The Red Velvet Horse [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Iona Blair
eBook Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica
eBook Description: Sextremely explicit and as naughty as can be! The discovery of an erotic manuscript, written by a nineteenth century English woman, catapults a very modern heroine into a maelstrom of sexual experimentation and forbidden love. April Ingram is the proprietor of Village Antiques, which she runs with her business partner and lover Holt Schiller. One day she finds an old manuscript hidden in a secret compartment of an antique cabinet. It is the erotic story of Hannah Wilks, a young English woman who lived more than a century before. Hannah has been recently widowed. Almost destitute she ends up working in a dockside brothel to support herself. It is here that she is introduced to the joys and perversions of the Red Velvet Horse. April is entranced by Hannah's story and becomes increasingly drawn into her world. She is fascinated by her sexual exploits and feels compelled to act them out with explosive results. This title was previously published and has been edited and revised. [Erotic Historical Multiple Partner Romance: Contains graphic sexual content and adult language.]
eBook Publisher: Siren-BookStrand, Inc./BookStrand Erotic, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2009
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1 Reader Ratings:
It was a strange contraption that reminded her of the type of thing that acrobats use, yet more luxurious by far than a vaulting horse, with its thick padding of red velvet. She had been told that it was used for birchings, and for couplings, with the gentleman mounting the lady, like a stallion a mare.
* * * *
"You know this could be Regency," April Ingram said. But the old rosewood cabinet was so caked with dirt and mold it was impossible to tell. "Once it's cleaned up a bit, I'll have a better idea."
April had inherited Village Antiques from a Great Aunt. Pleasantly cluttered with treasures from the past, it sat between a jewelry store and snack bar in a trendy waterfront shopping market called Hermitage Quay. She ran it with her business partner and lover Holt Schiller.
The chiffonier turned out to be a later reproduction and therefore, not as valuable, but it contained an interesting secret compartment which lay behind its main drawer. A find, which mitigated the disappointment of discovering it, was a fake.
Secret hiding places were quite commonplace in old cabinets such as secretaries and chiffoniers, also in desks like davenports and bonheurs du jours.
"I think there's something hidden in there, too." April reached her arm in as far as it would go. She strained to reach a pile of moldy old papers that were crumbling and yellowed with age. They had the appearance of being stuffed into the cramped hiding place with some degree of haste and urgency by someone in the dim and distant past.
"They're going to be difficult to read." She placed the tattered pages on her refinishing table, separating them with care. The hypnotic ticking of several longcase clocks measured out the passage of time.
"I think we're getting somewhere at last," Holt said, as he assisted in the delicate operation. "But some of these documents will have to be humidified first or they'll tear."
Their mutual concentration was mirrored in the giltwood mirror on the far wall, the tall fair-haired man and the willowy blonde, she, clad as always, in elegant black.
"But don't let the coolness of her looks fool you." Holt had once confided to a close friend. "Behind that ice-goddess image is one red-hot mamma."
"Let's take a break," he suggested. He ran his fingers over her breasts. "There's an oak four-poster that just came in today, shall we try it out?"
"Good idea." April smiled. She pulled down the window blinds and stretched as erotically as a horny cat.
She could feel the old familiar twitchings begin deep in her nether regions, her cunt muscles flexed in anticipation for the pleasure to come. Holt caressed her from head to toe, as if discovering all her treasures for the first time.
He undressed her with maddening slowness, peeling off the sleek black shift and kissing her breasts through the brassiere before unclasping it.
April felt dizzy with desire. She kicked off her shoes and lay down on the bed, her face flushed with longing. She watched as Holt removed his own clothes before joining her, admiring as always his muscular physique and hairy chest.
She moaned and grasped him to her, moving her feet and legs to accommodate him as he tugged off the black fishnet stockings and garter-belt, leaving her clad only in a pair of thong panties.
"You taste good enough to eat," he whispered into her hair, his hands traveling over her body appreciatively. Caressing, fondling, and then following the same route with his tongue.
