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The Mediary; 24th December, late Morning- Xmas 1677

Nicolette Vauquelin

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The Duke of Buckinghams residence on Pall Mall was huge, Nicolette's french taste for showy opulence was certainly satisfied. Walking up the great steps, she was dwarfed, yet the purpose of her visit was bold enough to fuel her on. Letters enough had passed through his hands, but she wanted to see him again. She wished to separate her imaginations from the raw fact of him, and see for herself what might or might not be.


In richly accented voice she spoke, "I hoped to see Lord Kingston, is he in?" A Letter was clasped in her hand, a smile on her face for the guard she addressed.


She'd taken pains with her wardrobe for the visit, though for now only her cloak was visible; a warm maroon spunwool cloth, trimmed embroidered rosettes in silver thread and a silver clasp. "I have a letter." she said to explain.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The staff of the Duke of Buckingham was efficient, and the French mademoiselle was welcomed into the house before she had even reached the door. After all, leaving ladies out in the cold was not the scope of the duke's hospitality.


"Lord Kingston left for the palace a short while ago, but his lordship should not be gone long, for he said he wished to make ready for the opera tonight early so that he might go to Barn Elmes to pick up Master Cole."


Unlike Buckingham, who was oft cryptic, Lord Kingston left instruction to give his particular friends knowledge of expected return and innocuous whereabouts, and the house knew Mademoiselle Vauquelin was of some interest.


"Would you like to wait in one of the parlours? I am sure his lordship would be happy of your visit."


(OOC - I might have Bucky pop in to keep her company for part of her wait )

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Her cold fingers moved upon the cloaks silver clasp, while her expression remained of interest. "I am happy to wait please, is there a fire in?"


Chilled fingers fumbled inefficiently, till she realised that the helpful guard was just right there, and looking more helpful by the second. "Mmm... will you?" she took another step closer, presenting herself to him for his clasp-releasing expertise. She maintained a very serious expression meanwhile... though she did peek to his eyes then (perhaps he might guess that she was experimenting with feminine guile?) Her lips were ready to break into a grin, should he perform her bidding.


Cloak eventually discarded to a coat pegs care, Nicolette bit lower lip of what was revealed then.


Yes she'd dressed very carefully upon Lord Kingston's consideration, namely wearing her rouge satin breeches that she'd told him about last season (which had seemed to intrigue him in a favorable way.) As she was not entirely sure of what ladies should wear above and below such daring costume, she'd settled upon a simple cream chemise, overwhich she wore a cream corset detailed with navy and red braiding stomacher, lastly with a navy shawl draped over her shoulders. While for shoes, she wore a sturdy pair of walking boots.


Truth be told she was a bit nervous of wearing something so far from her usual frills, so she combated her nervousness with a jaunty smile and hand on one hip as she looked around, pretending that this was all perfectly normal.

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The servant at the door, unclasped it for her without any comment or expression. The Duke might have a quirky household in some ways, but they knew how to receive the highest of visitors, so showed the typical restraint.


If she expected the Duke's household to be shocked at breeches, she had another thing coming, though. The Duke's sister frequently showed up at her brother's house in various states of masculine dress and demeanor. If anything at Buckingham's house, such was common, even his mistress, when she was in London, scampered about in breeches.


Show up at a proper household, and breeches might get a reaction.


"This way, mademoiselle," the brown-haired fellow said, leading her to a pretty drawing room overlooking the garden.


In record time another servant appeared with some cold breakfast selections and to offer her a drink from the cabinet.


If she had ever seen Kingston spar in the park just outside of the gates, she might not have been surprised by the arrival of everything, because the Duke's largess sent even food and drink to the park for Francis and Tommy to spar, along with chairs and all the trimmings. It was the princely sort of largesse that he had been used to his whole life aside from that 11 year period of wandering. The view of the gardens in the glistening snow was quite pretty!

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It was the perfect place to dip her toes, the brown eyed servant did not bat so much as a eyelash at her appearance. While she still privately hoped that she'd garner some manner of reaction from Lord Kingston, the lack of raised eyebrows now bolstered her confidence indeed.


After her pose-like appraisal of the entrance hall, and cloak seen to a safe peg, she sauntered into the reception room (one of many, she supposed, in a house this size!) As she walked she considered Mall, and tried to channel her confidence. Not that Nicolette knew that woman at all well, she'd seen her just once at Brighton, at the wading pools. The french lass had watched, listened also, to the banter that had gone on between the Dukes sister and Heather.


"La, the Duke is as generous as he is grand." a daunting amount of food was presented to the tiny woman, who then felt obliged to take up a plate and place a few morsels on it. A wedge of cheese, a brined kipper, a slice of melon, and a dollop of curds. Holding said plate, she gave a grateful smile to the servant, who now considered her liquid needs. "I'd love a warm brandy."


Nicci wandered to the window as she awaited her drink, peeking out and wondering which way Lord Kingston would arrive from? That was if the stables was in view from this window at all. She could feel the chill radiating off the glass where she stood, and in idleness she tipped forwards and blew a puff of breath to cloud the glass; therein she wrote her initials; N.V. The initials Francis said were akin to envy, initials that had (by fluke) met the criteria he had set for the letters she'd writ.


