Note: This is an F/F epilogue to Manners & Mannerisms. It will be most of interest to those who’ve read Manners & Mannerisms but is readable as F/F historical erotica.
Catherine stood in the guest bedroom she’d been shown to, regarding herself in the long mirror propped up in the corner. Her wedding day had come too quickly for a new gown to be commissioned, but she’d only worn this blue silk dress once before, on what had been the best day of her life prior to this one. That was the day she’d danced and danced, confident in Susan’s love for her and that Susan and Susan’s brother Reginald would find a way to bring them together safely.
That night, when Susan and Reginald’s carriage had gone missing, Catherine had brought Susan up to her rooms and spent a whole, amazing night with her, right there in the bed where she’d always slept alone. But the next morning, all her hopes had come crashing down again. The news that Jeremy and Tom had been discovered in the coat closet and run off to London together had separated the two families for a long and desperate time, during which Catherine had wondered if she would ever see Susan again. But now she was to be married to Susan. Well and truly and married!
Of course she was already married in the eyes of the church—to Reginald—just as Susan was married to Catherine’s brother William, but amongst the four of them, it was understood that the true weddings were about to happen now. William would marry Reginald, and Catherine would marry Susan. And they would live so happily together, all four of them, forever and ever. Susan had said they might have children even, if Catherine and God agreed to make it so, which was a dream Catherine had long since given up.
She hugged herself, and her image in the mirror did likewise. Her brown hair didn’t have Susan’s beautiful auburn highlights, but it’d been elaborately dressed, and it gleamed in the candlelight, shiny and smooth. The gown made the most of her soft figure, and though Catherine had never been one to call herself beautiful, the smile she wore tonight made her so.
“I will,” she practiced out loud. Her voice quavered, shot through with nerves, so she said it again, more emphatically. “I will.” She would. She most definitely would. And then after…
Her gaze trailed over to the bed. Though she and Susan had spent that one night together, they’d not fully consummated their relationship. Catherine had thought they ought to, as there was no knowing when they would have another opportunity, but Susan had held her off, insisting that a fuller solution was coming.
They had kissed much—not just on that night but at every opportunity for privacy—and pressed their bodies together. Catherine in her thin nightdress and Susan in a borrowed nightdress every bit as thin, had been almost one body as their kisses grew wet and hungry and their hands roamed first over the parts of their bodies that were above the sheets and then over the parts of their bodies that were below the sheets.
Catherine flushed to remember it, how Susan’s warm and fragrant body had rubbed against hers and Susan’s hands, daring to be bolder than Catherine’s, had teased across one of her nipples. Susan had thrust a thigh between Catherine’s legs, bunching her nightdress into a tangle, and Catherine had ridden it like a saddle until a feeling unlike any other had burst through her.
After, Susan had petted Catherine and made her go to sleep without allowing her to bring Susan to a similar peak of ecstasy, but tonight Catherine must do better. Susan was to be her wife, and that meant seeing to her every need and especially to her needs in the bedroom. Catherine didn’t know how to do such a thing, but Susan was knowledgeable and patient, always ready to explain any matter, and Susan would teach her the way of it. Soon.
Susan waited at the altar. She’d decorated it with her own hands after Gatwick, Reginald’s valet, had erected it at the end of the hallway that ran down the long second-story floor where she and Reginald kept their bedchambers. She’d spent all of yesterday twining flowers and ribbon through the latticework because she’d been far too excited for any other pursuit, imagining the whole time how she would stand in front of it to exchange vows with the most beautiful woman in the world.
Except that the most beautiful woman in the world seemed to be missing. Susan flashed a concerned look at her brother Reginald, who stood arm-in-arm with his intended. Reginald patted her hand comfortingly. It wasn’t like Susan to panic, but oh, if Kitty had changed her mind…
But no. The door across from her creaked open, only slightly at first but then wider, and behind it stood Catherine, wearing her blue ball gown with the white lace accents that so complimented her rosy pink skin. She held a bouquet in one hand, and with the other she swept the hem of her gown through the door in a graceful gesture that nearly took Susan’s breath away. To think, this woman would be hers.
Susan had to look away for a moment. Her gaze landed on her lady’s maid, Gretta, who beamed back at her with a grin wider than either of the brides was managing. Gretta was pleased for her, and of course Susan was pleased for herself. So pleased she might die. But if she survived the next few minutes, paradise would be hers, right here on earth.
