DISCLAIMER: The characters in this story are mine. Any resemblance to any fictional characters is purely coincidental. This is an uber story and so the two lead characters may be familiar. Some locations contained within the story are real and some are fictional.
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This story depicts loving consensual sexual relationships between women. Some very light BDSM references are contained in the piece. If you are under 18 years of age or if the themes of these relationships are illegal in your country then I suggest you skip this story.
SONG/MUSIC DISCLAIMER: The Songs mentioned in this piece are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to my Beta reader Lee. Your help has been invaluable. For my partner Lou. Your help, love and encouragement are my inspiration. ©Jenny Frame January 2011
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jennyframe91[at]yahoo.com

The Dalton Family Saga:
Book One: The Road to Dencotte House

By Jenny Frame


Part 2

Monday morning dawned and Beth, first in as usual, had everything set up the way Alex liked it and had a pastry on Alex's desk for her breakfast. When she had been in the bakers this morning she bought a couple of boxes of cakes, knowing there was a big meeting of the trustees today. When Alex arrived through the door Alex had a bunch of flowers grasped in her hand.

"I thought the flowers from last week were looking a bit tired next to the sink and to thank you for your company on Saturday. I hope you like them."

"They're wonderful, thank you. You spoil me you know. I don't think anybody else has an employer like you," she said as she sniffed the bouquet.

"You're easy to spoil and you take such good care of me too." said Alex pointing to the pastry on her desk she could see through the open door.

"The meeting's at 10 o'clock to 12 today then I have to take them out to lunch. So just take your lunch and lock up when you like. I'd much rather be eating your sandwiches here than making small talk. At least Poni will be there. If she wasn't there I don't know how I'd cope!" Alex sighed.

"I'll give you a shout when they start arriving. Now go and eat up you breakfast My Lord," Beth said in a mockingly stern voice.

"Anything you say little bit!" she said with a slight bow and a flashing smile.

Beth smiled and shook her head at Alex's antics.

Half an hour later a knock came to the outer office door and Poni put her head round the door. "Miss Bentley?" she inquired.

"Yes, do come in, and call me Beth, please, " she said raising from her seat.

"Then you must call me Poni. So you are the lovely young lady that has become my wife's new best friend? It's a pleasure to meet you," Poni said taking Beth's hand and kissing it like the perfect gentleman.

"Yes. I am really glad to have met your wife. She has been so kind to me."

"Well you must be a fine young woman because my wife is very particular in choosing her friends. Is that old fool in?" Poni inquired just as Alex came out of her office.

"I heard that! You broken down old nag. You're early?"

"I thought I'd come early to make sure I got the time to meet the charming Miss Bentley and perhaps tell her a few things about you," she smirked.

"Beth don't listen to a word this reprobate tells you," Alex said as they continued their lighthearted bantering.

Beth watched them highly amused. They seemed like siblings, arguing but loving every minute of it.

Poni was lovely. She could see why Lotty adored her and couldn't wait to see them together.

"We had better go through to the conference room and get organised before the rest get here Poni. Could you show them through as they arrive, please Beth?" Alex asked.

"No problem," Beth replied.

Alex and Poni sat at the head of a long oak conference table. There were ink blotters, pens, and paper at each place. They were sorting through some papers when Poni said, "She seems a fine girl Alex. I see a huge difference in the office and in you." Alex grunted only half listening. "She's very beautiful and would make someone a wonderful wife," Poni said hinting. Alex turned and looked towards Poni at this comment.

"Leave it Poni! She's a friend. I don't want you to imply anything in front of her ok!" Alex said forcefully.

"Calm down Alex. I just said she was beautiful. Being a bit defensive aren't you? You like her don't you? That's it, isn't it? Do you have feelings for her?"

"I said to leave it Poni! Whether I like her or not is immaterial. She's 19 years old and I'm 28. She would be appalled if she knew my history with women. She knows nothing of the kind of life we lead and I don't want her feeling uncomfortable around me. So keep your comments to yourself around her," Alex reiterated.

"Ok, it's your call old man, but I think you need to give yourself a break. You've changed recently and you only behaved the way you did because you were afraid. Maybe it's time to stop being afraid and just live Alex."

Just as Alex opened her mouth to reply, the door opened and Beth showed in some of the trustee's that had arrived. While the meeting was going on, Beth was preparing the tea and cakes. She hadn't told Alex she was doing this and hoped she would approve. She had got hold of a tea trolley from the second hand shop down the road thinking it would look better to any visitors to the Foundation. With everything prepared she wheeled the tea trolley to the meeting room and knocked.

"Come," Alex said puzzled as to why Beth would be coming into the meeting.

Beth came through the door pushing the tea trolley. "Tea and cakes as you ordered Alex." Giving Alex the credit she thought would look good to the other board members and she hoped Alex would go along with it.

"Ah ... yes, of course, do come in."

One of the board members, Mr. Rex Davies eyed Beth as she attended to the tea things. Rex Davies was a short balding man, who wore what was left of his hair combed over, in a vain attempt to hide the baldness. He wore a garish tie and his suit was straining to keep him in. He owned a small manufacturing firm. Alex barely tolerated him as he was a social climber and was only involved in the charity to get some brownie points to go towards a knighthood. He thought riding on Alex's coat tails was an easy way to do it. He despised everything that Alex had, money, titles, and her just a woman.

"Alex! You kept this pretty treasure hidden! And who are you my dear?" He leered.

"I am Beth, Alex's secretary." She felt repulsed by the sweaty little man and returned to passing round of the tea things. All the other board were engaged in chit chat while they drank there tea. As Beth bent over the table with the cake plate Rex stared down her blouse and stroked her hand.

"Would you allow me to take you to dinner my dear? I am sure we have a lot in common," he said while licking his lips.

When Alex looked up and observed what was taking place, a ball of rage consumed her being. That greasy, vile little man was touching her Beth! Her Beth she repeated in her in mind. She went to stand up to go and throw the vile little man out the building when Poni grabbed her hand and said quietly, "No! Not here. Don't embarrass the poor girl. Trust her to handle it."

Alex sat back down slowly still boiling over.

Beth wasn't sure how to reply or how to get out of it. She finally decided on a small white lie. "Thank you for your invitation sir, but I am stepping out with someone at the moment and I don't think they would take very kindly to me going out with you."

"I hope he realizes how lucky he is. I'm prepared to wait and I'll keep trying. I'm sure your young man can't compare to a gentlemen who owns his own business," he said smugly.

Beth just smiled politely and went to leave the room. Rex turned his head and looked towards Alex and was met by eyes of cold hard steel. He quickly looked down to his papers, his hand shaking. As Beth left she looked up at Alex and saw fury on her face. Had she caused this? She was terrified she had done something to make Alex look like that and rushed out the door.

Half an hour later Alex looked her watch. "Well Gentlemen, I think that's all for this month. If you'll make your way to The Ritz Hotel, I have booked a private dining room for lunch. I'll follow you shortly."

As the men funneled out Alex called out, "Mr. Davies! A word with you if you please"

He turned and came back into the room. Poni stood and said softly, "Alex, think carefully what you do here." As Poni was very aware of her friends temper.

"Poni, please. Everything will be fine. Excuse me and I'll see you outside. Ok?" Alex said firmly. Poni gathered her things and left the room.

Rex had stayed beside one of the chairs in the middle of the table. He was grasping the chair nervously hoping for some sort of support. Alex with her hands in her pockets slowly stalked over like a predator until she was looking down at Rex with cold hard eyes. Rex started to shake. Alex grabbed Rex's tie, which was sitting loose and squint and said as she fixed it for him slowly. "Mr. Davies, if I see you touching or making overtures towards my secretary again it would be extremely hazardous to your health. Do we understand each other Rex?" As she said this she pushed his tie up until it was slightly too tight and choking him.

"Yes ... of course ... Alex, I won't even look in her direction," he stuttered.

"Excellent choice Rex, now I expect you're far too busy this afternoon to join us for lunch, I take it?" She said staring even more directly into him.

"Emm... yes, better get back to work. Lots of matters need attending to."

Alex put a firm hand round his shoulder and then patted him a bit too firmly on the back and saw him out the door. "Good day to you then Rex." She said in the hallway as Poni looked on.

Alex turned to look at Poni and with a raised eyebrow, "See, he is perfectly unharmed."

"Unharmed maybe, but he looked terrified," she smiled.

"Hmm, I have no idea why. Just give me a minute to tell Beth we're going." Alex popped her head round the door. "We're heading off now Beth. I don't know when I'll be back if at all. If not, just lock up ok?" Her tone was a bit sharp from still being angry from earlier.

"Yes, of course, have a good lunch," Beth said meekly.

Beth was left to her own thoughts. What had she done to cause such anger that she saw in Alex's face.

'I thought I had done a good thing by bringing in tea and cakes. Perhaps I had overstepped the bounds of our friendship. Perhaps I presume too much. I must never forget she is my employer.' She decided to take lunch a little early, so she got ready and went over to the park to sit on her favorite bench. She took out her copy of Pride and Prejudice and began reading. 'Mr. Darcy always makes me feel better!' She had been reading for about 20 minutes when she felt a presence and the voice that always gave her a nasty chill down her spine.

"Good afternoon Beth, how are you today?" Albert Pincher asked. He had decided he wasn't going to give up as easily as usual. He wanted this young perfect creature, he deserved her, and she would be his.

"Good afternoon Mr. Pincher," Beth said refusing to use his Christian name.

Albert sat down a little too closely to Beth. The feel of him beside her made her squirm.

"Will you come out with me one evening? I really like you Beth You're exquisite. I think we would be perfect together," he said as he moved closer and closer to her.

She pulled away as much as she could. "Mr. Pincher, I'm really not interested in getting involved with a young man at the moment. I'm just in a new job and haven't the time for anything else," said Beth, grabbing for any sort of excuse to get rid of this oily weasel.

Albert was turning red as he became enraged. "You would turn me down! I'm a good catch for you! I'm an apprentice draughtsman and in a few years I'll be making good money, enough to look after a wife very well! You're just a secretary. You won't get a better offer!" he spat.

Beth was gob smacked at this sudden outburst of anger and aggressiveness. She felt threatened and wanted to get out there as quickly as possible.

"Mr. Pincher, please don't create a scene. I have given you my answer; now please let me go back to work." She got up quickly and rushed back to the office never looking back.

Albert watched her rush away; the fury he had felt only a minute ago was replaced by a cold determination.

