Situation: Nick Stuart is an impoverished young doctor dedicated to helping mankind in keeping with his strict religious upbringing. He also took a personal vow to remain pure, which is much harder than serving mankind. His one early sexual experience was with Hugh, another village boy, and he is fearful of the wrath of God. When he is taken to his first play, Hamlet, he is enthralled by the lead actor, Kit St. Denys. When St. Denys is injured during a performance Nick answers the request for a doctor and his life changes forever.

The charismatic, brilliant Kit, (picture a younger Simon Baker!) though only in his mid-twenties, is a practiced, charming seducer and sees in the innocent doctor a worthy prey. He has no inking that his life, too, is about to change forever.


“Dr. Stuart, have you decided about the party? You will go, won’t you?” As St. Denys talked, he sat down at the makeup table with its boxes and bottles, and removed the blood and sweat-streaked makeup. The tips of his blood-stained fair mane lay in waves against the nape of his neck and hid his ears; the downward curve of his jaw was strong.

Nick was near enough to notice the light brown freckles on his shoulders. The words “No, I don’t think so” died unspoken. Nick gazed at the actor’s naked back and muscular arms. Sinful thoughts and feelings flew like ravens through his mind and his body. How would it be to lay his hands on St. Denys? Was his skin coarse or fine? Nick shoved his hands into his coat pockets, lest he reach out and actually touch him. He wished he could put his eyes in his pockets as well.

A peculiar lattice of faded, jagged white lines marred the actor’s back. They looked like scars, but how could that be? A small dark mole resided on his lower back, just above the waist of the black tights. Just then Nick realized St. Denys, with a slight smile, was watching him in the mirror. Even the tops of Nick’s ears turned crimson.

“If your wife is with you, she is more than welcome to join us,” St. Denys said, as the last trace of makeup vanished.

“I don’t have a wife,” Nick croaked. He did not realize that the way he said it told Kit St. Denys a great deal. “Mr. St. Denys—”

“Please. Call me Kit; everyone does.”

“Mr. St. Denys, I wouldn’t fit in at your party. I don’t enjoy that sort of thing.”

“I assure you, Mr. Stuart, it’s but a late dinner, a bit of the grape, laughter, and dancing. It is not a Bacchanalian orgy.”

“I didn’t mean that.”

“Then you will come.” Kit turned toward him. Nick’s good resolves sank out of sight. Nick had hoped that the glamour and sensuality were all an illusion created by stage art and costume. Then he could go home, ask God to forgive his wicked thoughts, and forget he had ever spoken to the man. But that was not to be. The Devil himself had conspired to make St. Denys younger and more handsome than he had been with the makeup.

With complete unconcern, St. Denys stood up and let the old man help him finish undressing. Nick broke into a sweat and clenched his fists tighter in his coat pockets. How would it feel to spread his hands on that firm arse? Or see him erect and ready? Oh, dear God, he had to leave that room! But the same Devil who had made St. Denys beautiful had also nailed Nick’s feet to the floor.

St. Denys stepped into the high-backed tub of hot water and exhaled a gusty sigh of pleasure as the old man fussed over him with scented soap and a sea sponge. “What is your given name?” he asked. “I can’t just continue to call you ‘Dr. Stuart,’ can I?”

“My name’s Nicholas.”

“And what do your friends call you?”

“I have no time for friends.”

“We must do something about that. Tell me, are you particularly interested in Shakespeare?”

“Uh… yes. Very interested. In Shakespeare. Yes.”

“And your favorite of his plays is…?”

“Well, um, Hamlet, of course.”

“Of course.”

It annoyed Nick to know St. Denys was having fun at his expense. “Well, it is.” Then it didn’t matter because like a young Neptune rising from the sea St. Denys stood up in his tub and

stepped out. He grinned as if he knew the evil in Nick’s mind. Nick’s eyes sought a fascinating blank corner on the ceiling.

“Only a few more minutes, Dr. Stuart. Then we can leave.” The old man helped him into his clothing. As he started to do up the buttons on the shirt, St. Denys said, “I can manage from here,

Nathaniel. Thank you. You go freshen up for the party.”

“Very good, Mr. Kit.” Nathaniel favored Nick with one more disapproving glare and was gone.

“I’m surprised,” Nick said, still looking at the corner. “You socialize with your servants?”

“Nathaniel is not a servant. He’s my dresser and has been for a long time. I’ve had several valets and servants, but Nathaniel never felt they did it properly. He feels only he can do it;  he’s right. That I always have the right costume for any given scene is due to Nathaniel.”

Nick wondered how any man who had just been nude in front of a stranger could answer with such dignity. He was surprised when St. Denys said softly, “You’ll have to learn the ways of the theatre if you’re to be around me.” The actor’s dark eyes seemed to pull secrets from Nick’s soul.

At the assumption, Nick was dazed by a ferocious desire; he forlornly hoped St. Denys had not noticed the obvious, but the actor’s left eyebrow lifted quizzically and he said, “I knew the moment I looked into your eyes you that you were one of my kind. I’m never wrong.”

Nick’s lust was replaced by fear. ‘One of my kind.’ Hugh had said the same thing. If St. Denys and Hugh could recognize his demon so did God.

Then his fear was forgotten when St. Denys’ sultry expression gave way to one of guileless charm as he gestured to his unbuttoned shirt. “My hands are clumsy for some reason. Perhaps the blow on my head? It’s a bloody inconsiderate thing to ask of a guest, but could you help me?”

Nick’s fingertips brushed the damp, smooth skin of St. Denys’ chest and abdomen, and he was helpless against the sexual imagery in his mind as each button slid into its buttonhole. Then as he fastened the right sleeve button he saw the twisted little finger. Scars. A broken finger. What mysteries did they represent? He looked once more into St. Denys’ eyes.

“After the party,” St. Denys said, “you will go with me to my hotel.” It was not a question. He did not touch Nick, and yet Nick felt as if he had been caressed.


“You’ll stay the night.” Still not a question.

“Yes.” With those two yeses he accepted everything and questioned nothing, and the knowledge made him afraid.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This