was becoming aware of the body in his arms, when the
grey of the morning was lighting up the room. Pressed
against a back, he sighed, comfortable in the familiar
heat. Convinced he was lying behind Vadim, holding him
close and pressing his morning hard-on against the other's
arse. Dan sighed once more, comfortably drifting in
half-sleep half-waking, pushing his hips in tiny movements
against the firm buttocks.
up, the first Beauvais thought was that he was late.
Which woke him up with that urgency that came with expecting
a bollocking, something that was not easy to shed and,
for him, had always been effective through any alcohol-induced
mist. The second thing he was aware of was somebody
pressed against him, with a hard-on. Which brought everything
back that had happened yesterday. In fact, he was lying
against a chest, broad, hairless, with sight on an armpit,
hairless, male, and a hand, warm, strong, lying curled
up near his cock. Looking into the blonde man's sleeping
face brought back what the same man had said. This
is sex. Proper sex. And that man's lover shared
the bed, pressing up against him, moving his cock between
his cheeks and the general area which felt sore. He'd
been fucked by two men. First time ever. At his age.
His job. Men he hardly knew. He shifted in the other's
arms, felt an increasing, if sleepy, insistence. "Hey."
Dan snuffled, his hand slowing the exploration of the
other body's hips. "Whassup?" Only then opening
his eyes, yawning, and being presented with the back
of a head that was anything but blond, short-shaved
dark instead; a body that was anything but broad and
tall, wiry and shorter instead. "Oh." Dan
grinned sheepishly, "sorry. Thought you were Vadim."
But he didn't stop the movements, returning to the exploration
with his hands.
mind." Beauvais relished the touches, the other
man's strength, that sleepy, gentle, insistent, and
horny exploration, like the other was measuring him
up, and he remembered the tongue in his ass. And the
feeling of being pounded, of a sensation that he'd never
known existed, not like this. Semi-hard himself, he
took Dan's hand and moved it to his cock, which readily
curled around and began to stroke. "Seems you want
if you're not too sore?" Dan grinned, eyes closed
again, keeping his voice low, even though he didn't
expect Vadim to be asleep any longer. Not with the growing
movement. "While I don't let myself get fucked
all that often
" whispering into the Lieutenant's
ear, the grin audible in his voice, "I'd say I
know that being sore from fucking can be a good
or a bad thing. What's it to be?"
ahead." It was a good ache right now, and with
that hand around his cock, it felt even better. Hardening
fully under the strokes, he was ready for another round.
Beauvais knew time was limited, he couldn't do this
again, so better get the most of it. Curving his back
to press into the cock. Yes. Sore.
" Dan chuckled, "if you're too eager
it'll hurt like fuck. And that's not the good
kind of ache."
doesn't work with just spit ... does it."
but gun oil works just fine." Leaning back to look
for condoms and lube, but damn, while Dan could get
hold of the lube, the condoms were out of reach behind
Vadim's back. "Bugger, the condoms are over there."
mind. Go ahead."
paused, lube warming in his hand, and fuck was he tempted.
"No." Murmured, "can't. I don't know
" Didn't continue, felt like an idiot, not
that he didn't believe the officer was clean, but fuck,
"not because of me."
enough. I fucked around in Africa."
reached out and prodded Vadim, while his hand began
to rub the lube between the legionnaire's tight buttocks,
carefully slipping a finger into the sore ass, which
made Beauvais hiss. Yes, sore. But it also made him
hey!" Softly, but insistent.
opened an eye and smirked. "Requiring my accompliceship?"
bastard." Dan grinned, "knew you'd be awake."
Never letting up his movements, as his other hand dropped
back to Beauvais' cock. Now two fingers entering, while
stretched some more, had already been stretched by now,
but found a few more inches in his body that he could
and if you want to be a proper accomplice, put it on
my cock, if you please. My hands are busy
Vadim reached out, found another condom in the box -
seemed Jean had been optimistic about that orgy thing
- tore it open and manoeuvred behind Dan to roll it
down over his cock. Beauvais was visibly enjoying what
Dan did, the Legionnaire already panting, perfectly
ready for another round of fucking. "Least complicated
virgin I've ever encountered", Vadim murmured.
because he's one of the fucking hard ones - foreign
legion, aye?" Dan grinned, the huskiness in his
voice growing, "I'd say they come close to SAS
" he chuckled, but was still
taking his time. 'Cruelly', because the man under his
hands was damned delicious in his need, and fucking
him with his fingers while stroking him, feeling every
tiny reaction, was a bloody fine foreplay.
closed his eyes, hands formed fists, then he moved,
pushing himself up on hands and feet, and looked at
Dan. Teeth bared, daring him to finally do it, then
to Vadim, same challenge in his face. Vadim laughed.
"Seems here's another one that's very patient.
Do you want to get fucked, soldier?" he asked,
No games. Just do it."
the games are half the fun." Dan grinned back,
teeth and all, accepting the challenge. He was behind
the Lieutenant and between his legs, sheathed cock lubed
and poised at the obviously sore arse, hands firmly
on the lean hips. "You'll like this one. It's called
accepting a challenge
" With that he pushed
forward, no holding back, thrusting and plunging in
deep, all in one stroke. Holding the slighter body firmly,
there was nowhere for Beauvais to go.
legs nearly buckled, the groan was part pain and part
a dark kind of lust. The sound made Vadim's guts tighten.
He knew exactly what Beauvais was feeling. That need,
lust spiked generously with pain, both mixed until they
became something more, something greater, and Dan was
the perfect partner to achieve that.
knew he'd regret abusing his body like that, but like
any good, driven soldier, he just took the consequences
of a decision, even if it was pain or death. The state
of his cock didn't leave any doubt just how much he
'enjoyed' getting fucked even while he was raw. The
lean body tense and taut, resisting the onslaught with
everything he had, and fully melting into it. Again,
he closed his eyes, listening into himself, just climbing
and using the lust. He spread his legs a bit more and
pushed back, as if pitting his strength against Dan's.
Dan did not disappoint. Used once again all the considerable
power of his body to fuck that man, and make him feel
with every fibre of his body and mind, what he was doing
- and why. Breathless, heart racing, sweat shimmering
on his body, Dan never let up, never slowed down, imprints
of his hands deeply in Beauvais' flanks while fucking
him without mercy, because mercy was not what the legionnaire
wanted. It took longer this time, far longer, morning
and sleep and last night's exertion, all coming together.
By the time Dan finally let go with a few last erratic,
and utterly vicious thrusts, he took Beauvais' cock
in his hand, stroking as brutally as he had fucked him,
cumming with a shout.
came shortly after, convulsing like he was in agony,
rigid, taut, exhausted, and clearly in pain, but his
eyes glowing like those of a wolf who'd just killed.
A primal hunger sated for the moment, and a wild beast
let loose with it. He collapsed, belly down on the mattress,
shuddering, hands in fists, sweaty.
scent made Vadim smile, and he looked at that ass, wondering
just how much pain the legionnaire wanted. He could
deliver. He wanted to fuck him, whether he was still
aroused or not, whether he could take it or not. For
a long, long moment, Vadim did absolutely not care.
that would be rape, wouldn't it?
shook his head, needed to take his eyes off Beauvais
who couldn't and wouldn't defend himself right now.
collapsed on the air bed, beside the Lieutenant, and
just about managed to take the condom off, tie it up
and chuck it into a corner. Lying there, breathing hard,
he placed a hand onto Beauvais' sweaty back. "You
breathless, Dan glanced up at Vadim, blinking sluggishly.
His smile began to grow into a grin. "And you?"
forced his eyes off Beauvais, remembered an icy night,
an officer, and a shot that had blown his brains out.
Remembered the ultimate vindication of thoroughly destroying
you are nothing but an animal, Vadim Petrovich. A danger
to civilization and everything humanity has accomplished.
was right. That flaw was in him, part of him, and would
never leave. Just ... feeling that way, just imagining
this, taking advantage - hell, Beauvais would likely
even think he'd invited it. Because, yes, he was pushy
for a virgin, and he'd shared this room and this night
with two total strangers, dangerous strangers at that
- that was a possibility, and everything in his body
said go, while his mind reeled. "I'm okay. Damn,
you used him all up."
" Dan waved a lazy hand in a come-hither
motion. "I can blow you. You know how much of a
cock sucker I am." Grinning, he stretched out on
his back, reaching for a couple of pillows to prop up
his head. "Just don't make me get up." Holding
his arm out, beckoning for Vadim to come close.
firmly pushed Beauvais out of his mind, instead moved
close, over Dan, positioning his cock at Dan's lips.
Moving carefully and gently, even though some impulses
wanted to be brutal, and wanted to fuck, and not this.
Too nice, too ... consensual. He groaned at that thought,
kept his mind focused, as Dan took him in deep and allowed
him to fuck his throat. It was good, great even, fuck,
but there was something else that he wanted, and he
couldn't have that, shouldn't do it. He was relieved
when he came, as that sated feeling covered up that
other need, that other impulse. He moved to place his
head on Dan's shoulder, holding him, eyes closed. He
didn't want to see the officer.
was lying for a while, eyes closed, smoking a cigarette
from a pack he'd discarded nearby. Holding Vadim and
stroking his back, before he turned his head to look
at the Lieutenant, who seemed to have drifted back off
idea what time it is? I'm starving, got to have a proper
breakfast and wash-up before getting into the wedding
clobber. Can't be stinking of sweat and sex." He
grinned from ear to ear.
reached over to check the time. "Seven thirty.
Maybe head back into our room and have a good, long
shower before the fun and games start."
here I was, thinking we've already had our fun and games."
before Jean's fun and game start ..."
turned around. "I should go first." He got
to his feet, face stony enough to show he was in quite
a bit of discomfort, then reached for his clothes that
were on a pile. He got dressed, slipped into his shoes.
you later." Dan waved a hand briefly, "we'll
slip out in a few minutes." Getting onto his elbow,
calling after the Lieutenant, who was already at the
door. "One tip, shower really hot, don't use soap
on your arse and dry thoroughly. You'll be as good as
new in no time." He added, "by tomorrow anyway."
glanced over his shoulder. "Not much of a war wound,
is it?" He then headed out.
exhaled deeply, glad the man was gone, mostly because
he had triggered that old response. "You are
the gay virus", he murmured and kissed Dan, who
had been prepared in the large downstairs kitchen. A
buffet affair, brought in from the local butcher's,
cheesemonger's and baker's, with plenty to eat and a
multitude of foods to cater for all tastes. The bride
and groom were nowhere to be seen, and so they shouldn't,
as guests trickled in and out of the kitchen, filling
up before the big event.
and Vadim had a substantial breakfast, still unshaved
and 'scruffy' from the night, before they retired to
their room to get titivated and dressed. It was Dan's
turn first in the bathroom, and he took much longer
than his usual five minutes including shaving. He was
dressing in the room, while Vadim had taken over the
bathroom, grooming to perfection.
in front of the large swivel mirror, Dan was fiddling
with the cravat. "Have you drowned in there?"
Shouting towards the bathroom, amusement in his voice.
a competent swimmer", Vadim said, opening the door
which hid Dan, then pulling his shirt cuffs out from
the cuffs of his suit, so the simple metal studs caught
the light. Shaved, showered, dried, moisturised, and
decked out in highly polished shoes and a suit that
seemed both sombre and festive, and was several steps
up from the ones he'd bought in Thailand, as nice as
they were. For one, it was a three piece suit that played
off Vadim's body better than all two piece suits he'd
I was starting to worry." Dan pushed the door shut
and came out from behind, looking at Vadim. Dark eyes
widening, he exclaimed, "holy fuck." Speechless
for a moment, before his face turned into a grin that
kept growing until it threatened to split his face.
"Shit, you work this male model stuff. You look
so fucking good I'd rather stay here and get back out
of my own clothes again. But I've got the rings. Damn."
not half bad, either." Vadim smiled, taking Dan
in, that strange combination of formal shoes with leather
ties that went all the way up to the knees, black knee-high
socks with weird fabric 'bunting' that peeked from under
the turned-over top of the socks. The black, woollen,
pleated 'skirt' with its subtle black-on-black woven
tartan; a waistcoat and a very formal jacket on top
it, and all with shiny square silver buttons. Never
mind the black fur 'pouch' with silver and furry tassels
that hung from the broad belt. Strange image. Dan managed
to pull it off, though, with his narrow hips and broad
shoulders - smoothly shaved, hair washed and shining,
he did cut a dashing figure. "Wearing nothing under
course not!" Dan protested, leaned forward and
took hold of the hem of the kilt. "I'm a true Scotsman!"
