The Paramount Rule – Book I

By Tanya Simmonds

(The complete novel is available for FREE on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes)

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076DB7NRM

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076DB7NRM

 

Prologue

She was a woman of the most striking beauty, her raven black hair swept back into a ponytail leaving her forehead totally exposed. Her piercing blue eyes and chiselled cheekbones were accentuated by the application of extremely heavy make-up.

She gasped with delight as she lowered her head to behold the vision between her thighs. Such a handsome young man. The fair-haired crown of his head rose and fell rapidly in unison with the soft, moist touch attending her pleasure.

As her passion grew, she gazed upon his naked back, which displayed a spattering of deep red welts of her own creation. Her gaze lingered longingly upon the sight of his chastisement as the sensation of his attentions continued to raise spasms of enchantment within her.

Her eyes rolled in a delirium of enrapture, sporadically falling upon the chains and shackles hanging delightfully from the pine wood ceiling before her.

The sensation caused her to think of a place about which she felt ambivalent. The following day she was to depart on an extended vacation in search of love. And yet she considered whether anything could compensate for the loss of the pleasure she was experiencing in that moment.

At thirty-five years of age, she was beginning to realise her sexual preferences were split between the passion of intimacy with a man, and the excitement of sadism. The delights her home offered were considerable—a veritable erotic haven facilitated by the presence of The Rule, the cruellest and yet most erotic of all doctrines. The one who served her at that moment had been one of many transgressors. The lacerated, turgid vessel of lust protruding from between his thighs quivered with urgency as the clear droplets of his cravings dripped onto the ground below.

She knew her scent intoxicated him, and his desire to allow his right hand to fall down and comfort his longings would have been all-consuming. However, he dared not.

She braced herself for the last time for the next four months she would enjoy such a cruel experience. Her loins began to convulse with passion as his soft, moist lips brought her sheath of pleasure to a crisis.

She was aware her cries of release tormented his ears, his own urges coaxing him ever closer towards the arms of madness.

For long moments, she continued to writhe in the pleasure until her convulsions began to abate. He slowed his pace in accordance with her until finally, her climax had dissipated.

She looked down as he raised his eyes to hers. It was a tender moment of the most bizarre intimacy as they lingered upon one another.

“You may leave,” she said firmly.

He stood with the solid shaft of his torment protruding before him. She glanced upon it surreptitiously before settling back into the chair, luxuriating in the moment as the faint sound of his bare footsteps receded and disappeared into the distance.

 

One

The Return

Four months later

September, 1952

Lady Selina Paris rode in the back seat of a taxi as it travelled the two-hundred-mile journey north from Dover to Charnbrook in Sherwood. Her trip had been a disappointment in terms of her latest mission of self-discovery. As such, she was reluctant to return to her family’s ancestral home, Oakpark Grange. A stunning mansion dating back to the sixteenth century, it offered a return to the unique delights which could only be found there.

Oh, the rule, she thought with delight as her taxi approached the grounds. She gazed upon the spectacle of ten acres of grassland and forestry with a sense of fondness.

Thoughts and memories took control of her body. She repositioned herself on the back seat when she felt a trickle of moisture secreting from between her thighs. She gripped her sex tightly through her skirt and bit into her lower lip as a means of bearing the frustration.

***

Olga Victoria watched the car coming closer to the mansion through the kitchen window. At forty-seven years of age, and formerly the local churchwarden, she had supported and befriended Selina’s father during the final years of his life. Having frequently cared for him in his infirmity, Oakpark Grange had ultimately become her home. Selina had taken her away from her more sanctified occupation after recognising her experience with the organisation of people, services, and community events.

Olga had managed to care for, and maintain Oakpark Grange during Selina’s extended absence. Nevertheless, nothing could have compensated for the silence and solitude.

She made her way to the front door as the car pulled up to the front entrance. She waited patiently whilst the driver carried the luggage and climbed the steps. “Leave them in the foyer,” she said curtly, considering it beneath her to converse with an underclass miscreant such as him. The persistent bulge in his groin was evidence of an unseemly erection, surely procured by his lust for Lady Selina during their journey.

He returned to the taxi and opened the passenger door for Selina. She stepped out and approached Olga with an expression of surprise. “My word, Olga, you look positively incredible. What on earth have you been up to?”

