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  1. Yesterday
  2. Margaret Sinclair

    Emerging-morning 13th of April (open)

    The galloping horse rushing past gained what would be classified as a frown as the kicked up dirt most likely landed if not on, than in the vicinity of her dress, and that was terribly rude. As was the sudden thud to her shin! Looking downward, violet eyes met those of a young canine. Long silky ears and coat marked the creature as a spaniel of some sort. Squatting down, she said, "Well, at least you ran into me and not into those horses. I don't believe you would have been the winner in that contest." Still in that position, she looked up at the other blond lady speaking to her, tilting her head slightly as she noted the creature sitting on the woman's shoulder. "I should hope my shins are made of sterner stuff than to take damage from a small puppy's head. Against your shoulder adornment, that I would not take bets on." Before the puppy to make a mad dash away, as puppies are wont to do, she pinched the skin at the back of the neck where a mother dog would pick up her pups then slid her hand under the belly to lift. Their nearest neighbors had been Dutch, having lived in New York when it was New Amsterdam, and they had a pair of Kooikerhondje which were similar in shape to spaniels. She stood up. "Do you have something that," she lifted the puppy for a moment to peek beneath, "she won't slip out of easily? If not, I'm sure my maid won't mind running back to my rooms to fetch a large bracelet and long chain necklace to fashion a quick one to keep your escape artist from trying her tricks."
  3. Last week
  4. Cordelia Lucas

    Newcastle House, Tuesday 2 PM, Marriage Talks Part Two

    She smiled across at the Duchess pleased that things were ending on this positive note. It could so easily have gone the other way. "A month is but a suggestion Your Grace. It can easily be changed. If you are fortunate in your investigations then let us agree to meet earlier." "Much depends upon Lady Margaret as well. But I think, now that she is aware that we are aware of her 'ideas', she will become more manageable going forward." "We have to take into account that she has learned things from those of her own sex - wrongly or rightly - and so it will be part of my task to ensure that she is better prepared and understands fully what will be expected of her.' "And you must also see that she receives education is areas that she is lacking ..... beyond that of Dance and sewing and musical instruments." "She needs must learn how to keep accounts and the managing of servants." "This is vital for she is young and easly taken advantage of by those employed by her husband - they will assume that she knows nothing and so cheat at every turn." "Let her learn by your side Your Grace. She will be an adpt pupil." She gave her thanks at the invitation extended. She would finish her tea and then take her leave. Another such appointment was upon the morrow and she needed to rearrange her notes based upon the conversation here.
  5. Charles Audley

