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Wicked Desires

Eliza Lloyd
Michael Dunnaway has it alla wife he loves, three sons, an earldom. Except he isnt getting any youngerand his body lets him know in a way that makes him doubt his masculinity. His impotence with Clarissa drives him to seek out new thrills. Hes contemplating giving up everything for the satisfaction he finds with a nubile French whore, but with the pleasure comes guilt. Is betraying the love of his life worth temporary gratification and the restoration of his confidence? Clarissa has entered a world of shocking passions and unheard of acts, welcoming Michael with open arms. Hidden behind a mask, and with the help of a whorehouse madam, she finds shed do just about anything to win her husband back. But will it be enough? And will the deep cravings they explore as strangers reveal more devastating secrets? Or will they discover their dark passion and wicked desires can lead to a greater love?

An Elloras Cave Romantica Publication

Wicked Desires ISBN 9781419929762 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Wicked Desires Copyright 2010 Eliza Lloyd Edited by Jillian Bell Cover art by Dar Albert Electronic book publication October 2010 The terms Romantica and Quickies are registered trademarks of Elloras Cave Publishing. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Elloras Cave Publishing, Inc. 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502. Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publishers permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. ( Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the authors rights is appreciated. This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or

dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors imagination and used fictitiously.

Wicked Desires Eliza Lloyd

Trademarks Acknowledgement
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmark mentioned in this work of fiction: British Museum: Trustees of the British Museum

Chapter One
London 1831
Have you taken a mistress? Clarissa Dunnaway had had enough of her husbands evasions. When she shed the cold light of possibility on her situation, an affair was the only thing that made sense. It was the most hurtful too. Oh, for heavens sake, Clarissa. He shot her an inscrutable glance before she took a few steps into his domain, the spacious library at the back of the family home on Cavendish Square. Well, have you? She lifted her chin. There would be no more wringing of hands or shedding of tears behind closed doors. She would not be that woman who hid behind her fears. Who gave in to despair. He threw the accounting ledger he held onto the desk. No, I have not. No mistress. No affair. No nothing. Now leave me be, I have accounts to review. She stood firm, unwilling to give in now that shed finally broached the subject. Something was terribly wrong. Twisting the diamond bracelets at her wrist, she waited for the breathless anxiety to dissipate before she broached the next subject. What? he asked. You have that look. You wont be satisfied until youve plowed this ground full of ruts. Then why? Why havent you come to me?

Clarissa Elsevier Dunnaway had mirrors in her room. By all accounts, she remained a ton beauty even after bearing the earl three childrenall beautiful sons. What more could an earl want from his wife? Wasnt that feat worthy of some devotion and faithfulness? Shed dressed in her very best. Styled her hair the way she knew he liked it, the ends bunched and dangling in soft curls over one shoulder. His favorite perfume. And still no response, barely an acknowledgement. Something had gone terribly, terribly wrong and she had no idea how to fix it. A sharp scowl lined his face before he turned his back on her. Clarissa, we arent having this conversation. I deserve an answer. Its been over a year. Her legs wobbled under her skirt, whether from fear or from her absolute desire for her husband, she didnt know. She craved him. With her body and soul, she wanted him back. Michael remained fit and strong. Tall and dark except for a few gray hairs at his temple, he hadnt changed all that much since theyd married. The fine lines at his eyes wrinkled when he laughed, though he hadnt done much of that lately. They were a striking pair, made all the more wonderful because they loved each other. She refused to believe that was all gone. Shed thought she knew her husband better than she knew herself, until a year ago when hed stopped sleeping in her room. Even before that, hed started to withdraw.

Would you leave me in peace if I said I was having an affair? He stood facing the windows, overlooking the garden, his hands clasped behind his back. She gasped and started across the room. Tears burned her eyes but she refused to shed them. Michael. Oh, Michael. Please, anything but that. Hesitantly, she reached to touch his shoulder. When he acted impervious to her touch, she slid her hand down his back and lowered her cheek to his shoulder blade. I cant live my life alone anymore. I need you. At that, he turned. You are not alone. You are my wife. A wife who is causing me a good deal of distress with your wild imaginings. He clutched her hand and set it to his arm, forcibly escorting her from the room. Madam, I have responsibilities to attend. And you must cease this endless fretting and nagging. It is very unbecoming of a countess. She made a final plea, her voice hardening in determination. You promise, Michael. You promise me there isnt someone else. He softened somewhat. With one hand, he took her fingers and brushed a kiss across her knuckles. Clarissa, you have my word. There is no one else. You are the woman I love. The door shut with a resounding snap and the light click of the snib as he locked the door behind her. Hed effectively closed her out of every part of his life except the predictable whirlwind of social obligations, and to that schedule he rigorously adhered.

When they were out in a crowd, he was the epitome of grace and manners, indulging her every whim. He seemed proud of her, happy to be with her. Those occasions were precious to her, but the Season was coming to an end and she didnt think she could bear the exile when they departed for their estates in the north of England. Had she done enough? Had she loved him well enough? Or was he bored with her for a wife and feeling confined by their vows? Maybe eighteen years was a life sentence for an exciting, powerful man like Michael. To her, it had been all happiness.

The Marchioness of Foxley. Shes here now? The footman nodded with polite deference to Clarissas irritable question. Well, show her to the Red Room. She smoothed a hand over her bodice and sleeves, stopping in front of a mirror to examine her hair, knowing her ladies maid had dressed it with perfect style, yet filled with unaccountable doubt. Anne had a way of discerning things shed rather keep secret. The marchioness was one of her most amusing friends. Clarissa enjoyed her wit and daring, but shed never known Anne VanLandingham to depart her house before noon. Anne wanted something. When Clarissa entered the red and gold sitting room,

Anne extended her hands, clutched Clarissas and kissed both of Clarissas cheeks. The marchioness could have been any age, but Clarissa suspected the woman was nearly as old as Michael, though as lush as a woman half her age. Men responded to her. Michael thought she was common and crude, but had long ago joked that were he not married, he might find ample entertainment in her bed. Then hed whispered that he could never have brought her home to his mother. Hed laughed afterward. Clarissa had turned away in bed and pouted until he coaxed her from her mood. Thankfully, hed never mentioned the marchioness in that vein again. Darling, you must come with me. It is the most extraordinary display of art. Arm in arm, they strolled toward the furniture grouping near the fireplace, four overstuffed chairs and two chaise couches. Where? At the British Museum? Oh, no, no, dear. At the Marquess of Ederlines home. Anne lowered her voice and patted Clarissas hand. Everyone says the work is simply stunning. Caroline Dempsey said the nudes are absolutely ravishing. Clarissa laughed and then quickly controlled the little surge of curiosity. Nudes? Why on earth would I want to see nudes? Youve been married too long. All healthy women want to see male nudes. Though Lady Dempsey said there were also some rather unusual sculpted nymphs she thought Id enjoy.

The door opened and two servants entered with a tea tray along with two smaller trays of shortbread biscuits and fruit. The women settled themselves on the same couch while the footmen lowered the trays. Clarissa poured and handed Anne a cup. After the footmen left, Clarissa asked the obvious. And your husband approves of this sojourn? Dear Randall encouraged me to go, Anne whispered again, a conspiratorial smile playing about her lips. He said I might try some of the poses for him in bed tonight. Can you imagine? Rands the very devil. Yes, Im sure, Clarissa said to her teacup as much as to her friend. Randall VanLandingham had also just celebrated his thirtieth birthday. Anne had whispered to her that Randall, intent on proving his virility, had wagered on the length of his arousal Well, not so much the length as much as his endurance in maintaining his arousal. Anne had only smiled slyly when prodded for details. Anne patted Clarissas leg. Oh, dear. Things still arent any better are they? Have you talked to him yet? He says theres nothing amiss. Well then. Alls right with the world, is it not? Anne? Clarissa despised the weakness tears implied. Im afraid. You arent going to lose him. Hes your husband til death do you part. Nothing will change that. You said yourself he is home in the evening. I would think that is the only answer you need.

I want my Michael back. Having him home is not the same as having him in my bed. Anne sighed. Fetch your cloak. We are leaving this instant. This outing will do you good. Were leaving your trouble behind, along with your unfeeling husband. Clarissa surrendered and within a half hour, they stepped inside the large Ederline manse and were led to the art exhibit by the marquess himself, a ruddy-cheeked, whitehaired rogue who fancied himself a patron of the arts and irresistible to women. Hed pinched Clarissas arse last year after catching her unawares in a darkened hallway. Shed slapped him soundly. Ederlines eccentric behaviors were somehow tolerated and ignored, as often happened with the very wealthy. Ive collected numerous pieces over the years Chinese, Arabic, Italian. Anne cut him away with a firm grip on his arm. Clarissa overheard her words. Anne could bend rules where other women would be taken to task. Louis, dear, would you mind ever so much if we toured on our own? The countess is rather shy about all this. You understand. Anne brushed his cheek affectionately while he leered at her display of breasts. Patron of the arts indeed! Most certainly, my dear. Be sure to give Foxley my regards. Ederline tottered away. Hes a revolting creature, but so, so rich, Anne

whispered. A poor reason to attach yourself to a man or a marriage. Weve all done it. Except perfect Clarissa, marrying for love while the rest of us founder on the shoals of duty. Anne patted Clarissas hand as if she were a child. They strolled down the long gallery, stopping to look at some of the arrangements. Love is such a fleeting thing, dear. Maybe you should think about taking a lover. Clarissa gasped at the risqu suggestion. I would never do such a thing. Im Michaels wife. I wouldnt do that to him. Ever. Hes probably doing it to you, as are half the husbands in London, while the other half dream of taking a lover. Not that Ive heard any rumors, she added quickly. Anne, why are we friends? You insist on provoking me. You need to be stirred. Let the dear Lord Dunnaway know you must be stirred like the embers of a fire. Let him know there is a flame underneath. Stop being the oh so pretty and perfect countess. You need to live. Maybe Michael would respond if you lived dangerously and daringly for a change. Let him think youre having an affair. Remind him of the woman he married. He doesnt want dangerous or daring. He wants propriety and dignity. How do you know? I know. Oh, isnt this delicious, Anne said as she looked up at

another painting. Clarissas face heated. Above her, the large painting showed three naked women surrounding a lone man. One held an apple invitingly. Another rested her head upon his bare shoulder. The third, on her knees, hid the lower portion of his anatomy. What do you supposed shes doing? Anne asked, tilting her head to look more closely and accurately voicing Clarissas curiosity. You know very well. Must we attend such vulgar displays? Dont act like such a prude. We should have invited Michael. I guarantee he would have lowered his trousers for that in the coach on the way home. Clarissa swallowed hard. Her faced heatedwith embarrassment or desire, she wasnt sure which. There was a time when he had encouraged those pursuits and shed gladly pleasure him againif hed only suggest he might be interested. She glanced up a second time. The mans face bore such an expression of ecstasy, she wondered if it was just the skill of the painter or if truly a man could feel such passion as the painting displayed. Absolute yearning filled her. Had she but admitted it to herself, she would have recognized the need for what it was she was sexually unfulfilled and Michaels disinterest seemed to heighten her need. Have you ever had a lover? Clarissa asked.

When I have Randall? You must be joking. Anne rolled her eyes. But before Randall Her voice trailed off in teasing suggestion. Would you though? Can you imagine a circumstance where you might? They strolled further. Yes. If Randall couldnt please me. If Randall took a lover. If I grew bored. Yes, I could see it happening. We have a very open marriage. Were I to embark upon an affair, we would discuss it first. Clarissa shouldnt have been surprised. Anne laughed. Its not as if we love each other. Ours is a physically mutual relationship that suits for the time being. I dont get in his way during the day. Heaven knows Im not interested in horses or boxing. And he allows me to spend his money to my hearts content. A perfect relationship. She laughed again, ridiculously happy with her situation. But what about your vows? Anne shrugged. They stopped in front of a four-tiered display case featuring green jade figurines in various sexual poses. Clarissa reached for one. Carved with exquisite detail, they showed entwined couples in positions she had never imagined, but now that shed seen them, considered how they might actually be performed. Twisting the piece, she examined the lovers from all sides. Anne reached for another. Randall particularly likes this one, especially after hes been drinking. For some reason, hes always a bit more flexible then. Anne laughed as she lowered the statuette.

So you think the vows dont matter? That we are doomed to lonesomeness and frustration until death us do part? Neither of us went into our marriage blind. Right now we have what the other wants. Right now thats enough. Come. Dont lets talk about such foolishness. Today is about you and what we are going to do for Clarissa and Michael. And whats that? We are going to tempt that awful man into fucking his wife.

Michael Dunnaway glared across the dance floor where his wife remained entwined with Randall VanLandingham, Marquess of Foxley. Some might call the waltz a dance. To him it was a scandal waiting to happen, unless of course, the woman in the mans arms was his wife. Foxley couldnt be more than thirty, the impudent pup. Men like Foxley were the very reason hed so assiduously accompanied his wife to the Seasons entertainments. He didnt want his wife to become one of the entertainments. When hed heard the marchioness had carted Clarissa off to some art display, hed almost pursued. That woman was a bad influence on his wife. He turned on his heel and headed for the card room. The marchioness intercepted him. Michael, Ive been

meaning to talk with you. Using his given name, displaying her bold Cleopatra smile and her nearly bare rounded breasts, she wrapped her arms in his and deftly maneuvered him into a semiprivate alcove. She was known for her lack of propriety. Even though it didnt surprise him, it did irritate him. Did Clarissa tell you about our afternoon? she asked. As much as I yearned to hear of it, no. Michael grew suspicious of Annes behavior as she ran her ivory fan across his sleeve while peering up at him through her lashes. Foxley could play the fool, panting after his seductress of a wife. Michael was not interested. Her gloved hand plucked at one of his buttons. I wondered if you might be willing to meet me Well, Randall and me some evening. I think the two of you have a lot in common. Her feline smile made him believe shed eat him alive, given the chance. Oh, and what might that be? Michael had heard the woman was a voracious lover and it had taken a younger man like the marquess to catch and keep her. Looked as if she was ready to jump the fence. He squinted, peering at her while trying to discern her motives. Her breasts were plumped from her tight corset. He couldnt help but notice the nipple rouge peeping at him from her bodice. She looked and smelled of sex and his body reacted to the offering. He gritted his teeth. He was not fucking Anne VanLandingham, in spite of his bodys

hurried response. I thought you might enjoy Her hand slipped lower and gripped his embarrassingly strong erection. An evening with me and Randall. Mostly me, she said, laughter in her voice. He rolled his eyes. If he was interested in Anne, it wouldnt be at the expense of his wife. Lady Foxley, as delightful as that sounds Michael thought about the rude words hed rather have saidId

much rather fuck my sheep, than wonder what I might catch lying down with youinstead he forced a smile. I
must pass on such an exquisite offer. Now if youll excuse me. He pried her hand away. If youll excuse me and my cock, Ive better things to do with my time this evening. Michael, if youd rather have Randall, Id be happy to watch him bugger you, she whispered. He bowed out of habit, not that the ill-mannered creature deserved respect, as she had, once again, shown her common roots. Gossip came and went regarding most people in town. With Anne VanLandingham, the constant whispered speculation was near legendary, especially amongst the men. One had to wonder what was actually true. Hed speak with Clarissa at their first private moment about the company she kept. His wifes reputation was above reproach. Hed not tolerate anyone besmirching her character. Michael watched Anne trounce across the ballroom floor

to retrieve her husband at the completion of the dance. He clenched his teeth as Clarissa turned her gaze to him. Her smile dazzled. Everything about her drew him, except he could do nothing about it when, with her, his rod was as useless as an unstarched cravat. Mesmerized, he stared as she crossed the room to him. Her warm gaze cut into his heart, reflecting his deceit and exposing the wicked desires that branded him a fool. He pulled her into his arms. Youre the most beautiful woman here. You say that every night. Every night its true. Michael danced with his wife, waltzing her across the floor underneath the thousand candles of Stella Emerys seasonal crush. Lord Emery had taken to drinking a week ago in anticipation of both the inconvenience and the cost of the annual extravagance. Clarissa clung to him, her silky green skirts wrapping around his legs as they turned, her lower body touching and teasing. He held back a curse. Nothing. He purposefully imagined waltzing her on to the stone balcony, backing her into a corner, lifting her skirts and tucking his prick inside her luscious, hot cunt. Hed dreamt of her smoky brown eyes. Her lids were half-masted in satiation as she moaned in final release. Then her eyes would close, a soft smile on her lips and finally his name. Michael, oh Michael. He wanted it back. He had no doubt that she was the most enchanting

woman in the room. She pretended happiness, but he could tell she still carried the afternoon conversation in her head and in her heart. Shed never understand. Now that their sons were off to boarding school, he had her all to himself and he didnt know what to do with her. She was still the fresh, vibrant socialite. Still desirable. Still all that he wanted. Only his body no longer worked for her. It had happened overnight. One day he was the laughing, happy earl who enjoyed hunting and riding and fucking his wife several times a week. Now? Well, now he had a limp cock, thinning hair and such acute jealousy that he could barely stand to see his wife walk out their door without him. Ridiculous whores like Anne VanLandingham could rouse his prick with ease. Around Clarissa, he felt every inch the failure. Just holding her in his arms was torture. It was as if he could feel her slipping away and he could do nothing about it. When he said he loved her, he meant every word. Only words of love couldnt satisfy a woman like Clarissa. She was the type of woman who needed actions to go along with those words. Daily he feared she would seek a lover because of his inadequacies. He didnt blame her. Clarissa, perhaps you should reconsider your acquaintance with the marchioness. She married into the nobility while retaining all the crudity of her class.

Clarissa laughed as Michael swept her into a turn. Dont judge so harshly. Shes a good friend. Shell be a duchess someday. Michael considered another disparaging remark, but already he tread on unstable ground. Darling, its so warm in here. Why dont we stroll in the garden? she asked. He turned, and in a few rotations, they came to a halt in front of the double doors leading to the balcony and the gardens below. Its a lovely night, she said. Indeed. He entwined her delicate arm with his and placed his hand over hers, steering her down the crushedstone pathway. Glass-encased candles lit the way into the darker reaches beyond. Its a lovely ball, dont you think? she asked, tilting her face up to look at him. Yes. Do you remember our first kiss? It was a garden much like this. Yes. It was lovely. What an idiot. Unable to converse with his own wife. As they moved into the darker recesses of the garden, they approached a covered gazebo. A gurgling foundation stood nearby. Clarissas mood seemed amenable to a kiss. He pulled her into his arms. She wrapped hers about his neck. His lips touched hers, much like they had the first time. Clarissa met him eagerly, opening her mouth as he pushed

his tongue inside. She stepped back without breaking the kiss, urging him into the gazebo. Clarissa shoved him against the wall, her hands working at the fall of his trousers. Her mouth trailed kisses below his ear and down his neck, stopped only by his cravat. Clarissa, this isnt a good idea. He gripped her shoulders. She slid away, going down in front of him, her skirts billowing out around her. In an instant, cool night air caressed his exposed manhood. He jerked, air rushing from his lungs. Her mouth covered his pliant prick. Her fingers toyed with his balls. He gritted his teeth. Clarissa! He hadnt let her get close enough to realize his problem. She wasnt going to find out tonight. Wet and hot, her mouth suckled him. And soft as he was, she had every inch of him nestled inside, her tongue sliding along the sensitive skin. Every nerve in his body screamed for satisfaction. Relief. Sweet release. He slipped a finger inside her mouth, breaking the suction. My God, Clarissa, anyone could come along. He grabbed her upper arms and hoisted her up. He then bent to the task of straightening his trousers. Im sorry. Youve always enjoyed it before. Her eyes filled with tears. She turned away without another word and hurried up the path. Clarissa, he said, his words spilling softly into the night air. He leaned against the wall, trying to catch his breath. Still

nothing. His wife, on her knees in front of him, his cock in her mouth, and the betraying manhood hadnt responded. Shit. He palmed his cock through his trousers and rubbed a few times, considered masturbating right there in the dark, but then thought better of it. Hed take Clarissa home and then go to Madame DuPuis where he could relax and drink and at least recline while he climaxed. All the while thinking of Clarissas sweet mouth and tongue licking the cum from the end of his cock.

Chapter Two
Michael rushed up the stairs into the darkened bordello, anxious for relief. Madame DuPuis establishment was private and the girls were clean. Not only that, but she was particular about which gentlemen were allowed into her brothel. Certain men did have reputations that could be harmful to her girls. And hed heard Madame DuPuis kept pristine records in black ledgers. Not that he cared about the girls. They all looked the same to him and he had no plans to fuck one of them. He was getting very good at lying to himself, hiding the guilt by pretending he had yet to cross the line into adultery. Alice DuPuis circulated in the garishly decorated lower floors where other men of his station sat with their purchased goods prior to retiring to the private chambers above. Dunnaway, I thought you werent coming back? Alice had a big heart, a keen business intellect and an unerring accuracy in determining what a man wanted. Her question hinted of intimate knowledge. Shed known he would walk through the doors again. Shed had no doubt. He smiled at her. The best laid plans and all that. The usual? At his nod, she snapped her fingers and one of the girls moved quickly from the room. Michael dropped payment into Alices open hand and

followed her up the stairs, not that he couldnt have found his own way. Hed been coming for six months, but he was no better. And he thought he might even be worse. Alice opened the door and waved her hand, inviting him in. She closed the door behind him and left him alone. He jerked at his cravat and then discarded his jacket before strolling to the cart of fine and varied alcoholic drinks the whorehouse so generously provided. He swallowed back two quick drams of Scottish whiskey to ease the guilt. Once he had his shirt off, he sank into the chair that faced the bed, setting aside a third drink. He yanked back the flaps of his trousers and pulled out his untrustworthy prick, already thickening in anticipation. He didnt have to wait long. The couple entered the room from another door and shed the robes they wore. They were both masked. He had no desire to know who these people were. They were just a means to a sexually satisfying end. Worse than being here, he knew that soon hed give in to the temptation at hand. His resolve weakened every time he walked through the door. He wanted to fuck. If he couldnt do it with his wife, he knew hed eventually do the deed with someone else. For several long minutes, they cavorted and rolled on the bed, kissing mostly, paying him no attention whatsoever. He supposed that Madame DuPuis had clients who enjoyed being watched and she made money on that side

of the transaction as well. He stroked his cock slowly, anticipating the buildup toward release. He was in no hurry. Dark hair spilled over the womans shoulders. He had no trouble imaging Clarissa. The man tied the womans arms to the bedposts. He gave her no room for movement as her arms were spread wide. Her large breasts heaved as her chest moved up and down. The man loomed over her, his cock near her face. Michael stopped stroking, knowing hed spill prematurely if he continued fondling his penis while watching the woman draw the large cock into her mouth. He squirmed, even arching a bit as if it were his cock she were about to suck. It would only take a word for that to happen. He reached for his drink and swallowed at the same time the cock disappeared into her mouth and down her throat. Her throat moved, swallowing whatever he was giving her. Saving himself for the toys and final penetration, Michael steadied his breathing while they continued the performance on the bed. He knew thats all it was. A performance to get him off, when all he wanted was his wife. Every time he considered approaching her for such sexual activities, hed both feared her reaction and feared he wouldnt be able to live up to the offer. So he came here and didnt have to worry about either rejection or humiliation.

At last, the male prostitute untied the girl and she rolled to all fours, displaying a lush, round ass and melon-shaped breasts. On the tabletop was the smooth glass dildo. The man reached for it with clumsy determination. Michael finally spoke. The cunt first. His voice nearly cracked under the strain. He pushed up out of the chair, leaving his drink behind and grabbing the ever-present towel. He had to see. Spread yourself wider, he commanded. The girl lowered to her forearms and spread her knees. Her pert bottom, round and firm, popped upward, displaying both tight passages along that enticing crevice. He threw the towel over his shoulder and then braced one hand above the bed, against the wall. When the man inserted the dildo, Michaels body surged with want. Thrust. Slowly. He palmed his cock again and started stroking in time with the in-and-out surges of the dildo. The girl squirmed and moaned. Michael didnt care if it was an act. It worked for him. The dildo glistened. You know what I want. The man pulled the dildo from her body and slid it upward. Michael felt shivers to his balls, anticipating the placement at her sphincter.

He stroked his cock faster. The dildo slid inside her anal canal. Michael watched as every inch disappeared into her body. His body hummed with pleasure. His breathing was erratic and his legs barely sustained him. The man moved in behind her. Clarissa. How he wanted to do that with Clarissa. Fill every inch of her. Have her screaming with pleasure and need and carnality. Until his impotence, hed not once thought of using her for such base, varied pleasures. Now he thought about it all the time. When the other man started to insert his cock into the girls wet cunt, Michael moved to watch. One of the male prostitutes hands held the dildo firmly in place. Once fully seated, he started thrusting in her cunt. Michael stroked and jerked his cock in ever more rapid pulls. The other man had the skilled composure to perform as Michael had instructed and he set his practiced hand to the much more gentle in and out movement of the dildo. The girl finally screamed as she climaxed and Michael watched as her body convulsed. So did his. The dildo shot out an inch. Michael grabbed the towel as copious amounts of cum spilled from his cock. Pleasure ripped up his spine, jolting his limbs, clenching at his balls, diming his eyesight. He continued to stroke, his eyes closed tightly as he thought of Clarissa. When the thrashing on the bed

stopped, he returned to his chair. He swallowed the last of his drink as he swiped at the mess he hadnt been able to contain. Leaning his head back in the chair, he waited until he heard the others leave the room and then he forcibly set his mind to the accounts he had to balance in the morning.

I would like to speak to the proprietor of this establishment. Clarissa was well-hidden by the black netting, but she knew her voice made her sound like the quintessential Mayfair snob. Shed chosen the most somber, unidentifiable dress in her closet and hurried to change while Michael had a drink in the library. When shed heard him leave, shed followed in a hired livery. Shed lied to Anne about Michaels evening habits. Theyd often arrive home exhausted and yet on some nights, Michael slipped back out again. Yes, mum, a servant said before disappearing into another room. A grandmotherly sort of woman floated into view, her satins and bows of the finest quality, but more suitable to a young girl in the schoolroom. She smiled at Clarissa. How may I assist you, your ladyship? Might I have a word in private? Certainly. Inside a small, frillishly decorated sitting room, Clarissa

paced while her fingers entwined in worry and embarrassment. Everywhere there was lace and satin and silks along with plumply stuffed brocaded chairs and tufted benches. I am Madame DuPuis. May I ask who you are? NoIIm not prepared to say. The moment Michael had said he was going out, Clarissa determined she would seek her own answers. Shed nearly collapsed when she saw him enter the famed bordello. Anne had tittered and gossiped enough about the place since their friendship blossomed. Never had she imagined Michael at a place like this. A mistress of quality yes, but this? A whore? Do you wish a man? More than one man? Or a woman? I can provide all of those things. A fine young boy perhaps? Ah, but I sense this is the first time you stray, is it not? In her current state, the suggestions didnt shock Clarissa. I am not straying. Ive come to you about another matter. A very private matter, Madame. You may call me Alice. Alice bustled toward a small serving tray and poured a draught of amber liqueur in a tiny crystal glass. It is about my husband. Hes here. Alice held up a hand. That I cannot discuss. What happens here is between me and my clients. But I have to know. Madame, if you wish a lover, youve come to the right place. Granted, not the kind of lover you will find in your

London ballrooms, but one guaranteed to give you satisfaction. I want my husband. Where is he? The Earl of Dunnaway. Clarissa clutched at her bag, finally pulling out five golden coins. Surely, that is enough for the information I require. Perhaps. I want to know how often he comes here. I want to know who he sees and what he does. Alice lowered her aged bottom into an overstuffed chair, her skirts rustling until they settled into place and the money clinking in her palm as she appeared to consider what to say. Lady Dunnaway, those arent the things you want to know. What you want to know is why he doesnt come to your bed. He loves me! I think perhaps you are right, she said. The madams mouthed worked, forming little puckers as she considered her words. What I show you is very private. It will cost you more than this, she said, indicating the coins Clarissa had already handed over. And I suspect it will cost you much of your fine dignity. Are you prepared to lose your innocence and perhaps your respect for your husband? Clarissa waivered, then opened her purse and dumped the remaining coins on the small table before Alice. It was the last of her pin money for the month. You wont be able to go back, once you know the truth.

