A/N: I sincerely apologize for not getting this out quicker but I was occupied with getting situated with going back to school. Now that that's out of the way, I can get back to writing. Enjoy.
Snow was falling heavily and crunched under Nora's feet, the winter chill making her bundle her overcoat tighter around her, as she tucked her hands under her arms to keep warm as the sky began to darken with dusk. While she had constantly heard plenty of others bemoan the miserable change of seasons to the drab, transcendental cold, there was something about it that held a quaint allure, at least in her mind, as it did include some of her fondest memories. Stopping in front of an elaborately decorated window of Harrods, Nora was captivated by the colorful display. A large evergreen stood to one side, decked with garlands of popcorn, pecans and cranberries, as well as small candles, paper angels, and colorful glass baubles that sparkled in the candlelight. Parcels of all sizes and shapes wrapped in vivid paper were piled underneath. To the other side was a display of dolls in holiday dresses as well as stuffed bears, rabbits and other animals, making a veritable menagerie of toys for children to sigh over.
As though magically taken to another time and place, Nora couldn't help but smile as she heard the animated children's voices 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over the vivid department store window display. It took her a moment to realize she was one of them. A girl around eight, holding her father's hand, imploring him to purchase her one of the toys as he grinned at her with a twinkle in his eye. It had been one of his weekly outings with her, which she deeply treasured, along with the opportunity to take a ride with him in his horse-drawn hansom cab. Nora was decked out in a brand new Christmas dress of burgundy velvet with long sleeves, white woolen stockings to keep her legs warm, and black leather high button ankle boots. To finish the look, she wore a black knitted beret, black velvet double-breasted overcoat, and fur-trimmed mittens that were attached by a cord inside her jacket so she wouldn't lose them.
With one arm wrapped around his neck as he picked her up and held her in his arms, she pressed her fingers to the glass, "The bears," pausing for a second, "no, the rabbits!" shaking her head as he continued smiling.
"Not the dolls?" laughing at her indecision. "Maybe we should go in so you can make a good pick on your own like the big girl you are."
In the split second following, she found herself peeking around the corner of the kitchen into the dining room of a lavishly decorated home. At the large table sat three children, boys in their early-most teens, along with her father and his wife, who were feasting on a dessert of Christmas cake and piping hot chocolate, while the adults drank mulled wine. The image was so vivid that Nora could taste it on her tongue as the scents surrounded her as well. Watching the family, she wished she could join them but was gently scolded by one of the other servants to come back to the kitchen table and share their Christmas dinner, which was leftovers of the excess that her stepmother insisted on having cooked. The dinner with the other servants was just as warm and welcoming, if not more so than the scene outside with her father, brothers, and the snide woman who could have been her mother.
When Nora got ready for bed later that night, among the menagerie of stuffed animals and dolls that her father had purchased for her over the years, she found a small beautifully decorated package resting on her pillow. Sitting on the small bed in her room in the uppermost corner of the house, carefully removing the wrapping paper, she discovered a box of Turkish Delight that lit up her eyes as she bit into the candy, savoring the taste.
Her bedroom was cozy with a small window, a small bed with a simple wooden frame. In one corner sat a wooden table that held a beautifully decorated washbasin and water jug. A large traveling trunk was set at the foot of her bed. In the other corner of the room was a wooden children's armoir and a desk and chair specially for learning her letters.
After being tucked in by the matronly nurse, with the doll her father had purchased the weekend before Christmas which she had slept with every night since and the kerosene lantern on the small bedside table that was dimly lit, Lenora was awakened by her father creeping in quietly to bid her good night. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he turned the knob of the lamp, brightening the flame. His eyes danced as he smiled at her, "How was your dinner?"
"It was yummy, Papa."
"Good." Leaning down to kiss her forehead, "You're growing to look so much like your mother, my little Lenora."
Her eyes widening with interest, "What was she like?"
"She was very beautiful and kind. She always had a lovely smile, like yours."
"Papa, when I grow up, I want to be just like her."
