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Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
***
Joined
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Chapter 14

The master of the house loitered outside his own room.

The same cowardly emotion that has driven him out of the house that morning had risen once more in the form of an apprehensive lump in his throat. Margaret had not outed his boorish behaviour as they dined – for, by her looks, something had indeed happened last night.

That should have relieved him. And yet, it did not.

The domestic conversation at dinner had completely eradicated any ability to talk of anything personal…and it suddenly seemed that there was so much to speak of. And to think of – he had not recognized Margaret Belltaunt as the same panicked belle at his house party all those years ago. She had been done up, trussed and dressed like all of the other young women. Although years had slipped by, Margaret looked younger than she had that night. Then, her dark hair had been smoothed back from her pale brow, whereas she now peeped up at him from a fringe of hair like a child. She had been dressed in expensive fabrics, whereas the Margaret of today dressed in well made, but simple garments. And of course, her face had been red from heat and tears - as contrasted with the quiet, dignified woman he had seen so much of recently.

Nothing in either her physical appearance or demeanor had given the connection away before. Yet, as the words had been rapped out in that soft yet implacable voice, Geoffrey had realized that there was only one other person who would have known the events of that evening. That evening had, of course, been fixed in his mind for several reasons. Not least of all because the following day he had lost almost everything. And although that sort of behaviour that his late wife had demonstrated that evening was not uncommon, it had been a unique enough circumstance to fix it keenly in his mind.

Finally pushing the door ajar, he slipped inside. A wave of exhaustion crashed into him as he realized what a long day it had been, and how little he had eaten. Swaying on his feet, he moved towards the wash basin. His clothing stuck to him as he tried to peel it from him. One article at a time landed in a heap at his feet until he stood naked in the last dregs of the sunlight.

Thick forearms met chubby upper arms that shook and wobbled lightly with the motion of his scrubbing. The pale flesh of his thighs dimpled as he shuffled about. Raising his arms one by one caused the corresponding chunk of flesh on his chest to rise up and flatten before sagging back down onto his belly. Without clothes, seen in the slowly diffusing light, it looked as soft and heavy. As the sun slipped away, the golden hair on his chest stopped glinting, as did the patch of hair leading from his paunchy navel to between his hips.

Rinsing the cloth, Geoffrey moved on to his legs, aware of how his stomach touched his thighs as he bent forward. About how the sacks of fat over his hips shifted in a contrary beat to the rolls of fat that spread under his arms and onto his back. As he slid the cloth down his sensitive skin, he shivered. Good God – Margaret had seen his bloated form. A prickling shame heated his neck and made him roll a shoulder uncomfortably.

It had been a while since he purposefully looked into a glass while bare. It had never been a pleasant sight, but destructive curiosity drove him forward – what had she seen, last night? Turning and stepping forward with the heavy, shuffling stride of a man who would rather be doing anything than what he was about to, he approached his glass.

While walking, his round ass bunched and shook with each step. His thick thighs, still damp, firmly slid past each other. Free from restraint, everything bounced, shook, and shimmied. The man seemed to feel it too, keeping his eyes closed and face averted until the motion calmed into stillness.

One lid raised, revealing a tired blue eye. The muscles around the eye winced, as though trying to protect the sensibilities of the orb within. Geoffrey inhaled, lifted his head, and opened his other eye. The corners of his lips pulled down as his nostrils flared in clear distaste. After a quick but thoroughly punishing perusal, the man threw himself onto his bed with a groan.

What was he going to do?

When he woke – when had he gone to sleep? – the moon was up, but the night not far advanced. As usual, his jaw ached from clenching and grinding his molars in the night. At least no dream chased him from the shadows of his consciousness; all he could recall was unpleasant feelings.

A noise sounded. More alert now than moments before, he sat up. Now that it was repeated, that same noise had been what had roused him from his sleep. Stealing quietly from the bed, he quickly pulled on his breeches and moved to the door that separated his apartment from hers for better inspection. It was such a thin barrier, he reflected. When the sound occurred again, he realized that it was the sound of moving furniture across the floor, followed by muttering.

The plump hand raised, curled into a fist to rap, and then lowered. The action was repeated several times as the owner changed in complexion from red, to pale, to red again. When the sound of a strangled yelp sounded, he swallowed hard. “Margaret?” he called in a low voice, face near the door. “Are you well?”

The door almost immediately unclosed, as if her hand had been upon the latch already. Tall, thin, and hauntingly beautiful in her simplicity, she stood before him.

Words failed upon seeing her. What must she have thought of him, these past weeks? She had clearly never forgotten him. His good breeding and common courtesy cuffed him cruelly, to have not known her to be Clarice’s sister, or recognized her from their own meeting. Forgotten, relegated by all, including him. A casual good turn done years ago had clearly made more of an impression on her brain than his. Stronger emotion nipped the heels of the weaker; anger faded to guilt in a flash as he baldly acknowledged that any kindness he had done her that day had clearly been undone by the events of last night. No one other than Margaret, he was sure, could have endured what he forced on her, then continued on with such poise.

She had said nothing tonight. Neither had he. Indeed, what could he say? Something needed to be said, it was certain. His eyes were averted, but when they finally shifted to her, they opened wide.

The willowy woman before him was clad in the thinnest possible nightgown, so thin that rather than covering for modesty, it clung to the point of eroticism. “Margaret.” He had not intended that raw need fill his hoarse voice. There had been no intention to touch her. But somehow she was in his arms. As she melted into him, she let out a noise which instantly aroused him.

Ineptitude. Inexperience. Geoffrey, the married man, had never kissed a woman. Yet never had he wanted to more than now. When she twined her thin arms around his neck, her small but pert breasts pressed into his chest and her face drew closer. She seemed to fit into him perfectly, draped across his front. Her words roused him from his fantasy that he could feel her nipples against his chest, through the intervening cloth.

“Geoffrey…” Her pupils were huge in the dim light, so stark against her pale skin.

Instantly freezing, he swallowed. Draw back, man! What are you about? Have you no more control than a rutting animal? Have you –

“Kiss me? Like you did last night,” she added in that oddly soft, yet direct way. “Here,” she added after a pause, turning her head to offer her neck to his lips.

Demanding little creature, Geoffrey thought in amazement. Ever a mark for pleasing women, he found himself automatically, eagerly obeying. Supple, soft skin met his lips as he leaned in. Her warm scent tickled his nose and he groaned in anticipation, arms curling round her tightly.

“No, no, not here.”

Or not. His arms sprang open instantly.

