Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Boys will be boys | 29/12 Noon- Xmas 1677


Recommended Posts

Between the Privy Stairs and the location of the old Privy Gallery lay the Volary Garden, the aviary of King Charles II. On the other side it opened to the Kings Apartment, most particularly to the Kings Closet, also known as his Laboratory.


Four large statues representing ancient Greek goddesses graced the corners of the garden, which was filled with all matter of cages, filled with fowl. Pheasants, singing birds, peacocks, the most interesting amount of exotic birds, including parrots. Previously it was the site of the Kings Little Garden, which was the retreat of Charles I and forbidden to other nobles. Now however all were invited to share in the joy of the exotic, most especially the Maids of Honour, many of whom had their rooms open up to this private garden.


Amidst the squawks of various birds and the loud calls of peacocks, the laughter of young men rose to the ears of any passersby. There was a light covering of snow on the ground from the night before and wind whispered and sometimes howled, making a strange frosty symphony of sounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Nicolette heard young laughter, more particularly young men’s laughter - and her interest was immediately caught.


This particular lady did have a weakness for flirting with just about anyone, but her interest right now was not even about that. She wondered if it might possibly be Arthur Somerset, and possibly his young friends the Murry boys, and Ossory. (Well perhaps not Ossory, for he was a handful. Nicci would never forget the night he'd thrown a bag of fireworks in the fire and shouted run.)


Peering over the edge of the Privy stairs, she tried to see who was making all the birds squark so? Unable to see anything yet, her feet pattered quickly down the steps, down into the snowdusted landscape, eyes searching all about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The boys laughing proved to be familiar to Nicolette. One was Lord Arthur Somerset and the other was young Sir James Stanley who had been knighted at the King's birthday (Nicolette might remember overhearing something about the Stanleys*).


They were practicing their dueling with foils and snowballs, an entertaining activity to be sure. One of them hit a shrubbery, sending a tuft of snow to where three others were speaking: two with dark ringlets and one with lighter hair. They were the 22 year old Earl of Derby, the soon to be of age John Ashburnham, and Lord Arthur's elder brother Lord Herbert, the youngest of the trio talking. He had just returned from university.


Herbert sent a snowball flying at the pair in recompense, hitting his brother on the shoulder and spraying his face. This sent the older three to laughing. Their swordbelts were leaning against the wall next to them, suggesting that they had been sparring too, before the sparring had turned into a mixed snowball activity by the younger ones.


What she did not notice as she made her way down the steps is that there was another observer of the boys hidden behind a window. In fact, there was more than one observer from that window, speaking about the boys from the closeted warmth.


"I do often wonder..." the King said to May. Although not connected to the first sentiment, he continued, "Is there still talk?"


May did not answer right away. "Not often." It was a diplomatic response, but it was true. There were rumours about every personage at court and frequently rumours about the general thing His Majesty was asking. Many young men of a certain height with dark hair were the magnets of idle gossip. In fact, the King's question could apply to more than one of the boys on the grounds below!


On another topic entirely, for none could wonder about the parentage of the Somerset boys, the King continued, "Worcester's sons have their grandfather's ingenuity and inventiveness. I took apart my first mechanism with the man when he was but Lord Herbert. Time is a strange master."


He had hacked some of the shrubberies in the garden with his siblings and foster siblings in his own day too.


(OOC - http://www.ageofintrigue.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=248154#p248154 )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a scene she discovered, merry boyish antics with snowballs and swords - the likes she'd never seen before. Eyes widened in surprise even as laughter spilled from her lips.


There was Arthur valiantly bashing about, and the Stanley boy who'd been favoured by the King (for plain reasons as far as courts matrons believed) -- all under the supervision of a trio -- was that Charles? He had grown in six months! He seemed to be promoted to the company of young men. How must Arthur feel about that? Ashburnam was really rather fine stood there like that, but he did not have a manor next to Chelsea physic. And who was that other? Nicolette did not recognise him, though he looked to be related to the Stanley boy.


Lord Herbert pitched a snowball at his brother - no he was not all grown up yet. Were any of them really? Nicolette for instance had only one natural response. Scooping up a handful of snow she called, "Lord Herbert!" she smiled across the across the way, hiding her snowball as she patted it into a neat ball behind her back.


A wink to Arthur.


"Maybe it is different in France..." she grinned greeting to Ashburnham and his elder friend, and then when she was close enough she did not think she would miss, she called, "... but that looked like a declaration of war!" and pitched her snowball at Lord Herbert -- then with a squeal she ran to join the Arthur and Sir James. The sides were drawn!



