Chapter 33

Screenshot-11Estelle was, for lack of a better word, starving.

For breakfast she’d been given some kind of herb-filled broth that smelled so strongly of grass she could barely swallow it.

Screenshot-5If the house staff hadn’t been so wonderfully kind, she might have pointed out that she had hit her head on a table – she did not have influenza, measles or cholera.

In other words, her stomach was completely fine. And utterly empty.

Screenshot-8Daydreaming of bacon and eggs, she looked to the ceiling and sighed. It must have been past lunchtime, but the doctor had given the house staff strict orders not to disturb her. Inevitably, at some point she would receive another course of grass-soup.

Lucky her.

Screenshot-20No. She would not stand for it. Something had to be done. She no longer felt any pain or dizziness; in fact she was practically energetic. She simply hated lying in bed all day and, without any visitors, she felt quite disconnected from the world.

screenshot-124_zpsfe2aba19More over, if she wallowed in her thoughts any longer she was sure to go mad. She simply could not put the Viscount out of her head.

The look they shared only served to remind her of her feelings for him. Of the passionate moments they had shared together over the past few months…

Screenshot-4But he seemed… different just recently. More Mature. Earnest. Perhaps he was a fine match for Marielle after all. Perhaps the young girl could learn something from him. Perhaps she was wrong…

… perhaps they really could fall in love.

Screenshot-17Oh God. 

Estelle did not even realise that she had started wincing. All she knew was that she had to get out of this bedroom! Damn it all, she just had to. Dark-haired Viscounts be damned!

And she had to do it without anyone else noticing, or else it was grass-soup for the rest of her days.

Screenshot-33Donning a dressing gown, Estelle crept across the room and peered into the corridor. Thankfully, it was empty, but also full of identical-looking doors.

Which way were the stairs? Oh dear, this was a bad idea…

Screenshot-40Then she heard noises— A piano? — and she followed the direction of the sound without much thought. There was something fundamentally… personal and at the same time so very masterly in this playing that whomever the pianist, Estelle was sure that they may be called a really perfect virtuoso.

Screenshot-50 As she tiptoed across the shining floors, she heard maids were gossiping about the footmen in the rooms she passed, in another the footmen were gossiping about maids. In the last room she crept past, she heard the same beautiful music she’d heard from upstairs.

She couldn’t help herself. She glimpsed inside.

Screenshot-29“Did I not tell you that Vaughn was a poet of the piano?” Estelle recognised the speaker as Millerna Landgraab. “He makes a single instrument speak a language of infinity.”

“Indeed, it is true,” A jovial, plump lady in green silks replied, “But I have never before had the pleasure.”

Screenshot-26Estelle could not find it in herself to disagree, for the Viscount’s talent was obvious to any with ears.

Very single note was played with the highest degree of taste, in the noblest sense of the word. When he embellished, which he rarely did, it was a positive miracle of refinement.

Screenshot-56Distantly, Estelle remembered an encounter in the Afonsine’s music room. She remembered playing, and only the vocalisation of his disgruntled discontentment had made her aware of his presence in the room. Suddenly she felt very, very embarrassed, for she knew herself exposed as rather inept.

Screenshot-48She managed to tear herself away and further into the corridor where she found another set of stairs.

Her heart had swelled with victory as she descended, when she realised she was in the front hall. The servant’s kitchens should be at the bottom and back of the house.

Screenshot-52And that was when she caught the scent of something that made her mouth water.

Bread. Freshly-baked bread.

She was close now. So close. Just a couple more steps and…

Screenshot-71Her plan could not have gone any better. Firstly she had found the kitchens. Secondly, they were empty. Thirdly, there were leftovers of the house staff’s luncheon in the middle of the wooden table.

It was just what she wanted.

Screenshot-85She grinned, approaching the table, absolutely ravenous. Everything tasted delicious after days of eating liquefied grass, doubly so, in fact.

