Evelia sat in her corset and underclothes on the stool facing her blonde maple vanity that had belonged to her mother. She traced her fingers over the curling grain pattern in the surface of the vanity as she found herself once again thinking about Adan. As promised, he had escorted her the rest of the way to the academy, but before saying farewell they had kissed passionately hidden in the dark alley to the side of the tall outer wall of the academy that protected the nuns and young ladies inside. Unable to let that day be the last of their relationship, Adan had found ways to travel the distance to her plantation and they would secretly meet in an uninhabited wooded area of the plantation. Shrouded by tall oaks and palm brush, they would sit near a slow muddy creak and spend hours together. They often talked but their passion was new and it burned bright in the cool spring evenings. She maintained her virtue, but it had been very difficult. Under his hands her skin burned, her heart raced and her body quivered. No one had ever made her feel so alive.
After her safe return to her plantation, her father had been so relieved that he had not nagged or bothered her. Instead he began to plan a grand party scheduled for the beginning of summer in honor of her miraculous deliverance from death and had left her to her own devices. She was able to spend that unsupervised time with Adan. As the spring days grew longer, they would meet as often as possible. It had been absolutely liberating but that had come to a sudden end over a month ago. Adan had run out of money and he had to return to smuggling. He had promised to return as soon as possible but she feared that he was too late. The party her father had planned was tonight and she had an ominous feeling about it. She rubbed her fingers over her lips trying to remember the way his lips had felt. Suddenly a voice broke through her remembrances.
“Ya thinkin’ about him again, aren’t ya Miss. Sheffield.” said Rosie who was at that point curling and braiding Evelia’s hair for the party. Rosie had been her servant since she could remember. Owned by her father, Rosie was a third generation slave who it turned out was descended from princesses from a tribe along the coastal areas of southern Africa. She was long and lean, and only a year or two older than Evelia. She had cool dark brown skin that bordered on black and her hair was cut short around her perfectly curved head. Her eyes were large and seemed to glow in contrast to her skin. Her nose was wide and her cheek bones were strong and angular. Evelia had never really taken the time to learn anything about her until after Congo Square. That day had changed her perspective and after returning to the plantation she made it a point to talk to Rosie. They had grown very close but she hadn’t told her about Adan.
Evelia carefully looked up at Rosie in the reflection of her vanity mirror and said carefully, “Rosie, I don’t know what you are talking about. Who could I possibly be thinking about?”
“Oh Miss Sheffield, ya can’t hide these things from me. I know ya thinkin’ about that boy that ya used to sneak off to go see on the south side of the plantation.” She said with a smirk on her face.
Evelia’s mouth hung open in shock at how easily Rosie had read her and sudden fear gripped her. Who else knew?
“Oh don’ go worryin’ yaself. I won’t be tellin yo secret. No one else knows excepten’ Toby of course.” Rosie said while rolling her eyes at Evelia in the mirror. Her hands continued to work tirelessly setting the curls on the top of Evelia’s head. Evelia relaxed and gave Rosie and embarrassed smile.
“Well go ‘on. I’ve been dyin’ to know about him. And where did he runoft to? Ya haven’t been sneaken off recently.” Rosie suddenly became very animated as she worked on Evelia’s hair as if she had been trying to bring up the matter for some time. Evelia could tell the curiosity had gotten the better of her.
She put her hands up and shushed her as her voice grew in volume. “Shhhh! Alright, alright. I’ll tell you a little bit. His name is Adan. He’s the one that saved me from the fire.”
“But ya told ever’body that ya gotcha self out that fire!” she said pausing from her work to put a hand on her hip and point at her through the reflection in the mirror.
“Well I didn’t. Adan saved me. He’s a smuggler. He owns a ship, and… oh god Rosie, he’s incredible. I never knew I could feel such things. He’s out at sea right now unfortunately. I miss him so much.” she said with a sigh.
Rosie began to shake her head, “Oh child, Ya have it bad. I haven’t seen someone so in love since Chloe ran oft with that barge slave.”
Evelia’s eyes went wide, “That’s why Chloe ran away?” Rosie laughed softly and nodded her head in response. “Oh Rosie, what am I going to do?”
She shrugged and responded, “He has a ship ya could always just run away with him. You’re hair’s done; we should start on the dress.”
