Authors: Portia Da Costa
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Erotica, #Contemporary
The Ladies’ Sewing Circle
“I’d love to be abducted and ravished by some handsome brigand or pirate…”
When the women of the Ladies’ Sewing Circle share their private fantasies, some are shocked by Mrs. Prudence Enderby’s secret desire. But Prudence cannot image life without such exotic daydreams—especially since they arouse her husband, too!
Yet Prudence never imagined she would actually be whisked off the street by a mysterious masked man who has his wicked way with her in a carriage. Taking her back to a boudoir appointed for pleasure, he continues to bring every one of her fantasies to life. But nothing could be more surprising than when Prudence finally learns who is behind this gentlewoman’s ravishment…
“Personally, I’d love to be abducted and ravished by some handsome brigand or pirate…swept away into a story from the
One Thousand Nights and One Night
, and subjected to desperate passion in a seraglio or the lair of some ruthless, brawny rogue!”
“Goodness me, Mrs. Enderby! Where in heaven’s name do you get such ideas? Why ever would you want something like that to happen to you?”
“I don’t know that I do want it to actually happen, Mrs. Brigstock,” I reply, wickedness stirring in me as I stab another ill-formed, meandering stitch into what passes for my embroidery. “But imagining it excites me… That and the idea of being debauched and pleasured by more than one man at once, with perhaps a whole crew of them looking on.”
Mrs. Mary Brigstock’s eyes bulge wide and her prim mouth drops open as if I’ve suddenly grown two heads. Does our hostess not have any imagination? Any secret dreams and desires? Does she not have any exotic fantasies herself?
For my own part, I can’t imagine
“Well, I think your daydreams sound perfectly delicious, Prudence, my dear,” counters Madame Chamfleur, a sly smile playing around her lips. She waggles her neat, dark eyebrows at me, as if she wants to expatiate on the topic, but is holding back in respect of Mrs. Brigstock’s delicate sensibilities. Which seems odd, because Sofia Chamfleur was the one who started this game of “let’s reveal our most scandalous fantasies” in the first place.
“Doesn’t anybody else have any lewd and outrageous daydreams?” I demand of the Ladies’ Sewing Circle. “I can’t believe that Sofia and I are the only ones.”
A ripple of smiles and titters circumnavigates the room. One or two very smug and secretive looks pass across certain faces, which seems to suggest that those ladies don’t actually
fantasies. Other circle members focus earnestly on their needlework, as if they have them too, but perhaps deemed them too outrageous to utter.
“Well, I’ve always had a fancy to be thrown on my back and serviced by a couple of my grooms in the hayloft…perhaps even three or four of them,” announces Lady Arabella Southern, before pausing for effect and stabbing her needle into her own sampler. I can see from here that her stitches are even more haphazard than my poor efforts, although at least she hasn’t pricked her finger and splattered blood over the cloth, as I have. “Oh, no, wait, I think I really did do that, didn’t I?” Her patrician eyes sparkle as the room erupts with a fusillade of gasps and snorts and giggles.
I fall silent though, not at all scandalized by Arabella’s claims. In fact, she’s set me thinking, thinking, thinking…
Perhaps I should fabricate my own little story about grooms—multiple—and haylofts? Something especially piquant like that would amuse Mr. Enderby no end. He’s extremely fond of my outrageous little fictions, and frequently asks me to impart them to him late at night, when the candle burns low, and we’re in bed. The more outlandish and daring the exploits I manufacture, the better he likes it. And the better he likes it, the more ardent he becomes afterward.
And I adore it when Mr. Enderby becomes ardent.
Over tea and cakes after our sewing labors, Arabella regales us with more tales of her supposedly scandalous private life with her grooms, her footmen and certain enthusiastic friends of her husband. I’m not sure any of us believe everything she tells us, but I think most of us, apart from Mary Brigstock, enjoy the confabulation. Especially Sofia, who smiles at me slyly, again and again, as if she knows something that I do not. Something deliciously indecent.
I smile back. I like Sofia. I like her very much. Even though I sense she’s a bottomless well of guile and secrets. And she’s definitely the lady amongst us who least needs to make up stories about her love life. Her husband, Monsieur Chamfleur, is tall and well set up, jolly but sophisticated. Exactly the sort of man who doesn’t need any lessons in the art of pleasing a woman. He looks as if he’s a veritable encyclopedia of sensuality and daring. Much like my own Mr. Enderby, who also knows his stuff.