It was just right and yet… a bit of jam would make it perfect.

Screenshot-95Estelle searched eagerly for the elusive jam. Of course, it just happened to reside on the top shelf. Although rather tall, Estelle was sure that, even en pointe like some kind of voracious ballerina, she would be unable to reach it.

“Damn it all.”

Screenshot-210“Would you like a hand, madam?”

Estelle froze. She knew the voice but hoped she was mistaken.

Anyone but him, please God…

Screenshot-159She turned to find Vaughn standing casually in the kitchens, a lop-sided grin on his lips, as if he had every right to be there, as if he were not the heir to an Earldom.

“Miss Murphy, I will give you to the count of three to convince me as to why you are out of bed.”

Screenshot-81He leaned against the doorframe, and his expression abruptly folded into something rather more serious.

One.”

“Well you see, I—“

Two.”

Screenshot-170“Oh, this isn’t fair! I only…”

Thre—

“I’m bloody starving, alright?!” Estelle finally snapped.

Screenshot-173The Viscount gaped openly at the outburst.

He paused, swallowing.

Screenshot-141And then…

And then he laughed.

Screenshot-135Estelle was annoyed that he had intruded on her little picnic, and yet the sound of his laughter, low and gentle and free, made her see the humour in the ridiculous situation, and she began to laugh too.

“Well I am! Oh, I was desperate!”

Screenshot-184“You snuck all the way down here?”

Vaughn managed finally.

“How the hell did you get past Miggins? Either you’re spectacularly quiet or she’s losing her touch.”

Screenshot-101Vaughn laughed again, seating himself, and picked up a slice of buttered bread from her discarded plate.

“Was it the grass soup?”

Estelle blinked. “Well… yes, actually.”

Screenshot-100Vaughn’s smile widened before taking another bite out of the bread.

“I, too, have had that unfortunate honour. You see, Mrs. Miggins is my housekeeper. She was also nanny and physician, when called for. I had her accompany me here.”

Screenshot-178“So what, may I ask, were you pilfering from the larder of our host?” He continued.

Estelle frowned a little.

“I was not pilfering anything, I was looking for the jam.”

Screenshot-103Vaughn stood again, this time beside her and rather close. His breath was hot and Estelle was distinctly aware of it as it stroked her cheeks.

“Top shelf.”

She tried not to notice the way the muscles rippled slightly in his forearm as he leaned on them, nor the bulge of bicep underneath his shirtsleeve…

screenshot-130_zps4e11a41eFor a rather unhelpful moment, she recalled seeing him without a shirt on at all. The firelight had carved out the hills and valleys of him, dousing his smooth skin in an amber sheen And his scar.

She remembered—

Screenshot-163“Well? Do you want it or not?”

Estelle snapped back to reality. Vaughn was holding the jam out to her, gesturing for her to take it.

Screenshot-162“I… um…”

She took it and quickly averted her eyes. She didn’t dare glance at his face, not when it was so close to her own.

“Thank you.”

Screenshot-134They returned to the table. Regardless of his presence, Estelle set to work and speckled a little jam on her bread. At one point, she glanced back at him to see him staring back.

His dark eyes reflected the candlelight and glinted with something completely unreadable.

Screenshot-114Estelle brought the bread and jam up to her lips and took a very large bite—

“You really should be in bed.” Vaughn said, rather seriously.

— and oh Lord, it was simply heaven.

Screenshot-158“Mmm…”

She took another bite, savouring it.

Mmmm!”

Screenshot-130The Viscount cleared his throat. When Estelle glanced up, she found he looked slightly uncomfortable. She swallowed her mouthful.

“Whatever is the matter?”  She asked, concerned.

Screenshot-192Vaughn raised his eyebrows slightly, clearing his throat again.

“I have never heard any lady enjoy their food quite so… audibly.”

Screenshot-128Estelle blinked, taken aback.

“Was I making noise?”

Screenshot-164Good God.

