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Privy Council
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  1. "He surely would!" the Duke chuckled warmly. Francis' tendency for blushing easily reminded him of his brother, who had shared the more feminine trait. "Ironic considering he can say and do the raunchiest of things and not blush a whit." He shook his head. "The setting makes a difference in a man; at least an intelligent one." Buckingham continued, "If the King vowed to stay away from fucking the Queen's Household, he surely doesn't want his gentlemen doing it. If the King cannot do a thing, et cetera." I'Faith, if the Queen started producing boys, Buckingham would fully endorse keeping the Queen happy too. "One day, perhaps. Francis is feral, yet, you see," the Duke said with a snort of amusement. "He is not completely accustomed to the finery and opportunity of courtly society. Noble ladies were an untouchable thing from were he began, and it will take time for him to settle himself, let alone be ready to make a family." The rest was a temporary inconvenience, so Buckingham figured the cub's other qualms would be resolved some day. "Though I would only say that to you." To the King's most annoying of offspring, Buckingham said, "Someone like Monmouth is never unsupervised, even if he thinks that he is, but that doesn't mean he cannot get up to mischief. But I do believe the roots of this are from before he was sent away, if that is what you wish to know."
  2. The Duke could not fail to notice the growth of a baby belly even before she twirled and accentuated it. With his fondness for the swell of child on a woman whilst fucking, he could see it from across a room. It was a particular weakness and fetish of his. "My congratulations," he said, with a gracious dip of the head. "Lord Toledo must be intensely pleased in so quick of results, an heir on the way already." Buckingham, being a cynic in romance and libertine, wondered if it was Lord Toledo's at all. Such a vibrant young lady and such a dark, proper Spaniard made little sense to him. "Not as beautiful as a lady flowering with life," he complimented with suave ease, despite Francis have poked him for being in a curmudgeon of a mood.
  3. The Duke blinked and then tittered as Nicci mentioned pickles and taking far too longer than usual to deliver the pickles. The titter went into a rumble of the chest imagining Francis with an over-large, swollen gerkhin for a cock. After the worries of the day, it felt rather good to have a moment's respite. It did not matter if Nicci meant the double entendre or not! "Let us hope he is not delivering any of his own design to the Queen's household, but only those of His Majesty, for the Queen otherwise finds pickles altogether unacceptable there!" Buckingham, himself, could never perform this duty his master asked of the cub. He could not control himself for long in the face of potential humour, and he would find far, far too much of it in such company. Francis was still awed and also appropriately conscious of his reputation; his tendency toward humility more than outward vanity made him particularly suited to bridge to the proper and staunchy German Queen. The Duke was the staunchest royalist in his mind, but he was not awed by royalty in the least. Some of the mystique of kingship was ruined by the fact that you had brotherly boyhood conversations about masturbation with one before he was one... "Have you heard of any particular lady he has shown interest in?" Buckingham asked, curious what was spoken about amongst the ladies of Nicci's acquaintance. "As to who else knew of the meeting...the summons was not one of a private nature, so any of the invitees might have mentioned it to anyone; plus, all of their servants. I knew of it because Francis was summoned. It is his practice to tell me when he's attending the night before, so that I know he will be gone and not likely to be back when I rise. Everyone has routines like that. People speak about people summoned by the King, so word travels quickly." Buckingham paused for a drink, savoring the warmth of it before adding, "That is if it was related at all. Assignations in the darkness of late evening and early morning are not uncommon in the gardens of any palace. If you had not arrived early, nobody would have been very likely to see it take place."
  4. The earl was expected and welcomed into the lavish house on St James, though not as spectacular as many on Pall Mall, and the servants brought him to a masculinely decorated parlor where the duke was standing by the fireplace with a glass of whiskey. He turned as his visitor was announced and gave the earl a friendly-enough nod. So this is the man that seeks Henrietta...and that Henrietta speaks so highly about... It still baffled him. He would not have expected that girl to go for a militareque sort of peer, what with her mind and her books and her demeanor, but he conceded that women did not always make the most of sense. He waited for the gentleman to make his greetings before saying, "Well, Chatham, my daughter has spoken rather highly of you." He gave the man another look. "Whiskey?"
  5. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    Tom, with not much storytelling skill for a lad of sixteen or seventeen, regaled her with tales of Italy and the Turks too as he repast provided by His Grace was ate. He was, indeed, very surprised by the arrival of this imperious lady, for he had never seen Lady Mountjoy close enough up to recognize that as the entrant into their realm. However, he was intelligent enough to know the manner of a great lady, and he didn't hesitate to quickly bow his retreat and exit the room. (OOC - I shall hand things over to Hope for the time being! So I am out of the scene with all my NPCs for now!)
