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A Longing at Somerset 27/12 Before 11 am- Xmas 1677

Charles Whitehurst

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Pacing the floor of his office at Somerset Palace, Charles awaited the arrival of Davina, There had been that communication Sunday at chapel, where he signaled that he would be ready for her this morning, rather than wait for the following morning. Would she have understood the message? Would she arrive as planned.


Using his nervous energy, Charrles continued to clean the dagger he had found. Elam had done the heavy part the night before. This morning it was using a cloth to polish the handle and blade.


As soon as the assignation ended, Charles planned to seek out the weaponsmith recommended to him in London. He was eager to see what clues might be recovered from this antique dagger.

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Dressed for the weather in navy wool Davina intended to make good her few hours respite from her Duties and quickly went to her rooms there to exchange her court slippers for sturdy boots of fine black leather lined with fur to keep out the cold.


Her dress was not changed for she had been mostly idle that morning with hardly a streneuos task so slipping a dark cloak and taking up the gloves that had been the gift of the Scotish Baron she set about her rendevoux. No one stopped her as she made for the courtyard where a carriage waited - far too cold to brave the River - and this was much safer as well.


The ride seemed to take time but then she was there and swiftly stepped out and down the ground crunching under her boots as she went to that same place where Charles' servant had met her before.


Her hood concealed her mostly so she worried nought for that and was glad to finally be inside. No real comfort as a prepetual breeze seemed to blow its way everywhere and she hoped there was a roaring fire to warm her before her lover did!


The door opened silently and she entered able to catch him at his task ....


"I hope your Humours are not out of alignment by the looks of that I wonder."


Walking to where he was she let her cloak fall free then came to his side her eyes taking him in trying to judge his true mood. If he was out of sorts then this brief time together would be rough - not that that was bad - but her own thoughts drifted to being caught close and him exploring her body with slowness building up the heat and passion for them both.


"Are you well Charles?"


She asked quietly concern in her eyes.

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Surprised at her unannounced appearance, the temporary vexation with his back stairs servants melted away when he beheld his sweetheart. The mystery knife was placed gently on his desk as he turned to face Davina.


"My humors are now in alignment," he whispered softly. "And now that I behold you here, I am more than well. Your mere presence is a tonic for my soul my darling." He rushed forward to take her hands as he pulled close to have a good look at her, as if it had been weeks, rather than days, since their last meeting. He warmed her hands with his own, heedless of the chill on her flesh.


"Let me look at you," he added softly as he reached to brush a lock of errant hair from her forehead. "I was worried that you might not come," he whispered as he pulled her into an embrace -- a strong hug at first and then a bold but brief kiss of welcome.


"You are well?"

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She welcomed his advance and smiled at his remarks.


"I will always come." Whispered aganist his mouth as she then returned his kiss her arms going about his shoulders to draw him closed aganist her body.


"I am well and how the sight of you warms my heart ..."


Her mouth sought his once again and she playfully nibbled his lower lip teasingly as her hands moved to his chest where they tugged at his clothing and when she pulled back to look up at him her mouth made a small pout


"I did not see you at all Charles - were you in attendance? I searched but failed - you were the second Gentleman that I managed to not find! But there is no escaping now for I have you firmly in hand ..."


He would know that she was speaking of the Ball


"Of tis always so very cold in here - how do you bear it? I think I should ask Baintree for some furs - something that I can leave behind to provide me with comforts. What do you think?"


She was pratteling on giving him time, if he wanted it, before they moved onto the reason why she was there. But she was impatient and even now sitting on a low stool lifting her skirts and tugging on her boots .....

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"I shall hold you to it," he whispered in reply with a smile. Would it be ever so?


"I was at the ball," he insisted softly. "I looked for you and found you finally with His Majesty at the fourth dance. I had thought you would be with the Queen," he confessed.


When she announced his office was cold it reminded him that they needed to move to their suite. "A fire is burning in our suite," Charles announced as he reached out for her to follow him. "And one burns here," he added softly as he touched his heart. Adopting a more playful smile he went on ... "and one burns elsewhee in my body and I will show it to you soon enough." He began to tug more urgently.


