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Nicolette Vauquelin

Desperatis hic in Vinarium | Saturday after 10pm

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Raising the cup of rum she’d acquired while greetings were occurring she lifted it up in a small salute with a smile to their royal party members’ promises to make the rewards quite worth it before she took a sip.  As the King placed kisses on Nicolette’s neck, she smiled to herself and took another sip.  Was this the first step to making Nicolette an official mistress?  That was what she wanted, wasn’t it?

“Why, I’d never…” Her eyes sparkled as she laugh at Nicci, flashing her a puckish smile.  It was a lie, she’d entirely try and stack the odds in her favor by getting her friend a wee bit tipsy… or raving drunk… With a teasing shrug, she snickered, “You can’t blame a lady for trying.”

Her gloves were already off and lying on a nearby barrel, she wasn’t as quick moving as her French friend though in taking her cloak off.  Another sip of the rum, maybe for courage but probably not, before she set the cup down and reached up slowly unbuttoning her silvery cloak and slipped out of her cloak, neatly folding it and laying it off to the side,  Underneath was a dress of a bright royal blue underneath embroidered lightly with gold thread. 

“Well, Frenchie?  Are you ready?” Diana teased good-naturedly.

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"Ah, well then. The cub is remiss!" Buckingham joked, of Kingston's lack of making better acquaintance. He was in a jovial mood.

 

"Indeed! We shall have to chastise him! Though I daresay I think the countess made May blush and that was amusement enough," the King provided. 

 

"In truth," the Duke said of the dildo's origin, "I am fairly certain it was fashioned to look native and is not so New World. I do not know what negotiations he would have to exchange for a dildo! Nor how he would explain the need for one!"

 

"And now we must ask him how he negotiated for it. My lady, I shall leave the query to you," the King said. 

 

Soon the challenges were laid for the arm wrestling and the bark of laughter from His Majesty might have nearly knocked Nicci off his lap were it not for the security of one long arm.  "You heard the lady!" He released her to take up her position. "Take my wager of 100 on the mademoiselle, George."

 

Though Buckingham did not gamble at cards, he did take other gambles, like on horses and other contests. Gambling and wagers made court life far more entertaining.

 

"I shall easily place 100 on Gowran's lady wife. The English and the Irish are quite formidable against the French," Buckingham joked. Not that he could exactly say no. The King quite enjoyed escaping with his money, but since the elder was quite convinced the coin's final destination would be the lady, either way the contest went, he didn't mind a jot to offer it. 

 

"Chatham, shall you match us?" the wily King asked. 

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"I am always ready!" Nicci laughed, giving the King a saucy wink as she left him to join her rival at the table.  

The men were betting big, and loud enough to be overheard. Nicci's eyes flared and she whispered across to Diana, "A hundred pounds! for that we had better put on a good show." it was an apt time to toss off her cloak, and to discard a glove. Crooking elbow to the table she offered her naked hand for the other to grasp (which left Nicci having to drink with her left, untill things got serious at least - at which point she passed her glass to Caroline with a call of 'hold my cognac!')      

 

OOC: Hi guys and gals, so as we are well in truly in the wrap up stage of the time frame now, may I suggest Defiance to do a summary post for 'and a good time was had by all'  (ooh, or perhaps our chars all drink so much that they simply dont remember what happened after this point in time  ) that we can conclude upon

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“Perhaps he shall make it up to me tonight,” Anne-Elisabeth replied with a cheeky grin. “Then he will be spared a chastisement.” She was pleased that the King was still talking about their encounter the day before. I must have made a favorable impression on him with my poetry and my wit.

 

Buckingham surmised that the feathered dildo she was so fascinated by was not really from the New World. The Barbadian Countess laughed at the idea of Lord Kingston explaining why he needed a dildo. The King suggested that she be the one who found out. “I would be delighted, Your Majesty. Do you think I should ask him with a limerick?”

 

The monarch said nothing when she asked if she could try his cognac, so Anne-Elisabeth assumed that he didn’t mind and poured herself a glass. While Nicci and Diana prepared to arm-wrestle, she strolled over to Caroline and Charles. “I hope they don’t want the two of us to go next,” she said to Caroline.  "If so, I need a few more glasses of rum. Or cognac.  Or both."

