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  1. Yesterday
  2. Sophia de la Cerda

    Lyrical Persuasion | Wednesday, early afternoon

    “How could I know?” Sophia pouted melodramatically. “You never played for me.” Music had, of course, figured into their conversations when she was under Francis’ care, but she couldn’t remember him mentioning that he could play the violin. Then again, she had caused so much trouble during that time that maybe he had never gotten the chance. She had been quite a problematic ward, which she still felt guilty for. Maybe she would get to make it up to him someday. Lord Buckingham praised Francis’ musical skills, albeit in an indirect and humorous way. Her former guardian seemed more irritated than pleased. Perhaps he felt a bit like she had a moment ago, since the Duke had been talking about him as if he was not present at all. Watching Buckingham raise a brow, Sophia thought he was pleasantly surprised and might ask her to demonstrate her accomplishments on the pianoforte for him in the Music Room. Her ice-blue eyes widened in horror at his warning that she might wind up with muscular fingers and beefy hands. Was he teasing her or was he serious? Glancing over at Francis, she could glean nothing from his expression. As she had long been told she had a musician's hands, she assumed that the Duke was jesting Hopping down from the fountain, her ample bosom bouncing in its frame of lace, she walked over to the Duke. “Perhaps I should be careful then. It hasn’t affected me yet, has it?” Though her demeanor was serious, her eyes sparkled with amusement as she held up one small, slender hand for his perusal. “Oh it was a most magnificent triumph!” Sophia exclaimed. “I believe it was the first full-scale opera ever performed in London. It’s such a new art form here. In Venice …” Sophia spread her arms out to the side and twirled again. “There were opera houses on almost every corner and people from all walks of life could enjoy the performances.” She stopped and tilted her head to the side. “Did you attend operas often when you were in Italy, Your Grace?” she asked him. “Do you miss them as much as I do?”
  3. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    Partners In Rhyme | Tuesday 10 pm

    Little sounds of pleasure whispered from Anne-Elisabeth’s lips as Dorset removed each pin. When he was finished, she undid her braid so that her raven curls tumbled down her back and over her shoulders, all the way down to her waist. The young Countess was not a classical beauty, but she had been told many times that she had an absolutely stunning head of hair ... thick, silky, and luxurious. She shook it out and it flowed around her, gleaming with red and gold highlights in the glow of the candles. “Then you must remove it at once!” she exclaimed as if appalled. Of course there were no mites on her jacket. She kept her clothing and her body fastidiously clean. In fact, she had taken a bath strewn with rose petals right before she had donned her male clothing. But she would play along. It was getting rather hot in the parlor anyway. Anne-Elisabeth shrugged out of it with his assistance and turned to face him. “Thank you, my lord,” she breathed. “I feel so much better now.” Dorset suggested they go outside and select their stars. Most of the largest ones had already been named in ancient times, but there were still thousands of them that weren’t called anything in particular. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a couple of bright ones to name after themselves. Anne-Elisabeh was about to advise consulting her star charts first, when he stood up and proposed another, much more intriguing, course of action. Flames licked through her nubile young body when she beheld his wicked smile. “I suppose I do need to learn how to undress like a man,” she mused, a slow sultry smile curving the corners of her lips. She rose and once again stood before him. “You can tell me how. I am a very quick study. And you are wearing breeches. You can demonstrate how to remove those when we get to that point.” Her smile transformed into a cheeky grin. “For educational purposes only, of course,” she repeated.
  4. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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

