The sun shined brightly around the edges of the thick curtains. A tiny ray caught Lydia’s eyes and nudged her awake. As awareness of her surroundings filtered in, she realized she and Alexia hadn’t moved the entire night.
She could feel the steady rise and fall of her bosom, the warmth of her body, and the security of a strong arm around her. Lydia tried not to think about it. She pushed away her concerns and just allowed the moment to exist.
Her spouse showed signs of awakening as well, but Lydia kept her eyes closed and remained still. She wasn’t quite ready yet to face a new day. Listening to Alexia’s heartbeat, she knew the moment she woke. Nothing happened at first for Alexia remained quite still. Then her hand moved slowly along her arm until their hands met. A callus thumb caressed the back of her hand gently. The touch was nice and the seamstress felt the corner of her mouth quirk.
The thumb kept its steady rhythm as Alexia turned her head just a bit and placed a soft kiss on her brow and remained there. Lydia could feel each warm puff of her breathing. For some reason, Lydia almost cried. The memory of what Alexia had once said about her only experience with the carnal side returned to her. About feeling cherished. Lydia suddenly understood what she had expressed.
They were much alike, she and Alexia. Both had grown up feeling out of step with everyone else. No one to openly love them growing up, or had the feeling of belonging to anyone or anything. She had even said it once—outcasts. Now, in this woman’s arms, she felt as though she belonged and was loved. There was no doubt in her mind that Alexia would ever reject or leave her. The apprentice wouldn’t waste the gift of caring and belonging. She understood how precious it was.
Lydia didn’t know if she could ever accept a physical relationship with her spouse, but she saw no reason why they couldn’t be lovers in every other way. After all, they were the best of friends.
She shifted her hand and took Alexia’s large one in her own, pulling it to her lips and nuzzling it.
“Awake I see,” Alexia said, her voice soft. Lydia could picture her gentle smile even with her eyes closed.
“Mmm hmm. Good morning. Sleep well?”
“Aye, I slept like a babe. And you Mrs. Browne?”
“The same. You make a nice pillow,” she teased. Alexia chuckled then sighed.
“I suppose we ought to rise.”
“Nay, not yet. Besides, we have no work to do for the next two days, remember? Let us rest a bit longer,” she suggested and settled closer.
The redhead lifted a surprised brow and wondered where the tension had gone between them. This morning, it seemed as though they have been this way forever. Mentally shaking her head, she decided not to question their good fortune.
“Alright sweet Lydia, but could ye do me a favor? Move to the other side for my arm is sorely numb!”
Their lazy morning in bed finally ended when Lydia had to visit the chamber pot. Quickly finishing her business, she noticed Alexia had gotten out of bed and undressed, standing there nude. The tall woman was pulling fresh clothing from their chest of drawers, quite unaware that she was being watched.
Never had the seamstress seen a more powerful woman. Her long limbs were strong and supple, rippling with each movement. Her back was wide at the shoulders and narrow at the waist. Alexia bent forward to slip leg into her underclothing and Lydia was blessed with the sight of a flexing backside before it was covered.
The seamstress felt her heart quicken and the chill of the morning disappear. An unknown impulse shot through her mind. It was shocking, forbidden, and made her burn inside. Was this desire?
Alexia turned around. Perhaps she had made a noise or felt her presence. They could only stare at one another, unable to move. The tension became unbearable. Lydia stepped closer, almost within touching distance, their eyes still locked. With pounding hearts, Alexia took the final step.
She placed her hands on Lydia’s shoulders and urged her closer. The move wasn’t forceful, yet Lydia couldn’t fight it. Her hands came up without thought and rested flat upon Alexia’s upper chest, just above her breasts. The seamstress could feel the thunderous pounding of her heart and each labored breath.
Her friend leaned closer, eyes shifting between her own and her lips. She knew Alexia was going to kiss her. The seamstress didn’t fight it, nor sure if she even wanted to. Their lips met, quietly, sweetly. Lydia felt herself melting as the delicate exploration continued. Then the kiss ended much too soon. It took a moment to recognize the sound of rapping upon their door.
“Yes?” Alexia managed to say, her voice cracking. The person on the other side of the door thought that meant ‘Come on in!’. Matthew opened the door bearing a tray. He glanced up, spotting the embracing couple, Alexia’s back towards him.
“Lord forgive me!” he said, quickly spinning around. The horse trainer was reddening in embarrassment. The pious man wondered how in the world he’d ever be able to look Mrs. Browne in the eyes again. He had seen her in her nightshift! He gushed out several apologies and shakily placed the tray on a nearby table before rushing out the door.
The seamstress came to the conclusion that her friend and spouse had the self control of a saint.
