102 Pages
English

Augusta's Secret Desires

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Young love at the lake sounds like fun but add in a few twists and turns and it becomes so much more.


Heartbroken after being abandoned by her first love, Augusta Ackermann is determined to spend the summer at a lakeside cottage. Alone with her misery, Augie expects to pass the months in solitude. Her goals for the summer take an interesting turn after a chance meeting with a handsome and intriguing neighbor.


Rex Grieve, recently graduated from an elite school for the blind and feels a virtual prisoner in his parents’ lavish new lakeside mansion. Rex’s sole escape is his music, but that changes in an instant when he meets Augie.


When Augie impulsively sends Rex a poem expressing her admiration by comparing him to a famous blind character from literature, Rex gently chides her. This chiding turns into a brisk punishment to help Augie atone for her literary sins, and the young couple discover they both enjoy exploring sensual submission and discipline.


However, just as their young love is blossoming, it’s threatened by a predatory neighbor who assumes Rex isn’t capable of coming to Augie’s rescue. Will the strength of the growing bond between Rex and Augie save her from peril and will it give Rex the courage to plot an escape from his domineering parents?


This is book one in the Lakeside Lovers series and has a happily ever after.


 


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Published by
Published 05 May 2020
Reads 1
EAN13 9781645632719
Language English

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0012€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

