Hope you enjoy.
He did not know why he had come. This was usually the type of place, which he tried to avoid now. It was not as thought he was a Lord or of respectable birth, whose position at Court could survive being spotted around the low lands of London. No, if they, especially Suffolk, found out about his night time walk that evening, his life's work would have been done for. Suffolk would twist his story in the King's ear, so that it would appear that his most faithful servant, was nothing but a lowlife dog...Then again, the King might think the honourable Duke of Suffolk was speaking of himself.
Cromwell chuckled briefly at the thought, as he turned the corner of the street. It was raining, big drops of April water was pouring from the black sky and dripping off the end of his hat and the tip of his nose. But not even this amount of water, could have washed away the stench of despair, which now rolled towards him.
Cromwell was under no illusions about tonight. He knew his mission, would not lead him into the delights of Eden-not for what he wanted anyway.
Most men would have gone to Southwark and hanged around the stews or the bear baiting, to buy their pound of flesh but for Cromwell, Southwark was too dangerous. It was full of informants, and while most were in his pay, he knew they would go running to his enemies, the moment they had some dirt on their master, ready to charge a high price for information.
Instead Cromwell had gone to a place he knew well-Putney, the place of his childhood and of his nightmares. It was a rough place, some said godless, but despite it's wildness, it was a place, which would always protect its own.
'Hullo Tommy,' greeted his childhood friend Roger with a grin. It was a stretch, referring to them as friends, now that they were grown, for Roger reminded Cromwell of his brute of a father-but his silence was easily brought, which made him a friend for the evening,'welcome to my humble tavern, The Pilgrim's Rest. It's been such a long time,'
'Yes,' muttered Cromwell, as he stepped over the greasy threshold and tried to stop the memories of his childhood flashing in his mind, 'yes, it has,'
'Well,' replied Roger, who was not sure what to make of his old friend's off handedness, 'shall I show you my girls?'
Despite the wretchedness of the place, the bar of The Pilgrim's Rest was near busting, full of men and women all seeking an escape from the drudgery of everyday life. But as Roger lead him through the maze of people to a corner table away from the crowds, Cromwell tried to spot which of the girls was here for pleasure and which for profit.
'Now you sit here, Tommy and I'll fetch sweet Annie for you,'
Sweet Annie! Cromwell felt a shudder run up his spin, as his actions suddenly seemed real. It had been nearly seven years since God had taken Elizabeth and in all that time he had never done anything of this nature. The thought had not once crossed his mind-well, not until last night, when he had laid in bed, his hot body tossing and turning amid the tangled sheets. It was as if all the long suppressed urges had seized him all at once. But it was not the act itself, which he found himself craving the most. He had found long ago that his hands or burying his body deep in the soft mattress was enough to satisfy this craving. No, it was the simple things, such as feeling a warmed, curved body beside his, having someone to hold tight against him and feel the warmth of her breath against his face. It was the little things like that, which drove him to this pit of despair.
'Here she is Tommy,' cheered Roger, coming back to him, dragging a childlike girl to the table, 'here's our sweet little Annie. Straight from Yorkshire, only been with us a day, haven't you my dear? Hasn't yet been broken in, if you catch my drift?'
Nodding his head in response, Cromwell looked the girl up and down. She was still a child with long blonde hair, tied into two plaits, which hung around her shoulders and the end of the left one, her hands nervously played with. Her frame was small, her body still clearly growing and easy prey for men of wickedness.
'How old are you?' asked Cromwell, trying to look into her watery blue eyes, only she could not meet his gaze and continued to look at the floor.
'Fourteen, sir,' she stuttered, her hands playing nervously with the ends of her hair, 'well, I will be this Christmastide,'
'I see,' he replied, 'do you have any family who will look after you?'
'My aunt and uncle in Bristol,' she said, trying not to cry, 'I wanted to go there, but my stepfather sent me here,'
'Well,' said Cromwell, reaching for his purse and producing some coins, 'I suggest you take these and find a coach to the West Country and away from this Hell,'
'Thank you sir,' she whispered as slowly she took the coins, before rushing into the crowd.
'Now Tommy, you can't go driving away my goods, just cause you don't like the look of them,' Roger said, his voice slightly raised, but retaining a friendly tone, as he knew he would be well paid for tonight's work.
'And you should not presume that all men want to bed a child,' answered Cromwell, with a raised eyebrow.
