So I had posted this originally on Wattpad (it was once #10 in victorian), but I'm looking to post my stories here from now on!
It's a spicy victorian romance between a young duchess, who is set to be married, and her butler, who is on the run from her mother's attempts to seduce him. There are some LGBT relationships as well, and they only continue to add to the drama. Here is an excerpt ...
"Charles," Emilia called to her butler as he pulled the last of the thick curtains over the largest of the bedroom windows. Doing nothing more of a response than raising his brow, she went on, folding her legs under her to kneel on her bed. "I have a favor to ask of you."
Her eyes, big and blue, were both devious and desperate as she looked upon Charles' turned back. He gave a hum of acknowledgment as he stepped towards the vanity, the flickering candle awaiting its departure of the adolescent's room. Turning, he was amused by her look of what read to him as diligence.
"Oh?" he chuckled, sitting against the corner of the vanity and resting his hands on either side of him along its edge. "And what would that be? I should hope it's not to ask your father to extend your curfew on your behalf. The first four times should have –"
"Teach me how to kiss," she blurted in an interruption.
The room fell silent, along with Charles' expression. Though said pale expression, shadows flickering in the golden light of the candle, hadn't been replaced by shock, or fear, or even excitement. He merely stared at the Duchess, convinced he had been mistaken. But when seeing the gradually reddening cheeks of the child before him, his lips parted in question.
Granted, it wasn't a very detailed one.
"You must, Charles!" Emilia begged, leaning forward to clutch the end of her thickly-quilted mattress. "I couldn't bear the embarrassment of my fiancé learning I know nothing of even the most basic of intimacy."
Charles could feel his chest tighten. Was it not enough to physically groom his heart to be attractive enough for the Prince? Had he to train her intimately for another man? Must the world find such creatively cruel ways to break him further? And even with such reluctance, the plea in Emilia's eyes drew him effortlessly from his resolve.
Looking away from her, he crossed his arms, his lips squirming in his efforts to find an appropriate response - of which there seemed to be lacking.
"I'm more than sure that your Prince would be happy to teach you himself," was his nervous, though bitter response.
But his eyes widened when seeing Emilia rush from her bed to flounder before him. Immediately his hands went up to keep the Duchess at a meaningful distance, his mind preparing for far more than an unwelcome kiss.
"You must teach me," Emilia begged, before becoming definitive. "I order you to."
"S-So quickly you change your words upon rejection," Charles stammered with pinched brows, finding himself trapped against the vanity as Emilia drew closer, her hands able to grip upon the white sleeves of his loosely-laced blouse.
"Will you deny my order?"
"I ... That is to say ... That is not something I can just teach you, Emilia," Charles pleaded, trying to pry his way through her determination to reach reason. To no avail.
"It is, and you will! You promised you would lend me your help should I need it." Emilia's eyes went from merciless to hopeless in a single blink, leaving poor Charles helpless. "Please," was the whine that sealed his fate.
Love was a cruel mistress, indeed.
A lingering pause and strained exhale later, and Charles' shoulders slumped, lightening Emilia's gaze in return. With a begrudging nod, Emilia gave a victorious squeal, just before Charles' finger reached out to quiet her.
"Not a word to your parents," he warned. "This is not a lesson butlers are meant to teach."
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