It was well after midnight, when her tears finally began to slow, from the place where she sat cuddled into Sean’s arms atop the newly attained couch, in the dim candlelight. She coughed a bit and finally sat up enough to wipe the last few tears from her reddened cheeks as Sean watched her quietly, not having pushed her into explaining the cause for all those tears, as well as her presence there that night, not to mention the request she had made upon his return home, before she was ready to share those answers, herself.
“Bad night?” he finally asked her gently, though even his attempt to lighten her mood wasn’t that successful.
“You’re all I have, truly.” she told him in a hoarse whisper, “Please promise me that I won’t ever lose you. I can’t.” she told him as she moved even closer to him, squeezing him tightly in her arms again.
“Guess your parents weren’t very happy?” he stated the obvious as he held her as well, placing a kiss atop her disarrayed locks.
“They hate me, Sean.” she shook her head, “The things my father said…they were so cruel you wouldn’t say them about your enemies, let alone, your own daughter.” she whispered, choking on more tears.
“I’m sorry, Claire.” he told her, his own voice a whisper.
“They hate me, and even Chantarell, she abandoned me, too.” another shake of her head, “You’re the last person who should be sorry. You’re the one who’s still here.” she then swallowed as she looked up, “You still love me…don’t you?” she pleaded for his answer.
“More than I could ever begin to tell you.” he promised her, giving her a kiss that wasn’t simply one inspired by lust, but rather what truly seemed like love, love for her, at last.
When the kiss finally ended, Claire swallowed once more, before steeling herself to tell him why she was so very upset, and why she desperately needed to know that what Sean felt was real, and not anything like the reason her father was convinced of, for his wanting to be with her.
“He said,” she swallowed again, “that there‘s only one thing that any man, including you, could ever want me for…that one thing.” she choked out.
It was then that Sean shook his head in disbelief, beyond appalled that a father would ever say such a thing, but having no reason to doubt that Claire was this upset, because of something that terrible having actually been said to her, especially by someone whom she couldn’t help caring about, even if they didn’t deserve her love, in any way.
“I guess it would be a bad start to our marriage, if I killed my father-in-law, before the wedding even happened?” he growled, hearing the other man’s words easily cemented his hatred for him, right then and there, amazed that such a pathetic excuse for a man could ever have brought someone as beautiful as Claire into the world, damaged though she was, which somehow, made her even more beautiful to him.
“If nothing else, at least they approve of our marriage, insist on it, even.” she said with bitterness, wiping away another escaped tear.
“I’m almost tempted to insist on living in sin with you, instead.” he scoffed, only half-seriously, “But even after they’re dead, we’d still have the rest of the world to put up with.” he shook his head again, still holding her close.
She was quiet a long moment before she finally looked back up at him, taking a long breath before speaking, “They already think it’s happened, anyway, and I need, so much, to be close to you, Sean…” she began, as she clarified her words by moving her hand back down toward his pants, “Make love to me.” she whispered against his ear, only to feel Sean catch her hand in his and hold it there, against his stomach instead.
“Claire, believe me, there’s nothing I want more, but if making love to you, now, before I make you my wife, if that would in any way, prove even part of your father’s insinuations to be true, then it wouldn’t be right. He’d be the one who thought he was right all along, and I will never give him that satisfaction. As much as I want to be inside of you, right now, it wouldn’t be right, this way, this night, and you know it too.” he whispered as he pulled her hand up to gently kiss it, as he sadly watched her cast her eyes downwards. Though it was obvious in those beautiful eyes of hers, that she knew that his argument was valid, as much as it pained her, to not have him inside her as well, right then and there.
The next morning, Sean awoke before Claire, as her night had been a bit more exhausting than his, emotionally, anyway. Despite his promise to preserve her honor until their wedding came to pass, Sean still slept there in his bed, with her in his arms, next to him. Their desire for one another did make it a restless night, but eventually morning arrived with both of them somehow managing to stay true to their promise. Though, now it was a new day, and when Sean awoke, it was in a state that made it difficult for any man to remain well-behaved in.
