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A New Understanding

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“Good morning, Papa.” she says as she enters the dining room for breakfast.

“Good morning, dear. Feeling any better today?” Robert asks her.

“I’ll be okay in time, I suppose.” walking to the sideboard she gets herself a spoonful of scrambled eggs and a grilled tomato and sits down with him to eat.

“Good girl, of course you will, just give it time.”

Carson comes in with the first post on a tray and comes over to Edith.

“One for you, my lady” She takes the letter and looks at it. There is no return on the back, she has no idea who might be sending her an anonymous letter, maybe it’s another late congratulations on the wedding, but then that would be addressed to Lady Strallan, and she knows the staff have been sending those back, she hasn’t seen any after the first. Oh, well could be anything. She opens the envelope and takes out a very small note, it’s from Anthony. She considers burning it unread, but decides to just read it and get it over with.

 

Darling Edith,

I know you can never forgive me, but I want you to know I do love you and I had reasons for leaving you. I just wish I’d had the courage to stop everything before it got so far. I am leaving the area soon but I wanted to tell you that I have changed my will and will be leaving my estate to you at my death. This should allow you to become an independent woman of means and still allow you to remain near your parents, if you like. The estate is not large but it is not entailed in any way, so you should have no legal problems. I will be leaving later this week for my families estate, and will not be a problem for you or any of your family.

 

I shall always cherish you,

Anthony

 

Oh gosh, she thinks that’s just shocking, what can he be thinking. He has a nephew, she knows, who should inherit, or he might marry again. She wouldn’t feel right about taking the estate.

“Important letter, dear?”

“Oh...no, Papa, Just a committee member of one of my charities, asking about something. Do you think I could have the car this morning. I really need... to get to the bottom of this.”

“I’m not using it, so don’t see why not.” he replies

“Thank you.” Kissing his cheek, as she gets up and taking her letter hurries out the door and up the stairs. Not too long later, she has changed into a suit of pine green with cream accents, it makes her feel strong, she bought it for the honeymoon, but it has become a favorite, she likes the way she looks in it. Grabbing her coat and hat, she heads down the back stairs and out to the garage. Telling the chauffeur, she has permission to take the car, she drives off down the drive. Turning, at the gate towards Anthony’s, she drives to his home and pulls the car around the side so it can’t be seen from the road. She’d rather no one know she has been here. Walking back to the front door, she rings the bell. Anthony’s butler answers and is shocked to see her.

“Is he here...tell him I want to see him.”

“Of course miss. Come this way and I’ll let him know you are waiting.” pushing past him she heads towards the library, saying

“I know where to go, just get him down here...it’s important!” She waits impatiently, pacing around his library, the lovely room where they’d had tea so many times. Hearing the door open she swings around to confront him.

“Good morning, my dear.” he says stopping in the doorway hesitant to come any closer.

“Anthony, are you insane, you can’t leave me your estate.”

“Ah, I did wonder if that was why you were here.”

“What possessed you to change your will? How can you do that, what about your nephew, or if you marry someone else, any children you may have with them. It would deprive them of their birthright” She finally winds down and throwing her hands in the air she plops down on the small sofa and mutters. “It’s mad.”

 

Slowly entering the room he goes to pour them each a tiny glass of sherry and places hers next to her on a table. He steps over to a chair and sits down.

“On the contrary, it makes perfect sense. My nephew has his father’s very substantial estate to inherit, mine would in no way deprive him of much in the way of income. As for marrying and having children, that will not happen!” he says emphatically. She looks up at him and wonders how he can say that, does he plan to kill himself or something.

“Anthony, what are you planning? What are you going to do?”

“I am leaving this place in the hands of a competent agent, over seen by my lawyer. I will be keeping up to date on it while I’m staying at my families estate. My late brother’s wife, has asked me to come and help her son in the working of his estate. He was crippled in France and can’t walk. Between us we can run his estate and I shall have a home there with them for the rest of my life. On my death this estate and my fortune will come to you. You can live here or if you’d rather, sell it and live a very comfortable life anywhere.” she just stares at him. Reaching for the glass, she knocks back the sherry and sets it back down.

"So you aren’t planning on killing yourself?”

“No...I’m sure you probably want me dead and I don’t blame you, but I am still needed and will just remove myself from the area, it can be as if I were dead to you, if you want.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, I don’t want you dead. I just feel like you will regret it, once you get away from here and from me, you’re depriving yourself of your life here.”

“Sweet one, I don’t want to get away from you, I just couldn’t marry you and deprive you of the things you’d expect from marriage. This way I can provide you with the financial advantages you’d have gotten from our marriage, at least.” pausing for a few moments to think, she finally asks

“Why did you not marry me, really.” Seeing him start to open his mouth she continues “and don’t say the same things about my being too young and all that, tell me the real reason you didn’t want to marry me.” sighing he says softly.