Through the doors they went and down the chilly hallway. "You would look good in furs," he commented as they traversed the short distance. "And how much better you would look as I removed them from your body piece by piece," he offered as they arrived.


The door opened and the heat of the closed room spilled out into the hallway. With urgency he pulled her inside so that he could shut the door. It would take all of his self control to not just cast her on the bed and have his way with her, as he had already worked himself into a state of want.

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She had, in her haste, forgot that this was still Public so she quickly rearranged her skirts casting a cautious eye towards the door as she did so.


"No I was not needed so was given time away. Baintree saw us in along with two Ambassadors and then I set about to search for partners ... Yes. That was most interesting."


She did not offer more.


He reached for her and tugged her gently reminding her that their private space was just beyond and that he too felt a need. He agreed about furs and commented about seeing her covered up only to be revealed to his gaze.


"I think white would be lovely and those from Moscovie are the best but far too expensive so I will settle for fox ...."


She doubted he really heard and when he pulled the door open she was assaulted by the warmth that awaited within and she smiled at his urgency as she was pulled in then she placed herself flat aganist the wooden door as it closed her hands pulling him to her, to her eager mouth, the visible pink tip of her tongue as she smiled at him.


Eager to feel his body she whispered her words coming in little pants


"Far too many articles between us .... Here this must go first ... Kiss me ..."


Uncaring if she were completey naked or if just those parts of her that she needed filled were exposed it mattered not and he would find her more than ready.

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"Do you think he will buy you furs?" Charles asked to make conversation as the approached the suite. He wondered to himself whether he might purchase some fur for her if her brother declined.


When the door was shut and bolted behind them Charles expected Davina to be the one collected and patient. He expected that she would help him maintain his self-control. Instead, she kissed him hungrily and seemed quite ready for action. It was like putting a match to gunpowder. He would not be able to help himself.


Her kisses were returned with fervor as he exercised no self-restraint. "I can take it no longer," he mumbled in a throaty voice as she mentioned the removal of articles of clothing. There was no time for that.


Attempting to pick her up, Charles carried Davina to the bed and cast her upon it with a bounce. His lustful laugh would be signal enough of what was to come. His jacket was removed and flung across the room. His cravat disappeared in a flash. The buttons on his breeches fought him as he fumbled to open them speedily, his manhood at full mast. His shoes remained on the floor but there was no more time spent disrobing. He meant to strike at once.


Attempting to pounce on top of her, Charles knew that she need not remove anything for them to engage in an animalistic coupling. Attempting to devour her with kisses his hands sought to lift those tiresome skirts.

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She had been prepared for his taking of her there aganist the door and so his picking her up and hastily going to the bed where she was tossed quickly made her laugh, teasing him along further.


She watched as his clothing was removed in so swift a manner that it spoke of his true experience in this area.


His hands fumbled and she reached out to help her fingers caressing what lay beneath until it was released and she enveloped it like a glove with her warm hand the feel of it already making her squirm in anticipation. How she longed for it!


His body moved to cover hers and she released her hold busy then in aiding him with pulling her skirts up aganist her waist, legs opening allowing him access as his mouth plundered and she moaned into it. By now she was near to panting for want of him.

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It was not a time for words. Rather, it was a time for action. In the beginning, Charles had been tender and slow with Davina, so as to not scare her. Now, with an intimate familiarity, he could revert to the animalistic style that he preferred. He would have had her up against the door or wall if he had been convinced it would not frighten her.


There was barely time to hike her skirts to her waist before he plunged ahead with ardent vigor. Devouring kisses, ravaged privates, and a serenade of sighs and grunts made for a symphony of sound and movement. It was admirable how long he held out under the circumstances, but the ending was already scripted. Outside the room one would think he was writhing in pain and exhaustion at the moment of release by the sound of it.


With his seed deep inside her, he paused to catch his breath. There was no desire to impregnate Davina, unlike how he felt with Catherine, but Charles had been convinced that the sponge showed him represented a foolproof plan to avoid pregnancy.


