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Easter 1678 | Easter Monday (11th all day)

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Oakham and Toledo

If it was a test, Sophia passed with flying colours.

"That a great idea." Darlene whispered, while mentally thumbing her nose at Frances Cavandishes stuffy friends.  Elizabeth (nee Cavandish) was a bit stuffy too, but at least the Duchess was mentally inquiring and not so afraid of what everyone thought, and did not act so oppressed.  

"But not the Bishop." Darlene whispered looking to the front where the man stood, and then provided a juicy little tidbit - like a reward for her delicious idea, "although my cousin Heather has a tale or two about that man that I hardly know whether to belief or not."

Darlene did believe it, her cousin had a penchant for scandalous behaviour.

"With whom shall we start?" the ball was in the game creators court...

Though there was a pause, and Their Royal Majesties exited. Darlene cocked an eyebrow to Sophia, 'I think it's too soon yet to be her 'time'?" 

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Burgoyne and Churchill

John was not in a very social mood but he managed a smile and a nod as Anne greeted them.  George took a long look as he too smiled.  He elbowed John when she chose to sit near them.  George knew that to be a sign of interest.  John knew Anne to be a friend of Nicolette.  The only thing worse would be to encounter Nicolette himself.  He had prepared himself for such an encounter and steeled himself to the situation and kept his gaze on the preacher who was but 30 feet away while his thoughts were a thousand miles away.

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The Mountjoys

With no introduction forthcoming etiquette forbad engaging in conversation with the Baron but Charles did not consider it much of a thing as they would certainly be introduced before the ride and then there would be more to discuss. He directed a few innocuous comments to Ursula about the expectations of the service and in time the service did actually commence.

Charles was prepared to be indulgent with the sermon. There was a lot of ‘saying unto’ one another but that was to be expected however there was no ‘begating’ which was another staple of bible verses. The subject was however of interest to him. The parable of transforming doubting and loss to a renewed hope and covenant was particularly ape to him this day and he took it as a blessing that it was not only Christ who could rise and be reborn. He found himself nodding in agreement with certain passages and would have pounded the pew in front of him and mumbled ‘hear hear’ if it were the Lords instead of the chapel.

The service was as discretely interrupted as the departure could be. There was no cause or disquiet displayed by the Royal Couple and it could have simply been a result of the Queens state but one could never be sure. He gave a questioning look at Ursula and whispered “Might the Queen be in distress? She did not summon you but if you feel it is your duty to go I will understand.” She was not on duty and he was looking forward to spending a quiet day with her but he respected her position and knew that at times their wishes were subordinate to their service to their Majesties.

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The Mountjoys

Ursula had become distracted, it was indeed remiss that she did not provide an introduction between von Bruhl and Husband - and then before she remembered the service had begun, necessitating at least the appearance of rapt attention.  Though there was then an intermission of a sort, with the King and then the young Queen arising.  

The Mountjoys joined in the voices that then whispered. 

"She did not appear in distress, but this is indeed odd. We know she takes her duty to chapel attendance very seriously."

Lord and Lady Mountjoy had been surprised in fact that during the princess parade, Karoline had been up before dawn every day to attend a mass. Four Easter services was hardly an effort for one who attended 365 days a year. 

"I am not sure, what do you think?" she asked Charles

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Davina

It would have been impossible to NOT notice however quietly it was being done that their Majesties had stood and made ready to leave. The general silence as many eyes watched followed by just as many whispers.

She had stood atomically her eyes finding one of the other attending ladies for some clue one hand resting on the back of the pew in front. But there did not seem to be anything that required her own exit. Yet she knew something was going on.

Her skin prickled as she rememnbered what had occured earlier - being moved from garden to privy chambers yet the muddy ground had seemed to be the excuse but Davina had noted the extra men at arms once inside.

"What is going on? Is there truly a danger ..." She spoke in a hushed voice but GEORGE sitting in front of her would clearly hear it.

Aware that she was the only person standing she quickly sat back down. Her gaze went to Lady Mountjoy and if that lady left then she would follow. 

