Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

It is currently Fall 2011.

The Sulgrave family has been the ruling power of Britain for nearly three hundred and twenty five years.

Things have changed since then, yet if you're talking of government, in only minor ways. What was once an absolute monarchy is in name only a constitutional monarchy, but those constitutional parameters range far and wide. There's a Prime Minister, there's a Parliament, but they are not effectively in power. The king holds the country in his hands...but he wants nothing to do with the power he holds. Who knows how long the arrangement will last. Other families are jockeying for power, along with those in the government that barely functions at all. They all have their reasons--personal or not--to want the system overthrown. But will it happen?

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LANIE is THE QUEEN

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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
Alastair Gordon Posted on Sep 3 2011, 07:35 PM
  As far as he was concerned, the conversation--or what could have potentially become one, about his former problems that once rule his life--was over. Alastair tossed the brandy, not caring, not wanting questions, glad Elizabeth seemed not to ask. She was smart enough to figure it out. Anyone could have figured it out. What he said was the truth and he didn't need to elaborate. He didn't want to elaborate. If he needed to, he wasn't going to. Easy enough. Even talking about it nettled him, recalling things he didn't want to remember about himself and how he used to be. That would be a long road he didn't want to go back. He only operated in drive, not reverse. Elizabeth wasn't going to get his life's story. She would learn in small doses, like his earlier nearly boyish excitement in the library, or his actions just moments ago: getting up, throwing it away, sitting back down again as if nothing happened with a curt explanation that explained everything with three words.

It didn't help he didn't want to talk about it around her. It was a weakness, a hint that he was not all he acted, just like he was nothing like the charming personable persona he presented to everyone in his superficial politician way. Alastair hated how he worried, even in a vague sense, what she would think. He didn't care what people thought, but she had only been given a certain image of him just as others had. Yes, it was his true self in some ways, but she didn't know what made him that way and he wanted to keep it that way. Telling her of his problems--any problem, really, not just this one in the past that recently had come back to haunt him--wasn't in his playbook. Maybe someday. Not tonight.

Relaxing, but barely, in the plush chair, leaning back without a care to his posture, his eyes found the newspapers strewn about the desk in front of him. Lifting his chin to regard Elizabeth, Alastair felt momentarily irritated she had kissed him simply because of her comment, but of course, he couldn't help himself, having leaned right into her kiss however brief it was. "I never liked the taste of brandy anyway," he said flippantly, but his eyes told a different story that didn't match the dryness of his voice.

The subject changed, thankfully, and Alastair just smirked at Elizabeth's comment. Those assholes, in his estimation, knew nothing. Not even the Labour-supporting paper The Guardian got it right most of the time, but at least they had the good sense to talk up the promise and credentials of the new Prime Minister to the skies, as if their readership didn't vote Labour. Which they did, so it was all rather irrelevant. "They never do. The Telegraph's opinion section said something along the lines of...what was it... 'Labour senses the vast expanse of powerlessness stretching ahead of it, years of irrelevance and introspection' or some such bullshit." When he spoke of the critics, he sounded amused by--in his eyes--their complete and utter idiocy. The woman he was sharing his bed with may have been a typical supporter of the Conservatives, simply by merit of her birth and the company she kept other than him, but he could say these things to her knowing at least she agreed with supporting him. Perhaps not his politics, but him as a man. That was good enough.

As she slid up onto the desk, Alastair cocked a brow, teasing her with an ambiguous look of interest... Maybe. Everything she did was ridiculously calculating, even if she didn't mean for it to be. He saw it as such because he was like that, leaving nothing to chance, every little thing thought through whether he liked it or not. He would be a liar if he said there was no blatant interest in his eyes as he looked at her sitting in front of him, sultry even if she wasn't meaning to be. Anyone would have a difficult time saying Elizabeth Grey wasn't sultry, the way she was perched there with her legs crossed. "Will you?" he asked with some humor, of the sarcastic variety. "I'm glad to hear you have confidence in me, even if The Telegraph doesn't." As if he gave a shit what the newspapers said.

His gaze flickered from her face to the gentle movement of her fingers on the old wallet that needed to be replaced, a random thing he thought about as he noted the frayed edges, the edges of a photograph sticking out. "What, are you curious to see what my driving license photo looks like?" Alastair wasn't going to say anything about the actual contents, not wanting to bring up the spectre of his family: his wife, his children, although only the latter were in evidence at least in his wallet in the form of a few pictures he'd stuck in there years ago when he had been admittedly a happier man. "No one gets to see that. Nor my passport photo. Apologies if your curiosity is about to kill you." For whatever reason he found it easy to tease her in more ways than one, this time simple humor as a little smirk tugged at the edges of his lips that was almost like a smile, but not quite.

Alastair couldn't help himself after his little quip, not wanting her distraction with his wallet or her interest in its contents to encourage her to actually look at it. He kept his private life just that, private, and even though Elizabeth was a part of his private life, there seemed to be two separate lives he lived. The life in which he dealt with his wife and his children and the life where he spent time with Elizabeth. Never the twain should meet. He was intent on that. Pushing himself up from the chair, hands on the armrest, he leaned in now that he was standing to give her a deep kiss, hands finding the back of her head eventually as the kiss became rather possessive. Right before he kissed her, he surreptitiously shoved the wallet away, hoping she would forget all about it. It was an inevitable gesture whenever they were together, a gesture that echoed the irrational pull they had towards one another for God knew what reason. Whatever it was, it didn't matter, because neither of them would ignore it. It would have been impossible.
Elizabeth Grey Posted on Sep 1 2011, 09:10 PM
  The thing of it was with Alastair Gordon, was that she never knew what to expect. But that was part of what drew her to him, like a moth to the flame. In a world where everyone dished out the polite answers they thought she wanted to hear, he did not. He never had. In fact, it was quite the opposite when they had met. One acerbic punchline after another, one trying to best the other in a game they both so excelled at. Whatever she had expected him to be, he was not it. He was not the charming politician she had seen on television. Sometimes she'd allow herself to wonder why he had been that way to her-- was he fighting desire? Or was it a simple lack of interest in a woman he thought he knew without knowing? Elizabeth did not know, but when it came right down to it, she hardly cared. She certainly did not care in the hallway of Linley Manor. Or the elevator. Or the bedroom....