“The doorway, crowded,” she murmured fretfully, disengaging enough to step back.

Geoffrey was a self-acknowledged coward, and would have slunk back into his own room but for the pressure from her hand in his. Submissive to her direction, he was lead deeper into the room. The furniture seemed to mock his entry as he was lead to…her side table. He turned to face her in astonishment.

Margaret’s features were clearer in the light of the candle. She gave him her smile – a small tug at each corner of her mouth with a decided softening around her eyes. “You hardly ate today,” she stated in a voice full of reproach.

He had, hadn’t he? “I…did, did I not?” The rebuke was that of a person who has gone to a great extent and had not received due praise. Every other time she had cooked for him, she had waited to hear his appreciation. All of those meals in her own kitchen…. Had he even thanked her for dinner? The dinner that she, his guest, had made for him, her host? It was all so hazy.

“You did not,” she countered, ticking off each of his offenses on her delicate fingers. “You did not stay for breakfast, or eat anything. You did not come in during the afternoon, and Martha said you took no basket. None of your men – I cannot remember their names yet – said you took no food or refreshment while out with them today. And you barely touched anything tonight.” Stepping aside, she lifted the lid off of something with a mild flourish.

His taste buds immediately announced their approval by a rush of salivation. “Margaret – you…did not have to cook something else for me.” Abruptly realizing he was without a shirt, in her room, he straightened, sucked his paunch in, and took a step back.

She raised her dark eyes to his, moving a predatory step to intercept his retreat. “Of course I did – you did not enjoy the food I made today.”

“No!” he hastened to say, for although everything had tasted like ash tonight, he could very well recall everything he had eagerly gorged on in her presence. “I was just…distracted.” How could she be so cool? He wondered as he watched her carefully plate a hefty portion. How could she lean into him and moan with pleasure? Not with him. Never with Geoffrey Telford. What in him made her reserve melt like frost under a mid-day sun? He did not need to look down to recall the bloated image he had viewed before sleep.

But a more pressing matter than his own insecurities forced themselves through his lips. “Last night…”

The elegant women straightened, moving towards him with mild curiosity, plate in hand. “Yes?” Stopping before him, she offered the plate to him.

Loath to yet again gorge himself in her presence – for he was certain to, if he began – he made no effort to take it. At the same time, a wave of fatigue struck him so soundly he swayed on his feet.

“Sit.” She commanded with quiet authority, pointing to the single stool with a long finger. She appeared as implacable as any assured conqueror in history, and he soon capitulated. They needed to discuss this, even if it was under her own rules of engagement.

To his surprise, she knelt between his knees. Using one of his broad thighs to balance the plate, she carefully stretched to put the morsel to his lips. When his lips did not stir to take it, her eyes slitted, lips compressing. “Put this in your mouth,” she nearly growled, staring fixedly into his eyes. It was a surprisingly direct look from a woman who avoided eye contact in general.

A strangled laugh broke from his throat as he stared down at her. He swallowed, choked on his own spit, and then obediently opened his lips. Warm fingers slipped the morsel onto his tongue. Familiar pleasure ricocheted through him, causing an unconscious sigh of delight to pass through his lips. That exhale was stopped by the tentative press on his lips. Opening eyes that he had not realized were closed, he realized she had risen up to kiss him.

“Your heart is beating so fast,” her seductress murmured in a tone of wonder, one hand splayed over the region in question. “Mine is as well,” she added with sweet simplicity, taking his hand and placing it on her own chest in demonstration.

Yes, it was. He could feel it thunder rapidly, and he was as out of breath as if he had tried to run a footrace. Her lips were so soft, so pleasing against his. The way her breath mingled with his own, and how her nose brushed his… “Margaret, we have matters to discuss,” he managed at last. His hands, however, would not release their retaining grasp on her slender waist. He tugged her closer.

Picking up the plate, the woman sat on his vacated thigh as though she had done it dozens of times previously. “Of course,” was the agreeable response, followed by another morsel.

When his mouth was free, he began again. “Last night…”

He had expected shame, or anger, or even embarrassment. Instead, she caught her underlip between her teeth, eyes going heavy lidded. Her gaze dropped to his body, and she again made that noise that caused his mind to blank. “Last night?” she urged after a moment, recalling him to his purpose.

“I was very drunk,” he blurted, then cursed himself for a ham handed fool. “What I mean is, I do not recall as much of last night as I could wish…”

“Mm,” she murmured absently, eyes tracing every roll and fold on his torso.

Several long moments passed while the master of the house waited for her to make a comment. His hands were busy stroking her hip bones. Holding his hands by sheer force of will, he heaved a sigh of frustration that caused her to wriggle oddly. “Margaret, for pity’s sake, help a man out!” And stop blasted staring at me as if I am some sort of experiment!

No encouraging word fell from her lips. No fluttering feminine grace to help him. Instead, she popped another mouthful of food into his mouth. “You need to eat more, and talk less,” she advised him with the hauteur of a physician administering instructions to an intractable patient.

He could strangle her! Snatching the plate from her, he shoved the remaining bites in, swallowed, and glared. The glare only increased when she calmly handed him a glass to wash the meal down with. “Margaret. My dear.” Something in his own tone struck him as offensive, and he swallowed the rest of the sentence, wondering why that tone sounded so familiar to him. Gentling it, he took her hands in his. “I need you to focus.” She was in fact focused on him, but the attention was rather not to the purpose.

“I am listening.” And she dutifully raised her eyes to his.

“We had intercourse last night, did we not?”

“We did,” the woman on his lap affirmed with a shocking lack of the delicate emotions the fairer sex were said to have.

Dear god, he had known it, but to hear it…! “Then you understand that I have compromised you in the most villainous way imaginable. Margaret, we must marry.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why? You are an unmarried woman. I have compromised you!”

She gave him a thinly veiled look of annoyance. The look of one who is waiting for another to finish their sentence. And? – it seemed to say.

“I will not force you to marry me,” he finally ground out through clenched teeth. Long moments passed with no reasons. Of course, he had known she might refuse. But to have to sit through it. While, by the by, she was still perched impertinently upon his lap. Finally, he grated out, “As much as I want us to be wed, I will not force you.” For the idea of being bound to this lusty woman was not unpalatable. He had received more affection in the past weeks than in the years of his marriage. What if there was a child?

At the last words, her face stilled, then transformed. “You…want to marry…me?” Her luminous eyes met his once more, her cheeks high with colour. “Me?” she repeated, as if there could be another person waiting in the wings to swoop in and take her place.

