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An overnight bag | 28th v. late @ Buckinghams- Xmas 1677

Nicolette Vauquelin

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The Mansion of Buckingham

At the end of the Pall Mall street, wedged between St. James Park and St. James Square, stood a large mansion...


...drawn up of fine white marble and sandstone, with clear Baroque geometry. Inside cherubs in a blue sky was fitted over the white plaster. Each room held a different color and nothing was short of lavish. The mansion was square, but inside the servants still had the habit to refer to the left as the west and right as the east wing; the west wing dedicated to the Duke's chambers, and the east wing deserted for he had send his wife to her father in the country, long since grown bored with her behavior which was an impediment on his fun. Paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and Lely were displayed in the large hallway, created to impress the visitor, an enormous marble staircase drawing in the eye.


The gentleman was unlikely to be aware of what impact his parting words had had upon Nicolette. 'Next time, you stay.' Only four rather harmless sounding words.


For the past few days, she'd dropped this thing and then that thing, then swapped them out for quite another thing -- into the bag she intended to take. It was just as well that she did not have a large wardrobe to choose from, for at least that limited her choices.


She was taking her breeches though, for that seemed just the thing to wear the next morning. Nicolette had pictured herself leaving with a bold tone of bravery like Mall possessed, perhaps giving someone just arriving in a cocky and carefree wink. Her perfume and powder were a must of course. She had thought about her nightdress, but taken it back out. Note paper and a pencil just seemed sensible to take. Hair brush. And her night dress was put back in. A woolen shawl in case it was cold, which was later swapped out with a pretty lace one instead. Her nightdress was taken back out. Pair of dancing slippers were put in, you never did know. Rouge added, and favorite blend of tea. Night dress put back in again. etc & etc




As the carriage rattled to a stop outside Buckinghams, she looked across at the stuffed full carpet bag on the seat opposite, and wished she'd packed her night dress after all. But out she stepped, eyes wide and bright, with quick instruction to the driver to bring in her things she alighted the marble steps that fairly glowed in the moonlight.


So excited to see Francis again!


She was dressed in a gown the color of burnished copper, although trimmed with cream flemish lace it's french style obvious. Her dark hair was perilously wound up high with the ingenious placement of a single tortoiseshell hair comb, while her skin glowed with a pearlesque lustre, smile wide.


"Mademoiselle Vauquelin." Nicolette announced herself to the guard upon the door, a man who must know she was to visit Francis, and she in her prepare pressed a packet of toffees into his hand as she carried on through the grand doors.


Whatever inadequacies she would later discover of the things she had packed, or forgot to pack, she was delighted of one thing especially: the little gift she'd brought for her gentleman friend.

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The finely liveried servant at the door nodded at the young mademoiselle. He did, indeed, know who she was and who she wished to see. Although, the Duke had also said to his staff that she was most welcomed to visit him as well if Francis was not at home. No trip should be wasted, after all.


"Good evening, mademoiselle. His lordship is expecting you."


He took the parcel, fully expecting that it was for the young master.


They made their way through the house. Nicolette might hear a soft wafting of the violin, proving that the duke was yet awake. He was rumoured to keep hours with the owls and antipodes, and such things would seem to be very true.


The doors to Francis' set rooms were opened and no such music came from there. They went through the parlour and the servant announced, "Mademoiselle Vauquelin, my lord," at the door to the bedchamber.


Francis was merely in his shirtsleeves and breeches, covered in the same fine housecoat she had seen the last time, leaning a hand against the mantle by the hearth. It would seem he might not have arrived home much before and that he was warming himself.


"Good timing," the baron said.


Her bag followed closely behind her with made him smile.

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By the way the doorman took the parcel, she could tell he did not realise it was for him. "Toffees, they are for you." she whispered to him discreetly. It had been her thought that a night upon duty like that might be made pleasanter with something sweet.


Yet her attention fell away from the servant quickly enough, instead her eyes drew her on, up the stairs, a direction she knew to Francis' room. The violin added a magic to the setting, briefly she wondered if Lady Gwen was returning soon. Still as her steps took her further from the sound her heartbeat only quickened. Pausing just down from his room she pinched her cheeks and bit her lips into brightness - before sashaying forwards.


