Tutoring Miss Molly [MultiFormat]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Lyn Armstrong
eBook Category: Erotica/Fetish Erotica/Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Desperate to help her sick aunt through another brutal winter on their meager farm, Molly Cambridge will do anything to survive. Even if it means becoming a courtesan at the scandalous Harmon Manor. To catch the eye of a wealthy benefactor, she must learn the art of carnal pleasure from a resentful Marquess. Yet her traitorous heart cannot resist the handsome tutor that harbors secrets that may destroy them both. With attempts on her life and time running short, love is a luxury a courtesan can ill afford. Bored with the spoiled, decadent lifestyle of the infamous sex society, Lord Devlin Harman has little time for courtesans and their cunning wiles. Blackmailed into tutoring an inexperienced courtesan, he is determined to show the farm girl the error of her ways. However, a unique beauty exists beneath the mud-stained rags, causing his jaded heart to melt and his flesh to burn for her touch. If she does not become the chosen courtesan at the mistress auction, he must marry a devious aristocrat by spring. Can he let Molly be a courtesan to gain freedom from his marriage contract? Or will he sacrifice everything for a farm girl?
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, Published: April, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2011
* * * *
1 Reader Ratings:
Kent, England 1811
"You must go!" Aunt Rose declared with stubborn pride. In a dramatic flair, she held her arm out to the side and unceremoniously dropped an old brown bag.
The satchel struck the road with a thud, and a puff of dirt billowed in front of Molly Cambridge. The glaring sun caused Molly to squint as she peered up from the garden bed. Shading her eyes with the back of her muddy hand, she studied the outline of her beautiful aunt. With a contrived scowl etched on her forehead, Rose stood rigid, like a fierce general about to fight Napoleon's army. Her thick, ebony hair swirled around slender shoulders while her white linen nightgown swayed gently in the breeze.
"What are you doing out here this cold morning? Go inside or you'll catch your death," Molly admonished, her muscles protesting when she rose from the ground to her full five feet, ten inches. She brushed aside tendrils of red hair that had fallen out of the bun she'd hastily wrapped that morning. Her nose twitched from the offending dirt she had accidentally rubbed onto her face. Without hesitation, she dusted her hands on her faded blue dress.
Her aunt groaned and stared at the dark smudge on Molly's dress.
Molly smothered a smile and shrugged. Appearances had never concerned her. Producing enough food to last through the bitter winter took precedence over what color sash she tied around her waist.
Stepping over a row of turnips, Molly bent down with a groan and picked up the light bag. Its meager contents showed how very little she owned. She entwined her arm through the crook of her aunt's and led her toward the small cottage they shared since she was a child. After the death of both her parents, Rose was the only family Molly had left. If they had another season of crops like last winter, Molly was afraid her sick aunt would not survive on turnip soup alone.
"You must go," Rose continued.
"I told you, I am not going anywhere," Molly replied, her tone just as stubborn.
Shrugging free from Molly's arm, Rose stood her ground. With hands on her hips, she glared at Molly as if she was an errant youth and not a woman of twenty-two winters. "You will go or I will throw you out!"
Molly covered her mouth to suppress her merriment. "You would sooner cut off your head than throw me out into the cold," she said. Pulling a woolen shawl from her shoulders, Molly wrapped the body-warmed fabric around her aunt's slender form.
Rose's cold bony hand grabbed Molly's dirty one as they continued toward the cottage. "You have no choice but to go."
She peered down into her aunt's large amber eyes of hope. "We have gone over this before." They entered the cozy cottage. Molly closed the door behind her, preventing the chilly wind from entering with them. "Putting aside that I have not even kissed a man, The Duke of Albany would never admit me into his manor or his exclusive sex society."
Rose collapsed onto an overstuffed green chair. She settled into the cushions while Molly stoked the dying fire and added another log.
"You are wrong, my dear. I only just received word he will have you trained as society's newest courtesan."
From the old fireplace, Molly peeked over her shoulder. "Why would His Grace do that for me?"
A whimsical smile slipped across her pale lips. "Sit down next to me."
Molly lowered to the cold wooden floor, leaning a shoulder against the chair.
Studying the back of her rough hands, Rose said, "I was once a very beautiful woman. I had the eye of every man I walked past."
"You are still a--"
"Let me continue," Rose interrupted, sadly shaking her head. "I used my looks to my advantage and became a courtesan. It was the best time of my life. Men gave me gowns, diamonds, and rubies. I stayed in the most elite hotels, taken to all the fashionable balls and London theatres." Rose stared at Molly. "I was given more money than I thought I could ever spend." She clasped Molly's hand. "But I was wrong."
