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Okay okay okay. I've had, well, frankly rather a lot of comments asking about Sick of Shadows. And these comments are awesome and really flattering, but also, um, kind of stressful. Because I'd like to write because I want to, not because others want me to, and recently I haven't wanted to work on this as much as I've been completely consumed by Chuck Writes, this HP fic I'm writing, and this awesome HP fic I'm beta'ing. I could make myself work on Sick of Shadows, but that feels less fun than well, the intentions with which I started it.

So, I was busy being stressed out about this, because I do have large portions of the next chapter of SOS done, but it's not done done, and I want it to be the fic I want. Then I realized: part of what I like about this style of posting and fic writing is getting to see authors' processes, watching them talk through ideas and develop something through all the steps. Now, I know some people have strong opinions about this: they think that fanfics should be finished products, like any other story, fully formed. I totally respect this opinion and think it's completely valid; I just don't happen to agree.

So, what I decided to do was show you what was happening with the fic—by which I mean, give you lots and lots of porn, only pieces of which will appear in the final product. Some of you would be satisfied because you're getting porn. Some of you will be satisfied because it's sort of Sick of Shadows, even though it's not. Some of you will be satisfied because you're like me, and enjoy authors' processes. Those of you who are not satisfied, I apologize! There are plenty of other things to read. Go read them.

Oh, I should add, if you're interested in Victorian porn, it probably isn't necessary to have read the rest of this fic to read this.

So (every paragraph begins with so!) the problem with Sick of Shadows is that I wrote this big huge sex scene, that took place part way into chapter nine. My mind did not write this sex scene. My libido did. Both my mind and my libido appreciate it very much—I think this is a fun sex scene.

However, my mind tells me it doesn't fit the story. It's not what I wanted to write. I wanted to write about Victorian repression, and how this could affect sex. And then I saw The Vibrator Play, which is just this amazing, awesome thing that everyone should go see. And I realized while watching it that the themes in that play were some of the reasons I wrote this story, and I think those themes are still valid today, even though it's all about Victorian sexuality. Because lots of people are pretty repressed, and I feel like it's important to work through that and deal with it, and not have it all be this—magical, falling into each others' arms thing.

This porn has a bit of magical, falling into each others' arms flavor. It's a bit awkward, but in the very nice way, not in the, “I'm actually seriously uncomfortable” way, and I want to be uncomfortable. I don't necessarily want the initial John Margaret scene to be sexy. I want it to be about how it's not sexy, and kind of scary, and nothing quite goes right because they need to work on it to make it better.

However much my mind loves that (and finds it totally hot!), my libido still wrote this. And it's much easier to write something my libido loves than something my brain is happy with. So, I don't think that this is how the second part of chapter 9 of Sick of Shadows will look. But if you want to, you can read it, and I hope you like it as much as I do. :o)

Here we go:

Semi-scrapped Sick of Shadows porn, post Chapter 9 A

They bid goodnight to the Lennoxes and Aunt Shaw, who returned to Harley Street. When the rest of the company returned to Tavistock Square, everyone retired directly.

Margaret did not have to wait up for her husband. As he had the night before, Mr Thornton came into the bed chamber with her. She was not sure what to say. People were so willing to speak of shame, but not to speak of what they were ashamed. Margaret understood why; she knew that Adam and Eve had seen their nakedness and felt ashamed, and so they hid it. Shame meant hiding and concealment.

But Margaret had so rarely seen the things that shame kept covered. She had hardly ever seen nakedness, in so many senses of the word. She had seen Mr Thornton’s naked back, and felt ashamed. And yet, she was tired of being afraid.

“I am sorry again for last night,” Mr Thornton said almost immediately, when he had shut the door behind them.

Margaret gathered her courage. “You ran away from me.”

“I promised that I would not take advantage of you.” Swallowing, he said, “I still will not.”

“You would not be taking advantage. I am your wife.”

He looked stung. “I do not speak of the vows of marriage I made, which were much more general. I speak of the vows I made to you, and myself. I said that I would not do anything you do not want to do.”

“You do not know what I want to do.”

“I know well enough, Margaret.” His voice was husky.

“How do you know? You did not ask.”

“What do you wish me to say?” By his hard jaw and taut posture, she thought that he was reining in some great emotion. She thought that he was trembling. “Do you wish me to tell you how you stiffen when I touch you? How you stand as cold as a statue when I kissed you? And how despite your disgust—perhaps even because of it, by God—I still want you?”

Margaret moved away, looking at the fire, because seeing him helped her to think. “Yes,” she said, after a long, deep breath. “I prefer you to tell me. At least it gives me a starting place.”

Silence stretched out until the fire in the hearth popped. “I am delighted to be of service to you,” Mr Thornton said. His voice was not cruel, but it was not politely meant.

“I do not feel cold,” Margaret said.

There was a pause. “Excuse me?”

She turned back to him. “I did not feel cold last night. I was not disgusted.”

For a long moment, he regarded her. Then he looked away. “I know that you wish to do your duty—”

“I am not speaking of duty!”

“Of what, then?”

Margaret moved away, thinking of how to explain her thoughts, and the language she should use. She had heard ribald things said among women who were not proper, but even then those things had been whispered. She turned back to Mr Thornton. “I thought that women only ever submitted to it out of duty.”

“That,” he said, “is not . . . .” Dull colour came to his cheeks. “I did not know you thought that. I do not believe it to be true.”

“How am I supposed to know?” Margaret’s voice was sharp. “No one speaks of such things. They shroud it up in secrecy and in shame; they close their doors and their eyes. Was it a crime that I wished to defend you that day?”

It took him a moment to perceive that she was speaking of the riot. “It was not.”

“And yet we are come to this: we must be married, because of shame that is secret even to myself.”

He grew very stiff. “I am sorry if our marriage—”

“I have not attacked you.” Margaret drew herself up. “Do not speak as though I have attacked you. Wait until your turn; now, let me attack you. I have spoken against those who forced us to marry. I have not condemned our marriage—you did that on your own.”

“I have not condemned our marriage.” Mr Thornton came closer, and now the colour in his face was hot frustration.

“Yet you do when you refuse to speak to me of these things; you apologize, and you stumble, and you appear to hate me and yourself, but you will not tell me why.”

He looked disgusted. “I should think it obvious that I do not hate you.”

“You ran away, instead of speaking to me.” Margaret's voice was sharp. “No one ever says what they really mean, or how they really feel. I feel so much shame, and I am afraid, and you would not explain. You did not speak to me; you ran away, and I am frustrated—”

He made a little soothing noise, and came closer. He touched her face, smoothing back a tendril of hair. He could never have heard her speak this way before. She had never heard herself speak this way before; never before had she been so out of her element, so at a loss. “I am sorry I ran away,” Mr Thornton said, so gently it had the effect of infuriating her. “I promise, I will try to answer any questions that you have. I should not have run from you.”

“Why did you run away from me?”

He flushed, colour spreading from his neck. For a moment, he made her feel as though he was directly in her power, as though because she had asked a question, he was compelled to answer. As though he were her servant. In spite of this, his eyes held hers. “I thought that I might not be able to stop,” he said.

“I did not want you to stop.”

