tagNonConsent/ReluctanceClaiming Alice

Claiming Alice


As the carriage rattled down the cobbled streets of London Alice thought this was not exactly how she had pictured her first time. It's not as if she'd anticipated her deflowering to be all rose petals and sonnets. Though she had at least expected some pleasure from the experience. Yet as she felt her fiancé probe blindly in the dark confined space, that possibility was looking more and more remote. He bumped his head on the short benchlike seat while struggling with her petticoats. She had to stifle a laugh when his powdered wig tumbled to the floor like a deflated meringue.

Francis mumbled an apology and carried on with his halting thrusts. His motions were awkward and unsure, lacking in both skill and enthusiasm. Perhaps the absence of one of those things could be overcome but clearly not two.

"Is that agreeable to you?" he asked following a kiss that had a bit too much saliva and not nearly enough feeling.

Alice gazed up at the man she was giving her virtue to, trying to reassure him with a weak nod. There was no denying that as a suitor Francis had all the right qualifications; good looks, ample fortune and impeccable breeding. Character wise he was cordial, well-mannered, refined and... and... duller than ditchwater.

When her engagement to Lord Francis Collinsworth III had been announced at the ball earlier that night Alice's friends congratulated her with barely concealed envy in their eyes. Her parents were practically over the moon about the match, especially her social climbing father who saw their union as his first-class ticket into the best social circles. Yet try as she might Alice couldn't bring herself to feel anything for Francis beyond a tepid admiration. Heaven forbid she want something beyond admiration. Not love. She wanted something even more elusive amongst the tight-lipped, cold-blooded British nobility; she wanted passion.

Though Alice looked the part of the prim and proper Regency miss, with her delicate doll-like features and her fine frilly white dresses, she had a scandalous secret. Simmering just beneath the surface of those serene blue eyes and innocent golden curls was a burning desire. A desire for some forceful hero to break through her gilded cage and bring a little spice into her bland life.

Most nights she lay awake, hands buried beneath the covers, fingers seeking the warm aching place between her legs as she conjured up images of her dark and dangerous fantasy man. It was her own small act of rebellion against a stifling society that insisted proper young ladies felt no such passions. But now that she finally had a flesh and blood paramour between her thighs that long sought-after pleasure was nowhere to be found.

Francis was sliding into her carefully as though she were a piece of his mother's prized porcelain. Every timid stroke made Alice's heart sink a little deeper. She had nurtured the hope, however slim, that maybe her betrothed was harboring the same forbidden passions as she. That was why she had insisted they consummate their relationship before the wedding night. Yet with each passing moment it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was no molten hot core hidden beneath Francis' icy exterior. Simply more ice.

She should have known. After six months of courtships, listening to him rattle on about his beetle collection and his disapproval of the current fad of women bicyclists, Alice had never witnessed a crack in his overly starched facade. Worst of all Francis treated her the way everyone else in her life did, as if she was a weak helpless child. She was nineteen now, practically a woman, and still they persisted in handling her with kid-gloves. But Alice longed to be handled in a very different manner. Coarser and with far less civility.

"Am I hurting you?" Francis repeated for the third time.

"No." But I wish you would, she thought though she dared not say it. He would surely be shocked to find that his gently-reared fiancé could entertain such sinful notions. If he even suspected it he would probably renounce her on the spot.

So instead she just shook her head and tried to focus on whatever enjoyment she could wring from their clumsy coupling. Shutting her eyes tight, she concentrated on the way the organ inside was stretching her snug channel almost to the point of pain. It wasn't wholly unpleasant. If only its owner would take on a more determined tempo.

Just as she was starting to feel tension building in her core the motion of Francis' hips turned even more erratic and then abruptly stopped. He went rigid for a moment and then jerked on top of her like a fish on a hook. Even his face took on the aspect of a great gasping flounder as he pulled from her and spilled his seed on her thighs. Then it was over, far sooner than she had expected- and hoped.

