“Love is a Choice”, Ch. 10 (R rated): Lord Rafe and His Bride Discuss the State of their Marriage, 4/01/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #389)

“Love is a Choice”, Ch. 10 (R rated):  Lord Rafe and His Bride Discuss the State of their Marriage, 4/01/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #389)

aaaLove_is_a_Choice_story_logo_Mar1313GratianaLovelace368x458(An original story by Gratiana Lovelace; All Rights Reserved)

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of:  Richard Armitage as Lord Rafe Wingate, Carla Gugino as Lady Katharine Wingate, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Plunkett, Emilie Francois as Anna, Mark Strong as Sir Collin MacGregor, Alan Bates as Lord Charles Wingate, and Christian Bale as Stuart MacGregor, and others, etc.]
[Story Logo 1abcd]

Author’s Mature Content Note:  “Love is a Choice” is a story of love and romance set in the early to mid 1800’s.  I like Regency sensibilities with regard to comedy of manners, but Romantic period modes of dress.   Ha!  As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (perhaps some R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments.  I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly.  Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels.  This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment:   Eleven year old Anna Miller Wingate met the rest of her Papa Lord Rafe Wingate’s family and close friends, then joined them at dinner and conversations afterward.  Fourteen year old Stuart MacGregor–the son of Lord Rafe’s oldest friend Sir Collin and Lord Rafe’s god son–was particularly kind and welcoming to Anna.  As they said their farewells for the night–with Anna staying with her grandparents while Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine returned to the hunting lodge–Lord Rafe pledged to nurture, protect, and love his daughter, Anna.  They parted with a heartfelt embrace and kisses on each others’ cheeks.  Anna even haltingly called Lord Rafe, Papa.

“Love is a Choice”, Ch. 10 (R rated):  Lord Rafe and His Bride Discuss the State of their Marriage

The ride back to the hunting lodge this evening around 11 o’clock is a quiet one for Lord LordRafeImageisRichardArmitageasJohnThorntonin2004North&Shouthepi1-126Mar2513ranetCropBrtShrpHi-resRafe [(2) right] and Lady Katharine. It is late and they are both emotionally drained.  It has been quite a night of revelations regarding his new found daughter Anna–with emotions running high.  When they enter the hunting lodge, Lord Rafe gives some directions to his butler.

Smithers/Butler:  “Welcome home, My Lord, My Lady.”  He bows deferentially to each of them–the young master being thought well of by the staff.

Lord Rafe:  “Thank you, Smithers.  We are tired. Hhhh!”  But Lord Rafe does not go into the reasons why, because the servants will learn soon enough that he has an illegitimate daughter.  And Lord Rafe is too emotionally weary to make more explanations about Anna this night.  “So please inform my Lady Katharine’s maid that we have returned so that she can attend to her before we retire for the night.  I will fend for myself.”

Smithers/Butler:  “Very good, sir.”LadyKatharineinPinkGownManipCarlaGuginoHeadMar2313GratianaLovelaceRev3

Though Lady Katharine knows [(3) right] that her husband, Lord Rafe, is only thinking of her comfort in summoning her maid for her, she realizes that she is little disappointed that he does not even suggest that he assist her himself–as he has at other times.  But they are both a tired due to the stress of the evening, so she thinks that his usual playfulness must be dampened by fatigue.

They walk upstairs to their bed chamber in companionable silence, smiling shyly at each other at the top of the stairs as they head to their bed chamber. Then as they reach their bed chamber door, Lord Rafe begs off.

Lord Rafe:  He bows.  “I will leave you here for a few moments, Kate.  I find that I must attend to a matter of business whilst it is fresh in my mind.”   He gives her a small forced smile, but it does not lighten the somber tone in his voice–nor can he veil the sadness in his eyes.

Lady Katharine:  “Pertaining to your daughter, Anna?” She asks caringly.

Lord Rafe:  “In part, my dear.” He kisses her hand.  “I will not be long and I will join you momentarily.”  Lord Rafe states with the utmost courtesy.  He is determined to act honorably this night.

