Dusk fell on the moors. Dusk like thunder, like a cloak broad and black, turning the heath to shadowy gravemould. Along the horizon tors sprang like giants against the ruddy sunset. I walked along the lane towards Glenwood Cottage. In general, I avoid the moor in those hours of darkness when the powers of evil are exalted, but my liaison with Madame Morgan could not be delayed.
The earth had long since descended into inky darkness when I arrived at Glenwood Cottage, the solitary window a gleaming beacon of hope in infinite blackness. The house itself was modest; a cozy fit for a family of five but more than ample enough for a doctor, his wife, and his assistant.
Before knocking, I made sure that the Doctor himself was not at home. A quick check of the stables revealed the absence of two horses. These the Doctor and his apprentice must have taken to Londontown. Thus reassured, I made my way back to the cottage. The rustic brick was cool to my touch as I guided myself by feel through the darkness to the front door.
I straightened my coat and waistcoat, then rapped upon the door. Inside, there was a brief noise, then silence. After a long moment, the door opened a crack.
A woman’s quavering voice said, “If you be a highwayman, I warn you I am armed.”
“Madame,” I said, “I am just a poor traveler momentarily lost upon the moors. Perhaps you could allow me inside to warm myself by your hearth?”
A brightly twinkling eye appeared at the crack, and I leaned into the light from the window, allowing her to see my visage. Madame Morgan opened the door with great haste, saying, “Your Lordship! You gave me quite a fright!”
“My apologies, Madame. I meant no harm. But I truly would like to come in, as it is becoming rather chilly.”
“Of course,” she said, and favored me with a broad smile. “Where are my manners?” She ushered me inside.
The interior of the cottage looked as though an ossuary had exploded. Bones of all kinds lined the walls, as did more arcane objects, which I could only guess to be the tools of the sawbones’ trade. On closer inspection, many of the bones were not human, a fact I greeted with some relief. I spotted the skulls of a horse, a cow, and other, unidentifiable creatures on bureaus, tables, even chairs. The Doctor’s experimentation had taken him far afield in search of bones.
June Morgan, having left me in the maw of this ghastly ribcage momentarily, returned with a tea tray. “Perhaps you would care for some tea?” she asked me.
“Of course,” I said, and in the light of the cottage I allowed myself to get a better look at my quarry. By God she was a fine looking woman. Proud features set into a face of alabaster, with raven-black hair artfully coiffed so that the delicate tips brushed her blushing cheeks. Having caught her unawares, I now saw she was in a state of mild dishabille, her bodice loosened slightly, and as I sipped my tea I could see the tops of her delightful breasts bobbing with every breath.
I glanced around the room. “Fascinating,” I commented. “It must be stimulating, living with a man so concerned with the natural philosophy.”
“Oh yes, my husband is a man of…science,” she said, and I detected a note of bitterness in her voice.
“I personally see myself as a man of history,” I said.
“How so?” she inquired. Did my eyes deceive me, or did she lean towards me as she asked the question?
“Science is so cold and clinical,” I said, and stood. “Only by understanding one’s place in history, and acting to change it, does one have the potential for the heroic.”
“’The heroic’,” she said, and this time there was teasing in her voice. “Words most often heard from limp-wristed dandies in lace and silk before they declaim their latest sonnet.” But she smiled when she said it.
“Oh, there is room for poesy in the heroic, and room for heroism in the poetic. What of Lancelot and Guinevere? Of Tristan and Isolde?”
“Romeo and Juliet?” she suggested, and winked at me.
“Truly their epic loves were not undercut by the heroism of their lives but enhanced. To live and to love--heroically,” I said, and sat down close to her. “One is not possible without the other.”
I took her hand in mine, raised it up between us. “A left hand. A right hand. Perfect matches, yet opposites. The heroic and the poetic, the epic and the romantic, together in one climactic impulse, that life impulse, impossible to deny, impossible to dissuade, rising inside you until--can you feel it, June?”
“I feel it, Dennis,” she gasped, her hand trembling in mine.
“The urge, June, the urge! To live without regrets, in the moment, from peak--to peak--to peak,” I said, squeezing her hand. Her face was very close to mine now. “Heroism, June, is knowing what must be done, and doing it, doing it as hard as you can. No matter how hard life pounds at you, you must not submit, but pound back, and when at the end you are bruised and exhausted, you will bask in the glory of your triumph. That is heroism, June,” I whispered.
“Oh Dennis!” she whispered, “you speak with such passion, such intensity, a woman might--”
“A woman might what?” I whispered.
“Oh!” she said suddenly. “I must apologise, Dennis, I forgot to give you the tour of our fine cottage.” She stood and grasping my hand, dragged me up from the sopha and into the kitchen. “The kitchen,” she announced hurriedly, and pulled me upstairs. “Rexford’s study,” she said.
We quickly went down the hallway, and she opened a door. “And our bedroom,” she said, and gestured to the bed. “Notice how fine our quilt is, I made it my--”
I pushed her up against the wall and kissed her, hard and hot and how she wanted it. Her lips were soft and moist beneath mine, and I felt my tongue brush against hers.
“Oh Dennis, yes,” she gasped as our lips parted.
“No more talking,” I said mock-sternly, “the time for talking is over. Now is the time for doing,” and I swept her into another long kiss. I kissed her neck, brushing her silky skin with my lips, tasting the sweat on her, as I untied her corset. When the last stay came loose, I stood back.
Her dress fell away in one glorious motion, revealing an exquisite body, untouched by the ravages of time or decay. A pair of beauteous breasts, high and full with skin the color of pale ivory and tipped with delicate pink nipples, were only the most prominent of her advantages. The curving hips, the honeyed thighs, the delectable navel set like a pearl in the center of a smooth flat stomach—the result of her arrayed features was one of staggering beauty and incipient tumescence.
I pulled her close to me, and kissed her again. While doing so I caressed her dainty buttocks, feeling the velvety, supple flesh beneath my hands. As we kissed, I spun her around and guided her to the bed. Now her hands were on me, and I momentarily relinquished my hold on her glory to slip off my coat, my waistcoat, my shirt. She ran her hands over my bare chest, and teasingly tugged at the hair there.
I love a tease.
My breeches soon joined the rest of my clothing on the floor, and naked, we slid onto the bed. Very quickly I was hard, and she whimpered when she caught sight of my ever-present friend. I have been gifted, I cannot deny it, and no woman who has been with can, either.
I cupped her breasts in my hands, feeling the delightful sensation of her nipples brushing against my palms. Gasping with pleasure, she arched upwards, and as she did so I slid into her.
The next hour was ecstasy.
For both of us.
The Life, Times, and Misadventures of Dennis St. Michel, Viscount of Stokington, Soldier, Gambler, Diplomat, Scoundrel, Notorious Rakehell, and Lord of Menacing House, in his Own Words.