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Secret Meetings | Cat's Appt Monday Late Morning

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Apartment of The Duke of Buckingham (& Lord Kingston)


The door to the apartment opened directly into the drawing room, a long, narrow space furnished in dark woods and hung with crimson damasks and silks. The bank of windows looks out over the Long Walk and Castle Hill. To the right of the windows, on the west, is a well-lighted fireplace with a carved stone coat of arms placed into the wall directly above. There is a swath of royal blue cloth draping over the mantel, a wreathe of seasonal flowers gracing the center of the swathe. Against the opposite wall is a long table surrounded by several ornate chairs. An iron chandelier hangs from the ceiling to light the chamber at night, the light glinting off the polished wooden floors.


Further down the west wall are two doors leading to the apartment’s bedchambers. The first chamber is furnished richly in dark green, or varying shades of the color, with green and gold damask hangings on the mahogany bed, the verdant counterpane worked with fine gold embroidery. A tapestry depicting a boar hunt covers the door to the closet on the north wall, a fireplace crackling merrily between two generously sized windows in the south. Near this fireplace is a table and chair while an iron chandelier hangs from the center of the ceiling, light glinting off the polished wooden floors.


The second bedroom is decorated in golds, the rich earthy colors making the room feel warmer than it actually was. A fire crackled in the hearth to the north while a heavy gold velvet curtain covered the door to the closet set into the south wall. In the center of the room was an ornate mahogany bed with similarly colored hangings and counterpane; however, the bed was so high that it required the use of an ornate set of steps to climb into it. The windowless room was lighted by an iron chandelier, light glinting off the polished wooden floors.



Just because His Majesty wouldn't subject the Duke of Buckingham to a (potentially) cranky toddler in the earlier parts of the morning, did not mean he would not subject George to himself in the earlier hours. Like most who had been raised together, there was a childlike enjoyment for him in pestering the other. So he left Captain Herbert with the Duke's servants in the parlour and proceeded into the still-sleeping Buckingham's bedchamber. 


He almost felt a twinge of guilt. Unlike most he knew the reasons for the Duke's late hours, and they weren't solely because of revelry, fucking, or late-night science-y meetings. George had been a fitful sleeper since his experiences at war long ago and could only sleep once exhausted into it. Having shared a bed enough times, he knew about the nightmares too. 


However, he didn't feel that much guilt. So he crept closer to the soft snores, daintily pulled the bedcurtain away, and then flopped onto the bed with all his weight right next to the sleeping duke. 


There was a sharp gasp-like snore, then a groan, and finally a groggy, "If you think that's a funny way to wake me for this damnable meeting, Francis, check your license."


Charles roared with laughter and when he could finally stop, bleary-eyed George had raised his silver-blond shorn head from the pillow.


"Egads, you idiot! You truly think that cub would jump on your bed!" The king snickered. "I'm sure he doesn't even sit without your leave! He polished up remarkably quickly." He shimmied his body into the pillows and feathered bed below, "I should have taken your bed Saturday night, it's much more comfortable."


"Must you be so...cheery?"


"Maybe you should check your license!" he replied in a singsong way.


This made Buckingham laugh, which in turn made Charles laugh. "You're only allowed to drunkenly fuck in my bed if we're both drunkenly fucking women in my bed," George said, sitting up some. 


"And I'm cheery because I've been up for hours already, had a good long walk. Saw said cub with his yacht and that German princeling. I almost have half a mind to make it your new mission to loosen him up like you did William that one time."


"That time he got so drunk and lusty he was banging on the door to the ladies-in-waiting and scared them so badly you yelled at me for doing too good a job?"***


"Let no man say you cannot rise to any task set to you by your King!" He snickered. "But perhaps not like that."


"Perhaps not at all. It may not be in anyone's interest. Have you not noticed?" George fully sat up against the pillows and bellowed, "COFFEEEEE!" After all, Charles had clearly prevented his servants from entering.




