1. Earthly Bounties

    Date: 4/16/2018, Categories: Historical, Author: curvygalore, Source: LushStories

    The Reverend Tobias Whitmore was perplexed. Not that this was a particularly unusual state of affairs for him, he mused, as his relatively short life seemed to be lived in a condition of relative confusion. As the third son of a minor branch of a noble family with pretensions to faded gentility, he was always destined for the church from birth. This had nothing to do with his character, merely the state of his family’s finances. Bluntly, there was no money to afford any of the sons the leisurely life of a country gentleman, so some sort of socially respectable means of livelihood was essential. His oldest brother would inherit the house and lands, and so spend his lifetime trying to maintain the upkeep of the property on a deeply curtailed budget. Tobias did not envy his position for one moment. His next brother, Tom, was destined for the army, which suited his energetic nature. Tobias was very grateful he’d been born third, as he would have been even more perplexed on the battlefield than he was in the pulpit. However, he pondered, he’d been less befuddled at his last post, as a curate in a busy parish in the manufacturing town of Birmingham. There was no time for bewilderment being second in command to a dedicated vicar and his hardworking wife. He’d just had to get on with it. Then fate, in the shape of his redoubtable mama, had intervened. She may not have been able to gift her children wealth and status but she used every one of her well-connected relatives to further ... their vocations. Rather than have her son stuck in his worthy parish amongst the poor, she’d had a word with her second cousin twice removed who was married to a canon. This was in order to give Tobias a timely leg up the ladder in case his career stalled before it had started. So, Tobias had found himself removed to a country parish, strictly on a short-term basis, while waiting for the retirement of a vicar in a nearby town. Once this occurred, he could take over that promotion and establish himself as someone in small-town society. That was the master plan, but in the meantime, Tobias was bewildered at the drastic change in his life. He felt as though he had been plucked from a grey winter in the middle of a grey town dealing with a grey populace on a worthy treadmill of timetabled duties. All of a sudden, he was in the depths of the sleepy countryside bursting with spring life. The sun was shining, buds were bursting, the birds were singing, sap was rising and he had very little to occupy his time. If that were not perplexing enough, then the ladies of Lesser Witteringly added to his befuddlement. As a not unbecoming young man, brought amongst them as a temporary measure, it was no wonder that he got a certain amount of attention from the local gentry. But the ladies, in particular, seemed to view him as a novel diversion, and it didn’t help that he found them all oh, so distracting. Even in the depths of his libidinous daze, he realised that they were toying with him by ...