Edited by Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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(OOC - A Defiance sidenote - Anne-E please let the King answer your question before you put your question to unsuspecting Francis, you'll have time ;) I am sure CR might have something hilarious to reply but it won't be his turn for a bit yet!)

 

The group had gotten themselves significantly further into their cups than he certainly had from the jovial sounds wafting up. He paused to take a long gulp from his flask to hasten his catching up. Then he put on his ready for fun face, not wanting to clue any in to his mood of the last while.

 

He walked down.

 

"A hundred pounds! I'Faith, friends, what sort of contest is about to take place!" he gestured to the cleared table and tableau in front of him. 

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"Any solicitor should be able to better inform you, and Chichester might well know of a suitably discreet one. I have not been in London long enough to offer any recommendations myself, alas," Charles offered. He noted her use of the other earl's Christian name, but passed no remark. That sort of casual, intimate informality was Caroline's hallmark.

He smiled softly as she asked after him.

"I have been well, and am better now to know that you have been thinking of me." He waggled his eyebrows and laughed.

"More seriously, I have been pleasantly idle," he continued more soberly, "but restlessness is beginning to chafe a little. Once our religious observances are done I shall have to put a few irons in the fire. We'll see how the ground lays then."

They were interrupted then, as Nicolette and Diana moved to begin their contest. Charles allowed himself to be led by the hand, and made a show of considering the King's challenge. There was no question of refusing, of course. Openhandedness and gallantry were next to grace under pressure as the great cavalier virtues.

"I was taught never to gamble on anything where I had no control over the outcome," he said slowly, and then grinned boyishly. "But I never paid overmuch attention to my lessons. I will match you. And with a Frenchwoman on my arm, and a formidable one at that, I shall have to back her countrywoman."

He nodded to Anne-Elisabeth as she joined them, and laughed at her words.

"Have a care with that," he advised, eye twinkling, "sobriety is an advantage in any physical contest."

He would have asked how she had been, but then Francis arrived.

"Kingston!" he greeted cheerily, raising his glass in salute. "The ladies are to arm wrestle."

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Chatham informed her he was well, though one could read something else into it if one had a mind to. But perhaps he had been (or still was) a bit in the doldrums. All this pious churchgoing might do that to a person - well leastwise persons like him and indeed her, neither whom would ever be mistaken for devout. Caroline led him up to where the two female 'combatants' were preparing for their wrestling match. Now Caroline had never seen Nicci wrestle but the girl seemed confident enough (or was that inebriated enough?) to seem sure of victory. Looking at Diana, Caroline wasn't so sure but she would stick loyally with her best friend and cheer her on. Chatham too as he took up the hundred pound bet.

"Bravo, my lord!" Caroline grinned then was distracted for a moment when Nicci held out her glass to take. Caroline of course did.

"Do not hurt yourself, dear, for you will want to be in good shape for later, no?" she eyed the King then back to Nicci and grinned.

Anne-Elisabeth was next to them now and declared that she hoped the crowd would not wish for them to fight next or she might need some more drinks.

Caroline eyed her up and down then smirked, "Trust me, you do not wish to fight me. I believe it would be most one sided and perhaps even painful for you."

Not wanted the other lady to think the words too hostile though Caroline quickly added, "But then I never fight with friends. Seems.... mean."

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Glancing from the King to Buckingham and back, she simply smiled and lifted the glass of rum to her lips as they decided upon who was betting on whom.  At Buckingham’s bet on her, she tossed him a sassy smile and lifted the glass in a small salute.  Win or lose, the fun for her wasn’t in the win but rather in the game.  She liked to win but she liked to play even more.  

Taking another drink, she leaned towards Nicolette as she spoke to her.  To most of this group, a hundred pounds nothing, there was a time when that would have been a hard earned funds for her. Nodding her head, she drained what was left of her rum and set the glass down.  “Pft,” She snorted good-naturedly and leaned in again to whisper back at Nicolette with a smirk.  “We are worth every cent of that and they know it.”  But Diana agreed silently, they did need to put on a good show if nothing more than to impress the company they were keeping.

