One Night Of Passion
Kate raised both fists in the air ready to strike at what she could hit on him. Gary grabbed her by the wrists and held them tight.
"Let go of me Gary," Kate snapped at him.
"Release me now Gary or I'll scream," Kate said.
© copyright 2011
© copyright 2012
He chuckled. "No, it is a close friend of mine. He has graciously allowed he to stay her until I secure more solid residence once I figure everything out."
A warm sensation engulfed her hand. His touch was gentle as he held hers. It caught her breath momentarily. She has not felt a man's touch in this way in two years and she fought the feelings to hide it from him.
Bellford gazes back at Kate following behind him linked with his hand. He chuckled silently to himself. Katie, you are biting up the corner of your lip again. "It is right up ahead," he announced to her.
"What is Bellford?"
He stepped aside to show her and felt Kate give his hand a sight squeeze. "You approve?"
"I'm speechless Bellford. The colors are magnificent." She took in a deep breath. "So fragrant. I can imagine it must be what haven smells like." Kate looked up to him. "How did you know I love gardens?"
"Your spirit says a lot about you Kate," he said softly. "Will you wait here for just a moment?"
"Oh of course," Kate said. His hand released hers and she was suddenly filled with an emptiness. She watched him disappear into the castle. Kate turned her attention out over the stunning gardens. Who is he? Why does he make me feel as if I am the only woman in the world when I am with him? This is moving too fast for me. God, the way he says my name is seductive. He causes me to forget my thoughts.
"Oh good you are still here," Bellford said as he approached her.
Kate gazed at him coming towards her. How am I to stop myself with him? He causes so much desire buried deep within me to surface. Since the moment I met him I've lusted desperately to kiss him, explore him, tease him, seduce him, and now at this very moment...to love him.
"Kate?" Bellford leaned in closer to her. She was still gazing out over the lush gardens. "Kate," he whispered.
She turned abruptly to him. "Yes," she whispered back. His hand found her cheek and Kate closed her eyes. She felt his lips find her other cheek and he ever so softly told her "Time is ours today and only ours. Follow me Katie. His words where so gentle and rhythmic ever one surged through her as slow as they came out of him, leaving her dizzy. He took her hand in his and lead Kate down a path over grown with flourishing greens.
Neither of them spoke the duration of the walk. She noted his steps were paced so she would not struggle to keep up with him. This gave her a smile. He is thoughtful and considerate. His eyes are honest. Why should I not begin a new life with consideration with him in mind. Although I should at least find out if I like his kiss first. Oh what am I saying? I can not kiss him yet. I do not even know him. I feel as if I've known him my entire life. I could not possible kiss him. Ok, if he kisses me I will allow it but I will not encourage it nor kiss him first. Just one kiss or two maybe. Kate gazed at his back and observed his structure. You are so tall and strong. I want to feel his arms around me. I really want to kiss you Bellford.
"What?" Bellford asked as he stopped and turned around. Kate slammed right into him and fell in his arms. He dropped the basket he had grabbed from the castle and caught her.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Mmm," Kate replied while gazing up into his eyes.
Bellford smiled widely at her. "We are here." She did not remove her eyes from his. Bellford's smile softened to a more serious expression. "Your eyes are searching for something Kate when you gaze at me. What are they looking for?" She didn't move. She didn't answer. He placed his thumb over her bottom lip gently stroking her. "Beautiful," he said. Looking back to her eyes her cleared his throat. "I have brought food and wine with me."
Kate stood up straight rather quickly and took a few steps back. Pushing down the material of her dress seemed like a good task for her hands to hide their obvious tremble. She was not sure yet if it was from his words he so seductively spoke to her or the way she felt in his arms or the fact he was so close and did not kiss her.
Bellford patted a spot next to him on the blanket he had spread out. Kate elegantly took the place next to him. Bellford Chuckled at her. "Suddenly so lady like Kate when just moments ago you had stumbled over your own feet and into my arms."
Kate stopped her lips from curling up as she knew he desired them to do. "I believe it was you who stopped abruptly in my path, thus, causing my stumbling into you Mr. Bellford."
His laugh was deep at her glance she threw to him. "I had only turned to ask what you had said Kate." He raised an eye brow to her.
She let a smile slip as she gave him no attention. Bellford opened the wine and Kate held the glasses for him. "Are you hungry?" she asked.
"I am always hungry." He reached over past Kate brushing her arm as he did into the basket. "I did not pack this. One of the maids did so I am not sure what is in here. He pulled out a cloth pouch of big red strawberries. "Fruit is always good."
Kate reached in and pulled out a ceramic bowl wrapped up tight. "I wonder what this is?" she said. Kate removed the wrapping and saw a glop of brownish red pudding. Her mouth made an awful expression which cause Bellford to look. Kate brought her hand up to her nose attempting to block the stench.
Bellford chuckled, "Liver pudding I think."
Kate shook her head in wonder. "I am not eating this."
He reached in and took out a jar of honey. "Well I'm curious to what this will go with."
"Not the pudding!" Kate stated with a giggle. Kate pulled out a plate and took off the cover. "Oh!" she dropped the plate and jumped over. "Dear God Bellford what is that thing?"
He poked it with his finger. "Honestly I do not have a clue. I see veins though."
Kate's face bunched up. "Why is it I who are pulling all of the uneatable food out of the basket and who packs these items for a pic nik?"
Bellford took another item from the basket. "These are my favorite. I have a wicked sweet tooth for cake."