AUGUSTA’S SECRET DESIRES
LAKESIDE LOVERS - BOOK ONE
LORNA LOCKEPublished by Blushing Books
An Imprint of
ABCD Graphics and Design, Inc.
A Virginia Corporation
977 Seminole Trail #233
Charlottesville, VA 22901
©2020
All rights reserved.
No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and
retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The trademark Blushing
Books is pending in the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Lorna Locke
Augusta’s Secret Desires
EBook ISBN: 978-1-64563-271-9
v2
Cover Art by ABCD Graphics & Design
This book contains fantasy themes appropriate for mature readers only. Nothing in this book
should be interpreted as Blushing Books' or the author's advocating any non-consensual
sexual activity.C O N T E N T S
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Lorna Locke
Blushing Books
Blushing Books NewsletterCHAPTER 1
WASHINGTON STATE, 1908
apa’s pride and joy, a 1903 Cadillac runabout, popped and jumped andP rumbled along the road. Early-morning sunshine glinted off the brass of the
headlamps. Overhead, unfathomably ancient fir trees made a cathedral ceiling with
glimpses of deep blue sky between the branches. Bounced and jostled against the
luxurious black leather of the seats, Augie reflected that the weather was not
cooperating with her mood.
Gathering purple-black storm clouds. Hail. Pouring rain. Darkness. Any or all of the
above would complement Augusta Ackermann’s sour heartsickness, unlike this insipid
sunshine, these playful zephyrs, the timid pale purple harebell blossoms peeping out to
greet the sun. Insufferable, all of it. Augie harrumphed.
“What was that?” Papa asked over his shoulder as he steered his beloved runabout
down the road.
Augie sighed, and then grumbled, “Nothing, Papa.”
“Nothing?”
Eighteen-year-old Augie rolled her eyes. “I’m just a little sad.”
Papa shook his shaggy head. Whether the shake of the head was in sympathy or
annoyance or some combination of the two, Augie couldn’t say. He took a deep breath,
opened his mouth to speak, thought better of it and closed his mouth. They puttered
onward without speaking.
Bees buzzed by. From the bushes, a doe and her fawns watched Augie and her
father rumble past. Out here in the Lakes District, southwest of the city, the air smelled
of flowers and greenery. Yes, it was beautiful. But would wildflowers and cool green
trees and the gentle lapping of wavelets on the rocky lakeshore comfort an aching
heart?
Augie’s heart was, at that moment, an open wound.
“Here we are,” Papa said with forced jollity. As much as Augie resented her parents’
bafflement at her recent heartsickness, and as much trepidation as they expressed
when she told them she wanted to spend the summer at Uncle Philip’s summer cottage
if he’d let her, she knew Papa and Mama only wanted her to be well and contented. If a
summer as a cottage-dwelling recluse was what it would take to get their formerly blithe
and energetic Augusta back to her old self, well, then Gus and Matilda Ackermann
would do what they could to help.Papa parked the runabout. Augie remained in place in the back seat of the open
car, taking in the sight of Uncle Philip’s cottage and the lake beyond. She hadn’t seen
the site until now but had burned with curiosity ever since Phil announced at Christmas
that he’d bought himself a lot on Rau Lake. A sweet little cottage on the shores of a
lake, with one’s own beach and lots of old trees and ferns and things—how lovely,
Augie had thought as the family shared sugared nuts and spiced plums and their cook
Ann’s famous Christmas punch.
When Geoffrey broke her heart, just two weeks ago, one of the first coherent
thoughts to emerge from the maelstrom of disbelief and sorrow was, if I can escape to
the lake and be alone for a while, maybe I can recover myself.
Uncle Philip, sleeves rolled to his elbows and red suspenders on display, lounged
on the porch of his recently completed cottage. He looked hale and hearty, calm and
happy to greet his brother and niece. As Papa hopped out of the runabout to retrieve
Augie’s trunks, Philip waved and caroled a greeting.
“Ahoy there, Gus!”
“Phil,” Papa huffed. The exertion of freeing Augie’s trunks from the straps that held
them in place at the back of the car was reddening his face and throwing Augustus
Ackermann’s gray hair into greater-than-usual disarray. A thorn of guilt pricked at
Augie’s heart. She should help her father.
Uncle Phil intercepted Augie before she could exit the runabout. Gallantly, her uncle
offered a hand to help her down.
“Thank you,” Augie murmured.
Philip tipped his imaginary hat and winked at Augie, just as he’d done when she
was a girl and they’d share a joke over Christmas pudding. The kindness of her parents
and her uncle was overwhelming, so much so that Augie felt herself to be a wretched
thing, selfish and unlovable. But she managed a small smile of gratitude.
A brief expression of concern showed that Phil noted the change in his niece’s
demeanor. He was too much the gentleman to comment on it, which Augie appreciated.
Perhaps when Papa and Mama spoke to Philip about the possibility of Augie’s tenancy
in his brand-new cottage for the summer they had explained the situation with Geoffrey,
and Uncle Philip wanted to treat the subject delicately.
Geoffrey.
The simple act of recalling that once-sacred name brought a tremble to Augie’s lip
and a burning tear to her eye. She took a deep breath and tried to be brave. “How are
you, Uncle?”
“Quite well, youngster. And yourself?”
Augie looked at the ground. “As well as can be expected, given the circumstances.”
Papa, huffing and puffing, called to his brother. “Phil! A hand, please?”
Augie watched numbly as her father and uncle maneuvered her two trunks from the
Cadillac to the cottage. She knew there were only three rooms: a tiny sitting room, a
tiny simple kitchen and a teeny-tiny bedroom. Her trunks might take up half the space