"I made a grave error. One a courtesan should never make." A shadow of pain dulled her usual bright blue eyes. "I fell in love."
Rose nodded. "I knew we could never be together as man and wife, but I was foolish with my heart. He was to marry an aristocrat and I could no longer stay as his lover. It hurt too much to watch him wed another, give his heart to another. So I took what money I had and left for the country." Rose glanced around their small rundown cottage, despair brushing her pink lips. "It has not been all that bad living on the farm has it? I know sometimes we have gone without food, but..."
Rose coughed into her handkerchief, her body spasm against an endless illness.
Molly rose on her knees and hugged her aunt. "No, it has not been all that bad. You have looked after me since I was child. It is time I took care of you."
"Aw, poppy cock! I want you to have what I had. You are young and beautiful. You should not be wasting your days digging turnips." Rose raised herself and shuffled over to Molly's packed bag beside the door.
"This is your guest invitation." She pulled out an envelope. "If you leave now, you will arrive by dusk."
Molly stood. Her grimy hands were in stark contrast to the crisp white envelope. Sealed with the Harman crest in black wax, a wolf boldly glared at her, stating dominance over the world. Molly ran her fingers over the raised emblem. A warm glow flowed through her, leaving her stomach unsettled.
She stared at her aunt's expectant face. If she found a wealthy benefactor, she could support her aunt through the next winter. Rose would not have to work the farm; she could stay in bed and rest.
"A courtesan." Molly needed to hear it aloud. Could she really be one? What started out as a passing comment to her aunt last season could now be a reality. She lifted her gaze. "But who will look after you?"
"Old Jean down the way will pop in from time to time to help me with the heavy chores," Rose said, patting Molly's shoulder with reassurance. "It is time you enjoyed your youth. It will not last forever."
Molly's gaze wavered from the envelope to her aunt. Picking up a strand of her red frizzy hair, the old insecurities rattled around her head. "I...I don't kn--"
"Go! Enjoy yourself." Rose grabbed the bag and held it out to Molly. "I will be all right."
Molly stared at the worn carrier then at the main room of their neglected cottage. There was so much work needed on the small two-bedroom abode, but not enough money to fix it. Her gaze returned to Rose's pale face and red nose. She swallowed hard and wiped her sweaty palms on her dress.
"I will go," she said with more conviction than she felt.
Her aunt pulled the shawl from her shoulders and placed it around Molly. "Oh, it will be wonderful, Molly. The life of a courtesan is so magnificent." She grabbed Molly's arm. "Just promise me one thing."
"You must guard your heart. You cannot fall in love. Do you understand?"
Collecting the satchel from her aunt and a worn yellow bonnet from the hat stand, she opened the door. A gust of wind entered the small chamber and Molly turned toward its refreshing force. "I will be back before the spring crops need to be planted," Molly called over her shoulder.
"Remember, do not fall in love or all will be lost," her aunt called. An ominous chill ran down her spine, but she brushed it off.
With determination in her step, she set out along the dirt road toward Harman Manor on the outskirts of Ashford. Breathing in the fresh morning air, she gazed toward the blue sky. The sun trickled through thick green leaves. Aging oak trees lining the road gave her temporary respite from the burning rays. A lazy blue bird with a vibrant green tail peered down from a branch and chirped with zeal.
Just like the blue bird, courtesans must lead intriguing lives with nothing better to do but sit around and be admired. Gentlemen would bring jewels and gowns as they whispered sweetly into their ears, tempting them into bed for an afternoon of lovemaking.
Molly sighed dreamily.
On the side of the road, a bush of wild roses grew with abundance. She picked one to smell its sweet scent and touched the silky petal with the pad of her thumb.
"I could not even imagine a life of such decadence."
Excitement and fear of the unknown mingled within her. Would the sex society live up to its notorious reputation? What if she made a fool of herself with her inexperience? Or they judged her red hair and freckles as unattractive, and they demanded she leave? Taking a deep breath, she clenched her fists. She had to stop thinking that way. A courtesan must be confident and assured of herself.
Dropping the rose, Molly continued along the path. Wisps of hair flicked across her face while her linen dress clung to her thighs.
After walking for most of the day, her legs ached with fatigue while the soles of her feet burned within worn leather boots. Molly wiped her temples that were damp with perspiration. Heaving a sigh, she flopped down on an aged tree stump by the roadside.
How much further to Harman Manor?
Rapid hoof-beats pounded beneath her feet, the loud thundering vibrated through her body. Two black stallions raced down the road with a couple of young gentlemen in tailored suits, hooting and hollering. Close behind them, a team of pristine white horses pulled a stately black barouche with an open hood, the Harman's wolf crest marked on the side.
