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Nicolette Vauquelin

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About Nicolette Vauquelin

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    Mistress Vauquelin

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    Botany, Herbal Medicine, Horse riding and Gentle conversation.

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  1. Nicci had not thought of pickles in that way, and burst into laughter as Buckingham put a naughty spin on it. "Poor Francis would turn as bright red as a beet if he heard this conversation, under some circumstances is really rather prim! It must be highly unlikely he's trying to debauche any of Her Majesties household!" "... hmm what I'd really thought, was that if one was thinking of choosing a wife, there is a fine array of respectable ones on offer there. So you were right to guess he's never mentioned anyone to me - and I certainly have asked, and I certainly have watched him!" "No I do not think he will be causing any pickles there." And though the Duke might tease, he surely also knew that Francis thought far too highly of his duty then to malign it with rouge-ish behaviour. Finally losing a sigh Nicci added "...on that count he's a blinkered horse, a confirmed batchelor, to the best of my estimation." Ruminating possible leads, Nikki had wondered if the field was narrowed by knowledge of them meeting. But the King's movements at Whitehall was anything but secret. "So many? Then that is no help at all." Talking openly as they were, Nicci thought to ask something she had wondered about. "Your grace, when Lord Monmouth sent away to Holland, was he sent supervised? I wonder because my cousins offhand suggestions result is in so much trouble due to Lord Monmouths ready enthuse; that should his impressionable ears be whispered into by someone truly deceitful, a whole world of problems might be created." "Please know that I do not suggest any lack of love for his father, for certainty His Majesty is loved especially by all his sons. I have rarely witnessed a man who adores his children so much. They are the most blessed youths."
  2. The Dukes cheer at talking of Francis being a protector of ladies, and further comment on himself, bought a large smile to Nicolette's face. "You most certainly have been that for me I was really quite lost before I came into your company." "I treasure the memory of when I first saw you, that night in the ballroom, when you danced so magnificently. You stole the floor. There was no one who could hold a candle to you. I think it was then, that night, that I thought there might be a place for me in England." Ah but they talked of Francis, their voices fond. "Lady Susan Herbert is his cousin is she? I did not think of that. I've only noticed that he does seem to be delivering pickles terribly often. And these pickle deliveries take rather longer in most deliveries do!" Yes Nicky hoped that there was someone Francis really fancied. She and he were close of course, but they would not make a future together, they would never be matched. She had hoped he'd found a possible prospect, someone's whose fortunes he could unite with, like how she had her plans for the witty and clever Ranelagh. The lighter talk and the enhanced coffee drink relaxed and eased conversation, while always present in minds was the murder of that morning. The Dukes agreement on the unlikely risk to the Queen came with its own suggestion. Nicci pressed hand to her lips with thought. "Then who else new of our planned rendezvous? The message only arrived Sunday after church, delivered by servant in livery. Perhaps that servant was bribed? Or who else was aware of His Majesty's plans." "I still think that one of the oddest things about it was that whoever killed that Dutchman did not stick around to claim the victory of it." Nicci had concluded the body was from the seven provinces, partly due to being French with a natural distaste for those sorts. "Has anyone been able to identify the body yet?"
  3. Nicci smiled at the mental image he drew, "Ah the charm of little boy at their most earnest, a charm that is still upon you this day." There was affection in her tone, the relationship shed grown with the duke was surprising at many turns, and always treasured. It had grown little by little, shed managed to disarm him somehow and hed revealed depth far greater than his glittering appearance suggested. Father, brother, lover. any and all she would be happy with. "Then let us repair that," Nicci motioned a servant. a gesture that was likly un-needed, as the dukes attentive staff stood at the ready to provide his every whim. Neeverthe less she signaled a tippled drink to be brought, and yes shed have another too. Unlike george, this would be her fourth or fifth this morning. "Lord kingston might be pleased to serve as her majesties protector, he seems to have some attachments in her household mmm?" Nicci mused, brushing a lighter topic, before continuing "Though the assassin cannot have been after the queen in the wee hours of the morning."
  4. The kiss to her forehead was a fatherly gesture, not that shed been raised by father but grandfather instead. In any case their relationship was something quite different. But it felt nice, like a mutual care for the other. Softly she replied, "Duty is a far tougher master than His Highness is. I would guess that He would prefer to have you at his side right now too." Male duty was unlike anything that existed in the female realm, with nuances to it that she found hard to understand. That the Duke explained he had a role to play that required him to remain here, suggested that there were plans already in place - perhaps in case of just such a thing as todays attempt. Perhaps the meetings at Windsor last recess hadn’t only been about the Hill boys and deciding to call in closer the King’s bastards. "I understand you carry burdens of responsibility and care, and of secrets you must keep. It must be draining... the only way I can think I might help is to be a soft voice of support. A vote of confidence I suppose, of knowledge that your savvy shall foil those who work against us," she lowered eyes and amended, "forgive me - I mean against the Royal family."