Olga had realised her original appearance had been one of modesty as befitting the former warden of Saint Gregory’s parish. In Selina’s absence, she had made the decision to transform herself into a slender, well-groomed, glamorous vision of femininity. Her emerald eyes now framed by her shapely-sculpted, sandy-coloured hair, appeared more piercing than ever before. What had caused her urge to pursue such a radical change of image continued to elude her. “Oh, my dear. You are too kind. I decided it was time for me to take a little more pride in my appearance to . . . set a good example.”

Selina glanced at her with playful suspicion in her eyes. “Most commendable, dear. Let us retire to the recreation room for a brandy, shall we?”

“Oh, it is so good to see you again. I have so missed our little discussions over a few drinks.” Olga cringed at the degree of emotion and vulnerability in her tone. She’d tried valiantly to rein it in, but, alas, to no avail. It was such a relief to have her dear friend back after so long.

They entered the house and approached the lounge. Selina stopped in her tracks and inhaled deeply. “The scent of my ancestral home is unique. Becoming re-accustomed to it is an inimitable experience.”

Upon entering the lounge, Olga approached the bar and grasped the brandy bottle with involuntary eagerness. She turned back to Selina and noticed her look of curiosity.

“Olga, is everything all right?”

“Yes, dear. Of course.”

“Well, I certainly hope so. I don’t want to think of you becoming a lush.”

Olga laughed and handed Selina her drink. “Many applications have come through the post. Are you interested?”

“I am not certain at this time. I’m considering extending my summer break to return to Italy.”

Olga looked away, dreading the thought of another month or two of solitude. “Leaving again so soon?”    

“We’ll see.” Selina sipped her drink and closed her eyes, clearly savouring the warm glow of the Napoleon spirit.

 

***

 

During the following two weeks, Selina contemplated the possibility of resuming her travels. If she were to leave again so soon, the New Year would be the time for her to consider new admissions.

Pensively, she considered her circumstances. Being privy to a fine, formal education, she had pursued teaching. Due to her own inherited wealth, she had no financial need for a vocation. However, during the 1940s, she’d devised a plan to improve the character and education of young male offspring of wealthy and powerful families, whom she considered to be the future of England. It had become her quest to teach, train, and be an inspiration to those of the upper classes that they might crush the ‘lower working class, sub-humans’, as she viewed them, into the bowels of civilisation. At all costs, she was committed to widening the chasm between the two cultures even farther.

Occasionally, within aristocratic circles, young men completed school as academic failures and without vocational ambitions. The trappings of wealth sometimes created apathy and an unwillingness by some to embrace a life of work and self-discipline. In response, Selina transformed her home into a school, which had become their last hope. She presided over their tutoring with vigour, taking them under her wing, following their failed formal education, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one.

Since her return, she had rejected many applications for admission to the school. However, one letter played on her mind. It had been sent by Lady Catherine Parmenter, an acquaintance from many years previously. Catherine had married Lord Reginald Parmenter, an old family friend, immediately following a surprise pregnancy. The letter described Catherine’s eighteen-year-old son, James, as being lazy and lacking in enthusiasm. Catherine also conveyed her extreme disturbance at the number of times she’d discovered multiple yellow stains on his bed sheets. Suspecting what it was evidence of, she had written:

. . . Would I be correct in my understanding that you are quite adept in helping to treat boys who suffer with this difficulty?

Selina smiled at the way in which her naïve old friend had written on the matter: the avoidance at all costs of the use of the dreaded ‘M’ word. She was known throughout the aristocracy for her stance on such behaviour, and her associating self-gratification with academic failure. Her views had convinced Olga to leave her life in the church behind to work with her in the service of ‘righteousness’.

She gazed passionately at the words in the letter. Just one single pupil, tutored privately?

Although her admissions were always small in number, she had never before considered the prospect of a lone male living with herself and Olga. Given that James was the son of her friend, she believed it was a particularly interesting proposition, and one that was worthy of her consideration.

The last time she’d seen James Parmenter was at a social gathering when he was eight years of age. She couldn’t call to mind the nature of the event, although she distinctly recalled what a striking boy he had been, with the most piercing, blue-grey eyes. She became increasingly intrigued and highly aroused by thoughts of tutoring him alone.  

On contemplation, she agreed to grant Catherine and her son an audience, and proceeded to compose her reply with great enthusiasm.