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Caroline and George, with Davina behind

Kissing Cousins? George realised he must have misheard, Caroline must have said 'missing cousins' as that had been the case.

As far as Caroline’s reputation went, the Earl was largely in the dark. Not one to hang with the merry gang etc, he was unaware of her prior plunge into the libertine lifestyle. 

Currently George mental capacity was far more intent upon the new Baron and prospective relative, who did not seem averse to the match at all, was more interested in when the party would be.   And George's little fiancée was swift to reassure Rowland.

Which did give rise to the previously unaddressed question. Turning to Caroline George whispered "Perhaps we can talk on that tomorrow evening?" That was when she was coming to Tea, George was already planning some fanfare for the formal proposal, and now he added this onto his mental agenda.

 

Service begun, and George was attentive.  A new convert (and actually converted, unlike some whose conversion was presence only) his inquiring mind discovered nuances of difference, and some rather more blatant differences too.  He found it quite fascinating how... conversational the Anglican religion was.  It was less of a show, and rather inclusive. Frankly it was times like this that he wondered why he'd resisted it so long.

The Bishop was about to get a good part (George just knew) when the unexpected departure of Royals interrupted. 

& Davina

George brow furrowed questioningly with a glance to Caroline, while Caroline just shrugged, so that George might have simply let it go too: except that a familiar voice said what he'd been thinking - and more. 

Half turning, George replied to Davina, "Danger, what makes you say that?" his eyes slid back to Caroline’s, drawing her attention to Davina’s possible disclosure of information. Davina was one of the Queens ladies, possibly she knew more. 

 

OOC: not including Rowland posts in this now

 

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The Mountjoys

He did not look about the room as he did not wish to convey any sort of alarm but he did strain his hearing to gage the reaction. There were murmurs to be sure as anything the Royal couple did was amplified. He though for a moment at Ursula’s question. “As Mistress of the Robes you should be with her but as Her Majesty took pains to convey calm and reassurance to the congregation and did not make to you any sign that I could discern for you to accompany her I believe we should take our queue from the Queen and continue as if there is nothing to be concerned about. After all it could simply be that the hard pew had become uncomfortable to her in her delicate condition.” He did not really think that that was the case but it was plausible.

“Let us add to our prayers that the Bishop is brief and when the service is concluded we can then wait upon her Majesty without causing undue notice.”  He then looked to his prayer book as if there was noting concerning at all.

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Posted (edited)

Davina and George/Caroline

She scooted forward so that her whispered words would not be over heard. With heads practically touching her reply was all seriousness.

"Its so odd George. This morning early I, as well as several others, were summoned by His Majesty with no reason given. Once at the meeting place we were ushered inside and Kingston was there as well. Twas muddy outside was the pretext."

To the Presence then passed into His Majesty's Privy Chamber - that alone so off limits except for a choose few and certainly to ME!"

"There it was a riot of dogs yet the presence of men at arms was hard to miss. I got a puppy from His Majesty."

"I had the oddest feeling that something was amiss. I am too long in the Palace and observant to not notice."

"And now here. Have you heard anything ...."

That she used his Christian name was born of habit and long acquaintance. 

"Perhaps I am over-thinking yet I am sure something is up."

She sat back a little her gaze going to Caroline then to the man that sat next to her. There was not much he could have heard. She looked back at George. 

"But Lady Mountjoy remains and her husband as well. I had no signal to follow. Now speculation shall run as it always does."

"The Bishop had best conclude swiftly. Interest has been broken and I know many are itching to gather up."

Edited by Davina Wellsley

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George had whispered to her he had a question about this marital situation he wished to discuss with her on the morrow, when she was to attend him for tea, she nodded willingly enough, "Oh of course. Sounds good."

But then the drama with the Queen suddenly up and leaving interrupted their concentration on their own mundane non-royal plans. Caroline had no idea what was going on but did not think it much other than perhaps the Queen felt ill. It happened. Besides were there not rumors she was pregnant? Of course such rumors were common in any royal court and only sometimes true.

