Jump to content

Charles Audley

Members
  • Content count

    1,036
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Character Information

  • Title
    Earl

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Enable
  1. Charles Audley

    A Royal Summons, Privy Garden Monday 7 am

    Charles hummed absently to himself, following Ashburnham. He did not think the conditions so poor himself, but he would accept that his perspective on such things was skewed and that the ladies might find the mud and morning chill a trial even if it was not. Making alternate arrangements was the gallant thing to do. Odd that there was no servant awaiting to redirect us, though. The conditions have been obvious for some time. Perhaps it was that oddity that had him arching an internal eyebrow at the gentle reminder to disarm. That was perfectly normal, too, but something had the hair on the back of his neck pricking, and Tangiers and everything since had taught him to trust those hairs. "I have no sword, as you see, but..." he reached down with his left hand, movements smooth and carefully unhurried, and plucked out his parrying dagger, sheath and all, and offered it hilt first to Ashburnham. Charles had fallen out of the habit of wearing a sword to court, but he had learned (painfully) to never stir out entirely unarmed. Blade surrendered, he settled in to wait, more warily than before.
  2. Charles Audley

    A Royal Summons, Privy Garden Monday 7 am

    Charles smiled ruefully at the pro forma responses to his question. To be expected, he supposed. "I had not been at home for Easter for many years," he offered, purely to fill the perceived conversational gap. "The change was... pleasant." That was a lie, of course. Not the blackest he had ever told, but quite a dark grey nonetheless. Even leaving aside the onerous imposition of so many mandatory chapel appearances in so short a time, his quarrel with Mary (and it was a proper quarrel now, he had to concede) was a burr in his saddle. He was taken from his musings by the arrival of Francis. "Kingston," he greeted, offering a quick smile and an inclination of the head. He saw no need to add to the ladies' entreaties.
  3. Charles Audley

    A Royal Summons, Privy Garden Monday 7 am

    "Hmm. Well, we can safely conclude that the purpose is not matchmaking," Charles mused, smiling, "but beyond that I agree with Mistress Wellsley — there is precious little point in speculating." Despite his words he flicked his gaze over the garden, looking for any hint of what they had been summoned for. "I trust you have both passed a pleasant Easter?" he asked idly as he scanned.
  4. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    The Chathams and Juliana Charles allowed himself a huff of amusement at Mary's correction, but offered no further elaboration. That would have felt like conceding something, in some odd way he could not quite explain. "Court events are always busy, with a great many more peacocks than just I," he said instead, shrugging in reply to Juliana's 'surprise,' "and of course I have only half as many eyes as the next man with which to spot striking personages." Further conversation was forestalled by Compton. Charles nodded to acknowledge Mary's whispered information, and found himself idly wondering if he might have turned out anything like the Bishop, had Richard lived. A disquieting thought, but interesting. There was good ore in him, yes, but how might a different life have shaped him? He shook his head to clear it and forced his features into a blandly attentive mask, leaning forward to pretend interest in the service. (A pretence made considerably more difficult by Juliana's caresses. He really would have to think of some suitable revenge.)
  5. Charles Audley

    Desperatis hic in Vinarium | Saturday after 10pm

    "Any solicitor should be able to better inform you, and Chichester might well know of a suitably discreet one. I have not been in London long enough to offer any recommendations myself, alas," Charles offered. He noted her use of the other earl's Christian name, but passed no remark. That sort of casual, intimate informality was Caroline's hallmark. He smiled softly as she asked after him. "I have been well, and am better now to know that you have been thinking of me." He waggled his eyebrows and laughed. "More seriously, I have been pleasantly idle," he continued more soberly, "but restlessness is beginning to chafe a little. Once our religious observances are done I shall have to put a few irons in the fire. We'll see how the ground lays then." They were interrupted then, as Nicolette and Diana moved to begin their contest. Charles allowed himself to be led by the hand, and made a show of considering the King's challenge. There was no question of refusing, of course. Openhandedness and gallantry were next to grace under pressure as the great cavalier virtues. "I was taught never to gamble on anything where I had no control over the outcome," he said slowly, and then grinned boyishly. "But I never paid overmuch attention to my lessons. I will match you. And with a Frenchwoman on my arm, and a formidable one at that, I shall have to back her countrywoman." He nodded to Anne-Elisabeth as she joined them, and laughed at her words. "Have a care with that," he advised, eye twinkling, "sobriety is an advantage in any physical contest." He would have asked how she had been, but then Francis arrived. "Kingston!" he greeted cheerily, raising his glass in salute. "The ladies are to arm wrestle."
  6. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    The Chathams and Juliana As fun as this game was proving to be, he would have to take vengeance for it, Charles decided. Keeping a straight face as Juliana stroked him through his breeches was absolute torture, and the nature of feminine fashion denied him even the satisfaction of reciprocating, though he squeezed her thigh gently anyway, just to show willing. The scales would have to be balanced at some point. Dry as it was, Mary's chosen topic of religion was welcome. It gave him something to think about other than how (and how much he wanted) to make Juliana mewl for him. "I suppose that is a rather consistent theme in all Christian theology," he conceded, "though the specifics vary widely." Idly, he wondered if this was the first time anyone had discussed theology, even at such a basic level, while having their cock rubbed. Almost certainly not, he decided, given what some Popes had gotten up to. Alexander the Sixth could have given me lessons in debauchery. Juliana evidently did not share his amusement with the topic, though, and changed it swiftly. "I came to court at the start of the last season," he answered, "and Lady Chatham joined me part way in." He turned to Mary to allow her to elaborate if she wished.
  7. Charles Audley

