tagNovels and NovellasThe Ravishing of Constance Ch. 01

The Ravishing of Constance Ch. 01

bySabledrake©

The balmy sea breeze stirred her golden hair as Constance de Granville walked onto the balcony overlooking the harbor. She tipped her head back to allow the cooling air better play over the curves and hollows of her throat.

Below, the docks of Veradoga teemed with activity. Constance could hear the ribald laughter of sailors, pleased to be in port at last, mingled with the singsong chant of the local merchants hawking their wares. Silver from Spain, fine clothes from France, silks and exotic spices from the Far East ... the markets of Veradoga were among the richest in the islands.

She sighed and fanned herself, for the gentle breeze had momentarily died away. The moist air caused her perspiration to bead on her creamy skin. One drop traced its way down the side of her neck and over the rising hill of her breast, then vanished into the lace that trimmed her bodice.

"Good journey," she said softly, waving one last time to the ship on the horizon. Her father, Lord William de Granville, was on that ship. As governor of Veradoga, it was his duty to inspect the smaller islands and their lush plantations, a duty that would keep him from home several weeks.

She wished that she could have gone along, but her father would not allow it.

"With pirates growing bolder by the year," he had said, "I want you to stay safely at home. Robert will look after you."

Constance gazed wistfully after the ship.

Although it was gone from her sight, she
imagined she could still make out a speck amid the blue of sea and sky. She imagined she was aboard it, standing by the rail, a real wind caressing her instead of the fickle breath of the breeze.

She closed her eyes and let her mind's fancy create the rhythmic swell of the waves, the creak and flap of the timbers and sails. In all of her eighteen years, she had never been at sea.

She could well understand her father's reluctance, knew that his fear of pirates was well-founded in tragic memory. Twenty years ago, before Constance herself was born and when Robert had been but a baby, Anna de Granville had set sail to visit an ailing friend in England. Pirates had seized the vessel, and while the life of Lady de Granville had been spared, it might have been better for her had it not.

William de Granville had been wild with remorse and hurt love, and had ransomed back his ruined wife more than a year later. He had pledged to stand by her despite all. But the shame had eventually proven too much for Anna, and she had ended her own life by poison when Constance was barely more than an infant.

Constance had very few memories of her mother, and those were all tinged with a sense of failure. She had been the child meant to bring their family back together, but it hadn’t been enough. She’d never understood why it was that her mother would feel so shamed, what could have happened to her that was so terrible.

When girlhood had begun to give way to womanhood, and she gained more of an understanding of adult matters, Constance realized the truth. Though no one had ever told her directly, she had some idea of what men wished from women, and sometimes wished it so strenuously that they might seek to take it against a woman’s will.

To her own shame, she sometimes dreamt of it … dreamt that she was her mother, a young and beautiful Anna on a seafaring adventure, held captive by a dashing dark-haired and emerald-eyed rogue. And it was not terrible, but enticing, delicious.

She would wake fevered and confused, the bedclothes tangled as if she’d thrashed in her sleep. With pounding heart and flushed skin, she would go to the window and let the sea breeze blow the memories of those dreams into tatters.

A shout drew her attention back to the present, and she smiled as she looked down on the road.

Two white horses were racing toward the manor, their riders calling to each other merrily as they raced. The lead horse's rider was tall and fair, with hair as golden as her own, her elder brother, Robert. The second rider was shorter and broadly built, dark-complected. Robert's companion Enrique.

Born only days apart, the two had been inseparable since childhood. They had only a week ago recently returned from a year’s visit to Jamaica and other of the islands. It was Lord de Granville's hope that travel would settle Robert's wild nature and make a serious-minded man of him.

Constance had her doubts about that; Robert had changed, yes, but she would hesitate to call it a serious-minded change. He seemed much older than a mere year could account for, and rougher, sharper. As if his travels had honed him like a blade, and left a glint in his eye of steel and danger. He spent as much time as ever in the gambling-halls, or out riding and sporting with Enrique.

Enrique's horse found some untapped reserve of strength and charged ahead. Rob struck the flank of his own steed. They swept out of Constance's sight, around the manor toward the stables, their voices and laughter trailing behind them like the wake of a ship.

She turned from the window and began pinning up her hair, dressing for dinner without the benefit of a maid. The servants, even her dear old Nana Eva, had been given a holiday while the governor was away, which was one of the few times they would not be overrun with guests, dignitaries, and visitors on business.