    You Asked For It | Tuesday April 12, late at night

    Charles was altogether too absorbed in his task to sense his danger, striving to make clear his abject submission to Juliana's will. It was less about the physical sensation than the spectacle of his debasement, the illustration of his place beneath his Venus. He had miscalculated there, but, focused as he was and unwilling to break character and look Juliana in the face without express permission, he could not tell. He nuzzled plaintively at her calves as his lips traced a meandering path up along the sinfully smooth flesh towards her thighs. He tarried there, not to tease, but again out of a sense of worshipful thoroughness. The lack of response was... disconcerting, and the small corner of his mind that was still wholly himself appreciated the artistry of that torment on multiple levels. The feeling he could only vaguely identify as nervousness was as delicious as it was unfamiliar. At last, though, his servile diligence was satisfied and he moved on to his ultimate goal, placing his lips at the juncture of her thighs and setting to with fervour.
  6. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    'I see you would 'ave my curiosity satisfied,' Victorine replied with a wide smile upon her lips. La baronne rouged a little under Lady Kendishall's indulgence and instinctively she put a hand to her cheek, cooling what was starting to bloom there. 'And I thank you greatly for it. It would be an 'oneur of mine to attend.' While Victorine was not a merry widow in her actions; could she be in danger of earning the reputation? As to the question as to where they should seek a refreshment, Victorine was thankful for the opportunity to quiz her companion. 'Is it true that ladies are barred from some établissements; like Eve from le jarden d'Eden?' Even in France, the salons did not occur without the salonnières. 'Per'aps the Lion rouge?' Margaret, approaching The approaching lady struck her bulls eye. But then Victorine supposed, for a stroll in the Sun it was odd to be without a parasol. Catching sight of the scarlet material, Victorine slanted her careful blue eyes sideways towards Caroline. Her impossibly blue eyes rested there for just a moment before she moved her gaze towards Margaret as the lady spoke. La baronne had never heard English spoken in such a manner. Low, flat, arched short vowels, very much like what she had heard amongst the Flemmings quarter at Calais. It took Victorine a moment to catch the meaning of the words. 'I am Victorine Folle, Lady Ballater; and this is Lady Kendishall,' a flattering gesture was made towards her blonde companion, 'you 'ave saved London from further chaos I think. I am very grateful that you brought 'im back to me.' If the sullied, errant parasol was offered back to her, Victorine would take it into hand to inspect the damage. However, she did not seek to explain the reason as to why it would in flight after all. Victorine hoped Margaret would draw her own - false - conclusion. Assured that the maid was not harmed, Victorine gave a little sigh of relief. This new acquaintance seemed well to do, fashionable even. Amongst these two fashionably dressed women; Victorine felt like she was an odd fish. While she had just spent ample coin that morning on a wardrobe, she had yet to be garbed in them. Her current ivory dress had a higher neckline than was fashionable, with a decidedly old-fashioned cut and lace, arranged in a very common fashion, at the sleeves. it made her seem more matronly, beyond her twenty five years. 'Will you join us for a cup? Lady Kendishall and I wish to revive our spirits?'
  7. Francis was not shy in helping himself to the generous offerings. He had been going hither and thither all day without much of a pause for drink! "I am not surprised an Oxfordian failed to come up with a better quip than that," Francis teased. "Perhaps I should dress down to my sleeves to put you at better ease, but who knows what any ladies happening by might think then," he added, as Mountjoy mentioned his discomfort again. With a smile, he continued, "Then you call feel assured I have nowhere to hide the cards either." He paused, "And freer movement with which to stop any evildoers too." He was, after all, the (former) captain of a ship. They did not oft fight dressed from toe to chin, though he could fight in any state. "Your lady wife is, indeed, an enviable woman," Francis complimented, for what else was a gentleman to say. One had to be both polite but no so complimentary as to see too...interested. That could be a slippery slope, for some were quick to offense in regard to their women. Francis raised an eyebrow as Lord Mountjoy asked him about the method of their duty. "I should think we do what is normal for two gentlemen playing cards, my lord," he said. "We are not supposed to do anything odd, and if our presence deters any attacks, I think we would have served our purpose to His Majesty in protecting the Queen." Then he chuckled and said, "You Oxfordians like lurking about in the dark hiding rather than meeting your foes head on?" In truth, Francis had not considered benefitting himself by catching any assassins. It was not his way. That was likely why all though him a neophyte at this intrigue business. "Is that how you lot steal other's academic work too? Hiding about in the dark alcove before sneaking in and reading all the secrets?" He smiled to reinforce that he was speaking only in jest. He found Lord Mountjoy to be exceedingly upright, youthful exploits aside.
  8. Sophia de la Cerda

    Emerging-morning 13th of April (open)