Lady Katharine nods and Lord Rafe bows.  Though they are married and the intimacy of that union might preclude such formalities, when in the public areas of the hunting lodge or Dearing Manor they act with decorum and civility as is expected of a noble.  Then Lord Rafe turns and walks slowly back downstairs to his study.  Lady Katharine wonders what seems to trouble him so, especially since his relationship with his daughter is developing–despite its rocky start.  After the initial shock had worn off of discovering her husband had fathered a child out of wedlock, Lady Katharine feels that everyone in the family and friends group accepts Anna as one of their own–as she has done.  But she realizes that her husband’s burden is heavier–wanting to establish a relationship with a child who might never accept him fully.  And she resolves to be a helpmate to her husband and a friend to his daughter during these difficult times.

Lady Katharine enters their bed chamber [(4) right] to find her maid waiting for her.  She changes out of her dress, corset, and petticoats, but then she dismisses the servant and BedChamberfromTheBuccaneers1995_vlcsnap-10h02m10s187Mar1413GratianaLovelaceCapCropBrtShrpcompletes her evening toilette in private.  Lady Katharine is now simply wearing her silk chemise and silk drawers beneath her loosely tied dressing gown robe as she sits at her dressing table applying some soothing lotion to her hands and face.  She takes care to stay out of the sun too much and thus her complexion is creamy and even–not splotchy.  But Lady Katharine is not vain about her looks, she is merely practical about maintaining them.  Of course, she has the benefit of youth on her side as a young woman of eighteen years.

But a child she is no longer.  She is a married lady.   And Lady Katharine has yet to decide if she will come to Lord Rafe as his wife tonight–in every meaning of that word–and put on her negligee, or not.  They had been on the cusp of making love earlier this evening–before they were called to the manor early by his parents.  She remembers how willingly she went to him then with his tender seduction of her–and she trembles pleasurably, remembering his kisses and his caresses.  As Lady Katharine takes the pins out of her hair and brushes it out, she ponders what to do–a small smile curling at her lips as she makes her decision.

A few moments later, Lord Rafe enters their bed chamber, almost imperceptibly–without disturbing the air in the room, such that he did not make a sound that drew his wife’s attention to him.  He lays his jacket, vest and cravat on a nearby chair as he unbuttons his collar and rolls up his sleeves.  He rubs his hands over his cheeks and neck–as a self comforting gesture he does at times of great stress. He sees his wife sitting at her dressing table, brushing her hair. Their eyes meet in the mirror and they smile warmly at each other.  He walks up behind her and gently lays his hands on her shoulders from behind as he reverently kisses the top of her head.

Lord Rafe:  “Kate, you were marvelous tonight!  Thank you for your understanding about and being graciousness toward Anna.”  He says sincerely.

Lady Katharine:  “Of course, Rafe.”  She smiles at him in the mirror and covers his left hand with her right hand.   “Anna is a dear girl.  I look forward to getting to know her as time goes on.”  She smiles caringly at him.

Lord Rafe smiles hesitantly in return. They have not had a chance to be alone yet to express their personal thoughts with each other on the matter of his new found daughter. And Lord Rafe needs to have that conversation with his wife.

Lord Rafe:  “Kate, will you sit with me a while to talk it over.  Even then, I fear that I will not get much sleep this night.”  He shakes his head ruefully.

Lady Katharine:  “As you wish.”  She nods her head in agreement and smiles warmly at him.

Lady Katharine likes the fact that she and her husband take each other into their confidences.  It is a level of pleasant accord that does not seem present in her parents’ marriage. She thinks that perhaps this lack of sharing thoughts and feelings is why her Mama was so disliking of the other intimacies of husbands and wives.

Then Lord Rafe guides Lady Katharine to the sette at the end of the bed and they gaze across the hearth rug at the fire flickering in the fireplace before them as they hold hands.

Lord Rafe:  Lord Rafe steels himself for what he has decided he must do and he turns to his wife Lady Katharine with a resolute expression on his face.  “Kate, I have something serious to say to you.   And I hope that you will let me finish before you respond.” The weight of his twenty-eight years shows on his face with a solemnity of countenance not often seen on his face.

Lady Katharine:  She blanches, not knowing what could be so ominous as he sounds and looks.   “Very well, Rafe.  What is it?” Lady Katharine squeezes his hand in encouragement.

