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As newlyweds struggling to make a start in life, Lucas and Mila Cruz are astonished to learn that Mila’s late grandmother has left them the entirety of her estate on the condition that they stay at her personal villa for seven nights. It’s a strange demand, but how can they refuse?
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As newlyweds struggling to make a start in life, Lucas and Mila Cruz are astonished to learn that Mila’s late grandmother has left them the entirety of her estate on the condition that they stay at her personal villa for seven nights. It’s a strange demand, but how can they refuse?
The will had been read.
The papers had been signed.
Mila and Lucas Cruz stood at the entrance to the new estate - THEIR new estate -in complete, stunned silence.
The property stretched out for what felt like miles in every direction - row after row of meticulously trimmed topiaries stood guard along gravel paths and around walls and columns of sandstone that shone golden in the morning light.
Lucas permitted himself a quiet whistle.
“Yeah,” Mila agreed.
“And you really didn’t know her very well?” Lucas asked.
Mila shook her head. “Barely knew she existed. Wasn’t expecting anything, really. Definitely not THIS.”
Lucas nodded, the silence broken only by the sound of distant birdsong.
At almost a hundred years old, Teresa De León had been the matriarch of Mila’s side of the family, now very widely dispersed around the world. Mila herself had fallen out of touch with the vast majority of her extended family overseas, until she received a summons to the reading of her grandmother’s will.
“Should we go in?” Mila said eventually.
Lucas shook himself awake. “Yeah. Yeah. I’ll leave the luggage here for now and just bring the keys.”
They left their second-hand car parked by the fountain, looking for all the world like a chicken nugget on a wedding cake. Something to be done about that in a week’s time perhaps, but for now the incongruity would just have to stand.
“How big is it?” Lucas asked as they trod the gravel path.
“Big,” said Mila, almost spinning as she walked trying to catch sight of everything at once. “The executor gave me a number but, I mean… just look at the place.”
“I’m looking,” Lucas agreed. “Big.”
A pair of dark wooden double doors greeted them at the end of the path, flanked by stone urns bristling with exotic blossoms.
“Who looks after…?” Lucas wondered aloud, gesturing to the flowers and the gardens to complete his question.
“Oh, there’s groundskeepers and gardeners and all sorts,” Mila said as she inspected each unique specimen. “But they won’t be back until after the week is up.”
“And then they work for us?”
“That’s the deal. We get everything: Land, assets and employees.”
Lucas scanned the estate as it could be seen from the main entryway. “Sounds like a lot of work.”
“There’s a steward that manages everything,” Mila said absently. “I don’t think Teresa actually needed to do any of the work herself - from what I’m told, she funds everything off her investments.”
Lucas gave her a look of incredulity. “They must be incredible investments.”
Mila shrugged. “Take it up with the executor in a week. We’ll have access to everything.”
Lucas slid the thick, bronze key into the lock and gave it a twist, the doors swinging open as the bolt retracted.
The lights had been left on in anticipation of their arrival, and the dazzling golden glow cascading over rich red carpet, dark timber and polished marble took the couple’s breath away.
It was like something out of a fairytale, or a period-piece film about the exploits and decadence of vagabond nobility. The kind of house a child dreams of and most adults never dared hoped to own in several lifetimes.
Lucas and Mila looked at each other, an expression of giddy excitement overtaking them both as the reality of their new world finally sank in.
The villa was indeed massive: A two-story complex of solid, smooth sandstone inside out, fitted with modern lighting, heating and plumbing. Lucas had wondered out loud how the work had been done without damaging the facade, and Mila responded that any damaged blocks would probably have been replaced, no matter the expense.
“Oh, there’s wifi,” Mila said, having checked her phone out of curiosity. “Teresa certainly managed to keep up with the times.”
Lucas pulled out his phone as well. “Do you have the password?”
“No, but there might be a card or something now that you mention it. I didn’t see one in the foyer - let’s have a look around.”
