AMARUS

Chapter 2: Of Brothers And Hags

Seedy Brothel, Backend Alleyway, Leighton, England (1762)…..

A sense of urgency filled the air as a sixteen year old lad hastily made his way toward what he had known to be a seedy brothel and attempted at least by large to avoid anyone recognizing him as he went. The slightly annoyed young lad wanted no part of the seedy place, but hed been pressed for time and had been looking for his wayward elder brother all morning. The glistening of the cobblestone beneath his heavily polished dress shoes and the intent clicking of the soles against the stone only amplified his steps as he reached the back door to the seedy place careful to avoid the gathered drunks whom had stumbled out of the local tavern the night before and found themselves passed out amid the slick wet stone and the vile rubbish that was placed outside to be sifted through.

The rancid stench of rubbish and the drunkards was enough to make the lad turn up his rather oddly hooked nose as he turned his attention to retrieving his elder brother as quickly as possible. This place wasn ideal given the dangers of getting into even more trouble and the possibility of being spotted, but it was a risk hed have to take given how pressed for time hed been.

The young lad, known as Alain Remington, moved swiftly through what appeared to have been the front door, the scent of thick perfumes and numerous flowers amid smoke and body odor was enough to make him nauseated, but he pressed on ignoring the various sounds with each door he passed until he came to the one suggested by the tavern keeper. Alain was sent on a very precise mission to retrieve his wayward elder brother Casimir Duchene, from whatever hole he had crawled into in a bid for them to attend their mothers evening gathering.

There were numerous women about the place, half naked with their rather large breasts exposed and some were even out in only corsets with their legs exposed. Alain had been in awe of the strange surroundings that happened in this dark and seedy place as one vibrant red head approached him a gleam behind her baby blue eyes as she took care to boldly run her hand along the front of the now startled young mans trousers. Being young and unfamiliar with being put under pressure via the touch of a woman, Alain had been quite taken aback by this.

”Looking for company baby? ” asked the red head as she continued to move her hand about The Sixteen Year Olds most intimate of places.

”I…Im looking for room 13. ” the poor lad fumbled in his speech as the red heads intense stroking began to have an affect on him.

”Room 13? ” asked another one of the women, she looked to be a rough and tumble kind of woman with her curly brown locks going every which way. She wore a black corset and leggings as she attempted to entice a few new customers to her room. ”What do you want with Daphne? ”

”D-Daphne? ” asked Alain in confusion. ”I don know any Daphne…I just came to retrieve my brother for my mothers party and I shall be on my way. ”

”Why go to a party with your mother when you can have your own bit of fun with us? ” asked the red head backing Alain into an opened door.

Before he knew it, Alain found himself being walked into a nearby chair where the red head climbed onto his lap and began shaking her rather large breasts into his face. The lad did his best to ignore the obvious effect she was having on him by focusing on information about his elder brother and his frequent visits to this strange place. His brother always seemed to frequent the same room with the same woman whenever hed managed to sneak away and venture down into the seedy after spots with the commoners.

There was something of a rumbling outside the door which got the red heads attention and she swiftly hopped off Alains lap and rushed out into the corridor. Taking this a cue to leave, the lad quickly slipped out without being noticed as one patron was drug from one of the rooms clutching his hat and attire in a bid to cover his naked body once hed been kicked out of the rooms for not paying.

Alain managed to slip away long enough to find the correct room his elder brother was supposedly using for the night.

”Room 13. ” he had said, repeating what the tavern keeper told him when he first arrived at this place.

As far as looks went, he wasn terrible to look at in the least. Hed even been strangely handsome some might say as he continued to grow into his once awkward features. As a child, he was often teased due to the size of his nose and the hooked shape of it, his low eyes and ever shifting color of said eyes were always the subject of a good laugh now and again. Of course, those insufferable bullies were put in their respective places due to his older brother with a swift round of fisticuffs. Hed been thin most of his young life and quite small before the strange growth spurt, of course as puberty set in, he found that his limbs were not the only thing that grew in length in terms of his new body.

His hair, light brown in color, was always kept trimmed a neater approach than when hed been a boy and it was unkempt for a time or two. The picture of neatness and propriety ever since he could remember, the sixteen year old seemed more like a fully grown man in his sensibilities than most of his oafish peers.

The aforementioned sensibilities were quite offended as he made his journey through the darkened brothel as many a licentious woman aimed to get his attention. There was a thick haze of smoke and perfume with every step as the lad moved attempting to bypass any and every other strange woman of ill repute whom had taken an interest in him.

