anthology, cologne, curse, Dorcas, erotic, excerpt, folklore, gentlemen, historical, Jean Roberta, kiss, laundry, lord, Lord Edmund, lordship, naked, orphanage, paranormal, pleasure, prick, private scepter, river, roam, romance, secrets, singing, Sister Ursula, Sisters of Mercy, The Water-Harp, Underwater, water
Customers of all shapes, sizes, and degrees brought their soiled clothes to the laundry. Dorcas had never guessed that so many women preferred not to do their own washing and would gladly pay specialists.
She took pride in her work.
Old Benjamin, valet to Lord Edmund, came to the laundry once a week with a sack of well-made gentlemen’s clothing in fine fabrics. Dorcas enjoyed the feel of it, the lingering scent of his lordship’s cologne and tobacco.
How would Lord Edmund smell with his naked arms wrapped about her? Would his neat beard interfere with the melting pleasure of a kiss? Did he know about the curse of women, and would he find a woman’s body enchanting even if he knew its secrets?
Dorcas tried imagining a man with his prick exposed like that of a horse. Would Lord Edmund feel proud or ashamed to be seen thus? And could she banish the loneliness of the orphaned lord by kissing his private scepter?
Dorcas had no doubt that the Sisters of Mercy would be appalled to know her thoughts. Yet they had set her to work in the laundry, where her hands were always busy and her mind was free to roam where it would. Even the sound of the water in the tubs reminded her of the river, which always seemed to be singing, and where Sister Ursula so often found her when she was a child. Perhaps the sisters believed that work would silence the songs of a young woman’s body.