He lifted the fabric, revealing a bare and mostly shaved
groin. Letting it drop again, he smirked broadly. "I
tell you, my ancestors must all have been gay. After
all, can you imagine anything more convenient than easy
access - front and behind?" He twirled around,
the heavy 'pouch' keeping the 'skirt' in the front down,
and the ornamental silver pin kept it from flapping
up, as the pleated back swung with the movement.
You wouldn't be here, then." Vadim couldn't help
would have gone for the proper McFadyen tartan, but
they didn't have it in stock, and since I am too bloody
tall, this black-on-black one was the best option they
had in the shop."
are different patterns for each family? And your family
is one of them?" Vadim moved closer, running his
hand over the woollen 'skirt'. Kilt.
it's different tartans for different clans and their
septs. The McFadyens have their own tartan, but as far
as I know the whole thing only really got going in the
19th century or so. Queen Victoria, stuff like that.
Doesn't matter. It's national pride for a Scotsman to
wear a kilt and this here," smoothing the fur of
the tassels with a grin, "this is the evening version.
Worn with Prince Charlie jacket, waistcoat, cravat,
silver belt buckle and broad belt, and, of course, the
sporran. And before you ask, the bits of fabric on the
top of my stockings are called flashes." He grinned
even broader, eyes alight, and so very pleased with
himself and his outfit. "What do you think?"
get used to it", said Vadim, grinning. "Like
that shirt." Tight at the throat, a great contrast
to Dan's tanned skin, the cravat only adding to that.
The jacket emphasised the chest, and it did look all
formal and ceremonial, vest, silver buttons and all
that. "I imagine that must be warm underneath."
that's not the enthusiastic response that I expected."
Dan frowned, heaved an exaggerated sigh and shrugged.
"Guess we can't all be perfect and Scottish,
can we?" Reaching for the small knife in its sheath,
handle decorated with a large stone on the top.
laughed and kissed him. "You'd look good in everything.
And that includes the kilt and flashes and sporran.
And stockings." Moving his arm around Dan, embracing
him for a long moment. "I even thought your Muja
garb was rather fetching."
laughed out loud. "And you're a fucking weirdo
if you thought that." He winked, bent down to slip
the sheath into his left hand stocking, explaining.
"That's a skean dubh, and it seems to be the only
way I can legitimately walk around with a blade displayed
on my body. If that isn't an argument for being a Scotsman,
then I don't know what is." He grinned, rattling
his sporran. "And here we have the most important
items of the day, beside an emergency flask with whisky,
and right after the bride and groom."
I was wondering where you had the rings." Vadim
pushed his cuffs to the side to check on his watch.
"Twenty minutes. Should we head downstairs?"
think we should. I need to show off my fucking sexy,
goddamned perfect partner." Dan grinned, checked
a last time that the rings really were in his sporran,
made sure he had a crisp clean handkerchief, and plenty
fags and lighter, as well. When all was set, he walked
to the door, opening it for Vadim with an exaggerated
bow. "After you, Monsieur in the expensive tailored
suit, which cost about five times as much as my whole
outfit." Grinning, "and damn worth it is."
cause the greater stir with that kilt." Vadim headed
outside, now hearing the sounds from downstairs, which
sounded like a lot of people talking, cheerful, excited,
and so it was when they came down the stairs. He spotted
Beauvais near the buffet, which was easy with his white
hat and flawless uniform. He was fully kitted out like
a Legionnaire, and Pascal next to him in civvies looked
greatly diminished in a boring suit that was clearly
on the cheaper side.
grinned when he saw Beauvais, steering straight towards
him. "I thought there was a no-camo rule?"
Acknowledging Pascal with a matey slap on the shoulder.
no camo, that's the dress uniform. I thought someone
has to represent the Legion." expanding his chest.
give you that, the legion manages a better dress uniform
than SAS does." Dan grinned, "but since I'm
a mere humble civilian these days
his hips for a moment, which made the kilt swing out
to the sides, accentuating the length of his muscular
legs and the narrow width of his hips.
you are a full-blooded Scotsman. Nice handbag."
Beauvais grinned to take out the sting, but still made
Pascal give a laugh, and Dan to roll his eyes.
Lieutenant, it's a sporran."
looked at Vadim, with appreciation barely hidden. "Very
and mine." Dan quipped, looking up when he thought
he'd heard his name being called out. At the other end
of the hall stood Jean, who looked just as brushed and
polished as anybody else, but he actually wore a tux
that somehow took five or ten years off him and transformed
him into an endearingly cute young guy that was too
nervous and high-strung for his own good.
dear," Dan grinned, "I guess it's time to
take over my duties." Nodding to Beauvais and Jean,
he reached for Vadim to touch him for a moment. A look,
smile, and a murmured, "don't you go off with anyone
while I'm away, Mr model
The countdown's started ..."
winked and walked off, making his way through the crowds
until he stood in front of Jean.
look bloody magnificent." Smiling, "she'll
be bowled over."
took Dan's arm and pulled him along to a quieter area.
"I'm scared", he murmured, and he did look
pale. "What the fuck am I doing here, Dan?"
then, let's have a look at what you are doing
here." Looking around him, Dan saw the door to
the pantry, and pulled Jean into the small, windowless
room. The only light coming in through the old fashioned
venting lattice in the door, once he'd closed it behind
them. "Let's forget about all those people out
there, aye? Just think of what you really are doing
here and why you are doing it." Dan smiled, face
illuminated dimly, the lattice pattern of shadow and
light making his scar twist. Standing in front of Jean
in the small space, hands on his shoulders. "Do
you love Solange?"
yes. I still feel like I have to throw up."
a damn good basis to start from. Not the throwing up,
though." Dan grinned. "And do you want to
spend the rest of your life with her? Growing old and
all that shit, through good and bad, and all that?"
Leaning closer, "like Vadim and I seem to be doing,
just without the tux and the white dress?"
moved in and pressed close against Dan. "I just
don't want to hurt her, and I ... don't deserve all
this, and there's you, and fuck I can't even think clearly."
It slipped out, before the moment of irritation and
confusion was gone again. "Right, in that order,
then. You won't hurt her if you love her and accept
that things might not go the way you want them at all
times, and that maybe you might grow bored or too comfortable,
or whatever. Whenever this might happen, you have to
remember the one great truth: that you love her. And
I let you into a secret: whatever happens, if you shout
at each other or don't talk for hours, do not ever go
to bed angry. Do not ever sleep in another room when
you are in the same place. And do not ever be in a huff
at night. No matter how long it takes, talk it out.
Solve it. I know talking is shit, and awful, and hard,
and whatever, but as long as you go to bed, and even
if it's at 8 AM, and you hold each other close again,
falling asleep in each other's arms, then all will be
well." Dan smiled and winked, leaning close enough
to murmur into Jean's ear, "and I shall never tell
you where I got that bit of wisdom from, just that it
works, but if you tell anyone that I told you all this
soppy stuff, I will kill you, and it won't be pretty."
Placing a kiss at the side of Jean's neck, "as
for deserving, the whole notion of deserve or not deserve
is crap. Things happen. Too often shit ones, and sometimes
good ones. This good thing happened to you, so grab
it and keep it and fall asleep with it every night."
try. I need to make this work. All of this."
in to place a kiss on the other side of Jean's neck,
"and as for me
I'll always be there, but
I'm different to Solange. She is your lover and partner,
I am your friend. And I'll always be your friend."
looked into Dan's eyes and nodded, willing himself to
relax, even though it didn't really work, but at least
he made an effort.
now your lover is waiting in the town hall, to become
your wife." Leaning in again, this time a light
kiss onto Jean's lips. "and thus I think we should
leave now, because she's the best and the most important
thing that ever happened to you in your life. You said
pressed Dan's arm, briefly, nodded. "Going into
battle is easier", he murmured.
coward." Dan chuckled, then slapped one of Jean's
tightly-clad buttocks. "I knew that all Frenchies
were good at raising the white flag, but not at fighting."
He winked and opened the door. "Now show them what
a man with Russian blood can do. Aye, soldier?"
a lot of Nazis?" Jean grinned and headed out.
wouldn't be appreciated right now." Dan shook his
had started to usher the guests towards the mayor's
office, and only Beauvais, Vadim, and Pascal were there,
as well as a few stragglers.
five minutes on foot and the other half of the village
will be there", Jean murmured. "Got the rings?"
course." Dan rattled his sporran again. "Best
get the entourage going, aye?" He grinned at Vadim
when they approached.
Jean still looked nervous, but not as bad as before.
They left the manor and walked down the street to the
centre and the mayor's office, where all the guests
were. Several people with cameras, last minute checks
and fixes of clothes, and somebody official came out,
shook Jean's hand, and the whole crowd surged forward
into the office. Some people remained outside, chattering
in French, while the close friends - and not a single
relative - moved forward.
Solange and another very beautiful, thin woman waited.
Solange's long white dress carefully arranged, and she
was surrounded by flowers, huge amounts of roses. Jean
hesitated when he saw her, and she had to reach out
and offer a hand to get him to move closer. When he
still didn't move straight away, too much in awe, Dan
gently prodded his back.
to the side of Jean, Dan leaned forward to smile at
Solange. All four of them remaining with their backs
to the crowd that had filed in.
happened in French, but it was clear enough when the
official asked for something that he meant the rings,
and Dan, with his rudimentary French, got the clue and
took the expensive looking box out of his sporran. Opening
it, he presented the elegant gold wedding bands, handing
them to the mayor. Jean's voice shook, whereas Solange's
voice remained steady and she just radiated love which
continued to dazzle Jean, and he looked ready to bolt
and possibly take her with him when he ran away - again.
But Dan stood by his side, as best man and as best friend,
ready to keep him from running. In the end, nothing
like that happened, and to the great cheer of all around,
the couple finally kissed as husband and wife. When
Dan glanced behind him, he was grinning like a fool
as his eyes met Vadim's, who smiled and nodded and gave
a quick 'thumbs up'.
was time, then, to sign the register, and both witnesses,
the maid of honour and the best man, were signing the
documents. When the bride and groom sat at a little
table to sign the papers as well, the cameras were wildly
then moved to Dan's side and took his hand, entwining
their fingers. "Well, he's taken care of",
smiled, squeezing those fingers in his. "Just like
I've been married. It's a nice feeling, actually."
raised his brows. "That's sure as fuck not what
I meant." A grin breaking through the mock consternation.
"We're two blokes, we can't marry, and even if
" grimacing, but fortunately all
eyes and attention were on the bride and groom. All
except perhaps one pair of eyes, but Dan had
his back to the spectators. "Let's just say I wasn't
made for 'marriage vows'. Besides, we are as good as
married. Don't you think?" Dan chuckled.
how could a piece of metal hurt you?"
What do you mean? The rings? It's just all that exclusion
and I just wasn't made for marriage.
Girls marry. Women marry. I'm neither."
exclusivity crap is bound to work really well for Jean,
hm?" Vadim cast a pointed glance towards Beauvais,
who was standing rather stiffly, and listened to Pascal.
" And only then did it hit Dan, following
the glance and murmuring, "oh shit. He just gave
his vows that he would forsake all others, didn't he?"
of a snowball in hell", murmured Vadim. "I
think he'll do whatever he pleases. And it pleases him
to ..." Glancing around. "Pursue other openings."
if he vowed it, then
" Dan shook his head,
"whatever." Turning away, he walked towards
the happy couple, smiling brightly, but before he could
congratulate them, he was already prodded and shoved
into position for photos. Endless photos. Couple, witnesses,
and once again and all over.
was watching, then felt somebody move close to him,
to his shoulder. He looked at the man from the corner
of his eyes. Beauvais. He could have told just from
the way he had drawn close.
are your plans after the marriage?" asked the Frenchman.
plans. We're on R&R. A week here, then we're out
to New Zealand, take a look at the farm."
got some property there?"
has. Why, are you looking to invest?"
was planning to look at a few properties around this
area." Beauvais murmured. "Good value for
money, good, quiet area. I don't want to retire in the
legion retirement home, and I have saved a good amount
in the last years."
little opportunity to spend, I assume." Vadim placed
a hand on Beauvais' uniformed shoulder and turned to
face him, moving close, to keep his voice low. "What
are you actually asking for, Beauvais?"
need more time."
ambivalent. Was that 'more time with you'? Vadim assumed
it. "I'm sure Dan will be happy to oblige you with
Vadim grinned. "Yeah, me too."
was looking over the heads of the crowd, saw Vadim talk
with Beauvais and noticed the hand on one uniformed
shoulder. The sight made Dan grin, wondering what they
were talking about. He detected a gap in the throng
of well wishers the next moment, heading straight towards
the couple before they were to be rushed outside to
be celebrated in the village square. Wine and pastries
Dan smiled, stepping towards her before anyone could
whisk the beauty in white silk and pearls away. "Are
you going to honour the tradition of kissing the best
please." Solange smiled at him and moved forward,
lace-gloved hand on his arm. Dan placed his calloused
hands on her bare shoulders, a delicate touch, as he
leaned in, kissing her gently on the lips, which seemed
to surprise her a little, but she smiled into the kiss.
loves you very much," Dan murmured, "and he's
worried to muck it up, but I think you might forgive
him for the odd bit of muck, hm?" Smiling wistfully,
"he tries, and from my point of view of a friend,
he's a good man, and I am so glad that he has found
happiness with you."
know I haven't married a saint", she said. "But
a saint would be boring, don't you agree?"