The shift made him blink, and his brain raced over their conversation with an internal groan. He knew better than that! Margaret always responded best to straight questions, direct intentions. You are an unmarried woman who I have compromised? A fact, but not even a question. The fact that he did not want to force her into marriage? Ditto. And that tone of exasperation that had thrilled his nerves earlier? That was the same tone in which Clarice spoke to her sister.

His eyes burned and his throat tightened at her look of shy, hopeful adoration. “Of course I do. But,” he added, supressing the raw emotion that had risen up. “It has only been a few weeks since my wife passed away. I cannot…in good conscious, act quickly without ruining your reputation. There will be questions; rumours. Besides, your sister will want the spotlight for now. Will you wait a few more weeks?”

She looked devastated; her shoulders slumped, her eyes dropping to the floor. She even rocked herself back and forth several times, like a child.

Geoffrey bundled her closer. Oddly, she did not seem to protest the proximity. “Only a few weeks,” he reiterated, making his voice soft and soothing. “You seem upset – surely a few weeks will not change your mind,” he added with a wry laugh. “Or maybe, with time to think, you will decide against the idea…”

“I will never change my mind.” Was the oddly firm response. Then, oddity and Margaret went hand in hand. “I simply…” She cast a fragile look up at him from where she nestled in his arms. “I very much wanted to…touch again. As we did last night. We do not need to wait weeks for that, do we?” was the wistful inquiry. One warm hand slid down his sternum, between his breasts, followed the curve of his belly to his lap. Her eyes flickered up, lip once more caught between her teeth.

“No,” he gasped out. Her warm little hand seemed to be everywhere around his member – he wanted to thrust his hips until she grasped it. “No need to wait at all!”

How had she made this so damnably easy for him? Why had she made it so easy? Was this really what other men had in their wiv – pleasure spiked. Later. Enough thinking. Enough talking.
 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
***
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
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I have a few more chapters ready (but I am being called away by my own BHM to feed him and watch deadpool, apparently).

Juiciness to follow in due course...

and LOL @ Goreki
 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
***
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
2,919
Location
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Chapter 15

“Were my suggestions helpful?”

The tall woman blushed, hiding her expression by turning away. “Very much. Thank you.”

Last night Martha had cornered her in the kitchen. They had known each other far too long for something so important to go unnoticed.

Martha was a country grown, square faced woman. As earthy and wholesome as the place she came from. A keen glance out of her dark eyes, a few pointed questions, and she had her answer. “And what are you going to do about it now?” She had asked comfortably.

“I do not understand your question,” Margaret had murmured, turning an egg over and over in her hands. Her mind was too busy spinning around the feeling of his thick, slick flesh sliding over her. How he had so reverently stroked her, murmuring in an awed tone. How he had filled her inside to the point of bursting, and how his flesh had been everywhere about her; his thick thighs thrusting against her, his arms caging her. And how his large stomach had lapped against her.

God, that feeling!

“What I mean is; you’ve loved that man for years. You’ve got him cornered; are you going to snap him up? Make him your husband,” Martha had clarified at the other’s blank look. “Or have you had enough of him, after your tumble?”

“No, I will never enough.”

“Well then.” And the other woman had grinned, taking the egg from her hands. “Let Martha tell you a bit about how to please a man…”

“What suggestions?” A deep voice inquired, making them both jump.

The older woman was the first to recover her composure. “Never you mind. And sit yourself down on that chair out of our way. We have enough work on our hands without a great bull like you knocking things over. I swear, this house may not a great big thing, but it is more than us two can manage. I cannot wait until the folk Clarice hired get here. Speaking of being here.” And she turned her stout body to eye her master with affection. “Why are you are here?”

Raoul sat on the stool indicated, crossing his long legs at the ankles. An irreverent yawn met her irreverent look, his response as casual as her demand. “Why else would a man be driven from his bed so early in the morning? I am hungry.” And the plump man gave a roguish wink at the younger woman, who coloured and turned away. “And it will be forever until the others come down to eat. Come, Martha, do not be stingy.”

His housekeeper’s sniff, however, did not seem particularly forthcoming. Margaret silently fetched him several rolls.

The plate has scarcely touched the table before one was snatched up. It steamed under his fingers, making him yelp and insert the damaged digits into his mouth. Undeterred, Raoul slathered a generous portion of butter on each half. Quickly inserting one into his mouth, he blew around the steam. “’ank hoo. Ah, hot!”

“You could wait until it was cool,” she commented dryly, yet fascinated by his voracious hunger.

He cast her a scandalized look in return, still exhaling heat. “No indeed! Martha’s rolls are the best rolls I have ever eaten – and they simply must be eaten piping hot. And these are particularly good.”

The slender woman watched as he again smeared the knife against the spongey surface. “Not Martha’s rolls - those rolls are made by me,” she said placidly before returning to the eggs before her.

Raoul inhaled in surprise, made a squeal of pain as the hot pastry connected with his throat, swallowed reflexively, then gave a muted roar of pain as the mass slid down his throat. Diving forward, he snatched the milk from beside Margaret’s elbow, who jumped in surprise. Unceremoniously putting his lips to the edge, he greedily gulped several mouthfuls of cooling liquid. “Ahhh!”

Martha was glaring at him over the edge as he lowered it. “You great lout! You greedy boy! You’ve ruined it!”

“What do you mean? I only took the smallest possible mouthful.” His lips were ringed with thick white, and his pink tongue stole out, like a cat.

“Well – we cannot very well serve that to anyone else, now, can we?”

He stilled, looking vaguely guilty. “Huh. Well then. Waste not, want not. ” And, hitching a wide shoulder in a half shrug, the man again raised the container to his lips. As he chugged, a thin line of white escaped his lips, snaking down his stubbled cheek and neck. As he tilted the jug up for better access, his round middle seemed to grow wider, tauter under his shirt.

“Oh, you bad child!”

Margaret followed that line with her eyes. That shirt was so thin that as it tightened, the dark divot marking the lower half of his stomach became apparent, the swollen flesh puffing about it. In fact, she was so engrossed in watching Raoul’s stomach slowly firm and bow out that for several moments, she missed Geoffrey standing in the doorway.

*~*~*

He had thought that this sort of murderous anger was solely confined to his night terrors. But he wanted to knock that container out of Raoul’s hands, shove him off that chair, hurt him. Which was foolhardy, as Raoul was a trained to spar, and fat as he was, was still miles more fit than Geoff had ever been.

