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LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death



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Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:53 pm
BluesClues says...



EXCELLENT
  





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Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:51 pm
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Brigadier says...



premise

In late October of 1767, a new name has been added to the list of a grim reaper known as Hal. Their present target is a lawyer involved in the proceedings of the Gosport Shipyard in Norfolk. Unfortunately for Hal, the lawyer is dying a slow death of a long term affliction.
They begin to live their life as Hirschel Williamson, new entrepreneur in Mecklenburg County. Better known to the ladies (and gentlemen) of the county as a person of flirtatious interest. Though Hal shows no public interest in any person, a young lawyer has made his interest in Hal known.
A brief moment of passion, most likely a mistake, leads Hal down paths they have never seen before. The list changing before their eyes. A man who wants to show them what it really means to be human. And finding someone who will accept them in their immortality.
While standing in the eye of the storm, Montgomery Charles Magill formally walks into Hal’s life by walking in on what he thinks is an act of murder. He pressures Hal into taking a lunch appointment with him so they can prevent another death. (And to begin the courtship of a reaper who doesn’t know that they’re already falling in love.)

the brigadier rides again!
LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:23 pm
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Brigadier says...



Week 5 - 1,410 words

Their head pounded inside their existence. Hal could hear things happening around their body: hushed words, warnings, questions, and concern for their wellbeing. They could feel someone shaking their shoulders and attending to their wounds, but they were still swimming in the disassociation of the celestial abyss.
A constable had his hands on Hal’s body while a plainclothesman stood off to the side. It was logical for the police to be here. Especially with the way that Hal had entered the premises. There was always hindsight to remind them that it wasn’t always advisable to go charging in with a firearm.
“Are you okay, Mr. Williamson?”
The way that the constable was asking them - that tone - let Hal know it wasn’t the first time the poor lad had tried to bring them around.
“I’m quite alright. If you’ll just give me a hand up and then a cup of strong tea.”
The young man held out his hand while the plainclothesman still stood off to the side. With a bit of effort, the constable pulled Hal from the floor, then offered them a handkerchief for the blood on their temple. When Hal faltered with coordination, he took the linen back and dabbed at the wound for them.
“Tea, sir? Or a strong tea?”
Their hands touched for the moment while the pressure was neatly put back on the sign of the attack.
“Real tea. For now, lad.”
As they spoke, Hal felt their true self coming back because they gave a wink to the constable. They instantly felt guilt, thinking of their lover back at home, but still wanted to keep up some of their reputation. Discreet was discreet until a man could recognize another man from certain establishments.
One hot cup of tea and five minutes later, Hal had recovered enough of their senses to discuss the crime. They sank further into the office chair that had been offered to them by the constable. The investigator had still offered them nothing. Except for a series of glares.
“If you’re quite done your break, I’d like to go over the events with you,” said the plainclothesman. He didn’t identify himself to Hal and there would have been no need. This man would just be another to forget when the event was resolved. Not their type anyways.
“I’m an open book. What would you like to know?”
“How did you come to being here in the office at the time of the murder?”
“I received a note telling me that Mr. Kemp was in danger.”
“And?”
“And so I rushed down here to his aid with myself, my horse, and my long rifle.”
The investigator gave them a new look of dismay. One that said he would go along with that story until a better one emerged.
“Can you remember much of what happened to you, Mr. Williamson? Perhaps a description of the other man that got away.”
“I know the man who got away. Or at least, I did know him a long time ago before his mug was put on a wanted poster.”
“A known to you villain then? How is he known to you, sir?”
“It may not be obvious to you, sir, but I was a military intelligence man before I came to Mecklenburg.”
Hal’s mention of the act of military intelligence quickly shut the jaw of their interrogator. The man shifted a bit in his boots, marking pencil tapping against a folded up piece of parchment.
“Well, even if you were a little late to stop this,” the investigator paused, giving a sweeping motion over to Kemp’s body. “Well, at least you were a crack enough shot to take out one of the assailants. One might say you’ve done half the work for us.”
Hal did not appreciate the remark nor the smile that was crossing the senior policeman’s face. It seemed incredibly inappropriate to thank a town’s citizen for killing another person. Even if they were a criminal who just helped to brutally murder another…
