A Lady’s Passion Knows No Distance – Henrietta Harding

“Mother, will you tell me a story?” little Duncan asked as his mother came into the room to check on him. He’d woken with a sour stomach and a runny nose, no doubt from spending too much time outside with his father the day before, trying to catch every fish in the pond. And then, after they’d all gorged themselves on the bounty, it was no surprise to her that he’d woken ill. “Of course, my darling. What story would you like to hear?” his mother asked. “Tell me an exciting story. One with villains and heroes. Something that may be hard to believe,” he replied. “Well, then. How about I tell you a grand story with all those bits, and more?” Duncan clapped excitedly and his mother shushed him, encouraging him to lay back down on the goose feather pillows and relax while she sat on the four-poster bed next to him. “All right, then. Once upon a time, not that long ago, there was a young woman named Caroline and a handsome young man named William…” ~*~ Caroline raced across the open pasture on the back of her chestnut mare, the wind whipping her long blonde hair behind her. She moved with the galloping momentum of the horse, thinking that the only time she truly felt free was when she was horseback riding. And though a daughter of an Earl should never be caught riding astride, she dearly did not care in that moment as she raced across her father’s lands to meet the man she’d fallen in love with. It was quite scandalous, what she’d done. At first, it had been a mild attraction, since he looked very similar to all the other footmen. Tall, sleek blond hair that was cut short but still curled at the ends, and dazzling blue eyes. All the footmen were hired based on not only their ability to serve and listen to orders, but also their attractive qualities. Such was the common practice with the elite lords of society. But the thing that made William unique was the way he always paid her special attention. While most of the servants in the house tended to ignore the main family unless they were addressed, William always did small things for her. He would bring her flowers, ask her questions about her day, and really listen to her opinion. Unlike her parents and most of the families Caroline dined with, William showed actually interest in her. And that was why it was so easy for her to fall deeply in love with him, even though she was only sixteen and not quite the proper age to marry. The grove of trees that surrounded a small pond came into view, and Caroline pulled on the reins to slow her horse and guide the mare along the narrow trail that would lead her to their destination.

And at the water’s edge stood William, allowing his horse to drink from the pond as though he’d just arrived. She beamed at him as she came to a stop. At the sound of her arrival, William looked her way and smiled brightly as he came near and helped her down from her mare, his strong arms supporting her body as though she weighed nothing. “Oh, William. It’s so good to be with you,” Caroline said as her walking boots hit the ground and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. “I wish we didn’t need to hide in secret.” “I know, my dear,” William said. He looked down at her, his hands still on her lithe hips. “But your father would never allow us to marry. Until I can think of a way to earn his respect and your hand in marriage, it seems we are forced to only meet like this.” “Sometimes I like to think I could speak reason with my father, that I could convince my parents of my dearest love for you,” Caroline said, running her fingers through William’s golden hair. He might look like the other footmen, but when he smiled at her, it was a look reserved only for her. “We must be patient.” William rubbed his hands up and down her back of her cotton gown. “After all, you are only sixteen years of age and still have many years before you’d be considered a spinster.” Caroline chuckled at the thought. She’d rather die than become a spinster. “My parents will expect me to marry one day. I don’t know for how long I could wait for you.” “I would wait years and years for you, my dearest. My love for you is stronger than time,” William declared, taking Caroline’s voice away. She loved how romantic William could be and knew it was a very rare quality in men. “Oh, William. Kiss me. Kiss me like you mean everything you’ve just said,” Caroline pleaded, her cheeks flushing red as she thought of giving herself to this man in every sense of the word.

“As you wish,” William said softly as he leaned his head down and captured her luscious red lips in his. Pleasure exploded from that kiss and tingling through Caroline’s body as she held on tightly to William’s shoulders. She pressed her body against his as she allowed him to ravage her mouth with his tongue. Their taste together was something that Caroline would never grow tired of. And as she felt his manhood become stiff and press into her belly, she was pleased with herself to be able to cause such a response in his body. If she wasn’t expected home soon, she’d strip them both down and finally feel what it was like to truly be a woman. “Come now,” William said as he broke their passionate kiss, his hands still stroking her back longingly as they both tried to catch their breath. “We mustn’t do anything we might regret later.” “William, I would never regret giving myself to you,” Caroline declared, almost afraid to admit such a thing because of their current situation. “I know,” William replied softly, stroking her hair. “I can feel it in your body just as you can feel it in mine. I long to be with you in every sense of the word. But for now, we must be patient and try to control ourselves.” Caroline giggled as she created space between the two. William turned away for a moment and adjusted his manhood into a more comfortable position. “Come. Sit with me for a moment longer,” Caroline invited, perched on the edge of the pond and looking out over the water. “How is your father doing?” William sat next to her on the grass and sighed. “He’s not feeling much better. Sometimes, the cough goes away during the day, but it always returns at night. If it wasn’t for my position in your father’s household, I wouldn’t have the means to take care of him. I pay an older woman to tend to him during the day, to get his medicines from the apothecary. And sometimes I stay awake late in the night just to ensure he’s actually sleeping.” “I wish there was something more that could be done for your father. If only you could travel to town.

There are proper doctors and surgeons there that could help your father,” Caroline insisted. “If my father knew…” “No, Caroline. Your father would fire me if he thought this sickness could be passed from my father, to me, to one of his family. I know you mean well, but the less your father has any idea that we spend intimate time together, the better it will be for us.” “I just don’t like this feeling of being unable to do anything. I want to help in so many ways.” Caroline leaned on her knees and rested her head on her folded arms. William rubbed her back, and his hands on her sparked fire to the desire she had for him. She sat up and leaned towards him, placing a soft kiss to his lips. “One day, William, we will be together. I just know it,” she asserted as she leaned back. “As do I. I promise that there will come a day when I shall have your hand in marriage, regardless of our situation,” William replied. The way he gazed down into her eyes made her feel like she could give her life over to William and never have to worry about anything ever again. “Now, my love. You must return home. Your evening ride has already been longer than what your parents would like. And I must return to my father.” William stood and lifted Caroline to her feet. Then, he guided her over to her horse and helped her get situated in the saddle. “When shall we meet again?” Caroline asked, steering her horse back towards the narrow pass that led through the grove of trees surrounding the pond. “I shall let you know when the time is best,” William assured her. “Now go. We’ll see each other soon enough.” Caroline blew him a kiss from where she sat on her mare and then turned forward to urge her mount into a trot.

Once they were clear of the trees, she pressed the horse into a full gallop, her heart filled with love for William. She raced back to her father’s stables, knowing she’d be expected for tea shortly. But all her mind was worried about was the next time she’d find time to be alone with William, and how they ever were to be together forever.


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