An unwitting academic stumbles into the erotically-charged occult underworld of Victorian London. With a cast of characters including an investigator with a talent for seduction, a mesmerist collecting a harem of beautiful ladies, and a woman who believes she has had sex with Satan, Sexual Sorcery is a sizzling story of decadence, conspiracy and carnality.
When a collection of books go missing from the University’s collection, Fredrick Clifford travels to London in search of the likely culprit, an apparently respectable gentleman named Victor Braystone. But he soon finds that he is not the only one with an interest in Mr Braystone, and the manipulative Catherine Wolseley soon draws him into her own schemes.
As he, Miss Wolseley and their seductive accomplice begin to unravel Mr Braystone’s plots, Fredrick Clifford finds himself both confused and entrapped in a shocking world of of sex and duplicity. And as the trail leads him from the seductions of a London club to a Satanic altar in the wilds of the Welsh borders, he struggles to make sense of both the dark uncertainties of the occult, and of an unfamiliar realm of debauchery and sex.
Sexual Sorcery – Chapter 3
With packing to be done, and the expense of travel requiring withdrawal of funds from his bank, it was Monday morning before Fredrick was ready to take the train for Gloucester. And in the meantime Catherine Wolseley had her own investigations to continue.
So on a sunny Sunday afternoon Catherine sat herself down in a well-appointed drawing room, overlooking a fresh-planted rose garden in the leafy suburbs of north London.
“When the roses are matured,” her hostess noted her gaze, “I expect that the garden will be quite lovely.”
“Yes,” Catherine agreed. “I am certain that they will be quite the envy of your neighbours.”
Her hostess laughed. A slender woman in a dark pink dress, she brushed a wisp of chestnut hair away from her cheek. “You really do not like flowers, do you?”
Catherine smiled. “I really could not care less about them. And nor could you, Emma. But I am sure that we could both opine fashionably on the subject for as long as is necessary.”
“And how dreadfully dull that would be – and frequently is!” the younger woman nodded. “Tea?”
“Without sugar, as I recollect?” Emma filled two floral china cups with tea, adding milk to both and two sugars to one.
“I like the bitterness,” Catherine agreed, letting her gaze wander across the oak furniture and china ornaments. “But I must say, you seem to have settled in very well here.”
“His Lordship is delighted with the nest that I have made here,” Emma said, handing across one cup and saucer. “He visits one or two evenings a week, and he likes to see that I maintain the place with a fashionable respectability.”
“Fashionable respectability? Now, that is a part that I do not recall you playing very often.”
“Certainly not!” Emma sipped her tea delicately. “But, as you know, I am always keen on a challenge. And His Lordship has provided generously for me, and so he will get the role, or roles, that he requires.”
“And are you terribly bored?” Catherine smiled.
“Oh God, yes – terribly!” Both women laughed, and Emma continued, “I swear, if I have to spend one more evening sitting here alone looking at those dreadful china ornaments, and especially that winsome puppy, I will take a hammer to every single one on them. I am expected to be content merely waiting here, embroidering and pining for my absent benefactor.”
“Yes, I saw the work on the frame,” Catherine gestured the card table, with a half-finished embroidery of a spray of roses stretched over a frame. “It is quite delicate. I am surprised that you had the patience!”
“I didn’t! But I have found an elderly spinster who has quite the talent, and who is also rather broke, and so for a fee she works on it each Friday and Saturday, and it is here in time for the new week, that I may show off my ladylike accomplishments.”
The two looked at each other for several seconds, each considering how to take the conversation.
“Oh for God’s sake,” Emma laughed first, “you came here hoping to hear that I am bored to sobs, and I have just admitted it. So, this is your cue! I am sure that you have something to lift the tedium, so do just tell me!”
“But my dear Emma,” Catherine smiled, “why can you not believe that I am here in simple friendship?”
“Now that would be more tedious still! I am delighted to say that your friendship has never been simple, which is quite why I treasure it. And you have always had a talent for finding me new and often quite unexpected ways to combine business and pleasure.”
“Such as, for example, the investigations into the Duke of Westmorland’s mystery?”
“Oh yes! The estate! The dining!”
“And, as I recall, you took quite a shine to the Duke’s son?”
“Oh God yes! He was a marvel. So…”
“Reserved? Pious? Gentlemanly?” Catherine joked.
“I was going to say, athletic,” Emma’s green eyes sparked as she remembered. “So, please tell me that there is another opulent country estate that requires intimate exploration!”
“I’m afraid not, no. For now I only have one afternoon’s work for you. And it is here in London, and quite middle class.”