Two

Humiliation

Lady Catherine Parmenter and her son, James, sat in the back seat of a chauffeur-driven Bentley along the approach to Oakpark Grange. Attired in a navy blue suit and tunic, James cringed at the prospect before him. Of all the ways he might have spent a bright, Saturday morning, this was surely the most loathsome.

He glanced at his mother and felt intense scorn towards her. Adorned in a long, dark blue dress and a mink coat, her pointed features, shoulder length dark-brown hair, and tightly pursed lips, only served to exacerbate his despise. He had always considered her a fearsome-looking woman. They hadn’t spoken a word during the journey from their home, Harcourt Manor in Harrogate.

Prior to his mother receiving Selina Paris’ letter of response, he’d been unaware of the communication his mother had initiated. He felt shamed and horrified by her revelation that she believed him to be a masturbating failure. He only dimly recalled ever meeting Miss Paris. The thought of her being consulted about such a private and, indeed, shameful matter as his addiction to onanism, was chilling. Many negative emotions gripped him at that moment—apprehension, shame, a sense of self-loathing, uncertainty, and most of all, humiliation. He was a grown man who had found himself being sent away to be tutored and disciplined by an older woman, primarily regarding his personal nocturnal activities. Oh, if only I could die at this moment.

The vehicle drew to a halt at the front steps. The chauffeur stepped out and walked around to open the door for Lady Parmenter.

“Come along, boy,” she said in a sharp, caustic manner. “I haven’t got all day.”

“Yes, mother.”

They looked up the steps and saw Olga smiling warmly at them. “Welcome to Oakpark Grange, Lady Parmenter. Miss Paris is expecting you.”

“Thank you.” Catherine climbed the steps. James followed, mournfully.

Olga curtsied and introduced herself. “I am Miss Victoria, the Deputy Principal.”

“I see.” Catherine removed her white velvet gloves, slapped them into Olga’s palm, and followed her through the front door.

James noticed Olga shooting a fearsome look at their chauffeur, who remained standing beside the Bentley. “That will be all,” she said.

The irony struck him that his mother considered Olga an inferior, unworthy of consideration. In turn, Olga considered the driver unworthy of hers. The nauseating, arbitrary nature of the class system inspired a moment of contempt within him. It was all so very pathetic.

Olga led them through the hallway until they arrived at the office and knocked on the door. “Lady Parmenter and her son are here to see you, dear.”

“Thank you, Olga. Please send them in.”

They stepped inside and James froze at the sight of the stunning woman before him. Miss Paris stood behind her desk amidst her spectacle of antique furniture. The ominous presence of a knight’s armour stood just behind the desk, as though standing guard. Highly collectable antique swords he presumed were family heirlooms took pride of place on her walls.

Moreover, Selina seemed to be equally taken with him. She held her gaze upon him in a transfixed manner. “My, what a handsome young man you’ve grown into, James.”

“Isn’t he just,” Catherine said. “Radiant blue eyes, chiselled cheekbones, perfect blond hair, and youthful, rugged maturity He takes after my side of the family, of course.”

“Indeed. A beautiful sight to my eyes, I must say, and so tall. What would you say? Six feet.”

“Six feet, one inch, to be precise,” Catherine said.

James felt himself blushing and looked away. They were talking about him as though he wasn’t even in the room.

“Anyway, Catherine, how are you?” Selina said.

“Wonderful, Selina. How long has it been? Nine or ten years?”

“Oh, who’s counting? Let’s all take a seat, shall we.” Selina beckoned to two chairs set before her desk. “I understand you are suffering from a lack of focus in life, James.” Selina gazed directly and uncompromisingly into his eyes.

He was about to mumble an attempt at a response when his mother interjected. “Putting it mildly. His attitude is appalling, his academia is atrocious and, well, you are aware of . . . the other.”

Selina continued, keeping the conversation professional and confident. “I don’t foresee any difficulty with curing these ills, Catherine.”

“Oh, are you sure, Selina?”

“Of course I’m sure, dear. I have rescued many a young man from the doldrums of apathy, believe me. Such problems are most common.”

“Oh, I am so relieved to hear you say that.”

“I think it’s best to admit James to my tutoring, as soon as possible. I believe tomorrow should be spent packing all of his essentials, and have him brought here on Monday morning.”

