Just a short one-off fic based on the character of William Fletcher, manservant to Byron in the BBC film of the same name.

Lord Byron is now dead and William has returned to London to find his wife who he has not seen for eight years.


She walks in Beauty

William Fletcher, one-time manservant to Lord Byron, wearily tramped the streets of London, grateful at least for the cool London air after the extremes he had experienced, most recently in Greece. He would never complain about the English weather again as long as he lived! He felt bone-weary and wanted nothing more than to put his feet up and sink himself into a good pint of English ale. That's a fucking lie for a start! What he actually wanted, no what he needed, was to see his wife again, though Christ alone knew if she would actually recognise him after all this time!

How many years had it been since he had last clapped eyes on her? He had lost track exactly but reckoned it must be at least eight. Eight long years since he had seen her lovely face, since he had last touched her soft skin. The memory of that last parting had both tortured and sustained him through the long exile abroad. He could still feel the weight of her body as she sat in his lap, her arms wrapped around his shoulders and her head resting against his. He wished he could have held her there forever imprisoned in his arms; indeed she had tried to rise from his lap, knowing that her mistress was waiting to start the long journey north. But he had been reluctant to let her go and held her there for a few more precious moments, memorising the feel of her in his arms, before finally releasing her, watching as she had finally disappeared out of his life.

She hadn't seen the tears that he had been unable to stop from gently trickling down his cheek. Nor had she heard the swearing and cursing and railing against fate – well fate and his master. Fucking…Lord…fucking…Byron! He remembered cursing roundly that night as he sunk enough ale to try and forget the pain; he also remembered the mother of all hangovers the next day. But had Byron noticed? Had he hell as like! Not entirely unexpected of course, given that Byron hadn't even noticed that William's first wife had died all those years ago. Probably had other things on his mind.

So now he was here in London, hoping against hope that his lovely Anne was here and not stuck in godforsaken Seaham Hall in the wilds of County Durham. There were people swirling all around him and William cursed; he had forgotten how crowded London could be! How exactly did you fit all these people in one place? And then suddenly, through a gap in the milling crowd, he caught a glimpse of dark hair under a white cap and his heart started to pound. He stood riveted to the spot; unable to move even if he had wanted to as she was suddenly revealed.

And then...and then; he wasn't sure who had moved first or who had called out whose name but suddenly they were together and he scooped her up into his arms, his pocket-size Venus, his wife, his love. They were kissing in the street and he didn't care who saw them; her hands cradling his face, her lips scattering kisses everywhere until their lips finally touched and he closed his eyes, finally knowing he was home.


Anne watched him avidly as he finally finished eating and he stretched out his long legs in contentment. It had been hours now since William...Will, her husband, had arrived at the house in Piccadilly. She had never given up hope that he would return, never. Even when the other servants said she should move on, even when that John Weston had started to make a play for her, she had never given up hope that he would return; much as Lady Byron had never really given up hope that her estranged husband would ask for her – and he had in the end. Feeling himself to be on his deathbed, George Gordon, Lord Byron had sent for both her Ladyship and their young daughter Ada; of course, they didn't go but her Ladyship was pleased all the same.

She squeezed his hand, "You alright now? You still look a bit tired."

He smiled, "I'm fine now love, just glad to be back. Just, you know, all those questions she kept asking...wanting to know everything. Bloody knackered now!"

"Yeah, well it's a small price to pay Will Fletcher, if it means we can be together."

He nodded – it was a small price to pay. Lady Byron had decided that he could stay in her household and be with his wife. William suspected that the only reason was because he was a reminder of Byron but he didn't mind – how could he? He watched Anne as she bustled about and cleared the plates away, still hardly daring to believe that he was here. He reached out as she passed, dragging her onto his knee in a pose reminiscent of the last time she had sat there all those years ago.

"I've missed you Annie," he whispered as he held her tightly.

"Big soft bugger," she chided, but returned the embrace just as ardently as she kissed the top of his head, "Come on then."

She stood up and took his hand, leading him into the next room, "Well, her Ladyship said we could have the night off and I intend to make the most of it! I've got a treat for you."

He smirked and raised his eyebrows as she led the way.


"So, d'yer like it then?"

He groaned in appreciation, "Lovely, but you didn't have to. You do far too much just looking after that lot, without looking after me as well."

"Well, just don't get used to it – this is a treat remember?"

She laughed as she poured the final bucket of hot water into the tub where he was sitting half immersed. Finally content with the amount of water she had poured, she knelt by the side of the bath with soap and cloth and started to rub his shoulders and back, taking the opportunity to admire his naked form. She had forgotten this part, how he looked underneath the uniform of breeches and waistcoat. Eight years older but not that much had changed from what she could remember. Still them great long legs – so long they were sticking out the end of the bath.

William could feel the tension disappearing as she scrubbed at his shoulders and back and then, as he leant back against the tub, she started to concentrate on his chest. He sighed and closed his eyes and let her work her magic. She worked her way down his torso and he could already feel his body responding to her gentle touch until she moved and began to soap his toes and ankles and the whole length of his legs.

"Think you missed a bit in the middle," he mumbled.

"Saucy," she said slapping his thigh gently. He always had been keen on...well, the physical side of things; just as well given that she was a bit keen as well. She remembered when they had first met and she told him her name 'Anne Rood'. 'Rood by name, rude by nature?" he had enquired. Well, she had known right then and there, that they were going to get along just fine.

"I'll be right back," she said and left him to soak.