Elizabeth felt her mind drifting however, and quickly righted it again as she brought up the idea of a drink and poured one for herself. She had just expected him to say yes. The fact that he had said no was a bit of a surprise. She had given him a playful retort back, but it was obvious by the look in his eyes that he was deadly serious. Again, she found herself surprised by Alastair-- but this was in a different way altogether than before. It was one of those moments that was so quiet, she could hear herself breathe as he walked over and took the bottle. She said not a word as his figure moved across the room to dump the, what had to be, $1,000 bottle of Brandy into the wastebin. Elizabeth mentally noted that she'd have to pick that up later, before the staff came in to clean the room. That would be a strange thing to find, given that Alastair would have had no reason to have that bottle in his room. Next he moved back over to the chair and sat down, all without saying a word.

There were few times, like this, where she wasn't quite sure what to say. But in the fleeting, passing moments she wondered if he hadn't taken the drink because... Her thoughts were interrupted, however, when he spoke up. Finally. I don't drink. Oh so... He finished off his thoughts. Ah, well, she had thought it was something like that. It wasn't terribly surprising or shocking. For starters, he was Scottish and as much of a stereotype as it was... Sometimes the stereotype fit. But it also proved what a strong sense of self he had. The man knew that he wasn't going anywhere if he was chained to a bottle of whiskey, or whatever it was he liked to drink. It wasn't the drinking that surprised her, but the fact that he had admitted it so plainly to her. Weakness, for the both of them, was something they liked to pretend did not exist. What also surprised her, however, was how she liked knowing such a thing. It was hardly a weakness in her mind, but a strength.

Her face changed from that of vague shock to an engaged sort of look, which never left as she crossed the room--leaving her drink behind and leaning against the desk. Her stormy blue eyes caught his and she dipped down to lay a brandy laced-kiss on his lips, her fingertips of one hand running intimately along his jawline. For her, the kiss said many things. Namely, that she understood and did not think any less of him. Surely with his curt discussion of the subject, it was not something he thought of lightly. And neither did she. Before pulling away, she spoke softly against his lips. "Then I suppose that's all you're going to get, hm?" She stood straight again, her eyes pouring over the newspaper he had been looking at. "They really don't know they hell they're talking about, do they?" Elizabeth said with a casual, but haughty sort of chuckle. "Though maybe it's good for you... Low expectations and all of that. And..." In one brief motion, she was on top of the desk now, one long leg crossed over the other. Elizabeth shot him one of her signature smirks before continuing. "...I'll rather enjoy watching you prove them all wrong."

Elizabeth saw his wallet sitting there and curiosity was biting at her heels, begging her to open it up. But she fought it, thinking it too nosy a thing to do in a moment like this. What did a man like Alastair Gordon keep in his wallet? A picture of the wife he cared little for now? His children, which he never spoke about? Or was it cut and dry credit cards and a licence? Her fingers ran lightly over the worn leather, but almost absently-- with no intention of doing anything more, proven by the fact that her eyes never leaving his.
Alastair Gordon Posted on Aug 21 2011, 11:51 AM
  Reading the opinions section of The Telegraph was somewhat like putting your head in a steel mantrap with no hope of rescue or release. That was how Alastair always felt when he flipped open that dreaded paper that supported the now-Opposition Party, confronted with conservative opinions that his eyes rolling so far back in his head they may as well have rolled out of his skull and down the hall. Idiots. They were probably chomping at the bit now, angry they lost the election, angry at their fool of a Prime Minister who threw his whole party under the bus for what? Political expediency? Whatever it was, they had no kind words to say about him or his leadership: Henry Kissinger famously said that "academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." Labour senses the vast expanse of powerlessness stretching ahead of it, years of irrelevance and introspection.

Jealous fuckers. He snorted in derision at that just as he heard the smooth, familiar voice of Elizabeth Grey somewhere behind him. Alastair didn't move, finishing the paragraph before throwing the paper unceremoniously, as if it weren't even worth the crap it was printed on, onto the desk. His mind far from activities he would most likely be spending with her this evening, instead on politics and work (when was it ever not?), it took him a few moments to even respond to her touch or words. Turning his head to glance over his shoulder at Elizabeth's elegant figure, eyes meeting hers for a brief moment before his distracted brain caught up with what she had said and what she was holding. Oh, hell no.

Without saying a thing, he had shook his head in the negative, not wanting to get into convoluted explanations of why he was doing it. He really didn't. Admitting problems--problems that were in the past, yet thanks to recent events, still feeling like an open wound of a sort--were not things he wanted to share with Elizabeth. They were alike in that way: no showing weakness. Ever. Alastair had so conditioned himself to never present himself as less than perfect and charming and intelligent. Explaining why he was gesturing no would ruin that, so he had to act like it didn't much matter when he knew it did. He could deny it to her but he couldn't deny it to himself that it mattered hell of a lot that he not destroy himself again. Never again. Ever.

He moved towards her. He was not a man who was going to take her up on her offer. Alastair just took the bottle from her, carefully, examining the label. Undoubtedly it was heinously expensive, the kind of thing he wouldn't have touched even if he did drink. Apathetic, eyes meeting hers for only a brief moment, he took a few steps towards the corner of the room where he found some ornate pail for trash. In went the brandy bottle, with a clatter. There had been a very brief moment of temptation before, when he wanted to have a drink with her, but he couldn't allow that even more than a second of time in his mind. It was dangerous.

Not returning to her place on the other side of the room, Alastair sauntered to the desk again to look at the headlines of The Guardian. Eyes drifting as he tilted his head to glance at her, noting the rather stunned expression on her face at his move without explanation. Lowering himself back into the overly comfortable chair before the desk that had all those newspapers on it and a few other things, government business he still needed to read at some point, he finally had something to say. "I don't drink." Simple as that. He refrained, for a few moments at least, from saying anything more as to why he had such a visceral reaction to it that he had to throw it away, uncaring of the value. Staring at the papers, he just added vaguely, "Not any longer, anyhow." Funny he usually was proud of himself for overcoming that problem, but here, he was not. He was almost ashamed to even admit he had the problem. It felt too raw.

