heaving bosoms

The Prize, Ch. 4

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London.  Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?  

Genre: Romance/Angst/Drama (Written as an experiment in the heaving bosom/bodice ripper vein)

Rating: T (non-explicit sexuality, scenes of thematic peril {SORRY I JUST HAD TO SAY THAT!!!})

Author’s Notes: This is for @i-wanna-be-toms-body-pillow because I probably wouldn’t attempt to actually write it without her nagging encouragement.  Reminder that this started out just on a whim, I am not a Writer, I am not going to obsess about the accuracy of period language or technical issues, etc.  :) Not beta’d, read at your own risk. 

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3

London was delighted to be informed, although not a few knowing glances were exchanged in sitting rooms across the town, upon hearing the news, in the appropriate amount of time after the ball of the engagement of Cassandra to the eldest son and heir of An Old and Respected Family.  Tom was immediately filled with happiness for his favorite, albeit his only, niece, and persuaded the more cautious Madeleine to join in the general approval of all those closest to the girl.

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10

Do you need a moment, Milady?  Because you look like you may need a moment while the cardinal snapes away robes billowing…

Yeah, the scene that truly puts the red hot sizzlin’ dirty bad wrong SIN in Sin Sunday. 

Leliana:  Herald, you’re here?  You are looking well for a supposed dead man.

Carver:  Sister Nightingale?  You’re still alive?  You look–

Carver:  *thinking*  Maker, she looks terrible!  What do I say?  

Carver:  – leathery.  B-but in a good way.  *sigh*  Fuck.

Dorian:  Oh, it makes me wonder how such a honey-tongued, discerning, young rake such as yourself is still single.  I can only imagine the hordes of willing maidens literally throwing themselves at you, all heaving bosoms and wanton abandon, as you compare their beauty to an old, worn saddle.

mysdrym  asked:

2, 6, 7 for the yet another ask meme for Rose, if you haven't answered for her yet :3

I actually did 2 and 7 earlier, but I’ll answer 6 right now!

6: What kind of media would (or does) your character consume? This includes books, tv shows, video games, and movies.

Rose mostly reads medical and magical texts to research new methods and learn how to better control her spirit healing (as she did with the red lyrium).

In her free time, or if she just wants something to help her brain relax, she’ll read Hard in Hightown, or one of those books that’s about 10% plot and 90% heaving bosoms and rippling muscles.

Yet another OC ask meme.

9

See, just because Armand is totally in favor of assassins, black leather, framing innocent people, poisoning guilty people, racking (so I’ve heard), Hot Busty Nuns, plotting, sarcasm, forkings, murder in general, etc. etc. etc., doesn’t mean he isn’t also a great big hearts-and-flowers-big-R Romantic who would really appreciate receiving one of those *little gestures* that show how much you care.

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The Prize, Ch.2

Title: The Prize

Chapter: 2

Genre: Romance/Angst

Rating: T (to be on the safe side, some mild violence/blood in later chapters)

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London. Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?

Author’s Notes: I starting writing this because I noticed that the SSS poll for last week included “Heaving Bosom” and I thought it might be fun to try my hand at it. :) This is the first time I’ve written AU Tom.  I’ve tried to make the dialogue sound period appropriate, but I am writing ABOUT this era, not IN it; so, please be kind if you notice anything awkward in the language. :)   Comments appreciated

He would never understand how this woman managed to make him feel so inadequate. Always smarter, always wittier, always leaving him feeling unsure of himself, like the 18 year old gangly young man he had been when he first met her. She was the only woman he knew who could argue about current affairs. She was the only woman he knew who could cause such frustration in him whenever they found themselves in one of their little disagreements about which of Shakespeare’s histories was the most well-written, since her calm manner of speaking and rational argumentation always seemed to win over his impassioned speeches. She was the only woman he knew who could then immediately quench his ire and leave him baffled by the effect of her soft voice and smiles.

He would never understand how, over the years, she had transitioned into the copper-haired beauty who most occupied his thoughts, who made him yearn for a home that was pealing with the cries and laughter of children, for a room that was strewn with her clothes and smelled of her perfume, for a bed with tangled linens that was a shared whispered-filled refuge from the uncertainties of life.

Those desires seemed to grow stronger with each passing year, although it became more clear to him that she had absolutely no interest in marriage to anyone, least of all him. How many times had he witnessed her, whether in direct address to him personally or as part of something he overheard, make such comments about the fact that life had so graciously granted her with a near perfect situation of fortune and consequence? He knew she wasn’t a bitter or unhappy person; on the contrary, she was one of the happiest and most positive people he had ever known. She had a singular talent for taking situations that would overwhelm or discourage most people and turning them into something that was profitable, sometimes even enjoyable. He’d learned that this was an inherited characteristic from her mother, although Pierre was much less optimistic than his sister.

Pierre, his friend. Pierre, the brother that blood hadn’t granted him, but friendship had. When his interest in Madeleine was growing and he considered asking Pierre if he could court her, fear of damaging that friendship had kept him silent. He had observed how such situations could have a permanent detrimental effect on the relationship between men; with the added complication that Pierre was in fact his brother in law, it seemed even more unwise to jeopardize that relationship.

