Saturday, June 16, 2012

Westmorland Chapter Six of the Regency Novella

Read the prologuechapter one,  twothreefour and five by following the links provided. Thanks for stopping in to see me.

Horace and Lydia by John Collier

Chapter Six

Henry held Claire until she came down, his own body tight as a coil as he kissed her brow and said, “Is the day after tomorrow too soon for the wedding, you think?”

“Oh, I hope not,” she said languidly, “For I shall not survive above a day out of your arms.”

“In that we are agreement, chérie,” he said with hot greedy lips and she reached up to deepen the kiss. Then he dragged his lips from her with ragged breath and his words urgent, “How far are you willing to go with me, sweetheart?”

“To the ends of the earth,” Claire said without really understanding what he was asking. He smiled then took a fortifying breath. He had but two choices now. Leave without delay, or die in her arms. Then she said, “I’m yours, you know.”

“It’s just as well,” Henry said his lips on her face, “For you have me tethered… held captive.”

“That appeals to me,” Claire said with an expression he had never seen on her before something ripe, primal and outright carnal. Then she pushed him back into the mattress and straddled him in one decisive move, “Knowing you can never be free of me… tied and bound, entirely at the whims of my curiously… well…”

Her breath caught suddenly as she sat back, her naked flesh pressing against the bulge of his erection. She looked to Henry but he was long gone, too lost in his own struggle for control to offer her any guidance or explanation. She had melted his brain with the delicious weight of her body nestled against his.

When he finally refocused, it was with anxious hands on her hips trying to still her in her seat to slow the friction of the relentless waves of pleasure that her sitting atop of him produced. No sooner did he stop her wriggling against him did she bend over him with open mouth and lick at his nipple before grazing at it as he had done for her.

Then he was nothing but ripples of ecstasy. Reduced to nothing but throaty growls as this inexperienced woman pulled tortured groans from his flesh. Her eager fingers glided over his sweat-drenched chest and abdomen before reaching down fondle him through his breeches.

He was all sensation as the silken strands of her flaming tresses feathered over his aroused skin as she kissed along the path her hands blazed. Then she was undoing the flap of his trousers and he was struggling to hold still. She was intoxicated by the feel and smell of him.

His body was conditioned muscles pulled over long lean bones covered with barely visible blond hair and taut satiny skin. She could smell it on him then, the scent of her earlier satisfaction and his growing desire. It radiated from his fresh skin as if he were the source of all things sexual.

Claire slid her hand into his now open trousers and slid her fingers over his erection. It jumped against her touch all hot and hard then she rubbed her thumb over the moist tip, reducing him once more to groans. Then she was kissing along the shaft with a slow madding pull of her lips until slow kisses turned to languid licks and he could take no more.

He roared up and in one elegant commanding move pinned her under him, kissing her until her breath was as strained as his then he pulled away some and pulled off his trousers. Claire laid in a sort of languid anticipation her breath coming fast, her eyes wide open, her nakedness glistening with a faint sheen of sweat.

Henry slid along her body his hot lips on her wanton flesh as he nestled back between her legs, only this time moving up over her. His body pulled tight and still he did not seem to be in much of a hurry. He did not want to frighten her, needed to be inside her and felt certain he would die a little if she became alarmed and he’d have to stop.

He mounted her, trying not to shiver at the feeling of her so soft and sweet against him. She held his eyes, her own full of wonder. She sighed as he paused, her eyes searching his, her voice a hush.

“Henry...” She whispered, biting her lips before her words could fall away. Henry grazed her with his tip and gently rocked his hips, letting it rub up and down very lightly against her opening. She shivered. Braking eye contact to glancing down her eyes going wider and he took breath in order to assure her.

“I’ve got you, chérie,” he whispered with miraculous calm, “I’ll take care. I’ll make certain it’s more pleasure than pain.”

He eased forward, the head parting her, his hand and lips coaxing her back to languid as he pushed down toward her opening. He held himself up with one hand as he used the other to tilt her face so she held his eyes once more. Then she smiled as if to comfort him before reaching up and running her hands along his face.

It was all the encouragement he needed before easing his hips forward, and his head slid inside her. She gasped loudly, arching up and grabbing his shoulders for support. He resisted the urge to push deep knowing that it would take time for the pain to fall away so he could bring her to pleasure.

Once she caught her breath, he swirled his hips, letting the soft folds of her inner muscles adjust to his penetration. Allowing her time to stretch to him while he gently rocked and twisted. She tried to speak several times, her voice coming in broken little bits of wordless gasps.

Her breathing accelerating as he rocked back and forth, as she relaxed around him.

“You’re doing brilliantly,” he whispered, leaning down closer to take her lips in tender kiss until he felt her move a little beneath him. Then he pulled out some and eased back into her several until they moved slowly in time. Soon she was clinging to him, both of them gasping for air.

She bit at her lips as he pressed further still, his name caught in her throat as he moved deeper into her body. Caressing her firm round bottom, squeezing just enough to get her to arch higher, as he glided in and out with fluid thrusts of his hips.

Claire revelled in his touch and cried out softly as the wave of his strokes climbed over each other.

“Henry I… oh my God… I can’t stand it…”

It was what he was waiting for without even realizing it. He reached down, gripped her hips, and pushed deep inside her, moving slowly and gently, little thrusts matched by longer outward movements. Every ounce of his self-control going into not burying himself in her all at once.

He could hear now the erotic sounds of their coupling. The sweet friction of his hard wanton shaft surrounded by her soft wet warmth. Then she cried out his name, arching up higher than ever, raising them both from the bed. Gasping breathlessly, and then slumped back into the mattress.

She was hot and pulsing around him, pulling him tight as he pushed deep into her body, finally he melded his hips with hers, shuddering at the stimulation of her unrelenting grip as he savoured the feel of her thus. Moving with long, slow, smooth strokes in and out, rapidly learning as he went what made her moan, gasped, and what kind of thrusts drew soft, breathy cries from deep in her throat.

“Henry, oh God yes,” she cried as the bed rocked beneath them and he worked atop her.