'Well then,' said Roger, sitting down at the table and leaning forward, wanting to seal the deal as soon as possible, 'if I'm to find you a girl, it would a help if I knew what you wanted. There's Morag, who looks after our customers, who liked to be treated like the dogs they are,'
Cromwell looked at where Roger was nodding and saw a red head girl serving drinks from behind the bar. She was pretty, despite the bruising on her face and arms-signs that it was not just her, who did the beating.
'Or there's Agnes, who for a few extra coins, will let you unload yourself inside her,'
'I suspect,' interrupted Cromwell, glancing at the weathered woman, who had probably once been a great beauty, 'that the extra coins are to help her feed her many children,'
'Well quite,' continued Roger, 'we have all got to be fed somehow...how's about Mary, who can do all kinds of magic with her tongue...'
But before Cromwell had a chance to decline the witch with the slick instrument, he was distracted by shouts coming from a nearby table.
'You try and stick your dirty paws up my skirts again,' cried the unknown lady, 'and I'll wedge my dagger in your heart!'
'I'd like to see you try,' chuckled a male voice, 'sweetheart...'
But the churl never finished his sentence, for suddenly there was a crash and the people parted, in a gasp.
'Laughing now, are we?' cackled the female voice and Cromwell saw as he got to his feet and peered over the crowds, that a grown man of no little strength, had been pinned to the dirty floor by a creature, who was not only half his size, but was also a woman.
'Who is she?' asked Cromwell, his eyes mesmerised by her limps and their skill.
'She,' smiled Roger, happy that it looked like he had now secured his profit for the night, 'is one of our most secret possessions-would you like to meet her, Tommy?'
Sitting back down at the table with emotionless eyes, Cromwell watched as Roger strolled over to the maiden, who was still pinning her prey to the ground. As he examined the outline of her body, Cromwell felt his throat go dry, as he allowed the image of this nimble creature pinning him to his large bed to dance before his eyes. Shaking his head, he tried to suppress the image, as he saw Roger whisper something in the girl's ear, but the blocking of the picture became hard, as the girl turned her head in his direction and he saw her dark round brown eyes and the devilish smile on her bright red lips.
'Jezebel,' smiled Cromwell, hiding his nerve as he looked her up and down, 'as in the Whore of Babel?'
'I am Jezebel,' the woman, Jezebel, laughed as she placed her hands on the table and leaned forward, 'or I can be the Virgin Mother, if you like,'
With a laugh, Cromwell studied her-she was no holy Madonna. The beauty in her face, belonged to no angel, her eyes where too dark and round to draw innocence, as were the black curls framing her face. But it was her body, which removed any hint of holiness. She was slim, but she possessed the most appealing curves, the top half of which was almost tumbling from the neck line of her dress,'
'You are not the Virgin Mary,' replied Cromwell, rolling his tongue across his lips as he allowed himself to briefly fantasize as his eyes studied the lines of her chest.
'Maybe,' she laughed, leaning further on the table, to stare deep into her prospective owner's eyes, 'but take me for a night, sir and I will show you, why Jezebel had Ahab wrapped around his little finger,'
'Will you indeed?'
'Oh yes,' continued Jezebel, climbing on the table top and crouching on all fours, as she moved forward and whispered in his ear, 'a night with me, will make you lost to Heaven forever,'
'Well, you ain't the usual sort of man who hangs around Putney,' whistled Jezebel as she walked around Cromwell's study, picking up an amber paperweight and examining the dead insect inside, as she passed his desk, 'no wonder you can afford to pay old Roger so handsomely,'
'It seemed a fair deal,' shrugged Cromwell, trying to hide his disgust at himself for having take part in buying of human flesh, 'would you like some wine?'
'Wine!' she grinned, putting the paperweight down as she perched on the edge of the desk, 'I'm usually lucky to get some ale-well one of my men usually gives me wine,'
Cromwell winced as he poured the wine from the picture, which was left by his housekeeper on the small table by the fire place. He only had one goblet, so he handed it to her, as he tried to forget that he was not only man in her life, but then, for him this was more about comfort, than pleasure.
'You ain't drinking sir?' she asked as she took the goblet, but instead of drinking the spicy red liquid, she dipped her finger in the wine, before running it along the rim, 'you trying to get me drunk, cause I should warn you, that I can more than hold my ale,'
'I'm sure you can,' laughed Cromwell for the first time since they had arrive at his house, 'I'm sure you can,'
For a moment the both of them just stared at the flickering flames of the fire, Jezebel sitting on the desk, as Cromwell stood beside her thinking. He had wanted her to come back home with him so badly when he had seen her in The Pilgrim's Rest, but the closer they got to home, the more he was regretting the business and was now feeling his stomach churn.