They had been married for several weeks now, yet Alexia’s show of affections had been held to soft kisses, snuggling, and hugs. It didn’t take Lydia long to become accustomed to these displays. In fact, she enjoyed and looked forward to them. It had become part of their lives, like the coming of the seasons.
Lydia sat in her corner of the main house with her sewing, but her mind wasn’t focused on her chore. Instead, it tended to wander, reliving small moments of her new life. Her relationship with Alexia had brought wonder and joy into her world. The seamstress’ childhood had been a sober and barren in the stern religious household she grew up in. There had been no true childhood for her. Her time was spent doing chores, praying, and being forever reminded of her unfortunate birth.
With Alexia, she found the freedom of just being silly. Never had anyone shared that with her before. They spent time in playful wrestling, walking in the meadow picking flowers, and sometimes just playing small tricks on one another. Such as when the seamstress had found a frog in her sewing box. A smile curled her lips at the memory of Alexia teaching her how to skip stones in the small pond down the road. Learning the joys of childhood had released her from the shackles of the sternness that had molded her life. With her heart lighter, she was free to see what she had been blind to for the last year. That Alexia adored her.
The redhead’s eyes sparkled happily each time their eyes met, genuinely happy just to be near her. Alexia spoke to her with respect and listened to her. Under the blanket of such love, Lydia was finding the self respect she had lacked for so long. Their relationship brought so much to them both.
Most couples married because it was expected of them. That they knew one another was often enough. The reading of the Bible to the family was the duty of the head of the household. Over and over again, the message she had heard all her life was to marry and have as many children as possible. That was the lot a woman had in life. Her marriage to another woman certainly prevented the second duty, to be sure. But was marriage and keeping house all there was? Alexia, as a man, had far greater possibilities in life. Depending on her willingness to work hard and a bit of luck, there were no boundaries for her.
That should have caused resentment in the seamstress but it didn’t. She didn’t feel like property with Alexia. Lydia had heard the tearful tales of some wives, whose husbands beat them or treated them bitterly. Some, such as Mrs. Waller had a marriage based on true fondness. But with Alexia, she felt free.
It was a cancer in his belly, the doctor had told them. The last few months of his life had been pain ridden and the end had been a blessing. All those in the household were in shock, never expecting one so strong to end his life so early.
Mrs. Waller, with the loyalty of her staff, the kindness of her friends and family, along with her faith, managed to keep from falling apart after the death of her husband.
Everyone had just left. The services had been dignified, attended by those who knew Jonathon. She received their heart felt condolences. Alone in the kitchen, she sat at the table in shock. How would she go on? Lost and terribly alone, she could only sit and stare into nothingness.
The apprentice saw her through the window and felt helpless. Mrs. Waller had been so kind to her, motherly in fact. And now she sat alone in the flickering light of a single candle. She couldn’t just walk away and leave her that way. She knocked softly on the door and walked inside.
Abigail looked up sadly, wondering why the young man returned. He stepped closer and knelt over her, wrapping his strong arms around her. The kind gesture was too much. She burst into tears.
The will was read a few days later. The farm and all on its property were to be left to his younger brother, James. His wife would have generous monies to tide her over for the rest of her life. Small mementos were left to various friends and family. It wasn’t until the portion regarding the indentured servants did many become surprised.
All of their contracts were considered paid in full. They were now free. The servants had expected that their contracts would be left to the inheritor as permitted by the law. In addition, each would receive enough funds to start anew—to even afford passage back to England if they so desired. Stunned, they could only stare at each other, hardly believing what they had heard.
The lawyer handed each of them a sealed envelope that held their legal severance papers and bank drafts in Boston. He gave his condolences to the widow and left.
James cleared his throat. “Aunt Abby, you know you will always have a home here. There isn’t need to leave.”
I appreciate it James, but I don’t think I could remain here. The memories are too strong. My father and I have already spoken. I’m to reside with him. He expects me to remarry no doubt.” She said tearfully.
Alexia knew better. People weren’t so easily replaced in the heart. She couldn’t imagine what she would do if Lydia were gone. The idea saddened her and she took Lydia’s hand, needing the contact to chase away the feeling.
Abigail took a deep breath, shaking away her grief by force of will. “However James, I hope you will allow the servants to remain for a short time, so they can plan for their futures.” It wasn’t quite an order, but her nephew knew his aunt well. He nodded. They couldn’t stay too long, however, the farm needed to be tended to. He wondered if some of them would care to remain. He’d chat with them later after this had all sunk in.
The young couple sat at their small table in their cottage and stared at the papers, reading them over and over. Free.