Sweat trickled down his back and she dug her nails into shoulders in a mad grip, which caused his breath to labour as he pumped into Claire beneath him, his eyes drinking in the sight of her heaving, writhing form beneath him. He could feel her starting to shake, knowing she was close, and accelerated, groaning with the effort of not coming himself.

“Oh Henry! Please, please don't stop,” she pled urging him on and he thrust deeper. Her hips jerked against his with every impact. She strained forward, crying out, still on the verge as Henry kept pace. Claire squealed, her hips grinding up into him, causing bolts of pleasure to rock his body.

It made him frantic, suddenly worried he wouldn’t be able to hold out until she found her end. His thrusts were now becoming jerky as he twisted his hips, trying to avoid the sweet friction that was driving him out of his mind. He shook as Claire’s legs tightened around his hips.

“Sweetheart,” Henry pled his words a breathy grasping which soon fell away, “Claire release me or...”

She was dragging her nails down his back robbing him of speech and drowning his pleas with her own.

“Now Henry please…now…,” she gasped her body drawn tight her words fading to but a low hum in her throat. Gripping tight to Henry as her muscles locked, their bodies bucked together wet slick sounds of their coupling just under their frantic breaths.

The two moaned repeatedly in harmony, answering each other's call to ecstasy until her body went rigid and her breathing stopped and Henry lunged against her to maximize the contact. Going into spasms that seemed to light every nerve in body, jerking and thrashing.

Their bodies were moulded together, her legs still tightly wrapped around his hips, jerked wildly out of control, her body pulsating and quivering right up the entire length of him buried inside her. The spasms of her inner muscles were so strong they stripped him of control.

He buried his face in her neck inhaling her skin, smelling himself on her, feeling the dam silkiness of her skin against his face as his heart frantically attempt to supple his brain with enough oxygen to stop him collapsing. Then her body shook, a wail coming from her mixed with grunt from him as they gasp for air and she went limp, allowing him to collapse on top of her both of their breaths thin and laboured.

It took them an eternity to find equilibrium. Every inch of their body weighted down the force of blissful satisfaction. It had never been like that for him before as he lift his head to press his lips her it occurred to him that he hadn’t every been made love to.

No one had ever given all she possessed to him.

It humbled him and when her hands smooth over the plains of his back he reached up and push hair stuck to her face then whispered her name. Looked down at her face with all the love in his heart, watching as lazy smile pulled over her peaceful slightly dazed face. The she opened those luminous hazel eyes of her and his breath caught.

It was as thought he was seeing her for the first time. Seeing beyond her beautiful face and alluring figure to the compassionate woman who loved him though he had been reckless with both their hearts. His face must have shown some his distress for Claire reached up and cupped his face in both her hand then asked, “What’s the matter, my love?”

“I’m full of regret at having caused you pain.”

“The pain lasted but a moment,” she assured him, completely missing his meaning. “And it was soon drowned by the rapture.”


“They is no other word for it, Henry I swear I died and went to heaven,” she said her voice full of wonder and he kissed her in a sort of slow cherishing all-consuming way.

There was a decade’s worth of history between them, most of it a strong friendship, a great deal of it a fervent attraction but more than all that was the love. She knew him completely and loved him nonetheless and he was going to spend the rest of his life making certain he was worthy of her.


They had to wait a full month before marrying but neither seemed to mind very much, which no doubt had quite a bit to do with their scandalous pre-marital behaviour.

Both of their mothers insisted that the ceremony at least have the appearance of decency, though they needn’t have bothered, for eight months after the wedding Claire delivered Aphrodite, a fat little red-haired girl with her father’s clear blue eyes that instantly made their show of decency a lie.

His mother married and returned to France as planned. She visit near every summer under the guise of seeing her grandchildren but the truth is she misses England very much but will never admit it.

After they had been married five years Henry entered the salon – a recently updated French blue – to fine his wife awash by the sun’s golden rays and instantly remembered their first kiss.

“I kissed you here the very first day we met,” he said with the start of recollection.

“Yes, I remember,” she laughed. “And you also asked me to marry you here at least a dozen times and so much more…”

“Why didn’t you ever say?”

“You needed time to get sorted. Besides, if I’d told you we would not be the friends we were when we married.”

“It took me nearly a decade.”

“You were well worth the wait, my love,” she said without falter and he went to her falling to his knees then kissed her with love anew.
My love my care,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Westmorland Chapter Five of the Regency Novella

Read the prologuechapter one,  twothree, and four by following the links provided. Chapter six will be up in a week or so.

 Portrait of Count Victor Kochubey by François Gérard

Chapter Five

He didn’t say anything. He simply reached for her, hand outstretched, and she took hold before going to sit beside him. It hadn’t been as it was before with them. There was no witty banter or contentious exchanges. There was only a resolved silence. He loved her and needn’t have bothered to say so, for she could see it now. But he wanted for there to be no question of it going forth.

She was the woman of his life and when he turned to face her, his eyes awash with all the love in his heart and said, “It was you from the very first instant I laid eyes on you. You know? I was lost to you and knowing you only sealed my fate.”

“Henry,” was all Claire could manage without blubbering over her tears and he, with gentle hands, wiped her eyes.

“I understand your trepidation –”
“Not trepidation, elation. I’ve waited a lifetime and –” More happy tears, then a simple, “I love you so very much.”

“And I love you too, chérie.”

“Yes, I know,” she said and pressed her lips to his in soulful kiss before asking with near solemn expression. “But will you still marry me after all my refusals?”

“So long as you kiss me like that for the rest of our lives,” he said with a blissful smile and she happily obliged kissing him with love newly declared until he pulled her into his lap and kissed her so that they both shook with desire. Henry lifted his head when their lustful kiss threatened to turn into something else altogether and asked, “How do we proceed?”

“Your mother will be gone the rest of the afternoon and no one knows you’re here,” she said.

“So what you’re saying is that I’m at your mercy?”