April responded by arching her back and flexing her toes, crying out in ecstasy as he tugged down the thong, and fingered her rigid clit. She was oozing wetness from a cunt throbbing in delight, her nipples hard and unyielding.
"Fuck me," she whispered, snaking her legs around him and rotating her hips in an urgent rhythmic tempo.
"All in good time." Holt grasped her by the ankles. Then he raised her legs high above her head and probed at her swollen cunt with his fingertips and tongue.
"You devil..." April gasped. "I'll get even with you for this." After she had climaxed, with his fingers stroking the inside walls of her cunt and his tongue circling her clit, she smeared her secretions over his face and mouth, but would not allow him to enter her.
"Come on April..." he pleaded, his face contorted with lust.
Someone started to rattle at the shop door and voices were raised in irritation. "They should be still open at this time, it's not even four o'clock."
April smothered a giggle and knelt on the old four-poster, which had a hard lumpy mattress. "Okay, what are you waiting for?" She wiggled her upraised bottom in lascivious invitation.
"You're a scarlet woman. You know that don't you?" Holt panted. He slipped his cock inside her and cupped her breasts and tummy with his hands. April could feel his balls banging against her ass as he gave her a hard no-nonsense fucking.
"Remind me to give you a spanking for cockteasing when we have more time." He delivered a couple of light spanks to her bottom and the backs of her thighs as a preview.
The vigorous fucking was making April wild with longing. Holt moved his hand over her clit and strummed at it with his fingertips. It was too much for her, and she could feel herself soaring ... soaring above the clouds and then flying high towards the blazing blue heavens beyond.
* * * *
The old documents found in the chiffonier had humidified enough to risk trying to separate them. As April cautiously undertook this delicate task, she became increasingly fascinated by what they revealed.
For it was a journal of sorts, written by a woman named Hannah Wilks who had lived more than a century before. A sort of haphazard account of her life and times that she seemed to jot down on impulse, rather than in any chronological order.
"It looks as if she never really meant to keep a diary at all." Holt leafed through the yellowing pages with careful fingers. "That's why she just recorded her thoughts on single sheets of paper, rather than in a journal."
April nodded and then hastily put aside the tattered pages as a customer entered the store. She would take them home with her and arrange them as best she could.
Hermitage Quay was also a bus loop, and on days when Holt needed the company van for pick-ups or deliveries, April would go home on the 244 Upper Ferndale. It was about a fifteen-minute ride up a steep hill, to the small house she shared with a tortoiseshell cat named Spice.
It was a good night to be indoors. A gloomy November evening punctuated by the bleating of foghorns. April threw another log on the fire and curled up in her favorite armchair. The old documents recovered from the chiffonier on the table at her side.
"As the winter draws in I fear for my survival," wrote Hannah Wilks on another bleak November night of more than a century ago. A recent immigrant from England, she had been left virtually penniless in a rundown Vancouver boarding house when her husband had suddenly died of pneumonia. "No one will hire me in domestic service because I don't look sturdy enough for the rigors of such a life", she lamented unhappily, on an uneven scrap of paper that looked as if it had been torn from a ledger.
Her landlady, Raisa Tarasov, was a hard drinking Russian émigré with a foul-mouth and quick temper.
"I am not running a charity for beggars," she would remind the unfortunate Hannah who had not paid her rent, in a guttural accent that made even the simplest word sound like a threat.
"My friend Sophie Pitiuk runs a brothel on Water Street," Raisa suddenly declared one morning, as I hurried past her in the dark hallway. I had a shawl drawn close around me for warmth against the cloying chill. When I gasped in scandalized effrontery, she swept aside my objections with a course retort. "Sophie has many clients who ask especially for innocent young women." She then had the unmitigated boldness to reach out and grasp my breast.
"I'd rather starve than submit to such an outrage." I moved swiftly out of reach of her probing hand.
"Well then that's exactly what you're gonna do," she retorted angrily. She started to toss my few pathetic belongings out into the mud and squalor of Dunlevy Street.
A dense and heavy rain pummeled down on me all night as I huddled behind a rough-hewn outhouse for shelter. By morning, I was shivering, starving, and was more than ready to swallow whatever pride I had remaining.