    A Royal Summons, Privy Garden Monday 7 am

    "Entirely ready, if that is why I was summoned. Have you any enlightenment to offer on that score?" Charles said cheerily, opening his eye and turning slowly to face his interlocutor. The voice was vaguely familiar. Ah. "Mistress Wellsley." He inclined his head. "I remember. We met briefly at the Spanish ambassador's dinner party last season." He had deemed her elegant then, he recalled, elegant and well worth looking at, and time had altered neither opinion. Davina had something. "I take it you have no better idea as to our purpose here than I?" His Majesty was known to enjoy matchmaking, his mind whispered to him, and Charles had gotten drunk with him the night before the summons had been sent out... And I was in a very good mood that night... Well, if that was what the King had in mind, Charles could do considerably worse, he accepted. It would just be bitterly amusing for that to happen so soon after he had decided to court Henrietta. His rapidly forming suspicions were equally rapidly proven wrong, though, by the arrival of Sophia. Unless his Majesty has decided to be very unconventional... Charles had to swallow a laugh at the thought as he bowed in greeting. "Good morning Lady Toledo," he said, returning Sophia's smile and adjusting his cravat as he straightened, "and yes, do be careful. Mud can be surprisingly treacherous underfoot." His eye shone with delight at their secret exchange.
  8. Charles Audley

    A Royal Summons, Privy Garden Monday 7 am

    Charles hummed softly to himself as he strolled towards the garden. It was by no means a pleasant morning, the ground damp underfoot and the sky oppressively grey overhead, but despite that, his temper of the day before, and the early hour, his mood was good. His blood was singing and his eye laughing as he moved, step light and quick. Distantly, he was aware that this was one of his unnatural moods, and that he should not trust it, but he could not bring himself to care overmuch. He had opted for a justacorps of burgundy today, cuffed in gold lace, over waistcoat and breeches of umber and boots of black Italian leather. (More accurately, Wodehouse had opted for the ensemble, arranging matters with customary understated efficiency when Charles realised that the sun was up and he was still in Sunday's clothes.) The requested length of ribbon, deep crimson in colour, was wrapped around his waist, serving almost as a thin sash. Arriving, he paused and tilted his head back, eye closing as he savoured the crisp morning air.
  9. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    The Chathams and Juliana "It helps, I think, that we are not so far apart in age, and that we are both of a practical, pragmatic bend," Charles said, swallowing a laugh at Juliana's wide-eyed 'surprise.' The minx was taking an entirely unwholesome amount of enjoyment from this little charade, but that was fair. So was he. He swallowed another laugh and flicked another amused glance at Mary as she refrained from sticking the knife in. That was unlike her, he thought, but in fairness she did generally maintain decorum in public. That 'practical, pragmatic bend,' of hers, presumably. Her evasion had been a little clumsy, though. She should have followed through, in his opinion. They could have played it off as gentle (albeit irreverent) ribbing. It probably won't matter. I doubt very much that Juliana will care to dig any further. "You flatter me, your highness," he said, putting that little niggle behind him, "but even if I have done nothing to deserve it, I think the Almighty could be forgiven for assuming otherwise. Mine is a most villainous visage, after all." It was also most challenging to keep composed, with Juliana's knowing eyes on him. The urge to smirk, or laugh, or hike her skirts up there and then, was almost overwhelming, and made all the worse by the soft heat of her hand on his groin under the cloak. He did not have to struggle long, thankfully, as Mary took up the topic of comparative religion, a conversational shift he had never thought to find himself grateful for. "Really?" he asked, humming thoughtfully at Juliana's answer. "In my experience many of our continental co-religionists deem us to be more than half-Papist still, though I suppose that could have more to do with the decoration of our chapels than the content of our services."
  10. Charles, Darlene, and Sophia "It will need to be very strong," Charles warned, only half-joking. Powder truly reeked. He flicked a quick glance about the room as the conversation came to a close. "We are among the last hold-outs," he conceded. "Do either or both of you ladies require an escort to the carriages?" Charles did like to play at gallantry.
  11. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Easter Sunday *closing soon*