The silence was so solid and clear, it was like a crystal between them. The fire popped in the hearth.

Mr Thornton’s face drained of colour. “Margaret, perhaps you had better tell me; do you mean . . .” He did not seem able to complete his sentence.

She hated that. She hated secrecy; she hated that all was not out in the open. She wanted everything to be laid bare, and at last this honesty had become far more important than her own modesty. And so when she began to speak, she told him the exact truth, in every painful detail. “When you are close to me,” she said, “I do not feel—I feel such discomfort, as though I cannot stand the feeling of you beside me any more.”

He flinched.

She still did not care. She went on. “When you touch me, I feel as though I have just run a mile, and there is an ache in my chest. I only want you to stop so that I can catch my breath, so that I can feel cool again. And yet I enjoy your presence. I am sorry I do not—I do not feel for you as you wish me to, but if only I could have time to become used to you, I might control my own body so that I may feel differently.” She saw him open his mouth, and hurried on to speak, feeling sure that he meant to protest. “Can you not see that I do wish to be near you? I am eager for our conversations. And yet the sound of your voice makes me uncomfortable—I do not dislike your voice, or what you say; I mean that I am afraid, and ashamed—but I do not mean that you should stop talking. I want—I want—”

It was as though he could not stand to listen any more. He took two great strides toward her, and then had her enveloped in his arms, his lips sealed to hers to swallow all her vexed, thwarted words.

He kissed her and she was shocked still, the heat of which she had spoken coursing through her, licking at her heart, her neck, her lips where his touched hers. Shame flared up, as hot as all this heat, but she was half convinced he would run from her again. She forced her stiff fingers up to clutch his coat. She would not let him go.

He pulled back. “Do you want me to stop?”

“No.” Tightening her grip on his coat, she lifted her head.

“Margaret.” He looked at her in disbelief, and then kissed her again, swiftly. “Forgive me,” he said. “You are so proud and so certain. It never occurred to me that you could feel this way.”

She let go of his coat, turning from his slightly. “I do not know which way I feel.”

“That did not occur to me either.” When she looked up at him in inquiry, he said, “That you could be confused.”

She recoiled. “It is only human.”

“I know. That is what I mean.” She did not know what he meant. He was still holding her, his hand moving against the side of her face, the thick coils of her hair. She could hear that his voice was thready as his eyes searched her face. “I have been paralyzed by shame and uncertainty. I never stopped to think that you might feel the same.”

“I have tried not to lie.” Her voice sounded hollow, even to her own ears.

“You have not lied. I have only misunderstood you.” His expression was so open; he radiated regret. “Tell me what you would have me do.”

Humiliated by the thousand things she wanted to say and ask, she made herself say the one that was most difficult. “I am willing.” Her face was red hot. “It is not out of duty.”

He kissed her again, and she gripped his coat. His mouth travelled down her throat. She had not known that people kissed each other there; she would never have thought, had she known, that it could make her feel this way. Raw heat coiled in her belly. She stood still, as though any movement might cause him to startle and flee.

He pulled away. His face still held that open, sorry expression. “I cannot . . . you must . . .”

She drew herself up. “What must I do?”

“Margaret.” He kissed her again; his lips were on her cheek, her jaw, her throat, beside her ear. “You must show me, or I cannot,” he breathed. She could hear him swallow. “You must show me you are willing.”

“I am.”

His arms went around her, and he held her tightly. His lips were still by her ear. “I know. I believe you. You must relax.”

Margaret tried. “I cannot.”

“You can,” he murmured. “I think I believe you can do anything.” He kissed her by her ear again, and she shuddered.

She was afraid; she felt ashamed; she was not in control; she felt—

“Can you understand how much I want you?” he asked.

Margaret shuddered again.

“Do not be afraid.” He kissed her throat. “Open your mouth.”

She felt the wet of his tongue against her lips. She opened her mouth; she would take him as far as he would go, if it would keep him close. She realized now what he meant about relaxing, for she could feel herself sinking. She could feel herself letting go, and it felt like drowning. She did not like the feeling, and yet she wanted it; she wanted him.

He tore his mouth from hers. “You only have to say ‘stop’,” he said. “Say, ‘stop, John’, and immediately, I will. Margaret.” He kissed her again, swift and hard. “Promise me you will ask me to stop if you want me to. I cannot—I cannot any other way.”

She trembled all over. “I will ask you to stop,” she promised. “But only if you keep going.”

The sound he made was like a low groan, somewhere deep in his chest. “Margaret,” he breathed, and kissed her throat again. She clutched his hair, drawing his head deeper to the crook she made in her neck, all her limbs feeling awkward and like wood, and yet she knew she needed to keep him close. She thought that she heard herself whimper.

“Margaret,” he whispered again, against the silk skin beneath her ear. His voice croaked with longing. “I want you so much, so dearly, I—” he kissed her, a swift catch of lips—“I thought that everything would happen in a kind of progression in my head; it was so straightforward. I thought that I could make you love me; it did not occur to me that this was a part of love. The way you have felt, I have felt it too. I was ashamed, humiliated; I thought that I could not deserve you.”

“Is it wrong?” she whispered, still clutching him.

“It is not. I believe it is not.”

She had never been able to tell what he really wanted. It gratified her to learn that he had felt the same shame, the same vexations, and she wondered if these revelations meant that this secret shame was behind them now. “Perhaps this is what marriage is for,” she said. “When two people feel as we do.”

“Show me,” he said. “Please, show me.”

She moved to kiss him in the way that he had her; she moved down along his jaw, his throat. His cravat was in the way. It occurred to her that she might untie it. She might untie it even without asking, because he was hers. She had decided this before, but it was coming to her now that he really did belong to her, and she to him. They might do anything privately together if they both wanted it. There was no one outside to know.

So with trembling fingers, and without so much as a by your leave, she untied his cravat. This elicited that deep sound he had made before, only now more like a growl. “Margaret, do not be afraid.”

Once his cravat was loose, she applied her lips to his throat again. She could taste salt on him, and feel the prickles of a beard only just beginning. She still wanted more, and so her hand went to the shirt beneath the cravat. She slid her hands under his jacket. “Take this off,” she told him.

“Yes,” he said. “Anything.” He swiftly dispensed with the outward garment.

She toyed with the white collar of the shirt underneath for a while, trying to decide whether she had the courage to begin work on the buttons. His breath came heavily; she could see his throat moving. It was fluid and so strong; she was entranced by it.

“Please,” Mr Thornton said.

She began to unbutton the shirt. Even as his chest was revealed to her, she could not take her eyes from his throat. “Swallow, John,” she told him.

He gulped, as if he could not help but obey, and she caught her breath as his Adam’s apple bobbed. She surged up and kissed him there, her hands going to his chest, seeking the bare skin and hair beneath his shirt. “This was one of the things that made me so uncomfortable,” she told him, laying one of her fingers against his throat.

He gulped again.

“I like to watch you speak,” she said. Her hands moved down in his shirt. She felt terribly indecent somehow, and yet he had told her that this was everything he wanted. This was what he had been telling her he wanted from her, and she wanted it too. It could not be wrong, she thought, if they did these things in privacy, if they respected each other, and they both desired it. God would not have made them so.