    “I think you will find my garden quite delightful,” she replied. After Lord Silverbridge picked up the bottle, Anne-Elisabeth took his other hand and led him through the corridor and out the door that led to the garden. From peering into her neighbors’ yards through her telescope, she thought that her garden was a bit larger than most and certainly the most creative use of space. Tall toparies in the shape of mythological creatures dominated the area, giving it a mystical air. Colorful flowers, some just beginning to bloom, surrounded each bush. The flowers had been planted after she bought the house, and a fountain had been placed in the center. Continuing the mythological theme, It featured a statue of a mermaid holding a giant shell from which water sprayed into the circular basin. It was also surrounded by beds of bright blooms. Two more benches had been added as well. One was not enough since Anne-Elisabeth planned to throw parties in the garden. She led Lord Silverbridge over to the one that sat in front of a topiary scupted to resemble a three-headed hydra. The heads loomed over the bench, shading it from the sun. Sitting down, she patted the space beside her. “You should see this place at night,” she said, downing the rest of her rum and holding her glass out for a refill. “It looks quite magical in the light of the moon.”
  5. Lisa sipped her tea as she listened to Lady Lucas’ opinion. She didn’t think it was impossible to marry Margaretha to George; nor did she think it would be easy. Obviously she did not know the Basildons well. They relished the challenge of prevailing over nearly inconceivable odds. “Perhaps the Duchess aims too high. I don’t think any father will consider giving his daughter to an illegitimate son unless he does become the heir. And we both know how unlikely that is. She may be forced to look elsewhere and Margaretha will then be far more appealing to her..” This they would do everything in their power to ensure. “We’re not adverse to other matches, Lady Lucas. The one I mentioned is just the one we would prefer at this time. The most advantageous alliances sometimes come from unexpected sources. We are certainly willing to consider other candidates. Perhaps you have some suggestions?”
  6. A Duke’s daughter who had more than fluff for brains was quite a catch, and Juliana understood why Charles had seized the opportunity to court her. If they married, his position at court would be elevated and he would move in higher circles than he did now. She doubted the girl would be able to please him in bed, but that’s what he had her for … and other lovers, for she assumed he wasn’t any more monogamous than she was. “I do hope that you will be able to persuade her to invite me to those salons. I do adore the company of intellectuals.” She closed her eyes and smiled as he traced little patterns on her belly. Charles certainly knew how to stimulate her suppressed desire. Turning her head, she kissed him softly and briefly, not wanting to push him too far too soon. Juliana was perfectly content to let the subject go, particularly since Charles’ libido seemed to be increasing by the second. She laughed at his comment, untangled herself from his embrace, and practically leapt on top of him. Making claws of both hands, she roared seductively and dragged her nails across his chest. “So who will prevail, do you think … the tigress or the wolf?”
  7. Sam, also wearing her uniform, followed Charles into the secret passageways below the palace. She had always known they were there, but had never been called upon to patrol the place. Nor had it interested her overmuch until she had heard Lord Langdon’s unbelievable tale. Would he actually lead her to a secret room with a skeleton in it or was he only jesting with her? In her heart, she wished that he wanted to be alone with her, but she knew that he saw her as only a good friend.. Would he treat her differently if he knew the truth about Newmarket? He had probably forgotten all about it. To her knowledge, he had never tried to find that mysterious woman. Shaking her head to clear it of those dangerous thoughts, she focused on his words. “How can you tell?” she asked. “The walls all look the same to me.” The raised stone was not hard to find in the light of the lantern. All Charles had to do was step on it to open the door.
  8. About ten minutes later, one of Charles’ soldiers strode into his office, stopping in front of his desk and saluting smartly. “There is a young lady to see you,” he intoned. “She says the matter is urgent but she would not give her name.”
  9. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    (OOC - It was just Ursula and Bucky that went back to his house...I must have confused you when I had Bucky say what he said Sorry about the confusion) "Yes, that is the most troublesome part, that she did not report it immediately to someone in either household," Buckingham said. It seemed dim-witted, but then again women in his family were known for an excess of brains and daring, so perhaps he was a poor judge. "If she was a poisoner and a spy, trying to get to the Queen, she would have tried to gain closer access to Her Majesty, which it does not seem that she did. Such a thing would be noticeable and memorable. If you do not recall Mistress Wellsley trying to do so, then her crime is not putting her royal mistress first and being a foolish girl." He took a breath in and then added, "It was far too careless for any servant of a royal household." He thought about the options. Preferably, he had more time to plot, but c'est la vie. It was tempting the let Lady Mountjoy have at her. The ferocity of the lady was what he would have expected for any lady close to Her Majesty, not just one as close and important as Lady Mountjoy. It was refreshing in the moment. "I wish to speak to her once more. Then we shall see." He gave a pretty dip of the head as he departed her for the moment, leaving her in ginger boy's care. Tom turned to the grand lady and said with a bow, "If you wish to watch and listen, Lady Mountjoy, this way." He thought it is what the duke would have wished, and Buckingham was a man of little tests. Constant little tests. *** Buckingham entered the parlor again in grand fashion. "I fear you shall have to wait awhile longer for your maid." He stood with one long-fingered hand on his hip, not far from her. "If you are telling the truth and correct that the group would know their plot has failed by now, it is highly likely they will kill you the moment they have a chance. There has already been one dead body of a spy found at court this week," he revealed pragmatically and strategically. He wanted to see her reaction.
  10. Last week
  11. "Indeed it is very calming for me, my island of refuge when it storms you might say," Caroline nodded agreeably as she too then rose from her seat when her guest did. Now it was simply a matter of walking her to the door and she will have survived this visit decently enough, she believed anyhow. Hard to read the woman by her demeanor. George would no doubt tell her after he conversed once again with the woman. Flower? Now that was a question which came out of nowhere? Caroline had to stop and think. It did bring back some memories of arrival in London and the friendship she had struck up with a crippled nobleman whose great love was flowers. He had been such a kind fellow, She had no idea where he was now or if he was even alive, nothing was heard about him now for quite some time just that he was no longer at court. She missed him. "Oh, well.....I would have to say roses. Yes....roses," she answered then had a question of her own, "Might I ask why?"
  12. "Such biblical inspired prose, you could contest to be York's next Dryden, if such a goal was anyone's ambition." Mall gave half laugh, "but please reserve your strength, that your lady wife may enjoy the fullness of your oration. Lord Kingston you must surely agree with me, we shall need a bucket if you carry on any longer?!" As for jealousy of Francis' calves, the Duchess blinked at the novelty of that thought. "I believe jealousy comes from a perspective of deficiency, of things that I feel wanting in 'shapely calves' is not one of them. You do not think I took to the custom of wearing breeches merely for comfort." she knew she looked good in them. "You should get a piercing Mountjoy." Mall then decided following Francis tale. Why didn't more men wear an earring indeed. "a keepsake of tonight's vigil. Kingston, have you a pin? Here I shall volunteer one of my rubies."
  13. "Thank you dear. That was kind of you." There was no comment about any preliminary conclusions she might had reached. "I should like to hear you play the cello. It is such a soothing instrument," She offered a smile as a peace offering and moved to take her feet. As she waited to be escorted out, she inquired "by the by, what is your favorite flower?"
  14. Blackguard