"I do also," Kate said. She reached in and pulled out a jar. Her eye brows pinched together.
Bellfore grabbed them from her hand. Kate looked at him with surprise. He place them over with the other items Kate pulled out of the basket.
"What on earth did you do that for Bellford?"
"I did not want you dropping them and breaking the jar open once you realized what you were looking at," He said with his hand reaching into the basket again.
"Well, what are they?" Kate asked.
"Cow's eyeballs," he stated calmly.
"Do you have a witch working for you?" Kate asked with disbelief.
Bellford chuckled. "I told you I am just a guest here." His hand emerged from the basket with a hand full of grapes. he gazed over to Kate with a smirk. "Grapes."
Kate shoved her hand into the basket once more. "I will get something worth eating from here." She removed a small dish wrapped in cloth. "Why is this thing oily?"
"Perhaps I should open it Kate." He reached his hand out for it and she pushed it away.
Slowly uncovering the dish she peak in. "Ah see not so bad."
Bellford leaned forward to see. "What is it?"
"Eggs and they do not smell nor look dead."
He chuckled in her ear as he leaned closer. "Are you going to try one?" he asked.
"Yes I think I shall." As she held one up he say the other side she had not seen.
"Kate no don't" He snatched it from her hand. "It is balut and up do not want it. Trust me."
"And why not?" She took it back from him.
"Because," he reached out and laid his hand to hers," It is a half developed duck."
She dropped it in his hand. "No more pic niks with you Bellford."
He reached behind his back and picked up a strawberry. He placed it close to Kate's mouth. "What if I were to just feed you these on our next outing?" He watched Kate smile and then slowly opened her mouth for him. He placed the tip of the strawberry in her mouth and Kate closed her lips around it. She gazed into his eyes and then very slowly bit down. She saw Bellford's mouth open slightly and she shook her head no.
Kate pulled away slightly and said, "Never." He offered the rest of the strawberry to her. Kate again took it into her mouth and as she bit down the juice trailed down her chin. Bellford leaned in and licked it from her neck and ran his tongue up stopping at her chin.
"Mmm. I'm not sure if it's you or the strawberries but I have never tasted such a sweet lushes fruit before." He heard her let out a small mumble of something he could not make out. Reaching behind him he grabbed another one and bit into it. His lips were nearly touching hers. He placed the bitten strawberry to her wet lips. "It is definitely you Katie." She bit into it again in such a way it forced the juices to flow down over her chin past her neck and onto her chest.
Bellford reached up and traced the stream from her lips down to her chest and back up again. He rubbed it over her lips with his thumb. Kate opened for him and took his thumb in sucking rather softly on it. Bellford moaned as he watched her and felt her tongue play with him.
He slipped his thumb out and slid his tongue in and Kate welcomed him passionately. Her hands ran up his chest and around his neck. Bellford turned her under him laying her down. Neither of them broke the kiss.
She drew her knees up further round his hips pulling him closer as she did. He moaned into her mouth. Kate ran her finger threw his thick long dark hair. It was fierce with passion and a longing she had only once felt before.
Bellford broke their kiss moving his eager tongue down Kate's neck. His hand found her buttons on the front for her dress and could not get them undone fast enough. Finally Kate felt a cool breeze skim across her chest.
He gazed down to her bare skin beneath him and paused. The sight of her naked breasts caused his cock to throb harder then it already had been. Placing his mouth over her nipple her took her in with a fierce longing he would not hold back from. Kate's grip on his hair tightened as she gasped with pleasure.
"Be...Bellford," she moaned. She opened her eyes and watched him move from one breast to the other. He pushed them together flicking his tongue between them. Her body began to thrust up towards him with a rhythmic desire as he pushed back on her. She wanted his hard long cock to push it's way deep up inside her.
Bellford moved his body off to the side of Kate. Reaching down he pulled up her dress and tugged away the material from her body.
Kate said in a breathless frenzy, "Hurry." She felt the warm of his hand on her between her legs.
"Kate you are so wet," he said. His lips found hers once again and he kissed her so deeply that his hand paused where it lay.
"Bellford?" They heard a man's voice say.
Bellford quickly removed his hand hidden from the man and turned around the best he could as Kate covered her breasts. She began feverishly buttoning up her dress.
The man caught sight of her. "Kate?" he said a little louder.
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"I-I am terribly sorry," he struggled and abruptly turned about. "Had I known I would have never approached."
Bellford rose to his feet and held his hand out to Kate. She stood on her own and turned from both of them. Occupying herself in an attempt to hide her whelming tears she brushed out the mangled dress draping her body. The murmurs of the two men at her back were trailing off. Kate closed her eyes tight with dread. So many things ran through her mind right now. Questions of what she was doing with a man she barely knew ran rampid. The embarrassment of what was witnessed by a man she called a close friend.
Their voices vanished from behind her giving her the courage to turn around. Kate quickly gathered her possessions by the large tree next to her. She gazed down at the blanket where she was just laying in a strangers arm. She imagined it was still warm with a passionate fire that was minutes ago all she wanted.
Kate bit up the corner of her lip for a brief moment then slowly stood straight. As she did her gaze locked with his.
Her wide glassy eyes told him everything. "Are you alright?" Bellford asked softly. A long silence filled the space between them. Nervously his fingertips ever so slightly brushed back and forth against his palms catching Kate's attention. He watched her eyebrows pinch and she studied his hands. He immediately stopped.
