Harry's Spring Break Ch. 6bySabledrake©
What have I gotten myself into? Harry wondered bleakly as he stood on the porch with the others and watched the coach rolling up the road leaving a plume of dust rising in its wake.
Was it his imagination, or was Diana giving him a suspicious look? She'd been out on the balcony during most of his conversation with Rheda, so she couldn't have heard. Could she? He supposed it was even within the range of possibility that his intelligent little sister had made use of one of her handy spells. There were a host of them that dealt with such things, weren't there?
If she did know something, Diana wasn't saying.
The coach came to a stop, and the same swarm of servants rushed out to begin unloading six months' worth of luggage. Like the Entysan goddess of the underworld, she spent half of the year with her mother and the other half elsewhere, not the Abyss in this case but at the home of her father's parents. According to Rheda, the lady and gentleman were of advanced years and doted on their only living grandchild. In the interest of securing a tidy inheritance for her daughter by keeping in their good graces, Rheda was quite agreeable to the arrangement.
The footman opened the door and Othelia emerged, blinking, into the daylight.
Harry breathed a silent sigh of relief. No raving beauty, perhaps, but she wasn't the walking scarecrow that he'd privately been dreading to meet.
Othelia was as tanned as the beach-prancing girls of Harry's fond daydreams, but there the resemblance ended. Slim, almost boyishly so, she moved with an energetic awkwardness that reminded him of broken punchbowls.
Her wild ash-brown hair had been ruthlessly tamed into a thick braid that fell to the small of her back, though several snaky tendrils had come free to blow around her face. She brushed them back with quick birdlike flicks of her fingers; the hair would cooperate and then rebel the instant she forgot about it.
The elder Ethelbald women rustled disapprovingly as they took in Othelia's outfit. Close-fitting cotton trousers of faded blue-grey showed every inch of her long coltish legs, and when she embraced her mother, Harry noted that the trousers clung sweetly to her narrow hips and small but shapely bottom. Her white blouse was knotted above her navel, exposing the indent of her midriff.
Introductions were made, and when Rheda brought her to meet him, Harry found himself looking into a pair of clear and alert but rather naive dark brown eyes. Her voice was very soft, low, the sort that would infuriate schoolteachers no end and have them always asking her to speak up, please!
He smiled, trying to let his interest be known to her while not making it obvious to anyone else, and she returned a tentative grin that was quick as a lightning-flash, there and gone but while it was there, just for the briefest of instants, it brought about an amazing shift in her features that turned her moderate prettiness into something much more.
Harry was beginning to feel considerably better about this whole thing. Also a little bit like a selfish cad -- Rheda thought he was doing her a favor, when he suspected that it would turn out to be the opposite -- but who was he to correct a lady? That would be rude.
They all went into the house, Rheda talking Othelia's ear off and confirming for the bemused Harry how come the girl never seemed to speak above that low-pitched murmur.
Dinner was a large and festive gathering. In addition to their houseguests, Anson Byrtwold had also invited the ranch foreman and his wife, the local healer and her husband, and two other couples from neighboring houses (though here in the high country of the Southern Barony, a 'neighbor' was anyone whose chimney-smoke could be seen from the property, as opposed to densely crowded Pandathaway.
Throughout the meal, Harry observed Othelia as surreptitiously as possible. It gave him a peculiarly thrilling sense of power to know, not just wonder or hope or wish, but know that although they were strangers to each other, he would be in bed with her, possibly before the week was out. On the heels of that came another rush of power, this one stemming from the slinking and lewd business of bedding both mother and daughter within the same span of days.
She hadn't quite outgrown her childhood clumsiness. Her posture was one of always awaiting the next crash of shattering glass, her movements a conflict like that of someone trying to control a frisky horse that didn't mean any harm but just couldn't control it.
The promised after-dinner entertainment turned out to be a comedic troupe, including a juggler, a clownish tumbler, and a pair of men performing skits and telling jokes just off-color enough to send the ladies into scarlet-faced fits of laughter.
At one point, Harry spotted Rheda leading Othelia from the room. They were gone a goodly while, and when they came back, the girl was wide-eyed and stunned. When she saw Harry looking at her, she jerked and her elbow struck a vase; it tottered and almost plunged to the floor but she saw it and averted the mishap.