She could figure out the rest. He didn't need to explicitly state it, did he? Because Alastair sure as hell didn't want to. Out of all the people in his life, almost everyone had known him for years. Elizabeth had not. She knew how he worked, but she knew nothing about him as a man. This was one of those things those close to him knew simply because they had seen him go through it. She hadn't. Thinking about it, he wondered if he would ever talk to her about himself. Maybe. Maybe not. She didn't need to know.

From his back pocket, he pulled out his wallet, noting how uncomfortable it was. Alastair tossed it on the desk, amongst all the papers, spotting the edge of a photograph he'd tucked in there years and years ago back when he was someone unrecognizable. Or, at least, someone unrecognizable to Elizabeth. Not thinking much about it, he finally looked at her again, face unreadable. What would she think now that he had revealed a weakness to her?
Elizabeth Grey Posted on Aug 18 2011, 01:59 AM
  The scenario in which Elizabeth found herself in was one she never could have possibly imagined. She had never felt compelled to carry on this sort of… affair for as long as this had been going on. But now that it had started, she felt no reason to end it. In many ways, being with Alastair Gordon was an egotistical thing. In others ways, it was purely sexual. And in many other ways still, she knew it to be much more. These were never the sorts of things she dwelled on, however. Instead, she lived very much in the moment. And her moments with him in the library were no different than any other. When she had pulled the door shut, it had just been so they could be affording some semblance of privacy. So they could speak openly and plainly to one another. It surprised her how fantastic it was to do such a simple thing. How much she relished their conversations and how they were unlike any other in her life. Which was why having Alastair back in her life, even for whatever brief moments they were, was a welcome addition to her day. And even more so when he pressed her against the book shelves like he had.

Their chemistry was instant and just as intense as it had always been. Time hadn’t changed anything—not that she had expected it to. His hands traveling up her legs and his lips on her neck were enough to make her forget who he was, who she was and where they were. One of Elizabeth’s hands roamed up the side of the bookcases behind her, to hold on to something. Anything. They were kissing again, a break from his lips against her skin, but they were now better occupied. Though her body was pressed firmly up against the shelves behind her, her neck craned out ever so gracefully in order to meet his lips amongst their kisses. Slowly, she felt his hand travel up her arm and take hers tightly. In the same motion, he pushed her up against the wall again and she leaned into to kiss him to muffle her own moan. Everything about this man was addicting. So much so that she simply thought of nothing else but him in these moments. Not of the chance of being caught. Or the fact that it had been weeks since she had last seen him.

When he said her name she was sure that there was nothing better. Well, nothing better except what was to follow and there was no stopping that now. Even if they wanted to, they were too selfish to. They both had what they want right in front of them and neither of them could say no to themselves, let alone each other. That was simply not what they were about and this moment defined them more than any other. But that wasn’t what was on either of their minds. Instead, it was a complete and utter giving in to desire and to themselves. The rest of the world be damned. Neither one of them had lived their lives for anything but themselves—even while they played the games they had to play. This was no different.

one thing led to another and…


And then life went on, as normal. Well, normal enough for her father. Elizabeth and Alastair were such extraordinarily competent liars that it almost seemed unfair to play out their charade in front of her John grey. A man who, arguably, had taught her how to lie as well as she did. Perhaps not outwardly, but she had learned by his example. And now he had no earthly clue that his own beloved daughter was sleeping with the Prime Minister. A man who she was sure he had brought to Bradgate in order to get to know him better. Not in any sort of friendly way, of course. But in the way one adversary does to another. This was all supposed to be business and politics. There was no pleasure to be had here… Except, surprisingly there had been in the library. Elizabeth had excused herself from dinner, when she knew her father expected to. There was something so very traditional about her role in the family when she was at Bradgate. Normally, in London, she could do whatever it was that pleased her so long as it did not reflect poorly on the Grey name. At the home in Leicestershire, however, she played a part. She acted it so well, that her father had even sent her on a tour of the house with the man she was sleeping with. God, it was all just so beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

She returned to her rooms, with very little to do. That was always the downside in coming out all this way to Dorset. The nightlife was something left to be desire. Elizabeth knew, however, that her father would excuse himself for the night at or around ten o’clock. John Grey was nothing if not a man of his routine and there was nothing about the evening that would have prompted anything different. For once in her life, she was thankful that he was who he was because she had every intention of taking advantage of it tonight. A few hours passed and she made her way out of her room, just in time to hear the large clock in the hallway strike once indicating that it was half past ten. It was easy enough to explain her traipsing about if she was seen. She was the Lady Elizabeth Grey. Who was anyone to question what she did? Before heading over to her eventual destination, however, she stopped by library to grab a bottle of brandy. She noticed that the book he had read to her was still sitting where he had left it, but she made no attempts to move it. In fact, Elizabeth quite like that it laid there with his hands being the last one to have touched it.

She exited out into the quiet solace of one of Bradgate’s beautifully ornate hallways. There was something much more relaxed about her now compared to earlier in the day. Her hair, which was usually pinned up, was left down in its loose waves. Elizabeth had changed out of her dress, into a satin cream blazer. A loose, matching skirt finished off the outfit. And bare feet. Most of the lights had been turned off by now, but she navigated herself through the immense house with no trouble. She’d done it plenty of times before. Walking down the hallway which housed all the guest rooms, she noticed the light peeking out from one of the doors, which gave Alastair’s room away immediately.