"We'll soon get you warmed up and fed, while I send a message over to Sophie." Raisa wore a confident "I told you so" smile. "You're quite a comely little thing with your big green eyes, and I'm sure she'll be pleased with you."
I bathed in a chipped enamel tub drawn up in front of a coal fire, soaping my pale skin with a nervous hand, and rinsing my long chestnut hair in a small quantity of ale to make it shine.
The thought of what I would have to do at Sophie's house of prostitution made me feel sick and queasy inside. Nevertheless, I had no choice in the matter.
"The gentleman's already upstairs and waiting for you," Sophie said, as soon as I presented myself at her door. So alike was she with the indomitable Raisa that I suspected they might be in some way related, perhaps sisters?
"Pinch a little color into your cheeks," she instructed. While I complied, she circled around examining me with a critical eye and clicking tongue.
"If there were time, I'd try and find you a more suitable gown." She looked with disapproval at my slightly threadbare skirt and blouse.
"This is my first time," I confided nervously. I wrung my hands together and bit down on my lower lip.
"Well that's a bit difficult to believe, dearie," she joked, but not unkindly, with a lewd wink.
"I mean with a stranger ... for money," I stammered.
"It's no different, m' dear," she assured me. "Just be sweet and do everything he wants."
The bedchamber was dominated by a brass bed and lit by a single oil lamp. "Come over here, I won't bite," a rasping voice greeted me from an armchair in the far corner, where a curlicue of cigar smoke drifted upwards towards the high ceiling.
He was a shriveled up little monkey of a man, this first client of mine, with glittering black eyes and an incongruously bushy moustache.
I did as I was bid, turning this way and that while he examined me like a prize heifer at a county fair.
"My but you're a bonzer little lass," he announced appreciatively with just a hint of an Australian accent. He immediately began to fondle my breasts and belly while wheezing through flailing nostrils.
"Now take off your bodice," he ordered with a great lasciviousness of manner. When I obeyed, he licked and sucked at my breasts until much to my horror, I felt a dull ache of desire kindle deep within my groin.
Next, he instructed me to remove my skirt and petticoats, leaving me standing before him in just my drawers, boots, and knee-high stockings.
"Come here lass and let me feel your sweet little quim." He slipped his gnarled fingers into the leg of my voluminous underwear and massaged my cunny until my breathing grew labored with desire.
Then after much fondling of my belly, breasts, and bottom he bent me over the bed and entered me with his long wiry cock in one well-aimed thrust.
"Ow," I gasped despite myself as shuddering waves of muscle-tensing excitement coursed through me.
Of all the possible outcomes of this forced visit to a brothel, I could never have foreseen this one. As quivering, moaning, and quite feverish with excitement I gyrated my eager hips around with utter abandon.
"Gawd, but that was a bonzer piece of ass," he groaned, after we had both spent with noisy ebullience. And was soon positioning me for another romp that would last even longer and be more explosive at its finale.
So it was that I became a prostitute who actually enjoyed the jiggering and poking I was subjected to each night at Sophie's dockside brothel. While feeling unspeakable shame that I had sunk so low.
* * * *
"Hannah Wilks starts off as this quiet little widow," April explained to Holt, while they worked on the window display for Christmas. "And ends up not only working in a brothel, but actually enjoying it."
She swirled a strand of tinsel around a potted silver fir tree, and stacked a pile of presents in a Currier & Ives style sleigh.
A bleak drizzle was trying hard to snow, and from the naked branches of a beech tree a lone cardinal whistled out his song.
With eyes full of mischief, she suddenly tickled Holt under the armpits and grabbed his crotch without warning, before escaping to the storeroom, willing him to follow.
"I'm going to get you for that April," he obliged in a mock-angry tone, and she could hear him locking the door and drawing the blinds before joining her on the camp bed.
"I mean it. I'm going to spank your butt." His voice was thick with lascivious intent. And, as April struggled and giggled until she was helpless, he pulled her across his lap, raised her skirt, and gave her a long sensuous spanking on top of her flimsy tap panties.