What would happen now? Alexia was terrified. Would Lydia leave her? They had been thrust together by Jonathon’s determination and expectations. Now, with money and freedom, would Lydia shake her loose and make a new life for herself elsewhere? Fear twisted at her stomach. The selfish part of the Scot woman wanted to grab hold of her tightly and never let go. But the loving part of her didn’t want Lydia to stay if it would make her unhappy.
The woman of her thoughts was lost in her fears as well. Did Alexia wish to return to the battle torn Scotland? Life would be difficult there. The English had formed a Commonwealth but it was shaky. Splinter groups all wanted part of it for different reasons. Cromwell was a leading force behind it but his power was limited. Many wondered if civil wars would break out. Sighing, Lydia rested upon their bed, mentally exhausted.
“Lydia, why don’t you just change and get into bed? I’ll bring us a tray from the house,” she suggested thoughtfully.
The seamstress rose and began undressing as her spouse left the cottage. She slipped under the covers, relishing the cool bedding. Within seconds, she drifted to sleep.
When her eyes fluttered open, she realized that it was quite dark out. The room was illuminated by a lamp across the room. Sluggish, it took a moment to become aware of the warm body wrapped spooned-like behind her. One large arm was curled around her torso and the warm hand protectively circling her own. Now more awake, she rolled carefully to her back to look at the sleeping woman next to her.
As she settled to her new position, Alexia moved in tandem, allowing Lydia to maneuver. Lydia smiled at the way her spouse did that, even in her sleep. The Scot would never place barriers in her path. How unique she was, Lydia thought, gazing at her sleeping face.
Her hand rose without thought and traced the strong features. Her fingers glided over the strong jaw and to the full lips. Her thumb played gently with the lower lip and smiled when Alexia kissed it in her sleep. Brushing aside some red hair, she noticed for the first time that Alexia’s eyelashes were pale red-gold. Lydia studied her face further. Alexia couldn’t be considered a beauty, but to Lydia, no one could have a more loving face. Her affection for her spouse swelled inside and the need to express it made her lean closer to kiss the sleeping lips.
The mouth under hers responded sleepily, the kiss soft and unhurried. Without thought, Lydia became the aggressor, rolling her mate to her back as the kiss continued. Sleepy hands rose, stroking her sides. Lydia felt the intensity of the kiss increase. He mouth became more demanding, unaware that her body was shifting against the larger woman. All she felt was the need inside to somehow get closer to the woman she loved. Her mind didn’t even feel surprise at the thought dancing inside of her. It had happened so slowly that it just was there, like the stray cat that became part of the household somehow. One day you tossed it a bit of food, the next moment, the cat had its own pillow in its favorite window.
Lydia never stopped to think or feel fear. Her body took over, knowing what it wanted. She broke the kiss and leaned back onto her haunches, pulling her shift over her head, her eyes staying locked with the green eyes watching in wonder.
“Ye are beautiful Sweet Lydia,” she whispered in awe.
The olive skinned woman didn’t blush, instead, the woman inside smiled in acknowledgement and returned to their heated kiss. Both women were breathing hard now with their need. Alexia’s large hands stroked her everywhere, memorizing every curve. When the kiss became too much, Lydia broke it, panting for air even as her lips slid along her cheek and jaw to her neck. Her mouth sought its pleasure there, tasting her salty skin. Alexia gasped and clung to her, lost in the sensations her spouse created, whose mouth never stopped, exploring every inch.
Alexia felt the need to touch her as well but sensed Lydia needed to be the one in control for now. Pushing back her desire to take over, she allowed Lydia the freedom she sought.
The smaller woman began placing small kisses along her collar bone then traced it with her tongue. She felt her spouse shiver and hold her closer. Liking the reaction, her mouth sought every curve and dip, enjoying the flavor of her skin. Moving a little lower, she could feel Alexia’s pounding heart under her lips.
She rested there for a moment, savoring the vibration as her hand trailed a finger down the center of Alexia’s long torso. The strong woman twitched and giggled, obviously ticklish. Lydia chuckled, pleased to have found a new weapon in her arsenal.
“Nay, of course not,” Alexia denied. Lydia began making lazy figures on her stomach and ribs with her fingertip, watching the redhead squirm.
“Of course not,” she teased, “and the goose bumps upon your skin? Are you cold Mr. Browne?’
“Wench, alright, I confess! Now stop yer teasing before I jump from this bed!” she threatened, having no intention of doing so. Lydia giggled and returned to her lips, rewarding her for being honest. Alexia groaned and slid her hands down her spouse’s back until she cupped her bottom. Both women’s breathing caught at the sensation.
