Stand And Deliver

The pretty face of Lady Amanda Fitzroy gazed expectantly and eagerly from the window of her carriage. Having just passed the three mile marker to London, if the Highwayman were going to appear at all, it would surely be along this isolated stretch of country road.

Amanda was envious of her many female friends who had already been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the dashing and notorious Highwayman. She pouted and sulked every time she listened to the accounts of daring, gallantry and charm.

Most importantly, however, she yearned to know why, every time they spoke of the occurrence, eyes twinkled mischievously and titters, reminiscent of the giggling of immature girls, gushed from behind brocade fans. Her questions remained unanswered, with an intimation of pity at her ignorance. There was quite obviously a delicious secret and Amanda was left with no recourse but to find out for herself.

The sudden emergence by the roadside stole away Amanda's breath.

The descriptions she had overheard did the Highwayman no justice. The figure astride the chestnut stallion, was one as fine as she had ever seen. The long, curling hair, glossy as the wing of a raven, was secured with an indigo ribbon at the nape of the neck. The well-shaped legs, encased in long, form-fitting riding boots of Spanish leather, were strong. The royal blue hip-length jacket was belted to accentuate a lean waist...and the froths of ivory lace at the throat and wrists contrasted pleasingly with the exquisite olive tone of the unblemished skin.

The eyes, reckless and bold through the mask of black satin, were of an unusually deep violet and the speculative smile which played about the corners of the mouth was one that Amanda found totally disarming. She shivered a little...whether from delight or fear, she was unable to discern. She had never imagined that danger could be so intoxicating.

Setting the three-cornered hat with the brightly-colored peacock feather at a jaunty angle, the Highwayman, with raised pistol, signalled for the coachman to halt. The terrified driver did not have to be told twice.

Vaulting effortlessly from the saddle, the Highwayman swaggered toward the carriage as Amanda, rosy-of-cheek and glowing with anticipation, extended her hand. The brush of lips against her palm was soft and she offered no resistance when the emerald baguette was nimbly slipped from her middle finger.

Amanda offered even less resistance when the Highwayman entered the carriage and sat beside her. Her heart fluttered as she felt the encircling arm, coaxing her body closer. She trembled as the demanding tongue lingered on her throat before brushing against the firm swell of her ample bosom.

With a relenting sigh, she allowed herself to be forced down against the lavish velvet interior of the coach...though, if truth be told, she was more than willing to comply. Her silk petticoats rustled and she quivered as a gentle, but nonetheless determined, hand travelled expertly along her inner thigh. The other, eyelet-by-eyelet, slowly loosened the lacings which held together her bodice.

All too soon, the moment had passed and the Highwayman was gone, carrying away the emerald ring and a scented handkerchief. Lady Amanda lounged like a cream-fed kitten against the plush cushions. A contented smile crept across her flushed face. Satiated in mind, body...and curiosity...she ordered the driver to wheel-about and take her home. She could now be counted among the elite. One who had been taken to the very Gates of Paradise within the passionate embrace of the Highwayman.

At the tavern and some time flop-house known as the Throgmorton Arms, it was closing time. Hannah, the most desirable serving wench in all of London, was assisting the landlord in throwing out the remaining loud-mouthed inebriates.

They grabbed at her skirts and whistled approvingly at the trim ankles. They reached for her bare shoulders and gawked at her low-cut chemisette. But, as always, she would have none of it and simply pushed them through the door. Some even jangled their well-filled purses in front of her adorable turned-up nose. She simply gave a good-natured laugh and shook her head.

"Maybe, one of these days," she said as she sent them packing on their merry way.

When the last straggler had departed unsteadily into the foggy night, Hannah went upstairs to her modest bedroom beneath the eaves. "Maybe, one of these days," she repeated to herself, pondering on the possibility of sampling something a little different. But that day had not yet arrived...not yet.

She carefully folded the clothes and stored them in a trunk, placing the black satin mask on top and giving the bright blue peacock feather a final twirl before closing the lid. The emerald bauble, she locked away in a small trinket box which held other such similar valuables. Then, she threw herself with abandon onto the bed.

Hannah breathed deeply of the perfume which lingered still on the scented handkerchief. She wriggled with satisfaction against the cotton coverlet and savored once more the taste of that delectable, honeyed flesh. In the darkness, her half-closed violet eyes glittered with provocative remembrance.

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