The questioning look she gave him caused him to turn from her and begin to pick up the blanket. He could feel her gaze on his back burning into him. Finally he said, "I thought we had the property to ourselves. He has given his word for silence. I have known him my whole life so I can feel secure in the fact he will honor it."
The sound of rain drops made a loud ticking sound on the canopy above his head. The unexpected pouring from the heavens was not welcomed in Bellord's mind. "It would appear we may have to wait out the rain here. I have always loved this big old tree." He gazed up at it from it's base. Idol small talk is not going to bring her any comfort right now. She must be upset because she has not uttered a word yet. I knew how difficult this was going to become from the beginning with her. Bellford's mind drew silent. His heart was pounding with fear and confusion of his truth and what he was going to have to tell her. Damn it! I need to tell her. She deserves to know the truth about me.
Bellford turned to her a he said, "Kate I want to tel-"
She was gone. Letting the basket fall to the ground he took off running down the path. Stomping through puddles that quickly filled back in after his boot exited them he imagined she would be not that far ahead. The earth under his feet was growing soft and slick with every passing second.
Through the haze of rain he saw her up ahead. "Kate!" She did not stop and turn to him. "Kate! Wait!" His voice bellowed in the mist out to find her.
Kate felt hands close in around her upper arms seizing her from moving. Their bodies emerged as one. Bellford did not release his grip from her. He held her back against his chest in the pouring rain on a muddy path among the wild flowers around them. A soft panting escaped past her lips and it caught his breath.
He watched the rain cascade from her sodden hair to her neck. His lips touched her moist chilled skin gently. Against her whispered, "Katie please."
Tears hidden by rain drops fell from her eyes. The warmth of his lips kissing her name to her skin felt so right to her. Torn by the love of her past and the man who held her in the present left her numb. How could she feel so much for a man she had just met? A man who reminded her so very much of the love she had lost.
"Don't run from me, from us Katie."
She turned out of his arms and gazed up to him. "You remind me of him Bellford, but you are not him. I can't let him go. I thought I was ready to. I do not think I will ever be able to." Kate took a few steps back. The look in his eyes was saddening. She could see she hurt him. "I'm sorry," she whispered to him through the roar of rain.
He watched her disappear down the path towards the house. Stunned by her words he stood there letting them repeat them selves in his head.
Kate opened the carriage door and took a seat. The man waiting for her in there was quiet avoiding any eye contact with her. He handed her his coat.
She reached out and took it from him slowly. He felt her hands trembling as they touched. He looked to her and saw a deep despair in her eyes. "Kate, you have every right to move forward."
Kate's lips started to quiver and she felt the tears stream down her face. He moved off the seat from where he was and sat next to her. He pulled her to him.
She let her head rest into his chest and she let out every emotion she kept guarded to herself.
"Jagger, I can't let him go. I don't want to. I miss him every moment of every day I breath," Kate cried the words into his chest.
© copyright 2012
Kate composed herself as the carriage arrived at her home. "I feel so foolish. Please promise me you will forget what you saw."
"I would have never went to find Bellford had I...you know what? Let us not have further mention on the subject Kate." Jagger tried his best to smile for her comfort but inside her was mad, bloody mad.
Kate said her farewells, darted to the front door and then stopped. She turned and gazed back out over the street. I could've swore I felt someone staring at me. The sidewalks were empty not a soul to be found. A rush of air blew her skirts and Kate spun around.
"Little lady you are going to catch your death standing there like this," Nelly scorned her all while yanking her inside. "Honest to Betsy you are soaked clear through Kate." Nelly untied the ribbon on Kate's bonnet. "Do not move child. I will run a bath."
"I think you to be a mind reader Nelly," Kate said as she watched Nelly disappear around the corner. Standing there in the foray she was quiet. Almost feeling like a stranger in her own home or a child waiting for directions.
Before Nelly returned Kate had removed all items except for her dress and piled them neatly for Nelly to take. Catching her own reflection in the mirror she noticed her dress was not quit right. Oh dear God. She heard Nelly's heavy foot steps approaching. Kate took a shawl off the coat rack in front of her and wrapped herself, just barely get it around her as Nelly turned the corner. She offered Nelly a sweet smile.
"Alright dear, up the stairs with ya love," Nelly motioned with her hands.
Once up in her room Kate quickly unbuttoned her dress and striped it from her wet skin. Before long she was in the tub and alone. Although it was late afternoon the room was dim. The candle light played with the slight motion of the water around her. Soft glimmers danced on top of the water. Beneath appeared black and bottomless, much like the way she was feeling at the moment.
Nelly dashed in startling Kate to death. "do you no longer posses the gaging of time child?" She strode towards her tipping her fingers into the water. "Out with ya," she snapped. "Sitting a chilled bath water is no better than standing in the poring ran child."
"I had not realized it had draw cold," Kate said softly. She watched Nelly pull out her evening dress for her. "Nelly."
"Yes love," Nelly said.
"I do not feel much like having dinner tonight. I am quit spent and would like to go to bed early."
Nelly walked over to Kate and placed her lips to Kate's forehead. "Well, you are not running a fever." She turned and pulled out her nightgown." She helped Kate dress. "Get into bed and I will send for a spot of soup," Nelly raised her eyebrows,"That you will eat love."
Kate knew better then to protest Nelly's orders. She has yet win an argument with her.
Three days later Kate was still in bed and now with a cold. "Nelly what day is it?"
"It is nearly Friday," Nelly said.
"Oh no. How am I to attend my own birthday party like this in two days time? Do I look as retched as I feel?"