'You will be mine Beth. Have no fear about that. You just don't know what's good for you yet. But you will.'

The young girls fear had made him even more excited to have her. He couldn't wait to feel that young body writhing under him, resisting. Oh it would be exquisite. He felt himself grow hard at the thought. 'Soon my sweet, soon.'

Beth had settled back into her work with a feeling of unease after her encounter at lunch time and it had only made worse her feeling that she had done something to upset Alex. A few hours later Alex arrived back at the office, feeling much better after some time away, a talk with Poni, and a few drinks. The feeling of overwhelming jealousy she had felt at the meeting had frightened her. She had not realized the depth of her growing feelings towards the girl. She thought she had better head back to the office before going home as she may have been a bit short with Beth on the way out and wanted to make sure she was ok. She entered the outer office and said, "Hello, things going alright this afternoon?"

"Yes ... fine," she hesitated.

Alex cocked an eyebrow and wondered about Beth's worried tone. "Is everything ok with you little bit?" She asked as she stepped closer towards her secretary.

"Oh Alex ... I am sorry. I don't know what I did to upset you but I'm sorry! So sorry!" she cried, tears running down her face.

Alex took Beth in her arms and stroked her hair as the girl's face rested on Alex's chest. "Shhh! Calm down little bit, what's wrong? You've done nothing to upset me," she said as she continued to sooth Beth. The strain of her worry over Alex and the fear she had felt with Albert in the park came gushing out.

"I ...I ... I," Beth spluttered.

Alex pulled her tighter. "Calm down sweetheart, take some deep breaths and tell me."

Beth breathed deeply, inhaling the scent of Alex. Strong, spicy and woody mixed in with aftershave. This calmed her down a good bit. "I ... I brought teas and cakes in and handed them round. I thought it was a good idea, honestly Alex, then that sleazy Mr. Davies was trying to chat me up and then when I was leaving I looked up at you and you looked so angry at me and I must of done something and I've been racking my brains to think what I could of done but I can't think what I've done. I never want to disappoint you! You've been so kind to me and if you just tell me I'll make it right!" Beth cried.

Alex felt so guilty at having given Beth this impression. She would have to tell a half-truth to conceal her true feelings. "Oh no, please forgive me for letting you think that!" she said as she kissed Beth on top of the head and cuddled her as tight as possible. "I saw that cad Rex slobbering all over you and it made me mad! You are such a wonderful, respectable girl," she said as she turned the girl around in her arms and cupped her face in her hands.

"No one should touch you without your permission and take liberties with you little bit. I had a chat with him and he will never bother you again." Alex's hands were covered with Beth's and they stared into each other's eyes, their faces getting closer. Just then Alex regained her senses and pulled away. She cleared her throat and began to light a cigarette. "So you see you have nothing to worry over, ok?"

Beth pulled herself together, astonished at what had nearly happened. They could have kissed so easily. It was going to happen then Alex pulled away. She also knew she couldn't tell Alex about Albert, she was sure it would make her very angry,

"Thank you then for defending my honour, Alex."

"You can always count on me, now what say we knock off early and I drive you home?"

Alex dropped her off then drove over to Poni and Lotty's in need of some company.

Later that night Beth sat in the parlour with Agnes. They were listening to the wireless while warming themselves by the fire. It was a very cold November night but Beth was filled with warmth as she remembered being taken in Alex's arms this afternoon."No one should ever touch you without your permission and take liberties with you." Alex had said.

"He will never bother you again." 'I have never felt so safe, so protected as I did at that moment. Those blue eyes of hers, seem to see something and somewhere in me that no one ever has. She was so angry. Was that anger merely that of defending a friends honour? Or was it more? Is she feeling the things I am?

What is it I am feeling? Am I falling in love? I truly thought she was going to kiss me.'

Then Beth realised. 'I wanted her too. Badly.'

"Beth, Beth are dreaming?" Agnes interrupted.

"Oh sorry, I was just thinking. What did you say?"

"What are you going to wear to this fancy evening on Saturday at the Woodward's?"

"I have no idea? How can I compete in that circle? I know Lotty would never think anything less of me. She's certainly not a snob but I don't know who else is invited and I want to look nice."

"I have an idea. I know a little second hand shop that gets in a lot of designer dresses. We could have a look, and if you find something then I could adjust it for you. What do you think?"

"That sounds like a great idea Agnes, thank you. You're such a good friend." Beth stood up and gave Agnes a warm hug.

I close my eyes I think of you,

I take a step I think of you,

I catch my breath I think of you,

I cannot rest I think of you.

(Looking out - Brandi Carlile )

Alex didn't know what to do with herself she'd nearly ruined everything with Beth. Her feelings were ripping her apart. Maybe it's just my libido talking? she thought. I haven't been with a woman in so long and maybe that's why I am so fixated on Beth and can't stop thinking about her. She decided what needed to be done and rushed home to her flat. She went into her wardrobe and collected what she needed, a strap on rubber dildo.

Rubber ones had only recently become available, before that they had been made of leather. They were hard to get hold of, but of course Alex had her sources. The advantage of rubber meant they were more lifelike. They had a better feel, and of course the colour was closer to skin pigmentation. They were meant to be attached to a leather harness but Alex didn't like the feel of a clumpy leather belt under her trousers and had it made to measure with elastic used instead of leather strap.

The piece of elastic was so thin that it could not be seen through her clothes and when a woman touched her bottom they would hardly notice it. It fit perfectly.

Alex loved her dildo, her cock as she referred to it. This was how she always had sex. She loved to fuck a woman, to feel the power and dominance. She could orgasm with her cock without any clitoral stimulation and had never allowed a woman to be inside her. The very thought made her shiver. The rush she got as she made the woman she was with beg for her cock, beg her to release them, gave her the greatest pleasure.

She was ready and packing as she left to drive to the Alley Cat. She was sure all she needed was a quick encounter then she would be back to normal and able to become Beth's friend. By the time she arrived at the Alley Cat she was throbbing, this wouldn't be one of her long encounters. She would achieve her goal and get out she thought as she walked towards the bar pushing down her feelings of self-loathing. 'You need to do this! You know you do', she tried to tell herself. Stepping to the bar, she ordered a drink and lit a cigarette.

Sally had seen her target entering the club looking agitated. Her heart jumped for joy when she saw the bulge in Alex's trousers. 'You've come prepared, good boy! I knew you'd be back', she thought as she started to wander over to the bar. "Buy me a drink handsome?"

"Sure, whatever the lady's drinking barman." Alex would break her own rule of never going with the same woman twice by choosing Sally, but at least she would know what to expect and they could get quickly to point of the evening.

Sally sipped her drink, put her hand on Alex's knee and trailed her fingers up to the bulge in Alex's trousers. "I haven't seen you in a long while. I see you have come prepared for all eventualities." Her hand lingered dangerously near Alex's crotch.

Alex's clit pounded at Sally's touch near her cock. 'I need this. I need this!' She tried to convince herself. Sally leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Fuck me Alex! Fuck me hard please?" That did it Alex grabbed Sally's arm and dragged her off to the toilets. Sally beamed with a look of victory on her face.

When they got in the toilets, the stalls were empty and Alex pushed Sally into a cubicle and up against the wall. She grabbed Sally's breasts forcefully and gave her a bruising kiss. This would not be a gentle coupling. Sally put her hand on Alex's cock. "I knew you would be back. I was waiting on you my sweet"

Alex stopped holding her. "No talking! Let's just do this." She didn't want to be reminded she was doing this with this woman. Sally wriggled from her grasp and lowered herself onto her knee's. She slowly undid Alex's belt and zipper, and pulled out her cock. She stroked the length of it and started licking and sucking it, taking it all the way into her mouth.

Alex moaned and brought her hands down onto Sally's head holding her and guiding her. As she looked down she saw images of Beth's smiling face before her eyes. She felt dirty but she needed to do this. She would just get it done quickly. She pulled Sally up and pushed her back against the wall. Pulling Sally's dress up, Alex was not surprised to see she was not wearing underwear. She looked in Sally's eyes just as she was going to enter her and Alex's mind was filled with more images of Beth laughing across the dinner table when they had went out.

"Stop, turn round and bend over." Maybe if she didn't have to look at Sally's face she could do this.

"Ooooo yeah! I love to be fucked from behind." Sally bent over and spread her legs, she was soaking and she needed to be Alex's so badly.

Alex pushed up her dress again and put her cock at Sally's opening, teasing her before she would thrust into her. Sally knew what would speed Alex up. She turned round, looked her in the eye and said in a pleading voice. "Fuck me My Lord!"

Alex froze. That was what Beth called her. Her sweet, innocent Beth. Her insides turned to ice and her libido deserted her. She felt sick at the thought of what she had nearly done. She pushed Sally away as she was pulling her boxers and trousers up as quickly as possible.

"What's going on? Why have you stopped?" Sally asked frantically.

Alex ignored her as she finished buckling her belt. She reached to unlock the toilet door when Sally grabbed her arm. "Tell me what's wrong, what did I do?"

Alex pulled back from the door, took Sally's hand off her and stared her right in the eyes. "I told you before. Never call me My Lord! Only people that I love call me that! Don't ever touch me again!" Alex slammed out of the cubicle angrily.

"Please Alex! I'll do anything! I'm meant to be with you!" she shouted.

Alex almost ran out the toilets and out of the club. She threw up in the gutter, Alex was so disgusted with herself and ashamed. She got in her Jag and drove straight to Poni's.

Alex had arrived at Poni's door at 6 o'clock in a panic and needing help. Luckily Lotty was at one of her orphanage charities evening meetings. Alex didn't think she could face her, in this state. Poni had taken her into her downstairs study for privacy. There was a large oak desk, some bookcases, and a warm fire burning in the fireplace. Poni stood by the fire watching Alex sitting at the desk with her head in her hands.

"I can't live like this anymore Poni. I am so ashamed. I want to be the person Beth thinks I am not that person in the toilet of the Alley Cat!" She exclaimed after telling Poni the whole story. "But am so scared. I thought I would calm down if I got some companionship but that's not enough anymore."

She went on to tell her what had happened this afternoon with Beth. "I nearly kissed her Poni! I came so close. It's getting worse. She would have realised my feelings and left me. I'm getting in too deep. I've never been in love; I don't know how to handle this!" Alex said desperately.

