Southern Rose

Southern Rose

Mary Winter

Price: $3.50


When Agnes' husband is killed in action during the Civil War, she's forced to reveal not only her sham marriage, but also her past and her feelings for her housemate Rose.

Rose is not the shy Southern flower Agnes believes her to be. She has to show Agnes how to act like a "proper" window, and the true extent of her feelings.

PUBLISHED BY: Pink Petal Books
ISBN: PPB000000001
CATEGORIES: WomanLove, Historical
KEYWORDS: civil war, missouri, lesbian, historical

EBOOKS BY Pink Petal Books

EBOOKS BY Mary Winter

COPYRIGHT Mary Winter/2009

Southwestern Missouri, Late Spring, 1863

A wry smile twisted Agnes’ lips as she picked up the book and cradled it against her chest. Maybe Rose would like to read this evening. Ignoring her sewing, Agnes hurried out of the room. Her boot heels clicked on the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. Agnes had purchased the boarding house and had turned it into her store and home. The front parlor held dresses she made or samples of her work. One of the bedrooms upstairs served as storage for her fabrics, while the other two were for her and Rose. With the other woman’s arrival, the house seemed perfect for the two of them. And no one questioned the seamstress offering a room to the school teacher, especially when their house was on Main Street in plain sight. Agnes worked hard to cultivate the air of propriety surrounding her and her establishment. The respect the townsfolk showed her was a far cry from her work in a Kansas City saloon.

Agnes paused in front of Rose’s door. The soft glow of a lantern shone beneath it, and inside, Agnes heard the soft rustle of clothing. She knocked lightly.

Moments later the door opened and Rose stood in the threshold wearing nothing but a thin night dress. The light behind her shone right through the fabric and revealed the rise of Rose’s breasts and the swell of her hips. A dark shadow covered Rose’s mound, and darker points pressed against the fabric at her breasts.

Agnes’ mouth went dry. The vision of loveliness standing before her seemed a far cry from the buttoned-up staid school teacher who shared her home. With her hair tumbling down around her shoulders, and her eyes opened with surprise, Rose looked like a cherub, and a stab of lust hit Agnes.

She swallowed hard. “I brought your book.” Aware she still clasped the volume to her chest, Agnes offered it.

Rose reached forward, the translucent fabric lifting. Dark circles surrounded her nipples, their hard peaks straining against the fabric.

She thought of taking one of them between her lips and sucking and her mouth watered. It had been so long since she’d felt the delicious roll of another woman’s nipples against her teeth and tongue. Aware she stared, Agnes took a step back.

“I’m sure you want to go to bed,” she offered. The instant the words left her mouth, she imagined Rose sprawled on the bed, her legs spread, her fiery red hair stark against the white cotton pillow cases. Agnes’ breathing caught, her nipples hardening against her corset.

“Thank you.” Rose’s gaze lingered on Agnes’ mouth a little longer than necessary, before dropping to the book on her hands. “I was just going to bed.”

Without you. The unspoken words hung in the air between them, although Agnes knew Rose hadn’t spoke. “Have a good night,” Agnes said, then turned on her heel and headed down the hall to her own room…alone.

“Good night,” Rose’s whispered words followed Agnes down the hall. Moments later, Rose closed her bedroom door.

Agnes shivered, truly feeling alone. She paused, thinking about returning to her sewing, but doubted her concentration would last. No, she’d finish her work tomorrow. Instead, she went to her bedroom and lit a lantern before closing the door behind her. Moonlight spilled through the curtains. The open window admitted laughter and music from the saloon down the street, and for a moment, just a heartbeat and a breath, Agnes wished for her other life. Because then, she wouldn’t face her large four-poster bed alone.

She turned away from the window, ignoring the distractions and the promise offered by the saloon. In this town, they knew her as the seamstress. To do anything to shatter that lie would harm her reputation and possibly her person. She extinguished the lantern. The lacy curtains let in enough light from the moon and really, she wasn’t in the mood for anything other than darkness.

Agnes changed into her nightdress, the routine of removing her overdress, her petticoat and corset all-too familiar to her for its loneliness. The staid underclothes, the mark of a respectable woman, made it clear she no longer catered to the joys of the flesh. Frankly, she wouldn’t mind, except on nights like these, when her body longed for caresses and touches. The gender didn’t matter. She could imagine the individual as any one, any man or woman.

Her breath quickened. Her nipples pebbled, and free of the corset’s constraint, they yearned for the cool breezes coming in the open window. The noise in the street, a woman’s high, boisterous laughter, only intensified her longing. Biting back a harsh cry, Agnes whirled away from the window. Not tonight, nor any night, would she go back to that life.

She hastily donned her clothing and pulled the shutters closed. She left the window open. Some might say the night air caused sickness, but she enjoyed it, reminded her that there were places where the night didn’t smell like sweat and whiskey, and there were other sounds besides the drunken groans of horny men.

She grabbed a quilt and wrapped it around loosely her shoulders like a shield. If her story didn’t hold, she’d be down there again, living the life of a saloon girl. A wry smile twisted her lips. The role of a soldier’s bride suited her much better. Over the months she’d grown used to the respectable life, liked being able to shop for clothing in the mercantile without stares and whispers. Out here, no one knew of her, and that is how it had to stay.

No matter the cost.


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