“N&S: Nurturing Love’, Ch. 29-34: Wedded Bliss, 4/06/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #161rev)
Author’s Story Recap from the previous posting: John and Margaret’s wedding planning after they became engaged last week included announcing their affianced connection to the community and their families, getting their new home Rose Cottage painted and borrowing furniture to make it livable for them, and such. The past week has been a whirlwind and now they are just four days away from being married on Thursday, May 18th.
Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: Nurturing Love” is a love story and an upcoming chapter in this installment passionately portrays John and Margaret’s loving tenderness toward each other on their wedding night. I have labeled that chapter with an R rating. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the rating that I provide, then please don’t read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 29: The following Sunday after church services (four days before their wedding)
Margaret and the Hales join John and his Mother in their pew this Sunday morning before John and Margaret’s upcoming Thursday wedding on May 18th. It has been a busy few days in the first week of their engagement. Margaret has written to invite her cousin Edith and her husband and aunt to their wedding—taking care not to invite Henry Lennox, Edith’s brother-in-law who had earlier proposed to Margaret in Helstone, but she rejected him. Mrs. Thornton has arranged for a small tea party reception at her home to follow the small 1:00pm wedding. John has been overseeing the painting and outfitting of what will be John and Margaret’s first home together—squeezing it in between his own work and visiting the Hales for tea each day. For her part, Mrs. Hale has helped Margaret with modifying her own wedding gown since the time is too short to have a new dress made and flowers—with the seamstress working double time to get the alterations completed within one short week. The Hale’s have also hosted Mrs. Thornton, Fanny, and her husband Watson—and John, of course—to tea yesterday on Saturday. It has all been a bit tiring for Mrs. Hale, but everyone can see that she is enjoying this time with her daughter very much—Mrs. Hale even came to church this morning.
Since church is a more egalitarian gathering of the community, with those from among the mill workers and servants in attendance as well–though they site in different pew—Margaret and John enjoy the mill workers kind well wishes. They especially appreciate the kind remarks from Nicholas Higgins, and his daughters Bessie and Mary—as well as from their lifelong servant Dixon and the caretaker Thompson—all five of whom are invited to John and Margaret’s small wedding.
As John and Margaret take the short walk up the hill past what will be their new home and on to the mill property where the Thornton Manor home stands, they talk about the past week and their upcoming wedding.
John: “Can you believe it Margaret Darling, we are being married on Thursday!” It can not be too soon for the eager bridegroom.
Margaret: “I know John Dearest, our wedding is only four days away. Everything has happened so quickly.” Margaret notices the concern on John’s face—him wondering if it has been too quickly for her–and she responds to dispel his concerns by saying with a sweet smile. “But, it has been and is a wonderfully happy time.” She squeezes his arm that she is holding as they walk over the crest of the hill and he squeezes back.
John: “The painting of the interior of the house was completed yesterday, Saturday, we’re just waiting for the house to air out for a day or two before we start moving some of the furniture in tomorrow. I will actually, move my bedroom furniture over Wednesday as planned and spend the night there after the wedding rehearsal at the church. Then, while we’re at the church for the wedding, we’ll have your dressing table and mirror and such from your parent’s home moved over to our new home.” John has, quite practically, thought of everything. As a businessman he is known for his keen sense of organization and management. But he realizes that he has to work together with his bride and soon to be wife, so he asks. “Will that be suitable for you, my darling?”
Margaret: “Yes, John Dearest, it will. We should have the new bedding ready by Wednesday.” She blushes, thinking that it will be their bedding. “I’m so glad that Mother allowed me to wear her wedding gown and have it altered a bit. Mother says that the seamstress will have my wedding gown ready for a fitting on Tuesday—leaving her a day to make any final adjustments to the alterations for the design. And um, I am a slightly different size than my mother.” Margaret blushes because she is referring to her ample bosoms–but she doesn’t want to state it so boldly to John. Though John appreciates his love Margaret’s feminine form and privately guesses to what Margaret is referring. “And we have changed one of the decorations on her wedding gown that I hope you will like.” Then patting his shoulder she says. “Of course, you’ll have to wait to see me walking down the aisle on Thursday to see what my wedding gown looks like.”
John: Gazing at her lovingly he says. “Margaret Darling, I’m sure that you will be the most beautiful bride ever.” He kisses her hand, then pausing a bit says. “You know, we haven’t discussed where we are going on our honeymoon much, I have some ideas if you would like to hear them.”
Margaret: Blushing at the idea of their honeymoon, she says. “I’m sure whatever you arrange will be just fine. But, I hope that too much traveling isn’t involved. We have so few days alone together before you have to get back to working full time at Marlborough Mills, I don’t want to waste them traveling long distances.”
John: He leans in to her, grinning. “I hoped that you would say that. You know that we’ll spend our wedding night in our new home?” Margaret nods, keeping her head lowered demurely, blushing at John’s mention of their wedding night. “Well, I thought that we might spend the next morning at the new house leisurely packing and getting ready before taking the train north late on Friday morning to Scotland for a long weekend. How do you like that?”
Margaret: “John Dearest, that sounds perfect. ” Of course, she will like whatever he suggests. They seem to be so in harmony with one others’ wishes, that she knows they are a good match.
John: “Well then, I will make the final arrangements. I know a little place in Scotland with pretty scenery and some fine craftsmen that we might look into for some of our home’s furnishings.”
The rest of their day—with luncheon at the Thornton’s, then tea back at the Hale’s—follows a growingly familiar and familial pattern that they have settled into easily.
The rest of the days leading up to John’s and Margaret’s wedding go as planned. Monday, the house was clear enough of fumes for some of the borrowed furniture from the Thornton’s to be moved over—with Margaret also giving input on the furniture arrangements, but not seeing the final effect yet. John also finalizes their honeymoon in Scotland details. Tuesday, Margaret has her final fitting on her wedding gown. Wednesday, John has his bedroom furniture and personal effects moved over to their new home—and that afternoon, they have their wedding rehearsal followed by a light supper at the Thornton’s—and with John spending the night at their new home alone.