"Ok, take a deep breath and calm down old friend. Let's think about this logically since the emotions scare you so much. If this was a perfect world, you had no worries over your feelings, and you weren't scared or concerned about bringing Beth into this lifestyle. What would you do? Think about it for a second and answer honestly." Poni said.

Alex took a deep breath. "I would tell her I love her more than anything. She would love me back. I would ask her to marry me and I would take her in my arms back to Dencotte , make her Lady Dalton, and never let go! I would give her everything."

Poni came and sat on the corner of the desk. "It seems to me that the only thing that is stopping that dream from happening is your fear. You are the only one who can control that. I know what losing your parents did to you, but if you live your life in fear of losing the love you have for her, you aren't really living. Up until you met her, you've not been living Alex, merely existing. If you take that leap and give your love then you will know happiness you haven't dreamed of. I know bad things happen, but would you rather live say 20 years in love with that beautiful girl as your wife and then either one of you lose each other than never to have experienced it?

We all die Alex, we all have to leave each other but it's what you do while you're here that matters. You could make that girl the happiest women in the world. I know it's risky and you don't know how she will respond, but life is risky and love is worth taking the chance on. I know, Lotty has made my life complete." Poni said putting her hand on Alex's shoulder.

Alex looked up at her and smiled. "When did you get so wise?"

"I've been learning from my wife while you've been working so hard! She's a knowledgeable woman or so she tells me." Poni chuckled.

This made sense to Alex and her heart started to beat faster at the thought of a life with Beth. Could she allow herself to take this risk for a chance at happiness? As she thought, she finally said "If I were to take this risk, how do I know she feels the same?"

"You don't. That's the chance you take. You ask her, but I saw the way she looked at you at the office. I would say the girl is smitten?" Poni said.

Alex considered all the alternatives but did not think she could continue living, keeping her offer of love away from her little bit of a Spitfire. "I'm willing to try and see if she will accept me, but I must tell her about my past, the womanising, and the immoral ways in which I have behaved. She must know all of me before she can make her choice. I'm so much older than her and she is so innocent. She's never even stepped out with a boy back in her village. I would hate to think she felt pushed into anything. She must come to me. If she comes to me and tells me this is what she truly wants, then I will give her everything and she will have me for the rest of my life." Alex said decidedly.

Poni smiled. "Well then, can I suggest a very traditional course of action? Court her. If you insist she comes to you then court her, take her out, treat her like a princess, have fun and laugh together, woo the girl! It's the basis of a long lasting relationship. That way you're not telling her how you feel outright, but you're giving her an idea that you want to spend your time with her, spoiling her and romancing her. She will come to you I'm sure and if a relationship is not something she desires it gives her a chance to pull back to friendship. Once she knows you much better then tell her of your past at that time and she can see how you have changed."

"That is an excellent idea. I will show her such a wonderful time she will never want to leave me. I'm willing to take the chance Poni, I can't live without trying. Thank you old friend." Alex said as she stood up and hugged Poni.

"First things first, can I invite her to the dinner you're having on Saturday night?" Alex asked.

Poni smiled with a sneaky smile on her face. "I'm afraid you can't do that. She's already invited. The dinner was originally just for you and her. Lotty's idea to bring you two closer."

"Why didn't you tell me? Why keep it a secret?"

"At that point Alex you refused to even see her outside of work for fear of growing more attached to her. Are we forgiven?" Poni pleaded with a pout.

"Of course, you two truly are the greatest friends one could ever have."

Poni walked over to the whiskey decanter and poured some out for them both. "Well then let us plan the courtship of Miss Elizabeth Bentley!" Poni said triumphantly.

The next day at the office felt as if they were getting back to normal. Alex was a lot calmer now that she had decided on her plan of action. She wandered out from her office and stood behind Beth as she was seated at her desk, and pretended to look at the papers she was dealing with over her shoulder, she leaned further in and said into the girl's ear, "Is there anything I can help you with? I'm a bit of a loose end." She felt Beth shiver at her close proximity and smiled as she walked around to the front of the desk and sat.

Beth's heart was racing; her attraction to this tall woman was growing stronger and stronger. She still hadn't had a chance to speak to Lotty about her feelings yet. She thought she better say something quickly so as not to betray her herself. "There must be something in that office of yours that can keep you out of mischief my lord?" she asked teasingly.

"Not a thing, little bit. It's because of your wonderful efficiency that I am bored with nothing to do. Ah! I know! I shall make us tea!" Alex said jumping up and clicking her fingers.

Beth laughed. "You! My noble Lord Dalton! Making tea! I doubt you've ever boiled a kettle in your life!"

"You have such little faith in me, dear Beth?" Alex said enjoying the playful banter going back and forth between them. This was exactly what she had planned when she came out to speak to Beth. She wanted to show her a side of herself that normally only Poni and Lotty saw.

"Well perhaps you are right, but there is a first time for everything is there not, my little bit?" she said as she turned towards the sink and started filling the kettle smiling to herself. She had added the word "my" to little bit deliberately again testing Beth's reaction to the boundaries of their relationship.

Beth was astonished at this jovial behavior from Alex and liked it very much. Alex should relax more often. Had she said 'my little bit'? She had! She was sure of it. Is that the how Alex saw her? She wished it was.

Alex brought over the tray. "See, I haven't done too badly have I?"

"I'm sure it's fine Alex."

"I would wait until you've tasted it before you say that. Anyways, shall we take our break?"

Beth smiled and started to pour the tea for them.

"I understand you are to be attending Poni and Lotty's dinner party with me?" Alex asked.

"Oh, are you going as well?"

"We are the only guests I believe. I wondered if you would like me to pick you up and escort you there?"

"That would be lovely Alex." said Beth suddenly much more relaxed at the thought of going to this grand dinner party with an ally.

"I am going to buy a dress on Saturday morning. Agnes knows of a shop where they sell evening gowns in excellent condition and then she can alter it quickly before the party." Beth said excitedly but a bit embarrassed at have to make do with seconds.

Alex knew that 'in excellent condition' meant second hand. This beautiful young woman deserved to be dressed in the finest handmade gowns and silks, but she also knew it was too early in her courtship of Beth to offer to buy her a dress. Beth was very proud and it marked her out from other woman that she could meet at the Alley Cat. Many of the women who had tried to catch her there wanted nothing more than money and would be delighted to be her paid mistress. Thus another reason why she never saw the same woman more than once. She hoped one day when the time was right she would be able to lavish beautiful things on Beth.

She thought of an idea. "Saturday morning is a bit late to start any alterations. Why don't you take tomorrow afternoon off and go shopping with Agnes? It will give you more time and be less of a panic for you. I will give you your wages for the week early to help with your purchase."

"Oh ... well, thank you. That would be wonderful Alex. You really are too good to me you know." Beth said shyly.

"Not at all? Mind you, I am a wonderful employer aren't I?" Alex asked fishing for compliments with a roguish smile.

"The very best of employers, My Lord!" she agreed.

Alex looked at her watch. "Well time for lunch I think." Alex waited for Beth to get her coat and go for her daily excursion. When she didn't move Alex asked, "Are you not going out today? You always do. Where do you go by the way? If it's not too personal a question, I've always wondered."

Beth did not want to tell Alex the reason why she wasn't going out the office today, fearful that Albert's advances would upset Alex. The encounter with Albert had shaken her up more than she first admitted and she just didn't have the nerve to have another confrontation with him. "I always go to the park and sit on a bench overlooking the pond and read. I just thought I'd have a change today. No reason," she lied.

"If you would change your mind, I would love to accompany you and get some fresh air with my sandwiches for a change."

Beth couldn't very well refuse without telling the truth. "That would be lovely Alex."

"Very well, you go ahead while I sign those last couple of letters you left on my desk and I'll post them on the way out. I'll just be 15 minutes, see you soon."

Beth reluctantly got her things together and started to make her way. She just hoped Albert would not make an appearance today after their crossed words.

Beth sat down on her favourite bench and brought out Pride and Prejudice nervously looking both ways hoping not to see Mr. Pincher. When she saw the coast was clear. She opened her book and read a page when she felt a shadow looming over her. She looked up smiling, expecting the tall presence of Alex, only to find herself looking at the sneering face of Albert.

"Good afternoon Beth, perhaps today you will give me a positive answer to my polite requests for you to step out with me. You know it is inevitable. You will go out with me. You will meet me here at 7 o'clock tonight. I'm fed up pussy footing around you Beth. I've tried to be nice but my patience has grown thin." He said as he grabbed Beth's wrist and tightened it. "You will meet me tonight. You will have the pleasure of cooking for me at my flat and bring a change of clothes, you will be staying." Albert squeezed tighter.

Beth stared into his dead eyes. They terrified her. He looked like he was capable of anything. She snapped. "I will not go out with you and stay the night with you? What do you take me for? A cheap whore!" Beth spat.

The grip on her wrist was now very painful and made her gasp. Albert drew his face down closer to Beth, his stinking breath in her face. "You will be whatever I decide you to be. You are my whore! If you do not cooperate you will disappear. You have no family and no one will miss a little slut like you."

"How do you know about my family?" Beth panicked.

"I know. That's all you have to know. You flaunt yourself at me every day in this park. I've seen the way you look at me, the way you push you breasts out at me. You want this. You just play this little game with me pretending you don't want it, but know what you want and you're going to get it over and over again." He said menacingly.

Beth was crying now. He was insane! How did he know so much about her? How did he know she had no family? Just then Albert was pulled off his feet by his collar, his arm pushed up his back.

"What the hell are you doing! Put me down! You vicious creature! I'm talking to my girlfriend!" Albert said struggling for breath.

Alex ignored him and looked at Beth who had jumped up from the bench. "Beth stay here and don't move ok? I will be back presently. Everything will be fine." Alex said as she frog marched Albert over to the alcove at the bottom of the office stairs. She slammed him against the wall and pouched him in the stomach.

"You want some attention from a lady? Try me for size. Take your best shot," she shouted.

"You unnatural bitch!" he screamed as he swung a wild punch.

Alex ducked and aimed another crushing blow to Albert's nose.

"Argh!!! You've broken my nose bitch! I'll get a policeman!" he screamed.

Blood poured down his face. He squealed and Alex grabbed him again and threw him against the wall. With her forearm across his throat, her cold blue eyes stared into him. "And who do think a policeman would believe? Hmm ... a little rat boy like you or Lady Alexandria Dalton?"

Alex didn't often use her status as a threat but this situation warranted it.