Blue eyes narrowed, nostrils flaring, he watched as Margaret’s dark eyes hooded, her gaze traversing the length of Raoul Nottingham’s frame. Those dark eyes which had gazed on him last night with such abandon, now seemed engrossed in memorizing the details of another man.

Nottingham lowered the jug with a gasp. His cheeks reddened after a silent burp passed through his puffed cheeks. Then he hiccupped. Then he did it again, louder, and with a wince.

“Serves you right!” Martha said, stalking forward to plant a hard finger into the man’s swollen middle.

Hiccuping ever few seconds, he paused long enough to voice a complaint over the rough treatment, hands raising to cradle his wound.

“Katherine would not be pleased to see you chugging and glutting yourself down here!”

“Indeed not – she would be quite upset not to have witnessed it herself.” Or at least that is what the murmur sounded like - if Geoffrey’s ears didn’t deceive him. “Well if you will give me a few more rolls I will be on my way.” And he lurched to his feet, stomach straining against his shirt. As he hiccupped the mass lifted, dropped, and jiggled.

Margaret swallowed, her pink tongue moistened her lips, and she gave an involuntary little shudder.

Geoffrey’s fingers tightened into fists, and he stepped forward. His brain was buzzing with anger until Margaret said;

“No. The remaining rolls are for Geoffrey.”

Ignoring the faltering voice, or rather attempting to charm the speaker, Raoul grinned and ruffled his thick hair. “Come now, Margaret. Be a dear. Geoffrey couldn’t possibly need all those rolls.”

“They are for Geoffrey.” Margaret reiterated more firmly.

“He is a big fellow, but he doesn’t need all those rolls. Spare me three?” And he patted the side of his middle with a puppy dog look.

“You are a big fellow too,” she retorted, her face deepening into a brilliant shade of red. “And I could not spare one.”

“Ah, indeed I am. But you see, I am a growing boy.” And he placed one palm on either side of his belly. Giving it a heft, he winked one of those slate eyes, rimmed with long lashes. “And I have to assist my wife in eating for two.” Her resolve seemed to falter for an instant. Sensing weakness, the man stepped beyond her with one long stride, arm extended to take his spoils. The next instant, he recoiled with a yelp, cradling his hand.

“I said…the rest are for Geoffrey.”

“You little chit…” For half a heartbeat Geoff thought the man was going to lash out at her, but he only narrowed his eyes and stared as he nursed his other hand. “Now where did you learn to do that, I wonder?” And he cast a glare at Martha. “You are a terrible influence.”

“T’wasn’t the first time she’s rapped you smartly, and I daresay it wont be the last," She replied placidly.

Any retort or inquiry he was about to make was interrupted by,“Geoffrey!”

Margaret had noticed him in the doorway. An odd hitch and flutter in his rather wide middle made him pause a moment on the landing. Her normally sombre face was brimming with a small but delighted smile. Would they notice something off? “Good morning, Margaret. I apologize for coming down so early, but I find myself quite hungry after walking about all afternoon yesterday. Do you happen to have a bite I could take now?”

Raoul, still nursing his hand, narrowed his eyes at him. “Morning, Geoff. I was just saying to the ladies how you couldn’t possibly need all these buns,” gesturing to the half dozen or so that sat behind Margaret’s staunch guard.

There was no reason to poke the badger, but he found himself saying, “Oh, I don’t know, I am quite famished.” And he took a seat beside where Raoul had taken his. Immediately several rolls were supplied, as well as clotted cream, jam, butter, and milk.

Raoul glared, seating himself to consume his last roll with no good grace. Geoffrey had never been on the receiving end of the other man’s aggression before. It now showed its face in a jutted chin, clenched jaw, and hard eyes. A sort of quiet, roiling violence brimmed behind the casual seat the man took.

The rolls were in fact delicious; the perfect mix of crusty, flakey, moist, and chewy. Now, normally Geoffrey would have stopped at two if alone. But stirred by something inexplicable, he found himself shoving a forth, then a fifth inside his mouth.

Margaret’s gaze slowly stopped flick towards Raoul, focusing with unblinking intensity on the Geoffrey. Her breathing shallowed, her lids half shadowed her eyes, and her lips parted.

Finally placing the last between his lips, Geoffrey cleared his throat, eyeing the man next to him. Quickly downing the glass, he reached for the other jug. It had been a long time since he had done this, and almost slopped it over himself at one point. Hidden from view, his eyes closed at the tight sensation spreading pleasantly through his middle. As he gulped, he seemed to fill every nook, every cranny. It was as if the bread expanded even further until he was filled to the brim. As he lowered the jug, three sets of eyes regarded him.

“Well, I hope you gentlemen are pleased with yourselves,” Martha exclaimed, placing plump hands on her plump hips.

Impossibly, his stomach felt like it was tightening further. With each pulse of flesh, a pulse of familiar pleasure jolted into his crotch. A quiet pat showed him it was as taut on the outside as it felt inside. Tight as a snare drum. The master of the house shifted, eyeing his rival.

Perhaps rival was not the best term, but Raoul gazed at him as if he had just thrown down a gauntlet. And Geoffrey could not disagree as he locked eyes with him. “Well, I suppose I had better get back to Kitty,” he grumbled, eyeing the remains of the crumbs. Raoul’s stomach gave a muted grumble, and he rubbed it soothingly while half pushing himself to his feet.

“Wait.”

Turning back towards Margaret with a raised brow, he suddenly grinned as he accepted his consolation prize. “I take it back. You are wonderful, Margaret.” Her face flushed as he took the basket on his arm. One long arm snaked by her body to take up another jug. Ignoring Martha’s shriek, he backed out of the kitchen, arms raised. “You are the one who said fresh milk would be good for her, Martha! I am only being a dutiful husband!”

Husband. Shaking his head of the remaining fog of jealousy, Geoffrey felt his face heat. Of all the men who might be his competition, did he really suspect for a moment that it might be Raoul? Raoul, who clearly doted on his wife? Who worshiped the ground she walked on?

Turning his face to Margaret, he watched her as she watched Raoul leave. It expressed a sort of wry affection, mayhap some appreciation, but nothing like the way her eyes kindled from within when she gazed at him. “I should go upstairs.”

“Why don’t you go with him, Margaret.”

Geoffrey felt his blood turn cold, and he swung around to stare at the housekeeper. He had told her it should be a secret…had she told her sister? Why did he even care?