When the entertainment was over, Anson suggested they return to the dining room for dessert, and following that, anyone bold enough could join him in the game room for a few rounds of cards.
Othelia slipped outside, and on impulse Harry decided to follow. If he was going to rid the girl of her virginity, he reasoned, it might not be a bad idea to at least talk to her first.
He found her by letting his ears guide him to the squeaking ropes of the swing. She coasted back and forth in shallow arcs, in and out of the tree's spreading shadow.
She saw him and pushed her feet against the ground, stopping the swing. By the set of her body, he suspected she was inches away from bolting like a skittish pony.
"Hi," he said as mildly as he could.
"Hi," she murmured in that low voice, and it occurred to him how well-suited such a voice would be for pillow-talk.
"Would you mind if I sat down?"
She scooted over as far as the arm of the swing allowed, and he settled onto the other end, allowing that distance in the middle.
There was no point in dithering about. "Your mother told you, didn't she?"
Othelia swallowed hard and nodded.
"Do you ... I mean ... if you don't want to, we don't have to. I'd certainly understand. We only met today, we don't know anything about each other. Your mother believes she has your best interests in mind, but it's really up to you."
"She explained it all." He had to strain to hear her. "She knows what's best."
"What about you? What do you want?"
One shoulder hopped in an endearing shrug. "It does have to happen sooner or later. Might as well be planned out. Some places, people are married to someone they haven't ever met, with no say in it."
Harry slid closer. "No, Othelia, that's just it ... you do have a say."
"So did you, and you didn't refuse." Her eyes met his directly for the first time since their introduction.
He chuckled a little. "Not many men would. We're a self-centered breed. The chance at being with a pretty girl isn't something we could easily turn down. But because I agreed when your mother asked me doesn't mean anything if you don't want to. I would never do anything against your will."
She sighed. "I suppose I'll go along. I know she cares, thinks she's doing what's right, and she probably is. You seem nice enough. I'm just nervous. I've been kissed by a couple of boys, but that's all."
"That's a good place to start." He slid all the way over to her, and as she turned to look at him, he cupped her face between his palms. He could feel tension shaking through her, but she closed her eyes and didn't try to draw away as he lowered his lips to hers.
He made sure that first kiss was everything it needed to be -- tender enough not to frighten her, passionate enough to let her know he desired her, long enough to let her overcome her initial surprise, short enough to leave her wanting more.
"I'll go back to the house now," he said, and left her sitting breathlessly on the swing.
* * * * *
On the surface, a pool might look placid and peaceful, while strong or even dangerous currents are coiling in the depths.
That was how the next five days at The Cottonwoods passed. Outwardly, a relaxing time of lazy spring days and evenings in the game room. But to Harry, immersed as he was, the currents pulled with irresistible force.
It was nothing like the maddening urge that he'd mentioned to Howie. There was no element of frustration to it, only a building anticipation between himself and Othelia.
Every time they were in the same room, he felt it become stronger, more electric, like the heat lightning that flashed on the horizon at the end of humid afternoons.
Whenever their eyes met, a spark jumped, and on the infrequent occasions that they had reason to touch, a miniature thunderbolt seemed to leap between their skins.
Not even Rheda's late-night visits to his room could affect that anticipation. She was a tremendously skilled and knowledgeable lover, secure enough in herself to pursue her own pleasure with a vigor that dizzied him.
One night, she bade him sit still on a chair at the end of the bed and watch as she caressed herself to a quaking climax. He nearly dug fingermarks into the arms of the chair to keep himself from leaping at her. Then she switched places with him and it was her turn to watch. It was nothing like when he did the same thing in his bed at school; having an audience was first hotly embarrassing and then wildly erotic.
Several times, he sat down to begin a letter to Howie, but those attempts always wound up crumpled and cast into the kitchen stove. Howie wouldn't believe a word of it. Harry sometimes wasn't sure he believed it himself and he was living it!
No one else seemed to have any idea, except possibly Diana. He never quite had the nerve to approach her and ask, but he was sure she suspected something.
