planet her series | masterlist
Summary: You’re already intrigued by the second Bridgerton brother, the artist. So when your favourite modiste tells about his *ahem* game, you need to know just how good he is.
Warnings: this is easily my spiciest fic yet, there’s nothing explicit but reader is pretty horny for Benedict so be aware of that (to be fair so am I), and apparently I can’t even get spicy without sprinkling some angst in there too so watch out for that
A/N: This is purely because of this line in Need to Know by Doja Cat - it’s so much fun to scream in your car at a red light, you get the funniest looks (also we stan asexual/aromantic king William Calthorpe in this household - you’ll get it when you read)
“You really should come to one of Granville’s parties. They’re wonderful fun.” Genevieve says as she kisses your shoulder.
You wouldn’t mind in all honesty, Gen had told you about them before. Plus you enjoyed your trysts with her so much that you’re certain it would be great.
“That artist you’re so obsessed with was there the other night.” She smiles, knowing she’s hooked you.
You turn to face her, “Benedict?”
“Who else my love?”
You give a little hum of surprise.
“I introduced him to Mrs Granville that night, you know.” Genevieve closes her eyes, like she’s reminiscing about something. “He’s rather well-endowed. A ten out of ten in fact. And he’s very educated on female anatomy.”
“Is that so?” When she nods, you kiss her.
Seconds later, you find yourself on your back, your lover pressing kisses down your neck and chest.
“Well if just thinking about a night with him gets you so eager, I should try him out myself.” Your breath falters as you finish your sentence. Genevieve laughs softly before disappearing under the covers.
You’re a relatively close friend of Lady Danbury, she seemed to attract those with awful families. So by default, you were a close friend of Simon Basset and Anthony Bridgerton. This meant that you were invited to all of their soirées, your favourite being birthdays (they often get very rowdy and you tease them relentlessly for it).
This particular occasion is celebrating the birth of baby Edmund, Anthony’s first child with his very beautiful wife.
“Let’s hope he takes after Kate.” You joked when he showed off the baby’s sweet little cheeks.
You wander around after that, finding Lady Danbury with young Daphne Basset (née Bridgerton). The two are taking a turn about the room, Daphne clearly enjoying the company of her surrogate mother-in-law.
You join them, using the opportunity to find the Bridgerton that had been plaguing your dreams.
“How’s William?” Daphne asks.
“Still holding on.” Your husband is well in his 50s, and has been plagued with illness for most of his adult life.
“And what did the doctor say?” Daphne frowns with sympathy.
“He should get his affairs in order.” She rubs your hand where it sits in the crook of her arm.
“I will help you once it happens, dear one.” Lady Danbury smiles, empathy swelling in her eyes.
You respond with your own smile, but it’s not genuine. While you did not love your husband like you should, he is a very dear friend to you.
You finally spot Benedict speaking with the Granvilles and Lord Wetherby. You take your leave from the women, Lady Danbury winking while Daphne looks on, confused.
Lucy notices you first, stepping away from her husband to greet you with a kiss on your cheek.
“Y/N Calthorpe, now you are a sight for sore eyes.” Henry’s warm voice never fails to make you smile.
“It’s wonderful to see you all.” You embrace Sir Granville and Lord Wetherby. “Who’s your friend?” You do a very obvious scan of his body, lingering on his chest and broad shoulders.
Henry stifles a laugh at your flirtatious tone, Genevieve had told Lucy about your crush on the blue-eyed artist and in turn she told her husband.
“Benedict Bridgerton.” The man presses a lingering kiss to your hand, maintaining his intense eye contact. You can’t help but imagine what those lips would feel like elsewhere. His voice is low as he asks, “Have we met before?”
“I’m a friend of Anthony’s.”
“Yes, you’re the one… married to Lord Calthorpe.” His confidence falters. Oh no, the sweet man thinks he’s done something wrong.
You give him a quizzical look. Honestly, how can he be friends with Sir Granville and not understand that sometimes marriage is only a necessity?
Lucy wraps her arm around yours, “No need to look so terrified. They have a similar arrangement to Henry and I.”
The tall man tries to hide his sigh of relief but you’re not blind. He was clearly a little attracted to you, if not as much as you were to him.