Still, Hall knew that none of the men involved in this crime were human.
“Did you have something more to say, Mr. Williamson?”
“No. Not that I can remember. Can I have my rifle back and return to my office now?”
“If you don’t mind waiting in here a minute more, we’d like to speak with you and Mr. Magill together.”
“Why?”
Hal stood up as they asked their question, hoping that their tall stature might drive a little timidness into the investigator. The man was relatively unphased as he directly said, “We just need to clear up a few things about your timeline and involvement. Once we’re satisfied, then you can have your precious Pennsylvania gun back.”
The man tapped his marking pencil against Hal’s shoulder. First leaving a light mark and then wiping it away with mock sorrow. Hal moved away from the man, standing in the middle of the office, watching the men leave. They waited for the lock to click, carefully watching their shadows outside of the colored glass.
“Finally, I’m alone. Now I can investigate,” they said to themself, almost muttering.
Working their way around the office of disturbances, they came around to the side of the desk where the detached head set from its body. As they stood over the dead body of Magill’s partner, the elderly Daniel Kemp, the reaper was feeling their own form of the acclaimed human sorrow. They looked to the corner where Waite’s henchman lay.
Still bleeding.
Meaning still living.
The humans had missed their chance to interrogate someone who might actually have a bearing on the case. Hal grabbed the man by the throat with another smooth motion, caring not what the constable might think of their method of interrogation.
“Where has your boss gone?”
Spitting out a bit of blood, the henchman said, “You should be more worried about where your lover is, Haller. What ever would he think of you letting his uncle die?”
“I don’t care about the human. I just want to know where your bastard of a boss has gone.”
Hal shook the man again. They pushed him harder against the wall. It was a battle of wits for the moment until the life slipped from the villain’s eyes. The man became dead weight and Hal threw him back against the corner wall, hating the feeling of blood on their hands. His soul was beginning to creep from his skin and-
Suddenly, Hal became extremely concerned with Kemp’s soul. In all of the confusion, they had no idea what had happened to Kemp’s soul. The original mission had dictated a successful reaping, but they had let it slip through their fingers.
Just like so many things today.
They were truly sorry to be hurting Montgomery in this way. After the events of the party - after realizing their true affections for the lawyer - it almost felt like manipulation to be carrying out this name on the list.
The old man was a paternal figure to Magill. Their beloved Montgomery would only naturally turn to them in this time of crisis. Hal could not help but feel that they would then be taking advantage of Monty. More so than they had already done during the morning office events-
The door interrupted Hal and all of their painful thoughts. They turned, expecting the investigator again, but only found their lovely Montgomery. He stood firmly, like the soldier he was, only showing emotion as concern for Hal. A few steps brought him to where the reaper stood over the bloodied body of the villain. Hal didn’t know what to say as Montgomery cleaned the blood from their hands nor as the lawyer gently kissed their palms.
Still discreetly. Still far too aware of the enforcement that lay beyond the door if they were caught exchanging affections.
“Hirschel?” he asked, voice shaking as his eyes were moving around Hal’s injured form. Those beautiful, piercing eyes came to focus on the reaper as he asked, “What were you doing here?”
They didn’t have a good answer to that question. Thousands of years of instincts told Hal to lie to their lover. Would it really be all that bad to tell the truth for once in their miserable existence? Most likely. Most definitely. Not waiting for the gears to spend too long spinning in their head, Hal began to softly explain their presence at the site of a grisly murder.

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LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:03 pm
BluesClues says...



they are e x p l a i n i n g omg can't wait to see where this goes next, like how is Montgomery gonna react??
  





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Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:25 am
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Brigadier says...



@BluesClues just a few days of waiting for Monty to go “huh well emotionally you owe me lunch and a roll in the hay”

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LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:53 pm
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BluesClues says...



okay I am also demanding that THAT be a real line of actual dialogue
  





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Fri Oct 07, 2022 6:30 pm
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Brigadier says...



It is a real line of dialogue. Just said in text in a more upper class sort of way.

