Read A Gentlewoman's Dalliance Online

Authors: Portia Da Costa

Tags: #Fiction, #Short Stories (Single Author), #Erotica

A Gentlewoman's Dalliance (2 page)

Or perhaps smell it…

“I think it might facilitate this display if you were to disrobe, Mrs. Brigstock. Or at least remove some of your garments.”

Mary did sway then, but Benedict caught her elbow, his strong grip bearing her up and strengthening her resolve. When Leonard murmured, “Courage, dear heart,” she lifted her head proudly.

“Very well,” she replied in as firm a voice as she could muster. It felt essential to her that, despite all, she should exert her right to speak. These two must not get carried away in their masculine bonhomie…and forget who was really in charge.

“Turn around, Mrs. Brigstock,” instructed the specialist, and when she'd done so, he set about the fastenings of her gown. Mary wondered how many other ladies' dresses he'd attacked in his career, because his fingers were so nimble that her dress seemed to be undone in barely a heartbeat. “You're shaking. Please don't be afraid.” He murmured softly into her ear and made the tiny hairs at the nape of her neck stand alert. “Perhaps you can assist, Leonard, and steady her.”

Her husband sprang up from his comfortable chair and came forward, taking her face between his hands and kissing her lightly on the lips as his partner in crime slid down the sleeves of her gown and then eased the entire garment down over her hips. As Leonard's tongue slipped into her mouth, his hands moved to her elbows, supporting her as Benedict pulled the dress right down, encouraging her to step out of it. She heard the swish of satin as he tossed it away, toward a chair.

Then he was at the tapes of her petticoat, too, whisking that off while Leonard still plundered her mouth and lent his strong arm to her as she again stepped out from the circle of delicate lace-trimmed muslin.

“So, let's see her, shall we?” suggested the specialist urbanely, stepping away.

Immediately, Leonard ended the kiss, and as he retreated, too, Mary almost followed him. The moist contact of their mouths had been a protection, a shield of familiarity. Now she was to be exposed, both to eyes familiar with her body, and those that weren't.

Together, the two men perused her half-clothed form. Their glances roved over her, eyes narrowed and appraising as they circled around her, viewing her every aspect like connoisseurs assessing a marble Aphrodite. Under such intense scrutiny, Mary's skin tingled as if she were already completely naked. Her corset, drawers and chemise were no protection. They might as well have been transparent as a sheet of Venetian glass.

“Very handsome,” observed Benedict. “Very fine indeed. You are a lucky man, Leonard. I truly envy you.”

A sense of outrage flared in Mary's bosom, despite everything.

I'm not a mare or a heifer to be cataloged for sale, you insolent pup,
she protested silently to the younger man. And yet at the same time there was a delicious, forbidden quality to her condition. She was not so much the stock animal in the pen as the voluptuous slave woman on the block, her curvaceous form admired and coveted by desiring men who yearned to possess her.

Raising her chin, she breathed in deeply, proud of her assets and the lush, mature shape of her body.

“Very handsome,” breathed Benedict again, his long fingertips flexing as if they hungered to handle her. Low in her belly, longing surged, a matching hunger. “But she's haughty, too, isn't she, Leonard? She needs to learn the lesson of humility.”

Mary's eyes flew to Leonard's when he coughed, and put his hand to his mouth. His eyes were alive with merriment and it was a chuckle he'd suppressed. Regaining her sense of the game, she wanted to laugh, too, but she contained her response to smiling with her eyes only at her adoring husband.

This is fun,
she thought, lowering her gaze to hide the curving of her lips. It wouldn't do for the “submissive handmaiden” to break out into the giggles.

“A little more exposure, perhaps?” her husband suggested. His cheeks bore a slight flush, so familiar to her, the two patches of pink the signal flags of his desire.

“That's an excellent suggestion. May I?” The younger man deferred to Leonard, nodding at Mary's bosom, then turning as if to ask permission.

“Go right ahead, old boy.” Her husband nodded, running his tongue over his lips, as if anticipating the view.