'Shall we get started? Which way to your bed chamber,' she said, jumping off the desk and taking hold of his hand, 'or does it hold too many memories of your wife-do you want to take me here?'
'How did you know I was a widower?' asked Cromwell, as he looked down at their linked hands, 'I never said,'
'You didn't have too,' she smiled, with a surprising amount of warmth, 'no husband would take his newly purchased tart home with him,'
Cromwell winced as her words reminded him of his actions, making it all seem so dirty.
'Besides,' she continued, 'if you were simply single, you would have dragged me straight upstairs to your chamber, thrown me down on the bed and jumped inside me,'
With that she went to pull him to the door, but Cromwell stopped her.
'I would rather stay here,' he said, not just because of the memories, but also, if they went to his bed chamber, their voices were likely to be heard, as it was placed in the most crowded part of the house. The thought of the servants gossiping made his skin crawl, especially as Gregory was likely to hear of it the next time he was home from Cambridge. No one resided in the wing of the house, where he had made his office at this hour, so here, they would be safe from preying eyes and opened ears, 'if that is fine with you,'
'Whatever you want, sir,' she shrugged placing herself in front of him, 'I am yours to do as you will,'
Ignoring her words, Cromwell looked at her and for the first time that evening, he was stuck with how beautiful she was. In the fire light of the chamber, for the first time he noticed the olive texture of her skin, the roundness of her face and the softness of her features. Not that it detracted from her being the Whore of Babel-in fact, it only heightened it, making her more erotic and appealing. Once again, his eyes fell from her face and on to her body. Only this time he did not study her shapely bulk, but the redness of the fabric, which clothed and clinging tightly to it.
'Your dress is silk,' he muttered, eyeing her slightly suspiciously, 'I am from Putney and know, no one there can afford such fine material,'
'My Flemish merchant gave it to me. Likes me to wear it for him,' she smiled, smoothing the fabric of her bodice, 'do you have something that you'd like me to wear for you?'
'No,' laughed Cromwell, intrigued by the idea, as surely it was the woman men wanted, not just the image, 'do men really ask such things?'
'I have a man,' Jezebel said, as she put her arms around his neck and pushed her body on to his, ' a very well respected man and of great standing-or so he likes to tell me, who has me dress up as though I am a princess from Arabia. He calls me his little Scheherazade, as he likes me to easy his mind with my body and words, helping him to forget his fears that his brother is plotting against him...but you don't want to hear about him. Now shall I easy your mind,'
With that she leaned forward, pressing her breasts against his chest, as she went to place her red lips on his. But no matter how much he enjoyed feeling a heart beating in time with his, there was a line he did not want to cross.
'No,' he said firmly, placing a finger between their mouths, 'no kissing,'
'Well,' she smiled, tilting her head back, 'there is other things I can do with my mouth and more fun things too,'
Before he could stop her, she placed her lips on his neck and started to kiss and suck his cold flesh.
'I said no kissing,' sighed Cromwell, trying to ignore the tingle that was running down his spin to his groin, but he found himself powerless to resist.
'As you wish, sir,' Jezebel whispered, sucking his earlobe briefly, before moving away, 'now shall we get started,'
Making her eyes increase in size, she stared into his, whilst she lifted her skirts and gradually sunk to her knees. In her descent, Jezebel continued to look up him, holding his gaze, as she wondered if he was going to stop her this time, but to her surprise, he remained like a statue. Licking her lips, she leaned forward, placing one hand on his hip, whilst the other found the ribbons of his breeches.
'I...,' Cromwell started, but feeling her breath so close to his still clothed manhood made him stop. This was what he had wanted, was it not, a little voice in his head cried. To feel, his body being touched by the fairer sex, to feel the warmth of female breath against him. And this was it, complete with the ecstasy of the sacred union...but no, this was not how he wanted it.
'I'm sorry, no,' he muttered, knocking her hand away from his breeches and pushing past her, 'this is not what I wanted,'
'Then can sir please tell me what he wants,' replied Jezebel, sharply, 'look, every man is nervous the first time, thinks he's doing something dirty and wrong...well, some are, but you're not,'
Cromwell was silent as he stared at the flames, thinking how foolish he had been and cursing himself for having gone down a road, which he knew would only lead to trouble.
