Marriage Training Ch. 16byGoldeniangel©
Vivian was a bundle of jumbled nerves when she heard the Earl of Cranborne being announced at the at-home she was attending the next day. Immediately her face flushed a bright red, as it had been doing during intermittent intervals all day, whenever she thought about the events of the evening prior. Once she'd woken up and the images had come flooding back into her mind, she'd thought she'd die of embarrassment on the spot.
How could she face Mrs. Banks again? Or her future husband?
He'd touched her so intimately and she'd behaved so wantonly in response... while she'd gotten rather used to Mrs. Banks seeing her in such vulnerable states, it was completely different when there was a man there. Even if he obviously enjoyed what he'd seen.
Now, as she turned to face her future husband and the man who had seen her completely unclothed and put his hands and mouth on her body, she wished that she could sink into the ground. Could anyone tell? Would anyone look at them and know?
"Good afternoon, sweetheart," he said, stepping in front of her and bringing her hand to his lips. Realizing that his broad shoulders blocked the sight of her flaming cheeks from the rest of the gathering, and that his words did not indicate any change in his regard of her, Vivian felt her tension unwinding.
"Good afternoon, my Lord," she said, falling back on the courtesies of society. Indeed, it seemed that the social niceties were designed to help smooth over awkward moments such as this. "Lovely weather today, is it not?"
The earl's dark eyes glinted with approval and Vivian felt her embarrassment fade even further. "Quite lovely, although I must confess that it could be storming outside and I'm not sure that I would notice right now."
Vivian's cheeks flushed again, although for a very different reason this time. The compliment thrilled her, as did the obvious appreciation in the Earl's eyes. It seemed almost as though they were sharing a private joke, in the midst of all these people, who had no idea what they had done the previous evening. Like a secret between bosom friends, it made her feel closer to him than she'd ever felt before.
She hadn't been sure what to expect from him today, what he might say or do, but it seemed that their evening was to remain completely private. Under the eyes of society, their behavior was completely unremarkable, rather enjoyable to watch in fact as society always tittered over love matches - which the Earl of Cranborne's was now rumored to be, despite the fact that the papers had been signed long before his bride had been seen with him in society. The Earl's disinterest in the women who were continuing to pursue him, as well as his behavior towards Vivian during the at-homes, was spurring quite a bit of new speculation. Originally the match had seemed completely arranged, considering the age of the bride and the fact that she was still in school and had not yet been presented; no one had expected him to change his patterns of behavior for her. Instead it appeared that his bride had captured his attention and possibly his heart.
Although his step-mother and his younger sisters had informed him of the gossip, it wasn't something Gabriel was particularly interested in. He did not feel that he knew his future bride well enough to say that he loved her. When he'd first met her, her submissive nature had called to him and he'd wanted her. The sweetness that he'd seen had captured his attention. Knowing that he was expected to marry, and so far had not found a woman that he'd be satisfied to have as a wife, he'd made the decision then and there that Vivian would be his.
Watching her training he'd become almost obsessed with her sexually - little wonder that no other woman snared his attention, although he would not have dishonored Vivian even if one had. That was not his way; he had committed himself and he would stay committed. Having sampled a large banquet of women, garnering him the reputation as a rake, he was now quite happy to settle down with the dish that appealed to him the most.
Granted, he was also growing to care for her more and more. He found that he enjoyed talking with her, felt excessively proud when she was on his arm, and that he absolutely lived to light her face with a smile or to hear her sparkling laughter. Having seen the happy love that his father and his step-mother had found, as well as his sisters and their husbands, he wanted the same for himself. Like his father he had his own particular fetishes and so he'd searched out a woman who would meet those needs.
So far Vivian was everything he'd hoped for and more.
Watching her slowly calm under his approval and easy conversation, he was again reminded of how naturally, wonderfully submissive she was. She glowed when she saw him opening approving of her behavior. The effect that he had on her only increased his desire for her; both that he could arouse and calm her, that she looked to him for precedent and guidance, and that she trusted him already.
He was so enthralled by just being near her that he didn't notice Lord Marchland's approach until it was too late.
"Miss Stafford," said the handsome rake, bowing over her hand.