Nelly giggle. "Well love aside from your swollen runny nose causing you to sound like ole man Drowsing, puffy eyes, paler than usual completion, and let us not forget you are breathing like a rhino...you are breathtaking."
Kate let her head fall back to the pillow. "I'm doomed," she mumbled.
"Do not fret child. I have sent word to my sister and she has made you a special tea," Nelly said.
"As cheerful as you are by the news Nelly, I prefer to wait out my cold." Kate sneezed into her pillow. Nelly pinched down her eyebrows to Kate at that. She took it in her weak hand and slide it to the edge of the bed. "Auntie Fern's last concoction put me to sleep for two days. If you not remember you thought me to be dead and Gary was furious with you."
"Oh hosh posh child! This one will be fine. Your brother need not to know of it." Nelly gazed at Kate with a smirk.
Kate let out a sigh and buried her head under the covers.
"Besides love, your brother has invited company for dinner tonight and you are expected to be in attendance," Nelly added.
Kate flew out from under the covers. "What!" She grabbed the pillow at the edge of the bed and sneezed twice into it and then threw it to the floor. "Who is coming?"
"Child you have a cloth on the bed side table for that."
"I cannot reach it," she answered quickly. "Who is to attend?"
Nelly laid out her clothing on a chair fearing Kate may grab it to sneeze into. "i was not given the pleasure of that information even though I had inquired. He gave me a number of four extra."
The knock at the door drew their attention. Nelly opened the door. Kate watched a maid come in caring a tray and pinching her nose closed.
"Thank you dear, "Nelly said.
Kate sniffed the air. I cannot smell a thing. She watched Nelly pour a cup and then hand it to her. "Why was the maid holding her nose?" She asked gazing into the tea.
"I have no a clue love now drink it," Nelly ordered. "You must drink the whole pot of it within the hour and one more beginning an hour after."
"What odd name has she given this one? The last one she named was sleep away."
Nelly poured Kate another cup. "I cannot say."
"Kate laughed. "Can't or won't Nelly?
"My love just drink it and hush your your mouth," Nelly said.
Three hours later Kate was dressed and ready for the guests. "I feel amazing Nelly. I look even more amazing!"
Nelly smiled at her in the mirror. "Yes you do love now it is time to await your guests down stairs."
"No I think I shall make a grand entrance after everyone has arrived." She smiled at her own reflection. "I am beautiful aren't I?"
"Nelly pulled out her chair and said, "Everyone is awaiting you now child."
Kate turned to Nelly and hugged her. "I love you so very much. I think you to be the sweetest, cutest, little chubby woman I know Nelly." Kate released her and walked towards the door with dramatic fashion. "I think I shall be the talk of the party tonight Nelly."
Nelly picked up the tray after Kate had left and gazed down at the empty tea cup. "Good lord what was I thinking?"
Down in the kitchen one of the staff approached her. "Nelly, what are we to do with this tea labeled Conceded Truth from you sister?"
© copyright 2012
Kate stood at the top of the spiral staircase gazing down at all the guests.
"Kate, will you not come down and join us?" Susana asked.
The men in attendance all gazed up to Kate. Gary glared at her funny. Kate responded with a smirk of sorts. She was feeling happy and free and she was not going to allow Gary or anyone else for that matter to hamper her good spirits tonight.
As she began to descend the stairs Bellford appeared in the doorway to the music room. Kate paused and stood there half way down the stairs. He was leaning against the doorframe just watching her.
What is he doing here? Gary! Oh of course, he plans on playing me to the highest bidder. She glanced over to Gary who was still starring at her. He squinted his eyes at her. Kate plastered a wide smile across her face, tilted her head and squinted back. Ok then Gary. You will regret this.
"Kate." Susana said as she climbed the stairs.
"Yes Sues," Kate said.
"What are you doing? Your guests are awaiting you."
Kate walked past her. "They are Gray's guests not mine Sues," Kate said. She could feel Bellford's eyes on her as she made her way to Jagger. "What a wonderful surprise," Kate said as she embraced him sincerely.
"You look lovely tonight Kate," Jagger said.
"Thank you," she replied. Looping her arm through Jagger's she led the way into the music room off to their left. "Will you join me in a toast?"
"What are we toasting too?" Jagger asked.
Kate released his arm. "I think we shall toast to wonderful friends and to my upcoming birthday." She took a wine bottle from the server table and unwrapped the foil.
"Kate my Darling, the servants are more than capable for serving our guests," Susana said with a fake amused tone. She held out her hand to Kate.
"I also am perfectly capable of serving them as well, thank you." She turned her back to Susana as she struggled to pop the cork. "Jagger would you please get some glasses." Just then the cork popped. Kate smiled as she filled every one's glass.
After pouring her glass she lifted it and said, "Let us give thanks to Gary for bring us all together tonight." Kate gave him a slightly evil smirk. "Here's to you Gary." She said and then chugged her glass of wine. Before Susana could object she poured another one for herself.
A few more guests arrived. Susana had invited a handful of people. Kate was acquaintances with some of them.
Jagger walked over to her and offered to top off her glass. "You are in quit an odd mood tonight Kate. One would think that you being in a room full of people you don't really know and your future husband you would be nearly this chipper about it."
"Standing at the top of the steps tonight Jagger, I realized you are the only one in attendance tonight that is a true friend," she turned and faced him, "And that is enough for me to smile tonight."
He chuckled softly as he raised his glass to her and toasted to that. "Your brother is a smart man Kate."
"Smart? More like sneaky. Look at him. He cares nothing for what I want. What interests him is who is willing to pay the most money for me." Kate sipped her wine.
