The Ravishing of Constance Ch. 10bySabledrake©
The day was hot and calm, the sea like a mirror. Constance dozed on the narrow cot, her skin beaded with perspiration. A lethargy held sway on board the Ricarda. The crewmen were cross and out of sorts, uninterested in doing their work. The officers bickered among themselves. In the galley, Greta and Daisy were snapping irritably at one another as they went about preparing the evening meal.
Constance was dimly aware of this, hearing it without paying any of it much heed. She couldn't fully sleep for the discomfort of the heat, nor could she rouse herself to move. If there had been a breath of wind, she would have risked much to go above deck and feel its cooling kiss, but the sails hung slack in the motionless air.
Only with the coming of the evening did the temperature drop and a brisk breeze arise. It was like a revitalizing serum to the Ricarda. Constance left Daisy's tiny room in search of a washrag and clean water.
The other two women were setting the places on the long table. Constance could hear Daisy fretting.
"He's hardly been himself these past few days," she said. "The way he looks at me … do you think he knows about us?"
"I can't see how he would," Greta said.
"Well, he knows something, or suspects," Daisy said.
She was not wearing the necklace, which Constance had given to her two days before along with the made-up tale of how it had been anonymously put under the door one night. The look on her face had been one of immediate guilt, which Constance affected not to notice.
The burden of the secrets, though, was becoming too much to bear. Walter had not dared visit Constance again, and neither had Lord Cuthburt, but she knew that any night it might all be bound to change.
She pretended as if she had not been listening to Daisy and Greta, yawning like one freshly awakened. There was a barrel of fresh water in the corner with a dipper hung over its side. Constance dunked the dipper, used it to soak a cloth, and wiped her face. She wrung the cloth so that the water ran in a stream down her neck and into her bodice, and suddenly realized that Greta was watching her avidly. There was something in that calculatingly shrewd gaze that made her know what was about to happen even before Greta spoke.
"Daisy's been feeling very poorly," Greta said. "I hate to discommode you, my lady, but it might be better for her health if she had a bed to herself for a night or three. Mine has more than room enough if you're willing." Neither did Constance miss Daisy's look, which was at once relieved, sympathetic, and smugly satisfied. It was as if she could read the other girl's very thoughts. The notion of Constance waking to find Greta's hands all over her somehow appealed to Daisy.
Yet how could she refuse? One word from Greta would make everything known to Lord Cuthburt. She could not let him find out she was a stowaway, and she most certainly could not let him find out that she had been the one in Daisy's bed when he had come to her in the darkness and told her to call him Uncle.
"That would be fine," Constance said. "I am most grateful to you both for helping me, and maintaining my secrecy."
Would Greta dare to touch her? The cook's every remark and gesture toward Constance thus far had shown deference to her rank as a governor's daughter of good breeding. It might become a different matter when they were hip to hip and shoulder to shoulder in the same bed.
She should have been horrified at the thought but a definite curiosity nibbled at the corners of her mind. Greta was a good many years her senior, but her short figure was nonetheless trim. And having seen her with Daisy, Constance knew that Greta was quite adept at bringing even a reluctant woman's body to pleasure.
Surely not, though. Surely Greta would not attempt such a thing with Constance.
As the two of them left to serve the crew, Constance moved her bag of belongings into Greta's room. She eyed the bed. It was far wider than the cot she'd been sleeping on, with a better mattress and better blankets.
Constance ate a hurried dinner and peeked out at the lively conversation going on among the crew. She saw Walter, his auburn hair gleaming under the lantern light, and a sharp pang of envy went through her as she imagined him attempting to visit her, only to find Daisy back in her own bed.
He'd make love to Daisy, of course, for how else would he explain his presence there? It would be Daisy to feel his hardness thrusting into her cunny, Daisy to have his mouth on her breasts. While Constance might or might not be fending off the advances of Greta.
She did not know what she would do if Greta did try to caress her. As far as anyone else knew, with the exception of Walter – and Rob, Enrique, and poor Nana Eva – she was a sheltered virgin. Would that matter to Greta? Or would she seek to convince Constance that there was no harm in a bit of girlplay, so long as no cocks were involved?
A new thought struck her. If Greta did try, and Constance did allow it, could the cook tell by touch that Constance's maidenhead was gone?