OOC: thanks for the link!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Young men at King Charles court were no strangers to rather juvenile fun when the situation merited it. Foils and snowballs was acceptable fair for even older men!


Herbert brightened when he heard his name and saw that it was called by a beautiful lady. He was about to greet her by name when she threw a snowball at him, hitting him square in the gut.


Lord Derby laughed and leaned down to quickly pack his own snowball.


"Those are fighting words for sure, Mademoiselle!" Ashburnham called out to her as he first sought cover in order to make his snowball.


Lord Arthur was rather gleeful at Nicolette's joining, "Good hit!" He darted to a shrubbery as Sir James aimed a snowball at his own brother.


The King at his place at the window chuckled. "There is a lady who knows how to have fun!"


May nodded his agreement, though he was hoping to be spared from a snowball fight. The King sometimes took up such whims like he was a youth again.


"Methinks Mistress Misrule needs to issue some orders for our court," the King added. "Perhaps we should go down and be reinforcements shortly. Let us see how she fares with the boys, first."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Herbert was growing to be a handsome young man, in a few more years he'd be quite the catch. Nicci grinned as he recognised her, glad she'd not been forgot - and then she loosed her shot and ran!


"Man the cannons!" she cried out as she ran to join Arthur and James, grabbing hold of one as she skidded around behind the all-too-small shrubbery to hide... though she could not resist standing again to look, laughing, as Ashburnham called out.


"Was that a surrender?! Let me name my terms." she shouted back!


None looked ready to put away the sport yet, and Nicci dipped back down to scoop enough snow to make another snowball too. "Who is our best thrower?" she asked between James and Arthur, ready to pass her hastily made handful of snow to the most qualified man at attack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Who asks for terms?!?" shouted Ashburnham, chuckling. Like the king, and any long-term court creature, things that broke the monotony were welcome; like master, like man. Or perhaps even more than that.


"Nay, my lady!" came Derby's pert reply.


"Though does a gentleman dare to hit a lady? Dilemmas!" called Lord Herbert, though it was clear he was not shying from the challenge. He hurled a snowball that hit Nicolette on the part of leg that was not concealed by her shrubbery.


"Whomever hits their mark next?" said Arthur with a giggle, loosing one at Derby.


"Do you not want to throw?" James asked as he threw one back at Ashburnham.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sounds like something a Dutchman would ask!" Laughing, Nicolette tried jump out of the way.


But her leg got hit! It did not hurt at all, certainly none that she'd let show. "That was a waste of a good snowball!" she cheekily heckled Herbert, grinning for it was him. They would catch up properly later she was sure.


"I don’t want to be unladylike." Meanwhile James and Arthur were madly throwing snowballs at the opposing, while Nicci rested on the snow behind the shrub for a moment. She considered the double standard she'd just expressed. It was rather too late for that.


Managing herself two snowballs, she got back to her feet and hurled them as straight as she could at the other three. Scooping up more snow, she tried deliver a good pelting to the others (especially Herbert, if just because he was Arthurs big brother!)


"To win this war, we need to think strategy." she panted, between snowballs, "See those steps over there? One of us could pelt them from above and take cover from the banister. Are you up for it Sir James, we can cover you while you make a run for it!" Her smile was full and wide

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Pah!" Arthur said. "Unladylike! You ran headfirst into the foray, so I think that the last thing you should worry about." He laughed heartily.


The peacocks seemed to join in. There were shrill calls, squawking, and honking from the birds.


"I agree, throw at will!" the younger Stanley added.


More snowballs flew from both sides. Nicolette managed to pelt Herbert in the ear, covering the side of his face in snow.


"Of course," the young boy replied to Nicolette. "Snowballs cannot do much damage to cause any fear."


He did not wait for a ready signal, he simply ran for it!


Then it seemed his brother, Lord Derby might give chase!


So unfair, he had much longer legs.




Meanwhile, the King commented to May. "Odds Fish! It sounds like a bizarre slaughter!"


Between the laughing and the birds, it was quite something to hear but not fully see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Never forget I am a lady, Arthur!" Nicolette feigned a pout, though the grin threatening at lips edges betrayed her mirth. She was briefly tempted to moosh her current snowball down his neck, but the cacophony beyond drew back attention!


The peacocks were joining in, an orchestra of raucous sounds! "That's the spirit." she encouraged James, as she tossed her snowball at Ashburnham, before she ducked to make another. It was while she was ducked down that she heard the boys comment of the ineffectiveness of snow. It rung an alarm bell. (These young boys seemed to be the ones that leaped before thinking!)


