Saturday, November 14, 2009

Huntley The Would Be Harlequin Historical Undone



Link to chapter 1 here
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here
Chapter 4 here


Chapter Five


A week after their second kiss, Theodora was in her mother’s grand salon suffering pitied glances from her mother and a few her relations when their morose butler Kendel entered with a summons from her father to join him in his library. She rose with open glee and followed him into the hallway and down the stairs.

Her dear Papa… he was saving her from their sympathetic rumblings and happy banter by offering her a quiet place like he had done nearly a dozen times in the two weeks since their return to London. There was now a constant rotation of her well-meaning relation loitering in her mother’s sitting room offering her cheer and constant companionship.

It was starting to make her homicidal, but just at the moment when she started to seriously contemplate lacing their tea with poison, her Papa would rescue her. It was with this thought and wide smile she entered her father’s library to find Lord Sheppard Monthermer in company with her Papa.

The two rose when she entered and her father came round his desk and took hold her hand with a, “There you are, my dear.”

“Good afternoon Papa?” she asked with doubtful glance at Sheppard.

“Well that all depends on whether or not you are willing to consider marriage to Monthermer here,” her father said with expectant smile.

“Marriage?”
 
“Yes, Miss Cromwell I’ve asked your father for your hand and pray you’ll do me the honour,” Sheppard said with charming smile.

“Marriage?” she asked once more to much concern from her poor Papa.

“Teddy, are you all right?”

“I’m well Papa, thank you,” she said with a weak smile that did not quite reach her eyes, “But I wonder will you give me a moment alone with his lordship.”

“Now, Theodora,” her father said with knitted brows.

“Just a brief moment Papa,” she said with bright pleading smile that made her father instantly suspicious.

“Will you kindly tell me what’s going on here?” her father demanded.

“I’m not yet certain myself,” she said without taking her eyes from his, “But if you would grant me a moment…?”

“Yes, you said,” her father said with furious glare to Sheppard before turning back to his daughter and added, “Alright, you may have your moment. I’ll go inform your mother.”

“Thank you,” she said before walking him to the door which she set on it’s hinge before turning back to Sheppard to demand he tell her his reason for coming, “Let’s have it.”

“Will you not come here and sit with me?” he asked with an easy smile.

“Out with it, my lord, or as sure as you stand there I’ll have you removed from these premises.”

“I want you to marry me.”

“Who has put you up to this?”

“Pardon?” Sheppard asked in genuine confusion.

“It’s cruel, surely you see how awful it is,” she said her voice but a whispered. “I’ve been humiliated enough for a lifetime and this is more than malicious, it’s criminal.”

Her voice broke and Sheppard was at her side with kind hand on her arm. He had heard of her abandonment from that chatterbox Lady Herwich and had been at once relieved for himself and furious at Somerset for his rotten conduct. She straightened her shoulders at his show of sympathy.

She had already shed tears in front of him over Daniel and Violet’s betrayal and she would be damn if she was going to do so again.

“Forgive me,” she said some of her equilibrium returning.

“Of course,” he said graciously.

“Thank you.”

“Would you rather I call again when you’re better disposed?”

“Heaven’s no,” she said with grateful smile, “I don’t want you leaving here when there is clearly a matter we aught to address.”

“Then you will sit with me awhile?”

“Yes, if only to understand your reason for coming and offering marriage to a virtual stranger,” she said before preceding him to one the chair directly in front her father’s desk.

Sheppard turn his chair so he faced her then he said, “It’s become necessary for me to marry and the instant it did I thought only of you as the possible bride.”

“I hardly know how to respond,” she said bewilderedly.

“Say you’ll marry me.”

“My lord –”

“I’d much rather you called me Sheppard,” he said with wicked grin.

“Sheppard,” she said with accommodating smile. “My life is a tragedy and I would gladly marry you if only to stop my family’s pitied glances but I don’t mind telling you how terrifying I find the prospect of marry a complete stranger after being so sorely disappointed by two people I knew for a lifetime.”

“There is an opportunity here for your tragedy to be a triumph and all you have to do to make it so is trust me to take care of you.”

“And you will trust me to do the same?”

“Yes, absolutely,” he said without pause.

“Then you will trust me with your truth?”

“How do you mean?”

“Tell me why it’s so important you marry now and why it is I was your only possibility.”

“Not only possibility but the only one I thought of as possible bride,” he corrected before proceeding to reveal to her every last detail of his little melodrama: From the sudden death of his father and uncle to his grandfather’s complete heartbreak at their loss and his failed attempt to see them all well to Harry’s detriment.