Evelia appraised herself in the mirror. Rosie had done an incredible job as usual. Her hair fell to either side of a central part and gathered in a braid that started above both ears and swopped to the back of her head where they came together with a beautiful satin golden bow and fell down in a long elegant braid. She was sure that she was in the prime of her life and that she would never look so beautiful again, yet she could take no joy in it. She stood and walked towards Rosie while saying, “We’ve talked about running off together and living the rest of our lives on the deck of his ship. It’s very tempting, but I keep thinking about you and the other slaves around here. What would become of you if I left? I haven’t yet given you enough money to purchase your freedom. I must at least stay until then, but another girl will just come and take your place. It all seems so wrong. How can I just run away and turn a blind eye to such injustices?”
Rosie took her hands and held them tightly. “Miss. Sheffield, I’ve decided that I’m not goin to use the money ya been givin me to buy my freedom.”
Evelia looked at her curiously, “Well, I have been giving you the money as a sort of wage for your work, which means it’s yours to do with as you please. But I’m curious. What do you plan to do with it then?”
“Well, I’ve been thinkin, what would I do with myself if I bought my freedom? I would just end up workin in someone’s house in New Orleans as a servant. And they wouldn’t be nearly as kind as you are. Working for ya, it’s kinda like I’m already free. I think I’m goin to buy my brother’s freedom instead.” she answered.
“You know what, that seems like a great idea. Toby deserves a bit of a respite from such difficult labor. He is a good man, and you are an amazing sister. I’ll have to double your salary then so that he can get out of here as soon as possible.” said Evelia squeezing Rosie’s hands lovingly.
“Miss Sheffield, you really have changed so much since you met that boy. Come we have to get this dress on ya. I think it’s the finest thing I have ever seen.”
Rosie then began the difficult task of assisting Evelia dress for the evening’s revelries. Evelia donned the largest crinoline she owned over her matching pale pink corset, stockings and other various under-clothes. Once covered in fabric, it would give her a 4 foot diameter footprint. Her dress was truly a work of art. It was a rich olive green satin dress with yellow undertones. The neck line fell low on her shoulders and scooped in a smooth arch across her chest and back. Golden lace hung from the entire circumference of the neck line covering the top of the bodice and the short fitted sleeves. The bodice fit tightly to her body and a golden ribbon was used to lace up the bodice at her back. More golden lace ran around the bottom of the skirt and was periodically pulled up into bunches around her knees and adorned with golden satin bows. A simple string of soft golden pearls hung around her slender neck and hung from her ears. Long elbow length golden gloves and matching golden slippers finished the ensemble.
She sighed as she appraised her appearance in a floor length mirror. The large voluminous skirt would most certainly give her issues tonight. It was hard to walk through doorways with so much fabric but her reflection did not lie. She looked splendid. Rosie stood smiling behind her and, nodding her approval, she stepped forward and placed a hand on her shoulder. Evelia reached up to grasp the hand trying to draw strength and bravery from the touch.
Suddenly she noticed a different hand in the reflection. The window of her second floor room stood open directly behind her and a hand had suddenly grasped the window sill from the outside. She turned quickly to see Adan’s face rise into view. She saw Rosie inhale, making ready for a startled scream but she was quick and placed a hand on her mouth. Using her other hand she placed a single finger to her lips pantomiming silence. Understanding dawned in Rosie’s eyes as Evelia ran to the window to help Adan finish making his entrance.
“Adan, what are you doing here?” she whispered excitedly to him.
“I made a big score and was able to come back early. I couldn’t stay away another minute.” He answered while breathing heavily from the exertion of climbing the side of a building. He wore his trade mark brown pants, dusty boots and oversized white shirt. Over the shirt he had on a charcoal grey vest with thin plum pin stripping which for once he had buttoned to the collar. His short dread locks were pushed back from his face with a simple length of twin while the rest fell over his shoulders. As he sat on the window sill he suddenly looked up at her. He sat back and put a hand over his heart. “Wow… Evelia you look amazing.”
She couldn’t help but smile at his reaction and for once she didn’t mind all the work that had gone into her outfit that night. Without taking her eyes off of him she said, “Rosie, can you do me a favor and give us a second alone.”
With a smile on her face she rolled her eyes and said as she walked out of the door, “Alright, but I put in a lot of work to make ya look that good. Ya better not go and mess it up!”
As soon as the door had closed they crashed into each other. His lips were warm and insistent on her mouth. His hands wrapped around her waist and squeezed her into him and her own hands pulled hard on his shirt. Her nose filled with his salty aroma and she could taste freedom on his tongue. When their lips separated she sank into a desperate hug her arms wrapping firmly around his neck. His hot breath fell on her neck and made her quiver. She breathed him in and savored the smell.