Her hand turned the knob silently, having really no idea how he would react to her being there. It was a bit dangerous, but it was far safer than their moments in the library. And denying each other, they were learning, was not a simple task. After shutting and locking the door, to which he seemed to have not noticed, she languidly made her way across the room sliding her hand up his back and laying a kiss on his neck. “I sincerely hope you don’t mind a guest. Though I suppose technically you are mine for the evening…” She whispered a bit playfully into his ear before pulling away and walking over to a table with crystal ”And I hope you don’t mind brandy…” She looked over to him with a hint of mischievousness. That was when she really noticed for the first time that that he wasn’t in his typical suit. Oh what a contrast he was to his surroundings, but God did he look good. It was a thought that in and of itself astounded her, simply because she always preferred a man in a suit. But Alastair Gordon surprised her, yet again, by being as attractive, if not more in a simple black t-shirt and jeans. Though he probably wasn’t totally relaxed, he looked it. And it looked good on him.

”Would you like one?” She finally said as she untwisted the bottle, pouring herself half of a glass and taking a sip. She looked over to him just in time to notice the distracted look on his face, followed by the simple nod. No. Her head canted to the side ever so slightly and she took another small sip of brandy. ”What, my father already managed to get one too many in you?” She rested the edge of the glass against her chin, biting down gently on her lip as she took him in again from a ways across the room. Really, the man looked good in any state of dress…or undress. For now, however, she was surprisingly content in admiring him from afar in blue jeans and a simple t-shirt, of all things. Oh the things this man did to Elizabeth Grey. The constant state of surprise was probably one of her more favorite things about what they had going between them. And he had it in spades right now, even if he did not know it.
Alastair Gordon Posted on Aug 5 2011, 01:56 PM
  Conducting an affair required a certain amount of skill and, of course, subterfuge. Even moreso when you were the Prime Minister sleeping with a younger woman of the nobility whose very name evoked grandeur, just as the house they were in did. They both constantly had to look over their shoulders to make sure no one suspected a thing, for it would not ruin just one but both of them, in different ways.

Whilst Alastair occupied himself kissing Elizabeth, having been drawn to her like a moth to a light simply by the way she had been looking at him, half of his mind was on his actions and the other half on where he was and what they were doing. Not in a lustful way, but an observant way, ready to pull away at a moment's notice to protect them both. If anyone walked in, even with the doors locked behind them, they would need to appear completely innocent. In the part of his brain that wasn't concerned with the way their lips felt together or the way she pressed herself so wantonly against him, he planned on putting on the brakes. He had been invited here for a meeting, knowledgeable in the fact that her father was scoping him out as both an enemy and an ally; he was not here to indulge in base desires like lust no matter how much they both wanted it.

Four weeks had not been the same torture on him as it had been on her, that was clear, despite the immediate reaction he always had to her touching him. It was surprising to Alastair who hadn't felt this attracted to a woman in years, not like this. The last had, of course, been his wife. The clandestine nature of their relationship had nothing to do with the way he felt he needed her--and not even in a sexual way. But that was the only way he was thinking about Elizabeth, his other concerns gradually drowned out by the insistent desire that wasn't just entirely physical.

When her hands found his belt, he did nothing to stop her, his own hands roaming shamelessly under the dress she wore, moving the fabric out of the way. Only minutes before Alastair hadn't even considered this, so occupied with other concerns that Elizabeth Grey was, admittedly, at the bottom of his priorities; but it was an understanding they had. Some kept all relationships--even illicit ones such as these--at the top of the list. Neither of them were like that. His most important concern was his career. Not his job, mind you, but his career, keeping himself right where he was with charm, manipulation and a long sight view to doing what he had always planned on. It was almost funny, he thought, so far gone with a need so powerful that he didn't give a damn where he was or why he was there.

Dropping his head to kiss her neck, her jawline, one hand firm on her hip, Alastair could not have pulled away if someone fiddled with the door. He was entirely too caught up in kissing her familiar skin he had been deprived of, feeling her body against his. His lips finding hers again, his kisses hungry for more, he violently shrugged out of his jacket, distantly hearing the fabric on the floor without caring that he could step on it and potentially ruin it. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted her hand gripping the shelving, masking the titles of the books as their hips pressed together. Slowly, so very slowly, his free hand migrated up from her shoulder along her arm to her own hand. His hard grip on her hand made his knuckles white as he pushed her roughly against the bookcase, their fingers entwined. "Elizabeth," he growled into her ear as he brushed his cheek against hers.

Alastair didn't care about anything but getting what he wanted, which just so happened to be what she wanted as well. They wanted each other, so deprived of the other over these past few weeks. Finally, they were getting exactly what they wanted. It was no longer a question of who won the battle as it often was when they exchanged words or even touches. They were both the victors in the same moment. They wanted what they wanted. He was selfish. They both knew it, for they were the same.

Gawd, what do you think this is for? It's called fade to black!


Hours later, far removed from the palpable heat in the grand library when he forcibly pushed himself against Elizabeth Grey and got exactly what he wanted, the Prime Minister was shown to a vibrantly elegant guest room that--as every other room in this fucking house--stunned him in opulence. Around every corner, something shocked him to his very soul (or what he had left of one) at the epitome of luxury his eyes took in. It wasn't in his plans to stay at Bradgate House for an evening, not at all. The mere idea made him want to violently shudder, thinking of staying in a place like this, so unaccustomed to the surroundings, but he had to smile graciously and accept the offer from the Duke of Dorset as if it were completely his pleasure to do so.

At dinner, he had perhaps amused or even surprised Elizabeth with his politician's charm. The man seen on television and the man others at Westminster knew was not the same man that was her lover. He had two different faces. The public face was the one he showed to Dorset, with an edge to it, easily mocking those they agreed upon while they ate, wry observations par for the course. Both men acted as if nothing in the world would stand between them and a sort of friendship, though that teetered on lies considering their vast differences. Alastair was no idiot. He knew this man was dangerous, an enemy to him just as he was declaring himself somewhat of a friend. He would never trust the man, as he suspected the man would never trust him. But that was how those things worked. Trust was not given but earned after a long, hard battle. They were simply engaging in diplomatic talks, unsure of war or peace between them. Thank God he was skilled speaking of such bullshit.

