I'm delving back into the world of Regency erotica these days, working on the sequel to MY THREE LORDS, currently titled MY THREE MASTERS. I thought I'd share a completely unedited snippet from this work in progress. Miss Miranda Brown is a runaway who has taken a position tending the dying Marquise de Beaumont, which is how she catches the eye of the infamous Marquis de Beaumont ...
The notorious Marquis de Beaumont – my master? No man would be my master; I’d vowed that when I ran from the guardian who ruined my life. Especially not the Marquis.
In the dark, my face burned as I recalled some of the Marquise’s stories about her husband. At Eton he’d been caught in bed with three students and a professor – at the same time. He was equally voracious with men and women, and his sexual appetites knew no bounds. He’d once kidnapped another man’s mistress, chained her in a dungeon, and tormented her until she crawled to him on her knees, begging for his … I blushed even to think it.
Often I puzzled over the details of such stories. How she could crawl when she was chained, I failed to see. On occasion I would wonder if all the Marquise’s stories were true. But it was not my place to question. If I questioned, she might stop her tales, and that … I couldn’t bear.
I’m ashamed to admit that I lived for those stories. Shocking and titillating though they were, when I crawled into my tiny cot in my mistress’s dressing-room, I thought of nothing else. It was as if I were transported into another world. A dungeon, perhaps, where I hung helplessly in chains, my arms stretched overhead, my naked body exposed to the ruthless black gaze of the devil himself. With that sardonic twist of his mouth I’d come to know, he’d come closer, closer, then he’d lift one gloved hand, tough his finger to my nipple, and a shivery sensation would sing through me. I’d sag against the chains, panting and begging for … I knew not what.
I’d sneak my hand between my legs, where my fingers would dip into a soft, liquid slipperiness. There was a spot there, just there. If I rubbed it a certain way, a seed of a feeling would blaze to life. My heart would begin to pound, my breath come fast, and soon joy would shriek through me. As I arched and held my hand tight against my throbbing body, the horror of the world would disappear.
Maybe it was wrong – it probably was wrong – but when everything has been ripped away from you, such considerations don’t carry much weight.
Once, in a moment of spectacular boldness, I’d asked the Marquise why she’d married him if he was so sinful. She laughed until she began to cough and I had to fetch her some mullein. When the spasms died down, she answered. “We were two of a kind, or so I thought. But the bastard disappointed me. He left me in hell, all alone.”
She wouldn’t explain further. I was left to my own imaginings. How had he disappointed her? Had his corruption outstripped hers? Had his interest in her waned? I didn’t see how such a thing was possible; the Marquise was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Even during her illness, I could find no flaw in her physical perfection. Men were constantly sending her flowers and jewels and poems, even when she refused all callers.
Had she banned her husband from her bed? The husband whose bedroom exploits provided fodder for a thousand stories during the year I cared for her? The husband who haunted my dreams and made that place between my legs burn with need?
But lurid midnight fantasies are one thing. Allowing the Marquis to become my master was something entirely different.
Thanks for reading! The Marquis de Beaumont first appears in MY THREE LORDS. If you'd like to know more, click on the cover for an excerpt and more.
Juniper Bell's next release is UNLEASHING THE RECEPTIONIST, coming October 30 from Samhain Publishing. Click the cover for more.