Easing over to the table, she took a moment to find a comfortable position that consequently also braced her arm against her breasts, pressing them up and into the line of sight.  With her gloves already dispensed, she reached out and lightly grabbed Nicolette’s bare hand.  Settling her gaze on Nicci, she let their ever growing group get situated with bets placed and prepared for the show. With a cheekiness, “I’m ready when you are, Frenchie.”
 

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"Egads, no, we know you can do that easily enough. Ask him in the most serious manner you can muster once the ladies have their wrestle," the Rowlified monarch commanded with a chuckle. He was a man who preferred novelty and variety, with a short attention span for most entertainments that were not clocks (or other complicated inventions and mechanical devices). 

 

"Deadpan," Buckingham added. "As if it's no jest involved." If she could make the cub squirm, all the more impressive. He was so considerate of the ladies, even the libertine ones!

 

"Ahh! Speaking of, here he is!" the King declared. He so enjoyed putting his gentlemen in amusing situations. "Sit down Kingston, the ladies are to impress us with their prowess."

 

The ladies took up their positions.

 

"Take hands ladies," Buckingham narrated, clearly quite used to doing so for the King's amusements. "Ready! Begin!"

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Nicci saw Francis arrived, but being busy getting ready to compete she was focusing on Diana - though her ears wagged at what the group around her was saying.  Chatham would bet with the King, while Bucks money was on Diana (he'd already spent a greater fortune than that on Nicci)

"Ooo!" she laughed a the others contentious goad, this was fun!  "I feel sorry for all the Dukes money, wasted, to bet on you Rosbif!*" 

Meanwhile Diana was working-it, even Nicci was impressed at her breasts. To rival, the Frenchie matched the saucy pose and their hands locked, and grins exchanged as the Duke counted down: and naturally Nicci 'jumped the gate' (started before the Duke said begin.) 

It was all on! 

 

*French slang for English people (Roast Beef) 

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Anne-Elisabeth was pleased that the King acknowledged her poetic skills. Perhaps he also remembered that she liked a good challenge for her certainly gave her one. She had spent most of her life making people laugh.  Now she had to keep a straight face and prevent humor from coloring her voice when she asked Lord Kingston how he had required the dildo. Would she be able to do it? Of course. She could do anything if she set her mind to it, and she would much take part in an intellectual dare than a physical one, like the arm-wrestling contest.

 

The Duke agreed with the King, and expanded upon the requirements. “As you wish, Your Majesty, Your Grace,” she replied with a saucy smile. “Never let it be said that I backed down from a challenge.” She had until the end of the match to prepare.

 

It was true that the Barbadian Countess would have to drink a copious amount of alcohol before she could be convinced to arm-wrestle, but the task that had been set for her required a clear head. Lord Chatham gave her a good excuse to drink lightly. “That is true, my lord.” She loved the way his eye twinkled in merriment. “I shall heed your most excellent advice.”

 

Caroline claimed that fighting her would be futile. Anne-Elisabeth didn’t doubt it. She relied on her wit to get by, not her physical strength, of which she had little.  “That’s good to hear. I’m glad you consider me a friend. Hopefully, the match between these two ladies will be enough for the gentlemen and we can move on to other things.”

 

Lord Kingston joined them and was greeted by Charles. Caroline apprised him of what was going on. “You just missed the opportunity to make a wager,” she added. Anne-Elisabeth smiled warmly at her soon-to-be victim, hoping that she would be able to make him blush. He would look quite fetching with his cheeks flushed with color.

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"Should I be worried at such an exuberant welcome?" He looked about with suspicious drama before moving into company of the group.

 

He joined the festivities seamlessly, pouring himself a generous measure of the King's cognac, refilling the glasses of the King and the Duke whilst he was at it. Then he sat himself down.

 

He chortled as Nicci jumped the mark, amused at her endless antics.

 

"Mark my words, if they do not have two of us rolling about on the floor wrestling before the night ends, I will be surprised," he commented to Chatham with a snort of amusement.