His shirt had been removed and flung aside in the course of their bout. He lay atop her still, knowing that his excitement would guarantee another bout shortly. "Oh my darling Davina," he whispered, "I have missed you so very terribly." It was a contented lover's smile that he wore on his face.

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His entry was welcomed and her legs were quick about him drawing him closer if that were possible and she returned his kiss and matched his pace unable to keep herself from crying out when the moment was upon her.


His weight was not uncomfortable and the fact that he had remained locked within ment that soon another would begin but she needed to catch her breath but still encased in her stays made that hard. His whispered words of 'love' tugged and she reached up to brush the damp hairs away from his face her own feelings reflected in her eyes.


"And I have you Charles oh so much - especially in my bed at night when I long for this! I cannot think to ever stop wanting this or You."


She made a small movement then gave him a gentle push indicating that she wanted to sit up.


"I need to remove my stays for I cannot draw breath properly and I shall need your help even thou I am unwilling to lose you there yet a return is in place and I am eager so let us remove all the hindrances then so that skin is next to skin. Shall you teach me yet again?"

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He could feel Davina's push, so Charles allowed his sweetheart to sit up. Once she explained her dilemma, he was only too happy to assist. Bit by bit her clothing was removed and then his own. There was a definite appeal to naked flesh touching naked flesh.


"I do not care what you say Davina. You can protest if you wish but I am kidnapping you the day this holiday season ends and I have taking you a day away to the lodge at Bagshot Park and we will spend two weeks there and never leave the bed," he pledged, wild ideas already dancing in his head. Stolen moments were not enough. They needed more time to explore each other.


"Now then, what position did you like best last time," he replied to her wish for further instruction. He pulled back the covers and invited her to assume any position on the bed and he would compliment it.

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Once freed of the tightness she gave a sigh and then deposited the offending garment to the floor then turned to face him as her hands worked the hooks on her waistband and she quickly stepped out clad now only in her stockings and garters.


His 'idea' made her smile but she said nothing but moved to the space he had provided.


"There were many that you taught so tis not easy for me to choose .... Mayhap we should review afore any decision is made hmm?"


She did not lie back instead rested on her knees where she reached up to pull the pins from her hair allowing the dark tresses to spill over her white skin the scent of her soap drifting to tantalize.


She knew too that her pose would cause a goodly reaction in him as well!

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Charles laughed as Davina expressed an interest in repeating multiple positions. As she stripped herself of clothing, he did likewise.


She was correct that her pose would urge him on. He needed little enticement as it was. Predictably, he sprang into action and sought to sheathe himself from behind. It was an elongated bout as he had just finished one prior, which allowed him to indulge her interest in revisiting various positions.


It was a grand dance between them, with bodily movements in harmony. The crisis was long in coming for Charles, but well worth the wait. It made the release all the more thunderous.


Despite the coolness of the air, the young earl was heated and exhausted from the physical exertion. Pulling Davina closer as he fell on his back, he gave her another kiss before laughing aloud at nothing but their circumstances. "What a glorious time," he declared trying to catch his breath. He would need more tome to recover from this and it would be a good time for the couple to converse.

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There was no hesitation and soon he was there behind her his hands playing, teasing and then the longed for entrance and her body, now used to him, responded back and matched his set rhythm until she lost track and let the sensations envelope unable to hold back her cries.


She was pulled in his direction as he at last sought rest and so she settled along side him her fingers in idle play over his chest.


"I am glad that I please you and even more so that YOU please me!" She teased back. "That is Truth indeed Charles for never would I have known such as this if I had not finally indulged what had been in mine thoughts all this time and you yours."


She raised up on one elbow balancing her weight to look down at him her smile at the ready and eyes that spoke her thoughts.


"Have you had many women then? I ask only because I am curious not because I feel jealousy over them ... Mistress Sedley warms your bed - I saw it clear in her face in Chapel when I stopped to speak to you. She would keep you closer I suspect and does not like the idea that there are others'."