“So ye like that Sweet Lydia?” The dark haired woman nodded even as her torso began rocking against her larger body. The soft friction between them felt so wonderful that she never wished to stop. Alexia moaned, burying her fingers into the dark locks and bringing her full mouth back to her own. The kiss became primal, both seeking something from the other but not sure as to what. The kiss finally ended as both of them burned for air.
“Lydia, please, touch me!” Alexia begged.
“How, tell me what to do love, tell me how.”
“It doesna matter sweet Lydia! Just do it!” She craved Lydia as she needed air to breathe. She didn’t have the words to explain the intimacy she sought, only the desire to fulfill it.
Lydia in her innocence had no clue and her spouse wasn’t much more experienced. Wanting to please her lover and friend, she began touching her gently, exploring her curiously. She watched her face, her body, and as her hands moved over her, she learned. How some touches made her squirm, others made her sigh with pleasure, and a different kind made her utter the Lord’s name. Lydia became mesmerized in watching her features. Alexia’s body still reacted to each stroke, but her face was calm and peaceful. Smiling, the seamstress leaned forward and brushed her lips.
“Would you touch me also?” Alexia didn’t need to be asked twice. Settling Lydia on her back, she began her own foray. This was so much different than her time with Molly, but then again, she hadn’t loved the camp follower. With her, it had been a rushed coupling in a tent with few niceties.
Now, she wanted to savor every moment. This wasn’t about copulation, but connections. Every touch, every sigh and smile, brought them closer to one another’s spirit.
Alexia took her hand and began kissing each fingertip, watching Lydia’s eyes twinkle.
“Ye have strong hands my sweet Lydia, yet they be so much small than mine.” Kissing her palm first, her lips began traveling slowly along her wrist and up her arm.
Lydia made soft mewling, finding the sensual caresses both exciting and relaxing at the same time. Reaching her neck, the seamstress could hear Alexia breathe in deeply before carefully nipping the skin. Lydia let out a small gasp and dug her fingers into muscled flesh.
The former soldier didn’t need to be told that Lydia enjoyed what she was doing. When her tongue laved the bitten area, her spouse’s entire body arched strongly against her, bringing them belly to belly. Growling her pleasure, Alexia felt herself becoming lost in passion’s fire. Eagerly, her mouth explored Lydia’s jaw and ear, gaining pleasure from her every response. Hands gripped her back fiercely, legs wrapped around her body, and the smaller woman was breathing hard and fast. Moving lower, hungry lips grazed soft peaks. A pouting nipple rose to greet her eager mouth. Alexia flicked it with her wet tongue, moaning as Lydia gritted out her name and pulled her head closer to the needy flesh.
The redhead took in as much as the peak as she could into her mouth, drawing on the sweet skin. Her lover bowed and writhed beneath her body, wild with the sensations overwhelming her. Alexia shifted, placing her powerful thigh between Lydia’s as her mouth moved to the other breast. Heated wetness slicked her thigh, drawing out an appreciative whimper from the ex soldier.
Lydia lifted her pelvis and rubbed herself against the hard thigh, burning for some elusive goal. Her body was frantic because of the intense pleasure she was given. She wanted to plead for something, but she didn’t know for what. Crying out to Alexia, she could only wring a single word from her lips. “Please!”
The mouth left her breasts and moved downward, pressing kisses along her belly. The thigh also left its place, making her whimper in disappointment as the sensations stopped. Teeth nipped her pelvic bone then licked away the slight pain. Lydia realized her fingers had tangled into her lover’s hair, urging her downwards towards the throbbing ache below.
“Alexia! I need…I need…please!” she begged, lifting her hips higher. The seamstress’ eyes were tightly closed, not seeing the uncertainty on her lover’s face.
The redhead was inches from Lydia’s hips and the scent of her arousal. Inexperienced, she wasn’t sure what was possible between them, but Lydia’s hips lifted, damp curls brushed her lips, bringing the scent and taste to them. Following an impulse driven by need, she dipped her tongue to the source of the musky scent.
Lydia cried out and lifted her hips. Fearing she caused her spouse pain, she drew back, only to be pulled downward again by her red hair that was held firmly in tight fists. Returning to the parted thighs, she dipped her tongue once more into the well of sweet moisture. Tasting her tangy flavor, Alexia became lost in the unique shapes and tastes of her Sweet Lydia.
Lydia was dying, and didn’t care, for only the dead enjoyed the pleasures of Paradise. The probing tongue slid and caressed her, incredibly soft and warm. Her hips danced involuntarily as a tension built deep inside of her. Panting wildly, her fingers clenched at Alexia as something inside trembled and paused. Suddenly, everything shattered, crying out in both pleasure and disappointment. Lost in the aftershocks that left her mind stunned, she was unaware that Alexia had crawled up to her, taking her into her arms worriedly.
Return to the Academy