“That does not sound so interesting.” Emma admitted.
“Perhaps not. But would you not enjoy flexing your acting talents? Particularly if there were a frisson of danger?”
“That sounds better,” Emma conceded. “Is it only my acting talents that you require?”
“I require you to distract a man for a little time. By which I mean that he will be too preoccupied, and perhaps too naked, to venture away from his bed, or settee, or dining table, as you choose.”
Emma smiled. “And this frisson of danger? Do you mean that I will be doing something criminal?”
“Not at all. Although,” Catherine noted, “while you have the gentleman indisposed, there may be a little criminality elsewhere in his house. But it will be very discrete, and nothing will be associated with you.”
Emma glanced across at the china dogs on the sideboard, and smiled. “That does sound more interesting than my usual afternoons.”
“I thought that you might agree,” Catherine nodded. “Your usual fee will be paid, of course. And you will need to procure an accomplice. Possibly someone a little younger than you, and not quite so attractive.”
“And she will be required to exercise only acting skills? Or other wiles, as well?”
“Acting skills should suffice. I trust that you can also procure suitable costumes for the performance? Something once respectable but perhaps a little shabby and worn, such as women who struggle to keep up appearances might wear?”
“My dear friend,” Emma gave a conspiratorial smile, “I really do wish you would visit more often! Now, tell me more! What is the plan?”
And the plan led, the following afternoon, to Mr Edward Jeffreys, owner of several properties available for rent at a range of sums, receiving two anxious visitors.
Mr Jeffreys did not relish discussions about rent arrears, and he was aware that when discussing the cheaper properties his tenants and their representatives often lacked decorum, which made arguments tiresome. But the two women now seated in his office seemed meek and hopeless enough that he was sure that they would give him no trouble.
“I’m afraid,” he fixed the two with an unwavering stare, “that your brother’s rent is considerably overdue, and there can be no question of leniency. Your brother…”
“Yes, Sir, yes, he is such a hard working sort,” the older of the two sisters blurted out. Around twenty five years old, with chestnut hair and deep green eyes, she looked as if she had made a real effort to make herself presentable, he observed. She wore lace gloves over her slender hands, but he noticed they they had several pulled threads and a few small holes. The cuffs of her blue jacket were a little frayed. Her skirt did not quite match, and had been rehemmed, perhaps from where it had been worn rough through dragging on the ground, and her boots looked scuffed and worn. He imagined that her clothes had once belonged to much better off women, but had been discarded and sold second hand to this unfortunate, who doubtless hoped they they would allow her to appear more prosperous. “He does so need that room, Sir. Without it he would have nowhere to stay, would have to leave his job, and then, well, it’s the workhouse for him, Sir!”
“Your brother, as I was saying,” Mr Jeffreys remained resolute, “has made a promise. You understand? He has signed a contract. And he is in breach of it. You have been taught, no doubt, that one must always keep one’s promises.”
The elder woman nodded. “But Sir….”
“There is no room for ifs and buts. If he cannot keep his promise and pay his rent, he must leave. I hope for his sake that you, his family, can find him space in your own lodgings, and so keep him from the workhouse. But it is a matter out of my hands.”
The younger, plainer sister looked glumly at the floor. The older looked as if she might cry.
“My husband won’t hear of it,” she murmured. “We’ve only got the two rooms. One for myself and him. The other for my sister here, who shares it with our mother, who does need so much looking after now. There’s no space, and my husband, he is ever so firm when he has said No to a thing.”
Mr Jeffreys saw his chance to end the conversation. “Then you should be a good obedient wife and listen to your husband. Your brother has made a promise, and he will now suffer the consequences of its breach. You have sworn to obey your husband. So that is the end of it.”
But it did not work. The elder sister rose from her chair, her lip quivering, her eyes wide, and rushed around the side of his desk. “But, Sir, I have also made a promise – another oath!” She flung herself to the floor by his chair, and put her hands on his knee. “I swore to my mother, I did.” She put her forehead on his knee, her eyes fixed on the floor, and one hand brushed down his calf. “I swore that I’d find a way to help him keep his room, and his job, and so keep him from the workhouse!”
The younger sister looked on anxiously. “You shouldn’t have promised that,” she chided her elder. “You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep.”
“But I swore it!” She looked up at Mr Jeffreys. “There must be a way I can keep my promise? Mustn’t there?”
Edward Jeffreys looked down at the slender woman kneeling before him. Her big green eyes, her parted lips, the curve of her waist and chest emphasised by the tight jacket.
But before he could answer, she collapsed back on the floor, held her face in her hands, and began to sob.
