I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, til we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.” - William Blake
“This is a business meeting, Kim,” Anthony announced as they climbed the stairs to the flat he shared with Guy.
“So we’re being watched.”
“I believe so, yes.” If anything, his manner became more guarded after he opened the door. The watchers must have them in range, Kim thought.
“Would you care for a drink?” Kim declined. “Please take a drink.”
So he did - that little word, “please”, said all was not right. Anthony drank a full glass of straight gin.
“At his club. He has promised not to come home early.”
“It is serious, then.”
“Very serious. Do you remember that our friends took some pictures of you?”
“For blackmail, yes. In Vienna.”
“They do not trust you.”
“I divorced Litzi, lied to her, went to Spain, became the fascists’ favourite reporter - what more can I do?” Kim asked in exasperation.
“Spain is the problem. It seems you enjoyed the company of several ladies.”
“I had to do something more than just the Nazi bitch. God, I would have burst otherwise!”
“Yes, well, certain pictures in the possession of our friends are unlikely to embarrass you if they became public. I have been asked to assist in the procurement of a
“Certain pictures? All they’ve got is me standing in front of a door with a bunch of flowers.”
“I have been told that those are not the trouble.”
“There are others?” Anthony stared at his empty glass in silence. “Litzi?”
“I don’t know,” he replied sharply. “It all feels terribly tawdry, I know. I thought perhaps Henry had found a kinship with Mr Givens. ‘Make sure it’s disgusting’, he ordered. So here I am, playing the role of that wretched waiter.”
“I never said a word about what happened to Guy,” Kim insisted.
“I know. I did. To Otto. It must be in the file now.”
“What have we joined?”
“What would you do for communism in Britain?”
“Anything. You know that.”
“Then your task today is to make love to me while someone across the street photographs us.” He downed another glass of gin.
“The whole idea is disgusting. I need another drink.” It was freely given.
“I don’t derive any pleasure from the thought.”
“I didn’t think you would. That’s why it’s disgusting. Guy tried to seduce me already, and I know that was not under orders.”
“You did not tell our friends, I trust.”
Kim could not bear to look at Anthony. “Of course not. I love Guy. You’re one to talk.”
“I love Guy. I will do anything to protect him. I would give my life for him. That is why I told Otto. Anything that goes around Cambridge will be told to Moscow. Better it come from me than from rumour. I trusted Otto. Don’t tell me you did not.”
Kim sighed. “Of course I did. Otto was one of us. His replacement doesn’t understand.”
“Henry is whom you wish to put on the highest rungs of the ladder - a man without education but with a great desire for revenge.”
“Must we talk politics now?”
“Would you rather we hasten the task at hand?”
“There must be training, of course,” Kim quickly said. “You and I do want the same things at bottom. But not through the bastions of privilege like Cambridge. You can smash an institution but keep the knowledge.”
“Why did we recreate the Warburg Institute over here rather than assimilate the library into the Courtauld? The institution is what the people strive for. They don’t want Birmingham - they seek Cambridge because of what it means. We should begin,” Anthony sighed. “Our friends are not patient when they give an order, and the light must be right. I was given strict instructions as to time.”
“Another drink,” Kim groaned.
“Help yourself. I will prepare the scene.”
Kim watched, his gut twisted with loathing, as Anthony adjusted the curtains, moved some cushions about, and straightened his always immaculate hair.
“There must be a progression, an arc, a plot, if you will, to the scene. The photographs. They must tell of enjoyment and familiarity with lewd acts that could cause public embarrassment.”
“Henry said there has to be a plot?” Kim asked in mild disbelief.
“Not in so many words.”
“It has to be disgusting.”
“And I do not want to have to do it again. Thus it has to be coherent, but not in a tawdry, prostituting way. Therefore, we must undress each other, kiss, and then, since it must be disgusting, you must suck my cock.”
“Can’t it be the other way round?”
“Service is more embarrassing. I shan’t take any pleasure in the proceedings, I assure you. Beyond the physical,” he added before Kim could contradict.
“I’d really rather not. Can’t we fake something? You mounting me would be disgusting, and that could certainly be faked.”
“They have asked that it be explicit.”
“Have you at least got one of Guy’s french letters?”
“That would imply a lack of trust. I haven’t my own. And I don’t know where he keeps them. You’ve seen his room.”
“Jack would know.”
“And I preferred not to ask him,” Anthony replied sternly. “Once you have sucked my cock, I shall bring you off. You must have an erection visible from the window.”
“How much do you feature in these photographs?”
“I could pass you to Jackie, and he would certainly be gentle, but he reeks of the Hyde Park Corner lavs. And really, it would be unkind of me to use him the way Guy does.”
“Let us get this over with.”
Anthony grabbed Kim by both cheeks and kissed him, not open and softly as Guy had done on more than one occasion, but hard and closed and not fully on the lips, perhaps as an actor might do. Appearances above everything, Kim thought.
Very well, then. He took a deep breath and pulled off Anthony’s tie, flinging it so it might land just so across the back of the sofa.
