He finally tracked Nick down in his bedroom. Nick was sitting in the big armchair by the window, staring out across the back garden. He turned to look as Justin walked into the room. As Justin closed the door behind him, Nick said, "You did your best, Justin. There's only so much you can do when the magistrate's been bought."
"You think that's what happened?" It was certainly a possibility that had occurred to him, but he was willing to put the afternoon's fiasco down to stupidity rather than outright malice in a highly technical case.
"I don't know. I do know the man doesn't like me anyway, and I wonder if it was someone in the kitchen who was bought."
That might well have been easier to arrange. "So now what do we do?"
Nick rubbed at the back of his neck. "I don't think there's anything more you can do, Justin. It's not that I mind paying, but I think you'll be wasting your time." He leaned forward in his chair, his shoulders slumped. "And after the food poisoning incident, I don't think it's fair to ask you to stay, although I'd appreciate it if you'd come back for the trial."
There was more work he could do, but if what he'd already done hadn't been sufficient, it was probably going to be a waste of his time and Nick's money. Still ... "I'll stay for a few days. No charge. I want a break before travelling home, and if something does turn up before I leave, we can rethink."
In return he got the first smile he'd seen from Nick all evening. Not much of a smile, but at least he'd brightened the man's evening a little. "Thank you, Justin. I appreciate it."
He walked over and perched on the arm of the chair, steadying himself with an arm along the back of the chair. "I don't think I could just walk away now, anyway. I need to know what happens next."
Nick looked up at him, and the smile broadened just a little. "Emotionally involved in spite of yourself, hmm?"
"I hate to admit this, but yes."
"Well, you're welcome to stay on here if you want, though I won't blame you if you want to go to a hotel for a while." Nick put his hand on Justin's thigh, that presumably being the easiest part of him to reach. Justin didn't feel anything of the politician's easy manipulation in it this time. "I'm glad you were here. It's not just the work you've done--it does help to have an outside perspective." He pulled his hand away.
"The press obviously thought you'd been set up," Justin offered as some small crumb of comfort.
"No small thanks to you." Now Nick did smile properly at him. "I hope you got some satisfaction out of it. I'd like to be able to give you more than just the money, after the way you've driven yourself these last two weeks. Or at least cheer you up after today."
It was madness, but why not? Sitting here in this intimacy, just the two of them trying to remind each other of the bright side, sitting so close to Nick that one slight move would have him in Nick's lap ... "There is something you could do to cheer me up. You could take me to bed and take our minds off this afternoon."
For a moment he thought he'd misjudged things, mistaken how mutual the attraction was. Nick stared at him, eyes wide, but not moving a muscle.
Then Nick said, "I thought you didn't want unnecessary involvement with a client?"
"You're not my client now."
And Nick reached out and pulled him off the arm of the chair with one sweep of a powerful arm, pulled him down into Nick's lap and then settled him facing the right way to be able to kiss Nick.
The position was awkward, but Justin didn't care. Not when he had strong arms wrapped around him, not when he had Nick's tongue thrusting into his mouth. Not when he could feel that Nick was hard for him already. He squirmed around, trying to get more contact, needing it. They both needed this, needed the release from the stresses of the last few days.
Too much sensation to take in at once. The way Nick tasted a little of the wine they'd had at dinner. The texture of Nick's hair against his hands as he held Nick's head, afraid beyond reason that Nick might stop kissing him if not held in place. The feel of his shirt dragging across the skin of his back as Nick tried to get a firmer grip on him.
Nick's cock hard against him.
He wanted more, but he couldn't bear to let go long enough to get it. So he made do with what he already had, finding out at last what it felt like to have Nick in his arms, in his mouth. At last the madness eased off a little, and he was able to pull away.
Only then did he remember that they were in full view of anyone in the garden.
"I think I've just wrecked your reputation."
Nick laughed, and Justin was pleased to hear him laugh, after the wreckage of his hopes a few hours earlier. "After your performance in court, I don't think anyone's going to accuse me of hiring you just because you're pretty." He stroked one finger along Justin's lips, and Justin had to resist the urge to suck on it. "Besides, we weren't doing anything kinky, even by Protectorate standards."
"Well, not until you pick me up, throw me on the bed, rip my clothes off, and fuck me senseless whether I like it or not."
"Even that's not kinky. Well, as long as you do like it."
His annoying sense of honesty prompted him. "Sometimes. With the right man."
That caught Nick's interest, though he controlled his reactions well. There was only a slight gasp and a twitch of the hand still pressed against Justin's back. What he said was, "Justin, I'm a big man. And it's not all in proportion." He grabbed hold of Justin's hand, pulled it down against his cock. "I'm not just boasting. I could hurt you if I'm not careful."
Nick wasn't boasting. Justin could tell that even with the awkward angle and Nick's rather rumpled clothing in the way. Nick's cock was more than a handful for him, big even in proportion to the rest of Nick.
That made up his mind for him on what exactly he wanted to do with Nick, or have Nick do with him. A cock that size, attached to someone who cared about whether it would be too much for his partner to handle, was too good an opportunity to miss. He squeezed, enjoying the feel of hard flesh filling his hand, and said, "I also like big men. When it's the right man."
"Even so, I will throw you on the bed, rip your clothes off, and then spend some time in foreplay first, if you don't mind." Nick pulled Justin's hand away from his cock, to Justin's annoyance. "Stop that. I like it, but I can't think when you're doing that. Justin, are you sure about this? I know you've decided you're on holiday now, but..."
He pulled Nick's hand up to where he could kiss it. Big, warm hand, and he could think of lots of things he wanted that hand to do to him. "I'm sure. And Nick, it's not just I've done the job, now I want a fuck to relax. I may walk away from here in a day or two and never see you again, but it is you I want tonight." The thought of going somewhere and finding a hired body repelled him. It was Nick he wanted. Needed.
And he could see Nick deliberately let go of the self-control, the tight grip on his own reactions. Not all the way, not yet, but letting the lust rise in himself.
"Off," Nick commanded. "We can do it in the chair some other time, if you're still here. But I want to fuck you thoroughly tonight."
Now that Nick had put the image in his mind, he knew he'd be fantasising about the chair for days. Nick sprawled back in the big, heavy armchair, him sitting on Nick's lap with Nick's cock up him and Nick's hands on him. But what else Nick had said tempted him even more. He slid off Nick's lap and stood up.