    Partners In Rhyme | Tuesday 10 pm

    He saved his responses until Anne moved next to him. The pins in her hair vanished and the dark locks cascaded from her head. "The mites are on your jacket." He moved to remove her jacket, knowing that she had been eager for it. "Or," he countered, "we could go outside and select a star with our naked eyes. Any star worthy of being called the Sackville star must be seen plainly in the sky." He stood and was looking at her with a feral smile. "Speaking of naked and an eye for it. I think it is high time you learned to undress as a man. For educational purposes of course. "I would demonstrate but I only have on my robe."
  15. Hope

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    Lady Mountjoy did not respond to Davina's amendments. There were many details she was digesting, and the tone of the Davina's opinion was another of them. "Very well, I'll only have your maid sent for." She was not overly surprised that Davina did not want to own brother sent for, the Baintrees had never seemed to be a very close family. Whether Richard rallied to his sisters aid would remain an unknown. But before she could send a servant in search of the maid, Ursula was pleased to find Buckingham already arriving beyond the door. The Dukes exasperation was spoken plainly by word and manner, with a frankness that she did not know him for. Today was extenuating circumstances indeed. "A limp leaf I agree. If I'm uncertain of her crimes, there is one that is irrrefutable - her keeping a secret of this magnitude while surrounded everyday by persons she should have reported to. I think a firm lesson needs to be taught. His Majesty has heard a confession with his own ears now - the tapestry did not muffle her voice too much I hope, there were moments where I fully expected him to burst through the hidden doorway in anger of her carefree attitude of the threat to Her Majesty and the baby." "She is undeserving of Your Grace's charity, and I fully understand that His Majesty should not need to perform the role of prosecutor. If you wish I will escort her personally to the Tower this instant - infact nothing would give me greater satisfaction." Possibly Buckingham had never seen Ursula thus unmasked either.
  16. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    The Duke of Buckingham met Lady Mountjoy outside the door, ginger boy just behind him off his right shoulder. He was surely getting a court education today, rather than books and tutors. It was necessary if he was to ever be of any real use to them. "I do not suppose you made any more sense of that than I did?" he asked the lady very frankly. "Although, I do not think she is any criminal mastermind!" For, truly, the poor girl was a bit defeatist and did not seem to have the sharpness of a spy. "This is a mess, Lady Mountjoy, and I do not like messes around my master the King," Buckingham said, with a exhale of exasperation, not at the lady in front of him, clearly, but of the situation brewing even more in the other room. "Nor do I like them in my house," he added, in a gruff whisper. This made the ginger boy go pale behind him, though Buckingham could not see it. Tom was thinking he never wanted to be or make anything of a mess in the Duke's house! "You are, no doubt, aware that His Majesty...does not enjoy causing the hardships of a lady," Buckingham said, for there was no wholly politic way of saying it. The King did not oft like punishing anyone, oft being more discountenanced of it than the wrong-doer, and the King had a soft belly for women. "I do not wish to bring him back one decision to make, for he will not like it." He hmmed as he thought, also allowing the lady to express her own thoughts on the matter where Davina could not hear them.
  17. "Sisters and daughters will do that, I suppose," he answered, wryly. Ormonde was not yet ready to delve into libertine ways, but that did not mean that he did not have several difficult question on the slate for Chatham. "You are newer to London, Chatham. What are your ambitions? Do you have any family at court?" the Duke asked, bluntly.
  18. "We royalists vote in the House of Lords too or haven't you been sober enough to attend lately?" Francis asked Rochester with an amused laugh as Dorset moved to examine the papers. He raised a blond brow as his cousin made appraisal. "An X!" he snorted with amusement and downed the rest of his ale, returning then to his flask. Speaking of, he raised it to Sedley's call for the outrageous and that there would hardly be letters generated by such things. "Here, here, that is surely the spirit of things." Francis' head snapped around as Merriweather said he had brought accusations from angry fathers and the like. It had not been Buckingham that had told him about Merriweather, but Gwen, and he was now reminded of it. "You are a sick shit," he agreed with Roos. "That is not taste but