Part One: Julie
Now the noise again, the moaning, the pleading in her voice. Is she pleading? I can't imagine it. I lie here bereft. In the darkness. No, the room is not dark, the room is grey. The moonlight filters through the window, through the windowpanes, the curtains, the grey moonlight hanging like a cloud over the shapes in the room. Is that my hat? Yes, of course it's the large hat I wore on Wednesday, the pale green hat that looked so pretty in the park. Everyone liked it. They smiled at me. Oh, they didn't smile, don't be silly. You're acting like a twit, darling. It's the moaning. She hasn't stopped. It goes on and on. I want to drum on the walls. I shall beg her to stop it. I won't allow it. Well, you can't do much about allowing things, can you? You ought to sleep, darling. It's a beastly hour and you ought to sleep. And her? Please God let me sleep. I can't bear it, I really can't bear it.
I suppose it's possible for me to keep myself in a state of utter immobility. I shall lie here like a mummy while she moans in the next room. I shall lie here with my hands upon my breasts. Holding my breasts. I must hold my breasts or I shall certainly go mad. How strange it is to hear the sound of it. Or perhaps it's not strange at all. I ought to consider the nature of things, the proper aspects. In any case, I thought this room would be lovely and it's not lovely at all. Lovely in the day and not lovely at night. Not lovely to have her beyond that wall. Thank God the bed is not against that wall. But I ought to have it there because of the window. I don't like a bed near a window and that's where I have the bed now. No, it's not where I have the bed, it's where the bed was situated when I was given the room. Darling, you don't want the bed moved. You can't possibly want the bed against that wall. That's completely out of the question, completely impossible.
And Edward? Not a sound to betray his presence. He's there of course. One can't help the imagining. No sound but the sound of Claire, yet Edward is certainly there. In connubial extension. The wet coupling. Really, darling. How does he hold her? You shouldn't, you really shouldn't. But of course it's not possible to do otherwise. I can't lie here like a stone. I am not a stone. I imagine she lies on her back with her legs raised. She's quite limber. She rides well. She dances well. She does everything well. Now Edward is riding her. Like Sir Lancelot with his sturdy lance thrusting in and out of the quick. His cock in her nest. I wonder if it's dark in there. I wonder if they fancy the electric lamp. Claire might but I'm sure Edward wouldn't. Edward is much too modest. He would have his thrusting in the dark. Nothing to see. Everything to hear and nothing to see. Softly now. The moaning is soft again. The sounds of pleasure in Claire's throat. My hands upon my breasts. The fullness of my breasts. My nipples. The grey fog of moonlight in a darkened room.
“Did you sleep well?”
Claire is so sparkling in the morning, so fresh and perfect. We sit at the breakfast table, Edward between Claire and myself, the servants gliding around us, the April sunlight vibrating through the glass of the French window. Claire and Edward and myself.
“Yes, quite well, thank you.”
“And your room? Do you like your room, Julie?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, not of course. You might have another, you know. This isn't the largest house in London but we do have other rooms. I'm sure we can find something suitable.”
“But the room is fine.”
“I thought you might like to be near us.”
“Yes, I like that.”
“It's a cool room in summer.”
Edward rustles his newspaper. “I don't think we'll be here.”
“I said I don't think we'll be here in the midst of summer. I should think we'd be abroad.”
“Ah yes. Will you like that, Julie? You shall come with us, of course. We'll speak French again, won't we, darling?”
“Yes, I think I'd like that very much.”
“And not a motorcar, Edward. I don't want any motoring in France this year. I don't like it.”
“As you wish.”
Claire smiles at me. “He likes to dash about on the roads.”
Edward puts his newspaper down. “I don't dash about.”
“Men must have their amusements.”
Edward grumbles. “You close your eyes, my dear.”
“Close my eyes to what?”
“To the advance of civilization.”
“Oh dear. I think we need more tea. Another pot, Dobbin, and some sugar, please.”
The maid flies. All the maids fly when Claire has need of them. Edward stirs his tea, his face grey, his eyes so completely empty.
Then the maid returns, the blonde Dobbin, the girl who brought my chocolate in the morning. A pot of tea on a silver tray, the color high in her cheeks. As she leans forward to place the pot upon the table, Edward extends his hand to cup the bulging of her bottom.
The girl hesitates a moment. A blush in her cheeks. Then the pot is placed and her back is straight again. Edward's hand hasn't moved. It moves now. A circular movement as he strokes the maid's curving rear.
“She's my favorite,” Edward says. “The prettiest of the lot.”
Claire makes a sound of disapproval. “I don't think so. I think Larkin is much the prettier.”
Edward chuckles. “Well, yes, I suppose they're a pair. But this one has the nicer bottom. And more capability. I don't think women appreciate the importance of capability. One can have them bending nicely to be corked, but it's what they do with it once they have it that counts. Turn, Dobbin, lift your skirts.”
Claire is annoyed. “Edward, not here.”
Edward ignores her. The girls turns. Her plain black dress, her grey petticoat pulled and raised, one hand still holding the silver tray. Her black cotton stockings and milk-white thighs. She wears no drawers, nothing to cover the white bulging orbs and the deep split between. She has a strong bottom, the curving prominent, the flesh firm. Edward dips his fingers in the plate of marmalade and carefully works them between the girl's nether-cheeks.
“Easy, Dobbin. Lean forward a bit.”
She leans forward. Her bottom protruding. I can see his fingers in her bottom-hole, the stretching of the ring. She moves her legs apart. Her black cotton stockings. She arches her back a bit more. Edward's fingers are sliding. Two fingers in and out of the maid's fundament. The girl moans. I see only part of her face, her closed eyes, the glistening of sweat upon her brow. Her mouth hangs open and from the hanging jaws come the bleating sounds of her submission.
He makes her spend. One can see it in the shivering, the wobbling of her legs. She pulls his fingers out of the sucking grasp of her bottom, wipes his hands with a cloth napkin and tosses the napkin at the floor.
“She's a healthy wench. They don't spend so easily when they're not healthy.”