Gabriel had to stifle the impulse to snarl and snatch his bride's fingers away from the reprobate. While there were plenty of rakes and willing ladies within the ton, there were also rules surrounding the seduction of said ladies. Only the worst of the worst seduced true innocents, which Vivian obviously was. However, wives were fair game. As Gabriel's betrothed, Marchland's advances could follow one of two agendas - either trying to entice Vivian away from Gabriel or setting the foundations for a seduction after she was married.
Like Gabriel, Marchland had never lowered himself to seducing the innocent young misses that flooded the marriage mart every year, and he seemed in no hurry to settle down, so Gabriel's money was on the latter motivation. And it was not one that helped to calm his rising jealousy and possessiveness over Vivian.
"Lord Marchland," said Vivian, with a little dip of her skirts. "It's a pleasure to see you again."
"Not nearly as pleasurable as it is to see you," returned the smiling rake.
It took all of Gabriel's considerable willpower not to forcibly remove that smarmy grin. Fortunately for everyone involved, Vivian had smoothly recovered her hand and placed it back atop the one that was already resting on Gabriel's arm. It was almost like she was clinging to him, he thought, with a small spurt of pleasure.
"Marchland," he said sharply, combining his greeting with warning. Beside him, Vivian stirred and peered up at him with those fathomless green eyes.
The other man sounded amiable, almost cheerful, as if he knew exactly the effect his presence was having on Gabriel's peace of mind and was amused by it.
"I didn't realize you were acquainted with Lady Hawthorne," Gabriel said, referring to their worthy host.
"My grandmother is a good friend," said Lord Marchland with a shrug. "And when the old dragon beckons, a good grandson must do his duty." He smiled at Vivian, as if inviting her to share a private joke, and Gabriel coughed to cover his instinctive snarl.
"That is very good of you, to try and make your grandmother happy," Vivian said, giving him only the slightest of smiles back.
Although the Earl's face gave away nothing, she could feel the tension that was practically vibrating through him and she knew that he didn't like Lord Marchland. It seemed to calm him whenever she would touch him; unfortunately there was only so much she could do within the bounds of propriety. Perhaps if Mrs. Banks hadn't been hovering on the edge of her awareness she might have been more bold, but she was already clinging to Gabriel's arm in an attempt to help calm him.
She realized with a start that, for the first time, she'd thought of her husband by his first name. And it had felt entirely natural.
The revelation made her smile brilliantly up at him, completely missing the little conversation gambit that Lord Marchland was making. The demonstration of obvious affection for her future husband left him beaming back at her, while Lord Marchland frowned in surprise. Although he'd heard rumors that the match was one of affection, he hadn't truly believed that the rumors might have merit until now. There was something about the way the couple in front of him were looking at each other that hinted at an intimacy that an arranged match would not encompass.
After that, the conversation was quickly over and Gabriel and Vivian were on their way to speak with some of the other guests of the house.
As they walked, Vivian leaned closer to Gabriel.
"Why don't you like Lord Marchland?" she asked curiously. Immediately Gabriel's face darkened and she almost regretted asking the question. Although nothing could take away from his handsome face, he was almost frightening when the storm clouds gathered on his countenance.
"He's a rake, a rogue and a scoundrel," Gabriel said in a low voice.
A little smile flitted across Vivian's lips, she couldn't help it. "I've heard the same about you, my lord," she teased.
"Ah, but I'm about to be married, so I'm reformed. And my step-mother has informed me that reformed rakes make the best husbands," he teased back, enjoying the way Vivian giggled. She shook her head up at him.
"And I was never in need of reforming, so what does it matter what Lord Marchland does?"
The storm clouds gathered again and Gabriel dragged Vivian into an alcove with only a quick look around to see that no one was watching. Only Mrs. Banks had her eyes on them and he knew that the companion would see to it that they weren't interrupted.
"You will stay away from Marchland, sweet. No," he said, more forcibly as she started to open her mouth to speak. "There are certain men you should stay away from because they would want to... persuade you to intimacies. The kind of intimacies that only you and I should share." He cupped Vivian's chin, stroking the soft skin of her cheek. "And some of them, if they couldn't persuade you, might resort to force. I will protect you, but you must never be alone with anyone that you do not know or that I have told you to stay away from. And you will stay away from Lord Marchland or I will take my belt to your bottom."