 

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Caroline smiled at Anne-Elisabeth, "Of course we are friends. And when this match is over I might have to tend to Nicci's wounds but hopefully not. Something I have no skills at whatsoever."

Nicci tried to start early, that did not surprise Caroline though, nothing Nicci did surprised her anymore, one of the reasons they got along so well. Besides both being French they had both being 'bold' in common. Francis was highly amused though. But then she had never actually seen him in a bad mood. How does he do that?

"Oh I would enjoy that a lot. And even though he has one less eye than you, I would wager on him!" she then teased Kingston.

 

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Shifting her attention from the Buckingham's officiating to the comment that passed from Kingston to Chatnam, she had to smile at the thought.  She wouldn't object in the least bit if the evening took a shift and the gentlemen were the ones wrestling around with one another on the floor.  She felt the shift in the palm of her hand before it registered in her brain what was happening.  Why, that little minx! Her gaze shot around to her opponent as she reacted by pressing her weight into keeping her hand from falling to the table.  

Leaning forward she grinned at Nicolette as she sweetly taunted, "Did you ever hear that fable about the rabbit and the turtle, Frenchie?"

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The contest between the two ladies was spirited and well-matched. Several times it seemed that one or the other might prevail. The gentlemen crowed their encouragement, taking pleasure over the feminine huffs and puffs and pinking of cheeks.

 

Not to mention the bosoms. 

 

His Majesty was well-pleased of the contest, for he thought ladies quite capable of the same contests men competed in, and he had been known for allowing such co-mingling, under guises most of the time. No man who had grown up with his Butterfly, who had dressed in her brother's clothing as early as he could remember (and then her husband's, but all had known she had worn the breeches to dear Jamie Stuart) would ever be fooled by a woman in men's clothes nor doubt the prowess of a woman in men's clothes!

 

The arm wrestle turned out to be a contest more of endurance, and there the English would win, being the stouter race.

 

"Fie!" the King cried, as Diana won. The laughed.

 

"Serves that rascal Rowley right for disgracing the English by choosing the French!" Buckingham retorted gleefully, taking the sort of license in 'criticizing' the King that Arlington (and others) was famous for complaining about as a disrespect. Anyone who had spent time in the private company of the pair could tell that is was license but hardly a disrespect, and that the license was well within the King's right to grant. They squabbled as brothers did. 

 

"Let if not be said that the Duke of Buckingham does not know his loyalties lay in England's breast, though he is quite fond of the French flair!" Rowley teased back with an eyeroll. 

 

Buckingham feigned inattention to the comment, though he winked at Nicci very obviously. "Lady Gowran, congratulations! You have defended our English honor. The gentlemen shall pay my winnings to you, and I will gift my wager of 100 pounds to the mademoiselle for the valiant efforts of the French."

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Nicolette' early launch was quickly caught by the opposition, but still she grinned of it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with trying to seize an advantage in this situation (or any!)  "Pfft, you shall have another name for me once this is over!"

While she'd not minded being called Frenchie once, the second time it irritated her - and spurred on her efforts. 

Yes there was huffing and puffing, Nicci squirmed in her seat and pressed her feet to the floor to help get better leverage. "So you liken yourself to a turtle? Ah yes, I can see the resemblance." she puffed between breaths.  

Nicci fought a good race, but Diana was no pushover. What point was it that Nicci realised she'd not win? It seemed like hours, but was perhaps only two or three minutes. 

"La!!" she cried and loosed her remaining strength, the back of hand slammed to the table. "You are a strong woman," she laughed away her loss, "I will have you on My team for the tug-of-war!" 

Buckingham was a natural orator, a showman, and gracious with the prizes towards the ladies. A hundred pounds.  Nicci never had actual money to spend – so was now grinning ear to ear. “The looser-money will help me sooth broken pride, but my wounds need to be licked still.” a saucy look was sent to the King.  

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"I'm game if you are," Charles replied to Kingston, breaking his gaze from the spectacle to grin at the other man. That grin became a laugh as Caroline shared her thoughts on the matter.