Francis wasted no time crawling off her. He moved to the opposite bench, plopping the rumpled wig back atop his head and suddenly looking even more sheepish than usual. Following suit, Alice righted herself and worked to smooth down the skirts of her white empire waist gown. Catching her reflection in the carriage window she arranged her slightly mussed ringlets into place around her oval face. Strange. She didn't look any different. She didn't feel any different either. She had been quite sure that she would feel different in some way.

Francis, however, seemed to look at her very differently. In fact he stared downward, studying the carriage floor, as if he could hardly bring himself to look at her at all. A long, stilted silence followed, which was abruptly broken by the repeated tolling of nearby church bells.

"Oh, botheration. It's midnight!" Francis' eyes grew wide as he doublechecked his pocket watch. "You can get yourself home, I presume, Alice dear? I would hate to risk your father's censure if we were seen together at this time of night before the nuptials. I do have a certain reputation to uphold."

"Of course I can, my lord. You needn't risk your standing for my sake." Alice replied in a surprisingly placid tone considering the surge of disgust she felt at her fiancé's complete lack of chivalry. He wasn't even attempting to conceal the fact that he had more concern for his own reputation than his soon-to-be wife's wellbeing. Part of her wanted to call him out for the coward that he was but she'd likely be wasting her breath. Besides, the prospect of getting out of the stuffy carriage and far away from its up-tight passenger suited her just fine.

With a signal to the coachman, the vehicle clattered to a stop. After exchanging a cool kiss Alice clambered out of the safety of Francis's elegant carriage and into the cool dark night. She watched the vehicle drive away. Only when it had disappeared around the corner did she let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

Since Alice could remember every aspect of her life had been carefully chosen for her. From her hobbies, to her suitors, to the very shoes on her feet. And it was clear her marriage would be no different.

Fretfully, she toyed with her engagement ring, a large and expensive family heirloom. It felt heavy on her petite hand, like a millstone round her finger. As she gazed into its depths Alice could practically see her future reflected in the facets of the glittering diamond. A ho-hum marriage, a stuffy town house, a brood of anemic children. Prosperous, comfortable, and boring.

Most ladies of the ton would jump at the chance of unlimited comfort and prosperity but Alice was not most ladies. She craved excitement. She longed for adventure, unfamiliar lands, colorful sights. Surely anything would be better than the endless parade of luncheons, concerts and balls that made up her monotonous existence. Or so she thought until she got a good look at her present surroundings...

The East End neighborhood in which she presently found herself was about as far from the silk-encased world she knew as any alien shore. She passed boarded up shops of rough trade, butchers, tanners, fisheries. Each one exuded their own unique odor that mixed with the general stench of the city and gathered in fetid streams along the road sides. The area was ugly, gritty and unsavory and she got the distinct impression that there may be dastardly villains and vicious cutthroats around every corner. Alice couldn't get enough.

Soon the docks came into view. Alice marveled at the row of large ships, craning her neck in wonder at the masts that reached up into the night sky. She examined the finely carved face of a wooden figurehead, wondering how many parts of the wide world the bare breasted siren had seen that she would probably never lay eyes on.

She was so lost in her own gloomy thoughts that it took some time for Alice to realize just how turned around she had become. To get back to her family's ultra-fashionable Park Lane address she would simply have to follow the river west. But which way was west? That way. Wait, hadn't she just come from that direction? Or maybe it was the other way. Bother. The slow trickle of hawkers and beggars had dried up and she found herself on empty streets. To make matters worse the fog had gradually crept in like a damp grey tide so that she could hardly see a few yards in front of her, making it impossible to get her bearings.

A shudder of apprehension suddenly ran down her spine. Maybe it was a slight sound or a fleeting motion, but Alice had the feeling that she was no longer alone. Wrapping her gauzy lace fichu tighter around her shoulders, she hastened her step. Her leather boots clicked loudly along the damp flagstone as she went. Her senses were on high alert as she scanned the darkness for the source of her unease. Nothing but shadows. Then one of the shadows sprang to life and shot across her path in the form of a wiry black cat.

The shriek that was poised on her lips turned into a nervous laugh as the cat blended back into the darkness. She shook her head, silently chiding herself for her overactive imagination. "Naughty pussy." She muttered.

