Lady Charlotte’s maid entered the sitting room carrying a small bouquet of flowers. Lady Charlotte immediately laid aside her novel to receive the flowers.
“Flowers, my lady,” the maid said handing her the bouquet. There was no card, but the flowers themselves carried the message. She ran her fingers over the sprigs of rosemary, the herb’s scent crisp and almost astringent scent clinging to her fingers. So, this will be an assignation that I won’t forget. She mused, considering the herb’s meaning .
The scarlet roses weren’t a surprise or, in Lady Charlotte’s opinion, particularly creative. Of course red roses signified love and passion. However as she shifted the fragrant blooms, she jerked her fingers back after being stabbed by a thorn. Hmm, this is an interesting flower after all, she mused sucking her bleeding finger.
Next she ran her fingers over the Jasmine, its heady fragrance redolent of harems and unbridled sensuality, a flower that always appealed to her. She noted that the Jasmine sprigs were bound in golden thread, and she started to decipher the underlying intention of her lover. A smattering of flowers that indicate her anonymous lover would come to her home tonight, and a lone mauve carnation rounded out the bouquet.
Charlotte pondered the bouquet. The invitation was certainly intriguing, and given the roses, this admirer must be acquainted with her. Her dalliances with giving pain were hardly common knowledge, even if her assignations were well known. She mentally checked off which of her lovers were in London, and which she believed were away from the city.
“Sarah, instruct the boy to return a bouquet of violets.”
Sarah gave her a sly smile, “Of course, my lady. Shall I prepare the playroom?”
Charlotte found herself grinning at the maid’s impudence, but the girl was correct. “Yes, Sarah. And we will address your familiar tone later.”
“Yes, ma’am” the maid said wearing a smile and a blush.
Charlotte knew that the young woman sometimes misbehaved just to earn a punishment. And Charlotte always enjoyed delivering the punishment, and then putting her maid’s clever fingers and tongue to work.
Charlotte lounged in her playroom, wearing a red silk robe over her corset and bloomers. At the appointed time, she heard a sharp knock on the door. She could hear the quiet exchange between her lover and Sarah. She felt her pulse quicken with the soft thud of boots on the stairs. The door swung open, and Charlotte found herself faced with Duke –. She didn’t disguise her surprise at his appearance.
They’d had a dalliance the previous season, but they hadn’t explored the darker pleasures. They had shared a number of risky romps in the backrooms of London townhouses during a ball or two. But he had been called back to his country estates before the season ended. He had invited her to a house party a month or so after he left, but she hadn’t attended already engaged that weekend at a meeting for one of the Hellfire Clubs. She hadn’t seen or heard from him since.
“Duke –, how wonderful to see you again.”
The Duke looked her over, his eyes traveling down the silk robe, a robe that clung to her every curve, to end at her bare feet. “Lady Charlotte, I do hope you understood my message.” He purred, moving closer to her. He noted the riding crop lying next to her and picked it up. “I’ll be the one with crop tonight.”
Charlotte considered this. She rarely gave over control, but she thought of the rose thorns and let him take the crop. She remained reclined on the chaise.
“Stand up and take off your robe” he ordered.
She stood and let the robe slither from her shoulders, to slide down her bare arms, pooling around her feet. The intensity of his gray eyes on her caused her to shiver. Charlotte was not inexperienced, but something about the level of game the Duke would play had her tense with anticipation.
He gripped her by the waist and pulled her to him. She could feel the heat of his hand through the scarlet twill of her corset. He kissed her then, a rough capturing kiss. She stiffened a moment, not expecting such ferocity from him. Perhaps she had spent too much time on the other side of the crop, she mused melting in to the kiss. She let him slip his tongue into her mouth. She met his invasion with her own. She wrapped her arms around his neck, enjoying the kiss.
He broke away first, and she noted that he was breathing hard. “Turn around,” he ordered, his voice hoarse.
She didn’t bother to hide her smile as she turned. She expected that he would unlace her corset, but he surprised her by tossing a bouquet of roses onto the chaise. She noted their long stems and the large thorns that studded their length. This was a prop she hadn’t considered. Was he really going to treat the flowers as a literal message?
“Bend over” he ordered.