Davina however was indeed alarmed, Caroline could not help notice the woman stood up even as if to also leave, no doubt to follow the royal exit. But George and her then exchanged whispers. She was plainly worried and explained her recent personal experience. Caroline kept her mouth shut  (for once some wags might say) as she had nothing pertinent to add to this mystery. She doubted George knew much either. Davina glanced right at her for just an instant but Caroline just gave her a silent expression as if to say 'I know nothing, sorry'. Then Davina returned his gaze to George.

"The Bishop had best conclude swiftly. Interest has been broken and I know many are itching to gather up," Davina offered.

Now Caroline could not keep still and had to comment, "I was itching to gather up way before Her Majesty left."

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Posted (edited)

Anne-Elisabeth in the same pew with John

 

Both gentlemen noticed her. Sir John looked distracted but at least he acknowledged her existence. Was he still pining for Nicci? Anne-Elisabeth suspected that her friend had not cared nearly as much for him as he had for her. Perhaps she had just been using him until a better prospect came along. She couldn't blame her for that.  Many ladies did the same thing.

 

George’s interest seemed more genuine. She had not paid much attention to him before, but now she noticed how handsome he was. He was definitely worth getting to know. The dark-haired Countess winked at him as she slid into the adjacent pew.

 

There was a another attractive gentleman sitting beside her (John Palliser ), though his eyes were closed. Had he fallen asleep before the service even began? Anne-Elisabeth decided not to disturb him, as fun as it would be to see his startled face if she cleared her throat or ‘accidentally’ brushed his arm. Anyway, the sermon was beginning and there was no time for playful teasing.

 

Her gaze wandered over the congregation, and she completely ignored the Bishop’s inane drivel. One reason she liked sitting in the back was so she could watch the courtiers. There were quite a few dozing off and a couple of passionate glances between ladies and gentlemen who were married, just not to each other. One finely-dressed fellow was picking his nose and rolling his booger between his fingers. Eeeuw.  The young Countess, turned away and watched a young lady pushing an errant wad of fabric back into her bodice. That was the problem with padding one’s bosom. The stuffing often popped out.

 

Anne-Elisabeth looked toward the front where the King and Queen sat. They were speaking softly together and then they stood and made a discreet … though rather suspicious … exit.  She turned toward the gentleman next to her. “I wonder what that was all about. The Queen is said to be pious and it seems a bit odd for her to leave in the middle of the service. Perhaps the Bishop said something that offended her?"

Edited by Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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Oakham and Toledo

 

Darlene liked her idea, as Sophia had expected she would. Her eyes widened when her new friend told her not to rate the Bishop. Why? She didn’t fancy him, did she? Those two would certainly be a match made in hell. No, it seemed as if he might have done something scandalous. The petite blonde glanced at him as he stood in the front of the chapel, and then turned her eyes back to Darlene, her eyes sparkling with curiosity. “Oh? Do tell ...”

 

The sermon started before Sophia could pick out a gentleman for them to rate. Her sigh was colored by disappointment. “I guess we shall have to wait until after the service, but we can pick a few during the sermon."

 

As the Bishop spoke of she knew not what, she looked over the gentlemen, wondering who to select first. She didn’t see Lord Chatham, but he must be here somewhere. Maybe he would be a good one to start with. What would Darlene think of her darling Eros? Hopefully, she wouldn’t rate him too high.

 

Without any warning, the Bishop paused. The King and Queen were leaving.  Sophia looked over at her companion. “Perhaps she is feeling poorly and needs a bit of fresh air? I do hope the baby does not come too early.” It was a fear all mothers-to-be shared and it sometimes kept her awake a night.  Both the King and her Prince had waited more than her entire lifetime for an heir. God would surely not dash their hopes by taking them away prematurely.

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John and Anne - Elizabeth

He may appear to be slumbering but John was fully awake and had been following along with the Sermon keenly aware of just how similair this Service was to the ones back home - lengthly.

The slight creeking of the wooden pew alerted him to the presence of another but he did not stir. That it was a women he knew almost at once. Opening one eye all he could see was a plethora of bright fabrics and colored beads which did not seem to suit for Chapel Attire.