Jagger gazed out over the crowd. "He has to do his best to secure your future Kate."
Kate titched. "We both know that is a lie Jagger. He needs to pay his whore." She said it a little loud and drew the attention of some of the others.
Jagger could not help but chuckle. "I agree Kate but you will benefit. You need to move forward with your life."
Kate remained quiet. She did not want to think about him. If he had come back she would not be standing here right now being sold for her brother's debits. She would be happy in the arms of the man she loved.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Bellford approaching her. Kate turned to him. His dark hair swirled in waves as it feathered perfectly back. His eyes sparkled in the candle light. She remembered how soft his closely trimmed beard felt against her skin. The way he smells. His eyes. The way he calls me Katie. Her eyebrows pinched together as she tilted her head.
Bellford saw Kate studying him hard. "Good evening Kate."
Her expression hadn't changed. She remained quite as she looked at him.
Bellford nodded to Jagger," Glad you were able to make it."
"Who are you?" Kate asked.
Bellford's eyes darted to her. "I'm sorry?"
Kate moved closer. She searched his eyes for a long moment. "Who are you?"
"Kate I realize you are upset with me." He lowered his voice. "I want to apologize for the other day. It was impulsive on my part and I should have-
"I believe I kissed you as well but that has nothing to do with what I just asked you," Kate said. "If I'm truly honest, I will admit I seduced you with the way I was eating that strawberry." She watched Bellford's mouth drop open slightly. "Would you not agree I aroused you by that?"
Kate heard gasps coming from behind her and Jagger walked away trying to hide his laughter.
"Excuse us Mr. Bellford." Susana said as she pulled Kate out of the music room and into the hallway. "What do you think you are doing Kate? You are making a spectacle of not only yourself but this family as well." She released her grip from Kate's arm.
"This so called family is trying to sell me off!" Kate said.
Susana glanced at the people starring at them through the doorway. She walked Kate down the hall further out of ear shot of others. "I understand this is difficult for you Kate. There is just no other way darling." She turned to look at her. "We will lose everything."
Kate met her eyes and said, "It should have never fallen to my shoulders Susana. I am not the one with a whore and I have no interest in spending money to keep up with a false facade for my so called friends." Kate walked away back to the party.
Gary was clever enough to distract the guests by asking Mr. and Mrs. Hasselt to play a piano forte. She entered the room with every intention of finding Bellford. She spotted him standing in a crowd of giggling women, most of them young and single.
Kate found her glass of wine and filled it up again. Gary watched her from across the room while he stood with a small group of men.
Oh dear god. Kate rolled her eyes before turning around. "Yes Beckum."
"Has Gary spoken to you about your birthday party?" he asked.
She looked up into his eyes. They were empty. Kate raised her glass to her lips and began to drink. Beckum reached up and took the glass from her and placed it down rather rough on the table next to them. "I asked you a direct question and I expect an answer when I do." His voice was harsh.
"I may choose to answer you and I may choose not to. You do not own me, Beckum."
"Yet," Beckum interrupted.
Kate went to take her wine glass and Beckum covered her hand with his and pressed down firmly. She looked to the base of the glass.
"You will learn to respect me and abide by my word," he hissed at her.
Kate saw another hand cover theirs. "If you ever lay your hand on her again I will have no problem doing the same to you." Kate gazed up to see Bellford standing before her.
She felt the sting of tears peaking at the corner of her eyes. The rest of her life flashed in her mind. The way his words came out at me is only the beginning. He spit on me as he spoke on purpose. She glances over to Gary and Susana who were watching intently at them. And worse yet, they know it. Both of them. They are willing to give me up to a man who has no problem hurting me in front of these people. She gazed back to Bellford who now had her hand free from Beckum's and had his back to her. The men were arguing but she could hear them. Kate was numb. Utterly numb.
She turned and left the room and headed for the back hallway. The part of the house she seemed to forget about since that night two years ago.
"Kate wait," Bellford shouted.
She didn't pay him any attention and turned the corner towards the library. He caught up with her and gently took a hold of her upper arms. "Katie please wait."
"Stop calling me Katie!" She whipped around to him. "You cannot call me that. O-only he can call me that."
He watched the tears flow down her cheeks and he slowly walked towards her. "Only who can call you that Kate?"
She took a deep uneasy breath. "He did and you can't. He always called me Katie."
He reached out for her. "Who?"
"J-J." Kate choked on her own words. She fell to her knees. "It hurts so much. He never came back for me. He never really loved me."
Bellford kneeled down and took her up into his arms. After a few minutes he whispered, "Kate I want to tell you something."
She pulled back and looked up into his eyes. The hallway was dim and only lit by the moonlight coming through the windows. "You are so handsome. So many things about you remind me of him Bellford." Kate couldn't help herself, she kissed him. He restrained from it and she could feel it. Kate found herself pushing onto the floor and climbing on top of him.
He pushed her back slightly. "Kate I do not think we should be doing this."
She kissed him again. Her hands moved to his shoulders under his coat.
"Kate please. I really can't do this." Bellford pleaded with her.
"Yes you can. Now kiss me back," Kate said. She took a hold of his shirt and ripped it open.
"Holly shit Kate," he shouted.
"Shut up and kiss me Bellford." She threw herself on him again.
He grabbed Kate's arms. "Stop."
She leaned back on her knees. "Why? You were so willing to the other day so why not now?"
"Because it is not right for us to do this Kate. It is wrong of me to allow you to want this when you truly don't," He said.