"Now listen to me carefully you low life bastard! That girl out there is under my protection! If you come anywhere near her again let alone touch her, you will be begging me to put you out of your misery to end the pain! Do we understand each other, Rat boy?" Alex wasn't shouting now but this low menacing voice and murderous look was much worse.

Albert truly believed that Alex would kill him in a minute without a second thought. He developed a wet patch on his trousers around his groin.

"Answer me, Rat boy!" She pushed her forearm further into his wind pipe.

"I ... I ... understand ...pppplease l ... let me go," he begged.

Alex released him and said." Run along Rat boy. It looks like you could use a change of trousers," Alex smirked.

Albert ran as fast as his legs could carry him.

Alex straightened her tie and tried to tidy herself up. She walked as quickly as she could back to the park. Beth trembled as she waited at the gate of the park, frantically looking for Alex. She wanted to go after her, but she didn't want to go against what Alex told her to do. Finally, she saw the older woman walking across the street. Alex bounded over to her and held her tight.

"Oh Alex! Are you alright? What happened?" She said sobbing.

Alex was glad the park had been quiet this afternoon. "Shhh! Now little bit, calm down. Come, let's go sit on the bench." Alex guided her over never letting her go. When they sat Beth cuddled in Alex's chest and began to cry uncontrollably.

"Alex, it was awful. He hurt my wrist and the vile things he said he wanted to do to me!"

"Please, take a breath. I'm here now and, no one will ever hurt you. I will protect you always. I want you to tell how this came about and then I will tell you how it will be resolved," she said pulling Beth tighter to her.

To any passerby they looked like a pair of lovers canoodling in the park. Beth recounted how she had met Albert at the park on her very first day and how he had bothered her ever since, as his obsession grew she explained how he began to frighten her.

"Why did you not tell me this was going on?" Alex said sternly.

"I didn't want you to be angry Alex, after how it made you so upset when Rex Davies touched me," Beth admitted. "I don't ever want to bring you pain Alex, I care for you too much."

Alex cupped Beth's head in her hands. "I get angry because I feel protective of you and I care Beth. I want to look after you. I want you to promise me you will never keep something like that a secret from me again. You're my friend and the best thing in my life. Promise me Beth."

"I promise Alex. I give you my word." She took Alex's hand from her face and grasped it. She saw blood on her knuckles and her shirt. "Now please tell me what happened Alex"

"Mr. Pincher and I had a conversation and the upshot of that was that he promised he would never come near you again. Your safe little bit," and she kissed Beth on the temple.

"I know there is more to it Alex, but I trust you to handle the situation. I always feel safe with you," she whispered.

Alex stood and pulled her up. "What say we go back to the office and I'll make my second ever pot of tea for you then I'll drive you home. There will be no more work today."

Beth nodded her agreement suddenly exhausted. She took Alex's offered arm and they walked back. They sat around Beth's desk drinking warm tea. Alex had put a bit of brandy in it to try and calm Beth down a bit.

"You've ruined your shirt you know."

"It doesn't matter, I have many more."

Trying to change the subject to more light hearted matters Alex said. "What was the book you were reading in the park?"

"Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen is my favourite author. I've read them all but this one's the best. I've lost count of the many times that I've read it. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's love story is just wonderful and Mr. Darcy is the ultimate romantic hero." She looked into Alex's eyes. "He's dark and brooding and remote, but underneath it all he is extremely moral with fine principles. He just needed the right woman to see beneath the stoic facade and bring it out of him."

Alex met Beth's eyes and they were caught in a moment together. They both knew she wasn't talking about Mr. Darcy, she was talking about Alex.

"Well I hope you get your Mr. Darcy one day." Alex smiled. "What say I drive you home now?"

Beth knew she had already met her Mr. Darcy.

That night Beth sat in the parlor with Agnes drinking cocoa. She thought back to the events of the day. Everything seemed to happen today, it was almost too much for her brain to process. Alex is such a complex person. She is so gentle and caring with me, but in an instant can turn into a wild beast when something or someone she cares about is threatened. 'It should frighten me, shouldn't it? No she could never hurt me, I know it. How does she care for me? As a sister? with no one else to care for me does she just feel responsible for me? Or as a man would care for a woman?

She was fiercely protective of me today and it always seems to anger her more when someone else touches me. That could be a clue. Maybe she doesn't want anyone else to touch me? Oh I hope so! I f she could only see me as a grown woman and not a girl.

Alex did seem different this morning, as if a weight had been lifted off her. She was positively playful, as if she was trying to get my attention.

I need to find out soon how she feels because just being close to her is driving me to distraction!' Beth thought.

Agnes noticing the faraway look on Beth's face asked."It was very kind of Lady Dalton to let you go early tomorrow, first dinner out and now afternoons off. She must be kind fond of you?"

Beth blushed. "She is very kind. People think she is aloof and driven, but once you get to know her she's a pussy cat!"

They both laughed. "I'm so glad things are working out so for you in London. I enjoy your company here as well my dear."

"I love living here with you. You've been so kind to me. I hope we find something good enough at this shop you're taking me too"

"I'm sure we will my dear, they have some beautiful things. Some of these rich ladies hardly have the dresses on once if that. Don't worry; we'll have you looking like a princess!"

"I think I'll turn in now. I've had a busy day, goodnight." Beth had not told Agnes of her encounter with Albert, she didn't want to worry her.

"Goodnight my dear, pleasant dreams!"

Eyes watched Beth as she opened up the office in the morning. She shivered and looked round, but didn't see anything or anyone as she continued up the stairs. Albert had arrived early this morning to watch Beth. He had been enraged after his confrontation with Lady Dalton. He wanted to check what time Beth came and went from her office and make a plan, to catch Beth on her own, away from the influence of that unnatural bitch! that was her boss. He touched his bruised ribs and winced. She had just been lucky to catch him out like that. 'For a woman to speak to him the way she did and to give him orders!' He took no instructions from a woman, especially one as unnatural as her.

His anger had been growing since yesterday' but he had finally snapped when he turned up at work this morning only to be called into the manager's office. Albert looked like a raccoon, his face black and blue and his nose off at an angle. He hadn't wanted to go to the doctor to get it fixed incase questions were asked.

"What happened to your face Albert?" his manager asked.

"I was jumped by a couple of thugs after work, they stole my wallet." Albert shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"That's not how Lady Dalton tells it. She telephoned me this morning to tell me you were harassing one of her employees."

Alex had found out from Beth that he was a local trainee draughtsman and made a few calls to the architectural firms nearby till she found the right one.

Albert lost it. "Look at what that bitch did to me! An unprovoked attack!"

"Lady Dalton says she had to pull you off the young woman and restrain you, I'm sure that's where you got your injuries. I would have done the very same thing if I had caught you doing that. You're just lucky she didn't call a policeman. You can consider yourself sacked Albert and don't even think of asking for references. Our firm cannot afford to anger Lady Dalton. She has influence far and wide, a well-placed word from her to the local council or Government and we could forget about winning anymore public contracts. That is all Albert, gather your things and you will be escorted from the building."

"You can't listen to that butch bitch!" he screamed.

The manager pressed the buzzer on his desk and a security guard came in.

"I would thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head! See Mr. Pincher out please Samuel."

"I won't forget this. You pansy! You would follow the orders of a woman!" he spat.

The security guard grabbed his arm and pulled him out the office.

These events had brought him to watching the building. Alex had ruined him. He had not only lost his job, but had very little hope of getting another one without references. He intended to take payment back in full from Beth's body. He smiled at the thought of Alex coming into the office to find the whore's body broken and used and only he would ever take that body the way the dyke bitch wanted to. All this could have been avoided if that whore had just done as she was told, he thought. I must be calm and wait for exactly the right moment. He slinked back into the shadows.

Alex came into the office the next morning hoping to find Beth in a much calmer state.

"Good morning, how are we this morning?"

"I'm much better thank you. He would be a fool to risk your wrath again?" Beth smiled.

"Don't you worry anymore. I'll always be with you when I'm needed and that's a promise little bit. Well we better get some work done before you go flouncing off to the shops this afternoon!"

Beth laughed and saluted. "Yes, My Lord!"

The afternoon found Beth and Agnes in a small charity shop in east London. They had been through rails and rails of dresses. They had seen a few that looked suitable and they had put them aside.

"I think you should try on what we've got so far Beth or you'll find yourself overwhelmed with choices."

"Perhaps you're right Agnes"

She tried on the first and came out from behind the curtain. Agnes just looked and smiled.

"You don't have to say it. I know, too frumpy. It's like something my grandmother would wear! We may be here some time."

She went through another three, but all had one small thing or another that made them unsuitable. She took the last dress off the hanger. She looked at the label inside and was amazed to find it was a Christian Dior. Beth had always read eagerly about fashion from the various celebrity and society magazines. She recognized this simple black dress as a Christian Dior 'new look' dress. In 1947 Dior had brought out this line to try and pull away from the austerity of the war years. It was sleeveless with a velvet bodice and ruched taffeta skirt. She hoped it wouldn't fit too badly as she really liked it. She slowly stepped into the dress and couldn't believe it fit her like a glove. She stepped out of the changing cubicle and Agnes stood and held her hand to her mouth.

"Oh my! You look absolutely wonderful! Every inch the lady about town." Agnes stepped closer to check the fit. "It fits perfectly. What do you think, my dear?"

"I love it! This is it. This is my dress. I just know it! I'll take it."

Beth changed and paid for the dress. They went to find a shop with costume jewelry to add to the glamour of the gown. Beth returned home delighted with her purchases. She felt much more confident at attending Lotty's dinner party.

"I hope I get the chance to speak to Lotty privately. Maybe she can help me understand some of these feelings."

The next few days passed without much incident which made a pleasant change, although Beth did have a strange feeling when she opened up in the mornings. Evenings were fine because Alex had taken to leaving with her and driving her home. They had arranged on Friday that Alex would pick her up half past 7 as they were dining at 8. Alex arrived very promptly decked out in her black dinner suit. Again, Alex had brought flowers for her, hoping to make it feel like more like a date. She was shown to the parlor and Agnes thought she would indulge in a bit of meddling.

"Alex, I wondered if you knew it was Beth's birthday next week? I don't mean to interfere or anything. I just thought, well she won't tell you and you would be annoyed if it past and you didn't know. It's December the 5th.."

"Thank you, Agnes. I'm delighted you told me. She deserves the best and I'll make sure she has a wonderful birthday."