Touching his finger to the tip of Nora's nose, he laughed gently, "I'm sure you will." Standing up to leave, he kissed her forehead again and dimmed the lamp. "Good night, Lenora." She watched him retreat through the door before closing her eyes, holding her doll close.
Her reverie was shattered and her eyes snapped open as she heard behind her a middle aged woman snort in her direction. "Go back where you came from, wicked harlot!" Nora was used to such comments, mainly because of her tattered clothing which was clearly out of place. With that, she sighed heavily and turned to navigate the maze of alleys that led home to the pub in Bluegate Fields.
Gazing about him, Dorian was quite impressed by the opulence of the gambling hall. Oak-paneled walls, glass chandeliers, marble columns, velvety carpeting all graced the interior of the club. Along one wall was a stone hearth with a blazing fire. As he and Henry sat down at an open table, a white-gloved butler placed glasses of gin in front of the two men, as a poker game was about to start shortly.
"Henry, I've only just realized that the only places you and I have frequented together have been dens of iniquity," laughing at that fact.
Shrugging, "As I said, there is no shame is pleasure. It is too late to act prudish to appease society."
In the distance, he saw an older well-dressed man lean down to whisper to a group of young women who, outfitted in the attire of the upper classes, giggled coquettishly at whatever it was he said. With that, they stood up to follow him across the room, through an ornate door.
Tilting his head toward Henry with a chuckle, "So that man's going off with...three women? Does he really think he'll last anywhere near long enough for all of them?"
Henry's gaze flickered in the direction the group had disappeared to. "Oh they'll probably have a threesome and one for wishful thinking later."
Dorian, who thought himself at least reasonably seasoned at this point, frowned, "A...what?"
"A threesome," clearing his throat and gesturing with his fingers to illustrate, "it happens like this."
"Hmm, that sounds fun. I might be up for that sometime."
"Yes, but it's a lot of work. I do enjoy them but I've always found that from the outside view, it always looks like a bizarre puzzle where the pieces don't quite fit correctly."
Unknown to Henry, the gears in Dorian's brain were already at work, wondering when he would be able to experiment with such a thing.
Hurrying to her room to remove her overcoat before anyone had an opportunity to snitch to Henry that she had been out once again without permission, Nora jumped at the voice that came from behind her. His back was to her, sitting at one of the tables near the bar as he tossed his drink down his throat.
"Do I pay you to galavant in the city where you don't belong?"
Her eyes widened and jaw twitched. "No ye don't pay me anythin', in case ye forgot." That accent she used around him grated on his last nerve, but it did fit her station.
"So you've learned something after all." Getting up from the chair, he turned toward her, his eyes darkening. He grabbed her overcoat by the scuff of the collar and dragged her along to her room. Lighting the taper candle on the small table, he closed the door behind them. As Nora stood glaring at him, Henry took her coat in his hand and ripped it off of her, spinning her around completely as he did, which caused her to nearly lose her footing. "I don't have all night. Hurry up." They both knew that was a lie and that he would often stay there for hours on end. And that he probably intended to do so tonight as well.
Nora quickly hung up her coat from the peg on the wall behind the door, as well as her hat. She intentionally refused to do his bidding, despite knowing he would only make it worse when she did disobey his orders.
"Keep going. Do I have to do everything myself?"
"Yea ye do."
Standing mere inches in front of her, he grabbed a fistful of hair and yanked her head back, in a low voice,"When I tell you to do something, you will do it. Now." He let go of her hair just as quickly, as she curled her lip, emitting an angry growl and hiss.
Her hands at her hips, Nora slid her skirts down her thighs, as they fell to her feet on their own the rest of the way. Reaching behind her, she unlaced the corset and let it fall as well. Lifting the short chemise over her head, she now stood only in stockings and her black leather ankle boots.
Henry held her throat firmly in his hand, stroking her chin with his thumb as she clawed at him to release her. Leaning in close to her to inhale her scent, his hand slid down to her breast, twisting her nipple ring painfully. White spots appeared before her eyes and a loud gasp escaped Nora's lips. Henry's bristly beard brushed her jaw, causing her to shudder and squirm out of his grip, as his other hand held her shoulder so her attempts were feeble. The sensation suddenly causing her to vaguely recall a monster. His voice hushed and guttural, "Quiet, Katie, you don't want anyone to hear you."
