Sarah didn't know that her mother was about to visit her in her chamber and had already surrendered herself to the throes of sexual ecstasy. The warm liquid tongue of one of her handmaids, Cherry, was extruded deep within the inner lips of Sarah's vulva, while Sarah had thrust an exploratory finger up her servant's anus. But Lady St. Cuthbert knew better than to interrupt her daughter until the moment of orgasm was achieved, although she observed that Clematis, Sarah's other handmaid—also naked and ready to assist whenever needed—had noticed the baroness approach and subtly signalled to Cherry that there should now be a pause in the lovemaking.
Sarah sat up languidly, naked from the waist down except for the sheer silk chemise that obscured her bosom. Her long hair cascaded freely onto her shoulders, and served to further distinguish her from her handmaids whose heads like that of all men and women of common birth was shaved bald at least once a day. Sarah steadied herself on Cherry's shoulders to raise herself up to greet her mother with due respect, but Lady St. Cuthbert was impatient and indicated with a dismissive flick of her wrist that such ceremony was not required on this occasion.
"I shan't trouble you for long, dear," said Sarah's mother as she stroked Clematis' bare back and registered the handmaid's purr of appreciation. "Your father and I have at last decided on the man whom you should marry and I thought it was only right to tell you the glad tidings as soon as I could."
"And who might this gentleman be, Mother?" Sarah asked, grateful that her parents should put so much effort into arranging their daughter's future happiness.
"He's not titled, but he is a man of estate and social standing," said Lady St. Cuthbert. "His name is Charles Kingston. He is the eldest son of the Kingston family and has significant stocks and holdings in Information Technology and Shale Gas Extraction."
"That doesn't make him sound like a man of great worth or esteem," Sarah sniffed. "His blood doesn't have the provenance of honourable lineage. Nor does he owe his fortune to the bounty of noble estate."
"But he does have substantial wealth, my dear," said her mother. "And that is the worth of many titles. He is also a man of great virility who has fathered many bastards, so we are confident that you shall provide him with children and us with grandchildren. And furthermore I have heard report from some of my widowed acquaintances that he is a fuck of the most admirable quality. But fret not, my dear. If he has earned the approval of your father and his father also, your grandfather, then it will be a worthy match for you."
"When shall I meet Mr Kingston, Mother?" Sarah asked.
"We shall arrange a suitable occasion, my dear," said Lady St. Cuthbert. "And then after the appropriate vetting and DNA profiling, you and he shall be wed."
"And where might that be, Mother?"
"That is the prerogative of the groom, my dear," said Sarah's mother. "But he will almost certainly consult your father who, as you know, has always had a fondness for Conglingbury Abbey. It's a fine and venerable church and we know the Abbot well."
"Thank you, Mother," said Sarah. She glanced at Clematis whose shaved pate her mother was appreciatively stroking. "Would you like to accompany me in my recreation. Mother?" she asked. "My handmaidens will surely be a change from your own."
"Not now, dear," said the baroness. "I have business to attend to. We can exchange handmaids on another occasion. I have employed a new one, Wisteria, whose body is most exquisite and who has a pleasingly slim wrist. You and she will get on well together I'm sure."
"As long as the hand at the end of her wrist doesn't enter my thatched cottage," Sarah said in sly reference of the imperative that she preserve her virginity until she was wed.
"Quite, my dear," agreed Lady St. Cuthbert, who might have reflected that the euphemism didn't describe very well a crotch that had been shaved ever since the first hair could be tweaked and according to custom would remain so until her daughter was a woman of senior years.
Sarah didn't have to wait until the official date of her introduction to Charles Kingston for her to find out more about her prospective husband. She could discover so much by browsing the internet and social media. She could easily research his pedigree, rank, stock-holdings and annual wealth, but she assumed her parents had already conducted such preliminary research on such dry but critical matters. Nevertheless, Sarah did ascertain that his wealth was on an ascending trajectory thanks to the insatiable demand for shale gas. Most news stories regarding his business interests gave a flattering account of his respect for the environment and, in the less elevated media, disrespectful stories relating to the common people who'd been disadvantaged by having the foundation of their homes undermined and their drinking water poisoned. But, as the business reports stressed, this was a necessary if regretful side-effect of the hydraulic fracturing process of extraction. But what Sarah most wanted to know wasn't the size of his bank account (which would have to be considerable for him to be an acceptable suitor), but rather the size of his cock.
This and other intimate details could be found in the blogs of the better sort of woman who'd borne his bastards (the lesser sort Sarah wasn't interested in apart from the consoling knowledge that the man's appetite was never easily sated). There were no photographs of his erect cock nor any film of his sexual activity. If there had been, such disrespectful images would soon be removed following legal threats from his lawyers who were alert to the damage to his dignity this could cause. There was also intriguing suggestion that Mr Kingston's appetite extended beyond young women. There were several photographs of him with manservants in several degrees of undress and sometimes clad only in leather or latex. By all accounts, Charles Kingston not only possessed a large cock but was enamoured of those possessed by other men. Further evidence of his diverse palate was provided by the many pictures of him with the young Duke of Grosvenor and Baron Cholmondeley of West Farwich: also gentlemen of catholic taste.