It was some time later that Buckingham was fully dressed and consumed enough of a breakfast with the King to get him through Catriona's visit with her daughter. Their topic had changed from German princelings to horses, horse races, and hunts while sitting comfortably in the parlour. Both wished to fit one or both horse events into the season. Perhaps after the Christening sometime. 


Soon, Catriona was due to arrive, and hopefully she had the sense to be surreptitious about it since the meeting was meant to be kept secret from the Queen. Marital discord was something His Majesty greatly wished to avoid. Upset women was not his thing.


(OOC - ***this happened in reality. William bored the King so bad, he asked Bucks to educate him in being fun and William went legitimately bonkers)

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  • 1 month later...

Since he had facilitated the meeting between his royal master and Cat, the King expected him to be there for the duration. After his meeting with Dorothea's brother, he made his way back to the Duke's apartments hoping to have enough time to change into more appropriate attire. Jaunting around a ship in loose breeches was not precisely clothing for attending the King.


When he entered in the door, Archer came up to him quickly. He handed his hat to the man, who seemed to be about to say something, when Buckingham's voice cut through.


"God's Blood, what are you wearing, Francis?"


Archer moved to the side as Francis cocked his head to look around his valet. Buckingham and the King were sitting in front of the hearth, both fully dressed in their fine brocades.


Buckingham continued, "Do not tell me that is what you decided to wear to meet a prince?" There was a pause. "And your hair!"


The King let out a snort of amusement. One that made Francis wonder how serious this was for Buckingham. 


The initial shock wearing off, he bowed to the pair. Then he said, "Shall I change?"


"Yes, you daft idiot, and be quick about it. You don't receive princes like that, even for some sport on a yacht!" Buckingham made a hasty gesture with his hand dismissively and then added, "And Archer, fix Medusa's hair before he turns us all to stone."


Francis blinked and then said, "It is better to rip the seams in my fine breeches because they are too tight for the activity, Your Grace?"


An orange narrowly missed his head and bounced off Archer's chest. "You order your tailor to make you something of appropriate finery with the specifications of the activity. I will have him here in the morning lest you race your fine yacht in front of all of court dressed like that! You are no plain sea captain but an earl. Endeavor to think like one, Kingston."


There was not much to be said to that, and he could not fight the look on his face at the news of having to cope with the tailor. Of all the things that came with his new life, tailors were his least favourite and had been since his boyhood when they had returned from exile. He had not grown out of his distaste for it. "As you wish, Sir. By your leave?"


As soon as Francis had escaped through the door, the King and Buckingham looked at each other and broke into stifled laughter, but from within his own room Francis could not hear a word or hint of it.


"You are so very grumpy in the morning, George. Did you see the look on his poor face at your disapproval?"


"Did you see what he was wearing?"


The King put a hand to his mouth and chortled, "His hair was very...windswept."


There was a fresh wave of titters between the pair. The many cups of coffee and the warmth of liquor within definitely had done the job on both of them as they waited for Catriona's arrival.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That anyone would worry that Cat would make a big show of arriving at the door of the Duke of Buckingham (and Francis) would surprise the Scot to her toes.  She never thought herself a demanding individual, though her siblings might say the contrary.  But, she REALLY needed some help when it came to Fiona.  Besides, Nessie was growing like a weed and it had been awhile since she had been seen by her royal father.  

Wearing a morning gown of dark azure silk with white lace edgings cut to emphasize her silhouette, a strand of pearls around her neck the only adornment, Cat wore her hair mostly up with a waterfall of curls trailing over one shoulder.  The gown was currently covered by a cape in deference to the foggy morning.  Nessia, riding in her mother's arms, wore the same color outfit, but one more fitting for a toddler.  Like father, like daughter, the child was a morning person and was looking around at everything with a smile on her face.  Trailing behind with a medium sized basket was the nanny,Agnes, ready and willing to trade burdens whenever Cat was ready.  The scents of sugar and yeast and all good things wafted from the basket, leaving a delicious aroma in their wake.  Once arrived, Cat knocked on the door.  Nessia decided she wanted to knock as well and rocked forward in Cat's arms to do just that.  