Nora squeezed her eyes shut, willing him to vanish. He could call her anything except that. Even fucking Lenora which she couldn't stand. Of course she knew that was why he did it.
Still holding her tightly, Henry turned Nora around so she was facing the bed, "Go get your toybox from under the bed," and let her go with a sharp spank stinging her bare bottom.
The image of her on her knees, her back to him, reaching for the box and laying it on the bed, made his prick uncomfortable confined in his trousers. Well aware that she would not do anything further, he moved to stand beside her, where she was blankly staring at the wall past him, and rummaged through her collection. First, he pulled out a rubber horse's bit, that he held up to her head. "Open." She flickered her gaze toward Henry, having no desire to obey him. "I'm not the one making this difficult for you," reminding her as he held her chin, forcing her jaw open as he swiftly shoved the gag in her mouth. Ire flashed in her eyes as he buckled it around the back of her head.
Then he pulled out leather reins that he clipped to the metal rings of the bit. "Bend over the bed," he ordered. Waiting a couple seconds for her to respond, but knowing she wouldn't, Henry held her down as he spread her legs to force the horse tail into her arse, which always made her catch her breath. A whimper escaped her lips as she watched him pick out the riding crop.
Rapidly he disrobed, tossing his clothing onto her pathetic tilted chair. Henry stopped long enough to pull the oblong box filled with some of the more exotic trappings of being a whore that 'belonged' to Lenora aside with more care than he had shown her, while Lenora watched, everything that made her individual curling up and hiding inside her mind.
With no hesitation, he shoved her on to the bed, forcing her to her hands and knees, as he held the reins in one hand. The crop laying on the blanket beside her, he slammed his cock inside her, spreading her wide as he pulled the reins that forced her head upright. Henry picked up the crop in his other hand and slapped her delicate creamy white skin. Fucking her hard and deep while Nora squirmed, clenching the blankets tight in her hands. Unable to scream, she simply went cross-eyed from the bite of the crop. Every time Nora attempted to claw her way away from Henry, he yanked the reins tight and pounded himself deeper into her.
Through the intense pain he inflicted on her, Nora was delirious. However she didn't miss the fact that Henry never called her by her own name whenever he fucked her, always preferring that of her mother. He constantly reminded her that it was such a pity that she looked like her mother and the only thing he received as a result of her death was an inept daughter he had little use for.
In her delirium, Nora's mind wandered to another unpleasant arena, one which she generally kept hidden away in the darkest recesses. Though she had no power over Henry's transgressions, Nora did wish she could turn back the clock and recapture the time that was lost to them.
Following a long, sordid evening in the East End, Henry had been highly intoxicated at an opium den, combined with countless consumption of very potent cocktails of gin and cocaine, as he stormed into the house. He could easily have any or all of the exotic whores in London but none of them were Katie Anne Privens, the teenage scullery maid whom his wife Victoria had purchased from the local orphanage several years prior to be a domestic servant.
The entire household knew of the affair, while the kitchen staff whispered amongst themselves, wondering how long the girl would remain employed by the Wotton household. They also knew full well that the other girls who did leave could usually be found prostituting themselves somewhere in the slums of the East End. Katie was the perfect shy, submissive, compliant maid, which Henry liked as she never dared to question his authority as everyone else did. As the months passed and she grew plumper with his bastard child, eventually dying in childbirth, Henry was surprised to realize that he truly loved Katie, which was something new to him for the first time in his life. Even Victoria wasn't worthy of that love.
In the night, Lenora was awakened by heavy footsteps outside her door ascending the attic stairs, the door opening and the rustle of clothes. Allowing her eyes to become adjusted to the darkness, Lenora gasped as the covers on her bed were pulled aside and a large figure loomed toward her.
