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Authors: Portia Da Costa

Tags: #Erotica, #Short Stories (Single Author), #Fiction

A Gentlewoman's Pleasure

BOOK: A Gentlewoman's Pleasure
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A Gentlewoman’s Pleasure
Portia Da Costa

London, 1890

Miss Lucy Dawson always thought she was dull compared to the other women in the Ladies’ Sewing Circle, who never hesitate to share stories of their naughty exploits and fantasies. As a plain, eccentric spinster with spectacles and a bicycle, Lucy hasn’t enjoyed a man’s touch for years—though she yearns to experience the full pleasure of lovemaking.

Then Lucy encounters Ethan Oakley, a tantalizing stranger who reawakens her desires. And the Ladies’ Sewing Circle will never believe what happens next….

Part of Portia Da Costa’s Ladies’ Sewing Circle series.

London, 1890

“My dear, how are you? You look wonderfully well.”

“Yes, indeed, you do look in splendid form, my dear. It’s so grand to see you again.”

The Honorable Lucy Dawson blinked behind her glasses, touched by the warmth of the welcome. Over a year had passed since she’d last seen her friends of the Ladies’ Sewing Circle, and it seemed that they’d missed her, even though she’d always thought herself a dull fish in their company. On an impulse, she threw her arms around Sofia Chamfleur and received a loving hug in return.

“I am well. I’m very well.” Interest sharpened in the circle of smiling faces as she took her seat. These ladies were as acute as ever, and they noticed everything. “And I’ve missed you all,” she added, telling the perfect truth.

And I’ve finally got a racy story to tell you all,
she thought as Sofia led her to the place of honor.
One I swear will make your eyebrows soar.

After the flutter of greetings, all the ladies took their seats, settled down and drank tea and ate cake as was their custom. A few took out pieces of sewing from their needlework bags, and some actually sewed a bit, but several made no pretence of it at all. They just waited avidly for the main order of business: the scandalous talk for which they all

“So, has no one had an escapade since we last met? No saucy interludes? No wild and frisky fantasies?”

Mary Brigstock? What a surprise. When Lucy had last been amongst the circle, before her extended trip to Scotland to stay with an elderly aunt, Mrs. Brigstock had seemed as much an odd one out as she herself had been. She’d always appeared shocked and disapproving of some of the other ladies’ wild revelations. But now Mary seemed agog for titillation, more so even than the rest of the circle.

“So, Lucy,” murmured Lady Arabella Southern, causing heads to turn in Lucy’s direction, “you might still be wearing your ridiculous knickerbocker suit and riding your bicycle in such an unflatteringly mannish way, but something tells me you’ve had an adventure while you’ve been away from us.”

Ethan. Oh yes, my Ethan…you’re my adventure.

For a moment, instead of the rather unsteadily stitched sampler that lay across her tweed-clad lap, she seemed to see his face. And his slow seductive smile as he knelt between her thighs, ready to slide his hands up their inner slopes so he could dive in to kiss her eager sex. Her flesh quivered as she imagined him licking her there.


The vision had been so entrancing that she’d jammed her needle into her finger, but as she rubbed the spot, it seemed to be him, kissing it better before returning to her puss.

“Lucy! Do you have a story?”

A dozen eager faces all turned toward her, the ladies of the sewing circle, all fixed on her like a pack of hounds scenting their prey…the prospect of hearing an erotic revelation, whether real or imagined.

Can I tell? Dare I?

What she’d shared with Ethan was remarkable, and something of a miracle for a rawboned, bespectacled spinster who wore trousers and rode her bicycle like a boy. Some of the circle would no doubt dismiss anything she said as a mere fabrication, but it was true, thank the stars, it was all true.

“Well, I’m not sure…. There was something…last week…but I’m not sure if I should disclose it.”

“Oh, Miss Dawson, please do tell,” urged Miss Beatrice Weatherly, a newcomer to the group since Lucy’s last attendance, and apparently a source of no little scandal herself.

A dozen faces leaned in, and a dozen pairs of ears apparently strained to hear all the better.

Lucy grinned, her heart a-flutter, and began her story.


Bicycling to visit her cousin had seemed like such an excellent idea when she’d first conceived it. Lucy hadn’t seen Matilda since her return from Scotland. Her cousin’s house was set in the prettiest of countryside and the lanes thereabouts were flat and perfect for the wheel. Lucy had looked forward to bowling along merrily on her new safety bicycle, eating up the miles, the ride so much smoother now that she had her splendid new pneumatic tires.

