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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:10 pm 

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“I trust my advisers.” King Motto was firm and kept his eyes directed forward and away from the Lady. “No matter how much time and thought I might put into the perfect Queen, I cannot control every element and possible outcome. I do what I can each day, my Lady. That is all I know how to do.” A light sensation at his arm made Motto look down to see her gloved hand and he quaked internally. If Lady Genevieve was the sort to worry much of the time, it was likely he would have to set aside some of his duties to tend to her with more care. He hadn’t considered such a scenario, but it was one of many things he wouldn’t have been able to factor in ahead of time. Motto was at peace with the arrangement for the most part.

“You are only lacking in propriety as far as I can tell, my Lady, and that is easily fixed. I’m confident that you shall make a splendid Queen. You are aware the wedding is in ten days, are you not?” There would be much to do before then, but he could fit time in to train the Lady in royal manners. With an easy heart, King Motto looked to her and let his eyes wander for a moment. Her hair was too lovely for him to understand, but her pale skin and beautiful gown were fearsome in their power over him. It felt as if chains were winding their way around his eyes and mind..among other things, and drawing him into a tight bind. Motto found himself disliking the weakness he felt but strangely compelled to ignore it; a confusing dilemma and one he would talk to Hector about as soon as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:13 am 
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"I do what I can each day, my Lady. That is all I know how to do.”

For reasons unknown, his words struck her. Genevieve saw the world ruled by men and while some saw their position as an invitation to take and enjoy at will, others carried the weight of responsibility that came with leadership. She found herself feeling saddened for the King. He needed to enjoy life! He was far too young not too. Perhaps that was something she could help him see while she was here.

As her thoughts were invaded, Genevieve processed what King Motto had said. Ten days? Ten. Days. She stiffened visibly. How was she to change his, or his advisors, minds in ten days? She had always had months, not days. Genevieve almost growled. This had to be her father's doing. He was well aware of her protests to marriage and this was his way of thwarting her. Instead of getting angry, however, Genevieve decided to chuckle, a quiet, almost just a breath.

"Propriety?" Her only flaw? "I will tell you this." Genevieve couldn't help but get somewhat offended at his words. "I am not a dog, Your Majesty, to be trained" Genevieve let go of his arm and straightened her skirts with force as they approached her chambers. "I am a woman with very strong opinions and no inhibitions when it comes to expressing my mind." Not waiting for someone to open the door for her, Genevieve did it herself turning to face the King. "The sooner you understand that, the sooner we can come to a mutual understanding." Giving him a curtsy she continued. "Thank you for escorting me to my chambers. I wish you a good night, Your Majesty." And with a swish of her skirts Genevieve turned, entered her rooms and closed the door behind her.

Genevieve was greeted by an unhappy Elenore and meek ladies maids. "Oh don't look at me like that." Genevieve directed to Elenore with a small pout. She went to a floor length mirror and began slipping her gloves off while Mildred started on undoing her gown. "He is insufferable." Her words came out a huff. Was she the one having a tantrum now? Lavern hid a smile while taking Genevieve's hair down and brushing her curls. Both were used to their Lady being in such a petulant mood after the first meeting. Elenore, however, was not and looked visibly upset with Genevieve as she pulled a shift and robe and waited to dress her in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:14 am 

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"Thank you for escorting me to my chambers. I wish you a good night, Your Majesty."

Lady Genevieve’s departure came to a sudden halt as the King’s hand swiftly clamped onto her dainty arm. His expression was grim and yet something of a smile appeared to be hiding within it.

Image

“Not a dog, my Lady, but a Queen.”

He pulled her back towards himself as he continued; ignoring any struggle she made. “Strong opinions are well and good...if put across in an honorable manner.” She was nearly pressed up against him now. Motto’s voice was steady and without malice. “I’m sure you know that offended ears do not hear as well. That is why propriety shall be always your strength. So that those majestic opinions might be put to actual use.”

He was a bit rude at the end of his tirade, but it was all Motto could do to keep from yelling. This second attempt to shun him was going to be the last of its kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:04 am 
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After changing into a shift and robe, Genevieve sat in front of Lavern as she finished brushing and braiding her hair. Facing the window, Genevieve looked at the dark landscape while fidgeting with a loose string on her robe. Of course the man just had to be right. That was what infuriated her the most. Not that he had grabbed her, quite firmly and most definitely without her permission, but that he had made a very valid point. She knew how to act according to her station in front of others. She knew, but did he? She had been rather petty-No! Why should she begin to feel guilt?