Raising her hand, she stood to ask the travelers how far it was to Harman Manor, but the men ignored her as if she were invisible. The carriage rumbled by at a more sedate pace. A lady regally sat inside, wisps of blond hair peeked out of a blue bonnet, diamonds glistening from her ears. The elegant beauty cocked an arrogant eyebrow and sneered at Molly.
The carriage passed, and a wall of dust kicked up into Molly's face. She choked, waving her hand in front of her. Rubbing her gritty eyes free of dirt, she picked up her bag and walked along the deserted, quiet road once more.
Fading sunlight streaked across the sky, stealing warmth the sun had generated over the day. Molly stroked the chill from one of her arms, then halted at the end of a private road.
She gasped in awe.
Beyond an arched iron gate, a dozen carved pillars lined the road leading to an enormous manor. Built in an E-shape of timber and stone, the manor's tall windows faced the well-manicured lawns.
Piercing sounds of barking drifted on the breeze. With a high-pitched whistle, three black hounds bounded across the lawn in the direction of a lake beyond the manor. They seemed intent to follow a tall man walking away, his stiff back and broad shoulders evident even from her distance. Although, it was the way he walked that piqued her interest. Self-assured and poised.
In the opposite direction, a feminine laugh caught her attention. She stared at gentry of different nations stroll the grounds with an air of superiority. Dressed as if they were from the eighteenth century, ladies were shaded by lacy parasols, wearing silk dresses wide with hoopskirts and powdered wigs, their white cheeks painted bright with thick rouge. The gentlemen wore brown and gray suits, collars stiff with starch, and white cravats tied around their necks. They gave civil nods in passing one another, yet their eyes barely met.
Molly shuffled down the graveled path, her chilled fingers clutching her bag, her feet sore and blistered from the long walk. People glimpsed sideways at her and raised their chins high in the air. Trying her best to ignore their scowls, Molly remained distracted by the sumptuous surroundings. This was the most beautiful place she had ever seen. No wonder her aunt reminisced about Harman Manor with fondness.
A scream rented the stillness of the air from a lady who lay haphazardly on a stone bench. Her tall white wig sat askew while her dark olive dress ballooned in the air along with her boned hoopskirt. The lady's face scrunched with pain while her gloved hand fluttered across her forehead. Concerned that no one was helping the lady in distress, Molly dropped her bag and ran toward her. Why are they just standing there, watching her shriek in agony? Some were fascinated by her while others walked by, a bored expression on their faces.
"Are you all right, my lady?" Molly asked, then abruptly stopped. From beneath the lady's skirt peeked two masculine legs, hosed in purple stockings and black boots.
The lady was neither injured nor sick--she writhed in the throes of passion.
She opened her hazel eyes and stared at Molly, a grin of delight tainting her ruby mouth, her lily fists clenching at her forehead. Another scream cut through the stillness of the afternoon, causing Molly to jump.
The other guests laughed at Molly's stunned expression. With a shudder of humiliation, nausea rose in her tight throat. How could she be so naive? Lowering her eyes, she backed away a tiny step at a time. She just wanted to leave as soon as possible, leave the echoes of laughter behind.
She was about to turn and flee when she collided into something, or someone.
In a well-cut suit, a handsome gentleman stood as if he prided himself on his superior looks. Towering over her already considerable height, the gentleman's sea-blue eyes softened as he studied her face. His gentle but curious smile showed even white teeth while wispy silvery-blond hair fell over his brow.
"May I be of assistance?" he asked in a courteous voice.
Smoothing down her simple dress, Molly shyly curtsied. "No, thank you."
Her face still heated from the scene behind her, she skirted around the gentleman and returned to her abandoned bag by the pathway, all the while feeling the weight of his stare upon her back.
Her hands shook when she neared the front entrance. The large, imperious white double doors stood solidly closed. Cursing herself for her lack of courage, she took a deep breath and rapped the heavy, iron doorknocker. Its thunderous sound vibrated through her chest.
The door swiftly opened in a rush of air that smelled of boiled potatoes. A thin butler blocked the entrance. Dressed in a black waistcoat with a high collar and a tightly knotted cravat, his bushy, gray eyebrows curved downward as he glowered at her. "We do not give to beggars," he announced, closing the door.
Molly put her hand on the door and smiled apologetically. "I am no beggar, Sir."
The butler inclined his head. "We are in no need of servants," he continued with censure, "and if we were, the servant's door is around the side."
"I am no servant, Sir."
"Then state your business, child, and be gone."
