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[center Charlie did quickly glance around to see the theater staff lurking about. [#900 “It’s a shame we have to leave.”] he sighed. The man had wanted to be sly and tease Johannes more out of the sight of others just to torture him. But unfortunately, this idea just was not feasible. Especially since Maximilian was now going to be expecting them outside. Charlemagne knew the struggle all too well of needing to tidy up an area after an event, so he definitely didn’t want to cause any unnecessary problems for the staff at the theater.]
[center Silently, though, Charlemagne brooded over his frustrations about Johannes, but at least it was not all too painful thanks to awe of having actually met Maximilian. For a prince he truly did not seem all that bad! He was surprisingly normal for a man of such high status, and Charlie felt pleasantly shocked by that revelation. Once outside, though, the man felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck stand up when Johannes closed some of the distance between them. Although they weren’t visible thanks to his clothing, Charlemagne could definitely feel goosebumps tickling his arms. [#900 “Why must you play with my heart like that?”] the Frenchman responded quietly, huffing out a sigh. He then looked at Johannes, examining him briefly. [#900 [i “One of these days I will get what I want, Johannes.”]] The man then straightened himself up when Maximilian had reappeared to meet up with them.]
[center The man only laughed at Johannes’ remark about the speed in which he had changed. [#c2a900 “After so long in theater and dance one has be to quick at changing for the sake of the performance!”] Maximilian patted Johannes’ shoulder. [#c2a900 “I’m pretty sure waking around with tear-smeared makeup and ripped clothing would not be appropriate for public outings with men such as yourselves.”] he added, gesturing lightly towards both Johannes and Charlemagne. [#c2a900 “Although I will have to admit this outfit is particularly plain, so I might even be [i underdressed] compared to you two! But at least you don’t try to tell me it’s ‘disgraceful to the crown’ like some people we know, Johannes.”] Max rolled his eyes. The nerve some nobles had were far too much in Maximilian’s opinion. And rarely did they ever had the audacity to try and say it to his face. But the prince was all too aware of what others thought of him. The disrespect angered Mac, but c’est la vie. He tried to not let it aggravate him too badly.]
[center The subsequent stroll to the Café was not all that bad. Maximilian was careful to match the paces of Johannes and Charlie to stay with them as he had a bad habit of not paying attention to just how fast he was walking. While the outside of the Café was not too crazy with foot traffic, the inside was fairly packed with hungry theater goers and casual night owls. Maximilian politely held the door open for his two companions, though, taking a deep breath as the warmth of the café enveloped him and the delectable smells teased his senses. [#c2a900 “I don’t know what that smell is, but it is to die for!”] Maximilian remarked as he got settled down with Charlie and Johannes. He could already see looks being thrown their way, but the prince honestly hoped that they could at least eat and lounge in peace.]
[center Charlemagne was starving, but also stoked beyond belief. He could not believe that he was actually sitting down with Maximilian to share a dining experience with him and Johannes. He knew he probably looked like an overexcited child on Christmas. Did Charlemagne care about that? Absolutely not. He was living in the moment and loving every single second of it. And to share all of this with Johannes made it feel even better! Charlemagne did look over at Johannes, attempting to hide his growing smile despite feeling so incredibly starstruck.]
[center Despite this awe caused by Maximilian, Charlie felt as if time suddenly moved in slow motion as he gazed at Johannes. The Frenchman felt like his heart was threatening to beat out of his chest and onto the table! The Austrian sitting on the opposite side of the table look so radiant in the warm lights within the café. Charlie felt like he was staring at a masterpiece that could easily be on display at prestigious art gallery. So captivated did Charlemagne feel, he felt a distinct warmth spread over his cheeks. [i A blush!] Almost immediately after Charlie’s realization he averted his gaze.]
[center Maximilian raised an eyebrow at this behavior. While he had never directly asked Johannes, he had heard of his escapades with other men. He then wondered for a moment if Charlemagne was suddenly flushed for similar reasons. While he could not relate to those kinds of feelings, Maximilian honestly didn’t care all that much. He felt that what a man did on his time and in his own bed was his own business. Max honestly felt that he wasn’t even in a place to judge anyway as he used to have awfully high levels of promiscuity before becoming engaged to a wonderful Hungarian princess. Initially, their relationship was honestly to continue strengthening Austro-Hungarian bonds within the empire, but over time Maximilian had grown quite soft for his fiancée, Ágnes. She was a fierce woman who refused to be trifled with. And Max respected that fiery passion greatly as it only made him love her more. He was super excited for there wedding that was to take place in the following Autumn! Maximilian truly couldn’t wait, but he knew that the time would come soon enough.]
[center [#c2a900 “Are you okay, Charlemagne? You look awfully flushed there.”] Max inquired. This caused the poor Frenchman’s posture to stiffen. [#900 “[i Flushed???] I’m not flushed! I feel just fine.”] Charlie quickly objected although he felt like he was only turning more red. [#c2a900 “It almost looks like that is a lie… Are you [i lying to me, Charlemagne??] And to think! I thought we were going to be such great friends!”] Maximilian teased, a hand of betrayal grasping his shirt for the dramatics. Charlie probably looked as though he had seen a ghost after that exclamation, though, because Max patted Charlie’s shoulder whilst cackling. [#c2a900 “I’m not being serious in the slightest, Charlemagne. Please don’t pass out in your chair.”] Heaving a sigh of relief Charlie tried to relax some as a kind enough looking waiter approached them.]
[center [#175612 “Welcome, gentleman! Were you all ready to order your food and refreshments?”] the kind man greeted, Maximilian giving a thoughtful hum. [#c2a900 “How about your finest wine for us here? And I will take anything that has shrimp in it. Maybe with noodles? I would like to try something new.”] Max was not much of a picky eater despite growing up as a royal. [#175612 “Understood. I believe we have just the thing for you tonight! And you, monsieur?”] looking over at Charlie. [#900 “I could go for a hearty chicken soup.”] [#175612 “An excellent choice! And for you?”] the waiter asked Johannes.]
[center But the warm jovial atmosphere soon turned sour, however, when a glass cup was hurled across the café. The glass narrowly missed the waiter’s head before it shattered against the wall behind Charlie. [b “You think we came in here wanting to see your disgusting face in here too???”] a voice yelled. Many patrons began to scurry out the door as to avoid any trouble as an angry man stormed to the back of the café. It was the same man from the other day who threatened to attack Johannes, but he was followed by a different henchman friend of his this time. Charlie immediately grew angry as the poor teenage waiter was roughly shoved off to the side. The kid was clearly confused and frightened. Maximilian was immensely confused as well as Charlie tried to shake of as much broken glass off of his body as he could. [#900 “Are you seriously trying to come in here and restart an already unnecessary argument??”] Charlie hissed, swiftly standing up from his seat. Unfortunately, this triggered the bigger grunt of a man to snatch Charlie by the collar to drag him across the table to pin him against a wall. This was followed by much shouting before Maximilian stood to at least attempt to negotiate. But the man from the original conflict was livid and not willing to talk, thus throwing a pretty hefty fist at the prince. Despite his usually open and kind personality, Maximilian was not an easily stunned man. He was hardened in the sense that his pain tolerance was quite high thanks to his father demanding he serve time in the empire’s military for the sake of experience.]