  6. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    The King looked visibly relieved as Lady Mountjoy said that nothing had appeared amiss and that it was unlikely anything had happened to the Queen, so it would seem that they were in time. "I knew that you would be most assuring to my worries, far more than any frightened flock of physicians," the King said, abandoning his formal "we" without much thinking about it. In these private, closer settings, and among such persons, his preference was not to use it. The situation was trying and weighty enough without adding to it extra burdens of kingship. "All I know of the girl is that she had stood Herbert up twice---or is it thrice---which has provided a good deal of talk amongst my gentlemen, as one can imagine," the King volunteered. "Well, there's no accounting for taste," Buckingham volunteered of the girl's toying with his young cousin. Or seeming to. The King chuckled just ever so slightly at George, who could generally be depended upon to make him laugh. He then added to Lady Mountjoy as if he had not even heard Buckingham's joke, "And the demeanor, as you say, one would think too prim for a murderer." "Murderers who seem like murderers do not make very good surprise assassins. Lady Jane comes to mind, who Jack crushed on so madly, did not seem a secret spy," he reminded the King (gasp!). "So, we shall leave it until after Lady Mountjoy speaks with her, then," His Majesty decreed. "There need be a learned opinion from someone who knows the girl," Buckingham needlessly agreed. (OOC - unless there's something else you want to ask the pair together, you can get Bucky and LM back to his house. The King would provide her with a carriage at the ready. I'm going to PM you about something too)
  7. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    The Duke's servants began laying out some food buffet style whilst Tom and Davina spoke about his early ship experiences, the smell wafting generously under their noses. "Ladies first," he said, with a lop-sided grin and a similarity of manner to Kingston, which was unsurprising given that Tom had just revealed he had spent almost half of his life very closely with Francis. "I saw the wilds of the Colonies, though south of where much of the activity is around the Hudson Bay and that. So very many trees that you would not believe. Like a land of endless forest. And to Italy where there is so much sunshine, and it is full of churches and books, as well as the most vibrant glasses and mirrors." He took a pause, for he next bit was not so savory. "Lord Kingston pledged his ships in the war privateering, so there was always much excitement and fighting." He, of course, had to tone such done for feminine ears. "But the ship with my father and brother on it was lost toward the end of the war, so it is now just me."
  8. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    "Dear Lady Mountjoy, do sit," the King invited, followed by a weighted sigh. The weighted sigh seemed to be the indication for Buckingham to do the work of bringing her up to speed, for there was not even a look between them before the duke took over. His master had never enjoyed making or receiving long-winded speeches, and when his moods were dark, he either burst or reverted back into the quietness of his youth in many cases. And the King rarely burst around a lady. Buckingham conceded that Charles had only truly ever done so to two ladies: the Queen Mother and his dear cousin, Cleveland. Both were half banshee in their own ways. "I shall tell you the entire story, but to prepare yourself for the content, I shall give the abridged version: Mistress Wellsley had been asked to give what is presumably an abortive or a poison to Her Majesty, demurred the duty, and was then confronted with a phial with contents to do so some days later." He waited for her to digest this before he anticipated most things he thought she might ask once getting it all down. "We sent Ashburnham to make more precautions, and he has. All is well that we might tell, but His Majesty is anxious to hear from a lady, who by definition understands such feminine situations better than we, that the Queen has not demonstrated anything out of the ordinary recently for being with child?" Buckingham then said, "Now to the details of it..." He relayed the same story to her that he had just relayed to the King, including he King's addition that the girl had been part of his Monday morning audience and had known where the King would be before the mysterious murder. "So, is the girl a fool or criminal mastermind, and either way do you think she has the demeanor to be of use if we wish to turn her double?" "Your judgement in the matter is most trusted," the King added. Needless to say, given the task to her husband, they were both. "I have the lady waiting at my house. She won't be leaving. But if we try to make use of her, I would like to know what you think of her story. Perhaps in what she might tell you, we shall all learn more?" (OOC - in the hope of saving time, tee hee, I didn't want to type out the whole story again, so Buckingham relayed everything from his conversation with the King above to Lady Mountjoy.)
  9. Defiance

