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Hope

EASTER 1678 | A rousing evening with Her Royal Majesty (8th)

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Charles and Darlene

Charles gauged correctly, Darlene gasped and eyes flared as she suppressed a squeal of delight! 

To his claim of perfect, she replied "It is!"  Having a magician come bodyguard for her adventure was bound to come in useful.

 

Joined by Sophia

"Oh dear, and then now I am the one who missed out." pretty Darlene cheerily sulked.  "You shall let me be in the next one though wont you, I am especially excellent at narrating, and also at making it all fun. I just have a knack for that sort of thing." . While modest when she needed to be, sometimes one just had to state the truth.  Any event that Sophia might put on, would be better for Darlene's involvement in it. There was no denying it. 

All in all she did seem to be making a friend in the ambassadors new wife, who went so far as to say 'why wait'.

"Ooh, excellent idea."  Darlene smiled, and while the Gentleman-magician teased them, she seized upon the moment. "Then surely you must join my adventure on Wednesday evening. I am routing out villainy, it is for the Lifeguards you see. Sometimes they are too busy to do it themselves. Or, probably, I am just better at it than them.  And Lord Chatham is secured to be our protector, so you will be perfectly safe. Although if it comes to it, but it wont, but I can shoot a gun myself did you know. I've had lessons, and everything."  Excitably she chattered. 

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On 8/25/2020 at 7:02 PM, Hope said:

Beverly and Bruhl

“Yes that.” Sebastian frowned a nod and looked towards where they ladies had vanished.  “and Lady Agnes is usually so quiet.”

He felt a bit sorry for the girl.

But drew his attention back to the gent, “So I have heard. Though these are tense times, what with the affair of the Rhinestones.” He assumed that Beverly had heard about that from his wife, “and quite understandable. The phrase ‘coiled spring’ might be used to descript her.”

He considered letting Beverly in on the issue he was currently wrestling with, but then, he hardly knew Mary’s husband yet.  Perhaps, if things did not soon improve, he’d take him into his confidence.

Talk of horses was just the thing for men to bond on.

“Ha, yes a horse is far more a known quantity.” he smiled of Beverley’s reserved joke, another German learning English humour..

“I would enjoy that greatly.” He was surprised even, at the invite!  “I have of course been practising my speed separately, but surely some competition during practise will be the best to really push oneself.”

Turning to note the returned Master of the Horse (a title that did not have much to do with horses actually), he asked, “Have you heard any on how fine a horseman Mountjoy is? And also, Legge?” Plainly he relished the thought of a little friendly competition. looking forward to

Beverley mmmmed his agreement about the rhinestone situation. Ladies made quite the hubub about simple things. Beverley would not have minded if his lady wife lost a ribbon. He had lost many things in his life that his lord father had lost his mind about, so he rather knew how such things felt. 

 

"There is no way to truly test how fast one is otherwise," Beverley agreed of having others to ride with. 

 

"His lordship is a very fine hunter, and one must have fairly good horsemanship to do so mounted with any great skill, so I would wager he is apt enough rider. I have no idea how fast a racer he might be." The viscount was far more loquacious about topics he enjoyed and around others his own age. 

 

"Sir George has a new horse, so they are yet to be enough acquainted to know how great a pair they shall make. His father commanded both horse and foot troops, so he knows horses well enough," Beverley postulated. "My master once told me that the Martyred King gifted the old Colonel his own hangar*."

 

"But since the events shan't be a normal race, different horsemanship skill might be required than being fast. Either gentleman could be formidable considering what His Majesty might choose as an event. Lord Langdon and Lord Newcastle are also very tested racers. And the Duke of Buckingham, if he is not too old for such." 

 

(OOC - A hangar is the precursor to a sabre and the preferred cavalry weapon of the age. It was short and curved so you could slice at people ;) )

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Sebastian was in agreement on that score – and thus prized the invitation to properly test his speed. 

“A lot of it comes down to the thighs.” He considered Mounjoy (before the Marquis left), all seriously said as they assessed the completion, whom Beverly revealed as an accomplished huntsman, “But yes, racing is another thing again – consider Lightning Langdon for instance, a rather light framed chap even if quite tall.”