Genevieve huffed again, her breath disturbing a strand of hair as she folded her arms beneath her breasts. She felt so conflicted. On the one hand, Genevieve didn't want to get married, especially to someone she hardly knew, but on the other... His gaze had been so- Genevieve's heart fluttered and she involuntarily put a hand to the base of her neck. She had never felt such a reaction before. Sure, she had been upset, but was her fluster due to something else?

In order to take her mind off of things, Genevieve had Mildred fetch her embroidery hoop and basket. Needlework always seemed to calm her nerves and Genevieve was working on a beautiful silk scarf to wear around her waist. It was of a deep purple, golden scroll work twisting along the edges that bloomed into flowers. While Genevieve wasn't near as good as her mother, she still took pride in her abilities. While she waited, Genevieve opened the windows to her balcony and had Lavern move a chair and lantern. The night air was cool and she would enjoy it. Accompanied by both Mildred and Lavern, Genevieve took up her needle and continued where she had left off.

There was a calmness to the countryside that Genevieve enjoy, but was also conducive for wondering minds. How should she approach the King next? Should she prove her upbringing? He seemed to think she an untrained brat, not surprisingly, and Genevieve had an itch to correct that. Perhaps that could put him off guard enough that her next act of rebellion would be much more effective. He had seemed to be taking her outbursts in stride. Genevieve wondered what he would think of her taking a countryside ride tomorrow and accidentally coming across some of his subjects. He had delayed her viewing, but if she went behind his back...just a little? Of course, that would only prove his point. As distracted as she was Genevieve pricked her finger and with a little yelp popped it in her mouth to keep the drop of blood from getting on her scarf. Blast that man.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:41 pm 

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Motto entered his chamber with haste. He leaned against the door after shutting it behind him and tugged at his coat.
Some kind of illness. The pains in his chest and muddled mind had started earlier and had gotten progressively worse. It was now a fever of some kind. His coat off and shirt loosened, the King rushed to the large window and pushed it open. Motto was still standing there panting when Hector entered quietly.

“What’s wrong, Sire?”

“I’m not sure. Be sure to have a supper sent the Lady’s chamber. In case she-”

“Yes, Sire.”

“What is that look? On your face. Are you laughing?”

“No, Sire.”

“I saw you! It was a distinct chuckle!”

“Well once, but that doesn’t count as laughter.”

“HECTOR…”

“Shall I bring supper to your chamber as well, Sire?”

“...no. I feel ill. Hector..I think the Lady might find me a disappointing companion. Do you think it would be wise to ..have some highly educated nobles visit her regularly? The smart ones. That way she might be at ease and enjoy her new home.”

“I think you are wrong. Shall I fetch Her Ladyship’s supper now?”

“Very well. Yes.” Motto’s shoulders drooped. He wasn’t sure what his attendant meant, but the whole thing had him fatigued and supper might grow cold if he kept Hector too long. Lady Genevieve was such a lively woman and brave to act as she did, considering that she had never met him and was to be married to him in ten days time. It was becoming clear that his advisers had chosen poorly however, she seemed quite unhappy to bear children and that was the only reason he sought a wife. Or had they? His trust in them had never been shaken before.

His expression hardened. No.

He would suffice as the Lady’s husband. If not him, then Lady Genevieve would eventually be wed with someone so why not himself? Gilthlore was a good and happy place and he was a kind man. If she loathed the idea of mothering, then he would have nursemaids care for her child instead. His people needed a Queen and she was going to meet them tomorrow. Or..the day after. The King slowly made his way to a chair and sank into it. Visions of her hair and dress swam through Motto’s mind and he let his eyes close.

He hardly slept that night and was preoccupied during the morning drills. After much deliberation, Motto stood tall and summoned Elenore. He would have Lady Genevieve join him for breakast. All meals in fact, from then on.

“I shall ready Her Ladyship right away, Sire.”

The young King nodded and promptly went to his favorite pacing spot; the northern overlook. It offered the most lovely view of Gilthlore’s castle village. The rooftops were blue while all stonework from the same quarry. Little flags fluttered here and there, while humble chimney smoke rose from one of the four bakeries. He loved his people very much and it brought Motto peace to gaze upon their happy dwellings. It was a shame to put off the viewing, but the people would have that much more time to prepare.