Alex stood as Beth walked in. She was gob smacked. "Beth, you look absolutely stunning! Words fail me." If she didn't know better! Alex would never in a million years have known that dress was second hand. The young girl had natural class that oozed from her.

Beth blushed. "Thank you Alex, you look rather dashing yourself."

"Well if we're ready shall we go?"

"Yes, I may be late Agnes." Beth said as she took Alex's arm.

"That's fine my dear. You enjoy yourself."

When Alex escorted her outside Beth didn't see the familiar red Jaguar sports car, but a large black Bentley motor car. The back door was been held open by a chauffeur in the full grey uniform and hat to match.

"Good evening Miss," he said as he dipped his head.

"Beth, I'd like you to meet my driver Alfie."

"Pleased to meet you Alfie, thank you for taking us this evening."

Alex just melted inside. This young woman had such charm. To thank the driver was just adorable.

The tall woman helped her into the back seat. The inside was luxurious, leather upholstered seats that you just sank into.

"Why no Jaguar tonight, Alex?"

"I wanted this evening to be special for you. I wanted you to go in style and of course, it means I get to spend more time with you."

Beth realized something at that moment. Was Alex was courting her? It really felt like it. She just knew it and the feeling was wonderful. The car came to a stop and the door opened for them. Alex got out first and took Beth's hand to help her out. When the young girl looked up at the building in front of her, her mouth dropped open. "Is this Poni's house?"

"Yes, it's nice isn't it?"

"Nice? Alex it takes up half the street!"

"The grounds are quite extensive at the back as well; it's quite an exclusive part of London"

"And your family home that you turned over to the Foundation was like this?"

"Very similar, it gives us a lot of room to do the things we want for the disadvantaged."

Beth was astonished. She had known Alex was rich but had never really taken in how rich. If Alex had a house like this and a large country estate then her wealth must be off the scale. How could she ever hope to be good enough for Alex and her friends?

Alex saw the look of doubt that went across Beth's face and went to reassure her and placed her hand on Beth's cheek. "We may be used to different styles of living Beth but were still the same friends you made. Please relax and enjoy the evening. With your class and style you could be at home in a palace or a tenement flat."

Beth calmed a bit. "Thank you, it's just so grand."

"Shall we?"

They walked up to the huge front door past large stone pillars that went from pavement to roof. The door was opened and a butler said. "Ah! Lord Dalton, please do come in."

Once they were through the door Beth looked around the hall of the house. She was mesmerized by the tall pillars, magnificent spiral staircase, high ceilings and chandeliers everywhere. The butler took their coats and directed them into the drawing room. Poni and Lotty were waiting for them. Poni was dressed in a dinner suit, the same as Alex, and Lotty was wearing a beautiful bronze coloured dress that only went over one shoulder. They greeted each other with kisses and were seated.

"It's so wonderful to have you both here." Lotty said beaming.

A young servant was bringing round champagne flutes served on a silver platter. The male servants were dressed in suits with tails and highly starched shirts with traditional yellow and black striped waistcoats while the maids wore traditional black and white with white caps.

"Ah, Bollinger and an excellent vintage. I see you got the good champagne out for us" Alex joked.

"Well we thought we had better since Beth was coming. We usually just have the cheap stuff for you, old friend." They laughed.

"Ignore them Beth, their always like this, a couple of children in the playground!"

As they laughed, an matronly looking woman popped her head round the door.

"Is this a convenient moment Ma'am?"

"Oh of course Nanny Brooks. Come in. I asked Nanny to bring Kat down to see you for a few minutes before bed."

Nanny Brooks came in carrying the little blonde headed girl. As soon as the girl saw Poni and Alex, she was straining to get to them.

"Papi! Papi! up?"

The little girl had come up with the name herself as soon as she started talking, putting Poni and Papa together.

Poni scooped up the girl into her arms.

"Come here little kitten. Have you got a kiss for Alex?"

The girl nodded enthusiastically, puckering up her lips. "wix!" Kat affectionately called her.

"Good evening young kitten. I see you got the little present I left for you?" Alex pointed to the toy cat, that the girl was holding and tickled her sides.

"Cat!" she said giggling.

Lotty came over and took hold of her little girl.

"Enough Alex or nanny Brooks will never get her to settle.

"Mamma." Kat said snuggling into her Mother.

"Now Kitten, Do you remember Mama's friend we met at the park?" The little girl nodded.

"Hello Kat, it's nice to see you again. I had a lovely time at the park with you. Do you think next time we could take Alex with us? She would love to play on the swings."

Kat clapped her hands. "Wix come! Wix come!"

"I couldn't think of anything nicer." Alex said smiling. "We should all take a picnic at the first sign of spring."

"Alright now. Give Beth a kiss and say goodnight to everyone."

"Ni Ni!" The little girl said as Lotty passed her daughter to the nanny.

"Goodnight Kitten." The group replied.

Poni walked over to give her daughter a kiss on her blonde head.

"Sleep tight my little kitten."

"Ni Papi."

Beth sighed at the look complete adoration on Poni's face for her little girl. Alex also seemed to adore her.

I wonder if that's something Alex would like.

She didn't have long to ponder the thought before she was interrupted by Alex handing her more champagne.

The night was progressing marvelously. Poni and Lotty couldn't have made her feel any more at home. They embarrassed Alex by telling Beth some of the tales of her growing up. She certainly had been a tomboy and a scamp. The young woman had never laughed so much in her life. Poni and Alex together were a sight to be seen.

She was like a different person around her two friends, her defenses were down and she was happy. They had caught each other giving looks all evening and during dinner Alex had tested the water by covering Beth's hand with her own between courses while continuing talking to Poni about the upcoming hunting season. Beth had not flinched the first time Alex had held her hand. Her heart was racing. Alex was being so attentive, always making sure her glass was full and she had everything she needed. She was being swept way on a dream with her very own Mr. Darcy.

The dinner was amazing Beth had never eaten food like it, having been brought up on rations, and there was a new wine with every course. She wondered how Lotty could provide such a meal on rations, but guessed money could buy anything. Halfway through Alex had suggested she switch to water when she had complained of feeling a little dizzy.

After dinner they retired to the drawing room again and Poni poured them some brandy. Since she felt a little clearer minded Beth took a small one. When Poni went to open the cigar box and offered Alex one Lotty interrupted, "If you two are going to smoke those smelly things then why don't the pair of you go in to the games room so Beth and I can have a good gossip without you two big numbskulls listening in?"

"Excellent idea my sweet wife." Poni said excitedly at the prospect at beating Alex at snooker.

"Would you mind, Beth?" Alex asked politely.

"Of course not Alex. Enjoy yourself. I wanted to have a gossip with Lotty anyway."

Alex stood and took her hand and kissed it.

"Very well, excuse me."

When they were finally alone Lotty said, "I could hardly wait to get you alone. Alex seems very attentive to you tonight."

"I hoped to talk to you Lotty. For a while, well to tell you the truth since I first met Alex, I've had these growing feelings for her. I've struggled to understand them."

"Tell me what they feel like My dear"

"Well if Alex is near, touches me, or I just hear her low Smokey voice, my heart would and does race, my stomach clenches, and I feel a very warm feeling much lower down." She said blushing.

"Don't not be shy, you are my best friend now Beth, there's nothing you can't tell me. I haven't really had many girlfriends in my life to confide in. You know what I mean like us, not like Poni and Alex. I wasn't born to this you know. I had a normal middle class upbringing. My father was a teacher and my mother looked after me at home. When I was 18 I went to a charity event to raise money for the Dalton Foundation. At the time they were trying to raise money for families and orphans were who were disadvantage because of the nightly bombings or losing fathers and husbands in the fighting. When I was there I saw these extraordinary looking women, handsome women dressed in their Women's Royal Air Force uniforms. I later found out they were both officers working in Intelligence for the RAF. They were different though from the other women I had seen in uniform. They wore trousers instead of skirts which was unusual. They had influence even then. I looked over to one in particular very often.

"Poni was the most amazing person I'd ever seen. She was a woman but strong and muscular. There was something about her that made me feel the things you have described. I couldn't understand it. How could I feel those things for a woman? I'd stepped out with young men before and never felt anything, and I'd never felt that for any other woman, but I had to conclude it was this special type of woman that attracted me. It was the soft and romantic heart of a woman, but with the build, dress, and sensibilities of a man.

"She must have seen me looking at her for she came over and introduced herself and asked me to dance. I tell you I have never felt anything like dancing in her arms that night. I felt protected, warm, and respected. No one said a word about us dancing closely together, you know what those two are like, a force of nature! No one would have dared. She was a perfect gentleman but a woman. I had no one to guide me as to how I felt."

"She introduced me to Alex and she was wonderful as well. I didn't feel that spark with her, but I understood I was attracted to this type of woman and I had never known because I had never met any before. There are many others out there and we meet at clubs and parties, but very few have the power to live that life every day. Most go to work as secretaries in dresses and high heels five days a week then get to change into their real selves, suited and booted at the weekend at the various clubs and house parties. Of course, there are the women like me and, I am beginning to think you, who love them.

"Poni and I started stepping out together and we spent a lot of time with Alex and I became to see her as a beloved friend. It was not easy coming into this life of money and grand houses. I did not think I could fit in but Alex and Poni are not like other rich people. They are down to earth and only place importance on money when it can be used to help others. Of course, they all enjoy fine things, but I think they find they can only do that in good conscience by helping others.

"I fell in love with that big oaf I think as soon as I saw her. She treated me like a princess and only two months later she proposed marriage. We could not be married in the eyes of the law, but we were married in our hearts and in the eyes of our friends and god. I have been blissfully happy ever since."

"That's such a romantic story Lotty, anyone who observes you and Poni can see you were meant for each other."

"I have this experience to share with you and I will help you find your place in this life if that's what you choose. I see in your eyes such love when you look at Alex and I see it in her eyes as well. You have only to admit it to each other."

"Would it be too forward to ask how you came to adopt little Kat?"

"Of course not. I go down to the foundation building as often as I can, to help out and such like. I'm not a nurse by any means, but I'm not frightened of hard work and I can change beds and help some of girls with baths and help with the little ones. I'm sure Alex has told you, the foundation gets a lot of young pregnant women?"

Beth nodded.

"Well I was helping a lot with a young girl who came in, Kathryn Miller, her name was. She was barley Sixteen and her parents had thrown her out when she became pregnant. The poor thing was terrified but I went in to sit with her everyday and she came to trust me, although she wouldn't tell me how she became pregnant but however it happened the thoughts terrified her."

