“Someone wants to be a nun.” teased Thelma, rolling her finger in the wisp of hair that had escaped the clutch of her pins.
“Whatever you call it!” Emilia waved a dismissive hand.
Phyllis sat down gracefully in a chair opposite them , fanning herself lightly.
“So you mean to tell us that, you don’t want to get married? Like ever?”
“Apparently! No man is worthy of me they are all alike, stupid, inconsiderate, subjective and power-drunk fellows that take us only for birth reproductive machines and their sexual pleasure tool.”
Phyllis and Thelma exchanged looks and erupted in laughter.
“Poor you…” Phyllis cooed in a taunt then turned to Thelma. “She surely will never know what invaluable pleasure a man can offer in bed.”
“I don’t dispute that.” Thelma grinned dreamily as if remembering the feeling of it with the last man she bedded.
“You ladies have no shame!” Emilia said, getting angry. ” You come from respectable aristocratic homes and yet you see nothing reviling about welcoming any man you find appealing in between your thighs.”
“I won’t have you insult me or drag my name in the mud, Emilia.” Phyllis fired. “Because of your ignorant assumption that no man is worthy of you doesn’t make you any better than me. Look at me!” She spread her arms sideways to flaunting her slim body. “I am pretty, graceful, witty and an heiress. What man born of a woman will lay his eyes on me and not crave the taste of what I can offer?”
“I doubt none!” Thelma replied gleefully. “Unless there is nothing she’s not telling us. She might have a psychological problem, perhaps she must have been sexually harassed and molested while she was but a child. you never can tell where the loathsome words are spiralling from.”
“I beg your pardon!” Emilia leapt to her feet, red in the face. “You should caution your tongue and not speak dismal accusations about me Thelma. That was absolutely uncalled for.”
Thelma, feeling ashamed that she had wronged Emilia, hesitated and then murmured. “My apologies Emilia. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings in anyway, it was all a joke.”
“An expensive one at that!” snapped Emilia.
Phyllis ignored both ladies and went to take her seat at the piano. “Why don’t we use our leisure for more practice? I will play the piano while you two sing.”
“What should we sing? My voice is beginning to thin out.” Asked Thelma returning to her normal self, not easily provoked despite what just transpired between Emilia and her.
Phyllis cleared her throat and answered. “A dual sonnet will do!”
“I think I know one!” stated Emilia and quickly added when she noticed Phyllis’ questioning look. “My Aunt taught me.”
“Very well then…” Phyllis said positioning her fingers on the keys of the grand piano. “Let’s hear it if you will.” She began to play the keys while Emilia’s soothing voice flowed with it.
Thelma softly clapped her hands, humming to the familiar song even though she didn’t know the lyrics.
Robert’s mother stared blankly at the ceiling. Her room smelled fresh and the window had been opened to let in the fresh air of the evening. Ever since the Doctor had last visited her, she had felt better just that her throat still gave her some pain while swallowing the bitter drugs. She was relieved that the wheezing and the continuous coughs which gave her sleepless nights had stopped.
The cottage was still and quiet as a grave yard, it seemed the two men had gone out as usual. She had always been concerned with Robert keeping friends because she didn’t want him lured into stealing and arrested by the law officials. Since the new stranger came into their lives, things had been going smoothly, gently, and quite easy too. She was happy Robert had someone like a big brother to him to show him the ropes of life.
She hadn’t really seen the man because he hardly came into her room, he just kept his distance. Although she could guess that he was tall, good looking and good at heart even though his countenance showed otherwise. She hadn’t really had the opportunity to express her gratitude but she was sure if she passed away that she wouldn’t have to worry because her son would be in good capable hands which would take care of him and keep him out of trouble.
The opening of the main door jolted her from her thoughts. They must be back! she couldn’t wait to see her son who was fast growing into a man. He was beginning to have a little growth of beard on his chin. How he looked like his father before the unfortunate accident that caused his death.
Soon, Robert will be thinking of marriage, but who would want to marry a man who had no money to take care of a family or start one. The wooden floor creaked as heavy footsteps approached. She turned her head gently towards the open doorway overlooking the hall, that was when his tall silhouette passed by.
“Aidan?” she managed to call.
The footsteps stopped. There was brief silence before the footsteps continued, but this time, coming back towards the open door.
Aidan appeared at her doorway seconds later.
“Aidan.” She said more calmly.
He stepped into the room, only two steps away from the door as if her very presence could contaminate him.
The light coming through the window gave her an amazing view of him. Good gracious! He was one tall good looking man. His chin and jaw where covered with stubble but his blue eyes were sharp and alert.
“Thank you!” she muttered with a smile.
He opened his mouth, attempting to say something but only ended up shutting them without a word, he acknowledged the woman with a nod, turned and was gone.
He panted, turning rigid as he spilled into her. Gasping, he fell on the bed on his side, his chest heaving from the rhythm of the pleasure he just had. Perspiration covered his brow and hairy chest and he looked down at Vera who was lying beside him, partially on her side, her arm drawn up to shield her breast.
She was mildly panting, her eyes closed as she savoured the last feeling of the pleasure still lingering in between her thighs. The warm sticky release from him tickled her insides and felt good as if her womanhood was still pulsing at the invasion of his manhood.