Then he kissed her, with all the pent-up possessiveness and aggression that he was feeling. He knew he shouldn't, but he trusted in Mrs. Banks to keep them from being seen for at least a few moments and he needed to taste Vivian. To claim her. To imprint himself on her lips.
When he released her again, Vivian's head and emotions were whirling. The idea that other men would want to do those same... things... that she had done with Gabriel last night was surprising. The idea that they might try and force her to do so was more than a bit unnerving; having been held in Gabriel's arms and on his lap, she was well aware that she was much softer and weaker then the men around her. But she hadn't imagined that any of them would want another man's wife.
The Earl's obvious desire for her to share those intimacies with no one but him made her feel quite warm inside, but it had also sparked a new thought.
"My lord," she said, snagging his arm before he could lead her out of the alcove again. "I know what a rake... I mean... that you have had intimacies... ahh..." She blushed a deep red as she tried to get out the words.
Capturing her hand, Gabriel brought it to his lips, thinking of how sweetly adorable she was when she blushed. "I've had no intimacies with any woman but you for months now, sweet," he said softly in reassurance, enjoying the way the color in her cheeks grew even brighter as his blunt words. "And nor shall I. As you shall cleave to me, so I shall to you."
"Oh..." The soft word was almost a sigh, like a heartfelt benediction. "I mean... very well. Good."
Chuckling, Gabriel drew her out of the alcove. More than one person glanced over at the couple, with the blushing young woman. It was obvious from the pristine state of her clothing that her fiance had taken no liberties, but something must have happened for her to be so brightly flushed.
Vivian was practically floating on air at Gabriel's reassurances. He was such a bundle of contradictions, her future husband. Sometimes dark as a storm cloud, sometimes sweetly tender even as he threatened to take a belt to her bottom, and sometimes so very gentle with her as though she might break, even though he'd ordered the discipline that she received nightly.
Just thinking about it made her bottom tingle. She had no desire to discover what his belt would feel like, even though wetness gathered in her nether regions as she imagined being punished by him. Giving him a sidelong glance, she wondered if the feelings she was having now were what created what her mother called "hussies."
She rather felt a bit like a hussy.
The evening, chatting with the other students, now seemed interminably long. Knowing that she was going to see the Earl – she found it too hard to think of him as simply "Gabriel" when it came to picturing him there when she was being punished – made her rather agitated. Instead of trying to remember all her transgressions, she'd found that her mind was filled with the Earl and what his hands felt like upon her. It was all too easy to allow her mind to wander back to the night before and her hopes that this evening would be more of the same.
After the evening meal, Vivian went up to her room and rushed to her vanity, wanting to ensure that she looked her best for when the Earl arrived. Her heart was pounding with anticipation, although of course it eventually slowed because she still had plenty of time before either he or Mrs. Banks would arrive. Vivian spent that time studying her appearance, taming the tiny wisps of hair that had escaped their pins, adjusting her breasts, pacing, and finally settling down in her chair to read. Even so, the minutes seemed to crawl by at a horribly slow pace and she could barely concentrate on the words on the page.
When the door finally opened, she jumped to her feet.
The Earl followed Mrs. Banks in, looking as darkly handsome as ever. Even more so than he had during the day, in fact, since he was now dressed for the evening, every line of his fashionable black and white attire in place. With the lack of color in his clothing, the green flecks in his grey eyes stood out even more against the stark relief. The smile that he gave her warmed her insides and she smiled back, her lips curving even though she knew she was about to be punished.
Unlike the night before, he leaned nonchalantly against her bedpost, just within her line of vision, as Mrs. Banks recited Vivian's transgressions during the day. She hadn't noticed when Lady Winchester had nodded her head to her in greeting, she had forgotten to address the Dowager Duchess of Bramfield as "your grace" rather than "my lady," etc. etc. Vivian listened as attentively as she could, trying not to be distracted by Gabriel's presence and the way he was watching her.