Im prepared. Clarissa straightened her shoulders and stared into Madame DuPuis eyes. I want to go to him. Madame, he comes here to escape you, I think. Nonsense, he comes here for sexual intercourse and that I can provide. He just needs to understand. All right. Youve made your decision.

Cold fear inched its way through her limbs. What was she going to see? How beautiful would the woman be? Did he love the whore? What was more upsetting? That he had a whore to service him or that he had just given his word that there was no one else? She couldnt turn back now, no matter how much she feared the truth. Madame DuPuis led her to a narrow back staircase and they climbed to the next floor, where it opened on to a darkened, narrow hallway. From this point, you must speak in the smallest of voices. You will be able to witness most of what happens in his room. I cannot tell you what you will observe. Clarissa suspected the woman knew exactly what happened in every room in the house. Here, she whispered. Clarissa stepped up. There was a cutout in the wall

covered by some gauzy sheer material on the other side. She peered into the room, the gauze lending a dreamlike quality to all she saw. The room was well-lit, with candles accentuating the vivid colors of the brothel bedroom and the surreal sight of the sexual activities. Michael stood near the head of a bed, bare except for his trousers. Her senses reeled. She fought for air. Two others copulated next to him! Every action seared into her gaze and lodged in her brain. She heard Michael say, Spread yourself wider. Clarissa clapped a hand over her mouth. The woman obeyed. Clarissa couldnt see the whores face, fortunately. Shed every intention of clawing the womans eyes out. A sleek glass ornament came into view. Clarissa puzzled for a moment before she understood its use. Anne had explained it to her. Clarissas face heated as she watched the dildo slide into the woman. She couldnt take her gaze from the activity on the bed. She felt the first surge of moisture between her thighs, followed by the long-ago familiarity of unfulfilled desire throbbing between her legs. She knew Michaels reaction before she looked. He stroked his beautiful cock in time with the dildo. Her cock. Not one she would share with anyone. By damn, she would tear this house apart if he put his manhood inside that disgusting creature. Michael spoke again. Clarissas knees nearly buckled as she watched the slick dildo emerge from the womans body

and then she gaped as the man slid it up, poised on the brink of the whores bottom. Her bottom! Her own anus tensed and puckered as she watched the dildo slide inward. She knew Michaels gaze was fastened on the display. His hand moved more rapidly. Her breathing surged in and out in time with his building arousal. At last the other man, barely noticed before, shoved his inferior cock into the whores vagina and rocked against her, blocking much of Clarissas view. She saw the change in Michael as he responded. She had been able to excite him like that at one time. Once, she was what he wanted. Pleasure consumed him. The familiar grunt and moan as he climaxed. She saw his long, hard erection one last time before he covered it with a towel. She backed away from the cutout and leaned against the wall, her hand against her heart. Tell me when its over, she whispered. There were no tears. Shock prevented her from reacting. Madame DuPuis took her by the arm and led her away. She didnt remember how she got down the stairs, but back in the small sitting room, Alice shoved a drink into Clarissas hand, placed a comforting, stern hand to her shoulder to make her sit and then coaxed her to swallow. Youre a very lucky woman, Alice said. Clarissa frosted her with the coldest stare of an angry countess.

Lucky? My husband is upstairs fucking a damn whore and you say Im lucky? She bit back the other disparaging comments that burned in her heart and mind. She turned away from the madam and clenched her teeth, trying to stop the tears. Her stays dug into her chest and she felt near insanity. One little push and shed fall into the darkened abyss of her empty future. Thats not what he was doing. Alices voice brimmed with irrefutable logic, as if Clarissa couldnt see what was happening. When will he leave? I have to be home before he gets back. He wont yet. In about an hour, it happens all over again. Oh my God. Clarissa gulped down the rest of the drink. Do you have something stronger? Alice obliged, handing her a half-full brandy glass. She took one swallow and coughed at the burning slide of the strong liquor. A momentary fireball erupted in her stomach, a welcome distraction though. What was she going to do? Do you know why you are lucky? No. Please explain it to me, Clarissa said sarcastically. Hes been coming for six months. Six months, Lady Dunnaway, and hes yet to touch one of my whores. Oh, he watches and he finds temporary relief but thats it. Yes, its clear to me now. Thank you for explaining. She swallowed more of the drink, hoping for oblivion.

Youre in the heat of anger. Once you calm down, youll see you havent lost so much. And if you want my opinion Which I dont, thank you. If you want my opinion, the man is in love with you. Nothing else would prevent a man from fucking my whores, not while they are naked and in the very act of intercourse. Nothing, madam. Love? Thats not what I call love. Perhaps you are denying him his rights? Clarissa slammed her glass on the table and stood up. Me? I throw myself at him. This very night, I had my mouth on his cock and he rejected me. Denying him? Hes the one who denies me. Hmm. Alice leaned back in her chair, her glass settled on her stomach. Her lips puckered again. How long has it been since he made love to you? Clarissa melted at the humiliating admission. Over a year. Lord, what was her life coming to that she spilled the secrets of her marriage to the local bawdy-house madam? It was bad enough that Anne knew some and suspected more about her relationship with Michael. Youre several years younger than the earl? No. Only six. How old is he?

Forty-one. The madam hummed again, nodding her head and smiling. She looked like Mother Goose, only she sold sex instead of spinning nursery rhymes. We had a perfect marriage. He loved me. He loves me! I dont understand and he wont tell me whats wrong. Really, I have to go home. Clarissa stood, her legs weak and unresponsive. Lady Dunnaway, calm yourself. Please stay seated. Ill see that you are home in time. Clarissa recognized that Alice DuPuis was a consummate manipulator and a skilled abbess, yet Clarissa complied, since she could see no other way of solving her problem. The woman seemed too matronly and kind and honest to be a threat, and perhaps she, more than anyone, understood men in the most base and meaningful way. Finally, Alice spoke. Clarissa sat up to listen, believing that her happinessher life, her existencewas at stake. Just so you understand, Im offering these suggestions in a purely mercenary capacity. You will pay me if you accept, just as the earl will continue to pay me. Clarissa nodded. The earl seems devoted to you and you seem interested in pleasing him. Perhaps we could come to an arrangement whereby you are the woman in his room. Im sorry? Clarissa had heard her correctly, and even though shed seen enough tonight to cause blindness, she

still gaped at the madams suggestion. Of course, youd be alone with the earl. I believe I could work up a sufficiently erotic tale about my newest French whore to keep the earl unsuspecting for a few weeks while you, shall we say, entice him? You are French, are you not? Oui, on my fathers side. Perfect. Why would I do such a thing? Michael obviously finds a satisfaction here that I cannot provide. Men change. Hes gotten older. Perhaps he is worried about keeping you, satisfying you. Perhaps his taste in entertainments has changed and he is worried he will hurt or offend you. The children are gone. He has a little less stamina. A little less hair. He does not! He has perfectly fine hair. I think you understand what Im trying to say. Men put a lot of stock in their virility. Its a blow when they discover they arent the stallions they thought they were. My husband is quite virile. Obviously it is his appetite for the unusual, as you suggest. She bit at her fingernail. And perhaps he is bored with me now that Im old and done bearing his children. Alice smiled. Somehow that seems to me to be the least of your worries. The madam allowed her appraising gaze to wander over Clarissas figure. I think you look as good as some of my best whores. Clarissa gasped. Madame DuPuis, I take exception to

your statement. Calm yourself, Lady Dunnaway. We have to look at all of your assets if you are to win your husband back. I havent said I would agree. Do you have a choice? Yes. The calculating madam smiled again. Yes, go home to your empty bed and worry whether the next time he visits he will have the same restraint. That he wont give in to those base urges that cause men to cheat on their wives and lose fortunes. You are right. Its a chance you can take. Hell surely come home to you tonight and stay for good. You mock me. No. Im trying to help you. Choices seemed nonexistent. But even if she agreed to the madams plan, how could she be sure Michael would take her? She could be discovered. Ruined. And how would she untangle the mess? Because eventually, no matter how discreet she was, he would find out. Some things could not remain a secret forever. And after eighteen years of marriage, Michael would eventually put the puzzle pieces together. What would you have me do? He likes particular things Things youre going to have to learn to enjoy or at least not fear. You mean Ill have to put thatthat thing inside of me? Its extremely pleasing, Lady Dunnaway. Im surprised

you havent tried it before now. Clarissa arched a brow. I had a husband who provided those services. Alice stood, round and sturdy. Her rosy cheeks gave away the pleasure at which she said, Well need to return to the rooms in a few minutes. Why? Your husband has a voracious appetite for the unusual, but fortunately for you, not the cruel. Did you not know? She was finding out. What would she see now? The earlier activities still played in her mind. Are we in agreement? Clarissa nodded. She couldnt say the words. Come. I have a few things for you to try. And I will have some appropriate clothing made for you. Should we say in a weeks time you will return? Another nod. He likes red and black. And stockings. And apparently a good many other things shed never heard of or imagined. And I have a birthmark at the base of my shoulder blade. Dont worry. Ill take care of everything. Clarissa felt the faint stirrings of sickness welling in her stomach. Shed just agreed to participate in the worst sort of debauchery. Was she out of her mind? She glared at Alice DuPuis. How much will it take to keep other whores away from him?

Chapter Three
Where have you been? Michael demanded as she stepped inside the mansion. With a wave of his hand, Michael dismissed the lone footman keeping watch at the door. Clarissa forced herself to look at her husband. Suddenly everything was so much clearer. The madam had been right about a few things. She had even encouraged Clarissa to arrive home later than Michael. She said he needed to think very seriously about the woman he was married to and what better way than with a little jealousy, a little doubt? The receding echo of footsteps had faded. I was out, she said. Out? With the VanLandinghams? No. Im tired, Michael. Im going to bed. So unless you wish to join me, I will see you in the morning. She lifted her skirts and took the first step. Michael grasped her arms. Where have you been? Its none of your concern. He shook her. By God, I will not share you. How can it be sharing when you dont have me to begin with? Michael backed her against the wall. His mouth came

down hard on hers. She fought him for a few minutes, struggling in an attempt to excite him. Anything before she followed through with the plans to which she had agreed. Youre my wife. I wont have you gallivanting around town without a proper escort. Fine. Ill find a sturdy footman to accommodate my needs For an escort. Then there will be no cause for concern. Whats gotten into you? Clarissa had little cause to celebrate, even with his hand on her breast and his lips so close. She could smell the alcohol and a faint trace of his cologne. And then, the subtle whiff of sex still clinging to him after his night at Madame DuPuis. Shed seen more than she ever wanted to see, and a week from tonight, she would be one of the principal actors. He softened and bent to kiss her again. He traced his fingers along her jaw and slid them through her hair. His forehead touched hers. If this is your way to punish me for not My God, Clarissa. Dont do this to me. It would kill me if you took a lover. I know I havent been able to Please, just say youll give me a chance to make this right. Make it right tonight. She slid her hands over his shoulders. I cant. She hardened her resolve. She wouldnt beg. Then we have nothing else to discuss. She turned away and mounted the stairs. The whole

evening seemed like a nightmare. In her hand, she carried the proof of still more heartache to come. She could never enjoy those things. Even if it was with her husband. Still, she couldnt deny the incredible rush of want shed felt watching the intercourse. She convinced herself that it was her desire for her husband that facilitated such feelings, that she would not have enjoyed it otherwise. Inside her room, she locked the door to the hallway and the door to Michaels room. A small decanter of brandy required her attention before she could bring herself to experiment with the toys Alice had provided. Shed never had so much alcohol to drink in one day, but she gulped another half glass of the soothing fire. Clarissa disrobed completely and found a light, soft rail that had always made her feel sexual and beautiful. If she didnt face it now, while the heat of determination rode her, she might never face the task. The bed was already turned down, a plush top cover and several pillows piled high for her comfort. She should just get in and pull the blankets over her head. Her friend, Anne, was wrong. Clarissa wasnt a prude, but shed come to doubt her desirability. The small clutch Madame DuPuis gave her sat on the edge of the bed. Opening the clasp, she peered in and saw several small items, but the two that she wanted were nestled in protective flannel casings. One was bigger than the other. Madame DuPuis had encouraged her to try the smaller one first.

If she didnt do it now, she knew she would lose her courage altogether. She washed the thingshe couldnt even say the word and then plunked it on the bed, watching it roll toward a small indention. The glass was smooth but cool, and shaped so like a mans cock she had to remind herself what it really was. Her tall cheval mirrors would do. She lifted one and placed it beside her bed. Clarissa wanted to see everything, but then decided her chaise lounge would be better. She carried the mirror again, angled it and then placed a second mirror adjacent to the first. A sequined mask lay in the bottom of the clutch. She plucked the sparkly object from among the toys and fitted it over her eyes. With a deep breath, she lowered her rail, picked up the dildothere, she named itand strolled toward the chaise as if shed practiced this a hundred times. She knew she wouldnt enjoy it. Tense and unsure, she climbed on to the chaise. On her back, she spread her legs. She rubbed herself first and then positioned the dildo. The size didnt intimidate her. It was much smaller than Michael. Relaxing, she took a deep breath of air, closed her eyes and slid the dildo inside. The smooth slide made her gasp and her eyes popped open.

She lifted her legs and then pushed deep, holding it inside her while it warmed. She closed her eyes and imagined Michael doing this to her, with her. A chance look in the mirror reflected a woman she did not recognize. The mask. The decadent naked pose with the dildo deep inside her. Not the prude Anne declared her. Nor the fragile, dignified countess others perceived. A woman seeking her own pleasure. Thats what she saw. She dared move it. Biting her lower lip, she understood better now. Her heart beat hard against her chest as her arousal spread, much like it had been with Michael so many months ago. Another slide and push. Oh, yes. She pulled her legs to her chest and started working in earnest. There was pleasure. Her body heated and she let her mind roam. Michael inside her. Michael holding the dildo. Michael moving the hard smoothness inside her until she screamed out her pleasure. The rapid rise of her near-climax shocked her. She pulled the dildo from her body and lay panting. Shed been close, so close shed almost shrieked. Only one thing was worse than what she was doing and that was having Michael or her maid catch her doing it. She calmed herself when she remembered the doors were firmly locked.

Rapid ideas formedsensual, sexual ideasno doubt fueled by the past hours of entertainment at Madame DuPuis whorehouse. She flung herself from the chaise, throwing the mask aside and marched across the room to dig inside the parcel. The second, larger dildo gleamed. It was heavier and made of some sort of metal. She padded to her washstand and cleaned both of them, determined to do all of the things shed seen tonight at Madame DuPuis. If she couldnt do it alone in her own chamber, there was no hope for her or Michael inside Madame DuPuis sensual whoring rooms. The only thing that made this whole debacle palatable was the fact Michael would be the one doing these erotic things to her. She had always trusted him, in spite of the coolness of the past few months. He would never hurt her physically and if she had to, she could stop everything by taking off the mask. He would be destroyed by her deception, but once he understood why she was there, he would forgive her. He would. Returning to the chaise, Clarissa debated what to do next. She left the mask off, determined in her task. She feared the faux penis would hurt, but then she remembered how it appeared with the whore. Madame DuPuis words of advice included the admonition to prepare properly. A glass bottle with scented oil was included in the madams gifts, and as Clarissa smoothed the lubricant over the dildo, she realized she should have thought of it herself. She

assumed the worst and decided to proceed very cautiously. She bent to her knees on the chaise. If she looked over either shoulder, she could clearly see what she was about to do, and would do. Flutters already built in her sheath, even her bottom puckered and tensed. She started with the smaller one and circled the small nub, starting the excitement up again. With one hand, she braced herself, bending forward slightly and reaching behind with the smaller glassy phallus. She watched over her shoulder. She pushed the smooth dildo between her ass cheeks, prodding gently until she located her anus. She clenched her eyes for a moment. Was she really doing this? Entry seemed difficult. She stopped and pushed forward again, exerting gentle pressure until she felt a slight give. And an incredible sexual pressure surged through her, not like when Michael was inside her. Not at all. She gripped the chaise harder, pushing deeper with her other hand. Oh, dear God! She breathed in rapid pulls of air, nearly passing out. Shed never risen to climax so quickly. If Michael touched her now, she thought shed explode. The hand at her behind shook with the pressure of holding absolutely still. The long plug inside her pushed at the sensitive nerves inside her body. Her idea had been to use both of the dildos. She didnt know if she could. Her limbs were heavy with need, shaking, weak.

Inside her trembling thighs, she felt the first runnel of wetness slide from her body. Practically weeping with need, she swept up the second dildo. Suddenly it looked much larger and harsher, but she positioned it at the entrance of her body. Clarissa repeated the quick swipe on the outside of her body, wetting it with her moisture and then did the unthinkable. The second dildo slid inside. Her gasp could have been heard by anyone near her room. She pushed her face into the cushion of the couch. A rumbling moan built in her chest. Her climax rushed up from where the two phalluses speared into her body, its wings of bliss cascaded over her before her entire body convulsed in pleasure. Long, racking spasms swept through her body. Spasms she could neither control nor endure. Deep, hard pulses that shot through her being. Her bottom burned. Her muscles ached from the intensity. When at last she could open her eyes, she allowed the smaller dildo to slip from her bottom. It fell from her weakened, trembling fingers. Clarissa turned onto her back, and with a new hunger, pushed the larger dildo back into her starving cunt. This time, she pushed deep and squeezed. The fullness reminded her of Michael. With a few thrusts and withdrawals, she keened a second time. Rich and intense. She clenched over the thick head of the piece, drawing her orgasm out for long, dream-inducing seconds.

When the orgasm was over and the final tiny pulses had weakened, she reclined on the chaise, waiting for her breath to return to normal. Her legs finally stopped shaking. She retrieved the dildos and washed them, safely putting the frightening pleasure toys in their flannel casings and under her bed. Lastly, she unlocked her hallway door as her maid would be in early to start her bath. Clarissa didnt bother with nightclothes, for the first time in her life climbing into bed naked. Tiny pulses still beat within her, little tattoos that made her feel alive with hope and the possibility she could still make him happy after all these years.

Michael barely slept after his argument with Clarissa. Who was he to criticize her behavior? His hungers goaded him to do things hed never dreamt of, all the things hed wanted to do with Clarissa. He could still remember the night everything changed. After searching for Clarissa at the Millwood Ball, hed found her in the arms of Martin DeLacy. They were kissing. Hed backed away from the scene as though hed been shot. He didnt stay to see what his wife did afterward. They didnt speak on the way home. That night, in an effort to re-exert his husbandly position and remind her that they had somethinga marriage,

children, lovehed failed with her. His cock had been in virtual hibernation around her ever since. A few weeks later, hed turned forty. That week his horse unseated him, one of his sons beat him in a friendly wrestling match and then, when Clarissa had patted his middle affectionately, hed realized all of his fears. Hed grown old. While his wife, still striking and desirable, would fall prey to any man whod show her more vigorous attention then he could. Already shed succumbed to DeLacy and he wasnt a confirmed rake. There would be others whod have no respect for her marital status and brag about it afterward. Cuckolded. Hed never imagined it possible, but it had become an ever-present fear. He resumed many of the activities hed enjoyed before marriage, even going so far as to walk when he could have taken the carriage. The slight paunch at his middle disappeared rapidly, but nothing else returned to normal. And now, the door between their rooms was locked. He rarely attempted entry into the demoralizing sanctuary. Predictable reactions from his body prompted predictable reactions toward his wife. He had avoided her any time she had hinted an interest in coitus. Instead, Michael entered her room from the hallway. It was still early, but he had to apologize. Hed let his anxieties goad him into anger, not a new state, but one that was clearly driven by his mounting frustrations. Clarissas naked back was the first thing he saw.

Michael stopped short. His heart leapt in want while he waited for a bodily reaction, any reaction from his formerly obedient penis, now bent on betrayal no matter how desperate he became. The silken sheets were draped across her ass. One fine breast peeked at him from under the arm that was curled around a pillow. Sitting on the bed beside her, he ran his fingertips from her breast, over her waist and then stroked his palm over the beautiful round globes of her bottom. She hummed in response, still sleeping, the warmth of her cocoon reaching out and enticing him. Clarissa? As she turned, the sheet fell away. His hand settled on her stomach. A smile played at her lips, her eyes were still shut. Michael, she murmured. He kissed her lips. Mmm, I was just dreaming about you. Were you? And what were you dreaming? Her eyes peeked open somnolent and smoky while the slow, secret smile of a nubile virgin lured him to his destruction. Black hair spread in torrents over her fluffy pillows and creamy shoulders, face and breasts. Michaels hand still rested on her belly. She placed her hand over his and pushed his fingers lower, through the curls at the junction of her legs and lower still. Her eyes closed again and her back arched. I dreamt we were alone and I was naked.

She looked like a satisfied feline. He stroked one finger along the warm lips between her legs. And? And you were kissing me. That can be arranged. He bent to do just that, but before he touched her lips, she put her finger to his mouth. Not here. Here. He felt the pressure on his hand. He slipped a finger inside her. Here? She nodded, expecting him to deliver. He hadnt been this close to her naked form in over a year, but as desperate as he felt, he knew he could do this. And still walk away with his dignity intact. He flipped back the covers, exposing every inch of her skin. He shed his robe. He was no longer alarmed about his flaccid cock. Mouthing her private bits and inserting his tongue in her cunt would keep her from asking too many questions. Open your legs, Clarissa. He felt a frisson of heat at the tip of his cock, but dared not hopehope being the surest route to failure. That feline smile grew wider. She lifted her lovely legs and spread them. He dropped his hands to her knees and settled between her legs. Then he used his shoulders to keep her spread. He gazed at the soft, pearly skin and the little pool of creamy liquid that gathered just for him.

So beautiful, he whispered before he lowered his mouth and sucked on her stiff nub. She whimpered, the sound both music and torture. She speared her fingers through his hair, holding him in place. Her thighs gripped hard against his shoulders. He slipped his thumb inside, trailing his middle finger along the soft skin to her anus. He was tempted but he owed Clarissa respect. He wouldnt treat her like the whores at Madame DuPuis were treated. He didnt expect the same entertainments from her that he enjoyed with Madame DuPuis whores. Would never ask for such base pleasures from his dignified and refined wife. Even though it had been months, he knew what she liked. He laved her with his mouth and tongue, bringing her to peaks of need and letting her slip downward again. Little mewls and pants escaped her mouth and he thought those yearning, needful noises increased every time his finger searched near her puckered hole. Sucking at her clitoris, he decided to try. His cock took a little jump at his decision. Slowly, gently, he slid his wet middle finger over the secret entrance and searched around the rimwaiting wanting to be sure. Her body clenched tight but she said nothing. He rested his finger there until he felt her relax. He suctioned her clitoris and she cried out, her head thrashing against the pillow. Slipping his finger forward, he pushed in gently. The tight muscles bunched around his fingertip.

Clarissa drew in short little gasps of air. Her mouth opened as if she were in pain. Michael pushed further until his middle finger was lodged firmly inside her anus. He still held his thumb deep in her vagina. One continual hum emanated from her chest. Every muscle in her body was tight and unmoving. Her hand flew out and grabbed his elbow. He started slow in-and-out movements with both fingers, squeezing at the deepest penetration and near the exit points. Her hips bucking, Clarissa screamed as her body went into a torrent of quick spasms. His mouth lost its tender grip on the sweet, swollen nub, but his fingers were firmly lodged inside her. Michael stared at her as her passion blossomed and spent in long arching movements and desperate cries of pleasure. Michael. Oh, Michael, she whispered. Her face had relaxed, a small smile still evident. He slid his finger from her bottom and lifted his thumb to circle the plump, blood-engorged nub. He kissed her one final time before rolling to a sitting position beside her. Please tell me Im not dreaming, she whispered. You are dreaming, wife. Go back to sleep. He kissed her forehead, lifted himself from the bed and donned his robe before leaving her to her slumber. You are dreaming, as am I, he muttered on the way out the door. Michael called for his own bath. With some disgust, he looked down at the shriveled cock between his legs. Desire

still hummed through his veins. He stepped into his bath and dismissed his valet. The water was pleasantly warm and he was in no hurry this morning. He leaned back in the tub and relived every tasty moment of his mouth on Clarissas cunt. With one hand, he reached for his already hardening penis and squeezed. Why couldnt it be this easy with her? In a few long strokes he had himself hard and excited. The only sound in the room was the rasping of his breath and the gentle lapping of the water as he moved his arm under the water. He let his mind wander. Before, he could only imagine the pressure her asshole might put on his cock. Shed squeezed his finger in such a way that Michael now knew hed soon have to experience it for himself. What hed done with Clarissa had only heightened his desire. The moral dam hed built for himself was eroding fast. He couldnt live without regular climaxes and they came more easily and more intensely at Madame DuPuis. But hed promised himself he would not touch the whores. Hed

Michael finally came, experiencing the blinding rush of pleasure as he imagined coaxing his large cock inside Clarissas tight little ass.


Two nights later, he found himself in Madame DuPuis foyer, explaining his desires in concise terms. Strange how describing his sexual needs to a former Parisian courtesan was easier than explaining his needs to an unsullied, innocent wife. The whorehouse madam was used to his varied needs and the whores who played his games where never illtreated, and since they were paid well, unconcerned that he never fucked them himself. One saw it as a business opportunity and encouraged himthe other would no doubt be disappointed in his odd and possibly perverted requirements. You say shes French? Michael asked. Alice DuPuis nodded. I wouldnt ask just anyone, and I understand you speak the language. He nodded. You see, shes new to the business, not a virgin mind you, a widow in fact, but she hasnt experienced all of the ways men, at an establishment such as mine, pleasure themselves. I dont know. She would welcome your advances and tutelage. She needs the money firstly and she is a gentle creature. I would hate to think of another initiating her in some of the more creative aspects of intercourse so early in her career. Im not prepared for that kind of intimacy. Youve always known that. Somehow, hed gotten his raging desires back under control. He was not yet prepared to completely break

his vows with Clarissa, though if she knew what he was thinking at this moment, shed probably consider them broken. But there are things you can teach her that do not involve physically breaking your marriage vows. That is what hinders you, is it not? Michael didnt answer. Hed never come out and admitted it to Alice, but being shrewd and insightful went a long way to making her a successful madam. Since you are unsure, why dont I offer her to you free the first night? Well see how it goes. Surely, there are other men who would pay handsomely for the pleasure you are offering me. Alice smiled. Of course there are, but Id still like to have a whore who wasnt afraid of the next one hundred men shed have to bed. Ill consider it. Shell be here on Thursday. I hope youll join us. Now will it be your regular entertainment for this evening? Yes. Oh, about the girl. Would she not like to be part of my current arrangement? I dont hurt the girls. No. For now, I do not think she would like for one man to be fucking her while another is watching. Its not for everyone.