The first thing he did was get the hell out of his suit. He lived in those things, and so when he was alone, the idea of walking around in a button-up shirt and slacks made him feel strangled by the weight of what walking around in them meant. Living a lie was easy, Alastair knew that, but sometimes it was nice to be alone and not worry about others watching you and judging you. He was constantly aware of it, constantly thinking ten steps ahead and trying to--by word or by look--get into people's heads to have an inkling about how they felt in regards to him so he could play the game better than they did. It was all about survival. Never had he felt more on show than in the last few weeks, first as the Leader of the Labour Party as his party was touted to win the election, then as the newly minted Prime Minister who had to first make friends and influence people to find out who his enemies really were.

Shrugging off the clothes he'd worn all day, Alastair's relaxing attire consisted of a well-worn pair of jeans that had seen better days and a simple black t-shirt. In trying not to obsess over his surroundings, still innately disgusted at such displays of wealth thanks to his sparse upbringing, he was trying to feel at home instead, wearing what he often did when he was alone and not playing the role of Prime Minister to an adoring or hateful public. Though the job was never over, with there always being things to worry about, he could at least relax by himself as he read state papers or tried to catch up on the latest news so if he needed to he could say something astute about it the following day. He exhaled as he sat down in a plush chair, eyes drifting to the clothes carelessly on the carpeted floor. Never in his life did he think he would be here, of all places. It satisfied him in some sort of sick way to be lounging around in jeans when this place, even the bedroom judging by decor, called for suits and uniforms.

He rose to his feet, pushing himself up off the armrest. A few steps took him to a finely crafted desk. Reaching over to said desk, some wooden thing probably built in the eighteenth century if he had to guess, Alastair grabbed a copy of The Telegraph that had been graciously supplied to his room. The other papers would be read, or at least skimmed over. He shook it out and scanned the headlines, leaning back as if he were completely at home when he was trying to forget what a stranger he was to all of it. Concentrating on things he needed to do, the routine he had by himself, helped with that. He was so invested in reading that he heard yet did not acknowledge the creak of the door, scowling to himself about some stupid opinion page going on and on about how the Conservatives were still a far wiser choice than his party... Fucking idiots, all of them.
Elizabeth Grey Posted on Aug 2 2011, 08:06 PM
  This was their intimacy. It was not about emotion or romance, but instead desire and passion. For each other, for each other's mind and for those moments they could only share between the two of them. There was something to be said for Elizabeth's admittance. That she had missed him. She could only say such a thing because she knew that he would only take it in the exact way she had meant it, and no other. To others, perhaps it seemed some sort of declaration of love. Love was a concept that she was sure they would both readily laugh at. A trite feeling that only betrayed weakness. But no, that was not what she had meant with her three simple words. It was a simple suggestion that it was not her preference to be without him or rather, without this for so long. There was no other man who could do what he did to her, by a simple glance from across the room. The way he had set the book down and the way he approached her as if there was nothing else in the world he would rather have in that moment. That was what she had missed. Now that she had it back, however, she felt nearly remiss for stopping even for a few seconds to admit it.

But in a way, it had been worth it. Because truly, it was not really so much what she had said, but that she had said anything regarding it at all. Another part of her wanted him to know how much he affected her-- the sway he had. Most of all, however, it had come down to simple, unadulterated trust. Elizabeth trusted Alastair, in ways that were just beyond common understanding. Truly, they were two people who should not trust each other at all. She could bring him down, just as he could bring her down. But nothing about their affair hinting at these things. They were far too caught up in the moments that passed between them, to dwell on those things. Because an unspoken trust covered the multitude of potential pitfalls.

Their differences, however, were more apparent today than any other day. There was no hiding the fact now, that she grew up amid great opulence and wealth. Perhaps he had known it on some level, though there was no way to truly understand until you walked the halls at Bradgate. But none of that mattered now as she was pressed firmly against the bookcase, listening to his simple, two-word reply. I know. Elizabeth's hands smoothed up his dress shirt, underneath his coat, then his neck, her arms wrapping loosely around him there. There was just a moment to take it all in as he looked down at her, as if he could not be more pleased with himself. She rather liked him like that. The self-assured, confident man shining through and not allowing what she had said to lessen the moment. If only, what he had said and the smirk that followed had added to the trust between the two of them.

Perhaps Alastair was the one who kissed her next, but she responded back with an equal intensity. Elizabeth no longer felt the need to hold back, but instead wanted to push forward and without any more thinking. This was something that was so familiar to them now, but she had to admit that there was something about their current situation that only fueled their flames. It had been far too many weeks since she had felt this. The hurried breath, the warm flush of her skin, his hands insistently on her, his body in contact with every part of her possible. And there was no stopping her now. Elizabeth knew what she wanted and her slight moan into their kiss all but gave it away. She pulled herself closer to him, but instead it was more like him pushing her harder into the book case. God only knew what sort of books were behind her. Socrates, Austen, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare... It did not matter. They were now a mere backdrop to Elizabeth Grey getting what she wanted.

She stood there, so pressed against the shelves so tightly that she was fairly sure he could hold her there by his strength alone. And Elizabeth liked it. There was something possessive about it that spurred her on further, but it was also the way they kissed. She was sure that she had never enjoyed kissing a man as much as she enjoyed kissing Alastair, but for now... that wasn't enough. Her hands slid back down his chest, expertly finding his belt and making short order of it. Next came the button, but before the rest... Elizabeth gently pushed herself up against him. Reminding him that there was no possible way that he could not give in. As if he would need it.

Perhaps it was wrong of them, to do what they were about to do, where they were about to do it. But nothing had ever stopped them before, so why should this? They were two individuals who knew exactly what they wanted and with a door locked securely behind them—who were they to deny themselves? And who on this Earth would ever suspect that Elizabeth’s tour of Bradgate had instead become one violent expression of a need and desire that she was fairly sure that no one would understand, in one of the most revered rooms in the entire house? She kissed him again, perhaps deeper than all the other kisses and it nearly said more her admission of missing him did. Lady Elizabeth wanted the Prime Minister and no one was going to stop her.
Alastair Gordon Posted on Aug 1 2011, 03:34 PM
  There was no reason for him to elaborate on anything at all. Alastair did not want her to know things about him, the things those close to him did know. It wasn't that she didn't deserve to know--it wasn't a question about deserving, really--but it was that he did not want her to know how different he had been. And, had he been that different person, how none of this would have happened. Ambition had always been a core part of his personality. The rest that Elizabeth found so attractive? Not so much. She probably wouldn't have been interested in him at all had he not made that transition years ago to someone who didn't give a damn about anything but their own goals, developing a sort of narcissism that only some could muster.

