Continues from chapter three
The soothing rays of the sun awoke Countess Alexandra Gladstone. The gold light streaming into the bed-chamber enhanced her afterglow from The Bootmaker’s machine. As she predicted upon her arrival the day before at Brunel Hall, spring had returned to the Lancashire coast.
Walking from the ornate bed, with its canopy in scarlet red with silver leaf, to the French doors, she slipped off the black silk robe as well as her corset, made of the finest leather in olive green. She made sure no one could see her from below and stepped onto the balcony.
The mansion’s formal garden -- with circle-shaped flower beds in royal blue, red, purple and gold -- led to a bluff overlooking the sea. Alexandra felt as if she were swimming in the noontime light, the sun splashing its warmth over her nude body. She savored the soothing sea breeze and gentle break of the waves.
As Alexandra heard the knock on the chamber door, she left the balcony and covered herself with the long silk robe.
“Countess Gladstone, I hope I have not awoken you.” The Bootmaker’s voice carried a youthful timbre, convincing Alexandra that he was time traveling again.
“You have not, Bootmaker. I fear, though, I have overslept.”
“It is half past noon. I am preparing a late lunch for us. I thought we would dine in the garden if that is agreeable with you.”
“That sounds lovely,” she replied.
Alexandra moved closer to the door.
What would happen if I opened it? Would the young Bootmaker embrace me and ask permission to kiss me? And if I said yes, would he silently celebrate how his machine had delivered me to the peak of sexual pleasure?
Would he gracefully release the sash of my robe, his finger tracing a line from my gold necklace to my bosom? Would I feel his lips on my breasts, his tongue moving in slow circles around my tender pink nipples?
Would I lower myself and kneel in front of him, worshipping his cock before taking his hard shaft into my mouth?
The tone of the Bootmaker’s voice, soft like velvet, returned Alexandra from her libidinous reverie.
“I have arranged for a lady’s maid to assist you. She just arrived from town. Should I send her up, Countess Gladstone?”
Alexandra thanked him for his thoughtfulness. She listened as the sound of his footfalls faded.
A few hours later, The Bootmaker greeted Alexandra at the bottom of the staircase. His youthful appearance had disappeared.
She wore a white silk dress with black beading, the fabric on the back of the skirt fashionably draped into bustles. The designer had not scrimped on the flounces and ruching. The dress had a tight extended bodice and a skirt with a flat front. White shoes with a pointed toe and low heel complemented it.
The lady’s maid had dressed Alexandra’s amber hair with elaborate twists and rolls, her tresses high at the back and brushing her shoulders. Black and white ribbons matched her white satin mini top hat, with its black satin ribbon hatband, a large white satin rose, black pearl sprays, black ostrich plumes, and white marabou. It was a gift from her best friend, Lady Blaylock.
Alexandra wore the hat tilted forwards, as Lady Blaylock had recommended.
“Your hat is as striking as your personage,” The Bootmaker offered.
She moves with elegance on the chaise-longue in front of me, resting on her hands and knees. She sighs as I run my right index finger up the length of her sex. “Your touch is like silk, so luxurious” she whispers.
I slide a finger inside her, then two – feeling her muscles clench around them, coating them with her juices. Her vagina is so tight, almost virginal. I unbutton my trousers to free my cock. She slowly backs up, closer to the tip of my erection. She turns to savor my youthful appearance.
I rub my cockhead against her pink folds, the pulse of my heart speeding in anticipation of making love to the most beautiful woman I have seen.
He carried a large tray with their lunch – roasted goose, bread, and cheese. The Bootmaker wore a black top hat, a three-piece suit of the same hue, a four-in-hand necktie, and a white shirt of patterned fabric. His black shoes had a narrow toe. As the day before, he wore dark spectacles with small rectangular frames, but these ones were tinted a fashionable blue.
Alexandra thanked him for his compliment about her mini top hat. She opened a parasol – Battenberg lace in black and white – for shade. They entered the garden and sat at a table for two near pink cluster roses, full blown blooms with a pleasurable fragrance.
“I have addressed you a few times as The Bootmaker. I have done so at the request of Lady Blaylock to ensure we protected your privacy. But in your sole company, may I call you Mr. Brunel? I believe we have achieved a familiarity meriting it, especially after last night.”