Then she spoke.

"More like that child moves and kicks so better to leave than make a public face. But that is just a guess."

He roused himself and half turned his eyes taking her all in.

"You are the third to visit me yet by far the most orginal in dress. Tell me do you always go to Chapel thusly or are you showing off?"

"This morning it seems my Prayers are to be answered all at once."

He smiled as he continued to appraise then offered an introduction

"John Palliser, Baron Silverbridge."

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

The gentleman beside her was no longer asleep. Perhaps the commotion had interrupted his nap. Or maybe her voice had awakened him.

 

You could be right,” Anne-Elisabeth replied. She had heard that babies got quite violent in the last months of pregnancy … yet another reason for her not to have children. “I guess we’ll never know unless some kind of announcement is made.”

 

He turned toward her, his eyes roaming over her. She studied him just as frankly, Had Sir John noticed them conversing? She was not using this attractive and amiable gentleman to make the baronet jealous by any means. It was just a passing thought. In truth, her current companion was much more intriguing. He had an interesting accent that she couldn't remember hearing before. Where was he from?

 

He was blunt too, asking her if she had worn her bright ensemble to show off. “I got off to a bad start today.” That was the understatement of the year, but Anne-Elisabeth couldn’t tell him that she had seen a dead body and had been the one that discovered the murder weapon. “Bright colors always cheer me up. My attire is usually more colorful than most ladies at court. I grew up in Barbados where vivid hues are always fashionable.”

 

She looked him up and down. “And speaking of clothing, why do you wear such somber colors?”

 

She preened beneath his gaze. The dark-haired Countess loved to be admired, which was what her vain mind assumed he was doing. The gentleman introduced himself right after he claimed his prayers had been answered. “I’m Anne-Elisabeth Devereux, the Countess of Cambray.” She held her hand up to be kissed. “Just what exactly did you pray for, Lord Silverbridge?"  Her voice was playful.  "How did my presence answer your prayers?”

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Chatham, lurking in the back

Charles allowed himself to drift aimlessly on the tide of the service and the Bishop's sermon, outwardly participating but in fact offering no active attention at all. It was a skill mastered in boyhood and brought now out of retirement in self-defence against Compton's attempts at rhetoric. It was almost meditative, really, and a more conscious, engaged Charles would have laughed at the irony.

(The dark corners of his mind, where the wheels never stopped turning, noted his stepmother's absence, and filed it away, along with the flare of indignation it inspired.)

An unexpected stir of movement brought him back to himself, and he arched an eyebrow as he watched the Royals depart. On any other day he would have assumed it was simply the hoped-for heir stirring, and dismissed it. Today, after everything that had rang wrong with him that morning? It was worth noting.

Though I am still no closer to determining what, exactly, is afoot.

Well, there was nothing he could do about it at that moment, and so he settled himself once more, idly toying with the idea of a quick stroll around the gardens once chapel was done with.

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John and Anne Elizabeth

"We have something in common from the start I see. You from an Island Nation and me from The Colonies. Both requiring a journey by sea."

"Well has your day improved for the wearing of it? And as for my attire, well, where I am from we take the Lord's Day with much seriousness and so to be ostentatious in dress is frowned upon. That is not to say that we are a dull or somber people."

"Far from it. And my selection of dress is done purpose. I need to see the lay of the land and how best to adapt. But I can say with a certanity I shall be no 'peacock' - I've seen that over these past few days aplenty."

He smiled down at her enjoying her frankness.

At her introduction one brow rose a fraction and he reached for her offered hand his lips touching it barely as was correct.

"You are the second 'titled' Lady that I have encountered - and as with the other without male attendance. Unless the Earl of Cambray is not a Religious man?"

"i must say this custom of allowing ones female members to go out and about without even a maid I find strange. As a brother I would never allow my sister to do thus."

"And as to what I Prayed for is my secret for now. And if you have or can answer it remains to be seen."