Kate stood up. "Okay, I understand then." She stormed down the hall around the corner and towards the music room.
Bellford ran after her as he buttoned his coat. "Kate wait you didn't let me finish."
She entered the music room and walked straight up to Jagger who was standing with a number of other people in the room.
"Jagger I need to speak with you," She said.
The others in the group simmered down and waited. Kate was a mess. He dress was out of sorts almost as much as her hair was.
Jagger's eyes darted to the doorway where Bellford just entered. He heard her say his name but did not look to her. "Yes."
Kate cleared her throat. "Jagger." He gazed down to her. "Will you marry me?"
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Kate struggled in his grasp. Beckum chuckled loudly at her feeble attempts. She stomped on his foot and twisted the skin on his arm between her fingers.
He shook her violently and then raised his hand to strike her. The door opened and Kate turned her head to see Susiana standing there.
Susana locked eyes with Kate and held it briefly. "Pardon me." She said and gazed up to Beckum. She turned and walked back through the door. Before it clicked shut she heard the slap Beckum gave Kate across her face. Susiana paused, straightend out her skirts and patted her hair in place at the sides of her head. She than continued down the hall passing Gary on the way. "He is nearly finished with Kate."
Her nails clenched into the palms of her hands. She could still smell his breath on her face as Beckum hissed in a low tone smothered with amusement, "Did you honestly think I would let him take what is mine?" Beckum grabbed Kate's face. "You have until tomorrow night to say farewell to your old life because you will never again be that woman."
Kate's eyes flew open and she rose to her feet. She quickly walked over to the wardrobe chest and pulled out a few clothing items and then turned her attention to her dressing table. A beautifully carved ivory box sat on the right side of the table, where it always had for the past two years. Kate had not opened it since the night he left. With shaky hands she slowly opened the lid. Kate ran her finger over the soft gold engravings on the back of the heart shaped locket. It had been a birthday gift he had given her earlier that night two years ago.
Taking it out of the box she slipped it over her head and tucked it into her dress. Gazing at the door to the hallway she worked up the courage to walk over and take hold of the knob, turning it she opened it and took a step out into the hallway only to come face to face with two men. Kate realized she was being guarded and stepped back swiftly slamming the door and locking it.
"The terrace," she whispered. Running over she pulled open the french doors and darted to the balcony and peered down. Four men lined the ground beneath her. Kate dropped her bag to the floor at her feet.
"It would seem you are trapped Katie." Before she could react he covered her mouth with his hand and whipped her around away from the edge of the balcony. "Shh, you do not want to be discovered. It may ruin your plans for an impossible escape Katie." He gazed into her wide eyes as he let his hand slip away from her mouth.
"How did you get up here Bellford?" Kate asked.
"I snuck around the back and climbed up before the party ended," he said. "The guards came after I was already up here. The french doors were locked and I could not enter without making noise so I waited for you to come out, as you do every night."
"I see...wait, how do you know I come out every night onto the balcony?" Kate asked.
Bellford smiled at her. "Perhaps I was merely guessing and got lucky."
"Or you could be spying on me at night," Kate stated as she tilted her head and smiled back.
Bellford paused for a moment and just stared at her in the moonlight. "Possibly but not entirely true." He moved closer and took her face in his hands. He whispered in her ear, "I know you better then you think I do. I know you gaze up at these stars every night and release your day to them. I know before you say good night to them, you ask for salvation and love." He heard Kate take a deep breath. Bellford reached down and took Kate's hand up in his and placed it over his heart. "Do you know what your hand covers right now?"
"No," she barely whispered.
He moved away from her ear and faced her. "Your salvation and all the love you long for. It's never left you Katie. My heart has been forever and always yours to hold and keep alive for the both of us." He felt her body begin to tremble.
"J-Jake." Kate said. The air around her grew thin and the stars above started to spin.
He caught her as she struggled to stay standing, swooping Kate up into his arms. Jake laid her down on the bed.
"Katie can you hear me?"
She had to be dreaming. Did he say what she just thought he did? "You are suppose to be dead," she mumbled.
"Beckum is not as clever as he thinks himself to be." Jake chuckled. He watched her eyes flutter open. She sat up and hugged him tightly. "You are not going to start...okay you are."
Kate's tears streamed down her face landing on his shoulder. "I will never let you go again, Jake."
He wrapped his arms a little tighter around her and said, "Please don't."
She pulled back far enough to see his face and leaned in and Jake met her half way. Their lips touched. Kate ran her hands up threw his long hair. Jake's body tensed as she squeezed it into her fingers.
His hands slid slowly up her sides and around to her back. Kate deepened their kiss as she reached down and started to unbutton his shirt. Jake ripped open the back of her dress straight down all the way to her waist. Kate let out a giggle. Jake felt the tug of the material across his chest as Kate tore away the last of the buttons on his shirt.
"Sweet Katie so aggressive now," he said teasingly.
Kate pushed him down on the bed and climbed on top of him. "You owe me two years." Kate said as she straddled him.
Jake watched her slowly pull the collar of her dress down over her shoulders and while holding it over her chest, she slid her arms out.
He suddenly grew a little nervous like he had that night two years ago. The past few weeks she believed him to be someone else which for some reason was easier. No expectations or disappointments so he had thought until tonight when he saw her again at the party. It was then when he saw the way she gazed at him, he realize it was time to become who he should have been for her two years ago.