[center Maximilian was quick to dispose of the man right out the back door into the alleyway, though. A very colorful string of expletives coming from both men as their squabbled continued outdoors. Max did come back soon enough though, but only quick enough to see Charlie get tossed like a rag doll right back into the same table he had been dragged across. At times like this he cursed being of such small stature, but there was little he could do as he fought to catch his breathe among the pieces of broken wood. [#c2a900 “Johannes, take Charlie and get out of here. I’ll handle this situation and see to it that they are properly punished.”] Maximilian didn’t mean to make it sound like such a strict command, but he was furious that his night out and dinner were ruined because of some xenophobic fools. But the man knew he would have to check up on Johannes at the embassy soon to make sure Charlie was okay…]
Charlemagne’s little comment about a night of debauchery had caused Johannes to lightly blush. The thought playing in his mind as he talked to Maximilian, hoping, if not praying, that the man would leave so that he could reply to Charlemagne. His prayers, however, were ignored and it appeared that Charlemagne’s attention was now on Maximilian instead of Johannes.
[center There was still hope though! ]
[center [i Until there wasn’t.]]
What little hope Johannes had felt about being alone with Charlemagne was harshly destroyed by Maximillian excitedly saying that the Café was an excellent choice and that he was hungry. A part of Johannes really wanted to suggest that Maximilian not come with them but as he glanced over at Charlemagne, who was obviously starstruck, he couldn’t find it in his heart to squash this one thing. Perhaps later he would have some time alone with Charlemagne to respond to his inquiry. “Of course. We will be waiting for you,” Johannes plainly responded before the Prince up and left to change. Just like Charlemagne the Austrian hadn’t expected their night to go like this either. “So, it seems, and we probably should go. It appears the staff is anxious to clean up the theater,” Johannes said as he eyed the group of men and women that were peaking around the corner; ready to swarm the theater and clean it.
Following Charlemagne, and moving through what lingered of the crowd, Johannes did his best to be a gentleman and keep his eyes on Charlemagne’s back. His earlier words about keeping Charlemagne lonely and frustrated made a grand reentrance into his thoughts. Slowly, his eyes trailed down Charlemagne’s figure. Johannes was just as frustrated, and he knew that it was all his fault. There was a hang up where Johannes just couldn’t let go and be as open as Charlemagne. He wished he could be though. Charlemagne’s proposition during the banquet had nearly broken Johannes and his return home was filled with regret for not taking up the offer. At the same time Johannes knew he wouldn’t have been able to just give in. He liked knowing his bed partner, courting them, the best a man could with their own gender, before sleeping with them. On the small list of bed partners that Johannes had only one of them had never been courted and that had been near disastrous. It was only the fear of Johannes father, the true Freiherr von Hügel, that stayed his bed partner’s lips from spilling their deeds. Did Johannes believe that Charlemagne would do the same thing? Absolutely not. Still he liked the idea of courting Charlemagne and leaving him wanting because when, not if, they fell into bed together the reward would be that much sweeter.
Once they were outside Johannes basked in the night air and he considered just abandoning Maximillian and whisking Charlemagne away but squashed that thought. While he was peeved that Maximilian was ruining his date, he couldn’t be that rude to the Prince though he did find that he could tease Charlemagne a little bit. Shifting a little bit closer to the handsome man Johannes softly said, “There was a chance that I wouldn’t leave you alone and frustrated tonight but then Maximilian came along. He will hardly want to leave us any time soon.” His words were a little bit unfair to Charlemagne and Maximilian because Johannes had planned to leave Charlemagne frustrated anyways but the other man didn’t need to know that. With Maximilian’s intrusion Johannes was given a scape goat.
As Johannes moved away from Charlemagne Maximilian reappeared, void of all makeup, and looking nothing like the Prince he was supposed to be. “We just got outside. That was impressively fast of a change,” Johannes commented, “And I wasn’t intending on taking a carriage. The weather feels amazing tonight, so I had full intentions of taking advantage of it and walking the short distance.” Johannes had only been to Café Procope a handful of times, but he knew the path well enough to lead their group through the last of the people lingering outside the theater.
The walk to the Café was rather uneventful and only took a few minutes. The moment they approached the door it was clear that the Café was busy and filled with people that had come for a drink after the show. Johannes opened the door for his two companions while scouting out a spot to sit. The back part of the Café was devoid of people, with everyone centered near the door and open windows, loudly talking about the play. Johannes had full intentions on taking a seat towards the back though he feared that they may be harassed by the other patrons since Maximilian was with them. That was a bridge that Johannes would cross later.
[center Upon hearing Johannes’ retort Charlemagne’s brow automatically cocked itself up upon his face in intrigue. The gall of the Austrian before him was so astonishing, but Charlie was indeed pleasantly surprised by such a development. [#900 “Only in the right ways.”] the Frenchman winked impishly. [#900 “Soft enough for affection, but not too soft that I cannot do anything fun.”] Charlemagne chuckled. The man felt fairly lustful, so he was not too sure how Johannes would deal with this sudden influx of demand. And on top of that, Charlemagne also felt frustrated because all his previous attempts to bed the man were thwarted in some way that forced him to wait even longer. The Frenchman was not accustomed to waiting very long, if at all when trying to sleep with someone. But Charlie did not think it was too bad because he was genuinely enjoying Johannes’ presence and company by itself, no sex required.]
[center Regardless, Charlemagne was pleased to hear that Johannes could confirm that he had no curfew to strictly abide by since he was a man of rules and order. At least that was the impression that Charlie had been given this entire time. [#900 “Ten in the morning?? So,”] Charlemagne began to muse, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, [#900 “Theoretically, I could keep you for a sordid night of delightful debauchery?”] the man inquired, probably a little more excited than he should have been. [#900 “Or would you rather I be lonely and even more frustrated, Johannes? I do not like going to bed alone. Would you really do me like that?”] Charlemagne asked, although most of it was in jest. But the man was honest in saying that he did not like going to be by himself, though. Charlie much preferred the presence and warmth of another person, even if it were for only one night. Just the feeling of having another person with him was relaxing and soothing to his soul.]
[center But, when Maximilian inserted himself into the conversation Charlie felt his lust for Johannes turn into being starstruck by the Austrian prince. The Frenchman could feel himself staring, honestly. But Charlemagne was just such a huge fan of Maximilian’s work and could not help himself! Luckily, though, Maximilian’s attention seemed to be on Johannes for the moment. [#c2a900 “Unsavory characters…”] the man huffed and rolled his eyes. [#c2a900 “Drama. He seems to have nothing but drama surrounding him no matter what.”] Max shook his head disapprovingly. [#c2a900 “Such is life, I suppose.”] he then shrugged. [#c2a900 “At least there are several showings this week for the play so he can come whenever he is able if he would like to.”]]
[center Running a hand through his hair, Maximilian grunted lightly in frustration. Before he came to France to live and work the prince had well-groomed short hair, often skipping on wigs as he often found them too uncomfortable to wear. But since arriving in France the culture rubbed off on the man. He had grown out his hair and truly immersed himself into the arts. His immediate family did not mind so much, although some thought he looked foolish with his long blond curly hair. With an arched brow, the prince looked between both Johannes and Charlemagne. The man smiled widely, always loving the opportunity to personally meet new people! [#c2a900 “It is a great pleasure meeting you, Charlemagne!”] If the Frenchman was not already flustered enough, the man could muster nothing more than a nod of acknowledgment. The prince genuinely chuckled and patted the shorter man on the back. He could easily tell that Charlie was all types of awestruck. Maximilian found it hilarious, honestly. [#c2a900 “Thank you so much for your kind words, Johannes. You know many of the other nobles do not approve of my interests and activities, so I am thrilled to hear that somebody appreciates the effort it requires.”]]
