Force Fantasies Fiction
~ The Groom's
Miss Allison Kent, soon to be Lady Allison Haversham, cast a contemptuous glance at the groomsman as he helped her into the carriage. Really, the man was a horrid sight. Dark hair plastered to his head, loose white shirt and black breeches soaked to the skin. It was probably a nightshirt, too, for all it revealed of the man's broad chest.
"You've soiled my glove," she complained, making sure to taunt him with a flash of ankle as she took her seat.
"Forgive me, milady." He bowed, allowing the torrential midnight rain to pelt his back. "I'm afraid it is a bit wet out tonight."
Allison ignored his implacable gaze, the blue eyes and chiseled cheekbones outlined by the light of the gas lamps along the driveway of Haversham Manor. "I am quite capable of determining the weather without your assistance, William," she replied curtly, placing her hands on her lap so as to draw attention to her slim waist.
William bowed a second time as he closed the carriage door carefully and respectfully. She sighed in frustration as he took his place in the open air driver's seat. As usual, he'd given no indication of displeasure at having been awoken in the middle of the night to take her on one of her insomniacal jaunts.
Within minutes of being roused, the man had been out front with the carriage. She'd seen him through her window, his delicious male form all too well revealed in wet clothes as he waited for her, rigid as a statue. Allison had taken her sweet time, choosing her favorite dress, green velvet with white lace trim, the bodice cut just low enough to hint at the treasure of her bosom. She'd debated about her hair, finally deciding to sweep her long blond tresses up, pinning them under a rakish little cap, complete with oriental feather. She wore a cloak as well, but kept it open.
The head butler and one of the maids had escorted her out, beneath umbrellas. William had none. The butler had offered him one earlier, but he'd refused. Allison frowned. She'd have William sacked as soon as her fiance arrived.
She'd never actually met Lord Haversham, but rumor had it he was a soft and idle man, which would make her job of dominating him that much easier. On a whim, she rapped on the glass window with her gloved hand, still wet from the touch of William's strong fingertips.
Obediently, he stopped the carriage to see what she wanted. Ordinarily there would be a livery man or two, but she enjoyed torturing him this way.
"Make a note," she commanded imperiously, removing her hat and cloak. "Upon my return, I should like to have Emily flogged. She was five minutes late in bringing me my tea this afternoon."
Something flashed over William's face. For an instant, the corner of his lips drew tight. "As you wish, milady."
Allison smiled wickedly, noting the flatness of his tone. It was her own secret theory that William had a fondness for the red haired sprig of a girl called Emily. The one who was forever spilling things. One night, after Allison had berated her in front of the entire staff, the girl had snuck off to William's quarters near the livery stable.
Her devilish joy was cut short as the carriage lurched suddenly to the right. Looking outside, she saw they were turning from the main road. What new form of idiocy was this? This time her taps on the window were ignored. After a few moments, she began to pound on the ceiling.
"William, I demand you stop at once!" Her pulse quickened as she noted the open fields, the trees lining the road. Was she being kidnapped?
"How dare you!" she yelled when they finally arrived outside a deserted barn. "You had better have a good explanation for this!"
"All in due time, milady," he said, grabbing her by the arm.
Allison shrieked as he pulled her out into the rain. "What are you doing?" she cried as he swung her bodily over his shoulder. "Put me down!"
The man ignored her protests, as well as her feeble attempts to bite and scratch him. From her vantage point, all she could see was the thick straw covered mud that led to the door of the wooden structure. Allison continued to squirm ineffectually as William lit a torch on the wall and selected a long coil of rope from an assortment hanging on a high hook nearby. Nodding in satisfaction at his choice, he carried his prisoner to the center of the barn, depositing her on her feet.
"Lord Haversham will have your head," she informed him as he took her wrists for binding. The fiber was coarse, scratching her delicate wrists.
"Hold still," he snapped, as though dealing with a recalcitrant child.
"You'll be hung. And I will be most delighted to watch it when it happens," she spat, shaking her head as best she could to remove the cascade of wet curls from in front of her eyes.
William seemed unimpressed with her threats as he turned his attention to the roof. After a couple of misses, he succeeded in lofting the free end of the rope over a beam in the ceiling. Drawing it tight, he pulled her arms taut over her head.
Allison winced. "Let me go this instant, or I'll scream!"
William smiled thinly. "No one will hear you, but be my guest."
She felt a chill down her spine. For the first time it occurred to her that she didn't know this man at all. What if he planned to hurt her or even kill her?
