"Oh, hello, Duke Baskerville."

Hello, indeed. Glen Baskerville as usual is nothing but long, lean angles, pale and elegant clad in black, and the sideways glance that he casts Jack is nothing short of dismissive (if a bit wary).

"Are you alone? What a coincidence – I am, too."

Jack fastens himself to Glen's arm, then, no matter the relative lack of privacy. It's best to be forward, always is, because Glen will refuse him otherwise.

"Let me accompany you."

To your bed is the unspoken addition, and Glen lets Jack draw him along, at least to a hallway beyond the grand party wrapped within his ballroom. He lets Jack draw him close, lets Jack's lips drag against his throat, grab at his hips, and Jack thinks for one moment that he has won and Glen is his, his, all his for the taking and that means Lacie is, too –

"Not tonight," is the one, simple exhale that brings everything down and Jack hisses with frustration, shoving Glen into the nearest wall, not caring how Glen's head smacks against the hard surface or how Glen grimaces and growls.

He doesn't mind showing his temper, not around this man, because Glen knows he isn't all that he seems.

That scares Jack, really…

"Why not?"

"Because I said no."

And as easy as that, Glen shoves him off and away and Jack is left all the more aroused from the refusal – who refuses him? He's beautiful, isn't he? Beautiful and talented and especially talented in bed and any duke or duchess would gladly take him as some simpering concubine… except Glen Baskerville.

Damn him.

"You can sleep in my bed," Glen goes on, "but keep your clothes on if you decide to."

For some reason, fuming, Jack ends up doing it.

This was not the reality that he wanted, this sort of begrudging intimacy that is far greater than any sexual act.