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Catriona's arrival thankfully saved Francis from enduring any more of the duke's (grumpy) morning commentary on his clothing or deportment. 


Buckingham's servant answered the door and let in the small group. The King and Buckingham were as they had been, though when His Majesty rose to greet her, Buckingham obligingly rose as well. The cognac in his coffee had given him a pleasant buzz to combat his general lack of morning bravado. Kingston was standing by the hearth in a pretty bronze ensemble, the top half of his hair plaited to lay on top of the rest of his (very voluminous) loose curls, tied with a blue ribbon, looking grateful for her arrival.


His Majesty said, "There is my bright little girl! Was that your knocking I heard?" The King was as interested a father as a king could be and none ever found fault in his doting nature. He leaned down to give Nessia a noisy kiss.


"And her mama is looking quite well too," he said, adding a kiss on her cheek with a welcoming smile.


Buckingham for his part took a great whiff of the air, appreciatively. Francis was not the only Villiers who enjoyed being won over through his stomach. For a man who was paraded gifts, it was sometimes the simpler things that shone more brightly.


(you can post next and skip Francis this round ;) )

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  • 2 months later...

Unaware that their arrival might have benefited her friend in anyway, Cat smiled at the room in general, brightening slightly as the King approached.  


Nessa bounced in her mother’s arms and declared.  “Yes!  Nessie nont!,” while giggling at the kiss her father gave her. 


Cat, ever in mother mode, unconsciously corrected, “Knock..k, k,” as her own cheek was bussed, the faint scent of sugar still clinging to her skin and hair.  “As is her Papa,” she replied.  “Really, mornings do agree with you.”  Turning to Buckingham, she added, “Good morning, your grace.  I greatly appreciate the use of your rooms for this meeting.  As I have heard it said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” she added as she waved, “I’m hoping it may also help with early morning visits with toddlers.”

The basket would be handed over to the servant if requested.  Upon opening, along with scones and clotted cream and butter, there was a bundle of shortbread cookies, a dozen chausson aux pommes, as well as a stack of warm crepes (resting over a warmed brick wrapped in flannel) with different savory and sweet fillings, and at the very bottom of the basket, a box filled with fig tarts.  Apple and cinnamon Scottish crumpets and black bun rounded out the fare. 

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Buckingham gave a nod to his valet to take up the basket, which was promptly done. The man then set out an assortment on the table and plates arrived with bustling speed. 


"There is always room for second breaking of fast," Buckingham said. THis was especially true considering the amount of alcohol he and Charles had already imbibed. "I was thinking of engaging in some swordsmanship later to stretch the legs. One must be well-fortified for such activities," he offered as an excuse.


Meanwhile, the King held his arms out to Nessie to see if she wished to trade to her papa's arms. "Shall we unburden you of all the treats that you carry?" he teased Cat. 


Once the basket was unpacked and displayed, the valet stood at the ready for it the lady wished a drink. The King and Duke already had one.


"Kingston said there is a matter you need my help with?" the King asked, giving a nod to the pretty presence of Kingston, who had been rather sedate since Bucks' chastisement and the changing of his clothes. Perhaps the baked goods would cheer the lad. 

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As the excuse was one Cat could readily understand, she nodded in agreement.  "Well, I hope I brought enough then," she replied with a smile.  Nessie readily stretched out her arms to her father, leaning out of her mother's.  With ease, the transfer of toddler from mother to father was made.  It was a bit early for Cat to have what the King and Buckingham had been indulging in, but if tea or coffee were available, she'd happily take a cup.  