in the bedroom, but that was all right. She’d brought her bathing costume, hoping that
by midsummer her heart would heal sufficiently to allow her to enjoy a little swim in Rau
Lake, and a few other articles of practical clothing. Most of the rest of Augie’s luggage
consisted of books and writing materials.
The morning had been cool, but as midday drew closer the day was growing warm.Philip invited Augustus and Augie to share his lunch. They would dine together in the
miniature kitchen before he and Papa departed, leaving Augie to the cottage, the lake,
the fir trees and her wounded heart.
Papa and Uncle Philip joked and chatted, catching up on family gossip and
business news. Phil sliced a lovely kielbasa and fried it up with onions and sauerkraut
on a stove so small as to look like a toy, especially with a big man like Philip
Ackermann looming over it. Apples, cheese, a hunk of brown bread plus onions,
sauerkraut, and sausage made a simple, nourishing meal. If only Augie had an
appetite.
She picked at the food while her father and uncle conversed, and it was an odd
relief to be near them but to be left out of the conversation. Company without the
demands of polite participation was soothing. At length, the food was eaten and the
men leaned back in their simple, rustic chairs and sighed contentedly. Even through
the fog of her grief Augie found herself nearly smiling to see the two men so similar, so
obviously brothers.
Philip and Gus exchanged glances.
Uncle Philip cleared his throat. “So, my youngster, you’re quite sure you’ll be safe
and sound in the cottage? Alone? All summer?” He studied her with an expression of
friendly skepticism.
Augie couldn’t manage direct eye contact so she gazed out the kitchen window to
the lake beyond. The lake was still as glass, untroubled and serene. She remembered
the name, Rau, meant rough, referred not to turbulence of water, but to the jagged
rocks and boulders lurking just beneath the surface. A small island, studded with
bristling black-green fir trees, glowered from the middle of Rau Lake. If she could lure
her absent muse back into service, Augie hoped to write many poems inspired by the
lake, the island, the towering trees.
“Augie?” Papa asked gently.
“Sorry, sorry.” Weakly, she explained, “It’s just so lovely out there. I got distracted.”
Uncle Philip smiled indulgently. “Can’t say that I blame you. I found the view so
entrancing I bought this lot on the spot. ‘Lot on the spot’ – hey, how’s that for a rhyme?
Maybe I’ll give the youngster a run for her money with the poetry, eh?”
Augie managed a polite little laugh. “I’ll be just fine here, Uncle.”
“If you’re sure,” he said.
Papa simply shrugged. “You try talking her out of it, Phil. Her mother and I argued
ourselves hoarse but our Augie can be stubborn.”
Meekly, Augie protested, “I think I’ll feel ever so much better at the end of the
season if I can spend some time alone with my thoughts.”
Father and Uncle shrugged in a unison that would be comical if Augie was in any
mood for comedy.
Uncle Phil said, “I trust you fully, youngster, don’t mistake me. The cottage is small
– cozy, I like to think – but sturdy, built to last, and the doors and windows lock.
Coyotes shouldn’t bother you much but if you see one make a big noisy scene and
frighten it away.”
Philip went on to describe as best he could the nearest neighbors. A handful of
other wealthy families bought lots around the same time as Philip, and some had
already built their vacation homes along the shores of the lake. His closest neighborshad recently completed the grandest lakeside mansion yet seen in the Lakes District,
but Phil didn’t know them well. For the most part there were still so many ancient trees
left alone, and there was so much distance between each lot, that it was possible for a
soul to feel entirely alone in the woods even though downtown Tacoma was only ten
miles away. There was plenty of civilization between the city and Rau Lake, but the
illusion of isolation was thorough.
Papa promised he and Mama would visit in a week with additional provisions. His
eyes were sad as he kissed Augie on the cheek and caught her up in a hug. Papa’s
next stop would be Union Station downtown, where Uncle Philip would catch the train
that would carry him eastward to Chicago. It was a strange bit of fortune that business
called Philip Ackermann away for the next several months, from Chicago to
Philadelphia, from Philadelphia to New York, and from New York to London, before
returning to Tacoma in late August. Perhaps Fate had taken pity on brokenhearted
Augie and cleared the way for a summer of solitude.
Philip retrieved his own bag, the majority of his things were being sent to the station
directly from his stately house, his permanent residence, in the Old Town neighborhood
of Tacoma, and said, “I can’t say it won’t be a bit of a relief to have someone staying
here and looking after the place while I’m gone. I’m a bit put out to be torn away from
this spot just as the cottage is ready to move in, but such is life. Such is business.”
Hearing this made Augie feel a bit better and she smiled. Heartbroken or not, she’d
rather feel useful than otherwise. “I’ll do my very best, Uncle.”
“I know you will. Be good.” He too gave her a peck on the cheek, followed by one of
his vigorous Uncle Phil handshakes, which were always a memorable experience, and
then the men were gone and Augie was alone.
She sat on the rough-hewn stool that was the only furniture occupying the porch and
closed her eyes. Please let nature and solitude heal me, she prayed silently. High
overhead, a bald eagle cried. Augie shuddered with an unwanted but undeniable sob
and yielded to the inevitable. She sobbed and sobbed and finally wailed: “Geoffrey,
Geoffrey – why?”CHAPTER 2
n her first morning alone at Rau Lake, Augie was pleased to discover a goodO sitting rock on Uncle Phil’s beach. This fine rock was tall enough to almost
