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Sophia de la Cerda

On A Wing And A Prayer | 6th April, morning

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The Catholic Chapel or Old Queen's Chapel

Just off St. James' Park stands a small Catholic church.

The Chapel was commissioned in 1623, for the Infanta of Spain, the intended wife of Charles I. It was completed in 1627, for Charles I's eventual Queen, Henrietta Maria of France, who used it as her private Roman Catholic chapel, bringing with her a bishop and priests from France as her chaplains.

During the Commonwealth, the Chapel was stripped of its treasures, and, in 1650, a Council of State directed that it should be used as a library. In 1662, however, it was refurnished and restored as a place of worship by Charles II, for his Queen, Catherine of Braganza. It is one of the very few Catholic churches in England. It is currently kept in service for the Duke of York and other Catholic lords at court.

 

 

 

 

The plan had been hatched last season, and today they would finally be able to put it into action.

 

Sophia had told her husband that she was seriously thinking about converting to Catholicism and wished to spend the entire morning in the Queen's Chapel praying for guidance. He had seemed pleased, which made her feel a bit guilty because her intentions were far from pious. As usual, he insisted that Karl accompany her and this time she had not protested. He would certainly not enter the Chapel with her, knowing that she wanted to be alone to concentrate on her prayers.

 

She had dressed demurely this morning in a cream-colored cotton gown sprinkled all over with embroidered multicolored flowers. Except for a bit of lace framing the neckline and trimming the elbow-length puffed sleeves, it was unadorned and she had wrapped a cream lace scarf around her shoulders to hide her cleavage.

 

Because it was still quite chilly in the mornings, Sophia wore a light blue cloak over her gown. The hood was left down so that her head was uncovered, revealing her flaxen hair arranged in its usual style. This time, though, no ribbons or combs decorated it. Around her neck was a simple string of pearls.

 

Her goal today was to be able to blend into a crowd in case she and Lord Chatham decided to leave the Chapel if they could find no privacy within. She had the entire morning to spend with him and even now, as she stepped from her carriage, her body hummed with the first stirrings of desire. They had waited so long to be together and finally, they had their chance.

 

If everything went according to plan.

 

As she entered the building, it appeared to be empty, which wasn't surprising considering that Catholics were still persecuted in London. Most of them probably kept their faith secret unless they were foreigners like Esteban and herself. There was a guard at the door and Karl remained outside with him. Nobody who looked suspicious would have been allowed inside or she believed he would have followed her to make certain she was safe.

 

Each step Sophia took echoed through the cavernous chamber and she looked around her, wondering if Charles was already here. If not, she hoped he would use another entrance so that her bodyguard wouldn't be alerted to his presence.

 

 

Edited by Sophia de la Cerda

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Charles sat in the chancel, separated from the nave by its decorative screen. He wore simple steel grey, for the sake of non-descriptness, and had queued and clubbed his hair so that he had simply to remove his eye patch and don his low-brimmed hat to hide his two most distinctive features, if such proved necessary.

He had arrived early to avoid the scrutiny of Sophia's bodyguard, and secluded himself in the chancel. It had amused him to realise that this was his first properly clandestine rendezvous in over a year, and the warm thrill of that realisation thrummed through him, keeping his mind focused. Sophia had haunted his dreams for months now, and the chance to finally consummate their relationship had him almost giddy.

The echoing sound of footsteps had him grinning in anticipation, and he rouse and padded softly to the chancel arch to peer out into the nave from its concealment. His breath caught as he saw Sophia. She was a vision, even dressed modestly, and perversely that modesty fired his blood all the more. He stepped out so that she could see him and beckoned her on, holding a finger to his lips as he did.

"You are a goddess come to Earth, Psyche," he murmured as she came close, taking her hands in his own and drawing her after him into the choir-stalls in the chancel. (That had seemed a most appropriate choice to him, even leaving aside the concealment offered by the chancel screen). He had meant to converse with her, to at least ask after her bodyguard, but before he quite knew what he was doing, Charles was kissing her hungrily.

