Returning to Blue Moon House, Nicholas joined the gentlemen in the parlor. Many were less than gentile, but all were men of substance, able to pay their way. An older woman that he'd only glimpsed before ruled the roost, keeping the men when a girl came to take one away.
“You will remain where you are,” she told one man who nearly ambushed a blond girl dressed in red. Unlike typical whorehouses, the men didn't pick the women here. And judging by the number of men in the parlor, not all of them would be seen tonight. The whores here must be especially good. The blond girl, who pointed to another man. That lead the first to try attacking him, in hopes of taking his place.
Nicholas was faster than the crone, standing between them. He faced the aggressor. “The lady made her choice.”
“Stinking whores,” he complained, turning and leaving.
The other man moved to the girl's side, walking with her to another room. Nicholas felt eyes around the room focus on him.
“Nicholas, sir?” the older woman called, raising a hand slightly. She dropped her voice so only he could hear. “Sophia told me of you. I'm Judith, the madam of the house. Thank you. I am unable to keep order when they degenerate to beating one another.” In this case, Judith was the madam in stature only. It was clear Sophia ran the house.
|Men waiting to be chosen|
She inclined her head in agreement and thanks. The men, in general seemed better behaved after the near altercation than before. Nicholas, taking that as an effect of his presence, strode up and down the room, making sure to square his shoulders and regard each man in turn. As it happened, he found another lover in the mix. When he met the man's brown eyes, they seemed to burn but not in anger.
Nicholas finished his circuit of the room and returned to the man's side. “Seems they can be gentleman when required.”
The man smiled. “I wondered, sir, if you would like to step out with me. The room seems confining tonight.”
Nicholas looked to Judith whose lips curled very slightly as she bowed her head to him. She had been seeing to this crowd before his arrival. She would see to it now. “I would enjoy the fresh air,” he agreed, taking the lead. “I am Nicholas,” he said as they entered the street.
“George. I will admit, I was impressed by your superiority in there. You were not obviously the better of either man, yet neither seemed prepared to cross you.”