"That's heartbreaking. So what happened?"

"Well she asked me if I would be with her when the time came and of course I was. The birth was extremely difficult for her. She had internal bleeding, the doctors thought she had suffered injuries when the baby was conceived which hadn't healed properly."

Lotty eyes went glassy as she seemed to be pulled back to that time.

"I'm so scared Miss Lotty. Help me Please!"

Lotty was on her knees at the side of Kathryn's bed. The young girls blonde hair was stuck to her head with sweat.

The baby had just been delivered and was screaming in the back ground but the sheets were covered in blood, the midwife and doctor just couldn't get it to stop.

Lotty stroked her head and kissed her clasped hand.

"Shush. It'll be alright. Try and stay calm."

Lotty looked up in desperation at the doctor who simply shook his head in resignation.

Her tears wouldn't be held back any longer and she said. "Bring the baby over and let Kathryn hold her."

The baby was lain on Kathryn's chest with support from Lotty. "She's so beautiful." Kathryn said as she stroked the baby's head.

"I'm going to die aint I Miss?"

Lotty's heart broke as she met the girl's eyes and nodded her head. "I'm so sorry Kathryn, I'm sorry we couldn't do more." Lotty struggled to speak as her tears engulfed her.

The girl seemed to calm and said. "It's alright Miss. You were so good to me, thank you for looking after me. At least I did one good thing with my life. I brought this beautiful gift from God into this world.

Can I ask you just one thing Miss?"

"Anything! Anything!"

"Please take my baby. I don't want her to have the life I've had."

"What about Your family? What if they........"

"No Miss please! Don't let them know about her! Agh! It's getting cold. Please. Ms Woodward and you are such good people, you would give her a wonderful family. Promise me."

Lotty pulled herself together. She knew Poni would approve, they had often spoken of a wish for children.

"I swear to you Kathryn. We will adopt her and give her the most wonderful life we possibly can and we'll tell her what a wonder Mother she had and how much you gave for her and loved her. She'll never know the poverty you have felt and she will be surrounded with love."

"Ugh! so cold. Doctor?"

The elderly doctor came over and took her hand.

"Yes my dear?"

"You are my witness Sir, I want Miss Lotty and Ms Woodward to have my baby." The girl was struggling for breath.

"Of course. Rest easy now."

"Cough! Cough! Miss? call he......"

"What is it? What are trying to say?"

C....all her Kathryn."

"We will. I promise you."

The young girl stroked her baby's head once more. "L....ove y...ou Kathryn......"

"And then she was gone."

Lotty came back to the present, the tears were streaming down both the women's faces.

"Oh Lotty, I can' believe you had to go through that and a young girl had to die without her family around her. No matter what my daughter did I could never do that. I'm glad she had you and at least little kitten has you and Poni."

"Yes, we are very happy and Poni simply worships the ground she toddles on." The two women laughed as they wiped away their tears.

"Did her family ever get in touch?"

"Poni and Alex went to their house. Poni was concerned that they might challenge our right to Kitten if they would out we were wealthy.

I don't know what they did or said but when they came back, they had a signed letter giving up any rights to her and we legally adopted her.

Those two can be quite persuasive when they want something done."

"I can imagine. Was Kathryn the families only child?"

"No she had a brother but from what Poni told me, they weren't too concerned about what had happened to her, just what they could get out of it. I believe the father has died since. I've no idea what became of the Mother and Brother and the Father of Kitten? We'll never know. I think that's best."

"Well you have a perfect little girl. She is so pretty."

"Thank you. Now tell me. What do you feel for our Lord Dalton? Do you love her?"

"I think I do love Alex, but how can I know if she feels the same way? I would hate to be wrong and lose her friendship, she means everything to me. Tonight it felt like she was courting me from the moment she picked me up, but why won't she say anything? She has much more experienced than me in these matters."

"That's where your wrong my young friend. Alex has never been in love. I don't mean she has no experience with women but she has never loved. She has been so hurt in her life Beth. Lotty described Alex's parents and what had happened to them.

Her parents being taken from her almost killed her. She pulled herself away from everyone except Poni and myself and vowed she would never open her heart to anyone so it could never be broken. Then you come along and smash through the walls she had built and she was terrified. Still is, but I'll tell you a secret. She confided to Poni she was ready to make that leap, but because of the age gap between the two of you and because you had never loved a woman before, Alex decided she would court you quietly and not make the first move, in case you felt forced into it in some way. By courting you it also gives you the chance to back away gracefully. You will have to go to her if you want this. She told Poni 'If she comes to me I will give her everything.' "

Beth was a little overwhelmed. "I love her Lotty and I will take care of her heart, but I have never been with a woman before. She should be with someone better."

"Beth, it's you she wants. May I suggest you tell her how you feel and continue your courtship, slowly learning to be with each other."

"Yes that sounds like a great idea. Thank you so much for your help and your friendship."

"I will always be here for you Beth. With those numbskulls to keep out of trouble, I think we will need each other. Now, how would you like to have some fun with them?"

They hatched their plan together.

Meanwhile in the games room, which was a large oak paneled room with a large snooker table dominating the room, Poni was pouring Alex another whiskey while she took her shot at the table, their cigars burning in the ash tray on the drinks table. They had taken their dinner jackets off and were now down to their waistcoats. Poni brought Alex's whiskey over as she sunk another ball.

"Do you have to be good at everything Alex?"

"I can't help it if I'm naturally gifted!" she smirked.

"So how goes it with the courting of your Elizabeth?"

"I'm being the perfect gentleman without being over bearing. I hope she catches the drift and tells me how she feels."

"I'm sure she will." said Poni as she missed her shot. "Damn and blast!"

Alex laughed and went to take her shot.

"I've seen the way she has looked at you all evening and you at her, making big puppy dog eyes at her!"

"Shut up you broken down old nag! What do you think their talking about in there?"

"If I know my wife and I do, plotting our doom no doubt!"

They laughed.

"But what a way to go Poni! Eh?"

Just at that the games room door opened and their ladies came in.

"What can I do for you my sweet wife? Were you missing us too much?"

"No not at all Poni boy. Beth and I just thought we'd like to learn how to play snooker and who better to teach us."

Alex and Poni looked at each other, smelling a rat, Alex quirked an eyebrow.

"If you like," said Poni suspiciously.

"Well I think the best way to learn would be to play so Poni and me against Alex and Beth"

Beth smirked. They had decided to drive their respective loves to distraction.

Alex gave Beth the cue and smiled. "This should be fun."

"Spending time with you is always fun."

"Ok, you two can break," Poni said.

She was standing behind her wife with her arms around Lotty's waist, giving her neck little kisses.

"Should I break Alex?"

"Yes, go for it little bit"

Beth bent over the top of the Snooker table making a hash of holding the cue and of trying to take the shot.

"Could you help me Alex? Show me what to do?" She asked demurely batting her eyelashes.

Alex was over there in a flash like a dog with its tongue hanging out.

"Of course. Will you allow me to place my hands on you?" She asked gentlemanly.

"Yes." Beth said sweetly.

"Ok, bend over the table and hold the cue. I'll come up behind you and guide your hands."

Beth nodded. When Alex draped herself over Beth she realized what the two women were up to. She moved further forward to take the girl's hands and show her how she should hold the cue, her head resting in the crook of Beth's neck. Alex had to stop herself from moaning as her lips brushed Beth's neck and she inhaled her perfume. Beth pushed her bottom further into Alex's crotch when she felt the touch to her neck. Alex was instantly wet and throbbing. This game of snooker was going to be torture.

Beth was having similar problems. The touch of Alex's lips and the feel of her weight across her bottom and back made her ache for things she couldn't put a name to. Poni and Lotty were playfully kissing as while Beth and Alex took their shot, and so the game continued until finally Alex cleared the last ball.

She turned to Beth and said. "Well ... eh ... that was fun?"

"Yes, quite illuminating." She said huskily.

"I think we should call it a night, what do you think?"

Alex pointed over at Poni and Lotty who were consumed with each other.

"Yes, I'm very tired now."

They interrupted their two hosts and thanked them for a wonderful evening. Once out in the car Alex took Beth's hand and asked, "How would you like to have a walk round Hyde Park tomorrow? Maybe get an ice cream or something like that?"

"I'd love to Alex. I haven't been there yet."

The car stopped and Alex helped her out. "Thank you for your company this evening little bit and I shall see you tomorrow," she said as she kissed Beth's hand.

"I had a wonderful time Alex, thank you. I'll look forward to tomorrow." The young blonde making a quick decision went up on her tip toes and gave Alex a quick kiss on the lips. "Good night Alex." She said moving fast inside the house so as not to leave Alex time to say anything.

Alex was left on the pavement touching her fingers to her lips were Beth's had touched them. She them broke out in a huge smile and jumped into the back of the car. "Take us home Alfie? I think I'm in for a big day tomorrow!"

Beth held one of the flowers from the bouquet Alex had given her and danced round the room. She was full of romance and joy. The evening had been wonderful. Alex had been simply amazing. Even though she was beginning to understand how she felt about her, the talk she had with Lotty had enabled the scales to finally fall from her eyes. She was in love with Alex! Deeply, hopelessly. It felt so liberating to even say it inside.

She had to tell Alex how she felt tomorrow and hope Lotty was right that she returned those feelings. They may have only known each other a short time, but it could be a month or one year, it made no difference. She knew they were meant to be together. She looked up at the picture on her bedside table. It was of her father and herself, taken at the boat race celebrations at the university.

"Daddy, I've met someone. Alex is her name. She is the most wonderful, kind person I have ever met. She lives her life in the service of others. I know that probably my being in love with a woman isn't what you would most want for me but I think you would have liked her. I hope wherever you are you know that this is the right thing for me." She kissed her father's picture and went to bed happier than she had for a long, long time.

Alex was up bright and early getting ready for her day. She chose the black pinstripe suit and a crisp white shirt and black hat . She wanted to look as good as possible. She was sure today would be the day Beth would say something and Alex was more excited than she could ever remember being. She had a lot to plan this week. Today was December the 1st and her birthday was on Friday the 5th. She had some plans to make. She would phone Poni later tonight to get the ball rolling.

Alex arrived at Beth's house 20 minutes later. When she knocked, Beth answered for a change and was all ready to go.