She was a tall woman, so was able to position herself comfortably for the spanking with her hands and toes on the floor. Holt steadied her with a hand tucked around her hip and swatted away first at one cheek, then the other.
He caressed her ass between spanks and patted the backs of her thighs. April moaned and felt her cunt engorge with passion. She wouldn't be able to hold out much longer, and would soon reach a blistering orgasm without any sort of genital stimulation. Such was the extent of her excitement when getting her bottom spanked.
She knew Holt sensed this, and eased up on the spanking to try and prolong her pleasure. She groaned and tossed her head from side to side like an unruly mare, and clenched her buttocks furiously.
He rubbed her upper back to calm her and held her legs.
"It's no use ... I can't last..." she gasped, and he immediately tugged down her panties, leaving them straddled just below her ass. Then he caressed both cheeks before spanking her to orgasm. She thrilled as the powerful contractions ripped through her body and convulsed beneath his hand.
* * * *
Pleasantly exhausted after her amorous adventure, April relaxed on the bus ride home. As they climbed the hill, she could see the massive stone face of Grouse Mountain looming to the north. The lights of its ski run looked like a stairway to heaven. And that's exactly what she had thought it was, as a child.
At home, Spice wound himself around her legs and purred like a burr saw. She picked him up. "I know you're happy to see me fella. Now what are we going to have for supper?"
After they had eaten, she returned to Hannah Wilks' unusual story. It was too bad the young woman had been forced into prostitution. For once that happened, it was difficult to break away from the relatively "easy" money this sordid profession offered.
The fact that Hannah had become terrifically aroused while servicing her clients would make it even harder for her to escape its lucrative yet degrading clutches.
However, as the story unfolded, and April moved the reading lamp closer, screwing up her eyes to better see the faded handwriting, Hannah would prove her wrong.
With the earnings from Sophie's, I am able to retain my lodgings at Raisa's, buy new clothes, and still put a few coins aside. So that these ill-gotten wages will soon buy my way out of this shame that dogs me every waking minute.
This heartfelt revelation was followed by a gap of several months. During which time Hannah had, true to her word, moved to a respectable boarding house overlooking the beach in English Bay.
It is an idyllic spring in British Columbia, and everywhere I look, there are bright yellow broom flowers, trees swollen with cherry blossoms, and scented magnolias.
My new lodgings are run by a Mrs. Muirhead, who although a staunch Presbyterian, is nevertheless of a fairly cheerful disposition.
But alas, this most agreeable existence cannot last as my small financial resource is rapidly dwindling. And it is, therefore, with the utmost reluctance that I must seek employment.
I manage to secure the position of seamstress at a small tailoring establishment on Granville Street. The hours are long, but not as lengthy as if I was a maid.
The shop caters to a select group of privileged Vancouverites and is owned by a Mr. William Rudge, a craggy-faced gentleman, who has a perpetual drip hanging from the tip of his long beaked nose.
And so, life settles into a predictable pattern of work, home, and church with very little time left over for recreation. Although when the weather is fine, I pack a picnic basket and go to the seashore, which after all, is only a few yards away.
At present, I travel to work by tramcar, but plan to buy a bicycle once my financial situation permits the expenditure. For this is such a popular mode of transport in the city that six-foot-wide cycle-paths run between the gutters and wooden sidewalks on many of the busier streets.
Spice had jumped up on April's lap while she was reading and competed with the papers for attention. "I love you best," she assured him. She had now reached a point in the document so scarred with age, it was virtually unreadable. "Time to call it a night," she said.
But then her interest was captured by the next entry:
Midsummer's Day 1898--I continue to form a strong attraction to the conductor on the Robson Street tramcar. Feeling at once disappointed if he is not on the tram, and relieved as well. He is tall and dark-haired, no more than three and twenty with the most compelling green eyes. It is not only his good looks, which entrance me, but his extreme pleasantness of manner as well.
* * * *
"I want to get a better sense of the world Hannah knew." April glanced around the Green Man Bistro, packed with the lunchtime crowd. "The type of house she lived in, the clothes she wore, and how Vancouver looked then."