He was staring at the heart shaped locket he had given her. He sat up and pulled her to him and whispered, "I'm sorry for leaving you. Do you forgive me. I should have stayed and married you."
"I love you Jake and never stopped loving you."
"I love you Katie, marry me," Jake said.
Kate smiled and shook her head yes. He kissed her hard. His hand's wrapped around her bottom drawing her closer to him. Kate let go of her dress letting it fall down her chest. Jake broke their kiss running his tongue along her jawline stopping at her chin. He kissed it twice then trailed his lips down the middle of her neck straight down between her cleavage.
She gasped deeply at the sensation. Her hands grabbed at his shoulders under his open shirt. it was different this time for her. She wasn't tricking him into exposing his feelings for her or begging him to show her. Jake was all hers willingly.
The warmth of his mouth found her nipple and she arched up towards him allowing her head to fall back. Her hands again found themselves running up through the back of his hair and he pulled him to her. Kate felt his mouth open and then took more of the breast in his mouth as he deepend his sinful kiss on her.
He cupped her other breast and rolled her nipple between his thumb and finger gently. The noise that came out of Kate nearly made him stop with the surging throb that shot threw him. Pushing her breasts together he wickedly flicked her with his tongue.
Kate's finger tips dug into his skin as she moaned between her short gasps of breath. A deep desire was pulling from her belly and lower yet. She felt the warmth of his hand skim across her outer thigh up to her bottom. He took hold of her undergarments and her dress yanking them completely off somehow. She sat on top of him naked, panting, and ready for whatever he wanted of her.
He had never been more turned on then he was at this moment. The thought of teasing, exploring, and seducing her all night was so tempting but he knew at some point her body would demand more. Jake reached down between her legs and gazed his hand across her wet skin. He heard her moan his name as his finger slid deep inside her.
She was gasping from pleasure as she felt his finger move in and out of her. It was not enough. The deep desire to be filled was overwhelming and she called out to him. "Jake please."
He knew what she was asking. Jake wrapped his arms around her and turned her body to the bed and pulled off his clothes. As he kneeled between her legs he leaned down and kissed her. His body rested between her legs and he positioned himself at her opening.
Kate laid her hands on his back waiting for him to enter her. He slowly pushed in and he felt Kate freeze under him.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Yes," Kate answered as she gazed up into his eyes.
He held her gaze as he pushed further. The demand of his body was almost over powering his control. He pushed slowly one last time and reached deep inside of her.
"Jake!" Kate moaned. She never knew something could feel so pleasureful. It made her wonder if it would always feel this way every time he entered her.
As he began to push in and out he had hoped she wasn't in too much pain. She was very wet but this was her first time and she was so tight that he knew she would be sore.
The faster and deeper he pushed within her the stronger the tingling odd pull from her lower belly became.
He wasn't going to be able to last much longer and the way she was panting and moaning he knew she was almost there. He felt Kate push her hips up to him and after a moment she moaned one long loud cry and it was all he could do to hold off for another ten seconds. He spilled himself into her so deep and hard, it took over all his functions as he called out her name. Something he had never done for any woman in the past.
Jake lay motionless on top of her.
"Are you okay Jake?" Kate asked with a giggle as his labored breathing blew into her hair.
"Ya." Was all his answer was. After a few more seconds he said, " Kate, I want you to know I-
"Kate open this door!" Gary screamed as his fist pounded to the door.
Jake and Kate looked to one another and he jumped up. Kate flew off the bed and grabbed her robe.
"I know you are not alone in there now open this door!"
Jake had his clothes on and was pulling on his boots. Kate could not believe this was happening all over again.
"Are you leaving?" Kate asked.
Jake stood up and walked to the french doors. "No I'm staying this time."
Just then Gary and the two guards busted threw the door. Kate jumped in front of Jake. "Gary you have no right to do this!" Kate screamed at him.
"You foolish girl move," Gary demanded as he pulled out a pistol.
"Gary!" Kate shouted. She turned to Jake and screamed, "Run!"
Jake saw why she said it and pushed threw the french doors and jumped down over the railing, landing on a guard below.
Kate watched him run off threw the garden.
Gary grabbed her arm and spun her around. "Who was that?"
Kate stared into the fire as she sat motionless in front of it. All it's popping and snapping was mere background noise for her thoughts, she hadn't even heard Nelly enter the room.
"Time to dress my love. You do not want to be late for your own birthday party do ya?" Nelly asked.
"No I suppose not." She answered all the while gazing into the dancing flames. Clueless to how long she had been sitting quietly, she drew her gaze to the clock. Three hours. To Kate it had felt like mere minutes. She refused to entertain the thought of him leaving again although it was doing nothing but toying with her mind.
Kate stood up swiftly and walked to were Nelly was at her dressing table. Without a word she turned from Nelly for her to unfasten her dress. Last nights words, his words, replayed over and over in her mind.
"Your salvation and all the love you long for. It's never left you Katie. My heart has been forever and always yours to hold and keep alive for the both of us."
Romantic and breathtaking as they were, it left Kate wondering why he had not just revealed himself from the start. Why the disguise and charade of an identity? Who was he hiding from...me? Questions she did not get the chance to ask and now she was uncertain if she would ever get the chance to do so.
Before she knew it Nelly had her dressed and was now ready for the final touches. Kate sat down before the mirror as Nelly began on her hair. Her thoughts were still running ramp id with doubt. She couldn't bring herself to gaze at her own reflection. Maybe on some level she was scared to see what her own eyes would tell her.
"All done my love," Nelly said. She picked up a box lined with royal blue velvet and said, "Mr. Beckum had this sent over for you this morning."
