hannah_chapter1: (Bender)
[personal profile] hannah_chapter1
Title: Yes Sir Part Thirteen
Author: hannah_chapter
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: 15/R
Summary: AU. Victorian England. Matthew is the son of a lord, Dominic is a young and innocent servant: "The moment Matthew laid eyes on the boy, he knew he had to have him."
Feedback: Makes me do the dance of joy.
Disclaimer: Fake as fake could be.


Dominic is carrying a breakfast tray to Matthew's bedroom, as he does every day, when he is accosted by the new Lady Bellamy.

"No, no, no," she scolds the servant, "this simply will not do."

"My lady?"

"My husband may have dined alone in his rooms when he was a bachelor, but those days are gone. Lord Bellamy will take breakfast with his wife, as a respectable gentleman should. Take this meal away and bring a fresh breakfast to the small dining room."

Dominic turns away from Matthew's room, reluctant. This goes against a well-established routine, but a lifetime of servitude has rendered Dominic quite incapable of disobeying a member of the ruling class.

"No," Matthew emerges from the bedroom in his shirtsleeves, cheeks shining from his morning shave, "put my breakfast in its accustomed place, Dominic."

"Yes, my lord."

Dominic carries the tray into the bedroom and arranges the meal in the usual fashion. Lord and Lady Bellamy continue their discussion in the hall.

"Really, Matthew, I must protest."

"My dear, you are the mistress of this house and I bow to your judgement in most matters. Not in this. Breakfast in my room is a vital part of my morning routine, which must be accomplised in near-solitude, else I simply would not have the strength to face the world. Do you follow?"

The new mistress of the house is a spirited young lady, but she is also more predisposed to listen to reason than her predecessor was. She does not pursue the matter any further and takes her leave.

Matthew returns to the bedroom, alone. He brushes a thumb across his servant's cheek before sitting down to breakfast.

**************************

Lord Bellamy removes his dinner jacket and tie. He has been quite chatty up to this point, as is his way. But now, as his gaze drifts to the bedroom door, Matthew fusses with his braces and sighs.

"I suppose I should - "

He gets no further, he cannot speak with Dominic's tongue thrust so deeply into his mouth. Dominic knows what Matthew should do. He should go to his wife and perform the duties of a husband. But, in Dominic's opinion at least, there has been too much duty and too little pleasure of late.

Matthew makes soft sounds of protest, but they lack all conviction and neither man is fooled. Even so, Matthew tries again.

"...... I should ...." he murmers between kisses

His words become bliss-fiiled moans as Dominic caresses him.

"Yes, Matthew?" the servant enquires sweetly as he expertly manipulates his master, making good use of all the tricks he has been taught, "what should you do?"

Matthew does not reply. He moans, he sighs, he gasps and clutches the sheets as Dominic takes him roughly from behind, but he does not reply.

The lord finds his voice afterwards, when Dominic lies in his arms, head pillowed by Matthew's chest. Matthew runs a hand down his servant's back, fingertips trailing over damp skin.

"Well, Dominic, you may not have a gentleman's education, but you learn quickly and you learn well."

Dominic smiles at that, then raises his head as an unwelcome thought intrudes.

"Did I presume too much?" he asks.

"Come now, you should know better than that. As lovers we are equals. If you want me, why then, I am yours for the taking."

Reassured, Dominic lays his head on Matthew's chest again and listens to his heartbeat. He has come to love that sound.

"I am sorry, my love." Matthew says.

"For what?"

I have neglected you of late, I know. I wish it did have to be like this, but I must spend time with my wife. The Granvilles are an influential family and their approval is vital. I cannot have her complaining to them of ill treatment and neglect. I must play the part of a loving husband."

"I know you must."

"If her presence, if your position is really, truly intolerable, we could always -"

"No," Dominic interrupts, "do not offer to send me to Christopher again. We have already had this discussion and I made my decision. Now I must live with it."

"I give you so little of myself these days, Dominic, so much less than I should."

