Summary: Is she really the newest working girl in Virginia City? Written for Bonanza Brand’s R-Rated 13th Anniversary Writing Challenge
Rating: R / Mature Audience only. Not extremely explicit, but close enough. (2,775 words)
A Heart-filled Royal Flush
Standing with her back to the bar, Mary Sue O’Brien surveyed the room while she waited for one of the other girls to arrive. She noted the various strangers intermingled with quite a few ranchers and town’s folk who regularly visited. Her attention was drawn to the second floor open walkway that led to the staircase. There a woman hesitated, straightened out her dress and adjusted the feathery scarf draped behind her back and hanging from her elbows before taking the first step down.
Turning to face her employer, gripping the raised edge of the bar with both hands, she quietly hissed, “You can’t be serious, she’s not a working girl!”
“So?” Larry answered.
At five foot, four inches, and curves where curves belonged, the woman coming down the steps drew attention. Even with her long dark auburn hair hanging down, her assets were hard to hide as a some of her creamy flesh bulged above the lace collar of her modestly, low-cut dress. Just enough flesh was exposed to make up for her shoulders that remained hidden from view. The length of skirt was a little longer than most of the other working girls, but that didn’t faze Larry any, she turned a fair ankle in her dainty boots. Staring, the barman tilted his head, giving direction when she looked his way. With a disbelieving shake of his head, Larry couldn’t help the smile as the woman’s green eyes came alive and sparkled as she found her mark.
“You do know who that is, don’t you?” Mary Sue inquired, her eyes followed each step the woman made.
Continuing to wash the glasses and stack them upside-down on the silver tray, Larry unassumingly answered, “Yep.”
Leaning farther over the bar, her own cleavage threatening to spill out, “And you let her in here, dressed like that?”
Shrugging his shoulders, “She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
One by one, the patrons paused in their talks or set glasses of their unfinished drinks on the table tops. A few tossed poker chips and voices called for cards or signaling standing pat we heard above the piano player’s faltering fingers.
“An offer?!” Cringing, blush flamed her cheeks at realizing her voice had traveled farther than intended when the music died.
“Mary Sue, clear your mind. As I said, I know who she is and that’s not the type of offer she would ever make. At least not to anyone else but him. Just watch,” Larry suggested.
One by one, the eyes of three of the four men at the last card table rose to watch the new girl approach. Two were Sacramento ranchers on their way home from Salt Lake City; and do to trouble with the stage they ended up having to stay the night at the International House Hotel in Virginia City. With nothing better to do, they’d searched out a friendly card game at the highly recommended Gilded Palace; located through the double French doorway from the hotel lobby.
The owners of the International House had jumped on the chance to open a Gentlemen’s Club / Gambling Hall when the business next door closed. Unlike a saloon, the rooms upstairs were reserved for special clientele to spend the night.
The third card player watched with some amusement before realizing he needed to douse the amorous looks of the others at the table and let these men know what they didn’t know, “She’s out of your league gentlemen.”
Setting his cards face down, the younger of the two Californians started to stand, “She’s a working girl, isn’t she?”
Eyes almost bulging out of their sockets, “In a getup like that?” He slowly sat down when the woman stopped behind the fourth player at their table.
“Are you guys going to play cards or not?” asked the man as he finished settling his cards in order, not having paid attention to the idle chatter around the table nor the quieting of the room.
The feathered boa she’d wrapped around her neck helped hide some of her cleavage to the wide eyes of the others as she leaned forward.
Roaming her hands sensuously across his shoulders and down his chest, she whispered into his ear, “If you’d rather play cards… Your loss. I had a different game in mind.” Full lips painted a soft red sought out his mouth.
Struggling to fend off the unexpected attention, “Ma’am, I’m….”
Running fingers through his over the collar, curling, slightly graying hair she whispered, “Married?”
Twisting his body and turning the chair around at the same time, he nodded.
“So am I.” Maneuvering to take a seat on the man’s lap, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
The sultry timbre disappeared as a giggle he recognized, erupted. Able to see the vision of loveliness, he asked, “Just what game did you have in mind?”
Accepting the hands that settled around her waist, “I have a room upstairs.”
Returning his attention to the game, he picked up the cards and tossed them to the middle of the table, face up.
“Gentlemen, deal me out.”
Gasping at the diamond-fill Royal Flush revealed, “You could have won the pot, there’s over two hundred dollars there,” the older of the two Californians announced.
“That’s nothing compared to this heart-fill Royal Flush.” Standing he allowed himself to be led across the floor, directly towards the staircase.
As the two reached the top of the stairs and began walking across the upper passageway, Candy turned around in his seat, draped an arm over the back of the chair and shouted, “Hey Joe! Don’t forget, morning comes early!”
“I’m the boss!” And with that a door slammed shut.
Facing the ranchers, “As I said gentlemen, she’s way out of your league.”
Sounds returned to the saloon as the piano came to life and patrons talked among themselves about the events of the past five minutes, before finally discussing other concerns.
