Read History Lessons Online

Authors: Fiona Wilde

History Lessons

History Lessons

By

Fiona Wilde

(c)2011 by Blushing Books(r) and Fiona Wilde

 

Copyright (c) 2011 by Blushing Books(r) and Fiona Wilde

All rights reserved. No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Blushing Books(r),

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The trademark Blushing Books(r) is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Wilde, Fiona

History Lessons

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60968-591-1

Cover Design by ABCD Graphics

 

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This book is intended for adults only. Spanking and other sexual activities represented in this book are fantasies only, intended for adults. Nothing in this book should be interpreted as advocating any non-consensual spanking activity or the spanking of minors.

 

Chapter One

Lucy Primm stood trying not to fidget and moved her head a bit to the side in an effort to alleviate the high starched collar of her simple servant's dress. She could hear Mr. Ellis coming down the line and cut her eyes at Missy, who stood just to her left and knew she was thinking the same thing: Would this head of staff be as bad as the last one?

They had hated Beatrice Steelman, whose laziness had made Hartford House something of a joke among those who appreciated any kind of historical accuracy. Some of the girls had even chanced wearing eye shadow or sneaking a smoke when the director had been in her office talking on the phone to whomever it was she talked to in the middle of the day. Word had come yesterday that she'd been let go and this new man, this Warren Ellis, would now be assuming her duties.

"Miss Primm, is it?" He was in front of her now and Lucy found herself looking at the front of an impeccably clean blue jacket. Her eyes traveled up and she felt herself gasp a bit. The face that looked at her was handsome, even underneath those horrible spectacles. When Missy had said the new head of staff was "some old guy," she'd figured he'd be in his sixties. But this man was more around forty, just a few years older than she was.

"Yes," Lucy said, curtsying and was unnerved to see him looking at her with irritation.

"I mean, yes sir," she said. His face softened, but not for long. He took the quill he was holding and used the tip of it to lift the chain of her necklace up.

"Is this appropriate, Miss Primm?" he asked.

"Uh, no. No sir."

Lucy grimaced a bit and tucked the necklace inside her collar. It wasn't easy to do with the collar being so tight. Lucy had to tug and as she did she could feel his eyes on her and she blushed.

"There," she said. "It's all gone."

"It's not gone, Miss Primm," he said, his voice cold. "It's still there."

"Well, I know. But you can't see it."

"That doesn't matter." He spoke to her like she was a child. "It wouldn't have been an issue if you'd followed the rules. No...?"

She looked at him and then realized he wanted her to finish the sentence.

"Oh! No adornments."

"Correct," he said, continuing down the line. "No adornments - no jewelry, no makeup, no visible tattoos. Hartford House is a historical site on the National Historic Registry. People who come here want to feel transported to a different time period. We are expected to remain in character."

He'd reached the end of the line now and was walking back up, his shoes making soft thudding sounds on the hardwood floors.

"I understand that my predecessor had allowed things to become...relaxed around here. I understand that returning to the rigorous standards the Board of Directors of Harford House may be an uncomfortable adjustment to those of you who have grown used to doing whatever you want..." He looked right at Lucy, as if wearing a necklace were some kind of mortal sin.

When he walked past, Lucy elbowed Missy and stifled a laugh. As she did, Warren Ellis stopped and looked right at her.

"Is something amusing, Miss Primm?"

Lucy forced her face to become as somber as she could make it. "No sir," she said, but her voice was tight with laughter. The man was ridiculous.

"Hmmm. Well, you certainly seem amused, but perhaps you might take your job more seriously if you were aware of the new demerit system."

"Demerit system?"

Someone else had asked the question, but Warren Ellis was looking at Lucy now as if they were the only two in the room, and when he gave his answer, it was directed at her.

"Why yes. Insubordination and improper attire are now among a list of infractions will earn employees a demerit. Three demerits and you lose your job." He paused. "Miss Primm here has just earned her first."

There was a collective gasp and Lucy looked side to side to see her co-workers looking in her direction with fear and pity. It was a tight economy, and Hartford House paid its staff well. With a young child to support, she was horribly in any position to become unemployed.

"Now do you understand the seriousness of the situation?" He was looking at her, and now it was his face that bore a slightly bemused expression as he took in her expression of shock.

"Yes sir," she said and watched as he continued down the line, her head spinning from the first real dressing down she'd received since starting the job three years earlier.

* * *

"Jesus!" Lucy pulled the little white cap off her head and stomped down the steps, Missy at her heels. At the bottom she wheeled, almost running into her friend. "Can you believe that?"

"I heard he was kind of strict," Missy began.

"What?" Lucy couldn't hide her annoyance. "You didn't tell me that. You just said he was old."

"Sorr-ee," said Missy defensively. "I didn't think I had to spell it out for you. Robert from the blacksmith shop told me Mr. Ellis used to work at Hargrove Plantation and that everyone was afraid of him. I was going to tell you but there wasn't time."

Lucy couldn't fault her for that. She'd barely gotten to work in time for the morning line-up and was in such a rush to change that she'd forgotten to take her necklace off. If she had just known...