The emptiness of the house did not trouble Constance. She welcomed, even relished, the quiet and the peace. It was a rare occasion that dinner was not a boring and formal affair. And while her father's frequent guests had always been bringing their daughters and sisters in a parade of maidens to the wealthy, widowed lord and his son, lately they’d begun bringing their sons and nephews as well. Constance found them one and all to be flighty, vain, foolish creatures for all their status and education.

The great doors slammed as she approached the banister. She peered over. Robert and Enrique were stripping off their riding gloves, a bit dusty and disheveled but in high good spirits.

"Well, Constance!" Robert called, seeing her. "Father is off, and I am man of the house! Be a good lass and see about supper, will you?"

"Of course." She descended the wide staircase, trying not to notice the way Enrique's eyes greedily followed her every move. Once like a brother to her, since she’d turned thirteen she found him more and more unsettling, even a bit frightening.

There was no fault with his looks, no reason that they should give her cause for concern. His black hair was thick and wavy, his ink-dark eyes hooded and soulful, his features handsome if on the heavy side.

Yet whenever he gazed at her as he did now, Constance was reminded of a boar, stubborn and greedy and not above bullying others aside to get at what he wanted.

Because she had in large part been raised by the servants, she well knew her way about the kitchen. It was too warm to do much cooking, so an assortment of sliced meats and breads, with plenty of cheese and fresh fruit, made the bulk of their evening repast.

When she brought the trays into the dining room, she saw Robert sitting in their father's chair, putting on airs and laughing at himself as he did so. Enrique sat to his right, in the seat usually reserved for important guests.

As they ate, Robert even a time or two imitated their father, seeming almost mocking. The glowing tapers lent a shine of malicious humor to his eyes. It gave Constance the most unsettling feeling – that her brother, adored and looked-up to for as long as she could remember, was a stranger to her.

A slim thread of disquiet coiled in her heart, but she told herself not to be silly, that of course Rob was different. He’d spent a year abroad, a year of excitement and adventure, while she had remained at home.

He ignored her for the most part, jesting with Enrique, talking as if she wasn’t even there to hear. They spoke of drinking and gambling, of wenches in town, of brothels throughout the Caribbean, as if they had done nothing in their travels except debauch.

Constance did her best to ignore them, did her best not to blush when they laughed over bawdy events. She was keenly aware of Enrique watching her, until it was as if she imagined she could feel his eyes on her like a touch, and found herself wishing her neckline didn’t drape so fashionably low.

By the time supper was over, evening was settling over the island. Rob and Enrique headed to Lord de Granville’s study for brandy and cigars, something that might have been denied them had Father been in attendance, but they were taking full advantage of his absence.

Constance, more relieved than she cared to admit, first cleared the table and then went through the house, opening wide the windows to catch the cool air.

She had just completed the task in the parlor when she heard a sound behind her, a footstep. She turned and saw Enrique lounging in the doorway.

"Hello, Constance," he said, smiling with a sharklike expanse of teeth.

"Hello, Enrique," she said, feeling renewed unease at the way his glittering dark gaze slowly traveled over her body, lingering on certain areas.

"My, but you’ve grown up while Robert and I were away," he said. "As a child, you were always pretty, but now ... why, there’s not a woman in the islands to rival you!"

She forced a bright laugh. "You are too kind, Enrique."

"No, none like you. None so fresh, so innocent." He came closer, and she retreated behind the wide mahogany table while trying to make it seem that she was only moving to straighten the items on the shelves.

"Again, you are too kind." She cast a swift glance at the door, hoping to see Robert appear and free her from this awkward situation, but there was no sign of him.

"Constance." Enrique was beside her in a flash, his movements catlike and silent. His warm hand seized hers. "Lovely Constance. You inflame me. Have you any idea how much I desire you?"

She laughed again, and this time the forced nature of it was plainly apparent, like the jagged squeal of glass shards scraping together. "Don't be silly, Enrique, you've always been as a brother to me."

His laugh was much more genuine. "But, dear Constance, I am not your brother." He brought her captive hand to his mouth and kissed it.

Good manners aside, she pulled away from him with strength born of sudden alarm. "Enrique, stop … are we not friends?"

“I hope more than that. A kiss, Constance.”

