by Nia Farrell

Length 11,681 words

Originally part of With Love from New Orleans anthology (May 2019).

Single Title Release Date June 6, 2020

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It’s been a horrible day for Ophelia Delacroix in Union-occupied New Orleans. Orphaned, destitute, and responsible for a younger sister and their servant, she’s just been offered a job at an upscale bordello that requires wearing a wig and being called “Pearl.” Accosted as she leaves her interview, she is saved by Federal Cavalry officer Henry Sharp, who offers to escort her safely home.

Ophelia does not correct the second lieutenant’s belief that she is already a high-class prostitute working for Madame Beauvais. That will be true enough tomorrow. Tonight, though, she has a choice and agrees to let Henry buy her—plus extras—for the night. She has no idea what the dominant officer will ask of her.

They’ll learn each other’s secrets soon enough.

War makes strange bedfellows. Henry’s not complaining. This officer is about to discover that his very ungentlemanly offer has bought him much more than he bargained for.

Enemy Mine is the past life of the ghost in Slow Burn by Nia Farrell (http://mybook.to/SlowBurn). An erotic historical BDSM romance written for Ages 18+.

Excerpt from Enemy Mine by Nia Farrell:

Ophelia unlocked her front door and opened it wide. Sally had lit a betty lamp and left it in the foyer. The smell of burning pot liquor reminded her that she couldn’t afford candles or kerosene. Poverty served to steel her resolve.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

“Come in,” she said blithely. Stepping inside with his coat still around her shoulders, she gave him no choice but to follow. She breathed a little easier when he took off his hat and hung it on the hall tree by the entrance. Surely he wouldn’t have done that if he wasn’t intending to stay. “May I offer you something to drink? Water? Whiskey? Wine?”

They had nothing as fancy as fresh lemonade, but she was willing to break out her late father’s last bottle of anything if that’s what Henry wanted.

He smiled softly. “No, thank you.” His gaze fell on her father’s portrait. Taken in his uniform, it was draped in the black crepe of mourning.

Henry looked at his hat, probably questioning the wisdom of entering a Confederate household. “I should get going,” he murmured. “I need to write a full report on tonight. Once again, I apologize for the indignities that you suffered.”

Ophelia wrapped her arms around herself and breathed deeply, immersing herself in Henry’s scent. Reluctantly, she shrugged off his frock coat. Gripping it by the back of the collar, she held it out in silent offering.

He looked at it for a long, telling moment.

When he reached for it, she was slow in letting go.

“Stay,” she whispered.

He sliced a concerned glance at the stairs.

“They’re asleep,” she assured him. “My sister and our maid. We’re all that’s left.”

She felt her throat grow tight with tears and swallowed her grief for everyone that she’d loved and lost. Her parents. Her brothers.

Her fiancé.

Henry pulled on his coat, a long, slow tug that made her lean so far into him, it felt like she was falling.

“I’m not like him,” he murmured.

No, he was night-and-day different from Jefferson. Her fiancé had been a college-educated scholar and an armchair historian. He taught rhetoric and believed in the right of states to choose their destiny. He’d supported secession and had answered the call to arms.

He’d died of cholera without ever seeing a battle.

Henry had fought his way here. Fort Donaldson. Shiloh.  Vicksburg. Raymond. When Farragut’s fleet had slipped past New Orleans and the Confederate troops had withdrawn, there was nothing left to stop the Federal advance but women, children, and men who were too rich, ill, or old to fight.

New Orleans had fallen without a shot.

“How much for the night?”

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson. Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson. Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

Ophelia felt her face grow flush. “Five dollars,” she guessed. Madame Beauvais’s elite clientele paid two dollars for a tryst, double the going rate. Surely five dollars for an entire night was not too much to ask.

He looked at the primitive lamp that they were forced to use. With no coin to spare for candles, they were reduced to burning grease saved from cooking and fish oil when they could get it. The foyer currently smelled of bacon and ham. It was pleasant, at least, compared to some of the drippings they used.

“Five dollars,” he nodded slowly.

Well, that was easy enough.

She released the breath that she’d been unconsciously holding.

Just when she considered their bargain struck, Henry upped his game, asking, “And what if I want more?”


Anything was possible, she supposed.

“Then we’ll talk,” she said. If tonight went well, hopefully, he would want more. If he wanted much more… if they could come to an understanding and agree to exclusivity, she might not have to prostitute herself with other men.

