the kitchen maid

a sad truth of women in relationships; their silent tears in the bathroom, the lights off during sex, unspoken insecurities and questions; fear of being too loud too hysterical too clingy. try to fix themselves to fix the other person’s problems - if i am prettier, smarter, faster, better - try to erase themselves to avoid conflict. small terrible jealousies he does nothing to dispel - he likes her facebook profile picture even after you tell him she rips you open - small terrible compromises that are really just giving up. women who change the core of themselves, who quietly give up dreams for his successes and for his children, who ask for little more than somebody else doing the dishes and still get moaned at. women who are the backbone of their house and still only seen as a kitchen trophy, a maid, a ball and chain.

anonymous asked:

Imagine a universe where Jamie got to keep William as his own, pretty please!

Special thanks to Mod Gotham for coming up with the title for this new AU of mine. I have it all planned out but I’m not sure yet how many parts it will be. I hope you all enjoy it. - Mod Lenny

Mac Ruaidh - Part One

The cold of the raging storm outside had nothing on the cold that invaded his veins at the news from the Ellesmeres’ cook, though he was less certain whether it was caused by the news that Geneva was dead or that her husband was thoroughly convinced her child had been fathered by another man.

Though it was wrong to curse the dead, the impulse was strong. He had known when he accepted her twisted bargain that it wouldn’t be so simple. He should have tried harder to find a way out of it without giving in to her demands. As his anger and frustration rose the chill faded and heat rose through him.

Perhaps his wits had gotten slow from lack of use. In the cave he’d had little to do but think and second guess his every move; at Ardsmuir there had been the men to think on, their welfare to negotiate and in the governor he’d found a man willing to challenge and bargain shrewdly, not to mention the opportunities to play at chess or read a bit from one of the books on the shelf. But at Helwater he had slipped into a routine that didn’t require the same mental exertions; physical exhaustion carried him to his bed at night and the relative freedom of movement––being outdoors and working but not under the eyes and guns of guards––he had given over to enjoying the simpler aspects of his life, pushing aside the harsh terms of his servitude. In playing the part of a mere groom perhaps some of the simplicity he played at had seeped into his mind and impeded his faculties.

How else could he explain the apparent ease with which Geneva––hardly more than a lass––had gotten the upper hand on him enough to force his compliance?

Jamie closed his eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, urging his mind towards quiet. Half a dozen ideas for what he could have done or said differently in the field that day were fighting with each other as though settling on which would have been most effective might change his current situation.

But what exactly was his situation? The lad was his by blood but Ellesmere’s by law and as far as appearances were concerned.

The rising heat of Jamie’s anger cooled suddenly as something within him sank. He had a son, another child he wouldn’t have a chance to see or raise or know. Well, perhaps Ellesmere would let the lad visit Helwater from time to time; the Dunsanys were still the babe’s family. Jamie might be able to see him from a distance, which was more than he’d had of either of his other two children. Lord that she might be safe, she and the child , he prayed silently, habitually, and then with a sigh added, And may Lady Geneva rest peacefully.

A maid came scurrying into the kitchen with wide eyes. “Your master wants you right away,” she urged Jamie and Jeffries. “And he wants you to come armed.”

Jeffries ran to fetch the pistols from the carriage but Jamie urged the maid to show him to Lord Dunsany immediately; if arms were indeed needed he shouldn’t have trouble improvising with something at hand or at least stalling until Jeffries could join them.

Ellesmere and Dunsany were both red-faced from screaming as he entered and looked about to come to blows.

“Your daughter was a whore and I’ll not have her bastard bearing my name,” Ellesmere hollered. “I’m getting rid of him one way or another.”

“My daughter was no WHORE!” Dunsany screamed, taking a swing at Ellesmere who easily dodged it. “And you’ll not shame my grandson with your lies!”

“He’s no son of mine, of that I’m sure,” Ellesmere taunted Dunsany, “so that ought to tell you all you need to know of your daughter and her character.”

Jamie felt the blood drain from his face but it had no effect on his legs. He inserted himself between the two men saying nothing.

“We had an arrangement when I agreed to marry that slut and I don’t care––”

Jamie gave Ellesmere a shove so that he fell back into a cushioned chair. Both he and Dunsany were startled into silence by the action.

“Have ye no heard that it’s rude to speak ill of the dead?” Jamie said with a quiet calm that made Ellesmere go pale. “There’s a child lost its mother and parents lost their child. Whatever betrayal ye may be feeling, have a care for their grief at least or ye dinna deserve to call yerself a gentleman.”

The color returned to Ellesmere’s face in a rush of red but he simply clenched his fists in his chair as Jamie continued to stare down at him from his physically imposing height.

“Tha–thank you, MacKenzie,” Dunsany muttered weakly behind him. “I’ve sent my wife to fetch the child. We’ll be leaving with him this afternoon and––”

“No,” Ellesmere said with cold fury. “You’ll not be leaving this house with that child and playing the gracious grieving parents offering to raise him for me because I’m too distraught or whatever bullshit reason you give the gossip-mongers. I never touched your daughter and I’ll not have her bastard son as my heir.”

“I’ll take him.” The words were out of Jamie’s mouth before he’d even thought them and once again both Ellesmere and Dunsany were shocked into silence.

Swallowing and turning to begin pacing, Jamie was aware of the men’s attention on him while he scrambled to piece his impulse together into a plan.

“I’ll take the bairn and raise him as mine––a lad got on a kitchen maid that left and sent him to me rather than raise him herself,” Jamie said quickly. “As far as Lady Geneva goes, her bairn died and can be buried with her.” He turned to Ellesmere. “It frees ye of having a living heir ye dinna want and garners ye a bit more sympathy than a scandal would––or would ye rather word of yer… inabilities spread along with yer insinuations about yer late wife?”

Ellesmere glared at Jamie who stood holding the older man’s eye without flinching. He was vaguely aware of the throbbing pulse in the man’s throat, a subtle fluttering movement that was slightly out of sync with a twitch in the corner of the man’s right eye. Ellesmere blinked and Jamie let the breath he’d been holding go then turned to Dunsany.

“I ken it’s no how ye want the lad to come to yer house,” Jamie said with gentle understanding, a tone of voice he’d used frequently on skittish horses. “But he’ll be near ye and ye’ll have a chance to see him even if he canna know the truth of who ye are.”

“You propose to raise an infant on your own while working as a stablehand…” Dunsany summarized with obvious skepticism.

“I’m sure my employer will prove sympathetic to my plight having so recently lost a beloved child of his own. None would question such an impulse under the circumstances,” Jamie reasoned. “But… he would be mine. I’d have the final say over him.”

Dunsany’s mouth was drawn tight and grim but there was exhaustion and resignation in it too.

“Why? Why would you do such a thing?” Dunsany asked.

Jamie inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. “My wife,” he said quietly, his voice barely managing not to break at the mention of Claire, at the thought of discussing her with these people, of bringing her memory into the light of day to be gawked at when he preferred keeping her to himself, cherished and protected. “My wife and I wanted… We lost our first at birth. It took time for her to get with child again… and then I lost them both together… I love my wife still and dinna mean ever to wed again… but it pains me to think I’ll no have a chance to be a father. A child without a father ought to have one and if I’m no to be father to my wife’s children, I should like to act as father to such a child.”

“If you want the bloody bastard you can have him,” Ellesmere said, unmoved by Jamie’s display of emotion. “I just want all of you out of my house and out of my life as soon as possible.”

But Jamie’s focus remained on Dunsany and the watery redness of his eyes. When Dunsany blinked his head moved in a subtle nod.

“William?” Lady Dunsany asked as she appeared at the door to the library with the blanket wrapped infant in her arms and Jeffries at her side, the pistols from the carriage clearly visible.

“Jeffries, those won’t be necessary,” Dunsany said, his voice thick but firm.

Dunsany crossed to his wife and whispered about the proposed arrangement. Lady Dunsany was shaking her head vehemently and clutching the tiny bundle to her tightly before Dunsany was even half-way through. Her eyes darted to Jamie, pleading, but then caught Ellesmere’s hard and unsympathetic expression. Dunsany moved to take the child from her arms but she shook him off and took the first few steps towards Jamie, her hold on the child never loosening.

“He’s called William,” she said firmly.

“Louisa,” Dunsany began to say but she interrupted him.

“It’s William; she gave him that name and I think it’s the least MacKenzie can do to call him by the name his mother gave him before she died.” The grief in her voice was strong but lent that strength to her resolve.

“Aye,” Jamie whispered looking to reassure the grieving grandmother. “William is a good strong name for the lad. My older brother was called William. May I hold him?”

With tears streaking down her cheeks, Lady Dunsany brushed the blanket aside so that she could look at the face of her sleeping grandson and trail a finger down his cheek before yielding him to Jamie’s large hands and strong, solid arms.

The child didn’t seem to weigh a thing and yet for the first time in more than a decade, Jamie felt as though his feet had a solid hold on the ground. The baby’s ears stuck out a little and his shut eyes appeared to slant a bit––nothing that blatantly suggested the child in his arms was his by blood to anyone in the room aside from him––but he couldn’t help swallowing against a lump the observation created in his throat. Claire had told him that Faith had those features when she’d held her; had they looked like this? The lad’s hair was darker than his own, promised to be a rich brown like his mother’s… like Claire’s.

The other people in the room faded from Jamie’s awareness as he gently rocked the sleeping bairn and made his way closer to the warmth of the fire; it was just him and his son. Had the child Claire carried with her through the stones been born with her hair, or his? Had that child looked like this child? Closing his eyes and focusing on the warmth of the small, fragile body in his arms, Jamie could almost convince himself that he was standing before the hearth in the laird’s room at Lallybroch with Claire resting in the bed behind him, that this son in his arms was somehow one of the many yearned for but unborn children he was supposed to have had with Claire in that life they were supposed to have lived together.

Fàilte mo mhac,” he said quietly then looked up and around until he spotted what he was looking for on Jeffries. He crossed and had the knife out of the paralyzed coachman’s belt.

“What are you doing?” Lady Dunsany screeched, similarly frozen as her eyes went wide seeing a blade so close to the baby.

But Jamie ignored her. William was sleeping securely and oblivious in the crook of Jamie’s right arm while he held the knife tight in that same hand and used his teeth to pull up the sleeve of his left arm so that nothing was in the way of that hand. The middle finger bent towards his palm and lightly pressed at the faint ‘C’ at the base of his thumb before he flexed the hand flat and guided the point of the knife a little further below the old scar. Blood of my blood and bone of my bone. His blood had mingled with Claire’s and was part of him, even now so many years later, she was and always would be a part of him. It was a shallower cut, only enough to raise a small line of blood, then he let the knife fall to the floor at his feet.

Is tusa Uilleam donn mac Sheumais ruaidh,” Jamie murmured as he smeared the blood across the boy’s forehead. The sensation caused the child to squirm and his eyes to peek open. “Aye… Mac Ruaidh mar tha mi Mac Dubh.”

Turning towards the shocked and wary faces of the Dunsanys and Ellesmere Jamie explained, “Now, he is of my blood.” My blood and Claire’s. With pride he claimed, “He is my son.”

Mac Ruaidh - Part Two

Part One


Despite her initial reluctance to relinquish her grandson to Jamie, Lady Dunsany wound up taking the lead in making the necessary arrangements for the sake of appearances. A wet nurse was engaged to take the infant for up to a fortnight; none of them would know precisely when the infant would be brought to Helwater. Ellesmere’s servants (with a few exceptions whose discretion could be trusted) were informed that like his mother before him, the child had died. Ellesmere agreed to let the Dunsanys take Geneva and her child home to Helwater for the funeral and burial. A few days after the funeral, the baby would be brought to Helwater and left for Jamie with a scribbled note and he would make sure the Helwater servants saw him making an appeal for assistance to the Dunsanys.

Letting William go was painful and he had to remind himself it was only for a few days, that he would see this child again. Still, he lay awake each night on his pallet in the loft waiting and praying that that would be the night one of the maids came to fetch him.

