by Loyal Wynyard
More Then Joy
Finding John unwinding from the excitement of the day, lounging across the couch, Margaret curled up beside him.
“Today was so wonderful. I can’t think of any other day in my life that I have enjoyed more. Sadly, I think I shall have to be going home tomorrow. John, thank you for these past days; they’ve meant more than you could know. They have been the loveliest and happiest days of my life, ever”
“Do not thank me. I need no thanks from the one I love. I cannot tell you how it has pleased me to my very soul to have you here. I’ve laughed more in a few days than, literally, my entire life. And like you, our time together has meant more to me than all my life experiences.”
Margaret smiled at John. “You’re going to have to be on your best behavior tonight because sooner or later you will discover that Dixon is out for the entire evening. She will return to my house instead of here. So we are totally alone all night.”
His body flooded with warmth at her words. He knew his control would not last through the night. His mind started whirling and he could feel the heat rising in body. Damn the proclamation; this chance may never happen for a long time, he thought. He more than thought – he wanted to act. He dreamed and hoped that the night would bring him the opportunity to allow Margaret to know herself and feel like a real woman. John wanted that more for her than anything. His own ecstasy was secondary. “Hmm . . . this presents a dilemma,” he said.
Again, Margaret was experiencing sensual stirrings that were causing her body to shiver, and this was not the first time since her first back to Milton, only a month previous. She was not so naive as to misconstrue them as anything other than passion for John. Against all propriety and a pious upbringing, she wanted him to make love to her. She knew he could make her feel like the woman she wanted to be for him. Margaret still held doubts about herself, as she had never known anything different with Booker. But sensing the differences that her body was telling her, she knew that John was the one to clear all doubts. Although, just coming out of her bereavement period and already feeling a commitment to John, there was no chance of intimacy tonight. The possibility of conception was at its peak. She knew she had to move away from being so near him. She rose and went to sit by the fire. “What do you mean by a dilemma?” she asked, refocusing her mind.
“Excuse me just a minute; I will return, momentarily,” John said, as he walked into his bedroom. He turned up the gas heater so the room was warm and pulled back the sheets. He came back, passing through the parlor into Margaret’s room. He ruffled her sheets so it might appear that she had slept in her bed and then leaving, closed the door.
“John, what are you doing?” Margaret asked in bewilderment.
As John sat down next to her in front of the fire, he said, “I am preparing for a dilemma.”
“I think we are out of yarn,” he laughed.
Margaret broke into a smile, but it further deepened her knowledge of the disappointment she knew was coming. She started to rise from the carpet to sit in the chair when John grabbed her arm.
John sensed she was pulling away from him, but this time it seemed serious. “Please, sit with me, here. What is wrong, my love? Are you apprehensive about what you perceive this night could bring to us? I can remain the perfect gentleman if that’s what you truly want, but please let me be near you.” John looked over and saw tears welling in her eyes. Was she frightened of him? He couldn’t bear it, if she was. “Please don’t be afraid of me. Nothing will happen unless you allow it.”
Margaret didn’t know anything else than to be honest with John. “I am not afraid of you; it’s quite the reverse. I am afraid of myself.” Margaret paused, wondering how to explain the rest. “I am well aware that the Thornton Proclamation is not in effect tonight. I am sitting here . . . very . . . much desirous of you. But it cannot happen tonight. I am quite sure that I’m near or at the peak of conception. I’m sorry.” Margaret exhaled loudly, finally getting those words out of her mouth. She was embarrassed about sounding so unladylike, or being too forward and expectant.
John fell back on the carpet, reeling at her words, not so much about the conception, but that she desired him enough to let him love her. Every day of heartbreak for the past four years dissolved in those words that she had just spoken. He put his arm over his face and only pride kept his tears from falling. It was the epitome of his hopes and dreams. A word had not been invented that expressed his emotions at that moment. He was not sure he could withstand the rush of four years of unrequited love, now reversing its course. If Margaret’s feelings for him in the past had been a drop of water upon his face, he was now standing under a delirious waterfall.
He sat up quickly, took her hands in his, as her tears fell, and studied her. He looked at her face, her eyes, her lips, her hair, missing nothing of her beauty. She was his world, his universe, his everything.
Can this moment really be happening?
Margaret couldn’t understand all that was showing on his face, but he now expressed the most intimate smile she had ever seen, if there was such a thing. He was in awe. “John, you’ve said nothing in the last five minutes. Please speak to me.”