She had snuck into his room in the middle of the night for the fourth time since he had first seduced her due to his excuse to live in the castle all in the name of being close to the sick Duchess who was dying with each passing day from the poison they occasionally fed her.
A particular worry crossed her mind and she sighed wearily. “What if I take in with child?’
“Well… take caution not to take in, my dear.” He replied flatly as he poured himself some wine into a goblet.
She propped on an elbow, looking at his face. “Not if you won’t stop asking me to your bed chamber every night, we might be discovered.”
“I bet not.” He took a gulp.
“At least…” she smiled. “Not for long, we won’t have to do this secretly anymore.”
“I hope so…” he simply said.
She caressed his hairy chest. “Just please put in mind, that everything I do, I do it for my love for you, milord.”
He gently took her hand away from his chest. “I will keep that in mind.” he glanced at his pocket watch which was on a little stool and said. “Get dressed, it’s almost dawn.”
Slowly, she climbed down the large bed, picked up her wears and went into the mirror room to dress up while he lit an expensive pipe and began to smoke, puffing rings of smoke into the air.
Matilda and her daughter sat down in the drawing room, busy finishing some embroidery work. Her daughter, Lacy was just sixteen. Brown eyes, brownish-black hair braided into a French plait and tied with a ribbon at the end. She had bushy eyebrows, a pointed nose and when she smiled, she exposed her lovely gap-tooth. She was hard-working and admired Emilia greatly. Besides that, she talked too much according to her mother who was always cautioning her to no avail.
“Ouch!” Lacy yelped in pain as she accidentally pricked her finger with her needle. Her mother looked up from her embroidery as Lacy sucked on the painful stinging spot.
“I have always told you to be careful with a needle!” scolded her mother.
“I was.” Lacy groaned.
“If you were, you wouldn’t have pricked your finger for the sixth time since we started.” Retorted her mother.
“So you were taking counts.” She smiled sheepishly.
“Not funny, young lady!” her mother said sternly. “Unless you got that fantasizing head of yours somewhere else.”
“Sir Lucas told us a tale today!” she said. When her mother didn’t reply and went back to her embroidery, she continued. “Happy-Ever-Afters…how mesmerizing.” she said more to herself, her eyes dazed.
“There are no such things as those!” stated her mother without looking up.
“Prince in shining armour and a graceful steed?” she probed.
“Nay!” her mother shook her head.
She tilted her head backwards, frowning. “Mama, come on!” she whined.
“Sir Lucas should stop filling your naïve heads with such silly stories! You are too young for this, girl.”
“No, I’m not!” she disagreed. “For goodness’ sake mama, I’m sixteen going on seventeen.”
“That doesn’t make you a woman!”
“I have begun my monthly bleeding.” She pushed on.
“More reason you should stay away from the opposite sex.”
Lacy pouted at her mother’s unrelenting attitude. “Why do you still treat me like a baby? I’m no longer a child. I’m gradually attaining womanhood, mama!”
“I’m a woman, yet your mother treats me like a child!” Lacy turned to see Emilia flouncing into the room, the ferret in her arms.
“Lady Emilia!” Lacy exclaimed in delight, putting aside her embroidery and leaping up to take the ferret in her arms that had gotten accustomed to her.
“That’s different!” Lacy answered Emilia. “You don’t seem to mind, Lady Emilia but I do.” she scratched the ferret’s fur.
“When the time comes for you to mingle, I will let you know.” Said her mother.
“Now is the time.” Lacy stated, frowning her freckled face.
Her mother shook her head wearily. “You are as hard-headed as your father.”
“I’m sure I inherited that trait from you not papa.” She said, smiling as she stroked the ferret’s back. “Can I go to the park? Claudia will be waiting.”
“That’s not an excuse to dump your embroidery, young lady!” chided her mother.
Emilia smiled, stroking the girl’s hair. “Let her go, Matilda, I will finish up where she stopped.”
Lacy suddenly hugged Emilia with a free arm. “Thank you! Can I take Thomas along?” when Emilia nodded, she chuckled gleefully and with this, she hurried out.
Matilda shook her head slowly after Lacy was gone. “You are spoiling her, Emilia.”
Emilia occupied Lacy’s vacant seat and picked the embroidery. “What do you expect?” she asked. “Lacy is sweet and she’s more like a little sister to me.”
“Just like you are a daughter to me, Emilia.” Matilda stated and both women laughed heartily.
“I had a dream…” the older woman began carefully, still busy with her work.
Emilia looked up, a smile still lingering on her face. “Really? Care to share?”
This time, Matilda looked up at Emilia. “It was about you.” She hesitated, trying to read any change in Emilia’s expression. “You got married and had children of your own…my dream always come to pass.”
Emilia halted, her smile slowly fading. Matilda noticed. “Are you okay, dear? She asked with concern.
“Of course yes!” she smiled, faking it. “…I… was… just…” she stuttered when she couldn’t find the appropriate words to use she gave up. “Never mind…” she shook her head, trying to wash off the weird feeling. “So will you tell me the story of the fair maiden and the shooting star?”
“I have told you that story countless times since you were a child.”
“Well, I would like to hear it again if you don’t mind.” Answered Emilia.
“If you insist and I don’t mind.” Matilda shrugged. “Once upon a time, in a little hamlet close to the red sea…”
Emilia’s gaze slowly wandered with her mind as she thought of Matilda’s dream. She would rather die than spend the rest of her life with a man.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa