Please be aware that this excerpt contains sensual content that is only suitable
for adult readers who are comfortable with frank language and descriptions of
No ordinary holiday in the country...
When wayward, sophisticated Christabel is forced to take an extended country
holiday she foresees only long days of bucolic boredom and sexual ennui. But
she has reckoned without the hidden agenda of Nicholas, her deviously sensual
husband, and the presence of unexpected stimuli within the grounds of a brooding
old mansion house. Almost immediately, she is drawn into a web of transgressive
eroticism, where power and pleasure shift and change like the shadows playing
across Collingwood's secretive walls. Swept in with her are the delusional but
libidinous Daniel, a prisoner of his own obsession with the past; his beautiful
wild-child sister, Augusta; and the golden, ambiguous Jamie, personal assistant
to the all-controlling Nicholas.
As the summer passes, and ever darker and more challenging liaisons unfold,
Christabel quickly comes to relish her enforced sabbatical.
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Locked in a bizarre combative relationship with her handsome domineering
husband, Christabel prepares for erotic punishment...
Oh God, oh God, oh God, I’m letting it happen again, thought Christabel
as she pulled her smock off over her head and flung it to one side. I’m
revealing myself to Nicholas and Jamie again - my real self, not just my body
- and I’m doing it right here. Out in the sun. Where any one can see me.
Which was the most bizarre thing of all, she realised, unlacing her shoes, then
removing them and her socks at the same time. If she had chosen to back out now,
Nicholas would have let her, she knew that. And yet she was proceeding, struggling
out of her jeans and kicking them away, feeling the warm air on her suddenly naked
This is sex, she thought as she peeled off her camisole. As valid as intercourse,
but just different to it.
Sliding her thumbs into the elastic of her knickers, she considered the presence
of Jamie. A threesome then, if not a conventional one. Though what was a ‘conventional’
threesome? She’d never had one of those either.
When her pants were off, she stood and waited. She knew what was coming, and what
her role was, but the protocol, and the way to play the scene were new to her.
The sun was very warm on her naked skin, and she began to sweat again. It would
have been some small comfort to move in beneath the parasol, she thought, looking
longingly at the shade. Her nudity would have seemed less highlighted there, but
she knew instinctively that her husband would not allow that.
‘I... I might burn.’ She hung her head, not sure if she was even allowed
to speak now.
Nicholas laughed, but it was a soft, young laugh, completely without malice. ‘There’s
no doubt about that,’ he said, then made a swift, imperious gesture to Jamie,
‘But if you’re worried about the sun, my dear, we’ll proceed
beneath the parasol. And Jamie will go inside and fetch some sun screen.’
The younger man nodded, then rose and went about his errand.
Christabel felt almost disappointed. ‘Isn’t he going to miss the fun?’
‘Fun?’ Nicholas looked at her steadily. He looked perfectly relaxed
where he sat, but Christabel sensed that some of this was merely accomplished
play-acting, ‘I doubt if you’d really consider it fun, my dear.’
‘Whatever,’ said Christabel tightly, feeling her nerves shriek red
alert as Nicholas pushed his chair back.
‘Come here,’ he said, making a slight curling gesture with his finger,
then beginning to clear a space on the surface of the table.
Christabel’s stomach did a flip. She felt weak at the knees. It was one
thing to talk about punishment purely as a notion, but this was the crunch, the
moment of truth; it was going to happen. She moved forward but it seemed as if
she were floating.
‘Were you ever punished as a child, Christabel?’ her husband asked
as she reached him. Placing his cool hand on her lower back, he tipped her forward.
As if she’d done it a hundred times, Christabel went straight over as he
propelled her. She felt like a doll; as if there were no will in her, no fight.
The damask tablecloth was cool and it chafed her nipples.
She was only in her early thirties, but her childhood seemed an aeon ago. Even
this morning, with Daniel Ranelagh, felt like decades past. Displaying her bottom,
she was in another time and space.
Fighting for concentration, she framed an answer. ‘I used to get slapped
on the thighs now and again. For disobedience. And at school, we used to get the
slipper, from the prefects. They weren’t supposed to do it. I think it’s
illegal... But they still did it.’