Anthony gave an approving raise of the eyebrow before he pushed Kim’s jacket off his shoulders. Kim let it fall to the floor and did the same for Anthony, trying to hide a smile as Anthony attempted to surreptitiously kick it into a more aesthetically pleasing heap. Shirts followed. But when Anthony attempted to arrange their fallen trousers, Kim could take the direction no longer. He took both Anthony’s hands in his.
“If it is too artistic, it won’t look real.”
“Of course, of course, you’re right,”Anthony agreed distractedly. “But I can’t do it properly with you so what am I to do?”
Kim sighed. “There’s nothing else for it. You’ll have to pretend I’m Jack.”
“Don’t be absurd. He belongs to Guy.”
“Guy’s tired of him. We all know it. And I’ve seen how you look at him. You want him to come to you. You may be queers, but I’m not blind. Pretend I’m Jack.”
“That just might make this real,” Anthony objected.
“I know,” Kim acknowledged solemnly. Then he kissed Anthony properly, pretending his was Litzi. There was a certain similarity of feature, after all. It was easier with Guy, he thought. Anthony was a cold fish even in foreplay.
Or so Kim thought until Anthony reciprocated, thrusting his tongue into Kim’s mouth with a force one might expect from the rough trade Anthony preferred rather than the art lecturer himself. Now all Kim could think of was Guy - he was about to let Anthony, whom he did not like nearly so well, do things that he had denied Guy, a true friend of the highest order.
But he had no more chance to think once Anthony pushed him down onto the sofa and pulled off his trunks with a surprisingly fluid movement undoubtedly gleaned from seducing scores of sailors. Anthony was always graceful in his movements, but Kim had not expected that grace to extend to sex. It had always seemed the one area of life to give Anthony pause.
Kim realised that his eyes were open and Anthony’s closed; he was aware that the scene had become painfully real.
Lie back and think of England, Kim reminded himself as he groped for Anthony’s cock. When had he removed his trunks? Kim wondered. His ministrations were clumsy and earned him a slap on his naked bum. Anthony pulled back, eyes open now, to give him a lesson in dubbing.
“Firmly, not as if you were going to rip it off, for christ’s sake - have you never masturbated?” He sounded like a creaky old queen though he was barely thirty. By way of demonstrating to the proper method, he pulled Kim into a high state of excitement through long, slow caresses and quick, strong drubbings. Kim was in quite a state of confusion and torture from withheld ecstasy and the knowledge that Anthony Blunt had brought him here when Anthony whispered in his ear, “Let’s get this done. It’s just like sucking a lolly. Go slowly at first, tease the head as you’d want done to you, and for god’s sake cover your teeth.”
On his knees, carefully parallel to the window, Kim’s erection swiftly went limp with the reminder of the watchers. Anthony grabbed him by the hair and pulled hard when he wanted an increase in speed - hardly a pleasant thing in a lover. To Kim, it felt an eternity before the flood came, and then he nearly choked on the salty, foul-tasting emissions.
“Are we done?” he asked impatiently, perhaps a little harshly.
“Kiss me again and come to my bedroom.”
Kim did as ordered. Once out of sight of the watchers, behind closed curtains, Anthony tossed him a dressing gown. “There is a new toothbrush on the sink.”
“Oh, thank god,” Kim sighed in joyous relief. Tooth powder had never tasted so good.
When he returned, Anthony had dressed again in fresh clothes. “Stay a moment - I don’t know if the watchers know it false or not. Give them time to go.” He lay back on the bed, hands behind his head. “I was not supposed to tell you.”
“What?” Kim sat on the edge, staring at Anthony.
“I was supposed to be that wretched waiter. My task was to seduce you. Henry thinks all Cambridge men must have homosexual tendencies. A part of upper class decadence, I suppose. I could not convince him otherwise. Donald had been too persuasive.”
“Guy. Donald. While you were in Spain. No one told you?”
“Don? You’re joking.”
“Would I were.”
“Another of their little tricks?”
Anthony sat up. “No. Profoundly real. Jackie found them, poor darling. So did the watchers.”
“But he was extremely upset when he thought Guy was hoping to solicit us for that purpose.”
“And you think that makes him heterosexual?”
“He’s my friend. He should have told me!”
“Have you told Guy about the waiter? I believe Maclean is saving us all the embarrassment of a confession. Especially now that Otto is gone.”
“Otto would have understood.”
“Of course. You loved him, in a way, didn’t you?”
Kim thought a moment. “I suppose you are right. I didn’t like him at all at first. But what I felt when he went back to Moscow, to his death, was a sort of love.”
“Akin to what you feel for Guy?”
“A lesser form. I love Guy more than I could love any other man. Not in the same way I love girls, mind you.”
“You proved that this afternoon. But you don’t really like me - I know you don’t. We’re not the same. But we have Guy in common and I thank you for respecting it. He needs me - and you. We must work together for his sake.”
“Of course. It’s not that I don’t like you - ” Kim began.
Anthony cut him off. “You can dress and go. I don’t know when Henry will confront you with the photographs - within the week, I should think.”
“He’s not a patient man.”
“Neither are you.” There was a hint of amusement in Anthony’s tone.
“I do like you,” Kim insisted. “It just takes rather more doing with you than with Guy.”
“Go. Or Jackie will come home and we’ll have quite an explanation of why your clothes are strewn about the flat.”
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