Jamie was working through a daze re-shoeing the horses in the yard when Major Grey arrived. Though his bags were brought inside right away, Major Grey lingered in the yard watching Jamie at his work. Jamie bowed his head back to the task at hand and refused to look up again until he was confident Major Grey had gone inside to see Dunsany.

He shouldn’t be so surprised that Major Grey had shown up; he was an old friend of the Dunsany family, which was part of how he’d managed to arrange Jamie’s parole at Helwater in the first place. But Jamie’s mind couldn’t have been further from Geneva’s impending funeral as he crouched with the horse’s foot clutched between his legs and the cold tang of the metal nails clenched between his teeth. He was wondering where on the road between Ellesmere’s estate and Helwater the wet nurse and whoever her escort might be were; whether the journey was making William fussy and irritable or if he was cooperating and sleeping a lot; how many hours it would be before the tight knot of anxiety in his chest would loosen.

Jamie didn’t see Major Grey again until Geneva’s funeral. Jamie attended the funeral along with most of the estate’s staff, standing towards the back of the crowded chapel; he had no difficulty seeing the proceedings. Under normal circumstances, he would have followed along with the service adding his own silent prayers and making note of the differences between this Protestant service and the Catholic ones he knew better. There were more than enough similarities to make up for the differences.

A young mother dead in childbed; her child gone with her; a grieving husband and family mourning her publicly. A heavy feeling of disgust settled in Jamie’s stomach; aside from the first, Geneva’s funeral was both echo and mockery of what his own mother’s had been. William lived though only a handful in attendance knew. Her parents’ and sister’s grief was real enough but Ellesmere sat stone faced, staring at the coffin and undoubtedly judging the soul that used to belong to the body within. Guilt swept through Jamie for he had been so quick to do the same with regards to Geneva. He would try to forgive her for his son’s sake and would beg her forgiveness for the fact the boy could not know her or even know of her. He hoped that made them even.

I’ll raise him as best I can, he promised her silently, and I’m sorry, but there’s only one way I ken how. It’s no the way ye would have wanted, but he’ll be loved. And someday… someday I’ll try to bring myself to tell him the truth. And with the minister’s final prayers, Jamie tried to set Geneva Dunsany aside for good.

Major Grey found Jamie in the crowd after the service had finished when everyone was lingering, uncertain what to say to the grieving family, unwilling to be the first to leave.

“It was good of you to come,” Grey said, making an awkward start.

Jamie grunted his agreement as he moved to find a way out of the crowd, the rest of the servants and staff having drifted out before the service had finished in order to prepare the house for the gathering of guests who would linger for hours or––in some cases––days.

“Are you feeling all right?” Grey asked, his eyes narrowing as he took in Jamie’s haggard appearance.

“Tired is all, sir,” Jamie responded with a curt politeness intended to remind Grey of the company around them. “Ye’ll have heard of the storm we rode through to reach Ellesmere. The carriage was stuck often and it was cold and weary work dislodging it. I’m still recovering and actually ought to be getting back for a rest while I can.”

“Of course,” Grey relented. “I will speak to you sometime before I leave.”

“How long are ye to stay?”

“Just a day or two. I want to be sure the family don’t require anything of me before I return to London.”

Jamie nodded but an acquaintance of Grey’s appeared and struck up a conversation with him assuming Grey had simply been giving instructions of some sort to Jamie.

Relieved to be free of the large group of mourners, Jamie slipped away to the stables where there were a multitude of guests’ horses that needed to be tended before their owners could begin departing. It was the kind of busy work that distracted a person from their thoughts and Jamie relinquished himself gladly to the monotony of movement that exhausted his body so that come nightfall he lay on his pallet in the loft and finally fell into a light but restful sleep.

The following afternoon Jamie was returning with the line of horses from one of the distant paddocks when he noticed the horses increasing restiveness as they drew closer to the house and stables. One of the kitchen maids emerged from the stable with her hands on her hips and crossed to Hughes with a question. Hughes started to shrug then spotted Jamie and the maid’s head spun in his direction.

His heart began to pound and his palms to sweat as he continued toward her at a steady and reluctant pace, all his energy focused on maintaining an air of ignorance, all his mind in chaos as he yearned to have the charade over with so he could be alone with his son in his arms.

“You’re needed in the house MacKenzie,” the maid called when he was closer. Hughes trailed behind her already reaching for the horses’ line while Jamie headed for the nearby trough to wash the dirt from his hands. She followed him with growing impatience. “There’s a message along with a uh… well, you’d best just come and see.”

The maid was close to running but Jamie’s stride was long enough for him to keep up without looking worried or in a rush.

Silence fell in the kitchen when Jamie finally appeared on the scene. A space had been cleared on the table; meat, herbs, and a few vegetables pushed aside in various states of preparation so that a large basket could rest in the middle, away from the edge.

The housekeeper stood beside it wearing an authoritative posture. She held out the opened envelope for Jamie to take as soon as he was close enough. He frowned at the broken seal and peered over the edge of the basket to see William wrapped securely in several layers of blankets, his face barely visible and his nose rosy from the chill in the air outside.

Turning his back on the basket, Jamie pulled out the note and skimmed it, already having a vague idea of what Lady Dunsany would have written for the wet nurse to copy before delivering the child to Helwater. He was pretty sure the housekeeper could read and wondered how deep into the household the note’s contents had already managed to spread.

Setting the note aside, Jamie reached into the basket and pushed the blanket aside so it was clear of William’s face. Relief washed through him as he saw that the infant appeared to be in good health; he wasn’t pale or feverish or clammy and his face had lost the squashed appearance of the recently birthed. Jamie slipped his hands around the tightly wrapped body and lifted it out. Jarred by the sudden movement, William’s eyes flew open and Jamie could feel the baby’s limbs fight against the blanket that kept them tight against his body. A startled cry escaped the bundle and the housekeeper reached instinctively to take the child and calm him but Jamie moved William out of her reach and settled him in his own arms.

Reassured by the solidity of resting in Jamie’s arms and against his chest, William’s cry weakened to a whimper and then faded as Jamie began whispering to him in soothing Gaelic, the vibrations of his low voice radiating through his body. William looked up at Jamie with wide eyes, his mouth forming a startled ‘O’ that made Jamie chuckle.

“What’s happened here?” Lady Dunsany asked as she followed a maid sent to fetch her into the kitchen. She paled for a moment when she saw Jamie holding the baby but quickly recovered.

“I believe I’m goin’ to need to have a word or two wi’ yer husband, my lady,” Jamie said in a way he hoped didn’t sound two practiced.

“What’s this?” Lord John asked coming in behind Lady Dunsany.

Jamie felt a nervous chill creeping up his spine as he watched Grey’s eyes widen momentarily with shock; his features remained unaltered as he looked into Jamie’s defiant face.

“May I see that?” Grey asked indicating the note.

“Lord John, please,” Lady Dunsany said with quiet firmness as Jamie yielded the slip of paper. “This is not the place to be doing this and it’s a matter for my husband to deal with, at any rate.”

Grey looked up from the note and at Jamie again then to the child in his arms. William wriggled a bit and grunted before passing a bit of gas. Jamie struggled not to smile at what appeared to be the babe’s opinion of such scrutiny.

“You are right, of course, my lady,” Grey finally said. “Please, allow me to help you carry your things into the library while your mistress fetches her husband.” He reached over to the table and lifted the basket.

“Thank you, sir,” Jamie said with formality before following Grey out of the kitchen.

He wanted to reach out and take Grey by the collar, push him up against the wall of the hallway and lay into him for interfering; point out that no one beyond Dunsany was supposed to know his full background and that Grey’s assumption of authority in the kitchen threatened what anonymity using the name Alexander MacKenzie gave him. But having William in his arms was more than deterrent enough.

The babe was starting to squeak and grunt again, this time clearly with hunger behind it. How long had it been since he’d eaten? How long would it take till Lady Dunsany could get a wet nurse to the house? What was it Jenny used to give the bairns to tide them over if she couldn’t nurse right away?

Grey strode into the library with Jamie a few steps behind him and dropped the basket on the floor by the desk before whirling around and shutting the door.

“What’s going on, Jamie?” Grey asked, his voice a harsh whisper. “I don’t for a minute believe that you got some random local woman with child the way this note suggests. Not without the household servants knowing about it and if they had suspected something and were gossiping about it, Tom would have heard and informed me.”

Jamie remained silent, turning his attention to William and walking towards the light of one of the windows, swaying as he did and calming the hungry child. William blinked against the light then sneezed.

“What makes ye so sure he’s no mine?” Jamie asked quietly.

“I know you, Jamie. You wouldn’t take advantage of some unfortunate or… or misguided young woman like that,” Grey insisted. “You’re too noble… too noble for your own good,” he added, under his breath.

“There’s much about me ye dinna ken,” Jamie murmured letting William take the end of his finger in his hand. The babe shifted his head towards the finger, mouth gaping, ready to feast. It took a few tries for him to get the finger in his mouth. Jamie hoped the brief washing he’d given his hands on the way inside had gotten that finger clean enough; he could hear faint echoes of Claire scolding him about how sensitive infants could be to those germs of hers.

“MacKenzie,” Dunsany said as he and his wife slipped into the library. “Lord John,” he added, clearly startled. “Thank you for keeping MacKenzie company just now. I think––”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I think you and I both know that whatever is happening with this child concerning MacKenzie is my concern as well,” Grey interrupted with the clear intention of taking charge and a brief glance to Lady Dunsany, uncertain how much she knew of how and why Jamie had come to be a groom on the estate. “Now, as I’m sure your wife informed you, the note claims that MacKenzie is father to this child but it’s clear that he can’t possibly raise the boy here under these circumstances. If you require assistance, I can help arrange for the boy to be sent to his family in Scotland. Presumably he has family who would be able to care for the boy until such time––”

“No,” Lady Dunsany interjected. She had already drifted to Jamie’s side. “That won’t be necessary. MacKenzie can stay here with the baby so long as he’s in our employ. I’ll send to town to inquire after a wet nurse and you can be moved into the house; the child cannot be raised in the barn.”

Grey turned a confused look to his hostess as she reached for William and brought him to her shoulder, a hand caressing the back of his head.

Understanding dawned in Grey’s face and he looked first to Dunsany and then to Jamie for confirmation.

“Ah, yes. Well… I suppose that changes matters… I’ll leave you to your arrangements,” Grey stammered, heading for the door but throwing Jamie a look that indicated there were still matters the two of them would be discussing later.

But the reluctance Jamie felt over the prospect of that discussion faded as he watched Lady Dunsany with tears in her eyes cradling her grandson. He couldn’t begrudge the Dunsanys for the comfort they found in the child but neither was he blind to the difficulties that lay ahead as far as drawing boundaries for how William would be raised and their role in his life. Grey could be an important ally for him when the time came for him to take William home to Scotland. He hoped for all their sakes that a balance could be struck that would enable them all to live in peace for some years to come.

anonymous asked:

can we please have more of the minnie and claire as spies au i'm living for it

PART ONE. PART TWO.

Either Side of the Line: Part Three:


The sound of a cock crowing pulled Claire from her restless slumber. The babe had been kicking furiously all night, keeping her just on the edge of sleep. Pushing herself out of bed, Claire reached for her robe as she walked morosely towards the kitchen.

The house was strangely silent as she meandered through, peeking her head around various doors as if expecting Minnie to just appear, suitcases packed and ready to go.

Two kitchen maids looked on in shock as Claire rounded the corner, hands rubbing delicately along her extended stomach.

“Mistress,” they both mumbled, curtseying as they continued on with their daily duties.

Something wasn’t right, Claire realised.

Finding the breakfast room set only for one, she held her breath, her brows drawing together as she glanced around the empty room.

One plate.

One steaming mug of tea sat carefully on the ornate mats.

With the sun only just on the rise, Minnie had told Claire to be ready for the off as soon as dawn approached, but with her friend nowhere in sight, an unsettling feeling began to rise beneath Claire’s skin.

Sitting at the table, she poked at the feast in front of her, rolling the meat around her plate as if reorganising it might shed some clarity on the situation.

Something at the back of her mind told her that she was alone here now.