She planted little kisses down his throat to the hollow between his collarbones, a hollow she could now claim as hers.

“Margaret.” John pulled her head up, and was kissing her mouth again, all ardent longing and hot pressure. He pulled away. “Come with me to the bed.” He pulled her over to his side of the room, where so many of her sleepless nights had been focused. “Sit down here,” he told her. They sat on the bed, and he began to kiss her again.

She pulled off his untied cravat, and left it for the floor. Going back to working on his shirt buttons, she let him distract her with his tongue, strong and hot in her mouth. Tentatively, she touched his with hers, and instantly he retreated. “Please,” he told her again, and then his mouth was back on hers.

Eventually she realized what he wanted, and hesitantly, she opened her mouth wider, her own tongue in his mouth. This made him moan quite low; he welcomed her there with an aching openness, urging her to explore. She felt that he liked her to act in this way, to take initiative this way, to command him this way. She felt that he ached for her to. He encouraged her with such gentle persistence, and melted with so much approval when she did as he persuaded. It made her long for more, to do more things, to take it farther, but she did not know exactly what the next step was.

He told her. “Your dress.”

“Yes. Please.”

His hands gently stroked the sleeves, the beginnings of her neckline. “Turn around.”

She turned so that he could unfasten the back. His hands were not swift and efficient over the clasps, as her own would have been, or Sarah, or any other woman. They fumbled, uncertain, and this made her heart beat harder. She did not know if he had done this before. She thought it impossible that he had not, and yet also impossible that he had. Surely he could not have felt such a powerful thing for any other person, and he had demanded that she feel the same of him. And yet it seemed to her that many women might feel the same for Mr Thornton. The things she so admired in him were out there in the open for anyone to admire; his mother was always saying that—

Then Margaret stopped thinking of his mother, because he had finally gotten half the clasps loose enough to slip one side of her dress off of her shoulder. He was kissing her there, teasingly, she thought, while he fumbled with the rest of the clasps. Somehow the fact that he was so clumsy with them made her feel as hot and trembling as his kisses.

Then he nipped her on the shoulder, the little sting of teeth. “That is in case you are getting bored, because I am slow.” His voice tickled the hair curling around her ear. He sounded teasing, but she could hear the uncertainty.

“No,” she said.

And now she could hear the relief, the warmth surge, when he said, “Good.” He pressed his lips to the spot his teeth had touched. Then as he got the last of the clasps managed, his lips closed around her earlobe, and he sucked there until she gave a little cry.

He seem content to kiss her neck, to touch her spine and exposed shoulder. He touched her gently for a long time, exploring every contour, wondering touches that were gentle, and so new. But she could not see his face, and at last she did become impatient. “John.”

“I said that you would become bored.” There was a little pause in which he did not touch her at all. When he spoke again, the humour had bled out. His voice was strained. “Margaret, do you want to stop?”

“What?” She twisted around to look at him, surprised. “No.” There was a doubt in his eyes that made her heart ache. She clasped his hands with hers. “I still do not know how it will feel, but so far I like it. It is much better than feeling awkward and too cramped for one’s skin.”

His eyes were very bright just now. “I thought that it was I who made you feel awkward. I wanted you so much.”

“Then why did you stay away?” She was truly curious.

“Your feelings were so important to me. I had dreams of you. You would come to me, and physically I—” He did not seem able to finish. She hoped that one day he would. Instead, he said, his voice breaking with want, “But in those dreams you were devoid of what you really are. Your heart, your mind. I wanted you to come to me because you wanted to, or else it would not be you.”

“John.” She pressed the back of his hand to her lips again. She was not sure what he meant entirely, only that it made her heart ache. Slowly, she stood. Embarrassment licked a blush through her, thinking of what she was about to do. But she remembered all that she had thought about what was allowed to them in private, what was right between them, and with determination, she slipped her dress down.

As it went down over her petticoats and to her feet, John said, “Let me.” He held her hand so she could step out of the dress. He picked it up and moved to lay it gently over a chair, taking care with it, as if it were precious. Then he came back and kissed her, more gently than ever before, his lips softly sucking on her top one, then the bottom. He moved as though they had all the time in the world.

“John,” she said.

“This is next, I think.” His hands settled on the swell of her crinoline, just at her hips.

“Yes.” Obediently, she turned around.

He was clumsy there, too. At last he found the ties, and helped her step out of the petticoats, as he had with her gown. But after he had placed these over with her dress, he stopped to look at her, and Margaret felt herself blush bright scarlet. Her chemise only came to her knees. He would not have seen her legs before. She could not believe he was seeing them now, and yet she was glad. Suddenly hiding her legs from her husband seemed so silly.

He breathed her name, and came toward her. It was only when he began to kiss her again that she realized his hands were shaking. He settled them on her hips again, the heat of his hands easily burning through chemise and drawers. He had never felt so close before. He kissed her face; he kissed her throat. His lips travelled down to the tops of her breasts over her corset, and she caught her breath.

“This next, I think.” She moved his hands up her hips to her waist, against the bone of her corset.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

The smile he gave her was one the she remembered. It was the one that made years slide off his face; he looked boyish and eager and so full of wonder. It made her heart ache, that smile, and she wanted to be close to him and a part of him all at once.

But instead of beginning any work on the corset, he only gazed at her in that way, seeming so happy. His hands were still at her waist, thumbs moving in small circles. She would have thought she would be embarrassed, to be standing before him in such a state—just corset, chemise, and drawers—but she was not. It felt natural to be exposed to John. It was what she wanted.

But he was not looking at her state of undress, her exposed shins or the tops of her breasts. Instead his eyes roved all over his face as he wore that wondering, clear look. He swallowed hard. “Will you take down your hair?”

“My . . . now?”

He swallowed again. “Yes.”

Her lips parted in surprise at the want in that one word. Her eyes were round as she realized that somehow he must like it. Perhaps her hair down did the same things to him that the sight of his bare back had done to her.

“Come with me.” She led him to her vanity. Sitting down before it, she drew his hand to her bare shoulder. “Take it down for me.”

He applied himself to the task in his unskilled way. She could feel him fumbling with the combs and clips. He was all thumbs, and yet his hands were so gentle. When his fingers brushed her scalp it was with the lightest touch. “Do you like it down?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“You were watching me last night, when I took it down, before we danced?”

“Yes.”

Her heart felt as though it would push into her throat. She had known he watched; she had not known he watched in that way. When he had got it all down, she asked, “Will you brush it out for me?”

“Yes,” he said again, and took the brush she handed him.

The strokes were so careful she was sure they would not have done any good, had there been any snarls. Luckily she usually styled it so smoothly that it was not tangled by the end of the day. She closed her eyes and his fingers brushed the side of her face, pulling back locks of her hair there again and again for the brush.

Suddenly he swept it all aside, and his mouth descended to the back of her neck, little kisses there until her breath came short and she wanted more all over again.

She stood and turned back to him. “Now it is your turn.” She started in on the buttons of his vest. He kissed her as she unbuttoned them. “John,” she said, as she tried to push it off his shoulders.

“I like it when you call me by my name,” he said hoarsely.

“I know. Take this off.”

