For today’s promo post, I thought I’d continue the Victorian theme from my post earlier in the month by sharing a bit from Miranda’s Masks. Although technically contemporary erotica, this novel includes a parallel historical sub-plot detailed in the secret diary discovered by Miranda, the heroine, who happens to be writing a doctoral dissertation on Victorian erotica.
Here’s a kinky bit from that diary, for your reading pleasure!
Now is my degradation complete, my shame unfathomable. Now I know how deeply corrupt, how irredeemable, I truly am. I should be wearing coarse stuff, on my knees in the church, weeping and praying for forgiveness.
Instead, I sit here at my dressing table, compounding my sins by setting them down in writing. Sinning again, in fact, as I relive them, describe them, rolling the dark flavors around in my mind like sweetmeats on my tongue. In the mirror before me, I see my face is flushed, my eyes sparkle, the pulse is quick where the lace of my dressing gown reveals my throat. Oh, the shame makes me more beautiful, the shame and the tender pain of silk caressing my stripes.
I had completed a productive afternoon of errands and sent Pauline home with the packages, while I stopped at my favorite tea room on Newbury Street for some refreshment. My thoughts focused solely on domestic issues as I sipped my oolong. New shoes for Daniel, refitting the parlor drapes, the pearl earrings I had chosen for Margaret Booth’s daughter, to be married next month. The attractions of the flesh had never been further from my mind.
Something tickled the edge of my consciousness, distracting me from my mundane reverie. I looked up, slightly startled, and there he was, staring at me rudely from his table in the corner. When our eyes met, I felt that shock, familiar and yet always new. Recognition in the eyes of a stranger, secret knowledge. I might as well have been naked.
He was richly dressed in a fine costume of maroon wool, of the latest cut. A gold watch and chain were prominently displayed across his brocade waistcoat. Still, my immediate thought was that this was no gentleman. His complexion was swarthy and his features rather uneven. His brow bespoke intelligence, but his narrow lips had a cruel cast. His thick black hair, though well-groomed, was a bit too long to be proper.
A mental voice urged me to rise and leave the place, but I could not move. His gaze held me transfixed. Thus snakes are said to render their prey immobile and vulnerable. Before I could think or take action, he had approached my table, and was kissing my hand.
“Madame,” he said, his voice deep and resonant, with the hint of a foreign accent. “Will you accompany me? I feel that we have some common interests to discuss.”
“Sir, I do not know to what interests you refer,” I replied demurely, though of course I had some idea.
In response, he brought his walking stick up between my legs, raising my skirts almost to my knees.
I looked around in panic. All the other customers seemed to be occupied with their own conversations. “My dear, do not play the innocent with me. I know who you are. I know what you want.”
He let my petticoats drop back into place and offered me his arm. “Shall we?”
I fumbled in my purse for money to pay the tariff, but he waved it aside. “I have already settled that matter. Come, my coach is waiting.”
My escort’s carriage was in keeping with his clothing, richly ornamented and expensive. The driver gave me an odd look as we climbed in, simultaneously lustful and resentful. He wore lavish maroon livery, but he was unshaven and rough-looking. Like his master, he seemed to be acting a part.
I settled myself on the velvet upholstery, feeling more and more nervous. My companion leaned out the window, signaling the coachman to proceed. Then he reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a white silk handkerchief.
“For reasons that I am sure you will understand, my dear, I must blindfold you. I cannot have my partners seeking me out after we have concluded our little diversions.” I did not resist as he bound the cool silk around my brow. I could sympathize with his concerns.
The coach galloped on for perhaps three-quarters of an hour. I tried to judge by sound where we were or at least what direction we had taken. Very soon, it seemed, we left the bustle of the city behind. We must have been in one of the fashionable suburbs, Brookline, or Newton. The warmth of the late afternoon sun, slanting in through the window, suggested we were travelling southwest.
My companion neither spoke nor touched me during the trip. However, I was acutely aware of his presence beside me, radiating a kind of magnetic attraction that made me perspire under my layers of clothing. I kept my hands tightly clasped in my lap, resisting the urge to touch him. Indeed, I had the sense that he was tempting me, testing me, with his physical closeness and psychic distance.
At last we slowed our pace and turned into a drive. I heard gravel crunching under the wheels. My companion removed the blindfold, and I saw that we had stopped before a gracious residence, surrounded by gardens. He handed me down from the carriage, and I naturally turned toward the main entrance, with its fanlight and leaded panes.
“No,” he said sharply, reaching out to grab my hand. I looked at him, puzzled. He gave a little laugh. “No, I think it is the stables for you. Go on now, follow Montrose.”
The coachman leered at me. I was about to object, full of righteous disdain, when I realized several things. First, I was alone and unprotected here, in some unknown house, far from the help of any friend. Second, despite both fear and indignation, I was mightily aroused. The trip in the carriage had taken its toll on my senses. I desperately wanted to be touched by the mysterious, dark gentleman with the suspicious accent.
Still, I hesitated. My abductor frowned. “You do not want to cross me, Madame. Do you?”
I felt suddenly meek and pliant. “No, sir. Of course not.”
“Then do my bidding. To the stables.” He lifted his stick and gave me a solid whack on the buttocks. My bustle absorbed most of the force, but the act was so surprising, I could only stare. He raised the stick again. “Now!”
I needed no more persuasion. I followed the surly driver across the gravel to the barn. He slid the door open, and my nostrils twitched at the rich blend of smells: leather, hay, manure. The interior was dim; the only window was a grimy square of glass high up on the wall. Several fine horses glanced at me as I stumbled across the threshold, but they soon lost interest.
I stood in the middle of the room, my boots buried to the ankles in the straw, at a complete loss. Montrose lit a kerosene lantern, adding to the pungent combination of smells. His master sauntered into the building and looked me over. My confusion must have been apparent, for he smiled, came over and cupped my chin in his hand.
“Now, little angel, it is time for you to prove yourself. Do you want to please me?”
I nodded, spellbound by his dark gaze.
“I can see your soul, little one. It is dark. You need discipline, punishment. You need a strong hand, like mine.”
I need a strong cock, my mind screamed, but outwardly I remained silent and demure.
“Remove your clothing,” he said. I was about to resist, on principle, but his eyes cowed me. “Do it yourself, or if you prefer, I will have Montrose do it for you.”
My skin crawled at the thought of that degenerate touching me. As quickly and gracefully as I could, I shed my overskirt, bustle, underskirt, petticoats, and waist. Now I wore only my drawers, stockings, corset and chemise. I went to undo the corset, but no matter how I tried, I could not reach the lacings.
“Please, Sir,” I said, turning my back to him, embarrassed and excited. “I cannot manage my stays by myself. Would you assist me?”
“With pleasure,” he said. Finally, his hands were on me, surprisingly competent as they released the cords and loosened the confining garment. Please, I thought, let him touch my breasts, and he did, reaching around to cup them in his palms. Only for a moment, though, then he turned me around to face him.
“You are very lovely, Madame. You would tempt the devil. Off with the chemise and the drawers. Montrose, bring the bonds.”
Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077J37RW6
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077J37RW6
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mirandas-masks-lisabet-sarai/1127499525?ean=2940158774584
Add to your Goodreads TBR list! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36622764-miranda-s-masks