Published: Feb 12, 2011
ISBN # 9781606595893
Word Count: 55,000
Wayward cowboys with mechanical toys, an enterprising post-Civil War pleasure seeker, lovers conflicted in flight, and a lonely inventor whose salvation washes up on the shore of Penzance…these stories of passion in the time of steam are guaranteed to set fire to your sense.
Silver Wings, an anthology of M/M and bi-male steampunk, features works by Cari Z., Mahalia Levey, Ross Baxter and JT Whitehall, edited by Phaze bestseller Leigh Ellwood.
Steamy Surrender Book 4 in the Anthology
Cadence mewled on the bed as she watched her physician enter the room. Her body was tense; she was tired of being a freak. Her body ached and she’d been unable to sleep, and was moody to boot. Relaxing her legs, she turned her head away, feeling ashamed. Something was wrong with her.
Dr. Seymour had been nice enough to come out repeatedly during the past few months. Now, she felt him pull the bedding down, baring her. The moment she felt his fingertips hit her sensitive flesh she cried out.
“What disease do I have, Doctor?” She bit her lip and tried to ignore the pleasure welling between her thighs.
“You have the female hysteria.” He pressed her leg down and forced her to lie still. He continued massaging her clitoris in a slow, steady motion.
“I don’t understand,” she moaned as unwanted pleasure began coursing through her body. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
“Stress causes it. You’ve moved around a bit with your father and his different post assignments, and this disease isn’t unknown to ladies of your age, whose fathers are in the same profession. Insomnia accompanied with your nervousness and fainting episodes during women’s activities has been noted. The last time I was here, you fell asleep before we could talk about this. Your defiance and trouble causing lends way to make it worse.”
“Why am I abnormal?” She cried out as her body began to spasm. Jerking her legs closed, she whimpered. The touch of his fingers felt decadently good, and sinful. Thoughts of being filled surfaced in her mind, like the dreams she’d been having of a lover.
“I don’t know, my dear. Just try to behave and stop having sinful thoughts. I saw your face as your body began to feel better. You shouldn’t have felt pleasure, only relief.” He removed his hand and pulled the covers back down. After checking her vitals, he left the room and walked back down the stairwell.
Cadence climbed out of the bed, padded quietly towards the doorway, and cracked the door so she could hear what was being said about her. When her mother asked how she was she felt her face heat in mortification.
Georgia stood up. “Well, Doctor, how is our daughter?”
“To be honest, Mrs. Johnson, she needs bed rest with no stress. The fainting and loss of breath spells are becoming more frequent, and she’s obsessed with what is wrong with her. What she needs is a good marriage. Massaging the uterus to prevent the female semen from poisoning her is fine, if she’s widowed or married. Since that isn’t the case, the only recourse is to come back repeatedly. It’s taxing to be called in frequently just to give her that treatment, as well as for the other females I’ve been assigned to assuage. Good evening.” He retrieved the payment for his services rendered and nodded to the butler as he was let out the door. She watched the doctor leave and her father slip unnoticed into his den.
In the darkened house, Cadence woke up hungry. She quietly padded downstairs to the kitchen. With the staff asleep, and her parents in their beds, she had a chance to eat and think. The light hadn’t been snuffed out of the oil lamp her father kept at his desk. Her intentions to snuff it out were interrupted by the paper folded neatly next to it. Quietly, knowing as a soldier and officer he was a light sleeper, she opened the paper up and scanned the writing. The note fluttered back onto the desk when she dropped it and covered her mouth.
Merrick San Donato had been to their house many times during the past few years—her father had purchased his Mustang from the Spaniard’s herd. She’d always noticed how his intense eyes watched her. The smoky grey orbs missed nothing and robbed her of thought and coherent words. High cheekbones and hawkish features should’ve made him appear rugged and harsh, but instead he was delightfully handsome. The way his raven black hair curled just at his nape gave her designs to twist it under her fingers. Stopping to think about it, her problems hadn’t begun to occur until they’d moved closer to his homestead.
Cadence looked at the note and bent to reach for it. She smoothed and refolded it as it was, then turned off the light and headed back into the kitchen to get a cold sandwich. Man alive! She moved, trying to decide if she’d follow her father’s dictates or not. She couldn’t damn well marry a man who made her think unnatural thoughts. She’d surely go to Hell, or Purgatory. Right then she made the decision. Before she could lose her nerve she penned a note explaining that it wasn’t their fault she was a flawed daughter and she couldn’t marry a man her father held such an affinity for as such, so she was moving on to find her own way.
In the kitchen, she made a picnic of sorts with a basket and some small flasks of water and juice. Upstairs she packed a few things and took off her women’s finery, and replaced them with some of her maid’s clothing, the clothing she’d been repairing to keep her hands from being idle and her mind from drifting to bad thoughts. Her maid was close to her size. Her lace-up boots she kept in case she had to cover rough terrain.
Getting out of the house proved easy, for no one was watching or expecting her to act out so soon after her treatment. She moved quickly outdoors and headed for the stall that held Apache, her father’s steed.
Faint light flickered in the stables. Hugging the basket extra tight to her side, Cadence walked into the stables. Her heart thudded at the chance of being caught, her plans ruined. She wiped her empty palm on her clothing and looked around for the guard on duty. On the far end of the corridor she spied him and formulated a plan as she walked in his direction. Confidence left her the closer she came to his spot next to Apache’s stall.
“Miss Cadence, what can I do for you?”
“Oh, not much,” She looked down at her feet and expelled a breath. Lying didn’t come easy to her. “My mother was to deliver this basket earlier to the family that lost their father. Poor widow with six mouths to feed and no man. I was too ill to see it done earlier. Can’t take the thought of them in hunger pains.”
“I don’t see any harm in you going just up the road. I’d escort you, Miss Cadence, though the Colonel mightn’t take kind to me leaving my post.”
Cadence watched the guard consider what he wanted to do. “I don’t wish for trouble; just want to get this hot dinner to the family in need.” She offered him a sweet smile and set the basket down to rest her arms.
“Well then we ought to get you moving, deliver it, and come straight back. You hear?”
“I mean it, don’t dally around. Women don’t belong out of the house in the dark, unless the reasons call for it.”
“I won’t, I’ll come right back.” She didn’t give him her word. After putting the side-saddle on she rubbed Apache’s nose and stepped on the stool to climb up.
“Here, let me help you.” James gave her a boost up and saw her settled on the horse. She smiled as clicked her teeth leading him out of the stall. Clear of the stall and out in the open, she took a deep breath of relief.