It was likely to be a long wait she supposed, so once she had possession of the hot drink she moved to the fireside to sit and warm her toes.

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The Duke of Buckingham was an opulent fellow, but like the King, he also enjoyed the relaxation of small clothes, especially right after he woke up. In truth, he would probably still be sleeping if it were not for the arrival of Francis' visitor. Anything to do with his nephew, had also to do with him. That was just the way of things. If the boy was useful for one thing, that was certainly women, but thankfully it was not just the one thing.


If any thought the Duke had not delved deeply into the entirety of Nicolette Vauquelin during recess, they did not know George Villiers very well. Buckingham had a limited attention span for many things, but he was very well-connected, especially in France. Not only that but he had made several mistresses and secret interests for the King, but he had an interest in the King others could not have in the same way. They had grown up like brothers, and what older brother ever stopped being an older brother, even if kings did not have older brothers. Whether his royal master liked it or not, Buckingham wished for his best interests more than any other man in the duke's mind. Even James could not fully wish for Charles' best interests, standing to gain by things which could happen. Nothing happening to the King could ever benefit Buckingham; he knew he would never have the closeness and relationship with any other monarch. Not even with York.


So when the King had expressed some interest in the mademoiselle to Kingston, and at the same time Basildon had finally capitulated and learned where his bread might be better buttered, under the Duke's guidance, Buckingham had good reason to take interest in both now. If they played their cards correctly, he could do far more than help her to please the King.


In Kingston's absence, then, he had dressed, albeit slowly, and made his way into the parlour to learn more of Nicolette Vauquelin. After all, she would need more than just Kingston's help to learn all the proclivities of the King as deeply as she would need know them, but that was for later. For now, he would see what she was like without an audience of onlookers.


In the open doorway appeared the silver-blond, sans periwig, with a most dazzling dark blue frock thrown over his shirtsleeves and ivory breeches. He was wearing no waistcoat or cravat.


"Welcome, Mademoiselle Vauquelin. I do hope you have found your wait tolerable thus far?" A piece of him hoped he caught her somewhat off guard.


He pretended he had not heard of her breeches beforehand, preferring to be able to comment once she rose, which he assumed that she would.

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It had been a mistake, the kipper that was, it's dead eyes seemed to watch her.


Having demolished the cheese with her brandy, she'd continued on to eat the curds, then finish with the refreshing slice of melon. What was I thinking of the fish? Nicci regretted ever placing it on her plate, she'd only done so because the servant had been watching, and kippers were so quintessentially English.


Leaning forwards she turned the plate 180 degrees, so that kipper was no longer looking at her. And she went back to looking in the flames, and imagining when the life of luxuries might be hers, and working on her list. It was her usual habit to work on that list as she fell asleep at night, but inevitably she drifted off before she'd gotten past the first half dozen items. Today she found time to work on her list during daylight.


A racing horse, black and shiny. A fur coat, white with grey tips. A tourmaline and diamond clasp like lady so-and-so was wearing. The kipper caught her eye again, it was distracting from her very pleasant and inspiring inventory of goals...


So it was that Buckingham might have noticed the Frenchwoman pondering a still life that was the abandoned fish upon dish, before he announced his arrival.


Francis? Eyes turned towards the entrance, it was Buckingham. Mon dieu! Yes he did catch her off guard. There was a certain informality shed anticipated with Lord Kingston, that was rattled now she saw it was, Lord Buckingham. Duke Buckingham. Her hopes, and her Cousin's, were upon a balance scale and Buckingham's finger could weight it to their favor or detriment. The importance of the dazzling blue beacon of a man sent a thrill though her entire form, her eyes flared of all he was, and of all he represented


"Your Grace." she flashed a smile and got to her feet, thinking to make a curtsy, before remembering she was not dressed as a court lady. Curtsy transformed into a bow, presenting her leg forwards like gents did, and bending low over it, one hand tucked across her waist, the other reaching elegantly behind her. She held the pose for a moment. Trying to remember Heather, Francis, Mall, all of her muses, before she arose again and gave the Duke a grin.


"The wait has faded into nothing now you are here. You surprised me, Lord Buckingham, my heart it is all a pitter patter." though it was not her heart, but a jantily posed hip she put her hand upon; the pose she'd practiced -- her eyes meanwhile watched him intently for clues to his pleasure or displeasure. The pose had been meant for Francis, but fortune had granted her audience with the Duke, she'd do her best to spend the time wisely.


"You nearly surprised me to death, alas, the kipper here was not so fortunate." her eyes shone as she said this last, the abandoned Kipper offered to the Duke as a device around which they might make banter (if he was so inclined).

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Even in his slight disarray, he had an easy poise and natural grace. He glided into the room at a lazy pace. At forty-nine, soon to be fifty just after Christmastide, Buckingham might have an ache or two, which his favoured morning tonic helped immensely, but he moved in that princely way. Effortlessly. At least, when he wished to. She was putting on a show for him, no doubt, as all women did, and he would surely put on one for her. It was only fair.