He sighed in slight annoyance with his own body, though it was difficult for him to stay in a bad mood once he looked down at where she still slept next to him, as beautiful as ever. Of course, that fact may have improved his mood, but did nothing to calm his desires.
He took a breath as he moved closer to her still, placing a gentle kiss on her cheek, which only caused her to stir slightly, remaining asleep. He then gave into at least a few more desires as he moved closer still, to gently reach for the hem of her long dress, sliding it upwards, only as high as her knees, while simultaneously moving to place even more gentle kisses over the swell of her breasts above the dress, his fingers caressing the inside of her leg softly, still journeying no higher than her knee, through sheer force of will, alone.
Claire couldn’t help the smile as she awoke to the feel of his lips and fingers moving so softly against her skin, “Have a change of heart?” she mumbled through the same smile, which caused a slight chuckle from Sean, through the kisses he still spread over her chest, right above the place where the material hid her beautiful breasts from his view.
“I haven’t destroyed that ever so important honor, yet.” he began, then paused as he moved his hand from the inside of her leg, and up to gently caress her stomach through the material of the dress, “However…” he let his voice trail off in another mischievous smile as his hand then moved slowly upwards to cup her breast through the material of the dress, spreading more urgent kisses over her chest this time.
“However, what?” she asked, somehow giggling and sounding seductive, at once.
“However,” another smile, another kiss, as his hand moved to the buttons that kept her dress in place over her pale skin, “I still owe you, for the other day.”
“Owe me?” she couldn’t help the giggle, though words got more difficult for both of them to form as his fingers bravely undid that first button, then another, causing Claire to simply lie back, closing her eyes in anticipation, and making no move to stop him, despite what the two had agreed to, only hours before.
When his fingers completed undoing those buttons which went to only slightly below her waist, right to the top of her undergarment, Sean took one more breath, looked up at where she arched her back slightly, eyes still closed, just waiting for him to follow through on paying his ‘debt.’ With another smile he slowly, tentatively pulled her dress open, exposing her to him from the waist up, which only caused his breath to catch once more.
Though, it was obvious that Sean’s clarity of thought wasn’t having a lot of say in his actions that morning, as he moved to caress her breast again, no barrier between their flesh this time. Of course, the touch only strengthened his desire as it took not more than mere seconds of those caresses, before he needed more. He then moved his mouth to her other breast, his now loose locks tickling her a bit as he did, but that sensation was soon forgotten once she felt him take her nipple into his mouth, tasting her with an unmistakable hunger to experience every part of her.
Claire moaned a bit as his mouth and tongue coaxed first one, then the other nipple into hardening, making him want her that much more, and vice versa. As the moan that escaped her lips was clearly not a sound of protest, it steeled his confidence, among other things, that much more, as he continued to taste her, while his hands began a new assault.
As the kisses continued, she felt him move his hand downwards, finding the hem of her skirt once more, and this time, there was no stopping as those fingers moved up from her knee, over the inside of her thigh, their destination obvious.
A moan escaped both of their lips as his fingers reached her unmistakably damp undergarment. Though, instead of feeling how much she completely desired him, somehow managing to jolt Sean back to his senses, it instead pushed his desires further. Both his kisses and his touch became more urgent as he rubbed her through the thin material, pushing her closer and closer to the feeling that she had so generously given him on their last visit to his bed.
Soon, the scarce material of her panties was so soaked, it was difficult to tell there was anything separating her most intimate self from his touch at all. As his urgency increased to match hers, her moans grew louder still as her back arched into each one of his caresses, until finally, pushed to her breaking point, her entire body shuddered in that final moment of passion, as she desperately reached to wrap both her arms around him, holding him so close, that his breathing was in danger of being stopped as well, while she struggled to recover her own, while her heart raced against his, unable to believe that any pleasure could be that intense, and even more unbelievable, was that she had finally found someone who wanted to give her that, and much, much more.
While still laying close to him, Claire’s breath had not even completely returned to her, when he couldn’t help letting out a smile as he felt her hand move down to begin unfastening his pants, which was made into quite the difficult task by the fact of how incredibly turned on he was, inside of them.