Lord Rafe:  He smiles wanly at her and runs his other hand through his hair as another self comforting gesture. Then Lord Rafe hesitantly begins.  “Hhhh!   Kate, we married each other in good faith–presuming there were no difficulties to be surmounted, nor obstacles between us.”

Lady Katharine:  Lady Katharine does not like the direction that his words are heading and opens her mouth to speak.  “But …”

However Lord Rafe shushes her by gently laying his finger across her lips as she leans toward him about to speak.

LordRafe: “Nay Kate.  Please hear me out.”  She nods and sits back.   He releases her hand from his.   “Though I have not had any consequences for my past actions as a lover–until tonight–I now realize that others have had consequences, namely Fanny Miller and our daughter Anna.  But who knows if there are others who–like Fanny–simply did not tell me that our couplings begat a child?  Or, if some other ill event occurred that I might have helped them with–that I should have interceded for them?”  He shakes his head ruefully.  Lady Katharine’s eyes widen as she begins to understand the depth of her husband’s regrets.   Lord Rafe struggles to say the words that he knows he must.  “Kate, I cannot–in good conscience–keep you in a marriage to me where you are wedded to a man whose past dishonorable behavior might sully your own reputation.  You deserve better than that.” He lowers his eyes because he cannot bear to look at her and see agreement in her eyes to what he is about to propose as he woodenly croaks out his whispered offer to her.  Kate is spell bound–feeling powerless to stop what she fears her husband plans to do.  She closes her eyes, but it does not prevent her from hearing him speak.   “Kate, I release you from our marriage vows.  We have not consummated our marriage and I have written an attestation to the same.  Your virginity and your virtue are intact and unsullied.  You should have no problem in annulling our marriage on the grounds that I was untruthful to you and therefore our marriage is fraudulent.  I will remove myself to another bed chamber this night and thence to my parents’ estate tomorrow to further protect your honor until we are able to travel to London the day after next to return you to your family.”  He raises his head to look at her once more.  He is in half fear and in half hope of her response.

Lady Katharine is silent as her eyes gaze upon him–stunned by what her husband, Lord Rafe, has just said to her.  She wonders if his reasoning for suggesting they abandon their marriage is truly as he said–his sense of honor.  Or, has her husband tired of her and her reluctance to and fear in consummating their marriage?  Is he really saying that he does not wish to remain married to her?

Lady Katharine:  “I see.”   She sighs in almost a whisper as she lowers her eyes and stares at her hands clasped together–her wedding ring on her left finger symbolizing their union. But symbols are just that, they do not always fully represent the truth.  And Lady Katharine’s evolving  truth is that her marriage is in shambles.  Lady Katharine tries to hold back her tears in a vain attempt to maintain her dignity–not wed much more than 24 hours, and her husband wants to cast her aside.  The pain she feels is not mere mortification at her husband planning to abandon her.  Lady Katharine’s heart that she had been so reluctantly to give to her husband, now belongs to him completely.  That he has a daughter out of wedlock is not a deterrent for her.  Rather, Lord Rafe’s honorable actions in acknowledging his daughter, Anna, have endeared him to Lady Katharine even more.  But now, he says that he does not want her–and it breaks her heart.    Lady Katharine slowly raises her eyes to his gaze again and asks in an eerily calm voice.  “May I see the document you mentioned?”

Lord Rafe:  He stiffens.  Lord Rafe had hoped that his wife would not accept his suggestion of an annulment.  But he realizes that today of all days–finding out about the death of Fanny and that she bore his illegitimate daughter Anna–that life is not always what we hope for, and that wishes do not always come true.  “Of course.”  He nods his head resignedly.

Lord Rafe unsteadily stands up from the sette and retrieves the letter stating her purity from his coat pocket and he hands it to her.

Lady Katharine:  She stands as well.  “Thank you.”    She says with as much poise as she can muster, when she feels so bereft of her husband’s love at this turbulent moment in her life.