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LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Wed Oct 12, 2022 10:31 pm
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Brigadier says...



Week 6 - 2.3 - 1,544 words

“I got a note at my office from your uncle saying a man wanted him to negotiate a deal with me. The name of the man asking for me was someone I recognized as a war profiteer from my days the majesty’s intelligence service. So I rushed over there, fearing for the worst, and I guess I was too late…”
It wasn’t quite a lie. Hal had received notice of where Waite would be and Waite certainly was a person of interest from their past. The reaper had jumped into action without a moment’s thought for what they might find at the end of the line. And their horse was rather impatiently waiting outside with the constable who had received some of Hal’s flirtations.
“Well, you at least made a dent in one of his attackers.”
Magill’s eyes had finally fallen on the homeworld pistol hanging in a shoulder holster beneath their outer cloak. The reaper quickly retracted the device to beneath their cloak. A glance at the cloak brought forth the notion that their uniform was likely not helping Monty’s perception.
His hand reached towards the holster, fingers first tracing down the workmanship, and then moving towards Hal’s well defined chest. In a quiet voice, he asked, “What kind of gun is that, Hal? I know you shot him with the rifle, but if the police had seen you with that, they might be asking different questions of you now.”
A younger Hal might have made a rash decision. That version of them would have likely killed Monty without a second thought. Now, it was just a fourth or fifth thought for Hal as the explanation continued to build in their internal monologue.
“It’s something experimental from my home workshop,” Hal said as they grabbed at the fingertips tracing across their chest. This moment should be something enjoyed in private. Rather than in the company of two corpses and a certain amount of people from the local constabulary.
“And where is your home?”
Monty pulled his fingers away suddenly, gulping, and looking up sharply at the reaper.
Continuing on with their quickly unfolding ruse, Hal pushed a question back at him.
“What do you mean by that, Monty? Surely you’ve heard me talk of lack of knowledge of my upbringing.”
From what Hal could remember of their own accounts at society parties, they had informed the people of this county that they had been orphaned at a young age. A son of a shopkeeper’s daughter and a wild man of the sea. Their mother, in this version of the story, had died as a complication of childbirth. They had been raised by their grandparents, the shopkeepers, with some money coming back by a merchant marine. Hal tried to remember what they had said of their father while watching Monty go through a series of troubled gestures.
Finally, their companion spoke, shaking fingers running through his curly, copper hair. Hal could hear every bit of nervousness as the man explained, “You might think me a bit crazy for this, but I think you know much more about your life than most men in your situation.”
“Tell me then what you think you know about my existence.”
Monty gave them one more sharp look before saying, “I don’t think you’re quite human. It was just a thought from the moment I met you. And it was solidified after our appointment in your office earlier this afternoon.”
The wonderful events of just a few hours ago had already become ruined by lies and deception. In that moment of deciding who they were going to be - Hal or Hirschel or Haller…
Well, perhaps they understood being human better than they thought they had at the start of the day. It felt like the worst blade ever forged was being plunged through their chest as they tried to maintain a chilled confidence.
“How was it that you determined I wasn’t human, my love?”
It was incredibly human, or more incredibly cruel, to tack on affection to such an accusation. Even if this conversation went nowhere, perhaps Hal would be able to drive Monty away from them. They might even be able to escape from this planet without causing too many more disruptions to the timeline.
Surely someone else could come to my rescue, Hal thought to themself.