    So far so good. Except for the stares. Sophia didn’t mind them, though. She would stare too if she saw a lady walking a puppy and a monkey at the same time. With Aurora’s leash in one hand and Diva’s ribbon wrapped around the other, she strolled down the path toward the duck pond. She was curious as to whether she would be able to handle the sight of water now that she was on her way to overcoming her fear of it. The last time she had been there was last spring and she had been so terrified that she had nearly fainted long before the pond came into view. This time would be different. She felt that it was important to expose herself to water more often so that eventually it would not scare her at all. It would probably be close to two years before she traveled to Spain again. There was plenty of time to completely conquer her fear. She would have a child then and it was imperative that she was no longer anxious around large bodies of water. If possible, she needed to learn to swim, so that her fate would not be the same as her poor mother's. And today she would be distracted by her two pets. Since both of them needed walking, why not take them out together? Diva’s collar and leash was not ready yet, but the braided ribbon she had brought when the King had given the spaniel to her would suffice until then. It was tied securely around the puppy’s neck, but not so tight it would choke her if she pulled at the end of it. The petite singer would not let her go like she had done yesterday, giving her no opportunity for mischief. Sophia kept them on either side of her, not yet trusting them to interact. She had only received Diva two days ago and Aurora was a bit wary of her barking and boundless energy. The golden lion tamarind spent most of her time up high, generally perched upon the beams of her canopy bed, cautiously surveying the newcomer. They had both behaved themselves in the carriage. Diva had sat on Anna’s lap while Aurora draped herself around her mistress’ shoulders. Her maidservant walked behind her now, ready to take one of the leashes if either puppy or monkey got out of hand. It was a slow walk, as she had to stop when either animal found something interesting to sniff. The young Countess smiled at the people who passed her. Some of them looked at her instead of her pets, hopefully admiring her sense of fashion. Today she wore a gown of lavender and blue striped silk, adorned with pink fabric flowers around the neckline, the bottom of her elongated bodice, and below each of the three puffs of her long sleeves. A wide pink ribbon encircled her expanding waist, tied into a bow with its ends trailing to her hemline. Atop her flaxen curls, she wore a cream-colored wide-brimmed hat, decorated with pink flowers and blue and lavender feathers. A simple necklace of pearls and a pair of matching earrings comprised her jewelry. Hanging from the center of the necklace was the cameo featuring her own profile that Juan had commissioned for her last year. A lady and a gentlemen on horseback galloped past them, startling both animals. Aurora hissed and leapt to her shoulder. Diva slipped out of her collar and darted ahead, running straight into a blonde lady wearing a gray dress. The spaniel landed on her butt, gazing up at the woman with big bright eyes. Sophia hurried over. “I’m sorry, my lady. I hope my puppy did not cause you harm.”
  9. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    Lead Me Not Into Temptation | Tuesday April 12, 2 pm

    Oh yes, Lord Silverbridge had seen her gaze. That disarming smile confirmed her suspicions. Perhaps without knowing her own intentions, Anne-Elisabeth had wanted him to notice. Whether accidentally on purpose of purposefully on accident, his reaction was alluring. And that, she believed had been no accident. “Most places have a story to tell,” she agreed, “but if we encounter one that doesn’t, it is our obligation to give it one.” That comment, she hoped, aroused his imagination … and other parts of him. “There seems to be an intrinsic understanding between us.” Her hand drifted slowly down his sleeve and briefly touched his wrist before meandering back to his elbow. “Maybe it was not serendipity that brought us together at church. If my mind was ruled by fancy rather than logic, I might believe that it was meant to be.” Lord Silverbridge’s innuendo was delectable. “Very well, we shall luxuriate in the delights of the garden and allow it to surprise us with its wonders.” He seemed quite interested in the labyrinth. “No, I don’t know it well. I found it last winter but it was so cold that I thought it best to leave before I got lost and froze to death.” Anne-Elisabeth smiled mischievously. “I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about freezing while I am with you.” So their destination was up to her. “Then the labyrinth it is. There is supposed to be a fountain in its center. Let’s see if we can find it.” She began to guide Lord Silverbridge down the path toward it. “Do you like to study the stars, my lord? I adore astronomy myself. What does the night sky look like in the colonies? Can you see the constellations clearly or are they usually hidden by clouds as they are here in England?”
  10. Aria

