Love Across the Ages
Napoleon Solo moved easily with his horse, content to ride at the back of the pack while his contemporaries bothered the devil out of a poor fox. He had no real taste for hunting and never really saw the sport in it. Back at the Farbror House, Napoleon would often drink a toast to the fox. However, because of his social position and general good-natured wit, he was obligated to ride along.
"I say, Napoleon!" Justin Binks galloped his mare up to Napoleon's stallion and reined her in. "Will we see you tonight at Mama's party?"
"I dare say." It would be social suicide to decline one of Madame Binks's parties. It would also provide Napoleon with a much needed boost to his reputations as a ladies' man. He knew his own family grew restless with his declination of marriage. Father wanted him to settle with a woman of good breeding and sire an heir to carry on the Solo name. Mother wanted him to stop traveling the world and carousing. Napoleon didn't really care what either of them thought. The breeding he would leave to his younger brother and sister. They were of a mind to breed and Napoleon had enough fortune of his own that he didn't depend upon his father's wealth as it was.
Napoleon valued his freedom and would make up his own mind when and where he'd settle down.
"You won't be sorry, Napoleon." Binks worked hard at trying to get into Napoleon's good graces. Men who counted themselves as his close friends were few and for good reason. Napoleon was a wealthy man and wealthy people always seemed to never lack for friends. "Mother is entertaining a foreign gentleman this evening."
"Oh?" Napoleon gave his horse a pat and the animal tossed its head. In a country of white, brown, or black horses, his Gyllene was truly a horse of a different color. He believed the Yanks called him a Palomino. Napoleon just called him friend.
"He's from Russia."
Napoleon made a noise at the back of his throat. The Russians he'd met were large swarthy men, not prone to good grooming or breeding. His interest waned.
"It looks as if they are calling the hunt." Binks stood up in his stirrups to get a better view. "Blasted fox got away."
Good for him, Napoleon thought. I should be so lucky.
Napoleon danced with one woman after another, making small talk when necessary and flirting just enough to be affectionately called a bit of a scoundrel.
"Why haven't you married yet, dear Napoleon?" Matilda Binks was more a sister than anything else.
"Haven't found the right woman, I suppose." He guided her easily across the floor and then his eye caught someone—a stranger. "Tilly, who is that?"
The girl waited until Napoleon rotated her and then smiled back at Napoleon. "That's Mama's little friend."
"That's the Russian?"
"OO-crane..." She said the word slowly. "I think that's what he said."
"Ukraine," Napoleon repeated. The stranger was slight and not very tall. He was fair and as blond as Napoleon had ever seen a man. He wore his hair long, as was the custom and gathered in back with a small bow. "Would you be good enough to introduce me after this dance?"
"Of course... but after the dance, mon ami."
It couldn't end fast enough for Napoleon. He was slightly breathless as he finished and paused just a moment to catch his breath and to make sure his cravat was still presentable.
Tilly took him by the hand and Napoleon was suddenly aware of a fluttering in his stomach. Imagine him, a man who had met the queen and never batted an eye, being nervous.
"Mr. Kuryakin?" Tilly asked and the man turned. Napoleon stopped just short of gasping. The blue eyes were so intense, so captivating that Napoleon felt himself lost. It was a feeling he never wanted to end.
They were in bed, the culmination of a very successful lovemaking bout behind them. Illya's head was on Napoleon's shoulder and Napoleon was running his fingers through the impossibly blond hair. Napoleon suddenly had a flash of a vision. Of himself and Illya was astride him untying a complicated cravat at Napoleon's neck. Illya's clothes were strangely oldfashioned and his hair style was a bit different, but there was still the same passion in those blue eyes that Napoleon had seen just moments earlier
"Napoleon, what's wrong?" Illya asked. "You were miles away for a minute."
"Have you ever had a sense of déjà vu? " Napoleon asked as Illya turned in his arms to lock eyes.
"With you? Constantly. I just chalk it up to the fact that we were meant to be together, no matter the time or the place."
Napoleon reached out an arm to turn off the light and smiled as the room settled into darkness. If this meant that in ages before Napoleon had also found peace in a pair of familiar arms, then he drew enormous comfort knowing that no matter what, they would always be together.