“Monday morning? My word,” Catherine exclaimed. “How long do you believe it will take to produce a change in him?”

“Approximately twelve months, followed by a further year of advanced character training.”

Catherine clapped her hands, joyously. “Oh, how wonderful you are, Selina.”

James didn’t believe he could bear any more of this ignominy. It seemed the prospect of having his irritating presence removed for a while had elevated his mother’s mood considerably.

For the following hour, Selina and Catherine sat talking over tea and scones, discussing their mutual experiences over the last decade, and jovially reminisced over shared encounters from years past.

James became consumed with ambivalence. He loathed the thought of the humiliating situation in which he’d found himself. He was being given no alternative. He was to either comply with his mother’s humiliating proposal, or be cast out of the family home to fend for himself. Such would mean that for which he was totally unprepared—work and responsibility.

However, he was excited by the prospect of spending time with Selina. She was such an incredible-looking woman. Never in his wildest fantasies had he ever envisioned a lady who could inspire such passion within him. He continually struggled to conceal the tumescent swelling that had involuntarily appeared in his loins.

Three

The Rule

At nine o’clock on Monday morning, James carried two suitcases up Oakpark Grange’s stairwell and followed Miss Victoria to his room. Nervous trepidation gripped his heart.

“This is where you will be staying, young man,” she said.

“Thank you, Miss.”

The room appeared to be comfortable and extremely well-kept. The only feature he considered to be somewhat odd was a small hole in the door set at eye level.

After he’d disposed of his belongings, Miss Victoria turned and addressed him sharply. “Miss Paris is waiting for you in her office. I will take you to her.” Each word that fell from her mouth sounded as though she was rebuking him. He looked at her with increasing apprehension. She was a woman who was persistently blunt and to the point.

“Well, come on. I haven’t got all day.”

His heart pounded, prompting his automatic obedience.

Selina looked up from her desk at the expected knock on her office door. “Enter.”  

James entered the room with a clearly caution demeanor.

“Take a seat James.” Her gaze fell upon his hands. She noted they were similar to the hands of a pianist—broad and long fingered. My God. He must be enormous between his legs. She sensed lubrication oozing between her thighs at the thought.

He complied, although his attraction to her was evidenced by his discomfort.

“You will address me as Miss Paris. I will be responsible for your care and discipline. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Miss Paris.”

“Good. Now there are matters we must discuss regarding your conduct here,” she said in a stern and professional tone. “There are numerous rules for you to learn. However, there is one rule which is paramount, and I will spell it out now. Whilst you are under my supervision . . . masturbation is strictly forbidden.”

His eyes widened, and she knew his thoughts. Six years of experience delivering this speech had procured a cruel form of empathy with her students.  His heart was racing as she realised his worst fear in one sentence. No sexual relief for three months before the Christmas holidays. “I realise you are young and virile, but that disgusting habit will seriously affect your studies.”

He averted his eyes downwards in shame.

“I am going to help you with this problem, and I want you to answer me truthfully.” She paused momentarily, intentionally creating an unbearable moment of tension. “There will be penalties for untruthful answers, and believe me, I can tell the difference.”

He looked up at her fearfully. She stood, walked around the table, and sat upon the chair beside him. She grasped his hands and gazed into his eyes with a menacing stare. “You have my word that everything you tell me will be between us. Your mother will never be privy to this conversation.”

He nodded sullenly.

“How often do you masturbate, James?”

He bowed his head again, simply unable to respond. She knew the question was unbearable for him.

“Twice? Three times a week?” she said.

He shook his head.

“More often?”

“Y-yes Miss Paris,” he said weakly.

“Five times a week?”

“Every night, Miss Paris. Sometimes twice a day.”

“That’s a good boy, James. You see, you can confide in me.” She smiled, her voice suddenly offering warmth and a false sense of security as she caressed his palms. “And what sort of things do you think about when you do it?”

He looked at her pleadingly as though he was begging her with his eyes to spare him the question.

“Well, do you fantasise about girls? Or boys?”

He looked up at her eagerly, and she understood perfectly. He was not about to let her believe that he was ‘one of those’.

“Girls, Miss. Well . . . not exactly girls.”

“What do you mean, James?”

“Women, Miss. Older ladies.”

“I see. And what do these older ladies do to you in your dreams? Do you imagine they are masturbating you, themselves?”