A very quick grimace washed over Cat's face at the mention of the reason for this meeting.  "Indeed.  It is Fiona."  Her voice held a note of exhaustion.  "It seems someone was sending threats to her while I was away in Scotland and after Douglas left.  It escalated to such a level that a live asp was sent to her.  She happened to be with Major Whitehurst," a flash of anger, "when it was delivered.  He did manage to kill it before anything could happen, for which I am grateful.  But she then stayed with him, in the palace and in his bed."  That flash of anger came again, pinking her cheeks.  Then she shook her head, reigning in her temper.  She'd already had it out with the scoundrel.  "I am not asking to have them wed.  I want no relation to him.  But..."  


She took a deep breathe, in and out, before speaking again.  "I can't do it anymore.  She needs to be married off."  She said it.  Out loud.  Agnes simply nodded in agreement from the background.

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The lady was provided coffee.


Charles was bopping Nessia up and down while he listened to Cat's problems, only to stop when threats were mentioned, instead holding Nessie still and giving Catriona his full attention.


Buckingham choked on a piece of bun when Cat said "in his bed" of Whitehurst (having heard all about the Whitehurst visit to Charles and the lad's desire to marry his cousin, Susan). 


"I agree with Bucks' sentiments," the King said. "And your own, Cat." For a moment, he was at a loss for words. He also had to be careful what was said around the toddler, understanding how toddlers could be.


"Perhaps Nessie would like to play with Giorgio?" Charles added, holding in a smirk at naming Kingston's puppy after George. "What do you think Nessie, do you want to play with the little doggie for a few minutes?"


The spaniel had be relegated to the other room where Francis' ginger ward was studying his translations so that he wouldn't pee on the floor when visitors arrived. He handed Nessie to Agnes and gave a nod to Francis to show her where to take the toddler to occupy her with the puppy for a bit.


"You have done all that you can, but we are all aware Fiona is a wild one and doesn't evidence enough sense after that display over the Scottish traitor." That was not news to any in the room as Buckingham and Kingston had witnessed the girl's silly prostrations, and he had needed to have Kingston take her home before embarrassing herself further.


"What sort of husband were you thinking?" the King asked.



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Francis' presence was mandated, but he did not add anything. It did not seem required. 


He looked longingly at the gifted baked goods, unsure if he needed to wait for the King's leave before partaking. 


Buckingham never worried about such things in private, but Francis was not Buckingham and had not been the King's lifetime playfellow and foster brother. 


On the King's suggestions, he showed Agnes and Nessie into the other room where Tommy was keeping watch on Giorgio while working on his studies.

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As one might imagine, Nessie lit up at the mention of a puppy.  Lord knew that the ladies in Cat's family were suckers for furry creatures.  Clapping her pudgy baby hands together, the little girl chanted "Pup, pup, pup!," then stretched her arms out to Agnes eagerly.  The nanny easily swiped up the child to her hip and followed Francis.  


The break as the excited child was removed from the adults gave Cat a chance to take a few sips of her coffee.  This helped wet her dry mouth as well as give her a chance to steady herself.  Asking for help wasn't something to come naturally to her and she may have thought for just a flash of a moment that Buckingham's choking on her baked good was because of her baking skill and not that false friend's behavior.  Yes, that betrayal definitely made her choke.


The question of the sort of husband for Fiona was put to her.  Normally, she'd veer towards a caring husband who would make her sister happy, blah blah blah.  "The last thing she deserves is to be rewarded," she finally said.  "She wants to be 'better' than me.  What she needs is a husband who is firm, but not abusive.  Perhaps one who doesn't visit Court all that often."  While she'd miss her sister, the last place Fiona needed to be was at court, causing even more scandals.  Cat still had two more girls to introduce and wed off before having a small break before Nessie.  "You'd know better than I would who might be tolerable."  They'd have to be tolerable.  If they weren't, Cat might have to introduce them to her collection of pretty stabby things.

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Toddler removed and the odds of things being repeated inappropriately, Charles huffed and said, "Langdon surely did not mention that indiscretion in his overture! The lad is like a stud colt who has entered his first spring and must stick it everywhere!"