She extended her hand, and Catherine took it, and there. It was all fine now, with them touching each other. Their smiles grew as wide as Gretta’s as they gazed into each other’s eyes, exchanging all the vows that needed to be said.
Reginald had offered to let the ladies go first, but Susan had demurred, thinking it would be easier on Catherine to watch William set an example before taking such a monumental step herself. Now, though, she chafed at the delay as Reginald and William exchanged vows, reminded of how William had said the same words to her only this morning. He hadn’t meant them then, nor more than she’d meant the vows she’d made in return, but she could hear how fervently he meant them now.
And then it was their turn. With their hands still joined, she and Catherine took their places in front of Cards. Cards officiated all the household ceremonies, being the son of a country preacher. He intoned his lines with proper gravity, and it meant so much more when Susan said “I will” to Catherine than it had when she’d said the same words to William earlier. This hallway, decorated in floral garlands, shined to a waxy gloss, and lined with their servant who were also their friends, was a higher church.
“I will,” Catherine said when it was her turn.
Susan squeezed Catherine’s fingers, overcome with what she realized was relief. For all that she’d expressed every confidence of their eventual and continued happiness, she’d expected anything else—that Catherine would get cold feet or William would get cold feet or Catherine and William’s sister-in-law would withdraw her approval of their sham marriages. The enterprise seemed so fraught with the possibility for disruption, but now they’d done it. The four of them belonged together, forever and ever. Which meant Susan got to bring her bride to bed.
Catherine gave William one last, lingering hug and then was glad to watch him walk away. She didn’t care to think of her brother being close by while she celebrated her wedding night with her wife. Susan brought her to the other end of the hallway, where her personal rooms were kept. Catherine had been in Susan’s sitting room before, but she’d never passed through the door that separated it from Susan’s actual bedchamber.
“We won’t need Gretta to help us undress, I don’t think,” Susan said.
Catherine shook her head, but she remained standing in the center of the generous room, not moving any closer to the four-poster bed dressed in yards and yards of emerald green satin. It was the color Susan had worn that night at the ball, but she wore a paler green tonight, unexpectedly demure.
She came around to Catherine’s back and began to unhook her, going through the motions that were so familiar, though not from a lover. Susan separated articles of clothing from Catherine’s body one by one, laying each one over a low stand and then returning to put her hands where the cloth had been, until the last bit of underclothing was gone and Catherine stood naked and trembling.
“Are you cold?” Susan asked.
She ran her hands along Catherine’s arms, stirring up the light hairs on her forearms and soothing warmth into her, but Catherine wasn’t truly cold. A boisterous fire crackled in the fireplace, and a stronger heat came from within—a mixture of anticipation and embarrassment. Only her lady’s maid ever saw like this, as nature had made her, and only while assisting her at her bath with her eyes low and respectful.
Susan’s eyes, when Catherine turned in the circle of her arms to let Susan see her whole self, were neither downcast nor respectful. They were admiring, eager, hungry. A flush suffused her, making her skin feel more alive than it’d ever been, as though any touch might topple her.
“May I do you now?” she asked, as eager to see Susan in her entirety as Susan was to see her.
Susan presented her back, and Catherine went again through the familiar motions, but this time she was on the less familiar side of them. She’d never undressed anyone before, and her movements were hesitant, slowed by novelty and awe. She added Susan’s garments to the pile of hers until Susan stepped out of her chemise, and there she was. Nothing but skin, and all Catherine’s.
Catherine almost couldn’t bring herself to touch, she was so overcome by the sight. Susan’s breasts sat high on her chest, smaller than Catherine’s and firmer. Her nipples were brown circles atop creamy flesh, hardened to wrinkled points. Her stomach beneath them was soft and rounded, the skin the same pale ivory as Catherine’s, though Susan’s face was somewhat browner from her greater exposure to the sun. She didn’t wear a bonnet as religiously as Catherine had been taught to, and her arms, which had been likewise bared to the sun on occasion over the summer, were tan against the lightness of her torso. Her thighs dimpled gently, and her knees were so preciously plump. Everything about her was delightful, a treasure Catherine had never expected to own.
“Are we really here?” she asked. “Can this be true?”
“It’s almost too wonderful to believe,” Susan agreed, though she had seemed so certain all through those months as friendship blossomed to more, as though she’d always known they would one day be here—wives who were about to become lovers.
Catherine counted on Susan’s confidence, given how little she had of her own. And it seemed Susan must have some experience as well because her hands as they roamed over Catherine’s arms and stomach and breasts knew exactly how to do it.