Her question may have be out of curiosity but behind her words she was fishing and she doubted he would be fooled. But to continue would spoil the mood between them so she launced into a new direction.


"Shall you partake of any events this week then or are you duty Bound? I have heard of several things have you? There is the Ball on New Years Night and I plan to wear your necklace again since we did not meet this last time. Tis a great sadness that I cannot go like this naked save for these stockings and your sapphires ...."


She extended her leg with its stocking half way down and garter lost then lay it cross ways over him drawing it up slowly teasing him. She knew the workings of the male body now and so did not expect him to be fully aroused after such playing.


"What shall I give you for New Years?"

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Charles smiled as Davina revealed she enjoyed their time together as much as he. There had been a worry that she would come to despise him for what he had done to her, despite her fervent appeals to proceed that night in the coach. A cloud of guilt still plagued him, though it was rapidly diminishing.


"My time with you is the best of times," he whispered as Davina played with his chest. He took it as a prompt to play with a lock of her hair.


She raised herself up on an elbow and then asked him the most unexpected question. It was the type of question that has no good answer. Despite her disclaimer, she might be hurt if he claimed to have many lovers, thinking herself just one insignificant conquest. Yet, maybe an underestimation might signal to her that he might still care for the few he had bedded. He was on the horns of a dilemma. When in doubt, the truth seemed the most compelling, especially when one was speaking with someone for whom he cared.


Taking a moment, Charles began to count his lovers in his mind. There had been several whores, and he doubted they should be counted. Marion had been his first lady. There had been that accidental and drunken coupling with Anne Scott. Did that count? Probably not, even though it may have produced a child. There was Maureen, the Duchess of Savoy, his wife, Catherine, and Davina. There had been a drunken fling with Fiona and a one time trysts with Alexandra and Eleanor Needham. Would not have Davina been surprised that Charles had bedded her brother's woman in a bid to have Monmouth cast her out. It had succeeded.


"If we do not count single affairs, I have had five, including my wife, and now there is you." He tried to utter it in a way that suggested that he did not group her in with the others. She was special. As for Catherine, was Davina seeking confirmation that he was bedding her? It would hurt her to think so, but he was doubtful that a lie would serve him well. It was little secret and Catherine would not deny it.


"Miss Sedley is more like a friend," he began softly. "She was cast out by York most unceremoniously after bearing him a child. My own marriage was ... a poor one. She was so unhappy. One thing led to another," he explained softly. "I hope you will understand that this is different. In fact, carrying on openly with Sedley allows me to pretend there is no other, allowing the lady that means the most to me to be protected thereby."


Fortunately, the topic changed. "I shall be eager to see you wear the necklace at the New Year's Eve ball," he confessed. The image she conjured in his mind, plus the glancing move of her leg managed to achieve the desired result. Signs of life returned to his loins.


"I would like a locket, with a lock of your hair," he acknowledged when she solicited gift ideas. "As much as I would like it engraved with your name or initial, it would not be wise."


Then he turned the tables on her. "Shall I get you a bracelet to match the necklace and earrings?" he inquired. "I do not want to give you anything that covers too much of your delightful flesh," he played along with the exquisite picture she had painted for him of her nudity but for the jewels.

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She was quiet as he answered her making her now regret the asking of it.


A man had specific needs which were taken care of by taking of a mistress and was not seen as an insult to his wife - for She was there to provide him sons and daughters - not to satisfy Carnal Lust. That he even gave her answers made it worse for there was no obligation on his part.


The silence stretched as he finished with her unable to meet his gaze.


"I am sorry for that. I have no right to ask and you even less to answer but the fact that you did will be a thing I remember always."


She braved and looked at him contrition clear.


That all was well was soon very obvious and she trailed her fingertips along the skin of his stomach feather-light as they sought and finally found what they sought. She was amazed at how easily she now regarded his manhood, was able to touch, caress, and taste with clear enjoyment pleased that he was given pleasure.