“Entirely,” she said wolfishly before pushing off his jacket and pressing her hungry little hands against his chest then said, “I’ve dreamt of you there in that bed thousands of times and I mean to see you there naked before this day is out.”

“Then, I shouldn’t tarry,” Henry said accommodatingly, before rising with her in hand and depositing her, rump first, on the bed. He stopped briefly to rip off his boots and crawled in alongside her, his eyes an intense sapphire as he said, “Right now, you have me in your bed. What will you do with me?”

Claire blushed, her head full with memories of the things Henry had done to her the week before behind the locked door of the blue salon. She could not articulate what she had felt and was at a loss as to how she could possibly express to him one-half of it through mere touch.

She knew of his reputation and it wasn’t just that he was one of the princes of pleasure, he was the heir apparent uncontested and always in-demand, whilst she had been touched by him alone. Still not one to shy away from a challenge she said simply, “Show me what you would like.”

Well, there you have it. It was precisely the right thing to say. Henry held her eyes a moment before leaning in and kissing her with warm, tender lips. It was a slow, lingering kiss, the kind that started with purposeful friction of lips and ended with breath-robbing strokes of tongue.

Claire’s entire body tingled at Henry’s patient arousal. His hands in her hair pulling at the ribbon that held it in place until it tumbled down. Then he, with hot breath at her ear, his face buried in her flaming locks, whispered, “Beautiful.”

“You like my outrageous hair?”

“I adore your stunning hair and your ever-changing hazel eyes,” he said while brushing his lips over both her eyelids. “And flawless expressive skin,” this he said with hot lips on her cheek before pausing over her lips with a, “But your lips… Sweet God, I could write odes to the allure of your inviting mouth.”

“I’d much rather you kissed my lips than have you recite an ode in honour of them,” Claire said.

“Without delay, sweetheart,” Henry said obediently in her ear before sliding his tongue around it, which made her arch into his torso. Then he dragged his lips down onto hers as his hands traced little circles over her back, and she was lost.

Waves of pleasure flooded her body as Henry’s kisses became more persistent and she pressed closer allowing all he offered to adhere to her receptive flesh. She opened her mouth to the penetrating strokes of his tongue, delighting in the silken, arousing caress of his sensuous mouth against hers.

He was at once urgent and unhurried, his mouth moving with maddening slowness as he deepened their kiss while his hands franticly worked at freeing her from the confines of her dress. She was drowning in the rippling tide of her ever-increasing desire as he stripped away her clothes and replaced it with a lavish stroke of hand.
He held her in a sort of trance, keeping her completely relaxed even as excitement engulfed her body. He was kissing her from lips to her, now thinly veiled, bosom with lips that produced a sensation similar to the singeing of her flesh. Then he tugged at her shift until she was exposed to him.

Henry held for a moment to memorize the sight of her thus, her clothes pooled at her waist the lush curves her body naked to his hungry stare. Then he, his voice raspy with desire his hand hovering above her breast said, “You, my love, are beautifully.”

“Thank you, Henry,” she said with a heady smile. She loved that the mere sight of her body pleased him. He tugged at her frock, pooled at her waist until it slid over her hip in order to allow him a better view. Once the garment was cast aside Claire, filled with infinite longing, said, “Tell me what you see.”

Henry swallowed once. Twice… But he simply could not seem to find his voice with her lying there in nothing but her stockings encouraging his beating heart to escape its confines. She smiled triumphantly at him struck dumb and knowing she had done it by simply laying bare before him.

He grinned then as a savage beast roared. His perfect white smile and arched brow looking very male as he with deft fingers attend his neckcloth and waistcoat until he was nothing but wide shoulders under fine linen shirt. Then he leaned in for the kill, his grin now one those slow lazy smiles that turned her knees to jelly, his voice bass warm and honey smooth as he said, “Now goddess, I shall tell you all I see.”

He kissed her temple, ear, cheek, jaw and lips then said, “Lush firm breasts, voluptuous inviting curves and…”

He was nibbling a path from lips to collarbone over chin along that little spot on her neck that caught at her breath and made her spine tingle. He cupped her breast, teasing the peck with his thumb until it was hard and tender, then he lowered his mouth to lick at them and said, “Aroused, dark copper nipples desperate for my touch.”

Claire could see he meant to drive her out of her mind and all but purred when he brushed his open lips over her nipple, flickering with deliberation at her open nerves until she whimpered. Then he grazed ever so gently with his teeth over the tender swollen peak before pulling her fully into his mouth and suckling.

She did not know how much more she’d be able to bear as he licked a path from one breast to the next before catching the other taut little nipple between his lips and grazing it with his teeth. Claire writhed and wriggled under his mouth, one of her hands fastening into a death grip on his hair as her legs rose to wrap around his.

Henry closed his eyes and just lost himself in her. In the delicious satiny sweetness of her responsive skin and the delicious grind of her hips against his as her legs tightened around his. Then she was tugging at his shirt in a sort of fevered attempt to get closer still and he pulled away from her in one fluid motion pulling it up over his head.

Claire gasped with naked desire and Henry with wicked grin said, “You like my form darling.”

“You’re very handsome Henry,” her voice a breathy purr her hands on his flat hard abdomen. “Shall I tell you what I see?”

“By all means,” he growled softly while lowering his head, “Well… that’s if you’re able to articulate thought while I touch you.”

 He rolled her back and captured her nipple between his lips once more. Drawing from her a surprised little squeak and she grabbed his shoulders as he slid further down, nuzzling her stomach, then he paused. She sat up immediately, her eyes wide her voice breathless as she asked, “Henry, what’s the matter? Why did you stop?”

He held her eyes lips curled in a smug little grin then he said, “You’re not telling me what you see.”

“Nirvana,” she said simply and Henry fell into the pools of her lustful eyes and pressed his lips back to her flesh. Sliding a little lower, keeping his eyes on hers as he nuzzled his lips into the downy soft, copper hair between her thighs and then fastened his mouth on her.