'Look, if you don't want me, I'll go,' she called, heading towards the door, 'I might get some more business elsewhere. You know that money you paid Roger was only for his benefit. You're still meant to pay me again after the business is complete,'
'I know,' he answered, still staring intently, as he wondered if he really wanted her to go. Something had made him become hypnotised by her in the tavern. She had fixed him so intently that he could not take his eyes off of her, as she had bent over his table. Even after, when he was feeling nervous on their journey home, he had still wanted her to come with him and not leave him alone, 'wait! Do not go...please come and sit by the fire with me,'
'I will still pay you,' said Cromwell, as Jezebel sat on his lap, 'I know you have a business to run,'
'Good, cause I was still planning to charge,' laughed Jezebel lightly as she fell back against him, resting her head on his shoulder. The two of them sat there for a moment, listening to the crackling of the flames, Cromwell finding himself soothed as he started stroking her thick black hair. This was what he had wanted, to share a closeness once again. He seemed not to be the only one, for Jezebel, slipped off her shoes and curled up on his lap, placing an arm around his waist, 'besides, I don't mind this. Makes a nice change,'
He looked down at her at her and smiled as he saw her smiling back at him. He missed moments like these. It reminded him of those nights long ago, when Elizabeth would rested in his arms, as they watched their children play at their feet.
'You must miss your wife,' she said suddenly in a low voice, 'why haven't you remarried?'
'You know, no one has ever asked me that before, not even my son,' replied Cromwell, as his mind tried to find the reasons for his lack of eagerness to return to the state of matrimony. Other men did, some already installing the second wife, before the first was even ill, but until the frustration of last night, it had never crossed his mind, 'I guess, when Elizabeth was alive, well towards end, I tended to put work first. I became so obsessed with giving us a good life, that by time I had everything, I lost the one person I wanted to share it with. I could not put someone or myself through that pain again,'
As he spoke, he felt Jezebel tighten her arm on his waist and her head snuggle closer against him. On all the way he thought he would spend this evening, it had never crossed his mind that he would be revealing secrets to his night time purchase.
'I know what you mean,' Jezebel agreed, nodding her head, 'I weren't always a whore. I was in love once...a boy called Jimmy. He was from Scotland, come south for an apprenticeship in the glass trade. We were going to get married, had a baby on the way. We were going to have a home and a family, but then, he got sick and died,'
'And the baby?' asked Cromwell, shocked by her tale of woe, which almost mirrored his.
'Died too and left me barren as brick,' she sighed as she sat up slightly, ' that's how I ended up here, well almost,'
'You have no family?'
'None that would want me,' Jezebel said distantly, before leaning back against him with a smile, 'anyway, who wants Jezebel in their house. So what's your son like? Is he as kind and decent man like his father?'
'Gregory is like his mother. Sweet and kind, not an evil bone in his body,' answered Cromwell, smiling too as he spoke of the one pure thing he had left in this world, 'he is at Cambridge at the moment, otherwise you could meet...I am far from kind and decent,'
'Oh you are,' she laughed, tossing her black curls, 'and I know who you are, Lord Cromwell. I figured that out, the moment you sneaked me in the side door. Don't know why. I guess most men with this amount of money wouldn't even know that they had a side door. Still, I never believed the rumours they spread about you. They are nothing more than tales made up to scare children. I've met many evil men in my time and can tell, even in these few hours that you are nowhere near their making,'
'Even though a night with you,' grinned Cromwell, holding her slightly tighter, not wanting her to move, but at the same time, trying to suppress the urge to kiss her, 'will descend me straight into Hell,'
'Oh believe me, sir,' whispered Jezebel, her warm breath tickling his ear, 'a night with me, will have, even the likes of you creeping to the cross the following morning. But as you don't want to climb inside me, you're safe for now...Are you sure you don't want me to do anything for you? I use to dance. Would you like me to dance for you?'
'Dance?' laughed Cromwell, as she jumped off his lap and stood in front of him, the look which had drawn him to her in the tavern, on her face, 'is that the path you took, before you met Roger?'
'After Jimmy and the baby died, I took to the road,' she said as she leant forward, shaking her hair, before flicking it back, 'met a man, who called himself Hades. He unlocked my hidden talents, shall we say. Would you like me start?'