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

Lord Silverbridge was from the colonies. So that was where his slight accent came from. Anne-Elisabeth’s speech differed a bit from standard English as well. There was a lilting quality to it that was common in the Caribbean. She almost teased him about being a cannibal, but she wanted him to think she was different than other ladies and he was probably tired of that old joke. Her smile faded at his mention of sea journeys. “I hope yours was more pleasant than my own. I never intend to make that trip again. I’ve been here only four months, but London has become my home.”

 

Her smile returned when he asked if her day had improved. Again, she allowed her eyes to roam over him. “Excitingly so,” she whispered winsomely. “It is becoming quite delightful, something I would never expect to happen at church of all places.”

 

He explained his choice of dark colors. So the colonies equated somber clothing with religious observances. Anne-Elisabeth cocked her head to the side. “The colonies and the Caribbean are both on the same side of the ocean and yet we have such diverse customs. We take the Lord’s day seriously as well, but we celebrate it with bright cheerful hues.

 

And we think differently too. While you prefer to blend into the background until you figure out how to fit in, I took the English court by storm by wearing a vivid orange gown at my first ball And I did make quite a splash by winning a limerick contest that night against a gentleman who had been unbeatable until I came along."

 

As every other gentleman did, Lord Silverbridge asked about her husband. “We were only married for a couple of months, so I’m not certain if he was devout. I hope he was, and that he is now in heaven.” She sighed sadly. “The reason I will never make another long sea journey is because the first one ended in disaster. The ship wrecked after being tossed about in a storm. My lord husband my family perished. I was the only survivor. I often ask God why I was spared, but so far, he has given me no answer.

 

I gave my maid and the rest of my servants the day off so they could attend services at their own churches. I am perfectly safe in the chapel, and when it’s time to leave, my coach driver will be outside waiting for me.”

 

She wasn’t surprised that Lord Silverbridge didn’t tell her what he had prayed for or how she might fulfill that prayer. Maybe he had just been flirting with her as she flirted with him when the subject matter was not too dark. “Ah well.” Anne-Elisabeth pouted melodramatically. “You can’t blame a lady for asking.   Are you always so mysterious, my lord?"

 

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John and Anne Elizabeth

"Unfortunatly we too suffered from rough seas and storms and will have to make that return trip again - at some point in time."

"Ah but is here not the very place for Miracles? I can vouch for that!"

"Limericks? You? That is a thing I find hard to believe for they are, at best, rather foul in composition. And yet you say how well received you were. And what of that Gentleman - did he take it well?"

 The conversation took a serious turn and John grew somber and his gaze held hers as she told him of her husband and family.

"I am sorry for your loss M'Lady. You are so young to have such traveils thrust upon you and perhaps HE has other plans for you so that is the answer for the 'why' that you seek an answer to."

She then made answer as to why she was alone but John still did not like this custom and would ensure that his sister was never without a maid when going about.

He had to smile at her as she made a pout that drew his eyes to her mouth to linger there wondering how they might feel aganist his. She was no novice as Lady Susan clearly was and this one definetly had far more experience than Lady Fiona who played as if she were.

"I? Mysterious? I have never had that appled to me afore. And there are times where a second asking is warrented."

"You should not give up so quickly."

He whispered on a breath as he leaned in closer to her his eyes lingering again on her mouth.

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

“Then you are braver than I. Perhaps you, too, will find a home here at court and will not wish to return to the colonies. I imagine life is rather rough there and you probably don’t get supplies and news any faster than we do in Barbados.” The English colony on Barbados was self-sufficient, but they still desired things from their homeland, even if … like herself as a child … they had never been there before.

 

Anne-Elisabeth laughed. “Maybe both of us received a miracle this day. God works in mysterious ways, after all."

 

His reaction to her skill with limericks was a bit disappointing. Lord Silverbridge didn’t strike her as one of those stuffy, holier-than-thou types and she was a good judge of character. Perhaps he was simply curious. She thought about saying that she had won with perfectly proper limericks, but why should she hide her true nature? He would find out the truth eventually.

