Perhaps Stephen shouldn’t have gone up the stairs in the first place. He’d known it likely that Jack would be in the bath. The splashing only confirmed it. But then, Stephen had seen Jack naked plenty of times, and Jack had never been embarrassed by it. So he continued up the stairs without hesitation until he had heard the moan.
For a moment he thought Jack was injured, but when he heard a second moan he recognized it for one of pleasure. His breeches tightened slightly.
Instantly it occurred to him that he should turn around, hurry down the stairs, and stay downstairs. Then he remembered that Jack might hear his footsteps, so he would have to creep down the stairs instead.
He turned half-way around, intending to do this. But then he thought about having to go so slowly, Jack’s cries resounding in his ears.
And what if he was hearing it wrong? What if Jack was hurt? Stephen knew the sounds Jack made, and he knew it wasn’t likely, but all the same, he ought to check. Surely when Jack heard his footsteps he’d stop.
But he was wrong; Jack was too absorbed to hear, and he reached the top of the stairs and stood there, gazing at him, lost in something, he didn’t know what.
The bath had a step going into it, which Jack was curled up against, one arm thrown over it. His other arm stretched out of Stephen’s line of sight, but there was no question as to what it was doing. His head was also placed on the step, and rolled back against his arm so Stephen could see his face clearly. His eyes were closed, his mouth open, he was no longer moaning but his breathing was very loud, and seemed to Stephen’s ears louder then the moans had been.
He knew he shouldn’t just stand there; he should turn and flee, or at the very least tiptoe past the bath to his original destination. He also knew that he shouldn’t feel the painful arousal that was clamouring for his attention.
But he was doing both. His eyes were fixed on Jack’s face-he was now clenching his teeth and grunting, and Stephen had to ball his hands into fists to keep from touching himself.
What was wrong with him? He’d never felt lust for another man on this level. His recent lack of laudanum had been accompanied by a notable increase in his sex drive, but that was not nearly enough to explain this sudden specific desire.
And then Jack came, and Stephen started and nearly fell down the stairs, uncertain if he had really just heard what he thought he had heard-his own name on Jack’s lips.
He looked back at Jack, saw that his eyes were open, opened his mouth to apologize, though he didn’t know how he could explain, but then he also saw that Jack was smiling, his eyes on Stephen’s very obvious arousal, and that he wasn’t surprised at all.
He started anyway, “Jack, I didn’t mean-“
“It’s all right. I was a bit worried that my moaning would drive you off, the opposite of its intention, though I’m afraid I didn’t realize that possibility until after I’d started. But then, since you came up anyway, and seem to have enjoyed watching me, I can assume you don’t mind?”
“I...” It wasn’t a question of whether or not he minded. What he minded and didn’t mind seemed to have rendered itself irrelevant. It was a question of...well, he wasn’t sure entirely of what it was a question of. The only question was why he was still standing there.
“Though now that I’ve left you in a state,” Jack continued. “I’d be quite willing to help you out of it. More then willing.” He smile was somewhere between the lascivious smirk of a whore and the innocent gaze of a puppy.
He had come so far in his inexplicable behavior, and yet Stephen was still stunned to find himself taking a step towards Jack, and then another, as if his legs had developed a most unnatural determination completely apart from his mind. Jack settled himself on top of the step and reached up to pull Stephen down, removing his breeches and drawers in the process.
Jack grasped him eagerly, and Stephen cried out at the sensation; it had been years and years since anyone else had touched him. Then he unbuttoned his friend’s shirt, and moved his mouth over Stephen’s chest until he was moaning helplessly, then his belly, sliding off the step until he was completely in the water, and pulling Stephen with him until Stephen sat on the edge of the step, his knees on either side of Jack’s head.
Jack removed his hand from Stephen, causing him to whimper with need. He saw Jack look at him quizzically, confirming in his mind that he had never pleasured another man before, which made his behavior as confusing to Stephen as his own.
Still, even if he had never paid attention to the more specific details, Jack knew very well how it could be done. His big hands slid under Stephen’s arse to pull him closer and tentatively touched him with his tongue, causing Stephen to cry out as before, softer this time, as he tried to resist the urge to buck up and possibly frighten Jack.
“Jack,” he whispered, “please...” His hands curled around the step; they tightened when Jack ran his tongue across the length of Stephen’s member and took one of his balls in his hand, and tightened further when Jack followed his tongue with his lips, until Stephen was completely into his mouth.
