ONE morning, about a week after Bingley's engagement with Jane had been formed, as he and the females of the family were sitting together in the dining room, their attention was suddenly drawn to the window, by the sound of a carriage; and they perceived a chaise and four driving up the lawn. It was too early in the morning for visitors, and besides, the equipage did not answer to that of any of their neighbours. The horses were post; and neither the carriage, nor the livery of the servant who preceded it, were familiar to them. As it was certain, however, that somebody was coming, Bingley instantly prevailed on Miss Bennet to avoid the confinement of such an intrusion, and walk away with him into the shrubbery. They both set off, Jane, hastily putting on her cloak to protect herself from the autumn cold.
They did not stop once they had reached the shrubbery, but continued walking, until they were past the gates of Longbourn and along the road that lead towards Netherfield, just as Jane suspected they would.
As they walked, they spoke lightly of the identity of the visitor to Longbourn and the cause of the visit, but neither had any grounds on which to base their speculation and the topic soon fell by the wayside.
Jane was delightfully aware of Bingley's closeness to her as they walked. As was their custom, he had drawn closer to her once they were safe from observation and had carefully adjusted his stride to keep pace with her smaller steps.
Jane made sure they were fully alone, then with downcast eyes and a becoming blush, asked, "Are you not going to kiss me, Mr. Bingley?"
She waited, a warming of anticipation lighting her features. Since the first day of their engagement, Charles had generously graced Jane with kisses. She accepted them with much more pleasure than propriety would deem acceptable, yet this did not trouble Jane. She trusted her fiancÚ, knowing he would keep her from any harm to her reputation.
This day, however, was the first time she had asked for his kiss, and she was not completely easy with her brazenness.
"No, Miss Bennet, I think not," he replied in a cooler tone than she had heard since his return to Meryton.
Jane was struck. Had she offended him? Her eyes widened, but she dared not look at him. Indeed, it was a struggle merely to keep walking. Jane was not used to giving offence to anyone, and she was quite unsure as to what to do.
"Mr. Bingley," she cried. "I, I am so sorry. I beg your pardon." Her distress was evident in her voice, even as she hid her features.
Bingley stopped and his gloved hand gently lifted her chin, so his eyes met hers. Instead of the disapproval Jane expected to find there, she found only a curious concern. "Jane, Angel," he said, his voice softly censuring her. "Oh my dearest, I am sorry. I meant only to tease you, and to make you perhaps say my name." His eyes were warm with kind affection.
"My Christian name, Angel."
"Oh," Jane brightened, relief replacing distress upon her countenance, which was soon replaced by the gentlest of smile. "Charles," she said shyly.
Bingley smiled warmly and his lips descended to hers. Jane closed her eyes and lifted her lips, awaiting the first touch with a flutter in her stomach. His kiss excited great emotion inside of her, emotion that softened with frequent repetition, but their first kiss after each separation still moved Jane greatly.
One kiss became two, then three. Charles forced himself to stop then, although there was little more he should like to do than continue kissing his beloved; he was well aware that a road was hardly discrete or conducive to romantic liaisons. Pulling back, he offered Jane his arm and they walked along together.
"I am very sorry to have troubled you, dearest," his voice sincere, yet not overly heavy with self-reproach.
True to her nature, Jane attempted to brush away the worth of her feelings, but Bingley would not have it. "Your happiness is my charge," he told her, his air thoughtful, yet pleasant. "It is a duty I take very seriously." He looked lovingly into her eyes. "I caused you so much suffering, my dear, I would wish you to never suffer again, especially at my hands."
Jane was humbled at the frank emotions she saw on his face and heard in his voice. While quite used to admiration for her beauty and kindness, such pure adoration was quite beyond her experience. She felt the strongest gratitude towards him, gratitude that might have been coloured by something stronger, that was still unnamed in her heart.
"Charles," she said again, the name a caress. He was undone by the sweet sound and paused to kiss her yet again. She accepted his kiss joyfully, then resting her head on his arm, walked a bit further with him in meditative silence.
Jane was concerned that her initial step of expressing her enjoyment of Mr. Bingley's attentions had been rebuffed, and while she entirely understood teasing, she was still not sure in her mind how Bingley felt about her behavior.