Meanwhile the German was neither particularly lean nor solidly built, offering scant clue to where his proficiency might lay.

"Then I would guess Legge will be pleased for the extra practise too.”  What with a new horse.

“Potzblitz*!” he exclaimed under breath, “Now there is a prize worthy of competing.  I wonder if there shall be such awards for these games too?  There is so little word around about to what the competitions shall actually entail, just the vague descriptions such as you offer; shant be normal'.  Which is not much to go on.  I did hear though, that they shall have the women competing as well.”

“But women shall not want to win a hangar.”

 

*  Trans. Upon my soul  (an archaic German oath)

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

 

A delicious heat spread through Sophia’s small form as Charles’ lips briefly brushed over her hand. She barely suppressed the impulse to hold it over her heart. It was difficult to keep her composure in his delectable presence.

 

“Of course I will,” Sophia beamed at Lady Oakham. “I remember how excellent you are at organizing and presenting fun events. If you plan something theatrical this season, I would love to take part in it. Or perhaps we can come up with something magnigficent together.” She wished she would have known that Darlene was back before tonight. The concert would have benefited greatly from her involvement.

 

The blonde Countess hoped that Charles was pleasurably affected by her playful pout. “Do stay, my lord,” she implored him, her lyrical voice formal but mischievous. “Your prattle is quite enjoyable tonight.”

 

Lady Oakham seemed pleased with her suggestion and outlined an adventure she had planned for Wednesday evening. Routing out villainy to help the Life Guards? It sounded similar to seeking out justice for the patients at Bedlam. And Lord Chatham was to be their protector. She probably shouldn’t do it, but it meant more Charles. Sophia would do almost anything for more Charles.

 

“You know how to shoot?” she asked, her eyes wide. “Maybe you can teach me someday. It is something that I would like to learn. As for your adventure, count me in. My lord husband is a bit overprotective, so invite me for dinner on Wednesday evening so he won’t be suspicious.” Her ever-present bodyguard would be sent to the servant’s area of Lady Oakham’s house and they could slip away without his knowledge. 

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

Charles would freely admit that he was reckless, lacking in sense, perhaps even deeply unwise, but even he was beginning to feel a trifle concerned about the growing scope of this venture. It was one thing to escort Darlene to a dockside tavern, and quite another to do the same with the wife of the Spanish ambassador, even discounting this talk of shooting. But it would be interesting, and a chance to spend more time with Sophia, and so, being reckless, lacking in sense, and deeply unwise, Charles simply resolved to take the outing seriously.

(Well, he also resolved to teach Sophia to shoot as soon as he could arrange a practical opportunity, but he was aware that would prove difficult.)

"His excellency would not be best pleased to learn that you were out adventuring, no," Charles agreed drily, swallowing laughter. Toledo would be a damn sight more than merely displeased if he learned what Sophia got up to.

A thought struck him and he frowned.

"Would you ladies be able to, ah, dress down, shall we say? Neither of you is in any way common, and the less attention we draw, the better."

That went for him too, of course.

I'm going to have to grease my hair.

He repressed a shudder.

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

Darlene glowed under Sophia's recommendation. It was possibly even the first time that anyone had (publicly) admitted this area she excelled in.  While her self confidence in that area was high, it was special to have actual recognition.   “We would make a stunning team.” Of course they would, for the precocious young woman would not abide anything less!

Lady Toledo convinced Chatham to stay (while Darlene had never thought he’d actually leave in the first place) and then their plan for Wednesday grew. 

“Then you must Actually come to dinner.” She said to Sophia, and then Charles chipped in with his own clever idea.

“Oh yes, I shall wear my Mr Brightwick clothes.” The Viscountess grinned and then added, “He is a secret alias of mine, promise you shall not tell Lady Albemarle anything of that, she is quite convinced in his reality.”

It was all gearing up to be a marvellous evening.  “Oh yes I can teach you to shoot.” Said confidently, “my own teacher was a Scott, I’m practically a…. a… oh what is that name they call Scottish warriors Lord Chatham? They are terribly fearsome, and a little bit mad - but only the little bit that doesn’t really matter, and only makes it more the exciting. Anyhow, nobody will mess with us, I I quite promise, and Lord Toldeo will have nothing at all to worry about.”