[center [#c2a900 “That café is an excellent choice if I dare say!”] Maximilian exclaimed before thinking about the location for a split second, [#c2a900 “I am quite famished myself… Would you mind if I came with you? My treat.”] he added. [#c2a900 “I would have to clean up really quick, but it wouldn’t take too much. I will meet you two outside.”] the man explained before disappearing back into the bowels of the theater. The prince knew the workings and passages of the building like the back of his hand! After Max has disappeared Charlie looked over at Johannes. [#900 “I surely was not expecting that at all.”] he chuckled, straightening out his posture while he recovered from his case of being starstruck. [#900 “But it looks like we have an addition now.”] Charlemagne mentioned. [#900 “Shall we get moving then?”] Charlie then turned to begin leading the other man down the hallway so they could meet Maximilian outside as suggested by the male.]
[center In what felt like record time to Maximilian, he had cleansed his face of any makeup he had on and changed into his regular clothing which was fairly plain by the standards of nobility. The one thing that Max did not like to do in public was flaunting his wealth around in other people’s faces. The French public had been very kind to him and he did not want to betray that trust or make anyone feel terrible about their status. That was not what Maximilian was there for. He knew that he was there by his own choice as an actor. But he was quite excited to see Johannes around along with Charlemagne, a familiar face along with a fresh and new one. After doing one last check of his attire Max pulled all of his long curly hair back into a typical ponytail secure with a ribbon. He then bid his fellow co-stars farewell before hurrying outside to prevent Johannes and Charlemagne from waiting too long.]
[center [#c2a900 “Hopefully I did not keep you two out here for too long! The café is not too far away so I figured it would have been ridiculous to summon a carriage for us. Is that okay with you two?”] the man asked, not wanting to put the two into an odd position is they had not planned to walk themselves…]
Johannes had been called many things in his lifetime but he had never, ever, been called soft. For a second he thought about it and considered if Charlemagne was right about his assessment. He was. For such a cold exterior that he had been trained into showing he really was soft especially emotionally. His wife use to call him a woodland creature and he never thought much on the meaning of her words until Charlemagne called him soft. Maybe in the past he would have been a little bit annoyed with the observation that Charlemagne made and try to argue otherwise but now it didn’t matter. Also Charlemagne said he liked it so that was a plus. “Hopefully you mean that in all the right ways,” he jokingly said, feeling a little ballsy.
He listened to Charlemagne’s opinion about the play and gave his own but eventually it was time to leave and Charlemagne answered him about the curfew. “Only the nobles with spouses at home waiting for them have curfews. For you, my good sir, I have none,” Johannes responded with a small pause afterwards. “Well that is slightly incorrect. I do have a curfew that is 10 in the morning. Someone had to keep the embassy functioning.” Did Johannes need to really be at the embassy by ten? Probably not but he was going to go to make sure the two hard headed ambassadors don’t murder each other. Johannes tended to act like a buffer between the two of them.
Charlemagne’s response about the cafe caused Johannes’ heart to flutter and joy fill him to the brim. He was so happy that they would be spending some more time together and with them being at the cafe gave Johannes a chance to learn more about the handsome French man. While the play was nice there wasn’t much leeway in talking to each other. “Hopefully by the end of the night you won’t be singing a different song,” he said as they got up. Sadly, they had to let go of each other’s hands as the went to leave the small sanctuary they had been graced with. Johannes actually felt sad that they had to let go of each other. If one of them had been a woman the world really wouldn’t care, they would just think of them as immodest.
As they were about to leave he heard a loud voice and all of a sudden something clicked on Johannes head. The lead actor was [i Maximilian]. The beloved, but really hated by most nobles, prince that was far enough down the line to not be as visible as some of his family members but everyone knew about him at least. Johannes had actually met Maximilian a few times but it hadn’t clicked that the lead actor was actually the well known Prince. “Maximilian,” he calmly said, addressing the man without a title because he knew the other man’s preferences. “Ambassador Von Wächter sadly couldn’t make it today. There was some issues with, and I quote, ‘unsavory’ characters. He plans to see the show tomorrow. I know he has been looking forward to it. If you want Comte de Mercy-Argenteau is here,” he informed the Prince.
Johannes glanced over to his date and was surprised that the other man was somewhat starstruck. He, however, didn’t say anything about it. “Maximilian, this is my friend Charlemagne Marquis,” He said deciding to introduce the two of them. “I enjoyed the play. You did a splendid job portraying such strong emotions,” Johannes said, carefully complimenting the Prince. “Charlemagne and I aren’t really busy. We were about to head to Café Procope,” he informed the Prince, hoping the Prince wouldn’t invite himself to their next date spot. Johannes had a feeling that he wouldn’t get any time with Charlemagne if the other man came with them. He also didn’t want to compete with Maximilian for Charlemagne’s attention because he knew he would lose.
[center Charlemagne had found it thoroughly amusing Johannes’ reaction to his hand being taken to hold. The Frenchman had said nothing as the play was happening, but he did smirk a bit to himself. Charlie already knew that he was going to have the time of his life making Johannes absolutely [i squirm]. If something as simple as a gentle hand holding shocked him, then just about anything else was fair game in Charlemagne’s eyes. He wanted nothing but to reduce Johannes to a blushing, breathless mess that begged for more attention. [#900 [i ‘Now that would be interesting to see. I guess that will be my goal for now.’]] Charlie thought, trying to not erupt into a full blow mischievous smile right where he sat.]
[center [#900 “I’m glad to hear you liked it! I think it was a nice first date night out.”] Charlemagne winked at the other man. He then found it endearing, Johannes’ small token of affection, bestowed by rubbing gentle circles on his hand. [#900 “For an Austrian man, I never would have known you could be so soft.”] he smirked. [#900 “But I think I like it this way.”] the man admitted, sighing softly. After the two talked more about the play itself Charlemagne shook his head. [#900 “Oh, no. I can stay out as long as I would like. Question is, what about you?? Do nobles have their own curfews?”] Charlie asked with an inquisitive arched brow. It would have been comical if nobles did, but the Frenchman figured that if you were rich enough nobody would care to tell you what to do with your time.]
[center [#900 “But we should get going to that café, though. I’d like nothing more than to spend the whole night with you.”] Charlie was sure to be careful of how loudly he spoke. It made him sad that they had to be so secretive, but it was what had to be done, unfortunately. Charlemagne reluctantly let go of Johannes’ hand before opening the curtains to their viewing box. But then a familiar voice sounded off at the end of the hall around the corner followed by a few surprised gasps. [#c2a900 [i “Where is he?? Johannes.”]] Charlie immediately became concerned, looking back towards the taller male. But it did not take long for that voice to be matched to a person as it was quite distinctive because it belonged to the lead actor from the play that the audience had just watched. Maximilian was still in costume, but he was swift with his search.]
[center After sighting Johannes, Max zeroed in on the man automatically. [#c2a900 “Johannes! I heard that you were here! Where’s the Ambassador? Usually, he is a patron of the arts based on what he told me!”] Maximilian huffed, but still happy to see one of his own countrymen so far from home. Meanwhile, Charlemagne was starstruck in Maximilian’s presence. The other man was such a fantastic actor, in Charlie’s mind, and wished to be as talented as the Prince with the art of theater. However, Charlemagne wasn’t sure how to address Max not because of his ranking, but because of how casual the other was with his greetings. [#900 “Your Highness??”] Charlie sounded confused, which only made Maximilian laugh and pat the Frenchman’s back. [#c2a900 “Please, just Maximilian or Max. Sounds less responsible, which is how I like it. And nobody cares about titles unless in Court. And it’s not like I’m the crown prince or anything, thank god.”] the man laughed. Flustered, Charlemagne nodded in acknowledgment.]