Light blue eyes took in her bow with a twinkle. His lips curved upwards, almost in that same lazy fashion. They still rolled over her in an unrepentant caress as she rose.


At least I am not angry I decided to get out of bed... Buckingham thought to himself, oft employing his own cynical humour in his head. She was attractive, and such a presentation of feminine leg any red-blooded man would enjoy.


He said in a beautiful French, "If with a," he made a move as if to blow something out of his hand, "poof, I master time, we shall either have all the time, no time at all, or both with which to chat."


The wily Duke knew he was still a handsome man, even with a few (mostly) denied gains around the middle. So his ego told him, and his ego could float the entire kingdom if such a thing were possible. That he had sampled and led many of court's most alluring women was proof enough of that to him.


"Alas," Buckingham began, as if he was going to think nothing of the fish at all. Hardly the case. Wit did not need to be obvious, and she wished to enter a game of being more stealthy by his estimation. Playful and not.


"So, Master Kipling, shall we sit," he said with a chuckle, passing intimately close to her and turning his head just slightly toward her as he did so. He seemed to carry the promise of something on his way to a padded armchair, which he draped on in an entirely informal but elegant way.

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He was old enough to be her father, though to the girl who'd grown up without one that only added to his appeal. More importantly he did not look at her with reserved eyes (like how Lord Daventy did, much to her frustration). No, he looked at her like she was a new mare he might add to his stables, and here she was displaying her forelock and teeth! There seemed something a little wicked about her pleasure of being looked over.


The French lass held her breath, and dared, dared to return his open inspection.


He had only shirt under his jacket, light and puffy and open at the throat - the breadth of his shoulders, the height of the man, and - no she did not dare look at his own breeches, although her cheeks had pinked in consideration of doing that.


The thought of seducing Francis was forgotten from mind, the Duke had a way of commandeering all of ones attention.


Thankfully he spoke then, catching away her mind. So eloquent. Her expression relaxed and she reached to 'catch' his puff of breath, "May I keep this magic? I am convinced already that I shall need it to turn over the moments with you again, later. La, your allure is cruel Lord Buckingham, barely has our meeting begun, than I dread when it might stop."


Yes she put upon a show for him, angling herself to her best side, and holding her shoulders just so to best display her assets as she pretended importance to the fish. 'Alas', he said. Nicolette tipped her head, waiting the man-of-wit's sally. He moved past her so close she could smell the fragrance of his soap...


Giggling of the pseudonym given, Nicolette moved away from the chair she's been sat at, to kneel on the mat at the Dukes feet. Reckless perhaps. But in this high stakes game she was determined to go all chips in. "Not Sir Kipling? But I should so like to be knighted by the royal sword." But he knew that already, she fully expected that he had also been privy to any letter, any conversation on that topic.

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"If you can," he replied, with that haughty confidence tempered by a lackadaisical smile. He might yet be a bit sleepy. This was not his typical hour of wakefulness. Still, though, the Duke of Buckingham did not let a simple thing like an odd hour hold him back.


As he sat a servant arrived with two warmed carafes. One would smell of Nicolette's choice of beverage and the other perhaps a bit bitter. She might recognize the smell of coffee, but the Duke drank it with an addition, like the Italians of his youth.


This all went on behind the young lady in drag as she knelt down in front of him.


Buckingham licked his lips. There were many eccentricities she had yet to learn. His blond cub had quite the job set out for him.


"No, not so," he said, in a sort of faux dramatic seriousness, leaning forward some, his shirt falling open. He had silver-blond hair peeking out. "Sir Kipling could not be done, Sir Nicholas could." he added, with a chuckle. Indeed, a knight was always called by Christian name, not surname, so what he denied was quite true.


"And, dear girl, if you seek to flatter," he leaned closer and whispered, "dukes never prefer to be called as a lord." In fact, while in some languages and countries that was somewhat correct, in English it was not, and Buckingham's vanity was notorious. He winked and chuckled. She might notice the gentleman she had originally come to visit was surely related to Buckingham.


"If you wish the dubbing of the royal sword, mademoiselle, there is far more to learn than to flirt and to appeal to a man's base natures." He ran a hand along her jaw and then leaned in to give her a taste of what she wished to impress, brushing his lips against hers. "You need to be useful beyond a fuck, a thing you have yet to even know, yes?"


His thumb and forefinger lingered on her chin even as he pulled back.


"Now when I speak of learning at the knee of the greatest duke, that has some different meaning for this," he added, a light smile quirking one side of his face. In fact, that, coupled with her masculine garb was a bit odd for that pose for that moment.


Instead, he pat his knee. "Come sit." Then he added mischievously, "I am sure there shall be plenty of time for you to be on your knees if you wish to be."



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To Nicolette's viewpoint, she'd had an incredible amount of interaction with the Duke since she'd arrived. From personal revelations that night at The Ball, to attendance at his Private Concert at the beach, and then there was The Banquet (though that had not gone so well), and finally The Kings Walk. But still, any interaction with a man of his caliber was note worthy, and consumed multiple pages in her diary, and many more hours tuning over in recollection. While she could not claim to know the man, she'd learnt any number of nuances - of the mode he projected, and the role he preferred.