After all, I'm everything but, and so is Vadim."
both of you are gorgeous together."
go of her shoulders, Dan took her hand, placing another
kiss on its back. "I wish you all the happiness
in the world, because I am sure you'll make him very
happy." With that he stepped away, the wistful
smile still on his face, watching the crowd taking over.
She smiled at him, but then had to answer another well-wisher,
and Jean had to shake a lot of hands, too, and they
joked and looked incredibly happy together.
watched for a moment, then squeezed his way through
the well wishers who were heading outside. Looking out
for Vadim, while searching the sporran for his cigarettes
and a quick swig from the pewter flask.
spotted him immediately and joined him. "What are
our plans right after the marriage? Jean and Solange
are off to the honeymoon. What about us?"
Dan had been somewhere else in his thoughts, lighting
the cigarette. They stood on the stone steps that led
down to the market place, which was teeming with people,
enjoying themselves. Pulling in a deep first lungful
of nicotine. "Haven't thought that far. Travelling
wants to spend more time with us. I guess he isn't sore
enough. We could show him how to do some stuff. Maybe
he's as enthusiastic at cocksucking as he is at getting
fucked. What do you think?"
if he wants to?" Dan was somewhat distracted, concentrating
on his cigarette. "I'd be the last man on earth
to say no to that offer." Watching the smoke rise
into the air, before casting another glance over the
jolly crowd. "We could hire a caravan or something.
Less conspicuous than three men in a bed, I guess."
idea." Vadim looked at Dan. "What's on your
nothing." Dan waved his hand about and exhaled
smoke. "Nothing a lot of booze, good food, and
merry company can't get out of my head." He suddenly
grinned, groping Vadim's arse, right there in public.
"Let's find our apprentice and grab some wine on
the way. Can't have everybody else having a jolly except
us. Besides, my kilt hasn't had any admirers yet."
With that he turned and walked down the stairs, towards
a stall with pastries and wine.
too far away, Beauvais was doing his best to get plastered.
Drinking the wine like it was water and he'd just come
out of Algeria. A couple of girls attempted to strike
up a conversation, but he skilfully directed their attention
to Pascal, who, doubtlessly was having fun. Surrounded
by girls and, thought Vadim, maybe one or two that hadn't
been born as girls. But as long as Pascal didn't realize
Heading towards Beauvais. "Looks like Dan is up
sauntered close, wine in one hand, couple of pastries
in the other. Raising his brows with a grin. "Does
a week's tour of the region in a caravan strike your
fancy?" Downing his second glass of wine, following
the Lieutenant's example in getting pissed as soon as
nodded. "I could actually show you some nice areas
around here. I was born not too far away." He shrugged.
"I was Belgian when I joined the Legion, of course.
Just in case you were going to ask."
wasn't going to ask, I don't actually give a shit."
Dan grinned, "but since you offered the information,
doesn't anyone in the Legion ever ask for a passport?"
know you well when you join and if they want you, they
still take you in. Anybody could have placed my accent
in this general area. Doesn't matter. Some rules are
just there to be broken." Beauvais again seemed
more reserved now, as if reminding himself that nothing
about this was about bonding or sharing information.
took a third glass from a tray, emptying it half-way.
"Aye, I've broken a few rules myself in my life.
Actually, with a mate who's a Russian Frenchman
and a partner who's a Russian Brit," grinning
at Vadim, "I really wouldn't give a damn if the
Legion believed you were Scottish even though you didn't
speak a word of English and had donned a skirt made
from towels." Dan laughed.
Now I get what you mean." Beauvais grinned.
what did you think I meant?" Dan finished his wine.
sure ... It's all up for negotiations, isn't it? Life
is more complicated than the rules. Talking of rules
..." He looked around, very carefully. "I'm
bored. You two are the most interesting guests."
but I'm the best man. I can hardly vanish behind the
next hut for a quick fuck." Dan smirked, getting
hold of his fourth glass. "Unless we're off duty
before the main celebrations start." Looking at
Vadim, "any idea what the plans are?"
assume that's more food back at the castle, more drinks
... more of the same. Ah, and dancing. Unless, of course,
we'd abduct the bride."
Dan grinned, suddenly alert. "Now that sounds like
a plan, but wasn't Pascal meant to do that?"
Vadim looked across where the ex-para was holding court.
that's true." Dan flashed a grin. "Anyone
still sober enough to drive?"
am", said Vadim. "no problem."
ideas?" Pointing at Beauvais, before fetching glass
five and glass six, pushing one of them into the Lieutenant's
hand. "You know the area, anything fairly decent
and yet out of the way enough that it would take a while
for Jean to find his bride, or - better still - not
to find her, and he has to pay a hefty ransom of food
and drink?" Dan winked. A prank was a prank and
even better if it came with a lot of tradition.
are a few hotels around ... what about a bar or a restaurant?
We could wine and dine her ...? Actually, I know a place
that has good wine, friendly service, and is a bit out
of the way."
but would Jean figure it out?"
immediately." Beauvais laughed. "He'd have
to work a bit, but no doubt the friendly locals would
help him. He should be alright."
" Dan mused, "that's all very well,
but not particularly interesting for the bride, or is
think getting abducted is boring?" Beauvais looked
quizzically at him.
I was abducted by three more-or-less middle aged straight
women, then taken to a restaurant to have a mediocre
meal with perhaps a glass of wine, and not a chance
in hell for sex or even just innuendo, yeah, I'd be
bored." Dan grinned.
the problem with the villages. No outrageous nightclubs.
If we were anywhere near Marseilles or another civilised
area, I'd know a few nice strip bars where she could
have a lapdance ... All the women I brought into places
like that enjoyed a lapdance."
lapdance, as in: a woman dancing on your woman's lap?
Pretty much scantily clad?" Dan raised a brow.
And they do enjoy it. Trust me."
wouldn't enjoy one." Dan shrugged, not convinced,
but grinned and finished his wine. "Well, not anymore.
I used to exclusively fuck women, till I was in my early
thirties." He tried to get Vadim's attention with
a nudge, "what a damn fine wasted opportunity,
all those years."
looked at him. "You'd have been gay in the SAS,
sitting in those atrociously dull barracks, wondering
about the bodies under the shower. Trust me, being gay
'all my life' wasn't fun. There's always a comrade you
have a crush on, always something to prove ... it's
" Dan mused, the wine at lunchtime,
without much food, was making him mellow. "While
all I had to prove to myself was that I was a 'real
man' by treating those girls like absolute shit and
fucking them senseless while drunk as a skunk."
Falling silent, snatching a glass from a table nearby,
he downed half of it in one go. "I was a fucking
little shit. Better make it up to one of them."
And that was that, he didn't even wait for an answer.
Turning, kilt swinging in the movement, he weaselled
his way into the crowd and towards the bride and groom.
laughed. "I'll get the car. You help him get her
out. Maybe tackle the groom or distract him?"
nodded. "Deal." Heading after Dan while Vadim
rushed to get the vehicle.
was kind of circling, trying to find the right time
and angle to strike, when he saw Beauvais. Sidling up
to him, he grinned. "You do realise you stick out
like a fucking thumb in your white uniform? So much
for the stealth attack
not sticking out to somebody who knows and trusts that
uniform. How do we do it?"
for fuck's sake, cheer up, Legionnaire. I know you're
an officer, but you don't have to swallow that fucking
rod." Dan grinned to take the sting out. "I
was just saying that you're no good for a camouflaged
stealth attack in your blinding whites. Other than that,
pull that rod out your arse and relax for a few days,
aye? It's good to be proud of La Legion, but chill for
nodded briskly and moved away, into the background,
where he remained. He was watching, however.
looked after him and sighed, shaking his head. Tipsy
or not, and as sensitive as a bulldozer or not, he realised
that he'd obviously pissed off the Frenchman, not having
a clue what it was that kept annoying the man. He might
have pondered some more, had there not been an opening
in the crowd. The first chords of music were heard,
when a small band of locals started playing traditional
songs. Dan rushed forward, legionnaire and prissiness
forgotten, and managed to be the first one in front
of Solange. "Fancy a little dance, my lady?"
He bowed swiftly, before taking her hands in his.
Solange cheerfully agreed and followed him. "Are
you enjoying yourself?"
much so," Dan smiled, twirling her around, albeit
not very elegantly. "But most importantly, are
you happy?" Steering them towards the edge of the
yes. Who would have thought it could be like this?"
not the right one to ask." Dan chuckled, twirling
them around again, almost reaching the edge, when he
spotted the car with Vadim inside. "I've never
been married." One more step, and he lifted her
up and over a small wall, while looking around for Beauvais.
The Frenchman was there, climbing the wall in an instant.
are you doing?"
making Jean work a bit for you", said Beauvais.
grinned, climbing after her, pushing the kilt down to
prevent flashing the entire neighbourhood. "It's
the age old tradition of kidnapping the bride."
Bowing deeply as he pointed to the car, "if you'd
please, Madame Leclerc?"
the poor man", she said, smiling. "Dear me.
What nice abductors ..." She gathered her dress
about her and got into the car.
laughed as he closed the door, getting into the seat
beside her, leaving Beauvais the passenger seat to navigate
to the place. "He probably deserves it." Winking
kicked down the gas pedal to give Jean a bit of a warning
that something wasn't right - screeching tires should
clue him in, and then followed Beauvais's directions.
Heading onto the fast street that connected the villages
in this area, while Beauvais gave directions from memory.
Heading into yet another picturesque village, he ordered
Vadim to park outside a similar wine bar to the one
they'd got drunk in two days earlier.
jumped out of the car and opened the door for Solange,
holding his hand out to her. "Can't be easy to
get out of this in all your finery." Dark eyes
amused, he helped her out.
took his hand and managed to get out of the car. "Not
the most practical dress I've ever worn", she remarked,
while the others got out of the car as well. "Men
have it easier ..."
depends," Dan chuckled, offering her his arm. "Not
if you have to wear certain dress uniforms, even though
our legionnaire, here
" leaning closer to
her, "seems to be bearing up remarkably well."
pointed towards the bar. "They have a lot of good,
local wines here."
like a pleasant place, then, and the groom should be
able to find it. Eventually." Guiding her inside,
the moment they stepped through the door, the whole
place fell silent. Men, a lot of old men and not a single
woman, all staring at them, faces lifted from their
wine glasses and their chess, cards or board games.
"Bonjour," Dan smiled brightly, scraping together
the remains of his French, "we abduct woman."
Correcting himself, "ah, non, bride."
mood shifted then. Maybe it was the French, maybe it
was the trio of a stunning bride, a man in a skirt,
somebody in a very expensive suit all topped off with
an officer of the Legion. A number of old guys invited
them over to their table, and Beauvais went to order
some wine. Solange wrapped one after the other of the
local men around each of her fingers when she sat down
and said something in French, which was doubtlessly
lovely and charming.
half an hour, everyone in that place was merry with
wine and chatter. Dan understood a few scraps here and
there and managed to join in on occasion - after he'd
explained with Solange's help that he wasn't wearing
a skirt but was a true Scotsman, and that Vadim and
he were from Britain, but not English - which pleased
the guys very much. Some of the old geezers scrabbled
some instruments together, and soon the bar was filled
with cheerful music, not dissimilar to the market place.
passed quickly as they were having fun, each one of
the locals daring a little dance with the lovely bride,
until, finally, two hours later, the door opened again
and Jean appeared, looking somewhat frantic, but immediately
relaxed when he found his prize. "You bastard",
he said to Beauvais, who shook his head and pointed
at Dan. "His idea."
stood in the middle of the room, conversing with a couple
of men who were showing him how to play boule, when
he looked up and shrugged, grinning. "Me? I am
innocent. It was his idea." Pointing to Vadim.
raised his hands. "Guilty as charged. What are
you going to do about it?"
rescuer!", said Solange and rushed into Jean's
arms. Who stared at Vadim, but could simply not resist
his wife, either.
need her to cut up the cake ..." Jean muttered
I guess you'd rather cut up Vadim." Dan laughed.
