The Lemon Tree

Dryad Dreaming

By Jillane Elizabeth

He stalked the hills, discontent wrapped around him like a cloak. He did not want to be here. The entire mess was not of his doing. So why was he the one being punished? He had not even noticed the silly chit until she all but fell into his lap. How was he to know that, despite her forward behavior, she was of good birth? She had not only acted the doxy, but looked it as well.

With a savage oath he slammed the gate open. When all was said and done nothing had truly happened. He had not compromised the girl. Despite the drink he had been cognizant enough to sense her inexperience. He would never confess that her hesitancy had been the real reason he had cried off. He was determined that they acknowledge his innocence. That it was based on a misconception was irrelevant. Nothing had happened! And because nothing had happened it was beyond unfair that he was forced to rusticate.

Stopping to pound his fist on a tree trunk did nothing more than earn him a sore hand. Letting out a sigh and tossing his slightly overlong hair out of his eyes, he attempted to cool his ire. He contemplated his surrounding. Tall trees flowered all around him. The orchard was as ancient as the manor house. His family had begun as fruit farmers. That they had long ago obtained nobility had not impacted the orchard. It had prospered alongside the family. Family history held that when his first forefather had returned from fighting in Greece he had brought with him the lemon tree. Legend had it that the tree held a dryad and as long as the tree (and its dryad occupant) thrived so would the family. Although no one in the present branch of the family believed such nonsense they were unwilling to put it to the test by neglecting the orchard. Besides the orchard had been a source of pride for so long that abandoning it was not an option.

He wandered for awhile taking stock of, and finding pride in, all that his family had acquired through the generations. The land was fertile and the people who tended it content. The lemon orchard had helped bring him everything he possessed. Including his luxurious apartment in the city. This line of thought brought him right back to where he began when he stormed out – unjustly rusticating in the country.

Although he would admit it to no one but himself it was neither the unfairness of the situation nor his surroundings that was at the heart of his ire. In reality it was the girl. Not what she had turned out to be, but that she had never truly been what she presented herself to be. He had not been looking for a doxy that evening. It had been the illusion of sensual warmth that had beguiled him. It was once again having the illusion shatter that was fueling his bitterness.

He had been searching for some time now for a woman who truly delighted in carnal pleasures. Someone who could match his sensual appetite. Every time victory seemed within his grasp it turned to smoke leaving nothing but the ashy bitterness of defeat behind. Was he reaching to high? Asking for the impossible? Surely somewhere there was a woman who found the act of coupling as genuinely enjoyable as he, himself, did. Why did such a creature elude him? And how was he to accomplish his goal tucked away in the country?

Having no answers for his questions and finding himself exhausted he slouched down at the base of a tree in the heart of the orchard. The tree, despite its obvious health, appeared to be the most ancient of the lot. With its branches thrust skyward and its blossoms swaying gently in the breeze it seemed to represent all the sensuality he longed for. He pulled his knees into his chest and leaned his head back against the trees gnarled truck. Taking slow deep breaths he let the sweet scent of the flowers wash over him. The sun shone brightly and the day was warm. Before long he began to drift, pleasant fantasies leading him into sleep.

The petals from the tree began to fall like rain. The wind picked them up and tossed them about carelessly. He looked up and let the falling flowers caress his face. He inhaled their heady perfume. The overwhelming fragrance made him slightly dizzy. With a somewhat dazed smile he looked around drinking in the beauty of the orchard. So mesmerized was he by the sensuality of nature that he did not immediately notice the woman. The movement of her hand brushing her hair back caught his attention. He turned – and was stuck breathless.

She was lush, curvaceous, sensual – and completely naked. Her blond hair cascaded down stopping at the small of her back. Her skin was a pale cream that looked as soft as petals. Her breasts were full and pink-tipped. Her waist curved into generous hips. Deep green eyes looked him over with frank appraisal. Her ripe rosebud lips curved into a pleased smile.

