It’s the beginning of October and apart from the fact that it gets dark gone half past seven, there’s not much sign of autumn yet.
Instead, we have this mellow calm, like a deep breath taken and held. You know it’s an illusion. You know it can’t last. You know that there’ll be rain and gloom and misty chill creeping into your life soon enough. But for the moment you shrug your shoulders and plan to spend lunch and teatime in the garden. Again.
That mellowness sneaks up on the Muse, too. Rather than plot drug hunts through London’s Victorian heritage, as she should, she fixates on Debussy and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and decides to gift me with a glimpse of Tom and Julian instead. But since it’s true that Julian always works too much, it’s also conceivable that Tom would go to some lengths to ensure his man took a break. And hence, we picture this:
The clear notes of the clarinet soared to a dizzying height, then dipped and swayed like a butterfly drunk on sunlight. Tom relaxed into his lounger and let the melody wash over him, blanket his senses like the soft scent of lilac that wafted on the breeze and the warmth of the sun on his skin. This… was bliss. England as she rarely showed herself: sun-drenched and peaceful and balmy.
A sudden touch of cold on his chest jerked him out of his blissful musings and Tom opened startled eyes to come face to face with a dew-covered bottle of Stella. And the intent amethyst eyes of the man holding it out to him.
“I so wish you’d stop sneaking up on me, but since you come bearing gifts I’ll forgive you.”
“You don’t say.” Julian Nancarrow, wearing only loose drawstring pants and espadrilles, lifted his own bottle and took a long draught, leaving Tom to admire the flowing hair, flawless skin and graceful long neck while trying to not get distracted by a six pack of abs and the trail of dark hair that teased its way south from the man’s navel. The mining tycoon was stunning every way Tom looked at him. So stunning that the redhead’s ideas of a peaceful afternoon spent lounging in the sun took on a decidedly heated tint.