Fives
#1
Rob was as good as his word. A few days had passed since he’d had his little chat with the footman, Felix. Having made his plans to venture to his favorite haunt – the Bluff – after he'd eaten supper, he’d let Felix know earlier in the afternoon, in case the fellow was truly in earnest about sampling the simple evening entertainments of a tiny Yorkshire village. Truly that devolved down to sitting and drinking – ale or beer, mostly – and perhaps a rousing game of checkers or dominoes.

Tonight though was the weekly dart ‘tournament’ – an overly grand descriptor for a rustic play off, where scores were tallied over the course of months until at some formerly proscribed date, an overall winner was announced. Rob was doing well enough, and had some hope of being pronounced champion – which would then earn him the right to represent Madsmoor against their neighboring villages. He’d never yet been crowned as such, but the taste of victory was tantalizingly close.

Whether Felix showed or not was not of supreme importance to Robbie. He’d enjoyed their conversation, and the fellow seemed polite enough. And he was fair to look at but that was really neither here nor there. Of late, Rob was once again musing over the possibility of rekindling a spark with his former lover, Kel. But beyond that – thinking about other men in that way – he held himself carefully in reserve. Buggery being a criminal act made him reasonably cautious about showing that hand to anyone. He had no reason to suspect, really, that Felix was of any similar predilection. His invitation, therefore, had been one of simple friendliness. If Felix had better things to do, Rob assumed there’d be another time for him to show the footman all the delights that Madsmoor had to offer. If Felix did show up and went with him, he’d be chuffed, simple as that.

Having washed up a bit before eating their communal dinner, Rob returned to the room he shared with two others. He ran a comb through his dark, wavy hair, slicking it back, before grabbing his jacket and making his way back into the kitchen, looking about for any sign of the footman.
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#2
The invitation had come as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. Felix had thought it likely that the groundskeeper's initial suggestion had been borne out of mere politeness. Their previous conversation hadn't exactly been the most effortless. Even so, Felix was looking forward to it. Spending an evening drinking and socializing in a club or tavern was not a unusual pastime for him, though he'd yet to return to the Madman's Bluff after vacating his room there. Of late, he'd much preferred to spend his evenings with Kel, or a book, or on the rare occasions he could manage it, with his music.

Yet, Felix was looking forward to the evening, and after trying to attire himself in a way which would not look too entirely out of place, returned to the kitchen to meet with Rob. He was sure that a velvet waistcoat, no matter how plain in colour or design, wasn't entirely the thing but it was the best he could manage. Rob was already there when Felix arrived, and he spared a moment to wonder if this wasn't simply setting themselves up for a disastrous time of it. The only thing he knew he shared in common with Rob was the man's friendship with Kel (and, it seemed, once more than merely friendship), it wasn't exactly the sort of thing one could bring up in conversation.

"I hope you haven't been waiting terribly long for me," Felix said, giving Rob an apologetic smile. "I didn't think it would be appropriate to wear my livery."
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