Buckingham, recovered from his single choke, shook his head and said, "I am better to say nothing."


"That would be a first," Charles quipped quickly. 


"I know better than to impugn a lady's honour in front of you...or in front of Cat," Buckingham said, taking a large bit of the bun as an excuse not to talk further.


"Well, I don't think we need to worry about that in this case," Charles said dismissively.


The Duke's mouth was full.


Kingston was pretending to be a statue and looking longingly at the baked goods.


"Kingston, egads, indulge. We are all quite alone. Does this seem like a formal gathering to you?" the King said, rolling his eyes.


He listened to Cat's thoughts on a husband and chuckled. "I think she has done her best to prevent the notion of doing 'better than you.'" He rubbed his chin momentarily and then looked at Buckingham. "Can you think of anyone, George?"


Buckingham raised a brow. "On the drop of a crown, no, but give it a shake and perhaps someone will come to me."


"I understand your concern about Fiona impacting the chances for the others, for our daughter."

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Cat listened to the two old friends spoke back and forth and could find no argument in their description of Langdon.  "I appreciate your attempt to not speak ill of my sister, but she's made that impossible all on her own," she said to Buckingham.  Based on how he was eating, she had no fear for her baking skills.  "If I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't expect others to," she grumbled.


She nodded in agreement about the impact of Fiona on the younger girls.  "I know there's plenty of time before Nessie is presented and by then, hopefully Fiona will be a distant forgotten scandal, but Shona is next up.  She has a good dowry, is calm and reserved, and is the brightest beauty of us all, but no land, no title that might make up for Fiona.  She's more deserving of Lochend than Fiona.  Hell, our dog is more deserving.  At least he sits with me while I'm trying to steward two estates."  The more she thought on her sister's recklessness, the angrier she got.  And with the fact that her temper was never her best controlled emotion, it was quite a bit of work to keep her voice steady.  She took a deep breath, held it for a moment, then let it out slowly.  Then, to stop herself from saying anything more, she took a bite of an apple and cinnamon crumpet.  "Mmmm..." she moaned in delight.  Just right.


Unfortunately, the mouthful didn't last long enough because after swallowing, she added, "Hell, if I thought me remarrying would help the girls in any way, I'd do it."

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Francis was relieved when he heard the magic words of being given leave to eat those tempting treats! He joined Buckingham, but he went right for the fig tart.


He had no great knowledge of marriage candidates either. 


"Perhaps a younger son with an appointment in the country which keeps him from court? One with a living father who is not likely to put up with shenanigans?" he ventured in an effort to help the elder two in a mental search of potentials. "Of the country squire variety, with good coin and property, but no grand title?"

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Free to say what he thought freely, Buckingham said, "Well, it is one thing to sleep with a King or a prince, but it is quite another to bed traitors and lordly soldiers, so I do not think it possible to find a match which would displace you, Cat. That is the notion of a silly little girl who does not know how the world works, but I am sure His Majesty will do his best to find an acceptable match that will take her from the spotlight."


The King nodded.


Both then looked to Francis' contribution.


Charles said, "The cub has a point. One such might like to ensure their king's favourable glance..."


"Or a vicar or bishop," Buckingham added with a snicker. "They are usually younger sons as well and the northerners cannot venture to London. I could arrange something in the East Ridings of York I am sure. It is North enough to  be accessible to Scotland, and I have some who could keep an eye on things." Buckingham was the Lord Lieutenant and had quite a number on his rolls, so he could find a younger son who was clergy. 


"Come up with some candidates for me," the King agreed. Turning his attention to Cat's final statements, "Do you wish to remarry? You would have my blessing if you did."

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A younger son.  Normally, such a person would not fit what Cat would think suitable for her siblings, but Fiona had finally pushed her too far.  Between the insomnia, the stress of making sure both Alyth and Lochend estates and the shop were at least breaking even, raising a baby and seeing to her other sisters' futures, Cat no longer held that illusion.  Still...