Kate drew her hand up to her locket around her neck. With her eyes still focused on the dressing table she said, "Keep it for yourself. I don't care for it."
Nelly's mouth dropped open. "You must Kate. He is to be your husband and to refuse such a-
"He will not and I can refuse it!" Kate snapped. If she were honest with herself she was more snapping with herself then at poor Nelly. Closing her eyes tightly she said, "I am sorry, Nelly. You may keep it and do what you like with it. I have no need for the necklace."
Before Nelly could ask why a knock sounded on the door. One of the staff informed them Gary was asking for Kate's presence now. Nelly without a word walked over to Kate and kissed her about the forehead and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
The room was now empty. Chimes of the small bell her cousin, Susana, insisted the doorman use to announce every guest, found it's way up the stairs, down the hall, and into Kate's room. She closed her eyes again. "Please don't leave me again. Be here tonight Jake, please," she barely whispered. Raising her head she opened her eyes and looked herself in the mirror. Fear, uncertainty, and hope filled her eyes. Kate slowly rose to her feet making her way to the door. With her hand on the door knob it took all the strength she had within her to turn it. The latch sounded and the door opened freely into the room. Kate took in a deep breath, wiped away a single tear that had fallen down her check and left her room for the party.
All eyes were upon her as Kate walked into the music room. Numerous candles lit the room. Extra lavish furniture was rented for the celebration. Kate did note the red velvet runner at the entrance and assumed Susana had everything to do with it. The old piano had been replace with a larger expensive piano. Family portraits had been freshened up as well as new deep blue drapes trimmed in gold on the windows. No expense was spared and she only assumed Beckum paid for it all.
Smiles, birthday wishes, and the occasional congratulations on the engagement were thrown about from all around her. Kate could not even feel her feet moving. A numb tingling feeling washed over her and seemed to sink it's self in the pit of her stomach were it sat like a rock.
The room appeared to be moving in a sluggish motion or maybe it was her own movements. Either way it left her feeling heavy as if she was dragging behind her the weight of the world. The weight of a dim unhappy world at that.
Twenty steps in front of her stood Gary and Beckum shoulder to shoulder. Both watching Kate's every move as a beast watches it's prey. She had not even looked for him in the crowd. if he was there she would have known it by now.
"Kate, are you okay?"
A welcomed voice rang out a song in her heart causing a small smile to form. "Better now that I have you here, Jagger." Kate felt the sudden comfort as he held her arm. "I believe all of London my be in attendance tonight."
Jagger chuckled. "I believe Susana sent out invitations and then two separate reminder invitations." He then gazed down to her with a smile. "Happy birthday, Kate." He pulled out a small box from his pocket.
Kate held out her hand and said, "Oh Jagger, you did not have to get me anything." She took it from his hand.
"I didn't," he said. Kate's eye darted to meet his. "Open it," he said.
Kate ripped at the white silk ribbon securing the red box. Her hands were shaking but she finally freed it. Taking in a deep breath she lifted the hinged lid of the small present. She didn't speak. She didn't blink.
The gasps and murmurs coming from the crowd around her began to echo throughout the room as word spread of what she held in her hand. She looked up to Jagger who was smiling a wide foolish smile for her. She watched his head turn towards the entrance. Murmurs turned into loud whispers as she watched the crowd begin to part at the doorway.
Kate's heart raced with hope and fear. Through the large gathering he emerged. Tall, well dressed, shaven, and just as she remembered him. He caught her breath at that moment just as he always had.
Beckum and Gary raced towards Kate shouting objection. Jagger reached out and grabbed both the men by the throats. "I believe we need a private word gentlemen." He dragged them into a side room and shut the door. Kate hadn't even taken notice. Her gaze was else where.
She wanted to run to him. To leap into his arms but she couldn't move. She stood waiting for him, for this, for two long years. A steady stream of tears cascaded down her face.
"Katie," he said when he reached her. Before her and before everyone he dropped down on one knee. Taking the brilliant engagement ring from the box in her hand, he held her other hand in his. The room drew so silent you could hear the carriages outside the estate.
"I need you to know within your heart I have always been yours, Katie. The vast distance of the ocean never stopped me from loving you, not for one single second of any day. The feelings I have carried for you since I was a child have only grown over the years and that night two years ago to this day, was the most amazing and scariest nights of my life. I realized how much I love you and when I left, the thought of living without you paralyzed me with fear. I was terrified to love you and at the same time could not bear the thought of living without you. I fought for two years to get back to you hoping every second you had not given up on me, and you didn't. Katie, if you take my hand I promise to be your salvation everyday from this day forward. Every breath I take...will be for you."
"You have always been my salvation, Jake. For me there is no other. I love you," Kate said.
Jake slid the ring onto Kate's finger and placed a long gentle kiss on it. Kate finally jumped into his arms and kissed him with a passionate flame that had always burned for him. Finally after two very long years, he was the birthday wish she had wished for a lifetime ago.
Kate and Jake were married one week later in a small chapel outside London. Kate gave birth to a health baby boy named, Jagger. Within five years time they had two more boys and a little girl. Jake paid off Gary's debts and then Kate cut all ties with her family. Once a week Kate takes her husband on a pic-nick in the gardens, weather permitting.
There loyal and dear friend "uncle Jagger" as he is known now, visits weekly and spends every holiday with them. Although, he missed Easter with them and last Sunday diner leaving them wondering why. But, that's a whole nether story....now isn't it.