players only. follows part one and part two.
The fresh air outside clears his head a bit, and Bradley finds a smile for Louis as they step away from the flat. "Where to?"
"Let's head down the main street and then we'll circle back, along where the food vendors and the regular market are," Louis says, hand on the small of Bradley's back as he guides him down the side alley to the main thoroughfare.
"I should get something for my mum," Bradley muses aloud, luxuriating in the warm press of Louis's hand, letting his mind focus on the stalls, the vendors, the lady selling stained glass ornaments, instead of the torture of his body. He's even walking nearly normally, he congratulates himself. "Are you looking for anything in particular? For the flat, I mean?"
"Not unless there's something you'd like to make it feel more like yours," Louis says, smiling at Bradley. And marveling at how much his life has changed. A year ago he never would have spent a Saturday morning like this, just wandering the market.
"You saw my hotel room, I'm not much of one for decorating," Bradley reminds Louis, laughing a little. He realizes that he's still hovering on the gentle edge of subspace when he crowds in closer to Louis as they stop to look at some hand-turned cabinetry, craving the touch. Happy. "As long as you're there, it feels like mine, pretty much," he admits, not able to meet Louis's eyes, embarrassed by the sappiness of the sentiment.
"I'm glad." Certainly the loft's become far more of a home than it ever was since meeting Bradley. Before it was simply a place to crash when he got caught too far from the castle. "But if you ever change your mind, let me know."
"I will," Bradley promises, peering into the depths of another booth. It seems to be selling paintings, some of the local sights and countryside. "My mum's got enough art. Dammit, birthday gifts are terribly hard, for parents." Plus, he'd already bought her all the things on her list, when his bonus for Merlin came through.
"What if we were to have them over for the weekend closest to her birthday?" Louis suggests. "I can send a charter to fly them over and we can put them up at one of the chateaus and take your mother out for a special birthday dinner. If they could take an extra day they could come over on the Thursday and see you at work on the Friday."
Bradley's eyes go wide, and his jaw is a little dropped as he stares at Louis. "Charter a jet...and fly them over...good God!" He shakes his head, laughing a little. "You'll definitely make a good first impression on them, that's for sure. That would be...it's got to be too much. Surely it's too much!"
"The plane is just sitting there otherwise," Louis points out, "as are the chateaus. It would be my pleasure to be able to treat your parents and I'm certain they would enjoy seeing where you work."
A smile breaking out across his face, Bradley shakes his head fondly. "You are too much," he breathes, and impulsively leans up to brush a kiss across Louis's lips, ignoring the fact that they're in public. "That would be brilliant. I'll ring them and check, later, yeah? Make sure they're free. And thank you."
"You're welcome. I'm glad it's something I can do," Louis says, smiling at the kiss. "Which doesn't mean you can't still pick up something for her. Does she like perfume, pottery, lace?"
"No perfume," Bradley shakes his head, already switching gears again to finding the perfect gift. "She loves artwork...paintings, mostly, or sculpture. She's a whole shelf full of my photographs, though." He wanders to the next shop, which has hand-blown glass; vases, bowls, statuary, even panes of stained glass. "Oh, this is gorgeous! What do you think?"
"I think it's beautiful," Louis says, examining the piece carefully. "Would she have somewhere to put it?"
The stained glass shows the mountain near Sarlat, even has a tiny rendering of the village in the corner, all meticulously colored in jewel-tones and set in leaded framing. Bradley nods, picking it up with great care. "They've got a sun room, really more of a porch, but glassed in. It would hang beautifully in one of the windows, I think." He eyes Louis sideways. "Think it's a good sort of mum-gift?"
Louis laughs. It wouldn't be for his but he has a feeling Bradley's mother is nothing like Christiane Garneau. "I think it's a wonderful mum-gift." He smiles. "You should get it."
"Right." Nodding decisively, Bradley cradles the pane in his hands and brings it to the counter to be rung up. "That's my shopping sorted," he grins at Louis. "Wasn't really expecting to find something on the first try. Where to next?"
"We should shop for our picnic but are you sure you want to carry that around? We can either take it back or leave it here until we're done," Louis tells Bradley. "The vendor's used to keeping parcels for customers."
"Oh, that's smart...I'd probably sit on it or something," Bradley agrees, and leaves the package with the glassblower, who is happy to hold it for them.
He's becoming comfortable, as his body adjusts to the plug and the cage. It's still keeping him on the edge of dreamy subspace, but he's enjoying that, luxuriating in the fact that Louis is minding everything for them. He hasn't felt this way outside their play, not very often, and it's almost startling how relaxing and deeply pleasurable it feels.
Louis takes Bradley's hand and then slips his arm around him instead, keeping his boy close as they check out the various stands. "Meat or pate?" he asks, once they have a baguette and some cheese.
"Pate," Bradley offers. "It's perfect with the crunchy bread. You're making a foodie out of me, you know." He leans into Louis's side, soaking in his warmth and presence.
"Good. It's very difficult to spend any amount of time in France without becoming one," Louis says with a smile, letting Bradley choose the pate. The package added to the others, he leads Bradley towards a fruit stand where they buy some grapes and plums. "Have you had these?" he asks, nodding towards the plums.
"Nope," Bradley eyes them warily. They look rather...unripe, all green, and they remind him a bit of limes. Soft limes. "I'll trust you, but I'm not a fan of food that bites me back, frankly."