He could feel a spasm run the length of her body as she gasped, her eyes ripe with passion as she melted into the mattress, her head rolling from side to side as her back arched. He touched her everywhere his hands on her breasts, stomach, down over her legs…

She writhed through one gentle, slow orgasm, and was building to a second when he lightly stroked a fingertip over where he kissed her, persistently teasing her opening as his tongue traced lazy circles around her little hooded mound. His eyes still holding hers as he tested her reaction.

Her eyes went wide at that initial touch of his finger and stayed that way as he licked tenderly at the little peck, his finger dipping into her, and she bit her lip, whimpering loudly. Her cries low and throaty. He loved that sound, and sunk his finger deeper still inside her in hopes of coaxing it out of her again.

She gasped, “Henry.”

He revelled in her involuntary, throaty moan. Her hips rocking greedily, and he slid his finger out, letting her watch as he slowly sucked on it, delighting in the taste of her before sliding his finger back inside of her. Exploring her, his finger gently probed and teased at her inner walls, feeling their soft wetness. He pressed forward trying to find her most sensitive spots.

Then she groaned softly, wriggling towards him as his finger teased her until she could no longer hold his gaze. Her eyes drifted closed as she threw her head back and tightened her body around his finger. Henry sighed in pleasure, delighting in the ferocious way she gripped the finger inside her body.

She squirmed beneath him shuddering, moaning with each stroke of his finger until her moans grew louder. He fed her desire with masterful strokes of tongue and fingers groaning himself at her blissful purrs. Then she could take it no more and begged him to end her misery.

“Henry, my God, Henry please,” She gasped, gripping him to her with legs and nail. He answered her plea by running his free hand over her breasts, his tongue focused entirely on the hooded peak in gentle unrelenting strokes until she cried out. Her body fluttering and gripping the fingers inside her body until she relaxed with a deep satisfied sigh around him.
My love my care,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Westmorland Chapter Four of the Regency Novella

Read the prologuechapter one,  two and three by following the links provided. Chapter five will be up in a week or so.

 Adam and Eve Tamara de Lempicka

Chapter Four

Claire took a steady breath then placed her hand in his and said, “Your mother leaves in two months. Do you suppose that you could have an answer for me by then?”
“You mean to be free of me don’t you?” he said after thoughtful pause.
“There is but a wound where my heart used to be and I long for the peace I knew before I started to dread losing you,” she could feel the tears anew but refused to shed even one in front of him. “I don’t want to bleed for you anymore.”
“What do I do? How do I see us well?”
“I don’t know that you can.”
“But this is madness,” he protested. “For us to end here after all the laughter and confidences would be criminal. We are friends though you deny it. You have all my secrets and I have all your good advice. All we are missing is balance.”
“There isn’t time my lo –”
“So help me Claire if you address me as your Lord once more I shan’t be responsible for what will follow.”
“I’ll concede to Westmorland.”
“Concession suits you my dear. Now tell me. How do we marry this contention with our usually easy rapport?”
“If I knew the answer to that I would have employed it ages ago,” she said with a weary smile.
“Consider me Claire,” Henry said with urgency. “I like you and not only because I’m able to count on your ear either. You make me smile and have my best interests at heart. My family adores you, I adore you.”
“Here let me pour your tea before it gets cold,” she said quickly pulling her hand from his and averting her eyes.
“Won’t you look at me, chérie?”
“Yes, my angel.”
“Will you do something for me?”
“You need but ask Claire and I’ll do all in my power to see that it is done.”
“At Christmas when you brought home Miss Winchilsea and her parents,” Claire said uncomfortably, “We all felt certain that you would have made her an offer… I realize what an imposition it is what I’m asking.”
“You want to know if I loved her?” he supplied.
“Yes, I suppose I do.”
“Right from the start she had been easy to know and I kept feeling I aught to love her but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to,” he said candidly. “I felt like a failure but more than that was the distance it had caused between you and me. I couldn’t bring myself to discuss her with you and that had been the most difficult part of it for me.”
“She knew you know? I had been unsure but she knew and told me so.”
“How do you mean she told you, what did she tell you?”
“She said she hadn’t understood what was keeping you from loving her until she saw us at tea that first afternoon she was in Devon,” Claire explained. “She said our natural ease and clear strain to keep proper distance struck her as a living thing. It hadn’t occurred to me until then that you were an active participant in what was between us.”
“It isn’t uncommon for me to find lust in friendship, but love, well that seems to run contrary or so it seems in my life at any rate…”
“You believe I could hurt you?”
“You know everything of me and I know nothing of you. Besides, your claim of loving me,” he said simply.
“And still I’m the one laid open and vulnerable. It’s true you tell me all but you never share with me how you felt, it’s always ‘Claire my fascination with Miss Lady of the Hour as died a grim death,’ but never once did you tell me if it was sadness, joy or relief that you felt at the loss.”
“Despair, I’m often filled with despair at the thought of love. Sometimes weak always destructive but ultimately and for the most part I feel nothing but despair.”
“Because of the Countess?”
“I suppose some of it could have to do with the vicious nature of my relationship with Viola,” Henry said candidly. “We were toxic together. Vindictive to the point cruelty, Christ our friendship was over long before we realized it and it lead to a lot of pain.”
“Do you not miss her?”
“The friendship we had before it went sour maybe but by the end there was but wilderness between us and her betrayal is now more that I’m able to get pass.”
“I’m sorry for it,” she said with kind hand on his arm and he covered it with his own.
They stayed thus, holding hands and eyes until he said, “I’ve been nothing but proud to be your friend and it distresses me greatly to know I’ve caused you to suffer because of my selfishness.”
“We’ve gotten it so very wrong. Haven’t we?” she asked with weary smile.
“Yes we have but it’s not irrevocable.”


