“Lady Faulcon’s Rogue"
Lady Faulcon’s Rogue excerpt Chapter 2, published by Blue Moon Books
She so seldom scolded me, or had reason to, that when she did I felt very ashamed. That time was especially bad, because Sir John told her every detail, and I wept from the moment we entered her chamber and she sat me down on the bedside.
“You might have been hurt or even killed, Bess, and then what would become of me? Did you not think of that?”
She kept on even after I admitted, between sobs, that I hadn’t, and made me catalog the items on her do not list I had transgressed. It took quite some time because there were so many and it was difficult to speak whilst weeping so hard. I was not to ride near the boar when we found one; I was not to be anywhere round the hunters when they closed for the kill; I was not to dismount unless one of the men helped me; I was certainly not to get down in the heat of the fray, and I was not to draw the dagger except in direst need. At that point I almost told her that I was in direst need, but knew quite well that was my own fault, so thought better of it and merely begged her forgiveness.
“All right, Bess. I forgive you.”
“Oh thank you!” The shameful wretchedness slowly diminished as she hugged me, and I thought all was well again.
“Now put your night things on and go to bed.”
The sun was just on the horizon and I so wanted to celebrate the hunt with the others that I squealed in frustration.
“Mother, please! I … I am most heartily sorry for … for being disobedient and I never, ever, ever will act badly again and I will be such a good girl that … that the angels will envy me, only … please don’t send me to bed before the feast, please?”
I had wept so long that I thought surely there were no more tears left in my body, but they poured as if from a spigot. She sighed and petted me while I sobbed.
“You must be punished, Bess,” she whispered.
“But … but I have been punished, Mother, honestly! I feel like I have been whipped and … and you need not punish me more!”
A shadow of a smile crossed her lips as she once more cupped my chin and looked into my eyes. “My scolding is that bad, sweetheart?”
“It is … most effective.”
She dabbed my face with a kerchief and sighed again. “I am only a weak woman, and likely I should have left this to Sir John ….”
“Well … perhaps if you feel my disappointment so keenly then I have done my duty.”
I nodded hard. “You have, Mother,” I whispered.
More tears fell as she hugged me, but they were ones of relief because I knew she had done with the scolding. She dried my face with the kerchief, then stood and pulled me to my feet.
“Run along now.”
“I may go to the feast?” She nodded. “I will be a good girl for you, Mother.”
“Certainly you will … because you love me almost as much as I love you.” She smiled and all was right with the world.
“I do love you, with all my heart.”
She cupped my chin and kissed me. “I’ll keep an eye out for envious angels.”
I blushed and shook my head. “I didn’t mean to blaspheme, honestly.”
Her laughter tickled my ears. “Nor did I. But you’re my little angel and always will be.”
“Thank you, Mother.” I kissed her and then turned. “Aren’t you going down?”
“In a little while. Will you ask Dorothea to come in?”
I shut the door as she went to the wardrobe, then I hurried downstairs and into the courtyard. Dorothea sat at a table between two of Belvedere’s men at arms. They had big cups of wine before them, and the woman stopped laughing and stood as soon as she saw me, then nodded and hurried into the keep when I said that Mother wanted her. The men at arms looked none too pleased that I sent away their pretty companion, so I hastened off to find more congenial company.
Sir Belvedere sat by the fire pit telling battle stories, and I listened until Mother and Sir John appeared at the courtyard door. We stood and applauded as they came out. She did look stunning in a blue silk dress that flowed with her movements, and Sir John’s eyes glowed as he led her to their chairs at the head of a long table upwind of the fire pit. I sat next to them, across from Sir Belvedere and Lady Gertrude. The boar meat was quite good, and Peter, one of our footmen, brought out his bagpipes and began to play while we ate. Mother and Sir John stayed but a little after we finished eating, then bid Sir Belvedere and Lady Gertrude goodnight and retired. I walked with them to the door and kissed Mother goodnight. She said nothing when I turned and went back to the feast.
I clapped in time with the pipes and watched the dancing for a while, then walked about looking for Gilbert. As I crossed the courtyard I spotted him on the other side of a paddock headed for the stables, a lighted lantern in his hand. He was such a hard worker I was sure he was going to tend the horses we rode that day, so I followed, meaning to tell him to come back and enjoy himself for once.
