eBook Details

Mere Mortals - a novel

By: Erastes | Other books by Erastes
Published By: Lethe Press
Published: Mar 23, 2011
ISBN # 9781590210437
Word Count: 82,000
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Categories: Romance>GLBT>Gay Romance>Historical Gothic Romance>Romantic Literature

Description

Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood, a man he’s never met, and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood’s house on an island on the beautiful but coldly remote Horsey Mere in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he’s not the only young man given a fresh start. Myles Graham and Jude Middleton are there before him, and as their benefactor is away, they soon form alliances and friendships, as they speculate upon the sudden transformation of their circumstances. Who is Philip Smallwood? Why has he given them such a fabulous new life? What secrets does the house hold and what is it that the Doctor seems to know?

Trust acclaimed author Erastes to tell a moving story in the field of gay historical romance.
 
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Excerpt:
I allowed myself to think of Arch, then, of the first time I’d seen him, dazzling in cricket whites with his hair blowing in a summer breeze – and the last time I’d seen him, being bundled into his family’s coach, as I watched from our study window. I allowed myself, as I hadn’t done for the year since that fateful night, to remember the hot fevered feel of his hands on my skin, and the way his tongue knew just where to tickle the crease where my leg met my arse. I remembered our first kiss, sudden and shocking as a summer storm as we returned the bats to the pavilion, and I closed my eyes, my cock swelling at the memory as I remembered our last kiss, interrupted by someone banging furiously on the door –

The knock on the door had frightened us to death, and my eyes flickered open, coming to my senses on my bed at Bittern’s Reach when I realised that someone was knocking on my door too. The coincidence had my heart pounding like a drum. Pushing Arch to the back of my mind again, I slid off the bed and opened the door. It was Smallwood.

“Come in, sir,” I said, stepping backwards, swiftly. “It wasn’t locked.”

He entered, his eyes raking around the room taking in every detail, like a housemaster looking for dirt and disorder. I wished I had thought to smooth the counterpane after leaving the bed, but then I realised, as he pushed aside the heavy lace curtains and examined the windows and the window seat that had I hadn’t even seen was there, that he was inspecting the room, but not for any upheaval I may have made.

He turned to me at last. “We knock before entering rooms, Crispin.” His face was altogether transformed. He looked warm, relaxed and handsome in his composure. “The family at least.” I found myself beaming inwardly, for it was clear that Myles was right, he had had no intention of throwing us out. “It sends a measure of respect and privacy – which I know none of you will have experienced at school. The servants do not knock, and that is something that you will have to work out for yourself; the difference between why they don’t and why you do. If you are indisposed, and wish for complete privacy you may simply lock the door and your wishes will be respected, although we may have to be reassured you are not ill, of course.”

I nodded.“Thank you, sir.”

“Philip,” he said. “Sir – if you absolutely must when necessity takes you – but I am not your headmaster.” He paused and seemed to taking a calming breath. “Sit down, Crispin.” He took one of the fireside chairs and I sat opposite him. It was probably the most comfortable thing on which I had ever sat. “I wanted to talk to you all in turn alone – and indeed would have done after breakfast –”

“I’m sorry about that, sir…Philip.”

“We’ll start afresh.” He smiled at me and I couldn’t help but grin back. He was right, he wasn’t at all as I imagined a father to be. More like the type of older brother who had inherited the responsibility of raising his younger siblings, or a stern but fair prefect who garnered respect and loyalty by the force of his personality. “I know that to move from school to here – your new home – must be a period of re-adjustment. For all of you, and me too, in a way. But I hope that you will soon settle in, get to know me – and each other.”

“May I ask you something?” I was dismayed to find my voice quavering with emotion.

“Of course.”

“You…aren’t…are you my –”

He sat forward swiftly. “No, Crispin. I’m not your father. Nor do I know who he was. I’ve seen your birth certificate and…” he touched me gently on my arm, his eyes fixed earnestly on mine. “Forgive me if this distresses you; this is why I needed to see you alone. Your birth certificate gives no names. From what I can surmise your mother died in the workhouse where you were born, not telling the management who she was, nor where she was from.” He paused, obviously able to tell how I was struggling with myself as the last of my hope dissipated like fog in sunshine. “I’m sorry, Crispin.”

“Did you pay for my education, sir?”

“I did not, other than for your final year.”

I found I was breathing deeply, but I retained what little composure I had.

“Then I thank for that. The others?”

“It is not my place to tell you their history, Crispin, you know that. Would you really like me to tell them of yours?” He looked into my eyes, and his expression was like a deep, deep well into which I could fall forever. He left me in no doubt as to what he meant.

I felt heat rise in my cheeks. “No. No. I wouldn’t. Thank you, Philip.”

He stood, and I followed suit. “You are pleased with your room?”

Mere Mortals - a novel

By: Erastes
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