Chelsie DA post wedding fic
Elise’s heart beat rapidly and a fine film of perspiration was building on her forehead, but not all from the sun.
She looked up to concentrate on the gull’s flight path again, hoping it might take her mind away from the dramatic memories of her wedding night, but it was not to be.
She smiled at that particular thought. Not everything was dramatic, she would concede. Some things that occurred were quite humourous.
She remembered twittering merrily and raising her eyebrows as Charlie had demanded to know just whose body she had seen in such a state that she could make comparisons with his size and know he was large. After his delightfully predictable reaction, she'd teased him even further. “How do you know I was meaning the size of--” Instead of finishing the question completely, Elsie had just bobbed her head downwards.
When she looked up again, she began to laugh in earnest at the silly expression on his face. “Silly,” she even said aloud, kissing his nose again. “I have no way of knowing for sure, of course,” she said, matter-of-fact and prim. “I just assumed.” His bushy eyebrows climbed higher towards his hairline. “From your height,” she elaborated with another puff of laughter.
At that last comment his face went even redder, if that was at all possible. Then, without any hint of warning, he kissed her. Just the smallest kiss, placed upon her cheek, as quick as hers upon his nose had been.
And for some reason, it became the sweetest kiss they'd shared since their first. Her pulse quickened just as much as if he had kissed her long and hard, as he would later, with her just clinging to his shoulders trying to keep up. With this gentle kiss, and the way he’d gazed at her after its soft touch, it was her heart trying to keep up, which was terrifying as well as exhilarating, especially at such a delicate time.
“I don’t think it works that way,” he was saying, indulgent, his earlier distress at her assumption apparently having evaporated completely.
“It doesn’t?” She realised her mood had altered just as quickly as his. Her humour had faded along with his indignation, and her demeanour was now completely solemn. Trembling and breathless, her lip was wedged firmly between her teeth as he manoeuvred to drag his pyjama bottoms off his body.
Embarrassed, she focused resolutely on his long legs. His hair covering them was also not as thick as one would have thought, something she already knew from the rolled up trousers on Brighton Beach.
“Are you sure?" she rasped immediately as she caught the quickest glimpse of the newly revealed and surprisingly dark skin they’d been debating. She knew the logic of these things said that she could accommodate him, but she felt quite faint with worry suddenly.
“Elsie, I think we should...” He shifted on the bed and she felt something firm press bruisingly against her thigh. “You see, I’m not agreeing that I’m old,” he joked, “but I’m not sure I can… Wait any longer...”
Elsie’s neatly trimmed nails bit into her palms at the memory. She hadn’t wanted to put his inability to wait any longer down to his age! She much preferred to think he was so enamoured by her charms.
Oh, how she loved to tease Charlie about his age. He still claimed he wasn’t old, but she could still remember him, if not young, younger. It was one thing that Mrs Collins had touched on that did make her nervous when she finally met Mr Carson in the flesh -- his age.
After Mr Fulton’s dithering ways, Mr Carson being still only in his early forties would be quite a change. She quickly calculated his age when he had been promoted and realised that this probably did add some weight to the suggestion that the Dowager had been acting mischievous.
It also made her highly anxious about how inappropriate he was acting with the maids. She doubted Mr Fulton would have known what to do with a maid should one have jumped into the bed beside him, but a man in the prime of his life…
She wouldn’t allow such behaviour to continue she'd decided on the morning of his return. It was her duty to protect the female staff, and if that meant going up against the butler, so be it.
To do such a thing, and still be employed in her position afterwards, would take careful planning and timing. Therefore, during their first few weeks, she carefully observed him. She searched for any hint he might be slipping into the female section of the attics without her knowledge, or favouring any particular maid, or forcing himself on any of them. She, of course, never did find any evidence of such a thing.
After a while, she realised she wasn’t the only one making discreet observations. As she went about her daily business, she started to sense Mr Carson was watching her.
Sometimes she would turn from some task to find him quite near, his lofty height and width of his shoulders infringing upon her personal space.
Often she simply knew his deepset eyes were following her movements from beneath their bushy brows without having to raise her head from her task to confirm if she was to be proven correct or not.
And oddly, even though the idea should have been preposterous, his intense scrutiny didn’t perturb her. In fact, she began to relax around him and even found his presence calming at times.
Three months from the date of his return, she made a decision. She decided it was Mr Carson she trusted and believed, and it was Mrs Collins, and the three maids still talking as though one of them would be claiming him as a prize, who would need to go.
She arranged for one maid to be employed by Lady Painswick’s house permanently; one was sent to the Flintshire Scottish estate; and one was let go completely, though she did soften and give the girl a reference.
“All three?” he repeated when she explained the arrangements one evening. “At once?”