"I thought I had had made myself clear, Matthew. You will never give me less, just so long as you give me all it is within your power to give. A day, an hour, a minute, it is enough, because it is you."

Matthew makes no reply and Dominic stretches and sighs. He wishes he could stay here all night. But it cannot be.

"I should leave," he tells his master.

"You should. You will," Matthew rolls Dominic onto his back and covers the servant's body with his own, "but not just yet."

"No," Dominic gaps as Matthew's tongue tastes a nipple, "not just yet."

****************************

The girl's eyes widen as she claps eyes on Dominic. She turns her face away, but too late.

"Dominic," she mumbles, "I did not expect to see you today."

"That much is obvious," Dominic reaches out, takes his sister by the arm, "look at me, Lizzie."

She obeys her brother and Dominic exclaims angrily as he beholds her bruised cheek and split lip.

"I will kill him," Dominic spits, "I will KILL him!"

"Dominic, no. You must not confront him."

"What should I do, then? Stand aside and let my sister be abused by a monster?"

"He does not abuse me. These injuries are not of his making. I ..." her words dry up and Dominic swears he can see the wheels turning in her head as she attempts to conjure up a plausible explanation, or any explanation, really, "I fell. Yes! I fell and struck my face on the edge of a table."

"Is that so? Forgive me for saying so, sister dearest, but you have been awfully prone to falls since your marriage. You were not half as clumsy in the days before Reg."

"You would say that, of course. Even before our marriage, you did not trouble to hide your hatred of Reg. It is jealousy, Dominic, plain and simple. You look for reasons to find fault with my husband. But they only exist in your head."

Why must it be like this? Why must you lie to me?"

"I am not lying. Reg is a wonderful husband and I am happy in my marriage. You must believe me, Dominic."

"Elizabeth, I only wish I could."

Dominic encounters his sister's husband - he cannot, will not, call this man brother - on the way out. He looks up at the big man and feels the old, familiar hatred, pulsing behind his eyes and making his head ache in a most dreadful way. Reg smiles, that slow, contemptuous smile that plants thoughts of murder in Dominic's brain.

"Well well, look at this," Reg drawls, "the little lord has come to visit. We are blessed."

"I did not come to see you. I came to my sister."

"Come to stick your nose where it is not wanted, come to meddle in affairs which are none of your concern."

"She is my sister."

"No, she is my wife. She belongs to me, now."

Reg sneezes into his hands. He inspects the mess and then he slowly, deliberately wipes it onto the lapels of Dominic's suit coat.

"Think you are better than me, Dominic?"

"The contents of a public latrine are better than you."

"Such wit! But listen here, little man. You are not better than me, you only think you are. You prance around in your fancy clothes, looking down your nose at the likes of me, but who bought the clothes you wear? All you are is what your master makes you, what he allows you to be. I will say this one last time: you have no power over me. My wife is my property and I shall use her in whatever way I please."

Dominic has no rebuttal. Threats of retribution would be laughed off. Dominic makes threats in the heat of the moment, when he is with his sister, but he cannot make good on them. Reg is big, powerful and he would shatter Dominic like glass. That is bad. They both know it, and that is worse.

The servant spins on his heel and leaves, the brute's mocking laughter ringing in his ears. Even if he could give Reg the beating he so richly deserves, what would it accomplish? Lizzie would not thank him for it. Dominic is suddenly aware of pain, sharp pain, in his hands. He opens his fists and regards the wounds on his hands. His hands always tighten into fists when he speaks to Reg, This is the first time he has drawn blood, though. The servant's shoulders slump in defeat. He finds a handkerchief, wipes away the blood and turns his face homeward.

The lamplighters have already embarked upon their nightly rounds when Dominic returns to the house. Lord and Lady Bellamy are attending a dinner party and so the servants indulge in a leisurely dinner of their own - or try to. Dominic pushes a roast potato around his plate and does his best to ignore the shrill chatterings of one of the chambermaids. Why oh why must this household be plagued by such empty-headed, gossipy girls?