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    “I have no doubt that we have unwittingly hired a professional spy or two,” Lisa shrugged. “All powerful families are covertly monitored. We should consider it a point of pride that they have been placed in our midst. It means we are rising in prestige and influence.” Those informers would find out nothing that they wished to hide, only what they choose to publicly reveal. She was a bit paranoid herself. “What I meant was that our servants have been carefully selected for loyalty. Of course they would do the King’s will if he asked them for information about us, but I don’t think they would accept bribes from the average courtier.” Louis disagreed with her about sending Margaretha away. Perhaps it would be a step in the right direction, but it wouldn’t solve the problem. The suspicions would still be there. They weren’t going away unless her Dutch ward was proved innocent. Lisa had promised the girl a new beginning and a better life, things that were impossible in the Netherlands simply because she had been born on the wrong side of the blanket. Now she was being accused of something that had nothing to do with her illegitimacy but everything to do with her nationality. The fact that some of those allegations had come from French lips did not surprise her. The rumors had possibly originated with the Duc and moved up into the royal circle to deliberately put distance between the King and his most loyal gentlemen. Lisa didn’t think that the Basildons were the only family being lied about. Maybe their latest plot involved isolating the monarch from the courtiers he trusted, save those like Buckingham who were trusted implicitly. She could not even guess at their plans. They would probably not try to kill him again, but perhaps influencing him to take their side against the Dutch was their goal. Louis agreed not to send Margaretha away immediately. Most of the responsibility of proving her ward’s loyalty would fall on Lisa, but that was as it should be. Margaretha was more likely to confide in her than in him, and it wasn’t proper for a gentleman to search a young lady’s room and go through her possessions. His part would consist mainly of hiring an actor to impersonate a spy who would naturally report back to him. “Agreed.” Squeezing his hands, she let go and again took his arm so that they could continue their slow stroll through the gardens. “I still think she is innocent of any wrongdoing, but we do have to be completely certain of her. Perhaps you can find other ways to test her too. You might also mention to Buckingham that you don’t mind if he employs his own methods to test her. He has the King’s ear and if he finds out that she’s loyal to us, the King will believe him.”
  11. Juliana enjoyed the way Charles tried to pull away from her. He knew that she would never truly hurt him, yet he played his part so well that she could almost believe he was deeply humiliated for disappointing her. Idly, she wondered if he had timed his late arrival on purpose, longing for this very outcome. His whimpers intensified the desire within her and she smirked at him wickedly before letting him go. Perhaps he was intent on disappointing her again so that he could feel her whip kiss his flesh once more. Charles spent what seemed like an eternity worshiping her feet. Juliana's ardor began to give way to boredom. She felt like lashing his back but true torment was not giving one what one wanted. Her hand remained at her side and she reacted not at all. His lips began to move upward. Had he been teasing her by paying so much attention to her feet? Her skin tingled beneath his kisses, and the dwindling flame within her rekindled. Still she did not react, curious to see how far Charles would go to convince her that he deserved another chance to serve the goddess of love.
  12. Aria

    Newcastle House, Tuesday 2 PM, Marriage Talks Part Two

    Lady Newcastle was pleased that Cordelia wanted to meet with Margaret more than once. Perhaps her daughter would be more forthcoming with the other woman and she would gain insights into her true personality. And it could work in Lady Lucas’ favor too, if she wished to arrange marriages for other young ladies. Being seen with with Margaret would show she truly cared about the girls and wanted them to be happy with the decisions made for them. The Duchess had heard that Lady Basildon wanted to meet with Cordelia to discuss prospects for her Dutch ward. Perhaps others would follow. “Yes, please keep me informed of your progress. In a month, the investigations should be complete and the list of candidates will likely be quite a bit smaller.” Her husband might want to look into the backgrounds of the gentlemen he was willing to consider. It was much easier to investigate a gentleman if one was also of the male persuasion. If he asked to her handle it, she had many contacts she could call upon. Either way, no stone would remain unturned. “The spring season usually doesn’t end until the His Majesty's birthday, so we should be able to meet before then. In case it ends early, you are more than welcome to visit our estate.”
  13. Earlier
  14. (OOC - since it's taken me awhile to get this thread up, I'm going to let Victorine timestamp it so that it will fit in her schedule. Just indicate the day and time in your reply post, and I'll edit it in.) Safe in the knowledge that Charlie was being occupied by his uncles in the nearby Volary Gardens, she made her way into the relative sanctuary of the Walled Gardens. Away from the noises of the birds. It was empty when she entered. The large willow was always an enchanted sight. She was unused to being in such small spaces with her son, who now seemed really quite wild. Feral even. Far better suited to the countryside. Though most were none-the-wiser things were quieter than they usually would be. She had been looking forward to the wild parties that secreted the night. If one was to be at court, that was one of the perks. Even if it was quite odd that her father could also show up at any one of such parties. Such was life. Neither were the sort to feel scandalized. Thinking of that, when she passed near to the grotto, she called out, "If anyone is having a rendezvous in there, be aware you are no longer alone!" Her voice then turned to an amused giggle. Clearly, she did not truly think anyone was in there right that moment.
  15. "I more meant Lord Ranelagh's cousins," Francis replied. "I do not know very much about the duke, but I had not been thinking of him since he is not here..." He considered this. "I do not know how much His Majesty would stomach the idea..." Monmouth was indeed amongst the Dutch, but he had not heard a word of suspicion against him; though that would make sense, for the King had a soft spot for his eldest son, legitimate or not. "I would not feel silly about that. There are so many personages to keep track of, after all." He was not sharp enough about intrigue to ask what else she had been speaking about, and he was not gathering information from her either. As to chapel, Francis speculated with a large laugh, "It shall be the one time the Duke of Buckingham is awake in chapel!!!" He did eventually nod that there were far more people there to protect His Majesty at chapel than Albemarle. "I never said she did not have good reason! I surely do not blame her for it. Though she has had the last laugh for she has extracted a promise from His Majesty to keep my feet on land...and without much difficulty either." As Nicci mentioned he was an exile of exile, his eyebrow raised in appreciation of the turn of phrase for it was exactly what he had been. He had also been an exile of the restored court once that had happened. "I think it likely those very difficulties which had the King say that he would keep me occupied here, and he does have quite the soft spot for the ladies." He chuckled when Nicci praised him for telling her. "Well, it would have been difficult not to, for we needed my grandfather's permission as we weren't of age, and she was living there too. So......" He shrugged with a boyish grin. "She listened at the door, actually." His mother had never been shy or one to stand around. "I would not have left without saying goodbye though."
  16. Margaret Sinclair