It had been too long since his last visit to the castle village.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:01 pm 
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A knock at the door drew Genevieve's attention and Mildred rose to answer it. She returned with a tray, which she set upon a circular marble table. "Dinner was sent to you, my Lady." Genevieve's stomach rumbled. She had been so preoccupied that she hadn't noticed how hungry she was. That was thoughtful of King Motto. She wasn't very surprised at his gesture, he seemed a thoughtful man. After finishing her supper, Genevieve sent Mildred with the dishes to the kitchen while Lavern turned down her bed. Despite the long journey and events from the day, Genevieve had a hard time falling asleep. She kept thinking about the king, his fierce gaze had practically pierced her soul and when she did fall asleep, they plagued her dreams.

Regardless of her restless night's sleep, Genevieve was awake with the sun. In the early hours of the morning, Genevieve washed her face and hands in a wash bin before her lady's maids brushed her hair and helped her dress for the day. Her gown, most decidedly, was much more plain, but not without its charms. It was of a deep purple velvet, almost black, embroidered with white scroll work along the bodice. The neck rose just under her chin, but a heart shaped cut out showed off a single white pearl on a silver chain. Her sleeves were long and came to points with loops around her middle fingers, the embroidery following the diamond shape. Her skirt didn't flare, it was simple with pleats at her waist. With her hair brushed, a pale lace veil was held in place with 2 pearl combs at her temples and lay flat on her hair from the crest of her head to just below the small of her back, where her hair ended. Genevieve looked at herself with satisfaction. While her gown last night had been lovely, Genevieve much preferred this-modest, but feminine.

After her morning routine, Genevieve and her maids sat for a game of cards on the balcony while watching what was left of the sunrise. It was mornings like this that Genevieve enjoyed most. It was interrupted, however, as Elenore entered the chamber. Expecting to have to wake Genevieve, the older woman was a bit surprised to see her bright eyed and dressed for the day. There was a hint of approval at her garb as Elenore told Genevieve of King Motto's summons. She almost sighed. After last night, Genevieve wasn't sure if she was ready to face the man, but she was determined to prove she could in fact act according to her station. So she rose to her feet, straightened her skirts, and followed Elenore with her lady's maids flanking her.

With hands clasped gently before her, Genevieve listened to the sounds of their muffled footsteps and swishing skirts as they made their way for the private dining room they had been in last night. As the morning air blew through the castle, her hair and veil moved gently with it as they walked down the open hallways. The same gentle wind greeted them as they entered the dinning room's antechamber and awaited the king, all four facing the doorway in anticipation of his arrival. Genevieve's eyes were lowered, tracing the greenery depicted in the carpet.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:03 pm 

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Sensing it was time, Motto lifted his chin and straightened his simple jacket before entering the parlor. Lady Genevieve was there with her attendants and looking quite pretty. “My Lady, I trust you are well?” His smile was a distant one, but genuine. He lifted his arm and waited for her to take it before entering the now simple dining room. The windows were situated to the East, allowing happy streams of sunlight to fill the room without blinding anyone seated at either end of the table. A white cloth this time, with sparkling glasses and flatware of blue ceramic. The Lady’s side featured a quaint arrangement of tea things, butter, breads and fruit garnished with flowers. A delicate fabric hung from the back of her chair as if it were a lovely cape and two musicians stood waiting. One with a flute and the other a mandolin.

As he led Her Ladyship to her end of the table, King Motto felt the fever coming on and made a note to have his physician look him over. He took his own chair and looked up to his bride-to-be. “Does music please you, My Lady?”

Image

He felt hot. Especially his face. His coat seemed restrictive. Every gown the Lady wore was most becoming on her, he noticed.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:17 pm 
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As the King entered the antechamber, Genevieve and her attendants curtsied or bowed accompanied with a variation of greetings befitting his status. She met his smile with her own and took his arm when offered. Noting her breakfast and delicate porcelain, Genevieve stood until the King sat, in which she sat herself while smoothing her skirts to keep from speaking. "It does, My Lord. Thank you for asking." Her inner monologue was rolling it's eyes while her smile brightened. She hoped that this wasn't the only type of conversations she could expect from her future husband. Well, if he wasn't bright, at least he seemed kind and was very handsome. Genevieve inwardly sighed. There were worse flaws, she supposed.

"Do you have a favorite instrument, My Lord?" She could keep up with this small talk. Although she found small talk abhorred, she was relatively decent at keeping such a conversation going. She lowered her gaze as she took a sip of her morning tea and began buttering a slice of bread. It spread easily. Genevieve was unsure why she noticed such a thing, but she did. After taking a bite and placing her buttered bread back on the plate before her, Genevieve took her napkin and gently patted her lips, picking up any crumbs that might have been left behind. Her gaze returned to the King and her brow furrowed.