Lenora's cry for help from the stranger was stifled by a heavy hand over her mouth. The tobacco was familiar but the sickly sweet floral perfume that lingered, along with the noxious amounts of opium and gin mixed with cocaine on his breath were foreign to Lenora. Realizing who it was, she struggled out of his grasp but he had overpowered her, forcing himself inside her as he shoved her nightgown to her waist. In Henry's warped, drugged conscience, there was nothing remotely immoral about his actions. Though she had been gone barely over a decade, Katie still stared at him every weekend during their private getaways, whether at the park, visiting Harrods, or anywhere else in London.
Over the next two years, Lenora endured the abuse doled out by her father, wishing and hoping in her heart that he'd snap out of the spell he was under and become the loving father again that she used to know. When Nora came to the realization that Henry wouldn't ever see that light, she waited until the middle of the night when she wouldn't be missed to slip out of the house, to where she wasn't sure yet.
The next day being a Saturday when Henry would regularly take Nora out to spend time with her away from his family, her disappearance did not go unnoticed.
Donning his overcoat, Henry called out, "Lenora! Time to go!"
Victoria in a nonchalant tone, sitting in the parlor, not looking up from her sewing, "The girl isn't here anymore and hasn't been since yesterday. It's already more peaceful without her."
Henry stared at his wife for a few moments, bristling as he marched to the kitchen to find out if anyone there knew Lenora's whereabouts as they were responsible for her. They were equally surprised at the news, not knowing where she had gone or when or why. Quickly assembling a team of his footmen, Henry dispatched them to search out the vicinity of Kensington where they lived, and he knew full well that Lenora had never ventured anywhere without him so she couldn't possibly have wandered far. Their search proved fruitful as she was discovered sleeping in the park, and was dragged kicking and screaming back to her father's house where Henry waited. He didn't say anything right away as Lenora made a futile attempt to escape the footmen's painful grasp in case she were to escape again, but he didn't have to for her to see the rage in his eyes.
"You forget you don't have any rights as a female, much less as a bastard child. Lenora, you've been quite spoiled up until now considering that you're an ungrateful whore. But because you can't appreciate anything given to you here, you will be required to work for a living. The only thing you're good for is your cunt so you'll put it to use and I know just the place where you'll do that."
Still in his overcoat, Henry brushed past Lenora to his carriage, where he waited for his footmen to quickly follow. Dismissing them as soon as she was settled in, Henry signalled to his driver, giving orders, and then gave the final bit of his lecture, "Lenora, I had every intention of taking you skating today and then letting you pick out your Christmas present at Harrods but those days are over." Henry didn't speak another word the rest of the way and Lenora furiously wiped back tears that fell down her cheeks, hoping it was nothing more than a nightmare she would wake from soon.
As they rode toward the slums, Lenora had never seen anything so desolate. Henry was right that she had been very privileged and now all that was being taken away. She didn't know what she had done to deserve such a punishment. The carriage stopped in a narrow alley and Henry exited, waiting impatiently for her. "This is your new home," opening the door and pushing her in the rest of the way to the pub. Lenora stood frozen, taking in all the foreign sights and sounds around her. Recoiling from a man who looked near Henry's age who had his sights set on her, her attention was drawn once again to Henry yelling from the back of the pub, where she hurried. Pointing to a closed door, "Your room you will share with Olivia," turning around and pointing out a young girl whom he signaled to. Lenora did not understand why anyone in an establishment such as this would be at his beck and call at the snap of his fingers, and seemingly happy about it at that, as the girl was, not to mention why he knew their names so intimately.
"This is Lenora's first day. I trust you'll show her everything she needs to know."
Lenora had no idea what Henry had in mind for her to do there and he didn't seem willing to elaborate, nor did she want to know. She simply stood watching him in disbelief as he sat down at a nearby table and was immediately supplied with a bottle of gin. Not looking at her but checking out the other activity in the pub, he continued, "Make sure you don't forget that your rent is due at the end of each night. Don't even think about keeping any money for yourself since you don't need it." Seeing out of the corner of his eye that Lenora hadn't moved at all, "Get moving. You can't earn anything looking like an idiot." Henry poured another drink that he tossed back, not missing the fact Lenora was still wiping away tears. It wasn't his fault she intended to be a rebellious sass. Hopefully she'd snap out of it soon if she knew what was good for her but Henry was willing to wait as long as it took.