Scraping her chair back against the wooden floor, Claire left the breakfast virtually untouched as she went in search of her shoes.

Rushing out towards the stables, she hoped to find some signs of life somewhere, something to indicate where her partner in crime had scampered off to.

The horses brayed and whinnied as she walked the length of the stalls, poking her head into every box as she searched high and low without much luck. The stable towards the very end of the row, the largest –and the one that *had* housed Minnie’s horse when they had arrived– was empty.

Claire stood for a moment, mouth open and eyes wide, as she glanced into the vacant space.

The straw had been disturbed, vague hoof prints scattered the rough bedding here and there as if the mare had been rushed from her temporary lodgings.

Burying her hands in her skirts, Claire turned and briskly walked from the stables, the bottom of her dress swishing noisily against the ground as she rushed back towards the house.

Minnie was gone.

The servants, at a loss, simply milled around the entrance as Claire stomped back into the property. The head butler wrung his hands nervously as he waited for Claire to say something –but she found she was unable to speak.

“Mistress?” One of the younger girls piped up, her voice tinkling and light as she tried to get Claire’s attention.

With the door now closed behind them, Claire look back and forth between the solid oak frame and the cluster of household staff who had gathered, glancing nervously between their temporary –and heavily pregnant– mistress and back at one another.

“Can we get you something, tea –a bath perhaps?”

Claire shook her head, the shock of her abandonment beginning to wear off.

Just as she was about to answer a loud knock echoed through the noiseless halls, reverberating off the walls and causing the paintings on the closest walls to shake.

“Minnie!” Claire exclaimed, rushing towards the door, her heart picking up pace as she struggled with the doorknob.

Gripping the cool metal, she twisted, the knocking becoming more impassioned with every passing moment.

“Minnie wha-” Claire gasped, the door flying open, its hinges creaking as she took a step back. Watching, Claire viewed the figure with some trepidation as a shadow emerged from the doorway.

Light flickered across the floor, sending rare bolts of gold and illuminating the corridor as the caller revealed themselves, an angry and disappointed look crossing his otherwise soft face.

“Why, Claire?” He asked, a hint of malice in his tone and a glint of betrayal in his eyes, “why did ye do it?”

Sighing, Jamie nuzzled against Claire, wrapping his bare leg against hers as he pulled her as close as he could get her.

“Ye always ken, lass…” he whispered, his voice fading as he rocked his hips against her arse, “how to make me feel good after a hard week.”

He hadn’t seen her for *two* weeks, but she didn’t mention his long absence, choosing instead to slide her hand along the expanse of the back of his thigh, stopping only to grip his bottom –a lustful grab that held him against her as she twisted her head so she could just about see his sleepy face out of the corner of her eye.

He felt so good, his heat coating her in a cloak of warmth. Basking in the afterglow of their intimate reunion, Claire tried not to think about the line she was skirting. All but forgotten, her mission still niggled at the back of her mind, floating to the forefront only during these quiet moments when she really wished it wouldn’t.

Neither her or Minnie had spoken in any great depth about either of their conquests. In fact it seemed that they were both actively avoiding one another.

Since her first meeting with Jamie, Claire had mostly moved into the brothel, striking a deal with the madam who owned the place and the inn below. Jamie had, unknowingly, struck up a similar deal, paying Madame Baudelaire for the privilege of full time access to Claire.

During this time the pair had grown besotted with one another.  

Claire had chosen the path of least resistance. She asked nothing of Jamie other than the company of him in her bed. If he chose to share anything, then she would sit and listen –in silence.

It was unusual, though, for him to open himself up to her.

Today, however, she felt a shift in him. Whether it was the subtle, unconscious change in their relationship –a shift in trust that saw an emotional connection building through their physical one. Instead of the calm that usually surrounded them in the wee hours, Claire sensed a nervous energy in Jamie as he debated internally with himself.

“Murtagh doesna think this wise,” he mumbled, to himself more than to Claire, “maybe I’m foolish…but I dinna care.”

Silence encased them once more as Claire waited for him to pluck up the courage. Acting as though she hadn’t heard his monologue, she slipped her foot between his calves and massaged his skin with her toes. Feeling the prickly hairs that lined his ankles, Claire smiled as she felt his heart pick up pace, the steady beat of it vibrating through her back where his chest lay softly against her.

“I thought dealing wi’ royalty would be hard, aye…” he began, not fully explaining himself before continuing, not waiting for Claire to ask for clarity, “but it’s truly testing my patience.”

Cursing in Gaelic, he took a deep breath and pulled himself from the small cot. Pacing in front of her, he ruffled his hair, turning away so that his hunched back faced Claire.

Pulling the sheet up, Claire covered her breasts and pushed herself up on her elbow.

“I’m a man of my word, ken. But Charles is skirting a line I dinna ken if I can cross.”

“Come back to bed, Jamie.” Claire pleaded, half hoping that he would ignore her request and continue. Finally he was opening himself up to her, giving the information that she was *supposed* to be collecting.

“He’s a fool, Claire. And he’s making a fool o’ us.”

“Jamie–”

“I’m sae sorry, yer right.” he sighed, his shoulders drooping as he turned back, his mouth downcast. “I dinna know what I was thinking, talking to a hoor…”

Claire’s heart plummeted. Her cheeks flooding with colour as his words hit her square in the chest. Tearing herself from the bed, she pulled her robe from the chair and curled herself into the small seat, holding her knees to her chest as she desperately tried to hold back her tears.

That’s what she was to him. That was *all* she was, she realised.

“Claire,” Jamie began, his anguished haze fading as he noticed the moisture flooding Claire’s eyes. He watched as she closed herself off from him, folding herself inwards as she tried to shrink away. “I shouldna–”

“No,” she interjected, her tone harsh, “you’re right. You shouldn’t tell me anything, Mr Fraser. This is a business arrangement after all, and I *am* a prostitute.”

Twisting her head away, Claire moved so that she could no longer see Jamie, her ribs cracking –metaphorically– under the pressure of the truth he’d so callously leveled at her. In her head she knew that she wasn’t a whore, but the vocalisation of the position which she’d put herself in suddenly made her feel incredibly filthy. The dirt clung to her skin, making Claire feel as though she hadn’t washed in weeks.

Jamie, his mind in just as many pieces as Claire’s, moved silently behind her. Reaching his fingers out to twist in a loose lock of her hair as he tried to bridge the gap he’d forced between them.

“Mo nighean donn…” he whispered, his voice wavering as he caught a glimpse of Claire’s damp cheeks.

“W-what does that mean?” Claire returned, sadness lacing her tone as she tried to hold herself together.

“My brown haired lass.”

His translation soothed her aching wounds, extinguishing the flames that licked at her battered soul. “Brown? A dull colour, I’ve always thought.”

“Nah,” Jamie replied, spurred on by her responsiveness. Growing more confident, he moved his fingers down her neck, sweeping them gently over her skin. “No’ dull at all. It’s like the water in a burn, the way it ruffles down the rocks…”

“You don’t need to sweet-talk me, Jamie,” Claire breathed, the air catching in her throat as she turned to face him once more, “we both know what this is. What it is between you and I.”

“Nay, Claire. I shouldna have disrespected you so.”

Gathering her clothes from the floor, Jamie turned the chair around, using all of his strength to get her to face him.

Her eyes were rimmed pink, her nose tinted red from where she’d been crying. His heart shattered as he carefully dressed her.

Claire sat and let him do as he pleased, her chest hollow as she focused on his large hands against her. He was so gentle with her, his fingers brushed so finely against her as he tied the laces of her corset.

She didn’t even question him as he slid his hands under her knees and cradled her against his chest.

They left the brothel in silence, Claire’s head laid against Jamie’s collarbone. For now she just wanted to lose herself in him, so much so that she didn’t even ask where he was taking her –she simply let him take her.

It was only as the carriage he’d placed her in took a particularly hard corner, her head bobbing harshly against the velvet headrest, that she came round enough to realise that they were no longer in her quarters.

“Where are you taking me?” She finally asked, her tone showing only a slight interest.

“To my home, Claire.” Jamie replied, his lips twitching into an almost smile as the horse came to a stop outside a particularly elegant property in one of the nicer areas of Paris.

“Do you like it?” Jamie perked up, seeing a look of wonder cross Claire’s face.

“It’s very –regal, Jamie.” She replied, energy coursing through her veins once more. “Are you sure you want me here?”

Scoffing, Jamie took her by the hand, leading her carefully from the small carriage and escorting her to the ornate front door. “Dinna be soft, Claire. O’ course I want ye here. You dinna ken how much I’ve wanted to see you in my home…in my bed.” He whispered the last one into her ear as he nipped at her lobe.

Claire giggled, letting her morse mood melt away, Jamie’s playfulness infecting her.

Wrapping his arm around her waist, Jamie led her through the long dining room and up the spiral staircase, pointing out rooms as they went.

“Do ye like it?” He asked, a coy smiling gracing his face as his eyes twinkled.

He genuinely cared what she thought. It tugged at her, nudging the small voice that was warning her not to get too close to him.

Too late, a larger part of her sighed, internally. Far too late.

“It’s beautiful, Jamie.”

Opening the door at the top of the stairs, Jamie pushed his way inside, standing almost on his tiptoes as he watched Claire’s eye widen.

His bed was huge.

A four-poster with such finely carved details and neatly hung lace.

“Oh…my…” Claire whispered, her jaw hanging open as Jamie slid himself closer, his hands exploring the exposed skin of her chest as he fingered the laces he’d tied only minutes before.

“Ye belong here, Claire. Wi’ me.” He said, his voice high as he tried to control his raging emotions.

Flattening his palm over the arch of her bosom, Jamie rolling his hand down her chest, along her belly and down until it rested just over her pelvis.

Cupping his hand over the ruffles in her skirts he ran his nose through her hair line until his lips came to rest against her ear.

“I’ve tried to reason wi’ yer mistress, Claire,” he began, an air of wishful thinking flowing through the air as he spoke, “but she isna having any of it. Ye ken, now, that I would do anything –pay any price– to have ye wi’ me always. I dinna care about Charlie or the rebellion, no’ anymore. But she willna budge.”

Claire stayed quiet, nerves fluttering in her tummy, knowing full well that his mission to acquire her freedom was a fool’s errand.

Scrunching up the material of her skirt, Jamie closed his eyes and sighed.

“…If I get ye wi’ child, Claire…” he continued, his heart racing in time with hers, “she’ll have no choice but to let ye come to me.”

Claire’s breathing almost stopped as the words swilled around her head. Counting backwards, she tried to recall her last courses. Her last meal sat heavy in her stomach, the feel of it suddenly unwelcome as the realisation dawned on her.

She was *never* late. She never missed a month in all the time she’d been a woman. But now, it must have been one –if not two months with no monthly courses.

“Dinna fash, Claire,” Jamie sighed, falsely assuming Claire’s tense mood was in relation to a confrontation with Mistress Baudelaire over ownership rights, “I’ll make sure yer safe, I promise ye.”

Swallowing back the bile that had made its way along her aesophogos, Claire allowed Jamie to lay her against the soft sheets, her eyes glassy and her knees shaking as he steadily undressed her once more, baring every inch of her pale skin to him as he placed one hand either side of her head and lay over her.

Nose to nose, he reached down to undo his kilt, pulling it over their heads to shield them from the bright candlelight of the master bedroom.

“Ye will be mine, Claire. I’m certain of it…” he whispered, sheathing himself inside her in one smooth movement, bringing to life Claire’s once numb body as their hips met.

Hers, flat –for now– shuddered as she felt the familiar pulse of lust as it emanated from the centre of her outwards. She barely remained lucid as the undercurrent of their connection held her staunchly to the earth as –for the first time– he made love to her.

The delicate sweep of his hips lulled her into a sort of hazy, passionate slumber as she closed her eyes and let the feelings of desire and longing course through her body. Set ablaze by Jamie’s body, Claire cried out as an immense tingling sensation took root. The muscles of her thighs clenched and loosened, her heart stuttering in her chest as her hands –balled into fists at his back– held him so close to her chest.

