Disclaimer: I own nothing, especially Glee
Warnings: historically inaccurate historical!au, mpreg, slight age difference (Kurt is 17, Noah is is 24)
Noah did his best to stifle another yawn as the string quartet switched rhythms from a sedate waltz to a…leisurely waltz. He mentally kicked himself again for agreeing to attend this party. Lady Pillsbury's were known for being the most proper of the London summer season. Noah had a better word for proper; boring.
A couple of years ago it wouldn't have mattered if he spent all his time in the gambling halls or the horse races, but since his father had passed and Noah had inherited the Puckerman Estate, it was necessary for him to make the occasional appearance among the high and mighty of the London ton. Of course, his reputation preceded him and he could practically see the elite weighing the benefits of associating with his family name and money against his reputation as a rake in every invitation he received.
The only reason he'd gotten an invite to this party was because Lady Pillsbury had been good friends with his mother when she was still alive and liked to think that with a little work she could counsel Noah back onto the path of the proper and boring. Noah was hard pressed not to laugh at the very idea.
Noah liked his lifestyle and his friends. They were a little rough around the edges, but not so much that they caused harm to anybody else. If they got so drunk as to cause damage it was only to themselves and their own property. The crowd Noah ran with sometimes got irresponsible with their finances, but Noah still had his little sister to think about so Noah always made sure to keep any gambling he did at a reasonable amount that barely put a scratch in the estate.
The only "damage" Noah ever caused was the occasional despoiling of the ton's youth. And even then it wasn't like he did anything that wasn't wanted. If fact, the young and beautiful tended to proposition him, fascinated by his bad boy image, so different and exciting from their own shielded lives. Noah just gave them a taste of the trill they were seeking and then set them free to pursue a more respectable match.
There had been a few tears shed over Noah's actions, but he felt it was their own fault for getting attached when he always made it clear he wasn't interested in anything more than a couple tumbles between the sheets.
Noah found he tended to get bored with his conquests after a short while and was always eager to move on to the next warm and innocent body. That had actually been his main reason for coming to this party.
Lady Pillsbury's parties were believed to be the perfect setting for the most privileged girls and intersexes to make their debut. Noah had been hoping to get a look at what pretty young things would be out this season.
It looked like it would be a fine season with plenty of beauties that Noah could take his pick from. At the top of his list was Quinn, the only child of the Duke Fabray. She was from Paris, only in London for the season and rumored to already be the intended to the Honorable Finn Hudson, but Noah had seen her gaze lingering on his broad shoulders and Noah knew it wouldn't take much to tempt her away.
Another attractive option came in the form of Blaine Anderson. The Anderson's were some of the snobbiest of the ton and they could barely hold back their sneers when Noah was introduced, but Noah had seen Blaine's eyes sparkling with mischief from behind his father's protective shoulder.
Yes, Noah was sure to have plenty to interest him this season, but not tonight. He'd forgotten that during a debutee's first party their behavior would be carefully monitored by their parents to insure they gave the best first impression. Noah could admire the scenery as much as he liked, but there would be no chance of him luring one of his prey into the gardens or one of the back rooms away from watchful eyes.
Noah had already made all the appropriate conversation with all the appropriate people and had made several turns across the dance floor and felt that if he did one more stoic waltz where he had to force himself to keep his hands on respectable places he would surely expire of boredom.
It wouldn't be seemly to leave the party so early, but if he left now then he would have enough time to play a few games of poker at McKinley's before retiring to bed. With any luck he'd be able to get one of the bar wenches to come back to bed with him.
He's mind made up, Noah started scanning the dance hall for Lady Pillsbury to make his apologies for cutting out early. However, before he could move, he was approached by his good friend, Lord Samuel Evans.
He and Evans had gone to Oxford together. Almost all the young men of Oxford had gotten a little rash as all university men tend to do, but Evans was one of the few who was still willing to go out and have fun after uni days were over and they were part of the "real world." Evans tended to keep his extra-curricular activities to the horse-tracks and not the pure and innocent of the ton so his reputation was quite a bit higher than Noah's own, not that Evan's ever seemed to care about things like that.
"I'm surprised to see you here, Noah," Evans said by way of greeting. "Since when do you prefer to waltz then play a few games of cards?"
"Since I heard there would be several lovely debutees here tonight," Noah responded with a leer.
Instead of looking scandalized like anyone else at this party would have at Noah's words, Evans threw back his head with a laugh and not for the first time Noah wished he could take the blonde for a tumble without worrying about it ruining their friendship.
