Brigid raised a leg out of the bath and began to wash it from toe to thigh. The rich lather of the soap making the touch of her soft fingers slick and sensuous. As her hands moved above her knee she became acutely aware of how sensitive her skin had become. Washing her inner thighs made her tingle.
Her hand slid below the water and onto her swelling lips. They were sensitive, and pouting, clitoris engorged and demanding attention. She bit her bottom lip and stroked herself, outer lips first then probing her finger between them, parting them and pushing her finger inside. She tilted her hips upwards to respond to the trespassing finger. Then slowly she worked her fingers in and out. The water around her lips mingling with her own torrent of juices. The touch of her fingers on her most sensitive pink bud making her want to cry out, such was the intensity of the sensation.
She explored her folds with her hand, slipping deeper into an onanistic haze with each movement. Low moans escaped from her mouth as the pleasure intensified. Caution gave way to abandon as she started to cum. The bathwater was stirred into a maelstrom by her legs as her orgasm took her.
Oates’ eye had been pressed to the keyhole since the lady of the house had stepped into her bath. He rose to his feet, knees complaining, reminding him of his age. He smiled a lascivious smile and made his was to his quarters. The hot throbbing against his right leg promising him his weekly, clandestine gratification.
The gibbous moon struggled to pierce the boiling clouds, intermittently illuminating a solitary figure, laden down with a rucksack, trudging along the drove road.
He felt the cold breath of Faoilleach cut through him, it had come early this year. Tiny icy daggers seemed to pierce his face, cheeks becoming red, then raw under the onslaught. He tilted his head forward to gain the greatest protection from the hood of his rough woollen cloak. Maybe it was a trick of the light, what little there was, but he seemed to leave an inky trail of darkness behind him.
Clinging mud gave way to gravel crunching under his feet as he approached a set of tall iron gates set in the minutely perfect symmetry of a Palladian gatehouse. A door creaked open. A lantern with a guttering yellow candle preceded a gruff voice, “What’s your business?”.
From beneath the hood he replied, “I’m here to paint the lady’s portrait”. From the folds of his cloak he produced a piece of yellow-brown vellum. The gatekeeper took it from him through the wrought iron bars. He didn’t read the letter, just peered at the broken wax seal with age-clouded eyes and ensured the signature was that of the duchess. He was not a man of letters.
The gatekeeper’s mood changed, his manner more friendly as he fumbled with the padlock key, “You’ll be Mr Doyle. Just a moment sir.”. The gate swung open. “It’s about a mile to the house. You being so late they took back the carriage a while ago.”
“No matter. Goodnight Harris”, said the stranger as he and his rucksack lumbered towards the House.
“Mind you stay on the drive Sir, them woods is dangerous”, shouted the gatekeeper, securing the padlock. As he settled in front of his small coal fire in the gatehouse he couldn’t help wondering how the painter had known his name. Perhaps the Duchess had mentioned it in the letter.
Rain, in huge drops began to fall from the leaden sky.
Oates walked slowly to the oak doors, his pace steady as a metronome, countenance fixed somewhere between serenity and distain for the rest of creation. The doors were shaken again by the tardy visitor’s fist. Oates may have just slowed, imperceptibly. The impudence of the artisan’s late arrival infuriated him.
Initial introductions were terse and less than welcoming, leaving the painter dripping on the marble floor of the huge pillared entrance hall. Oates made off to announce Mr Doyle’s arrival.
Doyle drew back his hood to reveal a mane of wavy shoulder length hair, shinny and black as jet. His hazel eyes scanned the four doors leading off the hall. One to his left, one right and one either side of the huge statute of Poseidon at the far end of the hall. The one to Poseidon’s left was slightly ajar. Briefly, a pale face partly hidden behind a fan appeared. Doyle’s nostrils flared, pupils widened, the hairs at the base of his skull rose. Realising its owner had been seen, the face disappeared into the gloom of the room beyond.
Oates reappeared, “Your room is ready, sir”. The “sir” was a mere courtesy, the tone more than expressing his distaste for Doyle.
She lay in her bed awake for most of the night. Her mind thought only of the rough hewn artist she had seen standing in the hall.
That hair, black as a raven’s wing, cascading from his head. His eyes, piercing her across the room. Her heart pounded again as it had when she first saw him, blood rushed to her cheeks. Her chest heaved. Nipples becoming hard and pressing against the inside of her cotton nightdress. When she moved the fabric rubbed against and electrified those two pink buds, making her want to touch them. Touch them in a way she knew she shouldn’t.
The image of the painter haunted her. This was wrong! And it felt even more wrong as she sensed a warmth and moistness building between her thighs. She slid her land down to feel the velvety softness of wet, swollen labia. She drew her hand to her face, the rich odour of her own arousal overriding her social conditioning, which told her not to do this. She licked her fingers tasting the forbidden nectar and enjoying this elicit delicacy.
She chastised herself for her behaviour, she was a married woman. She was contemplating what it would be like to have this man, let him have her, in the most wanton way. Guilt overwhelmed her and she began to sob, quietly, at her immorality.
Around three her husband rolled into bed in the next room, colliding with furniture, cursing and incoherent. The guilt she felt at her wandering eye vanished and, exhausted, she drifted into the arms of a dreamless sleep.