The lad found his level of annoyance increase tenfold as he approached the door. Doing his best to ignore the noise and what appeared to be screaming coming from the other side of the door, the young lad knocked as best he could attempting to get the attention of the current occupants. He saw no real reason why anyone would want to frequent a terrible place like this but knew if he were going to find his wayward brother, he had little to no choice in his location to retrieve him. After another careful round, his knocking had gone unnoticed as it were and he made yet another attempt only to be startled by a hand being placed upon his right shoulder. With swift movement, he managed to get away from the offending hand, his fists raised into the air and his body poised for attack at the first sign of aggression from whomever had the gall to touch him.

A bellow of laughter followed as the young man found himself face to face with his rather handsome and elegantly refined elder brother. In terms of looks, the two young aristocrats could not have been more different. Where the angry younger lads short and neatly combed light brown hair remained so even due to his rage, the older amused lads golden blond locks draped down to his well defined broad shoulders flowing rather evenly as he moved doubling over as he howled with laughter at his younger brothers expense. The blond haired lad wore more of a Parisian styled ensemble leaning more toward the traditional look of French Nobles. His crisp white long sleeve ruffled shirt high at the collar and sleeves right along with his dark trousers and dark brown boots complimented the pricy Navy blue jacket that completed the outfit.

The younger lads tastes were more modern as far as British Noble dress went and he always managed to keep a low profile when out and about. There was always a beggar or peasant ready to try their luck at securing a small fortune from any noble they could come across via begging or via force if necessary. Furious, the younger lad took his leave of the establishment leaving his highly amused brother behind as he sought a way to put the events of this night behind him. The handsome blond followed behind him still laughing as he walked unable to get passed the jest despite the numerous eyes that had been on the two of them on the way out the front door.

It was quite apparent that the two lads couldn have been more different even to the onlookers. Although it was difficult to tell whom had been born first among them given that the younger brother carried himself with a sort of regel, quiet dignity that his brother lacked and everyone preferred the younger lad to his loud and ambitious elder brother whenever they came through town, although the heir apparent could charm his way out of any situation via his charisma lone.

”You move like a bloody cat! ” the blond lad said still amused by his latest prank.

”And you are a complete arse. ” replied the sixteen year old lad not in the least hiding his annoyance at having been pranked by his older brother.

”I can believe you fell for it. ” the blond lad continued still attempting to breathe despite still having a laugh at his younger brothers expense. ”You actually walked into a seedy brothel, ”Mr. prim and proper ” actually ventured into the darkened underbelly of the city…oh what will mother think once she hears about this… ”

”If you know whats good for you, youd do well in not telling her. ” growled the sixteen year old lad adjusting his attire as if his brothers hand had some how ruined it.

”And miss her reaction to her precious baby boy becoming a man? ” asked the blond as if outraged. ”Not a chance! ”

The eldest of the brothers took off only for the younger to follow after him, such had been the way it was between them since they were mere lads growing up together at their mothers knee. Both lads burst out of the brothel panting and disheveled as on lookers scrutinized their manner and appearance after leaving the place. The sixteen year lad narrowed his eyes at his offending brother knowing all too well what the ladies whom had passed them were liable to think from the looks of them.

”This was not amusing in the slightest. ” growled the younger lad narrowing his eyes at his elder brother.

”It was for me. ” replied the blond lad. ”Besides, Alain…you need to get more fun out of life. ”

”Sod off Casimir, this little stunt of yours had nothing to do with fun and you know it. ” growled the seemingly embittered Alain.

Casimir Lennox Aldrich Duchene, the heir apparent and charming noble, eldest son of Alana Duchene and the late Sebastian Duchene, was the golden prince as it were of the family and often quite mischievous. Hed been only two years older than his baby brother Alain but a troublemaker from the very beginning. His teacher believed him to be a terror for years but respected his status as the son of a prominent figure in politics. He was known for wild and crazed stunts such as this and more so events that got his younger brother caught in the crossfire. As charming as he was seductive, the tall handsome blond lad attracted attention from women of all ages, but bedded his fair share of servants when the mood struck him.

His being in a brothel on the seedy side of town had not been much of a shock given his taste for adventurous risks and carnal exploits of all manner. Due to his station and obviously insatiable appetites, Casimir wasn in the least above keeping company with young men. Rumor and speculation followed him where ever he went and even still he remained the relative ”golden boy ” in terms of his family blood line.

Casimir had an avid interest in politics and a taste for power despite being only of age 19. He was quite talented in debate and an accomplished duelist in his own right earning himself fame and infamy from his separate exploits. While making trouble he was quite compassionate and fair depending on the situation and people often remarked that with a good deal of sound discipline and age, hed be a fine leader in his own right.

By contrast, his little brother, Alain Caiden Sebastian Remington, was a more subtle young man of great intellect and tact. He hardly ever made waves as far as the general public was concerned but hed been quite handsome and vastly dependable in terms of a match. He lacked his brothers ambition and womanizing habits of course as well as the vast differences in their appearances being that Alain was quite tall for a lad his age ranging at six one following a growth spurt during an uneventful summer. He had talent as a painter, coming a long way from the days of boyhood spent occupying his mothers lap as she painted several masterpieces that are now collectors items. Unlike his brother, Alain was given the surname of their step-father, Sir Alfred Francis Remington, whom had married their mother when the lads were mere boys aged seven and five. Casimir kept their fathers name and as such remained his heir apparent.

”I confess I did want to see if youd go through with it. ” admitted Casimir still highly amused. ”You made it so bloody easy doing everything Mother asks of you. ”

”Not everyone is as cavalier about the rules as you are Cass. ” replied Alain before making his way back toward his mothers estate.

There was no doubt in his mind that theyd been late for the party this time around. Casimir seemed to delight in making him uncomfortable the whole journey back constantly bringing up the brothel and loose women in a bid to get every passerby to stare at them in disapproving fashion.

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The Duchene English Estate, Eastern Province, Leighton, England (1762)

By the time the lads reached their family estate, large crowds had gathered with a vast number of people eager to get into the hallowed halls of The Duchene Estate, it was for good reason as Alana Duchene was well known for her lavish parties as well as her equally lavish lifestyle. Casimirs taste in elegant and expensive things had no doubt come from her and she fed into it quite literally most of the time. Alain could hardly see what all the fuss was about, just a bunch of drunken strangers fawning over his mothers wealth and lifestyle only to covet it and despise her behind her back via idle gossip because their own lives were ill led.

At once their father greeted them, a look of disapproval filed across his aged and often always serious face. Sir Alfred was a man whom had seen the world and then some and his love for their mother seemed as much a surprise to him as it was for her. Diligent and dutiful, hed always been at her beck n call when it came to her needs and the needs of her boys despite him running a vast and lucrative shipping company. Hed been a tall man in his own right, although not quite as tall as his youngest step son.

”You are late. ” he said in a stern tone.

”I had a pressing engagement. ” replied Casimir as if he had not a care in the world. ”Besides old man, the party doesn start until I walk in anyway. ”

He treated both his brother and step-father to a charming smile before heading inside leaving them to chat amongst themselves alone.

”I apologize for being late father. ” said Alain looking down at his feet unable to meet his fathers harsh gaze.

Alfred sighed placing a hand on his sons shoulder knowing all too well the kind of mischief his elder step-son had gotten into and the plight of his younger step-son to have to wade through it.

”He made you go to a seedy brothel didn he? ” asked Alfred with an arched brow.

Alain nodded almost too ashamed to meet his fathers gaze.

Alfred sighed knowing how uncomfortable this whole ordeal made Alain.

”Alright. ” he said understanding. ”Just go get ready for the party before your mother notices you aren dressed…and as for the brothel….I won tell if you don . ”

Alain seemed quite relieved as he headed inside the massive manor trailing behind his elder brother whom had no doubt gone to get ready for the festivities himself.

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The Entrance Hall, The Duchene English Estate, Eastern Province, Leighton, England (1762)

The moment Alain entered the manor he noticed Casimir already surrounded by women whom seemed to have been hanging onto his every word as he spoke about his events of the day. The still very annoyed young man rolled his eyes and made his way up the winding staircase that lead to the upper levels of the manor and the eventual hall that led to his bedroom. He wasn much for parties and would have been fortunate if he could make it to change without anyone noticing for very long.

The lady of the manor was given to elegant and refined tastes even in her décor, Parisian art and furniture lined the manor along with a few artistic pieces of her own. Alain always admired his mothers artwork, it gave him something to strive for when it came to his own unseen works as he struggled to achieve success as a painter.

Alain continued down the hall, a mesh of gold trimmings, marble columns, and red velvet carpet in route to his private bed chambers. The music from the party down in the ballroom filled the house and could be heard from there as the walls pulsed via the noise and the chatter started to decrease.

It seemed an easy life living in the lap of luxury and social graces but it was far from it with all the nonsense going on as of late and talk of war and various shifts in fortunes. Alain mostly kept to himself but that never stopped the constant prattling of those around him. As Alain finally reached his bedroom door, he found himself thinking back on his trip to the brothel. It wasn a terrible experience and for a moment he got to see what it was like to be Casimir with numerous women falling all over themselves just to be near him, even if they were lowly. He supposed there were benefits to being born a noble even if there were occasional annoyances here and there.

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