"I should have known," Evans said still chuckling. "I suppose you've already chosen this season's fortunate conquests?"
"But of course, Quinn Fabray has already shown signs of interest and if I can get him away from his parents, the youngest Anderson also shows promise."
Evans nodded in agreement, "I figured as much, though I'm surprised Hummel's name wasn't the first one out of your mouth."
Noah straightened at that, his interest peaked. "Hummel? Surely you don't mean little Kurt Hummel?"
Evans nodded, "One and the same. I don't know why you're so surprised. He's 17 now, more than old enough to be making his debut."
Noah mulled this new piece of info over in his mind. To be honest, he'd always had a problem remembering that Kurt was an intersex. He'd done quite a bit of business with Mr. Hummel over the years, both of them being in the horse trade, and had seen Kurt during his adolescent years. At first glance he'd seemed like the perfect young intersex, his clothes were always neat and tidy, his voice soft and manners impeccable.
But for all that, every time Noah had caught a glimpse of Kurt, focused on book or a piece of needlework, he'd felt like there was something wild on the brink of breaking through that mannered exterior.
And then there'd been the incident at Dover.
It had been three years ago so Kurt would have been about 14. Mr. Hummel and Noah had traveled out there to look at some studs on auction and Kurt had accompanied them as a reward for his good marks from his governess. The trio had been spending the night in an inn on the edge of town and Noah had gone out to the stables to fetch Kurt for dinner only to find him in an honest to God brawl with three boys almost twice his size. The really surprising thing was that Kurt was actually holding his own. His shirt had been torn open, revealing an indecent amount of skin and he was kicking and scratching like a common ally cat.
Noah had only been able to stare in shock for a few seconds (and people said he behaved improperly) before he'd come to his senses and broken the fight up. He'd tried to question Kurt about what had happened, but he'd just been brushed off with a scowl. Not long after that, Kurt had been sent to a boarding school in Paris, but apparently he was back now.
Noah was pulled from his thoughts when he heard Evans cough and Noah felt his face heat a little in embarrassment when he realized he must have been staring into space for who knew how long. He covered by clapping Evans on the shoulder and saying a little too loudly, "Well, don't just stand there man, get me an introduction.
Evans, bless him, ignored Noah's moment of awkwardness in favor of laughing and leading Noah through the crowds to a wall where a dozen or so un-partnered people were standing, waiting for an invitation to dance.
Noah spotted Kurt from a distance and sized him up as they approached. He had grown up nicely, tall and slim with silky looking brown hair coiffed to perfection. His blue eyes lit up in recognition when he saw Evans and Noah inexplicably felt upset at that bright smile directed at someone who wasn't him. He shook the feeling off and concentrated on catching all the little details of Kurt's person as he and Evan's exchanged pleasantries.
He was wearing the latest Paris fashions including a pair of black leather shoes with a hint of a heel and suede trousers that clung to his ass, just this side of indecent. His shirt was billowy with lacy cuffs and made of a dark green that complimented Kurt's pale skin and it was open at the throat just enough to reveal the flower pendant that marked him as an intersex. It was made of white gold to show he was untouched, still virginal.
Noah was a little surprised to see it. The fashion nowadays was for only married intersexes to have their pendant, made of yellow gold, on display to show that they were taken. To have the white gold pendant in plain view showed that Kurt took the symbolism seriously and was doubtless not lying about still being a virgin.
Noah couldn't stop his smirk. Bar wenches and street girls were always a good time, knowing all the tricks of the bedroom, but Noah had always preferred virgins. There was just something about the wide eyes and startled gasps of someone who wanted, but didn't know for sure what it was they wanted, that thrilled Noah more than anything else.
He was pulled from his lascivious thoughts by Evans' voice saying, "And this is my associate, Lord Noah Puckerman."
"Yes," Kurt said, holding his hand out to Noah. "We've met before. It's been a few years, my Lord. How have you been?"
"Quite well," Noah said, raising Kurt's hand to place a lingering kiss on the white knuckles. "And please, I insist you call me Noah. This title business always makes me feel old."
Kurt smiled sweetly and ducked his head modestly under the attention. "I'm not sure if that would be entirely appropriate."
"Nonsense," Noah said with a careless wave of his hand as if to wave away the formality. "After all, it's not as if we are new acquaintances. We've known each other for years."
