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Envy and the Ladies | Late Morning


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The King's Private Chamber

The Kings Private Chambers included a smaller, more modest bedroom, a parlour, and his dining room, places where he entertained the very elite of society. The ceilings contained mythological scenes of Jupiter seducing various maidens, except the dining room which represented a feast of the gods, with red lobsters, fish and fowl carved out of wood on the pillars around the room.

 

The warmth of his parlour was most welcome after his brisk morning walk and one of his young pages handed him a steaming coffee as he turned his back to the hearth to warm it. Kingston moved to take off his cravat. He sighed in the familiar comfort of everyone knowing his predispositions. There were benefits to being King that he relished in even if some parts of kingship were less than savory. 

 

As he did with all his young Gentlemen and attendants, he said to Kingston, "So what gossip about court, Kingston," as he pulled his arms out of his justacorps. 

 

Noting Kingston's face flash both with some discomfort and embarrassment, Charles realized that was very bad phrasing, considering. His newly minted earl handed off the clothing to a groom, and he amended, "I don't give a wit about that or whatever Lord Arlington has said to you of it." He gave the boy a smile, for even at nearly thirty, Kingston was still a boy in his mind. "And please save me any sacrificial sentiments with many Majesties. I shan't dismiss you and if you think to save your royal master any discomfort by offering any resignations, I will thump you atop the head."

 

He gave Francis a pat and a firm nod that he fully expected to move on from that. 

 

"Let's try again. What have you to tell me?"

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Francis fully enjoyed the smell of the hot coffee. Just that perked him up. He had not gotten much sleep the night before. He had just handed off the King's cravat and was helping him out of the heavy justacorps when his royal master asked him about court gossip.

 

His cheeks flushed, he was quite sure. His lips had barely parted to say something before the King rephrased his question and cut him off on any potential expositions on the embarrassing slanders against him.

 

Francis had two things to bring to His Majesty's attention and, knowing his royal master's preferences, he decided to start in on the more tenuous topic and to save the new letter from Mistress Envy for second.

 

"I have had a walk with Lady Alyth," he began. "Your Majesty's daughter is in very good health and staying with her mother and young aunts in Windsor." He paused to allow that to digest for a moment before he delivered the news, "She is concerned for the eldest of her younger sisters...she has yet to marry and is proving as troublesome as that day on our picnic."

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"With Cat?" A content smile crossed his face at the thought of his daughter doing well. He had not known Cat and Kingston were friends, though he was not surprised for that was one of the grand things about young Francis; like his father, the ladies felt comfortable with him, and his feminine prettiness and the gentleness about him inspired confidence from the fairer of the sexes. For  a King who disliked tears and fuss and was oft taken advantage of by the same, Kingston was useful. Slanders aside. "Ahhh, Fiona..."

 

That was more troublesome, and there was nothing Kingston could do about that. Charles had attempted to inspire volunteers to marry Cat's sister before she fell in love with more treasonous Scottish blackguards, but that had not be successful. It had not seemed Catriona would be receptive to him forcibly marrying the chit off before she landed herself pregnant or in the Tower, but perhaps his young former mistress had changed her mind, as ladies were wont to do. 

 

"I would like to see my little daughter but should not like to upset the Queen." He hummed in thought. "Have Cat come to George's

Monday morning. Late Monday morning to allow Bucks his ablutions," the King amended with a chuckle of amusement. As much as he would love to wake George just passed sunrise with a toddler, it was probably not good for any of them! "We will talk of Fiona then. Over breakfast. Have her bring someone to watch Nessia whilst we talk. And you will be there since you have mediated this meeting," he added, with a shake of the finger. He could use all the moral support for dealing with his many women, and Francis was not excusing himself from it with any ease. 

 

"What more have you for me?" he asked the young man.

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Francis dipped his head in assent at the directive 'you will be there...' and internally bemoaned his luck on that account. His uncle tended to be cranky when his day began too early, and Francis was going to have to suffer through the duke's morning pontifications that way, and then he was going to have to hear any discomfort about Fiona and any dealings of a toddler. Small children frightened many a grown man.

 

"I also have a letter from Mistress Envy," Francis added, brandishing the note that Buckingham had given him to present to the King.

 

He raised an eyebrow as if to ask his royal master if he wished it read out loud in the dramatic way Francis used to read the frequent letters from the then aspiring Nicolette. 

 

The King rolled his hand with a, "Go on, go on!"

 

In his smoothest tenor, Francis read the letter for the King, inserting drama in the appropriate places:

 

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To His Royal Majesty the King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France

Such a sweet history, I do now recall the first scrape of nip to paper in petition to you, and the brush of quill past lips with imaging of your lips upon mine.  However it became a reality, and a vigorous one at that. To love and be loved, it is as thrilling as it is exhausting, while barely do the sheets chill after your leaving, than my ardour again rises from sheer need of more.  I would bruise my mouth, graze my knees, become wonderous insane with ravagment of you.  Might we discover time together again soon? We must!

I am plotting an occasion that our friend OldRowley might cheer and chuckle at, it is to be a good old fashioned bon fire. BYO even: bring your own drawer, broken chair, secret diary, ruined stocking - to toss upon the flames.  What might you think to offer up to the night sky to blaze away? I am thinking to burn a certain someone's clogs! 

With Your permission of course, may I light the fire Saturday night?  (I should not want to upset Ru with lack of consent) and invite our Merry Friends to play and dance with us.  

Amoureux

NV

 

 

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The King laughed happily.

 

"I think I have missed these letters, Francis," he said to the young keeper of Envy. "The flirtation of it is quite stimulating and not just to the body." There was a deep, vibrating chuckle at this thought. His Majesty greatly valued a strong mind in a woman. It was why he had found so many of George's female relations so alluring. It was also likely why George had such success furnishing his bed with ladies he ended up enjoying. Francis had the best tutor in such matters, but the boy had the benefit of having a gentle aura rather than the impressive grandeur and power of a great duke.

 

"Hmmm," the King mused, thinking of logistics. Having a wild time when his suite was right next to his Queen's was not a recipe for marital happiness. 

 

"Here is what we will do since the event is tonight. Go to Cumberland to tell him we wish the bonfire and make sure that Peg hears for she enjoys such entertainments. Ru did too, once upon a time. It would be good for him if the lady pressured him to go.

 

"Though I am sure making a big pile of wood will garner much attention, I wish you to go around and find all of our friends, tell them that I wish them to come tonight. Dorset, Johnny, Sedley, Ranelagh, Etherege, Denbigh..." he counted off and then paused again. "Chatham...Oh our brother too, who will bring his more fun friends," he belatedly thought of York. "I am certain George knows but find our dear Camberwell, Lord of Butterflies. Ladies, ladies..." he thought aloud. "Our daughter Yarmouth, which makes me think of Lord Shannon too. The lady that Dorset was with at the reception, tell him to invite her." He could not remember her name and did not know if Kingston knew her. "The lady who was at George's party, who plays the cello, or viol, was it? With your former ward. Kendishall is it?"

 

"Now for our dear N.V. Go to her first so that she can make her arrangements. We will stay at George's tonight so as to not disturb the Queen which means you will have to give up your bed, young cub," he added, with a chuckle, using his royal privilege to usurp Kingston's room in George's apartment. 

 

(OOC - all the listed persons and NPCs can assume to have been found and informed by Kingston of the party. It should be taken as a personal invitation of the King to hear it from one of his Gentlemen.)

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