[center Maximilian then turned back to Johannes with a wide smile on his face. [#c2a900 “What did you two think of the show? I hope it was as exciting for you as it was for me! Are you two busy tonight?...”]]
“I’m glad I didn’t keep you waiting for long,” Johannes said once Charlemagne informed him that he had actually just gotten to the theater. “An older lady needed help to her seats so I decided to help. If she hasn’t needed help I would have been here to greet you and save you from such a long wait,” he jokingly said as they walked into their box. It wasn’t the best view in the theater but it was pretty darn close to it. Johannes was actually surprised by that fact, having expected Franz to chose a cheaper seating arrangement.
“I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even know it was a drama. I just heard everyone raving about how good it was and two tickets just happened to be for the taking,” Johannes said as he closed the curtain behind them and took a seat after Charlemagne.
The seats were close enough to border on intimate. With Charlemagne in such proximity Johannes was very aware to his presence. The best reassuringly radiated off Charlemagne’s body and Johannes found himself get comfortable with Charlemagne’s presence. He was so comfortable that when Charlemagne slipped his hand into his he stiffened for a short second. He had, honestly, not expected Charlemagne to be so bold. They were in public! But then again no one could see their hands behind the bannister. Johannes glanced behind him as well, double checking that the curtain was pulled shut. Happy that no one would bother them and that they would have time to part did he relax. A small smile played at the corners of his lips as he turned his attention over to the play that was about to begin all while holding onto Charlemagne’s hand.
The play was absolutely riveting. Johannes really did enjoy every second and did have to give the lead actor some credit. The anguish that man displayed was astonishing. Johannes had been so enthralled with the play he had even forgotten that he was loosely holding Charlemagne’s hand in his own. With the play over, and the actors and actresses taking their bows, Johannes had returned to reality.
Looking down at their joined hands for a split second he then looked up at Charlemagne as he asked Johannes what his opinions were. “I very much enjoyed it,” he began. His thumb started to rub small circles on Charlemagne’s hand as he continued. “The full cast did an amazing job throughout the whole play but I think their shinning moment was the end. They portrayed the betrayal and anguish so well it felt real. How about you? What are your opinions?” He asked.
Johannes silently listened to Charlemagne. It was only when people started to leave that he tore his eyes away from Charlemagne’s handsome face. “Do you need to go back right away? I know a decent cafe nearby that is open late if you wanted to maybe continue tonight. If you can’t I completely understand,” Johannes nervously asked. He didn’t want to end the night at all but he did understand that work came first and if Charlemagne has to be up early then Johannes didn’t want to keep him up.
[center Charlemagne spent a good minute just observing pedestrians as they just passed by him on the sidewalk while carriages ambled along the streets. Sometimes it surprised the Frenchman just how much there was outside of the palace. This did not mean that Charlie did not get out of the palace. But sometimes the man did get enveloped so much by his work that he was not able to leave the palace as much as he would have initially liked to. However, work was work and Charlemagne understood the importance of it, and even the privilege of having been chosen over countless other chefs when the King and Queen could have easily chosen another individual for the coveted job he currently possessed.]
[center But as the Frenchman was getting lost in his thought his attention was then quickly captured by the familiar sounding soft lilting voice of another man. Charlie turned to see Johannes approaching him. [#900 “I have been waiting here [i all] day!”] Charlemagne exclaimed sarcastically as he rolled his eyes. [#900 “Honestly, I just arrived here only a few minutes ago. Looks like we are both on time!”] The Frenchman could not help but smile when looking at Johannes. Quietly Charlie followed the other man to the theater box that they would be seated in.]
[center [#900 “I heard nothing but good things as well! The lead actor is actually one of your people. He is quite popular here and is very nice from the exchanges I have shared with him.”] Charlemagne nodded. [#900 “I am pretty excited as it’s a drama about a king and his mistress and family. I do look forward to seeing what happens!”] the Frenchman noted before settling into his seat, adjusting his coat. Charlie’s face held a soft smile as he waited for Johannes to seat himself by his side. Carefully did Charlemagne reach over with a single hand to gently take hold of the Austrian man’s hand. Tenderly so did he do this even Charlie felt like he developed goosebumps on his skin! Even though he liked to think of himself as a confident man, Charlemagne could not help but feel a sense of anxiety in addition to his initial excitement. He hoped that Johannes did not mind.]
[center The play was quite the spectacle in Charlie’s opinion. The drama, the scandal, and the emotional torture each character went through was beautifully portrayed throughout the play. The Frenchman admired the lead actor, Maximilian von Eisenbach, for his innate ability to translate the grief of the King in the play into real life emotion to make the theater patrons feel what the King feels. The fresh tears of agony upon seeing his mistress dead by the command of the Queen and then the rage he felt before condemning her to death was raw and real to the audience. The King’s ensuing spiral into insanity and suicide was shocking and practically tangible! Maximilian had come from a wealthy family who was not too pressed on the strict laws and etiquette of Austro-Hungarian nobility, thus allowing their only son to do whatever it was he wanted. It just so happened to be acting that Maximilian loved to do! Charlemagne believed the performance from everyone was spectacular and was glad they had been able to see it with each other. [#900 “Your country certainly does produce some of the most exquisite actors, I must admit.”] Charlie murmured to his Austrian companion. [#900 “Thank you for inviting me out tonight, too. The play was absolutely thrilling!”] he added as the actors all lined up for the final bows on center stage. [#900 “What did you think?...”]]
Johannes was anxious about his package as he got ready for work. What would Charlemagne think? Would the man think him to forward to send a sleeping shirt? Or would he love it? A multitude of questions ran through his mind in rapid succession as he walked into the embassy. All thoughts rapidly came to a halt as he was greeted with the sight of Franz standing there with an annoyed look on his face.
“Herr Von Wätcher?” Johannes asked. It was rare that he ever saw his father-in-law so angry and quiet honestly it was frightening.
“Johannes. I need you to deliver these letters to the Queen. Comte de Mercy-Argenteau left them on his desk before storming off,” Franz said.
Franz and Florimond Claude’s relationship were frigid at best. While Franz agreed with being there for the Queen and act as a support for the Queen but not to meddle into French politics. Florimond on the other hand was meddling in Franz’s opinion. He was whispering words in to the Queen’s ear and had too much power in the French court. What Franz absolutely hated was that it wasn’t helping their cause with Florimond being so powerful in the court. The French hated then, and Franz had no interest in causing a bigger divide between the people and their Queen. But it wasn’t Franz’s place to say a thing because ultimately Florimond was in charge since he had the Queen’s ear. Normally to avoid having to interact with each other they tried to deal with different duties of the embassy. Franz worked predominately as an ambassador for his people that lived in France while Florimond played a very political and dangerous game. Sometimes their duties overlapped like today, where Florimond wasn’t in and things needed to be done in the Palace.
“I’ll take them right away,” Johannes replied as he took the letters. He didn’t want to be here when Florimond returned because there would just only be yelling. Especially if he had stormed off.
Franz, still heated from his argument, just nodded and let Johannes leave.
Johannes walked through the palace gates in a hurry. His thoughts on his own letter far from his mind when he heard a voice call out to him. Spinning around he saw Antoine rush over to him.
“Monsieur Von Hügel! Monsieur Marquis responded to your letter,” He said as he went through his bag and pulled out a plain letter. There was nothing spectacular about the letter with the only remarkable thing being the seal. The seal was, also, the only distinguishing feature of the letter with the palace’s seal on it.
“Thank you,” Johannes said as he took the letter and reached into his coin purse and gave the man a few coins. His services were invaluable. Slipping the letter into his breast pocket he approached the palace, the pocket burning a hole in his chest pocket, making him anxious. He wanted to read it. Only when he eventually gave the Queen her letters did he step out into a secluded corner and read the letter.