He had never heard a more erotic sound in all his life.  The governess, the same governess who always insisted on propriety above all things, was now sitting in front of him, mewling in subtle ecstasy.

All thanks to a bit of jam!

Screenshot-87If only she could hear herself…

… would she even know how she could stir a man’s desires?

Screenshot-76_zps79b207efHis imagination suddenly conjured images of laying her down on the table, touching her everywhere, his palms grazing gently over her, his tongue tracing the pulse at her neck, drawing desperate, fevered, frenzied sounds from her lips.

Christ.

Screenshot-169“Oh..”

He heard her say, rather surprised.

“Sorry. I had no idea. It just tastes so delicious, I—“

Screenshot-222“Don’t apologise.” He said, a little too tightly. He exhaled slowly, trying to release the tension coiled in his abdomen. Suffusing his blood. He closed his eyes for a moment.

Stop thinking about it.

Screenshot-74_zps53b752efBut his imagination had moved on. It simply would not cease.  She breathed his name, reached for him, and he would splinter her into a thousand shards; teasing, touching, over and over until they both shattered into ecstacy.

She was his.

Screenshot-200“Vaughn?”

Unthinking, his gaze rose to hers before he could banish those sinful images from his mind. He watched as she saw the look, undisguised, in his eyes. Watched as her lips, impossibly full, parted as she drew breath.

She blushed, but he doubted she even knew why.  How could she possibly know?

Screenshot-118It took all the control he possessed not to got to her then. Not to take her; touch her just as he’d imagined.

He wanted her more than anything he’d ever wanted in his entire life.

screenshot-94_zpsea1c8ad3“You and I have grown up amongst society’s gossip and intrigues, Vaughn. But Estelle has not.

Will you let it be said she is your concubine? Or worse, your whore? She will find herself an outcast among politely nodding people.”

screenshot-189_zps95ee153dAnd he remembered, suddenly, the confrontation she had forgotten. She had been disgusted at his proposition. Repelled by it. The very idea of being his mistress had repulsed her…

Screenshot-212_zps20907209She was too good for somebody like him, he knew that. He’d had many women. He’d even grown rather fond of a few, but… she was everything, and all at once. She was beautiful, intelligent, witty, brave…

And stubborn, of course. Stubborn as they came.

Screenshot-202But still… she was light and he was darker than black. He always would be. And he…

He wanted her.

Estelle’s eyes widened slightly as their gazes held.

Screenshot-168Abruptly the governess stood, breaking their eye contact abruptly, gathering her robe. Her expression was unreadable, somewhat distressed.

“I think I’ll go upstairs now. I’m… feeling rather dizzy.”

Screenshot-157Vaughn followed her to his feet. He cleared his throat again, trying to appear calm when his pulse was racing. Christ, what was he doing? He had to put a stop to this.

Let her go. He thought of Charles’ words. He thought of Lily. Now.

Screenshot-160“Would you like me to read to you?” He blurted out instead, tactlessly.

The governess blinked several times. “N-now?”

“I thought perhaps this evening.”

Screenshot-133Charles be damned, but she was his.  Fate, it seemed, had provided him with another chance. This time, he would earn her trust.

This time he would do it right.

Screenshot-175Estelle seemed to weigh up the offer momentarily, as if examining its contents for some sort of hidden trap.

“I….suppose so. Yes, that would be lovely.”

Screenshot-174“Good.”

Holy hell.

She had actually accepted.

Screenshot-172Their gazes held for a moment before she turned to leave.

“Oh, and Estelle…”

He spoke after her gently. She turned to look back to him.

Screenshot-166

“If I see you out of that bed again, I will tell Miggins to put you in a straightjacket.”

A/N: This was quite soon after the last update (for me anyway), right? I also discovered Mermaids are a part of IP, so I gave Vaughn and Estelle a little shipwrecked pirate/mermaid makeover ^^

Cute, right?

