Iron Engagement - Chustin
I wrote Chustin!
"Nah. Frankly I always assumed you lived in a castle."
Justin laughed dryly, escorting Charlie to the guest wing of the estate. It wasn’t a castle after all, it was a manor. Just a very big one was all. Set in a picturesque bit of English countryside, they had been driving for nearly forty minutes, past a lake, past the stables, when he told Charlie that they had been on what could technically be called his “driveway” since the turnoff.
"The pull there by the bed can bring up Giles if you nee anything." Justin pulled the drapes, revealing the stunning landscape. Out over the lawn, workers were already setting up the white tents and pavilions for the ceremony.
"Man, you’re going to have one heck of a time running this place."
"Let me see if I can survive the next two days first." Justin said grimly. Charlie sat up on his elbows, just now noticing the staunch look of despair hidden in the corners of Justin’s eyes.
"Laura wants to take you our riding." Justin interrupted him with a gentlemanly smile. "She figures showing you the grounds would be more fun than being stuck with pins while she’s fitted for a bridesmaid’s dress. You know, for once I don’t blame her." He forced a laugh, but it was clear that he didn’t want to discuss the matter that was really at hand.
"Oh… yeah. Alright." Charlie said, sitting up.
Though they had been planning on spending the day together, that was the last Charlie saw of Justin until nightfall. Laura seemed to be determined to ride on forever, showing Charlie the intricate hidden places of the manor that she had discovered as a girl. By the time they finally got back, Lady Claire had arrived, and as his fiance, Justin was obliged to meet with her and ensure she was comfortable.
He didn’t even plan on running into Justin that night. It had been something of an accident.
Bellpull be damned, Charlie wandered out of the guest wing to see if he could find the kitchen. It was a bit difficult though, everything looked so different in the dark. Corridors twisted and turned, and he could have sworn he walked past the library twice (or were there two libraries?) Finally, he decided it would be best to head outside, check where he was in relation to the manor, then go back in.
Charlie stepped out into the cold night air. A chill had settled, and a hazy rain had come in. Charlie was just hoping that it wouldn’t be raining on Justin’s big day, when his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a glass bottle smashing. He followed the sound around a bush, to a relatively dry patch under an aged willow tree.
There was a distinct sniffle, and a familiar form could be seen haunched there.
"Justin?" Charlie’s breath was a puff of white air.
"Hey Charlie." Justin said thickly, not moving from his spot. "Sorry. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this."
"…It’s understandable." Charlie chose his words carefully, as he sat down close to his friend. His shoulder felt frigid. How long had he been out here?
"My parents and I talked with Claire and her parents today." Justin reached for another bottle. Charlie plucked it out of his fingers, figuring that he didn’t need to be walking down the isle with a hangover. Justin didn’t protest. "We were talking about our future. Where we’d spend our holidays, managing investments… children," Justin hiccuped loudly, a dismal tear rolling down his cheek.
“Kids, Charlie. It was like a business meeting and we were talking about having kids! Bloody hell…” He wiped his cheek grimly, shaking his head. “I don’t love her. I barely know her. How can I have children with her? How can I love them?”
"Hey, come on." Charlie took Justin’s hand, rubbing life back into the freezing digits. "You took care of Hanover, didn’t you? You’ll be a great dad." Still, it sounded so bizarre to say the words aloud. They were all still so young.
"Tomorrow night, I’m going to have to sleep with a woman I barely know." Justin’s intoxication was clear now. Or perhaps it was just the deep despair driving the words out. "The idea of waiting until marriage was engrained into me since before I even knew what sex was. But… god, the idea of never being with someone I care about…"
Lady Claire had money, she was prestigious and graceful. But… he just didn’t love her. Wasn’t that supposed to be enough?
Eventually, Charlie coaxed Justin back inside. They didn’t go back to Justin’s room, but instead Charlie took him to the guest wing. Isolated on the far side of the manor, hopefully it would let Justin feel removed enough from the fate that would arrive at the bleak dawn.
