"Mrs. Lovett's meat pies, savoury and sweet pies laaa laa…" hummed Toby as he sauntered down the darkened hall towards the lounge, where he slept.
"Funny lad, him,"
The sound of Mrs. Lovett's soft, melodic voice shocked him out of his ever-consuming murderous reverie, and he spun around on the spot to see her stood behind him; big brown eyes staring up at him in their always adoring way.
He wondered what it would be like to kill her, to tower his body over her own, gleaming silver blade in hand. He'd never killed a woman.
He wondered how the adoring look in her eyes might change, how she might scream beneath him, how her small frame might shudder as he sank the blade into her throat, her hot blood assaulting him, the silky dark red liquid sliding down her milky skin. Oh, he'd want her naked. "Mr T?" she asked, quirking an eyebrow at him.
He cleared his throat, furrowing his brow at the strange feeling in him at the thought of touching her bare skin. "Always dreaming of killing old Turpin," she said, shaking her head lightly before turning towards the doorway into her room.
"You are mistaken, Mrs. Lovett," he growled, and she stopped, the cold handle of the door a contrast to the warmth she felt through her whenever he responded to her.
"Mis…taken?" she asked, not moving an inch. It could be one of his strange moods, where he would toy with her, lie to her about things and confuse her, simply for his own amusement.
"I was in fact, dreaming about you," he told her, and she turned to see his eyes boring into her terrifically, and she felt, for once, like she was the subject of his brilliant expression, his wild focus. Her heart exploded against her rib cage insanely, begging to burst out of her chest.
"Me?" she asked, her throat dry.
"Who else do you think 'you' is, my dear?"
"I… good night, Mr. Todd," she said brusquely, and she pushed through her bedroom door, closing it as rapidly as she could before falling against it, breathing quickly and lightly as her pulse raced. She looked up at the slightly cracked ceiling, her bosom heaving beneath the restrictive bodice she wore. She needed to breathe.
She pulled the various components of her dress off slowly, allowing herself more breath as she finished. She let her skirts and petticoats fall to the floor around her feet, and stepped out of them, stretching her body out with a light yawn.
Why did he tease her so? Tell her he dreamed of her, when she knew so well that all he dreamed of was killing. Every man in London wouldn't satisfy him, she thought to herself, as she slipped her white lace nightgown over her head and set about taking her curls down. Part of her wanted to run out of her room and fall into his arms crying 'Ooh Mr. Todd, yes Mr. Todd!' A very large part, in fact. But there was something else nagging at the back of her head, telling her he could always only be messing around with her head, the way he did. She sighed.
Slowly, she climbed into bed, pulling the covers up and over her body, tucking her feet in at the bottom, the way she had been able to indulge in since Albert kicked the bucket. Great fat lump, he was. Took up the whole bed and snored all night, whilst she would curl up tightly beside him and dream of Benjamin Barker, the barber whom she'd talked to a few times. So charming, he'd been. When she'd heard of him being transported, she'd been so sad she could not even bake. After that, her feelings for him intensified. In her most unorthodox dreams, he'd take her roughly on the floor, taking utmost care to please her…
Those little dreams were all she really had, what with Albert's half-hearted attempts at affection. Even years after he died, she still dreamed those little dreams as she beat her pastry flat. The very moment Mr. Todd turned up, she had been thinking of him, off in her own world.
And as he'd knelt on the ground, bemused with the razors she had kept for him, she'd inhaled his wondrous scent… being a barber; of course, he knew the very best colognes. He smelt truly divine, a concoction of scents she could not even think to describe. Right then she had wanted to nestle into his body, have him hold her to him. But she learned quickly, and the hard way, that he was not interested in the slightest.
She sighed to herself and curled up, wishing she could hold Mr. Todd as close to her as he had been in her mind. Slowly she dozed off into delicate dreams of waves lapping at her feet, Sweeney massaging her tired shoulders, kissing her neck as she stared out to the sunset. She heard a creak, and in her dream she looked around for it.