In the spirit of this new hope, the two in a grand effort spent the weeks that followed attempting to bridge the gap between love, lust and lack of communication. By the second afternoon, Claire had decided to give up Lord Addison. She sent him a note begging him to call on her at his earliest convenience so she could tell him in person.
It would take Lord Addison ten days to call. By then Henry was certain he and Claire were well on their way to each other so he was quite surprised when he arrived at his mother’s one bright afternoon to find Claire in company with the sensible, reliable Addison.
She didn’t tell Henry of her intent to break with Lord Addison because he had asked for time to come to terms with his feelings for her and she felt certain this added knowledge would force his hand. She loved him and could no longer pretend otherwise nor could she marry elsewhere but neither did she want to pressure him into loving her.
Claire was explaining this to a most sympathetic Lord Addison when Henry turned up, his blue eyes as calm as the deadly sea. Lord Addison was just then holding her hand in reassuring understanding in order to wish her well when Henry entered the little salon and extended his hand in greeting to Addison.
“Here, Westmorland how’ve you been?” Addison said with a kind smile.
“I’m without complaint,” Henry said easily, murder pulled over his genial smile, “And you my lord. You are well?”
“I’m better for the company,” Addison said with a nod to a still seated Claire and Henry gave her a curt bow of acknowledgement. “You will join us for lemonade Westmorland?”
“Time doesn’t allow it I’m afraid,” Henry said his eyes holding Claire’s with something like righteous anger, “I have an audience with my mother and must not tarry. I only came this way for I felt certain that she was in attendance but now I see she is not, I beg your leave.”
He was gone the instant Addison conceded and without so much as a backward glance for Claire. It never even occurred to her that he was jealous until Addison said, “Now my dear you must go now and see that he doesn’t have the wrong impression of what it was that he arrived to.”
“He will not,” Claire said miserably.
“You love him very much?”
“I do,” she said with sad apologetic eyes.
“And he loves you,” Lord Addison said as if it were obvious.
“He could one day if I’m very patient I think.”
“Nonsense,” Addison said dismissively, “If he loved you anymore he would have murdered me where I sat holding your hand.”
“You really believe it so?” she prompted with open elation.
“I’m certain of it,” he said with a confident smile, “Now come see me out and go make him understand your indifference for me.”
“I shan’t forget this you know.”
“I do.”
She saw Lord Addison out then went in search of Henry. He was not with his mother nor had any of the servants seen him. It was as though he vanished, the instant he left her in the salon with Lord Addison. She worried that Addison was right about him having the wrong impression.
By the time, his mother and Lord Marcel left for Madam Guerin’s for afternoon tea, she had decided to send him a note. She went to her private sitting room and sat at her writing desk with quill in front of blank paper for a quarter of an hour before giving up.
She simply could not find any words that properly conveyed her feelings without it having sound presumptive of his feeling so she kicked off her slipper and grabbed the copy of Jane Austin’s Persuasion he had given to her for Christmas from the desk.
Claire fully intended to spend the afternoon lying across her bed reading but nearly expired from heart failure when she entered her bedchamber to find Henry sitting on the bench at the foot of her bed.
He had left her and Addison in the salon for his mother’s private salon and was struck at the sight of her door when it came in view, as he entered the corridor of the family quarters. He was inside her rooms before he fully realized it, there among her belongings.
He passed the writing desk with the half dozen Austen novels he had given her for Christmas and birthdays. Stopping briefly to hold and smell the soft, too large shawl her mother had knitted for her that she always wrapped herself in on brisk evenings when they were at home in Devon. Her little this and thats, here and there and then he was in her bedroom.
He could not think why it should feel like such an intimate thing when she wasn’t there and after all the women’s bedrooms he had been in without thought. He sat there on the little bench at foot of her bed a million miles away not even hearing her when she entered her sitting room just outside the bedchamber.
He only looked up once she entered the bedroom with a startled little, “Good God!”
My love  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just... Saying

I spent an age in fear of jumping and it took your leaving for me to take the leap
I’m falling now but I’m strangely without worry for you see I’m weightless and the ground is no more than matter.

John White Alexander The Green Dress
My love ,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Westmorland Chapter Three of the Regency Novella

Read the prologue, chapter one and two by following the links provided. Chapter four will be up in a week or so.