"Wait a minute!" but it was too late, he'd rushed off.


"Mon Dieu Arthur!" Nicci turned and grabbed her companions arm, her face a mask of concern, "I think James is going to do something rash!" pray he did not throw a rock!


"Stop stop!" Nicci pulled out her handkerchief and waved it all about as she moved into the centre of the scene.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As uncouth as it was, Arthur grabbed Nicci's arm and lowered it.


"He is running for the stairs! Quick try to hit his brother. James must make it there first!" Arthur though his cousin had wished James to run for the stairs. It did not cross his mind that she thought any of them might hurt each other. Boys did give each other a good walloping now and again, so that was quite normal to him.


Had it not been her suggestion to get a better vantage point? James just did not realize their was strategy to it before running in headfirst. He threw two snowballs at his opposition as he ran for the stairs. His head kept craning back toward his brother, checking to see how far ahead he was.


He even taunted, "You shan't beat me, Derby!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicolette looked back at Arthur, her cries of concern obliterated amongst all the noise, and Arthur raising to the command. Nicolette faltered, uncertain, and then did as he suggested. After all she had sent James out there. She need only pray that he’d not do anything as daft as Ossory had.


So she pitched her snowball at those that might thwart him, and Jams ran, oh how he ran! “You can do it Sir James!” she yelled, scooping up more snow and hurling it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicolette's aid did turn out to help immensely as one of her snowballs collided with Ashburnham's cheek. This threw off his aim and prevented him from hitting Sir James. Herbert was too busy throwing balls at his brother and Nicolette to do any harm to James.


The two Stanley's went careening through the snow at full speed toward the staircase and entrance, booted feet kicking up slush in their wake.


"Surrender brother!" Derby yelled forward.


"Never!" James yelled, turning his head for a moment. He was only a few steps ahead of his brother.


He hit the stone of the entrance! YESSSS!


As soon as the booted foot came down, though, it slid, sending the (barely) youth sliding and flailing in a mass of too-long limbs.


Derby, suffered the same fate, his superior weight sending him into the back of his brother, just as one of Nicci's snowballs hit him in the back of the head, spraying snow forward just as His Majesty and May appeared in the doorway.


The splat sent Derby face first into the back of his brother, the splatter of snow breaking off his head went straight across May and the King, a brief preamble to the flying forms of the Stanleys themselves which impacted but a blink later. All four went flopping onto the snow in a heap.


It had all happened so very fast that the snowball throwers likely did not even know who had been victims of the running gentlemen who had been so intent on the advantage of stairs!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He was on his way to the Office of the Treasurer of the Royal Household, along with his manservant Thomas Bromhill. His task had been to begin researching the list of payments to palace servants.


Now that he knew for sure that Buckingham and Danby were watching his every move, his level of paranoia was growing. Already he had tasked Thomas to locate the spies in his own household. Now he felt determined to find which palace servants might be receiving extra monies from the Household, suggesting they were spies for the King, May, Arlington or Danby. Each of these men would have the ability to bump the wages of a servant. One needed to find abnormalities in pay if one wanted to find spies, blackmailers and thieves.


Having left Chichester's company in the morning, his goal was to spend a few hours in his office with his clerks, have himself sent a message from the King to be delivered by royal page so that he could go to the King's Presence Room briefly. It would alert Danby's spies that he was summoned by the King. He would make sure to reveal the same to his clerks in a careless way. Danby needed to know that he had met with the King if his ruse for causing Danby to leave England was going to succeed.


Seeing a snow fight in progress as he approached the Privy Stair, Louis paused to watch the fight. Some of the young lads looked familiar. Is that Nicci? he asked himself. Those bundled for winter were more difficult to identify, though she seemed quite familiar to him.


More importantly, he saw boys tumble into the King and Baptist May. Those were just the pair he needed to be seen with. However, the last thing he wanted to do was jeopardize his cousin's opportunity to spend a carefree moment with the King. As such, he kept his distance and urged his manservant to continue without him to the office. Even if opportunity did not present himself, he could truly say that he had seen and been with the King this morning. For now he watched and waited, ready to assess Nicci's technique with the King, should she have an opportunity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As from the start, Nicolette was unaware of any onlookers, but was absorbed with the folic she'd come upon. "Run Sir James!" she crowed, as it become some sort of race between opposing teams brothers. Ah, such fun. And still Snow sprayed about as more balls were hurled - Nicci had taken her fair share of hits too, laughing away the impact with eager eyed revenging snowballs hurled.


Darby cried out for the others surrender, and in true valiant form James cried Never! Nicolette's heart leaped at the sight, but then, Oh dear.