In the corner of their vision, they could see Monty’s hand coming up towards their cheekbone. Hal held their nerves steady as they prepared to feel the sting of a slap. It was what they would have deserved for their cruel comment. Instead, in another moment of absolute gentleness, Monty ran his hand up the side of Hal’s face. He stopped to cup his hand at the edge of an eye socket. If it were indeed another time and another location, then the reaper had no doubt that they would have roughly taken Montgomery once more.
“Your eyes.”
“My eyes? What about them? Last I checked, they were no different from any other blue-eyed man who walks this county.”
Monty’s hand remained cupped at their eye socket. They closed their eyes, enjoying each moment of touch they could gather before the inevitable parting. There was no way that Monty would continue to love them after they discovered what a monster Hal truly was.
“They turn a rather unnatural color when you are excited.”
“I admit that my sickness as a child left me with a bit more gray in my eyes than clear blue, but aren’t you happy that I can still see you?”
Hal attempted a bit of flirtation. They guessed that it was more for their own benefit than for Monty’s. Though they had both been soldiers, and Hal had likely seen far worse things, his lawyer had a wonderful, strong calmness to him. One that could look straight into Hal’s eyes and make them wish that they were human.
“The normal color is quite lovely. It’s just that-”
He released his grip on Hal as his thought trailed off.
“What?”
“When you gave me that last kiss and rubbed up against me, I felt the warmness in your trousers.”
“Yes, my love, you did a very good job at ruining that pair for me. No one has ever managed anything like that before.”
They both gave a look towards the pair of pants that Hal was presently wearing. If it had been any other time, they would surely be attempting to ruin another pair of the reaper’s wonderful wardrobe items. Monty moved his hands to the edges of Hal’s coat collar and smoothed down the edges.
He bit at his lip, choosing words and still smoothing the fabric, as he explained, “Well, when I pulled away, I looked up to your eyes, and they had turned to a milky white. Which is also what I imagine the inside of your under drawers likely looked after our engagement.”
Monty looked back up to him again with piercing eyes, his flirtation still sitting between them, but all too suddenly pulled away from Hal. He quickly crossed the room and turned to face the door, subtly checking on the constables outside.
“I’m sorry, Hal. I just-I just had forgotten that Kemp was in here.”
“It’s okay. I should have insisted that we save our conversation for another setting.”
They too had forgotten about all of the corpses in the room. The reaper gave a look around, trying to find something with which to better cover up the signs of the crime.
“Monty, I must tell you that I have come to care for you very deeply. That I think I love you and that you are right to be suspicious of my true nature.”
“Will you tell me the truth about who you are then?
Hal stepped across the room, trying to shield Monty from the sight of Mr. Kemp’s body. They touched lightly on his shoulder, expecting the man to recoil. When he didn’t move from his military stance, only leaning up slightly so his eyes faced Hal’s, the reaper took the moment to say, “I can explain everything to you. In fact, I will explain everything to you as soon as we answer the questions of the constabulary.”
“I can wait for your answers for later in the evening. Shall it be in your quarters or mine?”
Their hands had found their way back to being entwined. Monty brought Hal’s fingertips to his lips with a quick kiss. The reaper felt themself melting as they tried to remember what Monty’s bedrooms looked like. It had been just that once, during a house tour, but even then their imagination had been set into motion.
Returning the gesture of kissing Monty’s fingertips, they slowly explained, “I think my abode would be best suited. Seeing as I don’t live with my mother and have only a once a day chambermaid. I do have one request of you for once you hear my explanation.”
“What’s the request?”
“Whether or not you believe me at the time, I ask that you do not give a scream or any such sound?”
“Why would I scream?”
“Because what I’m going to say at that time will sound more insane than you saying I don’t seem human.”