Finally kissing her, Alastair had wondered a little about how such a reunion would take place when it was based on a few things and those few things only. They had tunnel vision when it came to one another. His earlier attempts at broadening her expanses in regards to who he was seemed fruitless and even stupid. This was no relationship in the strict sense, this was just a meeting of minds and bodies, never admitting to the other that maybe it could have been out of loneliness too. He had never entertained the idea that after the election she would cease to be interested in him. It would have damaged his ego to even think something like that. He thought far too highly of himself to even go down that path. But while she had desperately kept herself busy as not to think of him, he hadn't given her much of a passing thought. His career came first, before anything else in life. He was not about to sit back and thoughtfully meditate on the fucked up state of his personal life. He always moved forward, for the prospect of going back meant complicated questions he never allowed himself to answer. It was far easier to lie to yourself than others.

She said she had missed him. The admission came out tentatively as if she were ashamed of it. It wasn't the words that surprised him. It was the context. It was Elizabeth Grey--tightly wound, far more than he was, and also far more direct in her dealings no matter what the situation--offering him a small gift in the form of trust. She trusted he would understand this was no silly, vapid sentiment. It was the truth but the words she said meant little compared to the fact that she said them. He lingered with his lips against hers, parted, as if he were going to dive into another deep kiss, yet he kept himself in check. Alastair was not doing it on purpose to make the mutual sense of longing bump up a notch.

The sentiment behind Elizabeth saying what she did was not something startling. They were not in some romantic relationship with one another. Affairs were best conducted when the end goal remained the same, mostly focusing on physical pleasure. Emotions, as the did in so many other circumstances, only muddled the waters. Feeling something would have left them confused, ruining whatever it was they had. So all he said to that was, with a vague nod, "I know." Far more was said in his eyes as he looked at her, his lips still against hers. Had he missed her? Yes. Probably not in the way one would think, considering he hadn't given Elizabeth much thought in his head these past few weeks, but he had. His eyes said more than his words would. That was always how he did things: he'd say one thing, his face apathetic, but if one knew him enough to look at him, they would see different things just in the way he looked at someone else when he spoke or acted. If she knew that simple fact about him, then she knew him better than he thought.

Quite frankly, though he was surprised (he had to admit to that), he didn't really care what she said to him. It didn't matter. Her missing him was irrelevant; the only important part was that she'd said something to him that was on the same level as the things he had said to her. After he said those two words, not reciprocating hers in the least, Alastair waited a moment. Waited for time to pass, so the impact of what she said could leave them back where they were. A few moments elapsed as he just looked down at her, relishing in the power he held over her that had not been easily won. A small, self-satisfied smile came to his lips, a hint of what was to come before he finally kissed her again, deeper than before, tilting her head back with the roughness of it. She was finally getting what she wanted from him.
Elizabeth Grey Posted on Jul 31 2011, 11:17 PM
  Elizabeth was rather taken with this different side to Alastair. It was then she realized how often their conversations had been kept to a tight range of subjects and even then, mostly politics. They had never truly spoken about themselves, which was rather a surprise considering how well they knew how each other's minds had worked. How, but not why. This unintended reunion was edging into a new part of their relationship. She did not know if it was more of a step forward, so much as it was a step together in a multitude of directions but it didn't much matter. The reasons why she wanted to know more about him, didn't matter much either. Elizabeth wanting something had always been reason enough for her. When it came to Alastair Gordon, perhaps that feeling of wanting was more than she had ever known, but the fact still remained that she would not delve too far into such things.

She could do nothing but listen intently as he spoke, not always particularly looking at him-- sometimes her focus was instead on the books as her fingers trailed across them, but she was so caught up in his reading that she did not even notice the titles written on the bindings. The words, however, did not escape her notice. He had said nothing so far today, that had not spoken of a deeper meaning. And, it seemed, this passage from Anna Karenina was no different. The words hit her, like rapid fire, as they exposed so much-- and with saying so little. His wife knew about her? How was even such a thing possible? But it was her trust in Alastair that kept her from jumping to worried conclusions. If he had been concerned about her, that would have been the first thing he would have mentioned upon the library door's closing. He had not, however, but now spoke of it through the melodic, literary words of Tolstoy.

She rather liked it, him reading to her like he was. There was a certain intimacy about it that left her a bit enraptured by him. This was a different side to him altogether, than anything she had ever seen before. If she wasn't so caught up in the moment, perhaps she would have been a little surprised as to how much she was enjoying him like this. The simplicity of the moment. Of classic literature and a man who obviously loved it. And perhaps the intimacy came from him sharing that love with her-- and not just the that, but also imparting a side of his life that she had no access to otherwise. His wife, his family-- all the things that were not as tightly held together as the public believed them to be. On some level, she had assumed that to be the case. Otherwise, he would not seek her out like he did. It was entirely up to him, however, whether or not to share those sorts of details with the woman whom he could claim as her lover. She had never put him up to or pressured him into telling her anything, but still the story came to life by the words of another man.

There was a brief, wandering, weightless moment where she thought of the state of his marriage. Were they to divorce? But again, the answer to that questioned mattered just as little as the rest of the unanswered questions that did not even bother to linger in her head. Elizabeth wouldn't even allow herself to think that Alastair would not find her company appealing, no matter the circumstance. She was quite sure the feeling was mutual in that regard, a testament to their ultimate egos. A trait they both shared and relished in, all at once.