"I'm afraid we haven't got time for that, even
though Solange suffered terribly. Didn't you?"
he winked at her.
nodded cheerfully, which made Jean laugh, too. "The
places I looked for you", he murmured and kissed
her neck. "Come. I should have fitted you with
a collar, my dear."
suddenly coughed and lit himself another cigarette before
finishing of his umpteenth wine. "Thank you for
hospitality." He called into the round with his
broken French, and a cheer for the bride and groom were
heard, as they all left the bar, heading back to the
main festivities. By now Dan had had a lot of wine and
very little food, but was bravely soldiering on.
kept Solange in his car, and they drove in both vehicles
back to the manor, where there was a vast amount of
food and much more alcohol and everybody seemed to have
a great time. The reappearance of the bride was celebrated
with a cheer, and Jean looked like he couldn't wait
to carry her upstairs, but instead, they cut up the
cake together and more photos were made. Then it was
time for the speeches, and Dan managed to keep his best
man speech short and sweet, hardly stumbling over words
in his inebriated stage, and making the whole crowd
laugh, with Jean occasionally glaring at him when the
joke was - predictably - on his side. After a lot more
toasting and good wishes, the music started once more
and the party went on.
went back to drinking, something he had hardly stopped
with since after the ceremony, while Dan indulged in
the same, but only after stuffing himself with food.
He found himself standing with a plate in one hand and
a glass in another, suddenly surrounded by a bunch of
girls who were giggling about his outfit, and if he
really didn't wear anything underneath. Dan being Dan,
he grinned at Vadim and ignored a strange and altogether
unfriendly look from Beauvais, and challenged them to
check for themselves
which they did. To their
great merriment and his lack of bother, especially when
Vadim stepped close and placed a possessive hand on
his hip, which told the gaggle of models a lot more
than Dan had and made them giggle even louder.
seemed to enjoy himself with a similar ilk, the set-up
with the girl had worked really well with him and he
seemed very popular with the ladies - whether that was
because of his attractiveness or because he was the
only single, straight and friendly guy in the room was
everybody's guess. The party went on for many hours.
A buffet was brought, with hot and cold delicacies,
and a different band played music, to the great joy
of most who enjoyed to dance, which was mainly the fashion
crowd. Jean and Solange opened with the first dance,
and then it was a free for all, but Dan preferred to
stick to food and booze, and mainly the latter.
the place became less crowded, late at night, when some
people started to head home, and only the closer friends
were still around. Vadim found himself sit mellow near
the fireplace, staring into the fire and half-listening
to the melodic French, feeling at peace, content and
was at the other end of the large room, laughing with
a couple of girls who had taken him under his wings,
while he was steadily drinking and enjoying himself,
now and then glancing over to bride and groom, but never
interfering with the fun and the joy, and never walking
it was time for Jean and Solange to retire. Under great
cheer of the remaining guests, Solange threw her bouquet,
and Dan had been refilling his glass, and despite all
logic and care, was hit with the bouquet, catching the
flowers by reflex, under great laughter and perplexed
surprise on his part. Playing along, though, he laughed
and joked, and waved the happy couple good night, before
walking along the remains of the buffet to check out
finally claimed one of the big couches for himself.
He shed the jacket, kicked off the shoes and stretched
out, his feet pointing towards the fire, arms crossed
on his chest, and, having slept too little recently,
closed his eyes and drifted off.
cast a glance at Vadim resting and headed over to the
buffet. He wasn't completely steady on his feet anymore.
we're the only ones left." Dan grinned, pouring
himself a large measure of whisky, to round off the
men standing", Beauvais murmured, reaching for
the bottle once Dan had put it down, then poured some
into his wine glass and emptied that, too.
grinned, took the bottle back, filling his own glass
to the brim after he'd. "And what happens now?"
looked at him. "Maybe lure you outside and ...
cut you to size. Don't want to wake your friend."
Whisky untouched, Dan stared at the legionnaire. "What
the fuck are you talking about?"
You two together against me means I'm hopeless. You
against me, that's different."
some of the whisky down his throat, Dan ignored the
burn. "What the fuck's the against about?
You think I'm some enemy?" Not quite steady on
his feet, he leaned against the table.
gave a quick glance around. "I'm outside. If you
have any balls, you follow me." He turned on his
heel, every inch the legionnaire who'd learned the hard
way not to wreck bars off-duty.
fucking stupid arsehole." Dan growled, following
the Lieutenant immediately. Didn't have a clue what
the hell was up and why the fuck that man was behaving
like an irrational bastard. "What the fuck's your
fucking problem?" Pushing the door open, he stepped
into the night air.
was greeted right away with a fist. Beauvais obviously
didn't believe in fair and proper duels - the moment
Dan was out of the way of the other guests and things
that could be broken, he gave a straight punch towards
That was the last thing that Dan had expected, and the
fist hit him full on. Snapping his head back, pain exploded
behind his eyes and in his nose, and he staggered backwards,
not as steady on his feet with all the booze. "You
fucking bastard!" Hissed, and that was it. Throwing
himself towards the smaller man, Dan used a feint at
the last moment, twisting his body, and his shoulder
rammed into Beauvais.
reeled back, then hit the ground which knocked the air
from his lungs, but he got another two punches in, into
Dan's short ribs, knowing he was at a disadvantage,
but determined to sell himself as dearly as possible.
groaned, but his heavier body crashed onto Beauvais's,
and nothing the other could do to stop the motion. Alcohol
holding the worst back, and dulling the pain. Defence
and attack slowed down, and yet reflexes still functioned
and Dan got to his knees the next moment, straddling
the Lieutenant. Blood running from his nose onto the
pristine white uniform. He shook his head, wiped the
worst away with the back of his hand, before snarling,
"what the fuck is your fucking problem?"
Angry, hurting, damned pissed off and at a total loss
at what the hell was going on.
was seething with rage, expecting clearly to be punched
and kicked, and took hold of Dan's jacket to pull him
off, bucking underneath to free himself. "Get off
Fucking what?" Dan understood damn well.
He'd never been called a whore before, and wasn't going
to take it. Punching Beauvais' arm, forcing him to lose
the grip on his jacket, while grinding down onto the
Frenchman's hips and groin, to keep him from bucking
up. "You fucking arsehole, you didn't complain
when I fucked you!"
movement and the words together did it. Beauvais exploded
with rage, the smaller man going all out berserk, and
displaying surprising strength and coordination despite
his state. He bucked up, throwing the weight off, then
hurled himself on top of Dan, whose reactions were slowed
by the booze and he had simply not expected this outrage.
Knees, fists, head, all weapons that Beauvais brought
to bear, punching Dan's face and chest, whatever he
could reach, face showing nothing but fury.
pain exploded once more, unexpected, unbidden, Dan flew
into anger himself. Pissed off beyond measure at this
irrational man, and the whole goddamned situation that
made no fucking sense - except for the pain. If he could
only stop that French bastard to pummel him like a berserker,
he might find out what the fuck was going on. Dan lifted
up to get leverage, twisted, bucked upwards, got caught
in the kilt. Bare arse grinding into the grass, caught
under the other man's mad thrashing. But he fought,
furious enough, fists hitting Beauvais's face. Faster,
harder, without holding back. He grunted, breathless,
satisfied when the Lieutenant let out a groan. Hitting
Beauvais's jaw hard, giving him enough time to take
hold of the legs and throw his whole body weight to
the side, taking the legionnaire with him, and rolling
pushed, bucked, fighting and channelling anger into
every motion. Anger that was made worse because - despite
the pain and the fight - he was hard, and if there was
one thing he didn't want, it was Dan to notice it. This
was a fight, and he hated the man, had been humiliated
enough already. He wouldn't bear another humiliation.
"Get the fuck off me!" he shouted in French,
looking around frantically for a weapon or just a large
enough stone, shielding his face with one elbow.
Dan shouted back, grabbing the front of Beauvais's uniform,
splattered with his blood, and he spit out another mouthful.
"What the fuck is your fucking problem?"
Lifting the slighter man's chest up from the ground,
shaking him. Dan moved back onto his haunches, kneeling
once more atop Beauvais, bare groin grinding down. Pushing,
harder, and shit it felt damn good. The pain, adrenaline,
and the whole goddamned anger, and it all came crashing
back to Dan: the fights with Vadim, how they'd almost
killed each other many times, the hatred and greed,
the heat and lust, and he thrust once more, grinding
purposefully into the man beneath, because it felt so
stared at him, hands had formed fists, the touch going
through him with an intensity that made him nauseous,
or dizzy, or was just too fucking much. "I'm done
being treated like shit!" he hissed. "The
whole point of getting a commission, you bastard!"
Dan stilled, groin on groin, but no movement, and he
let go of the Lieutenant, dropping him back down to
the ground. Breathless, voice forced. "You fucking
think I treat you like shit? Are you out of your mind?"
Leaning forward, giving himself a dangerous opening
when both his hands came down on each side of Beauvais'
head, but Dan didn't care, too shocked at those words.
And whatever Beauvais might have said was swallowed
when Dan exposed himself like that. Body language far
easier to read than verbal clues.
the fuck makes you think that? Why the fuck would I
do that in the fucking first place?" Dan spat out
a last mouthful of blood, this time into the grass,
"it's just the way I fucking am, or you think I
don't bloody respect you? You think I would have touched
you if I didn't?" Exasperated, but most of all,
goddamned horny, and nothing could change that.
you ever listen to yourself?" Beauvais knew he
sounded weak, and to distract, he reached up to touch
his face and looked at his hand, checking for blood.
You think I'm a fucking peasant who talks like scum?
Damn right. Get over it. I didn't operate for umpteen
fucking years on my own with nothing but bloody Mujas
in goddamned Afghanistan for fucking nothing."
Dan growled, baring his bloodied teeth.
glanced down his body, and Dan's, which was more visibly
aroused beneath the kilt. "Shit. Total mess. All
of it. Fuck." Wanting, and unable to want, reluctance
in his face, but at the same time, he shifted to press
against Dan. The humiliation burning like acid, but
the need was greater.
lowered further down, face to face, hard cock pressing
against trapped one, which made Beauvais go rigid, and,
almost against his will, move his legs just to get more
from it. "You don't want this, do you?" Damn,
and it was all so obvious all of a sudden, why the hell
hadn't he realised it before? "You don't fucking
want to be like this. You fucking hate it, aye? And
so you fucking hate me."
further down, Dan could kiss if he wanted - or dared.
"Tough shit, Lieutenant, I've been there, fought
it, and I know that you can't win." Voice low,
the calm before the storm, "you have to accept
it. So, you're gay. Fucking deal with it. You made it
to officer, in the foreign legion, that means you're
fucking tough, so you can bloody well deal with being
was seething with anger, but at the same time, he needed.
The pain - again - just spiking the lust until he didn't
know what he wanted and whether he could want this.
His body just wanted release, part of him wanted to
kill that man for what he'd done to him and was still
doing, another part wanted to touch and kiss, but that
would have given the other an unforgivable opening.
All his life he'd had everything under control, and
it was this bastard who took it all away and brought
him face to face with himself. It felt like breaking
stared at him, the face, twitching muscles, the hatred
and need, and the impossible fight this man tried to
win and was destined to lose. He suddenly knew. Knew,
as well, that it was crazy, faced with that rage, lust
and doubtlessly pain. "You want to fuck me?"
Low voice, "Do you, Lieutenant?"
cursed again, caught out like that, but he nodded. "Yes.
off me." Less angry now, still confused
and the alcohol blurred everything, but that was what
he wanted. Even if it was a trick, even if Dan only
lured him away further, it was a risk he'd take.
got up, knees nearly buckling, he nodded, wiping the
last blood from his face. Didn't say anything, just
took off into the direction of the outhouse. He noticed
Beauvais picking up his kepi, before following. Despite
the booze and the lust, Dan was fully aware how fucking
crazy it was to give himself over into the hands of
that raging madman, who didn't have a clue what to do
and was most likely to finish off with his cock what
his fists hadn't managed. But fuck, he was horny, and
it seemed like a good idea a minute ago.
room was untouched - Jean had been too busy during the
day to stow anything away. That included the booze,
candles, lube, condoms. Beauvais closed the door behind
them, and stood there, becoming aware of the bruises,
his throbbing jaw that hurt, and wanting somebody he
didn't like - not that that had ever been a problem
with women. He still moved in, hands on Dan's chest,
took the jacket off him, didn't actually know how to
do all this. Part of him just wanted to push up the
kilt and fuck him, but it was far more complicated than
that. It would have been easier in the fight, or just
after, now that his thoughts returned he felt out of
shrugged out of the jacket, unbuttoned the waistcoat,
not bothering to take off anything else. Would take
too much time, and he might regret that insane offer
otherwise. Taking a couple of steps back, he lowered
down onto the airbed with a grunt. Fuck, he ached, but
all that was forgotten when he lay on his back, knees
bent, legs falling open, pushing the kilt out of the
way. "Putain, eh?" He snorted, mocking, still
swallowed, then joined Dan on the bed. All he took off
was the kepi when he got between Dan's legs. Remembering
how Dan had done it last night, he was surprised the
other had meant what he'd said. Staring at him, brow
furrowed with thought and concentration, he reached
for the lube, uncapped it, squirted some into his hand,
and then rubbed it between Dan's cheeks. Very different.