To be continued with Chapter 30
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 30: Thursday, May 18th, John and Margaret’s Wedding Day
John and Margaret’s wedding morning starts bright and sunny with a cool breeze. Margaret and her parents share their last breakfast together mid morning. With the wedding ceremony at 1:00pm, none of them wants to eat a big lunch. Besides, Mr. and Mrs. Hale have to meet Margaret’s cousin Edith and her aunt at the train station at 11:30am before all of them go to the church. Mr. Thornton has kindly loaned the Hales their second carriage—that will become Margaret’s and John’s carriage when they are wed—so that Mr. Hale can deposit his relatives at the church and then return home to pick up Margaret to take her to the church at 12:30pm.
For his part, John feels a bit nervous thinking that this is his wedding day, but glad to have the day finally here. He and his mother, also have a small mid-morning brunch together for the last time—John having come over from his and Margaret’s new home where he spent the night. Mrs. Thornton has more than resigned herself to ‘losing’ John, but she is also pleased for him, too—because she knows that she has never seen him happier then these last two weeks with Margaret.
John and Mrs. Thornton head to the church in the larger Thornton carriage about 12:15pm since they lived further away from the church than the Hales. John and his mother arrive at the church about 12:45pm to find the church lovingly decorated with some greenery bows on the pews, two flower arrangements up front, and several invited guests starting to arrive. Fanny and her husband Watson are already there and chatting with Margaret’s cousin Edith and Margaret’s aunt—Mr. Hale having introduced them to each other when he dropped Edith, her mother and Mrs. Hale at the church earlier. John greets them and then goes to the front of the church to find the Vicar and assures himself that all the details are being handled as he planned. He wonders when Margaret will arrive and he is eager to see her. As the final few wedding guests file into the church, they close the inner sanctuary doors at the back—the better for Margaret to make an entrance with her father.
John sees Mr. Hale at the back of the church and nods to him—John now knows that his Margaret has arrived. The organ starts playing. John and the Vicar walk out of the sacristy to the front of the church at the head of the center aisle. John [(2) right] looks splendid in his morning suit and he beams waiting to see his beloved, Margaret. For their part, Margaret, her father, and Fanny are standing at the back of the church behind the double doors. Though Margaret and her father are standing slightly to the side so that they won’t be seen while Fanny walks up the aisle. Then, the doors open and Fanny walks up the long church aisle. Then, as prearranged, the organist changes the music to a variation on a theme for Margaret’s walk up the aisle with her father.
Margaret and her father walk to the open church doorway and stand there for a moment, framed in the doorway. John sees Margaret for the first time in her wedding gown, veil and flowers. Margaret [(3) left] looks so beautiful John thinks. She is in a creamy gold colored wedding gown with simple yet lovely embellishments of lace and pearls around the collar–her satin skirt gathered randomly to create a pleasing draping effect. Margaret also looks at John appreciatively—him standing so tall and regal, yet looking at her lovingly.
Margaret and her father begin walking up the aisle, toward John on the right, the Vicar in the middle, and with Fanny as her Matron of Honor waiting for them on the left. Mr. Bell had escorted Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Thornton up the aisle earlier. For Margaret, her walk up the aisle to John seems like a very long walk, but it only takes a minute. Then, before she knows it, her father is kissing her on her cheek, giving her hand to John and then taking his place to the right of John’s side as his Best Man. Margaret and John smile at each other lovingly and then turn forward to listen to the Vicar. Margaret has been to many weddings—since her father was a former Vicar—she is very familiar with the wedding service. But today, she realizes that the words have even more meaning to her today because she is being joined in marriage to her beloved, John. For his part, John’s initial nervousness gives way to a calm when he sees Margaret.
The service continues with Margaret and John’s responses of “I do” in speaking their wedding vows “to love, honor, and cherish”—a last minute wording substitution from “obey” that Mrs. Hale had suggested and that they liked. To both Margaret and John, the service seems a bit of a lovely blur. Then soon the Vicar tells John that he “may now kiss his bride” and John does so softly and reverently. After which, the Vicar introduces them as Mr. and Mrs. Thornton. Then John and Margaret walk back down the aisle to the claps and cheers of their close family and friends. Margaret had worried that her Mother, might be getting too tired, but Mrs. Hale smiles lovingly at Margaret as she walks past her. Margaret stops and reaches out to give her Mother a hug—and John does the same with his mother. One last little bit of wedding detail at the back of the church have John and Margaret signing the church’s bible as a married couple and the Vicar gives them their keepsake wedding certificate—this detail is important because as a newly married couple, they need to carry their wedding certificate with them when they travel in case they have to prove that they are married. Then, John and Margaret greet their guests as they file out of the church before heading back to the Thornton’s for a high tea with their guests. Margaret and John, step into the open carriage for their ride to the Thornton home. Along the way, other friends and acquaintances greet them along the way. John and Margaret are particularly touched by the turnout of many of the mill workers who cheer them and throw flowers into their carriage.
The small gathering of 20 or so close family members and friends at the church and now at the wedding reception at the Thornton mansion mingle easily with one another. Though the Higgins family has never been in such grand surroundings, John and Margaret, and the Hales, are swift to put them at their ease by inviting them to sit and chat. For her part, Margaret gave her friend Bessie, and Bessie’s sister Mary each one of her dresses to wear today and to keep. Bessie and Mary feel a bit self conscious, but also quite pretty in their new dresses. The Hale’s longtime servant, Dixon, is also present and treated cordially by everyone. Margaret is glad that her cousin Edith was able to join them and hopes that she understands why she asked Fanny to be her Matron of Honor. The food is a buffet affair rather than a formal sit down meal. So, people can mingle easily. Then, John and Margaret take one last walk in the garden before bidding their guests farewell and heading to their new home for the start of their honeymoon.
