“Agnes,” I said, suddenly thinking of a new angle I hadn’t tried. “Call me Agnes. We can be friends, you and I. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I need a friend, Ivy.”
Ivy hesitated, her breasts rising and falling with a sigh.
“Agnes.” Carefully, she pulled her hand from mine. “I can’t teach you. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I can say or do to convince you, but I simply can’t do what you’re asking.” She held up a finger against the protest on my lips. “It’s not that I don’t want to, believe me. You’re being so kind and I would do anything to stop you feeling this way but I can’t. There’s no secret to tell. Either you love him or you don’t.”
I wiped away my tears as I nodded. My body shook with cold, fear and an abyss that threatened to take me. I heard her push her chair back and this time I didn’t try to stop her. What would be the point? I thought about running away, I could do it. I could use the secret passage to collect my daughter and get away. By the time it was discovered, I could be miles away. We could take a ship to France or America.
Ivy’s fingers on my shoulder felt warm and comforting. I placed my hand over hers. “Thank you,” I said, grateful that she hadn’t left. “I’m sorry.”
“My l—” She squeezed my shoulder. “Agnes.” I heard her inhale. “I am the one who’s sorry.”
I shook my head. “It’s not your fault.” I lifted my gaze to meet hers. “It’s my fault. Why would he choose me over you or the others?”
She sat next to me, and I studied her. I was a fool to believe it would be any other way. Poor or rich, Ivy would always have been the one he picked. Her narrow face, her short nose, her curls. Eyes that shone with intelligence and warmth from beneath brows that formed perfect arches. Her cheeks slanted like iron cliffs that God Himself had smithed just for her. A strong, confident face, I could never compete with her.
When she leaned forward, I expected a few kind words followed by excuses to leave. I would not have stopped her. The smell of my husband’s semen still lay on her, along with the scent of the cheap soap we purchased for the servants. She tilted her head, and placed her lips lightly upon mine. They were cool, or perhaps they were hot. It’s the softness I remember. Not soft like a bedspread or a silk cushion, but like ripe fruit that is ready to eat. Her eyes met mine, and searched for a response.
What will society think?
Victorian aristocrat Lady Agnes knows that her husband is cheating on her with a member of the household staff, and not for the first time. Using a secret passage she discovered years earlier, she follows the unmistakeable sounds of sex to the servants’ quarters, and there discovers him in the act with their beautiful young maid, Ivy.
But when Agnes confronts Ivy over the affair, passions are awakened in her own heart. Passions that she thought she had put to bed long ago. Can she resist the temptation put in front of her, or will she allow Ivy to teach her the true meaning of desire?
This is a short story of sex, passion and lesbian desire, set in Victorian England. It includes graphic descriptions of sexual acts between consenting adults.