Chapter Four
Clarissa lowered herself into the tub, and once she wiggled into a comfortable position, slowly inserted the large dildo. The smooth phallus was a poor replacement for Michael, but it was something to take the edge off her reborn, demanding needs. And remembering his mouth on her after such a long drought enhanced her pleasure. She might have imagined the morning interlude with Michael, except for the fact he pointedly ignored her for the rest of the week. No doubt he was embarrassed that hed pleasured her in that manner and that shed so wantonly accepted the delightful intrusion into her body. She couldnt tell him about the exquisite pleasure, not in any way that he would understand or approve. He must believe those forbidden pleasures were too exotic and too vulgar for his wife. A week ago, shed thought so too. Hed be shocked if he knew she was growing attached to her morning routine. She especially enjoyed it while in the bath. One foot remained propped on the edge of the tub while she worked the delicious dildo inside her body. Eyes closed, she let the pleasure build in slow degrees. After she sweetly climaxed, Clarissa soaked in the tub. Shed awoken with thoughts of tonights adventure

foremost in her mind, hoping events went as Madame DuPuis had assured her they would. Shed had to change her plans after a little thought. How to get rid of her carriage so she could arrive anonymously? Discretion was paramount. Clarissa had planned an attendance at a musicale only, but decided that a quick stop at the Sandhurst gathering, the largest event in the ton that night, would provide a better alibi. Once there, she could slip in, be noticed and be on her way. She had the added benefit of being able to send her driver home under the pretext of riding home with one of her numerous acquaintances while she hired an inconspicuous livery. Plus Michael dreaded such entertainments as musicales. Sitting still for two hours was anathema to him. Shed only tell him about the ball as an afterthought and only if necessary. He said hed meet friends at his club for some light gambling and be home late. Clarissa knew better. Madame DuPuis had confirmed he would be at the brothel tonight. Already giddy with excitement, another, stronger emotion fearpooled in her belly. She would be able to please Michael tonight, yes, but there were so many things that could go wrong. Clarissa nearly laughed thinking of Anne VanLandinghams complete sincerity when they had met last night. Admittedly, she had avoided Anne. She would

want to know details and Clarissa had decided shed already disclosed too much. As soon as Anne had cornered her, she rushed to assure Clarissa that Michael was not interested in heror her husband. As if Clarissa had ever imagined such a thing. Leave it to Anne to go to the extreme. Anne, you are such a dear friend to sacrifice your reputation for me. Oh, it was no trouble at all. I thought his eyes would pop out of his head when I Well, anyway, Im glad I settled that matter for you. Clarissa had listened to the same old gossip and deftly avoided any more mention of Michael. Shed been almost relieved when Michael fetched her for home. Anne had a way of prying loose information one wanted to remain deeply hidden. And if all else failed, Anne would vouch for her once she understood the dire straits of Clarissas marriage. The day was interminable. At last, the daylight hours faded and she prepared for her departure. She dressed in a simple silk gown with a wide pearly ribbon under her breasts and tied at the back. Her maid had styled her hair loosely, without ornamentation. Simplicity was all she needed tonight. Before departing her room, she kissed her wedding band, then slipped it off and hid it in the drawer of her nightstand. After the musicale and the quick dash through the

Sandhursts ballroom, Clarissa felt as if she were riding to the executioner. The carriage passed through the city with a gentle clip-clop of hooves and a soothing rhythm that nevertheless did nothing to comfort or encourage her. So many things could go wrong. Knowing Michael would be in the room gave her little assurance at this point. She would be deceiving him, embarrassing him if he found out and cementing their relationship failure if Michael rejected her. Her limbs shook as the carriage drew to a halt at the back of Madame DuPuis. Clarissa lifted the veil over her face and departed from the hired coach. A dim covered candle lit the back door and a beefy man opened the door at her knock. A woman guided her to a back room where Madame DuPuis waited. Fear choked her now that this moment of irrevocable truth stared her in the face. Would you care for a drink? she asked. Clarissa nodded, accepting a glass and swallowing back the small amount of alcohol, needing the burn to dampen her worry. Is he here? Theres a small complication. Clarissas knees gave way. She slumped into a chair and clutched the plump armrests. Whats happened? Or do I dare ask? Alice DuPuis lowered herself onto a backless bench positioned near the small crackling fire. Complications, but

not something we cant resolve, if you are willing. Willing? Im here, Clarissa said. Your husband has changed his mind. What do you mean? He doesnt want He doesnt want me? He has an odd sense of morality, yes. And its not you exactly that he doesnt want. Hes content with his current arrangement. And to give him credit, he said he wasnt sure if he had the self-control necessary to see you alone. Morality? He enjoys dildos and restraints and is happy to perform in front of other couples and he doesnt want to be alone with me? Her voiced raised sharply at the end, though she knew it wasnt Madame DuPuis fault. Youre taking this personally. He doesnt know you will be in his room. This was a mistake. I was completely prepared forfor everything. Clarissa leaned back in the chair and stared at the ceiling. The tension inside her nearly snapped. Is he up there now, with them? she asked. Not yet. Clarissa glanced sharply at the madam. You have an idea? I always have ideas. This one may not be to your taste. Is any of this? Im suggesting you enter the room as part of the couple that will entertain him. Alice sat calmly, her hands clasped in her lap. Her grandmotherly gaze held no threat. Her rosy

red cheeks and steely hair could have belonged to a wealthy matron at the most exclusive ball, offering her refreshments. Frozen in her chair, Clarissa digested the suggestion with the same revulsion shed felt a week ago. How could she do that? You ask too much. It is not I that ask. You want your husband. Your husband demands certain entertainment. And here we are at an impasse. Another man will violate me? I will be naked to the gaze of another man while my husband looks on. Even my adventurous husband cannot be so accepting. What part of my suggestion is most unacceptable to you? Why I I will not have another mans penis inside my body. So you could live with everything else you witnessed? I didnt say that. Madame DuPuis sat quietly for several long minutes and then stood, slapping at her bulky skirts. Well then, Ill tell my other couple to proceed without you. Her hand was on the door. Wait. Clarissa clenched her teeth. What is it youre suggesting? Exactly? Madame DuPuis approached her from behind. You have lovely hair. She plucked at the few pins Clarissa had

tucked into the mass of black tangles. Dark strands fell across her shoulders. Why dont we get you dressed and Ill explain. Stiff and impassive, Clarissa stood. Madame DuPuis pulled at the ribbon wrapped under Clarissas bosom and then began unbuttoning her dress. The sleeves were pushed aside and the dress slithered to the floor. The laces of her shift loosened. The soft material pooled at her feet, followed by the last of her undergarments. Clarissa labored for breath, knowing but not knowing to what shed tacitly agreed. I can write the script, but it is the players on stage who interpret what I write, Madame said. I promise you will not be touched in that way. You saw the stage, you saw what and how the players performed. If it does not progress as planned, you say no. Naked and feeling alone, Clarissa heard the clink of a canister as Madame DuPuis rubbed along her shoulder. This will cover your mark. I knew youd be lovely. You can be assured that your husband had other reasons for leaving you besides what your body could offer him. Clarissa bit at her lip and stared down at her feet. She crossed one arm over her breasts. She still wore her black stockings made of the finest French silk. Michael had always purchased the best of everything for her. Hed even sent to Italy for a pair of shoes shed once seen. Shed laughed at his extravagance when theyd arrived four months later. Hed always been concerned for her

happiness. Mechanically, she lifted her arms as the madam commanded. A black corset with red eyelet and ribbon was placed at her waist. Cinching the corset, the madam forced Clarissa to take in a lungful of air. Her breasts were fully displayed and pushed upward in vulgar prominence, the lacy material below showcasing them. Perfect, firm round globes with hard-tipped nipples surrounded by light chocolate-brown areolas. Michael had always enjoyed her breasts. Her derrire and mons remained on display. Two ribbons dangled against her legs, lightly teasing her skin. The first hint of her indecent excitement trickled down her leg. There. Would you like to see? No. When she swallowed, she only felt a dry, scratchy sensation. May I have another drink? Madame DuPuis poured and then handed over the glass. Clarissa gulped it down. I think perfume, yes? A light mist cooled her skin. Madame then sprayed it near the V of Clarissas thighs. And lastly, your robe. The silky smoothness slid over Clarissas arms and floated around her. It was entirely red and transparent. Madame smoothed rouge over Clarissas cheeks, reddened her lips, placed a single black patch near her mouth and then slipped a sequined mask over her eyes. Chrie, you are perfect. Better than any of my girls hes

seen. Remember who you do this for. In a complete daze, Clarissa was led from the room and up the same darkened, carpeted stairwell. We must hurry. Your man will be getting impatient. Escorted into the adjoining room, she nearly called everything to a stop at the sight of her supposed partner in this debauchery. He was naked, just slipping into a black silk robe. Shed seen enough to know that his organ looked dangerously out of portion to his stature. Henri, a word. Madame pulled him aside and whispered in his ear. Clarissa had every confidence shed instructed him to keep his filthy cock to himself. She hoped. Alice then turned to Clarissa and chucked her under the chin, forcing her eyes to meet the determined gaze of her conspirator. Remember. It is not you in that room. You are not Dunnaways countess. Do not act like her in any way, from your kisses to your touch. You must become that woman he sees. Madame snapped her fingers. Henri clasped Clarissas hand and they walked hand in hand to the next room to service the Earl of Dunnaway.

Michael reflected on his decision as he slouched in the familiar chair with his drink in hand. Even now, he tried to think of Clarissa in the hopes hed get a rise out of his halfdead cock. He pictured her in her frilly white flannel

nightgowns, smiling so sweetly at him from the downy cushions of her bed. Beautiful, yes. It left him cold and unmoved, not to mention fearful and frustrated. He swallowed down his second drink. Only one more before he called it quits and before the entertainment arrived. Closing his eyes, he envisioned what was to come. He fisted his cock in one hand and squeezed. The near painful pleasure built. He revisited other episodes in which hed participated. His erection sprang at the idea of putting his cock into the ass of the French whore that Madame was bringing to his room tonight. Madame said it had taken some persuasion, but shed agreed to be part of his entertainment. True, he wasnt going to fuck her, but he was damn tempted. In the midst of stroking himself, the door slowly opened. Michaels cock swelled painfully. He was in a dangerous mood tonightwanting Clarissa like he did, the temptation of the French whore and the recent memory of Clarissas tight, clenching ass over his finger. Hed waded in perilous waters for months now, eventually he was going to drown in them. Even now, he had trouble breathing. Air lodged in his chest as the French woman strolled into the room on the arm of the male oddity. Glued to his chair, he could only stare at the temptation as she lowered the robe, letting it fall to the carpeted floor in a soft swish of material. Michael cast a singular glance in

the mans direction to note that he was the usual odd specimen Alice employed, one meant to dazzle the adventurous female clientele. The woman passed by him, her perfume strong but the scent of her cunt stronger. Aroused, displayed and ready for fucking. Michael yearned to take a bite out of her lush white ass. He couldnt decide where to begin. Her full breasts jiggled as she walked. The tempting exhibit was mouthwatering. He lived vicariously through the other man. A fine morality, indeed, he thought. Maybe he was just a coward. Maybe losing the ability to fuck ones own wife made a man unwilling to face his other inadequacies. If hed swallowed his pride and told Clarissa the problem, she would have been understanding. Which, in his mind, only made the problem worse. He did not want his wifes sympathy, he wanted her respect. Another voice chimed in, one he recognized as his conscience. Yes, Michael, and she will definitely respect

you for this.

When the couple stopped at the side of the bed, Michael hauled himself up from the chair and fastened one button of his trousers to keep them in place. Madame had convinced the French whore to participate, but he still needed to progress slowly. Looking at the wellhung freak, he knew he wouldnt let that penetrate this small woman. He glanced down at his own cock, wondering if his wouldnt hurt as much. Still, he had to question the

madams judgment in sending this particular male. He would only use the dildos tonight. And possibly the satin cords. They were always enough to ignite his fuse. Her breasts were magnificent. He contemplated how he could both see her impaled and watch those tits harden in pleasure. Of course, the easiest way would have been for him to do everything himself. No . No. He shook his head and blinked his eyes a couple of times. She was a whore. Madame DuPuis explained what will happen this evening? he questioned in French, keeping his voice unthreatening. Not that French was ever threatening. Oui. Her voice was delicate and feminine. He wagged a finger at the male prostitute, indicating he could proceed and stared as the other man stepped in behind the French woman. The sight of the staggering phallus sliding along the cleft cheeks of her ass had his heart racing and his cock straining. She stiffened and bit at her lips, turning her head away. He wont hurt you, chrie. The mans large hands cupped her waist and slid upward. Michaels palms itched and burned with want. He pulled air through his nose, trying to capture the scent of her a second time. Strong male hands cupped her breasts, covering and then kneading. His own hand slid into the placket of his trousers and palmed his aching cods. She gasped and took a small step away before placing

one delicately boned foot on top of the other. Madame was right. The girl was new, a little frightened, and based on the lush body she displayed, entirely suitable for her profession, once she became accustomed to a mans needs. Kneel on the bed, he commanded her in French, his voice catching. She stepped up on the wooden box, lifted one knee, then the other. Her bottom jutted out, poised and ready for penetration. Her legs quivered. Michaels cock throbbed with need and he wasnt even stroking himself to encourage his excitement, only squeezing, fearful that her innocent allure and the wicked longing to see hernot hurt exactly but overpowered, taken caused thrilling, guilty pleasure. He reached for the large dildo on the bedside stand and handed it to the other man. Anal first, he ordered the man. Then he spoke in a more coaxing, pleasant tone to the girl, sticking to the French since he didnt know her command of English. Relax, chrie. It will be momentarily uncomfortable. Hed been fixated on this act since hed started this dark journey, and now, after his encounter with Clarissa, he could think of nothing but the tight penetration and the consuming pleasure it would bring. The act was all the more forbidden since he had never requested it of Clarissa. Only from his paid whores. Swiping the dildo through the wetness of her body, the man reached for the girls ass, spread one cheek and

rammed the thick head in a few inches. The girl flinched and gasped, going down on her forearms, her head hanging down. Michael grabbed the mans wrist to prevent further penetration. You fucking clumsy ox. Do you plan on killing her? Get out. Mumbling some apology, the other man left, latching the door behind him. Michael touched her hip, stroking for a few minutes, trying to soothe the sting and burn of the forceful entry while whispering soft, calming words in French. He did not remove the dildo. The jerky motion as she clenched it inside her body nearly had semen shooting from his overexcited shafthis gaze, his body fascinated by the sexual display. He touched the protruding piece, keeping it firmly embedded in her asshole. She shook in response and he leered when the phallus moved as she puckered. Arch your back, chrie. He stood behind her, imagining his own cock twitching as he entered the tight passage. Instead, his erection bulged painfully, the skin tight and sensitive. Easy, chrie. Here it comes. Michael dropped his hand to the perfect globes of her ass, his fingers dipping into the cleft and spreading her cheeks wide while he stared in desperate fascination. He probed further, slowly. The whore gasped, arching further, but he knew and welcomed the sound of pleasure.

Thats my girl. Is it good? Every inch that penetrated her flesh brought Michael feverish pleasure. He wiped at his brow. He slipped the only button holding his trousers up and his cock sprang out. Alive, pulsing, harder and longer than hed been in years. He was ready to fuck a room full of whores. Leaning forward, he propped one knee on the bed beside her. He pressed his cock against the firm flesh of her thigh. Beside her, he could see everything. He cast a glance at her breasts. The one he could see dangled like a ripe fruit ready for plucking. Hed already touched her. He swallowed back the last of his guilt and reached for a handful of her fleshy tits, the softly rounded orb something hed denied himself until now. The nipple burned into his palm. His desire to pull those nipples into his mouthone after the othernearly irresistible. The dildo lurched as she clenched and unclenched. Tell me if you like this. He started a slow, shallow movement, penetrating her, mimicking the act of sex. She moaned and then uttered a small word, Oui. He steadied himself. Hed taken another step down the slippery slope of betrayal. He wasnt going to fuck her. He wasnt. Rolling and tugging at her nipple, he heard the shallow gasp of excitement again. Her body rocked back against the intrusion. She turned her head and screamed into the sheets, just

as every muscle in her body clenched. The dildo shot back and would have left her body entirely if Michael hadnt been prepared. He stuffed it back in and as he did so, he felt his own climax burst. His balls tightened. He groaned and then leaned over her back, squeezing his cock against her body, while flumes of hot cum shot over her ass and his stomach. He rocked in time with the gentle assault he still kept up in her. Gasping, he nearly collapsed over her. He braced one hand on the bed, his own arms trembling. Hed always questioned whores when they said they climaxed. He thought it was just part of the purchase. You paid, you got a woman who serviced you and who said you satisfied her. That was a climax. Hed dream for the next week about plugging her with his cock while he rode her to an orgasm that strong. Please, monsieur, she whispered. Please what? he wondered. Fuck me again? Because he had every intention of doing so. Madame had underestimated his ability to control himself with the girl. Hed underestimated his own ability to resist such splendid temptation. It is too much, she whispered. He withdrew the dildo and she collapsed onto the bed, her masked face looking away. Her breath rasped in her throat while she gulped and shuddered from the aftereffects.

Did I hurt you, chrie? No. He headed to the washstand. He rinsed and toweled off before he returned to the girl, who still lay quietly on the bed. The gentle rise and fall of her chest confirmed that she had relaxed. His semen glistened across her back. He wiped her clean, enjoying the domestic intimacy. Do you wish me to leave, monsieur? Her low, husky voice sent shivers through him. Hed always appreciated the beauty of the French. Until now, he hadnt realized that it had played such a role in his attraction to Clarissa. She rolled over and glanced at him. Her stockinged legs were splayed just enough to reveal her gleaming cunt and the black thatch of hair. Propped on her elbow, her breasts stood proud and the nipples erect and inviting. Her hair tumbled in wild disarray over one shoulder and pooled behind her on the bed. The corset was nothing more than ornamentation to perfect the display of her lush body. Sexual need still pounded through him. Madame knew how to pick her girls and how to dress them. His groin tightened and his cock started a gentle swell. He threw aside the towel. Stay just like you are, he ordered. He clasped her ankles and spread her legs, crooking her knees. Every inch of her pink flesh gleamed. She arched slightly. Youre an eager little puss, arent you? He glanced at the array of dildos and selected a wide-

based model with an equally bulbous tip. He handed it to her. Use this, while I watch.

Clarissa calmed the moment that naked behemoth left the room. That thing had touched her. Trying to forget that small fact would depend greatly on whether she succeeded in this charade. She hadnt forgotten where she was and what she was about. She couldnt completely relax, but her fear of the unknown seemed less monstrous and more dreamlike. Alone with her husbandanywherewas better than what had been happening in their marriage for the last year. She was here to entertain Michael, not a crude beast who would use her and discard her. She could handle the embarrassment of her endeavors. She could not handle the shame and degradation of being used by another man. Especially not after accusing her own husband of perfidy. Her bottom still throbbed from the abrupt entry, but she had to admit, the rich orgasm had gone a long way toward relieving the intrusive burn. Once Michaels hand had touched her, her world righted itself. Shed relaxed and allowed the secret excitement to bloom into full passion. Shed prepared her body and her mind for all he would do to her. Accepting the dildo, Clarissa smiled without showing her teeth. Oui, monsieur.

The fear and dread had turned into something new, a sexual tension, a forbidden desire shed not known existed and never dreamt shed enjoy pursuing. Her heart pounded in her chest. A flush spread across her skin. From here, everything she did was to entice her husband, her now-illicit lover. Michael seated himself in the chair, facing her open legs. Clarissa wiggled her bottom and scooted to the edge of the bed. This was her opportunity to remind him of the wife he could have. She lifted and then spread her legs wide, bracing her feet against the wooden bed frame. His intake of breath confirmed that her actions had the desired effect. Teasing the dildo along the sensitive slit, she closed her eyes and moaned. Does monsieur not wish his cock inside instead? You dont like? They rarely spoke French at home. He seemed not to notice anything about her soft voice. Put it in. Clarissa shivered at his command. Je prfre Mademoiselle, I prefer to see you fuck yourself while you imagine this cock filling you. He stated the dark words, evidence of the deep need he refused to allow full rein. He gripped the base of his penis and positioned it for her view. Clarissas body spasmed. Indeed, she did imagine his cock inside her, but the whole point was to get it inside her. It had been too long. She rolled her upper body so she could rest on one

elbow while her other hand started the slow movements on the outside of her body, teasing and toying but refusing his command. Through the feathered mask, she stared at her husband, who in turn, watched her through half-masted lids. He stroked his cock in time with her. Mademoiselle, do hurry. She held the dildo up and wrinkled her noise. She kept her voice soft and lilting. But it is so small, and you, you are so big. She dangled it from her fingers. It is dead, no? Michaels lower body tensed and his hand gripped his penis. His eyelids tightened and she sensed he might be near another climax. But I put it in, if it makes you happy. His eyes peeked open. His jaw clenched and worked as if he wanted to say more to her. Clarissa thrust slowly, almost enjoying torturing her husband. The knobbed end dangled from her temptingly. She fell back on the bad and whined, No, I feel nothing. He burst from the chair and reached her in one long step. He reached for the ties on the bedpost and had her wrist secured in a soft binding before she realized what he was doing. The dildo was still in her vagina, so she grasped the protuberance and attempted to free it, but he clutched her other wrist and had it bound. Suddenly, it was no longer a game. Shed believed she was enticing him, but she found out quickly she was an amateur and he wanted what he wanted. Struggling against the binds, she grew fearful

again. He reached between her legs. She flinched. His big, firm hand took the end of the dildo, positioning it up, pressing into a very sensitive spot inside her. She gasped and struggled to turn, wanting relief from the sudden pressure. Since you enjoy talking, I want you to tell me how you feel. He wasnt moving the dildo in and out, rather he started a circular motion that forced the bulb-tipped end to stimulate her. Oui. Oui? Is that all? Are you thinking about my cock now or do you like the pleasure Im giving you with this? She shuddered. He inserted the length of the dildo. She felt it touch her womb and a sudden, quick pain shot through her. She lurched, jerking against the bindings. Pressing his hand against her lower belly, he started the gentle thrusting that made her forget she was here for her husbands cock. The weight of his hand made her feel as if the organ inside her was a club rubbing every nerve ending raw. In a good way. She dug her heels into the bed and tried to get away. She twisted her body but it only made him laugh and thrust the dildo a few more times. Mais, non. It is too much. Do you want to come? If you say yes, Im going to make

you come again and again. If you say no, Im going to leave you tied to this bed and invite our friend back in to fill you. What would you like? Michael stopped the movements. Tell me, chrie? I know you are greedy, but who do you want it from? You. I want you. Your cock. Thats not one of your choices. She bucked up against him, her senses feverish as if he left her hanging from a cliff and the only choice was to jump. Instead, she clenched hard against the dildo, trying to find her own relief. Didnt I give you enough the first time? Please, monsieur. Please. He tugged on the dildo, starting to withdraw. Once I take this out, you know what you get. No. No! Filling her with a quick push, he smiled down at her. I take that as a yes. You must have your pleasure. She relaxed for a moment and then he did it to her again. His hand massaged and pressed at the soft spot and the dildo deep in her body worked her into a frenzy. Clarissa gave in to his sexual torture. She stopped fighting against the bonds and the uncontrollable, raw pleasure. Once he found a rhythm, she clenched her sheath on the outward stroke, sending fire to her toes and eyelashes. She arched, soared and hung suspended before she crashed

into wild pulses that beat where his hand lay against her stomach and around the thick phallus still buried in her body. Good, chrie. I enjoy your pleasure, but youll need to learn that Madame DuPuis whores are here for their clients pleasure foremost. It is what the client wishes. She whimpered as he started again. Her cunt burned with sensation and sensitivity. She didnt think she could do it again so soon. The third time had her limp and satiated. Her arms were still spread, held by the soft binds. Michael viewed her body, the want and lust still clearly visible on his face. Clarissa didnt understand what stopped him. But monsieur, what if the client doesnt know what he wishes? His reaction was swift. Michael backed away from her, turning his back and hoisting his trousers closed in quick, angry movements. The bed was comfortable and Clarissas exhaustion weighed her down. So did the weight of failure. Shed pushed him away. Again. The sound of a door snapping shut brought her back to awareness. Michael had left her tied to the bed.

Clarissa jerked on her dress.

Madame DuPuis had arrived in her room a few minutes after Michael left. The woman didnt react, only bent to the task of freeing Clarissa from the bed and assisting her into a proper robe. A few minutes later, in Madame DuPuis sitting room, she finished dressing. What did I do wrong? Clarissa asked, once she deemed herself presentable. Madame DuPuis pursed her lips and in her grandmotherly wisdom said nothing. He doesnt want me at home. He doesnt want me strapped to a bed doing everything that so obviously pleases him. What does he want? Clarissa jerked on her gloves. The madam raised her brows. He is still deciding. Deciding? Deciding whether he is going to choose a whore over his wife. Clarissa had humbled herself, performing unheard-of acts, standing nearly naked in a room with another man, allowed that same man to touch her intimately, all to seduce her husband. And all to no avail. What do I do now? Nothing. As he left, he said he would not be back. So this was all a waste? Ive humiliated and degraded myself for nothing? You had to try.

Yes. I suppose I did. Your livery is waiting. At the door, Clarissa turned to face the sanguine Madame DuPuis. What would you have done? Ive never had a man I wanted to keep. Alice smiled and her round cheeks dimpled. This isnt over yet, Clarissa said. Im glad to hear it. Its been an entertaining and profitable evening. Hopefully, more so in the future, should we continue our alliance. Inside the carriage, Clarissa rocked to the jolting rhythm and listened to the clickity-clack of the horses along the cobblestones. Somehow she had to find a way to get through to her husband. She marveled at his restraint. When they were younger, it took much less to excite him. Why did she have to work so hard now? Ridiculous men like Martin DeLacy panted after her to the point of bother. Shed slapped him once for stepping over the bounds of propriety, but Michael was nowhere to be found when she needed him to defend her or see the incident to know that she was still desirable to other men. Michael seemed immune and indifferent of the attention other men paid her, and it would be childish to attempt to make him more than nominally jealous. Clarissa vowed to entice him in her home, and if that failed, at Madame DuPuis. She now knew first-hand what he liked and shed use every underhanded trick to get him to realize shed enjoy the same things. As long as it was

with him. She also understood his obstinacy in refusing to discuss their lack of intimacy. She feared his reaction to confessing what had happened tonight. And if Clarissa had heard about such activities from her husband, she might have never understood. Having experienced the desire and pleasure firsthand, she was more sympathetic. And more determined.

Chapter Five
Michael stared through the ornate window of their front sitting room, facing the street as the nondescript hackney approached the house. He stood to the side, near the curtain. The room was dark, only a small crackling fire kept him company. His wife exited the carriage quickly and hurried up the stairs. He didnt move as he heard the footman at the front door, a few words of greeting and his wifes furtive steps up the long staircase. Hed had several drinks already, but had the presence of mind to avoid yet another while he waited, imagining the very worst scenarios. He calmed himself with a few deep breaths, reminded himself she should at least be able to defend herself before he made wild accusations and then solemnly followed her to their joint bedrooms a few minutes later. Entering his room, he walked to her door and knocked. Immediately, he regretted not tidying his appearance. He wore only his open shirt and evening trousers. He was in his socks. When she didnt answer, he walked in. She stood near the end of her bed, wide-eyed and fearful, adorned in her usual white garb. Guilty. Michael?

Unrestrained anger propelled him toward the sitting chairs near her fireplace. Flopping in a chair, absent his usual impeccable manners, he mulled his first words. He did not think he could be near her without his inner rage boiling over. But he couldnt bear to be far away from her either. Clarissa, wont you join me? I was just going to bed. He entwined his fingers and pressed his lips to them, wanting to get it right. Wanting. Ive done a lot of thinking tonight and I believe my worst fears are coming true. Still she didnt move. When I arrived home, your carriage was here but you werent. Oh, I know, she said and then smiled brightly. Falsely. I didnt mean to worry you. I ran into Anne. She and Randall brought me home. Ah. Your dear friend Anne. Clarissa padded toward her bed and sat down, pulling the thick coverlet over her legs. Im tired, Michael. He clenched his teeth but pushed out of the chair. He strolled toward her, blowing out two candles on her mantle before he gazed down at her. How could he want someone so much and be able to do nothing about it? Even now he felt nothing. No faint stirring of arousal. No strong erection. Nothing at all to tempt her into nights of debauchery and unrestrained pleasure.

I think we will return to York early this year. Ive been missing home, he said. If he could get her away. If they could go home, perhaps he would relax enough, perhaps she would forget the enticements of other men. And maybe she would forgive his inadequacy as a man and his failure as a husband. Why? The boys wont be home for weeks yet. It will be drafty and lonely if we return now. Oh, no. Lets not. We still have almost five weeks before the end of the Season. We havent been spending much time together. Its like this every year. The Season winding up. The mad rush. She patted his leg. His anger dissolved into desperation. He could not lose his wife. Sitting next to her, he braced his arm across her waist. You are still as beautiful as the day I met you. Clarissa relaxed, one hand caressing his face, and he turned his lips to her palm. What is it? Youve not been happy. Tell me, she pleaded. Instead, he leaned forward and brushed a light kiss across her lips. Who were you with tonight? he asked as he pulled away. Her eyes, so pleasing when aroused, popped open. He gazed at her, certain he would find the sordid truth buried in those misty depths if he but looked deep enough. She smiled again. I told you. I was with Anne.