"I am sorry for my over-eagerness," he gasped out when lack of air bid him break off, "but you are like a fever in my blood."

 

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Charles had seen an altar boy earlier, lighting candles.  This place would never be empty.  The boy disappeared back into back rooms.

Karl had escorted Sophia to the Church and joined the Yeomen outside that guarded the chapel from gangs of Anglicans looking to vandalize the place.  Thus, Sophia was unescorted inside.

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Sophia was about to sit in one of the pews when she saw Charles step from behind the beautiful screen that separated the nave from the chancel. Her heart leapt in her chest as she beheld him, looking quite dashing in his own simple attire. She wanted to throw herself in his arms, but there was a possibility that they could be seen.

 

He held a finger to his lips … lips that she longed to kiss … and she glanced furtively around her to make certain nobody was watching them before taking his hands and allowing him to draw her into his hiding place, which just happened to be in the choir stalls. “And you are the sun whose rays the rose craves more than ...”

 

Before she could utter another word, Charles crushed his lips against hers in a delightfully passionate kiss. Starved for him, she wound her arms around his neck and returned it enthusiastically, her nubile young body spinning with sweet and poignant sensations that made her forget everything but the way he made her feel.

 

When he pulled away, she gasped for air, her bountiful bosom heaving as she inhaled and then exhaled. “Don't be sorry darling Eros,” she whispered, one hand caressing his neck as the other moved forward to trace the outline of his lips. “I would have been disappointed had you done anything else.”

 

Again, she looked around her. “My bodyguard stayed outside. Do you think we'll be safe here or should we find a more secluded place?”

 

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Charles nipped playfully at Sophia's fingers, mostly as a way to distract himself from her heaving breasts. He did not think she would mind exactly, but he expected better of himself.

"What do you do to me, Psyche?" he murmured. "I was not so schoolboyish when I was a schoolboy." He laughed softly and kissed her again, more gently this time.

He was being reckless, and knew it, but that knowledge combined with their location and Sophia's raw appeal sang a siren song of gleeful anticipation that had his blood and his soul both dancing. He did not think he had ever wanted a woman more, and that want had driven any other consideration from his mind.

Fortunately, Sophia seemed to have a better grasp on the practicalities. Charles shook himself and frowned at her question.

"I am not sure," he admitted reluctantly, wrapping his arms around her waist. "There was a boy around earlier, lighting the candles." He sighed and looked about, hoping for some stroke of inspiration. They had waited too long for this, and while Charles was perfectly willing to murder any interlopers, it would doubtless put a damper on the mood. He smiled slowly as a thought came to him and walked his fingers up along Sophia's side.

"We could try the organ loft, if you like," he suggested. "It would probably be more secluded, and we should have greater warning if any approach."

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Sophia laughed softly when Charles nipped at her fingers. “I have cast a spell upon you,” she whispered, “a wickedly alluring spell from which you can never break free, even should you wish to.” Her eyes narrowed playfully. “Which I hope you don't.”

 

His lips found hers again and she melted into his kiss, her hands gently caressing the nape of his neck.  Her soft curves pressed enticingly against him. She breathed in his sent and savored the taste of his mouth, longing to experience all of him and to soar on the wings of pleasure in his embrace. They had waited so long to be alone together, so very long, and the lovely anticipation that sang through her body was almost more than she could bear.

 

His beautiful blue eye followed her own around their small sanctuary, if indeed that was what it was. The fact that he had seen a boy lighting candles attested to the fact that the chapel was not empty as she had hoped. Charles wrapped his arm around her waist and she leaned her blonde head against his shoulder. It was difficult to worry at all as his fingers crept up her side. Her breasts began to ache for his touch, and her entire body trembled with desire.

 

“Perhaps the organ loft would be best. I doubt it's checked regularly and perhaps there is a place to hide if we hear footsteps.” Lifting his free hand, she kissed his fingers one by one, sucking on each of them before letting them go. “There's a guard at the door. Did he see you come in?” She doubted that Karl would speak to the man, but if he did, hopefully he would believe that the gentleman who had entered before her was just a harmless Catholic who wished to pray in peace.  Or perhaps Charles had used another entrance.