lack of taste," he added. "One day one of those fathers isn't going to send a lawyer and a note but is going to cut off your cock." He nodded again as Roos expressed the desire NOT to hear from Merriweather...and for a moment, he wondered if Merriweather had made attempts on one of Roos' many, many, many sisters. He dismissed the thought, though, for he did not think one would be predisposed to sit in the same room as such a man after that. "Gentlemen, to lead the way with outrageousness of an acceptable variety, I put forth that I have fucked a veritable unicorn. I shall allow you all to determine the point value for such as we never imagined nor discussed a happening such as this...." Francis led in. "Yours truly was tending the pleasure of a pretty witty widow when what did she confess but that her husband had never done his marital duties! How many widowed virgins do you suppose there are at court? I think rarity and scarcity alone are considerably worthy, as was the utter surprise of it, just before entry!"
  19. "I pray most ladies allow us our gallantry, whether it is needed or not, else what need is there for we men at all?" Francis asked, with a small bright chuckle. "The Duke thinks I should have a gilt walking stick for fashion alone, but I got an unfashionable earring instead, and it does nothing to show off my legs or chase the ladies from them." He grinned boyishly. Francis did, in fact, sport an earring more the fashion one or two kings ago, but he found that it suited him and did not care if no other men were wearing them. "I meant better in the dress than the duchess, it would clearly not be difficult to be prettier than you." He felt he was quite better at insults than Lord Mountjoy, who was considerably gentle. "Though, I think you are not feminine in your insults but positively girlish, for the grown ladies are far more cutting than any man I've ever met and you cannot even be manly with those feeble attempts!"
  20. Nicci was never going to get a stellar appraisal about Monmouth from Buckingham, no matter what the boy did. The Duke hated the King's eldest son with a passion. "It is not as simple as that. Yes, of course, there is only one vote that counts. If the King were any man that would be all that mattered, but there is one very important thing that my master holds to very fast; he will not have the order of things in his country disrupted whilst he is King. "Monmouth has proven repeatedly to disrupt the order of things, and that is sometimes the problem with natural children born utterly common." And Monmouth's mother had been of no birth or consequence and had previously been the lover of more than one man. In Buckingham's opinion, Charles was utterly daft for ever making the boy a duke! "For a King, it is the worst problem when your heir presumptive is unpopular like York. The King has to support his brother over his natural son, Nicci, no matter how he feels as a father and a man. That is the order of things and that is the burden of being King. And that is why those that have forced him to hold that position by using Monmouth's common ambition have fallen so spectacularly. Danby was a fool to place the King in a position where he had to choose between his royalty and his eldest son." Buckingham neglected to mention that there was a premonition a few years back that everything would crumble if Charles turned his back on James, and while it was never spoken about anymore (technically treasonous to have the King's fortune read...), Charles had felt its impact, superstitious or not. "The Catholics, as you should know from France, take Lent to a very serious degree, and York has no shame over reminding us all how very Catholic he is..." Buckingham replied with a snort of amusement. "No doubt, more shall be seen of him soon, though I cannot say I have missed his presence so very much." He grinned boyishly. To him, James was like an annoying little brother who was always trying to play with the big kids and wasn't very good at it. "The King's position on Toleration is philosophical, but also a response to his life experiences. In his flight as a youth, there were numerous Catholic subjects who helped him leave the country. He does not believe that loyalty is tested by religion but by action. And he has never wished to be a King who harms anyone for undue reason; he has lived too much of that." So much so that Buckingham felt the King was a little too predisposed to forgiveness; the Duke conveniently forgot that he had benefit numerous times from the King's forgiving nature. He might have topped the charts on the number of times to be accused of treason without living out his life in the Tower or losing his head! So there was that. Buckingham did not even notice her calling Charles by his Christian name, for it seemed quite natural for her to do so. Just as he also used it in privacy and with certain company.
  21. Francis Kirke