“I can’t imagine the Marquess drinking warm lemonade at Almacks,” she said with barely contained laughter.

“You don’t have to imagine it. You could go see for yourself, he’s been in attendance there every Wednesday since his failed attempt at feigning heart failure was discovered.”

“Has he?”

“Yes, I just said,” Sheppard said peevishly. “And you needn’t bother pretending not to be amused for I would laugh at me too if I were you.”

“Not at you, I promise,” she said with little giggle, “It’s just that I keep imaging him having to dance with some eighteen year old as her mama smiles on encouragingly from the fringes of the ballroom.”

“There is something very wrong with you,” he said and laughed in spite of it all.

He recovered first from their shared laugh and took the time while she regained her equilibrium to study, by the light of day, this woman that had so captivated him. She was beautiful, golden and womanly he couldn’t help but stare.

“What’s the matter?” she asked once he found herself and realized that he was watching her.

“You’re beautiful.”

“You needn’t resort to exaggerated flattery in order to convince me, you know.”

“Here now,” said an affronted Sheppard. “I don’t know what sort of cad you take me for. You are beautiful and I said it for I thought so and for no other reason.”

“I was never pretty –”

“Of course you weren’t and that’s because you are beautiful,” he said confidently. “Pretty fades with youth as a rose in the rain whilst beauty like yours remains a lifetime thanks to brilliant bones, fine features and charismatic smile. You my dear are beyond vogue. You are a masterpiece.”

“A hundred years from now when we are old married people you must not think I accepted your offer due to your lovely words,” she said with gleeful smile.

“You will marry me?”

“Yes.”

“And will you tell me why you’ve suddenly agreed to have me if not for my singing praise to your appeal.”

“You are pleased I’ve agreed?” she said suddenly too self-conscious to admit her real reason for accepting his offer.

“More than I can express. Now tell me why you have agreed,” he said while leaning in so his knees touched hers and she flushed.

“I’d be too embarrassed to say.”

“Shall I guess?” he asked this time taking hold of her hand and bringing it to his lips.
Theodora watched near breathlessly as he kissed first her knuckles, palm and then the inside of her wrist all while holding her eyes as he asked, “Is it because you have a good heart and hate to see me suffer the vipers at Almacks alongside my grandfather?”

She was having trouble forming words with him looking at her thus and could only shake her head like a simpleton. He smiled, encouraged before leaning in so his lips was at her ear then he, his warm breath crawling over her sensitive skin as his hand traveled up her bare arms and said, “I know… It’s so you can have foreknowledge of my Aunt Gertrude’s candleholder placements.”

This time she managed an, ‘Uh-huh,’ and he with smiling lips kissed her from earlobe to chin before pulling back some to hold her eyes, his hands now on both sides of her face. This time with a predatory gaze and his thumb slowly dragging over her lips he asked, “And you are certain it is not because I sang praises to your allure.”

She sighed and bit at her bottom lip where his thumb had caressed and he edged close as if to kiss her then said, “Well, I can’t think what it could be so I’ll go now and return once I have another guess unless…”

“Yes?”

“Oh, she speaks,” he said with a wicked grin, his lips still but a breath from hers.

“Sheppard?”

“Yes, sweetheart.”

“I’d like to be kissed before Papa returns,” she said with calm voice and violent flush.

“Then you should have done and kiss me.”

“I don’t know how.”

“Of course you do,” he said with provocative whisper, “You need but kiss me the way you’d like to be kissed and take care that you don’t leave me behind when you do.”

It was precisely the right thing to have said to build in her the confidence to express her want on his flesh. She kissed him with the vigour of a zealot and the appetite of a glut. Her eager little fingers running through his thick jet-black to drag and over his tender scalp while she nibbled tasted and devoured his mouth.

Her consummation was almost aggressive as she greedily robbed him of breath and control with the intensity of her desire. Her want for him seemed without end and he was left feeling at once heady and weightless at her worship.

It also gave her the advantage, which was not an entirely undesirable scenario as far as Sheppard was concerned. Particularly, since it felt so damn good but there was the matter of that unanswered question and that he did mind.

He was left vulnerable with his want for her and was desperate to have her as exposed as he was. He wanted to know something of her heart. To know how much she really felt for him and he’d have it too. He held her eyes for a long silent moment then he smiled like a wolf and went in for the kill.

