“Are we agreed, then?” Lord Charles Graham asked. “You’ll be mine.”
“Yes, Milord” Bessie answered.
“I swear I’ll do right by you. While you are with me, I provide for all your needs. Afterwards, I’ll set you up in your own shop. I’ll provide for any children.” He wanted these assurances to be clear. She seemed willing enough now, but might worry later. He’d send his instructions to his man of business in the morning.
“Yes, milord.” She’d already said ‘yes’ once. She trusted him, and his proposition was the most romantic event in her young life.
“Then come here.” He kissed her thoroughly. His hands caressed her back before pulling her against him. The soft breasts pleased him, as did the firm belly against his member.
Bessie thought that this was the time. She had agreed; she shouldn’t worry. But she did worry. They said that the first time hurt. He turned her around, pressed his front against her back, and held her breasts. The peaks ached like they did when they were too cold, but his hands were warm -- indeed, they were hot. Lord Charles kissed her neck while one hand passed across her belly to the joining of her thighs. Suddenly, the idea of his entering her body seemed less frightening and more exciting.
“Now, dearest Bessie,” Charles said, “‘tis time for you to enjoy one of the pleasures of being mine.” He tugged the bell pull twice. Both Mary and James came into the sitting room. They had climbed the back stairs in less than two minutes. “Mary, prepare a bath for Bessie here.” Mary led her upstairs to his dressing room. He knew that the tub was already prepared. “James.”
“My robe is already in my room?”
“Then prepare me for bed.” They went up together, and James did as he was bid. He put the clothes on a chair since the wardrobe was in the dressing room where Bessie was bathing, and he helped him on with the robe. After turning the blanket and sheet onto the left-hand side of the bed and laying the bolster over them, he left. Since there was no bath involved in his preparations, Charles knew that Bessie would take much longer. He waited in a chair, reading the recently-published “Don Juan.” The fire was high and warmed the entire room. He did not need the blankets to warm him. The book seemed, despite the coyness of its language, somehow appropriate.
Bessie had never enjoyed so large a tub as the one she saw. Mary helped her undress as no one had in the past decade. The water was hot, the soap turned to creamy suds.
“There is more hot water on the hob, Miss, when you want it,” Mary said when Bessie was lying back in the tub with only her head above water.
“No, thank you. I’ve never had so hot a bath.”
“Well, Miss, it is there.” She handed her a washcloth for her face. When Bessie handed it back and rose to wash her body, Mary handed her another cloth. Both of them looked like they had been cut from a bolt of linen rather than from a piece of ruined cotton clothing. When she stepped out of the tub, Mary dried her. She handed her an expensive-looking nightgown when she reached for her clothes. “These will be washed before morning, Miss,” she said. “Milord is expecting you in there.” Mary pointed at a door.
Bessie opened the door. She’d never seen so many candles burning outside of a church. Lord Charles rose and put down his book.
“You look even lovelier like that,” he said. Bessie blushed. The nightgown left the tops of her breasts uncovered and was thin enough to reveal the rest of her shape. “Come here.” When she did, he kissed her again. His hands roamed her back and buttocks. When he licked her lips, she opened them in surprise. His tongue entered her mouth. When her tongue met it, she felt a stirring in her loins. “Come.” He led her in front of the fire. He turned her to face it and stood behind her. He kissed the side of her neck while his hands cupped her breasts. “Are you too warm?” he asked. In truth, between the fire and the caresses, she was beginning to sweat.
“Charles. When we are alone in this room, you are to call me ‘Charles’.” He lifted the nightgown at her shoulders.
“But you said that you were warm.” He kept lifting it. She had said that she was his; she raised her arms to let it come off. “You are truly beautiful.” He turned her in his arms and kissed her once more. When his mouth left hers, it continued to her face, her neck, her breasts.
Charles was finding his new acquisition quite delightful. Her bath had left her smelling attractive. Her shape was everything he’d guessed from her clothes. She hadn’t turned into a doxy now that the bargain was sealed. He didn’t want temporary monopoly on a doxy; he wanted total possession of a pure girl. She’d go with other men when he was done with her, and why not? But he would share her with not even a memory while she was his.
Bessie had agreed to this with her eyes open. It meant pain once, but she had known pain. It meant eating for the next year, eating for the rest of her life if he kept those promises. Had he thrown her down on the couch after she had agreed, she would have closed her eyes and opened her legs. This teasing, this kissing, this stripping her in the light of all those candles, was producing a real anxiety. She knew how the evening would end. She no longer had any idea what would come in between. Even so, the kisses were exciting. Being asked to call him ‘Charles,’ being waited upon by a maidservant, these opened up exciting possibilities while his kisses and possessive hands raised a different kind of excitement.
Charles moved back slightly without breaking the kiss. He passed his hand down her front. He caressed her throat, stroked her breast and tweaked the nipple, appreciated the firm belly, played with the hair on her mound. He touched both thighs momentarily before he reached her lower lips. He rubbed the outer ones together before parting them. He stroked the inner ones once before parting those. His finger entered her far enough to feel her hymen. It was intact, as he had expected. She would truly be his. As he removed his finger, he passed it over her little nubbin. She gasped.
“Charles. I want to hear you call me Charles.”
“Charles.” She could not think what to say to him after that. He didn’t wait for her to continue.
“Don’t you think it is time for us to go to bed?”
“Yes, Charles.” Whenever he suggested it was the right time.
“You will take the right-hand side.” He led her around the bed to the part which had been stripped to a sheet.
Bessie sank down into the feather bed. She appreciated the linen sheet which appeared to never have been darned. When Charles pushed her down, she lay on a soft pillow. Soon he was kissing her again. The kisses soon left her mouth. They trailed to her ear, her neck, and her breasts. That was all pleasantly exciting. When they trailed lower, however, Bessie grew nervous. The tongue digging into her navel tickled, but the trail of kisses went even lower.
When Charles reached the hair on Bessie’s groin, he knelt on the bed. He walked on his knees until he was between her legs. She looked worried, but not resistant. Good! But her acceptance was not enough. The price of acceptance was three pence. He wanted her enthusiasm. He began kissing her thighs. As he approached the mons Veneris, Bessie must have realized his destination.
“No, milord. That is not right.” Kissing a woman there! A lord kissing a woman there! Being kissed there!
“Au contraire, Bessie.” Damn! The girl’s parents were farm laborers. She probably didn’t know even that much French. “Just the opposite, Bessie. That kiss is right. For one thing, it’s my right. You said that you belonged to me, didn’t you?”
“Yes, milord ... Charles.”
“Then I can kiss any part of my possession that I choose to. Right?”
Having won the argument, Charles returned to her thigh. The kisses began a little closer to the knee than they had ended. Soon enough, though, he got a whiff of her aroma. She might argue, but she had been aroused. He proceeded towards his goal.
When Lord Charles kissed the very top of her thigh, so intimately that his cheek was pressed against her parts, Bessie held her breath. First his fingers parted her lower lips; then his tongue crept between them. She knew that was wrong; but when she’d consented to be his, she’d consented to his doing with her what he willed. Obeying him, for that matter obeying a lord, was right.