Eventually, our little sewing circle breaks up, and Mrs. Brigstock’s maid brings us our hats and cloaks and walking jackets. Several ladies have carriages to collect them, and one or two elect to share cabs. The Honorable Lucy Dawson even has her bicycle. But I decide to take a constitutional for my health. My home is but twenty minutes’ walk away, along pleasant, suburban streets, and I could do with the spring breeze upon my cheeks to cool the heat from my lewd, excited thoughts.
“Will you be all right on your own, Prudence, my dear?” inquires Sofia Chamfleur as we’re about to part on the pavement. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to take you home in my carriage? It’s barely out of our way.”
“No…no, thank you, Sofia. It’s very kind of you, but I really need the exercise. Mary’s cook doesn’t have the lightest hand with pastry, but I’m afraid that didn’t stop me overindulging.”
“Very well, then, my dear. But take care, won’t you?” She kisses my cheek in a waft of perfume, then takes her leave.
I begin my walk home. Deep in thought, I barely see the folk passing me by. Nursemaids with perambulators. Delivery boys. Other gentlewomen also out taking the air in the name of the modern fad for health.
All is normal, yet I’m back in the lair of my handsome, ruthless rogue, thrilling to his kisses and the way he touches and strokes me intimately. As I walk, I feel my body rouse, fired by notions of being watched and pleasured and coaxed to the limits of sensation by his wicked, seductive men who dally with me in ones and twos and more. It’s as if every step takes me closer to my brigand and his caresses and his secret lair. Every yard makes my fantasies more real.
Gasping, but not from shortness of breath, I take a shortcut down a quiet side street, barely more than an alley. The back of my neck prickles as I realize I’m the only person passing along this thoroughfare, and suddenly behind me I hear heavy, thudding footsteps. I quicken my pace, almost running to the busier road ahead, but it’s too late. I’m overtaken and I’m grabbed!
It all happens so fast. One man holds me tight, easily quelling my struggles, and the other whips a blindfold across my eyes, knocking off my hat. I jerk and kick and, with the first shock fading, I open my mouth to yell blue murder and scream for help. But before I can utter so much as a peep, a big hand covers my mouth, and my cries are muffled. I huff and puff and wriggle and struggle, but it’s hopeless. One or another of my assailants ties my hands together with a cord, behind my back. Then, between them, they manhandle me a little way along the street, and I catch the sound of a carriage approaching. When it slows and stops beside us, they bundle me into it like a sack of stolen washing.
I land on the seat, the air knocked out of me, and in the darkness, I hear the carriage door slam, the click of the lock and the flutter of blinds being drawn.
My situation finally dawns on me.
I wanted to be abducted, didn’t I? Well, now it’s happened.
Be careful what you wish for
rings in my head.
I open my mouth again to scream and cry for help, but once again, I’m frustrated. A large, firm, very forbidding forefinger settles against my lips, effectively paralyzing them to silence, and I feel a powerful presence beside me, almost vibrating. I might as well be gagged, the finger so commands me, and where it touches me my lips tingle with a strange, electrical heat. Which makes me shudder from the crown of my head down to my toes.
When the finger retreats, I still can’t speak. I can barely think.
The rumbling, rocking carriage is filled with a luscious and spicy scent. It’s pungent and exotic, but still speaks explicitly of a man. The beauty of the fragrance only intensifies my trembling, and instead of cowering in a corner, I can’t help but gravitate toward the source of the scent. My unseen and also as yet unspeaking captor.
A mouth settles on mine. A man’s mouth, with lips that are soft, almost velvety and yet muscular. Immediately he compels me to part my own lips and admit his tongue into the moist heat of my mouth. His tongue subdues mine, taking possession of me without effort and with no expectation of resistance. I’m rendered helpless but the sensation melts my belly.
My kissing captor tastes as sweet as he smells, and if I were a weaker woman I’d swoon from the pleasure of it. But I’m strong. I don’t want to faint away and miss a second of this. Even though I’m in deadly danger, my senses are firing, my spirits lifting. So I enjoy him and his kiss becomes a laugh as my tongue seeks his.
Am I too bold? Am I inciting my doom? Probably. But somehow I crave it. This is my fantasy, the one I described, brought to reality as if to order.
The trundling motion of the speeding carriage is unbearably stimulating. Every nerve in my body is sensitized, and as we bump over cobbles, every knock and lurch excites the secret hidden parts of me that yearn for contact. Still kissing me, my abductor slides his hand under my short walking cloak and cups my breast quickly and roughly. Through my gown and my chemise, he flicks my nipple, coaxing it out from beneath the top edge of my corset. As he plays with it and rolls it between finger and thumb, my hips roll too.