He attempted to forget her. He did. He was even foolish enough to think himself capable of living out his days with another, one who was eager and willing and appeared to think of him with a manner of affection that Madeleine never would. He was to Madeleine as he was to Pierre, a brother. To Lucie, he had been a suitor, a suitor who was welcomed with open arms and smiles. But she saw within a few months that he was suitor with a displaced heart, a heart that was left in England when he had departed his native shores for France. She was much like Madeleine in that regard, perceptive although not as lively or intelligent. He was grateful that she had enough self-respect to break their engagement and would forever berate himself after that he had considered putting a woman in that type of marriage, even if it was a common practice. Perhaps it would most haunt him because he knew what Madeleine would think of such a marriage, having been brought up by forward thinking parents who were not supportive of those arrangements. He managed to keep the details from being widely known, the main advantage being that it had all occurred abroad within a few months. Pierre had never pressed him for the specifics of the situation and had quieted his wife’s questions about it. Julia wasn’t easily persuaded to do so and still brought up the subject periodically.

Her face was pinched into a frown when she saw her brother storming out of the ballroom. This was her oldest child’s debut and she was determined that it would be a success. She was relying on her brother and her husband to ensure the most desirable outcome, needing their keen and watchful eyes to observe the proceedings. Tom exited through the double doors into the gallery and she sighed heavily, wondering what had occurred to bring on what appeared to be one of those fleeting emotional fits to which he was prone. He had learned how to deal with them more effectively as the years went by. Madeleine had been an immense help in that regard. Julia loved her brother, but he had always felt slightly out of reach to her; she never could quite understand or find the most effective way of interacting with him. For Madeleine, this seemed like second nature. He always appeared to be comfortable with her, as if her presence had some kind of intangible calming effect. She was able to temper him, to soothe him, just as she did with her nieces and nephews. Julia came to the conclusion years ago that this due to the natural gifts inherent in Madeleine’s personality and also because he felt an intellectual connection with her. She knew that her sister-in-law was quite superior to herself in that arena; indeed, she was the most educated and curious woman that Julia had ever met. Had Madeleine been at all haughty or condescending Julia would have found it nearly impossible to be in her company; but she learned very quickly that Madeleine was of a bright and sociable nature. She never failed to make those in her company feel comfortable, regardless of their level of mental acuity.

Madeleine, that was it. She could have Madeleine go soothe the beast and bring him back to the ball. Julia’s eyes scanned the room, grateful that Madeleine’s flaming tresses made her easily identifiable in a crowd. But among the whirl of colors and dancers, Madeleine was nowhere to be seen. Surely she wouldn’t abandon the party as well!

Julia caught sight of her daughter, her flushed face smiling up at her dancing partner as she bowed at the end of the dance. Cassie noticed the slight movement of mother’s fan, an indication that she wanted to speak with her. She gave her partner one last smile and floated over to Julia.

“Oh, mama, such delight! Thank you!” Her lips brushed lightly over Julia’s cheek.

“Yes, my dear, to be sure. But where is your aunt? My brother has removed himself from the party and I thought perhaps Madeleine could employ her usual tactics to smooth his feathers.”

Cassie’s face transitioned from a smile to a frown.

“I was certain I saw them speaking just now over on her favorite settee. Perhaps they’ve have had one of their disagreements about the Prime Minister again?”

Julia sighed in disapproval, thinking as she often did that perhaps her husband was being a little too indulgent with his sister. Since their mother Nicole had died, Pierre had become Madeleine’s only direct family member. Nicole had made Pierre promise that he would see to Madeleine’s happiness, that he wouldn’t force her to marry, that her natural intellectual curiosity would not be discouraged. Julia was a woman who found great contentment in the marriage state and simply did not understand why all women would not desire the same thing, although she knew she was fortunate to have a loving husband in Pierre and that a similar situation was not a guarantee for any woman.

“Mama, do not fret,” Cassandra assured her, “I will find my uncle and return him here. He owes me a dance.”

Cassie was blessed with more than her share of the energy and vitality that was the hallmark of girls her age, when life was blossoming with possibilities for the future. Her inclination to prefer the latest novel rather than making over a new hat often worried Julia, but she was such a social likeable creature and possessed the strong desire to please those who loved her best that she was easily persuaded into what her mother felt were the more appropriate activities for a young girl who hoped to marry.

She found her uncle sitting in the library, a volume of Shakespeare held loosely in his big hands, the hands that had tossed her up in the air as a child and the hands that had wiped away her tears when she was silly enough to think herself in love with that boy she had seen in the park last summer. But his eyes were not directed at the text in those hands. They were narrowed slightly and focused on something in the distance, as if he was looking through the shared wall with the ballroom.

“Uncle, all of the ladies are bemoaning the sudden absence of the most prodigiously handsome gentleman among the company. You owe me a dance. Shall we return together and make them all pea green with envy?”

The strange mix of sadness and anger that filled both his voice and his face was shocking to her.

“I doubt any of them would want to my soiled hands on their fine silks, my sweet niece.”

The way he nearly spat out the words “soiled hands” was also strange.

She frowned, suddenly wishing that she followed her mother’s idea of having Madeleine speak to him.

“What is it? Has something happened?”

He closed the book and let it drop on his lap, leaning back into the high chair and closing his eyes. When he spoke again, the anger had vanished, although the sadness remained.

“I told you that you were mistaken, Cassie. Your aunt would marry Bonaparte before she’d consider me.”

She sat down in the chair opposite his and her shoulders drooped.

“What did you say to her? What did she say to you?”

Long slender fingers came up to rub his temples and he sighed.