The bell clanged for the changing of the watch. Full darkness had fallen. The majority of the crew sought their hammocks, or makeshift beds in enormous coils of rope. Lord Cuthburt, his face ruddy from wine, wished all a good rest and headed off for his cabin.
Daisy sent an appealing, inviting look Walter's way. She maneuvered to get close enough to him to whisper. Constance knew just what it must be. Again, she suffered that envious pang. Walter seemed thoughtful, and then he nodded.
Greta returned with a sprightly step, humming to herself. "Well, now, we should to bed. I'll have to rise early, you know."
"Yes, of course," Constance said. She undressed down to her chemise, feeling Greta's eyes on her all the while.
"Such a beautiful girl," Greta commented. "If it's no imposition to say so."
"I hardly know about that," Constance said. "A quick wash here and there … I'm dying for a proper bath. My hair is filthy."
"Nonsense. It's lovely. But if you'd like, I have something that can fix it up right smart."
"You do? What is it?"
"A powder." She fetched a tin from her dressing table. "It sprinkles into the hair, soaks up the dirt and oil, and then brushes away to leave it shining and clean. I use it all the time on long voyages. See?"
Greta's hair was up in a braided bun. She undid it and fanned it out, letting it fall midway down her back. It was dark, salted with grey, but Constance could see that it was indeed far cleaner than her own.
"I do see," she said.
"I could brush it through your hair, if you'd like."
There was more lurking beneath that innocent-sounding offer, but at the moment Constance was so captivated by the prospect of having clean hair that she barely gave it a second thought. She nodded vigorously, and at Greta's direction, sat down in front of the dressing table and unpinned her hair.
"Tsk," Greta said. "I should have said something before. Just look at these glorious blond locks."
She shook powder from the tin. It sifted onto Constance's hair, dusting it white. Greta worked it in with her hands, massaging close to the scalp to get the powder entirely through the long golden strands. It felt good, and Constance allowed her eyes to slip half-shut. She did not object when Greta's hands moved down to rub her neck, and shoulders. "We'll let it soak in for a little while." The cook's voice had grown husky.
Constance opened one eye a fraction and through the fringe of her eyelashes, saw Greta's reflection in the polished disk of metal that served as a mirror. Greta's expression was one of ill-concealed arousal. Constance heard her breathing quicken. When Greta leaned forward to reach the brush from the dressing table, her small breasts pushed against Constance's back and she felt stiff little nipples through the layers of cloth that separated them.
"Do you have a particular young man you fancy?" Greta asked as she began to draw the brush through Constance's hair in long, smooth strokes.
Walter's visage flashed in her mind. "Back home? No, not as such."
"Why, that is a shame. I'd think they'd be swarming around you like honeybees to a flower. What about this fellow your brother wanted you to marry?"
Enrique. Constance shuddered. She had known him for as long as she could remember, but in recent years he'd begun to ogle her with a lust she now understood all too well.
If not for him, she might not even be in this predicament. It had been his insistence for a kiss that had led to Rob's pronouncement that her duty as hostess included seeing to the needs of their guests. He'd made her suck Enrique's cock then, and ensured her cooperation by licking her cunny, promising to stop when she'd successfully made Enrique spend. But then Rob, his own lust inflamed, proceeded to rub his naked cock against her until she was brought to a shameful climax, whereupon he decreed that she had made a harmless game into vile incest, and promptly commenced to fuck her.
Yes, if not for Enrique, none of this might have happened. She would have liked to think so, at any rate. But knowing her brother as she now did, she supposed it would have only been a matter of time until Rob found one way or another to get at her.
Greta was still brushing, waiting for an answer. Constance shook off those memories.
"I did not want to marry him," she said. "I did not love him."
"Love often has little to do with marriage among the upper class, so I'm told," Greta said philosophically. "Was he handsome?"
"Yes, I suppose he was."
"Did he court you?"
Constance suppressed a rueful laugh. Court her? He had kissed her bruisingly, stuck his cock in her mouth on more than one occasion, pleaded with her brother for access to her cunny, fingered her to climax under Rob's permissive eye, taken her nursemaid in front of her, and then finally become so desperately impassioned that he'd started a fire to distract the house while he surprised her in her room where he first tongued her, then fucked her. If that counted as courting …
"No," she said.
"Have you ever kissed a young man?"
