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Going This Way? (Reprise) / August 24th, Morning

Samuel Greyson

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At the end of the Pall Mall street, wedged between St. James Park and St. James Square, stood a large mansion that in centuries to come would evolve to become far bigger with addition after addition until it was to be called Buckingham Palace.


Such a lofty name however was far in the future. The Buckingham mansion as it was now known was drawn up of fine white marble and sandstone, with clear Baroque geometry. Inside cherubs in a blue sky was fitted over the white plaster. Each room held a different color and nothing was short of lavish. The mansion was square, but inside the servants still had the habit to refer to the left as the west and right as the east wing; the west wing dedicated to the Duke's chambers, and the east wing deserted for he had send his wife to her father in the country, long since grown bored with her behavior which was an impediment on his fun. Paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and Lely were displayed in the large hallway, created to impress the visitor, an enormous marble staircase drawing in the eye.


The front garden was filled with various flowers, although it was mostly greenery now. In the back there is a long walk designed by a garden architect, so that the duke could walk and find intimacy with his private guests at every turn. A large fountain in the middle sprouted moist into the air.


In his eagerness to leave, and somewhat due to the impulsive nature of all this, all of his few belongings – mostly books and manuscripts, the clothes he had purchased during his time in London, one precious present from the King and one no-less precious from George – were already packed. There were two letters he had to write, but he wished to postpone these until the very last minute. And there were probably still a few more days for that moment to come. Yet there was one more person he had to say farewell to – and luckily, with this person he could do it face-to-face, without hiding behind a letter.


Arriving upon the mansion's door, Samuel told the footman: "Master Samuel Greyson. To visit Lord Kingston if he is at home."


EDIT: Slight changes made to reflect that Samuel's departure will take place later than he had planned, following his conversation with Buckingham.

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  • 2 months later...

Francis was home, but he was, strangely, yet asleep. He had left late the night before and come home sometime that morning, spent.


Greyson was let into the foyer and then escorted to a parlour to sit and wait. Nobody had heard a stir from Kingston yet, so it might be a few minutes until he was ready for Greyson upstairs.


The Duke was also sleeping for having come in at an early morning hour, but not for the same reasons as the younger blond. The household was very quiet save for the liveried servants ghosting about.


It was some fifteen minutes later that Samuel was taken upstairs to Kingston's rooms. It was far different from the Picadilly residence, that was for sure. Francis was sipping coffee with rum and servants were bringing in plates of food.


"Good morning, Greyson. You have caught me not at my typical morning wakefulness and exertions," he confessed, with a laugh. Most his friends knew he woke early, like a sailor, and that he practiced his swordsmanship and such every morning with the sun.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Samuel waited patiently until he was called upstairs to meet the dashing lord. "Lord Kingston," he bowed, gradually getting accustomed to the changes in his friend's title - and consequently in their relationship.


"I admit I was expecting you to already show your swordsmanship with Tommy at this point in the morning," the playwright continued with a chuckle. A memory emerged - unbidden: the first time he visited Sir Francis, his practice at dueling with Tommy, and a certain piece of cloth...


Samuel tried to shake off the memory.


"I am not sure whether you have been informed by His Grace," the playwright went on, "but I have come to bid my farewells." He paused for a moment, realizing the reality of his own words. "I shall be leaving England soon, I fear."

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"Truly the whole Lord Kingston can be dropped in private," Francis said, chuckling some.


"And generally, you would be correct, but I was out late last night." That could have many meanings, but most libertines would suspect he was likely out fucking. "Court is making me soft," the blond added, "in some ways at least, not others."


He held his cup up in salute to that and took a drink, gesturing that they should sit, and that Greyson should join him for breakfast.


"You are?" Francis asked. He had not spoken of much at all with the Duke the last few days. Aside from what he had heard with Basildon and while serving the King, Francis' last two days had been quite busy as well. "For how long, then?"


Of course, he did not suspect it to be for more than a few months.


"You have not gotten into some trouble, have you?" he asked, raising a blond brow.

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