    The Chathams A breath, and the icy fangs of his anger vanished, swallowed whole by the placid lake of his amiable courtly mask. It was not gone, of course, merely hidden. That wonderful, invigorating near-pain still had him in the embrace of its frigid claws. But Charles had it reigned in now, under control, waiting for a time and place where it could be usefully employed. He was comfortable and content with silence, and he was distantly curious to see how long Mary would allow it to persist. He turned to the doorway, and if his louche grace was a touch more affected than usual who was to say?
  12. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Easter Sunday *closing soon*

    The Chathams Mary did not understand, was perhaps too whole and healthy of mind to ever understand. The risk was just spice in the wine, for what was a game without stakes? Other thrills? You took each and every thrill offered you, because the abyss was waiting, as infinite in patience as in depth, and everyone fell eventually, no matter who they were or how carefully they trod. So why not laugh and dance and dare that yawning blackness to take you? Of course, if Charles had embraced that philosophy as fully as he liked to think, he would have scorned anger as a waste of time and energy. The frozen river of fury that poured through him at Mary's words showed that he did not. The idea that there was anything in him or lacking in him that would have been remedied by greater attention from or association with that useless wretch... (And even if, in some grand cosmic joke, there had been so much as the smallest fragment of truth in that, what right would she have to regret it?) The anger was almost painful, every nerve alight with harsh, jangling energy, but it brought with it a wonderful remote, clear coldness. He was still smiling, he realised, but it was his killing smile now, a thin, sharp thing. "I think, madam, that we would all have a great deal more regrets had he not," he said, all cold sibilance.
  13. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Easter Sunday *closing soon*

    The Chathams Oh, but that expression of faux-innocence was deeply provocative on Mary's face! Charles dipped his head in exaggerated contrition, even as he belied it by waving a hand dismissively. His grin never wavered either, lips still curved as he savoured their little game. It would be unwise to make at her in the carriage, he reminded himself, even if she was amenable. "Don't pretend you aren't enjoying yourself," he murmured in turn. (OOC: Sounds good to me.)
  14. Charles Audley

    Desperatis hic in Vinarium | Saturday after 10pm

    "Because you've met me," Charles answered brightly, grinning at Caroline, and leaned in to listen attentively as they caught up. "Eventful indeed," he murmured, letting out a low whistle. "I do not know this Alston, I think, but it is good that he has not made an ass of himself. I would seek advice were I you, though. As a widow you have considerable entitlements, even and especially in the absence of a will, and it would not do to be unaware of them, or to be cheated out of them." She had better news, too, though, and Charles grinned delightedly. "I have met Chichester. He seems a pleasant fellow, and wealthy, as you say. Always well turned out, too. Congratulations Hippolyta!" He raised his glass in toast.
  15. Charles Audley

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    The Chathams and Juliana Charles swallowed a laugh at Mary's interjection, but he did flick her an amused glance, lips curving upwards. "Ah yes, where are my manners? Charles Audley, Earl of Chatham, at your service, your highness." He inclined his head to hide the smirk he could not suppress, a decision that proved doubly wise as Juliana's hand moved to his groin under the cloak, and trebly so as she asked, with an astounding imitation of innocence, if he and Mary were married. The action and the words, following on so soon from each other, provoked a complicated series of reactions, and he was grateful to have a moment to compose himself properly. "Lady Chatham is my stepmother," he explained smoothly, "and I too would like to know why she thinks I deserve to be smote." He arched a teasing eyebrow at Mary.
×