Madam, I saw the hackney. Anne did not bring you home. Where were you? He braced for bad news. Truth. Clarissa was the first to look away. She closed her eyes and lowered her head. Oh God, its worse than I thought, he said. He ran a hand through his hair. Her attack came from out of the blue. Are you going to tell me you were at your club tonight? Diligently losing money at cards? This isnt about me. You even smell like sex. Who fucked you, Clarissa? Who? He gritted his teeth, fearful that more damaging, more hurtful words would spill out. So its all right that you question my every behavior, but when the tables are turned, you refuse to answer? Anger and guilt tore at his chest. She thrust the knife of inadequacy deeper. I have begged you to come to me. Weekly, in case you werent keeping track. Yet you continually reject me. He leapt from the bed and paced to the fireplace. Clarissa continued, undaunted by his imposing, impenetrable rejection. You have no cause to doubt me. So what if I came home late? You have no reason to assume that Ive been with another man. Were I the suspicious sort, Id say you were trying to hide your own behavior. My behavior? I saw you kissing Martin DeLacy. Dont tell me youre the innocent in this.

DeLacy? That was over a year ago! And he accosted me. I can assure you, sir, it wasnt at my invitation. Thats not how it appeared to me. Clarissa gasped and threw the blankets back, covering the same ground as Michael. She stood in front of him with her hands at her hips. You saw, and you did nothing? What was I supposed to do? Call attention to your behavior? Have everyone at the ball know that Id caught my wife in the embrace of another man? No, thank you. Id prefer to keep my dignity intact. Dignity? He could have hurt me. As it was, the fool was drunk enough that a sturdy slap sent him into a flowerpot. And to this day, he still bothers me, yet you turn a blind eye until you find a convenient way to accuse me of improper behavior. I see everything. And hes not the only one who pants after your flouncing skirts, ready to haul you into a darkened corner and fuck you. I see, Madam. And if I could only get my husband to do the same, she snapped. Im going to bed. You may leave my room. This conversation is over. She brushed past him to return to her bed. He clasped her upper arm, yanking her to his chest. What? Do you not notice when they accidently brush an arm across your breast, or stare down the front of your dress, hoping for a glimpse of all your charms? How could you not? How many times have you slipped away with another? How many times have these lips caressed the

sweetness from someone elses cock? Clarissa jerked away and then slapped his face with a resounding thwack. You are drunk and uncouth. Please leave now. Michael stormed away. At the connecting door he stopped, ready to fling more words. She beat him to it. And you can be sure, I will not be returning to York anytime soon. Michael heard Clarissa sobbing before the door shut behind him. He hardened his heart. Nothing she said explained her absence tonight. He should have married some whey-faced merchants daughter with broad hips and a big nosethen he would have no reason to fear her wandering. The drink hed avoided earlier now seemed a necessity, and he bound down the stairs to the library to pour a healthy glass of brandy. The glass shook as he brought it to his lips. He could not take it any more. Hed lost his mind. A beautiful, desirable wife he panted after and yet he paid for whores. All of his guilt spilled out in his accusations against Clarissa. Touching the whore had been a huge mistake. He ran a hand over the back of his neck, rubbing at the tight ache of self-recrimination and guilt. The feel of her tits, the firmness of her ass. His cock squeezed in painful pleasure between their bodies.

Fucking her would have been easy, enjoyable and wildly entertaining. In the state hed been in, he wouldnt have given Clarissa a second thought. Until the whores words cut through his heart. Hed passed an imaginary line tonight. Hed believed he had the willpower and the moral fortitude to resist much, much longer. And now that hed touched her Damn. Now that hed touched her, now that Clarissa had defied him and taunted him, hed give in. Sink himself into every pleasurable dissipation he could find as long as his cock didnt give out. Five weeks, Clarissa said. He had five weeks to fuck himself to death with the French whore, and he intended to enjoy every minute of it. He palmed his cock, already aching with the need to pound into any available cunt. Clarissas especially. How hed enjoy reminding her what they had. How hed enjoy spreading her dewy thighs, her legs and arms bound while he pumped into her and then, before his climax, while he was rock-hard and horny, slide into that tight little ass, wait for the moment when shed squeeze and then come until he was dry. Damn. He gripped his cock tighter, rubbing through the material of his trousers. Clarissa. He slipped his hand under his smallclothes, his bare hand touching his hot flesh, and stroked. He couldnt remember the last time hed had an erection so hard and full while thinking of his wife.

He surged from the chair, threw open the door and took the stairs two at a time. Hed remind her whose cock could make her happy. Whose cock shed kneel for. At her door, he remembered the frilly white gown she wore and the soft downy comfort of her bed. The innocent look on her face. His cock shriveled. He struck his head against the door jamb. He wouldnt degrade his wife by requiring her to perform the sex acts that satisfied him. He loved his wife. He respected her. He yearned for the return of those intense feelings of desire for her. Those feelings that actually caused movement in his otherwise unresponsive cock. But what he needed, he couldnt get from her. Maybe it was just as well she was finding her own amusements. Maybe it was what she wanted all along, for him to take his desires, his perceived perversions to another and stop bothering her. Whores would have to provide the entertainment, and he knew just where to find one whod already had a taste of his wicked desires.

The message from Madame DuPuis had been brief. You are needed at once. Clarissa had already dressed for the evening but had changed her mind about the ball shed planned to attend.

All day shed fumed, except when she was mindless with worry that shed angered him needlessly and sorrow that she didnt know how to correct what was wrong. She wouldnt go without her husband, not in the mood she was in. Randall VanLandinghams flirting might have more appeal than just the casual enjoyment of a handsome man telling her she was pretty. Maybe she would return the flirtatious gestures. Then she could let Michael know all of his silly suspicious were true. Michael had disappeared from the house early this morning. She didnt know if hed made it to his bed last night. She wouldnt have heard him if he had. Then Madame DuPuis missive arrived, and shed thanked God shed been home. For a moment, she clutched the note to her chest. Then she picked up her skirts and ran to the stairs, ordered the closest footman to find a hackney and climbed the stairs to her room. She called her maid and changed into another plain gown. She wished she had time for a bath. But if what she suspected was true, she didnt have a moment to spare. Michael had gone back to Madame DuPuis. She hoped she wasnt too late. What with the mood he was in Maybe he took the first available whore. Maybe at this very moment, his hands were on another woman. His beautiful cock being touched by a strange woman whod

never appreciate what a fine man she held in her arms. Shed have to hurry, before it was too late. The carriage jostled to a stop. Clarissa stepped down and hurried to the back door. Madame DuPuis did not meet her, instead it was another younger woman. Hurry, Mademoiselle. The quiet young thing knew what she was about and assisted Clarissa into a similar, flimsy corsetthis one all black with satin ribbons. The makeup went on, her hair came down, the perfume was splashed all over her. As the mask slipped over her face, she caught a glimpse in the mirror. She looked every inch the whore. Today, she felt much more prepared, excited even. Much more the experienced whore, able and willing to satisfy her client. Clarissa squirmed at the sudden trailing wetness between her thighs. We must go, the young girl urged. Clarissa followed, fighting back the sickening nerves while quelling an urgent and odd need to laugh at the farcical and idiotic nature of this endeavor. Neither seemed appropriate. At the top of the stairs, Clarissa stopped to catch her breath before she was led to the same small side-room. The swift ascent couldnt account for her breathless anxiety. Madame would only have called upon her for one reason. Michael was on the other side of the door. As she looked down, she caught sight of her wedding

band. With a quick tug, the ring came off and she placed it on the top shelf of a bookcase near the outer door. She chanted to herself, the words a soft whisper, Im a French whore. Im Michaels whore. Madame DuPuis swept into the room, plumped Clarissas breasts so they displayed better, fluffed her hair and uttered one word. Bon. She pushed Clarissa into the room with a gentle shove from behind and closed the door. Michael paced in front of the chair hed lounged in last night. A drink was in his hand but he was fully dressed, his clothing and hair rumpled. Clarissa experienced a moment of guilt. She had driven him to this and the choice had been excruciating for him. Every line of his face reflected his decision. Hed made up his mind to completely abandon his marriage vows. Hed lived with himself while skirting the fines edges of marital corruption. Now shed pushed him over the edge and he appeared determined to see it to completion. Mademoiselle. Monsieur. Clarissa lowered the long black robe. Instead of being led to the bed, she stood, waiting for him to give her direction. He approached. He clasped her arms and slid his hands upward to her shoulders and then down to her breasts, full and round with tight nipples. She wondered what he saw as he gazed at her fleshy breasts.

Michael cupped them both, filling his hands. Clarissa knew a moment of utter contentment and her head fell back as a long-awaited sigh escaped her. Her hair caressed the cheeks of her butt, whisper soft. He tweaked her nipples, rolling and pinching. His mouth found her neck. His tongue and lips and mouth kissed and licked and suckled their way back to the tightly drawn nipples. He laved at a nub then opened his mouth and sucked in as much of her breast as he could and set to gently sucking. One hand searched lower, finding her ass and pulling her into an embrace, bringing her to her tiptoes. He rubbed his hard cock into her bared mons. She heard a light pop when he pulled away, her nipple elongated and tight. His mouth descended on the other until it peaked and stretched too. Clarissas cunt dripped, a runnel sliding down her leg. She squirmed against him, dizzy and wanting. He lifted one of her arms around his neck. The strings of her corset were being loosened and she felt the push backward, her feet getting tangled in his as he guided her toward the bed. The corset fell away. Michael bunched his shoulders, his jacket sliding backward. His shoes followed and Clarissa fumbled at the studs on his shirt. Leave it, chrie. On the bed and spread yourself. Shed been naked with Michael hundreds of times, but not in the full light of so many candles. Mostly they loved by

firelight. Here, two candelabra, each with twelve stubby wicks with wax runnels marring the display burned on each side of the bed. Her limbs shook. Everything about the situation suggested that Michael would have her. Shed wanted this for so long. Waited. Hungered. She climbed onto the bed and reclined on her back. She crooked her knees, allowing her legs to fall open, exposing the secret, wet place between. Michael stood over her, his hands working at the fall of his trousers. When he brought his cock into view, Clarissa licked at her lips. She disobeyed the first rule of whoringwhat the client wants. Tonight, it was what Clarissa wanted. She twisted and slid toward him. She slipped her hands to his hips and nudged the trousers downward. Leaning forward, she watched as his cock surged, straining toward her face. No, chrie. He held her shoulders but she reached for him, her mouth opening in anticipation. She licked the bulbous crest and his hips bucked uncontrollably. Her mouth slid down, sucking him inside. Her tongue searched along the capped ridge. He tasted like he always had, soap and musk, some scent that belonged to Michael and no one else. Oh, damn. Not yet, he said in English and then quickly switched back to French. No, chrie. Im not ready.

His cock slipped from her mouth. He pushed Clarissa to her back and lifted her legs. With a quick pull, he hauled her bottom to the edge of the bed, secured her legs over his shoulders and bent forward. The weight of his cock seemed so new and exciting. Clarissa moaned. She closed her eyes and then felt the thick tip poised at the entrance of her needy, throbbing sheath. The thick bulge of his erection pushed inside her, stretching and filling her. She arched, wanting as much of him as she could take. The slow entry, the missed sensation, had Clarissa moaning and sighing. Had her forgetting that she was his whore, instead of his wife. When hed filled every inch and his cock was buried to the root, Michael leaned forward, steadying himself on one arm. She peeked at him through lowered lids. His expression was tight and controlled, his jaw clenched and body unmoving. She could feel him shake and it was a moment before he moved. She enjoyed the momentary opportunity to slide her hands along his arms, but wished hed removed his shirt. He was large and strong, his body still hard in spite of his oft-expressed worries of aging. Women still admired him. It was one of her driving fears, that hed grown bored with her. Naked, in a whorehouse, relearning what excited her husband was the least she could do in an effort to prevent his straying. Him being here was partly her failure.

As he tamed his need, Michael withdrew as slowly as he had entered. His gasp of pleasure was followed by quick reentry. Then he opened his eyes and started meticulous, timed thrusting. He gazed at her breasts until he bent his head and laved one with such exquisite care, Clarissa lay in utter contentment. She braced one foot against his shoulder and moved with him, lifting her hips to meet his deep thrusts. She squeezed as he pulled out and Michael bit her nipple as he shoved deep again. In one smooth slide, he dismounted and rolled her over. She tensed now that she couldnt see him. Relax, chrie. Ill be gentle. I need you to take all of me. He rubbed her buttocks and lower back, then urged her to her knees, her forearms on the bed and her head hanging down. Her bottom in the air. She felt the weight of his cock caress along the exposed crevice. She knew what would happen and couldnt help but tighten. It wont feel like last night. It will be much, much better. Do you trust me? She nodded her head and waited for the hurtful intrusion of the dildo. Michael used both hands to separate the two halves of her rounded flesh. Oh, chrie, youve no idea how much Ive wanted this. She prepared for the cold bluntness, instead she felt the hard warmth of Michaels cock probing at the tight sphincter. She pinched in surprise.

He spread her a little wider. She felt her face warm at the thought of what he viewed, her cheeks open, spread in readiness. Relax. Youll feel me now. Im wet. It will be much easier for you this time. The push shocked her and she gasped. He felt bigger and more intrusive than the unfeeling phallus hed used last night. Ah. Ah. The gasps came from him as he pushed farther. The pressure and burning escalated. The nub at the apex of her thighs started to throb and pulse. Mon dieu, she whispered. Mon dieu! With a final gentle thrust, Michael grabbed her hips and pulled her back against his groin. Chrie, I beg you, dont move.

Michael strained for control. He breathed through his open mouth and thought of Queen and Country. The fleshy checks of her ass pressed against his thighs. Her slim back arched in a fine line toward her neck. The messy, black hair lay everywhere, covering much of her upper body. He closed his eyes tightly, fearing that if he glanced down to see his cock impaled inside her tight little ass, hed

explode without getting to enjoy the next fiery pleasure as he gently thrust and then climaxed inside her. He tried a subtle movement that had her ass gripping his cock with urgent, shallow contractions. He reached forward and pinched at her nipple, trying to keep her distracted and nowhere near orgasm. If she came, hed have no choice. Her clenching would ruin everything. Another hard contraction and shed nearly pushed him out of her body. He shoved back into her deep and gripped her thighs to keep her close. Finally, he allowed himself the opportunity to gaze at the ultimate pleasure. The root of his cock was thick and wide and he could just see the root as it protruded from her ass while the fleshy globes were closed around him. His balls tightened dangerously, but he had to see everything. He dared to use his fingers and separated the flesh, seeing her tight anus pulse and grip the thick root. He gritted his teeth as a sudden, sharp spike of pleasure ripped through his nerves. He started slow, gentle thrusting that made his head spin, his heart gallop and his cock buck.

At last.
When hed failed so miserably with Clarissa, hed had only his wild imaginings and the coarse references and jests of the men from his club to occupy his sexual appetites. Once hed started to wonder, he couldnt control his need, until it had become all-consuming. That need had led to Madame DuPuis. Then he fixated on one aspect of

his newly formed perversions. He wanted to fuck Clarissas ass. Three quick clenches made his body jerk. His whore was climaxing under his assault. As the orgasm built, he shoved into her, as deep as he could get, reached around and plucked at both breasts until his palms overflowed. He gripped her. His back arched, he groaned loud and long as the first rush of semen shot through his cock and deep into her ass. She screamed, her face buried in the bunched-up blankets. He jerked into her as each spike of pleasure tore through him. Long seconds, minutes, hours passed, he didnt know. His cock slid out of her in a final spasm, as if she were done with him. He stumbled back, collapsing into the chair. He rested his head on the tufted back and took several deep breaths while his body and mind savored the intense, forbidden reward. When he felt his legs could support him once again, he stood and went directly to the washbasin, cleansing the sensitive length of his shrinking, satiated cock. Instead of Clarissa, hed turned his desires to voyeurism and that had worked until recently. He wanted Clarissa to give him what he wanted. Not some drooping hothouse flower that had probably been used five times already that evening.

But he had no clue how to ask for it. And if he had, he had no clue if hed ever be able to respond if she agreed. While theyd been moderately adventurous when theyd first married, their passions had settled into a very pleasant sexual relationship over the years. Truly, he had not one complaint, aside from her virginal whiteshe relentlessly pursued, she strategically resisted and in the end, hed lift her to a thorough climax, which paved the way for the next night of delights. Now he hid what hed become from her. He did not want to soil her goodness or lose her respect. Do you care to wash, chrie? He heard the muffled answer and returned to his chair and his drink. Once again, he closed his eyes and relived the fresh, vivid images of taking Clarissa, forgetting all about the woman hed used to satisfy his base need. Then he glanced at the ormolu clock, already thinking about what else he could do with the French whore now that hed broken his vows.

The whore finally slipped from the bed and retrieved her gown. It did little to cover her. She stood, waiting for him to speak, he thought. Would you like a drink? he offered. No, monsieur.

I didnt hurt you, did I? No. She fidgeted. Do you need me any longer? I paid to have you for the whole night. And the next five weeks, chrie. Make yourself comfortable. Hed made the mistake of appearing eager and Madame DuPuis had charged accordingly. One hundred pounds a week, but in the negotiations, he got her exclusively. As long as he continued to escort Clarissa around town until a reasonably late hour, slipped away after returning her to the safety of their house and then got home before dawn, his life would be much the same as it had always been. Except he had a whore. Her shoulders drooped, but she sat down on the end of the bed anyhow. Since well get to know each other well, perhaps youd take the mask off? Oh, no, monsieur. Why not? He sipped at his drink, watching her, the curve of her luscious breast prominent against the sheer fabric. Well, Madame DuPuis, she She? She says it allows us to be anonymous in our day-to-day life. I thought this was your life. She smiled, her lips a thin curved line. He knew her lips were plump and soft and lusciously red. Her tongue

adventurous and quick. She didnt answer. How many men have you been with this week? Oh, no. Just you. Michael was satisfied with her response. It came quickly and without artifice. He had worried that the madam would find a way to renege on her bargain without him knowing. Michael stood and began to remove his shirt, all the while gazing at her. Do you have a name? Oui, but chrie is fine, she said. You can get back in bed. And take that thing off. The filmy robe came off and she stood, strolling toward him and around the bed. Her breasts swayed along with the swing of her hips. Michael stepped in front of her and ran a finger across her collarbone. Is there any kind of play you dont like? Since he couldnt see her face, he watched her body language. She bit at her ruby-red lips. I dont know, monsieur. This is very new to me, oui. I see. So you wouldnt be averse to trying something new? As long as you dont hurt me, no. I wont hurt you, I promise. Bon. He rubbed his hands over her ass and pulled her to his body. Are you tender here? A little. Then Ill wait until tomorrow. I particularly enjoy that and

want you prepared to service me in that manner. What do you enjoy? Kissing. He laughed a little. Even whores He lowered his mouth and brushed his lips across hers. She twined her arms about his neck. He responded by tracing his finger along her inner thigh. The pad of his finger brushed against the hard little nub that brought her such pleasure. She moaned into his mouth and undulated against his body, her breasts brushing his skin. He set his hands to her waist and lifted. Her sleek legs twined about him, her arms latched on to him and her mouth eagerly met the thrusts of his tongue. He took the few steps to the bed and dropped her onto the mattress. He stripped from his trousers. Gazing at her, he knew what he could do and even demand of her, but he felt an unusual craving for closeness. With one knee on the bed, he lowered his body to hers, surged into her in one hard stroke, and with single-minded determination, fucked her until his cock gave out. In between, he started planning tomorrow nights delights, already anxious for a morning to refortify and the sun to set. As he lay on his back, trying to catch his breath, he chided himself for failing to withdraw before his ejaculation. He did not need any more problems. He also tried not to think about Clarissa and the lies hed

have to tell in an attempt to hide his deception.

Chapter Six
Clarissa hadnt slept a bit. Shed arrived home about thirty minutes before Michael. Theyd had an incredible evening of sexual play at the bordello, but it still rang hollow without the affection shed had from her husband in the past. And their bitter argument. Contemplation of his decisions only made her more confused. Why did he continually reject her, but find pleasure with those kinds of women? Could she keep up the deception until they returned to York? Did she want to? Panic lodged in her chest. Had she started something that had no good end? Her maid twittered around the room, plucked up discarded clothing and prepared Clarissas bath. She threw aside her covers, determined to face the day. Afterward, she went to breakfast and found Michael sitting in his chair, his meal untouched. She dropped a kiss to his forehead and took a seat beside him. A hearty plate of food was placed in front of her, without the nasty kippers that her whole family loved. Michael remained absorbed in his thoughts and absent from breakfast. She placed her hand over his. He clasped her fingers and turned to her with a weak smile.

Youre up early. And you? You have plans? she asked. No. Must be a touch of ennui. Perhaps Ill ride later. About the other night. The words I said. Im sorry. Now that shed found a way back to his bed, she found she had less to say. Her guilt bit at her. If she confessed everything now, before something disastrous happened, perhaps they could return to their course, deep in the amiable civility of an aristocratic marriage. Maybe thats all marriage was meant to bea well-trod, straight road to senility. Michael, we need to talk. Suspicion lurked behind his eyes. Talk? She sensed his withdrawal from the conversation before it ever started. He pushed back his chair. Not about that, she said quickly. A jack-in-the-box could not have been more tightly wound. He pulled away from her, sat back in his chair with his arms across his chest. Ive a confession to make, she said. The double door to the breakfast room burst open. Their son, William, walked in. His hat sat at a jaunty angle. Mother. Father. Good morning. Clarissa had seen her sons arrogant posture before. Hed done something wrong and was already on the defensive. Your hat, William, Michael said, irritation dripping off

each word. As her son removed the impolite accoutrement, Clarissa jumped into the conversation with motherly concern. Why arent you at school? I need to speak with Father. Alone. Not until you answer my question. Ive been sent down. Expelled? For what reason? she asked. She clenched her teeth, suppressing the immediate response to chasten. Clarissa, Ill handle this, Michael said with a voice the brooked no interference. She turned to Michael. Whatever he has to say, he can say in front of his mother. Sir? His appeal to his father left her steaming. Did all men have secrets? Tell me why? His overconfident attitude was unbecoming of a gentleman, let alone her son, and the son of an earl. It had to do with a woman. Please, Mother, dont ask any questions I cant answer. Michael stood. In the library. Now. Please tell me you havent impregnated some tavern wench? she accused. William turned scarlet. Clarissa, youre not helping, Michael said. Michael grasped his sons elbow and hauled him out of the room.

Clarissa dropped her head in her hands. Another part of her world seemed to be collapsing.

Well, has your mother guessed correctly? Lud, the boy was only sixteen. Memories of his first woman at the same age seemed to be irrelevant. William was his son, and was certainly too young to be experiencing pleasure reserved for older men, not children barely out of knee breeches. William flopped down in one of the chairs on the fidgetside of the desk. Michael stood beside his chair with his hands behind his back, waiting for the bad news. No sir. Not exactly. Explain yourself. It was a bet. I lost. It involved the deans daughter. How much do you owe and does recompense involve marriage? The boy was too young to be using his wag for anything other than basic bodily functions, and certainly not attempting to bed an ineligible girl with a powerful father. As if Michael didnt have enough of his own issues to worry over. It was nothing like that, except for the money part. I bet one hundred pounds that I could convince Rebecca to fuck me. The dean found out. So you lost the bet and the dean will see to it you never set foot at the college again? Its worse than that.

Michael sighed, almost wishing Clarissa had handled the situation. Shed take no nonsense from the boy and have him straightened out by afternoon tea. The bet involved the loss of William lowered his eyes, color pinkening his cheeks. Yes, I know. One hundred pounds. Which, by the way, you will be working off this summer. No. Its not that. Then what? Speak up, boy. The bet involved the loss of my virginity. Michael fought back a smile. No wonder William didnt want his mother to know about the goings-on. He relaxed a bit as he realized the damage was more toward his sons pride than actual harm to an innocent. Had he been the dean, Michael might have punished the offender with physical damage. Ill take care of the wager. Time will cure everything else that ails you. I want you to take me to a whore. Im tired of this damned curse and jealous of every boy my age whos been shagged. Michael stiffened, a bit fearful, a bit worried as they trod along dangerous but familiar ground. Was this his punishment for cheating? To be so soon accosted with the hypocritical nature of his being? Hed made vows he hadnt kept. Hed promised his wife fidelity. Not only did he rebuff the woman, hed pleasured himself in ways unheard of for her.

Now he would advise his son of the folly of that vice. The temptations were beyond a young mans ability to resist. Even old men succumbed to the intoxication of the new and untamed and debauched. Even men who knew better. William wouldnt stand a chance if he started down that path now. No. No? Im sixteen. Im a man now. Son, theres more than one kind of man. You need to be the kind of man who controls his passions until the right situation comes along. Michael glanced outside. The sun was still shining. No imminent threat of lightning bolts. Ill be the only virgin in my class. Knowing how boys boast, I doubt that, but since you wont be returning to class anytime soon, I dont see that will be a problem. So you want me to wait until Im married? What can it hurt? Did you? Were not talking about me. Nor will we be talking about your mother and me. Besides, whores costs money and as I recall, you dont have any. So what am I to do now? Youll be going to York early. Once Dudley receives my note, he will put you to work on the estate. Work? Oh, and Ill hire a tutor to fill up the rest of your time while

you contemplate the pure state of virginity. Youll be leaving in a few days. I should have talked to Mother. Michael chuckled. Your mother would have had you on the next coach to York with a new governess and instructions for servitude until you were twenty-one. Be thankful youre getting off so easy. Youll talk to the dean though? Ill have a word, yes.

Tonight Michael felt near to bursting with unrestrained urges as he waited for the French whore. Clarissa had departed with Anne VanLandingham after breakfast. He missed her comings and goings the rest of the day. He had wanted to finish their conversation from yesterday while he was calm and thinking more clearly. And, after dispensing the parental guidance for William, he wanted to discuss it with his wife, decide if hed done the right thing. He had no doubt shed squeezed in time to visit with their son and pronounced her own judgments. He missed her. Shed always been wise, and in spite of or because ofher femininity, she was as strong a woman as he knew. Shed said once that he was the only person who could ever hurt her. And now he was. Or would be as soon as she found out. Eventually, hed confess his failing. That conversation

would be a further blow to his masculinity. Confessing his infidelity at the same time confessing his inability to have a reliable erection when thinking of sex with his wife. The door squeaked open and the masked whore strode in wearing leather as hed requested. Even the mask was black leather. Shiny black strips were twined around her body. Her bare breasts were exposed and pressed into a pleasing, thrusting display. The bands around her upper arms were enticing. Perfect for what he had in mind. Hed hoped a mindless fuck would erase some of the guilt, though the one inevitably rose in equal proportions to the other. His chrie wasnt a big talker. She asked very little and obeyed very much. Madame knew the value of her whores. He felt rough and aching. His shirt, hed discarded as soon as he arrived. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into an embrace, her breasts squeezed into his chest. The smooth feel of her skin against his chest made a sharp contrast to the slick cool of the leather. Chrie, forgive me if I am rough. I will try not to hurt you tonight. She stiffened, her fear palpable and sadly, addicting to a man who liked his sex dark and edgy. He did not want soft kisses. He did not come here for warmth or affection or adulation. He came because a whore would not question his need. With Clarissa, there would first be the whys. Then there

would be her visceral reaction to his rejection of her. She could not love him that much. He clasped the whores hand and led her to the chair where he sat and ripped at the flap of his fall. She knew what he wanted and knelt before him, between his legs. Her fingers gripped his thighs and she bent forward, her mouth already open as she devoured the length of his cock. He surged backward, his hips bucking, filling her mouth with his straining member. The rasp of her teeth sent a singular shock until her tongue bathed his length, licking and torturing as she circled in long, delicious swipes. He stroked his hands down her back and then gripped both cheeks of her ass. With one hand he separated her, exposing the tempting crevice. His fingers slid downward. One finger worked at the rim. Her back arched, both taking more of him in her mouth and allowing his finger to slide inside. Slowly, chrie. Im not ready. She sucked on him like a newborn calf at the teat. He reached toward the table beside him and plucked up the dildo, prepared with the scented oil. At her anus, he removed his finger and then probed with the thick phallus. His own cock bucked as she hummed and moaned, anticipating what he was about to do. He nearly closed his eyes at the astounding pleasure ripping through him. He stared as he pushed the indefatigable penis inside her, inching closer to filling her, his own prick nearly bursting as he watched.