"You look stunning as usual little bit," she said kissing Beth's hand. Beth had on a pretty blue coloured dress and matching wool coat. Alex helped Beth into the car and jumped in. "I thought we'd take a stroll round the park first and then maybe get an ice cream."

"Alex, it's the 1st of December. It's too cold for ice cream," she laughed.

"It's never too cold for ice cream! It's one of my secret vices!" Alex exclaimed as they set off for Hyde Park.

After parking the car, they started off walking round the park arm in arm. It was a cold day but it was crisp and pleasant. They were silent for some minutes when Beth asked, "Tell me about your home. I mean not your flat, your real home at Dencotte House"

Alex smiled. "I have mixed feelings when I talk about it. It's the most beautiful place on God's earth. Poni and I spent idyllic summers there, running wild! Since my mother and father died it feels empty. I go down every couple of weekends and we have house parties there, but if I am there alone it is lonely and empty. The house and parklands are in the Peak district, just outside Sheffield. The peak district is some of the most stunning countryside in Britain. The house was built by my family in the late 17th century. It has a large house and is surrounded by 700 acres of parkland."

Beth gasped.

"Yes, you see, it's a big place to be rattling around in on my own. The parkland and gardens are simply wonderful though. We have deer and the grounds are very good hunting land. In one part of the grounds there is a small walled off Japanese garden with a teahouse. My mother had that built. She used to go there to read and have some peace and quiet."

"It sounds wonderful. Even though you say your sad when your there, you speak about it with such passion."

"It's in my blood. If the emptiness was filled by a family, I would never want to leave." She looked at Beth and smiled.

Beth blushing said, "Who looks after the estate when you're in London?"

"My steward Robert Jones looks after the grounds and my butler and housekeeper, Foster and Mrs. McKluskey run the house. They all worked for my father. I grew up with them. Since Mother and Father died Foster and Mrs. Mckluskey have been like parents to me"

"They sound very nice. Do they accept the way you live your life?"

"Oh yes, Mother and Father never had a problem with me being who I am and all the staff have never questioned it. My Mother used to say God made me this way so that I would have the caring and sentimental nature to take care of the estate and the foundation from my female side and the strength to carry it out from my male side. She used to say I was just right."

"I agree with your mother wholeheartedly!" Beth smiled at Alex.

"And your father? Tell me about him." Alex asked.

"He was everything to me. We only had each other and I kept the house while he was at work at the university. We didn't have much, as you know academics aren't paid very well, but we were happy. He was a good man and kindhearted. My mother died when I was born, but he told me of her all the time. He loved her deeply; I think he would have liked you very much."

"Do you? That's nice to know. Look at the time! We've been talking for an hour and a half! Are you cold?"

"Time just seems to fly when I talk to you and I had something in particular I wanted to talk to you about, but I am a little cold."

"I have an idea. Would you like to come back to my flat? We could have a drink and a chat in the warm?"

"Yes that sounds good."

When they arrived at Alex's luxurious flat in Mayfair, Beth was amazed at how lovely but Spartan it was. Alex obviously didn't spend much time decorating or adding those personal touches.

"This is lovely Alex." she said as Alex ushered her into the large living room. There were two large couches, a fireplace against the wall, and a sheep skin rug in front of the fire. The kitchen was just off the living room and there were two bedroom doors that she could see.

"Thanks, it's just really somewhere to sleep for me. May get you a drink? Gin and tonic?"

Beth had never drunk spirits before but she thought it might bolster her courage and she had seen that it was Lotty's afternoon drink so it must be what ladies alright.

"That would be nice, thank you"

"I'll just be a minute. Let me take your coat and you can warm yourself at the fire."

Alex returned with the drinks. She had her usual whiskey for herself. She took out a cigarette and lit it.

Beth took a sip. It wasn't the most pleasant taste but gave her a lovely warm feeling. They enjoyed the warmth of the drinks and the fire for several more minutes, Beth trying to bolster her courage for what lay ahead. Alex knowing that she would have to tell her about her past. They both went to speak at the one time.

"Please do go first." Alex said.

Beth finished up her drink and turned to Alex. "Well here goes! I ... I ... I think the best thing to do is come straight to the point." she stammered and stayed silent.

"Go on please."

"Well, since I first met you and have come to know you better, I ... I have had feelings, em ... feelings that at first I couldn't explain. Whenever you were near or I heard your voice, my heart would race. If you touched me my stomach would do summersaults and I would feel things ... em ... lower. I now realize that what I felt was love. I am in love with you, the way a woman loves a man."

After she had finished she stared at the floor, afraid to look Alex in the eyes. Every second seemed to last an hour. Then she felt a hand on her chin pulling her head up.

"Look at me little bit. I fell in love with you the minute I looked into those big green eyes of yours. I love you with every beat of my heart!"

"Oh Alex! I love you!" she flung her arms around Alex's neck and put her head on her chest.

"I need to know you are certain about this"

"I am cert ..."

"Sh, sh, sh." Alex stopped her and pulled her head up and cupped her face. "I need you to be certain because for me if we go ahead with this, there will be no turning back for me. You are the other half of my soul and there would never be anyone else for me until I die. I need to know you feel the same thing. To do that you need to know some things, before you commit to me, you need to know who I have been before I met you."

"I understand, but nothing will change my mind about you. You truly are the best person I have ever known."

Alex jumped up and began to pace. "I'm not Beth. I'm not this gallant hero you make me out to be! I'm bad Beth, the things I've done. I'm not good enough for you."

Beth was astonished at Alex's sudden outburst of anger. Alex's hand shook as she poured another whiskey. She took a drink. "I will tell you about how I was then no doubt you will want to leave and I will not blame you. Where to start? I suppose at the beginning when my parents died."

She started to recount her days and nights of meaningless sex with countless women, the drinking, and her need to control the sex, and leaving as soon as she was done. Alex had never felt so ashamed while telling this perfect, innocent young girl such depravity.

"I could never allow myself to love. I thought the sex would fill the hole inside. It never did, but I couldn't stop. With each woman I went with, the more wretched and vile I thought myself. I was lost. The only good thing I had in my life was Poni and Lotty and little Kitten. They kept trying to tell me I was ruining my life. I had my work and I threw myself into it more and more to the detriment of my health. Last year I began to realize I could not go on like this or I would end up dead. The women and the drinking became less and less and about 6 months ago, the women stopped completely and then I met you. You have filled that hole in my heart and now you know the truth. Please go, don't drag it out, I ... it will hurt too much."

Beth was indeed stunned at Alex's story, but where Alex saw depravity and sinful behavior, she saw pain, loneliness, and sadness. Her decision made she stood up and walked over to Alex. She reached out and took Alex's hand. She pulled back but Beth kept hold and turned Alex round to look at her.

"Alex I am so sorry you were hurting so badly for so long, but now I am here. I want to take care of you and your heart. I will stay with you for as long as you want me." She reached up and wiped away tears from Alex's eyes.

"You would stay? You would forgive me after all that I've told you?" Alex said in astonishment.

"I love you and it will be my job to keep light and love in your heart. You've been through enough for one life time. I am yours My Lord, if you want me?"

"Want you, little bit? I will never have another in my life. I will love you and protect you for the rest of my days. Thank you for the gift of your forgiveness."

She took Beth's face in her hands and bent her head until her lips were inches away from the girl's.

"May I?" Alex whispered.

"Please!" she breathed huskily.

Alex brushed her lips lightly against Beth's and when she felt no resistance she deepened the kiss. Beth moaned as she was deeply and softly kissed. Alex began to tease Beth's lips with her tongue and the girl opened her mouth slighting allowing her to enter. Alex eased the tip into Beth's mouth, but not wanting to scare or push the girl too far, pulled out and giving her a final kiss on the lips and then her nose before pulling away completely. Beth was left with her eyes closed and her mouth half open. The kiss was the most exquisite thing she'd ever felt, her lips tingled, and her heart pounded. She had never felt so much love and all expressed without the need for words.

"Are you alright little bit?"

Beth opened her eyes and smiled. "I have never felt better in my life, I love you my lord."

"Thank you for such a precious gift. I will guard your love with my life sweetheart."

Taking Beth's hand, she asked, "Shall we sit? Would you like another drink? You've been through a lot this afternoon."

"Do you think we could have a cup of tea and perhaps, if you had a couple of aspirins? My head is pounding. It always does when I feel emotional."

"Tea? No problem, I'm good at that now?" she said proudly. "And I'll get you the tablets in a second."

She kissed her forehead and rushed to the kitchen.

"She loves me, she loves me." Alex sang while she brewed the tea. She had never felt happier.

Beth took her tablets and pulled her legs up on the couch while holding her hot tea. Alex lifted her arm and beckoned her to cuddle in to her. Nothing had ever felt so wonderful to Beth. She felt safe, protected, and warm. For Alex's part she wanted to hold on and never let go.

"I wish this afternoon didn't have to end. I don't want to have to leave you."

"Would you like to go out to dinner? Then I could take you home after?"

"I don't feel in the right frame of mind to go out. Do you have any food in? I could cook us dinner."

"You can cook?"

"How do you think I looked after my father all those years?"

"You sound more perfect by the second, little bit! Yes, I have lots of food. Mrs. McKluskey always has Fortnum and Masons send me a food delivery every week. I don't cook and mostly eat out so I give a lot of it away"

'She gets her food shopping from Fortnum & Masons? Good lord, this really is a different world!'

"Well, let's cuddle for another little while and then I'll prepare something ok?"

"Sounds perfect, my love."

They held each other for another half an hour and shared some more heated kisses until they were both panting. Beth pulled back and said, "I think we need to slow down a bit. You know I've never been with anyone and I..."

Alex interrupted quickly putting her finger across Beth's lips. "Shhh sweetheart. You do know that I do not expect that of you just now? Making love? You are my heart, my love, and I will do nothing to disrespect your honour. Hopefully one day you will consent to marry me and only then would I want to make love to you, as my wife."

Beth's heart swelled at the thought of a future with her Beloved Alex.

"But you and those women ... your used to having that in your life." She said shyly.

"That was just sex, meaningless empty sex. What we will do will be making love and it will fill me with joy like I had never hoped for."

"Those women, Alex, I have to ask, did you bring them here and down to Dencotte House?"

"Never my love. I had that rule from the beginning. No one was ever allowed here or to my home at Dencotte . Of course, some may have been at the house parties we had, but they never went anywhere other than the dining and drawing room or the ballroom. I didn't want to bring that depravity to my home. I've never even slept the night in a bed with another woman. You're the first to ever be here apart from Poni and Lotty."

