Taken from her island home - where her father reigned as King, disobedience caused Princess Ceś alena her freedom. Kept seperate from the other slaves along with a small group of young women, considered, "fancies" her new life begins when she is won in a poker game and delivered into the hands of Maynard Ramsey Webster. From the very beginning of her arrival at Webster Fields - all who looked upon her, knew that there was something special about her, and as for the master's son, Manny, he especially knew from the first day of looking into her eyes, that nothing for him, or his life, would ever been the same.
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Webster Fields Introduction Page
Princess Ceś alena, you’ve touched my heart,
enslaved my soul, right from the start.
Your smile so bright, your eyes boldly gold,
but to love you not, is what I’m told.
Your skin so brown, so smooth, so soft,
and in all of my dreams, within you I am lost.
Oh yes it is true, a white man I be,
the spell that you’ve cast, I’ve tried to break free.
God only knows of my struggle to kill,
and deny you the love, in my heart that I feel.
Manny I am, a powerful man,
not often moving from where ever I stand.
Then Lena comes, a blinding light,
my strength I then lose, and no longer think right.
Before me she is, I can’t understand,
how weak I become, from one touch of her hand.
Okay, I give up, and admit I am through,
for each day that passes, I find myself falling,
deeper, and deeper … in love with you.
Written by, Mercedes Keyes
Book one center's around Manny's struggle to ignore his growing love, for his negro slave, or bed-wench - Lena. Sold from her Island home where her father ruled as king. Tossed in with other captured negro prisoners, she ends up as property to the Webster's. Due to Morris's gambling habit, where he wins the lot. Ruing the day that he had, from the first moment he set eyes on the negro wench, his forecast of events to come were dead on. This one was different, knowing this, dread washed over him, fearing for his son. Soon chain of events began to take place, and with one event after the other, nothing would ever be the same again for Webster Fields. Especially once his son, gave up the fight denying his love for her, costing him a price that other's as well would have to pay. All taking place on the plantation, Webster Fields, the home of Manny and Lena, where they struggle to live and love in a world where such passion, loyalty and devotion between a master and his slave is forbidden and taboo. Together with every breath they take, they go against convention to keep true what they deeply feel between them. A desire, an obsession so strong, they will face hell to stay together. Their story, is a real love story!
Now, he lay in bed looking at the ceiling…he couldn’t sleep; his homecoming was incomplete, and unfulfilling. Lena had been nowhere to be seen among the others; but then, how could he have expected anything more? Nor had his son been there. ’She could have at least allowed me to see my son.’ He thought petulantly. He had no one else to blame but himself, he knew this… after all, how could she possibly leap into his arms in joy that he’d returned when beside him stood his wife.
Turning his head in bed he gazed at her once more as she lay there sleeping on her side away from him. She was a beautiful woman; her heavy, black, silky hair, flowing down her back and onto the bed; reaching almost to her waist. She was everything a man would want in a woman, reason he couldn’t understand his problem with her. Making love to her should have been a pleasure, yet it was an uncomfortable affair…he hadn’t been that way before. Before, Lena that is. The moment her name crossed his mind, it happened again, that old familiar feeling that gripped him every time he thought of her. The room suddenly felt stuffy as if he couldn’t breathe. He rolled to his side and sat up. He sat there a few moments with his forehead resting in his palms staring at the dark floor. Taking a deep breath he turned to look at his wife, she was sleeping soundly, he turned back rising from the bed.
Walking over to the captain’s chest in his room there sat decanters of cognac, port and scotch whiskey and two glasses. He poured himself a shot of brandy and threw it to the back of his throat, and then poured a second one to sip more slowly. It was late, past midnight, everyone would be asleep.
Moments ticked by with him standing, nude, staring at his dim reflection cast in the mirror. He noted his disheveled hair from a restless attempt at sleep, accompanied by a day’s growth of beard. Disgruntled he combed his fingers through his hair, feeling a need to do something. Oblivious to his nudity he found himself slipping out onto his balcony; there was a cool drizzle falling, chilling the air that he welcomed against his hot skin.
