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Dinner at Langdon House [CD] 27/12- Xmas 1677

Charles Whitehurst

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It had been a full day for the Earl of Langdon. His morning had been spent in the arms of his secret lover. His afternoon with a weaponsmith and in the library chasing down clues to the history of the dagger.


Now he found himself at dinner with his family and his no longer secret mistress. They all sat at a large oak table, he at one end, flanked on the left by his ward Frances and her mother Abigail. To his immediate right sat Catherine and then his brother Bradley. No one sat in the chair opposite the host. That place still belonged to his late wife until another took her place.


Being a meat and potatoes man, the dinner was predictable. He had grown fond of charred mutton and diced potatoes mixed with peas. Cook knew best how to fill her lord's stomach.


During the dinner, he was very solicitous of Frances, asking her to sing for Catherine. He wanted to show Catherine how fond he was of the 13 year old girl. Bradley was invited to reveal anything interesting he had learned at court.


As part of his plan, he feigned a sneeze or two so that he might announce that he was fighting a cold and would need to go to bed early. Charles knew that Catherine was looking for another romp. He had always been taught that men wanted sex more than women but his experiences with Davina and Catherine were to the contrary. he was becoming convinced that each of them would have each made love a score of bouts if he had the energy and seed to accomplish it. He did not. A handful was certain, but he needed rest and a diet of meat and potatoes to regenerate. The Earl supposed he might be able to swive once this evening, but not much more.


When the evening ended, he invited Catherine to stay the night with him, but that she would have to defer their passion until the morning. By then he expected to properly service her. It would be a nice start to the day.

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Catherine was happy that Charles had seated her to his right, which was generally considered the place of honor. She was his mistress, after all, though she wasn't certain if his brother or the mother of his ward knew it. Frances was too young, or she would have been able to hide the fact that she was smitten with her guardian. Catherine thought her infatuation was rather cute, and she wondered who Caroline would crush on when she was that age.


She would watch the girl, though. In a couple more years, she might become a threat to Catherine's position. If she could befriend her, she could push her in the direction of boys who were more suitable for her, maybe even have a secretive part in arranging her marriage. If she wed, she would be out of Charles' life for good. As much as Catherine liked sitting next to Charles, she believed the place at the other end of the table would belong to her eventually.


Frances did have a nice voice and Bradley was entertaining. She flirted with him a bit during dinner, not really to make Charles jealous, but because she was fond of witty repartee and he was a handsome young man. Catherine hardly noticed what she was eating, only that it was good and filling.


At first, she thought that Charles was feigning illness and if he had sent her home, she would have believed that he was only trying to get rid of her. But he invited her to spend the night with him, and she gave him the benefit of the doubt. A good shag would do wonders for his health, even if she had to wait until morning. As long as she could go to sleep in his arms, she would be content … for now.

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While Bradley was mighty pleased to meet his brothers whore, he had a mind to take a turn on her too a soon as his brother was done. She was a right charmer he noticed, grinning back to his flirtatious comments at the dinner table, all blatant and all. Ah, now it was times like this when he was pleased to be an Englishman at Whitehall!


Meanwhile Mrs Smith was obivous to it all, as always she said naught, ate very little, her eyes distant until she was settled away in a corner where she could return to her knitting.


There was one member of the family that was spitting tacks though: Frances. Ever advanced for yer years, having grown up rather too quickly after sending 6 months on the streets, she could not believe her guardians audacity. Having his mistress to Tea! To make matters worse, Bradly was also falling for Catherine. If it ever felt like she was unwanted by the men of this household it was tonight. Just like that Catherine had swooped in and stolen everyone hearts.


If Charles thought Frances was going to sing for them all after that, well, he had no idea. "I seem to have caught your cold." she said in a tight voice, "Excuse me please, but I need to go to bed."


And she did. Though not to her own bed, when Charles and Catherine eventually retired, they would find Frances fallen a sleep in Langdon's bed, his pillow saturated with her tears. Only a minor intrusion really, it taking but a few moments for a servant to carry her to her own bedroom across the hall.

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