But when she’d alit from the train, and retrieved her cycle from the luggage car, it soon became apparent that it was far from a tranquil rural outing that faced her.

She’d gone no more than five minutes when it started to rain. In fact it began bucketing down. And what with that, and her portmanteau in her cycle basket unbalancing her, for once, she really didn’t relish the rest of the ride ahead of her. Lanes that might still have been pleasant enough to travel riding in a dogcart, were now primitive, slippery tracks awash with mud and pitted with enough potholes to test the most accomplished bicyclist.

Of course she could have sent a note to Matilda, asking her to come and fetch her in a carriage. But to Lucy it was a point of honor to maintain her independence and cycle wherever she could, and surely, the weather must brighten soon.

Ah, the mistaken optimism…for in truth, the rain seemed to teem down faster and faster, and Lucy’s cycle felt more and more out of kilter with every spin of the wheel. To make things worse, it was quickly apparent that she’d taken a wrong turn.

Dogged, but rapidly turning into a bedraggled and waterlogged rat, Lucy persevered, fighting for every yard and hoping for a glance of a familiar landmark. Rain ran into her eyes and her wet hair escaped from its plait and the confines of her sodden tweed cap. More hazardous still, her heavy breathing misted the lenses of her spectacles.

She could barely see where she was going at all, and when a blurred animal shape darted out from the undergrowth at the side of the path, she had to swerve violently to avoid it. As she struggled for control, her front wheel hit a grassy knot, then jammed and, with a squeak of alarm, Lucy went flying through the air and landed at the side of the path, bumping her head in the process.

Winded, dazed, and drenched—and minus her spectacles—she just lay there in a tilting, whirling rain-lashed blur, blearily wondering what on earth was to become of her.

But just as she thought about trying to haul herself upright and pull herself together, a heroic figure appeared through the miasma. Tall, solid and strong, and as far as she could make out, clad in just breeches and boots, a shirt and a waistcoat, he thudded toward her at a run, and then knelt at her side like an angel of rustic mercy.

“Are you all right, miss? You took a nasty tumble. I was sheltering from the rain under the trees over there, on my way home, and I saw you go straight over the handlebars.”

Oh, what a wonderful voice. Was she unconscious and dreaming? Giddy and myopic, she couldn’t discern the features of her Good Samaritan, but his presence was both a comfort and strangely unsettling in an almost pleasant way. Lucy smiled as best she could, despite her discomforts.

“I…yes…I believe I’m quite all right…” she said, her voice shaky, and the statement proved a lie as she tried to sit up and her surroundings seemed to spin again.

What a fright I must look,
she thought, despite her parlous state. Why, oh why on meeting this tall, chivalrous rescuer must she look even less attractive than usual?

“You’re all shaken up, miss. Let me help you.” Again came the dark, honeyed voice that had the most peculiar effect on her. She’d fallen off her bicycle in a rainstorm and probably cracked her head, yet still she felt unaccountably stirred by him—despite being unable to see his face.

I must have shaken loose my wits, and that’s a fact.

As dizziness claimed her, she slumped down again, still desiring him. And even more so as strong fingers examined first her head, then her limbs and her torso.

He was checking for broken bones, yet it felt like an intimate caress.

When her savior was satisfied she’d sustained no fractures, he picked her up, lifting her with no apparent effort, and began to carry her easily along the path. The motion of his long, smooth stride was almost hypnotic. Surrendering to the inevitable, Lucy slipped into unconsciousness.


Where am I?
she thought, on waking again.
Am I dreaming? Still?

Eyes closed, she attempted to take stock of her situation. She was warm. She was dry. She was lying on a firm but comfortable feather mattress, covered in clean sheets and a layer of blankets.

Good heavens above, I’m completely naked!

Well, if this was a dream, it was such a delicious one that it was a pity she didn’t fall off her bicycle a lot more often. It was worth a few bumps and bruises to be carried in the arms of a powerful Adonis and laid unclothed in a warm and cozy bed.

“Here. Drink this. It’ll make you feel better,” said a newly familiar voice, and Lucy’s eyes snapped open to see the indistinct shape of her heroic rescuer standing beside the bed.

A sure, steady arm slid around her bare shoulder, raising her up, and an earthenware cup touched her lips. The fluid in it was warm, but not tea or milk, or chocolate.


The beverage tasted rather like the pleasant odor that she could smell all around her.