Holding her he said, “I can’t tell you how much I missed you. I couldn’t stay away another moment”
Hugging him tighter she said, “Me too, but…” He pulled away slightly at her hesitation and looked at her in confusion.
She shook her head, “It was foolish to come here tonight. The ball is tonight and the whole plantation is swarming with people. What if you were caught climbing into my window?”
He only smiled mischievously at her as his hands moved up and down her back. She was about to yell at him when Rosie suddenly burst into the room startling them both.
“Miss Sheffield, quick Mr. Blackmon is here. He wants to see ya; I’m supposed to be announcin him!”
Evelia’s eyes went wide as she looked at Adan. His brow scrunched together and he looked about the room for a place to hide, but before he could move they heard the footfalls of someone outside the door. Evelia’s heart was thudding deep in her chest and she felt that at any moment she would faint as fear beat through her veins. The door was beginning to open and quicker than lightning Adan grasped her waist and swiveled her to face the door as he ducked behind her. Before she knew what to do she was facing Mr. Blackmon and Adan was underneath her gigantic skirt. Rosie stood behind Mr. Blackmon by the open door with wide eyes, her mouth hanging open in shock.
With only a slight tremble in her voice she greeted her intruder, “Mr. Blackmon, what an unexpected pleasure. I thought I wouldn’t have the pleasure of your company until later this evening.”
He was dressed in crisp black pants and a charcoal grey high-wasted jacket with tails and a matching vest. A black tie peaked out of the vest. He had Patten leather shoes and he held his shiny black top hat in one hand and a sleek black cane in the other. He handed Rosie his top hat and cane then crossed the room in long confident strides and taking one of her hands he bowed before her. As he kissed her gloved hand she felt Adan’s warm hands wrap softly around her thighs as he knelt directly behind her legs.
She forced herself to relax and smile even though her heart beat so quickly she was sure that it would soon burst from her chest. Mr. Blackmon looked up at her from the bowed position and said, “Miss Sheffield, you look truly radiant tonight. You will most certainly be the loveliest woman at the ball.”
She could feel Adan’s hot breath on the back of her thighs. She swallowed and responded, “Mr. Blackmon, you flatter me, but I am not yet fully ready.” She felt Adan’s lips press against her leg through the thin cotton of her pantaloons. Clearing her throat she asked, “What can I do for you sir?”
Mr. Blackmon stood back from her holding her hand and said, “Before the party started I wanted to express to you exactly what you mean to me.” Adan slid his hand up the front of her thigh slowly. “I feel it is important that you understand the way I feel before I see you tonight and events run their course.”
She felt him open his mouth and bite down on her leg just hard enough to make her inhale slightly from the pain. Trying to cover the inhale she quickly said, “Alright”
Mr. Blackmon continued without noticing, “You are a fine woman and I have always been very fond of you.” As Adan bit down his hand slid up to the waist of her pantaloons and untied the string that kept them on. “I find your conversation very stimulating.” Adan slowly pulled down her pantaloons exposing the skin of her thighs and hips to his touch. “And I think you are exquisite to look upon.” She could feel Adan’s hot breath on the skin of her thighs and her legs began to quiver slightly. “I cannot tell you how distraught I was when we couldn’t find you after the fire.” He began to kiss and suck on the skin of her thighs, the stubble on his cheeks biting at her skin, as one of his hands traced up the inside of her leg and she could no longer control the rate of her breathing. “I know now that I never want to feel that way again.” His hand finally stopped where her thighs touched blocking his progress and he pushed against her urging her to open for him. “If you could find it within you to open your heart to me, I would never let harm come to you.” Looking down at the floor she repositioned her legs allowing Adan access to her groin. “I would always be there to rub your worries and cares away.” Kissing and nibbling at her butt cheeks Adan slid his fingers between the folds at the apex of her legs and began to message her slowly. “You’re an amazing and resourceful women and I very much admire your spirit.” Adan applied pressure and she bit down on her lip fighting the urge to rock back and forth against him. “I know that when the day comes you will be able to run a household to perfection.” A dull ache began to build in her abdomen as he quickened the movements of his fingers. “I eagerly await the day that I can witness that.” Her chest rose and fell sharply as she tried to catch her breath. “Are you ok?”