"What's wrong, my pet?" he asked, and she could hear footsteps; pulling the sunset away from her, the loving Sweeney of her dreams fading. She clung to the image but it was no use, and when she opened her eyes she saw the ceiling. She sat up slowly, pulling the covers with her. Perhaps Toby had been having his workhouse nightmares again. She blinked once, twice to try and make out the dark figure in front of her.
"What's wrong, my pet?" she asked, the same as Sweeney had in her dreams. No, she was in reality now; it could only be Mr. Todd.
"And there I was about to ask you the same," said a voice much deeper than Toby's. Mr. Todd stepped out of the shadow, still dressed, waistcoat tightly clinging to his fine form. She gasped.
"You… You're in my room, Mr. Todd…"
"I am, aren't I?" he stepped closer to the bed; obviously with no regard for the way a man ought to act. She could just about make out his grin, the strange look that flashed across his face as her eyes adjusted. He took matches from his pocket and struck one to light a candle. It flared up, illuminating the room a little. He regarded her, pulling the covers up to her chest, her soft chestnut curls tumbling past her shoulders. He placed the candle on the bedside table, watching her scared expression.
He sat down on the bed and looked into her face, smiling only slightly now.
"Mr. Todd…" she trailed, and he reached out to her, gently trailing a finger over her hand before pulling it towards him, so he could continue all the way up the soft, smooth skin of her arm. She quivered at his touch, then remembered herself and quickly withdrew her arm from his grasp. "What d'you think you're doing?"
"Oh come now, Mrs. Lovett… you can't lie, and tell me this isn't what you want…" he grinned, pulling both her arms away from her so that the covers fell to her waist, revealing the light, almost translucent fabric of her nightgown. "Said you could eat me up the other day, remember? Kissed me on the cheek, you did."
"It's not proper," she protested, trembling as he traced his fingers softly over hers. She'd been coveting his touch…
"Not proper!" he laughed softly, reaching over and gripping the top of the covers, his hand lightly against her stomach, only thin fabric between his skin and hers. "With the crimes we are both committing every day, Mrs. Lovett, I hardly think being proper is a matter of concern…"
He was right, of course.
"But… Mr. T, I still want to be respectable…"
"Whilst you cut men up and bake them in pies?"
"I'll put you in a pie," she threatened, in an attempt to scare him away.
"Not before I slit your throat, Mrs. Lovett," he told her softly, pulling the covers away from her, casting them off to the end of the bed. She gasped, folding her knees over to the side. "Oh my…" he trailed, staring at her legs. So long it had been since he had seen the shapely legs of woman… only the spindly legs of starved male prisoners being lashed for various wrongdoings in prison…
"Mr. Todd, stop this silliness…" she said as she leant over to grab hold of the covers again.
"No!" he growled, taking hold of her wrists. She stared into his eyes, unaffected by the tightness of his grip.
"Let go," she told him. He obeyed her, averting his gaze, suddenly seeming embarrassed. "Oh, Mr T…' she said, moving closer to him and placing a hand on his cheek. No sooner than he had looked up and grinned his evil grin, she was beneath him. He whipped a razor from his waistcoat and held it to her throat, pressing ever so gently. Oh, he could kill her. He could watch her blood stain her beautiful white skin, as it stained his shirts so often. But he didn't want her to be without life… surely, her life was what made him want to kill her, and once that was gone, what would he have? Sure enough, she was whimpering beneath him in soft tones. Oh, the little cries she let go of, he would surely sacrifice anything to hear them. "Please," she cried.
"Why do you plead with me?" he asked, "You know I'd never kill you,"
"I don't believe that," she said breathily, and he took the razor from her throat and closed it, placing it next to their close bodies.
"There," he told her "Do you believe me now?"
"Please, Mr. Todd…"
"Stop pleading, silly woman!" he exclaimed, fighting the temptation to pick the razor up again. She writhed against him, heat growing between them. She'd dreamed of this, this writhing. Perhaps not like this, but she'd still dreamed of it, and it was certainly exciting her…
"Ooh, Mr. Todd…" she exhaled, half singing, the same way as she had in times before, but with a more breathy quality to her voice. Looking up into his eyes, no longer struggling to be free of him but draping her arms around his neck instead, she felt all her worries melting away.