She had also learnt that he was not overly fond of plain speech, perhaps it was an influence of his time in France? And so she knelt, symbolic of the stance her family en toto had chosen, and for her part, here right now, it simply seemed right.


And perhaps he thought so too. He leaned forwards with an indulgence of correction, his skin became exposed, fair hairs speckled with the silvers that came with age and wisdom. There was an intimacy in the moment, that she hardly felt chastised at all, bur rather, guided. "La, I am enamored of the prestige of your name; Buckingham, and utter it even without thinking -- how would you have me address you, Your Grace..." He was in good humor, and chuckled, and she smiled seeing that, his humor had her tentatively suggest the unthinkable, "...Jeorge?" Which was surely impossible, as if she could ever be on first names with a Duke! Really, what she said was what the English called a joke, and he'd burst into laughter, yes?


In the progression of conversation, to the elephant in the room, the Duke moved easily onto the topic, putting his finger directly upon her challenge in that regard. There was more to it than flirting. His movement then towards a kiss, was a surprise, closing her eyes she tried to kiss him back, but this was just a brush of lips. He teased. Nicci's head spun with confusion, and then found herself opening her eyes and nodding, "No, I do not know that yet." some time between then and now a lump had formed in her throat.


He'd given her a demonstration of the power of resistance, it was a very powerful force, she'd been played like a kitten. She needed to learn to do that too. Her eyes darkened with a deeper understanding of the intellect of the man before her. "I have much to learn."


Upon his prompt, Nicci moved to slide onto his knee, the ache of the un-given kiss still prominent in her mind, so too was the thinness of the fabric between her rump and his thigh. "Practical I do not know much, but academic, this is not so. The Lady O'Roarke gave me a book to learn from, describing the feminine arts." she said, wriggling a little, then looking to him curiously. "The other Lady writer of the book is Lady Lismire." she paused a moment, and moved her hand to his neck to steady, and then whispered, "when I do, one day, it will be like a chorus of ladies cheering for me." She wondered if, since Francis had some habits from the Duke, then the Duke might have some of the eccentricities of Francis. There had been a few pages about a time overseas, where Francis had been a spectator. Would the Duke be enchanted by talk of a virtual audience?


"Ah, but I must be of more use than a .. fuck." she went on to prompt quietly. It had seemed like he had more to say on that, and that talking about deeds of the bedroom was not his priority. Still, she liked this closeness to the great man very much, and pressed her bosom to his chest as she listened.

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Away from everything she had a certain playful sweetness, a wanton sort of artistic innocence. The sort of innocence just dripping eagerly away moment by moment.


That is a novelty for His Majesty. Portsmouth was weeping willow and had lost enough influence that the King went to marry her off. Catriona was, well, she was a Scot. Heather...went and fucked a Scot. Nell was always merry, but yet she was not refined in the least. Barbara was a thing from Charles youth; nobody would rule him like that again, he was even more guarded now. He moved toward more casual, but George knew a few things of dear Charles and of men in general. There was always some comfort in constancy.


In an airy French, moving easily through his lips, he said, "George!" And then a warm chuckle at the joke, continuing, "Very few have ever called me with such familiarity, mademoiselle. Perhaps some day you shall find out if my lovers are among them." It left him with an easy spirit. Buckingham was good at making a game of anything if he was in the right mood, mercurial as he was. "Your Grace, my lord duke. Perhaps you shall earn your ways past such barriers. He grinned.


One of his hands found its way to her breeched thigh, resting there idly, simply his thumb moving across the fabric.


"Lady O'Roarke, you say? Do tell me more," he veritably purred in his lionlike fashion, not far from her ear.


As to her concerns about being more than just a wonder of one night for his master, Buckingham assured, "That is why you have Lord Kingston and I, and your cousin Basildon. There is preparation. A slow progression. A period where you must set a firm grasp in his desires before entering into the final intimacies."


Had his hand moved a bit further up her thigh while he spoke?

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He did laugh, a lovely rumbling sound that begun in his chest; and she so close that she could even feel it. Grinning her delight, and then laughing of his playful prophesy, Nicolette pressed a little closer. "I shall not find this out today?" Although she had a generalized game plan, she did not count anything as set in stone, and the Duke... he was the Duke! Here she attempted 'the feinted kiss' upon him, letting her lips graze his neck before she pulled back away.


Did he approve? Her eyes met his questioningly, before she gave a theatrical sigh, "La, but your barriers." which was what he'd described his forms of address as, "I shall apply my saws and axes to them... my teeth also, if this is necessary?" She noticed his hand, and felt a rather pleasant massaging sensation. He seemed to be doing it without conscious thought, and she was not about to point it out to him. It felt nice. Especially to be touched so familiarly. She could tell already that this meeting was going to consume at least four pages in her diary.


Nodding, she met his eyes. "Yes Lady O'Roarke, they are compiling an, utterly unauthorized I think, compendium of court lovers. It is an A to Zee." she paused, now playing coy, "can you guess how many pages your expertise consumes?" Though of course Nicolette would never betray the content. Heather's trust in placing the book to her care had been a very significant thing, Niccolette would never let it out of her own hands. That said, she thought Heather would be pleased enough to know the volume played a part in this attempted seduction. For make no mistake, the French lass currently attempted the Duke, her cousin would expect nothing less of her.