Lady Katharine takes the folded document from him, opens it, and begins to read it to herself as she absentmindedly walks to and fro in front of the sette.  Lord Rafe turns away from her so that she does not see his tears.  Lord Rafe believes that it is not seemly for a man to display emotion–even when his heart is breaking.  The minutes tick by slowly.  Lady Katharine reads that the document does, indeed, exonerate her in the matter of their ill advised marriage–as it states in the document–and Lord Rafe vouches for her virtue, her character, and her reputation, while putting the blame squarely on his own shoulders for the failure of their marriage.

Annulments are not pleasant, but not completely unheard of in society.  However, Lord Rafe still wonders if Lady Katharine welcomes his suggestion of an annulment, or not?  He hopes not.

However, receiving only silence from Lady Katharine, he believes that he discerns her response.  Lord Rafe strengthens his resolve to conduct himself in a gentlemanly and dignified manner–at least in his dealings with Lady Katharine Southwick.  For without their marriage being consummated, Lady Katharine is a maid–and her maiden name is Southwick.  He stands up straight, stealthily wipes his tears from his cheeks, and he turns to face her.  Lord Rafe instantly sees Lady Katharine looking at him with hurt in her eyes–that he misconstrues as disappointment in him.

Lord Rafe:  Lord Rafe  shrugs on his jacket and [(5) right] bows solemnly to her–his LordRafeisRichardArmitageasJohnThorntoninNorth&Southepi2-213Mar3113ranetHi-resBrtShrpOvalsadness deepening.  “My Lady, I will leave you now.  We can discuss the logistics of the annulment in the morning.” He picks up his vest, and cravat and lays them over his arm.  “I bid you good night, madam.”  Then he bows respectfully again, and turns to go, his tears falling against his cheeks as he walks away from her. It is taking every shred of willpower on Lord Rafe’s part not to debase himself before her and beg her to stay with him.  But he must do what is best for her, not what he dearly wants.  But must these two goals be mutually exclusive, he wonders?

As Lord Rafe reaches their bed chamber door with his now trembling hand on the door knob, Lady Katharine finds her voice.

Lady Katharine:  “Rafe, wait!   We have to discuss this now!”  She pleads desperately.

Lord Rafe:  Not turning toward her–or she would see the tears in his eyes and on his cheeks–he says softly.  “No My Lady, it is late, we are tired, our discussion can wait until the morning.”

Lady Katharine:  “No it cannot!   If you leave me now, we will never see each other again.” She predicts–thinking that her husband will head to the manor house now and leave it to his father to conduct the annulment negotiations, as he did the dowry negotiations.

Lord Rafe:  Lord Rafe closes his eyes and thinks, she despises me.  “If that is what you wish, My Lady.  I will abide by it.”  He nods–still with his back to her–and he begins to open the door to leave.

Lady Katharine: Lady Katharine’s [(6) right] dignity crumbles as she pleads to her LadyKatharineImageisCarlaGuginoasNaninTheBuccaneersvlcsnap-17h20m03s42Mar2313GratianaLovelaceCapCropSkinOvalBrthusband.  “No!  It is not what I wish.”  She cries out.  Then Lady Katharine implores him despairingly.  “Do you not want me, then, Rafe?  Is it your wish to abandon our marriage–to abandon me?  Have I displeased you so much?”  Tears are streaming down her face as she sobs.  He has made her love him, and now she feels that he is throwing her away.

Lord Rafe:  Hearing her distress, he whirls around to see his weeping wife before him.  “No!  I never want to leave you, Katharine!  I love only you!  But love is not always enough.” He shakes his head sadly.

Lady Katharine:  “It is for me!” She runs into his arms and hugs him tightly around his neck.  “I love you, Rafe!  I do not want to go away. I want to be your wife.”  She weeps unashamedly into his chest as she clings to him.

Lord Rafe:  “Oh my sweet Katharine!  Do you mean it?  After everything that has happened this night?  Do you still want to be married to me?”  He asks her incredulously as he drops the clothes in his arms to the floor and he gathers her to him in a close embrace such that not a whisper could pass between them.

Lady Katharine:  “Yes!  I do!”  She cries and kisses his cheek and then his lips with shy but ardent kisses. Then she takes his face in her hands and she gazes directly into his own tear filled eyes. “Rafe, you proved your honor to me today when you acknowledged and accepted your daughter, Anna.  I knew then, in my heart, that you are the only man I can ever love.  You are the only man I want to be the father of my children.”  Lady Katharine slides her hands underneath his jacket and pushes it off of his shoulders and down his arms in an innocently beguiling yet seductive manner.  Then she kisses him tenderly.