The stables were dark and the big doors shut, and I quietly unlatched the small door and crept inside. Horses snuffled and pawed, but all else was still and I waited a moment while my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, then held the side of a stall and tiptoed into the middle of the barn. I heard nothing but the soft horse sounds, and saw nothing of Gilbert until I looked up. There was a faint glow at the far end of the hayloft, and I smiled at a peal of girlish laughter. My riding skirt scarcely reached my ankles so it was not in my way when I quietly climbed the ladder.
I heard two voices then, male and female, but I could understand none of the words, and I kept to the loft floor’s edge as I made my way slowly toward them. Gilbert sat on a hay pile with Jessica, one of the chambermaids, on his lap, and I crouched behind a thick support beam to watch. Lantern light bathed them in a ruddy glow as they kissed. His hand was cupped at her bosom, squeezing her breast while she wriggled. Jessica was rather a plump girl and pretty, with dimples in her cheeks when she smiled. I felt a little bad to spy on them and was about to turn and go when Gilbert reached round and unlaced the back of her dress.
“Now just what do you think you’re a-doing, you wicked man?”
He grinned and she giggled as he pulled the dress down. She wore no under-tunic and was instantly naked almost to the waist. I never thought Gilbert could grin and that sight alone would have held me there, but then he bent his neck and put his mouth on a red nipple and I was rooted to the spot. She moaned and giggled at the same time, a pleasant if unusual sound, and her eyes shut while she drew his head closer. My own little breasts tingled in sympathy, and I took long even breaths to still the trembling in my arms and legs. He raised his head and kissed her mouth as he unbuttoned the dress sleeves and slipped them off her arms, then stood and pulled her with him and hugged her.
“If I am a wicked man, what does that make you, my sweet?”
She wrapped her arms round his chest, her eyes half-shut, while he pushed her dress and underskirt past her wide hips. “I … I ain’t no wicked girl, only I can’t help myself … you’re too handsome and … and just too strong for me, Gilbert.”
“Is that so?” He chuckled and squeezed her large round backside with both hands. “You are wicked, Jessica … and you know what happens to wicked girls, don’t you?”
Her head wagged side to side. “You best not be thinking what I think you’re a-thinking. I’m a good girl and only wicked girls gets their bums slapped.” She made no effort to pull away, merely bit her lip and gazed up at him, a coy look in her blue eyes.
His lips twisted in a mock frown and she whimpered as he sat and tugged her facedown across his lap. My eyes widened and something deep in my belly tingled. He wrapped his left arm round her waist and she squeaked a no but struggled not in the least when he smacked her naked backside with an open hand. I flinched and my own bottom tightened at the noise, but she merely turned to him and stuck out her tongue. He laughed and smacked her again.
“You are a wicked girl. Very pretty but very impudent, and you deserve to have your bum slapped.”
“You think I’m pretty?”
“Yes, quite pretty.” He clapped sharply a dozen times, then squeezed her rosy flesh. “But also quite wicked.”
“I ain’t neither, Gilbert, so you just s-stop that!” She scowled and then giggled, and I shook my head in disbelief.
“You dare give me orders, you impudent thing?”
His hand swatted a bit harder and a bright blush the size of his palm appeared on both plump mounds, and she closed her eyes when he stopped swatting and rubbed her backside.
“Ooh, Gilbert … muh-mayhap I am wicked.”
“Just as I thought!”
He laughed as he rolled her onto her back on the hay pile, stood and quickly threw off his tunic. His manhood bobbed beneath the hem of his under-tunic as he kicked away his shoes and pushed off his linen hose, and Jessica opened her arms and spread her legs.
My eyes burned and I realized I hadn’t blinked in quite some while. He knelt and covered her with his body, and the muscles in his smooth backside clenched as he pushed down and forward. They moaned in unison and hay rustled as they began the age-old dance.
Shame and excitement heated my face, and I forced myself to turn and go. Carefully I descended the ladder while ecstatic wails tingled my ears, then went out the door, quietly latched it, and hurried back to the courtyard. The piper had gone, as had Belvedere and his wife, and only a few of Belvedere’s servants still sat round the tables while our people cleared away. The courtyard doors were shut and barred so I went in through the kitchen and ran up to my room.