The seamstress and a bevy of assistants arrived, and the house became a whirlwind of measurements and cloth and pinning up hems and cutting and stitching. The foreman and Uncle Charles came up with several ways to improve the running of the ranch, and spent many an hour cloistered with Anson Byrtwold. Chas developed an obsession with playing darts and the thunk of his throws could be heard from the game room at all hours of the day. Aeric struck up a friendship with the foreman's son and was venturing out into what he called 'the wilderness' for the first time in his life.
The time passed quickly, and one evening as they were partaking of another buffet on the terrace -- the shrimp salad surpassed any Pandathan restaurant -- one of the ranch hands hurried in to announce to Anson that his prize mare, Phantom, was ready to drop her foal.
Harry looked at Rheda, whose eyes were sparkling as she gave him a barely- perceptible nod. Othelia sensed the change in the room and knocked over Diana's glass of lemonade, then spilled a dish of olives as she tried to mop it up.
At last, dinner was over. There were no card games, not with Anson and Drefan off in the stables. Diana retired to a quiet corner of the parlor to study, everyone else found quiet pursuits to occupy them until bedtime.
Harry feigned great weariness, though he had never felt less like sleeping in his life. He went to his room and began the long wait, horribly sure that the foal would be born in record time and Anson would come back, thereby ruining all the plans.
Much later, when he was beginning to think that the entire household, Rheda and Othelia included, had fallen asleep, he heard a soft step in the hall outside.
Rheda was there, wrapped in her moon-mist robe, but instead of coming in and bolting the door behind her, she summoned him with a gesture.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked in a hush as she led him into the hall.
"I am, and she is. Aren't you?"
"She likes you. That will make it easier for her. Remember your promise."
"I wouldn't forget."
Now he knew how she had gotten to and from his room so many unnoticed times. His door was directly across from a swiveling panel.
"Formerly the housekeeper's stair," she informed him in a whisper.
They emerged in the upstairs hall. Rheda, holding his hand as if he were a little boy needing to be crossed on the streetcorner, walked him to a closed door. She tapped softly, then opened it. Harry followed her inside.
The room was that of a child on the cusp of young adulthood. A few toys, treasured ones, were arrayed on a bench in front of the window.
Othelia was standing in the middle of the room, hands folded demurely before her. In her thin sleeveless nightgown and bare feet, she looked even younger than she was. Her hair was unbraided and surrounded her in a crinkly nimbus.
"My little girl," Rheda said lovingly, kissing the girl on the cheek. "After tonight, you'll be all grown up. Harry will take such good care of you, my darling."
They embraced, then Rheda hurried from the room in a billow of sheer cloth and was gone. The door clicked shut.
Harry threw the bolt and turned to Othelia. She had her head shyly down, but he could see that she was sneaking glances at him. The robe he wore was indigo cotton as thin as her nightgown and far shorter, ending just above his knees. The belt was loosely tied, leaving most of his chest bare.
A long moment passed in which he openly looked at her and she kept sneaking those glances. He moved closer.
"Do we kiss first?"
"I'd like that."
She raised her head and he took her carefully into his arms, letting their bodies press together as he kissed her. He could feel the nubs of her breasts against his chest, small and sweet like a pair of nestled doves.
Her hands crept up to his shoulders, curious but tentative, as if she feared that he was going to push her away. He did not, of course, and they rested lightly there while he continued to kiss her, coaxing her lips apart that he might delve his tongue into her mouth. She tasted of peppermint and cool breezes.
Othelia backed up with a puzzled expression, and peeked down. Harry realized that an urgent part of him was protruding from the overlapping flaps of the robe, and she had felt its prod against her belly.
"It's all right," he said, bringing her hand down to touch it. "This beast is easily tamed; he only wishes to bring you pleasure."
She stroked him as she might stroke the nose of a foal. "Your skin here is so soft," she murmured.
"As is yours ... especially here." He pulled a string and the bodice of her nightgown came unlaced, letting him slip his hand inside to cradle a breast.
She gasped and her grip tightened instinctively, eliciting a groan from him. As she worriedly started to let go, he shook his head.
"You didn't hurt me. Don't worry about that. It felt good."