Jamie panted through it, dazed and confused as similar sensations shot through him. Lying together, he collected Claire against him as he fell onto his side, clasping his hand into the loose damp curls at the nape of her neck.  

Letting her guard down for the moment, Claire fell into an easy slumber, the soft rise and fall of Jamie’s chest rocking her to sleep.

Maneuvering his hand, Jamie laid his full palm over the incline of Claire’s arse, cupping her lightly as he joined her in unconsciousness. His soft puffs of breath fluttered against her cheek, making her lips twitching into a smile as she slept, comforted –unconsciously– by his physical presence.

“I love ye, Claire,” Jamie sighed, his heart full as he whispered into the darkness, “I canna tell ye whilst ye wake –our situation being as it is– but I do, sae much.”

As the last candle fluttered and burnt out, completely encasing the lovers in darkness, Claire twitched, her toes curling as she burrowed closer to Jamie.

Unbeknownst to him, she had heard every word.

“I love ye so much, Claire. So much I can barely breathe….”

She waited until the wee hours to make her move, slipping free of his arms as she gathered her clothes and dressed silently.

Holding her cloak tightly around her shoulders, her fingers shaking with the pressure that had built up across her chest, she turned to look at him one last time.

Tears stained her cheeks as she bit her lip, anguish coating her tongue as she whispered almost inaudibly into the large room.

“I love you too, Jamie.”

And;

“I’m so sorry…”

Sometimes i like to imagine how strange it must be for new employees at the castle shortly after the spell is broken.

Like, imagine you’re some young new kitchen maid or something who’s just arrived. You just don’t know what to make of this place. First there were the rumors of this castle being “haunted,” though that doesn’t seem to have any merit.

Everybody seems oddly jumpy here, which makes you wonder if something odd did happen to them. For example, when you’re washing dishes and you accidentally break a plate, the rest of the kitchen staff all panics. After a tense moment, the other servants laugh nervously and tell each other, “it was just a plate. Just an ordinary plate. No need to worry.” But you’re left standing there like “??????”

Then there’s all the strange inside jokes the other servants seem to have (for some reason Cogsworth gets rather upset at any mention of clocks??? And so Lumiere incorporates as many clock-related puns into conversations as possible???). Occasionally little Chip makes a passing reference to “that time i was a teacup” before his mother can shush him.

You decide these people just have the *strangest* sense of humor.

Forbidden Love (Richonne AU) Love letter challenge: Your Love For All Of Time

@siancore actually tagged me in this and I was super excited. I had thought the challenge ended on Sunday but it actually ended yesterday. I started writing this on my phone last night hoping to have it up by Saturday night…and I fell asleep. I work on Saturdays. So I finished it anyway and I hope you all like it. It’s kinda long sorry. @richonnefics

—————————-

Michonne stood in the kitchen watching the maids clean the silverware. She stood rigid and tall, in her usual spot in the corner as she watched over the maids. Her duty to make sure that not only did every piece of silver make it back into the cupboard but to make sure it was all spotless.

She just couldn’t seem to focus on her task tonight. Her mind kept drifting to someone it shouldn’t. “Are you always so serious?” Michonne could hear his voice in her head so clearly she looked around to be certain he hadn’t walked into the kitchen.

That was a foolish thought. Rick Grimes was gone. Gone for good. The beautiful 6 months they had spent together were the only things she had left of him.

“I am only joking with you.” Rick said as he watched the grimace spread across her beautiful face. “You shouldn’t smile if you don’t want to.” Michonne’s face softened, trying to ignore the young aristocrat who wandered into her busy kitchen. “There isn’t very much to smile about is there?” The young man whispered softly, looking downward toward his feet. Michonne looked at him then, he was tall and like the other nobles staying at the Walsh country estate, well dressed. Tall and lean, his hair was perfectly coifed, curly and brown. He had arrived with a young woman, his fiancé, she had been told by one of the other head maids. “I thought weddings were supposed to be a happy affair.” Michonne said softly, looking at him. Rick looked over at her,  his blue eyes that were clouded in sadness were suddenly bright and wide. Alive. “So she speaks and she has the voice of an angel.” Michonne forgot herself and smiled at him, shaking her head. “You’re an oddity Mr. Grimes.” “Rick. Please call me Rick.” He replied looking at the slender, curvy woman with luscious dark skin and the most beautiful eyes he had ever gazed upon. They held one another’s gaze a moment longer. Michonne released the breath she had been holding. “Rick.”

“Well ladies, good night. Your service was impeccable as always.” Michonne said as she locked up the silver cupboard. “Aye Michonne you wanna stay and ‘ave a drink with us.” One of the maids asked. “No, not tonight, Andrea. I am tired.” The maid nodded and hooking arms with her friend and heading off to the maid’s quarters.

Michonne knew the last thing she would do that night was sleep. Michonne ran her hands along the spotless counter tops as she inspected the kitchen one last time. They had been reckless, smiling too much at one another, longing glances at one another in full view of others, and even caught more than once in conversation. Unusual for a maid and a nobleman but Rick was very quick and convincing with his excuses. He grew tired of them though. Rick had no desire to marry Lori Wayne and he was having difficulty pretending he was even interested in the idea.

“I am tired of this, sneaking about Michonne, it’s beneath us.” Rick said, his hands about her waist, she was pushed against a corner in the kitchen, the place where they would sometimes seek solace in one another throughout the day. When breakfast was long finished and lunch wouldn’t need prepping for another hour or so, he would whisk her away from her chores to the quiet of the empty kitchen, press his lips against hers, his body flush against hers, moaning as they devoured one another. Not even their previous night of love making could dim this fire that burned within them both for one another. “Well what else is there we can do?” Michonne said, running her hands along the soft fabric of shirt, feeling the hard muscle of his chest beneath, remembering how wonderful it had felt to be bare against one another. “We could elope and go to London. Would you like that? Will you marry me?” Rick said, staring down into the face of the woman he loves. He delighted in the sweet smile that came upon her face. “I would love that Rick with all my heart. Yes, I’ll marry you.” Michonne whispered. Rick let out a cry of happiness. “Shhh. We’ll be found.” Michonne said giggling at the man who made her blissfully happy, she loved him with every fiber of her being. “I don’t care.” He said smiling at the woman in his arms as he bent his head to capture her sweet lips with his own. His grip tightening on her waist. Rick moaned as Michonne’s hands found there way into his hair.“

Michonne watched as the tear drop landed with a soft thud on the countertop in the kitchen. It startled her to realize she was crying. Michonne reached her hand out to wipe the tear away and turned off the light in the kitchen. She began to make her away down the maid’s corridor to her room.

The door creaked open as Rick stepped into the room. He figured Mr. Walsh summoned him to talk about shooting or the wedding he would never have with Lori, but as he entered the room he realized the topic would be of a grave nature. In the room was Mr. Walsh, his aunt Carol, his father, and to his horror Michonne was seated in a chair in front of them. Tears stricked her lovely face and she avoided Rick’s glaze. “What is this?!” Rick demanded to his family loudly, coming to Michonne’s side, bending to his knee looking up at her. “Are you alright, darling?” Rick implored as he reached up to caress the tears away from her cheeks. Michonne nodded, her eyes wide with surprise at his endearing sentiment in front of his family. “Rick, have you gone quite mad!?” His aunt Carol spoke her voice harsh and shrill. “You are engaged to be married. How could you be so careless to flaunt your affair in the kitchen? You both should be so lucky that it was only me who happened to witness your abhorrent display.”

Rick stood up quickly. “Watch your tone. Michonne and I are in love. We wish to be married and I want to call off the wedding to Lori. I never wanted it in the first place.” The three stared at Rick in shock. Mr. Walsh reared back and laughed, breaking the silence in the study, his eyes fell on Michonne. “My, my dear girl, who knew under that serious demeanor of yours, there was such a seductress.” He leered at the young maid. Rick stepped in front of his friend’s father, blocking his gaze of Michonne. “Michonne and I are in love.” Rick spoke again. Mr. Walsh sat back again in his chair, looking up at Rick. “I have no doubt you feel that way but whatever is between you ends tonight. Michonne came here to earn money for her sick father. If she chooses to live in destitution with you then surely her father will die. I will indeed terminate her employment here.” He said, he spoke the words calmly. “Destiute? I am not poor. I can buy whatever medicine your father needs, Michonne.” Rick said looking at Michonne but she would not meet his gaze.

“I am afraid son, that this will bring ruin to our family, to the noble name we have built. If you marry this woman…I will disown you and move your inheritance to your brother.” Rick’s father said in one breath. He looked at his son, it killed him to be this cruel. To snatch away his son’s happiness, he couldn’t even deny his son had been in fantastic spirits the past months. He knew his son’s love was genuine but he didn’t control the world. Rick was beyond hurt his father would do this to him, as he stared at him, heartbroken. “Rick.” Michonne said softly, as she arose from her seat, touching Rick’s forearm. He turned from his father to look at his love. Her eyes were red from her tears but there were no more tears. “We were foolish to think we could do this.” Michonne began staring into his eyes. Rick’s beautiful cerulean eyes filled with tears. “Michonne -” Rick said quickly, he knew what she was about to say. “Rick. I will always love you and I would be happy being poor with you for a thousand life times.” Michonne said as she struggled to keep herself from crying as she watched fresh tears spill down his cheeks. “My father is very ill. He has the consumption and I am holding on to hope that I can keep him alive long enough to see him one last time. If the physicians will even allow me.” She took a deep and continued. “I can’t let him die on the streets like so many others. He’s a great man.” Rick dropped his head and placing his hands on her waist, pulling her closer. He put his forehead against hers as the tears flowed freely him. “I love you so much.” Rick whispered. Michonne pulled her head back to gaze up at him, her hand brushing his tears away, her other hand caressing his hair. “I will always love you, Rick Grimes.” She whispered before pressing a soft kiss against his lips. Rick sought her lips eagerly, kissing her deeply, pulling her closer to him. Neither cared that they were not alone as they kissed good bye. Michonne reluctantly pulled from his arms, turning to Mr. Walsh “Am I allowed to return to my quarters?” Mr. Walsh swallowed hard. “Yes and this better never happen again. Do you understand?” He asked shakily. Michonne nodded. “Yes sir.” Michonne said avoiding Rick’s eyes next to her. “You’re dismissed.” Mr. Walsh said with a wave of his hand. Michonne moved quickly past Rick and to the door, she looked back at Rick once more. She shouldn’t have, it took all the strength she had in her to leave him standing there so broken.

Rick and Lori were whisked away from the country estate that same night. Michonne never knew what they told Lori in regards to leaving so early. Today they had finally wed and The Walsh’s were there to attend the wedding of their oldest friend’s son but the preparations for the journey had been a painful time for her and now it was surely done. Rick was gone forever. Michonne hastened her pace, she wanted to lay in her bed, she was exhausted. When she rounded the corner however Andrea was there waiting for her. “Is everything OK, Andrea?” Michonne asked, taking a deep breath. “Oh yes, miss. I’m fine indeed.” Andrea said quickly, lowering her voice. “I ‘ave somethin’ for you and I didn’t want the other maids to see.” Andrea pulled a thick envelope from the pocket of her uniform. She handed it to Michonne. “Rick’s valet ‘ave it me this morning, yea.” Michonne eyes shot up to look at Andrea. “Don’t worry miss, your secret is safe with me yea. I got paid handsomely to deliver that letter, I did.” Michonne collected the letter. “Thank you, Andrea.” Andrea nodded and headed off to where the other maids were drinking.

Michonne quickly entered her room, closing the door to her quarters, she sat on the bed and tore into the envelope. As she unfolded the paper, several notes fell from the letter, littering the bed and floor. Michonne frowned and quickly went to gather the money. It was over a £1000. Michonne placed the money on her nightstand and reached for the letter.

To my dearest, Michonne

Words can not express how desperately I miss you. There is not a day that passes where I do not think of you. I miss your clever words and the sound of your laughter. I miss your sweet smile. I miss holding you tight to me as you sleep. I long for you. I will always love you. You deserve to be happy. I have included money for you to leave the Walsh’s and arrangements are being made to move your father to a home just outside the city, that belongs to you. I have arranged for a live in physician to help care for your father. In the morning my carriage will take you to your new home.