  5. The Duke looked tired, and not just the tiredness that comes from sitting in Church being really bored. Crossing the room, she abandoned protocols, moving towards an embrace even before his arm begun to lift. She had needed every moment of physical contact she'd managed today, a hug, a touch, a kind word. No doubt the Duke, with even more to loose than she, needed it too. "It was not on purpose, I messed up the time for the meeting with the King, and when I heard sounds thought it was him leaving. So I hurried after, but that was when I tripped. Over a body. Mon Dieu, what a day.' She breathed, and squeezed a bit tighter before letting go, and looking into the too tall Duke's eyes uttered, "Are you all right?" Which she knew was not what one should ask the Magnificent George Villiers, but she asked anyhow, with notes of almost motherly concern.
  6. "Ah Lady Toledo, I oft forget your connection with her. Though it was never so plain as that night at the ball." when Nicolette had witnessed Sophia beg Francis blessing on her marriage. "So if not for a little laudanum she'd still be in Europe too." The easy conversation flowed, on topics that bore no relation to the dramas of the day. It was a quiet time much needed. "It is too soon yet, but I shall call upon your help in due time, my friend." Francis saw the Dukes carriage before she did, the light in his eyes brought her to look thence too. Instinctively she smoothed her bodice, hand running down over skirt. "His Grace is early, is it a new fashion president." early would never be in fashion of course, she was making an English joke, but mostly she was just pleased. "Thank you for staying with me." Of course there was a part f her mind that wondered if Francis was monitoring her as much as anything else. Even she did not trust the French to have no part of this incident. But still, if one was to be kept an eye on, it could not have been in a nicer way. Reaching for his hand she squeezed gratitude.
  7. "La, I know, I am terribly sorry." Nicci chuckled an apology, though dear Francis valiantly tried to answer anyhow. And he did it right, she at least liked his answer. "Yes home is the people. For me my grandparents is a large part of that, while they are passed they are still in my heart, and when with my mother they feel nearer still. So for you it must be your mother and uncles with your memories of grandfather, which might make home quite a transportable thing really." smiling she added, "We could practically be gypsies." Which was what she said, though she was thinking about how he'd mentioned his mother and her hopes - that and their previous conversations of how he was not one to court. Perhaps he never would. "That would be a fun way to do it." she replied to his offer, "I'd wondered how to do it, the most difficult part is she afraid to travel by water. I'd thought perhaps the right herbs might help, to calm any agitation. And if it was upon your ship it would be easier surely, most captains would question the carrying on a drugged woman," she grinned lopsidedly at that, "or at least charge me double" .
  8. "I wonder if Traveling can be it's own sort of home, if that is what you were raised to." Nicci pondered that thought. It was hard to imagine a life with no attachment to a place. Even now she still thought of the family home in Normandy as the home of her heart, though her lifes choices had her want her future to be in England. For Nicci, that meant a house, and one day her mother too. "If 'Home' is a concept that is not a house, then what is Home for you?" she did not even known if it was possible to answer that question. But could Francis really have such a void within himself? Of her thoughts regarding her mother, she nodded. "Help with this was offered to me once," by Chevaruse, "at the time I declined, I was not confidant you see. But now - well, not today of course -but generally England is the basket I would place my eggs into, and the mother hen also." she smiled, relaxing.
  9. "I could become your biographer." she teased in reply. He was correct to notice she asked after his upbringing often, questions born of affection, and also curiousty to how everything fit in. He volunteered information freely too, which she took as a sign of affection for her too. It was friendship that had them sharing this way. "But I'd not realised you had an estate at Staffordshire - where is that?" she fleetingly imagined it might be interesting to visit. Perhaps next recess, for which she'd made no plans at all yet. "Then you have hardly put down your roots anywhere Francis." Nicci concluded. "Not that such is an easy thing to do, but is is surely a desire isnt it? One day I shall like a home, somewhere in England that feels as comfortable to be as was my family home in France... They were well off topic now, though sipping on the cognac sweetened coffee, and watching for the Dukes carriage all the while. "... I have wondered if one day, I might be able to send for my Mother."
  10. “Yes, your mother will be safe.” Which while the question had surprised Francis, it was not such a given from where she stood. But mostly, she did not want to oblige him, though she already knew he was under instructions. “Ah yes the coffee drink, that would suit perfectly,” Nicolette agreed as they moved to a suitable location. It struck her as perfectly reasonable that talk of the attack would be repressed in order to keep happiness surrounding the pregnant Queen, everyone knew you had to keep pregnant women happy for the sake of the baby, and this particular pregnancy was extra important to the English King. CR might deny the sun had set, if needed for the sake of his baby. “ …though not too close I hope, at least in the summer. The Seine was never the sweetest smelling.” Unlike the regularly freshened (tidal) Thames, the river Seine was a placid slow flowing river so that the city waste did linger. “Did you exile with Lord Dartmouth’s mother also?” she wondered who the three adults had been, knowing his mother to be one, and of course the Grandfather. “Having lived in modest situations so make us now appreciate these, life’s luxuries.” She thought to motion to her Buckingham-gifted clothing, but remembered she was not in her own wardrobe. “And before you were in Exhile, where was your family home then? It was not Kingston I suppose…” because she knew that was a recent development. “My family home is in St Aubin D'Arquenay, Normandie – it was a grand house once, but Mother and I could not keep it that way.”