Heat pooled in his loins as she slowly walked toward him. She moved with a sensual grace that had his head swimming. By the time she stopped before him he was painfully aroused. She held out her hand. He was helpless to do anything but take it. He rose to stand before her. He stood there just gazing at her. Her smile widened as she pushed his coat from his shoulder. The elegant garment that was the pride of his tailor slid to the ground, forgotten.

With a few deft pulls his cravat joined the discard coat. Slowly she pulled his shirt from his trousers. Lifting his arms over his head he grasped the shirt and pulled it off. She ran her hands over his chest. He did not even try to stifle the groan. On a soft chuckle she leaned in and placed a wet kiss over his heart. The gesture freed him from his stupor. He tangled his hands in the softness of her hair. A slight tug lifted her face to his. Lust rose up at the invitation in her gaze. He lowered his head and their lips met.

His hands stayed tangled in her hair as he explored her mouth. She tasted faintly of ripe lemons, fresh and tart. Heat raced through his veins. Desire curled downward. When he felt her nails drag lightly down his back, he shuddered. He retaliated by gently nipping the place where neck met shoulder. She moaned. He ran his fingers through her hair. He stopped to caress the small of her back before grasping her hips and pulling her against him. He moved his legs so she would fit more snuggly against his erection. He knew she could feel the hard length of him through his trousers. She gasped at the contact of cloth against skin. He swallowed the gasp as he took her mouth again. He took his time tasting. Tongues met and twined. They stood for several long moments tasting and tormenting each other with slow, hot, wet kisses.

Starting at her hips he traced her shape with a languid motion. When he reached the underside of her breasts he broke contact with her mouth and pushed her slightly away. She smile and leaned back. He cupped her breasts in his hands. For an endless moment he simply held her breasts feeling the weight and warmth of them. She stirred as he rolled each nipple between thumb and forefinger. She purred. As he continued to fondle one nipple he bent down and took the other into his mouth. She continued to purr. She gasped when he gently nipped at the curve of her breast. On a chuckle he switched from one nipple to the other. He nuzzled and suckled until she was breathless and her hands tangled in his hair. A gentle tug brought his head up. She held his gaze as she brushed her breasts against his bare chest. He leaned in to take her mouth and she stepped away.

She sank down to her knees. It was his turn to moan as she placed an opened mouth kiss just above the band of his trousers. Rocking back on her heels she reached for his foot. A couple of hard pulls and his boots were added to the pile of abandoned clothing. She stood, slid her hands into the waist of his trousers and then skimmed them downward. She followed the path of the trousers with wet kissed from hip to calf. On the way up she once more skimmed her hands along his legs. Holding his gaze she cupped him. Circling his cock with her finger and thumb she traced the velvet covered steel length of him. Lightly she ran the pad of her thumb over the tip. He shuttered, moaned and buried his face in the curve of her neck. She laughed with gentle delight.

He grasped her hips. With a fierce jerk he pulled her against him. Slowly she moved her hips in a rhythm that mimicked the more intimate contact they both craved. He could feel the wet heat of her. His cock throbbed. Unable to bear the sensual anguish a moment longer he hooked a hand behind her knee and raised it until her leg was wrapped around his waist. The position opened her to him and with one powerful thrust he entered her. Both moaned at the contact. He held her still, savoring the wet inviting warmth of her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in the curve of his neck. Her hot breath gliding over his flesh caused a shudder that wracked his entire body. The resulting contact had her breathlessly pulsing against him.

A delicious tension swirled through him. Leisurely he thrust into her and just as leisurely he withdrew. He kept the unhurried pace, listening to her breath hitch, feeling the tension build. Her ragged breath on his neck pitched his arousal to a fevered height. His body began to demand release. From the impassioned sounds she was making he knew her body clamored as fiercely as his towards ecstasy. He began to move faster; thrust harder. She met his need and urged him higher. Both became lost in the need. Tighter and tighter. Suddenly she cried out, digging her nails into his back. The tension racing through his body shattered into bliss.

She sagged against him and he slumped against the trunk of the tree. He ignored the bark biting into his back. Instead his focus was on the warm complacent weight against his chest. He closed his eyes and savored the lazy pleasure of release that replaced the tautness of desire. He was reluctant to withdraw from the wet warmth of her. Finally she became too heavy for his spent limbs. Reluctantly he set her down. She stepped back bestowing a deeply satisfied smile on him. Oddly he found that he could not return her satisfaction.