“No need to look that way, Master Geoffrey. I’ve known Miss Margaret since Raoul was knee high. She didn’t say a thing at first – I guessed. Now, it isn’t my place to judge. But.” And she made a vague gesture upstairs. “Seems like I did my boys right in my advice to them, given that they both found their womenfolk. If I was to give advice – which I wouldn’t, seeing how it isn’t my place and all. But if I was, I think there couldn’t be much harm in enjoying oneself for a few days while the others are distractedly in love. Life is too short not to take our comfort where we find it, you ken?”

His throat loosened, his blood began flowing again. She would not sound the alarm. “And if I was the type of man to take advice, which I am not. What would you recommend for keeping this whole thing quiet for a trice?”

The corners of her lips turned up, and crinkles radiated from the corners of her eyes. “Oh, boyo. You can’t hide this.”

They couldn’t? Why?

“Because you’re both happy.”

And that is so unusual?

“And that, Geoffrey Telford, is something I ain’t seen in you in all the years you were with your old wife. Oh, I know all about it. We gossip and watch from the shadows, servant folk do. And as for happiness - I don’t think Margaret has ever tasted it. Can you two hide this, and pretend to be civil and polite? Oh, aye. Can you hide how you come alive when each other is in the room…?” She shrugged. “Why do you want to hide it anyhow?”

Harry had told him that speaking to Martha was like confessing. Under her direct, mothering way, Geoffrey found words slipping from him without premeditation as well. He twined his fingers with Margaret’s. “I’ve never had anything precious before. I want it for my own, at least for a while, before life tarnishes it.” Nothing good in his life lasted. If this was going to be the only draft of happiness that was to be his, he would glut himself gulping it down, drinking every last drop from this poison cup until it was stolen from his fingers! And maybe, if he damaged this situation enough, it would be thought good that he could retain the shattered remnants of it.

“Oh, Geoffrey Telford.” She shook her head with a chuckle. “You can’t tarnish a heart of pure gold. Now. Off you two go. Get out of my sight. Shoo!”
 

Goreki

Fairy tales and Woe
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Oct 4, 2005
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The happy dancing that I am doing right now does not translate well.
Thank you!!!!
 

Anjula

the bitchy one
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
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pooland
So so so happy! Two updates in such a short time! I'm dancing that happy dance alongside Goreki!
 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
***
Joined
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,
Chapter 16


Geoffrey lay in his bed. There was something amiss, however, something to his right taking up space on the otherwise normally conspicuously empty area. Rolling over, he realized there was a form – a person, covered in the bedclothes.

With the sort of numb, inevitably movements of a dream, he grasped the edge of the sheet and pulled it down.

Martha Telford glared at him, her pinched features drawn even more tightly under a knit brow. The hard lines of her face deepening in displeasure.

“Ma-Martha!”

“I told you, you would never be happy!” she hissed. Before his eyes, her skin began to sag, moulder, and fall from her bones entirely. Reaching out a rotting limb, she grasped the side of his head. “You will always be mine!” she hissed before her body collapsed into a cloud of choking dust…


“NO!” Geoffrey shouted, lurching up in bed. As his heart thundered and his chest heaved, a warm, not skeletal hand gently caressed his head. Turning, he gazed down on his living bed fellow.

Margaret gently tugged at him until he collapsed back, then weaved herself under his arm. Laying her head on his chest, she listened to his heartbeat over the pounding rain, which had once again picked up with full force. “You had night terrors yesterday, as well,” she murmured, sliding long fingers through his hair. “What were they about?”

“Martha.” He replied shortly. He felt out of sorts, unsure of what to do with the affection being lavished on him. “Telford,” he added belatedly, realizing once again that was the only name he had ever heard the Nottingham’s housekeeper and cook called.

“Clarice’s mother said that night terrors are guilt for things we should have done – penance sent from above. I had many as a child.”

The tone, so simple, so gentle, made him turn his head. The words niggled at him. Why would such a young thing feel that she deserved such punishment. And - “Clarice’s mother?”

“Yes.”

“Not your mother?”

“By law she married my father. But she will never be by mother.”

Now this was interesting, and a welcome distraction. Horizontal once more, he ran a finger down her smooth jaw. Was she a love child, born out of wedlock? It would explain the sort of half antipathy her family had towards her. However, the idea of cold Mr. Belltaunt having a passion of any sort made a snort rise. And the tone in which Margaret had uttered ‘never’ was stronger than any tone he had heard from her. A sort of guttural, visceral rejection of the connection. “Was Clarice cruel to you when you were a child?”

“She was a baby. All babies are selfish, but never cruel. No, even as she grew older she has never been cruel. My other sisters, yes.”

So she was the elder. Why had he never heard of her? Long fingers stole from his hair, to his cheek, and down to his soft chest. Although he would not wish Margaret’s breasts larger for the world, it was rather disconcerting to realize his own breasts dwarfed hers. Martha had always had a view choice barbs ready regarding his form. To have it be touched like this…

“I have tasted happiness,” Margaret broke out suddenly, raising her eyes to meet his. “What she said was wrong – I have tasted it. Not often, but…”

Yes – tasted. He knew how it felt to whet ones thirst on that cup. “I have – but only since I’ve met you.”

“Oh.” An eddy warmed her face and caused her to nestle closer, hiding her face in his shoulder. Giving a murmur of content, she relaxed. Her left hand walked down his plump arm, then slid down the side of his stomach, giving one startling squeeze before going quite flat. “Do you often dream of Martha?”

“Unfortunately. Never in a pleasant way.” Holding her tightly in his arms, he stared out over the top of her head. How much did she know? How much did he, Geoffrey, want to know how much she knew? Clarice knew more of his life than he could wish. The fact that Raoul’s Martha seemed to have insight made him wince. “How much…do you know about Martha? About my marriage?

At her telling hesitation, he sighed. “Do not bother to answer that. Martha and I were married many years ago. At the time, I thought her a well bred, well educated woman of fortune. When younger, she was quite pretty,” he added, standing. “And I felt myself lucky.”

“Why lucky?”

Bending, he lifted his clothes from the floor, where they had slipped from the chair. “Our marriage was not what it ought to have been from the start. It was a farce of a union, never consummated. By me, at least. Martha took many, many lovers into her bed.” Yanking on his shirt, he gnashed his teeth until they ached. “Being cuckholded is never a pleasant thing, even if you despise the one doing it.” His frenzy of dressing wound down as arms slipped around him from behind. They could not meet due to the breadth of his gut, but they slipped under his shirt, caressing his flabby middle lightly.