‘So you’re accustomed to chastisement in one form or another?’
Christabel flinched, and suppressed a moan. Nicholas was stroking his fingers
up and down the crease of her bottom now, and it felt so voluptuous that she wanted
desperately to wriggle. Let him do anything, she thought, anything he wants, if
he’ll just do this for a while. She could feel her vulva beginning to rouse
and delicately moisten.
‘You’re aroused.’ Nicholas sounded as calm as if he were commenting
on the weather. ‘Are you thinking about sex again, Christabel?’
She didn’t know what she was thinking about, really. She was doing more
feeling than thinking, but even so, she supposed it was about sex. She nodded,
then jerked forward violently when Nicholas touched her anus.
‘And have you been masturbating too?’
She nodded again.
Christabel felt a sudden, overpowering desire to tell her husband about her strange
time with Daniel Ranelagh. She got as far as opening her mouth to speak the words,
then hesitated. That secret wasn’t entirely hers to divulge. It was something
not between Mrs Christabel Sutherland, and a handsome young aristocrat, but between
the mysterious ‘Eleanor’ and a man called Ethan Vertue. Feeling a
strange boost, she closed her mouth again. But opened it on a gasp when she felt
a fingertip push against her rear.
‘Many times?’ Nicholas repeated patiently, entering her to the first
joint of his forefinger.
‘Twice!’ she croaked, trying to wriggle away from the intrusion, but
unable to, because Nicholas had taken a firm hold on her hip with his other hand.
The finger seemed to swirl a little, and despite the fact that she wasn’t
sure if she was going to choke or have an orgasm, Christabel understood that she
was being asked another question.
‘Once in bed, last night. And once while I was out walking, this morning,’
she said, panting for breath as she rode the infernal stimuli. Her own fingers
dragged like claws across the tablecloth.
‘Tut tut,’ murmured Nicholas, and the finger was withdrawn.
Christabel didn’t know whether to sob with relief, or with disappointment.
She had always been afraid of the way she responded to having her bottom touched,
and had almost tried to resist the pleasure it gave her. But Nicholas knew the
full extent of her weakness, and she felt a shudder run through her, thinking
of how he might use that knowledge. How he might use her, when the initial punishment
‘Are you ready?’
She felt him adjusting his footing as if her were judging distance and force.
‘Yes!’ She spoke up boldly. How terrible could a few smacks be? Her
youthful punishments hadn’t been particularly traumatic.
‘Very well, then.’
When the first blow fell it was stinging, jolting impact that made her cry out,
‘Bloody hell!’ and try to scoot across the table.
Her memory had served her badly, it seemed. The pain was fearsome and extraordinary,
and it seemed to increase exponentially with each swift strike. By the time she’d
taken ten she was sobbing freely, her pelvis working.
Then the spanks stopped, and Nicholas bent over her, and whispered in her ear,
‘Would you like to rest a minute?’
‘Can’t we stop now?’ pleaded Christabel, reaching around to
clasp her bottom’s tingling lobes. Some instinct seemed to have suggested
the burning would be assuaged that way, but when she held herself she wasn’t
so sure. The fire felt worse, but in a weird way, also better. ‘It hurts!’
she muttered, squeezing very gently.
‘Don’t be foolish, dear,’ said Nicholas, his voice beautifully
forbearing as he took her by the wrists and prised her fingers off her buttocks,
‘It’s supposed to hurt... And we’ve hardly started yet.’
He pressed her hands flat to the table cloth, and because she couldn’t touch
herself, Christabel felt compelled to wiggle her bottom.
‘Keep still, Christabel,’ he said, placing a hand quite forcefully
on the small of her back and pressing her down, ‘Or everything will be much
worse for you, I promise.’ The words were menacing, but the tone was light
How can it be? she thought, the imposed stillness, and the pressure of her pubis
against the table, acting like an aphrodisiac upon her. Her sex seemed to be burning
in the same flames that were slowly toasting her bottom, only down there the fire
was worse. And better. And gorgeous.
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Shadowplay by Portia Da Costa © 2009 Portia
Da Costa & Black Lace
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