Authors: Micah Persell
Tags: #Romance, #Historical, #Historical Romance
This edition published by
an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200
Blue Ash, Ohio 45242
Copyright © 2013 by Micah Persell
ISBN 10: 1-4405-6353-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-6353-9
eISBN 10: 1-4405-6354-3
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-6354-6
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or locales in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The resemblance of any character to actual persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.
Cover art © 123rf.com
For Kerstin and Amy —
Your friendships are the balm to my heart that Jane Austen is to every book-lover’s soul.
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father; and had, in consequence of her sister’s marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses; and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.
Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse’s family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between
it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor’s judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.
The real evils, indeed, of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.
Sorrow came — a gentle sorrow — but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness — Miss Taylor married.
It was only natural after four years of increasing affection between Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston. Miss Taylor, in her duties as governess, made daily trips to Fords to retrieve the various odds and ends deemed necessary for a fulfilling life. She was certain to meet with everyone in Highbury, and relished these trips because of that. While on one of these trips when Emma was accompanying her, an onset of a sudden rain-storm caused them to turn home before their errand was completed. It was in Broadway Lane that Emma noticed Mr. Weston hurrying toward them — only
borrowed umbrellas in his possession.
He quickly handed one umbrella to Emma. The other he opened, and without warning, scooped Miss Taylor into his side. Together, they made their way back to Hartfield, Emma walking behind them and observing with glee that Mr. Weston’s arm remained about Miss Taylor for the entire trip.
It was the moment inspiration struck. Emma would make a match of them! She had always fancied herself good at judging the human heart. The plan was quite simple to execute. A suggestion that Mr. Weston accompany them home was expeditiously undertaken by the gentleman, and Emma was delighted to see he continued the duty in Emma’s absence in the following months. It was not just Emma’s imagination that had her noticing Mr. Weston holding Miss Taylor’s hand extraordinarily close in their daily walk from Fords, or the conversations growing increasingly lingering in the garden.
The couple’s friendship blossomed, and Emma had stumbled upon them in the garden a few short months ago. Mr. Weston and Miss Taylor had been sitting on a bench beneath a willow tree. Emma watched in congratulatory wonder as Mr. Weston pulled Miss Taylor toward him. He wove his fingers into her hair, whispered something to her Emma could not hear, and then pressed his lips to hers.
Emma had gasped in delight and ducked back into the house to give them the privacy Mr. Weston would need to make his declaration. And make a declaration he had. Within moments, he had secured Miss Taylor’s hand as the future Mrs. Weston.
It was then that he had pulled Miss Taylor back into the shelter of the willow, overcome with his good fortune in his future wife. He meant only to kiss her some more, out of the view of Hartfield, but the afternoon sun was dappling her skin so prettily. His soft, close-mouthed kisses quickly morphed into something more passionate, more desperate. It had been several long years since the death of his wife, and he could suddenly stand to be apart from his betrothed no longer.
He began small enough, with a simple pass of his tongue along her bottom lip, but when she gasped in surprise, he could not stop himself from sweeping his tongue into her mouth. And when she moaned against him as he teased her with soft sweeps of his tongue, he could not stop himself from trailing his fingers down from where they nestled in her hair. They fluttered over her throat, her collarbone. Her body seemed to anticipate where they were headed, for she arched her back. He quickly closed the final inches and spread his palm over her warm, firm breast.
She pulled from the kiss with a shocked gasp. “Mr. Weston!” she exclaimed breathlessly.
Chagrined, Mr. Weston looked down at the ground, and readying an apology, began to remove his hand. But her own hand stayed him. It flew to cover his and pressed it more firmly into her flesh.
The gasp this time was his. Without his permission, his fingers flexed, squeezing her wonderful flesh. As his eyes were riveted to her bosom, her free hand wound into his hair and pulled him back into a kiss that was much more wild than their previous kisses had been.
She sucked his tongue into her mouth and mimicked the rhythm he had taught her. Mr. Weston was soon carried away. His hands started to wander even more, both of them squeezing her breasts, and then moving around her ribcage, down her back, and to her curved bottom where he grabbed two handfuls and pulled her hips tightly against his.
