red. A mahogany four-poster bed dominated the middle of the room, and framed Civil War–era photographs, focused on Robert E. Lee, hung on the walls and over the fireplace on the wall facing the bed. The west side of the room had a door into a private bathroom right next to the entrance into the bedroom from the center hall. Beside that was a walk-in closet. Next was a locked door in the wall, which Matt assumed led into the corner bedroom on the front of the house. And then a blank wall that Matt, ever interested in the architecture of places, reasoned backed on the bathroom and closet of the adjoining bedroom.

By the time Matt reached the bedroom, Thomas had laid out on the bed a suit, shirt, and underwear for Matt to wear for dinner that night and a pair of sleeping shorts. He’d had time to do that, because before coming upstairs, Matt had been given a cursory tour of the many rooms in the rambling layout of the mansion’s downstairs by William Henry, who proudly spoke of the history of this and that in a booming, rich baritone. Perry had followed on behind, making pithy comments.

“Will this do you?” Perry asked, as they stood in the bedroom and Matt did a circuit of the walls, looking at this and that painting and photograph. They weren’t alone, though. The young man who had helped bring up the luggage--not any older than either Perry or Matt--but Hispanic and on the slight, but well-formed side, was standing by the door into Matt’s bathroom. Matt had already heard the bath being filled with water when they first entered the room.

The disconcerting thing was that the young man was standing there, holding soap and a towel--dressed only in his briefs.

“Yes, this will do me fine,” Matt answered Perry, while giving a confused look at the young Hispanic guy.

“Good.” He looked at his watch. “I think I have plenty of time to do you--and maybe Jaime as well. I’m in the same bedroom but at the other end of the house, in case you want to visit. That leaves the schedule before dinner. Bathe and fuck, I think. Then you can nap. The cocktail hour begins at 6:00. You should put in an appearance at 6:30. Stick close to me for the evening.”

Matt had barely heard anything after the “bathe and fuck.”

“His name is Jaime, by the way,” Perry said, gesturing at the nearly nude Hispanic. “Doesn’t speak much English, but he isn’t a bad lay. Now, about that doing you . . .”

After Matt and Perry had stripped, Matt sat on the toilet and leaned forward to service Perry’s cock, while Jaime knelt between Matt’s legs and gave him a blow job that Matt thought was a damn sight better than “not bad.” Jaime sucked Matt until he came, and then Matt went into the tub and watched while Jaime crouched over the toilet, with the heels of his hands pressed into the wall on either side of the toilet and Perry fucked him from behind.

After that Jaime disappeared, but, as it turned out, only to the bedroom side of the door, where he stood holding towels for later use, while Perry came into the tub and pulled Matt over into his lap and embraced Matt’s chest. Kneeling on his knees on either side of Perry’s thighs and wrapping his arms around Perry’s neck and bringing Perry’s mouth to his nipples, Matt raised and lowered himself on Perry’s hard cock, making sucking-sound waves of water swirl around them, until Perry had come inside his condom. Matt turned his head toward the wall, where a large mirror was positioned over the bathtub, and watched himself fucking himself on Perry’s cock. It was all elegance. Nothing so primitive as with Dashad. And it was nice. But he couldn’t say it was nicer than when he had Dashad deep inside him and he was running his hands over the bulging, chocolate muscles.

But Matt couldn’t get past the opulence of the world he was entering--and the realization that he wanted it so much.

After they’d dried off, Perry told Matt to take a nap--that he’d need to be very sharp for the crowd coming to dinner--and then, while Matt was pulling on the sleeping shorts Thomas had laid out, Perry and Jaime were pulling on their briefs and Jaime was picking Perry’s T-shirt and jeans up from the floor. The way Perry ushered Jaime out of the door then, moving him by palming his butt, gave Matt the distinct impression, though, that Perry didn’t contemplate a nap himself and wasn’t finished with Jaime.



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