She knew where this path would lead, could see it as plainly as if it had been written in letters of fire. Perhaps she would not have understood where Greta was leading a month ago, even a week, but the girl who'd waved farewell to her father's ship from the terrace might have been a Constance of some much earlier age.
And it would do no good to lie. Her rosy blush was already betraying her. Greta, seeing this, laughed.
"Well …" Constance said.
"Your secret's safe with me," Greta said. "There, now … how's that?"
The powder had worked wonders. Her hair was rich and full again, and she ran her hands through it reveling in the silken feel.
"Splendid," she said. "Thank you."
"My, but you're a pretty one. I shouldn't wonder that you'd been kissed before. Did you like it?"
She had when Walter had done it, but she could not very well say that. All at once, she thought of Daisy. Was he with her yet? It was too early, it had to be. He'd wait until the wee hours of the morning when there was less risk of being caught.
Again, her blush told more than her words. Greta smiled wisely.
"What else did you let him do?"
"Nothing!" she denied, too vehemently.
"No?" Greta's smile was still there, had grown bolder. "You've never let a man put his hands here?"
She trailed her fingers from Constance's shoulder to her breast, stroking the firm swell just above the lacy frill of the chemise's neckline. Constance gasped.
"It's all right," Greta breathed. "No harm done, you see? No harm done at all."
Her fingers moved lower, barely more than a feather's touch, toward the spot where the fine fabric peaked over the taut nipple. Greta abruptly bent and gave Constance a wet, open-mouthed kiss. Her tongue plunged into Constance's mouth with urgent prodding thrusts, and now both of the woman's hands were on her breasts, tweaking her nipples, tugging at them.
Constance pushed her away. "What are you doing?"
"I'm not hurting you. I only want to make you feel good. Here, isn't that nice? What ripe bubbies you have."
"We'll make it fair." She took Constance's hand and guided it to her bosom. "Go on, touch me, and you'll see there's nothing wrong about it."
Indecision battled in Constance. Part of her did want to touch Greta, to feel another woman's curves and find out what a female lover would be like compared to a man. But the rest of her was confused and hesitant, and it was this latter part which won out. She broke away from Greta and backed toward the door, shaking her head.
"Oh, dear," Greta said. "I am sorry … I shouldn't have rushed you so. Let us to bed and forget about it."
"To bed, and what then? Do you think to do with me what I saw you do with Daisy?" It leapt out impulsively and there was no calling the words back.
Greta went white, and then scarlet. "I don't know what you mean."
"I saw you a few nights ago," Constance said.
"Well, what if you did see? What of it? She enjoyed herself, the little tart."
Constance picked up her gown and lowered it over her head. "I need a breath of air." She buttoned and laced herself back into her clothes.
"Where do you think you're going? If you're found, they'll know you to be a stowaway."
"And if I stay, what will happen to me?"
"Nothing you don't want to happen."
"I find that hard to believe." She opened the door onto the kitchen.
The cook came after her, heedless of her own state of undress. "Wait, please, wait … I meant nothing by it. I was not trying to harm you in any way."
They both fell silent at what they could hear, low but distinct, from behind the door to the tiny alcove-room where Daisy slept. Stifled moans and cries, and a steady creaking. Greta's red face darkened toward purple. Constance donned a wide-eyed look, trying to mask the jealousy she felt.
Just then, the outer door opened and a man came quietly in with a lantern. He stopped short as he saw the fully-clothed Constance and the chemise-clad Greta standing by Daisy's room.
Constance had an inner sense of a fragile structure, a house of cards perhaps, trembling on the point of catastrophic collapse. If Walter was out here, it must be Lord Cuthburt in Daisy's bed.
He looked at the door. The sounds coming from behind it were nearing a crescendo, the creaking more rapid. Greta seemed stunned, unsure of what to do. It gave Walter a precious moment to dissemble and stare quizzically at Constance, the very picture of a man who wanted to ask who the devil she was but had more important matters to attend to. He strode across the kitchen with the lantern in his fist, and flung open the door to Daisy's room.
The light fell across the narrow bed and the two bodies. A man was on top of Daisy, his hips pumping as he drove into her. His head whipped around as the light banished the pitch-darkness of the room, but he was too near his climax to stop and could only keep fucking.