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    Based on the fine quality of the fabric used, the ribbon tied to it and the pearl button, Margaret figured the owner of the item must be well-to-do. With that in mind, she turned and headed back the way she came from, not bothering to check if her maid followed. It was a given. Still attired in the light grey walking dress she had donned earlier, her own parasol protecting her pale features, she slowly made her way back towards the construction. Margaret was never one to move in haste. Speed tended to apply to those with more intense emotions, of which she was rather lacking. It wasn't as if she thought she would never be excited. She just hadn't found anything that moved her in such a way, besides play with her father's then husband's funds. And even that was mostly coolly calculated. As she neared the structure, she noted two ladies emerge. They were obviously ladies (or wives or mistresses of very wealthy men) and did appear to be missing one parasol among them. "I beg your pardon, my ladies," she said, her accent definitely not pure English, "are one of you missing a wayward parasol? One seemed to find the head of my maid an appropriate landing space. No damage done," she said, waving vaguely over her shoulder at her maid, who bobbed a curtsey as she dropped her hand from the back of her head, hiding the spot of blood on her palm in her dress. "I just wish to return the rascal to the rightful owner." All of this said with just the barest smile on her lips that, if one looked closely, didn't quite make it to her eyes. "Who know what sort of havoc it could wreck if allowed to run free?" Gah, how annoying it was to have to act like she cared! Really, emotions were wastes of energy that could be put to better use. But, Papa said people liked emotions in others.
  17. Caroline Despanay

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    It was time to head back down then, they had enjoyed the view and her fresh acquaintance had tossed down her parasol, time to move on. So the two ladies then began the long descent. At least it was easier on the lungs then climbing all those stairs had been. Busy paying attention to the myriad steps as they worked their way down the winding staircase, they did not converse. Until they emerged from the monument and in the park once more. "That was fun!" Caroline announced with a smile. The two of them both seemed to take one last gaze upward as if perhaps to seal the memories of this event in their minds forever? Victorine spoke first asking if she would care to join her for a drink? Why, Caroline was never one to turn down a drink. Why she might even accept a drink from a Spaniard? No, perhaps not, that would be going too far. "Yes, a lovely idea! Do you know a place?" she was quite aware most drinking houses were frequented only by men. So unfair of course! But then the other woman leaned in to whisper, 'what does a wild party look like?' Caroline chuckled, "Well........they look like MY parties. You must come to one sometime. If you like I shall invite you to my next one." "However of course there are other courtiers who share my .........taste for such occasions. I can also make sure that when I am asked to the next one that I make certain you too receive an invitation. You know I fear my husband to be will not be attending such parties, he does not seem the sort to enjoy such things," she shrugged. ooc: Feel free to approach anytime, Margaret!
  18. Blackguard

    Easter 1678 | Easter Monday (11th all day)