“Will you come with me to the bed?” Susan asked. “It’s to be our bed now.”
“And no one will mind? Or tell?”
“No one at all, I promise. In the eyes of our friends and brothers, there is no more rightful place you could be.
The idea that they could share a bed night after night was almost too wonderful to contemplate, and Catherine drew Susan toward the large four-poster as her answer. Yes, she would come to bed with Susan.
Susan turned down the covers, and Catherine climbed onto the bed as gracefully as she could manage, though her derrière stuck out rather awkwardly as she hiked her knee up. She turned over her shoulder to catch Susan admiring it and lost any worry about her lack of grace. Instead, she stopped on all fours and wriggled the body part in question.
Susan laughed, a delightful sound Catherine always loved, but tonight it was tinged with an extra layer of glee.
“My love,” she said. “May you always be so saucy for me.” She leaned down and kissed the flesh of Catherine’s bottom, gracing one of her cheeks with a firm press of warm lips. “Now in you go, that I may join you.”
Catherine scurried to climb the rest of the way into bed and rolled onto her back to watch Susan come after her. Susan hovered over her, her breasts drooping down to form tempting peaks. Catherine reared up to nip at one, catching the bud between her lips even as a giggle escaped her. So wonderful to be so free. All this lovely flesh, absolutely hers to play with and to hold. She caught Susan around the waist and pulled her down so their bodies pressed together with nothing at all between them, not even air.
Susan hadn’t expected Catherine to be so forward and easy. She’d thought she might have to coach her slowly in the ways of womanly love, accustom her to the idea that it was all right to touch and be touched. But Catherine was a clever girl, adept at sewing or riding or painting, at anything she wished to try, and she was adept at this as well.
Susan released her fear that a too-rigid upbringing would make it difficult for Catherine to accept their love. Catherine wasn’t merely accepting it. She was driving it. Her hands roamed over Susan’s body as if she wanted to catalogue every inch of it right now. They would have time, Susan hoped. Years and years’ worth of time to get to know each other’s every fold and crevice, but she didn’t stop Catherine’s explorations, only tried to return them.
Their mouths came together between moans, tongues tangling as Susan had already taught Catherine to kiss in many a heated session in Catherine’s sitting room while they pretended Catherine was painting her portrait. Perhaps now they would find some time for actual painting.
Catherine was so sweet with her kisses, so open and soft, and her breath huffed out her pleasure as their lower halves arched into each other, rubbing and grinding their way toward release. Susan had brought her to release like this before, but today she longed to do more, to use her fingers and even her tongue. So she rolled them until they were side by side, allowing her to free up a hand. She licked her fingers before lowering them between Catherine’s legs, but she needn’t have bothered, for all was wet down there already. Catherine’s juices coated the folds of her quim, and her button reared up, engorged and hard.
Catherine gasped when Susan touched her there. Her hands clamped hard on Susan’s shoulders, her own exploration halted as Susan manipulated the tender bud gently, rolling it between her fingers which she kept wet with Catherine’s own juices so as not to overwhelm her with sensation. Catherine bucked a little, both asking for more and shying away from it, as Susan murmured encouragement in her ear.
“Come for me, Kitty. Come on my fingers.”
“Oh, Susan,” Catherine muttered back. “Oh, I must.”
“Yes, don’t hold back.” Susan continued to tweak and tease Catherine’s bud as she eased a finger inside her wife, working slowly in case her membrane was still intact, but the finger slid in easily.
She stroked Catherine’s inner walls, angling for the firm spot where sensation collected. Catherine gave a low groan, and her hips churned more wildly. Before Susan could insert a second finger, Catherine stiffened, her hands biting down on Susan’s shoulders and her eyes opening as wide as if she could see God right there in their bedroom.
Susan lightened her attention to Catherine’s bud and eased out her finger, sliding her palm gently but firmly all over Catherine’s mound as Catherine shuddered out her pleasure. Susan was eager to have her tongue between Catherine’s legs, but it must wait until she recovered, else she would be too sensitive to enjoy it.
Catherine’s whole body shook from the force of her release. But it couldn’t be like that other night, where pleasure was taken but not returned. She must learn to do her wifely duties.
“Am I to do the same to you?” she asked.
“If you like.” Susan was trying to sound indifferent, but she didn’t fool Catherine, who knew her every mood. She was excited, the bud between her legs undoubtedly as hard as Catherine’s had been, her folds as slippery with the excretions of arousal. She must need release, and Catherine would bring it to her.