“Please – do not leave.” Her soft voice broke from where she had it buried in his flabby shoulder. “I am sorry I displeased you by speaking of her. Please do not leave. I will not speak of her again, I swear!”

“I am not leaving…” Geoffrey murmured, gently capturing those wandering hands and pressing them into him lightly where they sat. She gasped from behind him, and her nipples poked him as her back arched. What did he do to drive her so wild? “This just did not feel like a conversation to have unclothed…”

“I wish we had every conversation unclothed,” she whispered fervently.

Turning in her arms, he laughed down at her serious yet happy face. “Ah, Margaret. Are you trying to tempt me back to bed?”

She nodded solemnly, tugging at his shirt. When he allowed her to take it off, he followed behind her meekly until he was ensconced back in his bed, her raven hair spreading over his chest as she kissed it lightly. “Do you think you might dream of me, someday?”

“God, I hope not. I’ve never had a nice dream,” he confessed in a low tone, shuddering at the thought of beautiful, affectionate Margaret being cruel to him. Those dark eyes, penciled with the finest shading of lashes. Rather than staring up at him warmly, they would glare down with as extreme iciness. These subtle curves, entwined with another? She squeaked, and he released his grip on her. The only nice dream he had thought of had been no dream, but reality.

“You do not think less of – "A latch unclosed in the room next to his. Geoffrey suddenly raised his head, gazing through the wall intently. There were voices within Margaret’s chambers. One hand came up to cup her face, his thumb over her lips. Briefly removing his touch, he placed his index finger to his own lips before settling it back to hers. She nodded, eyes also staring through the intervening panel.

“Margaret, dear?” Clarice’s firm footsteps could be heard entering the adjacent room. “Ah well. I will find her somewhere. It is not important.”

Another pair of footsteps, these decidedly male, followed her a few steps into the room. “What was it you wanted to discuss?”

Geoffrey heard the sounds of her skirts shifting through the slightly ajar intervening door. Damnation.

“Harry and I are going to be wed today – ”

“Are you indeed? This is a surprise, but I give my hearty congratulations to you both.”

She seemed to sense his levity, for her tone was rather severe. “None of that, Raoul. This is serious.”

“Then I give it my full ear.” The tone was scarcely less laughing, but was said warmly enough.

“It is unlikely that my father will give me what is due to me, given the circumstances of our marriage. That being said, my only personal resources are not…inconsiderable, given the financial situation of your house.” Silence reigned for a moment. “I wanted to speak with you because – oh, drat it. Raoul, I will not simply give my money away. If money vanished once, another influx of money certainly will do little good in the long term. But I would be more than happy to assist in decision making that would prove helpful.”

Another silence reigned, broken by the breathing of the two in the bed next door. Margaret scarcely looked interested in the conversation happening so close to them. Her eyes were roaming his face, a smile hovering around her lips. Geoffrey was himself unsurprised, but listened with tented ears for Raoul’s response. The man was so changeable, his temper so volatile, that Geoff could not decide what response was most likely.

His tone, when he did speak, was cool and restrained. “So you say my estate has been mismanaged – ” he spoke over her fretful murmur, “And that you will not assist the family financially. Good. I had something different in mind in any case.”

Clarice sounded as surprised as Geoffrey felt. “I – you did?”

“Indeed. You see, neither Harry nor I put together have the business acumen or financial sense that you have in your little finger. When you oh-so-subtly say that we would fritter your money away – you are probably right. The thought galls, I admit, but then, you have a proven history of money management. You appear shocked,” he added in a droll voice.

“I am unused to men being so reasonable,” she responded faintly.

A hearty laugh met this sentence. “Clarice. You will find the Nottingham’s are a strange people, full of strange ways and isms. We are used to strong women in our life, who are very competent. Can I begrudge acknowledging you the master you are, or be offended when you point out that you are more experienced? No. And I cannot imagine Harry having anything but respect for your intelligence.”

“Flatterer.”

“Mayhap. Clarice, you are very shortly going to become my own dear sister, and the godmother of my future child. Why would I want funds from you, when I am hoping to capitalize on the addition of your knowledge

“I…do not understand…” Clarice murmured.

“I’m hopeless at it, so do not waste your breath trying to explain figures and sums to me. But Kitty’s shows a surprising aptitude. I know that Harry has told you of how our Aunt has almost single handedly ruined us for her own profit, and to tie us more closely to her. It was Kitty who saw the clues at the outset. I teased and tried Harry about marrying you for money, but it is not your purse that I am interested in, but your brain.”

Margaret grinned below his fingers, making him blink down at her.

“Can I ask you to bring your wealth of experience in getting our estate back up and running properly? I will, of course, give you full discretion to act as you see fit.”

The grin under his thumb widened, her eyes dancing merrily. What in…?

“I…”

“You do not have to say anything now. I did not want to interrupt your marriage with thoughts of work. I feel you will be…otherwise engaged for some time. And I know how humiliating this must seem, after the funds and investments you were handling on behalf of your father.”

“No. Not at all.” In fact, Clarice sounded immensely pleased, as if only waiting to be alone before rubbing her hands together in glee. “You will find,” she added, mimicking his earlier tone and words, “That the Belltaunt women are independent to a fault, and love power.”

“You?” was the aghast inquiry, followed by another low laugh. “Come Clarice.” A step sounded, followed by two kisses. “Welcome to the family, Clarice. May God give you the strength to deal with our insanity.”

Now she laughed, a low, musical sound that Geoffrey had not heard before. A comfortable laugh, not designed for any particular listener. “Thank you. We will talk more of this tomorrow – Kitty or Harry may have objections to your plan. And for now, I need to get ready for the ceremony. It will not be long before Papa is aware of where we are. After his recent treatment of me, I do not want to face him as a single woman.”

“Why did he – ”

“I do not know.” Her voice was hard, now. “But, Raoul - no one crosses a Belltaunt.”

“Or a Nottingham,” he added with a growl. “What do you think he will do?”

Their voices began to fade as they walked down the hall. “Well he will be furious. And I assume he will come himself to try and convince me away – and of course, it will be too late. But Margaret? He will take her back to town, to be sure.”

Margaret’s smile had faded, her face bleached white. Despite being curled into him, she shook with cold. “I will not go back. I will not!” She whispered fiercely, giving credence to her sister’s admission of their independence.

Geoffrey stared at her, his own shock dulling his brain. Of course. Why hadn’t he seen this coming? Their reprieve was temporary. Any day, any hour, their father would arrive. Clarice was old enough that her marriage would be held valid, and Raoul was likely to break his arm if he were to try anything. But Margaret? Unmarried? She would, of course, be taken from him.