A small smile played on his lips as he read the words on the page. Charlemagne said yes to going out with him! Johannes heart did a small tumble every time he re-read the letter. And the smell… it was like Charlemagne was in the same room as him. Letting out a soft sigh he slipped the letter back into his breast pocket and went back to the Embassy, ready to write his reply.
Johannes was anxious as he stood outside of the theater. He had spent the last four hours getting ready for Charlemagne. Normally he didn’t put such effort in getting ready. His wife never received such treatment and his last lover also never received anything close to the amount of time Johannes had spent for Charlemagne. Johannes had gone through every article of his clothing and carefully picked the best pieces that didn’t flaunt his wealth but still looked good on him.
He had eventually settled on one of his favorite waistcoats. It was burgundy with beautiful gold detailing across most of the coat but especially on the collar. Johannes jumped back and forth on what to do with his hair after finding his chosen outfit. It was too short to pull up into a ponytail but too long to leave down without some manipulations. Eventually Johannes, and by Johannes it was really Hans, decided to push his hair back with pomade which took the biggest part of Johannes’ time. It almost made Johannes wish that he wore wigs more often than just for work because the pomade wasn’t going to come out any time soon especially if Hans had his way. Then there was the parfum. Johannes really didn’t like parfum, but he had a large amount of it. Most of it was from his wife and all of them were scents that she loved on him. Johannes was about to spend an unforgivable amount of time trying to figure out the best smell to wear was. This time it was Han’s wife who saved them from a choice and Eleonore picked a parfum that smelled like cedar that Johannes liked. After that debacle they sent him off on his way.
Now Johannes was nervous. It had been a long while since he had shown interest in anyone and even longer since he had taken someone out. Johannes ran a hand across his face when he saw an older lady struggling to get out of her carriage. Deciding that action would help his nerves he approached her. “Excuse me Madame,” he began, “May I help you?” He asked after noting that there was no one else in the carriage to aid her. A smile crossed her ancient face and she accepted his help. Johannes helped her out of her carriage and into the theater which took him longer than expected. Rushing back out he was greeted with the sight of Charlemagne. The man looked handsome as ever.
Fixing his coat, he approached the man. “Charlemagne,” he gently called out. “Have you been waiting long?” Johannes asked as he forced himself to not ogle at the handsome man before him. Johannes was about to say something else when he noticed the crowd was starting to thin. “If you will follow me, I can take us to our seats. Ambassador Von Wätcher was kind enough to let us take his box seats since he was unable to come,” He said. The true reason why Franz refused to go to the theater was because Florimond was going to be there. Which worked well for Johannes since he was originally going to weasel his way into tickets before he found out that Franz was going to just leave his spot open. “Have you heard anything about this play? I’ve only heard good things,” He said as he went up the stairs to the box.
[center Charlemagne had spent a lot of time thinking about Johannes, honestly. Out of all the people the Frenchman knew and got to meet, rarely did he ever get stuck on one particular person. While Johannes’ denial of his advances frustrated Charlemagne, he also found them endearing and funny in a way. The cultural differences around Europe never failed to intrigue Charlie. Although, he had to admit that he was definitely outside of the norm to begin with, so the rigid structure and discipline that Johannes came from definitely perplexed Charlemagne. But this did absolutely nothing to soothe the unresolved tension that was created a few nights ago. At least it was clear that Johannes was also interested. It would have been immensely awkward if the other man had no intentions of actually getting into bed with him too.]
[center The Frenchman couldn’t help but linger on the thought more as he ended up watching the clouds in the sky roll on by at their own leisure. The gentle white fluffs of cotton were at the mercy of the winds which happened to be delightfully mild that day. Charlemagne shook his head, though. While he was not one to deny himself such pleasures, Charlie also did not want to get stuck on fantasizing about a person, let alone a foreign nobleman. Johannes had a life and duties, and Charlemagne understood that entirely. It was different to pursue him instead of fellow palace staff members or other royal subjects outside of the palace.]
[center But the man was taken out of his reveries when another individual approached him with something in his hands. Charlemagne’s gaze directed itself upon the man whom he recognized as Antoine. They hadn’t been friends, per se, but Charlie had seen him come and go with duties as a postal runner. The Frenchman stood up to face Antoine, filled with curiosity. [#900 “He sent something to me?? Interesting.”] Charlemagne had perked up. Upon receiving the parcel Charlie opened the carefully sealed box. It had been wrapped in simple, but luxuriously smooth paper and tied with a golden colored ribbon. Charlie couldn’t help but smile as he undid the packaging to find a note on top of what appeared to be an expertly folded shirt. The man quietly read the note and felt a new-found sense of excitement when it turned out that Johannes hadn’t lost interest. Charlemagne smiled back at Antoine, though. [#900 “Thank you very much, Antoine. I’ll need to send something back to him, so I’ll go prepare it and find you when I’m done.”]]
[center Going back into the palace Charlie made a beeline to his room to start writing a letter in response to what Johannes sent him. Thoughtfully Charlie made sure to pen a loving letter, but one that still has the other man to linger on; something satisfying, yet still teasing because Charlemagne never liked to play his whole hand in one go. Part of the letter read as.]
[center [#900 [i It was torturous, you leaving me to my devices like this over the past days, Johannes. That is quite rude and unbecoming of you, sir. Thus, I accept your invitation to see the play with you. I look forward to seeing you once again. Think of me as I surely will think of you especially with the nightshirt you so generously gifted me. Never in my life would I have thought that an Austrian could simply smell so divine! I do not think anyone can compare.’]]]
[center Then Charlemagne signed at the bottom before spritzing the paper with his favorite parfum scent. The man waved let the paper sit for a moment, allowing it to soak in the scent before folding the note and inserting it into a regular looking envelope. He then carefully closed said envelope with a wax seal that signified it came from the French palace. Other than the seal it had no identifying marks on it. Yes, Charlemagne did want to charm the man, but it irked Charlie that he could not openly seduce Johannes without potentially risking both of their lives. Despite this inconvenience, Charlemagne was set on at least flirting with the man and making it his while.]
[center Once the letter was in order Charlie worked on tracking down Antoine so the man could deliver the response to Johannes. As fate would have it, finding the man was much like a game of cat and mouse; Antoine was hard to find. One palace staff member would tell Charlie where Antoine was, and then the man in question would be gone by the time Charlemagne arrived. It took some running around, but Charlie did manage to find Antoine and give him the envelope intended for Johannes. [#900 “Be sure that this gets into Monsieur Von Hügel’s hands, please. I would greatly appreciate it, Antoine.”] Charlemagne spoke, giving a kind head nod before going back to business he needed to attend to around the palace. But despite having things to do most of what was on the Frenchman’s mind was the play he would go see with Johannes in just a few short days.]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center When the day of the outing with Johannes Charlie couldn’t help himself. He was just so excited to finally see the man again! Their work had been keeping them apart, much to Charlemagne’s dismay. But Charlie made sure to plan accordingly so he could go see the play with the Austrian man. During the day Charlemagne did his best to have his duties completed as soon as possible so he could spend a proper amount of time preparing. [#900 [i ‘I do not want to look like trash! That simply will not do!’]] the man thought while digging through his wardrobe. He compared different outfits meticulously. Charlie contemplated the texture of the fabrics, the colors, even the hassle of getting in and out of the outfit. The Frenchman wanted everything to be coordinated. No detail was left unconsidered. The cuffs on his shirt to the buckles on his shoes, Charlie demanded perfection!]