To be continued with Chapter 31
Episode/Part 2–John and Margaret Begin Wedded Life
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 31: Late Thursday afternoon at John and Margaret’s new home for their Wedding Night
John and Margaret’s wedding carriage pulls up to their new home, Rose Cottage [(4) right], around 5:00pm. The late afternoon sun is shining brightly on their rose covered ‘cottage’. John exits the carriage first and then helps Margaret descend. They walk to the front door and wave goodbye to the carriage driver. John takes the house key out of his pocket and opens the door. Margaret moves to walk in first, but John gently stops her. She looks up at him quizzically and John responds lovingly to her
John: “Allow me.”
John then gently picks up Margaret in his arms and carries her across the threshold. Margaret clings to his shoulders and neck and she lets out a little sigh of delight at John being so traditional. John deposits Margaret on the front landing inside their home and he shuts the front door behind them–and locking it. They are alone in their home for the first time. The caretaker, Thompson, has thoughtfully left a lamp burning at the top of the stairs—though since it is only 5:00pm, it is still light outside. Margaret looks around their new home for the first time, and with a little in wonder and awe, she says.
Margaret: “Oh, John Dearest. Is this home really all ours? I can’t believe how lovely the painting turned out.”
John: Beaming with pride at her compliment for his project management skills, he says “Yes, Margaret, Darling. This home, our home, is all ours.” Since Margaret has not seen the house since her first tour of it before it was painted nor any of the furniture installed, though an eager bridegroom he asks. “Would you like to look around a bit?”
Margaret: Nodding and smiling. “Oh yes, John Dearest—this is wonderful!”
Margaret takes John’s arm and they start to look around. In front of them is the large foyer with the staircase leading to the second floor. To their right, they peek into what will be the dining room—painted in blues and whites, Margaret’s favorite china dish pattern colors. To the left of the foyer is the larger parlor, bare of furniture like the dining room, but painted in a lovely pale green. The foyer, itself, has been painted in a creamy tone—that extends up through to the second floor hallway. John and Margaret move to the back of the house on the first floor to the kitchen, also creamily painted—as is the breakfast nook and small sitting room to its left. These last two rooms contain the furniture borrowed from Mrs. Thornton—a small round table and four chairs inset into the bay window area facing the garden, a small sette, coffee table, and two chairs around the fireplace that shares a wall and this pass through fireplace with the large parlor on the other side. They sit on the small sette and let it sink in that this is really their home. John and Margaret look at each other, embrace, and then they kiss each other gently and sweetly. After a few moments, they stand and John guides Margaret to the kitchen–with his right arm around her waist and holding her left hand in his left hand–pointing out the partially stocked icebox and pantry, sink and stove in the kitchen that also has a work table and two chairs—one at each end.
John: “I had some food stuffs brought over yesterday when the rest of the furniture was moved over and I spent the night here alone last night.”
Margaret: Margaret turns around toward John and puts her small hand up to his face and says in concern. “Oh, John Dearest, it must have been lonely for you not to have anyone around.”
John: “Well, in truth it wasn’t too bad. I was tired from getting everything ready—showing the movers where to put the furniture and such. And then, …” John pauses, and leaning in to her says lovingly. “I had our wedding today to look forward to, knowing you would be joining me here in our home this evening.” John and Margaret embrace and kiss again, this time, a bit more passionately. Then he continues. “I had very pleasant dreams.”
Margaret: Blushing, she gazes at him lovingly. “I, too, had lovely dreams of our wedding and starting life together in our new home.”
Neither John nor Margaret have said directly that they were dreaming about their wedding night then—or thinking of it now—but, they are. Now with John and Margaret having explored the whole of the first floor, the second floor and its bedrooms are all that await them. But, first, John wants to make sure that her comfort is seen to and he asks Margaret.
John: “Margaret Darling would you like something to eat or drink before we go upstairs?”
Margaret: Knowing that her wedding night will begin upstairs–and yes, she is little nervous, being a maiden– she says. “No, I’m not really hungry. But it would be nice to have some water to drink upstairs with us.”
John: Having thought of this earlier, he says. “Yes, we have some water and some wine already upstairs.” John takes her hand and kisses it. Then guiding her with his hand around her waist he says gazing into her eyes lovingly) Shall we tour the rooms upstairs Margaret Darling?
Margaret: Giving his other hand a little squeeze she says a bit breathlessly. “Yes, John Dearest.”
Both John and Margaret walk arm in arm to the foyer in the front of the house. They begin to walk upstairs and Margaret has to be careful she doesn’t trip because of her full wedding skirt.
Margaret: “Oops!” She says catching herself from tripping. “I guess this wedding gown’s skirt is a little too full.” They both laugh, then John says.
John: “Don’t worry, …” As he puts his arm around her waist. “… I’ve got you. You’re not going to fall.”
They continue up the stairs. Across from the top of the stairs is the bathroom that they peak into—it is painted milk white and has access doors from the hallway as well as from the master bedroom—via Margaret’s dressing room. There is a counter with a large sink, a large tub to one side, and a commode chair. Towels embroidered with their initials—J and M–are hanging on the rods and Margaret gives out a little squeal of delight at this thoughtful detail. Then they turn left and go down the hall and peek into the empty other three bedrooms painted just as John and Margaret had requested—one pink, one blue, and one cream.
To be continued with Chapter 32
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 32: John and Margaret Enter their Bedroom on their Wedding Night
Then John and Margaret turn to walk back down the hall, toward their bedroom. Their pulses and breaths quicken. They pause at their master bedroom door. And, once again, John gently holds Margaret back from entering their bedroom as he opens the door—then he lifts her up into his arms once more and carries her across its threshold. Margaret smilingly nestles her face into John’s neck. With Margaret, John seems to come easily to such romantic gestures—and she warmly receives them. He gently deposits her in their bedroom and he shuts its door behind them. As Margaret looks around their pale burgundy painted bedroom, she sees a blazing fire in the fireplace sitting area across the room from their bedroom door—the fireplace surround and mantel are painted a soft cream color, while the walls are painted a pale burgundy color. There are two chairs to the right in front of the fireplace and a small sette on the left side in front of the fireplace.