He took off the vest, letting it fall carelessly to the floor. She applied herself to his shirt buttons, and instead of kissing her now he watched her do it. “I like to watch your hands doing things like this.”

She faltered. “Like what?”

“Simple things,” was all he said. He slipped a finger inside her bracelet, making it slide up her wrist, back down her arm.

Margaret looked down at it. “Should I take it off?”

“No.” He let go of the bracelet. “Not that.” For a moment he was silent as she worked on the buttons. “Do you want me to take off this?” He tugged his shirt.

“I want to.” She pulled it out from where it was tucked in, drawing it down on one of his arms. He had to help her, and then she made him turn around so she could draw it down off the other. Then she was facing his back, that broad, strong back that she had glimpsed before. She moved closer to lay her cheek against it, to feel the hard plane of it, to breathe in the scent of him. She traced her finger over the strong, sure lines, wrapping her other arm around his front so she could feel him as he breathed.

“What are you doing?” he said.

“This gave me trouble too.” She pressed her lips against his shoulder blade. Then she could not help herself; she laid down tiny kisses against that strong curve, over and over, until he whirled around and caught her in his arms again.

He kissed her full and deep, then held her back. His eyes were troubled and dark. There was doubt in his voice. “I cannot believe you feel this way.”

A small sound escaped her; she reached for him. “I do not know what way I feel. Is there a name for this thing?”

“Describe it to me,” he said huskily, holding her in his arms.

Nestling her cheek against his chest, she told him. This way she did not have to see his eyes. “Warm. Trembling. I feel cold without you touching me. My heart feels too big; it is pounding. I feel ashamed—” His arms tightened. “I have never imagined doing this with you, being here with you, like this. And yet I feel that I have. There were times when I thought that you would touch me, when I thought of us before each other, as equal, stripped bare. There is an ache low in my body, burning; I want to run from it, but it is also . . . so sweet. It is warm and wet and aching and I—I—”

He made a sound like a muffled curse, and caught her up again, kissing her. He bent her back until she was liquid in his arms, until he was all that held her up. The hot line of his lips down her throat defined her, and he said, “Margaret. Margaret.”

At last she came back to herself enough to turn around, giving him the laces of her corset. “Take it off of me.”

Obediently, he began to fiddle with the knot at the bottom. It took him a long time. “Do these come all the way out?” He tugged on a lace.

It made her heart feel swollen past its normal size to have to tell him. “You only have to loosen them,” she said, as tenderly as she could. “There are clasps in the front.”

He loosened a lace, then moved up and loosen another. “Like this?” His breath was warm in her ear, his voice soft, a little uncertain.

She closed her eyes and breathed. “Yes, John. Like that.”

When she felt the corset loosen enough to slip off, she turned to face him. Her eyes shone as she looked up to him. “Now the clasps.”

He hesitated, until she drew his hands up to the busk just between her breasts. “Here,” she told him.

He clumsily unfastened the loops on the busks from their posts on the other side, the metal eyehooks tiny and delicate in comparison to his blunt fingers. His brows knit in concentration over the intricacy of the task. But at last he got them all free, and the corset slipped down. He unwrapped it, taking it off of her. Though he held the corset in his hands, he seemed unable to look away from her body, covered now only by her thin chemise and drawers.

She had to cast her eyes down. She wanted him to look at her, and yet it was too much, too strange. He could see almost everything, now, and there was that hungry, avid look in his eyes. She not only wanted it, she needed it, and yet she felt herself go hot with shame.

He went to lay her corset over with her other things.

“Shoes,” she said. Going back over her vanity, she sat down, and began to undo the buttons on her boots.

“Let me.” He came to kneel before her, taking her boot in his hand.

She was beginning to learn that his hands were not suited to any of this work. They were certainly unused to it. Even his confusion over her corset did not quite answer the question of his experience with intimacy. There were women who wore no corsets. But if John had known a woman before, it must have been a very long time ago. Margaret felt certain of it. He could not be so clumsy, if anything else were the case. It made her feel a violent pride, a possessiveness that consumed her. She did not want to think of him this way with any other woman. She did not want him to be with anyone but her. He was hers.

Her hands came to lift his head up as he got done with the buttons, gentle on either side of his face. She kissed him on the brow, the nose, his mouth. He blinked in surprise at her ardent gentleness, and she kissed him on his eyelids, his temple. She brushed back his hair and kissed that too.

She thought of all the things that had made her ache so, these past few days: his love for his sister, his gentleness to her. She thought of his keen mind, his even, steady reasoning. She thought of his preposterous defensiveness, of the way he was so certain he would be attacked. She thought of these things and wondered if this was what love felt like, and kissed him again.

He did not take his eyes from her as one broad hand settled about her ankle, and the other slid off the unbuttoned boot. Then his hand stroked down her foot, over and around through the stocking, feeling the arch, caressing it. He set the boot aside.

“Now the other,” he said, but his hands covered her knees. She shivered, because he had not touched her there yet. “Do not be afraid.” He pulled her knees apart.

Her eyes went wide. She was immediately uncomfortable. To sit so improperly in front of a man—to sit so improperly at all—was against everything in her. Her thighs seemed to scream a protest born of years and years of habit.

But he had told her not to be afraid, and now he moved to kneel between her legs, so that she could not close them. He worked on her other boot, a little more practised at it now, and at last slipped it off.

Then he wrapped a hand around the top of her shin, and slid up. “These,” he said, finding the tops of her stockings. They were underneath her drawers; they were halfway up her thighs.

Margaret was afraid and full of longing. She felt she had had courage, up till now, but she felt so strange. All the aching heat seemed to have found a place to settle, right between her legs. She throbbed there with fear and want, wanting to hide herself somehow, if only she could close her legs. But his hands were strong on her thighs, and he was situated between them. “Yes, John,” she said, her breath noisy.

He smiled, his whole face gentle and alight. Then he began to slip down her stocking, his hands sure and steady now, stroking down her leg.

She gasped at the way he touched her calf, the way he stroked down and rounded around her heel and then her bare arch. The stocking was off. He tickled her feet. “John!”

“Yes?” His expression for the first time that night was innocent.

Considering her spread legs, her exposed calf, her breasts hanging free beneath her light chemise, that innocence made her feel indecent. “Do not tease me.”

His brows rose. His tone was light, and yet still she could hear the uncertainty as he asked for the third time that night, “Do you want to stop?”

“No. Do not ask me. I would tell you.”

The teasing innocence returned. He glanced down. “But your toes are perfect.”

“John, do not. I feel—I feel uncomfortable, and—and raw; I feel afraid. I do not want you to stop; I want—I want—”

He cut her off by kissing her. She thought that if she was not careful, he would begin to make a habit of that. “I will try to hurry,” he said, whispering into her mouth, tone utterly altered. Then he drew her other stocking off without all the light, teasing touches down her thigh, over her knee. For all that she had told him not to tease, she missed that playfulness.

He drew her to stand up. “Come back to the bed.”

She started to go, then paused. “You have boots too. Come.” She tugged his hand. “Now you sit,” she said, pressing on his chest.