"The City Archives would be the best place to start," Holt advised. "The shop won't be busy this afternoon, it's only Monday. Why don't you go over there now?"
Old maps of Vancouver lined the walls, and April scrutinized them for a while before moving onto sepia-tinted photographs of city streets whose only resemblance to the present were their names.
Men looking very formal in suits, ties and trilbies, walked beside long-skirted women wearing high-necked blouses, opulent hats, and carrying parasols.
So this is how Hannah would have been dressed, April mused. She thumbed her way through a stack of prints until she reached one of a tramcar at the intersection of Georgia and Granville Streets. There was a conductor standing on the running board on the open-sided car to collect fares. He looked very smart in a navy-blue uniform and peaked cap.
* * * *
His name is Tom. I heard the driver call him that as we rounded the corner of Robson and Burrard Streets, almost knocking over a careless cyclist who veered right onto the tracks.
And oh, how I hugged this new knowledge to my fluttering breast with the utmost satisfaction, as images of those sparkling green eyes and thick dark hair cavorted across my mind's eye.
Tom ... Tom ... my own darling Tom...
Then I ruminated on how a name at once so ordinary, could suddenly be transformed into pure magic.
A lapse of several months followed this blissful observation. April wondered if the relevant pages had been lost, or if Hannah had simply not put pen to paper again until the following July.
We are suffering through the most blistering of heat waves. Temperatures soar well into the nineties, and the seaside is crammed so thick with bathers that one can scarcely see a grain of sand.
April handled the fragile pages gingerly, careful not to disturb Spice who was purring happily on her lap.
Life for Hannah appeared to be running smoothly. She still lived at the same lodgings run by Mrs. Muirhead. And she mentioned her employment in the tailor's shop briefly, alluding to it as being long and tedious but not too over taxing.
No wonder she looked forward to the ride home from work on a tramcar with a handsome conductor, April decided.
But what had happened to her budding attraction with the charming Tom, she wondered? And then after several pages of script that detailed Hannah's dreary existence in a weary, yet accepting way, she found the answer. It seemed that Tom had been moved to another route, leaving her "Quite bereft with sadness and a profound disappointment."
So perhaps that was why she had stopped writing for so long? Too depressed to continue with the telling of her sorry saga that consisted of only work and sleep. Except that is, for a church service on Sunday mornings.
And it was there, in the small Methodist Chapel on Bidwell Street, that she had met Ned Beasley, a dapper little widower with bright eyes and a ready smile.
Mr. Beasley is most friendly and chats with me every Sunday on the sidewalk in front of the church, Hannah reported with some enthusiasm. He has invited me for dinner next Friday. A few months later, Ned proposed.
I am torn two ways. On the one hand, I don't know how much longer I can work in the tailor's shop. My eyes grow painful and my back and fingers near to breaking. And all for a mere pittance that hardly holds me together. Yet marriage to Mr. Beasley I do not relish. For while he is a pleasant enough gentleman, and certainly secure financially being a wine merchant and successful at that trade, I feel no attraction towards him, either physically or mentally.
So Hannah would have to choose, April brooded, between working twelve hours a day, six days a week in a tailor's shop, or a loveless marriage of convenience to the uninspiring Ned.
She wavered from one polarity to the other. First deciding that marriage was the sensible course of action for herself, then just as quickly veering away from this carnal sanctuary and determining to remain in the tailor's shop, or perhaps seeking more suitable employment elsewhere.
But then fate stepped in and gave her a shove.
Mr. William Rudge, my employer, has recently taken his nephew into the business, a spindly unpleasant youth with stringy hair and a leering expression. First of all his attentions were restricted to bold stares and some fumblings at his trousers, but now have progressed to crude remarks and rubbing against me whenever the opportunity arises.
"Let me see your cunt, darlin," he whispered lewdly. Trapping me in the storeroom where he grabbed at my skirt and tore a petticoat.
I managed to extricate myself before the encounter could go any farther. But, this foul person is doubtless intent on having his way with me by force, if I do not yield to his most unwelcome advances willingly ... which I would never do.