Male. Hairy, and he was about to do this.
remained silent, nothing but a torch on the floor that
gave light. Breathless, still, from the fight or the
apprehension. Slipping his hands under his knees, Dan
pushed his legs up to his chest. Watching Beauvais's
face as he opened and bared himself, with the same irreverence
and macho attitude, as he'd been fighting.
opened his trousers, pushed them down, just enough,
and went for a condom pack. Rolling the thing down,
he lubed himself up, not thinking about what he was
about to do, then, taking hold of Dan's leg with one
hand, he guided himself closer and to the point. Pushing
in, slowly, mostly to make sure he didn't slip in his
alcohol-dazed brain, but surprising Dan with the slowness,
who'd expected an angry assault.
moved deeper, slow but inevitable. The heat. Tightness.
All the good things, and Dan let out a groan, expelling
a breath he had held when bracing himself. Booze made
it easier, and the ache of being stretched was nothing
compared to the bruises. He flashed a grin, pushing
against the invading cock, concentrating on relaxing.
got in all the way, and the surrounding strength took
his breath away. The anger was gone, this man just gave
back, all of it, with no anger about him. No humiliation,
he just did it that easily. Nothing about 'stupid cunt'
or 'asshole' or 'pull the stick from your ass'. That
had grated, because ever since that sex Dan had gone
on about how he considered him an asshole. "How
?" Do you like it, he wanted to ask, because
it was clear as day that Dan did like it.
Dan's voice was husky and he grinned again. Damn, getting
fucked while being pissed after a crazy fight was a
new experience, and shit, he enjoyed it. Perhaps too
much. Letting go of one leg, he placed it on the Lieutenant's
shoulder, and Beauvais reached up to move the other
and both into the right spot. Dan's hands were now free,
which reached and pulled Beauvais closer, firmly gripping
his hips, and the Frenchman moved in, still trying to
find the best angle. "Expected
groaned out when he moved. Pushing upwards, cock fully
hard again, "
up with a sound that came from somewhere deep, "
too fucking ... angry, but damn
" he grinned, hands increasing their firm
grip, urging the legionnaire on, "this is good."
grinned, didn't quite get his own emotions. From anger
to this, instead thrust in deep, deliberate strokes
- drunk enough to last a while, and he enjoyed taking
it slow and intense. A man a completely different ball
game. The scent, for example, but even more the strength,
and Dan's bruised face that began to darken where it
wasn't shaded with blood made him want to take it slow.
A way to apologize, but also to fully taste the strange
feelings. "Can do that, too. Like you did
dropped one hand to his cock, stroking himself. Fuck,
this was good, all of it, the whole insane package.
"Did it because
" suddenly pulling in
a hissing breath and he arched up, shuddering, when
the angle was just right, "that's what you wanted."
Voice and breath getting more erratic, stroking himself
with growing intensity. "You just do
you want. I'm fine." Another thrust that hit everything
right, leaving him shuddering once more, "better
than fine. Shit."
grinned, loving how Dan clenched around him every time
he did it like that, and kept the angle, long
thrusts alternating with two short ones. He loved every
moment of it, and Dan touching himself was another detail
that made this too damn good. Keeping himself under
control, but moving all the time, thrusting, expending
more focus than he'd ever on a woman - any woman. They'd
just been whores and he had needed to get off. This
now opened a whole new world, and he didn't want to
be done with it yet.
finally sped up stroking himself when he couldn't bear
the steady, excruciating climb any longer. Shirt sweat
drenched, breath coming loud, erratic and fast, he got
himself higher, and over the top. Arching up, all muscles
clenching, cumming with an uncontrolled groan, all over
himself, his hands, the kilt, his shirt.
tightness was too much to bear, and Beauvais slammed
in a few more times, cumming as well, not long after
Dan, who simply collapsed when Beauvais lowered the
legs and pulled out. Getting rid of the condom, first
and foremost, he stowed his cock away, back into the
uniform trousers. He lay down, within arm's reach of
Dan, catching his breath, but even more to rest and
enjoy the comedown.
sprawled, breathing, Dan was doing absolutely nothing
for a long time. Booze and sex, a heady mix, especially
with the aggression and pain thrown in. He finally turned
his head, but when he tried to look at Beauvais, he
realised his right eye was starting to swell up. "I
hope you're at least as bruised as I am." Dan grinned,
voice reflecting how sated he was.
again touched his jaw. "The teeth are all still
there." Wiping a hand over his face and inhaling
deeply, content. "Not bad for a punch up."
chuckled, then groaned, deep and heartfelt. "I
am getting too old for this shit. Couldn't we just have
fucked without the punch-up first?"
next time." Beauvais closed his eyes, relaxed.
"Damn. You lured me into the same trap as Jean.
Both of you succeed perfectly well at making me blow
didn't mean to. Guess Jean didn't mean to make you blow
a fuse back then, either. The consequences for him couldn't
have been pretty, not in the legion."
I said, we had a punch-up after he defied me. That's
how we deal with minor infractions."
who won?" Dan grinned, "since there's no point
in asking if it ended like our punch-up." He felt
around for a blanket to wipe the cum off himself, best
he could. "Besides, why the hell did I get so much
to you? Would have thought, after the sex, that you
were okay with what happened."
the things you said afterwards. During
the day. Calling me an asshole. Like that was what I'd
become because of the sex. A
a hole." Beauvais
struggled through that admission, and he shook his head.
"Forget it." Moving to get up.
Dan closed his eyes for a moment and shook his head.
"Touché. I talk like that, it means nothing,
but damn." He sat up, searching for the fags in
his sporran. "I'm sorry. Even though unintentional,
I guess that was shit." Lighting a cigarette before
getting up with a groan. He could feel each and every
punch and kick, especially in his face.
offered a hand, took hold of Dan's arm and steadied
him. "You want some ice cubes or knives for that
eye. Let's check in the kitchen. Nose looks alright,
but the eye is fucked."
but I had worse." Dan grinned, because anyone who'd
seen his naked body would be damn well aware that he'd
had 'worse'. Stooping to pick up waistcoat and jacket,
Dan looked the Lieutenant up and down, while he was
adjusting his kepi. "I have to say 'ditto' to you.
Your jaw is well bruised and your uniform
there's not much white left."
of an enemy. That's honourable." Beauvais opened
the door for Dan. "But yes, I'll get a bag of ice
cubes for my jaw, too."
If you think I let myself get fucked every time you
call me that, you can forget it." Jacket over his
shoulder, Dan walked out into the cool night air, feeling
the chill on his sweat soaked body. "Let's just
hope Vadim hasn't woken. Last time I saw him, he'd fallen
asleep on a sofa in front of the fire." Glancing
through the dark windows of the kitchen, it seemed to
be deserted, and it was quiet when they opened the door
to slip inside.
You're getting into trouble?"
he'd piss himself with laughter and I'd probably never
live it down."
moved carefully, until he opened the fridge which cast
the kitchen into some light. Somebody had made a valiant
effort to clear away the dishes and most of the food,
but there were still things standing around and the
fridge was filled to bursting with meats and cheeses
and canapés. Beauvais took one of those trays,
unwrapped it, and had a couple of bites before he looked
around for a small light somewhere. Eventually finding
a bag of tea lights. Dan, in the meantime, was hovering
up most of the food on the tray.
do with a coffee or tea." Rummaging through the
freezer in the light of the fridge, Dan found a couple
of bags of ice cubes, and threw both on the table, got
two dish towels and sat down, while Beauvais lit a few
tea lights. "Seen a kettle around somewhere?"
Wrapping a bag of ice in one of the towels, Dan pressed
it against his eye with a hiss.
showed me how his espresso machine works. It does everything
by itself if you know which buttons to press. Coffee?"
Beauvais switched the machine on and found two cups,
busying himself with making two good, strong coffees.
He sat one of them down in front of Dan, who was smoking
another cigarette while nursing his eye, and then Beauvais
took one of the ice-filled towels and touched it to
coffee, cheers." And it was, damn good coffee,
which Dan enjoyed. "You still want to come with
us for a week caravanning?"
Beauvais took a sip. "Or just a few days, I don't
want to intrude." His brow dark again while he
thought about it. "I was going to look at a few
properties in the area during my leave."
do you hope to get out of it, and I don't mean the properties."
Stubbing the cigarette out, Dan took another sip. "Because
frankly, I'm not looking for another punch-up."
sex?" Beauvais seemed almost sheepish. "I
try to fit in as much sex as I can before I go back.
You guys have each other, and you don't need me. Whereas
" He exhaled. "I could just go to
Paris and find sex there. It's easy enough. But I'm
not sure what exactly I'm looking for."
okay, then. Sex is always good." Finishing off
his coffee, Dan leaned back in his chair with a faint
groan. Damn, his ribs had taken a battering as well.
"Consider us your guinea pigs, but no
hitting. Alright?" He flashed a grin as
he readjusted the ice. "I'm aching enough as it
is. You're a damn good fighter."
grinned. "You'd have looked better if you hadn't
hesitated." Taking the towel down for a moment,
the area was clearly reddened and swollen. "Might
want to check with a local doctor. Eye can get complicated."
grinned, "I didn't hesitate, arsehole. I didn't
expect you to hit me in the first place!" Realising
what he'd just called Beauvais, Dan waved his hand about,
"well, without the 'arsehole' bit, then. But really,
I didn't have a clue what the hell you were on about."
Leaning forward to peer at the legionnaire's face, "at
least I got you, too."
the closeness, Beauvais touched his lips to Dan's, surprised
by his own action, but nevertheless going through with
clearly taken aback, did hesitate this time, but only
for a heartbeat, before he lowered the melting ice,
placed a hand on Beauvais' shoulder, and kissed back.
Mindful of bruises and the fact this guy had actually
never kissed a man with full intention and a clear mind
and not lust-addled while getting fucked. Stubble scraping
against stubble, Dan pulled back a fraction to murmur,
"hell, you got me again. But that's infinitely
better than getting punched."
nodded. "I'll remember your favourites
that difficult, actually." On the surface, but
that was only for Vadim to know.
licked his lips, fully enjoying his various discoveries
if the expression in his eyes was anything to go by.
"Deal then. We spend the week in the countryside,
I have a look at houses, and whatever else happens
got up, clapping Dan's shoulder. "I'm off to bed.
See you tomorrow."
a good night, I see if I can get cleaned up without
Vadim noticing." Dan waved after the Lieutenant,
then remained seated for a little while longer, thinking
about the day while looking out into the darkness, smoking
a last fag. Finally blowing the tea lights out, he walked
out, noticing the sleeping figure of Vadim in the light
of the dying fire, and stole upstairs, to get cleaned
up. He wrapped himself into his dressing gown, before
trotting back downstairs in flip flops and with wet
hair. He gently shook Vadim's shoulder. "Hey, sleepyhead,
time to get into bed proper."
glanced up, looked at the last embers glowing in the
fireplace, and stretched. "Damn. I love fireplaces",
he murmured sleepily, gathered up his shoes and jacket
and followed Dan upstairs.
can have a fireplace on the farm." Dan didn't turn
round as they walked upstairs, carefully keeping his
face out of the light.
yes. Put it on the list. Plus the whirlpool. Damn. I
must have slept, what? Two hours?"
like that." Smiling to himself, Dan waited for
Vadim to step inside, then closed the door. The room
was very dimly lit, and he slipped out of the dressing
gown immediately, yawning big and loudly, still not
quite looking at Vadim, before crawling into bed. "Hurry
shook his head, grinning. "Sure." Shedding
the clothes, he placed the pieces of the suit over a
chair, fiddling for a moment with the cufflinks before
they clinked down on the nightstand. Easing himself
into bed, fully naked, he placed his head on Dan's shoulder,
arm across his stomach. "They should be happy together",
hope so, and I think they will be." Dan smiled,
a little wistful, before reaching over to the lamp and
switching it off. He lay silent for a moment, inhaling
the scent of Vadim, and enjoying the body heat, the
weight, and the closeness. Stroking the short shaved
hair, before his hand rested between Vadim's shoulder
blades. "Sleep well, Vadim." Murmured, "I
turned his head to kiss Dan's chest. "And I love
you." Moving his head up to kiss Dan on the lips,
then reshuffling in bed until he'd found a comfortable
position, and he drifted off to sleep.
next morning, Vadim carefully turned out of Dan's embrace
and slipped out of bed to head to the bathroom when
he saw Dan's face in the early morning light. The eye
was a black, sore, swollen mess, and there were other
scrapes and swellings that displayed a rather shocking
amount of colour. The toilet was forgotten, as Vadim
reached over to touch Dan's face. "What the fuck
happened? That wasn't me?"
