She reached the kitchen door, soaked. Shivering as much from what she had see as from the cold, she tried to shake off her umbrella.
“Here, give me that for you poke an eye out.”
Bette gave the umbrella to Mrs. Hughes.
“Now go sit by that fire and warm up. I’ll bring you a cuppa.” Mrs. Hughes directed Bette to the ‘parlour’ where the maids sat mending clothes or reading by the fire. Bette sat in a chair next to the fire and thanked Mrs. Hughes when the tea came.
“You look as if you’d seen a ghost.”
Bette blinked. How could she mention what she had seen? She just shook her head. “Just the rain. Took me by surprise.”
“Ah. Geoff drop you off by the house?”
“No, the stables. I got a little lost.”
Mrs. Hughes nodded. “Be a good girl and stay away from that end of the garden.”
Bette nodded and sipped her tea as her clothes steamed in the heat.
Bette was half asleep when someone knocked on her door. “Just a moment.” She put on her bathrobe and went to answer the door. She opened it to see Betsy standing there. “What do you need Betsy?”
“Put your slippers on and come down to Lord Duncan’s office right now.”
Bette put her slippers on and followed Betsy down the stairs. When they got to the office, Betsy knocked and then left as Lord Duncan called from inside. Bette entered and found Lord Duncan wrapped in a bathrobe behind his desk.
“Stand there Miss Evans.” His voice was brisk.
“Sir? What’s the matter?”
“What were you doing out in the garden this afternoon?”
“Geoff left me off in the stables and I was trying to get back to the house when the rain started.”
“Yes? What made you stop next to the folly?”
Bette blinked. “I… I heard a noise. Laughter then a cry. I was afraid that someone was hurt, so I went towards the door.”
“What did you see. Details.” His voice was sharp, but his tone was similar to when he asked her to observe people at the dinner.
Bette took a deep breath. “I saw naked men and women. One woman was bent over a large white stone and one man was beating her with what I think was a whip. Another woman was on her knees, and I believe she was sucking…” she faltered for a moment.
Bette went bright red. “I saw her sucking your cock.”
“No sir! I realized that I shouldn’t have seen that or been there and ran for the house.”
“Did you say anything about what you saw to anyone?”
Lord Duncan nodded. “Sit please.”
Bette sat in one of the leather chairs in front of the desk.
“Now, what did you think of what you saw. Analyze it.”
“Well, it was what I think my mum would call kinky sex.”
He nodded. “And what did you think of what you saw?”
Bette blushed red once more. “I… um… It… made me curious.”
“It made me wonder if they, you were enjoying yourselves, and then it made me wish Declan were here.”
“Well sir, I… I could ask him questions. Ask if that was normal.”
“Did it arouse you sexually?”
Bette didn’t think she could blush any harder, but she did. She couldn’t speak, but she nodded her head.
“Bette, look at me.”
Bette raised her head to meet his eyes.
“Yes, we enjoy it. It is just another form of pleasure. It can be considered kinky sex. It is consensual. Do you have any question?”
Bette blinked. She thought. “Are you going to fire me sir? Because I saw things I shouldn’t have?”
Lord Duncan smiled. “Do you want to be fired?”
“No sir! I like my job!”
“Can you hold your tongue? Not talk about what you’ve seen?
“Yes sir and no, I won’t talk.”
“Then I see no problem with continuing your employment. In fact, there are aspects of our weekend parties that your secretarial talents may be of use. Would you consent to helping me if I needed your assistance?”
Bette thought again. “Yyes sir.”
“Then back to bed!”
Bette left the room as fast as she could.
James smiled. He’d hoped that his gambit would work out. It had been bloody cold with the door open, but worth the look on Bette’s face. He’d call Declan in the morning. Right now, Marta was waiting in his bed.
Bette had laid awake for what seemed like hours after talking to Lord Duncan. She’d had sex with Declan a few times, but missionary, and not much else. She’d never seen anything like that before. She imagined it was her on her knees in front of Declan, or her bent over being spanked as she fell asleep.