I cannot complain to Mr. Rudge, for he is unlikely to take my word over his nephew's. And would most likely dismiss me for mischief making, without a reference, into the bargain.
There is nothing for it but to accept the proposal of marriage from Ned Beasley, and I will give him my answer after Sunday morning service.
"You won't regret it, Hannah, I can promise you that," he told me with great delight and swung me high in the air in celebration.
Yet, as the arrangements for our upcoming wedding progress, I cannot help but feel a certain uneasiness in his presence. He is such a restless man with his sudden quick jerky movements and overly bright eyes.
Now into this already volatile mix, kismet was about to toss another salvo. For just as Hannah was preparing to leave the tailor's shop and wed Ned Beasley, she boards a tramcar and there is Tom.
You cannot imagine my great joy as I once again feasted my eyes on his beautiful countenance. "I've missed you," I exclaimed quite forgetting all decorum, and he too appeared quite beside himself with pleasure at this most unexpected and quite thrilling re-acquaintanceship.
The tram's bell clanged and passengers jostled against us impatiently as they boarded, but our eyes were riveted on each other and our surroundings of no consequence.
"Can you meet me at the Rose Tea-room tomorrow at eight?" he asked me at last. I nodded my assent with the greatest of pleasure.
The possibility of my husband-to-be, Mr. Beasley, suddenly deciding to visit on the same evening, was one that I dared not even contemplate. For more and more I was feeling like a trapped bird being lowered in a cage down a mineshaft.
Poor Hannah, April thought, taking a long sip at her cooling coffee. She's been working like a slave for years, and cannot even take a couple of hours off to have tea with a man she adores, without being thrown into a quagmire of worry and stress.
If these were the good old days, then thank heavens for the new "bad" ones.
The gas lights in the wall brackets flare, sending a ghostly glow around the tea room where I sat opposite Tom. Scarcely able to take my eyes from his face, or believe that this was not but a wild dream.
No words were necessary as I sipped absentmindedly at my tea and let the full magic of the moment wash over me like a friendly wave.
"Same time next week?" There was a caress in his voice as I boarded a tram at the corner.
I nodded, my breasts tingling as if overfull with milk. When he kissed me lightly on the cheek, a thrill shot through my slippery cunny like a bolt of lightning hitting a rod.
But this moment of ultimate bliss was not to last. For as I hurried up the pathway to my lodgings, glancing nervously at my fob watch as I did so--for I had stayed longer with Tom than I should have done--I noticed that the entire lower floor of Mrs. Muirhead's boarding house was ablaze with light. And that Ned Beasley's horse and buggy were standing near the entrance to the stables.
"Where on earth have you been girl, we've been worried sick about you," my landlady exclaimed. The Scottish burr was more prominent than usual in her disapproving tone.
"I'm sorry, I was kept later than expected," I stammered awkwardly, hating having to resort to lies and subterfuge.
I made to escape to my room, but before I had a chance to move Ned Beasley appeared in the doorway with a face as dark as thunder.
It seemed that he had gone to my place of employment, in order to escort me safely home. Of course, it had all been locked up.
"You must have just missed me," I lied, avoiding his accusing eyes. My face felt unnaturally tight and flushed.
Although that seemed to placate him somewhat, there remained a certain tension and suspicion for many days following this incident; making it impossible for me to risk seeing Tom again. This sorry state of affairs fairly cut me to the quick.
* * * *
The distinctive call of a chickadee--fee-beee, fee-beee--carried plaintively through the open window.
April took a long sip from a glass of lime juice, and settled herself down on the couch. The tattered pages of Hannah's manuscript lay close at hand.
The wedding plans are going full steam ahead, with the reception to be held in Mrs. Muirhead's parlor. I have chosen a green suit for the ceremony with a matching hat. But my heart lies heavy in my chest.
I have deliberately avoided seeing Tom again, for I fear one more glance at his beloved face and I would be lost, and quite unable to marry Ned Beasley. This marriage, although a loveless one--at least on my part--offers a greater security for my future.