"Are you alright, my Lord?" He seemed flushed, but it could easily have been the ambiance of the room. The rising sun's rays left the room in a golden glow. The white tablecloth kept the reflection from being too harsh, but the porcelain plates sent lights dancing on the high ceilings. The entire room had a very romantic air and, if Genevieve was being honest with herself, made her more than a little uncomfortable.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:45 am 

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It was a delight that she accepted his arm and strode with him. Her efforts to sit and speak as he had instructed were noticed and fluttered in his chest in a strange way. The music was to her liking! This day would be a pleasant one!

"Do you have a favorite instrument, My Lord?"

Motto finished the mouthful of cheese in a hurried manner; he was eager to entertain the Lady. "I favor the harp. Heh." Not knowing if he should say more, the young King's knee began to bounce and he picked up a spoon. Realizing he had no need of a spoon, Motto set it down again and selected a knife. A knife was better, was it not? He chanced a look at her Ladyship again before readying himself to continue dining.

"Are you alright, my Lord?"

The knife's purpose eluded him however, and the King set it down slowly. He knew not what to do or say..what food to consume! "I am well, My Lady." His answer was a preoccupied one. A drink then. He moved his hand to the juice but decided that water was a better choice and wavered. The awkward nature of his motion knocked over a glass and Motto tensed up. The musicians stopped their playing and there was a brief pause before anyone reacted. The King had never spilled his drink before. The music resumed while a servant cleaned the small mess with grace and Motto slowly released the napkin he had clenched tightly without being aware.

Clearing his throat, he adjusted his posture and addressed Lady Genevieve, "There are several customary tasks for us in the next few days. The viewing of course, and also a formal ball for the court. A portrait will be in order and of course, a rehearsal or more if needed..for the wedding." He nodded and frowned at his food. Still no appetite, but that fever might return and he would do well to nourish himself and fend it off. It would not do to fall ill at such an important time. The King plucked up his fork and eyed his plate with determination.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:00 pm 
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The harp? Genevieve was a little surprised. It was such a feminine instrument and she was sure he would have said something else. Genevieve actually wasn't sure what she had expected, but not the harp. It made sense to her, however. From what she knew he was a gentle man, but also firm in his beliefs, just as the harp was a gentle instrument, but one who's notes did not fade into the background of an accompaniment.

"I am well, my Lady."

His answer almost seemed mechanic, like he was concentrating on something other than their conversation. Not pressing further, Genevieve went back to her own plate, using a fork and knife to cut up her fruit into dainty, bite sized pieces. Her attention was brought from her plate as she heard the soft thud of an upturned glass. She, along with the room, seemed to stop breathing in the brief moment before action was taken. Was he nervous? Perhaps she should help calm his nerves. Her brow furrowed as she looked to her plate and took a bite of her fruit. How? She had never had to deal with her suitor being nervous around her. Of course, most of them had been much older men used to courting.

When he spoke of the coming days, Genevieve suppressed a sigh. They would be extremely busy, it seemed, leaving them little time to actually spend together. Why was she so disappointed in the thought? They were to be married, of course, so naturally she would need to spend time wi-No. Genevieve corrected her thoughts. They needed to spend time together so she could change his mind and send her away. She had spent one night here and already she was beginning to actually entertain the idea of marriage.

Keeping from clearing her throat, it was so unladylike, Genevieve nodded before speaking. "It sounds like we have a busy 9 days ahead of us." She assumed he must have a wedding dress already commissioned since he had had gowns made for her arrival. There must be a fitting in there somewhere, but Elenore surely would be the one in charge of that. She hid her own discomfort with a smile, but she wasn't sure if the king caught it. He still seemed so preoccupied.

Perhaps it was too formal between them? Silently, Genevieve wondered if breaking the formality would help him relax a little. Of course, he could also find it extremely inappropriate, just as Elenore had. Genevieve's heart fluttered for reasons she could not explain. Was she really that nervous?

"If.. " However unladylike, Genevieve involuntarily cleared her throat. "If you'd like, you may all me Genevieve." Her nickname may have been a little too informal. Perhaps after they were married. "But only if it doesn't make you uncomfortable." She rushed to add and almost stumbled aver her words. She tried to recover by returning to her plate. Apparently his nerves were contagious. Genevieve took a sip of her tea and used the movement to ease tension from her shoulders.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:09 pm 

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"If you'd like, you may all me Genevieve. But only if it doesn't make you uncomfortable."

