THE WRITER - A new book by Rachel de Vine
His books didn’t always have happy endings. Was this to be the pattern for their love too?
Oralie lost her mother at a young age, and was trapped with her abusive father until she broke away at the age of sixteen. When she applied for a job as the live-in personal assistant to Lionel, a forty-two-year-old successful writer, she had been living in a hostel for the homeless, and was greatly relieved when she was offered the position.
Lionel thought he had it all; a successful writing career, a comfortable London home, and the pick of the literary babes, who flocked to the handsome and charismatic author. He had a good housekeeper. Why did he need tying down with a wife? He hadn’t reckoned on the jealousy of a past girlfriend, and the sweet face of Oralie sitting at her desk just a few feet away from him in his study, to cause a turmoil that rapidly escalated beyond his control.
His story had all the elements of a romantic love story; the trouble was, he didn’t write love stories. His life began to spin out of control.
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I enjoyed my life, on the whole. Mrs Greatorex looked after me fairly well, and put no emotional demands on me. Jonathan was a good friend, as well as my agent, and we had some entertaining conversations, and amusing dinners. My writing work had gone well the past few years, too. I enjoyed some success—even a literary award last year—and they were commercially quite successful. They enabled me to gain invites to prestigious events and meet interesting people. I wouldn’t say they brought in a huge amount of money, but together with money left by my parents, they allowed me to live comfortably. All I lacked was a regular sex life. I thought I had solved that problem with Leila—but unfortunately not. She caused more problems than she solved. I didn’t intend to fall into that trap again.
Whether it was because of my night of sex with Maggie, but my libido on the page came alive. I hadn’t intended to make love or romance a central theme for this book—more around the periphery—but I had a female character who grew on me as I wrote about her, and I felt she was a passionate being who was desired by one of the male characters. I decided to travel down this path for a while.
The story is based in late nineteenth century Ireland, when the Catholic church was still a dominant force in that country. It was primarily about two brothers, who feuded over a family inheritance—a farm. I decided to make one brother this woman’s lover and this added to the feud, because his brother lusted after the woman too. I was feeling in a mischievous mood as far as Oralie was concerned, and was looking forward to watching her face when she came across my recent pages.
I wrote about how the woman, who worked as a milkmaid on the farm, flirted shamelessly with the brothers; but only when they were alone—not in the presence of them both. Liam was a little bolder than his older brother, and began to flirt back. Neither man was married, and the hard work on the farm meant they had little social life, except for getting drunk on Saturday night at the local pub. This usually led to a row, or even a fight, on the way home. Declan, the older brother, had been given the farm in their father’s Will, but with the proviso that Liam was to be retained as a paid employee, and with the ownership of a small cottage next to the farm. Now I planned to ignite even more resentment between the brothers, when Liam begins a sexual affair with the woman. The mischief in me wondered how Oralie would react to some bawdy sex among the hay bales. My editor may remove some of it later, but in the meantime, I would have some fun.
It was two days before Oralie reached that part of the chapter. I heard the faintest of gasps, and looked up. Her cheeks looked a little pink and she had stopped typing to read ahead.
“Is everything okay, Oralie,” I said, trying to keep a straight face.
“Er…yes, everything is fine, thank you.”
“Have you arrived at the sex scene in the barn? I hope you don’t find it too shocking.”
Her voice was a little more breathless than usual.
“No…no…not at all.”
But I knew she was a little embarrassed. I walked over to her desk and looked over her shoulder at the paragraph on the screen, which I read out loud, just inches from her ear.
…the girl lay backwards on the hay bales, resting on her elbows, and giving Liam a grin that set his libido on edge. Her heavy-lidded eyes sparkled, as she contemplated the expression on his face, and she drew her skirt upwards, revealing knee-high woollen stockings, and plump, bare thighs, as white as the milk in the dairy. She wore white, cotton pantaloons, that she pulled down her legs, kicking them off over her leather ankle boots. Slowly opening her thighs, she taunted him as she did.
“You’re not the first man to fuck me in this barn, you know. Your father had me when I was just sixteen.”
I paused, and noticed that Oralie’s breathing was a little more pronounced, as her chest rose and fell faster than normal. Really, I should stop. I was being very cruel. But my mood was mischievous today.
“Do you find that paragraph erotic, Oralie? I do hope I’m not corrupting you. You are a little young to know such things…”
She wasn’t, of course. Most girls her age were far less innocent and naïve than her. Oralie was more like a young woman of an earlier generation, I thought. My mind drifted back to my parent’s generation, when sex was simply not discussed, except in the corner of the playground at school, where pages of women in their underwear, torn from catalogues, was the closest they came to pornography. It wasn’t that much different in my own youth; especially in the boys boarding school I had attended. But material, such as the occasional Playboy magazine made the rounds of the dormitory, and was used as masturbation material by young boys who barely knew their way around their own bodies, let alone those of those foreign and exotic creatures—girls.
I stood up and patted Oralie on the shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I’m teasing you a little. If you don’t want to retype it, just copy and paste, if that makes it less embarrassing.”
She looked up at me, with those lovely, big eyes of hers, and solemnly said, “Don’t worry, sir. I’ll get used to your words. I need to if I am to be a good secretary.”
She looked so serious I wanted to bend over and kiss her, but instead walked back to my desk, wondering if I was perhaps torturing myself as well as her. Later, I slipped out of the study and went up to my bedroom, where I lay back on the now tidy bed, where I had fucked Maggie not so long ago, and jerked off. But it wasn’t Maggie I was thinking about. It was Oralie; and she was playing the part of a young Irish woman, opening her thighs for a horny Irish farmer.
Afterwards, as I lay in a post-orgasmic haze, I told myself I mustn’t behave like this in future, or I would stir things up and perhaps lose my young assistant.
The following day, Saturday, I got up late—having pleasured myself once more— and left the house at noon to meet Jonathan for lunch. Oralie was nowhere to be seen.
“I sense trouble ahead,” said my friend, after I had relayed my behaviour of the day before.
“Do you think I behaved badly?”
“Not particularly. You were just teasing, and I’m sure young women today aren’t so fragile and inexperienced where men are concerned, to take the matter as more than just teasing.”
“But therein lies the problem. Oralie is very reserved, and not as sophisticated sexually as many young women are today. There’s something she keeps hidden behind those pretty eyes of hers, and I don’t know what it is.”
“Well, it seems to me you have two choices. You either go with your base sexual urges, and take any consequences that might follow. Or you keep that pecker of yours in check, and find your pleasures elsewhere.”
“Humph…I think it was finding pleasure with Maggie that set me off with Oralie.”
“Take a cold shower before work then; that’s my suggestion.”
I smiled, but doubted that I would take his advice.
Life had dealt some tough hands for her. Would meeting Lionel simply be another one?