“Nothing that bears repeating,” he muttered.

Cassie let out a huff and began to worry at her bottom lip.

“Uncle, are you certain that perhaps you simply caught her at a bad time…. You know she isn’t disposed to be at her best for these large gatherings and –“

He abruptly stood and walked over to the mantle, pressing his palms against the edge with quite a bit of force and enjoying the tingling sensation of pain; it distracted him, albeit momentarily, from the tingling sensation of pain around his heart.

“No, Cassie,” he softly answered, willing himself to let his affection for his niece outweigh his disgust with himself for having been willing to listen to her, to hope that she was correct when she began to tell him weeks ago that she believed Madeleine to be in love with him.

“I know you meant well and at your age, you see love everywhere. But –“

Now it was her turn to bristle and interrupt him.

“Please don’t discount me because of my age. I’ve watched you two my entire life. I already told you, I was six years old before I realized that you weren’t actually married. You’ve attempted to explain to me why you think she isn’t interested in marriage, but I simply cannot believe that. She would accept you, I am certain of it.”

Something flickered in his bright blue eyes, something like desperation, and they widened when a previously unconsidered thought danced through his mind.

“Cassandra, have you spoken to her directly about this? Have you asked her? Have you told her that I…that I…”

He seemed unable to actually say the words. They were lodged inside of him, the urge to give them breath and offer them to Madeleine having been repressed for so many years that they were near petrification.

A rush of compassion filled her and she sprang from her chair to fling her arms around him.

“Have I told her that you are utterly besotted by her, as Abelard was by Heloise, as-“

He hastily stopped her before she could list other famous lovers that captivated her romantic heart.

“Have you?”

She leaned away from him and began to straighten his cravat.

“Uncle, of course I haven’t. I came to you, not her. You know that I love both of you a great deal and I would never be able to choose between you; but I came to you because I knew you wouldn’t tell me to keep my pretty little nose out of matters that do not concern me, which is what my aunt would have done.”

That brought a hint of a smile to his face and she reached up to kiss his pale cheek, although it quickly faded and that desperate look returned to his eyes. His hands were lightly gripping her shoulders.

“Promise me that you won’t. I couldn’t bear it if the knowledge of my…affection caused her distress or to withdraw or made her feel that she could no longer be in my presence. Promise me, Cassandra.”

“I promise.”

He took a deep breath and forced himself to relax. She took his hand and smiled at him.

“You owe me a dance, uncle. You wouldn’t want to leave me heartsick on such a momentous occasion, would you?”

No, my sweet niece, he silently thought to himself. I’m heartsick enough for the both of us.

Red II

((Read Part One HERE!))

“Oooh!” a sudden dramatic squeal broke the afternoon quiet of the Hanged Man. Hawke had the misfortune of glancing up into a faceful of heaving bosom as Isabela threw herself into a chair at his table. “Oh, she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”

Hawke and Varric exchanged slow, dry glances, then returned their gazes to the map spread before them. “So the south entrance is definitely out,” Hawke began.

Undaunted by their overwhelming lack of attention, Isabela grabbed up a napkin from Hawke’s mostly untouched lunch plate and began to fan herself with it. “Those curves!” she squealed, then added an orgasmic moan. “Ooh, those swells! I’m in love!”

“You know she’s not going to give up,” Varric muttered.

Hawke sighed, shook his head, and looked up again. His attempt at a patient smile was strained as he folded his hands atop the table. “All right,” Hawke said. “I’ll bite. The Rose got a new girl, did they?”

“No,” Sebastian looked and sounded utterly exhausted as he came to join them, dropping bonelessly into a chair. A morning spent chasing Isabela around Kirkwall tended to have that effect on people. “She’s talking about a boat.”

“Oh,” Varric said, pleased. “You saw it, then?”

Isabela moaned once more. “A boat?” she asked. “Did you even see her rigging? Unnnnh…” she clawed at her hair and pounded the table as if in the throes of ecstasy, and Varric chuckled.

“Why, Rivaini,” the dwarf said, “You’re making a scene.”

“You’re surprised?” Hawke asked.

“Oh, is it too much?” Isabela looked genuinely surprised before giving an excited little shimmy. “Boys, that mast!

Sebastian laughed. “It’s just a boat.”

“Just a - ? Watch yourself,” she warned, “Or I won’t let you on board!”

“It isn’t even your boat.”

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Audrey, A Novel. Mary Johnston. George N. Morang & Company, Toronto, 1902. First Canadian edition. Illustrated by F. C. Yohn.

“Bare of foot and slender ankle, bare of arm and shoulder, with heaving bosom, shut lips, and steady eyes, each of the six runners awaited the trumpet sound that should send her forth like an arrow to the goal, and to the shining guinea that lay thereby. The spectators ceased to talk and laugh, and bent forward, watching. Wagers had been laid, and each man kept his eyes upon his favorite, measuring her chances. The trumpet blew, and the race was on.”

Body Disposal

@goldcaught requested regency spies.  In the end, I don’t think I did actually use the words “heaving bosom” but there are still some trash romance vibes in places.

“Why don’t you come here, Mademoiselle?  I think getting to know each other could be… illuminating.”

               Caroline smiled flirtatiously at Lucien, Lord Grimwell, and bent down so that he could get a good view of her cleavage.  He took the full opportunity to do so, and it was only due to years of being in this exact position that she held back on rolling her eyes.  British traitors or not, these men were all so predictable.