“N-not exactly, Miss.”

“Then what ‘exactly’?”

She noticed perspiration forming on his brow and rejoiced inwardly at how increasingly agonising the conversation was becoming for him. How much more of this can he bear?

“I think of the older ladies doing it to me . . . with their mouths,” he said finally.

She exhaled with a triumphant smile. “I see. Don’t worry about that, James. Fantasies of fellatio are most common. Has talking about this caused you to become aroused?”

“Y-yes.”

“All right, would you stand up for me, please?” She stepped around her desk, pulled out a tape measure from her drawer, and returned to him. “Place your hands above your head, please?”

He obeyed her, and she reached forwards to caress the impressive bulge protruding through his trousers. He gasped with surprise. She unbuckled his belt and drew down his trousers to reveal his erection tenting through his undergarments. She noticed a dark, wet patch on the cotton and stroked it, producing an involuntary groan from him. “Has a woman’s hand ever touched you there before?” she said casually.

“N-no, Miss.”

“Well, one is about to now.” She gripped his underpants and peeled them down the length of his throbbing penis until it came to an end. Finally, it sprang up and slapped the underside of her chin. She took hold of it and leaned back in order to behold the spectacle and smoothed her fingers along his incredibly impressive length. “My word. There was a belief, in years gone by, that the size of a man’s penis was an indication of his pre-disposition to ungodliness.”

She recalled her penchant for well-endowed males developed during a romantic encounter with the governor of a Turkish prison, seven years earlier. She’d long since realised it wasn’t a pleasure issue that inflamed her passion for size. It was the sense of victory she found in dominating such a sterling example of masculinity.

Her hand gradually gained speed, massaging the foreskin back and forth over his sensitive crown. He whimpered as his manhood oozed pre-ejaculatory fluid in copious quantity. She used his emission as a lubricant, accentuating his pleasure. “I am doing this for a reason, James. This is a mandatory induction procedure for all new pupils. So many males are unjustifiably pre-occupied with the size of their manhood. For this reason, I decided to make provisions in order to produce a change of heart.” My, what a hypocrite you are, woman.

“I-I don’t understand, Miss.”

She looked into his eyes seductively. “Masturbation is punished here by the caning and flogging of the offender. The number of lashes or strokes you will receive is dependent upon the size of your penis.”

He shuddered.

“A rather novel way of encouraging a man who is proud of his well-endowed blessing to adopt a more humble way of thinking, wouldn’t you say? I am merely bringing you up to your maximum size, that I might acquire an accurate measurement from you.” She quickened the pace of her hand, bringing him ever closer to the point of orgasm. In her usual fashion, at the crucial moment, she ceased.

She noticed him gnashing his teeth with frustration. Reaching over to her desk, she seized her tape measure and laid it across the length of his quivering penis. “Nine-and-a-half-inches,” she said with a tone of amazement.

“Please, Miss Paris. Please let me.”

Ignoring his pleas, she snaked the tape measure around the circumference of his penis and noted the measurement. “Seven-and-a-half-inches girth. What is nine-and-a-half plus seven-and-a-half, James?”

“S-seventeen, Miss.”

“Very good. Seventeen will be the number of lashes that will be applied to both your back and to your penis if I ever catch you masturbating, or if I ever discover evidence of your spent seed.” She once again gripped his throbbing member, inwardly marvelling at the size of him. “Devil-possessed, I am sure.”

“P-please, Miss Paris. Please let me spend.”

“No, James. I am here to teach you control. Wanton relief is the antithesis of self-control. The righteous man will gladly suffer the denial of his sexual needs.” She removed her hand again. “Now, pull your pants back up and go to your room. This afternoon, we will begin by studying some classic literature.”

 

James returned to his room, quivering with adrenaline and passion. As he arrived at his bedroom door, he was greeted by Miss Victoria, who approached him in a predatory manner. He was taken aback when she casually placed her hand upon the bulge that was still evident in his trousers. The slightest stimulation caused the instant return of a full erection.

“Disgusting. You’re clearly a masturbator. In my opinion, you deserve to be castrated.” She pointed to the mysterious hole in the bedroom door. “Do you see that spy hole?”

He didn’t speak but nodded, breathing heavily.