No wonder Harry had looked so harrowed, so wraith-like. The idea of losing Margaret left him feeling gutted, empty. “You will not be leaving.” He said, scarcely recognising his own voice. “This is your home, now, and you are mine.”

 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
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Good to see you again! Did you forget your password too (again) lol? That is how I was reborn!
 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
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Chapter 17

“Alice!” There was real pleasure in Margaret’s tone, and she even tolerated a quick embrace from the other woman.

“Margaret! What are you doing here?” The other woman exclaimed. She had grown quite plump over the years. Her face had lost its harassed lines, growing round and rosy cheeked. Her arms, bosom, and stomach pressed into the taller woman as she leaned past her own girth.

Margaret stepped back and gave a smile. “My sister is marrying Harry.”

Nonplussed, Alice seemed to try and determine for a long moment if she was being dim, or if the other woman had truly spoken nonsense. After a pause, she shrugged her round shoulders. “Well, you shall tell me all about it as I get myself settled in. I’m told we have guests, and there is most of the house still to make ready. I wonder that he didn’t send a note that he was coming – I would have been here, but I was so excited to go into town. You know that I never went back – not with the threats and all. But since that risk is quite gone and cleared up, I thought I would go and visit my family. It was quite nice to go, but I daresay I like the country a vast deal more. There is such smoke, and noise, and crowding. I left James behind – I thought it would be too much for him. And I worry with his not talking. Has he been much trouble? How many guests are there?”

Martha, who had turned at the other’s entrance, now blinked at the bustling energy and copious words. “Your boy has been no bother at all.”

James grinned at the trio from the stool he had been placed on. His little feet kicked the legs rhythmically. His hands were held in front of him, sticky with the preserve that he had been given to occupy his incessant, but silent curiosity. He grimaced and squirmed a bit, but returned the gesture when his mother kissed his cheek.

“Just call me Martha,” she added as the other woman introduced herself. “I hope you are not offended that Margaret and I have quite taken over your comfortable kitchen.”

“Not at all! Alice chirped. “I hate cooking myself, and I know how much Margaret enjoys it! How many guests do we have? I should look into their rooms and tidy up! There are never any guests here, so there is only skeleton staff in the house. Mostly it is the work hands and such that come by for the occasional dinner. Most of the house has been shut up, and I act as maid and cook. I hope me being gone has not caused too, too much trouble,” she finished with a pensive face.

“There are six upstairs including your master, but only four rooms. I found a spare room just around the way,” and she gestured with her spoon, “and made myself a comfortable little nest. “My master and his family are a simple folk, for all they are so grand. I think Miss Clarice Belltaunt has had a bit of a struggle, but she is hardy.”

Alice blanched. “Clarice Belltaunt? Is here?” At the other’s looks, she shook her head, bustling away. “Don’t mind me! I had better get to work!”

*~*~*

Geoffrey felt his neck burn as Clarice stood before his front door, waiting for it to be opened. Hastening forward, he quickly performed the needed service. “I apologize, Clarice. The house is not properly staffed…”

“Nonsense.” Recovering herself, the heiress smiled brightly. “I am just not used to such comfortable informality. I am told by both Harry and Raoul that I should come to expect such things. They are more…informal, it seems.”

“I believe they are,” he agreed with a wry smile. Face shifting towards gravity, he jerked his chin outside. “You are off to be wed? Are you sure you do not want us – ” He coughed at the way the words sounded aloud. “That is to say - me, Margaret, Martha to attend?”

“Indeed not. This is a business arrangement. All I need is the appropriate witnesses and signatures – none of the attached nonsense. I want this settled before my father has time to react.”

The partner or her upcoming ‘business arrangement’ came down the stairs two at a time. His hair was tousled around his face, his grey eyes dancing wickedly. He looked so much like Raoul had used to, before his waistline began to rapidly increase. The similarity had been increased by the line that had appeared between his brows. A consequence of his worry and care over the previous weeks. When he reached his bride-to-be, he gathered her up in his arms and kissed her soundly.

Geoffrey grinned to see the woman melt, then stiffen and push him away. Her colour was high, and except for the splash of red across her plump cheeks and dancing eyes, one might have thought her furious.

“Harry! How many times must I tell you not to do that! What will people think! For shame!”

And he ducked his head in mock apology, that grin still in place.

It was good to see the man enjoying life again, and Geoffrey offered his hand readily. “Congratulations to you both. I understand that Margaret will be preparing a particularly splendid meal.”

“Thank you,” Clarice dimpled. “If you see Kitty and Raoul, tell them we are off.”

They turned to go. Harry’s face was aglow in pride and attachment. Although Clarice’s emotion was less radiant, there seemed to be a strong affection in the quiet way she took her husband’s arm. If Harry loved her, then that was all that mattered. “There was something I wanted to say…” he began, then swallowed.

Both of them paused on the threshold, gazing back with curiosity.

His mouth opened, but his tongue stilled.

I would like to marry your sister. No. Too soft.

I am going to marry your sister. No. Too firm.

Your sister and I are to be wed. No. Too abrupt.

Bah! There was no way to say this without inviting a hundred questions. How did this come about? How long has your courtship been? Are you a fortune hunter?

At the last, his mind stilled. Fortune. He had not even considered that. Margaret’s personality was so far from an heiress – yet, she was. How was he to justify himself in any way that did not appear avaricious? Grasping? Crass? Not to mention woefully insensitive of his late wife’s memory.

Indeed – Clarice, in the past two days I have conveniently come to realize that I appreciate your sister. The behaviour that both you and society find irritating, I find charming. And of course, there is no rush to be wed, other than the fact that I have compromised her. As a guest. In my own home. After a very fleeting acquaintance, with no courtship. After my wife just happens to release me from a marriage that has driven my finances into the ground. So as you can see, your sister’s fortune is nothing to me.

“Geoffrey?”

Shaking his head, he forced a smile. “I am so, so glad that you have come together. Regardless of the circumstances. I wish you health, happiness, and joy, my friends.”

Harry stepped back to grasp his forearm. “Thank you, my friend. This has been made possible because of you - ”

He hadn’t done a thing, really…

“ - and I hope you find your own wife soon. You deserve to be as foolishly happy as Raoul and I.” The sounds of steps on stairs made them turn.