"No, I think not." She took a step back, and her bottom bumped into the edge of the table.

"Aha, trapped!” he chuckled. “Now you are mine!" He grabbed her by the upper arms and pressed his lips against hers.

Startled, Constance tried to pull away, but he held her fast. His mouth was urgent and demanding, and before she knew what he meant to do, his tongue was forcing her mouth open, darting within.

Her outraged scream was muffled. She struggled in his arms, ineffective and caught. Enrique paid no attention to her efforts. She could taste the brandy on him, smell the cigar-smoke of his breath.

Constance, nearly in a panic, hammered her fists on his shoulders. He only pushed closer, pinning her against the table with his hips. She felt a hard bulge rubbing her belly and in a burst of instinctive awareness knew what it was.

One of his hands cupped a breast, pushing it up, making it bulge above her neckline. She nearly fainted from the shock, but retained enough of her wits to act. She stamped on his foot, and seized his groping hand to bend the fingers back.

Enrique cried out in pain and released her. She took advantage of his pause to squirm away from him and flee around the table.

"She-devil!" he snarled, and all the mirth had gone out of his eyes to be replaced with anger and fired lust. "Get back here!"

"Robert!" she screamed, running for the door. “Robert, help!”

Enrique vaulted over the table with a jaguar’s speed and caught her around the waist. She shrieked as her feet left the ground, saw them flailing in mid-air beneath the fluttering hem of her skirt.

He flung her down on the table, the impact knocking the breath from her body and sending a vase of dried flowers tumbling to its doom. Before she could recover her breath and her wits, he had clambered onto the table beside her and imprisoned her wrists above her head.

He stared down into her wide, startled eyes. “I would have settled for just the kiss, but now you owe me for the insult! You strike me? You refuse me? I've had women beg for my attentions!"

"Let me go! Enrique, for the love of God, stop this madness!" It was a breathless plea that sobbed from her lungs.

"Not until you've learned your lesson!" He claimed her lips again, in a vicious, bruising kiss.

"Dear Lord!" Robert's voice cried. "What is going on here?!"

Enrique raised his head, all but snarling in vexation.

"Rob! Thank heaven! Help me!" Constance wept with relief as she saw her brother come into the room. In his shirtsleeves with a snifter of brandy cradled in one hand, he looked like a younger image of their father.

"Enrique, explain yourself! What are you doing to my sister?”

"Hellfire, Rob, I couldn't resist. All I wanted was a single kiss, but she denied me and fought like a wildcat."

Constance gaped at him. He should have been cowering in fear and shame at having been caught, but he merely gave Robert a shrug and a wry grin.

Robert turned his gaze on her. She sat up, trying to smooth her tousled tresses and wipe the tear-streaks from her face. In dismay, she realized that in their struggles, her skirt had bunched above her knees, leaving her in utter disarray.

"Constance, I am surprised at you." Robert sadly shook his head. "Is this how you show hospitality to our guest?"

"What?" She gaped at him, nonplussed by his tone.

"Look at poor Enrique," Rob said. "You've aroused him with your beauty and charm, with your teasing kisses, and then you deny him satisfaction?"

"What … what are you talking about?” she stammered. “Teasing? Aroused him? I've done no such thing!"

"Oh, but you have," Enrique said. He touched himself obscenely, hefting and fondling the swelling in his trousers as idly as a vintner checking the ripeness of his crop. "What do you think caused this?"

"For shame, Constance," Robert chided. "Look what you've done! I think Enrique
deserves an apology."

"No, Rob, you don’t understand! I was in here by myself, and he came in … he grabbed me --"

He waved again, dismissingly. "That doesn't matter, sister dear. What matters is, you've brought our guest to a point of distraction, and he must be satisfied. Isn't that so, Enrique?"

"Quite."

"What do you mean? What satisfaction?" She hugged herself and inched off of the table, her confusion beginning to give way to the first stirrings of true fear. He didn’t mean … he couldn’t mean …

"Will her mouth suffice?" Robert asked Enrique.

Enrique grinned widely. "I'm sure it will!"

"What?" She looked pleadingly at her brother. "Rob, please, what's going on?"

"Simply said, little sister, Enrique is going to put his cock in your mouth."

"What?!?" She nearly fell into the nearest chair, all of her limbs galvanized and numbed by pure shock. She knew enough to understand what he meant, just couldn’t believe it.