“Well, that is used frequently by Miss Paris and I. We are often up in the night, and I can promise you, if we ever catch you trying to give yourself relief, you will regret it. You have been warned.”  

She unbuttoned his fly, reached in, and sensuously fished out his member. He began to question the reality of the situation. His mind fell into a multiplicity of emotions—extreme sexual arousal, confusion, infatuation with Miss Paris, fear of both the lady herself, and of the ogre who had just seized his manhood.

Miss Victoria proceeded to slowly masturbate him. “My, what a monster. What terrible floggings you are going to receive, my boy.” Her hand gently caressed his length, causing him to shudder with desire. “I don’t think you are going to be able to keep your hands off of this brute, are you?”

“I’ll try, Miss.”

“Yes, that’s what they all say. I see Miss Paris has caused you to become rather sticky.”

“Yes, Miss.”

“That is not good. Very bad hygiene. We can’t have you going around in that filthy state, can we? Needs a cleaning I’d say.” She knelt down and guided his stiff, thickly-girthed erection towards her lips. After several strokes of her fingers, she leaned forwards and began to clean the thick, bulbous head with an eager, flicking tongue. She pleasured him along the underside for several moments before taking him into her mouth.

He almost lost consciousness at the touch of her lips. This can’t be true. I must be dreaming. This cannot be happening. The sensation of her warm, wet mouth upon his severely aroused, highly sensitive manhood was almost beyond his ability to endure.

Miss Victoria rolled her tongue around it and moved her mouth down along the shaft as far as was possible. She built up the speed, giving him maximum stimulation.

 

As his loins entered the throes of climax, she withdrew her mouth, leaving him in torment. “That’s better. So much cleaner,” she said.

Without another word, she stood and walked a few feet away to her own room. James remained frozen where he stood, quivering with sexual urgency.

He eventually regained his senses, tucked his deflating penis back into his trousers, and walked into his room.

He lay back on his small, single bed, overwhelmed by a desperate urge to touch himself. He’d never been so sexually stimulated. He gazed at the spy hole in his door and flung his hands down to his sides, determined not to be caught in the act. Yet, the temptation was there, so hideously powerful.

 

***

 

With desperation, Olga hurriedly closed her door and bolted it, her respiration laboured. She eagerly removed her skirt and undergarments and climbed onto her bed. She parted her thighs and brought her knees up at right angles. Throwing her right hand onto her moderately hirsute, ravenous orifice, she began to rotate her middle finger around the small nub of flesh at the apex of her labia. She quietly gasped with delight. Thoughts of James’ beautiful face, his enormous tumescence, the taste of him, and the power she’d exerted over him with such cruelty, flooded her mind. Oh, the power. How wonderful that beautiful specimen felt in my mouth.

She knew she would be wracked with shame following her masturbation, but so great was her need at that moment. The scent of her own pheromone reached her nostrils as her orgasm rapidly approached. Not even her fear of the flames of eternal damnation could persuade her to stop stroking her clitoris. She bit into her lower lip so as not to cry out with pleasure and reveal the nature of her shameful action.

Wave after wave of indescribable pleasure surged through her, consuming her with its addictive compulsion. For several minutes, she caressed the fires, coaxing the last remnants of release from her body. She glorified in the sharp contrast she felt to her tortured victim.

With the fires of her passion extinguished, her sense of self-loathing came. She had always been an advocate of chastity. However, during Selina’s most recent sabbatical, she’d been driven to near-madness by the loneliness of her predicament. She’d resorted to visiting the local public houses in search of company. The temptations had tested her resolve beyond her limit. It had resulted in several nights of orgasmic pleasure at Oakpark Grange with a number of male patron drinkers. The experiences had instilled her with revulsion, feeding her disgust for sexuality and the male gender even further. She’d become tormented by her weakness for orgasm and the sensation of an erection sliding in and out of her innermost cavern. At forty-seven years of age, she had lost her virginity to a thirty-nine year old labourer and had found the first penetration rather painful. Although her shame had caused her great distress, it had not suppressed her desire to improve her own physical appearance in order to attract members of the opposite sex. Ultimately, she realised she’d become addicted to that by which she was most disgusted.

She replaced her underwear and knelt at her bedside, her hands clasped tightly together in penitent prayer, the scent of her womanhood upon her fingers repugnant to her.

Wracked with shame, she wept.

 

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