Lord Rafe:  He kisses her back with equal ardor and affection.  “Oh Katharine, My Love, My Angel.”  He sighs as he kisses her adoringly–even as his hands caress her womanly hips.  Lord Rafe loves his wife, Lady Katharine, like he has loved no one before herLadyKatharineandLordRafeLovingImageisofCarlaGuginoandJamesFraininTheBuccaneersvlcsnap-09h59m24s62March1413GratianaLovelaceCapCrpBrtShrp.  She is his life and his future happiness.  And he wants her in his bed as he has never wanted any other woman.  Lord Rafe is on fire with desire.  “I want to make love with you so much, My Love.”  His kisses move to her neck even has his hands move to lovingly caress her loveliness through her chemise.  Then he drops to his knees and worships her beauty [(7) right].  “I will be gentle with you in our lovemaking, I promise.  You need not fear me, my love.”   He gazes up at her imploringly.

Lady Katharine:  She runs her fingers through his hair and guides him to stand up again.  “I do not fear you anymore, Rafe.”  She nods her assent.  “Please make love with me, my husband.”  She entreats him boldly.

Despite her slight nagging uncertainty about the as yet unknown mysteries of lovemaking, Lady Katharine feels loved and protected with her husband, Lord Rafe.   They kiss each other passionately.  Their fevered lips commune with each other in seeking and receiving all the love they have to give and to share with each other.   Their loving caresses a comfort and a balm to their souls as their lives as husband and wife truly begin together this night.

With Lady Katharine’s acceptance of him as her husband irrevocably, Lord Rafe wants to love his wife completely–heart and mind and body and soul.  He quickly removes his remaining clothes and stands naked before her–in front of her gaze this time and she can see more than just his bare chest.  She has never seen a naked man–nor had any notion what they looked like.  The few naked male statues that she has seen in public were always decorously shielded by leaves and such–though many more leaves would be needed to shield Lord Rafe she thinks with some astonishment.

Lady Katharine breathes deeply as she shyly looks upon her husband’s muscular LordRafeImageisRichardArmitageasLucasNorthinSpooks9Promo-45Mar2913ranetCropTatoosRemovedShrpGratianaLovelaceClrDrknhandsomeness [(8) right]–his broad shoulders and chest tapering to a sturdy waist and hips, then lower to his powerful  thighs–and more.  Her eyes widen and her cheeks blush to see again that which distinguishes his maleness from her womanliness.  And given what her Mama had briefly told her about men and marital intimacies–the disgusting trial–Lady Katharine finds that she no longer holds that view.  In fact, she is more willing than ever to test that hypothesis–in the hope to disprove it.  Lady Katharine shyly and innocently smiles at her handsome husband.

Lord Rafe:  Lord Rafe holds out his arms to his lovely wife, Lady Katharine.   Then Lord Rafe  quotes from  Christopher Marlowe’s poem The Passionate Shepherd to His Love [(9)] .  “’Come live with me and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove.’”  Lady Katharine returns to her husband’s arms for more tenderly passionate kisses.

Then, Lord Rafe lifts his beloved wife Lady Katharine into his arms and carries her to their bed and lays her gently upon the cool sheets–pulling the sheet and blanket comforter over her.  He slides into bed next to her and they kiss each other with loving abandon as they lie on their sides intertwining their legs and arms and bodies  together.  Their caresses explore each other in newness and in wonder of the beauty of their heartfelt love.  Lord Rafe’s hands reach up under Lady Katharine’s silk chemise to skim the top of her silk drawers near her hips–and then he plunges his hands underneath her silk drawers, cupping her bare backsides and pulling her ever closer to him–almost fitting her to him were she not still covered below.  Lady Katharine startles at her husband’s hand on her near nakedness and the press of his body against hers in a way that she could not have imagined.  But she does not pull away from him–not now when she is on the cusp of discovering her true womanhood  within her husband’s loving arms.   Receiving no resistance from his wife, Lord Rafe slides her silk drawers down her legs and removes them.  Then he caresses her tenderly where silk had once hindered their intimacy–finding a place of wonder for her that she did not know she had.