"My thoughts exactly," a low voice answered her. A moment later a figure materialized out of the mist. She held her breath as two more figures emerged from either side.

Alice could tell by their size that they were male, rather large males. Yet the haze was so thick that she could not see any further specifics until they were a few yards away. It was only then that she could make out distinct details, a row of shiny brass buttons, a blood red neckerchief, a leering flash of teeth.

Alice could feel three pairs of eyes wandering over her body with predatory fascination. They were clearly a few sheets to the wind and wore the simple rough clothes of sailors. Sailors who had been at sea for a long time, judging by the way they were looking at her as if they hadn't seen a woman in months.

Alice had always been told that common sailors and laborers were repulsive, unwashed savages. So she was surprised to find that, though they could perhaps stand a good washing, they were far from repulsive. In fact, they were strangely fascinating. So these are men. A very different breed from her fiancé and his lot of soft, mollycoddled boys. It struck her then that she had never seen the genuine article before. The effect was striking as if, having only ever seen pantomime horses, she was suddenly confronted by a band of stallions.

A shudder ran through her that may or may not have been due to fear.

Suddenly the central figure sauntered towards her. From the way the others parted he appeared to be the leader. A few long steps and he had breached the bounds of personal space which society deemed proper. Though she got the sense that he was someone who didn't have much concern for propriety.

The man was at least a head taller than Alice and twice as broad. She had to crane her neck to meet him face to face. His strong, even features were rather handsome, his complexion a deep bronze. All along his sun kissed skin were the intersecting black lines of a tattoo. She found herself tracing those lines as they weaved around his thick neck and wide chest to disappear into an open shirt collar. Alice couldn't help but wonder just how far down his well-built torso the tattoo reached.

Silently the other two moved to flank her from behind. They smelled of salt and sea and liquor. Surrounded by three leering strangers in a darkened street corner, Alice's heart raced. She knew the sensible thing to do would be to flee. But beneath the fear was an undercurrent of curiosity that kept her glued firmly to the spot.

She had wished for adventure had she not?

"What have we here?" The handsome tattooed fellow asked in a low rough voice that seemed to reverberate low in her belly.

"Pretty little English rose." The large bearded sailor said in a slightly slurred Scottish brogue. "A damn sight prettier than them two a penny doxies down the street. Don't you think?"

"That she is, Angus, and so much finer." The ringleader addressed her directly. He wore a friendly grin but his sharp blue eyes flashed a warning that he was not a man to be trifled with. "What is a fine young creature like yourself doing all by her lonesome? Don't you know these parts are swarming with rogues and scoundrels."

"But I am not alone. My fiancé and I were separated in the fog. I'm sure he'll turn up at any moment." She bluffed and quickly put her hand behind her back to conceal her rather eye-catching engagement ring. "If you intend to rob me you should know I don't have anything of value."

"I beg to differ." As he spoke the man reached out to touch one of her golden locks. Impulsively Alice moved to slap his impertinent face but he caught her wrist in mid-swing. He smiled, his eyes going to the ring before he released her from his grip. "Keep your shiny baubles, pretty one, we aren't thieves. My shipmates and I just got into port and our pockets are full to bursting with the spoils of the sea. Still there are other treasures that are mighty hard to come by on a long sea voyage. Fortunately we're not at sea anymore are we mates?"

"No we ain't." The bearded sailor towered over Alice menacingly.

"It appears fate and fog have conspired to bring us a prize of true value tonight. But where are my manners? It's been so long time since we've been in the presence of a genuine lady that I've forgot formal introductions are in order. I'm Henry Vane." He bowed gracefully. "My friend here is named Samuel. He's what you'd call the quiet type. Much like yours truly."

Samuel dutifully tipped his tricornered hat, revealing a head full of long chestnut hair tied at the nape of the neck. She guessed him to be in his mid-twenties. His features were attractive, almost delicate, but there was something about the curve of his lips that gave him a sinister appearance.

"And this salty, old seadog is Angus." Henry clapped the burly bearded Scotsman at his side on the back. When the 'old seadog' failed to immediately bow his companion brought his fist to the man's solid stomach. The blow made him bend forward at the waist in a kind of involuntary curtsy.

