The Plan – Chapters 2 and 3
CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 & 3
Ann looked at Sir Charles. There was something vaguely familiar about his mannerisms. Perhaps it was the resemblance to Anne Lister’s family, but it was unsettling the way she was fascinated by this stranger.
Sir Charles leaned in closer and whispered in her ear as his hand sought hers. “Miss Walker, if I may be so bold. I would like to escort you to dinner. I’ve taken the liberty of arranging for a quiet table in Halifax.” Ann shied away from Sir Charles, her face flaming from the contact. Ashamed, that she would find herself wanting to be closer to Sir Charles, she stood. “Perhaps, we should wait for Miss Lister.”
“I’ll send word for her to meet us at the Fox and Hound.” Sir Charles stood. Smoothing down his mustache, he flashed her a rakish smile and then offered his elbow. “Should we finish our stroll through the gardens? I’m quite interested in your flowering beds.”
Ann blushed at the double entendre. She wasn’t sure if Sir Charles meant it that way, but she took it as such. She tilted the umbrella so that it shaded her from the burning sun. It seemed even nature was out to bring her to a boil. Fanning herself she continued on the oath between the rows of blossoming flowers.
“The flowers look so beautiful. I think it’s fair to say that soon the winds of autumn will be deflowering those amazing bushes.”
Ann roller her eyes. Sir Charles was quite the wordsmith. As she dwelled on the his words, she felt electricity lancing through her as his hand touched her back.
“Sir, you are being quite familiar with your touch.”
“Am I? My deepest apologies. I don’t mean to be so forward. I just find your beauty so intoxicating, similar to the fragrance of the flowers in the garden. I find that they go straight to me head.”
“Really, I guess I’ve never thought of the gardens as having that affect on those who enjoy them.”
Sir Charles, offered a cocky grin. “Oh really. I find them quite breath taking, just as you seem to take my breath away.”
“You’re quite flattering, Sir Charles.” Ann fanned herself. It really was becoming unbearably hot.
“Not at all. Just speaking the truth, Miss Walker.” He guided her under a tree and leaned her against it. “If I may be so forward.”
Ann’s heart sped up as Sir Charles leaned his body lightly against hers. There was the niggling feeling again that something was quite familiar about his advances.
“Anne?” she blurted out. She’d finally figured out why she was so attracted to a stranger and a man at that, because it wasn’t a man.
“Yes,” Anne said nuzzling her neck. “I hope my attire meets with your approval and than you’ll join me for dinner. I have secured a room at the Fox and Hound for us for tonight.”
Anne’s warm lips on her neck made her shudder with delight. How could she turn down such an exciting offer? “Well, I’m…I just…” Another nibble and she would be undone right here in the garden.
“Oh god, I’m just about to become unglued here, Anne. I mean, Sir Charles.”
“Well, I’m sure I can put all the pieces back together, if that happens, my love.” Anne slid her hand along Ann’s bodice and raked her ringers over the fabric covering her breast. “I’m about to come undone myself.”
Ann pushed off Sir Charles chest and stepped back, her exit blocked by the rather large tree behind her. “Dinner, kind sir. I think we should go to dinner and not let wagging tongue gather anymore stories at my expense.” Ann looked back at the house expecting Mrs. Priestly to come out any minute and banter on about the appropriateness of the situation.
Anne smoothed down her moustache. “Quite right, I think you should dine so that you can keep up your strength for later.”
“Do you think anyone will be able to find out your secret?”
“Clearly not. You didn’t suspect, did you? It was only after a quite affectionate response were you able to figure it out. Since I don’t interact with others in that way, I think my secret is quite safe. Besides, this will quell those who want you to be seen with a gentleman in public. As well as your own misgivings.”
“I don’t have misgivings… I just…well you know what I’m trying to say, Sir Charles.”
“Indeed, I do.” She offered her arm again and Ann took it with great enthusiasm. “Dinner it is. Shall we pack an overnight bag, just in case?” Anne winked at her. Oh, she was indeed in glorious trouble.
“We won’t be but a moment, Mile. Stand at the ready.”
Helping Miss Walker down, Anne smiled as Miss Walker took her offered elbow. She looked forward to these types of response from Miss Walker when they were wed. Nothing should be different than what a man in wife did in their own home. The same courtesies, loving responses and she was quite sure, the same domestic squabbles, but those would come much later in their marriage, she would see to that.
The butler, ever ready, offered to take Anne’s hat and coat and once again she rebuffed the young man. “We won’t be staying long. Miss Walker has only come to grab a few things.” He looked over at Ann, who now had a beautiful blush crawling up her neck and face. “Isn’t that right, Miss Walker?”
“Yes, I’m going to dinner and I needed to grab something much heavier that this old thing.” She flung the ends of her wrap in the air and then tossed it to the butler. “Could you please send to the maid so it can be cleaned. It seems to have attracted some dirt, or tree sap. I’m not sure which.” Again, Anne noticed Miss Walker blushing again.
Turning to the butler, she said, “Yes, well why don’t I wait down here for you Miss Walker while you grab your coat.”
“Oh, yes. That would be rather unseemly if you accompanied me to my room, Sir Charles.” Miss Walker winked, then practically ran up the stairs.