She forced herself to look up into Mr. Blackmon’s face. She placed both hands on her stomach and said, “Yes, I’m sorry. I can’t seem to breathe. I think it must be the heat and I think this dress may be a little too tight. Rosie, would you mind bringing me my fan.” She looked to Rosie who was openly glaring at her. At the mention of her name, she snapped to attention and grabbed the fan on the vanity beside her. She crossed the floor and leveled Evelia with a look that showed she knew exactly what Adan was doing under her dress and she did not approve. Her voice was low as she said, “Miss. Sheffield, perhaps you should close the window. That might cool things down.” Evelia took the fan from her and gave her an exasperated look. Opening the fan she began to fan herself as Adan continued his work relentlessly.
Evalia continued, “Your words have moved me deeply. I too care a great deal for you.” Adan bit down hard at that and she let out a small groan that she covered with a cough. A flush was creeping over her skin and she didn’t know how much longer she could keep up this charade.
Mr. Blackmon said with a look on concern, “Madame, I am greatly relieved you feel the same way. I was hoping that you might meet me at the top of the staircase at the stroke of 9 for an announcement, but it seems that you might not be well.” Adan’s relentless pace stumbled for a moment but then recovered with long slow strokes.
“No sir, I just require some rest before the party and some adjustments to my dress. I will of course join you at the requested time. I look forward to it, and now if you could excuse me, I would like to rest. Rosie could you please escort Mr. Blackmon out and make sure that I am not disturbed?” she said as she fanned herself vigorously.
Mr. Blackmon smiled and bowed again before turning and exiting the room. Rosie was able to shoot one penetrating gaze at her before exiting as well and closing the door behind her. Adan swiveled around her to let her fall back against the window sill with a groan. One of her hips automatically perched on the windowsill and her arm encircled the rim of the window and grasped the outside ledge. The wind blew in her face helping to alleviate the flush that had risen on her cheeks. He had to disconnect his hand to swing around her and poke his head out from underneath the enormous skirt.
Gulping for air she gasped at him, “What are doing? Don’t stop!” He had knowingly worked her into a frenzy. Under normal circumstances, she would have kicked him out and finished the job herself, but her skirt made that an impossible task. For better or worse he started this and now he needed to finish it.
He had a look of genuine surprise on his face at her response. While he had done things that greatly aroused her in the past she had always pulled back from him in the last moments in order to protect her virtue. While she had explored and known her body before meeting him, she had more than quadrupled such activities after meeting him. As he realized the power that he now wielded over her a mischievous smile spread across his lips. He took a thumb and returned it to her groin, gently applying pressure. He subtly licked his bottom lip causing it to shine in the evening light. In a low voice he said, “Ok if I continue, what will you do for me?”
He twisted his thumb slightly causing her to unconsciously rock against him as she struggled to breathe. “Name it!”
“I want a favor, and when I ask it of you, you cannot refuse me.” He said in such a low voice that she almost did not hear him. It was a serious request and she knew that he would not use this future favor flippantly. He would use it for something that she would not want to do, but as his thumb began to apply more pressure she felt his other hand sliding up her thigh. He had trapped her with her own need so she hesitantly nodded at him. His smile grew wide and she watched him sink down below the horizon of her skirt as the sun set below the horizon behind her.
She closed her eyes, shutting out the distracting sites of her room and concentrated on the tactile word that enveloped her in the darkness behind her eyelids. As the night took the place of day the humidity of the day began to turn the air cool and moist. A soft breeze blew into her face as his hand on her thigh slowly lifted her leg and skillfully draped it over his shoulder. She could feel his thumb press harder into her as the stubble on his face scratched along the skin of her inner thigh. His soft warm lips kissed and suckled her skin contrasting against the roughness of his grizzled cheeks. His kisses traced up her leg to replace his hand and she could not stifle the gasp that it caused. She had never expected nor considered that kisses could give so much pleasure and she bit hard on her lip to keep silent. Her hands gripped the edges of the window, and her thighs were wrapped around his head.
Her heart pulsed louder in her ears then any drum she had ever heard and it was the only sound she could hear. Biting her lip, she struggled for air. Her corset constrained her so that she was only capable of short quick gasps. Her body rocked back in forth without consent as she felt the ecstasy build in her abdomen and when the wave of pleasure finally smashed against her she tightened her entire body and opening her eyes, sucked in a raged breath. As the wave began to pull back small black dots began to fill her vision and she felt a rush of blood to her head. A sudden an intense smell of cotton filled her nose and it made her stomach gurgle with a sickening sound. The edges of her vision blurred and as she looked out of the window the ground seemed to lurch towards her before she sank into unconsciousness.ns 126.96.36.199da2