It's so damn nice to not have a character restriction here! It enables me to share a few pages' sample of my Gothic, BDSM historical novel, Afflictions of Unruly Passion. Please, enjoy.
Doctor August Henry Blackmore sat up at his desk and checked his silver pocket-watch. Precisely nine, and his newest charge due to arrive any moment. A pair of concerning reports had been delivered that morning, and he resumed pondering them now their hour was come. According to the staff at reception (his administrative secretary had told him), the new patient Valentine Godwin had been a perfectly well-behaved woman upon arrival, and just this morning had been found stripped of her clothes, a mess, and sleeping in a nest of her own shredded possessions.
Then- as though that weren’t enough to raise his eyebrows- he been handed a folded scrap of paper. Unexpectedly, it informed him that the orderly responsible for attending her the previous evening had reported a “mad fit” upon leading her to her room, and refused to approach her again at all, for his “own safety.” That, quite frankly, only added to the bemusement.
At that moment, there came a rapping on his office door, and August stood.
“Please, enter.” The door opened, and two white-dressed nurses came leading the lamb. The patient was a bit of a sight. She wore nothing but a hip-length chemise, her bloomers, and a corset. Her hair was a storm cloud of ruined thick pin curls, yet her eyes shone green, and her lips burned red upon a downcast face. He noted with interest that her entire person was mussed, but her lip-colour was sharp .
Despite his years of service (and professional demeanour) Dr Blackmore was startled by her appearance- so feral, and so lovely. A flash of intuition lit his brain. Something was… different about this one.
Once delivered of their charge, the nurses departed.
“Ah, good morning, Miss Godwin. Please, make yourself comfortable. I am Doctor Blackmore, head physician and psychologist here at Mistress Halifax’s.” The good doctor was a tall, athletically built man of twenty-six years, dressed impeccably, bespectacled, yet imbued with the mien of a man three times his age.
Standing before him, Valentine took note of his respectable bearing and sighed heavily. She would be telling him the truth, and she expected to watch horror dawn upon another face. Perhaps (the trifling hope arose), he was too jaded for horror. The likelihood of that , though… She assumed she would be dismissed by this one as well as the rest, and he would start some ghastly treatment of pills and creams and “restful” sea bathing. Valentine buried her face in her hands and then raked through her tangled mane.
“Very kind of you, Doctor,” she mumbled as she sat. “I trust you are well.” Her tone fell flat and indignant, and no zest came in her words. It had been such a long while since she had spoken so unaffected. August seated himself and readied his pen.
“Now Miss Godwin- this being your first consultation with me, I must take notes on your illness so that we best may treat it. Please, if you can, describe your symptoms. What has brought you here?” He lifted his pen and waited, poised.
Raising a flippant hand in the air, leaning on the other lazily, she spoke. “I have no illness, dear Doctor. I am here because I am a disgrace to my mother. I’m not a pretty caged bird trained to talk in nonsense and she is disgusted by me.” The newcomer leaned heavily on the arm of her chair, no longer willing to keep a proper posture. Her eyes focused on the bookshelf next to his desk rather than him, and her voice lacked depth. There was no part of the young woman that cared a whit for the encounter. The doctor’s pen scratched quickly.
“Would you mind expounding upon your meaning? Your metaphor of the ‘caged bird’?” Her words heightened his awareness of her ease of analogy, and well-composed response. A keen, frustrated mind sat before him. Answering him forthrightly, too. She was not cowed by her situation in the slightest- he was sure it only added to her sullen angst.
“My mother had fond hopes of keeping me as lovely and hollow as a porcelain doll, trained to smile and obey, all to be sold for marriage.” Incredible sarcasm poured into her words. “A little caged pet. When I chose instead to become educated, proud, and a person, she rejected me.” Valentine stopped, and listened to his insistent writing. Then she laughed mockingly. “But I suppose she could have simply picked a rich boor to wed and bed me, and washed her hands of me forever, if it had not been for one thing.” A smile twitched to her lips. It bore a jester’s folly. She almost felt sorry for the poor man, catching her in less than her full guise and allure.
“And what is that, Miss Godwin?” August peered studiously at her over his glasses.
“ What ?” He looked at her pointedly and reflexively, shocked, but she was not returning his attention.
“I shall tell you if you drop the protocol of gentility and for once let me be free of it. Call me Valentine and just talk to me, even if you entertain salacious thoughts about my breasts! Do I look as though I have any care for this maddening propriety?” The dare was tearing through her bloodstream, wreaking havoc with the pounding of her primal drives. Might a creature of need be buried under that well-mannered front…? Still, he felt like… no harm. Doubtless he would admonish her unladylike ways severely. The succubus waited.