               “Now, Monsieur,” Caroline purred in reply, falling easily into the cadence of the French accent.  “You know that I don’t come cheap.”

               “Ah, yes… your Lord and Master.  Where is the Comte? Surely he can spare you for a moment or two?”  Lord Grimwell ran his hand down Caroline’s back, over her arse, and Caroline leaned toward him as though she enjoyed the touch.

               In reality, her petticoats meant she couldn’t even feel it, and she could feel the eyes of her Comte watching her, all but burning her skin as she smiled and simpered for the British traitor.

               “Come, let us spend some time together.” In a tug on her wrist, she tumbled onto his lap, and one of Grimwell’s hands come up to cup Caroline’s breast.  She felt the cool metal of her knife against her ankle, and her hand twitched, wanting to take it and slam it into Grimwell’s thigh.

               Instead, she let out a low chuckle, one meant for just the two of them, and ran a hand over his chest.  

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The Prize

Title: The Prize

Chapter/One Shot: Part 1, not sure how long it will be

Genre: Romance

Rating: K+

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London.  Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?  Part 1 takes place at a ball being held for their niece’s debut.  

Author’s Notes: I starting writing this because I noticed that the SSS poll for this week included “Heaving Bosom” and I thought it might be fun to try my hand at it. :)  This is the first time I’ve written AU Tom.  Comments appreciated!

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A meat market. That’swhat this was. There were some differences, of course. Lack of blood and the ridiculous abundance of fresh flowers made it much more tolerable on the senses. Her brother Pierre always had a weak spot for the roses that their mother had loved so much and it was one of the areas in which he hadn’t spared any expense in this debut ball for his daughter. The yelling of prices was also missing, although she could practically see pound signs shining in the eyes of the young men as they scanned the room in their search for the young women who had the most famous family names and fortunes.

Madeleine glanced over to where her niece Cassandra was dancing with one of those young men. Her naturally rosy cheeks were flushed an even darker shade than normal and she appeared to be having a wonderful time. Madeline sighed and wandered over to a vacant settee that was situated in a small alcove off the ballroom. She had never been the type of person who enjoyed these lavish parties, not even when she was Cassie’s age and they had been given in her honor. Tolerated them was more accurate. It wasn’t that she was afraid of people or painfully shy; she simply preferred to be in company with smaller groups of people, people with lively minds and interesting conversation.

She took a quick look around the room in order to ascertain that she wasn’t being watched and then slipped off her shoes, extended her feet from the hem of her light blue silk and gleefully wiggled her toes.

“You realize that I’ve seen your ankles and must now propose marriage, don’t you?”

Oh, bother. How had she not seen him? The voice washed over her like a delightful cascade of warm water in a bath.

Would he always have that effect on her? Surely it would fade at some point.

But it hadn’t.

Not for years.

Not since the first time she met him and he was introduced to her as the brother of Pierre’s fiancée. And that’s how he had always treated her since that first day, how he would no doubt always treat her; as if he were her brother. She had been an awkward girl of thirteen, too tall but not too pretty (at least in her own mind) and he a lithe no longer a boy but not quite a man of eighteen. Now, all these years later, he still possessed that boyish charm that had left her giddy on the first day, she who was far too sensible for anything of that nature. He wasn’t like the other boys his age: boys who were educated but stupid, boys who had material advantage but were intellectual paupers. He was perceptive enough to almost immediately recognize that she wasn’t like the other girls her age, girls who were brought up with the single aspiration of making a good match and were conditioned to appear as simpletons. She was educated; their mother had seen to that issue, bringing in the best tutors and governess that their money could procure. Tom would never forget the first time he heard her arguing with her governess in Latin or the first time she settled a dispute between him and Pierre by correctly quoting the passage from Moore’s Utopia that neither of them could quite get right.

At the sound of his voice, she let a wide smile spread across her face, putting on the usual mask that she had learned to employ the last few years when he was around. She started putting it on when she realized that he was eventually going to be married one day and since it most definitely wouldn’t be to her, she told herself it was time to stop dreaming.

“You would be of all men most fortunate, as I am quite a prize or so my financial advisor informs me. How soon would you like to meet with him?”

His laugh. It was almost as devastating as the voice.

The formal eveningwear made him look even more handsome than usual, the abundant candlelight glowing off his dark blond curls. Lowering his tall lean body down to the soft cushions and sitting beside her, he reached over and plucked the lacy fan from her hand and began to wave it with exaggerated vigor.

“It is infernally warm in here. Did your brother have to invite every person in London?”

“I don’t know,” she half scowled, yanking the fan back and smacking his hand with it, “you’ll have to make inquiries with your sister.”

Those intoxicating blue eyes widened at her actions and a smile flashed across his face before an amused frown replaced it.

“Is this the manner in which you intend to treat your husband? With such violent and disrespectful tendencies? Regardless of the size of your fortune, it would by no means outweigh such treatment.”

He brought up a hand to his heart and his eyes narrowed. “Even I, longsuffering though I am and previously accustomed to your stubbornness, would be forced to take you in hand.”

She’d never heard that particular tone in his voice. The insufferable flirt. Why did he have to tease her like this? It made everything so much worse.

“I spoke in jest, dearest Tommy,” she replied, leaning down to slip on her shoes. “I retract my offer for you to meet with my financial advisor. This prize will remain on the shelf so as not to be marred by your soiled hands.”