It was a convenient excuse to explore, and on their quest to find any kind of missive or correspondence, Lucas and Mila discovered the kitchen, the laundry, the servant’s quarters, several bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms (guest and master), the study, the music room, two separate withdrawing rooms (men’s and women’s?), the indoor pool and the solarium.
Lucas had taken some time to appreciate the collected instruments (including - to his overwhelming disbelief - what looked like an authentic Stradivarius violin) and Mila had to stifle a laugh when she realised that Teresa’s collection of books included an extensive array of adult literature. With illustrations.
It was in the grand hall - furnished with enough seating for forty and space to spare - that the couple found a single folded card atop one of the massive tables like a boat on an ebony ocean.
Mila read the letter aloud, the pair exchanging the occasional look of disbelief as they read.
My dearest Mila,
You may know very little of me, but as your grandmother, it is my duty to never completely lose touch with the lives of my children. As such, I would like to congratulate you and your husband Lucas on your recent wedding: My sources tell me that he is a devoted and intelligent man of good character, and you deserve nothing less.
I hope that you can forgive any discomfort that my attention may cause. I was less than pleased to learn my own grandfather had done the same, but he judged that I would treat his estate with the respect it demands, and I have judged you to be similarly worthy.
Do not feel obligated to support your brothers and sisters: Like yourself until this day, their business and their fortunes are their own. All that I ask is that you preserve what I have built, and use it to create a future for yourselves and your own children, should you choose to have any.
So long as this house and these lands and this family endures, I will always be with you.
With love that flows across the ages,
Teresa De León
“An intelligent man of character,” Lucas said with a growing expression of smugness. “I suspected Teresa was a lady of taste, but now I know it for certain.”
Mila shot him an unimpressed look before scanning the paper again.
“Less than pleased,” she read out once more. “Yeah, that’s one way of putting it.”
“It’s a bit creepy,” Lucas admitted. “I wonder what sources she could be referring to? I mean, I’m glad they’ve put in a word for me, but still. I hope I don’t owe anyone a favour for the good report.”
“We’ve only just gotten married,” Mila retorted. “If what she says is right, she’s been keeping tabs on me since I was born. BEFORE I was born: She would have been spying on my mother as well!”
“Rich people,” Lucas said as the best explanation he could think of. “Old rich people. Must drive them crazy having that kind of spare time.”
“We do have that kind of spare time,” Mila pointed out. “I mean, we do now.”
Lucas nodded thoughtfully. “Well, we’re rich, but we’re not old or crazy. And I can think of better things to do with our time than spy on our nonexistent grandchildren.”
Mila gave him a sidelong look, picking up on the suggestive tone of voice. “It’s still mid-morning,” she protested.
Lucas grinned. “Like you said: We have plenty of spare time.”
They did not, in fact, have sex. Despite Lucas’ enthusiasm, Mila was still unhappy to know that the woman who had inhabited this house before them had been spying on her for her entire life. Worse than that: She now struggled to shake off the unpleasant sense that she was still being watched, as though her gathered ancestors were observing her from beyond the grave.
It was a decidedly un-sexy thought.
They had made it as far as the master bedroom, but Lucas quickly picked up on Mila’s sour mood and instead decided to unpack their belongings from the car.
Mila chose to wander the villa, its majesty now tarnished by the revelation of espionage, and the knowledge that Teresa had suffered a similar indignity in her time brought little comfort.
“When I have kids,” Mila thought, before correcting herself.“If I choose to have kids, I’ll respect their privacy.”
Of course, having kids was the thing to do. Mila’s family had made no secret of the expectations they had of her, and while she had never openly opposed the idea, she had always waved them away with excuses: She was too young. She hadn’t found the right man. She wasn’t financially secure enough to raise a family.
Well she’d grown up, and she’d found a man, and with alarming suddenness she had the financial stability of bedrock. So what now?
The thought of being a vessel just to pump out babies made her skin crawl, and a sudden distaste for her own antecedents gave rise to a sudden streak of defiance.
“Should you choose to have any,” she repeated to herself. As if the old woman had known she would be reluctant. Had Teresa felt the same at her age? It must have felt even worse for her - bad enough the thought of your grandmother spying on you as a child, the thought of a male figure doing the same made her slightly nauseated.
Mila found that she had wandered idly into the study, and was about to turn around when an idea occurred to her. Memory was an unreliable tool at the best of times, and only got worse with age, so it stood to reason that any head of the family honestly devoted to keeping tabs on their descendants would need to keep records of some kind. Despite the building’s modern utilities, Teresa De León had not invested in a personal computer, so surely there must be a diary of some sort hidden in the house.
Wandering up to the desk - a solidly built beast of mahogany and green leather - Mila began to open drawers methodically, flipping through the pages of anything that looked like it might contain reports from Teresa’s spies.
It was an ultimately fruitless search, or at least it became fruitless when Mila found herself entirely distracted by the diaries Teresa kept of her own life. She was shocked to learn that while Teresa had been judged by her own grandfather as studious and conservative, she had not been married at the time of her inheritance. More than that, the sudden influx of wealth seemed to have had a transformative effect on the woman, as she rapidly gained a reputation for hosting outrageous social gatherings with the world’s decadent elite.
The diaries themselves spoke of a sudden sense of freedom, of feeling truly alive after being stifled for what felt like a century. The newly wealthy Teresa had taken lover after lover, men and women in equal measure and sometimes both at once, and the scandal of it all only fostered her reputation.
The young Teresa’s first-hand accounts of her vast and varied exploits compared to the staid and patronising prose of her older self in the letter gave Mila a terrible sense of horrified amusement.
“You little hypocrite,” Mila whispered to the dead woman. She had been trusted to manage the estate “respectfully” by her grandfather and for the greater part of her life appeared to have used it to rope in a carnival carousel of lovers. Evidently she had managed to do so without bankrupting herself, but even so.
At some point, Lucas must have come in with a bowl of something. Mila had thanked him and at some point he had come back for the emptied bowl, but Mila found herself too entranced to look away.
It wasn’t until she reached a blank page of her current book that she looked up and realised that the sun had begun to set. She must have been here for hours! A small pile of tomes to her left attested to the time she had spent, dwarfed by the pile of more, still unread, to her right and then the study’s collection at large. Mila had thought that the illustrated erotica was simply there for rarity or historical value - she now suspected that they may have been a more personal investment.
The clock struck six, and Mila was suddenly overcome by a brief wave of vertigo. No doubt several hours sitting in one position was not good for the body, and while Lucas may have brought her a snack, she probably needed something more substantial.
She stood up, taking a moment to stretch the stiffness out of her joints. It took a bit of effort after being hunched over for so long, but feeling her body working the tension away felt almost liberating. To savour the moment, she took the time to flex each part of her body individually: Rotating both feet, flexing and clenching her toes, rolling each shoulder around before rotating her head this way and that. Within minutes she felt completely revitalised and unaccountably fresh. Maybe she should take up yoga?
Her gaze suddenly fixated on one of the many volumes populating the shelves. It hadn’t stuck out to her earlier, but there was definitely something odd about this particular book: It was just a little bit out of line - a fraction of an inch, if that - and almost seemed to be waving for her attention.
Mila reached out and took hold of the protruding corner, giving it a push as though to slide it back in line with its neighbours. Instead of the smooth action she had expected, she felt a mechanical click through the leather, and the entire bookshelf swung silently into the wall as though on hinges, a walk-in closet of extravagant proportions stretching out beyond.
She could scarcely breathe as she took in the collection suddenly revealed: Shoes and hats and tights and bras and feathers and leather and rubber and lace and tassels and frills and whips and chains and studs and collars and leashes and so, so much more.
Captivated, Mila stepped forward in a dreamlike daze and reached out with a hand, stroking the material of the nearest costume that hung from its peg. The material was like nothing she’d ever felt, almost slippery between her fingers, and it spoke to her of intimate contact, of whispered entreaties and of tantalizing anticipation.
Before she could stop herself, she had stripped completely nude and slipped into the outfit, stopping to admire herself in a full-length mirror that stood in the centre of the collection. Who was this woman staring back at her? She had Mila’s face and her hair and her body, but this style, this pose, this expression… Mila saw a look of ravenous hunger in her own eyes.
Yes, the old woman had spied on her, but so what? She was dead now, and had left all her worldly possessions behind. She’d treat it respectfully alright - more respectfully than Teresa herself had done - but she’d also have fun with it. Nobody could hold that against her, her grandmother least of all.
She tried another outfit next: Something black and strappy held together with silver links.
Another outfit: Something short and tight with a feather in the top.
The last outfit was perfect: Pure white and soft like a bridal gown, but no bride would be seen dead in this except perhaps on her honeymoon.
Mila looked herself over one more time, adjusting the hem just so before stepping out, closing the door behind her and leaving the study in search of her husband.
Lucas had been surprised to find his wife poring over old books in the study that afternoon, and even more surprised that she seemed to have shaken off her resentful mood in favour of hyper-focused study. She had enough awareness to thank him when he brought her something he’d cooked up for their dinner and again when he took the empty bowl away, but was otherwise entirely engrossed.
Taking a cue from Mila’s example, Lucas had retired to the bedroom just before six with a novel he’d started shortly before their summons. It wasn’t especially gripping, and it did little to hold his attention when his wife framed herself in the doorway wearing something truly outrageous.
For the longest time, Lucas was lost for words - questions tackling each other on route to his lips so that nothing came out.
Mila smirked at his expression and sauntered slowly over to the bed.
“What-” Lucas managed before Mila hushed him.
“It turns out our dearest Teresa was a little less dutiful than she let on,” Mila purred, swaying her hips as she walked. “And you wouldn’t believe some of the souvenirs she’d collected.”
Lucas remained frozen in place, terrified that any sudden movements might wake him from what was obviously a dream. Mila leaned forward, took the book from his unresisting hands and tossed it aside.
“Don’t move,” she whispered, as if he had the willpower to try. “I’m going to treat my darling husband to something a little special, provided he’s prepared to return the favour tomorrow.”
Mila didn’t wait for a response, choosing instead to nestle herself between Lucas’ outstretched legs, unbuckle his belt and unzip his fly. Lucas’ underwear immediately tented as his painfully constrained cock rose up, and Mila giggled, stroking the tip delicately through the fabric. Lucas let out a hoarse breath, still not sure if speaking or moving would break the spell.
Mila gave him a pitying look. “You’re so sombre, my love. Just close your eyes, let everything disappear until there’s nothing but the feeling of me around you.”
His pants were pulled down, his underwear followed and his dick was exposed to the cool evening air for only a moment before Mila gave it a fleeting lick.
Lucas felt the blood rushing to his groin, making him painfully hard as his body demanded more.
Mila giggled, licking him again and giggling louder when he twitched.
“Close your eyes, darling,” she repeated. “Don’t open them again until I say so.”
Lucas did as he was told and half suffered, half savoured Mila’s furtive teasing. The timing was irregular, such that every lick and kiss felt as fresh as the first, and he actually gasped when he felt the soft warmth of his wife’s lips suddenly slide all the way to the base of his shaft.
They’d made love on their wedding night, naturally. But it had been a clumsy, almost charmingly awkward affair; neither side being quite sure how daring they could or should be with their new partner.
The Mila lashing his cock with her tongue was almost a completely different woman, and he wondered where this side of her had been hiding until now. It was with a shameful perversion that he imagined some unspoken-of twin sister, jealously supplanting Mila to seduce him in this manner and against his will he found himself rushing quickly to orgasm.
Mila seemed to sense it too, as she dove down onto him, swallowing each spurt of his essence as it pumped into her mouth. Even as the throbbing subsided, she held him between her lips; gently sucking him from his softening state back to full hardness.
With a gasp, she finally released him, his cock springing to attention and glistening with her saliva. Lucas opened his eyes to see his wife - an alien expression on her face - straddling his hips and lowering herself onto him.
She was as tight as the night they had married, but soaking wet, and he felt himself slide into her without resistance. The moan she let out was like nothing he had ever heard from her before, and she dug her fingers into his chest as she leaned forwards.
“Yesss!” she hissed. “You’re perfect, my love. Oh, you’re absolutely wonderful! You’ve no idea how exquisite this feels! This moment!”
Lucas was at a loss as to how he should respond, and settled for silently basking in his wife’s apparent ecstasy. And it really was exquisite: Mila had discarded whatever bedroom reservations she may have held before coming here, and this other woman wearing her face was clearly devoted to making the experience a pleasure for them both.
Once again he was overwhelmed by the impression that the woman grinding atop him was someone other than his wife, and again despite the guilt, he found himself rapidly approaching another climax.
Lost for words, he gripped his wife’s thighs and dug his fingers in, trying to convey that she should slow down or they should at least get a condom.
Instead she grasped his hands with hers, panting as she spoke.
“Do it, my love! Fill me! Pour it all into me! I want to feel it! I want to feel all of it!”
Lucas felt his wife’s inner walls convulse around him as she poured himself into her, and she flung her arms around his shoulders, heaving shuddering little sighs into his ear as they came together.
Even after the spasms had ceased, she held him in place, their breathing the only sound in the room.
“We should probably have a wash,” Lucas whispered as he felt himself soften and shrink. “We’ll get the sheets dirty if we stay here much longer.”
Mila sighed. “Oh, bed sheets. I have a thousand bedsheets.” She got up anyway, and while Lucas found her response a bit odd, he said nothing as he followed her into the bathroom.
Their time in the shower together was no less intimate, though it largely consisted of Mila gently massaging and pampering Lucas from head to toe, as though seeing him for the first time. He tried to keep up, but she batted his hands away.
“Tomorrow,” she whispered to him, before returning to her ministrations.
Lucas didn’t know if he would be able to manage an experience like this for his wife, but he was prepared to try his best.
Mila insisted on toweling him dry before doing the same for herself, her gaze constantly wandering up and down his body in a way that seemed almost proprietary.
It was barely eight o'clock when they climbed into bed, snuggled into each other’s arms and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Mila woke up to find herself alone in bed, with the curtains drawn and the door to the hallway half open. She might have gotten up to see where Lucas had gone, but the warmth and comfort of the sheets made the thought of getting out of bed unappealing.
And she had a lot to think about.
What on earth had come over her last night? One moment the thought of being intimate in Teresa’s house had made her feel queasy, but reading about the younger woman’s descent into perversion seemed to have turned Mila’s head completely around.
And then she’d found the wardrobe - and what a collection! She hadn’t told Lucas where she’d found the outfit she had been wearing last night, and she hadn’t given him a chance to ask, though he certainly must have wondered. She had tossed the lusty bridal outfit onto the floor before getting into the shower, and it was presumably still there.
Why had she put it on? Curiosity? She remembered the thrill she had felt on discovering the assembled costumes. She had felt like a child playing dress-ups, exploring a world that had until that point only existed for “other” people.
She remembered smirking at her reflection and how wet she had made herself.
Experimentally, she brushed a hand over one breast. She felt the usual tingle of sensitivity, but it was nothing like the overwhelming licentiousness she had felt last night.
And then she had walked into the bedroom, posed in the doorway and… ravished her husband.
Which wasn’t out of the ordinary at all: That’s what married couples did, wasn’t it? Expressed their love through physical intimacy?
Except what she had done to Lucas last night wasn’t intimate. It had been animal. Bestial. She hadn’t lain awkwardly down beside him like she had on their wedding night - all nerves and tittering embarrassment. She had devoured every inch of him with a desperate and feral hunger. Twice.
Mila licked her lips, as though she might still find traces of him. In all her life before meeting Lucas, she’d only ever gone down on a guy once. It had been an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience, enacted out of a sense of obligation when she was young and inexperienced enough to think boys could just tell girls what to do and girls had to obey. She had hated the idea of having a penis in her mouth ever since, and had rebuffed Lucas’ few attempts to suggest it in very definite terms.
