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Subject: {ASSM} The Wedding Night (short-short, historical, mf, no overt sex)
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 07:10:03 -0500
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2003, Jordan Shelbourne

[A slight piece that began life as a writing exercise
to use three words. Feel free to guess which three
of the words in the story prompted it.

[At 750 words, this is on the long side of flash; call
it a short-short instead.

[I confess that I adore feedback, especially that sent
to j_shelbourne AT; compliments are best,
but I also respond to reasoned criticism.  More of my
older stories are at


At last all excuses had been exhausted and Robert turned to his new wife
Jane.  "And now to bed," he said, and the emphasis he put on those words
told her she could not hide her secrets any longer.

   Jane tried: she made her toilet before he did and lay in the bed, her
flannel nightgown tucked tightly around her body, the sheets likewise. 
When Robert returned, she whispered, "Would you not sleep, husband?"

   "Not yet," he said.  "Not yet." And he rubbed her cheek with the back of
his hand.

   He kissed her on her mouth, his lips soft and tasting faintly of rum and
coffee.  She felt slightly faint and then resisted the urge to kiss him
back.  Better he think her an unresponsive fish than a crimson profane
whore.  Perhaps it would dampen his ardor.

   He nuzzled her neck, kissed her collarbone through the flannel, and
stroked her hair.  "It will be fine, lass," he said.  "Do not be afraid."

   "I am not afraid," she lied, and held herself motionless.  She would do
nothing to help.

   He peeled back the bedsheets and she lay there, legs clamped tightly
together, a fold of nightgown caught between her thighs.  "Shhhh," he
sighed and stroked her body, cupping her small breasts, caressing the
softness at her belly, the breadth of her hips, the lines of her legs.  He
did this for long minutes, and she felt herself growing aroused despite her
fear, which made her more rigid, more resistant.  Each time his hands moved
from her knees back up to her shoulders, he tugged her gown a little
looser, a little higher until finally the fabric pulled free and she felt
thigh against thigh and knew that soon he must see her naked.

   "Wee sleekit cowering timorous beastie," he whispered as he stroked her
flannel-clad thighs, and he smiled up at her.  She tried not to respond.

   He took the hem of her nightgown and pulled it up, exposing her knees,
her thighs, and then her sex.  She heard his sharp intake of breath. 
"Sleekit indeed," he said, and he ran one calloused fingertip over her
bare-shaven mound.  She felt tears welling up in her eyes.

   "Did you perhaps have problems with lice, my love?  That is one reason
I've heard for men and women to shave."

   She shook her head tightly.

   His fingertip found the scar.

   "My dear, you have a dawk," he said, his voice light.  "I feel I should
look for your footnote." He lifted her foot and kissed one toe.  "No
explanation here."

   She tried to speak and couldn't, then tried again and found her voice.
"It is a brand."

   He was silent and when he spoke, his voice was low and murderous.  "Who
marked you so?"

   "  They used me, made me their slave, marked me, and then
bade me keep that mark always bare."

   "But you escaped?"

   She nodded.

   "Then you may cover it again."

   She did not.  She whispered, "They wanted any man who married me to know
that I was spoiled."

   He made small circles around the scar as he sat in thought.  "You mean
to tell me you are not virgin?"

   "That is what it means." Sobs broke free.  "I have already had a
printer's dagger."

   He kissed her.  "Thank heavens for that."

   She stopped in astonishment.  "You do not care?"

   "I care somewhat but it is not very important.  Mostly, I am relieved. I
have heard awful tales of how a man of modest proportions may hurt a woman,
and you have had that hurt already.  I would not do it to you if I had a

   "Thank you."

   "You have another secret, I can tell."

   She blushed.  "Those men, what they did--some things I liked.  I liked
them very much."

   "And that is all?  I am not a virgin either, and some of those things
that women did with me, I liked them very much."

   She giggled.  "Perhaps we can find common ground, then." She spread her
legs and let him see her sex, all moist and swollen.  "So we are done with

   "Almost," he said sheepishly.

   "What secret have you held?" Jane asked playfully.  "It cannot be so

   "Some might think it is, some not." He stood for a moment to pull off
his nightshirt.  She gasped.

   Robert smiled sadly.  "I have been told I am not of modest proportions."
He kneeled before her.  "Wife, I hope this does not hurt."

   "Husband," Jane whispered, "I hope it does." 

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