The wind whistled around my small cottage and I moved closer to the fire, grateful for its warmth. Lifting my book from my lap I tried to concentrate on the words in front of me but St John’s cold disposition towards me earlier in the evening kept troubling me. Despite what he had said I was not convinced that he was ready to abandon the idea that I become his wife and travel to India with him. I resolved to discuss the matter with Diana and Mary the next day and tried to once again focus my attention on my book. Reading by the firelight was beginning to hurt my eyes and I decided that I would finish the chapter before retiring for the night.
“Jane, Jane.” I thought I could hear a faint voice calling out to me but when I tried to concentrate on it I found the voice disappeared. Deciding that it was simply the wind howling I returned to the book.
“Jane! Jane! I know you’re in there.” This time I was certain that it was not the wind calling my name. Putting the book aside I picked up the candle from the small table next to me and approached the door.
Suddenly there was a pounding at the door and I involuntarily jumped backwards. The flame started to waver from the movement.
“Jane. Open the door.” It sounded like Mr Rochester but I knew it could not be him. He did not know that I was here and he was many miles away at Thornfield. I decided that it must be St John and went to open the door. The man on the other side must have been listening very carefully for as soon as I lifted the latch he pushed the door open and strode inside.
“Mr Rochester!” I gasped, “What are you doing here? How did you find me?” I stepped behind him to close the door.
“You’re engaged.” He stated, turning to face me. The anger in his eyes made me push my back up against the door.
“I beg your pardon?” Surely he did not mean our engagement, for that had been broken the moment it was revealed that he was already married.
“I met a St John Rivers earlier this evening. When I explained to him who I was and that I had come to take you back to Thornfield he explained that that would be quiet impossible because you and he were to be married and soon to travel for India.” Mr Rochester growled, moving closer towards me. I tried to push myself further into the door.
“Mr Rochester, I can...” I started.
“Weeks Jane. That is how long I have been searching for you. I have been searching for you since the moment it was discovered you had fled Thornfield. And I find that you have already promised yourself to another man.” He now loomed above me and slammed his hand against the door to emphasis his point.
“No. That is...” Once again he interrupted me before I could explain.
“Was it easy to forget me? To forget what we shared?” His voice dropped in volume but took on a dangerous tone, “Or was that why you accepted Rivers’ proposal? Did you want to forget me? Forget the feel of my touch on your skin...” He still had one hand braced on the door above my head and his other hand started to trail along my jaw line.
“I won’t allow it Jane.” He whispered in my ear, “I won’t let that man marry you. I won’t let him touch you. I won’t let any man touch you. You belong with me.” He snarled.
With that he suddenly leaned down and pushed his mouth against mine. He moved insistently against me, demanding a response. He nipped and pulled at my lower lip and buried his fingers in my hair, grasping at the pins which held it up.
I was too shocked to respond. Mr Rochester had found me and believed that I was engaged to St John. He had not allowed me to explain that I had turned down St John’s proposal. Or that I could never forget him. He abruptly took a final step forward and pinned me to the door with his hips. All thoughts of explaining the situation fled my mind as a jolt of electricity shot through me.
I was held fast against the door by the bulk of his body and his hips continued to rock insistently against mine. He had tilted my head backwards and was messily kissing my mouth. He pushed demandingly at my lips in an attempt to gain entrance. Leaving my mouth he placed warm, wet, open mouthed kisses against my jaw before returning to my mouth.
As he once again demanded entrance at my lips, I opened my mouth to suck on his lower lip. He immediately took advantage of this and his tongue swept against mine. It felt like velvet grazing against mine and I eagerly met every move he made with one of my own.
My hands, which until this point had been resting against the door, rose up of their own accord to wrap around his waist and neck. I tightened my fingers around his neck in an attempt to pull him closer.
I let out a whimper as he pulled away from my mouth to press kisses against my neck. “Rivers can’t make you feel like this.” He murmured against my skin, pressing kisses lower and lower. “Only I can. Tell me Jane.” He demanded, biting the top of my breast.
“Uhh, sir...” One hand was still tangled in my hair whilst the other had traced down my shoulder to cup my other breast.
“No. Don’t call me that Jane.” He moaned, squeezing at my breast, “Say my name. Say Edward.” He demanded.
“Edward.” I cried out as he bit again at my breast. I could feel my nipples start to harden and push at the fabric of my underclothes. He must have noticed as well for he started pulling at the neckline of my dress, exposing more of my breast until he was able brush his fingers against the bare skin of my nipple. Reaching his hand down the top of my dress he started to pinch my nipple, rolling it between his fingers.
The sensation was becoming too much and I felt my legs starting to weaken. I knew Edward could easily continue to hold me up against the door, but he seemed content to let me slide to the floor and followed me down, never allowing his hips to leave mine. He continued to rock insistently against me and I found my knees automatically bending to cradle him.
“You bewitch me Jane.” He growled in my ear, “How do you do it?” Reaching down he lifted my hand from his waist and moved it down to between his legs. He was hard and throbbed beneath my hand. “Feel what you do to me Jane.” He moaned.
I knew little of what occurred between men and women but all I could think at that moment was that I needed more. I needed Edward in a way that I could not explain but felt that I would surely die if I did not get it.
“Edward, Edward, Edward.” I chanted as I kissed along the column of his throat, the beginnings of a beard rasping against the delicate skin around my mouth.