"Lord Haversham will surely offer a handsome reward for my safe return," she said sweetly.
His smile broadened with distinct irony. "You flatter yourself, Miss Kent."
Allison burned at the obvious insult. "My father has money as well. He's a respectable London merchant of the middle class. We've a cousin who's a barrister. I was in his company the day Lord Haversham spied me walking as he rode in his carriage near the Thames. He decided straight away to marry me, though we'd never even been introduced. Can you imagine how much I must mean to him? How much he must cherish me?"
Allison was babbling now and she knew it. She felt desperation rising in her second by second as William made the final adjustments to the rope, tightening it till she had no choice but to rise to her tiptoes.
William paused to examine his handiwork, then drew himself to his full height in front of her. "Miss Kent, have you any idea what is required to conduct one's self as a master or mistress of an estate such as this?"
She blinked as he put his hands on hips, looking more like a magistrate than a hired hand. "Do I what?" she stammered. "Why, of course-- I-- I mean--"
Three fingers were raised in the air between them. "Grace, dignity and respect, Miss Kent. The first two are character traits, the third is a gift, bestowed and received. Tell me, how long have you been at the Manor?"
"Ten days," she answered meekly.
"Two hundred twelve hours fourteen minutes," he corrected. "Do you know why I am able to perform such a precise calculation?"
She shook her head. What was going on, anyway? He didn't even sound like the same William anymore. Allison's head began to swim. She felt so vulnerable, trussed up like this, at the mercy of a madman.
"It is because every one of those minutes has been a waking nightmare for the staff," he accused. A single finger pointed in her direction, replacing the earlier three. It was poised there, inches from her well displayed, distinctly available bosom, the very one she'd been trying so hard to get him to notice.
"No one has eaten or slept properly since the moment you arrived, Miss Kent. Between your tantrums and your impossible demands, not to mention your disgraceful arrogance, it's a wonder the lot of them haven't quit. Poor little Emily was so shook up on Wednesday the chief maid and myself had to spend the entire night consoling her. As it is, we'll likely have to send her home to her grandmother. Have you any idea how many generations of her family have served the Manor?"
Allison's face flushed. This was the same Emily she'd wanted to see whipped like a dog, the one she'd thought William was having an affair with. "I was simply trying to assert my authority," she replied.
William laughed without humor. "Authority!? Young lady, you haven't a clue."
She lowered her green eyes under his rebuking glare. How could it be this fellow was only two years her senior?
"Where are you going?" she asked in a small voice, as he turned away from her, heading to the open door.
"To do something I should have done a good deal sooner," he called over his shoulder. "I'm going to teach you a lesson."
Allison hung, alone in the empty barn, contemplating her lesson. Outside, the rain continued to pour down. Occasional flashes of lightning, shining through the cracks in the wall, cast an eerie light over the hay. She hadn't meant any harm, really she hadn't. It was just that she'd felt so overwhelmed. Just seeing the exterior of the two hundred room, castle-like Manor for the first time had nearly caused her to faint. Not to mention the interior. The dining room table alone was as long as a row house. How could a girl like her ever fit into such a world? And how could she marry a man she'd never met, even if he was the wealthiest, most eligible bachelor in England?
Her father had called it a miracle that Haversham had chosen her, but personally she thought it just as likely to be a curse. What else was she to make of the velvet coverings over every portrait of Haversham in the house, coverings she herself had been forbidden to remove by order of the master?
Perhaps she had been acting the part of a witch -- but wasn't that the sort of thing servants expected from royalty? Perhaps, too, she'd been guilty of teasing William with her unavailable charms. But what was she to do, a lonely virgin, affected by a strange man in ways she couldn't understand. She'd even gone so far as to watch William in secret, as he groomed the horses, his powerful muscles gliding over their soft manes again and again, as though these were the most precious creatures in the world to him. Why did no one love her that way?
The lightning flashed again and this time there was a dark figure in the doorway. It was a man, striding towards her, bare chested, fists clenched. Allison felt the blood drain from her face as she recognized the object he was holding in his right hand. It was long and slender and all too familiar.
Allison Kent strained against her bonds in a futile attempt to free herself. He couldn't use that thing on her, he wouldn't dare!
"I told you you needed a lesson," he said, answering the fear in her eyes. He moved behind her, out of sight, still carrying the slender whip, the one he always carried but never used on the horses.
"Please, don't!" she wailed, her pride melting away in buckets.
"This pleases me less than you," he assured her grimly. The next thing she felt was his hand at the neckline of her dress. The shredding sound cut her to the heart.