And yet with no prompting and no knowledge beyond that one foul encounter, she had lavished and licked and swallowed and suckled on his cock until he came into her mouth, letting every drop pour down her throat.
Where had that come from? Teresa’s diaries? But so what if she’d read her grandmother’s diaries? What the hell had possessed her to debase herself the same way?
And what did Lucas think of her? He’d left the bed this morning without waking her or leaving a note. He was probably wondering what had happened to his straight-laced wife that she would suddenly transform into a cock-thirsty whore. Would he even still believe that he had been her first time? How could he? What virginal wife would have ridden her husband the way she had done?
He must be fretting over their marriage right now, probably drinking his fears away or calling his family to tell them it isn’t working. He may have found the diaries Mila left in the study - or worse, chanced upon the wardrobe himself.
Dreading what she might find, Mila forced herself out of bed and into a bathrobe. She padded quietly from the bedroom to the study, relieved at least to find the secret door still closed and the diaries untouched.
Further down, she picked up the faint smell of cooking food. Following it to the kitchen, she found Lucas at one of the many stoves holding a sizzling frying pan.
Lucas looked up and smiled when he saw her.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” he said. “I was hoping to have this ready before you got up. You don’t want breakfast in bed?”
Mila shook her head, relieved to find Lucas not brooding over last night’s events but still tensed for any sudden questions.
“Probably best not to make a mess until the staff come back,” Lucas said, nodding. He plated up the bacon and eggs he had been frying just as the toast popped up, and Mila found herself looking at a hearty breakfast including beans, tomato, mushrooms and a glass of orange juice.
“What’s this for?” she asked, confused.
Lucas shrugged awkwardly as he began cooking another portion.
“Well, last night you said you wanted a favour in return for you… you know…”
Mila blushed. She knew all right.
“And I figure,” Lucas continued. “I mean, I’m not a prude, it’s just… I don’t really feel comfortable… but not like that! It’s… I just don’t think I’d be any good at… you know.”
Mila stared at her husband in confusion.
“You know?” she said.
Lucas shrugged helplessly. “I just don’t want you to have a disappointing experience.”
Very slowly, Mila managed to hear the words her husband wasn’t saying.
“You… don’t want to go down on me?”
Lucas smiled apologetically. “Sorry, darling.”
Mila blinked in surprise. “Oh! Oh, no - that’s fine. That’s perfectly fine! I never expected - I mean, I wasn’t even thinking at the time! I don’t even know what came over me!”
Lucas visibly sagged with relief, plating up his own breakfast and sitting down opposite Mila. “Hey, I don’t know what came over you either,” he said with a chuckle.
Mila froze with the first forkful of food halfway to her mouth. “You don’t… you don’t think it was weird, do you?”
Lucas shook his head, chewing and swallowing his own mouthful before speaking. “I mean, I was surprised but I wouldn’t say it was weird. Not in a bad way.”
Mila hesitated, fork still in the air. “You… You don’t have any questions about… about the stuff I did?”
Lucas gave her a long look, sighed and took her wrist in both hands. “Honey, I don’t care if I’m not you first time or whatever. I love you, and that’s all that matters. You don’t have to be embarrassed about your experience - frankly, I’m a little ashamed about how little I have to bring to the bedroom, but I’m happy to learn with you.”
Mila didn’t know what to say. Lucas had completely the wrong idea, but who could blame him, given the evidence of last night? And there wasn’t any point in trying to convince him of the truth.
“Leave the plate in the sink,” Lucas said, his own plate already empty. “I’ll wash up once I’ve had a look around the garden. You take it easy: Today you’re my princess. That’s my favour to you.”
Mila finally began to eat, if only as an excuse not to speak.
Lucas seemed perfectly happy, and Mila should also be happy that he was happy, but the fact that he hadn’t questioned her more insistently left her feeling strangely isolated.
Alone in the kitchen, Mila finished her breakfast and quietly wondered what the hell was happening to her.