Clairvoyeur: When a maiden sees into her future...
Improvished country gentlewoman Claire Hastings can see into the future with a crystal ball. It is a blessing, or is it not?
After she meets rich and handsome Jonathan Davies, she starts to see infamous visions of him coupling with some women. When the “women” turn out to be Claire herself, she has the shock of her life. Has she become his mistress or is Davies a rake imposing on her?
Davies doesn’t want to be attracted to this country mouse but Claire is tempting him every moment of their time together. When he is blackmailed with scandalous sketches of him with a woman who looks look Claire, he is furious. Is Claire working with another man to milk money from him?
That night at her uncle’s house, Claire was following her ritual of wiping the crystal ball clean after her fortune telling session, when a sudden urge to see into the future overwhelmed her.
In the past, when she’d had this urge, she mainly saw people she knew well such as her sisters, her father, and her family. The events would usually come true not long afterwards. In fact, none of her predictions had gone unconfirmed for more than a year or two.
She was eager to see what was in store for her that night. She closed her eyes, put both hands on the ball and concentrated. First she saw a tastefully furnished room that gave the appearance of wealth, but not a vulgar display of money. The room was spacious and adorned with pastel green wallpaper covered with a pattern of wildflowers. Then a huge bed appeared, with rumpled, lavender-patterned bed sheets that indicated the bed had been slept in recently. Two golden pillows on the bed, each with an indentation, confirmed this was a couple’s room.
Her vision moved deeper into the crystal ball, and to her utter shock she saw the naked back of a man bathing. He was in the company of a woman, but could see neither of their faces. She felt her face flush because this was the first time she had seen anything so scandalous. She continued the vision.
The man had short dark curly hair and wide muscular shoulders. He looked vaguely familiar to her. His fingers were slowly massaging the woman’s head. He then took an ivory-coloured comb from the side table by the bath and drew it through the woman’s cascading dark tresses. He was slow and attentive, making his movements sensual and caring. After a few minutes, the man abandoned the comb and used his fingers to massage the woman’s head, hair and neck before sliding them over her shoulders. His fingers were long and his hands strong. He lowered his head, pushed the woman’s hair aside and kissed her neck and shoulders.
Claire had never beheld such a sight in her fortune telling. She felt hot and flustered, as if she were intruding on the couple’s most private moments. She wanted to end the session, but her hands might as well have been glued to the crystal ball. She did not understand why she could not take her hands away.
She then saw the man press the woman to the side of the bathtub, her face away from him. He raised his body slightly and she could see a birthmark on the back of his waist, near the spine. It was heart shaped.
She watched him move in slow motion, as if he was riding… riding the woman! Claire’s breath became shallow. She was shocked and mortified to witness this intimate coupling. She did not know couples could make love in a bath and that a man could ride a woman in that fashion from behind. She tried to pull her hands away from the crystal ball, but they would not move.
The muscles on his back rippled during the motion. His big body covered the petite shape of the woman. One of his hands entwined with hers on the edge of the bath while the other was dipped into the water, out of Claire’s vision, doing lord knows what.
After a long time of riding and thrusting forward, his frantic pounding motion stopped with an arching posture. He thrashed his head slightly backward to the side, allowing Claire to catch a glimpse of his features. His ear attracted her attention. Her breathing nearly stopped. It looked vaguely familiar!
Claire finally managed to open her eyes and take her hands away from the transparent globe. She put her hands on her cheeks; they burned. She ran toward the mirror and looked at herself. Her face was red and she was panting. She noticed her nipples had hardened and pushed against the cotton nightgown. She did not know what was happening to her.
As a country girl, she had seen animals mating before, but watching a virile man throbbing into his woman up close was totally unimaginable. She wondered how they could feel pleasure in such an awkward position. The direction of her own thoughts shamed her, and she ran back to lie on the bed, where she pulled the bed sheets over her head, blocking the vision from her mind. But it wouldn’t go away.
That night she tossed and turned, unable to sleep. By dawn, she gave up and took out her sketchbook. She had another talent. She loved sketching caricatures to amuse her sisters and father. She sketched the bathing scene in pencil, exaggerating the potency of the man’s big body in comic drawing style. She could remember it so clearly!
Every ripple of his muscles, his powerful hands, his distinctive birthmark, the energy of his body and his charming ear! But Claire could not remember the woman's features at all. In trying to capture the details of her body, her face, Claire could only produce a blurry figure. Clearly her focus had been the overwhelming physicality of the man’s actions last night. When she finished the sketch, she finally fell into a deep sleep.
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