He smelt of silver polish, but when she quickly glanced down there was no evidence of the grey cream on his hands. His long fingers distracted her momentarily as they curled around the decanter he’d been carrying. She managed to nod, worriedly chewing on her bottom lip. She had never been good at being demure. Now that she had set Beccy up with Mrs Fellowes, she desperately needed this job. What if he thought she was completely batty and let her go instead of the three maids.
“Could I ask why?”
It was a question she’d been prepared for, and she’d thought seriously about telling him some lie, or at least a half truth, on the subject. However, now, with his deep hazel eyes gazing down at her, she realised she could do no such thing. She couldn’t lie to him. “No,” she stuttered, wondering if she had put herself perhaps at a disadvantage by confronting him in the butler’s pantry. “It’s best you don’t know, Mr Carson. I need you to trust me on this, but I want you to know I’m… I’m on your side.”
He would tell her on their wedding night that he had been probing gently to try and get her to admit she thought he was having a love affair with one of these maids, never dreaming she thought all three were suspects.
His gaze took in her flushed cheeks, and then dipped to watch as she licked the ragged skin of her bottom lip. “Alright then,” he finally agreed. “Mrs Hughes… Can I just say how well you have fit in with my ways,” he said, his ever-so-correct diction full of praise.
She blinked up at him. Shouldn’t he be more worried as to whether she was fitting in with the Crawleys?
“And I’m happy to have you on my side.”
She let out a breath, one she hadn’t even known she was holding. She also hadn’t realised she was trying very hard to please him. So much for her stubborn streak of independence that her father had always spoken of.
Flustered at her own submissiveness, she gave him a quick nod, and was at the doorway when he called out, “Mrs Hughes!” unexpectedly.
She turned, her hand gripping the doorknob to steady her, waiting. He cleared his throat and tidied his jacket cuffs, flicking at an invisible piece of lint on his sleeve.
“Yes, Mr Carson?”
“I’m… I’m on your side too,” he said, gruff.
It was a sentiment he often repeated over the years. One from which she would never tire.
“I’ll always be on your side,” she whispered now. She spread herself apart so that he could comfortably position himself between her legs. His fingers danced around, touching her intimately, calming her, exciting her. She closed her eyes; he kissed her lids, her earlobe, her neck.
When she realised she was making mewing noises, she felt him shift again, moving away from her.
“Charlie…” Her voice was wispy, needy. Her pelvis lifted off the mattress, searching for his touch.
“Elsie,” he murmured, bending forward to kiss the creased skin at the side of her now-wide open eyes.
His hand moved between them again, and this time he was touching himself, positioning himself. Then, she felt a push and the briefest pain.
She whirled around. Charles stood just behind her, addressing her in such a sensible way. Not at all like the way he was groaning it in her less than proper daydream.
“I brought you back this.” He held out an ice-cream. He grinned, his lack of seriousness making her heart skip and her face flush even further. Hopefully, he’d just put that down to her pale skin in the sunlight.
She desperately wanted to step forward and kiss him as a greeting, perhaps grasp his hand. He probably wouldn’t appreciate such behaviour in public, so instead she simply thanked him politely.
He bent and rolled his trouser legs up to his knees.
She turned away, faced the bay again, pressed the cold dessert to her lips and chided herself. Surely she wasn't going to instantly combust from the sight of his legs, as long and lean as they were.
“I got this from the chap at the end of the pier,” he chatted conversationally, obviously not noticing her uncertainty, or her desire to greet him warmly. “Not at that corner monstrosity,” he was continuing, referring to the new ice-cream and soda parlour called the Corner Cafe which had recently opened up in Scarborough, its atmosphere and menu supposedly mirroring those you’d find in America.
She turned to give him some teasing comment, but he was carefully folding his shirt sleeves up to his elbows and she was temporarily mesmerised by the way such a simple thing made his arms appear sculpted and muscular.
“I know, I know,” he went on as if she’d spoken anyway. “But I can only support one new thing at a time.”
He straightened and pulled down on his waistcoat, full of importance. “I got the tickets,” he announced proudly.
“You never did.” She knew she must be sporting a grin from ear to ear, and in her excitement, she momentarily ignored her anxious reflection. “I thought there’d be no hope. Was the old butler friend you mentioned really working there then?”
“He was. In the office, as reported. I can’t believe it really. A butler of his calibre working for a failed tourist attraction.”
She wasn’t familiar with this colleague of Charlie’s. Or should she say ex-colleague. He’d heard this man had found employment at Galaland and had gone off to see if any tickets to the much sought after grand re-opening of the former Scarborough Aquarium could be obtained.