    Churchill was surprised but an easy smile appeared on his face. Burgoyne looked startled and embarrassed with the attention of the two beauties. "If it was words of praise you overheard, then it was surely about you," George assured Darlene. "Ladies, may I introduce John Burgoyne? He is an aide to the Earl of Oxford and a fine fellow. John, this is Lady Oakham, a most charming lady and sadly widowed and this is the Countessa Toledo, a favorite at singing events and the wife of the Spanish Ambassador. I am certain that these two are the most beautiful ladies at court this season," he flattered. "Imagine having them both together." He could only imagine. "Ladies what a rare privilege to make your acquaintances," John offered with a bow. He could only hope that they had not been overheard. As for the most beautiful lady at court, John had a favorite beauty, a French one, that eclipsed the two in front of him, at least in his opinion.
  19. Blackguard

    A Witching Hour Seance Tuesday night

    Albemarle House There had been an argument between Duke and Duchess this evening. He had, once again, declared his wife was foolish for her fascination with the spirit world. He did not trust Count Forensi. He doubted that he was even a nobleman. Darlene Hamilton had been invited this evening. Christopher Monck did not know whether to count the lady as an ally or an accomplice to his wife. One thing was sure, she was easy on the eyes. Both he and his young brother-in-law, Lord Ogle, shared an appreciation of admiring fine women. The Duke was one satisfied to gaze at a beauty and let his imagination run wild whereas other men were more prone to action. He had retired to his quarters upstairs to work on important documents, or so he said. This left his wife downstairs in the library to be dabble with her magic. Elizabeth Monck was dressed in a purple gown with ebony bodice. A silver tiara adorned her head. Silver chains wrapped her neck and wrists and a silver ring with a large bloodstone adorned her right hand. Count Forensi was there, dressed in jet black attire with a white shirt and silver and sapphire cravat pin. He too was wearing silver jewelry. A pretty young woman accompanied him this evening, having been introduced as Jenny Rhodes, a London woman who seemed attuned to the spirit world. She wore a more simple dress of crimson, silver jewelry peeking from her exosed flesh. It was time for the final guest to arrive.
  20. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    She apologized to him! Imagine that. It was another unexpected move. It confirmed his suspicions that she was ill and dying. Why else try and end things in an amenable way? Why else had he seen the mood swings and her defiant denial that she was ill in any way? It must be serious. He had been led to believe that ladies enjoyed laying guilt on gentlemen to get their way, and to use their anger and tears to ensure it. He imagined that a suitable and fond farewell was most likely the byproduct of a deathbed reconciliation. What could she be dying from? She had not even coughed. Regardless, only a fool would linger when there was such a happy outcome. Why linger and risk saying something stupid to upset the apple cart? He did not wish to answer who was waiting in the wings and why it was not her for the same reason. Best to beat a hasty retreat and save such a conversation for later, perhaps on her deathbed. "It is I that is to blame for any misunderstanding," he replied. Gentlemen never allowed a lady to accept blame. "Thank you Davina." He knew the passage she opened. He knew the passages well. Taking her hand, he kissed it tenderly before taking his leave, hat in hand. It was not long before the shadows of the corridor swallowed his image. ~finis
  21. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    "Lisa, my dearest, if you think our servants will not betray us for a sliver of gold, you are far too trusting." Louis was paranoid, of course, but he also had reason to believe that the King and Buckingham had an informant in their household. "To the contrary, I think we would gain credit in the eyes of the court for sending her away as an additional security precaution." He could tell that his wife was unable to judge the situation fairly because she had befriended the girl. "Here is my challenge then. You have to the end of the week to search her, her possessions, her acquaintances, test her, and have her followed. I want to employ an actor to pretend he is a Dutch spy working for DeVries, the Dutch Ambassador, and ask her for intelligence on our family. Check every nook and cranny, every floorboard and mattress in her room or adjacent rooms. If she is not absolutely cleared of everything, she goes to Basildon at the first of the week. Agreed?"
  22. Charles Audley