With an ease that came with trust, she spoke. "Charles," the name was so dear to her, "were you offended by my forwardness?"
Bingley looked at her in puzzlement; then he grasped her meaning and his expression cleared. "Not at all, my love. Were you uneasy?"
Jane lowered her head, "A bit," she owned. "I was not sure if you would approve, though I thought you would," she added quickly. "I know it is not strictly correct. But perhaps you would prefer that all such overtures should come from you."
Charles paused in his walk, and looked at Jane. Her words had provoked a well of feeling and thoughts, of which all he could be certain of was the knowledge that he that needed to examine them more closely. He looked about, and finding what he sought, led Jane off the road and down a little path, which led to an old folly, quite abandoned to the autumn cold.
He took off his greatcoat and laid it on the floor, helping Jane to sit upon it, then sat himself beside her and took her hand in his. It was an odd discovery he had made, that for some unknown reason, touching Jane helped him to focus his thoughts with greater clarity.
Jane waited peacefully for him to speak, trusting that he would when he was ready and quite enjoying this bit of privacy with him.
When Charles finally began, he was looking away, towards the trees. "Jane, I meant it when I told you I consider safeguarding your happiness to be my duty. It is that, and more; it is my greatest source of joy." He paused again, clearly choosing his words with unusual care. "You know that I have loved you for a very long time."
Jane nodded, her face happy.
"It is because of that love, that perhaps I have been taking greater liberties with you than I should." He looked very seriously at her. "Jane, am I making you unhappy with my attentions?"
"No!" Jane exclaimed strongly. "I worried I was making you unhappy because I enjoyed them so much." She lowered her head, ashamed at her admission, but continued on. "I have such tenderness for you as well, Charles, and when we are together, I do not feel as if you are taking from me, rather that you are giving me happiness." She smiled briefly to herself. "Even when we are apart, I think very frequently upon you." Here she lifted her eyes to him, "In truth, you are almost never out of my thoughts."
Charles squeezed her hand and smiled warmly at her admission. "Nor are you out of mine."
Jane colored with pleasure and went on, emboldened by his response, but still speaking quite timidly, "I know that as your betrothed, it is my obligation to safeguard my conduct with you. But I have never been uneasy around you. I trust you completely. I know you have my best interests always at heart, and will never harm me or my reputation, but I have to admit that sometimes, I," she paused and licked her lips, "sometimes I would like more."
Charles stared at her dumbfounded for a moment, then a broad, bright smile enhanced his features. He drew Jane into his embrace and kissed her deeply, deeper than he had ever before. When he released her lips, he asked, "Like that?"
"Oh yes, Charles," Jane breathed. And she was delighted by the return of his mouth to her own. Jane's awareness became impossibly focused on Charles and his lips; they were so soft against her own. His tongue had slipped softly into her mouth, and was teasing and tasting her, provoking her to respond. Timidly, she reached out, and lightly touched his teeth, then reached further, the pleasure increasing until from one moment to the next, she was not sure where her mouth ended and his began. She loved the feeling of intimacy and connection she had found with him. It was exciting and comforting at the same time.
At some point, Charles moved away from her mouth, and kissed her along her jaw to her ear. "My bold one," he murmured lovingly in her ear. "Dear Angel, I want to give you what ever makes you happy, but you must promise to tell me if I ask for too much."
Jane made a soft noise of agreement in her throat before she sought out his delicious mouth again. She ceased thinking or worrying.
Charles had made it clear that he was pleased with her, and that was all she needed. Found a freedom she had not known before in his approval and love, and she easily moved beyond the confines that had limited her before to a new realm of sensation that she wished to explore.
She relished the feel of him, and so attentive was she to their kissing, she soon found she lacked the energy to sit up any longer. Untying her cloak, she laid back, so Charles was resting beside and a little on top of her.
He draped her cloak over them both, creating a little woodland bed for them. Jane smiled her approval as she returned to kissing him.
