Chelsea's Twelve Days of Christmas


"I see," Chelsea nodded. She knew Isabella would not have brought this to her if she didn't think it was a sound proposition. She lectured the girls non-stop on what it meant to be an Innamorata woman and that they should never sell themselves short. "When would these two weeks begin?" she asked thinking that it was already halfway through December.

"From the time you leave this ballroom, up until the twenty-seventh," Isabella said.

"So just over two weeks," Chelsea said thoughtfully.

"Perhaps, as always, if it doesn't work out you will be free to return to us early. Take a few minutes to think about it. The fee could build you a nice little nest egg of your own to take care of any personal matters," Isabella said meaningfully and lapsed into silence allowing the girl some time to think about the offer. She hadn't mentioned who the offer was from, it wasn't necessary, the marriages and contracts she brokered were business negotiations and rarely about emotion. As with all arranged marriages, the couple would make the best of their situation. The men brought wealth and status to the table, and she gave them the perfect wife and mother for their heirs.

Usually, Isabella received a sizable fee for brokering a marriage between one of her girls and the would-be groom, but in this case, with the smaller contract, she could claim that twice. She had known Chelsea would be one of the best from the first moment they met. She was proud of her, as a mother might be, and she smiled at the young woman who had been in such a self-destructive cycle when Isabella had convinced her there was a better life out there for her.

Chelsea had joined the sorority while still at University. She had needed a lot of work, and the process had begun slowly with dance and deportment, followed by etiquette and elocution in that initial year. She smiled at the unrecognisable memory of Chelsea as she had been then. She had been an avid student particularly in the subject of carnal knowledge and Isabella had overseen Chelsea's tutelage in that subject personally. While not cover-girl model material like so many of the other girls, there was a quiet, classical beauty about Chelsea that spoke of perfect proportions, grace, and style. In truth, Isabella hated to see her leave the school.

"Will this harm any of the proposals?" Chelsea asked thoughtfully.

"No, I will issue a statement saying that you are considering the plethora of offers available and will announce your decision at the New Year's Eve Ball," Isabella explained easily. "If anything I would imagine this will make you more desirable and may bring in better proposals."

"I agree then," Chelsea nodded. There seemed to be no downside to taking the girlfriend contract.

"Lovely, I will have a temporary contract for you to sign before you leave. I will also call Eva and have her pack your personal possessions to be delivered to you," she smiled and once again linked arms with her protégé. "Until the end of the night, remember to show no favour, dance with all who ask and be gracious to all."

"Thank you, Madame," Chelsea whispered as they re-entered the ballroom. It didn't concern her that she didn't know who the contract was with. She had trained rigorously to be the perfect girlfriend, wife, and or mistress to the type of man who sought out Isabella's protégé's. For Chelsea they were all the same, a means to an end.

She had sought out Harry feeling like she had made him wait long enough and found he was an accomplished dancer as they moved around the floor. At the end of the song she barely had the chance to catch her breath before she was swept back out onto the floor by another dance partner. She remained on the dancefloor until the small hours of the morning when most guests had dwindled away until only a few remained.

Finally, able to sit she cursed the too high shoes silently and helped herself to a jug of iced water that was in the centre of the table. She had no sooner poured the glass and taken a sip when Isabella approached her and smiled. "It's time Chelsea, are you ready?" she asked with a slight tilt to her head.

"Of course, Madame," Chelsea answered and stood following the woman through the kitchen to the service entrance and into a small room.

"This is the standard temporary contract you have studied at school, so you know your rights and the fail-safe clauses," Isabella was suddenly all business in the brightly lit room with a desk between them. "There is an addendum to include possible overseas travel and your passport will be delivered to you with your personal items. Do you have any questions?"

"No, Madame," Chelsea answered and took up the pen to add her signature to both copies of the temporary engagement contract. One of the first and last classes taken by the girls at Innamorata was around the laws and responsibilities inherent in the contracts they would be offered. She knew them well.