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Motto glanced up to see Her Ladyship’s eyes flicker down to her plate. She was to be his wife and her name was Genevieve. She had long fine hair of a delicate color, skin like that of a fairy in the storybooks, her eyes were something to behold and the Lady’s grace was lovely when she applied it. The people of Gilthlore were going to adore her.

“Genevieve…” He murmured, smiling at the thought of happy citizens waving their flags for her. Flowers would be scattered where ever she strode. Perhaps a --

He snapped out of it. Blinking, the King straightened up and adjusted his coat that seemed to be choking him. “My Lady, I shall …..” What exactly would he do? Motto hadn’t given this sort of thing any thought before. “..keep that in mind.” He nodded politely and smiled a little. It was a forward thing for Her Ladyship to say, but Motto sensed it had come from a place of genuine kindness.

“Sire.” A guard entered and stood upright at the King’s side.

“..Yes? Something has happened?” Motto could tell it was an urgent matter but responded with calm. It was then he heard it. A faint..roar of voices.

“Sire, people have come to see the queen..Her Ladyship. Many People.”

Motto pushed his chair and stood. The sound of chanting could be heard; it’s words not quite clear but it sounded like a tremendous crowd. Both the King and the guard’s eyes looked to Lady Genevieve.

“Have they not been told of Her Ladyship’s need for rest?” Motto had turned back to his guard and the inquiry was without malice.

“They have been told, Sire.”

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:35 am 
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Genevieve blushed. He smiled at her and she actually blushed! No man had made her blush like that in a very long time. Not since before she became comfortable courting. A sense of...relief washed over her and Genevieve let out a small breath of air she was unaware she had been holding. So, he hadn't reacted as Elenore did. He gracefully accepted her more than forward gesture without making her feel like a moron. He was a kind man. This sort of thing had gotten her scolded in the past, most of her suitors berating her like a daughter, but not this man.

Feeling her confidence returning, Genevieve looked up to continue their conversation, but kept silent as one of his guards entered. At almost the same time Genevieve's ears picked up...thunder? No, the roar of an immense crowd. How long had that been going on? As the King spoke with his guard, Genevieve's brow furrowed. He spoke to the King quietly, almost so much so that Genevieve couldn't quite catch what he was saying. However, it was the Kong's response that clued her in.

It was his people. Here. To see her.

Genevieve's heart dropped and her face, incredibly, paled. Showing herself to these people would only make it that much harder to leave. The King was a man of his people and if they approved of her, he would only hold on that much more tightly. Goodness, but she felt like she would sick up. In this single moment, Genevieve wanted nothing more than to hide in her rooms and never come out. Take a breath. Chest heaving, Genevieve drew in air and held it a moment before releasing it.

The fact of the matter was she had entertained the idea of marrying this man and if it did happen, it would not show well on her to hide in her rooms when her future subjects wished only to glimpse their future queen. She locked eyes with the king before taking the napkin from her lap, placing it upon the table and rising to her feet as he did. She could feel herself shaking. Was it nervousness? Or anticipation? "I..." Genevieve swallowed in an attempt to steady her voice, surely grabbing their attention as she spoke. "I don't think a small appearance will hurt." She could feel small beads of sweat trickle down her temples. Her lady's maids exchanged nervous glances. They had never seen Genevieve so shaken.

If he offered her his arm, she would take it: no, cling to it, in an attempt to control her shaking. She would follow him to the door, but pause before leaving the antechamber and look to him, her eyes conveying a vulnerability she very rarely let surface. "I.." she would begin softly, so as not to be heard by anyone but him. "I've never..what I mean is.." her eyes would squeeze shut as she searched for the words she wanted to say. "I've never been presented to the subjects of my suitor before." Her eyed would open and she would stare at the subtle threadwork on the sleeve of his coat. "I've always been sent away before then." Sure, she had met nobles, but she had never been in front of a large crowd. Balls, yes, but even then the attention was never solely focused on herself. There was always dancing and discussion. She would meet his gaze, trembling still. "What if they don't...approve?"

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:38 pm 

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"I...I don't think a small appearance will hurt."

The King blinked twice. Truly the Lady was unwell! He brushed past the guard and lifted his arm, his lips parting in surprise at Her Ladyship's grip. Once they crossed the dining room's threshold, Motto stopped just as Lady Genevieve did. He could sense Hector and Elenor were closeby and was glad for it.