This maid changes Lady Bellamy's bed linens, just as Dominic's aunt changes Lord Bellamy's, and Ellen told it true: chambermaids always know when a bed has been shared - and they know when it has not.

"There was blood, you know, the morning after their marriage. Lord Bellamy was pleased, I am sure. His wife came to him pure, unspoiled."

The girl, whose name Dominic has never troubled himself to learn, ignores the cries of disgust that greet this remark and prattles on.

"And let me tell you, Lord Bellamy has proved himself a most dutiful husband, yes indeed, visits his wife regularly, like clockwordk he is. But I would wager it is all duty and no passion. I have seen his lordship's kind before. Men like Lord Bellamy may breed children in their wives beds, but they take their pleasure elsewhere."

She drains her glass and grins slyly.

"Of course," she purrs, "Dominic would know all about that."

Dominic raises his head at this.

"What are you talking about?" he asks.

"You are Lord Bellamy's servant, are you not?"

"Yes. I am. What of it?"

She is treading on unstable ground now, but lacks the wit to withdraw to safety.

"You know everything about your master, what he does, where he goes. If he keeps a mistress, or visits houses of ill repute, you would know about it. Masters have few secrets from their servants. So tell us Dominic, does Lord Bellamy indulge his base desires, does he pursue the secret delights of the flesh? Does -"

"ENOUGH!"

Every single occupant of the table jumps, startled by Dominic's angry bellow and the sharp crack as he slams both palms on the table with all of his strength. He has just broken open the scabs on his hands, which does nothing to improve his temper. The chambermaid shrinks back into her chair, terrified.

"Dominic is quite right," Ellen, bless her, steps in to pour oil on troubled waters, "good servants make discretion their watchword. They keep the secrets of their masters. Asking a servant to violate this sacred trust simply is not done."

A rumble of agreement greets Ellen's remarks.

"Quite right," one of the coachmen pipes up, "quite right. And I think I speak for everyone when I say we have had more than enough vulgar talk at this table tonight."

That is the end of the matter. The girl curls up in her chair, rigid with fright and also shame, and the other servants return to their meal. Dominic, however, has lost what little appetite he had. He throws his napkin down and leaves the table with his meal barely touched.

In his room, Dominic sits on the chair by the desk and stares at the wall. Someone knocks at his door. This was expected. But it is not Ellen at his door - it is his mother. She carries his dinner into the room and sets it upon the desk.

"You left this behind, son."

"I do not want it. I am not hungry."

"You are bleeding."

"It is nothing."

She ignores him. She fetches a damp cloth, kneels before him and cleans his wounds.

"Really, Mum, it is nothing. You should not fuss over me."

"I am your mother. If I do not fuss over you, who will?"

Dominic smiles at that. Her touch comforts him, makes him think of childhood. Happier days than these. He sighs.

"I should not have done that," he says.

"That girl's ignorance is quite something to behold. She was inappropriate, to say the least, and your reaction is perfectly understandable. Gregory was the same, always so quick to defend the old lord. Still though, it is not like you to lose your temper. You were always such a good-natured boy, Dominic. I hope you do not mind me saying so, but you gained sharp edges when your master replaced his father."

"This position overwhelms me on occasion. There are people, so many people, seeking an audience with Lord Bellamy and I am the gateway they must pass through."

This is true. Dominic is regularly accosted by men on the street, men who would be ever so grateful if Dominic would grant them an hour with his master. He comes home with pockets full of calling cards. Some even try bribery, but Dominic will have none of that. Not that it matters either way; Matthew gives most cards a brief glance, then tosses them on the fire.

"I hate to say this, son, but perhaps you should leave your position."

"I thought you were proud of me for gaining such a position."

"I am. But I worry it might be too much for you. The strain could take a toll on your health."

"I am in the very pink of health, I assure you, and I would never leave my position. My place is here, in this house, with my master. In any case, my position is not the source of my current troubled mood."

"What is it, then?"

"My sister."

"Explain."

Dominic relates the details of his visit.

"Are you quite sure you are not imagining this, Dominic?"

"Have you heard none of what I just said?"