It was really dark, neither the moon nor the stars could be seen because of the hovering clouds and foggy mist hanging thick and heavy. Sipping again, he couldn’t stop himself from peering through the night in the direction of her cabin that could be otherwise seen from his vantage point; the reason he had built her cabin where he could see her, and vice versa. There was a sudden break in the fog that lent him a brief view of a lantern light shining from what he knew was her cabin. She was awake…that confirmed it.
‘Are you alone? Would any man dare to approach you knowing…that… you are mine?’ Manny swallowed the sudden lump in his throat, his face turning red – realizing he had no further right to such a statement; he couldn’t get himself to care about the rights and wrongs of his thinking. ‘You wouldn’t do that to me…you couldn’t. You love me…I know you - love me.’ Manny closed his eyes at the thought; he knew and had always known that he was loved by her. But her pride, her spirit and life of privilege would not allow her to be anything less than what she was to him; she was a glowing prize to be won over and not easily …no…not at all easy.
It was that, that made him certain, that she would never roll over to another from him. Even when it was he who freed her to do so; she was too proper and…loyal. Manny turned re-entering his room, involuntarily shivering as his body stood glistening slick from standing in the moist drizzle, then chill bumps raced over him, making him take the last sips of brandy. Already the drink was loosening him up a bit, relaxing him, in a sense, freeing him. Quietly he dressed himself, exiting their room like a thief in the night, slipping down the back service stairs, along the hall to the kitchen and out the back door.
Skipping across the damp lawn to avoid small puddles he was further across than he realized, stopping just short of the porch; afraid to go any further for what he might find. Because of the thick fog, all he could see was the bottom steps, but the breeze stirred to clear an opening when a frightened scream lit the air, cut immediately short.
Lena had been unable to sleep knowing that right across the lawn in the mansion he slept with his wife. Though at first she fought it, she was compelled to come out and look up at his room’s balcony as she’d done many times before; only to be frightened by his un-expected presence.
“Lena! It is just me - I’m – I’m sorry it was not my intent to startle you.” He apologized quickly realizing what had happened. At the same time humiliation washed over him. After all…he was a married man now, not by his own will… but because of the will of his father; because of the restrictive constraints and limitations imposed upon him by the society he found himself in. Already feelings of resentment stirred within due to being forced to sneak around his own domain while his conscience burned. Where previous, he was a man in his own right - with no one to answer to for the choices he made. Now - he must feel ashamed for this thing he could not control concerning Lena. He’d always tried to live in a way that kept his character above moral reproach and shame. Here he was, becoming the very type of man, he’d always despised. Yet…he moved closer instead of turning and fleeing before it was too late.
Lena stood stunned in disbelief that he was actually there, her insides knotted up at the sight of him. “What are you doing here?” She asked in quiet tones, trying to control her sudden deep breathing.
“I - I could not sleep…I noticed your lantern on.”
“What do you want?”
“Is - is Mikey sleeping?” Feelings of ridiculousness made him color red as soon as the words left his mouth, but he was stumbling over several feelings that he could not sort out at that moment. Because of his present circumstances, everything about his confidence faltered, angering him again.
“Manny? What else would he be? The hour is late, of course he is sleeping. You can see him tomorrow… please…I need you to leave.”
Unexplained anger shot through him. “Why?! Do you have someone in there?!” He climbed the first step in a threatening manner, feeling heat flush him once more. Lena was stunned by his show of anger and the audacity of it, suddenly her own indignation rose.
“What - I – do, in my cabin is no longer any of your affair! If you need reminding, I am free - to do as I wish, with whomever - I wish!”
“When it comes to my son…it is and will always be - my affair!”
“It is late and I will not have this dispute with you, fine…the only person within my cabin is my son-…”
“Our son!” He reminded her.
“…-and he is sleeping. You can see him tomorrow.” She informed him again.
Aggression swept him as he blurted, “I will see him anytime I damn well please! You will not dictate to me when it is that I may come to see him.”
Lena stood bristling in anger…she wasn’t sure why he was there at this time of night, but she couldn’t handle it. It was obvious that breaking her heart and humiliating her was not enough for him. He was back to inflict more injury to her soul. She felt as if he were ripping her from the inside out. She turned from him trying still to bring her breathing under control but could not; he had that effect on her. She needed something to hold onto and went to one of the supporting posts on either side of the steps, grabbing hold of it as if it were a lifesaver. She couldn’t look at him, but spoke with a trembling voice. “Manny – please – I haven’t a care of what you do, go…go see your son… just - leave me be.” She sounded tired, weak, beaten, without the usual spirit to challenge him as she always had. He stood gazing at her feeling like a heel; overwhelming emotions prevented him from saying anything more.