Sleep-drunk, Dan tore his eyes open at the sudden sound
and touch, but
he only opened one. The right
one was swollen shut.
happened to your face?" Vadim pointed at his own
eye to illustrate.
lifted his hand, touching his swollen eye with his fingers
and yelped. "Ow! Fuck!" Suddenly very wide
awake. "Well I
or rather the other way round,
Beauvais had a disagreement with me." Dan grimaced.
bastard." Vadim reached for his clothes - jeans
and jumper rather than the suit, looking like he couldn't
wait to do the same to the Frenchmen. "What about?
Did you do anything?"
on!" Dan pushed himself up to sit, rather sore
around the ribs, but he had given as good as he'd received.
"It was all a
grimaced once more, this really wasn't easy to explain.
"He thought I'd called him a hole, an arse-hole,
because I'd fucked him, and so on and so forth, and
the long and short of the story is, that the poor bugger
went completely off the rails. Gay and all that, you
know? So I kind of took the brunt, we beat the shit
out of each other, and then
I let him fuck me.
Just so that he got his head around the whole thing.
Kind of." Dan groaned, reaching for the packet
of cigarettes on the night table. "I'd make a really
shit therapist, aye?"
fucked." Vadim closed the button of his jeans.
"Well, that's a way to take the pressure down.
And you are fucking sexy when beating the shit out of
someone." Vadim grinned. "Well, I liked it,
shrugged, comical in his helplessness. "I didn't
know what else to do. The man was out of his mind with
rage. Completely. He would have probably tried to bite
through my throat, like a mad terrier, or something."
laughed. "You know what? I can imagine that. He
determination about him."
his cigarette, Dan grinned, even though every facial
expression ached. "Can you wait with a repeat performance,
though? I'm too old for this shit, honestly. I need
a few days to recuperate."
I need to head to the toilet." Vadim leaned down
to kiss him. "Anything from the kitchen? Raw steak?"
toilet's thataway!" Dan pointed to the bathroom
door, "and the kitchen's thataway." Pointing
right down, "and besides, it's too late anyway.
Had an icepack on last night, guess it's bearing the
brunt of the ridicule now." He took a drag from
his cigarette, then threw the covers off to sit on the
edge of the bed, stretching and scratching his groin.
"I tell you what, though, I got fucked more often
in the last couple of days than in a normal couple of
months. Not sure what to think about it." He grinned,
burning cigarette between his teeth.
to mention from several more guys than before. Are you
getting used to it? I mean, enjoying it more than you
were?" Remaining standing, as this was clearly
looked up, pondering the question for a moment, until
he nodded. "Aye. I don't equate it anymore with
" hesitating, trailing off, before he grabbed
the bull by the horn, naming 'it'. After all those years.
For the first time. "I don't think anymore of the
face softened. "I just wish it had been different,
you know. Having you is still my greatest thrill. It's
good I didn't fuck you up forever."
strange, isn't it? Tells a lot about us, the way we
'met'. And the crazy thing is, if I had met you, like,
properly met you, nothing would have ever happened."
Inhaling, Dan sat and mused. "I don't condone what
you did, hell, no, you didn't fuck me up forever. I'm
tough, and let's face it, I could have fucked you up
forever by torturing you." He tilted his head,
smoke slowly curling out of his nostrils. "What
a fucked up love-affair of violence we are."
smiled. "You broke me up there in the mountains.
You cracked something in my head, I don't know. I have
never been obsessed with another person before or after.
You just drilled your way in and since then, I've been
yours. You got to a place that I didn't know existed
and all that has changed me, taken the stuff
away I thought was true about me. In some weird, weird
way, started something that turned me into more than
a good-looking bastard."
not sure if that's
a good thing? I mean, the
breaking and cracking and drilling." Dan looked
quizzically at Vadim.
to say that it wasn't gentle and all the more powerful."
I guess I get the bastard thing. I was an arsehole.
I needed no one, I wanted no one, and I didn't give
a shit about anyone. You changed that, you made me human.
Loving someone does that, I suppose."
smiled. "It does, doesn't it?" He headed over
to kiss Dan, mindful of the bruises. "But I need
to go piss now, if you don't mind."
really don't mind that." Dan grinned, got
up to get rid of his cigarette and stretched. "And
if you don't mind me, I'll get shaved while you
they'd shaved and showered, they got dressed, with Dan
deciding that if he had to run around with the embarrassing
black eye, which was pretty much swollen shut, then
he should at least distract with his arse in the skin
tight suede trousers that Vadim had got him. All kitted
up, they headed down to the kitchen, where Solange was
busy making breakfast, with Jean sitting there, watching,
and having his first coffee.
Good morning. Some of the other guests have already
headed off - planes to catch, people to interview, shootings
in New York City
how are you guys? And how did
you get those bruises, Dan? I'd assume that is a bit
hardcore for you?"
shit." Dan shook his head, "Jean, do you ever
need to breathe? Or is it the new status as husband
that got you to talk like a water fall?"
not." Jean laughed.
Jean, Dan walked over to Solange, taking her hand once
more with a grin and placing a small kiss onto it, murmuring,
"a beautiful lady who gives me food will get anything
gave a gasp at his eye and took his hand firmer. "Dear
me. That looks painful. Are you sure you're alright
or should I call the doctor?"
fine." He smiled, "I had worse, much worse,
and if I get some of that lovely smelling food, I'll
be as good as new." Turning back towards Jean,
Dan asked innocently, "have you seen Lieutenant
Beauvais this morning?"
out running." Jean grinned knowingly, over his
coffee. "What happened?"
we kind of stumbled over the same stone, or root, or
something, and seem to have bruised our faces. Accidentally."
Dan sat down at the table, grinning at Jean and Vadim.
took the large pan and served sausages, scrambled egg,
bacon, and topped everything off with a small basket
of cut up baguette. "Jean has convinced me that
a coffee and a croissant is not breakfast for strapping
men like you."
looked up at her, "I am afraid I have to declare
that I love your husband for this." He grinned.
come on, I taught her the joys of nicely fried up bacon."
Jean grinned widely, and took hold of her waist, pulling
her towards him, and kissing her on the neck. "Pigs
are fine for food. I wouldn't know what else to do with
a thought I would like to have before breakfast."
Reaching for sausages, Dan was helping himself to a
plateful. "When are you off on honeymoon?"
booked the flights for tomorrow. We're off to Réunion,
that's near Madagascar. Tiny island that speaks French
and has an active volcano." Jean released his wife
so she could go on dishing up food. Jean tilted his
head, listening. "Hey, Thierry." The main
door shut and Beauvais came in, drenched in sweat, the
scratches and swellings in his face very visible, too.
Dan was grinning when he saw the nice big bruise at
the jaw. At least he wasn't the only one.
showered. We might wait with breakfast for a minute
I'll hurry up."
You must be joking, I'm starving." Lifting his
head, Dan looked at the Lieutenant, full-on and one-eyed.
"I give you thirty seconds or I'll start with my
sausages and eggs." Grinning.
laughed at that and murmured: "Always the sausage",
but settled in himself while there was more scrambled
eggs and sausages for him, and freshly squeezed orange
juice. "He'll have some fun chewing with that",
be a great satisfaction to me." Dan grinned, fortifying
himself with strong coffee. "Because if I were
honest I'd say I ache in far too many places to feel
strictly fine, but I'm not honest."
particular reason for the fight?" asked Jean.
looked behind him and saw Solange at the fridge. "Aye,
but not the best place and time to talk about it."
pissing contest", said Jean, and Dan grinned, without
a minute later, Beauvais appeared in a dressing gown,
still wet, but obviously having rushed to get a piece
of the breakfast. "That vineyard", he said
to Jean. "The one you showed me on the first day
that is all yours?"
shrugged. "Mostly because I can't find a buyer.
But yeah, it belongs to the property."
started to eat, truly starving by now. "Fancy yourself
as a vintner?"
I got this place, I thought that would be really cool,
but since then I've realized just how much work that
is. The place hasn't been kept up for ages, I don't
think anybody did anything with it for ten years at
least. Putting it back into production
be more time than I have. And Solange has her life,
shame. It's a nice piece of land", said Beauvais.
you get someone else to be the vintner, and you just
hire out the land, and get someone in with ideas but
grinned at Dan. "Everybody and their dog has a
vineyard in these parts. I'll see what I do with it.
The house needs to get finished first, and then there
is the outhouse, and then, if I still have the money
and the time, I'll have a look what to do with the land."
enough," Dan smiled and tucked into his breakfast
in earnest. "Changing the subject, any idea where
we can hire a caravan or a motorhome?"
I can drive you there, you have a look
stay here, if you want to. Have some holidays, too."
that's fine. Beauvais wanted to take a look at property
around here," glancing at the legionnaire, "so
we figured we'd take him round. Bit of a boy scout camping
adventure." Dan grinned.
Right." Jean grinned. "That's probably the
best idea for you guys, then. Cool. I'll show you on
the map, and you head out for your scouting adventure.
Talking of which, Pascal left with one of the models
I don't think he'll come back anytime soon, but
he said I should give greetings and all that to you
if he shouldn't come back." He got up to get himself
more coffee. "What are your plans after that? New
Zealand? And then - any more wars? I don't have a contract
yet, but I could use one, looking at how the roof is
New Zealand. I've been promising Vadim to take him to
the dilapidated place that I've bought. High time we
actually did it. We got over a month before we're heading
to wherever Maggie decides to send us." Finishing
off his plate, he glanced at the legionnaire again,
who was silently and meticulously finishing off the
food on his plate.
leaned against the fridge. "I was considering Yugoslavia,
don't know. Friend of mine said he had something
in Africa, but he still has to get back to me. I should
be alright for a while longer, even though Thierry here
thinks I should come back."
fast track you right after the farm, you know."
pay is shit, I can make more money somewhere else, and
I guess I'm getting a bit too independent for the Legion.
But thanks for the offer."
looked at Vadim, quirking a small smile, wondering about
some things, which prompted Vadim to lean in and ask
"what?" in a whisper, but Dan just shook his
Dan leaned back, "I am sure that wherever we will
all end up, we'll be together again at some stage."
said Solange, pouring herself some orange juice. "I'm
quite often in Paris - the house is easily large enough.
You can just fly in and spend some time with Jean. Provided
he is here, of course." She placed a hand on his
shoulder. "Would make me feel less guilty about
having girls' nights out."
just about managed not to choke on the rest of his coffee,
and he produced a passable smile. "Sounds like
a plan, doesn't it?" Getting too close to the bone,
Dan stood up, rubbing his hands, "but for now,
let's go and hire a caravan."
got up. "I'll just get dressed. Five minutes."
He headed upstairs and soon re-emerged with civilian
clothes. Jean explained where the place was, and just
a few minutes later, they were off.
inspecting a few caravans and motorhomes, the decision
was reached to not go over the top. They didn't choose
the most expensive one, but it was spacious enough and
Vadim drove the motorhome back, while Beauvais and Dan
were in the car.
day was spent with a long soak in the bath for Dan,
and an afternoon kip that took longer than he'd intended,
but for some reason he was bloody exhausted. After he'd
taken a few painkillers, he just allowed himself to
rest. Spending the evening with Jean and Solange, they
were the only guests left. The evening got late, and
the night turned mellow, without any of the wildness
of the nights before.
next morning saw them all depart, with Jean and Solange
heading towards the airport, and the three men setting
off in their motorhome.
managed to have a look at two houses, none of which
entirely convinced Beauvais, and when the evening came,
they found a small restaurant, had fantastic food and
large quantities of wine. Vadim had had the good sense
to take the condoms and lube from the small house -
he assumed Jean wouldn't miss either for the moment
- and Beauvais was enthusiastic about getting fucked,
especially when one man took him and the other held
him. He soon demanded more, and harder, something which
they complied with readily. Afterwards, they lay in
a heap on the bunk, stroking and sated, and Vadim found
himself wondering about several things - the fact that
violence turned him on, and Glasgow, and how that had
turned Dan on, and him, too, but also about the torture
and that maddening impulse to hurt Beauvais. Breaking
him? It might be about that. Might be about taking his
control and getting to the very bottom of the man, even
if it meant to destroy everything on the way down.
unaware of darker thoughts, was sleeping sated and content,
since everything was right with the world in his mind.