In the blink of an eye victory turned into calamity!


A royal calamity even.


Nicci's eyes flared, yet even in this she could not halt her laughter. It was funny after all! Running forwards, through calls of "are you all right?" and laugher, Nicolette (and no doubt the rest too) rushed to the entrance were the sprawled forms had landed in the snow.


"It was just a little sport!" she made bright-eyed apology, offering her hand to His Majesty to help back up, then thinking better of that she dropped to her knees in the snow alongside.


"It's all fun and games until someone puts an eye out." she quoted the time-eternal mothers warning, biting her lip, trying not to giggle. "But dont' worry, I've kisses that shall make every thing all better -- who is hurt?" Her services were thus offered.


If His Majesty knew nothing else of Mlle Vauquelin, it was that she was diligent in trying collect kisses from him. At Brighton, in the Garden, and now, as she grinned away anyone’s' distress in the snow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Young Sir James had felt as if he was suddenly upon skates on frozen ice before he slammed into something very solid and flopped over, right on top of someone. It thankfully broke his fall even if half of his brother so skewed across his back. Those entrance stones were slick!


"Uhhrrmm," he grunted as his brother slid off his back.


He finally lifted his head to see who had broken his fall, and his dark chocolate eyes blinked and then went wide.


"............." some slurry of syllables did come out, but nothing intelligible as he realized he was laying ON TOP of the King, a clump of snow on his nose.


"Very valiant of you, Sir James, surely you were saving us from a snowball," the King said, to ease the boy that was still strewn across his chest.


May grunted as Derby pressed on his leg in his quest to get up.


The older Stanley gaped for a moment before pulling on the back of his brother's coat, "Get up, James!" he hissed. In the meantime, he held a hand down. "My apologies, Master May, an unfortunate appearance that we did not see before it was too late."


"The, the stones are slippery," James added, as he got up with the help of the King giving him a steadying arm.


When Nicolette arrived, the King was far more eager to stay on the ground as the others were extricated.


"Sometimes, aches and pains take a few hours to make their appearance, Mademoiselle, so you shall be held to the promise of kissing all of those yet unseen better later. For now, I find that Sir James' head hit right here," he teased, pointing to his lip. In fact, Sir James was not tall enough to have hit him there at all! "The boys shall have to wait for their mother's kisses."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a sight to be seen, and poor James so dismayed at himself. (While Nicci might have wished she'd been the one rushing for the height advantage instead.)


By the time she made it to the entrance they were starting to detangle, though she was able to forestall His Majesty briefly at least. Upon her knees next to him, she thought he'd never looked more charming, perhaps it was his vulnerability of the moment, and she was a predator in disguise.


Yet with humour in his eyes, CR was ever a man to make the best of a situation. He teased of later attendance to his hidden injuries, directing her currently to his choice of the lips.


Jubilantly the French girl pressed her lips to the supine ruler of England, Scotland, Ireland (and claimed part of France) kissing him with abandon! The world vanished for that moment, in that moment hopes of her goals seemed a little closer at last. And oh, what a wonderful voyage it was. The Kings lips upon hers, it was intoxicating!


As she finally broke apart Niccolette whispered breathlessly, "I have the perfect salve for Your Majesties aches and pains..." quietly said, for the impressionable youngsters were just close about. Trying her luck, she attempted to kiss him again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

With no need to intervene, Basildon was content to stay where he was and watch the events unfold. As expected, Nicci was swooping in to take control of the situation. Louis enjoyed watching her at work in attempting to charm the King. Kissing was always a good start.



OOC~ No need to wait for me to post. Louis shall be in the background mostly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After using his arm to help the boy off his chest, the King was all too happy to turn all his attentions of the lady who lowered herself to his side.


I shall most happily play invalid!


It was far more delightful to be on one's back on the cold stone with snow about when such lips were pressed against yours and when the kiss depended with abandon.


The king kissed her back with unabashed skill, fully enjoying the game.


Perhaps the boys shall learn something. Well, the younger ones.


"And what shall the royal physicians say to be thus cast from their place?" he chuckled before returning her second kiss.


"We are quite royally regenerated. It must be your special powers as Lady of Misrule." The king could play his own little teasing games. His dark eyes twinkled with it.


He gave a little nod at Derby, who reached an arm down to help the king to his feet.


"Your presence has seemed to put an end to the battle, May."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While Nicolette was aware of the quantity of others about her, she only (inwardly) crowed to the audience. Heavens knew the girl was somewhat exhibitionist. Her slight weight pressed upon His Royal-ness, while her heated lips claimed what was hers and more.