It was meant as a joke. Wasn’t it? There was that broken engagement, the circumstances that she never could quite get a satisfactory answer about. There had always been rumors of his involvement with women, although she had never seen him treat a lady with anything less than complete consideration and gentleness. Except with her. With her, the gentleness was still there, but it was colored with that familiar ease, as if he could do and say anything and wasn’t worried about following social custom. She liked that. Didn’t she?

These confusing questions were suddenly swirling in her mind; but they were quieted when she looked up and saw his face.

He looked hurt.

Hurt?

No, not just hurt.

Wounded.

Terribly wounded.

Her mouth fell open in surprise and embarrassment.

“Tom, I-“

He moved with such grace and speed, she almost didn’t even see it. Slender fingers were pressed lightly to her lips and she was silenced before she could finish the sentence.

Her heart began to pound wildly when he leaned forward and his eyes narrowed as they focused on the place where his skin was touching hers. Her lips were slightly parted and he felt the warmth of her breath pass through them and brush his fingers. The dance had ended and for a few seconds, the room was almost quiet as the music stopped.

His index finger traced the plump softness of her top lip as the pad of his thumb was drawn slowly along the line of her jaw, his own lips nearly pursed together and his face filled with something that was akin to fevered concentration. His other hand was caressing one of her elbows, right above where her long white glove ended.

Someone was going to see them. Someone was going to see him touching her like this. At a ball. In public. In her brother’s home.

And she didn’t care.

Neither did he, apparently, because he turned his hand and his knuckles were softly sweeping across her cheek.

He seemed to come to himself when he finally lifted his gaze from her lips. The intensity that was in his eyes made her gasp. She was horrified to hear herself whimper at the loss of contact when his hand fell from her face just as the next dance began. He abruptly rose from the settee. The terrible coldness in his tone brought tears to her eyes, although he was speaking low and his face was neutral.

“Forgive me for putting my unworthy soiled hands on such a prize. It won’t happen again.”

He bowed with characteristic grace and then turned and walked away, leaving her on the settee, alone…and unclaimed.

The Prize, Ch. 3

Title: The Prize

Chapter: 3

Genre: Romance/Angst

Rating: T (to be on the safe side, some mild violence/blood in later chapters)

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London. Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?

Author’s Notes: I starting writing this because I noticed that the SSS poll for last week included “Heaving Bosom” and I thought it might be fun to try my hand at it. :) This is the first time I’ve written AU Tom.  I’ve tried to make the dialogue sound period appropriate, but I am writing ABOUT this era, not IN it; so, please be kind if you notice anything awkward in the language. :)   

Thank you to my beta spadesjade who caught a terrible error that would have put my already obvious lack of skill on even greater display!

ICYMI - Chapter 1 / Chapter 2

**Sorry for taking so long to update this!  I hope it meets your expectations!**

 Comments appreciated!

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As he stormed out of the ballroom, Madeleine fell backagainst the cushions of the settee as the sense ofself-reproach settled around her like a heavy winter cloak.  How could she have been so rude, soill-mannered.  Was familiarity breeding contempt?  She suddenly remembered the first time they had read that phrase together, when she had challenged him to read some Chaucer one summer.  He had nearly thrown the volume across the room in disgust, or was it embarrassment, when she began to giggle over his stumbling through the verse and pronunciation.

“We can’t all achieve your level of literary and linguistic perfection, Madeleine,” he mumbled, his cheeks flushing as his hands clenched around the pages.

Those beautiful blue eyes were a sky of storm clouds and she’d had to employ her usual methods of calming his ire, coaxing him into remaining in the room and keeping the slender volume from being torn asunder.

“Here, Tom, I’ll help you,” placing a hand on his shoulder and feeling him relax. “Go back to this line…”

Contempt?  No, no.  She shook her head.  It couldn’t be that.  She could never hold him in contempt.  If it were that simple, then her heart would be free of his grip and she could pass through a day without constant thoughts of him.  

The expression on his face at her cruel words was imprinted on her mind.  Her knowledge of his temperament and the logical assumption that he would be brooding in the library instead of mingling with the guests compelled her to slip on her shoes and rise from the settee.  Apologize.  That was what she must do.  He always listened to her.  The idea of a rift between them, the idea that she could or had possibly caused lasting damage to their relationship was unbearable.  She’d spent considerable energy instructing her nieces and nephews that allowing unkind words to fester in someone’s heart was not acceptable when one had the power to repair what had been damaged.  The wisest course of action was usually to respond sooner rather than later.  

She moved quickly across the perimeter of the room and was just about to slip through the doors when Mr.Kingston cornered her.  He was a recent addition to her brother’s social circle, having been away for many years seeing to his family’s plantation in the West Indies.  There had been some murmuring that his woeful management of the estate after his father’s death had resulted in a great financial loss, but Pierre had judged him as worthy company and so Madeleine accepted him as well.  He was always eager to speak with her and she was his unwilling conversational captive for some minutes before she was able to make her excuses and exit the room.

She had just stepped over the threshold, glancing backwards over her shoulder to be certain that Mr.Kingston wasn’t following her when she collided with a column.  

“Oh, Aunt!  Are you hurt?”  

It was Cassie’s voice.

And it wasn’t a column.

It was him.

The force knocked her back and he immediately reached out to grasp her arms in order to keep her from falling.  

She wanted to cry when she raised her head and saw his expression, when he yanked his hands away from her as if she was burning his skin and murmured an apology.

