Silver Service

A Victorian delight inspired by Nilla.

 

David sat in his wingback chair next to the fire and sipped his brandy. In the next room, he could see his wife slicing the cake that Cook had made for the Literary Ladies Tea. He smiled as she took the cake server out of the silver drawer.

“If she only knew where that had been yesterday,” he thought. Taking another sip of brandy, he put his attentions back to his newspaper. His wife would be busy for at least an hour with the ladies. Millicent knew better than to be much longer than that. Dinner was always promptly at 6pm.

 

 

~ ~ ~

 

“Millicent,” he started, “Would you care to join me tonight?” And what will the excuse be this time?” he thought.

Millicent blushed and shook her head no. “I… I have the menus for the week to go over with Cook and then the letters for the literary society to write. I need to be up early and wouldn’t want to inconvenience you either,” she said.

“Are you sure? It’s been ages, and I wouldn’t want to be seen as shirking my husbandly duties,” he said.

“I’m certain. Maybe next week if all goes well?” she asked.

He sighed. “Alright my dear. Would you mind terribly then if I went off to the club?” he asked.

“Oh! No, I wouldn’t mind. Please dear, as I know you enjoy the fellows at the club so much,” she answered.

“Then off to the club it is,” David said. He gave her a chaste kiss on her forehead and then called Henry to hail him a cab. She blushed again and bent her head to her needlework. He grabbed his coat and on his way out stopped by the dinning room and retrieved the cake server from the drawer. He slipped it into his pocket and headed for the door. Henry was just coming back inside from obtaining the cab.

“Cab’s ready for you sir. Any other instructions?” Henry asked.

“No Henry. I may be late, so don’t worry about staying up. I’ve got my key,” David said as he left the house.

Henry closed the door behind him.

 

` ~ ~ ~

 

If David had known what kind of woman Millicent was, he would never have married her. However, she was beautiful and came with a decent fortune. One that he was more than willing to spend elsewhere in pursuit of pleasure. Millicent had been a virgin on their wedding day and five years later, David could count the times she’d graced his bed as under two score. If it wasn’t for their son James, he’d swear he’d imagined ever having sex with her.

David had tumbled his fair share of maids as a young man and had a healthy sexual appetite. He had never expected his wife to be such a frigid asexual being. When he’d finally admitted his dissatisfaction to his brother, Paul came up with a logical solution.

“Just get yourself a mistress,” said Paul that day in the park.

“A mistress? But my wife should satisfy me,” said David.

“Not bloody likely. Most of these society women are of two sort. Whores or frigid,” said Paul.

“And what is your wife Elsa?” asked David.

“A whore in bed and an angel in public, thank god!” Paul said.

“How on earth am I going to find a mistress that isn’t poxed or an idiot?” asked David.

“Leave that to me. I’ll talk to Elsa,” said Paul.

“What! Won’t she mind? Won’t she blather all the sordid details strait to Millicent?” David asked.

“Hardly. Elsa detests Millicent. Apparently she came crying to Elsa about what a demented being you were and how you forced yourself on her,” said Paul rolling his eyes.

“Oh good grief! When did this happen?” asked David.

“About a week after your honeymoon. Elsa tried to explain the facts of married life to Millicent and was met with abject horror,” said Paul.

“That would explain why Millicent rarely invites Elsa to her Literary Ladies,” said David as a whole range of things fell into place.

“Exactly. Millicent told Elsa that she was mentally ill and should see a physician about her abnormal sexual excesses. Apparently Millicent’s mum had explained that once a year with the lights out and using that damnable nightie with a slit in front was more than any good woman should ever have to endure from her husband. Oh, and that no good woman should ever enjoy it,” said Paul shaking his head.

David nodded. “You should have heard the screams when I came into the room nude and wanted to actually see her. After five years I’ve gotten her to at least lift her night dress.”

It was Paul’s turn to nod. “I’ll send a dinner invitation round when Elsa finds someone,” he said.

 

It was more than a month before Paul sent David an invitation for dinner. As expected, Millicent couldn’t go. David kissed her goodbye and headed to his brother’s house. Upon arrival, he found the house full of people. It made his house crypt-like in comparison. David gave his coat and hat to the maid and went looking for his brother.

“Paul!” he called when he finally saw him on the other side of the sitting room.

“Ah, there you are David. Glad to see you could attend Elsa’s party even if Millicent couldn’t,” Paul said with a wink of his eye.

“Thank you for the invitation,” said David. “I-” was as far as he got before Elsa swept up to him and gave him a sisterly kiss.

“Ah David! So glad to see you. I have some delightful people to introduce you to,” she said and taking him by the arm dragged him off across the room. Thirty minutes later, David had met a dozen couples and nearly as many ladies. Sitting down at the dinner table, he found himself between two young ladies and a third one was across from him. Conversation was delightful between courses. He asked for one of the ladies to pass him the salt when the woman down the table caught his eye. Taking the salt and trying to remember what the conversation was about demanded his attention although his eye and soul was taken by the dark beauty sitting across from his brother.

After dinner while the men were enjoying their brandy and cigars, Paul walked up to his brother with a smile on his face.

“I take it that someone has taken your eye?” Paul asked.

“Yes. My two companions at dinner were charming, but who was the woman in the deep green silk across from you?” asked David.

“That would be Lillian Montgomery. Newly returned from India with her parents,” said Paul with a smile.

“Is she… would she be available?” asked David scarcely able to think.

“Oh yes. Apparently, the family came home to England to get her away from the ‘horrid influences’ of the Raj,” said Paul. “Her Aya, that’s Hindu for nanny, had been instructing Lillian in the same ways all the little princesses she’d taken care of before had been taught.”

David blinked. “What?” he asked.

“Oh please, don’t tell me you haven’t heard of Sir Richard Burton’s translation of the Hindu book of sexual desires called the Kama Sutra?” Paul asked.

“Oh my, no wonder they brought her back. How soon do they intend to marry her off?” asked David.

“Never. They want her to enter a seminary school and teach. Might as well be a nunnery,” said Paul.

“I don’t understand,” said David.

“Oh. Forgot to explain. Her parents are missionaries. Very devout and they’ve come home to run a school for the church. Up in Yorkshire or some other forgotten corner of England,” said Paul.

“And they intend to cover that exquisite creature in gray wool and lock her up in a school?” asked David.

“Yes, unless you’d like to make her your mistress,” said Paul.

It didn’t take David ten seconds to let his desires known. Paul smiled as he walked off leaving David to stand next to the fireplace.

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