Whatever the decoction was, its flavor was flowerlike, slightly sweet but not cloying, and it immediately increased her sense of well-being. She was still drowsy, and slightly surprised to be as naked as a babe in a strange place, but she also felt set right, and restored. A strange peace that she’d never experienced before enveloped her, and she drifted again, her only thought that she longed to see her hero’s face.

Losing all sense of time, Lucy slept again but wakened on and off, always feeling the reassuring presence of the big, kind man close by. Without her glasses, she could only discern him as substantial male form in the flickering lamplight, a figure with golden-brown hair and broad shoulders, still clad in his white shirt, and dark waistcoat and breeches. In her dreamy state, no conversation seemed necessary, but her companion spoke to her in soft, soothing tones, and she answered his enquiries about her condition. He brought her more herbal drinks, a little thin but tasty broth, and then, having freed her hair from her half-unraveled plait, he smoothed it back and mopped her forehead with a cool cloth. After that he even bundled her into his own huge overcoat and then half carried her, half escorted her to the outhouse in the backyard of what must be his cottage. Having stood guard outside, he conveyed her back to the warm bed, and brought water and a cloth so she could wash her hands and face.

I should be mortally embarrassed. He’s a stranger. And he’s a man. And here I am naked in his house and in his bed.

Her thoughts drifted idly back and forth, but with every ebb and flow she just smiled. She didn’t care one iota about propriety. She was safe and warm and cared for, and she was happy.

When her mind finally cleared and she awoke properly, it was morning.

Botheration. I think I’m fit again. I’ll have to leave him, and this place.

And I don’t want to go.

Opening her eyes cautiously, the first thing she saw was a low-burning lamp beside the bed, and the second was her spectacles on top of the chest of drawers, next to it. Miraculously, they were undamaged, and with great stealth, she snaked an arm out from the cocoon of covers and put them on.

The world swam into focus and revealed that she was in a fairly large room that seemed to be divided in two by a pair of substantial curtains, drawn to at the middle. Small familiar sounds emanated from beyond this division—the splash of water and the slap of cloth against skin.

Her heroic rescuing knight was taking a wash.

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.

Not giving herself time to think or hesitate, Lucy inched her way out from under the blankets and sat up on the edge of the bed. Her head felt a bit light, and her wits essayed a little whirl, but then settled again. She set her feet on the floor and stepped forward soundlessly on her toes, as bare as a babe but for her spectacles.

A thin sliver of the room beyond the curtains beckoned, and she applied her eyes to it. Instantly, she pressed her knuckles to her lips to suppress a gasp.

She wasn’t the only one naked in the cottage.

Her rescuer stood by the table, illuminated by the light from the fire and another lamp, and he was rubbing his chest and arms vigorously with a washcloth. His back was to Lucy, but she could easily see he was nothing short of magnificent. Muscles rippled in the sunlight coming in through the cottage windows: shoulders, broad back and, oh heavens, his backside. His firm buttocks flexed as he leaned to dip the cloth in a large earthenware bowl, and as he applied it to his belly, he turned slightly on his toes and his thick, masculine shaft swung into view.

The breath stilled in Lucy’s chest. It was not the first time she’d seen the male organ. When she’d been a debutante, she’d had a sweetheart for a while and there had briefly been heated embraces. But the masculine member she’d observed had not been anywhere as long and substantial as this one.

In a reflex action, she slid her tongue across her lips, and as she did so, her hero suddenly halted in his ablutions and fell utterly still.

Had he heard her? Had he caught the faint sound of her smacking her chops at the sight of his manly proportions? Should she now plunge as quietly as she could, for the bed? She knew she ought to, but his athletic beauty froze her in place, naked and trembling.

Seen through her spectacles, the blur she’d witnessed earlier had been transformed into the face and form of an angel. He was a younger man than she’d anticipated, perhaps in his mid-twenties, sublimely handsome, with thick wavy brown hair, strong, even features, and a pair of wonderful blue eyes. Lucy barely knew where to look, her eyes darting from one delight to another: his heroic body, his divine face, his sturdy, vigorous penis and heavy balls hanging beneath.

For a moment, she was convinced he’d seen her. He looked right in her direction. Then he shrugged and resumed his impromptu bathing. Only a slight smile about his sumptuous lips made her wonder, and the way his lashes dipped down, just for an instant.

BOOK: A Gentlewoman's Pleasure
7.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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