He crawled out of the bunk the next morning, for once
awake before Vadim was, and found Beauvais outside.
The Frenchman had moved to the single bunk to sleep,
and was now in trainers and running outfit. Joining
the legionnaire without talking much, they jogged for
a good hour, returning to a lazy Vadim who lay still
naked and sprawled across the bed, not knowing what
hit him when two men, wet from the shower, took advantage
of his - probably fake - drowsiness.
second day was similar to the first, and the third as
well. Sex at every opportunity, until on the fourth
day even Dan was so exhausted, the others found him
asleep in the sun, right beside the lake where they
were camping. Beauvais sat down next to him, eating
cold beans with a fork from an opened tin, gazing across
the lake for a while, then looking up at Dan. "Did
you guys quit because you're gay?"
Dan yawned and stretched, thankful for being able to
open his eye fully again. "No, I left because I
had knee surgery two years before I got out, and they
wouldn't let me go back to Afghanistan. So I quit. Threw
away most of my pension, got a job as chef of security
in the British embassy in Kabul, and earned shitloads."
Dan turned onto his side, watching Beauvais. "Vadim
now that's a completely different matter."
left because of that?" Beauvais glanced into the
mostly empty tin and scraped a few more beans out.
The KGB kidnapped him in Kabul, imprisoned him, used
a tape of our last night together as evidence, plus
a thousand other made-up things, and tortured him to
get a confession for crimes he's never committed."
Dan trailed off, reaching for his pack of fags and a
bottle of beer.
Beauvais looked around, but Vadim was nowhere to be
seen. "Shouldn't have asked. People don't talk
about their past in the Legion. Like we don't have any."
He put the tin down and leaned back.
sometimes better." Dan had a few mouthfuls of the
lukewarm beer, and lit a cigarette.
had grown more relaxed, and Vadim had one morning wondered
aloud when he was alone with Dan, how much of his attitude
had been just an unfulfilled need for sex. Quite a bit,
it seemed. The legionnaire was much more at ease, and
odd. One moment I think about quitting, and the other
moment I think I should just keep it inside and let
it out when I'm on leave. And I have only a few days
left to work it out."
not worth quitting because of your sexuality, if it's
a job that is you." Dan shook his head,
blowing smoke rings, deep in thought. "I got a
mate, a yank, he's gay and he's a Marine. Vadim's got
a mate, too, Delta. You want to have a chat with them?
Could be good to hear how others are dealing with it."
frowned, then nodded. "Can you arrange that? The
Legion is more than a job. It's a way of life. But losing
the respect because of what I like, that would be hard."
can imagine. Hasn't happened to me, but ... let's just
say I understand." Dan nodded, holding a fresh
bottle of beer out to Beauvais. "I'll try and give
my mate a ring later on. Got a few phone numbers to
check on, but haven't tried any of them since he left
the Gulf." Regarding Beauvais for a moment, "you've
been lying to yourself all those years, how hard do
you think will it be to lie to others?"
don't know. I've been thinking about it, but I don't
know. Will be best to just not talk about sex and all
that." Beauvais grinned, without humour. "Not
that sex is on a soldier's mind at all."
of course not." Dan gave a short, sharp laugh.
"You'd have to bottle it up until you're on R&R
and then get yourself to a place where you can have
sex until you don't want it anymore. Shit solution but
better than none. Besides, you're always welcome to
meet up with us."
I become a merc and
problem with it. And that means
leaving everything behind. Again. Even though I'm settled
in quite nicely."
know I'm not supposed to say this anymore, but
you'd be a piss-poor merc, Beauvais. You've got a rod
up your arse and that's perfectly fine for the Legion
- in fact, I bet my own balls that you will make it
far up the ranks, but as a merc? Forget it. You wouldn't
fit in and the guys would hate you, and that's a shit
place to be. You're an officer, aye? That's what you
always wanted to be, you told me so, but as a merc you're
just like everyone else, and that's down and dirty,
and shoulder to shoulder. It wouldn't be for you, trust
to him. I had trouble fitting in as well. Officers have
problems adjusting to that life." Vadim had stepped
out of the caravan and moved closer, wearing just jeans
and trainers. He sat down on the ground as well. "Plus,
you're even more expendable than in the Legion. People
respect you as a soldier, with mercs, they just stare
at your paycheck and assume you're a loose gun, a troublemaker.
Might be true, might not be true, but sometimes, I miss
the army for all the things it did provide, and that's
saying something, with the Soviet Army."
nodded, gazing out over the lake, and Vadim placed a
hand on his shoulder and pulled him closer, getting
him to lean against him. They both lay back while he
caressed Beauvais' chest. "Not easy", the
Dan smiled, looking at Vadim, dark eyes gazing into
pale ones, and his smile turned soft and infinitely
tender. "Its not easy, but it's worth it."
Lying back down, he stared into the sky, eyes shielded
from the sun.
the evening they headed off into the next small town
for wine and food, and to find a public phone. Dan had
a list of phone numbers for Matt, and a big pocket full
of change. He was in the phone box for ten minutes,
trying a couple of numbers, family, camp, until he finally
got through and gestured a thumbs up through the phone
box. Turning his back to the other two, as he spoke
with Matt. The smile unseen, the laughter, too, and
so was the moment when he stopped and just listened,
then laughed once more, in disbelief. Another ten minutes
later, he came out of the phone box, grinning like a
nodding to Beauvais, "Matt's very happy to talk
to you. He's right now in his own place, on leave for
three weeks, so you get him on his home number. And
" Dan looked at Vadim, grinning,
"I can tell you where Hooch's gonna be."
quite." Dan grinned. "What about 'at
Matt's, from tomorrow, for the rest of the week'?"
Vadim grinned, then turned to Beauvais. "We're
talking Lone Cowboy here. Seems he's 'shacked up' with
soldiers?" Beauvais grinned. "Lucky bastards,
sure I'd call it 'shacked up' in Hooch's case, but seems
my little matchmaking business has taken off."
Dan grinned, flapped his hands behind him, "see
my angel wings? Call me cupid."
shook his head. "A week is 'shacked up'. And why
not. They fit well together. So, we call them tomorrow
Matt said that Hooch asked him, should I call him, to
tell you to call him." Dan fished for a cigarette,
needed a moment to follow the sentence, then nodded.
"I'd like to hear from him. See how he's getting
on." Strange feeling, that. When he remembered
Hooch he remembered him naked, intent, taut, dangerous.
you made an impression." Dan smiled, stashing the
grinned. "I'd hope so."
now, wine and food? I am starving." Dan pointed
an accusing finger at Beauvais, "you've worn me
lifted his shoulders. "What about a nice little
restaurant? I know a good place around here. Five minutes'
why did we stop here in the first place?" Dan rolled
his eyes, but grinned. "Fair enough."
so they did, driving to the place that the Lieutenant
recommended, enjoying themselves with good food and
wine. They stayed for a long time in the hospitable
place, before driving back to the caravan. It was close
to midnight when they arrived, and Dan stopped at the
door, blocking it, and looking at the other two men,
"and now? Who's up for a blow job?" Grinning
from ear to ear. The generous amounts of wine had undoubtedly
something to do with his mood.
looked at Beauvais. "I don't think you've had one
of those, yet." Beauvais shook his head and froze
when Vadim stepped behind him and began to unbuckle
his belt. Once it was open, his hand traced Beauvais'
cock, rubbed it through the cloth and kept very close
to him - something Beauvais had learned to read as a
prelude to sex.
remained standing on the top step at the door of the
motor home, while other two remained outside, in the
darkness. "Bearing in mind
" he took
a step back down. "That I am old
step, and he lowered to sit on the lowest step, "I'll
just remain on the right height without having to kneel
" Leaning forward, hands on the legionnaire's
hips to pull him closer, nuzzling the cock through the
fabric of Beauvais' trousers.
breath caught audibly, and he trembled when Vadim opened
his fly and freed his cock. Placing his free hand at
Dan's jaw, Vadim guided Dan towards Beauvais's cock
he was holding, serving, feeding. The gesture was odd,
tender, erotic, all in one and Beauvais shivered. Vadim
grinned at that. "Best part's still coming."
sound from Dan was part chuckle, part something completely
unidentifiable, when he parted his lips and took in
the Lieutenant's cock. Slow, but greedy. Concentrated,
eyes closed, hands on Beauvais's hips, he moved him
closer, until it was impossible to get any closer. Burying
the cock that had hardened within a second, all the
way, deep down his throat.
cursed, but Vadim held him so he couldn't move - part
of what he'd learned from the first time, when Beauvais
had fucked Dan's throat. This time, Dan called the shots,
and Vadim made sure Beauvais understood that. "I
love when he does that", he murmured into Beauvais'
ear. "First time, he tied me up and held a knife
to my balls while he learnt to suck me off. Since then,
it's one of his favourites. And mine."
gave a choked sound of need.
manipulated the body in front of him by moving the lean
hips with his hands, pushing the body back instead of
pulling away. Breathing, focused, and at the same time
goddamned horny. Cocksucker. Loved it, wanted
it, goddamned cocksucker, and would always be. Pushing
back down, moving both, man and his own head, meeting
deep, far deeper, with something akin to violence, and
yet none of the reckless urgency. Repeating, the next
time sucking in as he moved back. Strength, as he used
every trick in the book to drive the Lieutenant to insanity.
Vadim held him, physically held Beauvais's arms, his
hands, his angle allowing him pretty much to immobilise
the man, making sure that Beauvais didn't try to take
groaned loudly, face twisted with need, the need always
breaking through several layers of armour before he
openly showed it, and now he did. Trying to move, breathless
and moaning, his cock twitching every time Dan got it
just right, increased the sensation.
sucked and moved, pushed down, and let go again. Faster
and faster, hardly a noise, barely a moment of gagging,
pushing down so hard, it wasn't any longer about giving
head, but about owning.
just tensed, balls drawing up as he came. No warning,
just that sound again, that groan that Vadim really
liked, especially from a man who was so under control
most of the time.
took it, accepted it, and his whole body slacked as
he forced himself to accept the erratic movements of
orgasm. The cum shot straight down his throat, as he
breathed through flared nostrils, concentrated. Fingers
digging into the legionnaire's hips, before he finally
pulled back and allowed the cock to slip out. Looking
up, he grinned, saying nothing.
Vadim released Beauvais's arms and embraced him from
behind, kissing his neck. "Now, that's what I call
a blowjob", he murmured into Beauvais's ear.
what would you call it?" Dan looked up at
Beauvais, then cleared his throat.
that ... if that's it, then that's my first." Beauvais
grinned stupidly and relaxing somewhat against Vadim,
who continued to hold and caress him.
laughed, getting up from the step to light another cigarette.
"Welcome to cocksuckers anon. The place for men
to worship men's appendices." He lit his fag, leaning
against the doorframe of the motor home. "And while
we're playing question and answer, did you ever suck
shook his head. "No. Of course not."
you want to?" asked Vadim.
hesitated. "I ... guess I owe it to you."
you need to tell yourself that to do it." Vadim
grinned. "I hated it for years and years. Still
need to be in the mood for it. But when I am, I enjoy
it. The power you have? The other guy's going crazy,
and it's because of what you do ... that's pretty good."
to Vadim, he's got a point. However, I wouldn't want
anyone to give me a blow job because he thinks he ought
to. That's too much like a business trade-off, just
without the payment. I, for one, love sucking cock,
always have, but there's only one way to find out if
you like it, aye?"
grinned. "Not if you don't want to. We're not in
the legion here, you don't have to follow orders."
swallowed. "Okay. But I have no idea what to do."
He knelt down nevertheless, and opened Dan's trousers.
Concentration on his features, he was thinking visibly
about what he was doing, and Vadim grinned. "Would
have been easier if he hadn't cum yet", he murmured
in Russian, then moved closer, running his hands over
Beauvais's face, over his lips, too, which Beauvais
first seemed to take as a distraction. When Vadim gently
pushed two of his fingers between Beauvais's lips, that
changed. Beauvais opened his teeth, and he got it when
Vadim moved his fingers, pushing them deeper, making
him suck on them. Grinning when Beauvais understood.
