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Subject: Chapter 296 - Part 1 (16 and above)

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Date Posted: Monday, July 16, 07:00:30am
In reply to: KatherineG. 's message, "Dreams in the Dark - continues with chapter 289 >" on Monday, June 18, 06:55:17am

Extra warning: I'm rating this part 16 and above for bad words and sexual--and occasionally unpleasant--discussions.

Dreams in the Dark (296/?)
by Katherine Gilbert

Not everyone in town was being so encouraged by their plans or their partners as those at the benevolent gathering at the Samuelles' house. Dorian, instead, was beginning to question the wisdom of many of his alliances; his gaze moved into the woman near him, wondering. It might be much better, if he could find some other way toward his goals.

He had started thinking this from the moment that Murrin had appeared in his boss's house, the man's bristling confidence difficult to ignore. Especially given the stark contrast to the subtly nervous wreck he had been left with, it had made him start to wonder about many parts of his life.

None of these was his profession, of course--his polite enjoyment of others' suffering making that highly unlikely to change; his gaze took in the coldly-ferocious woman near him. And, whatever the long-term viability of his links to Madeline, it was this which was causing him to rather enjoy their current interaction.

This "interaction" had just entered a new stage, as well--as little as such intimate links actually meant to either of them. While he was well-aware that she believed that she was manipulating him when she had offered him the temporary use of her body half an hour or so ago, he was not a man who was likely to turn such an offer down. Sex, after all, should be taken wherever it could be found. A woman's lack of beauty or desirable body meant little. Men--he had long-known, his own father making the fact clear early--needed such release, were entitled to it. All that really mattered was that she have the requisite parts. The rest was a simple matter of interlinking anatomy.

This was a fairly accurate description of what had just taken place between the pair, none of their deeper passions remotely touched. Dorian had wondered more than once, in fact, whether this woman even *had* such desires--her approach to such activities apparently quite male, otherwise. She seemed to take no deeper interest in her lovers, spared no sentiment for the biology of sex; he gave a small smile. But perhaps it was just that she was quite a well-trained whore, after all.

This truth wasn't exactly shocking, the woman's long-time alliance with Wolfe well known; it was what kept her in her job, long after the departure of the daughter she had supposedly been originally hired to appease. Still, like most of those women who searched out her particular profession, she used her body as a bargaining chip--to gain interest in a plan, to seal a deal. The act itself seemed to mean little. All that did was that she get what she really wanted.

This was true, to his mind, of all prostitutes--and of most women in general. Some of them might be searching for a wedding ring--or, after that, perhaps a new stove or extra spending money--but the legal papers did little to undermine the facts. They provided what the men around them wanted, for a fee. It was just that some of these exchanges weren't quite so evident as others.

Enquist had always rather assumed that most women fell into this category--although, unlike Hillinger, he was aware that there were a few who didn't. Still, it was those who utterly confused him. Ultimately, he had decided that they were simply rather stupid. Why any woman would give away for free what she could easily profit from was rather difficult to figure out.

The woman near him clearly agreed--the fact making him like her all the more. Certainly, all of his mistresses had, as well--his current one especially accommodating. Still, she was starting to nag just a bit too much--always a bad sign. A whore, after all, was not a wife. Once a mistress started to think of herself as a permanent fixture, it was always time to find another.

This had been his intention for sometime with Madeline--certainly wasn't at all dissuaded by their interaction today. True, the woman had seemed less than enraptured by their union, but that didn't interest him particularly. While an eager slut could be amusing for awhile, her charms would wear off in time--could easily become quite irritating. He actually preferred a more phlegmatic sort of woman, one who was capable of amusing herself by staring at the ceiling; they were the perfect sort of mistresses, demanding nothing. They were well aware that they were already getting something out of the deal--didn't ask for pleasure, into the bargain. Besides, she could handle such things herself. If she were smart, she would find some sort of release on her own; if she weren't, she wouldn't. He nearly shrugged. What did it have to do with him, anyway?

He left this issue to the side, then, seeing how pointless it was--pleased enough with what had just happened with Wolfe's usual woman. They hadn't even taken their clothes off, had just gotten down to the more important essentials up against a table in his apartment; it was what he preferred, at least in the short term. Any woman who expected more than that from a man was a fool; his look moved into the tutor, his smile rather goading. He far preferred a woman who understood her role.

This truth remained, despite the woman's apparent reasons for the tryst. He knew quite well that Madeline believed that she had somehow tricked him, that she was winning his loyalty with her body--but she was clearly deluding herself. There was nothing to gain. He would back her plans as long as they helped or amused him--no more, no matter what her capitulation; once something better came along, he would go. There had never been any reality beyond that.

He was quite contented, then, knew that there was absolutely no reason for worry. She wasn't stupid enough to endanger her position with Wolfe by getting pregnant--or, at least, keeping the child--not that he would care much, even if she did. Everyone knew that getting knocked up was the woman's own stupid fault, would never blame the man. Besides, how could anyone even prove that it was his? No. Still, he was amused by her thoughts, by the fact that she seemed to think that she had somehow given him what he wanted, had won his loyalty; the grin broadened. But that little piece of stupidity just made all of it better now.

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Chapter 296 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 296)KatherineG.Monday, July 16, 07:02:25am

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