Darlene knew not to trust her own shooting ability to fend off evil, and was actually placing extreme confidence in Lord Chatham’s ability to look after them.  

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On 9/17/2020 at 11:19 PM, Hope said:

Sebastian was in agreement on that score – and thus prized the invitation to properly test his speed. 

“A lot of it comes down to the thighs.” He considered Mounjoy (before the Marquis left), all seriously said as they assessed the completion, whom Beverly revealed as an accomplished huntsman, “But yes, racing is another thing again – consider Lightning Langdon for instance, a rather light framed chap even if quite tall.”

Meanwhile the German was neither particularly lean nor solidly built, offering scant clue to where his proficiency might lay.

"Then I would guess Legge will be pleased for the extra practise too.”  What with a new horse.

“Potzblitz*!” he exclaimed under breath, “Now there is a prize worthy of competing.  I wonder if there shall be such awards for these games too?  There is so little word around about to what the competitions shall actually entail, just the vague descriptions such as you offer; shant be normal'.  Which is not much to go on.  I did hear though, that they shall have the women competing as well.”

“But women shall not want to win a hangar.”

 

*  Trans. Upon my soul  (an archaic German oath)

"Indeed!" Beverley responded, chuckling. He had spent enough time serving a German to know most all the typical phrases, especially oaths and swears, bc they were always said with the sort of emphasis that made them noteworthy, rare or not. "His Majesty is known for being most generous and for oft asking what reward a person might desire. I, erm, quite think the king likes merit and skill and distinguishing it." As to the ladies, Beverley added more quietly, "His Majesty has been known to facilitate a marriage for a lady or two in such ways, but I oft think they ask for jewels." Or other favors, but Beverley did not feel right in even alluding to that given their current location. 

 

"But as for me, I think I would find it very difficult to ask His Majesty for something so specifically. It seems quite presumptuous, erm, but my family tends to be more traditional than most these days. Many do not have any misgiving."

 

He cast his eye in the direction his lady wife had disappeared, wondering if she would return any time soon or if he should wait for her in their room at that palace. Or perhaps invite the German for a drink, holy day or not. Brooke would never know.

 

(Sorry! *sheepish* I'm so horrible in event threads)

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

 

“Yes, we would,” Sophia concurred to Darlene’s remark that they would make a stunning team. “Let’s show London how amazing we are. Perhaps we should plan a party together. There have not been many thrilling events yet this season. We should change that.”

 

Charles, playing his part to perfection, agreed that Esteban wouldn’t be pleased if he knew she was planning to prowl around at night. “You won’t tell him, will you?” she asked, looking up at him with big blue eyes and biting her lower lip. “He doesn’t have to know about everything I do. Life is so dull without a little adventure now and then. And you will be there to look after me. I will be safe with you.” 

 

Turning her head so that Darlene couldn’t see her expression, she grinned playfully. They both knew exactly how safe she was with him. And neither of them would have it any other way. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be able to get into any mischief together unless they found a dark corner somewhere. Anything was possible if they were creative enough.

 

“Of course I’ll come to dinner,” Sophia declared, turning her attention back to Lady Oakham. “You don’t even have to send an invitation. I shall tell my lord husband that you invited me. He probably won’t mind as long as I bring my bodyguard. He knows how social I am. We’ll just need to figure out a way to ditch the bodyguard..”

 

Charles suggested that they dress as commoners. That was a very good idea. He would make a very handsome and irresistible peasant. And Darlene had a male disguise! She had no idea who Lady Albemarle was, so she would have no trouble keeping her secret. “I masqueraded as an actress last year. I still have the gowns I wore.” Her gaze moved between her two companions. “That is a secret too, so please don’t tell anyone.” The gowns had been a bit loose and she thought they would fit as long as her waistline didn’t expand too much between now and Wednesday evening.

 

“I wish I could dress as a gentleman. I’ve always wanted to try it. Maybe my maidservant will be able to come up with some male clothes, although ...” Sophia looked down at her generous bosom. “… I don’t know if it’s even possible to hide these.”