the brigadier rides again!
LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Thu Oct 13, 2022 2:35 am
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BluesClues says...



NOW IT WAS JUST A FOURTH OR FIFTH THOUGH LOLOLOLOL wow good thing Monty didn't meet Hal when they were younger

In the corner of their vision, they could see Monty’s hand coming up towards their cheekbone. Hal held their nerves steady as they prepared to feel the sting of a slap. It was what they would have deserved for their cruel comment. Instead, in another moment of absolute gentleness, Monty ran his hand up the side of Hal’s face.


oh
  





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Thu Oct 13, 2022 3:07 am
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Brigadier says...



In which Monty accidentally has a thing for older men through the sheer mistake of stumbling into a romantic relationship with a celestial being who is masquerading as a depressed forty something year old business man.

the brigadier rides again!
LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Fri Oct 14, 2022 2:27 am
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BluesClues says...



ngl that would get me, too
  





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Fri Oct 21, 2022 10:48 pm
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Brigadier says...



Week 7 - 2.4 - 1,735 words

Montgomery barely moved from his firm military stance. He let his fingertips linger on Hal’s lips, likely tempting the reaper to continue the action. They both exchanged glances that signaled their dislike of the situation, the lack of privacy, and the task that waited for them outside the office doors.
“I think I’ll be able to hold my own ground, Hirschel. Presently, I am more concerned with the answers that you are going to give to the investigators,” he said, finally pulling his fingers away from Hal. The reaper instantly wanting them back. More wanting them to touch skin to skin for as long as the universe might live.
Hal’s own hand went to brushing over their shoulder holster. They pulled their cloak tighter around their form as they asked, “Are you comfortable telling the story I told you just now about the note and the war criminal?”
The younger Hal would not have been able to stand the presence of so much risk. However, the present version of Hal could recognize that Monty was almost as much of an expert in this practice as they were.
“My profession allows me to perpetuate plausible stories given to me by men being held on suspicion of murder from time to time.”
Monty smiled at them, exchanging another set of knowing glances. This was something they had talked about in the months previous, but never in so blatant of terms. Never before had Hal thought about the fact that Monty had not just defended the innocent as a military lawyer. That he must have also had to defend men who should have proven to be guilty. And now Hal must be left to wonder if Monty thinks them guilty of the suspicion that they are facing for their actions.
“Monty, I-”
As Hal began to speak, they heard heavy footsteps approaching the office. It was time for them to revert to their character. What would Hirschel Williamson say after he killed a man? Would he be the strong, stoic soldier? Or would he be bent in two, overcome with the grief thought of taking the life of another human being?
Making their character decision, Hal gripped Monty’s shoulder as they spoke loudly enough to make sure the others could hear.
“This whole thing has shaken me right to my core, Monty. I never thought I would have to do anything like this ever again.”
At that exact moment, the young constable opened the officer door. He was followed in by the investigator with the perfectly questioning eyes and marking pencil still in hand. The constable stood beyond the investigator, letting his curious eyes wander back to Hal and Hal’s hand on Monty’s supportive shoulder. Hal could see the young man trying to figure out what sort of relationship existed between Herr Williamson and Mr. Magill.
“Have you done something like this before then, Mr. Williamson?” the investigator asked as an interruption to the silence.
“Hmm?” Hal paused after their little hum. Then they continued their act as they asked, “What is it that you think I have done, Mister?”
“I’m Mr. Wright. This is Forson - the young man who was alerted to your hostile presence in this office.”
Hal changed their grip on Monty’s shoulder to a gentle stroking when Forson shot them another questioning look. The small delights of the human experience - or at least pretending at being human experience - were those moments when one pressed the envelope of politeness. It may have been rude for Hal to claim ownership of a partner, especially a male one, in public, but it would have been far ruder for the constable to make an objection.
Or so Hal assumed from all that they had learned of human behavior in the past few decades.
The repeated silence over the room was once again broken by Mr. Wright, who boldly said, “You’ve just said that you never wanted to commit a murder ever again. That statement implies that you’ve killed someone before.”
“Of course I’ve killed someone before. I was a career soldier for over twenty years and much of that time was spent near the clutches of people who wanted to murder me right back.”
This time, it didn’t take Hal long to think about what their character would be doing in this instance. Hirschel Williamson was well known for being a soldier with certain airs of pacifism in his retirement. The sort of man who might defend himself, his possessions, and to a certain extent his town. If such a time would arise.
“Of course a soldier would have killed before, Mr. Williamson, but would a soldier be so shaken by murder? As you appear to be…”