"A believe I must..." Was her brief but languid reply to his comment about her reading the book he had just set down. The way he looked at her, betrayed everything between them, though. The four weeks since she had last seen him, at her flat, had passed by both painfully slowly and immeasurably quickly. She had busied with herself with any number of things, including a long trip to Madrid, to distract her. Of course, he had more than enough to distract him. But all of that washed away in passing time that it took for him to approach her. There were few things that were better to her, than him looking at her like he did.

Alastair looked down upon her and her head tilted amiably up, unable to stop herself from doing so. More than anything, she just wanted him to touch her-- but that was not their way of doing things. His hand reached out, but to grab the book case. A disappointing, yet satisfying moment. Disappointing because he had not touched her. Satisfying because she knew it meant he was one step closer to doing so. He dipped in, to finally, finally kiss her... and then retreated oh-so cruelly. Everything that was transpiring between them was happening in nearly slow motion. She was acutely aware of how he made her breathing stagger, ever so slightly. How her heart thudded haphazardly, from a sudden surprise.

Then he spoke. And about the book. Elizabeth found herself nodding, barely able to hold back any longer. The only reason she had even bothered this long was because of the commanding presence he had over her. A sway that no other man could ever claim. She was sure he was relishing in it, especially as her lips brushed against his before he spoke again. Elizabeth wanted to lean forward, to complete what he had started, but she knew very well he would take it when he wanted to give it. And that would be when she gave into him.

Just as swiftly as she had felt anything in her life, she was firmly up against the book case her hands sliding up his chest as they gave into a surprisingly tender, kiss. One that allowed them to savor each other, without the overwhelming desire that was sure to follow. She felt herself press against him entirely, though he still kept her firmly in place. A metaphor for the game they both played with each other. As soon as they crashed together, everything she felt (things that she usually buried quite deeply) seemed to pour into the kiss. It wasn't even something she could stop. Her hand gripped gently at his crisply pressed shirt, the intensity of the kiss reminded her so much of...

She felt herself pull away, for a brief moment. Her head pressed against his, her breathing hurried and her cheeks flushed. It was a moment where you usually didn't say anything, yet he had admitted so much weakness to her... that she finally felt safe enough to admit weakness herself. "I..." She paused to say the words she had never said to anyone. Instead of finishing, she leaned in to steal a kiss and then spoke against his lips, her hand smoothing around his neck, her eyes closed. "Missed you." The words were hushed, barely whispered. There was no response expected, just as he had expected no response from his admissions. But she had said it nevertheless, simply because she had wanted him to know.



Alastair Gordon Posted on Jul 31 2011, 08:51 PM
  The man who stood before Elizabeth Grey with a priceless volume of classic literature in his hand was not the man she had met those months ago. Oh, the physical resemblance was the same. Nothing in that department had changed. But this man was not exactly the politician. He had little resemblance to the Prime Minister or the MP he had been, trading barbs with this woman before eventually sleeping with her. People who had known Alastair for years would have recognized it. Elizabeth was most likely in the dark. And in his somewhat silly joy in a simple thing like a book, he didn't even care that he was opening up a can of worms called intimacy. Not physical intimacy, not emotional, but something like the latter where you were behaving as yourself--at least, for a man who kept himself so carefully controlled who had made sure no one in his life these days except his distant wife and children had memories of someone completely different.

It was a strange reversal for two people who connected on the basis of their minds and ruthless ambition. The latter had faded away the moment he entered the library and took Anna Karenina into his hands. The former only intensified as he flipped through it, catching sentences and other things that reminded him so clearly of the situation at hand he wanted to chuckle at it. Alastair's eyes, when he flipped back to the first chapter, found that first telling paragraph right after the oft-quoted opening line that set the tone for familial strife, adultery, liberalism and other things. He couldn't help but read it aloud to her, much in the same way he had gone through explaining to her about his constituency with things left unsaid. These things were his way of telling her about himself without actually doing it, shying away from any sort of intimacy and knowledge about the other person when he damn well knew they were both fascinated by the subject of the other person in this strange relationship.

He read, stressing nothing when he did, acting only as if he were treating her to something with it. There were no hints. She would have to pick out what she thought was important. "[i]Everything was in confusion in the Oblonsky house. The wife had discovered that the husband was carrying on an intrigue with a French girl, who had been a governess in their family, and she had announced to her husband that she could not go on living in the same house with him. This position of affairs had now lasted two days, and not only the husband and wife themselves, but all the members of their family and the household, were painfully conscious of it. All the members of the family and the household felt that there was no sense in their living together, and that even stray people brought together by chance in any inn had more in common with one another than they, the members of the family and the household of the Oblonskys.'"

He had not always been a cold, ambitious bastard. But that was one thing he would not share with Elizabeth, using literature to explain his point or not. They connected mainly on how similar they were. The man Alastair had been would have had little interest in her, or vice-versa; it brought to mind a question. What would she think of him, had this been ten years before? He didn't even know why he wondered. The similarities between him ten years ago and now were superfluous things: he looked about the same, he was ambitious, he was intelligent. That was all. And those two latter things he knew were what drew Elizabeth to him. Admitting he had not always been like this was tantamount to admitting weakness, as they would both see it...so he wouldn't. Instead, he just hoped that through reading a simple paragraph he had said everything that needed to be said, giving her enough information to whet her appetite as to why he kept company with her without explaining, because explaining inevitably would have led to a discussion of who he had been and that was unacceptable.

"You ought to read it," Alastair said when he looked up to her face after reciting that paragraph, noting the way she was leaning there against the bookcase. He hadn't even noticed she had moved, he was so engrossed in reading, never having lifted his eyes to regard her until that moment. Honestly, he hadn't even thought of Elizabeth in such a way until she seemed to purposefully pose and get his mind going on a completely different track. On purpose or not, Alastair enjoyed the view. He set the book down on the desk near to him with a little thwack, moving from the desk to slowly approach her as if this was the one thing that had been on his mind all day...or even all of the last four weeks when he had not seen her. That was a lie, but the way he looked at her as he moved towards her didn't betray that whatsoever.