While his kisses gave her more pleasure than she had ever known before, she found they also created a yearning. Her hands slipped inside his coat, touching his back through his clothes, but she needed more. He sensed her frustration; removed his coat and quickly undid the buttons of his waistcoat. Eagerly Jane slid her hands under the warm wool, against the soft linen of his shirt. She was better able to feel him; her hands examined the muscles and planes of his back as she felt his hands exploring her form.
Charles was moving with all the delicacy he could muster. While he longed to rush forward, he told himself again and again that he must proceed slowly, or risk frightening her. He understood his love well enough to know that Jane would never refuse anything he would ask of her, but the unspeakable sweetness of her asking him, of her wanting and taking pleasure in him, that was something precious he wished to preserve at all cost. He struggled to maintain the balance of giving her enough to encourage her to seek more, but not to overwhelm her. He found the only solution was to let her take the lead and to force his own desires away. It took all the control he could muster, but the benefit, he thought as he felt her small hands reaching hungrily for him, was beyond riches.
Lightly he stroked her upturned side, moving from her hip to the top of her waist and back again, over and over, letting her become accustomed to his touch. She sighed into his mouth, and he let his hand travel just a little bit higher in its next circuit. Slowly he moved upwards, until he was lightly brushing her breast.
A low cry of yearning signaled her approval and as he focused his touch on her sweet softness, she moved the slightest amount, to encourage him farther.
Charles continued kissing her as his hand rode over the swell of her breast, lightly skimming it. He could feel her nipple beneath her clothes, hard and pointed, and he gradually increased the pressure of his hand.
"Oh yes," Jane breathed, and as if hypnotized, Charles found himself lightly stroking her nipple. She made soft appealing noises in her throat, and her shoulder turned to give him freer access. Her eyes closed, Charles couldn't be certain how sensible Jane was to her actions, and he maintained his resolution to proceed carefully.
A single fingertip brushed the top of her breast, just above the edge of her gown. Jane reacted immediately raising her shoulders for more even as her eyes opened and looked into his. He waited, continuing the caress of that lone fingertip while she stared at him, her breath coming in short pants, both of their awareness locked on the point of connection between their bodies. Then she closed her eyes and leaned her head back, wordless expressing her wish for more. Charles slipped his finger into the neckline of her gown, caressing the sweet softness he found there.
Jane's lips moved, forming the words "oh yes," even if she didn't have the breath to carry them. Charles understood, and after a minute of this, he reached behind Jane and unfastened the three buttons he found there. His hand returned to her breast and he found he was able to draw the muslin down, revealing her chemise. He lightly pinched her nipple, which was hot in his hand, causing Jane to move her hips to and fro every so slightly. "More," she sighed breathily, and Charles moved her chemise, to expose her beauty to him.
And she was so beautiful. Her head was thrown back, her eyes closed and her lips full and red. Her breast was creamy pale and the tip was the shape and color of a strawberry. Touching her, Charles was sure he had never felt anything so soft before in his life. He rubbed and squeezed it as he kissed Jane, her rhythmic movements wrecking havoc with his self-control. When she stopped kissing him and moved her mouth away in a clear signal he was torn. He questioned whether he should take the next step, fearing that he would be too much for Jane, and he also feared that he might not be able to stop if he went further.
He tried to distract her, by returning to kissing her with greater fervor as he stroked her breast, and while this worked for a short time, she again turned her face away, raising her breast to him once more. Charles recognized the danger he was in. He could not humiliate her by reducing her to begging; he would not crush her fragile boldness for anything, so he trusted in his love for her and kissed his way down to her sweet nipple.
She was the most wondrous thing he had ever tasted and he forced himself to stop from sucking too eagerly. Her one hand grasped his head to her, while the other labored to free her other breast. Charles was content to suckle from her, while he touched her other breast.
After a few minutes, he switched sides to Jane's clear approval.
Jane felt pleasure that up until this moment she had not known was possible course through her. She had been burning, dizzy with need until Charles took her nipple in his mouth. Sweet relief flooded her body. She wasn't worried about the correctness of it. How could anything that felt so delightful, that her beloved Charles was doing be wrong? She felt beautiful and happy and wanted him to never stop.