Cromwell nodded his approval, intrigued by his companion's story. He had sensed in the tavern, that there was something more to her, that she possessed a story more complex than simply a need to survive the poverty of the capital and was longing to hear it.
'He said he'd look after me,' continued Jezebel, starting to twirl around, causing her skirts and hair to lift slightly with the movements, 'I was still naive then. Believed every word he said and though that if I did my duty in bed and in the streets, he'd marry me,'
'He got rich of you selling yourself?' asked Cromwell seriously, despite the fact he could not take his eyes off her hips, which were moving in perfect rhythm despite the lack of music.
'Not by getting me to spread my legs,' she laughed cynically as she picked up her skirts, to give her slender, olive calves more freedom to move, 'no, by getting me to dance for coins, in the streets, markets and taverns. And we...I made lots of money. He marketed me as his Spanish Gypsy, fresh from the shores of Madrid,'
'Except Madrid not near the sea,'
'Made no differences to Hades,' she said in a straight forward way, as she stomped her shoeless feet, 'if it made him money. In the end I made no difference to him either, despite the money I brought him,'
'And you left him?'
'Only when he crossed the line that no man should ever cross,' sighed Jezebel, tossing her thick curls, 'so I grabbed whatever money I could and ran all the way to London. Made the promise to myself then, that I would never love or make love again,'
'But you do almost every night,' choked Cromwell, feeling his throat become dry as her dark eyes, stared straight into his. Her movements had mesmerised him, causing him to follow every gyrating shift of her exotic limbs and much to his horror, as she danced before him, the tingled he had felt earlier, once again descended his spin, gathering in heat near his groin.
'No that is lust, not love,' she smiled as she stopped her dance, 'I cater for men's lusts, but I don't feel joy or pleasure and they don't seek to give it to me. They only want their own enjoyment out of it,'
He got to his feet and approached her, laying a hand gently on top of her's. He expected her to jump, but she did not, and smiled as she joined her hand with his.
'I thought these things were meant to be for the enjoyment of all,' Cromwell whispered, slowly placing a hand on the side of her face. He did not want to hurt her, he could have handled her pushing him away and demanding her fee-after all, to most it would appear that he was simply wanting her for his own enjoyment. But that was not his reason. He saw her something more than just a beautiful woman-she was deep, with a complex tale. She was like him.
'Is that why you haven't made love since your wife?' she smiled, placing her other hand on top of the one holding her cheek.
As he felt her tongue deep in his mouth, he realised for the first time in years that he was a man of flesh and blood. God, every stroke felt so good, as he crushed her body against his, causing her breasts to almost to tumble out of her dress, that he prayed that the sensation would never end.
'Oh God,' he mumbled, tearing himself away from her mouth and sucking on the rosewater flesh of her neck, 'oh God! Oh God!'
'Sir,' she sighed, wrapping her legs around his waist, surprised at her body's ability to perform this act naturally without the need of prompting, 'sir,'
With a free hand, he knocked the various pens and paper from his desk, causing them to fly about the two of them, as he laid her down on the wood. As he did this, she pulled him down on top of her, welcoming him back inside her. Running a hand down the bodice of her dress, he felt heat rise from the silk and sensed the heat coming from his own body. It had been so long, he had though himself over this part of life, but now as his hands pushed up her skirts, all the while letting his rough hands massage her skin, he found himself longing to be between her thighs.
'Sweet Jesus,' Cromwell hissed, as his hands reached the promise land. Too his surprise, her womanhood was wet, ready for him and he closed his eyes, uttering a prayer as for the first time in a long while, there was a woman wanting him. Not because of the strings he could pull for her gain, but because of what he was without his chain of state, 'Jesus!'
'Sir,' she gasped, lifting her head slightly as beads of sweet started to appear on her brow, as she felt the man, who she was meant to be looking after, stroking the sensitive bud of her moist sacred part, which she had almost forgotten existed for the service of her own pleasure, 'sir...you...you...shouldn't...I...I need...to...to please...you,'
'Oh God, you are,' he groaned, praying that he could hold on longer and wanting to hold on as long as he could. He wanted to please her, for her to feel the same pleasure as he did. She deserved to feel wanted and cared for, the same way he did, 'believe me you are,'
He let his fingers circle her bud, gently one way, then altering it and stroking her in the opposite direction. She wriggled and writhed beneath him, moans escaping from her red lips-if only she would cry 'Thomas,' and not 'Sir,'.