Kurt blushed at those words and Noah was sure he was remembering his less then proper behavior of the past. "Well," Evans cut in, obviously trying to cover the sudden tension. "I'll leave you two to catch up then." With that, he gave a final bow to Kurt and disappeared into the crowd.
"Evans proposes an excellent idea," Noah said, offering his arm. "Can I tempt you out for a turn around the garden?"
Kurt bit his bottom lip, but didn't take the proffered arm. "Forgive me, but my father wouldn't want me to wander out of sight."
Noah felt a twinge of disappointment, but he hadn't really thought that would work. "A dance then," he continued, undeterred. "You can tell me all about your time abroad while we turn across the floor."
Kurt smiled at the suggestion, confident once again. "Yes, I would enjoy that."
As if it were destiny, the music for the waltz ended and the current partners separated to clap politely. Kurt took Noah's arm and they walked onto the floor, taking their places for the next waltz. Noah took Kurt's hand and spun him around; starting the conversation, "So, tell me about Paris."
"There actually isn't much to tell," Kurt said modestly. "I stayed inside the school grounds nearly all the time. I was only allowed out with a chaperone."
"Sounds stifling," Noah said mildly.
"It wouldn't have been proper otherwise."
"Last I remember you didn't seem all that concerned with what was proper."
Kurt flushed crimson at that and Noah could practically feel the embarrassed heat coming off him.
"If I may be so bold, Noah, I would prefer for the past to stay in the past."
"Of course," Noah said agreeably. "Did you at least enjoy your studies then?"
Back on a safe topic, Kurt rambled about all he'd learned for the remainder of the dance. When the song ended, Noah turned to him and said, "I suppose now you are going to tell me that it would be improper for me to have a second dance with you."
Kurt lowered his eyes and murmured, "It would certainly be the cause for much talk amongst the guests."
"Is that really such a bad thing?" Noah asked lowly, rubbing his thumb suggestively across Kurt's wrist.
But Kurt pulled his hand back and said, "I think that with your reputation, it might be."
Noah took a step back at that and said with a frown, "Well, we wouldn't want that. I shall take my leave then." He moved to leave, but Kurt stopped him with a small hand on his arm.
"Wait Noah, my Lord, forgive me, I should not have been so blunt, I just feel that…," Kurt trailed off uncertainly and Noah couldn't hold a grudge against someone so adorable, so he said, "I understand completely, and believe me the last thing I wish to do is put you in a difficult position."
That wasn't strictly true, but the type of positions Noah was thinking of probably weren't the ones Kurt was concerned with. "So, I shall bid you a good evening and wait until the next time fate brings us together to ask for your attentions again."
With that Noah placed another kiss to the back of Kurt's hand and made his departure.
As it happened, Lady Luck was smiling down on Noah, because he ran into Kurt the very next day while he was out riding his prize stallion, Nightshade, in the park. He'd only planned on going for a quick run to work off some of his horse's pent up energy, but his plans had to be changed when he spotted Kurt on a dapple gray mare almost as pretty as her rider.
Noah gave his horse an apologetic pat and forced him to slow down to a walk that matched the pace of Kurt's horse.
"You know," Noah said in greeting, "if someone had told me a few years ago that Kurt Hummel would one day have no problem riding a horse all by himself, I would have said they were insane."
Predictably, Kurt blushed, "Noah, must you insist on bringing up all the embarrassing stories of my childhood?"
"It is hardly my fault that you have so many of them," Noah quipped back. "You were the one who used to shriek like a banshee every time you father tried to put you on that little bay pony you used to have."
"That pony was the devil," Kurt sulked. "Daisy would never nip at me like that beast used to." Kurt rubbed his hand through his mare's mane affectionately. "She was actually one school's horses. She was my favorite and when I graduated I couldn't bear to part with her and I convinced Father to purchase her."
Noah nodded in understanding. That was a little eccentric, but it was a known fact that Burt Hummel tended to indulge his only child's every whim.
"She is a beautiful mount, and so well-tempered."
Nightshade had made a few frisky attempts to get the mare's attention, but she'd steadfastly ignored him. "Do you have any plans to breed her?" Noah asked.
"Yes, I'd like to, but I wanted to wait a year or so to make sure she was completely comfortable in her new environment."
"Well, you must promise to tell me when to decide to put her out. I can think of a couple of studs that would make a good match for her."
Kurt laughed, "Yes, I'm sure you could," he said, with a knowing glance towards Nightshade who was making yet another bid to try and catch Daisy's eye.
