Saving Selena: Love Lost, Then Found.

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The Belvedere.

Selena kicked off her shoes, and twirled on the slightly dusty floor, with a cry of pure joy and exuberance, sending her skirts, and dust, flying. He could see her doing that, naked.

What a disturbing thought!

After he had closed and locked the door behind them, she was in his arms again and kissing him eagerly as she pushed his coat from his shoulders and began on the rest of his clothing. He had gone beyond trying to resist her by then. It would be far too damaging, and besides, he was only human.

She paused and turned her back to him. “I had to get one of the maids at the Inn to tie my dress this morning, and she did too good a job of it. I will need your help to undo it, Charles.” She was impatient for him, and her eagerness was infectious.

He fell into the mood of things as he recognized how he must behave with her, without any reservation or backwardness on his part, just as though he were Charles, or risk being discovered. He resolved to do what was required to stop that happening. If he hesitated now or did not do what was expected of him…? But what if he did not hesitate…?

He too easily gave up and chose the path that seemed the least damaging to both her and Charles, as well as to himself.

Least damaging?

He would need to be careful what he said and would also need to hide those slight physical differences that would give him away. He would consider, later, how he would caution her when they parted, and she then afterward arrived at their home and was greeted—or so she would think—by Charles, whom she had just left.

What he was being encouraged to do had cost many another man his life, and might cost him his, if it were ever discovered. But what would it cost her if she found out that he was not Charles? What would it cost Charles, if he found out? What would it do to his own relationship with his brother, and with his mother and father? She must not discover this mistake, and nor should anyone else. He was committed.

He leaned in and kissed her on the neck as she squirmed and giggled in her excitement to feel him untie her dress, and then to slide his hands into it. He could sense that once this woman made up her mind about something, there would be no stopping her.

“I knew what would happen as soon as we met, or as soon as we could get away from everyone, so I dressed only lightly for you, as you have now discovered, and left off my petticoats and chemise.” He had wondered as much when she had pushed up against him, earlier and lifted her dress out of their way to let him touch her.

He watched as she turned and blushingly stripped the light dress from herself. Letting it fall down to her ankles. She could see the approving look on his heated face. She stepped out of it, to stand almost completely naked, before him. She knew how the sight of her body affected him. But then she had soon discovered that her body affected him that way, clothed or not clothed.

“Now my shoes and stockings, Charles.” She was being deliberately mischievous. She knew it would not be so simple. He would be too eager to touch and explore her to get to her stockings for a while. She expected nothing less.

“I see the blanket we left from last time, is still here, though we never did have the courage then, to do what we did at my home.” They were both excited by then and almost out of breath in anticipation of what was to happen between them. He tossed her wet shoes and stockings into the sun.

She pulled him down onto the blanket with her, and with little effort, as he moved over her, they made love as he had never known it before. This woman, determined, and with a will of her own, would drive his brother wild with desire whenever he was with her, just as she was doing to him.

As he lay upon her, feeling her welcoming warmth, and before he entirely lost his mind for that first time with her, he tried to keep enough of his conscious thought intact, to do what seemed to be the right thing in the midst of so much that was not right. He took off the ring that Charles had just given him, and placed it beyond her head, and onto his clothing.

It seemed only proper that such an item, given by Charles out of love for his brother, and handed down through the years, should not be a witness to what he was doing to his brother’s fiancée. He did that just in time as they kissed and moved together in that first explosive moment that tore his mind into a thousand pieces and elicited cries of excitement from her. What had happened would be repeated many times more before he left her, or before she would let him leave her. There would be no complaint from him, no going back now, and no room for half measures. He was fully committed in every way.

After that moment, they laughed as they slowly recovered their breath, lying there together, savoring what had happened between them, until they regained their energy to continue. She would not let him leave her, but he had no intention of doing that. Words were not needed. She stroked his hair and kissed him as he returned her kisses, caressing and touching her everywhere, as they moved slowly with each other once more, to the same end.

They rested briefly after the first rush of eagerness had been relieved. She lay back beneath him as she stroked his heated brow, feeling his warm breath on her face and the moistness on his back. She then voiced one of those thoughts that a woman occasionally threw into the conversation to bedevil a man, seemingly out of nowhere, even at the height of their passion.

“Charles. Why is it that in the three years that I have been coming here, that I have never met your brother?”

The subject seemed a strange one for her to raise at just that moment. Had she discovered something about him?

No. Impossible. He settled his disordered thoughts. Fortunately, she understood that he could not easily converse just yet, being still out of breath. He was thankful that he and Charles had spoken of that same subject just a few hours earlier, but he could not resist repeating what others had said about him, first.

“Possibly because he is not entirely respectable enough to meet one such as you, my love.” She gurgled and laughed, seeing humor in that remark, and finding pleasure in it too.

“And we are respectable? Doing this, and even before we are married?” Yes, she would find that humorous. “And consider what we did with each other for that last week that you were with us at my home, and in one or other of our beds, no matter the time of day.” She laughed. “How I had courage to do that I still do not know, but I am so pleased that I did.” He could say nothing, but she did not expect him to say anything.

“Fortunately, I was able to intercept the laundry maid and let her know not to betray what we had done, from what must have been obvious on your sheets after that, and then on mine too, as well as in the lining of my dresses after what we often did in the garden or the woods.