"Preparation." she breathed. These were things she supposed had been separately discussed within the group, though she'd not spoken directly with Buckingham of it till now. And the mention of Kingston reminded her of that particular part of her plan. "Your Grace, these steps are so slowly taken." she complained lower lip jutting, though at the same time her heartbeat quickened with nervousness, "I want to dare, I want to be all I can be, for You, for The King, and for Me." had his hand moved? She shifted a little to better enjoy, it felt so nice. "... mmm," her lips were close to his neck again, her breath warm in the proximity of his missing cravat. "...even for France. I will represent my country well..." her voice trailed off. Nobody spoke well of Kérouaille, not in England, and rarely even in France.

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"Your teeth? Hmmhmm," he purred with amusement. "Only on the less sensitive areas."


She played well with words for not having the knowledge to back it, an irony he found rather amusing and charming, in its own hedonistic way.


"And not today, no," he whispered, with that confidence that made the duke an alluring personage. It was not that he objected to virgins, for he did not. It could be that he was too lazy for it. Of course, it might also be that it was not he that needed the practice.


However, he always enjoyed playing, and a pleasant diversion in the form of a wanton virgin was nothing for the Duke of Buckingham to pass up. He was assured of his desirability even at his age in that moment, so easily stroked was his near-royal ego.


"Of court lovers you say?" Buckingham sat back and looked at her in a contented sort of way. He had certainly not been awake very long. "I should wager the greatest number of pages or she is lying. Those of our sort do love to play jokes on one another." He raised an eyebrow with that same lazy smile.


The Duke neglected to remember that much of his period with Heather had been whilst he was at one of his lows.


If Gwendolyn had thought his jaunt to Bath had been evasive, depressive, and selfish, that was very little of a mercurial reaction by comparison to where he had been when he had been bedding Heather.


"And who else is detailed therein?" he thought of all those he knew that Heather had bedded. That could be quite the long list especially if Lady Lismire was involved as well. His curiosity was surely piqued.


She veritably purred in his lap, even his simplest ministrations having quite the impact on her. She seemed to melt against him.


She shall be quite moldable


"It cannot be rushed. What is easily gained is easily discarded and easily replaced," the Duke assured her, in a sage yet baritone voice. She was, at least, having the desired effect on him physically, even if he was not prepared to undertake her entire tutelage.


Let Kingston do the messy bits He could then make sure she could suit the King, teach her a few secret eccentricities.


His hand was right at the crease of her thigh, teasing her dreadfully close to the problem that had so plagued her.

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Not today. Nicci pouted at that, lips recently licked gleaming while her eyes were dancing of the game they played, and played with seeming ease, as though it might always have been like this. But it had not. Briefly abandoning her role of nymph to his greek god, she said, "I owe much to Lord Kingston, and my cousin Lord Basildon, that we have come to this today. And to you, Your Grace most of all, for this new chance." It was an apology of a sort, for at her own devices she'd not done very well, having been more of a frustration to the Duke more than anything else.


Though role of playful nymph was one she took to readily, the joy of it, the adventure. It might have helped that Heather's compendium shone a scintillating, thrilling and empowering light on ladies that embraced the vocation. Academically she had little to fear, particularly under the gentlmen's protection. As long as she was of a use to them at least, as long as she held he Kings interest she had naught to fear. Though tell that to her heartbeat that quickened out of proportion of the small movements Buckingham was taking. However impatient she was to have 'her problem' gone, she was nervous of it. However much she wished it was quickly done, this incremental pace was rather fast enough!


He leaned away then, amused to consider his pages in the book. "La, there are ten pages, but only four of them are written." she professed, "I am left to wonder if this means that there are six pages of secrets too profound for moral eyes. Or... if they are reserved for accounts in the future?"


She ought to have guessed he'd want to know about the others, it was perhaps a mistake to have mentioned the book to him, or had it been a part of a plan from Heather. "Well, there is one named Sackville..." an entire page in fact, that Heather had included for reasons known only to her, "La, he is a strange one, Lady Lismire wrote he has a love of kissing toes? She did not like it. Mmm... I don't know if I would like that?" her expression was briefly questioning, before she gave into laughter.


Their ilk like to play jokes on each other? Nicolette filed such tidbits away for later contemplation, yet his comment that an easy gain was easy lost begged her further inquiry. "What must I do for the slow intrigue of the King, what entertains, and entices his mind, not just his lust." These were the pearls of wisdom that George Villiers the person knew while others did not. Valuable information. Perhaps she'd not earned that information yet? So it was she did not speak with too much intensity, if he did not want to reply shed be content at that. When it was time, he'd let her know.


But for now, she noticed how terribly warm it was where their bodies touched, and his hand... her hand moved to cover his, for a moment halting it's progress. A shuddered breath was drawn, and her eyes found his as she allowed his hand upwards, "This is for Lord Kingston?" she whispered, heart hammering in her breast, her lips but an inch from his.

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  • 2 weeks later...