As the investigator trailed off, Monty quickly picked up his place in the conversation. With Hal’s hand still on his shoulder, he decided to speak for the reaper, saying, “If you had paid attention to all that my friend had said in the moments previous, then you would have heard him say what a great shock this has been to his system.”
“And what was Mr. Magill doing here then? According to your secretary, you were supposed to be attending a conference across town. When one of the constables came to fetch you, they found that you had already left to return to this scene.”
“Well, Mr. Wright, you should know how quickly news travels in a town of this size. When I heard from a passerby that something was going on at my office, I felt it best to excuse myself from my business and rush back to these quarters.”
Hal felt themself wanting to protect Monty. Their lawyer was likely the one in the room best suited to dealing with the law, but he was still vulnerable. Monty was still the poor man that had to keep looking at the sight of his beheaded uncle in their shared office space. However, as their friend held the gaze of the investigator, they began to realize that Monty was entirely in control of the conversation.
Punctuated further by his next announcement to the investigator.
“If that is all, Mr. Wright, I think that Herr Williamson and I would both like to retire to a tavern.”
“We’ve both had quite the shock today,” Hal added, playing up their role of Hirschel as they eyed up the young constable once more. They knew that Monty had already mentioned shock, just a few minutes previous. Their repetition of the statement would hopefully better support the role of the soldier in shock and a state of fatigue.
The investigator carefully looked between Hal and Monty. This was a man clearly not satisfied with the answers he had received, but also clearly a man who was burning his candle by both ends.
“I will let the two of you be released from questioning. At least for now. My constable will take down your addresses so that I may continue my inquiries tomorrow.”
The calmness. The coolness. The collected version of Monty began to break as the investigator let his implications be woven into his speech. Hal’s hand on the lawyer’s shoulder changed from a gentle caress to a forceful hold on the Scotsman’s temper.
Though physically restricted, Monty still lashed out with his words.
“Our answers to your questions will be the same tomorrow as they are today. My friend, Herr Williamson, shot one of your villains in an attempt to save my uncle’s life. He came here, at the risk of life and limb, to protect the town from a menace of an enemy.
“Well, I-”
“And how do you repay him? By asking him why he shows signs of grief? Would you perhaps like to ask him for the transactional records on his long rifle? Do you not know who this man was to the royal calvary?”
The investigator had no chance to speak further before Monty wrestled out of Hal’s hold and rushed out of the office. Hal spent a few moments standing in their supposed state of shock. They managed to make a suitable apology to the investigator before heading back down the stairs.
Their lawyer stood out in the street, leaning on the hitching post with his pipe hanging from his lips. Oh how Hal desired to do something else with that mouth, but the street was even more public than a locked room.
Hal moved to approach Monty, placing their hand back on the man’s shoulder, encouraged again by the lack of flinching. They leaned in as they asked, “Do you want to stop anywhere before we go on? For a pint or something? Or would you like to get straight down to the business of our affairs?”
At this suggestion of business and affairs, Monty’s breath reacted before the man himself. Hal could hear those bits of hesitation and could see the shifting of their companion’s body weight.
“No, Hirschel. I just-I just want to go home.”
“Have you changed your mind then?”
Hal took back their hand and instead used it to straighten the tack on their horse. They watched Monty smoke, letting the man return to a familiar composure. A few more brief moments and it was Monty stretching his hands out to take Hal by the shoulders.
“You misunderstand me, my dove. I just want to go home with you.”
The affection through a term sent a lovely feeling all through Hal’s body. Without another word passed between them, Hal put their foot into the left stirrup and smoothly swung up onto their horse. The reaper briefly removed their boot from the leather holding, extending a hand to the waiting Monty, along with a teasing glance.
“I assume you want me to ride on the back of the horse then?”
“No, I’ve actually left room for in front of me. It will be much safer for you this way.”
“Aren’t you worried what people might think?”
Monty laughed as he even asked the question. It was quickly becoming obvious to him that Hal always got what he wanted. Particularly as he stepped into the stirrup, hauled himself up not so gracefully, and immediately became aware of the pressure on his pants from the rider behind him.
When they had properly adjusted to the different pressures and accepted molding together, Hal placed a discreet kiss below Monty’s ear.
“I am more concerned, my pet, with your safety.”

the brigadier rides again!
LMS VI: Lunch Appointment with Death

  





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Sat Oct 22, 2022 12:26 am
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BluesClues says...



More wanting them to touch skin to skin for as long as the universe might live.


okay well this is the single most romantic line you've ever written

“You misunderstand me, my dove. I just want to go home with you.”


MY DOVE I weep this is so soft unlike...well, you know
  








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