“We are even, now, you know.” he chided, while simultaneously readjusting his hips to make it that much easier for her to undress him.
“Please, you’re so hard, you were almost drilling a hole in my thigh, the whole time.” she teased.
“Yet you didn’t seem to mind.” he teased her back and moved to further help her with her task.
It didn’t take very long at all for her to bring Sean to his climax as well, given not only how aroused he truly was, but also quite likely, due to the fact that this time, she had opened his pants first, therefore, not only saving him from another ruined pair of trousers, but also letting him feel her fingers encircling him, flesh against flesh, no barriers whatsoever, this time.
After waiting her turn to give him those moments after, to recover his breath as well, she finally spoke up, from her place with her arms folded over his chest, her chin propped upon them, looking up at his face, “Are we still saying my honor’s in tact?” she had to ask.
Sean just shook his head with a nervous smile, “Technically, yes.” he then chuckled, “I think the stipulation is something about being a virgin, not about never having had one of those. There’s a slight difference.” he argued with his own brand of mischievous logic.
“Good enough for me.” she agreed with her own laugh, “For now, anyway.”
“Good enough?” he teased her back with false offense, “The way I had you shaking, I’d say that was way beyond ‘good enough.’” he teased her, causing another joyful laugh, and redder blush in her. But she was laughing, which was a great improvement over the night before, to say the least.
Though as fate would always have it, joyful moments are brief, for their laughter was then interrupted by a loud knock at the front door of his house, “What the…?” was Claire’s immediate response, as they both sat up, glancing out the small bedroom window at the bright July morning.
“Stay here.” he said, his voice immediately becoming more serious as he awkwardly pushed himself up off of the bed, and back into his pants, in the same moment, taking a breath as he closed the bedroom door behind him, moving toward the front door.
“So this is the house that’s almost built?” was Mrs. Wallace’s sarcastic greeting when Sean opened the door, not able to hide the scowl at her presence, which quickly turned into a much more hateful look as his eyes moved to the road out in front of the small cabin, where her father sat stubbornly smoking his pipe, refusing to come from the carriage, to the door, with his wife.
“What do you want?” was Sean’s greeting, a far, far cry from the politeness he had displayed upon his first meeting with her parents, before he knew that they were not merely conservative, but downright cruel.
“My daughter.” she told him, forcing volume into her voice.
“Since when?” was the answer he supplied, without missing a beat.
Ignoring his statement, Camilla Wallace moved on, “She already spent the night here, which is way beyond unacceptable, so you send her out here, right this minute.” she ordered him, despite the fact that he was eleven inches taller, and twenty years younger.
“I somehow think she’d rather be here. And unlike some people, I actually care what she thinks, and feels.”
Camilla just scoffed loudly, “If you care so much, then why would you be insisting on sullying her reputation like this?” she returned angrily, “Since when is a woman of ill-repute likely to be marriage material? Be logical!”
“Here to defend her honor are you?” he scoffed, still not stepping aside from the door, “You and that man, you call your husband, have done more to destroy her ‘honor’ than I ever have. Not to mention the fact that she is eighteen, and betrothed to me. It’s my job to defend her honor now, not yours. So move along.” he told her coolly.
She just shook her head, trying to find the words to respond, “If you’re so concerned about honor, then at least be honest. What do you really want with a girl like my daughter? Admit it, we both know that she spent the night in your bed, last night, and who knows how many other times.” she then dropped her voice to a furtive level, “I could be doing you a favor by demanding her return. You know that she’ll never be what a wife is supposed to be. This could be your last chance to go and find a proper girl. You should be thanking me.” she added more coolly.
Sean’s eyes clearly showed a fiery response to the woman’s words, before forcing himself to speak to her one more time, “No, you should be thanking me.”
Camilla scoffed as she looked back at him, “For what? Pretending you really wanna take her off of our hands?”
“No, for not making Claire into an orphan, like myself. But I won’t promise that will still be the case, if I ever see you, or that bastard, on my property, ever again.” he finished with a growl, slamming the door in her face to cement his threat.