 

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"If this is slavery then I am happy in bondage, and the very thought of freedom seems hateful to me Psyche," Charles murmured, "and even were it otherwise, the mere sight of you would be enough to ensorcell me again."

Further words seemed superfluous, and so he simply kissed Sophia again. The initial rush had passed now, and he was more gentle, taking his time and savouring her arms wrapped around his neck and the exquisite feeling of her soft warmth pressed against him. Her closeness, and the imminent consummation of all of last season's flirtations and promises it promised, was intoxicating, and Charles spoke as an expert on intoxicants. His wits seemed to have all but taken wing, driven from him by sheer want of Sophia. (Was it merely the length of the prelude that him so fevered, he had wondered the previous night, or something more? His mind had shied from the thought.)

Sophia was certainly not helping matters, resting her head on his shoulder and trembling like that. It would be so very easy, his mind whispered, to lift her into his lap, pop those wonderful breasts out of her bodice, and set to work there in the chancel and hang the risk. He could almost see it. But Charles was also an expert at being intoxicated, and he knew when he was being bloody stupid. He caressed Sophia's cheek and stood.

"The Yeomen on the front door? They took little notice of me. I can walk small, when I have to, and I was not wearing the patch on the way in." He smiled down at her and offered her his hand to help her stand. "Now, let us make haste to the organ loft, if we are going, for I fear that my control is a slender thread indeed with you, Psyche."

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“After all that Psyche went through for her Eros, she wants him to be delighted whenever he looks upon her.” Sophia was mostly speaking of the myth she loved so well, but her statement also applied to herself. She had craved Charles since that night at the opera when he had praised his voice, but fate had been cruel and given them no opportunity to be together. Being watched all the time was every bit as torturous as the tasks Aphrodite had given Psyche, but she had finally broken free temporarily by weaving an elaborate lie to ensure that her bodyguard gave her some privacy. If we get away with this, I shall convert to Catholicism in gratitude.

 

The risk had been worth it just to be kissed so enticingly and she could hardly wait for what was to come. Because she was pregnant, she would not have the satisfaction of feeling him inside her, but there were other ways to give and receive pleasure, ways that she had learned about in racy Italian novels but had never had the opportunity to put into practice. Hands and lips could stir one's passions and gratify them in a most exquisite fashion. There was nothing she wished for more than for both of them to find an ecstatic joy in each other's arms.

 

Yet not here, where it was possible that they would be discovered.

 

Leaning into his caress, she sighed in relief. If the guard had hardly noticed Charles when he entered, he would probably not remember him, thinking he was a commoner who wished for spiritual guidance. Anyone who seemed suspicious would have been stopped and questioned. Sophia had no idea how anyone could not notice him, even dressed as simply as he was. To her, he was absolutely magnificent.


She laughed and took his hand. “Come. It should be fairly easy to find.”

 

(OOC:  Left it open-ended in case a mod needs to decide whether or not they found the organ loft)

Edited by Sophia de la Cerda

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There was indeed an organ loft and balcony large enough for a choir to sing with heavenly voices.  The staircase was wide enough to allow three to walk abreast.

The front door to the chapel opened and a visitor entered.  From the foot of the staircase, the couple might make out the shadowy form if they chose to get a better look.

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Whatever about a choir, Charles was almost ready to sing with joy himself. (Though, as he would freely concede, his voice was far from heavenly. But that was fine. His intentions, and the reason for his joy, were as earthly as they came.)

But after all this time, finally we are alone and free to indulge!

Naturally, he had no sooner formed the thought than the doors of the chapel opened and they were interrupted. It was almost personally offensive, he reflected, swallowing his instinctive reaction. (Which had been to simply strangle the interloper and hide the body in the confessional. Most women, he had found, thought that murder rather ruined the mood, and those that did not were generally more trouble than they were worth.) Instead Charles faded back into the staircase a little, for better concealment, and looked at Sophia to see how she wished to proceed.

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