“Forgive me, it seems I can’t keep my soiled hands from you.”

Cassie was looking at both of them curiously, first at her aunt and then to her uncle, before turning back to Madeleine and once again inquiring about her.

“Yes, thank you, niece, I am perfectly well,” she replied, glancing down to adjust her dress.  “Your uncle’s physique is certainly one to be reckoned with.”

Cassie’s face lit up with a smile and she took Madeleine’s arm.

“I’ve informed him that he’s sent all of the ladies into swoons over his handsomeness, but you know how stubborn he is.  It’s taken some persuasion to make return to the ball, although I am not half as skilled as you are on that score.”

Tom was picking invisible lint from his coat sleeve and frowning.

Madeleine took a deep breath and gave Cassie a kiss on the cheek.

“Yes, he is rather stubborn, but I’m afraid that can be explained in this particular situation. Cassie, may I-“

“Aunt, I think his mood would improve if you would be so gracious as to consent to a dance.”

Cassie was slyly attempting to transfer her aunt’s arm to her uncle’s hand when Madeleine jerked away.

“Cassie, I need to speak with your uncle.  Would you excuse us for a minute or two?”

The young girl’s eyes flew to Tom’s and she seemed to be pleading with him about something.  His chest rose and fell in a deep sigh and he motioned for Cassie to go on into the room without them.  She smiled briefly and squeezed Madeleine’s hand before disappearing through the double doors.

Tom swiftly moved to a set of chairs and stood, waiting for Madeleine to be seated first, but not looking her in the eye.

Her courage faltered momentarily.  They’d had their brief moments of conflict over the years, as would be expected; but even then, those moments were usually about something political or literary, rarely ever about their personal relationship.  Something was different this time, something that was causing previously unexperienced bubbles of fear to swirl around inside her.  The intensity of the feeling was almost taking her breath away and she couldn’t seem to make herself move.  He was behaving so formally, so stiffly, almost like a stranger. Had her words done this?  Had a single comment altered him so significantly in a matter of minutes?

She had seen him frustrated and angry over the years, although it never lasted long and it was almost rarely directed at her.  

But this time… This time she felt it.  Felt it so keenly it was frightening her.  It was a strange thing, the sensation of drifting in a troubled sea when one was on dry land.  It wasn’t new to her, but it had been years since she felt it. It mostly came to her in dreams after her father had been lost at sea shortly after Pierre and Julia had married. The doctor told her that such events of sudden but short lasting physical distress were not uncommon for young women at certain times of the month. When it came to her during waking hours, it had been Tom whose sharp blue eyes noticed it, Tom who would take her hand and murmur to her until the waves were calm and she could think again. In those moments, the dynamic of their relationship had been reversed.  In those moments, he was the comforter.  She had managed to keep it mainly hidden from everyone, somehow finding a way to get through it when he wasn’t in close proximity. But it had been years.  The dreams and the fears had faded with time.  

Now the once all too familiar sensation of fear was taking over. Her heart was pounding, her throat dry, the noise from the ballroom seemed so distant.  She was looking at him, wanting so desperately to reach for his hand as she hadn’t needed to in so long, longing for something to cling to while the cold salty curtains cascaded around her and the wind howled in her ears. But she couldn’t.  She had spoken foolishly to him, insulted the very hands of her rescuer.

He finally shifted his gaze to her face and something softened in his own.

“Madeleine.”

His voice.

She hadn’t heard that particular tone since the last time.

“Madeleine,” he repeated.

The waves were getting smaller.

“Your feet are planted firmly on the ground.  Slow deep breaths, Maddy.”

She hadn’t heard that name since the last time.  So long. It had been so long.  

The wind was calming.

“Keep looking at my eyes. You aren’t drowning.”

An anchor.  She needed an anchor.

He wouldn’t deny her. Surely he wouldn’t.  Wounded pride was a powerful motivator, but she trusted him; he wouldn’t reject her, not when this was happening again after so many years of lying dormant.

She was about to raise an arm and reach for him when he spoke again, still using that low commanding tone that she couldn’t help but obey.

“Come, sit.  You’re safe.”

How she ended up in the chair she would never be quite sure. She would also never be sure how he had procured a glass of water almost out of thin air, but it was gently pressed to lips and her hands clutched it.  When she focused her eyes again, he was sitting in the twin chair and smiling at her.

“Solid ground, yes?”

She hadn’t heard him ask that since the last time.

‘Yes” she whispered, letting the light from his eyes soothe the last tremors of alarm, the tingling in her limbs that was receding.

The first time he had helped her through it, she was certain that it would be a matter of derision in his mind. But he never teaser her about it, never made her feel as though her mind wasn’t secure.  From the first day they had met, she observed him to be an expressive emotional creature in a way that her Pierre and, for that matter, most of the males around here were not.  She had already become accustomed to his moods that bewildered his own sister. Indeed, he seemed almost relieved that he could be of some help to Madeleine in a similar manner to the way that she so often soothed him.

He cleared his throat and swallowed nervously.

“It’s been quite some time since…since…”  

“Yes, thank you.”

He appeared to be slipping back into that stiffness from minutes ago and she rushed ahead, worried that the tension between which had been erased as he helped her through her fear would come rushing back.

“I’m sorry.”

His brows came together in a frown.