Lady Katharine:  “Ohhhh!” She sighs with the feelings of joy that he is giving her, too caught up in these previously unknown pleasures to speak–and certainly not to protest this new intimacy.  She only wants to encourage him to continue him loving her.

But when Lord Rafe tries to remove his wife’s thin chemise covering her breasts, she is still shy and stays his hands–burying her face in his neck.

Lord Rafe: “It is alright, My Love.  You may keep your chemise on.   It will not hinder me from adoring you.”

Lady Katharine:   In a very small voice, she whispers shyly into his neck.  “Thank you.”

So he lets her keep the garment on–then he kisses her adoringly through the silken fabric.

Lord Rafe’s loving attentions to his sweet wife this night so enrapture her that she clings to him seeking a further closeness with him that she does not know how to accomplish.  But he does. And Lord Rafe further adores his lovely wife Lady Katharine such that she is upon the edge of bliss from his loving ministrations. Then he quickly guides her to lie back and to open herself to him and he begins to join his body with hers at first in gentle and controlled couplings as he gently rocks against her again, and again, and again, and again as she becomes accustomed to this new intimacy.  Then when he feels that she is ready, he finally eases her body into full acceptance of him as they fully consummate their love as husband and wife..

Lady Katharine:   She winces in pain.  “Oh!”  She sighs with a start and breathes deeply in short gasps.

Lord Rafe:  Lord Rafe stills himself briefly to allow his wife’s pain to subside.  “There there, My Love, it only hurts for but a moment.  Then I will give you joy, I promise you.” He says caringly as he patiently waits for her to relax.  He kisses her adoringly as he strains to maintain his control in order to give her some moments to adjust to their bodies being fitted together so perfectly–as if they were always meant to be joined as one in love together.

Lady Katharine:   Then the pain ebbs and her desire returns.  “I … I  am alright.”  She nods and then she kisses him.

Lord Rafe tenderly kisses his wife Lady Katharine back and he lovingly resumes their lovemaking–slowly at first and then with more urgency as her sighs of pleasure embolden him–eventually bringing each of them to such rapturous bliss that they are both so spent afterward that they fall almost instantly asleep in each others’ loving arms.

***

But slumber only serves as a brief respite for these two lovers this night.  For in the early morning hours of the next day–after each of them have risen from their bed out of necessity–Lady Katharine and Lord Rafe meet in the middle of the room returning to their bed from their dressing rooms.  The naked Lord  Rafe drops to his  knees on the  hearth rug and embraces Lady Katharine around her middle as she stands before him in only her silk chemise that falls at her mid thigh–adoringly kissing her loveliness hidden behind silk as he buries his face  into her breasts, even as he caresses her bare back underneath her chemise.   She leans down and cups his face in her hands as she kisses him tenderly.  Lord Rafe bunches up the hem of her chemise, and he begins to push the fabric upward and out of the way as he kisses the soft creamy skin her body from her belly to just below each of her breasts.

Lord Rafe:  “You are so beautiful, my darling Katharine.  Please, may I see all of your beauty, My Love?”  He pleads–on fire with his lust and his love for his sweet wife.  Lord Rafe kisses Lady Katharine with such love and gentleness that she lets him remove her chemise and he adores with aching tenderness her beauty now revealed to him.

Lady Katharine:  “I am yours, Rafe.  I love you so.”  She sighs with his loving ministrations.

Lord Rafe:   “And I am yours, my sweet Katharine.   I love  you so.”  Lord Rafe has never known such joy as he feels with Lady Katharine. Not just physical pleasures, but emotionally as well.   Lord Rafe has found his soul mate in Lady Katharine’s sweetness and kindness and love and understanding.  He vows to himself to always honor her and their love.

Then Lord Rafe and his lovely bride Lady Katharine make love on the hearth rug, with the flickering flames of the fire bearing silent witness to their passion–and ultimately, to their joy.   Lady Katharine is swept away into the blissful pleasures that they give to and receive from each other–such that she can no longer fathom her earlier baseless fear and hesitancy of their intimacy. After a time spent cuddling near the warm glow of the firelight–kissing and caressing each other sweetly–the lovers return to the warm comforts of their bed to slumber until morning.