“You said we might…” she started, but it was difficult to continue. “That sometimes a person might put their mouth there. Where your fingers have been.”
Susan nodded eagerly. “Have you recovered sufficiently? Will you let me?”
“Silly.” Catherine pushed on Susan’s shoulder teasingly. It was always Susan’s way to try to care for her. “I meant that I might like to do that to you. If you’ll teach me the way of it.”
“Catherine.” Susan’s voice sounded almost anguished. “Are you certain, darling?”
“I’m certain I’d like to try, but also certain I shall need instruction.”
“I don’t know that you will. If your mouth were on my quim, I might come at the first touch of it.”
Then they must waste no time proceeding. Catherine wiggled down the bed, pushing Susan onto her back as she went until she was on her stomach between Susan’s legs, looking right at that part of Susan’s body which she had never seen on her own. It was difficult to catch more than an oblique glimpse of it, and she’d barely dared try even that. It felt so sinful. But Susan was her wife, so no sin could be involved in knowing her every part.
She separated Susan’s legs more widely, pushing them up until Susan planted her feet on the bed, leaving her entirely revealed. It was so beautiful, her quim. Like a flower, with its layers of petals and in the center, a rosy bud. Susan’s folds glistened with her arousal, and a pleasant yeasty smell rose up to Catherine’s nose—a small so entrancing it called Catherine’s tongue out of its own accord.
She dabbed at Susan’s quim, into the pool at the bottom of her hole where her fluids collected. The tip of her tongue pierced Susan’s hole, opening it wider until the whole thing had disappeared into her channel. The walls of Susan’s quim were surprisingly muscular, closing around Catherine’s tongue. She remembered how Susan’s finger had felt inside her—as though nothing larger could possibly fit. But entire babies came through this opening! What a miracle it was.
She withdrew her tongue, savoring the taste and slickness that came with it. Susan put a hand in Catherine’s hair, and Catherine realized they hadn’t taken their hair down, such a rush they’d been in to explore each other’s bodies. What a sight they must be with formal hairstyles and not a lick of clothes. It made her giggle to think of it.
Her giggle was wet against Susan’s quim, drawing her back to that delicious flesh.
“You’re supposed to be teaching me.”
“You’ve no need of it, Kitty. Only lick me anywhere you like, and use your fingers also, if you will. I’ll say if you do something that displeases me, but I can’t imagine it ever happening.”
Catherine dropped a kiss onto Susan’s bud, loving how perky and red it was for her. It confirmed Susan’s words, echoed how Susan wanted her, so she put aside her nerves and began. She licked and suckled, thinking of how Susan’s fingers had brought her to her release and using similar movements except with her lips and tongue to roll and squeeze and tease and stroke.
Susan grew wild as she worked, tossing her plaited head across the pillow, and all the while the most encouraging words dropped from her lips. Catherine eased a finger into Susan’s hole, wanting to know how it felt to touch as well as to lick, and Susan’s channel gripped her tightly, the flesh inside so warm and slick, almost pulsing as Susan clenched around her.
The combination of mouth and fingers had Susan bucking up to meet her, so frenzied that Catherine struggled to keep her mouth aligned with Susan’s center of pleasure, but finally her goal was achieved. Susan released with a gasp, unquestionably having hit some pinnacle for her hips froze in mid gyration and the sound that came from her had Catherine eager for release all over again.
“It’s enough, Kitty.” Susan petted the back of her head, and Catherine reluctantly eased her mouth away, taking only a last swipe from bottom to top to catch all Susan’s remaining juices. Her face was wet with them, from nose to chin and cheek to cheek. She’d been rolling around in Susan’s quim like a child in a puddle, and she was as happy and joyous and free as a child.
“Did I do well?”
“Only too well,” Susan said. “As you do everything you put your hand to. Come up here now. Let us hold each other a while before…”
“Before what?” Catherine asked as she wrapped Susan in her arms and Susan wrapped her back just as tightly.
“Before we do it all again. Only this time, I’ll have my mouth on you, and perhaps you’ll use only your fingers on me. And then we might do it again by sliding along each other. And then—”
“My goodness, Susan,” Catherine exclaimed. “We shall never leave our bedroom again at that rate.”
Susan grinned—a salacious, loving grin. “Would you be sorry if we didn’t?”
“Not a bit of it. I’m home now. Forever and forever.”
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