"Oh no, not this ninny," Noah said, giving a firm pull on the reigns. "He can dream all he wants, but I don't think their coloring and builds would be a good mix."
"Is that really such a bad thing?" Kurt asked looking at Noah from beneath lowered lashes and Noah gave a little internal cheer. Kurt was clearly alluding to the supposed separations of the horses to compare to their own situation. On the one hand there was Nightshade (and Noah), dark and dangerous in relation to the dainty and proper Daisy (and Kurt).
Kurt's casual flirting had come at the perfect time because while they'd been talking, Noah had been subtly steering them towards a little traveled grove of trees and now they were out of sight on everyone else in the park. Perfect time and place for Noah to make his move.
He reached out to grasp Kurt's reigns and pulled both of them to a stop. "Those differences may not work with horses," Noah said in a low, husky voice, "but that doesn't mean it couldn't make something magical in a different scenario."
Noah only waited long enough for Kurt to get out a "Wha-," before Noah pulled him in for a kiss. For a few blissful seconds, Noah had that mouth, which was just as full and soft as it looked, under his own and it really was magical. Then it all fell apart in a shock of pain and the sound of a resounding SMACK!
Noah was so startled it took him a moment to gather his wits and figure out what had just happened. And then he wished he could blank out again because apparently, Kurt had slapped him and was now screaming his face red for a whole different reason than embarrassment.
"…don't know what you think you're trying to pull Puckerman, but if you think I'm going to be another one of your wanton lays then you are sorely delusional."
And now it was Noah's turn to only get out half a question before Kurt wheeled his horse around and galloped off, leaving Noah with his mouth hanging open and having no clue what the hell had just happened.
Later that night, Noah was still trying to figure out where it had all gone wrong. Last night at the party, Kurt had been careful to follow decorum while under the eyes of the ton, but he hadn't had any problems being seen talking and dancing with a known rake. Noah had been perfectly understanding about Kurt's desire to stay discreet so he'd waited patiently for a more favorable situation to present itself.
And the park had been perfect, with the hidden spot and the light flirting. Kurt wasn't fooling anyone with his high and mighty act. They had most definitely been flirting. No one would be so naïve as to think they were actually talking about horses. Kurt had gone to boarding school for crying out loud, in France! There was no way he was as innocent as he pretended to be.
He probably just wanted to play hard to get, thinking Noah would come after him. Well, that little intersex had another thing coming, Noah thought grimily as he tossed back another shot of bourbon. His 'wanton lays' always came to him. Chasing them down would only mean that later on, they could claim that Noah had been leading them on. It suggested that if they were special enough to chase, then they were special enough to be something more and that was something Noah would never do.
Or at least not for a long time.
He supposed he would have to marry someday and produce an heir, if only to insure his sister would always have the assets of the estate, no matter what. But today was not that day.
Noah headed to his bed with a sigh that was partly weariness, but mostly irritation. If Kurt hadn't been so difficult, Noah could be having a nice bedroom romp right now instead of going to sleep by himself.
And Kurt would be so good, Noah could tell. He was everything Noah desired most in a lover. All pale skin that would be marked so easily and small and slim, but not so much that Noah would have to worry about hurting him, with big eyes and soft, tiny hands.
Noah rolled over with a groan just thinking about it. Kurt would be shy with a blush covering his entire body, but Noah was sure that after a little bit of work he could tap back into that old wildness Kurt was so carefully repressing and then they would have some real fun.
Noah huffed and punched his pillow a couple times in frustration. Damn Kurt and his ego, thinking he was so important and so sure that Noah would chase after him.
Noah paused in his pillow assault, considering. Maybe Kurt had just panicked because they'd been outside and he'd been so distracted by Noah's impressive kissing abilities that he hadn't noticed they were hidden by the trees.
Yes, that made a lot of sense. There'd been a lot of rumors going around about why Kurt had been shipped off so suddenly. They'd died down over the years, but Kurt was smart, he would know that he had to be extra careful not to make any waves now that he was back in London society.
Obviously Kurt would be overly cautious and be concerned about making out in a public park. Noah cursed himself for not realizing that and putting Kurt on the defensive. He'd just been so eager to get his hands on that gorgeous…No, Noah told himself firmly, he needed to stay focused if he was going to erase the damage he'd done.
First he needed to come up with a plan, and then he could go back to his delicious imaginings.