Dance at Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Chapter Three

Claire could hear the click of the salon door snapping shut behind her and her silly heart fluttering in anticipation of what would no doubt follow. She could not hear Henry but she could not bring herself to turn around. Her skin tingled with awareness as her breath rushed forth at the encouragement of her fluttering heart.
He was watching her, his eyes fastened to her straight resolute back and he was instantly taken back to their first meeting in that very salon. They had all changed since then: her, him and the room. The room was French then – as his mother and her country – but it had since been transformed into a tasteful blue and white chinoiserie motif.
He had still been reeling from his father’s death and his break from Viola when he happened on her alone here waiting for his mother. She was Botticelli’s Venus from her flaming locks to stubborn chin and he was mesmerized, held captive by her and this strange feeling they had met before.
It was the first time in the year since Viola that his heart leapt at the sight of a woman and it filled him with dread. After all, he had loved Viola his whole life and she had abandoned him when he needed her most. He was terrified of this smiling goddess with her too wise eyes.
She had offered self-deprecation in answer to his open lustful stare and it made them easy right from the start.
“Is it not outrageous?” she had asked with casual point to her serviceably arranged hair the colour of liquid copper. “And because of it I’m not permitted to walk the fields during the fox hunt for fear I’ll be mistakenly taken down by an eager shot.”
“You are the young woman who is to help my mother introduce my sisters to society?”
“I am and I assure you that aside from my vulgar hair I am without impropriety.”
He had felt that a pity but had liked her right away nonetheless. She was quick to laugh, intelligent, alluring and quite simply a joy to be around. His entire family fell in love with her. His brother and both his best friends had proposed marriage to her but he had her heart.
He saw that now in the silence hanging between them and it humbled him. She had chosen him and had waited patiently for him. But, she would wait no more… that much he could see from her stance and that bothered him for he did not know if he could love her the way she deserved.
She was growing impatient with the silence that lingered between them, which was fine for he too had now found his resolve. Then she called for him, her voice an unsteady hush, “My lord?”
“Henry,” he corrected from where she stood unmoved behind her. “If this is to be all I'm given, then it must be Henry.”
“I cannot. I don’t want to.”
“You will. I promise.”
“Couldn’t you simply let me be happy,” she implored her face still facing forwards.
“And it would make you happy to never know my touch?”
“Better to never know your touch than to miss it for the rest of my days.”
“Then marry me,” Henry said suddenly at her side.
“I’d marry you in an instant if I felt it was truly the best thing but I’ve long since accepted the impossibility of it. I could be happy with Lord Addison and his children.”
“You’re wrong and it would only be time until you realized it. Then where will we be?”
“I’ll be someplace where I don’t hold my breath waiting for you to enter the door only to confess your love for some more suitable miss,” she charged accusingly. Henry placed an apologetic hand on her arm and Claire recoiled then snapped. “Don’t touch me. You’re always touching me.”
“I only touch at your encouragement.”
“You say that to me here? Now?”
“We aught to at least be truthful,” Henry countered. “You provoke my touch with your proximity and leering.”
“I despise you.”
“What if I told you I was careful to mine your want?” he said, leaning in so that his breath pulled at her skin. “What if I told you that I liked you looking, and that I take pleasure in the want I’m able to stir in you?”
“Then I would say you are as wicked as I suspected.”
“That only makes us two of a kind, darling for I’m nothing but the assent to your lure and if you marry this gentleman it will only be time before we are back to afternoons spent too close. Then you tell me how long after the constraint of your innocence stops being a hindrance will it take for us to come undone?”
“My word has value, my lord, and unlike those reckless wives who break their vows to entertain your whims, I will be steadfast and true,” she said turning fully around to look him in the eyes.
“You say that here locked in with me on solitary afternoon?”
“I say that in any scandalous setting you are able to conjure. I’m beyond what it is we do. I no longer wish to dream of your touch and hope for your love. I’ve had my fill of holding my heart until you reappear only to hold me hostage with your smiles. I can stand it no more and will bear no longer.”
“Claire that’s not fair. You’ve sentenced me without a trial.”
“And what testimony would you present if given the opportunity? Do you love me?”
“I’m yours. I can’t be without you. Let that be enough for now,” he said his hands on her face as he lowered his head and brushed his lips over hers. She kissed him back, her response instant, without falter and a surprise to them both.
The kiss was a homecoming full of warm comfort and gentle assurances. Both their hungry demanding lips taking refuge in the clear want and effortless giving. Each of them, in that moment,  the other’s soft place to land.
It was a deeply intimate kiss full of desire and longing, almost aggressively so.
Their mouths clinging greedily, as their lips part and their tongues licked a path to sweet surrender after a decade’s worth of want. Soon they were breathless and throbbing with naked lust. His hot lips were pulling over her own, swollen from their ravenous consumption.
He was filling her senses with raw sensual words as new awareness stirred to life in her womb.
“I’m all yours. Let me show you how much,” he said his mouth on her face his hands making her clothes and resolve untidy. “There is no end to me when I’m held to you. Will you let me show you, chérie?”
She held awhile and he kissed her until she relented, murmuring her compliance giving Henry permission to slide lower by inches, his lips hot on her neck his hands working at the fasteners of her frock until it gave and allowed him access to her beautiful breasts, lush and creamy with deep coral nipples.
Henry ran his hand over her breasts, squeezing them gently and Claire shuddered. Waves of excitement flooded through her body as his tender touch turned to more arousing strokes. She bit her lip, moaned in ecstasy and he filled his hands with the soft flesh of her breast and she arch up into his hand with a gasp.