He was tearing the clothes off her back.
William worked quickly and efficiently and in a matter of moments he'd contrived to strip her naked. As a final humiliation, he kicked away the remains of her green dress and chemise and took off her shoes and stockings. Allison shuddered, barefoot in the dirt and straw. Every inch of her tightly stretched body, from neck to calf prickled with the sensation of cool, electrically charged air, air thick with imminent brutality and barbarity. And there was something else, too, something inside her, deep and primal which rendered her moist and wet, even in the midst of her trauma.
"Hold still," he chided, placing a hand on her back to steady her. The feel of his calloused palm on her spine unleashed a floodgate.
"Merciful heaven!" he exclaimed. "What is it now, woman?"
Allison tried in vain to catch her breath. She was shaking like a rag doll, shedding real tears. Her would-be punisher muttered an oath under his breath. There was a thin hissing sound, but Allison felt nothing, as though he were administering a lash to the air. The oath was repeated, and the next thing Allison saw was the whip flying overhead, landing harmlessly in the hay.
"I can't do it," he informed her, facing her with downcast eyes, his handsome face a jumble of emotions. "As God is my witness, you deserve it. But I'm not man enough to deliver."
A lump rose in Allison's throat as she watched him fetch a knife with which to cut her loose. That deep something in her heart was even stronger now, surging upwards, unbidden, unstoppable. He was close enough now for her to feel his breath on her neck as he stretched his arms above her to sever the rope. If only she could...
William gasped in surprise and shock as Allison's lips met his. At that very second, the rope gave way, and she was in his arms, her still bound hands wrapping themselves round his neck. The sound in his throat was low and distinctly male as she pressed herself against his hardness. Allison moaned, feeling the physical proof of his wanting her.
A vein was throbbing in his temple as he lifted her off him. Without ceremony, he tossed her down onto the hay. Eyes of dark steel held her captive as he moved his fingers deftly over his belt. Allison's chest heaved as she lay before him, arms overhead, spellbound, every inch of her bared, body and soul, to whatever desires might dwell behind his thick brow.
It wasn't till he slid his undershorts down that reality returned to Allison's mind. Suddenly, she remembered her virginity. And her impending marriage. To another man. Scrambling backwards on her buttocks, she tried to make her escape. She'd rolled to her belly when William seized her, a single hand on her ankle being sufficient to pull her back. The straw scratched Allison's belly and breasts, making her cry out. She could feel his breath on her neck now as he turned her over, positioning her for his pleasure.
His nakedness, as well as the hard look in his eyes left little doubt as to what would happen next. Holding her bound hands above her with just one of his own, he took his time with the other, grazing over belly and thigh and breasts, raising her to a fevered pitch, drawing out her deepest desires, till she was forced to betray her own dark needs.
Her final line of defense was her clamped knees, but William breached them with appalling ease. A little sound of pleasure escaped his lips as he settled onto her, sinking his enormous member to the depths of her fragrant womanhood. Unable to bear the sight of him above her, in her, Allison turned her head away, shutting her eyes tightly. With every ounce of her being she willed herself inert. Rigid. An empty vessel. But it was no use; He was relentless, at once both ruthless and patient, not resting till he'd elicited from her motions and sounds which left little doubt as to her body's complicity.
"I hate you," she hissed breathlessly. William chortled, choosing for his next attack a tongue lashing over her engorged nipples. Hating herself worse than him, Allison began to spasm. By the time he'd taken one full ripe breast into his mouth, she was undone. Unable to help herself, reduced to a quivering mass of warm sensuality, she screamed out her vanquishment, her subjugation.
Above her, William reared back like a lion, emitting a blood curdling roar as he exploded into her, shattering her every conscious thought. She rode with him, clinging, even as he began his glorious descent. Truly, they had been one. It was only once he'd stretched limply over her prostrate form, however, that she sensed her own ravishment.
Ecstasy was replaced now by rage as she heard him start to snore. Open, naked and soiled, pinioned beneath two hundred pounds of sweaty manhood, drooling lips on her breasts, hairy thighs pressing her down, Allison Elizabeth Kent, former virgin, began to plot her revenge.
She'd had to wait nearly an hour till he finally rolled off her, allowing her to get up. Her plan was well thought out. After making sure he was still asleep, she used the discarded knife to free her hands. Her clothes were a total loss, but there was a blanket in the carriage. She would untie the horses and ride one of them back to the house.