There her lover stood.

magnificent in fire light

Here Nicolette grinned


"Just in time to warm you?" It was a bubbly sort of excitement she felt, difficult to school down into a sultry seductress, but perhaps she could do that later. She had every intent to do that later. But for now he rushed to be close, pushed her hands up his the smooth lapels of his robe and about his neck. "La, Francis!" she loosed a gleeful laugh. How did it seem like such a long time since she saw him last.

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"Thank you, Mademoiselle," the servant replied, with a smile, slipping them to the inside of his justacorps.


Francis' happiness was written in the brightness of his blue eyes at hearing her voice and turning to see her.


"Quite!" He grinned, moving toward her as she moved to him.


Her hands slid up his lapels and chest, and he put his arms around her, pulling her against his warmth. Leaning his head down, he pressed a soft kiss to her lips, nuzzling his nose against hers for a moment.


"Did you miss me?" he asked, a teasing grin on his face.

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It was Nicolette's intent that her association with the household of Buckingham be an enduring one, and so she wished to make little kindnesses to others there, to ease her welcome. "It's my pleasure." The guards smile to her prompted a grin and playful curtsy in return.




"It's been forever already." his hands slid around her like she was his. They kissed, a kiss of a reunion, and it was a simple and sweet happiness. "I've missed you like the a key misses the keyhole." she teased, her fingers sliding up to touch his neck, closing her eyes and enjoying the feeling of their cheeks so near.


"I saw you at Chapel, the mint green looked very fine on you." she murmured her admission of watching him from a distance, "aren’t you glad we are not catholic, we'd have to confess. And, my sins would not even be forgiven, for I don’t regret any of it." She looked up into his eyes, such a sparkling blue, full of fun and mischeif.

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"Ah, but I think you missed me as the keyhole misses the key," he teased back, with a titter of a laugh, his smile lopsided. "And soon you will forget the slow tick of time. I am sure that it did you well for healing so that we might only move forward in pleasure."


A sigh ghosted across her face as she complimented his choice of clothing at chapel.


"I wish I could take credit for your happiness in it, but it is His Grace's tastes which you might thank, for his senses in such matters eclipse mine." He chuckled and added, "I have no great fashion sense for such court finery."


Francis was a man who gave the credit upward in general, but in this case it was wholly Buckingham. The baron merely stood for the measuring as he was bid!


"Do you like the earring, though?" he asked, tilting his head where a small diamond and large sapphire drop hung from his lobe. Such had been a fashion some thirty or forty years prior, but it reminded him of the sea so he cared neither if he was the only one wearing one or if the statement was revived in fondness. Sophia had thought others likely to follow suit for some odd reason.


"I must say, from my trips to Italy, my dear, the Catholics priests have far more to confess!"

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She smiled of that, pleased that he was a savy wit and perceived the error for correction - while the look in her eyes had her know he knew it had not been a mistake at all. Inviting his focus. His key, was a newly favourite topic to dally over. "I am unlocked." she whispered, eyes bright. Knowing that he'd missed her too, he told her so (in that suggested rather than stated way he was a master of).


"You cannot go wrong it you take styles from Paris." She replied with a simplistic view on fashion. English fashion was a tad too homely for French tastes, and despite intent to cut out a English future for herself, her taste was still very much French. "Some men, the clothes wear them - the finest silk can look awkward on those ones. But not you." she quietly insisted, and then tipped her head as he revealed an earring.


"La, the buccaneer!" announced with a laugh, and leaning back she made a better inspection of his completed 'look'. "Yes I like it, it unique to you." Would everyone else start copying the style? She was not so sure. And would understand if that was not what he wanted in any case. "It is a reminder of your history, of what you have been, before all you become. Yes I like it very much."


She remembered the gift she'd brought, but dallied before giving it.


"Do we have the orange brandy tonight?" they had drunk a special drink last time.

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"Oh, from Paris?" he said, toying with her only for the game of it. He would not wish to emulate the Dutch in dress, that was certain. "So the French do such things the best? My but that is an unbiased thought!"