"Milady," Angus grunted.

"You'll have to pardon my boorish mate. He's spent more time with livestock than he has with beautiful women." The silvered tongued devil raked a hand through his short black hair and winked. "Happily, I have a touch more practice with the fairer sex and now that we've become acquainted, my lovely, I hope to get a touch more."

"What is it you want from me Mr. Vane?" Alice stammered, though she could certainly venture a guess.

"Where do I start?" Henry answered, his voice turning from playful to deadly serious.

The sudden intensity of his expression frightened Alice and she shrank back unconsciously. Regrettably that brought her in contact with the man behind her. He seized the opportunity to grab a handful of her backside and she yelped in shock.

"How dare you!" Alice cried out indignantly. She was a lady after all, not some dockside harlot to be pawed at in the street.

In response Samuel merely sneered at her with his crooked smile. She returned his sneer with a look of steely defiance. When the inebriated Scot tried to grab at her she turned on her heels and answered with some admittedly less than ladylike language.

"This one's got spirit." Angus replied with a smirk. When next he approached she responded with a swift kick to the shin. "Maybe a bit too much spirit." He grumbled whilst hopping up and down on one foot.

"Looks like this English rose has thorns." Henry jested.

Things were swiftly getting out of hand. Alice found herself being tossed between the three ruffians. They shoved her back and forth until she hardly knew which way was up. She was growing more bewildered and outraged by the minute. Suddenly with a harsh tug the fichu was yanked from her shoulders. Her outrage only deepened when a hand reached out to grab the neckline of her white muslin dress. The fabric tore away like tissue paper, revealing an indelicate amount of cleavage. Still reeling from their ungentlemanly treatment, she retreated until her back hit the cool brick wall of a nearby alley.

"Touch me again and I swear I'll scream." She threatened between uneven pants.

"We could gag her." Angus proposed, pulling a grimy handkerchief from his shirt pocket.

He advanced but Henry held his shipmate at bay with an outspread arm. "We could, my overeager friend, but I prefer a subtler approach. Sometimes the bud needs to be coaxed into bloom. Isn't that right, my little flower?"

As he came towards her Alice raised her arms defensively. She was no man's flower to be plucked at their pleasure. "Stay back," she warned, ready to claw to ribbons any body part that dared touch her. But he did not try to touch her. He merely stood before her in all his imposing masculinity, his powerful arms braced on either side of her, effectively caging her in between the hard wall and his even harder body.

The man gave off a distinctly dominant air. She could feel it coming off him in potent waves of heat. His closeness made her temperature rise and her heart beat faster. He inched in further so that his sizable frame took up her whole field of vision but still he did not touch her. Alice could hardly stand the tension.

She cast her eyes on the shadowy planes of his chest, the cut of his breeches, the top of his shoes. Anywhere but his face. Yet a hand cupping her chin forced her to look up. She found him staring down at her. His eyes were the deep, dark blue of the Thames at midnight. They were so intense, so determined, so demanding. Like the river itself she felt like there was a risk of being lost in their depths.

"Easy now," he soothed as if calming a skittish mare. Alice tracked his eyes as they moved from her eyes, to her lips, to the slope of her breasts, seeing them heave up and down with each ragged breath. Following the path of his eyes, he raised a very large hand and ran it lightly across the smooth skin of her chest. She gasped, too stunned by his bold behavior to object in the way a virtuous lady ought to.

Though his hand was big and rough with scuffs and scars from hard labor, his touch was surprisingly gentle. He barely grazed her collarbone. The column of her slender neck. The top swell of her breasts. Everywhere they went his calloused fingertips left a trail of tingling awareness. His eyes mesmerized while his touch seduced. It wasn't long before her determination to resist was wearing thin. As thin as the single layer of muslin that separated his touch from the shadow of her nipple. Her breath hitched as a teasing thumb skimmed over the swiftly hardening bud.

"No, I...You mustn't..." Alice protested. That really was too far. She tried to wriggle free, to get away from the confusing onslaught of sinful sensations.

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byBrie_de_Jour© 9 comments/ 40654 views/ 48 favorites

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