"Let's go for a walk this afternoon. It's a lovely day out. Do you need to be anywhere?"
It was a hot July afternoon in England. The sun blazed through the grand windows of the dining room where the family were eating their lunch.
Robert glanced out the window. In the sunshine the gardens were looking spectacular, vibrant and alive. "I was going to look over some paperwork but you're right it is a lovely day out. It would be a waste to spend it cooped up indoors."
"Well then it's a plan." The couple's eyes met over the table and shared a moment, excited to be spending some time together.
"What's that?" They met less than an hour after lunch in the entrance hall. Cora had been to change while Robert, it seemed, had been rather busy organising something. He stood waiting for her holding a wicker basket, its contents hidden under a blanket.
"I thought we were going for a walk."
"We are. Come on." Robert proffered his arm to his wife which she gladly took and they stroll off together out along the path. They took their usual route along the edge of the grounds until Robert suddenly stopped, unlinked his arm and hopped over a stile that led them into a neighbouring farmer's field.
"Robert I'm not even going to ask."
"Good, you'd only ruin it." He put the basket down and lent his arm back over the fence, "need a hand?" She took it, hitching her skirts other with the other and climbed over. Once again Robert led them on and Cora followed. At the top of the field they passed through another fence, this time using a gate, into a field of long grass. The sheep had clearly not been taken to graze her yet. They carried on through it. On the horizon the next field appeared to be filled with some form of crop. It wasn't until they got closer and the sweet smell filled the air that Cora realised it was a patch of strawberries.
"This looks a good spot." Robert said placing down the basket and removing the blanket that had been covering its contents. As he spread the blanket out on the ground Cora took the opportunity to sneak a look in the basket.
"I hope you're not looking in that basket." Cora jumped, he hadn't even been looking in her direction and yet he knew she was cheating.
"No." Robert let out a hearty chuckle at the guilty look on her face.
"I'm surprised you haven't worked it out already."
"Sort of, but we're going to have to work for it." Cora raised an eyebrow. It was too hot to be working. The sky was cloudless and the walk under the full heat of the sun had left feeling warm. Not that she was complaining. She liked it, it reminded her of childhood summers in America, but she didn't like the idea of working in it. Robert delved into the basket once more pulling out a glass bottle filled with a white substance.
"Milk?" Robert shook his head. "Cream?" He smiled. "The strawberries!" She'd got it.
He explained, "I did a small favour for the farmer who owns this field a few days ago. He said we could help ourselves to his vegetables. I'm told Mr Jones has done well with Downton's vegetable garden this year so we don't really need any but when this chap mentioned his strawberries were particularly good this year I told him I'd send a lad up for some at some point. I'd forgotten until you suggested a walk today. I know we've not long had lunch but I thought we could pick some for Mrs Patmore and have some here for a tea of some sorts. Mrs Patmore's given us some cream and Carson found a good bottle of wine, we just need to get picking."
"That sounds wonderful. Let's get started then."
"Let me just put these in the shade first." Robert wandered off to the hedgerow which ran along the sides of the field and placed the contents of the basket under it in a bid to keep it cool until it was needed and returned to his wife.
Cora was already stood in the strawberry patch bent over in an unladylike manner plucking the ripest fruits from the plants. She looked over her shoulder and smirked at the sight of Robert unashamedly stood half way between the hedge and the strawberry patch staring at her.
"Are you going to help or …?"
He snapped out of his thoughts and hurried towards her holding the now empty basket. "Yes, of course darling. Here put them in the basket." He reached her holding out the basket and she placed the handful she'd already collected in it.
"How are they?"
"Quite delicious, here." She held out the big red berry to him and he took a bite.
"Mmm yes," Cora popped the remainder into her own mouth, "they are tasty aren't they?"
"Very sweet. They're going to be wonderful with that cream."
"Well then, we'd better get picking hadn't we?"
The pair set to work filling the basket. Although Cora was quicker than Robert many of her berries somehow didn't make it from the bush to the basket, amusing Robert with the mischievous, guilty face she pulled every time she snuck one into her mouth. The sun warmed their skin as they worked. Robert had long since gotten rid of his jacket, undone his collar and rolled up his shirt sleeves. Cora, knowing it was warm out, had worn a short sleeved dress with a low neckline but was heartily annoyed that she was wearing a corset. She stopped and pushed up the hair that was resting on the back of her neck.
Robert glanced over at her, "Hot?"
"Umm," Cora agreed, fussing with the neckline of her dress.
Robert looked down at the now near full basket. "We've done well. How about we enjoy the fruits of our work? Not that you haven't already been sampling as you go."
"A good worker must check they are only harvesting the finest goods Robert!"
"Well, you must be exceptionally good. Glass of wine?"
"Please, I'm terribly parched."
Cora went and settled herself on the blanket while Robert retrieved the items he'd left in the shade.
"They don't seem to have gotten too warm."
"Good, I'm boiling." Her corset and the heat still bothering her Cora took off her shoes, pulled her skirt up round her knees and undid a few buttons on her dress. Her corset and the tops of her breasts were now clearly on display but she felt cooler. Besides it was only Robert, no one else would see her like this.
Robert finished setting out the bowls and pouring the wine, a crisp, sweet white, that thankfully was still cool. It wasn't until he went to give Cora her glass that he noticed her methods of cooling down. He coughed slightly as throat suddenly went dry. Basked in the sunlight she looked more beautiful than ever. A few strands of hair had escaped their confines and curled up in the heat, framing her face wonderfully. She took the glass from him, smiling at the cool feeling and pressed it to her neck and cheeks. He could only look on as the condensation that had started forming on the glass trickled down her skin and off between her breasts leaving a sparkling trail.