"That makes me feel better. Now let me prepare your dinner My Lord!"

"Only if I can watch you! I don't want to be away from you for a minute little bit!"

"Come on then, let's see what you've got."

Beth found some wonderful ingredients in the kitchen and pantry that Alex hadn't even noticed. The older woman leaned on the kitchen worktop and gazed at Beth with a silly look on her face.

"You see something that interests you My Lord? I'm only chopping vegetables."

"Yes, but it's the way you chop them." Alex said as moved behind Beth, put her arms round her waist and nuzzled into her neck. "Is this ok?" She asked wondering if she was taking the touching too far.

"It's wonderful" Beth said as she continued chopping.

"What are we having sweetheart?"

"Steak, potatoes and veg. It's about the best thing I can make in the time we have. I meant to ask you how do Poni and Lotty and you always seem to have the things that are so hard to get hold of with rations?"

Alex looked at her and cocked one eyebrow. "Where there's a will, there's a way! No seriously. You can get anything you want, if you know the right people and have the money. We have a lot of contacts in the food industry, suppliers we use all the time. If we didn't spend over the odds we wouldn't get half the things we need for the soup kitchens. Some of these people haven't eaten in days. We can't give them one rationed meal and expect them to survive for another day or so. We have to give them a little more, so we use money with the right suppliers and get what we need. Plus any meat Poni or I have comes from my farms at Dencotte . Mrs. Mckluskey sends it down every week." Alex smiled proudly.

"I think you're a bit of a rouge underneath that fine upper class facade."

"Perhaps." Alex flashed a dazzling smile.

"Well this is the best piece of meat I've ever cooked with. The steaks should be melt in the mouth."

"That's not the only thing that melts in the mouth little bit. There is something about watching you be domestic that makes me hot under the collar!" Alex said as she delivered soft kisses and nips to Beth's neck.

"Aw, oh, hmmm!" Beth moaned.

"I will never get this finished if you keep that up! Go find something to occupy yourself with!" she said batting Alex's hands away.

Alex laughed and grabbed a piece of carrot and popping it into her mouth.

"I know! Wine! I'll get us out a lovely bottle of wine to enjoy while you cook."

"You are like a school boy Alex!"

"Does that mean I can pull your pigtails?" She said as she ran out the room quickly laughing, Beth hot on her heels.

Beth stopped at the kitchen door and said smiling. "Now don't you come back in here till you set the dining room table and have opened the wine you rascal!" She returned to her cooking and sighed in utter contentment. She had never felt happier.

While Alex was in the other room setting the table she took the opportunity to give Poni a call in private.

Poni came to the phone and said "Alex? How are things?"

"Everything is wonderful Poni! Beth told me today that she loved me and I told her about my past and you know what? She didn't care Poni! She said that I would never be unhappy again! I can't tell you how happy I am."

"I'm so happy for you old friend! We'll get you settled down yet. There's nothing in the world that will make your more content than the love of a good woman, a wife makes it even better." Poni said hinting. "Maybe Dencotte House will have a new mistress yet?"

"Give us a chance Poni. We only declared our love today. I'm trying not to push her. She's never had a relationship before so I'm trying to tread carefully. I found out from Beth's landlady that it is her birthday on Friday. I thought the four of us to go to the Alley Cat for dinner and dancing. Introduce her to our world so to speak."

"Good idea, that will be excellent. Where is she now? She can't hear your plans can she?"

"No, she's in the kitchen preparing dinner."

"Preparing dinner? All sounds very cosy. I thought it was too soon to be domesticated?" Poni said smirking.

"Shut up you old fool! Now listen I need you to help me organise a few surprises for her birthday."

A short time later Beth called, "Alex! Dinner's ready!" She carried the two plates brimming with food to the table.

"Coming!" Alex shouted from her bedroom, finishing up with Poni. The plans all set. She came into the dining room and looked at the full plates and the pretty girl sitting there and her heart swelled with happiness.

"This looks wonderful sweetheart" she beamed as she came round and filled Beth's wine glass with the merlot.

"Maybe you should wait till you taste it my lord." she said taking a sip of the fruity red wine.

Alex took her first bite and it was amazing. The beef was marvelous and the peppercorn sauce Beth had made to go with it was delicious.

"Beth, this is truly fantastic! I had no idea normal people could make food this tasty at home!"

Beth laughed, "What do you mean normal people?"

"Well you know, people like us. I mean, I have a kitchen full of experienced cooks at Dencotte and when I'm not there I eat out in restaurants. This is just superb."

"Alex, you do need looking after! Any good housewife could cook this and better."


"Well you're easily impressed! If you think this is good then you'll be knocked off your feet by my Sunday dinners, roast beef, roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings." She smiled.

"I'm salivating listening to you. You'll make someone a good wife one day." She winked across the table and Beth blushed, grabbing her wine to hide her embarrassment.

"Will you come out with me on Friday night you, me, Poni and Lotty?"

Beth tried to keep her face neutral. She hadn't said anything about her birthday, never having made much of it. As her father hadn't had much money, they would only ever share a nice meal together and Mrs. Nelson from next door would make a cake for them. Once her father died, her birthday was never mentioned by her aunt and uncle. She had just got used to not telling anyone.

"Yes, any special occasion?" she said nonchalantly.

Alex leaned back in her chair, sipping from the wine glass.

"Yes, I'll tell you soon but I have to tell you now that dinner was just fabulous! Why don't we take these plates and things through and have a seat on the couch and we'll talk?"

"Let me do the dishes first Alex."

"No, please, leave them. I have a cleaner that comes in every day. They'll keep. Come on."

They took the things through and left them soaking in the sink. Beth settled on the couch and Alex poured them both a brandy.

"Just a little one Alex, I'm not really used to all this alcohol."

"Ok, here you go."

She went back and stood at the fireplace, lighting a cigar.

Beth loved the smell; it reminded her of her father. It was comforting and reassuring somehow.

"So Friday? So you were saying?"

"Oh yes. Well a little birdie told me it was someone's birthday on Friday? Is that correct?"

"Well yes maybe but I've never really celebrated my birthday before." Beth looked down at her shoes shyly.

"This year you are. You have good friends and someone who loves and adores you and wants to spoil you!"

Alex came and sat next to her. "What I thought we'd do was take you for dinner and dancing at the Alley Cat Club. That's where Poni, Lotty, and I always go. It's for women like us. It's a respectable club don't worry. I want to show you off and announce to my small community that I'm taken, off the market! Now about your present ..."

"Alex, please don't go wild. I'm not with you for presents and money."

Alex took her hand. "That's exactly why you should be spoiled, because you ask for nothing and don't expect anything. So what I thought was I'd get you a new outfit for Friday night, top to toe, everything. Normally if we had more time I would get Lotty to take you to her designer, but since we need it quickly, I've asked Lotty to take you to Harrods on Tuesday, full day out, lunch, and everything. I have an account at every major shop in London so whatever you pick you just tell them to put it on my account."

"Oh no Alex that's far too much! I simply couldn't!"

"Beth, it's only money and I have a lot of it" She leaned in and cupped Beth's cheek. "Your mine now and I get to spend what I want on you. Do you remember the conversation we had at dinner the first time we went out?"

"Yes but this isn't dinner Alex."

Alex's face hardened and took on that commanding look that melted Beth's insides to goo.

"I love you, if I wish to spend my money this way then I will. It makes me happy. I want to take care of you. Let me. This discussion is over, ok?" she said in a tone that would brook no further argument.

"Alex. I love you, thank you. I don't want you to think me ungrateful." Beth cuddled into Alex's chest seeking reassurance.

"That's fine, little bit. You don't ask for anything but you will get it from now on, and no arguments on the day with Lotty, she knows exactly what you need alright?"

"Yes, I promise." said Beth staring dreamily into her eyes.

Alex grasped Beth's jaw lightly and began a possessive kiss that made the young blonde tingle all over. When Alex heard her moan she knew she had to stop the kiss before she couldn't. She pulled away and put her forehead against Beth's. "You are incredible and you don't realize what you do to me. It's late; I think I better get you home."

Beth nodded. She had never felt so alive and the throbbing between her legs was incessant.

They gathered Beth's things and set off for Agnes's. When they arrived Alex turned the engine off and turned to address her new girlfriend, touching her lightly on the cheek.

"I want you to know how happy you have made me today not only by giving me your love, but by forgiving me my past indiscretions. I will keep your heart safe, I will protect you, and I will be by at your side as long as you allow me to be. I love you little bit."

"Thank you, I know it took a lot for you to allow someone inside that walled up heart of yours but I will look after you and you never be alone now. I love you My Lord."

They kissed tenderly then Alex jumped out and saw her to the door.

"Well my dear, you've had a long day." Agnes said as Beth came into the parlor.

"Sorry if I'm a bit late but I've had a wonderful day!" she said plopping down on the chair by the fire. Beth looked different. She was glowing somehow. Agnes had to find out if what she had suspected was true; when she saw the two young people look at each other.

"Did something happen today my dear? You look different lighter, happier."

Beth pondered. 'Should I tell her? I know she told me she had no problem with the way Alex lived her life, but it's different when you have to deal with it personally.' She couldn't lie to Agnes. She had been so kind to her. She took a deep breath.

"I don't know how you will feel about this. I told Alex today that I loved her and she loves me in return. We're together." Beth waited for the reaction with baited breath

"Oh my dear! I'm so happy for you!" Agnes stood up and wrapped her arms around Beth.

"I knew the way you look at each other, but I didn't know if either one of you would have the strength to do something about it."

Beth had tears rolling down her face. "I was frightened of how you would react. Thank you for understanding."

"Beth dear, did I not tell you before? I believe we are made the way God intended for a reason. Alex needs you and you need Alex. Without each other you are incomplete. Anyone who sees you two together can see that."

"I am so happy Agnes. She's taking me out for my birthday on Friday; I wonder how she could have found out about that?" She smirked.

"I have no earthly idea my young friend!" Agnes said innocently.

"I'm sure. I have to go shopping with Lotty on Tuesday for an outfit. Alex is treating me to it for my birthday. I feel bad that she's spending so much on me."

"Oh, she's got plenty to go round. Enjoy being spoiled my dear. You deserve it. You should get to bed, all this excitement and you have work tomorrow."

"You're right, back to normal tomorrow. Goodnight then."

Part 3

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