The quarrel between Arabella and Jonathan was well into its second day now, and for two pins she would have smashed every mirror in the house. Before Jonathan went to the wars, their arguments had often ended in a vigorous bout of fucking, but this time the anger between them was too fierce and bitter for any such quick resolution. Both of them were half-mad with vexation and sorely in need of release.
It was time to end this, Arabella thought, before the breach became irreparable. Cutting through Jonathan’s latest burst of self-justification, she burst out: “Enough!”
Jonathan was still speaking, as if he could not stop, words tumbling over one another.
“Stop talking!” Arabella shouted. “I don’t want to hear another word. Upstairs, Jonathan, right this minute!”
He stared at her, open-mouthed, and for a hideous moment she thought he was not going to move, that this too would fail them. Then he turned and stumbled out of the room and up the stairs, swearing as he collided with the banister.
Arabella’s legs were shaking. She took a deep breath, counted to fifty to compose herself, and went upstairs at something measurably less than a run.
Jonathan was standing by the bed, breathing hard. He was already barefoot and in his shirtsleeves, which made her pulse beat higher, but she was determined not to show it.
“Did I tell you to undress?” she snapped.
“No, but –”
She turned away from him and moved to the dressing-table, her heart pounding. The blue silk bag was where she had left it, at the back of the drawer; the thought of surprising him with its contents made her catch her breath. Not yet, though: there was punishment to be meted out first, and that soundly. She would not use the hand mirror, fitting though it would be. Henry had given it to her as part of his wedding present, along with – ah, yes, the hairbrush. That would do admirably.
“Take your breeches off,” she said, not turning to look at him. “And your drawers.”
His sharp intake of breath at the command made her slippery with heat, and she felt another surge of anger. How dare he take such risks with his life, out of sheer wantonness?
“Get on the bed,” she ordered, still with her back to him. He loved so much to be looked at, and denying him that was part of the punishment.
When she finally turned around, he was lying with his hands by his side, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling.
“Turn over,” she said sharply.
He gave her a wild look, but complied, hands above his head.
“You are not to move unless I say so, Jonathan, do you understand?”
He let out a long shivery breath. “I – yes, Bell.”
She brought the flat of the hairbrush down hard on his backside, and he cried out, more in shock than in pain she thought.
“How many months were you away from me?”
“Thirty-six,” he croaked. “Bell, I –”
“Count, then,” Arabella said, and spanked him harder.
“Ah! One,” he said, shuddering.
“One, or two?”
He groaned at that. “Whichever you please, Bell.”
“It does not please me,” she said coldly. “That was two. This is the third.”
“Fuck!” Jonathan yelped. “Three.”
He lost count somewhere in the twenties, which was almost a relief; her arm was tired, and she was glad of an excuse to stop.
“Enough,” she said, and rested her hand lightly on his hot and reddened flesh. “We will finish this another time.”
Jonathan gave a groan of frustration. “Please, Bell,” he said, writhing against the mattress, “I need –”
“Oh, I’m not done with you yet,” said Arabella. “Lie still.”
She unfastened her dress, and stripped to her shift. Her hands fumbled with the drawstring of the silk bag, and with the ties of the makeshift belt that fastened the instrument in place. She had not used the dildo on anyone else before, and was uncertain of the right way to position it; the pressure when it was on made her squirm and bite her lip, and she had to close her eyes for a moment to regain her composure. She took a handful of grease from the pot and slicked the leather shaft, shivering again at the touch of its base against her secret parts.
“Three years,” she said. “Spread your thighs.”
He gasped in shock and disbelief, as if he knew what was coming. He would not be a novice at this, she thought: she had seen the way that officer looked at him, two nights ago. She slicked her hands again and parted his buttocks, running a slippery finger around his entrance.
The touch of cold grease made Jonathan squirm and cry out. He was tight there when she probed him, and hotter inside. She worked him open, pushing more of the grease into him to ease the way, and rubbed the blunt tip of the dildo across and around that sensitive place before pushing slowly in.
Jonathan cried out again on being penetrated, but when she stopped he gasped “Please, want you to,” and she pushed harder till the dildo was buried in him to the hilt. The feeling of his skin, hot and slippery with sweat against her own slippery thighs, made her wild for him, and she could barely control herself. Still she held back, rocking into him slowly at first, pressing moans and shuddering sighs from him.
“More,” he begged. “Please, Bell, I need –”
She quickened her pace, pushing harder now. “Is this how he fucked you?” she hissed. “That man, Grant, is this –”
“Oh god,” Jonathan groaned, and she knew then for sure.
“Did he make you beg for it?” She gave a twist of her hips that made him buck and cry out again, and then she pulled back until only the tip of the dildo was still inside him.
“Bell, oh god ohgod please,” Jonathan babbled, desperately pushing back against her, seeking to be fucked and filled.
She was as hot and desperate as he was now, the teasing pressure of the dildo’s base against her aching flesh a near-unbearable torment. She slammed her hips against him once, twice and again, as hard as she could, and he cried out and spent, shuddering underneath her. All the anger and frustration of the last two days erupted in her, and she felt the violent tremors of his crisis bringing on her own. She bit his shoulder to keep from screaming.
“Bell,” he said, when he could speak again, and they were lying side by side. His expression was awed, as if he could not quite believe what had just passed between them.
“Yes, Jonathan?” she said, a little mockingly.
“Where did you – how did you –” He seemed to be lost for words.
“You had your consolations in the Peninsula, I think,” she said. “And I had mine. It is surprising what one can discover from pamphlets, and it seems most things can be procured in London, if you know the right address.”
That shocked him a little, she saw; even after all this time he had not yet learned to know her.
“I had not thought to need such a thing again, now you were home,” she said musingly. “I think perhaps I shall buy myself another, in case you go away again, and keep this one for fucking you.”
He groaned at that, and closed his eyes.
“Jonathan, what you did in the Peninsula, or who with, is your business,” said Arabella. “But you are my husband, and now you are here with me I will not lose you again: not to that man, and not to some unknown looking-glass world.”
She kissed him rather fiercely, to make the point, and he did not argue with her any more.