"I don't think it's fair that he gave you a demerit right off the bat," Missy said. The two had dropped to their knees in the herb garden to dead head some of the plants, occasionally casting glances back to the house.

"No shit," Lucy said quietly. A couple of other staffers were walking by and she didn't want to be overheard. It was common knowledge that profanity was forbidden in the house or on the grounds, but that rule was largely ignored. Now, with one demerit to her credit, Lucy became fearful of being overheard.

"You could talk to him," Missy offered.

"I don't want to talk to him," Lucy said angrily, taking her agitation off on an innocent bee balm plant she was decapitating.

"Don't be stubborn," Missy said. "If you explain your situation and promise to be more careful I'm sure he'll take the demerit back."

'Your situation,' Missy had said, and Lucy had to agree that it was different than that of the retirement age women, college interns or recent history majors who worked at Hartford House not because they had to, but because they wanted to. At thirty-two, Lucy was struggling to raise her four-year-old son Kegan, the product of a stupid one-night stand. Lucy had never notified the handsome man who had seduced her after a party, and knew little about him except that he was a writer for some magazine in New York. He's come across as vain and self-centered, and Lucy knew if she'd been sober she would have never fallen for his lines.

She remembered little about the encounter, except for snatches of their conversation in which he revealed that he hated kids and was trying to get his pilot's license. What started as a chivalrous offer to walk her home ended at a local hotel. Lucy thought she'd seen him put on a condom. Now she knew he had not.

The pregnancy had been a surprise for someone who thought she couldn't conceive. Lucy had been married at age twenty-two to a man who desperately wanted children. But try as they might she could not conceive. When she suggested they adopt, her then-husband had objected and began researching IVF's, embryo transplants and surrogates. Lucy realized that she didn't want to go through a bunch of painful tests to bring another child into the world when there were so many that needed homes. So she left and her ex went on to remarry. To this day he remained childless.

As Lucy sat on the toilet staring at the plus sign on the pregnancy test she had two thoughts. The first was "It was his problem, not mine." The second was "What am I going to do?"

She knew she would keep it, even if it was for selfish reasons. Both her parents were dead and the child would be the only family she had. A child would ease her lonely existence; before getting pregnant she'd often thought that once she was financially stable she would do what her ex had refused to do - adopt.

But Lucy knew she would have to get a better job. At the time she was working as a research assistant for a textbook company. It was enjoyable work, but her hours had been cut and there were talks of layoffs. The position held until Kegan was born, and two months later she happened to find the ad for work at Hartford House and was surprised to find that the pay and benefits were good.

The work was much different than what she was used to. No longer did she spend her days tucked away in a small office with a coffee cup at her elbow as she dug through stacks of papers or scanned archives for information.

Her job as a researcher had given Lucy enough knowledge to help her become a convincing re-enactor. But the work was physically demanding and the long, high-necked dresses she was required to wear did not make things easier. But she did her job well and without complaint and during her time working at the historic site Lucy had outlasted three directors, watched several of her co-workers retire and watched half a dozen interns come and go.

Ironically, she was now one of the site's senior employees, and as she thought about what a good employee she'd been, she grew angrier and angrier.

"You're right," she said, standing to brush the dirt off her apron. "I will go talk to him. That Warren Ellis may have been able to play Lord of the Manor everywhere else, but he's not going to get away with it here. Demerits. That's just ridiculous."

Lucy snatched the basket of seed heads off the ground and stalked off. Missy stood and followed, wondering if she'd done the right thing by egging on her friend. If Warren Ellis was as stern as everyone said, Lucy was going to have her work cut out for her.

* * *

Warren Ellis looked inside the spittoon outside the restored smokehouse and scowled. Cigarette butts. What on earth had Beatrice Steelman been thinking to allow staff to sneak cigarettes onto a historic site that didn't even allow visitors to smoke?

She must have been spending a lot of time in her office to miss the sight of staffers smoking, but he wondered how she could have walked the grounds without detecting the smell of nicotine hanging in the air. Warren wrinkled his nose; even with no one smoking the air still reeked of the stale odor.

He jotted down evidence of this latest infraction on a list that was growing in speed only second to the pace of his irritation.

Hartford House standards had fallen abysmally. After only a short time on the job, Ellis had witnessed staffers, who were required to remain in character at all times, chatting casually in the halls about things like iPods and television shows. He's caught the smell of perfume on more than two of the women. Several of the men looked as though they'd not laundered their shirts. In the spinning house he'd even found a skein of synthetic yarn in one of the baskets.

Warren was a stickler for detail; that was what made him good at his job. As a historian, he'd written numerous books on colonial life before being asked by the Willouburg Historical Society to consult them on some of accuracy of some of their sites.

At Hargrove Plantation he found so many inaccuracies that they booted the director and hired him. The improvements were written up in several tourism magazines, and buoyed by the success, directors made plans to move Warren to the even more mismanaged Hartford House.

With its accompanying farm complete with barn, stables and blacksmith forge, Hartford House was a big draw for school groups and tourists and its annual Hartford House Harvest Festival was becoming increasingly popular. The historical society members wanted Warren in place in time for the event, and let him know they counted on him to do at Hartford what he'd done at Hargrove.

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