Behind the Beard
By Yeva Wiest
Madly in lust, handsome young counselor Byron Jones hides his secret self. The object of his attraction: Lord Richard Kincade, the Queen's most sought after barrister.
With the help of two conniving old codgers, a mischievous miss, and some six-legged buggers, Byron "wigs out" to capture the heart of Lord Kincade.
That day in court began much like any other. Byron had over-stepped his bounds with the landlady once again, but other than that no real harm had befallen, and none was expected. Yet, there was a faint chill in the air that gave rise to an ominous feeling of dread, sort of. Still, Byron hummed as he set about readying the courtroom for the day's block of cases.
First up was Mrs. Hargrave, a spitfire if there ever was one. She had a beef with her neighbor. Seemed the neighbor's cat, Tidbit, was always rooting through her garbage tin, and Mrs. Hargrave had seen fit to yank up the poor dear and strangle him half to death. The cat, though it had survived, was completely yonkers; he had taken to spitting at complete strangers and, worse yet, developed an intense liking to Mrs. Hargrave. The darling's desire for the missus knew no limits, and his constant, unwarranted, displays of affection against said missus' left leg, had been given notice by all in the neighborhood. Some said that it served her right, the old biddy, but others took the side of Mrs. Hargrave. It was, after all, the safest side to take.
Quite a cacophony of catcalls and hisses introduced the missus, and the Lord Barrister himself had to shut it down. Mrs. Hargrave's suit against her neighbor, Mrs. Fubby, lasted only minutes. The barrister was right pissed, and damned he should be, that the entire matter had come before his court. A solicitor was summoned, and the whole affair was dispatched summarily.
His Lordship was full of fire and vigor that morning. Quite a figure he cut. Long and lean in his robes, which belied the splendid hulk of his body. Byron watched in rapt fascination, hoping for a glimpse of his Lord's firm thigh, thrust from the confines of his robes. On most men, the wig, so heavily powdered, looked an added oddity, but on Lord Richard Kincade it only added to his brutish charisma. Byron's longing for his Lord took on an added luster when he imagined the barrister unrobed but still adorned with the hairy accoutrement of his profession. Better still, Byron's erotic daydreams saw the barrister fettered hand and foot with chains, bound by the law, unleashed by desire.
Alas, vain hope he had of ever realizing the fulfillment of his fantasies, unless he could...somehow...enter into the realm of his Lord's private social circle. For it was rumored by Byron's servant, Geoffrey, that Lord Kincade liked men, pretty young men, and Byron was both. At barely twenty-five, he was still supple and fresh; older men enjoyed his company, his conversation, and, yes, his body. Byron, poor ambitious Byron, wanted the best, and the best was Lord Kincade.
As he stood stoically, waiting to call the next case, he idly stroked the grain of the rich, dark mahogany railing surrounding the well of the Court. He imagined secret trysts with ‘Cade,' as he would no doubt refer to his Lordship. Kincade would bend to the unexpected dominance of his junior counsel and quail before his silken lash. Byron's touch would be masterful; his voice more commanding than that of any judge's declaration. Richard Kincade's capitulation would be swift and poignant, his taking complete.
"Byron, boy, be quick about it," said Lord Kincade.
Be quick about what? Byron's secret musings were disturbed by the sudden hush in the courtroom. He looked askance at the barrister.
His Lordship's knowing glance bespoke his intuitive realization of Byron's state, and he said, "The brief, Byron. Pass me the brief." He indicated the pile of missives placed in order on a red baize desk to his right.
Byron stumbled in his haste to fetch said brief, and a spatter of laughter erupted from the middle row of juniors awaiting their turns. Dignity in tatters, Byron strained to put the incident behind him, forthwith concentrating on the cases at hand.
Hours passed, the day grew long, but still the Court droned on throughout the day. Finally, the judge, and he was a very old judge who resembled the very essence of the law itself, called an end to the day. Thankfully, Byron had only to sidle out the west doorway and down the middle corridor to the dresser's room at the end of the dusky hallway.
"Well, hello, young Byron. How are things with you then?" the robe master asked.
"Ah, well enough."
Byron thought the robe master ancient and decrepit, when in fact he was neither. The subtle staleness of the room and the dim of the gaslights cast a shadow over everything and increased the pallor of the robe master's skin. Combined they lent a somber air of antiquity.
Into the chamber burst his Lordship, flinging his robes willy-nilly about the place. Byron gazed at the dark complexion and the clear-cut jaw of the object of his affection. The racks of hooks across the back wall of the dressing room inspired Byron to imagine other racks and bilboes with their iron bars and sliding shackles--shackles with which he could ensnare the barrister. He entertained such wicked thoughts that nature saw fit to inspire more than just his mind, and Byron's manhood leapt to the occasion and strained against the confines of his breeches. Mortification swept through him. He felt his cheeks sting with the heat of his blush.
Seemingly oblivious to Byron's consternation, his Lordship Kincade called out in mock civility, "What ho, Byron! Where were you today? East of India or some such place? You certainly weren't in the Queen's Court. I take it you'll be here tomorrow."
The hot blush on Byron's cheeks spread downward to his neck and infused his chest.
"Yes, Lord Kincade," he mumbled.
The robe master snickered into his hand. Lord Kincade gave him a hard look and relented a bit on Byron. "Well never mind, young man. What's done is done." And with that, the barrister made his exit.
Relieved, Byron smiled at his back. The barrister whirled about just outside the open door, and called back. "Oh, and Mr. Jones..."
"Yes, my Lord," Byron answered.
"Mr. Jones, would you be so kind as to collect my briefs well in advance of the morrow's cases? And perhaps before next week, you might take the opportunity to glance at the first several lots to ensure they are appropriate for the Court of Queen's Bench to hear."
It was advice and admonishment blended into one facetious bon mot, and Byron took note of the barrister's evident attempt at joviality. With a backward wave, he was off.
"Confound him," said the robe master, shaking out the barrister's wig. "How that man loves to fob his slovenly ways off on me."
Byron grabbed at the wig, and a brief tussle ensued, as though each man sought to grasp at his Lordship's very head. With a laugh, the robe master relinquished the wig to Byron, and with a bow, he presented its skull-like case. Byron placed the wig into the box with all the pomp and ceremony due the placing of the Queen's crown. Both men sensed the hilarity of the moment, and Bryon's desire dissipated.