Mary Sue cornered Larry, “Just what offer did she make you?”
“Five hundred dollars towards a new gas-operated chandelier,” pointing towards the ceiling, “to replace that one. In exchange, I’d let her ‘work’ Joe Cartwright tonight.”
“It’s their anniversary tomorrow, and Joe’s birthday. And before he leaves on Monday for the trail drive, she wanted to give him a present he’d never forget.”
Giving upstairs one last wistful look, “Wish I could be a fly on the wall at church tomorrow. Would love to hear the gossip about those two and tonight.”
“No, you wish it were you upstairs with him instead.”
“Me and every other working girl.” Sighing, “But we know he’s faithful to a fault. He deserves it though, what with his first wife’s death. Yeah, Joe Cartwright deserves a woman like Catherine.”
“Get back to work Mary Sue.”
“You too, Larry.”
Forgetting the slamming of the door, Joe enveloped the woman in his arms, leaned forward, and nibbled on her ear before whispering, “Mrs. Cartwright, you are one wicked woman.”
Turning to face him, she wrapped her arms around his neck, “I’m to understand that’s why you married me.”
“It thought it was because I was set up.” Breathlessly, the two parted from a long, passionate kiss, “You do know we’re going to be the talk of the town after tonight.”
Blushing, “Well, they can only talk about what happened downstairs.”
Reaching around to unzip the back of her dress, “And only we can talk about what happens upstairs.”
“Talk?” Slipping from his arms, “I had something better than talk planned.”
Shivering at the loss of warmth as she stepped away, “Would that be my birthday present or my anniversary present?”
Moving to the three-panel partition, she disappeared, only to peak around the edge, “Both. Now get comfortable, I’ll be out in a minute.”
Having turned the wick in the glass-ensconced lamp to burn low, Joe undressed before slipping under the satin covers and sheets to patiently wait.
Articles of women’s clothing were gently tossed to rest over the center panel. Moments later Catherine stepped out wearing a see-through, deep red coverlet, revealing a most beguiling negligée.
Unable to contain the low growl, Joe’s eyes widened in appreciation. “Naughty and naughtier.” Rising to his knees, he crawled across the bed to wait for his wife. “My, my, my.” Slipping the flimsy material off her shoulders and down her back, “I see you’ve been shopping.”
“Yes, Elizabeth, remembering our anniversary was approaching, insisted on stopping by this quaint little shoppe when I was in Sacramento last month.”
“And she encouraged you to purchase some lacy lingerie to wear just for me.” Looking at the tiny buttons down the front, Joe wiggled his fingers in anticipation of unwrapping his present.
Wiggling her own eyebrows, “You’ve never objected in the past.”
One button at a time, Joe proceeded with great theatrics until he reached the last button. Before he parted the material to reveal both tantalizingly full breasts, he beseeched the eyes of his love; it wasn’t required that he ask permission, it was just something he had done back on their wedding night and continue to do so every time they made love. Her soft, pale skin seemed aglow in the low light. Taking one pert, rosy nipple into his mouth, he suckled as if a new born babe while massaging the other full orb by hand.
After two years of marriage, he knew exactly how to please his wife, to make her purr like a kitten and beg him to attend to her womanly region. He knew just how to bring her to climax in a strong orgasm by using his tongue and mouth. After satiating her need, he’d allow her to reciprocate in kind with his own manhood. To Joe, this beginning was just the icing. And tonight, he planned to have his cake and eat it too. And knew Catherine would enjoy eating her own ‘cake’, soon. Both thoroughly enjoyed the foreplay before allowing their carnal desires to consume their passion.
After his introduction to Julia Bulette, Joe had frequented the rooms upstairs at various saloons. It was better to experience ‘relief’ there, especially having listened to his father, and his brother Adam, instilling in him the conduct that was expected from him when it came to nice, wholesome girls and maintaining their virtue. He understood from the man’s point of view. However; from the woman’s point of view…
For some reason discovering on his wedding night just how unknowledgeable Alice was in the art of making love surprised him. He took time to explain that there were ways for a woman to please a man. Unfortunately, her upbringing would never allow her to perform those acts. As her mother had once explained to her, the marriage bed was for the man to own the woman’s body. Joe loved Alice and he knew she loved him, but still it was disappointing.
He’d brought Alice and their unborn child’s murderer to justice and returned to living in the main house and working the ranch.
As a favor to his father, the two attended the Governor’s Ball. Even though most felt enough time had passed where it would be acceptable for Joe to start seeing someone new, he still grieved his loss. Throughout the evening he chose to keep himself apart from the younger, available women, preferring to spend his time dancing with the spouses of key politicians as well as the widows or wives of ranchers the family knew. That was until after the sun set and Widow Azaela felt faint. She requested of Joe to escort her through one of the open double doors and out onto a balcony for some fresh air.
With careful attention, he knelt in front of the sixty-three-year old woman as she sat on one of the cushioned benches, “Would you care for some punch?”
Fanning herself with the fan strapped to her wrist, “Yes, please.”