“Edith, I did want to marry you, you are a sweet, loving young woman, I couldn’t marry you, because I could not give you the… home life that a married woman would expect. I went about it badly, and for that I am mortified” he blushed and stood turning to his drinks caddy. Pouring himself a shot of whiskey and knocking it back.

“Pour me one of those, please.” staring at her for a minute, she just stares back, daring him to make a comment. He pours another for her and goes to hand it to her. “What do you mean you couldn’t marry me, because of my home life...my life as your wife?”

“Oh, Edith, this has nothing to do with you, it is me. I am the one who is lacking, don’t you understand I am no longer a normal man.” he pours himself another whiskey and sips it;

“But Anthony, so many injured men, lead normal lives now, I don’t see why you think you can’t.”

“Damn it Edith” slamming his glass down on the table, “will you not just let it alone, this is what I want.”

“I know there is something you aren’t telling me, and damn it, Anthony, you owe it to me to tell me the truth, all of it.” finishing what whiskey that didn’t spill, he sits back down and mumbles.

“How much have your parents told you about the...interaction between a man and his wife?” frowning at him she says

“I am not a child, I know about intimate relations between married people.”

“Well, that is how I know I will never have children, and why I couldn’t marry you, because I will never have... intimate relations with anyone, ever. I am incapable.” shocked she just sits for quite a long time, finally getting up to get the whiskey decanter and refilling both their glasses. Standing next to him she says gently,

“You could have told me.” looking up at her he says angrily

“How could I tell you that? How could I tell a virtuous young woman that I wouldn’t be able to physically make her my wife, I wouldn’t be able to take her body and give her children. That we could never be closer then brother and sister.” he throws his glass of whiskey across the room. “How?” sitting back down she is quiet for awhile and then says.

“We might well have been able to come to an agreement of some sort, if we had understood the reasons we both wanted to marry in the first place. I think we were both lonely, my sisters were both married and you have been alone for so long, we might have been companions.” shaking his head he says

“No, you would eventually have wanted more and I couldn’t provide you with a personal life any better then a nuns.”

“May I be blunt and ask what exactly is the problem?”

“Edith...No!” she just sits and stares at him and then goes to the door, pulling the cord to summon a servant. When the butler arrives she tells him to make sure they are not disturbed for any reason. He glances over to Sir Anthony, and when he receives a nod says

“Certainly, madame.” after he has closed the door she turns on a desk lamp, then goes over to the windows, closing all the curtains. She steps over in front of him. Taking off her coat and hat and setting them on the sofa, she reaches up and unbuttons the jacket of her suit, laying it beside her hat. She steps closer to him and unbuttons her blouse, pulling it out of her skirt and putting it with her jacket, undoing the placket of her skirt she slides it off and steps out of it, setting it aside also. Kicking off her shoes she stands in front of him and says

“Anthony, look at me, talk to me, but your hands on my body and tell me you don’t desire me.

“Of course, I desire you, I’m not dead...at least most of me isn’t. If I touch you it will only lead to disappointment when I am unable to...perform.”

“Your saying that your... member is unable to perform as needed to have sexual relations.”

He just nods and stares at the floor. After a few moments she says

“Come here and sit with me on the sofa, I want to tell you a story.” He reluctantly stands and moves to the sofa. She sits down close to him and says

“Remember how during the war everyone had to pitch in and do their part?”, at his nod she continues “I worked on a local farm driving the tractor and helping out. The farmer made a pass at me, and I’m embarrassed to say that I let him, I met him in the woods and he... took my virginity, with my cooperation. So you see I wouldn’t have come to you as a virgin.” leaning over to him she picks up his hand and then leans over to kiss his lips, as she does, she places his hand on her breast. Yanking his hand away he says

“No! I won’t do this, I can kiss you and fondle your body, but I can’t… make love to you and you will be disappointed... and so will I.”

“Will you be disappointed because you can’t give your body release? You and I can provide release for me. Maybe we can do so for you also. Kiss me and let’s find out if we can both be satisfied… without penetration.”

“Edith, how can you be so crude and so cruel?”

“Anthony, I can because I must. I was your fiancée...almost your wife, and I think it is such a waste that people must be miserable, because of outmoded Victorian values. I am not a shrinking violet, and I feel that we need to resolve this. To try to… make love and see if that is satisfying to either of us, or both. I want to know! I’m not trying to get you to marry me, I just want, once to have been intimate with you. Give me this and I will leave and not object to your will. I’ll take everything you have when you die, as long as you give me this before you do.”

After staring at her for a long time he stands and takes her hand, she stands and just looks at him.