The Bootmaker smiled, cocking his head slightly as he handed Alexandra a glass of white wine.
“It would be an honor, Countess Gladstone. I want to express my gratitude again to you for experiencing my machine.”
He added: “Our familiarity also extends to becoming business partners, a true honor for me.”
Alexandra suspected The Bootmaker would not go beyond his brief reference to the machine. Although he could be blunt, he was a genuine gentleman. He would wait for her to elaborate.
“Your invention is a revelation,” she declared.
The Bootmaker paused as a black-and-white butterfly, matching Alexandra’s outfit, fluttered above the table and veered off.
“May I discreetly ask, Countess Gladstone, what it revealed?”
“The essence of my sensuality. When you explained what the machine did, when I saw the ivory phallus, I had no hesitation. The loudest voices in our society stand for sexual repression and social convention. They are but a small minority, but with an outsized influence. There are many more like me. I want to eliminate all of these complex and rigid rules of behavior.”
The Bootmaker indicated he was in accord with her views. “But, speaking from experience, I must caution you that this approach also bears risks, opprobrium from the loud voices you reference.”
Alexandra told The Bootmaker about her encounter on the railway to London with Mrs. Thomas Foucault, president of The Ladies’ Collective for the Preservation of Chastity.
“You should have told me earlier,” The Bootmaker remarked. His body language displayed his concern. “Your safety is my responsibility.”
“I appreciate that. I apologize for my oversight.”
“No need for an apology, Countess Gladstone. I hope she did not cause you any distress.”
“Not at all. Rather, she made me even more intent to be in your company, Mr. Brunel.”
With lunch over, Alexandra accepted his invitation to tour his glasshouse. Taking her arm, The Bootmaker gave her a brief history of the steel and glass structure as they strolled.
“It was designed by Joseph Paxton, who was the head gardener at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. I use it primarily for cut flowers.”
“How is it kept at a constant temperature?”
“I replaced the old stove with a cast iron boiler I designed that has pressurized systems.”
After Alexandra examined the boiler, she noticed what appeared to be an adjacent chamber. A black blanket covered a large object, the top appearing to be an outline of a penis. She asked what was underneath the blanket.
The Bootmaker removed it, revealing what appeared to be a saddle-shaped seat. Mounted on it was a flesh-colored dildo made of rubber. He launched into a brief speech about his invention. Alexandra heard only bits of it, distracted by the promise of the steam-powered contraption.
She weighed her next step before speaking.
“Dare I be so insatiable?” Alexandra asked him with a mischievous glance.
“Dare you not be? This machine is small, but mighty,” he replied.
Alexandra said that she wanted to try it. The Bootmaker attached the connecting rod between the boiler and the machine. He explained he had designed it for an Austrian baroness who preferred being on top when she fucked. He showed Alexandra the dial used to control the vibration and rotation of the dildo.
“I’ll leave the glasshouse, so you may enjoy privacy.”
“No, I want you to be here with me, Mr. Brunel. Will you please control the pace of the machine, per my wishes?”
“I shall, as you request. But please pardon me momentarily, as I must attend to the boiler.”
When The Bootmaker returned, Alexandra had removed her silk dress and hat. She wore a white corset, which was tight-laced; a cotton chemise underneath, silk stockings attached to garters tied just above her knees; and bloomers, held in place by buttons at her waist and the center seam left open, as customary.
After using a sufficient amount of lubricant on the “ladies’ companion”, he sat in a chair to her left. He faced Alexandra, albeit slightly out of her line of vision.
Alexandra mounted the machine, gradually taking the shaft into her sex. She watched The Bootmaker turn the dial slightly. Feeling the first vibration, she placed her hands on the front of the black saddle.
She had felt slightly sore that morning from the fucking machine, but that discomfort seemed to melt away as the six-inch-long shaft began to rotate while it vibrated.
“I’m ready for more, Mr. Brunel,” she instructed after a minute or so had passed.
Alexandra reached back with her left arm to balance herself on the saddle. She closed her eyes and bit her lip after The Bootmaker adjusted the dial, the buzzing sound becoming louder. The sensation was different from the machine of the night before; its ivory cock spearing her and the long brass shift with its spherical head working her clitoris.
