I know I always say this, but I mean it a little more this time around: I loved writing this book.
Vance took a puff of his cigar and said to Sir Gerald, “And yet you still think of marrying her to some dolt? You are far too soft-hearted, Carruthers. We must bring Caroline with us to the Hebrides and share her between us. I promise you that Brown will tell you the same. She is ready for fucking, and if you do not pluck that maiden flower, I cannot answer for my own conduct. You cannot tell me that you do not long to have your cock deep in that pretty bottom you birched the other day.”
They were sitting in the smoking room of their club, after an excellent dinner.
“Vance,” remonstrated Sir Gerald mildly. “You mustn’t say such things here at the club. Really you mustn’t say them at all.”
Vance laughed uproariously. “You know you love to hear them, whether here or elsewhere. I find it a positive moral failing in you that you refuse to say them yourself before you are thoroughly drunk, though I know you think them, for I cannot think of a sport I have proposed with the girls that you have not eagerly entered into. A natural man, as Brown calls us, must be able to say sober that which he says drunk, above all if the matter touches the pleasures to be had from his mistress.”
Sir Gerald colored noticeably at that, his blue eyes flashing, and Vance thanked the heavens, as he often did, that his own darker coloring did not betray his emotions as obviously as Sir Gerald’s fair complexion, despite the bit of envy Vance still held for Sir Gerald’s golden locks. He decided the opportunity lay too fairly in his way to prevent him pursuing it. He said, “When we fucked our pieces side by side over the back of the sofa last week, and made them kiss as we did so, did you balk at the proposal? Or at the deed?”
“Vance, that is beside the point.”
“The point,” Vance chuckled. “No, I think the points were beside one another, actually.”
“I will not listen to any more of this, no matter what that essay of Brown’s says, or you say,” Sir Gerald said, without making the slightest gesture that indicated he might in fact move his compact, wiry frame from the depths of the well-stuffed leather chair.
“You love to act the prude, Carruthers, but you must remember that you and I are part of the same fraternity: Dr. Brown’s fraternity of natural men. You may require a few more glasses of claret than I do to speak this way, but—to lay another example before your eyes—when I told Charlotte and Anne to suck your prick together, this past Saturday, if I am not mistaken, you said, ‘Yes, you bad girls, come hither and do as Charles says,’ or something very much of that nature.”
Vance watched Carruthers shift a little uncomfortably, and felt the left side of his mouth curling up in a wry smile. He knew his friend well enough to be sure that Sir Gerald’s cock currently stood as stiff as a guardsman in his trousers. Vance had produced the effect he wanted—the frame of mind in Sir Gerald that would allow him to further his designs.
Charles Vance was not really a bad man. He merely lived according to his firm conviction that when a gentleman finds himself placed in a situation where he may acquire for himself the means to get those pleasures for which his flesh cries out, he is entitled, as a gentleman, to acquire them. Dr. Reginald Brown’s essay, On the necessity of men’s exercising their masculine rights in erotic matters, and the man himself, had proven quite helpful in persuading Sir Gerald to set up their household in such a way as to maintain Vance’s enjoyment of those pleasures, and as to promise very much more when they removed northward—but really Brown had only confirmed Vance in philosophical ideas about his amorous pursuits that he had developed quite independently.
Charlotte Dalrymple—lovely, brown-haired, green-eyed Charlotte Dalrymple, seduced at eighteen from the bosom of her family by the sort of stratagem that Vance found ridiculously simple to put into motion—served very well indeed as one of those means. As, truly, her breasts, her mouth, her cunt, and her bottom served, when Vance felt, as he very often felt, the need to relieve himself of some of the voluptuous tension that had characterized his life from as early an age as he could remember.
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