She glanced at the other name on the contract and was surprised. She was hardly the supermodel type like Riley. She was particularly average in height and weight and looks, which she had learned to make the most of thanks to the Innamorata team, but she would never be what society held up as beautiful. She understood now why she had been offered a temporary contract rather than a full proposal from this man.

Riley had told her the sex was phenomenal, but the man himself was not a social beast. "It could be worse," she said to herself as she considered the intense way he had watched her all night. Once the contracts were signed, Isabella escorted Chelsea to the service entrance where a dark car waited with a uniformed driver to open her door for her.

Harry stepped forward and brushed his lips against her cheek. "I am glad you decided to join me for a few weeks," he said softly and turned his attention to Isabella who handed him a copy of the contract. "Thank you, Isabella. I will look after her as if she were my own," he said seriously.

"For the next few weeks, she is," Isabella laughed lightly.

"True, come, my dear, you must be exhausted," he said steering her toward the open door of the car. "This is Thomas. You will see him often during your time with me."

"A pleasure, Miss Gillian," Thomas nodded as she smiled at him acknowledging their introduction.

"Thank you, Thomas," she said and ducked her head to climb into the car. Harry went around and slid into the seat beside her.

"I am looking forward to getting to know you better," Harry said fixing her with his intense gaze.

"I assure you there is little more to me than you already know," she laughed quietly feeling nervous under his intense gaze.

"I'm sure that can't be true," he murmured picking up her hand and bringing it to his lips. "I'm keen to discover many things about you, the obvious and the not so obvious," he reached over and brushed her hair behind her ear so he could see her face better. "We can start simply. Tell your favourite things, colour, flower, music, art?"

"I like bluey greens, aqua, some shades of teal," she began. "Cool colours in general. Flowers are more difficult, some that smell beautiful are quite ordinary to look at and others that are beautiful to see smell quite bad. I like the scent of frangipani's, but they aren't good in an arrangement if that makes sense." She answered his questions as if in an interview.

"Roses are known to be both," Harry suggested.

"Yes and the same could be said for lilies, they are both lovely flowers," she said.

"But not favourites," he acknowledged.

The ride to his home was relatively short as they chatted about inconsequential things. Thomas opened her door for her, and Harry held her hand as they mounted the stairs. As they approached the door, it was opened by an attractive woman in her middle years.

"Chelsea, this is Mrs Thomas," Harry introduced them. She and her husband are the caretakers here," he turned and acknowledged Thomas who had been their driver this evening.

"Your bags have arrived already Miss Gillian, I've had them taken to your rooms," she bobbed her head differentially.

"Thank you, Mrs Thomas, I appreciate that," Chelsea said in a friendly tone.

"I'll show Miss Gillian to her rooms. I am sure she is exhausted, we will have brunch around ten thirty if you can organise a wake-up call for ten," Harry instructed the housekeeper and guided Chelsea deeper into the house. "I will show you around properly after you've rested," he said directly to Chelsea and lead her up a grand staircase to the first floor.

"You will be staying in the guest suite, for now," he said opening the door to a small sitting room and showing her the adjoining bedroom and bathroom. "Enjoy your rest I will see you at brunch," he murmured and bent to kiss her chastely. He then turned and left abruptly.

Chelsea sat on the edge of the bed and looked around. This was not what she had expected at all, a private suite and being left alone to rest. She kicked off her shoes and padded to the bathroom. Perhaps she had been right in her evaluation of his being attracted to pretty model types like Riley, and he had only chosen her as a reasonable substitute to escort him to a variety of holiday events and parties, so he didn't have to go alone.

She looked in the mirror and sighed. She didn't know why she was disappointed. This would leave things as uncomplicated as possible. Still, she would have liked to experience the phenomenal sex Riley had spoken of when they talked. She scrubbed her face and brushed her teeth as the thoughts rolled in her head. Then she stripped off her dress and went to hang it, finding her clothes already unpacked and hung for her in the wardrobe. Removing her underwear, she pulled on a floor length satin nightgown and began to brush out her hair, falling into the night time ritual that was now ingrained into her psyche.

