Mon, 28 Dec 2009 10:06:08 +0000
It was a hot, sultry evening as the carriage made its way north to Bristol; the sort of night that gave birth to strange, vivid dreams and stranger imaginings when one looked up to the huge, luminous orange moon. As the carriage bumped and shook it’s way along the coach-road, the landscape became wilder and more beautiful – moors replacing cultivated fields, and trees that hugged to the road, throwing odd shivering shadows on the road, distorted by it’s bumps and wagon-tracks. One lonely coach ambled down this road, though it had miles and miles to go before Bristol came into sight. The coachmen expected that the first rays of dawn would light the road into the city, and he tucked his hands under his armpits to keep them warm. Inside the coach, a young woman read by the light of one swinging lanthorn, one hand clutching her rosary and the other shoved up under her skirts.
The attack came suddenly. The coachman hardly had time to cry out before his body fell into the muddy ditch, and there were cheers and hoots as the carriage’s door was wrenched open. A sandy-haired head popped in. There was an impression of a wide grin and white teeth, and then he spoke. “Ah! A woman.”
Isobel was pressed against the far wall, but she didn’t resist when the highwayman took her hand and pressed a smacking kiss to her trembling fingers. She opened her mouth but could not speak, and he took her silence as invitation. In a moment his muscled arm was wrapped tight around her waist, and his mouth pressed to hers. He did not kiss her tenderly, or sweetly: he kissed her as if he’d like to eat her up. It was not her first kiss, but it was the first that flickered with lust. She hadn’t remembered to close her eyes, and when he pulled away he saw her looking at him dumbly. He gave a grin that might have been meant to be dashing, but it seemed sheepish and fond. She spoke then, and started at how shrill her voice sounded.
“Really…really, you mustn’t!” and he pulled back, the bravado gone out of him. She looked at her silk slippers, and blushed. “I must get to Bristol by morning. I must! I…I’m to be married to a merchant.” and waited for him to blush and apologise. He didn’t. “It..it’s a very sensible match, you see.” she finished lamely, her eyes on his, imploring (though for what she’d no idea). Her hands clutched the French novel she’d been reading, hiding it under the edges of her skirts. He nodded then, but slipped like oil between her knees. She was about to protest – oh really, sir, how could you! – when she heard the splintering of wood and the scrape of his knife behind her calves, and realised that the only reason his chin (scarred, she wondered how) was resting on her knee was that he was opening the secret panel to get at her dowry. She sighed with relief, and mayhap a little disappointment. So, he wasn’t planning to ravish her after all.
She heard the jingle of heavy coin as the loot was tossed out to his men but didn’t look up – she was reading her novel again, by lanthorn-light. Then he was kissing her (quite suddenly) and with a whimper against his mouth her book fell from her hand to be crushed under his knees as he pressed close to her. His tongue slid along the seam of her lips and she sucked in a breath, and the shock of a tongue that wasn’t her own against her teeth almost made her bite it. His hands were sliding over her bodice now, and she imagined she could feel the heat of his palms even through the heavy brocade. His lips plucked at hers, his tongue stroked hers, he swallowed down her moans. Their teeth clicked. She felt he was somehow delving deeper and deeper into her, his tongue a wriggling fish that would follow the rushing stream of her lust to its source. She wondered where it led, but had a good idea: that part of her was feeling much less dry than was typical. He was stroking her now, one hand on her stockinged knee and the other palming one small breast through her bodice. She moaned into his mouth, tipped her head this way and that, trying to seal to him perfectly. Overcome by boldness, she thrust her tongue into his mouth. He is just like a character in a novel, she thought, and with that his conquest was complete.
It was later, much later, that the moon looked down on him helping her onto his horse. There was a white cloth blindfolding her eyes, but she didn’t much mind. “And to think,” he told her, tilting her head back to once again plunder her lips, steal her eager kisses. “To think, I would have left the dearest prize behind.”