Unable to think of what more he could do, or say, he pretended his son was his intent from the start and softly passed her to enter the cabin. He strolled through the gently lit dwelling noticing how neat and precise everything was – as it had always been. Though filled with so many things he’d tried providing to keep her in the style she deserved, it wasn’t overcrowded …yet it looked far from belonging to a slave. He had indulged her to the limit…and still, he felt it wasn’t enough. For what he knew of her, she shouldn’t be in a cabin…but a mansion.
Walking around the screen at the end of the long room, he smiled, glad that he had used his son to buy time. He knelt on the floor beside him, placing his face close to his, staring up close. “God I love you…my son…my son…I love you.” He whispered gently, stroking his hair back from his forehead. He smelled good, his hair shone and his skin was fresh and clean. He chuckled, Lena bathed the boy nightly, and as he grew…she made him bathe himself nightly. Yet the world he’d come from, it wasn’t unusual for them to go weeks without bathing, at the most weekly. His mother was one who believed daily, as well Kayleen who insisted upon it, and he was proud to know that Lena was the same. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to his head; his eyes closed as he froze there next to his son, inhaling the scent of him. Another stroke to the head and he leaned away standing.
Lena stood with her arms around the post, her grip even tighter as she heard him exiting her cabin. She wanted to wipe away the tracks of her tears; prayed that he wouldn’t see them drip from her chin. She knew that any second now, he would step down off of her porch and cross the yard, returning to his wife. Closing her eyes, she prayed for God’s help not to call out his name…not to beg him to stay. If only for a moment to hold her. Shame washed over her, it seemed she was now, without pride, all dignity stripped from her with the burning desire burning her soul. What she was aching for; was morally wrong; not only that…but she should no longer be willing to compromise her dignity and self-respect. Any moment now…any moment…she waited. She knew he’d come out. She’d heard the closing of the door but now, there was just silence. What was he doing? She couldn’t turn around to look at him…she was much too weak.
“Please…I beg you…I beg you - please.” The words were softly spoken, right over her head, following the words, were his hands, gripping her upper arms, gently, but urgently pulling her away from the post and against his strong warm body. “Please…I cannot help what I feel, do not, please do not turn me away…I beg you don’t. If I could deny myself what only you can do to ease this…I would…God knows that I would. Please Lena… Please.” He pleaded against her back, pressing against her; his chin and cheek pressing, rubbing against her head, rubbing his nose into her hair to inhale her.
Lena felt dizzy, her system was under assault and she began to shake, she thought her knees would buckle from the wrestling of trying to keep from giving in. “No, I cannot, please – I will not! Leave me alone - go back to your wife.” She pleaded, then cried out as he spun her roughly to face him. His eyes were wide, desperate, pleaing, through glanced teeth he swore, “I cannot – damn you – I cannot bear this! I am only human!!!” He held her tightly, her shoulders bunched from his tight grip to her upper arms. “You are mine, you have always been-…”
“No! Not anymore! You chose her – over me! Now go to her!”
“I cannot! Do you hear! I cannot! You are mine! You are all I have ever wanted! By God and all the angels know it is true! You are - all - I’ve - ever-...” All restraint gone, his mouth crashed down onto hers, Lena resisted, tried to, turning away from him sobbing. He pulled her in closer, backed her against the wall of her cabin, insisting upon kissing her, he would not stop, he would not yield, he would not leave her, not this time. It was too much, the aching, the need. His next pursuit of her mouth, she gave in, both of them sucking in the essence of the other as if lost in a desert and on the verge of death…needing to find water – they sucked in deep. His hold on her was crushing and painful ... yet it was still not tight enough for either. Equally, one wished to merge into the other, and then still it would not be close enough. The fog seemed to close in around them; the desperation they felt would not let them wait. Manny lifted her upon the rail against the wall of the cabin, kissing her madly as she held onto him. Without hesitating her legs went around him as his hands worked her short nightdress up beneath her robe, he tore at her pantaloons, forcing away the barrier that kept him from the deepest part of her.