 

It sounded as if Lady Oakham was quite skilled with a pistol. She wondered if Lord Dundarg had been the Scot that had taught her, but no, he wasn’t fearsome or mad, not even a little bit. “Wonderful!” Sophia exclaimed when Darlene offered to teach her to shoot. If she had known that Charles planned to teach her too, she would have been positively thrilled. “Don’t tell my lord husband about this either, please,” she implored him, trying to keep her eyes from straying to his lips. “He doesn’t want me to do anything that could even remotely be considered fun.”

 

Edited by Sophia de la Cerda

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

Charles obviously had absolutely no intention of telling Toledo anything. Had he harboured such thoughts, though, then her wide-eyed expression and softly-bitten lip would have been a most unfair counter-argument. It was unfair in any case, really, her looking at him like that when he could do nothing about it. He would have to balance accounts when next they had the opportunity to slip away together. He very nearly forgot himself and smirked wickedly at Sophia, but caught it just in time. He would not swear that his lips did not twitch, though.

"I will keep your secrets, against my better judgement," he mock-grumbled, "But in all seriousness, I must insist that you listen to me while we are out on our excursion." He levelled a grave look at Sophia, and angled his head to include Darlene. "It should be safe enough, but I will not say that there is no risk."

Both ladies had means of disguising themselves, at least. Darlene could even crossdress, and convincingly too, apparently, which would help their deception. (He did wonder, though, at how difficult it really was to fool Lady Ablemarle. Rumour had her as more than half-mad. Of course, the same had been said of him.)

"At this rate, ladies, I shall have more of your secrets to keep than my own," he laughed, and then coughed gently as Sophia lamented the rather... prominent difficulties she would face in dressing as a gentleman.

"Rather challenging, yes," He said, in what he deemed a masterful display of diplomatic understatement. He could not, however, help the momentary lapse that drew his eye to those wonderful breasts, so cruelly locked away from his gaze and touch. 

Control yourself sir.

His attention was thankfully seized by Darlene's question.

"Ah, Highlanders, or perhaps gallowglasses?" he offered, briefly thrown by non-sequitur, "But fearsome, yes."

He regathered himself and laughed again as Sophia asked him to keep yet another secret.

"What's one more?" he asked, eye twinkling, "but I will warn you, and Lady Oakham will support me, that this will be a more difficult secret to keep. Powder smoke is distinctly... pungent, and the scent lingers."

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Beverley & Von Bruhl

It was all sensible and good conversation, till Beverly did a bomb drop (and so mildly spoken!) "Marriage?" Von Bruhl's eyes flared prior to brows frowning. "I would hardly think that suitable, why it is hardly respectful of the sanctity of marriage vows to be taken." 

Englishmen should never criticise HRM, and even German guests of the crown should not speak so plainly. But he was shocked, spoke first and  reconsidered after. "I should mean to say... er."  But he was stumped to how to fix the conversation.

Meanwhile that Beverly was not the 'grabby' sort that would state what (possibly outlandish) want he might have, seemed to the German as the correct way.

"There are some trends it's sensible not to follow."  Sebastian stated, and then seeing Beverly's eyes drift after the direction the woman had departed in he commented. "The ladies may be a time yet, Lady Mountjoy is renown for being very through.  Would you like to join me in a drink while you wait, I am in no great rush to retire to St marks yet."

 

 

 

OOC: happy to fade out on the pair having conversing some while longer about horses etc if you'd like.  Mary is a while longer, as she lingered to console an upset Agnes after lady Mountjoys telling off upset her.

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Oakham, Toledo & Chatham

"Ooh yes, we must, why we owe to our public really!"  Darlene was proper delighted that Sophia was of the same mind as herself. "We can make plans for it when you come to dinner." 

The time of which was all settled to be a couple of hours before they would go out on their adventure  - which would give the ladies time to eat, plan, and get dressed in their disguises.

"Berserkers!" It only took Chatham’s incorrect guesses, to trigger the correct answer in Darlene's mind.  But that was alright, she could see that he was a bit distracted by having two beautiful ladies all to himself, and the prospect of having them for a full evening on Wednesday must also be rather distracting for him.