[center In the end, though, Charlemagne chose a dark red and black ensemble. It was a fairly typical choice on his part, but Charlie felt he was a creature of habit more than anything. The outfit was comfortable and looked quite fine, in his opinion. He even got Francis’ opinion on it; he thought it made Charlie appear quite bespoke. Charlemagne then carefully combed through his incredibly long locks of hair before tying it all back with some matching ribbon. As much as he loved letting his hair down to do whatever it wanted, Charlie did not want to look unkempt in the slightest.]
[center With a careful dab of parfum Charlie set out to get his short carriage ride out of the way. Thankfully the theatre was not so far away, but a lot of people were out that night, so the time it took to get there was a little longer than Charlemagne had initially inspected. But upon arrival Charlie carefully exited, not wanting to break his leg, swiftly straightening his coat out. He proceeded to thank the carriage driver before sending him on his way, finding himself among the many pedestrians and theatre patrons coming and going as time went on. [#900 [i ‘Hopefully this will go well. I know the company putting on the play, they are quite magnificent! I’m sure Johannes will like it.’]] the Frenchman thought, sighing softly. Now it was just a waiting game to see when the other man would arrive…]
Life just wasn’t fair. Johannes really wanted to give into Charlemagne and find out if he really was an Incubus. To be fair Johannes doubted it but still Charlemagne was really tempting him down the path of sin. It was a path that Johannes was familiar with so it wasn’t too hard to tempt him. Curse Anne. Curse her to the fiery depths of hell. She was ruining absolutely everything.
A small shiver ran down Johannes’ spine as Charlemagne came up to him and whispered in his ear. The handsome man was so close to kiss and his lips looked so tempting but if he fell into that temptation he wouldn’t leave at all. “You aren’t being fair Charlemagne,” he softly said to the other man.
His eyes were on Charlemagne as the cruel temptress sauntered off. “Have a good night Charlemagne,” he said before making his run to safety.
Johannes was rudely awoken to bright light streaming into his face. With a soft groan he rolled onto his side and buried his face under the plush pillow. Last night was the first night in a long time that Johannes had a kid free bed and he enjoyed every moment of it. No tiny feet were jammed into his ribs and no snuffling baby was crying in his ears for attention. Life was good with the exception of him being woken up by Hans.
“Freiherr, you have several letters that need to be addressed right away,” the man bluntly stated as he moved around.
Johannes wanted to bury his head further under the pillow but knew he also had things to do. For a few more seconds he contemplated his options before his sense of duty won out and he sat up, propped against the head board. Before he could fully wake up he felt something on his lap and he groggily looked down. A tray filled to the brim with breakfast and letters greeted him. “No dining room today?” He sleepily asked as his hand gravitated to a cup that Johannes was hoping to be coffee and not tea. As he brought the glass to his lips he was graced with the bitter sweet smell of coffee a content sigh left his lips before he took a sip.
“The maids are cleaning the dining room today. Maria and Johannes have already eaten and are playing in the garden. Freiherr Von Wächter sent a runner and requests your presence at the embassy once you are free. He wants you to deliver some letters to the Queen,” Hans replied.
Johannes let out a hum of acknowledgement as he began to eat his eggs. “Did my packages get sent out this morning?” He asked between bites. For the last few days Johannes had been tossing the idea around to sending Charlemagne something as a thank you and to show his interest. It was only the other day did he finally decide on what to send to Charlemagne. Recently Johannes had bought a sleeping shirt that he rather enjoyed. It was the softest thing in the world and it was the perfect size for Johannes. For Charlemagne it would be more of a sleeping gown than a simple shirt but Johannes liked that idea a lot. Since Johannes was slightly territorial he liked the idea of Charlemagne wearing something that was his even if Johannes hadn’t really made a claim in the Frenchman. Along with the shirt Johannes had sent a letter apologizing for his recent absence and asking if Charlemagne would be opposed to going to a newly opened play with him in a couple of days. Johannes hoped Charlemagne would say yes so they could kick start their relationship. Johannes also sent off were the cleaned clothes that he borrowed but that was sent off to Francis with a small note of thanks.
“Yes sir we sent them out this morning as you insisted,” Hans said as he went to Johannes wardrobe and began to pull out the man’s clothes for the day. Johannes may be able to get dressed by himself but that didn’t stop Hans from laying out Johannes outfit for the day.
Johannes let out a small hum as he continued to eat his breakfast. Hopefully he didn’t wait too long and Charlemagne didn’t lose interest in him.
“Mr. Marquis,” a voice asked. Antoine had been on the hunt for Charlemagne for the last hour and was finally thankful that he had finally found Charlemagne. This man was a master of hiding. It took Antoine harassing the staff to finally be sent out to the garden where he caught sight of the described male sitting under a tree. “Sir, there is a parcel for you from Mr. Von Hügel.” The man said as he approached who he was hoping was Charlemagne Marquis.
[center Charlemagne could not help but huff out a sigh when Johannes mentioned Catholicism in his home country’s society. It went without saying that Charlie was not so happy with the religion, and any religion for that matter. But the man continued to stare at Johannes regardless. Every man had his own beliefs and Charlemagne knew this and respected it as such. [#900 “So you admit that you lot are masochistic folk? Interesting. I can live with that.”] Charlie asked, raising a brow whilst snickering at the same time. [#900 “Just three-fourths??? What is it going to take then? Must I strip naked for you? So incredibly demanding.”] the Frenchman teased, smiling with great amusement. [#900 “And of course I want to see you take off your shirt again. Why would I not, Johannes, with a gentleman as dashing as you.”] Charlie added, gently shrugging.]
[center The Frenchman perked up significantly when Johannes admitted to not minding spending the night with him. Charlemagne could appreciate solitude, but he did not like being alone all of the time. This was especially so at night. But the man’s hopes were quickly dashed when Johannes said that he had to escort Anne home after the party that evening. Charlemagne almost visibly deflated in his seat. [#900 “You got my hopes up there, Johannes. It is a shame that you cannot stay with me.”] Charlie sighed, moping slightly. The man was slightly impatient in that regard; when he [i really] wanted something, he wanted it immediately. And right now, Charlemagne wanted Johannes. [#900 [i ‘It is some sick joke on behalf of the universe, I swear!’]] the Frenchman thought. [#900 “Guess I will have to wait to ravage your clothes then.”] Charlie said, running a hand through his hair in contemplation.]
[center But the mood was lightened up by Johannes’ inquiry of Charlemagne being an incubus. The Frenchman actually laughed out loud at the thought. [#900 “Am I an incubus? I think such a state of being would be for you to find out for yourself. Are you willing to investigate?”] he winked. [#900 “At least when you’re not facing a brutal death for not fulfilling your obligations?”]]
[center Charlemagne then stood back up and approached Johannes in a swift manner. Looking up at the other man Charlie grabbed Johannes shirt to pull the man down to eye level. [#900 “If you want it you know where to find me, Johannes. But do not keep me waiting.”] Charlemagne spoke softly into the other’s ear before pulling back. [#900 “I loathe languishing.”] he finished before finally letting Johannes go. The male then strolled over to his vanity to retrieve a hair brush before running it through his long locks. [#900 “Go on then. Don’t die if you can avoid it.”]]
[center A few days then had passed since the last party. Charlemagne had returned to work as usual around the palace, although he found himself to be miffed from not hearing from Johannes since the night of the party. Charlie wondered if he had scared off the Austrian with his outlandish behavior. But Charlemagne did not pay much mind to it because he was just so busy inside and outside of the palace. The Queen had requested a luncheon/tea party that day for some ladies in her Court. It was impromptu, but Charlie was used to such activities being sprung upon him. This was why he was so busy from the minute he woke up early this morning. From slaughtering fowl for the luncheon to gathering the necessary vegetables from the garden, Charlie was in and out of the palace constantly doing something. He took careful to be clean and presentable as he also helped serve the food and drink in the beginning of the gathering. But Charlie soon allowed other waitstaff to take care of the rest before going back outside to tend to the gardens.]