    A Matter Of Importance Tuesday Afternoon - 1pm

    "I could hardly say if I thought you would come out unscathed not knowing your story," the boy said, his brow furrowing in some confusion. He could hardly say he hoped she did come out unscathed not knowing the story either! Maybe he didn't. Maybe she was horrid. His Grace had not specified. "Oh, I am certain Lord Kingston would gainsay me if I attempted to do what I please," Tom replied, with a grin. He was sure he wouldn't be able to sit for a fortnight either... "The beginning of the story is not so very exciting, really. My father and elder brother were with Lord Kingston on his ships. My family here took sick, and I was the only one who lived, so when my father and brother returned I was the only one left. I wasn't even ten, so I could hardly be left on my own. I wished to go on the ships with them, and Lord Kingston let me come on his even though he usually wouldn't until I was at least twelve. That was how old my brother had to be."
  10. Buckingham's tired visage brightened as Nicci said that he yet had his boyish charms. For a man of his age, he yet felt rather lithe; it was the afterward where the aches and pains came out that was inconvenient! George Villiers would never concede to being an old man. "I shall only relinquish it to the grave," he replied with a grin. "The charm and the vow," he added. The household was quick to attend to their drinks as Nicci wished, and the Duke was all too happy to let her rule the house so that he might be lazy at the moment. Francis was like that, and Buckingham very much liked to be catered to in that way; one of the benefits of age and experience was also that he realized it was their care that made it so. The same thing done in sycophancy was not the same at all, and any great man need learn recognize it right away or get utterly swindled; he oft reminded Charles of that plainly. Buckingham burst with amusement at Nicci's proclamation. "Of course Kingston would be pleased to play Protector to the first lady of the land, for I do believe Kingston's favoured role in life is protector of ladies!" Something Buckingham was fairly certain said Kingston did not even realize about himself. The Duke roled his eyes, "It might be his master's favoured role in life as well!" He chuckled more. Truly, that might apply both to Charles and himself, and he was master of his kind-hearted nephew as much as the King was in his mind! "I used to wonder at how he did that at sea for all those years...no ladies on most voyages...but I have concluded with the King that the cub was protecting his dear mother by doing so." Buckingham chuckled more, as such things were rare for a man as they were oft separated from mothers early, but...it did remind him very much of his brother, so it was an endearing trait. "Does he have an attachment in her household?" Buckingham asked, blue eyes widening some. "Of course, you know Lady Susan Herbert is his cousin? And His Majesty oft posts Kingston there on his accord?" Buckingham wished to make sure it was not Francis' conversations with Susan that were being interpreted as something more. While he understood Francis' position on marriage, Buckingham was certain it was also a temporary one; for Buckingham was certain, one way or another, his objection on passing on Kirke's name was not a permanent state, for he saw Kingston's position as a temporary one. Once it was not, Buckingham was positive he could have Kingston married quickly, and he had a match-making King in his corner, too. "I think since His Majesty was supposed to be in that very location shortly, that we can assume that particular assassin was not after the Queen."
  11. Defiance