I will never, ever forget you my love. I will always be yours no matter the circumstances. I belong to you, forever and always no matter what happens. One day I know we shall be reunited.

Your love for all of time,
Rick Grimes

Michonne couldn’t recollect how long she laid sobbing on her bed, clutching the words of her true love to her chest, she sobbed until no tears were left. Michonne lay in bed looking at the ceiling, the letter pressed against her breast. She smiled and sat up, her finger tips danced over his typed words. “We will be reunited my love.” Michonne whispered. She placed the letter on the bed and stood. Michonne grabbed the bag she arrived at the Walsh’s with and began to pack away her few belongings.

Star-crossed lovers

ANON REQUESTED: Hello! Could you write a one shot with jon snow please? Where the reader is the daughter of the winterfell maid and when she dies Nedd gets y/n to care, she grows along with the Starks and gets very close to them, y/n and jon end up falling in love but jon leaves for castle black and she stays “Depressive”, like, she don’t smile anymore. After the war between jon and ramsey they meet again and you can make a super fluffy final, please? i just found you blog and i love it ❤️

Jon Snow x fem!Reader

Words: 1712
Notes: Y/N = your name; f/c = favorite color.


Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn had always been kind to your family, especially in the rough times they supported your parents in every possible way. Your house was not important like house Stark, but it was respected and your castle led over rich domains. Sadly, you seemed to be born under a bad sign as the first years of your life were scarred by tragedies: first, your land started to dry out and the crops had been poor; shortly afterwards you father fell ill and even maester Luwin couldn’t do anything to save him. As a widow who was no longer of marriageable age, with nothing but unfertile lands for dowry, your mother accepted lady Catelyn’s offer to stay in Winterfell and she became one of her maids; anyway, a few months later, she died too, leaving you alone. That was when Eddard and Catelyn Stark decided to take care of you, welcoming you in their castle as their own child.

You were tutored by septa Mordane with Sansa, but you also liked to play with Robb and Jon with wooden swords and mud in the courtyard. Those days of your childhood, spent with the Stark children who were roughly the same age as you, were quite happy indeed. The three of you got along fine, but when Theon arrived in Winterfell, Robb unattached himself a little from Jon and you, bonding with the Greyjoy as they were brothers. Theon, moreover, seemed to despise Jon: they were always quarreling, dragging you and Robb in, and that regularly resulted in fistfights and punishments for everyone.

So, in a way or another, you grew up with the Starks and became a pretty, young northerner lady. To return the kindness of their parents, you took care of Bran, Rickon and Arya, especially Arya, and because of it you often ended up with her and Jon in the backyard shooting arrows at a wooden target, just like that day.

Arya stood in front of the both of you, stretching the bowstring and taking aim; you seated on the low wall just ten feet further, humming and kicking the air, while Jon leant against the bricks right next to you.

– Are those new shoes? – he asked suddenly.

You looked at him at first and then you lowered your eyes to the f/c slippers and nodded.

– Such attention to detail – you kidded stealing one of his rare smiles.

– Just thought they were pretty.

– I agree, – you stated clicking the shoes’ tips, – that Greyjoy can be a prick, but when it comes to this kind of things he really knows his stuff.

– Theon? – Jon asked with wide eyes.

– A-Aye… – you stuttered timidly noticing his gaze souring.

At that moment, Arya yelled from across the yard, – It would be nice if my teachers looked at me hitting the bull’s eye! –, and she unstuck the arrow from the target.

– Well done! – Jon shouted back, then he left without saying more or even giving you the time of day.

You gave a quick and worried look to the little girl, waved her a short bye, and followed him inside.

– Why are you angry? What did I say? – you exclaimed walking briskly at his back. At those words, he stopped and turned to face you.

– Are you serious, Y/n? Are you really taking presents from Theon?

– Is that the problem? Theon buying me a pair of shoes?

You didn’t expect a reaction like that, but the look he had on his face was quite troubled. You sighed, searching for the right words to explain him the situation.

– He bought me a new pair of shoes because he ruined my old ones making me falling in the muck, two days ago.

Jon’s frown soothed a little, but not enough. You groaned and took one of your feet.

– Y/n…? – he said confused watching as you put off the slippers. You then pounded them on his chest.

– Here. Take them, Jon.

The two of you remained quiet and so close you could feel your breaths on the skin. Your lips were just few inches apart. That day, with your new shoes pressed on his chest, bare feet on the cold stone floor, you gave your first kiss to the Stark bastard Jon.

Because of Lady Catelyn opinion about him and because you felt so in debt to her, you and Jon agreed to keep your love affair a secret for just you and him two. Even if you found it hard not to sink your fingers in his hair when he was seating beside you at the dinner table, or not to rest your head on his shoulder when you were watching Arya and Bran practicing, you held on for the sake of your love. Jon was struggling too for the same identical reasons, not to mention the great effort he had to make to stay calm every time Robb, or worse Theon, got too close to you. Besides, you were the only good thing happened to him in a whole life and the only thought that helped him getting through Lady Catelyn bitterness day after day. He didn’t talk to you about it, he didn’t want to be a burden or made you sad, but he could not consider Winterfell his home anymore, and the night he heard by mistake Lord Stark and his wife discussing about a possible suitor for you from the riverlands, he made his decision, alone.

The night of the celebration in honor of the royal family’s arrival, when you joined him outside in the cold night air, you felt something was wrong. Then Jon stretched out a hand and took you by the wrist, keeping you close to him. Resting his forehead on yours he told he was leaving for the Wall and you knew deep down inside there was nothing you could do to make him stay: if you forced him to do that, he would eventually hate you too. So, the next day you let him go away with his uncle; when his figure disappeared over the distance, he took all your love, joy and laughs away with him. No one never heard your laugh once since that farewell.

There is not much to tell about the following years: you spent your days out of apathy, sharing fake smile cold as the north winds. During the Ironborns’ possession of Winterfell, you helped Bran and Rickon to escape, but were not able to run away with them; free or caged, you had nothing to lose anyway.

Speaking about Ramsey Bolton, the things were different. Under his captivity, you really were frightened. You saw what he did with Theon and what your poor childhood friend had become because of his twisted mind. Twice you implored the bastard to have mercy, and twice his men beat you senseless; by the time you restored consciousness, you found yourself in the courtyard, with rain and blood all over your dress, hands and face. Servants had orders to ignore you, on pain of death. After that, Ramsay ordered you to serve as a kitchen maid, and so you did. Once Sansa came back and became his wife, he humiliated you in front of her more than one occasion, dressing you with rags, keeping you locked up in the kennels for the night, or cutting your hair short with a knife in the middle of the hall threatening to skin you.

It was an endless nightmare.

Everything that happened after Theon and Sansa ran away was fast and terrifying. In a blink of an eye, Rickon was brought to Ramsey and a second later Winterfell was at war carrying the red flayed man banners. And when, in the silence of the castle walls, the sound of the distant battlefield was overcome by the main gate blown to pieces, your heart started to beat in your chest again: Jon was standing there, strong and alive, and he was defeating Ramsey who now laid exhausted on the ground. Every punch hit the Bolton’s face you took a step towards Jon, until his eyes finally met yours.

Jon closed the door behind his back as you stood still ahead and never once did he averted his gaze from yours. Neither of you had said a word yet, but your fingers were tenderly caressing the palm of his hand, sensing the earthy and bloody smell from all his body. Just like he did years before, he took you by the wrist and held you against his chest, embracing your bruised body in his sored arms.

– I never should have left – he said in a hoarse whisper.

The tightness in your throat cut off your breath and you started to sob softly.

– I never should’ve let you go! – you cried out holding Jon as hard as you could.

You both remained there in each other’s arms, without paying attention to the flow of time. Tears were falling quietly down the cheeks and hands were firmly gripping fabric and leather. Only when your heartbeats were back to their calm normal rate, Jon pushes a little away from you; even so, he did not let go of you.

– I’m afraid I’ve soiled your hair – he smiled looking at the hair that was falling on your forehead, now a little muddy. You giggled, sniffling and drying the trickles on his face with your thumbs.

– Don’t worry, Jon, it wasn’t my best hairdo anyway – you kidded gesturing to your short locks. Then he rested his head against yours and closed his eyes.

– You still look ravishing, Y/n – he said softly, – You can’t imagine how amazing it is to see your face again, after being all these years away.

You raised your chin and laid a gentle kiss on his lips being careful not to touch any bruise or cut the battle left on his skin.

– I was rather surprised to see your hair up… – but you were not able to go on because, in the heat of passion, Jon wrapped you up in his strong arms and deepened the kiss you both longed for so long. You’d never divide again, and now you knew that, after all, you were not star-crossed lovers, because that kiss was just the first of many to come.