(OOC - sorry for the wait)


"You must prove yourself worthy of the chance, of such lofty support," he whispered, for the duke did not sell his assistance cheaply. "To learn what you must learn, it is not given cheaply."


He gave her a sly smile, still teasing her. He had told her before she would need to have thick skin. What she wished to do was no small task. Sometimes it was a dangerous one.


"I assure you, those six represent an infinite number of pages that Lady O'Roarke did not experience, although she was quite the adventuress." He left out that he contributed to those things of him Heather had not experienced. He was too vain to think on it.


"Toes?" Buckingham pulled back for a moment to laugh. FIngers, he could understand. More than one lady had a fascination with his long, thin fingers for multiple reasons. Toes, Dorset?


One might have thought that would come out at the brothel.


If one had a toe fetish, one probably would not suck a whore's toes.


There was an unspoken sort of rule that one did not put one's mouth certain places on a brothel whore. That was neither here nor there.


"Wit and dexterity if all situations is needed just for survival," he promised, leaning to kiss her neck.


She halted his hand, if but briefly. He did not seem bothered by her mention of his nephew. "Much, but perhaps not all...Do I frighten you?" She surely was a virgin, and there was some heavy erotic titillation in flirting with and toying with a virgin, especially in his lap. "It is but a little pleasure, perhaps to flush your cheeks prettily." He started to caress her in small circles, even though the fabric.

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(OOC - n.p - life happens!)


Nicolette held his gaze, that sly smile he gave, those eyes of his that glittered of the intrigues he had going on. She knew a fraction of one of the plots he played, he probably juggled a half dozen more, and quite possibly they interacted with each other as a part of some much larger game. "I chose to learn from the Savant," her eyebrow rose playfully as she called him this, "I shall pay my due, but give my respect freely."


She was quiet a moment, and then said, "My Lord Duke? I remember the night I first saw you, the Ball, and you were dancing the french style so beautifully. I looked, and you winked, and I felt such happiness then." it was an unnecessary recollection to speak of, but she did. "Mmm... I just wanted you to know, that, this, feels very right." she gave a small smile. She'd have liked to have kissed him, but had learnt that the Duke kissed on his terms.


His comment on the unwritten pages were soberly said. "It was time that Lady O'Roarke lacked in? For surely she was worthy of the knowledge" Nicci replied, "I hope I have time." she suddenly wondered what made lovers move on? Why hadn't those pages been written? She needed to ask Heather these questions.


Buckingham was surprised to find out about Dorset's fetish, and laughed generously of it. "M-hmm, a feetish." she grinned, "This would be a good thing for a prank of?" (he'd just told her how the libertine set liked to prank each other.) Overshadowing such pranks and games though, he recommended wit and dexterity for her Royal sport. The advice itself was a reward, something she received with a level of reverence and joy. These were keys, keys that not everyone could employ, keys that, by his giving them to her was evidence that he must see some potential? Goosebumps run up one side as he kissed her neck, her breath caught and she shimmered with pleasure. However, whatever was happening.


Nicolette squirmed, "No, not frightened, nervous, embarrassed, but more than that too...I want, the wicked things," she whispered of that, pressing herself against him instinctively seeking the distraction of his lips. The full of her attention though was upon where his hand was, and what he was doing. The red satin beneath finger blotted into maroon, "Your Grace." she whispered in a tiny voice. Nature was willing her to widen her legs, decorum was telling her otherwise, nature was winning. The girl bit her lip and tried not to make any noise, holding back the involuntary noises that arose from her throat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Buckingham played her like a violin, or being in his lap, perhaps a viol was more apropos. The music, though, did not pour forth as she tried to hold it all back. Such was all too common with ladies who had yet to realize that their wanton cries were quite the drug to the ears of a man but were instead something to be ashamed of, but she was no new bride going to bed with a husband who must be convinced of her virginity.


"Mmm, do not hide your pleasure, mademoiselle, there is no sweeter music to a gentleman's ears," he whispered, in a self-satisfied way.


"Do not be embarrassed..."


He continued with his ministrations. He would give her a first in something perhaps. A thought which put a satisfied smile on his lips. "You shall soon know all the wicked things..." he promised.


Corruption was so very sweet. He could not resist at least a little of its siren call even if he would leave the work of it to his Kingston.

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(OOC - using the knocking on your door premise. Nicolette stayed long enough that Francis could have arrived home )


Francis had made his round of the Presence Chamber and then headed back home, not expecting anything in particular on his arrival. He simply planned to prepare for the opera and then go to pick up Master Cole.


When he walked into the house, though, the servants informed him that Mademoiselle Vauquelin had arrived to see him and had waited some long time for his arrival.


Therefore, he hastened up the stairs to meet her, quite unprepared for what was unfolding in the parlour already.

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By his own declaration, Buckingham was expert, and deftly peeled away the anticipated (cliche even) concerns of this first-timer.


With eyes wide, daring to believe him, Nicolette loosed the sounds constrained in her throat and took a great gasp of air; a concerto of mewling yearning and entirely primitive sounds enveloped as she squirmed pink cheeked upon the tips of his fingers. Her bosom heaved, while her own fingers clasped him tighter and tighter. A brief thought crossed her mind that perhaps she ought be doing something similar to him? But the practicality of doing so seemed impossible, and. and. And! Her thighs clamped around his hand, eyes squeezing closed, lights flashed. Slowly and deliberately he thrummed her climax, shuddering the appreciative girl on his lap.