“My good woman, do pull yourself together.” He leaned forward and put a hand on her shoulder.
She paused her sobbing, and put one hand up, laying her damp palm across his hand. She nodded softly, and said “I’m so sorry to lose myself like that.” She looked around. “It’s so cold and business-like in this office. Is there somewhere more comfortable we can go, while I compose myself.”
“Of course, madam.” He stood, and held out his hands to help her to her feet. “There is a parlour next door. The room is warmer, and the sofa is much more comfortable than the floor.”
She put her hands in his and allowed him to help her up.
He led her through into a warm, snug parlour, where he led her round behind the coffee table, to where a plushly upholstered sofa stood beside the fire place. He settled her down on the settee, and sat next to her.
The younger sister, with a look of apprehension, perched on a chair nearer the door.
“I simply don’t know what to do,” the elder sister pleaded. She turned herself to face Mr Jeffreys, and put her hands on his thigh. “I do so want to help my poor brother. And I have made a vow to my mother. And I must keep my promises, mustn’t I?”
“You certainly should,” he agreed, looking at her hands as they lay on his leg.
“Mr Jeffreys, I understand about promises, and that my brother’s rent should be paid. But we have no money. There must be something else that I can give you, to pay off the debt?”
He said nothing. He looked at her hopeful face, then down at her hands. He swallowed hard, and opened his mouth to speak, but found nothing to say.
She moved her hands up his leg to his crotch, where the tips of her fingers strayed between the fastening of his trousers and the top of his thighs. “You will help me to find a way to keep my promise, won’t you Mr Jeffreys?”
“I… well… I….”
“Oh thank you,” she smiled, and leaned forward to kiss him, her lips pressing into his, and her fingers stroking him. He kissed her back, and she felt his tongue against her lips, then his hand at her waist, and then a hardening beneath her fingers.
She kissed him until he felt him solid as wood beneath her touch, their lips and tongues brushing against one and others. And then she began to feel her way to the buttons of his trouser fastening.
One by one she undid the buttons while they continued to kiss, and when his trousers fell open and his hard shaft sprung free he gave a gasp between pain and pleasure. Her lace gloves were coarse, and as she stroked the sensitive flesh at the front of his cock he was torn between ecstasy at the gentle touch of her fingers and pain at the abrasive touch of the lace.
“Are the gloves too coarse?” she pulled her head back and asked, concern in her voice and eyes. “I’m afraid we are only poor, and cannot afford soft, fine lace,” she apologized, while continuing to stroke him. “But I will find an alternative, I promise….”
While her younger sister looked on, appalled, she swung herself round in front of him, and knelt on the floor. Lowering her head, she brushed the front of his shaft with her lips and then her tongue.
“Is that softer?”
She took him in her mouth, and let her tongue play across the head of his cock, while her fingers continued to tease the base of the shaft. His breathing deepened, and she pulled her head back again. “I can do better….” She undid the fastening of his trousers at the waist, and he raised his hips to allow her to pull them down. When his trousers were around his ankles, she lowered her head again, and bracing herself with her hands on his bare thighs she began to bob on his hard shaft. He put his head back against the sofa, closed his eyes, and revelled in the softness of her tongue and lips.
“This,” the younger woman gasped in exasperation, “is simply disgraceful!” She stood up and made for the door. Leaving the room she turned for just a moment, and saw that Mr Jeffreys remained unmoving, determined to enjoy the older sister’s attentions. She stormed through the hallway to the front door, which she swung open. Seconds later the door slammed shut again, and she was gone.
Mr Jeffreys opened his eyes and looked down at the woman, her head bobbing on his cock. She moved a hand up to move the cloth of his waistcoat away from his shaft, and began to stroke around the side of his crotch, but the waistcoat fabric kept flapping back.
She looked up at him. “Your waistcoat is getting in the way.”
He did not need to be asked again. He removed his waistcoat, tie and shirt, and, still keeping his shaft between her lips, she took full advantage of his bare flesh, teasing his skin with the caress of her lace-gloved fingers, from his knees up to his chest.
She teased him for as long as she could, until she could feel him growing restless. He shifted in his seat, but before he could move to another position she raised her head and knelt up, climbing onto his lap, one knee on either side of him. Still fully clad, the stiff fabric of her jacket pressed against his bare chest and her skirts enveloping his thighs, she leaned forward and kissed him again.
“I knew you were a kind man, Mr Jeffreys,” she assured him. “And I know I have something that will pay my poor brother’s debts.” She reached between them and pulled up the fabric of her skirts.
He could feel her stockings against his thighs, and as the last of the skirt fabric was lifted clear his cock sprang against her mound.