“I’ll be right back Mrs. Azaela.”
A few minutes later, Joe returned to find the widow missing.
“Excuse me, sir.” At hearing a young woman’s voice, Joe turned. “I was told my Aunt Margery had taken faint.”
Unable to speak at first, Joe stared. “I think I’ve been set up.”
With hands clasped in front of her waist, “Set up?”
“Yes.” Stepping closer and offering a cup of punch. “If you’re Catherine Boivier.”
“I am.” Unwilling to take the refreshment from this stranger, she took a backwards step. “And just how do you know my name?”
“Your aunt spoke of you while we were dancing. She, quite eloquently stated, you were her youngest sister’s only daughter, who just happens to have four older brothers. She also mentioned you were visiting from Sacramento.” Taking another step closer, “If you’d prefer I can either introduce myself or find someone who knows both of us…”
“Joseph?” Ben called as he glanced through the doorway.
After a silent groan, “Here I am.”
“Ah, there you are. Margery Azaela mentioned you would be out here; and asked that I properly introduce you to her niece, Miss Boivier.”
Turning to face the new arrival, “Mr. Cartwright, I presume you know this young man.”
Conspiratorially whispering, “I told you I was set up.”
“That I do.” Ben’s expression told his son to behave. “Catherine Boivier, may I introduce to you, my son, Joseph Cartwright. Joseph, Miss Catherine Boivier.” Further addressing his son, “I met Miss Boivier when I attended a Cattlemen’s Meeting last year in Sacramento. Her father invited me to their home for dinner one night.”
After offering her slight, gloved hand and having it taken by the strong, yet gentle hand of Joe Cartwright, there was no separating the two that evening. Within six months, Catherine was living with her aunt in Virginia City. Margery was thrilled that her match-making had achieved her niece being properly courted by the most eligible bachelor, er… widower, in town. And, almost a year to the day of their meeting, the two were married, much to the consternation of the governor’s staff when they learned the date of the Governor’s Ball would have to be changed to allow the governor and his wife to attend the wedding.
Their first night as man and wife revealed another surprise to Joe. After having his ‘socks knocked off’, if he’d been wearing any, he couldn’t help but ask. Catherine’s response was an even bigger shock as he listened to his wife explain how she had gone to the most upscale gentleman’s club to learn the fine art of making love.
“Joe, it’s not so scandalous. I went to school with my friend Elizabeth, and I knew her mother owned the gentlemen’s club, and after Elizabeth returned from attending a women’s college, she began managing the business for her mother. We’re still friends and we correspond quite frequently. And when I told her I was to be married and told her of you…”
Not believing he could be any more embarrassed, “I don’t think you need to say any more.”
Snuggling into her husband’s strong chest, “Enough talking?”
“Enough talking.” Joe busied himself in making love to his wife and letting her make love to him.
The first rays of morning streamed through the lace curtains, shining on the couple spooned together in the large bed.
Glancing over her shoulder, Joe grinned as his wife stretched, causing the sheet to slip down, “Good morning, Catherine, my love.”
Unembarrassed by her nakedness she moved to straddle her husband, “It is, isn’t it.”
With one hand, Joe caressed her cheek as he gently rose up to kiss her lips, “Happy second anniversary.”
Purring as his other hand fondled and tweaked a breast, Catherine ardently returned his kiss, “Happy anniversary and happy birthday, my love.”
“You do realize my anniversary present for you is back home.”
Snuggling onto his strong chest, “I know.”
“And you do realize I’m going to miss you when the drive leaves tomorrow.”
Unable to prevent the hitch in her breath, “I’m going to miss you too.”
“What do you say we get up and have breakfast before going to church?”
“I do declare, husband. I don’t know why I married you. All it seems you want to do is talk, or, or…”
Joe silenced her by placing an index finger to her lips, “You said something last night about games.”
“We have this room until noon.”
Wiggling his eyebrows, “Noon, huh.”
Resting her chin on his chest, “Oh yes.”
And with that, she pulled the sheet over their bodies and, well… Let’s let these two love birds have a little privacy.
The End (or not)
Author’s Note: Pat, this one’s for you!
Author’s Note: #2: This story was written to keep the fourth player’s identity a secret for as long as I could. So please, for future readers who read the comments first, do not include his identity in your comments. — Thank you, BWF
Author’s Note #3: I know not everyone will agree with my description of Alice, but that’s the way I interpreted Bonnie Bedelia’s portrayal of the character. To me she just seemed too demure for Joe. But then if you’ll remember, this episode was written for Dan Blocker’s Hoss, and a demure wife suited him better.
Other Stories by this Author
- Lay Her Down (by BluewindFarm)
- A Thawing Heart (by BluewindFarm)
- The Vision #2 – the epilogue (by BluewindFarm)
- Restoring the Heart of the Ponderosa – Part 1 (by BluewindFarm)
- Lessons in the Art of Negotiations #2 – The Ophelia Theatre Presents… Private Dancer (by BluewindFarm)