To the left as they enter their bedroom are the doors for first Margaret’s dressing room—with an adjoining door to the hall bathroom within it—with John’s dressing room to the right of Margaret’s dressing room. Much of their personal items have been brought over—especially, Margaret’s–while they were at their wedding ceremony and reception. These two small rooms–large walk-in closets really–each contain a window facing onto their back garden area that also provides some natural light into their dressing rooms. Then they turn to look at each other again and John takes Margaret’s hand and guides her back to the center of the room—in front of the fireplace sitting area.
To the right of the bedroom door as they walked into their bedroom is their—formerly John’s—romantic four poster bed with its new bedding and canopy in a deeper colored burgundy patterned comforter and blankets with cream colored sheets and pillow cases. The bed sheets have already been turned down on both sides of the bed. Margaret blushes and John’s face colors also. John and Margaret are alone, in private, as husband and wife—as soon to be lovers. They have waited for this moment and now it is here–the anticipation heightening their desires. John gently pulls Margaret to him in a tender embrace. He bends down and kisses her cheeks, then he kisses her lips passionately, and then he kisses her neck. John no longer restrains himself or tries to hide his loving ardor from Margaret as he says to her
John: “Oh Margaret Darling, I love you so very deeply.”
John continues to shower Margaret with kisses on her neck and the exposed skin on her shoulders and then her lips again. For her part, Margaret, too, is caught up in this loving moment. She runs her fingers through his hair as he moves to kiss the base of her neck above her bosom and she says to him.
Margaret: “Oh, John, Dearest. I love you so very much, more than I can say.”
Margaret kisses John’s forehead and caresses his cheeks with her small hands as he continues to kiss her creamy skin just below her neck. Then, John moves his lips to kiss Margaret’s lips passionately, again, and again, and again, and again as they embrace each other. Their unspoken thoughts of the loving intimacies that they will share this night—their first night of love–is on both of their minds now as they gaze lovingly at each other. Their breathing quickens and they know that they will soon share their love with each other—as husband and wife, as lovers. Both John and Margaret are a little nervous in anticipation of their wedding night—and deliciously so–since it is their first time making love for each of them. Of course, Margaret is a maiden and John wants to make sure that Margaret is comfortable with him tonight and not move too swiftly in his lovemaking with her—he knows that he needs to give her time and tenderness. Yet, having never experienced the joys of love himself that a man and a woman share together, John, too, is a little nervous. John senses Margaret’s nervousness and decides to share his own feelings with her in the hope of putting her at her ease.
John: “Margaret, Darling.”
Margaret: Gazing lovingly at him. “Yes, John Dearest.” John kisses each of Margaret’s hands, and then turns them over to kiss the soft inside skin of each of her wrists. Margaret sighs with the warm touch of John’s lips on her tender skin. “Hhhh.” Then, he pulls her close to him again in a loving embrace and whispers in her ear.
John: “Margaret Darling, I want you to know …” kiss “… that we will take things …” kiss “… slowly tonight.” kiss “You needn’t be afraid …” Searching for the right words to help comfort her as he continues to kiss her lips and cheek and neck lovingly, he says “… that our…” kiss “… lovemaking …” kiss “… tonight …” kiss “…will happen…” kiss “… without you …” kiss “… wanting it to happen.”
Margaret: “Hhhhh!” Margaret sighs again because John’s kisses make her feel so cherished. Margaret has not thought that as a well brought up young lady that she should ‘want it’ to happen. But, she does.
John senses this hesitancy in his lady love and he tries to put Margaret at her ease as he says gazing lovingly into her eyes as he gently moves aside the curls framing her face.
John: “My darling, as husband and wife, we will share life’s joys and sorrows together—hopefully, more of the joys.” Then gazing at her adoringly as his hand gently brushes her curls framing her face, he says. “And starting tonight, we will share our love with each other, joining together as one—and our loving each other will strengthen our marriage bond.” John feels Margaret give his arms a little squeeze and she softly kisses him on his lips.
Margaret: “Oh John, Dearest. That is also what my Mother told me.” She blushes. “That our loving each other when we’re alone in private is God’s gift to marriage, and our gift to each other. I love you so much, John Dearest.” Margaret kisses John again and he kisses her even more passionately than before. Then she says in a small voice as their lips part from each other. “But, … you will have to … guide me.” She pauses, then says shyly at first looking down and then looking up at him expectantly. “I …don’t know what to do.” As a maiden, she has no idea what their lovemaking will be since she has only ever been kissed—by John, of course—and her mother has not given her any ‘details’. “All I know is that I love you and our kisses and embraces are so wonderful.”
John: John smiles and gazes lovingly at Margaret—bringing her hand once more to his lips and kissing it. Margaret’s maiden modesty is so charming to John. It makes his longing for her as her husband tonight—as her lover tonight–even more sweet and ardent. And he says as he continues to kiss her. “Margaret Darling, I also find our kisses and embraces wonderful.” Then, he candidly shares with her. “I, also, have never felt like this before. Margaret, you are my only love.” John leans in and kisses Margaret’s lips, then her cheek, then her neck. “We will love each other completely for the first time tonight, together.” Then kissing her hands again, he says. “Margaret Darling, we will find our way tonight, together.”
Margaret: “Oh John Dearest, I love you so much!” Margaret gives John a passionate kiss on his lips that lingers. She understands what John is trying to tell her—that their lovemaking tonight will be John’s first time, too. This being their first time making love together makes Margaret love John even more—that John, too, has saved himself for their marriage bed. And John’s loving tenderness and understanding toward Margaret makes her feel more at ease with John—and more eager for him.
John: John nuzzles her neck and her ear lobe. “Why don’t we have a little red wine? Hmmm?” He asks this expectantly to Margaret, feeling that the warmth of the wine might relax her—and himself–a bit. The wine bottle and glasses are on the small table next to the sette by the fireplace.
Margaret: Nodding and smiling she says. “That will be lovely. But … I don’t want to risk spilling the wine on my wedding gown.” Pausing, she starts to breathe a little more quickly again. “Perhaps, I should change …into my nightgown?”