"I'm flattered by your faith Hippolyta, but I feel you should know that I cannot remember the last time I went a fall with anyone."

Charles could in fact remember the last time he had wrestled, but that had involved rather more biting, gouging, and fish-hooking than was polite, or indeed civilised. He took a drink to drown the memory, and returned his attention to the arm-wrestling.

The result brought a disappointed cluck of the tongue from him, but nothing more — it was important to accept defeat with as much outward equanimity and amiability as you did victory. He raised his cup in salute.

"Well fought," he called, and bowed to Diana. 

"I will send you my note of hand, if that is acceptable to you, my lady?"

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“I don’t think she’ll be wounded,” Anne Elisabeth remarked to Caroline. “Nicci can hold her own.” And the Frenchwoman proved that statement by jumping the gun. It was the same thing that the Countess would have done in an arm-wrestling match. Utilizing the element of surprise usually worked to one's advantage.

 

Lord Kingston surmised that he and Lord Chatham might be called upon to wrestle before the night was over. The one-eyed Earl seemed to like the idea and Caroline said she would bet on him. Anne-Elisabeth hoped the King would hear their conversation, for it would be quite appealing to watch two handsome gentlemen grappling on the floor.

 

“If that happens, I will put my money on you, Lord Kingston.” She smiled at both Charles and Francis. “Not that I doubt Lord Chatham’s prowess but you strike me as particularly clever and he does have a blind spot.”

 

The arm-wrestling contest ended with Diana as the victor … and two hundred pounds richer. Nicci didn’t seem too disappointed and even complimented her opponent on her strength.

 

Now that the contest was over, was it her turn to answer the challenge that the King and the Duke had given her … to ask Francis about the feathered dildo with a straight face and serious voice? She glanced over at the monarch, wondering if he would initiate the discussion. After all, some of the effect would be lost if not everyone was paying attention.

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Caroline agreed with Anne-Elisabeth, "Nicci is stronger than she looks I think."

Charles seemed quite willing to do a bit of tussling once the ladies had finished, that could well be entertaining. But first there was the match between Diana and Nicci to focus on. Caroline cheered on her best friend but to no avail. After a gallant struggle, Nicci lost. Although not monetarily! Quite a nice and easy profit in truth.

Caroline held out Nicci's glass she had holding for her, "Drown your defeat, my darling?"

So....who or what was next, she looked about the group.

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Diana didn’t mind the competitiveness the French miss displayed, it was part of Nicolette’s charm, but it would have been a lie all together if she didn’t admit that there was some pleasure in taunting her just a little. 

She tested the strength of Nicolette’s arm a couple of times, it wouldn’t be a battle easily won.  Her grip tightened on the makeshift table.  “I’ll compare myself to a turtle if it means I will win.”  Her breath drew out in huffed syllables.

The blonde countess’ face was turning various shades of red from the strain.  La! It’d be so easy to quit but… She stopped her thoughts and dug her fingernails into the wood. Biting the inside of her check, she forced out the breath she was holding.  She couldn’t press the other woman’s arm over, she’d found that out… so the answer to this was to wait her out.  She could wait another second, another few seconds, a minute… she could wait until she’d won.

And just when she’d been about to give in again, because patience wasn’t something she considered a strong point of hers, Nicolette’s arm gave and fell back against the table.  Her head dropped but the grin on her pert little mouth was barely disguised by the action.

“I’ll concede and be on your tug of war team any day.  You quite a fierce little thing.” She laughed glancing up at Nicolette leaving her to toy with the King.  

Turning to Buckingham as he announced the prize she grinned and gave a courtly bow, mostly awarding him a splendid view down her dress but also because arm wrestling was hardly a lady’s past time and it seemed only fitting to take a bow instead of a curtsy.  

“I’m nothing if not a patriot.” She laughed cheekily at the lowest part of her bow and as she came up smirked, “For King and country...men.”  Shrugging with her smile, “Although, the hundred pounds is quite appreciated.”

As Audley caught her attention she nodded with a small smile, “Thank you and of course.”  