He grinned to show he was only teasing and replied, "It is good to know that His Grace has the same taste in French fashion that you do, mademoiselle." He never truly contemplated that he could speak French to her, especially in such privacy where nobody could think of ulterior motives, for the French rolled off his tongue very prettily. From being born and mostly raised in France, he had a more pure French accent when he spoke French than English accent when he spoke English. His English sounded well-traveled, though still English, but his French sounded very French.


"So I wear the trappings of nobility well?" his voice sounded as if he was in a state of marvel. "I'm not sure if I ever thought that would be so. I felt so different when I arrived here."


To belong at court was more than simply being a gentleman. One could be a gentleman and not a courtier. One could be a courtier and not a nobleman. Am I now both? he wondered, daring to be impressed with himself.


"And I care not what any say about the earring. At the very least, they shall not complain that it is cheap!" He tittered a bit.


Squeezing her close again, he said, "If you wish it, I have quite the supply." Well, he was the supplier so he had as much as there was to be had. If he ran out, it might be a good sign for supply and demand!


"Come, sit with me on the chaise, and we will have our brandy poured." He released her only to lounge onto said chaise so that she would have to sit between his legs. One reclined along the back to the chaise, the other planted on the floor.

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"M-hmm." Lifting her chin she met his eyes, the smile on her face satisfied she was right, while the words from her lips allowed, "though the English have certainly mastered states of undress." by English she meant him of course, of which point she made plain by tugging at one of his shirt laces.


"So Whitehall changes even the English." She considered from his reply, "I think I have changed also, though dress is only a part of it." She was dressed far better, that was certainly true, courtesy of St.A & C... which was something she did not dwell upon overly. It was bound to become a problem one day, but until then, what harm was there in enjoying new dresses from Paris, and knowing her Mama was watched out for.


Curling her fingers into his she enjoyed the moment, and tip toed to kiss his lips again (yes he still need to bend down to make that possible!) "Yes, the orange please!" the taste was something she now associated with Francis and hedonistic delights. If there was a pool of it, she'd delight to leap in! (Though that might be a reckless use of a very exclusive drink.)


To the Chaise he drew her; the gentlman content to lounge in a relaxed fashion, and the lady finding a space for herself as close as she was able. Clingy? Not it was not that, it was just that she loved this closeness, and, and he was just right there, and oh the things that they might do together.


Her hand settled upon his leg, her gaze intent upon his face... "I had heard that sailors wear an earring for eyesight, for the precious metal is said to improve vision?" She thought it an apt time to remove her hair comb that held her style, so that her hair tumbled down around her shoulders. "Shall I test your vision my lord Francis?" a smile tugged at her lips as she loosed a bodice ribbon.

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He made no resistance to her seeking his skin by means of a shirt-lace. Francis was more comfortable with an open shirt and breeches in his life, even if he was coming to enjoy Buckingham's finery, if only to cut an appearance of which his uncle could be proud.


"And how have you changed, hmm?" he asked, in a deep (for his tenor voice) whisper as their drinks were poured.


"Oh, indeed, there are many sailor's purposes for an earring, including the practical one of being something worn on your body that cannot fall into the sea which can be worth significant coin, but I do believe eyesight is my favourite," he added as she made her little taunt about testing his vision.


"You should not taunt a sailor, my dear, let alone one that was a navigation officer before captaining his own ships. Comparing eyesight is like comparing swordsmanship or the length of one's cannon." He grinned mischievously and winked, his eyes alight as he twisted one loose lock of her around his finger.

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"Mmm..." she lowered her eyes, not wanting to state the obvious which he already knew, she sought instead a deeper truth to reveal. The thought that came to her mind was quite personal, but there it was. Looking back to his eyes she said, "I learn to trust, others, and also myself." a short sentence to express a much larger thought.


A little embarrassed of it she gave a grin and further said, "It is much easier to say nothing, and risk naught, but here in England I have become braver I think." and she felt she had people who would help her if she faltered, and was slowly realising that she was able in herself to manage quite a lot.


Nicci smiled privately as he goaded to her tease. "I shall inspect your ships cannon later, Captain." there was plainly nothing wrong with his eyesight, for as she let her hair tumble down he caught at a lock and toyed with it. Nicolette was practising her seduction technique. "..and I'm already versed in your parry and thrust." her eyes sparkled.