He gritted his teeth as the whore worked for his release somehow his climax seemed tied to hers. While she sucked on him, her tight little anus gripped at the brass shaft stuffed inside her. Michael let her propel it outward and then he filled her again. When his balls drew up and the tingling in his thighs began, he started the rhythmic strokes that caused her to moan, and those very vibrations caressed every nerve ending of his cock. At some point, there was nothing left to control. His body tensed, his hand pushed the dildo into her and he slipped his fingers into the hair at the back of her neck. There he held her while he surged and spilled. She lapped at him, her throat convulsing along with her own body. Oh, shit! Yes. Thats it. Swallow all of me. One final surge and he relaxed backward into the chair, his cock slipping from her mouth, the dildo extracted and dropped to the floor beside them. He felt momentary relief. His cock still ached as he pushed her away. She reclined on her haunches, where she swiped her tongue across her lower lip. A goddess. A sexual feast he could devour every day of his life. A shiver ripped through him. He wanted more. On all fours. Now. She turned away from him, her ass toward his face. He slid from the chair to his knees behind her. His cock, useless with his wife, sprang to life again. Leaning over her, he cupped her breasts, kneading and

squeezing. His penis lay in the sweet crevice that hid all her secrets and commanded his desires. He placed his large hand between her shoulder blades and urged her downward, giving him better access and better viewing. His cock pointed the direction. He nudged into her, as she was already prepared and open. When the sensitive head of his cock plowed past the tight sphincter, he surged into her. The tightness was nearly unbearable. He groaned, breath convulsing from his lungs, leaving him lightheaded and weak. Little ripples of sexual current shot through his cock as her body started contracting around him. This time there was no warning as the intense orgasm swept over him, hot and hard and unforgiving. Still more cum shot into her, even as he believed he had been wrung dry already. He rolled to the floor gasping, spent, existing in some muted, soft place where only he and this whore and pleasure lived. When the whore stood and walked to the washbasin, he remembered the real world. The world where he was an adulterer. Where he might have impregnated an unfamiliar woman. Where he was a hypocrite to both his wife and son.

Clarissa knew her husband. One moment he basked in the after pleasure of sex. The next she saw a wave of guilt

wash over his expression. He turned his face away from her. At the basin she washed, splashing water over her body and cleansing the inside of her thighs and between her legs. She carried the basin and a clean towel to him, knelt and washed his groin and cock. He didnt look at her. His trousers hung low across his hips, a testament to the quick mating and wild intemperance of their temporary but obsessive liaison. When theyd been intimate at home, theyd always undressed the other. Slowly. Reverently. Her heart would be racing as his hands stroked every inch of her body and built those fires of passion with love and care and adoration. Her mistake was so clear now. She had bored him with her soft need and simpering cries. He needed passion, rough and hard. Exciting and different. How had he handled the boredom as long as he had? She was no different than a tired old pair of boots. Comfortable and cherished, but nothing one bragged about and only used when the weather was bad or there was work to do. You can go now, he said, before rolling away and standing to his feet. Go, he said in French, more harshly then hed spoken to her in the three days theyd been playing their game. The night is still young, monsieur. Still on her knees from the washing, she unbound the strips of leather until she was naked except for the armbands and mask. Hed

stared, mesmerized and irritated, but did nothing to stop her. Her fingertips grazed his and then slid up his lithe, muscular arm. Michael had grown more handsome over the years. I think I could fuck you again. Madame will not mind. Nor, I think, will you. He lifted her to her feet. Clarissa helped him discard his trousers and led him to the bed. With a slight shove to his chest, she forced him to sit down on the bed. His cautious gaze remained firmly fixed on her and her breasts. Lie down, monsieur. You look tired, no? Whend he stretched out, Clarissa climbed on top of him, settling her wet cunt over the erection that had started to bloom, albeit with a little less vigor. Rocking against him, she felt the sudden rise of his cock and went at her task with more enthusiasm. His hands gripped her hips. Chrie, you should be canonized. Youve brought life to the dead. Clarissa smiled while lowering herself on his fully erect shaft. She squirmed, fitting him deep inside. And now, you must return the favor with le petite mort, sil vous plait? She braced her hands against his solid chest, squeezed the muscles of her vagina and lifted, drawing an openmouthed groan from her husband. Merde! Oh, merde!

Shed learned the trick early in their marriage. Hed said it was exquisite and she got an identical reaction every time she used the technique. It was exhausting work, her thighs burned after several minutes. But it was well worth the tortured expression and tense muscles of the man beneath her. And invariably, she would have intense climaxes as a result. She rode him hard, until she gasped for breath and Michael nearly came out of his skin. He dug his fingers into her ass. His jaw clenched and a fine sheen of sweet covered his chest. Strong waves of pleasure built. She stuffed herself full of his cock and clamped down in one long squeeze that sent her soaring. Michael bucked underneath her, trying to get deeper inside her. His groan corresponded to the hot rush of semen that brushed against her womb. Clarissa collapsed against his chest, gasping for air. Had she been able to open her eyes, she doubted she could have seen. And at the moment, she didnt think even one muscle in her body would help her get off her husbands chest. She could sleep until morning. But when she heard the long-familiar sound of his slumber, she forced herself from his body and departed the room. She would be waiting at home, compliant and submissive until she could find a way to bring him home for good. The idea of dutiful wife wasnt nearly as much fun as that of illicit lover.

Yet somehow, shed find a way to make the two into one.

Clarissa found him in the study late the next morning, combing through the newspaper as was his habit. Several ledgers were stacked to the side, one open with a long list of numbers running down a column, all in his neat script. She busied herself pretending to look for something to read. Anne told me the strangest thing yesterday. Hmm. What was that? You would hardly believe it if I told you. He grunted, his way of saying hed heard without really hearing her. He did that a lot when she had some frivolous nonsense to tell him. And a week later, hed repeat the same gossip with an I dont know where I heard it but She smiled anyway. At least he was here. She walked behind him and plucked a book from the library shelf, feigning interest as she flipped through the pages. Hard to fathom, but she says some men like to tie their women up when they have intercourse. His shoulders tensed and she heard the paper rustle. Hmm. I know. I could hardly believe it. Do you think its true? She could see the tips of his ears. They were bright red. He was listening. She dropped a hand to his shoulder and

caressed his neck with one finger. You know Anne. Always something to shock the unsuspecting listener, he said. Oh, she swears its true. Evidently, Randall has been around women who His glance over his shoulder interrupted her. The furrow on his brow would have quelled less important conversations. Clarissa, I really think it would be wise if you disassociate yourself from Anne VanLandingham and her husband. Theyre not the sort of company a countess should keep. Yes, I suppose I should cut her now, just before she becomes a duchess. Thats not the point. Shes common. Who would discuss such things with a lady? And since their marriage, Foxley has all but ignored his familial duties. Shes bad for him. Oh, I dont mind. Shes a least willing to talk about it. Where else could one learn about such things? A whorehouse? She had to hand it to Michael, he didnt even flinch at her words. A bad sign, she thought. Maybe he accepted that visiting a prostitute was his only option for sexual happiness. What exactly did William tell you? he asked. William? What does he have to do with this conversation? She closed the book and sat on the edge of his desk, her skirts brushing his thigh. You spoke to him, I presume?

Yes, but Yesterday, he asked me to take him to a whorehouse. That disturbed her. She bit back a frosted reply. What? He told me no such thing. And what did you tell him? I told him no, of course. Hed clasped her fingers and was playing with them. Will he listen? Clarissa, hes sixteen now. Hes a boy. To us. We cant keep him from the siren call of manhood. It will happen, though he assures me nothing has yet. Hes a good boy. Hell make the right decisions. She was usually the one defending the boys while Michael claimed they were immature and would never grow up. But a whorehouse? It seems so sordid. All those naked women and who knows what kind of diseases, when if men would just ask their wives for what they want Wives do not provide those kinds of services. I wonder if Anne has ever been to such a place? Clarissa! Oh, Michael, dont be such a prude. All Im saying is that perhaps a woman could learn something by going to one. Michaels mouth dropped open. A whorehouse is no place for a lady. As you say. He kissed the palm of her hand. Dont you have

somewhere you need to be? All right. Ill leave you in peace. She swept toward the door. Anne invited me to go shopping. She says Randall wants her to buy something in leather. A new pair of boots, I should imagine. Oh, and then were going to a shop that sells toys. She stopped and faced him. He stared back with a frown marring his face and his brow wrinkled in consternation. Though I dont know why. Her niece is full grown and Randalls nephews are all in Italy until fall. Oh, and I need some new nightclothes. Im thinking something in red. Ive been wearing white so long. Its not like Im a virgin any longer. What do you think? Michaels head lowered and he pretended to be busy at his ledger. His ears were flaming red again. Whatever you wish. Ill wear it for you tonight after we get home from the Hornings ball. Clarissa? Would you reconsider returning to York? We can travel with William. As a family. Can you give me some time to think about it? He nodded and returned to his laborious task. Clarissa wasnt leaving London until she had her husband desperately interested in his wife and firmly lodged in her bed.

Chapter Seven
Michael took the stairs to Madame DuPuis second-floor room two at a time, anxious for a night of uninhibited passion. Theyd spent a late evening at the Hornings ball. Hed left Clarissa at her bedroom door and gone to the library for a drink before he left again, allowing her enough time to settle into slumber. Hed instructed Madame DuPuis to have his whore tied to the bed and waiting. Hed asked for red. As hed danced with his wife tonight, hed had several thoughts of Clarissa in red, her bottom poised for penetration and her hands bound while he brought her to a screaming climax. Hed been uncomfortable in his breeches all day, but controlled the sensation in anticipation of tonights pleasures. Still, to see his sweet Clarissa in the throes of that kind of passion. With him plumbing her depths from behind. Inside the room, he heard a scuffle. When he opened the door, he heard the frantic French words of his whore. No, monsieur, you have the wrong room. Standing, braced with ties between the bedposts, she struggled against her bonds. Another man stood behind her, groping at her tits. She heard the door open and

pleaded. Please, monsieur, he will hurt me. The lecher turned to look at Michael. Shes my whore. Get your own. Ambrose Jenison. Michael knew him by name, knew him for the drunken sot he was. Jenison, get your hands off her. The stench of alcohol reached Michaels nostrils. Eh, Dunnaway. Youve your own bitch at home. Whatta you need two of them for? He buried his face into the girls neck. Burning desirenot passion, but murderous intent slashed through Michael. In three long strides, hed reached the interloper and grabbed his jacket. Spinning him around, he threw one hard punch and knocked him to his knees. Get out, you filthy swine. Michael grabbed at Jenisons collar again, hoisted him up and threw him forward. He slammed into the wall with a grunt. Michael opened the door and shoved him into the hallway. Madame DuPuis had heard the commotion and brushed past Michael. He hoisted Jenison to his feet and shoved him on his way to the stairwell. He watched as the intruder stumbled drunkenly down the stairs. When he returned to the room, he saw Madame DuPuis whisper to the girl. He noticed the whores affirmative nod before the madam left the room. As she walked past Michael, she apologized but assured him he would still have his entertainment for the evening. Simmering with rage, he approached. Chrie, are you hurt?

Mais non. You arrived just in time. If you would prefer to retire for the night, I will understand. No, justjust hold me for a minute. She faced the bed, her arms spread wide. He reached for one of the bindings, but her shaking sob stopped him. Instead he wrapped his arms around her middle and lowered his chin to the top of her head. He still smelled the alcohol, but underneath that, he smelled her. Something like apples. Or a rainy day. Her body shook in his arms. He reached for the bindings again, gently lowering her hands. Lie on the bed, chrie. She obeyed and then curled into a ball. Michael removed his jacket and shoes before he slipped into the bed beside her. He wrapped one arm around her waist. Her silent sobs shook her body. Hes gone, chrie. Youre safe. Hed wanted her bound. This distasteful episode was his responsibility. Michael had never given a thought to the idea that whores could be raped, but now that hed seen it up close, he had more sympathy for their plight. While he wasnt exactly a model citizen, he would not purposefully hurt the girl. Would you like me to leave? II just want to go home. You dont live here? She shook her head, her hair brushing his skin. I can escort you. Its not safe at night.

No. Madame will take care of me, monsieur. In a minute. Just relax. He stroked the smooth skin of her arm. He kissed her bare shoulder. You are beautiful, chrie, and you give me such pleasure. He played at her nipples until they were hard little points that required sucking. He rolled her to her back and bent over the plump feast. Fingers slid into his hair as she welcomed the diversion. Love me, she said. Every day, as often as you like. He pulled his cock free of his trousers and moved over her, pushed her legs wider with his hips and slipped between them. Her body was small and delicate underneath him. He sank into her, and at the same time, he tried to banish thoughts of his wife. Loving the whore slowly and thoroughly was what he did for Clarissa and what he wanted for this whore tonight. Loving her? A whore? Treating her with the same tenderness he did his wife? What was he doing? The excitement that had built all but disappeared. His felt his cock diminish, then slide free of her luscious cunt. Michael rolled off the whore wanting to curse the stars, his prick, his wife. Monsieur? Go.

She scrambled from the bed, hearing the command in his voice. Before she left, she stared at him a minute longer. He was relieved when the door shut behind her. He wasnt happy being here. Yes, there was immense pleasure, but no long-term relief. What he wanted was at home, he hoped. In her bed, he prayed. And still in love with him, not that he deserved it. He missed the long minutes and hours before and after loving when they held each other. When they watched the fire and the only sound was their breathing and the crackle of the heat. Or talked about the children or their aspirations. Or failures. If he had to live without one or the other, he knew he did not want to live without Clarissa. With the decision made, he dressed and went home. It was time he faced the truth.

Rain came down in drenching torrents as Clarissa made her way home in the dark of night. Her slippers and the bottom of her dress soaked through getting to the carriage, the rest of her doused as she entered the mansion. Chills raked her body. She hoped Michael followed soon. His strong reaction and her subsequent dismissal sent a shard of worry right through her heart. They seemed another step away from

her. Her shoulders jerked as a clearing shudder shook her body and refocused her senses. She wasnt the one being rejected. Michael had his own desires and hed refrained from exhibiting them tonight. A bath waited and more water hung from a hook over the slow burning fire. Her maid assisted with the removal of her wet gown. Grateful, Clarissa sank into the warm water. Once the water cooled, she slipped into the red gown shed purchased, part of her futile campaign to win her husband. She heard him in his room but crawled into her own bed, hoping, ever hoping. Shed spent too many nights listening for the same footsteps, praying that night would be the night he would come to her and remind her that she was desirable and that he still loved her. He still spoke the words, but his actions plainly conveyed another meaning. Shivers still rocked her body. His footsteps stopped near her door. Clarissa prayed. After tonight, she didnt care if they returned to York. Shed nearly been harmed at Madame DuPuis. Accidents like that could be prevented, but it made her realize the dangerous depths of her charade. Tears trickled down her cheeks. Her fire had died down and her body still hadnt warmed. A chill swept her from head to toe. She rolled from her bed and grabbed her robe, making the same decision shed made on hundreds of cold nights

prior to this past years separation. It would be his decision whether to reject her. Tugging at the door between their rooms, she slipped inside and padded toward his bed. Michael lay on his side, but turned when he heard her. Clarissa? Its me. Im cold. Relief flooded her when he lifted back the covers and she slid in beside him. He scooted, turning so that her back was to his chest and his arm cradled her protectively. Hed given up the spot in the bed that hed already warmed. Just like it should be. She pushed her nose into his pillow and breathed deep. Better? Much. She wiggled, settling closer and then entwining her fingers with his. His breath tickled at her neck. She brought his hand to her lips and kissed his knuckles, then kept his hand close to her chin. Is William ready to return home? he asked. The warmth of his breath tickled at her neck. I think so. I wish we were going with him. I thought you didnt want to go. She sighed. I dont know. I feel homesick. Things arent the way they should be. He tightened his arm around her and she felt the press of his lips against the top of her head. Sleep. She did. For a while.

A shard of stark, bright lightning lit the room, followed by a clap of thunder and a long, low rumble that caused the bric-a-brac on the fireplace mantel to rattle. At some point, the fire had died down. Michael had rolled to his back and she was draped over him in her search for warmth, one of her thighs lying over his groin. A thick, hot erection burned against her leg. He was awake, his muscles tense underneath her touch, his breath rasping in and out, but he made no move nor suggested that they make love. She shifted quickly and with little disturbance, straddling him, lowering her chest to his. The silk of her new nightgown the only thing between them. Sliding backward, she caught the tip of his erection and in one swift push, had impaled herself fully. Michael gasped. She felt his strong grip on her thighs. They didnt kiss. Instead, Clarissa started a gentle rocking motion that moved her in a tender flow up and down his rigid erection. Her excitement built quickly. Michael, full and hard between her legs. Missing him like she had and now, in their bed, doing what shed craved and missed the last year. And he was making love to her. Not a ten-penny whore from Madame DuPuis.

The blinding rush came quickly and the spasms tore at her. With one final moan, she collapsed onto his chest. Michaels hips surged under her, and in one smooth turn, she was under him. He thrust hard, again and again. Deep plunges in and long slides out as he sought his own climax. Every muscle quivered. The push in brought an agonizing moan from deep in his chest, until every thrust brought out his pleasure in sound and effort. She joined him again, arching and rocking up, his long erection filling her with heated pleasure, until they were both moving with hard, quick plunges. His hand left her stomach and sought her breast, filling his palm. He squeezed hard, plunged into her harder, groaning with pleasure as if this would be the last time hed ever make love. Clarissa seized, bucking up underneath him as another orgasm shot through her. Michael surged one final time with a gasp and then melted over her, his body covering but not crushing her. Michael rolled again, cradling her to his chest. He stroked his hands down her leg and then up, underneath her lightweight garment. She reclined on his warm body, breathing deeply. Neither of them said anything. She felt his hand soothe down her back as she drifted off to sleep. Content. Confident that all would be well.


Clarissa listened to the sound of morning from the downy comfort of her husbands bed where his scent still lingered. Hawkers on the street yelled out their wares. A horse and carriage passed by. The house servants bustled about. And her heart was about to burst with happiness. Michael had disappeared from the room, but she knew he rarely left the house before noon. Clarissa rushed to her bedroom, selected a light blue muslin gown and succumbed to her maids dictates as she helped her dress. Her maid tugged at the strings of her corset and wanted to fuss with Clarissas hair. She wanted none of that, instead tying it back with a matching blue ribbon. She nearly skipped down the steps. The breakfast room was empty except for two footmen waiting to serve her. William would still be abed. A quick rap on the library door was followed by an approval to enter. She pressed her hand to her chest and gulped a deep breath. As she waltzed in, his gaze bore into her and her heart tripped over the warm look. Im not bothering you, am I? No bother at all. Her words lodged in her throat. You slept well. Tolerably. He reached for her hand and pulled her into his lap. He smiled and Clarissa knew all was well. His hand touched her neck, his fingers sliding into her hair as he guided her mouth toward his. What would I do without you? he asked.

His lips caressed hers for a moment before he leaned back in the chair and stared at her. IIve been a complete ass. She placed a finger against his lips. Dont. Whatever it iswas. Its in the past. Over. He kissed the pad of her finger and then her lips. He grasped her hand in his as he toyed with her fingers and stared into her eyes. Soon, I want to tell you everything, but Im not ready to do that yet. I need to know right now that youll forgive me, not because I deserve it, but because you love me in spite of it. Tears filled her eyes. Michael, you have my heart. They kissed and whispered and kissed some more. The ice that had coated her heart thawed and melted, knowing he was home to stay and hers forever. Michael kissed across her knuckles and then gripped her hand firmly, examining closely. Clarissa, where is your wedding band? By the time the question registered in her head and she stared down at her own hand, Michael had asked again, Clarissa? I Well, I It must be upstairs in my room. She struggled to extricate herself from his lap. Id better find it. He let her go, the prominent frown he wore when perturbed sketched across his brow before he forced a smile again. As you say, its probably in your room. You best fetch it.

Patience had never been Michaels strong suit. He heard Clarissas feet patter against the stairs and then the distant echo of her door as it shut behind her. At his question, fear had permeated every pore of her body. Shed tensed for those few seconds while she contemplated his question. She didnt know the location of her ring. Ugly suspicion once again clouded his brain. Her reaction was out of proportion to the offense and Michael wanted to know why. Now. He braced himself as he stood and headed toward the library door, cracking open the portal, waiting to hear what happened next. If she found the blasted thing, hed no doubt shed be down in a moment to tell him. If not Well, if not, he wanted to know why and where she thought shed left the gold band. Would she tear the house apart looking? Would she enlist the servants? If she didnt, it would be another telltale sign that something was amiss. If she had nothing to hide, shed round up any available servant to assist in the search. Thats exactly what she would do. Thats not what she did. The clock chimed and she still hadnt come down. It had been nearly thirty minutes. Was he imagining her guilt because of his own? Or were her breathless denials of another lover just fabrications? He caught the faint whisper of rustling fabric as someone

descended the stairs. Clarissa spoke to a footman in quiet tones and then he opened the door and went outside. Clarissa turned and rushed back to her room. Michael waited until he heard the door reopen, then on stealthy tread approached the footman. What did Lady Dunnaway need? A hackney, my lord. Not the carriage? No, my lord. Could you fetch one for me too? he said, while pulling a coin from his trouser pocket, and be discreet about it. And notify me the moment Lady Dunnaway leaves the house. The footman nodded and went about the masters business. A drink sounded good. Hed had two by the time the footman returned and knocked on the library door. Michael stepped onto the street and glanced in the direction of her hackney, wondering what rendezvous his dear, sweet wife had planned and why shed risk flight in the middle of the morning? Before he entered the black cabbie, he gave further instructions to halt a distance from the other vehicle once it stopped and the occupant disembarked. They passed the respectable residential areas and entered into a familiar business district with low-rent, threestory homes. Michael refrained from peeking out the window. Hed find out where she was going the moment she arrived.

The cabbie lurched to a halt and the driver rapped on the ceiling. Michael scooted to the window and watched as Clarissa exited one hackney and entered a second one. There could have been a thousand reasons she needed to go somewhere in a hurry. There was not a reason in the world to explain why shed need to change transportation along the way. Except for one and it didnt bear contemplating, but made him feel sick all the same. The second jaunt was shorter, though Michael could have sworn it was miles in the making. A second thump had him peering out the shaded window to watch as Clarissa descended with a dark veil over her face. She dashed up the familiar steps of Madame DuPuis bordello. He slumped back, sinking into the cushioned squabs. He labored for breath. At first, all he heard was the hard beating of hammer against nail. When he realized it was his own heart he sat up, bracing his arms against his knees. Hed not been physically ill since his final year at university. Two hours ago, hed been sitting in the library with his wife on his knee, over the moon that hed fucked her for the first time in months and that underneath her soft ass, he felt the strong stirrings of a second erection that might come to fruition right there at his desk.

The cabbie stood outside the window, allowing a stench of smoke to waft inside, further upsetting his equilibrium. How long you want me to wait, milord? How long has she been in there? Michael didnt bother to look up. He waited for someone else to come along and kick him now that he was down. Nigh on fifteen minutes. Well wait until she leaves. Aye, governor. Pretty little thing she was too. I wouldnt be waiting out here for her, were I you. Well, youre not, so Id thank you to keep your thoughts to yourself. After the cabbie moved away, Michael reached for his watch. He held the open face in his hand as he watched the second hand tick, tick around the dial. Another twenty minutes passed while he debated barging in the whorehouse to find her and drag her out by her hair. Yes, he felt that barbaric. At forty minutes, he snapped his watch shut. He swung the door wide, about to step out when he saw Clarissa leaving. Near an hour? Want me to follow? No. Take me to Whites.

Chapter Eight
Martin DeLacy had the ill luck to be the first person Michael encountered at the top of the steps of Whites. Dunnaway. DeLacy. DeLacy pushed past him, but Michael gripped his upper arm, bringing him to a quick stop. A word, if you please. Whats this about? DeLacy huffed. My wife. Lady Dunnaway? Has something happened? Your concern is touching. DeLacy tried to shrug him off, but Michael gripped tighter and leaned in close. If I hear that you have come within dancing distance of my wifeoh, waitperhaps that wont be clear enough. If I hear that you are in the same room breathing her air, in the same house talking to people she has talked to, I will give you the choice of pistols or swords. I will even let you choose the venue. DeLacy sputtered and then clamped his mouth shut. Michael glared hard at DeLacy before the debaucher bound down the steps and disappeared into a waiting carriage. Inside the club, Michael found a quiet corner and slouched low in a roundly padded chair that felt as if it

would swallow him whole. Looking out the bay window, he ignored any who tried to engage him in conversation. Each drink grew warm in his hands. Two card games proceeded behind him. He was perfectly willing to ignore them, too, even though he could throw away a small fortune without thinking twice. Not one coherent thought formed in his brain. Each time he forced his mind toward a reasonable answer to what hed seen, dark clouds threatened to erupt. His Clarissa. His Clarissa at a whorehouse. That was the best he could do, the farthest he could get before he drew a debilitating blank. Bugger your Queens. Aces over Knaves, a familiar voice shouted. Randall VanLandingham, Marquess of Foxley, had joined the game at some point. Michael nearly got up to leave the club, not wanting a reminder of his accusations or his suspicions. Rather than order tea, he did just that. Ho, Dunnaway. Take a seat, Im feeling very lucky today, Foxley said. Oh, why is that? Woke up with my wife riding my cock to the races, just cleaned out old Bertram here, and I saw the lovely Lady Dunnaway not a few hours ago as I walked out the door. Who could ask for a better day? Michael buried his fist in Foxleys face, knocking him and his chair to the floor. Michael shook his fist to banish the sting. Dont ever mention my wifes name again.

Once outside, he started to walk. He would much rather have had rain running down his back, drenching his clothes and soaking his boots, than for the ridiculous sun to be shining. This was England. The sun didnt shine. Would Clarissa cheat? Would she go to a whorehouse to do it? Yes, maybe. But no, not a whorehouse. And why the same whorehouse hed been visiting the last six months? No matter how he tried, he couldnt dispel the notion that she knew everything hed done in that place. He glanced up to see that he stood across from Madame DuPuis. All the answers were inside, if he wanted to know the ugly truth. Stepping into the street, Michaels legs felt like lead bricks as he moved forward, crossing to the other side of the street and laboring up the steps. Inside, Madame DuPuis was there to greet him. The rooms were dark and quiet, the activity not picking up until later this evening. He could probably have his pick of whores, if he wanted. He had a mind to fuck until he went blind. Lord Dunnaway, youre early. I wasnt expecting you until later this evening. Will I need to send for your girl or would you be interested in other entertainments? Send for her. He started up the stairs but turned to face the madam. Is anyone else available until she arrives? Madame DuPuis face went white and her lips pursed, but a quick second later she put a smile on her face and said, Most definitely. What would you be interested in

today? How long before I can have the French whore? It will be awhile. Where is she? I paid for her. Is she already fucking other customers, Alice? She was to be mine for five weeks. Alice touched his arm in assurance. Oh no, shes only been with you, but tell me what else can I do for you until she arrives? My finest Bordeaux perhaps? Alice had pretty whores and smuggled wines. And more secrets than British Intelligence. I want two girls. Large breasts, good hips, dark hair. The French girl has all that, why not wait for her? I dont want to wait. Are you saying you cant deliver? No, its not that. Send me any two girls. He started up the stairs. Just as long as theyre clean and smell like Clarissa. Apples and rain and soap and something else. On the fourth step, he glanced at Madame DuPuis again. Madame, exactly where is the French girl? I thought your whores lived here. Alice hoisted her skirts and trod the stairs, puffing as she did so. She entwined her arm with Michaels and led him upward. Shes a special one, no? Inside his usual room, Alice poured drinks and insisted he relax. Well have her ready for you in no time at all. Ready? This was a whorehouse. Girls were always ready.

