Once upon a time…in a castle far away…
After the death of her father, Lady Helen Owen finds herself in a predicament, as her father’s widow prepares to marry a handsome foreigner. To fulfill the marriage contract, the barren widow must produce an heir, and she schemes to use Helen, sending the lovely virgin to her new husband’s bedchamber. Thinking that men are stupid, Arabella woefully underestimates the instant attraction that develops between the unwitting lovers, as they find a haven in each other’s arms.
This story contains erotic romance, virgin sex, oral sex, breeding sex, erotic fantasy, and historical romance. All characters are eighteen and above. Adult 18+
The door swung open, and Arabella appeared, dressed in a sparkling lavender gown. She had worn it to the reception, because the wedding dress was too cumbersome. “Are you ready, Helen?” she asked breathlessly.
I stared at my fingernails. “I suppose.”
“Good. I told William I was terribly shy when it came to…personal relations. I made it clear that the candles must be out at all times. You’ll be completely in the dark. You can go to him now.”
Kitty and Chantal stared at me expectantly. I got to my feet, feeling the weight of the world around my shoulders. “Very well then. I’ll do what I must.” I wore a nightgown that buttoned modestly to the base of my neck. “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
The corners of my mouth turned down. “He’ll know I’m not you.”
“You won’t even need to speak. Men don’t care for conversation when they’re…finding their pleasure. Trust me.”
I eyed her dubiously. “If you say so.”
“All you have to do is lay there. He’ll violate you for a few minutes, grunt and groan, and that’s it! It’s as easy as pie.”
Kitty looked horrified. “Remind me never to get married.”
Chantal wisely kept her thoughts to herself, but a wealth of meaning registered on her face. There was shock, disgust, pity, and stoic acceptance.
“Come then,” bade Arabella. “He’s waiting.”
I left the room, feeling as if I were walking to my doom. The hallways seemed endless, and, as I descended the tower steps, I glanced down several floors, thinking that if I stood too close to the edge, I might fall to my death. The castle was eerily quiet, with torches lit at intervals. The corridor before William’s bedchamber was carpeted; the reddish hues of the fibers were slightly threadbare in places.
“This is it.” Arabella faced me. “I can’t go any further.” She moved a strand of hair from my eyes. “You’ll do fine, my darling. Think of it as performing a valuable service for your family. Our future rests with your ability to produce a child. I’ll see you in the morning, and you can tell me all about it.”
I swallowed with effort. “Yes, Arabella.”
“Good night and good luck.”
I couldn’t stand to look at her another second. God, please forgive me for this sin! When Arabella dies, make her death slow and painful. Oh, never mind that last part. Well…if tonight goes badly, you may reinstate it. She watched me as I wandered down the hall, stopping before his door. I knocked once, waiting, listening, my heart pounding in my chest, threatening to burst out of my skin.
“Come in,” said a manly voice.
I cast one last glance in Arabella’s direction. She stood like a lavender goddess, her hair ornately arranged with pearls and jewels woven through the blonde strands. Her look was triumphant and smug. In that moment, I wished to see her ruined in the eyes of the church and the townspeople. If only the world knew of her deceptions and machinations. Maybe one day the truth would be told…
“Don’t be shy, my love. You may enter.”
I stepped into the room, overcome by the darkness. “Hello?” I whispered trying to mimic Arabella’s voice.
“It’s bloody dark, isn’t it?” His voice was richly timbered. There was a hint of amusement in it. “I really would rather see you. Can’t we light a candle?”
“No!” I sounded panicked. “I mean, no, sir.” Something touched my arm. It was his hand, and I jumped.
“I didn’t mean to frighten you. You’re as skittish as a cat. Come sit with me, Arabella.” He led me to the bed, and we sat, our thighs touching. I scooted several inches away. “Aren’t you a bit old for these games? You’ve been married before. I know he wasn’t able to make love to you, but surely the darkness isn’t necessary.”
His hand rested on my shoulder. “You’re the loveliest woman I’ve ever seen, Arabella.”
“Thank you.” My voice was whispery soft, and I prayed I sounded like my stepmother.
He held my face suddenly, which was a shock. He was so close; I could smell wine on his breath. He’d grown still, hovering near my ear. Every nerve ending in my body suddenly froze, waiting, dreading what would happen next.
There was a lengthy, worrying pause. “You seem different tonight.”
“You’ve never called me sir before.”
Oh, no! “Let’s not speak.” Every instinct told me that he knew I wasn’t Arabella. I held my breath, trembling with fear, wondering what would happen next. Would he drag me into the hallway, into the light, to find out who I was? Or would he beat me, hit me, for deceiving him? Would he murder me outright?
“Strange things are a foot,” he murmured. “You’re incredibly…tense.”
This was a disaster! I had to salvage the wreckage before it was too late. I wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him, smelling his woodsy musk, and praying that he would take me quickly, so I could leave. I breathed a sigh of relief when his arms went around me. His lips were at my throat, lightly kissing me, inhaling my scent.
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