She knelt before him as he had knelt, and drew off his boots. She did this with some little struggle, as she was not any more familiar taking off men’s boots than he was with a woman’s. Still, she was more efficient than he, and soon had them set aside. Then she rolled down his stockings, too, pulling them from under the legs of his trousers. His legs were strong, the coarse hairs there rough to her touch.

He drew her up to sit with him on the bed, and kissed her again, and again. When at last his hands travelled over her shoulders, over her chemise, she was aching for his touch. Then he was gently brushing the side of her breast through the thin cloth. He was touching her there, holding her, lifting that sweet weight in his cupped palm.

Margaret gasped into his mouth; she kissed him deeper. She had never noticed the weight of her breasts before, never found that weight a burden. But to be relieved of it, so gently, in this tender way, to feel his fingers brush the spot below that curve, on her ribs, where no one ever touched: this was freedom. This was liberty.

“John,” she said again, for the thousandth time that night, and pulled his other hand up. He was touching her through the light fabric. His thumbs came up to caress the tips. She felt her nipples swell, harden as if with cold, but heat coiled in them, stinging with an ache. They were swollen now; his touch pained her, but still he went on with gentle thumbs.

Margaret moaned, a low, guttural sound that she had not known she knew how to make.

“Do not be afraid,” he said, and let go. He gathered the fabric of her chemise into his hands.

“Do not stop.”

“I am not going to,” he said, and pulled the chemise up over her, off over her head. He had told her not to be afraid, but she could not help it. She thought that if she could only be closer to him, if he could somehow cover up her nakedness, everything would be all right. Blindly, she sought his lips again. Frantic for his touch, she grasped his hands and pulled them to her, wanting that sweet relief again, that coiling heat.

His hands cupped her bare breasts. “Lie back,” he said, and she did.

He kissed her carefully, all over, his hands gently touching her breasts. He began with her mouth, then found that spot he had found before, the silken skin behind her ear. Then he travelled down her throat, kissing paths he had crossed before. His mouth opened against her jugular, and he began to suck, sucking all the way down until he reached the hollow between her clavicles.

He licked her there, making her shiver, making her want him even as his thumbs still swept along the sides of her breast, his hands cupping them gently. Then he kissed her breast bone, down and down, until he moved to one side to taste the top of her breast. He licked a path, then circled. Then his mouth was descending on her nipple. She cried out as his lips locked around it; he sucked her there.

His thumb played with the other peak, circling, tracing. Then he sucked harder, and his fingers on her other breast began to play, pinching, tugging. He had moved to it gradually, but he had made the flesh so swollen there that this playing began to hurt. His lips were locked around the other nipple, certain and true, sucking deeply, until her hips gave a funny little jerk. She had to grip the hand at her breast, she had to dig her nails in to the back of his hand. “Stop,” she said. “Stop.”

Immediately, he was not touching her.

“Do not go away.” She pulled him to her again. “I—I think . . .” She stuttered for air.

“I will not use my mouth.”

It made her ache to hear him sound so uncertain. “Yes, you will.” Her voice brooked no refusal. “I like it there.”

His breath caught as he looked into her eyes. His hand came to lift her breast in that tender way, not touching the nipple, where it had ached so. “Tell me. Tell me what you want. I will do anything.”

“I think . . .” Her head was pounding with blood. She was sure she had never been so flushed in all her life. “I think they are sensitive,” she whispered, shame a rush in her ears. “Y-you-you must not . . .” She could not say the words.

Quickly he glanced down, looking at her exposed breasts. Her nipples stood out so hard they ached without his warmth touching her. She wanted him to touch her, yet the thought of anything brushing them was painful.

He tore wide eyes from them, and back up to her face. “I understand,” he said, and she was assured then that he had had no idea; he could not have known what a woman could feel, if he touched her in that way.

“Touch me,” she said.

He cupped her breast again. This time it was his warm palm that came to cover her nipples, the warm soft flesh there easing the ache of her hardness. She breathed out a sigh. “You see how you must teach me,” he murmured, his lips within the shell of her ear.

She almost wanted to cry with the sweetness of that request. “I will teach you, John.” Her voice trembled.

His lips travelled down again. Now his lips closed around her nipple with such infinite care it made her ache in a slightly different way; she wanted more again; she wanted that tender pain from before. Instead, her hands buried in his hair as she held him to her.

At last his hand left her breast. She could feel it travel down her belly, at last to rest at the ties of her drawers. “These?” His voice was soft.

They were last. Everything else was off of her; she was all bare skin, flushed pink and clear, but for that one swath of fabric. “Yes.” She kissed him. “Yes, John.”

His hand shook as he untied the ribbons. He tugged the cloth, and she stood to take them off.

Naked now, she could feel herself blushing everywhere. It took everything she had not to try to hide, to cover her breasts as he stared at them, to put her hands between her legs. But she did not want to hide. She wanted to be before him as she had dreamed: bare, with nothing between them.

She threw her head back in the old way. “Now you.” She reached for his belt.

Pulling back, he said, “No.”

“I—what?”

“Please.” He grasped her hands, holding them together, away from the fastening of his trousers.

“I want . . .” She faltered. She had not thought she could be embarrassed at this point, but she was. If he was not also naked, then she was the one exposed. She had wanted this because she wanted them to be equal. “I want you to be . . .”

“I will.” His voice was warm assurance, but also a plea. He kissed the palms of her hands. “I will. I promise. I will do anything. Just let me . . . I think you must let me . . .” His voice cracked. He kissed her hands again.

She bit her lip until it almost hurt. “Neither of us are saying anything that makes any sense.” The room felt cold, when she had been so hot before. “I do not want to go back to when we could not speak of these things. Tell me what it is.”

His hands closed tight around hers; his eyes held hers in the same hard way. She thought he compelled her with that gaze, that he was trying to make her understand. His voice held uncertainty, but resolution too. “I want to touch you first. To make sure that you are prepared, before we . . . before we lie together.”

“I am ready.” Margaret spoke with all the courage she could muster.

“Can I . . .?” He changed his mind. “Come lay down on the bed. Please trust me, Margaret.”

She lay down on the bed, shivering in her nakedness, still resentful that he would not tell her exactly what he meant. He began to touch her again, those gentle touches over her breasts, his fingers stroking the soft sides of them. He kissed her mouth, down along her jaw.

At last, he began to explain. “I said that desire is a force. I—I do not think I can well control it. If we begin to—if you begin to touch me in certain ways, I would not be able to restrain myself. I do not think,” he added weakly, sounding as though he was apologizing.

Her hand came up to touch the side of his face, to stroke down to his neck. “I do not need you to restrain yourself. I thought that that was what this was about.”

He flushed a beet red, looking more mortified than she had ever seen him. She felt better, then, if he was as embarrassed. She no longer was. “I must control it for a little while,” he tried to explain, “or we will not get anywhere.”

“What do you mean?” she asked curiously.

The colour intensified. It was not attractive, and yet there was something endearing about it, that he could be embarrassed now when they had come so far. “It would be easier to show you,” he mumbled. “Let me touch you, first.”

She smiled then. “You are already touching me.”

He kissed her. “Let me touch you here.” His hand covered where her thighs met.

Margaret trembled. “Yes,” she finally agreed, in a strained voice, and parted her thighs a little.