"That ... that feels good too. What you're doing."
Her nightgown fell from her shoulders and bunched around her waist, and Harry cupped both breasts while bending to kiss her again. Her caress along his rod became bolder, making him swell and stiffen with greater arousal.
"The bed," he said against her mouth. "Let's lie down."
As she headed for the bed, he stopped her long enough to free the cloth caught around her hips. It crumpled to the floor. She sat on the edge, then leaned back until she was fully reclined. Some of her nervousness had returned, causing her to curl one arm across her breasts and drape the other over the fine silken hair between her legs.
Harry stretched out on his side, half-raised on one elbow. He covered her with kisses, lips and cheeks and eyelids and chin and the tip of her nose, then lower still, teasing the sensitive spot beneath her ear, the side of her neck, the base of her throat, lower and lower until her arm fell away and gave him access to her bosom. He nuzzled and suckled, attending to each side with loving thoroughness.
"Do you like that?" he asked.
She hitched in a breath and nodded.
"If I should do something that you don't like, tell me. Or if there's something I'm not doing that you want me to, tell me that as well."
Her cheeks were blushed pink, but she nodded again.
He bent to her breasts again, and caressed her ribs, her stomach, the mild flare of her hip. She was much more relaxed, her legs no longer held protectively together.
"I'm going to put my hand here now," he told her, and did so, just resting it there, his palm molded to the contour of the mild rise of her mound.
"That feels nice," she whispered.
"It can feel even nicer. Part your legs a bit more."
She did, and he pushed his fingers through the silky hair to rub with aching gentleness along her furrow, kissing her at the same time and muffling her low moan with his mouth. She shifted her hips and he felt the firm little bud, the nubbin of Dorian's Jewel; Othelia moaned again as it came into contact with his hand.
He went very carefully there, not wanting to be too direct with his touch and send her over the line into discomfort. He spread his first and second fingers so that they were to either side of the bud, and rubbed even more slowly. His fingertips found her opening, explored gingerly.
"It will hurt, won't it?" she asked between shuddering breaths.
"It might, but I'll try to make it as painless as possible." He moved down the bed and started kissing and nibbling at the delicate flesh of her inner thighs. "First, though, I'm going to put my mouth here, where my fingers were. That won't hurt at all."
Her brows knit as if she doubted him, until he began running his tongue over her cleft in long licks and swirls. Her hips bucked helplessly and the sound that came from her throat was the loudest he'd yet heard her utter. He'd been able to put his own burning desire aside to focus on her, but the noises of her cresting pleasure nearly did him in.
"Othelia ... it's time."
She was panting, making feeble clutching gestures with her hands. Harry took that as a sign of agreement and positioned himself, the tip of his rod poised at the opening to her channel. She was wet with his saliva and her own secretions, easing his passage as he drove slowly into her.
The tightness was overwhelming, close and hot, surrounding him, seeming to pull and suck hungrily at his stiffness. Othelia gasped and mewled, clinging to him, and he wanted to plunge all the way in, but there was the barrier, blocking his way.
"Be brave, Othelia, be brave for me, and it'll be over in an instant, just a brief hurt and then sweetness, only sweetness, I promise."
He drew back a little and then thrust hard, sealing her lips with a kiss as she cried out, and then he was buried fully within her, holding still, absolutely still but for the involuntary throbs and flexes of his rod, every ounce of willpower he possessed going toward holding still and not moving, not moving no matter how much he might wish to, how he yearned to withdraw and then sink back into her, that re-entry that was so unbelievably fine, but he didn't, he held still, kissing her, kissing the sudden tears that had sprung to the corners of her eyes, kissing her until she started to move beneath him, hips rising and falling like the tide, so he did withdraw, and sank back in, and it was ... it was ...
They cried out together this time but with no pain, only pleasure, and Harry rushed headlong toward the precipice and over, pouring himself into her dark and secret chambers, and her eyes flew wide open as she called out, "Oh! Oh! Oh!" and convulsed in his arms with her first climax thundering through her veins and then she was sobbing joyously and had ahold of him by the sides of the head so she could rain kisses all over his face, sobbing and laughing.