“You know you don’t have to apologize, I am quite aware that this has never been something you could control.  You didn’t ask for it, I –“

“No,” she interrupted quietly, taking another sip from the glass, hoping that it would do more to help than simply quench her thirst.

“I mean to say…I’m sorry for the words I spoke earlier.  They were foolish and meant in jest.  They were not meant to…they were not meant to be insulting and they are certainly no indication of how I truly feel. You and I must never be enemies, Tom.”

He had almost imperceptibly begun to lean forward in the chair, his handsome features shifting back to that open boyish charm that had captured her heart so long ago.  At her last words, he froze; he appeared to be waiting for her to continue.  

An altogether different wave of fear now crashed over her.  He must be worried that she was going to say something he didn’t want to hear, something that would cause him great discomfort.  

You and I must always be friends, Tom.  Aren’t we more than that?  Aren’t we as intimate in our affections as a husband and wife are?

She wanted to say those words.  

She couldn’t.

It was obvious that he feared she would and that it would be the worst possible thing she could do.

“You and I must never be enemies, Tom,” she said again, “Will you forgive me, please?  We are nearly brother and sister, aren’t we?”

A swift exhale of bated breath left his lungs and his hands moved to grip the arms of the chair, those long fingers curling around the embroidered upholstery.

She wanted to weep again at his actions, ones that seemed to represent to her nothing other than immense relief.

“Yes, Madeleine.”

Madeleine.  Not “Maddy.”  

It was the only time she had ever cringed at the sound of her name.

“I forgive you.”

The sound of laughter and music burst into the space around them as the doors opened and Cassie came rushing out.

“Papa says this is the last dance! Come, you must enjoy it together!”

Tom rose gracefully from his chair and intercepted Cassie’s hands before she could pull Madeleine from her seat.

“Your aunt is feeling rather tired and you and I have yet to dance.”

Smooth.  So smooth.  A perfectly veiled maneuvering away from her.

He forgives you.  But he’s rejected you.  You finally have a definite answer.  You finally know for sure.  He would never think of you in that way.  You are a sister.  You’ll never be his prize.

2

Oh, Armand, don’t say I didn’t warn you!  After conspicuously NOT topping up your evil points by racking anyone onscreen, I believe there is every danger you will now only be remembered for being completely adorable.

What are "heaving bosoms," anyway?

Many people didn’t get the reference for the ‘theme’ for the upcoming Sunday Smut Spotlight, so I want to give it a little context.

“Heaving bosoms” is a silly reference to the way bosoms are sometimes described in certain romance novels. The type of story is also called “bodice ripper”.
“epic romance novels set in exotic locations with aggressive and possessive heroes and spirited heroines”

Look up Harlequin Romances.  Specifically, the art on the book covers should give a good sense of what these stories are about.

buzzfeed.com
172 Thoughts I Had Watching The First Eight "Outlander" Episodes
Don’t get turned on during Jamie’s flogging scenes. Don’t get turned on during Jamie’s flogging scenes. Don’t get turned on during Jamie’s flogging scenes.
By Jarett Wieselman

Read these thoughts you won’t regret it…..here are the ones for The Wedding episode:

121. Glad I didn’t scroll ahead since this episode title is a big spoiler.
122. Wait. They’re already married?
123. Didn’t even need to go to Vegas for that quickie.
124. Claire’s upset that the clan is now waiting around for her and Jamie to have sex, but, like, that’s what has kept me going for these seven episodes, so…
125. Claire’s heaving bosom is the heavingest bosom I’ve ever seen.
126. I am swooning so hard listening to Jamie tell hours upon hours of stories.
127. This is now a very cute love affair.
128. Oh yes, help her with the laces and such, Jamie.
129. Um, I’m sweating.
130. This is pornography.
131. OK, this post-coital conversation officially moved Jamie and Claire from a couple I want together to a couple I actively need together.
132. Where can Outlander fans get replicas of Jamie and Claire’s wedding ring?
133. Dress shopping in a whorehouse? OK.
134. Can we go back to Jamie and Claire’s bedroom please?
135. Oh, that dress is beautiful.
136. Is this priest going to cut them?
137. Why did he cut them?
138. Oh, it’s like a blood oath.
139. “Take off your shirt, I want to look at you” — thank you, Claire.
140. *Faints*
141. And now she’s cupping.
142. That is a rude, invasive shadow.
143. Get out of here shadow.
144. I wonder if Tumblr has freeze-framed and lightened this scene.
145. *Runs to Tumblr*
146. Jamie’s first blowjob?
147. I’m gonna need a minute. That was quite the scene.
148. I’m not mature enough to watch Jamie give Claire a real pearl necklace after they’ve spent 45 minutes having sex.
149. Aaaaaannd they’re having sex again.
150. This episode for all the awards.

6

Even if the cardinal had done nothing else, this is the scene that would guarantee his immortality.

You know, Armand being an overtly* naughty boy (who inspires very naughty thoughts with his face here) is probably just about the most historically accurate thing in The Musketeers.  Which is undoubtedly why this element of his character was dropped in his other nine episodes because if there is one thing this show will not tolerate, it’s historical accuracy. 

*Of course he’s continues to be utterly as it were mesmerized by Milady’s heaving bosom, but then who isn’t? 