Amidst her groans, "Don't stop...." Nicolette's voice quavered piteously as something changed, were those footsteps. Dont say it is Francis? "...oh no, someone comes." her eyes flared open with concern, her hand moved atop his.

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This was the fun part about virgins, surely.

Yet another happily defiled!


The Duke was pumped up with this reinforcement of his continuing prowess, even turning half a century old in a few short weeks.


The writhing moaning was enough for any man and truly with very little effort.


"And now you know the delicious secret all father's hope their daughters never learn and all husbands are told to leave sleeping," Buckingham said with a chuckle, giving her a kiss on the neck.


How she heard approaching footsteps through all her noises was surprising to the duke. He surely had not heard anything, but then again it could just as easily be one of dozens of servants and attendants and as a duke, one learned to entirely ignore them.


Most of the servants had seen him in various states of sex anyway, those related to him included.


It was not until Francis appeared in the doorway that Buckingham even considered that it was the boy, which even at Francis' age, he still considered a cub of a man.

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It was a bit too late to pass by the door by the time he fully realized what was going on, but it surely was not anything he had not seen before. It surely was not anything he had not seen before when attending the King. It was not what he was expecting, but it was not surprising.


Instead of shock, Francis merely waited until they were finished, bowed, and said in a cheeky voice, "Shall I come back, Your Grace?"


But it seemed as if the Duke had naturally come to the end of his game, for he rose, and deposited the fully awakened French mademoiselle on her feet.*


"I think, Kingston, Mademoiselle Vauquelin and I are at our natural conclusion," the elder said, with a chuckle. He pulled her hand to his lips and gave it a sly parting kiss.



(OOC - Since I can't overlap too much, I'm going to transition the scene over, but you can feel free to still address Bucky in your post to wrap up that part. I'm not trying to cut your reaction to everything short, just give you enough to make sense to respond )

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Perhaps in the coming weeks, months, Nicolette would loose her shame also. But currently it was a keenly tuned thing, the fear of discovery even added to the current thrill. (The Duke was not to know she'd already thought she heard Francis arriving a half dozen times before!) Yet she now tremor'd and at length sighed, with a glorious sensation of - of - something wonderful.


Rosy eye'd she smiled contentedly at the Duke, and he thought to kiss her and bestowed a epitaph underscoring the moment. "Then you are more generous than a father, and daring than a husband." she murmured in reply. What had really just happened? She wished she could put some label upon the situation to make better sense of it, by his own lips he'd was not lover. What was this relationship then?


No answer came, the complexity of it then discarded in the moment. For now it really was someone arriving. Francis none the less.


Her cheeks flushed an even brighter pink -as meanwhile the Duke cheerfully declared they'd just finished and set her back to her feet, and placing a kiss upon her hand. The French lass resembled a goldfish for a moment, before loosing a laugh and standing a little taller, owning the moment. Her eyes flared and she agreed, "Very completed... mmm page. Perhaps another shall come, Your Grace, Merci. " she dipped into a curtsy of farewell for the Duke (which did not come off near as elegant-looking since she was all legs in her breeches.) Breeches she'd worn to impress Lord Kingston. Though in the current situation she was more likely making a different impression upon the younger man...


...mon dieu mon dieu mon dieu. Lifting her chin she gave a smile to Francis and declared, "You are here at last my pen-friend, my mediary." it was an awkward transition to be sure, and she, feeling all relaxed and yet agitated at the same time, and it being so difficult to not look at Francis and think of... well, both she and the Duke had intents for him, but did the young man himself even know?!



OOC: thanks!

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Francis choked back at chuckle, his lips curling with mirth as the pair joked about completion.




It was far from bothering him. In fact, that was not even a contemplation for him. It was merely accepted as if completely and totally normal.


He gave the Duke a nod as he left, exchanging glances, and earning an amused pat on the shoulder.


Turning to Nicolette, he said, "Apparently I kept you waiting too long, mademoiselle!" He grinned. "Let nothing be said about His Grace's generosity as a host, I suppose!" It really was rather amusing to him.


"It seems you have made a positive impression." He seemed to gain control of his amusement some, still smiling though.

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Nicolette absorbed the tone, the mood between Buckingham and Kingston, her eyes flickered between them, while she gave a smile and said naught. They are very familiar with each other, a master and protege perhaps?


And then they were 'alone', she and Francis. In compare to the Duke's company she noticed a playfulness about Francis, and a freshness also. A fresh vintage in compare to one matured. "His Grace knows much of a ladies, mmm, comfort?" her repressed embarrassment eased in proximity to his amusement, and she too came to grin, "and he made quite the impression upon me, in fact..." and widened her eyes as she adjusted her britches, "... there, that it better!" lapsing into laughter.


So this might be how it was? It was fun to laugh, and not take it so seriously. Not take herself so seriously. This was a different thing she was intent towards, the libertine life. Even her desired, necessary plundering. It was not like Francis was a suitor that she needed to act coy for. Perhaps it might even make it a bit easier for him, to see she was not quite so pure as the driven snow.