    You Asked For It | Tuesday April 12, late at night

    Charles quailed back from Juliana's displeasure, the very image of abject, shamed despondence. He would have flattened himself to the floor if not for her hand tangled in his hair. Caught as he was, he could do nothing but whimper pathetically and stew in the shame and humiliation of his failings. It was an unutterably exquisite torment. He would have liked a moment to gather his breath and his wits when she released him, but there was no time for such indulgences. His Venus had offered him the glimmer of an opportunity to redeem himself, and so thorough was her domination of him that Charles would rather be scourged than hesitate to seize it. Head still bowed (for he did not dare to look up), he pressed his lips once more to her bare feet, paying worshipful homage as he silently worked to convince her of both his repentance and his worthiness. He was thorough in his attentions, making sure to have pressed kisses to every last inch of Juliana's feet before daring to let his lips track north.
  23. John Palliser

    Lead Me Not Into Temptation | Tuesday April 12, 2 pm

    He said nothing in repy at first just continued giving her 'that' smile and his eyes danced in amusement. He knew that she knew he knew she was looking at his mouth and his gaze went to her luchious looking mouth wondering how she would taste. Sweet but with some spice mixed in he guessed. "I am all for discovering My Lady be it gardens buildings or something else ... Every place has a story to tell do you nor think?" He could not but help but feel the subtile pressure as her hand caressed his sleeve. soon you shall be touching other parts as well "So you take my meaning then? I am glad. It saves time not having to explain." She agreed to be his Guide as he knew she would. "Let us start slow shall we. A gentle ramble that does not tire yet creates excitement at what lies ahead." "A labyrinth? That intrigues. You know it well? Or shall we be lost and must rely upon each other?" "My Pleasure Lady is what ere pleases you. Lead on. And on the way let us continue to discover more of each other .... " He slowed his pace to accomadate hers.
  24. Cordelia Lucas

    Newcastle House, Tuesday 2 PM, Marriage Talks Part Two

    Cordelia smiled at Lady Margaret as she offered a curtsey then two before she took her leave. She answered the Duchess still smiling "Well Your Grace I think all that needs to be begun has been and now we shall move onwards to Saturday." "For now I have hopes for a pleasant hour or two and perhaps even some revelations - of which I shall pass onto you naturally." 'We had discussed the candidates and I think you should start whatever investigations are needed for those you wish to peer at. Tis far better to be well armed than to have to wait and suffer frustrations!" "I do no think we can progress further until all information is in hand. Shall we instead turn attention to your daughter herself?" "Saturday is but the first of many outings I hope and each time sees Lady Margaret more comfortable with my Company." "Shall we set a time to meet again - say in a months time?" "That will allow time for investigations and your daughter to warm herself to the idea of marriage." She would not linger much after the Duchess offered up her own replies.
  25. "Yes, I remember the scandal of it after The Lords." Nicci did not attend those House of Lords sessions for obvious reasons, though she had several masters, it would serve none of them if she was obvious about her political interests. Francis replied neutrally, well almost! His proviso of 'believes' amused Nicci into a laugh, "La yes, we all wish to believe the best of Duke M!" Of whom one might currently jest about this way, upon account of his being out of favour. Of that man Nicci went on to reveal, "I was so embarrassed the other evening, I had thought he was sent to France, and Lady Worchester had to correct me in front of Lisa. I could have died on the spot." Nicci spoke very free and easy with Francis though, whom she did not think would hold such things against her. "If he hears how CR has drawn his family in he might be quite heartbroken to be left out. Or perhaps he was called, but abstained." Which would have broken Charles heart instead. She sighed. "Families are the most upsetting sort of troubles." "I am relieved." Though all of Court knew the King did not believe in hiding himself behind body guards. "It will be more than Ablemarle overseeing that I hope." "La I recall this tale, but I had not known she struck you when you were going off to war. Last time you told the tale I thought she brutal, now my compassion is for the Mother who thought she was loosing her son!" She chided (with dancing eyes) for leaving out one or two significant details last time. She knew it to mean he trusted her more now. "You were practically an exile of exile." She breathed, "... you could have come to stay with us, with my Grandparents and Mother. We would have hit you with plates too when you tried to leave to sea - my Father was lost to the ocean." "It was good that you told her Francis, many wouldn’t have."
  26. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    Lead Me Not Into Temptation | Tuesday April 12, 2 pm