It was not Lord Cuthburt, but the bosun, a swarthy man with blue and red tattoos all up and down his arms. He had Daisy's knees hooked over his elbows and her bottom lifted. The trio in the doorway could clearly see his thick cock slamming in and out.
Daisy, pinned beneath him, peered out from beneath his arm and screamed to see Walter there. She looked up at the man atop her and screamed again.
The bosun's back arched. His buttocks flexed one final time, impaling Daisy to the hilt. Constance couldn't tear her eyes away. She was helplessly fascinated by the scene for all she knew it meant disaster. The bosun uttered a glottal cry as he came.
The girl's screams had alerted the officer o' the watch, and alarms were being raised all over the ship. At any moment, half the crew would storm in to see what was the matter.
"Get off me, get off me, you bastard!" Daisy shrieked, slapping at the bosun.
He obliged, his cock leaving her cunny with a wet sucking sound. He was still partially erect. Pearly trails of semen leaked from Daisy. She scrambled to her feet and clutched the blanket around her nudity.
"Bosun Guthrie," Walter said in a cold, deadly tone. "What have you to say for yourself?"
"Walter, Walter, listen to me," Daisy said, hurrying to him. "It isn't what you think."
"Isn't what I think?" he echoed. "Do you mean to tell me you weren't fucking him?"
"I was … but I didn't know it was him. I thought it was you!"
Constance's eyebrows went up. She and Greta, their own quarrel temporarily forgotten in the light of this new development, exchanged a glance. The bosun stood there, naked but unbowed, his jaw set in a line that said he was ready to face his fate.
"You thought Bosun Guthrie was me? And I'm to believe that."
"He came to my room … it was dark … he got into my bed …" Daisy's chest hitched. "He pretended he was you so I would let him …"
"A likely story," Walter said curtly. "A likely story indeed. I've suspected for some time that you had another lover, Daisy."
"You did? No! I mean, I haven't!"
Hurrying footfalls heralded the arrival of various members of the crew. Walter snapped a glare at the bosun. "Cover yourself, man! I'll deal with you later."
Guthrie grabbed for his breeches. As he pulled them on, Constance saw a quick grin, there and then gone, flash across his face.
"What's the trouble down here?" demanded the officer o' the watch. He spied Greta in her chemise, Daisy in a blanket, the half-dressed bosun, and Constance, and floundered. "Who … what's this? What is this?"
"We seem to have picked up a stowaway," Walter said with a jerk of his head at Constance. "As for the rest of this bloody mess, leave it to me."
"Who are you, miss?" The officer o' the watch, a rugged old salt of perhaps forty, frowned at her. "What are you doing here?"
It was no use dissembling. "I am Constance deGranville. My father is a friend of Lord Cuthburt. I've been hiding on your ship since Veradoga, and your kind cook has very generously been helping me."
"Greta?" the officer asked. "Is this true?"
"Yes, Mister Hollister," Greta said.
His gaze dropped to the sheer chemise. He coughed and cleared his throat. "Ahem … you might want to …"
The stairwell and other door into the kitchen were crammed with sailors. Greta made a futile effort to cover herself, then spun and fled into her room. A few whistles and a bit of ribald laughter followed her, but most of the crew were quickly quelled by a hard glare from the officer o' the watch.
"Good gracious, what on earth …?" Lord Cuthburt shoved through the crowd, puffing and absurd in a long striped nightshirt and matching cap. His mouth flopped open when he saw Constance.
She curtseyed as gracefully as the situation allowed. "Good evening, Lord Cuthburt."
"Constance? Constance deGranville? My word! What are you doing here?"
"The young lady appears to have stowed away, sir," the officer o' the watch reported. "She says that Greta has been helping her to hide out ever since Veradoga."
"Is this true?" Lord Cuthburt asked Constance.
She nodded, privately thinking how like a toad he looked with his spindly legs sticking out from beneath the hem of his nightshirt, the front of which bowed out over his pendulous belly. She thought of him calling her by his niece's name as he poked at her with his insignificant cock, spending almost the very instant he got it inside.
"Why, my dear girl … this is most irregular! What your father would say! And your poor brother. He must be climbing the very walls with worry over you."
Climbing the walls, perhaps, but knowing Rob it was more in anger than in worry. He would be furious when he saw her again. That she had dared first to let Enrique fuck her, that she had urged him on and enjoyed it … and then that she'd had the temerity to run away!