“What now?” Lord Amstell asked.
She looked at him, standing lost in the centre of the green room like a little boy. His long arms hung hopelessly by his sides, arms that had held her during their twelve years of marriage. And she almost felt sorry for him, but only almost.
They’d been led up the stairs away from the heat from the revels below but it still coated her skin, the memory of soft flesh, gaping mouths, hardness bursting out of breeches. She went around the chamber, brushing her fingers along the mahogany surface of the chest of drawers and down the heavy, drawn damask curtains with a curling vine design. She was quivering with anticipation. She tried to steady herself by looking at the painting above the fire, it was of a naked girl being penetrated by a satyr. The nymph turned her white face out placidly, a small smile playing on her lips as his enormous erection went deep inside her.
“So this is the chamber?” She pushed off her embroidered leather slippers and started to roll down her white, silk stockings. She nodded towards the four poster, piled with green cushions. “That’s the bed you came to time and again?”
“It is,” he said, shifting from one foot to another. Her mouth was set in a determined way he’d never seen before. “But, Tilly… why do you need to see it all?”
“To understand how men pass their time.”
“I should never have agreed to this crazed scheme, it’s obscene to bring one’s own wife, a woman of your breeding, to the most infamous nunnery in London.” He burst. “I don’t know how you persuaded me, you always manage to twist my thoughts.”
“You owe me, Rupert.” She stood up and started to undo the satin sleeves tied to her shoulders, the ivory silk tied across the front. “When your harlot arrived on our doorstep in Mayfair, holding a baby with your eyes, I was so humiliated. I wanted to kill you.” She was standing opposite him now in only her fine linen petticoats and her loosened stays. Her long thin arms swayed. “But now…”
There was a soft knock on the door. Three times.
“Sit there, Rupert.” She pointed to a low French bedroom chair by the fire and he dutifully went. He sat heavily, sweating in full dress and removed his wig. His fair hair stuck to his head and he ran his fingers through it.
Lady Amstell walked to the door and opened it. The footman who’d brought her drinks downstairs nearly filled the frame. He held a tray in one hand with a bottle of claret and three glasses. His dark eyes were no longer averted, they looked straight into her and she gave him a half smile. Mask gone, she had an otherworldly face, more like a wood creature. All fierce energy and high cheek bones.
“M’lady,” he bowed.
“Please, come in.” She pointed to a low table by the window, ever the hostess, and watched as the young man walked across the room, his natural strength coiled within him like a spring. His green toga was short and showed the high firmness of his buttocks, the strength in his calves. The breadth of his shoulders pulled in at a narrow waist, tied with a rope. If we were horses, she thought, you’d be the rare thoroughbred. He stopped opposite her, arms hanging easily by his sides. Brown eyes quizzical. His lips were so full. She’d only ever kissed her husband and his lips were quite thin; hard when aroused. She parted her wide mouth and leant up to the footman, she leant up to his delicious, dark mouth sucked the fullness of his bottom lip in the green room at Santa Carlotta’s.
“Tilly! What the hell are you doing?” Lord Amstell erupted from his chair and was marching towards them. “I could shoot you both on the spot!”
“But you won’t, my darling,” Her voice was slow and deep, more like a purr. She looked at her saliva on the man’s lip. “You will sit on the chair and watch as the footman gratifies me on the bed.”