With this machine, she was in the rider’s seat. Alexandra determined her rhythm. She lowered her hips, taking the dildo almost to the hilt, causing its mushroom-shaped tip to move deeper inside her. It pressed against the upper wall of her sex. The vibration delivered waves of pleasure.
“More, I need more now, Mr. Brunel,” she moaned.
The Bootmaker turned the dial three notches higher. After ten minutes, Alexandra could barely talk, or breathe. She began to whimper; low at first but growing louder as she demanded what she needed so intensely. The machine’s highest setting was only four notches away.
“Make me come.”
The Bootmaker responded by turning the dial to the highest level. Grasping the front of the saddle with both hands, Alexandra felt her first orgasm rise up suddenly. With her head slightly bowed and her chest heaved, the climax made her scream in delight. The Bootmaker lowered the dial as Alexandra felt the pleasure grip her body.
After a few minutes passed, she told The Bootmaker: “I want to repeat. Will you please continue to control the pace?”
“Of course, Countess Gladstone.”
The Bootmaker waited a few moments to make sure her breathing returned to normal. He recalled a technique he had used when a lady from Paris had tried the machine for the first time. There were fifteen speeds. Starting at one, the lowest level, he would turn the dial up one level per minute. Using his pocket watch, The Bootmaker began, hoping his strategy would pleasure Alexandra even more than her first orgasm.
As the vibrations resumed, Alexandra began to move her head from side to side. She could feel her next orgasm build. Her sighs sounded unlike anything she had heard emanate from her mouth. Changing her position to get more of the rotation and vibration on her clit, Alexandra felt the effect immediately and began to cry out.
In her mind’s eye, she was alone in a world of pleasure with The Bootmaker, who responded to her growing bliss with an erection he could not obscure. As the vibrations grew steadily in intensity, she lost control, her guttural sounds loud and wild as she climaxed. The powerful orgasm washed over her.
The Bootmaker gathered her dress, other clothes and hat, moving languidly to give her time to recover. When she was dressed, he held her hand and they walked toward the mansion. The sun was warmer now in the high powder-blue sky, but the parasol protected Alexandra’s fair skin.
She couldn’t resist a provocative comment. “I’m becoming a sybarite, thanks to you, sir.”
She didn’t recoil from The Bootmaker’s aged appearance. Showing him her right gloved hand with the thumb exposed – a flirtation which meant “kiss me” – he did so, softly on her lips, covering them with his almost-frantic desire. His body trembled from the thrill. He wanted to fuck the white satin mini top hat off of her head.
“Be still, Mr. Brunel,” she whispered in his ear.
They walked into the drawing room on the second floor of the mansion. He sat at the head of the mahogany table and unrolled a massive blueprint.
“These are the architectural drawings of the machine I have discussed and have labored over the past few years,” The Bootmaker explained. He exchanged his spectacles for glassicals, with multiple lenses adjusted by various dials and knobs. It enabled him to read the fine-print notes he had scrawled.
The outline of the blueprint showed a long, brass rectangular box-shaped machine with three distinct sections. Alexandra recognized one of them. During her first visit, The Bootmaker had made a measurement as she lay bound on what felt like a physician’s examining table. The drawing showed a large, sumptuous bed, similar to the one in which she had awoken this morning.
“The ghost of my husband said that you may enable us to be together one last time, as husband and wife, before his soul departs evermore. Is that the purpose of this machine?”
“It is designed to momentarily reunite the living and the souls of the dead who have not passed on to another world yet,” The Bootmaker said, his brow furrowing as he reflected on the frustration of not completing his ambitious scheme. “As I’ve said, the project has eluded me. I am hopeful, however, that together we can bring it to fruition.”
Alexandra studied the drawing closer, eager to learn. “I am but a neophyte. I don’t know what contribution I possibly could make.”
“I need someone who is tireless and who will bring new eyes to this endeavor. I strongly believe that person is you, Countess Gladstone.”
Alexandra said she appreciated his faith in her, and asked if she could see the machine, which was partially constructed. He led her to the basement. The machine towered above them, blue steel and brooding.