The thought gave her hope.

Henry took his coat and nodded. “Lead the way.” His voice had grown deeper, hoarser. His whole body seemed to vibrate, pulsing with desire.

Picking up the betty lamp, she lifted the front of her skirt and preceded him up the stairs.

Sally slept in the servants’ quarters behind the kitchen. Juliette’s door was closed when they passed it. Ophelia’s room was at the far end of the hall. The other rooms housed only the ghosts of those who’d gone before.

Henry looked around her comfortably furnished space and nodded his approval. She liked order and kept things tidy, allowing herself two books at a time from the library, otherwise, she would be drowning in them. Before the war, she had considered becoming a governess, teaching needlework, watercolors, and literature to young, impressionable minds. Juliette was all that was left to her. Whatever she did now, she did for her.

She would see that her little sister kept her innocence, whatever the cost.

Ophelia shut the door behind them and turned the key.

She left it in place. Her guest would need it, should he wish to let himself out.

Henry spread his frockcoat on the back of a chair. Removing his embroidered leather gloves, he laid them on the seat. His nimble fingers untied his cravat. Reaching for the buttons of his waistcoat, he slipped them through the linen-bound holes. When the two sides fell free, he shrugged it off. Removing his pocket watch and setting it on the bedside table, he added his vest to his spindled valet.

Unbuckling his leathers, he hung his gun and sword off the chair back, draping one belt over each corner. She watched with rapt attention when he unwound the red officer’s sash and unbuttoned the placket of his shirt.

Her mouth went dry at the tantalizing glimpse of his manly chest. She licked her lips, feeling suddenly very thirsty.

“Are you certain that you don’t want some water?” she croaked, wondering how he could be so calm when something so momentous was about to happen. But his seamless motions were like the smooth surface of a lake where danger lurked in the deep. She glimpsed it first when he pinned her with his gaze, unfastened the belt that held his pants, doubled it, and weighed it in his hand.

“What do I get for my money?” he asked. Fishing a five-dollar piece from his pocket, he laid it on her washstand.

His query caught her off-guard. She didn’t know how to answer him except with another question. “What is it that you want?”

Henry chuffed and angled his head. There was an intensity about his face that was arresting. Mesmerizing. When he spoke, his words seemed tinged with regret.

“Probably more than you’re willing to give.”

Ophelia searched his gaze, wondering what he meant by that singularly cryptic remark. She appreciated that he was being forthright, but his frankness was disturbing because of the questions it raised.

She was rattled to think just how little she knew about this man.

Determined to not show her unease, she lifted her chin with false bravado. “Technically speaking, I’m not giving you anything, not if you’ve paid.”

“But paid for what?” Musing over the question he posed, he came to where she stood, shaking in her shoes and wondering if she’d made a terrible error in judgment. He reached for her throat and closed his fingers lightly around it in a show of possession. “What if I want the French treatment and have you suck me?” he murmured. “What if I want to fuck your mouth, screw your pussy, and bugger your ass?”

Having her mouth and her womanhood used was expected. Madame Beauvais had been very clear on that point. But sodomy…?

The idea of something so taboo sent waves of gooseflesh rippling over her skin.

Henry smiled darkly at her reaction. “You’re a dirty girl,” he said. “A naughty girl. I should spank your bottom for the risk you took tonight. You could have been beaten. Raped. Killed,” he growled. “I want to tie you to your bed and keep you there… at my mercy. All. Night. Long. I’d like to take your every orifice and mark you with my seed. How much?”

She stared at him, speechless. No man had ever said such things to her. No one had ever wanted what he did.

Unnatural lusts.

She’d heard whispers but not details. Nothing that could have prepared her for this intimate glimpse into Henry’s baser appetites.

And if I want more? he had asked her.

Now she knew. Knew what he wanted. What would please him. What he found exciting. Arousing.



Ultimate possession.

Claiming her in every way that he could.

She would not leave this room the same.

“Twenty,” he grated. “Five plus fifteen for the extras.”

Holy Mother of Pearl.

Henry wanted to tie her up and have his way with her. He was willing to pay good money to do it. Twenty Federal dollars that had value, not worthless Confederate scrip.

She could buy food and firewood and a candle for Juliette’s birthday cake.

Ophelia was nothing if not practical.

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