"Of course I have, but you have never liked your brother."

"Do not call that man my brother. I have no brothers."

"If something was wrong, Liz would tell you."

"Do you know your daughter at all? Lizzie never was one to admit to any wrongdoing. Do you remember that cut on her leg and the infection that followed?"

"How could I forget? It was the longest two weeks of my life."

"You thought she injured herself here, but that was a lie. It happened when you took us north to visit Father. We went climbing in the orchard. We were not allowed in there, but children will play where they wish. Lizzie fell from a tree branch, cut herself on the way down. I cried and I tried to run for you, but she stopped me. She swore she would never speak to me again, not once in her whole life, if I told. If it has not been for that infection, you would never have known she injured her leg at all. That is how Lizzie's mind works. Better to live with pain rather than admit to any kind of mistake and if she cannot hide a cut or bruise, she will lie about its origin."

"Even if you are right, and I am not saying you are, what can you do about it?"

"I do not know."

She leaves him and Dominic remains in his chair. He does not eat, or read, or move. He only stirs himself when his bell rings. Lord Bellamy has returned. Matthew is undressing when Dominic enters his bedroom and so the servant goes to prepare a bath for his master. He does not need to be told to do this. He has learned to anticipate Lord Bellamy's desires. All of his desires.

Naked, Matthew enters the bathroom and sinks into the hot water with a happy sigh. As he washes himself, he tells Dominic all about the latest society scandal. A well-respected gentleman has been caught in a compromising position - with another man. He has fled the country, leaving his wife, children and hastily discarded lover to face the consequences.

"The irony of the situation is, of course, not lost upon me," Matthew says, "I condemn this man even as I pursue a homosexual relationship of my own and risk a similar fate if caught. I am the foulest kind of hypocrite."

"Perhaps, but you must do what society expects of you."

"Oh, I know. I have said this before I am sure, but you do know that, if the true nature of our relationship were to be discovered, I would not abandon you, Dominic. I would take you with me."

"I know, I trust you, Matthew. But it will not come to that."

"Let us hope not, for both our sakes."

Dominic politely refuses his master's invitation to join him in his bath and goes to fetch Matthew's robe. The lord takes a long, hard look at his servant as he towels himself off.

"What is wrong, Dominic?" Matthew takes his servant by the wrist, "what did you do to your hands?"

Dominic tells his story again as Matthew slips into his robe. Lord Bellamy listens to the sorry tale, his expression one of sympathy. He is about to speak when Dominic interrupts.

"Do not tell me there is nothing I can do, Matthew. I already know this, I have been told so several times today."

"I was not about to say that. I was trying to offer you whatever help I can. What can I do for you, my love?"

The servant considers the question.

"It may be a waste of time, it almost certainly will be, but I should like to go to the Northern estate and speak to my father."

"Very well. It will be difficult, but I shall try and get along without you for a few days."

Dominic smiles for the first time today.

"Thank you, Matthew."

**************************

"Are you sure this is not all in your head, Dominic?"

"Why does everyone ask me this?" Dominic asks his father, "I saw the bruises with my own two eyes."

"She might have fallen."

"She might have, but the ape all but admitted it."

"Well ... it is a husband's duty to correct a wife. If he did punish her, he must have had reason."

"How can you say this? She is your daughter, your first-born child. How can you be so cold?"

"I assure you, Dominic," I am just as concerned as you are."

"I can tell," Dominic says, sarcasm dripping from each word.

"Do not take that tone with me, Dominic Howard. I am still your father."

"Be a father, then."

"What do you want from me? I cannot do anything. Lizzie is no longer my daughter, no longer your sister. She is Reg's wife and in the eyes of the law, that is all that matters."

Dominic thinks of his master and the hoops he must jump through to keep his wife and her family happy. But that is the difference, Dominic supposes, betweenthe  of a rich and powerful lord and the daughter of a lowly gamekeeper. There is nothing more he can say. He takes leave of his father and goes to the main house and the room which has been prepared for him. As the personal servant of Lord Bellamy he has been afforded every courtesy, treated as though he were the very nobility he serves. Consumed with anger and worry as he is, Dominic has not taken much pleasure in this special treatment.

