Hello! It’s the 26th week of My Sexy Saturday, where writers post seven paragraphs, seven sentences, or seven words of something sexy. This is my first time participating, and I’m sharing seven sentences from Volume 2 of my Wild and Wanton adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic romance, North and South, where Margaret Hale is remembering an unexpected, but not unwanted, tryst with Mr. Thornton.
Margaret Hale’s life changes dramatically when her father quits his living as a parson in the idyllic New Forest in the South of England and moves the family to the northern industrial town of Milton, intending to become a private tutor. There, she is appalled at the poverty surrounding her and at first finds the local mill workers too rough, but soon she can’t help sympathizing with their plight.
John Thornton is a magistrate and owner of a prosperous cotton mill. Forced to become the head of the household at a young age and driven to keep his family from becoming impoverished again, he’s had no time for love. He certainly has no time for a lady who looks down on both him and the industry in which he earns his livelihood. Their beliefs lead them to inevitably clash, but their arguments over his treatment of his workers mask a deep attraction neither wants, and eventually, one that neither can deny.
Although it is labeled as a social novel, North and South simmers with sexual tension. Through the backdrop of a labor strike and a riot, through a possible murder and its fallout, through the deaths of loved ones, and the rise and fall of fortunes, the romance between John Thornton and Margaret Hale still entrances readers as it did when first published in 1855. In this updated version, read the steamy scenes that Ms. Gaskell, a minister’s wife, could not include in the original work, from John and Margaret’s first desperate, yet tender, lovemaking, to their sizzling reunion in London.
He had freshly shaved, but Margaret remembered the feel of the stubble on his strong jaw, his chin, and her fingers suddenly itched to trace those features again. To stop her wayward thoughts she lowered her eyes, but her gaze landed on his burgundy cravat: a contrast to the sombre black of his coat and his stark white shirt. It made his eyes seem darker, as they had looked the afternoon he had made love to her. Margaret glanced up again, warmth filling her at the memory, only to find Mr. Thornton watching her. A fire blazed from the depths of his stare, and Margaret tried to draw a breath, to look away and regain her composure. She did not know what was happening to her; all she knew was that her body felt awake for the first time that day: for the first time since she was last in his presence.
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