"It is your duty. He is our guest, and as hostess, you must do everything within your power to make him feel comfortable.”

“Rob! This is wrong!”

“Oh, believe me, Constance, if one of the servants were here, perhaps she could take your place. But even your old Eva is away, and that leaves you the lady of the house.”

“I … I … I’ll tell Father, Rob, I swear I will!"

"She might do that," Enrique said. "Your father would be angry. He tends to put his daughter’s virtue before the comfort of his guests, after all."

"You're right." Robert scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Hmm. Wait, I know. We can assure that she won't tell Father a thing."

“I will tell him! When he hears --” The thought occurred to her that perhaps he meant to kill her, a thought she would have only moments ago dismissed as absurd. Yet, so too would she have dismissed the thought that her own brother would be ordering her to … to …

“How will we convince her to keep her silence?”

“We’ll just have to make sure she enjoys what she does,” Rob said. “If that’s the case, she’ll be none too eager to tell anyone about it.”

"Interesting," Enrique said.

“Enjoy --? Rob, what’s happened to you? I’m your sister!”

“And Enrique is my best friend.” Rob laughed. “Why, it’s not so far-fetched to think that Father might marry you to him someday … Don Martinez is a very wealthy and powerful man. It’d be a good match, assuming England and Spain ever quit warring.”

“So what harm in a sampling of the delights that await?” Enrique undid his belt.

“I will not!” Constance shrieked. “How can you think to do this? And how can you think I’d ever enjoy such … such a vile deed?”

“Oh, you’ll do it, dear sister mine.” His eyes, the same blue of her father’s and her own, had never looked so fierce, at once icy and aflame, like blue diamonds. “You’ll use that pretty mouth of yours to pleasure Enrique until he’s sated, and swallow every drop of what he spends. Do you understand me?”

“I won’t.” She could barely breathe in her horror, and edged for the door, meaning to bolt and run and escape to the village, seek haven there.

But this time it was her own brother who seized her and flung her again on the table. “Father left you in my charge and you will mind me!” Rob commanded.

"Let me go! I'll scream!" She was very nearly screaming already, her voice high and shrill.

“Who will hear you? Behave yourself, Constance, you're embarrassing our family."

She tried to get away, a desperate lunge, but he held her down easily. All speech seemed to have deserted her and she could only whine and mewl like an animal as she fought with him. Rob batted her feeble blows aside, and slapped her smartly on the cheek.

It stung and surprised more than hurt, for she had never in her life been struck, not even spanked. Constance gasped harshly.

Enrique, meanwhile, had unconcernedly continued undressing. She caught a glimpse of what was revealed and snapped her eyes shut. She tried willing herself to awaken, sure that this couldn’t be real. Surely, any moment, she’d wake to find herself in her own bed –

That idea shattered when she heard him climb onto the table.

“There, yes, kneel beside her head,” Ron said. “That should do.”

“I won’t do this, you can’t make me do this,” sobbed Constance. “Father will disown you for this!”

“No, he won’t, because you won’t tell. I’m going to see to that.”

She felt her skirt being rudely shoved up to her waist, and opened her eyes in time to see Rob’s fingers curl into the top of her linen undergarment.

No!” Bright, unformed panic shot through her.

"Oh, yes," Robert said. "And I'll tell you why. Because while you're busy with Enrique's cock, I will be licking your sweet cunny."

Now that panic had a form, more monstrous than she ever could have imagined. Her shriek pealed to the rafters, but did not deter him from tearing away the thin lacy cloth. They both stared down at her, at the thighs Rob held indecently wide, at the plump mound of crisp golden curls between them.

“Beautiful,” Enrique said.

"Upon my word, sister, you have grown up, haven't you?" Robert murmured. He ran his fingers lightly over her mound.

She howled in abject terror but now Enrique was holding her too, and she was unable to move, unable to bring her legs together.

“But if you lick her cunny,” Enrique asked, “isn’t that incest? After all, I’m not her brother.”

"No, no, my friend, it isn't. What sort of a brother do you think I am? It is only incest if I actually were to fuck her. Or if one of us were to spend. You can, and godspeed, but not I. I assure you, I have no intention of turning this into incest." So saying, he settled his palm onto her mound, and bent down to kiss her thigh.

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