John: Kissing her hand again and smiling warmly at her he says “That sounds like a good idea. I will also change into my night clothes. You may have the bathroom to yourself if you wish. I have some towels and water to splash on my face in my dressing room.”
Margaret: Margaret is appreciative that John will give her this privacy. But she just now realizes that she will need his help first. She tugs at his arm slightly to pull him back from heading into his dressing room. “Oh John Dearest, I just realized something.” Margaret looks a bit stricken and John wonders what it could be and he looks at her with concern. Then he gently pulls her to him in a loving embrace–rocking her gently back and forth to comfort her. “We have no maids in the house with us tonight.” John looks at her quizzically, not sure what she is alluding to. Then Margaret continues, clarifying that she will need his help. “John, I feel a bit embarrassed to ask you this.” And a bit brazen, too, she thinks, then she says quickly in one breath. “But I realize that I can’t get out of my wedding gown bodice and my corset without your help.” She feels embarrassed and looks down at his chest.
John: He lifts her face to his with his hand under her chin. Then smiling at her lovingly and relievedly, he kisses her passionately, then he says. “Margaret Darling, I will be happy to help you.” He didn’t want to say that he will be happy to help ‘undress her’–but that is what he will be doing. “But, I am unfamiliar with women’s clothing–“ He says a bit sheepishly. “… despite living in a houseful of women with my mother and my sister.” Then he says, choosing his words purposefully. “So, you will have to ‘guide me’ as to what you want me to do.”
Margaret: Margaret gazes at John lovingly, then suggests. “Well, might we go into my dressing room?” Margaret feels that if she is not near their bed, it won’t seem so much like John is undressing her… But, of course, he will be—and this thought gives her a little thrill that she had not allowed herself to acknowledge earlier. She motions to her dressing room and they walk into it.
To be continued with Chapter 33
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 33: Undressing Margaret
Walking into her dressing room—Margaret gasps in wonderment that her dressing room is painted her favorite color of pale pink and she squeezes John’s hand thankfully for his concession to her girlish preference. John smiles lovingly at Margaret, pleased with his little surprise for her. Margaret’s dressing room has several open closets for hanging dresses and blouses and skirts—some of which are already filled with her clothing–a large round cushioned seat from her bedroom at her parent’s home, a full length mirror, and some cabinets with drawers for laying other clothes flat. Also, her small suitcase that she had packed with her night clothes is open on a table and has her filmy white nightgown and pale pink satin robe laying across it.
Margaret moves to stand in front of the full length mirror—admiring herself one last time in her wedding gown. John walks up behind her and he puts his arms around her. They look at each other’s likenesses framed in the mirror—a perfect moment captured in their hearts forever. John kisses Margaret’s right cheek and they smile at each other again in the mirror.
John: Then, again trying to put Margaret at her ease, John says very practically. “Alright, my Darling.” He kisses her cheek again and says. “So, where would you like my help first?”
Margaret: She turns around to look at him and says “It’s the small buttons on the back of my wedding gown bodice [(5) right] that need undoing. They’re too small and close together for me to be able to reach to undo them from behind by myself.” She picks up her pink satin robe and holds it in front of herself. Then, she turns around for John to unbutton her wedding gown bodice for her.
John: With him being so tall and Margaret being rather petite, John finds it difficult to unbutton her in a hunched over position. “Margaret Darling, I think I’m too tall to do this standing up. Here, let me sit down and you back up to me.”
John sits on the cushioned stool at a right angle to the mirror, so that the mirror is at their side. Margaret still has on her full wedding gown skirt and all of its petticoats, so John opens his legs wide to let her full skirt rest inside them as she backs up to him. John begins to unbutton the back of her wedding gown’s bodice. He has a little bit of trouble with the unbuttoning since his fingers are so long and the buttons are so tiny. But he manages. When all the buttons are undone, John gently pulls the sides of her wedding dress bodice fabric apart. Then, with her back still to John, Margaret carefully removes each of her arms from her wedding gown bodice’s off the shoulder capped sleeves and places her wedding gown bodice on a chair—taking care to keep her pink robe held in front of herself demurely. She will hang up the bodice later, she thinks. John watches her graceful movements appreciatively and eagerly.
John: “Is there anything else, Margaret Darling?” He asks knowing that there is. John can see now that the corset Margaret is wearing is over a much thinner, gauzy blouse underneath it.
Margaret: “Yes, John Dearest.” She says smiling shyly as she turns to look at him, and holding her pink satin robe more closely in front of her breasts. John looks lovingly at Margaret as she stands demurely in front of him. Then, she says “The lacing on my corset needs to be undone.”
John: Putting his hands on her hips—John gently turns Margaret back around. And, she gasps a little as he pulls her back even closer to him than when he was unbuttoning her bodice and he kisses the nape of her neck. She sighs as he sets her upright again. John admires his wife’s pleasing hour glass shape as silhouetted by the corset and he smiles to himself. Then to slightly ease the tense excitement in this small room, he laughs as he crosses his arms. And with one hand stroking his chin, he says. “Oh Margaret Darling, this corset looks seriously intense. However do you breathe with it on?”
Margaret: Also giving a small laugh and looking at him over her shoulder, she says. “Ha! Well John Dearest, I don’t think corset designers worry about breathing.” They both laugh.
John: “Hmmm. Now let’s get back to the task at hand.” He smiles mischievously, motioning her to face forward and then placing his hands to rest again on her hips. Margaret trembles slightly at John’s touch–and so does he. “Well, this is all new to me. So, do you want me to just loosen the lacing or to completely unlace your corset?
Margaret: She pauses, and then shyly looking forward, she says as she closes her eyes. “Please unlace it.”