Despite the humiliation he administered and the hatred she felt toward Henry, Nora's body betrayed her with her own blinding climax as he exploded inside her. Standing up to get dressed again, "Just so you know, Miss Privens, I've decided to raise your rent again. Which means you need to go earn your keep in the next few minutes. I may want to have you again later so don't go too far." He didn't bother to put away her toys. That was her responsibility and he had other things to occupy himself with.
Dorian still couldn't put his finger on why, but he seemed addicted to wanting to see Nora. Even while seeking out other pleasures, he kept needing to visit her. To the point of bringing along his friend Peter. Peter knew his father owned a whorehouse in the slums, though he didn't generally frequent the establishment. But he was willing to go along for a lark. Variety was the spice of life after all.
"Dorian!" He didn't see her immediately through the lively crowd of the pub, but Nora shoved her way through the mob to the table where they both sat down, a bottle of whiskey placed in front of them. "Double duty today?" smiling at him as she sat down on his lap. Taking a sip of his drink, Peter couldn't help but notice that she looked vaguely familiar, but she wasn't familiar enough to give the notion another thought.
His hand resting on her thigh, "Nora, I've missed you. It's a shame I can't take you home with me."
With a chuckle, "Surely you'd become tired of me before long. Isn't it better this way?" Deep down, she wished she could escape with him, but Nora was also very well aware that proper women, as she would be expected to behave, held no place in the hearts of men. She'd seen plenty of it as a child and had no desire to live that life as a woman. Changing the subject, "What are you boys up for?"
"A private room upstairs?" glancing over at Peter, who nodded in agreement before tossing back the last of his drink. Gently patting her leg, "Time is money after all, didn't you once say?"
Giggling at his cheekiness, "I suppose I did." He insisted on holding her hand as the three of them pushed through the crowd. There was something about his little gestures of kindness that she enjoyed for the simple fact that they were nice, and nice wasn't something she got to see often if at all.
The curtain of the tiny room drawn shut, Nora took her time stripping Dorian his overcoat and clothes, as they fell to the floor in a heap. Turning around to Peter, Nora repeated the actions, quickly undressing him while Dorian helped her out of her own restricting clothing. Peter raised a brow. Generally, he'd never seen it done for a whore to be fully nude, much less her customer, not that he was complaining. Even then, it was expected for the girl to disrobe herself.
Still standing behind Nora, kissing her neck and shoulders, his fingers delicately tracing along her skin, Dorian broke away only long enough to guide her to the bed where he laid down, pulling her on top of him, sliding deep in her wet cunt with ease. Nora couldn't resist kissing him, her lips trailing from his to that corner of his collar bone that drove him mad.
Peter, watching them, feeling a bit out of place. "I guess I could just wait till you're done."
Dorian turned his head to face his friend, "She has three holes. I have one, you pick from the other two," as though it was the most logical answer to anyone.
Shrugging, Peter climbed on the bed behind Nora and eased his cock into her tight arse. Nora forgot to breathe as she felt so full, being stretched wide in both orifices. The bed creaked loudly with each thrust from both men. Clawing at the mattress, she ground her hips as Dorian held her waist and Peter was draped over her back, reaching to twist and pull her nipple rings, causing Nora's breathing to become shallower. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head as she arched her back, clawing at Dorian with a loud feline yowl. Both men finished inside her simultaneously, their seed gushing out of her as they fell apart in a tangled heap on the tiny bed, breathing heavily.
Still trying to maintain her breathing, Nora watched through hooded eyes as Dorian and Peter embraced, with her lower torso still sandwiched between them. There wasn't anything that she had seen in her life that was quite like two attractive men kissing each other. Even though one of them was her half-brother, a thought that briefly made Nora question her own principles. But given her warped past, very little shocked her anymore. Perhaps Henry had won his bet with her after all. Proper society saw all women regardless of social status as sinful and Nora had vowed she would never sink as low as Henry told her she would in little to no time. While she didn't begin to match his depravity, she wondered at times if there was any shred of decency left in her, and if there wasn't, well that was what fate had decided to hand to her despite her best efforts otherwise.