If she expected him to go right in to kiss or touch her, she was wrong, but it was an understandable mistake. With her leaning back against the bookcase, she looked incredibly desirable. He had to hold himself back, calculating every tiny move he made so as to cruelly torment her. Alastair enjoyed doing that. When the space between them was closed, but not quite, he looked down at her, that eagerness gone in his eyes. A hand reached out to grab the edge of the bookcase, keeping her cornered where she was, but he did not do much more than that as he leaned in to kiss her--but didn't. He stopped at the very second their lips would have touched. There was no hesitation, it was all planned to heighten the tension between them he had allowed himself to recognize now that they were alone.

Alastair kept his eyes on hers, smirking right back at her when he saw her lips move into that position. The moment he noted her hand lifting towards his chest, he leaned back, straightening up away from her the very second she wanted to press herself against him. No, no, his look seemed to say. Not now. But he just couldn't wait that much longer. He was desperate to kiss her, but... "It's a fantastic book, Elizabeth," he murmured as he leaned in towards her, his lips just barely brushing against hers as he spoke in that passionate whisper, words not matching his tone. "I think you will find you could learn something from it..."

When he finally kissed her, he took that final step so he could push her against the bookcase, keep her exactly where she was--and keeping him in control of the situation. Alastair cupped her cheek as he kissed her with surprising gentleness, pressing a little harder with his lips as it went on, the lust he had kept carefully at bay (out of sight, out of mind) coming out once he pulled away to give her another deeper kiss, tilting her head back as his hand moved to the back of her neck. Finally.
Elizabeth Grey Posted on Jul 31 2011, 03:43 AM
  It was rather strange to her, how much she was interested in what he thought of the library. If he would prove her right and enjoy it as much as she thought he would. It was the first time she rather tested out her inclinations on how he was as a man-- and more than just the man he was in bed. It was more an exercise at trying to understand the Alastair Gordon that existed outside of that particular context. It wasn't her typical modus operandi, but she wasn't going to start questioning things now. Things between her and Alastair were, from the time they had given into each other, a matter of acceptance. Dwelling on things like that were just not her way of doing things, instead she preferred to savor the sensation of being right. Which she was quite sure she was once he stepped into the library. The fact that he had questioned her so openly, about knowing him like that... had only made it that much better, really. The best part, however, had been when he had admitted, plainly and openly that she had been right. She wondered if he had ever admitted such a thing to her, but she could not think of a time.

They had moved away from the conversation in the hallway, but though it was gone it was certainly not forgotten. And she would not forget it anytime soon, if ever. Still, it was nice to have these moments apart from all the rest. Above all, she was glad to finally shed the façade that they had to put on as they walked together. Elizabeth felt a sort of relief as she pulled the door closed, feeling the need to lock it for good measure. The old locks on these doors had a habit of locking on their own anyhow, so anything could be easily explained away. She just wanted to be assured of their privacy, since once they had it, it would be quite apparent that they knew each other outside the walls of Chatsworth. Even if the conversation did not dip into anything scandalous. Still, the familiarity would be there and it was not for anyone else to see but themselves. It was part of why she liked their intimacy so very much. So much of her life played out on a grand stage, for all to see. Who she was dating and what Earl’s son had she last been seen with. Why people truly cared, simply based on her last name and lineage she never would truly understand. But everything with Alastair was like this very moment. Behind a closed, locked door.

The look in his eyes said so much, the way they nearly smiled at her. She quite liked him like that, she decided, as she observed him from affair. Though, if she was being completely honest with herself, it was a rare moment where she did not find him attractive, if ever. Elizabeth’s arms folded loosely under her chest and she watched him intently as he moved to pick a book from the shelf. It was always a fun thing to do… She had done it many times herself. Her head canted to the side as she tried to take a peek as to what it was. Tolstoy? Well, that was an interesting pick. She couldn’t remember reading it… and if she had, it had been in an unacceptable haste—but truly, she did not think that she had read it. But she could tell, just from looking, that it was a first edition. God only knew how many of those were in here. And she wasn’t about to tell him that he was just holding volume one and that volume one was worth nearly seven-thousand pounds alone. She did, however, feel a strange pull at her lips to smile—it was blocked, however by a determined smiling of her eyes. Her lips staying just so. Alastair’s question did however cause her to laugh a bit.

”How many? Oh god, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to know… A guard should probably be put in front of the door, really.” Elizabeth chuckled—thinking over the quote from the book. Happy families? Who, these days, had a happy family? Certainly not her—not that it was the sort of thing to dwell on. And apparently, certainly not him. He was, after all, sleeping with a woman who was not his wife. She could not help but be surprised as the thought of his wife, because it was a very, very rare moment that she ever thought of the woman. But all it would be for now would be just that. A passing thought, because she had no more to the story to add to it, which she was completely content with for now. ”Chaucer… Some, I’m sure.” She said, as she let her finger trips trail over the bindings of books, looking over to him slyly. ”I believe an American has the Ellesmere Manuscripts, however,… A shame, really.” She said with hint of playfulness in her voice. The only reason she knew these sorts of things, was because her father did. And her father could go on and on about books for hours on end. Chaucer, in particular, was one of his favorites and the fact that Henry Huntington had managed to snatch the Ellesmere away from an Englishman had always perturbed him. If he had been around, he would say, he would have let that happen.

”No, actually. I haven’t.” She responded to his question in truth. ”But since you seem so taken by it, I think that it’s quite a certainty that I may, at some point, feel the need to.” On the last few words, she had paused her hand and looked at him, not meaning to make eye contact with him, but doing so. Her fingers momentarily stopped moving along the books, distracted by just simply looking at him. One leg was crossed in front of the other, as if to walk forward, but she could not. Finally, her hand pulled away from the books, just as gracefully and purposefully as she’d done everything else in her life. Her eyes fluttered down, to break their gaze and then a hand moved up the smooth side of a ladder—her chin guiding her eyes back up to look at his. Elizabeth took a very small step forward, away from the shelves, towards him… and released the ladder just as easily as she had taken it. God, she only hoped he felt what she felt in these moments. It had been four long weeks for her and now, she could not think of anything else but having him back.

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