Kitty was aglow with health and with joy for her friend. And as Raoul had been repeatedly reassured by the professionals, he only looked mildly concerned for his wife, rather than looming over her protectively. As Kitty and Raoul slipped by, the former planted a kiss on his cheek. “I agree with him, Geoffrey.”

The fat man gazed after them, his forced smile fading into a more natural expression. Damn. Perhaps this could be done quietly, silently. It might be easier to ask forgiveness, than permission. Was it worth throwing over his friends, and removing himself from society? He had to admit, the idea of living out his days, here, without the stress and noise, did have a certain appeal.

“Good morning!” Alice chirped as she bustled around the corner. “I had no idea there would be guests, or I would not have taken leave to go into town!” Her round face was creased with worry, and she bobbed a few half curtseys to placate her nervous energy. Even with a cleaning smock on, she still looked as cheery and comfortable as ever.

The master of the house smiled as her son skidded around the corner to hug his legs. “Not at all, Alice. Please do not waste another instant thinking about it. I understand that Clarice has hired some staff to attend her here, including a physician for Katherine. They should be here shortly.”

“Is she ill?” she inquired directly, a protective hand landing on the blonde head of her son.

“No indeed – she is with child.”

Alice’s eyes lit up, and she hugged herself in delight. “Oh! A child! Well, I shall be on the lookout for these new arrivals, and will tell you directly when they come!”

“Thank you, Alice. I will be in my room.”

*~*~*

That was where he intended to be, and yet found himself enticed into the adjoining room. As they lay tangled in the sheets, he slowly caressed the velvet skin of the long leg draped over his hip. “Margaret, we should be married soon.”

She raised her head from where she was dropping soft kisses on his chest. “I still cannot believe you want to marry me,” she replied in her normal, measured tone. “A few months ago you were married. A few weeks ago you were as untouchable to me as if you were still married. Then Harry and my sister met; and they brought you to me. I feel…” and she placed her hand on her heart, deep in thought. “Grateful. I like Raoul, I always have. And I like Harry now too.”

A green dagger slipped between his ribs, and words slipped from his lips before he could stop them. “Oh, I saw how much you liked him this morning!”

She nodded, not hearing or understanding his tone. “I knew him when he was just a boy. Martha is the one who taught me to cook,” she added, smiling. Her dark eyes went distant before focusing again on him. “There were times I wanted to resign myself to death, when I was a child. Martha helped me make it through those days.”

Geoffrey’s jealousy melted as fast as it formed in the face of this new information. “And how did you know Martha? And how could you know Raoul as a boy? He must be older than you by five years, at least!”

“I was six when he was three. I met Martha on the street one day. I sometimes…” her eyes filled with moisture, and she swallowed. “There are times when being around people is too much for my constitution.” It had the sound of rote repetition, and she quickly fell back into her normal voice. “When Papa remarried, I was very unhappy. I did not want the things most children did. Toys and books and sweets did not placate me. When he discovered that all I wanted was Martha, he tracked her down.”

It would be easier to track someone down when money was no object. “And she helped you become happy again?” Geoffrey had not acknowledged her remark about taking her own life, but was deeply upset by it. Her emotions ran deep was, though often unexpressed. Deeply unhappy to most women might have been the inability to go for a stroll due to rain. The delay of a dress. To Margaret, deeply unhappy was the wish to extinguish everything. For others, they might be happy at the prospect of seeing an acquaintance. For Margaret, it meant utter joy and bliss.

Margaret smiled, hiking a slim shoulder. “Yes. Martha never thought I was a strange creature, or asked me to do things that I cannot do. And she never treated me as if I was important due to my family money. If I did something wrong, she yelled at me – but in the same way she yelled at Raoul. That was bearable.”

“I want to make you happy.”

The woman pressed her whole frame into him, curling her arms around his neck. “You do make me happy. When I am with you, I feel like I am an ordinary person.”

Well, at least he somewhat pleased her. What was he to do with that sentence? “An ordinary person? What do you feel like normally?”

“Broken. Useless. Strange. Alone.”

“You are not – ” he growled emphatically, “- broken, useless, or strange. And certainly not alone. Why would you say that?”

She curled her face into his flabby chest. His fat never seemed to repulse her. “I was alone, before you. No one wanted to be around me – and for the most part, I preferred their absence. No one likes to be around me for long. They say I am uncanny, and make them feel uncomfortably. They say I have strange mannerisms and manners. And I suppose I do; for I find everything they do strange. And I am broken, and useless. Clarice is the one who is useful, and whole.”

Was that jealousy in her voice? No. Rather, the emotion seemed to be a mixture of wistful admiration and self loathing.

“I am bad. I want to be good. I try to be good. I cannot even do the things a child can do,” Margaret added with a resigned sigh. “That night when we first met, I was supposed to be smiling, and dancing, and everything a woman should be. They try every few years, but I fail every time,” she muttered. “Instead, I cried, and ran, and hid. Worse than a child.” Her voice, as she began to recite took on the wooden cadence of words often heard. “I am useless. I have no self control. I have no useful qualities. I am broken, and shall never find a husband. My place is out of sight.”

Rage roiled deep in his gut at those who had told her these things until she believed them. She was so strong, to have withstood the onslaught of such words, of such hate. The quiet forbearance she had for the hurt committed on her. Who had told her this? Clarice? No. She could be casually, offhandedly cruel, but she could not have inflicted such venom. “Margaret.” He shook her lightly until she looked at him. “You were crying because you do not like crowds. Many people do not.”

“But others do not cry and panic!”

Both of them ceased speaking at the sound of wheels up the driveway. The others had gone on foot; who was arriving? Margaret quickly stood, her willowy frame light by the light streaming through the window. “Someone is getting out of a carriage,” she replied to his low inquiry. “I think it is Harry?” she ventured after squinting into the light.

If they were coming back in a carriage, something must have gone terribly wrong, for the church was quite close. Standing and joining her at the window, Geoffrey frowned in consternation at the scene below, then cast a peculiar glance at the woman next to him.

The man stepping out of the carriage should have been familiar more to her than to him. And if his hat was enough to shade his features, the large crest on the side of the door should have been a dead giveaway. “Margaret…that isn’t Harry. That is your father.”

 

Anjula

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🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼😭😭😭🙏🏼🙏🏼 I can't take it anymore 😭😭😭😭
 

Kahlan_FFA

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I love this whole series so much but this is definitely my favorite couple.
 

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
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Sorry luvs! Work has been an absolute shite show that has left me too exhausted to write. I'll get back on this soon, i promise!
 

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