“He left service a while ago though?” she wondered. She’d not heard him talk about the man until this trip.
“Yes, over 15 years now. We had a nice long chat over tea. He’s had many occupations, none very lucrative, but none unworthy, I suppose.”
“Praise indeed! Did his employer pass away?” she asked, thinking of Mr Molesley’s situation after the death of Mr Matthew, and hers after Mrs Fairfax’s death.
“No, no, nothing so ordinary. He… He left because… He married the housekeeper,” he finally admitted.
“Well, I never! So we aren’t so unique.”
“Well… I wouldn’t say that.”
Somehow his words came out very suggestive. Very unlike him. It made her smile and hope.
“They were forced to resign,” he admitted glumly.
“Lucky I was only mildly attracted to you 20 years ago then,” she murmured.
“Mildly?” he bit out, disbelieving. Bold, he captured her hand. “I think I can give you one or two examples to prove mild is an inadequate adjective,” he added, confident.
She looked down at their joined hands, his thumb rubbing over her knuckles soothingly despite the harshness of his tone. Was it she who did not want to show affection in public? Was she the one so conditioned to hide her attraction to him?
“Do you remember the pin prick?” she whispered.
His breath came out in a huff. “Just before I left for the London Season?”
She nodded. “It was the end of our first year working together,” she confirmed. “You remember?” she asked again, faintly.
He had come to her sitting room the night before he was to leave again for London. Quite late at night, after most of the other servants had retired for the evening. She had been seated, head bowed, her attention fully taken with darning socks when her sitting room door had opened after a cursory knock.
“I was wondering if you would like to try this?” he asked, holding out an offer a small glass and a decanter half full of red wine. “Or don’t you drink?” he added, hesitant.
“I’m Scottish,” she deadpanned in return.
And he smiled at that. It was the first time she’d really seen him smile, and she’d found herself reacting in an unexpected way.
“Oh bother!” she’d exclaimed when before she knew it blood had oozed from one of her fingers. She’d allowed herself to be so distracted by his relaxed expression she’d slipped and the darning needle had pierced her skin.
“What a very foolish thing to do,” he chided, making her head lift with indignation immediately. But the sparkle of humour in his features had made any suitable rebuke fade away. He had been making a joke. The first one he’d made since they’d met. She wanted to tell him how nicely it suited him.
He came forward and cupped her hand gently, stemming the flow with a white handkerchief he retrieved from his pocket. For one faint moment, which she was sure was only caused by blood loss, she thought he was going to lift her finger to his mouth and suck the blood from her wound.
A crash from the kitchen made them jump apart.
Shaking, she sank back into her chair and held the handkerchief tightly whilst he poured the drinks.
“Thank you,” she whispered hoarsely as he passed her a glass.
They sipped on their drinks without saying another word. And he left the next morning without saying goodbye. And yet…
Her finger bothered her for days afterwards, every time she touched something which set off the sting. And each time it hurt she’d think about him and his lips and his mouth.
His lips and his mouth had certainly made up for the years since their nuptials.
“Are you alright?” he asked after they finally came together completely as husband and wife.
“I think so,” she murmured, shifting beneath him until she found it comfortable. “And you?”
He just nodded frantically, making her smile again.
Next, he began to move. And she along with him.
At first, they both moved slowly. Elsie was unsure of just how exactly she was supposed to move, and their first few moments were taken up with her fretting whether she should lift her hips more, and where she should place her hands, and whether or not she should widen her legs further.
That initial awkwardness didn’t last, however. Within seconds, being together left her with a comforting feeling, and their movements turned completely natural.
His lower body pulled away from her, but just before they lost contact altogether, he pressed fully inside her once more. He repeated this action, over and over, so slowly, so sweetly, rubbing along her sensitive body parts with achingly patient strokes each time.
Her hands touched his shoulders, drifted down his back, fingering each bone of his spine. She cupped his buttocks as he’d cupped her breasts earlier, fascinated as his muscles clenched and softened as he thrust into her again and again, eliciting soft cries of joy each time.
Then, with a groan, one she was unsure whether or not he or she uttered, he quickened his pace.
“I’ve been such a fool,” she whispered, rocking back against the mattress as every movement became harder and faster.
“No,” he replied, as if he knew as to what subject she was referring to when mentioning her foolishness.
Her movements were now flowing with and then counteracting his.
“We shouldn’t have waited. So nice.” She was rambling and she couldn’t stop. It was either this or screaming in pleasure. “We should have done this then. When we were young. When we met. I wanted to, you know. Please say you did too.”
“No,” he insisted. “Stop it, Elsie.” Then, he said the words that made her stiffen beneath him and tears to gather in her eyes. “I only want you now. Not then.”
-End of Chapter Five-