Under the man's scrutiny, Molly's hands shook. She crouched to retrieve the envelope with the Harman seal. Handing the guest invitation to the intimidating butler, she waited patiently for him to read the message.
His eyebrows rose with astonishment and he flicked the papers back at her. "Come this way."
Taking her bonnet off, she grabbed her bag and followed him into the large deserted foyer. Her muddy boots rang on the marble floors while she scanned the impressive portraits lining the walls. With long, condescending noses and square jaw lines, the Harman ancestors glared at her from their high viewpoint, condemning her unworthy to walk the halls of their imperial manor.
Hanging beyond the family portraits were provocative paintings in vivid oils. Molly stopped and stared at a naked woman lying on a fur rug while four men caressed her body with forked-tongues. The woman's face contorted with agony and bliss. What it would be like to be that uninhibited lady? To have all those men lap at her body with abandonment. A prickly heat skimmed along her arms, creating a delicious warm glow within. She closed her eyes and sighed.
The sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted her scandalous thoughts. Molly straightened to find annoyance etched on the butler's visage, his beady black eyes sharp. Without a sound, he pivoted on his heels.
She gave an awkward cough into her fist and lowered her gaze. Molly felt like she had been caught stealing a piece of her aunt's blackberry pie before supper.
Hastily, she followed his inflexible stride. They passed many closed chamber doors. Muffled groans behind them left little doubt to the entertainments they held. The butler led her around a double gilded staircase. Molly slanted her head to see where the marble stairs led, but denied the impulse to linger. She had a notion he would rather throw her out with the kitchen slops than to show her through the manor.
He opened a door to a yellow parlor room. Its grand furniture, upholstered in jade velvet and carved cherry wood, imparted warmth to the room. Molly could not resist touching the regal fabric to see if it felt as smooth as it looked.
He indignantly sniffed behind her. "I will announce you to His Grace. Wait here," he ordered as if she were a wayward child.
Molly nodded and watched him close the doors behind him. Her hands trembled. She was about to meet a duke, a member of the royal family. A rumble came from her stomach and she clasped both arms around her waist. Having only eaten that morning, she wished she had brought provisions for her journey. Thinking of home brought her aunt to mind. She hoped she was well. With a sigh, Molly wondered not for the first time if she was making a mistake. Who would want a courtesan that was raised on a farm with little experience and rough hands?
"I must succeed for the sake of Aunt Rose," she uttered aloud, hoping the sound of her convictions would grant her courage.
Biting her lip, she walked to the mantle and picked up a portrait of a dark-haired lady with a delicate oval face and thin mouth. Her green eyes appeared haunted, as if her soul were trapped beneath the fine white gown and sparkling jewels.
A strange blaring noise came from outside and Molly ran to a large arched window. A huge gray animal with a long snout walked across the lawn. Never had she seen such a beast or heard its strange bellow. Evidently the duke was a man of unusual tastes.
Molly's interest swept over the lush landscape, admiring the beauty of the eastern gardens. A massive labyrinth with trimmed hedges stood boldly in the middle of the estate. Two women ran out of the maze entrance, laughing and cavorting. Molly pressed her forehead against the chilled glass pane for a closer look. To her astonishment, they were completely naked, their hair unbound. The ladies' breasts bobbed uncontrollably as they ran around the edge of the maze.
Were they hiding from someone?
A naked man wearing only a top hat leaped out of the maze, his member jiggling between his thighs.
Molly put her hand to her mouth and gulped. This was the first time she had seen a real naked man, and she could not take her eyes off his erection. A light stir swirled in her stomach. Her cheeks grew warm to the touch. She swallowed the lump in her throat and pressed her palms against the cool windowpane.
"Where art thou, Goddesses?" the man called in the distance, his tone mischievous.
Drawn to the sound of giggles, he dashed around the hedge to find the women huddled together. With a squeal of laughter, they jumped when he caught them with open arms. Kissing each one in turn, he lay down on the grass. "I am your slave, Goddesses. Do with me as you please."
One of the ladies lowered herself onto his engorged shaft while the other stood over his face. With a tantalizing sway, she straddled his face and caressed her breasts.
The vapor from Molly's breath fogged the window, and she quickly swiped it with her hand. A delicious tingle gathered at her moist core while her nipples hardened to sensitive peaks. Molly lightly brushed her hand across her breasts and took a sharp intake of air. She could not look away. The scene outside held her captivated, tantalizing her. Her body reacted with a desperate need to be touched. Absently, she slid her hand lower on the outside of her dress and pressed against her inner thighs. A cascade of sweet pleasure erupted from beneath her fingers. The tightening ache within became unbearable as she secretly spied upon the trio of lovers below.