Suddenly the heat seemed even more intense. He felt his face flushing. Cora had noticed and looked concerned.
"Too hot darling? We can go and find some shade if you want?"
"No, no," he cleared his throat again and took a sip of his drink, "this is fine."
"Strawberry?" She selected a particularly large one from the basket and held it out to him. He went to take it from her but she moved her hand towards his mouth. He took a bite and like she'd done earlier, she swiftly popped the remained into her own mouth.
He picked up the cream, poured it into a bowl and selected his own strawberry. He dipped it in before offering it to her in return. She happily took a bite. They fed themselves the next few, dipping them in the cream.
Cora pulled out another from the basket and pulled off the top. "Want it?" She held it out to him pulling it back as he went to take it.
"Come and get it." She place the end of the strawberry between her teeth, daring him. He loved it when she was this playful and flirtatious. Her mood was catching. Sideling up close to her he took a bite, their lips brushing as he did so. Once the strawberry was gone their lips met once again. This time in a slow, sweet kiss before breaking off and just enjoying each other's closeness.
"Oops." Cora dropped a strawberry which landed in her cleavage. Much to Robert's surprise she didn't immediately reach down to remove it.
"You going to get that?"
"No." She bit her lip and stared right at him, "You are."
"Am I now?"
She nodded her head, unable to keep a straight face. "With your teeth."
"Cora Crawley! That is positively scandalous. What has gotten into you today?" his tone was light and jesting.
She collapsed back on the blanket in a fit of giggles, "I think I've had too much sun. It's gone to my head."
"You sure it's not the wine?"
She only continued to laugh. "Nooooo most definitely not." The strawberry had dislodged itself as she fell back and now lay resting on her chest. "So are you going to get this or..?
He leant over her and grabbed the strawberry with his mouth. The proximity of her breasts to his face and the way she squirmed beneath him as his teeth grazing her chest sent a rush of arousal through him. He chewed on the strawberry and gazed up at Cora. She stared back at him with a mischievous smirk, the one that told him she wanted to be naughty. Wondering for split second if the sun too had gone to his head Robert decided right then nothing sounded nicer than naughty.
"Oh dear, you've got some juice on you. Let me just get that for you." Bending over her again he licked her chest. Her skin hot against his tongue. The sound of her giggling brought a smile to his face as his lick turned to kisses along the tops of her breasts and up along her collar bones. The giggles subsided making way for tiny pants and hitches in her breathing. Her chest rose and fell at a quickened pace. She brought her hand to trail up over his bare forearm, stopping to fiddle briefly with the rolled cuff of his shirt then up to his shoulder where she pulled him down further on to her.
The heat rose. He sucked on the skin where her shoulder and neck met and was rewarded with a deep moan. There would definitely be a bruise she would have to cover up but both were too caught in the moment to even care.
He felt her hands guiding him up towards her mouth. He took a detour to nibble on the spot just below her ear that she loved, before crushing his mouth to hers. They kissed furiously, hands roaming all over each other's bodies, desperate to touch any skin they could find. The heat between them became uncomfortable but somewhere in the backs of their minds they were aware they were still in a field. Disrobing was out of the question, it was unlikely anyone would find them but it wouldn't do to be caught naked rolling about in the grass. They were unsure how this had escalated so quickly from silly flirtation to complete rampant lust but there was no turning back now. The fire in them both was well lit and with every touch further stoked. This was going to be fast, hot and sweaty.
Cora felt Robert's hands stroking up the sides of her thighs towards her knickers, reaching to remove them. She lifted her hips aiding him in his quest. Her own hands moved from their current position up the back of his shirt, to fumble with the buttons on his trousers.
They were frenzied in their movements, kissing each other intensely while their hands struggled to complete simple tasks. They stopped briefly as Robert pulled Cora's knickers down her legs. Once they were gone she tugged him back up her body, reaching down again to release him from his trousers. The buttons finally gave. She pushed them down as much as she needed and grasped him firmly. He shivered under her touch, as she stroked his length a few times.
"Cora." His voice was raspy. She knew what he wanted. She wanted it too. Now was not the time for foreplay, they needed each other. He let her take control, taking him in hand and guiding him into her. For the briefest moment they both paused and revelled in the feeling, the completeness. Her legs wrapped around his hips, heels pressing into the back of his knees forcing him deeper. They both gasped and started to move. He thrust his pelvis, slamming into her. Her own hips snapped up to meet him. Their heavy pants puffed hot air against each other's skin, adding to the fire.
Her hands found their way back up back of his shirt, clawing at his back. Her nails scratching as she dragged her hands up and down his sticky torso leaving stinging, red trails in her wake.
A strangled grunt came from him as a warning. He wasn't going to last much longer.
"Robert." Cora slipped a hand down between them. She was close but nowhere near as close as him. She began furiously rubbing at their joining, desperate to come with him. He soon understood. Biting his lip in complete concentration, holding off as long as he possibly could for her, he knocked her hand out the way and took over.
She reached out to grab the blanket beneath them and missed, instead grabbed a handful of grass. Her fingers clenched around the greenery, ripping it from the ground as her orgasm tore through her. The first clench was all he needed to join her. He shuddered, spilling into her as she pulsed.
Robert collapsed heavily on her, grunting. She was still making the most exquisite little moans as aftershocks rippled through her body. He rolled off and lay by her side. Both were panting, neither able to speak, instead they lay in the sun recovering. The sounds of the countryside - the birds tweeting - filtered back into their consciousness as their breathing slowed back to normal. It would be a little while yet before they were able to make the walk home.