Kissing her with assertive mastery, his lips parted over hers, hot, purposeful and sensual. Gauging the pressure and force giving her pleasure in order to yield from her flesh the appropriate degree of want. Sucking on her tongue, stroking her face, neck and arm waiting for the moment she purred breathless then he stopped.

She looked flustered, her body shaking as she searched his eyes for the reason. She could barely manage the words over her laboured breaths as she asked, “What’s the matter? Why have you stopped?” her words more a strangled pant than articulate language.

“Tell me?”

“What?” she asked her words urgent and bated.

“Why you decided to accept my offer?” he said with a slow, torturous hand down over her neck and bust.
“I can’t,” she groaned as he expertly fondled her breast through the thin layers of her silky muslin frock until her nipple stood erect and he squeezed it between thumb and forefinger. She made a thrilled little sound deep in her throat and her dark pupils engulfed the grey of her eyes.

“Not even if I offer an incentive?” Sheppard asked with smiling lips over her neck as he licked at the little hollow between her collarbones. He nibbled until Theodora whimpered, clasped his skull and held him captive to her.

He could hear the rasp of breath escape her lips as he pulled his teeth over the sensitive flesh at her jaw as he made his way back to her earlobe. Kissing tenderly with lips and tongue until her womb quivered then he said, “What say you, my angel.”

“Hmm.”

“’Hmm,’ yes, incite you until you confess or ‘hmm,’ Sheppard you’re brilliant don’t stop?” he asked once more with pause and eyes focused on hers with wicked grin.

“You mean to torment me into telling you?” she asked her eyes darting from his to where his hand held her breast in mid caress.

“Not torment, sweetheart… coax. But I could stop all together if you prefer,” he said and slowly lift his hands from her instantly bereft flesh.

“I don’t prefer and well you know it,” she said miserably and he was instantly sorry. It hadn’t been his intent to rob her of her smile but to titillate her into giving them both what they so clearly wanted. Now he would have to make amends.

“Yes, I know it. Now tell me, if I show you how sorry I am, will you forgive me?” he asked with gaming smile and she smiled back for he was every so adorable when he was contrite.

With that, sweet kisses and even sweeter torment was escalated to something Theodore could but marvel at, Sheppard lift her on to his lap in one effortless move. Then his hands were everywhere as he kissed her in a sort of languid arousing way.

She could feel his right hand move up her stockinged leg, up past her knees over her thighs. Then his fingers were perched above the crisp intimate hairs between her thighs and he pulled his lips from her with a heated plea, “Let me in sweetheart. Let me show you how good I can make you feel.”

Theodora could not imagine how he could possibly make her feel any better than she already did. Her womanhood tingling as her body burned hot causing her to trembling from the inside out. Still, she greedily rocked in her seat to allow him access, leaning in to kiss him only to gasp into his mouth when his finger flickered over the little hooded mound at the front of her pleasure centre.

Her teeth sunk into his shoulders to stop from screaming in delight as he fondled her most intimate places and all the while, the door rested only on the hinges.

She could hardly believe she was allowing him to touch her thus. She rocking in his lap against the unyielding muscles of his thighs with his erection pressed against her right hip as he caressed bliss from her hot wet flesh.

The rapid increase of her breathing due to his proficient strokes made it difficult for her to first maintain his deep kiss and then hold his eyes as he parted her tender folds and inserted his finger. Stroking, rubbing and caressing until her inner muscles tightened around his nimble fingers and her breaths came on top of each other and then she died a little.

Her heart gave out and her skin fell away then wave of elation, primitive and carnal shook her body back to life. It had been more than she could bear and while she was regaining focus, he made the sexuality intimate by licking her from his fingers. It was at once erotic and sweet and she kissed him, tasting herself on his lips.

It took them a full minute to recover laboured breaths and racing heartbeats. Then she, her pupils still dilated from want, held his focus in a silence that was both charged and comfortable. They lingered thus until she reached up and smoothed the soft curls of his short cropped hair before saying, “You’re so handsome I can hardly stand it.”

“Surely that is the most erotic thing ever said,” he said with open delight.
“Is it?” she asked in kind.

“Yes and now that you’ve said that to me, surely you can tell me why you have decided to accept my offer.”

“I’m afraid. I don’t know if it’s the sort of thing I should admit,” she said with suddenly sad downcast eyes and he took a hold of her hand and gave it an assuring squeeze.

“Here trust me. I’ll take care. You have my word,” he vowed.