"Easy ... you can't take it too deep, so concentrate
on the tip."
stood, leaning against the doorframe, cigarette in the
corner of his lips, as he watched the scene in front
of him. His cock made a visible jump, but he didn't
say anything. No pressure, no need, despite the growing
responded to Vadim's fingers, closing his eyes, and
Vadim took his time playing with him. His free hand
adjusted himself in his trousers, and he grinned at
Dan, a weird sense of irony at the scene, but at the
same time teaching Beauvais the very basics of cocksucking.
a last deep drag, Dan spit out the burnt-down fag, taking
his cock in his hand. Fingers loosely curled around
the hardening flesh. Not urging, just offering. "Ready
to try it with the real thing?" Quietly.
nodded, and Vadim pulled his fingers free. Vadim just
touched his shoulders when Beauvais moved closer, leaning
in. Shuffling on his knees to close the gap, and then,
carefully, took a couple of inches of Dan's cock between
his lips. Closing his lips around the flesh almost in
an afterthought, and then, as if remembering, moved
carefully, slowly, a bit in, a bit out, until he got
used to the difference, took in more, and actually began
kept watching, aroused but not getting anywhere. Didn't
matter, though. If he needed to get off he knew how
to, this was hot for different reasons. He'd had that
man - that virgin - in two ways as the first. Fucked
him: arse and throat, and that knowledge was enough
to make him shudder. Fingers lightly carding through
the short hair, merely guiding. Beauvais seemed glad
for the guidance, while Vadim remained in his back,
a stabilizing, securing presence, which was ironic since
Vadim was far more likely to hurt a beginner than to
be of any help. Beauvais kept his eyes closed and tried
to get deeper, but his throat tightened immediately
when the reflex was triggered, and he was careful after
the tip. Takes a lot to have your throat fucked",
murmured Vadim, which, again, provided some guidance,
when Beauvais focused on the tip, sucking and licking
voice had turned husky, the Lieutenant's efforts were
having an effect. "Aye
not everyone's as
reckless as I am." He grinned, then leaned his
head back against the doorframe, fingers loosely connected
with Beauvais's head. Minutes passed while Beauvais
explored and tried to do what he could, but eventually,
he was getting tired, pausing.
finish that", Vadim said, and Beauvais moved away.
Fuck me as you like", murmured Vadim, quickly loosened
his jaw muscles, then took Dan's cock. Recklessly, deeply,
forcing himself to go all the way.
Dan groaned, because he wanted it, and because it gave
him all the control that simply robbed his mind. Taking
Vadim's head between his hands, he pushed himself away
from the doorframe and thrust forward, taking what he'd
been offered, fucking Vadim's throat until the arousal
found an outlet, and he came with a strangled groan.
pulled back just enough that the cock slipped from his
throat and he could breathe, then remained long enough
that he could clean Dan's cock. Running his tongue all
over it, just gentle and showing the Frenchman that
this was fun. If one knew what to do. Then, he pulled
back and wiped his lips. "Good?"
shit." Dan managed to get out, knees jelly. "That
was damn good. You two should act as a double feature."
He looked at Vadim with that intense expression in his
eyes. "And you?"
grinned. "I'm okay. I might want to get fucked
later, so I'm keeping the thought. To build an appetite."
an old man." Dan smirked, "we might have to
ask Beauvais to perform instead." Leaning towards
the legionnaire, who'd' been watching. "Well
would you oblige?"
looked at Vadim and grinned, if somewhat self-conscious.
"I think I can do that. But you might have to tell
me how he likes it." Glancing at Dan.
think you're a natural." Dan grinned, "from
what I can tell. But I'll be there, and I'll watch,
and I'll possibly blow my load watching Vadim getting
fucked." Dan finally stooped and turned to go inside.
"But until then, what about another bottle of plonk?"
and Vadim exchanged a glance and both headed to follow
Dan. Both thinking about it, and enjoying the idea.
And later, when they were all half-drunk, exactly that
happened, Beauvais fucked Vadim, just as measured and
controlled as he'd fucked Dan, and Vadim was only too
aware that Dan enjoyed watching him, so he was louder
than usual, let go and put in more of a show - for Dan's
sake. Amusingly enough, that seemed to increase the
they finally went to sleep, Dan was holding Vadim close,
unwilling to let go, even in his sleep.
next day started fairly late, with even Beauvais lying
in the cot for longer than usual. Followed by a hearty
and unhealthy fry-up, done on the small barbecue, and
then a trip into the next town. Dan and Beauvais were
browsing a surplus shop, enjoying a good look at the
French military gear, while Vadim was making his phone
call to America.
leaned against the phone booth and made sure with glances
at the slip of paper that he'd dialled the right number.
It took a while, several long tones indicated that,
almost half the world away, a phone was ringing.
A voice answered. Young voice. Matt.
here. I heard Hooch is at your place?" Then, remembering
his manners, he added: "How are you?"
Matt laughed, his voice turning from slightly sleepy
to mostly awake. "I'm alright, dude. Hooch's right
here. Hang on
" With that the phone was moved
from one hand to the other during a moment of silence.
alright?" Hooch's drawl was heard the next moment,
then a shuffle of what sounded like blankets or duvets,
and a noisy exhale, like smoking.
fine ... we're in France, Jean got married, and Dan
acquired himself a French soldier. An officer. The last
days, we've been teaching him how to do the gay stuff."
Vadim laughed softly. "In short, we're having a
good time. You, too, I trust?" Strange, he thought,
he missed Hooch, even though he'd only really met him
once. Talking to him felt good, even though the man
hardly talked at all. Well. Being listened to, then.
Been good." There was amusement in Hooch's voice.
"Back from Angola with sunburn on my ass."
location." Vadim grinned broadly. "I meant,
both. Angola, and your ass. We should catch up."
Which sounded, in his own ears, very much like 'we should
have sex', but he couldn't help it. Remembering Hooch
was always something good.
answer was to laugh, then another drag from the cigarette.
"Yeah, we should." A pause, another drag of
the cigarette, and then a chuckle. "But right now
I'm wasted. Fucking youngsters."
smiled. "I figured that much ... and Dan and I
are heading for New Zealand soon, anyway."
that?" No pause, this time, just the quiet sound
of smoke being exhaled.
don't know. I guess we'll hang around Europe, before
heading into the next hotspot. If you are anywhere close
...?" Vadim listened with intent and nearly cursed
himself. Hooch was in bed with Matt, and he was angling
for sex. Yeah, that, but more, too. He simply wanted
to see Hooch again. If that came with sex, he was the
last person to say no to that. But if it didn't ...
that was fine, too.
long you hangin' round? Got a few weeks. Figured some
travelling." Hooch's drawl was followed by another
inhale and exhale, and then the distant sound of the
cigarette being stubbed out.
few weeks. We have to start work on the farm, and I
was planning to see some stuff in Europe." Museums,
locations, good food, places he'd only read about. "We
could meet there."
got till end of May." Hooch was shifting, the bed
spreads rustling. "Meeting up in Germany? Berlin?"
say mid May. After Worker's Day. Berlin is a good choice
- I could refresh my memory of the place. I'll find
accom." Which, these days, meant something nice.
Will be here for another week."
Thinking for a moment. "Ah, and this Frenchman
would like to talk to you. Both of you, I guess. He's
having second thoughts about remaining a career officer.
We are not exactly role models of sticking around and
staying in the army, but I have the feeling this guy
wouldn't cope with being a civilian. Dan thinks it would
be good if he could talk to somebody ... in a similar
sure. Give him this number. He could fly across."
There was no doubt Hoch was harbouring a massive grin
at the latter. "Is he an opportunist?"
than that. He loves getting fucked. Dan calls him a
natural. He isn't half bad at the fucking, either, just
a little uptight unless he's having sex. Seems he was
gay all those years and just made do to, you know, keep
a low profile. Denial, all the way."
" Hooch seemed thoughtful. "Get him
shopping with Dan. I'll give him the number, he'll call
you soon." Vadim smiled. "Thanks for doing
thanks." A pause, then "between friends."
Another pause, the sound of someone else in the room.
"Tell Dan to keep the thought."
grinned. "I'll make sure he's there." Hooch
wanted Dan, too, apparently. A threesome seemed the
best way to make sure nobody was jealous, and Hooch
had been Dan's mate first.
been asking. He wants Dan to come here." There
was another sound, close to the phone, and something
scrabbling at the receiver.
They can talk about it ..." Only then did it occur
to Vadim that Hooch's words had hinted at the fact that
the interest was from Matt's side. Or Hooch didn't even
think in those categories. Opportunistic, with no favourites.
Or had he?
Another voice, Matt's, after obvious kafuffle. "Tell
Dan to get his ass over here. Hooch gets you, I get
laughed. "I'll let him know. And I'm not upset
I'm still not your type."
laughed, "big bad Russian, yeah?" But before
he could say anything else, the receiver was snatched
again. "But mine." Hooch's economic chuckle,
before the receiver was put down and the line went dead.
you", murmured Vadim, and hung up. Suddenly wistful,
but at the same time it was good to hear the guys had
fun. Hooch was more relaxed and talkative than ever
before, and the 'mine' had given him goosebumps. Dirty
old bastard, he thought. Once somebody calls you 'mine',
you get all weak in the knees. Fuck that. Still, he
wanted Hooch, and knowing he was wanted in return, was
a good feeling. Flattering. He'd be in Berlin. Dan would
likely be in the US. He pushed the door open and followed
Dan and Beauvais into the army surplus store.
was explaining some piece of French kit to Dan, in his
economic ways, though the man was relatively relaxed
by his standards, even joking. Matey with Dan. Just
like any other man that Dan had gathered among his friends,
Beauvais seemed to find it easy to be matey with him,
despite their rocky start. Dan was nodding, pointing
to a small detail, when he looked up and smiled at Vadim.
"And? Everything settled?"
Hooch's coming to Europe, you're invited to Matt's place,
and both are happy to talk to B
nodded towards the Frenchman. "It'll be a biased
view, but maybe it's some food for thought."
gave a nod and put the kit down where he'd found it.
"I have another five days."
you got the rest of your life", murmured Vadim.
to him." Dan smiled and clapped Beauvais's shoulder.
Quite a daring touch, but simply the way Dan functioned.
"You go see those guys and they help you figure
it out. Besides, what's that about the five days?"
when my R&R ends." Beauvais nodded to himself,
deep in thought, but Vadim could see him tense up. The
same anger and discipline that he'd had when they'd
met him. It was his 'game face', he assumed, the Beauvais
that wasn't gay, that was a professional, commissioned
we better get you onto a plane, then. Aye?" Dan's
hand was back on Beauvais's shoulder, but this time
a squeeze, fingers kneading the tensing muscle, before
he let go. "What about a last night with food drink
and ... entertainment, before you're heading off? I'm
sure there must be a travel agent around somewhere."
one on the way in", Vadim added.
looked at Dan, then nodded, relaxing slightly. The Legionnaire
didn't buy anything, it had been just browsing for him,
and not much later they were back at the phone booth,
making sure Matt and Hooch knew the date, and then off
to the travel agent to book the flights. Beauvais took
one that would leave early the next morning, and they
made a final call to ensure that either Matt or Hooch
or both would pick him up.
Dan sat on the edge of the fountain, right in the middle
of the market place, smoking a cigarette. "Now
what's that about Hooch and Matt and you and I and flying
across and all that?"
idea. I mentioned to Hooch I'd like to meet him again,
then Matt snatched the receiver and said I could have
him, if you come over, too."
raised his brows and looked at Beauvais with a fake
painful expression. "The things I have to put up
with. I am being pandered like a token."
Screwing a twenty-hardly-anything jarhead is such a
chore." Vadim gave a laugh.
is! He's too perfect, he makes me feel old and
decrepit." Seeing that he didn't get any sympathy
from either of them, Dan heaved an exaggerated sigh
before pulling on his fag. "We'll see, alright?"
He grinned, remaining somewhat elusive. "For now
I suggest frequenting the boulangerie over there and
then the café next door, until it is time for
dinner. I could do with some more of that famous French
wine, what about you two?"
Before I head off to America." Saying it with a
touch of that typically French culinary superiority.
grinned. "Fair enough, I'm not complaining."
He stubbed out the cigarette butt, and they all headed
towards the shops and the eateries. Food and drink was
plentiful throughout the day and evening, and when they
returned to the caravan at night, all of them more drunk
than tipsy, they still managed to end up entangled in
each others' limbs, stroking, touching, thrusting and
sucking, until finally - without Beauvais leaving Dan
and Vadim's bunk - they fell asleep and nothing but
soft snores disturbed the night where groans and suppressed
cries had been before.