This story is another glimpse in the life of Charity Kochsato, the Violet Duchess of Drakeshead. I actually wrote this years ago, but tonight I was strangely moved to re-write it from memory. This is one of those scenes that I know happens in her life, but I’m not sure if I can ever fit all the individual scenes into a manageable story format. So, fine. I’ll tell bits and pieces as I feel moved. Perhaps that is the way it was all meant to be after all.

Charity felt immense satisfaction and wonder as he filled her and then began to move inside her with a motion she found intensely pleasurable.

Wonder… because Redford, the husband whom all four wives clearly understood did not care to have a naked woman in his bed, who only participated in conjugal relations because it was his duty as a husband and a duke to be a father to their children in both flesh and spirit, and because he considered it his personal responsibility as a husband to pay attention to his spouses both in and out of the bedroom…

Redford wanted her.

She suspected it had something to do with the letter he had received that evening.

She knew it had everything to do with the fact that she was the only spouse at home when he received it.

She wondered if it had anything to do with his old lover, the one who was dying.

The man who had left him, without telling Redford he was dying.

Charity clung to her husband, wanting him in every way, wanting to revel in this brief moment of being wanted.

Charity needed to be wanted.

She was also adept at figuring out what other people wanted and needed and then filling that need. She was a Violet Duchess. That was practically her job description.

Redford’s lips grazed her neck as as his hard, masculine hips drove against her yielding feminine curves. For a man who did not particularly care for women in a sexual way, he certainly did know what they liked. And it was not a generic know it all skill that he had, but rather a particular, logical figuring out of exactly what each of his spouses needed and wanted in bed. Logical almost to the point of being impersonal; ironic for such a personal subject.

Royal had been the first wife to feel the snub. It was not so much that he ignored her; he didn’t. He was very polite and solicitous. But as soon as they discovered that he had impregnated Royal on the very first night of their honeymoon, it was as if he checked her off his to-do list. Royal, a daughter of the Kings and Queens and Princess of the Kingdom and now the White Duchess of Drakeshead, was used to people fawning over her. She was not at all accustomed to the polite indifference he showed her, especially when she carried his offspring within her.

Half of Charity’s mind sighed with the pleasure of the strokes and caresses Redford was giving her. The other half of her mind sought an answer to what the enigma that was her husband wanted. The Red Duke was difficult in that he made very few demands of his spouses. He was one of them, and yet he moved at a distance as if keeping some sacred part of himself private and separate.

It had been with great reluctance that he finally shared with his new spouses the simple fact of his previous relationship. The other seven in the duchy had been willing or even eager to trade stories of their past loves and losses, but not Redford. Although they did not pressure him, he did eventually let it be known that he had been in a very loving and committed relationship with a man for a number of years. And then one day, his lover left him. There had been some kind of feeble excuse about Redford being too controlling or working too many hours, but that was not the real reason for the downfall of the relationship.

Redford reached just the right rhythm and Charity keened a low moan of pleasure. “Charity…” he whispered, and it was the first word he had spoken that evening. When she had approached him in their private quarters, cautious because he seemed to be lost in his own thoughts after receiving a letter on actual paper by special courier, he had not said a word. He had simply shoved the letter inside his suit jacket, stood, and kissed her hard. Charity, ever eager to please, had responded instantly. She sensed he did not want to talk. He craved a physical connection, and she gave of herself gladly.

Even in his sudden need, the foreplay had been thorough. Solicitous, always solicitous. Polite and considerate. That was Redford. The oldest of the eight spouses, the one who never needed anything from anyone. Charity strove to figure out what it was he needed, even in the midst of making love. At a time when she would usually lose herself in the abandonment of sex, she strove to be solicitous in a different way.

His only word had been spoken when she had expressed genuine pleasure at what he was doing. That was the key… Redford had to know he was pleasing her.

Charity let go a little more, not having to fake the sounds that told her husband she was enjoying his touch. She freely expressed every shiver of delight, taking what he was giving and happily giving of herself.

The back of her mind dwelt on the question…

If his long hours at work or his controlling personality had not been the downfall of the relationship, then what had?


Was it that his lover had been dissatisfied with their sexual relationship, and left him for that reason alone?

Charity shuddered and for a moment all logical thought was gone as she felt her body glide swiftly up towards the climax she knew and loved. Without an ounce of pretense, she arched and gasped and chanted “My husband, my love…” as he emptied himself into her. In all the times they had ever made love, she had never felt such a release from him. It was as if he was letting go of something, releasing in a literal sense some thought or feeling he had been holding on to. He had thought it was a lifeline, when instead it was something dragging him down.

His solicitous self returned almost immediately. He held her, stroked her hair, and kissed her gently as they lay in post-coital bliss. She wished desperately he would share with her what it was he had to let go, but she knew if she spoke, she risked ruining any chance of him opening up on his own.

She fell asleep, but woke when she realized he was crying. But he must have realized she was awake, because he immediately stifled himself. They still lay entwined. The stickiness was becoming uncomfortable, but Charity didn’t care. He needed her. She could not bear to pull away in either body or spirit when what she’d been hoping for ever since the day of their wedding was finally happening.

He needed her…

He actually needed her.

When daylight reached the bed, she woke to find him still near her, although he was freshly showered and wearing a comfortable robe.

“I loved him too much. That’s why he left me.” he said quietly.

Charity blinked.

The letter lay on the bed, exactly halfway between them.

She reached for it, looking to him for approval as her fingers touched the paper.

He gave it.

The words were poetic and long winded, but they boiled down to one hard truth.

Redford had loved him too much.

When his lover discovered the fact of his disease, the fact that he would soon die regardless of any medical intervention, he had kept that fact from Redford. He knew that Redford, the doctor, the healer, the fixer-of-all-that-is-wrong would stop at nothing to extend his life in any way possible.

Redford’s lover had wanted a more peaceful ending.

He had not wanted to fight.

…and he had known that Redford would never, ever accept such a surrender.

So he left.

Charity curled up in her husband’s capable, healing embrace. She let his spirit take care of hers, and with neither words nor outright action, she affirmed what they had found to be true.

He needed to love.

She needed to be loved.

They were meant to be.

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