    Lyrical Persuasion | Wednesday, early afternoon

    "I thought you knew I played...but if not, I had to have learned to read music somehow," he said to Sophia with a smile. "I also play the viol, very poorly...ships are not conducive to the practice of lap instruments." Francis was almost to the point where he longed for those times where he had loads of time and nothing particular to do. Things had been overwhelmingly packed for him since Christmas. Buckingham then seemed to discuss his violin and house habits with Sophia as if he were not even present. "He is standing right here," Francis said to the Duke, rolling his eyes with a hint of youthful grumpiness. "Well then he is here to hear the compliment and to have his own advice from earlier repeated to him," Buckingham replied, with an air of verbal triumph.* Francis had to fight to keep his face straight as the duke then warned Sophia of beefy hands from playing the pianoforte. It took a lot of self control not to snort in amusement. He waited to see if the young lady might fall for the duke's teasing. Buckingham so loved to needle when he was in certain moods. Nobody was safe! (OOC - For ease of the flow of conversation, I just stuck this in with Francis' post so that we can move off the topic)
  22. Blackguard

    Scouting out Temple district

    "I was just appointed Recorder, so I now have a staff to assist, and the office is here in the Temple district, as opposed to His Highness' offices," Jeffreys sought to explain. He had been knighted as well, but it seemed immodest to mention that. "Hoare? They are goldsmiths and bankers mostly, if I recall." The Hoare family was fairly well known, if Desmond was one of them. "Let me ask one of my clerks." he waved over the eldest of the clerks, a middle-aged man. "Henry, do you know of Desmond Hoare?" The man thought and nodded. "Mr. Desmond Hoare is not a member of the bar Sir George. I believe he did not finish his clerkship, but he has an office around the next corner, in the alleyway."
  23. Earlier
  24. Blackguard

    A Witching Hour Seance Tuesday night

    The Duchess of Ablemarle shared the disappointment and nodded her head in sympathy. "I know. I know. It is quite the effort to ready one's mind for the event." She shed no tears for she was not an especially emotional creature, at least outwardly. As a parting gift, Elizabeth gave Darlene a modest silver tiara. It had no precious stones, but it was likely a fairly expensive piece if acquired from a silversmith. "You keep this Darlene. It may keep you safe in the interim." She gave her friend a hug before escorting her back to her coach.
  25. John Palliser

