From: (Anonymous)
They spend their leave days as every soldier does: drinking, fucking, eating and sleeping, pastimes that can never be beaten.

"I had a wife when I lived here," says Athos as they dine alfresco on their second evening, lying together beneath the branches of a willow with the stream running past them to cool the air. "She was a liar and I was a dupe. I thought I loved her with all my heart and that the love was reciprocated on her part, but it turns out she was a common criminal. She murdered my brother Thomas when he found out and I had her hanged."

"That's terrible," says Treville and he sounds as shocked as Athos expected. It's not a pretty tale.

He's lying on his back with his head on Treville's chest and as the story is told he rolls to one side, face pressed into Treville’s neck. "That's why I left here and joined the regiment."

Treville turns his head to drop a kiss to the top of Athos's head. "It must have been near impossible to walk away."

"It was the easiest thing I've ever done," Athos confesses. It's the simple truth. He never wished to be Comte; the servants made him uncomfortable as a child and he didn’t look forward to a life spent in and out of court.

Coming home, however, has been a release. Once upon a time he carried the guilt over Anne's death with him everywhere he went, quite literally in the form of a locket she had given him. The chain is gone, stolen by one of Vallion's men most likely, and he has not missed its weight about his neck. Being back at La Fère has finally proved to him that his hasty decision to execute his wife, if not the right thing to do, was made for all the right reasons. She is gone and he is free of her at last.

Treville has his own confession to make. "I wish we could stay here,” he says. “One more night is not enough."

"You'd hate it," laughs Athos. "Making nice with the King and the nearby nobility is a bore; you know that."

"I'd run the estate as a gentleman farmer," says Treville with a look of utter contentment about his face. "Good, honest, Gascon work."

"We'll do that when we're old and grey and unfit for soldiering," says Athos, his hand wandering beneath the coarse linen of Treville's shirt. "In the meantime we'll come here as often as we can and fuck our way through every room in the house."

Treville smiles and twists a strand of Athos’s hair around his finger until it falls into ringlet. "Comte you might be as far as the charters dictate, but to me you're a delightfully dirty young man who I intend to have right now."

"As an entrée," drawls Athos as he fastens his mouth over Trevillle’s nipple, flicking the engorged nub with his tongue and then biting softly until Treville grabs him and rolls him over onto his back.

The world around them dissolves into loving kisses and, curtained from sight by the drapery of the willow tree, the two men make the most of their final evening at La Fère.

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