    An Unexpected Visitor | Tuesday 8 pm

    "Yes, but pretending to be a man does have its downsides, just like anything," Ranelagh ventured, although he did not detail anything in particular as he was no authority on the subject. And that was not what he was there for, after all. And if she was anything like his lady mother, there might only be room for one in his life! "I do not think anyone would have lingered that long with no very good place to hide, with their own life in the balance, but your care for your friend is quite commendable." Ranelagh could not imagine anyone hanging about long with the risk of getting caught and tortured and executed! Not if they were smart. "I do not think it very likely they would know Nicci either, not without whispers getting out that it was her." He chuckled and said, "Far be it for me to discourage anyone in their endeavors. The difficulty is in not being discovered as a woman and in standing out among those who have had a formal education at university in such things. That community has a large portion of proper gentlemen and academics, and it will be difficult to escape discovery for very long."
  12. Defiance

    An Unexpected Visitor | Tuesday 8 pm

    "Were you now?" Ranelagh asked. It could not be helped that he leaned forward in his seat some at this revelation. "Well done, I daresay, although one is generally not supposed to encourage ladies in such pursuits. I have always found there are some ladies more capable than most gentlemen." He would think so. His mother had left his wastrel father and brought him back to London with her and forged her own way with the blessings of her own father and his protection. His lady mother frightened most men! "That is quite true, but our late arrival means it pretty obvious neither of us could identify the murderer. So that is good. But the less attention brought the better for all of us. One never knows." He smiled and added, "They do say 'better safe than sorry,' and there is some wisdom in that." She asked who else was aware of the murder and he said, "Whomever is investigating and a few Life Guard, I am sure. Some of His Majesty's household, but I am not privy to all of those details."
  13. It had been a very busy and trying few days, wrought with obligations both political and familial. And a stress the Duke of Buckingham had not felt in some long time. Most plots and intrigues were over-reaching and easily thwarted and the persons engaged in them too obvious; courtiers did not generally do subtle very well. However, these intrigues panged at reminders George Villiers did not need. Most of those closest to him in his life, of the most importance to him personally, had been murdered or assassinated. His own real father. His brother. His father's best friend. Then the only father he had ever known. He had not been in the best mood to keep this meeting, but Francis had prevailed upon him. As he stepped outside from the palace with said cub in tow, he heard the singing. "Well, none can say the lady is either modest or difficult to find," the duke commented. "I wonder, does she speak more or sing more? It seems Toledo has more a songbird than a wife." It seemed the lady was almost always singing whenever he came across her which was all fine and good, but it was rather predictable too. Francis raised an eyebrow at the Duke and whispered quite brazenly, "When was the last time you properly slept, for I am sure Your Grace's intention is not to be a curmudgeon..." "Hmm," was the only noise of acknowledgement as he looked down a few inches at the boy, who simply looked back at him. "You have some cheek this afternoon. And license." "I inherited it," Francis replied, of the cheek and license. Buckingham could not help but snort in amusement. The boy surely did. Few could turn his own words around deftly. With his own cheeky smirk, Buckingham said, "Take care that's not the only thing you inherit..." He chuckled lightly and with a bit more bounce to his step moved in the direction of the singing. "Lady Toledo," Buckingham said, as she came into view, "I did not think we would be able to find you."
  14. Defiance

    Away & Here Notices

    Feel better, Hope!!!
  15. She laughed without needing to fake it, as the lady spoke of flushing out pheasants. "Too right you are! There are too many overindulgent men at court; many times the higher the title or greater the wealth, the more rotund!" Charlotte was only well-known among those who had been at court longer than five years, for out of sight was often out of mind, even for daughters of the King! Some might not have yet even realized that she was back, because things were a bit less casual than usual these days. Dangers. Intrigues. "I assure you, he does very well at the occupation of pestering all his male relations as boys oft do," Charlotte said proudly, without one bit of annoyance that her boy was precocious. "He is doing so now, in fact, with his uncles...my horde of relations." She waved vaguely in the direction of the other section of garden which was far enough away that one could not even hear the boys at their activities. "Two days! My! But you are newly arrived!" Charlotte giggled, "In love, already? With a man or with court? With court I should hope, for trust my words no man can deserve a thing after two days." She nodded approvingly at the choice of title. "My lady mother is a Killigrew, did you know? The family own the theater and stage productions for His Majesty, or did until it burnt."