Just as soon as she took the time she would need to kill her assailant.
Afterwards, Allison hadn't remembered the part about the horses. Instead, she found herself running barefoot over the barren field, the blanket flapping in the wind. She couldn't believe how close she'd come to actually using the knife on him. Inches from his throat, she'd dropped the blade, her hand trembling uncontrollably. Let the law have him, was her final thought.
The horses, Allison, get the horses. Exhausted, some three hundred yards from the barn, she stopped to catch her breath. The rain had cleared and the moon was coming out. It was nearly full. The light bathed her face. Slowly, very slowly, a smile crept over her.
Leisurely now, with the languid pace of a woman newly born, Allison returned to the barn. William was on his back, hands behind his head, still boldly naked. A single piece of straw poked from between his lips. "I didn't expect to see you back so soon," he drawled, "at least not without the magistrate in tow."
She eyed his body hungrily. The man had no shame. No shame at all. "I couldn't do it," she said at last.
Allison let the blanket slip to the ground. "Because," she answered huskily, "I'm guilty, too. I wanted it as much as you."
William shrugged, rolling to his side. "Save it for your husband, Lady Haversham."
She noted his insolently proffered back. His words had dripped sarcasm. Lord, he was magnificent! Allison went to him, dropping to her knees. She placed thumb and forefinger beneath his chin, raising his eyes to hers. "I don't want to be Lady Haversham," she said. "I want to be Mrs. William-- Mrs. William the Groom."
William snorted. "As far as you know, I'm a no account, penniless servant who'll be hung by first light."
Allison grabbed his hand. "Then I shall die with you," she promised solemnly.
His eyes measured her. "But what about all that wealth and power?"
She shook her head with the confidence of a woman in love. "I don't want money, or the Haversham name. All I want is you."
William's lips thinned. Without comment, he rose to his feet. Allison's heart sank. "You don't love me, do you?" she heard herself ask.
"On the contrary," he replied, pulling on his pants. "I've loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you."
She tilted her head. "Then what is the problem?"
He paused to find his boots. When he'd located them he said, "Given what you have told me, it is impossible we should ever be together for one simple reason. You have said you will never marry Haversham, is that correct?"
"Yes. But what in blazes has that to do with us?"
William's hands went to his hips. It was a gesture she was growing to despise in him. "It has everything to do with us, my dear Allison," he continued, "because I am Lord Haversham."
Allison's mouth hung open. "Excuse me?"
"I am William Haversham," he offered casually. "Fourteenth Lord of Haversham. Peer of the Realm, etcetera, etcetera."
She was on her feet before the second etcetera. "You miserable, utter bastard! How could you?"
"Control yourself, girl," he urged, holding her at bay. "I had good reasons, as I'm sure you'll agree."
He shrugged. "To begin with, how else was I to learn the true nature of my potential mate? As you can well imagine, I have run across my share of gold diggers."
"I'll dig your eyes out is what I'll do!"
"If it gives you any consolation, you passed my little test with flying colors."
"Oh, goodie," she chimed icily. "Too bad I don't want the prize anymore." Allison moved to brush past him, but he held her fast by her shoulders. Lord, did he have to touch her again so soon?
"Don't fight it," he crooned, his voice low and sweet. She swallowed hard. The bastard was reading her eyes again, reading her desire.
"You know I still love you," he said, pulling her into his arms, making her flesh tingle against him.
"And I still hate you," she replied as he moved to claim her with a kiss.
"That is your prerogative," he granted, scooping her up into his arms. "As long as we both shall live."
Her smile was deceptively sweet as she retorted, "Till death do us part."
"One more question," she demanded a minute later, as he lay her down for a fresh ravishing. "Was I the first?"
Allison put her hands up to hold his chest at bay. "Don't play dumb with me. Was I the first candidate for Lady of this Zoo of yours, or not?"
William sighed, bracing himself on one elbow. "Actually," he admitted, "there were five before you."
Her eyes lit with fury. "Five? And I suppose you showed all of them this same hospitality?"
Lord Haversham grinned rather sheepishly, highlighting his perfect dimples. "Alas, no. Although the others were even more selfish and miserable than you, none of them managed to spark my-- shall we say-- libido? In their cases, I sent them all packing without laying a hand on them."
Allison beamed wickedly as she pulled him down on top of her. "Good. And I intend to keep you sparked for the next fifty years or so."
Haversham chuckled, allowing her to claim their mutual prize. No further words were exchanged till dawn.
Copyright 1999 Credited Author and
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