The Dance of the Butterfly

     The hall was alive with high-spirited festivities and the enjoyment of company. Golden lights adorned the deep red beams of the Tsutsujigasaki palace and music flowed through the crisp, autumn air somewhere between the conversation and laughter. The clatter of dishes being carried to and from the main hall as well as the clinking of sake bottles seemed to punctuate the music in its own creative way.
      You had been busy at work, your long hair tied back in order to keep it out of the meals that you had been preparing. To your relief, there were fewer dishes going out at this point in time, which meant that soon you would be finished with your work and able to get some air. Despite the chill of the late autumn air, it tended to get hot in the kitchens. The other maids had already joined the party in the main hall, but you didn’t mind, afterall they had promised that they would take care of the clean-up afterwards. You put away the rest of the unused ingredients before stopping in front of the wide window above the stoves.
     You gazed out the window longingly, even though you would have some time to yourself, you wouldn’t be able to spend it with who you wished to the most. Your thoughts ghosted to the memories of him. Standing in the snow, his long scarf fluttering in the wind elegantly like butterfly wings, his breath small clouds as he gazed at you, a look of adoration clear in his bright eyes. Your heart longed to see him so badly that it made your chest tighten with the weight of your yearning heart.
     Something shifted in the darkness beyond the window, just outside of the lantern’s gentle glow. Your eyes flitted to the mysterious movement.
     That’s impossible, you half-mocked yourself for the hope even alighting in your mind.Your hands gripped your kimono as silent tears welled in your eyes, blurring your vision. What am I thinking? He told me he wanted me to be happy, so why am I-
     Hastily you wiped away the tears, before taking a deep breath and turning to resume your work.
     As you turned away from the window, out of the corner of your eye you could have sworn you saw a tall figure looming in the doorway. You whirled back around, gazing wide-eyed at where it had been just a moment ago. It was gone. The tears seemed to flow anew, staining your kimono and falling down your cheeks as painful sobs began to wrack your body.
     "Why are you crying?“ A low, familiar voice spoke as you felt warm arms pull you into an embrace, your bodies fitting together perfectly.
         You gazed up in disbelief, there was no way-
     But there he stood, sending all your disbelieving thoughts into the void.
     "Hotaru?” Your tears increased, but the bitterness was gone, all that remained was their sweetness. He kiss them away, warming your cheeks and sending ripples of warmth through you like drops of water on the surface of a calm lake.
     "Shh… It’s okay, I’m here, so please don’t cry.“ Hotaru smiled sadly, that smile that held a thousand emotions.
      You wrapped your arms tightly around his neck as he leaned down to press his forehead gently against yours. You wished this moment would last forever, that time would stand still, the rest of the world be damned, just let the two of you hold each other within the embrace of tranquility.
     "I- I missed you so much.” Your voice was barely a hoarse whisper as your eyes met his gentle ones. They were so deep you felt you could get lost in them.
     "I missed you too.“ He murmured as his hand gently caressed your face, the pads of his fingers tickling your cheeks affectionately while his other hand let your hair down,” I thought I would die if I didn’t see you again.“
     "Hotaru-” your voice broke, tears threatening to return, but his lips chased away all of your thoughts, gently, lovingly, passionately. Your eyelids fluttered shut as his warmth enveloped you and you became lost in his familiar scent. The smell of the hearth, of fire, ash, and the heat that seemed to linger like burning coals within his amber eyes. He was your universe, your timelines intertwining in this moment to become the braided strands of fate that united the two of you over and over again.
     He broke the kiss gently,“I want to show you something.”
      You simply nodded in reply, the flushed color of your cheeks gilding your affectionate smile.
     The two of you ran down the halls, hand in hand, like two young deer bounding after one-another in the meadows. His footsteps were soundless, like snow falling, your footfalls eagerly rushing after him with childlike glee. As the two of you neared the edge of the engawa he suddenly stopped, you practically collided with him laughing, your hair cascading around the two of you. His eyes narrowed mischievously as he swept you up into his arms effortlessly and swung the two of you up onto the rooftop with expert skill. You clung to him tightly as your heart leapt into your throat, the two of you were so high up, you could see all of the Tsutsujigasaki’s palace grounds from here.
     "It’s alright, I’ve got you, and I don’t plan on letting go.“ He gazed at you warmly as you did your best to relax in his arms, the hammering of your heart was not entirely from the excitement. You could hear his heartbeat hammering as your head moved with the rise and fall of his chest.
     "Look.” He whispered, his breath tickling the shell of your ear.
     You raised your chin skywards. The sky was simply breathtaking. So vast, the stars more numerous than grains of sand on a seashore, shining brighter than beacons on the mountain peaks. The clouds shifted so that the moon shone on the two of you as you basked in its ethereal radiance.
     "Hotaru, it’s beautiful-“ Your words caught in your mouth as you saw the stars reflected in his keen eyes, millions of galaxies all contained within his amber irises.
      He smiled again, and you felt as if your heart would take flight from your very chest.
      "That’s not all-” He squeezed your thigh affectionately before leaping from the rooftop. You held on tight, trusting him with your very life as the two of you plummeted towards the earth. Hotaru’s arm left your legs to grasp you firmly with his other arm. You squeezed your eyes shut, the wind roaring in your ears. But the impact never came, you slowly opened your eyes to see Hotaru smiling down at you as the two of you swung from a silver chain that gleamed with metallic vibrance in the moonlight.
     When your bare feet finally touched the ground again, the two of you were in a secluded forest glen within the castle grounds. The only presence watching the two of you was the moon itself as it traced its course across the endless, starry sky. The melodious music from the castle seemed to float on the wind down to where the two of you stood.
     Wordlessly he knelt down on one knee, grasping both of your hands gently in his own larger ones.
      “May I have this dance?” He bowed his head to place a soft kiss on your hand.
      Your heart fluttered at the gentle caress of his lips,“Yes…”
     He grinned broadly, an expression he rarely wore due to his more reserved expressions. You returned his smile, glowing with happiness as he rose and began to guide you through the steps.
      The two of you moved as one, with the grace of butterflies fluttering to meet each other over and over again in the sky. He twirled you around, letting your hair alight on the wind freely as you laughed with joyous mirth. He tugged you back to him and you once more met his chest, your free hand coming to rest on his broad shoulder. As the music increased in momentum, the two of you danced in synchronization with the rising and falling of the notes. Your breaths mingled together in little warm clouds as the dance continued to sway your forms back and forth as if you two were under a spell. Hotaru picked you up by your waist and raised you up to the night sky as you spread your arms laughing. He brought you back down to earth and ran one of his hands through your hair as you continued to dance around him. A great wind came through the trees, circling through the clearing where the two of you were dancing. And then it happened. As if they fell from the trees like fall leaves, hundreds of swallowtail butterflies soared through the air around the two of you, alighting on Hotaru’s scarf and your hair as the two of you danced in the clearing. They circled around the two of you, their vibrant, sapphire wings reflecting the moonlight causing an azure glow to hang in the air.
     As they flew off into the night, Hotaru closed the space between the two of you, his lips melding with yours passionately, stealing your breath away. He lightly tugged at your lower lip with his teeth, asking, begging for entrance. You opened your mouth and his tongue explored your mouth with a hunger unlike any you had ever experienced before.
      When you both finally came up for air, he was now nose-to-nose with you as he gazed into your eyes panting heavily,“ I love you.”
      You felt the color blossom in your cheeks as you smiled,“I love you too. I can’t live without you.” Your shoulders began to shake as you realized that you didn’t know when he was leaving, or how much time you would have together. He seemed to understand, leaning in to place a slow, gentle kiss on your forehead.
     "I’m not going anywhere, I’m staying here for a good long time.“ His voice reassured you gently as his lean body drew closer to yours, his voice rumbling gently in his chest as he nuzzled into the crook of your neck.

~          ~           ~            ~             ~            ~              ~            ~           ~         ~
      That night the two of you slept snuggled up together in your futon, his scarf wrapped around you and your arms around each-other.

Richonne AU (Forbidden Love) Your Love For All Of Time pt 2

Happy Birthday @siancore I did a part 2 as requested for you and all those who asked. I hope everyone enjoys.

xxxxxxxx

Michonne stood and looked around her small quarters one last time. She had tidied it so if looked the same way she found it a year ago.

“So Mr.Blake informed me you were his governess for little Penny.” Mr. Walsh said, as he looked at the young, black woman in front of him. He immediately decided she was a serious little thing. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun of coily, curls. Although a few tiny curls escaped and rested against her forehead. She wore a bright, long-sleeved white blouse that had a collar buttoned all the way up to base of her neck. It was tucked into a long, dark skirt that failed to hide her shapely figure. Her hands clasped in front of her. If not for her youthful features and large sparkling, brown, almond shaped eyes she would be the spitting image of his governess. Do they all dress alike? He wondered.

“Yes sir.” Michonne answered, she swallowed and looked as if she was blinking back tears. “Such a tragedy what happened to his wife and daughter.” Mr. Walsh said. The wife and daughter of her former employer were killed when their horse got spooked and ran their carriage into a lake bringing them back from church. None of the passengers could swim. Mr. Blake wasn’t fond of church service and he was not present. Michonne had saved enough to visit her father on weekends off from teaching, so she wasn’t there with them that tragic day. “Mr.Blake is certain he wants to part with you?” Mr. Walsh asked. When Mr. Blake had asked him to employ Michonne he didn’t look to be in any state to be alone, as most of the staff had left, expect a few and Michonne. Michonne. The only one seemingly able to handle his grief…until now.

Keep reading

Victorian Era Masterpost

B O O K S

  • Flanders, Judith - The Victorian City
  • Hughes, Kristina - Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England
  • Jackson, Lee - Daily Life in Victorian London
  • Mayhew, Henry et al - The London Underworld in the Victorian Period
  • Mitchell, Sally - Daily Life In Victorian England
  • Pool, Daniel - What Jane Austin Ate and Charles Dickens Knew
  • Stevens, Mark - Life in the Victorian Assylum

E V E R Y D A Y   L I F E

  • Popular Names in the Victorian Era
  • Cassel’s Household Guide (1869) - basically an instruction manual from 1869 telling you how to do everything from making tea to picking a job.
  • Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Guide to Cookery In All Branches (1907) -  Lots of period recipes, plus information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and under house-maids, Lady’s-maid, Maid-of-all-work, Laundry-maid, Nurse and nurse-maid, Monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc.
  • The Victorian Era-Society
  • Appendix D: English Society in the 1840s
  • Class Structure of Victorian England
  • Victorian England Social Hierarchy
  • Social Restrictions in the Victorian Era
  • (Excerpts From) Promises Broken: Courtship, Class, and Gender in Victorian England (Regarding Broken Engagements and Premarital Sex)
  • Five Filthy Things About Victorian England
  • 1841: A window on Victorian Britain
  • The Demography of Victorian England and Wales
  • What was life like for children in Victorian London?
  • Historical Essays: The Victorian Child
  • The Life of Infants and Children in Victorian London
  • The Inequality Between Genders During the Victorian Era in England
  • Women as “the Sex” During the Victorian Era
  • Writers Dreamtools - Decades - 1840
  • Victorianisms – Adventures in Victorian Slang
  • 56 Delightful Victorian Slang Terms You Should Be Using
  • A Dictionary of modern slang, cant and vulgar words (1859)
  • Victorian slang - a guide to sexual Victorian terms
  • A Glossary of Provincial and Local Words Used in England: To which is Now First Incorporated the Supplement, by Samuel Pegge (1839)
  • Anecdotes of the English Language: Chiefly Regarding the Local Dialect of London and Its Environs (1844)
  • British Slang - Lower Class and Underworld
  • Lee Jackson - Dictionary of Victorian London 
  • Domestic Violence in Victorian England
  • The Victorian wife-beating epidemic
  • How to Survive and Thrive in the Victorian Era
  • 19th-century Radiators and Heating Systems
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray; a mirror of the Victorian Era, era of Hypocrisy
  • The Victorian Supernatural
  • Politics of Victorian England
  • Dualism & Dualities - The Victorian Age
  • Black Victorians: History we’ve been taught claims we’ve only ever been slaves
  • Video: Mini-lecture - London’s Black history
  • Flowers - Victorian Bazaar (The Language Of Flowers)
  • Victorian Funeral Customs and Superstitions
  • Racism and Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian England

M E D I C I N E  &  I L L N E S S 

  • Victorian Health
  • Medical Developments In Britain During The Nineteenth Century
  • Hospitals
  • The Entire Case Records from a Victorian Asylum Are Now Online
  • Victorian psychiatric patients’ grim fate in hellish 1800s hospitals
  • Locating Convalescence in Victorian England
  • Sanitation and Disease in Rich and Poor
  • 19th Century Diseases
  • Death & Childhood in Victorian England
  • Health and hygiene in the 19th century
  • Disease in the Victorian city: extended version
  • Musing on Illness in the Victorian Era
  • Female hysteria / Vapours
  • Sent to the asylum: The Victorian women locked up because they were suffering from stress, post natal depression and anxiety
  • The History of Women’s Mental Illness
  • Anorexia: It’s Not A New Disease
  • Rebel Girls: How Victorian Girls Used Anorexia to Conform and Revolt
  • Warburg’s tincture
  • Apothecaries and Medicine in the Victorian Era
  • The Creepy Factor in Victorian Medicine
  • Medical Advancements: Victorian Era Prosthetics
  • The Victorian Anti-Vaccination Movement
  • food poisoning in the Victorian era
  • Typhus (Gaol Fever)

L A W ,  G O V E R N M E N T  &  C R I M E

  • Crime in Victorian England
  • The 222 Victorian crimes that would get a man hanged
  • Juvenile crime in the 19th century
  • Victorian women criminals’ records show harsh justice of 19th century
  • Organised Crime in “The Mysteries of London” (1844)
  • Dickens and the ‘Criminal Class’
  • Victorian prisons and punishments
  • Victorian Prison Conditions
  • The Development of a Police Force
  • Life in Nineteenth-Century Prisons as a Context for Great Expectations
  • Gaols
  • Sentences and Punishments
  • Courtroom Experience in Victorian England at the time of Great Expectations
  • Courts of Justice - Victorian Crime and Punishment
  • Victorian Criminal Laws: Barbarism and Progress
  • Child prisoners in Victorian times and the heroes of change
  • Victorian Legislation: a Timeline
  • Women and the Law in Victorian England
  • The Corn Laws
  • The Corn Laws in Victorian England
  • The Anti-Corn-Law League
  • The Corn Laws and their Repeal 1815-1846
  • The Poor Laws During the Victorian Era
  • Private Property and Abuse of Rights in Victorian England
  • Bastardy and Baby Farming in Victorian England
  • Baby Farmers and Angelmakers: Childcare in 19th Century

C L I M A T E ,  W E A T H E R   &   E N V I R O N M E N T

  • The Climate of London (Luke Howard, 1810-1820 - PDF)
  • The Illustrated London Almanack 1847
  • Victorian London - Weather - Fog