"Why can you not be real?" They were the first words either had spoken.

"I can be," she said. Her voice was as soft and sensuous as her body. "All you have to do is look."

He woke with a start. Climbing awkwardly to his feet he was somewhat surprised to find that himself fully clothed. Although he knew it was a dream it had seemed so real. She had been everything he had been searching for – open and honest in her desires as she took true pleasure in coupling. She had said that all that was required for him to find her was that he look. But look where? Did she mean that he would be able to find her specifically or simply the partner in sensuality he craved? Pondering these and other more complicated questions he ambled home.

He frowned at the carriage traveling up the drive. Naturally just when he felt the need to be alone company arrived. He would just have to sneak into the house, a feat he had not attempted since his school days. Staying within the tree line he made his way to the back of the house and crept along the servants' entrance. He had every intention of pleading illness until whoever had descended upon them left. It was just like his mother to thwart he efforts. While his father's reaction to the incident was to force him to the country, his mother was obviously intent on matrimony to keep him out of trouble.

As he made his way to dinner that evening the thought struck that maybe it was fate. His dream woman had said that all he need do it look. He had to start somewhere. It might as well be here. Perhaps the dream had been prophetic. The thought was entertaining and he entered the drawing room with a smile on his face.

The woman who turned to greet him was no one's idea of a temptress. For starters she was almost as tall as he. Her hair was scraped back from her face and ruthlessly secured at the nape of her neck. A pair of spectacles sat slightly crooked upon her pert nose. The dress she wore badly had just gone out of style. His cursory glance assured him that this was not the woman his mother had invited down for his inspection.

He was about to dismiss her when he was compelled to take another look. Despite the severe hairstyle he could tell her hair was a rich brown that matched the lively eyes behind the spectacles. Once he really looked, the out of date dress could not truly hide her lush figure. He only became aware that he was staring when he met her faintly amused gaze.

"Sadly lacking aren't I?" Her voice was like good scotch, smooth and rich. He found himself unexpectedly stirred.

"On the contrary," he assured her, surprised to realize he was sincere.

"You will change your mind when you met my sister."

"What does one have to do with the other?" he asked. Before she could reply the door opened on his answer.

This woman was a true beauty. Her hair and dress were the height of current fashion. Her figure trim; her face sculpture beauty. She should have stolen his breath, but here again he felt the need to look closer. Despite her dark hair and fashionable slimness she closely resembled the woman in his dream. Was she the one he was supposed to find? He felt certain she was until he looked into her eyes. He found a cool aloofness in her gaze. This woman knew she was a beauty. He realized that she would expect anyone she graced with her presence or affection to be grateful and appropriately indebted. He had crossed paths with her kind often enough since he had entered society.

She smiled at him with false warmth and held out her hand for him to kiss. This was definitely not the woman for him. After he had bestowed a proper, if hasty greeting upon the frosty beauty he turned back to the ugly duckling sister. She still looked faintly amused. Had he been looking at the wrong women all along? Had he truly believed that sensual delight could not exist without physical beauty? The woman from his dream had been Eve herself, sensual, tempting, possessing a primal beauty. In that instant he realized that it was not her beauty that he had been thinking of since the dream. It was her touch, her delight, the sincere joy in the act that kept tugging at him. He tried to envision her as she had appeared in the dream. All he could recall was a vague sense of blondness. Yet he could feel the soft glide of her fingers over his flesh with such clarity he could almost swear she was in the room.

Deciding to test his theory he bowed to the conventionally less attractive sister and asked "Would you care to accompany me to dinner?"

The startled look in her eyes had him vowing to be kind to her regardless of the outcome of his experiment. Then she smiled. His breath caught. The pleasure that glinted behind her spectacles was dizzying. He almost reached for her then and there. He would have to be careful; this was a woman of gentle birth. He would not ruin her, but he was beginning to feel certain that, at long last, his search was over.