She was bitterly disappointed when he did stop. She looked at him, the pleasured haze quickly fading from her eyes as he pulled himself up beside her and embraced her in his arms.
"Why do you stop?" she asked softly.
Charles smiled lovingly at her, pleased and delighted by her responsiveness and willingness to trust him. He brushed her elegant curls away from her forehead. "Because, my darling, you deserve a bed, with many pillows and a warm fire in the grate when I take you as my wife."
Jane cast her eyes down and tried to steady her breathing. "I didn't realize we were that close," her voice trembled with suppressed desire.
"Close enough, my love," he told her gently.
Confusion covered Jane's expression, as she tried to put her feelings in order. Charles waited patiently for the storm to clear, his hands never leaving her body, but never asking for more.
Jane struggled to understand what had happened, but in the end, a simple realization came to her that Charles had done exactly as she had asked: given her more, yet not let her go into danger. And what he had given her! With such pleasure, she wondered why married people ever got out of bed. She stroked his chest and looked up into his eyes, her heart filling with admiration for him.
"Will it be like this, when we are married?" she asked.
"Yes, like this and more." He realized that he was not only the guardian of Jane's happiness, but also the instructor, and he resolved to begin her education. "Do you feel a need, a tightness, here?" He indicated her sex.
"That is your body's preparation for love, for me. When we are married, that tightness will be released in a highly pleasurable way."
Jane nodded. She was made easy by his knowledge, and felt comfortable with him. It was clear he felt no shame about what they had done, and that he wanted her to feel comfortable talking about love between them. She felt a lightness filling her, lifting her up with her knowledge of his affection for her. Charles was a good man who would be the best husband.
She found herself filled with a curiously to know more. Knowledge that had always been suppressed was suddenly available to her, and she hungered for it. Her body still burned for him, and she wanted to know more about that which she instinctively needed. "May I touch you?"
He nodded, his blue eyes cautious, yet trusting.
Her hand slid down his torso to the front of his breeches. She could see his form, in a state of excitement, against the cloth. Lightly she traced him with her fingers, surprised at his hardness. "Does it hurt?" she asked with total candour as she heard him draw in a gasp of breath.
"No, but it is very sensitive to every touch."
She passed her hand over him again, in the same manner as he had touched her breasts, while she watched his face. She saw his eyes widen and his breath grow shallow. "May I see?"
He looked at her uncertainly. She returned his look with open inquisitiveness. His hands moved easily, undoing the buttons and allowing the front to fall away.
Jane stared. He was very large, and a dark pink in colour. A nest of tight golden curls concealed the place where his phallus met his body. Jane found it hard to believe that this was a part of him, the man she trusted and knew so well. It was like a secret he had kept hidden from her. She felt as if a third person had joined them, that the phallus had its own will and identity.
"Does it disturb you?" Charles asked, his blue eyes carefully examining hers. This was the first sign of hesitation he had seen in her so far.
She shook her head. "I have simply never seen anything like it." She struggled for words, "It's very powerful."
"It is just me," he told her comfortingly. "Perhaps we should stop now."
"Wait," she halted his efforts. "May I touch it?
He indicated she could and gently she reached down. She was surprised to find it was very warm, and while it was very hard, the tip was also peculiarly soft, like velvet. She passed her hand over the entire length, and heard Charles gasp again.
"It doesn't hurt?"
"No, it feels exquisite," he panted.
"Oh," she smiled and moved her hand again.
"What are you doing?"
"I feel terribly selfish," she told him.
Charles frowned, confused by her admission. "In what way?"
"You gave me so much pleasure before," she smiled at her still uncovered breasts, "I wish to pleasure you, Charles."
"Jane, love," he realized he was in a dangerous position. "You don't understand. First of all, it gave me wonderful pleasure to kiss and suckle you before. And second, -ohhh"
"Jane, if you do this I will not be able to stop."
"I do not want you to stop. I want to pleasure you." She bit her lip uncertainly, and then asked, "Why do you want to stop if it feels so pleasurable? Am I doing something wrong? I keep doing this, what will happen?" Her voice grew soft as she thought, but her hand did not stop. "Charles, will you spill your seed?"