The Bootmaker explained that he had a crew that assisted him with the construction, five engineering students from London. They did not know the purpose of the machine they helped build, as The Bootmaker told them it was a prototype of the final version. But they appreciated the experience and even more, the crowns which greatly helped in paying for their education.
“Do you have women on the crew?” Alexandra asked.
“I had not considered that, no.”
“It would be beneficial to have girls or young women involved. It would prove invaluable in showing them that they are the equal of men in math and science.”
The Bootmaker apologized. He said he would put that priority at the top of his list of matters to accomplish. Alexandra offered to handle recruitment, hoping her example would inspire other young women.
“We have much to do, Mr. Brunel.”
“Which brings me to my request, Countess Gladstone. Given the mountain we must climb, would you consider moving into Brunel Hall temporarily? I know that may not be possible, given your obligations in London.”
“I was waiting for you to make such a request. I don’t see how we can design and build the machine without me committing my time. And besides, I’ve become quite fond of your other two machines,” she added with a smile. “I gladly accept your respectful invitation.”
A few days later, Alexandra departed Brunel Hall for London. The Bootmaker instructed the carriage driver to accompany her to the railcar, in case Mrs. Thomas Foucault, president of The Ladies’ Collective for the Preservation of Chastity, decided to make an appearance. There was no sign of her at the station in Blackpool or on the railway. If she had sent an agent, there was no way of knowing.
Upon arriving at her residence, Alexandra gathered the servants to inform them of her plans. Pursuing her ambition to become an inventor, she would be spending most of her time in Blackpool for the time being, she said.
“I do not know how long I will be away, but rest assured that you will remain employed and will continue to operate the household with my highest gratitude. I anticipate asking some of you to follow me to Blackpool to fulfill my needs and that of the gentleman who owns the seaside mansion, who must remain anonymous.”
When the meeting ended, a servant handed her a letter that had arrived the day before from Lady Blaylock.
It has been much too long since we last spoke. It was at the ball that I hosted, and that occasion did not offer us much of an opportunity to talk. I want to hear all that is going on in your life. Please join me for afternoon tea on the 27th.
Alexandra responded promptly with a card, the invitation brightening her spirits.
On the appointed day, Alexandra arrived by carriage at the Blaylock residence on the northern edge of Kensington Gardens. She wore a lace and chiffon tea gown in white. Lady Blaylock greeted Alexandra in the parlor. Her tea gown of lace and satin with an empire line matched the parlor’s décor, a stylish shade of mauve.
After some light conversation, Lady Blaylock said she needed to confide in Alexandra and added she hoped it would not shock her.
“I’m having an affair with a refined and sensuous gentleman. My husband has had a string of lovers. Since his impotence, these ladies are more confidantes than sexual partners. My needs in the boudoir were not fulfilled and I didn’t see any reason why I should not take a lover.”
“I, of course, support your decision.” Alexandra embraced Lady Blaylock.
After talking at length about the appeal of romantic men, rumors of Queen Victoria’s white-hot lust for Prince Albert, and the status of women in English society, Alexandra told Lady Blaylock that she had decided to pursue an interest in science and mathematics. Her ambition was to become an inventor like The Bootmaker, she said.
“Did he finish making the boots for you?” Lady Blaylock inquired, offering Alexandra an assortment of fruits and berries with the tea.
“Yes, I returned a few days ago from his mansion. He made me a stunning pair of boots in olive green leather – and a corset of the same color with the extra leather he had procured.”
Lady Blaylock said she was intrigued that The Bootmaker was expanding his trade.
“That shade of green must match your hair perfectly. I’d love to see those boots and the corset on you.
“Sir Elliot Walter from the Bank of England tells me he has helped finance some of The Bootmaker’s inventions. By chance, did you see any of those?”
Alexandra paused before answering. She never would lie to her closest friend.
“I have. He is nothing less than a genius. He has shown me how two of them work. May I leave it at that, my dear friend?”
Lady Blaylock smiled.
“Naturally you may, Alexandra.”
Lady Blaylock now knew what Sir Elliot told her about the lascivious nature of The Bootmaker’s inventions was true.
That evening, as her husband attended the theater with his male friends, enjoying bawdy jokes about bloomers, Lady Blaylock performed fellatio on Sir Elliot in the mansion’s music room.