What were they to do now, she stepped over to her glass and glanced down.  It was empty, that would never do.  Reaching for the nearest bottle she pulled the cork and poured herself another drink.
 

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Kingston chuckled as everyone seemed to relish in the idea of he and Chatham wrestling it out amidst barrels of alcohol with a drunken Rowley and Buckingham refereeing. He could not help but lose his breath laughing at his own mental image. 

 

"I'Faith, I do not blame you saying you would wager on Chatham, for the gentleman doth look far fiercer than I!" Francis joked, knowing very well he looked more suited to dancing than fighting. "Though, in truth, I find most men who have lost an eye but survived well know a fight far more serious than one on the cellar floor, but even a pretty gentleman does not survive sea wars and foreign ports on wits alone!" Which was to say that looks were deceiving, even though wrestling around was not his strong suit. He did have a sixteen year old ward to keep up with and they sparred most mornings he was not attending. 

 

"I wear my scars elsewhere," he teased the ladies, with a wag of his brows. Two of the company of ladies could attest, but he was a gentleman not to advertise such things!

 

Thankfully, the contest between the ladies proved as entertaining as they had all thought that it would. 

 

"Congratulations," he said to Lady Gowran with a dip of his head and raise of his glass. 

 

Buckingham was generous to Nicci, and Francis knew it was as much for the King as it was for Nicci. There was an expectation, in this arrangement of mistresses, that Buckingham footed some of the bill. The duke, though, always relished in illustrating his largesse around his friends and especially the ladies. It was good the man's handband was not made of diamonds that night or he might have ended up leaving without them!

 

"Well fought, and well-earned," he complimented Nicci too.

 

Were they truly going to have the gents wrestle next?

 

 

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"Oh, I am sure they will be tended to," the King replied to Nicci, raising her fighting hand to his lips and giving it a kiss.

 

If Anne-Elizabeth thought she was going to get help from a monarch used to being entertained and not doing the entertaining, she was quite wrong. He had issued the challenge. He was surely not going to help achieve it or there would be no point. Not only that, but he was very distracted by Nicci at the moment!

 

Buckingham, for his part, returned Diana's bow. She was quite good at it actually. "Two hundred pounds! I bet Lord Gowran has never won such a tidy sum so quickly!"

 

While the King was a bit distracted, Buckingham tittered at Anne's comment of a blind spot! "You would not be remiss. Kingston is surprisingly scrappy for a pretty fellow! He cannot be held to fault for Villiers blood." Most of them were both pretty and fierce, though thankfully not the extremes of Pembroke.

 

(OOC - We are going to begin working this thread to a close in the next few rounds of posting, just a head's up!)

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"Defeat?" Nicci laughed lightly as she retook her glass from Caroline, "my friend you are so funny." 

Nicci was far from playing a losers hand, rather, her sense of levity was she was ruling the night, so much so in fact that once the game was done her coterie became (briefly) aimless.  Unfortunately for them though, Nicci's attention was now becoming rather distracted... 

... because CR (who was rather Old Rowley tonight) kissed her knuckles.

"Are your kisses healing, possibly sacred on this holy weekend," she responded breathily, alluding to his being head of the Anglican church "for I think I am already revived. Is there such a thing as battles done solely for the purpose of recovery? Or was there not, but we have just invented it."  

It was sweet talk, nonsense really, when she could have been more forthright and simply said 'Lets have fun together'. 

 

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It looked as if Anne-Elisabeth was on her own. She would receive no help from the King. She actually preferred it that way, but she felt compelled to wait until she was certain. Luckily for her, Lord Kingston had given her the perfect opportunity to bring the subject up while discussing whether he or Lord Chatham was more likely to win a wrestling competition.

 

“That you have survived the rigors of the sea is one reason I would wager on you, Lord Kingston.” Her expression sobered and her voice was deadly serious, yet loud enough to be heard by everyone in the wine cellar “I know all too well how common shipwrecks are. I lost everyone I loved when our ship crashed in a storm. Tempestuous weather must be a fearsome threat. I imagine you have dealt with pirates too. And it takes a great deal of acuity to negotiate for goods on foreign shores.”