“Put your coat on.” he says resignedly and he picks up her jacket and blouse. “Come along then.” She puts on her coat and grabs her shoes and hat and follows him out and up the stairs to his bedroom.

 

In his bedroom he puts her clothes on a chair. Studying her in lovely, apricot silk lingerie, he mumbles.

“You are...so beautiful. Your body is a joy to look at.”

“Kiss me, Anthony, please.” stepping closer he slides his hand across her cheek and gently touches his lips to hers, lingering to taste the sweetness. Edith opens her mouth just a crack and darts out her tongue to touch his lips. Just the brush of it, breaks something in him. He grabs her, pulling her up against his body and pushing his tongue deep into her mouth, sucking on hers. He tries to pull her even closer and runs his hand up her back and neck to push into her hair, holding her in the kiss while he plunders her mouth and ravishes her tongue. Edith slides her tongue into him and responds to his kiss with all her pent up desire. Finally he breaks the kiss, she is panting and is flushed with desire, she looks into his eyes, smiling. Leaning down he kisses her neck and across her shoulders, slipping the tiny strap of her camisole out of the way. He strokes one finger just under the edge of the lace, down towards her breasts. Leaning her head back she moans quietly, and grabs his head, moving his lips to where his finger is.

“Edith, do you truly want this? Even if all I can do is stroke and kiss you.”

“Yes...yes. I may be wanton but I want you to stroke, kiss, suck and bite all over my body, and I want to do the same to you. Take off your jacket and shirt, I want to be able to feel your skin, against mine.” She steps back and lifts the hem of her camisole, pulling it off, exposing a pair of full breasts, the color of heavy cream. They are luscious, with nipples of palest coral and a tiny beauty mark, just beside one nipple. He looks up into her eyes and holds out his hand, waiting for her to make a move. She steps into him, placing her hand over his, molding it over her breast, showing him what she wants.

“Anthony, take off your clothes” she reminds him. He is too captivated by how it feels to caress her he doesn’t respond.

“I want to be able to feel your body also, now please.” she reiterates. Reluctantly releasing her, he sits on the bed and toes off his shoes, removes his jacket and starts to unbutton his shirt, watching her face, he pauses after the first two, amazed by the desire he can see flaring deep in her eyes. Looking up from his hand, when he stops, she sees he is starting to feel uneasy about this. So she reaches for the placket of his shirt and rips it open with all her strength. Popping a couple of buttons and ripping a seam slightly.

“Take...it...off!” she repeats. He pulls the shirt off and lets it hang where it’s tucked into his trousers. Sitting there in his vest, he just waits. She strokes across his shoulders and down his arms, brushing her finger tips over the scar on his shoulder, that's caused the paralysis in his arm. Slipping her fingers under the top of his vest, she whispers.

“This too.” After a pause, he pulls his shirt out of his trousers and with some assistance from her, manages to get them both off and tossed aside. She smooths her fingers across his chest and down to his still firm waist, brushing her hands around his back and stepping closer, caresses his back. Now his face is level with her glorious breasts and he returns to them, relishing the velvety feel of such plump, ripe flesh. Grasping it a little harder he runs his thumb across the swell to the nipple, just resting there. Edith gives a tiny breathless wheeze and arches her body, pushing her breast deeper into his hand. He is hesitant at first, but this is obviously what she wants, so pulls her as close as possible, spreading his legs for room, and takes the nipple, with the adorable little mark next to it, into his mouth, and barely using any pressure, sucks on it. Edith throws her head back, and moans. He reaches up to her other and pinches gently with his finger tips, twisting slightly. Another moan and a mumbled ‘so good’ makes him almost courageous, and he pinches and sucks a little harder. Moving his hand down and around to her lower back, he pushes under the waistband of her fashionable tap pants to explore her derrière. A storm is building inside her body and she is reveling in the beguiling sensations, like goosebumps on the inside. She wants so much more, so she steps back slightly and undoing the fastener lets her pants fall to the floor. Standing up Anthony motions her onto his bed, letting her get comfortable. She raises a hand to stop him climbing on the bed with her.

“Wait, take the rest off too, Anthony” she says pointing to his trousers.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I want to see and feel all of you just as you are doing of me.” So he removes his trousers and smalls before laying down beside her, making sure to have his usable arm upward so he can caress her body. Leaning down he kisses her, ravishing her mouth once more and igniting a need inside her. Lying his head on the pillow beside her he whispers to her while stroking a breast and flicking the nipple with his thumb nail.

“Edith, my darling, I know you crave fulfillment, and I am going to try to assuage your desire, but this will require things you may be uncomfortable with. You must let me know if you want me to stop...anything I do.”