Charlie was peeling Justin out of his wet clothing when it happened. When his fingers brushed Justin’s shivering chest, and the Hanover leaned forward with urgency, looking up at him with desperation.
"Charlie. Please… let me kiss you."
"What?" His hands froze, just now realizing how close the two were.
"I’ve never kissed anyone before. Not seriously. Nobody that mattered."
"But you and I-"
"I care about you. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t that more than I’m ever going to get?"
Charlie gaped at Justin, but only for a moment before it clicked. Yes, that would be enough. He didn’t want Justin to hurt, or to beg. He didn’t want him to feel helpless, or alone. Not ever. Charlie closed his eyes, and leaned forward. He caressed Justin’s chilled lips with his own, letting him deepen it as he so desired. Justin clung to him like a lifeline, pressing in and coaxing his tongue with his own.
When the two fell against the bed, Charlie didn’t resist. He knew that this was needed. One night to indulge in passion before starving himself forever.
Charlie warmed Justin’s cool body with his own, shucked free of clothing, the two moving together on the satin sheets.
"I always thought you were beautiful, you know." Charlie spoke quietly as he worked. It hardly mattered if Charlie whispered or screamed though, he doubted any sound could penetrate the wings and reach prying ears tonight. Justin’s forehead was buried in Charlie’s shoulder, his body trembling as fingers slowly thrusted in and out of him. One spot in particular caused Justin to sweetly writhe, his jaw slack and breath hot against Charlie’s skin. After that, he was careful to keep one finger pressed against it, rubbing and stimulating that spot as he scissored and widened his entrance.
"I-hn… that’s enough, Charlie please…"
"I don’t want to hurt you."
"It’s fine. Please…”
Charlie struggled to grasp that it was Justin that he was lying with on this deep night. Justin who kissed him so fervently, who felt so hot and tight and fucking amazing as he settled around him. But with that first thrust, every inclination to make sense of it was driven clear from his mind.
And soon, he realized that way was for the best.
"Oh, oh fuck! There!” Justin thrusted forward again, wrapping his arms tight around Charlie. The two shared another untidy, heated kiss as they surrendered entirely to their passions. Charlie grasped and stroked Justin in time to the rhythm. He proved to be a beautifully vocal lover, keening and groaning with each movement. Charlie ran his hand down a sweat-slicked back, letting Justin wrap his legs around him as he pushed forward, thrusting up in time to meet him.
Teeth sank into Charlie’s shoulder to stifle heated cries. Neither were prepared for the intensity that would so rapidly swell in this sinful moment, and before long they toppled over in turn to high pleasure.
With a soft hiss of pain, Justin was separated from Charlie, collapsing beside him on the sheets. Charlie kissed Justin’s flushed shoulder, and his neck. He had moved to the cheek, when he noticed that Justin had started crying again.
"Did I hurt you?"
"Don’t play stupid." Justin moaned. Charlie sighed, lying behind Justin and gathering him in his arms. He knew. Perhaps this had been a mistake. Maybe it would have been better to never know what it was Justin would be giving up forever come morning. Justin didn’t seem to feel the same way however, as only an hour later he roused Charlie with a nip at his navel, wanting another turn.
Charlie didn’t protest.
The morning was actually quite lovely. The mist cleared up with the morning sunrise, filtering gold through the trees. The azure sky was dotted with fluffy white clouds, and twittering birds beaconed on the dawn.
Laura Bancroft woke to the sound of her mother screaming.
After pulling on a bathrobe and racing into the parlor, she finally found the source of her distress. A piece of stationary with Justin’s handwriting. Ignoring her parents (her father storming about, her mother in hysterics, and Lady Claire’s family beside themselves with rage) she still had to re-read the note three or four times before it had sunk in.
Justin had run away. He and Charlie had gone off in one of the cars during the night.
No… not that. Her parents didn’t catch the subtext of the letter, but Laura’s detective-geared brain easily caught up on the subtext.
Following my heart… where it leads us… destiny… blah blah…
No, Justin didn’t run away.