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Beatrice's fairytale might have a good ending...
|Part Two - Click to View|
|Part Two - Click to view|
Made for Beatrice Black - a wonderful fan who has left some lovely comments on my blog. If you haven't noticed by now, I like to do things for people who take the time to leave comments. When something sticks out, I think it's worth the extra effort.
Beatrice had always loved the manicured grounds of the estate. Everything was meticulously cultivated beauty, a perfect reflection of the Ashford family. In a way, Beatrice was much like the garden; a shining example of the Ashford's control of everything around them.
The young boy who has been sent to Raven Crest had not been refined. He had arrived with with his feet wrapped in cloth in place of shoes, covered in soot with shaggy hair. Still, his mother's eyes has always sparkled under the dirt. He had been told that was why Lord Ashford had bought him. Beatrice remembered how that little boy had been so afraid of messing up that he couldn't speak in the presence of Lord or Lady Ashford. It had taken him a week to speak to young Master Thomas.
There was little of that terrified boy left in Beatrice, but the memories were still fresh. The memories of a boy named Benjamin who would have been happy working as a stable boy the rest of his life. Instead, the Ashfords hired a governess to polish Benjamin's rough edges. Ms. Lane had been a strict but fair taskmistress, often having little Ben walk in those wedge shoes over and over until he got it right. Beatrice heard Ms. Lane's demanding voice even now whenever she walked. Heel,toe,heel,toe. It was all natural now, but back then it had been a chore.
When Benjamin wasn't balancing a book on his head or learning needlepoint, he would sit with the young master and talk. Thomas didn't play with Benjamin like the boys back home did; he wanted to Ben to read to him or show him the pretty things he learned to make. They bonded but there was no rough housing. Lady Ashford insisted that Thomas treat Benjamin in a genteel manner. Eventually, Ben couldn't run and play if he wanted because Ms. Lane would fuss about him getting dirt on his skirts.
The standards Ms. Lane measured Ben against were not like he had expected. His shirts were called blouses, his shoes were boots. He had to wake earlier than Thomas because he had to learn to paint his face, like the girls who worked as chambermaids. His lips had to be perfectly outlined in whatever color Ms. Lane choose for him. However, Ben’s favorite was red. Thomas said he liked the color on Ben’s lips - so he tried to wear it as much as possible.
Ben never asked why his body had a different shape than the other boys, but he suspected it had something to do with medicine the doctor made him drink each week. Thomas grew strong and dashing, while Ben grew soft and curvy. By Ben’s sixteenth year, the little thing between his legs had been replaced by a soft garden. It should have embarrassed him, but Thomas seemed to like him that way. He would make Ben blush when the young master insisted on holding his hand while they walked in the garden. That was also around the same time people started calling him Miss Beatrice instead of Benjamin. He was also allowed to eat with the Ashfords during meals and often played the harp for their entertainment. The way Thomas watched Beatrice as she played made her blush.
Thomas still made her blush even now. He was quite the handsome man these days - part of the reason Beatrice was so nervous around him. He liked to do more than hold her hand when they walked alone. Her lips burned every time the young lord kissed her...and when he wanted her to kiss his lordship’s pride. The first time had been frightful. . . but not. . .quite fun. She would look up from her knees and see the passion in his eyes. Her lip color stained him, stirring a sense of pride in the young Beatrice. It was one of the few times she felt a sense of ownership. Any other time she felt as if she exclusively belonged to Thomas - something that also gave her pride.
But the seasons were changing yet again between them. Her Thomas (she only dared think of him in that way in her own head) was becoming more demanding in his time with Beatrice. She didn’t resist when he led her to her to his private chambers, nor did she cry out when he brazenly lifted her skirts and pushed his fingers inside of her. His touches left Beatrice damp and feeling empty, but she always hoped he would demand more of her. It was all very exciting as she discovered that the young lord had a very vibrant and scandalous imagination. It aroused a sense of excitement within her bosom. The more he demanded, the more she wanted to obey. None of Thomas’ sordid liaisons worried her - it was the diamond ring he had slid onto her finger a few hours ago. Lady Beatrice Ashford. . . . it would be her title from now on. It was all so dizzying. Could a little bumpkin girl like herself truly be lady of the manor? Could she really keep her beloved Thomas happy? In a way, she had no choice in the matter; she had always belonged to him even if it had never been explicitly voiced. She had been trained to make Thomas happy, to be his blushing bride by day and obedient lover by night. Eventually, she would sire an heir for Thomas - her duty and dream.