“Yes, I will.” Getting her agreement he yields to his wants and pinches hard on her nipple, moving his hand to the far one to do the same, he takes the nipple closest to him, drawing it roughly into his mouth and sucks harshly on her. He has realized that her breasts are extremely sensitive and this is a good way to bring her close to gratification. He slides his hand slowly down her belly, while relentlessly sucking on her breast. He rakes his fingers through the tiny russet curls and then teases her, by barely touching as he strokes further down towards her cleft. She has been making soft moaning noises and he can’t help himself. It is making him feel strong and capable. He releases her nipple with a loud pop and a gasp from her. Hissing in her ear he says,

“Spread your legs for me, I have to touch you...you are driving me to desires I thought I’d lost and forsaken. My darling, you are so responsive, I feel I can actually take you to the heights of passion.” as she slowly spreads her legs for him he strokes down across the ruffles of her genitals. And back up to the hooded cover of the tiny gem that can give her so much pleasure, using her response to determine how forceful to be, he starts a tempo of movement across and around that little nub. Kissing and sucking across her body and even gently biting, to heighten her excitement. When he has her gasping and twitching he slowly shifts his body downward, and releasing her hooded nub, moves his fingers deeply into her folds, while placing his mouth on her engorged little pearl and pulling on it with his lips and gently, his teeth. Using two fingers as a stand in for the penis that will no longer function, he slides them into her, by now overly saturated canal. A strangled scream from her makes him realize she is close to reaching her peak. What he hasn’t realized is that she has been reaching for him and just as he speeds up his fingers pumping into her, she slides her hand across his groin and cups his genitals.

“Edith, don’t… it will not respond, please.”

“Does it also not feel? Does it hurt you if I hold you?”

“No, but I...”

“Humor me, let me stroke your body, while you are stroking mine.” Gazing into her eyes he knows it is worthless to argue, and he wants so badly to bring her to climax, to get her to soar to fabulous heights and then smooth her way slowly back down to him. Turning his mouth back to her he redoubles his efforts, increasing in speed and force until his fingers are battering at her and he is roughly laving her swollen nub, pinching it with his lips and teeth, being merciless in his desire to give her an unforgettable experience. He finally feels her legs tighten and so shoves into her as deeply as possible and stays there, as she lifts her hips off the bed and screams, releasing a tiny flow of her bodies moistness onto his hand. He removes his mouth from her, but keeps his fingers buried deep inside. He has felt her grip his balls and flaccid penis, almost to the point of pain, he now realizes he is about to release. He groans to her

“Ah, sweetheart, squeeze me... stroke your finger across the tip. I am so close.”

He lays his head on her shoulder as she does what he asks, and within a few seconds he shoots his seed across her hand and slumps against her, sliding his hand out of her body. They lay silently for a long time, until finally she starts to quietly giggle. He looks up into her face wondering what has possessed her. She giggles even louder, and is becoming hysterical with it, which finally makes him smile.

“What is that all about?”

“I was just thinking that it might not stand up to the job, but it can obviously still function.” he is shocked, that she can make a joke, the look on his face makes her laugh out loud until her sides hurt.

“Oh Anthony, you are such a sweet man, but I am not an inexperienced little maiden”

“No, I can see that” he nods and continues

“I think I had just fixated so much on it no longer becoming… aroused that I assumed it wouldn’t do anything at all. That is not the case, as we both just saw. Do you want to get up and wash it off your hand?” Edith looks down at the hardening white lines of his release and brings her hand up to her face, sniffing at it. Looking over her hand to his face she grins and sticking out her tongue she licks across her palm where some of his seed is still damp. Once again the shock on his face makes her laugh. But then he gets a teasing smile and brings his own hand to his face and watching her eyes he pushes the two fingers he used on her into his mouth and sucks them deep.

“Oh my...that’s so...bad” she says

“You see, my little one, I can be wanton too.” he replies wiggling his eyebrows so badly she just has to laugh. She kisses his lips and sighs.

“Oh Anthony, I wish things had been different for us, but I see now I didn’t really love you, I just lusted. I am so sorry.”

“Don’t be, my dear, it was just not meant to be, but you have given me a great gift. You have made me realize that even if my body no longer works perfectly, I can still live a good life.”

“I’m so glad.” she says smiling.

“Uh, Edith, would you like to stay awhile, I know quite a few other things we can do that feel just as good.”

“Well, if that’s the case how can I refuse. I’ll have to telephone home, I told them there was a problem on one of my committees, should I say I’ll be home for dinner?”

“Nooo...tell them it may take all night to work it out.”

“Than you should have your chauffeur put my car in the garage, out of sight.” leaning forward over her he says

“Later,” as he brings his mouth down on her swollen lips and proceeds to abduct her mind and enthrall her body.