Afterward, she shared with her lover what Alexandra had told her about The Bootmaker’s machines.
“I daresay my friend is becoming a daughter of decadence, like me.”
A month later, Alexandra returned to Brunel Hall. Eight roundtrip carriage trips from the rail station in Blackpool were needed to transport her belongings. The Bootmaker greeted her with what she needed most – work clothes, goggles, and a chronometer.
“Eventually, we’ll be doing a lot of trial and error tests with the machine, but first we must return to the drawing table and complete the design,” he told Alexandra as the lady’s maid unpacked her belongings.
Alexandra’s first task was to recruit young women for the work crew The Bootmaker had assembled. She solicited applicants and chose five – three from the Cheltenham Ladies’ College and two from Queen’s College. All were natives of Blackpool.
She and The Bootmaker established a daily routine, meeting in the drawing room after breakfast. Poring over the blueprint, The Bootmaker explained his concepts, the emerging technology he had invented, what had worked and what had failed. Alexandra soaked up the knowledge. The Bootmaker frequently thought by talking. She was a patient listener and also offered her ideas and perspectives, which he appreciated.
The Bootmaker knew he could not succeed alone. Fresh eyes aided his search for scientific breakthroughs. He treasured Alexandra’s presence and treated her as an equal.
They completed the revised design of the machine over six months and resumed construction. Assisted by the ten-member crew, they toiled late into the nights, frequently using scaffolding to scamper over the enormous apparatus. The blueprint guided them, but the work involved assembling thousands of parts.
Finally, the machine was completed. At midnight that Saturday, The Bootmaker and Alexandra would determine if it worked. Would it enable Alexandra and the ghost of her husband to be together one last time?
In the days leading up to that moment, The Bootmaker was nervous, pacing the mansion and making last-minute changes. Alexandra felt a mix of sheer exhaustion and relief that perhaps the hardest work was over. She was determined to be rested for that Saturday night.
Minutes before midnight, Alexandra listened to the roar of the steam engine in the imposing work room below. Descending the staircase from her chamber, she smiled at a memory. The Bootmaker’s automaton, George, had shoveled coal when she used the fucking machine the first time. But this machine in the basement required ten people to feed it; no single factotum could generate the power it required.
Alexandra wore the same dress she had worn the last time she had seen her late husband, Viscount Charles Gladstone, who had perished in a dirigible accident nearly four years ago.
It was a white off-the-shoulder crinoline ball dress, with a pointed bodice trimmed over the upper arms and neck with the finest lace. The bell-shaped skirt had a shorter overskirt of an almost transparent fabric, slit over the legs, and decorated at the top of the slit with posies of flowers. Her amber hair was dressed with a flower decoration in the back.
The work crew stood in the hallway, in case there was an emergency. The Bootmaker took Alexandra’s hand and they walked into the work room. She entered the machine through a back door. He stood outside the machine in case something went wrong.
Alexandra waited in a section that was a replica of the chamber where she slept in Brunel Hall. She sat on the edge of the large canopy bed covered with pillows, ribbons and flounces.
Even with a thick steel wall insulating her from the infernal noise and coal smoke, she felt the immense power from the steam engine flowing inside and outside the hulking device. Vibrations ran up and down its length, the engine violently groaning as if had gone beyond the maximum power it could generate.
Alexandra sensed his presence moments before Charles’ ghostly image became visible.
She gasped as the flickering image gradually transformed into his former body. After several minutes passed, the steam engine came to rest as the transformation of Charles from apparition to corporeal form was complete.
“My beloved wife,” Charles said softly. He wore a black three-piece suit with an Ascot tie. Alexandra stood to meet his embrace.
“You are flesh and blood,” she whispered.
“Thanks to The Bootmaker’s machine. But it will not last long. This transformation likely means the end of my spirit presence, but my soul will live on, connecting us forever.”
Charles’ handsome face possessed strong features. Alexandra admired them in the low light. She treasured the smoothness of his voice, how it always had reassured her. His words were few, but carefully chosen to pull her in closer to his heart.