There was something in his brain that wanted to speak. To shout out what it was he knew, but wouldnt admit or could only see through a misty shroud. Why was Clarissa here to begin with? Why was his French whore not here now? A widow. New to whoring. The mask. The smell. He sipped at his drink while he allowed the possibility of this truth to settle in. He stared, his lids half-masted, sure that hed never seen Alice DuPuis uncomfortable about anything. She plucked at some invisible lint on her skirt. Madame DuPuis, why did you select me for your French whore? The Marquess of Dane would have paid ten times what you charged me to initiate her into the not-so pleasant realties of fucking ten times a day. I prefer my whores know the pleasantness of intercourse before I introduce them to the more lurid aspects of the business. So its all about money? Its always about money. Did the French whore ask for me? She asked for someone like you. He swallowed the rest of his drink and set the glass aside, feeling a hint of relief for the first time this afternoon. I think I would like the two whores now. And send that freak with the oversized dick. He might prove to be entertaining. As you wish.

Clarissa tore the message up, but ultimately she had to go back to Madame DuPuis. Her heart had already been shredded into tiny pieces, and shed been gullible enough to think she could put things back together after the temporary interlude last night. One night of sex didnt a marriage make. Or repair. And to find out now the one night of passion wasnt enough for Michael, either, caused a deep burn in her stomach. She stared down at her ringless hand. How had she failed to pick up her wedding band? Madame had assured it would be found, that one of the girls had picked it up thinking to sell the gold. Maybe it was already pawned. How would she explain the loss to Michael? Had she not panicked, her day might have turned out much differently. Last nights marital fidelity seemed ages ago. Clarissa stood rigidly while Madame and another girl assisted with her clothing. The dressing took no time. In ten minutes, she could be transformed from lady to tramp. Lady Dunnaway, do you recall my saying that I could write the script? Yes, of course. Her first night here. Clarissa tugged at the tight bodice where it dug into her breasts. The stage is yours tonight. Make the most of it.

The garish red rouge went on her cheeks and lips, the patch applied and then she was ready, once again, for her clandestine stage show. Clarissa donned the mask, watching herself disappear behind the deceitful facade of a would-be whore. Tonight seemed harder only because shed experienced the joy and closeness of being with her husband last night. This act brimmed with hollowness and defeat. Like the conquered being forced back to the battlefield after the war was over. Bitterness rose in her. She didnt know if there would be a last time, or if this would play out until the end of the Season. She doubted her ability to perform that long, or her ability to fool Michael either. Once she reached the adjoining door, she tapped and heard the beckoning voice to enter. Forcing herself inside the room, her limbs froze at the sight of two couples entwinedone on the bed, one sitting in the chair. She didnt care about the two on the bed, only the man who had the naked whore in his lap. Her husband. One of his hands cupped the sluts ass and then slid down her thigh. The sensual moaning sounded like taunts of failure. Clarissa took one step forward, her hands fisting at her side. Feverish anger washed over her. She was fully prepared to tear out the womans eyes without a moments regret. Michaels face was buried at the womans neck but he

deigned to acknowledge Clarissa with a sleepy look and an easy greeting. Chrie, wont you join us? Clarissas panic welled up in her chest. She fought back the tears. Hurry, chrie. Your clothes, he commanded. Michael stood, the whore sliding from his lap to her feet, all bouncing breasts and wiggling hips, still clinging to Michaels side. He was naked. His erection long and hard and the last thing she wanted tonight. He approached Clarissa and helped with the robe. His French was silky smooth and hypnotic. Now where did we leave off last night? Michaels hands jerked at her bodice, each tug causing her breasts to bounce and her nipples to tighten. The whore that had been in his lap had found him again and her hands were splayed over his skin, touching him. Help me with this, he switched to English and the whore whod sprawled in his lap hurried to assist. Tie her between the bedposts. Clarissa stiffened when the strangers hand gripped her wrist. After fastening a tight bind around her wrists and securing them between the wooden posts the woman slinked away. Chrie, its time you learn new things. Relax. Weve had our play. Its time to satisfy your curiosity about other activities. His hands released the final string and pushed the barely there bodice to the front, letting it fall to the bed. Her body was now fully naked, except for the luxurious

stockings and the satiny mask. One hand was already tied and Michael used slight pressure to force her other arm higher. No, I she said, her normally smooth French now squeaky and barely audible. Then it was done, and she couldnt hide. Standing secured between the posts, she was bared to them completely. Michael snapped his finger and the whore on the bed got to her knees, facing Clarissa, who turned her head away, not willing to see anything that happened. Michael cupped her chin and whispered, Watch, chrie. You might learn something. The other man came in behind the whore. Michael stood directly behind Clarissa, his hands encircled her waist and then slid his finger lower to the apex of her thighs. Clarissa stared as, opposite her, the other couple mimicked Michaels activities. She stared as those fingers slipped between the other womans legs, just as Michael was doing to her. She gasped, lurched, jerked at her bindings. Easy, chrie. Were just getting started. His fingers caressed along the hot, wet flesh between her legs. Her knees trembled. Across from her, she watched the same thing, only the whore was moaning and shaking. Her hands, free of bindings, reached up and over her head to slide into the other mans hair. Her abundant breasts lifted high in temptation.

One of Michaels hands cupped Clarissas breast and kneaded. Both nipples were tight and achy and she could only think of his mouth sucking and soothing as he drew the pointy tips inside. He slipped his finger inside her sheath. Her back arched and she leaned her head into his shoulder. Her reaction was shocking, given the fact she was naked with several strangers in the room. Watch, chrie. Look how excited she is and she doesnt have my fingers in her pussy. Or my cock. Clarissa shuddered. An orgasm built and she moaned and squirmed trying to reach it, yet trying to make it stop. Michael laughed in her ear and pulled his fingers from her body. You hot little puss. Not yet, not until you are begging. Not until I have you stuffed full of cock and maybe not even then. Please, monsieur, she whispered. Michael snapped his fingers and the two girls moved quickly, disappearing out the door. The large, intimidating man with the frightful cock came closer. She couldnt feel Michael behind her and she nearly screamed at the prostitutes approach. She almost called Michaels name and begged to end the game. She fought against the bindings, trying to get away from him and somehow closer to Michael. From behind her, he threw one of those dildos shed seen on the bed. Then he was there. The weight of his cock settled at the

cheeks of her ass, his hand slid around her waist. Step up, chrie. Michael lifted her to a step platform at the end of the bed, raising her to a level for Heres what you came for, isnt it? His cock probed at her behind, then she felt his hand separate her ass checks. Bend forward, he said. Clarissa didnt move. She had barely moved a muscle since she walked into the room, only propelled by Michaels strong arms to do what he said. Michaels hands moved, one at her waist, one at her shoulders, pushing her torso forward and her ass back. Her face burned at the subjection, at the knowledge another watched. And by bending forward, she was precariously closer to the upthrust penis of the other man. Her humiliation was complete as she felt the wet excitement coursing down her leg, her sheath dripping with unfulfilled want. Michaels hands stroked her bottom and then he slid one finger down, sliding into the sexual wetness before massaging at the entrance of her tight ass. At the first intrusion, she clenched. Michael laughed behind her. I didnt know whores liked this so much. Behind her, Michaels cock slipped between her legs, the gathering moisture bathing the length of his erection. He circled, spreading and readying her. Her body ached for penetration, she reacted strongly and instinctually as the first touch of his cock pressed against the sphincter. She arched forward. Good, chrie. I know youre hungry for it.

Take all of me. The first tight press had her puckering, he shoved steady and hard, breaching through the muscled barrier. She gasped as he slid deep, deeper. The pressure had her panting and jerking against his body. Ah. Ah, she whimpered. Are you ready to come, chrie? He wrenched his cock from her, leaving her empty and desperate. She moaned with want. Now what do you say, when you want something desperately? Please, monsieur. Please. What do you want? Tell me. Exactly. I wantI want your cock inside me. Are you sure its mine you want and not that beautiful monster in front of you? Clarissa peeked open her eyes and her body spasmed when she saw the hideous length, hard and erect, near her. She leaned forward, her body reacting. Wild, hot sparks shot upward and outward. Her orgasm was flaming and she didnt even have physical stimulus. She started keening. Her mouth came open as her vagina clenched hard, grabbing onto nothing before erupting in deep, hard contractions that had her falling forward. Michaels arm around her waist prevented her hanging from her arms with only the bindings to hold her up. Her hips jerked in shameful pleasure, the orgasm inadequate without the fullness of his

cock to grip. I think shes going to want more of that later, Michael said, and dear God, she thought he meant from that behemoth. Brace yourself, chrie. Youre going to be screaming in a minute. Michael started into her again. She heard him groan as he pushed into her ass. Chrie, I think I could die right here. His fingers skated along her spine, then slipped under her arm as he grabbed a handful of her breasts. She heard him pant as his breath came in hard, harsh lungfuls. Hand me the dildo, he said. Clarissa clenched against his cock. The phallus hed chosen was large and long. Intimidating. Hold on, chrie. Ive got to get you ready for him. Impaled on his cock, Clarissa couldnt move. Didnt want to move. Her eyes got big as she saw him move the dildo between her thighs. Her legs were already braced wide, his cock keeping her open and unmovable except for the hard spasms in her ass that seemed to come more often and, embarrassingly, that she could not control. Behind her, his body hadnt moved as he held them together close and slightly bent forward. Clarissas bindings were the only thing that kept her from falling forward, that and the fact she didnt want to fall into the strangers lap. Shed never been more thankful that she had a mask. With slow, seductive movements, Michael ran the dildo

along the wet lips of her cunt. As he moved into the slit between her legs, she held her breath. Michael gripped her tighter. Tell me how much you love to be fucked, chrie. Tell me how much you want cock and what you wont do to get it. Oui. She swallowed back her excruciating excitement. She wanted to sit on the solid dildo and rock against both of them until she came and then start over again. The smooth, cool phallus filled her, pushed her wide, opened her to the invading pressure and unknown pleasure. She pulled against the binds, squeezing front and back as a long, deep plateau of pleasure built. She started gasping in short little pants. I cant. I cant. Her scream turned into a desperate groan as another orgasm ripped through her. Her body jerked against the bindings. Michael started a slow undulation behind her and then his hand moved the dildo in and out of her body. A third, nearly painful climax started, but Michael did the worst thing possible. He pulled the dildo from her body and stopped her cold. High and frustrated. Tight and tense. He whispered in her ear. Now this is what youve been waiting for. The other manstrange and pervertedwhod watched her primitive reactions, her most intimate secrets, moved toward her. His hand grazed her stomach and then spread, fingers out, as he reached and touched her breast. Clarissa gasped. Non! Mon dieu. She couldnt help the excitement, which made her even

more disgusted. She tried to get away, but the bindings along with Michaels cock buried in her ass and his strong arm all braced her solidly, preventing any movement. You want that cock in you, no? No. No! Chrie, isnt your curiosity killing you? Wouldnt you like to sit on that, stroke yourself raw with pleasure? He surged in and out of her from behind, making her gasp. Look how you want it. No. I cant. He slipped the dildo inside her again. Clarissa felt the tears burning in her eyes. No, please. The male prostitutes hands cupped her breasts, teasing her nipples. Clarissa screamed, her body flexing and soaring. Deep, hard contractions that she couldnt control beat through her, wave after relentless wave. In all her life, shed never had such a climax. Nor such deep shame that another mans hands touched her breasts while it happened. Behind her, Michael surged, pushing deep. By the sound of his harsh groan, Clarissa knew hed released and climaxed as brightly as she had. Tears coursed down her face. Michael pulled from her body, front and back. She sagged in her bindings.

Chrie, spread your legs wider. Hes ready for you now. And you are ready for him. Through the blur of tears, she saw the male terror move closer. His offending erection touched her stomach. She jerked away. No. Oh, no. Michael, please. You have to stop now, she said in crisp Queens English.

Without a word, the male prostitute left. Michael released her bindings and lowered her to the bed. She wept. The sounds of water told her Michael was washing himself at the basin. He approached the bed and spread her legs, running a cool wet towel over her well-used cunt. Her limbs, limp and lifeless, might have been lead weights for all that she could do with them. Michael left her again. After the tears dried up, she fought the recurring sniffles and shudders that seemed to beset her. He hadnt said a word. When he returned, he knelt between her legs. He reached for the mask, wet with tears, and removed it from her face. For a long moment, Michael stared at her, his expression

hard and emotionless. He bent low and pressed his lips to her stomach. He licked his way downward and opened his mouth over her sensitive and swollen bud. The tears started again. Every stroke of his tongue brought sharp pleasure, heightened by her overwrought emotions. Lethargic and chastened, Clarissa wept and moaned in alternating currents. Until he suckled her long and hard, drawing a final despairing, wrenching orgasm from her body, as if it would never respond to a mans touch again. As if she were dead. When she opened her eyes, Michael had dressed and stood watching her. You and William will leave for York in the morning.

Chapter Nine
By noon, the carriage boot had been packed and the procession of footmen and maids had dwindled down to one, and that one held the door to the earls traveling carriage. Michael waited outside with William as Clarissa descended the front stairs. She touched Williams arm. Are you ready, darling? Yes, Mother. Michael had only gotten home an hour ago, unable to bear the thought of seeing her. He still wore yesterdays clothes and his eyes were rimmed red from a night of drinking. He had taken the time to splash water on his face and brush his hair back. He still smelled his own stench from a night at the whorehouse and the pungent odor one obtained from rubbing shoulders with wine, cards and reprobates. She tugged on a pair of gloves without glancing at Michael. Her jaunty hat tilted toward one eye. Everything about her suggested class, privilege and propriety. And yet all he could wish for right then was a nod of her head and a subtle suggestion that shed be amenable to another thorough fucking before she left for York. Another confirmation that hed had too much to drink. His congdiement came with the utmost courtesy. Wish us well, she said as she turned her cheek in dutiful

acceptance of his kiss. He gripped her elbow to prevent her escape. As William entered the carriage, he whispered to her, Tell me Anne VanLandingham put you up to this and I will forgive you. She turned, aghast. Incredulous. You will forgive me? She tore her arm away from his grip and stepped toward the footman. He assisted her into the carriage and she didnt look back. The door slammed shut. William poked his head through the open carriage window. Well see you in a few weeks, Father. Dont forget you promised wed go hunting in the Highlands this summer. I havent forgotten. Clarissa stared out the opposite window, her jaw clenched. He stepped forward. Clarissa. Goodbye, Michael. He gestured to the driver, the coached lurched and then shot forward and down the cobbled street. Michael refused to look away until the carriage turned out of sight. It didnt make him less of an ass, but he thought she might catch a glimpse of him as the carriage made the turn north. And somehow shed divine his apology without him succumbing to bended knee and futile begging. She shouldnt forgive him. His actions were beyond

redeemable. For the next two weeks, Michael spent every waking moment in the abysmal pit of self-flagellation. He dutifully wrote letters every other day, letters that grew shorter, the tone more terse. He had nothing to relay. The Seasonending balls did not hold his attention. Randall VanLandingham had sported a black eye for a few weeks. That Michael enjoyed, and wrote with some relish about the poor mans accident. His agitation grew as his remaining days in London dwindled. The fault lay with him. For eighteen years, Clarissa had been ridiculously easy to please. Jewels at Christmas. Flowers at her birthday. The woman had been obliviously happy, which made him happy. Her mantra had always been, I trust you completely. He did not remember the last time shed said that to him. During the third week, a missive arrived for Clarissa. Michael didnt hesitate to open it. His gaze was drawn to the womanly flourish at the bottom of the embossed paper.

Im sorry. We could not locate your ring. Alice DuPuis. The temptation of Madame DuPuis brothel had withered like a plucked rose on a summer afternoon. Or a cock that belonged to an aged earl. Nothing at the whorehouse excited him, nor did he want to be reminded of the days

hed spent there fucking his wife. Humiliating her for what shed done. Some lesson hed imparted. Anger burned in his chest still. She could have been hurt. Caught. Publicly humiliated. Their family disgraced by her activities. All for a few hours of worldly pleasure and the satisfaction of her impulsive curiosity. No one cared when a man cheated. Michael had frequently talked to acquaintances in the sitting room of the whorehouse while hed pursued his sexual interests. It was different for women. They could be destroyed. Forever shunned. And all for what? To satisfy her curiosities about the positions and proclivities inflicted on whores? His own embarrassment, or culpability, didnt bear scrutiny. His wife had known he was at Madame DuPuis bordello. How could he explain? Why hadnt she accused him outright, demanded an answer for what she knew to be true? When shed asked about an affair, shed been clutching at straws, but somehow, shed found out the truth. His pride had brought them to this chasm. Had he told Clarissa about his inability to perform, none of this would have happened. To prove he was still the virile man she loved, she would have gotten on her knees and sucked his cock until it

saluted, just to prove him wrong. And he could have glibly responded, but lets be sure and offered it to her a second time. He could have confronted Martin DeLacy that night and had it out publicly. Let the world know that she was his property and not to be trifled with. Clarissa would have smiled and consoled, but secretly, would have been pleased that hed defended her honor. Hed failed her as a man and as a husband. Michael dressed the next morning and left for Madame DuPuis after lunch. Alice greeted him with a professional air and invited him to the sitting room for a drink. He dropped fifty pounds on the table between them. Whats this for? she asked, as she handed him the brandy. Oh, I think you know. You read the countesss letter? I handle all of my wifes correspondence when shes away. He sipped, keeping a watchful gaze on Alices expressionless face. How did my wife come to lose her ring here, of all places? What brought her to your front door? She picked up the coins. Why havent you asked your wife? It might have cost you less money and time. Certainly less aggravation. Shes in York, or I would have. Let me help. The first night she came here, what did she want?

Her husband. Me? She was looking for me? She followed you here. Ah. He sat back in the chair. Another failing. He wasnt as clever as hed imagined. Alice sat calmly, her drink nestled between her hands, propped on a protruding bit of roundness between her breasts and her lap. So then her curiosity got the best of her? What is he doing, she asks? Can I take a peek at the wickedness? Would I be just shocked, shocked, at the immoral turpitude? He sighed. So she saw me. Then what? Alices lips puckered. She sipped at her drink. Im not sure what your wife sees in you. Other than you being an earl. He had nearly said those exact words. The insult stung from an elderly abbess. Explain. Do you truly think a woman with your wifes dignity would come here for entertainment when she could crook her little finger and have all of the single men and half the married men in London lined up to fuck her? Alice nodded her head. One eyebrow winged. Hmm? Why else would she come here? Oh, I forgot you are man. Michael frowned. Men think the basis for every decision resolves around sex. When will I next get sex? What can I do to ensure that I will get sex? Who can I next get sex from?

Youre not making any sense. The woman you are married to doesnt think that way. She thinks only about you. I wasted my time coming here. Thank you, Madame DuPuis. Spend your fifty pounds wisely. They stood, Madame DuPuis looking like a Christmas elf next to him. If I could direct you to certain shops in the neighborhood, I might also advise you how to spend your next fifty pounds wisely. And why would I do that? Alice sighed and didnt bother containing the roll of her eyes, as if she were correcting an errant child. Your wifes ring? Isnt that why you came to see me? Yes. Michael took the addresses and started his search that afternoon. It took eight days before he found the backstreet pawnshop that had purchased the ring. It cost more than fifty pounds to buy it back, but Michael believed it was worth every pence. He stowed the ring in his waistcoat pocket, feeling as if hed done something right for the first time in over a year.

The carriage ride to York was interminable. However, the weather cooperated and he arrived in reasonably good spirits. The journey provided ample opportunity to perfect his apology.

At the country estate, they didnt stand on ceremony, only the footman greeted him, but before he could disembark from the carriage, Harry and Andrew came running down the steps. Harry would be thirteen next month, Andrew fifteen in the fall. Michaels instructions for William involved hard labor. He believed William would be knee-deep in some indescribable filth otherwise known as a pile of shit about now. As the boys crashed into him, he caught a glimpse of Clarissa at the top of the steps. He held her gaze for a moment before turning his attention to his children. Father, come see the new colts. Dudley says theyre prime flesh, Andrew said. Maybe youll let me pick one out for myself. Course Dudley will have to help me break her. Me too. I want the colt with white legs. You cant have it, blockhead. Its a stallion. Hell tear you to pieces if you try to ride him, Andrew said. They grabbed Michaels hands and dragged him toward the horse stalls. Michael glanced back over his shoulders and attempted an apologetic smile. He thought she might have smiled in return, but he couldnt be sure. The boys nattered on until they had him at the stalls. Inside, William hefted the pitchfork and dumped a foulsmelling batch of manure and straw in the pile outside the door. When Will saw the trio, he stopped and braced his arm against the long handle. Hello, Father.

Dudley got you right to work, I see. Wills been crabby ever since, Harry added. Its been like this for almost five weeks. Ive learned my lesson. Dont you think Ive been punished enough? Michael tousled Harrys full head of hair. What do you think, boys? No! they both answered in unison. Will glared at his brothers. There you have it, Will. Now where are those new colts? The remainder of the afternoon was spent examining horseflesh, discussing the tenants, crops and weather with Dudley and others, all the while Harry and Andrew followed him around the barns and outbuildings asking questions about London and boasting of their performance in academics and athletics at their school. He hadnt seen the boys since they left for school in January. Harry had his hand or arm touching Michael at every turn. He didnt mind, soon Harry would be as indifferent to their father as his brothers had already become. As he went through the motions of the concerned earl, he glanced toward the house several times. He supposed he wanted to see Clarissa or at least be assured that she was as anxious as he about their reunion. Shed appeared ever the countess as she stood in an immaculate gown and perfectly coiffed hair. Her only ornamentation was a gold bracelet that shed received from her mother before shed passed away.

If there was anything to be happy about, it was that she had been there to greet him at all. He didnt think it would hurt to have the protection of his sons as he sought her out. He hoisted Harry up with the help of his sons sprightly leap, and swung him onto one shoulder. How about we go see your mother?

Clarissa punched a needle in and out of a linen pillowcase, attempting an intricate design of birds and flowers. Her hands shook, the resulting stitches uneven and amateurish. The noise in the foyer signaled Michaels arrival. His strong voice asked for her location and the three of them stumbled into the room together. Mama! Papa says I get to go on the hunting trip this year, Harry exclaimed. She set her embroidery aside. Oh, he does? Michael bent down and pressed a kiss to her lips. Then sat beside her before Harry slid into his lap. Andrew sat with more dignity on a chair opposite. He does. And hes thinking the countess should come along. It promises to be a very quiet and relaxing couple of weeks. Please, Mama! It would be ever so much fun. I wont have any fun at all. And since I dont know how to shoot a gun, what would be the point? Im thankful I never taught you how, Michael said softly.

Clarissa pinkened. But youll be with us, Harry added with his boyish enthusiasm. So I will. Ill think about it. Now why dont you all wash up and change for dinner. Cook said we are having a feast. That means were having ice cream, Harry said. How do you know? Andrew asked. When youre going to feast, you have ice cream. Isnt that right, Mama? With peaches from last summer. Cook saved some just for such an occasion. And what are we celebrating? Michael asked. Clarissa was saved the rejoinder when Harry butted in. Its for your welcome home. Michael smiled and fortunately said nothing else. Her temperature had risen to alarming degrees. She felt overexcited and nervous sitting next to him. She had no doubt what he was thinkingabout them, about what shed done, about what hed done to her. Her doubts involved the future. Were the scandalous pleasures enjoyed in a London brothel sufficient to convince him that she was woman enough? That they still had passion and fire left in their marriage? She wanted to press her cool hands to her face. Or plunge her flesh into an ice-cold Highland stream. Clarissa stood and her well-mannered men did the same. Well, Id better check with Cook. All of you now, off you go. You know how cross Cook gets when were late for

dinner. Andrew, fetch William from the stalls. Hell need extra time to clean up. The boys giggled and rushed from the room. Michael lingered. He clutched her hand and brought it to his lips. Its good to be home. It would have been easy to pretend that nothing was wrong, especially with the children hovering about. He lowered his warm hand to her neck and then slid it up and back. He slipped his fingers into her hair. His thumb stroked from her jaw to her ear. The slight pressure forced her gaze to his. Breathless anxiety thrummed in her chest. Every day shed imagined the conversation. From cajoling to anger. From humiliation to forgiveness. I have something for you. Oh. A present? Even her voice sounded girlishly highpitched and not like the composed countess. I want to give it to you when the time is right. When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything I need to tell you is true. The air in her lungs struggled for freedom. All right. Im listening. Not yet. I dont want to spoil my first night home, our night together. I want to enjoy my family and my wife and home in peace. But know this, everything that happened

A quick rap on the door had them both looking in the same direction. Lady Dunnaway, your pardon. The girl bobbed a curtsey. Clarissa jerked away from her husband. Yes? Im sorry, my lady. Cook requests your presence in the kitchen. Another bob and she was gone. Im sorry. Please excuse me. Once outside the room, she started to breathe more normally. If ever there was a conversation she did not want to have, this was it. The crisis in the kitchen involved nothing more than a decision on apple butter or honey butter for the bread. At the dinner table, the boys were polite if a bit talkative. When they were old enough to join them at the table, Michael encouraged intelligent discussion and laughter, but he was never one to tolerate horseplay. Clarissa allowed the dinner to wend away much slower than normal, in no hurry to face the coming confrontation. And when the last bowl of ice cream had disappeared, Michael coaxed everyone to the billiards room. He and Harry took on William and Andrew. After the fifth game, Clarissa kissed the boys good night. Conveniently, Michael took the opportunity to kiss her again and led her to the door. Might I escort you to your room? The boys heard the request. Papa, were behind. You cant leave yet, Harry said.

Good night, Michael. Good night, boys, she said. The chorus of voices rang behind her as she made her escape. As she ascended the staircase, she glanced toward the door and Michael still stood, staring after her. She didnt imagine his wolfish gaze. A storm broke outside and the lightning flash filled the foyer with blue light, making him look sinister and ominous. For a brief moment, she considered running to her room and locking the door. And just as quickly, the flash was over and he smiled with boyish timidity. Neither sight gave her any comfort or insight into what he was thinking or going to do. Her bath waited, steam coming off the top of the water. Towels were stacked neatly on a stool beside the tub and her robe hung in the ready. After Clarissa was naked, she dismissed her maid. Michaels return had made her ravenous for intercourse, not that shed allow him to touch her until every word of her displeasure and hurt had been laid out before him. The dildos Madame DuPuis had given her remained safely hidden. She was not in the mood for debauched pleasure. She wanted the gasping, needy desires caused by a naked body covering her and a stiff cock inside her. She wanted loving hands and hot kisses. She wanted Michael, but would not give him the satisfaction of so easily conquering her after such a tremendous wound to her and the marriage. Five weeks

was not enough time to heal. Five years wouldnt be long enough if Michael truly did not see what she had done out of her love for him.

When she woke, it wasnt to the sight of the dawn sun cascading in her window. The room was dark, only the dim glow of the fire she had requested as the room had cooled down from the rain that had started early last evening while she had bathed. A heavy weight pressed into her. Michaels hard body had her trapped underneath him. His hot mouth pressed to her neck, his mouth and tongue sending sweet sensation coursing through her body and causing the tips of her breasts to tighten painfully. The material from her gown was worked up past her hips. His hips and thighs forced her legs open. Already she could feel the compulsive thrust of his body as he prepared for taking her. Fucking her. Because there couldnt be love in what he was doing. The thick heat of his erection prodded and then thrust into her slick, hot center. He groaned loud and long until he entered her fully. Deeply. Her body wanting all that her mind had rejected. She didnt turn her face to kiss him. His mouth latched on to her breast through the flimsy

material of her nightgown. The raspy feel of the cloth and the wet heat from his mouth made her feel as though she wore wool in the rain. Her betraying hands worked at the ties of her gown and then separated the folds of material. She grasped her breast, pushing the fleshy mound upward, offering it to him. When his mouth descended on her bare, sensitive nipple, she gasped. Her hips lurched to meet him as he set a pounding rhythm that had her moaning and thrashing on the bed. She wanted it deeper, harder, fasteranything to soothe the disquieting, wrenching, frightening need that built inside her. The betrayal was complete. She didnt know her own mind or body, let alone that of her husband. In her lust, in her craving for a hard, long orgasm, she would allow him anything he wanted. In the dark of the night, when she didnt have to look at him, when she didnt have to see the triumph in his eyes, she knew she was every inch the whore for her own husband. The forceful pumping propelled her toward her shattering goal. Michael grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the bed. He filled his mouth with her breast and suckled. She heard and felt the groans that emanated from inside him as he pumped and labored over her. He slowed, withdrawing fully and sinking deeply, an aching groan ripping from him with each thrust. Clarissas cunt had swollen, the nub of her clitoris sensitive. The hood of his penis raked across her

responsive sheath and lips until she panted. On the next deep push, she squeezed. The agonizing retreat of his thick cock brought her torrents of pleasure. She gripped again. The soaring, searching need caused her spine to arch. Michael shoved into her, starting to climax. Air rushed from her lungs as one all-encompassing wave washed over her, sending her higher. Michael surged and jerked again, this time accompanied by a painful wail of relief. She shattereda hundred pulsing, beating, breaking spasms ripping through her, all caused by the hunger for the cock inside that fed her to satiation. Their chests pumped up and down in unison as they both sought to catch their breath. Michael pulled his cock from her and rolled to his side. His face was barely visible in the dim light. Dont try to hide from me, Clarissa. He kissed her forehead and then retreated from the bed before departing for his room. When she heard the door shut, she remembered that she had locked both entrances before shed climbed in bed.