The sound of me saying his name seemed to have a startling effect on him and he started pulling at my skirts, trying to bunch the fabric up around my waist. He reached between my legs, fumbling with my undergarments. My hips shot up as his fingers found their way through the damp material and he caressed soft folds. He rubbed at me, occasionally dipping his finger inside, going a bit farther each time.
“I do this to you Janet. Rivers could never make you feel like this.” He whispered harshly, flicking his nail against a particularly sensitive area.
I could not make my voice work. Everywhere Edward had touched felt like it was on fire and I could feel an emptiness and a pressure building between my legs. I bucked my hips against him, trying to force his finger deeper.
I heard, rather than saw, Edward unbuckling his belt and the rustling of fabric that indicated he was undoing his trousers. There was a blunt pressure between my legs and suddenly he stilled above me.
“Promise me that you won’t marry Rivers.” He ordered.
“I promise.” I reached up to stroke his cheek.
“Say you love me Jane.” He demanded.
“I love you.” I replied hoarsely, “Edward.” I emphasised.
“You are mine.” With that he surged forward and he was inside me. I cried out at the intrusion and dug my nails into his neck. His head dropped forward and I could feel him breathing harshly against my neck. He started whispering endless questions and demands, never giving me a chance to reply. “You can’t leave me again. I love you so much. I need you Jane. I won’t let Rivers have you. I won’t let any man ever have you. You belong with me.”
I shifted slightly beneath him and felt a tiny fission of pleasure. Edward lifted his head and stared straight down at me. Moving his hips up he immediately pushed back down into me. The spark of pleasure became bigger and I shifted against him again. He repeated the movement, a little bit bigger than the last one. He continued to repeat the movement, pulling back and slamming back into me, each movement becoming bigger and more forceful. I wrapped my legs around his hips and he pulled them up to his waist, driving himself deeper into me. The feeling of his hard body inside mine was too much and my eyes closed of their own accord.
“No Jane. Open your eyes. See me.” He hissed.
It took a great deal of effort to force my eyes open and I stared back up at him. His eyes were almost black and he was watching me with a strange mixture of anger and adoration on his face.
He continued thrusting and I felt my body moving against the floor with every thrust. With every surge forward he hit the sensitive spot between my legs that he had found earlier. The pressure that was building suddenly intensified and I felt that I was getting closer and closer to something but it was still maddeningly out of reach.
It arrived. I felt myself involuntarily clenching around Edward and a rush of pleasure I could not describe came over me. My back arched and I tried to tilt my head back but Edward threaded his hand through my hair and forced me to continue looking into his eyes.
The rhythm that Edward had established seemed to disappear as he moved inside me. His eyes appeared to become even more black and he roared “Mine,” just as I felt a small rush of heat released inside of me.
He stopped moving and I could still feel him inside as he dropped his face against my neck, panting. “Janet. My sweet Janet.” He whispered.
I felt a draught of cool air against my thighs as he slipped out of me. He made a weak attempt to straighten my skirts before laying down on the floor next to me and gathering me into his arms. “I love you Jane.” He said, holding me tightly. “You won’t leave me now, will you? You couldn’t leave me.”
I lay there, feeling numb and unresponsive. I could not comprehend what I had just allowed to happen. Guilt washed over me as I realised that I had enjoyed it. What was to become of me now? I had no doubt that St John would no longer be making any attempts to marry me. He could even take my small school away from me. As Edward placed a kiss against my ear I shuddered and tried to pull away “Let me go Sir.”
“Sir? What is this? Call me Edward, Jane, like before.” He pleaded, still attempting to kiss me.
It took more strength than I thought I possessed to pull myself from his arms and stand up on still shaky legs. “You need to leave now Sir. I am not your wife and you should not be here.”
“My wife?” he echoed, “But don’t you see Jane, you can be my wife and I your husband.”
“What do you mean?” I did not want to endure this heartache again and I could feel tears building which I stubbornly tried to hold back.
“Bertha is dead Jane. I am free to marry you. And I will marry you. I won’t let Rivers take you away from me.” Edward had risen to his feet, struggling to do up his trousers at the same time, and was advancing on me again, as he had earlier. But this time the anger was gone from his shoulders and he reached out to me tenderly.
“But what we just did...” I said in a low voice, still fighting to hold back my tears.
His hands dropped away from me and he hung his head. “Jane I have no words...I cannot apologise deeply enough.”
My heart broke in two seeing my Edward so miserable. I stepped forward to take his hand and intertwined my fingers with his. “I should not have allowed it to happen either.” I murmured, studying his hand.
“We will marry tomorrow,” he said firmly, “And you will still be pure and innocent to me.”
I did not respond. Edward may consider that I was pure on our wedding day, but I would know that I was not. In the eyes of the Church and God I would not be considered pure.
My silence provoked Edward. “Will you not marry me Jane? You must marry me. I could not bear it if you did not.”
I shook my head but waited a moment before responding. I wanted to marry Edward with all my heart. Now that he had returned to me I too could not bear to let him go. I knew that I should be strong and say no, as punishment for our sin. But I could not.
“Yes.” I said simply.
“Yes? Yes what Jane?” he asked, almost fearfully.
“Yes I will marry you tomorrow Edward.” I said, looking up to catch his gaze.
He immediately pulled me against his chest, clutching at me tightly. “Thank you Jane, thank you. You have saved me. I knew that what we have, what we shared, could never be wrong or a sin.”
I buried my face in his shirt and wrapped my arms around his chest. As he continued to whisper endearments to me I could only hope that he was right and that what we shared would not be considered a sin and that I would not be punished for my weakness.