Margaret’s pulse and breathing quickens again. John’s does, too. If Margaret had known the word ‘erotic’, she would have used it to describe this moment. Margaret stands still as John unties the bow at the bottom of her corset. Then he methodically moves up her corset, undoing the laces at each level, slowly pulling the laces from each hole. As her corset loosens, the support that it provides for her full round breasts also gives ways and Margaret holds up the corset under her bosom while holding the pink satin robe in place in front of her. John unlaces the final top row of Margaret’s corset and he opens the fabric sides wide as he did for her wedding gown bodice. Margaret carefully removes the corset while still standing with her back to John, and still holding her pink satin robe in front of her demurely covering and supporting her bosom. John can see the filmy thin gauzy under blouse Margaret is wearing that exposes more of her lovely back than he had seen before—even with her evening gown that she had worn at the music concert. Then, John finds that he can’t help himself, and he leans in and gently kisses the small of her back through her filmy under blouse with a lingering kiss, then he sits back again. Margaret gasps and then trembles a bit at this newest intimate touch of his warm lips against her almost bare skin. With the intimacy of this moment neither of them has noticed the chilliness of the dressing room until now.
John: He says thoughtfully and lovingly. “Margaret Darling, this room is rather chilly.” He stands behind her and he gently slides his hands down her bare arms lovingly—as if to frame her silhouette in his thoughts. Then John leans down and kisses Margaret’s bare shoulders and she trembles at his touch. “I will leave you to continue getting ready for bed—and I will do the same—then I’ll also stoke the fireplace to heat up the room for us.” Though, John thinks, their lovemaking will keep them warm.
Margaret: “Thank you John Dearest.” She nods and smiles at him.”
John leaves her dressing room and Margaret quickly completes changing into her empire waisted night gown—a filmy gauzy white rouched fabric fastened by two pink bows, above and below her bosom in the front. The skirted front of her nightgown is open down the middle but the full and overlapping fabric conceals this fact. Margaret then steps into the bathroom to wash her face and such. Then she returns to her dressing room to let down her long hair that has been pinned up in soft curls for her wedding and she brushes her hair for a few moments. She wants to be pretty for John tonight and she is pleased with what she sees in her mirror. Meanwhile, John goes into his own dressing room, changes out of his wedding clothes and into his night clothes that consist of cotton pajama pants, a long robe and a scarf to cross over his chest in lieu of wearing a nightshirt. John washes his face. Then hearing Margaret return to her dressing room from the bathroom, he ducks into the bathroom from the hallway, then he returns to their bedroom.
After putting another log on the fire, John stands by the fireplace with his right arm on the mantel and his left hand in his robe pocket, looking toward Margaret’s dressing room door expectantly. His mind is pleasantly engaged in remembering the events of the day—and dreaming about those to come. The small smile on John’s face betrays his eagerness. Margaret finishes brushing her long hair with her hair falling in soft curls over her shoulders. She puts on her pale pink satin robe that fastens with one button at the base of her bosom. The square collar of her pink satin robe is rimmed with a 2 inch cream colored lace that lays across her ample bosom in the front. And she stands to walk into their bedroom.
To be continued with Chapter 34
“N&S: Nurturing Love”, Ch. 34: John and Margaret’s Wedding Night is Loving and Joyful (R rated)
Margaret opens her dressing room door to the bedroom and she sees John waiting for her in their bedroom by the fireplace. John walks in Margaret’s direction, holding his hands out to her–and Margaret also moves toward John with her hands out to him. They meet in the middle of the room, clasping their hands together a few feet from their bed. At first, they don’t speak—they don’t need to. John kisses each of Margaret’s hands. Then John guides Margaret’s hands to his shoulders. His hands then encircle her small waist and John pulls Margaret closer to him and he leans down as he kisses her on her lips at first gently, and then with more passion. Margaret responds to John’s kisses and she moves her hands to caress his face and she runs her fingers through his hair.
After a few moments locked in their passionate embrace and kisses–wanting each other, needing each other–John stands up and steps back from Margaret a bit as he slowly removes his scarf and sets it on the sette. Then he unties his robe and takes it off and also places it on the sette. John is now standing bare chested in front of Margaret–wearing only his cotton pajama pants. Margaret has never seen a man’s bare chest before and her beloved John’s strong muscular arms and shoulders and his broad muscular chest are pleasing to her eyes. John watches Margaret’s smiling and blushing reaction—and he smiles knowingly at her. John pulls Margaret close to him again in a tender embrace and she buries her face in his chest–the small hairs of his chest tickling her nose and she looks up at him and he kisses her. She brings her arms around his waist, around his back, and up to his shoulders.
Though Margaret has never seen—let alone touched–another man in this way, she feels that her John is the handsomest of men and that she is lucky to have him for her husband. For his part, John revels in his beautiful Margaret touching the bare skin of his chest and his back—and he delights in caressing his beautiful Margaret’s womanly curves under her soft satin robe—all new experiences for him as well. John leans over Margaret, dipping her slightly as they kiss again, and again, and again, and again. Then he pulls himself standing up a bit and asks as he continues kissing her.
John: “Margaret Darling, …” Kissing her lips. “… would you like …” Kissing her cheek and then nuzzling her neck. “… to also remove …” kissing her lips again “… your robe?”
Margaret realizes that John could have easily just removed her robe and she would have let him do so, but that John is being kind and caring and sensitive to her by letting her decide when…. her thoughts trail off excitedly.
Margaret: “Yes, John Dearest.” She says kissing him back. Her hands tremble a bit as she undoes the robe’s only button while John’s arms support her as he dips her backward. Margaret’s pink satin robe fabric falls away from her bodice to reveal her white filmy rouched empire waisted nightgown with two pink bows in the middle of her nightgown—one above and one below the space between her full round breasts. Margaret’s full round bosom slightly gapes the white fabric open in between these two pink ribbons with each quickened and deep breath that she takes. And John gazes lovingly upon Margaret’s creamy skin and the hint of her full round breasts beneath her night gown appreciatively. John leans back, pulling himself to an upright position and pulling Margaret with him. Her pink satin robe slides off of her arms and John places her robe on the chair near ‘her’ side of the bed with one hand while still embracing and holding Margaret with his other arm. Afterall, John is tall, strong, and muscular and his petite Margaret rests comfortably and lightly in his loving embrace.