She tilted her hips back and forth, letting his haft rub against her,and then lifted herself slightly, until the head of his cock brushed in between her pussy lips. She held him there, the tip just teasing at her entrance, and said, “Do you think that will pay my brother’s debt?”
“Very much so, madam!” he assured her, putting his hands on her waist to guide her down onto him.
But for a moment she resisted. “Do you promise, Mr Jeffreys?”
“Oh, I am glad!” and she let him pull her down, her wet warm pussy enveloping his engorged shaft. “Oh yes! I am very glad!
She gyrated on his lap, circling her hips, clenching her warm pussy around his shaft, sometimes thrusting against him, sometimes pulling back until he nearly came out. His breathing was deep, his eyes fixed on her face, his hands on her waist. He pulled her against him; she held back. He tried to thrust against her and she pushed hard down on him, preventing him from building up a rhythm. For a quarter of an hour she let him luxuriate in her tight pussy, not letting him work up any sort of pace or spend himself.
At last, in frustration, he pushed her back. She caught herself on the coffee table, and he grabbed her ankles, raising her legs so that she had to lay back across the table. Then he reached down and threw her skirts up across her torso, exposing her waiting wet pussy lips.
“I think, Mr Jeffreys, that the debt is very close to paid!” she smiled.
“Very close, madam!” And he plunged his hard cock into her pussy.
She moaned and he grunted. He took hold of her stockinged thighs, and bracing himself against her he pounded into her. Her moans grow louder, his grunts less restrained. She reached down between her legs and began to caress her clit with her fingers, moaning more frequently as she did. Looking down, he drank in the sight of his hard cock slamming into her wet pussy, while she, still fully dressed, played with herself. The sight was too much, and pushing in hard he exploded inside her, shuddering as he gripped her thighs.
He slumped back, and looked around for his clothes.
She did not give him time to get dressed.
“Thank you, Mr Jeffreys,” she smiled, leaning forward, putting her hands on his shoulders and kissing him one last time. “You are such a kind man, and I’m certain my brother will be overjoyed when you tell him that you have forgiven his debt!”
“Well… yes… I….”
She smoothed down her skirt and adjusted her jacket. “Thank you so much!” And she turned and strode to and through the parlour door.
The slamming of the parlour door was the cue that Catherine Wolseley had been waiting for: she immediately emerged from the study, and the two women made for the front door.
Emma stood on the front steps for a minute after they had both left the house, allowing her patron time to escape. If their dupe did give chase in some attempt to continue the conversation – or, worse, the liaison – she did not want to be seen with Catherine.
But, spent and bemused, Edward Jeffreys took his time collecting his thoughts – and clothes – in his parlour. And so Emma made for the quiet courtyard where the three conspirators had agreed to rendezvous.
Catherine was already there, along with their accomplice.
“You played that very well!” Emma congratulated her fake-sister. “You looked properly anxious and appalled throughout!”
“Well, you did all of the real work! I was just so relieved to find your friend waiting on the front step,” she indicated Catherine. “I wouldn’t have wanted you to go through all that and for the whole thing to fail!”
“Oh, I had great fun!” Emma grinned, and then to Catherine: “Did you find what you needed?”
“In a mere three minutes – so you did not have to keep him going for so long.”
“I didn’t know how much time you’d need, and to be honest I worried that I didn’t keep him distracted for long enough. He was rather eager.”
“You think he was taken in? He didn’t suspect anything?”
“Not a thing,” Emma smiled, “And really, the hypocrisy was delicious. He began with a morality sermon on the importance of keeping one’s promises, and then minutes later he’s taking advantage of a poor married woman on his coffee table.”
“Married woman?” Catherine raised an eyebrow.
“Oh, I did have to embroider the family history a little. Who is this man whose rent I have just paid, anyway?”
“Frankly, I have no idea,” Catherine smiled. “Just someone who owed Jeffreys money, which gave us our pretext for your performance, and my entry to his study.”
“And so all is well with that little escapade?”
“I have found exactly what I need,” Catherine nodded, “the two of you have earned your fee, and,” she looked Emma up and down with a smile, “our clueless dupe has had his way with the most attractive woman he will ever be allowed to so much as touch. So, everybody should be very happy.”
“And some poor soul has just had his debts cancelled,” Emma added.
“Yes,” Catherine agreed. “If anyone asks what you did today, you can say that you worked to ease the plight of London’s urban poor.”
“Indeed I shall,” Emma laughed. “The three of us are the very model of modern Christian charity, and we should be quite proud of our virtuous afternoon!”