Though she knew it was broad and rough, his hand touched her gently, so carefully. Yet she felt swollen there, as sensitive or more than her breasts, and even the smallest touches seemed to sting. Then his finger moved lower, over silken folds, and found a heat there, a wetness she could not control. She made a little sound, called out of her from she knew not where.

He murmured something, and stirred his finger, drawing that wetness out. This felt wrong; it must be lewd; not even she had touched there like this, and she had never been so wet there before, as if she had melted all to liquid. But the wetness of her covered his fingers, and the wetness of his fingers soothed his touch elsewhere, so that it stung less when he touched the other places between her folds.

She heard him murmur something.

“What?” she said, needing to hear the reassuring depth of his voice.

“What?” he repeated. He sounded as if he was concentrating.

“You said something.” She was sure her eyes kept widening with the way his fingers moved against her.

“I did not . . .” He was looking down at her there, at his hand moving between her legs. “I did not know you would be wet,” he whispered.

For some reason hearing him say those words made her catch her breath. She had told the truth; people never spoke of desire. To hear him speak so bluntly about her body sounded crude; it sounded licentious in some way. She loved it.

“Just a little more,” he said, and then he left her. He removed his hand; his head was no longer by hers.

He was spreading her thighs with strong hands. She tried not to resist, though it felt so unnatural to her. Then his head was between her legs. That felt incredibly unnatural to her, so much so that she could not help feeling afraid even when he murmured again, “Do not be afraid.”

He kissed her then, gentle kisses to the lips of her vulva between her thighs. She gasped and dug her hands down into his hair, but she did not pull him away, or draw him closer. She could only hold on, as his mouth opened against her. His lips gently closed over each fold, drawing it in, the way he had done with her mouth. Then at last, his tongue was inside her.

She did not know what to think or feel. Nothing like this had ever crossed her mind before, but because it had not, she suddenly revelled in the fact that it could not be wrong. This was so new; he was exploring her, and she allowed him to. He was possessing her, and she wanted him to.

The warm wetness of it seemed to grow, until all she could feel between her legs was molten heat, and the strong muscle of his tongue. He was so careful with his mouth, so steady, but the hands that held her thighs apart were sure and strong. She loved him in that moment, that he could be so gentle with her. She was so glad, and she wanted more.

“John,” she whispered, and felt her hips move without her consent. She tugged his hair, but still he steadily applied his lips to her sex. His tongue touched a certain place she could not readily identify, and she felt a jolt shoot through her. This felt to her like what lightening must be, and she remembered the fireworks—just that evening. Her hips jerked again. “John,” she stuttered, in startled surprise.

“Just a little more,” he said, and licked her there, a long hard lathe with his tongue.

She could feel herself writhe. “John!”

His lips closed around that tiny spot. He sucked; she could feel it, and then his fingers were inside her, reaching into that warm and wet, and she could feel herself clenching around him as if to push him out or pull him deeper in. She heard herself cry out; she felt herself arch against him. For a single, stretched out moment, the world was all confusion.

Then at last she was able to breathe, and relax, even though her heart was racing, and her breath came too fast. She did not know what had happened, whether it was still happening, what was going on. She could feel her pulse between her legs. It scared her; she felt as though she wanted to cry. “John?” she said tremulously, hating the shaking of her voice.

“Right here, Margaret.” Somehow he had come up near her ear. “Now we go,” he said. “You must wait one moment.”

Then he left the bed. She felt panicked without him, hating herself for it, because she had never been afraid to be alone. But she still felt as though she throbbed everywhere, as if her heart was too strong, especially between her legs. It ached there, almost raw. It was delicious and terrifying all at once.

He had gone to fetch a hand kerchief. He wiped his mouth with it, and then said, “Can you sit up? Do you want to . . .” His hands were at his belt.

Struggling, still not knowing what had happened, or whether anything had, she sat up. She was flushed all over. “Come to me,” she said.

He came, and she got the belt undone, and the ties. She pulled down; he helped her, the trousers and the drawers. Then very quickly, before she got a chance to really look, he took her hand and placed it on himself. Even though she was hot all over, as if with fire, her fingers felt cool against his rigid flesh.

“Do you want to go on?” he asked her, one more time. His entire body seemed tense, straining for her answer.

She looked down at the long, hard sex in her hands, then back up to him. She opened her mouth, and closed it. This was strange to her, not quite like she had imagined at all. And yet, he was exposed to her, he was as naked to her as she to him; he was offering her everything. She licked her lips, and looked back down. “Yes,” she said clearly.

And then she began to explore what she held in her hand, to touch the silky skin, stretched so tight here it seemed painful to him, angry red with all the violence of his blood, his heat, his heart. She supposed it all made sense; she still felt her pulse pounding between her legs, but she was all soft to his hard, all wet for this smoothness.

He hissed a breath. “Please, Margaret. It must be now.”

She wrinkled her nose. “I do not know how it will fit.”

He made a strange half-grunting noise that sounded like some sort of wounded animal. In the next breath, he managed human speech, just barely. “Lie back.”

She did. He touched her between her legs again, which made her jump. She was so sensitive there, but still so wet. He pushed his fingers in, not as gently as before, and then he was on top of her, supporting himself on one side above her with an arm. “Hold on to me.”

She held fast round his neck.

He kissed her. His fingers moved inside her, then drew out, sticky and wet. “I love you,” he said, and pushed inside.

She gasped, and arched. For all she had thought that this made sense, it did not after all; something here was not supposed to go, and she felt herself tearing. But he was still coming deeper, past the pain, and she was not wet enough, nor soft enough; she felt stretched too much. The friction burned incredibly, and even though she held on until her nails went deep and would leave marks, it was not enough to stop the hurt of that broken thing. She gasped for air, and tried not to sob, but tears formed at the corners of her eyes.

He was all the way inside her. It was very fast, but now he held very still. “Margaret,” he was whispering, sounding hoarse and dreadful. “Margaret, are you—is it all right?” He kissed her even as he was inside her, holding still but for that.

“Something—something hurts.” It never occurred to her not to be honest with him, even now.

He kissed her again and again, and still he was inside her. “Still?” His voice came out a harsh rasp.

She clenched her teeth and nodded.

Then he pulled away from her, and that hurt as well, the friction unbearable, the stretch of it. He pulled all the way away; she did not know what had happened. She did not think that this was all. He was not joined to her, he was not on top of her. He was standing up, taking the hand kerchief. She felt frozen in confusion, terrified that she had done that wrong thing.

It had hurt; it still did, but now she felt strange and uncomfortable, and if he was going away, she would have done anything to bring him back in that moment.

But in the next moment, he was back. He settled his own body against hers again; he made a soothing sound. He had wet the hand kerchief wet with water. Opening her weary thighs, he began to clean her with it. There was blood, she thought.

The flesh between his legs was still hard and high. She blushed deep as she realized there was blood there, too. “John?” she said doubtfully.

“I think this happens the first time.”

She knew he meant to sound reassuring, but there was a tremble in his voice. Suddenly the pain, the fright, the confusion all seemed small matters. Even though she ached inside, she wanted him more. “I do not care.” Her own voice was low but steady. She took the cloth from his hands and put it on the bedside table. “I want you back again.”