"Yes, that is why you should stop," he said between gritted teeth. He was losing all his control.
"No," she replied boldly. "I don't want to stop. I want to see what it looks like, before you are inside of me."
Charles pondered that his fiancÚ had picked a damned time to suddenly become defiant. His wisdom told him that this was nothing to fight about, and if Jane really wanted to see this, then it would be probably best that she did. He covered her hand with his own, and showed her how he liked to be touched, then he leaned back and took in her beauty. Her breasts were moving, with each stroke and it was not hard for him to imagine them in a very different setting. Sooner than he expected, his climax was upon him, and he stopped her hand as his seed poured out.
Jane was fascinated. She touched his belly and the hot white fluid she found there. She watched as his phallus sank and softened back to normal, then she looked up to Charles. "How did that feel?"
He smiled. "Very, very good." He kissed her tenderly. "Thank you, Jane."
Jane laid back, still astonished at what she had witnessed, while Charles used his handkerchief to clean himself. "And that is what will happen inside of me?" she asked uncertainly.
Charles drew her into his arms; and kissed her again, "Yes, my love, and it will feel very good for you as well."
She smiled, "I would like to know what it felt like."
Charles closed his eyes. Against his better judgment, he heard himself ask, "Would you? You can. I can show you." He opened his eyes and found her smiling shyly at him. "Are you sure?"
She nodded again. She could not fail to trust Charles. It was constitutionally impossible, and besides that, her curiosity had been piqued.
It was enough. Charles rolled her on her back and kissed her again, increasing the depth and intensity until her fire had returned. Charles knew it had never been extinguished, merely banked for later. When she was moaning again, he returned to her breasts, touching and teasing her nipples to full hardness. Then he drew up her skirts and slipped his hand underneath, finding her long legs. He stroked the length of her thigh as he kissed her, following her lead as he steadily pushed his hand closer to his goal.
When he reached the heart of her pleasure, he relinquished her mouth and returned to her nipple. Sweet blissful sighs told him when he had found the right place. She was molten; her wetness covered his fingers as he carefully explored her virgin core. She turned and opened to him, like a flower following the sun. Lightly he touched her, his fingers flickering like butterfly wings as his mouth suckled her nipple.
Tighter and tighter the tension inside of Jane grew. She thought she would burst; she thought she would explode. She didn't know what to do or what was happening, she only knew that it felt so good it hurt and she needed; needed something more. Closer and closer she went to a destination she could perceive but had no knowledge of, when suddenly the pressure broke forth. A wave of pleasure broke over her and she gasped in astonishment. She sagged to the earth, as slowly the tension faded from her body and she was as limp as a child's doll.
Charles took her into his arms and held her close, while she lay still beside him. He kissed her temple and rubbed her back reassuringly as he waited for her to return to him.
When her eyes did focus on his they were filled with tears. "Darling? Did I hurt you?" he asked, his expression of deepest concern.
"No," she spoke. She closed her eye and buried her face in his chest and breathed deep his scent. She felt closer to him than she had ever felt to another being. He held her tightly and she took comfort in it. "Charles, I love you."
"Jane?" his voice was soft with wonder.
"I love you. I love you," she repeated. And she did. The feelings she had never admitted or acknowledged, for fear of their power, she could not hold back any longer. "Thank you," she sighed.
They rested together in silence, their usual verbosity lost. Touches and looks served then instead as they enjoyed the unusual warmth of the day. After awhile, Charles knew they needed to move along. The afternoon was past its peak and they would soon be missed. He kissed her lips tenderly and gently helped her replace her dress.
When she smiled as he placed her cloak on her shoulders, he could see the change in her. She was different, and what was more, she was his. When they married, it would not be the docile transfer of a mindless beast from one owner to another. No, Jane now understood the role of women and men, the vibrant and essential differences between the sexes. Like Eve, she had tasted from the fruit of knowledge, and with that knowledge, she had chosen him.
He knew theirs would be a marriage of love, not just prudence, and that neither would be tempted to look outside of it for needs that were not met between them.
He kissed her a last time before they were in sight of Longbourn; one kiss to tide them over until his return tomorrow, when her education, and their relationship, would continue.
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