“Would you like to dance, Benedict?”
The dance is between pairs thankfully, allowing you to get as close as society deems you can be. It also means you can at least explain yourself to the man you fancy.
“It was arranged by my father.”
“My marriage to Lord Calthorpe.” You smile sadly. “My father was a cruel man who saw William as a way for me to no longer be a disappointment.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m an only child, and so an only daughter. My father’s name ends with him.”
“He’s always wanted sons, so my very birth was disappointing. My mother passed before they could have more children. And so my father’s final vindictive act before he died was to marry me off to a rich old man he thought he could swindle.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” It doesn’t feel empty coming from him, you can see in his face, he genuinely means what he says.
“It’s not your fault. In any case, my father died soon after the wedding, and I’ve been incredibly lucky with Lord Calthorpe. He’s never been interested in anyone, romantically or otherwise.”
The music ends but you find you don’t want to separate from Benedict.
You walk arm in arm, hoping to spend as much time as you can together, “William is one of my dearest friends now, and I love him as such.”
Benedict clears his throat, “I hope I’m not being too forward in asking this, but may I see you again soon?”
You were hoping he’d ask, “Blackstone Hall, tonight. A housemaid will leave the kitchen doors open for you.”
He kisses your hand and your breath catches in your throat.
As you walk away, Lucy teases the young man, “So when’s the wedding?”
Your heart clenches with anticipation for the evening ahead of you.
A few days later, you read Lady Whistledown over breakfast. You rather enjoy the woman’s wit, even if she can be too nosy for your liking.
William takes a deep breath through his nose, “Little one, I would like to talk to you about something.”
You frown, folding the paper gently, “Yes, darling.”
“I feel… There’s something… I just wanted to tell you that I approve of a relationship between you and young Benedict Bridgerton.”
“Is something wrong? What did the doctor say this morning?”
“No, no dear one.” He coughs into a handkerchief, “I’ve just heard you speak of this Benedict before, and I hope you know that I want you to be happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you.”
Tears well in your eyes. You truly loved the man before you. Not romantically, that was never going to happen. But you were incredibly thankful for his kindness and friendship.
You step around the table, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. You’re still worried about him, but when he leans his head into your hip, you cannot help but feel reassured.
“I love you, William.”
“And I love you, little one.”
“Is there anything you need from me?” You watch his face for any changes, any sign he needs you to stay. There’s nothing.
“Well if you’re certain, I would like to visit Genevieve today, I’ll be back for dinner.” You kiss his head and move off, grabbing a maid to help you get ready.
You miss the sad little smile on your husband’s face as he calls for you to “enjoy yourself.”
“You were right. Ten out of ten.” You can’t keep the grin from your face. And the modiste can’t help but notice your lovestruck eyes. You lower your voice, “Like, are we certain he’s just an artist? I mean those arms.”
Genevieve laughs brightly and continues to fold some material, attempting to look hard at work, “Are you going to tell William?”
“I already have.”
“He’s given me his blessing.” You can’t bring yourself to tell her about the rest of the conversation with your husband.
“Oh my love that’s wonderful!” She hugs you tightly, and when she pulls away, she runs her hands down your arms. She smiles mischievously, intertwining your fingers. “I can close the store for a short while. Anything longer than that will have to be without me.”
You’re a little confused but you tease, “I think I can manage.”
You kiss her cheek and head to her room. Laying in her bed, much to your surprise, is the man of the hour. Covered only by a single white sheet.
You clear your throat, “Well now this is something I could get used to.”
He sits up, “I was hoping you’d come up here.” It looks like he’s about to get up so you move quickly, straddling his waist. He wraps his arms your waist. “Genevieve told me you would probably visit today, and we could have some tea together.”
“Oh, tea is it?” You smile. There’s something under the sheet that would suggest otherwise.
You kiss him and when he pulls away, the sweetest flush has bloomed on his cheeks. “I hope it’ll be a little more than just tea, dear Benny.”
“Started without me?” Genevieve jokes as she closes the door behind her, locking it just in case.
“Of course, I’ve been waiting for this all morning.” Benedict can’t look away from you. You tap his cheek lightly, then reach a hand out to Genevieve.
“Let’s enjoy some tea then shall we?”