 

“Not all limericks are foul, but I will tell you that I did not prevail by composing verses about rainbows and unicorns.” Let him make of that as he would. “The gentleman I defeated was gracious, but I am sure he is going to demand a rematch eventually. He does not like to lose and he will be ready for me next time. I shall have to be creative.  He is older and more experienced than I. I am quite looking forward to it. The King was so impressed by my limericks that he plans to hold a poetry contest sometime this season. Maybe we will have our rematch then.”

 

Lord Silverbridge offered her condolences on the loss of her husband and family. “Thank you, my lord. I hope God does have a plan for my life. Then their sacrifices will mean something and I will no longer feel so guilty.”

 

His gaze was drawn to her lips and a little thrill of pleasure shimmered down her spine when he leaned closer to her. Anne-Elisabeth could feel his warmth, smell his scent. Her body hummed pleaantly. “Oh, I never give up,” she purred. “There are far more intriguing ways to get an answer besides asking. I fully intend to put them to good use.”

 

Lifting her head, she brought her lips next to his ear. “As lovely as it is to have you so close to me, remember that we are at church, my lord. We don’t want to start tongues wagging about us, do we?” The Barbadian Countess blew playfully in his ear and then scooted a short distance away from him in the pew but still near enough that they could carry on a whispered conversation.

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John and Anne Elizabeth

He nodded his head in agreement to her thoughts on sea voyages adding that 

"i can not say how long we shall remain - my younger sister accompanies me you see and one thing I am set upon is to find her a husband. No easy task to be sure. But she is amiable to the need for it."

"Our Mother will take it hard of course for once wed Verity will most like not return to her home."

"God does indeed work in mysterious ways and yet I find myself becomg Thankful for the interference!"

"The King?" He let out a very low whistle. "I fear I am too inadequate and shall no doubt be thought and seen as a "Savage" from such exalted Company. I shall have to depend upon You to alter that."

Her scent reached him as she leaned in to whisper just as he had. Her breath a tease that made him chuckle.

"I am delighted to find that you are not adverse to new experiences. And I never forget where I am My Lady."

He sat back much as she had then but his gaze rested on her.

"I think you shall be quite a handful. But I am confident that I shall handle you well enough."

"I am curious to hear what limerick you might compose in anticipation."

"But then there is the chance of rejection. It would be a shame to not meet again."

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

Anne-Elisabeth felt sorry for Lord Silverbridge’s sister, leaving everything she had ever known to marry whomever her brother chose for her. She assumed that this Verity would have no say in the matter, or perhaps in the colonies they believed in marrying for love. She understood the reason he wished to find her an English husband. Her parents had felt the same way and her father had betrothed her to Arthur while he was in England on business.

 

She remembered having her portrait painted so that he could see what she looked like before he agreed to wed her. No portrait was sent to her. She was expected to marry him even if he was fat and ugly and missing a few teeth. Anne-Elisabeth had held her breath when he walked through the door.  Luckily, he had been quite handsome.

 

“It might not be as difficult as you think. My parents wanted to me to marry an Englishman too, and found me an Earl. I think some gentlemen crave the exotic.” A witty comment about cannibals and cocks popped into her mind, but she withheld it. He might think she was insulting his sister instead of making a harmless joke.

 

As am I,” she replied. Those two gentlemen in the opposite pew had been long since forgotten. If somebody had asked Anne-Elisabeth their names at that moment, she would have struggled to remember them. Whether it had been God or serendipity that had brought her and Lord Silverbridge together, she was glad she had chosen this pew.

 

He seemed impressed that she had inspired the King.  "I'm trying my best to change that perception. Now that you're here, we can fight it together."  Anne-Elisabeth grinned.  "Two savages are better than one."  She promised herself that the next time she spoke to the King, she would tell him about the charming Baron, perhaps with a witty limerick.

 

“I live for new experiences,” she purred just before she moved away. “And I never forget where I am, either. Nor where I want to be."

 

One dark eyebrow quirked upward when he said he thought he would be able to handle her. He was as confident and arrogant as she was … a very good indication of compatibility as those same attributes could be applied to her. Anne-Elisabeth almost asked Lord Silverbridge what part of her he wanted to handle, but decided to playfully feign outrage instead.