He kissed Alexandra lightly on the lips. She felt his strong hands on her hips and looked deeply into his hazel eyes. As they kissed, she felt him begin to undress her. His long fingers were adept at removing her dress and the layers below. It did not take long until Alexandra stood before him in only her white corset, silk stockings, and bloomers.
“You are a unique beauty,” he said.
Alexandra ran her fingers through his dark brown hair. She felt his hands on her bare shoulders, . watched his eyes darken with desire. She took it as a prompt to gracefully lower herself to the carpeted floor, kneeling in front of him.
“So bold,” he said, remembering the first time she had made this move on their wedding night.
She unbuttoned his trousers and then pulled down his drawers, made of white china silk.
Alexandra kissed the tip of the thick, heavily-veined cock, the sweet pre-cum reaching her tongue. The shaft was hard as steel and warm to the touch. She alternated licking and kissing its length. Charles gasped as she looked up into his eyes and took the cock head between her lips, her tongue licking its underside.
His cock throbbed as she sucked him, the chamber filling with his heavier breathing and her voracious hunger. She felt the wetness of her sex, amid the amber curls of her pubic hair.
Charles lifted Alexandra to place her gently on the bed. For a moment, as if to make an imprint of her beauty, he studied her as she lay on the bed, her dark eyes shimmering with purity and sexual need, her amber hair combed out to reach her bare shoulders; and her enticing body, the skin white as newly-fallen snow.
He slipped off her bloomers, decorated with tucks and lace. Removing the rest of his clothing, Charles lightly straddled her body and they kissed, this time Charles parting her lips so his tongue could tangle with hers. Motioning for her to turn over, he unlaced the corset casually, then caressed the curves of her derriere. As Alexandra moved onto her side, he hugged her tightly.
“I never want you to let go of me,” she whispered.
His kisses took control of her, his lips lowering to the spot between her breasts. His lips, tongue, and teeth brushed over her hard nipples, teasing her with their nips. She arched her back slightly and wondered how long he would torment her. She didn’t have to wait long. Placing his finger over her lips, he kissed a trail to the spot right above her sex, glistening from her juices.
“Charles.” She repeated his name as she felt his breath above the cleft.
Alexandra struggled to breathe as he spread her legs and licked a line up her folds, probing deep into her vagina with his tongue, before stroking his way to her clit. She felt her fingernails on the sides of his face, compelling him on as he licked tight circles around the spot.
“Charles, make love to me.”
He raised her legs slightly and entered her sex, the tightness pleasing as her muscles clenched around his shaft. She locked her eyes onto his as he quickened the pace of his thrusts. Alexandra wanted him to drive her to the edge of pleasure and stay there. He slowed himself, his gaze intent on her rising pleasure.
When he felt her calm, he drove his cock deeper. Her moan was resounding and she felt her body shudder. A wave of heat rose through her spine as he pumped her faster and harder, piercing her. Her multiple orgasms came in waves, causing her body to shudder from the intensity. Charles came soon after, his semen filling her in a way she never had experienced.
There was one last kiss, lingering as she felt them bathed in white light, their bodies still entwined.
“Beloved, forever,” Charles said.
And he was gone.
Alexandra cried out, but there was no response. Curling up in the bed, drawing a blanket over her, she closed her eyes and cried, tears of sadness and joy.
The Bootmaker gave her time. When she walked out of the machine an hour after entering it, he embraced her.
Words couldn’t capture the depths of their emotions. They held each other in knowing silence.
Alexandra felt tranquil, but she also struggled to make sense of what happened. She had witnessed and learned from the genius of The Bootmaker and felt it was their project, an accomplishment they shared. But she also felt a strange sense of surprise that the technologies he had invented for the machine had worked.
The machine enabled me and the ghost of my husband to be together one last night, as husband and wife, before his soul departed evermore.
That night, long after Alexandra had retired to her chamber, The Bootmaker decided to celebrate the following morning with her. He and Alexandra had believed in each other and their hard work had culminated in an advanced machine.
In the morning, walking to the third floor to tell Alexandra that breakfast was ready, he knocked on her door. She did not reply. He summoned a lady’s maid, who found that the chamber was empty.
The Bootmaker and his servants frantically looked for her throughout the mansion and on the grounds, but without success.
Alexandra was gone.
Continues in chapter five