Beatrice is desperate. No one will buy her pretty flowers, and that means that she will go hungry.Then a coachman approached her with an offer. His master will pay for her services. He wants Beatrice to surrender her virtue to him. He isn't going to be gentle—and it seems the coachman wants a piece of the action too…~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~Beatrice dabbed gently at the perspiration that gathered between the swells of her bosom with a lace handkerchief. It was humid tonight, as were most nights at this time of year. She watched as the fog which rolled onto the cobblestone lined streets of London, cloaking the river Thames in a grey shroud. A Yorkshire girl, she was used to fog, but not this kind. The fog on the moor back home was thick, cool and strangely refreshing. The London fog was like a cloud of noxious gas, grainy and stultifying, flavored with the soot of the factories.She took a shallow breath and proceeded to arranging the flowers that she would sell upon those very streets for the small pittance. That would ensure another day’s survival, if the weather held. It being summer she hoped the business would be good. Many a man would be out courting, and in need of a bunch of pretty flowers.“Flowers for the lovely lady beside you this evening, sir?” Beatrice asked, curtsying before the stranger who she approached. The scent of freshly picked daisies, carnations and roses wafted up to drown the smells of the street. The couple walked around her as if she was invisible to them.“Madam, would you like a flower?” she continued. Although the streets were busy she hadn’t made enough for more than an apple. Today was not a good day, not in the least. She was so hungry. The woman diverted her eyes from Beatrice and continued to walk on.A coachman approached her then, his carriage left unattended but for a moment down an alley nearby. His uniform was crisp and clean. He carried his whip at his side and tipped his hat at her.“Miss.” His voice was low and commanded her utmost attention among the bustling streets. She found herself a little afraid, though she knew not why.
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