Lying down on top of her, Cromwell felt that they were breathing in time and it made him want her more. At the start of the night and in the preceding day, he had not wanted this-all he had wanted was for someone to lie beside him, but now, every lust in his body was unlocked.
'Oh God!' gasped Jezebel in a loud rasp from the back of her throat as her body curved towards him, before collapsing back on the desk, her breathing heavy. Cromwell smiled but as he went to kiss her flushed face, she stopped him, 'no sir. I want to please you,'
Pushing him back, Jezebel slide off the table and fell to her knees, her mouth just inches away from his manhood. It was hard and throbbing, it's intensity growing for the moment he felt her tongue dance around his mouth and now it was near bursting as was near taking him.
Slowly her hands unbuttoned his breeches, his breathing becoming heavier with loosening of his bindings. It had been so long since he had been so close to feeling physical pleasure, that as he felt those red lips, take him and start to caress the length of him, he doubted he could how on for long. But he did not want to be like the other men, who she had been with. He wanted her to feel safe, not to feel used and unloved.
'Pleases...please...,' he hissed through his teeth, the ecstasy causing him to throw his head back, 's...st...stop,'
'Most men like what I do to them when I'm on my knees,' she said, slightly put out as she fell back on to the soles of her feet, 'you can't be like other men,'
'Don't you listen to rumours. I am not like most men,' Cromwell smiled, as he stroked her thick black hair, 'I just want us to enjoy it together,'
'Well you're right there. My other men, just demand to be rode until they've had their fill,' Jezebel laughed, getting to her feet, but as Cromwell went to pull her to him, she moved, turning her back to him, then looking at him over her shoulder, 'but I know one trick, which will fulfil my promise of my namesake,'
With that she made her eye grow even rounder, innocent yet teasing, as she pursed the reds of her lips together. Then her fingers played with ribbons of her dress, promising to reveal what lay beneath the tightly bound fabric, but at the same time, the fact she did not undo them, only heightened the want.
Cromwell did not know where to place his eyes, so he flicked between the look of purity and seduction on Jezebel's face to the tempting sight of the teasing ribbons. He was surprised he could still breath, as his body was overcome with heat and sweat breaking out over him as his groin ached even more. As his eyes were drawn more to her, he started to picture the image of her dancing before him, her limbs twisting, her hair flicking with every turn of her head, whilst her hips moved in a perfect hypnotising rhythm. The glimpses of her olive body and the knowledge that only a moments go she had been wet for him, sent all thoughts of reason from his body, as his senses took over.
'God, I want you,' he begged, grabbing her around the waist and kissing her neck, 'please take me to Hell,'
'You need to lift up my skirts then,' she whispered breathlessly as her tongue almost licked his ear, 'don't you, sir,'
He did as she bid him, one hand frantically lifted up her many layers of skirts, before resting on her naked hip.
'Now,' she sighted in his ear, 'take me over your desk and...,'
But before she finished, he pushed her forward, so that her hips were resting on the desk's edge, revealing herself to him.
'Christ,' he groaned, as he slipped himself inside her. For a moment, he did not move, just savoured the sensation, but as he heard her whimper and demand more, his body started to move in that long forgotten rhythm, 'Christ,'
'Sir,' she gasped, his thrusts causing her nails digging into the hard wood of the desk, 'sir...faster...sir,'
Once again he did as she bid him, only as his thrusts became stronger, his desire for her took over. Laying his chest on top of her back, he kissed the base of her neck as his hands resting on the tips of her shoulders, before, in one mad flash of passion, he ripped away the top of her dress.
'Sweet Jesus,' he grunted, as his tongue licked her naked back, as he continued to slide in and out of her, hoping that he was nowhere near peaking, 'oh Jesus. Jezebel,'
'Sir,' she cried loudly, as his hands found her breasts and started stroking them, 'don't...don't...be...so...so...gen...gentle,'
As he felt her hips fall into the same pattern as his, Cromwell grabbed her breasts in the manor she craved. At that moment, nothing in world seemed to matter. It was just the two of them, alone on God's earth and the only sound was the slapping of the flesh of their hips and shouts of pleasure, which accompanied them. Even as first Jezebel, then Cromwell became seized by ripples of ecstasy, which rolled through their bodies, causing them to both collapse on the table panting, nothing seemed to matter. They just laid there, as if they were a married couple, who had just enjoyed the delights of marriage bed.