"Mrs. Lovett…" he replied, his lips brushing against hers as her legs parted instinctively. He let the tension go out of his body, relaxing down to her. The tough fabric of his trousers was hard, excitement bulging through them, pressing into her through the thin lace. Uncontrollably, she pushed her hips against him. "Aah," he smiled as if he was enlightened to something, closing his eyes briefly "Mrs. Lovett, you are passionate…"
"Mmm…" she murmured, pressing her soft, pink rosebud lips to his, tangling her fingers in his hair. He slid his tongue into her mouth gently, and the sensation made her throb with lust. She couldn't believe her dreams were all coming true, that this wondrous man was violating her respectability and she didn't care. He sat up gently and dislodged himself from her arms, kneeling beside her.
"Where are you going, Mr. T?" she asked, looking worried as she sat up quickly.
"Shh, shh, my pet…" he said, pressing a finger to her lips. She flicked her tongue out to taste his skin, thought of how such dangerous hands could do such gentle things. He pushed her back down and she fell softly to the bed. He knelt with his legs either side of her and teased her out of her nightgown, entranced by her body. He traced his fingers across her body; stopping to feel the soft, plushy flesh that padded her wonderfully rounded hips. Enamoured, he stooped down and kissed it, the soft feel of it against his lips making him wild for her. "Oh, Mrs. Lovett…"
"Call me Nellie," she whispered, longing to touch him.
"Nellie," he uttered, his voice a growl, casting his eyes over her, lying naked beneath him, the image of perfection with her dark eyes and dark curls, striking against her angelic skin. She pushed up desperately to kiss him
"Let me taste your skin…" she whispered, her breath hot against his neck. He moved from her and she knelt before him, unbuttoning his waistcoat, and his shirt, and pushing it off shoulders much broader than her own to reveal his hardened body, which had suffered whips and endless toil and labour. Each muscle was defined, and she felt dizzy, he was even more wonderful than she had ever imagined in her daydreams. He pulled her to him, and they both revelled in the wonder of their skin touching, the softness of her against the hardness of him somehow blending into something perfect. He nuzzled at her neck, hands sliding to her hips, kisses touching her skin. She pushed her hot, aroused body against him, kissing him deeply, wanting for him more than ever before. Her hand moved to his trousers, to the button… and his hand moved over hers, and placed it on his shoulder.
"Easy now…" he sang softly, and she slid her hand down his torso, back to where it had been before.
"I want you…" she whispered.
"Hush love hush… I keep telling you, what's your rush?" he moved her hand away again, pulling her closer again. "Slow love slow, think it through, once it bubbles, then what's to do?" he kissed her gently, smoothing her curls with his fingers gently. She looked into his eyes, always glazed over with a layer of ice, and he into hers, always so expressive in their soft beauty, filled with a fire sometimes that he could never deny might melt him. "Watch it close, let it brew… wait," he sang, pushing her down on to her back. He pushed her legs apart and her breath shuddered dizzily as he placed his hands on her knees, and tenderly, so lightly it almost tickled, he ran them down her soft inner thighs. He felt her tense up beneath him, and knew she was in his command. "Now, Nellie, my sweet…" he whispered.
"Yes?" she asked, tingling all over at his touch, his hands resting on her thighs.
"You'd do anything for me, wouldn't you, my pet…"
"Anything," she whispered.
"Anything at all?" he asked, leaning over her and sliding his hands over her hips, to her impressive bosom.
"Yes," she told him, hypnotized by his touch.
"So…" he began, reaching into the back of his trousers, "There is nothing that you would not do to please me…"
"Nothing," she repeated in hushed tones, pushing her body up against his so she could kiss him. He pushed her back down and she felt a sharp coolness between her breasts, and looked down to see one of his precious razors, shining with the light of the candle. "Oh!" she uttered delicately, looking up into his eyes.
"Anything means anything, my dear… would you trust me with your body? Surrender to the blade?" he asked, and it was quickly warming against her hot skin. She hesitated, closing her eyes briefly, and he brought the razor up to his lips and kissed it, her heat stored beautifully inside it. She breathed lightly and quickly beneath him, surrendered to his will.