When she finally climbed into the bed, she was bone weary and fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow.


Chapter 2. The girlfriend contract

Harrison Drake had learned a valuable lesson when he had bid on Riley six months earlier. He had gone to the Innamorata ball tonight as a supporter, but also to read the file on Chelsea with no real intention of making a bid for her or any of the girls. The young woman upstairs asleep in his guest room though intrigued him and like so many things that puzzled him; he knew he wouldn't be able to let it go until he had worked it out. Had she not agreed to this spur of the moment arrangement he may have found himself making a proposal which is something he was loathed to do in haste again.

Still, with Riley's descriptions of her friend and on seeing her graduation file, he knew he had needed to act or lose any opportunity he would have to get to know the young woman. He pulled the small file from his suit pocket as he shrugged off his jacket. There was something different about her, a slight vulnerability behind that hard Innamorata façade. He had been fooled by that façade once already, and he wanted to know this woman before making a formal proposal. The tenets of Innamorata promised him everything he wanted in a wife and the mother of his children, but he was discerning at best a perfectionist at worst.

He had inherited his father's mistress, Julia, an Innamorata girl, upon his death when he had been little more than a moody teenager. She had been a perfect companion, despite their age difference, as he had come to terms with the responsibility of being the sole heir of Drake Holdings and all that it entailed, but he wanted more. He wanted a wife and family but found he was out of step with the women he came into contact with. He had been brought up with old fashioned ideals and saw his mother as the epitome of how a wife and mother should be. The aggressive demeanours of the women of his generation that he came into contact with in the business world left him cold.

He had spoken at length with Julia, and she had made the introduction to Isabella for him. He had fallen in lust at first sight with Riley and had assumed, rather than finding out, that she would be all the things he believed Innamorata girls should be after his talks with Julia. Sadly, that was not the case, and he knew he needed more than just a beautiful woman, he needed an intellectual companion, a friend and someone who could share his life with him.

He and his father before him, were well known for their philanthropy, and he attended many nights such as this one throughout the year, but he was not one who enjoyed parties or the party lifestyle, so many of his peers indulged in and that was where Riley's expertise lay. She was a social creature, the perfect hostess, and guest. Nights spent at home with him bored her and unable to engage with her on any meaningful level outside of the bedroom drove him to distraction.

The woman upstairs was intelligent if not the blonde bombshell her friend had been, and he found himself attracted to her on a totally foreign level he wanted to explore. She was beautiful, he admitted, perhaps not the type he would typically fantasise over but still beautiful in her own right. He would take it slow and let the attraction that was already there build, he thought. The more he thought about her, though, the more he reconsidered that course of action.

After dozing fitfully on and off for a few hours as she filled his mind, he finally got up and showered and dressed. It was nine-thirty, and Mrs Thomas would not come to wake them for another half hour. Unable to stay away from the source of his curiosity he padded down the hallway in bare feet to her suite. He paused with his hand on the door. He owned the house, and for all intents and purposes, he owned the woman in his room for the next two weeks. She had agreed to be his girlfriend, with everything that entailed for the entirety of her time with him.

He opened the door and walked in confidently, just as he would when entering Julia's apartment. Having heard the door close loudly, by the time he reached the bedroom, she had sat up in bed and looked at him with wide green eyes, as she ran her fingers through her sleep-tussled hair attempting to smooth it.

"Leave it," he said. "You look beautiful this morning." He was so taken with the sight of her that his breath caught and his cock hardened within the confines of his pants. Her sleep tussled, red hair framed her face and hung over her shoulders. He noted her lightly freckled complexion as she looked up at him without a shred of makeup, her wide green eyes large as they gazed at him. His eyes travelled over her as he moved closer, the satin of her nightgown clung over perfectly formed breasts and her nipples stood out, pressing against the soft fabric. He knew from her file that they were unenhanced and he was glad. His preference was for larger breasts, but these were enticing as her chest rose and fell with her breathing. This girl was sexy he admitted, his rapidly hardening cock testament to just how sexy she looked to him at this moment.