"Let them to pout and sulk beyond your curtains, I shall not rest till you are fully cured." she replied with laughter in her eyes.


This was going to take up many many pages in her journal, where she kept a comprehensive account of all things royal and/or spicy (for posterities sake of course).


With lips reddened of the activity, the opportunists finally broke apart. "Alas, for the restorative properties to take fullest effect, it is an entire course of doses that need be took. I fear you might relapse." she returned cheekily, straightening the gentleman’s collar, before turning for assistance to her own feet.


"My Lord May." Nicolette had not actually met the man before, and bobbed her head in discovery of his name from the Kings Lips. "You are a secret weapon for peace..." while not having met him, she'd heard of his role, and the ambitious girl within smiled charmingly, "la, it is true, accept my surrender." she slid that handkerchief she'd recently wrestled with into Baptists hands, before rounding her admiring looks back to the King.


It was an utterly blatant message delivered, she believed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

"I shall expect a kiss daily then," the merry king replied. "I hope the recovery is long but never arduous." A wry smile crossed his face.


Ashburnham grinned at the interplay. Buckingham had chosen a good one. He wished her well. She was fun and intriguing. Then again, most of them seemed to be beforehand. Demands came afterward.


May chuckled as he took the handkerchief as a makeshift white flag. He did not read anything more into it, but then again he knew the duke was about some games with the king. He could surely not improve upon that.


"Which side should we declare the winner, I wonder?" the king mused. "Perhaps Sir James, here."


The boy beamed. Derby tried not to snort. (Lord) Herbert was somewhat too awestruck to do anything other than look on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I've more care for ardour than ardure." Nicolette's lashes fluttered as she attempted the reply play upon words, "if that is even a word!" she giggled away the failed attempt.


"La, but you dangle a carrot to tease me of a protracted arrangement, do you want to see how I I shall jump?" She teased back playful, "though not a carrot so much really, though nibble I might, and not jump so much as..." but she caught herself short. Reminding herself that there were impressionable minds about.


May might not have understood her message, yet she felt encouraged never the less by his acceptance of her token of surrender - she neatly appended a bob of deference in it's delivery. While His Majesty CR turned to consider the youths - to select a winner.


He chose James. "Oh yes!" Nicolette clapped her hands together at the choice well made, "he showed such bravery, and self sacrifice, against sizeable odds." she heaped on her own praise - all while thinking that the King was so kind of heart to encourage the very youngest of the group. That he was a man of such fibre, had her feel likewise braver going forwards.


The pace did seem to be quickening, and rather faster than she'd imagined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

"Gentlemen do like jumping ladies, do they not boys," the king joked. Bouncing bosoms never lost their charms, whether from dancing or dancing/


It seemed to please the daring French mademoiselle that he would praise the youngest, but truly he had been the one to make the bold move. The bold move that brought everything to an abrupt end. That was a victory of sorts.


"Now that we have all be laying in the snow, perhaps it is time to warm up?" the King asked. "And Lord Herbert would like to ask of some of the new things in the Closet," he guessed. "Would you like to see some of DaVinci's designs, my lords?" he asked, looking toward the younger of the group before giving Nicolette a wink.


"Coffee and hot chocolate," the King said as he turned to head back inside.


(OOC - OMG so sorry I lost this in the Spring craze of planting. I plan to summarize this up in my next post so that we aren't time-knotted for the party!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She grinned, saying no more as her eyes danced with the Kings wit.


For an unexpected encounter, this felt like grand progress. But for now it was time for a change of location. It was cold outdoors, despite all the layers and excitement.


"Ooh it sounds you are in for a treat." she smiled, remaining still as the group of men might head away. She hoped to catch up with the boys again properly some other time, as she felt closer to them than ever after befriending Lady Worchester, and coming to appreciate the deep-seated honour within their family. It was uplifting to be around them.


With a happy smile for the marvellous fun of the encounter, she dipped a curtsy to one and all, "I shall leave you to your academic diversions, Your Highness, and fine Gentlemen... but for me, I think a hot bath may be calling." she gave a little laugh.



OOC: perfect & thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

On Louis traveled, having satisfied himself that Nicci appeared to have been successful in soliciting friendly overtures. It was getting cold outside and he had places to go. First would come the ruse with the clerks in his office and then would come the plan to meet Danby himself.


Another man might quake at the enormity of what was to come, but Louis thought it little more than a good game of chess. There were happy projected outcomes; but, even in the unhappy ones, Louis was certain he would be nimble enough to outflank any obstacle in his path.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...