“So wanton,” he whispers against my mouth, his voice rasping and barely audible. He plucks at my nipple and I bounce on the seat as if my sex wants to press against him of its own accord. Still kissing me, he wrenches open the top of my gown, sending buttons pinging around the interior of the carriage, then reaches in with a bold, ungloved hand to touch my skin.
His fingers are hot against my bare nipples, stroking and circling impudently, first one then the other. Tossing my head, I see his swarthy skin contrasted against the whiteness of my breast, and I make noises that no respectable gentlewoman should make outside the confines of her marriage bed. Noises that some probably
make in it.
“You like that,” he growls. It’s an accusation, not a question, and I purse my lips wanting to shout,
Yes, yes, yes!
Bending over me, and divesting me of my cloak entirely, he presses his mouth against my breast, sucking a nipple between his lips and lapping at it with his tongue in a fast flickering action. I make those noises all over again, louder this time. As I gasp and moan, I wonder dreamily if he thinks this bold tactic of his will distract me.
Divert my attentions from what his hands are now about.
He’s pulling up my skirts and petticoats and I’m powerless to stop him because my hands are bound. Pressed back awkwardly against the upholstery, I can do nothing to stop him invading the world of my undergarments, pushing the layers of gabardine and flannel and linen aside to get to my drawers. With one last long, lewd sucking kiss to my breast, and a wicked nip of his teeth, he abandons my nipple in favor of focusing his attentions farther south.
Being in darkness intensifies everything. Makes touch and scent and sound rule the realm of the senses. I hear his steady breathing as he goes about me. It seems so little affected by the excitement that grips me, as if he’s used to kidnapping women and making free with them on a daily basis. As if exploring their drawers is nothing exceptional to him.
His scent seems to grow stronger and more intoxicating. Maybe it’s a special receipt? One that has narcotic powers to drug his victims and make them yield willingly to him? A blend based on rare spices that inflame a woman’s passions and prime her body for the most scandalous explorations…
His fingers are deft, inveigling their way into the vent in my drawers. Sneaking in, sliding in, darting straight for the little triangle of frisky hair that covers my sex. Even though, against all reason, I want him to find me, I still jerk back as he starts to prize the curls apart to get to me.
“Be still,” he growls, leaning against me, subduing me with his weight and returning to my breast with a rough squeeze with his free hand, while beneath, he rummages, wiggling his fingertips to slide them right into my cleft.
Oh, Mr. Enderby, whatever would you think of me? Allowing myself to be fondled and fingered by this ruthless, unseen stranger, and worst of all, enjoying it?
My hidden companion has skill. He knows how to touch a woman and manipulate her most sensitive parts. I whimper and surge, my body weeping and fluttering beneath my abductor’s fingertips.
“Please…sir…I beg of you. I shouldn’t…I shouldn’t…” I pant, finding my voice at last even while my traitorous body squirms and rises, seeking the delicious sensations I’m trying in vain to deny. “This is for my husband, sir. No man but he should touch me there…and make me feel these feelings.”
“And yet you respond to
touch, madam,” my captor points out huskily, while my flesh betrays me, fresh silkiness flowing to smooth the path of his ever-circling fingertip.
“Please, no! I can’t help myself… If you touch me anymore I shall spend, and only my dear husband should witness that, sir.”
Mercilessly, he jostles my clitoris. Ignoring my pleas, he rolls my nipple between his finger and thumb.
“I think, perhaps, that you should learn to be generous with your pleasure, madam…and to exhibit yourself to men. To many men…” A stiff finger enters me, sliding in easily, and I moan out loud, appalled at the way I automatically start to ride it. “Who knows…your husband may well savor your wantonness and find his own pleasure in the thought, and sight, of you being fiddled with, and fingered and brought to climax by the hands of a whole multitude of strangers.”
I sob as his finger slides in and out, in and out, tugging on the richly sensitive bud of my clitoris. In the darkness behind my blindfold, I’m suddenly presented, on show, laid bare to the eyes of many men. I’m an object. An experiment. Hands rove over me. Many fingers, not just one, take possession of me, exploring my every inch of skin, my every nook and cranny.
Without any warning, the rocking carriage slows to a halt, and struggling with myself and with my bonds, I finally attempt to shake free my tormentor. The driver leaps down, his boots
clattering on the pavement, and a second later, the carriage door rattles as he attempts to open it and allow us to alight.