"I've never..what I mean is..I've never been presented to the subjects of my suitor before. I've always been sent away before then."

A wave of astonishment had Motto's brows lift. The Lady's demeanor was entirely different and soft and sad and...sweet. It was difficult to refriain from admiring her exquisite features in such close proximity but her words shook him. Sent away??

"What if they don't...approve?"

".....My Lady.." His voice was more like that of a whisper. Motto loosened his arm and turned to face Lady Genevieve to take her hand as well as have his other ready to support her back should she faint. His mother often fainted. "I ... have much to say on these things but..for now I shall tell you this." A slow smile spread on his face, it was filled with pure warmth. "They have already approved you...they have come because they cannot wait to see you." His eyes were merry. "I shall address them now. I should like to do so in my own way...do you think you can last a little longer, My Lady?"

Image

A meaningful glance to Hector. "My horse, please."

"Immeadiatly, Sire."

Motto chose to overlook the mirth in Hector's eyes and turned to Elenore. "I would have Her Ladyship stand on the white balcony.. the one with the flowers that would suit her best...if she is able. I shall direct my people's gaze there only but a moment..until that moment I insist that the Lady rest." His hand had come to press against Lady Genevieve's back as he spoke, Motto wasn't fully aware of it and turned his attention back to her. "Is this ...to your liking? My Lady?" He bit his lip and waited. The words, "sent away" were haunting, and he would not treat her as those fools had.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:43 pm 
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"...My Lady.."

Her ears heard a whisper, but her mind and heart did not. Genevieve suppressed a wince while her heart began to race. Why was she having such a reaction? As the King attempted to calm Genevieve, she couldn't help notice just how close they were. The neck of her gown suddenly seemed much too tight, despite the give of the cloth, and she could feel his body heat sink into her skin. Or was that her own? Genevieve flushed. She was acting ridiculous. Either she was being a love sick puppy, or a scared rabbit: her mind, however, couldn't tell. Regardless, she was acting the fool.

"They have already approved you...they have come because they cannot wait to see you."

The King's words were a comfort to Genevieve and she noticeably calmed. She looked to their hands. She was unsure when exactly he had taken hers, but goodness was it warm, and large. His hand enveloped her own, making her feel safe, but also, a little vulnerable. It was soft and Genevieve found herself wanting him to touch her cheek-

"...do you think you can last a little longer, My Lady?"

Pulled from her little day dream, Genevieve managed a small nod. She wouldn't have to actually address the crowd herself. The tension in her shoulders began to loosen. She would be just fine. Of course, as the King went on with his instructions, Genevieve couldn't help but feel embarrassed. She had such a negative reaction and, even now, felt shaky and nervous despite the control she was regaining. Perhaps a little bit of rest would do her some good. With her mind preoccupied with how she was feeling, Genevieve only half listened to what the king was saying. Until he touched her back.

A shock ran up Genevieve's spine as she felt the heat from his hand. She was uncomfortabley aware of it. The trembling that had settled returned and Genevieve tried to hide it by gripping her skirts with her free hand. She knew if she were to speak her voice would quake with...fear? Anticipation? But.. Anticipation of what? Genevieve's thoughts seemed clouded and she had a hard time grasping onto any of them.

And then he bit his lip.

Perhaps it was a combination of the stress, his touch, and their proximity, but the look on his face! "Is this ...to your liking?" Her mouth wouldn't move. It took what little will power she had left to tear her eyes from his lips and meet his gaze. "My Lady?" "Yes, My Lord." Goodness, but she couldn't catch her breath! The room felt tighter and her gown? It seemed to be restricting her in the worst ways possible.

As if saved by an angel, Elenore came to Genevieve's side and took her other hand. "My Lord, I shall take her to the balcony and await your signal. Perhaps it would help Lady Genevieve to sit at an open window. Surely the morning air will help her regain her strength." Elenore awaited their dismissal before they both curtsied and Elenore wisked Genevieve from the room, a knowing look in her aged eyes as she supported the girl with a hand at her elbow.

Only when Genevieve was sitting in a tufted chair at the open doors of the balcony did she allow herself to lose her composure. "What.." Her hair moved from her face as she fanned herself. "What was wrong with me back there?" Elenore called simply called for a pitcher of water and a bowl while Genevieve continued to flutter the fan across her face. Genevieve wrestled with her thoughts until the water came and Elenore helped Genevieve to wash her face. It certainly helped. When it was time for her to walk out onto the balcony, she did so with a smile and small wave. This wasn't so bad.

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