He delighted in the privilege he was given, grazing his palms over her nipples already tight from his caresses, making her tremble as he furthered his exploration. Fondling fully every curve of her breast his thumb teasing and toying with soft flesh and tender nipples.
He lowered his head to lick at her aroused nipple causing her to groan blissfully when he pulled it between his lips and sucked, flickering his tongue with wicked deliberation. His hand moved with purpose down her body shifting and turning her until she was pressed lengthwise and he half on top of her.
His hands were on opposite poles, one at her breast as he suckled and the other on her ankle gently inching upwards in a manner intended to arouse and not startle. His hands moved, warm and strong up her calf, over her knee, stroking and pulling sighs of delightful surrender from a now shivering Claire.
His hands now assertive in the way of one confident of his skill as love as he moved closer to her center. Teasing with dexterous fingers between silken thighs and on to her willing flesh made moist because of his touch. Claire’s body quivered almost to the point of breaking as Henry’s touches became more intimate.
Then he took his mouth from her breast and grinned down at her, the look in his eyes saying, ah, but the best is yet to come.
He wanted to thrill her, show her some of the pleasure that could be had if she accepted his offer.
With this in mind, he, in one masterful move, lifted the hem of her frock with the hand that was at her breast and buried his head where is other hand played between her thighs. Running his tongue gently over the lips there, feeling her twitch in response with a whimper and he licked deeper dragging his tongue over the little hooded mound.
Caressing her until she jerked with a startled little gasp, her hands and legs clinging as her body wriggled closer. Her fingers twining through his hair to scrape over his scalp as she buried her heels of her slippers in his back. Henry winced against the pain of her demand before reaching up to grip her bottom and plunged deeper still.
Fluttering his tongue over the places he knew would pull ragged gasps and shuddering tremors, he was relentless in his administration delighting in her sweetness licking, sucking and nibbling until she teetered at the edge then he slid one of his fingers inside of her hot needy warmth.
Feeling her tighten immediately with want he pushed deeper in order to feed her craving and she lifted her hips to meet him, his name on her lips a continuous rhapsody of, “Henry, my god, Henry please I can’t bear it, Henry… Henry...”
She was close now, her breath coming in short, high-pitched gasps, her hips moving of their own volition. Henry pressed forward now with two very masterful fingers as he slid in and out in time while he sucked without yield at the erect little nub where all her desire was now focused.
Increasing the momentum of his touch, he stroked deeply, sucking and licking, fluttering his tongue until she buckled off the sofa cried out, her hands clenched in his hair. Then she was all warm ripples and melting bones as she fell back into the sofa, quivering orgasmically but he would not allow her to relax.
Suddenly he was desperate to mark her as his own, sucking methodically, keeping her at climax. Her body riding high as the rippling waves turned to pulsing spasms, that shook her violently threatening to turning her pleasure into pain. Then and only then did he release her, holding still until she came down.
When she sighed in contentment he licked her clean in a sort of grand declaration before lifting his head to hold her eyes while he deliberately licked at his lips.
“Hmm,” she nearly purred.
His own body aroused to strain his face smug satisfaction as he watched her breath returned to normal and she tided herself  but instead of the blissful heady elation he had expected she, with a sombre whisper, her eyes locked to his, said with near heartbreak, “You mean to get your way despite my reservations don’t you?”
“That’s not fair Claire.”
“Won’t you leave me be?” she pled. “I have nothing else to give and I find that I no longer have use for what it is you have to offer.”
“And this… Addison… he loves you?” Henry demanded angrily.
“No, but I don’t require love from him nor is he able to break my heart. He offers me purpose and the possibility of contentment.”
“You’re a coward.”
“And you are a heartless, pleasure-seeking, hedonist. So you see, we all have our cross to bear.”
“Better weak in restraint than a pious coward,” Henry said without bending. “Just imagine believing yourself in love with me then running off without declaration to shackle yourself to what’s safe because loving me has proven to be difficult.”
“I all but declared myself to you earlier this season, turning up at your home in the middle of the afternoon. I could have been ruined, taking such a chance and you treated me as errand girl, sending me off to the shops to purchase your mother’s birthday present so you could go cavort with Sir Crane’s widow.”
“Christ, I wondered after you had left… why you had come…”
“And still you did not ask.”
“I’m sorry Claire,” he said in earnest.
“I see that but it changes nothing. I love you, you do not love me and I will marry elsewhere.”
“Outside of my family there is no one I care for more than you. Not David or Morgan with whom I’ve shared three decades of friendship and that I think says something. Give me time to figure it out Claire.”
“I wish I could for both our sakes but I simply cannot. I couldn’t bear to wait only to have you confirm what it’s taken me so long to accept.”
“I care deeply for you. You know?” he vowed in earnest.
She could feel the tears in the back of her throat and swallowed painfully around them not wanting to shed tears in front of him.
She was without end. She loved him and could stand the heartbreak of his indifference no more but neither did she want to will him into marriage only to have him resent her once he discovered that he felt no more for her than he did for those other ladies he had loved temporarily.
Still what else could she do?
Then suddenly it was all every clear, her resolve of earlier. To give in to the want of their flesh until he grew tired of her so she might carry on with her heartbreak into her planned life of contentment with Lord Addison.
My love ,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Westmorland Chapter Two of the Regency Novella