He sucked, gaining confidence as he went and Stephen moaned desperately, “Oh god Jack, oh don’t stop” then his words were becoming mindless and his grip on the step tightened further still, he could not lose control, then suddenly Jack pulled away and growled, “You’re holding back.”
“Jack...” Jack’s voice was strained, his arousal was returned, and his eyes at that moment were amoung the most intense things Stephen had seen. There was love in them, and besides that a sudden need to claim, to have. “I know I’m doing this right, ain’t I?” He asked anxiously.
Stephen had not gone so far that he wasn’t able to find himself marveling at another move that contradicted his mind; he said, “You are doing wonderfully, my dear, but there is something else you can do if you want to: put your finger into my bottom and press down.” Jack obeyed; Stephen made a small sound at the penetration, then said, “Not quite that angle-oh, that’s it,” he finished in a gasp. Jack pressed until Stephen’s breath was ragged.
Then he pulled Stephen back into his mouth and sucked hard, and Stephen lost control. He thrashed wildly on the step, thrusting hard into Jack’s mouth, yelling in Catalan, his hands digging into Jack’s hair, Jack grunting, trying to take him even further in, until his cried out Jack’s name and spent into his mouth.
Jack pulled away, spat into the water, then climbed onto the step and took Stephen into his arms, pushing him down onto his back and kissing him. His caution had returned, but Stephen found himself prying Jack’s mouth open with his tongue, tasting his spend as he did so, until Jack pulled away. “You’ll be wanting an explanation, I suppose.”
“That would be nice,” Stephen agreed. “While in some ways this behavior is very like you, Jack, it’s not like you to behave like this towards me.”
“Well...” Jack considered. “The simple truth of it is that I....” he blushed. “I developed a sudden desire for you two days ago. Rather odd, I admit, but there you go.”
“Oh.” Privately Stephen wondered how long this desire had really existed. It couldn’t be just their recent isolation that provoked it, or something would have happened on the Sophie, regardless of the crew of the sloop being around; Stephen was very aware of the captain’s isolated state, and his in some ways being Jack’s only real companion. Of course Jack could fail to notice such things for quite some time, and Stephen had no doubt that in this case he had. “But are you not wondering at my behavior?” he asked.
“A little, now that you mention it.” Jack then looked troubled. “Stephen, I have not coerced you into anything, have I?”
Thinking back on the course of events, Stephen shook his head. “I came to you. Every step from the bottom of the stairs to this bath was mine. And while I would not blame you for wanting an explanation, I have none. I am a complete failure to understand my own actions.”
“But you wanted it? Oh Stephen, please do not tell me you didn’t want it!”
Looking into Jack’s eyes, so gentle and concerned, and so loving, Stephen felt the realization wrap him a warmth that combined with that of Jack’s body to bring a sudden, blissful contentment, and he spoke it softly. “Yes, I did want it. But that is odd, you know, as I had never felt any such desire towards you before hearing your moans.”
“That would be explanation enough for your behavior, would it not?”
“It does not explain why we wanted it.”
“Such explanations are beyound me.” laughed Jack. “And if you cannot find an explanation either, then I suppose we will have to do without one, for you are certainly very wise where I am not.” And he leaned down to kiss Stephen again, pressing the entire length of his body against Stephen. Stephen could not help observing how very aroused he was, or feeling his own body respond.
“Still, it does not bother you at all?” He asked when they parted.
“It did a little, at first,” Jack replied. “But I always have loved you dearly, and I cannot truly think ill of this. Though of course, if you do-“
“No, I don’t.” Jack sagged against him in relief. “But I do worry of what will happen to us after we leave this castle. If one of us continues to want this and the other doesn’t, it will not be too pleasant. And if both of us do, well, you must forgive me, my dear, when I say that that may require more discretion then you have.”
“After desiring you for these last two days, I don’t see how I could ever stop wanting this,” Jack whispered.
“Well, I cannot speak for myself yet, though in truth, I don’t see any reason why either of us would change just because of a return to the company of others. So how will we manage the discretion, I wonder?”
“Can we worry about that later?” And with that, Jack began kissing Stephen’s neck. “I haven’t done all to you that I want to.”
Stephen had a suspicion of what Jack wanted to do next. He was already grinding himself eagerly between Stephen’s legs.
He could point out that this would violate the Articles of War. Or that unlike with their earlier actions, there was no way that Jack could have any real understanding of what he would be trying to do.
But instead he was leaning up and kissing Jack, pulling him down onto him, and now his actions did not confuse him at all.