John didn’t know where to begin. “Those words that you just spoke, and I know they were from your heart, just fulfilled a hope and dream I’ve had for many years. You are giving me the chance to love you, because you desire ME, John Thornton, a person you hated at one time in your life.”
Margaret flinched at the remembrance.
“I’ve had a ladder to climb all of my life that would equal the tallest building in the world, and I am only a couple of rungs from the top. And I know the top is achievable, now. As for the Thornton proclamation, it is now null and void because I know that you love me, even if you are not completely and utterly sure for yourself, yet. Still, I do not want you to say the words. And least of all, about your conception worries, let me love you tonight without any concern there.
“But . . .” Margaret started to say.
“No buts . . . Do you trust me?” John asked solemnly.
“Of course, I do. I just don’t see how . . . “Margaret trailed off.
John searched her fire-lit face for any signs of dissent. All he saw was a weak smile. He slowly stood, pulling Margaret up with him. He looked into her eyes, his heart still hammering through his chest. “Margaret, are you sure?” John asked, very tenderly.
“Yes, John. I am sure. I’ve never been this sure about anything.”
His passion and want of her lost its long suffering control. The brake was released. He took her passionately in his arms and kissed her sensuously, for a long time. Margaret clung to him, clutching his shirt, and then finally trusting the night, encircled her arms around his neck. Without taking his lips from hers, he lifted her to his chest, carried her to his bed, and closed the door with his foot.
“John . . .?” Margaret said, holding her glance steady in his eyes as their lips parted.
“Shhh, Margaret,” John said softly. “These moments of our love are going to happen between you and me. They have been waiting in the shadows of our dreams for a very long time. I will be extremely gentle with you. If you say stop, I will. I will be slow until you show me differently. He looked deeply into her eyes for any sign of fear; the light was dim, but he saw none. John gently set her down allowing her to stand.
“Margaret, I love you.”
He lightly moved his finger tips up her arms to her shoulders and neck. Touching his lips to hers, his fingers slowly traced her cheeks, down her throat and finally to the nape of her neck; he pulled the ribbons and pins from the back of her hair, letting her light brown curls cascade. His dreams and fantasies were no longer in his mind. They were in his hands. She had beautiful, long, full tresses that wound about her neck and down her back. John raked his fingers through her hair, feeling its silkiness, and pulled it to his face to inhale her stimulating scent. He held her face and hair in his hands and drew her to him for another long sensual kiss, probing all, stroking the inside of her mouth, searching for her tongue. Margaret hesitatingly entwined her arms around his waist. John pulled away just enough to look into her eyes, for any signs of discomfort, one final time.
“Are you very sure?”
“I am very sure. But . . .”
John smothered her mouth with devouring hunger before she could finish. His lips were warm and wet and they covered her mouth. He lightly nipped and sucked on her bottom lip before parting her lips with his tongue. John was pulling her face hard against his. He tightened her to his frame so they could each feel every soft curve and rigidness of the other.
“Margaret?” He could see her eyes were closed but she was responding sensually, whether she was aware of it or not.
“John, I am anxious and frightened at the same time. This has been a very long time for me. There was very little intimacy in my marriage. So . . . please John, take care with me. I’ve had a very sheltered and sparse physical relationship and don’t know what to expect. I am already more overwhelmed than I ever was in my marriage. I don’t think I will know what to do. I feel so different,” Margaret said, with a hushed voice that trembled as she spoke.
“Margaret, I love you more than life itself. You will not have to know what to do. I will guide our passionate journey, my love.” John whispered these words as he wrapped his arms around her and held her for a long time, letting the fear lessen and the anticipation grow. John knew he didn’t want to scare or spare her. He swayed and rocked her, there, where they stood. He would not let it end too soon.
The gas light from the mill yard cast shadows and spilled angles of light into the room.
Still standing by the bed, John began kissing her again. He teased her with his tongue. Long slow probes that were making Margaret’s knees weak. He held her tightly realizing he was overwhelming her, which he had intended. He slowly turned her toward the light streaming in the window and unbuttoned the clothing that bound her. He did this as he kissed her, stopping only to place her hands on his shirt, encouraging the same sensual act of removing his clothes.
Margaret began to unbutton his shirt at the neck, exposing his dark chest hair across his broad frame. His maleness was unfolding in the dimness of the night. The slowness of this passionate act was building the anticipation, stronger than it had been only a moment before. She unbuttoned his shirt further, pulling it out of his trousers. Only recently, she had envisioned this moment.
John pulled it over his head and then turned to Margaret, completing all the fasteners of her clothing.
Warning! Adult Content – Next Week