[center While out there earlier he had noticed that the food patches could use some weeding and sprucing up, so that is what Charlie set himself out to do. In the distance, Charlemagne saw carriages come and go. Inside he hoped that one of them would be delivering Johannes, but with the distance, Charlemagne couldn’t clearly tell the people apart from one another. [#900 [i ‘I really should not be so hung up on a singular man. It’s unhealthy. Besides! He’s foreign and noble. It’s foolish of me, really.’]] Charlie thought, shaking his head.]
[center And after a while of gardening Charlemagne sought refuge from the bright sun in the shade of a nearby tree. Removing his shirt, Charlie wiped his face down and shook his head once more. [#900 “Damn him for being far too charming…”]]
“I feel like self deprivation is a very common thing amongst nobles in Austro-Hungary. I think it is the Catholicism that teaches us to deny what we want because it’s a “sin”. Or the rigid structure of our society that makes suffering seem mandatory for the betterment of our family and society. I’ll let you decide which one it is though,” he replied as he eyed the other man. Charlemagne was not making this easy on Johannes.
Charlemagne was making it [b extremely] hard to be a good guy as he moved his legs and more of those milky slender legs were exposed. Johannes heart stuttered at the sight of those gorgeous legs. His mind was going a million miles an hour as he imagined way too many scenarios that were neither pure or good. Taking a gulp of air Johannes looked up for Charlemagne’s legs to his face. “I-I think you are more like three quarters of the way there,” he managed out as he refused to look anywhere but Charlemagne’s face. Which wasn’t much much better because the man was undeniably handsome. Life wasn’t fair at all.
Thankfully, Francis came an interrupted them with some clothes. He thanked the man as he passed them over to Charlemagne and that’s when something else dawned upon Johannes. He would have to change, in front of Charlemagne, who he was a couple seconds a way from jumping. Johannes also wouldn’t put it pass Charlemagne to be anything but less than chivalrous and jump him. Why did this have to be so difficult? Why was Johannes super difficult? He was never the type to just jump into a bed with someone. He liked to know them a lot more before they moved onto pleasurable activities. But Charlemagne was just so damn enticing and such a good guy. The struggle was real.
He took a deep breath when Charlemagne started to circle him and eye the shirt. “You just want to watch me take my shirt off again ,” he jokingly accused. As he tried to think the most pure thoughts ever . It wasn’t helping that Charlemagne was propositioning him and was undoing some of the button. “I wouldn’t be opposed to it,” he said finally breaking down. Johannes was about to undo the rest of the buttons of his shirt when he realized something. He couldn’t stay here. If he didn’t return Anne home at a decent time Freiherr Sierakowski would ruin his life. The man was a spiteful bastard.
A soft groan left his lips as he ran a hand across his face. “I can’t. As tempting as you are I can’t stay the night with you. If I don’t escort Anne home myself her father will most likely kill me and I enjoy living,” he softly said as he looked over at Charlemagne it. All impure thoughts were gone with the threat of death looming over him. He really wished that he didn’t have to escort Anne home. The idea of his potential death was somewhat putting a damper on his mood.
“It isn’t fair that you can tempt someone so easily. Are you part Incubus or something? Not that I’m really complaining,” Johannes said as he sadly removed the borrowed shirt from Charlemagne and put the one Francis brought out. The shirt fit so much better than Charlemagne’s but didn’t smell as good. Sure the shirt smelled clean but it didn’t smell like Charlemagne which was a downer. “I’m just asking because no one has tempted me like that ever. Normally I need to be wined and dined before I’m willing to climb into someone’s bed. If I didn’t have my imminent death hanging over my head I would already be in that bed.” He added as he finally gave Charlemagne what he had wanted and peeled off the wine cover pants, careful not get it on the white stockings. Almost as fast as he took his pants on he pulled on the clean pair that fit perfectly, not giving Charlemagne much of a show. Curse you Anne.
[center Charlemagne had covered his face with a hand as he snorted with laughter at Johannes’ joke of being ‘a virtuous maiden’. [#900 “If you are truly a most virtuous maiden then I am just a silly virgin.”] the Frenchman cackled before running a hand through his hair. [#900 “I am sure your mother would not mind. But then again, what do I know? I’m only French.”] Charlie shrugged. [#900 “I am just saying, though. If it such an issue, though, I can help remove them if your own hands have suddenly malfunctioned.”] the man casually suggested, tilting his head slightly. [#900 “Or will you deny me that honor too?”] he inquired impishly, openly smirking with no fear. [#900 “You noble folk are quite a peculiar bunch, if I may be so bold to say. So many technicalities. How do you live depriving yourself of simple pleasantries?”] Charlemagne also asked. He was genuinely curious, but also having too much fun teasing Johannes. [#900 “Or is it just you Austro-Hungarian men being stubborn?”] Charlie chuckled as he probed. But then he raised his eyebrows, surprised to hear that Johannes had wanted to see him again.]
[center [#900 “Of course you wanted to see me again. I’m a walking work of art that you cannot help but marvel at.”] Charlie boasted with the sliest of grins. [#900 “Tell me, dearest Johannes. Do I have you bewitched yet? Because I would like to believe that I am at least half way there.”] Charlemagne sighed softly. [#900 “Or do you require a little more convincing?”] the man asked carefully propping up his legs over the side of the furniture he was sitting on. This motion greatly exposed his legs, which was what Charlie wanted, just to entice the other man even more. Because the Frenchman could tell Johannes wanted to give in, but it was obvious that the Austrian was a man of restraint. But Charlie felt like he could work within his means and still seduce Johannes for fun. [#900 “And I don’t know about you, but I certainly could use some special company.”] Charlie had the briefest of chuckles before he heard a knock and the bedroom door open.]
[center It was Francis! Charlemagne breathed out, a little irritated about his seduction ploy being paused. But the older man was well aware of Charlie’s preferences, thus he rolled his eyes when he walked in. Making a comment towards Charlie to not be a whore, Francis gently bowed in acknowledgement to Johannes, holding out a carefully folded stack of clothing for the man to take. [#900 “See! Francis is a miracle worker, I tell you.”] Charlemagne exclaimed, honestly loving the man to death like a father. Charlie gathered himself appropriately and stood from his seat and took the clothing Francis presented, thanking the man. While he was thankful, Charlie still wanted to tempt Johannes as much as possible. With that Francis shook his head and bid the two other men farewell before quietly departing once again.]
[center Charlie then found himself examining the clothing closely, occasionally glancing at Johannes simply to gauge how the garments would fit the significantly taller man. Setting the stack of clothes on the dresser Charlemagne turned and approached Johannes. [#900 “Seeing as this shirt clearly does not fit you as it should, you should remove it.”] Charlie stated in a matter-of-factly tone. He carefully tugged on the shirt to see just how much give it had, which was not much at all. [#900 “How about you stay with me for the night, hm? You do not seem to enjoy the bustling excitement of the party. I do admit there are a lot of people, but I mean it could just be you and I.”] the Frenchman suggested, a hand slyly undoing the buttons of the shirt from the bottom up. [#900 “Your decision, obviously. No pressure.”] he chuckled before he stepped away and went back to perching himself on his previous seat. [#900 “Since you don’t need my help, being able to dress yourself and all of that…”]]
Johannes couldn’t help but agree with Charlemagne about people who refuse to dress themselves. He always felt that it was silly to demand another to dress you. With women he could somewhat see the need for another pair of hands especially after helping his wife dress a few times but a man needing help? It was a little absurd in Johannes’ humble opinion. What wasn’t absurd was Charlemagne’s self proclaimed talents. Said talents Johannes wouldn’t mind testing out himself. “I’m sure it is a skill that you excel at,” he managed to choke out as he pushed his less than innocent thoughts to the back of his Ming. It was, however, hard to do so with Charlemagne walking around shirtless and his words that suggested that Johannes should remove his pants. Johannes had to bite back his overly witty response and hold his tongue in fear he say something stupid.