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"Then your fortunes have increased," he said, in reply to her newfound bravery. "A life lived without any adventure would be unfortunate I think. Now you are more free."


Those who were smart enough to manage such a life as a female could live a very fine life indeed. Not all women had that sort of talent. He wished to make sure that Nicolette did.


"Later, eh? Promises, promises." He smiled slyly.


He almost sputtered keeping in a chuckle, but he held it in, mirth reflecting in his eyes too. "Already versed? Are you now?" He continued twirling her hair whilst the other hand rubbed her leg idly.


"Then perhaps you need no more of it?" He raised a blond brow at her and tried not to grin, as if he truly meant it.

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"What I notice with freedom," Nicolette felt an alluring attraction to Francis, to talk like this. Learning of how he thought, and speaking of deeper things, it was arousing... "is that it was always there to be taken really, that the bonds that seemed to tie were more in the mind, and, that now... that now free, I freely chose new bonds that tie. Tie me to those I admire." she breathed, flush of cheeks as she regarded Francis.


Their flirtation continued, where she tried to keep a poker face as he lamented a 'never never' promise. "How often do such things require measuring any way? Once a month, once a year?" Her hand slid 'casually' over the bulge in his breeches, finger tips bumping over buttons. With her forward moment more flesh was exposed at her loosed bodice, and her hair tumbled forwards.


"Is there more to know?" she goaded.


It was not his first rodeo though, and Francis teased her in return.


"Au contraire," the girl whispered, enjoying his touch, "The sheath is your swords rightful place." her fingers twisted at a button and popped the first one free. Lifting her face to look towards him again, she smiled darkly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

(Eek, lost this somehow. Sorry!)



"Freedom is the grand prize of life, I think. All seek in their own way, measured to their own station, but they seek it." He paused and added in a whisper against her skin, "Not that I agree with everyone's way of it, but I surely enjoy your explorations of freedom. It invigorates."


Playfully, an artful chuckle brushed past his lips with a gentle drama, "And who do you admire? Your cousin, Basildon? The Duke? The King?" A smile tugged at the corners of his lips. He was not quite so oblivious of her insinuation that she admired him, but he played it so in an obvious way.


"Well, you have seen how mercurial it is. It can be constantly changing in a measurable way," he teased. "If one wishes to stay on top of it, one must also be constant then too, no?"


With a deeper, promissory tone, he said, "There is always more. Imagination is infinite and so too is pleasure."


His blond brows raised in drama. "*Votre fourreau ou toute fourreau?" he asked in her native tongue which was as much his native tongue. The prettiness of the French suited his gentler appearance and tenor voice.


(*Your sheath or any sheath?)

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Nicolette let her eyes slip closed as his words tickled warm breath past her ear. "I love my freedom..." lost in the moment her eyes opened again with a dreamy adoration of the man that she would express her freedom with.


Lips sought to kiss, and then head turned in mock coy, in this teasing game they played.


"I admire the King, The Duke, My cousin..." he was a cheeky fellow to play oblivious then. She might have pouted, but instead rattled off a list, "The footman, the butcher, the candle stick maker..." and gave Francis a pinch. "I mean you, silly." Nicci completed in mock scolding tone. He'd made her say it!


"Oh top?" speaking of measuring, he was not speaking of measuring. "...we talked of this." Nicolette remembered their conversation last, and wondered if perhaps he'd like see theory to practise. But how? Pop. Another breeches button opened. And then another, while Nicolette crept higher, her eyes glinting. "I've not brought pen and paper to record these things, so I need improvise." She leaned in to kiss him again, as fingers slid in to his loosed trews, this time her lips claimed his, near to the same time as her hand found what it sought.


"Mien*." she purred.



(* mine)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Francis grinned as she returned his cheeky misunderstanding with more cheek.


"Well, mademoiselle, I am in very fine company then," he replied, his grin widening. "To think I might rank higher in your esteem than such gentlemen, well, I dare not repeat such." He winked. Her playful manner was what was going to win for her, he knew, but she pricked at emotions with an artful stroke; that would serve her well too.


"Literally on top too, if you like," he replied, wagging his brows. "You will certainly get the full measure is such a way." As she played with buttons he was moving his hand further up her leg, tickling with light fingertips as he went.