reach her waist, but gently sloped and smooth and placed perfectly to catch the
morning sun. Augie’s rock afforded a stirring view of Rau Lake, its fir-bristling little
island and even someone else’s cabin on the opposite shore.
Augie scrambled onto the rock with her leather-bound notebook and fountain pen.
The pen was a new favorite and a graduation present from a distant aunt. The pen
arrived by post two weeks before Augie and eleven other young ladies, all daughters of
prominent Tacoma families, were awarded their diplomas from Ninon Droit School for
Girls.
Sitting on the rock while gentle breezes ruffled her uncovered hair and the surface
of Rau Lake alike, Augie contemplated the lovely pen and remembered her childlike
glee at receiving the present. The first thing Augie wrote with her new treasure was a
thank-you note to Aunt Catherine in Pittsburgh for sending such a thoughtful gift. The
second thing was, of course, a note to Geoffrey.
Despite the serene beauty of the morning, Augie let out a choking sob. Geoffrey.
Geoffrey, why?
She sighed deeply and rolled the pen between thumb and forefinger. By now
Geoffrey was likely settled in the New Haven flat he’d share with his cousin Frank.
Geoffrey, destined for Yale and greatness, was surely happily embarking on new
adventures far across the continent. Augie reflected miserably that skinny little Augusta
Ackermann didn’t fit into the future Geoffrey Carr, or his parents, imagined for him. The
future or the present, for that matter.
Up until the moment he snapped her heart in two, Augie had believed
wholeheartedly in Geoffrey’s devotion. She knew, she’d always known, that when he
graduated from Charlot Droit Academy, her own school’s boys-only twin, Geoffrey
would depart for Yale. She was happy her love had been accepted to such a fine
university and was generally untroubled by the coming parting. While apart, they would
send each other long letters.
And oh, how Augie had looked forward to receiving pages of letters detailing
Geoffrey’s studies, his adventures with Frank and the new pals he’d make at Yale, and
his hopes for their future together after he graduated. She wanted all his thoughts on
autumn in New England, on snowy Connecticut winters, on visits to the Atlantic
seaside.
No letters would arrive from Connecticut now.
He’d been heartless enough, with his smirking parents willing accomplices, to inviteAugie to one of his graduation parties. For the party, Augie had dressed carefully in a
crisp white shirtwaist and palest blue serge skirt. Matching ribbons fluttered from a
brand-new straw hat. Augie knew herself to be the picture of vernal youth and cheerful
devotion. At the party, Augie was cheerful and devoted because all she could be was
happy for her love. Yes, there would be moments of melancholy while they were apart,
but Geoffrey would be back in Tacoma for summers. Besides, Augie believed that after
a year or two – three at most – they would announce their engagement and then marry
as soon as he received his degree from Yale.
Four years of long-distance love might seem like a daunting prospect to a flighty girl
less committed to her man, but Augie almost relished the thought of nobly enduring the
separation. It made her smile to look ahead to pouring out her heart and all her
thoughts to Geoffrey while he sent the same to her. It would be a challenge but she was
up to it. The love Augie Ackermann and Geoffrey Carr shared was rare and true and
lasting, and someday she would be the one laughing at the Ninon Droit girls who had
so often laughed at her for being ‘fond and foolish’.
She and Geoffrey would show them!
These thoughts in mind, Augie had enjoyed Geoffrey’s graduation party with only
the thinnest veil of sadness dimming her view of the festivities. She ate tiny cakes and
drank punch and tried to laugh along with the jokes, ranging from mildly coarse to
troublingly cruel, of Geoffrey’s Charlot Droit pals. She suffered the knowing smirks of
Geoffrey’s haughty mother and haughtier father, who, she knew, didn’t care for her, but
little did they know their contempt only steeled her resolve to love their son faithfully.
She’d show them too, along with her smug classmates!
Now, perched on her rock like a sad little mermaid, Augie shook with bitter sobs. On
top of all the other hurts, knowing how happy and smug Mr. and Mrs. Carr must be to
see her cast aside was salt in her heart’s wound. It was a good thing no one was
around to witness this undignified caterwauling. Only the ducks paddling along,
untroubled by human woes, were audience to Augie’s sobbing.
Two days after the graduation party, Augie was happy to have Geoffrey to herself
for an afternoon. He’d asked their usual chaperone, Augie’s old tutor and family friend
Wilma, for a bit of privacy, privacy cheerfully given by Wilma. Wilma promised to stay in
the park gazebo with her book so she wouldn’t be too far away. The young lovers would
thus enjoy a measure of privacy as they strolled around the pond, scattering handfuls
of cracked corn and red grapes for the local ducks.
Had Geoffrey asked Wilma to let them wander off together because he was going to
propose marriage? Augie’s heart had pounded with unexpected hope. She was game
for four years apart, of course. Her heart was true. But maybe Geoffrey couldn’t stand
to be away from her and would defy his parents. Yes, the more she thought about it
while she scattered food for the ducks, the more inevitable it seemed. Geoffrey was
about to ask Augie to marry him right away and come with him to set up a tidy little
household in New Haven. Maybe Augie could enroll in one of the excellent women’s
colleges nearby and they could live simply but passionately while pursuing their
studies.
But Geoffrey never sank to one knee. Instead, he gazed over the pond while Augie
fed the ducks and tried to act casual. He didn’t look at her, couldn’t look at her, while he
built up to the words that would strike her heart as surely as a knife.