 

How bold you are, my lord!” She placed a hand melodramatically over her heart. “We hardly know each other, and already you speak to me as if we are destined to be lovers!” Though she looked shocked, one corner of her lips turned up in a smile and her eyes sparkled with mischief. If he did want to pursue her, she was going to lead him on a merry chase.

 

As for their next meeting: “Have you seen the palace gardens yet? They are quite beautiful. I am thinking of taking a stroll there tomorrow afternoon.”

 

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John and Anne Elizabeth 

"My sister has no lack of candidates but, well, is rather too picky in her own listings!"

"I also want to seek out my Hasting's cousins in the hopes that amongst them all there might be one or two hopeful prospects but I have been told that the Earl of Huntington is rarely at Court."

He spread his hands a bit adding that

"But I shall try nonetheless. And my sister will never be forced into a marriage that has no advantages for her. The 'idea' of marrying for Love is not a thought. Tis a union between familes for mutual benefits."

"That may sound harsh but that is the Reality. It is to be hoped that a good sense of 'Like' is present at the start and Love will grow from that."

"Ah so you seek a husband then as well?" He smiled lazily. 

""Are you purposing a Partnership between us then - two Souls similar standing a Campagine against wrongful held beliefs ...."

"Do you? Well I can say without out a doubt that TODAY has been quite a new experience. And I shall be delighted to put myself into your hands M'Lady."

"Shall we say two of the clock? I shall find you for you will be hard to miss."

His eyes roamed over her face and then dipped lower briefly his smile lazy at the pictures running thru his mind.

"But now I fear we must be parted. Service has ended and I have promised my sister to bring back a few things. Shall I see you to that carriage?"

If she wanted him to then he would stand and step out of the pew allowing her to then follow lending her his arm as was Proper.

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ALL

After some time that seemed like an age (ooc: >.<) pages arrived with a note for this one and then that: murmurs were made, there were shuffling in the pews and quiet exits made as various courtiers were sumons'd away...   

Amongst those who received such messages were Lord & Lady Mountjoy 

As the church emptied, even some family groups _not_ receiving a note chose to make a discreet (and possibly even fashionable) exit! 

 

 

OOC: only some of these summons are to be rped at threads Defiance has made; pm me if you have any questions.  

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Davina With George&Caroline

Davina's comments were concerning, he knew her to be diligently observant and one to notice details that others might not. So he did not take her points without gravity...

With brow furrowed, even his fiancées light hearted comment did not begat a smile, his pose altered slightly into one protective.  "Do you think it's the French at it again..." he whispered to Davina. The memory of the attacks on York being still fresh in his mind. 

So it was that as persons then were called away, with a nod of farewell to Davina given, George was among those who desired to exit of his own volition. "Shall we my dear""  And since Caroline had already made her desire to leave plain, it was a swiftly done affair. 

To the carriages they went, George escorting her home personally, and suggesting a calming cup of tea after!  

 

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Oakham and Toledo

"Well my cousin - a terribly naughty lady" Darlene’s descriptor of Heather spoken with pride "left me her book of ribald poetry she was writing, and there is a mention of a man of the cloth that I suspect..."

But such inappropriate mid-service gossip was halted as the lovely ladies discovered this one and then that called away, so that in quick order they became one of the very few persons remaining in Church! 

"Goodness gracious!" Darlene moved to hold Sophia's hand, "this is not usual, even for our modern times." 

She looked back to Sophia, seeking some cue of what they ought to do. 

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Lord and Lady Mountjoy

“We have been summoned to attend the Queen.” Charles said quietly to his wife as he stood and offered his arm but as she took it a second note arrived causing Charles to relinquish her arm and open the second note. “Hmmm… it seems I am commanded into the presence of His Majesty. Something is definitely afoot.” He took her arm again and escorted Ursula to their carriage it being convenient that the King’s and the Queen’s apartments were close to one another. “I shall drop you off at the Queen’s door and proceed to wait upon His Majesty rejoining you as soon as I am able.”