She leaned over the arm of the chaise. He walked behind her, slowly caressing her bottom. With a jerk, he pulled her bloomers down. They both heard the fabric tear with the force of his jerk. Once again she was excited by his unexpected behavior.
Charlotte considered herself skilled in reading the desires a person harbored. Like her maid, Sarah. When she’d hired the girl, Charlotte had known the young woman was a lover of woman and would blossom to her games of discipline and punishment. Yet, in the few frantic and certainly passionate romps she’d had with the Duke, she never intuited this level of ferocity from him.
His hand caressed her naked flesh. “You are going to beg my forgiveness” he said, giving her bottom a small smack.
“May I ask my offense?” She asked, watching him select a few of the roses from the pile.
He stood behind her again, silent. She heard the swoosh of the roses a second before the rose thorns met her flesh. She yelped as the thorns scored her flesh, and the soft petals of the roses brush her skin, tickling her as he pulled his arm back to swing again. She felt each bite of the roses, the thorns pricking and at times biting into her skin. As the stalks broke under the relentless pace with which he tormented her, he would pause and grab more. Her legs shook as she grew wet. She was far too distracted by the thorns to recall that she was supposed to be apologizing for some unknown offense.
“I think you are enjoying my punishment,” the Duke panted. He ran a rose between her legs, the soft petals collecting her wetness. “I should have known that a traditional punishment wouldn’t work for you.”
“My lord,” she purred wondering just how far he’d go with his roses. “I don’t know what I’ve done.” She gasped as he thumped her clitoris with a heavy rose. “Oh, my” she stumbled as he thumped her again, “I…I can’t apologize if I don’t know what I’ve done.”
The rose fell at her feet, adding to the pile that scraped at her ankles. “That is a shame,” he said, but she could hear the smile in his voice. “I’ll just have to punish you until I’m satisfied.” His fingers brushed over her nether lips, teasing rather than satisfying.
Charlotte bucked her hips at his hand.
“Oh, none of that for you my lady,” he laughed. He moved around her and sat on the chaise, “come here.” He ordered pointed to his lap.
She sat gingerly on his lap, hissing at the discomfort. He most have worn his coarsest trousers, and her abraded skin burned. She wiggled on his lap, but she wasn’t going to get comfortable.
“Are you comfortable?” He asked, not hiding his smirk.
“You know I’m not,” she answered, but she could feel his erection.
“Hands behind your back,” he ordered, and pulled the top of her chemise down, baring her breasts. He kneaded her breasts, thumbing her nipples.
Charlotte sighed in pleasure, but as she relaxed her torn skin distracted her. It was warring sensations, the dull burn of her skin and the delightful tingling of her nipples. When the Duke bent his mouth to her breasts, she groaned. This was a game she knew, combining relentless discomfort and pleasure. The Duke seemed to ignore both her moans of pleasure and groans of discomfort. He wrapped his arm around her corseted waist when she started wiggling too much. When his began applying his teeth, to her nipples, she forgot his command about her hands, and buried her fingers in this wavy blond hair.
He tightened his teeth on her nipple, drawing back, stretching her nipple. The weight of her breast, causing his teeth to bite deeper into her nipple as it stretched. Then he released it.
“Ah, Lady Charlotte.” He shook his head at her. “You can’t seem to follow instructions.” He stood, dumbing her to the chaise.
She blinked up at him, as offered her his hand. She took it, wanting to see where he took the game. He led her to the St. Andrew’s Cross. She allowed him to bind her hands, and eagerly spread her legs as he bound each ankle. He looked her over. She could image the picture she presented. Her bloomers were torn away, with a few shreds of lace and lawn tickling her thighs, and her bared breasts resting on the pushed down chemise. Her red corset contrasting sharply with her pale flesh, but she suspect a close match to her abraded, and perhaps, bleeding bottom.
“Once again, Lady Charlotte, beg my forgiveness.” He commanded.
Once again, she lowered her head. “For what, My lord Duke?” she asked, biting her lip in anticipation as he selected another handful of thorny rose stems. She’d figured out that he wanted to her to apologize for not attending his party all those months back. Of course, if she’d realized he had this dark side then, she may have skipped the Hellfire party. As the first lash of thorns raked across her breasts, she decided to wait a bit longer before she remembered.