F A S H I O N

  • Victorian Fashion Terms A-M
  • Victorian Fashion Terms N-Z
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; an introduction, and about silk
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 1
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 2
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 3
  • 1830s-1840s Underpinnings
  • A Look at an Original 1840s Corded Petticoat
  • Lingerie Guide : Crinoline - Petticoat
  • 1840s Stays
  • Exploring the Myths of Corsets I
  • Exploring the Myths of Corsets II
  • How to Dress a Victorian Lady
  • Pre-Hoop Era 1840-1855
  • 1840s Fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840-1848 - Early Victorian (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion: men (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840s Fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840s Fashion (Nineteenth Century) (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • Mourning Dress During the Early Victorian Era
  • Victoriana Magazine’s Victorian Fashion
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 1, concerning bonnets
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 2, for sun & riding
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 3, wear whatever you like
  • Empire of Shadows - Clothing (Includes very basic information about upper & lower class fashion, military uniforms & undergarments)
  • Women’s Costume - Dickens Fair
  • Victorian Prudes and their Bizarre Beachside Bathing
  • Victorian Feminine Ideal; about the perfect silhouette, hygiene, grooming, & body sculpting
  • Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment
  • 1840’s Men’s Fashion
  • Gentlemen |  Early & Mid Victorian Era: A Universal Uniform

T R A N S P O R T A T I O N

  • Public transport in Victorian London: Part One: Overground
  • Victorian Public Transport: The Omnibus
  • Omnibus
  • THE HANSOM CAB - A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England
  • “Growler” and the Handsome Hansom
  • Regency Travel (Earlier than the Victorian era, but still relevant for the earlier years)
  • A Regency Era Carriage Primer
  • The Victorian Thames - River Thames Society [PDF]
  • Nineteenth-Century Ships, Boats, and Naval Architecture (dozens of links to relevant articles)
  • Early Victorian Rail Travel
  • Catching a Train in the Early 1840s
  • HORSES: Matching a Team — Color is Only the Beginning

M O N E Y   A N D   F I N A N C E S

  • British Currency During The Victorian Era
  • Victorian Economics: An Overview
  • Wages, the Cost of Living, Contemporary Equivalents to Victorian Money
  • Victorian Economics: a Sitemap
  • The Cost of Living in 1888
  • Pride and Prejudice Economics: Or Why a Single Man with a Fortune of £4,000 Per Year is a Desirable Husband
  • The Price of Bread: Poverty, Purchasing Power, and The Victorian Laborer’s Standard of Living
  • How a weekly grocery shop would have cost £1,254 in 1862
  • Costs of dying in Victorian and Edwardian England
  • 18th Century Wages (Earlier than the Victorian era, but good reference)
  • Cost of Items 18th Century  (Also earlier than the Victorian era, but good reference)

F O O D  (A N D   L A C K   T H E R E OF)

  • Victorian Dining
  • The Victorian Pantry, Authentic Vintage Recipies
  • Victorian cooking: upperclass dinner
  • For Rich or Poor: Creepy Victorian Food
  • Victorian History: A Fast Food Generation
  • 10 Weird Foods Sold By Victorian Street Vendors
  • Victorian Food For The Rich & Poor Children
  • Dictionary of Victorian London - Food
  • The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse
  • Victorian England: a nation of coffee drinkers
  • London Life: Victorian Coffee Sellers
  • Victorian street food imagined
  • What the Poor Ate
  • Adulteration and Contamination of Food in Victorian England
  • Workhouse Food
  • An Overview of food in 19th Century Gaols
  • Food and Famine in Victorian Literature
  • Milk teeth of Irish famine’s youngest victims reveal secrets of malnutrition

D R U G S   &   D R I N K

  • The Temperance Movement and Class Struggle in Victorian England
  • Gin Palaces - The Victorian Dictionary
  • Alcohol and Alcoholism in Victorian England
  • Drugs in Victorian Britain
  • Cannabis Britannica: The rise and demise of a Victorian wonder-drug
  • Laudanum Use in the 19th Century
  • Victorian Women on Drugs, Part 1: Queen Victoria
  • Victorian Women on Drugs, Part 2: Female Writers
  • Substance Abuse in the Victorian Era
  • Opium Dens and Opium Usage in Victorian England
  • Chinese Opium Trade; as it was in the mid 1800s
  • Poetry, Pain, and Opium in Victorian England

L E I S U R E   &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T

  • Victorian Entertainments: We Are Amused
  • Entertainment in Victorian London
  • Leisure, An Extensive study of the Victorian Era
  • Vauxhall Gardens | Jane Austen’s World
  • Theatre - Victorian Era 1837-1901
  • Almack’s Assembly Rooms
  • The Cannibal Club: Racism and Rabble-Rousing in Victorian England
  • Restaurants - The Victorian Dictionary
  • The Story of Music Hall
  • Sex, Drugs and Music Hall
  • Victorian and Edwardian Public Houses (List, links to relevant articles about each listed pub)
  • Victorian London Taverns, Inns and Public Houses
  • Gambling in Historic England
  • Gambling in London’s Most Ruinous Gentlemen’s Clubs
  • Victorian Sport: Playing by the Rules
  • Seven singular sports from the Victorian era
  • Penny Dreadfuls; the Victorian era adventures for the masses
  • Romantic Era Songs

H O L I D A Y S & C E L E B R A T I O N S

  • A Victorian New Year
  • Fortune Telling for the Victorian New Year
  • Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve, the Scottish Way
  • Victorian Valentine
  • Valentines Day - The Complete Victorian
  • Easter Traditions During the Victorian Era
  • halloween - The Complete Victorian
  • the traditions of halloween
  • Victorian Christmas - History of Christmas
  • Christmas in the Victorian Era

W E A P O N R Y  &  V I O L E N C E

  • The Victorian Gentleman’s Self-Defense Toolkit
  • Early Victorian attitudes towards violent crime
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part One)
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part Two)
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part Three)
  • Victorian Violence, Part Four ~ Elegant Brutality for Ladies and Gentlemen of Discernment
  • 10 Deadly Street Gangs Of The Victorian Era
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 1
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 2
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 3
  • Pistol Duelling during the Early Victorian Era
  • Cane Guns: Victorian Concealed Firearms of Gentlemen & Cads

M A N N E R S   &   E T T I Q U E T T E

  • Manners & Tone of Good Society (This is a Victorian book on manners, written by an unnamed ‘Member Of The Aristocracy,’ and is available in full to read and covers a ton of ground, everything from leaving cards and morning calls to introductions and titles, and etiquette for many different types of parties and events).
  • The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness: A Complete Hand Book for the Use of the Lady in Polite Society (1875)
  • Manners for the Victorian Gentleman
  • Victorian Dancing Etiquette
  • A Checklist of 19th Century Etiquette
  • Social Rituals During The Victorian Era
  • An Online Dating Guide to Courting in the Victorian Era
  • Calling Cards and the Etiquette of Paying Calls
  • Morning Calls and Formal Visits
  • A Time Traveller’s Guide to Victorian Era Tea Etiquette
  • Traveling Etiquette and Tips for Victorian Women
  • Equestrian Etiquette and Attire in the Victorian Era
  • Etiquette Faux Pas and Other Misconceptions About Afternoon Tea
  • Victorian Table Etiquette
  • Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Household Advice Manuals
  • Etiquette Rules for Dinner Parties from a Victorian Magazine
  • The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times
  • Forms Of Introductions And Salutations. Etiquette Of Introductions
  • Etiquette for the Victorian Child
  • Victorian and Edwardian Mourning Etiquette
  • Etiquette Of Carriage-Riding
  • Victorian Etiquette - Shopping

U P P E R C L A S S   &   N O B I L I T Y

  • Royalty, Nobility, Gentry, & Titles; A Matter of Victorian Ranks & Precedence
  • Order of Precedence in England and Wales
  • The Victorian Era - The Debutante Tradition
  • The Gentleman - The Victorian Web 
  • “Coming Out” During the Early Victorian Era; about debutantes
  • The London Season
  • The London Season - The History Box

T H E  M I D D L E C L A S S

  • The middle classes: etiquette and upward mobility
  • The Rise of the Victorian Middle Class
  • The Victorian Man and the Middle Class Household - Domesticity as an Ideal
  • Middle Class Life in the Late 19th Century
  • A Woman ’s World: How Afternoon Tea Defined and Hindered Victorian Middle Class Women
  • Working Women in the Victorian Middle-Class
  • The ASBO teens of Victorian Britain: How middle-class children terrorized parks by shouting at old ladies, chasing sheep and vandalizing trees
  • “A Dangerous Kind:” Domestic Violence and The Victorian Middle Class [PDF]
  • Eligible Bachelors: Suitors and Courtship in the Lower Middle Class

T H E   W O R K I N G C L A S S

  • The working classes and the poor
  • Poverty and the working classes (links to relevant articles)
  • Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era …
  • The Working-Class Peace Movement in Victorian England
  • Victorian Child Labor and the Conditions They Worked In
  • History of Working Class Mothers in Victorian England
  • Income vs Expenditure in Working-Class Victorian England
  • What about the Workers? - 1830s - 1840s

T H E   S E R V A N T   C L A S S

  • Household management and Servants of the Victorian Era
  • Victorian Domestic Servant Hierarchy and Wages
  • Domestic Servants
  • Serving the house: The cost of Victorian domestic servants
  • Domestic Servants and their Duties
  • Precedence in the Servants Hall
  • The Servant’s Quarters in 19th Century Country Houses Like Downton Abbey
  • The REAL story of Britain’s servant class
  • Servants: A life below stairs
  • The Green Baize Door: Dividing Line Between Servant and Master
  • The Victorian Domestic Servant by Trevor May: A Review

T H E   U N D E R C L A S S  (T H E  P O O R) 

  • The Underclass (or the Submerged Class)
  • Poverty in Victorian England: Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
  • Down and Out in Victorian London
  • Poverty and the Poor | Dickens & the Victorian City
  • The Victorian Poorhouse
  • Poorhouses
  • Victorian Workhouses
  • Entering and Leaving the Workhouse
  • The Poor Law
  • The Poor Law Amendment Act
  • The New Poor Law - Victorian Crime and Punishment
  • London’s Ragamuffins

I N T E R S E C T I O N A L I T Y (Of Class, Gender, Race, and Ability)

  • Class, Gender, and the Asylum
  • The Impact of Social Class Divisions on the Women of Victorian England
  • The Daily Life of Disabled People in Victorian England

W O R K &

  • Early and Mid-Victorian Attitudes towards Victorian Working-Class Prostitution, with a Special Focus on London
  • Prostitution and the Nineteenth Century: In Search of the 'Great Social Evil’
  • Attitudes toward sexuality and sexual identity
  • Victorian slang - a guide to sexual Victorian terms

O T H E R   M A S T E R P O S T S

  • Writing Research - Victorian Era by ghostflowerdreams
  • How to Roleplay in the Victorian Era by keir-reviews
  • Legit’s Historical Fashion Masterpost by legit-writing-tips
  • Susanna Ives - Many Research Links (covers Regency Era - Victorian Era)
Determination

Fandom: BBC Merlin

Word count: 1358

Characters: Arthur x reader, brother!Merlin

Warnings: is flirting a warning? Definitely some tension.

Summary: Arthur finds himself distracted when you deliver his food from the kitchens. Part 2

You wiped a hand across your forehead, longing for the cooler air outside the castle. The kitchen was always hot, but during the summer it was even worse. Your dress was clinging to your back with sweat, only adding to your discomfort.

As you kneaded the bread for tonight’s meal, you didn’t notice your older brother sneaking up behind you. There was a wicked grin on his face as he got to within inches of you, then clapped his hands on your shoulders. You jumped a mile, then spun around to glare at him.

“Really, Merlin?” you yelped. “Was that necessary?”

“Absolutely,” he sniggered. “That was an impressive noise you made.”

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Harlots 1.04 reactions

So, I LOVED THIS EPISODE. Tensions are rising all around, yes, in subtle and overt ways alike, and there are definitely many things being set up to go HORRIBLY WRONG, yes, but I loved it. And look how precious Lucy looks with her hair all up in curls!

What’s the etiquette about how long I have to wait before screaming about this ep publicly, btw? Or posting caps or gifs of it? ‘Cause, like, I don’t wanna spoil anything for anyone, but uh. I’ve got a lot of feelings. I will always tag #harlots spoilers on things from the most recent ep, but it’s difficult to know when things are considered fair game when it’s airing on different schedules and platforms internationally.