Unfamiliar hands deftly attacked the hooks down the front of her corset, unfastening several, and then loosing the small bows that secured her chemise. His pale eyes commanding hers, Benedict reached into her garments boldly, cupped his fingers under her breasts and lifted their weight to bring them into the light. As he bared her nipples, he flicked them with his thumbs, back and forth.

“No…no…” keened Mary. Not that she meant it. Far from it. Wild passion surged in her blood, an intense thrill that made her want to shift her thighs to ease the ache gathering between them. It didn't seem to matter that it wasn't her beloved Leonard touching her. The caress of her husband's eyes was as real to her as that of Benedict's fingertips, the heat in their beloved gray depths so intense she had to look away. Her gaze skittered about, but came to rest on her own exposed curves, and her thick, roseate nipples, so firm and puckered and eager.

The tips of her breasts throbbed so hard that she almost imagined them visibly pulsating, their beat keeping pace with other rhythms: that of her heart and the low heavy thud at the apex of her thighs. Mary bit her lips, containing a moan. She would have given anything to touch herself now, regardless of the eyes of a stranger upon her. The call of her puss, and of the very seat of her pleasure, the little bud of her clitoris, was almost agonizing. Her fingertips fluttered, ready to dive into the split of her open-vented drawers and find the prize with which they longed to make free.

“She's lusty, isn't she?” remarked Benedict, his pale eyes apparently seeing her thoughts, perhaps her soul. “A woman of intense appetites… Quite a handful, I'll be bound.” His fingers plagued her nipples again, flicking and tickling.

“Oh, absolutely,” confirmed Leonard, thrusting his hands into his pockets as if content to observe her response to the other man. Through the veil of her lashes Mary could see that there was something of a disturbance in her husband's trousers. Benedict's dalliance with her was firing Leonard's passions as much as her own. “She takes a lot of satisfying, does my dear wife, either in the normal fashion or by the efforts of her own hand.”

Mary gasped, feeling her blushing face turn pinker than ever.

A smile played around Benedict's lips as he seemed to consider this. “Well, in that case, perhaps you would care to see me demonstrate a few techniques you could use to master her and bend her lewd desires to your preference? There are always new refinements to be tried.”

“Splendid…do proceed. You have a free hand with her, old man.”

Mary was about ready to swoon. Her head felt as light as thistledown and her body almost sang with anticipation. She was at the mercy of two of the most virile and handsome men in London, enveloped in her own fantasy come true. Images danced in her mind of what they might do to her, and of what delicious new outrages they might perpetrate on her body.

“Come along, Mrs. Brigstock. I think it's time I smacked your bottom now.” Benedict's voice was quiet and conversational, as if his words were perfectly commonplace and he'd merely suggested that they share a song at the piano or a game of whist. As he took her hand and led her across the room toward her husband's venerable old mahogany desk, she heard Leonard moving about behind her. Perhaps deciding which seat would give him the most commanding view. Then came the clink of glass, which told her he was helping himself to a brandy from the tantalus. A small snifter to accompany the show.

Standing by the desk where Leonard wrote his letters and perused his business documents, Mary trembled, every nerve tuned in readiness for the sensations that lay ahead. She'd wanted to be spanked. She did still want to be spanked. But natural apprehension made her heart leap and skitter.

“No need to be afraid, Mrs. Brigstock,” said the specialist, his light blue eyes almost hypnotic and impossible to look away from, even when he plucked at her nipple and gave it a wicked little tweak. “A little pain is good for the soul and for the senses. It heightens one's perception, and brings
all
the sensations into focus. After suffering, the pleasures to follow are always sweeter.”

I believe you, I believe you,
she wanted to say, but instinctively knew that as part of the game now, she shouldn't speak. Turning to Leonard she signaled compliance with her eyes, her spirits soaring on his answering smile of love.

“Very good,” opined Benedict, as if the exchange had been written in letters ten feet high for his convenience. “Now I'd like you to lean over the desk and rest upon it. Reach over and hold yourself steady. Grip the edge.”

Mary complied. The position was both comfortable and uncomfortable; she was supported, and yet her corset pressed against the slopes of her breasts, forcing them upward. The surface of the blotter rubbed against her nipples, and she imagined mundane words of business pressed against them, in reflection. Down below, the lower edge of her corset dug wickedly into her belly, creating a sly infernal pressure upon her vitals.

