Chapter Nine

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At twenty to five, David rose from his chair and strode across the room in response to the knock. "That must be Maria." He opened the door, and she burst in and hugged him, whispering in his ear. "I need a long slow fuck. What a day it's been."

"Yes, and I do as well." He closed the door and led her across the room.

As she approached William, she said, "Simms is a good long distance up Haymarket. It's very busy out there, and we thought it to be with Christmas shoppers. He couldn't get closer, and he said he'd wait there for you."

William took her hand to his lips. "You look flustered."

"The crap and the idiocy I've been hearing about. The bureaucratic twits who hamper our assistance to the wounded. We seem to be losing more because of blind rage and blithering incompetence than anything." She shook her head. "Sorry, I needed to vent some anger."

She slumped down on the chaise longue. "I cannot understand why pompous buffoons are allowed to impose their nineteenth-century attitudes. God! Stone Age attitudes; some of them." She blew out a loud breath. "Alright, I'm done venting, but not done stewing about it."

William picked up his hat. "We'll talk further about this by cable through the Embassy, David. I must be going."

Maria rose and followed David as he walked William toward the door. "Sorry, Sir. Not my usual behaviour." She extended her hand again.

William took her fingers and held them. "We're all affected by the petty struggles among their so-called nobility. The unification of Germany seems to have fostered more divisiveness than unity." He kissed her fingers. "We'll win."

David closed and locked the door behind the departing William, then he turned and took Maria into his arms. "A soak in the tub first to relax?"

"I need something to get my mind off their divisive infighting and dithering. God! What sick thinking." She kissed his neck and breathed a sigh. "Your wonderful aroma." Their lips merged.

A few minutes later, as she lay against him in the bathtub, she said, "Distract me. Tell me about your meeting. Where was it? Who was there besides William?"

"He took me to Brooks's Club. What a wonderful building that is; richly decorated and luxuriously appointed. The members are mostly the nobility and highly-placed politicians and civil servants. The atmosphere drips with power and influence."

"So, what do they do there besides strutting their importance?"

"It was initially a place to eat, drink and gamble in privacy, without prying eyes. And, I suppose it's still used for that; but I'm sure it's also a place to wheel and deal politically, not just in gaming. A place for scheming. It was begun a hundred and fifty years ago by the Whigs, and it's still solidly liberal. The Tories have their own club just along Saint James."

"And I'm sure you and William schemed. Who else was there?"

"The Minister of Munitions, Mr Lloyd-George. He's also a David, so there was some comical confusion at times. A fine gentleman. He's been shaking up the deadwood and the plugs in the War Office, and he has turned the orientation there to industrial rather than the outmoded and staid military thinking. Both production and spirits have risen since he's taken charge."

"I'm sure you didn't focus much on British munitions, though, did you? That's not your purpose."

"You're perceptive, and you also have a smooth way of mining information."

"And I still need a long, slow fuck. Let's rinse and dry, then resume on the bed."

A while later, as they lay connected and slowly shifting their hips, Maria said, "I'm surprised a hotel of this quality uses blankets rather than a duvet."

"I don't think the British use duvets — at least not the commoners. God! I still have such difficulty with their class distinctions here."

"Like the idiotic thinking by the Germans. The only thing stopping the project is their insistence the selection be based on rank and position. The French want it classless, based on need rather than position. The British are in the middle and will go either way."

"So that was your frustration?"

"That, but it was compounded by what I heard about their execution of Edith Cavell. She was treating wounded regardless of their nationality. Many German soldiers benefited, yet they convicted her. Stood her in front of a firing squad." Maria shuddered, then she moved her hips more vigorously. "Roll onto your back, David. I want to gallop my stallion over the horizon. See if I can put these thoughts and those idiots behind me."

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Maria awoke slumped on David's chest. "I must have worn myself out. Was I asleep long? What time is it?"

He checked his watch. "About half an hour; it's shortly past seven."

"Past seven? We've missed the shopping."

"You cleared your frustrations in other ways."

"How long did I go on? How many times did I pop? I stopped counting."

"I lost track myself, mesmerised by the intensity of your passion, but I think it was seven, though it could have been six or eight. You should get angry more often." He chuckled.

She shifted her hips. "You're still up. I didn't allow you to finish."

"I was fully satisfied feeling you. Watching you."

"Peel your head. Let me finish you. Then we need to bathe again. At least I do; I'm all sweaty and sticky."

"Aren't you a bit sore to continue?"

She fingered her lips and rocked her hips. "No, I'm fine."

A short while later, David erupted with loud bellows from deep in his throat. As he lay recovering, he said, "We should clean for dinner. We've a table at eight, and I'm excited to have you to taste Escoffier's cuisine." 

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