William adjusted himself in the bath, his legs opening slightly to make room for his growing erection. It had been a long time – too bloody long truth be told! He hoped he hadn't forgotten what to do? Not saying he had been a saint, because he hadn't but...well, it hadn't happened very often in eight bloody years. Course there was that time when his Lordship had tricked him; dressed up some young boy in girls clothes and left him there in his room. It had been dark and he'd had a few to drink and he'd fallen on this young...thing like a ravening wolf. Still, it hadn't taken that long to find out something was amiss – or in this case not a Miss. He shivered at the remembrance – bastard!

He opened his eyes as he heard Anne come back into the room and he gasped as he contemplated the vision before him. Her long dark hair was down and she was wearing only her cotton chemise. He could clearly see the outline of her voluptuous figure and the swell of her breasts, nipples already pert with anticipation.


She smiled, "Well, that's the general idea, husband – if you like?"

He stood up and quickly exited the tub of water and stood before her dripping, but as he reached for her, she darted quickly away.

"You're dripping everywhere Will!"

She grabbed a large towel and moved back towards him but he was in no mood for delay. Scooping both her and the towel into his arms he rapidly moved towards the bed and threw her into the soft covers. Eyes glinting with passion he crawled over the bed towards her.

"You'll get everything wet," she giggled.

He leaned forward and kissed her neck, "Well, that is the general idea...wife."

He quickly disposed of her chemise, leaving her naked and glorious beneath his touch. Just as he remembered in a thousand dreams.

"So lovely, Anne...still so lovely."

His hands and mouth wandered over her body leaving no inch of skin untouched as she wriggled and moaned under his ministrations. His hands traced the outline of her breasts before his lips began to tease and lick, first one nipple and then the other, and then latching onto one nipple and suckling deeply as his fingers wandered between her thighs.

Even as his fingers skimmed her curls he knew she would be ready for him; sure enough as his fingers explored her folds, he found her slick with wanting. He growled with need as first one, and then two fingers entered into her, and finding no resistance he began to thrust in a well-known rhythm, his mouth still teasing her nipples.

Anne moaned as her hips moved against his fingers, arching her breast towards his magic lips. God, she had forgotten how good he was.

"Will, please...I need to touch you."

He looked up at her, "Christ, I won't last five minutes if you actually touch me."

However, she would not be gainsaid and he worked his way back up her body until he was looking into her eyes. She moved forward slowly and started to caress his chest and shoulders, her lips finding a sensitive spot on his neck as slowly her fingers made their way down, finding his erection without too much of a problem!

"Will Fletcher! I'd forgotten what a big boy you are," she said huskily.

He merely grunted in reply as her hand began to work the length of his cock, her thumb sliding over the sensitive head and then back down the shaft and then returning, it seemed like a thousand hands working him. A bead of sweat broke out on his brow and he began to thrust slowly into her hand but knowing that if he didn't stop soon, then he wouldn't be able to.

"No...I don't want..." he tried to pull himself away from her touch.

"Shhh love, I know," she kissed his lips as she reluctantly pulled her hand away and moved back up his body.

Quickly he rolled her onto her back, his mouth claiming hers with passion, tongue probing her lips insistently until he gained entry. He wanted all of her, wanted to drink deeply, taste and touch her, wipe away the years of need and wanting in one fell swoop.

She met him kiss for kiss, sigh for sigh and touch for touch, her need to wipe away the years was as great as his. She parted her thighs and he settled between them, as she guided him to her very core. He teased and rubbed himself against her clit, wanting her to feel how much he wanted her, wanting to tease but also wanting to make the moment last.

"So good...feels so good," he said.

In answer she merely bucked her hips against him, mewling in distress as she tried to force him inside her. It had been so long, so very long and now he was here. But she wanted him – now!

Finally giving in, he slowly surged forward, checked himself and then withdrew again.

"Oh god..." she whimpered.

"Is that good? Like you remember?"

He repeated the tantalising actions, slowly thrusting in and then withdrawing, in and out, teasing and taunting until she could bear no more. She locked her legs around his hips and forced him deeper still.

Breathlessly they looked into each others eyes, "Now then Will Fletcher, you going to finish this, or shall I?"

He moved forward to place a light kiss on her lips, brushing aside a lock of hair that had fallen over her brow. Just as quickly he took one of her legs from his hip and raised it until it was hooked over his shoulder. She moaned in appreciation of this new position.

"Looks like I'll be finishing it then," he said as he raised himself up and began to thrust in earnest.

Anne moaned with pleasure as he filled her utterly and completely, relentlessly moving into her as she pushed back to meet his hips, wanting it all, wanting to be filled.

He watched her squirm in ecstasy beneath him, restlessly searching for completion and his heart filled with love and longing in equal measure. Her breathing was erratic and he could feel her starting to clamp around him, a sure sign she was about to reach the peak. He reached forward and began to graze her clit as he pounded harder, determined to hold on, wanting her pleasure as much as his own.

"Ohhhhh...yes...yes..yesssssssss," she finally cried, her head thrown back in a howl of sheer bliss.

It was music to his ears as his own breathing started to shorten and he felt his hips twitch, his thrusts still becoming erratic as he tried to retain control. He heard her voice whisper 'I love you Will.' And with that he felt the world explode inside him and all around him as he finally surged into her, giving her all that he was until he finally collapsed in her arms.

They lay entwined for a while, unwilling to disentangle until the last possible moment. She stirred and he watched as she crossed the room to fetch water from a jug. The moonlight streamed through the window illuminating her creamy skin and dark hair, and he sighed in contentment as she returned to the bed and snuggled against his chest. As he began to fall asleep words started to spin around his head and he smiled as he recognised them:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Well, he wasn't a bad poet at all that Byron!