Still, the internet was no substitute for the real thing, so Sarah looked forward to the formal introduction to her suitor that followed his acceptance of her parents' expression of intent and the accompanying invitation to their principal address. Such an appointment was, indeed, a formality because both Sarah and Mr Kingston were aware that the outcome of the process of engagement once began was more or less a foregone conclusion.
Sarah's servants spent many hours applying make-up to her face and trying out the costly designer outfits that had been bought specifically for the occasion. The draped silk dress left her shoulders bare and fell fashionably open at the front so that little effort indeed was needed to catch a glance at her nipples. And for this reason, much care was taken to ensure that they were rouged and powdered as much as her face and shoulders so as to present her in the best possible light. Her servants were also attired lavishly and tastefully, only in their case the dresses revealed everything that a man might desire to see and they would be returned to the wardrobe as soon as the ceremonial introduction was over. It would never do for a servant to become too accustomed to luxury.
Charles Kingston was dressed in a most becoming designer suit with a bold parrot green silk cravat around his neck and an ostentatious bejewelled watch on his wrist and much precious metal on his fingers. He was accompanied by a tall manservant also dressed very finely, but like Sarah's servants, his shaved and polished head betrayed his menial status.
"I'm delighted to make your acquaintance, Madam," said Sarah's suitor.
"Likewise, Mr Kingston. And you may henceforth address me as Sarah."
"Thank you, Sarah. And please call me Charles."
With that formality over, Sarah and Charles discreetly wandered away from the company of Sarah's mother and the entourage of lesser relatives and servants, and walked together, each accompanied by only a single servant, out through the balcony door and into the St Cuthbert formal gardens. As they strode together, arm in arm, followed a few steps behind by the servants with their heads bowed down, the couple were discreetly saluted by the bare-chested gardeners and labourers.
"So, Charles," said Sarah relishing the name on her lips. "Is this engagement that my parents have arranged agreeable to you?"
"Indeed it is, Sarah," said Mr Kingston. "You are indeed, as they say, a 'catch'."
"And you are indeed a man of wealth and distinction, Charles," said Sarah. "And on other matters: I have heard that you are also a man with a record and a reputation..."
Mr Kingston chuckled good-humouredly. "So, I've been caught out, Sarah," he said with an irrepressible grin. "You know about my bastards, mistresses and lovers. Are they an issue for you? I've discussed the matter with your parents and it doesn't trouble them at all."
"My only concern, Charles," said Sarah with a similarly good natured smile, "is that after my hymen is breached and my virginity sacrificed, that I am not neglected or disregarded."
"I understand perfectly," said Mr Kingston. "My manservants are of excellent character. They give as well as they receive as I can happily testify. Why, Wayne here has a magnificent cock and a most accommodating arse."
"I'm delighted to hear it, Charles," said Sarah. "But I'm sure you understand me when I say that the services of common servants are merely to be expected. For instance, I would happily avail you of the services of Clematis here at any time and place of your choosing. I can assure you that would discover that her arse is also most accommodating, but I am certain that if you were ever in need of a plebeian fuck you could find other women to your taste with no difficulty whatsoever. It is the attention of those more refined that I'm sure you prize the most. As so do I."
"I am certain that my close friends in even the most elevated circles would be delighted to make your intimate acquaintance, Sarah," said Mr Kingston, delighted perhaps to have resolved what could have been a quite tricky matter amongst some of the less worldly-wise women of the higher orders. "But first of all we must ensure that the children you bear are the fruit of my loins and no one else's."
"And as part of the bargain, Charles," said Sarah to maintain the easy banter, "I shall ensure that you and no one else will be the first to breach what is truly a door waiting to be opened."
"Naturally," said Mr Kingston, while Sarah confirmed that her remarks had prompted a bulge in the crotch of his neatly creased trousers.
Although Sarah knew that she had very little say in the preparations for the wedding and subsequent honeymoon, she felt more enthusiastic about the minutiae of it all now that she was certain that matrimony, rather than being the compromise she'd always feared, might actually be the beginning of a more fulfilling love life. Already she was scanning Charles Kingston's friends as listed on social media and, more significantly, on the online society gossip periodicals. There were many amongst the men most often photographed with him who had seeming promise. She could already envisage her anus being filled by the throbbing member of the Honourable Member for Lower Strickland, while her husband's was lodged where it belonged in her vagina. And there were ladies of Charles' acquaintance who might be at least as much fun as her handmaids, though Sarah was sure that once married she would no longer have such a need for Sapphic recreation.
"Would you like for me to arrange a hen party for you, my dear?" Sarah's mother asked as preparations approached a more advanced state.
"Only if you come along too, Mother," Sarah replied loyally.