"Yes…" she whispered, finally.
"How I've lived without you all these years… I shall never, ever know…" he replied, leaning down to kiss her softly.
"You can have my blood, Mr. Todd… it's yours. Every drop," she pulled his hand with the razor down to be close to her skin, and she meant every word of what she said. He inhaled sharply, her words dizzying him. He'd wanted to terrify her. He'd wanted her to protest… and yet, there she was, naked and at his mercy, knowing full well that he might kill her should he bring his blade against her, and yet telling him that he could have all her blood all the same… how much she loved him was beyond comparison, that she would be willing to bleed and scar, simply for his pleasure. He could not stop himself. He plunged down, his lips against hers, hands snaking round her back to hold her closer, the razor flat between them. He kissed her plump, pink lips, her sweet, luscious mouth, this woman who would gladly do anything for him...
"Mmm… Mr. Todd," she uttered against his lips, his strong arms warm around her, her body wanting for his even as she had it. "Please… I want to taste you…" she urged, before deepening their kisses. He pulled away, catching his breath as he looked down upon her. He picked up his razor and pressed it to her stomach, as gently as he could. He was hesitating, and she quirked an eyebrow. "You're not… scared?" she asked.
"No I am not scared, woman!" he exclaimed, angered by this treatment. Of course, he was scared. He did not want to kill her, and indeed he worried that if he should start to pierce her flesh he might not stop.
"Then why are you hesitating with that blade of yours?"
"You are a strange woman, Mrs. Lovett," he told her. She laughed softly. "You actually wish for me to hurt you,"
"I…" she blushed deeply "I wish for anything from you…"
"Hush, pet," he told her, tracing a finger down her stomach. "You don't really want me to cut you, do you?"
"Do it now," she whispered, and she pushed his hand. The blade sunk into her soft flesh, and was rewarded with a rising stream of hot, deep ruby blood. He watched a trickle run down her side, and she exhaled mellifluously, tilting her head back.
"Oh, Mrs. Lovett…" he said, wildly aroused by what she'd done.
"Nellie…" she breathed "Call me Nellie…"
"Nellie, my love…" he said, smudging the scarlet liquid, his fingers making red lines across her body. Suddenly, a knock came at the door, and they both jumped.
"Mum…" grumbled Toby, just the other side of the door. Mrs. Lovett's eyes widened, and Mr. Todd jumped up.
"Quick, you hide!" he hissed, his voice close to silence.
"Me?" she mouthed.
"Yes! You're naked, Nellie!" he whispered, and she tiptoed over to the vast wardrobe.
"Mrs. Lovett?" asked Toby, groggy from sleep. He pushed the door open, and there stood Mr. Todd, without his shirt or waistcoat. He was cleaning off one of his razors, and there was smear of crimson on his bare chest. Toby gasped.
"M…Mr. Todd?" he asked. He was no posh boy, but even he knew that a man should not be in a woman's bedroom, especially late at night.
"Go back to bed, lad," he said flatly.
"Wh-where's Mrs. Lovett, sir?" asked Toby, seeing nothing but the blood on Mr. Todd's chest.
"Never you mind," he said, flicking his razor shut and concealing it in his pocket.
"You… you've killed her, 'ant you sir?" he trembled, willing himself to wake up from this nightmare.
"Don't be so ridiculous, Tobias. I would never kill Mrs. Lovett."
"Why's there… blood, sir?"
"I nicked myself, is all. Go back to bed."
"I said back to bed, lad!" he growled, and Toby thought better than to challenge him. He ran back to bed, wondering what on earth had happened.
"He's gone, Nellie," he said, and she emerged from the wardrobe. He pulled her close to him.
"You'll have to leave, Mr. T…" she whispered.
"Why?" he asked moodily.
"He's awake now, he might come back in any minute…"
"Fine… fine," said Mr. Todd, pulling her to him for one last kiss, tangling his fingers in her mass of chestnut curls. They did not pull apart from each other for quite some time.
"I'll see you at breakfast, Mr. T…" she trailed, pecking him on the cheek. Without another word, he left the room, leaving her wondering whether it had all been a dream…