"Your memory shall have to suffice, for I have written no great work on the topic," he whispered with a breezy chuckle. "I shall have to make my tutelage memorable."


As she reached in and wrapped her fingers around his semi-hard length, he agreed, "Yours."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"I am so relieved," Nicolette huffed with amusement, "for if the candlemaker makes hears of it, I might not get all the best tapers." her fingers slid into a humid sort of warmth, "Mmm, speaking of wicks..." her pearly whites flashed.


His hand sliding up her leg tickled so very pleasantly, encouraging her on her on to greater daring, while she hitched herself a little higher, and leaned closer she whispered his name, "Francis." her eyes looked into his as her hand stroked down his shaft.


The frenchling intently watched his rather beautiful face as she gave him sensations, and then repeating the motion again. "Francis, so handsome Francis..." she found a pleasure in watching him like this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"I think you can guarantee yourself all the finest tapers and worthy wicks," Francis quipped, smiling at her with a warmth and appreciation that trailed the path of his eyes looking at hers.


As she illustrated just that with the movement of her hand memorizing his flesh, his smile widened and then turned sly, with just a sliver of his teeth visible. His hand trailed up until it mimicked her, teasing her.


He used his other hand on the small of her back.


His hips moved a bit in time with her strokes, slowly and lazily letting her guide things. A hitch or a sharp exhale matching his hums of pleasure as she found moments of purchase.


"A rock to your beauty, and a rough-hewn rock at that," he replied, with short breath.


"Firmer," he said quietly as he kissed her neck, careful to not leave any marks. Nobody liked to see another man's mark on a lady of interest, after all. However, he was not so very fragile.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nicci was soft in compare, like a down filled cushion, ready and willing to mould into his less malleable form. Her breath quickened with their movements, and she crept higher in response, even while her hand worked lower down...


"A rock I could burnish into marble," it was a fascinating sensation, to feel his skin moving over solidness. And he encouraged her on, coaxing her past attempted restraint, as he kissed her neck so very softly. She gasped of the wonderful contrast, and dared to tighten her grip and lengthen the thrust. What an incredible thing it was! Even more so now that she knew the pleasures it could bring, pleasures that she was eager for a repeat of.


"La!" Pulling away, with eyes wild and breath short, she shifted to pull his breeches lower and expose his glory, crying out her jubilance, "There it is!" Her own sex was throbbing and hot with desire and need. He encouraged her past reserve, and she might very well just hoist her skirts and leap onto him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"You shall have too much attention from the real thing to need a marble one," he replied as he nipped at her earlobe. The thought of a dildo shaped like his cock, or a statue of less utility, was rather ingratiating.


He slid a finger inside and wiggled it some as she took a more firm hand, a ragged breath escaping him. Her hips moved further and further up, as if of their own accord, searching for the beginning to the game they were really playing. He only stopped teasing her in unison as she paused to pull his breeches down further.


One blond brow arched as he regarded her in a cheeky fashion, wondering what she intended beyond admiration.


"Tell me your pleasure, mademoiselle," he purred. "Shall I tantalize you with my tongue?" He slipped his fingers over her nethers again in illustration. "Or do you wish to mount and ride?"

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It was a sumptuous sport, and Francis marvellously bold. Even though she'd hardly drunken anything, she felt intoxicated, with these daringly enjoyable yearnings for lewdness. His finger. Oh yes. Heavy breathing was interspersed with hungry kisses. "Ride!" was her exuberant choice, as jumping up from him she hitched and hoisted before plunging to the act with great energy.


((....ooc if you dont mind I'd like to jump ahead, rp a little of the next morn because she has a gift for him that I'd really like to rp his finding before we need to wrap the thread up.))



Laid within a sweet state of satisfied exhaustion, Nicolette discovered that same struggle as last time. This utter bliss made her feel so awash with love and even romantic, she felt like telling him she loved him, even though she knew it was not anyone’s purpose. She was not supposed to fall in love with Francis. Not meant to find such a sweet fascination with the rise and fall of his chest, the shape of his profile as he laid there with eyes resting, the scent of him, and even that taste left in her mouth.