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

    The brush of her fingers against his sent another wave of heat thru his body. Her pout was duly noted and he his a smile. He tossed back the measure in his glass taking a moment to discern the taste of coconut and found it was much to his liking. "Yes." "I have a desire to see your garden in bloom ....." He held her gaze and his grin matched hers. He would let her lead him for now. He picked up the bottle with one hand waiting for her to make her move.
  26. The Duke was wholly unaware of the lady's worries over his attention, which was good for her or he might have found reason to tease her mercilessly too. If the mood struck him. As it happened, Buckingham was, as Francis said, magnanimous enough to spread his magnificence around to both young persons at one time. "Yes, he does, though I think he plays it less now than he ever did, knowing my ears are around," Buckingham replied. "He is not as bad as he thinks," the man revealed. "Pianoforte?" Up went a blond brow. "Be careful, my lady, that you do not end up with muscular fingers and beefy hands! I do not think that is even a fashion in Spain!" This, of course, was utter ridiculousness and Buckingham was well-aware. He simply wished to see if she would notice he was teasing her and not being serious at all. He often relied on humor to pull him through such intrigue laden times and most especially so with ladies. "Well, you are most welcome, of course. I was pleased to do so. It was a splendid evening and victory." Was this what she was to ask him about? Another such evening? He had not forgotten that he was being buttered for something.
  27. Darlene Hamilton

    A Witching Hour Seance Tuesday night

    Darlene was feeling so much better after having seen her Charles, her spirits were quite uplifted, as she was truly looking forward to an excitingly and dramatic evening with her friend Elizabeth, tiaras and the Count Fiorenzi. It had been a long time since she had seen The Count, whom she'd never quite made up her mind about, but if nothing else the man was fully theatre (a point in his favour!) "I really must get a black cloak, oooh, or midnight blue." She chatted to her maid Maisie as she got ready, "my red cloak is the most lovely of course, but it is hardly the colour for skullduggery. Oh yes, I conceed, reaching out to the other side it's not really skullduggery... perhaps spiritduggery? Is that even a word? But either way red just doesn't quite seem right for it. Perhaps I'll wear a shawl instead, that black one I wore after Queen Catherine died - god bless her papist soul..." Maisie was styling Darlene's hair in prepare for the promised Tiara. Darlene was sitting perfectly still, on account of wanting the finished look to be exceptional. "Goodness. It just occurred to me that Count Fiorenzi might accidentally commune with Catholics. Oh I hope not. You know I do take being Anglican very seriously, it's one of my finest attributes. I am probably one of the very best Anglicans at Whitehall. Really it's a pity that they don't have a competition - for I know I would win it." It was hard sitting perfectly still, hopefully Maisie would be finished soon. ... The bad news of the evenings cancellation arrived just a few minutes later - the result being the young Lady bursting into tears! "It's not fair!" Darlene wailed, "I've been looking forward to this all day, how can I possibly going to go to sleep now. And I've been so brave not even worrying about accidentally becoming possessed. Don't you know that becoming possessed is probably even worse than being kidnapped by the French, or being set upon by villains at the docks, and much much worse than being put in the tower." Yes perhaps there was a little bit of relief and those tears that Darlene shed.
  28. George Hardwick III

    Scouting out Temple district

    To be honest George had no recollection of the man, but his agreeable manner (well turned out apparel included) made it easy to smile and feign a memory. "Jeffereys, I wondered if that was you. But what a collection of assistants you manage, I can only conclude your career is moving very well." George did remember talking to the Duke, and wondered if perhaps George Jeffereys had been there abouts rather than having talked personally. "But yes you have caught me looking for a certain office, so perhaps the solicitor I'm looking for does not yet have two status to have his name on the door. Mr Desmond Hoare, have you heard the name in these parts?" York's man had a pleasantly helpful manner, so that George had a feeling he could trust him. (Which was probably a very important credential for such a vocation.)
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