He looked at her uncertainly, desire warring with concern in his eyes. “I will be gentle.” He amended his own speech: “I am trying to be so gentle.”

“I know. Come back to me.”

“Let me do this again,” he said instead, and leaned down between her legs. He planted a kiss there.

Though it flooded her with warmth to have his mouth back against her, she tugged his head. “You said we must hurry.”

“It is easier to wait when you are in pain,” he said, and applied his mouth between her legs. But for all his fine words, she could tell that he was impatient. He went faster, his mouth messier, his tongue pushing into her.

This did not, she realized, lessen the deep dark warmth the pooled inside her when his mouth moved against her vulva. Indeed, the hungry insistence of his tongue, the strong working of his lips made her impatient too. She was warm again, and wet, and now she knew she wanted more. As big as it was, as intimidating as she found it, she wanted his length inside her again.

Though at the time it had seemed so frightening, now she felt almost empty. That feeling of him inside her was possession. She had had him, in that moment, all of him; they had been one. She wanted it again.

So again, she tugged on his head. He made little soothing sounds, licking her, lapping up warm and wet. Then his lips found that spot again. He sucked the tiny bundle of nerves, where she was so sensitive, and his fingers slipped inside of her.

It felt so soon, like over-stimulation, except that she was ready for it everywhere, and even wetter than before. Unwillingly, she felt herself rock into his hand. She did not know why her body moved this way. She wanted him, but she wanted all of him. She wanted the warm tightness, the build of something inside her. Yet his fingers, his lips, the soft stroke of his tongue on that tiny point made her writhe. She was throbbing inside, the way she had been before, mounting confusion parallel to mounting pressure.

She pulled hard on his hair, and gasped. “I want you inside me.”

At last, this got him to move again, so that he was over her again. He forgot to clean his mouth, and kissed her with it. She should have been repulsed by this, and yet somehow she was heady with it, with the taste of her sex on his mouth. She had not known what she tasted like, or even what this was. It felt lusty, hedonist, but she wanted all of him, and he was now a part of her. A kind of wildness was upon her, a wantonness that was open to anything, to all of him. Everything seemed right. Nothing could be wrong, when they were together like this.

Wrapping her arms around him, she pulled him down. “I want you,” she whispered. She thought of his earlier surprise, her own carnal pleasure in the taste of her on his mouth. She was drunk with it; she hardly knew what she said, but her voice went lower still. “I am wet for you.”

“Margaret,” he shuddered, and pushed inside her again.

This still hurt, but now she was ready for it. She arched, and gasped, and drew him deeper. His hand touched her between her legs, and then a shudder went all through her. She felt an aching tightness, everything all wound up inside.

“Margaret,” he croaked, and pulled away.

She thought that he was leaving her; she clawed to pull him back. Then he thrust again, touching all the right places, and the timing was just right. The spring inside of her released. She cried out, convulsing with its energy as he pulled back again. She gasped for air, and he pulled back out.

The thrust back in felt felt right, so good, warm and full and so much heat. But something in the rhythm was not right; she was clenching but could not control the wake of the initial spasm. He pulled back yet again, and when he filled her, the throb of her own heart in her sex matched him. But somehow the strain had gone. Now she throbbed, and ached as he pulled out of her again, but she felt as though she had already stretched out and snapped back.

When he pushed back in again, she felt more relaxed, more able to take him. It was almost better than that straining need. She could focus now on the feel of him, still too big, painful even, but a sweet pain. She could concentrate on opening herself to him, accepting whatever he would give her, warm and wet and waiting for him because he—

He still needed her, she realized; he was straining against her. She had been so overwhelmed by all these physical feelings that she had not quite thought of John, even with him inside of her, but now she did. She looked at him, and his face looked wracked with ecstasy, with pain, with need. His breath came raggedly, noisy, as he thrust again; his mouth sagged open. He was not, she saw, near her state at all; all of him was still coiled tightly, still ready to be sprung.

There was pain in his face—and for one moment, just one strange, out of place moment, she thought how odd it was to see Mr Thornton, who was so strong and sure, in the throes of something he so obviously could not control. She would never have imagined him like this. She would never have thought she wanted him like this, in her body, deep inside her, joined in their most intimate places. But she remembered what she had thought about him belonging to her, about them being equals, and she was glad.

Margaret thought she must be able to help him somehow, but she was not sure what his body needed from her now besides to lie there, open for him. And so she focused on his face; her hands smoothed back his hair, sinking in and holding on as he thrust again.

Observations came to her and slid just as easily away, lost in the warm sinking feeling of his body against hers: a bead of sweat formed on his temple, his hair was soft, the only thing she wore was her silver bangle, his arm must be strong to be holding his large body over her, her nipples now felt soft, but he brushed them with his chest and that made them start to stand again, she was wet and he was making little sounds, they were together, even in all this warmth and liquid softness between her legs she could feel pressure start to build there again, he was inside her, he moved in her again and again and again, he needed her, he was hers.

She opened her legs wider; she wanted him to take what she offered; she even wanted this pain, if it would ease his own. She pulled him closer and kissed away his sweat; she whispered, “John,” in his ear; she kissed him again on the temple and the brow and in his hair because his face was wracked with such concentration and need that she could not kiss his mouth.

Then she whispered, “John,” again, and his entire body jerked. He gave a hoarse cry, and then for one long, strained moment, he seemed suspended above her.

Then she felt warmth, and strange. The rhythm they had established changed. He thrust shallowly into her, once, a few more times. She tried only to hold onto him, fearing what was happening, whether he was hurting, whether there was some way to help him.

Then at last, his body slowed. He pulled out of her, and rolled to the side. He lay beside her, breathing heavily. His body moved so laboured, as if he could not get enough air. She watched the shoulder she could see heave.

She did not know if something was wrong, or what she was supposed to do.

“John?” She wiggled herself closer to him.

“Mmph,” was all he said.

She waited a little while. His eyes were closed, and his breathing was slowing. He did not seem in agony any more, and nor did he seem upset. “Did you do it?” she asked, uncertain.

This elicited a husky, dry chuckle. “Yes, I did.” His eyes opened. They seemed so bright. “Did not last very long, I am afraid. I am sorry.”

“It is supposed to take longer?”

The chuckle this time was just a huff of air. He did not seem to have the energy. His eyes closed again. “Nor did I exhaust you as you have me, it seems.”

“On the contrary. I am very tired.”

He was so long in replying that she thought he slept. “Yes,” he said finally. “It usually takes longer. I could not make it last. I wanted you too much.”

She looked at his closed eyes. Exhaustion bled out all over his poor features, and there were still circles under his eyes. She had never noticed how long his lashes were.

“I would have wanted it to be better for you,” he said. “That was the whole point in waiting to do it.”

She put her hand on his chest to feel the rise and fall of it. “I do not see how it could have been better.”

He smiled, a long low lazy smile, even with his eyes closed. Then he opened them and looked over at her. “Really?”

“It was like fireworks.”

He made a deep low hum, a sort of “mmm.” “I was not sure you felt them.”

She nodded. “Yes, I did. Twice.”

He gave another husky laugh. “Good. I was not sure.”

She touched his chest, her hand making light, small strokes. “I can stay here?”

“If you like, you may stay here always.”