The plight of Matthew's mother has given him some small measure of enjoyment, however. She spends her days locked up in her rooms, speaking to no one.  There are no visitors. She did receive some in the beginning, squires from nearby estates. But these visits came to an end when her guests came to understand that all she wanted from them was help in returning Paul to his original position - and she in turn came to understand her visitors would do no such thing. Paul sowed bitter seeds everywhere he went, it seems.

Dominic goes to bed. This journey has been for nothing, his father's words give him little joy. He will go back in the morning.

********************

"So tell me, Dominic, how was your visit?"

Matthew raises his eyebrows as he takes note of Dominic's expression and posture.

"As bad as all that?"

"It was a complete waste of time. He cannot help or will not help. I cannot decided which is worse."

"I wish I could do something for you, Dominic. But the law is the law and in a case like this, even my hands are tied."

"I know. I cannot change anything and I am failing. As a brother and as a man."

"You are not a bad brother, Dominic. Trust me, on this subject I am an expert. You have done all that a man could and more than most men would."

"It is not enough. What else can I do?"

"Wait. Watch. Be her safe place in a storm and make sure she knows it."

Matthew puts his hands in his servant's shoulders.

"I do not wish to make light of your predicament, my love, but I received some good news while you were gone."

"What news is that?"

"Two things. To begin with, my wife is pregnant."

"This is very good news. What is the second thing?"

"I must go abroad on business and I will need my servant at my side."

Lord Bellamy presses a finger to Dominic's lips, silencing his protest.

"I know you are worried about your sister. But you can do nothing for her at present and your emotions will consume you if you stay. Removing yourself from all this for a few months is the wisest course of action."

"You may have something there, Matthew. So tell me, where are we going?"

Matthew laughs.

"America."

"America?"

"Yes, Dominic, America. We are going to New York."

Date: 2015-10-31 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamarelmensdorp.livejournal.com

""I suppose I should -"


He gets no further, he cannot speak with Dominic's tongue thrust so deeply into his mouth. " lovely that they still find time to do so, even if it's just every once in a not so often.


So sad that Dom's sister is abused and that she won't/can't even admit to it.


""I must go abroad on business and I will need my servant at my side.""
But hey, a few months in New York is very good news!

Date: 2015-12-05 12:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading! Yes, they need to have some time for just the two of them.

Date: 2015-10-31 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unomusette.livejournal.com
Oh YES! It's so good to see this brilliant fic returning, a million thanks for such a treat *applauds*

Date: 2015-12-05 12:50 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-31 11:27 pm (UTC)
ext_1380661: (Default)
From: [identity profile] easilyerased.livejournal.com
Oh hallelujah my lovely fancy boys <3333

Date: 2015-12-05 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
Thanks! Yes, I love my fancy boys.

Date: 2015-11-01 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pwoperninjaelf.livejournal.com
aww good to see these two boys again! Ooh off to America alone! Thanks for the update <3

Date: 2015-12-05 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
And thank you for reading!

Date: 2015-11-01 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] recordmachined.livejournal.com
"I must go abroad on business and I will need my servant at my side."
OHHHHHHH! I can't wait for what's to come. I'm guessing they will finally have the privacy that they deserve in America, away from the prying and gossiping eyes. I wish they'd just run away together someplace, haha

Date: 2015-12-05 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
Thanks! Well, each new chapter will be skipping a few years, so we probably won't see them in New York, but I'm sure they'll have a good time!

Date: 2015-11-08 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rocketbbydolls.livejournal.com
oh yay, so happy to see an update!! exciting things to come, i see :)

Date: 2015-12-05 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
Yep, all kinds of exciting things to coome I hope!

Date: 2015-11-16 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millionstar.livejournal.com
Can't wait to see what comes* next.

*heh

Date: 2015-12-05 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannah-chapter.livejournal.com
*Coming* soon....

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