***

Dawn begins to creep into the lovers’ sanctuary their third day of being husband and wife as light streams through the windows, softened by the sheer curtains hanging there.  Lady Katharine awakens first in their bed. She finds that she is lying on her left side with her husband behind her, wrapping her in his embrace even as his arms claim her breasts and hips.  At first, she feels like she is in a loving cocoon.  Then she remembers that the butler will deliver their breakfast tray at some point.  So Lady Katharine tries to free herself from her husband’s embrace without waking him, so she may at least put on her nightgown to cover her nakedness.  But, she will need her husband’s concession if she is to get dressed.

Lady Katharine:   “Rafe, Rafe.”  She whispers over her shoulder at her husband.  “You must let me get dressed now.”

Lord Rafe:  “Hmmmm.”  He moans while opening just one eye as he peers over her shoulder at her up turned face to him.  He saucily asks a decidedly bridegroom like question.  “Why should you wish to get dressed, My Love?”  Then he nibbles at her bare shoulder.

Lady Katharine:   “Because I do not want the servants to see me naked.”  She pleads in a whisper to him as she turns toward him in his now loosened embrace of her.

Lord Rafe:  “I took care of that last night before we returned to our bed.”  He raises his eyebrow remembering their passionate trysts last night.  Then he nibbles on her creamy swan like neck.

Lady Katharine:  “How?  You have not left my side to give them different orders about breakfast.”  She counters with an embarrassed pout, even as she blushes in remembrance of their loving night.

Lord Rafe:  “I bolted the door.”  He raises his eyebrows up and down suggestively.

Lady Katharine: “Ohhh.”  She says knowingly–having an inkling what her husband has in mind for this morning.  “Ohh!  But then they will know that we are …”  She winces embarrassedly before continuing.  “… being private with each other.”

Lord Rafe:  “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”  His laughter booms out mightily in the room. Then he whispers to her. “My Darling Katharine, we were only married two days ago.  They already assume being private is what we are doing in our bed chamber.”

Lady Katharine:  “Oh Dear!   Everyone will know.”  She shakes her head.  “How can I face them?”  She asks sweetly innocently.  But after last night, she knows that she is an innocent no more.

Lady Katharine blushes a faint crimson hue in charming embarrassment, thinks her husband.

Lord Rafe:  He kisses her tenderly.  “My Love, everyone thought that you were already a bedded wife, yesterday.”  He tilts his head at her.

Lady Katharine:   “But we had not … yet.” She pouts cutely in slight protest.

Lord Rafe:  “They just assumed that your poise at being a newly married woman was remarkable.  Now!   If I promise not to make you blush today when we are in company with others, might we …?” He smiles eagerly.

Lady Katharine:  “Rafe?  What is it you want?”  He smiles wickedly at her and she realizes that she fell right into his trap as he kisses her adoringly.  “Again?” She asks him with wide yet eager eyes.

Lord Rafe:   He looks up at her briefly while kissing her tummy and says huskily.  “Yes.” He growls winsomely–like a man who wants more pudding.  Then he reconsiders.  “Unless, you are … too … sore?”     However eager a bridegroom Lord Rafe might be, he also wants to be loving and see to his bride’s comfort.

Lady Katharine:  “Wellll.”  Lady Katharine hesitates as she bites her lower lip–wondering if it is unseemly to be … loved by one’s husband so often.  And Lady Katharine  is feign to freely admit to herself that being Lord Rafe’s much loved wife is very … pleasing.

Lord Rafe:  “Hmmmm.” Lord Rafe deeply growls adoringly as he smiles at his wife’s charming hesitation–and her lip biting which he has come to discern means her acquiescence.

Lord Rafe gently trails his finger from her cheek to her neck to her breasts and then further–soon followed by his lips.  Lady Katharine trembles and sighs in willing surrender.

Lady Katharine:  “Hhhh!” She pinkens in a delighted blush of the pleasures that await them.