"I have another letter for you." she sought about her pockets for the letter* and passed it to him, biting her lip as she did so. "Life, it is so exciting." she lowered her voice, "I have a little present for you in it." if he opened the letter to look he'd see a feather.



* letter by hand

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Like anything at court, it was probably sport to make guesses about Buckingham, Kingston, and their private arrangements. It was the sort of topic ripe for supposition. Francis did not oft hear many rumours, but he was quite sure they must be out there. Buckingham had always been a prime topic for all sorts of stories as it was!


Perhaps, given the current circumstances, many of the wild stories might have a decent chance at veracity.


"Ah, yes, the Duke's fingers are particularly skilled in playing the violin," Francis joked at the man's adeptness for getting a woman off when he wished to. "Those are not a mere mortals hands," he continued tittering into laughter. His elder relation could surely project such importance with a graceful, entitled ease.


"Oh now do you?" He held out his hand. "His Majesty shall be happy to hear from the secret Mistress Envy." His lips pursed together in some amusement.


A slight blush my come across his cheeks. He was surely reflecting on a conversation about the last.


"So am I to give this feather to the King? Is there any special instruction I should deliver with it?" He assumed that it was for the King.

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"M-hmm." Nicolette gave a nod as she passed him the unsealed envelope. Previous letters had not been exchanged hand to hand, she was pleased to be able to do so personally this time. To hear a comment from Francis, especially.


She could not be so artless as to specifically ask if the King liked the letters, yet Francis comment was a clue that he did. (She was flying blind in this, sending anonymous letters meant she could not expect any reply.)


"Perhaps I shall write another letter, when there is more to report." she said quietly, which might make more sense to Francis later on, when he'd reviewed the content of her letter to the King. A small smile was given. It was a curious situation between them, perhaps nothing would come of it.


"No, it is for you Lord Kingston." she explained. Ah! Some times things made such sense in day dreaming theory, and then reality presented, it seem so stupid. "Mmm... to perhaps keep on your person. And one day. Ah. Oh." her words stumbled, "I. We, might have use for it." Now Nicolette was blushing too.


While theory was a mechanical thing that she had read about, and believed herself capable of. The reality of being stood right here opposite the man was something entirely different.

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"For me?" he grinned some.


Francis held the feather in one hand whilst he read the missive to the King in the other, nodding and smiling, chuckling softly even as the imagery and wit was rather pleasing. She was an eager study, that was certain.


"His Majesty shall enjoy this immensely, I think," he lauded freely, encouraging her with a soft, almost feminine nod, for Francis did have a strong measure of femininity to his appearance and gestures. "You are a most alluring, little French wit."


Unlike many men, he was not quite the gawker at the female body, per se. He tended to find other things alluring, as his attraction to the Duchess of Richmond could attest. Although he definitely looked at all the curves and soft bits a lady exposed, he was not as overt about such gestures anymore. Those lewd sorts of looks were for established lovers and whores.


Returning back to the feather in his hand, he brushed it across her cheek and said, "Well, I am sure that His Majesty would also like such tempting touches, so perhaps we should make use of it."

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Nicolette stood there with a growing nervousness.


Perhaps if she knew the gentleman better she'd understand his absence of focus upon the physical, and perceive that his chuckle of the letter was a small triumph, possibly even a step towards his seduction? But she was green to such matured tastes. Fresh from reading Heather's book of sensual delights, she thought that physicality was the singular point. But, Francis did not act interested in her physically.


Chuckling still Francis at least commended her penmanship. "It was, honesty really." she gave a small shrug, "this is what you recommended."


And then the most surprising thing happened. Despite his apparent indifference, Francis paused to toy with the feather and then brushed it against her cheek. Nicolette smiled, lashes fluttering closed and leaned towards, while confused to how it had come about she was happy it had. He had liked the letter, that was her clue.


Eyes opening again, "Mmm..." her dainty fingers lifted to envelop his, and directed the feather towards his jawbone to tickle it across, "it is a good idea, Lord Kingstone, perhaps my next letter; 'a dissertation upon the feather', can be written with your. Help?" Her eyes held his.


"Oh the places I wish my feather to travel,

la, the discoveries I wish it to make..."

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There was a certain instinct in Francis to wait for the lady to make some inclination known, for he had never made that sort of a conscious decision, it was just as he was. Perhaps he did not wish to feel like he was forcing himself on some unsuspecting woman after what he had witnessed during his childhood. At any rate, he had no idea he had not been being encouraging enough. It was more a case of not wishing to rush her.


Men always thought themselves quite transparent; they almost always wished to bed whatever pretty woman was willing.


While it was somewhat odd to him to consider her virginity, he was fast starting to get distracted from it entirely.


One corner of his lips curled up as she ran the feather across his jaw, where it hitched just slightly on a little bit of groomed, blond facial hair.


"You expect me to be the willing victim of your discoveries, then? The lady and her feather?" he asked. If he even waited that long. There was something very alluring about the lingering scent of her arousal, even if Francis was not consciously thinking of that.

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