"I hope you slept well," he said in a deep voice made husky by lust.

"I did, thank you," she answered, "I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was exhausted."

"Good," he said softly sitting on the bed beside her and reaching forward to slide his hand over her cheek until his fingers curled around the nape of her neck and he could bring her face to his to kiss her. The kiss was tentative at first, but as he deepened it, he felt her respond in kind. His need to explore this woman increased by the second. He broke the kiss and leant back looking into her eyes.

"I hadn't planned to rush you, but I have just spent a very uncomfortable couple of hours thinking about this," he murmured.

"I'd be more than willing to help ease your discomfort if I may," she spoke softly punctuating her words by running her tongue surreptitiously over her bottom lip making it glisten.

"You may," he said, and he pushed the thin straps from her shoulders letting the nightgown fall to bare her breasts. "How lovely," he murmured letting his hand stroke over the soft globes and cup them before catching her nipples between his fingers and squeezing gently, making her catch her breath. He stood beside the bed then and began to undo his pants.

"Let me?" she asked kneeling up and letting the gown slide down to her hips as she moved to position herself directly in front of him placing her hands over his.

Harry pulled his hands away and watched as she carefully undid his pants and ran her fingers around the waistband, lowering them down over his hips and catching his underwear and moving it lower with them. He pulled his shirt off as he felt the pants fall away and her hand curl around his cock, he kicked off the pants leaving him naked before her.

Chelsea looked up at him through her long lashes and smiled. He was in good shape, and she could appreciate that he must work out to maintain his physique. She leant forward and brought her lips to the tip of his cock. She breathed deeply, taking in the freshly washed scent that mixed with his natural musky heat. She parted her lips slowly taking the fleshy head into her mouth and fluttering her tongue beneath it. She had excelled in the Lovelace class and planned to use every trick she knew.

She moved slowly enjoying his groans as she raised a hand to massage his balls and took more and more of him into her mouth filling it to the back portal. As she pulled back and looked up at him through her lashes, she saw the darkly intense gaze once again, and she knew it was time to blow his mind. She sucked him deeply swallowing around the head of his cock and pushing her nose into the wiry pubic hair that crowned it. She held the position for several seconds as he let out a loud groan and pulled her head back.

She was getting into a rhythm when she heard the door open and froze momentarily. Moving to pull her head off his cock and pull up her nightgown she found herself trapped beneath his hands, the fleshy head of his cock still resting on her tongue as he held her in place.

"I see you are awake, Miss Gillian. Brunch will be ready in half an hour as requested, Mr Drake," the woman said formally. "Will there be anything else?"

"No thank you, Mrs Thomas," Harry said breathlessly. Chelsea waited immobile until she heard the door close again. Harry released her then pushing her back onto the bed and giving her a stern look. "The staff of this household are to be trusted implicitly. You, for the time being, are the lady of this house and will be respected as such. You will not stop performing your duties as my partner just because they enter the room. It is the height of bad manners to withdraw at such a time and leave me exposed," his spoke in a quiet but menacing voice that she found shocking. He leant forward and took both her hands pulling her to stand in front of him her gown sliding to the floor to pool at her feet.

"A natural redhead. That is a nice surprise," Harry said glancing over Chelsea's body as it was revealed to him. "As I am sure you are aware I am a deeply formal creature, and I require any girl, I am involved with to have impeccable manners, and etiquette, if not breeding," he explained turning her in his arms. He forced her to lean over and place her hands on the bed. "Any lapse in decorum is punishable in the contract you have signed. I understand this is your first day with me, but standards must be met," he lectured. "Punishment was something he rarely dished out bu it was best to set the tone of their relationship right from the beginning, so she had no illusions about his wants and needs.

"Yes, Sir," she said quietly biting her lip. She heard the belt slide through the loops of his pants and closed her eyes. She had known this was a possibility and that many of the men who came to Isabella looking for a wife dabbled in the dominant and submissive lifestyle. She bit her lip and braced herself for what was to come.

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