"That is all?" She quired at his request. "I shall comply happily then and so will make a suitable thing. For me? Well, I should much like that, but I have jewels enough and if I am to come to you as the day I was born then let me be simply adorned."


"Will you then give me the same token?"


It was a fitting gift for them each she thinks. To posess some portion of the one you care for outshines even the brightest of stones. She would wear his sapphires naturally and be encased in furs and then he would lay her down upon their softness and .....


Her imagines had her hand increase its caresses and her breath caught as desire ran thru her body and she leaned down mouth eager for his signiling that he should move atop her and how eager she was - one knee already drawing up in anticipation.

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"It is well enough," Charles consoled. He knew ladies were curious creatures. "I understand your curiosity. We will speak no more of it."


Davina agreed readily to the locket request and he likewise agreed. "Would you like silver or gold?" he asked in genuine curiosity. "You are worth more than gold to me, but you might prefer silver as it goes so well with your brilliant sapphire eyes," he flattered. "Or we could have a matched pair made," he suggested with a smile, only to have it fade as he thought better of it. "It would be unwise for prying eyes that would note the match."


Her manner was clear as she eyed his loins and moved her knee as if to signal another round. He was so taken with her in that moment that he did not require much titillation. He would be content to kiss her while moving with her and within her for hours upon end. He cast her a knowing smile as his vigor returned. He found himself leaning down to kiss her bosom and nipples. They were like shiny baubles to a magpie.


"You will let me kidnap you at the end of the season will you not?" he paused his kissing and looked into her eyes as if threatening to cease if there was no such pledge.

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She did not respond after his saying that the issue was now closed.


Pleased that her idea had not been viewed as some silly affectation by him she beamed back ready to say that indeed they should have matching ones and silver would do very nicely and would he see to the ordering of them?


"How would anyone put the two together Charles? We are always in Company save for these times we steal. If the design is not too ornate in nature, say a simply oval, it will hardly draw an eye!"


His own emotions were clear and she felt the warm glow in her heart as she looked up at him and then he leaned down to tease her a bit with his mouth as she arched aganist him letting his feast.


"So you might have your way with me then?" She returned the question. "Mayhap I shall kidnap you instead - I could you know."

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Charles did not need much persuasion. "Very well, I shall look to acquire a matched pair with simple design." That seemed a simple way to disguise the connection. Perhaps they could claim that it was coincidence if discovered. "What if I have the King's seal on one and the Queen's on the other?" he suggested. Thus, if discovered, they could claim they were worn in honor of their patrons.


"Yes, I shall have my way with you ... repeatedly," he threatened in a playful tone. "Or, perhaps you shall have your way with me." He expected he would like that.


"You, kidnap me? It would take an entire platoon to force me into a coach ... but from you it would take but one whispered word of invitation," he flattered.


"We will take one week, or two, and make love in every room of the lodge," he laughed aloud, "and in a sleigh outside, beneath furs." The idea had a natural appeal. "Say yes. You need only fool your mistress and your brother, and you are a clever thing."

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"That is a fine idea! No one will suspect at all!"


She readily agreed to his suggestion regarding the tokens to be shared.


"I am yours willingly and so trust that I may benefit from your attentions ..." She reached up to twist a strand of his hair around a finger which brought his face closer to hers. "But do not think that I am not clever enough to plan such a thing. I have been a most apt and eager student."


"And once you are captured I shall be most demanding."


"A day a week or two? Hmmm. That, as always, is more a dream than what can actually be even once the New Year has come. But I am bolder now and shall able to think better so mayhap tis possible after all."


She caught his lower lip between her teeth giving him a playful tug that might also be a tiny bit painful but then her tongue quickly followed to caress and reached further to mingle wth his in offering.


"We have not much time and I, well, I have not had enough ...."

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Charles smiled when Davina praised his idea. She would be his queen, at least in their own private intrigue.


Davina expressed confidence that she could capture him and he chuckled. "You have already captured my heart. What need you to capture my body?" he flattered. "And what precisely would you be demanding?" he played along.