It was very hard to not tell him she loved him. But she did not, she had no intent to try trap him or make it awkward.


But she did remember her present.


In the wee hours of the night she got up and placed the lead ships captain (that she thought resembled Francis a little) onto his model ship. The scale was not perfect, but illustrative, helped along with tiny dabs of fresh yellow/blonde paint on the figurines hair. She hoped it might bring Frances to a smile when he found it.


Creeping back under the sheets, she snuggled in to spoon with the marvellously warm man, hand snaking down to check those jiggly bits... before smiling to herself as she fell back to sleep.

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Francis wondered if all women who were virgins as long as his mademoiselle exploded with need in the way that she did once the condition was eradicated, for she learned quite quickly and certainly through herself into it with abandon.


This time she stayed, as he had asked. He thought it a little too much distasteful to send a lady home after such intimacies.




In his typical way, Francis woke with the sun, a few hours after Nicci had ventured from the bed to hide her present. He was aware of something (or someone) warm against him before he was fully awake. For a moment, he thought that it might be his poodle, Scotty, but before ten seconds passed, he recalled his night before and sighed in satiation. He opened one blue eye to confirm it.


Leaning forward, he kissed the side of her jaw.

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Nicolette was used to sleeping rather longer in the morning, though this was something quite different to anything normal. Oh it was certainly not the first time she'd slept with another in a bed, but never a male before, and never someone she'd ... well!


She woken again, so early, and considered getting up to tidy herself up again before he could see her. Her hair was always such a mess in the mornings, and she'd forgotten to brush it out and plait it before going to bed last night (her mind upon other things). Snuggling against Francis, she'd thought about getting up, but instead fell back to sleep.


And did not wake again, till she stirred of his movement, and then his kiss...


Oh he was such a darling man, oh she did love him, she did! Smiling, squeezing eyes tighter closed, she reached out her hand pulled him back down and softly grumbled, "It's too early yet, lets go back to sleep." For the man with eyes opened, he could have confirmed her hair was indeed a right mess.


"I don’t want to get up yet." she mumbled, slinking her arms further around him, loving the loving sensation she felt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Francis had lain with enough women to know that nobody looked perfect at the end of a night with him, so her hair was only an indication of a night well-spent to him.


"Back to sleep?" he asked lazily.


"I don't know if you can convince me of that, but you can convince me not to get out of bed yet." He smiled. If she spent many overnights, she might realize that it was not uncommon for a man to wake up hard. Or, at least, it was not uncommon for him at his age.


"Late mornings are a luxury of ladies..." he whispered in her ear. "You are lucky it is not my morning to attend or I would have left a few hours ago," he added, with a chuckle.


He heard the soft noises of a servant leaving his morning libations and fresh water ready, and then the sound of logs going into the hearth.

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"Yes back to sleep..." she murmured in a snuggly voice, her hands movement accidentally 'brushing' -- and then pretending to not notice. Did he want to? But he was still mostly asleep. How was it even possible that he was hard already?


"Mmm... but we should get up." Nicolette for one did not wake up feeling very energetic, but as she realised that sleeping in might be more strenuous than getting up, it seemed a good idea to throw back the covers.


Oh yes. And then she remembered the secreted present. "Come along sleepyhead." she bend to kiss his nose, before twisting to look for the location of her recklessly discarded clothes. It had seemed like a good idea the night before, but now she was wondering how he'd get to see the tiny figure? There was every chance he'd walk right past the model ship without a second look at it.


"Francis. Ah. Umm..."


"...well you dont need to worry that about me, I've no where to be in the mornings. Though sometimes I visit the Apothecary, but I wont bore you with that, my current project there is a terrible flop." she found her corset, and pulling it over her chemise messed about with the laces some. There was a slim chance he'd spontaneously look across at the model, and notice something different. She looked to see where he was looking, giving him a smile of it, and adjusted the fabric of her chemise.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Francis sighed softly. "Tease," he whispered. "And that's a good thing."


Conquest was easy when one was king; more drawn out sieges were few and far between it seemed. Though the tactic, artfully employed, worked on most men.