Tonight she didn't feel nearly as shy about unclothing; it still caused her to flush beautifully, all over her body, but she was excited by it as well. Having been reassured by her future husband's behavior when they'd seen each other during the day, Vivian found it slightly easier to disrobe in his presence.
To her shock, once she was undressed, she turned to see the Earl seated on her punishment chair rather than standing against her bed where he had been before. The hungry gleam in his eyes drank in the sight of her naked body and peaked, pink nipples.
"Oh!" she said, shocked, as she took an immediate step back, earning herself a hefty slap on her bottom from Mrs. Banks.
"Stop dithering girl and lay yourself across his lap, you know how to."
"B-b-b-but-" Vivian stammered. Part of her was wondering why she was so surprised by this turn of events, the other part of her was wailing that she wasn't ready to have the Earl punishing her yet. Just this morning she'd managed to think of him as Gabriel and now he was going to spank her!
"That's two with the hairbrush for not immediately obeying an order," Mrs. Banks said crossly. "Now place yourself across his lap."
Squeezing her eyes shut for a moment, Vivian tried to gather her courage. Oh how she wished that Mrs. Banks would tie her wrists together and just push her across the Earl's broad thighs! It would be so much easier that way, as well as exciting. Instead she had to do this herself.
"Four with the hairbrush."
With a short little exclamation, Vivian's eyes popped open and she hurriedly stepped forward, laying herself across the Earl's lap, trying not to look at him or think about what she was doing. But it was utterly impossible to pretend that he was Mrs. Banks. The thick thighs beneath her were hard like granite, and there was something - his cock, she realized - pressing into the side of her stomach, and she was higher off the ground than she was used to. Her head tipped quite far forward, only her fingers pressed against the floor, and her toes were barely brushing it. Vivian whimpered as she felt the strong hands of the Earl caressing her soft skin, one on her back, the other on the curve of her bottom.
"Very nice, sweetness," he said approvingly, feeling her tremble beneath his hands. Those little tremors pleased him greatly as he took the time to explore her backside, caressing the satiny skin and gently squeezing her flesh. Soon that sweet, heart-shaped bottom was going to be a bright pink, and he was going to have an up close and personal view this evening. Bringing his hands to rest, one on her back, the other wrapped around her upper thigh, close enough to her weeping pussy to set her heart racing, Gabriel smiled at Mrs. Banks. "You may begin her spanking now, Mrs. Banks."
Vivian didn't know it, but that was a prearranged command, part of the planned transition of authority from Mrs. Banks to her future husband. While she felt relieved that the Earl wasn't going to be spanking her this evening, and that she would have more time to accustom herself to his presence and his discipline, subconsciously she understood that he was now in charge of her punishment and that her companion was acting completely under his authority. Her pussy was already wet and ready, and she was especially aware of his hand so close to those sensitive folds.
Being held by him, in this position, was even more arousing than her fantasies had been; there was no substitute for the warmth and strength of his body, and she'd never fantasized about the way his member would pulse hotly against her because she hadn't known it existed.
She let out a little cry... in Mrs. Banks' new position, standing over Vivian's pert bottom, gave the companion quite a bit more room to swing, resulting in a much sharper swat to Vivian's creamy cheeks.
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
The rapid spanking had Vivian's bottom jiggling as it turned pink, her legs jerking against Gabriel's hold, and her hanging breasts swaying. While he regretted that the necessary position didn't allow him to see that last, having her over his lap more than made up for it. He could feel every reaction of her body, smell her arousal, watch as crimson splotches bloomed on her ivory skin. Wetness trickled down to his hand on her thigh and he squeezed it, eliciting a moan from her between swats.
His hand itched, he so badly wanted to be the one spanking that sweet little bottom... but Vivian wasn't quite ready for that yet. While he could have forced the issue, he had told Mrs. Banks that he wanted his future bride quite comfortable with him before he fully took over her punishments. This afternoon he had enjoyed seeing her discomfiture when she had to face him, but did not want to push her into a rebellion this week. After all, she must learn to trust him, and he would much prefer to reward her consistently with pleasure so that she did so, before any serious punishments became necessary.