Reaching around, she found his hand. “Goodnight, John.”

He smiled again. “Sleep well, Mrs Thornton.” And then he immediately fell asleep.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-09 07:52 pm (UTC)
jyorraku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jyorraku
WOW. O_O

You can post your semi-scrapped text anytime.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-11 12:05 am (UTC)
minthepsychic: (ingres)
From: [personal profile] minthepsychic
I think the waiting is almost an integral part of my enjoyment of some fic. And this one suits it, in that romance-novel-y style - you're building up and stretching out emotions, and I enjoy participating in that having to wait.
I don't know if that made sense, but that's how I feel.

(Although, for reference, I'm the kind of person who keeps up with WIPs for multiple years, and still gets enjoyment from that process. So, it might just be me.)

And now I'm going to read the above half chapter, like a boss.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-12 08:42 pm (UTC)
minthepsychic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minthepsychic
So, now that I've read everything, I'd have to agree, porn is the easy way out, and doesn't really solve the original problems of their relationship.

But now I have all this headcanon about Mr. Thornton's sexual education.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-13 01:41 am (UTC)
espresso_addict: Two cups of espresso with star effect on coffee pot (coffee cups)
From: [personal profile] espresso_addict
Because lots of people are pretty repressed, and I feel like it's important to work through that and deal with it, and not have it all be this—magical, falling into each others' arms thing.

I think you're right that this doesn't quite fit into the story, well written (& hot!) though it is. Thank you for sharing it though!

Sick of Shadows

Date: 2011-11-29 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I just have to say that I am such a fan. I hope you publish this one day - it certainly deserves it! My DH and I just had a long car trip(18 hours one way). Earlier, I had finally got him to watch the dvd, North and South and he took a real interest in it as he had worked in a paper mill as a manager for many years (there were strikes during those years as well). We discussed many things about the DVD and Gaskill's novel. I decided to read your Sick of Shadows to him, when it was his turn to drive. I told him there was a chapter he would be interested in (as in chapter 9B!!). Well, we only got through half of chapter 8 so far and now, I am beginning to feel like Margaret - as I am not sure I can read that chapter out loud to him!! lol.... we are still newlyweds just married for 34 years!! Hahaha, I may have to "tone it down" just a tad (forgive me, please), or I may not be able to read it to him at all!! I look forward to more wonderful chapters. But, please take the time you need. I do not want it to become a chore for you. It is a gem of a story ... well done!! Laura

Best North and South Fanfiction!

Date: 2011-12-09 05:06 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello! I've been reading North and South FanFiction for some days now, and I have to say yours is the best, in my opinion. The whole thing, not just because of this chapter. I agree that for a first time things went too well and too forward, but it was wonderful to read! Looking forward to the version that will be the official 9 chapter, and for all the rest! Congratulations! And sorry for my english, which is not my first language.

continuação

Date: 2012-02-17 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Olá! Não sei se entendi o que você disse. Bem, eu gostaria que você terminasse este fanfic, pois ele está a altura da autora, você é um ótimo escritor. Espero que você tenha vontade e atenda nosso pedido. obrigada.

Chapter 10 and 11

Date: 2012-10-05 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank You for Your writing!
I enjoy your story very much, also the Voctorian porn...
I've read that you don't like to write because others want you to. That I can understand. I just want to say, that I hope very much, that You will be interested Yourself how the story will go on. I mean psychologically.You have such a talent to describe their thoughts and how they feel. I would love to read, how they will manage their daily life.Just one or two little steps more....
Forgive my English. It is not my first or second language, just a foreign langiage I learnt in school.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-30 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] bagira
So, so good. Possibly the best I've ever read. Is there more?

Sick of Shadows

Date: 2013-01-14 06:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't know if you've abandoned this story or are just taking a really long hiatus, but I want you to know it's probably one of the best fanfics that I've ever read and I think you've nailed the characterizations perfectly. The sexual tension between Margaret and John has pretty much killed me. You're an amazing writer and I really hope that you decide to finish this fic. If this is the sex scene that you abandoned, I'm very interested in seeing what you were planning in its place.

Once again, amazing fic. Thank you for sharing it.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-02 01:26 pm (UTC)
dennib68: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dennib68
Omg. I am speechless. This was SO AMAZING! I think I have read every north and south fanfic available and this by far is the best. I love how you captured the characters of John and Margaret so beautifully and the gradual way Margaret's feelings change for John after she sees what an amazing man he is. And it it is so realistic the way you portray Margaret's fears and uncertainties about her body's reaction towards John. Just really brilliant!! And since it is 6:30 am, I will be going to bed now since I stayed up all night reading from beginning to end! Thank you so much for writing something so beautiful and sharing it with us!

SoS

Date: 2013-06-23 06:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So, are we to understand SoS is on hiatus? Or that you are done with it for good?

Re: SoS

Date: 2013-10-11 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm another fan of Sick of Shadows and I just wanted to thank you forgot sharing your talent and your process with us. I hope that you will find a way to continue this story because YOU want to share your vision of this world that you've drawn us into. What I enjoy most about your writing is the clever and flowing dialogue that you create that is so in keeping Gaskell's characters while giving us so much more insight into why the are who the are and act as they do. I smile everything I read Fanny's dialogue and have grown to understand her more through your writing.

I hope you will want to continue someday. In the meantime, I'll keep re-reading what you've already shared with us.

Warmly,
Mimi

Please, continue sick of shadows!!!

Date: 2013-07-09 03:50 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Please, please, please! Your story is so good it should be published!!! The best N&S Fanfiction I read! Take pitty on us and continue this, please!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-09-16 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] seahorse2707
I think this is superb. You have managed to keep them absolutely in character and true to the period, and at the same time write one of the most erotic passages I have ever read... Brilliant. I don't know why you are unsure about this - and I don't think it's porn, personally.

I'm slightly puzzled as to how, if John really isn't sexually experienced himself, he knows about her clitoris and how to give her such pleasure (there are a lot of men even in modern times who could take a lesson from your writing, I think!) but I was very happy to suspend my disbelief and enjoy almost as much as Margaret!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-08 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello,
I came across this fic quite recently. I'm sorry you lost interest in the story, because it's really, really good. Speaking as someone who has/had similar issues with being repressed, the character development is really well done (up to chapter 9A at least, though this latest section is a lot of fun).

Have you thought of taking this story up again, or are you on to more interesting projects? Either way, well done!

Fantastic

Date: 2015-10-01 12:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I absolutely love your story. Like others, I too think it's the best N&S fan fic I've read. Thank you so much for posting this unofficial chapter. While I'd love for the story to go on and it doesn't quite feel finished, even if you never finish writing the story (and it's so good I'd pay for it if you ever publish!) this was a very satisfying conclusion. Thank you so much for sharing your talented writing! Hope you're doing well!

Continue por favor

Date: 2015-10-04 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Tiene que terminar esta historia, no puede dejarnos asi, usted es una gran escritora

Nice job

Date: 2017-05-30 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reveilles.livejournal.com
You're right, this isn't really completely in character for them, but it's still well written, and it's an interesting exploration of a slightly AU version of them, and of Victorian sexuality. Thanks for sharing this!

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