Chapter Ten
Michael allowed Clarissa one afternoon of avoidance. Hed even shrugged at the locked door. He had the key. When a horse threw you, you got back in the saddle. Simple as that. Any delay in the resumption of their sexual activities would set an unhealthy precedent. With a fully functioning cock and an extreme, almost perverse need for his wife, he wasnt about to let a day go by without sex. The startling knowledge that hed been fucking his own wife the entire time was both disturbing in its brazen, intimate revelation and extremely, uncontrollably arousing. He could barely think of anything else. He was no better than an old goat. Hed already wasted too much time, and he never should have sent Clarissa away. The sheer magnitude of pleasure that was in store for them, well, he wasnt going to throw away this second opportunity. However, there were still wrongs to right and hurts to forgiveall of them stemming from his behavior that had only grown more egregious over the past year. Clarissa missed breakfast, but he fully expected her to seek him out and express her indignation over the midnight tupping. And before she got too angry, hed remind her that her orgasm nearly squeezed the life out of his cock.

Thirty minutes later, she knocked at the library door. He leaned back in his chair. Come. He stood as she swept into the room. The door closed behind her with a solid latch and then a catch of the lock. The blush already stained her cheeks. Michael Last night was wonderful. Thank you. II Yes? My door was locked for a reason. Her brows rose, along with her voice. To keep me out? Yes. You know thats not legal in England. A husband has a right to his property. She nearly sputtered in outrage. Thats how you think of me? Michael inched toward her. Of course it is. Because thats how you should think of me too. He caught her hand and started kissing her fingers. Forever yours. Bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh. One body. He gazed at the slimness of her neck and smiled at the rapid pulse beating near her ear. I You She tugged at her hand, trying to extricate herself. Michael held fast, his kisses reaching her wrist. You cannot expect me to welcome you when you have hurt

me beyond measure. I know. Im sorry. He kissed her palm and then led her to the leather couch that faced the fireplace. He resisted the urge to pull her into his lap for fear it would look as if he wasnt serious. Hed never been more serious in his life. Just like that? Im to forgive you for an I know and Im sorry? What about the year of worrying why you didnt want me? What about your treatment of me that last night and why you forced me to leave London without you? Im an ass. An ass who desperately loves his wife and who made all the wrong decisions about his marriage. She huffed and turned away. Her fingers played in the folds of her dress. You have no idea how I felt. Tell me. Tell you? A simpleton could understand how a woman feels when the man she loves rejects her. And you are not a simpleton, so there had to be another reason. The reason. The awful truth of his unmanly condition. It would take a stiff drink and Clarissa in a soft mood to hear the reasoning behind his truth. He still had the same fears about why he couldnt perform. Why did you go to Madame DuPuis? Why, when you knew the danger and the potential scandal? he asked instead. Maybe you are a simpleton. Madame DuPuis implied the same thing.

You spoke with her? she asked. Briefly. Now I want to knowwhy? She shook her head. Why? Because I love you. What other possible reason could there be? I couldnt endure the thought you would seek out a whore over a wife that had never denied you your sexual rights. I thought you were more than satisfied with me. He slid his arm across the back of the couch, cupped her shoulder and pulled her near, cradling her with his body. Tell me what else. And then I saw you. She faced him, tears brimming at the edge of her eyes. You were with that couple. You were watching and taking your pleasure. I thought I had lost you. Why did you decide to come into the room as one of her whores? She convinced me. Madame DuPuis? Yes. She confided in me that you had nevernever penetrated one of her whores. She said you were deciding whether you were ready to be unfaithful and that you were deciding whether or not you loved me more than breaking your vows. More than having sex with a stranger. So it wasnt curiosity? What woman could possibly be curious about such a thing? Well, Anne of course, but I mean a real woman, one who believes shes done right by her husband. Never. There is nothing interesting there, not for a woman who is getting her orgasms from her husband, along with the love I

thought we shared.

Love? Because she loved him? What a simpleton! Once he confessed the truth of his
temporary impotence, shed have responded with that same love. She would have convinced him. She would have straddled him and rode him until his prick was ready to burst. He should have known it was temporary, a condition of the mind more than the body. How different things would have been had he marched up to DeLacy and decked him. He should have been the one to knock DeLacy into the flowerpot. He would have sported an erection fit for battle. He would have backed her against the wall and fucked her while DeLacy watched just so hed have an idea what a real man did with his woman. Simple. Simple. Simple. He grasped her by the waist and hauled her into his lap. He searched under the voluminous skirts until he found her leg and then assisted her in straddling him. The hand under her skirts traveled with unerring accuracy toward her cunt, the convenient, slitted undergarments not giving him pause. Heat radiated from her core, drawing him like a man finding his way through a Highland winter toward a scorching, flaming hearth fire. He guided his fingers along the soft folds, circling, touching, pinching. Then, sliding his thumb in her vagina, he worked her. His middle finger slid backward. She lurched toward him, her expression melting. Lust he

knew. He slid the long, tapered finger to her ass, pushed with slow force until he penetrated and filled both warm, tight entrances. Clarissas eyelids lowered as she watched with glazed passion. With his free hand he worked at the buttons of his trousers and lifted his cock free of his small clothes. She pushed up on her thighs, giving him room. Access. He gripped the base of his penis and pointed it toward her cunny. He moved the one hand quickly, moving behind her, caressing her ass. Take me, Clarissa. Take every inch of this cock, he said. She slid down, and at the same time, he inserted the same finger into her ass. And know that as you do, I love you. She rocked upward, already mindless. Michael surged in and out of her, keeping her off balance and unsure while his cock filled her in front and his finger exerted sexual tension from behind. She squirmed. She rode. She tried to get away from him. She tried to buck and claw her way closer, deeper. I love you, he whispered. As she sank yet again, Clarissa gasped. Michael wished he had a dildo handy to set her ass on fire and bring her to a crashing orgasm quickly. Then again, there was intense pleasure in the buildup of a long, drawn-out affair. A symphony or a trumpet blast. Both were good. Each in its place. He worked a second finger into her bottom. Clarissa, fully

impaled, stopped moving. Her breath came in hard rasps. Oh, Michael. Thats it. Are you going to come? I dont want to. Dont make me yet. You know you want to. He exerted enough pressure on the wall of her anus, he thought he could feel his own cock on the other side. She gasped. Her back arched. Ride me, Clarissa. Or better, Ill give you an orgasm now and another one in a few minutes. A tiny mewl escaped her. His words were exciting her. Thats it, stay where you are. Do you like this? My cock deep in you, with my fingers in your ass? Or do you like it when my cock is in your ass? I need to know. I plan to have this monster prick buried in you, front or back, for the rest of the summer. The tight clenching happened so quickly, he gasped. Oh, yes. Thats good. He wasnt going to come with this orgasm. He was going to give her a second tupping momentarily. She spasmed. He knew those pulls against his erection like he knew his own heartbeat. Strong at first, then tapering off to pleasant beats that encompassed his cock. Michaels rigid erection slipped from her swollen cunt. He scooted up on the couch and pulled Clarissas legs from the straddle position so that her knees where almost under his armpits. Lean back, Clarissa. Ive got you. He guided his cock from her cunt toward her ass. Rock-

hard and ready, he had no trouble pushing through that muscled barrier, slowly sliding inch by inch into her ass. In this position, he knew he could go deep, but wasnt sure how much she could take of him. The weight of her body helped him push deeper. Clarissa, tell me how it feels? She groaned, her eyelids fluttering. One of her hands had fallen back to brace against his knee. Tell me, Clarissa. I need to know if you like it when I do this to you? Her jaw clenched. She shook her head. Already on hairtrigger, she tensed trying to prevent a second rush to orgasm. Thats it. Fight it. He canted his hips to withdraw and then slid back in. The tight rim of her ass felt like a vise caressing his cock with his movements. He started the rocking motions he liked in this position. He hoped Clarissa could hold off until hed exhausted himself or his penis was rubbed raw. He lost himself in the tight push-pull. Their breathing was the only sound in the room. Long, long minutes later, Michaels balls tightened and lifted. He got into her as deep as he could, burying himself to the root. With a quick move, he touched Clarissas swollen clit and with a few tight rolls and playful tugs had her surging again. He, too, bucked a few times, spilling cum, letting her contractions wring him dry. She pushed his cock from her body and he repositioned

them into a more comfortable cuddle. Michael kissed her tear-stained face. I love you. I love you. I love you. Clarissa finally opened her eyes. Michael, I havent decided if Im ready to forgive you yet. You havent explained anything about why. And I have to understand. And for all of that, I need to know why you humiliated me so. No one would treat someone they love the way you treated me. Clarissa, its in the past. Let us move on. Forward. Because youve shoved your manhood into me twice without apologizing, because Ive enjoyed it, you think all is well? Theres more to a marriage than fucking each other into oblivion, but evidently that is enough for you. Clarissa escaped from his grasp and stood, swiping at her dress, trying to look presentable. Her high color, her mussed hair and heaving bosom all worked to betray her. Had he forced the issue, he had no doubt he could rise to the occasion, given a moment to recuperate. Look at you, she said with evident disgust. Already planning our next escapade. You havent heard a word Ive said.

His property! Huh. What had happened to him this past year that sex had become so all-consuming for him now? Curiosity? Bother. If she was curious about anything

sexual, she would have asked her husband, not prostrated herself in front of others and performed intimate acts that should have been for them to decide together. Clarissas strides increased with each angry thought. The folly was up ahead. Since shed been home, shed spent several afternoons sitting near the lake trying to come to terms with the change in their marriage. Michael had never been so upset to send her away before. She had never been so close to losing complete faith in him. The afternoon grew cool as the sun descended over the trees. She shivered. At the sound of footfalls, she turned to see Michael standing at the entrance, holding one of her shawls. I thought you might need this. Looks like a storm is blowing in again. Wind whipped through the folly and a bit of dust swirled around. She reached for the fringed shawl but he stepped forward and draped it over her shoulders. He kissed the top of her head. You come here a lot when youre upset with me. Do I come here so often that my secret is out? Enough. Im surprised you havent taken up residence with my recent errors. Michael, Im weary. Can we discuss this some other

time? He positioned himself beside her, all the while staring toward the lake. Its lovely this year. I saw a herd of deer as I walked down the trail. Theyre out almost every night around dusk. Its good to be home. Yes, she said. The boys have grown. Clarissa giggled. Have we grown into a couple who has nothing to say to each other? He glanced down at her. No, Ive just grown old while youre still beautiful, vibrant, all that is desirable to a man. Youre not old. Louis Ederline is old. All right, Im not young. No, because when we are old, as we both will be in the far, far distant future, we will live in perfect harmony. Our flaws will have been smoothed over, our days will be spent boasting of our prodigy and spoiling our grandchildren. So you see, we are nowhere near old. She faced him, searching out his features, trying to discern all of his past secrets and new thoughts. But until recently, I thought we had reached near perfect harmony. What happened, Michael? she asked. She sought out his gaze, but he still looked outward. Ive been thinking about my apology, he said. Clarissa folded her hands. It should definitely be in proportion to the offense and

you should be the arbiter of when the apology is sufficient. Wouldnt you agree? A sincere apology is all that is necessary. And the assurance it will never happen again? Correct. But would you ever be able to forget the humiliation I caused you? Michael stared at her then, his gaze traveling from her breasts, along the curves of her neck until he looked at her lips, then searched out her eyes. Clarissa blushed, the sheer decadence of her behavior still nearly stopped her heart when she thought of it too deeply. Add to that what Michael had compelled her to do in front of othersit was enough to force her to a convent in fear of her everlasting soul. No, as I thought. He clasped her hand. So first, the words. Then? she asked with curious hesitancy. Then the penance to be meted out at your pleasure. So let me begin. He half-turned and dropped to his knees in front of her. He cupped both of her hands between his larger, warmer hands. His lips grazed her knuckles. Tears sprang from her eyes and thick droplets coursed down her face. With all my heart, I beg your forgiveness, Clarissa. You are my life and I have not treated you like my cherished wife and caretaker of my soul. Because of this, and because I know you arent ready to forget, at least forgive me. He

kissed her hands again. She bent, resting her cheek against the top of his head. She sniffed. If there were words to describe the love she had for this man, she didnt know them. Only you can do me hurt, she whispered. They held each other until a strong boom of thunder crashed in the west. Michael eased away. Wed better head back or the boys will send a search party if were late for dinner.

Clarissa felt the tangible retreat of tension. During dinner, her smile came readily as Michael and her sons told stories of derring-do. Even William, who had been sullen and uncommunicative since his decreed punishment, participated with his own enhanced version of his hard labor. Harry and Andrew disputed the more exaggerated tales since theyd plagued him unmercifully, taunting him from the hayloft or teasing him as they sat on a fence while he was knee-deep in muck. At the end of one diatribe, he pleaded with Michael. Please, Father, havent I been punished enough? Michael leaned back in feigned consideration. Well, we leave for Edinburgh in ten days. Will, Mamas going with us! Harry exclaimed. Now, Harry, I havent said Im going yet, Clarissa said.

Michael leaned toward his son, Youll have to help me convince her. He winked at his younger son and then returned his attention to William. Clarissa touched his leg underneath the table and with her gaze, pled for mercy for their son, who according to Dudley, had worked hard to complete his laborious sentence. So, because we do not wish to travel with the stench of the barn all the way to Scotland, your labor will cease seven days before we leave. Cheers rose from the table. Andrew elbowed Will. Only three more days? William asked just to make sure. Only three. He smiled. Thank you, Father. Michael then faced Clarissa. Her face heated under his gaze. And what must we do to convince you to come along, dear? Really, Ill be in the way, and youll be out all day skinning bears and tracking deer, all sorts of whatnot that doesnt interest me in the least. Bears! Mama, we arent going to Canada. And I dont like the smell of fresh fish, Clarissa added, wrinkling her nose. Enough of this. Youve an hour of reading before bedtime. Off with you. Clarissa waited dutifully for the pecks to her cheek as they all kissed her good night and bowed to their father. Shall we retire to the library? Michael asked as he

assisted her to her feet. Certainly. The footmen were already clearing the table by the time they left the room. In the library, Clarissa scooped up the novel shed been reading and Michael sat across from her. His stare had her hot from her ankles to her bosom. She peeked up at him. He sat slouched, one ankle propped against a knee, his elbows on the arm of the chair, his fingers steepled, contemplating some deep problem. Clarissa, after you bathe, but before youre ready to sleep, see me in my room please. His words startled her and his gaze nearly burned a hole into her being. With that, he surged from his chair and left the library. She read and reread the same page as she considered his odd behavior. Setting aside the book, she gave up, not wanting to sit alone in the empty hours of the evening. Invariably, her alone thoughts turned to naughty wishes and how she could fulfill them without being a hypocrite. Her maid assisted with the undressing and after she poured another steaming bucket of water into the tub, Clarissa dismissed her. She sank in the water up to her neck. Reaching for her favorite apple blossom-scented soaped, she scrubbed and cleansed until she was pink and the water was cold. The hour wasnt horribly late and she enjoyed just lazing in the bath water, so she got up and, with water streaming from her, padded across the floor to the fireplace. She lifted the hot pad and reached for the handle, carrying it

awkwardly to the tub and then emptying the bucket. Clarissa glanced toward Michaels door, biting at her lip as she did so. She had time. She dashed across the room to her bed and pulled out the bag Madame DuPuis had given to her. The thick, shiny brass phallus lay on top. She plucked it up and hurried back to the tub. While Michael remained in London, shed enjoyed pleasuring herself and found that at odd moments, she liked slipping away to enjoy the pleasures of the body. What had she turned into? An insatiable slattern? Or worse? Whores did it for the money, some even to provide for their families. She, on the other hand, had been driven by needs her husband had inspired and encouraged. And now she didnt know how to fully control the lusts that consumed her. Sinking into the hot water a second time, she quickly brought the dildo between her legs, spreading them wide as she stroked and roused herself before she thrust it into her waiting body. She wished for a thicker, longer dildo but there was no one to ask for such a device. Even Michael would be shocked at her request. The normally cool dildo had warmed from her bathwater. Her breathing had turned labored, her body readied. She poised the hand-crafted cock and stuffed herself full. Clarissa leaned her head against the rim of the tub and enjoyed a few moments of pleasurable pressure before she started the push-pull rhythm she particularly enjoyed.

The door between their rooms opened and Michael stuck his head through. Clarissa clamped her legs together and turned to look at him. Oh, I wondered what was taking so long. Ill be another few minutes, she said, trying to sound relaxed and unhurried though she was on the verge of an orgasm. Dont rush. He walked toward her, clad in a green velvet robe shed given him for Christmas last year. He reached for the stool holding the towels and brushed them aside. He faced her. You always liked your baths. Its a wonderful treat. Her legs remained clasped together. Enough soap bubbles remained on the surface of the water to hide her activities. Michael rolled up the sleeve of his robe. He dipped his finger in the water and traced the path of her skin at the waters edge, running along the contours of her breasts. She gasped. Her hands gripped the edge of the tub. Michael, I dont I know. Ive been insatiable with you. Ill try to control myself, but you are so beautiful. His palm covered her nipple and breast before he squeezed and kneaded. Her chest heaved as she fought against the rising tide. Ive always loved your breasts. He reached across the tub and pinched at the other nipple. Perfect. Overabundant. He cupped her again, soothing the fleshy

spheres in a slow, circular motion. He knelt, his head bending over the tub as he sucked the protruding nipple into his mouth. Clarissa jerked. Pleasure sparked from the tips of her nipples right to the swollen nub between her legs. She clenched, fighting back the sweeping rise. But it was too late. Michael suckled greedily with his mouth, his hand and fingers working her other breast. A breathy scream escaped her mouth. Her body arched and then jerked, the dildo expunged in one harsh contraction. She felt the vibration as it landed at the bottom of the tub. Hurry, I need to talk to you, he said. Talk? He left her gasping and trembling. Embroidery and reading had lost all appeal. How would she ever survive in polite company again?

Chapter Eleven
My God, Michael, what are you doing? Time for my penance. Hed shucked his robe and lay sprawled naked on the bed with both ankles and one arm tied to the bedpost. Clarissa would have to tie his other hand. Hed locked both of their bedroom doors while she bathed and instructed his valet and her maid not to come near their rooms unless specifically beckoned. He stationed two footmen at the end of the hallway, forbidding entrance to any coming this way, most especially their sons, who seemed unaware that privacy with parents meant privacy. Clarissa hurried to his side. Have you lost your mind? You dont like it? He thought it was a suitable penance. She tugged at the knots binding his wrist, but hed made sure they were tight. That she couldnt accuse him of cheating by coming loose during his subjugation. This is the only chance youll get to punish me for my behavior. If youd like you can even invite the household maids to watch. He chuckled at his humor. Clarissa frowned in annoyance. She hadnt even glanced at the hard erection bobbing against his groin. Since hed thought of the idea, hed been

aroused and ready, anticipating sensual delights at her womanly hands. Hed had to control his own wayward thoughts about what he liked, instead encouraging her to find what interested and excited her. In the end, he would come out ahead. Whatever she did to please herself would be a useful tool for their future. What? She backed away and put her hand to her chest. You want me to subject you to? Any pleasure you can imagine. Why would I want to do that? So that I understand how you felt. Tie my other hand. Her nostrils flared. Michael couldnt tell if she truly abhorred the idea or she was shocked by her sharp reaction and desire to participate in his turn-the-tables game. I might hurt you. He laughed. You would never do that. Clarissa sat on the bed. Michael, this cant be a good idea. But you want to? She bit her lip and nodded, not looking at him. He rolled toward her, his free arm still allowing some movement. He touched her face. Youve seen me at my worst, enjoying pleasures to which I had no right. Tonight, you have every right. Youve my permission. Show me what you like. Take what you want. Her feet hit the floor, one hand gripped the bedpost and

she swung around until she reached his free hand. One of his long white cravats lay handy for her. Youll tell me if its too tight? He held back a smile. She tugged at the knot a few times to make sure it was secure. Are you comfortable? Quite. Cold? No. Well, I need to think for a few minutes. Im not sure what I should do. With that she left the room, leaving him spread-eagled and naked. He frowned, watching the last of her sheer dressing gown disappear through their adjoining door. When he woke, the sharp sunrise peeked through his windows. Normally, his valet had them closed tight against any intruding light. He reached to block his eyes with his arm, but a tie at his wrist prevented any movement. He jerked the binding. Clarissa? What had happened? Shed left the room to think and hadnt come back, while hed fallen asleep waiting for her return? Clarissa? he called a little louder. The door between the rooms was open. He glanced down to see shed thrown a single blanket over him. His bladder felt close to exploding. He heard the open and close of her doors. Light footsteps and a gentle hum grew closer to his door.

Clarissa? She peeked in, all smiles and morning sunshine. Oh, I didnt know you were awake. Ill get some food. Untie me. He quickly added a Please, his gut telling him something had gone terribly wrong. Oh, no, not yet. I need to relieve myself. She practically danced into the room. I thought of that. She reached the side of the bed, bent and extricated a bedpan. Here you go. Ill hold your pizzle. Im not a damned invalid, now untie me. Anger burned through him. Hed made a monumental mistake in thinking shed be reluctant. She appeared to have latched on with relish, like a babe at the breast. You have a couple of choices. Last night was your game, but then I realized you meant it to be my game, and I cant do that under your rules. Ive made up my own rules. And if it means you take a shit in front of your wife, then so be it. Or I can assist you with this bedpan and leave you in peace for a few minutes while you take care of your business privately. I dont have to go that bad. Then Ill get us some breakfast. He caught a glimpse of her smile before she turned in a swirl of skirts. As soon as she was out of the room, he jerked at the bindings, praying they would give way or that he could snap the damn head-post in two.

Neither budged, and he only succeeded in causing light chafing around his wrists. Shed tied her knot as tightly as he had. Several long, torturous minutes later she returned, carrying an oval tray laden with a teapot which she placed near his side but under his arm. She fluffed his pillows before she climbed in bed in her stockinged feet and sat cross-legged beside him. He watched as she buttered a croissant for which hed have forfeited his pinkie finger. She drizzled honey over the top and then took a bite. Oh, she said in ecstatic wonder. We need to take Cook to London with us next year. Every year I vow to do it, but for sure, next year. He licked at his lip, but damned if he was going to ask. In three bites, the croissant was gone. She plucked up another slice of bread and laid out a thinly sliced piece of cheese and a hunk of ham. After it too had disappeared, he broke down. Through gritted teeth, he asked, May I have a croissant? Certainly. I wasnt sure you were hungry. She lavished the croissant with honey and butter. Dudley and I have an appointment with the farmers at Bannister. Ill need to leave by noon. He sounded logical and authoritative. Ive sent him a note telling him youre all tied up. She beamed, but didnt dare look him in the eye. She lovingly placed the croissant near his mouth and he bite off half of it,

chewing vigorously before swallowing and then wolfing down the second piece. After that, she offered him anything she ate, including the ham and cheese, a fresh plate of scrambled eggs toasty from sitting on the hot plate and then a delicious cup of tea. She held it and a napkin under his chin as he sipped. Once the tea was gone, he said sardonically, This isnt exactly what I had in mind. Can we just get on with it? She laughed, scooted from the bed and removed the tray. She came back with the honey pot. Yanking the blanket off his body, she exposed every inch of him and then sat beside him again. Im still hungry, she said. In the light of day, he felt vulnerable and out of control. Naturally, his body would respond. He sported an erection worthy of his best efforts thanks to his usual morning wood and his wifes subtle threats of humiliation looming over him. She lifted the wooden honey stick and drizzled the sticky mess over his cock. There. You dont mind if I have a bite, do you? The honey pot went on the nightstand beside his bed. She turned, her skirts all entwined in her legs. She sighed. Such a nuisance. Ill be with you in a moment. Clarissa disappeared into her room again, leaving him tortured and excited. The honey slowly trailed downward, leaving a path of itching, tickling, burning want. He gritted his teeth, trying for patience. Shed do what

she needed to do and that would be that. How many things could she do to him before she ran out of ideas? He heard her before he saw her. Clarissa sauntered into the room wearing the red and black bustier from the first night at Madame DuPuis, only she wasnt wearing a mask. Breasts and naked ass were all he could see and his erection surged, his skin tight and aching. He saw a mask in her hand. She leaned over him. He licked his lips. With a quick move, she had the mask over his face. Only the eye patches were closed and his world went dark. No, Clarissa. I want to see what youre doing. Clarissa. Please. Already his chest heaved. My game, she whispered next to his ear. She trailed a finger down his body, along his shoulder, his nipple, his stomach, his leg, right to the tip of his toe. He listened, his senses heightened. His need to know what she was doing made him a little desperate. He struggled, but as strong as he was, he couldnt relieve the growing pressure nor was Clarissa giving him what he wanted. The bed squeaked. Then movement between his legs. Clarissa dropped her hands to his knees and caressed upward, stopping at his groin and massaging the sensitive, soft area where his legs and hips met his body. Her warm breath caressed his cock. It bucked, bouncing against his belly. Anticipation kept him tense. He nearly begged. Mmm. This looks good. Im not sure I can eat all of this.

What do you think, Martin? Are you as big and luscious as my husband? He fought against the bindings. Clarissa! For the last year, Ive been desperate for cock and now, here you are, offering me everything my husband wouldnt. He groaned. He gritted his teeth. Her tongue scorched a path along the ridge of his organ. He arched into it. Oh, hell. Take it in your mouth. A sharp sting lashed across his outer thigh. He gasped in shock and surprise. His cock bucked and his arms tensed as he yanked in an attempt to be free. Shed whipped him! Patience, Martin. You know I dont want to get caught. And I dont think I can put such a large penis in my mouth. His back arched in anticipation. He bit at his lower lip. Without sight, all he had was his imagination and his lust to fuel the sharp desire that pounded at his nerves and caused his muscles to tremble. Warm heat settled over his cock. Her mouth! Her lips circled most of the tip. She didnt use her hands at all to lift him to her mouth. Damn, he wanted to see it all. See her breasts hanging like melons, feel them against his thighs, watch her mouth as he shoved himself to the back of her throat. Her lips and tongue sucked off the sticky honey, every lick torture for him. Her mewls and moans made her sound like a kitten.

She stopped abruptly, the bed bounced again and silence ensued. Dammit, at least finish the job. No. Im done. You should rest. We have a long day and night ahead. He heard the rattle of the tray, but all he could think about was how long shed be gone and how long she was going to leave him like this. Naked. Hard as hell with no way to relieve himself. Clarissa? Yes. I need the bedpan. She giggled. Ill be right back. He started to comprehend her humiliation as she slid the cold pan under his backside. Oh, yes, she happily touched his penis now, to point him in the right direction. The mask went a long way to soothe some of his ire. At least he didnt have to see a silly grin on her face or watch her minutest pleasure as she brought him low. When the easy part was done, she excused herself and with a cheery voice said, Ill be back in fifteen minutes. Is that long enough? He gritted his teeth to prevent his terse reply. When she returned at the allotted time, he nearly ground his teeth to powder as she washed him with water like a newborn babe and took the bedpan away like a servant. She was going to make him sorry indeed. Sorry that he hadnt confessed in detail that his slumberous cock was a figment of his own imagination. And that pride truly does come before the fall.