 

Her eyes met his “Like that feathered dildo you gave to the Duke. How did you explain your need for it?  And what did you have to do to obtain it? “ Anne-Elisabeth kept a straight face during the entire exchange. It was hard not to crack a smile, but she thought she managed quite admirably. “I imagine that negotiating that transaction was hard and vigorous.”
 

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Francis blinked as Anne Elizabeth asked him about the feathered dildo as if was just a bottle of his brandy!

 

"Uhh." He was not sure what to say at first as he was entirely taken by surprise. However, he was quite used to drama on his feet after living with the Duke and serving the King for almost a year! 

 

"Well, my lady, you are assuming that I had to explain my need at all." He smiled, took a breath through his nose, and then there was a little glint in his eye as he said as deadpan as she...

 

"You see natives oft place special significance on items that are then decorated with feathers and bones from their conquests. Chiefs and their tribal leaders carry around many a thing to signal to others their prowess and position." He paused and then said, "It is not much different from Lord Arlington as his special rod you see. The man carries it about and shows it to all in front of him. Sometimes, he has a page carry it before him as if it shall part the waters like Moses' staff."

 

"So, you see, I did not negotiate for it. I was presented with it. And in truth, His Grace is far superior to myself in such domains, so it's true course was to be gifted to him in the same way it was gifted to me." 

 

He let a few seconds of pregnant pause pass before he said, "If you like it, I am sure I can have one commissioned for you, though?" He wagged his brows.

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(OOC - I feel a bit too much like I'm playing with myself if I post the NPCs right now before anyone else has reacted to Francis! Can a few people please post a reaction to that before I post the NPC responses to everyone's outstanding posts that I've not replied to yet? Please and thank  you!)

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However distracted with the King she was, Nicci could not miss Anne Elizabeth's question of Francis - with an inward wince at her last few words.  As fond as she was of the precocious Caribbean friend, she constantly felt that AnneE went that bit too far to show any class... but then the Merry Gang revelled in the lack thereof, so perhaps her friend was more perfectly suited to English court than she.

Each to their own.

And this set-up was Sport to try flummox dear Kingston - Nicci’s attention duly swung to watch the blondes reaction, he'd blush for sure, lick his lips also, adorable man that he was. 

"La!" she laughed momentarily, before wondering just what lady he'd had in mind (it had not been me) - was that a tinge of jealousy? "- but has Arlington’s name been incited in a less likely manner than this ever?!" she carried on, "well now There is a dare that puts arm wresting in the shade, who here is game enough to switch the Lords Honorary staff with one far less reputable!  Surely his face would turn so red his plaster would melt right off of it!"

Her eyes swung back to Anne Elizabeth, a daring girl, and possibly game for the prank. "Do Lords such as he keep a wardrobe at the Lords?  It might not be a difficult to pull off a switch as you'd first think." 

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Diana didn't say much at the conversation, sipped her rum and listened intently.  At Nicci's offer though she sat her glass down with a cheeky smile, she'd help her friend out here to draw the topics away from such a... pointed conversation.

"My, that does sound like a nice little dare.  I'll toss in half my arm wrestling winnings as a nice little stake,"  Flicking her grey eyes over the other two ladies she wondered if since they'd not participated in the arm wrestling if they'd be more suited to a nice little prank on Arlington. 

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(OOC - This thread has clearly run its course, so let us save challenging Kingston and Chatham to wrestling for another Libertine event, shall we? One of the ladies can remind them that they are owed the entertainment 😄 This will be the last round of posts before I summarize to a close!)

 

"Ha!" His Majesty imagined Arlington holding a feathered dildo and wearing some head dress also made of feather and bone, parading about court. 

 

"Was there not some plot to steal Arlington's staff and defile it, then let him carry it about unknowingly?" Buckingham asked drunkenly. "I wonder if it ever came off?"

 

The King was quite amused by that notion, but said, "Too lazy to do so, or I should have heard of it! But I would fully support the ladies attempting to pull it off." He gave looks of support to each daring lady in turn. They were quite the ensemble too, for each brought some valuable things to the heist.

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