"That would be fine, but is it possible to make sure he's not prone to violence?  No matter how she drives me mad, she is my sister and I won't be able to stand by if she is abused," she admitted.  Not that any of the men in the room would be surprised by this statement.  The Scot wasn't known for idly standing by when she felt justice wasn't being served.  Except when it came to Lauderdale and that was only because she hadn't quite figured out a way to get away with it yet.


At the King's question of her muttered words, Cat waggled her head in neither a nod nor a shake, more of an indecisive wobble.  "I have found the idea to be less repugnant of late," she said to the idea of remarriage.  "If I could find someone who I could trust with the younger girls and Nessie, who I could get along with, it might be nice to have someone to help shoulder some of the responsibilities."  In for a penny, in for a pound when asking for help it seemed was Cat's current philosophy.  That was just how exhausted she was.

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"Anyone who marries on my request had best not do such a thing," Charles said, "If it comes from me there is clearly some interest in the lady in question."


Buckingham nodded his agreement. "I'll aim for a good disposition, but as I said someone with a father yet around. This will help to keep your sister from acting out as she shan't be able to run about on a full grown man."


The King nodded as she spoke about the idea of marriage not being entirely repugnant. Being alone was no way for anyone to go through life. It was much nicer to have a partner with which to handle the doldrums of life.


"You spoke of your sister not deserving the title. You do realize that it could all just as easily go to you as the elder, as it should?" Buckingham mentioned. "That might help inspire some matches..."

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Cat could only nod and say "Thank you" as a small bit of her fear (and need to control all situations) was calmed by the clear fact that yes, it would be a stupid man or family that would hurt someone who had the favor of the King as well as Buckingham.  That was, at least, some weight off her shoulders.  If she could get Fiona squared away, then her job there was done and she could focus on the easier siblings.  At least she didn't have to worry about Shona running wild.  The wildest she got was buying an extra book at the book sellers.  Aileen...could go either way.  No putting the cart before the horse, she admonished herself.


Now, the tricky part.  "It could cause a bit of a civil war with Fiona.  And possibly Dundarg," she said, using Douglas' title, "though he seems quite pleased with his new lands," she quickly added.  "I'm not even sure how Father managed the trick in the first place."  She took a sip of coffee to wet her mouth.  "But I am the one who oversees all the minutia of the estate and have since before he died."  She broke off another piece of the crumpet but didn't eat it immediately.  Had it really only been 4 years?  She hoped he was swimming laps in lava pools with large crabs hanging off tender body parts.  "If you did transfer it to me, how would that work?  Would it pass to whomever I marry next and on to those children?  Would it go to Nessie as my first born?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Neither the King, nor Buckingham, was going to give much sway to her brother. He could not head the family, and he had wounded the King over Heather and Buckingham over insulting Kingston in the most ungentlemanly fashion.


In George's opinion, it was fortuitous that Kingston was milder in temperament for George would have skewered the man who had given his word of honor over a woman in his charge and then broken in not even a day after, apology or not. He only gave a grunt of a huff at the Scotsman's mention. To think he had once liked the man well enough for helping Gwen!


The King said, "It was not for your father to try to give it to her in the first place; titles that can pass in the female line all go eldest to youngest just as in the male line. Her husband can have whatever unentailed coin or houses were willed, but titles follow the method in which they were given. No dead Scottish noble's wishes supplant a king's. I was content to follow your wishes in the matter, and if your wishes have altered, there is no right for her to complain."


"You can always claim ignorance that it could not go to her and blame it on Charlie when she cannot have it," Buckingham said, with a wry grin. "Save yourself the civil war. We, here, are not very fond of those."


As to her final question, the King said, "There would be no transfer necessary. By law it is yours. You always could have contested it, but you gained your own and never seemed bothered by it. Her children would have had an impossible time claiming it over yours, in the future, anyway. And Nessia will be taken care of, regardless, do not concern over that. Your titles would go first to sons and then to daughters."