Will Papa go fishing with us? Harry asked, while scampering out of the way of the cleaning maid. Not today, sweet. Andrews promised to take you. And I need you to be very quiet as your father isnt feeling well, Clarissa said. Yes, Mama. She visited with each of the boys before they went off into the wild world to explore and, in Williams case, to complete his chores. Clarissa couldnt decide how far to push Michael. Already his temper soared. She saw the red burns on his wrist. Games that only involved one player werent as rewarding, but in the end shed see that he experienced all that he longed for. She just had to remain determined and focused on the goal. Underneath her thick house robe, she still wore the obscene corset that Madame DuPuis had sent to her. The woman had gone to an inordinate amount of trouble to locate her in York. Clarissa had reacted instinctively to the purported gift, ready to burn the revealing pieces, not sure when shed ever have an opportunity to wear them. And would she want to, for all the heartache and pleasure the costumes brought about? Shed tucked them away in her armoire. One never knew.

Clarissa? Im cold, came the lament from the far bedroom. Hed heard her the moment she returned to her room. Ill be right there. With his limited senses, he probably heard every sound in the house about now. She plucked a bottle of rose oil from a warming pan near the fireplace. After she collected the warm towels, she returned to Michaels bedroom. He looked in her direction, but he cocked his head in such a manner she thought he listened to her movements more than anything. At the end of the bed, she dropped her velvety, warm robe and crawled in between his legs. The stopper on the bottle twisted off easily. She poured oil into her hand. The bottle she propped between his bare legs, near his scrotum. He didnt jerk so much as react to the warmth of the bottle. She knew he tried to guess what it was. Did you miss me? He ignored her question. At his toes, she gently massaged the rose oil across his skin. They curled at her touch. She watched as his nostrils flared, taking in the scent. Her hands and fingers trailed slow, sensual touches over his foot and calf. At the back of his knee, he tensed. It was one spot where hed always been ticklish, but she moved on, unwilling to break the spell she weaved. Once she reached his groin, she reached for a still warm towel and covered his oily leg. The back of her hand brushed his burgeoning erection.

She turned her attention to his other foot, dancing with slow hypnotic swirls and deep massage. Once the second leg was covered, she skipped over his groin, straddled him with her legs high around his chest, intending to work his arms. His cock bobbed behind her, occasionally bouncing against her bottom. Clarissa, please. Take off the mask. His appeal was well-phrased and polite, but she felt the tension in his body. She leaned forward, her breasts grazing along his chest and whispered in his ear, Since you asked so nice. Then she bit his earlobe. She slipped it off. He blinked a few times and his gaze went right to the display of her breasts. A look of anger and lust covered his features. When you untie me, Im going to fuck you until you scream. The satiny whip lay near his side. She said nothing but picked the cord up and snapped backward, hitting his thigh. He gritted his teeth. His eyes shimmered with renewed emotion, but he held back whatever words churned in his head. Careful, I might have to find a gag. And maybe Ill leave you tied up longer than I had planned. She poured more oil into her palm and worked from his fingers to his shoulders. No. I didnt mean that, he said, with true repentance ringing in his voice. Of course, you didnt. Slave. Do you know that some women like to beat their slaves? I wonder how long it would

take you to ejaculate if I were beating your backside? He groaned and arched upward, seemingly willing to find out. She wrapped both hands at the base of his neck and massaged the tense muscles and spine, sliding her fingers into his hair. He panted, all the while gazing at her breasts dangling in front of him. He moaned. Whatever you want, Clarissa. Slaves dont get to call their masters by name. Clarissa lowered her mouth to his. He responded with an urgent demand to take her mouth but she pulled back. I am kissing you, not the other way around. Every muscle in his body spoke of frustration, but he had no choice, Clarissa was going to wring every bit of pride from him. He lowered his head to the pillow and she resumed the gentle massage. Again, she pressed her lips to his, placing gentle bee-like kisses against his mouth. His arms flexed against the bindings, bulging at his biceps. Is it so difficult to let me be in control? she asked. No, he whined. Shed gone nearly a year without intimate kissing. Even the trysts at Madame DuPuis involved multiple intimate activities besides kissing. She licked along the seam of his lips. She slid her finger upward along his scratchy jaw, usually shaven to perfection. Open your mouth, slave. I will, if you sit on my cock. The whip slapped his leg again. His body tensed but his cock jumped in defiance of the subtle pain. Definitely lust,

she thought. Some penitent you are. She clutched a handful of hair. Your impertinence has just added a full night to your captivity. And you are definitely not demonstrating remorse. She rolled from him and strolled to his bedroom door. She unlocked it and swung the door wide, the hinges silent and well oiled. Michael lifted his head, his brow wrinkled in wonder. His eyes burned with hot desire and smoldering anger. Clarissa wiggled her way toward her husband. Youve given me so many ideas. Do you think the footmen will hear me, if I pleasure myself? Or do you think they will hear you because youll wish you were the one doing the deed? Or will they hear you when I finally allow you to climax? Or will they hear you scream if I use the whip again? Shed whispered the words near his ear. She felt like shed shouted them. Her imagination had taken flight in the weeks since the whorehouse. Shed still not grown accustomed to the odd thoughts and tangled positions that she entertained. Clarissa found her toys and selected the large dildo that had become her favorite. The slimmer one she set on the nightstand. It was a risk, but one she was willing to take to show Michael she had every bit as much of a desire for pleasure as he did. Michaels neck twisted, gazing after her every move. He

pressed his lips together. The bindings at his arm were still flexed and taut. With a low, threatening voice, he asked, What are you going to do with that? As much as she wanted Michael to feel the thrill of being caught, she was deathly afraid of it, but she wanted to prove to him she wasnt a prude. That she was every bit as exciting as the entertainment at Madame DuPuis. What would you like me to do? Untie me and Ill show you. His erection, impossibly long and hard and always a temptation, now looked as if hed explode with need. The pink skin stretched in vein-riddled hardness. She straddled him again across his upper thighs but lowered the dildo to the bed, not ready. We have plenty of time for that, she whispered. His head fell back on the pillows, his eyes closed. She observed every reaction she caused in him. She watched as he licked his lips and he swallowed hard. His arms hadnt relaxed and still he appeared as if he would break the bedposts with the constant strain. Shed saved the last of the oil for his chest and groin. The oil, still warm and silky, slid over her palms. Instead of touching him, she hefted the weight of her breasts and started kneading as Michael watched. Oh, saints above. Clarissa, you need to do something for me now. Not yet. She put the tip of her finger on the end of his erection, right where the little notch slotted. She rubbed

softly. Yes. Thats it. More, he said, biting at his lips. What would you like me to do? Take it in your mouth. I dont care. Use your hands, but do something. She gave him a moment of pleasure as she stroked her oily palm over his length, eliciting a deep moan. Instead, she reached for the dildo. She heard the intake of breath. This is for you because I know how much you like to watch. She pushed up on her haunches, slid the dildo in her palm and then, while he gazed at her and the softness between her legs, pushed it inside the dark warmth of her body. He arched, his body reacting of its own accord as if his penis had a mind of its own and knew the only place it would be happy was sinking into her lubricated cunt. Moving with long, slow strokes, Clarissa closed her eyes and listened to the sound of her husband fighting against his bonds and losing the battle for his release. He turned his wild gaze on her. Clarissa, you have to stop. Someone could see you, he whispered. Clarissa gave him a one-sided smile and then allowed him to see what she held. The dildo glistened with pearly liquid. He cursed. She rubbed the smooth tip between her legs, eliciting a subtle groan from him. As much as I like this, Id much

rather have you. The light in his eye blazed with need. Close the door first. Untie me. Ill do whatever you want, Clarissa. For once, she had him explosive with lust. Shed no doubt that hed come the moment she slid down his cock. She used her hands to scoot forward, lowering her wet pussy over his raging erection. He groaned so loudly Clarissa glanced over her shoulder, fearing the footmen would be in any moment. If you dont do exactly as I say, I will not untie you. He nodded, waiting. You do not get to come until I tell you. Until Ive had my pleasure. If you do, then youll stay strapped to this bed until they find your bones. Clarissa loved the idea of dominating her man, but shed never seen him so wound up, tighter than the grandfather clock in the library. He wouldnt last. Even though she asked for one thing, she was determined to see him ejaculate long and hard. And with absolutely no control. She smiled as she tormented him further, leaning forward, her breasts within tantalizing, agonizing closeness, but denying him any pleasure from touching them. While he suffered over the near pleasure of sucking her breasts, she settled over the tip of his cock and then thrust backward, impaling herself on his length in one quick taking. His eyelids slammed shut and he gritted his teeth while his hips bucked underneath her. She gorged herself on

him, starting a fast rhythm that would kill him. Michaels mouth opened, gasping. Slower. I cantI cant. He gasped, surged into her with one hard thrust of his hips and Clarissa met him coming down. He sucked air between his clenched teeth as his body jerked uncontrollably underneath her. Clarissa luxuriated in the warmth of his semen spilling into her. Deep and dark satisfaction washed over her. He surged and bucked, groaning into her with each release. The throbbing, unfulfilled need between her legs diminished. She hadnt expected or hoped for anything but his capitulation and the realization he could get what he was looking for from his wife. For the first time since this morning, Michaels body relaxed into a slumberous repose. He wasnt sleeping, but she firmly believed he was incapable of movement. The cock inside her slid free. Clarissa rose from the bed and hurried across the room to shut and lock the door. When she returned to the bed, Michael stared at her through half-closed eyes. She gazed down at him for a few minutes before departing for her room. She changed from the red and black corset into one of her old, comfortable white flannel robes. As the familiar softness settled over her, unexpected tears welled in her eyes. For all that shed done for her husband, she didnt know if shed solved anything. Why had he forsaken her and his vows to begin with? The intense pleasures didnt wash

away the intense hurt and deep doubt. She pulled the velvet cord, calling for her maid. Within a few minutes shed ordered a bath to be brought up in an hour and a small, private luncheon for them in two hours. When she returned to his rooms, his sleepy gaze followed her. He looked like one of the boys as he fought to keep his eyes open but they wouldnt obey. She pressed her knee to the bed before crawling in beside him. At last, a slight smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. Id put my arms around you if I could move. She snuggled closer. Within a few minutes, he slept, the soft hiss of deep breathing soothing her, reminding her why it was so good to have a companion and lover and friend in bed beside her. Clarissa freed his hands and legs. She had more for him, but the final act would require his approval and cooperation. And the truth.

Chapter Twelve
Stiff, disheveled and nowhere near sated, Michael woke with a warm body beside him and an intense desire to go at his wife with all the vigor of an eighteen-year-old. What hed done against Clarissa might be difficult for her to forgive, but it had accomplished one goal to perfection. His cock bobbed and lurched at the mere thought of lifting her robe and probing between her legs with every weapon at his disposal. He stretched and then groaned. When he realized he was free, he gently rolled away from Clarissa and slowly sat up on the bed, waiting out the dizziness and weakness that plagued him for the moment. He rubbed at his wrists. Every muscle in his body felt illused, as if hed been put on a rack and beaten to within an inch of his life. The rich, intense orgasm that resulted was worth every trifling soreness and unbelievable stiffness. While trapped in the bindings, hed made several threats of sexual domination. At the moment, he didnt have the strength to see them through. Only his erection seemed indefatigable. Michael glanced over his shoulder at his still-sleeping wife. She and the bedcovers had fought the good fight. He couldnt determine a winner. How Clarissa had metamorphosed from the proper

countess into a wicked ladybird and back into this wife all in the span of a few short weeks was beyond comprehension. Truth be told, he was grateful. Hed been near ruining the best thing that had ever happened to him. And the love hed been about to throw away had been the love that had saved him. Clarissa had been everything he could ask for in a wifea confidant, a trusted companion, an unselfish lover, a loving and strict mother, a faithful friend. Deep love and a renewed burst of energy pumped through his veins. He stood, naked and cold, reaching toward the ceiling. When he could move with a little grace, he strode to the washstand and splashed water on his face and body, then used the towel to dry off. Clarissa moaned across the room, the arousing sound shooting through him. Since theyd risen this morning, shed been tormenting him sexually and hed known she hadnt taken any time to achieve her own pleasure. Rather than waste time shaving, he walked to the end of the bed. Shed rolled, one leg bare to her thigh where her robe rode up with incredible appeal. He crawled on the bed, tugging the covers this way and that to reveal more heavenly flesh. When he nudged one leg wide, the scent of her arousal was strong. What should he have expected after her hours of play with him? He still smelled like a rose garden while she exuded earthy desires. Over the years, her most ardent refusals of intimacy were

conquered with his mouth while his tongue searched between her legs. Once shed had a few orgasms, she was putty in his hands. Hed ask for her pardon, tell her he wouldnt be long and then hed rush headlong into orgasm after a few satisfying thrusts. In fact, that very thing sounded decidedly appropriate now. Finding her ankles, he gripped, pushing her legs high and wide. The white robe slid with sensual abandon, pooling at her stomach. He lowered his mouth to the sexual honey, ready to feast. When his mouth encased her sweet nub, he sucked and tongued her, causing Clarissa to tense. He felt the reaction in her legs as she sought both escape and ease. Ease he could provide. He lapped at the silken, pink lips, now swollen and sensitive. Clarissa hummed with each lick, her legs relaxed, spreading wider as her body craved more of what he did to her. When he swiped his tongue at the entrance of her sweet pussy, he felt her hand slip into the hair on his head, her subtle pressure requesting, begging for more. He worked her in earnest then, allowing the sound of wet lapping and gentle sucking along with his own anticipatory groans to fill the room. Clarissa rocked into him, faster and faster. At the pinnacle, she arched and stiffened, her legs squeezing his shoulders until she shuddered and convulsed in one large spasm. Her hips jerked as several smaller

quakes rocked her, until finally, she ebbed in gentle waves of the receding tide. He crawled on top of her, his cock searching with natural ease for the soft, dark warmth of her cunt. Her eyes peeked through somnolent lids and she smiled. Pardon me, Lady Dunnaway. This wont take long. Michael? Do you trust me? He watched as she reached for the dildo and the glass container of rose oil. The sweet scent permeated the air as she prepared the slender phallus. She gazed into his eyes and entwined her legs with his. She slid one hand down his bare back and clasped one of his ass cheeks. In his mind, he rebelled at the implications of what shed suggested with her singular statement, but sexual tension like hed never known reached to every nerve of his body. The organ between his legs stretched and expanded, his balls tightened. The cool slide of the glass down his ass nearly caused a climax. He held his breath. He hung his head and tried to breathe to relieve the lightheadedness coursing through his brain. No, no, no, shouted in his brain, but he couldnt say the words to stop her. Or the impending intrusion. The tip touched his asshole and he clenched reflexively. He panted in uneven, short breaths. His eyes had shut as he waited. I dont want to hurt you, she whispered. She probed gently. The muscles of his ass rejected the thick invasion,

tightening, preventing further entrance. His arms bunched and then he swore a long string of invectives in French. Clarissa tugged at his cheek, opening him further and then shoved past the flexing sphincter. He gasped. Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck. She pushed and the pressure built seemingly in proportion to the size of his cock. His hands grasped her knees, shoving them high and opening her wide. His mind whirled until there were no thoughts, only pleasure like hed never imagined. Until he shoved his cock into her and his world exploded. He thrust. He thrust in wild, deep automatic contractions in answer to the pleasure coursing through his body. He heard the sounds coming from his mouth. Deep, primal. Louder with each thrust. Clarissa clung to him, her legs wrapped around his. He tried not to think about what shed shoved inside his body, but the pleasure required his complete submission. Every withdrawal from her body precipitated an immediate and burning intrusion into his. He plunged to an all-encompassing depth and proceeded to execute a few cursory surges before his own orgasm grew too urgent to control. When she extracted the dildo at the peak of his pleasure, he nearly went insane with lust, sure he could fuck without end for the next year. His body jerked. He spilled with a final loud groan, wondering the whole time how in the hell he could have been so idiotic to give up the lush paradise between his wifes legs.

The bath was celestial and had the added benefit of being strategically located in his wifes bedroom. She volunteered to shave him, which he allowed with the appropriate grousing of a put-upon husband. He tried not to dwell on the insane pleasure shed given him or the manner in which hed received the particular gratification. He thought it would be several days before he could even mention the fact shed buggered him good. At that point, he thought he might be sufficiently prepared to ask for a second ass-fuck at her hands, only he was imagining her mouth on his cock the next time he let the dildo near him again. Would you walk to the folly with me this afternoon? he asked while watching her shed the white robe. Her breasts, still firm and shapely, tempted him enough that he swore under his breath. He felt like a newlywed, horny and puerile, ready to shag at a moments notice. It wasnt such a bad state to be in, but how long could it last? And how long before Clarissa started frowning at him? He had a years worth of catching up to do. Shed turned all shy on him again. What an enigma. All wifely propriety one moment and a naughty vixen willing to take him on a long ride to depravity the next. Id love to, but wouldnt you rather ride? No, Im a bit too stiff to ride and I think a long stroll will do

me good. Itll help work out some of the kinks. She blushed prettily. He still marveled his wife was the one willingly taking the length of his cock up her ass. Maybe it wasnt such a marvel. She was the same woman whod had him tied to the bed overnight and was prepared to inflict unforgiveable acts upon his person. Was he the luckiest man alive? Clarissa sidled next to the tub and placed her hand on his shoulder. Our luncheon will be up soon. Perhaps you ought to be out of the bath and dressed when the footman arrives? Madam, while you prance around in your linens? I shall remain naked on the off chance you wish to offer yourself to me again. She giggled. Now, woman, wash my back before I turn into a prune. After a satisfying lunch with good food and a happy wife, he steered her out of the house without too much difficulty. The boys seemed to have some secret plans down at the far side of the lake, which suited him fine. They wouldnt be in the way. He patted his waistcoat before they left, assuring himself that he had her ring in his possession.

While theyd walked, he held her hand. At the folly, Michael pulled Clarissa into his arms. She thought her life

had almost returned to normal. Michael was no longer the distant and irritable man hed been over the last year. The life and sparkle that had always danced in his eyes was back. He nearly vibrated with excitement. Youre not upset with me? she asked. She stroked one hand along his chest while she wrapped her other arm around his neck and slipped her fingers through his hair. He laughed. How could a man, immersed in one of his great sexual fantasies, be unhappy? You liked it? All of it? At the time, no, but I think thats what makes it so heady. At little danger, mixed with some anger and anxiety, he said, then kissed her. All delivered by a bewitching woman with bare breasts and the loveliest ass. And her own portable penis. He squeezed her bottom affectionately. She bit at her lip, unable to hide the last worry. How could she be sure? What if he went back to Madame DuPuis? What if he grew tired of her again? She glanced away, unable to bear the intensity of his gaze. His hand cupped her face. Clarissa? What is it? I thought we were content before. Why didnt you tell me what Id done to make you unhappy? If I would have known what you wanted, neededyou only had to ask and I would have done my best. I didnt know what I needed. I dont understand. He sat on the bench and tugged her down beside him. Clarissa, do you see the way men look at you?

She huffed. Who cares? Theyre a bunch of old toads. They are not. Ive seen young boys fresh from Oxford stare after you like youre Christmas pudding. Old toads like Ederline drool for wanting you. You are all I want. Do you remember that night Martin DeLacy kissed you? That hurt. Shed explained herself already. It was nothing. A drunk fool who thought he could paw me when you werent looking. Do you remember when we got home that night? Shed been too angry to remember anything except the sting in her palm that lasted until the next morning, and the humiliation of being accosted. No, Im sorry. I came to you. Angry. Foolish. Insane with jealousy. I was going to show you what a real man was. Remind you that you had a husband who lusted after you more than any of the idiots who slavered for your attention. But nothing happened that night. We came home and went to bed. No, I came to you that night determined to make love to you. I had you naked, my fingers in your pussy, my mouth on your breasts. No matter what I did, I couldnt perform. My lifeless cock wouldnt move. But that had happened a few times in our marriage, like the first time I was pregnant and you swore youd never touch me again for fear that pregnancy would kill me.

He laughed. Im such a fool, but no, it was different that time. He sighed. Night after night it was like that, until I got desperate. Why didnt you tell me? Im your wife. I didnt want you to feel sorry for me. I didnt want you to think less of me. I didnt want you to think about taking a lover. It plagued me night and day that I would lose you because of my inability. The one thing I wanted more than life itself seemed like it was fading from my grasp. You, Clarissa. I wanted nothing but you, only the longer I couldntI couldnt sustain an erection, the more I allowed myself to search for something that equaled the satisfaction I had with you. Do you understand? Thats why you went to the whorehouse? Yes. I started blaming you. I listened to the whispers of what could be and slowly my resolve to be faithful eroded. I was afraid I was past my prime and that you would see that you were married to an old man. One of those old men you deride. Every night it was a battle. My heart said no, but my body responded to those things. It was all I could do to keep myself from taking everything that was in my grasp. Oh, Clarissa, I wish I could explain to you what its like for a man when he fears hes not a man any more. She hung her head. Probably something like a woman feels when she thinks she has nothing to offer the man she loves. He gripped her wrist and placed her hand on his

erection. Her eyes widened in surprise. This is all for you. It always has been. When Id watch, when Id think about mindless fucking, it was always your body I used. Id see your innocence and purity and goodness and how Id use your body in every imaginable way. And always, always, youd be screaming my name, begging for everything I did to you. The climaxes were addicting. Just talking about this stirs me to a point of madness. Come. He hauled her to her feet and pulled her toward the doorway. Brace your arms. She faced outward, looking toward the tall oaks and seeing the shimmer of water through the stand of stout trunks, but she gripped the doorjambs as he instructed. Her heart took to galloping. She felt the force of his need. The sound of birds buzzed in her brain but was eclipsed by the sound of his harsh breathing behind her and the sound of him working at the fall of his trousers. His hands grabbed handfuls of her skirt and hurriedly lifted. She heard a tear and then felt her undergarments slide to her ankles. The heat and hardness of his cock nestled between her ass cheeks before she felt the blunt tip between her legs, caressing back and forth, the moisture from her body bathing and coating his arousal. These damned skirts. Id like to rip your clothes off right now. His hands clutched her ass, his fingers spread the plump cheeks wide. With his thumb, he touched the tight little hole

and then pushed firmly inside. Her bottom clenched, milking his finger. Do you feel that? If its anything like what you did to me, youre going to be weeping in a few seconds. He popped his thumb out. Hold tight, darling. You are about to make me the happiest of men. Clarissa leaned forward, firming her grip against the wood. The tip of his cock pushed at her entrance, his leg swept against hers forcing her legs wider. One of his hands circled her waist and at the first push inward, he hauled her back against him as he slid in deep and hard and full. She gasped and bent forward. Only her braced hands prevented her fall. Hold on, Ive got more to give you. Bend forward just a little, just for me. He surged again, pushing the rest of his lengthy manhood into her. One of his arms braced the column beside her hand. His breathing sounded harsh and wild. You have no idea how much I wanted this with you. How much I wanted to feel every tight inch of you around my cock. The French words tore through him again as he pulled out. And in another wetter, slicker surge, he pushed deeply into her body. Clarissa moaned as she felt every inch of pressure. He panted while he waited. I dreamt of doing this once a week and would have been happy doing so. Now I think youve given me new life. I can barely think without imaging the next time Ill be inside your body. And what youll let me to do you. Rocking into her, Michael started a rhythm that ignited a

fierce need in Clarissa. Her legs and arms shook. MichaelI cant stand. What she wanted to say was, Get to the fucking, I cant take it anymore. His hands anchored her waist and he moved a few steps backward, forcing her along, still fully impaled, the slight push-pull of their movements enough to keep her near orgasm. Michael lowered them to the stone bench. As she went down, she lodged fully on his rampant cock. Fuck, yes, he groaned. His hands searched underneath the material of her skirts until he found her legs. He coaxed her into spreading them wide so that Michaels legs were between hers. Then he spread his and forced her wider. Her legs dangled over his, causing the deep probe in her ass to feel like it touched her heart. Put your hands on my knees, Clarissa. When she did, she felt a slight easing. Michaels hands slid up her legs, only one hand slid into the wet recesses between her legs. One, then two fingers slipped into her body. Its too much, she whispered. His hips canted slightly beneath her. No, darling, you want it. You arent getting off this cock until I come and the way I feel right now, thats not going to happen for hours. She moaned and used her hands to lever herself upward, only they gave out and she impaled herself once again. Would you feel better if I gave you a climax now, or would you rather wait?

She could hear the laughter in his voice and for a moment, she thought he was paying her back for the earlier torture shed given him. Her body spasmed. Oh, I think you want it now. Clarissa thought shed gone blind with need. The trees and lake diminished into a blurry backdrop. The beat of her heart and the mounting pressure between her legs were the center of her world. His finger tweaked and twirled. Her lower back ached as the muscles reacted to the incandescent pleasure. She arched, trying to find relief. Thats it, he said. She ignored the weakness in her arms and settled into a pace that stroked and fired her need. Michaels fingers countered her movements. He was right, she did want it, and badly. She toyed with her own pleasure, building it to a near crescendo, then stopping mid-stroke to temper her orgasm. Her very fingertips were charged with energy. Goose prickles shot down the skin of her back. Michaels desires had become her own. She wanted what he wanted. Somehow, he shifted his legs, turning her slightly and sweeping his mouth down on hers, crushing her lips and devouring her. She felt and heard his moans in her mouth. One of her hands was free and she wrapped it around his neck. He was climaxing with her. Their mouths were locked together. Michael thrust into her in short jerky spasms. The thrilling, rapturous orgasm swept through her body,

overtaking her will and mind and emotions. Her cry was caught in his mouth. She squeezed her eyes shut but tears spilled over anyway. When they tore their mouths away from each other, their foreheads touched, their breathing labored and loud. Michael leaned back on the bench, pulling Clarissa with him, his cock sliding out of her ass in a pleasant push. Thats not why I brought you out here. If you give me a minute, Ill try to think what the reason was. Clarissa lay over him, limp and sated, not knowing what to say. I love you, she whispered. His hand soothed down her back. She still didnt feel the perfect freedom shed known with him in the past. This was so new to her. In a way, she still felt innocent and untried and unwilling to disappoint him. I have something for you, he finally said. She glanced up and found him smiling back at her. What? They both struggled to sit up, to regain some sense of balance, since neither of them seemed to have a grasp on the proprieties of married life. Clarissa stood and shook her skirts into place. One wavy strand of hair had come loose, so she tucked it behind her ear. Michael worked to secure his trousers. Arent you curious? Does it involve me on my back or my knees? He laughed and strode toward her. Woman, Im glad I came to my senses. I was a fool to jeopardize what I have

with you. He kissed her, his warm lips barely touching hers. His hand caressed her face. Its in my waistcoat pocket. Go on, he urged. Hesitantly, she reached for the stitched inner pocket, her fingers slipped inside and touched a cool band. What is it? See for yourself. Clarissa bit back her anticipation and plucked the gift from his pocket. She stared, bewildered for a moment by the simplistic gold band. She rotated it in the light, and then gasped. Oh, Michael. Im so sorry. I never meant to lose it. He looked smug and pleased with himself. Look, Ive added another inscription. Beside the Love, Michael, hed added Lost and Found. She glanced at him again, unsure and confused. The tears streaming down her face didnt help her composure or her understanding. Its not just about losing and finding your ring. Its about losing love. Not valuing what I had with you, but miraculously finding it again. He extracted the ring from her grip and slipped the band back on her finger. Where it belonged. My love for you was never lost, she said. No, I dont suppose so. Only a woman who had a heart full of love for a husband like me would say that. But for me, I was beyond lost and you took the time to find me, to find us again. He wrapped his arms around her waist. Her arms encircled his neck. Their lips met in a quiet, subtle kiss. A

kiss full of promise and for all that they would find together in the future. Clarissa? Yes, my love. Would you mind terribly if I tied you to the bed tonight, chrie?

About the Author

Eliza thinks romance writing is nearly as good as the real thing. Given her choice of professions, she would have preferred to be a 19th-century archeologist, but she is perfectly happy living in the 21st century and comfortably writing about such romantic but inconceivably inconvenient times, instead. She enjoys traveling, movies, everyone elses novels and a good meal out with friends on Saturday night. Her greatest flaw is that she believes there is such a thing as true love. Dont tell her otherwise, please. Eliza welcomes comments from readers. You can find her email address on her author bio page at

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