His request for a fortnight alone with her was dismissed as but a dream. He whispered assurance in return. "I dreamed one day you would be in my arms ... and here you are. I dreamed you would give yourself to me willingly ... and you have. If we both dare dream of a respite together, who is to naysay us? A lady bold enough to plot to kidnap the King's bodyguard is bold enough to outwit the unsuspecting guardians of her person. You have but to tell your brother that is the Queen that commands you, and the Queen that it is your brother, when it is your heart that does so." he gave her a light kiss to seal the plotting.


"Not enough?" he replied with mock horror. "Is this part of that demanding you spoke of?" he laughed, already eager for a renewal. "Perhaps you would like to set you own pace?" With that, he lay back and pulled her on top of himself. Let her straddle him and he would let her set the tempo, learning thereby whether she preferred a trot or a gallop.

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He did not think her capable then?


"You suggest that tis an impossible task - Me taking You - I have resources available and coin enough if need be." She teased back.


He was, she knew, serious about them being together in some place without prying eyes or little time and she knew too that her excuse was wearing thin.


"I have said that simply because tis a truth. I did not say I would not. I shall have to find the way clear and so you needs must be understanding of that. Far easy for you for You are free to do as you please and answer to none."


She returned his kiss because she wanted it.


He pulled her atop his body her legs going into position without conscience thought her hands reaching for his and bringing them to her breasts. Lifting herself she settled him in place then lowered moaning a little as he filled her. Her body moved on its own as she set the pace - slow to start wanting to savor and knowing that she would increase as the heat began to build within her - and he would follow.


Her blue eyes locked with his as she rocked and she placed her hands over his telling him that he neeeded to play with her there and her words encouraged as she felt the rising flames and began moving over him in quicker strokes ......

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Charles took Davina's words to be an agreement. Perhaps it was because he wanted it. "Grand. I can provide the coach to take you to meet me and then we travel together to Bagshot. You need need decide what excuse will serve you best." He smiled broadly as he thought on it. Already he had a suggestion or two, but deferred to Davina since he knew her mistress best.


Davina took to the mounting with the skill of a trained horsewoman. Charles smiled as she took his hands in hers and placed them upon her breast. It was confirmation that she enjoyed them being fondled. He watched her blue eyes with his own of brown, the rest of the world fading away but for the pleasure he felt from the rising tempo.


It ended as such bouts did, with noises of pleasure and a strong desire to time the release together. When it was done, Charles kissed her deeply and pulled her down so that she might rest on his chest, his hands playing again with her hair. No words were required in that moment.


It was only several minutes later that he inquired "how long are you able to stay today?"

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She panted still even as he drew her down upon his chest the beating of his heart easy for her to hear and his hands about her hair endeared the moment to her even more. There was no real experience of having a Lover for Davina and so she could but assume that all his behaviors were a customery thing.


He asked her how long she might yet stay and she had to be honest


"I shall have to go soon yet I would stay as this for hours more Charles. I love your touch no matter where tis placed! But I shall carry you away within me still ...."


She snuggled closer to him if that were possible unwilling to release the moment but was betrayed by the rumblings of her tummy which made her chuckle.


"You see how every part of me hungers for You!"

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His contented smile was replaced by a momentary smile when Davina announced a need to depart; yet, she seemed to hold out hope that she might stay for one more bout. Twice was hardly enough for a robust young man like himself. "Is there yet time for another hour?"


She had spoken about taking a part of him inside her. Now doubt she meant his seed. She had some magical sponge that protected her from pregancy, so there were no worries that she did not clean herself afterward, at least as far as he knew.


The comment about hunger, when combined with taking a part of him with her, might have led to a coarse jest from another man. Yet, Davina was a lady and he would never suggest that he teach her about fellatio. That was for whores. He respected Davina much too much to even insinuate that such an act should ever be contemplated. One did not ask a lady, or one's wife to do such a thing. That was what common mistresses were for.