Read the prologue and chapter one, chapter three will follow in about a week.

Demure by Johanna Harmon

Chapter Two

Henry took a moment there on the front steps to contemplate all he felt for Claire. He knew it was love and that it had been that almost right from the very beginning. That truth terrified him. She had the power to devastate his life and after the hell he had been through with Viola, he did not know if he could survive losing Claire.
She and the friendship they shared was the most precious thing in his life and now that his mother was leaving, he was going to need her more than ever. His siblings and friends had all long settled into marriage. He would be alone if she went with his mother to France but he did not know how he could possibly persuade her to stay without some kind of declaration.
Still without resolve, Henry returned to the blue salon where Claire sat patiently with the newly arrived tea service and he took the chair across from hers.
“Shall I pour you a cup tea or fix you a brandy?” she asked sympathetically.
He held a moment without bothering to answer with an expression she had never seen on him before, something serious and uncertain then he said, “Claire have you ever given marriage any real thought?”
“Of course I have,” she said looking at him now in earnest. “What female hasn’t?”
“Then why haven’t you married?”
“You know why.”
“No, I can’t honestly say that I do. You’re beautiful Claire. In fact, I can honestly say I’ve only know a handful of women whose beauty compares to yours and though modest, your family is respected.”
“Not modest, my lord, but paupers hence my vocation as lady’s companion,” she said with knitted brows. She could not tell what he was getting at and she didn’t like it one bit. She was accustomed to knowing precisely what he was thinking and was extremely bothered by this new interest in her personal life.
“Has knowing me stopped you from marrying?”
“Here now –”
“What am I to you Claire?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“It’s been a full decade since you and I have been acquainted yet you’ve never once used my given name. Why is that?”
“You’re my employer.”
“We are friends.”
“Hardly that…”
“You don’t count me as a friend Claire?” he asked with open affront.
“Is friendship the only cause for this inquiry?”
“I’ll start there.”
“You either tell me what this is about this instant or you leave.”
“It has to do with you being in love with me.”
“I– What?”
“You’re here sacrificing your youth for the hope that I’ll turn up and brighten your day.”
“Let me stop you there before you embarrass yourself any further.”
“You needn’t deny it anymore for now that it’s been brought to my attention I’ve come to offer you my hand in earnest.”
“Good Lord.”
“Henry will do.”
“No, my lord. It most certainly will not,” said Claire. “Who’s responsible for this? Who would be callous enough to convince you of such a thing?”
“Do you deny it?”
“What do you really want?” she asked.
“You ask me that after a lifetime of friendship?”
“The fact that you are indignant does not help me for even the guilty are able to express righteousness and I’ve been your confessor long enough to know what you’re capable of.”
“Then you also know that if all I wanted was you in my bed it would not be a hardship for me. I see the way you look at me-”
“If you have mistakenly interpreted my pitied glances for an aged Lothario as anything but that well… it explains quite a lot.”
She lied for there was no denying that he had mastered the art of male allure or that you could very well seduce her out of her good sense, clothes or inhibitions.
He was the quintessential romantic English lord. He was tall, fair, lean and brilliantly proportioned with the sort of ratios that had undoubtedly inspired Michelangelo to put chisel to marble. He was beautiful and effortless with his clear blue eyes, wide shoulders and narrow hips.
He was sex, embodied.
He was built for it, smelled of it… Christ it radiated from his every pore with his lazy masculine smile to his easy fluid carriage. He was strong, intelligent and comfortable in his own skin. Men coveted him, women were drawn to the raw carnality of the air he exuded, and Claire was no different.
“What the devil is that to mean?”
“That you have an inflated sense of self.”
“From anyone else that might have been true,” Henry said. “It’s strange how I’m honest in all things in my life except with you. You with whom I hold my breath, trying always to be more than I am, younger, faster, smarter. All for you who expect nothing from me.”
“Are you telling me that our entire friendship has been nothing but a lie?”
“No, what I’m saying is I always make an attempt to present to you my best self but in the end I always fall short and through no fault of my own, I end up presenting to you my honest self. Though, why I should feel the need to defend myself to you who doesn’t even consider me a friend…”
“We are friends,” she conceded.
“And still you are an enigma to me, unseen but for your beauty. I know nothing of you, no vulnerability, no flaw, absolutely nothing beyond your pretty exterior.”
“You say that as if you hold me responsible.”
“Oh, but I do. You learned early that most are content to look upon a beautiful face, never seeing beyond its façade and you use it as armour to keep everyone at bay.”
“Why don’t you simply tell me what’s caused this sudden interest in me and my personal life.”
“Mother –”
“This is your mother’s doing?”
“She worries that your deliberate restraint at my presence is a sign of your deep tendre.”
“I’ll admit to you having a degree of allure but I would not go so far as to say it has altered my life.”
“Now, we both know that that’s not the truth and I feel it’s worth discussing.”
“There was never anything between us but a fleeting consideration and not even that if the truth is to be told. I was never more to you than an awed girl with unspoilt adoration but I’ve long out grown my fascination with the idea of you as romantic hero.”
“I was always so very careful with you, you know,” Henry said sincerely. “Ever mindful not to cross the lines of decency, never touched you the way I wanted. I let you provoke want in me time and time and again… but then, it’s never been a hardship for me for I’ve always delighted in the thrill and the chase.”
“None of this matters anyways. I hadn’t planned to tell you quite like this but I have decided to marry,” Claire said over her now strained emotions and his open stare.
“Is that right?”
“Yes. My Cousin Rachelle’s widow,” she offered steadily as Henry looked on with an easy smile.
Claire was bothered by his calm but she refused to let him see how much he was affecting her. After all, she was sorted now, she had just put him behind her and she would not allow him to upset her newfound equilibrium.
“Tell me, Claire. How long dead will I be when this wedding takes place?”
“You are being unreasonable. Besides I owe you no explanation and since that is the case I shall take my leave,” she said in preparation to leave.
“I’ll have my say, sweetheart.”
“What is there for you to say now that I’ve found an end?”
“Does that mean you no longer desire me chérie?”
“What does it matter what I want now that I’m no longer available to you?” she asked angrily. “I waited a whole lifetime for you to acknowledge what it was that laid between us and had your mother not insisted, heaven only knows what would become of me. No more. I’ve found a gentleman who is sensible and reliable.”
“And it’s your intent to build a life with this man based on qualifications that one seeks in a steward.”
“Better a gentleman with the resumé of a steward than one with the credentials of a malcontent, hell-rake.”
“Why are you trying to provoke me when all I seek is your comfort?” he asked with his continued irritating calm while she burned with barely contained anger. He liked that he was able to incite her out of her usual composure and took the opportunity to unsettle her further with a slow easy smile.
Poor Claire, she had never been able to tolerate the full effect of Henry’s lazy, self-assured smile and her traitorous body glowed with her want.
“I’d like you to leave this instant,” she said with dignity.
“Say it so I believe you mean it and I’ll not only leave. I won’t return unless invited to do so.”
“Why are you doing this to me now that I’ve found contentment?”
“Because what lies between us does not belong to you alone and I no longer wish to deny the attraction I feel for you.”
“You’re perverse.”
“I know,” he said with a wicked grin. “Why don’t you come here and let me show how truly depraved I can be.”
“And so smug. You’re convinced that you’re more equipped to resist my lure than I am yours.”
“Am I to take that as a challenge, darling?” he asked with a mocking brow.
“Now what kind of sense would that make? Why would I initiate a wager in a field where I have so little knowledge?”
“Surely you know that I’d be nothing but eager to teach you all I know on the matter.”
“Yes, alright then.”
“I beg your pardon?” asked a flabbergasted Henry.
“I’m accepting your offer.”
“Yes, I see that, but why now?”
“It will serve as a means to an end.”
“Yes?” he asked with a gesture for her to elaborate.
“It will cure you of me and affirm for me my belief that my choice of husband is the most sensible.”
“What the devil did you just say?”
“This is not meant to hurt you, you understand. It’s only that I’ve known you for long enough to know that you have not been able to sustain your interest in any female once you’ve had full physical knowledge of her,” she said. “In fact, I think it’s the only thing that’s kept you interested in maintaining our association.”
“You believe this to be true and still you continue to involve yourself with me?”
“I never said I was without fault. I know my judgement where you are concerned is not to be recommended and it’s for that reason I’ve decided now to go this course.”
“Oh, I see… Well, I wish you a good afternoon, Miss Maxwell,” he said before rising to take his leave.
“And to you my lord,” she returned with a triumphant smile as Henry rose to offer a curt bow before leaving.
Then something changed in his eyes and she knew, in that instant before he spoke, that she had given him the advantage by showing her hand too soon. He revelled in her loss, walking past her for the door as if he was nonetheless willing to concede. Then he stopped suddenly behind her with a, “Tell me, Claire… Have you already accepted this widower’s offer?”
“I will the instant his period of mourning is over and he sets forth his formal offer.”
“Brilliant,” he said suddenly bending to whisper in her ear, “For I wouldn’t want you to have to break your word once you finally accept that no one but me will do.”
He stopped for a moment so that she could feel the weight of his words while his breath, hot on her ear, pulled at her core. When he was sure she was well aware of the promise of the moment he brushed his lips over the eager flush of her earlobe with a, “I’ll see to it that we are not disturbed.”