Thankfully, Charlemagne pulled on a night gown and distracted Johannes from his less than pure thoughts. “That is good,” Johannes replied when Charlemagne said the waiter would be keeping his job. Johannes had noticed in his short time of being in France that the kingdom’s people were struggling. Jobs were hard to come by and harder to keep and Johannes didn’t want a young man to lose his livelihood because of someone else. It warmed his heart that he would be fine and that Charlemagne was such a level headed man. In fact it made Charlemagne all the more attractive to Johannes if he is being completely honest. This attraction was really getting out of hand quickly.
“No promises,” Johannes responded. He would, of course, behave because he was a gentleman. While he longed to snoop around and gather as much information about Charlemagne as he could his up bringing just wouldn’t allow it. Instead he stood firmly planted in his spot and had to be content with just looking around the place.
Charlemagne was back almost as fast as he left and with another man. “How about Hungarian?” He asked with a small smile when Charlemagne told him he would have to speak French. Johannes always defaulted to French when speaking with new people. It was only occasionally when he accidentally responded in German or when he forgot a word in French and automatically defaulted to German. Those occurrences were growing fewer the longer he was in France but they did occur. Turning his attention over to the older gentleman Johannes gave the man a small nod and a soft greeting. Almost as quickly as it began the inspection ended and the
man was off to find fitting clothes. Before he left Johannes thanked him and then he was alone with the incubus known as Charlemagne.
Said handsome man was lounging on a chair looking absolutely gorgeous. This man was going to be the death of Johannes especially after his reoccurring suggestion that Johannes should remove his pants. “I’ll have you known I’m a virtuous maiden,” he began. “You haven’t even began to court me and yet you are already trying to get my pants off. Mother will be mortified to hear about this,” Johannes jokingly replied. Virtuous wasn’t really Johannes but he was stalling when it came to removing his pants. The shirt fit for sure but it was only just long enough to cover Johannes lower half and the chambers were just slightly chilly. The wine was cold against his side but it probably wasn’t as cold as going pants less. “I wouldn’t say I bathe in wine but at least it smells better than some of the perfume that the ladies are wearing. It’s a pity that I’m wearing your family’s wine instead of getting a chance to taste it. Such a waste of good wine.” He grumbled the last part more to himself.
They really needed to move on from Johannes still wearing his wet pants because he may just break down and take them off if Charlemagne kept giving him that look. It wasn’t really a look it was more his unfairly handsome face but still. “I was having a good time up until the incident. The food is, of course, amazing and I think I’ll end up gaining weight if I continue to come to the palace’s parties. As for the wine incident I can’t find myself to be too mad because at least I get to talk to you again and get out of the crowded ball room for a little bit.”
[center [#900 “It is really no problem, Johannes. I assure you.”] Charlie replied, chuckling as they moved. [#900 “Sometimes things happen. All you really can do when faced with unexpected circumstances is just deal with them head on to the best of your ability.”] the Frenchman added. [#900 “Besides! I cannot let us walk around looking like soiled fools. That would just be ridiculous!”] Charlemagne honestly could not stop laughing. [#900 “Imagine all of the things that everyone would say! I don’t know about you, but I do not have the energy nor patience for that right now.”] And it was true. Charlie was just too damn busy now to even remotely consider dealing with the drama and rumors that circulated regularly around the French court. [#900 “I have already had insane accusations be made about me, one of which even the King confronted me about. Sometimes people just want to see you fail and burn.”] Charlemagne rolled his eyes, exhaling exasperatedly. The man sometimes just could not deal with the fools that were in the Court.]
[center When Johannes finally decided to change Charlie gazed intently with inquisitive dark eyes. He did absolutely nothing to hide his stare. It just was not in the man’s nature to be ashamed or to hide anything. The fact Charlemagne did not care to avert his gaze was definitely because the Frenchman was a lustful type of person. But Charlie also wanted to see how the shirt would fit on Johannes. The man before Charlie, in his opinion, happened to be incredibly attractive. That fact did entirely nothing to help satiate the Frenchman’s thirst. But Charlemagne stopped for a moment, processing what Johannes had said. [#900 “Honestly, I forget that there are people out there who refuse to dress themselves.,”] he shrugged, [#900 “Which is incredibly pathetic if you ask me.”] Charlie then moved to walk around Johannes, examining the fit of the shirt and the state of the man’s also stained pants. [#900 “Besides, your arms and hands are not broken. And a skill of mine is not in the application of clothing, rather taking them off.”] he snickered before honestly shivering. Being shirtless was fine and all, but the palace also happened to be freezing in the lesser populated areas that evening.]
[center Charlemagne then casually moved to fish out a clean shirt from a dresser against the nearest wall. But during his search Johannes spoke again. Charlie, still crouched with his hands in a drawer, looked over his shoulder at the Austrian with an impish glint in his eyes. [#900 “Nobody said that you had to keep your pants on, Johannes.”] He then went back to rummaging through drawers, finding himself unsatisfied until he happened upon a long night gown he would have slept in. But he just needed to be able to walk out of the room and not look entirely foolish while trying to track down a member of the palace’s staff. Charlie slipped on the night gown and kicked off his pants into the corner his coat and previous shirt were piled in. Flipping his hair onto his back Charlie quickly put on some slippers as he had also removed his shoes before. [#900 “Technically since he is part of the wait staff, he is my charge. But I know that it was not his fault, so he will be fine.”]]
[center [#900 “I’m going to see if I can track down someone to help us get clothing for you.”] Charlie nodded before opening the bedroom door. [#900 “Behave.”] he winked before walking off, although he did find one of his favorite butlers Charlie knew would be able to help. It was only a short wait till the two returned, Charlemagne excited. [#900 “Johannes, this is Francis. You would have to speak French to him because he does not understand German or even English, just so you know.”] Francis was an elderly looking gentleman who gave as polite and distinguished a bow as his back would allow to Johannes. Admittedly, Francis was not a huge fan of Austro-Hungarians, the man was professional and bit his tongue and afforded Johannes the customary respect. Soft-spoken as he was, Francis merely examined Johannes’ proportions to gauge what his sizes were. He had a knack for clothing. Francis even mentioned that Johannes had very long legs and arms, saying that he would do his best to find the right clothing to accommodate. Not too much longer after their arrival, Francis left to go find clothes for Johannes to try.]
[center [#900 “Such a mysterious old man. But he is so hush it is almost precious?”] Charlie chuckled after Francis was gone. Charlie then settled in a plush chair, almost languid with his motions, but he crossed a leg over the other at the knee. [#900 “What do you suggest we do while we wait for Francis to return?”] the Frenchman asked with a raised brow. [#900 “Rather, you still have your pants on. Shame. I think they should come off.”] Charlie sighed, leaning to one side of the chair and propping himself on a single arm. [#900 “Or do you just prefer to bathe in wine every night?”] he asked facetiously, a smirk on his face…]
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