“Once begun down that path, I had no intention of being separated from you again, except you had to return here to prepare everything for the wedding. Now, we need never be separated again from each other, Charles, whether day or night. I fear that I am not respectable either, after that, but I no longer care. I am with the man I love.” He kissed her to reassure her about what they were doing, and what they were learning about each other in such intimacy. He fell into the mood too easily.

“You are right. We, are not entirely respectable, my love. I am at least equally, if not more, to blame, considering how I wore your resistance down. However, why you have not met Robert, is more to do with Mama, my love, than me.” He kissed her on the end of her nose and then on her eyes and then her lips and was happy to feel her breasts pushing against his chest as he changed his position upon her while taking most of his weight off her, but never leaving her. He would like to spend the rest of his life exactly where he was, with this woman, and making love to her, but it could not be.

“She feels that it would be dangerous for you to meet Robert, (as indeed it had been). She is French, and exceptionally superstitious. She seems to have been persuaded into that strange belief that all of our lives are ruled by the stars. She believes—astrology tells her—that a twin; my brother and I are twins, but you know that, should never meet the fiancée of the brother, lest it bring misfortune to everyone. There is a distinct fear that, because they are twins; kindred spirits in every way, that the other brother or sister would inevitably fall in love with that same person, and in just the same way as the first one did, and set brother against brother, or sister against sister.” She chuckled at that credible, but strange explanation.

“How poetic and romantic.” It was what his mother believed, and there obviously must be some truth to it, (as the present circumstance showed), but she did not know that. She stroked his ear as he kissed her neck, setting her squirming beneath him before she found her voice again.

“It sounds plausible, in a strange kind of way. Then perhaps he and I should not meet. I shall leave it to you, Charles, and I shall abide by what you decide. At this moment, however, I think you should kiss me again, and continue what we are doing. We might not get another chance for several hours after I arrive. It is also going to be a busy month for us both until our marriage, so we must take advantage of such opportunities as they are presented to us. I fear we are unlikely to be left alone as often, or for as long as we would like, though there will always be the night-time hours to make up for that.” He liked that thought, even though it would not involve him.

“However, despite what we are doing now, and unknown to the world out there, I shall not excuse you from your obligations this evening. What we are daring to do, even now, shall not be grounds for any excuse from you that you are tired, or that you are not up to it. But then you never complained of either of those, no matter how often….

“I shall retire early, this evening, Charles. Very early, as we did when you were at my house, pleading that we were tired after our long walks, with my parents smirking in the background—at least, they seemed to be, unless that was my conscience—and I shall wait impatiently for you to come to my room, just as I came to yours. But this time there shall be no sister to eavesdrop on us or to observe what we are doing.

“If you are not in my room five minutes after I have retired, Charles, despite my pleading a headache, and extreme fatigue after my journey as I desperately wait for you, I shall come looking for you, no matter how lightly I am dressed. Even as lightly as I am now.” She chuckled. She felt how that exciting promise affected him and brought him to life within her once more.

“You had better have a word with your laundry maid, Charles. I do hope she can be trusted to keep a secret, or those sheets will betray us to her, as they did at my house.”

He smiled and confided a secret to her that Charles must surely have disclosed about his brother, while hiding his own part in it.

“Our laundry maid was the one responsible for leaving such telltale stains on the sheets when Robert had finished with her, so she will say nothing.” She laughed at thought of the brother she had never met, disporting himself with the laundry maid in just the same way as they were doing now.

How long they were there, he was not sure. They made love many times. Words were not needed, just kissing, caressing and those more fiery interludes where they coupled fiercely together once they had recovered from the previous, heated bout of entwined, perspiring limbs, labored breathing, tender caressing, and where quarter was neither asked for, nor given.

Eventually, they began to realize how time was slipping away from them. The sun had reached, and then had passed its zenith long ago, and was now getting low in the afternoon sky.

“Your parents will think I have got lost, or had an accident, and must surely wonder where you are.”

He kissed her reassuringly. “But I know exactly where you are my love, as I can certainly feel you, and where I am, and there is no urgency now.”

He rose slowly from her, helped her to her feet as they continued to embrace. She, knowing that it would be continued that evening and every other evening now for the rest of her life, and he, knowing that he would possibly never see her again.

They dressed slowly, each laughing at their total lack of shyness, helping each other dress in a strange ritual, where clothing was put on, and then removed again as they rethought the moment and came together once more and touched.

As they helped the other dress, they caressed often and intimately, all of the time, kissing. He now had to think of what to tell her so that she might not unwittingly betray, to Charles, what had just happened. It would not do to be found out for who he was.

Her shoes and stockings, tossed carelessly into the sun, where it beat through the windows, were now dry, so she would not have any explanation to make about that. The bottom of her dress was also dry. How long had they been here as the time flew by? He now began to think about how he should caution her.

“Say nothing of this, my love, when we meet again at the house. I shall return before you, of course. When we can get away, later, or I come to you again like this, tonight, it will seem as though it were the first time again.” She nodded, caught up in the excitement of an illicit secret that only they would know.

“I shall escort you back to your carriage, and I shall make haste back to the house across the fields as you drive slowly back. We should not arrive together or others might guess what we did.” He recalled that Charles had been dressed quite differently and needed to prepare her for those differences. “I shall easily be there before you, and with time to change.

“To others, it will be as though none of this happened. I shall say nothing, and nor should you refer to it. There are ears, and curious eyes everywhere, and not just your sister’s. It shall be another one of our many secrets.”

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