His arousal pressed fully against her, and rather than the trepidation he had expected, Miss Taylor moaned around his tongue and writhed against him, causing all further thought to flee. Like a man possessed, he began to pull her skirt up by big handfuls, never breaking their kiss. She sensed his direction and began to help him, holding the skirt for him once it reached the top of her thighs.
Then, his fingers found her drawers, wove inside, and caressed the curls masking her core. Her body jerked. Her hips canted forward. She deepened the kiss.
Mr. Weston felt himself the most blessed of men. She was so responsive; not the least shy. And as his fingers parted her flesh and stroked her intimately, he discovered just how responsive she was. She was
Mr. Weston groaned as a fine tremor set into his limbs, and he begged for control. He stroked her bundle of nerves back and forth, and she began to move her hips in time with him. And then suddenly, her hands left his hair and arrived at the fall of his breeches.
With a shuddering breath, Mr. Weston pulled from the kiss. “My darling, you mustn’t. I do not know how much more I can take and remain a gentleman.” Truly, he could probably not be called a gentleman
, what with his fingers stroking inside his future wife’s drawers.
Her hands did not desist. “I have been dreaming of touching you for years,” she whispered breathlessly. “I am to be your wife.”
Her fingers stroked his rigid shaft lightly, wrenching a groan from his chest. “Yes, you are.”
“Then love me now. Do not make me wait any more.”
He had barely needed convincing before, ready to give in with the light stroke of her fingers, but hearing her breathless plea —
Mr. Weston broke. His lips crashed back to hers. His arms surrounded her in a rough embrace. He lowered her to the ground and settled on top of her, allowing his hips to sink between her thighs.
If he thought she was beautiful before, nothing compared to the sight that met him when he pulled from their kiss. Her beautiful chestnut hair spread around her in a halo, the sun shining through the locks and setting them afire. Her brown eyes sparkled beneath her nearly closed lids. Her lips were wet and plumped from his kisses. She licked them as her hands returned to the front of his breeches. Her first sign of nervousness manifested itself with fingers that could not work the buttons.
Mr. Weston laid a hand over hers to discover that they were shaking badly. “Oh, my love, we can stop now,” he said with a gentle smile.
“No!” she said loudly with a blush. “No,” she said again softer with an embarrassed smile. “Only help me with the buttons?”
He looked at her closely for several seconds, and when her eyes flashed and she bit into her bottom lip while moving her hips against his impatiently, he determined she was in earnest. His smile grew slightly as he began to unbutton himself. Her fingers eagerly sought the skin he was revealing, and when her fingertips brushed against him skin-to-skin for the first time, Mr. Weston discovered himself questioning his mortality. She tugged his shaft free, and he quickly wrapped his fingers around hers and shewed her how to touch him. She quickly picked up on the rhythm that had his eyes rolling back in his head, and he caught himself with braced arms as he fell forward to kiss her once again.
Before he knew it, she was placing the head of his shaft at her entrance and tilting her hips wantonly. With a groan, he followed her urging and entered her slowly until he was stopped by her maidenhead.
He sucked in a breath, pulling back to look into her eyes. She was virgin. Oh, he had hoped, but had not expected. “Oh, my darling,” he breathed before surging forward and claiming her as his for all eternity.
She did not cry out as he feared she would do, but she did stiffen and bury her face in his throat. He shushed her gently and kissed her hair. “I love you so,” he whispered. And then he began to move. Slowly at first, but once she had gotten over the pain, she began to meet his thrusts vigorously. And her soft moans were driving him to heights of passion he had never before experienced. His thrusts grew more desperate, and it was by pure luck that she reached her peak before he did. She grabbed two fistfuls of his jacket, threw her head back, and cried out his name. His
It sent him over the precipice. He ground against her as he poured himself into her, pressing an open-mouthed kiss to the hallow of her throat.
He held her afterwards for as long as he could. It was Emma’s voice calling for her friend from the garden that got them to move. They rushed to their feet in a hurry, and Mr. Weston helped her straighten her dress. Then, with a passionate kiss, he allowed her to leave the shelter of the willow tree and seek out Emma’s call.