Of all the places Cromwell thought he would be tonight, the long locked nursery chamber, was the last place he thought he be. Climbing around in the darkness, with only a tiny candle stump to light his way, he found the group of trunks, with held the belongs of Elizabeth and their daughters. He knew which one held Elizabeth's clothing, her initials had been engraved on the front-it had been a wedding present from her father. With a deep breath, Cromwell opened the trunk and tried to ignore the feelings of guilt, as he rummaged through the dresses. Although they no longer smelt of Elizabeth but of moths and age, he could still feel her ghost standing by his side. Poor Elizabeth-what would she say, if she knew he was giving away one of her dresses to a whore he had brought and bedded?
Finally he picked out a dark navy dress, which Elizabeth said always said made her look like an old maid, because the design did not suit her body. Maybe she would not mind too much then, if he gave the dress to another.
'I found you a dress,' he said, coming back into the office and shutting the door quickly behind him, 'it was my poor wife's. I hope you do not mind,'
'Thank you,' smiled Jezebel, as she stood up from her chair by the fire place, 'are you sure you don't mind. Your cape is lovely and warm, I would be happy enough with it,'
She did look beautiful and alluring, wrapped in his thick, animal fur lined cloak, particularly as he knew that underneath she was complete robbed of clothing. But it was not just her nakedness, that made Cromwell forget the feelings of guilt- it was the vulnerability of her, which he knew lurked alongside her confidence.
'But what will I wear to shield myself from the wind and rain,' Cromwell laughed, as he held out the dress, 'besides, we cannot have you running around London near naked,'
'I know some who won't mind,' she replied, though Cromwell noticed a tiny hint of cynicism in her little laugh, 'I don't know what I'm going to tell my man from the Low Countries,'
He felt a hint of jealousy, as she mentioned another man, who she had been with and would go with again. This Flemish man might shower her with gifts, but he did not care for her-not the way he had and did. Perhaps he could track him down and threaten him, tell him to leave England for go or he would end up in the Tower.
Watching as she let the cape fall from her body, so she was stood briefly naked before him until she took the dress from him and stepped into it, he smiled. The dress was more conservative than the one which she had arrived in and which he had torn from her body, but her eyes seemed to light up as she placed the old velvet fabric on her body, as it she was more excited by this old dress-surely Elizabeth would be happy with that?
'Let me help you,' whispered Cromwell, taking hold of her ribbons and tying her into the navy fabric, finding something almost enthralling in watching the velvet encased her olive skin. When it was done, she turned round to face him with a smile, that resembled a child at Christmas excited by its new toy.
'Well what do you think?' she smiled, as she did a quick twirl, 'I've never had a proper dress before. Well not one, which respectable ladies wear,'
'You look beautiful,' he answered and she did. The fabric, which Elizabeth had complained made her look old before her time, suited Jezebel, fitting her perfectly around the waist, the navy sitting well with her black hair and the slight tightness around her chest, enhanced the roundness of her breasts, yet not cheapening her.
'Thank you. Now I really should be going,'
Going? But why? Then Cromwell recalled that she was not simple a woman in love, but a business woman, who had come with him for financial gain. Any ideas that she was there for any reasons, other than money was simply foolish.
'Oh yes,' he muttered, turning away from her and feeling ashamed as once again he remembered the truth, 'how much do I owe you?'
'Don't worry about payment,' she said, catching hold of his hand and pulling him back, 'the dress will more than do,'
Jezebel smiled at him with a soft grin and her dark eyes seemed lighter as if she too felt there had been something special, which had past between them that night. After all she had been a different woman with him, kind and sweet, not like the act she played for the regulars of The Pilgrim's Rest.
'Can I see you again?' whispered Cromwell, shaking slightly as he place a hand on the side of her face. For a moment he was hopeful as she kissed his palm, but soon she was shaking her head from side to side.
'I don't think that's wise, do you sir?' she replied with a watery smile, 'I'll cause you nothing but hurt and I'll ruin you in end. You deserve better than that. But thank you for tonight,'
And with that she kissed him on the cheek, but before she pulled away, she once again leaned toward him and whispered in his ear her true name. As he heard her words and felt her breath, Cromwell wanted to pull her back and ask her to stay, saying he was certain that she would bring him nothing but joy if she remain in his world.
But he never had the chance, because as he went to speak, Jezebel pulled away from him and moved quickly towards the door. He tried to get the words out, but before they started to fall from his mouth, she had slipped behind the door, firstly into the darken corridor and then disappearing into the night.