The King snorted and rolled his eyes. He would take the blame to save a lady. "You can tell her to speak to me, and if she was wise, she would be petrified of doing so and not bother." He had, in fact, not gotten over her ludicrous begging of clemency for that traitorous Scot; it was a considerable insult, though he had been gallant about it in the face of company where she had chosen to do it. 


Charles had a difficult time with anyone who made trouble for his mistresses, current or former; unless something grave was committed that separated them, they were still under his protection...Even George's cousin, his first grand lady of a mistress, for most of her children were his even if she had turned into a scheming pain. 

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Cat had been fine with the way things were until Fiona kept ignoring the duties required of the lady of Lochend.  It wasn't just something to worry about another day.  People's lives depended on her.  Since Cat wouldn't allow those who lived on the estate to suffer at the hands of a bratty teen, she kept everything as together as she could.  And it was true, her father had tried to ignore the law of the land and snub her in such a way.  "Father always hated me, so it was his way of showing it even in death.  I don't care about the title.  I care about the people who live and work on the estate and surrounding area.  They deserve someone who cares about their plight," she said.  Cat's mother hen tendencies knew no physical boundaries.


She raised a brow at the comments of sending Fiona the King's way if she protested.  "You have met my sister, haven't you?  Do you honestly think she has enough clarity of thought to consider the stupidity of railing at him?," she asked Buckingham with sarcasm fairly dripping from her tone and a gesture towards her former lover.  Her sister was a lot of things, but one who made clear plans and knew not to anger those with more power, Fiona was not.  She'd probably get yelled at by Douglas as well, as Fiona was his favorite sibling, she was sure.  But, if this finally got Fiona away from the limelight that caused horrible shadows on her other sisters, she'd handle the yelling.  "I can hope for divine intervention, I suppose.  Maybe a few prayers might strike her mute for a bit."

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"I think most develop clarity over their deportment very quickly when they are in front of their king, yes," Buckingham said. "She did not rail at him over that treasonous Scot, though she was hardly appropriate, so I doubt her display would be as bad as you think." Perhaps the girl would rail at her sister and lose her mind in private, but he doubted she would advance in anger at Charles. That would surely not change the King's mind or the legal situation.


"Should she decide to behave like a child, I can send her somewhere she can behave like a child without the audience and attention she prefers with the most boring old lady I can fathom," Charles said with a shrug.

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  • 1 month later...

Cat was the one who received a good majority of Fiona's ire, though all her sisters were targets of the second eldest MacBain child.  The superiority complex their father instilled in his favorite was strong, though Cat was sure that Fiona did care for them all, in her own way.  "I bow to your wisdom, Your Grace," she said to Buckingham.  Besides, these men had dealt with any number of temperamental females over their lives.  Who was she to doubt? 


She laughed at the image of Fiona stuck with a boring old lady.  "I'd almost pay to see that situation," she chuckled.  Perhaps it was rude to want to see her sister in a situation where she couldn't take her spleen out on a family member, but after all Cat and the younger girls had had to listen, it would be lovely.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"So, then it is settled," the King said, proudly. He had helped Cat and there were no tears involved which was a great win in his mind as he disliked a lady's tears immensely. He did not have the same attachment to Fiona, and if she cried at him again, he would do as he did before and have one of his gentlemen remove her and bring her home. 


His eyes traveled to Kingston who had that honor before, when the lady in question had interrupted their grand picnic with her hysterics.


"George shall help me to identify a man of sufficient character, who will not be messed with but who will neither be cruel. Preferably one with a living mother and father who can help keep the girl under thumb. Until then, you shall have to be the elder and bear it out. If she is trouble, I am sure there is still some old curmudgeonly lady that was one of my mother's ladies who can grab the girl by the ear and bore her to death."


Buckingham saluted his glass as his nod to the plan as the king reiterated it. 


"Now, I think my daughter had played with George's peediddling puppy for long enough, and her papa would like some play time too."

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