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The ‘New Gothics’ had to happen.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Penny for your thoughts, little Lucy?” His voice intruded into my daydream far sooner than I had expected.
“I was thinking of you.” I bit my lip at my own guileless transparency. “Wondering how long you would be, I mean. Your business was concluded very quickly.”
He offered me his arm and we strolled around the harbour’s edge, enjoying the mild sunshine. “Would that it were always so,” he sighed.
“Yet you will soon be able to relinquish the care of the estate to Tynan,” I pointed out. He did not seem to be doing a great deal to prepare his nephew for that responsibility.
“If only it was that simple.” He did not elaborate and I did not ask him to. We reached the end of our perambulations and Uther gave the sky a knowing glance. “We should set off,” he said, and I thought, or perhaps hoped, I heard a note of reluctance in his voice. “Those clouds on the horizon will bring rain.”
He was right. The weather, so perfect on the ride to Port Isaac, changed abruptly as we rode back. Raindrops as large as coins spattered down on us. A brisk wind blew the puddles dry before they had even formed and slapped the sea into waves. This remnant of last night’s storm had the effect of slowing my sluggish mount even further, and I began to worry that the downpour would ruin my beautiful new habit. There was no shelter to be seen for miles around, but Uther gestured for me to follow him off the road and down a tree-lined path. At the end there was a tiny cottage, obviously empty and desperately ramshackle. We tied up the horses and went inside.
“One of our retired farm workers lived here until he died a few months ago. It is not exactly luxurious, but at least we will be dry,” Uther explained, searching in the pantry for some kindling to add to the pile of logs in the desolate hearth. Before long he had also found a tinderbox and managed to get a blaze going.
“Take your jacket off and hang it before the fire,” he ordered as I stood shivering and holding out my hands to the meagre heat. I obeyed and soon the fine wool was steaming as it dried over the back of a rickety chair. My cotton chemisette clung damply to me like a second skin. Uther threw himself down into a faded armchair and held out a hand toward me. Mesmerised by the light in those panther-like eyes, I placed my hand in his and allowed him to draw me closer so that I stood imprisoned between his knees. “Now this,” he said quietly, plucking at the wet material of my shirt. It was a command.
Slowly, I undid each of the tiny buttons. He did not take his eyes from my face. When my shirt was completely undone, he reached out and slid it from my shoulders. I swallowed the sudden constriction that appeared in my throat as, taking his time, he studied my high, pointed breasts.
“Very pretty,” he said at last.
I bit my lip. “Too small,” I whispered, hanging my head.
Reaching out a leisurely hand, he placed it over my right breast. “Not so. See how my hand covers your breast so completely? Just as if they were made to fit perfectly together.” His voice was detached, as though he were still discussing the weather. “I like the way your nipple springs to life at my touch and presses itself so insistently into my palm, demanding more. Which you shall have.” A wicked smile crossed his features. “Take off your skirt.”
I did not hesitate, such was the hypnotic power he had over me. I stood shyly before him in just my cotton bloomers. With deft fingers, Uther loosened my hair so that it tumbled about my shoulders and down my back.
“But you are beautiful, Lucia,” he said hoarsely, sliding a finger under my chin and tilting my face up to meet his eyes. I melted against him, a soft, sighing groan escaping me. His hands slid inside the waistband of my bloomers and down to cup my buttocks. I nearly swooned.
“Before we go any further,” he said, pushing me from him slightly, his large hands almost spanning my waist. “I want to explain something. I am not going to take your virginity, Lucy…not yet, anyway. I have my own reasons for that reticence, which need not concern you. But fear not. You have been longing for this, I know. And I am going to give you what you want. I will make you scream with delight, that much I can promise.”
Matching actions to words, he slid my drawers down as he spoke and lifted me, naked and trembling with wanton anticipation, onto his lap.