Turning her face to Leonard once more, she gnawed upon her lower lip, and the heat in his gaze made her surge against the desk, her body craving pleasure or pain or both. She closed her eyes, rocking her pelvis against the solid, unyielding mahogany.

“Tut-tut…contain yourself,” commanded her young disciplinarian, laying his hand flat on the small of her back. The pressure made things worse, plaguing her sex.

“Yes, please try, my dear. There's a good girl.”

At the sound of Leonard's voice, Mary fell still.

To please you, my darling…to please you.

Her knuckles white, she grasped the far end of the desk. What would happen when the first blow fell if she could barely contain herself at this stage of the proceedings?

For a few moments all was silence, save for the crackling of the fire in the grate and the very faint hiss of the gas lamps. Wild imaginings ranged around Mary's mind. She tried to form a notion of what the spanks might feel like, but her thoughts were too jittery to bring to order. Especially when other notions, just as blatant, crept in.

She pictured Leonard taking her over this very desk, pushing in, rutting her hard, stirring her to spend again and again while he whispered lewd and loving nonsensical words in her ear. She could almost feel his sturdy member stretching her inner topography, moving to and fro, to and fro, to and fro. Her hands tightened on the desk's edge for a different reason now, anything to prevent them from stealing to her cleft and seeking to ease the ache there.

“What are you thinking about, Mrs. Brigstock?” said that cool, young voice suddenly, and as Benedict spoke, Mary heard the rustling of clothing as if he were taking off his coat. When she stole a glance at him, he'd laid the garment aside. Slipping out his cuff links, he began rolling up his sleeves.

“Mrs. Brigstock?” he prompted, and Mary realized she'd given him no answer.

What could she say? The truth would incriminate her, and if she told a lie, she knew that not only would Benedict not believe her, but neither would Leonard. He knew her too well, especially of late, since they'd been closer.

“I…I was imagining what a spanking might feel like.”

“Not having second thoughts, I hope,” inquired the younger man, leaning close. He wore a rather more exotic shaving lotion than she might have imagined for one so severe. It was strong and spicy, almost dizzying. She rather liked it, but on the whole preferred Leonard's more reserved choice, a light but distinguished concoction from Trumper of Curzon Street, with fresh bouquet that hinted of limes.

What thoughts are these? Comparing the merits of shaving lotions? I do believe I'm going quite mad with anticipation.

“If you don't wish to proceed, my dear, we can stop, you know.”

Leonard sounded solicitous, but she knew he'd been looking forward to this as much as she had. Even if she
had
been falling prey to misgivings, she knew she'd still press ahead, just for him.

But there were no misgivings. She was on fire to know all, and to join the inner elite of the Ladies' Sewing Circle. To be as daring and knowledgeable as Sofia and Prudence and Arabella, women to whom the engravings in
Divertissements
represented an
experience,
not an undiscovered country. She
wanted
to play the outrageous games that they enjoyed.

“I wish to proceed!” Her voice rang loud and clear, if wavering a little.

“Bravo, my darling.”

“Bravo, madam.”

“And I wish to proceed now, if we may,” she went on boldly, the heat in her loins making it next to impossible to stay still again. “Please don't prevaricate further, Mr. Holcombe. Get on with it. Do your worst!”

Both men laughed, and Mary almost giggled herself, but contained it in a secret inner smile.

“Very well,” the specialist said, before plucking at the fabric of her drawers and sliding the two portions apart to reveal her bottom.

Mary quivered like an unusually substantial aspen in a breeze. No male but Leonard had ever seen her bare buttocks, not even her doctor. But now she was on show to a mysterious stranger she'd met a scant hour or two ago. Her ever-surging blushes seemed to engulf her entire body in the space of a few seconds, and it felt as if her rounded rump was pink already even before a single blow had fallen.

“Delightful,” said Benedict in a low, intent voice, and across the room Leonard shifted a little in his chair, as if easing the fit of his dark trousers around his erection. There was impressive prominence in his elegant Savile Row tailoring.

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