"They're sweet. Delicious and rich and they're actually called a dessert plum," Louis says, pulling one from the bag when the woman hands them over. "Taste."
"Okay," Bradley says, still skeptical, until he bites into the plum Louis is holding and the taste explodes on his tongue. "Oh my god! That's unbelievable." He licks his lips, grinning. "You'd better hold onto those, or I'll eat them all before we even get to the main lunch part."
Louis laughs and puts them away with the other food. "What else? Wine and pastries?"
"Wine yes, pastries no," Bradley trails along with Louis, still held close to his side. "We've already got the bread, after all. And my trainer would never let me hear the end of it. Could we get some of that goat's cheese?" He points to a stand where the chevre sign is displayed prominently.
"Mais oui," Louis says, happily buying a small round of chevre before they head for the wine. "Red or white?"
"Red, I think, right? With this pate and everything?" Bradley grins sideways at Louis, up through his eyelashes. "I mostly just make it up when I guess what wine goes with what food."
"With dinner, yes, as a rule, red with beef and white with chicken, but for casual drinking, with a picnic like this, either is good. It's a matter of personal preference," Louis says, picking out a red table wine and handing it to the vendor. "The key is to keep it light and not overpower the rest of the meal."
"I don't think it's possible to overpower cheese this good," Bradley answers, peering greedily into the food bag as Louis handles the wine purchase. "But I'll take your word for it. Do we need anything else?"
"Not if you're not going to let me buy pastries," Louis says with a smile, his eyes sparkling.
"No pastries," Bradley says with mock sternness. "King Arthur was a strapping young warrior, not doughy with pastries, I'll have you know. And I don't fancy running them back off my arse when shooting starts again. The cheese and pate and bread and plums will be more than enough, thank you." He tucks his arm into Louis's. "I was rather hoping you'd have *me* for dessert, anyway," he adds, in a murmur.
"Oh I plan to," Louis says with a quick glance around before he slides his hand down to Bradley's ass and presses against the base of the plug. "Both as an entree and dessert."
"God," Bradley chokes, suddenly yanked out of his teasing lightness by the pressure of the plug against his prostate, the sudden surge of heat and desire and sheer *want* that nearly staggers him as they walk. "Please. Yes, please." Even though he knows it'll be torture, caged as he is and still raw and sore, he feels like he just might die if Louis doesn't fuck him soon.
The hand goes back to Bradley's hip and Louis steers him back towards the glass vendor. "We'll pick up your package and then stop home to drop it off, pick up a picnic basket." His tone as casual as ever despite the fact that his cock's already stirring.
Bradley nods, struck dumb with anticipation and the most delicious shiver of fear. The glass vendor clearly recognizes them from before, which is a blessing, since Bradley's not entirely sure he remembers his own name, at this point, and he carefully tucks his package under his arm before rejoining Louis. His knees are almost weak, and he glances sideways at Louis, trying to understand how he stays so calm, so impassive, so clearly in control, when Bradley himself knows his cheeks are pink and his heart is already racing.
Making their way back home through the crowded streets, Louis takes every opportunity to slide his hand over Bradley's backside, stroking the plug through his jeans. It's too busy for anyone to notice and even if they did, really, it looks like he's doing nothing more than groping his boyfriend and that's all too common here.
By the time they're anywhere near the flat, Bradley is practically panting for breath, he's so helplessly aroused. Louis's light, teasing touches--hard enough to prod and sting, not nearly enough to give any kind of satisfaction or relief--work him up more and more. When they reach the door, he's a sweating, shivering mass of nerves and heat.
"Up you go," Louis orders, opening the door. "Put the frame on the dining room table for now and I'll take care of the food."
How is Louis so calm, so normal? Bradley nods wordlessly and does as he's told, placing the wrapped, padded gift carefully on the table, where it won't have a chance to be knocked over or broken. Then he watches Louis, eyes huge and hungry, all his focus narrowed down to his Sir.
Louis pulls out a picnic basket from under the sink and loads their packages into it, adding ice packs, glasses, cutlery and plates. "There we go," he says. "I think that's it. Have I forgot anything?" he asks, deliberately teasing his boy.
Bradley's jaw drops, his eyes widen. Louis had told him he'd be tormenting him, but could he really...? Steeling himself, he forces his mouth closed and nods a little. "I...I think that's everything we need. For the picnic." Not that he's been able to pay any attention at all.
"Then let's go," Louis says, picking up the basket. He hadn't been going to wait but the look on Bradley's face is priceless and only encourages his inner sadist. "Bring a jacket just in case. French weather is very mercurial at this time of year."
Teeth grinding almost audibly, Bradley glares at Louis, then stomps towards the hall closet to get his coat. He can't sense anything through that bland, amused exterior Louis has, and until he hears differently, he's going to take him seriously. But seriously. Louis isn't going to touch him? After all that teasing? Bradley's whole body is practically on fire, here.
"Is something wrong?" Louis asks, standing by the top of the stairs, one eyebrow raised.
Steadying himself with a deep breath, Bradley reminds himself that he'd made this choice. That this is what he'd wanted, no matter how hard it might get, sometimes. The cage helps, a solid plastic reminder that none of this is his decision. That he has to abide by what Louis decides; reminding himself of that eases something hard and impatient inside him, and his jaw relaxes.
"No, sir," he admits softly.
...to be continued
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