"You did not eat breakfast? I could fetch something for you. Some cheese and bread perhaps?" He did not leave, but instead put his ear to her tummy in a playful way. "I am not hungry," he announced, "having just feasted upon your eyes and body." He found himself chuckling at the quip.

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His ear pressed to her belly was such a gesture of pure intimacy that it caught her breath despite all that had been shared between them. It had not been long since they had first come together these past weeks and there was, she was sure, much that he could teach her still. She was a willing pupil.


"Nay I broke my fast so I do not think I am yet my body speaks otherwise it seems. I do not think there is time enough for that - you know my thoughts my lord and so I shall leave the choosing of it to you. Mayhap if you were to kiss me say here ... or here ... the decision might be easier?"


Her hands played about his hair a gentle 'tug' in indication of HER prefered direction.


Time was slipping quickly away and she would have to soon dress and take her leave. Thoughts of when their next meeting might be danced about her mind but were soon lost as her passions grew.

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Charles was proving to be biddable in this endeavor. Davina did not need much of a tug to get his head moving in the right direction. He kissed each spot volunteered until he was certain that she seemed satisfied. It provided him precious minutes to restore the rigidity necessary to complete the coupling.


Complete it he did. Turning her on her knees, he sought to finish her in the fashion of certain animals, in part, because of the depth of penetration provided and partly because it freed his hands to fondle her breasts simultaneously. He lasted longer than planned, mostly because this was his third round. Davina might have had the advantage of many more releases. Women were lucky in that regard.


The ending was always bigger with each successive round because it came with more effort. After kissing her neck, he slip from her so that she might collapse on the bed if she wished. He could then fondle her hair and flesh as the finished their respective pillow talk.


"Before you go, what news?" She had been remarkably quiet about the Queen, her brother, and marriage prospects. He was hoping to entice her into revealing more than just her flesh before he assisted her with dressing.

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His words hardly registered at first as her body turned inside out and her breath slowed to a normal ease as she lay splayed across the blanket that had served as their bed of passion.


She truly wanted to lie still and savor each moment before she needed to dress then leave her time not really her own.


"News? News?"


Whispered from lips bruised from his kisses. "Her Grace is to have a child as you must suruly know come May or June and so there is much care for her now. The King is soliticious and asks for word daily and we, those of us not in the Bedchamber, continue what we have always done."


A yawn followed by a stretch then the brushing back of her hair now hopelessly wild and tangled before she opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling.


"What do you want to know? There are things being said in every corner here for so many have come to Court now. I have heard it said that tis easier to cross the River then get a bed at Whitehall! Or is this directed to me alone?"


A shrug and a small face followed before she added


"Baintree wants me to marry. Not really news yet I think he is far serious now for he actually made me list those I might favor and compare to his own."


There. It was out in the open at last.


It was a thing both knew and expected yet had been able to push aside. She was curious how he might respond - would he ask her for names or feign interference? Would he ask who she would chose?

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Charles already knew the tales she spun of court. He was looking for something more personal and intimate but did not know the best way to broach it. Fortunately, Davina came around to what he sought.


"He has a list?" Charles managed to reply when he really meany you have a list?. "I would be most interested to know who he thinks are the best matches for you," he began as he lightly caressed her arm. "And even more interested in your own list." Was she toying with him or would she reveal her inner thoughts. It was only seconds later that he regretted his curiosity, not knowing what he would say if she named him at the top of her list.

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So she had been right - it was not Court gossip he wanted but her own.


"Would you?" She asked lightly her eyes still focused on the ceiling. "Tis as any other sister I imagine must face. I am well-positioned as well as connected and so He thinks there is merit in only a few ....." She paused drawing it out more for effect.


"He named the ones even You would think - Herbert. Cousin Henry. As well as a Scotsman or two. Why even a German Gentleman who's name I never managed to say correctly."


She rolled over to face him directly


"And even my Mistress The Queen has made her own declaration. "I must be wed afore the end next year or else ...." She parroted. "And now apparemtly You have an interest as well. So tell me Charles just who would suit me best?"


What an odd thing. Lying with her Lover discussing potential Husband's.

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