The doctor hesitated. Something stirred inside.
The man he presented to the world was a professional; a scholar and a modestly-monied gentleman, and there she sat, bucking the conventions of society and calling out the truth of his person. Entertain salacious thoughts about her breasts? A creature, long dormant and acquiescent to defeat, woke at her call from within him. It was something wicked and intense and long unsatisfied… but he hardly dared let it out.
At her invitation, he did devour the sight of her figure. She was… breathtaking . Beautifully curved, lush, and ripe. How would she feel in his hands? Firm, or soft? He swallowed.
“Alright, Valentine. You have my complete attention.” Acknowledgement, intrigue in his tone, and she perked up. The little lioness scented something unexpected. As he greedily absorbed the picture of her, he felt glad of the desk covering his lower half. Her eyes darted up and found him for the first time, almost as if she knew her words had roused a slumbering beast in his soul.
She gave him a calculating look. He was actually serious .
“I made myself something I am proud to be .” Valentine began, testing the waters. “I am beautiful, intelligent; strong in mind, body, and will. I was willing to marry, but I wanted a certain satisfaction. One that I have never found and now lost all hope I ever shall.”
Steepling his fingers, August did not write; he merely waited for her to finish, intently staring over the spectacles still perched on his nose.
When he did not interrupt or respond, she let her words rise. Pulse pounding in her ears, she decided quickly to discover what kind of man he really was. “I want a man who will possess me. I want a man who will claim me, and bend me to his will.” She began to sit up, her voice growing more violent and unrestrained. “I want a man who will dominate me and make my body his pleasure-ground! I want to serve, to submit, to tremble under his hands and mouth and writhe in pleasure at the force of his cock!”
In her ardour, she rose to her feet and threw her fists into the air, clenching them so tightly her knuckles whitened.
“I want a man of passion ! I WANT A MAN WHO WILL MAKE HIMSELF MY MASTER !” She ended screaming, her face crimson, finally unveiled for the dark nymph she was. The challenge was thrown.
Doctor Blackmore put down his pen and covered his mouth with his hands. His trousers strained, and his heart was overwhelmed by the unexpectedly serendipitous arrival of the bonnie wraith. The thing unfurling inside him roused fully, and roared in answer.
She straightened herself, quietly composing. The voice of his blackest self rioted its urgency, arresting every cognisant thought as he sat.
“Naturally I could not make it easy to master me, and that is why I was sent here.” Valentine sank back into her chair, to appear compliant.
The doctor took a deep breath and willed himself to gain control over his unruly pulse. The grimace on his face was not a result of displeasure but his own determination, and the sudden life-altering choice cast in his lap. What to do? To answer the pained howl inside would mean risking his very livelihood, his reputation! Even his honour… But, to ignore that cry… He ’ d in the damn straight-jacket next and he knew it. When the Hell would he ever get another chance to pursue the only dream he’d never let himself chase?
The strain of unforeseen arousal lessened, just enough. The choice was obvious, and the potential price not steep enough to deter. The cost could be the living blood from his veins, and he’d grab his damn letter-opener and rend his skin to pay it! Abruptly he stood, walked briskly to the door, and opened it.
Valentine followed his movement only half-interestedly, certain that she’d just set her medical doom in stone.
“Miss Birdie, for the rest of the hour, please do not disturb me with anything short of death, fire, or Doomsday.”
His secretary, Carolina Birdie, nodded vigourously. The woman took messages, kept records, typed important documents, and managed Blackmore’s schedule and logbook. She’d worked hard and come a long way to be an independent woman. Though she hadn’t any idea what was said, she had heard the rising feminine voice and knew her employer was mired with another ‘fit’.
As the man turned back into his office, he closed and locked the door.
August took off his spectacles and folded them neatly away into his coat pocket. He advanced toward the unexpected gift, his eyes burning; a crack in the barrier concealing his inferno. She read his expression with her own bias, and sneered.
“Are you so disgusted by me?” The look he turned upon her then was withering, wounded , and for once she found herself chastened. That set something within her bubbling. No man had ever shown such… austerity in the wake of her confession before. Though she was ready to act as needed, he stalked past her, still silent, and drew the window’s drapes.
When he turned back around again and faced her, his transformation from ordinary and forgettable to compellingly deviant was complete. For the first time, he allowed his innermost self to be seen, in full, by another. It was an intoxicating moment for him, liberating and arresting all at once. His gait to her chair became measured and purposeful. Whether or not his decision was a good idea for his career or circumstances, it was the one he had to make, for his own sanity. It was too late to put the beast back to sleep after these years.
It had recognised its mate.