He pulled on a shirt and picked up a house robe that had been left out for him. That covered the essentials. If Nicolette thought his eyes would be directed anywhere but herself, she was quite wrong. Model ships did not draw one's gaze when ladies were dressing.


"I do not think anything you could speak of would bore me," Francis assured. He was of a questing mind, courtesy of his blood. And open-minded as well. "Perhaps not embroidery, though." He winked in a cheeky fashion.


She might have to maneuver him closer.


"Shall I send for breakfast?" He felt quite the appetite after the night before and had little idea she had other ideas in mind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The title of tease sounded lovely on his breath, she secretly smiled of it - at the same time sensing his eyes remained upon her. La, but look over there, look at the little gift!


He was definately watching her dress. I can work with this. And so she stood, and tugged again at her laces. "Well since I can really get just however much sugar I could ever want. My cousin imports sugar did you know. He has it by the sacksful, it's almost shocking really." and she edged towards the table, making out that she was having a terrible time with her corset all the while.


With a theatric sigh she gave up. Gave her gentleman a little smile. And then drew in her breath to start working on her corset again. "Yes so, I thought to make toffee, but of course everyone knows that is not very good for you, unless, it's on top of an apple."


Again, and now right next to the table with his model on it, she made a show of exasperation with her laces. A big sigh, giving up with them. Then looking to her handsome gent in his attractive dishevelle, before making a third attempt.


"Then I thought, what say I make them even healthier. If I put some medicine for winter colds into the toffee. It sound like a clever idea don’t you think. Alas..." and here she gave a small cry of frustration. Frustration with the toffee or with the laces? Who might know? Yet she looked beseechingly towards Francis - shaking her head. Was that a no to breakfast?

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"You do know Kingston is known for it's apples, so I think I can find you a ready purveyor of those as well," he quipped. "I shant say no to anything with toffee."


He did rather enjoy the food aspect of not being stuck on a ship. Francis had always been a man driven by his stomach and need for much fuel.


As she intended, she lured him over to help her. Quite willingly actually. "Anything which makes a physic taste better will please a few people, I think."


He reached her side and took up the laces. "Never fear," he said, assuming her shaking of the head was in reply to the corset. Refusing food was unfathomable to him.

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"I did not know that." Free sugar, and now perhaps free apples?


It just got worse and worse - the fortune she could have made!


"La! That is what I thought also. But then I found out that Apothecaries must only make the recipes endorsed by the RCP, that is the Royal College of Physicians if you'd not heard of it. So I cannot make my toffee apples with beneficial qualities for winter colds at all. If I did and they found out, we could be shut down."


They would have been everyone’s favourite medicine, she was sure.


But all that talk was really only cover, during her play act to lure Frances closer to his model ship. And he, born and raised a cavalier, came to her aid without any other prompt. (Which only warmed her heart to him the more). "Oh thank you..."


Yet he still did not look towards the model, and really, why would he have?


Meeting his eyes she smiled, and caught his helpful hand, lifting it to her lips to kiss. "I have a little gift for you, Francis." And lowering the hand she held, with her eyes she directed their attention to the figurine stood on the quarterdeck of the ship. A man in an old-fashioned kings uninform (possibly from the civil war? she did not know) with a hat, and his hair beneath newly painted golden, like Francis own.

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"Food that simply has the side effects of making one feel better might not be considered medicine or under their prerogative," he offered. He was lacking many court abilities, but his business sense was not lacking.


"And if shut down is the worst that can happen, then there is little risk." He spoke whilst he aided. "Besides, I do not think any would wish to make an enemy of Basildon, or your newer friends." Buckingham likely included.


As to his gift, he might have noticed after he finished helping her and had the temptations removed, but neither needed to wait for that.


His blond brow went up when she said that she had a gift for him.


"Ha! Glorious!" He chuckled, picking the little figure up. "Did you have the hair done to look like me?" He looked back at her face, mesmerized some and quite fitting of his boyish looks.


He looked at the little thing and said, "When we were very young, as I said, we were raised in exile, and we did not really have frivolous things like toys. We fought over 5 very battered, tiny men." Clearly boys liked such things very much. "By the time His Majesty was restored, my grandfather deemed we were too old for such things."


So, one might deduce that he did not have many toys as a boy even after exile.

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