Margaret knows that now only a thin layer of filmy white fabric separates her skin from John’s skin. And she now feels—as he does–the excitement from that realization. Margaret kisses John passionately on his lips while standing on her tip toes—and it is a stretch for her to reach him because he is so wonderfully tall. Sensing her straining to reach him, John lifts Margaret up into his arms as if she were as light as a feather as he holds her body close to his body and they kiss each other again, and again, and again, and again. Her feet are not touching the floor now—as their bodies mold to each other’s form. John can feel Margaret’s full round breasts pressing against his bare chest through her thin nightgown and John’s desire and love for Margaret is unbridled now–and apparent–as his body responds to hers. Margaret also feels new sensations of pleasure in her body as they kiss and caress each other so sweetly and so passionately.
Then John sets Margaret’s feet gently down on the floor, only to sweep her up in his arms again and he carries her to their bed. John kisses Margaret adoringly while she is still in his arms, then he gently lays her on the bed sheets and then he lovingly tucks the top sheet and blanket around her. John walks around to his side of their bed—where the sheets are also turned down. John smiles lovingly at Margaret and she smiles lovingly back at him. Then, John turns around. And with his back toward Margaret, John pushes his cotton pajama pants down and off of his manly form. Margaret sees a hint of her husband John’s bare hips before she blushingly closes her eyes. Then John lays in their bed, bringing the sheets around him. Margaret almost feels that she cannot breathe. John is naked under the bed covers, and Margaret suspects that she will soon be naked also. John slides between the sheets to Margaret’s side of the bed—laying on his left side next to Margaret with his head resting on his left hand, his muscular and broad shoulders and chest outside of the covers and facing her.
John: John smiles and he gently pulls Margaret closer to him with his right hand and arm around her waist and hips as he says. “Margaret Darling, come to me and cuddle close.”
Johns kisses her and Margaret sighs as she turns on her right side towards him. Under the sheets, the front of Margaret’s nightgown falls away–as her legs move closer to John’s legs–to reveal that she is naked under her nightgown. Though neither of them can see that her night gown has parted down the front under the covers, they can each feel their bare legs touching and intertwining with one another. Then, as John embraces Margaret passionately as they cuddle and comingle their bodies and legs together, John’s hands move to caress the back of Margaret’s neck, the small of her back, and her hips as his arms enfold her in his loving embrace. Margaret has her arms around John and she kisses him with loving abandon as her hands caress the back of his neck, his back, and his hips. Then John gently lays Margaret on her back again and John leans forward over her, kissing her lips. Then his kissing moves down to her neck, and then to just above her lovely full round breasts peeking out above her nightgown as his right hand caresses her right shoulder and arm, then her hips. Margaret breathes even more deeply with John’s passionately intimate kisses and caresses. John’s pulse also quickens with the pleasures of love that he knows await he and Margaret. John knows that Margaret is demure—she is a maiden, afterall. But Margaret is responding so lovingly and so completely to John that he asks her for one final ‘favor’ before their lovemaking continues. With John’s right hand caressing Margaret’s skin below her breasts—and underneath her nightgown–as he softly kisses her lips again, and again, and again, and again—he says.
John: “Margaret, My Darling, I love you so.” He says gazing at her adoringly, with so much love that he never knew that he had to give. “You are so beautiful and sweet, and kind.” John caresses her face as he kisses her lips sweetly. “May I see … all of your loveliness?”
John kisses Margaret on her lips again and then his hand moves up and his fingers touch each pink bow that keeps her breasts hidden behind her nightgown—though, in truth, the thinness of her nightgown fabric reveals the lovely outlines of her breasts. Then John’s right hand gently cups and caresses Margaret’s full round left breast through her nightgown and he continues to kiss her again, and again, and again, and again. Margaret gasps and her breathing deepens further with these newly intimate touches—and the pleasures that they bring her. Margaret wraps her arms around her husband and she caresses his face and runs her fingers through his hair. Her deep breathing makes her nightgown gape open even more between her breasts with each breath. The pleasurable sensations that Margaret feels make her want to mold her body to John’s body so that not even a whisper could pass between them. In truth, their bodies are already molded to each other as John’s body leans over Margaret’s as they kiss and caress each other. John continues to kiss Margaret’s lips, her neck and then he moves his kissing down to kiss the exposed skin of each breast above her nightgown.
John feels so in love with Margaret that he wants to kiss and caress all of her. John is eager, he is adoring, and he is desirous of his beautiful Margaret, his beautiful wife. With John’s head buried between her breasts—kissing the soft skin peeking out above her nightgown while he still caresses her left breast–Margaret kisses the top of his head and then his face as he brings it up to look at her. Margaret caresses John’s face with her small hands and they kiss each other sweetly and tenderly. Margaret feels that she loves John wholly and completely–with total abandon as her own desire for him fully awakens.
Margaret: She nods her head in assent as she arches her neck and says “Oh yes, John Dearest. I love you more than words can say.” John leans in and he kisses Margaret again passionately on the lips as he first slowly unties the top pink bow—kissing her breasts as more of their loveliness is revealed to him–and then he unties the bottom pink bow on the bodice of her nightgown.
John: “And I love you Margaret Darling, with all of my heart.” John opens Margaret’s nightgown to reveal her creamy full round breasts to his loving gaze and then his loving touch. “You are so beautiful, Margaret my love.” He says tenderly.
John kisses the soft creamy skin of Margaret’s breasts and her stomach as he caresses her while his lips return to kissing her breasts—lingering kisses that excite he and Margaret with the pleasures and love they feel for each other. Margaret sighs with John’s every intimate touch—lost within the pleasures of her husband’s loving kisses and caresses. John is so overcome with Margaret’s beauty and his love for her–and the way that she is responding so lovingly toward him–that he wants to mold his naked body to her naked body. But first, John needs to finish removing Margaret’s nightgown from her body. So, John lays down on his back, bringing Margaret on top of him since they had been so intertwined. As he kisses her on her lips, John slides Margaret’s nightgown down her arms under the covers—she lets him do this willingly–and he removes her nightgown from her entirely. Then bringing Margaret’s nightgown out from under the covers, John gently tosses her nightgown to the end of their bed.