For now, spoilers below the cut. In which I offer unexpectedly Deep Thoughts™ about that final scene and ramble about my favorite bits — namely:

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@logarithmicpanda I’ve finally finished Magyk and I loved it!! Some thoughts:

- Alther is a lot pettier than I remember and I love it

- Boy 412?? is so??? precious??????

- There is so much salt between Silas and Marcia and it is 100% entertaining

- I forgot how much I loved all the random POVs of inanimate objects/random animals

- PETROC TRELAWNEY

- I’d completely forgotten about the proxy message Marcia gets from “Silas” - I swear every time I read that part I age like five years

- There is so much foreshadowing/set up for the following six books it is honestly beautiful and perfect and just wow

- The story of the kitchen maid and the ex-night-guard-turned-chief-potato-peeler is the best love story ever

- Just the entire last section on what happened to everyone after is my favourite part - always has been 

Imagine you're Servant for the Prince

Requests 39: 2 “Imagine You’re a Servant Working in the Palace” and 34-6 “A story where a woman is forced to give intense birth to the same baby multiple times.”

Only a few weeks ago the young Edea secured employment as a kitchen maid for the prince. The youngest son of the King, Prince Aterio’s prospects of ruling WERE very slim yet he still has a title, lands, and of course a modest chateau requiring staff. Having no family of her own, Edea knew her position in the castle was the only security she had in the world and did her best to keep her head down and focus on her work. The kitchen, naturally, was always a hub of gossip and through she never took part, she could not help but overhear the kitchen ladies and house maids  the prince and certain…stories.

They say he, though very handsome, has yet to find a suitable bride due to his low standing. Of course, some add, it’s not JUST his standing…but the fact that he   engaged in the study of magic and Dark Arts. There were always shipments and crates arriving from distant countries: powders, potions, strange objects, and various occult artifacts  carried up to his private chambers above where none in the kitchen had set foot. The talk alone filled Edea with dread and she silently prayed to never be ‘summoned’ to his apartments above…

Of course, Edea could not lie to herself: she found Prince Aterio very handsome. There were moments when she did see him, in the corridor or during his meals when she helped served him, and in those moments she could not help but blush and feel herself grow slightly hot. Sometimes she would catch him eyeing her as well, a small smile on his lips as he silently watched her ladling the soup or carrying trays, which only forced Edea to focus on her work with even more intensity. She was not stupid: Edea knew only too well what happened to young maids seduced by nobles. Few rolls in his grand bed or perhaps a toss in the hay had many a girl out on the street with a royal bastard growing in her belly.  As the months went on, and Aterio’s interest slowly grew, Edea began to worry about her own security. Marriage was her only option so she started to eye up the stable hands, or perhaps the blacksmith’s son. He was always kind to her…

Edea’s dream of security, however, came to a bizarre end. The Prince was to entertain the Lady Ystelle of Barnea in the hopes of wedding her; the entire household was agog with activity in preparation of her arrival. The kitchens were complete madness the day before her arrival and Edea was in the middle of preparing cherry tarts when Rosa, the head cook, rushed to her with a crystal decanter

“Take this to the Prince!” she cried, “I cannot believe I forgot to send him his nightly sherry! Quick, girl! Use the shortcut passage by the library!” Edea took the decanter and rushed off up towards the library. The thought of approaching Aterio turned her heart into a sparrow beating against a window and she hoped that she could find another house servant to pass the duty onto. Ducking into the passage, her eyes fought to adjust to the dim light. The chateau was full of these narrow little passages and Edea prayed she took the right one. It should exit by the Amethyst Drawing Room, and then the stairs to the Prince’s private apartments is just to the left…

THWACK!

In her haste and panic, not to mention the poor lighting, Edea failed to notice someone else coming towards her in the tight corridor. She collided hard against the figure, causing the decanter to fly out of her hand and smash on the stone steps behind her. The other person must have been carrying something as well: a silver tray tipped up onto Edea and she felt liquid spill on her face, neck, and breasts. A small glass bottle bounced off her bodice and joined the smashed crystal on the ground.

“ Why you-” Edea started, ready to explode her wrath on the clumsy fool who wrecked into her and spilt god-knows-what all over her outfit and ruining the prince’s drink, when a hand shot out and forcefully grabbed her chin.

“ What was that?” asked Prince Aterio, “A silly, little kitchen girl is mad at me because she wasn’t pay attention where she was headed? Hmm?”

Edea’s eyes were wide as saucers; she had crashed into the Prince! The girl stammers as she looked into Aterio’s eyes: he does not appear pleased in the slightest.

“ Do you know know what you’ve just spilled, my little cook?” he hisses, lowering his face to hers. “ Why, nothing really…just a very special and powerful potion concocted from rare and expensive ingredients! A very…special potion indeed.” His eyes trailed down her body and Edea feel weak with terror.

“Please, your highness!” she begged, “ Please don’t cast me out! I’ll…I’ll make it up to you! I’ll work for no wages! Forgive me!”

She wasn’t not sure but she detected a slight smile on Aterio’s face before he grabed her wrist, forcing a cry from her lips, and jerked her back through the passage towards the exit.

“ Oh ho ho,” he laughed as he pushed the panel open and they emerged into the Amethyst Room. “I’m sure you’ll make it up to me, love.” Edea tried to struggle from his steel grasp when the opulent sitting room began to spin, Edea collapsing against a purple wing-backed chair. Her mind felt muddled and she felt her panic rise as the realization dawned on her: she had been poisoned! Aterio must have planned on using this on the Lady Barnea to have his way with her but instead Edea was now the victim. Slumped on the floor, she tried to cry for help but could only softly moan. The Prince collected her up in his arms and carried out into the corridor and up towards his chambers above. “ Don’t worry,” he softly laughed, “ I’ll take care of you.”

In her haze Edea vaguely made out the rough details of his apartments: books lining the walls, beautiful hanging tapestries, the carved posts and curtains of a bed as she laid upon soft blankets and pillows. She tried to raise a limb but her whole body was paralyzed. Edea looked up into the prince’s eyes and saw them sparkle with pleasure and perhaps desire.

“Please…don’t…” she weakly whispered.

“Do not worry, little cook,” he softly replied, “ I’m not that monstrous…but I’m no saint either.“  Aterio turned and walked over to a small table to the side. There were the sounds of clinking glass and he returned with a small cup in his hand. Aterio lifted Edea’s head and placed the silver cup to her lips. "Now drink.”

It tasted terrible but as Edea sipped the liquid her body slowly became hers again and relief washed over her. Sighing, she closed her eyes and laid back on the plush pillows of Aterio’s bed and save silent thanks for the existence of antidotes. However, her thanks were interrupted as the prince’s hands gently ran over the front of your bodice.

“Your highness,” she opened her eyes and looked into Aterio’s pale and handsome face. “Please, I beg you…I’m just a kitchen ma-”

“Do you know,” he softly interrupted, fingers now tracing her face, “what was in that potion you happened to spill all over you?” Edea quietly shook her head in reply and Aterio gently kissed her forehead. “ Of course not: you make pies not potions. Well, my dove, it was a special potion I was to have mixed into the wine specially selected for Ystelle tomorrow night.”

“A..a..love potion?!” she gasp. Aterio simply laughed and began kissing her neck. Edea let out a soft moan, despite her reservations. His right hand squeezed her breast and began to slowly undo the ties of her bodice.

“No, no, no…no silly love potions. No, your prince had something else in mind. A potion, a special potion, one that will let him have complete control over her body. Whatever I command; it does.”

“Is that…what you’re doing now?” Edea murmured, her whole body becoming hot with desire. “Making me not resist you?”

“Oh hohoho no. That’s all you! No I have other…purposes.”

“Such as?”

Aterio, having undone the front of her bodice, paused and looked up into Edea’s eyes. There was a look of danger, of desire…

“ How do you feel…about giving birth?”

Edea’s eyes widened with fear. She pushed the prince away and pulled her knees up to her body. Aterio sat up, genuinely surprised and concerned by her reaction. Tears began to well in her eyes.

“No, please my Prince! I cannot have a royal bastard! What will everyone think? Where will I go?!” Edea began to cry, envisioning the life of shame she would have to live carrying the prince’s child. Aterio took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped her eyes.

“ What is your name, little cook?” he gently asked.

“…Edea.”

“Well, Edea, I understand your reason and like I said before, I’m not a complete monster. I asked you because…you see, I happen to have certain…tastes that may not be deemed appropriate in polite society.” You said nothing but looked on with intrigue, prompting Aterio to continue “ I…happen to…enjoy every aspect of pregnancy. Even the moment of birth. In fact, I would say…that is my ultimate favorite part. Do you…understand?”

Edea looked at the prince for a moment before nodding. She had never confessed it before but soon she began to tell him about her life before coming to his chateau. She was a foundling abandoned at a convent, thus raised with a number of other girls by the good-hearted nuns who also ran a hospital for the local poor. When Edea were only 16 she began assisting in the sisters in their clinic, which is where she first watched a woman labor for hours. It was such a difficult birth, the woman crowned for an hour before finally delivering a large, healthy babe. Edea never expected it but watching the birth aroused her more than anything before and that night she buried her face in her pillow as fingers worked manically to give relief. All Edea could do was imagine it was she struggling to bring the giant head to a crown, the baby fighting her with every push.

As Edea confessed her sinful fantasy for the first time on her life, the prince moved closer to her on the bed. As she finally completed her tale Aterio took her in his arms, face buried in her breasts. Edea gasped with desire as his hand slipped under her gown and made it’s way to her wet and aching sex.

“ It seems,” he purred as his fingers caressed your lips and clip, “I won’t be having a need for Ystelle after all.”

“ You can’t…marry the likes…of me!” Edea moan. Aterio wickedly smileed and undid his trousers. Edea, no longer terrified of carrying a royal baby, opened her legs to him and cried in a mixed of pleasure and pain as he entered her - he was her first after all.

“ Don’t worry about that!” he laughed as he began to thrust, “ By the end of tomorrow, you’ll be Lady Edea of Barnea and Ystelle will be a lowly kitchen girl!” Edea couldn’t make sense of his words, but the sensation of his cock filling her was she cared about at the present moment . Edea’s eyes rolled back in ecstasy as the prince fucked her in his bed. She ran her hands through his thick hair and loudly moaned in bliss.

“I’m going to fill you up with my child,” he growled, his thrusts becoming more intense. “Would you like that, Edea? Swollen with my baby?”

“…Please! Oh please, yes!” Edea cried with abandoment. Suddenly she was the woman in the convent, her womb swollen with the prince’s child. She could feel the baby’s head pressing against her lips, her head thrown back as she struggled to push, Aterio rubbing her belly with desire and kissing it as it heaves with each pain…

Edea violently climaxed: her whole body tensed up as waves of bliss crashed over her body. She gripped onto Aterio’s body, legs wrapped around his torso, and her scream of release echoed throughout the room and pushes the prince over the edge himself. He gave a roar as Edea felt his seed gush into her womb with abandon before collapsing into her. They lay still in the afterglow for a moment before Aterio breathlessly whispered into her ear: “You know…I may be falling in love with you…Edea…”

“Just give me a baby,” she softly replied, to which the prince simply laughed and kissed her.

–L. Wyvernic

Summer Fires and Winter Fans [2/?]

Title: Summer Fires and Winter Fans
Fandom: Samurai Love Ballad: Party/Tenka Touitsu Koi no Ran: Love Ballad
Pairing: Tokugawa Ieyasu x MC
Rating: PG-13
Word Count (MS Word): 5,044


奮起一番 (ふんきいちばん) [funkiichiban]
(n) getting down to work, putting heart and soul into it; tackling (a job) with gusto

Apologies for the delay, but here’s the next chapter for this series. If you’ve missed Chapter 1, click the link below:

Chapter 1 

As requested, I am tagging the following users: @frywen-babbles, @perfectruffian2389

Enjoy!

Chapter 2 link for mobile users

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