  11. Nicci appreciated the silence, some time to digest - she took his hand and squeeze it a thanks. A friendship that could be comfortable with a silence was a rare thing, to be able to share physical company while negotiating private thoughts... The dramas of the day had Nicci thinking how all her eggs were in the one basket with the King. What if next time the assassin was successful, then everything she'd worked for would be lost. Yet what surprised her with that thought, was she was less worried about loosing her potential marriage to Ranelagh. She was more concerned of loosing her value to Buckingham, and Francis. The Duke especially, such a creature of court, if he had no use for her why would he keep her about. Sweet Francis might indulge her a little longer, but eventually he too would cut the ties. It was probably a selfish tear that slid down her cheek, to be dabbed away. With a nod at the instruction, Mademoiselle exited the carriage - Buckingham’s house was always well tended but seemed busier that it would usually be for a Monday. "I could not sleep or eat," she declined, then looked to Francis who, as his norm, put others first. "Is there anything you need to attend to, do you want to check upon your family?" "I think I would like to wait in an upstairs room, and watch out for His Grace's return. Sometimes a room with a view is reassuring." She turned to look at Francis, and quietly mused, "Did you know, in Paris, my Mother and I rented a loft. It was not much at all, barley more than a dressing room, but had a view towards the river. I did like that." But she could never return to that life. Not now. If this current world tilted itself upside down, she would need to make herself indispensable to England some other way.
  12. Nicci suffered a seemingly universal affliction of women; that of assuming that gentlemen could keep up with their darting-about mental streams. That said it was not so unusual that she, who had arrived covered in a strangers blood to have a bath in another strangers persons bath, even to then dress in a strangers clothes, to be terribly aware of the blessings of that later. So it was that when Francis blinked at her thinking she'd writ to his mother, she snapped, "Of course not silly." Perhaps the stress of the day would take a while to leave - that was certainly not how she spoke to him usually. Following his advice, she went into a far more usual sleuth mode (For it was completely normal for Francis to be sneaking her about). Though this was different, and not a thill. "A morning of restful prayers in chapel would be my preference too. Shall you send someone to tell my Cousin please, he shall likely worry at my disappearance. Or at least he should do." She did not want to feel as disturbed as she did, but it took some effort not to feel sorry for herself. She did try. Never the less Francis was likely to notice she did not talk very much at all as they got into the carriage headed for the Dukes.
  13. "That would be wonderful," Nicci's mind could imagine bay hopping around Bristol, that lovely seaside retreat of so long ago, when life was so much simpler, "but in less troubled times." It certainly would not be appropriate right now, the ocean was a peril itself without possible assassination attempts thereabouts. With his confirmation that his mother would like her, Nicci was inspired to say, "Then I must make her some lovely gift, perhaps a potpourri or some other sweetness. And I shall say it is a thank you for preserving her charming son that he now has become my dearest friend." Nicci spoke warmly, adoring to compliment Francis while speaking the truth. Perhaps it had been her looking about the room, but Francis was triggered to declare that now was an apt time to relocate. "Might I just write a quick note." Nicci stood, and while seated she'd felt quite good, when she stood she was indeed a bit affected by the fright. Still she managed to use a sheet of the Lady's own writing paper, to express a thank you for use of her Boudoir as a retreat, ending with the words "...I hope to meet you in person soon. N.V." "There, I am ready my Lord." she finally announced with a smile.
  14. "Oh yes his cousins, of course. They did seem thoroughly good sorts when I met them, and of open manner - they are hardly skulking cloak and dagger sorts." speaking of Ranelagh’s extended family brought her eyes to wander this room here once more, holding an idle appreciation. But then Francis mused upon Monmouth, and she was inclined to agree. "From what my cousin had said, the Duke M is somewhat easily led, though surely he'd ever be loyal - we can only hope that the same can be said for the company he keeps..." she paused then admitted, "I am glad he was not in France as I had thought, for my peers in Versailles could not help themselves but to meddle." Which was only being realised to say - but where the Dutch truly more innocent? She giggled with Francis that Buckingham would be awake for an entire service, while it was good to know that the King had such vigilant persons nearby. "La, you have been beached!? Oh but Francis isn’t that difficult for any man who was a sailor?" His Mother had had the last laugh indeed. "But you still have your ships, and you can still travel cant you. It must just be for warring that your mother sought to protect you. Which I can agree with quite happily." Said Nicci, who was liking the sounds of Lady Kingston more and more. Spying into conversations at doors, how daring and sensible of her.
  15. "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."