2

Book: The Virgin Romance Novelist
Author: Meghan Quinn
Pages: 292
Publisher: Hot-Lanta Publishing
Rating: ★★★★ 4.5

Synopsis:

Her bosom heaved at an alarming rate as his rough hand found its way down to her soft, yet wiry briar patch…
Can you say briar patch in a romance novel? What about meat sword? That’s what it is…a meat sword, right, all meaty and sword like, slaying through the inner dungeons of a woman’s dark desires. What about breasts? Do bosoms really heave?
God, I have no idea what happens when private parts touch.
I’m a virgin trying to write a romance novel and can’t seem to write past a sex scene thanks to my lack of experience.  
My two best friends encourage me to drop the pen for a while and gain some real life practice through multiple dating facets such as blind dates, online profiles, and random hookups.
But losing my virginity is proving to be tougher than expected…

My Thoughts:

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an a honest review – Thank you!

I finished The Virgin Romance Novelist earlier today and to say that I loved it would be a very big understatement. I actually loved this book so much that I feel honored that I was able to read it before it’s official release. 

Rosie Bloom wants to be a romance novelist but there is only one problem standing in her way, she’s a virgin. Not that being a virgin is a problem but when you’re trying to write a romance novel the lack of experience may be a tiny bit of an issue. With the help of her two best friends, 23 year old Rosie, who has lived an extremely sheltered life, decides she’s going to put herself out there and start dating. Each date that Rosie goes on is more hysterical and embarrassing than the last. The Virgin Romance Novelist was so funny that I was doing that weird laugh, the one where no sound comes out and your face starts turning a funny shade of purple and your whole body starts convulsing with laughter - I promise, it’s a really attractive look. There was this one scene where she gets a Brazilian wax and I was positive that I was going to die from laughing so hard. Other times I cringed at how bad the dates were, they weren’t just bad, they were awful! Between Rosie’s quirky dates, her slightly disturbing office life and her hysterical and loveable best friends, Delaney and Henry, you won’t stop laughing or smiling. The Virgin Romance Novelist has everything you need in a book; it’s comedic gold, filled with awesome one liners, and swoon worthy romance.

16 Days Of Outlander - Day 13

The Watch


“Keep Calm Now, Lad.”

She can’t get down to him fast enough, barely taking her eyes off him, lest she lose him in that split second she looked away. 

From her fear and his steeliness very little needs to be said for the tension to be palpably felt. There’s only one thing on her mind and that’s to get to his side


That huge bosom-heaving sigh of relief of hers, as Jenny - like a boss - comes in and defuses the situation.


Instinct

There’s this amazing level of instinctual awareness Claire and Jamie share, where they’re able to read each other’s body language and sense changes in one another down to minute details.

Case in point: The moment Claire does get to Jamie’s side, she reads him (not too hard I’d imagine having already had a gun in his face, dude is pissed.)

Her grip on him tightens - warning. Keep calm.


Her hand rubs his shoulder - soothing. Don’t do anything rash. Yet the look she gives him - be ready. And immediately, he reaches for his dirk.


And as that asswipe puts his feet up on the table, Claire - without needing to look - instantly puts a warning hand on Jamie’s thigh - stilling him.

They’re both so perfectly tuned to the other’s wave length, even before they got married, really looking forward to more of that in S2!



Jamais être Pris Vivant!

That look they exchange…



Claire and Jenny

Their deepening bond throughout this episode was so enjoyable to watch, even though what bonded them was something quite dire.

Jenny telling Claire about how it feels to be pregnant was one of my favorite scenes they shared:

“Then towards the end. When the child moves a lot. It’s a feeling like when yer man’s inside ye. When he comes to ye deep and pours himself inside ye and that throbbing begins. Feels like that, only much bigger, like… like it’s him ye’ve taken into ye instead.” 

Honorable Mention

Claire:  It’s alright. It is possible to deliver a breach baby. I may have to reach inside and guide it out.

Jenny: Alright. But, you’ll be fetching me a good stiff dram before we start.

Claire: In that case, the baby will likely be drunk, too.

Jenny: Then he’ll come into the world a true Scot. 



When ‘Failure’ Lost It’s Power

Each thinking they’d failed the other, what rose instead was love beyond dimensions. Where the fear of the other’s suffering trumped their own completely. And failure ceased to exist in their eyes and had no power between them. For him, she could never fail him, nor in her eyes could he ever fail her. It’s tender. It’s beautiful.

Gah! That neck kiss. The timid way she looks up at him after, as he gazes at her the way he does… Damn these two… I’mma need a moment…



Jamie and Ian

My favorite scene of these two by far’s the one where Ian kills Horrocks. So shaken by it, Jamie’s there to console his brother and in that moment the depth of their friendship comes through amazingly



“Haste Ye Back. Or Else.”

As far as their S1 goodbyes go, this one hit the hardest (Geez, S2 will just do me in completely). Having sped-read ahead, knowing what was yet to come, when she’d see him next… it’s just so achingly full of everything they are and feel.



*BONUS:

This cheeky wee bugger helping his Auntie Claire!


And lastly, some favorite stills

When Rey fought Kylo Ren, her gender wasn’t really a part of the issue. Lots of stories sexualize women committing violence–but this one didn’t. And I love that. I love that we didn’t get a costume torn-through-the-midriff. We didn’t get lingering shots of her sweating, or her bosom heaving. We didn’t get him saying anything about how she’s “only a girl”, or anything about her gender at all. It was about her place in the story, and his place in the story. I don’t think it’d be an inch different if she was a man. And I love that. I love that she’s being taken seriously, outside of and beyond her sexual appeal.