“Yes, decorum has its limitations, doesn’t it?” Ann poured a madeira and swallowed the whole serving. She poured another and this time sipped it conservatively. Pulling her pocket watch, she noted the time, did the math on the trip to Halifax and then nervously tapped the face of it before closing it. If Ann dallied too long them might miss their reservation for dinner. Perhaps she should have assisted Ann with her coat. She gazed out the windows and wondered whether Lightcliffe wouldn’t be a more suitable residence for them when they married. She had her aunt, sister and father to think about, too.
Her father was too old to manage an estate the size of Shibden and her sister would marry eventually and leave, if she were lucky. As for her aunt, her failing health was always her main concern and she didn’t want her to be concerned about the daily running’s of Shibden. No, Shibden was where she was meant to be, for now.
“I’m ready.” Miss Walked made her way over to Ann, took her drink and swallowed all of it in one gulp. “May I have another, please.” She handed the glass back to Anne and smiled.
Miss Walked seemed rather…full. Or perhaps it was the way the coat lay over her petticoats. Damn things, Anne was so glad she wasn’t a slave to the current fashion of the day. Her own corsets and breeches were enough of a bother, but to add more petticoats was more than she could bare.
“Miss Walker….” Anne handed her the drink and poured another for herself. “Perhaps a toast is in order.”
“What shall we toast to?”
“To a wonderful dinner and whatever may follow.” Anne couldn’t help but smile as she thought about all of the possibilities for the evening.
“To a wonderful evening.” Miss Walker raised her glass and swallowed it quickly.
“Might I recommend that we wait until dinner for another glass? A good meal will help with the digestion.”
“Ah, you are a doctor aren’t you, Sir Charles.” Miss Walker smiled, clearly playing along.
“Madam. I am in your service.” Anne bowed elegantly and then swept her hand forward. “Shall we?”
“Oh god, yes.” Miss Walker grabbed her small clutch.
Anne leaned in and whispered, “Aren’t you forgetting an overnight bag?”
Walking past Anne, she didn’t say anything. “Sir Charles, are you coming?”
“Of course, madam.”
Miles opened the carriage door and assisted Miss Walker into the carriage, when he went to reach for Anne, she slapped his hand away. “My good man, I am quite capable of getting into a carriage.”
“My apologies, sir.”
Anne sat across from a now distressed Miss Walker. Concerned, she reached for her hand. “Are you unwell?” She worried that Miss Walker had a change of heart and would cancel their dinner.
“Did you bring a overnight valise?”
Miss Walker shrugged her jacket off and tossed it to the seat next to her. “I need to get out of this extra dress and undergarments.” She pulled at the lavender neck of her dress, exposing another dress underneath.
“Well, I can certainly help with these.” Anne chuckled. “What a clever girl you are, Ann.”
Ann flashed her a grin. “Well, I didn’t want anyone seeing me with an overnight bag and asking questions.”
“No, we can’t have that, can we?” Miss Walker tossed her shoes to the floor and then raised her foot towards Ann. A pleading look at Anne had her reaching for the foot. She cradled it between her thighs. Her hands slid up Miss Walker’s calf to her thigh where they lingered. The warmth of her sent a chill through Anne. Reaching for the top of the stocking, her fingers slid around the tight band. She was so close to what she desired and without risk there could be no reward. Her hand slid up further and cupped Miss Walker’s butt. Sliding off her seat, she held Miss Walker’s ankle with her right hand as she kissed the leg until she was just over her queer. The massive amounts of petticoats along with the dress she was struggling to pull off had practically covered Miss Walker and held her in place, preventing her from moving too much.
Anne let her lips brush over Miss Walker’s queer. Her tongue searched out Ann’s clit as she raked it over the fabric and then realized she had extra underwear on.
“I think this would work so much better if we divested you of all of these clothes. Don’t you agree?” Anne sat up and rolled the stocking down the leg she was caressing. She tossed it on the pile of clothing starting to accumulate in the corner of the carriage. “Lord Ann, how much did you put on?” she said as she rolled the other stocking off. Up…” She patted the back of her legs. “Lift your bottom, so I can take those off, too.” She pointed to her ruffled drawers.
“Well, I didn’t want to be caught wearing the same thing tomorrow, so I just grabbed what I could and put them on. I was concerned that the maid would come in while I was doing it, so I had to hurry.”
“You are so cleaver, my love.” Anne helped Miss Walker pull the dress over her head. “I don’t know how you wear these damnable petticoats. I find them quite stifling.”
“How do you like your trousers, Sir Charles?”
Anne sat back in the seat and patted her lap. “Well, I find them quite liberating. I only wish I could wear them more often, but I suspect people’s tongues would wag.” Patting her lap again, she wagged her eyebrows at Ann.
As if on command, Ann slid onto Anne’s lap and wrapped her arm around her neck and then ran a finger down the goatee. “Interestingly, I don’t overly like facial hair. However, on you, Sir Charles, it’s quite captivating.” She bent down and kissed the whiskered face. Tipping Anne’s chin up she leaned her forehead against Anne’s. “So, it will take a bit of time to get to Halifax. How shall we pass it?”
Anne pulled her gloves and hat off and tossed them both on to the pile of clothes. “I have an idea…perhaps we can amuse ourselves with a bit of—”
Miss Walker’s lip silenced her own as she kissed her deeply. Pulling back she licked her lips. “Just what I was thinking, Miss Walker.” Anne’s hand traveled through the petticoats and stopped just short of Miss Walker’s queer. “Perhaps we shall travel to Rome tonight?”
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