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Perhaps he was simply becoming jaded, but Caleb Fitzhugh was bored nearly to tears. The masquerade opening to the weekend party ought to have been a fine idea, and there were entertainments aplenty, but none of them appealed.
T'was obvious from the gaiety of the other guests that his friend and host, Devlin Mountebanc, had not lost his ability to throw a soiree. So it must be his own difficulty. The problem, he deduced, was that when you lived a life of idle pleasure, there was very little you had not done after a certain length of time.
Adjusting his mask, a green and silver leather affair fashioned as a dragon head, Caleb took another glass of sparkling wine and scanned the room. Perhaps someone he knew would catch his eye, assuage his boredom. Or perhaps someone he did not know.
Such as the tall gentleman in the stark black evening clothes, overlaid by a red and white cloak, masked as a fox. There was something in the man's posture--in the way his hips rolled as he walked, perhaps, or the tilt of his head--that intrigued Caleb greatly. Perhaps he had found a temporary relief for his ennui. If not that, at least talking with the fellow would pass some time.
He set his glass aside and made his way slowly through the crowd, eyeing his quarry all the way. The deep red of the man's waistcoat and the rubies at his throat and wrists made him stand out, as did his height, which put him a head above the rest of the guests. The movement of his hands as he filled a plate spoke of sensuality, as did the choices of food. Which gave Caleb the perfect opening salvo.
"I should be careful of the almond cakes," he said when he reached the man's side. "They have been known tomean eternal love, and surely anyone attending Devlin's party cares not for that."
"Ah, but they are garnished with mint leaves, dear sir, and surely that which attracts the Lord of the Underworld would not invite the more gentle forms of eternal bliss." He received a quick smile, dark eyes flashing behind the mask.
The wit matched the smile. The man might well prove as interesting as Caleb first thought. "One hopes, at any rate. I fear I would much prefer the company in Hell. Tell me, which of Devlin's entertainments are you here for? One hesitates to ask, but it is too easy to overstep certain bounds, and I should hate to do so before we are properly introduced."
Caleb returned the smile, hoping the gentleman in question understood what he asked.
"Ah, a prudent man, to be sure." He was offered a slight bow, a tilt of the head. "You may call me Reynaud, Sir Dragon. And so far as niceties, if Devlin saw fit to invite you to one of his so-charming soirees, then there are precious few boundaries which are sacrosanct, for he has very particular tastes."
He chuckled. "True enough. Well then, perhaps you might do me the favor of lending me your company? I find I am having great difficulty in summoning enjoyment this evening." Caleb let his shoulder brush the man's arm as he reached for the quince jelly.
"That depends, sir." The thin lips twisted in a smirk. "Are dragons such as yourself often in hunt of a fox? I have found tonight's chase dreary thus far."
Caleb stiffened, uncertain as to whether the man meant Devlin's party, or his own attempts at conversation. He was unused to being rebuffed. Very deliberately, he leaned in, letting their bodies touch closely, allowing the other man to read the intent in his eyes. "I assure you, sir, that fox is a most pleasing prey to a dragon, and one to be savored as carefully as it is snared."
That earned him a flush and the softest gasp, the man's long neck arching, a sure temptation. "In that case, Sir Dragon, I would find your company most welcome."
"Oh. Good." Beneath his trousers, his cock grew and hardened, a most uncomfortable state of affairs, and an unusual one at that. In the main, he had far better control over himself. There was simply something about the man. "Shall we find a place to dine?"