“You made me smile so much so after our kiss in the garden that I resolved to call off my wedding to Daniel but lost nerve in part because of the promise I made to him but mostly due to fear it hadn’t affected you in the same way. Now that you’re here I feel it must have, in some small way but now I worry it won’t be enough to base a marriage on.”

“There is merit to your concern and I can’t offer you any guarantees it will be enough to build an entire marriage but I can promise I’ll endeavour to always put forth an effort to see you smile.”
She held a moment as if to measure whether to proceed then she said, “There is also the rumour of your pending engagement to Lady Eloise Spencer?”
“She was hand picked by my Aunt Gertrude to be my wife but I’ve never given her any cause to expect an offer,” Sheppard assured her but she was upset by this reveal.

Her brilliant smile no longer reached her eyes and he worried that she was drawing parallels between her failing with Somerset with his circumstance with Lady Eloise. He was one half right. Theodora was troubled by his revelation. She did not like that his Aunt Gertrude so favoured this young woman.

Gertrude was a force of nature and one with tremendous sway.

She could make life very difficult for Theodora and with her current standing in society already, so tentative, this could indeed be the beginning of some very unpleasant days for her. She was half in love with Sheppard but she simply would not allow herself to be humiliated any further this season and would have to be certain before proceeding any further.

She had had to endure women like Gertrude the entire nine years she’d been out in society and knew how cruel they could be. In fact, it brought to the forefront a few issues that had greatly affected her popularity and all because of what they believed her physical form said about her as a person.

In that, she was no different from anyone else. Everyone was judged on appearances in their society. The truth is only social standing outweighed a pleasing form.

Sadly, she was egregiously disproportioned due to a perversion of nature that had plagued her since the onset of puberty. She had a lush body that exuded sex which one would think a blessing in a society where marriage is the only occupation for a lady of her station.

It turned out that the kind of sex she exuded wasn’t the marrying kind. No, it was more the kind that turned seemingly rational females into jealous scorn-filled vipers and the men in their presence into lecherous snakes. It had also caused her parents to be overly watchful and she, very conservative particularly where her wardrobe was concerned.

It also built in her a determination, for others, particularly those that she cared about, to perceive her in the way she intended. As a complete human being who, though physically bountiful, was still capable of being small and vulnerable. But she needn’t have bothered for all she ever got for her effort was scorn.

Theodora was convinced it was also the reason she was still unmarried at twenty-three and it had been the driving force behind her agreeing to marry Daniel. Yet here she was after all that, agreeing to marry a man she was certain was ripe with lust for her but knew nothing of her soul.

She would have revealed all of this to Sheppard and was about to address the matter when her mother entered the room ahead of her father.


Link to chapter 6 here
Part five of six
by Simone Ogilvie

12 comments:

  1. Your blog confirms that you write with taste and sensibility. I admire your efforts and commitment.
    R K

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  2. I enjoyed reading this. I also like the links to previous chapters. It's a quick way to catch readers up when they may have missed a post. Have a great weekend.

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  3. Oh, my! *fans herself madly*

    That scene absolutely sizzled, but you managed to do it in such a refined way! You are truly an artist, Simone!

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  4. AWESOME!

    (And I love all the amazing art you find to go with your posts!)

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  5. Same as what Pretty things said! I love the way you have the links and the wonderful art you have! So fun reading it too! :D

    Elle♥

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  6. Historical romance is my favorite! I enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  7. I could imagine "the Marquess drinking warm lemonade" if she had a real bad cold and needed some Vitamin C ~ LOL

    You have such a lovely way with words Simone and I need to catch up reading the previous posts to see what the story is all about.

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  8. Thank you for sharing that with us....once again cannot wait for the next part. I LOVE IT.... it's just unfortunate i'm not a publisher !

    Thank you once more for visiting my blog. It goes to show....a passion well expressed can inspire. A quote i think i'll use someday soon !

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  9. Hello Everybody,
    I’m so very glad that you’ve all stopped by to read and offer your support for you have all in one way or another inspired me with you creativity and generosity. I’ve learned something from each of you and appreciate greatly your lovely comments. I only hope that I’m able to express my passion as well as you kind souls have.
    All my very best to you all,
    Simone.

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  10. I wa snot a fam of historical romanc ebut you may have converted me!

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  11. Thank you for you nice comment!
    I read this piece of text and now I am hooked, I must read all the other chapters too. I love historical romance!

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  12. I’m thrilled you both liked the story for I never know anymore if they are what readers public are interested in. All I know is that I like them and put all I am into producing them. So my every thanks,
    Simone.

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