    Anne-Elisabeth noted the teasing tone in Lord Silverbridge’s voice. “Envious?” she asked, a wicked gleam in her eye. “If you really want me to feed you fish and give you a saucer of milk, that can be arranged.” She almost added that he could curl up beside her at night as well, but that comment was far too suggestive at this point in their relationship. Her eyes narrowed playfully. “You never disappoint? I have very high expectations, you know.” He was a confident one. She liked that, for it was a trait she possessed as well. But was he daring? Was her creative? She certainly hoped so. His innuendo already filled her with excitement. Did hers have the same effect on him? She was being rather tame, but that was what their current conversation called for. Lord Silverbridge seemed to think like she did … anticipation was worth drawing out and savoring. Ah, so he had seen her looking at his lips. Why else would he lick them like that … so innocently but also so sensuously? Bright little flames licked through her body and she felt like she was burning up despite the cool air on her face. I wish I could remove my cloak. If he did, it would look too suspicious. A lady who lived most of her life on a tropical island would normally be cold on a spring day in Englan. The fascinating Baron would know the effect that his simple gesture had on her and that simply wouldn’t do. “I definitely don’t want to hurry. If we go too fast, we will not be able to experience everything the gardens have to offer. And while I have been here before, there are many wonders I have not yet discovered.” As far as Anne-Elisabeth knew, there wasn’t a muse of fire, Listening to Lord Silverbridge’s words, she thought there should be. There was certainly heat flowing through her veins. It was getting hotter and hotter beneath her cloak. She looked up at him, a sultry smile curving her lips. “I understand perfectly.” Her hand gently stroked his sleeve. “It seems as if we both delight in indulging our senses.” Maybe someday soon, I will be your muse. And he agreed with her about savoring anticipation as well. “Of course I will be your guide.” I will definitely lead you on too. “We can simply stroll aimlessly or we can choose a destination. I know where the labyrinth is. It’s hard to miss. There’s also a walled garden around here somewhere. Perhaps we can discover its location together.” Her smile turned mischievous. “What is your pleasure, my lord?”
  27. Aria

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    Lisa listened attentively to her husband’s suggestions. For about five minutes she remained silent, mulling over the solutions he had presented as they strolled companionably through the garden. “I’m not sure that sending her away is going to help, Louis.” She stopped in her tracks and turned to face him, taking both of his hands in hers. "If we send her to Basildon or even back to the Netherlands, there will be rumors that she has spies in our household who report to her. Servants can be easily bribed. We know that our servants will never betray us, but the King and Buckingham have undoubtedly had servants betray them who were eventually discovered. They will expect our servants to be equally corruptible. “We are associated with her now. She isn’t the only reason that we are excluded from the King’s inner circle. As you already pointed out, your connection to Danby and my extended stay in the Netherlands is hurting us too. It might be assumed that the Dutch won me over and that I’m now sympathetic to their cause. If that is what they believe, will you send me away too? And how do you know that the Duc isn’t trying to cover up France’s involvement by planting doubts in everyone's minds?” She paused for a moment, considering her words. “If you still wish to send her to Basildon, I will make sure she is ready to leave at the end of the week. However, I think that it may be more beneficial to us to prove ourselves to His Majesty … by either confirming that she is, indeed, a spy, or establishing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has never been in contact with the Dutch conspirators.” Lisa smiled. “It will take some investigating, but when have we ever refused a challenge?”
  28. Aria

    Newcastle House, Tuesday 2 PM, Marriage Talks Part Two

    Margaret’s smile widened. Lady Newcastle wasn’t sure if she liked the idea of showing off or if she was just relieved to receive a chance to redeem herself. The girl did seem to visibly relax, so perhaps it was the latter. Of all her daughters, Margaret was the most enigmatic. The Duchess could read little in her eyes or her expression unless she chose to reveal her emotions. Even when she was punished, she did not protest. She laughed and joked with her sisters and had quite a few friends. Perhaps she only hid her feelings in her mother’s presence. “I think it will be good for the two of you to get to know each other better,” the Duchess replied. Lady Lucas sniffed the bouquet that Margaret had picked for her. “Thank you, my lady,” the young girl said, curtsying yet again. “I selected flowers with scents that compliment each other. If my future husband does not have a beautiful garden, then I shall create one at our residence.” “You may go now, Margaret,” her mother instructed. The girl curtsied once more and walked back the way she had come, a spring in her step that had not been there before. Once she was out of earshot, Lady Newcastle smiled at her guest. “Is there anything else we need to discuss,Lady Lucas?"
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