"Well we can worry about shooting lessons some other time."   She nodded to Lord Chatham, seconding that Gunsmoke was particularly stinky stuff. "And besides that s quite enough secrets for one night."  Darlene took pity on the poor slightly added Chatham, while turning her brilliant smile back to Sophia.  "We shall have so much fun."

 

OOC: shall we wind up now-ish? Do promise to write the dates in your diaries, I dont want you to forget our plans! ❤️  

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

 

“Absolutely!” Sophia enthused. Darlene probably had no idea how much the young Countess admired her. She remembered some of the party games she had organized during her first season at court, and she had always envied her for coming up with so many splendid ideas. Her social skills far exceeded Sophia’s own and she had wanted to be more like her. She still did. Teaming up with her to throw a party was like a dream come true.

 

She noticed Charles’ lips twitch when she gently bit her lip, but he kept his composure. He promised not to tell Esteban what she was planning to do. Of course he wouldn’t. Her husband and her lover barely knew each other. Adding that it was against his better judgment was a nice touch. Charles was, whether he knew it or not, a fantastic actor. If she and Darlene organized a play, then he should definitely be given the male lead. She would, of course, star opposite him.

 

“Thank you, my lord,” she said with feigned sincerity. “I will find a way to make it up to you.” That was a promise she definitely planned on keeping. “I will listen to you and do everything you say.” Almost everything she said to him tonight had a double meaning. Teasing Charles was nearly as irresistible as he was. He would exact revenge on her later, she was certain, and she greatly looked forward to it.

 

Sophia resisted the urge to thrust her breasts forward when his gaze dropped to her bosom. Just one casual glanced and they ached for his touch. Her entire body tingled with suppressed desire. She needed to leave before she gave their relationship away.  "Maybe my maidservant will be able to figure out a way.  If not, I'll just be the lone woman in our group."

 

Charles promised not to mention that she planned on learning to shoot too. If she didn’t trust him implicitly, she would have told Darlene that she was afraid of guns and then asked to be taught when the two ladies were alone.

 

“I have some strong perfume that can mask the smell,” she said brightly. “But yes, that’s something for another time. We should concentrate on our Wednesday evening adventure first.”

 

Darlene assured them both that they would have fun. “I can hardly wait for Wednesday evening! Now, though, I should be getting home. My bodyguard has probably seen the carriages leaving. He will come to fetch me if I linger too long.”

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

"It will need to be very strong," Charles warned, only half-joking. Powder truly reeked.

He flicked a quick glance about the room as the conversation came to a close.

"We are among the last hold-outs," he conceded. "Do either or both of you ladies require an escort to the carriages?"

Charles did like to play at gallantry.

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Darlene could see her new bestie (for she had the sense that she and Sophia were peas in a pod) needed some lessons in flirting, for Sophia's double entondres were too blatant!  Just as well it was only Darlene stood there, anyone else would suspect that these two were having an affair.  But Darlene knew it was just a game of flirtation  (flirtation was Darlene’s most favourite game, which was only another reason that she and Sophia were such a perfect pairing).  

"Oh yes please." the gentleman offered to escort the ladies to the carriages, and Darlene was delighted at that.  She expected Sophia to be equally pleased. 

Giving her friend a grin she added, "He's ever so nice don’t you think," her praise intent to be a reward for Charles, said even as she took one of his arms, "and I simply cannot wait until our big adventure." 

 

 

OOC: ❤️

 

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Charles, Darlene, and Sophia

 

Sophia would have been thrilled if she had known that Darlene thought of her as her best friend. She had not gotten to know her well last year before she had abruptly left court. They did seem to be kindred spirits in many ways.

 

She had planned to refuse Charles’ offer, but when Darlene accepted, she changed her mind. Karl would not think that anything suspicious was going on if he escorted her to her carriage in the presence of another lady. Perhaps she would tell Esteban that she thought that Lord Chatham and Lady Oakham fancied each other. He would no longer see her delightful lover as a threat to his honor if he believed he was interested in another lady.

 

“Very well,” she acceded. “And yes, our dear Lord Chatham is a true gentleman.” Taking his other arm, she squeezed it gently. “I can hardly wait either, It is going to so much fun!”

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