The day starts promptly at seven when Florian slips out of bed, washes himself and prepares Ray's bath. Somedays it's hard to pull himself away from Ray's warm embrace, but the appreciative smile he gets when Ray eases into the warm, scented water makes it worth the effort.
Six days a week Ray takes his breakfast precisely at eight and Florian must be properly dressed for his appearance at the table. It wouldn't do to appear slovenly or unkempt in front of Ray's staff. On Sundays, Ray prefers brunch at ten and quite often those two hours are time the lovers spend together in the privacy of their suite. Some weeks Florian can barely wait for those two precious hours to arrive.
With breakfast, Ray reads the paper, commenting on points of interest or finding leads for potential clients – or acquisitions. Florian takes advantage of Ray's distraction to put fruit on Ray's plate or the occasional dish of hot cereal. Sometimes this earns him a glare, but more often than not, Ray eats the extra food.
At ten minutes before nine, Ray sets aside the paper and retreats to his study where he remains until exactly noon unless there is a client to visit or an errand that must be attended to in person. Florian uses the time to gather the breakfast dishes onto the waiting cart which Laila transports to the kitchen, along with any special request they might have left for the rest of the day's meals.
When Laila leaves, Florian takes the paper, picks up the pile of correspondence Ray left on the hall table, and proceeds to his office – a small but cheery room towards the back of the house with French doors that open onto a small patio. In good weather he often works as the small patio table, thankful for the cushioned chair that Ray insisted he have for such occasions. The wrought-iron chairs that came with the table aren't comfortable for hours of sitting.
Reviewing the correspondence takes most of his morning – especially when Ray's been in one of his moods, and every one of the letters he's written has to be redone in a more diplomatic tone. Quite often while rewriting these letters Florian finds himself grateful for his mother's relentless instruction. He hated it at the time, of course, but now it's especially helpful in trying to find a way to soften Ray's "no way in hell" refusal of an invitation to a chamber orchestra concert.
With the last letter sealed, Florian tidies his workspace, returns the comfortable chair to its usual place and closes up his office. He'll return there to handle the household accounting in the afternoon unless Ray has errands for him to run.
Most mornings the correspondence carries him until just before noon. He washes up and arrives in the dining room promptly at 11:55 a.m., with just enough time to remove the covers from the plates and pour Ray's coffee, sweetening it as Ray prefers. He's seated and waiting when Ray sweeps into the room just as the mantle clock chimes twelve.
Lunch is more lively, with Ray catching Florian up on the morning's events and rattling off a list of tasks for Florian to complete. Florian has learned to listen carefully and remember when Ray tells him – the man does not like to repeat himself. While they talk, Florian sometimes slips an extra spoonful of vegetables onto Ray's plate, but doesn't object if they get pushed aside.
On rare occasions, just before Ray leaves the room at 12:45, he leans down and gives Florian a kiss.
When Laila arrives to claim the cart at precisely 12:50, she takes a few minutes to report any items of interest for the household. If there are errands to be run, they often go together and use that time to coordinate their schedule. On days when there are no errands, she pours herself a cup of coffee and she and Florian steal ten minutes to relax before returning to their duties.
Today there are no errands and Florian passes by the hall table to collect the household ledger and a pile of bills that have arrived in the last three days. He's been out the previous two afternoons and has a small backlog of work to complete.
It's comfortably warm out and Florian takes off his suitcoat, draping it neatly over the back of his chair. He rolls up his shirtsleeves before taking up the pen and making careful entries in the ledger. He triple-checks his work, knowing how Ray hates errors.
He barely finishes by three when he closes up his office for the day and returns the ledger to the table. With his shirtsleeves properly in place and suitcoat on he ventures into the west wing where one of the ground floor suites has been converted into a classroom. He can hear Noel's excited voice as he approaches and as soon as he knocks, the door opens.
"Florian!" Noel nearly knocks Florian over with his enthusiastic hug. At seven, he's getting a bit too old for such behavior, but Florian doesn't protest. Instead, he returns the hug, then sets the boy back on his feet and turns to greet his tutor. Monsieur Richart is only a few years older than Florian and he's a pleasant, good-humored man, very unlike the stern tutors Florian remembers from his youth.
At 3:15 p.m., after Richart has reported on Noel's progress for the day and mentioned any assignments the boy would be expected to finish, Laila arrives with the tea cart. She's already delivered Ray's, and sometimes she joins Florian, Richart and Noel. Conversation is light and it is a pleasant way to spend half an hour.
At 3:45, Richart leaves with last minute reminders to Noel. The boy nods seriously and bows politely when the man departs. Once he is gone, Florian gives Noel a nod and the boy runs off down the hall towards the backyard where he runs and plays until five. Florian uses the time to take care of small tasks, like reviewing the boy's wardrobe for worn or outgrown clothes. Occasionally he joins Noel outside and they play ball or tag, or even croquet.
At five, Florian chases Noel off to clean up and then it's back to the classroom to work on his assignments. Florian uses the time to read or work on personal tasks, remaining nearby to help if Noel has any questions.
At 6:45p.m., Florian sends Noel off to the kitchen to eat supper with Laila, while Florian washes up and changes for his own evening meal. He's seated and waiting when Ray arrives at seven and they spend a companionable hour eating and talking. Afterwards, the dishes are left and Ray and Florian retreat to Ray's study where they read, finish leftover work or just spend time together. On occasion, Florian manages to coax Ray into the nearby music room and they while away the evening dancing in each other's arms.
At ten, if Noir does not have a mission, the men retire to their suite. Sometimes they share a languid bath together, other times, they read, or turn in early. Most evenings they make love, sometimes slowly, sometimes frantically, but they always end the day with Florian curled up in Ray's arms and the two of them sleeping soundly.
When Florian slides out of bed in the morning, he always has a smile on his lips.
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