He smiled to Ursula knowing that whatever may come to pass Ursula was more than capable of dealing wit it herself.

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Davina with George/Caroline - Then Departing

His whispered comment to her made her give a small shrug adding that 

"I can not say but I hope it is not. I shall try to learn more ...."

It was then that the situation was altered again as several amongst the Assembly were handed missives and then took their leave. That then prompted the beginnings of a general exodus. 

It semed that there was to be no more more talk between them as George along with his 'Lady' took leave with a nod in her direction.

She sat there watching as they left and it suddenly occured to her that he had failed to introduce her. Was it deliberate? Or was he unwilling to have his acquaintance know just yet?

Either way Davina felt a bit snubbed.

Well there was no point in sitting here after all! So she to readied and then took her leave adding a smile or nod as she went to those she knew. 

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

Lord Silverbridge’s outlook on marriage was the same as most gentlemen tasked with finding good matches for the young ladies in their care. At least he wanted his sister to like her suitor, unlike Anne-Elisabeth's father who had never asked  how she felt about Arthur. He was handsome and charming, but his personality was as different from hers as night and day. Arthur had wanted a demure and proper wife. She had longed for passion and adventure.

 

Her parents had married her once. The next time, she would marry herself. Well, she wouldn’t actually wed herself, no matter how brilliant such a match would be. It wouldn’t be a happy union because she would argue with herself all the time.

 

She shook her head when asked if she was looking for a husband. “I am not yet ready to make that commitment again. I have been widowed for less than two years and am fearful of losing another spouse.” The young Countess shrugged her colorful silk-clad shoulders. “Of course, if the right gentleman comes along, I might be persuaded to change my mind,”

 

His next question brought a grin to her lips. “Exactly. Between the two of us, we should be able to change the views about our respective homelands and perhaps the perception of other English colonies as well. It will be a very beneficial partnership, I assure you.”

 

Anne-Elizabeth’s tongue flicked over her lower lip a the thought of Lord Silverbridge putting himself into her hands. She held them up so he could see them. “They are very capable hands, able to invoke all manner of sensation. I think you will not regret your decision.”  Luckily he had no idea where those hands had been early this morning when the dead man had been found.

 

She was quite pleased that he wanted to join her in a walk through the palace gardens. “I shall be there. Perhaps I will not be so easy to find among a plethora of brightly colored blooms. Maybe I should wear a dull hue instead.”

 

The service was indeed over. How quickly the time had passed in such charming company. “Yes, I would like that very much,” she replied to Lord Silverbridge’s offer of walking her to her carriage. After exiting the pew, she took the arm he offered her, smiling at him playfully. “I must confess that this last Easter service has far exceeded my expectations.”

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Oakham and Toledo

 

Sophia listened with rapt attention to Darlene’s description of the book of bawdy poems her cousin had given her. Unfortunately, the exodus of most members of the congregation froze her words. It was rather odd that so many just rose and quietly left. Then again, the bishop was no longer speaking. Had their juicy gossip caused them to miss the end of the service?

 

When Darlene took her hand, Sophia squeezed it. “It’s very strange, is it not? Perhaps the first courtiers who left were bored with all the time spent in Church this weekend and left. Once the precedent had been set, the rest of them followed suit.”

 

The petite singer sighed lyrically. “I suppose we should do the same. We can rate gentleman at the next court event.” Her blue eyes sparkled mischievously. “Unless you’d like to search the pews for items that were left behind.” She was always ready for a bit of mischief and her new friend seemed to share that proclivity.

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Things were moving rapidly now, it was if the church was suddenly being evacuated due to a fire instead of merely that the Queen had left early. George even mentioned if the French might be the cause of the excitement. Seriously?

"Oh for heaven's sake, let us not blame the French now," Caroline sighed as she rolled her eyes. As for him wanting to join the hasty exodus that was more than fine with her so she stayed at his side as they left down the aisle. She did at least give the other woman a quick look back.

"Perhaps some other time, my lady?" she remarked to Davina, well aware there had been no time for formal introductions or at least George had not chosen to do so.

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