Screenshot-238

Thanks for reading, as always. ‘Til next time!


16 responses to “Chapter 33

  • parabee27

    Yayy! New chapter! I was like HOLY SHOOT THAT WAS FAST! After I saw the new chapter. At first, I was like this is definitely a fata morgana, but then I was like “click” YAY! It’s real 😀 I loved the makeovers btw. I loved the chapter, and I can’t wait for a new one. Seriously!

  • kharliah

    It’s always a good day when new Suitor chapters are up! I’m loving this new, careful attitude of Vaughn’s when it comes to Estelle. You led a horse (a very stubborn one) to water AND made him drink! haha

    • Becki

      It’s distant/rare day when Suitor chapters are up! ;P I’m happy to hear you’re still enjoying my infuriatingly slow-progressing story. Hopefully you’ll like the next chapter just as much!

  • Vinna

    OH my god, I laughed so hard at that first “mmm” face that Estelle made. It is hysterical!! Great chapter! I love the light hearted feel with that tense undercurrent between the two of them. ❤

    • Becki

      Me too! Where that face came from I have NO idea – but I just HAD to include it, so I ended up making the whole ‘jam’ thing up just to incorporate it! And yeah, I enjoyed getting a bit more light-hearted – like getting back to basics, almost. But will it last? Hmmmm….

      Thanks for reading x

  • usernamel

    Vaughn is annoying me. He can’t just act like Estelle is made of glass and pretend that makes him a good, reformed person.

    • Becki

      Hey, thanks for reading!

      It’s not that he thinks he’s a good person per se, more like he doesn’t want to face up to the consequences of his actions (again) – he’s selfish that way. So yeah, the fact that he’s taking advantage and resorted to manipulation is a little annoying. I guess it depends on how strongly you’re rooting for them to get together ^^

  • marsar2

    Aww, I always love the chemistry between these two… But I’m aftaid that pregnancy cravings + some, *ahem*… unresolved issues don’t make for a particularly good match, LOL.

    Nice, lighthearted chapter :).

  • LilyParker

    I had to smile at Vaughn’s reaction to Estelle enjoying her bread and jam a bit more than was appropriate of a ‘lady’ in those days. Of course, like any red-blooded man, his mind would go ‘there.’ He can’t give up on her. He loves … and desires … her too much. As always, you did a great job with the pics. Some of the facial expressions were priceless. 😀

    • Becki

      Thank you as always ^^ Yeah, Vaughn’s a bit torn about what to do about Estelle (after the whole ‘chat with Charles’) but, as I’ve tried to convey, Vaughn is ultimately a selfish creature and will take what he wants no matter what!

      By the way, where’s my baby challenge update?! I want!

      (P.S. For some reason chapter 34 had comments disabled (I’ve fixed it now) but I hope you enjoyed that, too!)

  • MajesticDragonfly

    Oh, I just found your story yesterday and it is absolutely stunning. I will be following and awaiting your next update with baited breath.
    I hope Vaughn wins her heart completely and proposes before learning her new title and position in society. Though they are the icing on the proverbial cake.

    • Becki

      Thank you so much! I’m really happy you’ve enjoyed so far, as I’ve really enjoyed writing Suitor!
      There will be a few more bumps on the road, but we’ll see…

  • vampireXheart

    I’m going to say it again, vaughn is distractedly handsome for a sim. I don’t know how Estelle can manage it :p

    he is sweet, now that he has seemingly let his guard down around her, same goes for her to. They both seem different somehow, Estelle isn’t fighting him every step of the way, and Vaughn is slowly giving into his desires, and not just in a lusty, romantic sense.

    • Becki

      The answer is…. she can’t! Haha.

      Yeah, they’re both slowly giving in to what they want… but will it last? Also, I’ve been catching up on the Ravenwood Legacy. I fell behind on my reading mid-way through Vivian’s generation, but I’m excited to read on without having to wait for updates (at least, for a little while ^^)!

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