Sometime later, after cuddling after their morning lovemaking, Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine each put on their underclothes to enjoy their breakfast familiarly in their bed chamber–after informing the butler Smithers, when he knocked earlier at their bed chamber door, to place the tray on the hall table and they would collect it when they are ready.   This custom of connubial privacy will become a daily occurrence for Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine for the rest of their married life.  And thus, the loving marriage of Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine has well and truly begun.

Then later this morning, the Wingate family and friends will have a picnic and games on the lawn up at Dearing Manor for Lord Rafe’s daughter Anna, before Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine will travel to London tomorrow to see her family for the required courteous visit by the newlyweds.

To be continued with Chapter 11

                                 References

1)      “Love is a Choice” story logo is a composite image comprised of:
a) Gold wedding gown (cropped to fabric of skirt) found at http://0.tqn.com/d/honeymoons/1/0/C/w/belle2.jpg
b)  Oval picture frames were found at http://www.inlineovals.com/product_images/q/675/602agp__91104_zoom.jpg

c)  Image (cropped, masked, brightened, color) representing Lord Rafe Wingate is that of Richard Armitage as John Thornton  in North & South  (2004) episode 2, picture 66 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-066.jpg

d)  Image (cropped, masked, brightened, color) representing Lady Katharine Wingate is that of Carla Gugino  as Nan St. George in “The Buccaneers” (1995), Episode 1 vlcsnap-ooh09m21s203 Mar1313 Gratiana Lovelace screencap (cap)

2) 8) Lord  Rafe image (crp, brt, shrp, hi-res) is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South (2004) episode 1, pix 126, Mar2513 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode1/ns1-126.jpg
3) Lady Katharine in pink gown is a composite Image of:
a) Carla Gugino as Nan (head only) in The Buccaneers 1995epi2 28mpix218 Mar2313GratianaLovelaceCapMaskHi-ResHairRev; and
b) the purple gown I changed to pink found at http://www.freewebs.com/behindthetapestry/1820eveningdress.htm
4)  Bed chamber image (cropped, brightened, sharpened) from The Buccaneers (1995), episode 4 vlcsnap-10h02m10s187Mar1413GratianaLovelace Cap

5) Lord Rafe Image is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South (2004) episode 2, pix 213 Mar3113  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-213.jpg

6) Lady Katharine image is Carla Gugino as Duchess Nan in The Buccaneers (1995) episode 3 vlcsnap-17h20m03s42 Mar2313 Gratiana Lovelace Cap CropSkinOvalBrt

7) Lady Katharine and Lord Rafe loving image is of Carla Gugino portraying Duchess Nan and James Frain portraying Duke Julius in The Buccaneers (1995) episode 4 vlcsnap-09h59m24s62 March1413 Gratiana Lovelace Cap CrpBrtShrp

8) Lord Rafe naked image is Richard Armitage  as Lucas North in Spooks,series 9 Promos, pix 45 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spookspromo/album/series9-45.jpg
9) Christopher Marlowe’s  poem ‘The Passionate  Shepherd to his Love” published posthumously in 1559 is found at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Passionate_Shepherd_to_His_Love  and  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passionate_Shepherd_to_His_Love

“Love is a Choice”, Previous Story Link to Ch.  9 is:

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/love-is-a-choice-ch-9-anna-meets-the-rest-of-her-papas-family-and-their-friends-march-29-2013-gratiana-lovelace-post-387/

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About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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5 Responses to “Love is a Choice”, Ch. 10 (R rated): Lord Rafe and His Bride Discuss the State of their Marriage, 4/01/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #389)

  1. aj daisy says:

    Oh I love this Grati. Was away for for Easter so read both together, what a treat. Coming along nicely. Thank You

    Like

  2. Pingback: “Love is a Choice”, Ch. 11-12: Breakfast with Grandmama; and Fanny’s Letters, April 5, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #391) | Something About Love (A)

  3. Xenia says:

    This is beautiful Gratiana. Your description of Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine’s marriage consummation is so tender and loving and I enjoy reading romance stories that gives honor to such an intimate act between a man and a woman.

    Great work!!!

    Like

    • Hi Xenia,
      Thanks for your lovely note! I am a romantic girl, so my stories’ love scenes tend to be heartfelt and tender. I’ll let my readers’ imaginations fill in the rest.
      Cheers! Grati ;->

      Like

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