John and Margaret are now touching his bare skin to her bare skin—naked and molding their bodies together, sharing their love with each other. Margaret can feel John’s manhood rising between her legs and she gasps as her desire for John increases. And all the while, John and Margaret are kissing passionately and deeply—each trembling with the anticipation of their hearts’ desires. Then, John gently rolls both he and Margaret back to her side of the bed, now with him partially on top of her. John eagerly kisses Margaret’s breasts and lips as his hands caress her breasts and then her womb again. Margaret gasps with the pleasures of John’s intimate touches there and there and there as her body responds to his kisses and caresses. And John knows that Margaret is ready for their lovemaking to be complete—as is he. John’s right hand parts Margaret’s legs so that his legs can rest in between hers, supporting his weight—then, his manhood rises even more to meet her womb. John continues to kiss Margaret on her lips and her neck and her breasts—with his tongue and kisses lingering over her breasts–and Margaret sighs with the pleasurable sensations that John gives her.
John’s love and need for Margaret is also heightened as his own pleasurable sensations from their kisses and caresses overwhelm him. Margaret kisses the top of John’s head and caresses his face and strong shoulders, and then around his back. And after several more minutes of loving embraces and passionate kisses, John’s and Margaret’s bodies join together as one. Margaret gasps a little in pain as John’s manhood first joins with her womb—then she sighs as her and John’s lovemaking brings her new feelings of joy. Margaret could not have dreamed that loving her husband would feel so pleasurable and she instinctively and lovingly moves her body as one with John’s body. … John is lost within the bliss of making loving with his beautiful and sweet Margaret completely as they kiss each other passionately and move their bodies in harmony with each other as their lovemaking intensifies. Again, and again, and again, and again, John’s and Margaret’s bodies join together in love and in lust. Then, as their mutual sensuous, adoring, and loving pleasures are fulfilled, John and Margaret both sigh and gasp in blissful ecstasy as their lovemaking reaches its perfect rapturous fulfillment as they tenderly and lovingly consummate their marriage. Each of them, John and Margaret, sigh with the loving bliss they have shared with and given to each other. … Then, spent from these new and wondrous pleasures made by their love, John lays across Margaret for a few moments, nuzzling her neck and caressing her round full breasts while his manhood and her womb are still joined together. Margaret adoringly kisses John’s forehead as she runs her fingers through his hair. Then, they kiss each other passionately again, and again, and again, and again. Both of them are completely and utterly filled with joy and their love for each other.
Then, after a few moments more of their loving kisses and embraces after their lovemaking, John shifts their bodies onto their sides to relieve Margaret from feeling his full weight on top of her. John is, after all, a tall, broad shouldered and muscular man–while Margaret is petite, with oh so womanly curves that John adores. For several moments afterward, they lay there together on their sides—John cradling Margaret in his arms—their bodies still intertwined, caressing, and kissing each other softly. Then, John sees that Margaret has a few tears falling down her cheeks and he asks her.
John: “Oh, My Darling love, are you alright?” Kissing the tears away from her cheeks he says. “I didn’t hurt you did I?” John knew that Margaret’s first time making love might be a bit painful for her as their bodies joined as one in their lovemaking, but that it should give way to pleasure for her, too.
Margaret: She looks at him mistily and lovingly. “No, John Dearest, you didn’t hurt me.” Then shyly she says. “Well, at first, it did hurt a little bit.” Then, she caresses his face to reassure him. “But that soon gave way to …” She searches for the right word since she has never felt this way before. “…pure joy. My tears are because I am so happy—and I am so in love with you.” She lifts up her face to gaze at John and she kisses him sweetly on his lips and he kisses her back. “I love you so John Dearest.”
John: Relieved that she is feeling alright, he says. “I’m so glad Margaret Darling. And, I am so in love with you. I, also, feel an immense joy that I’ve never felt before. I always want to make you this happy—for the rest of our lives, Margaret Darling.”
In his loving tenderness toward Margaret, John is pleased that their first night of lovemaking fulfilled each of them in their love and desire for one another. Margaret and John kiss and cuddle for some time together before finally and blissfully falling asleep peacefully in each others’ arms.
To be continued with Chapter 35
(1) composite of three images, with text that I added:
(a) John Thornton (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) having just kissed his love Margaret Hale (as portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) and them gazing lovingly at each other in the North & South (BBC 2004), episode 4 (pix 346) train station kissing scene; the image was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-346.html;
(b) a cropped image of the brambled tree branches in the Milton cemetery as John Thornton walks through it in North & South, episode 3 (pix 15); the image was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/slides/ns3-015.html;
(c) a masked image of the yellow rose John Thornton picked in Helstone in North & South, episode 4 (pix 271); the image was found at
(2) Cropped image of John Thornton (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) representing him smiling on his wedding day is from the Masters’ Dinner in the 2004 BBC Production of North & South, episode 2 (pix 104) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/slides/ns2-104.html
(3) Image of Margaret Hale (as portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) in her Wedding Dress, is a composite of three images:
a) flipped head shot of Margaret Hale at the Masters’ Dinner in the 2004 BBC Production of North & South Episode 2 (pix 213) was found at http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/north-and-south/north-south-pictures-episode2.html ;
b) Gown Lace masked from http://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_508.htm; and
c) Gold wedding gown was found at http://0.tqn.com/d/honeymoons/1/0/C/w/belle2.jpg
(4) Image representing Rose Cottage, John and Margaret Thornton’s home, is a composite of two images:
(a) the home was found at http://wac.2a97.edgecastcdn.net/802A97/verticals.news-record.com/files/imagecache/zoom_view/Images/TH_Kemp01_022612.jpg; and
(b) the roses that I masked and sampled them onto the home were from MS Office Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=roses&ctt=1#ai:MP900145125|mt:2|
(5) Image representing Margaret Hale’s buttoned wedding dress gown bodice back was found at http://weddingbellsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/wedding-gown-back-buttons.jpg
Previous Story Links for “North and South: Nurturing Love” are found at